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Piecemeal Change to Illegitimate Constitution Is Wrong!

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first_imgIn her January 26, 2015, State of the Nation Address, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf called on the legislature to pass a “Dual Citizen” bill into law, which she intends to send to that body shortly. The bill if approved would effectively replace Article 28 of the Constitution. Its resolution, however, may not be a sole legislative prerogative since voters should have a say via referendum. The aim of the bill, according to the President, is to reintegrate Liberians who were compelled to seek refuge in other countries as a consequence of the mayhem the country endured, thus acquiring citizenships in other countries. I believe it is a far-sighted intention, and would be just as daring for a change to also apply to one of the most discriminatory provisions, specifically, Article 27 (b) which denied persons of non Negro descent of Liberian citizenship. Our brothers and sisters, who fall in the category of being non blacks, could very well have much more toward the growth and development of the nation if they are encouraged through laws to be permanent stakeholders. For a country which has been the recipient of near worldwide largess in numerous instances of its suicidal mission and history to condone such racist laws in 2015, does not only reveal timidity and insincerity, it does restrain development.    For disclosure purpose, this writer supports dual citizenship privilege yet is mindful of the concerns of some that are resisting the reintegration of their brothers and sisters. That said, it is past time that Liberians overcome their fears and resist the urge to discriminate against their fellow natives. Another puzzle is the apparent lip service to equally changing key anti-development and anti-accountability provisions like the unprecedented tenures of public officials- which were the handiwork of the military that had no intention of giving up power to legitimate civilian authorities.The well-known elephant in the room that the powers that be are either unwilling to face or wish no one talks about is the self-serving long tenure of elected officials. At the initiation of the constitutional process in the mid nineteen eighties, many of our former “progressives” and those in the opposition and intellectual communities complained of the insanity of imposing such monopolized tenures on the Liberian people. But at last check, the once admired shadow reformers are now rulers, and are more satisfied to keeping prolong tenures in place which the military and its loyalists invented against the interests of Liberians. Strange, isn’t it? I call it profile in self perpetuation which ought to have no space in public service.  The President’s enthusiasm to fight corruption must not be separated from empowering voters to hold senior policy makers accountable in order to weed out miserable performers in the shortest possible time. While I’m not qualified to speak for Liberians, it is safe to say they would overwhelmingly vote to reduce the nine and six-year tenures, if allowed to, of individuals whose public service records are nothing more than a joke, experts in corrupt bargains and looters of State coffers, thereby relegating those they have sworn to serve to a life span of poverty.So, why are those undemocratic provisions still embedded in the constitution? Why did the unbelievable and pretence referendum of 2011 not include answerability provisions in Articles 50 (tenure of President and Vice President), 46 (tenure of Senators) and 48 (tenure of Representatives)? The 2011 referendum, among other insignificant issues except one, laughably put forth an increase in the retirement ages of Supreme Court Justices and Judges of subordinate courts, which stands at seventy years. Voters were practical to send the aforementioned in the rubbish bin where it truly belonged.If Liberian leaders cannot muster the courage to spearhead a comprehensive change to a military imposed constitution, it is equally wrong to advance an incremental reform without stressing provisions that are unfavourable to the rulers’ interests. As our nation bleeds from all kinds of ills, its people are crying out for leaders that would at least put their personal interests in jeopardy to do what is right in support of the nation’s progress. And there are valid reasons to move quickly and produce these overdue constitutional amendments:First, even if elected officials were commendable, nine or six-year single tenure of office is unnecessarily long and counterproductive to the democratic tenets of accountability. It is somewhat upsetting if not offensive for public officials to hang on to power, using a flaw constitution as justification for such continuance.Second, producing an ideal leadership does not have to be a license for officials to continually exercise dominance over what is right. Instead, their experiences in public office could be an asset in other sectors as they exit government. The private sector can then be strengthened to impact the millions that were not helped while in offices.And third, voters don’t have to tolerate protracted tenures to vote officials out of offices if they are detrimental to the public interest. Any public service tenure above four or five years must be term limited to a single term to prevent enormous harm to the peoples’ interests. Democracy can live up to its true meaning when elected representatives are held to answer through the ballot box within a reasonable time period so that it is clear with whom the real power lies, which is the people. That is the essence of good governance. The argument that elections are costly and drain the limited financial resources of poor nations is self-serving. If we calculate the projected and real costs associated with untrustworthy, thoughtless and nepotistic governments, we might find frequent elections to be a good cause to advance growth, development, justice, peace and security. If experience is any guide from our democratic experiment, all-inclusive changes to our body politic have got to be treated as a national security issue. Regardless of the inspirational rhetoric, Liberia will continue to lag in every category of human development unless the structure of the State, premised on people first and not official first policies, is revisited.   Until such time, which I believe is now, when self-interest politicians are not legally empowered to protect and enrich themselves for a single do nothing six and nine year tenures, I submit accountability, human rights, national development, peace, justice and security would be elusive. Then the people, not the “vampires of development”, to use the President’s words, would continue to suffer.  Liberians must act, if the officials, who these bad laws support, cannot and would not act!    Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Selewon Int’l Helps Communities in Nimba

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first_imgAn American-based non-governmental organization, the Selewon International Inc., has donated various items and an unspecified amount of cash to several local communities around the Kpein Township in Nimba County,The organization has been involved in numerous development initiatives around the Kpein Township, including the distribution of Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) and food during the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD); the construction of hand pumps; provision of benches to community schools; and the construction of latrines, as well as a town hall.Selewon has also provided financial compensation for teachers that are assigned in Kpein and its surrounding towns.“This week,” said the Liberia Coordinator, Robin Wonmei, “we are donating 500 flashlights and batteries, 146 bags of macaroni for soup, first aid kits and the boxes of gloves to the community health workers.”Mr. Wonmei elaborated further that Selewon International has embarked on the construction of a library costing about US$10,000 in Kpein. The library project when completed will have a capacity of over 100 seats.The Selewon International was originally established as Kpein Organization in the United States of America, but was later named, “Selewon International, Inc.,” as a broad-based organization that incorporates anyone who is willing to share its dream and carry out the vision of impacting and developing lives in Kpein and other parts of Nimba. The organization is governed and funded by Kpein citizens living in the USA, under the leadership of Vernoe S. Wonmei.Meanwhile, Selewon has called on Kpein citizens in other parts of the world to encourage and acknowledge the objective of the organization. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Live to fight another day

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first_img‘People evacuated on their own’ The trio delivered the biggest shots as the Growling Tigers whipped the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, 89-69, to forge a knockout clash for the last finals berth before a big Sunday night crowd at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Abando buried three treys and finished with 17 points, Nonoy fired 16 points and Concepcion made four triples as the Tigers took command early and continued their dominance of the Fighting Maroons this season. It was the second knockout game survived by the Tigers so far after holding off Far Eastern U in the first of stepladder victories they need to win to earn the right to face defending champion Ateneo.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAndray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai SottoSPORTSBig differenceSPORTSAlmazan status stays uncertain ahead of Game 4“It’s been a process for the rookies this season,” said Ayo. “There were times when they struggled and kept committing mistakes. But they’ve continued to learn and that’s the most important thing. The desire to win will always be there. But the maturity and skills come with the work they put in everyday in practice.”Another win against the second seed Maroons on Wednesday in their third straight sudden-death match will send the Tigers to the Finals against the unbeaten Eagles. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Phivolcs: Cloud seeding in ashfall affected areas needs study No need to wear face masks in Metro Manila, says scientist Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST PLAY LIST 01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST02:46Fighting jihadism in the Sahel: Life inside the military camps00:50Trending Articles01:05Poor visibility, nakaapekto sa maraming lugar sa Batangas03:028,000 pulis sa Region 4-A, tuloy ang trabaho03:57Phivolcs, nahihirapan sa komunikasyon sa Taal01:04Sold-out: Stores run out of face masks after Taal spews ash01:45Iran police shoot at those protesting plane shootdown01:54MMDA deploys rescue team to Batangas following Taal eruption Taal Volcano’s lava fountain weakens, but Phivolcs says it’s not sign of slowing down 400 evacuees from Taal eruption take refuge in Mt. Banahaw San Beda’s Oftana named MVP UST looked like a team that had it all figured out, in stark contrast to UP that had trouble executing its offense. The Tigers had 23 assists, 11 more than the Fighting Maroons, who also had 22 turnovers. Renzo Subido alone matched the entire UP squad’s assist total with 12.But it was the performance of Ayo’s newcomers that gave the Tigers the boost they needed just when the Maroons were about to make headway.“You’re always praying that during the season, they become mature,” Ayo added. “This is our 16th game and they’ve already learned how they can contribute. What is important is that they stay within their roles.”Abando helped UST build a strong start in the first half while Concepcion and Nonoy knocked down crucial treys in the final three minutes to take the fight out of UP.League MVP Soulemane Chabi Yo, another standout in his first year with UST, scored on a putback to make it 80-63 with 1:59 left to play. Nonoy, this season’s Rookie of the Year, capped the victory in front of a crowd of 17,772 with another trey for an 85-65 lead, 50.6 seconds remaining.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img MOST READ DSWD Bicol donates P1.5M worth of food packs for Taal eruption evacuees “It’s all about execution both on defense and offense,” said Ayo. “We executed our game plan and all the instructions.”Carrying the momentum of their 81-71 win over FEU in the first phase of the semifinals, the Tigers came out sharp and ferocious as they built an early double-digit advantage and stayed in control all throughout.Chabi Yo hit 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.Juan Gomez de Liano got going in the second half, providing the Maroons a glimmer of hope by scoring his game-high 20 points in the last two quarters.Bright Akhuetie added 19 points and 18 boards but Kobe Paras was limited to nine points on 4-of-13 shooting, marking the first time he was held below double digits this season.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES 2 village execs nabbed in Bohol buy-bust View comments University of Santo Tomas coach Aldin Ayo kept his faith on his rookies even through their struggles in UAAP Season 82.With their season on the line, Rhenz Abando, Mark Nonoy and Sherwin Concepcion showed they were deserving of the trust shown by their fiery coach, who once again pressed all the right buttons in a second do-or-die duel in five days.ADVERTISEMENT Lava gushes out of Taal Volcano as villagers fleelast_img read more

After almost 35 years, we are stronger than ever – Mr & Mrs Jackman

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first_imgBy Lakhram BhagiratTheir love, even after 33 years of marriage, can be felt in the room. It is larger than their combined presences and so loud that it speaks to the great relationship they have cultivated. Their love is so infectious that it inspires you to achieve just that.However, that love was not easily achieved, rather they were forced to walk a road paved with broken bottles just to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Today they can sit together and say that the struggles were all worth it.They now have their answer to the many times they asked the question “Is all of this really worth it?”Spending over three decades working on understanding someone else and loving them unconditionally only makes you a better person and that is exactly how Pastor Raphael Jackman and his wife Hazel see themselves. They see themselves as two young at heart lovers but also as a couple who has been through more than their fair share of challenges as they navigate the often prickly path of marriage.“Marriage is not about money, it is not totally wrapped up in love. It is a commitment made to each other with God being the soul. He is watching over to make sure that everything goes well. The promise you made in your vows must be upheld as the truth because you would be lying to man and God,” Pastor Raphael said when describing the institution of marriage. His understanding of the institution comes after a lot of trials and errors. In his own words, “the Raphael Jackman we see now and hear now is not the same person that met with Hazel Ann Forde thirty-something years ago”.Their story is one that seems as though it was plucked from a script for television. It starts when Pastor Raphael was just a young boy entering the world of work. He got a job at the then Guyana Airways Corporation as an Office Assistant/Messenger and Hazel was his coworker. However, she was in some ways his boss since she was the Secretary to the General Manager. Her position and the confidence she exuded somewhat intimidated Raphael but he already felt she was the one.“While doing my duty as an Office Assistant I set eyes on this young lady and said ‘wow’ and I went home and told my cousins that I saw my wife. I did not say anything to her and my cousin asked where she was and I told him that she was working where I am working.”A few months after that encounter, Raphael finally plucked up the courage to go and speak with Hazel about his attraction towards her. Because of their vastly different backgrounds, Hazel laughed at him since he was nothing she envisioned her boyfriend, and possibly husband, to be like.“She said something to me that made me a dreamer even to this day. She said ‘little boy you are dreaming’ and I said wow. Now today, thirty-something years later, I am still dreaming because she is here with me.”For Hazel, it was not an immediate attraction, rather, it took some time.“The first interaction I never thought that anything would develop out of the relationship because he was not the type of guy I was looking for. There was not anything in him to make me feel he would be my boyfriend and eventually husband but things developed after. Like he said, it caused some stirs in our family especially mine but deep down inside I felt that he is Mr Right,” she said.Nevertheless, their unimaginable journey began with them coming together to overcome the countless barriers that life would throw their way. Their faith, patience and resistance were tested and sometimes they passed with flying colours but other times they would fail and learn from their mistakes. Initially, they did not get married and Hazel would give birth to their first son, Yaphet, and when she became pregnant again with their second son, Yohan, they decided that it was time to get married.Their wedding, however, was very unconventional at that time but it was everything they envisioned. Armed with two cases of rum, Raphael and Hazel made their way to the United States of America to get married. They would use the money from the rum to host their small wedding that was just family and close friends.About five years into their marriage was when Raphael began to delve deeper into his religion and from then, he said, their life has been constantly turning around for the better. However, their marriage has not been without struggles.“There were times when I wanted to know that I made the right decision or I tempted to walk but I stuck with the process and here we are today. I would not trade my marriage for anything in this world.”Raphael came from a broken family in any sense. His parents separated and he had the responsibility of his four sisters and one brother since he was the eldest son at the time. He took on the responsibility and began working at the age of 17 and functioned as a father figure for his siblings so going into his marriage, he was somewhat experienced in the field.“So coming into marriage and having to address some of the things that I have seen in my family, it helped and it hurt because I had both sides of the spectrum to deal with and I decided that I will not raise a failed family like what I came out of.”However, Hazel was sheltered from all of those things that her new husband went through but she was not without her own demons. She had a broken relationship with her father and channelled her frustrations from that on to Raphael but he never relented.“It has been turmoil. Sometimes it was very hard not in terms of finances but the relationship. It was rough and I always chasing him, telling him to go and leave but he stayed. We had physical and verbal fights and all sorts of things we went through.The journey was rough but as we grew older we decided that this is it, for better or worse, till death and we working and for the last ten, fifteen years have been like the best of our marriage,” Hazel said while smiling in the direction of her Raphael.They both said that marriage requires forgiveness. Many times Hazel has had to forgive Raphael and vice versa but instead of calling it quits, they worked through their differences. They made sure that at the end of the day they were stronger than they began.Today, they are both part of the Marriages and Counselling Division at the First Assembly of God Church in Wortmanville. They offer couples counselling post-marriage and continue to impart their wisdom on couples.“If you spend time together you build that relationship. We invested in spending quality time together and we are honest and transparent with each other,” Raphael said while noting that their love story is far from over.“Better is ahead.”last_img read more

Teen critical after struck by motorcycle

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first_imgA 12-year-old Friendship Secondary School student is battling for his life in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Georgetown Public Hospital after he was struck by a motorcyclist.According to reports, Jonathan Ashby of Diamond New Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara (EBD), was standing on the roadway near his school in the company of his friends at approximately 11:30h on Friday, when he was struck by a male biker.The students raised an alarm and the injured child was rushed to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre (DDC); however, because of the extent of his injuries, he was transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital for emergency medical attention.Up to press time, Ashby was in an unconscious state in the ICU. The rider of the motorcycle reportedly told Police that the child was pushed into his path by his fellow students. Police have since launched an investigation.last_img read more

Kenya walloped 7-0 by Cameroon in U-17 AFCON qualifier

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first_imgSangola Sakava opened the scores for the hosts in the 19th minute after spell of dominance before Stephane Thierry Zobo made it 2-0 almost immediately with the Kenyan lads still dazed after conceding.The visitors managed to bounce back into the game despite conceding the quick-fire goals, but the fight to get fully back in was thwarted when Bella struck the first of his two in the 34th minute to make it 3-0.Another lapse in concentration saw the side go down to another goal, this time Abessolo Manga finishing off in the 39th minute before Ndjio made it 5-0 before the break.In the second half, the junior stars appeared to have come back better, but just five minutes in they were pulled back conceding a sixth goal with Ndjio completing his brace.Bella came into the party for the seventh and his second of the evening with a 67th minute goal to seal the win for the Western Africa boys, making the trip to Nairobi just a formality with all but sealed for their passage into the second round.Kenya had a chance to pull one back in the 90th minute but saw a penalty saved by the Cameroonian custodian.The Kenyan junior team had less than two months of preparation, having non-existed before and speaking to Capital Sport over the weekend, FKF President Nick Mwendwa said this was just a beginning of building up the junior ranks of the national team.“We might win, we might lose, but all the same, this is a good beginning for us. We cannot expect results now because there are other teams who have invested more than us, but this is a period of learning. Soon, we will get there,” Mwendwa said.The team prior to leaving for Cameroon had played in the COSAFA U-17 cup where they only won one game, a 2-1 victory over Madagascar. They lost 4-0 to Zambia in their first match, before going down 5-0 to Malawi.The disqualification of Zambia saw them progress to the semis where they lost 4-0 to South Africa before going on to lose 2-0 to Malawi in the third and fourth play-off.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000The national under-17 team pose with FKF president Nick Mwendwa during their capping ceremony on Monday night. PHOTO/COURTESYLIMBE, Cameroon, Aug 7- Kenya’s Under-17 football team suffered an embarrassing 7-0 mauling at the hands of Cameroon in the second round of the 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifiers played on Sunday at the Stade Omnisports in Cameroon.Skipper Fabrice Ndjio and midfielder Christian Bella struck twice as the Kenyan juniors succumbed ahead of the second leg scheduled for a fortnight in Nairobi.last_img read more

WATCH: Tottenham youngster scores Lionel Messi-esque goal

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first_imgTottenham look like they could have another gem on their hands in Noni Madeuke.Playing in the Cayman Airways Invitational Youth Cup, the 14-year-old scored a sensational solo goal for his side against Harbour View FC with just 40 seconds on the clock.It was reminiscent of Lionel Messi and will leave Spurs fans wondering whether Madeuke may be the next young talent to break through into the first team.Check out the super strike above.last_img

Hospitals nurse economy to health

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first_imgHospitals contribute a whopping $85.5 billion to Southern California’s economy, boosted by surging costs for health care services that are rising at a faster rate than other goods and services, according to a study released today. “Going into this, I had no idea that 12 percent of the economy was tied to the hospital industry. That blew me away,” said Greg Freeman, an author of the study and vice president of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp., which released the report. Freeman said hospitals provide tens of thousands of jobs to doctors, nurses, office workers, lab technicians, ambulance drivers and others. “For each one of those businesses, or each one of their employees, when they make any kind of purchase, that’s where the indirect jobs come from in the economy. When you add it up, it’s staggering.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant LAEDC President Bill Allen said hospitals were vital to the region’s economic prosperity. “But it is also worth noting that unprecedented demands are being placed on our region’s hospitals and we must be vigilant in monitoring their own economic health to be sure they will continue to be here for us when we need them,” Allen said. The report said some hospitals in the six-county region including Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino, are struggling to keep up with growing populations and strict retrofitting requirements to make aging buildings conform to new earthquake standards. “Given that the population is increasing and you’ve got an aging population, you’ve got the most demand for hospital services,” Freeman said. “At the same time, we’re seeing a big move to outpatient services.” Among the study’s findings: Hospitals will spend at least $8.2 billion on construction projects between 2005 and 2009, creating some 166,600 jobs. The number of patients discharged from hospitals increased by 17 percent from 1995 through 2004. There was also a 10 percent increase in outpatient visits in that period. Hospitals lost $800 million in 2004, earning revenues of $20.6 billion, but spending $21.4 billion. “Hospitals are such a weird industry, because they have to provide service to people who can’t pay for it,” Freeman said. “Many are having a real problem, because even if they’re eligible to get federal or state reimbursement, it can take as long as three years to get paid back. That cash flow problem presents a tremendous burden.” Susan Abram, (818) 713-3664 susan.abram@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

‘No better motivation’ – These Gooners have one thing in mind ahead of NL derby

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first_imgCLICK HERE TO SEE THE PREMIER LEAGUE TABLEWho will win the derby? Leave your predictions below. ‘No better motivation’ – Gooners have one thing in mind ahead of the north London derby 2 2 Arsenal v Tottenham is live on talkSPORT at 12pm (GMT) on Sunday, 6 November.Arsenal will top the Premier League and move six points ahead of Tottenham if they beat their rivals in the north London derby.There’s also the matter of ending Spurs’ unbeaten start in the Premier League, none of which has been lost on these Gunners supporters, as you can see in the tweets below.last_img

Real Madrid 3-1 PSG: Ronaldo steals the show from Neymar with two goals

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first_img Ronaldo consoles Neymar after Real Madrid beat PSG Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Real Madrid beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie.The French side took the lead through Adrien Rabiot but Ronaldo equalised from the penalty spot just before half-time.The Portugal forward then put the hosts ahead with seven minutes left before left-back Marcelo’s close-range finish gave the holders a two-goal cushion to take to Paris.The world was watching as two of the most expensively assembled squads in world football collided at the Bernabeu, with much of the pre-match attention focusing on Neymar and Ronaldo.It was the prodigious boy wonder who drew first blood for his side, with the Brazilian’s cute backheel delicately falling into the path of the onrushing Rabiot.However, the Spanish champions grew into the game and showed exactly why they have managed to retain the Champions League trophy.Giovani Lo Celso, who looked overawed by the occasion, needlessly brought down Toni Kroos late in the first half in the box.33-year-old Ronaldo stepped up and duly dispatched the penalty to leave the scores level going into the break.As the second half began, Kylian Mbappe reminded the world of his phenomenal young talent by drawing a smart save from Keylor Navas at the start of the second half.However, the hosts took the lead when Alphonse Areola was unable to keep out a stinging shot which fell perfectly into the path of Ronaldo – who didn’t know an awful lot about the goal.The introduction of Marco Asensio changed the course of the game completely and he helped set up the third, potentially conclusive goal, when his cut back was met on the volley by the marauding Marcelo. 1last_img read more