Tom Woewiyu Denied Bail

first_imgJucontee Thomas Woewiyu has been denied bail by a US court. Mr. Woewiyu, a former spokesman for the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) is facing a potentially lengthy prison term in the United States for alleged immigration fraud.He was planning to run for Senate in the upcoming special senatorial election.And despite living for the last four decades as a legal permanent resident in Delaware County, he and his wife maintain extensive real estate holdings, including a rubber farm in Liberia.”He is very, very much involved in public life in Liberia,” said prosecutor Linwood C. Wright. “He has an infrastructure there [Liberia] that is more substantial than what he has here [US].”On Friday, a U.S. magistrate judge agreed and ordered Woewiyu, 69, held without bond while he awaits trial on allegations he lied to immigration officers about his past with Taylor,  who is serving a 50-year term in a British prison.But in arguing for his release, Woewiyu’s lawyer, Benjamin G. Perez, suggested that what government attorneys misunderstood was that having a life on both sides of the Atlantic is the norm for much of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s 15,000-member Liberian expatriate community.In the African hair salons and grocery stores that have sprung up along thoroughfares such as Woodland Avenue, shoppers tell tales of family living here and there. Rivalries cross oceans, and men in T-shirts and jeans are equally likely to introduce themselves as café owners or dignitaries from nations thousands of miles away.Such was the manner in which Liberian expat Jeffrey Harmon introduced himself Friday in the hallway of the federal courthouse.”This is all political,” he said of Woewiyu’s arrest. “This all has to do with politics back at home.”His concerns mirrored conspiracy theories snaking their way through the Liberian immigrant community in the days since Woewiyu’s arrest. Homeland Security detained him Monday at Newark Liberty International Airport as he returned from a campaign trip to Monrovia, Liberia’s capital.The charges against him stem from a 2006 application for U.S. citizenship. Asked on the form whether he had ever advocated for the toppling of a foreign government or persecuted minority groups, Woewiyu said no.Prosecutors, however, call him a war criminal – linking him to the worst atrocities of Taylor’s regime.Throughout back-to-back civil wars that wracked Liberia from 1989 to 2003, Woewiyu served as the U.S.-based spokesman and defense minister to Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia.The party had mounted a violent campaign to wrest control from Taylor’s predecessor, Samuel Doe, in 1996, but then turned its weapons on countrymen in an effort to hold on to power – executing political opponents, conscripting boys into child armies, and forcing girls into prostitution. Taylor was convicted of those crimes by an international court in 2012. Woewiyu – who served as labor minister in Taylor’s government and president pro tempore of the Senate before breaking politically with Taylor – remained here.For years, he has resided with his wife in a two-story home in Collingdale. They have enjoyed a prominent role in Delaware County’s immigrant community.He earned a bachelor’s degree in labor studies from Rutgers University in 1981. He is pursuing a master’s from Pennsylvania State University while earning a living through real estate development.Six of his grown children also live in the United States. One is a lieutenant in the Navy.”I am very surprised,” said the Rev. Moses Dennis of Faith Immanuel Lutheran Church in East Lansdowne, which caters to a large Liberian congregation. Woewiyu occasionally attended services at there.”He comes across very genuine,” Dennis said. “He’s a politician. A politician, you know.”Others preferred to keep their opinions to themselves, fearful that anything said here could mean trouble for family abroad. For, as U.S. prosecutors said Friday, Woewiyu maintains a high profile in his homeland.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Request Accepted

first_imgIt seems that the outgoing Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Walter Traub Gwenigale’s request for retirement has been granted by President Ellen Johnson SirleafIn a special address to the nation yesterday, President Sirleaf replaced Dr. Gwenigale as Minister of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) with Mr. George Werner, who, too, will leave his post as head of the Civil Service Agency (CSA) if and when he is confirmed by the Liberian Senate.However, the President had a special word for Dr. G, as the former Health Minister is affectionately called. She said “ Dr. Gwenigale who continues to have my full confidence, will continue to serve as Advisor in the Ministry of Health, will continue to work with me on the President’s Advisory Ebola Committee, until his planned retirement in February.”Dr. G., who joined President Sirleaf’s Cabinet in 2006, had written the President on November 3, 2014, asking for her permission to retire next February 2015, which is also the month in which he takes his deferred annual leave. He will also turn 80 next February.In his letter, Dr. G. did not provide reasons for his request to retire but told the President he was retiring “from a personally gratifying active service to my country since September 1, 1973.”Recounting his years of service, Dr. G. said he returned to the country in August 1973, with “a young foreign wife and a year old son and started working for Phebe Hospital and School of Nursing on September 1st as the Chief of Surgery.” He was subsequently appointed Medical Director/CEO of Phebe the following year and in that same year, he was made Medical Director (now County Health Officer—CHO) of Bong County, where the hospital is located.He had inherited a 65-bed hospital; but between 1974 and 2003, when he left his administrative post at the hospital, he had increased the beds to 200 and the hospital campus grew to include the Rural Health Training Center for 200 students and an eye hospital was built by CBM of Germany.Even after stepping down as CHO and CEO in 2003, he continued to serve the hospital as Chief of Surgery until he was asked by the President to join her Cabinet.The former Health Minister told the President: “I have enjoyed working for my country under your wise and competent leadership. I will truly miss you and my seat in your Cabinet Room, but stand ready to advise you and my successor, should I be asked to do so.”Dr. G. also had this to tell the President: “Because I started supervising all of the MOHSW activities in Bong County in June of 1974, I can truly say I have served my country from that time until now, and do deserve to be pensioned by the country I have served all my productive life. Therefore, I kindly request that you favorably consider my request for a pension for the years, I have worked for the Government of Liberia.”Following 33 successful years in Bong County, the last three years of Dr. G’s tenure in Monrovia as Minister of Health and Social welfare, have been contentiously driven by claims and counter claims between him and striking public health workers on one hand and some members of the National Legislature on the other hand.Last October, when he addressed a regular press briefing at the Ministry of Information Culture and Tourism, he had said the two dismissed leaders of the National Health Workers Association of Liberia (NHWAL) would “NEVER” come back to work with the Ministry as long as he was there as Minister. Calling for the reinstatement of the two had been one of the demands of the striking health workers.Min. Gwenigale’s remark did not go down well with many people, including lawmakers. When lawmakers in the Senate summoned him, he reportedly accused the senators of being supportive of the strike action by health workers. It angered the senators who threatened him with “contempt.” He was, however, saved from the senators’ wrath when his physician, Dr. Robert Kpoto, told the lawmakers that his (Dr. Gwenigale’s) blood pressure was 197/90, and that he needed rest and medication for 14 days and therefore could not appear for a hearing.Following that communication from his doctor, 15 senators, among them, Senators Geraldine Doe-Sherif, Jewel Howard-Taylor, H. Dan Morais. Sando Johnson, Henry Willie Yallah and Thomas Grupee, requested, in a three-page communication to their colleagues, for President Sirleaf to retire Min. Gwenigale.They had said in their communication that Dr. Gwenigale, who should be the frontline general to supervise health workers, needs to be in the best frame of mind, void of illnesses such as high blood pressure during the Ebola crisis.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Guyana must resist external meddling and interference

first_imgDear Editor,“Massa day done” over 57 years ago, Trinidad’s Dr Eric Williams rocked the West Indian psyche with his speech in the ‘University of Woolford Square’ Port of Spain. This iconic moment spawned a new consciousness among our peoples and political class, independence would come to Guyana five years after this event – Guyana’s own master orator Forbes Burnham, worked tirelessly to build the Guyanese identity, one of a people intelligent enough to make decisions to chart their own destiny without assistance of the imperial powers. To the extent that I pen this letter, he was successful, I regard myself as a child of independent Guyana, born post independence and educated in a time of revolutionary thinking, so one can imagine my dismay when I see my dear land subject to ‘advice’ on a daily basis from foreign emissaries of the United Kingdom and the United States of America in clear violation of the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of States, a well-established and important part of international law enshrined in the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations.During the past year, High Commissioner Quinn has made pronouncements on corruption; at the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association’s (GMSA) 22nd annual Presentation Awards Dinner, Quinn noted that Guyana’s score on Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Index Report is “unacceptably low” and berated us with “failure to tackle corruption.” On April 10, he demanded that “corrupt law enforcement officials must be jailed”; Quinn also urged us to “have a clear plan to spend oil money” (Guyana Chronicle 2017/02/22). Our Government has been shamefully quiet as the High Commissioner becomes bolder with his pronouncements, demands and advice, I am not advising a feral blast a la Manickchand, which though not undeserved was poorly timed and undiplomatic given the venue and occasion. I believe Mr Quinn needs to be reminded that Guyanese are citizens in an independent republic and unlike his home country Ireland, we are not subjects to the whims of Her Majesty or her primitive form of Government, surely the time has come when an accident of birth accords one divine status has passed? Your intentions may be good but the history our nation shares with yours speaks volumes on exploitation and abuse, the situation in the United Kingdom vis-à-vis corruption is far from ideal and I see no move to jail your corrupt politicians, indeed, it would seem only a resignation is called for when found with your hand in the UK cookie jar. To the Ambassador of the United States, I have also noticed your increased pronouncements on our possible oil revenues, to you Sir, I would advise you share that advice with your home country, your future is mortgaged to China and you are dependent on Mexican agricultural labour to feed yourselves, on what ground do you stand to give advice? We have not yet forgotten or forgiven your last interference in our affairs via the CIA in the 1960s as your declassified documents show. We all know America has only one friend, the one with something they need. To Guyana’s present Administration, I beseech you not to forego all of our nation’s toil in achieving independence and identity by your silence in the face of pronouncements on our internal affairs that are demeaning and insulting to our collective intelligence. We all celebrated our Golden Jubilee of independence, now is the time to give meaning and significance to that milestone, Dr Williams said “With his backward ideas of aristocracy of the skin … Massa still has his stooges who prefer to crawl on their bellies to Massa … instead of holding their heads high and erect”. Let us not be that stooge, let us not fail to remember the past lest we repeat it.Sincerely,Robin Singhlast_img read more

Kuwait Identifies with Liberia in Ebola Fight

first_imgLiberia’s strong and nurtured diplomatic tie with many countries around the world is yielding fruits, especially in the Ebola crisis. One of the latest countries to come in with aid to combat the Ebola virus is the Middle Eastern Islamic state of Kuwait, from where a consignment of medical equipment and accessories has arrived help fight the Ebola virus.According to a dispatch from the Liberian Embassy near Kuwait City, the consignment of medical equipment and supplies is valued at more than US$45,000.The dispatch said 470 boxes of medical items include Non-Woven Surgical face mask-ear loops, disposable N 95 face masks, non woven surgical face mask-ties, medical gloves, alcohol swab pads among others. The items are expected to help reinforce government’s delivery of treatment and prevention services in health centers around the country.Liberia’s Ambassador to the State of Kuwait, H.E. Konah Blackett, negotiated and procured the items from Dr. Sanad Rasheed Al-Fadala, chairman and CEO of Taiba Hospital &IMS last month and conferred with Dr. Nabel Abdul Rahem,a Kuwaiti engineer consultant, who handled the shipment.The Liberian Embassy expressed gratitude to Dr. Sanad Rashed Al-Fadala and Dr. Nabeel Abdul Raheem for their humanitarian gesture to Liberia during the Ebola crisis.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

OPIC, IBLL Sign US$20M Agreement

first_imgThe U.S. Government’s development finance institution, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has signed a commitment for a US$20 million direct loan to International Bank Liberia Limited (IBLL) to support lending in sectors such as construction, services, manufacturing, agribusiness, hospitality, and transportation.The agreement also seeks to foster jobs and opportunities by supporting investments in key economic areas and increasing long term lending to Liberia’s private sector.OPIC President and Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth L. Littlefield, who signed the commitment on Monday, observed that the Liberian banking sector is faced with a number of critical challenges, which the loan will allow to expand.“We are pleased to be working with IBLL on this facility,” said Mrs. Littlefield. “The OPIC loan agreement will allow IBLL to address a gap in the marketplace by providing clients in the road infrastructure construction sector, manufacturing sector, agribusiness sector, and other industries with long term credit facilities which will enable those clients to significantly contribute to Liberia’s economic recovery.”She said OPIC’s role is to provide long-term loans and risk mitigation to support such investments. “Our portfolio in Sub-Saharan Africa has grown by more than $6 billion in recent years. However, that is still too small, and we aim to change that. We are here to listen and learn, as those who live within an economy invariably have the greatest insight into its needs and potential, and into what needs to be done to attract and keep the private investment that is so essential to job creation,” she said.Mrs. Littlefield emphasized that her company is in the country to stand in solidarity with Liberians—along with the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Power Africa interagency coalition—to underscore that the future of the two nations (Liberia and U.S.) will continue to be intertwined. “We are here to offer Liberian companies face-to-face access to investors and to provide information about the resources that OPIC and interested investors may be able to share,” she said.Also speaking, Pan African Capital Group founder and Chief Executive Officer, Stephen D. Cashin, said they are excited to be working with OPIC on the loan facility and appreciate the confidence OPIC has in IBLL; one of the strongest and most profitable commercial banks in Liberia. With its young, energetic, and committed Liberian management team, IBLL will continue to grow as one of the leading financial institutions in the country.For his part, IBLL Chief Executive Officer Henry F. Saamoi said he is proud that his company has survived the trials and tribulations brought upon the country as a result of the civil crisis and followed by the scourge of the Ebola Virus Disease. “Madam Littlefield, Madam Ambassador and other development partners, health security is at the core of the fund,” he said. “The Ebola crisis proved that the definition of public health needs to be broader than just hospitals. It needs to be expanded to investment in jobs, manufacturing, skills building and economic sustainability.“Our country, struggling to recover from the twin shocks of the Ebola crisis and the sharp decline in commodity prices, has led to business closures, including mining concessions and consequently the loss of jobs and reduction in the fiscal revenue envelope of the country.”Mr. Saamoi said IBLL will therefore identify and use the loan to support strategic operating partners to build companies to capitalize on the opportunities that will have maximum impact on the Liberian market.Based in Monrovia, the loan’s management team will be led by the Pan African Capital Group of Liberians with extensive experience in managing investments. The team will be supported by investors with significant Sub-Saharan African and Liberian Experience, the IBLL CEO said.“Today is a significant moment for IBLL and this initiative has come a long way, but it was worth all the efforts, and we want to give special thanks to Mr. Michael McNutly of OPIC, who worked tirelessly with IBLL in getting us to this point and our very own Stephen Murray and Gerald Woels of the Pan African Capital Group,” he added.Saamoi further acknowledged the role of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) for the level of support and the supervisory oversight that has stabilized the banking sector, thus generating trust and confidence in the Liberian banking system.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

IREDD Releases First Quarter Legislative Monitoring Report

first_imgA local civil society group, Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD) has released its first quarter Legislative Performance Report on lawmakers in the 54th Legislature.The report aims to provide citizens with accurate, objective, and comprehensive information about the performances of their elected leaders using indicators drawn from their primary constitutional mandate (lawmaking, oversight and representation). With support from partners, IREDD over the years has been monitoring the work of the legislature and individual lawmakers on Capitol Hill.The report, according to IREDD, covered the period of January 15 to March 19, 2019. It also provides some analysis on the overall governance of the legislature, and the effectiveness of legislative committees.Although, much legislative work are conducted in committee rooms, where bills are reviewed and amended, budgetary decisions are made and important oversight duties are performed, the report described as ineffective the House of Representatives in responding to critical national issues.The report named former Deputy House Speaker, Grand Bassa District #1 Representative Hans Barchue, as one of the poorly performed lawmakers due to his constant absence from sessions.Although Rep. Barchue is yet to respond to the report, IREDD also branded members of the House of Representatives as being ineffective in responding to critical national issues; and failed to pass decision on three critical communications written by Representatives Francis Dopoh, Dixon Seboe, and Ben Fofana.According to the IREDD report, Representative Dopoh, in his communication, requested the appearance of the Minister of Finance and Development Planning and Liberia Revenue Authority Commissioner-General to discuss the performance of the last two fiscal quarters of the current national budget.Representative Seboe, the report added, similarly communicated to the House plenary, craving the appearance of the ministers of Commerce and Finance and Development Planning to frankly discuss on strategy to move the economy from eight-hour to 12th-hour or 1-hour.Representative Fofana also requested that the Minister of Finance and Development Planning and his deputies be invited to provide reason why counties have not received their respective Social Development Funds, and other remittances since the passage of the 2018/2019 fiscal budget, the report said.IREDD said since the relevant committees were asked to probe the matters, and report in two weeks, the committees are yet to so up to press time last night.IREDD’s Executive Director, Herald Aidoo, who read the 11-page report said his organization’s also recorded performance of individual lawmakers and individual senator.Aidoo said seven members of the House of Representatives recorded the highest presence in session, scoring 100 percent. The lawmakers are Kanie Wesso of Gbarpolu; Matthew Joe of Grand Bassa; Speaker Bhofal Chambers of Maryland; Matthew Zarzar of Sinoe County; Ivar Jones of Margibi; Samuel Kogar of Nimba and Dr. George Boley of Grand Gedeh counties.Meanwhile, IREDD said Representatives Vincent Willie of Grand Bassa, and Hans Barchue of Grand Bassa County, Bob Sheriff of Grand Cape Mount, and Zoe Penue of Grand Gedeh got lowest attendance grades in plenary.At the Senate, five senators obtained the highest attendance grades during the period under review, scoring 100 percent. They are Albert Chie of Grand Kru, Gbleh-Bo Brown of Maryland, Dr. Henrique Tokpa of Bong, Morris Saytumah of Bomi and Augustine Chea of Sinoe.On the contrary, the report said Senator Edward Dagoseh obtained the lowest grade by scoring 38.2 percent, even though he was battling illness.IREDD has meanwhile recommended that the leadership of the Legislature should demand for efficiency and productivity from legislative committees members.“If possible, the leaderships of those committees, including the Standing Committees, should be restructured to reflect the level of knowledge, effectiveness and willingness of committee members to execute their respective assigned tasks,” the report said.The report said Legislature should make sure that quarterly performance reports by government ministries and agencies benefiting from national budget are produced. “This is upheld by the state’s budget law, which is a product of every legislature around the world. This will help the public cross-check the level of accountability and transparency measures used by public officials in handling taxpayers’ money,” Aidoo said.IREDD said members of the 54th Legislature should also review its standing rules on secret sessions while making legislative deliberations, particularly the workings of the Committees.Furthermore, they should review their standing rules on attendance so as to penalize individual lawmakers, who are suspected of being in the constant habit of leaving session after roll call, and those that continued to gain strength in lateness.The entity recommended that the leadership of the House of Representatives and Senate should take steps to improve the level of transparency and openness in decision making process.Particularly, IREDD calls for the adherence of legislative rules on record of the vote to improve transparency in vote-taking on legislation and national decisions.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) – Advertisement – Mr. Aidoo: “IREDD calls for the adherence of legislative rules on record of the votes to improve transparency…”last_img read more

Gor, AFC switch focus to continental football

first_img0Shares0000Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr congratulates his players after their KPL Super Cup win over AFC Leopards in Nakuru on January 28, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 5- Kenyan Premier League defending champions Gor Mahia and GOtv Shield holders AFC Leopards had contrasting starts to the 2018 season last weekend, but that little detail will be put behind when they shift their focus to continental assignments this weekend.The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has given the Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega thumbs up it will host AFC’s tie against Madagascan side FOSA Juniors FC on Sunday while Gor will start their campaign against Leones Vegetarianos of Equatorial Guinea on Saturday in Machakos. Gor Mahia began their season in emphatic fashion, blowing away Nakumatt FC 4-0 last Saturday in a match head coach Dylan Kerr believes should have had a bigger goal haul, but the tactician believes the result gives them a psychological edge ahead of Saturday’s game.“We should have had at least six goals in each half and I was a bit frustrated with the finishing. However, creating those many chances means we are doing something positive and we can improve that in training,” the coach said.Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr shouts instructions during their KPL SUper Cup win over AFC Leopards in Nakuru on January 28, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu“It gives us some boost of confidence and the players now see that many things are possible. This week we will work on a few areas of weakness and ensure we are very ready for Saturday,” the tactician further added.K’Ogalo will have a third feel this year of the Machakos Stadium on Tuesday when they play Sudanese champions Al Hilal in a friendly match and Kerr says he will give playing time to those he feels have not had enough time to prove their worth.“They have to show me that they want to be part of the team on Saturday and this is their chance. I already know most of the first team players but there are some especially the new ones who have not had quite the opportunity to show,” Kerr noted.Among those who are likely to earn starts include midfielder Cersidy Okeyo who came on as a sub against Nakumatt, Lawrence Juma and Bernard Ondiek who were all January arrivals at the club.AFC started their season with a 1-1 result against Posta Rangers but boosted their confidence with a 4-2 win over Al Hilal on Sunday.Head coach Robert Matano is looking on the brighter side of things, noting his team has been improving since their Super Cup loss to Gor Mahia.“The new players are integrating into the team very well and the most important thing is that as a team we are improving. I am confident in the players and we will get very good results this season,” added the experienced tactician.AFC Leopards players line up before the Kenyan premier League Super Cup clash against Gor Mahia on January 28, 2017 at Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluGor Mahia moved to the top of the standings after this weekend’s results having blasted four unanswered goals past Nakumatt while Bandari who produced the other shock of the weekend start off at second after beating Sofapaka 3-0.Ken Odhiambo, taking up his first full season as head coach made a statement of intent with his boys doing a commendable job against a star studded Sofapaka side in Narok.Sofapaka gaffer Sam Ssimbwa was left red-faced after the result challenging his side to improve on their performance or risk watching the team play from the sidelines.Elsewhere, Ulinzi Stars new boss Dunstan Nyaudo began his tenure in emphatic fashion, leading the military side to a commanding 4-2 victory over Zoo Kericho at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru.It was sweet revenge for Ulinzi who lost home and away to Zoo last season and for Nyaudo, it was a priceless launch into the KPL as Ulinzi looks to win their fifth league title, their last being in 2010 under Benjamin Nyangweso who was fired at the close of last season.The league’s two new boys, Wazito and Vihiga United had contrasting debuts with Wazito knicking away a 1-0 win over Sony Sugar at Camp Toyoyo while Vihiga United let off a 1-0 lead before losing 2-1 to Mathare United at Bukhungu.Wazito FC head coach Frank Ouna shouts instructions during their KPL match against Sony Sugar at Camp Toyoyo on February 3, 2017. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaWazito boss Frank Ouna praised his boys for starting up the season with a win and was quick to outline that his primary target is to survive relegation and ensure another season in top flight.“We have set ourselves a target of getting 40 points this season and that is what we are working on. We don’t want to be too ambitious and set unrealistic targets. We go a game at a time and I am pleased that we could start with a win,” Ouna said.Sony on their side were left ruing the loss with head coach Salim Babu tearing down at the referee as well as the Camp Toyoyo pitch.“That field should not host a Premier League match because it is very small and below standard. Also, we were let down by very poor officiating because I simply couldn’t understand what the referee was doing the whole afternoon,” Babu fumed after the game.The slim win by Ouna’s men sees them start the season at eighth.KPL weekend results: Saturday: Ulinzi Stars 4 Zoo Kericho 2, Posta Rangers 1 AFC Leopards 1 (Afraha Stadium), Gor Mahia 4 Nakumatt 0, Chemelil Sugar 2 Tusker FC 0 (Chemelil Complex), Nzoia Sugar 0 Kariobangi Sharks 1 (Sudi Stadium, Bungoma), Wazito 1 Sony Sugar 0 (Camp Toyoyo).Sunday: Sofapaka 0 Bandari 3 (Narok Stadium), Thika United 0 Kakamega Homeboyz 1 (Thika Stadium), Vihiga United 1 Mathare United 2 (Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega).0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Inter Milan close in on Cardiff midfielder as deal nears completion

first_imgCardiff City midfielder Gary Medel could be an Inter Milan player by the end of the week as the two clubs near the end of negotiations.Inter have been keen on Medel since the World Cup, but Cardiff have been unwilling to budge on their asking price.However, Italian newspaper Leggo claims that a deal is now close with the two clubs just £400,000 apart in their valuations of the player.It is thought that Cardiff want at least £8million for Medel, who they signed from Sevilla last summer for over £10m.Medel is said to be very interested in moving to Serie A, after suffering relegation to the Championship with Cardiff last season.For that reason, the speed of the deal is expected to accelerate once a fee has been agreed between the two parties, with a conclusion to the saga potentially occurring in the next few days. Gary Medel in action for Chile 1last_img read more

Tottenham 4-0 Newcastle: Spurs demolish drab Newcastle in Capital One Cup

first_img1 Tottenham eased to victory against Newcastle at White Hart Lane to book a semi-final place against Sheffield United.Nabil Bentaleb, Nacer Chadli, Harry Kane and Roberto Soldado were all on target as Spurs obliterated their opponents in a majestic second-half performance.Yoan Gouffran, Moussa Sissoko went close for the visitors, but they were well beaten by Mauricio Pochettino’s side.Chadli got away the evening’s first shot on target after meeting a lovely Andros Townsend pass, before Kane almost latched onto a fine cross-field ball from Danny Rose.Townsend shot over as Spurs continued brightly and took the lead 18 minutes in after a moment that will haunt Alnwick.Newcastle’s third-choice goalkeeper inexplicably fumbled an Eriksen corner and Bentaleb reacted quickly to scoop home in front of the befuddled visiting support.It was a lead Spurs deserved but one which it looked like they were easily capable of squandering.Michel Vorm did well to prevent Moussa Sissoko ending an impressive run with a thumping goal from distance shortly before the opening goal, which was followed by a major let-off for Pochettino’s men.Yoan Gouffran was afforded time to swing in a cross from the right which found Emmanuel Riviere unmarked, only for the frontman to direct wide from close range, unaware the offside flag was raised.Sissoko stung the palms of Vorm from 25 yards as Newcastle’s search for a leveller continued – a task Spurs attempted to make more difficult as half-time approached.Kane was proving a nuisance and looked to have won a penalty after going down under pressure from Fabricio Coloccini, only for referee Andre Marriner to infuriate Pochettino by waving play on.If the Spurs head coach was concerned about that costing his side, those fears were alleviated seconds into the second half.When the sides last met here Sammy Ameobi’s moments after the restart was the catalyst to Newcastle’s win, whereas this time it was the hosts celebrating when Chadli’s low strike crept past Alnwick.It was a sucker punch Pardew’s men were unable to recover from, with Remy Cabella and Riviere somehow unable to turn home Ayoze Perez’s cross.The Magpies’ need for a goal was leaving spaces at the back and Vlad Chiriches forced a save from Newcastle’s third-choice goalkeeper.A goal-line clearance from Haidara prevented Vertonghen extending Spurs’ lead, but fans’ favourite Kane soon added a third, collecting a pass from Townsend to coolly slot home.It was Kane’s last action of the night, but his replacement carried on where he left off as Soldado reacted quickly to tap home after Alnwick parried Eriksen’s fizzing drive. Nabil Bentaleb celebrates last_img read more

Religious war erupts over crematorium

first_imgJUDAISM: Orthodox and secular Jews in Israel argue over death rights after a facility mysteriously burns. By Aron Heller THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MOSHAV HIBAT ZION, Israel – The charred hut and blackened chimney are all that remain of what was one of Israel’s best-kept secrets. His funeral home caters primarily to secular Israelis who prefer to bypass the religious authorities, even though it’s expensive. A full burial with coffin and tombstone costs about $4,000. Nativ charges about half that sum for a cremation. He said he has served hundreds of clients – he would not give specific figures – whose identities are kept secret and who come from a broad range of Israeli society. Nativ said his cremation facility in Hibat Zion, a quiet farming village in central Israel, offers clients a dignified exit, saves precious land space in a crowded country and is more ecologically sound than burial. He said his company also can provide a traditional Jewish funeral as well as burial at sea, and can turn ashes into a diamond or even have them launched into outer space. Hevra Kadisha’s Morris Azoulai confirms Israel is so short of burial space that in some cemeteries graves are now stacked in layers. But he says the solution is not to cremate but to build more cemeteries. Ultra-Orthodox Jews sued Nativ’s funeral home, tried to have it shut on health grounds and initiated legislation against it in parliament. Now the fire has turned the argument into a national affair. Among the suspects questioned is Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, head of Zaka, an ultra-Orthodox rescue service best known for gathering body parts of victims of suicide bombings to assure them a proper burial. He was spotted on the scene a day before the fire. The following day, the location of the crematorium was published in an ultra-Orthodox newspaper, and the fire quickly followed. In an interview, he confirmed he was there the day before the fire, and did nothing to dispel suspicions. “This structure was designed for burning,” he said. “Now it has fulfilled its purpose.” Yitzhak Cohen, the minister for religious affairs from the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, refused to condemn the fire. Instead, he pledged to outlaw the funeral home that “continued the legacy of the destroyers of the Jewish people.” Meshi-Zahav said operating a crematorium in Israel was in bad taste, especially given the memories of the Holocaust. “There are some things you just don’t do. Even in a democracy you are not allowed to hurt the feelings of so many people,” he said. Nativ rejected the Holocaust comparisons. “The Nazis buried far more Jews than they burned, so are we also not going to bury people?” he said. He noted that several Jewish luminaries, including Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein and Milton Friedman, had chosen cremation. The incident has drawn fresh attention to the Orthodox rabbinical establishment’s monopoly not just over burials but over marriage, divorce and conversions to Judaism. Zealots tend to riot when construction projects or archaeological digs are near ancient Jewish graves, or when motorists drive through religious neighborhoods on the Jewish sabbath. “Now they want to interfere with our death, too?” said Yossi Beilin, secular head of the left-wing Meretz party. “Their extremism has no limits.” After the fire, Beilin outraged many religious Israelis by announcing he wanted to be cremated after his death, the first public Israeli figure to do so. More recently, an Israeli reserve soldier drew the army into the mix, stating that if killed in action he wished to be cremated. Among Hibat Zion’s 150 families, both secular and religious, people were surprised to learn the crematorium was operating in the community’s small industrial area, hidden between a chicken coop and a lumberyard. Letters of protest circulated, and community leaders vowed not to let the crematorium reopen. “We were outraged,” said Raanan Gashuri, head of the local council. “We all live here in harmony. This is not the place for something like that.” Nativ has pledged to repair the crematorium within weeks and move it to a new secret location. The International Cremation Federation, a veteran England-based advocacy group, has asked Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to make cremation “legally and practically available” in Israel. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! It was the Jewish state’s first and only crematorium. But more than that, it was a symbol. To secular Jews it meant the right to choose one’s own exit from this world. To religious Jews it was a violation of Jewish law, which requires that the dead be buried intact. And it struck a raw nerve on both sides, conjuring up images of the Holocaust ovens. The crematorium burned down on Aug. 22, a day after ultra-Orthodox activists discovered and publicized its location. Police suspect arson, and although no arrests have been made, the affair has become the latest episode in the religious wars that have dogged Israel since its creation. “This is a battle over the identity of the state of Israel,” said Alon Nativ, director of the Aley Shalechet funeral home. “It is unacceptable that I am a citizen who serves in the army, who pays his taxes, but who can’t make his own personal decisions about what matters most.” Aley Shalechet, or Autumn Leaves, opened the crematorium in 2005 and advertised in newspapers, radio stations and on TV, but it kept its location secret for fear of retribution. Jewish law requires a body to be ritually cleansed and swiftly buried, wrapped in shrouds and without a coffin. Burials are handled by Hevra Kadisha, a religious, government-sanctioned charity, and the costs are covered by the state. Non-Jews are buried by their own clergy and in their own cemeteries. Alternatives exist, but Nativ’s company was the first to offer cremation. last_img read more