Hitting their stride

first_imgNadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil “We’re happy [with] the win, but we were not because they scored 34 points against us in the second quarter,” TNT coach Bong Ravena said.“So we told the guys to stay in control and be locked in. I’m glad, they pulled through,” he added.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsRR Pogoy, who was returning from an illness, caught fire in the KaTropa’s blistering start to the final period.  He emptied 12 of his total 28 points in that quarter and helped his teammates assemble a 26-0 run that left the Elite gasping.TNT’s blistering, unanswered run in the final quarter is the most by any team in the league. Blackwater’s Mac Belo leaps to avoid colliding with TNT’s Ryan Reyes, who loses possession of the leather. —AUGUST DELA CRUZANTIPOLO—TNT coach Bong Ravena asked the KaTropa during the halftime lull to approach Saturday’s match against Blackwater with a “locked-in” mentality.The pleading paid dividends as soon as the second  half resumed. TNT, already ahead by five, padded its lead again and again en route to a 127-89 drubbing of Blackwater in the PBA Philippine Cup hostilities at Ynares Center here.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title 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 Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college No place like home as Cebu CC writes interclub history with overall championship View comments The KaTropa’s Troy Rosario and Don Trollano pumped in 17 and 11 markers respectively, to help the team move to a 5-3 slate—and stay in the hunt for a twice-to-beat playoff incentive.“The players have been focusing now on defense, unlike before. It’s now their priority to make stops,” said Ravena.TNT compiled 14 steals and seven blocks to hand Blackwater, which never got a taste of the lead, its worst beatdown since losing to Rain or Shine by 38 points in 2015.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief “I’m happy with the way I played,” Pogoy said in Filipino. But he added that he is even happier for the three straight victories his team has collected because of their stellar play on defense.“He came out strong and ready to play,” Ravena said of the sweet-shooting Gilas Pilipinas standout.Magnolia delivered a sterling performance from both ends of the court to take down Alaska, 103-86, in Saturday’s nightcap.The Hotshots imposed their will on the defensive end, keeping the Aces under 20 points in the middle quarters.“Ynares has been very good to us,”  coach Chito Victolero jokingly said in Filipino. “Maybe this place is our lucky charm.”ADVERTISEMENT Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history MOST READ Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titlelast_img read more

Expectations for 2014

first_imgAfter 366 days in 2013, we have begun a New Year. With barely five days into 2014, many citizens have already begun to expect more of the government this year.In every sector of government, Liberians want change and new ideas that will benefit their country and its economy.The Daily Observer’s reporter toured Monrovia yesterday to hear from citizens concerning their expectations from government in 2014. Unsurprisingly, everyone had different expectations.Moses Forkpah, a resident of the Fiamah Community in Sinkor, said that this 2014, government should pay more attention to the financial sector. Mr. Forkpah called on them to see how banking institutions can be improved in the services they render to the public.“The Banking sector in Liberia is very important, so the kind of services rendered should be up to international standards because there will always be guest in the country and they cannot be inconvenienced,” he explained.“Over the years, the financial sector of Liberia has improved tremendously, but more has to be done. Our Bankers need more education on how to deal with customers and clients as well,” Mr. Forkpah said.He also said President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf should take bold steps in the reduction of corruption, adding that the President and her colleagues should also take a more detailed look at concession agreements.“It would also be in the country’s interest if the President encourages more investors in the country because if they come to Liberia, there would be other responsibilities given to them. When I say responsibilities, I mean they would help improve other areas the county is still struggling with. Areas like water, health, electricity and employment,” Mr. Forkpah concluded.Mrs. Beatrice Holt, a resident of the Old Road Community, said the government has to put in place more policies to combat the high rate of teenage pregnancy.She said teenage pregnancy in Liberia remains a serious issue that has hampered the improvement and well-being of the nation’s young girls“Our young girls these days are ruining their future for no reason. This is bad for our country. These young girls could be future leaders and decision makers; that is why they have to be protected and educated on what is right and how they should lead a healthy life,” Mrs. Holt asserted.The Gender Ministry has done a lot to help these young women, but the minster needs to expand upon her good work and tackle the issue more aggressively. Women are important to every society and we cannot sit by and watch our young girls ruining their chances of becoming role models in the African setting,” she said.For his part, Mr. Chucks Chosen, owner of the Chucks Chosen Business Center on Carey Street said if Liberians want a changed society, Liberians must look up to God first.He said Liberians must learn to accept that without the help of God, Liberia will not experience a change in this New Year.However, he noted the Government of Liberia should improve on its education system because it is through education Liberia will have good leaders for the future.‘This Government should see how it can implement better policies to improve the education system. Teachers should be paid their proper salaries, and students should be given the necessary items needed for successful learning,” Mr. Chosen explained.We also spoke with Mrs. Watchen Bruce, the Chief of Party of the International Executive Services Corps (IESC), who said she would like to see the government working in close relationship with private sector in 2014.She said that with such a partnership the private sector would be able to achieve its intended goals.“Since IESC’s work is to help expand businesses across the country, we want to collaborate with government to improve access to finance. We also want to build the capacity of business owners,” Mrs. Bruce detailed.“We want to help people know how to maintain their businesses and get steady profits so they can witness a physical manifestation of their achievements. This is being achieved through a program called Investing for Business Expansion sponsored by USAID. Closer partnership with government is very important to these kinds of initiatives,” she concluded.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

NDS Finance Officer Found Guilty of Stealing US$179,183.06 and LD$958,247.08

first_imgThe Jury of Criminal Court ‘C,’ last Tuesday evening brought down a guilty verdict against a finance officer from National Drug Service (NDS) for stealing US$179,183.06 and LD$958,247.08.through a fraudulent account he opened for the company at the First International Bank (FIB).It was after a four-week trial that the jury convicted Wesley Jlue for the commission of the crimes of theft of property and forgery, of which he was indicted by the grand jury for Montserrado County.The money was raised from the sale of malaria drugs donated to the NDS by Global Funds.According to the evidence presented at trial, Jlue, from November 2012 up to March 2014, maintained the fraudulent account in the name of NDS, at the FIB.He used the account and directed checks given to him for deposit into the company’s Global Funds account with another bank, Ecobank-Liberia.All the transactions with the FIB were done through the Reconciliation officer at that bank and any communication between him and the bank had to go through the bank’s appointed officer.Despite Jlue’s intimate involvement in all of the Global Funds’ dealings at Ecobank, he lied that his managing director, Beyan K. Johnson, instructed him to open the fraudulent account at FIB. “I have never taken any corporate action without the clear written or verbal instruction from my boss,” he told the jury.Over approximately two years, Jlue obtained hundreds of thousands of both United States and Liberian dollars from the Global Fund checks, which he then diverted to his personal account at FIB.Jlue also lied to the court saying that his boss, Johnson, prepared and signed the documents used to open the account at FIB purportedly for NDS to pay staff and customers because of the difficulty they were encountering in withdrawing money from the Global Funds account at Ecobank.In fact, the NDS never made a single withdrawal from FIB, and all their payments were made from Ecobank and the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) where the company’s Global Funds accounts were kept.For his crimes, the Reconciliation officer was suspended by his institution until he could restitute the amount which it is not clear he had done.The Global Fund is the world’s largest financier of anti-AIDS, TB and malaria programs and by mid-2012 had approved funding amounting to US$ 22.9 billion that supports more than 1,000 programs in 151 countries, including Liberia.Microsoft founder Bill Gates was one of the first private foundations among many bilateral donors to provide seed money for the project.NDS is the custodian of the Global Funds in the country. It is also responsible for supplying and sell drugs including HIV/AIDS and TB medications to public and private health centers.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Liberian Forests: the Blessings Remain

first_imgLiberia is one very blessed country! Why we are not among the most highly developed in our sub-Region is hard to answer.One manifestation of these blessing is our forests. After all these years of logging, Liberia is, according to Forestry Development Authority (FDA) Managing Director Harrison Karnwea, still the only country in the sub-Region with 43 percent of its forests intact. Intensive logging in Liberia began during the Tubman administration. Some Liberians remember filmmaker Bill Alexander’s famous documentary on Liberian forests, “Wealth in Wood.” It was produced in collaboration with the then Department of Information and Cultural Affairs (DICA), headed by Secretary E. Reginald Townsend. He commissioned many other documentaries on Liberia and, along with cultural icon Bai T. Moore, created the National Cultural Center at Kindejah and the National Cultural Troupe, which won worldwide acclaim. Townsend was also part of the decision making that created the Ducor Intercontinental Hotel, West Africa’s first five-star hotel. The Ducor was supposed to have spearheaded the launching of tourism in Liberia and West Africa—but. He also initiated the creation of the Liberian Broadcasting System, the training of scores of Liberian media and artistic personnel and the production of numerous books on Liberia. But both of these men were mistreated by the Liberian government. Bai T. was summarily removed from his job as Deputy Secretary for Culture, without even a pension. But Mr. Townsend got the worst of it—he was executed by firing squad following the 1980 coup d’état!Sometimes these diversions are necessary for historical purposes. Now back to Liberia’s forests.Last week President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate, Armah Jallah, expressed concern that Liberian logging activities had “ceased,” leading to interruption in related development activities such as jobs and the construction and maintenance of roads. The Senator made his comments when he received a visiting Montana State Legislator, Dave Hagstrom, who offered to introduce hydro-electric power in Gbarpolu County. Mr. Hagstrom said in his native State of Montana, people purchase electricity at only 9 cents, compared to 53 cents per kilowatt in Liberia.It was not clear why Senator Jallah, during that conversation, jumped from cheap electricity to logging. Was Mr. Hagstrom interested in logging?Mr. hagstrom’s push for mini hydros is one of this newspaper’s constant themes. In Monday’s editorial we wondered why Liberia was not using its many rivers to produce cheap electricity. So far there is only one up-country town producing hydro-electricity— in Yandehun, Kolahun District, and Lofa County. President Sirleaf dedicated it early last year. Our Correspondent Alaskai Johnson, who coveredVice President Boakai’s Lofa visit last week, also visited Yandehum where Alaskai observed that the town was enjoying electricity “24-7.”We hope Mr. Hagstrom will fulfill his Gbarpolu plan. This will encourage government to exploit our rivers and extend cheap power throughout the country.FDA’s Managing Director was quick to react to Pro Temp Jallah’s concern of alleged cessation of logging in Liberia. Far from it, said Mr. Karnwea, logging is ongoing. In interviews with this newspaper, he named several logging companies engaged in Liberia. The Daily Observer then asked what was the status of GOL’s agreement with Norway. It is due to take effect this year, with Liberia standing to gain US$150 million for preserving its forestry reserves and promoting the campaign against carbon omissions. That agreement is on course and comes into effect this year. Mr. Karnwea then gave some details on the country’s forestry reserves. The largest is the SAPO National Reserve; then the East Nimba, between Nimba and Gedeh Counties; Lake Piso in Grand Cape Mount; and the Gola Forest between Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu.Mr. Karnwea further stated that the FDA is working on legislation for other forest reserves—the Wani Gizi in Lofa, the Grebo Forest in Grand Gedeh and River Gee Counties, the Kpelleh Forest between Gbarpolu and Bong Counties and the Sanquin in Grand Kru and Sinoe Counties, etc. It is a fact that Liberia is rich in forest reserves, which are thankfully in place. Several of them still have elephants and other wildlife, enhancing Liberia’s vast tourism potential. Hopefully soon, the President will find someone who can successfully organize tourism and Liberia would finally be on its way to reap its long delayed tourism bonanza. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Morning will come to City Hall, it has no choice

first_imgDear Editor,With the citizens of Georgetown having been subjected to enduring, over the last two years, some of the worst living conditions that one could encounter in a capital city, it finally seems as though the end is nigh for the current Mayor and City Council with the announcement of Local Government Elections for November 12, 2018.One would think that this gives for more substantial grounds or cause for celebration than the commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the birth of the city, as substantial as that is.As the Mayor begins to pack and remove her things from her office in anticipation of departure, one can only hope that she takes along with her a number of the infamous things from her stint, including the infamous parking meter contract; the useless stun guns that were purchased for the Abattoir; the scores of used airline tickets and boarding passes; the plans to convert green spaces in Bel Air Park, Farnum Playground and Lamaha Springs into residential areas; the massive plans they had to overhaul Georgetown and restore its Garden City acclaim; plans for the Merriman Mall Recreation Park, which was supposed to  feature among its facilities a petting zoo; the proposal to construct a three-storey shopping mall with special entertainment facility at the new vendors mall; and a similar edifice with parking facilities for farmers, wholesalers and other merchants at Bourda Green; and all the other quixotic ideas that came from La La Land.Hopefully, the new Mayor and City Council would do away with all of the excesses, such as bodyguards, chauffeurs, special assistants, residential security, frequent travel to the ends of the earth with assistants in tow etc.Hopefully also, the new municipal government will be filled with smart young persons who will not be so out-of-control, so bloated, and so infested with deceit and abuse of power.Have faith, citizens. Morning will come to City Hall; it has no choice.Best regards,Sambu Jacobuslast_img read more

Poor attendance is the sign of rejection of the APNU/AFC in Berbice

first_imgDear Editor,The Regional Democratic Council of Region Six raised several issues of concern in order to hold the APNU/AFC coalition Government accountable to the Guyanese people, especially the residents of Region Six.The East Bank Berbice Public Road Project is being executed by the Works Services Group of the MoPI, and, to date, residents are still at a loss, since this project seems to be a “top secret “for the APNU/AFC Government. Nothing is being given to the RDC, or even being made public pertaining to the design, bill of quantities, cost etc. Who is the oversight body to ensure there is value for money? This project would be another fiasco, like the Indian Monument Site at Palmyra.The RDC would be grateful if the IDB could make a copy of the initial contract design available, so as to have transparency and to hold the Minister of Public Infrastructure accountable to his words that this project would be the same as the IDB design and would cost less than the actual cost of the IDB. It is critical to get hold of this information quickly, because millions of dollars intended for the Local Government Elections campaign are being diverted elsewhere — even in people’s personal pockets.The Minister of Public Security and the Minister of Public Infrastructure were at a meeting in New Amsterdam to launch the AFC LGE campaign. Lo and behold, only thirty-three persons were in attendance. And what was even more shocking is that both ministers were boasting about street lights’ installation when, directly above the location and beyond, about eight streetlights have not been functioning for over a year. This is the actual reality of the Government ministers, in that they are out of touch with the actual reality of the problems Guyanese confront across the entire country.The President visited Rose Hall Town to launch the APNU LGE campaign in Region Six, and was greeted by protesters, whom he tried to engage but was actually shunned because of his inability to help Guyanese to enjoy the good life. Only because children were given bicycles were their parents forced to be at the President’s meetings, but despite that, the meetings were poorly attended.The good lifestyle that was given to Guyanese people by PPP administration before 2015 is being snatched by this Granger Administration.Regards,Zamal Hussainlast_img read more

Fire at the various dumpsites is dangerous

first_imgDear Editor,I don’t know if anyone has noticed but of recent, there have been many fires and many are of known/unknown origin. Recently one businessman was blamed for dumping used tires and lighting them. Time and time again he keeps doing that.According to the various media, people complain over and over but sometimes were verbally abused by the businessman. Because lack of proper attention was given to the complaints, financial damages were caused on properties nearby. Will the culprit be forced to properly compensate the owner?There are strict laws regarding the lighting of bush/wildfire or at the dumpsites/garbage heaps but for some reason, people keep lighting the fires causing discomfort to people and sometimes financial losses and they are not being penalised.Editor, of recent, the fire engine sirens could be heard blaring almost every day and it’s mostly for wildfire or fires being lit at roadside dumps and now seemingly being a hot season, irresponsible persons, and it should be a cause of concern to those in authorities.Around the area where I reside, many fires are being lit daily and in most cases, it causes great concern to many people/babies/animals and in some cases, the guilty person would be pointed out and no action would be taken against him/her.Those in authority should enlighten the public about the dangers and its effect, enlighten them of their rights, protection should be provided when persons report anyone lighting or dumping garbage and charges being laid against those caught. This nonsense has been happening too long and it’s time it stops, don’t wait until it’s too late because the fires at the various dumpsites are dangerous.Sincerely,Sahadeo Bateslast_img read more

Christmas ambush by David Granger

first_imgDear Editor,As Guyanese focused on the Christmas festivities, Retired Brigadier David Granger led an ambush on the nation’s psyche and resources. Ever since Bloomberg confirmed suspicions of unusual approaches made to selected international oil companies, there was an outcry by anti-corruption, pro-transparency persons, groups, and media outlets. At 22:30h (10:30 pm), Friday the 20th, David Granger announced that oil was flowing from the Liza 1 well-head and Guyana was an oil-producing country; Granger then decreed the 20th would henceforth be known as “National Petroleum Day”. It must be good to be the King; I know it’s terrible to be a ‘subject’.The Government informed the ‘subjects’ who were chosen to sell three million plus barrels of oil on our behalf on the 23rd, all the chastising, good advice and dire warnings were ignored and a known bad actor was engaged as our partner. The Christmas ambush did not end there, before the end of the day we learned of a compulsory acquisition order for over 123 acres, ostensibly, to facilitate the erection of a high-spam bridge over the Demerara River; no plan of the area to be utilised accompanied the order; no feasibility study was quoted for, none has been completed with regards to a high-span bridge. I can only presume the Gods of Gazettes and Acreage have again been at war with the Printer’s devil and have transformed twelve and three tenths (12.3) acres into an area well beyond what would ever possibly be required by way of the errant decimal point. However, this is APNU/AFC and there may be imaginary shopping malls at both ends of the bridge or even a small airport complete with roundabouts and runways designed by the APNU Ministry of Magic.Our day was not yet done, we had a tragi-comical statement from the Head of the Department of Energy, Dr Bynoe, who provided information that loans made to Guyana are not subject to our laws, but are in fact, available for use as the lender saw fit. I can understand this being the case with a grant that would not have to be repaid by our hard work and taxes, but a loan? I would advise Dr Bynoe to see legal counsel tout suite lest he ends up on long vacation up the Mazaruni River very soon.Editor, given the illogical moves to sell our share of profit oil not to the highest bidder, but to someone who will refine it, tell us how great it is and even sell it at their gas stations, I fully expect to see David Granger cutting a ribbon on a gas pump in Hoboken, New Jersey, early February, as the ‘first gallon’ of Liza grade gasoline hits the world market. Elections are on March 2; let us vote to see the back of Granger. No more rule by decree. Long live the Republic.Respectfully,Robin Singhlast_img read more

Solid waste in Mabaruma posing health hazard – Regional Chairman

first_imgThe management of solid waste in Mabaruma, Region One (Barima-Waini), has gotten the attention of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), after health concerns were raised. Recently, the Agency was asked to view the garbage disposal site located at Kansville.Waste from the newly established town of Mabaruma is being dumped over a cliff, creating a potential environmental hazard.EPA Board Member, Dr Latchmin Punalall and Senior Environmental Officer of the EPA, Odessa Duncan, got a firsthand look at how solid waste is being disposed of in the region.Regional Chairman Brentnol Ashley said the objective of the visit was to try to improve the way the administration manages its solid waste.“This is what we call our dump site but it is not suitable and so the [Regional Democratic Council] RDC is trying to correct it to prevent any future health problems or health hazards which may cause residents to become ill. We are looking at developing a landfill site so that we will have a more efficient way of dealing with our solid waste within the region,” said Ashley.He admitted that it was the regional administration which took the initiative to make the area into a dump site, but now they realise the potential problems it may have on health and the environment.Regional Chairman Brentnol Ashley; EPA Board Member, Dr Latchmin Punalall; and Senior Environmental Officer of the EPA Odessa Duncan, visit the Kansville dump site at Mabaruma“The official site which was identified by the Environmental Protection Agency needs to be developed. The dump site is one that the region’s administration would have created last year when they found that residents and businesses were dumping their waste on house lots in a developing housing scheme at Kansville. So in an effort to correct that, we would have done some work like grading the area so that it could become a dump site for the time being, but right now it is going out of control so we are trying to ensure that it is corrected before any major problems,” Ashley said.Meanwhile, a landfill site had been identified about 200 meters from the current dump site, but it is located less than 400 meters from where a housing scheme is located.This was one of the concerns of both Dr Punalall and Duncan.Ashley explained that the site was proposed and approved by the EPA before the scheme was developed but the site was never used.The EPA is exploring the possibility of approving a section of land in the same community to be developed but is waiting on a proposal from the RDC as they look at the way forward.last_img read more

‘Rotarians Are Big Hearted Distinguished Men & Women’

first_imgVice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai has described Rotarians as distinguished and exemplary world class citizens and professionals that are responsive to the critical needs of humanity.VP Boakai made the statement last week Friday at a lunch hosted by the Rotary Club of Monrovia intended to honor founding member Joseph Richards, Al Browne and Ambassador Joseph N. Boakai, Sr.He pointed that the visionary founding father of Rotary International was far back as 1905 endowed with so much urge to serve.VP Boakai reminded Rotarians and Liberians that the selfless and astute Chicago Attorney Paul P. Harris as far as back in the last century, could picture the enormous positive impact that such human bonding and drive could exact on his fellow beings in their respective communities even a century later to this day.The Liberian Vice President also noted that the ideals that attended the birth of this humanitarian organization more than 100 years ago and the embrace of its foothold in Liberia some 50 years find serene expression in the thoughtfully crafted motto.“We convene at this lunch meeting today, just as in beginnings when pioneering Rotarians – then a handful of big hearted and broad minded men- held similar regular meetings during their lunch hours on a rotational basis to plot their own service map as professionals with the urging to serve humanity,” VP Boakai asserted.VP Boakai also added that as a mark of their absolute accession to the highest of ethical standards, Rotarians carved for themselves a model guide in what they refer to as the four way test.He further stated that in aspiring to the pinnacle of ethics, Rotarians are duty bound to ask themselves in any enterprise they are set to undertake.Ambassador Boakai also explained that Rotary Clubs, like ours in this country, are noted for championing health issues, supporting hunger-fighting initiatives, providing safe and clean water in villages as well as responding to and helping rebuild when natural disasters strike.VP Boakai intimated that Rotarians rightfully designate their movement as a global network of over a million volunteers’ dedication to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges.In remarks, honoree Joseph Richards urged the current generation of Rotarians concentrate their energy and time on the decentralization of programs across in order to meet the socio-economic needs of other Liberians.Rotarian Richards regretted the conspicuous absence his wife at the auspicious occasion of the Rotary Club of Monrovia’s lunch and honoring ceremony in Monrovia.Earlier, Rotary Club of Monrovia President Milton A. Weeks welcomed VP Boakai, staff, and Rotary members and guests for the lunch and honoring program.In brief statement, the Sinkor Rotary Club underscored the need for their participation in the official celebration of the 50th jubilee anniversary.Meanwhile, the Rotary Club of Monrovia was founded on January 24, 1064 by few distinguished, business and professional Liberians in an effort to buttress the Liberian Government and other support partners in the country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more