In US$6M PUP Case ‘MLME was not Part of 59 PUP Deeds Investigation’

first_imgWalter Wisner, the Commissioner responsible for land administration at the Lands Commission, who testified on Tuesday in the ongoing US$6 million Private Use Permit (PUP) case, has clarified that his Commission did not involve the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (MLME), regarding the validation of 59 deeds that were investigated by them.The permit authorized logging companies to operate on 2.5 million hectares of farmland, of which 59 deeds  government is alleging were fraudulently issued to the company by Moses Wogbeh, dismissed Managing Director of theForestry Development Authority (FDA), along with other senior management and a senior surveyor of the MLME.Testifying at Criminal Court ‘C’ as prosecution’s fourth witness when he was asked by defense team, whether during his commission’s investigation of the 59 deeds, the Ministry played any role, according to  its statutory mandate, to conduct surveys and other land activities.Wisner, who was also vice chair on the  technical committee of the Presidential Special Independent Investigation Body (SIIB) whose investigation charged the defendants, replied, “We, the Land Commission was specifically clear as to what the SIIB  wanted us to do.  And as I had indicated and re-stated, the request was to authenticate the land records and deeds. We were asked to validate the records attached to the PUPs. We were not asked to deal with land issues.”He further explained, “The Land Commission received a special request from the SIIB to carry out a thorough vetting of records attached to 59 deeds that formed the basis for the awarding of the PUP contract to logging companies.”Furthered asked during cross examination to explain some of the responsibilities of the Commission, he said, ”the Commission was created to look into all lands related laws, with a view to reform them, and it is also delegated  with the authority to provide equal access to all citizens of Liberia.”More besides, he added, “It has the fundamental duty to provide security and to call together all ministries and agencies that do land business to deal with complex land issues in the country.”Asked whether all ministries he referred to include the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (MLME), he again said, ”I am speaking to the Act that created the Land Commission.  In case of complex land issues, all institutions that deal with land issues should be brought together to discuss complex land issues. So, obviously when there is a complex land issue the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy which deals with land surveys and other issues as related to their statutory mandate will be called upon to discuss complex land issues.Again asked how long it took  him to thoroughly review, search and validate the 59 deeds that were submitted to him by the PUPs investigator,  witness Wisner replied, “It took a long and sufficient time.”The defendants were charged for their individual roles in facilitating the wrongful and illegal issuance of sixty-one PUPs that authorized commercial logging operation on the 2.5 million hectares of farm land.The crimes for which they are being tried include economic sabotage, criminal conspiracy, forgery or counterfeiting, obtaining and issuing deceptive writings and obstruction of government functions by public servants.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

West Ruimveldt man charged for wounding duo

first_imgFifty-eight-year-old Mark Khan of West Ruimveldt Georgetown, who allegedly attacked and wounded Deane Shawn and Faruk Mohammed on July 3, 2018 at West Ruimveldt, appeared on Monday before Georgetown Magistrate Judy Latchman to answer charges of wounding.It is alleged that the defendant, known to the two virtual complainants, showed up at a place where they were staying and demanded that they open a door. When Mohammed opened the door, Khan dealt him several cuffs; and as Shawn went to Mohammed’s assistance, she also was dealt several cuffs to her face.The two were treated for injuries received, and Khan was later arrested and charged.Khan denied the charges read to him, and was placed on bail in the sum of $160,000.His next court date is August 13.last_img

Region Five RDC fails to break deadlock once again

first_imgRegional Vice ChairmanRian PietersThe Region Five (Mahaica/Berbice) Regional Democratic Council (RDC) on Thursday failed to break the deadlock among the councilors of the Peoples Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) and A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Coalition thus resulting in the meeting ending without any meaningful discussion.The two sides are in disagreement over whether Region Executive Officer, Ovid Morrison who also the Clerk of Council can perform duties outside of RDC.Regional Vice Chairman Rian Pieters was forced to adjourn the meeting since the Coalition side of the table maintained that the swearing-in of three new councilors was legal while the PPP is holding out that it was not.The Region Five RDC has eighteen seats with the Coalition occupying eight.When the May meeting was called to order, Chairman Vickchand Ramphal recalled seeing three persons at the horseshoe and was told that they were new councilors who took the oath of office before Morrison at a private ceremony.Ramphal argued then that Morrison did not have the authority in his capacity as REO to perform the ceremony but Morrison and the Coalition Councilors felt otherwise and supported Morrison’s walkout.The three persons are Frank Wilson, Emerson Benjamin and Marian Fordyce. They would have replaced Carol Joseph and Dolston Huston who resigned and Renie McCalmont who never took her seat.On Thursday, however, councilors Abel Seetaram of the AFC and Delon Crawford of APNU argued that the REO acted in accordance with the law.“If we uphold the constitution, we cannot go wrong. The constitution states that any additional councilor should be sworn in by the Clerk,” Crawford said while adding that it was the Clerk of Council who administers the oath of office.Pieters on the other hand maintained that the Clerk cannot perform the duties as Clerk outside of the RDC.However, Seetaram questioned whether the REO could attend a function upon an invitation to the Clerk of Council.Pieters responded by saying that the full council will have to sit and make that decision, whether or not the Clerk of Council will be allowed to attend a function outside of the RDC as the Clark.On this note, he added that the between RDC meetings, the Chairman acts on behalf of the Council.Over the past three years, the RDC had only a few successful monthly meetings as the Coalition had initially refused to sit demanding that the Regional Chairman apologise to President David Granger.That situation existed until the President stepped in and said he needed no apology. The RDC had for months led a walkout stating that he wanted an apology from the Chairman.Meanwhile, on Thursday, it was Pieters who adjourned the meeting.“Since the Council is unable to resolve the issue that is before us, I have no choice but to adorn this meeting,” he said as another month went by without the RDC being able to meaningfully address issues affecting that Region.In June the Regional Chairman had said the entire Region is being set back. He noted that the youths are the once who are mostly affected.AFC Councillor Abel Seetaramlast_img read more

Mourinho will wait to decide on Lukaku’s Cup final fitness

first_img0Shares0000Romelu Lukaku faces a late fitness test ahead of FA Cup final © AFP / Paul ELLISWATFORD, United Kingdom, May 18 – Jose Mourinho will wait until the last minute before deciding whether Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku is fit to feature in Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea.Lukaku has missed United’s last three matches after suffering an ankle injury against Arsenal in April. The Belgium striker is in a race against time to be fit for the Wembley showdown with his former club.And United manager Mourinho, possibly hoping to keep Chelsea guessing, said on Friday that he remains uncertain if Lukaku will be available.Mourinho will be able to call on French forward Anthony Martial, who has recovered from the knee injury he sustained in training.“Martial is fit. Lukaku we have to wait until the last moment. I don’t want to lie and say he doesn’t play or vice versa,” Mourinho told reporters at United’s hotel.It would be a significant blow to United’s hopes of winning the FA Cup for a record-equalling 13th time if Lukaku is unable to pass his late fitness test.Since Lukaku was sidelined, United have lacked a cutting edge and they scored only once in their last three games of the season.The 25-year-old energised United with a goal spree at the start of the season after arriving from Everton in a £75 million ($101 million) deal.Lukaku has scored 27 times for United in all competitions this season, making his first season at Old Trafford a success overall.But he went through a sustained barren patch — with one goal in 12 games — after opposing defences began to sit deeper to stop the Belgian hurting them with his pace.Mourinho was also forced to defend Lukaku from criticism by United fans frustrated at what they perceived as a lack of effort from their muscular forward.Lukaku got back on track at the start of 2018, but had scored just once in his last five appearances before picking up the injury that leaves his Cup final hopes of a knife-edge.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Carabao: Thai rocker turned drinks mogul energising English football

first_imgBut in Thailand, the 63-year-old Yuenyong Opakul is a legend.He is the lead singer of the band Carabao, and co-founder of the energy drink company now sponsoring the English Football League (EFL) cup.Better known as Aed Carabao (pronounced “At”), he helped catalyse the band’s massive following into consumers of high-caffeine drinks.Its giddying ascent since 2002 now sees Carabao outsell Red Bull in Thailand, where hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of the sugary beverages are slurped down each year.With an eye on new markets, Carabao has ploughed cash into English football, hoping for a fast-track to global brand recognition.The company has spent 30 million pounds ($42 million) to sponsor Chelsea’s training kit, a further 18 million pounds on a three-year EFL cup contract as well as paying to have its name emblazoned on Reading FC’s strip.It’s been a “very successful” investment so far, says Aed.“English people are very focused on football. They didn’t know us before but people are talking about the brand now,” he says sitting in his large garden in a Bangkok suburb.– Open goal –Thai money and English football have had a strong chemistry ever since billionaire ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra bought Manchester City in 2007.He flipped it just over a year later for a handsome profit to Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi whose oil fortune has hoisted City into football’s elite.Thailand’s duty free magnate Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was next in, buying Leicester City for about 40 million pounds ($58 million) in 2010 and clearing the club’s large debts.Yuenyong Opakul says he’ll be ‘dressed cool… maybe in a suit because it’s cold,’ for Sunday’s Cup Final © AFP / AIDAN JONESSix years later the Midlands minnows stormed to the Premier League title, the players celebrating in shirts stamped with Vichai’s “King Power” brand.Sheffield Wednesday are owned by Dejphon Chansiri of the Thai Union family — the world’s biggest tinned tuna producers — while Singha beer has partnered with Manchester United.A commercial link with English football guarantees swift “international exposure”, says Pavida Pananond, an academic at Thammasat University’s Business School in Bangkok.“This strategy is not new. Red Bull has done it before with Formula 1 and extreme sports,” she added of the part Thai-owned energy drinks firm.– ‘Play until I die’ –Aed Carabao is no stranger to brand-building.The one-time architecture student who studied in the Philippines, hence the band’s Tagalog name, has spun fame and fortune from his distinctive country-rock style, rasping voice and acerbic lyrics skewering corruption, inequality and forces of reaction.He designed the skull-and-horns Carabao logo, which is across band paraphernalia — and even copyrighted a hand sign that represents the eponymous buffalo.The band has toured Thailand for more than three decades cultivating a loyal base of nostalgic fans but also youngsters drawn to his stage presence and lyricism.“Like BB King I’ll keep playing until I die,” Aed says with a smile, tucking a streak of black hair into his bandana, a Carabao-branded mug on the table in front of him.The band emerged in the early 1980s with an unabashed pro-democracy agenda following a decade of political turbulence when crackdowns killed hundreds of student activists.Several songs were banned by authorities, gifting Aed something of a bad-boy reputation.But age and commercial success has diluted Aed’s taste for controversy, more so in the social media age where junta-run Thailand’s sharply polarised politics tend to chew up anyone who speaks out.“I am not on anyone’s side,” he says, rejecting criticism he has sold out. “But if the people aren’t educated about democracy, we cannot move forward.”Carabao is a colourful name for a trophy that has traditionally relied on more parochial sponsors, including Britain’s milk board and Rumbelows, a now-defunct white-goods retailer.The Thai tie-up also endured an inauspicious start.In June the EFL was forced to apologise after error-strewn graphics appeared on their online broadcast of the first-round draw for the Carabao Cup.The third-round draw stirred more consternation after it was held in Beijing, demanding a pre-dawn wake-up by British fans to follow it live.Yet the timings reflected Carabao’s relentless marketing push, concerned first with seeking a foothold in China’s massive market.As he prepares to travel to London for the cup final, the genial singer is in similarly uncompromising mood.“I’ll be dressed cool… maybe in a suit because it’s cold, but everything else the same,” he said.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Yuenyong Opakul, lead singer of legendary Thai rock band Carabao and owner of Carabao energy drink © AFP / AIDAN JONESBANGKOK, Thailand, Feb 20 – On Sunday evening an ageing Thai rock star with hooped earrings, signature bandana and a wispy moustache will be at the home of English football to present the Carabao Cup to either Arsenal or Manchester City.His prominence will baffle many football fans, not to mention some of the players celebrating the first silverware of the season at London’s Wembley Stadium.last_img read more

11 groups await grant awards

first_imgSANTA CLARITA – Eleven organizations, many of them well-known nonprofits that serve disabled or young people, are poised to split a $50,000 pot of city dollars earmarked for pilot community programs. Tonight, the Santa Clarita City Council will decide who will receive the grants, which are intended as seed money. Single Mothers Outreach, which serves about 1,400 single mothers and their offspring, has sought help launching a health and wellness education program. “If you have a healthy mom, you’re going to have healthy children,” said Debbie Quick, the group’s executive director. “We want the mom to be educated and make good choices.” Single Mothers Outreach has sought $6,700 to help defray costs for offering seminars on nutrition, mental health, first aid, breast cancer awareness and financial planning. The money would also help pay for educational books, tapes and videos for the group’s clients. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card A seven-member committee, which includes Mayor Laurene Weste and Councilman Bob Kellar, ranked the merits of 28 applicants, then decided on the amount of the awards. An organization’s ability to fund the program on an ongoing basis was among the criteria. The grants are intended to pay for operations, maintenance and supplies. They may not be spent on salaries or capital expenses, said Shannon Omessi, an administrator in the community services department. The city’s general fund pays for the one-time awards. Community service grants entail less red tape than Community Development Block Grants, which are issued by the federal government. “I deal with a lot of the same nonprofits in the community service grants as the CDBG,” said Erin Moore-Lay, an analyst in the city’s economic development department, who serves on the grant committee. “(Applicants) like money that’s unrestricted. It allows you to be more flexible, more nimble; there is less reporting, a lot less strings. It’s simpler.” Omessi said the city evaluates the effectiveness of the programs at the end of the year to ensure the money was well spent and the goals were met. Four applicants in the arts category are in line to receive awards ranging from $1,045 to $5,000, and seven applicants in the community benefit category could receive awards ranging from $2,500 to $7,500. The maximum program award is $7,500. The arts applicants are Hart High School, the Santa Clarita Artists’ Association, Placerita Junior High School and California Institute of the Arts/Community Arts Partnership. CalArts has sought $5,000 for a teen playwriting project. Joining Single Mothers Outreach in the community benefit group are Carousel Ranch, the Domestic Violence Center, the Special Olympics, Pleasantview Industries, LETMESAIL Inc. and the University Corporation/Valley Trauma Center. Carousel Ranch, a therapeutic equestrian program for disabled children, has requested $5,150 for its relocation project, while the trauma center seeks $7,500 for a support program for survivors of sexual assaults and their caregivers. Among the applicants whose proposals were not chosen were the Child and Family Center, the College of the Canyons Foundation, the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra Fund, the Children’s Hunger Fund, the Native American Cultural Center and the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center. Judy O’Rourke, (661) 257-5255 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


first_imgAs Donegal students prepare this week for college registration, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children Charlie McConalogue has said third level institutions must not to make the process of registration difficult for students who are still awaiting approval for their maintenance grants.Deputy McConalogue explained, “This time of year can be difficult for families budgeting for the academic year.  It’s particularly bad for third level students this year after the Government’s decided to increase registration fees from €1,500 last year to €2,000 this year.“I want to remind students who are registering for their course in the coming days that their third level institution has been required by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) not to block the registration of those awaiting confirmation of approval for maintenance grants or to require them to pay the fee up front while they are waiting on their grant to be processed. “I am aware that last year, many third level institutions put pressure on students whose grant applications were delayed to pay registration fees up front or else deferred their full registration until such time as they could produce evidence letters of approval. This meant that many families were struggling to pull together the money for the registration fee while waiting for their grant application to be processed and in other cases students not being able to register fully until their grant came through.“Up to half of all students who applied for a maintenance grant this year are still waiting for their applications to be processed. But the HEA has directed all third level institutions to facilitate such students and not to delay the registration of those who inform them that they have not yet received their grant approval. Any student who finds that they are not being allowed to register or are being pressured to come up with the registration fee while awaiting grant approval should make it clear to their institution should contact the HEA.“The HEA has also requested all third level institutions to accommodate students who don’t qualify for a grant and may need the option of paying in instalments in order to meet the cost of the registration fees. Students who might need such a facility should ask their college about this.“The start of a college year can be stressful financially and it is not acceptable that any third level institution would add to the pressures on students and their families by not following the directions they have received from the HEA in this regard,” concluded Deputy McConalogue. GRANT WAIT SHOULDN’T AFFECT STUDENTS – TD was last modified: September 12th, 2011 by BrendaShare 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)last_img read more


first_imgSINN FEIN has defended the Annual Seamus Harvey / Gerard Mc Glynn Memorial Cup which will take place this Friday night the 24th of August at 7pm in Mac Cumhaill Park in Ballybofey.Comments from Cllr Cora Harvey come after criticism from a DUP MLA in the NorthSpeaking ahead of the event local Sinn Fein County Councillor Cora Harvey said: “This year marked the 39th Anniversary of the untimely death of these two young Volunteers who died at Kilclean on the Donegal Tyrone Border on the 10th of August 1973. Every year we remember both Seamus and Gerard and remember the sacrifice that they made in the pursuit of a United Ireland and to end partition. “Seamus Harvey from Castlederg was residing in Ballybofey when he died alongside Gerard Mc Glynn also from Castlederg, The Seamus Harvey Sinn Fein Cumann Ballybofey was set up in 1974 in his memory and remains active today.“The Annual Harvey / Mc Glynn Memorial cup has grown in popularity over the years, the towns of Ballybofey and Aghyaran / Castlederg come together to remember their own.“We have young players coming from all over Donegal and Tyrone to play for their respective sides with the hope of winning the cup. Tyrone have won the cup the last two years, but this year I believe like the County Team, Donegal are very hungry and are out to win back the cup.“This has come to be a great community event and this year proceeds raised will go to a local charity for Breast care, we will be raffling a signed Donegal Jersey as one of the prizes. “I want to take this opportunity to thank all for helping to organise this event and to thank the Mac Cumhaill Club for the use of the park and the facilities. It is much appreciated.“This weekend we remember the lives of Seamus Harvey and Gerard Mc Glynn with love and pride.”SINN FEIN DEFENDS MEMORIAL GAA MATCH FOR IRA MEN was last modified: August 22nd, 2012 by BrendaShare 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)last_img read more


first_imgGareth Reid being brought back into court in handcuffs for his hearing. Newspix Irl.A former Donegal politician was held in custody today after a court heard he broke an order not to contact his former partner.Former Fine Gael county councillor Gareth Reid admitted phoning his former partner four times to tell her of a relative’s death. However the former public representative’s phone number had been blocked from contacting the woman but he did leave messages.A previous order had warned Reid, 31, not to make any contact with the woman.Inspector Goretti Sheridan objected to bail asking how many times did he have to be told not to make contact with the injured party.Judge Paul Kelly remanded him in custody this morning and Reid, of Lawnsdale, Ballybofey, again appeared at Letterkenny District Court this afternoon.Reid, of Lawnsdale, Ballybofey, faces numerous charges including thirteen of domestic violence.A previous court sitting heard claims that the 31 year old father of three had phoned the woman 30 times over one weekend.The woman was so in fear of Reid that she has left Co Donegal and was living elsewhere.Solicitor for the accused Kieran Dillon said Reid realises that he has messed up.But Judge Kelly said he was disturbed at the frequency of the messing up.“Can he not comprehend that he cannot contact the injured party? However, I am conscious of the fact that the contact was not direct,” he said.He adjourned the matter until May 15th when a number of matters will come before the court and released Reid on bail.However he added “He has not to make any contact with the injured party. I am getting fed up with explaining this.“Your persistence is being noted when I am going to deal with the matter.”FORMER COUNCILLOR HELD IN CUSTODY AFTER PHONING EX-PARTNER was last modified: March 25th, 2014 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:breached ordercourtdonegalGareth Reidpartnerlast_img read more

Photos: How the Warriors celebrated Halloween at Oracle Arena

first_imgThe Golden State Warriors opened up Oracle Arena early for Halloween.To mark the holiday, the team gave away 10,000 Kevin Durant bobbleheads. The Warriors also welcomed in trick-or-treaters with several locations around the venue. Representatives also handed out bags to the first 2,000 youths to help with the collection of candy.The Warriors encouraged fans to wear costumes, but they had to abide by rules, including the removal of masks before entering the arena and the ban on clubs, bats and …last_img