Serena’s French Open seed denial stirs fresh debate

first_imgMaria Sharapova also spoke up in support of her longtime rival last week.“It’s a tough call, I would like to see that change,” Sharapova said. “I think that would be nice.”At Wimbledon, which runs from July 2-15, the All England Club could elect to seed Serena using its unique system that favors grass-court specialists, given she is a seven-time champion.But at Roland Garros, an event she has won three times, organizers are not ready to take such a step with the French Tennis Federation (FFT) reaffirming the seedings will reflect the latest WTA rankings.Tournament organizers have been equally unmoved in the past when faced with similar situations.Victoria Azarenka was unseeded at last year’s Wimbledon in her first Grand Slam since giving birth in late 2016, while Kim Clijsters was in a similar position at the 2009 US Open.However, that didn’t stop Clijsters, who needed a wildcard just to compete in New York, from going on to lift the second of four career Grand Slam titles.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next 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 Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations MOST READ Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Devance to miss PBA All-Star; Rosario, Pogoy skip Mindanao, Visayas legs View comments Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial LATEST STORIES FILE – Serena Williams returns a shot to Naomi Osaka of Japan during the Miami Open Presented by Itau at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 21, 2018 in Key Biscayne, Florida. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFPThe decision by French Open organizers not to grant Serena Williams a seeding on her long-awaited Grand Slam return has prompted a renewed focus on the sport’s policy towards female players and parenthood.“French Open is punishing Serena Williams for having a baby” read a USA Today headline, arguing an exception for the 23-time major winner should be made for Thursday’s draw.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. But it does not guarantee them a seeding, leaving Serena vulnerable to an encounter with leading title contenders as early as the first round.At Miami, Williams ran into Indian Wells champion Naomi Osaka in her opening match and was easily beaten.‘Grace period’ needed“She has won this title so many times (eight) that she needs protection,” Miami tournament director James Blake said after the WTA refused to alter its rules despite conceding that they would be “further reviewed” going forward.“It’s not as if she left because of injury and lost her passion for the game,” Blake said. “She had a kid, which we should all be celebrating, so when she comes back there should be a grace period where she can still be seeded.”ADVERTISEMENT At 36, the American is looking to regain her top form following the birth of her daughter last September. After sitting out of competition for over a year, she no longer had a ranking upon her return to the WTA circuit in March.She has played just four matches this season across appearances at Indian Wells and Miami. But her results, far from convincing, have only been good enough to climb to 449th in the world rankings.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 crownWith a ranking so low, no player would typically even be able to take part in qualifying for the main draw. That is unless benefiting from a wildcard or using a protected ranking, which has at least allowed Williams direct entrance into the field.It is a system that lets a player retain, for a transitional period, a former ranking upon return from a long absence — between six months and two years — due to injury, illness or pregnancy. Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hourslast_img read more

Ginebra logs road win vs NLEX

first_imgChina population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film 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 Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding One last shot for Hidilyn Abueva left his team just minutes prior to tip-off against GlobalPort last week to attend to a pressing family issue. Despite the sanction, Uytengsu said Abueva would still be allowed to play for Gilas Pilipinas if national coach Chot Reyes selects him.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Justin Brownlee leads Ginebra to a breakthrough win. PBA IMAGESJustin Brownlee finally pulled off a breakthrough win with the Barangay Ginebra Kings via a 93-85 triumph over the NLEX Road Warriors in a PBA Commissioner’s Cup Petron Saturday Special at Ibalong Centrum for Recreation in Legazpi City.Brownlee’s efforts had gone for naught for the Kings in their last three matches, including an overtime loss to San Miguel Beer, and they badly needed this one to keep them in the hunt for a quarterfinal spot.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Alex Mallari bungled 11 of his 13 shots from the field, missing all of his five three-point attempts.The Kings moved up with their second win in seven outings, but remained in a tight situation with four games left in their elimination-round campaign.Meanwhile, Alaska will play minus Calvin Abueva when the Aces face Magnolia on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.“The Alaska team has placed Calvin Abueva on indefinite suspension following his more than one week absence from practice and failing to advise the coaching staff and management of his whereabouts,” said team owner Wilfred Uytengsu in a statement.“While the team understands Calvin may be going through some troubling personal issues, it does not obviate his responsibility to his team. The suspension is effective immediately,” said Uytengsu.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar also delivered for the Kings, who relied mostly on their might in the paint to send the Road Warriors to their sixth defeat in eight games.The crowd favorites only needed a big run early in the third with Sol Mercado and Joe DeVance complementing Ginebra’s frontline to seal the outcome.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 crownWithout reliable gunners Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas, the Road Warriors lacked the firepower to thwart the Kings.Arnett Moultrie gave his all for NLEX, scoring 30 points on top of 19 rebounds, four steals and one block, but wasn’t able to get the support from a crew led by Emman Monfort, the only local player who finished in double figures with 14 points. Lacson: Calamity fund cut; where did P4 billion go? View commentslast_img read more

NCAA: Lyceum vents ire on Arellano to inch closer to Final 4

first_imgLights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew There wasn’t much of a match to begin as the Pirates immediately raced to a 54-38 lead heading into the break and  never looked back.“It’s a big opportunity for us to get better and that was a good win for us,” said Pirates head coach Topex Robinson.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissJaycee Marcelino, who played without twin brother Jayvee for the first time this season, led Lyceum with 21 points, three rebounds, three assists, and four steals while MJ Ayaay had 16 points and five rebounds.Jayvee is recovering from his nose injury that he suffered during the game against the Altas on Friday the previous week. Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. CJ Perez Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netLyceum  pounced on a hapless Arellano, 113-79, to bounce back from its first loss of the year in the NCAA Season 94 men’s basketball tournament Thursday at Filoil Flying V Centre.The Pirates, who lost to University of Perpetual Help, 83-81, off a Prince Eze buzzer beater last week, got to a 13-1 record to assure themselves of at least a playoff for a Final Four spot.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next 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 Meralco’s Newsome, Hodge fail to get clearance for Fiba Champions Cup Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum View comments MOST READ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college LATEST STORIES Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Spencer Pretta added 15 points, on 5-of-10 shooting from deep, while CJ Perez missed out on a triple-double finishing with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists.Archie Concepcion had 16 points for the 4-9 Chiefs while Michael Canete had a 13-point, 14-rebound double-double.Lyceum’s 81 bench points and 27 assists are both season-high marks for the Pirates.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Ibaka scores career high, Leonard-less Raptors roll past Lakers

first_imgGretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college 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 Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? MOST READ Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Raptors: At Utah on Monday night.Lakers: Host Minnesota on Wednesday night. Wall, Beal help Wizards snap 5-game skid, top Knicks Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Kyle Kuzma scored 24 points and Brandon Ingram added 16 for the Lakers, who are 4-6 after their first 10 games with James after this defeat on the tail end of a back-to-back set that began with a gritty win in Portland on Saturday night.“In my experience, unfortunately, most of the time when a player like Kawhi sits out, that team ends up winning,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “There’s a sense of freedom and joy that comes when a top player like that is out. We tried to explain that that’s part of how this works, but it doesn’t seem like we took that to heart.”TIP-INSRaptors: Leonard has sat out three of his first 10 games with Toronto, missing two games last month to manage his workload coming back from last season’s injury struggles. He injured his foot late in the Raps’ win at Phoenix on Friday night. Nurse doesn’t know whether Leonard will play Monday at Utah. … OG Anunoby took Leonard’s spot in the starting lineup and contributed seven points.Lakers: Starting with their fourth-quarter slump in Portland, the Lakers were outscored 75-34 in a 21:16 stretch spanning the two games. … Fans at courtside included Denzel Washington, Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard, Ariel Winter, middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and UFC featherweight title contender Brian Ortega, who will fight Max Holloway for the belt in Toronto on Dec. 8.BYE KAWHILeonard sat out with soreness in his left foot, depriving Lakers fans of their only look at the superstar before he could become an unrestricted free agent next summer. The Lakers would love to sign a second superstar like Leonard, who grew up in the Inland Empire area, one hour east of Los Angeles.BAD STARTThe Lakers’ first quarter was shockingly bad. Toronto took a 41-10 lead with 2:21 still remaining in the first quarter, and Ibaka outscored the Lakers 20-17 in the opening period. Ibaka went 11 for 11 in the first half, while Lowry had 12 assists as the Raptors hit six 3-pointers and forced nine turnovers.UP NEXT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “That’s pretty cool,” Toronto coach Nick Nurse said. “The best thing is he’s doing it with some real good composure. He’s getting in there and taking his time. He’s using his size, his power, and using pretty good footwork, so it’s something we can go to.”Kyle Lowry added 21 points and 15 assists for the Eastern Conference-leading Raptors, who haven’t lost to the Lakers since 2014.“We really wanted to put some pressure on them and guard the ball,” Nurse said. “We got off to an unbelievable start. We looked athletic and fast all over the place tonight.”Toronto didn’t let its huge lead dwindle significantly until the final minutes, when the Lakers’ youngster got the margin down to 117-107 with LeBron James on the bench. Toronto was forced to re-insert its starters in the final minutes to preserve the win.“They’ve been playing like they’re the best team in the Eastern Conference so far,” said James, who finished with 18 points and six assists. “They just came out and hit us right in the mouth, and it’s going to be very hard to make a game of that when you’re trying to expend so much energy to get back into it.”ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 04: Serge Ibaka #9 of the Toronto Raptors dunks in front of Josh Hart #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on November 4, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Harry How/Getty Images/AFPLOS ANGELES — Serge Ibaka outscored the Lakers by himself in the first quarter, and he didn’t miss a shot until the third. He beat LA inside and outside on the way to the biggest offensive game of his career.Thanks to Ibaka’s brilliance for the Toronto Raptors, Kawhi Leonard wasn’t missed by anyone except the Lakers fans who might have been hoping to entice him home.ADVERTISEMENT Ibaka made his first 14 shots on the way to a career-high 34 points, and the Raptors didn’t need an injured Leonard in a 121-107 victory over Los Angeles on Sunday night.Ibaka had 10 rebounds and didn’t miss a shot until 5:16 remained in the third quarter, finishing 15 of 17. He was overpowering while the Raptors jumped to a stunning 31-point lead in the first quarter, and he returned in the final minutes to close out Toronto’s eighth consecutive win over the Lakers.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“I was just focused,” Ibaka said. “I knew Kawhi was out tonight, so I just wanted to go out there and do my best.”With the Lakers’ small lineups struggling to contain Ibaka early on, he became the first player to start a game 14 of 14 from the field since Shaquille O’Neal did it in February 2006, according to the NBA. Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum View commentslast_img read more

UFC to open ‘world’s largest MMA center’ in Shanghai

first_imgGretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college 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 Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next UFC chief operating officer Lawrence Epstein said that there are 10 Chinese fighters on the UFC roster but he hopes there will be 10 times more in future.“We wanted to come to China and make an investment in this market,” said Epstein.“Half of our business is outside the US so international growth is incredibly important to us.“China has become a top-five market for us in any metric that we look at and has the potential to be larger than the leader right now, which is the United States.”Kevin Chang, vice-president of UFC in Asia-Pacific, called the Shanghai center “a defining moment for UFC in Asia” and said it will also serve as the organization’s headquarters in the region.ADVERTISEMENT Cavs’ All-Star forward Kevin Love could be out until after new year The announcement was made four days ahead of UFC’s first event in Beijing — last year Shanghai hosted UFC’s maiden fight card in mainland China.The new center will be three times the size of UFC’s original performance institute in Las Vegas and boast facilities for fighters and fans over two floors.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissIt will include two Octagons, a boxing ring and equipment such as underwater treadmills, together with a team of full-time experts.Top promotions are setting their sights on China, where MMA’s rapid growth and the country’s ancient martial arts traditions are fuelling predictions that it could become the sport’s next frontier. Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum UFC made a major play for the potentially huge Chinese market on Tuesday, saying it will invest $13 million to open the world’s largest MMA training and development base in Shanghai.Performance Institute Shanghai will open in mid-2019 and help nurture the next generation of Chinese mixed martial arts fighters, the United States-based UFC said.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew View commentslast_img read more

Power is for Business

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said the essence of providing electricity in a given area is to help promote businesses that lead to improved living conditions for residents as their economy booms. According to the President, Yandohun Town, Lofa County, where a 60 Kilowatt Micro-Hydro Power Plant was dedicated, should be of no exception.Speaking at the dedication ceremony of the Micro-Hydro Power Plant in Yandohun, Kolahun district on Wednesday, February 19, the Liberian President cautioned residents, especially women, to make maximum use of the electricity by engaging in businesses that would increase their incomes and improve their lives.The President mentioned ice making, cold water processing, and rice mills as examples of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with great investment potential. She challenged the people to form a cooperative in achieving this, which would lead to more SMEs.“Do not just use this electricity to dance under light every night; it’s your opportunity to make use of your blessing. The only way you can help government fight poverty is by getting involved. This is why the hydro has been built here,” the President told a joyous crowd. “We want women to be involved in businesses because it would help empower them and improve the lives their families. You can buy an ice box and get yourself engaged in selling ice, or even buy a cooler and start to sell cold water to passersby on this road,” she added.The newly dedicated 60 Kw Micro-hydro power project is an initiative of the Government of Liberia through the Rural and Renewable Energy Agency (RREA) of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (MLME), and funded by the World Bank. The project costs around US$540,000.00; covering civil works, electromechanical equipment, a powerhouse, transmission, distribution, customers’ internal wiring and connection for the three beneficiary communities.The hydro current serves three rural communities, including Yandohun, Dangalahun I and Dangalahun II, all in Kolahun district. It presently provides reliable and affordable electricity to over 169 customers; comprising households, businesses and social institutions. Customers will pay only LD$200.00 a month regardless of how much power they consume. The power is supposed to run 24/7.The Micro-hydro power system is being managed, operated and maintained by a community management team trained under the newly established Yandohun Electricity Development Cooperative, Incorporated.The Residents of the Yandohun expressed thanks to President Sirleaf, the World Bank and the many technicians who made the construction of the project a success. They lauded government for providing them with access to affordable electricity and giving new opportunities to improve their lives.A resident of the town, Mr. Willy Kuagbah said: “This is a very important day in the history of Yandohun. I just want to express thanks to our President for this project. This electricity will help us greatly, especially our school children.”Another resident, Hannah Kamara noted, “We no longer sleep in darkness. When evening hours arrive you see everyone anxious to come and see the new face of our town under light. Our children will be happy to study their lessons upon returning from the farm because of electricity. We are very grateful to our President.”She continued, “The President said that we should get into business. I have a plan to build a modern video club if I can get a loan to start it. I want for government to start looking at ways to give us loans in Yandohun like the Central Bank is doing in other areas.The Executive Director of RREA, Augustus Goanue said the project is very unique and serves as a model for similar communities in Liberia. “Because of various socio-economic benefits associated with this project, it will greatly contribute to the RREA’’s purpose of facilitating and accelerating the economic transformation of rural Liberia,” he noted.He said in 2008, President Sirleaf approved then Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy, Eugene Shannon’s request to establish a prototype Rural and Renewable Energy Agency (RREA) following the drafting of the first ever National Energy Policy of Liberia.Meanwhile on February 8, 2009, Fanny Missfeldt-Ringius of the World Bank, Kristin Stroup of Energy and Security Group and the RREA boss visited Yandohun to assess the damaged 30-kW Micro-Hydro Power plant originally constructed by a Peace Corps Volunteer called Gary Duncan in 1979 with funding from United States Agency for International Development (USAID).Upon their return, a project called “Catalyzing New Renewable Energy in rural Liberia” was submitted to the World Bank for funding, which was subsequently approved. The objective of the two phase project was to help government implement a significant portion of the NEP by establishing the RREA as a functioning agency able to mobilize new renewable energy services and investment for rural areas to meet demand in a technical, reliable and affordable manner.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Wealth vs. Health

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Jr. Lone Star Players to Receive US$500 as Qualification Bonus

first_imgThe hierarchy of the Liberia Football Association (LFA) has decided to pay each of the 19 players on the Junior Lone Star team US$500 as a qualification bonus over the Young Elephants on Sunday in Abidjan.This mean, Junior Lone Star, dubbed the Satellite, needs at least a draw to qualify to benefit from the qualification bonus besides their already pocketed US$100 appearance fee or per diem.The Sunday’s game is the return leg (2nd leg) between the Lone Star and the Young Elephants after a scrappy 1-0 win in favor of the red-blue-and-white boys in the preliminary’s second round of the U-20 CAF Championship.The 2nd Vice President of the LFA, Cassel A. Ku oh made the disclosure Thursday at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) a minute before their departure, as they boarded the bus for the Robert International Airport (RIA) to fly to Abidjan.”Each player will be entitled to US$500 if we manage to qualify against the Ivory Coast on Sunday,” Mr. Kouh said. “The challenge is yours to put up [a] fight to make us proud.”Cassell’s assertion had been construed asva personal initiative; but a follow-up interviewed with the LFA 2nd Vice President has clarified that the qualification bonus is the LFA’s, though the Secretary General Alphonso Armah and the Deputy Secretary General of Finance, Jallah Corvah, are not in the know.According to Cassell, the qualification bonus is the LFA’s way and mechanism to motivate the boys in the tricky return leg clash with the spirited Young Elephants in their home.It is a glaring fact, despite of the friendship between Youth and Sports Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe and the LFA president Musa Bility, that the Chief Patron of Sports, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has deliberately ignored the two-legged Lone Star (national Lone Star football team). The executive members of the LFA, especially Bility and Cassell, have been underwriting the cost of the teams’ expenses. Accordingly, both equally men contributed US$40,000 and each LFA’s executive member was taxed US$100 to support the hosting of Lesotho.But football pundits believe the qualification bonus is probably meant to erase or settle the LFA’s embarrassment, owing to their inability to usually camp the team before departing the country to honor international football clashes.It can be recalled, shamefully, on Monday, the 38-year-old Junior Lone Star coach expressed frustration on the failure of the LFA to camp the team, before departing the country. Coach Pella startlingly revealed that after the 1-0 victory last Sunday, May 11, 2014, the team has not gone to camp and would not be camping before their flight.He said camping is a tactic to polish and psychologically prepare for a win, and that the major achievement in camping is to knit a team’s spirit.“We use camping to talk to the players during their leisure time at night and early morning hours, to build closeness among the players,” he said, “camping is another method to circumvent players from conflict and embarrassment.”Perhaps we can argue  that a win, or better yet a qualification, of the Junior Lone Star over the Ivory Coast could overturne the President’s detestation against the two-legged Lone Star for continuously losing amidst huge financial assistance.Interestingly and recently, the truth came out at last when the President celebrated with the one-legged Lone Star (Amputee Lone Star) for retaining the title as champions in the Africa Amputee Cup of Nations.President Johnson Sirleaf’s positive support to the national Amputee Lone Star indicated that she is done with the loser who continues to embarrass her with disappointing results. President Sirleaf donated of a 22-seater bus to the Amputee Lone Star.It was the president’s show of appreciation for the team’s numerous victories against other countries in football competitions—and their title Africa’s double amputee football champions.In her last address to the nation, President Sirleaf chose, watch my word, deliberately chose to ignore the national team.However, she commended the Amputee Lone Star for winning its version of the African Cup of Nations in Kenya.So this Sunday, in Abidjan, the Junior Lone Star team needs to restore smiles on the faces of Liberians including the President.In 2011, it can be recalled, the President presented the check of US$75,000, to the LFA as a bonus for the Lone Star Team’s superb performance when Ghana Black Star was pinned 2-0 and the team drew with the Super Eagles of Nigeria, 2-2.President Sirleaf said she was very pleased with the performance of the national team, pledged government’s full support to the national team in its pre- and post-qualification games leading up to the 2013 African Cup of Nations tournament to be held in South Africa.Smilingly, she said there was a need to provide support to the national unifier and also called for a more structured and systematic support to the team, not only during games but also after, and with a long-term strategy.“It is time to support our national team, and we are going to work with the Ministries of Finance, Youth and Sports and the Liberia Football Association to realize this goal,” the President stated.The President’s happiness over the splendid performance of the Lone Star attracted partners, friends and well wishes.Cellcom GSM Company was proud to support the Lone Star teams, but later withdrew, because of disappoint results.So, it is correct to state here that if the national teams want the president’s support in every way as well as sponsorship, then this Sunday should be the beginning of a new direction.It means that on this Sunday against the Young Elephants and next Sunday, against the Crocodiles of Lesotho, the Lone Star teams must win.I am sincerely convinced that President Sirleaf has not ignored the national team because she does not believe in the players. She is unhappy because previous efforts to help the team to soar did not go as expected, and the team’s losses may have affected the president’s national transformation agenda.If that is not the case, how else should the president’s cold shoulder towards the national team should be understood?Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

In Ebola Fight, PROCMURA-Liberia Reaches ‘Vulnerable’ Communities, Including Banjor in Virginia

first_imgMembers of PROCMURA-Liberia Chapter’a Anti-Ebola Taskforce Committee over the weekend reached out to the leadership of several of the‘vulnerable and most Ebola affected communities’ in Monrovia and its suburbs with items to help the residents in the fight against the spread of the Ebola virus disease (EVD). PROCMURA is an acronym for Pan-African Christian Organization dedicated to Christian constructive engagement with Muslims in witness, mutual tolerance and collaboration towards peace and peaceful co-existence for the holistic development of the human family. Founded in 1959, PROCMURA stretches a hand of friendship to the Muslim Community,  with a vision of a continent where religious communities can live with their differences in peace. It is well established in 20 African countries and visible in 10 more. It has well trained grassroots workers (men and women) on the complexity of Christian-Muslim relations.The items distributed included  Household disinfectants, several bags of the 25kg rice, and buckets with faucets, powder soaps, vegetable oil, etc.   The items were distributed among residents of Pianyonkosa Community in Banjor former refugee camp,  one of the hardest hit by Ebola. The Pianyonkosa Community is located near the Banjor Central High School in Virginia, outside Monrovia. It is one of the places that the EVD took the lives of at least 45 persons in recent weeks.Other areas that benefited included Hotel Africa Blessed Community and Banjor Beach, near the residence of the late  former Justice Minister, Jenkins Scott. An executive of PROCMURA-Liberia, Dr. Benjamin D. Lartey, who led the distribution committee, believes that the fight against the EVD in the sub-region would succeed only when those in the fight come together to kick the EVD out from the affected countries. With that message, Dr. Lartey called on the leaderships of afflicted communities that benefited from PROCMURA’s donations to take the lead in the fight by spreading the necessary awareness to complement the government’s  efforts. “This is not the time to score victory against anyone, but to collaborate by forging together in our fight to score victory against the deadly Ebola from the human race,” Dr. Lartey asserted.PROCMURA-Liberia Area Committee’s overall anti-Ebola message called for all to join in  kicking the disease out of the country and protect ourselves and others to stay alive.Dr. Lartey called for all communities to join and take ownership for the protection of the populace against Ebola which, he insisted, “has no place in the country or sub-region.” Their message also urged Liberians to stop religious and cultural practices that can expose people to Ebola attack. Heads of community members that received the donated items individually and on behalf of the residents expressed gratitude to PROCMURA for the gesture. They promised to distribute items they received first among Ebola survivors and other ‘vulnerable’ community residents.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Coca-Cola Company Executive Consoles Liberians

first_imgThe Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the global multinational corporation, Coca-Cola Company, Alexander B.  Cummings, Jr., has assured Liberians that the Liberia Coca-Cola Bottling Company (LCCBC) will continue to invest in Liberia and remain operational during this difficult times owing to the outbreak of the Ebola pandemic in the country.Mr. Cummings, who flew into Monrovia last Friday on a private jet,  gave the assurance at a press conference held at the LCCBC production plant in Paynesville shortly after his arrival.“We felt it is important to visit Liberia during this difficult period to show support and solidarity”, said Mr. Cummings, who headed a high powered seven-man  Coca-Cola delegation.The Liberian-born  Coca-Cola top executive  said “as a Liberian and  relatively successful, if we expect others to help us, we must take the lead.  That is why we are here, to say CoCa-Cola shares the concern of Liberia and other countries hit by the Ebola Virus Disease”.Cummings who has work for Coca-Cola Company in many capacities since 1997, said though Coca-Cola business in Liberia is down by 60%, due to the Ebola crisis, the company is still keeping its workforce intact and is not scaling down or laying-off any of its staff members.Mr. Cummings announced further  Coca-Cola’s plan to open a second production line worth about US$5 million dollars for the production of different kinds of assorted fruit juices and bottled  water in Liberia.Moreover, Mr. Cummings said that as part of its social corporate responsibilities, the LCCBC is constructing a modern science and technology school at the cost of US$1.2 million in the Duport Road community.“We want to assure the Liberian government and people that Coca-Cola will remain operational in Liberia and will do everything possible to help the country during this difficult period,” told the press conference. Other members of the Coca-Cola delegation to Liberia  included: Alfonso Bosch, Chief Executive Officer, Equatorial Coca-Cola Bottling Company (ECCBC), Sierra Leone; Curt Ferguson, President, Coca-Cola Middle East and North Africa; Alfonso L. Daurella, Chairman ECCBC, Sergio Codonyer, Public Affairs and Communication Director (ECCBC) and Geert Bross, General Manager North Africa Region.The Coca-Cola Executive Vice President also asserted that LCCBC is playing very important role in the fight against Ebola scourge. “We will continue to help in the fight against Ebola until it is finally  kicked  out of Liberia and West Africa”, he said.Filling the Daily Observer in on LCCBC’s  donation to the fight against the Ebola malady in Liberia,  Victor Bostor George, Public Affairs and Communication Manager at the LCCBC   said, 300 Ebola kits and 160 empty gallons were given to household in the immediate environment of the company.Additionally, George said, 1,900 cases of water bottles were given to Ebola Treatment Units, US$2,000 was given to the Ebola Trust Fund, 30 thermometers to the Ebola Task Force along with US$48,000 worth of anti-ebola materials.George disclosed that two 40-foot containers containing more than US$200,000 worth of anti-ebola materials  are expected in the country to be donated towards the fight against Ebola.Established in 1949, the company was known as the United States Trading Company (USTC) but changed name in 2005 to the Liberia Coca-Cola Bottling Company (LCCBC). About 190 Liberians are in the employ of the LCCBC.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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