GoL Urged to Save Liberia’s Forgotten People

first_imgHe is ever present on MacDonald Street where the office of the publishers of the Daily Observer newspaper is located in Monrovia.“Johnson is his name,” a passerby told our reporter, “I understand that his late father made him crazy.”Why? The answers are many. But most people in the area say Johnson’s late father was the cause of his son going crazy. Our informer who narrated the whole story said, “Johnson’s later father was retired by the Liberian government from the Armed Forces of Liberia. He was among the soldiers discharged during the administration of President Charles Taylor.“His take home pay, like all those retired, was US$540. But then the old man’s money disappeared and everyone in his household denied taking the money. It happened that this guy, Johnson stole that money.”The rest of the story is that after a frantic search for the money and everyone in the family stating they had no idea who could have taken it, the frustrated father decided to punish whoever might have stolen the money.“He visited a juju man who warned him about the serious consequence that would befall the culprit if he did the work. He warned the old man to tell everybody in the family, including his own children, to confess or face the consequences. The father did as he was instructed by the juju man but again, everyone in the household including his son, Johnson, denied taking the money. People believe the father was convinced that it was one of the boys staying with the family who took the money so he went back to the juju man and told him to go ahead with the medicine. The result was what became of Johnson,” our informer said, adding, “It also led to the father’s death when he realized that for US540 he had brought upon his son such a terrible fate.”Apart from his mental handicap Johnson is well-built and appears healthy in spite of eating from the garbage and whatever cook shop left overs he gets in plastic bags. He also drinks water from dirty containers and sleeps in a corner of the shed where the newspaper vendors buy their papers.If left alone, Johnson is none threatening and says nothing to anyone. The main offence from Johnson is his refusal to wear trousers. He strolls around the community holding a scant rag around his torso, leaving his private exposed to the public, including the many children who stare questioningly at him. Johnson walks to and fro Benson and MacDonald Streets area and does not care about what goes on around him. His mental condition is so severe that he is always naked.“This guy is always naked walking around this area where at least four schools are located, including the African Methodist Episcopal Zion University and the Zion High School.“This is not good for students to see a man always naked around here,” said a female student of AMEZU.Perhaps going around naked is Johnson’s way of crying out for help.Though the Daily Observer could not get confirmation of the cause of the victim’s mental difficulties, a source said mental problems can be treated and thinks the Ministry of Health& Social Welfare could be helpful to save these Liberians that society seems to have forgotten.For example on Bushrod Island, near Point 4, a young man in his late 20s walks about the area oblivious of the necessities of life.Confronted, he told our reporter, “My name is Junior,” and demanded for money to buy something to eat.In the same area a woman, who evidently is mentally disturbed, was seen with a load on her head. A closer look indicated that like Johnson earlier mentioned, she was in a world of her own.For many Liberians, mentally challenged persons may be suffering as a result of retribution for past crimes. There is evidence that illicit drugs are the cause of much of the mental illness in the society.Investigations conducted by the Daily Observer revealed a number of young and old men and women who congregate in what is commonly called ‘ghettos’ particularly in slum communities in Monrovia.“Illicit drugs that are mixed in pepper soup and some even turned into kanya (peanut and farina squares) is what they consume,” an insider confided.Not much is known by most Liberians about the many diseases and conditions such as severe depression that can lead to mental illness and that all should not be blamed on witchcraft and drugs.With overburdened resources further depleted by the recent Ebola crisis, health officials are not talking about interventions to rescue these forgotten Liberians.The Ministry of Health & Social Welfare has a department of mental health, headed by Ms. Angie Nyakoon. Telephone calls to Ms. Nyakoon initially went unanswered, but when she eventually took the call yesterday and our reporter identified himself, she interrupted him and without asking the reason for the call, said she was in a meeting and suggested our reporter should call back in one and a half hours.Our call made at the time requested was not answered. Many Liberians interviewed have expressed exasperation (vexation) at a government ministry that seems not to have adequate rehabilitation programs to care for its mentally challenged. And like the failure to protect the abode of the Liberian dead, someone remarked, “If we cannot protect the abode of the Liberian dead, can we support those who are living let alone those who are mentally challenged?”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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Man United line-up against Liverpool: England midfielder to solve defensive problems?

first_img1 Louis van Gaal steps into the heart of one of English football’s fiercest rivalry as his Manchester United side look to continue their winning ways when Liverpool visit Old Trafford live and exclusive on talkSPORT.The Red Devils are riding high in third place after five straight wins and Van Gaal is boosted by a shrinking injury list, which will ease his selection headache.Heading into the game, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw, Daley Blind and Angel di Maria are definitely out, though Rafael and Phil Jones have returned to training and could be back for the hectic festive period.Should Michael Carrick continue at centre-back where he played against Southampton alongside Jonny Evans and Marcos Rojo? And will Radamel Falcao return to the starting XI?Possible Man United line-up against Liverpool: Louis van Gaal steps right into the heart of English football’s fiercest rivalry as Manchester United look to continue their momentum and ensure Liverpool suffer more misery this season GoalkeeperDavid De Gea has been one of the best goalkeeper’s in the Premier League this season and Liverpool’s strikers will need to have the game of their lives in order to get past the in-form Spaniard.DefenceWhen it comes to experience at the back, United are lacking. Smalling’s injury paved the way for Evans to make his return, while Paddy McNair was hauled off midway through the first-half at Saint Mary’s following an indifferent performance.Carrick will likely line up at the back once again as part of a three, with Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young set to continue as wing backs.Midfield Di Maria is definitely out and that should see Spaniard Ander Herrera return to the first XI.The former Athletic Bilbao midfielder was a first-half substitute on Monday following Van Gaal’s reshuffle and he’ll be expected to provide the energy and creativity to supplement Marouane Felliani’s strength and physicality.Juan Mata was non-existent against Southampton, but is likely to be given another chance to shine in the No.10 role. However, if Van Gaal opts to bring back Falcao as he has hinted at, then Mata may be the one to miss out.AttackRobin Van Persie has had his fair share of critics this season but his two goals against the Saints helped United to all three points, while captain Wayne Rooney was the orchestrator of the second goal at St Mary’s and will need to channel his aggression ahead of arguably United’s most important game of the season.Man United fans, how do you think you’ll line up against Liverpool? Comment below and remember, the match against Liverpool is live and exclusive on talkSPORT at 1pm on Sunday 14 December. 1last_img read more

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Man United fans believe LVG spending £50m on this player ‘must be a joke’

first_img1 Everton defender John Stones Manchester United are said to be preparing a world-record £50m bid for Everton defender and Chelsea transfer target John Stones.The Red Devils crashed out of the Champions League after a 3-2 defeat to Wolfsburg mid-week, and since their exit, the club have been linked with a number of big-name players.And Stones is said to be a top target for Louis van Gaal.A section of the club’s supporters, though, haven’t taken to the news with the excitement that may have been expected, with some questioning whether their defence is really the area in need of improvement.Have a read below of the reaction from United fans, on Twitter, to the Stones speculation.last_img read more

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ARE THIS GROUP OF DONEGAL STUDENTS JUST TWISTED?

first_imgA Donegal secondary school is going to extreme lengths to support a local charity – by playing a massive game of Twister!Loreto Community School in Milford will be hoping that up to 200 students take part in the game to raise funds for the Rathmullan to Malawi Habitat Group.The student council are supporting two students from the school heading to Malawi in August to build houses for people living in disadvantaged and poor communities, by playing the well know game on a mass scale in the gymnasium. Twister has been an extremely popular game since its invention in the mid 1950s and yet this will be the first time it will be played on such a large scale in Milford!The 200 students who will be playing Twister have been anticipating the “craic” all week.The school is known for holding unusual fundraisers after just last year they broke the Guinness World Record for the most people doing the “shuffle” at once.Twister is a game of physical skill where humans are the body pieces. It is played on a large plastic mat with four rows of coloured circles. Where you put your arm or leg is determined by a spinner. The spinner is turned and each player takes it in turns to put their arm/leg where the spinner says. It is usually played with 3 or 4 people. The winner is the only person not to fall or touch the mat with their elbow or knee. The student council have confirmed there will be four people playing on each mat, adding to the excitement.A spokesperson for the Rathmullan to Malawi Habitat Group said they extremely grateful the local community and schools have become involved in running fundraisers for this worthy cause.“We have a large amount of money to raise and by running fundraisers for us, the school is helping us draw nearer and nearer to our target.“We would like to thank each and every person who has contributed to our fundraisers in the past and continue to do so as without you we would not be able to help disadvantaged communities in Malawi build themselves a better future.”Rathmullan to Malawi Habitat Group are a group of Individuals from Rathmullan and the surrounding areas who will go to the South of Malawi on the 5th of August to build houses for people who live in isolated and primitive conditions as part of Habitat Northern Ireland. The 14 strong group will be in Malawi for two weeks constructing houses alongside the locals to help them to improve their standard of living. Many fundraisers are being held in Donegal and the public’s support at them to date is greatly appreciated. Facebook: facebook.com/RathmullanMalawi Blog: rathmullanmalawi.wordpress.comARE THIS GROUP OF DONEGAL STUDENTS JUST TWISTED? was last modified: March 19th, 2013 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:Loreto Community SchoolRathmullan to Malawi Habitatlast_img read more

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TWO DONEGAL WOMEN CHARGED WITH ARSON OF DANA’S BROTHER’S HOME TO BE PSYCHOLOGICALLY ASSESSED

first_imgTwo women charged with setting fire to houses belonging to John Brown, the brother of singer Dana are to have psychological reports carried out on them.Letterkenny court.The two women, from Newtowncunningham, had their cases mentioned at Letterkenny Circuit Court today. The first woman, Donna Kildea, 29, is charged with arson at Colehill, Newtowncunningham on August 29, 2011.The other woman, Stacey Doran, who is 29, faced two charges.Ms Doran, of Ballybegley, Newtowncunningham, is accused of arson at a property on Main Street, Newtowncunningham on April 15, 2011, the property of John Brown.She is also charged with arson at Colehill Newtowncunningham on August 29, 2011, also the property of Mr Brown.Both barristers representing the women, Ms Grainne McMorrow and Mr John McLaughlin, asked for psychological assessments for their clients.Judge John O’Hagan remanded both women to appear again at Letterkenny Circuit Court again on December 9th.Mr Brown did not appear in court for the case today.At a previous hearing at the District Court Ms Kildea’s solicitor Ciaran O’Gorman applied for legal aid for counsel.He said that “these offences can attract a term of imprisonment of up to 14 years and in this case we are talking about damage caused of between €120,000 and €150,000.”TWO DONEGAL WOMEN CHARGED WITH ARSON OF DANA’S BROTHER’S HOME TO BE PSYCHOLOGICALLY ASSESSED was last modified: July 23rd, 2014 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:courtsDonna KildeaJohn BrownStacey Doranlast_img read more

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Wrestling for control

first_img Saenz has been meeting with education and legal experts across the country and said he hopes to have specific proposals ready within the next four months. “The key question is developing something that we can maintain over multiple years,” Saenz said. “It has to be a long-term change, one that can stand the test of time and will be given time to prove successful. “Once you make this massive reform, you need to give it a chance to work.” While emphasizing that mayoral control is key, Villaraigosa’s office also is studying whether to create smaller districts; expand or restructure the school board; or even eliminate the board altogether and have an elected superintendent. One of the key challenges to mayoral control with LAUSD – unlike in New York or Chicago, where school districts and cities have identical boundaries – is that Villaraigosa would need to win support from at least 26 other cities that the district serves. Some have already voiced opposition to Los Angeles control and floated the idea of creating districts of their own. “We know Los Angeles carries the big stick, but we just hope they remember our kids go to these schools as well,” said West Hollywood City Councilman Jeff Prang. “We just wanted to make sure we were not ignored in this debate,” said Prang, who introduced a resolution adopted by his council opposing a takeover by Los Angeles. Saenz has scheduled a meeting with Prang and officials from the other cities to bring them into the discussions. And experts note that if anyone may be able to unite such disparate interests, it may be Villaraigosa, who has already proven himself adept at negotiating compromises. Even before he took office in July, Villaraigosa brokered a deal in a contentious labor dispute between workers and major hotels in the city. Most recently, he convinced some of the most ardent opponents to modernization of Los Angeles International Airport to drop a decade-old lawsuit. Now, the mayor is encouraging discussion among LAUSD stakeholders – teachers and administrators, business groups and parents – to try to win them over to his plan for reform. Villaraigosa said he came to his position reluctantly. “I respect schools and teachers,” Villaraigosa said. “I worked for the teachers union. My wife is a teacher. But, if Los Angeles is to succeed as a world-class city, we need an education system that supports it. “I am not looking to reinvent the wheel, but we should look at the best practices of what is working in other schools.” While district officials and teachers say they appreciate the mayor’s broad efforts to improve education, they balk at talk of a mayoral takeover and express frustration at his public criticism. “This is not a failing district. We’re making great progress,” said Superintendent Roy Romer. “We would welcome ideas on reform, but I haven’t heard yet any specific ideas or programs they would change.” Romer cited the success of the $19 billion school construction program – the nation’s largest public works project – and students’ improving scores on standardized tests. That kind of improvement needs continued support, he said, like efforts to create small learning communities on high school campuses and increase academic rigor. “There’s radical improvement in the past five years in the performance of these schools. We must not lose that. We must continue that. “That doesn’t need overhaul,” Romer said. “We need to continue on the track we’re on.” A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, said the union opposes a mayoral takeover but would like to see more cooperation among its members, the district and the city to improve the quality of education. “I have said I’m looking for collaboration with the district, the mayor, the business community, to do the kinds of things necessary to improve education in Los Angeles,” said Duffy, who served on Villaraigosa’s council of education advisers and has suggested a variety of reforms. “Most teachers we talk to feel the same way: How does mayoral control help the classroom teacher? Show me the direct trajectory.” For Villaraigosa, taking on the 727,000-student district has become both a mission and a cornerstone of his administration’s plans for the city. Much of it is rooted in his own experience; he dropped out of a parochial school and, as he has described it, was given a second chance at Roosevelt High School. Even before he was elected, he was drawn into dealing with LAUSD problems, helping calm racial tensions among students at Jefferson and at Taft high schools. His inaugural gala became a $2 million fundraiser for the LA’s BEST after-school program and, in his inaugural speech, he created a council on education to look at ways the city could help the district immediately. Villaraigosa said he has come to believe that if Los Angeles is to succeed and prosper, it is the education system that is the key to decoding the city’s myriad problems. A successful school system, he has argued, creates a better-trained work force that will draw higher-paying jobs, which will result in broadening the middle class while reducing crime. And it’s schools like South Los Angeles’ Locke High that the mayor says he wants to address. Locke is a Program Improvement 5 school with a state performance test score of 488 – the goal for district schools is a score of 800. If a school does not improve after two years, the state could close it or take away some funds. Principal Franks Wells said the problem with LAUSD is that schools like his – with minimal parental involvement – get lost in the shuffle. “This is a community that doesn’t get a lot of powerhouse support and has a history of neglect. The governance of the district is very slow to respond to Locke issues because of the size, and there are no heavy hitters’ support,” Wells said last week during a campus visit by Villaraigosa. Last year, for the first time, the school got enough books so students could take them home. But now, the school is set to lose its last safety officer. “Whoever’s willing to step up to the plate to support kids, I’m for, who will meet the needs that will promote academic excellence and health and safety,” Wells said. Villaraigosa says mayoral control will be the linchpin to helping Locke and other schools like it. “Students, teachers and schools are struggling to succeed within a bureaucracy that doesn’t have a clear and consistent vision for improving student achievement, and Locke High School is no different,” Villaraigosa said. “Mayoral responsibility will provide consistent leadership and a clear vision that will bring the focus back to raising student achievement and directing the resources toward classrooms.” Naush Boghossian, (818) 713-3722 naush.boghossian@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s escalating campaign for control of Los Angeles’ public schools has fanned debate over LAUSD’s own reform efforts and whether they are sufficient to educate residents of a world-class city. During recent speeches in the San Fernando Valley and throughout the city, Villaraigosa has blasted the leaders of the nation’s second-largest school district, blaming them for lagging test scores and a dismal dropout rate and seeking public support for his efforts to overturn the status quo. But Los Angeles Unified and its powerful unions insist they are making significant progress, upgrading the district’s facilities and improving student achievement, and that mayoral control isn’t wanted or needed. The looming conflict sets the stage for reform, although some question whether the charismatic and popular mayor can overcome opposition by the coalition of educators. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals “It’s a smart issue to take on in many respects, even if there are land mines out there,” said Jaime Regalado, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute at California State University, Los Angeles. “Education is No. 1 or 2 on everybody’s list of concerns. “The danger comes if (Villaraigosa) is not able to make any changes. He is going to develop some powerful opposition to this from the unions and the school district, who are going to fight him all the way. “But, if he has even partial success at bringing about reform, he could turn out to be the winner.” Still, by all accounts, it will take years to make any changes in governing the Los Angeles Unified School District. Legislation would likely be needed, along with changes in the City Charter – action that would require voter approval. That means any shift couldn’t happen until 2007 – at the earliest. “I think the mayor’s timing is right if you are looking at this in terms of developing support over a long time period. Whatever happens is not going to happen overnight,” said Thomas Saenz, Villaraigosa’s legal counsel, who’s studying the ramifications of changing the district governance. last_img read more

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Major increase in flu-like symptoms in Donegal as concern rises over ‘Aussie flu’

first_imgNowDoc medics in Donegal have reported a substantial increase of calls from those suffering flu-like symptoms over the festive season.The increase comes as Ireland faces the deadliest outbreak of flu seen in the country in over 50 years, experts have warned.The first flu deaths have been recorded in Ireland as the dreaded ‘Aussie flu’ sweeps the country. The HSE is urging people in high-risk groups to get the flu vaccine.Until last week there had been no reported deaths from flu so far this winter.However, independent.ie reports the HSE has now confirmed that they have been notified of a small number of deaths – less than 10 – directly related to flu.The main strain posing a risk in Ireland is the so-called ‘Aussie flu’, a virulent strain of influenza A. The H3N2 subtype triggered two-and-a-half times the normal number of cases in Australia. The elderly who may have compromised immune systems are particularly susceptible.Cases of swine flu and the B strain have also been detected.Some experts have warned this could be the most serious flu epidemic since the 1968 pandemic that began in Hong Kong and killed a million globally.In recent days, GP services in Ireland are being put under massive pressure as a result of the number of infections.Ireland is facing a rise in those hospitalised with flu, and a number of breakouts in nursing homes.Emergency doctors in Dublin, Limerick, Donegal and Galway all reported a substantial increase of calls from those suffering flu-like symptoms. The ‘Aussie flu’ is a mutated strain, meaning the vaccine in Australia has been less effective than anticipated.The HSE has confirmed that the vaccine here should be “a moderate to good match” and encouraged people to get the jab.However, it will not know the success of the Irish vaccine until flu season is over.Major increase in flu-like symptoms in Donegal as concern rises over ‘Aussie flu’ was last modified: January 3rd, 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:Aussie fludonegalflusymptomslast_img read more

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Arrest warrant issued for election candidate after security guard’s car attacked

first_imgA former election candidate who attacked a security guard’s car during a stand-off at a repossessed building in Letterkenny has had a warrant issued for his arrest.Michael Mooney failed to appear at Letterkenny District Court where he was charged with criminal damage. The court heard how Mooney, aged 44, who is originally from Culdaff but who owns houses in Letterkenny, was at the Kube building at the Thorn in Letterkenny in January, 2017.A security company was patrolling the premises which had been at the centre of a court battle between the banks and its original owner Brendan Gildea.Dashcam footage of security guard Samuel Chestnut showed him arriving at the building with Mr Mooney standing on the road in front of him.Mr Chestnut stops momentarily as Mooney refuses to move and the security guard then revs his engine.The driver’s car then appears to strike Mooney who suddenly bangs his mobile phone off the bonnet of the car and then proceeds to kick the passenger wing-mirror  of the vehicle.Mr Chestnut is then heard saying “That was Michael Mooney” as he drives on.The security guard said that the damage to the car was over £250 sterling to repair as the wing mirror was smashed and there was a dent in the bonnet.Mooney, who stood in the 2016 General Election as an Independent candidate, was later arrested and admitted he was there in support of Mr Gildea but denied any wrongdoing.He told interviewing Gardai that he was not interfering with anybody’s business and that Mr Gildea had merely wanted to maintain ownership of the building and he was offering support to him.He said he had been crossing the road when a car approached him on the wrong side of the entrance into a building and then struck him.He said he had to go to hospital after developing a pain in his back and was still having physio as a result.Judge Paul Kelly said Money had originally been in court on March 25th and he had refused to enter a plea.“I told him he should get legal advice and he declined to agree to that and I told him I was entering a not guilty plea on his behalf,” said Judge Kelly.He added that having heard the facts he was finding matters proved and issued a bench warrant for Mooney’s arrest for sentencing.Arrest warrant issued for election candidate after security guard’s car attacked was last modified: October 21st, 2019 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:BRENDAN GILDEAcourtcriminal damageGardaiKubeMartin Mooneyprotestlast_img read more

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Panthers keep pace

first_imgThe Panthers did what they had to do to keep pace with Big 5 leaders Del Norte on Wednesday, holding off a stubborn Fortuna team for a 7-3 win at Mack High.The victory keeps the McKinleyville girls undefeated in league play at 4-0, just one win behind the Warriors.“It wasn’t the prettiest and we seemed a little flat,” McKinleyville head coach Shanna McCracken said. “But it was good to get the win.”The Panthers opened up an early 4-0 advantage but had to withstand a Fortuna rally that saw the …last_img read more

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