Celebrating America’s Independence: Renewed Hope for Liberia

first_imgOn Thursday, July 3, scores of Liberians including President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and other government officials, heads of civil society organizations, business entities, religious institutions as well as envoys of diplomatic missions near Monrovia, international NGOs together with U.S. Ambassador Deborah R. Malac, U.S. Embassy staffs and a host of other U.S. agencies and corporations assembled to commemorate the 238th Anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America.  The Executive Pavilion situated on Broad Street—Monrovia’s bursting street—where the event occurred was a picturesque scene.  Security was stiffened, traffic thoroughly regulated, safety measures put in place, and security guards posted at strategic locations around the vicinity.  Hence, it was a great honor to have been invited.  Due to heavy down pour of rain in the morning hours and being without rainwear let alone transport facilities, I figure out to put my ceremonial clothes alongside laptop carrier bag in a large plastic, and then wore casual dress code and headed for work.  Fortunately, close to the evening time, the raindrop cease.  Indeed, I was thrilled and amazed as I maneuvered to catch a taxicab and patiently sat in dense traffic congestion.  Once on Broad Street, I strolled to the Executive Pavilion and went through security check.  The receptionist presented a token and program souvenir.  As soon as I walked the hall, I met Ambassador Malac and other senior U.S. envoy to Liberia, who greeted and welcomed me.  Of course, I was pleased to listen, learn, and share experiences as well as expand my network.Everyone clustered in a small group conversing with most familiar colleagues while wining and dining.  Hand sanitizers could be seen on each table, probably a preventable measure to the troubling Ebola virus. The hall was beautifully decorated with American flags and scenery of red, white, and blue representing the national colors of the United States of America.  A live band played American music and U.S. Marine displayed their best in a celebratory procession.  United States Ambassador to Liberia took the podium and recounted the long-standing ties between Liberia and the United States.  Ambassador Malac cataloged the most recent U.S. assistance to Liberia and reaffirmed her country’s commitment to working with the government in helping to build a Liberia that is at peace with itself and its neighbors and offers economic opportunities to all of its citizens.  The U.S. envoy was quick to point out that building Liberia is not going to be an easy task, especially in the wake of devastating conflict; however, assured Liberians that it will take unity of effort, a shared vision and a commitment to the common good.   For some who believe that Liberia is doomed, others who hold to the conviction that the country’s resources are being mortgaged, and a handful that attribute the deplorable economic condition to failure of the governance structure; Ambassador Malac stressed: “The wheels of progress cannot turn forward if they are constantly blocked by the stones of pettiness and personal attack whose sole purpose is to prevent things from happening or to preserve a political or personal advantage.”  She asserted that sustained and broad-based development and true economic prosperity happen through sustained commitment and concentrated focus and lots of patience.  In the midst of extreme hardship, appalling educational system, dreadful healthcare, high unemployment, unacceptable inequality and unbearable cost of living; Ambassador Malac cautioned Liberians to help push other Liberians in helping them to succeed in their endeavors.  “This does not mean that there must always be complete agreement on every policy decision-alternative and dissenting views can drive innovative solutions and are a necessary component of a vibrant democracy-but it does require public discourse marked by civility and respect.  We can agree to disagree while continuing to work together in the best interests of the country” the United States Ambassador further noted.President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who spoke on behalf of the Government and people of Liberia, expressed her deepest gratitude to the United States for its enormous contributions in the areas of education, healthcare, security, electricity, and many other developmental initiatives.  The President applauded the contributions of the Peace Corps volunteers and lauded the assistance to the Armed Forces of Liberia in the African-led international support mission in Mali with the deployment of the second platoon.Perhaps, no country the world over has long-standing ties with the United States of America like Liberia.  We are the only country in Africa that was colonized by the American Colonization Society, an institution that repatriated thousands of freed slaves from the United States and also provided leadership for the colony.  It was the United States that appointed colonial agents and other influential decision makers as well as ensured the provision of humanitarian and educational supplies during the earlier formation of the country.Hence, our founding fathers shared many things in common with the United States either through duplication or slight changes.   Liberia’s Declaration of Independence borrows much of its rhetoric from the United States own Declaration.  Moreover, our very first constitution and even other segment of our current constitution are practically replica after the United States.  Our Pledge of Allegiance and almost all of our national symbols depict our relationship with our historic and long-term partner.  Liberia’s capital city was named in honor of James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States and a staunch supporter of the American Colonization Society.  In addition, most of our streets, cities, townships, and many geographic features were named in honor of Americans.  In fact, our flag bears close resemblance to the American flag. And, both countries shared their Independence Day in the same month.Like the United States of America that experienced revolution and bloody Civil War before arriving as a super power after World War II; Liberia, too, had tasted the bitter swill of calamitous strife that ruined every sector of the country. The 14-years intermittent conflict destroyed every sector of the country, most especially the human resource capacity, infrastructural facilities and caused scores of Liberians to be either participants or victims.  However, I am confident and very optimistic that Liberia will rise again, and the future of this country depends on patient, persistent, and perseverant young people who are willing to bridge the gap amidst the odd in remaking and rebuilding Liberia to become better than what it is now and takes its rightful place among the comity of nations.  With barely weeks to Liberia’s Independence Day; Liberians must begin to demonstrate a special affection for their country, nurture a sense of personal identification, and learn to seek the well-being of the country. The people across the great land and those in the Diaspora should now begin to envision a “New Liberia” that is greater than religion confessed, dialect spoken,  county of origin, place of birth or family name.  Liberians have got to understand that the country is bigger than the sum of their individual ambition and greater than the quest for power or wealth.  The young generation of Liberians who constitute over 60 percent of the population, should be taught about the importance of giving back to their communities in whatsoever positive ways.  As a replacement for the US$3 compensation to young people to clean street corners, the Government has got to introduce service learning in the national curriculum at the secondary and tertiary levels.  Then, the amount allotted for stipend could be utilized to reduce tuition, build public library, construct and upgrade laboratory, provide up-to-date textbooks and enhance research activities so as to ensure the publication of more contextualized Liberian own textbooks.Liberians have got to espouse a posture of strategic thinking and do away with politicking and politicizing everything, perpetually criticizing without any industrious venture, badmouthing campaign for little or nothing, and singing everlasting praises to the power that be.  Liberians from all walks of life must put their thinking cap on to cultivate the sense of oneness and love for their country while denouncing violence, self-aggrandizement, corruption, and other vices that have kept the country backward for far too long. This is Liberia’s time to shine and together let us all make it a reality for our generation and prosperity.About the author:  Mr.  Stephen B. Lavalah is an advocate and the Founder & Executive Director of Youth Exploring Solutions (YES), a passionate, voluntary and accredited nonprofit grassroots youth-led development organization.  For more information about our work in Liberia, please visit www.liberiayes.org.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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Defense Counsel Jason Doe Solves:

first_imgIt was a case that many thought had come at the wrong time. The preoccupation of Monrovians was the expulsion of the Ebola Virus that had invaded and ravaging the country and everywhere there were buckets of chlorine for hand-washing to fight the virus. Ebola was now the grim reaper and its victims were increasing by the day.  It was at this period that newspapers reported the robbery and murder of George Dean, a 26-year-old money changer, of Sinkor, a suburb of Monrovia. What gingered interest in the case was the arrest and confession of the alleged murderer as well as the fact that the famous trial lawyer Jason Doe had been hired by the defendant. So when the case opened, despite the Ebola fear in Monrovia, the courtroom was packed with many who were simply there to witness the renowned counselor’s classic cross-examination might put to the test. With a reported confession, many Monrovians felt that this could be the case that the famous Jason Doe could not crack at the preliminary trial. And after two weeks the witness, who many believed, had the trump card to send the defendant to face his doom would be cross-examined by Jason Doe.  Hundreds of spectators besieged seated at the courtroom in a case described by metropolitan newspapers as the ‘Case of the Murdered Money Changer.’  It was in the final moments of the day, and Jason Doe seemed exasperated by the witness’ frustrating tactics.  The lawyer regarded the witness for a moment, and frowned. “Sami Young is your friend?” he said, with a grin.  The witness said, with a mixture of nonchalant, “He was my friend before.”  “Is that yes, or no?”  Shifting his position, the witness responded with apparent lack of affectation.  “Yes.”  “On the 15th of July,” the lawyer attempted a drive for the truth, “You claimed that you met the defendant at a secluded area on Bushrod Island?”  “Yes,” he said, “and to be precise, it was near the St. Paul’s Bridge.” “You testified that the defendant told you that he had a plan to get free money?”  “Yes.”  “What was your response?”  “I did not think it was any wrong way to get money,” the witness said, “and therefore I was prepared to go along.” “Until when did you begin to have second thoughts?” “Until I learned that he was using the Ebola situation to steal money.” “But U$5,000.00 was found in your room?” “It was planted there by someone.” “Who was that someone?” “I wish I know.” “Is that your answer?” “I can definitely say that it was the defendant.”  “How did you know that since you are unable to give account of the U$5000.00 found concealed in your house?”  Suddenly, the prosecutor was on his feet.  “Your Honor,” Prosecutor Gilbert Solo said, “Counsel is trying to undermine the witness’ confidence as to how the money got to his room.  “Counsel’s intent is to weaken the witness resolution to stick to the truth and as a result he would extract dubious information from him.” Judge Sackor turned her slightly bulging eyes back to the prosecutor.  “How is that true?”  “Counsel’s questions are too personal and I think he is being too dogmatic and unrealistic,” the prosecutor said.  The judge lowered her head and stared at the prosecutor over her glasses and said, “Should the court understand that the defense should not elicit information regarding how the money got to the witness’ apartment?”  “Not exactly, Your Honor,” Solo said, “but under the present circumstances and in such an intense cross-examination, counsel is being unfair.”  The judge said conversationally, “The Court is on top of the situation and therefore I stipulate that the defense will continue the cross-examination of the witness.”  “Thanks Your Honor,” the prosecutor said, bowing his head, as a bitter smile wedged at the corner of his mouth, for the blow resulting from the judge’s rebuke was not lost on the spectators, as a low but brief murmur of disapproval swept across the room.   With a triumphant sneer of victory, Jason Doe pushed forward.   “How did you know that the money was planted in your room, since you testified that you did not go along with the plan?” “Since he wanted me to be the fall guy, he apparently did that to implicate me.”  “Robert Joe,” Jason Doe said, with a noticeable anger in his voice, “Why would he connect you in particular? Why was it that when police officers bumped into the money after a tip off, you claimed that the U$5000.00 came from your sister in the United States?” “Yes.” “Was the money from your sister?” “The police did not let me tell the story my own way.”   Judge Elizabeth Sackor relaxed her tense posture.   “Witness cannot eat his cake and have it and the Court is concerned with the witness’ apparent lack of what is going on in this courtroom and he must therefore not evade questions from the defense.”  Jason Doe then relaxed, and sweeping his eyes across the spectators, repeated the question.  “Was the money from your sister?” Fidgeting with his hands, the witness answered, “No.” “Where did the money come from?” “It was apparently planted by someone and the only person I can think of is the defendant.” “Why will he do that? Have you had a previous misunderstanding on anything?””Not really,” he said, “but these days Liberia is hard and people can do anything. May be he is envious of me.” “How long have you known the defendant?””I have seen him around, counselor, and nowadays people are doing all kinds of wicked deeds against people they don’t even know.””Ok,” the lawyer considered his answer, “how does that fit in with the defendant, since in your own words, you have seen him around, suggesting that you don’t know each other. So where was the money found by the police?” “In my room.”  Jason Doe’s face expressed some amusement at the witness’ answer and then said, “The police found the money in your room, did they not?””Yes,” the witness said, putting his bandaged right hand behind his back, “if that is what you are asking.” Jason Doe smiled but it was Judge Sackor who reacted.”You want the court to believe that the defendant who was not found with any incriminating evidence was the brain behind the robbery and eventual murder of the money changer?”  The witness showed an apparent misunderstanding of the question and stared at the judge in the face. Realizing his lack of response Jason Doe strolled to the defense table and after examining through some papers, returned to the witness.  “Mr. Joe,” he said, “what happened to your bandaged right hand? Is not correct that you sustained an injury during the attack on the victim, as you masterminded the entire episode?  “Is it also not true that you have made several requests to the decedent to borrow an amount of money like the one found hidden in your room?” The two questions were apparently unexpected and suddenly, beads of perspiration began to form on forehead. With his right bandaged hand still concealed behind him, he lifted his left hand and began to mop his face with the edge of his shirt’s sleeves.  Sensing the situation, the clerk rushed to him with a bunch of paper towels, and for the next couple of minutes the courtroom waited in suspense as the witness struggled to get the increasing amount of sweat off his face without success. Judge Sackor decided to announce for ten minutes recess and invited both counsels to her chambers.  WHEN court resumed ten minutes later, Judge Sackor took over proceedings and summarized the conclusion of the case.  “The defense has shown that the witness knows more about the circumstances of the murder of the money changer than the man who is currently being accused.  “The apparent motive to the murder unfortunately was because the decedent was unprotected in his money changing business.  “It suggests to me that the practice of placing huge amount of money in various currencies in boots for exchange in the full glare of the general public needs to be discouraged.”  After brief hesitation, the judge continued, “The tragic consequence of the death of the money changer could be identified on the fact that the witness and some of his accomplices apparently chose to murder him simply to take away the money that he sat behind.  “In the wake of the foregoing, the Court is convinced that there is no probable case against the defendant in this case and he is therefore ordered released and the witness held for further investigation and subsequent trial.”  THIRTY minutes later they assembled at criminal lawyer Jason Doe’s Benson Street private office, where former defendant Sami Young, the lawyer, his private secretary Janet Lovebird and a retired police officer, George Jebor examined the circumstances of the case, after each had washed their hands with chlorine water, at the entrance of the lawyer’s office.  “Jason,” the retired officer said, “how did you know that the witness was the mastermind of the entire episode?”   The lawyer grinned.  “From the beginning of the case I was looking at the fact that my client had apparently joined the party to murder the victim for quick money.  “It was only when the witness said someone might have planted the money into his room that I realized I was not making use of his own admission.”  “But,” Janet Lovebird said, “was he really part of the murder party?”  Smiling, the lawyer replied, “Absolutely and he was in fact the man responsible for the murder and it was the reason he sustained a heavy cut to his right hand.  “Please remember that the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare announced that the current Ebola presence in the country has, among its symptoms, vomiting, and so what really happened was that the witness led his party to the venue where the decedent did his money exchange business around 5:30p.m on the fateful day.  “Due to an early afternoon rainfall many of the businesses in the area had packed for home leaving the decedent and few others, scattered about.   “When the party arrived the witness informed the victim that he wanted to change U$20, the money he did not even have on him, then all of a sudden the witness began to tremble, and began to vomit, after he had inserted his fingers into his own mouth.  “Afraid of the Ebola vomiting syndrome, the victim jumped up running and it was then that the witness and his party broke into the booth and they were making away with the money when the victim realized what was going on and chased after them.  “The victim was struck over the head and stabbed at least three times on his chest but in the melee, he struck the witness right hand with a club nearby.”  “What a dangerous way to steal money,” the retired officer said. “How did your client come to be part in the whole episode?”   The lawyer, smiling said, “That was the clever part.  “Two weeks after the incident, police intensified their investigations and someone somehow hinted them that the witness could be questioned.  “The reason was that he had, before the robbery, sort the help of a couple of people who refused to participate in his deal, so the day after the police talked to him, he visited my client, and explained a phony story about his sister sending him money from the United States.  “He had done that with a promise to offer my client U$5,000.00 but it was only when the death of the victim was announced that my client saw how dangerously close he had come to become part of such a dangerous plot.”  Janet said, “That was too dangerous.”  Smiling, Sami said, “It was foolish of me to have agreed to help him but I am thankful to God first and to Counselor Doe my innocence is proving.  “I never thought that some friends can be so dangerous, but now that I know it gives me a sense of preparedness to be more wary of such people in the future.”  The group burst out laughing, as Sami stood up and grabbed Counselor Doe’s hand and pumped it repeatedly. The evening weather felt cold and pleasant. A few scattered white tufts of cloud wandered across the blue sky.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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Industries shift course, ask for rules

first_img“I am worried about industry lobbyists bearing gifts,” said Edmund Mierzwinski, consumer program director at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group in Washington. “I don’t trust them. Their ultimate goal is regulation that protects them, not the public.” Susan E. Dudley, the head of the White House Office of Management and Budget division that oversees administration regulatory policy, said she was not sure if the number of requests for federal regulations from industry groups was rising. The administration must evaluate each of these proposals, she said, “to understand the full consequences of regulations on all citizens.” But industry officials, consumer groups and regulatory experts all agree there has been a recent surge of requests for new regulations, and one reason they give is the Bush administration’s willingness to include provisions that would block consumer lawsuits in state and federal courts. Such pre-emption clauses were included, for example, in a drug label rule issued by the Food and Drug Administration in 2006 and in a new fire-prevention standard for mattresses imposed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in July, said David C. Vladeck, a professor at the Georgetown University Law Center. The pre-emptions bar consumers from filing liability claims in courts and supersedes any tougher state regulations, extremely valuable protections for a major manufacturer, Vladeck said. “This is Christmas,” he said of industry, “this is their wish list.” A number of businesses are seeking such pre-emptions, though the clauses are being challenged in many courts. Concerns about competition have led to other proposals. As imports from China have grown in recent years, low-priced Chinese products that do not meet voluntary industry standards have motivated a number of trade groups to seek new safety mandates.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – After years of favoring the hands-off doctrine of the Bush administration, some of the nation’s biggest industries are pushing for something they have long resisted: new federal regulations. For toys and cars, antifreeze and fireworks, popcorn and produce and cigarettes and light bulbs, among other products, industry groups or major manufacturers are calling for additional federal health, safety and environmental mandates. Some of those industries are abandoning years of efforts to block such measures, often in alliance with the Bush administration, which pledged to ease what it views as costly, unnecessary rules. The consequences for consumers, though, are not yet clear. The tactical shift by some industry groups is motivated by a confluence of self-interests: growing competition from inexpensive imports that do not meet voluntary standards, and a desire to head off liability lawsuits and pre-empt tough state laws or legal actions that were a response to laissez-faire Bush administration policies. Concerns that Democrats could soon expand their control in Washington has also prompted manufacturers or producers to seek regulations that they consider the least burdensome, regulatory experts say. “There seems to be, at the moment, a fair amount of efforts under way by individual industries to put into statute what had either previously been voluntary consensus standards or industry goals,” said Rosario Palmieri, a regulatory lobbyist at the National Association of Manufacturers, which has often opposed government regulations. “This year, we have seen quite a bit of it.” Rick Melberth, director of regulatory policy at OMB Watch, a Washington group that tracks federal regulatory actions, agreed. “I have never before seen so many industries joining a push for regulation,” Melberth said. “What we need to watch closely is if this will achieve a real increase in standards and public protections or simply serve corporate interests.” Some industries and consumer groups are aligned in seeking the same regulations, though perhaps for different reasons. “It’s definitely a strange bedfellow situation,” said Sarah Klein, a lawyer at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which is seeking, along with grocery stores and produce growers, new requirements to prevent food-borne illnesses. “The voluntary system is not working from a food-safety perspective, and it’s creating real problems for the industry.” Other industries, though, are endorsing mandated government standards that fall well short of what consumer advocates want or what tougher state rules require. Trade groups representing makers of antifreeze, upholstered furniture and all-terrain vehicles, for example, had long opposed federal regulations, but they are now pushing the Bush administration for rules that consumer advocates say inadequately address safety or environmental concerns. last_img read more

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18 footballers who look like movie stars

first_img 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 Olivier Giroud is a cool guy – just ask him – and once compared himself to actor Errol Flynn, the legendary Hollywood swashbuckler famous for playing Robin Hood.So here, talkSPORT looks at the Arsenal striker as well as 17 other footballers and their movie star lookalikes.Click the yellow arrow, above, right to see the photos and keep an eye out for part II, which you will be able to see on the talkSPORT YouTube channel.Let us know if there are any players we have left out who you think resemble someone famous. 18last_img read more

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Chelsea vs Cardiff: TV channel, live stream, kick-off time and team news

first_imgChelsea couldn’t have asked for a better start to the Premier League season.Four wins from four sees them keeping pace with Liverpool at the top – and they next welcome newly-promoted Cardiff to Stamford Bridge. Getty impact Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures Every Championship club’s best signing of the decade, including Taarabt and Dack Best clips, calls and talkSPORT moments of 2019, feat Hearn, McCoist and more silverware possible standings smart causal Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade What is the team news?Eden Hazard looks to have hit top gear for club and country and looks set to keep Willian out the side.Cesc Fabregas is the only injury worry for the Chelsea boss, but he has a settled midfield three and Ross Barkley ready to step in if needed.Cardiff are sweating on the fitness of both Aron Gunnarsson and Josh Murphy. MONEY FOOTBALL LATEST Sarri’s side have won all four Premier League games England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won highlights It’s been a tough start for the Bluebirds, who despite keeping two three clean-sheets already have just two points to show from it.They showed that they can give the big-boys a run for their money though when pushing Arsenal all the way before the international break.What time is kick-off?This Premier League clash is set for Saturday, September 15.Kick-off at the Bridge is at 3pm.It’s five years since Cardiff last visited this ground, when they returned to South Wales on the back of a 4-1 defeat.Which TV channel is it on?Unfortunately this one isn’t going to be broadcast live in the UK.You can tune into talkSPORT throughout the afternoon and get instant goal updates as they happen. 1last_img read more

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DDTV: DONEGAL COUPLE’S INCREDIBLE WEDDING RECEPTION ENTRANCE

first_imgGrainne Doherty became Mrs Corry after marrying the love of her life Jamie at the weekend…But their incredible entrance into their reception at the Silver Tassie Hotel has been the talk of the parish since.Luckily wedding photographer Paul Doherty was on hand to catch it all on video. Click play to watch…  DDTV: DONEGAL COUPLE’S INCREDIBLE WEDDING RECEPTION ENTRANCE was last modified: July 21st, 2014 by John2Share 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:Grainne DohertyJamie Corrypaul dohertyphotograherlast_img read more

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Fresh Blood keys win

first_img Blood completed 6 of 10 passes for 140 yards in the second quarter, including TD tosses of 41 yards to Kenny Sjogren and 25 yards to Brett Gauthier. Bellflower’s Jeremy Avery rushed 16 times for 108 yards in the first half but couldn’t get into the end zone, and Arturo Guizar’s 37- yard field goal in between La Mirada’s touchdowns made it 14-3 at halftime. LA MIRADA — Quarterback Trever Blood came off the bench to lead La Mirada High school to a pair of second-quarter touchdowns and the Matadores went on to defeat visiting Bellflower High, 21-14 in their Suburban League football game Friday night. La Miradqa improved to 2-0 in league and 3-2 overall. Bellflower slipped to 1-1 and 3-2. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Blood, who usually alternates quarters with starter Tony Minero, finished the game, and although he struggled with three completions in eight attempts in the second half, he rushed 11 times for 59 yards, including a 36-yard scoring run on a sweep the featured Eddie Martinez’s downfield block that cleared the last defender at the 15. Blood’s ground game also took time off the clock to help preserve the victory. Blood finished with 92 yards on 19 trips and was 9 of 18 for 170 yards passing. Avery never got untracked in the second half as linebacker Tyler Halstead keyed the Matadores defense, which held the Buccaneers to just 39 yards rushing in 10 second-half rushes. Bellflower quarterback Reggie Williams combined with Marquis Quinn for a 19-yard scoring pass in the third quarter, and Guizar added a 36-yard field goal in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. center_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Proline FC coach Bisaso off to Sweden

first_imgShafick Bisaso led Proline to a league and cup double last season. (PHOTO/File)LUGOGO – Proline FC had a 2018/19 season to remember.Having been relegated from the top tier the season before, the Lugogo based won a league and cup double in their best ever season in their existence.Under the guidance of Shafick Bisaso, they won the Big League and Uganda cup after finals’ victories over Wakiso Giants and Bright Stars respectively.For the first time in history, Proline FC had stood out and indeed got to be counted.With their maiden Uganda Cup triumph, they qualified to represent Uganda at the 2019/20 CAF Confederations Cup and at least feature in the qualification rounds before reaching the groups.To get into the group stages, they have to negotiate past two two-legged rounds, one of which they have halfway gone past after a 3-0 home win against Malawi’s Master Securities last Saturday.However, with the team on course of reaching the final round of qualification, it has been revealed that they will temporarily part ways with Bisaso.Bisaso joined Proline last in 2018 after his contract with Express FC had been terminated by mutual consent.According to a statement released by Proline on Wednesday evening, Bisaso who oversaw a Super 8 loss to URA FC on the same day, is set to further his coaching education in Sweden and will leave his duties with immediate effect.“This is to inform the public that our team manager, Shafick Bisaso will be leaving for further studies to upgrade his coaching level. This is a program that was arranged for him and funded by the club a few months ago but has come to fruition now.” Read part of the statement.Bisaso is understood to be going away for a year-long coaching course at Skelletea ff which is based in Sweden.He is not the first Ugandan to go away for such a course. As recently as last year, Moses Basena and Fred Kajoba did the same, going to the United States of America.It may be a good move for Bisaso, one that may benefit him immensely in the long run but so many question remain unanswered in regards to how Proline deal with his departure.Bisaso is one of the few coaches in the country best known for their possession based-attacking brand of football, a style that he has enforced at Proline and in the short run, bared fruits.With the team having their best spell in history, he now departs.The questions that linger on everyone one’s mind now are; who comes in? Will whoever who comes in continue playing the beautiful brand of football that has made the football fraternity fall in love with Proline FC? Will Proline stay at the level of competitiveness that Bisaso has set in his one year at the club?All those question can not be answered right now but like the saying goes, only time will tell.Comments Tags: CAF Confederations CupMasters Security FCproline fcShafick BisasotopUganda Cuplast_img read more

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Springboks, England draw final test

first_img25 June 2012After a 14-14 draw with England in Port Elizabeth on Saturday evening, the Springboks remain undefeated under coach Heynecke Meyer, but they were the less satisfied of the two teams following a sub-standard performance.Neither coach was happy with the outcome. After the game, Meyer termed his team’s performance “unacceptable”, while England’s Stuart Lancaster called the result “frustrating”.Meyer’s unhappiness was further underlined when he added: “Today was a step backwards.”Springbok captain Jean de Villiers commented: “We won the series 2-0 and we are satisfied with that, but I think they got better as the series progressed and I guess we got a little worse towards the end.”South Africa could have won had Morne Steyn’s kicking slump not continued, but that would have been unfair to the English, who delivered a committed and physical performance. By the same token, it was not worthy of a victory either.Wet conditionsThe wet conditions were not conducive to an open contest, and with ball in hand the match was played mostly around the fringes of the set pieces and rucks, while both sides made liberal use of the boot too.England excelled on close-in defence and the Springboks aided the tourists by seldom testing them out wide with backline runners instead of forwards driving the ball up.Having said that, the most controversial choice for the South African team, centre Wynand Olivier (playing in place of Frans Steyn who was getting married), proved to be the best of the South African backs. He found gaps on attack and made good ground, while on defence he neutralised English battering ram Manu Tuilagi.Up front, the set pieces were very even. The Springboks shaded the possession stakes and did put the English under some pressure with their driving play, a fact that was underlined by the sin-binning of captain Dylan Hartley for deliberately slowing the ball down.It could just as easily have been prop Dan Cole who received a yellow card after he was blown up at least three times for clumsy infringements at rucks by referee Steve Walsh.ControlBehind the pack, scrumhalf Francois Hougaard and flyhalf Morne Steyn failed to provide the control the Boks were seeking. Hougaard’s service tended to be a little slow, as he tends to take too many steps before passing, while Steyn’s kicking game was off all-round. He also tended to take the ball too deep behind the forwards when on the attack.That was one of the reasons why fullback Alex Goode was one of England’s most impressive players, but give credit where credit is due, he had to make the plays after fielding the kicks.Scrumhalf Danny Care provided good service and was a constant threat on attack. He was rewarded with England’s only try of the game after taking a quick tap and powering through some poor South African defence.The three men who came into the South African team did a satisfactory job. At the back, Gio Aplon delivered a wholehearted performance and showed a willingness to mix it up with the big boys. Olivier, as already mentioned, was good, while Jacques Potgieter on the flank was solid. However, he could not provide the physical dominance of the injured Willem Alberts, whose power was missed.Marcell Coetzee, on the opposite flank, was the pick of the South African forwards, with his work rate unrivalled.VociferousA vociferous Port Elizabeth crowd provided superb support for the home team as the contest kicked off, but it was England who went ahead early on.Flank Marcell Coetzee was penalised for not rolling away at a ruck and England flyhalf Toby Flood knocked over an easy kick to give his team a 3-0 advantage.A couple of minutes later Bismarck du Plessis gave away a penalty when he fielded a ball in an offside position after Gio Aplon had spilt a high-up-and-under in one of his few missteps of the evening. Flood, who had been hurt in a tackle, again took a kick at goal, but was wide with his effort.Good following up on kick by Bryan Habana put the English under pressure and led to them going offside as they scrambled to defend. Steyn took a shot at goal and landed it to level the contest at 3-3.After a charge-down by England lock Tom Palmer, South Africa were forced onto the defensive in their own 22.England tryThe play moved to the left where referee Walsh blew for an earlier offside on the right of the field. Scrumhalf Care reached the mark quickly and took a quick tap. Spotting a small gap, he accelerated, put his head down low and ploughed over for a try.Flood missed the conversion, leaving England 8-3 ahead.It didn’t take long for South Africa to reply with a penalty. With the Boks on attack, England were blown up for not rolling away at a ruck and Steyn slotted the kick to make it 8-6 in England’s favour.A minute later, England flyhalf Flood left the field with an injury and was replaced by Owen Farrell.In the 22nd minute, the home team had an opportunity to take the lead when the English were once more pinged for not rolling away at ruck time. Steyn was off target this time and the tourists remained in front.Aplon, the smallest man on the field, then turned over possession among the big forwards after making a strong tackle on scrumhalf Care. South Africa had good ball to attack with, but England once again slowed down the release of the ball and referee Walsh gave captain Dylan Hartley a warning.South African leadSteyn made them pay with his third penalty of the match, moving South Africa into a 9-8 lead.The final 10 minutes of the half saw the home team on the offensive, but England’s committed and powerful tackling stifled De Villiers and company’s attacking intent.South Africa managed to get within five metres of the English try line, but a good tackle on lock Eben Etzebeth dislodged the ball and stopped a dangerous attack.Three minutes into the second half, the Springboks created a little space on the right flank, but winger Ben Foden made an important stop on eighthman Pierre Spies, who would have been away had it not been for the good tackle.England then moved into the lead with a Farrell penalty from inside the South African 22.England aheadHe started the penalty-winning movement with a pin-perfect high-up-and-under, which landed just outside the 22. Aplon bravely fielded the kick, but was drilled by Chris Ashton sprinting full tilt down the field. The big hit made it hard for the fullback to release the ball without conceding possession and he was blown up for holding onto it.Steyn had a chance to restore the lead to South Africa shortly after that, but his kick at the posts was off line.Referee Walsh’s patience with England’s slowing down of the ball at ruck time was finally tested too much by Hartley and he was sinbinned in the 51st minute. The Springboks, though, struggled to make the opposition pay.Springbok tryIn the 62nd minute, South Africa finally broke through the English defences to score what would be their only try of the match. The forwards set it up with some strong surges at the try line and Ruan Pienaar, on for Hougaard at scrumhalf, set JP Pietersen loose with a nice pass that outflanked the defensive line and allowed the winger through for an easy score.Steyn’s conversion passed just left of the uprights, but South Africa led 14-11.Eight minutes from time, England drew level when Farrell landed a penalty after the Boks had strayed offsides during a period sustained English attack.Steyn attempted a drop kick, but his kicking game had gone well and truly south, and so, too, did his kick, off to the right of the posts.The game came to its conclusion with England stringing together almost 20 phases of play. The Springboks defended manfully, refusing to give away a penalty nor much ground.Eventually flyhalf Farrell attempted a drop goal from just inside the South African 10-metre line, but his effort resembled a grubber more than a drop and the final whistle sounded with the teams playing to their first draw since their first clash way back in 1906.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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