President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf departed the country on Wednesday, February 26, for official visits to Nigeria and Chad.According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader’s visit to Abuja is in response to an invitation from Nigerian President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to attend that country’s Centenary on its amalgamation, scheduled to take place in Abuja on February 27.Immediately thereafter, President Sirleaf will be travel to N’Djamena, Chad, to chair the Heads of State Committee of the African Union Authority on the African Common Position of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.It may be recalled that last year the Liberian leader was privileged to have been chosen by the United Nations Secretary-General to co-chair a development agenda that would succeed the Millennium Development Goals. Upon the completion of that task, in May 2013, at the Assembly of Heads of State of the African Union, she was again selected to the chair a Committee that would draw up a Common African Position to be adopted into the final Post-2015 Development Agenda.While President Sirleaf is away from the country, the Honorable Morris Dukuly, Minister of Internal Affairs, will serve as Chairman of the Cabinet in consultation with the Vice President, Dr. Joseph N. Boakai, Sr. She is expected back at the weekend.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
– Advertisement – The Daily Observer’s front page lead story yesterday revealed a most shocking disclosure.A loan fund that has been in existence at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) since 2014 purportedly to encourage small and medium-sized Liberian businesses with loans to improve their enterprises was surreptitiously (secretly) created and managed by MFDP officials.These officials, led by Dr. James Kollie, MFDP Deputy Minister for Fiscal Affairs, proceeded to dish out this money, to the tone of US$4,111,450, known as Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI), to themselves and their unprofessionally selected friends and associates, even without collateral!An MFDP Internal Audit draft report revealed that of the US$4,111,450, US$1,665,434.91 was transferred to the PSDI loan account for loan disbursements, while the balance of US$2,445,995 was withdrawn on “multiple check transfers”—whatever that means.The Internal Auditors further stated that their attention was drawn “to a specific LBDI check number 133806, valued at US$1,648,037. We observed that the check was written as debit to the LPSL: Account and correspondingly deposited to another account called GOL Operation Account (A/C Number 02-2-0530000182) at the CBL. Details are highlighted in the findings,” the report said.Meanwhile, Dr. James Kollie, who by the way has been handsomely rewarded for his stewardship at Finance with another highly lucrative appointment as Commissioner General of the Liberia Maritime Authority, posted a statement on Facebook denying any wrongdoing.How can this yet another PhD in the ill-fated Liberian government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf claim that he has done nothing wrong when, to begin with he and his colleagues, including his former boss, Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara Konneh, never told the public that there was all that money at Finance available to the already struggling Liberian businesses for lending? Instead, they (Konneh, Kollie and other top officials and others kept the information of the loan funds to themselves, and proceeded to share the money among themselves and their friends.What kind of PhD does Dr. Kollie have if he never learned about ethics and another fundamental administrative violation called “conflict of interest?”Moreover, in all his lofty learning, the terminal degree, the important and critical policy decisions instituted by government must be shared with the public, especially when it is intended to empower the already struggling Liberian businesses.Now it has become clear for all to see why this newspaper has for so long complained that this Ellen Sirleaf government has neglected Liberian-owned businesses, favoring instead, at every turn, foreign-owned business enterprises, which already overwhelmingly dominate every aspect of our economy.And now, here we are, with the government constantly complaining of very serious economic difficulties, owing to the fall in the commodity prices of our primary foreign exchange earners, rubber and iron ore, and the government having undertaken a major economic policy decision to set aside nearly US$5 million to help empower Liberian businesses, and Ellen herself keeping totally silent. Yet, it is a matter that warranted a major media announcement proclaiming this great thing her government was doing for Liberian businesses.Alas, most Liberian businesses knew nothing about this policy, and nothing still that it included a handsome figure of nearly US$5 million that could have gone a long way to empower the few existing Liberian enterprises. The ones who knew of the fund, we are learning, applied and were turned down. These included two very young and promising Liberian industiralists – the award-winning J-Palm, founded by Mahmud Johnson and Panzsir, founded by Korkpor Daynuah. Both are mass producers of highly competent skin care products of export quality, done right here in Liberia.On the contrary, the Deputy Minister for Fiscal Affairs, Dr. James Kollie, chose the highly incompetent, unethical, selfish and corrupt path of signing all loan approvals, including loans to his own personal company, Garson Incorporated.Worse yet, of the forty-six borrowers, only Kollie’s company, Garson Inc., has paid part of its loan. The other 45 borrowers are nowhere to be found!How could Dr. Kollie do such a thing to his poor country, Liberia and its impoverished masses, millions of whom are barely surviving on one US dollar a day?How could such a highly educated individual make so serious a series of mistakes with the people’s money, dishing it out without a single “measure of transparence and accountability? And yet he has the temerity to declare that he has “done nothing wrong.”And there are all the other players—MFDP Minister Amara Konneh and all the other ministerial players in that Ministry; and their boss, the President herself. What have been their roles in the dishing out of all this money? Why was Kollie alone allowed to be the sole determiner of who gets how much of that money, without any proper vetting whatsoever and without collateral? Every one of these officials is called to answer the question of what happened to that money.We think further that it is not enough for Dr. Kollie to be ordered home. He cannot and should not remain head of the Maritime Authority, one of the nation’s prime financial assets, having left such a dismal track record at Finance.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The British High Commission, in collaboration with the EducationMinistry, will be hosting a Caribbean Conference on Educational Leadership at the School of Nations on April 5 and 6.The event will feature a number of international speakers from a number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other institutions. Among those speakers are Director of Starfish NGO in Gambia, Yassin Saar; Head of Cambridge International Examinations for South America, Lucia Marquez; Director of Marefat High School in Afghanistan, Aziz Royesh; Administrative Head of Low Resource Teacher Training, Emily Finnegan; Entrepreneurship Expert from Zambia, Frazin Rahmani; Professor of Developmental Disabilities at Ulster University in Northern Ireland, Roy Mc Conkey; Gordon Naylor and Dr Somava Stout.Persons who are interested in attending the conference can also expect the launching of a book, titled ‘Educational Leadership: a Guyanese Experience’, composed by Dr Brian O’Toole. It outlines 40 years of experience while working on developmental projects in Guyana.In the afternoon, there will be a series of workshops on the experience of the ‘NGO Epic’ in working with youth and children; the Baha’i model of education; the Cambridge Certificate in Educational Leadership; the work of the 100 Million Healthier Lives programme; programmes on entrepreneurship in Africa, and their relevance in Guyana.Those who are willing to attend can register at the School of Nations at a cost of $5000, which include lunch, snack and conference materials. Additionally, there will be an education fair on April 9 at the said institution, where various universities will be visiting to introduce their respective programmes.
TAYLOR, B.C. – The Peace Passage Skating Club is now taking registrations for their upcoming figure skating season.The club, which practices at the Taylor and District Ice Centre, has programs for figure skaters of all age groups. In addition, the club will also be offering their Canskate program for toddlers that aren’t in school yet. Coach Amanda Thomas says that kids are never too young to learn to skate, saying “if you can walk, you can skate.” The Canskate sessions will run Mondays and Wednesday from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.Those wishing to register in-person can do so starting September 7th, which is the also the club’s first on-ice session. The club will also have a booth at the 2016 Fall Community One Stop Registration on September 10th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Totem Mall.- Advertisement -Alternatively, those wishing to register now can do so either over the phone by calling Marla at (250) 793-8207, or online via a link on the club’s Facebook page.
It is the first time Spurs have lost three games in a row under the Argentine manager.So what has gone wrong for the side who only last month beat Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford to make it three wins out of three in the Premier League?Kane factorHarry Kane is off-colour. After two goals in his first three games of the season, the England captain has gone five matches without finding the net for club and country and Tottenham have no obvious plan B when their talisman is not firing.Tottenham forward Harry Kane is struggling to find the net © AFP / Miguel MEDINABefore the match in Milan, Pochettino said his star man was a target after questions about the World Cup Golden Boot winner, dismissing talk that he was struggling for form.“I’m not concerned,” he said. “The reason is not tired or not tired, can rest or not rest. It’s a collective problem, not only one player.“We need to keep our feet on the grass.”But Kane, 25, did not have a single shot in the match in Italy and the feeling is growing that he needs a rest to refresh his batteries.World Cup hangoverTottenham were proud to boast a whopping total of nine players in the World Cup semi-finals in Russia but they could be paying for it now.Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris won the World Cup with France © AFP/File / FRANCK FIFEChristian Eriksen, Davinson Sanchez and Son Heung-min left the tournament before the last four in Russia but players such as Kane, Dele Alli and Toby Alderweireld stayed until the end of the gruelling event, interrupting Pochettino’s pre-season plans.Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who won the World Cup with France, has since been fined and handed a 20-month driving ban for drink-driving — a further unwanted distraction.No fresh bloodTottenham were the only Premier League club not to sign any new players during the summer transfer window and look to be paying for that now.The lack of fresh faces mean although Pochettino has a relatively settled first team, who can rival anybody on their day, he has fewer options from the bench and there is less competition for places than at other clubs.Stadium delayTottenham are still homeless. The club expected to be in their new stadium for their match against Liverpool last Saturday but testing threw up safety issues.That forced the club to switch the Liverpool match and the home game against Cardiff on October 6 to their temporary home of Wembley.“At the start of the project we asked for your support during what we knew would be a complex and challenging build and now we ask for your continued patience and forbearance,” said chairman Daniel Levy.Uncertainty about when Spurs they can go back “home” is not helping.There is still no firm date set and fans will not show endless patience if the team continue to stumble.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Tottenham defender Ben Davies reacts after defeat to Inter Milan in the group stage of the Champions League © AFP / Andreas SOLAROLONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 19 – Tottenham’s bright start to the season is a distant memory after Mauricio Pochettino’s men slumped to their third consecutive defeat against Inter Milan in the Champions League.Spurs conceded two late goals after dominating the second half at the San Siro to slip to lose 2-1 in the opening match of their European campaign.
0Shares0000Mohamed Salah’s form at Liverpool has impressed Arsenal manager Unai Emery, who previously had doubts about the Egypt international © AFP / Paul ELLISLONDON, United Kingdom, Dec 28 – Arsenal manager Unai Emery believes Mohamed Salah is now among the world’s top five players, despite failing to sign him when he was in charge of Paris Saint-Germain.The Gunners boss will be in opposition to the Liverpool forward when his Arsenal side face the unbeaten Premier League leaders at Anfield on Saturday. Egypt international Salah, 26, has scored 59 goals in 78 matches since arriving at Anfield from Italian club Roma before the start of the 2017/18 season.Emery was coach of Ligue 1 champions PSG at the time and on Friday he admitted to being uncertain as to how Salah would cope with the pressure of playing for a major club.“We spoke about the possibility to sign Salah to Paris St Germain when he was playing at Roma,” Emery said.“We had some doubts — and then he signed for Liverpool and these doubts he has broken at Liverpool. Now, if you are speaking about the five top players in the world, one is Salah.”Emery, asked about the nature of his reservations regarding Salah, added: “Can he take the performance into one big team?“For example like PSG in Paris. And today I can say to you…if we signed him, we signed one player in the top five in the world.”Emery said the signings of Salah and centre-back Virgil van Dijk had been central to Liverpool’s progress under Jurgen Klopp.“I remember three years ago they had a problem in their defensive moments and bought some people — for example van Dijk — with a good investment and the result is we are looking at them today and their progress,” he said.“They are very strong in defence and also they are improving a lot when they bought Salah and now offensively they are a very big team.”The Spaniard added: “I think the Premier League is now the best and most important competition in the world for the teams, with Spain, maybe Italy and Germany.“But I think here are the best teams and players and now the leader in the table is Liverpool — and it is because they are doing things very well.”0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)
0Shares0000Woods’ remarkable victory in The Masters can be an inspiration in Cardiff’s bid to avoid relegation, said manager Warnock © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP / Kevin C. CoxLONDON, United Kingdom, Apr 15 – Tiger Woods’ epic comeback from career-threatening injury and scandal in winning the Masters on Sunday can spur Cardiff to avoid relegation from the Premier League, manager Neil Warnock said on Monday.Cardiff are presently third from bottom — Fulham and Huddersfield having already been relegated — but can reduce the gap to two points between themselves and Brighton if they beat the latter on Tuesday. Brighton would still have a game in hand but Warnock believes 43-year-old Woods’ achievement in capturing his first major in 11 years can be an inspiration for his team.Winning a fifth Masters title cemented a fairytale comeback to the pinnacle of golf for Woods, whose career imploded after a 2009 sex scandal and knee and back injuries that required a total of seven surgeries.“We just have to look at the golf and at what Tiger has done — amazing,” said Warnock.“Nobody gave him a chance either, he has been written off that many times and we have.“Obviously over the last few weeks we have felt sorry for ourselves a few times.“We haven’t got time to do that (at Brighton) and if it’s not good enough then we accept it.“But this is an opportunity to give ourselves a chance till the end of the season. We have to grab that.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
1 Zinedine Zidane hailed rampant forward Cristiano Ronaldo as “unique” after the Portuguese scored four goals in a 7-1 thrashing of Celta Vigo.Ronaldo also became the second highest top scorer in Primera Division history, his 252 goals in 228 matches taking him ahead of the late Athletic Bilbao striker Telmo Zarra, and now only trails Lionel Messi, on 304 strikes.The 31-year-old was booed at the start of the match by Madrid fans a week after criticising his team-mates following defeat to local rivals Atletico Madrid, but Zidane only had praise for the forward.“He is unique, only he can strike a ball like he does,” Zidane told a press conference.“I used to be good at taking shots but I took them from closer to the goal, and I never scored four goals in a game.“I care more about his performance (than the boos). Booing is part of football, and the fans were not just booing Cristiano. They are a demanding set of fans, they want more from their players, but that’s a good thing. And we all know how good Cristiano is. He is capable of scoring four goals,“It’s important that he has been scoring, with our Champions League match (with Roma) coming up next.” Ronaldo became the second highest top scorer in Primera Division history with 252 goals in 228 matches
FRUIT of the Loom, the company which once employed 3,600 people in Ireland, a quarter of them in Donegal and Derry, has announced another loss.The company, which still has a small base in Buncrana, says it lost €6.78M last year to add to its overall accumulated losses of €249M. FOL International, the name of the company, accounts show that the loss last year occurred after restructuring costs of €6.35m. The last 650 local jobs were lost in 2004.Revenues of the US company’s European operations dipped from €248.48m to €241.6m.The €6.35m restructuring costs last year represented mainly redundancy payments due to Fruit of the Loom’s decision to exit the retail mass market business. FRUIT OF THE GLOOM: ONE-TIME PRESTIGIOUS DONEGAL COMPANY SHOWS LOSSES AGAIN was last modified: October 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) Tags:buncranaDerrydonegalFruit of the LoomLosses
But, despite Marcus Rashford’s early opener, Gareth Southgate’s side were beaten 2-1 in a match somewhat overshadowed by what could have proved a serious injury to defender Luke Shaw.The feel-good factor of making it to the final four in Russia was evident in and around the stadium and Trippier does not feel there is any reason to hit the panic button as semi-final defeat to Croatia and a loss to Belgium in the third-place play-off was followed up by another reverse on England’s return.“It is not a concern,” the Tottenham full-back said.“We are building and that is all we can do, play against these teams. We want to test ourselves against the best and certainly tonight we put up a fight.“We knew it was going to be a difficult game, these are the teams we want to play against. England had a late equaliser controversially ruled out highlights impact 3 MONEY “We started bright and got the early goal and then to concede straight away after was disappointing.“They passed it around very well in the first-half, we talked about that coming out into the second.“I thought we played much better in the second half, we got it down and we played and we were unlucky not to come out with a draw.”Saul Niguez levelled for Spain moments after Rashford had put England in front with Rodrigo scoring the winning goal later in the first half.But late substitute Danny Welbeck saw a last-gasp equaliser controversially chalked off as the referee deemed the Arsenal man had fouled David De Gea before turning the ball home.“From my angle I had a very good view of it,” added Trippier. 3 Trippier battles with Saul Niguez LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures Best clips, calls and talkSPORT moments of 2019, feat Hearn, McCoist and more Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade 3 “The ball just went up in the air and Welbs just crouched down and De Gea just came over the top of him.“The ref gave a foul and personally I don’t understand how it was a foul but these decisions happen and you have just got to move on.”Welbeck himself was also at a loss to explain why his strike had been ruled out.“I don’t think I did too much wrong, it is the referee’s decision at the end of the day,” he said.“Me and the defenders were challenging for the ball. I don’t even think I touched David. Kieran Trippier insists there should be no concern surrounding the England side as Nations League defeat to Spain marked a third loss in succession.The Three Lions took to the field at Wembley on Saturday night and were given a rousing reception for their first match since reaching the World Cup semi-finals in the summer. Every Championship club’s best signing of the decade, including Taarabt and Dack Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? REVEALED RANKED possible standings Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Trippier says Spain presented a real test smart causal silverware “He just dropped it on my head and once the ball dropped I was just trying to put the ball in the back of the net, I don’t know what the referee gave a foul for.”Welbeck’s disallowed strike came deep into nine minutes of stoppage time, the majority of which was amassed as Shaw received treatment after a nasty clash with Dani Carvajal at the start of the second half.The Manchester United defender, starting his first England game since September 2015 – just a week before he suffered a double fracture which could have cost him his right leg – was taken off on a stretcher with an oxygen mask after hitting his head.He was later walking and talking in the dressing room, with Trippier admitting the incident looked worrying at first sight.“As a team you don’t want it, to any player you don’t want the situation to happen,” he said.“I was praying that he was alright and he seems a lot better, it seems like he has come round a lot more now which is very good news – all the boys just let him have his own space and we will all see how he is later on tomorrow.”