Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Liberia Retold History in USA

International Clips on Liberia
Liberia Retold History in USA
By: UMIL News
Monrovia, Liberia

Freetown, Jun 16, 2009 (Concord Times/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) -- A Human Rights Watch new photographic exhibit, Long Story Bit by Bit: Liberia Retold, featuring the work of award-winning journalist Tim Hetherington has opened on June 12 at Lincoln Center's Furman Gallery in New York, USA. Long Story Bit by Bit: Liberia Retold explores the dynamics of power, international complicity, and the search for justice in recent Liberian history. Liberia's last three presidents have each faced a dramatic end - William Tolbert was disemboweled during a coup d'etat, Samuel Doe was filmed being tortured to death, and Charles Taylor is standing trial for war crimes in The Hague. The exhibit tracks both the terrible years of war and corruption and the more hopeful present, as Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has taken charge of the country as Africa's first elected female head of state.
International Clips on West Africa
UN's Accolade for Koroma
Freetown, Jun 16, 2009 (Concord Times/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) -- The United Nations Under Secretary General for Political Affairs, Lynn Pascoe, has assured President Koroma that the UN would not only continue to support Sierra Leone but would align its priorities in accordance with the government's 'agenda for change'. Speaking during a brief visit at the President's Hill Station Lodge on Friday 12th June, Mr. Pascoe said the whole UN body was impressed with President Koroma's performance and presentation during the video link on the UN conference on Sierra Leone in New York, which he described as a "resounding success". In his remarks, President Koroma gave a detailed account of his government's aspirations and agenda. Starting with a note of gratitude for the world body's support during the country's most difficult period, the President said Sierra Leone is now engaged in real economic growth. He said the 'agenda for change' "addresses the aspirations and living standards of our people, addresses their poverty and the social services delivery system."

'DAC - a Day to Advocate for Children' - Unicef Rep
Freetown, Jun 16, 2009 (Concord Times/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) -- Country Representative of the child advocacy agency, UNICEF has said that the 'Day of the African Child', celebrated all over Africa today, should be used as a day to advocate for the children of Sierra Leone. Speaking at a press conference organized by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children's Affairs ahead of today's commemoration of the African child's day, Geert Cappelaere noted that child survival should be one of the major priorities of all non-governmental organizations operating in the country to help foster the standard of living for all children in Sierra Leone. He said UNICEF's theme for this year's commemoration is 'child survival' as the organization looks forward to scaling down child and maternal mortality rates in the country.
Local Media – Newspaper
Finance Ministry Concede Error in Budget Calculation
(New Democrat, National Chronicle, The Parrot, The Inquirer, Daily Observer, The News, Heritage)

· The Finance Ministry has admitted to an error in the 2009/2010 draft budget amounting to over half a million United States dollars.
· The amount was put in the proposed budget under the terms general claims without any explanation.
· The error was discovered by one of the Chairperson of the joint Legislative budget committee.
· Finance Minister Augustine Ngafuan confirmed the mistake involving such a huge amount but described it as human error. He however said until a decision on appropriation is made the controversial amount will be reserved under the contingency reserved fund.

U.N. Secretary Wants Continue Support to Liberia
(New Vision)

· U. N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on Liberia's partners to continue support to the country which remains fragile but has the potential to be a beacon on stability in the region.
· In his latest report to the Security Council on the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), Mr. Ban proposed that the Council authorize the continuation of UNMIL's troop strength of nearly 8,000 until after the 2011 elections.
· He said security conditions permitting the UNMIL drawdown would resume at an accelerated pace during the post-election period.

US Visa 'Fraudsters' Face Prosecution
(Daily Observer)

· Two persons, Wade Appleton and King Sun, have been sent to court in connection to an alleged U.S. visa scam in Monrovia.
· The defendants are said to have collected over US$7,000 from five individuals with the understanding that they would have provided visas for the five to travel to the USA.

Avoid Un-ambitious Recommendations… Former TRC Chairman for Sierra Leone
(Daily Observer, The News, The Inquirer, New Democrat, The Independent)

· Retired Bishop Joseph C. Humper, former Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in Sierra Leone, has cautioned the Liberian TRC commissioners against making 'un-ambitious and un-achievable' recommendations aimed at pleasing the victims and perpetrators of human rights abuses.
· Delivering the keynote address at the opening of a five-day national reconciliation conference in Monrovia Bishop Humper called on the government to ensure that the TRC recommendations were given deserved consideration.
· Meanwhile, the conference opened yesterday with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and top Government officials including the National Legislature being absent.
· Two commissioners of the TRC, Counselor Pearl Browne-Bull and Dedeh Dolopei were also reported to have boycotted the start of the conference.

WAEC Exams ‘Fraudsters’ Face NSA Inquest
(Daily Observer)

· The Head of National Office of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) in Monrovia, Prof. Thomas K. Gaie, said schools that had been caught in examination malpractices for this year would be ‘thoroughly investigated’ by the National Security Agency (NSA).
· Last month over 86,000 students including 6th, 9th and 12th graders sat the WAEC examinations across the country, but with reports of some alleged malpractices.
· Schools that are alleged to have been involved in the examination malpractice are the St. Michael Catholic School, St. Philip Ecumenical School, E.J. Goodridge High School, St. Peters High School all of Gardnersville.
· Others are the Cavalry Chapel Mission, Cathedral Catholic School, the Monrovia Free Pentecostal School, Paynesville Community School P.M. section and the Amos Taybior institute among others.

Local Media – Star Radio (News monitored today at 09:00 am)
Tension Mounts at Guthrie Rubber Plantation
· Reports from Grand Cape Mount County say tension is mounting at the Guthrie Rubber Plantation
· The tension is as a result of the management’s alleged failure to settle the arrears of the workers.
· The workers last week threatened series of go-slow action including the setting up of roadblocks to claim government’s attention.
· The Guthrie Rubber Plantation has been the scene of many strike actions some of which turned out to be violent.
(Also reported on Truth F.M., Sky F.M. and ELBC)

Finance Ministry Concede Error in Budget Calculation
(Also reported on Truth F.M., Sky F.M. and ELBC)

35 Inmates Break Jail In Maryland County
· At least 35 inmates including murder and rape convicts are said to have broken jail in Harper, Maryland County.
· Reports say the escapees broke jail last week during a violent protest in Harper.
· The “mysterious” death of a man sparked the demonstration at which time angry youths vandalized the prison facility, the police depot and the home of the lone suspect in the case.
· Reports say the youths vandalized the prison because the police took the suspect into protective custody there.
· Police have meanwhile arrested 15 people including two youth leaders in connection with the violence. The youth leaders have denied any link to the violence.
· In April, dozens of inmates escaped the National Place of Correction in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County but were all re-arrested.
· At the same time, the Justice Ministry has dismissed two senior officials of the Monrovia Central Prison for their alleged role in a recent jail break at the facility.

Truth F.M. (News monitored today at 10:00 am)
ECOWAS Donates Several Computers to Liberia News Agency
· The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has donated a consignment of communication gadgets to the Liberia News Agency (LINA).
· During the turn over ceremony the Special Representative of the President of ECOWAS, Ambassador Ansumana Sesay said the presentation was intended to help build the capacity of the national news agencies of its member states.
· Mr. Sesay said the commission was ready to support the post-war recovery programme of member countries.
· ECOWAS donated several laptop and desk top computers among other things to help in the revitalization of the agency.
· Information Ministry authorities have meanwhile expressed gratitude for the donation.

Chief Administrator of Largest Referral Hospital Admits to Bribery at the Facility
· The Chief Administrator of the John F. Kennedy Medical Centre (JFK), Winnie Scott McDonald has admitted to bribery at the nation’s number one referral Hospital.
· She said the act was undermining professionalism at the hospital but said low income was responsible for the problem.
· Speaking at the ongoing budget hearing, the JFK Administrator said the issue of bribery can only be curtailed if the salaries of health practitioners at the centre are improved.

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