‘Tougher Action for Corrupt Officials’

first_imgDeputy House Speaker Hans Barchue has called for rigid and uncompromising measures instituted by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in order to curb corruption.In a Daily Observer interview, Deputy Speaker Barchue stated that as corruption remains a major challenge affecting the development of this Liberia, “very harsh” action should be taken against those caught in dishonest and illegal practices.He wants President Sirleaf suspend officials implicated in the General Auditing Commission’s (GAC) investigation of corrupt practices in public offices.“If those accused of corruption remain in office while court proceedings are ongoing, they will have time and opportunity to cover-up in order to show that they are not ‘guilty.’ ”He appealed to the Chief Executive to begin ‘suspension’ as a new strategy in tackling corruption—an offense he considered “systemic and chronic” in the Liberian society.“If I am accused and still maintain in that position, I will have time to manage and manipulate documents to protect my interest. We need to come up with a policy to address cases that come out of the GAC reports. Government needs to take reports from the GAC seriously in an effort to serve as a deterrent to would-be perpetrators,” the Grand Bassa County lawmaker argued.Representative Barchue used the occasion to call on authorities of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to formulate the right measures to combat the decrease in the value of the Liberian dollar to the United States dollars.He maintained that CBL should have the capacity to address complex problems in the economy, and come up with the right principles to achieve its goal.Deputy Speaker Barchue described the decline in the Liberian dollars and the current state of the Liberian economy as “unfortunate, raising concern about the prospects of growth and human development of the Liberian people.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

SOCU no-show as Brassington, Singh turn up for questioning

first_img… PPP pickets SOCU’s HQDays after they were each released on $200,000 station bail following several hours of questioning by officers attached to the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), former Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh and former head of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Winston Brassington, were asked to return to SOCU Headquarters in Georgetown on Monday; but when they did, no officer was available, or turned up, to question them.One of the men’s attorneys, Anil Nandall, told this newspaper that when the duo turned up at SOCU’s office at 09:00h, not only was there no officer present to question them, but they were asked to sign a diary requesting that they return next Monday.Former Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh and former Head of NICIL, Winston Brassington, standing with their Attorneys in SOCU compound on MondayNandall said at that point he had to intervene and inform SOCU Head Sydney James that his clients would not be returning for further questioning.“…that while they were willing to assist with the investigations, they have no duty to do so. And they have exhausted their willingness to help…I told him that they were there today (Monday) and were prepared to spend the entire day if that was to happen, but SOCU was not ready, and they won’t return,” Nandlall explained.Nandall also said the men’s $6 million bail each on three counts of misconduct places on them no condition that they must subject themselves to SOCU’s interrogation.Former Prime Minister Samuel Hinds (second from right), along with PPP/C MPs and party members picketing SOCU’s Headquarters in Georgetown on MondayAsked whether the $200,000 station bail that they were put on Wednesday last is an indication that they could be slapped with additional charges, the attorney said, “I inquired, and I was told that apparently there are no new charges to be instituted; at least not in the near future. I don’t know what the bail was for. However, we will have to take steps to recover those bail monies soon.”ProtestMeanwhile, supporters of the Opposition Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C), together with Members of Parliament (MPs) from that party, picketed SOCU’s office on Monday, arguing strongly that there is no merit to the charges against the men, and there is therefore no need for them to be further interrogated and questioned by SOCU when clearly they have been processed by a court of law.Nandlall supported those arguments, and said that charges brought against these two former senior Government officials are a clear case of innocent people being prosecuted. Nandall, a former Government minister himself, also criticised civil society organisations for staying silent on the matter. “Civil society needs to condemn what is taking place,” he stated.Both men were recently granted $2 million bail on each of the three joint charges. The two former Government officials were charged for allegedly selling several plots of land on the East Coast of Demerara to National Hardware Guyana Ltd for over $598 million; to Scady Business Corporation at a cost of $150 million, and to Multi-Cinemas Guyana Inc at a cost of $185 million. The Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) filed the charges against the two former Government officials early last month.Following the court proceedings, both men were escorted by Police in handcuffs and placed in the prisoner’s dock, where they remained for a few minutes before being released. Nandlall described the act of handcuffing Singh and Brassington as dehumanizing, and one that sought to humiliate these two former senior Government officials, who served their country with distinction.Nandlall said once the current charges are over, there will be a barrage of civil proceedings that will be fielded for reputational damage caused to the duo. The attorney noted that persons are going to be charged personally for their involvement in the matter, and not the State alone.Singh and Brassington are due to return to court on June 5.last_img read more

Education Revolution countdown

first_imgThe May 15 runoff election for control of the Los Angeles Unified School District is fast approaching, with the future of the educational system at stake. The candidates and power brokers have yet to come clean on what they intend to do to dramatically turn the district around, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep silent. So speak your mind by going to dailynews.com and clicking on Education Revolution or go directly to insidesocal.com/education, where we will post our editorials, information from our reporters and your comments. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Liverpool ready to stamp out Roman revival

first_img0Shares0000Confident smile: Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp addresses the media in Rome © AFP / Alberto PIZZOLIROME, Italy, May 2 – Liverpool will not make the same mistake as Barcelona and underestimate Roma at their fortress Stadio Olimpico, Jurgen Klopp has warned as his side target a place in the Champions League final.The five-time champions have a 5-2 lead heading into the second leg of a semi-final overshadowed by security concerns and are favourites to reach their eighth final and first since 2007. But Roma — who last reached the final in 1984 when they lost on penalties to Liverpool — have not conceded a goal at home in the Champions League this season.Eusebio Di Francesco’s side beat Chelsea and Barcelona 3-0, with the win over the Spaniards overturning a 4-1 first-leg deficit to put them through to the final four.Despite conceding two late goals in last week’s emphatic first-leg win at Anfield, Klopp knows his side’s destiny is in their hands as they bid to seal their place in the May 26 final in Kiev against Real Madrid.“After the game, people acted as if we lost, but we won 5-2. And after a week people say Roma ‘only’ need to win 3-0, but that’s quite a result,” Klopp told a press conference in Rome.“I’m not here to say anything about Barcelona. In that game, Roma were more than ready.“Everybody’s telling us that it’s quite difficult and it’s possible but nobody told Barcelona, because nobody imagined it could happen.“I didn’t need a warning but if I did, there it was. We’re in a much better situation than I would have thought before the game, that’s the truth.– ‘Fight for our dreams’ –“Whatever I say, we still have to play, and I really like that fact.“We are here to fight for our dreams, that’s how it is, and we want to go to the final as you can imagine,” the Liverpool boss continued.“But that means there is a football game to play and I am really looking forward to it because that’s what you want. You want to play when it is big stakes for the big things, and that is why we are here. It is a great opportunity.”Di Francesco insisted his side “want to try and do something big in a stadium with 70,000 people”.“The desire to make another miracle happen must push us all to give that extra something.”The safety of fans in the Italian capital has overshadowed the build-up, with 3,000 police officers deployed around the city for the match after a Liverpool fan was attacked by hard-core Roma ultras outside the club’s Anfield stadium last week and left in a coma.Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum said that the Liverpool squad had been “devastated” to hear about the condition of the fan, Sean Cox.“It’s a game and everybody has to be safe and enjoy it,” he said.Roma’s players showed their support for Cox by wearing shirts bearing the words “Forza Sean” (Come on Sean) during a training session on Tuesday, but the atmosphere in the city remains tense.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Galaxy seek `sexy’ name for coach

first_img“We are going to use this as an opportunity to once again push the envelope and do something that’s not been seen in MLS.” That would seem to preclude Bruce Arena, the most accomplished American coach who also became available Monday when he was fired by the New York Red Bulls. Arena won two MLS Cups with D.C. United before coaching the United States in the last two World Cups. A Galaxy player, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said he was told the team was focusing on a European coach. Klinsmann, Mourinho, and Capello all have links to either the Galaxy or Major League Soccer. Klinsmann has worked as a consultant for the Galaxy in the past and served as an advisor to parent company AEG during construction of the Home Depot Center. The Times of London reported in September that AEG was preparing an offer for Mourinho, and Capello told Gazzetta Dello Sport in July that he was mulling an offer from MLS. “It would be a new experience that would intrigue me, not for the money, but to see if anyone could make American soccer take off,” Capello said. Asked what say Beckham would have in the decision, Lalas said that while he continuously talks with players, they wouldn’t be involved in this decision. While the Galaxy may be considered a plum MLS job with Beckham and Landon Donovan – arguably the most talented players in the league – the league’s structure, with salary caps, smaller roster sizes and far less interest – is far different from the best foreign leagues. For all the impact Beckham may have had off the field, the Galaxy won just one of eight games in which he participated. “It would be an adjustment,” Lalas acknowledged. “It would have to be somebody with incredible patience, perspective and an excitement for a challenge. “For a lot of coaches, at the end of the season, it’s `Mr. Chairman, how much money do I have to spend?’ Then you ask for a little bit more and get enough players to hedge your bets. It might rule out some candidates.” Lalas said the decision would be his to make, but he would consult his higher-ups, presumably AEG president Tim Leiweke. He suggested that AEG, which signed Beckham to a five-year, $32.5 million contract, wouldn’t let money stand in the way of a new coach, either. “There’s a method to any perceived madness to anything we do, and there’s sound business to anything we do,” he said. Lalas also brushed aside criticism from Donovan, the Galaxy captain, over the firing of Yallop. Donovan said Sunday night that Yallop was “handcuffed” and “wasn’t allowed to coach. People were trying to make decisions for him” – criticisms that were directed at Lalas. “I don’t take any of it personally nor particularly seriously,” said Lalas, who wouldn’t say whether Yallop would have been back if San Jose hadn’t come calling. “A player’s reality and the perception of a certain situation can be very different.” Despite his disappointment over Yallop’s departure, Donovan won’t be going anywhere soon – either to San Jose with Yallop, or anywhere else. Donovan has a no-trade clause in his contract and said Sunday night he has no intention of waiving it. “I’ve got my wife here, my family, my house,” said Donovan, who is married to actress Bianca Kajlich. “You never say never, but I’m going to be here.” billy.witz@dailynews.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! MLS: Club wants successor to Yallop to be a proven commodity. By Billy Witz Staff Writer With a head coaching vacancy to fill, Galaxy president Alexi Lalas seemed intent Monday on proving he can reach for the stars. The looming question is whether he’s trying to do it with his head in the sand. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre A day after Frank Yallop was allowed to leave for expansion club San Jose in exchange for a third-round draft pick, Lalas did nothing to indicate that there was a coach out there whose credentials were too big for the Galaxy. Jurgen Klinsmann, the former German national team coach living in Huntington Beach who already turned down the U.S. national team job? Jose Mourinho, the self-proclaimed “Special One” who led Chelsea to a back-to-back Premiership crowns before walking out in September? Fabio Capello, who coached Real Madrid and David Beckham to the La Liga title last June and was summarily fired? “We’re certainly interested in a high-profile, sexy type of candidate,” Lalas said during a conference call Monday evening from Vancouver, where he flew with the team for an exhibition game Wednesday. “All the people you have mentioned are quality coaches. . . . last_img

GARDAI APPEAL TO BUSINESS OWNERS TO BE ALERT

first_imgSgt Paul Wallace has issued warning.Gardaí in the County have issued a warning to business people in Donegal to be alert for suspicious activity in the run up and over the Christmas holiday period.Business owners are urged to be on the alert and to carry out a review of security of their business premises and not to overlook security existing at their homes.Business / Commercial Owners are advised: Review existing security – physical security e.g. glazing, doors, fencing electronic security e.g. – intruder alarm operation / CCTV.Don’t let the burglar highlight deficiencies in your security.Be alert for forged currency / forged credit cards / card not present transactions follow the guidelines provided.Ensure minimal stock is displayed and have backup stock in a secure warehouse /store. Seek the services of the local Garda Crime Prevention Officer to advice on measures to implement in the run up to Christmas.Local Garda Crime Prevention officer Sergeant Paul Wallace who is based at Letterkenny Garda Station said “This is traditionally a busy time for the retailer but also the criminal in the run up to Christmas – one with a focus on retailing the other with a focus on stealing.He continued “It is important that business persons continually review their security arrangements in their business and at their home during this period and not expose themselves to becoming a victim of the criminal’.Garda Contact:Report any matter arousing suspicions to local Gardai at District Headquarters Stations: Buncrana for Inishowen / Letterkenny for East Donegal / Milford for the North & West of the County / Ballyshannon for South Donegal. GARDAI APPEAL TO BUSINESS OWNERS TO BE ALERT was last modified: December 22nd, 2015 by StephenShare 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)last_img read more

Cerritos creating history book

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 The cover of the book will feature a collage of snapshots from different generations. Inside is a chronological narrative of Cerritos history compiled by Audrey Eftychiou. “(Audrey) has done tremendous research tracking down photos and talking to people who used to live in Cerritos,” said Annie Hylton, city spokeswoman. Eftychiou for the past year has been tracking down Dairy Valley residents and digging up old photos. “We wanted to add as much color as we could,” she said. “That’s probably what took the most time, digging through and finding photos that captured city’s history.” It was in the mid-19th century that European settlers — Dutch and Portuguese — began arriving in Cerritos and large and small-scale farms began sprouting up. With its mild, sunny climate, Cerritos soon became known as ideal for cattle farming. The city was incorporated as Dairy Valley on April 24, 1956 — population: 3,400 people, 100,000 cows and 100,300 chickens. Three years later, it became a charter city. In 1965, farmers voted to allow residential housing. Three years later, residents voted — 201 to 109 — to change the city’s name to Cerritos, which means Little Hills, a nod to the original Spanish land grant Rancho Los Cerritos. The vote came despite earlier arguments by opponents who noted that the only hill in flat Dairy Valley was a 6.5 million cubic foot pile of cow manure that once stood 20 feet high at Bloomfield and La Palma avenues. Soon, the population skyrocketed, reaching 15,856 by 1970 and more than doubling in the following two years. The housing boom was accompanied by businesses. By 1972, Cerritos was the fastest growing city in California. “The people who lived here always had a plan and a vision,” Hylton said. “They really had an idea for what they felt would be a successful city.” Jenny Marder can be reached at (562) 499-1278.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By Jenny Marder, Staff Writer CERRITOS — Cerritos was once the land of milk and honey for farmers. Well, at least the land of milk — and lots of it. As part of its upcoming 50th anniversary celebration, the city is designing a snapshot for residents of what it was like to live in post-World War II Cerritos, where farmers herded cows down city streets, school days revolved around milking hours and chickens outnumbered residents 30 to 1. In March, the city will unveil its historical masterpiece — a pictorial book that traces the city’s history from the Gabrielino Indians, Spanish settlers and a generation of sprawling dairy farms to today’s city, known for its large auto mall, tree-lined streets and titanium-clad library.last_img read more

Sandoval feels the love, can’t deliver in perhaps final at-bat with Giants

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — The Oracle Park crowd of 38,701 fans wanted a base hit.But even after grounding out softly to shortstop in what was perhaps his final at-bat for the Giants, Pablo Sandoval could only hear the cheering.“This is a moment you don’t want to forget,” Sandoval said. “I didn’t get the result I wanted, but I got the best result — the love from the fans.”Three days from Tommy John surgery and a month from free agency and a likely departure from the franchise he helped win three World …last_img

Kurtenbach: It’s one game, but… Why the Warriors’ embarrassing opener can’t be brushed off

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — We didn’t learn anything in the Warriors’ season-opening 141-122 loss to the Clippers that, deep down, we didn’t already know.Yes, all that preseason wishful thinking, all those happy thoughts of the Dubs’ dynasty continuing on into 2019-2020 season, and all those clouds in the sky for this first season in San Francisco were dealt a fatal blow of harsh reality on Thursday.The Warriors’ loss to the Clippers was a reckoning — an epiphany of the worst kind — as Thursday’s …last_img

Children’s museum planned for Johannesburg

first_imgPlay Africa will be the first children’s museum in South Africa. Like children’s museums elsewhere, it will not be a staid mausoleum to history, but rather a place where children of all ages will be able to play and learn through interacting with a variety of giant exhibits. A museum designed for children, to allow them to learn and have fun doing it. (Image: Play Africa) Priya Pitamber“It was so exciting to go into a space and you could touch anything, that there was nothing off limits to you as a child,” recalled Gretchen Wilson Prangley, the founder and chief executive of Play Africa, of her first visit to a children’s museum. “There was something like a giant bubble maker that made big, square bubbles and I remember seeing something when you’re that small that could create something that big, it’s extremely exhilarating.”The American-born former journalist has been living in South Africa for over a decade. She was inspired when she took her six-month-old son to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum in New York City: it would be great to have a facility like this in Johannesburg, she thought. And so the idea of Play Africa was born; once up and running, it will be the first of its kind in South Africa.Gigantic interactive exhibitionThink of the word “museum” and the image that pops into mind is a quiet, still place filled with valuable artefacts and ancient items, where information is given via small plaques by the glass cases or through audio tutorial – and “Do not touch” signs are seen everywhere. A children’s museum is an entirely different concept. It’s more of a gigantic interactive exhibition on a range of topics. Many have indoor and outdoor spaces, and the most family friendly also offer food or picnic facilities.“Kids are immediately transfixed by the site of life sized dinosaurs ‘bursting’ through the museum’s exterior walls, and inside they will find nearly a half million square feet of exhibition space, a staggering amount,” the American business magazine, Forbes, noted of the Children’s Museum Indianapolis.In their research – they spoke to 200 South African families – Prangley and her team found that the term “children’s museum” made people think of a place where you learned about the history of childhood. “We hope people understand these are the places you can go… these places are so exciting and compelling and dynamic, you want to run into them because they’re such vibrant spaces, and the word ‘museum’ tends to make people think of something really different.”According to the Association of Children’s Museums, there are more than 350 of these worldwide. The first, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, opened its doors over a century ago, in 1899. One of its pioneers, Anna Billings Gallup, described the concept in 1925 as “Brooklyn’s gift to the world”.Children’s rightsThe rights of children are enshrined in South Africa’s Constitution. “Children need special protection because they are among the most vulnerable members of society,” reads the Constitutional Court website. “They are dependent on others – their parents and families, or the state when these fail – for care and protection. As a result, the drafters of our Constitution have made children’s rights a priority – and have stated that the best interests of a child are the overriding concern when it comes to any matter affecting him or her.”Prangley said Play Africa would help to empower children. “We’re saying children are worth the investment in our community, to create spaces that are made for them that empower them to touch, feel, explore and discover new things, new areas, to be exposed to new ideas, exposed to the world,” she said. “A child should walk away feeling extremely empowered because they’ve just engaged in a space entirely made for them.”She observed that most urban areas catered for adults predominately; here, children needed to navigate the space in an adult world.“For better or worse, children live in an adult-centred world. When they enter a magical world where this is not the case, it is a truly energising experience.” – John H Falk and Lynn D Dierking, Learning from Museums: Visitor Experiences and the Making of Meaning“A right to a safe child-appropriate space to play is a basic human right but the reality is that only 29% of South Africa’s children have access to safe play areas,” said Prangley.More than a schoolThe first obvious difference between a children’s museum and a school or a crèche is that it is much bigger. For Play Africa specifically, Prangley and her team are searching for the right spot. “What we’re looking at is between 3 000 and 5 000 square metres of indoor space, and 6 000m2 of outdoor space.”There would also be a lot of self-directed learning, where children and their parents or caregivers could entirely immerse themselves in the experience. “You might walk in and find a child is drawn to a science laboratory in which they are invited to experiment with this idea of themselves as a scientist by using materials they will ever be able to find in their own school or crèche,” explained Prangley. “They might sit in the art studio and create a clay sculpture using materials they might never have the chance to access in their own school or crèche. They might spend their time learning about ecology through a water based exhibit.” If a child feels like being a scientist for the day, they can at a children’s museum. (Image: Play Africa) Open to all childrenPeggy Chauke, the director of Leratong Preschool in Alexandra, Joburg, supports a safe area where children can play. She said the only place children played in Alex was on the roads. “They play soccer, cricket, whatever they want to play, they play in the street, which is very dangerous for them.”Watch:In cities that have them, children’s museums have become tourist destinations, attracting both local and international visitors. Prangley pointed out that Mexico City’s children’s museum was the third most popular stop in the Mexican capital. Forbes magazine said the largest of them, Children’s Museum Indianapolis “is often ranked the single best such museum in the country, and fills five floors with permanent and temporary exhibits”.In addition to tourism, children’s museums help to create a niche business industry. “You’ll find all over the world, small businesses that have been created specifically to create materials, to create exhibits, engaging hands-on learning tools for children and families,” observed Prangley. “We believe there is enormous potential for enterprises.”Flagship destinationPrangley would like Johannesburg’s museum to be a flagship destination, opening in 2018. “We’ve been approached to do satellite projects. We also envision micro sites operating in smaller communities,” she said. “We see beyond Johannesburg. We’ve also been approached by four governments – in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. We believe that Johannesburg will be the first of many.”She envisioned it as a place where families of all types, beyond race and class lines, could come together. “We believe in using a very inclusive space to bridge divides in our city,” she said. “We’re saying this is where every child and every family feels like they can come and play together, learn together, and dream together.” Just as she did as a child, when she saw those giant bubbles.For more information, visit Play Africa.last_img read more