Indianapolis, In. — Governor Eric Holcomb, Lt. governor Suzanne Crouch, secretary of state Connie Lawson, house speaker Brian Bosma and senate president pro tem David long are among top Indiana Republicans calling on attorney general Curtis Hill to resign. Hill has been accused by four women, including staff members, of groping.Hill has denied the claims made by the women about the events that occurred in May of 2018 and has refused to resign.Some lawmakers have not defended Hill, but have questioned the investigation. Some experts say the allegations are contained in a memo and not presented in an investigative form.-0-
The Gunners go into FA Cup fourth-round weekend a point ahead of Manchester City and two clear of Chelsea following their 2-0 win over Fulham. Much as they had done with their victory over Cardiff on New Year’s Day, Arsene Wenger’s men eventually wore down the Cottagers before finally making a breakthrough just before the hour. “It is down to us to stay there, stay focused and stay united, keep fighting for each other, stay consistent and humble like in the first six months (of the season), and maybe it will be our year and we will win it.” Wenger, who could be set to shortly confirm he will extend his contract past the end of the season, has challenged his side to concentrate on themselves rather than what City or Chelsea might do over the final 16 games. “At the moment we go through a period where it is always like that, in January, February, this is the period where you just want to be consistent and focus on yourself,” Wenger said on Arsenal Player. “Then March, April is always [the time] to deal with the nerves.” Santi Cazorla struck a quick-fire brace to sink Fulham. The Spain international on Monday apologised after being photographed holding a placard that insulted north London rivals Tottenham, which was posted on Twitter. Wenger feels Cazorla brings something special to his side’s creative options and the midfielder hopes to continue his development. “I am doing well at the moment,” Cazorla said. “In the last few games I have been getting better physically and my confidence has been growing. “I hope this continues from now until the end of the season.” Cazorla added on the club’s official website: “I had a bit of a bad time with my ankle problems and missed a few games, but I hope to put that behind me and get back to my best in order to help the team to achieve as much as possible.” Arsenal are looking to bring in some offensive additions to offset the loss of England forward Theo Walcott to a serious knee injury. Juventus’ Mirko Vucinic is one target, but Wenger was more keen on a loan deal than a permanent £10million switch for the 30-year-old Montenegro striker, who is also interesting Inter Milan. However, with Nicklas Bendtner and Yaya Sanogo both closing in on a return to full fitness, the Gunners boss could well elect to go with what he has, which also includes German Lukas Podolski, who was unfortunate not to score when coming off the bench against Fulham. Defender Laurent Koscielny believes Barclays Premier League leaders Arsenal have now developed the mental toughness needed to work their way to the title if necessary. Press Association Koscielny admits Arsenal cannot always be at their high-tempo, quick-passing best, but insists they have found a way to dig in and get the required result. “We can’t play 100 per cent all the time in the way we play, so there will be some moments in some games where we lack quality, where it will be more difficult, where it won’t be pretty football, but we stay strong, we graft and we never give up.” Koscielny said in the March edition of the official Arsenal magazine. The France international continued: “Mentally we are stronger than ever. We have won some games this season that we would never have won last season. “It [the spirit] was always there, but more perhaps towards the end of the season. “We can feel this season there is something special in the squad. We have all understood that we can achieve something together.” Koscielny, who has developed a strong partnership at the heart of the Arsenal defence alongside Per Mertesacker, feels the “pressure is on” rivals City and Chelsea to deliver the championship because of their massive spending. However, the 28-year-old is confident Arsenal can compensate with a strong team ethic. “We are where we want to be,” he said.
An optimistic Sebastian Vettel insists there’s still a “long way to go” in the title race despite Ferrari’s failure to win a grand prix in 2016.Vettel is third in the Drivers’ Championship following the European Grand Prix, 45 points behind leader Nico Rosberg, while his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen is fourth, a further 15 points back. In the Constructors’ Championship Ferrari are 81 points behind leaders Mercedes. Vettel finished second in Baku, his fifth podium of the season, but so far the only team other than Mercedes to win a race this year have been Red Bull.And speaking to Sky Sports in Italy, Vettel said: “We are not even in the middle of the season, there’s still a long way to go.“I think we had a rough start, not ideal, but nevertheless we have found ourselves in a strong position. We know that this year’s car is a step up.“Obviously we still have a long way to go but I’m a big believer and I know this team can do many things, great things.“The way we have to tackle it is go step by step, not getting distracted too much by what people expect from the outside and what it might look like if you look at the points right now.“All that matters is to look at the points table one time a year and that’s at the very end.”The big talking point of the weekend in Azerbaijan was the problems that both Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton had with the lack of information they were able to receive over team radio.Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene thinks the rules should be changed, to allow drivers to receive help from the pit wall when technical issues arise.Meanwhile, Vettel has also been keeping an eye on Euro 2016: “I was hoping to see an Italy versus Germany final, even though that won’t be possible because of the way the table worked out.“But I’ll be cheering for whichever of the two gets furthest.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
And to borrow another NHL idea, let’s do a fastest-runner competition. One sprint around the bases per runner, timed. Fastest time wins.We could have the batter bunt, and time starts when the bat makes contact with the ball. Or we could just have the runner start at home plate and go from there, without the charade of a bunt/fake swing. Either way, this would be a quick, fun event limited to only players who earned All-Star status (sorry, Billy Hamilton). MORE: 30 teams, 30 grades: Ranking every team’s offseasonMLB should take note. We have ideas for the whole three-day All-Star event, but we’re especially excited about our proposal for how to maintain interest throughout all nine innings of MLB’s All-Star game. Let’s jump in, shall we? New All-Star Game formatIt’s an exhibition, and we’re finally past the ludicrous idea that the result should matter (hallelujah, btw). So let’s have fun with the setup of the game. The NHL has completely abandoned the idea of having its All-Star Game resemble a regular-season hockey contest — it’s a 3-on-3 tournament — and obviously the NBA is doing, essentially, the same thing. So here’s the idea for MLB’s Midsummer Classic: Let’s break the nine-inning game into three-inning segments and pit the divisions against each other. So, for example, the first three innings are AL East All-Stars against the NL East All-Stars, then the Central players face each other for innings 4-5-6 and the West stars go toe to toe for the final three frames. How much fun would that be? The scores from each three-inning segment would carry over, so it would still be the AL vs. the NL for the overall game. But if, for example, the AL East and Central build a 5-2 lead on the NL East and Central, but then the AL West blows the lead and the NL West comes back? That’s division shame — and division glory. Fans would love that. This format would also ensure that the big stars are spread out through the game. As the contest unfolds now, the voted-on starters are gone by the sixth inning, and it’s the reserves who get the “important” at-bats in the late innings. Imagine the AL West throwing out Jose Altuve, Matt Chapman and Mike Trout to lead off the seventh inning instead of Whit Merrifield, Carlos Santana and Daniel Vogelbach (the three seventh-inning batters for the AL in the 2019 All-Star Game). No disrespect to those three, of course, but replenishing the star power every few innings keeps the interest high. And if it’s tied after nine innings? Reset everything, and the managers can put any players they want out there — any batting order, any defensive alignment. There would have to be pitchers designated as extra-inning only guys, because you can’t ask a pitcher who threw the third inning to come back in the 10th. But that’s not really different than the setup now. The format for choosing the All-Stars could remain, essentially, the same. Fans can still vote for players at each position; even though they might not play the first inning of the game, depending on their division, they’d still be guaranteed a spot. Each team would still get at least one representative, and the reserves and pitchers are still chosen the same way. And there’s nothing wrong with expanding the rosters to make sure no deserving players are left off because of division requirements. And the division order could be set in a couple of different ways: MLB could rotate the division order every year, the previous year’s World Series-winning manager could set the order or the order could be set by the deserving starting pitcher in the league that won the previous year’s World Series (for example, if Trevor Bauer is the NL’s best pitcher in the first half of the year and Nats skipper Davey Martinez chooses him, the Central would go first in 2020).Skills contestsI was in the arena for the NHL Skills competition last week, and I was entertained by the idea, even if the execution of the events was a little bit lacking (but that’s a different story). MLB already has the Home Run Derby, and that shouldn’t go away. The timed rounds were an excellent addition to the format, but maybe tighten the event a little bit to allow for another competition or two. MLB could take a page from the NHL for one of those events; the NHL has, basically, two accuracy competitions — the actual accuracy event, and the shootout event that was added this year. Instead of only celebrating the power, let’s celebrate the players who can, as long-ago Hall of Famer Wee Willie Keeler famously said, “hit ’em where they ain’t.”Let’s set up six targets (big nets, essentially) around the field, four in the outfield — one down each line, one in each power alley — and two in the infield, one on the left side and one on the right side. Each player gets three swings at each target, and the player who gets the most baseballs in the nets wins. No tournament format, just 18 swings per player. And want to really keep it enjoyable? Put Ichiro — the best bat-control hitter of the past few decades — in the competition for as long as he wants to compete. Seriously, just straight-up steal this exact format for a bunt contest. It’s perfect. The NBA unveiled its new All-Star Game format on Sunday, and it was a rousing success. For the first time in, well, ever, fans were glued to their TV sets after halftime, and everyone — players included — cared how the contest would end.It was, to be honest, pretty thrilling (except the whole ending-on-a-free throw thing, which is an easy fix for next year). And it shows what a new and novel approach to an exhibition of the sport’s best players can and should be — thoroughly entertaining.
– ‘Not memory tests’ –Fudge had told USADA the previous day that Farah had been injected.Farah then returned to the investigators and said: “So I just wanted to come clear, sorry guys, and I did take it at the time and I thought I didn’t.”He is asked: “So you received L-carnitine… before the London marathon?”Farah answers: “Yeah.”He adds: “There was a lot of talk before… and Alberto’s always thinking about ‘What’s the best thing?’ ‘What’s the best thing?’”The USADA investigator then said: “A few days before the race… with… Alberto present and your doctor (Dr Robin Chakraverty, then UKA’s chief medical officer) and Barry Fudge and you’re telling us all about that now but you didn’t remember any of that when I… kept asking you about this?”Farah responds: “It all comes back for me, but at the time I didn’t remember.”Farah — who will bid for a third 10,000 metres Olympic title later this year in Japan having abandoned his experiment to switch to the marathon — declined to comment to the BBC but his lawyers issued a letter.“Interviews are not memory tests,” they wrote. “Mr Farah understood the question one way and as soon as he left the room he asked Mr Fudge and immediately returned… to clarify and it is plain the investigators were comfortable with this explanation.”Fudge apparently did not disclose he had gone to Switzerland to collect the product.Chakraverty said the decision to go ahead with the injection two days before the race had been a joint one with Fudge.There is no evidence any rules were broken in the way the substance was administered.Some research suggests that L-carnitine, if injected straight into the bloodstream, can help speed metabolism and boost athletic performance.Share on: WhatsApp FILE PHOTO: Mo FarahLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Mo Farah repeatedly denied to the United States Anti-Doping Agency taking a legal supplement prior to the 2014 London Marathon, before changing his account once he learned the doctor who injected him had told the investigators he had taken it, the BBC reported on Monday.The four-time Olympic champion had been asked by USADA whether he had been injected with L-carnitine, a naturally occurring amino acid, as part of its investigation into his former coach Alberto Salazar.The supplement had been obtained through a contact of Salazar’s in Switzerland.As a result of the overall investigation, Salazar has been banned from athletics for four years over doping violations.Two of Salazar’s violations relate to using a banned method to administer an infusion of L-carnitine.The US coach, who is appealing against his ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, led the Nike Oregon Project training group, where Farah was a star name from 2011-2017.According to the BBC, Farah — who finished eighth in what was his first London Marathon in 2014 — was questioned by USADA officials investigating Salazar for nearly five hours a year after the injections took place.in a transcript of the interview seen by the BBC, Farah repeatedly denied he had been injected.“If someone said that you were taking L-carnitine injections, are they not telling the truth?” asked a USADA investigator.Farah replied: “Definitely not telling the truth, 100 percent. I’ve never taken L-carnitine injections at all.”He is then asked: “Are you sure that Alberto Salazar hasn’t recommended that you take L-carnitine injections?”Farah responds: “No, I’ve never taken L-carnitine injections.”He is asked again: “You’re absolutely sure that you didn’t have a doctor put a butterfly needle… into your arm… and inject L-carnitine a few days before the London marathon?”Farah says: “No. No chance.”He then left the room but returned soon afterwards with a different account, apparently after speaking with UK Athletics (UKA) head of distance running Barry Fudge.
BILL NEAL :10 Remembering “Giss”…Darryl Gissendanner by now you are fully aware of the passing of Darryl Gissendanner one of the area’s all time greatest athletes and one of the world’s best guys. Here’s some things you may not know. Daryl was one of Pitt’s most talented guards, “Giss” was a Tim Girgirich guy and continued his playing career with Roy Chipman. A starter on any other Big East team, Giss came off the bench as sixth man for Chipman and immediately changed the tempo of the game. His running, conditioning, jumping, shooting and ball handling skills were second to none.Gissendanner was tough, fast, quick, strong and had big heart. He would play anybody anytime, anywhere…so talented, he was one of western Pa’s very few elite athletes to have pro opportunities in three different sports. He had tryouts with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Pirates. You may not know but he was the fastest man in camp and one of the last cuts by the Steelers. He also had a great opportunity with the Pirates after a quiet but successful baseball run at Pitt. He could dance All—Night—Long!!! But what will be missed the most is his kindness, good heart, willingness to help anybody and Lord knows his smile…man that smile!!!The viewing will be at 10 a.m. and the funeral at noon at the First AME Church, 177 Mitchell Ave. in Clairton and on Saturday, June 23. Donations are being accepted by Waters Funeral Home, 412-223-6745.:09 Here is the new line up for “Heaven’s Hoopers”… “The Original Dream Team.” Great basketball players don’t die…They just call time out.1st Team: Maurice Lucas—C, Kenny Durrett—F, Chuck Cooper—F, Norm Van Lier—G, Robert “Jeep” Kelly—G2nd Team: Armon Gilliam—C, Ed Fleming & Maurice Stokes—F, Jack Twyman—F, Nathan “Sonny” Lewis—G, Larry Richardson—G3rd Team: Darryl Brown—F, Archie Mc Gill—F, Larry “Juice” Walker—F, Darryl Gissendanner—G, George Harvey—GCoach: Chuck DeVenzioGeneral Manager: Karl KohlmanPlease feel free to call me if I’ve left anyone deserving off this special memorable list.:08 Speaking of Pitt, and I was. I am still shouting from the roof top for all to hear and I need you to carry the message. Retire Sam Clancy’s jersey, put him in the rafters where he deserves to be. Call Pitt, call ‘em now, do it right now!!:07 Pac-Man #1 Manny Pacquiao you lost to Bradley now shut-up. And Bob Arum you shut-up too. You ain’t fooling nobody. We know you own both fighters and you double your money on the Nov. 10th rematch…c’mon man!Pac-Man #2 Pac-Man Jones the former great West Virginia football star and pain in the butt NFL star with more talent than you deserve to have, you’re about to pay eleven million (11) dollars for a shooting that resulted from a fight you said you didn’t start. Now that’s messed up!!:06 What can I tell ya; OKC is good…the Miami Heat are good…and we are about to see who’s the best. My Lakers are dead. I still hate the Heat so I’ll hope for Oklahoma City. But right now I can’t tell you what…“Take that to the bank.”:05 C’mon “Tiger” let’s get this done…your killing me man. I am trying to keep these people off your back, but you ain’t making it easy. Win a major will ya!?!?:04 Hey I was at the Pirates Luncheon that Rebecca Nuttall told you about and I will echo that Mike Tomlin delivered. The bits and pieces you hear in sound bites on T.V. are escalated ten fold when he gives a speech. (You should know that Rebecca is my favorite Courier writer ever.):03 I promise you they won’t get Lance Armstrong on any of the doping charges brought up on him yet again, but you gotta know he’s guilty of something. You know what they say, where there is smoke…there is marijuana! C’mon Neal nobody says that. Yes somebody does! Who? I don’t know but somebody does!:02 The 37th Annual Connie Hawkins League for middle school boys teams (14 and under) starts June 25 at the Penn Hills YMCA. To enter your team call the Champions right away at 412-628-4856.:01 Whatever rock you’ve been under…Welcome Back! That’s the only way you wouldn’t know who Sandy Greene is. One of Pittsburgh’s greatest female vocalists. You can see her with her band, Friday, June 29, at 3 Lakes Golf Club in Penn Hills. Remember limited seating…The Flow Band sold out last week…first come…first seat!!Free parking—cash bar—cash kitchen—50/50—prizes and surprises!~ DOUBLE OVERTIME ~:00 Double Overtime—coming to 3 Lakes, Friday, July 6th the Five Starr / United Rays Corvette Club / Slippery Rock Reunion… “White Party”—more info to come.But, you know what to do…don’t ya!?!?!~ Game Over~
With Fairfax Harbour as the perfect backdrop, athletes and racing yachts will set out to sail, swim and mountain race the 3 Peaks of Moresby.Club Commodore Kilroy Genia said the RPYC is pleased to host such popular events, with this being the biggest race of the year.“This is a showcase event for the Club, which combines the endurance of runners, swimming and the A-Class racing fleet in a true athletic event.”Crews and runners all meet in the RPYC wet bar at 11am for race briefing. Boats will cross the start line at 12.30pm and race to Manubada (Local) Island, then onto Lolorua Island. The finish line will be before the RPYC marina entrance.At Manubada (Local) Island and Lolorua Island, the yachts sail up to the arrival line where the runners disembark from their boat, swim ashore and run to the check point at the top of the Island before returning to the beach for the swim back to their yacht.Once across the finish line, the runners leap ashore at the marina, and make their way out of the yacht club to commence the gruelling Burns Peak leg.Runners test their stamina on the race to the summit of Burns Peak. Runners then race back to RPYC grounds and the finish line where spectators will be ready at the Boat Shed SP Radler finish line to cheer the exhausted runner home.There are fantastic prizes on offer for fastest boats, fastest runners and give aways for everyone who enters.RPYC general manager, Aaron Batts, is overwhelmed with the support of sponsors. Prizes will be awarded at the prize giving after the race in the grounds of the RPYC for yachts and runners as well as spot prizes being given to supporters along the routes the runners take.Sponsors include SP Radler, International Paints, Puma Energy, Brian Bell, DHL, Oil Search, Tru Tru Wara and Red Bull.The International Paints and Puma Energy sausage sizzle will be held at the finish line where crew, runners and supporters can get something to eat by donating to City Mission Seif Haus for Women and Children in Port Moresby.Information on the event is available at rpyc.com.pg.“We encourage all athletes, sailors and volunteer time-keepers to get involved and register in what is great day of team work and camaraderie. It’s time to get training!”For more information, contact Aaron Batts on (675) 7272 4950 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org(Picture: Searching for Ironman)
The deadly illness malaria is serving as one of the major impediments to the realization of the global agenda enshrined in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Assistant Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Tolbert Nyenswah, has observed.Mr. Nyenswah said malaria, which claims millions of lives every year— especially in Africa—, has a severe socio-economic impact on the population of developing countries.“It is one of the major causes of household poverty as it results in absenteeism from daily activities of productive living and income generation,” he added.Malaria is a leading cause of illness and death in Liberia, especially among infants. It claims the lives of around 21,300 children under-five years old annually.Minister Nyenswah, who is also Liberia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, made these comments at the official program marking the 7th commemoration of World Malaria Day.He did so on Friday April 25, when he spoke on behalf of Health and Social Welfare Minister, Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale. The occasion was organized by the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) within the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoSHW).The occasion was held at the Samuel Kanyon Doe (SKD) Sports Stadium in Paynesville outside Monrovia. It was held under the global theme: “Invest in the Future, Defeat Malaria.” And under the national theme: “Take Cover to Prevent Malaria, Everywhere, Every night, and Sleep under the Net.”Minister Nyenswah noted that malaria also continues to prevent many school children from attending school due to illness. This diminishes their capacities to realize their full potential, thereby putting the MDGs under a dark cloud.At the Millennium Summit in September 2000, the largest gathering of world leaders in history adopted the UN Millennium Declaration. It committed their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and set out a series of time-bound targets, with 2015 as a deadline. This was intended to make the world a better place for its inhabitants.MDGs are time-bound and quantified targets set by the United Nations for addressing extreme poverty in its many dimensions—income, poverty, hunger, disease, the lack of adequate shelter, and exclusion—while promoting gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability. But it is becoming very clear that these dreams will not be realized.They (MDGs) are also basic human rights—the rights of each person on the planet to health, education, shelter, and security, but malaria, which is the biggest killer of the human population, most especially in Africa, is making these dreams illusive as it continues its rampage through every target of the MDGs, especially goal one, two, four, five, and six.Minister Nyenswah indicated that the unlikelihood of MDGs coming through as scheduled is due to the inability of global leaders in the health sector to adequately tackle some major issues that are serving as impediments to the achievement of this global agenda.He said paramount amongst these deadly scourges are malaria; a sickness that continues to mercilessly kill people—especially children under five—and continues to promise the world a bleak future, due to the death toll of leaders of future generation.“This plague has and continues to drain households, especially those in developing countries, thereby keeping them in abject and perpetual poverty.”Reading a message on behalf of WHO Regional Director for Africa, World Health Organization (WHO) Representative to Liberia, Dr. Nestor Ndyayimirije, The Assistant Minister said the African continent continues to bear the brunt of the global burden of malaria.Providing a statistical analysis, Dr. Ndyayimirije pointed out that in 2012, 80 percent of the estimated 207 million malaria cases worldwide were in Africa. In the same year, 90 percent of the estimated 627,000 global malaria deaths occurred in Africa.There has been some progress in the prevention and control of malaria on the continent, since the adoption of the MDGs in 2000. Between 2000 and 2012, malaria mortality rates among children under-five declined by 54 percent. During the same period, malaria death rates decreased by 49 percent in the population and 54 percent among under-five.Dr. Ndyayimirije said with these gains, much more needs to be done to sustain the gains and accelerate progress toward achieving national and regional malaria targets.He noted that WHO will continue to work with member states and partners to mainstream malaria control in health and development policies and plans, carry out advocacy for increased mobilization of domestic and external funding, and provide guidance regarding appropriate malaria control policies and interventions.The Malaria Day celebration started with a parade from the ELWA Junction to the SKD stadium. The Eddie Theatre provided some side attractions at the event with cultural performances and traditional songs.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Nimba District #7 candidate for representative, Kuku YansineBy Wender K. MassaquoiThe only female representative candidate in the race for the seat for Nimba County District #7 Madam Kuku W. Yansine has vowed to carry speedy development in the district if she is elected as the representative to succeed outgoing Rep. Worlea Dunah.In an interview with the Daily Observer, recently, she assured the people of the district of her readiness to take the district to another level, in terms of development and empowering the youth and women.She said her presence in the House will pave the way for women, who have never occupied the seat before, since Nimba gained county status in 1964, to do so.“We want the voices of women to be heard,” she said. “I’m the only lady well prepared and strong to take the people of this district to another level through economic empowerment, social services, and infrastructure development.”“The women of our dear country and this district are tired of suffering and want a change in their lives and the community too needs greater development,” she added.She outlined some of her platforms as, economic empowerment, agriculture, empowering people with disabilities, women empowerment, education, health and sports and infrastructure development.“I’m a daughter of the soil, so I will help my people,” she said.She further called on her fellow women and the entire citizens of the district to join her in her endeavor, as she put it, “I’m the only person ready, prepared and strong enough to move this district forward so, my fellow women, youth and men of District 7 vote for me so change can come into your lives.”Madam Yansine is the wife of the late Horace V. Yansine, one of the strongest agriculture entrepreneurs Nimba has ever had. He died in August 2015, while working as County Manager of the US funded Food and Enterprise Development/FED Nimba.Her late husband left several legacies, of which she is anticipating to follow. The people of District 7 and many farmers across Nimba, as well as young people, can boast of the late Yansine’s activities when he served as director of Liberia Opportunities Industrialization Center (LOIC).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Mr. James M. Strother, president, Liberia Business Association (LIBA)-Lauds GOL for prioritizing Liberian businesses in its PADPThe Liberia Business Association (LIBA) has called for the robust and uncompromising implementation of the Liberianization law, an instrument that gives explicit rights for local entrepreneurs to have exclusive operational rights in certain businesses.Enshrined in Liberia’s Investment Act of 2010, the policy of setting specific businesses aside to be done by Liberians has never yielded the anticipated outcomes as local businesses continue to strive in the shadows of their foreign counterparts since the inception of the law.But with the official launch of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) flagship development program, the Pro-poor Agenda for Development and Prosperity (PADP), LIBA says there is no better time for local businesses to boom or become more vibrant than under a leadership that was propelled to power by the ordinary masses.At a press conference in Paynesville, LIBA president James M. Strother lauded the government for the launching of the development agenda and for specifically highlighting local businesses. He, however, proffered series of recommendations to the government, which according to him, would lead to the creation of more jobs through micro, small and medium-sized Liberian enterprises.The Investment Act of 2010 exclusively gives ownership right to Liberians in several business activities, including the supply of sand, block making, peddling, travel agencies, retail sale of rice and cement, ice making and sale of ice, tire repair shops, auto repair shops with investments of less than US$50,000 and shoe repair shops.Other businesses reserved for only Liberians in the Act include the retail sale of timber and planks, operation of gas stations, video clubs, operation of Taxis, importation or sale of second-hand or used clothing, distribution in Liberia of locally manufactured products and importation and sales of used cars (except authorized dealerships which may deal in certified used of their make).The law also provides for at least 25 percent of all Public Procurement Contracts entered into by all government institutions including State – owned enterprises to be allocated and provided to Liberian – owned MSMEs, at least five percent of which are allocated and provided to women – owned MSMEs.Speaking at the Association’s office in Paynesville, LIBA president called for a comprehensive enforcement of the Investment Act of 2010.“As prime partners to the developmental goals of government, we welcome the launch of the agenda. We affirm our commitment and fullest support for the implementation of the PAPD in the interest of the wholesome improvement of the people of Liberia,” he said.“We are particularly inspired by President Weah’s desire to restructure and revisit the programs around Liberian businesses in terms of having access to finance and human capacity development,” Mr. Strother said.Mr. Strother said that these are intended to enhance Liberia’s participation in the creation of wealth in the Liberian economy. “We at LIBA see this as government’s willingness to conform to the President’s explicit statement that Liberians should not be spectators in their own economy,” he said.Improving local businesses falls under Pillar II of the PAPD which, among others things, calls for transforming the business regulatory environment and climate: (doing business and cross-border trade improvement).Mr. Strother also called for the provision of dedicated and well-targeted stimulus plan to address emergency capital needs of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) owned and operated by Liberians.“LIBA will provide its expertise to ensure that the stimulus plan is well designed and implemented to minimize risks abuse and repayment,” Mr. Strother added. He urged strong enforcement of Section 4.1(c) of the small business empowerment law.However, adhering or enforcing the Liberianization law has been very difficult over the years, as the policy is frequently manipulated by some higher-ups in government who undermine the law with their personal interests. Also, foreign business people have somehow been engaged in some of these reserved businesses.An investigation conducted by the House Standing Committee on Commerce, Trade, and Industry a few years ago revealed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) made several changes to the Investment Act of 2010 in favor of foreign businesses.In its report entitled, “Stakeholders Engagement for A Better Legislative Oversight,” the Committee noted that during its consultation with stakeholders of the business sector, it found out that there is an addendum to the act which was passed into law on May 15, 2010, that gives right to foreigners to invest in businesses that were set aside only for Liberians.The controversial portion of the law denounced by the lawmakers points out that, “Foreign investors may invest in the following business activities provided that where such enterprises are owned exclusively by non-Liberians, the total capital invested shall not be less than US$500,000; and, where such a listed enterprise is owned by non-Liberian in partnership with Liberian and the aggregate shareholding of the Liberian is at least 25 percent, the total capital invested shall not be less than US$300,000.”Businesses concerned are the production and supply of stone and granite, ice cream manufacturing, commercial printing, advertising agencies, graphics, and commercial artists, cinemas, production of poultry and poultry products and the operation of water purification or bottling plant.The LIBA president hopes that all of these will be addressed by the new government.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)