Fiji to bid for World Sevens leg

first_imgPhoto: PHOTOSPORT Fiji on the medal podium during the 2016 Olympic Games Mr Bainimarama made the announcement at a gala dinner marking the one-year anniversary of Fiji’s historic win at last year’s Olympic Games in Rio.He said Fiji has been known as one of the finest exponents of running sevens rugby for decades and had become a dominant force on the international stage.However, he bemoaned the fact the country didn’t currently have a major international Sevens event placing them properly on the world stage.”We do not have a major Sevens event that befits our position as Olympic Men’s Rugby 7s Champions,” Mr Bainimarama said.Once the next bidding process commences, the Fiji Rugby Union and the government will submit a bid.The Prime Minister, who is also the President of the FRU, said the country would look to put its best foot forward to host such an event.”The opportunity to host a leg may be as early as 2020, it may be later, but we want Fiji to be ready when that time comes,” Mr Bainimarama said.The chairman of the FRU, Commander Francis Kean, said his board was making great strides on many fronts in becoming more professional citing a recently approved strategic plan which identified hosting of a leg of the Sevens Series as a key priority.”The benefits of hosting a leg are truly significant,” Mr Kean said.”From the financial benefits to our economy flowing from the tourism and spending, to the massive global exposure of such an event, hosting a leg of the World Sevens Series positions our country favourably alongside the current other 10 cities.”Plus, it gives our Sevens team a chance to play in front of a home crowd, in front of their families and friends.”Mr Kean said the FRU will be investing a lot of time, energy and resources over the next six months towards submitting a compelling bid.Currently the HSBC World Sevens Series is played in 10 cities; Dubai, Cape Town, Sydney, Hamilton, Singapore, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Paris and London.The cities selected by World Rugby to host a major event would need to satisfy a wide range of criteria including venue, accommodation and potential attendance.Mr Kean said the FRU was announcing its intention to bid when the opportunity arises once current hosting agreements expire in 2019.last_img read more

Episcopal Church, Others Support Gov’t Ebola Fight in Cape Mount

first_imgThe Episcopal Church of Liberia in collaboration with the Episcopal Relief and Development and NETS FOR LIFE, an international charity organization, has intensified its distribution campaign of assorted medical items and anti-Ebola materials to buttress government efforts in combating the deadly Ebola virus.The Episcopal Relief Development recently distributed food and non-food items and disinfectants to quarantined communities as part of the church’s contribution to eradicate the virus disease.The organization is currently providing food support to Ebola victims at the Island Clinic health center, which has made significant impact in that region.Speaking to the Daily Observer over the weekend, the program coordinator of the Episcopal Relief Development, Madam Agnes Perkins, said the exercise is aimed at enhancing the ongoing fight against the epidemic.She added that the Episcopal Church, through its development and health services arms, has always been in the vanguard to help support government initiatives to improve the living condition of Liberians.According to her, the church earlier provided nutritional meals to Ebola victims of the Island Ebola Unit, while assorted food items were also distributed to quarantined communities. The distribution of medical supplies is ongoing.The head of the Episcopal Relief Development presented blankets, Personal Protective Gears, face masks, gloves, thermostats, aprons and bed sheets to the medical centers.The role of the church against the Ebola virus is cardinal. This prompted the Episcopal Church to re-direct all of strategies to the fight against the virus.An Archdeacon of the Episcopal Church, Rev. Moses King, who led a team of reporters to the different centers in Cape Mount County, added that the support given those facilities will better equip them to combat Ebola.Rev. King said the Bendaja community clinic in Porkpa District, the St. Timothy Government Hospital in Robertsport, the Mbaloma community clinic in Gola Konneh District and Mambo community clinic also benefited from the assorted medical items in that region.Montserrado County clinics that also benefited included United Pentecostal Church Medical Health Center in soul clinic, MASHCO medical center on the Somalia Drive, Kingsville Community Clinic and the Bensonville Health Center. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Cartoon: December 17, 2014

Finance Minister Unsure of Payroll Numbers?

first_imgMinister Samuel Tweah addresses participants at the launch of the Ministry’s Strategic Plan.-Finance Ministry, CSA cite varying figures at 43K, 68K & 69KMinister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel Tweah, under serious grilling from Senate plenary on Tuesday, September 3, 2019, has apologized for not following up along with the Legislature during the formulation period of the Harmonization of civil servants salary.“We hope to do better coordination through information whenever we embark on such national endeavor,” Minister Tweah told the over 20 senators present at yesterday’s three-hour grilling session.He said the harmonization exercise is undertaken by the Civil Service Agency and the Ministry of Finance, and collectively with all other governmental entities, their combined effort is being debated. Minister Tweah disclosed that the harmonization will benefit every gainfully employed a civil servant, specifically the health, security, and education sectors, although he did not provide specifics or say how gainfully employed civil servants will benefit.But Minister Tweah came under a sustained barrage of questions when Senators Daniel Naatehn and Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence inquired about the number of civil servants inherited by the George Weah Government and the total number of civil servants.Having made what appeared to be a brilliant power-point presentation, Minister Tweah got entangled as he desperately tried to put the correct number of the government payroll.He told the gathering that President Weah incorporated 2,000 nurses who had been outside payroll, and as far as he knows it has placed only one thousand persons on the current payroll by this government.However still pressed by the seemingly unconvinced Senators Lawrence and Naatehn, Minister Tweah said the 2,000 nurses and 1,000 brought in by the CDC government brought the number of civil servants firstly to 43,500, to 68,000, but only to increase that number to 69,000 as the number of interested Senators in the payroll aspect of the hearing increased.Earlier, the CSA representative at the hearing told the session presided over by the President of the Senate, Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor, that “as at June 2019, we have 43,000 civil servants and as today, all of them have been put into the data and are being compiled, and after that we will know.”Contrary to public fears of salary deduction, Minister Tweah assured that the harmonization will bring happiness to homes of civil servants.The Minister will continue with his cross-examination today.Meanwhile, the Senate after heated debate, last Thursday voted to call a halt to what they described as “constitutional transgression”, meaning the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning “salaries harmonization” scheme and instead reverse the process and reimburse those affected by the action.The Senate’s decision was prompted by a communication from Gbarpolu County Senator Armah Zolu Jallah, requesting plenary to have the MFDP submit the Government’s salary “Harmonization Plan” inclusive of the three branches of the Government, Private and autonomous agencies. It also followed another letter from Maryland County Senator H. Dan Morais, complaining of student protest actions over teachers go slow at the Tubman University in Harper for salary payment. He continued:“While on my feet, I move… that this plenary communicate with the Executive informing it of the transgression it has done and ordered that it stops all salary payments until the 2019/2020 national budget is passed and if possible reverse what they have done; until the Legislature completes the process on the budget that will be deemed passed,” declared Bong County Senator Henry W. Yallah in a motion proffered before plenary.During last Thursday’s debate, Senator Oscar Cooper requested that both the MFDP and Civil Service Agency be cited to, appear before plenary, and ask them if they have a harmonization structure policy to present to the Senate and the Legislature.“We are getting communications from our constituents who are Doctors as professional people who are supposed to receive US$1,999, and they have displayed bank accounts which showed they received US$254.00; so this is happening if you know about it,” Senator Cooper intimated.River Cess Senator Dallas Gueh agreed that any decision taken to arbitrarily cut or harmonize salaries without legislative approval “violates the Constitution and the Public Finance Management Law, which states that when the budget is not yet passed one-twelfth of the previous budget be implemented.”Grand Gedeh County Senator Marshall Dennis for his part called for prompt action on the salary harmonization scheme noting that “information is coming from sources to us that salaries for July are being badly cut, so if we are not careful a lot of noise is going to be around here; so it is better that we put our feet down now and investigate.”Referencing teachers’ salary cut in her constituency, Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence said the discussion should be beyond just the policy and planning, “because I know there are teachers in my constituency who met with me and some of them were making LRD18,000 and received LRD6,000. So I think there should be an immediate motion to call our financial team here to prove to us that this is not happening, and if it’s happening what action they are taking immediately. ”“Considering the noise of salary cut, we should not procrastinate, I think the leadership of the Senate should now communicate with the President to advise him that he should instruct his Finance Minister to stop any cut in civil servants salary until that policy document can be made available,” Grand Gedeh County Senator Alphonso Gaye warned.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

2:00am curfew relaxed for holiday season

first_imgFollowing repeated calls from senior public officials, along with requests from visiting overseas-based Guyanese and businesses, the Public Security Ministry has announced a relaxation of the 2:00am curfew for the holiday season.Enforcement of the curfew will be relaxed for bars, nightclubs and other places of entertainment. The period during which this will be in effect is from December 21, 2018 to January 7, 2019.As of January 8, 2019, the aforementioned stipulated closing time will be back on stream.“It must be pointed out; however, that all other laws, especially those prohibiting drinking and driving and noise nuisance, will be thoroughly enforced through more vehicular patrols and Policemen outside partying spots,” the Ministry in a statement said.Party-goers are also being reminded to get a designated driver and to ensure noise levels at partying spots are not excessive.The season is a time for celebration and knowing the Guyanese spirit, the Ministry is persuaded and sees the need for this relaxation of the curfew, and also takes the time to wish all Guyanese a happy and safe holiday season.Only recently, the Public Security Ministry had announced a ban on parties at Marriott Beachfront. In addition, Police were instructed to monitor the level of music being played at bars around the country in an apparent noise nuisance campaign.Since the implementation of these new measures, promoters and bar owners have been calling for a revocation, since the measures will affect their businesses and more so, tourism.last_img read more

Bob Andrews and Sandy McDonald victorious at the five race series in Baldonnel

first_imgThe Series leaders for men and women are Bob Andrews and Sandy McDonald both with 20 points,Dawitt Feyissa is leader of the under 19 year olds with 10 points.Tuesday night’s race was won by Sandy McDonald, who completed both 2 km runs and the 10 km bike in 35:23,- Advertisement -Bob Andrews was second in 36:26 and Gord Harris third in 38:02.The following times were as follows:Heather McCracken with 39:29, Ursala Kroetsch in 40:33 and Jolea Bilodeau with 42:38.Advertisement Tanner McCracken won the short event of 1-8-1 km with a time of 29:30 which was also a personal best of the season.The final Duathlon in the series will be held next Tuesday at Baldonnel at 7 pm.Meanwhile, the First Cactus Race of the season is on Wednesday night at 7 pm and Thursday’s Baldonnel time trial will also be held at 7 pm.Sunday’s Cecil lake 70 k road race will begin at 10 am, with a 40 k ‘Civilized Distance’ available as well.Advertisementlast_img read more

Couple recall years spent caring for Showcase House of Design

first_img“During the daytime, we had 16 gardeners plus staff. We had about 25 baby sitters. They couldn’t get into trouble if they tried,” she laughed. At Christmastime, the house would be filled with people putting up elaborate decorations sometimes until midnight. The rest of the year, the Grafs were the only ones around after dark. “As soon as the gardens closed it was all ours,” Maggie Graf said with delight. “In the summertime, we’d have picnics on the lawn or over on the balcony.” “The mosquitoes didn’t come up that high,” added Don Graf about the balcony dining. Sometimes things did go bump in the night. “One night we heard a knock on our upstairs door. The kids had been playing and had left the back door to the house open. It was a raccoon. We gave him a banana and some water. He ate it and left,” she said. “They left the door open again and a whole raccoon family came in.” Many dream of living in a mansion on hill surrounded by acres of trees and gardens. Don and Maggie Graf lived that dream with their two sons for less than $100 a month. The Grafs lived in the Boddy House – the 2007 Pasadena Showcase House of Design – as caretakers from 1960 to 1997. It was not a life of luxury, but it was an adventure. They lived in five rooms in the eastern portion of the second floor. During the day, people would come and go beneath them for art exhibits, luncheons and meetings, said Maggie Graf. She said she never had to worry about her sons when they were playing outside. Another night when a babysitter was there, Don and Maggie Graf returned to find the “granddaddy of all skunks” on the front staircase. Luckily, they were able to shoo him away without provoking him to stink up the house. “After that we never forgot to lock that door,” Maggie laughed. “You never really knew what you were going to run in to.” The Grafs were a young couple with a 6-month-old son when they moved into the 1938 house that E. Manchester Boddy had sold to Los Angeles County in 1953. Another couple had lived in the house for a few years, but had decided to move. Don Graf was working at Descanso Gardens as a tram driver and handling public relations in the gatehouse when his employers invited them to live in the house. “We were young, dumb and poor with a brand new baby. We were living in West Covina and our pediatrician was in Pasadena and I didn’t drive at the time. It made a lot more sense at the time, especially since the baby was sick a lot.” “The solitude and beauty of the grounds was a wonderful selling point,” added Don Graf. “It was sometimes like working 24 hours a day. I had to check the grounds a couple times a night and sometimes there were kids wandering around or there would be a broken pipe.” They paid a meager rent of $57 per month, which went up to $154 per month by the end of their 37 years there. Their living quarters were cramped and their kitchen tiny. It looked nothing like the Showcase House. “It’s absolutely amazing what they could accomplish,” Maggie Graf said after touring the Showcase House of Design – her old home. The small upstairs family room – made over by Karina Oldemans Interior Design with a sage green wall unit and matching thin wood veneer wallpaper – was the Grafs’ living room. The room decorated as a teen daughter’s bedroom by Studio Blu Interior Design was the Grafs’ master bedroom. The larger closet was their baby nursery with a crib, changing table and rocking chair. “I was upset that they painted that cedar wood,” said Maggie Graf of the pink, black and white walls. Though she admitted she understands why they’d want to make the room brighter. The family shared the bathroom that connects their old master bedroom to the boys’ room, which was redone as a teen boy’s room by MK and Company Interior Design. The connecting room that has been redone as an elegant office by Judy Taylor Interior Design was the family’s kitchen. That room has changed the most drastically of the rooms they lived in, said Maggie Graf. Where the desk sits there was a closet wall, so their kitchen was even smaller. It was a mere 10 by 11 feet, she said. “When the boys got older and we needed room for a table, I had my husband take out the stove and I cooked on a two-burner hot plate and in the microwave for 10 years,” she remembered. Maggie Graf was pleased with most of the new looks in the house but was most excited to see the new patio out back. “It’s beautiful now. The flagstones were lifting up before and it was really a hazard,” she said. No one has lived in the house since the Grafs moved out in 1997. They now live in a mobile home in Palmdale. The Descanso Gardens Guild asked them to move out because they needed more office space. Though the Grafs sometimes wish they’d bought a house for the financial investment, they’re glad they lived in the Boddy House. “For the sake of raising the kids, we wouldn’t change the decision we made,” said Don Graf. “The solitude and the animals were great.”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

Wenger’s legacy at Arsenal ‘untouchable’ – Henry

first_imgHowever, the Frenchman, who brought Henry to the club in 1999, has been under increasing pressure to leave due to a 14-year drought without winning the Premier League and even failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 20 years last season.“Recently people were always confusing what he is doing at the minute and his legacy,” Henry told Sky Sports. “Once you announce you are leaving people are going to talk about your legacy and his legacy is untouchable.”Arsenal are on course for their lowest ever league finish under Wenger as they sit in sixth with just five Premier League games of the season remaining.However, they do possess one final shot at qualifying for next season’s Champions League should they win the Europa League.For Wenger’s final game in charge to come in the Europa League final in his homeland in Lyon next month, Arsenal need to get past Spanish giants Atletico Madrid over two legs in their semi-final on April 27 and May 4.“I remember when I used to play for Arsenal people used to talk about the way we were playing, not what we won, but they way we were doing it, and how Arsene changed Arsenal into a well-recognised club in the world,” added Henry.“I’m happy now we can all talk about his legacy and, yes, let’s not forget that we still have to win the Europa League.“Let’s not get lost in celebrating the end of his era. The team has to win the Europa League, it would be an amazing achievement and Arsene never won in Europe before so it would be a great way to give him a good exit.”Henry sparked speculation that he could succeed Wenger in February when he conceded managing Arsenal would “be a dream” of his.However, he backed down from those comments when quizzed who should replace Wenger and whether he is interested in the role.“Look at me laughing,” he said. “This is a funny one because I am not going to go that way again. I was trying to talk from the heart and it went I would say too far.“There is one person who you can ask that question, though, it’s (Arsenal Chief Executive) Ivan Gazidis. He’s the one that should answer the question.”0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Thierry Henry was in the Arsenal invincible team that won two league titles and three FA Cups as well as leading his team to the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final in his role as captain.LONDON, United Kingdom, Apr 20 – Arsenal’s all-time record goalscorer Thierry Henry insists a barren end to Arsene Wenger’s 22-year reign as the Gunners’ manager shouldn’t tarnish his legacy.Wenger announced on Friday he will step aside at the end of the season, having won three Premier League titles and a record seven FA Cups during his time in charge.last_img read more

FA critical of Burnley fans over Bong taunts

first_img0Shares0000Brighton defender Gaetan Bong (R) – FA condemns taunts he received from Burnley fans on Saturday © AFP / Glyn KIRKLONDON, United Kingdom, Apr 30 – The Football Association has condemned the Burnley fans who taunted Brighton defender Gaetan Bong during Saturday’s goalless draw at Turf Moor.Cameroon international Bong accused West Bromwich Albion forward Jay Rodriguez, a former Burnley player, of racially abusing him during a match in January. That charge was found not proven but the FA said it was satisfied the complaint was “made in absolute good faith”, prompting a disagreement between the feuding players on social media.Bong was subjected to prolonged booing throughout the match against Burnley and also had to endure ugly chants from Clarets supporters.“The FA considers the behaviour of some supporters on Saturday towards Gaetan Bong to be unacceptable,” a statement read.“It needs repeating, following the recent disciplinary matter, that there was no suggestion by any party involved in that case that the player made a malicious or fabricated complaint.“The FA was wholly satisfied that the complaint was made in absolute good faith.“The FA takes all allegations of discrimination extremely seriously and continues to encourage all participants who believe that they have been the subject of or witness to discriminatory abuse to report this through the appropriate channels.”Speaking after the game, Brighton manager Chris Hughton had said: “I would have to say that I thought the reaction of the Burnley supporters towards Gaetan every time he got the ball was shameful, I really do.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

A new course for City Council

first_img A digital clock has been installed on the podium with an alarm that sounds when speakers have exceeded their time. Garcetti said he also wants to see whether cushions can be installed on the chamber’s wooden benches to make them more comfortable for the public. And he said he wants to see whether a docent system can be created to help the public navigate and understand council procedures. Garcetti said he is excited as he prepares to try to coordinate the activities of the 15-member council and reflect both its concerns and those of the public in understanding how city government operates. Thirteen council members attended the first meeting of the year – with Councilman Alex Padilla excused to speak at the League of California Cities meeting in Sacramento and Councilman Dennis Zine attending a National League of Cities meeting in Florida. Garcetti will undergo yet another test of leadership later this week when he releases new committee assignments for council members. He said he has been talking with council members about changes and plans to shift about a half-dozen chairmanships. He also said he wants to change the focus of some committees and spread out responsibilities. Among these is shifting responsibility of the Department of Water and Power to a new Energy and Environment Committee. He also plans to put tourism into a new council Commerce and Tourism Committee. That panel also will retain authority over the Airport and Harbor departments. Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita The first test came as Garcetti cajoled members – who generally sat quietly listening to presentations by the public and colleagues – to wrap up their speeches within the time limits as the council tackled a weighty, 82-item agenda. “I am hoping to set an example of being on time – and I have to admit I haven’t always followed it,” Garcetti said. “It’s rude to the public and the members who are here on time to make them wait.” Councilman Tom LaBonge jokingly suggested that the council have a pot of money that would pay for extra district projects to reward members who are on time. When it was suggested that the fund be financed by penalizing members who are late, Garcetti said he preferred to be more positive. Garcetti said he hopes to make council meetings more friendly to the public, while running more efficiently. The Los Angeles City Council entered a new era Wednesday, ending a 21-day holiday break with the first session of 2006 under new leadership. And it set a new example: Instead of the usual 20- to 30-minute delay in starting, the council session began promptly at 10:01 a.m. “A good start,” new council President Eric Garcetti said as he presided over his first meeting and thumbed through a copy of a new edition of Robert’s Rules of Order. Garcetti has said he hopes to address some of the criticisms of the council, cementing its role as a serious policymaker as well as improving meetings by paying more attention to the public and returning to a three-minute limit for council members’ speeches. last_img read more