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The Hands that Rock the Cradle

first_imgA Google search on Liberians in ‘black money’ scams yields several results:12/29/2008: Two Liberians Arrested in Black Money Scam (Frederick, Maryland, USA)12/02/2010: 5 Liberians Arrested in West Philly ‘Black Money’ Scam (Philadelphia, USA)2/10/2011: Four Charged in Deptford Black Money Scam (New Jersey)10/31/2011: Two Men Charged in Rhode Island in Scam Claiming Money Dyed (Rhode Island)12/05/2011: Two Liberians Wanted by FBI for Black Money (Honolulu, Hawaii)1/28/2012: The West African Black Money Scam (Buffalo, NY)5/25/2012: Liberian Nabbed for Black Money Scam (Bangkok, Thailand)1/18/2013: Liberian Arrested for Black Money Scam in Vietnam (Vietnam)2/5/2013: Alleged Con Men Arrested for Attempted “Black Money” Scam (Trenton, NJ)9/7/2013: In US Liberian Sentenced to 21 Months in ‘Black Money’ Scam (Providence, RI)10/01/2013: Two Liberians Arrested in Pattaya over Black Money Scam (Thailand)01/16/2014: 2 Liberians Nabbed for Alleged Swindling (Batangas City, The Philippines)In one sting, five Liberian scam artists approached a Philadelphia (USA) restaurant owner, promising him US$100K in cash in exchange for US$50K. They showed the victim real US banknotes they had dyed black, which they then proceeded to wash clean with solution in a demonstration. This helps convince victims that the remaining stash of black paper in the suitcase is also real money dyed black (hence the term ‘black money’). The scammers claimed they had to dye all of the money in order to smuggle that much out of Liberia without questions.Fortunately, this group was caught. But typically, the scammers leave their victim with a suitcase full of black banknote-sized paper, along with the dye-removing ‘chemicals’. They are long gone when their victims find that they have been duped. Of course, the victims’ own greed for fast money has done them in.This international list of news articles shows how brave these fraudsters are, how far they have taken their ‘trade’; and this list is by no means exhaustive. This is unfortunate. Is this where this corruption business has led us? It is often said that “Charity begins at home and ends abroad.” This adage seems to perfectly describe our situation!It is no secret that corruption in Liberia is not just a government disease; corruption is endemic at every level of Liberian society. By the time our children reach high school, they have learnt nothing but to pay for their grades. By university level, they have learned that they are ENTITLED to buy grades. Any administrator coming in to change the system will meet with stiff resistance if not death. Do recent developments at the University of Liberia ring a bell?And so having graduated from the pre-school of corruption in Liberia, these young men sharpened their ‘skills’ abroad. There was a time when financial scams were unique to Nigerians; but many of our young men, having traveled out of the country during the war, saw nothing else to learn but con artistry. They have now taken their ‘trade’ worldwide — the United States, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines! Persuasive business minds put to the wrong use.Perhaps the worst aspect to this is the gender disparity when it comes to corruption. Our mothers have spoilt our boys. By the age of 12, most Liberian girls have major responsibilities in the home, to include totting water, cooking, cleaning and caring for babies. By contrast, very few boys have responsibilities at home. They get up in the morning, leave and come back to eat and sleep. Their financial gains are theirs to spend as they please. Their sisters wash their clothes. Their mothers feed them. Girls are severely disciplined; but to our mothers, their boys can do no wrong. So they grow up indiscipline and selfish. All of the follies of their childhood follow them into manhood without correction — lying, petty theft, aggression, arrogance and the expectation that their wrongdoing will always be excused.And so here we are. The hands that rocked the cradle have destroyed the nation. Today in the hospitals, the women ask each other:“What child you born?”“Da girl cha.”“Thank God.”“What you got?”“Boy.”“Hmmm. Trouble.” 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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Measures in place to stabilise US exchange rate – Central Bank

first_imgIn light of significant increases in the exchange rate of the United States Dollar in the local market, the Bank of Guyana (B0G) has assured that measures have been put in place to stabilise the currency trade.This assurance was given to Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC), Capt Gerry Gouveia, during a meeting with the BoG Governor, Dr Gobind Ganga, on Friday.PSC Chairman Gerry Gouveia and BoG Governor Dr Gobind GangaThe PSC Head pointed to mounting public concerns about the rising exchange rate of the US Dollar and the potential negative impact on not just the business community but the economy as well.However, the Commission was assured by Governor Ganga that measures are being taken to mitigate the situation.In fact, the PSC said it was advised by the Central Bank Head that the issue is mostly due to the unavailability of US dollar notes and not access to US currency to facilitate transactions such as payment for USD debit/credit cards and wire transfers.Nevertheless, the BoG gave assurances to the Private Sector body that it is pursuing prudent measures to ensure exchange rate stability in the local market.After reports that the US dollar is trading at cambios for as high as $233 for US$1, both the BoG Governor and Finance Minister Winston Jordan have contended that there was no shortage. It was noted that high demand for US cash has pushed the rates up.In fact, Jordan recently pointed out that the commercial banking system has not raised any complaints and that it was the non-bank cambios that has created the issue. To this end, he noted that an investigation has been launched into the matter.“I haven’t heard a great outcry in the commercial banking system as I am hearing at the commercial non-bank cambios. I am being given to understand that it is at a certain, just one or two of the cambios, that have caused this problem. Our investigation is leading into a certain direction,” he noted.Nevertheless, the Minister insisted that there is sufficient foreign reserves within the local banking system.“I can tell you we have adequate reserves. We have almost US$530 million in the banking system. The reserves are nearly US$500 million as at the end of August. The commercial [banks] do have a lot of cash. There is absolutely no question about it,” Jordan said earlier in the week.However, even as the matter is being investigated by Central Bank and the Finance Ministry, Opposition Leader Jagdeo contended that there is a problem in the local market.last_img read more

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Europe’s top six hat-trick scorers: enough to make Liverpool fans weep!

first_img Revealed! The most prolific hat-trick scorers in Europe’s major leagues – just click the yellow arrow above, right, to count down the top six! – Does Cristiano Ronaldo top Lionel Messi? Where does Ibrahimovic feature? And who’s the surprise number two? Take a look at the slideshow to find out. 7 4. Radamel Falcao – Averaged a Liga hat-trick every 17 games – click the arrow to see who’s third – Now at Manchester United, Falcao scored four hat-tricks in 68 La Liga games for Atletico Madrid. 7 7 Cristiano Ronaldo scored yet another hat-trick for Real Madrid at the weekend, bagging a treble against Athletic Bilbao, but how does his treble record compare to the best from Europe’s major leagues?We’ve got the answer… and it doesn’t make comforting reading for Liverpool fans, with a much-missed ex-Red featuring, and a Manchester United attacker making the list.Take a look at the slideshow to see who makes our six of the best.*All statistics correct up to 6 October 2014. Only hat-trick statistics from the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and Serie A considered. 2. Domenico Berardi – Averages a Serie A hat-trick every 10.67 games – guess who’s first? – The Sassuolo striker has only played 32 Serie A games, so may slide down this list as time goes on, but at just 20 years old he has already notched three Serie A hat-tricks. He is currently on loan from Juventus. 7 7 1. Cristiano Ronaldo – Averages a Liga hat-trick every 7.77 games – With a quite astonishing 22 hat-tricks in La Liga in just 171 games for Real Madrid, the 2013 World Player of the Year is European football’s hat-trick king. 7 3. Lionel Messi – Averages a Liga hat-trick every 14.95 games – click the arrow to see who’s second – An incredible average from Messi, but not good enough for number one, despite scoring 19 trebles in 284 Liga games so far. 5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Averages a Ligue 1 hat-trick every 18 games – click the arrow to see who’s fourth – Ibrahimovic has recorded four hat-tricks in 72 league games so far for PSG. 6. Luis Suarez – Averaged a Premier League hat-trick every 18.33 games – click the arrow to see who’s fifth – Now at Barcelona, Suarez scored six hat-tricks in 110 Premier League games for the Reds. 7last_img read more

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Real Madrid tie a ‘wonderful opportunity’ for PSG – Emery

first_img0Shares0000Paris Saint-Germain head coach Unai Emery pictured during a press conference ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group B match against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in Munich, southern Germany, on December 4, 2017 © AFP/File / Guenter SCHIFFMANNPARIS, France, Dec 11 – Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery is confident his side have what it takes to get the better of title holders Real Madrid after the teams were drawn together in the Champions League on Monday.The sides will meet in the last 16, surely not the tie PSG would have wanted after winning their group ahead of Bayern Munich. Real, the two-time defending European champions and 12-time winners overall, came second behind Tottenham Hotspur in their group and will host PSG in the Spanish capital in the first leg on February 14.“I don’t think it’s the worst draw possible. I think we are of a level where we can play against Real Madrid,” said Emery.“If you want to do something big in the Champions League you have to play against the best sides.“I think these matches will be the centre of the footballing world when they come around.”Bayern were rewarded for finishing behind PSG with a tie against Besiktas, the Turkish champions, while the French club will once again have to overcome one of the Spanish giants.Last season Paris faced Barcelona in the last 16 and were eliminated in extraordinary fashion, winning 4-0 at home in the first leg only to lose 6-1 in the return at the Camp Nou.In that match, Barcelona needed to score three times from the 88th minute onwards and did so.But since then PSG have strengthened, signing Neymar for a world record 222 million euros ($264 million) from Barca and beating Madrid to the signature of Kylian Mbappe from Monaco.The tie will be the first meeting of the sides since the 2015-16 group stage, when Madrid won 1-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu after a 0-0 draw in Paris.“I have lots of friends in Madrid, I know Real Madrid well too, having watched a lot of their matches. I know what the atmosphere is like there,” said Spaniard Emery.“It is a wonderful opportunity for us. I am sure the team will be in perfect shape when the tie comes around.”Meanwhile, Emery admitted that he has allowed Neymar to return to his native Brazil to deal with a family matter.The 25-year-old was suspended for Saturday’s 3-1 win over Lille in Ligue 1 anyway, and now looks likely to miss Wednesday’s League Cup tie at Strasbourg, where Paris lost 2-1 only 10 days ago.“Neymar called me on Saturday. He said to me he had a family issue and wanted to know if the club and I would allow him to go to Brazil to deal with the problem,” said Emery.“The person comes first, then the footballer. We gave him permission to make the trip. I hope he’ll be back in three or four days, but I don’t know if he’ll be back for Wednesday’s match.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Councils to restrict speaking times

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Tensions ran so high in the crowded Pico Rivera council chambers last December that city staffers, anticipating trouble, summoned two armed deputies to ensure order. The deputies were busy that night. Numerous times they waded into the audience to warn residents that if they continued shouting, making obscene gestures and generally being disruptive, they would be asked to leave. Usually, city matters volatile enough to elicit that level of anger involve backyard issues – a new drug-rehab home or view-blocking high-rise going in next door, for example. But this time, residents packed the Dec. 20, 2005, meeting to air concerns over what usually is fairly mundane city business: the hiring of a city manager. Since local elections last year created new alliances and voting blocs, tensions have reached new highs between factions of residents and elected officials at council meetings in both Pico Rivera and Montebello. Contentious meetings in each city are often punctuated by catcalls, personal attacks and drawn-out debates. Now, officials in both cities are making moves to restore some decorum. Both cities are weighing proposals to reduce the amount of time residents and other speakers can address council members directly – from five minutes per speaker to three. In Montebello, Mayor Robert Bagwell also is proposing a 30-minute cap for the council to hear all public comments, also known as “public orals.” Audience members who can’t get their two cents in during the allotted half-hour would have to save their comments until the following meeting, Bagwell has proposed. Comments from council members also would be limited to no more than 10 minutes on four or more agenda items. Bagwell said his goal is to ensure “efficient, effective” council meetings “conducted in a most respectful manner.” “In general, council meetings should have the same environment as a courtroom,” Bagwell wrote with his proposal. “Shouting and, indeed, all audible comments are not allowed … Applause is also discouraged. A city council meeting is not a game show.” But the mayor’s new decorum proposals could themselves touch off loud debate. Councilman Bill Molinari, for one, is critical, saying Bagwell should focus on keeping order during meetings, rather than “trying to stifle dissent.” “The mayor’s going to have to be more aggressive in controlling the meetings,” he said. Even Molinari, however, admits that some recent council meetings have unraveled into chaos. “I’ve sat on the City Council through 20 councils,” said Molinari, who was elected to his sixth term in November. “There’s always been different political alliances, but we’ve never had this kind of environment in the chamber until this last election.” Indeed, at one recent meeting in which the council was trying to decide whether to remove a planning commissioner, the debate degenerated into shouting matches between residents and council members. Bagwell was forced to call a five-minute recess to restore order. The meeting ended up going past 1 a.m. “Residents lose all confidence in \ political leadership when they see them act like children,” said Denise Hagopian, a Montebello resident and local business owner who regularly attends the council’s meetings. Unplanned disruptions are a “distraction” that can prevent a council from getting quickly to important business at hand, Montebello City Administrator Richard Torres said. “A city council works best when it has a harmonious relationship,” he said. “It’s like with anything … a business, a husband and wife. Government isn’t much different. But government is thrown together, so it works better when people put aside their differences and try to understand each other.” In Pico Rivera, City Council members also are set to vote on a proposal to reduce speakers’ minutes from five to three. The proposal is on the council’s agenda for Tuesday’s meeting. Pico Rivera also will begin televising its council meetings live in March, a move Councilman Ron Beilke believes could help restore order at the meetings. The Montebello council is currently considering televising its meetings. “We think people will realize they are being watched and they will rise to the occasion and act accordingly,” Beilke said. Pico Rivera’s council dynamics changed with Beilke’s election in March. Almost immediately after he was sworn in, a new council majority that included Beilke, Mayor David Armenta and Councilman Pete Ramirez quickly voted to fire longtime City Manager Dennis Courtemarche, who had the support of the previous majority. The three then approved the hiring of Chuck Fuentes as a City Hall consultant. But the moves prompted some residents to form the Pico Rivera Community for Truth in Politics, which criticized Fuentes’ role as a sort of semi-city manager. When Fuentes’ name appeared on a list of candidates to replace Courtemarche, the stage was set for the confrontation that erupted at the Dec. 20 meeting. Several times during the meeting, deputies had to step in to maintain order. “People were just incensed over what was happening,” said CTIP member Miguel Meraz. Pico Rivera Councilman Gregory Salcido supports the right of residents to speak their minds at meetings, but said too often elected leaders coach residents about what to say during public orals. “That is when the progress of a community can be negatively affected,” said Salcido. debbie.pfeiffer@sgvn.com pam.wight@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028, 3029last_img read more

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Goforth’s late TD saves the day

first_imgWhen Artesia overcame a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to tie it with 47 seconds left, overtime looked practically inevitable. But apparently, 47 seconds was too much time for Mayfair quarterback Ronnie Goforth and the Monsoons. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 “Actually, I was confident when we got the ball back,” Goforth said. “I knew my offensive line would give me protection, and I knew that Alterraun Verner would be there for me. We grew up together, have known each other since we were 8 and played against each other in Pop Warner ball. I knew he’d be there.” Verner was there for Goforth throughout the night as he scored four touchdowns, three on passes and one on a 28-yard reverse. Verner finished with 115 receiving yards, and Goforth was 11 of 16 for 220 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Artesia (2-2, 0-1) nearly pinned Mayfair (3-1, 1-0) at the 1-yard line with 47 seconds left, but the kickoff went out of bounds a foot before reaching the end zone. Taking advantage of an unsportsmanlike conduct call, Mayfair started its final drive at the 50. “When the ball went out of bounds, I knew right there we could do it,” Verner said. “I had faith in Ronnie. I knew he could lead a drive like that in final seconds. He’s that type of quarterback.” Roman looked as if he is that type of quarterback, too. He went 17 of 21 for 167 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, which went to the two-way player Verner. Roman also ran for a team-high 94 yards on 18 carries and had a rushing TD. Goforth led a 50-yard TD drive that ended on a 7-yard pass to Alterraun Verner with 3 seconds left to give Mayfair a 49-42 victory at Artesia in the Suburban League opener for both teams. Although Artesia quarterback Steven Roman looked to be playing the role of the comeback kid, leading the Pioneers to two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, it was Goforth who ended up with the game-winning drive. center_img Artesia never led and twice found itself down by 14 points, in the first and fourth quarters. Behind Roman and Lequan Lewis, who scored three touchdowns, the Pioneers repeatedly fought back. 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

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HIV treatment lifts SA life expectancy

first_img9 October 2012 The government’s massive scaling up of its antiretroviral (ARV) treatment programme is beginning to show results, with a new report showing that, in the space of two years, South Africa’s life expectancy has increased by over three years. This emerged in Cape Town on Wednesday during a briefing by the Department of Health’s acting director-general, Yogan Pillay, to Parliament’s portfolio committee on health on his department’s 2011/12 annual report. Pillay pointed to a report just released by the Medical Research Council that estimates that the country’s life expectancy, which stood at 56.5 years in 2009, has increased to 60 years in 2011 (57 years for men and 63 years for women). Added to this, South Africa’s under-five mortality rate has also fallen, from 56 deaths per 1 000 live births in 2009, to 42 deaths per 1 000 live births in 2011.HIV/Aids and TB programmes Pillay said these improvements showed that the department’s HIV/Aids and TB programmes were beginning to make an impact. He pointed out that 50% of maternal mortality could be attributed to HIV/Aids, while 40% of mortality in children in under five could be attributed to HIV/Aids. In the last financial year, the number of new patients placed on antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) increased by almost 50%, with 617 147 new patients placed on ARVs in the last financial year compared to 418 677 in 2010/11. This number could increase again, Pillay said, as the department was planning to move soon towards a one-tablet-a-day ARV treatment. He said the significant increase in ARVs was also coupled with the government’s voluntary counselling and testing campaign, which saw 9.6-million South Africans testing for HIV in the last financial year alone. This was about five times the number testing annually prior to the launch of the campaign in April 2010, he said. In total, since the launch of the campaign, 20.2-million people have been tested for HIV. Pillay said that with more South Africans with HIV/Aids on ARVs, people were living longer – and also pushing up the country’s HIV prevalence rate, which had risen among antenatal attendees, from 29.4% in 2009 to 30.2% in 2010.Male condom conundrum The department had distributed over 6.3-million female condoms and over 397-million male condoms in the last financial year. This had exceeded the department’s target of six-million female condoms, but fallen far short of its target of one-billion male condoms. Pillay attributed this to service providers not being able to deliver the numbers specified in the tender as a result of a global latex shortage, delays in the registration of approved service providers in provinces, and legal action initiated against the National Treasury. The department had also been able to improve South Africa’s TB cure rate, from 71.1% of patients in 2009 to 73.1% in 2010. However, this was still below the target of a 75% cure rate.Other targets reached The department had achieved its second unqualified audit in the last three years, spending 99% of its 2011/12 budget. Detailing other results in the department’s annual report, Pillay said a national immunisation coverage rate of 95.2% had been achieved for children under a year old, exceeding the target of 95%. In all, 59.6% of mothers and 57.8% of babies had received post-natal care within six days after delivery, against a 60% target for both. When it came to births, 89.3% of deliveries (just below the 90% target) had taken place in health facilities under the supervision of nurses and doctors. Pillay said 337 ward-based primary healthcare teams had been set up in 2011/12, exceeding the target of 54 teams. To improve training, 80 medical students, drawn from various provinces, were sent to Cuba in the last financial year. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

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8. If a farmer became President…

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Though we tried to mostly stay out of the historically ridiculous 2016 presidential campaigns, it would be impossible to cover the last year of news without some references. Ty Higgins’ take on how things could be different if a farmer resided in the White House was a very popular post leading up to Election Day.last_img

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NPPC wins HSUS case

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) in its appeal to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The court rejected HSUS’s attempt to advance an anti-meat activist agenda through an unwarranted suit designed to hurt 60,000 U.S. pork producers and undermine a farm sector critical to rural communities and that employs hundreds of thousands of Americans.The court rejected HSUS’ attempted challenge to the National Pork Board’s 2006 federally approved purchase from NPPC of trademarks associated with the organization’s “Pork: The Other White Meat” campaign and payments associated with the agreement. While HSUS claimed it and others were injured because proceeds from the transaction were misappropriated by the National Pork Board, the pork “checkoff,” the D.C. Circuit found that HSUS and its fellow plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that they had suffered harm from the transaction, including the associated payments.“The dismissal of this case is a win for American pork producers who depend on NPPC’s issues advocacy work and the research, education and promotional work performed by the National Pork Board,” said David Herring, a pork producer from Lillington, NC and NPPC’s president. “The real misappropriation of funds is HSUS’s continued efforts to fundraise under false pretenses while using its proceeds to attack farmers dedicated to feeding billions of people at home and abroad.”last_img read more

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