We’re fine without Luis Suarez, claim Liverpool

first_img Ayre was speaking after the draw and said: “You would never not want Luis – Luis is a fantastic player and made a fantastic contribution to Liverpool but so did a lot of other people. Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre claims that his side can cope without Luis Suarez, even against Real Madrid in the Champions League.  28/08/2014 “So I think we are in great shape and will keep developing and improving.” Sport EN Upd. at 22:40 center_img “A lot of the goals that Daniel Sturridge scored were amazingly important for us last season and he will still be there banging them in and we were seeing goals from all over the park last season. Ayre pointed out that Mario Balotelli should fill the Suarez gap.  CEST “Mario is settling in great. Like everyone he’s very excited about the season ahead and he’s enjoying being part of the team,” he said.last_img read more

Diego Simeone: Atletico Madrid are fighting to reach Champions League, not win title

first_img “We are returning to the Calderon, where a fortnight ago we beat Real Madrid, with our people. Apart from the first half at Vigo, the team is competing well in all competitions. Tomorrow it will be the same.” Atletico take on Almeria this weekend and the coach of the Andalusian side, Juan Ignacio Martinez, said: “Playing Atletico Madrid demands the maximum at all times. They are a team that plays every minute as if it were the last and that approach last year saw them crowned champions and go close to winning the Champions League. Diego Simeone says his Atletico Madrid side are competing for a Champions League place against Valencia and Sevilla, not the title against Real Madrid and Barcelona. 20/02/2015 Simeone said: “Valencia have reinforced well and Sevilla are improving very well under (Unai) Emery. I am convinced that this is our fight. The object is the Champions League. His team, current champions of Spain, lost 2-0 at Celta Vigo last week, but that came just a week after beating Real Madrid 4-0 at the Vicente Calderon. Sport EN Upd. at 21:12 “We are just thinking about tomorrow’s game against Almeria, which is very important. CET “We are talking about a great opponent but Almeria will be going there to compete.”last_img read more

BIN Urged to be Accountable, Transparent

first_imgThe Deputy Justice Minister for Administration and Public Affairs, Madam Wheatonia Dixon Barnes, last Friday admonished that as Liberia prepares to take over national security from the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), security institutions should critically look at accountability and transparency if they are seriously assessing their agenda for the transition. “Self-assessment of every security institution should take into consideration transparency and accountability, promotion of good governance, human rights and respect for rule of law,” Cllr. Barnes declared.Addressing a two-day retreat in Bensonville, organized by the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN), Cllr. Barnes advised participants to use the retreat to develop a roadmap to help them address the gaps and challenges in the security sector which will be dealing with the issues of naturalization, immigration and cross border crimes.According to Cllr. Barnes, self assessment is about self-examination and identifying strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and trust of their institution. “You have to use this opportunity to complete a thorough analysis of yourselves and the BIN, particularly in the face of the UNMIL withdrawal and transition,” she said, adding, “Security sector reform is one of the critical areas of peace and nation building, especially in a post-war country like Liberia.”  Earlier, BIN Commission Col. Lemuel E.A. Reeves told his officers that “a few months from now UNMIL will leave our country and security will be in our hands and those of other national security actors. We must be able to take up the mantle to perform as credibly as the Liberian people deserve.”  “We should be looking at integrity, accountability and capacity building during these two days and we need to put aside our differences to make a very great impact for the future of the institution, ourselves and our country,” Col. Reeves said.  For his part, the head of the United Nations Police in Liberia (UNPOL), Gregory J. Hinds, said, “It is time for government to come out with a complete plan and benchmark that will encourage the international community to  fully support our transitional plan,  before  UNMIL’s withdrawal on June 30, 2016.”  “You need to do it, so that you may assume responsibility, development and implementation of your  transitional plan, which should  include BIN and other security agencies that are responsible for border migration management, to make them more effective and efficient to contribute meaningfully to the future of the country,” the UNPOL boss suggested.  Admonishing the participants, Hinds in a very soft tone told the BIN officers, “I urge you to remain an effective, efficient and reliable immigration service. It is your responsibility to discuss honestly your strengths, weaknesses and also think on what steps are needed for the BIN’s sustainability.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Amidst Economic Hardship, Worries; Consumers Give Mixed Reactions on Foreign Exchange

first_imgThe rapid depreciation of the Liberia dollars is becoming worrisome for Liberians, especially the marginalized and impoverished masses, because of the huge level of economic hardship that is being experience as a result of the unwarranted trend in the country. The exchange rate currently stands at approximately L$95 to US$1 and accompanying is the hike in prices of practically all goods and services—a situation that has become tight for many. Amidst these worries, consumers, in a Daily Observer interview, gave mixed reactions over the current state of affairs of the US-Liberian dollar exchange rate. The consumers and some entrepreneurs are worried that they may soon be unable to buy what they need for business and personal needs. Morris Robert, in a conversation with the Daily Observer, expressed frustration over the rapid pace at which the “local currency is losing ground.”“I came to the market to buy my food, but I am forced to spend more because prices have gone up. I am told that the exchange rate is the reason for the increase,” he said. Robert said he earns his living in Liberian dollars (LRD), but was shocked to see that the Liberian dollar is losing ground against the US dollar (USD), which is causing Liberians to spend more money for less goods and services.In some places such as Douala, Water Side, Red Light and Paynesville, the exchange rate stands at US$1 to L$97 or higher.While Mr. Robert and a large segment of the population are worried about the depreciation of the local currency, others who have easy access to USD were yearning for further increase in the exchange rate. This would give them more LRD in exchange – an advantage over those who hold LRD and need to purchase goods priced in USD. “I want a higher rate for my US dollar,” insisted Massa Paul, a university student, to the man at the forex stand. Two money changers at Caldwell junction, Moses and Aaron, attributed the depreciation of the Liberian dollar to huge demands from businesses, mainly from ‘foreign’ business owners.“These business people need the US dollar rate intact to import their goods,” they said.Whatever the case, “this situation warrants some level of intervention by the central government as the demand for the US dollar rises,” they indicated.Also, many auction-sellers said, instead of their purchasing power increasing, it is decreasing on a daily basis due to the high rate of the US dollar. Auction-sellers get depreciated (a nice way of saying ‘expired’) goods from importers and sell them on the street (usually in traffic) to anyone willing to buy – and at bargain prices. To stabilize the exchange rate situation, the CBL has begun to crackdown on ‘illegal money changers’ who, according to the bank, are somehow responsible for rapid or unconditional increase in the exchange rate. A taskforce has been setup to clear these vendors off the streets, especially in the major commercial districts of Red-Light, Duala, Waterside and others.CBL Executive Governor said recently at a press conference in Monrovia, “To mitigate the current levels of the Liberian dollar depreciation for the first half of 2016,” the CBL intervened in the foreign exchange market with the amount of US$14.5 million as compared to (US$5.0 million in June alone); US$5.0 million lower than the level of intervention made in the same period in 2015. The bank subsequently made an additional intervention US$3 million within foreign exchange market, Weeks said.During that auction, Governor Weeks said, the total demand was US$7.6 million, thus resulting into an oversubscription of US$4.6 million.Usually as festive seasons (Independence or Christmas) approach, demands for foreign exchange to service import payment is usually high as evidenced by the level of oversubscription.Additionally, he said, CBL continues with its regular foreign exchange monitoring and enforcement exercises to weed out illegal operators from the foreign exchange market.The Governor also dispelled persistent rumours that the depreciation of the Liberian dollar is due to the printing and release into the market of additional local currency notes.According to the recent CBL first quarter report for 2016, the exchange rate for the average Liberian dollar depreciated by 1.0 percent to L$91.42/US$1.00 at end-April, 2016, from L$90.5/US$1.00 during the previous month.However, compared to the corresponding month a year ago, the Liberian dollar on average depreciated by 8.2 percent against the US dollar. “The year-on-year depreciation of the Liberian dollar was mainly on account of declines in the prices of the country’s major commodity exports, rising import demand and deteriorating terms of trade,” the CBL first-quarter report said. “Major currencies in the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) continued to experience mixed results at end-April, 2016, relative to end-March, 2016. Except the Gambian Dalasi that appreciated in value and the Guinean Franc as well as the Nigerian Naira that remained stable, the Liberian dollar and the Sierra Leonean Leone registered slight depreciations in the reported period.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

City Constabulary should carry themselves with dignity, pride, professionalism

first_imgDear Editor,A recent media briefing held by the Chief Constable of the Georgetown City Constabulary in which he expressed his disappointment in the behaviour displayed by personnel from a private security firm towards ranks of the City Constabulary during an operation by the City Council to seize four fiberglass swimming pools in Ixora Avenue in Bel Air Park was indeed quite befuddling.The first thing that confuses me is his conclusion that the conduct of the members of the private security firm would never be tolerated by the Guyana Police Force. How does he know that? I just don’t understand why the City Constabulary always tries to compare itself with the Guyana Police Force when there could hardly be a parallel drawn between the two law enforcement agencies; in local terminology, they would say that it is like comparing chalk to cheese.To begin, the rank involved in the altercation with the private security has a history of misconduct, delinquency and venality to a level that is unimaginable and which would never been tolerated by the Guyana Police Force in any of its ranks. Note that none of the members of the private security firm brandished their weapons, or were as hostile or threatening as this Constabulary rank, behaviour that was uncalled for and incongruous. But then again every vendor that operates in Georgetown can attest to this type of erratic behaviour being a pattern of this senior officer which the City Constabulary and the City Council constantly condone and, in fact, at the moment they are having him act in the most senior positions in the City Constabulary.In reality, quite recently, this officer had to be arrested by the very Guyana Police Force in a drunken state in Sophia.It is sad that the City Constabulary that has been in existence even before the Guyana Police would be like castaway step relatives of the National Police, but if they want to be respected, then they have to respect themselves first by carrying themselves with dignity, pride and professionalism. And this will have to start with their recruitment process by hiring law enforcement officials with the academic, moral and spiritual upbringing that can raise or even surpass the standards of the Guyana Police Force.The City Constabulary needs to improve its ability to tackle crime, public protection, and protecting vulnerable people before thinking about complaining and comparing themselves to any other agency.Regards,Jermain Johnsonlast_img read more

FIFA discloses damaging Qatar WC bid report

first_img0Shares0000FC Barcelona’s former president Sandro Rosell (L), pictured in February 2016, acted as a consultant for Qatar’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup, and allegedly sent $2 million to the bank account of a FIFA official’s 10-year-old daughter © AFP/File / JAVIER SORIANOLAUSANNE, Switzerland, Jun 27 – FIFA on Tuesday released a long-withheld report on alleged corruption in awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar after more leaks deepened the controversy surrounding the vote.World football’s governing body had previously declined to publish in full the 400-page report into awarding the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 edition to Qatar drawn up by US independent investigator Michael Garcia. But FIFA’s hand was forced when German tabloid newspaper Bild said it had obtained the full report and released extracts on Monday, including revelations that a 10-year-old daughter of one FIFA member had received $2 million in her bank account.FIFA said it was already considering releasing in full Garcia’s findings prior to the latest disclosures.“However, as the document has been illegally leaked to a German newspaper, the new chairpersons (of the committee) have requested the immediate publication of the full report…in order to avoid the dissemination of any misleading information,” FIFA explained in a statement on its website.“For the sake of transparency, FIFA welcomes the news that this report has now been finally published.”Garcia had resigned as head of FIFA’s investigatory body in December 2014 in protest after FIFA released a 40-page sanitised summary of his report which he disowned, describing it as “incomplete and erroneous.”The full report referred to an array of suspect financial dealings including the sum of $2 million allegedly sent by a consultant for Qatar, Sandro Rosell, to the 10-year-old daughter of a FIFA official.The payment was described by an associate as the proceeds from a real estate deal.But Garcia concluded that “no proof exists linking Qatar and this £2 million to the daughter of executive committee member (former Brazil football chief Ricardo Teixeira).”Rosell is the ex-Barcelona president who is in prison under investigation for money laundering related to the sale of the Brazilian national football team’s television rights.– Controversy –Garcia’s investigation also revealed that one former FIFA executive committee member thanked Qatar by mail for a transfer of several hundred thousand euros just after Qatar was awarded the 2022 tournament.The report also documents that three executive members of FIFA were flown to Rio de Janeiro for a private party ahead of the vote to decide who would host the 2022 World Cup.Qatar won the right to host the 2022 World Cup in late 2010 and the result of the vote has been the source of enormous controversy ever since.Following Garcia’s investigation, the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s ethics committee noted that there had been suspicious behaviour during the bidding process but not enough to call into question the decision to give Qatar the 2022 finals or Russia the 2018 tournament.Hours before FIFA made the decision to go public former FIFA boss Sepp Blatter had denounced the report’s leaking to Bild.Blatter, who announced Qatar as the 2022 hosts in December 2010, told AFP: “The only comment that I can make is that there was a leak as only the ethics commission had the power to publish the Garcia report.”He added: “I stand by the statements made at the time by Hans-Joachim Eckert, the Ethics Committee chairman, to the executive committee.“For him the Garcia report did not contain any elements to call into question the attribution of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and 2022 to Qatar.”Blatter, replaced as FIFA boss in 2016 by Gianni Infantino, concluded: “I’ve always pointed out and I’ll repeat it now, it was Michel Platini’s vote in favour of Qatar which influenced the executive committee’s vote whereas there was initially an agreement to award 2018 to Russia and 2022 to the United States.”Platini, then head of European football body UEFA, attended a dinner in Paris with Nicolas Sarkozy, president of France at the time, and future Qatari ruler Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, on November 23, nine days before the crucial vote.But Garcia stated that “no proof had been discovered tying Mr Platini’s vote” in favour of Doha with Qatar’s subsequent investment in France, notably the purchase of Paris Saint-Germain.Eckert was ousted along with investigator Cornel Borbely in May and the former ethics committee chairmen defended the decision not to release the report sooner.“The decision to not publish the report so far was completely in line with the federation’s previous decisions and the applicable FIFA rules,” they said in a statement sent to AFP late on Tuesday.They said the report “only is a working document” and added that in December 2014, during a FIFA Executive Committee meeting, it was decided that only Eckert “was to decide on the publication of the report as soon as all procedures, including potential appeals to the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport), have been closed.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Local resident warning locals selling goods online to be aware of overpayment cheque scam

first_imgHe said that he went in to speak to his bank manager, who told him that the cheque definitely looked legitimate but that she knew about the scam, which has also been reported in the Metro Vancouver area.The scammers will send the cheque to a seller for a much greater amount than their item’s asking price, and will ask the seller to then deposit the cheque and then transfer the remainder back to the buyer.Since the cheque has been issued in American dollars, Thomas said that his bank told him it would take at least 15 days for the cheque to clear. Instead of clearing, the cheque will bounce, leaving people scammed potentially out of a large sum of money.A similar scam was reported by the Dawson Creek RCMP six years ago, when a mail scam asked residents to cash a cheque and then wire $4,000 through Western Union to residents in the States and keep the remainder.Advertisement FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A Fort St. John resident is wanting to alert members of the public who are selling goods online about a new scam that could cause them to lose a decent amount of money.Justin Thomas said that he was contacted by someone claiming to be interested in the motorhome he was selling online.He explained that the potential buyer claimed to be from out of town and was purchasing the motorhome on their clients’ behalf, adding that the buyer’s financial secretary had mailed a cheque for RV.- Advertisement -Thomas said that around a month later a cheque showed up, but it was issued in U.S. dollars for much more than his asking price for the RV.When he texted the buyer back saying that the cheque was for more than the asking price, he received a response saying that the financial secretary had issued the cheque for a number of items that the client was supposedly buying in Fort St. John, and accidentally issued the cheque for the cumulative total.“I knew then that, to me, it was a scam.”Advertisement Anyone who suspects a scam is asked to call the Fort St. John RCMP at (250) 787-8100, their local police, or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm.With files from CTV Vancouver: https://bc.ctvnews.ca/selling-online-beware-of-the-overpayment-cheque-scam-1.4038297last_img read more

Newcastle were not good enough, says Pardew

first_imgNewcastle boss Alan Pardew conceded that his side lost to the better team after seeing his side brushed aside by Arsenal at the Emirates.The Gunners ran out 4-1 winners as braces from Oliver Giroud and Santi Cazorla sealed a comfortable win for Arsene Wenger’s men.And Pardew confirmed that he had no complaints with the scoreline as his side just didn’t play up to their expected levels.“We didn’t play well today, they were sharper than us, the three that didn’t travel to midweek and it showed today their front three caused us all sorts of trouble and Chamberlain was fantastic in the middle and we have to accept that. But when I look at my team today we just weren’t good enough.“When we nicked a goal back and had a good little spell if we had got a second goal I think we could have brought back some bad memories for Arsenal, because it does play on your mind but we couldn’t manage that, but to be honest I don’t think we deserved it today, the better side won,” the former West Ham manager said.The Toon army were missing influential midfielder Moussa Sissoko and Pardew admitted that his side missed the Frenchman.“The opposition always have a say on how you are going to perform and they were terrific today, we missed Moussa [Sissoko] today and we didn’t deal very well with his absence today and that is something we are going to have deal with,” Pardew added.last_img read more

Swansea midfielder links up with League One strugglers

first_img Josh Sheehan 1 Swansea midfielder Josh Sheehan has joined Yeovil on a one-month loan’s deal.Sheehan, 19, made his debut for the Premier League club in the Capital One Cup against Rotherham back in August but has yet to make his breakthrough into the first-team.Yeovil are currently bottom of League One and are hoping the talented youngster can help them move away from the foot of the table.Sheehan is hoping to be available for the game against Gillingham on Saturday.last_img

Arts venue is area’s focus

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card “If it is all doable, it will really add a new cultural dimension to have one of the greatest regional libraries and a performing arts theater,” Mayor Barry Groveman said. “People really want to enjoy these cultural activities closer to home. It adds to the culture of the entire West San Fernando Valley.” The city is set to break ground on the 27,700-square-foot civic center and 25,700-square-foot library, which are expected to be finished in 2008. By the time the civic center and library are built, arts supporters are hoping they will have raised enough money to get a performing arts center built, with an opening date some time in 2010. The building site is 7.7 acres, but most will remain as open space, with only about 1.5 acres used for the civic center, library and performing arts building. The exact size of the performing arts building hasn’t been determined, although it is expected to be built up from a base of about 9,000 square feet. The library is being paid for by the state of California but will be operated by the city. CALABASAS – With construction set to begin this spring on a $38 million civic center and library, arts backers hope to raise enough money to bring a third element to the project – a performing arts center that would serve the West San Fernando Valley. Fundraising continues for a first-class venue that would provide the upscale community a place for music, live theater, art and film – something the Valley has tried to get for decades. Preliminary plans call for a performing arts center with a 400-seat main hall and a 99-seat studio theater. The city of Calabasas has already designated a site next to the incoming civic center and library, provided such a center is feasible. A $25,000 study is being conducted to determine whether the center could sustain itself, city officials said. More than $50,000 has been raised from private donors and fundraising events for the performing arts center, but millions are needed to build and endow it, with the money expected to come through the nonprofit Spotlight the Arts Foundation. This group could receive private donations and grants to support the project. With plans for the performing arts center still tentative, officials cannot say exactly how much money they will need to raise. The arts venue would sit next to the civic center on Park Sorrento and Park Centre, within walking distance of The Commons at Calabasas shopping center, so people could walk back and forth between the theaters and restaurants. With The Commons and nearby Old Calabasas, the area is already an entertainment district in the city. The Calabasas effort is the latest in a series of attempts to bring a performing arts center to the Valley. An idea in 2004 to build a 9,000-seat venue in North Hollywood called The Oasis as part of that area’s redevelopment fizzled after officials decided there wouldn’t be enough support for such a large project. The 433-seat Madrid Theater in Canoga Park has been drawing healthy crowds since it was taken over by the nonprofit Valley Cultural Center, which itself has expressed a desire to someday build a $100 million performing arts complex in the Valley. California State University, Northridge, plans to build 1,700-seat hall with state and private funding. It would be the largest facility of its kind in the Valley and is expected to cost about $100 million, with a possible completion date in 2010. CSUN already has a 500-seat performing arts center in its student union. Carmen Ramos Chandler, a university spokeswoman, said although there might be some competition raising private funds for the CSUN and Calabasas centers at the same time, the San Fernando Valley needs both. “The Valley has a lack of cultural centers,” she said. “Anyplace where we can showcase the talent of the region adds to the richness of the Valley.” In addition to the 1,700-seat theater, the new CSUN center would have room for a 250-seat theater, rehearsal space, a lecture hall, laboratories specializing in sound and lighting, and a home for campus radio station KCSN 88.5 FM. State and private funding will pay for its construction. Jack Kyser, chief economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., said community performing arts centers seem to survive and thrive in areas across Southern California, and that Calabasas has the right demographics for such a project. “The San Fernando Valley is big enough that it could support several centers of this type,” he said. “Calabasas is right on the 101 Freeway and it has the demographics to support a center with an eclectic base. A Calabasas center could draw from the entire West San Fernando Valley.” Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley both have performing arts centers built and supported by public and private funds. The nonprofit Alliance for the Arts, which supports the Civic Arts Plaza in Thousand Oaks, has an endowment fund of about $4 million and contributes $250,000 annually to support the two Civic Arts Plaza theaters, including the Fred Kavli Theater with 1,800 seats. The Alliance also provides hundreds of thousands of dollars more in grants to groups that perform at the center. Debbie Gambordella, co-chairwoman of Spotlight the Arts, a nonprofit organization with more than 400 supporters raising money to build and endow a Calabasas performing arts center, said excitement is building in the community for the project. “The community is welcoming the idea,” she said, adding that three key components need to be in place before they can move forward – the feasibility study, an agreement with the city and a conceptual site plan, including artist renderings. Television personality Stephanie Edwards lives in Woodland Hills but has been supporting the Calabasas project by hosting fundraisers, including one planned for Feb. 19. “There is a lot of talent in this town with no place to perform,” she said. “… It’s wonderful to think that there might be a community theatrical venue of high quality that uses the talent of the young through the old in our community.” Eric Leach, (805) 583-7602 eric.leach@dailynews.com IF YOU GO: Spotlight the Arts Foundation will hold a fundraiser, Spotlight Swing Night, 5:30-10 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Sagebrush Cantina, 23527 Calabasas Road. Tickets are $75, and can be purchased by calling (818) 725-2978 or e-mailing Tickets@SpotlighttheArts.org. 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