Rapper A$AP Rocky back in US after freed from Swedish jail

first_imgNearly a month after he was arrested in Sweden, rapper A$AP Rocky returned to the United States as the verdict in an assault case against him, and two other Americans looms.The 30-year-old artist flew into Los Angeles International Airport on a private plane accompanied by his peers late Friday evening.Rakim Mayers, known by his stage name A$AP Rocky, left Sweden Friday after being released from jail while a judge determines a verdict for the assault case involving his cousin, his friend, and himself.The trio is expected to learn their fate on August 14.Mayers, along with David Rispers Jr. and Bladimir Corniel, are accused of beating 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari on June 30, outside a fast-food restaurant in central Stockholm.Mayers, who had been jailed since his July 3 arrest, plead not guilty at the start of the three-day trial Tuesday.The case gained the attention of U.S. President Donald Trump, who caused a stir in U.S.-Swedish diplomatic relations by publicly getting involved in the matter.Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven heard an appeal from Trump in July but said he could not interfere in a legal case.Trump celebrated the rapper’s temporary release via Twitter on Friday.A$AP Rocky released from prison and on his way home to the United States from Sweden. It was a Rocky Week, get home ASAP A$AP!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2019 The rapper, who maintains his innocence, shared an emotional post on Instagram after he was released, thanking his fans for their support during this “very difficult and humbling experience.”last_img read more

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College to start offering Persian classes

first_imgUSC and the Farhang Foundation recently announced a collaborative project to launch the school’s first Iranian Studies Initiative, which will bring Persian language classes to the College of Arts, Letters & Sciences and will allow students to minor in Iranian Studies.“The details of exactly what courses will be offered and how quickly Persian studies will grow on campus has not been fully worked out,” Michael Quick, executive vice dean of the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences, wrote in an e-mail.The Farhang Foundation, established in 2008 in Los Angeles, is a non-profit organization that seeks to celebrate and promote the study and research of Iranian art, culture and history for the benefit of the community at large, according to its website.The Iranian Studies Initiative began when the Farhang Foundation contacted USC and offered the university the opportunity to bring an Iranian studies program to the college, Quick said. The idea came from a convergence of three different factors: USC faculty research about the Middle East, student interest in the Middle East and Persian and Arabic languages, and USC’s budding relationship with the Farhang Foundation.“One of the reasons people came to us, Farhang in particular, is because they knew we cared about this,” said Bruce Zuckerman, professor of religion and linguistics.Zuckerman said that he has been helping with this initiative in any way possible. He added that he hopes this initiative will go beyond just language classes and to will examine the culture and influence of Iranian culture.“Languages are a great place to start because if you want to understand a culture, you can’t understand it in translation. You have to begin by understanding the language,” Zuckerman said.Aside from including faculty in the initiative, the Farhang Foundation has also worked closely with the Iranian Graduate Students Association to help promote the initiative and spread awareness, said Yalda Khashe, a graduate student studying industrial and system engineering and member of the IGSA.“I want this initiative to last and I hope people will react and take the classes. I want people to give it a chance and that non-Persians will attend the courses to find out about this culture,” Khashe said. “There are a lot of misconceptions about this culture around the world.”Kevin van Bladel, an associate professor of classics who has also been involved in the initiative, attributes some of the push for Iranian studies courses to students realizing that knowing about Iran could be very important for their careers.“It’s a region of the world that Americans don’t understand enough and the more courses we can offer in that, the better,” van Bladel said. “We want to build a bridge of understanding and we want to make it possible for students to listen to the world and listen to the languages the world speaks.”Although the specific details of the initiative have yet to be established, Zuckerman said it should not take long for Farsi language classes to be offered to students because university officials realize the importance of building up a program of this nature.“If you’re going to be world-class university that engages issues of world importance, Iran, modern, and Persian, ancient, and all that comes in between are things that we can’t ignore,” Zuckerman said.Alia Delpassand, a junior majoring in political science, said she was sho cked when she first came to the university and found out Farsi was not taught. She added that she hopes this initiative will help students gain a better understanding of the Iranian culture.“Unfortunately, within the media today, Iran is not depicted in a positive light — many associate Iran with anti-Semitism and [Iranian] President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad. People do not recognize the deep-rooted Persian culture that has substantially impacted civilization today,” Delpassand said. “Having a program like this will definitely be a step toward shrinking the gap of hostility between Iran and the United States.”last_img read more

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Fairy tale ending fails to come to fruition

first_imgWalking into Camp Randall Stadium Saturday afternoon, it was impossible not to feel the aura surrounding the contest. Sure, Wisconsin had a significant amount on the line including a nearly secured trip to a January Bowl game. But even with all that was on the line, it was universally understood that the day was about legendary head coach Barry Alvarez.Everything was in place — the video recapping a legendary career, the stage to be brought out onto the midfield “W” for the post-game festivities, the thousands of white towels thanking a retiring legend for his contributions to the program, even the announcement of a bronze statue depicting the likeness of the university’s most celebrated football leader.Everything, that is, except the victory.In Hollywood, Wisconsin would have taken the last drive of the game 99 yards, scoring the winning touchdown just as time expired, sending players, coaches and fans alike into a state of pure ecstasy as Alvarez coached his final home game with the Wisconsin Badgers by recording a victory over the very team that gave him his first taste of coaching at the college level over 25 years ago.Unfortunately, Hollywood is a long way from Madison, Wis., and there would be no happy ending in the Badgers’ final home contest of the Alvarez era. Instead Kirk Ferentz led his Iowa Hawkeyes to a 20-10 victory over the Badgers Saturday evening.After everything UW has accomplished because of Alvarez, a win seemed the only possibility in the contest. The loss just didn’t seem right, not even to the players.”We should have been celebrating a victory while we were watching [the tribute to Alvarez],” punter Ken DeBauche said. “I think we all take it pretty personally, because we wanted to honor coach by winning this last game at home, but it didn’t work out that way.”But it wasn’t just DeBauche who felt this way. To a man in the UW weight room following the game, every player admitted to feeling disappointed about sending off their leader with a loss.But the odd thing is, despite the loss, the day hardly seemed ruined.Sure, celebrating Alvarez’s laundry list of accomplishments following a loss was not ideal, but it sure didn’t seem to matter to the three-quarters of fans that stayed behind to witness the ceremony. Even the student section, who we all know is the harshest of critics following a loss, tempered their anger to break out not in a chorus of boos following the loss, but a resounding “Barry” chant.And when Wisconsin play-by-play announcer Matt LePay took the stage, with Alvarez and his family standing in the background, the pain of the loss seemed to melt slowly away. So much so that by the time Alvarez actually took to the microphone following the praise of Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, former UW team captain Joe Panos, former Athletic Director Pat Richter, former UW chancellor Donna Shalala and a video tribute to his tenure at Wisconsin, the loss that had occurred less than an hour before seemed to have occurred in a distant arena.There’s no way to sum up Alvarez’s career in this column. Hell, there probably isn’t enough space in today’s paper. But even more than the accomplishments, it would be impossible to relate the impact Alvarez has had on UW athletics in general. But perhaps Panos spoke for more than just himself when he described what Alvarez meant to him.”You taught us to play the game the way it’s supposed to be played — with great pride and passion,” Panos said during the post game ceremony. “You taught us life lessons as well. You taught us the true meaning of the words love, trust, commitment and belief. Through your leadership, you made us believe in ourselves when no one else would.”And really, nothing more needs to be said.It’s a shame that a victory didn’t come to fruition in Alvarez’s final game. However it doesn’t diminish the accomplishments of his 16 years at UW. Alvarez may not have gotten a win in his final Camp Randall contest, but standing on the field during his post-game ceremony, it’s impossible not to realize that his mark on the stadium and the program is one that will never be forgotten, even if they never built a bronze statue in his likeness. And that is the true mark of greatness.last_img read more

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Humble Dipa Karmakar humbles Sania Mirza with touching anecdote from seminal Rio Olympics performance

first_img While India is one country which is predominantly ruled by cricket when it comes to sports, there have been athletes from other spheres who have also made a big impact. One of them is Dipa Karmakar, the Olympic gymnast who made the entire nation proud when she clinched gold at the Gymanstics World Challenge Cup this year. Now, the athlete talks about the time when she ran into another sports star, Sania Mirza. Read | Artistic Gymnastics World Cup: Dipa Karmakar Qualifies For Vault FinalTaking to Twitter, the gymnast recounted the time when she ran into the ace tennis star at the Rio Olympics in 2016. She revealed that it was a huge eye-opener for her and that she was starstruck on meeting so many legendary players. However, her highlight was meeting Sania and her mom over lunch as they boosted her morale when she qualified for the final of the pole vault competition. Here’s what she wrote, “The Rio Olympics were an eye-opener for me. I was star-struck as I interacted with legends of Indian sport. I was over the moon when @MirzaSania and her mother joined us for breakfast after I qualified for the Vault final and wished me the best.” It is amazing to see that even though she made the country proud, this is the moment that stood out for her.  LIVE TV H Shivkumar SUBSCRIBE TO US WATCH US LIVE COMMENT Written By Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00Loaded: 0%Duration 0:00Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio TrackQuality LevelsFullscreenThis is a modal window. This video is restricted from playing on your current domain Error Code: PLAYER_ERR_DOMAIN_RESTRICTEDcenter_img First Published: 6th December, 2018 14:51 IST Last Updated: 6th December, 2018 16:16 IST Humble Dipa Karmakar Humbles Sania Mirza With Touching Anecdote From Seminal Rio Olympics Performance While India is one country which is predominantly ruled by cricket when it comes to sports, there have been athletes from other spheres who have also made a big impact. One of them is Dipa Karmakar, the Olympic gymnast. Now, the athlete talks about the time when she ran into another sports star, Sania Mirza.  Sania responded to Dipa’s throwback moment and said it is she who is humbled for being honoured by someone like Dipa. She also called the gymnast a star and wished her to achieve even more success in the future. Sania also expressed the wish to meet her once again soon. Here’s what she wrote on the microblogging platform, “I am so humbled Dipa .. you are a star and may you reach greater heights of success .. much love to you and hope to see you soon again.” Other than this sweet exchange on Twitter, Dipa also shared a click with Sania from the Rio Olympics. In the picture, both can be seen wearing team India’s jersey. Turns out, this click was also a part of the book ‘Small Wonder’ that was written on the gymnast.  Session ID: 2020-09-09:9e16739ff1afe3f41248549e Player Element ID: video_player_5f586276e109e OK Close Modal DialogBeginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen FOLLOW USlast_img read more

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Hela Wigmen leads Digicel Cup ladder

first_imgWigmen are leveled on two points with the four winning teams from the weekend, including Lae Snax Tigers who were on bye.However, Wigmen took up the number one spot due to points for and against. Wigmen defeated Simbu Lions by a huge margin, 42-12, in Mendi.In second place is Goroka Lahanis and Mt Hagen Eagles sits on third spot after defeating Waghi Tumbe 14-10 at Rabiamul Oval in Mt Hagen.Rabaul Gurias is fourth on the ladder after a close game, beating Enga Mioks 6-2 at Kalabond Oval in Kokopo.Gulf Isapeas sits fifth on the ladder after they achieved a historical win at the new National Football Stadium, defeating Port Moresby Vipers 18-16, followed by sixth-placed Lae Tigers.The bottom five teams are yet to put a mark on the score board following their loss on the weekend.In seventh place is Vipers followed by Muruks, Mioks, Waghi Tumbe and Simbu Lions.last_img read more

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Walton looks to Amazon Warriors future

first_imgEnterprising wicketkeeper-batsman Chadwick Walton says that while he would have preferred to stay and play for the Jamaica Tallawahs in the Caribbean Premier League Twenty20, he is prepared to give of his best for the Guyana Amazon Warriors. Walton, who has a been a member of the Tallawahs unit since the inauguration of the league four years ago, will represent the Amazon Warriors after being selected in the third round of the annual player draft in Barbados last Thursday. The draft contained 15 rounds, with Walton going for the third highest capped price tag of US$110,000. The number one draft pick for each of the six participating franchise teams, who had a budget of US$750,000, was capped at US$160,000, and the number two draftee, US$130,000. The Amazon Warriors selected Pakistan fast bowling all-rounder Sohail Tanvir as their number one pick and New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill as their number two. “It would have been good if I could have stayed with the Tallawahs, but it is franchise cricket and not a national team, and being a part of the draft, there is always the possibility you can always be picked up by another team,” Walton said. “It is, therefore, just for me to go over there and try to put my best foot forward and do the best that I can do.” The big-hitting Walton, who usually opens the batting with the flamboyant Chris Gayle, represents the third major player that the Tallawahs will have to do without this season. This, after it was disclosed in the off-season that Gayle would be transferred to the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, and prolific all-rounder AndrÈ Russell would be absent due to a one-year World Anti-Doping Agency ban for a whereabouts rule violation. However, according to Walton, who has played two Tests, five one-day, and three Twenty20 internationals for the West Indies, while he knows his services might be missed, he is confident that the Tallawahs will continue to do well. The 31-year-old, who has been experiencing a rich vein of form, having scored three centuries over the past three weeks for the Jamaica Scorpions one-day and four-day teams, as well as a WICB President XI aggregation against touring England, has also expressed the hope that he will be able to deliver for the Amazon Warriors. The Amazon Warriors have made it to three of the four league finals to have been staged, however, they are yet to put claim to the crown. “They have been a relatively consistent team, and I hope to do with them the same thing I did here, which is to try and perform and get them over the line,” he said. Season five of the Hero-sponsored Caribbean Premier League is scheduled to bowl off in the summer. BEST FOOT FORWARDlast_img read more

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Cauley-Stein, Kings motivated for improvement after 27-55 season

first_imgThe Kings finished the 2017-2018 season with a 27-55 record, their worst record in 12 years since they finished with a 17-65 record in the 2008-2009 season.At 24, Cauley-Stein is a big part of Sacramento’s future along with 20-year-old De’Aaron Fox, last year’s fifth overall pick who averaged 11.6 points, 4.4 assists and 1.0 steals through 73 games in his rookie year.The Kings also have the likes of proven veterans in 41-year-old Vince Carter and 36-year-old Zach Randolph, who are both former All-Stars.Help is also on the way for the Kings, who are picking second in the 2018 NBA Draft, which is loaded with quality talent, next month. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew LATEST STORIES MOST READ Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Tyson Fury to start comeback against 39-year-old Seferi Sacramento hasn’t had much success in the NBA with the Kings failing to enter the playoffs for 12 straight seasons.ADVERTISEMENT China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player awardcenter_img View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ADVERTISEMENT In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ It would take a lot for the Kings end their playoff drought but promising center Willie Cauley-Stein believes one of the keys to cracking the top eight in a stacked Western conference in the future is building chemistry on and off the court.“We got old dudes and young dudes, we’re the young dudes,” said Cauley-Stein, who just wrapped up his third year in the NBA. “Our culture has to be so tight and that should continue for the next couple of years.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“I expect us to work hard and not really get into the wins and losses columns,”  he added during the closing ceremonies of Jr.NBA Philippines Sunday at Mall of Asia Music Hall.Sacramento Kings’ Bogdan Bogdanovic, left, De’Aaron Fox, center, and Willie Cauley-Stein celebrate late in the Kings win over the Golden State Warriors. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)“After getting to the bottom of the Western Conference our motivation is to get better than we were last year, we got to keep going at it.”last_img read more

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Anthony Joshua can’t escape talk of Deontay Wilder

first_imgLacson: Calamity fund cut; where did P4 billion go? Wilder thinks Joshua would rather fight Povetkin anyway because he’s not ready to compete against the best. “Wilder has a big power punch, but he likes to fight. He likes to get into the brawl a little bit,” Povetkin said through a translator. “Joshua is more technical, but he also has a lot of power. It would be a different approach, but they’re both great fighters.” Povetkin would rather fight Joshua — probably because he’s going to — but thoughts of fighting Wilder cross his mind often. He’d be glad to get in that ring, too. (They’ve tried, but two failed drugs tests by Povetkin prevented a fight from actually happening.) If Povetkin defeats Joshua, the unification discussion might change. Only time will tell. Both parties say they want it to happen. It’s just not happening this year.Joshua has Povetkin at Wembley Stadium in London. Wilder says he will also have a fight and to be on the lookout for an announcement soon. Life is moving on — for now. “At the end of the day, me and Joshua don’t need each other,” Wilder said. “Not to survive and live. We’ve been doing that before we even met each other, and we’re going to do that after we’ve met each other. “But for this fight to happen — for fans to see one of the biggest fights in world history and to see one champion, one face, one name — we definitely need each other.” Povetkin is partially the reason why Joshua (21-0, 20 knockouts) isn’t fighting Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) this year. In June, the World Boxing Association ordered Joshua to fight Povetkin (34-1, 24 KOs) or have his title stripped away. He signed, ending his chances of a Wilder-Joshua fight in 2018. Wilder said if Joshua wanted the fight to happen, it would be happening.“Most definitely he could have gotten an exemption for this fight,” Wilder said. “That was the least of the worries right there because everyone wants it. When everyone wants it, then there’s nothing that could stand in the way of a fight of this magnitude. No possible way. “Even when he’s announcing Povetkin, they’re talking about me. Everywhere we go, they’re talking about this fight.” ADVERTISEMENT But Joshua doesn’t care what everyone wants. He said he’s following protocol. “This career isn’t determined by what people want,” Joshua said. “It’s my career. I’ve always pulled for and done what was right for myself, which has ultimately led me to becoming a champion.” Right now, Joshua holds three of the four major belts: WBA, IBF and WBO. Wilder has the other: WBC. If the two were to fight, which they still both believe they will, the winner would be named the undisputed heavyweight boxing champion. The most recent boxer to claim that honor was Lennox Lewis in 2000. “It’s not about the big light,” Joshua said. “It’s not about taking from the industry. I don’t want to drive a Rolls-Royce tomorrow. I don’t want a one-hit fight wonder, then I’m a champion one week and few months later I’ve lost it because I’m living the life. I want to add to the industry, give back. I do it because I’m passionate about it.” His passion is just different from Wilder, who said he tried everything possible to make this unification fight happen.Wilder accepted a flat fee of $15 million and offered Joshua a guaranteed $50 million, plus 50 percent of the revenue if the fight took place in the U.S. Joshua wanted England. Wilder agreed. “We’ve done everything,” Wilder said. “I can’t express how much I mean by that when I say we’ve done everything day and night, day and night, day and night. And the only thing they’ve done is try to come up with plans of distracting the fans and trying to come up with plans of lies.” More negotiations took place. Each side says something different transpired— Wilder said Joshua sent blank contracts missing a date or place; Joshua said Wilder didn’t meet the deadline. There was also a disputed rematch clause. Regardless, months passed without any signed contract, leading the WBA to step in. Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Ref University: NBA spending summer seeking new officials Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Report: Disney dropping the ‘Fox’ from movie studio names Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Putin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West Trump assembles a made-for-TV impeachment defense team Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew FILE – In this March 31, 2018, file photo, Britain’s Anthony Joshua, rear, tries to hit New Zealand’s Joseph Parker during their heavyweight title bout in Cardiff, Wales. In June, the World Boxing Association ordered Joshua sign to fight Alexander Povetkin or have his title stripped away. He signed, destroying chances of a Deontay Wilder-Joshua fight in 2018. Wilder said if Joshua wanted the fight to happen, it would be happening. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)NEW YORK — Anthony Joshua was welcomed by applause on the stage. He stood front and center, promoting his Sept. 22 bout against Alexander Povetkin.Even there, he couldn’t escape talk of the heavyweight he isn’t fighting.ADVERTISEMENT ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins MOST READ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ LATEST STORIES Someone in the crowd jumped at the opportunity and shouted, “AJ, we want Wilder!” “Let them train to be a fighter and fight (Deontay) Wilder,” Joshua told AP. “It’s easy talking about it. It’s another thing doing.” FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’But with his hands on his hips, Joshua looked in the direction of the outburst and stoically mouthed, “Same.”Meanwhile, Povetkin was standing off to the side. Povetkin and Joshua were both in the West Village on Tuesday for the launch party of DAZN, a global sports streaming service. Its first event is their fight. Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding View commentslast_img read more

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A Beautiful Vision for Tomorrow

first_imgIf there were ever a time when we needed hope for the nation of Liberia, it is now. At a time when corruption is so rampant at every level of society; when the economy is as tight as a contraction; when a general air of hopelessness just hangs over the country like a dark and menacing cloud; when survival is the name of the game. We need hope now. We need a vision we can believe in and work towards. The perfect time to deliver such hope was at the marking of Liberia’s 168th IndependenceDay. And the orator, Ambassador Charles Minor, delivered.While he dealt at great depth with the entrenched problems facing the nation, he delivered a message of hope that every Liberian can hold on to at this hour in our beloved Liberia. Minor’s message of hope cut across societal class lines – from the Executive branch to the yanna boy – and covered every facet of the nation – the governance factor, the economic factor, the human resource factor and even the personal development factor. He envisioned a leadership that is people-focused and not self-centered or graft driven. The former Liberian ambassador to the United States envisioned a Liberia that is self-sustaining. A Liberia that grows its own food in sufficient amounts to consume and export; a Liberia that produces value-added products for its local and export markets. A Liberia whose mindset has changed gear from the idea that the best job is in the office doing practically nothing, to the realization that the best job is one that makes a tangible, positive impact on the development of the nation. Minor envisioned an educated Liberia that dominates the job market in its own country; a highly developed Liberia as a direct result of a highly educated populace.What is so powerful about Minor’s vision is that it is home grown – Made in Liberia. Not a one-size-fits-all dream imported from elsewhere and super-imposed on an African nation that can barely walk in it. It is contextualized and custom made to fit our particular needs and environment. It is achievable and absolutely sustainable. But he even went further to address those who may have fallen between the cracks despite their best efforts and lost hope. Indeed, hopelessness can drive people to the depths of vice; and when the hopeless outnumber the hopeful, as the case may be, that is dangerous for the stability of a nation-state. The Independence Day orator offered hope to those who, although they would rather work than steal, are nonetheless eking out a living on the margins of society, selling chewing gum and expired biscuits on the streets: “And to you, strong young men and women, who are walking up and down the streets of our main cities and towns selling chewing gum because you have yet to cultivate the skills to attract a remunerative wage paying jobs, offer to become an apprentice and accept a minimum wage today so that tomorrow, you will have acquired some skills to improve your capacity to obtain a decent job…“…Poverty need not be in your future. As human beings, we are endowed by our maker with great gifts of self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. And our imagination is extremely powerful. It transforms lives, it has sent man to the Moon and today man is planning to vacation in outer space. Our endowments also provide us boundless energy and enthusiasm… They enable us not to be constrained by circumstances. Do not retain the attitude of hopelessness. Knock it off…“We can work within our circle of influence and, with a sense of personal worth and self-assurance, our inner drive and our creative imagination can catapult us from being street vendors to becoming merchants of Greenville and Barclayville, with our own stores and inventories; from being market woman selling tomatoes grown in Cote d’Ivoire to becoming vegetables and fruits producing farmers…“I vision car loaders with imagination and vision one day becoming owners of taxi cabs. Achieving those lofty goals, however, depends upon ourselves, not on our Government; achieving such goals depends on our own self-image; our creative imagination, our ability to be transparent and accountable, our willingness to re-pay our loans; and our taking advantage of pivotal opportunities in our lives.”Ambassador Minor’s vision for a new Liberia should give hope to every Liberian; and every Liberian should take courage, be inspired and join forces to build the developed nation we wish to see in our lifetime.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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No adverse effects from mining operations on biodiversity – Guyana Goldfields

first_img…says strict no hunting policies may be providing refuge for speciesBy Jarryl BryanGuyana Goldfields maintains that not only does it practice land reclamation, but it’s strictly enforced no hunting zones may have unwittingly created safe zones for wildlife.The brown Sipa snake, images of which were captured as part of the monitoring programme at the locationDuring a recent tour of the Aurora Gold Mines facilitated by the Canadian owned company, Sustainability Manager Jermaine Critchlow explained that they have a biodiversity monitoring programme as well as research into what effect they are actually having on the environment.Critchlow explained that the company sets up cameras around the mining operation, which are specifically placed for capturing video and images of the different wildlife ranging from birds and ant eaters to snakes and big cats, as they interact in their natural habitat.“The idea here is to monitor the activities of animals. Ensure we don’t affect them, they’re not moving away. And so far, our research shows that since 2016 we have not had a negative impact on the biodiversity in the area. They’re there and some of these pictures will show it,” Critchlow said, displaying images of several animals captured by biodiversity cameras.Sustainability Manager Jermaine Critchlow“But we also need to compare it to an area that we’re not mining and we’re not active. So far, the results have shown promising. The mining is not affecting the biodiversity in the area. We also do bird surveys, to ensure we don’t affect the avian species in and around the area.”RefugiumCritchlow also explained the concept of refugium, a natural phenomenon in which a once widespread animal population flourishes in a particular habitat with qualities that support their presence. At this point, Critchlow showed a video of several wild Otters swimming in water not far away from the mining operation.“Refugia, basically means (on) our concession, we enforce strict no hunting, no fishing policies. Would that encourage biodiversity to increase in the area? We still have to do studies to prove this,” Critchlow said.“That’s a giant otter. In 2009, we did a study. And we had none of these species occurring in the area from our studies. But now they are in the area. We don’t know if they’re just passing through or if they want to make it home. But this just shows that biodiversity is coming in. And because our environmental footprint is small, we’re not negatively affecting the environment.”It was also revealed that a group of Capybaras, the world’s largest living rodent, has actually made waterways within the mining range their home. Critchlow also noted the importance of land reclamation, which is replanting vegetation and rehabilitating mined out areas.“Monitoring is very key. Because we’re a 24 /7 operation, we have to keep monitoring. We need to take cognizance of the area that we’re in and respect our bio diversity and ensure we don’t negatively impact our biodiversity in this area.”“Water quality is very key to us. We need to manage our waste properly and ensure we do land reclamation,” Critchlow said. “By doing all of this, we tie into the green state development strategy of the country.”According to the company, it has so far reclaimed and re-vegetated 85 hectares of land. In addition, it is understood that it is developing potential green renewable energy options such as solar.The company says it is also investigating waste disposal options with an eye to the future. Already, it employs an integrated approach of reduce, reuse and recycle, to waste disposal. It is also subject to compliance inspections, while it does its own monitoring.At present, the company is looking to go into new territory in the form of underground mining. It has already secured clearance from the Environmental Protection Agency. Final clearance has to come from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission.last_img read more

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