Joint Koreas hockey team ends historic Olympic run

first_imgSouth Korea’s Jo Su Sie 16), of the combined Koreas team, hugs South Korea’s goalie Han Dohee (20), of the combined Koreas team, after the classification round of the women’s hockey game against Sweden at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. Sweden won 6-1. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)GANGNEUNG, South Korea — They cheered. They cried. They hugged. They watched as fans by the thousands shouted, “We are one.” Unification flags for the two Koreas, longtime rivals and sometimes bitter enemies, flapped across the Olympic arena.And now they go back home, quite possibly never to see each other again.ADVERTISEMENT Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ LATEST STORIES The team was formed just days before the Pyeongchang Games began during an eleventh-hour push by the two Koreas to improve ties after a year of spiking nuclear tensions that triggered fears of a war on the Korean Peninsula.The team’s makeup was a key part of agreements the Koreas struck to cooperate in the Olympics, which eventually provided a breather from a nuclear standoff involving the North, the South and the United States.Despite initial worries about their teamwork, North and South Korean players were seen getting along with each other. There were many small moments of warm relations that seemed to improve as the games went on.During Tuesday’s classification round game against Sweden, the Korean team played with newfound pace and more confidence against a team they were earlier routed by 8-0 in a preliminary-round match. On Sunday, they lost 2-0 to Switzerland, which beat them 8-0 in their landmark debut match. The Korean team lost 4-1 to Japan its final preliminary-round match.The Koreas’ improving performances were likely because players gradually got over nervousness and pressures from the spotlight.Every minor interaction between North and South Korean players was in the news because it was so extraordinary. They took selfies, visited a beach and created a dictionary to overcome the North-South dialect divide.“We have really enjoyed working with the North’s players and coaches and we really do want to help them in the future,” Murray said. She said a possible “exchange game” has been discussed to maintain the connection.“They want to get better, they want to keep learning from us and we want to help them,” she said. “And there are things that we can learn from them, too.”The team’s formation raised hopes that Olympics-related warming gestures could transcend beyond sports and contribute to easing nuclear tensions.But it is unclear if the good mood will last after the Olympics end, particularly since Seoul and Washington are set to kick off delayed springtime military drills that Pyongyang views as a rehearsal for invasion. Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed 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 The Korean women’s hockey team, which included players from both North and South, ended its historic Olympic run on Tuesday with a fifth straight loss but a host of unforgettable feel-good sparks.Team Korea was defeated by Sweden 6-1 in a seventh-place match in the Pyeongchang Games on Tuesday, a healthy crowd again on hand to cheer them on.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkThe team lost by a combined score of 28-2 in its games and was rarely competitive. Yet the repeated defeats were, for many, insignificant. Instead, this notion dominated discussion: the significance of the Koreas’ first-ever joint Olympic squad taking the ice smack in the middle of an abrupt, now ongoing reconciliation between the rival Koreas.“They are an amazing group,” said the team’s Canadian coach, Sarah Murray, who wept while hugging some of her squad. Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano GALLERY: Barangay Ginebra back as PBA Governors’ Cup kingscenter_img View comments D-League: Che-Lu-San Sebastian whips Go for Gold for back-to-back wins UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano “I could have never imagined our players being this competitive in the Olympics,” Murray said after the game. “So when I was standing there I was just so proud of them, just watching them skate around and salute the fans.”South Korean forward Kim Heewon wiped away tears as she and teammates waved to cheering fans during a standing ovation. Some spectators wept as Korean players — North and South — stood in a circle at the center of the rink and hit the ice with their sticks in a post-game ceremony before leaving the rink.“It’s been a special opportunity to get to know those girls, and we’ll miss having them around,” said player Randi Heesoo Griffin of Cary, North Carolina, whose mother is South Korean.The two governments bar their citizens from visiting each other’s country and exchanging phone calls, letters and emails. Griffin said she understood that when it came to staying in touch, “there’s some barriers to that, obviously.”“I mean, none of them have Facebook, so might be hard,” Griffin said. “But there were definitely bonds that were formed. And I think if we end up playing against each other again, South Korea vs. North Korea, there’s definitely going to be some hugs and some smiles.”ADVERTISEMENT Joo Moon-sook, a 43-year-old who attended the game Tuesday with her husband and 12-year-old daughter, said the joint team’s Olympic appearance has helped soften South Koreans’ hawkish views on North Korean people after years of animosity.“It’s an educational experience for children, letting them see for themselves that North Koreans aren’t scary and bad people, but part of who we are as a nation,” Joo said. “I can’t forget the first game — the moment they stepped onto the ice. I was choking with tears.”For South Korean goalie Shin So Jung, the opportunity to experience such a moment from the inside — and appreciate it while it was happening — was unforgettable.“Our win-loss record isn’t good, but I hope we brought them joy and heartfelt moments,” Shin said. “I don’t think I will experience anything like this again. So many people came here to see us and cheer for us. I hope their love for us lasts.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Sea turtle trapped in net freed in Legazpi Citylast_img read more

Rockets use 50-point 3rd quarter to blow out Timberwolves

first_imgBogut retires from NBA, signs with Sydney NBL team for 2 years Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Harden had 22 of the team’s near-record 50 points in the third, launching the Rockets past the Minnesota Timberwolves 119-100 on Monday night to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.“We had the mentality to be aggressive, make or missed shots,” said Harden, who went 7 for 10 in the third quarter and finished with 36 points. “That’s what we do. We shoot the basketball, and eventually they’ll start falling.”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 crownChris Paul scored 15 of his 25 points in the near-record third for the Rockets, who still had a 50-49 halftime edge despite their rough start. With those torrid 12 minutes, they built a 31-point lead and were up 104-69 about a minute into the fourth. The only team in the history of the NBA playoffs with more points in one quarter was the Los Angeles Lakers, who scored 51 points in the fourth on March 31, 1962, in a loss to the Detroit Pistons.“It was a good time to do it. We’ve been talking about it for two years, putting the 50-piece up,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “And that starts with the intensity and the right spirit and everything.” “We came out lackadaisical on both ends of the floor,” Butler said. “We didn’t take anything away from them. They got whatever shot that they wanted.”The Timberwolves rebounded from their two defeats on the road by matching the Rockets with 15 makes from 3-point range in Game 3. They wisely took another tack for Game 4, attacking the basket in the first half with relentless abandon and plenty of success.Derrick Rose, who finished with 17 points and six rebounds, was the catalyst off the bench with multiple muscle-his-way-in layups on both fast breaks and in the half court. Starting point guard Jeff Teague, meanwhile, had only two points on 1-for-7 shooting while fighting through dislocated right pinky finger.The Wolves were in front by as much a 36-29, but with as poorly as the Rockets were shooting they badly needed a larger lead than that. They went 21 for 44 from the field (47.7 percent) in the first half, but with all the layups and putbacks in the mix they easily could have made more.Trevor Ariza made the first three 3-pointers attempted by the Rockets, who then missed on 13 of their next 14 tries from behind the arc. Harden didn’t make a basket until 5:57 remained in the second quarter, when his 10-foot floater fell in to cut Minnesota’s lead to 39-37. He swished one of his signature step-back 3-pointers on the next possession, and Houston was right back in front to sow the seeds for the staggering third quarter.“Once we get going, it’s hard to stop us,” Capela said.FULL CIRCLEThe last time the Timberwolves were in the first round of the playoffs in 2004, their opponent was Denver and Nene was a 21-year-old starter for the Nuggets. This is his 16th season in the NBA, the second with the Rockets.TIP-INSRockets: Ariza finished with 15 points, after missing his last eight 3-pointers. … Harden is averaging 30.3 points in the series. He’s 38 for 91 from the floor (41.8 percent). … Capela is leading the league in the playoffs in rebounding, averaging 14 per game.Timberwolves: Backup point guard Tyus Jones was available on an emergency-only basis because of a sore right knee. Rose played 33 minutes. … Butler (19 points) and Andrew Wiggins (14 points) combined to shoot 12 for 31 from the floor.UP NEXTThe series shifts back south to Houston for Game 5 on Wednesday night. Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ View comments Clint Capela added 14 points and 17 rebounds, Eric Gordon finally got going with 18 points off the bench and the Rockets left the Wolves wondering what hit them after 3½ games of decent defense against one of the league’s most dangerous offensive teams. The Rockets scored on 11 straight possessions after an opening stop by the Wolves, and Harden alone scored 17 of their first 20 points.“I’ve got to watch it again,” Paul said. “We just, I don’t know, got hot.”Wolves star Jimmy Butler, on the other hand, began forcing off-balance shots. Teague and Paul, the two former Wake Forest point guards, engaged in some intense trash talk. Paul baited Teague into a pushing foul for a pair of add-to-the-pile free throws. Gordon tacked on another 3-pointer at the buzzer for the 100-69 lead.“I think we came out a little flatter than last game. We didn’t come out right away with that straight grit in the third quarter,” said Karl-Anthony Towns, who had 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Timberwolves.Minnesota missed 14 of 21 shots, producing several panicked possessions over the third. Perhaps that’s because they were so rattled by how suddenly and quickly the Rockets were scoring.ADVERTISEMENT Houston Rockets’ James Harden, left, and Minnesota Timberwolves’ Jimmy Butler stare at the ball during the first half of Game 4 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 23, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)MINNEAPOLIS — Though James Harden and most of the Houston Rockets were misfiring throughout the first half, their confidence never wavered.In the third quarter, those sharpshooters sure came to life.ADVERTISEMENT Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water recedingcenter_img 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 MOST READ LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘Stop romanticizing Pinoy resilience’ In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. 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LOOK: Pia Wurtzbach, PBA muses dazzle in opening ceremony

first_imgFrom the “Megastar” Sharon Cuneta to beauty queens Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach and Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa and not to mention Philippine volleyball superstar Alyssa Valdez, there was no shortage of star power as PBA teams paraded their muses during the opening ceremony of the league’s 44th season at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.Alaska Aces muse Klea Pineda. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netBaranga Ginebra Gin Kings Pia Wurtzbach. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPia Wurtzbach with the entire Barangay Ginebra team during the opening ceremony of the 2019 PBA season. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netBlackwater Elite muses Myla Pablo, left, and Jasmine Alkhaldi. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netJasmine Alkhaldi shares a laugh with Elite guard Mike DiGregorio. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netColumbian Dyip muse Kelley Day. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMagnolia Hotshots muse Sharon Cuneta. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netSharon Cuneta with Magnolia guards Jio Jalalon and Mark Barroca. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMagnolia’s Marc Pingris and PJ Simon take a selfie with Sharon Cuneta. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMeralco Bolts muse Eva Patalinjug. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netNLEX Road Warriors muse Alyssa Valdez. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAlyssa Valdez. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoenix Fuel Masters muse Yam Concepcion. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netRain or Shine Elasto Painters muse Anie Uson. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netSan Miguel Beermen muse Kylie Verzosa. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netTNT KaTropa muse Sam Pinto. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netSam Pinto. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netADVERTISEMENT Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college View comments Ginebra rolls in 4th, beats TNT in season openercenter_img In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ MOST READ 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 Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Alyssa Valdez stays positive despite PH loss in volleyball opener PLAY LIST 01:14Alyssa Valdez stays positive despite PH loss in volleyball opener00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio 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 Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

Twilight of Liberian Nationalism: Structural Violence Fuelling Illegal Migration

first_imgGruesome images of desperate African migrants struggling and drowning in the Mediterranean to reach Europe is not only appalling but epitomises the breakdown in the social contract between citizens of nation-state and their respective governments.By Jimmy S. ShilueLiberians are known for saying, “I was born here and will die here”; “The love of Liberty brought us here”; some are even saying “The love of Liberty met us here”. All these assertions speak to the membership of individuals to the modern democratic state or what is referred to as ‘citizenship’. Irrespective of social, ethnic and political backgrounds, all Liberians citizens possess and deserve a wide range of civic, political and economic rights as Liberian. But there are increasing number of Liberian citizens who do not enjoy these rights hence do not feel a sense of belonging to the Liberian State. This undermines the tenets of democratic governance, which suppose to be an inclusive government for the people, by the people and with the people. Painfully almost half of Liberia’s population want to move somewhere else. What is causing the apparent turn amongst people who were once proud of being citizens of their ‘Sweet land of Liberty’ but now believe life is better elsewhere than  here?The world is now a global village as people and products found in one society are easily found in another society despite fortified and sometime weak geographical boundaries among states. While Globalization enhances population mobility and communication, the changing nature of migrants’ destinations, means of travel, real and perceived images of threats and means of overcoming obstacles, signposts a shift from the linear push-pull factors of migration to more critical probe of the roles and responsibilities of modern democratic state, particularly as we think of contemporary triggers of migration.For long, West Africa has a long history of population mobility, both internal and external. Example, Côte d’Ivoire is one of the top ten countries of destination for migrants worldwide with migrants accounting for 6 million of the 24 million population. According to experts, a series of economic and political factors influence the opportunity structure in a country and, indirectly, the tempo and direction of migration internally and internationally.Prior to the 1989 civil war, the economy of Liberia experienced serious decline making life difficult for ordinary people. The 14 years conflict further exacerbated the cost of living yet not many Liberians would dream of embarking on hazardous journey. There were various structures and societal coping mechanisms to absorb real and potential factors capable of engendering risky adventures. To a larger extent, migration was mostly about crossing national frontiers based on social and cultural ties. A common phenomenon amongst West African countries was the movement of seasonal and short-term migrant workers across national boundaries because members of certain ethnic and social groups live across boundaries and rivers. During the Liberian civil wars, armed groups belonging to various faction terrorized and uprooted the entire population forcing many civilians to seek refuge in camps around Monrovia and outside the country. In addition to those who were displaced within the country, between 500,000 and 700,000 Liberians crossed into other countries in the West African region as refugees, though they were not always registered as such. In the case of Cote d’ivore, an estimated 100,000 – 150,000 Liberian refugees migrated to that coutry. Interestingly, Cote d’voire was opposed to the settlement of refugees in camps but instead allowed them to settle freely among the local population, although restricted to a region in the western part of the country designated as the Zone d’Accueil des Réfugiés (ZAR).Indeed, this has been the pattern of migration out of Liberia for mostly indigenous population while the settlers constituting about 3 percent of the population use(d) air planes to travel to America and Western world. Ethnographic ties among mostly indigenous populations such as common language, culture, dress code, inter marriages, were major sources for acceptance and integration, for migrants. On the other hand, for those who never had such strong regional connection, (albeit the late President Tolbert), they migrate (d) to where they feel and share common bounds. Thus, Americo Liberians or the repatriated free slaves felt more at home in America where they easily connect with African Americans. Moreover, because of the centre- peripheral structure of the Liberian state, the average Liberian often counted on and enjoyed support through traditional family assistance, networks and norms. However, these traditional facilities are increasingly disappearing due to structural violence in the distribution of wealth and opportunities between rich and poor, corruption, cronyism, nepotism and growing disparities among the elite and ordinary Liberians.The civil war fragmented the fabric of the state, polarised communities and destroyed social trust internally and externally. Like in many African countries, in Liberia when the state fails to provide the minimal sources for living, underprivileged and marginalized people will eventually explore potential opportunities to improve their lives and their families. Deficits in government capacity to deliver public services combined with systemic corruption and lack of accountability undermine public confidence in the legitimacy of national government. Indeed, where the state is incapable or refuse to provide human security for its citizens, they undertake journey that poses very real dilemmas for state, as well as exposes those very people to insecurity. Gruesome images of desperate African migrants struggling and drowning in the Mediterranean to reach Europe is not only appalling but epitomises the breakdown in the social contract between citizens of nation-state and their respective governments. Citizens belong to sovereign state governed by leaders who are responsible to provide their basic needs. But the reality is often different evident by the images from Libya.  Why should young African crowd themselves in mishit boats in the Mediterranean Sea to travel to Europe? What programmes are put in place to mitigate risky journeys and address the root causes of migration in Liberia? What does this say about the governments and leaderships of the countries theses migrants are leaving for better life outside? What is responsible for the sudden change in Liberian Nationalism; ‘I was born here but I will not die here’. Today, according to report (NEPAD, 2016) nearly half of Liberia’s population want to move elsewhere. Is there still a sense of belonging to the Liberian state?The scale of fatalities in the Mediterranean are disturbing wakeup calls exposing the cruelty of our government towards its citizens and by extension what some critics would call the conspiracy of international actors in the implementation of the infamous Malthus theory of drastically controlling human population growth to commensurate with available resources.  From all indication, the major causes of migration by many African, including Liberians, is bad governance and poverty. Despite billions of USD being invested in Liberia by the international community, the living conditions is still poor for majority of Liberians. More than 50 percent of the population lives in extreme poverty on less than $0.50 a day, life expectancy is just 57 years and sadly Liberia has one of the least skilled working population with illiteracy level more than 60 percent. Liberia is ranked 177 on the U.N. Human Development Index and ranked the 90 least corrupt nation out of 175 countries, according to the 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index. While mundane improvements are noticed in certain areas, there is a general lack of basic necessities on a daily basis. Liberia’s resources are enjoyed by few elite and those who associate with the ruling establishment thereby leaving majority of Liberians to live in abject poverty. Pervasive corruption at all levels of the country’s administration perpetuates underdevelopment. Specific groups selected through patrimonial ties amass wealth and mismanage development aid that are given by bilateral partners intended to improve the standard of living of Liberian, to their personal use. These elite lifestyles are even more than those who give Liberia development aid. High salaries, appointment of the same group of people to lucrative positions, fabulous benefits, awarding multiple foreign scholarship to select group and individuals at the expense of others who desperately need only one opportunity. At time one individual is even given scholarship to pursue graduate studies after obtaining his/her first master. There is also problem of good health care for the ordinary people, marginalization of social group or individuals based on past encounters, lack of adequate support for national education agenda and issue of employment opportunities for youth.Addressing the issue of youth migration at the 34th session of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee, at the AU Summit, Dr. Adesina of AfDP noted that Africa’s pervasive lack of economic opportunity for the youth fuels migration. I can not agree with him more. Ideally, employment defined as the state of engagement in productive activities for the purpose of obtaining some means of livelihood, equips an individual with the means of acquiring and sustaining the basic needs of life such as food, clothing and shelter.  However, in Liberia the situation is quite alarming. Parents and their children are unemployed and the traditional support network that once glued families together have vanished due to acute hardship. Income poverty is quite pervasive; the latest income and consumption expenditure report indicates that 64 percent of the Liberian population lives on less than U.S. $1.00 a day. Without any form of income, youth become vulnerable and easily give in to those who are ready to provide them opportunity for better living. Youth constitutes about 67-75% of the population of Liberia.  Therefore high youth unemployment and lack of better education and job opportunities will push the youthful population to seek these opportunities outside in order to improve their lives and that of their families. In 2015, the UNDP found that 61% of Liberians expressed dissatisfaction with the quality of education and 71% of Liberians are dissatisfied with healthcare quality. These realities, coupled with corruption creates a sense of personal insecurity which is arguably the most serious threat to peace and stability today. These are compelling ingredients for migration as nothing will stop somebody who is being denied basic rights and livelihood in his/her own home from pursuing better opportunities elsewhere, even at the detriment of one’s life.In terms of basic social service, Liberia also has problem with its educational system. Education is a basic human right for any population and vital social endowment of a country. Unfortunately, we have an educational system that is “a mess” hence unable to effectively ensure socio-economic transformation of the youth. As a result, most of our youth remain illiterate and uneducated thus making them lack critical thinking and even income-earning potential for social participation in society. Instead of spending time in libraries reading and acquiring knowledge, most of our youth spend quality time gambling and in video clubs- watching European football and even inflicting physical pain on each other as well as dreaming of going to where they consider ‘paradise’. In pre-war Liberia, people prioritised the National league teams, I.E, Barrow, St. Joseph Warriors, Young Fulani, etc. Support for these teams by their members, to a larger extent, minimized the desire to look outward. Liberians were nationalist and enjoyed local competition, which made the youthful generation encouraged to work harder in anticipation of playing for the Lone Start of Liberia. National league was quite competitive making Liberians to identify with any team that they have love for. However, today even the National team, Lone Star, has little or no support from the government. Moreover, external support intended for the development of sports is ostensibly managed by a politician and businessman.FIFA, the world football governing body, usually awards member associations $250,000 every year, and the Financial Assistance Programme (FAP) gives out one-off payments of $400,000. The issue of accountability and transparency has and continue to be a challenge for FIFA and the Liberian Football Association. A close associate of the current leadership, Musa Bility, monopolises LFA and gives no reports or account of the millions of dollars that he receives annually to improve sport for the youth. Under the new financial arrangements for 2015-18, each FIFA country receives around $5.5m (for a combined total of $1.5 billion). This represents a significant increase over the previous amount, which was between $2.2- $2.5m over four years, and even more, depending on which projects are approved for funding. The money is delivered through initiatives such as the Financial Assistance Programme and Goal, which are designed to develop football amongst FIFA nations. Unfortunately, despite call for greater accountability and reform at the global level, in Liberia it is difficult to understand what is been done with all these monies. LFA website publishes no project or information on its technical master plan. Local players barely earn good salary and are fooled by traffickers to seek greener pasture abroad.In 2015, a BBC investigation discovered that 23 young African players were trafficked to Lao under the pretence of going to attend sport academy. But these young players ended up playing for a Lao team called Champasak United. Meanwhile FIFA forbids trafficking and illegal transfer of players. One of those trafficked was a young Liberian, then 14 years Kesselly Kamara. He told authority during investigation that he was forced into signing a six-year deal before playing for the senior team. He was promised good salary and accommodation but Kamara said he and his colleagues were never paid and had to sleep on the floor of the club’s stadium. When FIFI confronted LFA President on the issue, Musa Bility said: “Whatever role we might have played, I believe it is regrettable.” What is troubling about this deal is it violates international guideline. FIFI prohibits movement of players to a foreign academy until they are 18. Why would somebody preside over an entity and claim to not understand or know what is happening? Would this end the smuggling of children? Certainly not as long as money intended to improve the game is not being used for the intended purposes. Who checks to ensure that LFA is abiding and upholding international rules, especially if FIFA is awarding all these monies to avoid such wicked practice by traffickers?In Liberia, facilities to train upcoming athletes are not available but ironically there are expansion in LFA’s bosses businesses and wealth. Besides being accused of evading taxes, he was once dogged with ‘integrity’ issue by FIFA yet continues to preside over sports in Liberia. How do we expect our youth to improve in their football career? LFA and other youth focussed agencies need people with passionate vision who have love for this country rather than capital accumulation. It is high time that political czar be audited and reprimanded, if found guilty for any wrong doing. There is a need for professional and experienced people to manage LFA in order to bring about positive change as well as initiate projects and programs that will mitigate factors that induce youth to embark on risky journey for better living. Liberia already has major problem with unemployment, particularly amongst majority of Liberian youth. Without radical reform and accountability at LFA, it will be impossible to improve the living standing of the young players and illegal migration will be seen as the only way out.Describing the dehumanizing treatment that he received in Libya, Laye Donzo, a Liberian migrant who fled Liberia during the civil war with his family to neighbouring Sierra Leone and subsequently lost his family to Ebola while in exile, spoke of the factors that push migrants into perilous journey. Like other migrants, Donzo said that he embarked on the journey to Libya with the help of human smuggles. Detained at different intervals by armed men at a checkpoint, he was imprisoned for several month in a house with hundreds of other Africans, eating a single meal every three days. What Donzo and other African migrants do not know is in lawless Libya, the lines between criminal gangs, militias and the security forces of rival governments are often blur. Just like in Liberia during the period of factional and warlord rule, every faction had exclusive control and jurisdiction of their so called territory. Although the warring factions were all part of the failed Liberian state, nobody- not even the recognized authority, had jurisdiction over every part of Liberia.  So, like the hell days of factional rule when people were ‘tabayed’ and summary executions were the order of the day, in Libya warring factions are selling and beating anybody they find in their territories. Who is helping potential migrants to understand these dynamics in Liberia? Why are we reacting with disbelief about the scale of human suffering and death in transit counties rather than taking action to interrupt illegal migration?The horrible scenes in Libya are reminiscent of the 19th century, when white slave masters beat and auctioned black slaves to plantation owners. Today Arab auctioneers are doing likewise-advertising group of West African migrants as “big strong boys for farm work.”  Middle Eastern Arab gunmen referred to the migrants in Arabic as “merchandise”. These racist criminal gangs controlled various parts of the country and do not care for rule of law and human dignity. Explaining his ordeal, Donzo told local authorities “They beat you like animals.” As long as you’re in prison they would beat you. I don’t know how many times they beat me. They beat everyone.” Displaying scars running along his back, legs and arms from being bound and hit with rubber tubes. He said one day they blindfolded him, took him to the coast and forced him into a boat. He has no idea why.The United States Government through the Department of State says Liberia remains a major source and destination for the trafficking of men, women, and children who are being subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. In 2015, a major human trafficking case involving 15 Liberian girls to Lebanon drew the attention of the U. S. Embassy in Monrovia. The girls were reportedly trafficked by a Lebanese businessman who had promised to find them jobs and send them to school.  But the girls were turned into sex slave. Couple of years since their return, these girls are yet to experience better living. They accused the government of dragging its feet on the case.Examining the link between European football and illegal migration, (P4DP) an NGO, conducted interviews at various video clubs in Monrovia with youth from different communities in order to understand potential factors that could possibly cause young people to migrate to Europe or other continent. Initial analysis of the data reveal that whilst many youth are involved with manual and casual labour jobs to sustain their families, considerable number of youth feel that they are not better than their colleagues who are undertaking dangerous journey to cross the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea in order to reach Europe. “In Europe, you do not need to be too educated to play professional football, the game which is making lots of people rich”. Another youth said “we are suffering here too much, no jobs, no education and even no training for the youth but only the big shorts are enjoying this country”. The narratives of these youth do not only unveil the predicament lots of young people are experiencing but speak to the challenge they face.  Recently, a Nigerian daily reported that several Liberians were arrested on foreign trip in Nigeria trying to illegally travel to the United States. One of the migrants told authority when he was apprehended that he smuggled himself on-board to break away from ‘the grip of poverty ’.Certainly, the story of Donzo, Kesselly and other migrants cut across the ordeal of thousands of migrants who are leaving their respective countries seeking human security because their countries leadership fail to provide basic necessities for life. IOM said as of December 16, 2016 over 7,000 people already have lost their lives along all these routes and these are only the known fatalities. Further, the migration organization said that more deaths go unrecorded by any official government or humanitarian aid agency. The year 2017 recorded 5136 missing migrants.As migration is indeed a part of human existence, there will always be movement of people for different reasons. However, current experiences by migrants leaving their countries to seek greener pasture calls for a paradigm shift in the ways country resources are distributed. Bad Governance and the clientistic nature of the Liberian state are some of the major reasons why young people are embarking on deadly journey even at the peril of their lives. Recognising that no country can deal with the vagaries of international migration in isolation, the international community needs to urgently stop patronising and enriching hand full of elite under the pretence of helping to reduce poverty. Concrete efforts should be made to tackle the root causes of poverty and international partners should demonstrate real commitment to addressing the problems by working with state and non- state. If countries that are receiving bilateral aid, which are intended to address the root causes of poverty neglect their side of the bargain, it is important for internal partners to explore other ways to directly address the plight of target groups because if people don’t have livelihoods at all, they are not going to sit and die but seek it anywhere.Liberia is comparatively a small country endowed with natural resources but the major problem the country faced and continues to experience is bad leadership and lack of love and nationalism. What is now required in the face of the migration crisis are innovative, more effective and coherent approaches to address the issue of irregular migration that recognize the nexus between structural violence and a sense of belongings. The most salient social grievances and active conflict drivers identified in the March 2010 ICAF were unequal and unfair access to resources, services, opportunities and institutions, unmet expectations, and land control and ownership. Even though Liberians love their ‘Sweet land of Liberty’, today most Liberian are increasingly desperate and will not afford to die here only because of nationalism. Thus, it is incumbent on Liberian leaders to use the country’ resources wisely in terms of creating economic opportunities that lift people out of poverty and keep the youth, home rather than pushing them to look for greener pasture through deadly means.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

More training needed to reel in tourists to Guyana – Gaskin

first_imgBusiness Minister Dominic Gaskin, who is tasked with responsibility for tourism, has admitted that there was a grave need for more training in the hospitality sector in order to bring more tourists to the country.Gaskin told Guyana Times during a recent interview that although efforts were being made to increase the number of airlines serving the country, persons who make direct contact with visitors should be properly trained.The Minister made specific reference to hotel receptionists as well as minibus and taxi drivers.Business Minister Dominic Gaskin“We need more airlifts, but that is being attended to and we are getting people coming. Our visitor arrival is increasing, but I think what we need though is a lot more training in some of the hospitality sectors as well as the transportation sector so that the visitor experience is one that they would want to recommend,” he said.Gaskin added, “I think a lot of work has to be done in the services sector whether it is restaurant, hotels, minibus, taxis, even retail, because we want to give them an experience that reflects our seriousness about tourism and if you don’t have good service, you not gonna get return visitors”.According to him, the Ministry has been conducting training for some hotel personnel while the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) is working on a new programme which will ensure more persons are trained in this regard.“I think what we are focusing on now is … a particular training programme that involves certification and we are trying to get the GTA trainers trained so that they can actually do the training themselves and certification,” he noted.Moreover, Gaskin explained that the new programme would allow the Ministry to train and certify persons to an internationally recognised standard.The Minister was keen to note that although he hoped for this programme to be operational before year end, it does not mean that other training sessions would discontinue.Guyana was recently named the number one “Best of Ecotourism” destination in the world. The award was presented to Guyana at the Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB) global travel trade fair in Berlin, Germany – the world’s largest tourism trade fair.The second annual “Best of Top 100” Awards is a selection of the finest top 100 destinations selected by a panel of experts, who reviewed sustainability success stories submitted by destinations worldwide.The newly-created “Best of Ecotourism” category was added in 2019 and puts Guyana up against very well-known and long-established ecotourism destinations, such as Sierra Gorda in Mexico, Tmatboey in Cambodia, and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.Back in December last year during budgetary debates, Gaskin boasted of a 17 per cent increase in visitor arrivals up to September, when compared with figures for the same period last year.The Minister pointed out that apart from the two major agricultural products which are rice and sugar, tourism brings in the highest amount of foreign earnings while also providing opportunities for young Guyanese.Recognising the importance of the sector, Gaskin said the Ministry increased the budget allocation to the GTA from $123 million in 2014 to over $300 million in 2019.He explained that the GTA and the Department of Tourism would receive budgetary allocations of $305 million and $93 million respectively.last_img read more

Constable testifies as Linden ‘hot water’ murder PI continues

first_imgOne more witness was called to testify as the Preliminary Inquiry (PI) into the alleged murder of 56-year-old Hubert Scott of Half Mile, Wismar, Linden, continued on Thursday at the Linden Magistrates Court.Murder accused: Frances HarlequinThe matter is being heard before Magistrate Wanda Fortune. The deceased’s niece, Frances Harlequin, also called “Blacky” of Half Mile, Wismar, is on trial for his murder.Police Constable Erkstine took to the stand where she gave evidence of her involvement with the case. It is alleged that on Saturday, June 16, 2018, Harlequin inflicted injuries on the deceased thus resulting in his death.Harlequin is accused of throwing hot water on her uncle during an argument at their Linden home.Suspected to be mentally ill, she was initially charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent, then attempted murder and later, with murder after Scott, a former security guard, succumbed a few days after the incident.Police had revealed that the two lived in the same house but in separate apartments. On the day in question, Harlequin reportedly lit a coal pot in her apartment and the smoke started to affect Scott, who told investigators that he went over to her apartment to speak to her about it.Harlequin reportedly became annoyed and threw a pot of hot water on him, thus resulting in injuries.Scott immediately went to the Wismar Police Station and reported the matter. He was later escorted to seek medical attention.He was seen and examined by a doctor at the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC) where he was treated and sent away.However, shortly after the now dead man made the report, Harlequin turned up at the police station and lodged a complaint against Scott, whom she claimed dealt her a cuff to her mouth and in defending herself, she threw the hot water on him.She was also sent for medical attention but reportedly never returned to the police station. Harlequin was arrested by Police on June 17, 2018, and placed into custody.Two days after, she was released on her own recognisance to appear in court on June 25.It was reported that on June 21, 2018, Scott started to feel unwell and was taken to the LHC where he was admitted.On June 25, Harlequin was charged in absentia with the offence of causing grievous bodily harm with intent. Scott died on July 2 while receiving medical attention in the Intensive Care Unit of the LHC.A file was later completed and sent for legal advice. The accused was arrested and charged for murder. The matter will continue on May 16, 2019.last_img read more

Row over ‘drugs’ leads to shooting, chopping

first_img… 2 hospitalisedTwo men are currently at the Georgetown Public Hospital receiving treatment for injuries inflicted by each other on Monday at the East La Penitence Bridge, Georgetown.According to Police reports, 23-year-old Colin Daly, of Lot 23 East La Penitence, and 22-year-old Reon Jonas, of Phase One, Mandela Avenue, West Ruimveldt, had an exchange of words reportedly over “drugs”.During the confrontation, Daly allegedly dealt Jonas several chops to his back and right hand. In retaliation, Jonas whipped out a handgun and discharged a round at Daly, hitting him in the right arm. Both men were taken to the Hospital, where they were admitted under Police guard. Their conditions have been listed as stable.last_img read more

Officials say L.A. ready for 2016 Games

first_imgLOS ANGELES – A sunny winter day and a slickly produced film welcomed the U.S. Olympic Committee’s evaluation committee Thursday during a two-day visit to decide whether Los Angeles will be the U.S. candidate to host the 2016 Summer Games. The group spent its first day cloistered inside a meeting room at UCLA watching presentations from the local organizing committee on 14 themes involved in the bid. The group planned to join local organizing committee board members and politicians for dinner at the Getty Center on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Today, the evaluators will hit the freeways for a half-day bus tour of venues in Carson, Long Beach and downtown L.A. The USOC committee was kept away from reporters Thursday, leaving Villaraigosa, Walt Disney Co. Chairman Dick Cook and Barry Sanders, chairman of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games, to talk up Los Angeles’ bid. “It’s the city that has the Olympic ideal in its DNA,” Sanders said. “People come from all over the world to achieve their goals in Los Angeles, and that is the Olympic ideal.” They had help from producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who expressed his support for the city in the film’s opening segment. Later, the evaluators went on a walking tour of the campus, which would be home to the athletes’ village, and watched a 3 -minute Disney-produced film promoting Los Angeles’ virtues that featured Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hollywood celebrities and the city’s landmarks. “I ordered another sunny day in the middle of winter,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa boasted to reporters before previewing the film. “Los Angeles will present a great Olympic Games. We’ll do it all in style.” center_img He gave way to Schwarzenegger and Villaraigosa, who appeared on a Western movie set, before the film cut to images of palm trees, sunshine and clear skies that showed no hint of Los Angeles’ famous smog. Footage of the 1932 and 1984 Olympics – both staged by Los Angeles – was included, as were celebrity shots from the red carpet at the Oscars and such famous landmarks as the Beverly Hills Hotel, Rodeo Drive, the Queen Mary and Paramount Studios. Olympic champions Mark Spitz, Serena Williams, John Naber, Janet Evans, Peter Vidmar and Carl Lewis shared their memories of triumph in sound bites. Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck popped up, too, asking, “Who is hungry?” The film closed with Villaraigosa standing on the edge of the roof of Staples Center, which would host gymnastics. The USOC requested that Los Angeles and Chicago, which are competing to host the 2016 Games, each produce a film answering why their city should host the games. Los Angeles’ answer is that the city is ready now, with almost no new construction required. Chicago will host the evaluation committee for two days beginning Monday, and the winner will be announced April 14. The candidate city must be submitted to the International Olympic Committee on Sept. 15. The host will be chosen in 2009. Other cities that have expressed interest in hosting the 2016 Games are Madrid, New Delhi, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, Rome and Tokyo. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

China? No thanks! Diego Costa reveals World Cup desire key to his future

first_imgDiego Costa says Atletico Madrid are the only club he would leave Chelsea for, but insists he is not looking to leave the Premier League champions.The Spain international has been heavily linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge in recent months, with a big-money switch to the Chinese Super League touted as a likely destination.The 28-year-old, however, has poured cold water on the possibility of a move to the Far East, saying he wants to either stay at Chelsea or return to former club Atletico, should Blues boss Antonio Conte deem him surplus to requirements. Speaking after netting Chelsea’s goal in Saturday’s 2-1 FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal, the Brazil-born Costa told Spanish media: “There is only one team I’d go to if I have to leave here, only one.“I have no intention of leaving, I’m very happy here, I have two years on my contract, but if the club want to sell me there is one club I would go to.“Everybody knows the club I like. Atletico? Yes, everybody knows that, there’s no problem.“I will remain (at Chelsea) if there is intention from the club and the coach for me to stay, but if they want to sell me to bring in another striker, I will go.”Costa, who joined Chelsea from Atletico in 2014, added of his future: “I’m very calm, the only conversation I’ve had is with the club, for them to call my people to know what’s going to happen.“I’m going to choose my future, not them. I’m not going to change one city and country for another if it’s not Spain.“If the club really want to sell me, there’s only one team for me. “People talk too much about China. There’s a World Cup (in 2018) and if I go to China I won’t play in it.” 1 Diego Costa has said there’s only one club he’d leave for Chelsea last_img read more

‘Enter the rally if you want to drive like that’ – Judge

first_imgA man who performed a doughnut during the Donegal International Rally weekend told a Judge it was a moment of madness.Daniel Haw appeared before Letterkenny District Court charged with dangerous driving at Conwal on June 15th last at 4.30pm. Haw, of Henderson Avenue, Belfast, was spotted performing the doughnut by Gardai in his Nissan car which was described as a “Japanese import.”The 26-year-old accused man was arrested and taken to Letterkenny Garda station and later released to appear on €400 bail.Judge Paul Kelly asked Haw what he had to say for himself and asked why he was driving in this manner?“If you want to drive in this manner in this part of the world then you have to enter the rally,” said Judge Kelly.Haw said it was a “moment of madness” and that this was his seventh year at the event and had never been in trouble before.Judge Kelly said Haw had met the case fairly and reduced the charge from dangerous driving to careless driving and ordered him to pay an extra €100 to charity.‘Enter the rally if you want to drive like that’ – Judge was last modified: July 3rd, 2018 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:donegaldoughnutdrivingrallylast_img read more