MESSENGERS OF PEACE: Our Peace Clubs

first_imgAs promised last week, we will commence from this week to publish the stories of our young peace volunteers. In their own words, we will feature the great but silent contributions of our volunteers to sustainable peace in Liberia. We will present their motivations, their roles and responsibilities in peacebuilding and their aspirations.Their messages of peace and vision should resonate with not just peace advocates, but with the entire youth of Liberia and Liberians in diaspora.This week, we present to you: Ms. Eno Edet Inwang-Peace Clubs Coordinator. We hope that you will find it inspiring.And in her own words:I am Eno Edet Inwang, a promising young Liberian. I am 19. I live with my mother, Ms. Anna K. Inwang on Newport Street, Monrovia. I am a graduate of the First Assembly of God High School on Carey & Buchannan Streets in Monrovia and presently a student of Sociology at the United Methodist University (UMU), Ashmum Street.Volunteerism has always been my passion since I was a little girl. As a young lady growing up, it was very good to be seen as a volunteer. I enjoy rendering my services and time towards the growth of humanity. My first encounter with formal volunteerism started when as the past president of the First Assembly of God High School, I represented my school at the Students’ Observance Day of International Day of Peace organized by Messengers of Peace – Liberia on Friday, September 21, 2012.At that event, I was amazed to see how happy young people are to volunteer their services and time for a particular causes— peace. It was then that I realized that peace advocacy is very important to our national development.I got more interested in the works MOP does after listening to all of the wonderful programs the young people of the organization undertook. I said to myself, “I TOO CAN CONTRIBUTE. I WILL NOT REST UNTIL I BECOME A PART OF THIS GREAT FAMILY AND MAKE MY CONTRIBUTION TO A SUSTAINABLE PEACE IN LIBERIA”.I am proud and happy that I presently serve as the MOP’s Peace Clubs Coordinator. My greatest moments have been reaching out to the young people in the peace clubs within the schools and communities, building and strengthening their capacities just as I strengthen my own capacity.At MOP, we undertake a lot of peace advocacy and mentorship programs for sustainable peace. Through this peace advocacy, lots of young people have been able to realize that they can be peace messengers rather than being used to create violence.Like we say in Liberia, other people have their “areas” but for me, peace is my “area”. What is yours?Through the continuous motivation I receive from my mother and siblings, I have been able to combine studies with volunteerism and I am particularly thankful to the Executive Director of MOP, Ms. Gwendolyn Myers, who has also served as a source of inspiration and nursing mother for me and all peace messengers.She has always been there watching my back. And I appreciate her guidance and pieces of advice that have made me become a better person.I want to use this medium to call on all Liberians especially the youths to be actively involved in peace building.As our Executive Director will say “WE ALL HAVE TO WORK TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE PEACE FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE”.Peace begins with just a smile, it comes from within, do not seek it from without.Mahatma Gandi said, “The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace”.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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Experimentation vs. Exploitation: Is Liberia A Garbage Garage?

first_imgThe rights of our people are again violated and trampled upon through a well organized scheme of international conspiracy. The high rate of illiteracy, ignorance, and gullibility in our society has been taken advantage of once more. We know what is unfolding behind the scenes. Our people have been overlooked and humiliated again due to acute deprivation and destitution. Poverty has made them choiceless, defenseless, helpless and powerless. Nothing seems more important to them right now other than survival, even if their livelihood is endangered. Hardship is leading them into an abyss of misery and mediocrity.    After almost two centuries of nationhood, Liberia still remains a land of vulnerability and susceptibility. After more than sixteen decades of sovereignty, its citizens are exposed to visible dangers and huge risks. This West African Country is becoming a trash can and garbage ground for foreign experimentation and exploitation. I wonder sometimes whether Liberia is really Africa’s first Independent State. It is disappointing and disastrous to be growing in age and declining in socio-economic strength especially at a time when small countries like Namibia, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, etc. are marching forward.When Africans did not have any option to shape their own destiny, Liberia became a beacon of freedom and liberty. The self-determination of Liberians was a source of continental courage, motivation, and inspiration for most Africans who were undergoing unjust treatments as a result of slavery, colonialism, and imperialism. Our country was seen as a shining star during its formative era of autonomy. It is no longer the case now as our nation has become a laughingstock in West Africa and beyond. Judging from prevailing indicators, Liberia is now a global ‘Recycle Bin’ where waste products are sent for storage and usage.It is worth knowing that many Sovereign States in Africa got their independence from their colonial masters as a result of Liberia’s lustrous legacy. Our nation and its citizenry are going through perilous times especially when other countries are making mammoth progress in terms of socio-economic and political development. Why must it always be Liberia? The myriad of undue and inhumane treatments against Liberians by foreigners is alarming and if we fail to resist these noticeable injustices, we stand to endanger our collective destiny as a nation and people.  Liberia today is the leading transit point for drug trafficking and all forms of human abuses in Africa. The country’s renewable and non-renewable resources are heavily exploited by foreign investment companies without genuine impact made to eradicate poverty, ignorance and disease. Our nation has become a dumpsite of expired goods. Some of our citizens are dying every day as a result of substandard drugs and food brought from abroad. Is it wrong to become a nation of hospitality, always willing to promote mutual partnership through trade and commerce? Many of our foreign partners are misusing our mutual alliance and taking advantage of our current economic limitation to massively exploit us. This cruel act is unfair and does not conform to minimum international standards of protecting human rights and dignity.The recent launch of two Ebola trial vaccines in Liberia has raised sharp concerns about the safety and protection of Liberians. There are many questions than answers about these two vaccines especially during a time when panic and fear are invading our society. On Monday, February 02, 2015, Researchers and Scientists under the banner Partnership for Research on Ebola Vaccines (PREVAIL) began a trial of experimental Ebola vaccines at the Redemption Hospital in New Town.Our optimism to expel Ebola from the country is high, but this must not be used as an alibi to institute unwarranted approach of conducting ill-procedural clinical trial or experimentation in Liberia. We are totally against any clinical trial that tends to risk the livelihood of our people in return for cash. The real motive behind this exercise needs to be made known because there are still conflicting explanations about these two vaccines. However, these are critical and alarming concerns of public interest that PREVAIL must address in a more accurate and adequate manner:Why were these two vaccines launched in Liberia even though Sierra Leone and Guinea are the current hotspots for Ebola transmission?Why PREVAIL did not follow WHO Standard Operating Procedures for conducting clinical trial vaccines or experimentation?Why must Liberia be the primary target when it currently has few Ebola cases remaining?Why is PREVAIL administering two shots of syringes or doses at once on a single volunteer?What medical guarantee or insurance do participants or volunteers of these vaccines have?Before launching these trial vaccines on Monday, why didn’t PREVAIL conduct a nationwide awareness and sensitization exercise to fully educate citizens about the merits and demerits of these trial vaccines?What is the real motive or rational for providing compensation package ($40USD) for volunteers?Did the Liberian government along with the trial vaccine team conduct joint investigation and verification about the safety and effects of these vaccines before launching them?Why must each of the vaccines contain a small portion of the Ebola virus? How safe is this?According to researchers, the vaccines may cause side effects such as pain, redness, fever, headaches, mouth sores, tiredness, muscle and joint pain, and loss of appetite. Who takes full medical responsibility for these potential side effects? Does PREVAIL have pre and post counseling mechanisms in place to mitigate psychological imbalances? Has the government of Liberia established the safety and efficacy of these vaccines? If yes, where and how? If no, why?The Partnership for Research on Ebola Vaccines (PREVAIL) is selecting healthy volunteers above 18 years old who have no previous history of Ebola infection. Why is PREVAIL not focusing on Ebola survivors?Why were these vaccines not tested first in Canada and Great Britain since they are the key manufacturers?  What is the statistical significance of experimenting Ebola trial vaccines in Liberia since researchers have said the trial may not have the statistical power needed to show whether the shots work?What does Liberia stand to benefit if this ongoing clinical trial and experimentation of these two Ebola vaccines become successful?Even though we appreciate the hard work of scientists and researchers to help put an end to this fatal epidemic in Liberia and West Africa, our ultimate concern is the safety and protection of our people. A single life lost during this process of experimentation can never be restored even by the greatest scientist or researcher currently on earth.The same procedures and methods researchers and scientists usually follow in the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, and other advanced countries to administer trial vaccines must be given due consideration as well in Liberia. Scientists cannot practice medical due diligence in developed nations and go contrary to those same proficient practices in underdeveloped countries.  This unjust act is equivalent to monumental hypocrisy and global deception.The collaboration of countries around the world must be based on mutual fairness and justice. Do not exploit us because you are giving us aids and grants! Our lives are equally important like yours. Therefore, $40USD must not be a reward for risking our survival and safety. Fifty-six million United States Dollars ($US56m) cannot even be a cash prize for a single life. Discrimination, marginalization, and exploitation are yet too far from coming to an end even though there are universal laws prohibiting these anti-social deeds. Let it be clearly known to all of our people that these two trial vaccines are risky with life-threatening effects.  It is the primary duty of PREVAIL to inform Liberians about the disadvantages of these vaccines.  It is the right of our people to know. The cAd3-EBOZ, which was co-developed by NIAID scientists and GlaxoSmithKline in Great Britain, uses a chimpanzee-derived cold virus to deliver Ebola virus genetic material from the Zaire strain of virus causing the outbreak in Liberia. The other trial vaccine, VSV-ZEBOV, which was developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada and licensed to NewLink Genetics Corp., employs vesicular stomatitis virus, an animal virus that primarily affects cattle, to carry an Ebola virus gene segment.Trial vaccines are not administered in America, Britain, Canada or any developed country without thorough medical investigation, evaluation, and authorization. For food and drugs including trial vaccines to be consumed by citizens of America and other countries, it must be duly approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research is the branch of the FDA responsible for ensuring the safety and efficacy of biological therapeutic agents. These include blood and blood products, vaccines, allergenics, cell and tissue-based products, and gene therapy products.Before trial vaccines are administered in any country, researchers or scientists must satisfy all legitimate requirements or procedures. Unfortunately, this did not happen in the case of Liberia. This is why there are more disbeliefs, doubts, and suspicions about these two ebola trial vaccines. Our friends from across the Atlantic Ocean need to understand that Liberia is not a garbage garage.  Liberia as a sovereign nation is not a wasteland where anyone does anything without following appropriate measures and principles. We hope this will be the end of exploitation and ill-procedural experimentation in Liberia. It is time to respect the rights of all human beings regardless of socio-economic status. Liberians deserve maximum safety and security like all creatures on earth. We are not semi-creatures neither are we secondary beings!In order to avert further exploitations in Liberia, I recommend that acts of legislation be passed to establish the following agencies or departments of government:Food and Drug AgencyCenter for Biologics Evaluation and ResearchCenter for Drugs Evaluation and ResearchCenter for Food Safety and NutritionI am confident that if these measures are instituted, it will certainly lead to promoting a safe, healthy, and secured Liberia where the livelihood of citizens will no longer be endangered.Above all interests, Liberia is Supreme.About The Author: Martin K. N. Kollie is a Liberian youth activist, student leader, an emerging economist, and a young writer.  He is currently a student at the University of Liberia reading Economics and a member of the Student Unification Party (SUP).  His passion is to ensure a new Liberia of socio-economic equality and justice for ALL. He can be reached at: martinkerkula1989@yahoo.comShare 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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Monday Morning on Issues and Answers

Murder suspect changes mind, requests lawyer

first_imgNORWALK – A man facing trial in the slaying of his estranged wife and the wounding of her boyfriend changed his mind Monday about representing himself in court. Norwalk Superior Court Judge Roger Ito granted Armando Martinez’s request for an attorney. Ito also said he will soon set a new trial date. Jury selection was supposed to start Monday. Instead, Martinez asked Ito for a lawyer. “At this time, I am mentally unstable to go to trial… so I need an attorney at this point,” Martinez told the judge. Ito pointed out that a jury panel has already been ordered. But he decided to appoint an attorney for Martinez anyway, saying the defendant asked “unequivocally” for a lawyer. Martinez faces 60 years to life if convicted of murder – a penalty Ito said he took into consideration in granting the defendant’s request for a lawyer. Martinez, 49, is charged with murder and attempted murder stemming from a July 16, 2005, shooting in Pico Rivera that killed Irma Martinez and injured Eric Hernandez. Authorities say Martinez shot Hernandez in the shoulder, then shot his estranged wife in the head as the two sat talking in a yard of a Pico Rivera house. Martinez went to Mexico after the shooting. He was arrested Nov. 1, 2005, in Tijuana and sent back to the United States in May 2006. Until Monday, Martinez had repeatedly said he wanted to represent himself at trial, Deputy District Attorney Hector Gutierrez said. Ito said that in his estimation Martinez has not done a good job of representing himself. He told Martinez the lawyer Ito appoints will be on standby, in case Martinez asks again to be his own attorney. Ito also told Martinez he has delayed the proceedings and called motions he filed “spurious.” At an August hearing in Whittier Superior Court, Martinez had an attorney, but he insisted then that he be permitted to represent himself. Judge Daniel Murphy denied his request then. ruby.gonzales@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026160Want 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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Reports – Brazil sack Scolari after World Cup humbling

first_img Luiz Felipe Scolari 1 Brazil have sacked Luiz Felipe Scolari after a disastours showing in the 2014 World Cup.The hosts were widley tipped to pick up the crown, but had to watch on, as Germany ran out eventual victors.Scolari’s team were thrashed 7-1 by ‘Die Mannschaft’ in the World Cup semi-final, their joint-heaviest loss ever and first home competitive defeat for 39 years.They were then defeated 3-0 by the Netherlands in the third/fourth play-off match in Brasilia on Saturday.And that appears to have been enough for the Brazilian FA, who will not renew the 65-year-old’s contract.last_img

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Leeds director Edoardo Cellino charged by FA over offensive comments to fan

first_img1 Leeds director Edoardo Cellino has been charged by the Football Association for comments he made on social media.The son of controversial Leeds owner Massimo Cellino reportedly became involved in an abusive row with a fan on Facebook.The FA said Edoardo Cellino’s charge includes an “aggravated breach” as his comments included a reference to disability.“It is alleged the comments were abusive and/or insulting and/or improper in contravention of rule E3(1),” an FA statement read.“It is further alleged that this breach of rule E3(1) is an ‘aggravated breach’ as defined in rule E3(2), as it includes a reference to disability.”Edoardo Cellino, who later apologised for his comments, has until Monday to respond to the charges.last_img

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West Ham plot stunning summer deals with Batshuayi, Benteke AND Walcott lined up

first_imgWest Ham are plotting a sensational summer of transfer business.The Hammers will move to the Olympic Stadium at the end of the season and have already sold in excess of 50,000 season tickets.The huge income boost from the switch will result in extra funds for manager Slaven Bilic, with a host of top targets already lined up.According to Tuesday’s newspapers, Theo Walcott leads the Croatian’s summer shopping list.The winger has struggled for game time at Arsenal this season after returning from a long injury absence.He is now preparing to leave the Emirates and, according to The Sun, is ready to snub interest from Chelsea to link up with Bilic at West Ham.Arsenal are said to be willing to let Walcott end his ten-year stay in north London if they receive a fee of around £20million.West Ham are also understood to have tabled a £24m bid for Marseille’s prolific frontman Michy Batshuayi.Batshuayi is a former teammate of Dimitri Payet’s at the French club and the Hammers are hoping to fend off Spurs to secure his signature.Another target for the east London club is Liverpool’s Christian Benteke.The striker, an international teammate of Batshuayi’s, has been a big disappointment for Liverpool since his £32.5m move from Aston Villa last summer.But Bilic remains a big fan of the powerful hitman and the Daily Mirror claims West Ham will launch a £25m move for him this week. 1 Christian Benteke, Michy Batshuayi and Theo Walcott last_img read more

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DONEGAL MAN LAUNCHES UNIQUE ‘CLEAN UP POLITICS’ CAMPAIGN

first_imgTim Jackson takes his campaign to the doorsteps.A new citizen’s initiative called “Clean Up Politics” has been launched by Donegal man Tim Jackson in the run-up to the General Election.Jackson, from Ballybofey, previously founded the Africa-based building charity “Homes From Donegal.”He explained the goal of the campaign is to have candidates who run in the election agree to four policy points concerning politicians’ earnings, on the basis that TD’s who earn closer to the average wage will better understand the impact their decisions in the Dáil have on normal voters.The four policy points are:– TD’s salaries will be halved, from just under €90k to €45k– All expenses must be vouched with receipts– Tax-payer funding of political parties, currently almost €13m per annum, will cease– Ministerial and backbench pensions will be reduced to the average public service rate Jackson said “By asking a politician to sign-up to these policies, we’re essentially sorting the wheat from the chaff, testing them to see who is in the job primarily for their enormous pay-packet, and who is in the job to simply build a better Ireland. The majority of TD’s in this constituency and around the country have earned well over half a million euro each in wages and expenses during their latest term in office, not to mention the ex-politicians enjoying very fine pensions indeed.”“Like a lot of people, I’ve had enough of politicians and political parties selling us out, so we’re asking people to only vote for candidates who agree to these policies. It will still mean TD’s are earning considerably more than the average Irish worker, but not enough to remain in their ivory towers, unmoved by the harsh economic realities being faced by ordinary people around the country.”A public petition in support of Clean Up Politics has begun online and at the doorsteps, and Jackson has invited all voters to take an active part in ensuring their candidates fully endorse the initiative, prioritising its goals if elected. See more at facebook.com/cleanuppoliticsDONEGAL MAN LAUNCHES UNIQUE ‘CLEAN UP POLITICS’ CAMPAIGN was last modified: June 26th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Clan Up PoliticsdonegalTim Jacksonlast_img read more

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WOMAN SELLING DONEGAL FLAGS AND SCARVES WAS SAVING FANS MONEY!

first_imgA woman who was illegally selling hats and scarves to GAA fans was doing so to save people paying three times the price in Dublin!Donegal fans bought plenty of flags!Theresa Ann Maughan, 52, admitted not having a trader’s license when she was stopped by Gardai selling the GAA memorabilia to Donegal GAA fans in Raphoe on September 13th last. Her solicitor Kieran O’Gorman said she did not have a license and people were buying the items to prevent themselves paying there times the price in Dublin.Garda Inspector Goretti Sheridan asked the court if the seized GAA memorabilia could be forfeited to the state.Judge Paul Kelly said he hoped the hats, scarves and flags will be put to good use later in the year!He applied the Probation Act to Ms Maughan of 99 St Patrick’s Estate, Ballina, Co Mayo.WOMAN SELLING DONEGAL FLAGS AND SCARVES WAS SAVING FANS MONEY! was last modified: June 22nd, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalDonegal GAAfansFLAGSscarveslast_img read more

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Former Garda asked for “a chance’ when stopped in drink-driving case

first_imgA former Garda asked a serving member to “give him a chance” after he was stopped and eventually charged with drunken driving.Seamus McBride, aged 54, was stopped by Garda Sgt Sean McDaid on the weekend of the Donegal International Rally on June 17th last year. Mr McBride, who now lives in Lockhart Avenue in Milton Keyes, England, was spotted by Sgt McDaid speeding in the overtaking lane at the Mountain Top in Letterkenny.Sgt McDaid said at 7.47pm he spotted McBride driving excessively coming towards Letterkenny and followed him on his bike.He pulled up beside him and signalled him to pull over to the left but McBride continued to look straight ahead.A short time later he again signalled him to pull over and this time McBride pulled over into the Thornberry housing estate.Sgt McDaid said that when McBride got out of his Saab car there was a smell of drink coming from him, he was unsteady on his feet and his speech was slurred.The arresting Garda said they chatted and they had a mutual friend.Evidence was given that McBride asked Sgt McDaid to give him a chance.Sgt McDaid replied “I said to him ‘It’s my job and I have to do it”McBride was arrested and a breath sample taken at Letterkenny Garda station showed a reading of 70 microgrammes of breath per 100 microgrammes of alcohol.Solicitor for McBride, Mr Patsy Gallagher, said there had been no valid reason why his client was stopped before he was not speeding or travelling above the speed limit.Mr Gallagher had earlier noted that prosecuting Garda Inspector Michael Harrison had served alongside McBride and they knew eachother.Inspector Harrison said he was happy to step aside but Judge Paul Kelly said that would not be necessary.Judge Kelly said there was sufficient grounds on which Sgt McDaid was entitled to stop McBride.Finding him guilty, Judge Kelly fined McBride €400 and disqualified from driving for three years.Former Garda asked for “a chance’ when stopped in drink-driving case was last modified: November 19th, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:arrestcourtdonegaldrink drivingsean mcbridelast_img read more

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