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RPAL Convenes National Rubber Congress

first_imgAs the year 2014 approaches its halfway mark, an advocacy group for the rubber sector, the Rubber Planters Associations of Liberia (RPAL) with concentration in the rubber sub-sector is prioritizing its resolutions or work plans, by skillfully putting in gears to jump start their development agenda and making show so that everything as envisaged is materialized before the year goes into oblivion.With this concept in mind and not leaving any stone unturned, this non-governmental organization, in designing its work plan which has cardinal and pertinent issues is convening a National Rubber Congress where Dr. Florence A. Chenoweth, Minister of Agriculture is expected to serve as Keynote Speaker.The congress, an annual event held on a rotational basis was not held in 2013 because of economic reason. But, in 2014, as the economic condition of rubber farmers and the natural rubber as a whole on the downward trend, the congress is now being convened in Gbarnga, Bong County from 23 – 24 May.A few days prior to convening the congress, at a news conference, the Executive Director of the RPAL, Mr. Simeon Z. Woheel said this year’s event is the Fourth of its kind, in post-war Liberia and would gather from across the country 300 participants and representatives  including politicians and stakeholders in the rubber industry.Mr. Woheel said, “The group attending the congress is composed of individuals coming from rubber farms or factories irrespective of the size of their farms or the factories. But they must be rubber plantation owners, planters, processor, buyers or stakeholders”.Executive Director Woheel disclosed that the Congress, with the theme, “Our Rubber – Our Future”, will give an impetus to greatly discuss in length those meaningful and issues relevant to the Liberian natural rubber industry including declining rubber price, rubber theft, the availability of improved planting materials and support for the RPAL.The RPAL was organized by the Liberian rubber farmers and trans-nationals and has been in existence for more than half a century.  It was eventually enacted into Law by the National Legislature in 1966 as a body to represent, foster and protect the interest of the farmers, who are engaged in the Liberia rubber industry by either planting or processing rubber.Mr. Woheel said, “RPAL, during the Congress will seize the opportunity for its members to go to the poll and elect a new code of 25-member officers who will steer the affair of the Association for the next two years”.A major issue for discussion also during the Congress will be centered on the efforts being made by RPAL to solicit assistance from the Government of Liberia and friendly organizations.The Agenda of the Congress will also focus on the setting up of five working committees that will use an eagle eye to pin-point weaknesses and successes of the Association particular on the Liberia natural rubber industry in general; perhaps with the intention to finding amicable solutions to problems affecting the RPAL on one hand, and rubber industry as a whole on the other hand.Committees will be set-up at the Congress which will include Committees on Nursery Development, Decentralization, Subscription, Pricing and Rubber Farm Registration as well as Identification Cards and Rubber Theft.“One cannot predict the steadfastness of the work of the committees. But one thing that is hoped for is that resolutions from the committees’ room will create an avenue for a greater and speedy development of the Association” and the rubber sub-sector, said one small-scale rubber farmer who asked for anonymity.At the moment, RPAL finds itself in a state of financial barb wire that has caused strangulation to the point that it has considerably reduced its staff members and employees from 10 to five in the last four years.The financial situation of RPAL is worsening day after day thus reducing the capacity of the Association to implement planned field activities around the country, especially in the area of nursery development and extension activities.Critics have it that if nothing is done very soon to bring the association from financial crisis, the association will find itself almost to a zero operational level.Presently, Mr. Roger Sherman is the President of the Rubber Planters Association of Liberia. He has been serving in the position since 2008, a time when the Association held its last Congress at the same venue where it is taking place this year.  Mr. Sherman is being assisted by Mr. Emery Dennis as Vice President. The issue of rubber theft has been and still is one cardinal problems that bothers the President of the Association, who himself is a rubber plantation owner.In his last inaugural address, Mr. Sherman put it this way, “The issue of rubber theft is high because of the mobile buying stations operating in the country.  The thieves are physically prepared to combat anyone trying to halt their operations.  But we will do everything that is humanly possible to protect the interest of the RPAL thus enabling every rubber farmer to substantially benefit from the proceeds of their labor”.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

GRA recovers millions lost in heavy-duty machinery scam

first_imgThe Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has managed to collect millions of dollars since it cracked down on the heavy-duty vehicle racket, which was discovered in 2017.GRA Commissioner General Godfrey Statia said that the Authority went out of its way to make it known that it was prepared to visit the interior locations where persons were using heavy-duty vehicles.“We sent our officers out there, so they would be able to take the necessary photographs and then proceed to register those vehicles. But there has not been a great response in this regard,” he stated.The GRA boss said that the Authority has been going from village to village, houseGRA Commissioner General Godfrey Statiato house, and actually levying fines. “There has not been a great type of a response as we should have seen,” he explained.Nevertheless, once these persons are found culpable, the GRA would apply a conveyance charge of $150,000 in addition to the taxes required on each of these vehicles.It was reported that the State has been losing billions annually over excavators and other heavy-duty machinery and equipment that were not registered. This was first discovered during 2017.Statia reminded that this scheme has been on GRA’s radar for some time now. He outlined that exercises were carried out, monitoring vehicles that had been moving within the country, especially excavators and draglines, but when checks were made, there was no record of them in the system.“It was on the cards for a little while, but then what we found is that there was one particular excavator that was imported and we could not have found it, it was cleared and we could not have found it until now. And now that we have gone through additional transactions,” he noted.The GRA Head had pointed out the problem was as long as these machinery and heavy-duty equipment were not registered, the Authority would be in a position to find or trace them.“It is not only with the heavy duty…Heavy-duty [machinery] has just been on the forefront for us…so when these excavators go into the interior, if they are not registered then, they cannot be traced.”Further asked about the scale of the scheme, the GRA Head had said that it was not all importers of heavy-duty machinery and equipment who were involved in the racket.Heavy-duty equipment and machinery are utilised by most sectors in Guyana. The mining sector and Government are the biggest importers of these.Statia pointed out that “somewhere along the line, the system went lax and allowed these excavators to be roaming free without numbers and without registration. We need to regularise them.”last_img read more

Cancer relay early-bird signup deadline looming

first_imgVisit to sign up. By staffThere’s still time to take advantage of the early-bird signup for the Fort St. John Relay for Life event.The Canadian Cancer Society is once again holding the fundraiser, and is giving residents the opportunity to save five dollars in registration fees. Registration will be only $10.00 until Sunday, January 31st. After that, the rate will go up to $15.00.- Advertisement -Relay for Life participants take part in a 12 hour walk/run relay. The purpose is to celebrate cancer survivors and remembers loved ones, while fighting back against all cancers through fundraising. Participants can enter as a team or as an individual.Each participant is asked to solicit donations leading up to the main event.This year’s relay will be held at the Dr. Kearney School on May 29th from noon until midnight.Advertisementlast_img read more

Hollywood converts to positive films

first_imgLong considered the modern-day equivalent of Sodom and Gomorrah, Hollywood is increasingly showing its family-friendly side, churning out an unprecedented number of films and television shows with uplifting, redemptive themes. In the three years since Mel Gibson released “The Passion of the Christ,” hundreds of films with Christian, spiritual and family-friendly themes have hit the screen – from “The Nativity Story” to “Amazing Grace.” Last year alone, nearly 50 films featured positive, Christian content that producers hoped would appeal to the estimated 110million Americans who attend church every week, according to Camarillo-based Movieguide. The films raked in an average $39million, according to Movieguide. All five of the major Hollywood studios have created marketing departments to target the growing demand for faith-based and family fare. “People are gravitating to anything that gives them hope, inspiration, motivation or a sense of something light,” said Mark Clayman, executive producer of “The Pursuit of Happyness.” “People want good stories. They want to be entertained, but they also want something they can bring their kids to and enjoy as a family. Look at our world. There is so much war and junk and disease. I think people are just hungry for the other side.” To meet the demand, 20th Century Fox recently launched Fox Faith Movies, which plans to release a dozen faith-based films a year. Last fall, the Walt Disney Co. also announced it would focus more on family-oriented and faith-based movies. Movieguide publisher Ted Baehr, who also chairs the Christian Film & Television Commission, said Hollywood executives realize that the public wants more uplifting and spiritual fare. “There is competition for the Christian audience now that there hasn’t been before,” Baehr said. “I thought at some point it would level off, but so far it’s getting bigger and bigger. “It’s more than I could have possibly imagined. One of the audiences that has become stable and even grown for books, music and movies is the Christian audience.” Stephen Kendrick, executive producer of “Facing the Giants” and an associate pastor at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., said the film has received broad praise since its release last year. The drama chronicles a Christian high school football coach who uses faith to battle overwhelming fear and failure. Kendrick said he and his brother, Alex – also a pastor at the church and executive producer of the movie – got more than 5,000 e-mails from people who said the movie has changed their lives. An additional 1,200 e-mails expressed professions of faith. “We think more movies like this are going to be rising up,” Kendrick said. “I know there is a huge wave of people – thanks to the digitalization of media and the lowering of costs to be able to produce films – who are now beginning to study and learn how to make films. A feature film is one of the most influential things in our culture.” The brothers decided to make movies after reading about a 2002 poll by The Barna Group that found church was not considered among the top 10 influences in American culture. “Movies and music are in the top three,” Kendrick said. “So instead of cursing the darkness, we thought, `We have the best message in the world that is still transforming people’s lives and giving them hope, forgiveness and peace.’ And so we want to take that message to them, using the most influential means possible. And that’s why we chose to go into feature films.” At the grass-roots level, a growing number of aspiring Christian filmmakers, scriptwriters, actors and actresses are breaking into Hollywood. Last month, 57 teams of Christian filmmakers from around the world participated in the Burbank-based 168-Hour Film Project. Part of a “speed filmmaking” phenomenon, teams were given a week to write a short script based on a randomly assigned Scripture verse, and another week to film and edit a five- to 10-minute movie. The films will be screened March23 at the Stars Art Theater and March24 at the Alex Theatre, both in Glendale. Trinity Broadcast Network will air films chosen as the best. “It’s our biggest year ever,” said John David Ware, founder and executive director of the project. “We’ve had many people who are first-time filmmakers go on to produce many other films. The teams are expanding their short films into feature-length films and trying to sell them. Many of the films have won awards at other film festivals.” One of those filmmakers – a graduate of Act One, a Hollywood-based organization that trains Christian scriptwriters – is Atwater Village resident Amanda Llewellyn. Llewellyn and her husband, Wes, have made two short films for the project and have a full-length feature film coming out Tuesday. That film – “The Moment After 2: The Awakening” – is a post-Rapture story that follows the lives of two former FBI agents. “You are starting to have more people like me … who are starting to make inroads into management and executive positions in Hollywood,” Llewellyn said. “It’s not a secret coup or a takeover. What it is is just allowing us a place at the table. I think Mel Gibson was able to kick down some doors for us in that area because of his financial success.” (213) 974-8985160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Man shot by police had history of mental illness

first_imgVAN NUYS – A 45-year-old Van Nuys man who was shot dead by police responding to a domestic abuse call had a history of mental illness and was nude when he lunged at officers with a metal bar, police said Tuesday. The man who died Monday night might have been the same John Eric Goudeaux who created a major traffic jam shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks when he drove down Ventura Boulevard in a rented Toyota Camry yelling “Jihad Good!” That Goudeaux, who displayed signs on his car reading “Bing-da-Bang-Boom, Enjoy” and “Surprise kaboom kaboom kaboom,” was the same age as the man shot by police Monday night. Monday’s altercation occurred about 7:15 p.m. after police received word that Goudeaux’s estranged wife was being held against her will in the 17600 block of Runnymede Street. After Goudeaux refused to open the door, about eight officers forced their way into the home and found Goudeaux, nude, holding a 3-foot metal bar, said April Harding, LAPD spokeswoman. Harding said after repeatedly ignoring orders to drop the weapon, Goudeaux lunged at Officer Timothy Hope, 27, a 3-year veteran with the department. “Officer Hope fired a shot in defense,” Harding said. Goudeaux was taken to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, where he later died. Goudeaux’s mother, Suzanne Rose, a Northern California resident, questioned whether officers needed to shoot to kill. “This was a case in no way, shape or form (where) they should have killed him,” Rose said of her son, acknowledging his battles with mental illness. “The whole neighborhood knew he was crazy, but he would never hurt her,” Rose said of her daughter-in-law. Rose said that her son and his estranged wife had a complicated relationship. “They’re not living together, but she loves him and has compassion for him because he’s crazy and he needs help. … I can tell you this right now. I can hardly believe it was kidnapping,” Rose said. “She had a restraining order against him, and she was in his house.” Rose said that her daughter-in-law told her that Goudeaux wouldn’t let her leave his home, so she called a friend and eventually the police were called. According to Rose, her daughter-in-law said that when police knocked on the door Goudeaux told her to ignore them. Rose said her daughter-in-law told her that Goudeaux said: “We’re not doing anything and it’s private property.” “She said she was not in danger and she was nowhere near him and he was not going to hurt her.” Rose said she doesn’t blame the officers and understands that making split-second decisions are difficult, but she wishes they could have restrained him and gotten him the help he needed. “Why didn’t they shoot him in the leg and take him to a mental hospital?” LAPD’s Force Investigation Unit is handling the investigation. (818) 713-3329160Want 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

6 held in plot against Army base

first_imgIn addition to plotting the attack on Fort Dix, the defendants spoke of assaulting a Navy installation in Philadelphia during the annual Army-Navy football game and conducted surveillance at other military installations in the region, prosecutors said. One defendant, Eljvir Duka, was recorded as saying: “In the end, when it comes to defending your religion, when someone … attacks your religion, your way of life, then you go jihad.” The six were arrested Monday night trying to buy AK-47 assault weapons, M-16s and other weapons from an FBI informant, authorities said. They appeared in federal court Tuesday in Camden and were ordered held without bail for a hearing Friday. Five were charged with conspiracy to kill U.S. military personnel; the sixth was charged with aiding and abetting illegal immigrants in obtaining weapons. Four of the men were born in the former Yugoslavia, one was born in Jordan and one came from Turkey, authorities said. All had lived in the United States for years. Three were in the United States illegally; two had green cards allowing them to stay in this country permanently; and the sixth is a U.S. citizen. One defendant, Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, spoke of using rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons to kill at least 100 soldiers, according to court documents. “My intent is to hit a heavy concentration of soldiers,” he was quoted as saying. “You hit four, five or six Humvees and light the whole place \ and retreat completely without any losses.” “It doesn’t matter to me whether I get locked up, arrested or get taken away,” another defendant, Serdar Tatar, was alleged to have said. “Or I die, it doesn’t matter. I’m doing it in the name of Allah.” The men trained by playing paintball in the woods in New Jersey and taking target practice at a firing range in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, where they had rented a house, authorities said. They often watched terror training videos, clips featuring Osama bin Laden, a tape containing the last will and testament of some of the Sept. 11 hijackers. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “We had a group that was forming a platoon to take on an army. They identified their target, they did their reconnaissance. They had maps. And they were in the process of buying weapons. Luckily, we were able to stop that.” Authorities said there was no direct evidence connecting the men to any international terror organizations such as al-Qaida. But several of them said they were ready to kill and die “in the name of Allah,” according to court papers. Investigators said they infiltrated the group with two informants well over a year ago and bided their time while they secretly recorded the defendants, four of whom lived in Cherry Hill, a Philadelphia suburb about 20 miles from Fort Dix. “This is what law enforcement is supposed to do in the post-9/11 era – stay one step ahead of those who are attempting to cause harm to innocent American citizens,” U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie said. Weis saluted the unidentified New Jersey store clerk who noticed the suspicious video as the “unsung hero” of the case. “That’s why we’re here today – because of the courage and heroism of that individual,” the FBI agent said. FORT DIX, N.J. – Six foreign-born Muslims were arrested and accused Tuesday of plotting to attack Fort Dix and slaughter scores of U.S. soldiers – a scheme the FBI says was foiled when the men asked a store clerk to copy a video of them firing assault weapons and screaming about jihad. The defendants, all men in their 20s from the former Yugoslavia and the Middle East, include a pizza deliveryman suspected of using his job to scout out the military base. Their goal was “to kill as many American soldiers as possible” with mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and guns, prosecutors said. “Today we dodged a bullet. In fact, when you look at the type of weapons that this group was trying to purchase, we may have dodged a lot of bullets,” said FBI agent J.P. Weis. last_img read more

Transfer Insider: Liverpool step up keeper search, Toon target French ace and one in, one out at Arsenal?

first_img Yaya Sanogo There are now just three weeks remaining in the January transfer window, and the speculation is ever increasing. Reports, rumour and counter-rumour, the grapevine is buzzing with the latest transfer talk. And here, Jamie Sanderson offers his expert view on the deals that might be done…Yaya Sanogo – Arsenal to Crystal PalaceThere has been plenty of interest in the France Under-21 international forward, with offers from both his home country and Germany, but it looks likely he will be staying in England. It appeared as though Hull was his most likely destination, but it now seems new Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew will win the race to take him on loan. He’s keen to get the deal done, and Sanogo is happy with the switch. (Chances of it happening: 9/10)M’baye Niang – AC Milan to NewcastleNewcastle are desperate to land Niang, who has struggled to make an impact at Milan this season. The 20-year-old has played just a handful of games this term for the San Siro giants but, despite his lack of game time, the Serie A outfit rejected a loan bid from the Toon last week. The Magpies are prepared to offer Davide Santon in a swap to get this one over the line and, providing the Italian is happy with the proposal, that could be enough to get this deal done. (7/10)Norberto Neto – Fiorentina to LiverpoolWith continuing question marks over Simon Mignolet’s long-term future at Anfield, Brendan Rodgers is keen to add more competition for the goalkeeper’s jersey. The Reds want Neto, who has represented Brazil at Under-23 level, but they are not keen on paying out a large fee at this stage because he will be available on a free transfer in the summer. This one is dragging on, and could well continue to do so. (5/10)Jonathan Calleri – Boca Juniors to ArsenalThe 21-year-old Argentine striker has been watched by Arsenal scouts all season and a £7million deal has been mooted, despite his relative lack of experience. But his record of six goals in just 15 appearances for Boca Juniors suggests he could be a canny investment for Arsene Wenger, who has proved in the past he has an eye for untried young strikers (remember Nicolas Anelka?). If this moves happens, however, it’s more likely be in the summer than in this month’s window. (3/10)Lionel Messi – Barcelona to ChelseaThe media was in a frenzy last week after Messi followed a couple of Stamford Bridge stars on Instagram, leading to speculation he could be ready to quit the Nou Camp following reports of disagreements with manager Luis Enrique. In truth, however, the Blues have not given any serious thought to a deal, while the Argentine superstar took the opportunity this weekend to reiterate his commitment to the Catalan cause. (0/10) 1last_img read more

Donegal garden groups to host summer food feasts

first_imgCommunity gardens all over Donegal will be opening their gates this June to host Street Feasts –  events where locals gather to eat great food, celebrate the community and meet new people.The newly formed Donegal Community Garden Network is linking in with the national Street Feast and Local Enterprise Office to promote community gardens in Donegal and showcase the work that goes on behind the scenes and the wonderful local produce they provide to participants. In and around June 11th community gardens all over Donegal are encouraged to open their garden gates and have a feast in the gardens. You can host anything from a small tea party to a full out garden bash encouraging new members into the gardens and helping to put community gardens on the map! From Gortahork to Ardara to Moville and beyond, all community gardens are welcome. If you would like to get your community garden involved all you have to do is register your garden feast with (free packs are available), welcome the public to come along and enjoy the party.Donegal Community Garden Network will also provide promotional material if you contact Joanne at the email below. The network will also put the dates and details of all feasts on their facebook page ‘Donegal Community Garden Network’. “We are hoping all the gardens get on board for this great national event bringing people together and celebrating in style,” a DCGN spokesperson said. “If your community garden cannot host a feast we would encourage you to visit your nearest community gardens feast and give a helping hand to show your support.”“The team at DCGN are looking to help connect people to their local garden group and gardens to the network; they will help plan events, develop new learning activities and advise them on community garden matters.”“The idea is we start to see the community gardens as green spaces where all the community is welcome.”To get involved or find out more contact the network on or 0861789971 for more details.Check out the Facebook group here: Donegal garden groups to host summer food feasts was last modified: May 16th, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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:CommunityDonegal Community Garden Networkeventsfoodstreet feastlast_img read more


first_imgA young man who came to Donegal to complete a pre-marriage course ended up getting drunk and crashing his car.Letterkenny court.Gerard McConville, 24, came to the county with another couple and ended up socialising after a meal on February 2nd last. The young electrician struck the Port Roundabout in Letterkenny before colliding with a chip van.He later failed a breath test.Solicitor Patsy Gallagher said it was an unfortunate incident.Judge Paul Kelly fined McConville of 21 Suffolk Street, Belfast, €300 and disqualified him from driving for 2 years.MAN DOING PRE-MARRIAGE COURSE GOT DRUNK AND THEN CRASHED CAR was last modified: February 20th, 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:GERARD MCCONVILLEJudge Paul KellyLETTERKENNY DISTRCT COURTlast_img read more