Where Are They Now—Those Who Were Religiously Backing the “Code of Conduct”?

first_imgThe Liberian Senate, the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who in the first place sent the Code of Conduct to them, the National Elections Commission (NEC) and the Supreme Court of Liberia, the majority three of whom rendered the Code “constitutional”—these are they who went against common sense and tried to ram the so-called Code of Conduct down Liberians’ throats.As this newspaper, the Daily Observer, and several other thinking Liberians tried in vain to warn them and everyone else that this bad law was “unconstitutional,” the chickens have come home to roost. Now the very people the Code was up against, and most particularly the one person targeted, former Central Bank Governor J. Mills Jones, have all now been cleared and are suddenly no longer barred from contesting the forthcoming elections.What happened to them all—those resolute backers of this infamous non-law?It was not only we at this newspaper, who were not backed by legalism, since we are not lawyers, but many lawyers, including two eminent ones, Counselors Tiawan Gongloe and Frances Johnson Allison, who steadfastly argued against the implementation and enforcement of the Code. We at the newspaper were governed by our limited knowledge of the Constitution of the Republic, which bars no one from running for public office except that person is a convicted criminal. We were also governed by common sense.In the case of the lawyers, Counselor Allison is the most experienced, for she has served not only as chairman of the very National Elections Commission (NEC) and Justice Minister and Attorney General of the Republic, but also as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia. This highly intelligent and experienced woman wrote a legally sound and lucid piece on the Code of Conduct, which we published in our April 3, 2017 edition. In that article, she argued eruditely and forcefully against the so-called Code of Conduct, which she declared to be patently unconstitutional.Counselor Gongloe and others went to court, but were baffled by the very courts, through legalism and delays, and they got nowhere.Alas! Thanks to the good Lord Himself and common sense, which the American pro-Independence philosopher Thomas Penn described as “a sense that is not common,” reason has prevailed!What is surprising is that there were many others, like Harrison Karnwea and Jeremiah Sulunteh, who had to struggle through the ups and downs and uncertainties in the courts, and were finally cleared.But most surprising of all in “this strange, eventful” debacle is the main target of the Code of Conduct—Dr. J. Mills Jones. Yes, the former CBL Executive Governor was the prime target of the entire COC exercise. The Daily Observer was present in the office of Vice President Joseph N. Boakai few years ago when a most senior member of the Liberian Senate came to complain about the possibly of the CBL Governor running for President. This powerful Senator was concerned that Dr. Jones, whose financial inclusion policy was being hailed throughout the country for lifting a lot of people out of poverty, and was clear in the mind of this Senator, had to be stopped, otherwise that might lead the Governor to pursue the presidency. And that, as it turned out, was the whole point of the Senate’s overwhelming passage of the Code of Conduct.Alas! The Daily Observer’s front page lead story yesterday surprisingly indicated that the very National Elections Commission had itself cleared Dr. Mills Jones without contest and without a scratch! Just as this newspaper had indicated months ago, that this so-called “law” would not hold because it was unsustainable and could lead to electoral chaos and confusion, the National Elections Commission read its own writing on the wall.  It had cleared too many people, including Messrs. Karnwea and Sulunteh, who had not “resigned” in the three-years before the election as stipulated in the Code of Conduct. Having, therefore, cleared all these people, NEC, or anyone else, the Liberian Senate and the Supreme Court included, had nothing to say to Dr. Mills Jones. So they quietly and without contest or quarrel cleared him to run.And where does this leave the so-called Ombudsman? With absolutely nothing to do, and consequently redundant.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

SARA to host celebrity cricket match

first_imgThe State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) will be hosting a “Lash It Out” cricket match at the Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) ground on July 13. Action is slated to last from 18:00 hrs to 22:30 hrs.The aim of this initiative is to create among young people awareness of their involvement in the fight against corruption.Players in the game will comprise local celebrities and members of the cricket fraternity, among whom are British High Commissioner James Quinn; National Sports Director Christopher Jones; Attorney-at-Law Charles Ramson Jr; members of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) team, Leon Johnson and Paul Wintz; Entertainer Kerwin Bollers; Entertainer Rawle Ferguson; Former Carib Soca Monarch, Jumo Primo; Caribbean Artiste of the Year, Saiku Andrews;  Founder of Morgan’s Learning Center, Orin Morgan; HGP Nightly News Anchor Travis Chase, and Sports Journalist Avenash Ramzan.There will be many other players participating in this match.last_img read more

Barca deny Abidal had illegal liver transplant

first_img“FC Barcelona roundly deny any irregularity in the matter,” the club said in a statement in English on their website.Abidal, a former France international, received a liver transplant in April 2012 at the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona and resumed his playing career a year later before retiring in 2014.The Eric Abidal foundation also issued a “categorical denial” of any “irregularities in the treatment of his illness”.On Wednesday morning, online newspaper El Confidencial reported that a telephone tap of former club president Sandro Rosell, suggested that the club illegally acquired a liver for the player.Rossell is due to face trial on charges of money laundering in connection with Brazilian TV rights sales and was also investigated for the deal which brought Neymar to Barcelona.Abidal, who is 38, was named Barcelona’s sport director in June.“The club are saddened by the lack of rigour in the spreading of such information about such a sensitive issue,” said the Barcelona statement.The clinic and the Spanish organ donation organisation (ONT) both issued statements denying any wrong-doing, although ONT added that it had opened an internal investigation.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Eric Abidal returned to action after a liver transplant to the joy of his Barcelona team-mates © AFP/File / Lluis GENEBARCELONA, Spain, Jul 4 – Barcelona denied on Wednesday that they illegally bought a transplant liver for their former defender Eric Abidal.Contacted by AFP, a Barcelona court said it had investigated a possible crime of organ trafficking for more than a year before deciding not to proceed because of a lack of evidence.last_img read more

Valley kids mostly fail state tests

first_imgPALMDALE – Most Antelope Valley schoolchildren who were tested last year failed state standards for physical fitness, a state report released Monday showed. Youngsters in the Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District were the top local performers, with 43.7 percent of fifth-, seventh- and ninth-graders meeting or exceeding the fitness standards. That number topped the state average of 26.6 percent. The lowest performing local district was Antelope Valley Union High School District, where 16.3 percent of the students tested met the fitness benchmarks. The state Department of Education released results of last spring’s physical fitness testing of California’s fifth-, seventh- and ninth-graders. Students were deemed physically fit if they met standards in six categories measuring aerobic capacity, percentage of body fat, abdominal strength and endurance, trunk strength, upper body strength and overall flexibility. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Students were tested in different activities, including a one-mile run or walk; stomach curl-ups; push-ups; pull-ups; trunk lifting; and sit-and-reach exercises. “I am pleased to announce the 2005 physical fitness test scores show some forward movement with a 3 to 4 percent increase in overall performance,” state schools Superintendent Jack O’Connell said in a written statement. “But there are still far too many students failing to reach even minimal levels of physical fitness. A silent epidemic of obesity and poor nutrition is endangering our children’s health and their ability to learn. This physical fitness test is just one more reminder that we need to rededicate our commitment to turn this trend around,” O’Connell said. State law requires school districts to administer annually a physical fitness test, designated by the state Board of Education, to all fifth-, seventh- and ninth-graders. In 2004-05, 1,374,283 students in California were tested. Of those, 365,755 met six out of the six fitness standards. An analysis by the state education department comparing 2001 results of physical fitness testing with standardized test scores showed a significant relationship between academic achievement and fitness. Also scoring above the state average were Westside Union School District, where 29 percent of students tested met six out of six fitness standards; Wilsona School District, where 31 percent met all minimum standards; and Muroc Joint Unified School District, where the figure was 39.6 percent. In the Southern Kern Unified School District, 26.1 percent of students met the mark. In the Hughes-Elizabeth Lakes Union School District, 23 percent of students met the standards. In the Keppel Union School District, that figure was 21.8 percent. In the Eastside Union School District, 17.3 percent, or 111 fifth- and seventh-graders of the 640 tested, met the six-out-of-six standard. A total of 730 fifth- and seventh-graders in the Lancaster School District, or 21.4 percent, met all six of the fitness standards. In the Palmdale School District, 879 of the 4,753 tested, or 18.5 percent, met all six fitness standards. There was no fitness report available for the Mojave Unified School District. Karen Maeshiro, (661) 267-5744 karen.maeshiro@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Destination Island Fish Fry for NIB Symposium Delegates

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, March 31, 2017 – Providenciales – The 40 delegates here for the International Social Security Symposium hosted by the National Insurance Board will head out to Island Fish Fry at the Bight Park for what is arguably the most famous TCI cultural extravaganza.The NIB is celebrating 25 years of existence and will this weekend also reward staff and recognize those who have aided in building the NIB for the last quarter of a century.  The symposium, which opened on Tuesday, welcomed 13 nations and was staged at Beaches Resort Villages and Spa.#MagneticMediaNews#InternationalSocialSecuritySymposium#NIBhostssocialsecuritysymposium#NIBis25yearsold Recommended for you Related Items:#InternationalSocialSecuritySymposium, #magneticmedianews, #NIBhostssocialsecuritysymposium, #NIBis25yearsold Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp TCI Natl Insurance Board hosts Regional Symposiumlast_img read more

Jamaican Government reaching out to unattached youth

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:center_img #Jamaica, January 29, 2018 – Kingston – The Government is seeking to reach out to many of the 140,000 unattached youth through the Work to Learn, Earn, Give and Save (LEGS) programme and equip them with viable skills.  According to Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, data will be gathered soon to locate the youth and engage them in training opportunities that fit their passion.“Heavy-duty equipment is a major demand, and we have not scaled up our education system to meet these things,” the Minister said.  He was delivering the keynote address at the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the HEART Trust/NTA and the Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica on January 24 at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus in St. Andrew.The agreement will facilitate the engagement of 500 youngsters at the upcoming CARIFTA Aquatics Championship 2018 in Jamaica.  Senator Reid said that although the opportunities to be provided for the youth may seem modest, they are a glimpse of what lies ahead for the LEGS participants if they remain committed to the initiative.“Sport is another opportunity where you can have fun while you are learning discipline,” the Minister said.Senator Reid argued that the MOU embodies the vision of the Government to foster a culture of positive youth development and participation in decision-making around activities that affect the lives of youth and facilitate economic development, focusing on entrepreneurship.Twenty-six delegations will be in Jamaica for the Aquatics Championship from March 15 to 18 and March 31 to April 4. They will participate in disciplines such as open water swimming, artistic swimming, and water polo.  The HEART Trust/NTA will recruit, train, certify and transport the 500 youth volunteers.Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, said training young people in volunteerism is a “great opportunity for them to serve their country”.“Volunteerism is an investment that has unlimited value and is one of the tenets of development and advancement in nations,” she said, in a speech delivered by Director of Sport Monitoring and Development in the Ministry, Florette Blackwood.Release: JISlast_img read more

Were India and Pakistan on the brink of missile warfare amid recent

first_imgA carrier mounted with India’s ballistic missile Agni move past the saluting base in New Delhi on January 26. Indian threat of a missile barrage and Pakistani reaction prompted world powers to intervene to de-escalate the recent tensions between the neighbours.ReutersA reported Indian threat to hit at least six targets with missiles and Pakistani vow to retaliate with “three times” the force set off alarm bells in western capitals triggering their intervention to prevent the catastrophe and de-escalate the tensions in the wake Indian bombing of Balakot to avenge Pulwama terror strike and Pakistani raid across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, media reports say. During the conflict, New Delhi said it shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet in a skirmish and lost a MiG-21 plane whose pilot Abhinandan Varthaman was taken alive after ejecting from the burning plane and was later returned to India.Though Indian officials have denied knowledge of such a missile threat, a Reuters report said a Pakistani minister and a western diplomat separately confirmed the threat and avowed retaliation, a report in The Hindu said. The sources did not specify who delivered the threat or who received it. “We said if you will fire one missile, we will fire three,” the Pakistani minister said.India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval had reportedly spoken with Pakistan’s ISI chief Asim Munir over a secure line hours after the dogfight over the LoC to tell him India was not going to back down. Doval told Munir that India’s fight was with the militant groups that operated from Pakistani soil and it was prepared to escalate, a government source told Reuters.A Pakistani government minister and a Western diplomat in Islamabad separately confirmed a specific Indian threat to hit six targets inside Pakistan, according to the report. They did not specify who delivered the threat or who received it, but the minister said Indian and Pakistani intelligence agencies “were communicating with each other during the fight, and even now they are communicating with each other”.Pakistan said it would counter any Indian missile attacks with many more launches of its own, the minister told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We said if you will fire one missile, we will fire three. Whatever India will do, we will respond three times to that,” the Pakistani minister said.Reports of the threat and counter threat set western diplomatic circles buzz and US National Security Advisor John Bolton was forced to intervene despite his preoccupation with President Donald Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam. Washington, Beijing, and London reportedly joined hands to put pressure on the two countries to back down. A Hatf-VI (Shaheen-II) missile with a range of 2,000 km takes off during a test flight at an undisclosed location in Pakistan on April 21, 2008. [Representational Image]ReutersWith two nuclear-armed nations arraigned across one of the world’s most militarized borders and the LoC in Kashmir, there is always a threat of a misunderstanding and escalation, which keep world powers on edge.Though sources confirm the exchanges did not go beyond threats and that at any point there was the threat of use of weapons other than the conventional ones, they did create tensions in world capitals.Revealing the hectic behind-the-scenes action, the report said that Bolton was on the phone with Doval on the night of Feb 27 itself, and into the early hours of Feb 28, the second day of the Trump-Kim talks, in a bid to defuse the situation, a Western diplomat in New Delhi and an Indian official told Reuters.Later, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was also in Hanoi, called both sides to seek a way out of the crisis. “Secretary Pompeo led diplomatic engagement directly, and that played an essential role in de-escalating the tensions between the two sides,” State Department deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino said in a briefing in Washington on March 5. Pompeo spoke to Doval, the Indian and Pakistani Foreign Ministers Sushma Swaraj and Shah Mahmood Qureshi, respectively, Palladino said.US Indo-Pacific Command Admiral Phil Davidson told reporters in Singapore last week that he had separately been in touch with the Indian navy chief, Admiral Sunil Lanba, throughout the crisis. On the morning of Feb 28, Trump told reporters in Hanoi that he expected the crisis to end soon. “They have been going at it and we have been involved in trying to have them stop. Hopefully, that is going to be coming to an end.”The Pakistani minister said China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also intervened in the matter. The government of the UAE said Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan spoke to both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. His announcement in Pakistan’s parliament that the Indian pilot would be released helped thaw the situation further, and Abhinandan was sent back the next day. “I know last night there was a threat there could a missile attack on Pakistan, which got defused,” Khan said. “I know, our army stood prepared for retaliation of that attack.”The two countries have gone to war three times since they gained independence in 1947, the last time in 1971. The two armies are trading fire along the line of control that separates them in Kashmir, but the tensions appear contained, reports say. [Representational Image] India’s medium range ballistic missile Prithvi moves through the streets of New Delhi on January 15, 2001, during a parade to celebrate the 53rd Army Day.ReutersThe militaries of both India and Pakistan regularly flight test missiles of different caliber and have claimed to have inducted ballistic missiles and terrain-hugging cruise missiles of different ranges. These missiles are regular items of display in national day parades in both capitals. Many of the missiles in their arsenals are capable of reaching any part of the other country and wreaking havoc.India has inducted short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM) Prithvi 1, 2 and 3 missiles of ranges 150km to 350km, Dhanush, a ship-launched SRBM and vehicle launched Agni-1 of up to 1,200km range. Its arsenal also has medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) Agni 2 of up to 3,500km and intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) Agni-3 of up to 5,000km range. Hypersonic cruise missile BahMos that can hit targets up to 500km away are also part of Indian arsenal.Pakistani missile arsenal is equally impressive with SRBMs Hatf-1 that can hit targets 100km away, Hatf-2 ‘Abdali’ of up to 200km range, Hatf-3 ‘Ghaznavi’ that can reach up to 200km away, and the 700km-range Hatf 4 ‘Shaheen-1’. MRBMs include Hatf -5 ‘Ghauri’ that can travel up to 1,500km and Hatf-6 ‘Shaheen-2’ that can hit targets 2,500km away. Hatf-7 ‘Babur’ is a cruise missile that can seek out targets up to 700km away while the Pakistani military has also deployed an anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) Exocet that can hit targets up to 180km away.last_img read more

Has Aditya Roy Kapur broken up with Diva Dhawan

first_imgIn our film industry where the celebs are always surrounded by conjectures, rumours, gossips and paparazzi; it doesn’t take any relationship too long to wither away. The same seems to have happened with Aditya Roy Kapur too.It was on Karan Johar’s Koffee with Karan, where we got to know that Aditya Roy Kapur was apparently dating an American model Diva Dhawan. The duo was spotted together every now and then which had fuelled the rumours of them being more than just good friends. However, as per a report in DNA, the duo has allegedly called it quits. “Adi and Diva couldn’t commit to each other and decided to part ways. They had not taken their relationship to a serious level so, it was a cordial split for both of them. They have stayed friends and are in touch even now,” says the report.Last year, Diva Dhawan had posted a photo kissing a man. Though the man in the picture couldn’t be identified, he appeared to be Aditya Roy Kapur. With that picture, Diva had proclaimed that she was in love.However, when KJo directly asked Aditya about his relationship status, Roy had said, “The real truth is that I’m chilling. Chilling like a villain.” As per India Today report, Aditya had earlier denied any linkup with Diva, saying, “She’s a lovely girl and an old friend of mine. We met at a fashion show many years ago and we’re good friends. We went out for dinner one night at this famous restaurant that everyone is going to nowadays, Bastian. So we got papped and stories started. Completely false stories.”We wonder what’s the real truth here.last_img read more

Puerto Rico Death Toll Jumps To 34 Including 2 Suicides

first_img Share Locked out of his home and with nowhere else to go, Wilfredo Ortiz Marrero rode out Hurricane Maria inside a Jeep, which was lifted off its wheels by floodwaters in the parking lot. He then endured days without enough food or running water.The lights are back on at his residence for low-income elderly people in the San Juan suburb of Trujillo Alta, and food has started arriving, but he still waits as long as he can each night to leave the company of others in the lobby. Alone in his room, he sometimes starts to shake.“You get really depressed,” he said Wednesday.The hurricane that pummeled Puerto Rico two weeks ago and the scarcity-marked aftermath are taking a toll on islanders’ equilibrium. The U.S. territory’s government counted two suicides among the death toll, which now stands at 34, and with many communities still waiting for power and clean water, there is concern about others reaching a breaking point.Students and staff at Ponce Health Sciences University are visiting shelters and people in the hardest-hit communities to provide psychological help, among other services, said Alex Ruiz, special assistant to the university’s president.“People’s whole worlds were taken from them,” he said. “People will need the proper psychological help to get through this.”At a news conference on Wednesday, Gov. Ricardo Rossello said the death toll jumped to 34 from 16 on the basis of a report that he commissioned to consult with hospitals and gain a more complete picture of the number of victims. He said 20 deaths resulted directly from the storm, including drownings and those killed in mudslides.The count also includes sick and elderly who died in the aftermath of the hurricane, including some who died because oxygen could not be delivered amid power outages. There were also two suicides, but Rossello did not provide details of those.One elderly woman took her own life Sunday inside a nursing home in Rio Piedras, a San Juan suburb. While the facility’s director, Maria Betancourt, said she didn’t believe the woman was distressed about the storm, the home was stifling hot on Wednesday after power was wiped out nearly a month ago when Hurricane Irma sideswiped the island on Sept. 7, though a generator has kept the lights on. Outside the home there were piles of garbage and fallen tree limbs piled on the side of the road.Ortiz and other residents of the low-income housing residence in Trujillo Alta said the building administration ordered them to leave ahead of Hurricane Maria, saying the building wasn’t equipped to weather the storm. Some were picked up by family, but Ortiz had no relatives to come get him and had no choice but to stay in his Jeep until the storm subsided and a chain on the building’s door was removed.Another resident, Felix Manuel Lopez, a 73-year-old U.S. Army veteran, said he has seen a Veterans Affairs counselor to help with anxiety that came back after he returned from a shelter to his darkened apartment.“Everybody’s drained,” said Ruiz, the Ponce university official, who recently toured the city on the island’s southern coast to assess people’s needs. “Spirits have been broken.”On Wednesday, the governor said power has been restored to 8.6 percent of Puerto Rico’s customers and the government is hoping to have power back on for 25 percent within a month. Power is being restored at hospitals, and he said the government is looking into which schools can reopen.“While we are still in an emergency we are transitioning to establishing some components of normalcy,” Rossello said.Dr. Olga Rodriguez, the dean of the Ponce Health Science University’s school of medicine, said mental health problems have increased after the hurricane and need to be dealt with swiftly.“This is very important so as to minimize the impact and emotional effects,” she said. “It’s not easy. We’re reaching some people, but the island needs more mental health professionals. If we don’t act, the situation can become problematic.”“People are unable to go to work, they cannot produce, they do not know when they can return to work,” she said. “There’s widespread despair.”____Coto reported from San Juan.last_img read more

NPR Host Lulu GarciaNavarro Discusses Exploring — And Reporting On — Houston

first_imgStephen VossLulu Garcia-Navarro, host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday. Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X Sharecenter_img 00:00 /03:23 Lulu Garcia-Navarro, host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday is in Houston this week. She’ll host this week’s show from our studios at Houston Public Media.Houston Matters host Craig Cohen talks with her about the show and what stories about Houston they’re planning to tell.Weekend Edition Sunday can be heard on News 88.7 Sunday morning starting at 7.last_img