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Global Witness’ Concerns about NOCAL’S Block 16 Sale

first_imgThe British-based environmental watchdog, Global Witness (GW), commented recently on the sale in London late last year of offshore block 16 to a coalition of three companies. One of them, says GW, lacks the financial capacity to operate the oil block.  Another “has close links with some of Liberia’s tax dodgers.  The main company, Liberty Petroleum, owned by Republican US Congressman Trent Franks, holds 90% of the shares.  But the company has only seven employees and last year turned over only US$3 million, GW says.  Can it raise the US$53 million needed to operate the oil block?Moreover, according to GW, “New Millennium, which holds a five% stake in Block 16, is linked to logging companies owing tax arrears in Liberia’s forestry sector”— US$11 million (2009).  The logging companies, Geblo Logging and International Consultants Capital, are partially owned by McDonald Wento.  The Daily Observer called him late Sunday afternoon, but he could not respond to these allegations because he said he was in a meeting and promised to call us back but did not.  Subsequent attempts to contact him by phone failed.NOCAL is reputed to be a financially well endowed company; so it should have in its employ some of the nation’s best trained personnel.  How is it that despite this advantage, the company was not able to undertake thorough research into the companies it engages for investment in the oil sector?Besides, what kind of portfolio did the bidders in the Block 16 oil deal, Liberty Petroleum, New Millennium and Glebo Logging, present to NOCAL’S top professional team?  Was a thorough background check done on each of the bidding companies?  When NOCAL discovered that Glebo Logging and International Consultants Capital had links with the Liberian forestry sector, did NOCAL call Harrison Karnwea, Forestry Development Authority head, to determine these companies’ standing in the sector?  Surely Karnwea was only a phone call away.And what did the Dallas and Houston Chambers of Commerce in Texas have to say about Liberty Petroleum?  Did NOCAL bother to ask?Having examined, over several months last year, these oil bids in London, NOCAL must have known that they were under GW’s keen scrutiny, since London is its base.  It was economist Byron Tarr who recently gathered some astute Liberians in Monrovia to brainstorm on developing a think tank in Liberia, to help change the way we do business.  NOCAL’S recent experience is a clear indication of the dire need for such a think tank, comprising scholars and thinkers that would make it their business to study carefully and deeply how Liberians do business and closely monitor, advise, even warn various public and private institutions and the country as a whole about how they are doing and what and where they could do better in the interest of accountability, transparency, national efficiency, security, improvement and productivity.Yes, we need not just one but several think tanks; and they need not be composed of people only here, but conscientious, smart and wise Liberians wherever they can be found.With such institutions of our own, we would be the first to blow the whistle on ourselves, rather than wait for others like GW to do it for us.There is only one problem—one with which we in the media are all too familiar—Liberian officials in both the public and private sectors  prefer to answer the questions of foreigners rather than those of their own fellow Liberians. But that, too, is part of our national nemesis (fate) that we MUST deal with, and the sooner, the better.  It is based on the fundamental issue of self-love—or lack of it.  This is one of the things we MUST fix in this country—love for ourselves and love for our country.  It must start in the home, the church, the mosque, the school and ultimately in the government.  Government must use the nation’s resources in the highest interest of the people, to convince them that government is there for them.  This is the sine qua non (main thing, requirement) of patriotism.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

DPP recommends murder charge for GDF Captain

first_imgThe Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on Thursday returned to the Police the investigative file on Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Captain Orwain Sandy — who shot and killed his reputed wife Reona Payne on Saturday last – with a recommendation that he be charged for murder.Sandy is expected to be arraigned before a city magistrate sometime today.Earlier this week, detectives working on the case had confirmed that the file was completed and sent to the DPP for legal advice. Well-placed source had told the <> that the Captain had given a confession statement when he walked into the Ruimveldt Police Station after shooting the woman.On the day in question, the GDF Captain and the now dead Reona Payne were in a motor car proceeding along First Street, Alexander Village when an argument ensued after he reportedly accused her of being unfaithful. It was reported that he stopped the car, and as the woman exited, he opened fire, riddling her body with bullets from his service revolver.He left her lifeless body on the roadway and drove to the Ruimveldt Police Station, where he surrendered, informing ranks what he had done moments earlier.Ever since the shooting, there have been speculations that Payne had been seeing two other men while living with the GDF Captain. Guyana Times was told that after Sandy had found out that she was seeing a colleague of his, it angered him, and the shooting seemed nothing but premeditated.Relatives and friends of the now dead woman have told media operatives that the woman was involved in an abusive relationship with the Captain. It was also reported that the mother of two had encouraged the Captain to reconcile with his legally married wife.A post mortem examination done on Payne’s remains on Wednesday has revealed that she died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. The woman was shot 14 times, 13 to her chest and once to her head, at close range.last_img read more

UG shuts down as bomb scare forces suspension of exams, classes

first_imgChaos broke out at the University of Guyana’s Turkeyen campus on Friday morning when news spread that someone threatened to blow up several sections of the campus by reportedly setting bombs at various locations at the tertiary institution.The Guyana Police Force, Guyana Fire Service and the University’s security were on high alert and locked down the institution.As a result, the gates to the educational institution were closed as security forces scanned the institution for threats. The threats were initially sent to a number of online news outfits and the situation was promptly reported to the police.In the message, the alleged sender “Jack Ryan” stated “I have placed 20 bombs across the University of Guyana campus which are hidden from plain sight. Attached to this bomb is a timer which can be remotely activated/deactivated”.The sender also uploaded an image of the alleged handmade explosive device. He also stated that the timer was set for eight hours before destruction.“The bombs will be activated at exactly 15:00h unless my demands are meet,” the message stated.However, in a subsequent message, the sender related that students must leave the campus after which he will make his demands.C Division Police Commander, Calvin Brutus told this publication on Friday that fire tenders and members of the Guyana Police Force’s bomb squad spent hours combing through the multiple buildings on that campus in search of the possible bombs.They were able to evacuate a large number of students, who had been on campus for various classes as well as faculty members, however, there were a few challenges in getting students who were already writing exams to safe locations.“We managed to get those folks out of the compound and into safety zone. But when we got there, some students had already commenced certain exams, so we had to try to get them into a safe zone too. At the same time, we did not know where the sender alleged he placed bombs so we had to check every single part of the campus,” the Commander said.When this newspaper arrived on campus on Friday, the gates were still closed and security personnel were not allowing anyone into the compound.This is the second bomb threat that the Turkeyen campus of UG has faced since the start of 2019.In February, a female student of that campus was charged for allegedly sending threatening messages saying that a bomb was placed on campus. She has since denied the allegation and is currently on trial.last_img read more

Spurs face crunch time in bid to shed nearly-men label

first_imgHaving nine Tottenham players among the four World Cup semi-finalists, a group that does not include key players Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min, underlines just how potent their squad should be.Yet since Pochettino took charge in May 2014, Tottenham have proved English football’s ultimate tease.Without silverware since the 2008 League Cup, Tottenham are in danger of becoming European football’s nearly men, a predicament that has raised the stakes for Pochettino and his players.At an age when Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola were already well established as managerial titans, the 46-year-old Pochettino is still waiting for his first trophy.Mauricio Pochettino is seeking his first trophy as Tottenham manager © AFP/File / Oli SCARFFCrumbling in the face of adversity has been a Tottenham trademark for decades and, while Pochettino has done much to raise standards at the north London club, he is yet to eradicate their tendency to repeatedly snatch failure from the jaws of success.In the 2015-16 season, Pochettino had Tottenham positioned as the most likely challengers to surprise leaders Leicester, only for a pair of damaging draws against West Brom and Chelsea to kill off their challenge.A year later, Spurs were breathing down Chelsea’s neck in the final weeks of the season, but one unexplainable tame loss at West Ham allowed their London rivals to pull away.Compounding Pochettino’s misery that season was Tottenham’s failure to make it out of their Champions League group and an FA Cup semi-final defeat against Chelsea.Manchester City’s blistering form rendered all challengers irrelevant last season, but Spurs still managed to squander two opportunities to make a statement.Having overpowered holders Real Madrid in the group stage, they looked set for another impressive Champions League scalp after securing a 2-2 draw in their last-16 first leg at Juventus.However, despite taking the lead in the return leg, Pochettino’s team allowed Juventus to score two late goals that ended their European ambitions.– Fatigued –That frustrating setback was compounded by their FA Cup semi-final loss to Manchester United — once again Tottenham led, only to limply surrender the initiative.Entering this season with the exact same cast of players — there were no signings partly due to the financial constraints of a delayed new stadium — has left Pochettino with his hands tied and the results have been entirely predictable.When a 3-0 win at Manchester United extended Tottenham’s perfect start, many pundits were quick to hail them as serious rivals for City’s title.But just days later, Tottenham reverted to type, allowing the momentum to slip from their grasp in a shock 2-1 defeat at Watford.Saturday’s 2-1 home loss to Liverpool once again underlined that Spurs are far from the finished article, as a frustrated Pochettino admitted.“The reality is this type of game shows we need to improve if we want to be contenders at the end to win some titles,” he said.Harry Kane’s fatigued displays so far this season and the distraction of Hugo Lloris’s drink-driving arrest have added to the feeling that Pochettino faces the acid test of his managerial skills this season.The Argentinian must find a way to imbue his team with a killer instinct they currently lack, and if the players prove unable to respond then he will have to press chairman Daniel Levy to make signings in January.While it is too early to write off Tottenham’s chances of ending their trophy drought, Pochettino has made it clear he regards the Premier League and the Champions League as the only prizes that matter.With Barcelona and PSV Eindhoven also in Tottenham’s group, a defeat at the San Siro would be a significant setback to Pochettino’s hopes of finally getting his hands on that long-awaited trophy.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Harry Kane was one of nine Tottenham players to feature in the World Cup semi-finals © AFP/File / OLLY GREENWOODLONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 17 – Tottenham open their Champions League campaign at Inter Milan on Tuesday bidding to banish the growing belief that they lack the steel to win major silverware.Packed with dynamic young stars and well drilled by charismatic manager Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham appear to have all the ingredients required for a winning recipe.last_img read more

Anaheim shooting is third at a SoCal Denny’s

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 The gunman was being sought by authorities. The shooting is the third to occur in a Southern California Denny’s in the past three days, after unrelated incidents in Pismo Beach and Ontario. In the Pismo Beach shooting Wednesday, a transient with two guns walked into the restaurant at lunchtime, shot two men dead, wounded a husband and wife, and committed suicide. A 37-year-old Pomona man was fatally shot in the parking lot of a Denny’s restaurant in Ontario on Thursday after getting into an altercation with a group of people. The gunman was still being sought. ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – A gunman opened fire early Friday morning at a Denny’s restaurant and one man was killed and another seriously wounded, police said. It was the third fatal shooting to occur at the restaurant chain in Southern California this week. The latest shooting occurred about 2:45 a.m. at a Denny’s restaurant near Angel Stadium after a fight broke out between two large groups of people in the restaurant, said Sgt. Rick Martinez of the Anaheim Police Department. One victim re-entered the restaurant after being shot and died inside, Martinez said. The other victim was taken to a nearby hospital and is expected to survive. A gun was found near the scene, but officers weren’t sure if it was the weapon used in the shooting. It appears that the shooting was not related to street gangs, Martinez said. 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

TWO MEN CHARGED OVER DONEGAL CANNABIS GROW HOUSE FIND

first_imgGARDAI have scored a major success against drug dealers after a raid on a house in Co Donegal.Detectives are still trying access the full value of the find, with at least €25,000 worth of cannabis plants seized at a house at The Haw in Carrigans.Two men were arrested at the scene. It’s understood the grow house was in the early stages – with dozens of young cannabis plants found at the factory inside a house.The criminal gang behind the operation had invested huge resources and were about to step up production.The house had been re-wired with dozens of heat lamps set up.“It was a sophisticated operation and was in the early stages of production,” said one source.The arrested men – from Derry and aged in their mid-50s and early-30s – appeared at a special sitting of Sligo District Court on Sunday morning.They were later released on bail to appear in court again at later dates.TWO MEN CHARGED OVER DONEGAL CANNABIS GROW HOUSE FIND was last modified: October 26th, 2015 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:cannabisCarrigansGardaiseizurelast_img read more

Memorial to be held for longtime resident

first_imgWHITTIER – A memorial Mass for Virginia O’Neil Erler, a longtime resident of Whittier, will be celebrated at noon Saturday at St. Bruno’s Catholic Church, 15740 E. Citrustree Road. She died Oct. 23 in Sugar Land, Texas, where she had lived for the past year. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Stanleigh Erler, and her brother, William T. O’Neil of La Ca ada Flintridge. Erler had been active in the Assistant League of Whittier, P.E.O., an organizing member of Whittier’s Meals on Wheels and a member of Doctors’ Wives of Whittier, and chaired many of their social events. She was born Virginia Mary O’Neil on Aug. 15, 1923, in Ames, Iowa, where her father and uncle owned and operated O’Neil Dairy Co. She graduated from Ames High School and Iowa State University with a degree in dietetics. She interned at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. Erler moved to Southern California to be near her brother, Bill, and his family, and found a position at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Van Nuys. There she met her husband-to-be on the first day he reported for his internship in internal medicine wearing his Army Medical Corps officers uniform. After their marriage, the Erlers continued to work in the VA system, transferring to the Long Beach VA hospital. During that period, Virginia did fashion modeling and taught an adult education course. Next, they invested in a private medical practice in Whittier, which Dr. Erler continued for 30 years, serving on the staffs of Murphy Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital. In Whittier, Virginia became thoroughly involved in homemaking, motherhood, continuing on with her dietician interests, and pursuing and sharing her antique porclain collection, her passions for art, classical music, travel, and animals and nature. A succession of poodles were her beloved companions through her life. True to her wishes, Virginia had a funeral Oct. 29 in the chapel of St. Cecilia’s parish in Ames, Iowa, followed by interment at Ames Municipal Cemetery, next to her husband and her parents, Clem and Mary Leahy O’Neil. Her daughter, Maura, noted in remarks after the funeral that the Halloween season, with pumpkins and beautiful fall colors, were perfect for their mother. Besides Maura O’Neil Johnson of Sugar Land, Texas, Virginia Erler is survived by her daughter Maryleigh Fuller of San Diego, her sister Frances O’Neil Sajbel of Wisconsin, and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. The family has requested memorial contributions to Baylor College of Medicine, 6550 Fannin Fleet #1801, Houston, Texas. Inscribe in the memo line on the check “To ADMDC.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want 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

DONEGAL’S ‘CLEAN FOYLE’ CAMPAIGNERS TAKE THEIR CASE TO STORMONT

first_imgL to R back Dr Liam Campbell, Deputy Padraig mc Laughlin T.D.L to R front Dr Trish Murphy, Celebrate Water, Maeve mc Laughlin MLA., Karin Dubski, Director Coastwatch Europe, Michelle O’Neill Min. of Ag. Enda Craig, spokesperson CFCEA delegation of environmental campaigners led by Enda Craig, spokesperson for the Community For a Clean Estuary (CFCE) have met with the Northern Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Michelle O’ Neill and with members of the Environment Committee in the Assembly to outline their concerns about the impact on the Foyle estuary from the proposed sewerage treatment plant at Carnagarve between Moville and Greencastle.Mr Craig was joined by renowned environmentalist, Dr Karin Dubsky, coordinator of Coastwatch Europe, Moville based zoologist, Dr Trish Murphy, and Dr Liam Campbell of Foyle Civic Trust. The campaigners were joined by local TD, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn.Enda Craig outlined the history of the Moville/ Greencastle sewerage scheme and the concerns of the community at Carnagarve and surrounding town-lands. Dr Dubsky and Dr Murphy outlined the unique potential of the wetland eco system in the Foyle estuary from natural oysters and other shellfish to recently discovered sea grass.They requested that the Northern Executive work with the Irish Government to develop the estuary into a international Ramsar special area of conservation and explained that the immense potential of all of this could be seriously undermined if Donegal County Council proceed with their plans for the plant at Carnagarve.Dr Campbell outlined his concerns that authorities on both sides of the Foyle are in a position to further damage the Foyle estuary because of the zoning of much of it as “coastal” back in 1990 and demonstrated that this zoning is erroneous and needs to be changed to protect the amenity of Lough FoyleSpeaking afterwards, Enda Craig said: “We brought the campaign to protect the Foyle estuary to politicians in Stormont today because they have a shared responsibility with the Irish government to protect this vital resource. It was clear that the Minister and the other Assembly members we met were moved by our presentations and they have assured us that they will pursue these matters with their southern counterparts. “There is no doubt that the appropriate location for the outflow pipe of a future sewerage scheme for Moville and Greencastle is out into coastal waters and not into the Foyle estuary. In recent months, we have taken our campaign to Europe supported by MEPs Marian Harkin and Martina Anderson and now to Stormont and we have had the Joint First Minister, Martin McGuinness out to see for himself the issues at Carnagarve beach.“We will keep fighting because the cost of defeat is too high for all of our communities that live beside Lough Foyle”.Deputy Mac Lochlainn said: “Minister O’ Neill was clearly impressed by the strength of the arguments from this eminent delegation of environmental campaigners. The history of the Moville and Greencastle sewerage scheme is one of shameful failure. Rather than develop the wonderful amenity of the Foyle estuary, Donegal County Council has given into political tomfoolery and failed everyone in the area.“I hope that in the absence of leadership at council level in Donegal or from the Irish government that both Europe and the Northern Assembly can now pursue this matter so that common sense is restored at last.” DONEGAL’S ‘CLEAN FOYLE’ CAMPAIGNERS TAKE THEIR CASE TO STORMONT was last modified: August 20th, 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:donegalGreencastlemovillePadraig Mac Lochlainn TDsewage schemeStormontlast_img read more

Uganda Cranes seals Shs10b four-year deal with Airtel

first_img Tags: top Airtel Uganda MD V.G. Somasekhar (right) with H0n. Bakkabulindi (centre), Eng Joseph Magogo (2nd left) and Uganda Cranes players Hassan Wasswa (left) and David Onyango during the announcement of the deal on Monday morning. Photo by Badru Afunadula.FOOTBALL–Airtel Uganda has today renewed its ongoing partnership with the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) as the official sponsor of Uganda’s national football team, the Uganda Cranes.This will see Airtel contribute a total of Shs10 billion towards the Uganda Cranes for the next 4 years that 2.5 billion shillings every year.The Airtel – FUFA partnership, that has come to be known as Uganda’s most successful football partnership ever, began in 2013 under an agreement that the two parties will be working hand in hand to promote Ugandan football for a period of four years by sponsoring not only the main national team, but also the Uganda Cup and the FUFA Big League – tournaments that feed talent into the national team.Representing the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Hon Charles Bakkabulindi, the State Minister for Sports, commended Airtel Uganda for fulfilling the promise to continue supporting Ugandan football.“The Uganda Cranes team has earned admiration for their skill and the dedication they bring to the game of football. We are grateful to see an international brand like Airtel sharing the passion and love that we have for this team by sponsoring them,” he said.Speaking on the sidelines of the press conference to announce the sponsorship, Airtel Uganda Managing Director Mr. V.G. Somasekhar expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to continue sponsoring the national team.“Since we signed the partnership agreement with the Uganda Cranes national team, we have enjoyed a long list of successes both for the team and for the individual players. To us, this is an indication that a strong partner that believes in you is a key component of success,” he commented, adding that this sponsorship signifies an opportunity to support the nation’s best football team and to celebrate Uganda’s rich and competitive culture, as well as love for the beautiful game.“We remain committed to the development of Ugandan football right from the grassroots community level all the way to the international scene,” he concluded.Airtel Uganda remains a major contributor to Ugandan football.Aside from sponsoring the Uganda Cranes, the Uganda Cup and the FUFA Big League, the telco also identifies talented players and gives them a platform to join football clubs in and out of Uganda through the Airtel Rising Stars, a youth talent searching and nurturing tournament.Airtel also recently signed on as the main sponsor of the Masaza Cup, a Buganda kingdom football tournament.Comments last_img read more

Bayern hope to return to winning ways away to Gladbach

first_img Tags: German Bundesligatop Bayern have gone four game with out a win in all competitionsBayern Munich’s legendary power of recovery is to be fully examined by traditional rivals Borussia Moenchengladbach in this weekend’s most attractive Bundesliga fixture. After winning his first six assignments, Robert Kovac’s Bavarian juggernaut has come to a shuddering halt. Tuesday’s one-all draw at home to Ajax Amsterdam in the Champions League was preceded by an identical stalemate with Augsburg at the Allianz Arena and 0-2 setback at Hertha Berlin.The Berlin-born former Croatia international is however not panicking. Kovac continues to chop and change as he tries to precipitate a revival. In the continued absence through injury of French World Cup winner Corentin  Tolisso, and Portugal star Renato Sanchez’s patchy form,  Kovac is expected to field the tried and trusted three-man midfield of Javi Martinez,  James Rodriguez and Thiago Alcantara.Winners of five Bundesliga titles during a golden era during the seventies when they gave Gerd Muller and Franz Beckenbauer a run for their money, Gladbach have gone off the boil in recent years. But they usually give their best in games, so fans are anticipating a humdinger.However, action in Germany’s top flight league commences on Friday night with Werder Bremen colliding with Wolfsburg in a matchup between former champions. Summer signing Alassane Plea continues to partner veteran Claudio Pizzaro in a vibrant Bremen attack.Equal attention will be paid to Signal Iduna Park where Borussia Dortmund fans are detecting a revival of epic proportions. Lucien Favre’s yellow and blacks have dethroned Bayern Munich from table leadership after firing in 14 goals in their last three matches. Though visitors Augsburg always carry a threat on the counter, they will be wary of a Dortmund that whacked Nuremberg 7-0 in their last home game.Another mouth watering match up sees Domenico Todesco’s Schalke attempt to build some momentum. After a disastrous start that saw the Gelsenkirchen club loss five on the bounce, identical 1-0 victories over Mainz and Locomotiv Moscow have lifted the gloom over last season’s deputy champions.The rest of the fixtures see Hoffenheim welcome an Eintracht Frankfurt side buoyed by Thursday’s Europa League victory over Lazio;  Mainz host high flyers Hertha Berlin; Hanover confront Stuttgart in a relegation scrap, and RB Leipzig battle newcomers Nuremberg.Friday:-Werder Bremen v WolfsburgSaturday:-Borussia Dortmund v Augsburg-Mainz v Hertha Berlin-Fortuna Dusseldorf v Schalke-Bayern Munich v Gladbach-Hanover v VfB StuttgartSunday:-Freiburg v Bayer Leverkusen-Hoffenheim v Frankfurt-RB Leipzig v NurembergComments last_img read more