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‘We Are In Difficult Times’

first_imgOver ten years of leadership and receiving over US$16 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and millions of dollars from development partners, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is grappling with building a vibrant economy.Though the President and her lieutenants usually boast of tremendous increase in the country’s national reserve since taking office in 2006; however, things have not been favorable as a result of some shocks that the economy continues to experience.In her annual message to the Legislature on the state of the Republic yesterday, President Sirleaf, a Harvard trained economist, said that as a result of the crisis, the government will be unable to meet the targeted level of public sector investment that is required to meet its obligation to ongoing infrastructure projects and new priorities that are essential for the country’s economic diversification goals.President Sileaf said as a result of weak revenue performance, total expenditure in the FY15/16 budget of US$622.7 million is expected to be reduced by 11.2 percent to US$552.8 million, representing potential cutbacks from all entities while avoiding cuts in compensation and other economic and social services’ expenditures.The implication, she said, “is that we will be unable to meet the targeted level of public sector investment that is required to meet our obligation to ongoing infrastructure projects and new priorities that are essential for our economic diversification goals.”She did not name some of the projects that would be affected by the situation.“About two months ago, we were compelled to draw the attention of the nation to the ailing state of the economy influenced largely by exogenous factors, including the outbreak of a deadly disease and the precipitous decline in our traditional exports of iron ore and rubber,” she said.She said the economy is under severe stress, adding: “We are in difficult times. As we all recognize, this situation is causing hardship for many ordinary Liberians.” Meanwhile, numerous calls for the Government of Liberia to empower farmers and increase its support to the agriculture sector over the years appear to have gone unheeded. Budgetary support to the sector has been consistently dominated by donor support, with GOL contribution only 1% of its own money. Vice President Joseph N. Boakai recently said in Nimba that Cote d’Ivoire is the only member state of the Mano River Union (MRU) whose economy is currently doing well under the global economic crisis. According to him, this is because of that country’s serious investment and involvement in agricultural activities. Near the end of her speech, President Sirleaf proffered to the Legislature “a number of measures… to see us through yet another cyclical flow of the changing conditions of the global economy.” Among these measures, the President outlined the need to:– Provide a guarantee of US$15 Million to commercial banks for loans to finance operations in the rubber sector under Sector Restructuring Plan that ensures debt settlement and value addition for farms of not less than 100 acres;– Provide Guarantee of US$2 million to commercial banks for loans small Liberian Businesses that require no more the US$50 thousand for commercial activities;– Revise Revenue and Investment Codes to protect local manufacturers;– Expand duty free on all agricultural machinery and farm inputs;– Restrict duty free privileges;– Enforce the law restricting certain businesses reserved for LiberiansLiberia obtained the cancellation of an external debt burden of US$4.9 billion under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, President Sirleaf said.However, the foundation of economic diversification already set in place by the administration could not fully absorb unexpected shocks that affect the economy.In addition to the global economy shocks, she said Foreign Direct Investment into the economy has been adversely affected by land and labor related disputes. To date, an estimated US$4.2 billion has been operationalized to create jobs, improve infrastructure and generate revenue.In addition to the perpetual budget shortfalls, the Liberian economy has experienced three shocks since 2006. The first shock grew out of the 2008 global financial crisis which slowed the pace of investment resulting in a GDP decline to 5.1 percent in 2009. President Sirleaf said that despite this shock, the economy grew by 8.7 percent in 2013.The second shock, which threatened lives and livelihoods of Liberians, collapsing the health sector and paralyzing the economy, came from the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in 2014. “This was concomitant with the third shock – a sharp decline in global prices of our two main exports: iron ore and rubber. “As a result, real GDP growth plummeted from an original forecast of 5.9 percent to 0.7 percent in 2014,” she added.The President admitted that the economy continued to experience suppressed growth in 2015 owing not only to falling prices of “our prime export commodities and the effects of the Ebola Virus outbreak but also to the ongoing drawdown of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), which mainly affected the services sector.”Consequently, she said the GDP declined further to 0.3 percent in 2015, compared to the original forecast of 6.8 percent.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Chelsea FC: Five priorities for the Blues in the transfer market this summer

first_imgThere may not have been any big deals into the club this summer, but Chelsea have certainly been busy in the transfer market this summer.The Blues have snapped up young starlets like Ethan Ampadu, while also adding Willy Caballero to their ranks as backup to Thibaut Courtois.These moves follow allowing the likes of Tammy Abraham and Kasey Palmer to leave the club on loan, while Nathan Ake, Asmir Begovic, Bertrand Traore, and Juan Cuadrado have completed permanent switches away from the club.This has brought around £70million into the club’s coffers, which is set to be spent sooner rather than later.But what are Chelsea’s transfer priorities right now? Click the right arrow above to find out… 5. A defensive midfielder to add depth – if Nathaniel Chalobah isn’t give the role – Nemanja Matic appears set to rejoin former boss Jose Mourinho at Manchester United leaving a gaping hole in the middle of the park alongside N’Golo Kante. Monaco man Tiemoue Bakayoko seems set to swap Ligue 1 for the Premier League but, unless the Blues do finally use Nathaniel Chalobah for a whole season they will need another body in the middle of the park to help them compete in four competitions. 1. A right wing-back to, at the very least, challenge Victor Moses – This might also depend on the long-term positional future for Cesar Azpilicueta, but the Blues certainly need someone to challenge Victor Moses. The Nigerian was superb for Antonio Conte in the position, despite previously spending most of his time used as a winger by Chelsea, and his loan clubs, but he could come a cropper when they play in the Champions League against elite attackers. If contain still has faith in Moses, expect a backup to join, but don’t be shocked if a top-level player is signed. 5 5 4. A versatile wide man to strengthen their options in the forward line – The Blues currently have a good stock, with Eden Hazard, Pedro, and Willian available, while next up is likely to be starlet Charly Musonda, who has impressed out on loan. If Conte decides Musonda needs another spell away from the club to get first-team football, it’s vital they add a body to replace him. One injury to any of their three stars would leave them down to the bare bones, and that won’t be good as they attempt to challenge in the Champions League. 5 5 2. An elite centre forward, if Diego Costa is to leave – After a text message exchange earlier this summer, it seems Costa is unwanted at Stamford Bridge. A switch to Atletico Madrid has been kicked into the long grass by the Spanish side’s transfer ban, so it’s all up in the air. It’s likely, by hook or by crook, Costa will leave still, and in that case then a top quality replacement will be needed, with Romelu Lukaku first choice to battle Michy Batshuayi for a starting role in west London. The Belgian, though, appears to be Old Trafford-bound. 3. Left-sided centre-back – Gary Cahill, overall, did well for the Blues last season but is the weakest link in the backline. It would be a shock if Chelsea weren’t looking into this situation, and, while Antonio Rudiger is seemingly being brought in to add depth the defence, he doesn’t often play in a left-sided role. He’s usually on the right side, or at right-back, which makes us wonder if another centre-back could come in. 5last_img read more

ATHLETICS: WHAT A WEEK FOR LETTERKENNY AC

first_imgIt’s been an incredible weekend for Letterkenny AC. Mark English won a bronze medal in the final of the 800 metres at the European track and field championships in Zurich on Friday evening.The 21 year old posted a season’s best of 1:45.03 to secure a podium finish. He was also the Irish team’s only medal winner at the championships. On Sunday, Mark was part of the Irish team than set a new national record in the 4 x 400 metre relay – the finished fifth in a time of 3:01.67.Brendan Boyce recorded a new personal best of 3:51:34 in the 50K walk at the same championships to secure 16th place. The weekend performance saw him slice three minutes of his previous personal best.The club is heavily involved with the staging of the Donegal Marathon and Half Marathon which takes place this Sunday, August 24th – both races have a 10.15 am start at the Aura Leisure Centre and both will finish on the Danny McDaid Track. Anyone wishing to help out on the day should contact Brendan McDaid on 086-8113947. The organisers are expecting the number of participants for both races to total around 700. It has been 31 years since Letterkenny last hosted a marathon and a large crowd is expected along the route.The club will hold its annual general meeting on Thursday next, August 28th at 8 pm in the Station House Hotel. All members are asked to attend. New members also welcome. The club had a number of athletes competing in the national masters track and field championships in Tullamore recently. Ciaran Doherty won the 5,000 metres, Hugh Gallagher was 4th in the over-60 section of the 5,00 metres, while Brian Boyce was 4th in the over-35 400 metres. Aidan McKenna clocked 2:19 in the 800 metres and 4:51 for the 1500 metres. Well done to all. ATHLETICS: WHAT A WEEK FOR LETTERKENNY AC was last modified: August 19th, 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:Letterkenny AC noteslast_img read more

BLOCKING OF DRIVEWAYS BY IRISH WATER DESCRIBED AS ‘UNACCEPTABLE AND WRONG”

first_imgThe blocked houses at Glenpatrick park in Ballybofey.The actions of certain water contractors installing meters throughout the Finn Valley as being both ‘unacceptable’ and ‘utterly wrong’.Residents from a housing estate in Ballybofey had their driveways blocked for almost three days as contractors erected barriers around their homes to install water meters ahead of the nationwide introduction of domestic water charges this January.Finn Valley local councillor Liam Doherty form Sinn Fein said the situation has caused anger amongst residents. “I was contacted by a number of residents from the Glenpatrick Park estate in Ballybofey after they became concerned that the work being carried out by the contractors was causing a huge burden and disturbance to them and their families.”“Residents contacted me on Monday when the workers originally arrived at the site to begin fitting the meters only to then erect a number of barriers to the front of a number of properties which were to remain there for the best part of three days – this is unacceptable.”“What this has resulted in was the effective closure of the entrances into and out of people’s homes without any care nor consideration for the well-being of local residents – this is simply not good enough and the contractors involved need to understand that citizens here will not put up with this type of behaviour which – among other things – is utterly wrong.”Elsewhere in the county, a number of groups from across Donegal have held local demonstrations and rallies against the roll-out of water charges with the first bills expected to be issued early next year. The controversial new tax, which will see each household being directly charged for its own water usage, is strongly opposed by Sinn Féin, who insists the charge is yet another unnecessary stealth tax being imposed by central Government.The state of the road after Irish Water left Glenpatrick Park estate.Other residents on the estate have complained that they were left without water for up to two days while installing the meters.Local man Michael McGrory took pictures of the meters and the condition of the road after the meters were installed.  BLOCKING OF DRIVEWAYS BY IRISH WATER DESCRIBED AS ‘UNACCEPTABLE AND WRONG” was last modified: October 9th, 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)last_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast September 6, 2019

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We are going just a bit drier in our forecast this morning.Today we have to watch for clouds building over the state, particularly midday and afternoon. While we cant rule out a sprinkle or isolated shower in spots, we really look for most of Ohio to stay dry. That dry weather continues through tomorrow and Sunday too. Clouds are back Sunday afternoon, and that may trigger a shower or two in west central or NW Ohio before the day is through, but generally, we don’t think the threat of moisture for the finish of the weekend is as great this morning.Monday and Tuesday look partly sunny and dry.Scattered showers pop up Wednesday and Thursday of next week, but have combined coverage at no better than 70% of the state. Rain totals for the 2 day period will be from a few hundredths to half an inch. We are partly sunny and dry for next Friday (the 13th!!!).A cold front sweeps through next weekend for the 14th and 15th, bringing rain totals of .25″-1″ to 90% of Ohio. That will finish out the 10 day window on a wet note. A new 10 day precipitation potential outlook is below.last_img read more

Curfew extended in Assam town

first_imgSlit bike seats trigger communal tension in Assam’s Hailakandi, curfew clamped The administration in southern Assam’s Hailakandi town extended curfew by 24 hours besides suspending mobile Internet services on Saturday.A person died on Friday night after two groups clashed over the parking of two-wheelers at a mosque. Officials said the condition of two among the 10 injured, including policemen, was critical.Hailakandi Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli said the situation was under control. “We have extended prohibitory orders by a day and suspended mobile Internet services to prevent spread of rumours.”Kuladhar Saikia, DGP, said the cybercell had been scanning social media activities. “Anyone found fuelling communal passion would be dealt with sternly,” he said. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal ordered a probe by an Additional Chief Secretary. Apart from sending Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya to Hailakandi, he had been coordinating with Addl. DGP Mukesh Agarwal and Barak Valley Division Commissioner Anwaruddin Choudhury, who are camping in the town.Also Read  “I met the local leaders of Hindu and Muslim communities in the presence of senior officials for lasting peace,” Mr. Suklabaidya said, adding that he visited the injured at the Silchar Medical College and Hospital.He also announced ₹5 lakh as compensation for the family of Jasim Hussain, who succumbed to his injuries, and ₹50,000 each for the injured.The All Assam Minority Students’ Union blamed the government for failing to pre-empt the violence that had been brewing for a long time.“The administration appears to have let things happen,” its president Azizur Rahman said.The violence was triggered after two-wheelers a group had been parking haphazardly, allegedly to block the entrance to the mosque, were damaged. Things went out of control when another group decided to offer namaz on the road.The two groups began pelting stones. This led to mobs vandalising shops and setting vehicles on fire.last_img read more

Unilever To Acquire GSK Health Food Portfolio For Over Rs 27,750 Crore

first_imgAnglo-Dutch FMCG giant Unilever Monday said it will acquire health food portfolio, including popular brands Horlicks and Boost, from GlaxoSmithKline in India and over 20 other markets for 3.1 billion pounds (about Rs 27,750 crore).As part of the transaction, Unilever’s Indian arm, Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) will acquire GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd (GSK CH India) via an all-equity merger, valuing the total business of the latter at Rs 31,700 crore.Read it at India TV Related Itemslast_img read more

Los Angeles takes another step toward 2028 Games

first_imgUPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension City analysts concluded that the 2028 plan, while incomplete, included significant safeguards for taxpayer dollars. The Olympics have a notorious history of runaway costs, but city officials have argued their proposal can stay within budget by relying on the region’s many existing stadiums and arenas, including the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Staples Center.Los Angeles had bid on the 2024 Games, but embraced the 2028 alternative after Paris emerged as the front-runner for 2024 and the IOC proposed the unusual dual award.At one point during the sometimes tense meeting, Councilman Joe Buscaino shouted at a heckler, “This is right for the city.” As the vote was being taken, protesters yelled from the back of the council chamber, “Let us speak” and “sellout.”Steve Ducey of No Olympics LA, an opposition group, said the vote would take place without an independent budget analysis.“Shame on you,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Much of the meeting amounted to a choreographed tribute to the city’s Olympic legacy, with frequent references to the LA Games in 1932 and 1984 and the athletes who competed in them.Olympic champions Carl Lewis and Janet Evans, who are part of a private committee behind the bid, urged approval of the plan.Lewis, holder of nine Olympic gold medals in track and field, said the Games are not just an event, “it’s about a whole city.”The deal comes with millions of dollars of financial sweeteners for accepting the later date. However, the extra four years pose challenges for Los Angeles from maintaining public interest to rewriting deals for stadiums, arenas and housing that were all hooked to 2024.City analysts recommended the council approve the contract, which faced an Aug. 18 deadline, but also emphasized a revised budget for 2028 could take months to complete.“There are inherent risks to hosting such major events so far into the future,” city analysts noted in a report on the agreement.The bulk of the revenue for the Games is expected to come from ticket sales and corporate sponsorships.Part of the deal includes creation of a reserve fund to cover any cost overruns, with the city kicking in $270 million. The state is expected to commit a similar amount, but because of the legislative calendar the state might not be able to consider its piece of the proposal until next year.In a statement, Mayor Eric Garcetti called the agreement “the deal of a lifetime.” Read Next K-pop star Jung Joon-young convicted of gang rape, spycam crimes 2 dead in California school attack; gunman shoots self PLAY LIST 03:122 dead in California school attack; gunman shoots self00:50Trending Articles01:46US defense chief agrees it’s time to take another look at defense pact with PH01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief The vote followed a morning-long committee hearing that mingled civic cheerleading and salutes to Olympic champions past with warnings about potential costs and suggestions the international event would drive up housing costs and drive out the homeless.“This opportunity is too great, we cannot pass it up,” council President Herb Wesson Jr. said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe vote took place less than two weeks after the city announced an agreement with international Olympic leaders ceding the 2024 Games to rival Paris, while opening the way for Los Angeles to host the 2028 Games.The U.S. Olympic Committee board of directors must also approve the deal. The International Olympic Committee vote to award the two Olympics is scheduled for September in Lima, Peru. WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Neymar could finally make PSG debut on Sunday LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games LATEST STORIES View comments Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses FILE – In this July 30, 1932, file photo, doves are released during opening ceremonies of the Tenth Olympiad at the Coliseum in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles City Council is expected Friday, Aug. 11, 2017 to endorse a proposal to host the 2028 Olympics, following an announcement of a deal last month to leave 2024 to Paris.(AP Photo)LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles took another step Friday toward bringing the 2028 Olympics to the city, despite questions about future costs.The City Council voted 12-0 to endorse documents at the heart of its plan to stage the Summer Olympics for the third time since 1932. The contract outlines Los Angeles’ financial responsibility in hosting the Games, including covering shortfalls if the $5.3 billion plan runs into the red. In addition, a budget for the proposed 2028 Games has not been completed.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READlast_img read more

Wimbledon 2016: Svetlana Kuznetsova dumps out sinking Caroline Wozniacki

first_imgRussia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova got a late birthday present under Wimbledon’s centre court roof on Tuesday with a 7-5 6-4 win over former world number one Caroline Wozniacki, who is projected to drop out of the top 50 with the defeat. (Murray, Wawrinka advance | Serena eases through)The veteran 13th seed’s power undid the Dane, who had been seeking her first win at a grand slam this year after being dumped out of the Australian Open in the first round and missing Roland Garros due to injury.The WTA women’s tour said the 25-year-old, rated the best in the world in 2010 and 2011, could drop as low as 59, depending on other results, when the new rankings are released the day after the men’s final.Coming into the tournament ranked 45 after injuries to her ankle, knee and wrist, it was the first time Wozniacki, 25, had been unseeded at a major since the 2008 Australian Open and she was visibly gloomy after the match.”It kind of just sucks right now to be out of the tournament. Yeah, there’s not really much else to say,” she told reporters.”It’s been a tough year in general. It’s been some injuries, it’s been some bad draws.”But, you know, you just have to keep fighting …and hope eventually that’s going to turn and you’re going to take the chances you’re going to get.”The crowd was willing the Dane to take the match into a third set as former world number two Kuznetsova, who turned 31 on Monday, tightened up and looked like she might fritter away her lead.advertisementBut the Russian regrouped to serve out the match with a love game as Wozniacki sailed the ball long off her forehand.”She stepped up … I got a bit tense and rushed a bit,” Kuznetsova said of her late wobble as the pair played on protected by the roof when all other matches were abandoned due to rain.”It was my first experience of playing with the roof closed, the first time, it was really nice,” she said, adding she was happy not to have had to play on her on birthday.last_img read more

Sohar Bolsters Lifting Capacity

first_imgzoom C. Steinweg Oman, operator of the multipurpose cargo terminal at SOHAR Port and Freezone, has received today a 100Mton lifting capacity Gottwald HMK 6407 crane. With the new arrival, delivered by SAL Heavy Lift, the terminal operator now boasts three mobile harbour cranes.The maximum single crane lifting capacity has increased from 80 Mtons to 100 Mtons.“The crane is a significant investment, and one which will support growth at SOHAR, as the number of ships and the volume of cargo handled at its terminal continues to grow. Demand for project and break bulk is expected to increase in line with investment in major road and rail projects in Oman, and the additional capacity will be significant going forward,” said SOHAR Executive Commercial Manager, Edwin Lammers.The USD 250 billion Gulf Railway and USD 2.5 billion Batinah Expressway are some of the projects requiring millions of tonnes of construction materials, imported as fully-assembled project cargo, or raw materials that will feed iron and steel production at SOHAR.The crane will be operational almost immediately following its arrival and installation.last_img read more