Falcao to debut at World Cup when Colombia faces Japan

first_imgVolcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film Attacking midfielder Keisuke Honda, right back Atsuto Uchida, defender Yuto Nagamoto and forward Shinji Okazaki are among the Japanese playing in their third World Cup. Borussia Dortmund forward Shinji Kagawa is in his second after making his tournament debut in Brazil.“Several of us will play in our third World Cup. Meanwhile, there are a host of young players who have made fast progress. These youngsters boast greater confidence,” Kawashima said. “So with a mix of experienced veterans and talented youth players, I am confident that we are capable of making history in Russia.”HOPE FOR JAMESFour years ago, Rodriguez rose to the global stage as the top scorer of the 2014 World Cup with six in five matches.Shortly after the tournament, he had such a disappointing three-year spell at Real Madrid that the Spanish team loaned him to rival Bayern Munich last year.The 26-year-old Rodriguez has performed better in Germany, but still far from his best days in 2014, when he scored a spectacular goal against Japan in the 4-1 victory.Rodriguez is recovering from a left calf injury and Colombia made a mystery of whether he will start the game in Saransk, but he has done some work at practice and is expected to play at some point.COACHING CHANGEAkira Nishino’s debut at the World Cup comes only a couple months after the 63-year-old coach who made his name steering Gamba Osaka was hired to replace Vahid Halilhodzic.Although Halilhodzic was the coach who qualified Japan for its sixth straight World Cup, Japanese federation officials were unsatisfied by his use — or lack thereof — of some of the country’s most established players. Colombia’s triumphs in the past World Cup included a 4-1 victory over Japan in the final game of group play. The rematch involves many of the same players, including, perhaps, attacking midfielder James Rodriguez, if his recently strained left calf doesn’t act up. But the Japanese are hoping that some different circumstances work in their favor.“Usually the first match is hard for every team and Colombia should be no exception,” Japan defender Maya Yoshida said. “I think it will be a tight game.”EXPERIENCE FACTORJapan first appeared in a World Cup in 1998 and has qualified for every one since, so they’re hoping their experience helps .“The current team has more experienced players than before,” said goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima, who played for Japan in South Africa in 2010 and in Brazil four years ago.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES Russia’s World Cup headache: Keeping it safe, keeping it fun MOST READ Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displacedcenter_img Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Yoshida said he can appreciate why the late-hour coaching change gives Japan the look of a team that is not expected to go far.“Although our expectations are not so high, the players’ aspirations remain unchanged,” Yoshida said. “Realistically, it would be a success for us to reach the round of 16. We will try our best to make a good World Cup for ourselves.”BOLD BLENDLess than half of the 23-man roster Colombia had in Brazil remains.Thirteen have never played a World Cup match, including Falcao. But eight of the likely starters played in the tournament four years ago.Colombia coach Jose Pekerman asserts that mix has his team poised to advance beyond the quarterfinals for the first time.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The current incarnation has a richer blend of talent and is widely expected to overmatch teams such as Japan, which recently changed coaches in hopes of addressing communication problems and bouts of inconsistency.“We cannot fall in the trap of feeling overconfident in this match,” Colombia midfielder Abel Aguilar said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“We are talented and we have a great team, but we must be clever at the World Cup,” Aguilar said in a FIFA interview. “We need to understand how to handle every game and have the desire to win.”The 32-year-old Falcao hasn’t scored much for Colombia — at least not yet. But he had 24 goals in 35 appearances for Monaco during the last club season. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew FILE – In a Friday, June 1, 2018 file photo, Colombia’s Ramadel Falcao stands prior to the start of the riendly soccer match between Egypt and Colombia in Bergamo, Italy. With Radamel Falcao Garcia finally healthy enough to play in his first World Cup, Colombia is trying to get accustomed to handling higher expectations. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, File)SARANSK, Russia — With Radamel Falcao finally healthy enough to play in his first World Cup, Colombia is trying to get accustomed to handling higher expectations.Heading into its tournament opener against Japan on Tuesday, Colombia is no longer the upstart Cinderella story they became four years ago in Brazil, when they advanced to the quarterfinals despite Falcao’s absence.ADVERTISEMENT In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Guiao keeping an even keel amid Clarkson situation

first_img“Besides, our system is really simple,” he told reporters earlier.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next There was the wave of optimism after Clarkson was cleared to suit up for the Philippines by Asiad organizers late Friday night. That was followed by the letdown as reports flooded in that the NBA did not clear Clarkson to play. And then there was a holding out for hope as reports sprouted about a last-second appeal to get Clarkson in a national jersey.Throughout it all, one person kept an even keel, refusing to be sucked in the highs and lows of the Clarkson situation—mostly because he needed to.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’“Hope for the best, expect the worst,” national coach Yeng Guiao told the Inquirer when asked how he was handling things.“I’ve already read reports that he wasn’t given the clearance to play by the NBA,” added the mercurial mentor. “But then, during our practice (Saturday) morning, we were told that there had been no official denial yet. So we’re just waiting how the situation will play out.” Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal Scrounging for a team in a summer league, Brownlee finds a home instead Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ It has been kind of a roller-coaster ride for the men’s national basketball team to the Asian Games since it saved a spot for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Jordan Clarkson.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ View comments MOST READ LATEST STORIES Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Peza offers relief to ecozone firms There is one thing Guiao can control—and he is focusing his energy toward that.“We still have to prepare regardless of what happens,” Guiao said. “We still have to compete and represent the country. So whether or not he’s there, that’s what we’ll do. Prepare hard to try make the country proud.”Strangely, the timing of the Clarkson situation actually helps Guiao ground his focus. Clarkson would be a solid addition to the squad and could easily be the focal point of the Philippines on offense. But with the possibility of his suiting up coming at the tail end of an already late start to preparations, Guiao was really left with no choice.“We had to establish already how we’re going to play,” he said. “So if he doesn’t suit up, then our preparations wouldn’t be affected. If he does, then he’ll have to adjust to our system.”Guiao had earlier said that Clarkson had the talent and basketball IQ to easily navigate his way through the team’s playbook.ADVERTISEMENT DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displacedlast_img read more

Belingon ‘100 percent confident’ vs Fernandes in ONE title unification fight

first_imgKevin Belingon and Bibiano Fernandes. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netSINGAPORE — Filipino MMA star Kevin Belingon didn’t even last a round inside the cage against Brazilian champion Bibiano Fernandes the first time they fought in January 2016.Don’t expect the same result on Friday night when the two premier ONE bantamweights duel anew in a title unification fight in the main event of ONE: Heart of the Lion at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.ADVERTISEMENT A lot has changed since for Belingon, who has won his next six fights since that submission defeat at the hands of Fernandes.“I’m more confident this time compared to the last time we fought,” said Belingon, who beat Martin Nguyen on points last July to become the interim bantamweight champion, during a star-studded press conference attended by MMA superstars Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez on Wednesday at Marina Sands Bay Convention.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“I respect Bibiano, I respect his skills, but I trained hard for this match especially with my wrestling and grappling,” he added. “I’m 100 percent confident for the fight and I’m very hungry for this fight. I’m ready.”Fernandes has ruled the bantamweight division since he unified the title in 2013. He hasn’t been beaten in the ONE stage with a 9-0 record. The 38-year-old Fernandes is determined to keep it that way.“He has improved. I’ve watched his last three to four fights but I am ready for him,” Fernandes said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew MOST READ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anewcenter_img Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Standhardinger leads PBA Best Player of Conference race Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? View commentslast_img read more

Azkals scramble to 2nd win in Suzuki Cup

first_imgPhoto: AFF Suzuki CupKUALA LUMPUR – The Philippines scrambled to a 3-2 victory over Timor Leste last Saturday night to inch closer to the semifinals of the AFF Suzuki Cup at KL Football Stadium here.Goals by Phil Younghusband, Martin Steuble and Carlie De Murga put the Azkals comfortably ahead, before the Timorese side struck twice late on to set the stage for a nervy finish.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Azkas defender Paul Mulders conceded a penalty that Timor captain Nataniel Reis duly converted past Michael Falkesgaard, before Joao Pedro completed a swift counterattack to trim the gap to a single goal.It was the Azkals’ second straight win in Group B, putting them level with Thailand on six points, although the defending champions hold a superior goal difference.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissThe Thais warmed up for their duel with the Azkals by thrashing Indonesia, 4-2, in Bangkok. The Azkals and War Elephants clash in Bacolod on Wednesday with the winnner sealing entry to the semifinals. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Alaska eliminates Meralco, sets up PBA finals date with Magnolia Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plumcenter_img Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown LATEST STORIES Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew View comments Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taallast_img read more

Dwyane Wade, LeBron James embrace final chance to compete on court

first_imgMiami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, left, shakes hands with Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James at the end of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)LOS ANGELES — Dwyane Wade will be spending a lot of time in Los Angeles while he settles into retirement next year. He already has a house here, and his wife’s acting career would undoubtedly benefit from more time in Hollywood.LeBron James is a newly minted Southern Californian himself, and he’s already hatching schemes to occupy his former teammate, longtime rival and permanent friend.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball PLAY LIST 05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award “I needed that one,” Wade said with a grimace. “I wanted it so bad. I think I wanted it too much. It would have definitely been memorable. But this is my last time playing against this guy, you know? This is the holy grail in the NBA. Unless we figure this thing out and we go to the Finals, this is the holy grail for me. The competition of playing against the game’s greatest player. Playing it in LA. I thanked him for bringing us to this stage for our last hurrah on this stage. It gets no better than this.”Barring a change of Wade’s retirement plans or that incredibly unlikely NBA Finals matchup, they’ll never face each other in a real game — and the Lakers’ victory put James ahead of Wade 16-15 in their head-to-head matchups over their career.James marveled at the symmetry in this final showdown, but both players said their times together meant a whole lot more than their times in opposing uniforms.James and Wade won two NBA championships and four straight Eastern Conference titles together in Miami, along with their Olympic gold medals from Beijing.“The game is going to take care of itself, but just the fact that we were on the floor doing what we love to do, that’s what’s more important,” James said. “Wins and losses are going to happen throughout the course of the season and throughout the course of your career, but those moments right there, you can’t ever get back.”James and Wade swapped jerseys after the final buzzer, their bittersweet emotions overshadowed by the excitement of the moment and the possibilities of the future. Just another ordinary loss MOST READ LATEST STORIES Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “It’s the end of a storybook,” James said. “One of the best movies you could ever see. It’s too hard to put into words. Thank God they’re staying the night. We get to have dinner (later). I know he has more games, but that’s the last one for us.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew “I told him, ‘No one likes to work out by themselves,’” James said with a grin. “So he can come to Staples. He can come to the practice facility anytime he wants to get workouts in. He can come help me with the young guys as well. He’ll be around a lot more personally for me, so I’ll love that.”Wade still has 56 regular-season games left in his self-declared final NBA season with the Miami Heat, but he passed a major milestone in that procession when he lined up against James for the final time Monday night in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 108-105 victory.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissThe result wasn’t the most important part of the night to either man. They were wrapped up in the pure thrill — in the chance to face off for the final time in two incredible basketball careers that have been chronologically parallel, frequently intersecting and always momentous. No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom “I knew that at some point in the game, it was going to hit me that this was the last time we were competing against each other,” Wade said. “It hit me right away, once that buzzer sounded and we got the opportunity on the court to just look at each other and be like, ‘Man, this has been fun. This has been one hell of a ride, and we’ve enjoyed it together.’”James put up 28 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds. Wade scored all 15 of his points in the second half to go with 10 assists and five boards.But the best moments arrived late when James and Wade finally guarded each other, playing one last one-on-one game for keeps.Defense won out on both ends, probably because they know each other well enough to take away their strengths. They funneled each other to drive to their more uncomfortable sides, and James forced Wade to attempt a 27-foot turnaround, fadeaway 3-pointer that missed badly with 7.2 seconds left.Wade was more open when he missed a 3 that would have put the Heat ahead with 22.5 seconds left.ADVERTISEMENT After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk View commentslast_img read more

EU Impressed by Liberia’s Development

first_imgWith complaints about poverty and corruption flowing in from almost all sectors of the society, EU Ambassador Attilio Pacifici, says the EU is impressed by the level of development in the country and the way funds provided by the EU are used.In an interview with the Daily Observer on March 20, at his Mamba Point office, Ambassador Pacifici said that while there are challenges of inequality and poverty galore, (in abundance, plentiful) there are an equal amount of key projects the government has targeted for the benefit of the general public under the ‘global public goods’ concept.He named some of the projects government has prioritized (marked important) as the Mount Coffee Hydro project, the Forest Sector, education, health, amongst others; these, according to him, are essential to the survival of Liberians.Ambassador Pacifici also indicated that most of these public goods government is endeavoring to reconstruct were damaged during the course of the Liberian civil war, and rebuilding them takes more years to rebuild.“These things can be destroyed in two days, but to rebuild them it takes years upon years to do. Therefore, Liberians have to be patient and not expect things to happen overnight after years of destruction,” Ambassador Pacifici noted.Pointing out some instances of improvement, the EU Ambassador said the Forest sector had a problem with the Private Used Permit (PUP); but when government realized that there was a problem, it took a tangible step to halt the activities and with EU involvement, the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) has been signed to help Liberia reap the benefit of its resources.He also said when there is cheaper electricity in Liberia; Liberians will be able to gain access to it to improve their lives.  Said step, taken by government to prioritize electricity is now ongoing and is a laudable initiative.The Agenda for Transformation that takes into consideration social reformation, the Ambassador said, is something that EU supports; but Liberians have to see the reformation as theirs and positively act towards it, before it can be achieved,” he pointed out.The European Union is one of Liberia’s major partners that provide finance for the post-war recovery of the country.It (EU) has infused millions of dollars in Liberia’s development projects, in the Energy, Health, and Forest sectors.EU provided funds for Health and Sanitation in West Point a few months ago, after signing the Voluntary Partnership Agreement with Liberia earlier, In the process, it infused millions of dollars for sustaining the forest so that its resources might have a direct impact on the citizens.With fear on the part of many Liberians that corruption is rampant and money provided by donor countries may not meet the needed objective, Ambassador Pacifici said EU is confident that wherever it has provided money, encouraging results have emerge.He said that considering the key priority areas government is now tackling, it is unjustified for people to wholly discredit the government for not meeting up with other challenges.Giving some background about EU’s mission in Liberia and other West African countries, Ambassador Pacifici said that while development is important to the relationship, EU also seeks to address political social, policy, and diplomatic challenges with countries it affiliates with; within these areas, the EU created various branches to work for the betterment of people living in their respective countries, he said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

B’ball: Oilers, Commissioners Clash Today

first_imgThe 16th league matches of the Liberia Basketball Association continue this afternoon at the Sports Commission, on Broad Street, Monrovia.There are three pairings today: G. Blazers will take on S. Brothers in the first match at 4:30p.m., A. Shooters will take on Phoenix in the second game at 6p.m., and final match of the day is between Commissioners and Oilers.In their 13th league encounter on Sunday, April 20, 2014, Oilers suffered 53-55 points to Mighty Barrolle.And it makes sense to speculate that Oilers will be returning to the game today to convince their fans that they lost by accident.Commissioners received a massive loss to NPA Pythons (95-29 points) in their 13th league encounter and may be suffering the shock of the defeat.Pythons proved too strong for Commissioners and many basketball fans are convinced they have learned some playing and scoring lessons.So going against Oilers, another great team, many fans are wondering if Commissioners have recovered enough to stage their claim in the third game today.Evidently, the Oilers cannot allow the Commissioners to stand in their way, and that means there will be trouble for the Commissioners.Whatever the case is, Commissioners will have to discover themselves and be ready for their next game, which will be against T. Wolves on Thursday, April 24, 2014.S. Brothers did not do well in their clash against B. Bulls in their 14th league encounter, suffering 67-22 points.Phoenix also lost their 11th league match to T. Wolves 40-36 points, and though their loss was a narrow four points, going against A. Shooters who lost the 10th league match against S. Sisters, will mean they are going out to claim the points.  But the question is, can they?There were two games scheduled for yesterday.In game one, Supreme Sisters were expected to take on D. Queens and in the second game Pythons and Dream Team ll were paired for action at press time.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Inviting Turkish Manufacturing: How Serious Are We?

first_img“It is our resolve to shift from simply exporting raw materials to being a manufacturing nation.”        These were the words of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf when last week she received the letters of credence from Turkish Ambassador Senturk Uzun.  She told him she was inviting Liberia’s partners, “including Turkey, to direct their investments [to] the manufacturing and service industries.”The question is, how serious are she and her government?In advancing any pleas and challenges to partners, one has to know these partners well enough.  Does the Liberian government know Turkey?  It is a very serious country, which is fast becoming industrialized.    It is also self-sufficient in agriculture.We understand that most of the steel rods which are imported into Liberia come from Turkey.Yet Turkey has no iron ore.  So how does she produce enough steel rods for local consumption and export?  The poor Liberians would not believe this: and when we say poor, we have no intention of ignoring the fact that yes, we are desperately poor, yet we are vastly rich in mineral and agricultural resources.  So what is it thatLiberians would not believe? Turkey produces its steel rods from scrap metal that it imports!  It then manufactures them as well as steel plates and other products, then ships them to iron ore rich Liberia.  That is why we ask the question, how serious is our President in inviting Turkey to help lead us into manufacturing?Does the government recall   the golden opportunity we   missed just two years ago when a Chinese steel manufacturer put in a concession bid for the Western Cluster mines?  Yes, then Lands, Mines and Energy (LME)Minister Eugene Shannon, reputed to be one of our brightest sons, joined others in shortsightedly rejecting this Chinese company, brought in by President George Bush’s brother, Jeb, former governor of Florida.  The reason:  Shannon and company found every excuse to reject that Chinese company, including that it could not raise enough   money to engage in the Western Cluster mining!  Now here are two things about that decision that will make All Liberians cry!  First, the Chinese company told the government they were willing to establish a steel plant in Liberia.  Here was a golden opportunity not simply missed, but REJECTED!The second thing that will make Liberians cry is something they already know only too well, especially since this newspaper, the Daily Observer, wrote repeatedly  about but we, too, were ignored and rejected: Elenilto, the Israeli scrap metal company that the LME and the President’s Ministerial Council declared as having “won” the bid for the Western Cluster mines, HAD ABSOLUTELY NO EXPERIENCE IN MINING OPERATIONS.  They were only scrap metal dealers and financial speculators.And Elenilto knew that only too well.  So, realizing they had no experience in mining, before they even signed the concession agreement with the Liberian government, they sold 49% of it to the Indian steel company SesaGoa!  And months after Elenilto’s signing of the concession agreement, they sold to Sesa Goa the remaining 51%!Here you had the whole sovereign government of Africa’s oldest independent republic taken for a ride by scrap dealers!  This is why we ask, how serious are the President and her government in inviting the Turks to engage in manufacturing?  For clearly, to have allowed itself to be taken for a ride like that by Elenilto, rejecting a company that was committed to building a steel here, makes one wonder whether those engaged in these negotiations do not take their work seriously, are incompetent, or just plain unpatriotic.Now, after barely two years of operation, Sesa Goa has informed GOL that it has scaled down 80% of its operations.   That is apart from the outrageous proposal they recently put to GOL to transport its iron ore by truck through the already heavily congested Duala traffic to the Free Port of Monrovia!  This means that the deal Elenilto led GOL into and GOL willingly accepted for reasons GOL has  never explained to the Liberian people, is now at a standstill.We suggest that GOL investigate the possible breach of this concession agreement, cancel it and reopen the concession bid for the Western Cluster.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Health Ministry Should Handle Ebola Bodies

first_imgOne of the most critical aspects of any epidemic is how its casualties—the remains of those who die—are disposed of. Such disposals, no matter the cause of death, are considered throughout the world as a medical and scientific, NOT a political function.  This is where the pathologist comes in.  A pathologist is a medical doctor who has specialized in the interpretation and diagnosis of the changes caused by disease in tissues and body fluids. Medical doctors have a joke about pathologists: “They know everything, but can do nothing.”  The reason is, by the time the patient reaches the pathologist, it is no longer a patient but a corpse, about which the pathologist can do nothing. He/she  cannot bring the corpse back to life.The only function left for the pathologist is to determine how, why and when the person died. The medical doctor who treated the patient or announced him or her dead, determines whether or not the corpse can have a normal burial.  If the person died of tuberculosis or some other highly contagious disease, the doctor will recommend immediate interment and the family may not have the body, for fear of spreading the disease.That is why the Liberian government has decided that all Ebola patients cannot be returned to the families, but are to be immediately disposed of.  This is NOT a political function, but a medical and scientific one, which a Ministry of Internal Affairs has little to do with. Logistics, such as transportation to convey the corpses to the burial or cremation site, and materials for spraying, etc., the MIA may be able to help with.  But exactly where the highly contagious corpses should be buried is a decision for the medical doctor, NOT the MIA.So it is with Ebola.  When someone dies of Ebola, the government immediately steps in, receives the corpse, sprays it with the appropriate detergent, places it into a well layered body bag, then buries it in an appropriate place where it can contaminate no one, or nothing else—not even the terrain.Over the past 48 hours there have been two very disturbing developments in Liberia, both occurring on Sunday, August 3.  First, the Minister of Health and Social Welfare (MOH) told the Daily Observer that he was too “overwhelmed” with other Ebola issues and had asked President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to authorize the Minister of Internal Affairs to bury the bodies of Ebola victims.What is disturbing about Dr. Walter Gwenigale’s request is that the handling of Ebola fatalities has been deemed a political matter.  We submit that is NOT!  The question of where, when and how a corpse of Ebola or any other high contagious disease should be buried is a medical and scientific matter, NOT a political one, most especially when the issue at stake is a highly contagious disease such as TB or Ebola.        So no wonder the Minister of Internal Affairs did not understand where and how Ebola bodies handed over to him for disposal should buried.  Accordingly, the MIA attendants, no medical or scientific people, buried many of the Ebola bodies in the wetlands, swamps and riverbanks of Johnsonville!  The Johnsonville people were alarmed! And they protested, and rightly so, only to be mercilessly beaten by police.  A woman interviewed by our reporter, C.Y. Kwanue, told him, “This is the only place we get our drinking water.  We are poor and have no money to buy mineral water.”We call on President Sirleaf to revoke her decision to place the MIA in charge of Ebola burials and place that responsibility for this delicate and dangerous assignment where it belongs, with the professionally trained personnel of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.The idea of cremating Ebola  bodies is a good one and we are pleased that GOL has decided to take up the offer of the Indian community to use their facilities for this purpose.But the GOL should deal   expeditiously with two other urgent matters: first, find vehicles to transport Ebola bodies from around the country to the cremation and appropriate burial sites. Second, the MOH and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should locate ALL inappropriate sites, such as the Johnsonville wetlands, swamps and river banks, and relocate the bodies buried there to more appropriate venues, where they can be buried six feet deep or cremated, and those areas effectively disinfected and chlorinated.  This will hopefully restore the people’s source of drinking water and make their environment safer and more livable.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

NIC Chair-designate Faces Public Skepticism

first_imgMrs. Etmonia David-Tarpeh, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s choice for the Chairmanship of the Liberia National Investment Commission (LNIC), has daunting tasks ahead to reawaken the spirit of the Commission and put it back on track to generate and attract more foreign and domestic investors, investment analysts have said.Upon embarking upon her new portfolio, the new NIC Chair-designate will have to convinced the public that she is the right person for the job.But until then, pundits believe that the new NIC Chair-designate, lacks business experience or business development strategies,  including the ability to attract strong foreign direct investments to Liberia.“Until she can prove me wrong, but this woman is out of touch with the local business community, least to say foreign investors,” said this economist on condition of anonymity.    The Liberian leader nominated her friend on November 16, but she still has to wait for confirmation by the Liberian Senate. If confirmed, Mrs. Tarpeh will replace Acting NIC Chair Mr. George Wisner who is also Executive Director of the Commission. Mr. Wisner took over as Acting Chairman of NIC after President Sirleaf removed former Chairman O. Natty B. Davies. But, Mrs. Tarpeh, who has spent her entire life working in the education sector in Liberia and in international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), has been criticized for displaying poor performance as Minister of Education of Liberia. Madam Tarpeh faced similar criticism when she served as Minister of Youth and Sports few years ago where most of the country’s youths said she was out of touch.  Before joining Ellen Sirleaf’s government, Madam Tarpeh held various high-level positions with Plan International in several African countries, served as National Director for World Vision International and worked as the Associate Director for Education at the Peace Corps in Liberia. She is a former director for Hilton VanEe International School in Monrovia. Many people are concerned that Mrs. Tarpeh, the President’s new choice for the Chairmanship of the NIC, does not have the contacts and influence needed to pull the strings and transform the NIC,  judging from her performance at both the ministries of Youth &Sports and Education, respectively. “I think that the President has once again slipped by appointing her friend to head the NIC. The NIC is not like some of the public institutions around here. This entity must be run by individual or individuals who have the contacts internationally and locally to attract potential foreign and domestic investors,” an insider at the NIC anonymously said. The Chairman of NIC has a core responsibility to generate investment locally and to attract foreign direct investments (FDIs).The Commission’s former Chairman, Dr. Richard V. Tolbert, a Wall Street veteran and nephew of slain Liberian President Richard R. Tolbert, attracted over US$15 billion FDIs to Liberia during his chairmanship of the Commission. Mr. Tolbert is praised by NIC employees and investors for his innovation and personal contacts with most of the foreign and local investors whom he is believed to have known from his days on Wall Street, New York  and Liberia. Dr. Tolbert, formerly of Mesurado Group of Companies, a conglomeration of local manufacturers owned by the Tolberts, many people believe, had the niche to make the NIC relevant to investors and potential investors. The National Investment Commission was created by an Act of the National Legislature on September 6, 1979 and amended on July 19, 2010 to promote and coordinate investment related activities in all sectors of the Liberian economy. The Commission is comprised of six Commissioners headed by the Chairman, who is the administrative head of the Secretariat and has cabinet-level ranking. With the vision to aspire to be the premier dynamic investment promotion agency for a sustainable, vibrant, and inclusive economy in Liberia, the NIC’s mission is to promote, attract, facilitate and retain quality investments in Liberia.Part of the role of NIC is to accompany investors throughout all phases of their investment projects, facilitating meetings, assisting investors in navigating as efficiently as possible the regulatory and establishment procedures, and maximizing investor opportunities through dedicated programs in business linkages, development of special economic zones (SEZ) and incentives. Beyond its role of investment promotion, the NIC also chairs the government of Liberia’s Inter-Ministerial Concessions Committee (IMCC), which oversees and coordinates the entire investment concessional review processes and its due diligence functions. The NIC is the arm of the government that helps domestic and foreign investors navigate through the Liberian marketplace to ensure business success.The Commission expects that as Liberia continues to grow, large investments will continue to increase, particularly in natural resources and cash crops. Investments in the service sector are also expected to increase considerably.  The Liberia National Investment Commission (LNIC) along with other partners in government works to ensure that while unlocking Liberia’s natural resources, the country’s national interest is safeguarded,  jobs are created, and access to capital, new technologies, markets, and world-class training and business development opportunities are accelerated. Contracts negotiated by the Inter-Ministerial Concessions Committee (IMCC) since 2006 have led to an increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow. All key steps in the concession award procurement process are guided by the IMCC, which is chaired by the Chairman of the LNIC and includes permanent committee members from the ministries of State, Finance, Justice, and Planning and Economic Affairs.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

1 2 3 4 5 685