After capturing their sixth straight ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys’ Athletics Championship title, Calabar High School seems to be getting used to winning the Mortimer Geddes Trophy, as students, school staff and general supporters celebrated at the school grounds on Monday, in an atmosphere less enthusiastic than previous years. However, the entire Calabar fraternity described Saturday’s four-point win over Kingston College at the National Stadium as the “most special” of all the six recent titles, after most pundits had written off the Red Hills Road school in favour of their North Street rivals. But according to assistant coach Omar Hawes, who spoke on behalf of the coaches in the absence of coach and master tactician, Michael Clarke, the aim now is to now go 14 straight wins and match Kingston College’s record for the longest winning streak at Boys Champs. “The school fraternity is asking for that, and after this year was dubbed ‘Kingston College alone’ and we defied the odds, we are saying that we want to go 14 straight,” he told the audience. “Once we won the first one in 2012, the plan was to go six straight, and once we stay humble, stay organised, and work hard, we should be able to [go 14 straight],” he continued. The team will retain most of its prized assets from Class One for next year’s championship and with proper recruiting, coupled with the school’s high training standards, Hawes expects the winning trend to continue. “This was a good fight from KC. This was the best fight of all the six (titles) that we have encountered. But it shows that we cannot be complacent. But if we learn anything from this, it’s that it’s going to be harder for us to relinquish the title. We have the material and the coaches, so it’s a good look going forward,” he said. Meanwhile, it took a while before the celebrations came to life as most students strolled into the school almost as if it was a regular school day. At about 8a.m., students started to gather at the assembly area, and moments later, the stage was decorated with trophies from the school’s various sporting successes for the calendar year. However, the celebrations were not as buoyant as expected, with technical glitches to the sound system only making matters worse, as most of the speeches were interrupted by shortages in the microphone. There were also representatives from FLOW and GraceKennedy in attendance, accompanied by Olympic sprint star Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. ‘BEST FIGHT’
Dear Editor,The responses given by the Town Clerk of Georgetown to the most recent strike action taken by the workers under the leadership of the Guyana Labour Union (GLU) is nothing short of alarming.It is clear that the Town Clerk is completely unaware or is proud to ignore the laws of Guyana. He indicated with pride that the Council has consciously decided to undertake the practice of paying the employees whilst withholding the deductions made from them and which he is obligated to remit to the Guyana Revenue Authority, the National Insurance Scheme, the credit unions, etc; because the Council does not have enough money. Can someone tell the Town Clerk that this practice is not only callous and reprehensible but totally illegal.If the Council is indeed as impoverished as he claims, why then are they paying him in lieu of a large chunk of his accumulated vacation leave that he has refused to take over the years. Is that not just simply unfair.Was the Council not as impecunious when he and the Mayor and their delegations travelled around the world first class, staying at the finest hotels and dining at the ritziest restaurants and not achieving or bringing anything back for the city?If the Council was as insolvent as he claims, why did the Council purchase expensive sport utility vehicles for their bigwigs, provide them with chauffeurs, bodyguards, personal assistants, etc.How can we believe that the Council is so bankrupt as they claim to be, when they have contracted out most of their services for hundreds of millions of dollars each month without subscribing to tender board procedures, instead of allowing the workers to do their jobs.But the most unsettling of all is his claim that the strike was orchestrated at this time of their anniversary celebrations by the Union to embarrass the Council. Is this gentleman for real? Is he equating the plight of the workers, including significant financial and medical risks due to piling up medical bills and no insurance coverage and facing tax penalties due to nonpayment of the PAYE contributions to some vacuous celebration?Is it not just insensate to have a city week of celebrations when municipal workers are perishing, craving and emaciated?By the way, where is the other so-called union, are they in hiding or enjoying the festivities?Sincerely,James Mc Onnell
Policy MotivationEconomic activities remarkably expanded in Liberia, averaging seven to eight percent growth rate over the last five years, but inherent supply-side risks are eroding the gains. Existing economic indicators of spiraling inflation, depreciating exchange rate and diverse fiscal constraints are imminent economic challenges requiring wide range of policy debates and discussions to elicit pragmatic solutions. Sustaining the growth calls for pragmatic policy actions from all strategic fronts to help mitigate ‘economic waste’ and redirect resources to productive sectors. Thus, this commentary seeks to provide a synopsis on monetary and fiscal implications of the supply-side constraints (i.e, factors that inhibit economic productivity).Supply-side and Monetary issuesLiberia’s inept ability to handle supply-side constraints is mounting the inflationary pressure. In the face of weak external demand for Liberia’s exports and escalating price of fuel, the current macroeconomic imbalance is hurting all facets of the economy. The existing structural constraints, coupled with fragile fiscal and monetary coordination, are indicative of a threat to any strong macro-economic fundamentals (high foreign reserve, domestic savings, investments, etc), which are essentially vital for a sustained resuscitation of the real sectors. Stepping up effort to improve competitiveness of exports and promote agricultural activities would tame inflation by checking on the rising prices of food. The foregoing is suggestive that monetary phenomenon, as perceived by few stakeholders, may not be the main inducement of the persistent rise in prices, rather supply-side remains the pacemaker of our staggering economy.However, the general perception appears that the monetary authority’s financial inclusion program of advancing finance to the ‘vulnerable’ businesses is influencing inflation, while others attribute the inflationary pressure to the depreciation in exchange rate, which is partly acceptable. Despite the relative exchange rate stability enjoyed in most of 2012, the economy was still exposed to inherent risk of potential depreciation in the exchange rate and high inflation due to sluggishness in priority investments to ease infrastructural constraints for a thriving real sector. In addition, the persistent current account deficit is mainly ensuing from high importation of goods (especially food and fuel) and the failure of the real sector to generate adequate foreign exchange. All of these have made the public uncertain of how long the various policies undertaken will go to dis-inflate and stabilize the economy. Aside from other external shocks, the wide spread between the exchange rate in banks and forex bureaus is underpinning an expanding parallel market that could likely increase transactions outside the banks and support inflation. Inward remittances are likely on a downward trajectory potentially due to the drawing down international staff (especially UNMIL) and slowing foreign aid. This phenomenon directly implies a high demand for dollars; the propagatory effect is leading to pass-through effect to rising prices. So, what is the policy fallback to narrow this gap?It is understandable that increased economic uncertainty provokes monetary authority to be discretionary in using unconventional monetary policy to stimulate output in Liberia. Based on the weak supply response, the monetary authority’s action of not instituting an expansionary policy is strategic, because it may influence higher inflation if production does not respond favorably to money growth. So, the current policy path of the monetary authority to support smallholders seems appropriate because of the limited interest of other financial institutions in small holders, which are the main springboard for livelihood by many downtrodden in Liberia today. The low cost credit to them (small holders) would help to boost domestic production and potentially ease the burden of inflation. The effectiveness of this policy however depends on whether significant portion of the exposures is directed at domestic activities in agriculture, furniture or other local-made products, instead of re-enforcing the high importation of goods that is already subduing the economy. In any case, a key socioeconomic implication of the policy is a reduced financial struggle on economic agents, who may use portion of the investment returns to meet other payment needs (school, rent, medical, transport, etc), including food, which are the main absorbers of low-income households’ incentives in Liberia.Perennial intervention to contain build-up in the exchange rate pressure is also an indication of necessary utilization of monetary instrument in the short term, but it is not sustainable. The intervention mechanism, often counteracted by capital outflows and sometimes ‘public hoarding’ of foreign currency in the economy, is likely complicating the economic stability. The need to partly offset the trade deficit via other capital inflows is vital to further contain exchange rate variability. Interestingly, this would ensure that the stability of the exchange rate vis a vis the demand for United States Dollars (USD) is not as badly out of balance as the supply. The Treasury bill regime (recently launched) is a worthy monetary venture for the medium to long term to control liquidity and ease some of the imbalances, but massive education and sensitization are required to make it more effective. In addition, de-dollarization effort in terms of payments of salaries and other domestic transactions in Liberian dollars ought to be re-enforced to relieve the operational challenge on monetary policy.Fiscal policy and supply-side issuesTax mobilization has inched up, but fiscal policy still needs sound rethinking to strengthen effort in tackling development priorities that would remove supply-side bottlenecks. Increasing demand for recurrent expenditures has implications for budget deficit that propels inflation via its (deficit) financing. Given the financial constraints of the giant economies to assist Liberia with budget or program support, domestic window would remain thin to offset any budgetary shortfall. Thus, intention to raise the planned budget by more than 25% (cumulative) over the last three years may have been good, but risky due to donor fatigue and non-automation of revenue collection mechanism to ensure accuracy of revenue forecast. Thus, instituting expansionary fiscal policy without a tactful monetary policy remains a huge risk, given the perennial budget deficits endured over years.Realization of middle income cannot thrive on waste of resources and high consumption economy without sustained emphasis on production. In 2010, I stressed this point in one of my commentaries that Liberia should be wary of persistent salary increment because of the country’s limited and poor social infrastructure for earners to spend the income, fiscal difficulties of donors’ countries to support budgetary gap and the implication of increased taxes to finance the salary rise. It seems we are gradually feeling the pinch of ‘money illusion’, where households’ salaries are rising in nominal terms, but low in terms of value to venture into the market. Weak social infrastructure (school, hospitals, transportations, etc) is a reflection of high cost for the low income earners to access quality services, domestically. Fixing the macroeconomic problems, the legislature and the executive arm of government ought to understand these fundamentals that any percentage change in salary on the upward horizon puts huge pressure on the fiscal to source the fund and the monetary authorities to accommodate potential budgetary gap.Perhaps, expected returns from domestic resources such as diamond, gold, iron ore, royalty from oil etc are motivating factors behind the increasing incentives of public workers. Let’s understand again that non-tax income, especially the ones emanating from mineral resources are non-deterministic in many perspectives (price fluctuation, low demand, resource depletion, etc), and therefore not a good instrument to consider for increasing the budget. Unless the country has stabilization fund where fixed proportion from mineral income is saved periodically for intervention, direct inclusion of all natural resource income into the budget is a high risk that we have often endured.ConclusionIn concluding, the existing macroeconomic imbalance could haunt Liberia in the short and medium term if macroeconomic policy efforts are not urgently pursued by fiscal and monetary authorities in their actions to reduce supply-side constraints, and to consider adoption of ‘inflation targeting lite’ in the medium term, which would obligate both authorities to control inflation. In the short term, fiscal effort should entail rapid reduction of expenditure wastes, while the monetary should continue to keep interest rate low/steady and prioritize local-made business ventures in its financial inclusivity program.About the AuthorDukily is a senior economist at the West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) based in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The views expressed in this commentary do not represent WAMA.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The women’s conference, which was held under the theme,” inform Women, Transform lives,” brought together participants from Grand Gedeh, Montserrado, Nimba and Bong counties.The Carter Center, in collaboration with Irish Aid, on October 15, 2019, held a one-day women’s conference to help women develop creative solutions for the continued advancement of access to information in Liberia.The conference, which was held under the theme,” inform Women, Transform lives,” brought together participants from Grand Gedeh, Montserrado, Nimba and Bong counties.Former first lady, Comfort Sawyer, in her keynote address stressed the need for more women’s empowerment in the country in order to transform, educate and support other young women and those who are most vulnerable in society.Madam Sawyer recounted how Liberia has over the years not provided support to women’s participation as the challenges confronting women in the country continue to intensify, stressing that as a girl growing up, she was assisted by some powerful women who enabled her to be where she is today.She said the government needs to incorporate more women in participatory roles in the country, adding that: “When it comes to the issue of women in the country, I do not shy away from that, as my passion in life has always been to work with girls and women. I have also found the courage to handle things that had happened to women in the past and took strength from it to move forward and which I have used to help other women succeed,” she said.Madam Sawyer said the government must ensure that the FOI is implemented to the fullest for the betterment of all in the country.Deputy Minister from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Alice Johnson Howard noted that the government has had a lot of engagements with the Carter Center over the years, something which has helped key partners and stakeholders in the implementation and enforcement of the FOI Law.She said that the Carter Center has also carried out a study on how women can access information and research, which have shown that women are lower or do not respond so easily as compared to their male counterparts when it comes to access to information.Madam Howard told the gathering that in 2014, Carter Center, in collaboration with the MGCSP, along with MICAT, conducted a study to determine whether women or men are able to exercise their rights when it comes to information; it was also shown that the frequency at which women get information is far lower as compared to their male counterpart.In an overview, Carter Center Senior Gender Specialist Cerue Konah Garlo indicated that over a period of four years, results show that women were not using the law as much as their male colleagues, but noted that with support from the Irish Aid, the Carter Center has been supporting key stakeholders in 25 communities to reach across four counties and over 1,250 women, to enable them to access public information.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Rumours surrounding Tottenham’s January transfer targets have largely focused on strikers and one impressive goal scorer linked with Spurs is Carlos Bacca.So far this campaign, the Sevilla and Colombia man has scored 10 times in 17 La Liga games following his 14 goal haul last season, with Tottenham scouts said to have travelled to keep an eye on him.Bacca could arrive as part of a deal that would see Roberto Soldado move the other way, with the latter having failed to impress in front of goal since joining from Spanish side Valencia.Do you think the 28-year-old Bacca would be a good signing? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.Enough about Carlos Bacca, though, and take a look at what Chelsea fans think about his brother, ‘Stu’…
Middlesbrough’s 3-1 victory over Cardiff at the Riverside on Tuesday night was packed full of action.The four goals included a brilliant strike from the Bluebirds’ former Manchester United full-back Fabio – his first in professional football – and a comical own goal from his fellow defender Matthew Connolly.There was also a superb penalty save from Cardiff ‘keeper David Marshall. Check out highlights of the game above.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals“The logistical support needed to maintain a constant redeployment of National Guard troops every two weeks will be staggering,” Schwarz- enegger said. “From housing, food, storage, sewage, training, transportation needs – this constant state of deployment will require hundreds of additional troops just to support troop movement,” he wrote. He suggested the federal government explore using U.S. marshals, Forest Service officers and other federal law enforcement officers to supplement the Border Patrol instead of calling upon National Guard troops. SACRAMENTO – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Tuesday that he has “serious concerns” about President Bush’s plan to use 6,000 National Guard troops to help secure the Mexican border. “Securing our borders is a law enforcement function, and what we need are more Border Patrol agents, not National Guard troops who are neither trained nor suited for this purpose,” Schwarzenegger said in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. Schwarzenegger also said that assigning Guard units to build fences and deploy surveillance equipment on the border, as Bush plans, would disrupt their training for other missions and take troops who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan away from their families again. Rotating Guard troops along the border in two- or three-week shifts would create a “logistical nightmare and would be a poor use of forces trained for combat,” the governor said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
A disqualified driver with 84 previous convictions who mowed down a Garda while drunk and uninsured has walked free from court.Paul McGillion appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court charged with the endangerment of Garda Michael Kilcoyne. Garda Kilcoyne had to undergo surgery after the father-of-two drove his Honda car at him in Letterkenny in the early hours of July 25th, 2015.Breath tests later revealed that McGillion was drunk, was already banned from driving and had no tax, insurance or driving license.The 32-year-old blamed a combination of stress due to his dying grandmother and the fact that he was preparing for his marriage.The court heard how McGillion had committed the majority of his offences while living in Northern Ireland.However, he had tried to turn his life around and was working with medical insurance claims company United Healthcare and had received three internal promotions.He had not committed any offence since 2011 until he went out socialising with friends after work on the night of July 24th, 2015.After going home, McGillion, of 1 Greenhills, Manorcunningham, then decided to get his car and drive back to Letterkenny.He initially evaded Gardai who suspected him of being drunk behind the wheel but after being spotted by Gardai on the town’s CCTV camera system, he was found hiding in his car at Larkin’s Lane.Garda Marcus O’Dowd told the court that when observed, officers managed to block off both ends of the lane and tried to arrest McGillion.However, he spun his wheels and drove to get away hitting Garda Kilcoyne in his right upper leg with the right wing of his Honda car.Garda O’Dwod stood his ground as McGillion drove at him and only slammed on his brakes at the last second.Garda O’Dowd tried to get the driver out of the car but he locked the doors and had to use his Garda baton to smash the window.The accused tried to assault him but was restrained, arrested and brought to Letterkenny Garda Station.A breath test later showed that McGillion had a reading of 47 microgrammes per 100 microgrammes of breath.Barrister for McGillion, Mr Sean MacAodh said his client had been abandoned by his father at a very young age and was brought up by his mother and grandmother.He had fallen in with the wrong company and had become addicted to both drink and drugs but had managed to turn his life around.He had not committed any offences since 2011 until the night in question in July, 2015 after he had consumed alcohol.Mr MacAodh said it was a combination of a number of stressful factors including his grandmother’s illness and his upcoming wedding which had seen McGillion take to drink again.The accused man asked if he could address the court and apologised to both Garda O’Dowd and Kilcoyne who were sitting at the rear of the courtroom.He said his life was “in turmoil” and had tried to turn it around.“My life was in turmoil and I didn’t care if I lived or died. BUt all that changed when my wife became pregnant with my daughter.“I apologise to Garda Kilcoyne and O’Dowd for what happened that night. I didn’t intentionally drive towards Garda Kilcoyne. I am ashamed. Everything that was going on and all I wanted to do was to go out and drink and take something else,” he said.Judge Terence O’Sullivan told the accused that he understood that he made the change in his life but called him a “ticking time-bomb” if this was his attitude when something went wrong in his life.The Judge said that this was perhaps the trickiest case he had dealt with in many years.He said there was no question that Garda Kilcoyne was seriously injured and will have to live with those injuries as a result.He added that if McGillion had not pleaded guilty he would be looking at serving five years in prison.He said he had shown remorse and had put his previous life behind him to a great extent.He said he appreciated that the Court of Appeal have been unhappy with the suspension of sentences but said that if he was wrong (in his sentencing), he will be put right.“I have to try and sentence the offender and not the offence,” he said.He referred to a medical report on McGillion which suggested that if he stays away from poly substances that he will make a full recovery.And he added “The issue is should I unravel his life which a prison sentence will do or should I tie his hands.“If I throw him under the bus I think I will seriously unravel his life and that of his family.”He imposed a three-year sentence but also suspended the sentence for three years on a number of conditions.These included that McGillion remain alcohol-free and stay away from poly substances and continue to attend for medical treatment.He also dealt with a number of driving-related charges.He disqualified McGillion from driving for five years for dangerous driving and filed him €500, disqualified him for a further four year (concurrent) for drink-driving and a further four-year disqualification of four years (concurrent) for having no insurance.Drunk, banned driver with 84 convictions who mowed down Garda walks free was last modified: May 6th, 2017 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:bannedcourtdriverdrunkGarda MichaelPaul McGillion
DOZENS of rural roads across Co Donegal will have speed limits reduced – with many currently at 100km/hr being reduced to just 60km/hr.The move follows a report today in the Irish Independent that the government is determined to reduce the carnage on our roads even further.Some speed limits will increase however under the proposals. An NRA audit hopes to address:– Speed limits such as 80kmh on boreens with grass growing up the middle.– Speed limits that are too slow, such as 60kmh on a straight stretch of dual carriageway with two miles of clear visibility ahead.– The wrong speed limit in the wrong place, such as an 80kmh sign at a dangerous corner on a country road. – Stretches of road that don’t have enough signs, leading to confusion among motorists about the speed they should be travelling at.– Areas where there are too many speed signs, leading to confusion about the true speed limit.The report is here:http://www.independent.ie/national-news/speed-limit-blitz-to-cut-carnage-on-our-roads-3012768.htmlDOZENS OF DONEGAL ROADS TO SEE SPEED LIMIT REDUCTION was last modified: February 8th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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:Co Donegalspeed limit reductions
Drake assistant athletic director for Drake Relays operations Carolyn Hill retires at the end of this week after more than 15 years of faithful service to her alma mater.Hill joined the Drake Relays staff in 2007 and has directed all meet operations for ‘America’s Athletic Classic’ including the coordination of officials, volunteers, entries, digital information and historical record keeping.”Carolyn essentially served as the interim director in the weeks and months before my arrival and she has been a friend and mentor every day since,” said Blake Boldon, the Franklin P. Johnson Director of the Drake Relays. “Her commitment to the success of the Drake Relays sets an example for all to follow. It has been a privilege to learn while working alongside Carolyn and I’m honored to call her a friend.”That commitment has helped the Drake Relays continue to grow to encompass nearly 5,000 athletes over four days of competition. She has also been instrumental in Drake’s hosting of the NCAA Championships in 2008, 2011 and 2012 and USA Championships in 2010, 2013, 2018 and 2019. “Carolyn Hill has been a pillar for the Drake Relays and me over the years,” said former Drake Relays director Brian Brown. “She has been more than an assistant director, more than an officials coordinator and more than a friend. She is family to me and a mother to the many Drake Relays participants. She cares so deeply about every individual and has worked tirelessly to make sure every athlete had a fair chance to compete on the Blue Oval.”A well-respected track and field official, she was named the 2018 USATF Iowa Track and Field Official of the Year and the recipient of the 2018 USATF National Officials Committee Chair Award. Her reputation as an official has also earned her invitations to help officiate some of the nation’s top track and field events, including the 2014 IAAF U20 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon.Hill began her tenure at Drake in 2004 as the director of Greek Life. After three years in that capacity, she has served as assistant director of relays/sports information, assistant director of the Drake Relays and most recently as assistant athletic director for Drake Relays operations. However, her love for Drake extends to her time as a standout student-athlete at Drake. The Valparaiso, Ind., native was a four-year letterwinner and team captain in volleyball who earned a bachelor’s degree in education and a minor in business from Drake in 1980. She received her master’s degree in education from the University of North Texas in 1982. Hill and her husband, Robb, were honored with Drake’s ‘Double D’ Award in 1998, the highest honor Drake athletics bestows upon former student-athletes. Robb was also a standout student-athlete and letterwinner for the Drake football team. The couple, who resides in West Des Moines, have two adult children, Lauren and Bryan.Boldon and the Drake Relays committee will conduct a national search for Hill’s replacement. Interested candidates should click here. Print Friendly Version