President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is calling on all Liberians to let the New Year, 2014, be one of true patriotism and reconciliation that will highlight the positive things that unite us.According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf, in her New Year’s Message to the nation, urged Liberians to welcome the year 2014 with a sense of humility remembering that as compatriots, we must continue to strengthen the peace now prevailing in the country.She noted that the country has great potential, and Liberians, a resilient people, have the potential to rise above the challenges, and really come together and make Liberia the truly great nation that it’s meant to be.Speaking about plans for the coming year, the Liberian leader said her government will accelerate development efforts, move the economy and create more jobs. “In this dry season, we will forge ahead with our infrastructure development, particularly roads, power and ports which are the essentials that make everything else happen in the country,” President Sirleaf emphasized, adding that at the same time, her government will endeavor to implement the results of the study taken to address the problems of the education sector, as well as forge more effective efforts to promote food security through agriculture.Beyond 2014, President Sirleaf pledged to continue to implement her administration’s long-term vision and development agenda; conclude the processes for constitutional reform; expand infrastructure to a larger number of the population; strengthen the management of the country’s natural resources; and ensure that Liberia retains an open society based on transparency and accountability.On the international front, the Liberian President promised to build upon the satisfactory level of cooperation in the Mano River Union, ECOWAS and the African Union, and continue to strengthen and broaden good relations with bilateral and multilateral partners.Looking back at 2013, President Sirleaf termed it a landmark year, as it was the year that Liberians commemorated the 10th Anniversary of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ushered in a decade of uninterrupted peace. “We proudly proclaimed to the world that we had lived through a decade of uninterrupted peace, thanks to the contribution from all Liberians and the generous support received from regional institutions and global partners,” she stressed.The Liberian leader indicated that although the country remains a fragile state, the record of continuity in peace and democracy is clearly present. She urged her compatriots to continue to build upon this momentous achievement for the good of our native land.Highlighting some of the major activities during the year, President Sirleaf said 2013 saw her government begin to implement the National Vision 2030, a 20-year initiative, out of which a medium-term economic growth and development strategy, the Agenda for Transformation and a Strategic Roadmap for National Healing, Peace-building and Reconciliation, have been carved out and are being implemented. “Together, these policies are guiding us on our journey to the future as ‘One People, One Nation, United for Peace and Sustainable Development’,” President Sirleaf said.In 2013, President Sirleaf said her administration placed great emphasis on infrastructure, with power, roads and ports as the three areas of concentration, because, in turn, these facilitate the education, health and agriculture sectors.On the fight against corruption, she admitted that although work is far from done, there has been some progress, especially in terms of prevention and punishment.On reconciliation, the Liberian leader said they’ve moved an inch ahead with the Palava Hut Initiative launched in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, last October. However, she warned that reconciliation will come about only with the commitment of all to peace and unity. “Only if we all work together to address the many related issues, will our country progress and prosper,” President Sirleaf said.On the economy, the Liberian President admitted that although growth has remained satisfactory, it has not performed to expectation due to delays in operationalizing investments. She attributed this to land and benefits disputes and, to a certain extent, official bureaucratic bottlenecks which resulted in pressure on the exchange rate which has impacted the people. “We have already taken measures to get our mining, agriculture and forestry operations back on track, to get the economy functioning fully as planned,” President Sirleaf assured.“Nevertheless,” President Sirleaf said, “we are proud of our efforts and the progress, in the past year, under the Agenda for Transformation pillars of peace, justice, security, and rule of law; economic transformation; human development; governance and public institution; and the many cross-cutting social issues of youth unemployment, gender equality, child protection, disability, the environment and more,” the Liberian leader stated.As the New Year breaks, President Sirleaf prayed for God’s guidance in leading the nation in the direction of peace, reconciliation and development. “We wish Liberians – at home and in the Diaspora – and residents living within our borders, a very happy and prosperous New Year filled with health, happiness and prosperity,” President Sirleaf said. 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Dear Editor,Is it not yet time for the policymakers and administrators at the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown (M&CC) to own up to their mistakes, and to take responsibility for the beleaguered state of our capital city rather than attempting to chastise and penalize everyone else?Quite recently, a major revenue scam was uncovered, whereby it was discovered that a large number of vendors were issued fake receipts by revenue staff for vending fees and rents paid. One would have thought that the Police would have been called in; that a comprehensive audit of the market revenue system would have been undertaken; and that the Councillors and citizens would have been formally notified.Of course none of this was done, because the M&CC do not conform to the norms of good governance, transparency and accountability. So everything was quietly swept under the carpet, and ironically, it was the vendors from Alexander Street who were harassed instead.Then we had the bizarre discovery of a farmer who was accused of rearing and slaughtering pigs inside of Le Repentir Cemetery, at the southern section, for more than 15 years now. The slaughtered pigs were then sold at the Bourda Market. Are pigs no longer slaughtered at the City’s abattoir? Now, certainly, the public health risk cannot be overemphasized, and the urgent need to remove this farmer cannot be overstated.Instead, however, one elder Councillor opined that the Council had to consider the livelihood of the farmer, whilst a leading municipal official said she had compassion on farmers because she does not want to take bread out of the mouths of people. Unbelievable!Clearly, these Councillors believe that it is more important to keep bread in the mouths of the farmer and her children than to prevent the citizenry from being exposed to all of the bacteria and pathogens that can be transmitted from the graveyard to buyers at the Bourda Market via the pigs (pork).But do you think the farmer has since been removed? Of course not! Instead, she now has more than half a dozen sows and scores of piglets wallowing in, and drinking, the cemetery’s groundwater. Simply preposterous!Another example of the twisted thinking of City Hall is their predisposition to not pay over NIS deductions to the National Insurance Scheme, and pay-as-you-earn taxes to the Guyana Revenue Authority, which are taken out of the employees’ salaries, and other deductions, such as credit union dues etc; and then, when questioned about it, turn around and say, ‘So what? It is not the Council alone that owes these entities’, as if to say that it is okay to break the law if others are doing same.But who really is being penalized? Not the Council, but rather the poor employees, who cannot enjoy medical benefits or acquire loans from their Credit Union etc.The Georgetown Municipality is very much out of control. It is very bloated, and is infested with fraud and deceit and corruption and abuse of power.SincerelyAnu Bihari
In spite of what some considered as the dismal performance of the Unity Party led government under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; her successor to the political leadership of the party seems to be the choice of many neutrals that are very skeptical of the intents of the plethora of presidential aspirants, many of whom are new on the political landscape.Now at the helm of the party, Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai also appears to be the melting point for those who consider themselves as indigenous Liberians, especially those who are proponents of the ‘Americo-Liberians versus Indigenous’ politics. These are Liberians who want power shift in the political and economic spheres of the country.These two factors seem to be giving the UP’s newly elected political leader leverage as the 2017 general and presidential elections approach. This is aside from the massive support that the ‘Boakai Movement’ and other related organizations are receiving from every corner of the country since the VP declared his intention to contest the presidency. The pull of support was clearly evident at the UP convention in Gbarnga, Bong County.Minutes before President Sirleaf cast a white ballot that eventually confirmed Boakai as the elected standard bearer of the party, some influential opposition political figures from the former ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP) and Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), publicly declared support to the candidacy of VP Boakai.The influential and high ranking members of the Liberian Senate included NPP’s Dan Morais, CDC’s Peter Coleman and former Chair of the CDC Geraldine Doe-Sheriff who, though left the party years ago under an acrimonious circumstance, appeared somewhat conservative in her remarks.Sen. Morias publicly declared his membership of the “Joseph Nyumah Boakai (JNB) Movement,” saying, “We are with you,” adding that, the fact that he (Sen. Morias) had been embraced by the UP and was witnessing the ushering in of a new democratic dispensation, that was enough to send home the message.He was in Gbarnga to form part of the history that was at the verge of taking place in that provincial city. “This is the kind of development that Liberians need,” he said, pledging his full support to the VP. Sen. Coleman said whatever UP decided in the convention hall would be responsible for Liberia’s destiny for the next six years, and expressed his desire to be part of that process. “I traveled the length and breadth of this country, and I see, I’m a witness to the transformation this country is undergoing,” he noted, and told President Sirleaf that it was why he wanted to be at the convention, to ensure that the transformation continued. He said he will be in support of whatever the UP would have decided upon.Sen. Sheriff noted that, as a Liberian, she was concerned about the forward march of the nation and, “about who takes the gavel of authority to build upon what was started,” by President Sirleaf.“So we have come to observe, Madam President, where you have stopped; those good legacies that you are leaving, whoever becomes the president should follow. I have come to make sure that what happens here should represent the supreme interest of the Liberian people,” Sen. Doe-Sheriff said.“We have come because we have a stake; we have come because we are decision makers. And as such, as Liberians, it is our responsibility and obligation to ensure that the next leader of this country is someone that has a heart; is someone that understands the dynamics; is someone that understands that we are to build the human resource capacity of our people,” she added.It doesn’t matter which political party one comes from, she said but it is about Liberians coming together to make a critical decision to elect a leader that understands that Liberia must progress in unity.Though the “Congo-Native” politics is less talked about publicly, it is still entrenched in the hearts and minds of many “indigenous” Liberians who feel that they have been marginalized for too long, and as such they need someone to emancipate them from the ‘Americo-Liberians’ who make up a minute portion of the country’s population.The “marginalized” Liberians initially saw the political leader of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) as that redeemer. This led to the massive support that the CDC has received since its emergence, though George Weah has fallen short of living up to such expectation in the past few years—giving room to Boakai, who it appears, these group of Liberians are looking up to. However, it remains to be seen whether this sectional politics will have a fruitful result this time if Boakai is elected because this is not the first time this type of politics has been preached. The last time such politics surfaced, it resulted into a tyrannical government that eventually brought the country to its knees—plunging it into a decade long political unrest and subsequently into another decade and a half of war.At the 2017 elections, UP will be seeking a third term victory that will have to cross three immediate hurdles: the party’s caustic internal politics; an embattled public perception; and the dozens of presidential aspirants. As a result, President Sirleaf said UP partisans should do all they can to reach beyond every political divide, while charging to work as a team, to help to heal the wounds, and bring everyone together to ensure that the party will continue to grow from strength to strength as it prepares for the third term.She urged Boakai to be his own man, have his own vision, “which you would set for us to follow,” adding that he should be strong in the defense for what the party stands for and to be bold when he starts constitutional reforms to ensure that he deepens the democracy which encompasses the principle of freedom of choice.“As the new leader of the party and as a continuing leader of the government, you should make sure that we are all one family, one nation, one country, indivisible to claim the rightful place that we have worked so hard for,” she said.Meanwhile, the President also announced that former Senate Pro-Tempore Gbezohngar Findley has officially joined UP.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
An inmate who was on remand on a murder charge at the Lusignan Prison, East Coast Demerara, is now dead after allegedly being beaten by several prisoners.Dead is 30-year-old Shaheed Ali of Albouystown, Georgetown.Reports are that at about 22:58h on Tuesday last, Ali was in Bay One at the Lusignan Prison when several other prisoners began to beat him following a dispute.The Lusignan Prison, East Coast of DemeraraThe injured inmate was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) where he was admitted as a patient. However, on Friday, at about 20:50h he succumbed to his injuries at the GPHC. A report was subsequently made to the police.Guyana Times was told that Ali had undergone surgery for several injuries including a fractured skull on the day of his death. His body is at the hospital’s mortuary awaiting a post-mortem examination.Meanwhile, acting Guyana Prison Service (GPS) Director, Kevin Pilgrim when contacted on Saturday said that the incident is being investigated by the police.He explained that the protocol of any assault that occurs inside the prison which results in death stipulates that the police spearhead the investigation.“The police have been called in to the matter, in fact, when the assault took place they were notified, and now that this is a murder case it is the GPF who is leading the investigations. We at the GPS are awaiting a full report as it relates to the actors (perpetrators) who are involved in this death. The police visited the area, the holding bay at Lusignan on Friday night, and investigations are continuing,” Pilgrim told this newspaper.According to Pilgrim, the holding bay where the assault against Ali occurred is very large, with a large number of inmates. He said that the prison service has been cooperating with the investigation and has made provisions for all staff who worked during the night of the beating to be available to the police for questioning.“Even if there are 500 inmates there at Lusignan, the GPS will make each of them available to the police for the investigation process. Also, all our prison officers we will make available to the police so that this matter can be fully investigated so that we will know who needs to be charged or held accountable,” Pilgrim added. (Kristen Macklingam)
The White Water Health Post in Region One (Barima-Waini), has expanded its primary healthcare services within the community to not only its residents but to a number of Venezuelan migrants entering Guyana.With an increased supply of drugs, vaccines and other medical supplies, health officers at the facility are now enabled to enhance their immunisation efforts to protect the local population from diseases and infections.The health team includes a microscopist, and two Community Health Workers (CHW) while provisions are currently being made through a community development project to have a doctor within the area.The influx of migrants has placed a demand on the health post to render both preventative and curative treatments for these minor illnesses and as such, residents should be safeguarded. This is according to the Community Health Worker, Orbin Domingo.“Before we never had malaria cases but now we have two within our catchment area… White Water is generally a healthy community… so we are protecting them [migrants] as well,” Domingo said.Domingo explained that the health facility serves as a checkpoint for migrants, as he added that medical staff work closely with border control officers to ensure that migrants entering the country, when the health post is closed, are located and immunised.However, the staffers are being posed with challenges, with the most dominant being language barrier preventing effective communication when administering drugs or vaccines to migrants. But nevertheless, efforts are being made to cease same.Since the first group of migrants entered Guyana, to date, there are more than 36,000 persons who have crossed the borders, most of them seeking healthcare. This has led to the public health officials increasing supplies of drugs, vaccines and medical supplies for health posts and centres in bordering communities.
The event is a partnership with Taylor Industrial Mutual Aid, a group of local industries and other stakeholders who meet every other month to have conversations around ensuring the safety of local residents.Taylor’s emergency coordinators Sadie Jones says the event is an opportunity for residents to grab an information package and learn more about how to be prepared for 72 hours – appropriate for the whole family.“The bouncy castles are going to be down there –we’ve got the fire department, RCMP, BC Ambulance,” says Jones. “There’s lots of stuff to do outside and inside.”- Advertisement -Jones is expecting around 300 people will come out to the open house/barbeque.“Emergencies happen everyday and it’s important for everyone to know what their role is – it’s a shared responsibility between the residents, the municipality, the province, the country,” Jones goes on to say. “Everyone needs to be prepared to take care of themselves for 72 hours while help is coming, so part of our job is just to provide that public education and that’s what this is.”Those who come out can expect to learn about the hazards that surround them and how they can be better prepared.Advertisement The open house/barbeque is being held outside Taylor Community Hall, located on 9896 Cherry Ave W, May 6, 2015 – running 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.The event is completely free to attend.
That was followed by the devastating failure to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years after a playoff defeat to Sweden at the San Siro in November last year.Italian football has been in turmoil ever since. Although Mancini took over last May, the Italian football federation is still to elect a new president.It was perhaps not surprising that Cristiano Biraghi’s last-gasp winner in Chorzow on Sunday night was celebrated as if the national side had won the tournament.Despite Mancini’s insistence that it would not be a drama if Italy lost the match, the League A Group 3 clash was a relegation playoff, with Poland dropping to League B.“The salvation of Italy and the turning point for Mancini,” wrote La Repubblica, hailing the win as a “birth certificate for a new national side.”Former Manchester City boss Mancini’s only success since taking over five months ago was a 2-1 win in a friendly against Saudi Arabia before the World Cup.“A new cycle has already begun,” said the 53-year-old former Italian international.Italy defender Cristiano Biraghi (L) celebrates scoring the winning goal with midfielder Nicolo Barella © AFP / Janek SKARZYNSKI“We’ll go with pride to see the president of the republic,” he added of Monday’s meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in Rome to mark the 120th anniversary of the Italian FA.“All of Italian football will be there, it’s important to go with a morale-boosting win like yesterday and for this we are proud,” said Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) president Giovanni Malago. “I see a new generation of young Italians emerging. In recent years there has been a lack of foresight.”– ‘No magicians’ –Mancini said a “new era has already begun”, although he cautioned that “there are no magicians”.“We simply started working, getting to know the players.“I don’t like to think that the worst has passed for us, because for us it has never got that bad. There was never any specific kind of problem.”Italian coach Fabio Capello believes “Mancini’s choices have borne fruit,” as the national side can now aspire to finishing top of their Nations League group ahead of European champions Portugal.“The coach knows his players and tries to construct the match based on what he has,” said the former England and Russia coach.Mancini stuck with the same eleven he started with in last Wednesday’s 1-1 draw against the Ukraine.He then opted to bring on Kevin Lasagna for his international debut in the second half over Lazio ace Ciro Immobile, and the 26-year-old, who plays for Serie B side Carpi, set up Biraghi for the winner.Nicolo Barella, 21, was also chosen to start over Lorenzo Pellegrini in midfield after making his international debut in Genoa.Fiorentina defender Biraghi was playing just his third game for Italy after earning his first call-up last month at the age of 26.“Last night Mancini’s choice was a winner,” said Capello.“(Barella) is a player who gives a change of pace in midfield, he gives something more, in terms of quality and quantity, that we were lacking before.”Cristiano Biraghi made the sign ’13’ in honour of ex-Fiorentina teammate Davide Astori who died last March © AFP / Janek SKARZYNSKIThe result ensures Italy stayed in the top tier ahead of December’s draw for Euro 2020 qualifying, and can still win their Nations League group.It also gives the Azzurri a boost as they prepare to host Portugal in the San Siro on November 17 — just over a year after they lost their World Cup playoff to Sweden at the same stadium.Portugal have six points from two games, with Italy on four points after three games with Poland relegated to League B with one point.Portugal then host Poland three days later.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000“A new era has begun”: Italy coach Roberto Mancini gets his first competitive win © AFP / PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRAMILAN, Italy, Oct 15 – Roberto Mancini got his first competitive win as Italy’s journey back from the abyss of their World Cup qualifying failure began to take shape with a last-gasp 1-0 win over Poland in the Nations League.It was the first competitive win for the four-time world champions since a 1-0 victory over Albania in World Cup qualifiers on October 9, 2017.
GRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – Grande Prairie RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying three suspects involved in a break and enter.During the early morning of September 16, at around 5:30 a.m., the RCMP say they responded to a break and enter at the Wild Rose Country Inn in Grande Prairie.According to police, after gaining access to the business, one suspect stole a cash register.- Advertisement -RCMP say two additional suspects then entered the business and stole a key box.The suspects are described as:Suspect #1Advertisement male, average-sizedWearing black shoes, black gloves, black balaclava, dark clothing with light coloured stripe downside of pantsSuspect #2male, average sizewearing blue jeans, balaclava, black gloves, black jacket with red sleeves and white markings, and a dark hat with green writing on left sideSuspect #3male, large in sizewearing blue jeans, red and black gloves, white shoes, and a tight-fitting hooded, grey sweater with black sleevesIf you have any information regarding this incident, or if you can help identify the suspects, you are being asked to call the Grande Prairie RCMP at 780-830-5700 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan has told a Donegal TD that there will be no financial help for hauliers despite rising fuel costs.Questioned by Thomas Pringle, the Independent TD, Mr Noonan said it would be wrong for the state to intervene in a situation caused by international factors.He said that there is ‘some limited scope’ to apply a lower rate of excise on diesel for commercial use. But, he has said that this would be ‘extremely expensive, especially in the current fiscal environment.’Michael Noonan pointed out that the excise rate here is around 20c lower than in the UK and that a lower commercial rate would require what he described as an ‘extensive rebate system’ which would be administratively difficult, costly to operate and open to abuse.In a written Dáil reply to Donegal South West Independent Thomas Pringle, TD, Mr Noonan has said that the issue of fuel prices had been discussed by finance ministers at an ECOFIN meeting.At that meeting it was reconfirmed that a co-ordinated approach which would not make distortionary fiscal adjustments would be maintained by all countries. The Finance Minister has concluded that ‘for these reasons, it is not proposed to introduce a tax rebate scheme to assist hauliers.’NOONAN TELLS DONEGAL TD: WE WON’T HELP HAULIERS was last modified: May 19th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
LOS ANGELES Blue Shield is sued by state The state sued Blue Shield on Thursday, accusing it of canceling health coverage for sick people to avoid paying their medical bills. The suit seeks $12.6 million in fines while contending the insurer committed more than 1,200 violations of claims-handling laws and regulations, resulting in more than 200 people losing their coverage after they submitted claims. Calling the star witness’s testimony “an abomination,” a federal judge has acquitted a Valencia hedge fund manager and his mother-in-law of obstruction charges. U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson said Thursday that the government didn’t provide sufficient evidence that Keith Gary Gilabert, 37, and Hiromi Seele, 65, stood in the way of an investigation into a land sale. Gilabert and Seele were charged with ordering mortgage broker Bradley Gerszt to lie to the FBI. The judge called Gerszt’s testimony “maybe the worst I’ve ever seen.” LOS ANGELES 5 plead not guilty to plot Five people believed to be members or associates of the Mexican Mafia pleaded not guilty Thursday in Los Angeles to charges stemming from an alleged plot to murder another reputed gang member. Alleged ringleader Maria Dolores Llantada, 43, of La Puente; George Bravo, 40; David Shahagun, 26; Yvonne Montes, 30; and Angelita Martinez, 30, were arraigned in Los Angeles Superior Court before Commissioner Henry J. Hall. A sixth defendant, Anthony Palacios, 30, entered a not- guilty plea Wednesday. The defendants are accused of conspiring to murder Rafael Gonzalez-Munoz Jr. Authorities say Llantada ran the gang’s day-to-day activities in parts of La Puente and Norwalk and nearby areas in place of her husband, who is behind bars. LOS ANGELES `Sahara’ author is back in court Seven months after a jury directed Clive Cussler to pay $5million in damages to a film production company, lawyers for the novelist were in court Thursday seeking $8.5 million the author claims he is owed. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John P. Shook took the matter under submission, saying he may have a ruling in 10days. “I took some notes during the arguments and I also want to review some of the exhibits,” Shook said. After a 3