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Posted by: | Posted on: January 14, 2020

‘State Security Officers are Traumatized’

first_imgFormer Minister of Foreign Affairs, Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, has said that national security officers, especially those assigned at various point of entry that compromised the interest of the country by allowing harmful narcotic substances to enter the country, are traumatized and should be offered psychosocial counseling services.The high level of narcotic substances that have entered Liberia with the connivance of some national security officers, Ngafuan said are harming the country’s youths.He described illegal drug abuse as the newest national threat that must be tackled now before it becomes too late for the country. “This new threat that has to do with the use of narcotic substances has permeated the entire Liberian society and we must address it now,” he said.The former minister spoke at the graduation ceremony of 290 Renewed Energy Serving Humanity (RESH) volunteers who completed intensive eight-week psychosocial counseling courses in Paynesville.He noted that officers of national security apparatus, especially those that have the statutory mandate to man the various ports of entry to the country are putting the future of Liberia at stake, because they neglect their responsibilities.“These narcotic substances that are destroying our brothers and sisters are coming through airports, sea ports and other points of entry into our country and we have men and women who have pledged to defend our country, supposed to be or are at these points… but what are they doing? Are they compromising the interests of the land? I think they too are traumatized and they need rehabilitation or psychosocial counseling,” Ngafuan said. Ngafuan acknowledged that the fight against illegal drug trafficking would be a herculean task, given the fragility of the Liberian state, especially when security officers, who are supposed to be protecting the interest of the state, are the ones who are compromising the future of the nation’s youth.He noted that the graduates have a huge task at hand, which has to do with rehabilitating thousands of Liberians who are currently undergoing some mental pressures. The young people, many of who have fallen in the grips of narcotic substances, made up the bulk of this number Ngafuan said, adding, “Knowledge is nothing without its application, therefore the new skills acquired must be used to help Liberia.”“It is your duty to rescue your brothers and sisters and return them to their various families. You have gained this knowledge to have an impact and I’m of the strongest conviction that you will,” he told the graduates.He told the volunteers that by doing this, they would save Liberia, whose future—in spite of surviving all the odds of recent years, is being dented by the impact of illegal drug traffickers.He called on the state security to get more robust and tackle drug trafficking in the country. “It now appears that every community in Liberia has a little ghetto somewhere and we must fight to bring these to their knees,” he said.He frowned on Liberians, especially women who know the pain of child bearing but are trading in these substances. “You are contributing to the destruction of your country more,” he said, “Those who make profit at the expense of others are also armed robbers because they are making armed robbers by what they sell.”It may be recalled that in 2013, the Commander of the Presidential Motorcade, Perry Dolo was arrested while conveying drugs in one of the president’s convoy vehicles with the inscription “ESCORT ONE on behalf of an unnamed notorious Nigerian illegal drug peddler.Arrested along with Dolo at the time were another LNP Officer Cyrus Slewion, an unnamed Sierra Leonean, a Guinean national and another Liberian.Dolo, together with four other men were charged with drug trafficking and criminal facilitation—helping to import 10bags of narcotics valued nearly LD$3.7 million about US$50,000 into the country and was found guilty on all counts by a jury on Friday, August 8. Dolo was subsequently sentenced but was granted executive clemency by President Sirleaf after a little over two years later.Some of these drugs barons are shielded by people in high places in the various security agencies of the country and other governmental agencies, according to informed sources. Top government officials, according to information, are highly protective of traffickers who are arrested by lower ranking LNP and BIN officers.In 2015, while using undercover agents, the United States DEA in collaboration with the National Security Agency (NSA) nabbed some notorious drug traffickers in Liberia with Mr. Fomba Sirleaf, son of President Sirleaf at the center of this operation.Sirleaf nabbed Chigbo Umeh, a Nigerian who was working on behalf of a Colombian drug cartel, and wanted 700kg of the cocaine arrive in Monrovia en route to Accra, Ghana—a deal they promised to pay the NSA Director and his team US$200,000. The DEA and NSA had been trying to bring down this cocaine trafficking ring in Liberia since 2009 but finally got the men and had them sent to the United States.Many illegal drug dealers consider Liberia as a safe transit point to convey their illegal drugs to Western Europe and North America.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Posted by: | Posted on: December 29, 2019

LOCAL NEWS: CASTLEFINN COMMUNITY NEWS AND NOTES

first_imgAll Ireland Pride of Place Awards: Castlefinn Partnership Initiative are delighted to announce that we won ‘The National Pride of Place Award for Community Gardens’ on Saturday last at the Cooperation Ireland Pride of Place awards ceremony in Limerick.The Judging day was held in July where we hosted a coffee morning and family fun morning, we also had the chance on this day to showcase the great community work happening in Castlefinn. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to all the local community groups and individuals who supported us on the day and continue to do so throughout the year. We are indebted to you all and look forward to continuing working for the advancement of the area.Robert Emmet’s: continue with their Bingo on Fri. night in the Parochial Hall commencing at 9pm. Jackpot is €1040 with two golden ball houses of €500 each. Other houses are €50 with lines €20. There was one match 3 winner in last week’s lotto. This week’s jackpot is €3900. Castlefinn & Districts History Club: Have a souvenir 2013 calendar on sale in local shops at just €2. This would make a nice wee present to send at Christmas and your support will also assist the local history club as the strive to retain and document the history of the area for future generations. The Club will also launch their new website at a function in the C.P.I. centre at &pm on Tue. 13th. Nov. We will also have our photograph display on show for the weekend of the 24th. & 25th.  Nov. in St. Mary’s hall. More details later.Healthy Walks Group: The Healthy Walks Group is back in action again and leaves the CPI centre every Wednesday at 10:30am. Everyone is welcome to come along to meet, mingle and exercise. Castlefinn Notes: If you would like anything included in the Castlefinn Community Notes please contact the CPI Centre on 074 – 9143976.   LOCAL NEWS: CASTLEFINN COMMUNITY NEWS AND NOTES was last modified: November 6th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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) Tags:LOCAL NEWS: CASTLEFINN COMMUNITY NEWS AND NOTESlast_img read more

Posted by: | Posted on: December 18, 2019

Municipal changes will boost delivery

first_imgWith local government elections set for next year, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Pravin Gordhan discusses the importance of reforming municipal structure to ensure optimal governance and service delivery.South Africans queue to vote in the 2014 national elections. (Image: The Presidency) Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Pravin GordhanSouth Africans are no doubt looking forward to the local government elections next year. They are an important because municipalities form the first line of contact between citizens and government.Since 1994 our nation has undergone many changes. But for all our success we are still plagued by issues from our past.Among them is the need to review governance structures, including municipal structures. There are municipalities that struggle to deliver services because of insufficient revenue and inadequate governance.The Back-to-Basics programme analysed municipalities across the country and found about a third to be dysfunctional. This was determined by measuring economic and financial viability, tax sustainability and dependence on inter-governmental transfers.Measures to address these challenges are aimed at ensuring sustainability and viability. The measures include direct interventions in cases where laws have been flouted or municipalities lack the capacity to deliver services. They also include strengthening district municipalities so that they deliver services. In certain cases there is a need to disestablish and amalgamate local municipalities to improve governance and functionality.The eagle-eyed would by now have noticed that the changes tend to coincide with municipal elections. There is a small window to make changes between local government election cycles. Having consulted all MECs responsible for local government in the provinces, the Ministry for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs requested the Municipal Demarcation Board in terms of section 22(2) of the Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act of 1998 to determine/re-determine the boundaries of various municipalities based on assessments conducted by the Department of Cooperative Governance.There were 25 specific requests in respect of seven provinces, with a total of 61 municipalities affected. There are also another 15 municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal where the request to the Board requires adjustments to municipal boundaries to align traditional rural communities.Historically, these changes have been met with only limited opposition. The process is open and transparent and any proposed change must pass legislative muster.Proposed changes are first scrutinised by the Board, which is an independent body that derives its mandate from the Constitution, the Municipal Demarcation Act, and the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act of 1998.In 1993, provincial boundaries were formed using the erstwhile magisterial districts and 843 municipalities were created. This was not sustainable as municipal areas were based on skewed settlement patterns, great spatial separations and disparities between towns, townships and urban areas.After the 2000 municipal elections, the number of municipalities was reduced to 284. There were also 16 cross-boundary municipalities that were created affecting five provinces.After a further review in 2006 the number of municipalities was reduced from 284 to 283. Further change was implemented in 2011 when 283 municipalities were reduced to 278.The proposal to establish 267 municipalities post the 2016 municipal elections demonstrates the continuous evolution of our system of local government, and should be seen within the context to build a capable state. It should be seen as the first phase towards addressing non-viable municipalities.The latest round of proposed demarcations will, no doubt, illicit strong responses from various quarters. Robust debate is part of our democracy and is welcomed. Nonetheless, we believe that the proposed changes will lead to better governance and stronger functioning municipalities.These changes are part of our Back-to-Basics approach to serve communities better. It prioritises the delivery of basic services, good governance, sound financial management and building capabilities.The Board will determine whether the identified municipalities meet the objectives of demarcation, and the factors that must be taken into account when the boundaries are determined. In considering the request by the Minister, certain legislated requirements will be followed.It must publish a notice in a newspaper circulating in the area concerned stating the intention to consider the matter and to also invite written representations from the public within a specified period, which may not be shorter than 21 days.After this, the Board must consider all submissions, and may hold a public meeting, or conduct a formal investigation, or do both.Thereafter, it must publish its determination or redetermination of a municipal boundary in the relevant Provincial Gazette, and any person aggrieved by a determination of a municipal boundary may within 30 days of publication of that determination submit objections in writing to the Board. Objections are then considered, and the Board must either confirm, vary or withdraw its determination. After having complied with the above requirements, the Board then publishes its decision in the relevant Provincial Gazette.It is clear that the determination of municipal boundaries may only be undertaken by the Board, an independent institution which finds its origins in the Constitution. No politician, including myself, may determine boundaries.This article was first published in the Sowetan on 24 March 2015.last_img read more

Posted by: | Posted on: November 28, 2019

Olympic cheats evicted

first_imgSports editor S Kannan.The London Olympics suffered a huge jolt as eight women badminton players were disqualified by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on accusations of cheating and “not using one’s best efforts to win” in the doubles event.The ugly incident happened at the Wembley Arena on Tuesday night when two pairs from South Korea and one each from Indonesia and China made a series of unbelievable errors, hitting the shuttle repeatedly into the net, as if they were novices on court.It was very much “spot fixing” in badminton and on a stage as big as the Olympics.Just after all hell broke loose, India appealed against the result of a Group B match between Japan and Chinese Taipei, alleging it was not played in the right spirit and resulted in the elimination of Indian pair Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa. The appeal was turned down, but India have asked the BWF to review its decision.”We had put in a protest this morning and the BWF has come back saying that they didn’t find any bias or anything beyond the ordinary in the matches. We have filed an appeal to review that decision,” said India’s coach Pullela Gopichand.Even as fans jeered the night match between China’s top seeds Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli and South Koreans Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na, the referee got off his chair to warn the players.He had sensed that with just four shots being the longest rally in the first game, something was amiss. Spectators also complained that the players were hitting the shuttle aimlessly and were deliberately serving poorly.advertisementAccording to the BWF, the other guilty players are Indonesia’s Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari and South Korea’s Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung.After the introduction of the league phase for the first time in badminton at the Olympics, there was scope for teams to play dirty. But nobody expected that teams which perform at the highest level would indulge in such acts.London organising committee (LOCOG) chief Sebastian Coe was aghast. “I was at the Wembley Arena earlier on Tuesday as the British team was playing and the atmosphere was good,” said Coe.He described the behaviour by the players as ‘depressing’ and ‘unacceptable’ at his daily briefing.”Who wants to sit through something like that?” added Coe.Badminton Association of India (BAI) president Akhilesh Das Gupta said their formal protest was rejected because of lack of evidence.”On behalf of the BAI, we had lodged a protest saying the match between Japan and Chinese Taipei was also fixed and Japan deliberately lost that match just to have a better draw in the next round, resulting in India not getting a chance to qualify for the next round,” Akhilesh said.”We are shocked and surprised that our protest has been rejected. A day before, we had beaten Chinese Taipei and they have qualified and we could not go through because Japan lost deliberately.”Jwala and Ashwini missed out on a quarter-final berth by a difference of just one point, even though they beat Shinta Mulia Sari and Lei Yao of Singapore 21-16, 21-15 in their last Group B match, after tying with the Japanese and Taipei combinations on the number of wins.The quick action from the BWF came in for praise from all quarters, as before this, badminton was always seen as a clean sport.It required no investigation to look into the despicable acts on the court as the players were accused of “not using best efforts” and “conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport”.One of the officials with the Indian badminton team who spoke to Mail Today and did not want to be named said: “It’s a shame such acts happen in the Olympic arena. Badminton has been a clean sport all along and the reputation of the sport has been tarnished.”The bad news for the fans who watched the farce is their tickets will not be refunded. Paul Deighton, the LOCOG chief executive, said spectators had been able to watch another match in the session adding: “You get in to all sorts of strange precedents if people aren’t satisfied with what they see – it is very grey and dangerous territory.”South Korean coach Sung Han-kook blamed the Chinese. “If they played right, this wouldn’t happen,” he said. “So we did the same.”last_img read more

Posted by: | Posted on: November 27, 2019

Tickets for Tokyo Olympics may go on sale in late April

first_imgTokyo 2020 Olympics Games mascots Miraitowa (2nd L) and Someity (2nd R) ride on a boat during a parade in front of spectators with karate practitioner Kiyo Shimizu (L) and para athlete Hajimu Ashida (R) in Tokyo on July 22, 2018. – Japanese organisers formally introduced their doe-eyed 2020 Olympic mascots to the world on July 22, christening them with superhero names that could provide a tongue-twisting challenge to some. (Photo by Toshifumi KITAMURA / POOL / AFP)TOKYO — General tickets for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will go on sale as early as late April this year, it has been learned.The Games’ organizing committee is making final arrangements with an eye on promoting ticket sales in tandem with the Golden Week holiday period and heightening the mood for the event.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ The committee plans to sell tickets only on the internet for the time being. As a result of the crown prince’s accession to the throne this year, the Golden Week holiday period will last 10 days from April 27 to May 6, the longest stretch of holidays since the National Holidays Law took effect in 1948.The committee believes that people who want to buy tickets will have plenty of time to access the internet during that period.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThose who want to buy tickets must register at a special website (https://id.tokyo2020.jp). Details will be provided via email after registration, such as whether a lottery will be held and the specific procedures for buying tickets. LATEST STORIES SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Phoenix’s Jason Perkins is PBA Rookie of the Year Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Rescue efforts underway as Typhoon Hagibis kills 11 in Japan PLAY LIST 03:03Rescue efforts underway as Typhoon Hagibis kills 11 in Japan05:18After the Typhoon Part 200:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss View commentslast_img read more

Posted by: | Posted on: November 27, 2019

Harvey Carey hits milestone, plays 700 games with TNT

first_imgMANILA, Philippines—Harvey Carey may have played just 11 minutes in TNT KaTropa’s previous game in the PBA Philippine Cup but those several ticks on the clock meant much more.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “I’m very fortunate to stay with the franchise,” said Carey who was also named to the PBA Mythical Second Team in 2003 and the PBA All-Defensive Team in 2007.Carey is also the only player left in the TNT team that won the 2003 Philippine Cup.The 6-foot-3’s bruiser admiration for the KaTropa is enough satisfaction for him and he plans to one day retire with the franchise that selected him nearly two decades ago.“I could never imagine myself playing for anybody else, I love TNT, I’ve grown roots with them and hopefully this is where I’m going to retire.”ADVERTISEMENT Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy Godfrey Okumu on Lady Maroons tailspin: I believe we still have a fight in us Carey joined elite loyalty after he played in 700 games for the KaTropa joining legends Alvin Patrimonio and Mark Caguioa as the only three players in PBA history to appear in as many games for a single club.It’s also a double blessing for Carey as the KaTropa easily took care of Blackwater, 127-89, at Ynares Center in Antipolo for their third straight win.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges“It’s really fortunate that I’ve been pretty much injury-free except for my second year in the league,” said Carey who was the no.4 overall pick in the 2003 draft. “It’s a milestone and I just try to come in every day and just work hard.”Carey has had a stellar career with TNT having won seven titles and being named to the PBA All-Star game on 2011. Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Urgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefcenter_img Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting LATEST STORIES P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed View commentslast_img read more