PNG swimming team finish on a high

first_imgSam Seghers competed in his last two events, the 50m freestyle and 100m butterfly, in the same heat session.Seghers’ time of 23.58 for freestyle was just shy of his Personal Best while in the 100m butterfly, he set a time of 55.17 which made a new Personal Best time. Ryan Pini continued his great form with a time of 52.86 in his 100m butterfly event.The time was just 0.50 off from the Olympic A Qualifying time.This is Pini’s fastest time recorded since the 2012 London Olympics.In the 50m breaststroke, Ryan Maskelyne completed his last event for the meet with a solid 31.07.In the corresponding women’s event, Barbara Vali-Skelton swam a 34.83.The last day of competition saw Pini swim a Personal Best time of 25.62 in the 50m backstroke to qualify 6th fastest for the final.Pini went faster again in the final swimming 25.55 to break his own PNG National record.“I’m very pleased with my results and feeling positive for the lead up towards Rio,” said Pini.last_img read more

Preserving orangutan culture an ingredient for successful conservation

first_imgAgriculture, Animals, Apes, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Hotspots, Conservation, Culture, Ecology, Endangered Species, Environment, Farming, Featured, Forests, Great Apes, Green, Industrial Agriculture, Mammals, Oil Palm, Orangutans, Palm Oil, Palm Oil and Diversity, Primates, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Glenn Scherer Scientists once thought that all animal behavior was instinctual, but now know that many animals — particularly social animals — are able to think and to learn, and to display culturally learned behaviors.Orangutans are one animal in which occurrences of culture have been fairly well proven, with orangutan groups at different study sites displaying variant behaviors that have neither environmental nor genetic origins, meaning they can only be cultural in nature.Among these cultural behaviors are basic tool making and use for food harvesting, purposeful vocalizations, and variations in nest building materials and methods. Scientists fear habitat loss and crashing populations could cause this cultural heritage to vanish.The loss of varied cultural behaviors could potentially make orangutans less adaptable to changes in their environment at a time when, under extreme pressure from human development, these great apes need all the resources they can muster. An adult female orangutan performs a kiss-squeak call using leaves that she is holding. Researchers are finding that orangutan calls vary from population to population, and can represent an example of culturally learned behavior. Photo © by Tim LamanSubtle variations seen in a species across its range often turn out to be important to successful conservation. That’s because, on closer examination, populations are found to be genetically different subspecies. But what of geographic differences in behavior? Think about our own species, with its varied foods, clothing and customs. We call these differences culture.Not so long ago scientists dismissed the possibility of culture in animals, assuming that all their behaviors arose from instinct alone. But now it is recognized that some species — especially social animals — can think and learn new behaviors, and that they do possess culture. A lot of recent research offers good evidence that orangutans are among them.But what is the evidence for culture in these great apes? And once cultural variations in orangutan groups are recognized, what do those differences mean for successful conservation?Could the preservation of subtle cultural variations be a key to aiding orangutans in their survival as they suffer extreme pressures from habitat loss and degradation in Borneo and Sumatra?Behaviors differ orangutan group to groupOrangutans have been observed to possess complex behaviors that are common at one study site while being absent (or very rarely seen) at similar sites. One example: Cheryl Knott of Boston University and her colleagues have watched orangutans feeding on neesia fruit at two different study sites in two different ways. At one location, the animals extract the nutritious seeds without the help of utensils, at the other they use a stick.“They modify [the stick], which is part of the definition of tool. They take the stick, and they bite the end to make [it] a certain length,” Knott says. “If they can’t get into [the fruit] with a certain stick, they’ll modify it or try a different one. They also have tools for [harvesting] insects that are different.”Orangutan researcher Cheryl Knott and field assistants check data on orangutans they are following in the rainforest of Gunung Palung National Park, Borneo. Photo courtesy of Cheryl KnottResearchers have observed a variety of other behaviors where orangutans employ tools. Some populations use a “leaf glove” to handle spiny fruits or branches; others employ a clump of moss, much as we would use a washcloth, to clean their hands. Notably, both of these behaviors appear to be cultural: common in some groups of orangutans but rare or absent in others.There are also activities that all orangutans do, but that different groups do differently, just as all human cultures cook, but different countries have very different cuisines. All orangutans build a new nest in the forest canopy each night, for example, but there are variations in how orangutan groups “decorate” their nests.“Some places they make pillows, other places they put roofs over nests, other places they line them — there are different subtleties,” Knott explains.These variations, however, aren’t absolute proof of culture. There could be simple environmental reasons for some of the differences. If, for example, one population eats bananas and another doesn’t, maybe it’s because the range of the latter group doesn’t include any banana trees – that’s an environmentally perpetuated variant, not a cultural one.An adult female, and her 11-month-old daughter eating fruit of Ardisea sp. The youngster is learning how to eat this fruit from her mother. There is little specific orangutan behavior that is instinctual, and young orangutans must learn how and what to eat from their mothers. Photo © by Tim LamanSussing out cultural differencesResearchers trying to scientifically identify culture in an animal species need to rule out two alternatives: first, that the difference in behavior is due to a difference in habitat; and second, that the populations have evolved genetic differences that correlate with the behavioral differences.“Ideally, if it weren’t morally incorrect, you would take an orangutan from one population and put it in the other population,” explains Meredith Bastian, curator of primates at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington D.C. That’s been done in the lab with fish, for instance, but with orangutans, it’s more difficult — instead, you need to set up a natural experiment.“You find a situation in the wild that’s already set up to give you the information that you need,” says Bastian, who did exactly that in her dissertation work.“We had to have two populations that were currently separated, where we had reason to think that their genetics weren’t that dissimilar,” she says. But other features of the local geography needed to suggest that the two groups could have mixed in the past.The two populations chosen by Bastian and her team were divided by a wide river; an impassable barrier because orangutans don’t swim. Fecal and hair samples were analyzed to confirm that the genetics of the apes on both sides of the stream matched. The ecology of the sites also needed to match, so plants at both sites were carefully surveyed and found to be alike.“You need to rule out that there’s just not a geographic or habitat difference,” says Bastian.When environmental and genetic variables hold constant, but differences in behavior are seen, those differences can be reliably attributed to culture.This young female in Gunung Palung National Park is making her night nest. All orangutans build a new nest each night, but there are variations in how different populations “decorate” their nests. Photo © by Tim LamanOne example of orangutan culture involves the varied materials used to build nests, a behavior Bastian calls leaf carrying. “They’re carrying leaves from one place to another place, where they want to build a nest,” she explains. What’s particularly interesting is that the leaves they use have anti-mosquito properties.At one study site this behavior was common among all orangutans. At other sites, the behavior was either quite rare — maybe one individual was observed doing it — or completely absent.In another study, Serge Wich and his colleagues found variations in orangutan calls that didn’t correlate with either genetic or environmental differences. When building nests, orangutans at one site made sounds humans might equate with “raspberries,” while at another, they sounded with “nest smacks,” while at two other sites the great apes didn’t have a special vocalization at all to accompany the task.The researchers also found that orangutan mothers at some study sites had a special vocalization made before retrieving an infant from which they’d become separated. “The mother would call, which would make the infant move closer to her,” Wich explains. “This can be in situations where the mother might be aware of a threat, or when the mother would like to leave the tree and have the infant with her.” Two populations were found in which mothers from each group used different calls, while three more populations were discovered in which mothers made no call at all when retrieving their infant.Deforestation for an oil palm plantation. Habitat loss due to agribusiness expansion is devastating orangutan populations. No one knows how much damage it is doing to orangutan culture. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerWhat orangutans learn These very carefully structured “natural experiments” have helped prove that orangutans show cultural variations in behavior, says Knott, though she cautions that such rigorous experimental perimeters must surely exclude many cases of orangutan culture that cannot be so meticulously confirmed.“Scientifically we consider something cultural if it’s a behavior that differs between two populations, and we can’t explain [the difference] using genetics or environmental differences,” she says. “That’s a pretty strict definition though, that excludes some things that really are cultural as well, [behaviors] that are passed on by social learning.Knott notes that there is really very little specific great ape behavior that is instinctual — that’s because orangutans basically learn to be orangutans from their mothers. This fact is confirmed by orphans, who, when they arrive in rehabilitation centers need to be taught everything.Orangutan young “don’t know how to find food instinctively, they don’t know how to make a nest, they don’t even really know how to climb and move around,” Knott explains. “A lot of animals are much more instinct driven: if you dumped [their young] someplace, they’d figure out how to get food. With orangutans they have to learn what’s edible and what’s not.”Unfortunately, scientists can’t set up “natural experiments” in most cases in order to gain absolute proof that a given orangutan group behavior, such as tool making, is cultural. But “Obviously any kind of tool use is cultural,” Knott asserts, even without experimental confirmation that controls for the other variables.But since we humans are so good at anthropomorphizing — seeing our emotions and motivations in animals, even when the meaning of their behavior may be very different — it’s important that some examples of orangutan culture have met the most rigorous standard of proof.This adult male orangutan in Gunung Palung National Park in West Kalimantan is performing a kiss-squeak, a threat vocalization. Researchers have found variations in orangutan calls that do not correlate with either genetic or environmental differences, providing evidence of culture. Photo © by Tim LamanApplying cultural differences to conservationWhile the discovery of cultural differences in orangutans is fascinating, do the findings have implications for conservation? Should conservationists, for example, strive to preserve the wide range of known orangutan cultures, or is it sufficient to simply preserve enough animals, and in so doing, protect the species’ potential for future cultural innovation?A human-centric answer to this difficult question: if we lose these orangutan cultural variations, we lose evidence that might be valuable to the science of our own origins.“If we had only one [orangutan] population, we wouldn’t know how flexible they are,” Knott says. “We wouldn’t understand this behavioral flexibility and that they share that with humans. We can understand the origins of human culture by studying orangutans and how these behaviors are passed on.”We might also lose potentially valuable insight into the evolution of human language. “If we continue to lose [orangutan] populations, we will never be able to map the call variation that is out there and compare that with the variation we find in humans and other species,” says Wich. “That would be a huge loss to studies that try to understand our own evolution.”Peat forest in Borneo, Indonesia, home to orangutans. Orangutan populations found on the opposite sides of wide rivers often possess differing behavioral traits, which upon careful study in some cases have been proven to be culturally caused. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerThe cultural toolboxSome culturally learned survival techniques could be especially useful in hard times and difficult situations, like those being encountered by today’s beleaguered orangutans.Knott has observed that the simple stick tools used to get at prickly and well-protected neesia fruits make it easier for orangutans to consume a very high-value food — the seeds are 70 percent fat. The fruit is “surrounded by really nasty, fiberglass-like hairs,” she says. “When we’re following orangutans eating them, we wear ponchos to avoid getting the stuff all over us. You can’t wash it out; it gets in your clothes; it can cut your fingers.”Bastian notes that at her study site, where resources were limited, orangutans had to rely heavily on less desirable, hard-to-acquire foods like the inner bark of certain trees. And that was where she observed interesting cultural differences in populations. Realize, she says, that there may be hundreds of species of plants in these animals’ habitat. “How do you know which to try, which are palatable?”In a given forest, orangutans might only eat five plant species out of hundreds. So there’s a lot of individual experimentation. But where the situation is challenging, shared experience becomes critical: it was with these hard-to-acquire fallback foods where evidence of cultural transmission was seen.An orangutan in a forest nest. Scientists are in only the early stages of investigating orangutan culture and how its preservation might enhance their chances for conservation. Photo © by Tim LamanDisappearing culturesWiping out orangutan cultural variations may be exactly what humans are doing as they destroy rainforest and force animals to cram together in smaller and smaller patches of habitat.In orangutans, higher population density in a forest locale has generally been observed to correlate with more diverse interacting cultures — something like the way urban humans from many ethnic backgrounds are exposed to more opportunities to learn from each other.But in her study site, Bastian found something unexpected and quite opposite.“We thought going into this, since my site had such a high density of orangutans — the highest density every recorded in Borneo — that they’d be everywhere, being highly social with each other.”Instead, where the habitat had suffered extreme compression from human influence, and there was high competition for resources, the scientists found that females avoided associating with each other — possibly in the same way that humans on a very crowded city street, or in a packed subway, will not make eye contact.Thus, when orangutans live in a forest where population density and resources are optimal, cultures are shared. But when they’ve got no choice but to crowd together and compete for resources, cultural transmission diminishes.“There were fewer opportunities for social learning [in the crowded forest site], so, we found, fewer of these innovations that reach the level of culture,” she explains.This loss of cultural variability — whether due to local extinctions, or to multiple populations being unnaturally squeezed together — likely reduces orangutan resilience, the ability to adapt to change. That’s because cultural differences provide species with alternative life strategies.“Ways for [orangutans] to survive and figure out their environment could be compromised if they don’t have enough opportunities to learn from each other,” says Bastian.Sunset over tropical rainforest in Sabah, Malaysia on the island of Borneo. The future survival of orangutans could be aided by the preservation of orangutan culture. Photo by Jeremy HanceLearning from the orangutansScientists continue to gather data, but it now appears likely that the varied cultural innovations orangutan groups have developed over time could be critical to the great apes, if they are to successfully withstand the intense pressures they are currently suffering.Bastian experienced this particular proof in a dramatic personal way. Once, when she stayed out in the field longer than was wise, she became seriously dehydrated. “I had run out of water, and I was way too far away from camp. I was desperately needing water,” she remembers.In her research, she’d seen orangutans break off the bottoms of climbing palms known as rotan plants, and then drink the water that flowed out. She took her machete and slashed at a plant.“It has giant thorns coming out of it at every angle, it’s very painful stuff. I don’t think I would have thought there’d be running water at the base of that,” she says. “But I saw an orangutan do it, so I knew there [would be] pure water coming out of the bottom of the rotan. If you don’t learn from others, you may lose an ability to deal with difficult situations. It probably saved my life.” FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

DRC’s Garamba National Park: The last giraffes of the Congo

first_imgToday there are only 46 giraffes left in Garamba National Park, in Northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo in a nearly 2,000 square-mile area.Garamba is situated in a dangerous part of Africa crawling with heavily armed poachers and various guerilla groups.Garamba is one of 10 national parks and protected areas in 7 countries managed by African Parks, a non-profit conservation organization. GARAMBA NATIONAL PARK, Democratic Republic of Congo – Scientist Mathias D’haen said he couldn’t believe his eyes. We had been walking in the bush for a couple of days in a fruitless search for giraffes when all of a sudden one of the park rangers spotted some of the graceful ruminants.“You’re incredibly lucky,” he said. “I never thought we would see giraffes here.”The animals, which can weigh between 1,600 to 3,000 pounds, were a couple hundred feet away from us, well-camouflaged amidst the trees. It seemed to take at least 20 seconds to make out their shapes. It didn’t matter whether there were two or 10 of them: we had seen giraffes from the ground, which rarely happens.Most of the time, when in the bush, D’haen, a PhD student who studies giraffes in Garamba National Park, in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has to make do with collecting droppings and taking habitat pictures. Not surprising, as there are only 46 giraffes left in Garamba. The park covers a nearly 2,000 square-mile area. The giraffes here are needles in a haystack, basically. The only guaranteed way to see them is to locate the one equipped with a GPS collar, and fly over it with a small aircraft.The logistics are complicated, but the challenge and possible reward is thrilling. The Kordofan giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis antiquorum) in Garamba are a rare sub-species of giraffe, and they’re the last remaining giraffes in DRC. The tallest land mammal in the world, the giraffe is listed as “vulnerable” by the IUCN.Scientist Mathias D’haen (l) rides through Garamba National Park with a ranger. Photo by Thomas Nicolon for Mongabay.D’haen studies the population dynamics of Garamba’s Kordofan giraffes. He describes it as “a difficult task,” considering the vastness of the park, the poor density of animals and the lack of roads. D’haen, whose interest in giraffes was sparked by his mentor Julian Fennessy, co-founder of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation and the conservation organization’s first executive director, quickly grew fond of them.“It’s a strangely put together animal,” he said. “But they function very well.”Now he hopes to answer the following questions: why is the giraffe population so low in Garamba, and why isn’t it recovering as hoped? Even at their documented peak, they numbered only 300 back in 1976.One factor, D’haen says, is that Garamba’s habitat isn’t typical for giraffes. For starters, there’s a low density of acacia, which is an important part of their diet. But that’s not all. In Garamba giraffes can be found in densely wooded areas despite standing up to as high as 20 feet above the ground.last_img read more

Tribute to Mamadee Diakite

first_imgThe death of Mamadee Diakite, one of the fiercest talk show hosts of our generation came as a great surprise to many, especially those of us who interacted with him in the last days of his life.There can be no doubt that Mr. Diakite, whose presence in the Liberian media landscape was relatively new, left an indelible mark in the practice of journalism which he cherished, promoted and defended according to the best of his ability.Perhaps the most striking aspect of Mr. Diakite’s journalism career was his firmness against social injustice, his love for the truth and the ability to express this without fear or favor made him a towering figure among his contemporaries.Clearly, Mr. Diakite’s ability to search for the truth for the benefit of humanity placed him in an enviable but difficult situation. But he defied the threat of intimidation which often serves as obstacle for freedom of expression and decency. In effect, Mr. Diakite understood the environment in which he operated and therefore equipped himself in the armor of legal knowledge to meet the challenges of our time.Yet, Diakite was a man full of confidence and vision not only to realize his God-given potential, but also to contribute to the growth and development of his beloved country Liberia in which he had enormous faith that with the right leadership, coupled with collective patriotism, Liberia’s progress was irreversible.Indeed, Mr. Diakite’s loyalty to Liberia was unquestionable. He repeatedly used the phrase “The Mother Land is getting better” to assure the listening audience that despite the inadequacies in our national life occasioned by frequent political wrangling among different interest groups, there is a window of opportunity for Liberians to consolidate peace and build upon the progress made over the years.Admittedly, Mr. Diakite’s message was not welcomed in some quarters. Consequently, he became a target of verbal assaults and name calling ostensibly to dissuade him from shedding light on societal ills that threatened to reverse gains made over the years.Soon, it became clear that the man Diakite was a man of his own world who did not only delve into national discourse for the sake of argument, but rather his thoughts were deeply rooted in his conviction that national questions could only be effectively addressed when we agree to dislodge ourselves of the prejudices and hatred while recognizing that the common denominator which is Liberia is placed above all else.Defending such principles as Mr. Diakite did is a task every conscientious journalist should endeavor to protect and promote at all times.As we reflect on the many contributions made by Mr. Diakite in the course of his journalistic sojourn, one cannot but rejoice over the out pouring of tributes to his memory by people from all walks of life who gathered at his residence to pay their last respects. This is a testament that the Diakite who appeared detested by the tiny minority, was immensely appreciated by the majority.And as the books of condolence are opened by the family and the Press Union of Liberia respectively, let us use the occasion to celebrate Mamadee’s life and remember all the fallen Liberian journalists who consistently played their part in moving the country forward. Rest in Peace my dear friend.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Fear Grips Embattled Bahn City Mayor, Over Alleged Threats to Job and Safety

first_imgBahn City Mayor Angie DopoeEmbattled Bahn City Mayor, Angie Dopoe, has expressed fear of not only losing her job as a result of an alleged order by Senator Prince Y. Johnson against her stay in office, but also possible threats that have already led to her temporary relocation to Monrovia.Bahn received city status by a Legislative enactment on September 27, 1986 and has since been managed by separate but essential administrative offices, including the office of city mayor.Seated and appearing beclouded with despair and a heartbroken sense of existence, Madam Dopoe told a team of journalists over the weekend in Paynesville that she fears for her safety, should she remain in Nimba amid the current political hurdle.“Senator Prince Johnson said no matter what, I will not hold onto the position of City Mayor of Bahn, even though I was allowed by President George Weah to continue service through a letter of appointment and a subsequent Senate confirmation hearing result that is expected,” she said.She added that Senator Johnson’s threats came as a result of his accusation of her “alleged refusal” to allow him use the City Hall in 2010 for an event he claimed he wanted to host there.“I was not informed in any form or manner about Senator Johnson’s plan to use the hall. In fact, no one could use the hall at the time he said he wanted to host his event in the city of Bahn because it was undergoing renovation,” Dopoe noted.Her letter of nomination from the office of the President, copy of which is in the possession of the Daily Observer, states in part, “Based upon your desire to play a more meaningful role in the promotion of peace, reconciliation and development of our country, I am pleased to nominate you as City Mayor, Bahn City, Nimba County, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Republic of Liberia.”The nomination letter continues, “As your nomination requires confirmation, I have notified the Liberian Senate of your nomination. Please deliver thirty (30) copies of your resume’ to the Secretary of the Senate.”According to Dopoe, “What is so annoying in this fight against me is that Representative Rogers S. Domah, a Legislator, came to perform the function of the office of the Executive by bringing me information that purportedly said, ‘By order of the President you are asked to step aside from the office of city mayor of Bahn-Beagenhnlay,’” Dopoe told journalists.Section 2 of the Act, which led to the creation of Bahn City states that, “The Chartered officers of the Municipal Government shall consist of a Mayor, and a common Council composed of nine members, one of whom shall be the Chairman.”In Section 5 of the Act, it is said that, “The Mayor and the Councilmen shall hold their offices for a period of six years and their election (although not happening in this 21st century) shall be held every six years on the First Tuesday in October.It further noted that, “In case of death, removal or resignation of a Councilman; and in case of death, removal or resignation of the Mayor, the Chairman of the Common Council shall take over as Acting Mayor until a new Mayor has been duly elected (now appointed).”Meanwhile, Dopoe, on August 9, wrote President Weah expressing her displeasure over the means through which Senator Johnson and Representative Domah want to get her out of office.“President Weah, I am forced to bring to your official attention that on July 24, 2018, Hon. Roger Domah, Representative of District #7, Nimba County, in open public and to my surprise forcibly took away my gavel of authority as City Mayor of Bahn and strangely turned same over to my Administrative Assistant, Mr. Africanus Kwahmie, to act as Acting Mayor beginning that date moving forward to run the affairs of the City,” the letter said.She said she was disappointed for seeing Domah and Johnson, both lawmakers, interfering with the work of the Executive Branch of Government. She noted further in her letter, “Admittedly, Your Excellency, I certainly felt humiliated and completely disgraced in the full glare of the public by the act of Representative Domah for whom I have always had huge respect and will continue to have huge respect for.”When reached via mobile phone, Nimba Electoral District #7 Representative, Roger Domah said he was shocked by Madam Dopoe’s exaggeration of the unfolding situation in Bahn.“I may not have all of the details surrounding Madam Dopoe and Senator Johnson’s interactions back then but I am of the belief that Johnson does not hate her. In fact, she is one of my extended sisters for whom most of us have respect. How then would I choose to hurt her,” Domah asked rhetorically.About what occurred at the town hall meeting on the proposed division of Nimba, he said upon his arrival, the Administrative Assistant (name not disclosed) of Bahn City handed him (Rep. Domah) the gavel of authority.“As a Presidential mandate, Madam Dopoe, among all of the non-tenured appointed government officials, was asked to turn over her gavel of authority to the human resource manager. But as it is with the office she has been serving, there is no HR personnel manager and as such she was mandated to turn over the gavel to the Administrative Assistant who is now the Acting City Mayor until her confirmation is granted a success story from the Senate,” he said, countering Dopoe’s allegation that he took the gavel from her.Domah, who won the 2017 Representative election for Nimba District #7 in 2017, noted further that after the town hall meeting, he returned the gavel to the Administrative Assistant and left. “I have even been accused by some friends of being in strong support of her return to the office of the City Mayor of Bahn,” he said, adding that there is no need for Dopoe to lose hope neither fear of residing in Nimba, because her appointment has not been withdrawn by  President Weah.He said one thing Dopoe and a host of other people contesting any of Senator Prince Johnson’s political decisions know is that he (PYJ), as the political leader of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR) and the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which gives him (PYJ) the right to recommend 65 percent of all of the political nominations in Nimba.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

25 litigants seek over $48 million in damages from co-operative society

first_img…over 350 acre land allocationA group of 25 men and women have taken the Johns/Clifton Co-operative Land Society Limited to court in a bid to reclaim some 350 acres of land the applicants say was unlawfully allocated by the State. The fixed-date application matter has five respondents, namely: the Social Protection Ministry’s Commissioner for Co-operative Development; the Guyana Sugar Corporation Incorporated (GuySuCo); the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL); the John/Clifton Co-operative Land Society Limited, and the Attorney General of Guyana.Attorney-at-law Anil NandlallThe applicants include Lennox Jaipaul, Patrica Mohabir, Jaiwantie Sanichar and twenty-two others.According to the applicants’ legal documents, they were all members of the Land Co-operative Society and they own and occupy certain portions of land located at Johns and Clifton Villages in Berbice Guyana. They outlined that the Johns/Clifton Co-operative Land Society entered a 10-year lease with the Port Mourant Company on June 14, 1965 for a piece of land amounting to 350 acres in Clifton and Johns State Lands. They said that even though the lease has expired and they did not apply for a new lease, they continued to live, cultivate and rear animals on the property under contention.The 25 applicants say the Co-operative Society approached the Government and the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) “with a view to acquiring title to the lands which they occupy”. They stated that while they were given transports for portions of land which they occupy, they continued to plant rice and reared livestock and cattle on lands for which they had no transport.According to legal documents, the Society became defunct after 2012, and in 2017, the contested property was purportedly transferred under GuySuCo’s ownership. However, the applicants contend, the transfer “erroneously” included portions of their transported land, where some of the houses are located.They also claim that, in 2017, their Co-operative Society was resuscitated without the knowledge of most of the previous members. Further, a general meeting was held in November of that year with the society’s seven members, including Chairman Asheem Ali; Chandra Sohan, Secretary; and Treasurer Chandradatt Ramotar.The 25 applicants claim that these new members entered their land allegedly armed with weapons, and forcefully evicted persons, with many of them being in the midst of rice harvesting and planting other crops. They added that the newly constituted Society entered a new lease with NICIL, dated March 1, 2018, on large portions of land that the applicants claim belong to them.The applicants outlined that the land leased was not owned by the Guyana Government, and as such, this was in contravention of Article 142 of the Constitution, which speaks to the fundamental right and freedom against the deprivation of property.They also stated that the new members are encroaching on their land, and have allegedly verbally and physically assaulted them. They add that they suffered losses to some of their cash crops, fruit trees and crops when a section of the land was bulldozed.Among several reliefs for which the applicants are seeking are petitioning the High Court to have the 350 acres Plantation Clifton and Johns of State Lands on the Corentyne Coast, Berbice declared “wrongfully and unlawfully” allocated by Johns/Clifton Co-operative. They also want a declaration that the farming, bulldozing or occupying “constitutes trespass on portions of land owned by the Applicants”.The 25 applicants also want to nullify the reallocation of their land under the new lease agreement. The affected parties are also seeking damages for breach of their rights under Article 142 of the Constitution of Guyana. They are also petition the court to issue an injunction restraining the Society and their representatives and agents from “entering upon, remaining, occupying, farming, bulldozing, occupying” the applicants use of the land. Moreover that injured parties are seeking damages in excess of forty-eight million dollars, court costs, and other reliefs the court sees fit.The Applicants are represented by attorneys Mohabir Anil Nandlall, Manoj Narayan, Sasha S. Mahadeo-Narayan, Rajendra R. Jaigobin and Anuradha Deodatsingh. The matter comes up before Justice D. Younge on October 25.last_img read more

UPDATE: RCMP say they believe two robberies at Petro Canada are connected

first_imgAt 7:30 AM this morning, Fort St. John RCMP was alerted to a robbery that had just occurred at the Petro Canada located on 100th St.The police were quick to respond by setting up containment of the area and limiting traffic.Police Dog Services attended and were able to track to an area, which led to an arrest of a suspect.- Advertisement -The Fort St. John RCMP says they believe that the robbery that occurred at the same Petro Canada on Halloween night is related to this one.Both files are currently under investigation.The police are asking anyone who may have information about either of these two robberies or information on the suspect to contact them at 250-787-8100.Advertisementlast_img

Son’s late goal sends Spurs above City

first_imgThe away side were well organised and gritty throughout, with Fabian Schar’s acrobatic goalline clearance to deny Christian Eriksen in the second half epitomising their spirit.Rafael Benitez’s side had chances of their own, with Salomon Rondon heading against the post with the score at 0-0 but their resistance was broken when substitute Fernando Llorente laid the ball off for Son to score a ninth goal in his past 10 Spurs appearances.The win means Mauricio Pochettino’s side set a Premier League record as they reached 29 matches in a row without a draw, eclipsing Bolton’s mark of 28 set in 2011.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Son Heung-min struck with just seven minutes remainingLONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 2 – Tottenham moved into second in the Premier League as Son Heung-min struck late to deny a gallant Newcastle a point at Wembley Stadium.The South Korean forward benefitted from a Martin Dubravka error with seven minutes left as his powerful 20-yard shot went under the Newcastle goalkeeper’s body.last_img read more

By getting free 411 services, you may sacrifice quality for savings

first_imgBy Verne Kopytoff SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE Getting telephone directory assistance doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, or at least that’s how many emerging services are pitching themselves. They’re offering consumers free 411, which on its face seems to be an attractive alternative to paying nearly $2, in some cases, for calling a traditional information line. The San Francisco Chronicle recently tested several services to see how they worked. What was found through a combination of landline and mobile phone calls was a wide range in quality. Generally, the services work as follows: You call the number, listen to a short advertisement and then get prompted by an automated voice for a business or residential listing. After listening to a second advertisement, you’re – in theory – told the number you’re seeking or connected to the number directly. Although the services are billed as free, roaming charges and other fees still may apply for mobile phone users. Based on the Chronicle’s test results, I probably would use Google’s service for business and AT&T’s for residential listings for free 411 service.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.But with the savings come some major trade-offs. Instead of talking to a human, callers must deal with a computer that uses voice recognition technology to field requests. Also count on having to listen to advertisements before getting the telephone number you want. Many companies, including AT&T Corp., have entered the field. Google Inc., the Mountain View search engine, has perhaps the most celebrity, after introducing its version this year and more recently aggressively marketing the service on billboards across the San Francisco area. Although the free directory assistance can be used on landline phones, it is also targeted at mobile phone users, who face some of the steepest charges for traditional directory assistance, and who usually have no access to old-fashioned telephone books while out and about. last_img read more

EPA rejects state’s bid for tighter climate rules

first_img“The champagne is flowing very freely in Detroit this evening,” said Frank O’Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch. Sen. Barbara Boxer, who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said she will join a lawsuit fighting the decision and also will work to overturn it legislatively in Congress next year. She ridiculed the administration for linking the decision to passage of the energy bill, which is focused on reducing oil use. California’s law, on the other hand, is more broadly designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2016. Under the California law, cutbacks would have begun in 2009, and ultimately passenger cars and some light trucks would have to achieve a 43.7 mile-per-gallon average. Sen. Dianne Feinstein called the decision “disgraceful” while Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles – who earlier this year uncovered e-mail evidence that the Department of Transportation was lobbying lawmakers on behalf of the auto industry against the waiver – vowed to investigate. “EPA’s decision ignores the law, science and commonsense. This is a policy dictated by politics and ideology, not facts,” he said. California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nu ez called the administration’s rationale for denying the waiver “as gaseous as the tailpipe emissions they seem hell-bent on protecting.” Auto industry officials, meanwhile, praised the decision “Enhancing energy security and improving fuel economy are priorities to all automakers, but a patchwork quilt of inconsistent and competing fuel economy programs at the state level would only have created confusion, inefficiency and uncertainty for automakers and consumers,” added Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers CEO Dave McCurdy. The denial marks the first time in at least 40 years that the EPA rejected California a waiver. Staff Writer Harrison Sheppard contributed. lisa.friedman@langnews.com 202-662-8731160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – The Bush administration shot down California’s first-in-the-nation effort to limit tailpipe emissions Wednesday, igniting outrage from state officials who vowed to overturn the decision either through legislation or a bitter court battle. The Environmental Protection Agency denied California’s two-year-old request to exceed federal clean-air requirements as members of Congress prepared to leave town for the holidays. The announcement also came just hours after President Bush signed into law the first major increase in fuel economy standards in 30 years – a bill that EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson said made California’s own global warming plan unnecessary. Johnson also maintained that “California is not exclusive” in fighting climate change, and so does not meet the “extraordinary and compelling conditions” required under the Clean Air Act. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champGov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vowed to sue to overturn the decision. “It is disappointing that the federal government is standing in our way and ignoring the will of tens of millions of people across the nation,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement, referring to 16 other states that also want to adopt California’s standards. And Attorney General Jerry Brown indicated he is prepared to file legal action. “It is completely absurd to assert that California does not have a compelling need to fight global warming by curbing greenhouse gas emissions from cars,” he said in a statement. Democrats in Congress and environmental activists blasted the decision as a Christmas gift from the White House to the auto industry. last_img read more