REDEEMING LIBERIA FOR LIBERIANS

first_imgYou graduates are redeemers if you become part of an emerging Liberian middle class that we hope will soon arise with confidence and determination and take charge of our economy. …the ultimate purpose of education is to LIBERATE the human mind, spirit and condition. That is how, from faraway Harper, Cape Palmas, where this great institution was first established, to the rural habitat of our legendary Paramount Chief, Madam Suah Koko, it was possible for a poor, barefooted lad from Sinyea, born of unlettered, farming parents, to rise from poverty and deprivation to become the first President of Cuttington University!  I refer to none other than Dr. Henrique F. Tokpa.     Let me congratulate you, Dr. Tokpa, Bishop Hart and the Board of Trustees,  Faculty, Staff and Student Body, for leading this Cuttington through its first decade of existence as a full-fledged University, and maintaining its integrity and prestige as one of the preeminent institutions of higher learning in West Africa!  Let me also congratulate the parents and families and all people of goodwill who have supported these young people graduating today, for your love, commitment and sacrifices that have empowered them to reach this important milestone in their lives, graduating from the great Cuttington University.I would like, too, to highly commend President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Counselor Yvette Chesson Wureh, former Foreign Minister Olubanke King Akerele, the women of Liberia and their international partners for their vision and energy in building on the Cuttington Univerisity campus the Madam Suah Koko Center for Women Empowerment.  It is a fitting tribute to this legendary Liberian woman, and we are happy and proud that it has been erected on our historic and beloved campus!It is also commendable that Cuttington University is doing what a university does—confers upon its tested and accomplished scholars not only undergraduate, but also graduate degrees, first in Education and Theology, now in Business and Health Sciences.Let us redouble our efforts to help Cuttington University forge ahead to establish more Colleges in strategic disciplines that will ensure that Liberia takes the great leap forward in agriculture, agro-industries, business, industry, manufacturing and technology.  Cuttington should lead the way to revive Liberia’s vanishing culture by encouraging and enabling Liberian parents and the schools to teach their children to speak Liberian languages, and learn Liberian history and Liberian culture.  Cuttington must train historians and people of letters, who will write and publish books and literature for our own academic requirements from kindergarten to University level, and put Liberia on the world literary map. How many of you know that Edwin J. Barclay wrote the Lone Star Forever when was only 19 years old? We must begin to develop a Liberian business class that will participate actively in the business sector and the economy.The Government, can make this happen by making it mandatory that ALL  foreign businesses, whose operations are US$50,000 or more, have a credible Liberian partner. But this is not enough. We must know how to partner in our own interest. We have to be clear what is our interest and be focused on it. I had absolutely no clue that the words I had spoken would come so soon to pass.  I was only speaking from my heart, and from my observation of things happening around me.Some of you were yet unborn, but will recall from history that exactly TWELVE DAYS later, on December 24, 1989 Charles Taylor and his National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) crossed the Ivorian border, entered Buutuo, Nimba County and  fired the first shots of their invasion.  This immediately ignited the calamitous civil war that would topple and kill the Liberian dictator Samuel Doe and most of his closest associates.  And because Taylor was himself equally or perhaps even more greedy, corrupt, and unpatriotic, he kept the war going for 14 years, devastating the country’s infrastructure and causing the massacre of over 250,000 people.  Taylor told his ruthless and corrupt associates that they were free to do anything they wished, for his regime would be in power until 2025.  What he, like President Samuel K. Doe, and President William R.Tolbert whom Doe overthrew and brutally murdered—what Taylor did not know was that his own day of reckoning would most certainly come.  Indeed it came, for him, for his son Chuckie and their entire destructive and murderous regime.  Where are they today is a question moot, whose answer is known to us all.This leads me back exactly a century earlier, to 1889, when the man we all know as the Education bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Liberia, the visionary Rt. Rev. Samuel David Ferguson, founded, on February 22, 1989, our esteemed and beloved alma mater, Cuttington College and Divinity School.  It was on that day that Bishop Ferguson laid the cornerstone for the first building, and named it Epiphany Hall—the name that we joyfully and reverently call when we sing our beautiful Cuttington Ode.It is indeed fitting, I believe, that we should recall the great contribution of another Episcopal Bishop, who made a distinctive mark on Cuttington and Liberia—Bishop Bravid W. Harris.  It was he who convinced his friend, President William V.S. Tubman, to agree to transfer Cuttington from Harper, Cape Palmas, Tubman’s own home town, to Suakoko in faraway Bong County.  Bishop Harris broke ground for the new Cuttington in Suakoko on April 17, 1948 and pledged that the rebuilt college would “assist in the molding and development of such fine characters, that those who pass from under our influence will be able to make their constructive contribution to the society of which they are a part.”Permit me, at this juncture, to reflect briefly on the question of power, and how people in different places use it in very different ways.  Jesus Christ, the most powerful person that ever walked this earth, used not one ounce of his power for or on Himself.  As we all know, He used it for good—healing, giving hope and restoring life.A bishop in all ecclesiastical traditions has a lot of power.  But to what use did Bishops Furguson and Harris apply the   power that was available to them? They used power to lay the foundation for the education, enlightenment and training of future generations of Liberians and Africans, to help usher them, their country and their continent, out of the quagmire of ignorance, poverty, disease and underdevelopment. The World Bank and other international financial institutions may advise against this. But we must never forget that Liberia, when most African nations were still colonized, was one of the signatories to the creation of the Brettenwood Institutions, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the International Finance Corporation.  Yet, even in the midst of our agricultural, mineral and now petroleum wealth, Liberia and Liberians are still among the poorest nations and peoples on earth!   It is incumbent upon the Brettenwood Institutions themselves to answer the question, how come?But the time has come for Liberia as a sovereign nation to make her own decisions about her future and the economic and financial integrity, peace, wellbeing and stability of her people.  We cannot and must not continue to allow foreigners to come here with nothing and become rich off our resources,   while our people remain perpetually poor, deprived and powerless in their own rich country.Let me ask this audience a question: Who were the chief beneficiaries of the presence of over 15,000 highly paid UNMIL personnel in Liberia for the past 11 years, since 2003?  Were they Liberians? Please answer. You are right.  The answer is a resounding No! It was foreign businesspeople who not only sold UNMIL and other international entities and personnel the goods and services, but housed them in buildings these foreign businesspeople rushed to build on the very lands I earlier alluded to, lands leased from Liberian families and churches.  Mark you, many of the families and churches had enough assets to go themselves to the banks and borrow the money to put up these buildings; but they lacked the vision, creative energy and patriotism to do so.Let me at this juncture proffer another critical proposal: that Cuttington immediately begin, from the coming academic year, a deliberate and well researched, planned and tutored course in ENTREPRENEURIAL CAPACITY BUILDING, to train Liberians to become businesspeople.  I throw out this challenge to all universities, community colleges and high schools in Liberia.  We must begin to develop a Liberian business class that will participate actively in the business sector and the economy.  The Government, I repeat, can make this happen by making it mandatory that ALL foreign businesses, whose operations are US$50,000 or more, have a Liberian partner.  Suggesting partnership with foreign companies alone is not enough. We have to know how to partner in our own interest. We have to be clear what is our interest and be focused on it.If the government does not pay keen attention to this challenge and DO something CONCRETE AND DECISIVE about it NOW, our people will remain poor, powerless and hopeless, believing and knowing that they have no stake in what is called Liberia.  They will, therefore, be ready, eager, willing and able to take part again in any insurrection that will spark the destruction of the country’s infrastructure.  Remember, that is just what   they were led to do by Charles Taylor and his band of rebels that totally destroyed the Mount Coffee Hydro, the water system in Harrisburg and everything else in Liberia, plunging the country more than 50 years in regression. Many of the nation’s assets, including huge tracks of agricultural land, petroleum blocks and mineral deposits, are being assigned to foreign conglomerates with no Liberian participation. In any country around the world, these are among their most treasured assets. If the people are not partakers in the benefits of these assets, such countries and peoples are doomed to poverty and inevitable conflict. On December 12, 1989, in a Commencement address at Cuttington, I warned that if Liberians continued to be marginalized in their own economy, it could spell trouble. The trouble commenced 12 days later, when Charles Taylor and his NPFL fired the first shots of the invasion, igniting the civil war. Bishop Hart, Archbishop-elect of West AfricaMembers of the Board of TrusteesMembers of GovernmentPresident Tokpa and Members of the Faculty and StaffParents, Guardians and SupportersMembers of the Graduating ClassThe Student Body  The Entire Cuttington CommunityMembers of the MediaDistinguished Ladies and GentlemenFriends:Permit me first to extend to you, Bishop Hart, President Tokpa, Members of the Faculty and Staff, members of the Graduating Class, the Student Body, and the entire Cuttington Community my profound thanks and appreciation for inviting me to deliver the Keynote Address on this important occasion, the 53rd Commencement Convocation of Cuttington University.  I consider this a unique honor done my family and me, especially given the fact that this is the second time you have invited me to deliver your Commencement Address.  The first was on December 12, 1989, during the Episcopacy of Bishop George D. Browne and the Presidency of Dr. Melvin J. Mason.On that occasion, I was very critical of the way our country was being run, by a gang of greedy, corrupt and wicked men, and of the effective marginalization of Liberians in their own economy.  I gave a historical account of the active involvement of Liberians in business, beginning in the early days of the Republic, and called on the Liberian government to take concrete measures to empower Liberians in business.  If this were not done, I warned, the nation would be headed for trouble again, because in the life of every individual and nation, there always comes a day of reckoning, when everyone will be called to account for his or her deeds or misdeeds.  I referred the audience to a story on the World News page of our newspaper, the Daily Observer, which reported that same week in December, 1989, that the Berlin Wall, built by East Germany’s communist dictator, Walter Ulbricht, was being torn down in a spontaneous revolt by his own people.  The day of reckoning had come for Ulbricht, the East German Communist regime and for the entire Communist empire, described by Sir Winston Churchill as “the Iron Curtain.”  Yes, it was in a speech at Fulton, Missouri in the United States, on March 5, 1946, that Churchill warned of the rise of  communism in Europe:  “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent,” he warned.And I, too, warned our own leaders and people that if the situation were not reversed for the good of the Liberian people, the day of reckoning would come for them and for all of us, when the walls of shortsightedness, selfishness, greed, corruption, mismanagement and wickedness would come tumbling down! Redeeming Liberia for Liberians is an urgent national call to restore commonsense, sanity, patriotism and ownership of this country to those to whom it belongs—the Liberians.  Alas, the people who have come here bring no money of their own but built what they have on any and everything they found here.  They are the ones who definitely believe they are the new Liberians, the veritable owners of Papa’s land.  They demonstrate this not only economically and financially, but also politically and judicially by telling the poor Liberians, “take me anywhere and it is you who will leave there, but not me.”I know of no country in the world which has given foreigners in their midst that kind of power—power over our lawyers, judges, politicians, our government officials, even the poor man and woman on the street who is thus reduced to vulnerability, subservience and powerlessness.Changing this woeful and dangerous state of affairs is extremely critical to our peace.  If it is not changed, we will have no peace.  I gave this warning in 1989, exactly a quarter century ago.  Now here we are today, far worse off than we were then.  We must arrest this terrible trend, that can lead us only down the path to more trouble.But wait! I also gave this identical advice 18 years before my 1989 Cuttington Speech!  In an address at the Booker Washington Institute in 1972, I called for the development of a Liberian merchant class.The failure of our people to listen and to act in their own good interest confirms unmistakably that something is terribly wrong with our educational system.  For what is the purpose of education if   not to uplift and move a people forward?  In Liberia, we have not been lifted up; nor have we moved forward.  We have become serfs and tenants in our own country.  Let Cuttington take the lead in reexamining the purpose and goal of education, and what form it should take to fulfil that purpose and goal.  Let me begin by proffering this idea:  the ultimate purpose of education is to LIBERATE the human mind, spirit and condition.  In today’s world, in the dire circumstances in which we find ourselves in our own country, Liberia, we cannot pursue knowledge for knowledge’s own sake.   Each of you graduating today, having learned a lot, do have something to teach to somebody.  It is incumbent on all who have a stake in education—and that means not just the government, but all of us, to impart sound learning wherever we are—and let that learning be for the liberation of our people’s mind, spirit and condition. To the Graduating Class, I urge you NEVER forget the advice which Bishop Hart gave you last Sunday: Use your talents wisely; and eschew  selfishness, greed and corruption.  Always remember Solomon’s ancient but lasting and critically important advice: “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.”As you walk out of Cuttington’s hallowed walls today, remember her motto: be “Holy and wise” and lead your lives as such!  In all your learning and doing here and in the future NEVER FORGET GOD!  It is He who will guide, protect, sustain and prosper you in everything you do, and keep you moving forward.Love your country—that is the only country you have.  Go out and use everything you have learned here to make a difference for good, not for evil.  Your country is in trouble, for there are many from outside who are determined to take and keep Papa’s Land.  DON’T LET THAT HAPPEN!  And how can you do that?  By going out as patriots, and leaders, and SERVANTS of your people; by applying yourselves well in whatever your hands find to do, by being effective, honest and patriotic.  The job market is tough.  I call on the Ministry of Justice, particularly its Immigration arm, and the Ministries of Commerce and Industry and Labor to do everything to find our high school and college graduates jobs in the business houses, instead of continuing to allow the invasion into our country by foreign young people to take the jobs that Liberians can be trained to do.  This, too, is an advice that the government can ignore to its own peril.What I have just told you answers the question you may now be asking me: Mr. Best, who are the redeemers?  The redeemers are right here sitting beneath my voice: I begin with myself, for I am an employer.  If you go out and start a business, you are a redeemer because you are putting bread on someone’s table.  You are a redeemer if you expose corruption and resist against impunity. You are a redeemer if you teach somebody something that will help him or her climb the ladder of progress.  You are a redeemer if you are a conscientious, honest, hard, time-conscious and productive worker, because you are setting an example for many.  You are a redeemer if you selflessly, willingly and cheerfully help somebody else, in the same way many have helped you through life.  You are a redeemer if you love your country, your families, your people and do everything in your power to help them and Liberia to succeed.  You are a redeemer if you become part of an emerging Liberian middle class that we hope will soon arise and take charge of our economy.I thank you.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) By now you figure this is quite an overwhelming list of things Cuttington must do. But you do acknowledge that the above list is not exhaustive.  Let me add one more thing that is so critical that it takes priority among the major issues we must tackle as a nation to retain and safeguard our very sovereignty.  What could that be, Mr. Best? you ask. Is it the economy?  No, my friends.  The economy is very important but it is only a symptom of something that is crippling our nation.  Is it Ebola, HIV-Aids, malaria and all the health issues we can’t seem to manage? No, my fellowLiberians.  Health issues are alas only a warning sign of the cause of our national dysfunction and inability to develop.  Then it must be corruption or politics or religious division, even witchcraft perhaps.  No, those kinds of issues that we are so preoccupied with just blindfold us and keep us from even making it to Brazil, so to speak.In my humble view, the priority issue that outweighs anything on the long laundry list of problems to fix in Liberia is our EDUCATION SYSTEM.  Liberia once had many strong academic institutions—the College of West Africa, which trained most Liberian leaders, St. Teresa Convent, St. Patrick’s, St. John’s, the Lutheran Training Institute, Bishop Ferguson High and the Booker Washington Institute.  Most of them were established by missionaries.  Many of our Liberian luminaries on the national and world stage passed through those halls of learning and went forth into the world well prepared.  Speaking of the sound learning our pupils of yesteryear received, how many of you know that Edwin J. Barclay wrote “The Lone Star Forever” when he was only 19 years old? Yes, he was a genius, but the school system, CWA in particular, helped him develop the capacity for brilliant, creative thinking and taught him proper English to express it.The sheen of academic excellence began to fade once the missionaries left, and now many of those once famous schools are on life support with crumbling and inadequate structures, lack of instructional materials and,  most serious of all, critical shortage of qualified teachers and under-compensation of qualified ones. Many of our schools are overcrowded, lack books, laboratories, libraries and other learning materials,  drinking water, toilets, recreational facilities.  Those young children who are not in school can be found on the streets selling cold water, candy, etc. or in the markets and down waterside being breadwinners at age seven and up.  Tens of thousands of our young people are loitering and languishing with no means of an education or skills training.  The ingredients for civil strife are within the grasp of anyone who has the nerve or stupidity to choose violence to attain power.This problem is so huge, it calls for hundreds of millions of targeted, sustained expenditure of US dollars over several years to fix.  Where will that money come from in this era of budget shortfalls?   If we are crying about lack of funds for our education system today, my fellow Liberians, we will weep even harder tomorrow by “the rivers of Babylon,” where we are strangers in our own land because we have not invested in the education and training of our youth.The government must join forces with private citizens and willing partners to raise the funds needed to begin the work of building our academic system from the foundation to make up the time lost by our youth during the civil war and as a result of our foolhardy neglect.Yes, we can do this.  We have the abilities and the intellect to design an education system that produces youth, men and women who love and fear God, love and support one another, are passionate about and committed to Liberia and to our families; an education system that imparts  not only knowledge and skills but also high moral values, good character, respect for the rule of law,  work ethic, professionalism and integrity, a love for learning, critical thinking and the development of an inquiring mind that knows how to ask critical questions and work to find the answers.Let me now move on, to dwell briefly on the theme of this Address: Redeeming Liberia for Liberians.I begin with a brief and blunt statement to this audience and to our people everywhere: Liberians, we are losing our country to foreigners faster and more irrecoverably than ever before.  And unless we wake up and start working conscientiously, patriotically, smartly and hard to take it back, one day Liberia will be lost and we will have to lease from these same foreigners the land to make our farms and build our homes and businesses.Let me tell you, at the beginning of this discourse, that some of our leading Liberian families, and not so prominent ones, are leasing their prime properties  to foreign businesspeople for 30 to 60 years, mortgaging the future of their posterity for pittance.  Many of these families do not even know how long their children and grandchildren will live to benefit from their drastically delayed inheritance which, come to think of it, may be lost forever.Many of the nation’s assets, including huge tracks of agricultural land, petroleum blocks and mineral deposits, are being assigned to foreign conglomerates with no Liberian participation.  In any country around the world, these are among their most treasured assets.  If the people are not partakers in the benefits of these assets, such countries and peoples are doomed to poverty and inevitable conflict.The Liberian government and its President, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,  should immediately reverse this disturbing and dangerous  trend and ensure that the Liberian people, take substantial ownership in the all the nation’sFurthermore, in order to bring Liberians into the money economy and establish a strong Liberian middle class,   every company that is investing in Liberia, from merchandize trading to real estate and industrial enterprises, should have at least one substantive and credible Liberian partner.last_img read more

Elephants Go on ‘Rampage’ in Nimba

first_imgAfrican elephants.…Destroy farms, wreck rice kitchensA group of elephants has resurfaced in the Gio Forest near Tappita District in Lower Nimba County destroying plantain farms and breaking down rice kitchens (storage barns), the Daily Observer has reliably gathered.According to reports from locals around Sarr Yoolay Town in Boe and Quella, a distant clan from Tappita, the five elephants spotted in the forest in recent days entered villages, causing havoc.At a certain point, a source said, the elephants ate plantains that were aboard a truck that had developed mechanical problems, and was parked along the roadside.The presence of the elephants has reportedly created fear in the minds of the farmers in the hamlets surrounded by forest. The report said in over 40 years such a raid by elephants has not occurred, “least to say, have entered villages to destroy the harvests.”The Gio Forest extends as far as Tappita, bordering towns near the Liberia/Ivory Coast border, around the Kparblee District. Until the arrival of PROSPER, an American non-governmental organization (NGO), the forest was threatened by subsistence farming activities, but those activities came to a halt  when the NGO began supplying some necessities to the locals.The forest was surveyed with the help from PROSPER to show its farming demarcation. The survey caused several persons who had encroached on the land to vacate.However, the Administrative Commissioner of Doe Administrative District, Samuel Nanpah Wheyee, has welcomed the return of the elephants, and warned local residents not to harm any of them.Mr. Wehyee said the elephants had earlier crossed over to the Ivorian side of the border seeking refuge when their habitat in the forest came under attack from farming activities, “but now that the forest is being reserved by PROSPER, the animals are returning to where they have previously resided.”Wehyee said villages that were reportedly ransacked by the elephants were situated deep inside the forest, “and so it is time that those who have their villages there relocate.”Mr. Wehyee blamed the locals for farming in the forest, “because they did it illegally, so whatever they have planted there, belong to the elephants or any endangered species roaming that forest.”Anyone who shoots any of the animals will be prosecuted under the law, he said.The Gio Forest is surrounded by three administrative districts, including Doe, Kparblee and Boe, and Quillah. It was once inhabited by wild animals and birds, among them leopards, giraffes, antelopes and eagles.The forest was surveyed by the Germans in the 1950s and named, “Gio National Forest,” under the protection of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), the same as the Sapo National Forest and the East Nimba Nature Reserve.Hunters who attempted to stabilize the elephants explained how they set some traps for the animals.“We were afraid of the way these animals operate; as they moved, you see trees falling everywhere,” one of the inhabitants told Radio Tappita.The FDA local office has urged the citizens to keep away from the elephants by hanging a piece of red cloth close to their village to deter them.The FDA also warned that killing an elephant is forbidden under the law, and therefore, anyone who harms them will face jail sentence.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Two Candidates in Bong District#5 Call for Rerun at Gbartala Precinct

first_imgSilas Kpanan Ayoung Siakor, one of the two contenders for the District #5 representative seat, said the election process at the Gbartala Precinct was created an unsafe environment, which cost him votesTwo candidates for the District #5 representative seat in Bong County have called on the National Elections Commission (NEC) to re-administer the elections in Gbartala precinct.The candidates are Silas Kpanan Ayoung Siakor, an independent candidate, and Amos Mhulbah Kornimugie of the Movement for Economic Empowerment.According to them they have formally registered their objections to the administration of the NEC to have a runoff in line with Article 5.9 of the New Elections Law that was approved on September 29, 1986, and amended on January 29, 2003; December 23, 2004; and December 15, 2014, which indicate that a voter, candidate or registered political party may file a complaint with the Commission alleging that an offense against the Constitution or the Elections law, or violation of a regulation issued by the Commission has occurred.Siakor stressed that Article 5.10 further states that a complaint must be submitted in writing no later than seven (7) days after the time the offense or violation was witnessed, signed by the witness and accompanied by any evidence the complainant has.The two candidates complained that on October 10, the election process at the Gbartala Precinct was characterized by insecurity thus creating an unsafe environment that led hundreds of voters to abandon the voting process without voting.They claimed that “the election process was chaotic and disorganized leading to hundreds of voters not being able to vote during the election because the polling place was kept opened until Wednesday morning, October 11, for voters to unlawfully assemble and illegally vote after midnight on October 10.”According to them, the voting continued until the morning hours of Wednesday, October 11, under poor lighting condition making it impossible for their observers to effectively observe and monitor the process to verify legitimate voters.Siakor and Kornimugie indicated that they have sample photocopies of voter ID cards that were collected to substantiate their allegations and are prepared to present witnesses to testify to the instances.They further indicated that they are asking for a re-vote in the Gbartala Precinct to allow duly registered voters to vote in an orderly and lawful manner.“We draw the attention of the NEC to the fact that they personally participated in some of the decisions that are the subject of this complaint, and therefore consider them to be complicit in the offenses that are the subject of this complaint.“We also draw the NEC’s attention to the fact that you lodged in the same house that served as Mr. Edward Karfiah’s campaign office in Gbartala City, and where he also slept the night of October 10, thus creating an opportunity for him to exercise undue influence over the election process and potentially compromising your (the NEC) ability to impartially adjudicate this matter,” they noted.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Mourinho cries foul over Sanchez treatment

first_img0Shares0000Manchester United’s Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho, seen here at the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Huddersfield Town at Old Trafford on February 3, 2018, was unhappy with the treatment of Alexis Sanchez © AFP/File / Paul ELLISMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Feb 11 – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes he may have to “cry a little bit more” to safeguard his players, in a thinly veiled jibe at rivals Manchester City.Mourinho was unhappy at the rough treatment dished out to Alexis Sanchez on his Old Trafford debut last weekend as United saw off Huddersfield Town 2-0. City boss Guardiola has repeatedly called for more protection for his players following a slew of dangerous challenges. The most serious challenge, by Cardiff’s Joe Bennett on Leroy Sane, has sidelined the German for six weeks with ankle ligament damage.Indeed, City have written to the body in charge of professional referees to raise their concerns and call for retrospective action when referees don’t dish out red cards when warranted.“Maybe his manager needs to cry a little bit more,” said Mourinho on the punishment taken by Sanchez.“I always liked English football. I try to feel English football has some cultural thing with tradition and there are some qualities I really like in the game but maybe I have to cry a little bit and protect my players.”“Really you can see the way Alexis was ‘welcomed’ by the opponent! You are right he is a tough boy, a pure guy who can cope with that. He coped at Yeovil too with some bad tackles like against Huddersfield.”However, Mourinho insisted the more talented players on show at United or City should not get special treatment.“I don’t like the word ‘protect’ the players because it looks like they have to protect only the top players but everybody on the pitch is the same.“The referee cannot only look at the players and say ‘this guy is a talented one I have to protect him,’ no he has to do it equally. They know the rules and if the card has to come then I am sure the refs will be in control of it.”– ‘Give me an award’ –Despite his protests in press conferences, Mourinho has cut a much more placid figure on the touchline this season and believes his good behaviour should be rewarded with a new prize.“I am not going from the bad one to the perfect one, no way. But I try and I make an effort and I’m happy with the way things are going,” said Mourinho.“I am fully committed to win the award this season for the best behaved manager on the touchline,” said Mourinho.“There are so many awards: performance of the week, manager of the month, they should give the guy that behaves better on the touchline, and they should give the vote to the fourth official, and I am pretty sure I would win! I am serious.”Sanchez’s arrival continued Mourinho’s overhaul of the United squad since taking charge 18 months ago, and he has no intention of losing goalkeeper David de Gea despite persistent interest from Real Madrid.“Do you think a club that is trying to attract the best players is the club that is open to sell the best players? It makes no sense,” he added.“If you want to go to that level you have to attract the best players like we did with Alexis, (Nemanja) Matic and (Paul) Pogba and so on and don’t let our best players to go.”0Shares0000(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

25 killed in plane crash

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityThe fiery crash underscored the dangers of flying in Congo, which has experienced more fatal air crashes than any other African country since 1945, according to the Aviation Safety Network. The turboprop belonged to the Congolese company Africa One, which has been barred from flying in the European Union because of safety concerns. Citing police reports, U.N. peacekeeping spokesman Michel Bonnardeaux said 25 people were killed and two aboard the plane survived – a mechanic and a flight attendant who was in critical condition. Police said that amid the wreckage, it was difficult to determine how many of the dead had been aboard the plane and how many were on the ground. Transport Minister Remy Kuseyo said at least three people on the ground died. The Russian Foreign Ministry said three Russians were among the dead: the pilot, the co-pilot and a flight engineer. Cargo planes in Congo are frequently flown by pilots from former Soviet states. At least 22 people were injured, according to the Congolese Red Cross. AVIATION: Congo dead include people on the ground after the turboprop hits three houses. By Eddy Isango THE ASSOCIATED PRESS KINSHASA, Congo – In a thunderous blast, a cargo plane slammed into an impoverished residential neighborhood in Congo’s capital seconds after takeoff Thursday, leaving at least 25 people dead in a smoky wreckage of concrete blocks and twisted debris. It was not immediately known what caused the Antonov 26 to go down. But the Russian Foreign Ministry said one of the plane’s propellers somehow broke off during takeoff, and one of its wings was sheared off as it hit a bank of trees. That account was echoed by several witnesses. “The plane clipped several treetops and hit the roofs of three houses, crashing onto its back with its tires in the air,” said Japhet Kiwa, who lives in the neighborhood of Kingasani, a few miles away from Kinshasa’s Ndili International Airport. “There was a huge explosion.” The blast set palm trees ablaze and completely tore apart three single-story homes set between two dirt roads. Little was left, except two detached wheels on the roof of a house, strips of the plane’s riveted exterior and what appeared to be part of an engine. A large bent propeller stuck out of the earth, surrounded by gray concrete blocks, trash, torn clothes and debris. Smoke filled the sky for hours as firefighters struggled to douse the flames amid a chaotic crowd of shouting onlookers, including wailing friends and relatives of the victims. Red Cross workers scampered among the debris, hauling charred corpses out of the rubble in blue plastic sacks, which were loaded into ambulances and taken to a hospital in Kinshasa. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Schools lag in physical activity

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 210 days, according to the report. Also in compliance were San Gabriel Unified, South Whittier Elementary, Temple City Unified and Whittier City Elementary school districts. Pasadena Unified School District failed to meet the time requirements. Ironically, L.A. Unified was among the first to ban soda and junk food on its campuses to curb childhood obesity. But administrators say they’ve had to sacrifice physical education while beefing up efforts to improve academic achievement. “When teachers are looking at the pressures of the day and everything on their plates to teach, I don’t think they consciously leave physical education out. It just sometimes gets pushed off the plate,” said Ronni Ephraim, LAUSD’s chief instructional officer for elementary programs. The district has launched a training program to help elementary school teachers incorporate physical education into a school day already crowded with required academic subjects, she said. LOS ANGELES – Despite its campaign against childhood obesity, the Los Angeles Unified School District failed to provide its elementary students with the minimum amount of physical education mandated by the state, a study released today says. The report, “Dropping the Ball,” found that 51 percent of 73 California school districts with elementary students failed to provide youngsters with 200 minutes of physical education every 10 days – or an average of 20 minutes a day. “Our priorities are tragically skewed,” said Harold Goldstein, executive director of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, which examined data provided by the state Department of Education. “We’re in the midst of a severe and growing childhood obesity epidemic, and yet most of our children are missing out on even the most basic school physical-activity opportunities.” The two East San Gabriel Valley districts studied, Garvey and El Monte City school districts, fulfilled the required 200 minutes of P.E. every For example, a teacher could have students go out for a run and then calculate their heart rate as part of a science lesson. Elementary school teachers are required to devote 2 hours a day to language-arts instruction and an hour to math, in addition to science, social studies, health education and other subjects, Ephraim said. And more than half of the district’s elementary school students are English-language learners who require additional instruction. “To close the achievement gap,” Ephraim said, “we have to give kids more time.” The additional teacher training will help, but it might take the district a couple years to come fully into compliance, she said. Because the state Department of Education has been monitoring compliance for only two years, it is concentrating its efforts on bringing districts into compliance rather than issuing penalties, said Rosie Thomas, compliance oversight manager for the department. The problem is compounded by the fact that few elementary teachers have adequate training to teach physical education. Even so, schools need to make it more of a priority, Goldstein said. “Physical education is the ugly stepchild in California public schools,” he said. “There are children who need additional assistance – in learning language, for example – but that doesn’t mean the time should be taken away from physical education. … If physical education became a higher priority, students in LAUSD would do better academically. It’s not either-or. It’s both.” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed spending $85 million to improve physical education in kindergarten through eighth grade, but the state Legislature wants to allocate that money as block grants schools could use as they please, Goldstein said. “The governor has thrown a touchdown pass,” he said, “and the Legislature is about to drop the ball.” lisa.sodders@dailynews.com (818) 713-3663160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Detailed view from a Roma fan on what Liverpool can expect from Mohamed Salah

first_img2 What sort of player have Liverpool bought in the form of Mohamed Salah? 2 Liverpool have paid Roma £34m for Mohamed Salah, the exciting winger who once played for Chelsea.What sort of player have the Reds bought, though, and how has the Egyptian changed since playing in Italy? This is what talkSPORT wanted to know, so we asked Roma fan Matteo Ciampani…What did you enjoy most about Salah and what sort of player have Liverpool bought?“Incredible speed (with and without the ball) is definitely Salah’s main characteristic. He has been a key player for Roma in the last two seasons, providing smart assists and scoring beautiful goals. He is a great dribbler and deadly on the counterattack, but sometimes he still struggles with teams who just defend, as he needs space to show his full potential. Usually players like him tend to be a bit anarchic, and egoist, but Mohamed demonstrated he is not selfish and a great team player, ready to make sacrifices, always smiling on and off the pitch. All his team-mates really loved him as a player and as a person.“I really enjoyed his ability to break the deadlock in difficult games and the great partnership he had with [Edin] Dzeko. If the Bosnian scored 29 goals and won the “Classifica Marcatori” in Serie A he definitely needs to thank Salah. He will now need to adapt to play in a more fast-paced type of football, which will be difficult for a player that sometimes takes some breaks during the game.” In your opinion, has Salah changed since playing in Italy?“Definitely. He improved a lot tactically and he is a smarter player. Under Luciano Spalletti he has improved his defensive skills and has been more efficient when it comes to making the right choice in attack. As Roma fans, we all remember the second leg of the 2015/16 Champions League clash against Real Madrid when he missed so many opportunities. He would probably score a couple now.“If the development he had in Italy is not enough to become a Premier League star, then I honestly don’t know. In theory he could be one of the best forwards, but even if [Sadio] Mane did very well, other similar types of players like [Juan] Cuadrado or Gervinho (technically not as good as Salah, but who has still done very well in Italy) failed to impress in England. So I think Klopp will play a huge role in that.”Was he the most exciting Roma player?“AS Roma’s best player in the last two seasons has been Radja Nainggolan. There is no doubt. He is now one of the best midfielders in the world (ask Antonio Conte…). Radja scored a lot, but the important thing is that he is a real fighter. A Gladiator. That’s what makes an exciting player in the eyes of Roma fans and Salah is not exactly that kind of player; lacking a bit of personality. He was still one of the four or five players we all wanted to see in the starting XI every game if fit and now he will be very difficult to replace.”Will he link up well with Roberto Firmino, who is a bit different to Dzeko?“The partnership with Dzeko has been great. Salah needs a player that can help attract the defenders to give him space and time to attack the defensive line, especially without the ball. If Firmino will be able to do that, possibly playing like a “false 9″ then it could work. Even more important is having someone (Coutinho?) able to pass him the perfect ball once he runs behind the defensive line. This is how Salah could become lethal.”Matteo is from AS Roma UK, a large group of fans who meet in London every week during the season to watch their beloved team play.last_img read more

COUNCIL DO A U-TURN OVER ROADWORKS DURING DANIEL’S FESTIVAL

first_imgIt would appear that Daniel O’Donnell might just be more powerful than Donegal County Council!!Work which was due on vital roadworks in West Donegal has been suspended to allow for the large crowds expected at the Donegal Shore Festival featuring the singing star.Road widening and drainage works were due to continue on the R259 road between Kincasslagh and Crolly today. However the work was put on hold to cater for a fleet of buses attending the Donegal Shore Festival featuring the millionaire singing star.Donegal County Council had scheduled the work for the entire month of September before bad winter weather set in.But the council were met with huge opposition by organisers of the event who said it was badly-timed.One of those who slammed the council was bar-owner Bartley Brennan, a brother of singer Enya who claimed he had not received any notice of planned road closures during the festival. Organiser Celia Gallagher said the council did not appreciate all that Daniel did for the county in bringing fans to Donegal.However it appears the council has relented after up to 12 coachloads of fans from across Ireland and the UK were allowed to drive through the area without any roadworks.Although there was no official confirmation form Donegal County Council on the matter, a source said an agreement had been reached.‘It’s only for a day and the work will recommence on Monday. It would have caused a lot of disruption for the buses and the fans.“Afterall the festival has brought a lot of money into the area and we all know how bad the tourism sector is at the moment,” he said. More than 2,000 fans of the singer, some who came form as far away as Australia and America, are expected at the event.EndsCOUNCIL DO A U-TURN OVER ROADWORKS DURING DANIEL’S FESTIVAL was last modified: September 2nd, 2011 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)Tags:daniel o’donnellDonegal Shore Festivalroadworkslast_img read more

SEX ABUSER FERRY MAY FACE FURTHER PROSECUTIONS, CLAIMS TV DOCUMENTARY

first_imgA notorious convicted Donegal sex offender may face further prosecutions, a new TV documentary claims.Michael Ferry, right, being taken into court in Donegal Town in December.Mickey Ferry, who continued to sexually abuse boys despite a previous conviction, is the focus of a forthcoming TG4 special.Gardaí have confirmed to the TG4 programme ‘Micheál Ó Fearraigh: Feall i ndiaidh Fill’, that they have completed a high-level investigation into how the former school caretaker was able to continue to sexually abuse boys on the premises of an Irish-Language summer college based at Ard Scoil Mhuire in Gaoth Dobhair, despite a previous conviction for indecent assault on a boy in 2002. They have also confirmed that a file has now been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions.Justice Minister Alan Shatter, TD ordered the investigation in the wake of Ferry’s conviction in July 2011 for the rape and sexual abuse of four boys on the premises of the summer school, then run by Coláiste Cholmcille.An interim Garda report supplied to the Justice Minister in the months following Ferry’s 2011 conviction claimed that Gardaí had alerted both the school’s directors and the then North Western Health Board (now HSE) about Ferry’s first conviction shortly after it occurred in 2002.However, over two years on from Ferry’s conviction, the Health Service Executive has yet to publish its own internal report into what actions it took after receiving this information from Gardaí. This documentary tells the story of a community still seeking answers for how all of this could have happened, and hears from a number of people in the Donegal Gaeltacht who help to shed light on just who Michael Ferry is.The programme also reveals that this is not the first time the dark spectre of child abuse has been visited upon this tightly-knit community – whilst asking if lessons still have to be learnt to prevent future cases. Some blame the authorities, others the community itself for having suspicions of what was going on yet failing to prevent it.Just before Christmas, Michael Ferry was convicted yet again, this time for indecent assault on a teenage boy in the 1980s, in the same school premises where his previous attacks occurred.He was given a 7 year concurrent sentence at Donegal Circuit Court on the 11th of December.The documentary airs on TG4 at 9.30pm on Sunday next, January 12th. SEX ABUSER FERRY MAY FACE FURTHER PROSECUTIONS, CLAIMS TV DOCUMENTARY was last modified: January 7th, 2014 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)Tags:Gaoth DobhairMickey Ferrysex abuseTG4last_img read more

Raiders’ Darren Waller could be front and center vs. Bears

first_imgDarren Waller was front and center Friday, speaking to a largely British press corps after the Raiders practiced at The Grove in Watford, England, in preparation for their Week 5 game against the Chicago Bears.And while it seems like a big request to ask Waller to do more than he already has, given his status as the NFL’s leading receiver among tight ends, that may be the case Sunday against Chicago at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.Tyrell Williams was listed as questionable with a …last_img