Ellen Meets Obama Friday

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf departed the country last Saturday for official visits to the United States of America and Belgium.  The visit is President Sirleaf’s second outside Liberia since the worsening of the Ebola crisis in 2014. She attended an Extraordinary Summit of the Mano River Union in Conakry, Guinea last Sunday, February 15.Following her departure from James Spriggs Payne Airport on Saturday, President Sirleaf was scheduled to make a brief stop-over in the Emirate of Sharjah, one of the states of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to share her experience in Crisis Management at the International Government Communications Forum there.According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf travels on to Washington, D.C., where she will meet United States President Barrack Obama at the White House on Friday, February 27.President Sirleaf’s visit comes at a time of crucial cooperation between Liberia and the United States and also following President Obama’s announcement last week that the United States is moving to the next phase of its Ebola response which will be characterized by intensive efforts to reach zero Ebola case in West Africa.Due to the rapid decline in Ebola cases and the all but empty ETUs built by the Americans around the country, President Obama has withdrawn most of the four thousand strong military contingent sent to Liberia to help fight the epidemic. President Sirleaf will have the opportunity to thank President Obama and the American people for the extraordinary level of assistance to Liberia during the Ebola crises.  The White House has already issued an official statement announcing that President Obama looks forward to building on a strong and historic partnership with Liberia, and discussing a range of topics with President Sirleaf, including the ongoing Ebola response, the region’s economic recovery plans, and other issues of mutual interest.The withdrawal of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force, UNMIL, from Liberia in June 2016 and Liberia’s preparedness to take over full responsibility for its own security and the implications for the West African Sub-region will be a topic most likely to be discussed between Presidents Obama and Sirleaf.  The United States is a Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council which is the only body that has the capability to maintain or extend the UNMIL withdrawal date.  While in the United States, the Liberian leader will also meet with Administration officials, Congressional leaders and other stakeholders. She will also speak at an event hosted by Democratic Senator Chris Coons and the U.S. Institute of Peace on February 26. President Sirleaf will then travel to Brussels, Belgium to participate in an Ebola Conference organized by the European Union (EU). The conference will bring together the three most affected Mano River Union countries (Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone) and will see the Liberian President perform the role of Spokesperson for the three countries.  The Brussels Conference, which is not a pledging conference, seeks to enable the affected countries to share their experiences and post Ebola plans and help aid the EU and other bilateral and multilateral organizations to plan better for the post-Ebola period.  From Brussels, the Liberian leader returns to the United States, where she will participate in the 20th anniversary celebration of the Beijing Platform for Action at the UN Headquarters in New York.  President Sirleaf is accompanied to the U.S. by Legal Advisor, Cllr. Seward Cooper; Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara Konneh; Information Minister Lewis G. Brown; Presidential Press Secretary Jerolinmek Piah; LBS Director General Ledgerhood Rennie; Executive Assistant Euphemia Brewer-Fasama, among others.  She will also be accompanied to Brussels by Montserrado County Representative Saah Joseph; Youth Advisor, Dr. Emmanuel Dolo; Assistant Health Minister for Preventive and Curative Services, Tolbert Nyenswah, Head of the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU), Dr. Clarence Moniba and his Deputy Amos Seibo, among others.  While President Sirleaf is away, Defense Minister Brownie Samukai will chair the Cabinet in consultation with Vice President, Joseph Nyumah Boakai. President Sirleaf is expected to return home on March 13.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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GOL Denies ‘Lack of Political Will’ to Address Human Rights Violations

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said that her administration does not lack the political will to address shortcomings enumerated in the 2014 Human Rights Report on Liberia released by the US State Department Bureau of Democracy and Human Rights.Speaking at the United States’ 239th Independence Anniversary at the Executive Pavilion in Monrovia yesterday, President Sirleaf requested the US Government for continual partnership and support to address those shortcomings.“I only wish, given the likelihood of the report that most of the comments in the report are based on local media reports, and taking into account comments in the report on the media, that the US will adopt a policy of reviewing and consultation before such reports are published,” President Sirleaf countered.She told the audience of US Embassy officials, officials of the Liberian government and guests that she had read the human rights report which contained many good things as well as several shortcomings of her government.The published reports among other things highlighted lack of political will by the Executive in handling cases of corruption, citing cases of former Commerce and Industry Minister, Miatta Beyslow and former LPRC Managing Director T. Nelson Williams, who were dismissed following allegations of corruption by the Liberia Anti Corruption Commission (LACC).The report also noted that Justice in Liberia was based on favor and bribes, and judges were giving justice to people who have money to pay, leaving the poor without justice.It also indicated that integrity institutions including the General Auditing Commission (GAC) and the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) were not supported enough to be independent in their work.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Sexual Violence and Justice in Liberia

first_imgOXFORD – Martha’s daughter was only 12 years old when a group of men raped her in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia. The police arrested one of the attackers, but did not refer the case for prosecution – an outcome that, Martha believes, had a lot to do with her inability to pay the unauthorized “processing fee” that some police officers impose on rape victims and their families. Martha’s story is far from unique. In fact, most victims of rape and domestic violence in Liberia struggle to get justice. And with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) winding down, the situation may be about to get even worse.When UNMIL was initiated in 2003, Liberia had just emerged from a brutal 14-year civil war, during which physical and sexual violence against women was rampant. Over the last 13 years, the mission has played a key role in preserving peace, supporting reconstruction, and advancing critical social goals, including improving women’s access to justice. Support from UNMIL and other international partners enabled the Liberian government to establish several specialized criminal justice agencies, including the Women and Children Protection Section of the Liberian National Police (LNP) and a court dedicated to prosecuting sex crimes. But the continued prevalence of cases like that of Martha’s daughter shows that Liberia still has a long way to go. As it stands, victims of rape and domestic violence in the country are often blamed for the brutality they have endured, and face intense social pressure to settle cases, instead of pursuing them to trial. But even victims willing to defy convention face high barriers to prosecution. For one thing, police officers often lack the resources or incentive to do their jobs properly. Low salaries – about $160 per month – weaken motivation and encourage corruption; reports of officers colluding with rapists and other offenders for personal gain abound. Moreover, despite support from the UN and international donors, police officers often lack basic supplies, including vehicles to get to crime scenes and even notebooks to record complaints. And specialized units for handling rape cases have not been established throughout the country, meaning that for some victims, no such unit is accessible. Even when the police have investigated cases and referred them to the courts, prosecution has proceeded at a glacial pace or has not occurred at all. Again, a lack of sufficient resources bears much of the blame.Given the numerous barriers to justice that victims of rape and domestic violence continue to face, further progress in protecting girls and women should be a priority for Liberia’s government, which assumed full responsibility for the country’s security on June 30. But other security challenges – including the presence of mercenaries on the Liberian-Ivorian border, a rise in mob justice, and the potential for unrest tied to next year’s presidential election – risk overshadowing the issue. To ensure that it does not fall by the wayside, the Liberian government and its partners at the UN and other donor agencies must act now. The government should begin by establishing specialized criminal justice agencies in the areas where they do not currently exist. It must also improve conditions for the police, including by giving them the tools and equipment they need to do their jobs. The key to building more successful criminal justice institutions is local ownership. For the UN and Liberia’s other international partners, the imperative in this interim period is to increase support for agencies promoting justice for victims of rape and domestic violence. In particular, donors should focus on building the capacity of police officers and court officials, while supporting the government’s efforts to provide the infrastructure and equipment needed to enforce the law. They should also work to build the capacity of women’s organizations to hold the government to account by monitoring the LNP and the courts. Over the last 13 years, Liberia has made considerable progress, including in the protection of women’s rights. But, with the process far from complete, the country cannot afford to relax its efforts. Only with the strong commitment of the national government and its international partners, backed by genuine action, can girls and women in Liberia avoid the fate of Martha’s daughter. About the author: Peace A. Medie is a research fellow at the Legon Center for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD) at the University of Ghana and an Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellow.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Corentyne couple tied up, robbed at gunpoint

first_imgFifty-eight-year-old shop-owner Kamaldeo of Number 46 Village, Corentyne, East Berbice explained that he and his wife were in their shop on Thursday at about 13:30h when two men entered and told them not to move.He explained that one of the bandits was armed with a gun and the other with a knife. One of the men also wore a mask.He said the bandits tied up and robbed him and his 57-year-old wife. “They take a knife and hold it at me and tape me up. They tie up me hand and foot and wrap it around me head, and cover my mouth with tape so I can’t talk,” the man said. Kamaldeo said his wife was also tied up. The bandits then demanded money and jewellery.The shop where the robbery took placeAccording to Kamaldeo, one of the bandits sat on him and told him to remain still, while the other one searched the place and asked his wife for valuables. They were directed to a box which contained money from sales, which amounted to $33,000. His wife also handed over two finger rings she was hearing at the time. “And ah send them upstairs to a box on the wardrobe in the bedroom that had $10,000 and ah tell them that is all I get…so they get about $43,000.”He said he and his wife told the men to take cigarettes, phone cards and anything else that they wanted as the couple pleaded for their lives. The men opted to take a quantity of phone cards which amounted to $22,000.Kamaldeo said the men were not satisfied with the quantity of gold jewellery they got. “They say that we is Indians so we suppose to have more gold. Me wife tell them that she had some bangles but she take it and melt it and give them children,” the man said.With the couple still duct-taped lying on the floor, the bandits asked whether they lived alone. “When we tell them yes, them say we got to give dem more gold or we gon dead…they start cuss up,” he related.Guyana Times understands that the bandits left after a small boy ventured into the shop. It was the boy who was able to offer help by removing the duct tape.Police have since visited the scene and are investigating.last_img read more

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Newcastle manager latest – Garde ‘definitely wants the job’, says man on Tyneside

first_imgFormer Lyon boss Remi Garde is desperate for the vacant head coach role at Newcastle, according to Newcastle Chronicle chief sports writer Lee Ryder.The 48-year-old is currently without a job having left the Ligue 1 side in June after three seasons in charge, but has been installed as an odds-on favourite by the bookmakers to be named Alan Pardew’s successor following his exit to Crystal Palace.It’s reported Garde has been in contact with Arsene Wenger, who he played under during a three-year stint at Arsenal, to seek advice over his potential move to England.However, current caretaker boss John Carver has also pleaded for the full-time appointment, saying following Saturday’s valiant 2-0 defeat to Chelsea that their dogged performance against the Premier League leaders proves the squad are on his side.And, while Ryder revealed to talkSPORT the club’s talks with former France defender Garde are still ongoing, he also admitted the Toon chiefs do have other candidates in mind.“From what I’m told the talks with Garde are very much ongoing but they still have a couple of other people they have in mind for the job,” he told Weekend Sports Breakfast.“So perhaps they are not as far ahead in negotiations as we’d like to think.“Garde is definitely a candidate who fits the bill and he definitely wants the job, that’s one thing we do know, he’s made it very clear to sources in France that he wants this job and he’s sought advice from Arsene Wenger.“But there are a few hoops for him to jump through before that happens, while there has been some talk that they may not make the appointment until the end of the season.“John is already on a long-term contract at Newcastle, so he will probably have a future at the club no matter what happens, but he said on Saturday he ‘100 per cent’ wants the job.“I thought he had the team really well organised in the first-half against Chelsea, they really gave Chelsea some problems and he actually got the best out of Remy Cabella, it’s the best I’ve seen him play in a Newcastle shirt.“I think John would be a steady hand on the tiller and he knows the club inside out, which is why the club might just take a little bit more time to get this decision right because we’ve made some mistakes in the past and they have to make sure they don’t make another one.”last_img read more

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Manchester United transfer latest: Four Italian teams in battle for midfielder Marouane Fellaini

first_img1 Manchester United midfielder Maroune Fellaini There is now a four-way Italian chase on for Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini.According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, AC Milan’s interest has been matched by city rivals Inter as well as Juventus and Roma.Reports earlier this week had suggested that Milan had already enquired with United about a possible loan deal – but their approach was knocked back.But they are expected to return with a solid offer but will now face competition from three of their Serie A rivals.Fellaini, who became a star over six successful seasons with Everton, has never quite repeated the trick since moving to Old Trafford in September 2013.He has started just five Premier League games so far this term and could be open to a move with a place in Belgium’s Euro 2016 squad on the line.It has been suggested that the afro-headed 28-year-old would command a fee of around £18million but it is still unclear whether Louis van Gaal will let him leave.last_img read more

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“Donegal are a serious side, but they lack strength from bench” – Darragh Ó Sé

first_imgCOUNTDOWN TO CROKER: Former Kerry star Darragh Ó Sé has labelled Donegal a ‘serious side’ but feels they lack the strength and depth in their squad that is needed to win an All-Ireland title. Rory Gallagher’s side face Cork this Saturday evening at Croke Park in an All-Ireland qualifier, with a place in the last eight up for grabs.It’s a chance for Donegal to kick-start their season again after the crushing disappointment of losing the Ulster SFC final a fortnight ago. Ó Sé thinks Donegal are a serious side, but points to the fact they had to take off Anthony Thompson and put him back on again as a sign they lack the strength and depth in their squad required for a sustained assault on winning the Sam Maguire Cup.In his column with The Irish Times, Ó Sé also said the fact referees were adding on five or six minutes of injury-time has added an x-factor to the championship – and it’s going to be more crucial and we move into the business end of the season.“This summer referees have been adding five or six minutes at the end of every game. It’s an x-factor to the championship that hasn’t really been talked about but it’s going to be more and more crucial as we get down to the serious stuff. “The difference between two minutes and six minutes is nothing at the start of a game. But at the end, when you already have 75 minutes played and your legs are sore and your shirt is drenched and you’re dying for the end to come, the difference between two and six minutes is huge.What it will mean, of course, is that the best teams with the deepest panels will be the ones who come through.“Donegal are a serious team but in the Ulster final, they had to bring Anthony Thompson back onto the pitch after taking him off. Would Dublin do that? Would Kerry? Tyrone?“Everybody has been dismissing Donegal and saying they’re gone but at the start of injury-time, they were leading 0-11 to 0-10. In other years, it might have been enough.“Donegal got a free 60 metres out. It was just about on the spot Michael Murphy had kicked a free from a few minutes earlier. As he was walking over to take it, the clock passed 73:00. Again, in other years, this would have been the last kick of the game. One kick to win it all, Michael. Let’s see if you have it.“But Murphy was done at that point. You could see it in him – he’d spent the game making every run, taking every hit and by now he was knackered. When it came down to it, he didn’t have the kick. Even Jesus only had so many miracles.” “Donegal are a serious side, but they lack strength from bench” – Darragh Ó Sé was last modified: July 28th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare 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:all-irelandCorkDarragh Ó SéDepthdonegalGAAInjury-timeQualifierSquadStrengthlast_img read more

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Celtic rejected again, Rangers set to sign World Cup star and more gossip

first_img 2 Rangers have also made a £3m bid for Millwall’s Jake Cooper as manager Steven Gerrard seeks to bolster his defensive options following the departure of veteran Portugal centre back, Bruno Alves (Sky Sports)Aberdeen have taken former Hearts centre-back Krystian Nowak, on trial as boss Derek McInnes looks to boost his defensive options. (Evening Express)Steven Caulker’s future at Dundee looks to be in jeopardy after the troubled defender, 26, was sent home club’s summer training camp for a breach of club discipline. (The Sun)Hearts manager Craig Levein has admitted he would be “disappointed” to lose his “ambitious” assistant coach Austin MacPhee, but has said the club will not block any potential move to Indian side Pune City. (Edinburgh Evening News)Ahead of their Europa League tie against Macedonian side Shkupi, Rangers boss Gerrard revealed how his side’s humiliating 2-0 loss to Progres Niederkorn last season left him stunned, with the former Liverpool man vowing there will not be a repeat performance tonight (Daily Record) Dundee manager Neil McCann was impressed by former West Brom striker Adil Nabi’s performance in a friendly defeat to Farense in Portugal, despite the trialist picking up an injury in training. (Evening Telegraph)Former Dundee United midfielder Willo Flood’s move to Indonesian side Bali United has fallen apart as the 33-year-old lost lost an appeal to overturn a visa ban (The Sun) 2 All the top Scottish football transfer gossip from the world of newspapers and online…Rangers are lining up a £2m bid to sign Milad Mohammadi, Iran’s World Cup throw-in specialist from Russian outfit Akhmat Grozny. Mohammadi came to international attention this summer following his acrobatic set pieces (The Sun)Hibs boss Neil Lennon has said Celtic’s latest bid of £2m for midfielder John McGinn has been rejected because it does not meet the club’s valuation of the player which stands at around £3m (Daily Record) McGinn won the Scottish Cup with Hibs Gerrard launches furious touchline outburst as horror tackle on Barisic sparks chaos Rangers boss Gerrard is expected to be busy scrap last_img read more

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BLUSHING DONEGAL BRIDES GET THEIR DATE WITH RTE STAR CRAIG!

first_imgA group of blushing brides from across Co Donegal have had their date with telly hunk Craig Doyle.The RTE star unveiled his new TV show Craig Doyle Live earlier this week.And he had personally requested that all of the brides who donned their wedding dresses for charity at the recent charity ball in the Villa Rose Hotel in Ballybofey attend. Being so devoted to their suffering husbands, the women have jumped at the chance of getting up close and personal with the easy-on-the-eye presenter.The Villa Rose even put on a bus to collect the ladies and leave them to the RTE studios in Dublin and take them home again in their dresses!!PICTURED:A great night had by all the Villa Rose Brides atTonight with Craig Doyle!! — with Geraldine Bonner, Caroline Cairns, Sinead Kenny,Caroline Lafferty, Mariana Gallen, Annette Nelson, Leona Cronolly, Sharon Mc Vey-Peoples, Joan Boyle Rodgers, Bellamarie Boyle Magee, Desiree Doherty, Donna Mc Crossan Russell, charlene harold, Edel Mc Ginty Doherty, Cynthia Tourish Griffin, eileen griffinand Esther Heekin Gallen.  BLUSHING DONEGAL BRIDES GET THEIR DATE WITH RTE STAR CRAIG! was last modified: March 4th, 2012 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:blushing bridesCraig DoyleVilla Roselast_img read more

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Picture Special: Tour operators enjoy hidden gems of Donegal

first_imgKey tour operators were shown some of the highlights of Donegal today during a trip designed to encourage them to promote the north west.Fáilte Ireland are hosting thirty-five members of the Incoming Tour Operators Association (ITOA) on a familiarisation trip and networking evening which will be held at Solis Lough Eske Castle, Donegal.The trip showcases the potential of the Wild Atlantic Way north of Galway, which includes Donegal and Sligo. In Donegal, the group spent time on Slieve League Cliffs, had a guided tour of Donegal Castle, enjoyed Irish coffee at Nancy’s of Ardara, spent time with Eddie Doherty weaver in Ardara, and an evening at Harvey’s Point Hotel and Solis Lough Eske Castle Hotel. Denise Quinn and Lynn Henderson in the towering fireplace during the Failte Ireland Tour Operators visit to Donegal Town Castle. Photo Clive WassonAnne McGaughey with the Failte Ireland Tour Operators visiting Donegal Town Castle. Photo Clive WassonAnne McCaughey, Castle guide with Svenja Burmeister, Irish Welcome Tours, Amanda Horan, Failte Ireland and corlaie Fox, Irish Welcome tours Failte Ireland Tour Operators visit to Donegal Town Castle.Photo Clive WassonDenise Quinn, Lorna Demmel and Jenny O’Reilly at the Failte Ireland Tour Operators visit to Donegal Town Castle.Photo Clive WassonIt is hoped that the influential travel representatives will promote this part of the route as a standalone product internationally.The ITOA members are said to deliver a great deal of international business to Ireland and can greatly influence their international tour operator partners with regard to how Ireland is positioned abroad.Failte Ireland Tour Operators visit to Donegal Town Castle –Vera Hung and James Kenny. Photo Clive WassonLarisa Criscen grabs a quick selfie during the Failte Ireland Tour Operators visit to Donegal Town Castle. Photo Clive WassonPhoto Clive WassonMartin Donnelly, Failte Ireland Business Development Manager today said: “By showcasing the Wild Atlantic Way north of Galway and by introducing products and experiences that have genuine appeal for new programmes, we hope to provide these tour operators with a new way to view – and pitch – the Wild Atlantic Way.“Our Irish incoming tour operators have played a key role in delivering the success we have seen in recent years in our international holidaymaker numbers and we are confident that, through working in partnership with organisations such as the ITOA, we can support future growth as well as ensure we spread tourism right along the western seaboard.” Picture Special: Tour operators enjoy hidden gems of Donegal was last modified: November 14th, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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:Failte Irelandlast_img read more

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