The National Port Authority (NPA) is currently undertaking several port infrastructural developments which will see major projects being implemented in the port systems of the country, according to the Acting Managing Director of NPA, David Williams.In Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, the NPA is carrying out the extension of the port marginal wharf, building open and closed storage facilities as well as procuring land space for its expansion. The port impact projects are expected to lead to job creation and increase NPA’s Corporate Social Responsibility to the county, he noted.The NPA management is now undertaking a project to pave the road network within the vicinity of the Freeport of Monrovia and also concluding negotiations for navigational aids to begin 24-hour operations at the Freeport. Navigational aids are special structures such as lighthouses, lightships, beacons, buoys, etc. that are used to determine the position of or guide a moving ship, aircraft, or other vehicle from one place to another.The NPA will also maintain dredging of the entrance channel to the harbor basin, which will bring the port up to standard with the rest of the world, Mr. Williams further disclosed.“In Greenville, a key project for the management is the rehabilitation of the main four-kilometer road leading to the port extending from Sinoe Street to the courtyard of the Port of Greenville,” Williams disclosed.The project is being implemented as part of NPA’s corporate social responsibility as it will provide temporary employment for residents and community dwellers living along the route, Williams, who is also the Deputy Managing Director for Operations, pointed out.The NPA has also begun delivering materials intended for the electrification of the port of Harper and the procurement of marine equipment to enhance port operations, adding, “We are fully engaged to improve services at all of our ports.”The Acting NPA MD told his staff that improvements within the NPA operations are critical to the Government of Liberia’s Agenda for Transformation and Vision 2030, because these operations are expected to positively impact the development of trade and commerce in the country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
China has railed at Turkish claims it is mistreating its Uighur minority, after a dispute about the fate of a prominent musician.Turkey cited reports Abdurehim Heyit had died in a detention camp, and called China’s treatment of the Uighurs a “great embarrassment for humanity”.China then released a video allegedly showing Mr Heyit alive.The Uighurs are a Muslim minority in north-western China who speak a language closely related to Turkish.They have come under intense surveillance by the authorities and up to a million Uighurs are reportedly being detaineA screenshot of the footage appearing to show Mr Heyitd. A significant number of Uighurs have fled to Turkey from China in recent years.China has asked Turkey to revoke its “false” claims. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said the musician was “very healthy”.“We hope the relevant Turkish persons can distinguish between right and wrong and correct their mistakes,” spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters.Turkey’s Foreign Ministry had said that detained Uighurs were being subjected to “torture” in “concentration camps”.Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said the reports of Mr Heyit’s death “further strengthened the Turkish public’s reaction to the serious human rights violations in Xinjiang”.China has described the comments as “completely unacceptable”.Meanwhile Nury Turkel – Chairman of the US-based Uyghur Human Rights Project – told the BBC that some aspects of the video were “suspicious”.Mr Turkel says China has the technology to doctor the footage and said it was “their responsibility to prove the video is authentic”. (Excerpt from BBC News)
The introduction of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) programme in schools in the country was an effective measure that ensures that children are more informed and aware of the negative effects that come with using illicit substances.“D” Division CommanderEdmond CooperHowever, as this programme continues to be expanded in various educational institutions across communities, a lot of work needs to be done to sustain it.This is according to Commander of D Division (West Bank Demerara-East Bank Essequibo), Edmond Cooper, who told Guyana Times on Monday that the implementation of the DARE programme in his policing Division has resulted in keeping the rate of students using drugs in schools at a minimum.“We just got to sustain it. The children are receptive about the information. They are even excited about the information because remember it is a comparative analysis they are making with what they see on television as opposed to what the police are saying.”He stated that while successes are notable, such an initiative needs to be sustained in order to have maximum results since it not only benefits children attending schools but also their families and friends that live in their villages.The Commander explained that many students are very much interested in what the DARE programme offers and often have open discussions about their opinions in order to learn as much as possible. Then, in a domino effect manner, they return to their homes and have discussions with their parents and relatives about what they have learnt in this regard.“We plan to sustain the programme in all the schools. It is a work in progress, especially with the fact of ecstasy and the whole issue of drugs coming into the school, so it is all about sensitisation. We have got to ensure that we sensitise people about the dangers of ecstasy and those things and the DARE programme has helped in the sensitisation process because the people are more learned about this whole issue.”According to Commander Cooper, although one year ago there was major concern about the widespread introduction and use of illicit substances into schools, the present situation in his Division is that the rate of such is very low.ConcernsHowever, concerns have been raised about the contradiction of the DARE programme with the expected changes in the law to cater for non-custodial sentencing for persons caught using small quantities of marijuana.In this regard, Commander Cooper stated that if such a situation arises once that law is passed, then the police would need to take a “more serious approach” and do much more in the schools. Additionally, other stakeholders would have their work cut out for them too.“Not just Police alone but the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), churches and everybody have to get involved in this. It will have to be thought out properly and implemented. But we will continue with our DARE programme irrespective of circumstances,” he added.
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– family of 7 homeless, seeks public assistance to rebuildA Wisroc, Linden family is now trying to put the pieces of their lives back together, after their home was completely ravaged by a fire of unknown origin on Thursday afternoon.The house engulfed in flames on ThursdayThe Phase 1B Wisroc home and grocery shop belonging to Dionne Hope and her husband went up in flames shortly before 13:00h on the day in question.The family of seven was unable to salvage any items from the home or the shop which was housed in the bottom flat of the building.At the time of the fire, the proprietress was at home along with three children while the other two were at her husband’s relatives visiting overseas guests.The aftermath of the fire that left seven homelessIn relating the events leading up to the fire, the woman explained that after packing some items into her shop, she ventured to the backyard to feed her livestock.She recalled that she was being assisted by her 2-year-old son to feed the pigs when she realised that something was amiss.“I cannot say exactly what would have transpired inside of the house because I was in the back of the yard looking after my pigs…During the process of washing the pen, I noticed smoke. So, I said in me mind, ‘who was the person that, you know, light fire with a tire?’. Because it [the smoke] was really black. I wasn’t even expecting to actually look at my house and realise that well it was there it was coming from, because I wasn’t cooking. So I just decided to just turn to see exactly where it was coming from. When I turned around, I see my roof in flames and the smoke was coming through the back-bedroom window”, the distraught woman explained.Without hesitation, she dropped the water hose and ran to the side of the house and raised an alarm.“My husband’s old cousins were upstairs. The lady was, I think sleeping and the man was on the veranda looking out towards the road. So I ran to the side of the house shouting for ‘fire!’. Then is when they actually realised that there was fire in the home then they came downstairs”, the woman went on to state.She further related that she then assisted the elderly woman, who is partially immobile in getting downstairs and away from the flames. She, nevertheless, managed to remove her motorcar but after doing so, the entire house had gone up in flames.The woman noted that she and her husband had only celebrated their wedding anniversary on January 1. The family is currently staying at a friend’s house at Kara Kara, Linden.Meanwhile, persons in the community are organising a relief effort in order to assist the family. The family is also appealing to the various agencies and organisations to assist in whatever way possible so that they can begin to rebuild their lives from the tragedy.“We need every help because we lost everything”, Hope posited. Persons desirous of making monetary donations can do so through Republic Bank account number 5293311 or the family can be reached via telephone number 602-5648. (Utamu Belle)
ATHENS, Greece – Navy divers searched the sunken wreckage of a cruise ship on Friday for the bodies of a Frenchman and his daughter who disappeared after the vessel foundered on a volcanic reef – the only two people missing despite what passengers described as a chaotic evacuation in the Aegean Sea. Nearly 1,600 people were retrieved from the sinking ship in a three-hour rescue operation, but some passengers complained of an insufficient supply of life vests, little guidance from crew members and being forced into a steep climb down rope-ladders to safety. “The crew members were more scared than we were,” said Lizbeth Mata, 15, a native of the Dominican Republic who was vacationing with her parents and brother. Mata said some crew members left before the passengers: “They were yelling and screaming – didn’t know what to do.” The 469-foot Sea Diamond struck rocks Thursday in the sea-filled crater formed by a massive volcano eruption 3,500 years ago off the island of Santorini. Tourists gathered on clifftops to watch the rescue effort at the reef, which is marked with warning lights and clearly indicated on navigation charts. The ship sank about a quarter-mile off the island’s coast, in waters of uneven depth, a few minutes before it was to dock. The ship’s operator, Louis Cruise Lines, said the Frenchman and his teenage daughter were the only passengers missing, and insisted the 21-year-old vessel was well-maintained. “The vessel maintained the highest level of safety standards and was equipped with the latest navigation systems,” spokesman Giorgos Stathopoulos said. The captain and five officers were summoned to appear at a public prosecutor’s office on the island of Naxos to make a formal declaration of their version of events, which is standard procedure in such incidents. No charges have yet been filed, as it remains very early in the investigation. The missing passengers were identified as Jean-Christophe Allain, 45, and his 16-year-old daughter, Maud, from Doue-la- Fontaine in western France. Minister Fanny Palli Petralia, who spoke with Allain’s wife, said the family’s cabin filled with water when the ship struck the reef. “She was not sure whether her husband and daughter made it out because things happened so suddenly … in a few seconds. Her other child was up on deck and was evacuated safely.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
But even more important than adopting the comprehensive prevention framework will be realization of Villaraigosa’s intent to lead on prevention as much as on suppression. Leadership and political courage are the sine qua non for ending this region’s gang violence epidemic. With a few additions, the mayor’s strategy could put the city on the road to sustained reductions in gang violence. If the neighborhood-by-neighborhood assessments of community conditions, gang attributes, gang group processes, schools, demographics and crime are done by the right experts; if the plans are co-crafted with neighborhood, school, law-enforcement and county leaders; and if sufficient funding is sustained for five years, this strategy could demonstrate what current gang reduction efforts cannot. A lot of work remains to be done. Law enforcement needs additional resources and is an important part of the solution, but the $15 million that Villaraigosa proposes as new money should go to prevention and intervention – which have close to nothing when compared to suppression. We need to examine whether the amount is too little spread over too much territory to get results. The power and political independence of the proposed Gang Reduction and Youth Development Director is critical. If he or she can’t produce the needed collaboration or deflect the inevitable political meddling, nothing worthwhile will get done. And some central pieces are missing. The mechanisms to coordinate police with prevention efforts and to meld city-county-LAUSD collaboration are essential components that need defining. All important mental-health services should be a centerpiece. Resources for families, faith-based and civic partners are missing, and the investment in improved gang intervention needs fleshing out. MAYOR Antonio Villaraigosa’s gang-reduction strategy, if done right, provides a workable foundation for comprehensive gang prevention. And it comes not a moment too soon. In the three months since the Los Angeles City Council’s Ad Hoc Committee on Gang Violence and Youth Development received my gang-prevention report, more than 130 Angelenos have been murdered, many by gangs. The few credible responses to the report’s call for comprehensive and accountable systems to remove the root causes of gangs have been the exception. Most responses have been confused, uncoordinated, small and contrary to best policy. In other words, business as usual. The mayor’s strategy is still a work in progress, but it pulls together the basic concepts of comprehensive root-causes prevention well. The focus on offering alternatives in high-gang areas, job creation, intergovernmental collaboration, prioritization of prevention and intervention, and increased investment in prevention and intervention are all laudable. And the strategy wisely includes comprehensive re-entry for ex-offenders. Connie Rice is a civil-rights lawyer and co-author of “A Call to Action: The Case for Comprehensive Solutions to L.A.’s Gang Violence Epidemic.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
1 Louis van Gaal insists qualifying for the Champions League is more important to Manchester United than winning the FA Cup, although any silverware will make this season a success.The Dutch boss has come under increasing criticism this year, although his side are still in the hunt for Champions League football, and they are overwhelming favourites for the FA Cup.One trophy is hardly an overwhelming season for United, given their history under Sir Alex Ferguson, but Van Gaal is convinced that the Red Devils can claim to have had a successful year if they come away with England’s biggest domestic cup.“I think it is always a success when you win a title,” Van Gaal said when asked if this would be a successful season if they finished fifth but won the cup.“But for the club it is more important to qualify for the Champions League because we have to show ourselves at the highest level. That is also our aim.”There are still doubts as to whether Van Gaal will be in charge of the Red Devils next year, but winning the FA Cup will do wonders for his chances of still being manager.Securing silverware is one of the key parts of United’s history, and the manager wants to bring this back to the club following a drought since Ferguson’s exit.“Always when you win a title it represents what Manchester United stands for,” Van Gaal said. “We have had a period of a lot of titles and we want to bring it back.“And when you win the FA Cup, you have a title and a very respectable title and in England more than in other countries.“In the Netherlands and also in Spain, the cup is not so highly valued.“In Germany, they have a fixed stadium in Berlin and they make a big event of it so I like the way the Germans do it and I expect that here it is much bigger.“When I see the people on the streets, they are so excited so you can feel already for the fans it is fantastic.” Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal
Will Paul Pogba actually leave Juventus this summer? 1 Manchester United are considering whether to reignite their interest in former midfielder Paul Pogba.The French international has been linked with moves to Manchester City and United over the past 12 months but Real Madrid have now emerged as favourites to lure him away from Juventus.Negotiations between Real and Juve are ongoing, with the Italian giants reportedly demanding a world record fee of £95m for the 23-year-old talent.However, according to AS, Real are reluctant to pay more for Pogba than they did for Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, which may open the door for Jose Mourinho and United.Mourinho wanted to sign Pogba during his time in charge of Chelsea and would love nothing more than beating his old club Real to the Frenchman’s signature.United are set to spend big this summer as Mourinho looks to revamp his squad and could be willing to match Juve’s valuation of Pobga.
Officers volunteering for CHiP’s For Kids events are seeking donations of new, unwrapped toys for underprivileged children in their communities. The Santa Fe Springs CHP Station at 10051 Orr and Day Road has already received 42 letters from local charity organizations asking for more than 23,000 toys. To date, the station has collected just over 100 toys and are in dire need for more. CHiP’s For Kids is a community partnership program of the California Highway Patrol in its 19th year. Since it was created in 1989, the program has collected and donated more than 2.5 million toys in Los Angeles County. To help, please stop by any CHP Station, Mervyn’s department store or Mattel Toy Store. The toy drive will run through Dec. 23. The group will meet in the Nature Center parking lot. Participants need not be experienced birders. The walk lasts 90 minutes to two hours and is followed by light refreshments in the Nature Center building. Participants should dress comfortably and casually. Bring binoculars or scopes if you have them but the regular birders are quite generous sharing their expertise and views of birds through their scopes, said Audubon officer Linda Oberholtzer. La Mirada to take letters to Santa LA MIRADA – The city of La Mirada will send letters addressed to Santa Claus directly to the North Pole this holiday season. All letters will receive a personalized reply from Santa Claus. Santa can only respond to mail received by Tuesday. Special mailboxes will be located at City Hall, the Resource Center, Activity Center, SPLASH! – La Mirada Aquatics Center – and the Community Gymnasium. Letters can also be mailed to: Santa Claus, c/o La Mirada Resource Center, 13710 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada, CA 90638. For information call La Mirada Community Services at (562) 943-7277. Computer group to meet today NORWALK – The Whittier Area Macintosh Users Group will meet from 9 a.m. to noon today at 12722 Woods Ave., Norwalk. They will demonstrate features of the new operating system from Apple called OX X “Leopard,” including iChat. For information call (562) 943-4919 or visit www.geocities.com/wamug Seniors can talk veterans’ affairs NORWALK – A representative from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will speak with seniors at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Norwalk Senior Center, 14040 San Antonio Drive. The representative will talk, by appointment, about information regarding resources for veterans, surviving spouses and children who might be eligible for veterans benefits. For information or to make an appointment, call (562) 929-5580. Christmas show planned Sunday WHITTIER – “Natividad en Whittier” will be presented at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts at Whittier College, 6760 Painter Ave. Cost is $15. Seniors cost $10. Danza Floricanto/USA is performing the show. – From staff reports 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 MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champFor information call Officer Joe Zizi at (562) 868-0503. Next council meeting set Jan. 8 WHITTIER – In deference to the holiday season, the next scheduled meeting of the Whittier City Council has been postponed until 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8 at City Hall, 13230 Penn St. Bill Bell Bird Walk flies today SOUTH EL MONTE – The 19th annual Bill Bell Bird Walk will be held at 8 a.m. today at the Whittier Narrows Nature Center, 1000 N. Durfee Ave.