Grigsby Succeeds McClain as Minister of State

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf over the weekend made what observers say could be one of her last reshuffles to ensure that her government leaves memorable footprints, despite negative criticism of governance in and out of the country.The new appointments or reshuffle affected several government ministries and agencies, including ministries of State for Presidential Affairs, Education, Information, Defense, Foreign and Internal Affairs. Others are the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company and the National Security Agency.Sylvester M. Grigsby was named the new Minister of State, replacing Dr. Edward B. McClain, who died on July 23. Minister Grigsby, according to an Executive Mansion source, has served with distinction in the position he has been named to for the last several months. Dr. McClain was President Sirleaf’s Minister of State and Chief of Staff and was one of the longest-serving officials in her administration. Significantly, Mr. Grigsby is a highly skilled and effective diplomat and negotiator, with travel experience to more than 90 countries as a representative of the Government of Liberia. He has also served as a member of Liberia’s delegation on more than 200 important diplomatic missions and has participated in major and historic international conferences and summits around the world over the last 35 years, an Executive Mansion source indicated. He also served as Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Minister for International Cooperation & Economic Affairs, both at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “He is a diplomat’s diplomat,” the mansion source added.Meanwhile, Rev. Sando E. Townsend becomes religious advisor to the President. At the Ministry of Transport, Sam Wlue now takes over as Minister, replacing Angela Bush Cassell, who is waiting to be reassigned. Prior to the Transport Ministry, Wlue Served as Managing Director of the National Housing Authority (NHA). In the National Transitional Government of Liberia headed byCharles Gyude Bryant (NTGL 2003-2006), he served as Minister of Commerce.At the Ministry of Education, Gbovadeh G. Gbilia becomes Deputy Minister for Planning, Research, and Development replacing Anthony Nimely, who recently fell apart with Minister George Werner.Mr. Saa David Nyuma Jr. becomes Assistant Minister for Planning, Research, and Development; Ms. Florence Allen-Jones, Assistant Minister for Early Childhood Education, while Ms. Lalata Neufville Wei becomes Assistant Minister for Fiscal Affairs and Human Resource Development.Bobby Livingstone, then Public Relations Officer to the National Elections Commission (NEC) during the regime of former Commissioner James M. Fromayan, becomes Deputy Minister of Public Affairs, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, replacing Isaac Jackson, who President Sirleaf recently appointed to the International Maritime Organization.Morris Dukuly, former Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister State, and chair of the National Port Authority, is now chair of the Board of Directors at the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC).Sam Gaye replaces Frank Nyekan as Director of the Presidential elite Executive Protective Service (EPS), formerly Special Security Service (SSS). Nyekan was named as a consultant to the EPS.At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Willye Mai Tolbert King was named Ambassador to La Cote d’Ivoire. At the Ministry of National Defense, Armed Forces of Liberia 23rd Infantry Brigade Commander Colonel Prince C. Johnson III was named Deputy Chief of Staff to be promoted to Brigadier General, while the President also named Lieutenant/Colonel Davidson Forley, Commandant, Armed Force Training Command, to be promoted to the rank of a full Colonel. These appointments are subject to confirmation by the Senate where applicable. In a related development, President Sirleaf named several persons at the Ministry of Internal Affairs to local positions.In Grand Bassa County, Moses Janjay Tinko Bull was named Assistant Superintendent for Development; while in Sinoe County, John Karlor was named Commissioner, Juarzon County District, and Frederick N. Koffa, District Inspector, Juarzon Statutory District.Others appointed are A. Menjay Wleh, City Mayor, Mexico City, Juarzon Statutory District; Isaac B. Quetoh, Township Commissioner, Tobo Township; Joe D. Weego Harmon, Township Commissioner, Chelor Township; and Harry Dorbor, Township Commissioner, Needweh Township.In Maryland County, Gyude Brown was named City Mayor, Harper City, while the President has also set up a National Steering Committee on Climate Change that includes the Environmental Protection Agency, Forestry Development Authority, Ministries of Lands, Mines and Energy, Transport, Gender and Development.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Rising cost of living hurting quality of life – NACTA poll

first_imgSome 94 per cent of Guyanese respondents in a popular opinion poll expressed that the rising cost of living isVishnu Bisramone of the most serious problems facing the nation.Following the change in political administration last year, 95 per cent of respondents observed a major decline in their purchasing power which they noted is seriously hurting their quality of life.The A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Administration has been severely criticised for its implementation of anti-poor policies and introduction of unnecessary taxes and fees, which will place great financial burdens on the working class.The parliamentary Opposition condemned the Government’s justification of these decisions, explaining that it was backward to raise revenue collection by taking more money out of the population’s pockets.While the previous Administration had its fair share of criticism, the opinion poll shows that a majority of Guyanese feel they are worse off today than under People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) rule.The opinion survey was conducted by the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA), spearheaded by well-known pollster Dr Vishnu Bisram.The stratified random sample survey comprised 710 registered voters to reflect the demographic composition of the population. The findings are analysed at a 95 per cent significance level with a margin of error of plus or minus four per cent.According to the poll, people expressed limited confidence in the coalition Government’s ability to manage the economy (bring in investment, create jobs, promote growth, etc).Asked if they approve of Government’s handling of the economy, 34 per cent said “yes”, while some 55 per cent said “no”. An overwhelming majority (92 per cent) said that unemployment was a serious concern, pointing out that too many people have been out of work since the change in government.They claim that it was very difficult for the unemployed as well as the youth, fresh out of high school or tertiary institutions, to find meaningful work to provide for themselves or their families.The general population and the business community describe the existence of a very sluggish economy that has contracted significantly since the coalition came into office.Businesses and the self-employed (vendors, barbers, cosmetologists, taxi drivers, cleaners, etc) say revenues and/or incomes have declined between 35 per cent and 55 per cent.Some say they lost their jobs because of a slowing economy or because of political and racial victimisation.Many businesses claim that revenues were not enough to cover costs of operations saying that they were forced to lay off staff.Rice and other farmers as well as some agro industrialists complain that prices cannot compensate for cost of production and that they were retrenching workers as well as cutting back on farming or their business enterprise.Many say that the present situation reminds them of the 1980s when they could barely survive.Asked about their current economic status relative to the preceding PPP/C period of governance, two per cent of the respondents say they are “better off” today than under the PPP regime, with five per cent saying that their economic status is “about the same” as under the PPP.Over three quarters (77 per cent), however, say that they are worse offHowever, even though they feel they are worse off under the APNU/AFC, traditional PNC supporters say they are sticking with the government.Some of them suggest that the PNC-led Government needs more time to turn around the economy.last_img read more

Colchester United extend young defender’s loan stay

first_img1 Colchester United have extended Elliott Hewitt’s loan stay at the club after reaching an agreement with his parent club Ipswich Town.The 20-year-old defender has already spent two months with the U’s this term and will stay with Tony Humes’ side until 17th January.Hewitt, who has been capped by Wales at under-21 level, has made ten appearances for Colchester this term – adding to the four outings he also made for Mick McCarthy’s high-flying Championship team at the start of the season. On-loan Colchester United defender Elliott Hewitt last_img read more

Conference not answering call

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Arizona ended Washington’s home winning streak at 32 games, and seven days later Washington State won in Seattle. Cal also beat up on UCLA at Pauley Pavilion, the Bruins lost at home for the first time in nearly two decades to Washington, and Stanford turned around and crushed Cal. It’s called parity, or parody, and it’s not good for the Pacific-10 Conference. “I think it hurts the conference’s chances of NCAA play if everyone is jumbled right there together,” Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. “I think someone needs to step up.” With so many teams looking alike, and a conference battling for respect after non-conference losses to the likes of UC Davis, Montana and UC Irvine (see Stanford), Utah Valley State (see Arizona State), Houston (see Arizona), Portland (see Oregon and Oregon State), Eastern Michigan (see Cal), Tennessee Tech and Northwestern State (see Oregon State), and Oral Roberts (see USC), a bunched-together league does not bode well come NCAA Tournament time. “There were some losses in the early season, to non-conference teams, that I think is really going to hurt our conference,” Arizona coach Lute Olson said. Granted, it is only three weeks into the Pac-10 season, but the trend is disturbing. The league’s three best teams – Washington, Arizona and UCLA – cannot defend their home courts, going a combined 4-5 at home. The conference RPI is seventh, well behind the Missouri Valley Conference, and with mostly conference games remaining there isn’t time to change the nation’s beliefs. “They can say it doesn’t matter, but I know this, it does,” Washington State coach Dick Bennett said. “The talking heads, the major ones, particularly on ESPN, influence, I believe, so much when they talk about strength of conference and who’s playing well. “I am concerned for the welfare of our league in getting teams into the tournament. That concerns me greatly.” It’s exciting for USC, Washington State and Oregon State to already have three conference losses yet be able to pretend they still have a chance to finish near the top of the league. But the absence of one or two powerhouses in the conference creates other problems. How will a team add an impressive conference win to its resume late in the season when there isn’t a WOW-type win available? How will the all-important RPI of a team improve when each weekend includes a loss, and there are only two teams (UCLA and Washington) in the top 25? “At some point in time, three, four, five teams have got to establish themselves as to who they are,” Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. “Maybe when it’s all said and done, people on the outside can look and say, ‘Boy, that was a grueling, competitive conference race they had out there,’ as opposed to saying the Pac-10 is down because there’s maybe not one or two teams dominating. “It’s never been like this before. There’s always been that one superior team to everybody else, and that’s just not the case (this season). We’re all just really good basketball teams that kind of look alike, play alike, and that’s what’s making all the games so close.” Injuries have played a factor in some instances. UCLA has lost guard Josh Shipp for the season, center Lorenzo Mata for six to eight weeks, centers Michael Fey and Ryan Hollins for a few weeks and wing Cedric Bozeman for six games so far. Power forward Alfred Aboya also missed time with a knee injury. Washington played nine games without Mike Jensen, Cal lost Rod Benson for a month after knee surgery and Washington State, which used 11 starting lineups already, is without point guard Derrick Low. “I don’t know if there’s ever been more key players missing games than this year,” said Oregon State coach Jay John, a former Arizona assistant. “The adjustments you have to make at the last second, or at times in the middle of games, that creates some things that happen that are disruptions.” And it also creates bad losses. Making history: When Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina all lost Saturday, it marked the first time in history that each of the three schools lost at home on the same day. But for Kentucky, it was particularly messy. It was the Wildcats’ third straight loss. To avoid the embarrassment of a fourth straight loss, which would have been Kentucky’s first four-game losing streak since 1989, coach Tubby Smith called on a sports psychologist to speak with his team. The result was a 69-54 win at Georgia. “When you’re struggling to win games, you’re looking for all sorts of answers,” Smith said after the game. “We wanted to get things out in the open as a team. Sometimes you need someone to let you know that you are good.” Brian Dohn, (818) 713-3607 last_img read more

It couldn’t happen, could it? This man to replace Bilic if West Ham lose v Swans

first_img1 West Ham United have now lost five straight matches in the Premier League and haven’t won a match in seven as they plummet towards the relegation zone.Manager Slaven Bilic, who lost star man Dimitri Payet in the January transfer window, has been desperately trying to turn around their fortunes, and now faces a crunch clash with fellow strugglers Swansea City on Saturday.But, after their 3-0 defeat to a stuttering Arsenal side, some Hammers fans are losing patience with the Croatian boss, who is regarded with great affection by the club’s fans.You can see what a selection of supporters had to say on Twitter, below, and share your thoughts by leaving a comment below… Slaven Bilic and Paolo Di Canio are both favourites with West Ham fans last_img read more

Middlesbrough 2-2 Man City: Jesus denies Agnew’s strugglers victory on Riverside

first_imgGabriel Jesus marked his return to Manchester City’s starting line-up by grabbing a dramatic late equaliser for his side in a 2-2 draw against relegation-haunted Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.Jesus headed home a Sergio Aguero cross in the 84th minute after Calum Chambers appeared to have secured three priceless points for the hosts in their unlikely battle to beat the drop.Steve Agnew’s men led through a first-half strike from former City striker Alvaro Negredo before the visitors drew level in controversial fashion when Aguero netted from the spot.Boro players reacted with fury when Leroy Sane went down under the challenge of Marten de Roon – but reacted brilliantly to grab back the lead just seven minutes later.But in a thrilling finale Jesus, back after 10 weeks out with a foot injury, strengthened his side’s top-four prospects and left Boro six points off safety with just three games to go. Boro had almost behind in the first 30 seconds, Aguero wriggling into the left side of the box and flashing a shot across the face of goal.Aleksandar Kolarov drove a long-range effort high and wide with three minutes on the clock, and five minutes later Fernandinho’s lofted pass fed Aguero who scooped his shot inches over the bar.But Boro survived the early storm and began to flourish, their confidence visibly returning after ending their long winless streak in midweek which boosted their still-unlikely survival mission.Ben Gibson flicked on a Fabio cross in the 12th minute to Negredo, who blazed his shot across the face of goal from a tight angle.De Roon shot wide from long range then the same player just missed the target after latching onto the end of a deep Downing free-kick.Jesus, who had cut a relatively anonymous figure in the first half hour, came close with his first chance of note when he flicked wide from Nicolas Otamendi’s right-wing cross.And Boro grabbed the lead their initiative deserved in the 37th minute when de Roon sent Downing scampering clear down the left flank and when his cross was laid back from George Friend inside the box, Negredo sent a curling left-foot finish past Willy Caballero.After just four minutes of the second half, during which Caballero plucked the ball off the head of the dangerous de Roon, Guardiola had seen enough and threw on both Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling to bolster his side’s attacking threat.Inevitably City began to pile on the pressure, Kevin De Bruyne stinging Brad Guzan’s hands with a long-range effort before the Boro keeper had to be alert on 65 minutes to tip over a clever lofted effort by Jesus Navas.Tempers frayed two minutes later when Sane fell under a challenge by de Roon in the box and after referee Kevin Friend pointed to the spot the Boro players reacted with fury, with Fabio booked for protesting and Sane having to be pulled away from a confrontation.Aguero dispatched the spot-kick but just three minutes later there was more drama at the other end when Boro substitute Adama Traore burst clear but fell under the challenge of Otamendi on the edge of the box.Downing’s free-kick was spilled by Otamendi and after a mighty goalmouth scramble, Negredo managed to squeeze the ball across the face of goal at the second attempt where Chambers poked home.But the drama was not over as Jesus rose unchallenged in the Boro box to head home an Aguero cross and grab the equaliser with four minutes to go. Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus celebrate 1last_img read more

Two gang members sentenced to life for deaths of teenagers

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECalifornia’s bungled $1 billion accounting system “There is not one day that I stop thinking about them. They were part of me,” said the 36-year-old janitor from Canoga Park. “And they took them away from me.” Though the slayings occurred when the defendants were minors, they were tried as adults before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Richard Kirschner. Saul Rivera, a third member of the Canoga Park Alabama gang who is believed to be the gunman, will be tried separately. “When you have gang members who commit adult crime – that being murder – with complete disregard for human life to the point they are laughing when the mother of the dead victims is speaking (in court), they should be treated like the violent criminals they are, the vicious criminals they are,” Silverman said. The attorneys for Jesse and Richardo Martinez, who are not related, said they plan to appeal for a lesser charge of manslaughter, saying their clients were planning only to fight and didn’t know Rivera was going to pull a gun and start shooting. The tragic saga of gang violence continued Friday, when two teens were sentenced to life in prison for the gang-related murders of two brothers outside a Canoga Park restaurant last year. Jesse Martinez, 18, was sentenced to 100 years to life and Richardo Martinez, 16, received 50 to life for the cold-blooded shootings of 16- and 15-year-old brothers David and Miguel Zapata. “For the families of the victims as well as the families of the defendants, it’s a tragedy,” said Beth Silverman, who prosecuted the case. “Gang crime is a lose-lose situation for everybody involved, as well as society on the whole.” Denise Zapata said she’d repeatedly warned her sons about the perils of joining a street gang. But then one day, David came home and told her he’d been forced to join the Temple Street gang. Miguel soon joined his older brother. “If you get in a high school fight and a guy falls down and hits his head and dies, it is involuntary manslaughter,” said H. Russell Halpern, Richardo’s attorney. Rivera denies being the gunman. Most of the other facts of the Feb. 2, 2005, case, however, are not in dispute. Attorneys for both sides said the confrontation began when the Zapata brothers and some friends stopped at the Wienerschnitzel at Sherman Way and De Soto Avenue. Across the street, members of Canoga Park Alabama spotted the crew and told Richardo to walk by and stare them down. He did, walked back to his friends and then returned with Jesse Martinez and Rivera. “Where you from?” Richardo reportedly asked them. “Temple Street,” they answered, at which point somebody pulled a gun and shot the Zapata brothers. Jesse Martinez and some of the witnesses identified Rivera as the shooter. “Of course, Saul blames Jesse, Jesse blames Saul,” Silverman said. “With these cases, you never really know the truth.” Under state law, Silverman said, it doesn’t matter who pulled the trigger. “They are all equally guilty,” she added. Jesse Martinez was implicated for trying to dispose of the gun; he received 25 years to life for each murder, plus 25 years for a gun enhancement on each. His attorney, Oscar Perez, did not return a call for comment. Richardo’s sentence of 50 years to life was the minimum. (818) 713-3634160Want 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

Podcast: Danny Kelly’s Trans Europe Express – Sunday, August 20

first_imgDanny Kelly is joined by Rob Daly to take a look at all the big football news from the continent.They discuss Monaco’s victorious run, Barcelona’s transfer business and review all the on-pitch action so far.This week’s European cult hero is the former Bayern Munich full-back and Bosnian international Hasan Salihamidzic, and there’s also a look at the success of VAR.Listen above, or click here to download the podcast from iTunes.last_img

Schwarzenegger signs LAUSD takeover bill

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe Christmas Truce of 1914 proved that peace is possible The new governance plan has been vigorously opposed by the school board, which voted 6-1 earlier this month to file suit challenging the legality of the bill. Following the ceremony, district Superintendent Roy Romer issued a statement saying the district looks forward to improving Los Angeles’ schools. “The legislative debate regarding this bill is over, but our concentration has always been on achieving our primary goal and the underlying intent of AB1381 _ giving our children the best possible education. Our focus is to stay on course and push our reform efforts forward to keep improving academic achievement. School board President Marlene Canter echoed Romer’s sentiment. “Although I have strongly opposed this legislation, I look forward to moving beyond this discussion and working together with the mayor to continue improving our school communities,” Canter. “Our students deserve leaders who communicate and collaborate. With the summer behind us, I am optimistic that a new spirit of cooperation and hope will set the tone for this school year.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger fulfilled his promise today and signed Assembly Bill 1381, giving Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa a role in governing Los Angeles Unified, the nation’s second-largest school district. During a late-morning ceremony at the Los Angeles Central Library, the governor approved the landmark legislation that shifts power from the elected school board to the district superintendent and a council of mayors from cities where LAUSD schools are located. The bill also gives Villaraigosa direct authority over three lowest-performing high schools and the elementary and middle schools from which their student bodies are drawn. Although the schools have not yet been identified, the mayor has said that one of the clusters will be in the San Fernando Valley. “Today we are proclaiming a victory for the students of LAUSD and their parents,” Schwarzenegger said. “With this bill, schools with the biggest problems can get the most attention and direct oversight by the mayor, so he can focus on what counts – moving test scores up and dropout rates down.” last_img read more

Students coached to fight intruders

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’The school system in this working-class suburb of about 26,000 is believed to be the first in the nation to train all its teachers and students to fight back. At Burleson – which has 10 schools and about 8,500 students – the training covers various emergencies, such as tornadoes, fires and situations where first aid is required. Among the lessons: Use a belt as a sling for broken bones, and shoelaces make good tourniquets. Students are also instructed not to comply with a gunman’s orders, and to take him down. Browne recommends students and teachers “react immediately to the sight of a gun by picking up anything and everything and throwing it at the head and body of the attacker and making as much noise as possible. Go toward him as fast as we can and bring them down.” Response Options trains students and teachers to “lock onto the attacker’s limbs and use their body weight,” Browne said. Everyday classroom objects, such as paperbacks and pencils, can become weapons. BURLESON, Texas – Youngsters in a suburban Fort Worth school district are being taught not to sit there like good boys and girls with their hands folded if a gunman invades the classroom, but to rush him and hit him with everything they’ve got – books, pencils, legs and arms. “Getting under desks and praying for rescue from professionals is not a recipe for success,” said Robin Browne, a major in the British army reserve and an instructor for Response Options, the company providing the training to the Burleson schools. That kind of fight-back advice is all but unheard of among schools, and some fear it will get children killed. But school officials in Burleson said they are drawing on the lessons learned from a string of disasters such as Columbine in 1999 and the Amish schoolhouse attack last week. “We show them they can win,” he said. “The fact that someone walks into a classroom with a gun does not make them a god. Five or six seventh-grade kids and a 95-pound art teacher can basically challenge, bring down and immobilize a 200-pound man with a gun.” The fight-back training parallels the change in thinking that has occurred since Sept. 11, 2001, when United Flight 93 made it clear that the usual advice during a hijacking – don’t try to be a hero, and no one will get hurt – no longer holds. Flight attendants and passengers are encouraged to rush the cockpit. Similarly, women and youngsters are often told by safety experts to kick, scream and claw their way out during a rape attempt or a child-snatching. In 1998 in Oregon, a 17-year-old high school wrestling star with a bullet in his chest stopped a rampage by tackling a teenager who had opened fire in the cafeteria. The gunman killed two students, as well as his parents, and 22 others were wounded. Hilda Quiroz of the National School Safety Center, a nonprofit advocacy group in California, said she knows of no other school system in the country that is offering fight-back training, and found the strategy at Burleson troubling. “If kids are saved, then this is the most wonderful thing in the world. If kids are killed, people are going to wonder who’s to blame,” she said. “How much common sense will a student have in a time of panic?”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