Liberia and the Climate Change Conference

first_imgThe Washington Post’s Joby Warrick, reporting from Le Bourget, France on Sunday, said negotiators from 196 countries adopted a landmark climate accord that seeks to dramatically reduce emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for the dangerous warming of the planet. The agreement, reached after 13 days of hectic bargaining, urges nations to fundamentally change the way energy is produced and consumed, gradually reducing reliance on fossil fuels in favor of cleaner forms of energy.The deal, said Warrick, “was struck in a rare show of near-universal accord, as the poor and wealthy from across the political and geographical spectrum expressed support for measures that require all to take steps to battle climate change. The agreement binds together pledges by individual nations to cut or limit emissions from fossil-fuels within a framework of rules that provide for monitoring and verification as well as financial and technical assistance for developing countries.”Fossil fuels are natural fuels, such as coal or gas, formed in the geological past from the remains of living organisms of plants or animals. So carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are considered to be one of primary causes of global warming.One of the most visible signs of global warming is climate change, such as we have seen in Liberia, where rainfall lasts longer than expected. In the greater Washington, D.C. area of the United States, too, December is supposed be one of the coldest months, but last week and throughout the weekend in many places the temperature has risen above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, enabling people to go outdoors in their T-shirts. Another sign of global warming is the rising of the sea levels in many countries. Remember the tsunami that devastated Indonesia and other Asian and African nations in 2004? Up to five million people were affected. It destroyed thousands of lives, buildings and other properties. We in Liberia, with 350 miles of Atlantic coastline, are vulnerable, too. See how close the Executive Mansion, Foreign Ministry and so many other homes and offices are to the Atlantic? And the ocean also washes so many capitals and towns in the various counties.Another aspect of climate change concerns our forests. God has given us rich forests, which allow us great precipitation (rainfall). Cut down all our trees for the lumber or charcoal trades and expose Liberia to drought. See what is happening right now in Ethiopia, one of the continent’s most progressive countries? They are currently afflicted by a serious drought that has exposed hundreds of thousands of people—and animals—to famine. That is a warning for all Africa, including Liberia.What is our response to the Paris Agreement? By the grace of God we still have the largest rainforest in West Africa, if not the whole of Africa. We should do everything possible to conserve and preserve our rainforests by seriously limiting commercial logging and charcoal production, which will definitely lead to deforestation.How can we stop charcoal usage that has been destroying our trees for so long? We must accelerate our efforts to produce electricity through the rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee Hydro-electric Plant, and by making use of our many rivers by constructing mini hydros throughout the country. These mini hydros would give the rural people electricity by which they can cook and fulfill their other needs for hot water.About a year ago Liberia entered an agreement with Norway for funding—US$15 million per year, we recall – in return for limiting lumber production and keeping our forests safe. What is the status of that agreement and what is happening to the money? The government has not told us how it is to be or being used. We could surely use some of it to construct the mini hydros. In order to limit or eliminate the charcoal business and thereby save our trees, we need to introduce our people also to the use of cooking gas. The GOL should challenge the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) to produce or import cooking gas and make it cheaply available to the public. This immediately tells us that LPRC needs to start planning the building of a new oil refinery now, such as we had before the war.Finally, we need to engage our various universities, beginning with the University of Liberia and Cuttington, to start thinking and studying, in concert with the Liberian government, how our country can most effectively relate to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and bring the findings to the people.All of us should be involved in this discussion, for all of us are affected, one way or another.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

CJIA hikes passenger fees to ‘support’ expansion costs

first_img– security fees, passenger service charges increasedAs of April 1, arriving and departing passengers at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) will have to pay an additional US$35… all to support the ongoing CJIA expansion project.An artist’s impression of the expanded CJIAThis was confirmed by Caribbean Airlines, one of the major airline carriers at the airport. According to the airline, both the airport security fee and the airport passenger service charge will be increased.“The total cost of the new fees to all travellers for a return trip is US$35 or $7315. For departing passengers, US$17 and US$15 for arriving passengers payable in Guyana dollars at the prevailing foreign exchange rate.”According to Caribbean Airlines, CJIA had advised all airlines that these increases were to support improvements at the airport. According to the airline, it will be facilitating the collection of the new fees at the check-in counters and arrival hall for departing and arriving customers respectively, from April 15.“For tickets purchased after July 1, 2019, the fees will automatically be included in the cost of the ticket at the time of purchase,” Caribbean Airlines added in its statement.CJIA expansionFor some time, the Public Infrastructure Ministry has faced questions over the CJIA expansion project costs and delayed construction. The project was initially supposed to have been completed within 32 months.But by January, with the project still not completed, Government said that China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC) will have to complete the expansion project, which was set for March 31.Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson had warned that CHEC would be fined more than U$200,000 or US$7000 per day if it missed the latest deadline to complete the project.At the time, outstanding works to be completed had included the southwest runway, extension pavement works and sections of the departure terminal – namely immigration, security screening, and duty-free concession areas.The project got underway in 2012, under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration when Guyana secured a US$138 million loan from the China Exim (Export-Import) Bank to fund the expansion and modernisation project, for which the Guyana Government was to contribute some US$12 million.The A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC), when in Opposition, had cut the funds the then Government – People’s Progressive Party (PPP) – had allocated for the CJIA expansion.When the coalition Government came in to power in 2015, the project was put on hold, but after some discussions, it was later announced that the project would be continued but several aspects were cut from the original design.After the 32-month projection had passed, officials had been optimistic of the project being completed by 2017. However, the extension of works into 2019 comes in disparity to an earlier commitment by Government where it committed that the works associated with the expansion would have been completed by the last quarter of 2018.Upon completion, the airport is expected to have four air passenger boarding bridges for arrivals and departures; a 450-seat departure area, escalators and elevators in addition to an extended runway catering for larger categories of aircraft.last_img read more

Antelope Valley Calendar

first_imgWhere: Sands Bowl, 43323 Sierra Highway, Lancaster Wednesday Meetings: EyeOpeners Toastmasters What: You can order a great breakfast and enjoy a great Toastmasters meeting! A great way to improve your speaking and listening skills as well as leadership skills. For more information e-mail or call (661) 948-1979. When: 7-8:30 a.m. Tuesday Clubs: League bowling What: J&J Social and Travel Club weekly league bowling. For information, call (661) 267-2586. When: 6-8 p.m. Where: Crazy Otto’s, 1228 W. Ave I, Lancaster Meetings: Grief support meeting What: Hoffmann Hospice offers free weekly grief support meetings to all in need. The meetings provide the necessary tools to aid individuals throughout the grieving process. For inquires, please call (661) 272-2355. When: 5:30-7 p.m. Where: 1543 E. Palmdale Blvd., Suite N, Palmdale Thursday General: Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast What: Former Montana Gov. Judy Martz will be the guest speaker at the 16th annual Lancaster Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast. Tickets are $15 each and may be obtained by calling (661) 951-0400. When: 6:30-8:30 a.m. Where: Poppy Pavillion, Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, 2551 W. Ave. H, Lancaster Friday Health: Bereavement support group What: Bereavement support groups for adults are available at the Lancaster Presbyterian Church. The groups, which are open to the public, are sponsored by Kaiser Permanente and meet weekly. For information, call (661) 951-2988. When: 10-11:30 a.m. Where: 1661 W. Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster Government: Peace Vigil What: Join us for a candlelight peace vigil every Friday. Bring candles/flashlights/signs. We start with daylight and end without. For more information, contact or When: 5-6 p.m. Where: Corner of 30th St West and Ave I, site of the future Veterans Hospital Music: Gospel Jubilee What: The Palmdale Playhouse presents an evening of gospel music with its annual Gospel Jubilee celebration. The concert features “Elder John P. Crocker Jr. and Friends” performing a soulful musical journey including “Come And Let Us Sing,” Andre Crouch’s “Through It All,” Bill Withers’ “Grandma’s Hands” and a lineup of praise and worship performances. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors, military, students and youth. For information, contact the box office at (661) 267-5685 or visit When: 8 p.m. Where: The Palmdale Playhouse, 38334 10th Street East, Palmdale Saturday Music: Cinco de Mayo event What: The Palmdale Playhouse celebrates Cinco de Mayo with Mexico Vivo, a group of dancers, singers and musicians who will perform musical styles from every region in Mexico, including Azteca, La Bamba and Folkloric. The event is produced in partnership with the Antelope Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Tickets are available at $16 for adults and $12 for seniors, military, students and youth. For more information, or to order tickets, contact the box office at (661) 267-5685 or visit When: 8 p.m. Where: The Palmdale Playhouse, 38334 10th Street East, Palmdale 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

Governor going after gangs

first_imgSeeking to quell growing gang crime in California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled a statewide plan Friday that would boost punishment for violent gang members, create a California anti-gang czar and identify key counties for priority funding. The governor’s plan would be the state’s first comprehensive effort to coordinate anti-gang efforts and comes as cities throughout the state have pleaded for assistance with the problem. In Los Angeles, gang-related crimes rose 14 percent last year. “We are basically telling the criminals that the crackdown on them will not stop anymore at the city limits or the county line,” Schwarzenegger said at a press conference in Oakland. “We will continue to do it statewide. We are stepping up our effort. We will go after them with full force.” The governor’s plan sets aside $48 million in state and federal funds and grants even as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had lobbied Schwarzenegger and the Legislature for $30 million to help L.A. alone. While the plan does not grant that request, it would allow counties with a high number of gang-related homicides – including L.A. – to apply for more funding. “I think it’s a start,” Villaraigosa said of the plan while at a separate press event at Griffith Park. “I welcome \ and will work well with the governor and we hope to work well with the Legislature to get the funds that we need to make it work for L.A.” Lawmaker criticism Still, it was unclear Friday how much of the plan would be put into place because many of the key elements need legislative approval. Some Democratic lawmakers said the plan places too much emphasis on suppression, while Republicans said it does not go far enough. “It’s great, but it is very heavy on suppression,” said Assemblywoman Anna Caballero, D-Salinas, chairwoman of the Select Committee on Youth Violence Prevention. “It’s got some intervention and not any prevention.” The governor’s plan includes designating a state anti-gang coordinator in the Office of Emergency Services. It also would require some convicted gang members to wear global positioning system devices and register with local police after their release from prison. And it targets new prevention and intervention programs and job training for former gang members. It also would provide more assistance to areas that have the most gang problems. The state would identify such communities from a list of 25 counties with the highest gang-related homicide rates. While such figures were not immediately available, the governor noted that L.A., San Bernardino, Riverside and Sacramento counties would be among those that would qualify and be eligible to apply for more state grants. Those counties also would be eligible to apply for any new federal money available under pending legislation authored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. The governor’s plan received support from Los Angeles civil-rights attorney Connie Rice and Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent David Brewer III. Rice, co-director of the Advancement Project Los Angeles, praised the governor for including an emphasis on prevention programs such as job opportunities for former gang members. “These efforts, if successful, will serve as building blocks toward comprehensive prevention systems that remove the neighborhood conditions fueling gangs,” Rice wrote in a letter of support. More suppression Brewer praised the plan’s boost for summer youth programs, career technical education and after-school programs. “This is a positive step towards a much-needed conversation on how we can finally solve the gang problem in its entirety,” Brewer wrote in his letter of support. But Republican lawmakers have introduced their own anti-gang measures in the Legislature and would like to see Schwarzenegger go even further in suppression efforts. Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster, the Republican caucus chairman, said Republicans want to target first-time gang offenders to prevent them from becoming hardened criminals. “Our difference with the governor’s plan is we have a bigger emphasis on juveniles and trying to break the tie between the juvenile and the adult gang member,” Runner said. Staff Writer Dana Bartholomew contributed to this story. (916) 446-6723160Want 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

Dembele suspended as Dortmund reject Barcelona bid

first_img0Shares0000Borussia Dortmund forward Ousmane Dembele is a target for Barcelona © AFP/File / FRANCK FIFEBERLIN, Germany, Aug 10 – Borussia Dortmund on Thursday said they had rejected an offer from Barcelona for Ousmane Dembele, as the wantaway forward was suspended for missing training.Dortmund said a move by Dembele to the Camp Nou, where he is being lined up as a replacement for Neymar, was unlikely, after they turned down an offer that did not reflect the young winger’s “extraordinary” value or the current state of the transfer market. “As there is no other offer on the table, a transfer by the player to FC Barcelona is not at this time expected, nor currently very likely,” said a club statement.Dembele, who at the age of just 20 is considered one of the top talents in Europe, has been hotly pursued to fill the void left by Neymar’s move to Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record 222 million euros ($260 million) last week.German tabloid Bild reported that Dortmund want an eye-watering 150 million euros ($175 million) for their rising star, a price Barca appear unwilling to pay.Dembele, who has made no secret of his desire to play for Barcelona, failed to show up for practice on Thursday.“We don’t know why. We tried to reach him but we were unable to,” Dortmund coach Peter Bosz told reporters.Unimpressed, Dortmund promptly suspended the Frenchman for his unexplained absence.“We will of course sanction this misconduct,” Dortmund’s sporting director Michael Zorc said in a statement, adding that Dembele was suspended until after this weekend’s Cup match.Bild suggested that Dembele may have been trying to break the deadlock in the negotiations with his no-show.“Dembele really wants to go to Barcelona but yesterday he had to swallow the fact that the two clubs could not agree on a transfer fee,” it wrote.Speculation about Dembele’s possible move to the Camp Nou reached fever-pitch in recent days after the French international deleted the words “Borussia Dortmund” and the team’s slogan “true love” from his Twitter and Instagram profiles.Dembele himself told Gol TV last week that it was “a pleasure” to see his name on Barca’s wish list.– Couthino also ‘not for sale’-Neymar’s stunning departure to PSG has sent Barca scrambling for replacements before the transfer window closes.They are looking for someone to slot into the famed attacking line-up alongside the world-class talents of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.The Catalan giants have also approached Liverpool about signing Philippe Coutinho — though here too there has been no sign of a deal.The Spanish club were reported to have increased their bid for Coutinho to £90 million (100 million euros, $115 million) on Wednesday after two previous offers were rejected by the Premier League side.But Liverpool manager Klopp remains adamant the 25-year-old will stay at Anfield no matter what Barca are prepared to pay.“We want to have the best possible team. This means keeping the guys we have,” Klopp told Sky in Germany on Thursday.“Liverpool is not a club that needs to sell. That is set in stone. So what they pay in the end doesn’t matter.”Precocious forward Dembele joined Dortmund last summer from French side Rennes for just 15 million euros.He went on to enjoy a promising first season in the Bundesliga, scoring six goals in 32 appearances.Dembele’s skills on the pitch, including a series of dazzling assists, quickly impressed and earned him ‘wunderkind’ headlines in the German press, though he has been criticised at times for lacking discipline.“I’m not a phenomenon, I’m just trying to be decisive for my team-mates, there are a lot of talented young people in football,” a modest Dembele said last March.Dembele was already courted by Barcelona last year, but opted for a five-year deal with Dortmund to improve his game and gain more first-team experience.According to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo at the time, the youngster however left Barca sporting director Robert Fernandez in no doubt about his true ambitions.“One day I will play for Barca,” he said.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more