US Calls for Free Elections in Liberia

first_img– Advertisement – The United States Congress this week passed a resolution calling for free, fair and peaceful elections in Liberia come the October polls. The resolution was introduced by Senator Christopher Andrew Coons of Delaware and Senator Cory Anthony Booker from New Jersey.According to a dispatch from Washington, the resolution states that the United States and Liberia share broad and deep bilateral ties over the course of nearly 200 years of relation.Acknowledging the beginning of the most revered friendly ties between the two countries, Congress said the United States established diplomatic relations with Liberia in 1864 and called for the holding of peaceful elections in Liberia as many organizations, including those within the country and nations across the world, are looking forward to a new age, particularly so the democratic governance transition of an incumbent president to one elected in an election.The resolution made reference to the hundreds of thousands of Liberians who died in the civil wars (from 1989 to 2003) and said today the United States is home to an estimated 80,000 people of Liberian ancestry.The two interconnected Liberian civil wars took place from 1989 to 1996, before the 1997 special election that brought into power jailed former President Charles Ghankay Taylor, and his subsequent exile in 2003.The resolution said the people and Government of the United States have a deep and abiding interest in Liberia’s democratic stability and post-conflict development and recounted the United States’ assistance to Liberia since the end of its second civil war in 2003; US support to post-conflict recovery; and a subsequent sustained transition toward broad-based economic growth, improved access to high-quality education, health system strengthening, and enhanced socioeconomic welfare for Liberia.It stated also that the “professionalization of the country’s military and civilian security forces, efforts to foster the capacities, accountability, and transparency of government institutions, and the consolidation of participatory democracy” are additional positive contributions the US has made to the recovery of Liberia.About the reintroduction of democratic rule in the country, the resolution noted that in 2005, and again in 2011, the citizens of Liberia elected Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as their President, making her the first woman to be elected president of an African nation. President Sirleaf was awarded the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom on November 5, 2007, for defending and advancing the democratic rights of her fellow citizens in the face of house arrest, foreign exile, death threats, and imprisonment, and the Noble Peace Prize on October 7, 2011, for contributing to the nonviolent struggle for the security and rights of women.The resolution noted that the Government of Liberia has contributed to efforts to foster peace, stability, democratization, as well as regional economic growth, development, and integration in West Africa, as demonstrated by President Sirleaf’s role in mediating a peaceful transfer of power in The Gambia in January 2017 and her broader leadership as the 2016– 2017 Chairperson of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States.It has been 73 years now since a peaceful transfer of state power from one elected president to another took place, and that was when President Edwin J. Barclay turned over the gavel of authority to President-elect William V. S. Tubman.As Liberia is holding presidential and legislative elections on October 10, which will be the country’s first democratic transfer of power since 1944, Congress resolved that the United States upholds its commitment to maintain and to foster the enduring relationship between the people and the Governments of the United States and Liberia.The dispatch commended President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for efforts to consolidate post-conflict peace-building and democratic gains as well as promote social and economic development and foster ties with the international community, and for her work to advance international gender equality.The US Congress urged the Government and people of Liberia and all of the country’s political parties to ensure that there are free, fair, credible, and peaceful elections in October 2017 and beyond. “We admonish that all parties adhere to the objectives set out in the Ganta and Farmington River Declarations and promote and ensure peaceful conduct of candidates, their supporters, and other citizens of the country generally.”The US Congress appealed to all parties and independent candidates to “ensure that there are robust civic education and electoral campaign outreach to often politically marginalized groups, including women, urban youth, and rural communities; and raise awareness of and express zero tolerance for violence against women, gender discrimination, or social bias of any nature in the electoral process.”The US Congress “supports efforts by the Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development to assist in election preparations and calls on Liberian citizens to fully participate in the general elections and to pursue legal avenues to resolve any disputes over the results.” It also encourages Liberian civil society organizations to intensify civic and voter education, particularly among women, youth, and rural communities, and in local languages; condemns any external interference in the elections, “including any communication or action by convicted war criminal and former armed faction leader Charles Taylor to influence the elections from prison.”It states that the US Congress encourages President Donald Trump to appoint an Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs to bolster diplomatic engagement with the Government of Liberia, electoral stakeholders, and civil society and robustly engage with other sub-Saharan African countries and governments.The US Congress also called the United States Government and international partners, especially election-focused non-governmental organizations, to continue to support successful elections and Liberia’s anticipated historic democratic post-electoral transition of executive power; and welcomes the visit of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to the United States Congress for her final address as President of Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) President Sirleaf shared a platform with Senator Chris Coons (her immediate right), who introduced the resolution. Others seated: Congressman Ed Royce and Tami Hultman of AllAfrica news service. (Photo: Gabriel I. H. Williams)last_img read more

IMF report ‘ringing bells’ about state of the economy – Jagdeo

first_imgA recent report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has highlighted the dire state of the Guyanese economy, which Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo says careful attention should be paid to.Having looked at the report in its entirety, Jagdeo said it has highlighted some important facts and is also “ringing some bells about our future and state of our economy.”In referring to some content of that report, Jagdeo noted that the report has highlighted the fact that credit to business sector grew by 0.9 per cent in 2017, which is less than one per cent.“That’s less than inflation. That there is a high level of nonperforming loans. That we have a large exposure as a percentage of capital,” he read from the report.Jagdeo bemoaned the fact that the report noted that the IMF looked at several countries where the average is 20 per cent, but in Guyana’s case it is 160 per cent of capital (level of exposure).He also pointed to another fact in the report is the low level of provisioning coverage as a percentage of non-performing loans. “So if you have to provide for them, it will affect seriously the profitability of most of our banks. These are very important points in that report,” he added.In addition to that, the report also pointed to corresponding banking relationships still being an issue.The IMF noted that fiscal deficit remained stable in 2017. The Government deficit was 4.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), lower than the budgeted 5.6 per cent. This better than expected outturn was largely supported by higher revenue arising from improvements in tax administration.In 2018, the deficit is projected to widen to 5.4 per cent of GDP due to the cost of restructuring the sugar industry, including severance payments to displaced workers, as well as an increase in infrastructure related capital expenditure.Guyana’s last best growth rate was 5.2 per cent in 2013. World Bank records show Guyana’s growth rates in 2014 was 3.8 per cent, 2015 3.2 per cent, and 2016 3.3 per cent. Finance Minister Winston Jordan had claimed that the poor performance was linked the dismal figures to sectors including sugar.However, as the IMF focused on the fiscal outlook for Guyana’s in its recent report, it noted that the country’s medium-term prospects are favourable. The commencement of oil production in 2020 will be a turning point. The main direct effect on the domestic economy will be through higher fiscal revenue, and spillovers to supporting activities. The balance of payments will swing sharply to positive after 2020.“Oil revenue significantly improves the fiscal outlook, and is expected to place the public debt on a downward trajectory. The mission welcomed the progress made on establishing a comprehensive fiscal framework for managing oil wealth,” it explained.An important point made by the IMF was the fact that debt sustainability concerns are weakened by future oil revenues, but it warned that the financing of short-term deficits should be carefully managed.“The mission supports the authorities’ prudence towards private external borrowing. The authorities were encouraged to rely to the extent possible on development banks, including non-concessional financing, and to follow-up on their plans to develop the domestic bond market,” it added. Meanwhile, notwithstanding significant upside benefits, the prospect of revenue from the oil sector could lead to real exchange rate appreciation, eroding competitiveness in some sectors.Nevertheless, Jagdeo and his party has long argued that the coalition Government does not have what it takes to manage the affairs of the local economy.He has spoken repeatedly about the increasing debt portfolio by constantly borrowing millions ahead of the impending oil and gas sector.The former Head of State maintains that the People’s Progressive Party is best suited to handle both the economic and social affairs of the country on any given day.last_img read more

Water levels in Kwakwani fluctuating – CDC

first_imgEven as residents are desperately praying to see soil again, reports are that the water levels in the community of Kwakwani, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Upper Berbice) have been fluctuating, causing some persons to lose hope.This is according to the acting Director General of the CDC, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig, who told Guyana Times that the water level had seemingly begun to recede, but he has received reports of the water level returning to its initial height of approximately nine feet.He explained that the abundant rainfall the community has been experiencing isAn aerial view of the extent of the flood in Kwakwani, Upper Berbice Riverlikely responsible for this phenomenon, and another batch of food supplies has been sent to the community, which is very much in need of same.Colonel Craig said food supplies have been distributed to the villagers by volunteers who can traverse the village only by boat.Several food hampers supplied by the CDC were distributed on Wednesday, for the first time since severe flooding besieged the community.Over 300 households remain affected by the disastrous situation, and although the residents have adopted adaptive measures, most homes are completely flooded, and occupants have been forced to move to higher ground.On Sunday morning, some residents also received utensils, medical supplies, and supplies of cleaning agents from the CDC. These include soap powder, bleach, soap, long boots and other cleaning agents.Region 10 Vice Chairman Elroy Adolph, a resident of Kwakwani, has expressed the residents’ appreciation for the CDC’s effort in promptly responding to their call for help.“I am pleased they were very prompt. I am very pleased that they have come on board to assess the situation and to also provide help, just two days after,” Adolph said.Adolph said one of the challenges facing the residents in the present situation is transportation. He said high fees are being charged, especially by canoe operators plying the flooded routes, to transport residents who live on the outskirts of Kwakwani into the central location for shopping and other business-related purposes.Regional Vice Chairman Adolph is calling on the relevant officials to consider raising the level of the main access road, so that when flooding occurs in the future, transportation would not be affected.Residents have even made a call for the Government to consider commencing irrigation works in the area as soon as the water recedes, to prevent the situation from recurring.Flooding in Kwakwani commenced in April and intensified over the months because of heavy rainfall coupled with overtopping of the Berbice River. Persons living on Lamp Island and the Waterfront are the most severely affected.The water rose to as high as eight feet in some areas, but reportedly is receding slowly. Residents are currently forced to utilise boats as their main mode of transportation, since the roads are inundated.last_img read more

Venezuelan teen killed in Region 9

first_imgA 16-year-old Venezuelan was stabbed to death on Sunday at Tabatinga, Central Rupununi, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo).Dead is Alberto Inima. Police reported on Monday that the incident occurred at about 04:00h. Reports are Inima and the suspect were at a shop when an argument ensued and they left the premises. According to Police, a short while after, Inima was found at Tabatinga Creek with wounds about his body. He was taken to the Lethem Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival (DOA). The suspect was taken into custody and is assisting with the investigations.This is the second teenager to be killed in less than one week. Last Thursday 15-year-old Derril Wong of Lot 42 Plaisance, East Coast Demerara, was stabbed to death by another teen with whom he had a heated argument.Based on reports received, the now dead young man, after returning home from school, went to visit a friend in Graham Street, Plaisance, when he was stabbed twice to his back at about 16:00h.Initial investigation revealed that the two teenagers were in a yard when an argument broke out between them. Soon after, Wong was seen lying in a pool of blood with at least two stab wounds to his body.last_img read more

Campbell says you can see Russia from the Peace Country

first_imgMeanwhile, Blair Lekstrom commented about three new left turn lanes built on the highway heading out of town to Alberta. Liberal Leader Gordon Campbell has them rolling in the aisles — at least on the campaign bus. As Campbell’s bus pulled out of Dawson Creek this morning, through the flat, treeless country of the Peace Region, Campbell told reporters ”you can actually see Russia from here.”- Advertisement – Sarah Palin made a similar remark during her unsuccessful run for the U-S vice-presidency — but it’s doubtful comedian Tina Fey will get as much mileage from Campbell’s tongue-in-cheek comments.center_img The Peace River South M-L-A says his region always votes right, but notes there’s a little room for the left.last_img

Province implements changes to the Building and Plumbing Code

first_img– Advertisement – Another change includes new regulations for secondary suites that will require fire separations between residences to improve safety for everyone in the homes. For more information regarding the changes, you can visit bccodes.ca. VICTORIA, B.C. – The Province of British Columbia has announced that it is implementing changes to the Building and Plumbing Code. According to the Government, the changes will support innovative construction methods to help build more affordable homes faster, while enhancing building standards for energy efficiency and safety for British Columbians.   One of the changes to the building code enables local governments to allow 12-storey tall wood buildings, up from the previous limit of six storeys. Thirteen communities have signed on to be early adopters of tall wood buildings using mass timber technology. last_img read more

Under-fire Gus Poyet pens open letter to Sunderland fans

first_img1 Gus Poyet Gus Poyet has penned a passionate open letter to Sunderland supporters in which he has urged them to “stay positive” and “not let anyone break our relationship”.The Uruguayan has been under severe pressure in recent weeks having seen his side struggle in the Premier League and exit the FA Cup at the hands of League One side Bradford.His cause has not been helped by comments he made at the turn of the year, when he told fans to ‘stop living in the past’ and show ‘patience’.But Poyet, who has since accused the press of turning the Black Cats natives against him, has now attempted to quell any unrest by calling for everyone at the club to stick together ahead of a crunch clash with West Brom.Sunderland head into Saturday’s meeting with the Baggies at the Stadium Light sitting just two points above the relegation zone, having won just four of their 25 games this season.The letter from Poyet, published on the club’s official website, read: “For the first time in my life I think is time for me to write this letter to you, the fans. When I had the opportunity to become the head coach of Sunderland AFC, I just closed my eyes and remember me sitting at the away dressing room at the Stadium of Light at half time, 4-0 down, Sunderland 4 Chelsea 0, incredible atmosphere, one of the best I ever felt, so the decision was easy, yes I would love the possibility of coaching Sunderland with those fans. Luckily I got the job.“I was brought into the club to stay in the Premier League first and most, then get stability and then progress with an identity in our game.“The first goal was the most difficult task of my life but we not only stayed up in a miraculous way, we went to Wembley for the first time in years, plus successful games against our biggest rivals and enjoyed some incredible victories away from home. What we achieved last year was achieved by all of us together: club (chairman, directors, staff and players) and fans, nobody and I mean nobody from outside helped us a bit, it was only us together.“Then my second aim was to achieve stability, progression and then slowly start bringing a special way of playing football to make you very proud of our team. This takes time, but even if the aim is clear during the process, we need to keep competing and winning games somehow.“During my career as a player, coach or manager, I have always had a fantastic relationship with the fans, from my time in Uruguay going through every team in Europe, always the relationship was strong, one of mutual respect and understanding, I showed from inside or from outside the pitch, my commitment, passion and dedication in achieving what every club deserved.“Of course I went through good and bad times, successful and not so good ones, winning or losing finals, but I left every single club having a recognition from the fans for my honesty, passion and professional work.“So let’s make sure that we don’t let anyone to break our relationship, I promise you that I care and want to win as much as you do and no one thinks more time every day about the team than I do, so I invite all of you to stay positive, to be strong, closer to each other and keep believing in what we started together last year, working harder to make it better this season.“To finish I would like to clarify once more: the main responsible of the results of our team is me, I always said it and I will always accept my responsibility.“I am really looking forward to see the Stadium of Light packed on Saturday, pushing the team to what could be a very important victory.”last_img read more

Dow revamping to slice 1,000 jobs

first_img160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! DETROIT – Dow Chemical Co. said Tuesday that it is cutting 1,000 jobs, or about 2.3 percent of its work force, as part of a plan to rid itself of underperforming businesses and boost its global efficiency. The Midland-based company, one of the nation’s biggest chemical makers, said it will exit the automotive sealers business within the next nine to 18 months in North America, Asia and Latin America. It will look at options in its European operations. Other cutbacks include idling a styrene plant in Camacari, Brazil, on Jan. 1 and closing a cellulose manufacturing facility in Aratu, Brazil, in the first quarter of next year. Wholly owned subsidiary Union Carbide Corp. will shut down its polypropylene facility in St. Charles Parish, La., before Dec. 31, and the company will reduce research and development and other functions at a facility in South Charleston, W.Va. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat Kings“Today’s announcement reflects our commitment to prune businesses that are not delivering appropriate value and tackle tasks more efficiently across the entire organization … freeing up capital and resources that will be redirected toward value-creating growth opportunities,” Andrew N. Liveris, Dow’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement. Dow expects the cuts will result in a charge of $500 million to $600million for write-downs and severance packages in the fourth quarter of 2007. The company said it expects to save $180million a year once the moves are made. Dow reported a 21.3percent drop in profit in the third quarter due to changes in German tax laws, higher domestic tax rates and charges for research and development. It posted net income after paying preferred dividends of $403million, or 42cents per share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $512million, or 53cents per share. The company employs about 43,000 people worldwide. Dow Chemical shares fell 49 cents, to $41.05, at the close of trading Tuesday.last_img read more

GAA NEWS – ST NAUL’S ENJOY GREAT FAMILY FUN DAY

first_imgNaomh Naille Club NotesSlotto: Saturday 10th numbers drawn were 2,1,3,7,4,6,5. No winner, the closest to correct sequence was Jim Kennedy, The Port, Inver. Saturday 17th numbers drawn were 2, 1, 4, 6, 3, 7, 5. No winner, the closest to correct sequence was Maria Morgan, Inver Village. Next week’s Jackpot is €720.Games: Our Senior and Reserve men were unlucky in Killygordon at the weekend narrowly missing out on valuable points against Red Hugh’s. A big effort is need from all players not to make sure the next few games are wins. Also all support for the boys is greatly appreciated at the games. Family Fun Day: The Family fun day was a great success for the first year in a while that it has been run. The highlight of the day was the St. Peters N.S. reunited band marching into the grounds with some of our underage players marching behind them. The band was excellent and the club was delighted to welcome them. The afternoon then seen all age groups taking part in a range of different races and even the mammy’s and daddy’s took part in some races for the delight of the kids. Upstairs in the club house teas and coffees were served and everyone stayed around for a chat and a catch up with old school friends. The club would like to thank everyone who attended and made the day a great one, to all those who helped out on the day serving teas, coffees, burgers, organizing the races, the girls in the shop and arts and crafts room and to all those who baked and made all the nice things to go with the tea. Thank you to everyone and we hope we can make this an annual event. GAA NEWS – ST NAUL’S ENJOY GREAT FAMILY FUN DAY was last modified: August 20th, 2013 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:ST NAULS GAA CLUBlast_img read more

BUSINESS: LET THE TAX CLINIC HELP FILE YOUR RETURNS AS DEADLINE LOOMS

first_imgBUSINESS: The October Tax deadline is looming and it’s important you have all your finances in order to avoid facing penalties.The deadline for filing your tax returns and paying your bill is fast approaching. However, the experts at the highly reputable Tax Clinic in Letterkenny – will do all the work for you.Mabel McHugh busy at work in The Tax Clinic.Hundreds of thousands of Irish people have their calculators at the ready as the clocks tick on towards an important date.The upcoming pay-and-file deadline marks the date by which taxpayers must file their return for 2014.The self-assessment system of taxation applies not just to the self-employed, but to anyone with income from sources that are not chargeable under pay as you earn (PAYE). So those with rental income, farming income, foreign incomes must also get their financial house in order in the coming weeks.Pay and File:Under the ‘pay and file’ system, October 31st, 2015 is the date by which you must payAny balance of income tax owing for 2014Preliminary tax for the tax year 2015It is also the date by which you must file your tax return for 2014.If you are on the Revenue’s records as self-employed, you should receive a pay and file slip from the tax office to enable you to pay the tax by the due date. If you do not receive a slip, you should request one because under self-assessment the obligation is on you, not Revenue, to ensure your return is filed, and your tax is paid on time.Not just for the Self-Employed:Traditionally, filing a tax return is seen as something that the self-employed do at this time of year. However, even if you are an employee, you could still need to file a return.Failing to do so could result in penalties, so make sure you find out in plenty of time if you have a requirement to make a return. Surcharge for Late Returns:You must return the completed 2014 Tax Return on or before 31 October 2015 to avoid a surcharge. If your Return is late the surcharge, which is added on to your tax due, is:5% of the tax due where the Return is submitted after 31 October 2015 and on or before 31 December 2015.10% of the tax due, where the Return is submitted after 31 December 2015.Audit/Penalties:Self – Assessment Returns are subject to Audit by Revenue, Tax law provides that Revenue may make any inquiries or take such actions as are considered necessary to verify the accuracy of a Return.We at THE TAX CLINIC are experienced in dealing with all forms of Revenue Intervention and the completion and filing of Tax Returns.To find out more log onto www.thetaxclinic.ie or call into either the High Road Letterkenny or Main Street Killybegs.Letterkenny: 074 91 60550Killybegs: 074 97 32055BUSINESS: LET THE TAX CLINIC HELP FILE YOUR RETURNS AS DEADLINE LOOMS was last modified: September 30th, 2015 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:Businesshome-page featuresnewslast_img read more