ALVAS POWELL has said sorry for walking out on the Jamaica men’s national senior football team at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.Additionally, he said the decision was his and his alone.”I was just sorry about what happened,” Powell said in an interview with The Gleaner yesterday.”This is a decision I made on my own and it surprised everybody.”The 21-year-old left the Jamaica camp on July 15, the morning after their final Group B encounter against El Salvador at BMO Field in Toronto.Jamaica won the game 1-0 and Powell – who had sat out the previous games against Costa Rica and Canada, came on as a substitute during the second half.The team’s head coach, Winfried Sch‰fer, had said he had no intention to recall Powell to his team initially.Change of heartHowever, on their return from the Gold Cup, Sch‰fer noted a change of heart and said in an interview that “the door is open”.The 65-year-old German, while stating his liking for the youth, said he didn’t want the player’s career to go down and allow him to suffer much public pressure.Sch‰fer had also intimated that Powell had been influenced by his agent, Damani Ralph, who had been to several of the matches and has other national players on his roster.”I don’t think it’s his decision. He’s too young and does not think 100 per cent.”He added: “… His manager must tell him ‘Alvas, you can’t go.’ His manager must give him better advice.”Ralph, however, said he did not advise his player to leave. In fact, the former Jamaica striker said he went out of his way to try and get Powell to change his decision.”I flew up to Canada especially to try and relieve a situation that I knew could have got worse. Sadly, it got worse,” Ralph affirmed.”I did not advise Alvas Powell to leave the camp,” Ralph said. “The player can confirm this.”Powell did.”When I was leaving, Damani never had nothing all to do with it. He even asked me if this is what I wanted to do, more than one time. He told me to think about it, more than once,” the Portland Timbers player said.Powell continued: “What happened has happened already. I cannot change the past. I just feel bad about the decision I made. I’ve gotten the chance to redeem myself, and I will not make a stupid decision like that again. That ‘s why I’ve made up my mind to go back.”I was talking with the coach yesterday and he said he wanted the best for me. At the time when I was leaving, I wished the team nothing but good luck. Me and none of my teammates had any form of beef.”The decision I made, I was ignorant. I was upset. I was upset that I was not playing,” he explained. “I had 18 games outstanding for my club, and to come in the camp and not be playing, I was losing confidence. It was too much in my head. I couldn’t manage it. People are disappointed for me.”Ralph hopes Powell will learn from the experience.He said: “I want to make sure that at the end of the day, we’re able to move forward and this can become a learning experience for a young professional.”
A year and half after the regional team called off a tour to India, there is fresh controversy in West Indies cricket as the players are now opposed to a pay cut ahead of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup. Members of the West Indies squad are demanding that the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) improve the financial terms of their contracts for the tournament and have requested an urgent meeting ahead of the March 8 – April 3 competition, set for India. The concerns, which centres around a 75 per cent-pay cut were outlined in a letter from team captain Darren Sammy to the WICB, which among other things, pointed to a fall-off in guaranteed earnings from the tournament compared to previous arrangements. The players are demanding 100 per cent of prize money and a doubling of match fees, which currently stand at $6,900. Fourteen of the 15 members selected to represent the West Indies in India next month are yet to sign their contracts for the tournament with the deadline set for February 14, 2016 and Sammy, who rejected the credibility of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA), made it clear that the WIPA negotiated terms will not be accepted by the players. One player on the squad has already signed the WICB’s Twenty20 World Cup contract with Sulieman Benn reportedly putting pen to paper. Referring to a US$8-million ICC payment received by the WICB, Sammy urged the Board to revert to a previous remuneration package, which saw players earning 25 per cent of income received by the WICB for participation in ICC tournaments. He noted that under the previous deal, players would be guaranteed US$133,000 as opposed to the US$27,600 under the current terms if they play in all official matches. “We have collectively discussed the remuneration on offer to participate in the T20 World Cup. Considering that 14 out of the 15 man squad are not part of WIPA – and hence have not given authorisation to WIPA to negotiate on our behalf – and a large number do not receive any significant remuneration from WICB at all, we want the opportunity to negotiate fairly the financial terms within the contract,” Sammy’s letter stated. The 2015 World Cup took place with the WI squad remunerated under the terms and conditions that had been in place for the World Cups previous – that is 25 per cent of income received by the WICB for participating in the tournament was distributed to the squad,” Sammy letter was quoted. However, in a response, WICB CEO Michael Muirhead, underlined that the organisation will only negotiate with WIPA on compensation matters, while outlining that the ICC’s new payment cycle which now sees an eight-year distribution arrangement replacing lump sum payments, means that the WICB cannot identify exactly how much it will be paid in relation to the World Twenty20. “… It is not possible to calculate a percentage to be paid to the Squad, as the ICC distribution is no longer being made in the traditional manner. The WICB, in recognition of this, and in an effort at fairness and transparency, allocates 25 per cent of WICB revenues estimated over a four – year period – including ICC distributions – to players, through a guaranteed minimum revenue pool, out of which player payments are made,” he said. “Anything in excess of this minimum over the relevant 4 – year cycle, will be divided solely among the international players, as agreed with WIPA,” added Muirhead’s response to Sammy. Muirhead also noted that the match fee is three times the usual fee and also noted that players would receive 50 percent net of sponsorship generated for the event and 80 percent of prize money, which has seen an 86 percent increase. In an interview with Hitz 92FM yesterday afternoon, Muirhead also noted that they are prepared to send other players to the T20 World Cup if contracts aren’t signed by the February 14 deadline. There were indications that things were coming to a head when suggestive Instagram posts were made by Sammy and Dwyane Bravo. Bravo, in a post with himself, Samuel Badree, Andre Russell and Sammy, stated: “If U all have any idea what’s going on an what we thinking again sad times but lets see how this one will end.”
MANCHESTER, England (AP):Leicester’s unlikely Premier League title challenge faltered with a 2-2 home draw with West Bromwich Albion yesterday, offering Tottenham the chance to go top in another twist to the most unpredictable race for the championship in years.Sunderland grabbed a 90th-minute equaliser to draw 2-2 with Crystal Palace and provisionally climb out of the bottom three and Bournemouth beat south coast rivals Southampton 2-0 to further ease their relegation concerns.Moving three points clear of the world’s richest league was nothing to celebrate for Leicester’s despondent players, who wasted a slew of late chances to put a provisional five-point gap over Spurs.”Just sometimes you can do everything, but the ball doesn’t want to go in,” said Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri, who has turned a team that narrowly avoided relegation last season into a title contender.Tottenham are away to West Ham today, while the title hopes of fellow contenders Arsenal and Manchester City third and fourth, respectively were also boosted by Leicester dropping points.CHELSEA EIGHTHResurgent Chelsea moved into eighth place and within sight of the European places by beating Norwich 2-1, extending their unbeaten league run since Jose Mourinho was fired before Christmas to 12 games. Young Brazilian left back Kenedy scored after 39 seconds the quickest goal of the season so far to set Chelsea on their way to victory.At the bottom, Aston Villa’s fans staged a mass walkout after the last-place team sunk nearer relegation with a 3-1 home loss to Everton. Villa Park had already started to empty when thousands of fans departed in the 74th minute when Villa were 3-0 down to mark the year the club was founded, 1874.”The situation is difficult, but we have to fight until the end,” said Villa manager Remi Garde, whose team is eight points from safety with 10 games left.The fourth official for the Bournemouth-Southampton match, Kevin Friend, was taken to hospital after collapsing and hitting his head on a dugout near the end of the first half.
LONDON (AP): Qualifying for the Champions League looks increasingly out of reach for Manchester United. The season could still end with silverware after Louis van Gaal’s side reached the FA Cup final by beating Everton yesterday. And yet van Gaal still has the air of a manager who could be leaving his job. Even amid the joy at seeing Anthony Martial score in the third minute of stoppage time to clinch a 2-1 victory over Everton in the semi-final, van Gaal responded curtly to a question about the team beyond this season. “I am not looking beyond this competition, the FA Cup, because we live in the present,” van Gaal said. “As for the future, I will discuss that with my board and not with you.” When it was pointed out that he had another season remaining on his contract, the 64-year-old Dutchman said: “Yes. You repeat what I have always said.” Disappointing season Martial set up Marouane Fellaini’s opener in the 34th minute against his former club. Although David de Gea saved Romelu Lukaku’s penalty early in the second half to preserve United’s lead after Ross Barkley was brought down by Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Gerard Deulofeu’s cross was inadvertently turned into his own net by United defender Chris Smalling with 15 minutes remaining. Martial’s winner was a slick completion of a rapid attack that prevented extra time. The 20-year-old France forward linked up with Marcus Rashford on the left flank and then played another one-two with Ander Herrera before slotting in the winner. The 11-time FA Cup winners will discover today whether Crystal Palace or Watford will be their opponent in the May 21 final. With four games remaining, United remain fifth, four points behind Arsenal, who play relegation-threatened Sunderland today. Crosstown rivals Manchester City are a further point ahead in third place after beating Stoke 4-0 in one of four Premier League games yesterday. Kelechi Iheanacho, City’s 19-year-old forward, scored twice after first-half goals from Fernando and Sergio Aguero from the penalty spot. Newcastle remained in the relegation zone despite coming from behind to draw 2-2 at Liverpool, who announced before the game that defender Mamadou Sakho failed a drugs test before a Europa League game last month. After conceding goals from Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana in the first half, Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle salvaged a point, thanks to strikes from Papiss Cisse and Jack Colback on the manager’s return to the club he won the Champions League with in 2005. Brought down Southampton kept alive their outside shot at qualifying for the Europa League by compounding already-relegated Aston Villa’s woes. Dusan Tadic scored twice in a 4-2 victory for seventh-place Southampton, between headers from Shane Long and Sadio Mane. Deposed champions Chelsea are a place behind after cruising to a 4-1 victory at Bournemouth, who have already secured a second season in the Premier League. Cesc Fabregas played a key role in all four goals, including Eden Hazard’s double that produced his first league goals of a disappointing season for the reigning player of the year. Pedro Rodriguez and Willian also scored for Chelsea. The focus shifts to the title race in the coming days. Leicester, who have a five-point lead over Tottenham, host Swansea today. Tottenham face West Bromwich Albion at White Hart Lane tomorrow.
DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI Marsh reminded his audience that Olympians Janelle Atkinson and Alia Atkinson competed during their developmental years at the long-standing meet. “We did have Janelle Atkinson here two years ago, who came through the Burger King Swim Meet, and she came and participated actively, so there has been a relationship with some of the famous alumni,” added Marsh. Title sponsors Burger King and Popeyes will be spending a combined $2 million to mark the 17th renewal. According to Sabrena McDonald-Radcliffe, head of sales and marketing for Restaurant Associates Limited, it reflects their biggest investment in the sport to date. “Both brands are committed to the growth and development of the sport of swimming as it encourages discipline, perseverance and teamwork among young people,” she said. Immaculate Conception High student Zaneta Alvaranga, who recently returned from the Carifta Swimming Championships in Bahamas with six medals – four individual and two relays – including the 50m butterfly record also spoke. “I encourage you to keep loving the sport of swimming, as it will help you to be focused and become a high achiever in everything you do,” the 12-year-old implored the youngsters. The defending girls’ prep champions are Immaculate. However, new champions will be crowned on the boys’ side as Wolmer’s will not be competing. Excelsior are reigning primary schools champions. Meet director Allan Roy Marsh says the 700 children who will be competing at this weekend’s Burger King/Popeyes Prep and Primary Schools Swim meet will be given an oppor-tunity to showcase their talents in an organised and healthy competition. The two-day meet will be held on Friday and Saturday. Action will get under way at 8:30 a.m. each day at the National Aquatics Centre and will showcase prep and primary swimmers ages 6-12. A total of 55 schools – 45 prep and 10 primary – are down to take part. “Through sponsorship of this meet, Burger King is providing opportunities to over 700 kids, many of whom would not have an opportunity to swim in an organised competition,” Marsh outlined at yesterday’s launch at Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa on Lady Musgrave Road.
For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Winning start A costly, catty dispute finally settled Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netLa Salle overcame a gutsy stand by National University to win, 115-109, in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.ADVERTISEMENT Ricci Rivero finished with a team-high 21 points, nine coming in the fourth, to go along with seven rebounds to lead La Salle while Aljun Melecio orchestrated the offense putting up 20 points and eight assists.Jolo Go also provided added firepower for the Green Archers with 19 points in just 13 minutes of play.Rookie Jordan Bartlett led the Bulldogs (1-1) with 23 points.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO 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 award OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Break new ground Learning about the ‘Ring of Fire’ Adamson soars to third win, dumps TIP End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments A costly, catty dispute finally settled Aljun Melecio split his free throws while Santi Santillan made a pair of freebies inside the final 20 seconds as the Green Archers, who are still without reigning MVP Ben Mbala, held on for the second straight game.Matt Salem could’ve kept his team in it, but his 3-pointer went in and out as La Salle kept a 113-109 lead with 11.2 seconds left.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smog“That was a good game for us, we showed a lot of tenacity, we were resilient, the composure was there, and we were able to execute our plays,” said DLSU head coach Aldin Ayo as his team improved to 2-0.The Green Archers had 22 assists, including a dish by Ricci Rivero to his older brother Prince underneath to give the Green Archers a 112-107 buffer with 25.3 ticks remaining. MOST READ
San Miguel Beer head coach Leo Austria. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netSan Miguel head coach Leo Austria said picking Christian Standhardinger first in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft will be worth the wait.“I think I’ve said it before that for a talent like Christian, we’re willing to wait even for one or two more years. It’s still okay for me as long as we’ll have him,” Austria said.ADVERTISEMENT Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set But despite the fanfare surrounding Standhardinger’s entry to San Miguel, Austria is still putting a premium on team chemistry.“We still don’t know yet what we could have from him since he’s going to Hong Kong, but once he joins us, we’re expecting great things from him. The important thing here and what we’re after for is to have good chemistry. It took us a long time to have that and now that we do, it’s just a matter of blending him in to our team,” he said.But based on what Austria had seen so far, it looks like chemistry issues won’t be that much of a problem.“Based on what we saw, he’s a good fit for our team. He’s really a hardworker and that’s what we like from him. He could give a lot of help for our team because you know, that’s what we’re always aiming for. We’re always looking for excellence.”ADVERTISEMENT Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ MOST READ Austria and the Beermen have every reason to want Standhardinger, who won’t make his PBA debut until midway through the next season due to his commitments with the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions in the Asean Basketball League, on the team.The Fil-German big man quickly became a hot commodity the moment he bursted into the Philippine basketball scene as a member of Gilas Pilipinas in the 2017 Jones Cup, Fiba Asia Cup and Southeast Asian Games.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogREAD: Fajardo hopes Beermen will win more titles with StandhardingerStandhardinger forms a fearsome frontline with four-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo and joins an already stacked roster featuring Mythical First Team members Chris Ross, Alex Cabagnot, and Arwind Santos. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO 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 award OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson LATEST STORIES Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Fajardo hopes Beermen will win more titles with Standhardinger Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours View comments
Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed Los Angeles Lakers’ Julius Randle, left, looks at Minnesota Timberwolves’ Jimmy Butler in the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)MINNEAPOLIS— The Minnesota Timberwolves were flat, facing a double-digit deficit for long stretches of the game.This is why they traded for Jimmy Butler and signed Taj Gibson, for fourth-quarter lifts like these.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Sea turtle trapped in net freed in Legazpi City Japan’s Hanyu sets Olympic record in short program “It’s going to be really fun to have him out there pushing the basketball and him putting guys in different spots and giving confidence to other guys,” Ingram said.UP NEXTLakers: Host Dallas on Feb. 23 after the NBA All-Star break, their only home game in a 24-day span.Timberwolves: Visit Houston on Feb. 23 following the seven-day layoff, a rematch with the Rockets after the 18-point loss here on Tuesday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano MOST READ UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer View comments Gibson scored a season-high 28 points and Butler added 24, providing the Timberwolves with the production and energy for a 119-111 comeback victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.Butler and Gibson, the former Chicago teammates, muscled their way to the basket with a fierce determination down the stretch. Butler drove along the baseline and flicked a short pass to Gibson in the lane, where he dropped in a layup and converted a three-point play for a 110-104 lead with 3:59 left.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“What he and Jimmy have brought to the team has really changed things for us,” said Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau, who had them both with the Bulls. “Those guys, they weren’t going to let us lose.”Jeff Teague pitched in 20 points and Jamal Crawford added 15 for the Timberwolves, who rallied from a deficit as large as 15 points in the second quarter and 12 points late in the third to raise their home record to 24-7 on an emotional evening that started with a tribute to former coach and executive Flip Saunders. Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO 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 award It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew “I think that’s what separates him as a superstar,” Crawford said. “Most guys, they do it on one end, but those types of plays, they’re immeasurable.”This was a win the Wolves badly needed before the All-Star break, after their 13-game home winning streak ended in humbling fashion on Tuesday against Houston. They moved within percentage points of San Antonio for third place in the Western Conference at 36-25. The Spurs are 35-24.The Lakers shot so sharply to start the game, going 17 for 27 from the floor in the first quarter, that the Wolves produced separate spurts of 23-8 and 21-6 in the first half yet still trailed 65-62 at halftime.Randle had 10 points in the third quarter as the Lakers again pushed ahead. He drove and scored on Karl-Anthony Towns for an 86-76 lead, and a frustrated Towns was called for an offensive foul on Brook Lopez to erase a spin-move layup on the next possession.But Crawford got the Wolves and the crowd going early in the fourth quarter, sandwiching a 31-foot swish by Tyus Jones with a pair of 3-pointers of his own. The second one came off a slick crossover dribble that deked Corey Brewer at the top of the key and brought the Wolves within 95-94.TIP-INSLakers: Zubac, who grabbed 11 rebounds, had only 23 points in 17 previous games. … The recently acquired Channing Frye was not with the team to tend to personal matters, according to Walton. Frye made his Lakers debut on Wednesday against the Pelicans, with three points in 11 minutes.Timberwolves: Towns narrowly notched his NBA-leading 51st double-double, with 10 points on 2-for-9 shooting to go with his game-high 19 rebounds. … After tying his season low with seven points on 2-for-14 shooting on Tuesday against the Rockets, Andrew Wiggins finished with a quiet eight points on 4-for-11 shooting, with four rebounds and no assists.FLIP, FONDLY REMEMBEREDThe Timberwolves unveiled a banner from the rafters of the arena to permanently recognize the impact that Saunders, who died in 2015 of complications from cancer, had on the franchise. Former players Chauncey Billups, Sam Cassell, Troy Hudson, Latrell Sprewell, John Thomas and Gary Trent were on hand, along with Mark Madsen, now a Lakers assistant. Kevin Harlan, the original Timberwolves television play-by-play announcer who later called the game for TNT, emceed the on-court ceremony. Timberwolves assistant coach Ryan Saunders and his three sisters flanked their mother, Debbie Saunders, as she addressed the crowd.“He would also want to tell you how fortunate he felt to have known you,” she said. “You all contributed things to his life. Keep up your kindness.”BALL, BACK SOONLakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball missed his 15th straight game with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, but he’s nearing a return. Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours GALLERY: Barangay Ginebra back as PBA Governors’ Cup kings Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Except the Lakers had the mojo for much of the first three quarters. Julius Randle had 23 points and nine rebounds, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Brandon Ingram each scored 17 points.“I know how good we can be when we decide to play hard,” Butler said. “But we think that we’re so good on paper that we can just go through the motions.”Ivica Zubac, who went 8 for 8 from the floor for a season-high 19 points, threw down a dunk for a 99-98 lead for the Lakers, but that was essentially their last momentum-creating play of the game.“They’ve got some big-time closers on that team, starting with Jimmy Butler,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “He kind of set the tone in the fourth with the way he played.”Butler blocked shots by Randle and Isaiah Thomas on consecutive possessions in the closing minutes, putting his stamp on yet another winning performance.ADVERTISEMENT
“We leave the decision to the POC. The PSC shall support the team as best as we can,” said Ramirez after his meeting with around 30 sports coordinators of the Philippine Sports Institute at Philsports Complex.Ramirez said the PSC’s initial help would be to assemble a medical team from the PSI to assist all Asian Games-bound athletes.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownBased on an earlier projection using gold and silver medalists in last year’s Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games as one of the criteria, around 150 Filipino athletes are bound for the Asiad to be hosted by the cities of Jakarta and Palembang.There are 57 athletes who accounted for the 24 gold medals that the Philippines brought home from Kuala Lumpur, including the Gilas Pilipinas men’s basketball team and the 20-man ice hockey squad. Sister Jean: Basketball’s Easter gift Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The final number of athletes, however, could reach 200 with the inclusion of the women’s softball team, which qualified to the Games by finishing second in the 2017 Asian Women’s Softball Championships.Gomez, president of the Philippine Fencing Association, is also considering the women’s volleyball team, made up of stars from the Philippine Superliga and Philippine Volleyball League, for inclusion.“We still do not have the final numbers, but there will be not much difference from the previous projection,” said Gomez.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerism View comments Conor McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback Scarlett Johansson, Sterling K. Brown among SAG Awards presenters In Liverpool, Man United sees the pain and path to recovery Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil MOST READ Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The Philippine Sports Commission is giving the Philippine Olympic Committee a free hand to determine and finalize the size of the delegation in the coming 18th Asian Games in Indonesia.PSC chair Butch Ramirez said they would respect the number and composition Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez, the country’s chef de mission for the Games, would endorse to the sports-funding agency for the continental sportsfest that will run from Aug. 18 to Sept. 2.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO 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 award Recto seeks to establish Taal rehab body to aid community, eruption victims Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’
Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cleveland Cavaliers center Kevin Love (0) is attended to after a first quarter injury during play against the Miami Heat in an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, March 27, 2018, in Miami. The Heat won the game 98-79. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)CLEVELAND — Cavaliers All-Star forward Kevin Love is back in Cleveland’s starting lineup against New Orleans after missing one game with a concussion.Love, who recently returned from a broken left hand, sat out Wednesday’s game at Charlotte. He had sustained a concussion the previous night in Miami after he was accidentally hit in the face while defending Heat center Jordan Mickey in the foul lane. Love played just seven minutes and the Cavs were blown out.ADVERTISEMENT Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerism Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO 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 award Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Recto seeks to establish Taal rehab body to aid community, eruption victims Bulls’ Robin Lopez fined $25k for yelling at officials Scarlett Johansson, Sterling K. Brown among SAG Awards presenters LATEST STORIES In Liverpool, Man United sees the pain and path to recovery Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina View comments Conor McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback Love also had a tooth damaged in the collision.Cleveland has been a different team since Love returned to the lineup. It won the first four games after he came back and his outside shooting ability has allowed the Cavs, who have been besieged by injuries all season, to spread the floor.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownLove is averaging 17.7 points and 9.2 rebounds. He has become the team’s second scoring option — after LeBron James — this season following Kyrie Irving’s trade to Boston.
A 0-2 start is always a cause for alarm, even for a powerhouse like San Miguel Beer.The Beermen bowed to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 123-119, in overtime on Sunday in a game where the defending champions lost a 17-point lead and import Troy Gillenwater in the first half.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:44Gatchalian wants arrest for residents returning to Taal danger zones00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO 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 award Bong Ramos said he never expected anything easy when he got the Elite head coaching job.With a 0-5 start, he said they are still in a transition period.“It’s never going to be easy,” said Ramos, who took over Leo Isaac three games into the import-spiced conference. “I’m trying to instill my system little by little. You can’t shock them.”“This is a process, so slowly, we’re integrating my system. We know this isn’t going to be an overnight change so what we could do is to stay optimistic.”Blackwater’s playoff chances have gone slimmer after its 91-105 defeat to Ginebra on Friday, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be better soon with a tussle against TNT Ka-Tropa coming up this Friday.Only the top eight teams will progress to the playoffs.But Ramos still believes the Elite have what it takes to cut the league giants down to size.“We know how strong the opponents are and we know we have a lot to work on,” he said. “But what we need is more work. They might be stronger, but if we can outwork them, I believe we’ll eventually get the win.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Open bowl win gives Del Rosario chance for final PH team hurrah Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film “We still have hope. It’s still a long way and we can still get to our goal which is the top two. If we don’t, that’s life. It’s not always that you’ll be on top,” Santos added.Santos led San Miguel’s losing effort with 29 points, nine rebounds, four assists and five blocks.But the 2013 Most Valuable Player knows that at this stage, the resilient Beermen still have control of its fate.“We won’t quit,” Santos said. “We’ll make the adjustments that we need, and maybe, there will be changes. We’ll see in the coming days.”Another team in a bind is Blackwater, which remains winless in five starts.ADVERTISEMENT Gillenwater bumped a referee after contesting a foul, a move that means automatic ejection from the game.The loss was the second straight for San Miguel following an 85-93 defeat to Meralco on May 9.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownArwind Santos is naturally concerned over the Beermen’s dismal start in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.“I’m alarmed,” Santos said in Filipino. “It’s just a short conference and every win matters.” Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew MOST READ View comments
Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Long hitters hold no edge in PH Masters at Villamor Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Senegalese striker Robert Lopez Mendy bagged a hat trick as Kaya FC Iloilo came up with a memorable home debut by drubbing Davao Aguilas, 4-2, on Sunday night to zoom to top spot in the Philippines Football League at Iloilo Sports Complex.Jordan Mintah opened the scoring for Kaya just 50 seconds into the match with a clever right footed finish, before Mendy ran riot against an error prone Davao defense, boosting the Iloilo side to its fourth straight victory.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ “We wanted the fans to go home happy,” said Iloilo head coach Noel Marcaida. “It’s a victory that will be written in the history books. There was pressure in that it was our first game in front of the Ilonggos, our first chance to showcase how Kaya plays. That first goal took the pressure off.”Joven Bedic, who grew up in Barotac Nuevo, captained Kaya in its first game in its new home, assisting on Mintah’s seventh goal of the season.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownMendy doubled the advantage a few minutes later, poking home inside the area after Nick O Donnel spilled a routine save.The Aguilas mounted a comeback with James Younghusband nodding in from a corner kick early in the second half, but Mendy restored the two-goal cushion just seven minutes later. —CEDELF P. TUPAS Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO 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 award View comments LATEST STORIES Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film
Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Papi Sarr came through on both ends to rescue Adamson, hitting two free throws to give the Falcons a 64-61 lead with 1:22 left then swatting away Archie Concepcion’s layup 21 seconds later.Adamson head coach Franz Pumaren said his players have to experience those cardiac moments since such scenarios are vital for his team’s development.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“That’s why we’re here, we want the players to grow up, mature, and to adjust to certain scenarios,” said Pumaren, whose team improved to 3-1 in Group B. “They have to adjust to the pressure of the game.”Letran continued its strong and ripped Jose Rizal University, 94-71, in the other game. Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Alcantara, partner bag ITF doubles crown Pressured by Adamson’s Jerrick Ahanmisi, Rafael Chavez (right) of Arellano is forced to pass off. —AUGUST DELA CRUZAdamson University survived a close call and recovered just in time to drop Arellano University, 67-61, in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup Friday at the tournament’s namesake arena in San Juan.The Falcons held a 50-38 lead at the end of the third but the Chiefs managed to make a game out of it, moving to within 62-61.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO 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 award Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding The Knights improved to a 3-2 record in Group B while the Heavy Bombers dropped to the cellar at 0-6.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours View comments Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ LATEST STORIES Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial MOST READ
Team Philippines wants to be bracketed with the likes of China, South Korea and Japan when the draw happens in the coming weeks.“Let’s bring on the strongest teams right away, so we know where we stand,” Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas (LVPI) acting president Peter Cayco said on Thursday night after revealing the country’s Fighting 12 for the Games set Aug. 18-Sept. 2 in Indonesia.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“We are not scared of Korea or China, they should be scared of us,” Cayco added after naming the popular Alyssa Valdez, Ces Molina, Cha Cruz-Behag, Dindin Manabat, Aby Maraño, Majoy Baron, Mika Reyes, Jaja Santiago, Kim Kianna Dy, Kim Fajardo, Jia Morado and Dawn Macandili to the team.The volleyball event starts a day after the opening ceremonies and the Filipinos will be seeking to improve on a fifth place finish in 1982 before the country took a long hiatus. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO 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 award Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Meralco surges to QF Back in the Asian Games for the first time in 36 years, the Philippine Women’s volleyball team is itching to take on all of the region’s heavyweights early to see exactly where it stands.ADVERTISEMENT A two-week training camp in Japan is up for the Nationals.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Cayco made the announcement of the final lineup along with LVPI head Joey Romasanta and head coach Shaq delos Santos.The LVPI started with a 20-player pool before coming up with the final roster and named Rhea Dimaculangan and Denden Lazaro as reserves.Completing the pool are Myla Pablo, Myleen Paat, Maika Ortiz, CJ Rosario, Rebecca Rivera and Mar-Jana Phillips.Clashing with the best teams in Asia, Cayco believes, will also give the team an idea on how the country will fare next year when it hosts the Southeast Asian Games.Romasanta bared a busy schedule for the team, which will campaign in the Asian Cup in Thailand immediately after the Games in Palembang.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES MOST READ View comments
“It’s pretty unreal for me,” said Goerges, who reached her first major semifinal at a tournament where she exited in the first round each of the past five years.The other semifinal is No. 11 seed Angelique Kerber of Germany vs. No. 12 Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.Kerber is a former No. 1 who owns two Grand Slam titles and was the runner-up to Williams at Wimbledon two years ago. Ostapenko won last year’s French Open.Kerber needed seven match points to close out No. 14 Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-3, 7-5 at Centre Court, while Ostapenko defeated 2014 Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 7-5, 6-4 at a windy No. 1 Court.After a series of upsets made this edition of Wimbledon the first since it began seeding players in the 1920s that none of the top 10 women reached the quarterfinals, Nos. 11, 12 and 13 are still around. And so is No. 25, Williams.The All England Club seeded her there as a nod to all of her past success at the grass-court major, including titles the last two times she entered, in 2015 and 2016. She missed Wimbledon a year ago because she was pregnant, going about 16 months between Grand Slam tournaments, so her ranking is just outside the top 180.That is going to change now.Told she is guaranteed of rising to 51st next week — and higher if she reaches the final or wins the championship — Williams joked: “Got to keep trekking on, though. Serena Williams, 51? Eh, it doesn’t have that same ring to it. The ‘1’ part does, but not the ‘5.’”Williams is 3-0 against Goerges, winning in straight sets each time.“Every match starts from zero,” Goerges said. “Everybody has the same chances to win that match, and I’m looking forward to it.” And after Williams came up with a comeback to beat 52nd-ranked Camila Giorgi of Italy 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Tuesday, she headed off Centre Court with her right index finger aloft. Yes, no matter what the rankings or seedings say, no matter how long she was away, Williams still looks capable of playing like someone who’s No. 1, just about 10 months after having a baby.“Everything right now is a little bit of a surprise. To be here. To be in the semifinals. I mean, I always say I plan on it, I would like to be there, have these goals,” Williams said. “But when it actually happens, it still is, like, ‘Wow, this is really happening.’”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’So what if she’s still getting her game in gear?So what if Giorgi wouldn’t seem to miss while moving out to that early lead? Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO 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 award Report: Disney dropping the ‘Fox’ from movie studio names MOST READ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Williams never was worried about losing.“It’s weird. Sometimes I feel, ‘Man, I’m in trouble.’ Sometimes I feel, ‘I can fight.’ For whatever reason, today I was so calm,” said 36-year-old American, who has been wearing compression leggings as a precaution after a blood-clot scare following her daughter’s birth. “Even when I was down the first set, I thought, ‘Well, she’s playing great. I’m doing a lot of the right things.’”Asked whether that might represent a new way of looking at things, Williams smiled.“No. Just to be clear, that was just today. I mean, I’m hoping this is, like, a new thing,” she said. “Honestly, I highly doubt it.”Next up for Williams as she tries to earn her eighth title at the All England Club and 24th Grand Slam trophy overall will be a match Thursday against No. 13 seed Julia Goerges of Germany, a 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 winner against No. 20 Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.ADVERTISEMENT View comments ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. After their most recent meeting, in the French Open’s third round last month, Williams pulled out of that tournament, citing a chest muscle injury that made it too painful to serve.She went a couple of weeks without practicing serves, and the rest did wonders. She hit one at 122 mph against Giorgi, delivered six of her seven aces in the final set, and won 44 of the last 54 points she served.“I messed up too much on my returns,” said Giorgi, questioning her decision to stand inside the baseline to receive serve.Rare is the player who can produce Williams’ sort of pace on serves — Giorgi’s average speeds were actually faster on first and second serves, and she delivered the match’s first three aces — and mirror her power in groundstroke exchanges at the baseline.But Giorgi plays with nary a trace of subtlety and more than a bit of abandon, taking risky, flat chops at the ball with serves, returns, forehands and backhands. She harbors no compunction about striving for a point-ending winner with every stroke. When she’s calibrating properly, it all can be tough for opponents to handle.Even Williams.Well, for a set, anyway.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Serena Williams of the United States celebrates winning her women’s singles quarterfinals match against Italy’s Camila Giorgi, at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London, Tuesday July 10, 2018.(AP Photo/Ben Curtis)LONDON — There are moments in which nothing at all seems different about Serena Williams, moments such as when she unleashed a 109 mph service winner to even her Wimbledon quarterfinal at a set apiece, leaned forward and yelled, loudly as can be, “Cooome ooon!”Or when, about 10 minutes later, she stretched for a lunging backhand winner to break at love and take control of the third set, then raised a fist, figuring a berth in her 11th semifinal at the All England Club was close at hand.ADVERTISEMENT Trump assembles a made-for-TV impeachment defense team Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Ronaldo leaving Real Madrid to join Italian club Juventus Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil LATEST STORIES Putin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West
Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal View comments A cartoon caricature of Williams appeared in an Australian newspaper drew comparisons to U.S. racial stereotypes of the past.In Croatia, U.S. Davis Cup team captain Jim Courier said he thought the gender issue had been polarized and, in some ways, politicized.“It’s been quite the week,” O’Hagan said before steering the conversation away from controversy.“It isn’t the first time you have had to deal with unfair judgment against you, and yet you have this amazing ability to come back with such courage and grace,” she said.She drew applause praising Williams for calming a riled-up audience that booed the U.S. Open outcome to refocus the moment on Osaka’s victory.ADVERTISEMENT Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Williams, who took no questions from the audience, said previously she felt she had been treated more harshly than a male player would have been for smashing her racket and arguing with match official Carlos Ramos during her straight-set finals loss to Naomi Osaka of Japan on Sept. 8 in New York.Williams received three code violations and was penalized a point and one game. She was later fined $17,000.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissThe incident drew a volley of commentary in recent days.Tennis icon Billie Jean King said she believes tennis applies a double standard to women compared with men, and a similar outburst by a male player would have drawn no repercussions. Tennis star Serena Williams walks on stage before speaking at the Shop.org conference Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)LAS VEGAS — Serena Williams talked about her fashion business and her family, but not tennis fouls during a Friday appearance before a business trade group in Las Vegas.The 23-time Grand Slam champion wasn’t asked about gender equality in sports or an argument she had last weekend with the chair umpire at her U.S. Open finals match in New York during about 25 minutes onstage with Sarah Robb O’Hagan, chief executive of Flywheel Sports, at the National Retail Federation trade show.ADVERTISEMENT Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil “I feel it’s really important to stand up for what you believe in,” Williams said, “especially if it can affect the future and affect a lot of people in the future. That’s what it’s all about.”Williams also was asked about what O’Hagan termed “epic comebacks” during her 20-year tennis career, including having a baby a little more than a year ago.The tennis star, who has her own fashion line, advised business owners to “really figure out, ‘What can I do to revamp and bring it back to the top?’”“Really, it’s just about having a great team … and rolling up your sleeves and hard work,” Williams said. “I work really, really hard at my game. And then I work super hard at my fashion business. And I’m working incredibly hard at being a mom.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO 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 award Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown LATEST STORIES MOST READ Ginobili content with retirement after 16 seasons with Spurs
“With its suspension from the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the Russian Olympic Committee has served its sanction,” wrote Bach.WADA personnel travelled to Russia in December but were unable to extract all of the promised data.WADA said at the time its team could not complete its mission “due to an issue raised by the Russian authorities that the team’s equipment to be used for the data extraction was required to be certified under Russian law”.With WADA waiting and the December 31 deadline looming, RUSADA chief Yury Ganus asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to intervene to stave off another ban that put Russia “on the brink of the abyss”.However, the Kremlin said RUSADA’s concerns about new sanctions were “without foundation.”ADVERTISEMENT Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO 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 award Later Tuesday, the athletes commission of the UK Anti-Doping Agency called for Russia to be declared non-compliant.“The Russian state need to prove unequivocally that they have learned from the biggest doping scandal under WADA’s watch,” said a statement.“And that they will be committed to a drug-free, transparent regime across international sport.“Otherwise WADA..must now declare RUSADA non-compliant.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next WADA said the independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) will now consider the next step in the long-running saga at a January 14-15 meeting.The end-of-year deadline was set in September, when WADA lifted a ban on the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), paving the way for Russian athletes to return to competition across all sports after a report which uncovered a state-sponsored doping programme in Russia.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissWADA’s confirmation of the missed deadline came as US Anti-Doping Agency chief Travis Tygart described Russia’s return to the sports fold “a total joke and an embarrassment”.However, in his New Year message, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach insisted sporting superpower Russia had been sufficiently punished. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks open new year with a bang Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom – ‘WADA being played by Russians’ –Reedie added on Tuesday: “WADA has been working diligently with the Russian authorities to meet the deadline, which was clearly in the best interest of clean sport. The process agreed by WADA’s ExCo in September will now be initiated.”That process will now see the independent Compliance Review Committee meet on January 14 and 15 to examine the developments before a recommendation is made to WADA.That could lead to RUSADA again being declared non-compliant.Tygart said Russia missing the deadline should come as no surprise.“In September, WADA secretly moved the goal posts and reinstated Russia against the wishes of athletes, governments and the public,” Tygart said. “In doing this WADA guaranteed Russia would turn over the evidence of its state-supported doping scheme by today.“No one is surprised this deadline was ignored and it’s time for WADA to stop being played by the Russians and immediately declare them non-compliant for failing yet again to meet the deadline.”Last month, the governing body of world athletics (IAAF) said they were maintaining Russia’s ban from track and field over the state-backed doping controversy.Russia’s athletics team was barred from the 2016 Rio Olympics and also missed the IAAF World Championships in London a year later.A number of Russian athletes, however, have been granted permission by the IAAF to compete as neutrals after meeting the exceptional eligibility criteria, essentially demonstrating that they have come through transparent anti-doping testing.The IOC lifted its ban on Russia at the end of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia MOST READ FILE – In this file photo taken on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, Russian National Anti-doping Agency RUSADA head Yuri Ganus leaves the office in Moscow, Russia. The head of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency has asked President Vladimir Putin for help in getting key doping data released to World Anti-Doping Agency inspectors. Ganus in a letter released Thursday. Dec. 27, 2018 appealed to Putin to reverse the decision and allow to hand over the data to WADA inspectors. Ganus warned that the refusal to do so would hurt Russia’s efforts to clean up its sports from doping.(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)Russia faced the possibility of renewed sporting sanctions on Tuesday when the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) confirmed the country had missed a December 31 deadline to hand over data from its anti-doping laboratory in Moscow.“I am bitterly disappointed that data extraction from the former Moscow Laboratory has not been completed by the date agreed,” said WADA president Craig Reedie.ADVERTISEMENT View comments
Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO 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 Taal Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil And they will find the Dyip as formidable foes with the franchise in serious contention of finally making the playoffs for the first time.“The road won’t be easy,” Victolero said ahead of the clash with the Dyip. “Hopefully, we pull through. We just have to do it a game at a time and prepare well.”Magnolia is a notable powerhouse that is struggling in this conference, and its last four games after this one will be against sides also chasing playoff berths and not to be taken lightly.The injury-plagued Aces, meanwhile, also try to enhance their playoff bid, colliding with back-to-the-wall NLEX in the 7 p.m. contest.Alaska will be coming off a performance against the Hotshots that it would rather forget and move on.ADVERTISEMENT Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title How close can Pacquiao come to a worthy foe? Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMagnolia is now playing with a sense of urgency—as what the Hotshots should do, with playoff positioning in the PBA Philippine Cup entering its crucial stages.“I told them that it was imperative to have a sense of urgency, to switch our mind-set to that of the playoffs,” coach Chito Victolero said as his Hotshots clash with Columbian on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra “They deserved it. They just handled us,” Aces coach Alex Compton, who with shrugs and head shakes also noted that he’s bracing for a treacherous path ahead as they battle TNT KaTropa and San Miguel Beer in two of their last four games.And while many could see the match against NLEX and coach Yeng Guiao as an easy one, considering that the Road Warriors are at 2-5, Compton sees it in an entirely different light.“[Do I feel] relief playing against the national team coach? I feel none whatsoever,” Compton said.“It’s exactly the opposite. Everybody has toughness, everybody’s a competitor in this league and when teams are down, that’s when they’re particularly dangerous,” he added.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying MOST READ Magnolia will be coming off an ego-boosting win over Alaska last Saturday, a 103-86 ripping of the Aces that got it on track for this crucial push as it tries to creep closer to the playoffs and qualify on a level playing field.“I trust my players that every time they find themselves in situations like this, they step up to the plate and lock in on the things that we need to do,” he added as Magnolia, the reigning Governors’ Cup champion, tries to start climbing out of the bottom half of the 12-team pack and contend like one of the favorites that it is.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsHe would have loved playing at Ynares Center in Antipolo again, since it was there that they displayed their sharpest form yet in dispatching the Aces.At 2-4, the Hotshots need to string up victories in a jiffy in order to avoid advancing with a twice-to-win burden against a top two team. View comments
The sudden ban imposed on commercial motorcyclists from the main streets of Monrovia and its environs is generating mixed reactions from different sectors of the public. For some, it is the most convenient means around the city. What should take about 20 to 30 minutes on foot by car getting across central Monrovia, takes less than 10 minutes via commercial motorcycle. With this medium of transport contributing to the speed of business, while providing employment for thousands of youth around the country, there are some strong economic imperatives in favor of commercial motorcycles. As enticing as the argument in favor of may sound, the state of affairs regarding commercial motorcycles in Liberia continues to dismally fail the “safety-first” test. Given the incredibly high rates of injury and death as well as the very alarming instances of mob violence resulting from accidents involving commercial motorcyclists, it is hard for anyone to believe that the economic imperatives – whatever they are – should be worth the risk. The continuous reckless and lawless conduct of many commercial motorcyclists does not reflect the Liberia we say has achieved 10 years at peace.So, with the latest most impudent mob attack that set ablaze a commercial bus because it was involved in a tragic accident with a commercial motorcyclist, the Government of Liberia, through the National Police, decided to act. But is this the right move? The Daily Observer has been gathering feedback from a cross-section of commuters who suggest that sanctions prohibiting motorcyclists from plying the main roads is a step in the right direction. However, it is important to note that whatever measures the police decide to take may be short-lived until the system that governs the conduct of motor vehicles and operators is optimized to serve the safety needs of the public while facilitating the commercial interests of operators.It has little to do with location. Would it fundamentally change anything to restrict commercial motorcyclists to the suburbs and back roads going into the communities? Will there be less instances of motorcycle accidents or related violence in Barnersville where commuters live, than on Broad Street where many of the same people work? The relevant authorities need to restrict access to a motorcycle, not where one can go with a motorcycle. Restricting access, in this case, means ensuring that all motorcycles are properly registered, insured and operated by drivers that are trained, licensed and equipped (with helmets, etc). This way, not every Tom, Dick and Harry can jump on a motorbike at the age of 16 and think he’s entitled to “freedom of movement” with the vehicle he’s operating. There are other serious issues. Many of the commercial motorcyclists plying the streets of Monrovia are foreigners who hardly speak English and hardly know their way around. They enter Liberia in throngs daily and immediately take up jobs as commercial bikers. Is the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization monitoring this development? Who is hosting them? Do they have residence and work permits? What are the national security implications in this regard?Also, police officers at certain check-points around the city tend to be more concerned about the small-small donations they can beg or extract from drivers than they are about the safety and security inspections they are mandated to perform on vehicles passing through their posts. As a result, a 100 LD could go a long way in facilitating criminal activity under the guise of perceived charity. It is our hope that all relevant functionaries of government will get fully involved and not leave the job entirely to the Liberia National Police. So far, we have yet to hear from the Ministry of Transport addressing the issue of safety, especially where motorcyclists are concerned. Why is it taking so long for the Government of Liberia to require all motor vehicles to be insured and for all drivers to be properly licensed? Is it possible to include special lanes for motorcycles on all roads, since new ones are being built? Can the Ministry of Public Works weigh in on this?With the new restrictions against commercial motorcycles in certain parts, it is expected that many youth will soon be out of jobs and will need to develop their skills in other areas to be able to provide for themselves and their families. Are there vocational training centers ready to absorb them? As many have opined, the action of the LNP may be long overdue. Some even wish the restriction to be permanent. Let the Government consider the situation from all possible angles and come up with a holistic strategy – an improved system – to administrate and regulate motor vehicular traffic in Monrovia with a vision to extend nationwide. There are plenty of best practices in other countries for us to learn from; so there’s no need to re-invent the wheel. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
To improve several of its programs, the Bong County-based premier institution, Cuttington University (CU), has introduced several new academic programs, the president, Dr. Hernique F. Tokpa, has disclosed.While charging the recent graduates, who formed part of the 53rd Commencement Convocation, Dr. Tokpa informed the audience that his administration had introduced what he called, an “Institute of Excellence in Teaching and Learning.”The Institute of Excellence in Teaching Program, he said, is for a post diploma in higher education, and was initiated for lecturers who have little or nothing to formal teaching experience.“There are eight candidates, who completed the course and received the post-graduate diplomas, and 25 transferable credits to the CU Graduate School where they may receive a Master’s degree in teaching.”At the same time, Dr. Tokpa disclosed that the CU Student Affairs has begun a counseling service where counselors are currently provide sessions in the areas of drug and alcohol abuse, emotional distress, general anxiety disorder, etc.According to him, the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences earlier this year, launched the first edition of an international peer-review academic journal (CUJLASS). The journal is published annually, and the maiden edition features scholarly articles from around the world.Also, the College of Business and Public Administration completed its academic restructuring and is currently implementing its 2-year strategic plan to make the college academically attractive and appealing to students.Dr. Tokpa further disclosed that the College of Allied Health Sciences, will beginning this academic semester, start offering degrees in Radiology, Medical Laboratory Technology, Environmental Heath, Midwifery and Physician Assistant (PA) in addition to the Nursing degree being offered by CU.As for the College of Education, Dr. Tokpa said four visually impaired/disabled students under the “Special Education Program” successfully completed their courses of study in their respective chosen disciplines, and therefore earned Bachelor’s degrees at the just held commencement. Eleven of them entered the CU in 2009.Cuttington, he said, has, through its good relationship with EHELD/USAID program, established a multi-purpose soil laboratory where soil PH analysis can be done. Student practical activities have been intensified with the production of vegetables and animals including goats and snails.In another development, the CU administration through its vice president for the Graduate School, Dr. Roosevelt Jayjay, has honored Dr. Tokpa for his commitment to the institution, where the students enrollment has increased from 350 to over 4, 000 students.At the same time also, Dr. Tokpa, a just-ended world conference held in Mumbai—India, won this year’s prestigious “Award of the World Chancellors and Vice Chancellors Congress” for his outstanding contributions to education.In response shortly the Award was presented to him over the weekend at the CU Graduate School in Monrovia, Dr. Tokpa, expressed gratitude for the Award and the honor bestowed upon him by the two distinct institutions.“For this Award and the honor, I am honored and feels honor, but I dedicated this international Award to the faculty and staff of Cuttington. I have been with CU for 26 years; 12 of which I served both as the president, as well as the principal for the Kindergarten to 12th grade,” Dr. Tokpa asserted.The honoring ceremony, which coincided with the representation of the Award, was attended by a cross-section professors and instructors as well as well-wishers from the undergraduate and graduate schools. CU’s Historical PerspectiveIn 1889, Cuttington Collegiate and Divinity School was founded in Cape Palmas, Maryland County by the Episcopal Church in Liberia. The school was named in honor of Robert Fulton Cutting, then treasurer of the Episcopal Church in the United States. He gave US$5,000 to Bishop Samuel David Ferguson, then Bishop of Liberia, to purchase land on which to build a school “for the establishment of a manual labor farm, which should afford opportunity for practical instruction of the boys in the mission schools and at the same time serve as a pattern for others.” On February 22, 1889, Bishop Ferguson laid the cornerstone for the first building and named it Epiphany Hall. Epiphany is a Christian festival celebrating Jesus Christ’s divinity; a Christian festival making the visit of the Magi to celebrate Jesus’ birth or in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the baptism of Jesus Christ.The curriculum was further divided into four departments: Agricultural and Industrial, Theological, Preparatory, and Collegiate under the leadership of the Rev. M.P.K Valentine, M.A., the first president of Cuttington Collegiate and Divinity School.In 1949, Cuttington was reopened through the instrumentality of the late Bishop Bravid W. Harris, then Bishop of Liberia.Dr. Henrique F. Tokpa, who succeeded Dr. Melvin J. Mason, as president of CU in 2002, had transformed CU to its present level where the students’ enrollment had increased from 300 to say, over 4,000 students.In 2004, CU started a Graduate School in Monrovia, offering Master’s degrees in four areas: Business, Education, Nursing, and Theology.In 2007, CU established a Junior College Program at the St. Augustine’s Episcopal High School in Kakata, Margibi County to cater to the academic needs of students, who graduate from high schools in that county and its immediate environs. The program currently offers Associate of Applied Science degrees in the fields of Nursing, Public Administration, Sociology, Management and Accounting.The institution has challenges and opportunities in the reconstruction of a new society for the 21st Century. As its campus is built in stages, CU seeks not only to restore its former programs, but also to expand them and develop new ones to meet the needs of a post-conflict nation, which is learning to deal with the aftermath of a 14-year long civil conflict.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A request by Lofa County Senator for the Senate plenary to invite the General Services Agency, (GSA) to make a comprehensive report on the controversial US$1,750,320.00 of the 2011/2012 national budget said to have been given for car wash under the Fleet Management Policy, Tuesday, January 21, failed to materialize.Contained in a communiqué to his colleagues on their 3rd day sitting, Tuesday, that request is a follow-up to one sent that body last week.In that communication, Senator Tengbeh requested his colleagues to launch a full investigation into allegations of misappropriation of US$1,750,320.00 of the 2011/2012 budget that was said to have been given for car wash under a ‘Fleet Management Policy’; an investigation revealed that no car wash in the country received such an amount, he reported.In his rephrased communication, the Lofa County Senator asked the honorable Senate to have the General Services Agency (GSA) appear before the Senate plenary to make a comprehensive report on the use of the amount by car washers. The amount for car washers could not be accounted for as the beneficiaries were not identified in the report. The Fleet Management falls under the GSA authority.”“We believe that accountability, transparency and value for money in the use of public funds are essential elements for good governance,” he continued.Senator Tengbeh, who won the Senate seat on the ticket of the ruling Unity Party, argued that the Executive Branch of Government should account for its stewardship of tax payers’ money to the members of the legislature as well as the public in general.Meanwhile, the Senate voted on Tuesday and sent the communication to the committee on Ways, Means and Finance.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Artifacts dealers in Liberia are expressing grave concern that Liberians are not interested in purchasing their products, thus making it difficult to survive by the business.Making the complaints in interviews on the compound of the United States Embassy in Monrovia where the 9th biannual Arts and Crafts Fair was carried on Saturday, May 10, vendors noted that the only advantage they have in the business is the products are durable, but other than that it takes a long time for them to realize the principal invested.Michael Stone, a vendor of Arts and Crafts said his products like other products on the fairground, reflect the true image of Africans and good for design, but only foreigners are interested in buying the products and not Liberians.He sells some of the products by set, and based on the varieties, prices are determined.According to him some are sold for US$20 while others are US$15 and below.In response to question why Liberians are not interested, Mr. Stone indicated that many are not just interested in what is produced by them.“We can only receive buyers when season is approaching and foreigners or Liberians living abroad come to buy, but ordinary Liberians living here are not interested in products made locally,” Stone noted.Mr. Stone and others who spoke to this paper stressed that the cultural arm of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICAT) is not proactive in fostering cultural affairs that will bring them on board to carry on exhibition as the US Embassy did.He described gesture by US Embassy to conduct the Arts and Crafts Fair as an “opportunity” that enables them to exhibit their products, and further said it helps to create awareness to prioritize locally made products.Ellen V. Zeze, a vendor and artistic designer, also said she has been in the business for a long time. She noted that it has made her to have customers who usually come to buy from her. She, however, stressed that most of her customers are foreign visitors or those living abroad, but not ordinary Liberians living here.According to Ellen, fair initiated by the US Embassy helps to showcase their products, and they were grateful to the embassy staff for helping them because cultural artifacts they sell are of less interest to Liberians.Also Osman Keita, who sells masks, said only foreigners buy from them for history making and studying, but Liberians are not interested in buying things that reflect their cultural heritage.US Embassy Charge d’AffairesGiving the background of the fair in an opening statement, Sheila Paskman, Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Monrovia said the artifacts fair on May 10 was the 9th biannual fair and is one of the favorite traditions of the embassy.She also said the fair was the biggest so far since they started five years back, giving the total number of vendors showcasing their products to be 121.She said while the event may be a biggest money making event of the year as people would believe, it is also meant to get vendors display their products, promote entrepreneurship and to learn how to package their goods.In an exclusive interview, Ms Paskman said the biannual event is a start-up point for government to build on in conducting similar thing to help its citizens promote entrepreneurship.Gender and Development Minister Julia Duncan-Cassell said as they travel to other countries they see handicraft works of other people and they admire them.She said, “This is time now for Liberians to showcase their works and we are proud of the US Embassy for the biannual event and we thank the artists for doing their work which we think they will always do.”Some products displayed during the fair included handmade country garments, shirts, dress, shoes, slippers, lady bags, artifacts of various designs, preserved spice and many others. Analyses on Liberians’ attitude towards local productBesides food that Liberians are compelled to buy for consumption, they hardly give much preference to locally produced materials like handicrafts for several reasons.Among them, prices of most of these artifacts are exorbitant that the averaged Liberians cannot afford. Prices are charged in the United States Dollar and not many can afford the dollar. Moreover, the Liberian dollar is depreciating to the US dollar as the exchange rate stands at 90 in most places. As a result prices are skyrocketing beyond the income of an ordinary Liberians.Besides, there is a general attitude that artifacts are old fashion not in conformity with contemporary materials, and therefore many Liberians see users to be uncivilized. Moreover, some religious people, mainly Christians see artifacts as idols and therefore do not accept them in their homes.Even though imported Jeans and other fancy clothes on the market have prices ranging from US$10 upward, many young people and adults prefer wearing these fancy clothes that expose sensual parts of the body to wearing lapper suit or dress which covers most parts of the body.As referenced to earlier, government has not been much involved in trade fair for Liberians to create awareness about their products. In addition, Liberians are not protected under the “Liberianization Policy,” something that’s gets aliens and foreigners to have edge in the business sector and discourages Liberians to involve in entrepreneurship.The US initiated arts and crafts fair was also characterized by raffle draw. This means that the highest buyer was offered a price apart from what he/she bought, and this created motivation for buyers to purchase more from vendors who have over the time been struggling to survive by the business.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
2015 ain’t gone nowhere yet and some things are already falling apart. Actually, it’s really not so bad. It’s just another one of those teething moments of the Liberian entertainment industry. Recently, rumor circulated on Takun J’s 1.4.6 Block that one of LIB’s hottest rising artist and his manager split, and LIB Life had to get the juice.According to reports, Lil Beshop, the Hip-Co hit maker behind the famous track ‘Human Being’, and his manager Marie Collins, have split.“I no longer mange Lil Beshop, he didn’t fully understand my role as his manager and refused that I partake in the creative process of his song, ‘Let’s Party’, which I sponsored and provided the beat for,” Chic Collins posted on facebook.After seeing her post, we immediately contacted Lil Beshop to hear what he had to say on the matter.“The contract Marie and I signed didn’t include her being involved in such activities,” Beshop stated. “In Liberia, there is a certain type of music my fans are used to hearing, but Marie wanted me to do the ‘let’s party’ song in a way I knew my fans wouldn’t agree on. Though Marie has helped me tremendously in the recent part of my career, she has stopped contacting me and other things, which indicates she is no longer my manager,” he adds.Collins says she came up with the beat to ‘Let’s Party’ in hopes of promoting it in the UK where she lives. “The beat is a replica of a hit song here in the UK. I wanted Beshop to nail [it] so that I can promote it here,” she stated. “I messaged him a chorus I felt will make the track a hit, he agreed via text but wasn’t giving me updates on the song. I had enough and told him that I couldn’t manage him anymore.”According to Collins, she began managing the popular star after he approached her to manage him on the social site facebook“I have sent Beshop money on several occasions to record. I paid an online press kit monthly and boosted post on his facebook page. I also promoted his songs as well as doing my managerial duties,” she added.Meanwhile, Collins says Beshop hasn’t disputed her decision to split from his team and feels they both agree on the decision. But on the other hand, according to Lil Beshop, a contract was signed between the two parties that expire in five years.“Marie has been managing me for less than year. As for me, I never said I didn’t want her to be my manager but will agree on whatever she wants to do. Signed a contract sheet for three years, she wrote on my page and her page that she’s no longer managing me. She breached the contract.”These are some of the teething experiences of the Liberian entertainment industry, where the terms of reference for some artists and their managers appear not so clearly defined. And even with crystal clear terms, the conflict over the creative process, however, is always a sticky issue no matter who the artist is. The real conflict may be between the artist’s creative autonomy and his manager’s interpretation of what the audience expects, on the one hand; and the fact that artist and manager are not targeting the same audiences, on the other hand. Is this a conflict that a remix cannot fix?Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
After all is said and done, it came to one thing: give the former stars a chance to prove themselves. And for three weeks, Team Debbah went through rigorous coaching seminar recently held in Monrovia.Among the participants were the Miracle Man, James Salinsa Debbah, Joe Nagbe, Janjay Jacobs, Kervin Sebwe, Christopher Wreh Oliver Makor, and the legend himself, George Manneh Weah.“It was an incredible experience as these former soccer stars sat through the seminar day after day,” said an eye-witness. The coaches were CAF Elite instructors, Henry Browne and Francis Tamba, assisted by former national Coach J. Kaetu Smith.Among the subjects discussed included the philosophy of coaching or how to turn an ordinary player into a quality footballer. “This was important because a coach must understand how to mold and impart quality knowledge into unsung players,” said an official who was at the program for all the twenty one days.With James Debbah in the lead, the coaches asked many questions and they got answers. It was an interactive discussion as the former soccer stars posed many questions and the elite coaches provided them the required answers.The would-be coaches, in their illustrations, identified certain situations that happened when they were actively playing abroad.“It was a shocking experience as the former super stars who played across Europe examined the information given them,” said another eye-witness.A member of the coaching staff told the Daily Observer yesterday, “We were impressed that these former super stars were brainstorming and drawing up their own conclusions.” He said by allowing them to manage the various national teams as coaches does not mean that all is well with Liberian football.“At least we have begun the process and only time will show us how right our decision is,” he said, “we now have people handling the national teams who have had firsthand experience playing abroad under varied coaches and they are bringing those experiences to help those young players that they would be developing.”That the newly appointed coaches demonstrated rigid determination for a better soccer program in Liberia was the fact that they were able to, during the early interviews conducted by the technical department of the LFA, convince officials why they are the best to lead the change that Liberian football needs presently.“It will be unfair to declare that there will be absolute success to lour football program because we have former players as coaches,” one of the Elite coaches told the Daily Observer, “what we’re doing is we are moving in the right direction with people who can and are able to transform their experiences into our players for a better performance.”The Daily Observer learned that the transformation of former soccer stars into firs class coaches is a process, being developed by the LFA to ensure that there is a pool of players to help the national effort.“The LFA is impressed by the commitment of those appointed,” an official said, “and we hope the general soccer public will support the process to use former players who are able to deal with local and professional players when it is necessary.”The general deportment of the participants, their interactive involvement and the effective manner they provided answers to why they are capable for the job, convinced the LFA that the exercise is worthy.“We are satisfied that all the participating coaches understood the philosophy of the game,” an Elite coach said. “That is fundamental in successful coaching.”The process now continues on December 4, at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium at 9a.m. with practical application of the knowledge so far gained.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Dear Editor,The unemployment rate in Guyana is staggering and climbing every day. In the three years of this A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition, the Government has demonstrated its inability to grow the economy and to create jobs, especially for young people in the rural areas. About two months ago, a 58-year old resident of Tempie, Marlin Kwok, invested over $400,000 to construct a car-wash bay for her 19-year old grandson, Joshua Johnson, to keep him gainfully employed. She was concerned of the high usage of drugs by youths in the neighbouring Number 30 Village, and was determined to give her grandson an opportunity to make something meaningful with his life. She viewed her investment as a means of creating employment for him and other youths in the village of Tempie. The wash bay employs three, with others on a part-time basic when things get busy on the weekends. But this is about to end.Last Sunday, Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) APNU Regional Councillor, Dillon Crawford, hand-delivered a letter signed by his wife, Oneca Sam, the Overseer of the Tempie/Seafield NDC, advising of the imminent closure of this car-wash bay if it is not “demolished” within 48 hours.In an interview I had with Marlin Kwok, she claims that several members of the Tempie/Seafield NDC, including the Chairman, Frank Wilson, had prior knowledge of the wash bay at the time of construction and could have stopped her then, rather than waiting until she had spent over $400,000 to complete the project. The area is concreted with a wooden ramp. There is no building associated with the car-wash.Over 12 years ago, Kwok built a small wooden road-side shack on the same reserve, where she has been selling fruits and vegetables since. She was never given notice to move by the previous Administration, and wonders if her livelihood will now be taken away by the APNU+AFC she voted for in 2015.Admittedly, Ms Kwok is well aware that both her fruit shack and her grandson’s car-wash bay are illegally constructed on Government’s reserve. However, there is much need for both these services in the Tempie area, and the need to encourage more young entrepreneurs to help reduce the unemployment rate.In addition, there is no plan by Government that I am aware of, to utilise this piece of waste land in the foreseeable future. There are no neighbours close by to complain, and the water used by the car-wash is disposed of properly without causing floods. So why not leave them alone? These people are just trying to survive and make an honest living during the hard times we’re facing as a nation. And any attempt to “demolish” this wash bay will not only deny them a chance of achieving the “good life” the Government touts about, but this heartless act would send a strong message to their own supporters that the APNU/AFC Government is not caring at all.Sincerely,Harry GillPPP/C Memberof Parliament
Dear Editor,I am pleased to read in your media that an American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) will be formed in Guyana sometime soon, as announced by US Ambassador Perry Holloway. I have long championed for the formation of such a commercial outfit, but could not get takers. Business persons will listen to the Ambassador. And may I also suggest the formation of a US-Guyana Friendship Society that people of other nations set up between their countries and the US.Amcham and a US-Guyana Friendship Society will help to bolster economic and strategic ties with the US while leading to a higher standard of living and level of security from threats from hostile neighbours.Amcham will bring the two countries closer together. It will also help Guyana to address challenges in priority areas, such as security, energy, economics, infrastructure, foreign investment, and manufacturing, among others. Amcham will create tremendous opportunities that would benefit both countries’ economies with job creation and growth. It could even lead to high-level dialogue with US Administration officials on geo-political and strategic interests. Amcham will provide a solid foundation from which to work to strengthen bilateral engagements and reinforce Guyana-US strategic, economic, cultural, and people-to-people ties. One must also remember that more Guyanese live in the US than in Guyana.It is noted that Guyana had strong ties with Washington after the restoration of democracy under the Jagan and Jagdeo Administrations. Unfortunately, post- Jagdeo, relations with Washington inexplicably strained, including a blast against the US Ambassador Brent Hardt during the Donald Ramotar Presidency. Since becoming de facto leader of PPP, Jagdeo has been mending relations with Washington. The former President Jagdeo has signaled that he wants the next PPP Government to work closely with the US.There is need for a strong and collaborative partnership between Georgetown and Washington on a number of issues, not the least being: territorial security; trade; energy; attracting greater foreign investment, especially in manufacturing; and expanding access to skills training and education in the US.If Guyana is to achieve its economic and strategic potential, it must work collaboratively with the US and other western countries, like Canada and Britain. It must also try to overcome the many ghosts that Ambassador Holloway mentioned in his speech at Marriott on July 11 at the reception for US Independence Day.The country must boldly face the myriad economic and governance challenges, including endemic corruption and violations of the constitution that slow growth, development, and foreign investment. Amcham will help in this endeavor, and businesses should welcome and join it.Yours truly,Vishnu Bisram
Dear Editor,Once again, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo’s presence in the National Assembly, while performing the functions of Office of President, has become a contentious one. When it first occurred during the Budget Debates in late 2015, in an article titled “Prime Minister squatting in the National Assembly” I publicly condemned it as a violation of the Constitution and posited that his presence thereof was unlawful.In light of the Leader of the Opposition’s pronouncements last Friday in the National Assembly, the matter has become a live issue once again.Perhaps, a convenient place to begin is Article 96 of the Constitution. In the current circumstances, it is beyond disputation that the Prime Minister was appointed to perform the functions of the office of President under Article 96 (1) of the Constitution.Article 96 of the Constitution provides:“Whenever the President is absent from Guyana or considers it desirable to do so by reason of illness or any other cause he or she may, by direction in writing authorise any member of Cabinet, being an elected member of the National Assembly, to perform such functions of office of the President as he or she may specify and the person so authorised shall perform those functions until his or hers authority is revoked by the President or until the functions are resumed by the President.”Again, it cannot be disputed that the Prime Minister is an elected member of the National Assembly and a member of Cabinet. Therefore, he qualifies to have been appointed by the President, to perform the functions of Office of President.The next relevant constitutional provision which falls to be considered is Article 178 (4) of the Constitution. The relevant portion reads:“During any period when a Minister is performing the functions of the office of the President under article 96 or 179 or has assumed the office under the provisio to article 95(1), his or her seat in the National Assembly shall be regarded as vacant and may be temporarily filled in accordance with any provision made under Article 160 (3).”The language of Article 178 (4) is unambiguous and unequivocal. Once a Minister, (who must be an elected member of the National Assembly), of the Cabinet is appointed to perform the functions of the office of President, then that Minister’s seat in the National Assembly “shall be regarded as vacant.” Therefore, while he is performing the office of President, Mr. Nagamootoo’s seat in the National Assembly “shall be regarded as vacant.”It must also be excruciatingly clear that it matters not whether he is an elected member of the National Assembly or not. In fact, the framers of the Constitution specifically provided that it is only an elected member of the National Assembly who is qualified to perform the functions of the office of the President (See Article 96 (1) above).And in Article 178 (4), the framers of the Constitution, consciously rendered that seat as vacant, when that elected member is appointed to perform the functions of the office of President. The Prime Minister’s plea therefore, that he is an elected member of the National Assembly and therefore, cannot be “unelected”, is wholly devoid of merit and is simply puerile. It is the Constitution itself, under which he is elected as a member of the National Assembly, that renders his seat vacant.The other contention of the Prime Minister that he is “Prime Minister” and not a “Minister” is equally specious and untutored. Article 103 (1) of the Constitution conclusively puts this issue to rest. It provides: “The Prime Minister and every other Vice President shall be a Minister of the Government of Guyana.” This provision establishes beyond any doubt that the Prime Minister is a Minister of Government.There are additional and even more fundamental reasons, quite apart from the above, which disqualify an elected member who is performing the functions of Office of President from sitting and participating in the business in the National Assembly.The National Assembly is merely one component of Parliament. Article 51 provides: “There shall be a Parliament of Guyana which shall consist of the President and the National Assembly.” So what is loosely called a Parliamentary Sitting, is technically not. It is merely a sitting of the National Assembly. It is the National Assembly that has the Constitutional responsibility of approving the annual estimates of expenditures, not Parliament. When estimates are approved by the National Assembly, an Appropriation Bill is then tabled, capturing all the estimates of expenditures approved and that Bill is then required to be passed by the National Assembly. Upon passage of that Bill by the National Assembly, it then goes to the President for his assent. The framers of the Constitution prohibited the President from participating in the National Assembly and in the approval of Bills because the President is empowered to assent to those Bills. It would be a contradiction in terms if the President were to participate in the passage of Bills in the National Assembly and then have the functional responsibility of assenting to those very Bills. That is precisely why the President has a power to withhold his assent from Bills. The President is, therefore, neither a part of, nor a “rubber stamp” of the National Assembly. The framers of the Constitution went to great lengths in creating a clear divide between the National Assembly and the President. In the circumstances, while performing the duties for Office of President, the Prime Minister’s presence in the National Assembly is institutionally incongruous and constitutionally incestuous.On the issue of convention and precedent, the record will establish that Mr Nagamootoo is the only elected member of the National Assembly who ever sat in the National Assembly while performing the functions of the office of President.Sincerely,Anil Nandlall, MP
Though concrete measures are not in place, President David Granger assured that his government is committed to introducing modern copyright legislation.For years, those in the creative industries have been feeling stifled owing to the absence of modern copyright laws.These outdated laws paved the way for the creation of a lucrative enterprise in intellectual piracy and counterfeit products.The current legislation, the 1956 Copyright Act, which Guyana inherited from Great Britain following Independence in 1966, has never been revised since, even though its former colonial master had long repealed the legislation that deemed copyright infringement a civil wrong.Though the current Act does provide protection of literary, musical, dramatic and artistic works, the fines are extremely low, ranging mostly from £5 to £50 (G$1750-G$17,500). Given the time and cost to pursue an infringement in court, some artistes view the exercise as a loss rather than gain.Former Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall had expressed that his administration is cognisant of the need for copyright reform, however nothing substantial ever came on stream.The A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition during the campaign trail promised to update the laws in order to help develop the creative industry.The then APNU Member of Parliament and Youth, Culture and Sport shadow minister Christopher Jones had emphasised the need for updated copyright laws but guarded against persons thinking that the implementation of such laws would completely eliminate the problems related to plagiarism and piracy.During a recent interview on ‘The Public Interest’, President Grange expressed that he is uncertain about how soon the legislation will be introduced but assured government will definitely move in this direction.“I cannot say for sure when that legislation will be laid but it is a commitment on our part to protect the rights of artistes and publishers of other forms of material…we are committed to suppressing piracy,” he stated.According to the US Department of Commerce, about five to seven per cent of all world trade involves counterfeit products, and estimates the cost to the global economy at more than US$650 billion per year.The income raked in from pirated DVDs, CDs, the unauthorised photocopying of books and other intellectual materials here is a tiny, if not invisible, sum of the global counterfeit trade.Local artistes have raised their concerns about the lack of legislation to protect their work and had issued countless calls for those in authority to take urgent steps to address the situation.Soca Road March champion Melissa “Vanilla” Roberts had previously told this publication that the competition is starkly unfair.“Most locally produced CDs will retail at a price of $1500, but consumers can get the best of any artiste in the world for $200. Now how can a Guyanese artiste compete with that when you have to spend no less than $50,000 to produce a song?“Next, an artiste will spend no less than $150,000 to produce a music video to be aired on television, but because television stations basically get free video content from around the world, why should they be obligated to play ours.“I gave those two examples to say this: if we had updated intellectual property rights legislation in place, radio and television stations will have to be paying millions of US dollars to foreign companies for content. This will in turn force them to revert to more local content, making way for competitive, productive and economic growth for the creative industries in Guyana,” she said.In 2014, Mosa Telford, who has won several literary awards, had also expressed that the present Copyright Act is a dagger in the side of the creative industry.Gavin Mendonca, member of the band Keep Your Day Job (KYDJ), which is part of an advocacy group called Guyana Music Networks, also noted that the current Act needs to be updated as it cannot fully protect the work of creative professionals.From all indications, the issue of copyright will continue to be an ongoing subject of debate and will remain so as long as members of the creative industry believe that more needs to be done to protect their work.
A man who allegedly stabbed his wife on the night of 30 April, 2015 after a domestic dispute will finally face trial for the charge laid against him.Miguel “Allan” Barker of Bagotville, West Bank Demerara will have his day in the high court over the allegedThe late Donessa Barkerbrutal stabbing of Donessa Barker. The woman had collapsed after being dealt several stab wounds about the body.In evidence tendered in the Wales Magistrate’s Court, the woman died of incised wounds and it was proven that she was stabbed to the chest.At the packed courtroom, Magistrate Nurse ruled that there is sufficient evidence to proceed with a trial. However Barker in his response to the accusation maintained that he was not present at the time of the crime.“Me an me wife didn’t really [have] no problem, sir,” the defendant noted.The murder accused also pointed out that during the course of the investigation, police forced him to sign a statement which he did not understand since he cannot read.The Magistrate posited that the court will take his explanations into consideration but the defendant has to defend his alleged crime at the Supreme Court.Barker, before being remanded to prison, was told that at a later date, he will be informed as to when his high court trial will commence.It was on a Thursday evening last year that the mother of one was allegedly stabbed to death by her husband.The couple had been married for more than a year, but had been experiencing extensive marital issues. Reports had indicated that the murder accused would frequently accuse his wife of infidelity which caused intervals of separation in the marriage.On that fateful night, the couple were heard arguing which was followed by a scuffle and after some time, the man left the home but then returned and jumped through the bedroom window.Guyana Times had reported that Barker had reportedly taken a knife from the kitchen and stabbed his spouse several times. Neighbours attempted to rescue the woman and had rushed her to hospital where she was pronounced dead.At that time, Barker allegedly fled with the murder weapon but was later apprehended and charged for the fatal crime.
The staff of Scotiabank, Robb Street, Georgetown, branch on Friday launched their annual cancer awareness month.October is designated to bring understanding and awareness of this form of cancer that affects both men and women. Scotiabank has been involved in raising funds for cancer institutions over the past 15 years. The bank’s annual cake sale has been the flagship of the charitable event.The Robb Street branch last year raised $1.4 million through the support from customers and friends. The funds raised are matched by Scotiabank and donated to the cancer institutions.The usual beneficiaries are the Periwinkle Cancer Club and Avon Cancer Society, now Guyana Cancer Foundation. This year the Robb Street branch is hoping to garner higher funds to make a larger contribution towards people living with cancer.The event is supported by employees, who bake cakes and pastries, customers, friends and other Scotiabank branches in Guyana.This year’s grand cake sale will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2016 in front of the Robb Street branch from 07:30h.Every Friday in October staff will wear pink to demonstrate solidarity with breast cancer patients in particular and those living with other forms of cancers.
Barely a week following the imposition of the state of emergency by President Ellen Johnson, some poverty-stricken families, who usually depend on their children to serve as their bread-winners through petty trading, were left to encounter further hardships when some of the them (sellers) were asked to abandon their wares in the name of the state of emergency.One of such parents who reportedly encountered the wrath of law enforcement officers—a mother, Sarah Manitoe, 32, had accompanied two of her children on their selling assignments over the weekend when they reportedly experienced such actions on the part of two unidentified police officers.She told the Daily Observer that the two officers of the Liberian National Police (LNP) on patrol at the intersection of Benson/Lynch streets stopped them from selling their coconut signs in Central Monrovia.She quoted the police as telling her that they (police) were acting on the law regarding the presidential state of emergency being imposed.By that stop order from the LNP, Madam Manitoe claimed her children were forced to lie down before a half-opened grocery shop, while she sat nearby to watch over them.This allegation, the two LNP officers, who suddenly encountered the Daily Observer, vehemently denied, but they did not say what had transpired prior to the children’s being stopped from selling. The two officers in dramatic fashion disappeared in thin air without uttering a word when they noticed that our reporter had pulled out his camera to capture the scene.Earlier, some commuters were reportedly encountering similar difficulties while in the process of selling their wares in central Monrovia. Those reports are yet to be independently confirmed.At the same time, the ongoing state of emergency has given rise to the increment of the prices of basic commodities including rice, where a 25kg bagnprevious sold for L$1250, is being sold on the market for L$1500.In post-war Liberia, 90 percent of the population lives below US$1 daily since they earn their livelihood by petty trading. However, President Sirleaf’s imposition of the state of the emergency last Wednesday is part of the fight against the spread of the deadly Ebola virus that continues to take away precious lives across the country.The President announced that the nation is currently affected to the extent where the disease has now spread to eight counties — Lofa, Bong Margibi, Nimba, Bomi, Montserrado, Grand Bassa and Grand Gedeh.Liberia, the President said, is among three countries, experiencing an unprecedented outbreak of the virus, the largest since the virus was first discovered in 1976.“It now poses serious risks to the health, safety, security and welfare of our nation. And beyond the public health risk, the disease is now undermining the economic stability of our country to the tone of millions of dollars in lost revenue, productivity and economic activity,” the President said. As such, and out of fear of being infected with the disease, health care practitioners are afraid to accept new patients, especially in community clinics all across the country. Consequently, President Sirleaf added that many common diseases which are especially prevalent during the rainy season, such as malaria, typhoid and common colds, are going untreated, which may lead to unnecessary and preventable deaths. Based on her concern for Liberians, the President said, her government requires extraordinary measures for the very survival of the state and for the protection of the lives of Liberians. “Therefore, and by the virtue of the powers vested in me as President of the Republic of Liberia, I, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, and in keeping with Article 86(a) (b) of the Constitution of Liberia, hereby declare a State of Emergency throughout the country effective as of August 6, 2014 for a period of 90 days.”Under this State of Emergency, the President said, the government will institute extraordinary measures, including, if need be, the suspensions of certain rights and privileges.By that, the President further instructed all non-essential government staff to stay at home for 30 days, ordered the closure of schools, and authorized the fumigation of all public buildings. Markets in affected areas have been shut down and movement restricted in others.While sending children out to sell in the streets amounts to child labor, the above incident speaks to a different issue, as the officers were clearly not acting in the interest of child rights and fled the scene upon encountering a reporter. If they were simply abusing their powers, that presents a problem.There is a need to define exactly what rights and priveleges are being suspended in line with this State of Emergency, especially as far as the Armed Forces are concerned, in order to prevent the abuse of power and the state of emergency.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The two United States (US) Army generals who now replaced the other as commander of the U.S.-led Military Operation United Shield in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD) across Africa have both commended Liberians for their resilience and positive spirit in the fight to contain the disease.The two American top brass military personnel made the commendation over the weekend at the Barclay Training Center (BTC) in Monrovia at the official ceremony marking the Operation United Assistance Joint Force Command’s Transfer of Authority (TOA).At the brief but well coordinated occasion, the former Commander of the force, Major General Darryl Williams, transferred authority to another Major General, Gary J. Volesky. The transfer of authority was characterized by military traditional activities.The exercise was attended by Defense Minister Brownie J. Samukai, Jr. and U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, Deborah R. Malac, among other officials.Maj/Gen Volesky replaces Maj. /Gen. Williams, who led the US soldiers to Liberia since five weeks ago.“The fight to contain EVD is faced with enormous challenges, but we are grateful to Liberians and other partners for their collective efforts to stamp out the disease,” the two soldiers asserted in their separate statements as they, to the delight of the audience, exchanged colors marking the TOA. In a separate remark earlier, the outgoing commander, Maj/Gen Williams expressed gratitude to authorities at the Ministry of National Defense (MOD), and the Chief of Staff (COS) of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Brigadier General Daniel Ziankhan, for the “friendship and excellent” leadership qualities exhibited during his tenure, which sets the condition for onward operations of the U.S. Military.According to him, Operation United Shield involves the efforts of the AFL and the U.S. military team to build a united front in the fight against the EVD.For his part, the incoming Commander, Maj/Gen. Volesky, described the exercise as challenging since its operations have to include the training of healthcare givers in the fight against the EVD and the manning of the various Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs) across the country.Prior to coming to Liberia, he served in his latest assignment as Commanding General, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Fort Campbell. As the Army Service Component Command for U.S. Africa Command, the US Army Africa, Southern European Task Force (USARAF/SETAF) enables a full spectrum operation, while conducting sustained security engagement with African land forces to promote security, stability, and peace.As directed, USARAF/SETAF deploys a contingency headquarters in support of crisis response. USAARAF is America’s premier Army team dedicated to positive change in Africa such as the fight to contain the outbreak by providing their respective expertise.As of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), it provides the US with an unmatched expeditionary Air Assault capability to conduct forcible entry and other worldwide unified land operations in support of combatant commanders. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Sixty nine Corrections Officers, who were recruited, trained and subsequently assigned to various prison facilities throughout the country, are seeking intervention to have their names placed on the government’s payroll.The group claims that since their deployment in October 2014 to man prison facilities in the country, they are yet to receive a dime from the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).The aggrieved officers, who last week walked into the McDonald Street office of the Daily Observer, said they would not get themselves involved into any violent activities, instead they would continue to seek dialogue with relevant government agencies, including the Ministries of Justice and Finance to address their situation.Their spokesman, Jackson K. Kolako, appealed to the Liberian government to place their names on the payroll in keeping with government’s policy.Kolako told this newspaper that “despite the economic hardship imposed on Liberians as a result of the Ebola outbreak, we remained at our respective assigned posts around the country.”According to him, since they were assigned effective October 5, 2014 to present, they have not been paid.“They have not compensated us. We don’t even have proper identification cards (ID cards) neither have we been certificated to confirm that we actually completed our training,” he contended.“Since December,” Mr. Kolako claimed, “the names of 69 of us have not been placed on payroll and we are working without any benefit. Our children are also unable to attend school. This is why we are appealing for our names to be placed on government’s pay system.”According to him, since June last year, they have not be able to meet their domestic responsibilities including making sure that their families are properly fed and sheltered and receive medical attention.Though authorities at the MOJ are yet to make an official statement in response to the officers’ appeal, Kolako claimed that they have already reduced their appeal into several written communications submitted to the MOJ as well as to members of the National Legislature with reference to the office of the Senate Committee on Defense and Intelligence.It may be recalled that during President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s visit on December 23, 2014, to the Monrovia Central Prison, representatives of the concerned 69 corrections officers brought their plight to her attention.The President immediately instructed the Minister of Justice to handle the matter with urgency.A source close to the Minister said the case of the 69 officers is being looked into and that an appropriate action was pending. A highly placed source in the office of the Minister of Justice, Cllr. Benedict Sannoh, has assured the aggrieved officers that their issue will be attended to with the utmost urgency.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A Few weeks ago, I was doing research online and came across a news story published February 25, by the Inquirer Newspaper titled, “Residents Deny ‘Massacre’ Claim.” The story is related to charges of war crimes against one Martina Johnson, a well-known former NPFL rebel commander who was arrested last year by Belgium authorities and placed in custody regarding whatever roles she must have played in several massacres inside Mr. Taylor’s rebel territories, particularly, during the deadly “Octopus” war (she reportedly oversaw). Prior to reading the Inquirer story, I had read a similar story written by Mr. Nvasekie Konneh entitled, “Alieu Kosiah is a Victim of the Liberian Civil War.” Alieu Kosiah is an ex-ULIMO-K rebel commander whose story of violence against civilians stands out during the ULIMO-NPFL-LDF wars in Lofa and like Martina, Alieu Kosiah was arrested and subsequently imprisoned last year in Switzerland due to his roles in alleged “Tortures and killings” after he was identified by some of his victims. His detention has been extended to three more months by a judge before his trial can begin. Kosiah’s alleged victims who gave a tipoff that led to his arrest are expected to be represented by Civitas Maxima of Liberia and its Swiss branch, Global Research and Justice Project (GRJP). The Inquirer story was based on what it calls, “Fact-finding mission” by a “Team of international and local journalists” that allegedly toured “Dry Rice Market and Johnsonville” communities and spoke to residents regarding a wartime “massacres” in the areas and Martina’s possible connection to any. The Inquirer however failed to state what exactly prompted a fact-finding in the Martina case because, other Liberian ex-warlords and rebel commanders arrested previously by the ICC on similar war crimes charges, like former Pres. Taylor, his son, Chuckie Taylor, Tom weoiwiyou and Alieu Kosiah, never enjoyed such privileges of background investigations in their behalf by local reporters, let alone a group of local and foreign “Journalists” as reported by the paper. Of a group of “journalists” who allegedly formed part of the “Fact-finding” tour in the referenced communities, it is interesting to note that only The Inquirer so far has released a story though seemingly skewed in a way to serve a particular interest. Who the rest of the journalists are, and when they will publish their own findings are things not clear. And why The Inquirer took special interest in the Martina Johnson’s case is also something worth for the general public to know since this is untraditional. In any case both stories’ headings appeared conclusive, particularly the Kosiah story with no quotation or question marks, as usual considering the gravity of the crimes involved in both cases. Except that one was written presumably by an independent daily, and the other by a freelance writer who holds tribal affiliation to one of the war crimes suspects, the objective for both stories are clear in the story contents-they set out to defend the two former hardcore rebel commanders against “War crimes” for which the two have been separately indicted and are awaiting trials. And just by coincident, the Inquirer-Konneh stories also exhibit striking similarities in many forms. On separate notes, the two vehemently denied the accused, Martina and Kosiah, were ever involved in committing egregious crimes against civilians during the war as alleged. Indeed, the Inquirer story and that of Mr. Konneh’s went to extra length to portray the two diehard-rebel militias as “innocent” bystanders and “victims” of the brutal African war that killed an estimated 250,000 people. This is all happening when in fact, no trial has begun and although both accused may have initially denied every charge brought against them, it is universally the normal thing all war crimes suspects do. Charles Taylor denied “Everything” and likewise, Chuckie Taylor, and Kosiah. Even former Chadian leader Hissene Habre, indicted by Belgium courts on similar crimes, according to reports, “Is still denying.” Though either story failed to give accounts on the war activities of Martina and Kosiah, all agreed the two served as ‘commanders’ for the rebel National Patriotic Front (NPFL) of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, and Prof. Alhaji Kromah’s ULIMO-K rebel factions. Taylor is presently serving a 50 year sentence due to war crimes he reportedly committed in neighboring Sierra Leone during the 90s. However, it is not the Kosiah story this piece is about. What prompted this article is that unconventional “journalistic style” that The Inquirer adopted in treating an important matter that hold not just local but deep international interest as well. It ignored all journalistic ethical rules and published story ostensibly embedded in pure deception. The paper did so cleverly, making it to appear the story was based on feedbacks gathered from residents of two townships. Notwithstanding, it was no different from a case where someone would describe this way: “Rabbit thought it was hiding, not knowing its tail was still exposed.” In other words, the Inquirer editorial compromised its so-called “Fact-finding” report in attempt to cover up for war crimes suspect, Martina Johnson. For example, the paper’s story, among many others things failed to even draw a connection between the Taylor-led NPFL that recruited and armed Martina Johnson along with thousands of Liberian youths to fight. Mind you, the suspect Martina Johnson, fought for the NPFL, the faction known to have systematically targeted and murdered thousands civilians, mainly Mandingo and Krahn, on the basis of their ethnic affiliations. These are basic facts no news organ writing about such high-profiled case will ever ignore, unless the primary goals for that organ isn’t about protecting and serving the public interest. For the referenced Inquirer report, one doesn’t really have to be a savvy editor or reporter in order to detect that something is wrong, that the story was indeed compromised. Any literate individual can easily tell this just by basically examining the paper’s story contents, version of the “Fact-finding mission.” Let’s go over a few paragraphs in the referenced Inquirer story so as to attempt to find out whether or not the Inquirer editorial followed the rules or did in all fairness apply “Objectivity” in in the referenced report as required in the journalism profession. In its opening paragraphs, the following is what Liberia’s Inquirer, once considered, a credible source by international news agencies during wartime, wrote: “Some residents of the Dry Rice Market and Johnsonville communities have clarified that there was no incident of massacres in both communities during the Liberian civil conflict. The residents further clarified that no act of massacre was committed by a former SSS Officer who later became the head of the Roberts International Airport (RIA) Madam Martina Johnson as has been alleged. Members of the communities said both communities were considered free zones during the heat of the civil conflict something that contradicts allegation by Global Research and Justice Project.” As indicated earlier, the paper stated the information was gathered last January when a group of “Journalists” visited the areas during which the reporters conducted interviews with “Over 70 elders and youths” concerning reports that “Massacres occurred” in those vicinities. The Inquirer story said, citizens denied such allegations. However, what seems unforgivable is when the paper alleges without quotes that “residents” in both townships described the GRJP’s report as “misleading and intended to destroy Madam Johnson” and demanded they “want all charges against Martina Johnson dropped.” “Meanwhile, residents of Dry Rice Market and Johnsonville communities want all charges against Martina Johnson dropped adding that the allegation by Global Research and Justice Project is intended to solicit international support and attention from the international community. Residents in that area also stated that the information provided by Global Research and Justice Project is misleading and intended to destroy Madam Johnson.” But those are not all; perhaps, the most revealing and damaging to this questionable report that seems to lend credence to suspicion that the Inquirer “report” may have been heavily influenced by a special favor, including money, due to the following line in its story: “Currently residents of the various communities are benefiting from the humanitarian gesture under aegis of Madam Martina Johnson the former RIA boss, one of the leaders of the community disclosed.” It is inconceivable that a paper of this caliber as The Inquirer will attempt to rob the public of its right to know the truth in an allegation that involves genocide by failing to provide an accurate picture surrounding a so-called “Fact-finding” tour of which other participating “journalists” are yet to publish their own accounts. From reading the above sections of the Inquirer story, isn’t it rather ironic that a “Fact-finding mission,” with the sole purpose to thoroughly investigate and verify gruesome mass murders, could now suddenly turn into a praise and worship band by the usage of unnecessary and flattering praises as per this remark, Currently residents of the various communities are benefiting from the humanitarian gesture under aegis of Madam Martina Johnson the former RIA boss? And see, the paper even referred to the suspects multiple times as “Madam” in its well-polished story. Can a newspaper claiming “Independent” actually afford to condone such practice by also joining a chorus of praise singers in such high-profiled critical matters? In the first place, it is outrageously awful that the Inquirer editorial would choose to use phrases as: “Residents have clarified” that Martina Johnson didn’t commit “Act of massacre” in the two communities, as if the alleged mass murder incidents are more like the everyday corrupt practices Liberians have come to be accustomed to, like the discussion is about some stolen goods. At least, that’s how simple the paper made it looked when in fact the entire episode is about genocide in one of Africa’s bloodiest civil wars, heavily fuelled by strong anti-tribal sentiments, and often the victims were vulnerable women, children and elderly, some often raped before they were viciously beheaded by drugged rebels. It isn’t a honeymoon story-this involves peoples’ loved ones-just like us, the living and that’s why it sounds bizarre that the Inquirer’s editorial team will think such a case can be closed with a mere “Clarification” and after that everyone walks away. Another section of the Inquirer’s story that raises eyebrows is the claim that “Over 70 elders and youths” were interviewed by “Journalists” regarding the suspect’s role during the “Fact-finding” but failed to identify a single interviewee, for the sake of its own credibility. Also, the story had no byline which adds to a long list of questions as to the sincerity of the report. Even twenty is too big of a number let alone, “Over 70” that an “Independent” newspaper will not cite a single name in a crucial story especially when the war crimes suspect is being highly “Hailed” by all and not even a single person gave contradictory view of her. With this apparent level of eagerness by “Residents” of the areas to tell the “Good deeds” Martina, it is however shocking that no one appeared bold to speak on record. But few of the troubling questions in this case are: Who, and where exactly, are some of the residents that were allegedly interviewed by local and foreign reporters? How credible are they? And how can they prove they lived in the referenced communities during the first phrase of the civil wars? For the sake of trustworthiness, I would have provided names and also group picture of interviewees and I think the paper should do so without delay in the public interest. For what is the reason for one to hide when he thinks highly of neighbor that presumably holds a clear record and gives to the community? I hope the paper editorial is aware of the serious credibility questions its publication raises. Perhaps, it may recover by releasing names, photographs, or phone numbers, addresses of the interviewees with consent for verification since it seems the rest of “Journalists” on the trip disappeared. It claimed further that residents described Barnersville Township as “Free zone,” meaning, the area was a safe heaven that was untouchable in the wartime. By now, it is no surprise that The Inquirer of today will take such assessment from someone without a second thought to verify such claim before publishing. Of course, this type of act will be little any paper when after all, almost everyone who rode out the wars in Liberia, not to mention journalists, knows that not even an inch of Liberia was deemed safe, or left untouched. Except the ECOMOG-IGNU’s controlled territory of Monrovia, no part of the capital including, suburbs were safe. For if there existed a so-called “Free Zone,” why then did the soldiers over 600 slaughter Gio and Mano civilians, who were forced by circumstances to stay at the Sinkor Lutheran Church where they perished? The Inquirer story repeatedly cited a place it called, “Dry Rice Market.” What is it exactly? It is a tiny Flea like-market, about the size of a football field and located inside Barnersville Estate in Monrovia’s northwest suburb. It isn’t itself a “town” as inanely portrayed by the paper. The portrayal however is typical of the way some local reporters communicate, write stories, with only Liberian audiences in mind. The market is probably less than a mile from the last bus stop before entering the estate. The same place (near the last bus stop) the Inquirer report now says residents claimed to be a “Free zone” is where the charred remains of a small vehicle used by two of the five murdered American nuns were found in 1992 during NPFL’s multipronged attack on the capital. How do I know? I was among a team of local reporters taken on a tour of the Barnersville area by former press secretary at the Ministry of National Defense, Col. Arthur B. Dennis, now a resident of New Jersey, just days after the combined forces of ECOMOG peacekeeping troops, the Sawyer-IGNU’s led Black Berets, assisted by Mr. Alhaji Kromah’s ULIMO movement ejected Taylor’s men from the area. I was able to photograph the charred remains of the car owned by the murdered American nuns, films editors at The Associated Press would take interest in when I began to work for the agency as stringer photographer. The story goes that two of the nuns, Muttra and Joel Kolmer left their Barnersville Convent on October 20, 1992 to drop off a security guard and were murdered moments later by Taylor’s rebels when they encountered them. Years after the murder of the nuns, an investigations compiled by US FBI agents blamed the NPFL that controlled the area. The FBI’s probe was based on countless testimonies given by mostly eyewitnesses, including NPFL kidnapped survivors, the Catholic Archdiocese, US Embassy, ECOMOG soldiers and residents who saw the killings. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of this work has been who to pinpoint among the “killer commanders” for the deaths of the nuns. While some suspect Martina, others blame one Christopher Vambo, who goes by the nom-de-guerre General Mosquito. Read: Is This Man Responsible for the Murder of the 5 American Nuns?Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
As we head towards the one-year anniversary of Ebola’s attack on Liberia’s terrain, bearing in mind brave people and their contribution towards the fight is essential.A young female journalist who says she endured the reality of Ebola, its destruction and how it turned citizens of Liberia into paranoid and cautious individuals wants her story told.In the early part of March 2014, Yewa Sandy, a multi-media journalist says she awoke to the death news of two popular doctors in the Caldwell community – doctor’s whose names she says should not be mentioned.“Mainly because I get flash backs of what happened to me the day I tried to do my job as a reporter, I don’t want that to happen again,” she says.“First thing that came to my mind the day I heard that the two doctors had passed away days apart, was that Ebola was definitely real and ready to kill. And with the instinct of any journalist, I went to find out details,” she recalled.According to the single mother of two, she ran to the scene of where the two late doctors had lived. Unaware that the homes of both doctors had been quarantined, she says, she leaped head on into a danger zone.“I never knew what Ebola was and how dangerous it could be if I was exposed to it. The only thing on my mind at that moment was getting details of how the doctors passed away,” she admitted.Upon arriving on the scene, Yewa says she met dozens of people standing in and around the premises of the late doctors. And like any journalist would have done in her situation, she began to gather her information.“People started yelling at me that Ebola was not real and that both doctors hadn’t died from it. It became so intense for me that within a split second, I was jumped on, assaulted and aggressively handled by men and women of all ages,” she recalls.Yewa and the group of people who held her under arrest for “doing her job” were taken to Zone 7 Base police station in Caldwell. It was there that the officer of the zone explained to the angry crowd that Yewa was a journalist.“Thanks to the police, I was released and walked out of the police station with my feelings hurt and my body in pain. I continued with my story and it was published,” she said.From that moment she says, everyday became a day of running up and down trying to figure out what Ebola was and why it had come with so much force.“I started seeing people in my community dropping dead like flies. But there was no news about it and how our community had become a hot zone. Out of fear, I stayed clear of reporting Ebola activities in Caldwell and I think that’s how it spread so badly there,” she admitted.Within weeks, Yewa says she returned home one evening to find an Ebola task force spraying the house where she normally left her children.“When I tried asking for my children at their babysitter, they kept telling me to go home and how they were being quarantined. I fainted. I immediately thought that I had someway or another brought Ebola into their home,” she thought.Hiding her situation from relatives, her work vicinity and telling people that she had allergies whenever she was seen crying, Yewa remembers it was a nightmare.“For a complete 21 days, my kids were stuck and so was I. I stood on the sidewalk near the house and watched people being taken away from where they spent their quarantined days. Some were already dead while some died in the various ETU’s,” she remembers.Again she says, she had to do her duty and publish her experience.“I wrote about what was happening to me by sharing parts of my dairy that I was writing as each horrible day passed on. I thank God my kids made it, but feel so bad that so many people that they knew lost their lives,” she added.Yewa says that her ambition heightened during the period her children were being quarantined. It inspired her to cover orphans and survivors of Ebola and remembers having to quarantine herself on numerous occasions.“Sometimes when I would go to cover situations and stories, I’d find myself being physically touched, stepping in vomit and forgetting the no touching rule,” she said.For instance, the late Shaki Kamara who was gunned down in the WestPoint community in August of 2014 is Yewa’s most memorable moment.“That day I ran to him while he lay bleeding on the ground and tried to console him. He begged me for help and water and asked me not to leave his side. I also had to help remind my counterparts to avoid stepping in the dying teens blood,” she recalled.“I was with him up until the next day when I went to redemption hospital and met his dead body on the ground in front of the hospital bed in which he had lain before his death. Unfortunately for me, I walked in on the Defense officials taking his body. I was able to get footage of the scenery but was apprehended by Defense Ministry Deputy for Operations, St. Jerome Larbelee. He took my camera and threatened to arrest me for being on the premises, all this happening while I watched with tears in my eyes the body of the late Shaki Kamara being taken away,” she added.Yewa’s camera was returned but she says not long afterwards, her safety and freedom were in jeopardy because of her findings.“I did a story on the situation of Shaki Kamara’s death up until his burial. It put a lot of pressure on me by people I can’t name, but it also taught me a strong lesson: Ebola.”Meanwhile, Yewa, since the Ebola outbreak, has not only saved lives but has made necessary links between survivors and orphans.“I have done nothing but put myself and my health on the line to help see to it that all the necessary information surrounding the outbreak got published. I only regret not being able to save the lives of some of those who I followed throughout it all,” she added.Now that the one year anniversary is just around the corner, it is appropriate that journalist like Yewa and other courageous women be highlighted. Leaving their families, safety and crossing boundaries to keep the public informed not only saved many lives, but it also shows what being courageous is all about.“I lost my cousin and uncle to Ebola, my kids are afraid to leave my side now and through it all I am still fighting the battle.Presently I sponsor orphans, check on survivors and also try my best to share my stories with the world so everyone can understand the mistakes that were made that caused so many people’s lives and how we have been battling it out while staying Ebola free,” she said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The suffering of 25 Liberian Students who were sent on scholarship to Egypt in pursuit of higher education appears to be far from over as the student leadership has written a new letter outlining their present distress. In their recent letter, the students re-echoed their appeal to the Government of Liberia (GOL) to restore their allowances reportedly discontinued four years ago. Education Minister Etmonia Tarpeh’s director of communications, J. Maxim Bletahn, told the Daily Observer via mobile phone yesterday that the plight of the students in Egypt had not reached the MOE authorities. However, Mr. Bletahn promised to bring the matter to the attention of Minister Tarpeh, for “immediate and appropriate action.” He did not indicate when the MOE would intervene. It may be recalled that the 25 students earned the scholarships through the MOE and were vetted by both GOL and the Egyptian Embassy in Monrovia to undertake undergraduate studies at universities in Cairo, in 2011. The students are appealing to the GOL through the MOE and the Inter-Ministerial Scholarship Committee at the Civil Service Agency (CSA), which vetted them in 2011, to restore their allowances. In their latest letter, a copy of which is in the possession of the Daily Observer, the students argued that on September 3, 2012, they gathered at the premises of the Liberian Embassy near Cairo and condemned the “cruel treatment” being meted out to them. After their protest, the letter continues: The Ambassador, Alexander H. N. Wallace, III terminated all student related services at the Embassy and even warned that any student that attempted to reach the Embassy for any service “would be doing so to his/her own detriment.”The letter noted that after three months of failure to address their plight, they again converged on the Embassy grounds on November 5, 2012, to call the attention of GOL to their plight.“Unfortunately, they were all arrested and placed behind bars by the Egyptian National Police authority on the alleged order of the Ambassador.”Some of the students who managed to escape arrest communicated to George K. Werner, head of the Ministerial Scholarship Committee to seek their release, but allegedly, nothing was done. They recalled that the Egyptian government, through its National Police, later ordered their release, “since, in fact, we pleaded not guilty to the allegations leveled against us by the (Liberian) Embassy.”“In line with the aforementioned, Mr. Werner demanded that before he did anything about our plights, we must apologize to the Ambassador for going to the Embassy. The demanded apology letter experienced no delay, and was filed on October 28, 2013,” the students’ letter said.“After meeting all demands by Mr. Werner, we experienced nothing regarding the solution to our plight.” Werner, the students said, has remained completely silent about their wellbeing.Meanwhile, six bilateral scholarship beneficiaries were deleted from the beneficiary list and termed as illegitimate students for no explained reason from the scholarship committee, said the students. The students’ letter of apology was signed and approved by the secretary-general of the Liberia Student Union in Egypt, Lansana M. Kabbah and the president, Mohammed A. Kiawhen. The students are Abdulla M. Barry, Abdullah O. Syllah, Alieu M. Jalieba, Sheik K. Sesay, Yusuf Swaray, Losene A. Dukuly, Abduasise A. Dakawah, Abraham Z. M. Kromah, Seliaman A. Kanneh, and Mohammed A. Kiawhen.The rest are Alieu A. Kiazolu, Mustapha M. Sheriff, Fuad F. Nyei, Alieu V. Kamara and Sekou M. Sherif, Alieu F. Sheriff, Mustapha M. Kromah, Kalifa M. Kamara, Sekou A. Barry and Mohammed M. Turay.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
It could very well be called “the game of the decade,” when tomorrow, Liberia’s Lone Star meets the Elephants of La Cote d’Ivoire in a World Cup qualifier football match. We choose to call it the game of the decade, because this is the 12th time in 50 years that the two teams are meeting. In their 11 previous encounters, the Elephants defeated Liberia eight times, with three draws. This is the Lone Star’s fifth meeting at home in Monrovia with the Ivorian Elephants, who are Africa’s reigning champions. These brief historical notes show that tomorrow’s game will be a very serious clash between the teams of two great West African sisterly neighbors. Their very close relations date back to the early 1960s, when President W.V.S. Tubman forged warm, friendly relations with Ivorian President Felix Houphouet-Boigny, even before La Cote d’Ivoire attained its independence from France on August 7, 1960. As is customary, the day of August 7 was celebrated in Liberia as a national holiday. During that Independence season—the 1960s—President Tubman made it a policy that each time an African nation got its independence, the day would be observed in Liberia as a national holiday. So La Cote d’Ivoire’s was no exception.As Liberia meets the Goliath of African football, the Ivorian Elephants, the Lone Star must play with their hearts and muster all the determination, faith and stamina to play the match, and play like David to win. The story of David and Goliath is all too familiar to us. For David, it was not the Philistine giant’s height, weight, strength or armor that mattered. None of these did. “You come with your strength and armor,” murmured David, “but I come in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel.” Besides his faith and total reliance on the power of God, all else that David had was his sling and a rock. And when he had finished using them, the giant lay on the ground, dead!We pray that Coach James Salinsa Debbah has done well his coaching work, and prepared his team for a victorious encounter with the Elephants. What they need now are: faith in God, belief in themselves and the determination to do one thing—win the match.All Liberians should join our team in fervent prayer that Liberia will rise above the past defeats and draws and go on to be triumphant against the Elephants both here at home and subsequently in Abidjan.Remember, nothing is impossible. Indeed with God ALL things are possible. Remember, too, President Edwin Barclay’s enduring challenge to all Liberians of every age. In his immortal Anthem, “The Lone Star Forever,” Barclay wrote, “Then forward, sons of Freedom, March!Defend the sacred heritage!The nation’s call from age to ageWhere’er it sounds ‘neath Heaven’s arch.Wherever foes assail.Be ever ready to obey‘Gainst treason and rebellion’s front,‘Gainst foul aggression. In the brunt Of battle lay the hero’s way!All hail, Lone Star, all hail!”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Government has vowed to use Sinoe County’s Development Funds (CDF) to pay for damages caused by rioters at the Golden Verolum-Liberia (GVL) recently.At the Ministry of Information press briefing yesterday, Minister Lewis Brown explained that the relevant government authorities, including the Ministries of Justice and Labor have been directed to work with the GVL to carry out a full assessment of the damages to the concession’s properties. He said the government will use the Social or the County Development Fund to pay for properties damaged by the rioters.Minister Brown said the Liberia National Police (LNP) had begun a thorough search and seizure of operations in Butaw for the looted properties of GVL. During the incident several persons were held hostage, including the Minister of Gender, Julia Duncan-Cassell, who acted as Chairman of the Cabinet in the absence of the President from the country, and the Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Varney Sirleaf.Minister Brown further disclosed that when the rioters or their ring leaders are found and properly identified they will be arrested along with anyone that harbored them. The retrieved looted properties will be returned to the company.“Authorities at the MOJ have also been instructed to press for additional charges including that of economic sabotage against such persons whenever applicable.” According to Min. Brown, the violence in Butaw does not threaten our peace and security. “It undermines our collective livelihood and unfairly portrays the country as an unsafe destination for foreign investments,” he pointed out. The government, he declared, had worked hard to return the country to an enviable place for foreign and domestic investments in order to create much needed jobs and improve the living conditions of its citizenry.The government will decisively and effectively resist any effort by anyone or any group either to alter our course or reverse the collective progress gained over the years by all Liberians, he emphasizedHe stated that “the government will not accept the misuse or abuse of international protocols to undermine its sovereign duties and responsibilities, thereby making it difficult, if not impossible, for her to meet the needs and fulfill the expectations of its people.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has announced that Golden Veroleum-Liberia (GVL) has agreed to begin rehiring former employees laid off as a result of the May 26 riot there. She granted Executive Clemency to three inmates at the Sinoe County prison and announced the venues of the next two Independence anniversary celebrations covering the duration of her administration.En route to Monrovia, President Sirleaf along with the World Bank –Liberia Country Manager, Ms. Inguna Dobraja, dedicated the Kingston Weagba Public School situated in Tarjourwon District, Sinoe County.According to an Executive Mansion release, the President, spoke to journalists before her departure from Greenville, Sinoe County following the successful co-hosting of the 168thIndependence Anniversary.She informed journalists that GVL has agreed to government’s request to start the rehiring of 50 of its former employees beginning last Monday, July 28 2015. “As I leave Greenville, they will go back to their jobs and the process of adding numbers of re-employed people will continue as we work with them to implement the security arrangement which is very important for their operation,” she indicated.President Sirleaf said government had been consulting with GVL because of the May 26 incident that resulted to people not only going to prison but also the layoff of all GVL staff. The company sought assurances for its security to prevent a recurrence of what happened two months ago.Government assured GVL that the Liberia National Police will speed up the plan to work with them to ensure that LNP sets up in the communities the right kind of security arrangements to protect the citizens and the company.In another development, citing her constitutional rights as President of the Republic of Liberia, President Sirleaf instructed the Superintendent of Sinoe County, Mr. Roosevelt Quiah, to work with prison authorities to release three inmates. They are Amos Tarpeh 47, who was charged for arson, convicted and has been serving a prison sentence since June 28, 2013, David Tarpeh (68), charged with the same offence and serving a sentence during the same period and the only female, Baby Girl Togba (25), who was charged with assault and convicted. She has served two years of her sentence.“Mr. Superintendent, you will please ensure that these three persons are released from prison with the advice to them that we expect them now to be good citizens, to abide by the law and ensure that they do not get into acts that would lead them back into a situation from which we have just freed them,” President Sirleaf directed.On the hosts of next year’s Independence Anniversary, the President named Maryland, River Gee and Grand Gedeh as the next co-hosts. She urged them to begin their preparation immediately. “Don’t wait until June of next year,” she warned.She indicated that government will support the construction of some of the facilities in the counties in preparation for the Independence celebrations, but also encouraged citizens of the three counties to initiate individual development projects in their counties of origin.Madam Sirleaf reiterated that the spirit of rotating the Independence Anniversary is not only for government to bring development to the people but to inspire the people from those counties to go back home and do something for their people.President Sirleaf thanked the authorities and people of Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties for the warm reception, fullest cooperation and excellent hospitality offered including the largest number of diplomatic representation to the country. On the impression the diplomats left with, she said, “They all left from here very pleased. They had a very good time and I’m sure that this is going to strengthen our relationship with the countries which they represent.”She expressed appreciation to all Liberians – most especially political leaders, non-governmental organizations, religious leaders, among others– who attended especially the Thanksgiving and Intercessory Service in Barclayville, Grand Kru County using their own resources amid the difficult circumstances.Meanwhile, en route to Monrovia, President Sirleaf along with the World Bank –Liberia Country Manager, Ms. Inguna Dobraja dedicated the Kingston Weagba Public School situated in Tarjourwon District, Sinoe County.In Sinoe County, under this project funded by the Global Partnership for Education and the World Bank, two schools have been completed while another is undergoing construction.The Ministry of Education is constructing 41 schools across the country while 27 of them have already been completed including the Kingston Weagba Public School. The remaining 14 are at various stages and a majority is nearing completion.The newly dedicated Kingston Weagba complex includes a library, computer lab, latrines for boys and girls, ramps and rails for the disabled, teachers’ housing, kitchen and cafeteria, administration building, two wells and a football field.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Last week, August 12, several countries, including Liberia, commemorated the International Youth Day to honor the actions of young people around the world to improve their well-being and that of their communities. During the said week, Messengers of Peace (MOP)-Liberia in close collaboration with the Catholic Media Center, Radio Veritas launched ;“Youth Media Education Program”(YMEP).In sic with the theme for this year’s IYD: “Youth Civic Engagement” and in preparation for the Conference on Youth Involvement in Peace and Security, Amman-Jordan, to which the Executive Director of MOP-Liberia has been selected from a list of over ten thousand applicants across the globe, MOP Liberia organized schools debate on highlighting the role as well as the meaningful involvement of young people in peace and security. The theme of the debate: “Should young people be involved in peace and security issues?”We agreed that in actualizing the role of young people in peace and security, it is essential to deal directly with the issues of poverty, cronyism and corruption. Youth should first ask themselves if they are part of the problems or the solution and if they have done enough for their school and society, whether their attitudes and behaviours are in tune with national development.We also agreed the only way to defend peace is to sustain it. Young people, they argued play a cardinal role in maintaining peace and security, therefore, should be meaningfully involved.We concluded our debate and dialogue on the motion that for peace and security to prevail over conflicts, violence and war, government, policy makers and implementers must invest in social security and commit to a strategic partnership with young people.We must teach young people to live in peace and promote a culture that engages youth in poverty alleviation programmes, such as vocational and literary skills development. The issues of corruption, cronyism has to be dealt with at all level. We must also educate the population, especially those in positions of authority on what to do to take the lofty SDGs from rhetoric to reality. As Aristotle said: Good habits formed at youth make all the difference”Messengers of Peace (MOP) – Liberia is keen to empower young people to unleash their potentials and form habits that put them in the right position. We cannot and must not be seen to encourage corrupt practices. Young people must be proud of their achievements and strive for excellence.Peace and Development in Liberia, especially as we cope with the aftermath of Ebola and the countdown to an Ebola free country is essential and achievable if we address issues of poverty, cronyism, bribe and corruption.Our Ebola Educates programme continues and we seek your support. We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to the very important visitors to new MOP office located on Broad Street and look forward to others as we partner to eradicate Ebola from our country.Until next week, when we come to you with our concluding article on: “Ebola Educates: Poverty, Cronyism, Corruption and Development-Part IV”, Peace First, Peace above all else, May Peace prevail on earth.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The River Gee Detachment of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has arrested a woman with a huge quantity of chemical substances mixed with glucose used in the preparation of precursor used to mix illegal drugs. It is one of the substances involved in the production stages of toxic chemicals, according to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.River Gee DEA Detachment Commander, William Martins, identified the suspect as Satta Walker, a notorious drug importer.The suspect is said to have been trading in harmful drugs in the county over the years.DEA Director-General, Anthony K. Souh, confirmed to the Daily Observer via mobile phone yesterday that his agents are deployed all over the country. Director Souh, however called for the implementation of the drug law to help curb the proliferation of various harmful substances including cocaine and heroin in the country. He said if those caught in possession of dangerous drugs are not prosecuted, the country will lose many of its youthful population to drug addiction.The DEA County Commander for River Gee put the street value of the 400kg drug at L$200,000. The drug was tested in the presence of the peacekeepers of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) Team in River Gee.Major Martins pointed out that Satta was arrested in Joquiken, a gold mining area where the use of narcotic drugs is widespread.Meanwhile she has been charged with illegal possession of unlicensed manufactured controlled drugs or substances under the country’s new drugs law that was approved by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on October 11, 2014.The suspect Walker has been sent to the Fishtown Magisterial Court for trial.Since the destruction of a huge quantity of drugs on June 26, during celebration of International Drug Day in the county, this is the first major arrest of drugs the DEA Office has made in River Gee County.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Joint Resolution (LEG-002 of 2010) that set the threshold upon which the 2011 elections was conducted cannot be the same instrument upon which the upcoming 2017 elections should be held because it would violate the country’s Constitution, the Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) has warned.The 2010 threshold process contravened article 80 (d) and (e) of the Liberian Constitution for which the Legislature and the National Elections Commissions (NEC) are again resolved to tread a similar path. The ECC Executive Director, Oscar Bloh, told a news conference in Monrovia yesterday that the special arrangement under which the 2011 elections were conducted cannot be used for the upcoming elections as it would cause the country to perpetually violate its laws.But it appears that this would actually be the case as Members of the House of Representatives on September 27 voted not to set a new electoral threshold for the 2017 Presidential and Legislative Elections.The lawmakers’ decision was an endorsement of a report from the Committee on Elections and Inauguration advising them not to set a new threshold for next year’s elections. That body has written the Senate for its concurrence.The Chairman of the House Committee on Elections and Inauguration, Representative Gabriel B. Smith, said in his report that on the basis of history and electoral tradition, quoting Article 80 (d) and (e) of the 1986 Constitution, it is assumed that a threshold should serve two regular periods of six years, and in so doing, it would be “lawfully incorrect” and “politically troublesome,” for the 53rd Legislature to prescribe a new threshold on the basis of a census report for which the 52nd Legislature had already passed a resolution.However, many observed that the lawmakers’ decision has political undertones. Observers have said that the lawmakers are afraid to lose their strongholds should a new threshold be set causing district demarcations to be restructured.The ECC, however, said in a statement yesterday that it is deeply concerned about this unconstitutional situation. The ECC is a non-partisan professional network of civil society organizations that monitors, documents, and reports on election issues with the aim of promoting transparency and accountability in the country as well as strengthening the democratic process. The committee collaborates with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).It said: “We are deeply worried that no decision has been reached between the NEC and the Legislature on setting a new threshold to reapportion districts for the upcoming elections, which is in keeping with Article 80 (d) and (e) of the Constitution.” Article 80 (d) states that each constituency shall have an approximately equal population of 20,000, or such number of citizens as the Legislature shall prescribe in keeping with population growth and movements as revealed by a national census, provided that the total number of electoral constituencies in the Republic shall not exceed one hundred.While the ECC statement stipulates that: “Immediately following a national census and before the next election, the NEC shall reapportion the constituencies in accordance with the new population figures so that every constituency shall have as close to the same population as possible; provided, however, that a constituency must be solely within a county.”But the ECC pointed out that in 2010 constituencies were not apportioned based on the 2008 census report, as they should have been legally. “Rather, the Legislature through a joint resolution in 2010 instructed NEC to set a special threshold, which led to the addition of nine new districts (seats) to the then existing 64 that the 2005 elections produced.”“This joint resolution, which contravened Article 80 (d) and (e), has expired because it was meant for the 2011 elections; and therefore, this same formula cannot be used for the 2017 elections.”Under the Liberian democratic structure, representation is not based on registered voters, rather the country’s population informed by a national census report—which in this case is the 2008 National Housing and Population Census.In view of the above, the ECC calls on the Legislature to convene a special session to set a new threshold based on the 2008 nationwide census report. The ECC added that this should be done before the start of the voter registration exercise.In a related development, the ECC also said it has observed with concern non-compliance in certain provisions of the Liberian Constitution by some political parties and independent candidates, who are required by law (Constitution, Article 83 d) to publish and submit to the NEC, detailed statements of assets and liabilities by the first of September each year.While it may be true that some political parties have submitted financial statements to the NEC, “the constitutional provision cited above dictates that the report filed with the NEC must be published to satisfy both conditions of publishing and submitting.” The ECC also commended parties that have made their financial reports public. In furtherance of the above observation, the ECC recommended that the NEC publish names of all political parties that have failed to submit their financial statements, while at the same time compel these parties to comply with the Constitution.“The NEC is a government institution that is under obligation to let the public know which political parties have submitted their financial statements, and which have not done so,” Mr. Bloh said.The NEC is yet to comment on the concerns of the ECC.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Cummings (right) and Sulunteh. The Alternative National Congress (ANC) has named Liberia’s former Ambassador to the United States, Canada and Mexico, Jeremiah C. Sulunteh as running mate to the party’s standard bearer, Alexander B. Cummings (nicknamed ABC), barely two months after Sulunteh resigned from the governing Unity Party (UP).Cummings announced Sulunteh as his running mate, shortly after he was formally endorsed as standard bearer by members of the party’s executive committee.The ceremony, which was witnessed by party delegates from Liberia’s 15 counties, was held last Saturday at the Kakata City Hall in Margibi County.Since he crossed over to the ANC last month, Sulunteh has been accompanying Mr. Cummings on his trips across Liberia – the most recent one being to Gbarpolu and Bomi counties where the ANC held primaries that endorsed Cummings as standard bearer.Shortly after the Cummings-Sulunteh ticket was announced, executive committee members of the party described Mr. Cummings’ election as historic, “because of the political trend the ANC has illustrated. It is the first of its kind in the country’s political history for the political leader of a party to be elected standard bearer through a county-by-county primary election,” they asserted.The ANC is one of Liberia’s newest political parties, having gained full-fledged party status in 2013.Cummings said, “The party is dedicated to creating an inclusive government that will work for Liberians at all levels.”Meanwhile, Sulunteh served as senior national vice chairman of the ruling Unity Party that successfully re-elected President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2011. He resigned from the party on February 15.After his endorsement, Sulunteh expressed gratitude to the ANC and Mr. Cummings. “I am honored by my election as Cummings’ vice standard bearer. I believe and trust in Cummings’ leadership capacity and I am also inspired by Mr. Cummings and by his leadership. He is the best alternative Liberia has longed for due primarily to the many challenges the country faces. He is a reformer and achiever. The leadership and dedication of Cummings has inspired me so much, and the structural cohesion at the ANC has impressed me as well,” said Sulunteh.“With me as your pick, send me, because we will both sail Liberia to the destination where our children and children’s children can be proud of,” Sulunteh added.A crowd of Sulunteh supporters, under the banner, “Friends of Jeremiah Sulunteh,” also joined the ANC activities on Saturday.Mr. Sulunteh rose through the ranks of Liberia’s public service from senior commercial aide at the Bong County Agriculture Development Project in 1981, to the position of Liberia’s Ambassador to the United States, Mexico and Canada.He has held several cabinet positions, including Minister of Transport, Minister of Labor, Transport and Post and Telecommunications. Following his first appointment as Transport Minister, Sulunteh undertook a project to build an elementary and junior high school in his hometown of Gboimu.In addition, Mr. Sulunteh taught Economic Development at the Cuttington University Graduate School, his alma mater, and Public Finance Administration at the University of Liberia. He and his wife, Kabeh, are blessed with three children.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
LIBA executives along with other members from Liberia and USA pose for a group photo after the pre-launchThe Liberian Business Association (LIBA-Liberia) and the United States chapter of the Liberian Business Association (LIBA-USA) have pre-launched a new business idea, “Put Liberia First Campaign,” to encourage Liberian-owned business entrepreneurs to support each other.Jackson George, executive director of LIBA-USA, who pre-launched the campaign, told a cross section of Liberian businesses that the campaign is also aimed at encouraging Liberians to support Liberian-owned businesses.Mr. George said the “Put Liberia First Campaign” will serve as a promotion tool to encourage business owners to prioritize Liberian-owned businesses, as well as products created by Liberians, on the market.At an elaborate meeting held yesterday in Paynesville by LIBA-Liberia and LIBA-USA, the executive director further said the interest of Liberian business institutions and entrepreneurs will “benefit from this unique opportunity that recognizes their efforts towards achieving quality.”In remarks, the president of LIBA-Liberia, David K. Sembeh, expressed frustration with the way Liberian businesses are treated.“It is pitiful to note that there are perceptions out there that we Liberians are not patriotic citizens, not nationalistic, and not supportive, especially when it comes to business; and it is true, so this campaign is to conscioustize us to move forward.“We want to set Saturday aside for this campaign and everyone here should serve as ambassadors out there and where Liberian businesses can feel the impact of other Liberians,” he said.However, Mr. Sembeh said the campaign is not intended to push out foreign counterparts, “we are not against them doing business in the country, but we want to make sure that Liberians take back their economy.”For her part, M. Leelai Kpukuyou, secretary general of LIBA-Liberia, urged Liberians to support Liberian owned-businesses.“Go to a Liberian restaurant to eat, visit a dry cleaner, be able to get in touch with Liberian travel agencies, and construction companies wherever we can in order to support our own economy,” she said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Commerce & Industry and the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) has announced with immediate effect a US$0.12 (twelve United States cents) and US$0.13 (thirteen United States cents) increase in the prices of gasoline and diesel fuel respectively.According to a petroleum price circular issued by the government, the retail pump price for a gallon of gasoline is now being sold at US$3.37 or its Liberian dollar equivalent of L$440, while the retail pump price for a gallon of diesel fuel is now sold at US$3.44 or its Liberian dollar equivalent of L$450.The decision to increase the prices of gasoline and diesel fuel on the Liberian market is a result of a shift in the parameters that are frequently used to determine the prices of these products in the country.The release thanked all petroleum product stakeholders for their commitment in adhering to the price adjustment formula.Meanwhile, the circular warned that the Ministry of Commerce’s inspectorate will closely monitor the approved ceiling prices to avoid the arbitrary hike in the pump prices of gasoline and fuel on the local market.The circular further warned that the Ministry of Commerce will also be closely monitoring the effectiveness of the price circular to ensure that importers do not undercut fellow competitors on the market.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
– Advertisement – Former Liberian Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Nathaniel A. Barnes, was among several volunteers who recently donated blood to save lives, particularly children and adults suffering from anemia, malaria and other diseases and are in desperate need of blood transfusion.June 14 of every year is commemorated as World Blood Donor Day, and the Ministry of Health, through the National Blood Safety Program (NBSP), observed the day by campaigning for blood donors.Dr. Barnes described it as a worthy cause to donate blood to stop preventable deaths. He pleaded with all ‘healthy and emotionally composed’ citizens to donate blood to save the lives of people who needlessly die on a daily basis across the country due to lack of blood.He encouraged Liberians to donate blood “To help families, friends or relatives who don’t have money to pay for blood or when the time comes and there is no one around to donate blood.” He backed his call by donating blood.For his part, the Assistant Minister for Preventive Services at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Samson K. Arzoaquoi, said the two regional blood banks in the country need blood to save lives, and called on volunteers to donate blood.“The most common medical emergency health care need at all health institutions across the country is the need for blood transfusion,” Dr. Arzoaquoi said. He noted that those who donate blood are very special people that everyone should applaud.“As we celebrate blood donors’ day let me say a big thank you to all donors and call on them not to stop their sacrificially giving of themselves to see others in need of blood stay alive,” he pointed out.He said in order for the blood safety program to survive, partners, including WHO, ACCEL, among others, are requesting that there should be a national blood policy.“As we are here today, somebody is dying because there is no blood and as we are here somebody has died because he or she did not get blood,” he noted, calling on all qualified blood donors to give blood often.Also making remarks on behalf of the WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, Madam Gertrude Mulbah said the theme of the occasion, “What Can You Do? Give Blood. Give Now. Give Often,” goes beyond just thinking about giving blood to relatives and friends.“If my boss was here today she would have said these words coming from my mouth, ‘Everybody can play a role in an emergency situation by giving blood.’ Blood transfusion is an essential component of emergency healthcare,” Madam Mulbah said.“As we commemorate World Blood Donor Day, my boss is urging all countries in the region and all stakeholders involved in blood donations to maintain adequate supplies of safe blood. This will allow national blood transfusion services to respond in time to the increase in blood demand, especially during emergencies,” she said.The program director at the NSBP, Madam Lwopu M. Bruce, said blood donation should be free of charge and voluntary.“Our campaign is to create sufficient awareness so as to welcome on board many voluntary donors,” Madam Bruce said. She commended six of the donors who, over time, have not hesitated to give blood.The NSBP certificated Prince G. Gargar, Emmanuel J. Zah, Prince Mahnweh, Winston, Arkie J. Tarr, among others, for donating blood voluntarily and free of charge.A cross section of celebrants singing the national anthem at the start of the eventShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Dr. Barnes gives blood
Mayor Gibson “we will work with the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG-A)”Paynesville City Mayor Cyvette M. Gibson was yesterday inducted as president of the Association of Mayors and Local Government Authorities of Liberia (AMLOGAL) at a program held at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion in Monrovia.Her 10-person administration will steer the affairs of AMLOGAL for the next two years. Madam Gibson said AMLOGAL will function to embrace all local authorities to build their capacities to become part of the government’s decentralization program.She said soliciting support from stakeholders and partners will be “our key strategy towards achieving this goal.”“In this regard, we will work with the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG-A) to put in place a full-fledged secretariat in six months, including hiring a robust, dedicated, and effective administrator with strong implementation skills to lead the secretariat,” she said.The secretariat will begin the implementation of “our five-year medium-term strategic plan under our leadership. During the same period, we will strive to obtain a Legislative Charter for AMLOGAL to enable it to have the appropriate status deserving of such an organization in the eyes of the Liberian society and the international community,” said Gibson.She said her leadership will engage the MIA to initiate the drafting of an act to be submitted to the Legislature.Mayor Gibson called on the MIA, UCLG-A and Cities Alliance to organize a one-week team building and resource mobilization training workshop for quick impact skills development and capacity building of the twenty city mayors who are the nucleus of AMLOGAL.“I assure our partners that the burden of financing this organization will not be your obligation. The first line of funding for AMLOGAL will be a one percent assessment of our individual city budgets which will be contributed as the annual membership dues,” Madam Gibson said.The secretary general of the UCLG-A Secretariat, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, pledged the organization’s support to the Liberian chapter.“I want to thank you for your clear vision, objectives and core values as mayors, who have led the formation of this body. I urge you to push your government to sign and ratify the Local Government Chapter. Since 2014, your government has yet to sign or ratify that agreement,” he noted.In remarks, the senior urban specialist of Cities Alliance, Mr. Omar Siddique, promised his organization’s commitment to providing financial support to the new AMLOGAL leadership.He disclosed that Liberia has become the 41st country in Africa to organize the local government association, stressing that this will further promote development at the local level.MIA’s Deputy Minister for Urban Affairs, Mr. Stephen Y. Neufville, said AMLOGAL will be a catalyst bringing many development benefits to Liberia as it paves the way for knowledge sharing among sister cities.Among the visitors at the occasion were Vice President Joseph Boakai, House Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay, Speaker, Pro Tempore Armah Z. Jallah, Internal Affairs Minister Henrique Tokpa, Deputy Minister at MIA Stephen Neufville, and GSA director general Mary T. Broh.Others were Mr. Ngouelondele, Acting President of African Mayors & local Authorities/Mayor of Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, Parks Tau, World President of Mayors & Local gvt Assoc, Republic of SA, Clare Short, Chair of Cities Alliance Mgmt Board and Mr. Farid Zarif, SRSG.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Liberia, Africa’s first independent and sovereign Republic, has also been, since the early 1930s, the continent’s first rubber producing country, and yet in nearly 90 years has not yet been able to produce a single rubber band, glove or any other rubber product.That seems to have been the plot or scheme of Harvey S. Firestone who, in 1926, signed agreement with the administration of President Charles D.B. King for one million acres of land to grow natural rubber in Liberia.Mr. Firestone first attempted to grow rubber in the Philippines, but they turned him down for fear that if they allowed Firestone in, it would signal a death knell to Philippines’ quest for independence.Firestone’s next stop was Liberia, in his determination for the United States of America (USA) to grow her own rubber and break the British monopoly on rubber in the world.Mr. Firestone found Liberia’s rich soil, rainfall and climate to be, as he put it in his own words, the best place on the planet to grow rubber successfully. He immediately opened the Firestone plantation along the Farmington River in what is now Margibi County.Firestone did two things more to ensure that Liberian officialdom and Liberians were on his side: first, he encouraged most Liberian officials to grow rubber, which he bought, making many leading Liberians rich; second, he employed thousands of Liberians and became the country’s first major concession and largest employer besides the government.In the process, Harvey Firestone and his family became very rich—billionaires.Firestone was good for Liberia except for one thing: the company deemed Liberia fit only for a rubber plantation that produced ONLY raw material to feed American factories, and nothing else. That is why in Firestone’s nearly a century of operation in Liberia, it has manufactured absolutely nothing here, but rather, until this day, June 7, 2018, shipped every ounce of its rubber to the USA and other foreign parts. That is why we say that Firestone saw Liberia as simply fertile ground for producing raw materials— nothing else.Two questions arise: first, how was it possible for Firestone to treat Liberia, a country that has been so good to Firestone, so badly and so contemptuously? The second question is, how have Liberian officials and successive Liberian governments allowed Firestone to do this—treat Liberia so badly—for nearly a century—92 years to be exact?We can venture a third question: how was it possible for all these Liberian rubber planters, from James (Jimmy) Francis Cooper, the first Liberian rubber planter, to many other Coopers, Dennises, Shermans, Freemans, Jacksons, Tubmans, Tolberts and the biggest rubber planter of them all, Harry L. Morris of Kakata and Todee, yes, how did all of rubber planters to allow Firestone to get away with this—slaving after this company’s US dollars and remaining naked as purely producers of Firestone’s raw material—rubber, and nothing else?But as the saying goes, nothing lasts forever. Today, we have another Cooper, whose name was also James, from Sinoe County, son of Henry Cooper—Henry is a popular name among the Coopers, who hailed from Sinoe, built a several hundred acre rubber farm in Bomi County. Today, the son of this James E. Cooper, also called James the II, has decided to brave the century-old powerful current by dreaming a serious dream. Young James E. Cooper, Jr., son of a Sinoe Cooper and an American mother, is dreaming of adding value to Liberian rubber by manufacturing rubber gloves, boots, adhesives (glues, gums, pastes), solvents (thinners), gaskets, rubber roofing tiles, re-threaded automobile tires and later freshly manufactured automobile tires.This is nothing short of revolutionary and we appeal to the government of President George Manneh Weah to give its firm backing to this great and historic initiative.Mr. James E. Cooper, Jr., tells us that he is not alone. Several other rubber planters have already started constructing rubber processing facilities in various parts of the country, including Kakata, Margibi County, and Nimba County.Mr. James E. Cooper, II says not only will these rubber processing and manufacturing enterprises produce finished products; they will also cause thousands more people to be employed in the rubber sector. They will not just be tappers, but engineers and technicians working in manufacturing plants.Presently, Mr. Cooper’s processing plant is producing TSR 10 rubber for export to Malaysia and the USA where it is used to manufacture automobile tires. He also produces smoked sheets for export.Mr. Cooper is in negotiations with Sri Lankan manufacturers to come to Liberia and join him by bringing in their technology to start rethreading tires, and later the real thing—brand new automobile tires for export to the Mano River Union and ECOWAS markets.Mr. Cooper and his fellow rubber processors have an even bigger dream: the Free Trade Agreement, spearheaded by Rwandan President Paul Kagame, which was signed in Kigali last week by 48 of the 53 African nations.Cooper and his colleagues are on to creating Liberia’s industrial revolution. Let us all join in this great endeavor by giving Mr. Cooper and all his colleagues our fullest cooperation and support. The media must play their part, and so, we fervently pray, will the Liberian government.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Justice Yussif Kaba It took the government over seven months to get close to the end of a bond strife for five current and former officials of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) on trial for their alleged involvement in the ‘missing’ L$16 billion.The impasse was resolved on Wednesday, September 4, when Chamber Justice Yussif Kaba revoked his alternative writ of certiorari issued on Monday, September 2, to review the judgment of Judge Blamo Dixon of Criminal Court ‘C’, who is presiding over the trial of the case.Judge Dixon had earlier remanded former CBL governor Milton Weeks and two other co-defendants, including Richard H. Walker, director for operations, and Dorbor M. Hagba, director for finance, at the Monrovia Central Prison, until they can file a new bail each in the amount of L$1,058,000,000.Dixon also released the two other defendants, Joseph Dennis, deputy director of Internal Audit and Deputy Governor for Operations, Charles Sirleaf on medical grounds, but with an order to pay their L$1,058,000,000 within a week.Dixon’s action was due to a new charge of money laundering brought against the defendants, adding yet another accusation to a series of corruption charges against the CBL’s officials.However, Justice Kaba said that the defendants should surrender their passports or all of their travel documents to the office of the sheriff. He also warned that “the defendants (petitioners) should not travel beyond the cities of Brewerville, Paynesville and the Atlantic Ocean.” He added that the defendants should report to the sheriff’s office weekly, each Friday.Initially, Weeks filed a property evaluation bond to the amount of US$909,319.88 to secure his release from pre-trial detention, while the Accident and Casualty Insurance Company (ACICO) secured the bond for Charles E. Sirleaf, deputy governor in the amount of US$60,000.The company also secured a US$60,000 bond for Richard Walker, director for operations, Joseph Dennis, deputy director for internal audit and Dorbor Hagba, director of finance.Those bonds were to secure their release on the first charges, which include economic sabotage and theft of property. Later, the prosecution added a new charge of money laundering, which Dixon set the bail to L$1,058,000,000, leaving to the defense team to appeal against the new bail before Justice Dixon.The charges were brought based on the release of the USAID-backed Kroll report, and the report by the Special Presidential Investigation Team (PIT), which uncovered a wide-range of discrepancies in the printing of new Liberian banknotes worth billions of LRD, and the controversial disbursement of US$25 million intended to be infused into the economy to curb the rising exchange rate between the Liberian and US dollars.It is yet unknown when the trial of the case will resume.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
…sentenced to more than 12 years in jailTwenty-seven-year-old Vanessa Baird was handed a 12-and-a-half-year prison sentence on Tuesday after she admitted to killing 43-year-old push cart vendor Percival Williams, on December 21, 2013 over $1000 at the Parika Stelling, East Bank Essequibo.Represented by Defence Counsel, Mark Conway, the mother of one, in tears, asked the court to be lenient with her so that she can return to care for her seven-year-old child.According to the State’s case which was presented by Prosecutors Abigail Gibbs, Natasha Backer and Tiffini Lyken, Williams was given $1000 by his would-be killer to purchase Chinese food for her and her son. At some point however, she asked Williams, a former Hague, West Coast Demerara resident for the money that she gave him and the two exchanged expletives after he did not comply.Baird held onto Williams’ jersey and a scuffle ensued and she then stabbed him in the lower chest area. The prosecution further relayed that the accused in her caution statement admitted that she had taken the knife from another person and committed the act.Williams immediately fell to the ground and was pronounced dead at the Leonora Cottage Hospital. His post-mortem examination showed that he died from perforation of the lung and heart due to stabbing. Reports back then were that Williams had converted the money to his own use.In making pleas of mitigation, Baird’s attorney observed that at the time of the incident, the woman was encountering financial difficulties being a single parent. Conway highlighted that his client has reflected on her actions and has improved her ability to have self-control. The court also heard that the woman now attends church services, sewing and drama classes whilst being incarcerated.Presiding Judge Navindra Singh, noted that it did not make sense to kill Baird in the manner which he lost his life. He encouraged her to seek out anger management classes as she continues the rehabilitation process. Baird’s time spent on remand awaiting trial will be deducted from her overall sentence.
Essequibo drug bustThirty-year-old Eknauth Persaud, called “Patel” of Lot 66 Onderneeming; and Dhanraj Singh, called “Roy Pang” of Golden Fleece Estate, Essequibo CoasEknauth Persaud aka Patelt were on Friday granted $1 million bail for the recent 42 kilograms drug bust.Additionally, Manuel Diaz, 36, a of Sand Felix, Venezuela, who was jointly charged with the men was however remanded.The trio made their first appearance before Magistrate Ester Sam at the SuddieMagistrate’s Court on Friday to answer to a narcotics trafficking charge. However, all three of the men denied the charge.The prosecution is contending that on January 6, 2017, at about 17:30h, the trioManuel Diaz from Venezuelahad in their possession 42 kilograms of cannabis for the purpose of trafficking.They were reportedly caught during a joint operation in G Division (Essequibo Coast-Islands).Reporters are the ranks went to ‘back street’ Golden Fleece, Essequibo Coast where a motor car bearing registration plates PMM 9059 was seen proceeding in a northern direction. The car had two occupants along with the driver, Dhanraj Singh.Ranks stopped the car and conducted a search, during which two white bags containing 70 parcels wrapped with clear tape and brown card board were found.Dhanraj Singh aka Ripe PangEach parcel contained leaves, seeds and stem suspected to be cannabis. The trio was told of the offence but remained silent.The matter will continue on February 2.
The Guyana Police Force has issued a wanted bulletin for 40-year-old Jadoo Datt of Sheriff Street, Campbellville, Georgetown, who is wanted for questioning inWanted: Jadoo Dattrelation to a conspiracy to defraud the Government of Guyana.Datt reportedly committed the frauds between December 2015 and April 2016.Anyone with information that may lead to the arrest of Datt is asked to contact the Police on telephone numbers 226-2870, 229-2655, 229-2289, 227-1149, 226-7065, 911 or the nearest Police station.
The Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) is expected to make a presentation to Cabinet next week in relation to the controversial amended parking meter By-laws.This was revealed by Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan on Wednesday, who said following that presentation, Government will make a final determination about the project going forward.Bulkan said he has always been on record as supporting the initiative of having parking meters, which is intended to help to restore order to the current chaos faced in the city when it comes to parking.“…the contract that is engaged in, has to be one that is not burdensome to the population. The benefits have to be equitably shared between the concessionaireA parking meter in downtown Georgetownand the Council,” he added.Bulkan noted that a lot of those features were not present in the initial contract, and acknowledged that is precisely why the By-laws had to be rescinded by Government.“It is our hope that the amended contract satisfies the concerns that were expressed by the Ministry of Finance and by the Attorney General’s Chambers… this review and assessment will be done by Cabinet at its next meeting following a presentation by the Georgetown municipality,” he added.Based on a unanimous decision taken on April 4, 2018, the M&CC approved the amended parking meter By-laws. However, only two Councillors opposed the By-laws at the time. Khame Prakash Sharma and Bishram Kuppen argued that the By-laws were in support of a contract that still remains unfair to citizens.The amended By-laws were then presented to the Minister in May 2018 for consideration.The amendments proposed that persons pay $150 per hour and $800 for eight hours of parking in Georgetown. Meanwhile, residents of the city would be issued with a restricted residential pass for free parking from 17:00-19:00h Monday to Friday, while parking will be free on Saturdays.Under the modified contract, both parties had agreed to have an oversight committee set up to monitor, review, and manage the project. The committee is expected to have three representatives from M&CC, three from Smart City Solutions (SCS), and one third party also involved in the process.During renegotiations between M&CC and SCS, the subject of shared profit and contractual obligations were discussed, and it was agreed to have it remain the same being the 20/80 for a period of 20 years. It was also disclosed that in the event of arbitration, the proceedings would be held in Miami, instead of here.Rejecting parking metersDespite these new proposals, the Georgetown Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc (GCCI) and the Movement Against Parking Meters (MAPM) have both rejected the project’s return. From the onset, MAPM and the business community have been opposed to the installation of parking metres in the city.The Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has also maintained its non-support for this initiative.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo still believes that the metering system is not the best arrangement to assist with the reduction or organisation of traffic within the country’s capital city.Jagdeo said the PPP will continue to oppose the initiative for several reasons, chief of them, the fact that the initial contract was flawed. He had also raised concerns about the persistence and continuous interest to have this project re-implemented even when the company is faced with several known controversies.Jagdeo had pitched a proposal where the M&CC could gain more income and treated the parking of vehicles in a much different way as they did before.“The City Council… all they need is maybe 1000 gallons of paint and go around and mark every area in the city and once per month, sell a sticker for $1000 or $2000 and people pay you and they park anywhere in the city once they have the sticker on the vehicle itself,” he explained.That plan, he claimed, is more affordable and takes away the huge administrative cost that the M&CC would have to incur were they to go ahead with reintroducing the parking meters.
…over 6000 pregnancies recorded in 2 yearsAfter over one year of research and consultations, the National Policy for the Reintegration of Adolescent Mothers into the Formal Education System was on Monday released to the Education Ministry.UNICEF Representative Sylvie Fouet presenting the policy to Education Minister Nicolette HenryWith this initiative – that will be implemented soon – many adolescent mothers will be given an opportunity to complete their formal secondary education and the system will also be used as a preventative measure whereby stakeholders will be sensitized to ensure that the policy is effective.Present at the launch of the policy framework document was the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) representative, Sylvie Fouet, who highlighted that Guyana is second on the list for the highest number of teenage mothers in the Caribbean and Latin America, with about 97 births for every 1000 teenage girls. It is also in close range with The Dominican Republic which tops he list.Some alarming statistics according to her reveal that, “Teen pregnancy is about 20 to 22 per cent or about one out of five teenage girls below the age of 19.”Among the 15 factors that lead to teenage pregnancies as highlighted in the study, it was revealed that some of them include school dropouts, lack of knowledge and difficult relationships with parents and family members, poverty, incest, exploitation and sexual abuse.During interactions with teen mothers, most of them had thoughts of illegal abortion and abandoning their newborn child.Meanwhile, Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson highlighted that unsuccessful attempts by the Education Ministry to bring awareness in the past could be blamed on the lack of a framework document to use as a guide when dealing with such situations.“A factor that must not be discounted is that many adolescent pregnancies maybe a consequence of forced sex, rather than consensual or risky sexual behaviour and therefore we have a responsibility to protect those girls.”Brief remarks were also given by Education Minister Nicolette Henry who noted that this is a way of modernising education in Guyana.“Teenage pregnancy is a complex issue which has multiple contributing factors that are common knowledge to many. It is a symptom of a bigger societal sickness. It is now just a health issue, but a development issue that is deep-rooted in poverty, gender inequality, violence, child forced marriages, and power imbalances between teenage girls and their partners,” she said.In 2015, some 3712 girls were reported pregnant while in 2016, a total of 3032 were recorded. In both cases, the age range was between 15 to19 years.
One of the beneficiaries of the W.R Goodwill Foundation outreach programmeThrough its foundation, the WR Goodwill Foundation, Curtains & Drapery Designs embarked on a back-to-school outreach programme which saw underprivileged children from several communities receiving school uniforms and supplies
Vendor’s murderThirty-two-year-old Roy Stanford of ‘A’ Field, Sophia, alleged mastermind in the shooting death of Bourda Market cheese vendor Troy Ramalho, committed on August 15 during the course of a robbery, was on Friday remanded to prison after being arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan on a charge of murder.Late last month, two other men who are also said to be implicated in the murder were remanded to jail.During Friday’s court hearing, taxi driver George Patron told the court he was not a part of the heinous crime that was committed, and that he was only a taxi driver who was hired to take the men to the location.The trio are expected to make their next court appearance on September 24.Reports are that, after the killing, Patron allegedly admitted to investigators that he had transported Morris and two other men to the scene of the robbery.The taxi driver reportedly told Police he had picked up the men at Stabroek, Georgetown, and they had asked him to drive to Robb Street, Georgetown.He claimed he was told to wait for the men to return, and was instructed to park on Alexander Street, between Regent Street and North Road.According to him, after the men had excited the vehicle, he heard gunshots, after which they came running towards the car. He reportedly told Police the following day he was given $40,000 by the men, who are known to him.
The recently elected Chairwoman of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence, during her inaugural address to that party’s General Council, called on party members to expand the support base of the party as they gear into campaign mode for the 2020 General Elections.According to a statement from that Party following its last General Council for 2018, Lawrence said the time was now for the PNCR to recharge and retool its base, “…no one must be left behind. Now is not the time for armchair service; now is the time to work the ground tirelessly and dutifully.”The PNCR General Council was held on Saturday at the party’s headquarters at Congress Place, Sophia, and was chaired by Lawrence, who also extended best wishes to its Leader, President David Granger, who is currently suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is expected to return to Cuba on Tuesday for follow-up treatment.Lawrence called on party leaders to re-engage and talk to party members and supporters, even if it means that the ministers and party leaders must get out of their offices and work within the communities. She called for programmes to be put in place to ensure this happens, since their services should be people- centred.The Chairwoman called on the party to embark on a massive membership drive to broaden and strengthen its base. She said, “We must be ready to fortify grass-roots democracy by playing a greater role in local government countrywide, and by providing solutions to rural and agrarian problems. With this, the party must be totally committed to enduring equality for all, and to protecting our citizens’ fundamental rights.”The Party Chairman iterated that the PNCR remains committed to achieving national unity and improving relations with all communities and groups, the statement related.Lawrence called on all ministers of the Government and party leaders to recommit themselves to service to the people, and promised that the Coalition Government would continue to work towards delivering a good life to all Guyanese.Meanwhile, PNCR General Secretary, Social Protection Minister Amna Ally, presented her report on the scope of work the party conducted over the last quarter. The focus of her report was mainly on membership, achievements, local government elections, projections, and other related party affairs.A panel discussion was also held on Budget 2019, and included Finance Minister Winston Jordan, Lawrence, Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan, Social Cohesion Minister Dr George Norton, and Education Minister Dr Nicolette Henry.The General Council, the second highest decision-making forum of the PNCR, meets once every quarter.While Lawrence called for unity and service to all during her maiden General Council address, she made a different comment just recently, when she told a PNCR Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) meeting that “…the only friends I got is PNC, so the only people I could give work to is PNC.”She has since received flack for her comment from all sections of society, and is yet to issue an apology or to defend the said statements. In fact, the PNCR issued a statement in which they indicated that Lawrence is committed to national unity.
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, and his daughter Danielle Harmon-Klien, on Sunday, at their annual Children’s Christmas Party, feted over 400 children drawn from communities on the West Bank Demerara. The activity was held in the West Demerara Secondary School’s auditorium.The children, coming from the communities of Phoenix Park, Pouderoyen, Best Village, Vreed-en- Hoop and Malgre Tout, among other communities, were delighted to receive Christmas presents and goodies.This year marks the 12th year that Minister Harmon and his family have hosted the Christmas party for children living in the Essequibo Islands-West Demerara Region (Three). Every year since its inception, the Christmas Party has grown, and it consequently can no longer be kept at the Minister’s Phoenix Park home.The Minister of State believes in giving back to the community, and he said he remains committed to contributing in a tangible way to the development of youths.He said that as a member of Government, there are both personal and professional considerations for children and young people, and he noted that the APNU+AFC Government would continue to invest in youths.Mrs Harmon-Klien, who is based in the United States, has said she looks forward to spending time with the children each year.Ten-year-old Alisha Moideen of Best Village said she is happy to have been invited to the party. Two other children, Ms. Zaynab Providence and Ms. Badieh Williams of Phoenix Park, each thanked the Deputy Regional Executive Officer of Region Three, Mrs Jenifer Ferreira- Dougal, as well as other regional officials, for having them attend the Christmas party.
On Friday, a combination of excitement, suspense and anticipation filled the atmosphere at the Stabroek Market Square, Georgetown, as GTT’s Christmas promotion’s four finalists competed against each other for the grand prize BMW X1, which comes with one-year free insurance and one year free super 95 gas from Guyoil.Families and supporters of the four finalists flooded the location to back their favourite contestant.Voting was the first leg of the competition, then Shameer Rahamut, Shinella Charles, Noel Fernandes and Sean Charles all battled through several obstacle challenges in the second leg of the competition to win the grand prize. The second leg of the competition comprised of Cake Eating, Dunk that Junk, Balloon blow up, Question and Answers on GTT’s Plus Sized promotion and a sing off battle.Quadrupling his competitors’ votes with help from the public, was Enterprise Gardens’, Noel Fernandes. He also scored ample points in the obstacle challenges which led to Fernandes emerging as the winner of GTT’s BMW X1.After being announced the winner of the BMW X1, Fernandes in full excitement said he was elated to be the victor of the competition. “I feel very deserving.I placed my best foot forward and this is the reward I am reaping now. I am just thankful to GTT for affording me such an opportunity and I promise to take good care of the vehicle and drive responsibly.” An overjoyed Fernandes drove off in his new BMW X1 with his wife and son who both shared his sentiments.Copping the second prize was Sean Charles from Agricola who took home $150,000. Stealing the crowd’s heart was Shinella Charles who placed third and took away $100,000, followed by Shameer Rahamut who walked away with $50,000.Partnering on the promotion with GTT was Guyoil who handed over one-year free supply of Super 95 Gas to the winner of the BMW X1.
…As school commissions computer labStudents of the Kwakwani Secondary School in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) are expected to have a wider knowledge of the technology field because that educational institution was recently gifted with 15 new computers and new air conditioners for the commissioning of its computer lab.A student of the Kwakwani Secondary School cutting the ribbon to officially open the Computer LabThe generous donation was made by Rahaman Razac of R. Razac Business Enterprise as part of his corporate social responsibility to the community’s development.Head teacher of the Secondary School, Pamela Adrian, in her brief remarks at the opening of the facility, expressed gratitude to the businessman, the Guyana Forestry Commission, and Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman for making the event possible.Adrian noted that the event is a “memorable moment” for the school, and she pointed out that the donation is evidence of Razac’s understanding of making technology an embraceable tool to use in classrooms. She said the hardware now allows students to experience the era of digital explosion and develop their minds.Minister Trotman, who graced the opening ceremony with his presence, expressed his satisfaction and happiness for the contributions made. He urged students present to properly care for and utilise the equipment received in ways which would aid in their educational development.“We are in the age of technology; computers are the new slate. I challenge you all to make use of this technology and take care of it. Leave the computers in good standing for those coming after you, and focus on your schoolwork and studies.” Trotman admonishedResidents of the community also commended the businessman for the donation, and noted that it would now assist the secondary school and the entire community, since most of the students would benefit.The Minister and the GFC expressed their continuous commitment to the educational development of youths of the community, and to Kwakwani’s overall development through the natural resources sector.
A Hadfield Street, Georgetown man is now left without a roof over his head after a fire completely ravaged his home just before midnight on Saturday.House owner Rudy Morgan said he was awakened by a crackling sound and intense heat on his body, and upon checking, saw that his Lot 47 Hadfield Street Lodge home was on fire.The man, who makes ornaments along Main Street Georgetown, was the lone occupant of the one-flat wooden house. He recalled that, before going to bed, he had lit a mosquito coil, which he surmised might have been the cause of the fire.“I was sleeping, I was on my bed…to tell you the truth, I got lil water under my house, so the mosquitoes were a lot. So I light two coils, and then I went to bed, went under my netting and went to sleep. When I sleeping, I feel the heat on my skin, so I jump up,” Morgan relayed.Rudy MorganThe man recounted that he quickly hopped out of bed and made attempts to douse the flames before the fire spread further, but this proved futile.“I run and I used some bottled water that I had to try and out the fire, but before I know it, the fire ran through half of my house,” he explained.Fearing for his safety, Morgan said, he exited the house and began calling on neighbours to alert them.The Fire Service was also called to the scene; however, by the time they arrived, the entire house was already burnt to the ground.The ornament-maker estimates his losses to be in excess of $1 million. He told this publication that all his craft items have been destroyed in the fire.“I had all of my ornaments that I does sell in here and outside, and everything burned. I lost my livelihood, because all the materials that I does use and so gone,” Morgan cried.Now homeless, the man is calling on the public to lend him assistance in rebuilding. He revealed that all the cash he had in his home has been lost in the fire.
A Guyanese woman has been remanded to a Trinidad prison after she reportedly behaved disorderly on a Trinidad-bound flight. Sylvanie Roxanne Shivnarine reportedly behaved in a disorderly manner on flight BW457, which left Guyana for Trinidad on Monday. According to a report from the T&T Newsday, upon arrival in the twin island Republic, the woman was taken off the flight by security officials. She was slapped with a charge which stated that on July 20, she behaved in a manner which caused annoyance to passengers on-board the flight. Shivnarine appeared before the Arima Magistrates’ First Court, but was not required to plea to the indictable charge. Magistrate Cheron Raphael remanded Shivnarine to prison, stating that bail could not be granted since she did not pass through Trinidad’s immigration after she was taken off the flight. However, according to the news report, she is expected to be processed by immigration shortly. Shivanrine is expected to make her second Court appearance on Thursday. As the Guyanese woman was being taken away from Court, she was weeping uncontrollably.
A section of the students during the interactive sessionA number of students attached to the Upper Corentyne Industrial Training Centre (UCITC) were given insight on the country’s rapidly emerging oil and gas industry during an interactive session. The teens were lectured on the potential impact and transformation it will have on the economy.Office Manager at the Energy Department Sharon Patterson explained that through these interactive sessions, the aim is to improve the level of awareness about the oil and gas sector and what it has to offer, especially to young persons.“We want to be able to provide information and sensitise persons, regardless if it’s young people, the RDC, or religious groups. We want to provide information on the sector and what it offers. Additionally, we want to make persons aware of the opportunities that exist within and beyond the sector, benefits that can be derived and our aim is to provide an opportunity for participants to directly be involved in the discussions of oil and gas,” Patterson noted.Further, she said that at the end of 2018, more than 54 per cent of persons directly employed in the oil and gas sector were Guyanese, with plans for that figure to increase to 75 per cent by the end of 2020.These interactive sessions seek to educate a large number of Guyanese, as scores of Berbicians were also sensitised earlier this year on the multiplier effect of the new sector. This session was, however, hosted by Head of the Department of Energy Dr Mark Bynoe.During this recent session, Bynoe explained that the sector will be managed through recruitment and instructional strengthening, the revision of the legal framework, and partnering with other agencies, while informing that the right policies will be established to assist with managing the sector.In March of 2019, 24 Guyanese operations and maintenance technicians had joined the US oil giant, ExxonMobil, while another 50 technicians will commence recruitment in early 2020.
By Devina SamarooPresident David Granger has completely disregarded calls made by the Alliance For Change (AFC) for the powers entrusted to Minister of State Joseph Harmon to be reduced, noting that his duties and responsibilities are not at all too burdensome.The AFC, the smaller partner in the A Partnership for National Unity/AFC coalition Government, believes that too much authority has been given to Minister Harmon.In this regard, the party called for Harmon’s powers to be trimmed. The AFC had explained that the concentration of the powers of the office of the Cabinet Secretary, the Minister of State in the Ministry of the Presidency and the effective Head of the Presidential Secretariat in a single person is a matter of concern and that in fact, the powers should be separated.Responding to these demands, President Granger appeared to be in full support of the duties and responsibilities assigned to Minister Harmon.“I don’t think that they are so burdensome that he cannot take all three responsibilities. I am standing by the duties which were assigned to him last May and this is what we have been working with for the last 11 months and this is what was explained to the Cabinet retreat in January,” the President said.He also posited that he was surprised that the AFC now seemed to find fault in the distribution of duties and responsibilities among Cabinet members.“We had a retreat of the Cabinet earlier this year and we put out a very clear statement on the responsibilities of all 14 Ministers and the Ministry of the Presidency. So there is a book and it is stated, and nobody made any objections to the duties which were assigned to the Minister of State then and it would be surprising that after two months, people feel that the duties are being misused or they need to be trimmed,” he explained.Notwithstanding his firm position in defence of Minister Harmon, the President said the matter would be extensively discussed when Cabinet meets today.“I have to wait to find out from our colleagues what they actually mean, but as far as I am concerned, there is no overburdening of the Ministry and I don’t see what powers they need to be reduced,” he stated.
BY UTAMU BELLEOver 200 workers under the Community Infrastructure Improvement Project (CIIP) in Linden have been issued termination letters, to facilitate the rehiring of about 50 less workers under a “superior contract”.This newspaper understands that approximately 300 persons from both Wismar and Mackenzie, Linden were initially on the programme, however under the superior contract which is expected to take shape sometime next month, only 250 would be hired. This has created some amount of disagreement by some workers, who are at odds with the decision.Speaking on the issue, Linden Town Clerk Jenella Bowen explained that the programme which is conducted through the municipality of the Linden Mayor and Town Council (LM&TC) has undergone some restructuring, based on agreement with the Ministry of Communities.Region 10 Chairman Renis Morian“There were several discussions between the Ministry of Communities and the CIIP project. PS (Permanent Secretary) is aware and all the other players from the ministry, as it relates to this project. A decision was made where we would have 250 persons working instead of 300 persons…we would have started with Mackenzie, having termination contracts for the persons on Mackenzie. So what happens is that the entire CIIP programme will be restructured based on the Council’s agreement. Everyone will be terminated and then people will be rehired. There were 300 persons on, but now we have to bring that figure down to 250”, the Town Clerk indicated.She added that the decision was based on an agreement with the Ministry of Communities, which was embraced by the Council.Bowen further stated that some workers had agreed to uplift their termination letters and that all were terminated to facilitate the rehiring process in both “fairness and justice”. The workers, she noted, were given a one month notice of their termination.Bowen said workers under the programme will continue working 4 hours per day, for 16 days in this month for the usual payment of $12,500. However, come September 5, when the re-established work process commences, the work time will be 8 hours per day, for eight days and the payment increased to $25,000. NIS would also be deducted, according to Bowen.Linden Town Clerk Jenella Bowen“So instead of working 16 days it is 8 days, 8 hours a day…I think that the system can work. I think that it’s for the betterment of the community. I will embrace it. Many of the persons from what I know are single parents. Many of them mothers, and for that I am grateful…and I know the Council will also embrace the project”, the town clerk said.Regional Chairman wants letters rescindedMeanwhile, Region 10 (Upper Demerara- Berbice) Chairman Renis Morian has called for the letters of termination to be rescinded, since he noted it has created a lot of uncertainty and uneasiness among the workers who depend on the project for a living. He said the decision was not made in “fairness” and proper consultation should have been made to prepare the workers for the changes to come.“You have people in Region 10 who are unemployed, who are doing the CIIP work. So you have a contract that for whatever reason, you’re pulling this contract because it is alleged that you have framed a superior contract. You’re pulling this contract now and there’s a long uncertainty period. I’m saying, pull back the letters. When you’re ready with your new contracts, call the people…I’m saying to the Minister of Communities and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communities that those letters should be withdrawn…you don’t just pull a contract and leave a man hanging in the air and you know a man was earning…it has to be discussed with them and they agree…”, Morian stated.The regional chairman said he hopes that good sense will prevail regarding the issue. He recently stated that he was given all assurance by the minister that this will be done.
With optimism high about oil and gas production in Guyana being inevitable and much talk about the tremendous economic benefit this can bring to Guyana, many may be disappointed to learn that, according to sources, the country will receive less than 12 per cent of oil revenue when production starts within the next few years.According to sources, Guyana’s chunk of any oil revenue was pegged at less than 12 per cent. ExxonMobil anticipates it will begin pumping oil by 2020 – about 100,000 barrels per day in the initial stages.The Government was expected to renegotiate the exploration contract with ExxonMobil, but what is not known is if this 12 per cent is what was agreed to initially when this contact was inked 17 years ago or what was derived from the renegotiation process.When contacted, Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman said he was travelling in an emailed response and did not respond to Guyana Times’ follow-up email for a comment on the issue.In July, Finance Minister Winston Jordan had insisted that he requested a review of the contract with ExxonMobil, since this was Government’s way of ensuring that Guyana got the best possible deal from the extraction of oil when production began.“At the end of the day… you have to say whether we are doing what is best for the interest of the national population and I can tell you we are indeed doing that. A 2009 agreement or 2006 agreement or whenever the agreement was originally made was at a time when there was no discovery of anything, now there is oil,” Minister Jordan had said.While there has been much talk from the Government about the potential of oil revenues to transform Guyana, there has been very little information on what exactly is the Government’s share of the earnings.Already Guyanese were told not to expect too many jobs in the oil and gas industry here, as most of the jobs will be for foreigners with the requisite expertise.On May 20, 2015, ExxonMobil announced a significant oil discovery in the Stabroek Block with its Liza 1 well hitting more than 295 feet of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. Then, there was a second announcement in June 2016 that the drilling results from the Liza 2 well, the second exploration well in the Stabroek Block, located some 120 miles offshore Guyana, confirmed a “world-class discovery” of oil with a recoverable resource of between 800 million and 1.4 billion oil-equivalent barrels. Exxon’s Liza 3 well was spud last month and that result is expected in coming weeks.ExxonMobil Corp was recently fined a whopping US$74 billion for underpaying royalties in the central African nation of Chad where the company has been drilling for 15 years.According to international reports on the mega fine by Chad courts, the amount is about five times more than that country’s Gross Domestic Product, which the World Bank estimates at US$13 billion. The High Court in the capital, N’Djamena, announced its ruling on October 5 in response to a complaint from the Chad Finance Ministry that a consortium led by ExxonMobil had not met its tax obligations. The court also demanded the Texas-based oil giant pay US$819 million in overdue royalties.
A teenager has become Guyana’s latest road fatality after he reportedly rode into the path of a minibus on Tuesday evening at Diamond, East Bank Demerara (EBD).Mark McCoy, 14, of Lot 561 Cinema Street, Diamond, EBD, was pronounced dead about an hour after arriving at the Diamond Diagnostic Centre.He reportedly sustained severe head injuries following the collision which occurred at about 18:30h.Reports are a minibus bearing registration plates BVV 989 was heading to Timehri, EBD, whilst the pedal cyclist was proceeding in the opposite direction. He was reportedly towing a male on the handle of the pedal cycle when he reportedlyDead: Mark Mc Coyswerved into the path of the minibus.The other teenager, who was sitting on the handle managed to jump off before Mc Coy slammed into the minibus.As a result of the impact, Mc Coy fell onto the roadway and was rushed to the nearby medical facility in an unconscious state but died soon afterwards.The driver of the minibus, a 46-year-old man of Kaneville, EBD, was taken into Police custody and a breathalyser test was conducted but there were no alcohol recorded in his system.When Guyana Times visited the teen’s home on Wednesday, his mother, Pamela Mc Coy was being comforted by relatives. She explained that she was at home when she received a telephone call informing her that the young man was involved in an accident.She related as she rushed out to go to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre, two Police ranks were at her door enquiring about the teen’s relatives. Again, she was informed by the ranks that her son was seriously injured following an accident. Without hesitation, she rushed to the medical facility where she saw her son laying on a stretcher.“I see he on the stretcher and blood was coming out his mouth… soon after they tell me that he didn’t make it,” the woman added. She however recalled that her son left home to accompany a friend to take his grandmother’s dinner and that was the last time she saw him alive.The aggrieved mother noted that her son attended the Dolphin Second School and was at school on Tuesday. She said that he was a well mannered and disciplinedThe bus that was involved in the accidentchild who did not give her any trouble.“I was at his school today (Wednesday) and when I told them of his demise, they started to cry… the teachers and students and the people who he normally buys lunch from,” she cried.Meanwhile, a close family friend told Guyana Times that the Police are yet to locate the bicycle and the other teenager, who was with McCoy when the accident occurred. She explained that there were a lot of eyewitnesses but no one came forward to provide information to the Police when they arrived at the scene.The driver remains in Police custody and is assisting with the investigations. The teenager leaves to mourn his mother and three other siblings. His father passed away just over a year ago. (Bhisham Mohamed)
The 21-year-old woman who was living with the self-confessed Black Bush Polder murderer said she did not know that he murdered his wife, but confessed that she was wearing the dead woman’s clothing.Following the arrest of the couple after a missing person’s report was filed at the Whim Police Station on Wednesday, Uma-Davie Nathoo told investigators that she knew “nothing of the crime” and was in disbelief that it had even taken place.Dead: Lilwantie BalackUma-Davie NathooWhen the remains of the body were unearthed, thereby confirming the victim’s demise, this young woman maintained her innocence. “He (partner) can’t put me in that one!” she said. “I wasn’t there! He will have to face it!” she told the Police.The young woman was on Friday evening released from custody on $25,000 station bail after Police were convinced that she was not a participant in the crime. Her paramour’s relatives paid the bail.That same Friday was when the skeletal remains of Wilwantie Balack, also called “Darling”, 39, of Mibicuri North, Black Bush Polder, Corentyne, were dug up from a grave at the back of her yard in the agricultural community. Balack had gone missing in September last year, and her husband had repeatedly told their children that his wife had migrated to the USA. The woman had been last seen by her children on September 3, 2016.At approximately 11:30h on Friday, her remains were found in a four-foot grave about 120 metres behind the family’s house. Relatives had been searching for her since September 6, the day it is believed she was killed. Her 21-year-old daughter, Dharshni Davi Balack, said her father had given them conflicting information about the whereabouts of their mother, telling the three children that she was in the USA and other relatives that she was in living in different parts of the country.Suspicion grew as no phone calls were received from Wilwantie; and her husband, 43-year-old Sunildat Balack, also called “Red Man”, brought the 21-year-old woman to live with him. The three Balack children soon discovered that their father’s new partner was wearing their mother’s wedding band.Speaking with <
… blames development officers for mismanagementThe Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministry is unable to properly account for all of its assets and resources distributed across the regions, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, as a result of lapses in the procurement, fiscal management and accountability laws and obligatory regulations – a situation that has reached alarming proportions.Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministry Permanent Secretary, Alfred King made the startling disclosure when he was joined by Indigenous People’s Affairs Minister Sidney Allicock and Minster within the Ministry, Valerie Gariddo-Lowe for the opening of a two-day meeting of the Ministry’s Community Development Officers (CDO).He told the CDOs gathered at Moray House, they also contribute to the mismanagement in the system. Pointing out the situation recently unearthed at the Ministry, through its various mechanism and outlying offices and unit, the Permanent Secretary said it has been failing to accurately account for resources that have been distributed.According to King, recent queries were undertaken by the Ministry that focuses on compliance with the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act and Guyana Procurement Laws among other standards.In making the disclosure, King said it was “only two days I was spending over three and half hours trying to not ramble but go through thoroughly, what is the assessment of the Ministry’s performance by the FMA standard by the Stores Regulation standard, by the Procurement Act standards and what we found is quite alarming in some cases.”According to the recently appointed Permanent Secretary, “there are queries as it relates to the Ministry not being able to account accurately and efficiently for the distribution of its assets and resources to support the community’s work.”He lamented this to be a most distressing, since on further investigations it was discovered that there are several gaps existing in the system, in addition to other breakdowns in the governance mechanisms.“What we found was that there were gaps as it relates to people who should be involved and persons who should be taking action to correct those deficiencies.”King said the Ministry has since taken cognisance of the existing gaps in the Indigenous Affairs Ministry’s operations. He highlighted too, “lots of parallel operations… things are happening and people are operating in silos when in fact we should be operating at one Ministry.”Permanent Secretary Alfred KingThe Ministry’s Permanent Secretary used the occasion of the two-day meet to challenge the CDOs in the formulation of strategies on the way forwards, to bring to fore and address the sore issues plaguing the Ministry such as outstanding liabilities.“I want to see you come up with a plan for us to reduce all those liabilities that we have out there.”DebtsBemoaning the point, the Permanent Secretary pointed to the Ministry’s solicitation of the services in various communities, such as with the Uniform Assistance Programme where persons are employed to construct the garments.“After a year and two sometimes we still owe the people out there…We operate an annual budget, that is a financial year from January to December and therefore we should not be talking about operationalising the previous year’s budget for five and six months into a new year, something is fundamentally wrong with that and must be changed.”Lamenting other woes being experienced by the Ministry and departments such as the CDO’s, King pointed to the Hinterland Employment Youth Service (HEYS) with some 1800 persons enlisted across the country –many of whom have since begun complaining.He regaled the objectives of the project which could ultimately lead youth employment and self-empowerment King chided the CDOs saying “if you are out there and you not part of this whole process of trying to empower young people then you are not really with the Ministry.”King was adamant the CDOs should take a more proactive role in engaging the HEYS and similar programmes targeting hinterland regions.“You are supposed to be ensuring that you help to coordinate and manage the mobilisation for these young people for monthly payments of their stipends, we are still getting reports that we are taking too long to get out there, that’s difficult to conceptualise if we know that we have ongoing presence on the ground,” according to King.He said “you can understand how frustrating it can be from time to time when we get these types of reports.” King was adamant during his interaction with the CDOs “If you don’t like what you do, best thing is to get out of it.”RelationshipsSpeaking to the importance of the CDOs and their relationship to the Ministry, King at the onset announced that the meetings will no longer be held annually.“You are regular staff and this should be statutory engagements where you are given policy directives,” in addition to performance reviews and evaluations.King said the meetings will in future be held with a quarterly arrangement “where you work closely with all the units in the Ministry to execute their works.”Community Development Officers attached to the Ministry are posted with the majority being located in Regions One (Barima-Waini), Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Nine (Upper Takatu-Upper Essequibo) while one officer is tasked with responsibility for the coastal Amerindian communities.The meeting was organised by the Ministry’s Department of Community Development and Governance.
Guyana will have a new acting Appeal Court Judge in the person of Attorney, Dr Arif Bulkan.Bulkan is expected to officially be sworn-in by President David Granger today at State House, according to the Ministry of the Presidency. Bulkan is the nephew of Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan.Dr Arif BulkanHe is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine with specialisation in constitutional law and Caribbean human rights law, among others.Previously he served as Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Law from 2013 to 2016.He also co-founded the Faculty of Law UWI Rights Advocacy Project at the Cave Hill campus, which is a group of law professors who engage in litigation and advocacy aimed at promoting human rights.He is the recipient of the 2017 Anthony N Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence in Public and Civic contributions.Bulkan practiced law in Guyana (1990-2004) and also served as a member of the Board of Directors of Transparency Institute Guyana Incorporated, a local chapter of Transparency International from 2011 to 2015.He received his legal education from the Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in Canada, University College London in the UK, and the UWI.
Games canclled due to rain will not be rescheduled.As for Wednesday’s set of games, there is no word yet as to if games will commence, as organizers prefer to cancel games one day at a time.Moose FM will report if Wednesday’s games will take place or not.- Advertisement –
In Male T2T 12, Matthew Mitchell received Gold. Emerson Bigras also participated in this category but, after a good effort, was unable to grab a medal.Sidney Bennie picked up Gold in Female T2T 13.In the Male T2T, Nicholas Guliov won Gold and Dakotah Ruel, of Dawson Creek, won Silver. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The 2019 B.C. Long Track Championships were held in Fort St. John over the weekend.127 skaters participated in this year’s Long Track Championship, with 12 clubs being represented from across B.C.Long Track Skaters from the Fort St. John Elks Speed Skating Club had a good performance at the Championships.- Advertisement -In the L2T B Male category, Kallum Dunn won Gold.Austin MacGregor received Iron in L2T A Male.Emma North won Gold and Cheyanne Key won Bronze in Female T2T 12.Advertisement
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Local Paralympic athlete, Bo Hedges, and the Canadian Men’s Wheelchair Basketball team are currently on their way to reaching gold at the 2019 ParaPan Am Games in Lima, Peru.On Wednesday, the Canadian Men were playing against Peru in the quarterfinals, a game in which Canada ended up winning 78 to 31 over Peru.The undefeated Canadians, which sit at a standing of 4-0, will now face Colombia in the semifinals on Friday.- Advertisement -The winner of that game will move on to play in the gold medal final and is guaranteed a spot at next year’s Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Fort St. John RCMP are reminding drivers to be cautious as winter weather approaches.Last Friday, local RCMP and Peace Region Traffic Services executed a 24-hour crackdown on bad driving in and around Fort St. John. The team issued numerous tickets for speeding, running stop signs and not wearing seat belts.RCMP also took six impaired drivers off the road over the 24-hour initiative, including an impaired 19-year-old male with eight intoxicated passengers. That driver had a blood alcohol reading of twice the legal limit.- Advertisement -Police ask anyone who sees a vehicle operating in a dangerous manner to note the license plate, the direction of travel and a vehicle description in order to better assist the RCMP.The Fort St. John detachment also thanks local drivers who practice safe driving, saying their efforts do not go unnoticed by RCMP.
WIND CHILL WARNING ISSUED For Fort St John BY ENVIRONMENT CANADABULLETIN ISSUED AT: 10.01 AM PST WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2009BRISK WINDS COMBINED WITH COLD TEMPERATURES ARE PRODUCING VERY COLD WIND CHILL OF MINUS 40 TO MINUS 45. THIS IS A WARNING THAT EXTREME WIND CHILL CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING IN THESE REGIONS. MONITOR WEATHER CONDITIONS..LISTEN FOR UPDATED STATEMENTS.- Advertisement –
Gies says even if he doesn’t win, he will continue pursuing a singing career. He entered the competition after his mother’s coworker suggested that he should.[asset|aid=1491|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=b9748c4664b447e11e2e743c3a644962-Geis 2_1_Pub.mp3]The winner gets to travel to Nashville, Tennessee, with a chance to visit the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame.The winner also receives two demo recordings at Powersound Recording Studios in Edmonton.Advertisement A local youth is one of five contestants left in the Global Country Star Search.18 year old Justin Gies is the only male contestant left in the competition. Gies says that is making him nervous.[asset|aid=1490|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=4ca403bf415f4d5041bfd1724aba3342-Geis 1_1_Pub.mp3]- Advertisement -Gies will be singing “Proud of the House We Built” by Brooks and Dunn.The five contestants will be performing with a live band at the Winspear Centre in Edmonton. Those in the audience get to vote on their favorite singer, and a winner will be chosen live on June 15th.Meanwhile, Gies is the only contestant from British Columbia. He lived most of his life in Fort St. John, but relocated to Taylor with his family several years ago.Advertisement
Just enter all your info after Clicking Here. The draw will take place Friday June 26th at 7:50am on Moose FM with Kelly Doiron. Moose FM and Transport Honda are giving you one last chance to win the Honda CRV.- Advertisement – You could win a one year lease on this Honda CRV. All this year Moose FM has taken entries any time we’ve been on location around Fort St. John. Since we don’t have any more on locations scheduled between now and the draw date on June 26th….we thought we’d give you one last chance online. The Honda CRV is brought to you by Transport Honda, Graphx Signs and Auto Designs and Moose FM.
The financial statements are out for Fort St. John City employees and elected officials for 2008.City employees salaries totaled just over $9,644,000. As for elected officials, the total came to more than $185,000.Former City Manager John Locher, who was fired in June of 2007, received just over $141,000 as a promised severance package.- Advertisement -Now, last year, former Mayor Jim Eglinski spent just under $7,000 for expenses, like out-of-town conferences. Since January 2009, Mayor Lantz has spent just over $11,000 for conferences in various parts of BC and Alberta.Meanwhile, wages for three firefighters varied from $128,000 thousand to $147,000.To see a full copy of the statement, click on the attachment below.Advertisement
Larson says the current team will be joined by the likes of Tyler Brough, Ryan Carter, and Ryan Manitowich. He says a few players from the affiliated Dawson Creek Senior Canucks are likely to factor in, including Adam Loncan, Dustin Kersey, Rod Branch, Blair Lefebvre, and Chris Stevens. He says Mark Woolf has moved to Toronto, leaving him out of the picture, though Fort St. John native Mike Hofstrand is still on the radar.As mentioned last week, star-defenceman Kip Noble has joined Dawson Creek for the rest of the season, in what the Flyers brass are calling a mutual agreement. Larson expects to see Noble in the Flyers lineup when they host Augustana College, and for other exhibition series’ leading up to the Allan Cup. Larson and Adam Brash both say the move will let Noble play more games, and help out the Senior Canucks in the process.Brash also doesn’t seem too concerned about the impact of not having Noble around for practice and regular NPHL games. “He knows what to do. He’s one of those coachable guys that gets it” Brash says. “He doesn’t necessarily need to be instructed at practice, except for just playing with the guys … And he’s used to the guys.” Brash also points out the team now has four strong defencemen to work the powerplay, meaning Noble himself isn’t as vital to the team’s success.One of those defencemen is Gerard Dicaire, who just rejoined the team, after a one-year absence. The former AHL blue-liner says his own preparations are coming along, as he gets back into the flow of competitive hockey. “Slowly” he laughs. “The timing is slowly coming back to me, and I’ve just got to drop a few pounds and get skating and working out a little bit more.” The Flyers have also added Andrew Derton, who in eight games, is now tied with rookie Adam Horst for the lead in team scoring (19 pts in 8 games).Advertisement As the calendar flips over to 2010, the Fort St. John Flyers officially begin the most exciting year in the team’s history.In April, the Flyers host the Allan Cup, meaning they will be playing in the National Championship for the first time.So, how is the team progressing towards its ultimate goal of winning the national championship?- Advertisement -For Coach Adam Brash, the question has two parts. “I believe we have the player personnel that we need to win a championship. We’ve filled the gap … defensively and offensively.” But, Brash says his team’s performance hasn’t been where it needs to be. He says it’s a question of commitment, in a fundamental kind of way. [asset|aid=2319|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=71d35a5e01af09cec7ba4dbdeb6fb904-Brash-committment_1_Pub.mp3]Flyers G-M Rob Larson is also concerned about his team’s focus. After a loss to Grande Prairie on Dec. 18th, Larson said his team was overconfident, and not taking NPHL games seriously enough. [asset|aid=2320|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=71d35a5e01af09cec7ba4dbdeb6fb904-rob-lolligaggers_1_Pub.mp3]In terms of the January 10th deadline, Larson says he doesn’t have any big changes to mention as of yet.Advertisement Van Nostrand says TSN representatives were quite content with the North Peace Arena on their pre-Allan Cup visit. The plan is now to install a low-emissivity ceiling at the arena just before the Allan Cup, as well as a platform for TSN’s broadcast team and a couple of cameras.He says the Flyers are still waiting to get the City’s permission to hold a beer-garden during the Allan Cup, and provided there are no problems, the area will be on the Southeast corner of the arena (opposite to last time). Van Nostrand says ticket sales are now underway, and he encourages hockey fans to get their tickets as soon as possible. He says the ticket packages currently on sale are a much better deal than single tickets, so it’s worthwhile to get them early.After two weeks off over the holidays, the Flyers kick of January against Augustana College on January 2nd and 3rd. Adam Brash says the series will be an important test for Fort St. John. “They’re going to be conditioned properly. They skate every day, and they’re a college hockey team” he says, adding “They’re going to be fast, they’re going to play their systems.” Brash says it might also be the kick in the pants the Flyers need. “I think these guys are going to get a wake-up call.” Rob Larson says he expects most of the Flyers and some affiliate players will be around for the series, meaning the Flyers will probably dress some different players for each game.Tickets for the exhibition series against Augustana are available at Ernie’s Sports Experts, in the Totem Mall. Noble and Derton, along with Donny Lloyd and Dicaire give the Flyers two exceptional powerplay pairings, something that was missing in their McKenzie Cup loss to Bentley last season.As far as the Savage Cup goes, Larson says Hockey B.C. has a deadline of January 12th to decide when and where the Savage Cup will be held. He says there will be three teams involved (Fort St. John, Powell River, and Whitehorse) likely in the same format as when the Flyers first won the event (against Powell River and Trail) in 2007. Of course, it’s not just the team that is preparing for the Allan Cup. Members of the Flyers executive and Allan Cup Committee have been working tirelessly to make sure everything is ready for when Fort St. John hosts the big event.Flyers President Paul Van Nostrand says preparations continue, and he says the pieces are starting to fall in to place. [asset|aid=2321|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=71d35a5e01af09cec7ba4dbdeb6fb904-PaulV.N.-AllanCup_2_Pub.mp3]He says the Flyers organization is around ‘65-70’ per cent of the way to achieving its fundraising goals, and he hopes to hit the target in January.Advertisement
Hero Caribbean Premier League…The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) welcomed eZone as its official logistics partner for the 2018 tournament.Evin Lewis hit a 19-ball 50 in the 2017 edition of the Hero CPLThe 2018 event takes place between August 8 and September 16 and will be contested in seven countries. The services that eZone offers are a vital part of being able to deliver a world-class entertainment product.eZone will be presenting the player who scores the fastest 50 of the 2018 tournament with a prize of US$5000. Last year’s winner was Evin Lewis of the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots who made his half-century in 19 balls on his way to 97 not out against Barbados Tridents.Paul Pantin of eZone said, “We are thrilled to be continuing our partnership with the Hero CPL for the second year. Connecting the Caribbean through logistics is what we do best and we look forward to bringing our expertise and support to the CPL team once again.”Speaking of the second year of the deal, Barrie Corcoran, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Hero CPL said, “The logistical challenges involved in moving six teams of players and support staff, camera crew and CPL staff between seven nation states are massive. eZone showed us last year with their professionalism and ability to solve problems that they are a huge asset to the tournament.”
“They tried this last year,” said Mattel spokeswoman Lauren Dougherty, “but Barbie is still the number one fashion theme doll for the year in the United States and worldwide.” So who is the real princess? Neither, according to Alison Marek, the managing editor of TD monthly, a specialty toy trade magazine. “As far as (my readers) are concerned, neither Bratz or Barbie is the number one doll because they don’t want their kids playing with them,” she said. “A lot of parents would prefer that their kids find something that reflects their own peer group.” But the competition is healthy. “If somebody is breathing down your neck,” Marek said, “you need to think of the next thing.” [email protected] (818) 713-3735 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Let the catfight begin. If the toy industry is one big popularity contest, Barbie and Bratz are wrestling over the queen’s crown. Both claimed Monday to be the fashionable doll that has won the hearts – and purses – of little girls. The dueling claims are the latest in a drawn-out battle between the two doll makers that has included lawsuits, counter-lawsuits and backhanded gossip about the dolls. Both Mattel, which makes Barbie, and MGA Entertainment, which makes Bratz, can say they are number one by touting different statistics from the NPD Group, a market research firm. If you look at sales from the last three months of 2006 in the United States, Bratz reigns. After trailing in Barbie’s taller, thinner shadow for years, Bratz elbowed Barbie out of the way with 34 percent of sales in the fourth quarter, said Isaac Larian, head of MGA in Van Nuys. Mattel declined to disclose Barbie’s market share for the same period. “For the whole year they were just a little bit higher than us,” Larian said. “For the past seven years we have not been able to beat them. But we finally beat them.” Larian expects Bratz’s lead to last because January sales of the dolls increased by double digits. But Bratz’s lead disappears if you step back and examine sales from the entire year. Then, Barbie is the favorite.
A front-page item Tuesday incorrectly identified Penelope Cruz’s nomination for an Academy Award. She has been nominated for Best Actress for her performance in “Volver.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Retailers boosted inventories by 0.3 percent. That reflected gains in many categories but declines at auto dealers. Manufacturers raised inventories by 0.1 percent. The latest reports provide fresh figures showing that the economy was not performing as well as previously thought at the turn of the year. Analysts said the slowdown in retail sales in January was not too worrisome given that it followed a 1.2 percent surge in December sales. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at a new high. The Dow closed up 87.01 points at a new record of 12,741.86. It was the 28th record close since the start of October. A string of weaker-than-expected numbers is causing economists to reduce their estimates for overall growth, as measured by the gross domestic product, for the final three months of last year. They now believe that the GDP was growing at an annual rate of just 2.5 percent, a full percentage point below the government’s initial estimate of 3.5 percent GDP growth in the final quarter of 2006. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – Retail sales, hurt by a big drop in auto purchases, slowed at the start of the year and business inventories turned in the poorest showing in 17 months. The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that retail sales essentially were flat in January, the poorest performance since a 0.2 percent decline in October. Business inventories, the department said, basically were unchanged in December at $1.37 trillion, $147 million less than in November. It was the weakest showing for inventories since they fell by 0.4 percent in July 2005. The inventory report included a 0.5 percent plunge in stockpiles held by wholesalers.
Goalie Tracy Boekestein made 11 saves and Valley Christian coach Kim Looney praised the play of senior sweeper Ashlyn Bolt. The Crusaders reached their first semifinal since 2005, when they played in the Division V final. Hamilton 2, San Pedro 1 Freshman midfielder Cassie Conlin put the Pirates (18-8) ahead in the 17th minute, but the Yankees (14-2-1) rallied in the second half in an L.A. City Section Championship Division quarterfinal matchup at Hamilton High. Conlin scored on a pass from teammate Alyssa Mullenhour, who notched her 20th assist of the season. It proved all for naught when Hamilton’s Brittany Robertson scored twice in the second half to secure the win. Boys basketball Ashley Haagsma’s unassisted goal in the 34th minute was the difference as the Valley Christian High girls soccer team eliminated South Torrance, 1-0, in a CIF Southern Section Division V quarterfinal game Thursday. The win advanced the Crusaders (17-8-3) to next week’s Division V semifinals. Bell 72, University 50 Senior guard Josue Barrientos scored 17 points to help lift the top-seeded Eagles (20-6) to a L.A. City Section Invitational Division win over the Trojans. Barrientos hit three 3-pointers and grabbed six rebounds while point guard Ivan Zapeda added 16 points to help Bell overcome a six-point first quarter deficit. The Eagles hit on 20 of 26 free throws including seven late makes by Zapeda to put the game away. Bell will next face 11th-seeded Hamilton on March 3 at the L.A. Sports Arena in the championship game. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
The two men could not immediately be reached for comment. Arraignment was not immediately set. Reid could be sentenced to as much as five years and eight months in prison if convicted on all counts, while Nelson faces up to seven years and eight months, said Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Bodies donated to the university were supposed to be used for medical study and research. Prosecutors said that instead, Reid made $43,000 by selling remains to Nelson, who operated Empire Anatomical Co. Nelson, in turn, made more than $1 million by selling hundreds of body parts to more than 20 private medical, pharmaceutical and hospital research companies. The men allegedly tried to hide the scheme by creating false forms indicating Nelson had authority to receive the body parts. A former UCLA official and an associate were arrested Wednesday on charges that they illegally sold parts of bodies donated for research in a scheme that produced more than $1 million in profits. After years of investigation by campus police, Henry Reid, 57, former director of the Willed Body Program, was arrested at his Anaheim home. Associate Ernest Nelson, 49, was taken into custody in Rancho Cucamonga. Norman Abrams, acting chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a statement that the school “appreciates the patience exhibited by the families of donors” during the probe. A criminal complaint filed Monday charged that between May 7, 1999, and Feb. 26, 2004, Reid and Nelson conspired to defraud UCLA for personal gain, a prosecution statement said. The scheme began to unravel in 2003, prosecutors said, after a state health investigator became concerned about a sale to a La Jolla company and contacted the university. Reid then asked Nelson to return some body parts and Nelson did so but told UCLA that he was going to sue. That prompted a UCLA audit, prosecutors said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Hampton was taking batting practice Wednesday at the Braves’ complex while the team was playing the Detroit Tigers in nearby Lakeland. He fell to the ground in pain after a swing, prompting fears that he broke a rib. X-rays were negative and team doctors determined that he strained his left oblique, still a serious injury for a pitcher. Major League Baseball announced its $700 million, seven-year agreement with DirecTV and said the deal contains a provision that allows its “Extra Innings” package of out-of-market games to remain on cable television if the other incumbent providers agree to match the terms. Around the horn Frank Thomas made his first appearance for the Toronto Blue Jays, going 1-for-3 with an RBI in a “B” game against the Phillies. “I prefer to start late like this because you know what you’re doing out there,” said Thomas, who signed an $18.12 million, two-year contract. “You’ve had enough BP, enough cage work to know what you’re doing out there.” Mike Hampton’s comeback took a major blow. And, no, it has nothing to do with his reconstructed elbow. The Atlanta Braves left-hander injured his left side during batting practice, of all things, and won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Hampton, starting the seventh season of a $121 million, eight-year contract, will miss the rest of spring training and could be out as long as two months. The Braves had been counting on him to bolster a rotation that includes John Smoltz, Tim Hudson and Chuck James. “I think I pulled it pretty bad,” Hampton said Thursday. “There’s nothing you can do about it now except try to get it healed up and get it better.” Outfielder Jody Gerut was released by the Pittsburgh Pirates after nearly two years of inactivity due to a knee injury. St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Kinney needs elbow ligament-replacement surgery and will likely miss the entire season. Kinney was a top candidate for setup relief pitcher this year. He first tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching forearm one year ago. Team physician Dr. George Paletta said Thursday the torn ligament has grown increasingly worse. The torn ligament in Kinney’s right arm should be surgically replaced with a tendon from his left wrist, Paletta said. Kinney’s recovery should take about 10 months. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
TODAY will likely be a challenge to many people who find their computers, PDAs and clocks stuck in the past. One hour in the past. It’s no Y2K-like horror – at least one hopes – but it will surely cause some headaches and minor glitches as we struggle to adjust our technology to an earlier-than-normal spring time change. In 2005, Congress decided to extend daylight to save energy costs. The change will come three weeks earlier and last one week later in the fall. The net gain is hours and hours, but technology is all programmed for a different time change. The move is expected to reduce energy costs as well as give Americans more daylight at the tail of the day – when we need it the most. The days of up-with-the-dawn jobs are, for most of us, over. Yes, this sure is to come with some bumps, but the benefit is sunshine in the evening. Even if our computers aren’t quite ready for the early change to longer days and extra sunlight, we surely are. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Among dozens of attractions, the events included lectures on Chumash culture, a film about a Japanese-internment camp, a lecture on the Harry Potter books, demonstrations by drummers and martial artists, along with flamenco dancing and Cajun music. MOORPARK – The 16th annual Multicultural Day at Moorpark College included everything from what the Bible teaches us about nutrition to the history of the boomerang. The event focusing on diversity was held Wednesday to promote global understanding through presentations and performances about various cultures and arts. Vendors offered ethnic foods. Some faculty members allowed students to attend several of the events in lieu of going to class. Local kindergarten-through-12th-grade schools, as well as nearby colleges, were invited to bring their students to see and hear music, dance, drama and lectures.
But in a second dance, he earned a score of just 28, bringing his total score for the week to 58. Even though it was just two points less than perfect, it was the lowest of the week. Judges’ scores are combined with viewer votes to determine which couple is eliminated. The three remaining celebrity dancers – Laila Ali, Joey Fatone and Apolo Anton Ohno – will begin the competition’s final round on Monday, when they will perform a dance chosen by the judges as well as a freestyle dance. The new “Dancing With the Stars” champion will be named on May 22. – Asssociated Press He earned a perfect score and glowing praise from the judges. But that wasn’t enough to keep Ian Ziering on “Dancing With the Stars.” The 43-year-old actor was booted from the ABC dance-off Tuesday during the competition’s semifinal round. “We’re in it to win it,” the “Beverly Hills 90210” alumnus said before his performance Monday. “This week you’re going to see a whole new Ian Ziering on the dance floor.” Judge Len Goodman seemed to think so, praising Ziering’s tango as “your best dance ever” and calling him “technically … the soundest of all the celebrity dancers.” He earned a perfect score of 30. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
In February, the Province put out a request for an expression of interest to build at Grassy Point near Prince Rupert. The request attracted four suitable submissions. The agreement between Nexen and the Province gives Nexen the exclusive right to move forward with the planning necessary to build an LNG export infrastructure at Grassy Point. Discussions are reportedly ongoing with the remaining three proponents for an adjacent parcel of land. Nexen will now have to seek regulatory approval, an export permit from the National Energy Board and decide with its partners if the project will move forward. – Advertisement -There are now 10 LNG project proposals for British Columbia.
This is a live blog of the Truck Rally in Fort St. John to show support for the Pacific Northwest LNG project and the liquified natural gas industry in Canada. The rally will start with vehicles leaving from south of Fort St. John at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday March 16. The convoy will head towards the boat launch at Charlie Lake where residents will hear speeches and enjoy a BBQ.If technology is on our side, this blog will be updated with photos and live tweets from the event. On top of this, we hope to be able to broadcast live video from Charlie Lake and the rally starting at around 12 p.m. Watch for the video on our Facebook page, by clicking here.LIVE BLOG – Truck Rally – FSJ for LNGLive Blog Truck Rally – FSJ for LNG – Advertisement –
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – It’s official: the Site C Dam has officially been under construction for one year.According to a press release from the provincial government this morning, the 365-day milestone was reached last week. The release from both the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Energy and Mines says that major progress has been made on the $8.8 billion megaproject, adding that the dam project is both on-schedule and on-budget.Premier Christy Clark says this is a project that will benefit for years.“Site C will provide British Columbia with a generational opportunity to secure a reliable source of clean, renewable and affordable electricity for the future, the construction of Site C is also providing economic benefits today — employing more than 1,000 B.C. workers, offering skills training opportunities for young workers, and providing opportunities for businesses of all sizes.”- Advertisement -The dam will provide the capacity to generate 1,100 megawatts of electricity, producing roughly 5,100 gigawatt hours of energy each year.The latest employment numbers for the Site C project show that there were a total of 1,547 workers on the Site C project in May 2016, with 1,223 workers from British Columbia (79%).Advertisement MLA Mike Bernier says this is a project that is helping those while we are experiencing the economic downturn.“In the northeast, the slowdown in the natural resource sector has been significant and the construction of Site C is providing employment and business opportunities at a time when it is really needed.”Some other facts:Over 900 hectares of land has been cleared as part of site preparation work.To date, BC Hydro has signed contracts and made financial commitments of more than $4 billion.Approximately 2.5 million cubic metres of material has been excavated and relocated on the north bank of the dam site.
0Shares0000Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (L) vies with Eibar’s David Junca during their match in Barcelona on September 19, 2017 © AFP / PAU BARRENAMADRID, Spain, Sep 19 – Lionel Messi added four more goals to his soaring early season tally as a much-changed Barcelona maintained their 100 percent start to La Liga by routing Eibar 6-1 on Tuesday.Paulinho and Denis Suarez also netted for the second consecutive game as Barca stretched their lead at the top of La Liga to seven points over Real Madrid, who host Real Betis on Wednesday. “That Messi scored four goals now isn’t news,” said Barca boss Ernesto Valverde after the Argentine’s 43rd career hat-trick.“He has done it so many nights, in so many games. To keep repeating it is the most difficult thing.“He is an extraordinary player. I have run out of words for him.”Messi played in a more central role as Valverde heavily rotated his side for the first time since taking charge with Luis Suarez dropping to the bench among six changes from Saturday’s hard-fought 2-1 win at Getafe.And contrary to their fortunes last season, Barca’s back-ups proved Valverde can take the luxury of resting some of his star names with Paulinho particularly impressive on his first start.Messi opened the scoring in nonchalant fashion from the penalty spot on 21 minutes after Nelson Semedo had been felled by an ungainly challenge from Alejandro Galvez.Paulinho’s 40-million-euro ($48 million) signing from Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande was one of a series of moves that drew stinging criticism for Barca’s board following Neymar’s world-record departure for Paris Saint-Germain.However, after coming off the bench to score the winner at Getafe, Paulinho powered home his second Barca goal from Denis Suarez’s corner seven minutes before half-time.Paulinho also played his part in Barca’s third with a cute dummy that freed Messi and, when his shot was parried by Marko Dmitrovic, Denis Suarez fired home the rebound.Sergi Enrich reduced the arrears when he capitalised on some sloppy Barca defending to slot home David Junca’s cross.However, Messi quickly restored Barca’s three-goal lead with a lovely measured finish from the edge of the box.The five-time world player of the year completed his hat-trick just after the hour mark by prodding through Dmitrovic’s legs from Paulinho’s pass.And he added his 12th goal in just eight games this season three minutes from time after a neat one-two with Aleix Vidal.Valencia’s Simone Zaza, pictured in January 2017, bagged a hat-trick against Malaga © AFP/File / JOSE JORDAN– Anger fuels Zaza –Barca lead second-placed Sevilla, who host Las Palmas on Wednesday, by five points with Valencia now just a point further adrift as they moved up to third thanks to Simone Zaza’s seven-minute hat-trick in a 5-0 thrashing of Malaga.By contrast, a fifth straight defeat to start the season sees Malaga slip to bottom of the table and plunges coach Michel into further danger of becoming the second La Liga boss to be sacked this term.“I am tremendously proud of the performance of the players. It is a joy to be able to enjoy it with our fans,” said Valencia coach Marcelino.Santi Mina got the rout started after just 17 minutes with a neat header from Carles Soler’s cross.Zaza then completed his first ever hat-trick with three clinical close-range finishes between the 55th and 62nd minute before substitute Rodrigo rounded off the scoring.And the former Juventus striker shrugged off a bust-up with Marcelino after being dropped for Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Levante.“I didn’t have anything to prove,” Zaza told BeIN Sports Spain.“What happened on Saturday is already forgotten, I think it is normal that a player is angry when he doesn’t play.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
0Shares0000Dejected PSG players at the end of Tuesday’s defeat against Real Madrid © AFP / GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELTPARIS, France, Mar 7 – After an honourable defeat to Barcelona on away goals in the Champions League quarter-finals in 2013, Paris Saint-Germain’s Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi stated the club’s objective was to win the competition “in the next five years”.That deadline expired with Tuesday’s limp defeat to holders Real Madrid in the last 16, leaving the French side as far away from being European champions as at any point since Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) bought the club in 2011. For all their lavish spending, PSG have still not made it past the quarter-finals of the competition this decade, and there have now been consecutive exits in the last 16, the 5-2 aggregate loss to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real coming after a spectacular collapse saw them crash out in Barcelona a year ago.The strategy after that defeat was to commit to paying the two biggest transfer fees in football history last August to sign Neymar and Kylian Mbappe for a combined 402 million euros ($499 million), an attempt to buy immediate success on the biggest stage.It has not worked, with Neymar left watching Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat at the Parc des Princes that sealed PSG’s fate from Brazil, where he is recovering from a foot operation.“All that for that”, was the headline on the front of sports daily L’Equipe on Wednesday, a reference mainly to the bold transfer strategy.“We believe in our players. We want to continue the project, with the two of them because they are the future of the club,” said Al-Khelaifi on Tuesday when asked if the club’s investment should be called into question.Seven years after QSI’s arrival, PSG have still managed to beat just three teams in the Champions League knockout stage: Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen and Chelsea.That is a damning statistic for a club with their means and ambitions.“We will continue, as much as patience allows, to build a team which can win in the future,” said coach Unai Emery on Tuesday.“When I came here I said I was sure this team can win the Champions League. But it’s a process.”– Neymar to stay, Emery out –Soon to be out of contract, Emery will not be given another crack at the competition in Paris. The club will look for a new coach, and they will be tempted to go for a big name after the failure of the Emery experiment — the Spaniard won three Europa Leagues with Sevilla but has never won a Champions League knockout tie in six seasons of trying.The club will fight to keep hold of world-record signing Neymar © AFP / CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULTThey also need to revamp their squad again, and replace the likes of Thiago Silva, Thiago Motta, Dani Alves and Angel Di Maria, all in their 30s.The club insist they are not worried about falling foul of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules, even if a premature European exit will mean a shortfall of millions of euros.“We are relaxed about it. It is more of an issue outside the club than inside. It is March and we have until the end of June. There are no worries,” sporting director Antero Henrique told L’Equipe last weekend.One thing that is unlikely to happen is Neymar leaving, despite ongoing speculation that the Brazilian has not settled in France.Al-Khelaifi’s beIN Sports owns the exclusive international distribution rights for television coverage of the French league, and the network is currently in the process of negotiating new deals around the world. In that context, PSG selling a star such as Neymar this year is unthinkable.But in the meantime another period of soul-searching will begin for PSG and their Qatari owners.“Now is not the time to talk about change, everyone is upset. We want to calm down before working out what needs to be changed. We have time to think about that,” said Al-Khelaifi on Tuesday.PSG still have three domestic trophies to go and win before the end of the season, but that seems instantly less appealing once the big prize of the Champions League is no longer up for grabs.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)
0Shares0000With showers expected to continue at Indian Wells organizers suspended play for the night, with the match between Roger Federer and Federico Delbonis put on hold © GETTY/AFP / KEVORK DJANSEZIANINDIAN WELLS, United States, Mar 11 – Defending champ Roger Federer’s opening match was put on hold Saturday when play at the Indian Wells ATP Masters was suspended after heavy rain swept through the California desert.The 36-year-old Federer had taken a set from Federico Delbonis 6-3 with the second tied at 2-2 when rain stopped play. The start of the match had been delayed several minutes by light rain in a precursor of worse weather to come.With the showers expected to continue, organizers eventually suspended play for the night, with the match to resume on Sunday.One women’s match had yet to be completed and another didn’t even make it on court, and those two were also to be completed on Sunday.Federer and Delbonis will be the third match on stadium court on Sunday after 10th seeded Novak Djokovic plays his opener against Japan’s Taro Daniel.Federer is seeking to extend his perfect record this season to 13-0 as he hopes to make history and capture his sixth title.The age-defying Swiss maestro has already won two titles in 2018, claiming his 20th Grand Slam crown at the Australian Open in January.In men’s play earlier, world number four Grigor Dimitrov slumped to a shock 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 6-3 defeat to Spain’s Fernando Verdasco.Dimitrov continues to struggle in Indian Wells. The 26-year-old Bulgarian No. 1 has never made it past the third round in seven appearances.Dimitrov reached the final earlier this year in Rotterdam, where he lost to Federer. That came after a breakthrough 2017 which saw him win four titles, including Sofia, Cincinnati, Brisbane and the ATP Finals.Verdasco, 34, is making his 15th straight appearance in Indian Wells and trying to improve on his 2009 quarter-final run.– ‘Amazing feeling’ –“It is an amazing feeling when you come to a tournament like this and in a stadium with a good atmosphere against one of the top players in the world. You know you’re able to do your job and have a good day and win the match,” said Verdasco.“So it was a really good feeling. I am super happy to win and come through this tough opponent and this tough round.“I am just going to enjoy the victory and try to keep it going in the next round and make it as far as possible.”Fifth seeded Dominic Thiem defeated teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in a second round match.Thiem moved through to a third round meeting with 30th seed Pablo Cuevas, of Uruguay, who beat Canadian Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (7/4), 6-3.Thiem, 24, is hoping to improve on last year’s quarter-final finish at Indian Wells, one of the biggest events on the tennis calendar outside of the four Grand Slams.Other men’s winners on Saturday included American Taylor Fritz, Czech Tomas Berdych and South Korea’s Chung Hyeon.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)
Mourinho was on the winning side that night as Real Madrid manager and also sent United out of the last 16 when Porto boss in 2004.“I’ve sat in this chair twice before with Porto, Manchester United out, and Real Madrid, Manchester United out, so I don’t think it’s anything new for the club,” said Mourinho, who bristled at questions over his tactical approach.“I don’t want to make a drama of it. We have no time to be sad for more than 24 hours, that’s football. It’s not the end of the world.”The visitors were deserving winners as they controlled the game throughout, but had to wait for Ben Yedder’s introduction as a substitute 18 minutes from time to add a clinical finish by taking his Champions League tally for the season to eight goals in seven appearances.Ben Yedder put Sevilla in front two minutes later when he blasted into the bottom corner before heading in a second shortly after.Romelu Lukaku reduced United’s arrears, but it was too little, too late with Mourinho’s decision to once again drop Paul Pogba certain to be scrutinised.“In the first half we played a good game apart from the last 30 metres,” said Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella.“In the second half we were more clinical with Ben Yedder, he made the difference today.”Mourinho sprang a surprise before kick-off by recalling Marouane Fellaini at the expense of Pogba, who had also been dropped for the first game.Sevilla dominated the vast majority of the first leg only to be denied by some stunning saves from David de Gea.However, it was wayward finishing rather than the Spanish number one that prevented the visitors making the most of their ascendency for most of the match.Indeed, of Sevilla’s 10 efforts on goal in the first period only one weak Muriel effort forced De Gea into making a save.– Fellaini gamble backfires –Substitute Wissam Ben Yedder’s second goal looped over the line to finish off United © AFP / Oli SCARFFMourinho’s gamble on Fellaini appeared to have largely backfired as he failed to impose his physical presence on Sevilla’s ball players in midfield.Yet, the Belgian nearly made the breakthrough with United’s best move of the opening period when he latched onto Alexis Sanchez’s layoff and his powerful effort was turned behind by Sergio Rico.The second period began in the same vein as the first with Sevilla on the front foot, and only a brilliant last-ditch tackle by Eric Bailly denied Correa a clear sight of goal.Pogba, who cost United a then-world record £89 million ($116 million) in 2016, was eventually introduced just after the hour mark with Fellaini sacrificed.However, even the Frenchman couldn’t kickstart the hosts and they were eventually made to pay.Ben Yedder had only been on the pitch for two minutes after replacing Muriel when he finally broke the deadlock in the tie with a brilliant finish low into De Gea’s bottom left-hand corner.“Manchester United have experience in the Champions League, it was a special game for us,” said Ben Yedder.“But I believed in myself, believed in the team and we showed we are a great team.”Mourinho responded by throwing on Anthony Martial and Juan Mata, but their attacking edge was needed far earlier as Ben Yedder soon put the outcome beyond any doubt when he forced home a corner at the far post despite a despairing effort by De Gea.Lukaku finally got United on the board six minutes from time when he swept home Marcus Rashford’s corner.But it was to little avail as United have now failed to reach the quarter-finals for four straight years.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Jose Mourinho’s United put in a lifeless display and were dumped out by Sevilla © AFP / Oli SCARFFMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Mar 14 – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho insisted European disappointment is nothing new for the English giants after losing 2-1 to Sevilla at Old Trafford to crash out of the Champions League by the same scoreline on aggregate.Wissam Ben Yedder struck twice in four second-half minutes on Tuesday to send Sevilla into the quarter-finals for the first time in 60 years as United suffered a first European home defeat since Alex Ferguson’s Champions League farewell in 2013.
Along with being remembered for his compassion, integrity, and dedication to his work, family, and friends, Jim was known for his sense of humour.Advertisement Jim is survived by Marty, his wife of 51 years, son Wade, daughter Nicole, grandchildren, and extended family. “We are all deeply saddened at Jim’s passing. He was instrumental in shaping higher education in the North,” said M. Bryn Kulmatycki, current president and chief executive officer of Northern Lights College. “He will long be remembered for his unwavering commitment to NLC and the educational needs of northern British Columbians.” A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, November 30, at 10 am in the Centre for Clean Energy Technologies at NLC’s Dawson Creek campus. – Advertisement -Kassen started his 25-year tenure as president of NLC in 1980. During his time he grew the College from a single campus in Dawson Creek, with three storefront operations in Chetwynd, Fort Nelson, and Fort St. John, and just a few hundred students, to eight campuses and access centres across the upper third of British Columbia. Jim retired from NLC in 2005. In 2007, the College opened the Jim Kassen Industry Training Centre at the Fort St. John campus in his honour. DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Jim Kassen, former president of Northern Lights College, passed away on November 19, 2019. To make a contribution, call 250-787-6240 or email [email protected] Under his leadership, the College entered into a formal arrangement with the University of Northern British Columbia in 1992. Jim awarded NLC’s first honorary degree to renowned opera singer Ben Heppner in 1994. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Jim Kassen Legacy Award, administered by the Northern Lights College Foundation.
Rene Meulensteen admits Manchester United have already missed out on Arjen Robben once before – and believes the Red Devils may be set for failure again this summer.The Bayern Munich flyer has been one of the players of the 2014 World Cup, despite some criticism for diving, and will line up for Holland in their semi-final clash with Argentina on Wednesday night.Dutch manager Louis van Gaal is ready to launch a raid for the 30-year-old, when he takes his place as Man United boss, with the duo’s close working relationship expected to aid the bid.But former Old Trafford assistant manager Meulensteen has told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show he is unsure whether the winger would leave the Bundesliga giants.“I’m sure Van Gaal would love to take Arjen Robben to Manchester United,” he told talkSPORT. “That’s not a surprise.“When I was at Manchester United, we looked at that possibility for a few years, but then he signed for Bayern Munich. He’s been happy ever since and had a lot of success there.”
Celtic could be handed a sensational Champions League reprieve after UEFA launched an investigation into the eligibility of one of Legia Warsaw’s players during their 6-1 aggregate win over the Scottish champions.The Polish side confirmed that they had been asked for information from the European governing body.A statement on Legia’s official website read: “The club announces that in connection with the Celtic FC-Legia Warsaw match in the second leg of the third qualifying round of the Champions League, UEFA opened an investigation into the participation of Bartosz Bereszynskiego.“The club is preparing the relevant information and explanations, which will be sent to UEFA today.“The result of the investigation will be announced immediately after its completion.” Celtic players look dejected 1
1 Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez is aiming to become a first-team regular at Real Madrid during his time with the Champions League holders.The Mexico international is a new arrival at the the Bernabeu, having joined this summer on loan from Manchester United.Despite competition for places at Real being fierce – with new signing James Rodriguez only adding to the club’s attacking talent – Hernandez will not be settling for a spot on the bench“No one trains to be a back-up,” Hernandez told Neox TV. “I’m a football player and there are 11 starters, so the ones on the outside are always waiting for a chance and no player will say that they train to wait on the outside. “I’m not a conformist, I want to grow but it takes a lot of work and competition.” Javier Hernandez in action for Manchester United
Newcastle’s Moussa Sissoko celebrates against Manchester City 1 Newcastle United conjured up an incredible shock as they dumped out Capital One Cup holders Manchester City with an impressive 2-0 win at the Etihad.Few would have given the Toon Army much of a chance, particularly as Alan Pardew continued to show his disregard for cup competitions by naming a second string XI.But the young charges repaid their manager’s faith handsomely with a blistering start that brought an early award as 18 year old Rolando Aarons put the visitors in front after just six minutes.The Magpies’ harrying was causing City problems and after Fernandinho poorly relinquished possession, Aarons seized on the ball and sent a fabulous strike through Willy Caballero’s legs.Newcastle had to put in a hell of a shift in defence to repel a strong Blues side and when the Toon’s backline was breached, reserve goalkeeper Rob Elliot came to his side’s rescue, denying Stevan Jovetic and Yaya Toure with fine saves.Pardew’s side were producing well on the counter-attack though, and Paul Dummett went desperately close to doubling the visitors’ tally with an excellent volley that Caballero turned away, while on the stroke of half-time it took a last ditch Martin Demichelis block to stop Adam Armstrong scoring.City looked bereft of ideas in attack and were left breathing a huge sigh of relief when referee Stuart Atwell failed to award a clear penalty after Gabriel Obertan was hacked down Aleksandar Kolarov when clean through on goal.Fortunately the controversy would have no bearing on the result as substitute Moussa Sissoko netted the decisive goal on 75 minutes, bursting through the Blues’ feeble defence and firing home to send the travelling supporters delirious.And Manchester City simply had no answer to Newcastle’s performance as the visitors held on for a famous victory against Manuel Pellegrini’s struggling side.Elsewhere, Graziano Pelle’s last gasp strike sent Southampton into the quarter-finals as they beat a ten-man Stoke 3-2 at the Britannia Stadium.The Saints appeared to be cruising with just 20 minutes gone after the Italian scored an early stunner to put Ronald Koeman’s side ahead and then Shane Long doubled their tally.But fresh from a Mark Hughes rollicking, Stoke emerged early from the half-time break and worked their way back into the game as Steven N’Zonzi clawed a goal back.In a game of two halves, the Potters continued to lay siege to Southampton’s goal and finally got their reward when Mame Biram Diouf stooped to head home from a fourth successive corner.However, there remained some late drama as Stoke substitute Peter Crouch’s appearance off the bench lasted just 14 minutes as the ex-England forward foolishly picked up two yellow cards.From the resulting free-kick Pelle took full advantage as the striker made it ten goals in 11 appearances, firing the ball home to send Stoke packing.Finally, Tottenham made it into the last-eight as they ended Brighton’s cup dream with a comprehensive 2-0 win at White Hart Lane.Spurs fans had to wait for almost an hour before they opened the scoring, but it was richly deserved when it came as Erik Lamela polished off a well worked move that involved Roberto Soldado.Championship outfit Brighton acquitted themselves well, but with 16 minutes remaining the game was up as Harry Kane continued to push his claims for a Premier League starting role by tapping home the easiest of goals.
Simon Clare joins the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast to round up the latest sporting odds.The Coral spokesman looks ahead to this weekend’s Euro 2016 qualifiers, with England, Scotland, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales all in action.And he claims the stage is set for Raheem Sterling to have a starring role for the Three Lions against Slovenia at Wembley on Saturday.Coral is the official betting partner of the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast
1 Fabian Spiess Bristol Rovers have completed the emergency loan signing of Notts County goalkeeper Fabian Spiess.The 20-year-old, who made his first-team bow for the Magpies in 2012, will link-up with Darrell Clarke’s Conference side until January 1.It is not the first time County academy graduate Spiess has spent time away from Meadow Lane, the shot-stopper previously spent time on loan at Lewes and Corby Town.
0Shares0000Manchester United’s Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku wants more respect after leading a 2-1 win over Chgelsea this weekend © AFP / Oli SCARFFLONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 26 – Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku says he deserves “more respect” for his goalscoring record, hitting back at critics who have highlighted his lack of goals against the Premier League’s top clubs.The 24-year-old scored a goal and set up Jesse Lingard’s winner in a 2-1 victory against Chelsea Old Trafford on Sunday that lifted Jose Mourinho’s side back into second place in the Premier League. “That’s the situation around me,” Lukaku said, after scoring his first league goal for United against a side currently in the top eight.“I just need to keep working hard. I think I have got a nice record. I’ve scored a lot this season and I just want to keep going.”“You expect a bit more respect but it’s the situation we’re in,” he told Britain’s Press Association. “I don’t listen to it. I just want to improve and show the people what I can do on the pitch.”Lukaku, who has scored 22 goals in all competitions for United this season, is two goals away from joining 27 other players to score 100 Premier League goals.The Belgian relishes the pressure that comes with “playing for the biggest club in the world” and does not regret spurning the chance to return to Chelsea last year.“No, no, no,” said the former Everton player. “When I make a choice it’s with my head and my heart. I made the right choice for me.“As you can see, I’m in a good situation. I’m with a manager and players who push me every day. The challenge is there to win and it’s something that I wanted.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Salah, in his first season at Anfield, became the first Liverpool player since Ian Rush in 1986-87 to reach the 40-goal mark and only the third from the club ever to reach that landmark after Rush and 1966 England World Cup winner Roger Hunt.But Salah has reached his 40 quicker than either of his predecessors and, with potentially seven games remaining for his team, may yet challenge the all-time club record, currently held by Rush who scored 47 goals in a blistering 1983-84 campaign.“Really it’s 31 years? He doesn’t look that old. He must have been 14 when he scored his 40 goals,” joked Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp about Rush, when told Salah had become the first Liverpool player since the Welshman to hit 40.“But Mo knows what this means and the way we play suits him. For him, for the boys, it’s fantastic and today he certainly didn’t look like he doesn’t want to score in the next few games.“It’s all about him, all about us and how we finish the season. Normally, in that situation, to be top of the goalscoring list at the end and win the Golden Boot, or whatever it’s called, means you have been successful as a team, but we can’t force it. But it’s good, impressive. What a number. Wow!”There was certainly a “wow” factor about the manner in which Salah claimed his 40th, and the 30th in the league this season, after 69 minutes.Trent Alexander-Arnold’s hanging cross into the Bournemouth area allowed Salah to peel away from his marker Nathan Ake and flick the most perceptive of finishes with his head over keeper Asmir Begovic.Either side of Salah’s goal were efforts from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, taking their respective Liverpool tallies for the season to 25 and 17, meaning the prolific front three have now combined for an astonishing 82 goals between them this season.Firmino’s 90th minute third goal made it 300 for Liverpool in well under three seasons since Klopp took over, but he insisted they can still improve in attacking areas by not always looking for Salah.“What a number we’ve scored as team over the whole season,” added Klopp. “That’s really good and we have to carry it on for a few games to come. I have seen the boys looking for Mo but we have to mix it up a little bit.“He’s the threat but it’s good to analyse it with the boys afterwards, we show them and they listen. A lot of times we are in a position shooting and they cannot always give the ball to him. So we can still improve in this situation to use his threat and pass the ball somewhere else.”With Anfield in the mood to celebrate the superb midweek Champions League victory over Manchester City, Mane gave the home crowd something to cheer about when he met a seventh minute cross from Jordan Henderson.Begovic did well to save the initial header but Mane reacted quickly to blast in the loose ball.And after Salah took centre stage, Firmino rounded off a fine afternoon for the hosts when he converted clinically from 18 yards after being picked out by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.Bournemouth took four points from Liverpool last season, but having been swept aside in both meetings this campaign, Eddie Howe believes Liverpool’s improvement makes them serious contenders to win the Champions League.“Comparing Liverpool to last season, they have really improved, grown as a team, as they have shown through the season,” said Howe. “Of course they can win the Champions League.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Mo-mentous: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah celebrates his 40th goal of the season on Saturday © AFP / Lindsey PARNABYLiverpool, United Kingdom, Apr 14 – Jurgen Klopp believes Mohamed Salah has not finished in his efforts to rewrite the Liverpool goalscoring record books after the Egyptian international took his tally for the season to 40 goals in a 3-0 Premier League victory over Bournemouth.But the German manager also insists that Salah will not be distracted by his quest for the Golden Boot award, for the Premier League’s leading scorer, as Liverpool seek to end a memorable season by winning the Champions League.
0Shares0000For many football fans, no game is complete without a beer © AFP / Vasily MAXIMOVMOSCOW, Russian Federation, Jun 20 – Football fans from around the world are flocking to Russia’s bars, beer gardens and craft beer pubs to quench their thirst as the World Cup heats up.But the surge in sales will not have a lasting impact on Russia’s beer industry, where consumption has been losing fizz for years — ever since it lost its classification as a soft drink. Russia ranks 14th in terms of annual alcohol consumption per capita, according to the World Health Organization.But with spirits — chiefly vodka — traditionally playing a stronger role in social life, Russia ranks far lower at 32nd in terms of beer consumption, according to a 2016 survey by Japanese beermaker Kirin.Part of the reason why Russians are drinking less beer now than they were in the early 2000s is because of moves to restrict sales and advertising.Higher taxes on beer and declining consumer spending power have also contributed to the decline.The real turning point came in 2011, when beer was classified as an alcoholic drink rather than as a soft drink.Since then, nighttime sales have been banned, as have sales at street kiosks and in particularly large volumes.– ‘Compromise’ needed –Since 2013, with a major economic crisis in full swing, the market has contracted more than 24 percent and is set to lose another 11 percent by 2023, according to an estimate by Euromonitor.“Between 2007 and 2017, tax on beer grew almost tenfold,” said Pavel Yerankevich, senior development director at Baltika, Russia’s number one beer brand, which now belongs to Denmark’s Carlsberg group.Football fans in Russia are giving a boost to the local beer market © AFP / Vasily MAXIMOV“All that together with the unfavourable macroeconomic situation has of course influenced the state of the market,” he added.Yerankevich thinks Russia risks going too far with measures designed to prevent alcohol abuse, even as he acknowledges the problem is widespread and needs to be tackled.“We need to find a compromise: on the one hand to put into action the government’s reasonable goals of lowering alcohol abuse and reducing the sales share of strong spirits, but on the other hand, not to put up artificial obstacles to business development,” he said.The World Cup may be a “driver of growth” in beer sales, he said.“But in this case, the increased demand will only affect this period without changing the overall annual trend,” he added.Yury Antonov, who heads the Ochakovo beer factory in a Moscow suburb, says sales to bars and consumers have risen ahead of the World Cup but he is downbeat about the longer term.“We don’t think that the market will stabilise any time soon. We think that the market will continue falling,” he said.– Anyone for a craft beer? –All-American lager Budweiser, as the official sponsor of the World Cup, may be the only beer likely to see a strong benefit.Budweiser, made by Belgium-based AB Inbev, is the only beer allowed in stadiums and fan zones.Alcoholic beverage sales are banned in a two-kilometre (1.2-mile) radius around the stadiums.The Budweiser brand has ensured its logo is highly visible at numerous spin-off events as well.A spokesperson for Budweiser said it does not disclose specific sales figures, but described the World Cup as a “great opportunity” for the brand.Some other beermakers are also performing better than usual, including alcohol-free brands.In 2017, alcohol-free beer sales saw “solid growth” thanks to “aggressive marketing” by major brands, Euromonitor said in a report.Big brands like to focus on advertising their alcohol-free beer partly because it dodges tough restrictions.However there is a genuine “rising consumer interest and demand” as Russians become more health-conscious, the market research provider said.A surge in beer sales is unlikely to live out the World Cup © AFP / Vasily MAXIMOVThe other type of beer to buck the trend is craft beer, with specialised bars and shops popping up all over Russia’s larger cities.For the moment, craft beer is being produced only by small and medium-sized breweries.But Euromonitor analysts expect that “larger brewers will also increasingly focus on craft beer so as to help offset losses in the lager category.”Artyom Zimakov, who owns Beermood, a craft beer bar in central Moscow, said he is delighted to see his bar packed every day so far in the World Cup.The market for his type of product is “very dynamic and it’s growing,” he said.“It’s going to grow fast.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
0Shares0000World Cup sensation: France’s Kylian Mbappe © AFP / FRANCK FIFEPARIS, France, Nov 9 – Teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe told AFP on Thursday that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi remain football’s greatest players but that his own World Cup heroics could help crown him the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner.Mbappe, 19, inspired France to World Cup victory in Russia with four goals. One of those came in the 4-2 final victory over Croatia as he became just the second teenager after Pele in 1958 to score in the championship match.He was also voted Young Player of the tournament and has since become Ligue 1’s leading scorer with 11 goals as Paris Saint-Germain run away with the French title.Messi and Ronaldo have won the last 10 Ballon d’Or awards and Mbappe believes that they are still the sport’s top A-listers.“Nobody is doing better at the moment and we can’t say it’s the end of their era because it will only end when somebody else does better than them,” Mbappe told AFP.However, the young striker added: “I don’t think one of them will win the Ballon d’Or this year because it was a World Cup year, and the World Cup takes precedence.”While Mbappe thrived at the World Cup, Messi’s Argentina and Ronaldo’s Portugal bowed out in the last 16.“But if you take the player in the purest form, there’s nobody better yet. This year they were again the best two,” added Mbappe.“Messi finished the best goalscorer in Europe; Ronaldo was the top scorer in the Champions League.”Mbappe was speaking to AFP on Thursday at an event organised by watchmakers Hublot, one of his leading sponsors.The last French player to win the coveted Ballon d’Or was Zinedine Zidane after the national team’s 1998 World Cup victory.“Frankly, I hope so (win the Ballon d’Or). We achieved something big. It would not be unjust because that is a strong word, but it would be a shame if a Frenchman does not win it.“We made history and it would be nice to be rewarded.”Football’s future? Kylian Mbappe talks to AFP © AFP / FRANCK FIFECroatia’s Luka Modric, voted Best Player of the World Cup, remains favourite for the Ballon d’Or.However, Modric is 14 years Mbappe’s senior so the young Frenchman has time on his side.He will also have time and opportunity to complete his journey from the tough streets of the down-at-heel Paris suburb of Bondy to a life of super-riches.– ‘Play to win’ –Mbappe, who will turn 20 just before Christmas, signed for PSG from Monaco for 180 million euros in 2017 in the second most expensive transfer of all time — behind PSG teammate Neymar who cost the French champions 222 million euros.Off the field, he seems destined to match Ronaldo in the commercial stakes.Will his initials “KM” match the brand power of Ronaldo’s “CR7”?“I don’t know because CR7 is something big, he has managed to build his brand and become international,” said Mbappe.“Mine is not at this stage yet, I’m changing little by little.”That development into the public consciousness saw him dominate the front page of Time magazine in October with the American publisher breathlessly showcasing the teenage as “the future of football”.Mbappe said that he will not be satisfied with winning just one World Cup.When asked what he wants to win next, he said: “All the World Cups that I can play.“I play to win; if I play four World Cups then I want to win four. We go step by step. I have already won one. You have to prepare and win with your club and with the national team also.“There are short-term goals before thinking about the 2022 World Cup. But the aim always is to win.”On being tipped to be the next true superstar once Messi and Ronaldo have retired, Mpabbe added: “I cannot control everything that is done and said.“There is not just the pitch but everything around it must also be managed. It’s not easy but I’m learning, I’m still learning. I have people around me who help me overcome the challenges one after the other.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Aguero’s penalty opened the scoring at and the Argentine forward netted again before Leroy Sane, who also contributed three assists, struck against his former club.Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus all scored after the interval to complete City’s biggest home win in the Champions League.Pep Guardiola’s side, who lifted the League Cup in February, remain on course for an unprecedented quadruple, sitting one point ahead of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League before this weekend’s FA Cup quarter-final at Swansea.Sergio Aguero scored twice in Manchester City’s 7-0 thrashing of SchalkeThis emphatic victory was the joint-biggest ever Champions League knockout stage win but won’t linger long in the memory given Schalke’s total lack of resistence. However it could be a good omen as City beat Schalke en route to winning their only European trophy in the 1970 Cup Winners’ Cup.Twice a Champions League winner as Barcelona boss, Guardiola claimed this week that City are “teenagers” in the competition compared to the more established European powers.They have never won the Champions League, with their best performance a semi-final appearance in 2016 under Guardiola’s predecessor Manuel Pellegrini.But City are one of the favourites to claim the trophy after Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain crashed out and, on this evidence, Guardiola’s players are up for the challenge of showing they are more mature than he believes.It seems only winning Europe’s elite club prize can make City fans fall in the love with the tournament.Once again they loudly jeered the Champions League anthem, this time in frustration at UEFA’s recent investigation into the club over allegations of financial misconduct.Guardiola had claimed it would be a “dangerous situation” to underestimate Schalke, but the struggling Bundesliga team were never a realistic candidate to spring a surprise.– Floodgates opened –Sergio Aguero was in predatory form in Manchester City’s demolition of SchalkeSprinting onto Kyle Walker’s pass, Sterling crossed for Aguero to shoot against a post in the opening moments.Guardiola’s men monopolised possession and their territorial dominance finally paid off in the 35th minute.Ilkay Gundogan clipped a pass into the Schalke penalty area and Jeffrey Bruma bundled over Bernardo, with the spot-kick awarded after being checked by VAR.Aguero stepped up to nonchalantly chip the penalty down the middle as Ralf Fahrmann dived the wrong way.Aguero has now scored in four successive Champions League games for the first time.That opened the floodgates as Aguero quickly put the result beyond doubt three minutes later.Sterling was the provider as he raced onto Gundogan’s pass and pulled the ball back to Aguero, who squeezed his shot past Fahrmann from a tight angle for his 27th goal of the season.An interminable VAR delay of several minutes while Sterling was confirmed as onside drew more boos from City fans.Leroy Sane shone against his former side SchalkeBut they were celebrating again in the 42nd minute.This time it was Sane who ripped open the shambolic Schalke defence, the German winger sent clear on goal by Oleksandr Zinchenko before driving a clinical strike into the far corner.City were streets ahead of Schalke in every phase of the game and Sterling maintained his sublime form with a cool finish from Sane’s majestic pass in the 56th minute.Bernardo made it five in the 71st minute, netting with a first-time shot from Sane’s pass.There was still time for Foden to bag his first Champions League goal as the young midfielder took Sane’s pass and slotted home in the 78th minute.Jesus beat Fahrmann’s weak attempted save with six minutes left to complete City’s perfect evening.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Manchester City players celebrate one of their seven goals against Schalke during a Champions League tie at the Etihad Stadium on March 13, 2019MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Mar 13 – Manchester City thrashed Schalke 7-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday to romp into the Champions League quarter-finals and keep their quadruple bid alive.City had snatched two late goals to win the first leg 3-2 and they made the most of that fightback with a ruthless demolition job at the Etihad Stadium to clinch a 10-2 aggregate victory.
0Shares0000Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness says he expects a decision to be made about Niko Kovac’s replacement within the next three weeks © AFP / INA FASSBENDERBerlin, Germany, Nov 5 – Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness says the German giants expect to name Niko Kovac’s replacement as coach within three weeks, although Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel said Tuesday he is not interested in the job.Kovac was sacked on Sunday after 16 months in charge in the wake of Bayern’s 5-1 drubbing at Eintracht Frankfurt, which left the defending champions fourth in the Bundesliga. Kovac’s assistant Hansi Flick has been named interim coach.Hoeness says Bayern’s senior figures will “think calmly about how to handle” finding a new coach with a decision expected to be made during the forthcoming international break.“I think that by the time the next away game comes around in Duesseldorf (on November 23), we’ll know how the coach’s issue has been resolved,” Hoeness added.According to Sky Germany, Tuchel, who is under contract at PSG until 2021, has been approached by Bayern but has ruled out an immediate switch.Paris Saint-Germain’s German coach Thomas Tuchel, who has reportedly rejected an approach by Bayern Munich, looks on during a PSG training session on November 5 © AFP / FRANCK FIFE“It doesn’t interest me because I’m the coach of PSG. I have a contract for next season. I can’t think for a minute about another club,” Tuchel said on the eve of his side’s Champions League game with Club Brugge.Ajax coach Erik ten Hag, one of the early favourites having coached the Bayern reserves from 2013-15, has also announced he will not leave the Dutch side before the end of the season.Massimiliano Allegri, Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger, who are all currently without a club, have been mentioned by the German media as possible candidates to coach Bayern.Flick, Joachim Loew’s assistant coach when Germany won the 2014 World Cup, will be in charge at least for Bayern’s home matches on Wednesday in the Champions League against Olympiakos and Saturday’s Bundesliga showdown with Borussia Dortmund.0Shares0000(Visited 30 times, 1 visits today)