Lessons from New Zealand

first_imgThe world, more particularly New Zealand, is trying to come to grips with the horror of last Friday’s (March 15) shooting that left 50 people dead and many others injured, some critically. Many watched in complete shock on social media as a lone gunman opened fire on the gatherings at two Mosques during the Friday prayers. It was an attack that was well planned in advance based on various now known facts most evident from the live-streaming.From reports, the Australian-born gunman had earlier published a manifesto in which he strongly objected to immigration and multiculturalism. In that document, he reportedly showered praise on Anders Breivik, the Norwegian white supremacist who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011. That suggests that his deliberate and calculative actions were premised in hate for a particular group of people; from those targeted, Muslim immigrants and refugees.He seemingly spared no effort in his planning to maximise casualties given the calibre and amount of weapons he had in his possession. The fact that he also spared no effort to have it streamed live meant he wanted a worldwide audience to see in real time his actions of triumphalism; actions that are seemingly becoming routine in various parts of the world as seen on March 18 when three persons were killed by a Turkish citizen in the Dutch city of Utrecht; actions that can only be blatant acts of terrorism.Some of the victims would have fled their war-torn homelands in a gruelling search for peace and a place to be shielded from such atrocities. New Zealand in many ways offers such and was deemed and believed to be a safe country with its sanctuary city of Christchurch; now infamous for that shooting. While it was another incident of spewing hate with deadly consequences, two things stood out in its aftermath; the coming together of the country and the announced intention of the political leadership to swiftly change existing gun laws.The images of New Zealanders, especially those with visible Caucasian extraction, comforting surviving relatives and the Islamic community while at the same time forthrightly condemning the barbaric action, are not only comforting, but send a strong message of tolerance, peace and love. Common was the sentiment that the action of the gunman is not representative of the people of New Zealand.Over time, many such despicable actions of hate crime targeting different groups have occurred and in every case, people from all backgrounds have rallied in support of the victims. It shows that people in the vast majority across the world want peace and tolerance to prevail. It also unfortunately shows that some will do their utmost to continue to create disharmony in propagation of their belief and which is not in keeping with the efforts of forging togetherness.By rallying around each other, New Zealanders, like others in various parts of the world in the past, continue to send a very strong message rejecting those who perpetrate hate. There must be no place for hatred and all efforts to dispel it from society must be fully supported. Guyana has had incidents that resulted in many innocent ones being murdered. The massacres at Lindo Creek, Lusignan and Bartica continue to haunt us all. Those tested resolve and stability, but in the end, despite the challenges posed, the actions of the perpetrators were and continue to be rejected.The onus is upon all, especially those with influence, to continue to advocate for the rejection of hate and for efforts designed to promote and strengthen tolerance and harmony to be supported. Come March 21, a constitutional crisis, which could have been avoided had the Government abided by the supreme law that governs the successful passage of a parliamentary no-confidence motion, would engulf the country.It’s unchartered waters and could challenge the social fabric of togetherness. With historical incidents that tested that resolve, especially with elections as a catalyst, the upcoming period will have to be traversed with a profound sense of responsibility in words and actions by all, including those who are prolific on social media.Unfortunately, there will be those who will find it difficult to curb their tendencies to spew hate and disharmony. Again, they must be rejected and made to feel that what they advocate is not representative of the people of Guyana.From all reports, the unity play staged by the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) was well received with members of the audience welcoming those bonds expressed at the grassroots but the Government at the top has acted to tear them asunder.The Government’s actions in rejecting the Constitution has push the nation to the impending constitutional crisis. That sends a strong message of disrespecting law and order which will naturally cause resentment in some quarters. It is therefore not helpful to the process of building harmony; a process which must be led by the government of the day.A lesson can therefore be had from New Zealand as its Government is leading in the healing process and has demonstrated a willingness to take immediate action to help prevent a recurrence in an effort to safeguard the welfare of its citizens.last_img read more

Liberia Poised for WTO Accession

first_imgCommerce and Industry Minister Axel Addy has told Liberians not to have fear about liberalizing trade and commerce in Liberia as the country is poised to accede to the World Trade Organization (WTO).Liberia through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has been making great efforts to achieve accession to the WTO, and predicated upon this WTO’s guests including Ambassador Joakim Reiter, Deputy Secretary-General for United Nations Conference for Trade and Development and chairperson of the working party, and Dr. Chiedu Osakwe, Director of Accession Division of WTO Secretariat are in the country to work out some modalities that will lead Liberia to the WTO conference that will be held in Nairobi, Kenya this December.The conference in Kenya will be the first to be held on African soil and it is a crucial point at which Liberia’s acceptance to be a member of WTO will be made, depending on whether it will meet criteria having to do with reforms of trade laws in conformity with global standard.Speaking on August 19 at the occasion marking the visits of the guests, Minister Addy intoned that the world is changing, and what people do anywhere now should be in conformity with global standard.He said transformation will never take place if a country builds a fence around its borders, and if Liberia can benefit from global initiative such as the WTO, it must carry out domestic reforms of its laws and policy to reflect predictability and transparency.Despite the open trade policy joining Liberia to the global trade community under WTO, the Minister indicated in his statement that they have negotiated and put in place mechanisms that will protect Liberians’ interest in doing business.Elaborating further on the significance of becoming a part of WTO, the Minister said it “provides predictability” by allowing trade regulations and policies to be the same in all member countries; and that fees for transactions will be the same and transparent everywhere.In this manner, he said it will encourage investment that will also enhance job opportunities for Liberians since investors will be able to create job opportunities.He said in the 20 years of anarchy during which the country suffered, he envisions seeing a new Liberia like pre-war days where rule of law and accountability will be in place to regulate people’s behavior.He indicated that setting up and implementing rules in the country will enhance vibrant private sector that will provide medical and educational services which will cause people not to seek such services outside of Liberia.In his remarks, Ambassador Joakim Reiter, Deputy Secretary-General of United Nations Conference for Trade and Development and chairperson of the Working Party, said their visits are meant to commend Liberia’s work leading to accession to WTO.He, however, said for membership to WTO to be successful, the country must take ownership and no one else.He said the journey to success in Nairobi in December this year depends on reform programs Liberia will carry out in its domestic laws in conformity with global standard.He acknowledged that while Liberia has made some tremendous progress, he also advised that the rest of the activities left should be completed in the next few months if Liberia can be successful at the WTO’s first conference on African soil.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Can President Granger justify his use of private planes?

first_imgDear Editor,It was reported in the Tribune, a Bahamian newspaper, on March 2, 2017 that President David Granger and his select cohort arrived in The Bahamas for a three-day State visit by private plane. Thinking that there was an error with the report, since there was no possible justifiable reason to use a private plane instead of a commercial flight (whether first class or otherwise), my further investigation revealed that not only was this report of the use of a private plane accurate, but it was further evidence of insensitive profligacy and waste of taxpayers’ money by President Granger.The investigation revealed that not only three Ministers, one of whom is his son-in-law (Mr Gaskin, the Minister of Business), but a team of speech writers, bodyguards, assistants, and media personnel accompanied President Granger on this private plane and for whom daily stipends and accommodation had to be provided at the hotel, the rates of which are about US0 per night. In addition, a number of gifts were purchased and presented to the Bahamian Government all bought and paid for with taxpayers money. The total spent on this three-day trip was about G million. The cost of the private plane alone was about G million. Two questions ought to have been asked by the media which holds the significant responsibility of being the fourth estate on behalf of the people of Guyana: 1) How could President Granger justify the use of a private plane instead of a commercial flight? 2) What investment did the three-day State visit garner for Guyana?Of course, the media can be partially forgiven since President Granger assiduously avoids answering questions by dodging and not holding press conferences. But most sections of the media are also complicit by neglecting to ask President Granger the hard questions when the impromptu opportunity arises, quietly hoping instead to receive the perks of free travel with the Head of State or his Ministers, while Guyana continues along a path of visionless high-tax submersion and wasteful spending.With admittedly dwindling investment and a reduction in all of the productive sectors except for gold, it is now obvious why there has been this urgency to increase taxes and an emphasis on increased tax collection – the “good life for the government”. This, ironically, on the authority of a president who has collected over $50 million in salary since his assumption of office as President but pays not a single penny of tax on his income.Guyanese are feeling the squeeze more than ever and struggling to make ends meet while our President displays his manifest insensitivity to our circumstances in grandiose style by driving around in Lexuses with large entourages and security detail and travel internationally by private planes. If the Bahamian newspaper did not publish the use of the private plane by President Granger, it certainly makes one question how would Guyanese ever have known about it or worse what else do we not know?When times are hard, we expect our leaders to be sensitive to our struggles and not flaunt the “great life” in our faces. The famous Guyanese saying “he who feels it knows it” and with the “great life” the Government now enjoys it raises the question whether decisions can be made in the best interest of the Guyanese people, who need the support of a government who “knows it”. Leadership begins with responsibility, but lasting change happens by example.Sincerely,Charles S Ramsonlast_img read more

Chelsea star admits Jose Mourinho needs to be publicly supported

first_img1 Gary Cahill Gary Cahill believes it was important for Chelsea to express their support for under-fire Jose Mourinho, even if his illustrious CV does speak for itself.Just a matter of months after comfortably securing the Premier League crown, the Blues now sit 16th in the standings after Southampton last weekend inflicted their fourth league defeat of the campaign.It has naturally led pressure to ratchet up on Chelsea’s Portuguese manager – talk the club attempted to extinguish by surprisingly releasing a statement saying Mourinho retained their “full support”.It is a move centre-back Cahill certainly supports, highlighting the success and calibre of the man at the Stamford Bridge helm.“(The statement) is important,” he said. “I think everybody knows the situation we’re in at the moment.“It has been a very, very difficult start. The Southampton game, for me personally, was a real low and I’ve come away here totally determined to make that right when I come back.“That’s the kind of attitude I’ve got towards it all and I am sure my other team-mates are probably feeling the same – pure determination to turn it around and make sure that when we have the good times again, they’re even sweeter because of what we’ve been through. I think that’s important.“I think in terms of backing the manager, of course we all back him, of course we are all around him.“Dare I say, he doesn’t even need backing. When you’ve done so much in the game, got the CV and been through everything that he has been, not just in this league or what he has done for Chelsea but in other leagues.“I don’t even think he needs backing, but obviously it is nice to have that and he has certainly got that from the players and the club.”Before Cahill can help Mourinho and Chelsea get back to winning ways comes the small matter of representing England.Roy Hodgson’s men round off Euro 2016 qualifying with a trip to Lithuania after Estonia visit Wembley on Friday, when the Chelsea defender will lead his country out as captain for the very first time.“Obviously it is an extremely proud moment for me tomorrow, not just for myself but my family,” Cahill said, skippering the side in the absence of Wayne Rooney. “It is one I am looking to enjoy as much as I possibly can.“It is a great honour, a dream come true. Since the boss gave me the vice-captain role I’ve enjoyed that, but waiting and hoping obviously to at some stage lead the team out.“I know I’ve had the armband once or twice when Wayne has come off the pitch, but to lead the team out will be something incredible for myself.“Definitely a career high for me and something I’m really looking forward to.”last_img read more

One man dead after Rangers fans’ bus crash

first_img A bus carrying Rangers fans to the game against Partick Thistle crashed, leaving one man dead A 39-year-old man has died following a Rangers supporters’ bus crash in Ayrshire which left a further 18 people in hospital.The crash happened on the A76 at the Crossroads roundabout near to Bowhouse Prison on Saturday at around 1.15pm.One passenger said the coach “swerved” at the roundabout and the bus landed on its side on a grass verge.The coach was travelling to Ibrox Stadium, where Rangers were due to play Partick Thistle.Police Scotland said in a statement: “Police Scotland can confirm a 39-year-old man has died following a serious coach crash on the A76 near Crosshouse Roundabout.“Eighteen people are receiving treatment in hospital, three of whom are in a serious condition. This includes seven men under 20 years of age, three men and three women aged between 30 and 59 and five men over 60.“A report will be prepared for the procurator fiscal.”A total of 36 people, plus the driver, were on board at the time of the crash. Earlier, police said three people being treated in hospital were in a serious condition.Rangers assistant manager Davie Weir said he had “only just heard” about the crash.He said: “I’ve only just heard about it. Obviously there are things more important than football.“Until we get all the details, I think it would be unwise to comment.“But our thoughts are with the people involved, the families involved, and I’m sure the club will be very supportive in regards to anything they can do to help the situation.”Ryan Rowe, from Darvel, East Ayrshire, was driving to work when he passed the crash scene.He said: “It must have happened just five minutes before I got there.“Within two minutes the fire service, ambulance and police all turned up.“There were still people trapped inside.“One man I spoke to was just sitting down and in tears and he was shaking.“He said the bus had swerved.“Another young man had cuts all over his arm and blood all the way down it. He was holding it in the air to try and stop the bleeding.“Two or three windows on the bus had been smashed and when I was there paramedics were still trying to get people out of the other side that the bus was lying on.”He said many of the passengers appeared to be in their teens or early twenties.A screen has been erected around part of the damaged coach.John Linton, a photographer who was at the scene, said it appeared the coach had either skidded into the verge or caught the camber of the roundabout and been left on its side.He said: “They have screened it off, so that would suggest there was something pretty bad down there. There’s a screen at the rear end of the coach.“There were smashed windows and an emergency door at the back was broken.”Emergency services remain at the scene and the road has been closed in both directions while crash scene investigators carry out inquiries.Inspector Darren Faulds said: “Inquiries are ongoing to establish the cause of the crash and anyone with any information is asked to call road policing officers at Irvine Police Office on 101.” 1last_img read more

Zlatan Ibrahimovic eyeing further glory with Manchester United

first_imgZlatan Ibrahimovic wants to lift more trophies before his first season at Manchester United is out.For your chance to win £100K, sign up to play Dream Team Europe Fantasy FootballThe 35-year-old arrived to much fanfare in the summer and has lived up to the hype, having already become the first United player to score 20 goals in a season since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.There will be plenty of opportunities to add to that tally as United are fighting on four fronts, with the EFL Cup final against Southampton awaiting after matches in the FA Cup and Europa League.Chelsea’s indomitable form means the Premier League title is likely beyond reach, but Ibrahimovic is determined to add to August’s Community Shield triumph.“We just need to keep going,” Ibrahimovic said after Saturday’s 2-0 win against Watford.“We want to go through the Europa League and we have a good game at home against St Etienne.“From five trophies this season we have won one and we are still in four.“I think from the teams in front, only one will become champions. The rest will not get a trophy, but we have one and we can get our second one.“And we are still in the Europa League and FA Cup, so if we don’t become champions in the Premier League at least we can try and win two or three trophies.”United certainly have the strength in depth to juggle domestic and continental exertions, while their improvements under Jose Mourinho continue.The Portuguese described his side’s first-half display against Watford as “art”, epitomised by Juan Mata’s impressive team goal that the recalled Anthony Martial added to after the break.Ibrahimovic was frustrated not to net himself on an afternoon that saw United move into fifth place for the first time since October.Liverpool’s win against Tottenham in the late kick-off saw them drop down to sixth once more, but just two points now separate them and Mauricio Pochettino’s side in second.“We know where we are and that we have been stuck in the same position for many months,” Ibrahimovic said.“We had it for 20 minutes perhaps and we are back in the same position now, but we know what we need to do.“We need to keep winning to climb in the table and hope the others lose points and we can go past them.” The 35-year-old is determined to add to August’s Community Shield triumph 1last_img read more

Santa Clarita Calendar

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los AngelesFree wellness workshop will present research about stubborn weight, fatigue and hormone imbalance, 10-11:30 a.m. at the office of Dr. Larry Cart, 24868 Apple St., Suite 101, Newhall. Call (661) 284-6233. Saugus train station will be open, 1-4 p.m. at Heritage Junction in William S. Hart Park, 24151 Newhall Ave. Call (661) 254-1275. Karaoke night, 8 o’clock at VFW Post 6885, 16208 Sierra Highway, Canyon Country. Call (661) 252-6885. Special Olympics offers athletic training and competition for athletes with learning disabilities throughout the day at various locations in Santa Clarita. New athletes or volunteer coaches can call (661) 253-2121. SUNDAY SATURDAY AARP driver safety program, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the SCV Senior Center, 22900 Market St., Newhall. Call (661) 259-9444. Local author Carole Cliffe will sign copies of her books, 4 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 23630 Valencia Blvd., Valencia. Call (661) 254-6604. Santa Clarita Runners Club will meet for a morning run, 7 o’clock in the parking lot at Starbucks, 26415 Bouquet Canyon Road, Valencia. Call (661) 294-0821. Open house, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Temple Beth Ami, 23023 Hilse Lane, Newhall. Call (661) 255-6410. Santa Clarita Runners Club will meet for marathon training, 6:30 a.m. in the parking lot at Granary Square, 25930 McBean Parkway, Valencia. Call (661) 294-0821. To submit an event for the Daily News calendar, contact Sharon Cotal two weeks prior to the event at (661) 257-5256.160Want 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

Chelsea pair to miss pre-season tour amid Stamford Bridge exit rumours

first_img1 Nemanja Matic and Diego Costa appear likely to depart Chelsea this summer Nemanja Matic and Diego Costa appear likely to miss Chelsea’s pre-season tour as negotiations take place over their possible exits.It is understood midfielder Matic and striker Costa are probable absentees from the Premier League champions’ tour to Asia, which begins next week.Matic has been linked with Manchester United and Juventus, with Chelsea apparently closing in on his replacement.French midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko posted a photograph from the Premier League champions’ training ground on Friday, featuring the caption “soon” and has been linked with a £40million move from Monaco.Costa has long been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge, despite playing an integral role in the title triumph last term, and was granted permission to miss the start of pre-season training this week.It has also been reported that defender Kurt Zouma could miss the tour, with a season-long loan move to Stoke possible.Antonio Conte’s Chelsea squad play Arsenal on July 22 in Beijing and have games with Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in Singapore on July 25 and July 29, respectively.The Blues may favour Matic moving to Serie A. United’s purchase of striker Romelu Lukaku from Everton may strengthen the resolve of Chelsea not to sell to a direct rival and reunite the Serbia midfielder with Jose Mourinho.Costa, meanwhile, apparently has his heart set on a return to Atletico Madrid, from whom he joined Chelsea in July 2014 for £32m.Atletico are currently banned from signing players and that would prevent Costa playing for them until January.After missing out on Lukaku, Conte’s search for a striker to succeed Costa goes on, but he seems to have already identified the midfielder to succeed Matic.Bakayoko, 22, helped drive Monaco to the Ligue 1 title last season and also into the semi-finals of the Champions League.Bakayoko uploaded a photo to his social media accounts on Friday of the Chelsea training pitches, with the caption “soon”.He could become the Blues’ third summer signing following the arrival of centre-back Antonio Rudiger from Roma and veteran goalkeeper Willy Caballero, on a free transfer, from Manchester City.Midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah this week joined Watford, following Bournemouth pair Asmir Begovic and Nathan Ake out of Stamford Bridge.last_img read more

Police seeking armed gunmen in more than 200 area robberies

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.The Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks was hit Wednesday night when two gunmen wearing ski masks and gloves barged into the landmark restaurant near closing time and told everyone to put their money on the table, police said. Police don’t know whether the Valley Inn robbers are the same who have terrorized customers at dozens of restaurants from Woodland Hills to Studio City, stealing thousands of dollars in cash and jewelry. “They have demonstrated their violence and propensity to have no regard for individual lives,” Moore said. “In one of these takeover-style robberies in the Devonshire Division, the robbery had already been committed and for just senselessness, apparently for no other motive, they just shot and killed the proprietor of the restaurant.” Moore also asked for the assistance of business owners, urging them to lock rear doors, secure gates and use the “buddy system” when leaving their businesses at night. “The point I wish to make is that good investigative strategies are reliant on the willingness of the public to provide information, to be cognizant of their surroundings, to be mindful that when a suspect or suspects commit crimes to gather as much information about the person – what they look like, what they are saying and how they act,” Moore said. Police sought the public’s help Friday in identifying the armed gunmen involved in a string of takeover robberies of restaurants and other businesses in the San Fernando Valley and surrounding areas. In the past several years, more than 200 robberies of restaurants, taverns and other commercial businesses have occurred in the Valley, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and other locations throughout the region, said LAPD Deputy Chief Michel Moore, the Valley’s commanding officer. Moore said about 50 of these involved takeover-style restaurant robberies. “What we have identified is a number of various individuals, some as few as one individual, others in groups of two or three, that are conducting commercial robberies, both of restaurants as well as convenience stores, liquor stores, gas stations, all types of commercial establishments,” Moore said. 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