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Lack of coordination among ministries and agencies of government is hampering the decentralization exercise initiated since 2006, to give back some of the power to the local people in the various counties and is said to be dominated by a handful people based mainly in Monrovia.Upon the inception of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf-led government in 2006, the County Development Funds (CDF) was introduced to spearhead the decentralization exercise. The government initiated the CDF as a way of starting a program of decentralization and moving from the decision-making priority setting in Monrovia, but this is not going as planned, President Sirleaf has said.The CDF was based on a County Development Agenda (CDA), which brought together all ministry sectors to discuss with local authorities and representatives, along with community and political leaders, in order to determine clear guidelines and the best priorities for the counties, which would in turn be supported by the CDF.The national medium term development framework, Agenda for Transformation (AT), adopted at the National Vision Conference on December 12, 2012 , has anchored decentralization as one of the major features of the governance arrangement, designed to support inclusive growth and development. But it has yet to be brought to fruition.But President Sirleaf has indicated that like many things in the country this program, which started so well has failed because the CDF moved from judging the right priorities and instead based its decisions on politics.She was, however, quick to suggest that ministries and agencies (the government) revert support back to the counties through the County Development Fund (CDF). “We need to go back to the original intent of funding in the counties and the coordination that comes from a comprehensive CDA that establishes the right priorities based on a clear set of criteria,” she said.President Sirleaf made the assertion at the close of a one-day joint Ministry of Internal Affairs and Governance Commission High-Level Roundtable on Decentralization Implementation, at the Monrovia City Hall last Thursday.The High-Level Roundtable was convened to discuss the status of decentralization, particularly the implementation of deconcentration over the last three years, and to examine the challenges and support to deconcentration from government and international partners over the next few years. This is to further the National Policy on Decentralization and Local Governance, promulgated since January 5, 2012 , and a draft Local Government Law which is under review.Touching on the Deconcentration Implementation Strategy, with a focus on County Government Centers, President Sirleaf recommended that at the county level, Government must begin to look in the direction where all ministries and agencies have common premises that will enable them to do more efficient service and delivery, leading to better coordination, integration and results.A Deconcentration Implementation Strategy was developed by 12 ministries and two agencies, through a process coordinated by the Governance Commission. Thus far, the process of deconcentration has been underway in a rather slow procedure, with ministries and agencies for the most part unable to adequately collaborate with the various counties.Noting that most counties do have administrative buildings that can accommodate and move towards the achievement of this goal, the President said, “Where we have an administrative building, each ministry or agency can take a room or an annex and all go together in common premises so you don’t have to pay for extra services. We will start to move in that direction.”The President also spoke of the lack of coordination and collaboration among county superintendents. President Sirleaf frowned on their inability to provide, for instance, comprehensive reports on the status of development projects as a means of preparation for her visits to these counties.She mandated that with immediate effect each county, in collaboration with sector ministries, is to provide a comprehensive quarterly report. “When we’re trying to make resources available, we take into account what everyone is doing or proposes to do and how we can integrate our service with the simple objective of trying to bring better results; and how we can have a more efficient service delivery to the people,” she said.There is a need for a planned synchronized approach to de-concentration, which will strengthen coordination among agencies of central government in the delivery of services to county and sub-county levels of government, enhancing economies of scale, cost savings, local participation and co-ownership, Minister of Internal Affairs, Morris Dukuly, said. He made a presentation on his Ministry’s Decentralization Plan: Layout of Issues, Challenges and Resource Requirements.Finance and Development Planning Minister, Amara Konneh, said that government institutions that are involved in the decentralization exercise need to work together as a team, in order to deliver the kind of results that central government is anticipating.Minister Konneh also observed that others are resisting the exercise because it is taking power from the hands of a few people, which has been the status quo since the existence of the Liberian state, into the hands of the masses, which he said is necessary for the growth of the country. He also called on the ministries and agencies to synchronize their activities.The Ministers of Education, Agriculture, Transport, Commerce and Industry, amongst others, also spoke on their Ministries’ Deconcentration Implementation Work. Some members of the diplomatic corps, who are also partners in the decentralization exercise, spoke at the roundtable.Implementation of decentralization is to take place in phases. Deconcentration, the first phase of decentralization, was scheduled to be completed or significantly advanced within three years, promulgating the National Policy on Decentralization and Local Governance in January 2012.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Almost a month after three market vendors were remanded for breaking and entering the L. Seepersaud Maraj & Sons Jewellery Store in the Stabroek Market and stealing $22 million worth of gold and diamond jewellery, they were successful in petitioning the court to be placed on bail; and Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan has placed each accused on $1.5 million bail.The accused: Tyron Marks, 31, of Lot 107 Eccles, East Bank Demerara; Clifford Rodney, 66, of Lot 265 One Mile, Linden; and Albert De Freitas, 54, of Leopold Street, Werk-en-Rust, Georgetown, were remanded when they had made their first appearance before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan.According to the prosecution’s case, between July 2 and July 3, 2018, the men broke and entered the jewellery store located in the Stabroek Market.The men were represented by defence attorneys Pamela De Santos, Kezia Williams and Adrian Thompson respectively. These defence attorneys, in their bail applications, each informed the court that their clients were beaten by Police to confess to the theft.Police Prosecutor Neville Jeffers had objected to the men being placed on bail, and had informed the court that the men have pending matters of a similar nature before the courts, while citing the serious nature of the offence and the value of the items.The court was told that during a video interrogation with investigators, two of the men admitted to cutting into the store’s safe to gain access to the items.Reports are that on July 3, 2018, when the owners and employees of the jewellery store arrived at the Market, they realised the store had been robbed. Upon checking, they discovered the entire store ransacked, and the vault torched open.In a press statement, the owners had said the robbery was the work of “highly-skilled thieves.”According to the owners, they had consulted with several security specialists and others trained in ironwork and welding, and were informed that it would have taken no less than five hours for the vaults to be cut open. It was further revealed that the owners had spoken to two City Constables, who claimed that checks were done earlier in the Market, but nothing was discovered.Additionally, the stall was secured with an alarm system that was being monitored by the MMC Security Force.Meanwhile, Crime Chief Paul Williams headed to the scene a team that was able to collect fingerprints from one of the heavy-duty safes in which the jewellery was secured.Meanwhile, the robbery has yet again raised concerns about security at the market.Only recently, the City Constabulary named Stabroek and Bourda markets as popular criminal hotspots where consumers are attacked and robbed on a daily basis. These offences are suspected to be gang-related.Chief Constable Andrew Foo has stated that the Markets have been on their radar for quite a while now in light of the increase in criminal activities there.Foo explained that at the Stabroek Market, since it is a transportation hub, persons entering and leaving public transportation are the main targets. With respect to Bourda Market, most of the incidents occur among vendors and shoppers in the rush hours, when sales are at a peak.
– claim GGMC encouraging sameResidents of Mahdia are complaining of major health risks associated with the operations of unlicensed gold traders in their town. They are contending that these gold dealers are unlicensed and performing smelting operations without having extractors to filter mercury. As a result, the residents are calling on the authorities to intervene and bring a halt to the illegal operations in the mining district.The residents are alleging that the operations are known to officials of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), however, they continue to allow the illegal operations.According to residents, the illegal operators are paying the GGMC officials and even giving them gold in order to continue their trade.A few of the residents reached out to Guyana Times on Monday stating that the issue has been ongoing for a long time and several reports were made to GGMC officials in the town but nothing is being done about it.“We complained to GGMC officers that are right here and they know exactly who these illegal operators are. They visited the people and supposedly instructed them to cease operations and closed the location, however, as soon as the officers left they reopened as normal and have remained open since. What does this tell you?” a resident asked.“Mahdia is a small place and everybody knows what is going on. There’s no way that you can get instruction to close and you still operating and the GGMC officers that are right here won’t know. Everyone knows that they accepting pay from these people. These people handling mercury without any proper extraction and it’s not safe for us,” the resident further stated.Mahdia is a hotspot for the trading of raw gold and as a result, persons flock the area for the purchasing of gold.There are several licensed operators that carry out their trade with all the precautionary methods as stipulated by GGMC, however, as of recent, there has been an upsurge in illegal traders who are non-compliant to the health and safety standards and necessary license for such operations.It was also related that officials from the Guyana Gold Board are also purchasing gold from the illicit traders.A licensed operator who wished to remain anonymous told this publication on Monday that one such illegal trader operates next door to him and after concerns were raised, GGMC officials closed the business but after a while, it was back in operation.“Imagine the GGMC workers went to these people, they couldn’t produce license and they didn’t meet the requirements for safety and they still operating. The officers claimed they told them to close but that can never be true because they couldn’t be operating if these people instruct them to close. They taking pay all the time up here. People giving them big gold chain and thing and they good. They forget people put them there to do a job which they are being paid for. They know of the dangers this kind of thing poses and they just don’t care. They only care about the bribe they taking,” he said.The furious residents called for a full investigation into the allegations and are hopeful for an urgent intervention from the relevant authorities in bringing an end to the problem.On Sunday last, a video surfaced on social media showing gold traders smelting gold in the mining town and no extractors were being used to filter mercury and fumes are being released in the business and residential locations where residents work and dwell.The Guyana Bold Board in March last, announced that it will commence mobile purchasing of gold in various communities as it seeks to not only maximise its gold declarations by year end but also ensure compliance with the country’s anti-money laundering laws. The first stop of this mobile gold purchasing initiative was the town of Mahdia.Guyana Gold Board Public Affairs and Communications Officer, Johann Earle had said that the exercise is in no way meant to encroach on the business of the authorised gold dealers. However, the initiative was necessary as many small miners found it challenging to travel to the Guyana Gold Board locations in Georgetown and Bartica to sell small amounts of gold.With regard to mercury concerns, Earle had assured that the Board has taken steps to ensure that there is no threat of mercury emissions during the gold purchasing exercises.For the purpose of the mobile buying exercise, the Guyana Gold Board fabricated a miniature mercury abatement system. This system had been tested and is functioning as it was designed to, he said.
The Patriots (19-0-6), who were eliminated in the second round of last year’s playoffs, are unbeaten this season, and they have posted 16 shutouts. “It’s been a magical season,” said Kikugawa, who is expecting a big crowd today for the team’s final home game. “It’s the first time we’ve been this far, so there’s tons of excitement around school. There’s a lot of good energy surrounding the team.” Monumental Mission: Mission League champion Loyola of Los Angeles (25-6-3) is seeking its fourth consecutive appearance in a Southern Section final, but the fourth-seeded Cubs will have to beat Div. I’s top seed, Long Beach Wilson (26-1-4), to get there. The Bruins already beat Loyola once this season at a tournament in December. Brown, a senior forward with a team-high 31 goals, has scored twice in each playoff game for the Patriots, who until this year had never advanced past the second round. Third-seeded Viewpoint plays for a berth in the Div. VI final when the Patriots host Yucca Valley at 3 p.m. today. “Spencer in the playoffs, he’s been like a man among boys,” Viewpoint coach Travis Kikugawa said. “He really has. He’s put the team on his shoulders and carried us. … With him being a senior, this is his last go around and he understands the pieces are here for us to do it. He’s been a great leader.” Loyola, which needed overtime to beat Bell Gardens in Friday’s quarterfinal, was runner-up in Div. II last year. Third time the charm? To reach its first City final since 1991, Chatsworth will have to beat a second-seeded San Fernando team Wednesday that has defeated the Chancellors twice this season. But third-seed Chatsworth likes the challenge. “It’s time for revenge,” Chancellors coach Vahan Minassian said. “I think our team’s come together and improved a lot since the last time we played them. If we play our game, we’ll be OK.” email@example.com (818) 713-3607 BOYS’ SOCCER SEMIFINALS Today, 3 p.m. Southern Section Div. I: No. 4 Loyola (25-6-3) vs No. 1 L.B. Wilson (26-1-4) at Long Beach City College Div. II: Saugus (17-8-3) at No. 2 Palos Verdes (21-2-6) Div. V: La Canada (14-7-2) at No. 3 Salesian (20-2-1) Div. VI: Yucca Valley (14-5-2) at No. 3 Viewpoint (19-0-6) Wednesday, 3 p.m. CITY SECTION No. 4 Bell (15-2-5) at No. 1 Canoga Park (22-0-1) No. 3 Chatsworth (17-6-2) at No. 2 San Fernando (21-2-3) 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Spencer Brown got used to providing the bulk of the offense for Viewpoint of Calabasas’ boys’ soccer team while last year’s leading scorer Evan Raynr spent much of this season away with the U.S. national program. Raynr has returned, but Brown has been scoring more than ever as Viewpoint has ridden his hot streak to the first Southern Section semifinal appearance in program history.
By The Associated Press YANGON, Myanmar – Myanmar’s military government issued a threat Monday to the barefoot Buddhist monks who led 100,000 people marching through a major city in the strongest protests against the repressive regime for two decades. The warning shows the increasing pressure the junta is under to either crack down on or compromise with a reinvigorated democracy movement. The monks have taken their traditional role as the conscience of society, backing the military into a corner from which it may lash out again. The authorities did not stop the protests Monday, even as they built to a scale and fervor that rivaled the pro-democracy uprising of 1988 when the military fired on peaceful crowds and killed thousands, terrorizing the country. The government has been handling the monks gingerly, wary of raising the ire of ordinary citizens in this devout, predominantly Buddhist nation. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! However, on Monday night the country’s religious affairs minister appeared on state television to accuse the monks of being manipulated by the regime’s domestic and foreign enemies. Meeting with senior monks at Yangon’s Kaba Aye Pagoda, Brig. Gen. Thura Myint Maung said the protesting monks represented just 2 percent of the country’s population. He suggested that if senior monks did not restrain them, the government would act according to its own regulations, which he did not detail. Also on Monday, the White House weighed in with the threat of additional sanctions against the Myanmar regime and those who provide it with financial aid. President Bush is expected to announce the sanctions today at the U.N. General Assembly. The United States restricts imports and exports and financial transactions with Myanmar, also known as Burma. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon urged authorities in Myanmar to exercise restraint in the face of the protests and expressed hope the government would “seize this opportunity” to include all opposition groups in the political process.
1 Aston Villa forward Christian Benteke regards this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool as the biggest game of his career to date.Villa play the Reds at Wembley on Sunday with a place in the final at stake on May 30, knowing either Arsenal or Reading lie in wait.Benteke missed last summer’s World Cup after rupturing his achilles a year ago, and the Belgian striker believes this weekend’s showdown constitutes his biggest game as a result of missing the finals in Brazil.“For the moment, yes. It [missing the World Cup] was hard but now it’s in the past, I’m looking forward to playing the semi-final,” said the Villa hitman.“Liverpool are a good team but the thing with the FA Cup is it’s still something special. It’s 50-50 for me but some will say they are favourites.”The 24-year-old also insists it is ‘risky’ for Tim Sherwood’s side to take their recent impressive form for granted as they look to ensure Premier League football next season.Villa clinched a 1-0 win at Tottenham on Saturday which stretched the gap between themselves and the relegation zone to six points, but Benteke wants to retain focus on survival despite the FA Cup distraction.He said: “I think it’s risky to say we can take three points and we’re finished. We have to try to win every game.“Saturday was a massive three points because now we’re six points clear of QPR so it’s very important for us to be far off them.”talkSPORT will bring you live coverage of Aston Villa against Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final this Sunday from 3pm. Christian Benteke
SANTA CLARITA – Firefighters battling three major wildfires in the Santa Clarita Valley had to deal with a fourth blaze that erupted today, but it was quickly doused with no damages or structures threatened. The so-called Meadow Ridge Fire was reported about 4 a.m. near San Fernando Road and Meadow Ridge Drive, the Los Angeles County Fire Department reported. Flames from the new fire scorched about 10 acres, but no structures were threatened and no one was hurt, authorities said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Miller left Livingston earlier this month and is now contracted to Dundee Gerrard launches furious touchline outburst as horror tackle on Barisic sparks chaos Top stories in Scottish football 2 Rangers finally get their man as Liverpool agree to £7m sale “It’s one of those things you just have to get over and accept because it was taken out of my hands, but it still hurts the way I had to leave that football club because it was a definite departure from what I would have envisaged at the start of last season.”No real details of the incident involving Wallace and Murty have emerged, and Miller has no plans on revealing anything at this moment in time.However, he did admit he could open up sometime in the future as there are ‘wrongs that need to be righted’.“That’s something I will have to have a long, hard think about,” Miller continued, when asked if he will name names. “A lot of things have happened even since then, and I’m focused on my career now; I’m not looking back, I’m looking forward. Kenny Miller admits he was ‘devastated’ after leaving Rangers at the end of last season, while revealing he may name names and explain the truth about the acrimonious circumstances surrounding his exit sometime in the future.Miller left Ibrox at the end of last season when his contract expired, having been fined and investigated by the club a few months earlier.The forward and team-mate Lee Wallace were suspended after an alleged altercation with Graeme Murty, then the club’s manager, in the aftermath of a 4-0 defeat to Old Firm rivals Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-finals. WAT ABOUT THAT Rangers won’t be forced to sell star striker in January, Ibrox chief claims decision scrap Wallace has since had his suspension lifted and remains with Rangers under new manager Steven Gerrard, though Miller left, was named Livingston player/manager, then departed after just seven weeks and is now contracted to Dundee.The 38-year-old spoke to talkSPORT to open up on his departure, admitting he is still hurting over what was a ‘devastating’ moment for him.Miller said: “Everybody knows what my feelings are for that club, and to represent them over 300 times over the course of eight years and then leave the way I had to leave…“It was not disappointing but devastating… it really was. fear NO MOR Miller and Wallace were suspended by Rangers following the alleged altercation Karamoko Dembele ‘chooses’ who he will play for internationally ‘I think it’s careless’ – Gerrard takes aim at Scotland for Jack injury NOT HAPPY LANGUAGE BARRIER Vinnie Jones: What I would have done to Scott Brown after Old Firm wind-up antics ALMOST “I’ve just been given a two year deal with Dundee, and I’ll hopefully make my debut sometime tomorrow. So I’m really focused on that.“Down the line… who knows? I think there are a lot of wrongs that need to be righted, and a lot of things need to be out there – facts, no stories or fiction.“So yes, maybe further down the line maybe that will come out.” I told Rangers to beat Spurs to Luka Modric signing, reveals Ally McCoist 2 Rangers team up with hummel UK to launch eco-friendly ZEROH2O kit kent bound ‘IT’S ON’ McCoist tells funny Rangers story about Gazza and new Napoli boss Gattuso
BY EMMET RUSHE: The number of people starting training is on the rise.Some people are training for fun, some for health, some for sports and some for changes in body composition, be it weight loss or muscle gain.Everyone who begins training usually has a personal goal in mind. It is this goal that drives people to get up early and go training before work.It is this goal that gets players out training on cold rainy autumn nights.It is these goals that gets people into the gyms and leisure centres after a long day’s work.Goals are what get most people started into training, but there is another, more important factor that will actually see these people achieve their goals. During my time as a Fitness Instructor and as a Personal Trainer, I have seen all manner of people set out on their fitness journeys.They start off with focus and fervour, training almost every day for a few weeks and never missing a session.Then, you might not see them for a week.Then I will see them for 3-4 days in a row and then, nothing for another week.Then, it’s a day here and a day there. Then, it’s another week off.Then, after a few weeks of this pattern repeating itself, these members/clients come to me to complain that they can’t understand why they’ve had such poor results.After all, they started out with good intentions, did a few consistent training sessions and only missed a week or 3 in between these sessions.Why is it they are not seeing the results they wanted?? The answer is simple and it’s one word long.CONSISTENCY!Being consistent will give better results than being sporadic and freestyling your trainingThe simple fact is this if you put inconsistent effort in, then your chances of success are slim.When you start out on a training program you need to be realistic when it comes to how often you can train.Going to the gym 5-6 days per week only to miss a week and then repeat that cycle won’t get you the results you desire.Try and set a realistic goal that you can stick to every week.Consistently training 2-3 days per week WILL get better results long term over the aforementioned cycle of training.Remember that changes in body composition, strength gains or on field performance improvements is your body’s way of adapting to the stresses you place on it through exercise.But if the stress is not placed on it with any regularity, then your body doesn’t really sense the need to compensate and you won’t see any results.Remember this; it isn’t just your training that needs to be consistent.If your nutrition plan follows the same pattern as your training plan you are setting yourself up for double the failure rate. The best results are made through consistent effort made on all fronts.You don’t have to live a life of total abstinence in order to get to where you want, but you have to stick to some sort of a consistent plan.How quickly you reach your goals will be determined by how many consistent days per week you follow the plan.If you are a beginner, I would recommend 2-3 days per week.If you have been training consistently for a period of time, you might need 3-4 days per week in order to give your body the appropriate stimulus for it to adapt and change.If you are feeling a bit lost, drop me a line through the link below and I will lay out a plan to help you stay on track with your training and help you to finally achieve your goals.#TrainSmarthttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Rushe-Personal-Training-and-Performance/120518884715118* Emmet is the owner and operator of Rushe FitnessEMMET RUSHE’S FITNESS COLUMN: THE ONE THING MISSING FROM YOUR TRAINING… was last modified: September 1st, 2014 by John2Share 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)
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Weekat Vancouver 5, Dallas 2 Lee Goren scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period, leading the Canucks to the victory. Daniel Sedin and Sami Salo gave Vancouver the early lead with power-play goals 29 seconds apart in the first period, but Jere Lehtinen tied it with a pair of scores 3 minutes apart in the second. (SO) Olie Kolzig made 38 saves to get the host Capitals into a shootout and then made two more stops in the tiebreaker. Alexander Ovechkin and Petr Sykora scored during the shootout for Washington. Vincent Lecavalier, who had his fourth goal of the season in regulation, was the only Lightning player to beat Kolzig in the extra session. at Washington 3, Tampa Bay 2