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Obama Withdraws US Ebola Army Fighters

first_imgUS President Barack H. Obama has announced the withdrawal of all US troops in West Africa helping to combat the deadly Ebola virus disease. The disease has so far killed more than 9100 persons as at February 11.At least 3826 of the number of persons, who have reportedly died so far from the disease in eight of the nine countries, which have reported confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), have occurred in Liberia alone.Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are the three worst hit nations of the virus and all three account for most of the deaths. Liberia 3826, Sierra Leone 3341 and Guinea 1995.The nine countries, including the US, United Kingdom and Spain, have so far recorded at least 22, 894 cases on their shores. Others are Mali, Nigeria and Senegal.Speaking on America’s leadership on the Ebola fight both at home and abroad in West Africa on February 11, the US President told the world: Today, I’m announcing that by April 30th, all but 100 (troop) who will remain to help support the ongoing response, all but those 100 will also be able to come home — not because the job is done, but because they were so effective in setting up the infrastructure, that we are now equipped to deal with the job that needs to be done in West Africa, not only with a broader, international coalition, but also with folks who have been trained who are from the countries that were most at risk.However, the US President made it very clear that despite him pulling his soldiers from West Africa, including Liberia, does not mean that the epidemic has been defeated. He also announced his government’s new response approach to the Ebola crisis in the sub-region.“So I want to be very clear here: While our troops are coming home, America’s work is not done. Our mission is not complete. Today, we move into the next phase of the fight, winding down our military response while expanding our civilian response. That starts here at home, where we’re more prepared to protect Americans from infectious disease, but still have more work to do., for as long as Ebola simmers anywhere in the world, we will have some Ebola fighting heroes, who are coming back home with the disease from time to time.  And that’s why we’re screening and monitoring all arrivals from affected countries.Obama told the audience that they had gathered at the South Court Auditorium, Washington D.C., so that he would tell all those directly and indirectly involved in the fight and to mark a transition in their fight against this disease , stressing: we’re not to declare mission accomplished, but to mark a transition.“Thanks to the hard work of our nearly 3,000 troops who deployed to West Africa, logistics have been set up, Ebola treatment units have been built, over 1,500 African health workers have been trained, and volunteers around the world gained the confidence to join the fight,” he told the American audience to rounds of applauds.The US is heading the global respond against the epidemic.The President also announced to the US people and the rest of the world that “Liberia has seen the best progress. Sierra Leone is moving in the right direction, Guinea has the longest way left to go.” He stated that they would now focus on getting to “zero. Every case is an ember that, if not contained, can light a new fire. So we’re shifting our focus from fighting the epidemic to now extinguishing it.”In mid-September 2014, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf wrote Mr. Obama for help in managing Liberia’s rapidly expanding Ebola crisis. President Sirleaf had warned that without American assistance the disease could send Liberia into the civil chaos that enveloped the country for nearly 15 years.In a letter she sent to her American counterpart on Tuesday, September 9, Madam Sirleaf wrote: “I am being honest with you when I say that at this rate, we will never break the transmission chain and the virus will overwhelm us, and she requested 1,500 additional beds in new hospitals across the country and urged that the United States military set up and run a 100-bed Ebola hospital in Monrovia.The US President responded to Madam Sirleaf’s plead and deployed nearly 3,000 of his soldiers to West Africa. He said it’s now logical to withdraw them but their (Americans’) mission is not yet complete as new cases of the virus still emerge.According to the WHO, the total weekly case incidence increased for the second consecutive week, with 144 new confirmed cases reported in the week to February 8, Guinea reported a sharp increase in incidence, with 65 new confirmed cases compared with 39 the week before. Transmission remains widespread in Sierra Leone, which reported 76 new confirmed cases, while the resurgence in cases in the western district of Port Loko continued for a second week. Liberia continues to report a low number of new confirmed casesShare 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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Key Political Players ‘Delinquent Borrowers’

first_imgIn its drive to “name and shame” delinquent borrowers, the Liberia Bankers Association (LBA) has identified several key politicians – including presidential hopefuls – who the LBA says have failed to resettle their indebtedness to various banks in the country. Big names, ‘small money’The listing contains several political heavyweights, owing amounts that appear relatively small when measured against their social status, which led to LBA to conclude earlier that debtors were intentionally refusing to settle their obligations to the banks. For example, international football star and political leader of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), Senator George Manneh Weah, who owes Ecobank Liberia an amount of US$3,887. Another political figure, telecommunications mogul and standard bearer of the All LiberianParty (ALP), Benoni Urey, owes Ecobank an amount of US$1,897 and is yet to resettle his indebtedness to the bank, according to the LBA.Mr. Urey secured the money for his company, Sarafina Ventures Communication Incorporated.Montserrado County District #6 Representative, Edwin Melvin Snowe and his ex-wife, Mydea White Snowe’s E.M.M. Enterprise, that is yet to repay US$1,897 and Rep. Zoe Emmanuel Pennue of Grand Gedeh County, who has a US$3,887 debt to settle with Ecobank.Mr. G. Alphonso Gaye of Grand Gedeh owes US$3,887, Rep. Moses Y. Kollie of Lofa County, owes US$1,897 and Deputy Education Minister for Administration, Aagon F. Tingban, owes US$4,225, and has not been able to repay Ecobank according to LBA.Though Minister Tingban told the Daily Observer in a telephone interview that he does not owe any bank money, the LBA says it has records to support its claim that he (Tingban) borrowed the amount and has not made any attempt to repay according to agreement.The LBA said the borrowers never made any attempt or negotiate with the banks any reasonable arrangement for repayment and the exercise to publish their names in the newspapers is meant to expose and shame them for their failure or refusal to live up the arrangements agreed upon with the banks before the money was released to them.Other delinquent borrowers include the Unity Party (UP) Lofa County Branch, Raymond Ziama, William Kamba, Esther Kawala and Hena Dennis; Liberty Party (LP), Milton Quaye, Kiadee Kamara; and Liberia People’s Party (LPP), Dusty Wollokollie and Amos Bartu. Lebanese businessman Tony Hage owes US$1,897; the Liberia National Lotteries Incorporated owes US$1,897; and former President Moses Z. Blah did not repay the amount of US$1,897 he had borrowed before his death. Citizens Action to Re-elect Ellen, US$1,897; former speaker, J. Alex Tyler’s Continental Fishing Agency, also owes US$1,897. George Saah (from Vice President Boakai’s Office) owes US$4,225, while LPRC Managing Director Sumo G. Kupee, owes US$1,897 to Ecobank.Well over US$12MThe total number of the borrowers, according to the listings, is 4,651. The LBA’s list of amounts owed to the banks, a series of relatively small amounts per debtor in most cases, amounts to well over US$12.6 million and near L$10 million. These amounts are borne in various portions by Ecobank, LBDI, Afriland First Bank, Access Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, International Bank and Global Bank.The money involved begins from US$1 to US$9,999 decided to resume the publication of non-compliant delinquent borrowers starting April 2013, and immediately resumed the exercise on Monday, October 10. They promised to continue the publications through October 28, starting with outstanding loan balances of US$1 to US$9,999 and from LD110.06 to LD49, 000.Further action pendingThe LBA also says the banks may take further action to deny chronic delinquent customers privileges to do business with local banks and by implication it could affect them abroad.A diplomatic source told the Daily Observer that those who would not rush to clear their debts may suffer further consequences in Europe and the United States, since information about them could be sent to banking institutions there to watch out for them.Since the publication of the list this week, not many of those involved have made attempts to settle the banks and, with the LBA’s determination to continue publication of the lists throughout this month, it indicates the borrowers deliberate decision not to repay money received from the banks.“The debtors have all reneged on servicing their financial obligations to commercial banks and will not enjoy the benefits of Liberia’s banking system,” said the LBA in a statement, earlier this week. The LBA says it has the backing of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to carry out the exercise against those determined to ignore their financial obligations to the banks.Many readers told the Daily Observer that they were surprised to read that high profile politicians and others are unable to repay money borrowed from commercial banks. “If people like those cannot repay their loans, how much more will the little man be encouraged to repay his debts?”Others said since those delinquent are not faithful to repay money borrowed, “how can such people, I mean those in government and other politicians expect us to elect them to take state power?” They further said it is a shame that those in political leadership are unable to respect an arrangement with the banks.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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BBC Thursday results

first_imgRobin Baillie edged out Colter Young in the sprint to win the Thursday night Cyclo-cross race. The pair did 7 laps of the revised course in a time of 43:19 minutes. Pat Ferris was third, also 7 laps at 50:37. Gary Hilderman was 4th with some bike difficulties, Gord Harris 5th, Bob Andrews 6th, Roger St. Jean 7th, Barb Polehoykie 8th, Sandra McDonald 9th, Sam Keats 10th and Kevin Cooper 11th. Stephen Ferris crashed hard and could not continue. Coming up:- Advertisement – Cyclo-cross continues Sunday at the high school circuit at 2 pm. A Blizzard contingent will be off to Edmonton for a couple of provincially sanctioned cyclo-cross events. www.ferrisfastcycles.comlast_img

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Year end weather numbers for Fort St. John

first_img2009 turned out to be a slightly better than average precipitation year in Fort St. John.We recorded 474.4 millimeters, 8.8, above the 12-month average. We also had better than average snowfall with the 30.7 centimeters last month, just below the December norm, pushing the yearly total to 229.3.That’s nearly 44 more than the annual average and we recorded snow in all but three months, June, July and August. The greatest amount, was the 49.9cm.- Advertisement -We had 75.1 millimeters in September, including 6.6 centimters of snow. The 2009 numbers were much better than the previous below average year. We recorded nearly 53 more centimeters of snow and one hundred more millimeters of precipitation, than in 2008.last_img

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Trojans sprint past Stanford, into third

first_imgLOS ANGELES – Coming off its most embarrassing loss of the season and going against the one Pacific-10 Conference team it had been dominated by, USC had plenty of support Thursday. Football coach Pete Carroll pumped up the team with a pep talk before the game and Denzel Washington celebrated with them in the locker room after a 69-65 victory over Stanford in front of 9,560 fans at Galen Center. “Pete Carroll came in, got us pumped up and we fed off that energy,” said Nick Young, who led USC with 22 points. “We went out there and tried to play like the football team.” With the victory, USC (20-8, 10-5) moved out of a third-place tie with the Cardinal and avenged its worst Pac-10 loss of the season. The Trojans hadn’t lost consecutive games this season and were following a defeat to Arizona State – previously winless in 14 conference games – making it intriguing to see how USC would fare against a Stanford team that beat it by 15 points in Palo Alto. “That game just made us wake up,” Lodrick Stewart said of the Sun Devils loss. “If we don’t come and play every night, that can happen.” USC made it to 20 victories for the 16th time in the program’s 100-year history and first since the 2001-02 season – the last time the Trojans made the NCAA Tournament. At Stanford last month, the Cardinal raced out to a 12-2 lead and beat USC by 15 points. This time, Young got the Trojans off to a hot start by scoring nine of the team’s first 11 points – including an incredible reverse layup. center_img RouSean Cromwell made his second start of the season at forward to help match up with Stanford’s 7-foot twin towers of Brook and Robin Lopez. Brook dominated USC inside in Palo Alto with 12 blocked shots. Cromwell set the tone early that the Trojans wouldn’t be pushed around again, making two blocks of his own. Pruitt started the team off well in the second half, dishing to Cromwell for a dunk then hitting a 3-pointer to put USC ahead 41-30 two minutes in. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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