Beyonce performs at the 59th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) Host James Corden speaks at the 59th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) Solange Knowles arrives at the 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) Celine Dion arrives at the 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) CeeLo Green as his alter ego Gnarly Davidson arrives at the 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) Rihanna arrives at the 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) Heidi Klum arrives at the 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) Katy Perry arrives at the 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) Lady Gaga poses at the 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) Adele performs a tribute to George Michael at the 59th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) Halsey arrives at the 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) Though unusually staid, fashion-wise, the Grammys had a few memorable moments.CeeLo Green showed up Sunday in Los Angeles as a metallic gold something with a strange headpiece and tunic to match. And Lady Gaga, fresh from the Super Bowl, donned tiny black leather shorts and top, looking fierce in her thigh-high boots.Other than that, we had some dresses. As these things often go, some were liked, some not so much.Rihanna pulled off another voluminous look, this one a custom tangerine Armani Prive crop top with crystals and a voluminous black skirt of silk organza. The bottom half evoked her pink cupcakey Giambattista Valli ball gown for the Grammys two years ago. Adele accepts the award for song of the year for “Hello” at the 59th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) Host James Corden performs a skit at the 59th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) Jennifer Lopez presents the award for best new artist at the 59th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) Desiigner arrives at the 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) “Rihanna has such a history of stealing the show with her flawless style at the Grammys,” said Kyle Anderson, the market and accessories director for Marie Claire magazine. “The top was perfect, designed around her tattoos. She is confident and knows what looks good on her as well as what will steal the spotlight.”Adele wore Givenchy Haute Couture by Ricardo Tisci — twice. First in two tones of military green in a checkerboard weave with a long-sleeve top underneath on the red carpet and again to perform in a black velvet stone-encrusted top and matching pants.“Why would she wear that green,” asked “Fashion Police” alum and style expert George Kotsiopoulos. “She was very covered up. I didn’t hate it but it was just an ugly color.”Anderson disagreed.“Adele looked stunning,” he said. “To me green looks great as a contrasting shade on the red carpet.”And then there was Beyonce. As an early performer on the CBS telecast, she didn’t walk the carpet, but she slayed as a gold-crowned goddess onstage and again from the audience in sexy red sequins. Her 5-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, cheered mom’s stage show from dad Jay Z’s lap wearing a white ruffle Prince-like shirt, circa “Purple Rain,” under a bubble gum pink suit.But overall, Julee Wilson, fashion and beauty director for Essence magazine and its website, was underwhelmed on the fashion front.“It was really boring,” she said of the carpet. “There was so much blah.”She had her favorites, though, including Adele. Her not-so-much moment was Katy Perry in a Tom Ford look with a skirt of pink feathers and metallic sequin mock turtleneck long-sleeve top.“I think Katy Perry looked awful,” Wilson said.As for Adele, “She does a really good job of dressing her curves in a way that doesn’t look like she’s trying to hide them,” she said.Anderson begged to differ on Perry.“She looked phenomenal with her blond waves. Taking risks and keeping things fresh is what the Grammys are all about when it comes to fashion and beauty,” he said.Kotsiopoulos, too, was less than enthused by this year’s show of Grammy fashion.“There was no ‘oh my god’ moment,” he said.Eric Wilson, the fashion news director for InStyle magazine, saw some trends.“I loved the wave of futuristic metallic fabrics worn by Katy Perry and Solange Knowles,” said Wilson, the latter in a gold Gucci one-shoulder with fan ruffles.“But I had some trouble with all the crazy cleavage contraptions, which were probably a good idea on paper, but not on the body. Between Lady Gaga in that bolero top, Halsey’s X-rated tracksuit and Rihanna’s orange bra from Armani Prive, those dresses were working overtime just to keep themselves up, and they all looked really uncomfortable. And in the interest of not sounding sexist, I’ll also veto Desiigner’s shirtless tux,” Wilson added.Count Wilson in as a fan of Perry’s Ford look.“It hit all the right notes. The combination of a skirt of feathers and a shiny top created a polished effect, but the overall look stayed well within Katy’s pop princess comfort zone,” he said.Colors were all over the place. Wilson liked the light lavender Ralph & Russo halter confection worn by Jennifer Lopez and Celine Dion’s emerald green Zuhair Murad couture dress.On the Adele scale, he was somewhere in between.“The dress was a little over the top, but she made it look like a form of armor,” Wilson said, “which is probably a smarter statement for these times.”
FILE- In this July 3, 2017, file photo a man and woman walk under trees down a path at Alta Plaza Park in San Francisco. Looking at the income, living expenses and life spans of today’s retirees can help you make the right financial moves so your golden years aren’t tarnished by an unexpected shortfall. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)Precision isn’t always possible when it comes to retirement planning. That doesn’t mean you have to wing it and hope your savings don’t expire before you do.Looking at the income, living expenses and life spans of today’s retirees can help you make the right financial moves so your golden years aren’t tarnished by an unexpected shortfall.WHAT’S AN “AVERAGE” RETIREMENT COST?Government and Gallup data reveal a lot about what retirement is like for Americans today.It starts at age 61, even though many tell Gallup they planned to work longer. And based on some morbid math — the average remaining life expectancy of someone who’s made it to their early 60s (23.3 years), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — you should plan to be retired for at least a few decades.Your mileage may vary based on things such as your work (accountant versus rodeo clown, for example), diet, family health history and participation in extreme sports leagues.The average budget for a retiree, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, provides even more color on what to expect when you’re expecting to retire. Older households, defined as ones headed by someone 65 or older, spend $46,000 annually, versus the $57,000 average spent by all U.S. households combined. The top three monthly expenses for those 65 and older are housing ($1,322), health care ($500) and food ($484).On average, about half of a retired household’s income comes from Social Security and private and government pensions, according to the BLS, with personal savings and investment and rental income providing 6.9 percent.FIND OUT HOW LONG YOUR MONEY WILL LASTAn online retirement calculator can project a more accurate picture of your retirement readiness. It will use your current saving, spending and investment profile and some rules of thumb about historical investment returns, reasonable withdrawal rates and, yes, life expectancy. (Most calculators assume people will live into their 90s.)What if the calculator shows that at the rate you’re going, you’ll outlive your retirement savings? If you’re not yet retired, one of the best moves is postponing your retirement party. This strategy is especially valuable for those in their peak earning years.Besides reducing the number of years you’ll need to live off your savings, working longer allows more time for your investments to grow. Plus, the additional time contributing to Social Security could mean a bigger benefits paycheck down the road. Every year you postpone filing for Social Security after your full-benefit retirement age (66 or 67 for most people), your future monthly benefits check grows by as much as 8 percent per year until you turn 70.HOW TO PAD YOUR PAYCHECK IN RETIREMENTIf you’re already retired and un-retiring or waiting to file for Social Security aren’t feasible, there are other ways to make up for the shortfall between retirement income and expenses.— Leverage your home. If you have substantial equity in your home, a reverse mortgage can turn this asset into income. You’ll receive a regular check as long as you’re living in the house. When you exit the premises to move elsewhere or on to the great beyond, the checks stop and your estate must repay the loan.— Shop for an immediate annuity. Although annuities are complex instruments — they’re essentially investments baked into an insurance policy — paying a lump sum upfront to get a guaranteed monthly payment for life may provide the income stability you need.— Withdraw less money during down years. A common rule of thumb among financial pros is the 4 percent rule, which is based on research in all market conditions that shows a retiree can withdraw that amount annually from a portfolio invested half in stocks and half in bonds without depleting their financial reserves before they die. If you can be flexible and withdraw less, for example, when market returns are lower than expected or you’ve got reserves from previous years’ withdrawals, you can make your money last longer.— Seek assistance. There are government, nonprofit and for-profit programs that provide benefits to struggling seniors. The National Council on Aging (NCOA.org) helps the 60-plus set navigate things such as Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, debt management programs and subsidized housing.This article was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Dayana Yochim is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @dayanayochim.RELATED LINKS:NerdWallet: Retirement calculator: How much will you need to retire?https://nerd.me/retirement-calculator
CEST 29/04/2016 Upd. at 18:22 A Bayern Munich win over Borussia Monchengladbach this Saturday – or if Borussia Dortmund slip up against Wolfsburg – would hand the Bavarians their fourth consecutive league title, the third won by Pep Guardiola since he took over. “If next week we lose [to Atletico], you can kill me, but I am not dead yet,” advised Guardiola, who spoke about the criticism he’s received after the loss at the Vicente Calderon. For that reason, and with the team still alive in the German Cup and the Champions League, despite a semi-final first leg defeat to Atletico Madrid, Guardiola was optimistic and confident in a press conference on Friday. “You can’t imagine how happy I am that we are in these situations. We are well placed to win La Liga, we are in the final of the cup and I’m satisifed with how we ended the game against Atletico,” the Catalan coach said. “I’ve had a good time in Germany, but I’ve had to cope with things that did not happen at Barcelona. For that reason, I’m going. I am not capable of winning the treble each year and I am not ready to win the Champions League each year, but I have had a good time and I will have a good time in the weeks I have left in Germany,” added the man from Santpedor. Juanma Romero
A fully independent, systematic review into the sustainability of individual stadia and the wider industry footprint formed a key element of the IGB’s Strategic Plan 2018-2022.The brief for the study included the assessment of infrastructure and services available at all 16 licensed greyhound stadia in Ireland; an assessment of financial sustainability at each track; analysis of population catchments and motorway access; and detailed recommendations regarding individual stadia.The report has recommended a restructuring of the footprint of the greyhound sector; ongoing cost efficiency measures; targeted investment in animal welfare, marketing & infrastructure; and the ceasing of funding for four stadia – Enniscorthy, Lifford, Longford and Youghal.Enniscorthy’s wide galloping track has produced many future stars in the South East. Lifford’s passionate greyhound community have had a long association and commitment to racing in the North West. Longford has had a strong greyhound racing tradition for generations, with the track being a signature ‘schooling’ track for young greyhounds. Youghal has produced many high quality owners, trainers and greyhounds and most recently has provided quality SIS racing to a worldwide audience.The four tracks concerned have each contributed significantly to the Irish greyhound industry over a long number of years. Each track has been in operation for over half a century, with each one having a unique history, culture and tradition. The IGB very much regrets the decision to cease funding at these stadia and its impact on staff, owners and the wider greyhound community but is keenly aware of the challenges that Indecon Economic Consultants have identified for the industry.The IGB has already taken steps to address these challenges, including:The implementation of the Greyhound Racing Act 2019, signed into law by the President in May of this year. The Act includes the welfare of greyhounds as one of the statutory functions of the IGB for the first time. It also provides the board with powers to make regulations relating to integrity, anti-doping, administration and a full greyhound traceability system. Tenders have recently been sought by the IGB for the provision of a traceability system.The IGB’s overall spend on welfare and regulation in 2020 is estimated at €3.4m, including expenditure on veterinary services at tracks, operation of the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust and the IGB’s welfare and regulatory teams.The IGB continues to make significant progress in the areas of welfare and regulation under its Strategic Plan 2018-2022 through various care and welfare initiatives, including:– From June 2019, the IGB extended and increased support under its scheme for foster care of greyhounds to identify new foster homes within Ireland for greyhounds.– From July 2019, the IGB established the confidential, recorded Greyhound Care Line (061 448080), available 24/7 to members of the public to report greyhound welfare concerns. This has resulted in more than 30 individual investigations carried out by the IGB’s welfare department to date.– The IGB is progressing the provision of Greyhound Care Centres, intended to help the transition of racing greyhounds from the track to retirement. A tender evaluation process on 16 separate submissions is nearing completion.– From September 2019, the IGB established a separate Care Fund dedicated to funding a variety of initiatives for the care and welfare of the greyhound, accrued from 10% of all admissions and restaurant packages, 5% of net Tote income and 50% of existing sponsorship contributions. The IGB is targeting the sum of €1 million to be raised for the Greyhound Care Fund in its first year of operation.The IGB continues to strive to continuously improve cost efficiency measures, eliminating non-value adding costs and maximising income potential.CEO of the Irish Greyhound Board, Gerard Dollard, commented: “This review, which forms part of the IGB’s five year strategic plan, will progress the industry’s footprint for the future. The greyhound industry, like many other industries, has to change and adapt to maintain viability for future generations. The report that has been published today, and which has been accepted by the Board of the IGB gives a road map to underpin a viable long term sustainable industry for people to participate in and enjoy. I acknowledge that the report will make difficult reading for the passionate greyhound community, particularly those who are employed in, race greyhounds or attend greyhound racing in any of the stadia where the cessation of funding is recommended. It is important that members of the public, both inside and outside of the industry, have a chance to assess the outcome of the independent study and express their views before the recommendations are implemented.”The IGB is inviting submissions regarding the report’s recommendations and their implementation up to January 10th, 2020.print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email The recommendations of the report have been accepted by the Board of the IGB. The Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) today released an independent report undertaken by Indecon Economic Consultants, which reviewed the future needs of its 16 licensed stadia and made recommendations regarding the industry’s footprint into the future.
MALCOM’S agent is flying to England today to speak with both Tottenham AND Liverpool.The Brazilian wonderkid shone in the French League with Bordeaux last season which has alerted the Premier League’s big guns.2 Malcom had a fine season in France with Bordeaux – but could now be swapping Ligue 1 for the Premier LeagueCredit: AFPThe 21-year-old finished with 12 goals in 35 games from the wing, with seven assists, and now looks set for a move elsewhere.Premium Sports are reporting that the youngster’s agent will hold talks with Spurs and the Reds today.Inter Milan are waiting in the wings if Malcom decides the Premier League isn’t for him.Malcom is braced to leave Bordeaux at the end of the season after revealing in January he had struck an agreement with the club to let him go in the summer to his preferred destination.2 Malcom may just be 21-years-old, but there are a few clubs ready to take the plunge on the £50m-rated wingerCredit: AFPHe has made it no secret that he is eyeing a move to a bigger club, and as well as Spurs, Liverpool and Inter Milan, PSG is another potential favourite for him.Previously speaking to beIN SPORTS, he said: “PSG is the dream too.Most Read In FootballRETRACING STEPSJack Charlton’s granddaughter Emma Wilkinson ‘would love’ to visit IrelandROY RAGEFurious Roy Keane launched foul-mouthed rant at Pique over Fabregas friendshipPicturedTOP FORMBrazil icon Ronaldo soaks up sun with partner Celina Locks on yacht in FormenteraPicturedON THE PAOLPaolo Maldini shows off shredded physique at 52 while on holiday with wifeLive BlogUNITED LATESTMan Utd transfer news LIVE: All the gossip and updates from Old TraffordExclusiveLOCK CLOWNPaul Scholes flouts local lockdown rules by throwing huge 7-hour birthday bashBordeaux attacker Malcom with an embarrassing dive that wins his side a penalty against Lyon”It’s great [to play for] clubs that will always play at a high level; in the Champions League, winning the championship.”Back in January it seemed as though Arsenal were in pole position to snap up the top talent.SunSport reported how the London club had already held talks with the forward over a move to the Emirates.Malcom’s agent hinted an Arsenal move was on the cards by uploading a picture of himself in London with the hashtag “PremierLeague”.Dream Team World Cup – Sign up to win £100kEnter for FREE£50m budget and 20 transfers throughout the tournamentPlay to win £100k top price and a share of £175k prizepotSIGN UP FOR DREAM TEAM WORLD CUP NOW
Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine “I have no problem with the [Azkals] program,” he says. “Anyone with Filipino blood, wherever he comes from, should be given a chance to play for the country and help improve the level of football in the Philippines.”Although he already played nationally in junior tournaments at age 11, Bedia’s star began to rise when he was barely 17. In 1979 he powered Barotac Nuevo to the Andres Soriano Football Cup, the country’s national championship, at the expense of San Miguel Corp., a squad powered by several national players and mentored by national coach Juan Cutillas.“Colonel Pascual was there and immediately signed me up for the PAF squad, which also had many players from Barotac,” says Bedia, who won Mr. Football honors from the Philippine Sportswriters Association several times.Happy that the Philippines has risen to the No. 1 ranking in Southeast Asia, the humurous Bedia regularly comes back home to watch the Azkals play, donning tri-color wigs and caped with the national flag.During his trips here, he helps promote the sport by giving free clinics in his hometown and assisting former national teammate Rudy del Rosario hold the local tournament of the Homeless World Cup for kids. Three years ago, Bedia launched the Elmer Lacknet Bedia Football Academy in his Iloilo hometown.ADVERTISEMENT Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Beauties and the best Senators to proceed with review of VFA Ginebra teammates show love for Slaughter “It’s most satisfying to give something back to the sport that gave me a source of livelihood,” says Bedia, now 55. “I have a passion for helping kids learn and increase proficiency in the game. I believe it’s my calling. And that’s my way of saying ‘thank you’ to football.” —Ted S. MelendresSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:24Taal Volcano now on Alert Level 4, thousands evacuated00:50Trending Articles01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND EDITORS’ PICK ‘First Azkal’ Elmer Bedia with students of his football academy. ELBFOOTBALLACADEMY.WIX.COMElmer Bedia left his heart in the Philippines. When the country’s most-feared striker migrated to Brisbane, Australia, four months after the People Power revolt in February 1986, he left behind a national football team that was slowly climbing back from the depths of international football—pre-Azkals.Born in the football hotbed of Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo, in 1962, Bedia—“Lacknet” to friends—was the biggest name in the Philippine Air Force squad coached by Col. Lope Q. Pascual that won several National Football League and other titles in the 1980s. He played alongside Mariano “Nonong” Araneta, now president of the Philippine Football Federation; Ronnel Cajelo, Rodolfo Alicante and Edgar Berja.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ PH among economies most vulnerable to virus Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town We are young Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Still 24 when he left to play professionally in Brisbane, he came back to don the national colors anew in the 1991 Manila Southeast Asian Games, making the crucial assist to strike partner Norman Fegidero for the goal that lifted the underdog PH team past powerhouse Malaysia, 1-0, before a roaring crowd of 25,000 at Rizal Memorial Stadium.“That was my most memorable moment with the national team,” says the frizzy-haired Bedia, who now coaches the junior team of Brisbane’s Olympic United FC, where two of his six children, Luck and Elmer Jr., played when they were teenagers. “Nothing’s more satisfying than helping your country win before thousands of your compatriots.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad AliSPORTSWe are youngThat RMS crowd in 1991 was easily the biggest to see a football match involving a PH team in decades—several thousands more than the number of fans that now come to see the Azkals play games at the ancient stadium.A stalwart of the Brisbane squad for nine years, Bedia considers himself the “first Azkal” to don the PH uniform. He says there’s nothing wrong with allowing overseas-based players with Filipino roots to play for the national team.
The most senior head of the Islamic religion in Liberia, Grand Mufti Sheik Abubakar Sumawolo has accused those he described as loyalists of former Liberian President Charles G. Taylor of bringing about religious division by inciting the majority Christians and Muslims in the country, a move that could plunge the country into religious instability that is occurring around the world.Mr. Sumawolo said the recent move by a group of Christians at the Constitution Review Committee (CRC) conference in Gbarnga, Bong County to turn Liberia into a Christian Nation is not a new orchestration, but was previously conceived by former President Charles Taylor and his gang of loyalists to incite religious conflict that would perpetuate them in power at the time.Speaking with newsmen yesterday in Monrovia, the Islamic cleric said the idea to Christianize the country has been on the horizon for a very long time as it was contained in Taylor’s Vision 2024 agenda, with his “Giving Liberia to Jesus Christ” Ideology. “This means the country has to be changed from the 1986 constitution and has made it to be to what Taylor and his cohorts desire it to be.”Grand Mufti Sumawolo said President Taylor clearly demonstrated this intent in 2003, when he called a mass meeting at the SKD Sports Complex in Monrovia where he prostrated himself on the ground declaring to the Liberian people that he had “given Liberia back to Jesus Christ”. “It was part of his vision 2024 that Liberia should be change to a Christian nation in order for the insecurity to continue because he would be living in that kind of violence and it is this dream that his loyalists are pursuing.“This opinion is that of Charles Taylor and his loyalists some of whom are from his own family, friends and some of his former generals. Many of these people are now working in the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary branches of government.”Grand Mufti Sumawolo said these loyalists, who he believes are still in contact with President Taylor, want to drag Liberia slowly to the objectives of their master (Taylor) so that most of the Muslims will live in fear. He noted that this move is targeting Muslims’ security, safety, and their own original rights to be abuse.The Grand Mufti said that since the founding of the Liberian state, Christians and Muslims have been living in peace until the coming of Taylor and his collaborators (revolution), who deliberately targeted Liberian Muslims.“In 2003, surprisingly the same President who was responsible for the calamities and destruction that have left the country backward, called for a mass meeting at the SKD Sports Complex lying on the ground declaring to the people that he had given Liberia back to Jesus Christ. This was some of the divisive ideas he wanted to impose so he could get the backing of the Christians so that he could rule for life.”It can be recalled delegates at the just ended CRC conference in Gbarnga overwhelmingly voted for Liberia to be returned to a Christian state. This has however generated much debate with many calling on these groups of Christians to abandon their plans as it would be of no good to the country.The call by many Liberians for the country to be Christianized was precipitated by calls from some lawmakers that they would craft a bill that would call for the country to be returned to Christ as it has been perceived since independence as a Christian nation. This is also because the country has a lot of Christian heritage or founded on Christian principles.Among these lawmakers is Madam Jewel Howard Taylor, the former wife of the imprisoned former President Taylor, who is a Senator for Bong County.The Muslim leader said since independence, Christian communities have been enjoying all rights in the country and the government. “What else do you people want? If you talk about holidays, they are given you people in full; if it is about being recognized in government, government cannot take any decision in your absence. 99 percent of government officials are Christians. Since independence all of the leaders of the country have been Christians.”He said the Liberian state is considered secular according to the 1986 Constitution, almost majority of the rights, chaplains, cabinet positions, academic preferences, subsidiaries to schools and many, many political and social rights-even the holidays are all being given to Christians.He said that he does not want to give credence to the manner in which the delegates were selected by the CRC and the process through which the voting exercises were conducted, but indicated that he wants those calling for Christianizing the country to abandon their plan and allow Liberia to remain a secular state.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
In an age characterised by globalisation, modernisation and digitisation, it is quite easy for some facets of our culture and traditions to become lost. In an attempt to safeguard our treasure troves, we, the people, entrust their safe keeping to age-old repositories – museums and expect that our officials will be in the vanguard of that protection. We have witnessed globally, time and time again, attempts to snuff out, stifle and even kill aspects of history and culture. This is evident now more than ever when technologies threaten to destroy the existence of traditional cultures.The recent announcement by the Ministry of the Presidency of a proposed relocation of the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology, without public consultations, had brought the threat of cultural annihilation closer to home. This repository holds in safe keeping artefacts dating back 7200 years; this is a veritable warehouse of history and knowledge! It is also purported to be the oldest such museum in the English-speaking Caribbean. The museum is a fountain of knowledge. In addition to the traditional museum tour for visitors, there is a wealth of brochures, pamphlets, and even post cards available. It even houses a library which comprises scholarly works focused on the indigenous people of the Caribbean. These resources are heartily utilised by local and foreign researchers alike.It was only after many concerned Guyanese voiced opposition to this proposed relocation – most notably, the co-founder of the Museum, Jennifer Wishart, who underscored the irrevocable damage that can be done if this ill-advised plan was executed that the decision was reconsidered. She had pointed to the fact that we simply do not possess “the expertise required” for the removal of such delicate and very ancient artefacts. Why then would any Government, organisation or institution proceed with such an action when the risks are so high? To lose even a fraction of that stored history would be a national tragedy. More so, to proceed with the announced relocation plans in light of the risks, because it suits someone’s fancy or is a better use of space is unconscionable.Most noteworthy as the situation unfolded last week, and the issue took centre stage, the Amerindian leaders themselves at the National Tosahos Conference took a strong stand and voiced their reservations and concerns regarding the matter. This prompted Education Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine last Wednesday to give assurance that no decisions would be made to move the historical museum until consultations were held with museum staff and stakeholders, including the leaders of the 212 indigenous villages.This announcement was obviously met with resounding applause from the indigenous leaders. Consultation should have been done from the inception.Elsewhere in the world, museums are positioned to serve as one of the cornerstones of any national effort to preserve anthropological records; however, it is clear from this Administration’s announcements and subsequent actions that much more needs to be done to strengthen synergies as we strive to preserve and protect our indigenous history and culture which are vital to the indigenous sense of identity.Understanding ancient lifestyles undoubtedly empowers communities of today, we, therefore, need to focus on protection and preservation rather than relocation, and we urge our officials to consider the priceless artefacts and the historical value of all that is at stake.
In a divided polity such as Guyana, the legitimacy of any Government that is not inclusive of the major sections of the populace will inevitably face challenges of legitimacy. This was true in 1992 when the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) ended decades of authoritarian rule by the People’s National Congress (PNC) with 53.5 per cent of the vote and the PNC yet secured 42.3 per cent and is even truer after the 2015 razor-thin victory of the PNC-led A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change coalition that secured 50.3 per cent of the votes as opposed to 49.2 per cent of the PPP.In such a scenario, it would be prudent for the Government of the day to govern in such a way as to bolster their legitimacy through allowing State structures to function in a neutral manner. But by this measure, the PNC-led coalition has faltered badly. Nothing demonstrates this more vividly that the heavy-handed manner in which the Government has been dealing with the challenges of the sugar industry.It has never been a secret that the workers of that industry supported the PPP since the first general election of 1953, under the universal franchise. It therefore becomes difficult to explain the unilateral closure of four estates – which involved throwing 7700 sugar workers into the streets – as an effort to staunch subsidies to the industry, when the same quantum is being injected into the rump element, as anything other than an act of political victimisation. Unquestionably, the legitimacy of the Government has been eroded by this distortion of the operations of what was supposed to be an “autonomous” State institution.But even more alarmingly, it has been the interventions of the PNC-led coalition into the workings of actual State institutions that pose the greatest danger to the dissolution of the glue of legitimacy that holds modern states together and might just plunge Guyana into the abyss from which it was rescued by the PPP in 1992. The Government is yet to respond to the observation by a slew of analysts that the appointment of 16 out of 17 Permanent Secretaries from the traditional PNC constituency presents severe challenges to the impartial standards the Government bureaucracy ought to be held. Permanent Secretaries, in the Westminster system under which we function, ought to be non-political professionals to alleviate exactly such fears.With the PNC’s sordid history of rigged elections between 1968 and 1985 through the manipulation of the electoral system in one devious way or other, the legitimacy of its present incarnation took a heavy blow when PNC leader and President of Guyana, David Granger violated the letter and spirit of the constitutional strictures instituted to clean up that Augean Stable, by unilaterally appointing his hand-picked octogenarian nominee as head of the Guyana Elections Commission. That blow weighs heavier against the labyrinthine manoeuvrings to control the voter registration process in a manner reminiscent of the 1968 fiasco.But it has been the PNC-led Administration’s stance against the judicial branch that has most undermined its legitimacy, even among some of its own supporters. It is acknowledged in the Westminster structure of governance, the classical breakdown of the Government into the triumvirate of Executive, Legislature and Judiciary collapses into two, with the fusion of the Executive with its majority in the Legislature. The Judiciary, therefore becomes the ultimate bastion against an immanent dictatorship, through its mandate of Judicial Review to hold the other branches of Government to the strictures of the Constitution.As such, the moves by the leader of the PNC as President of Guyana to unilaterally appoint the top officers of the Judiciary – in violation of the constitutional requirement – earlier this year generated seismic waves in the populace’s legitimisation quotient – especially when the President cavalierly referred to judgements by one of those top judicial officers as her “perception”. The follow-up blow came with the Attorney General’s quite transparent pressure on the constitutional office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to halt the private criminal charges against two sitting Ministers while allowing identical charges against two ex-officials of the previous PPP Administration.Quo vadis, Guyana?
Dear Editor,I would like to know since when property evaluation is no longer under the purview of the Chief Valuation Officer of the Finance Ministry.I have read with considerable interest, reports in the newspaper that the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) is moving towards reassessing the value of properties in and around Georgetown.Town Clerk Royston King has been quoted as saying that this was one of the many measures the Council is undertaking to address its financial struggles. He is even quoted as saying that he is hoping that the reassessment of all properties in the city will happen by the end of the year.My research has shown that the preparation of valuation lists for any area of Guyana was by virtue of Article 4 of Chapter 28:04 – the Valuation for Rating Purposes Act is under the direct purview of the Chief Valuation Officer.Has the City Council ever previously undertaken any such exercise? Or is this another jaunt into the world of fantasy by the Town Clerk?Surely if such an exercise is not conducted in accordance with our laws, it will be challenged in a court of law by any and all ratepayers, against whom these new rates shall be levied. It would be ‘parking meter, part two’.King told reporters that “the reason why the Council is bankrupt is because the money is in the bank accounts of persons who are defaulting on paying their rates”.I will beg to differ on that, and to say that the reason why the Council is bankrupt is because the money is in the bank accounts of certain contractors who continue to be given contracts by City Hall reportedly without adherence to tender and procurement procedures and in the bank accounts of the super salaried municipal officials; most of whom are relatives, friends and church associates of the big ones at City Hall.Furthermore, if the Council is looking to erect a number of structures on Merriman Mall that will be rented to hairdressers, nail technicians, and barbers as claimed by King, then he should sell municipal bonds to raise those finances, and not use property taxes which should be for current expenditure.But the question would be who is going to buy bonds from an agency as disreputable as the Georgetown City Council, and is going to be given the contract to build these structures, would they be designed like the horse stables constructed nearby.How many years will it take for these hairdressers, nail technicians and barbers to repay the Council and what ever happened to the plan for clean open spaces in our city?Best regards,Sambu Jacobus