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Polling Lapses in Montserrado County

By on January 14, 2020

first_imgOfficials at a polling center in rural Montserrado County try to calm down a crowd of voters who had become frustrated over the slow process and disorganized queue system.Although Election Day Was PeacefulThe conduct of the polls in Montserrado County Districts # 15, 16, 17 and some parts of 11 was marked by several lapses on the part of National Elections Commission (NEC) workers. In these districts, the voting process was early faced with challenges, including the late start of polls and complaints from voters over not finding their names on the voters roster. Furthermore, two voters were initially denied for over an hour from voting at the Caldwell Bethel Christian Community School because their names were not on the roster – although they had valid voter  ID cards.However, when this same situation occurred at the Maranatha, the names of the voters were recorded on a separate page on the voter roster, and they were subsequently allowed to vote. Also, when a similar situation occurred at other polling stations in Districts # 15, 16, 17 and 11, the voters were not denied to vote. Their records were immediately jotted down, and they were allowed to vote. Both schools are located in Caldwell, District # 15.With violence playing a central theme in the history of elections in Liberia, the need for security (mainly police and soldiers) officers cannot be overstated. However, at Maranatha, there were no security personnel on the ground. Although no violent incident was reported, the question most voters had was ‘what if there was a fight?’ Despite this obvious lapse in planning, the voting process was peaceful and things went on smoothly in spite of the aforementioned challenges.The issue of the photos of voters or their names not being identified on the final voters’ roll that were later remedied by NEC workers was also reported at other polling stations like the Sims Community School in Caldwell, District # 15, Caldwell Assembly of God High School and the Elizabeth Tubman Memorial High School, both in Caldwell. This is one issue that the NEC would have to work on for the next election cycle, as District # 11 also reported similar situations.Despite some polling stations opening late in Districts #16 and 17, another problem that quickly emerged early on in the voting process was the lack of poll workers in the queue to assist voters to identify which precinct or center they were supposed to vote in. This caused serious problems for voters as many of them ended up attempting to vote in the wrong rooms; at which point they were sent back outside to another queue, despite waiting in very long queues to reach that far. This caused some very tense confrontations as these people were not allowed to head into the right/correct room to vote, but were expected to start off at the back of a new line. This dilemma was not only reported in Districts # 16 and 17; it was also reported in 11 and 15.On Election Day, as also in life, time is of the essence. However, poll workers in Districts # 11, 15, 16, and 17 were apparently not conversant with this maxim as they took almost four to five minutes just to identify a voter’s name on the roster, which caused unnecessary delays and long queues. But thanks to some quick thinking, NEC presiding officers and poll workers, were able to bring these situations under control , especially the process of identifying names on the roster, which had caused the queues to swell.Meanwhile, the standard bearer of the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC), Simeon Freeman, and the President of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), Charles Cuffey, voted at the Lott Carey Baptist School in Virginia, District #17. Mr. Freeman was happy to report that his voting process was problem-free, adding that he is very hopeful of winning the election because he has been an advocate for the Liberian people for a very long time. Freeman said there will not be a first round winner, and is hopeful of putting up a good fight in the second round. The MPC leader said that if he loses the elections, he will continue being a businessman.Making a comment, PUL President Charles Cuffey hailed the poll workers for doing their best to allow citizens to vote, despite the challenges.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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As CBI searches Lalu’s residence, all eyes on Nitish Kumar

By on December 3, 2019

first_imgA raid on the residence of Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad in Patna was confirmed by party State president Ram Chandra Purve. He said that “under a well-planned conspiracy, a raid has been conducted at the instruction of the Central government”.Speaking to journalists outside Mr. Prasad’s residence, Mr. Purve said that ever since the RJD chief called for a “BJP bhagao, Desh bachao  (kick out BJP, save the country)” rally in Patna on August 27 in which all non-BJP parties would participate, the BJP-led Central government was after him and wanted to send him to jail.“But even if our party leader is sent to jail, the rally will be held and the whole Patna would be covered by it”, he said.Amid the developments, all eyes are on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is recuperating at Rajgir, 110 km away from Patna in Nalanda district, as what action he would take after the CBI registered a case against his Deputy in the Cabinet, Tejaswi Yadav, younger son of Mr. Prasad, and Health Minister Tej Pratap Yadav, the older son, in alleged financial irregularities and raided their residence on Friday morning.Mr. Kumar has called all top officials of the government to Rajgir to mull over the emerged situation.The BJP, on its part, has thanked Mr. Kumar for exposing the tender scam of two hotels first in 2008. “It was Nitish Kumar and his government which first exposed these financial irregularities in awarding two BNR hotels to the railways in 2008 and two of its party leaders had submitted the related papers to the Prime Minister’s Office for action against Mr Prasad..I’m thankful to Nitish Kumar for this on which the NDA government has taken action”, said senior State BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi.Mr Modi, of late, has come out with charges of alleged dubious financial irregularities and land deals done by Mr. Prasad and his family members.“Now, it is to be seen what action Nitish Kumar takes against Lalu’s two sons who are ministers in his cabinet…after the CBI registered a case against them and raided their premises, Mr. Kumar should immediately sack them from his Cabinet”, Mr. Modi told journalists.Sources from inside Mr. Prasad’s residence told The Hindu that over two dozen CBI officials are searching each and every corner of the residence, looking for documents. From bathroom to the bedroom, they were searching even as some family members started performing religious discourses, said a source.last_img read more

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SEA Games: PH squash team brings in second bronze

By on November 30, 2019

first_imgWATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LATEST STORIES Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games View comments Aribado also won a bronze medal in the women’s doubles Wednesday together with Yvonne Alyssa Dalida. Host Malaysia finished 1-2 in the podium like in the women’s doubles. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC NBA 2K18 promises to release Celtics version of Kyrie Irving cover MOST READ SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games Read Next The Philippines earned another bronze medal in the squash tournament of the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur Thursday. Robert Andrew Garcia and Jemyca Aribado captured the third place for the Philippines, a finish they shared with Singapore. ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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Greece Imports Referees as Fix for Soccer Violence

By on November 18, 2019

first_imgATHENS (AP) — When Greek league rivals AEK Athens and PAOK Thessaloniki met last season, a disallowed goal late in the match — which was, finally, allowed — threw the sport into chaos.PAOK’s owner stormed onto the field in protest with a gun strapped to his belt, the league was suspended for two weeks, and FIFA forced Greece to make a series of urgent reforms or face expulsion from international competition.On Sunday, the two teams played again, under new regulations that league organizers hope will finally keep the peace. Referees are now being imported for controversial matches involving major clubs where there is a potential for violence. Finnish referee Mattias Gestranius and his linesmen were the first foreigners to be in charge of a Greek league game in 43 years.By all accounts, the experiment at Toumba Stadium in Thessaloniki was a success.“Gestranius shut doubters up, no complaints from PAOK and AEK,” Greek sports website goalpost.gr wrote, adding that referee was impartial throughout the match.Even those who had some criticisms remarked that the presence of an international official made players and coaches behave better.In this Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, photo PAOK fans burn flags and team scarves of AEK Athens during a Greek Soccer League match between PAOK and AEK Athens at Toumba stadium in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)“If he had been Greek, he would have heard an earful, because he allowed rough play, especially by the home team,” sports writer Yiannis Lambiris wrote in Monday’s edition of daily Ta Nea. “He did not wish to overuse the whistle … in any case, the players and the benches behaved themselves, because they knew they could not get away (with protests).”And, indeed, when an assistant on the PAOK bench started loudly protesting a referee decision in the 17th minute, he was immediately sent off.In the end PAOK won 2-0, without any incident. PAOK now shares first place in the league, even though it started the season with minus-2 points, deducted for fan behavior last season.Greek soccer has been troubled for decades by crowd violence and corruption allegations, and league organizers last experimented with overseas referees in the mid-1970s.The powerful bosses of Greek soccer, with interests in shipping and the news media, routinely erupt in anger after lost matches, calling referee decisions into question as being manipulated and unfair. But four games into the new season and the league so far has been quiet.Under the FIFA-supervised changes, a referee selection committee is headed by retired Portuguese referee Vitor Melo Pereira, along with two other overseas selections on the five-member panel.In this Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, photo Finnish international referee Mattias Gestranius asks for the ball during a Greek Soccer League match between PAOK and AEK Athens at Toumba stadium in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)After stepping in, Pereira brought since-retired Spanish referee David Fernandez Borbalan for the Greek Cup final at a heavily policed Olympic Stadium in Athens. PAOK beat AEK 2-0 for the trophy but AEK went onto to win the league. More importantly, Borbalan’s refereeing was widely praised and the potentially explosive final ended without incident.Gerstanius, unlike Borbalan, is not classified as an “elite referee” in the international classification system, which includes four categories (Elite, First, Second and Third). As a First Category referee he was also reportedly paid less for the game, 3,000 euros ($3,500), than Borbalan’s 6,000 ($7,000).AEK will have to play another foreign-refereed game next Sunday, against host Olympiakos.Normally, both teams would now be bickering over the choice of referee, with club leaders competing in making inflammatory statements, setting the stage for another potentially explosive encounter. Now, sports authorities hope it will merely be another hard-fought game.___By DEMETRIS NELLAS and DEREK GATOPOULOS , Associated PressAssociated Press writer Costas Kantouris in Thessaloniki contributed to this report.In this Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, photo PAOK fans light flares during a Greek Soccer League match between PAOK and AEK Athens at Toumba stadium in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki. Under new regulations the Greek football league can import international referees for controversial matches involving major clubs where there is a potential for violence. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)In this Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, photo Finnish international referee Mattias Gestranius, center, shakes hands with the players before a Greek Soccer League match between PAOK and AEK Athens at Toumba stadium in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki. Gestranius and his fellow Finnish linesmen were the first foreigners to be in charge of a Greek league game in 43 years, at Thessaloniki’s Toumba Stadium. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Group of US senators urge Trump to expedite congressional vote on USMCA

By on October 17, 2019

first_imgWASHINGTON — A group of U.S. senators is pushing President Donald Trump to fast-track the final text of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement so Congress can vote on it before the end of the year.The 12 Republican senators, including Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander and outgoing Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, warn that getting the trade pact approved will be more difficult next year with a Democrat majority in the House of Representatives.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already said Congress won’t deal with the agreement until sometime next spring — although that was before midterm elections last month upended the balance of power on Capitol Hill.Since then, a number of House Democrats, including California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, have indicated they want to see more robust enforcement mechanisms for the agreement’s labour and environment clauses before they will ratify it.To expedite a vote, the senators have written to Trump to say the White House must submit the final legal text and a draft statement of administrative action before Nov. 30, the date the three countries are expected to sign the agreement.However, it’s not at all clear whether Congress — which will be seized next week with the risk of another partial government shutdown — would have time to deal with USMCA even if the text is submitted before Nov. 30.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Shares in Cenovus Canadian Natural soar on Alberta crude production cuts

By on October 13, 2019

first_imgCALGARY, A.B. –  Shares in oilsands companies most likely to benefit from Alberta’s move to curtail crude production starting Jan. 1 are soaring in the wake of Sunday’s announcement by Premier Rachel Notley.In early trading Monday morning, Cenovus Energy Inc. rose as much as 13 per cent over its Friday close to $11.11, while Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. rose as much as 16 per cent to $38.74.Cenovus CEO Alex Pourbaix was the first oilsands CEO to call for the province to curtail production and on Sunday issued a statement commending the government for its “difficult but necessary” decision to try to repair Alberta’s “temporarily broken” oil market. The discount between Western Canadian Select bitumen-blend oil and New York-traded West Texas Intermediate was about US$21 per barrel on Monday morning, an improvement of about US$7 per barrel from Friday, according to Net Energy. WTI was up almost US$2 per barrel.Canada’s largest oil and gas company, Suncor Energy Inc., opposed the curtailments as an unnecessary market intervention, noting it is insulated from most price discounting due to its Canadian refining assets and firm pipeline contracts.Its shares were up slightly Monday as it issued a statement saying its estimate of the impact of the provincial cuts will be provided when it issues its 2019 capital and production guidance.The Alberta government announced a plan Sunday to impose oil production cuts starting in January to reduce output by 8.7 per cent or 325,000 barrels per day until the province’s glut of oil is cleared, with the curtailments continuing at a lower pace for the rest of 2019.(THE CANADIAN PRESS)last_img read more

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State allots land for 37 handicraft artisans

By on October 12, 2019

first_imgKolkata: The Bengal government has allotted land to as many as 37 people involved in the production of various handicraft items in the Biswa Khudra Bazar at Bolpur in Birbhum district.After attending a Cabinet meeting, state Finance and Industry minister Amit Mitra said that allocations of land have been made for 23 people and 14 new allotments are coming up soon, taking the number to 37. According to Mitra, at least 5,000 people may be employed in the various units that are coming up in the Biswa Khudra Bazar. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellers”Apart from katha stitch projects, terracotta and ornamental jewellery, various other projects are coming up like poly printed packaging materials and various spare parts for the power sector. The units that are coming up will produce small components of various power related equipments,” Mitra said. It may be mentioned here that the Bengal government is developing the Biswa Khudra Bazar- an integrated production and promotion hub for small and micro enterprises, in Birbhum. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThere will be three separate units in the state-of-the-art Biswa Khudra Bazar, including one where there will be production of goods, while the second one will be meant for promotion and sales of the same products. West Bengal Small Industries Development Corporation is developing the project. It was a dream project of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Meanwhile, in another development, the state Cabinet has constituted a committee comprising a group of ministers which will chalk out a detailed policy on development of refugees in the state. Following the instruction of the Chief Minister, various works have already been initiated for the socio-economic development of the refugees across the state.last_img read more

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ExPeru president arrested in California drunkenness case

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first_imgSan Francisco: Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, wanted in his home country in connection with Latin America’s biggest graft scandal, was arrested in California on suspicion of public intoxication and spent the night in jail before he was released Monday morning, authorities have said. Alejandro Toledo, 72, was arrested Sunday night at a restaurant near the San Francisco Bay Area city of Menlo Park, said San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Rosemerry Blankswade on Monday. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USToledo was released without charges Monday morning, which Blankswade said is routine for most public drunkenness arrests. Toledo was Peru’s president from 2001 to 2006 and moved to Northern California shortly after leaving office to work and study at Stanford University in Palo Alto, according to a 2007 San Francisco Chronicle report. Toledo earned a doctoral degree in education and two master’s degrees from Stanford, where he delivered the commencement speech to the school’s graduating class of 2003 while still in office. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsHe has held a variety of fellowships and visiting scholar positions at Stanford until 2017, according to university announcements. In 2017, the same year Peruvian officials announced they were seeking to arrest Toledo, Stanford spokeswoman Brooke Donald told a Latin American media outlet that the college was severing its ties with Toledo, who she said was an unpaid “volunteer” who didn’t teach. Stanford officials didn’t respond to email and phone inquiries Monday. Toledo is wanted in Peru where authorities have offered a 30,000 reward for his capture. Peruvian prosecutors accuse him with of taking 20 million in bribes from Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht while he served as president. He has denied wrongdoing.last_img read more

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Pak court indicts PMLN chief Shehbaz Sharif son in graft case

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first_imgLahore: An accountability court Tuesday indicted Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief and Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif on charges he misused his authority while he was the chief minister of Punjab province. Shehbaz’s son Hamza, the Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly, was also indicted by the court in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case. Both Shehbaz and Hamza pleaded not guilty to the charges framed against them, which involve the misuse of their authority and the illegal use of public funds. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USDuring the brief hearing, Judge Najamul Hassan asked the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor what exactly the Ramzan Sugar Mills case is, to which special prosecutor Waris Ali Janjua replied that public funds were used for a nullah for the mills, of which Hamza is a director. According to the accountability watchdog, the funds for the nullah – which come to about Rs 20 crores – had been released by then Punjab chief minister Shehbaz. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsShehbaz, 63, served as the chief minister of the politically crucial Punjab province from 2013 to 2018. He became PML-N president after his elder brother Nawaz Sharif was barred from holding the top party position and public posts. “God knows, in last 10 years being the chief minister of Punjab, a province of over 100 million people, I have saved the country billions of rupees. I had nothing to do with this bridge, no money was wrongfully used,” Shehbaz told the court. The court subsequently indicted both, father and son, before moving onto hearing the Ashiyana Housing scam case. Judge Hassan adjourned the hearing till April 23. Shehbaz has already been indicted along with nine others in the Ashiana Housing scam case. He was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau in the probe on October 5, 2018 and released on bail on February 14. On Monday, Hamza was granted pre-arrest bail till April 17 by the Lahore High Court, which also restrained NAB from arresting him in cases pertaining to ownership of assets beyond means, until further notice. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Monday arrested a “key frontman” of Hamza and his brother Salman who allegedly laundered over Rs 50 crore abroad at their behest. Referring to the arrest of Mohammad Mushtaq, the NAB said it believed that the arrest would strengthen its case against both sons of PML-N president Shehbaz. According to the NAB, it had the record of the money laundering transactions of over Rs 50 crore sent by Mushtaq to the accounts of Salman abroad. Mushtaq was leaving for Dubai. But during immigration at the Lahore airport Monday, his name appeared on the no-fly list.last_img read more

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TMC Panchayat pradhan assaulted in Cooch Behar

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first_imgKolkata: A Trinamool Congress Panchayat pradhan in Cooch Behar sustained serious injuries, while some other party supporters were roughed up by some miscreants. The incident occurred at the Panchgora Panchayat area of Mathabhanga on late Wednesday, barely a few hours before the elections and triggered tension among the local residents. The district Trinamool Congress leaders have accused that BJP-backed goons were involved in the attack. A detailed probe has been initiated. The district election officials also sought a report in this regard. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaPanchayat pradhan Atul Das was returning home along with some Trinamool Congress activists on Wednesday night, when some miscreants came on motorcycles, stopped their way and attacked Das. He was hit with sticks. The victim fell on the ground after receiving several blows. When the Trinamool Congress workers who were accompanying Das came to his rescue, they were also beaten up by the goons. After being alerted by their screams, local residents rushed to the spot. The miscreants fled from the spot immediately after the incident. The district Trinamool Congress leaders have alleged that BJP-backed goons had attacked their Panchayat pradhan to create a reign of terror in the area, hours before the elections. BJP leaders in the district have, however, denied the allegations and termed the incident the result of a fallout between two groups within Trinamool Congress. Das was taken to Mathabhanga Sub-Divisional Hospital for treatment. He has received injuries in various parts of his body. However, his health condition is stated to be stable now.last_img read more

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