Cash Violence: A New “Vampire” in Liberian Politics

first_imgIntroductionOnce a non-existent practice in Liberian politics, cash violence has increasingly become the new electoral “vampire.” This violence undermines the fundamental purpose of elections, frustrates democratic growth, and poses significant risks to peace, security, and stability. In terms of socioeconomic development, Liberia will “stay long inside”—a Liberian expression for being enmeshed in a long struggle – if we allowed this emergent “vampire” to feed on our nascent democracy. Cash violence robs the electorates of their constitutional right to choose their leaders. Even worse, it makes elections results highly susceptible to the influence of the highest bidder. Cash violence must stop if Liberia is to truly have fair elections.Cash Violence Practice Cash violence is the practice of political candidates buying the votes of poor voters and trucking them to register and vote in electoral districts where they have no right to exercise such political activity. As the term implies, cash violence often involves the use of large sums of money—usually ill-gotten—by politicians to exploit their kinsmen, who are usually burdened by harsh socioeconomic conditions. It is common knowledge that candidates can pay each “bought” voter a sum between US$20 to US$40. Using the US$20 pay rate as an example, a politician, thus, will pay a whopping—by Liberian standards—US$20,000 to receive the votes of 1000 vote sellers, in addition to underwriting their transportation and feeding costs. Cash violence had an important effect in the 2011 elections as some legislative winners reportedly boasted of buying their jobs. In the 2014 senatorial elections, moreover, the role of cash violence was equally obvious. And as 2017 approaches, electoral strategists are factoring cash violence into their campaign plans. The Dangers of Cash ViolenceStakeholders, including donors, who will be pumping money into Liberia’s 2017 electoral process, need to more forceful to address the issue of cash violence. Let’s stop sticking our heads in the sand like an ostrich, ignoring the menace and hoping that it will eventually go away. It won’t! Politicians with deep pockets find cash violence attractive because it gives them an unfair competitive advantage. Cash violence has bad effects on our body politic. It undermines Abraham Lincoln’s symbolic definition of democracy being a “government of the people, by the people and for the people.” When politicians pay, truck, or bus citizens from different parts of the country to vote in the other electoral districts in order to influence the outcome of elections, this is not “a government of and by the people.” And usually, it ends up not being a government “for” the people as well. A recent University of Michigan study indicated that vote-buying “has been associated with reduced accountability and trust, increased corruption, and inefficient public administration.” Elections allow people to express their faith in candidates to effectively represent them, as well as to change their leaders when they desire. Article 1 of the Liberian Constitution says, “…the people shall have the right …to cause their public servants to leave office and to fill vacancies by regular election[s]…” Cash violence undercuts this constitutional tenet. Communities have begun to complain about the growing influence of vote selling during elections. During the senatorial election of 2014, heated arguments broke out between some community residents and “bought” voters from Monrovia about the latter’s interference in the elections in Dimen, a town in Bomi County. These arguments, fortunately, did not escalate into violence. Nevertheless, a high probability exists that cash violence will provoke physical violence in future elections, especially since the country’s electorates are generally unhappy with the performance of those elected leaders who engage in cash violence. ConclusionCash violence deprives the people of the ability to decide who represents them. It also destroys the very purpose for which elections are held. What’s the point of spending so much money to hold elections if the people’s votes cannot determine the winner? Is it good governance? Is this not a recipe for frustrations and physical violence? About the AuthorZobong holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Northeastern University in Boston, United States. He teaches in the Graduate Program in Education at the University of Liberia. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Pelosi calls Stark’s Iraq comments ‘inappropriate’

first_img160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rebuked a fellow San Francisco Bay Area liberal Friday for what she said were “inappropriate” comments about Iraq during a congressional debate. During a debate on children’s health care Thursday, Rep. Pete Stark accused Republicans of sending troops to Iraq to “get their heads blown off for the president’s amusement.” Condemnations rolled in from Republican politicians, right-leaning bloggers had a field day, and a White House spokesman declined to “dignify those remarks” with a response. Pelosi issued a statement late Friday rapping Stark, who is in his 18th term representing the liberal East Bay. He’s California’s longest-serving House member. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“While members of Congress are passionate about their views, what Congressman Stark said during the debate was inappropriate and distracted from the seriousness of the subject at hand – providing health care for America’s children,” Pelosi said. Stark’s comment came as the House failed Thursday to override President George W. Bush’s veto of legislation to expand the popular State Children’s Health Insurance Program. “You don’t have money to fund the war or children,” Stark accused Republicans. “But you’re going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president’s amusement.” After numerous Republicans called on him to apologize, Stark said it was they who should be apologizing, for failing to provide the votes to override Bush’s veto. Asked for a White House response Friday, spokesman Tony Fratto said: “I see absolutely no reason to dignify those remarks with a comment.”last_img read more


first_imgDONEGAL DAILY DEAL OF THE DAY!Tommy Tiernan Live & The Mount Errigal HotelON: Saturday 21st December 2013 A Christmas Party Package to Remember!Package includes, 4 course dinner, ticket to Tommy Tiernan’s live show followed by music by Off The Kuff & Disco and B&B, €99pps.Ticket to Tommy Tiernan & B&B €69pps“Brilliant & life-affirming – Tommy Tiernan actually makes you proud to be Irish.” -The Irish Independent “He has the vocabulary of a poet, the soul of a maverick & the passion of an evangelist.” – ChortleTommy Tiernan’s father Kevin taught science and religion in the tech in Carndonagh in the late 60’s. How a man was able to straddle those two ideologies in 1960’s Ireland remains a mystery. Following in his father’s footsteps, trying to contain as many conflicting opinions as he can within himself, TT takes to the hills and valleys of the county he was born in. Expect a show full of stories gathered from his touring of both rural Ireland and the rest of the worldTommy’s mastery of stand-up allows him to take risks other comedians dare not. Through hilarious storytelling and a high energy, non-apologetic delivery he continually challenges his audience who can be confident they are in safe hands. To see Tiernan live is a rare treat, as his stories unfold and themes are elaborated his performance mesmerises as his lyrical way with words make you laugh harder than you’d ever believe possible. DD DEAL OF THE DAY: TOMMY TIERNAN LIVE AT THE MOUNT ERRIGAL HOTEL PLUS B&B FOR JUST €69 was last modified: October 18th, 2013 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:DD DEAL OF THE DAY: TOMMY TIERNAN LIVE AT THE MOUNT ERRIGAL HOTEL PLUS B&B FOR JUST €69last_img read more


first_imgANOTHER massive storm is on the way to Donegal.Gale force winds and driving rain – accompanied by high tides – will have the potential to cause damage, particularly along the county’s west coast.Already surfers are getting ready for a repeat of the massive waves which hit Donegal four weeks ago during Storm Hercules on January 6th and 7th. The surfing forecast site has produced a predictive sequence of the possible effects of the storm, with breaking waves of 50ft likely.Forecasters have already issued an advance alert.Irish Weather Online says winds with gusts up to 120km/hr can be expected.Here is the IWO forecast, with the Met Eireann one below: FRIDAY … Showers or periods of rain, some heavy with thunder. Winds generally moderate south to southwest until late afternoon or evening when stormy conditions will arrive rapidly from west to east. Morning lows 2-5 C and afternoon or evening highs 7-10 C.FRIDAY NIGHT into SATURDAY … Very windy or stormy with squally showers, thunder and hail, winds SW 70-120 km/hr with possible higher gusts, shoreline damage from high tides or storm surges especially for west-facing bays and harbours. Temperatures steady near 7 C. Rainfalls 15-30 mm could also produce some spot flooding.Met Eireann forecastFriday will be a very wet and windy day, with some large rainfall totals expected, especially across the west of the country where there is the risk of flooding. Highs of 6 to 9 degrees, with fresh to strong southerly winds which will veer westerly later. Along the west coast the winds will reach gale force. The rain will clear the east coast early in the night, but another system will move into the west coast later in the night. The rain will be preceded by some wintry precipitation, but heavy rain will quickly follow.Another wet day on Saturday with heavy falls of rain, with sleet on higher ground. A cool day with highs of 5 to 7 degrees. Strong and gusty westerly winds overland, but along western and southern coasts the winds will reach gale force with some severe gusts likely. The strong winds and high seas coupled with high tides may cause coastal flooding. Becoming largely dry overnight, apart from showers along the west coast. Cold with lows of -2 to +2. ANOTHER MASSIVE STORM ON THE WAY TO DONEGAL was last modified: January 30th, 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:donegaldonegaldaily.comforecastgalesmagicseaweed.comMet Eireannrainstormsurfersweatherlast_img read more

Beef talks over pricing dispute to get under way later today

first_imgTalks will begin later today between representatives of the meat industry, the Beef Plan Movement, as well as farming representatives and Government agencies, in an effort to resolve a dispute over beef prices.On Friday, nationwide pickets of meat plants across the country by members of the movement were suspended pending the outcome of the discussions.Dozens of farmers in Carrigans had been protesting over the last five days, since Monday last, outside the Foyle Meats factory. For several weeks, Beef Plan Movement members and individual farmers have been protesting outside meat factories to highlight their concerns about low beef prices.They say their sector is in crisis with beef and suckler farmers incurring losses of between €150 and €200 per animal.The talks will get under way in Co Kildare this afternoon and will be chaired by independent chairperson Michael Dowling.Beef talks over pricing dispute to get under way later today was last modified: August 12th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare 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)last_img read more

Filmmaking Insights: The Hidden Power of Director’s Commentary

first_imgFrom camera selection to personal relationships behind the scenes, discover what you can learn from a director’s commentary.On directing, the great Stanley Kubrick once famously stated: “I do not always know what I want, but I do know what I don’t want.” Which I personally believe to be a roundabout way of Kubrick acknowledging that he’s an egotistical bighead and notoriously hard to work with.From covering film and video for many years, as well as working on numerous projects on my own, I can say (with near certainty) that the best directors are absolute perfectionists. And, Stanley Kubrick aside, this is usually a good trait to have for the role. A director has to juggle a huge amount of responsibility. And, at the end of the day, it’s the director that gets either the credit or the blame for a project’s ultimate success and/or failure.For those who aspire to direct films of their own, one way to really gleam insights into the art of directing is by watching a director’s commentary track on some of your favorite cinema classics.There’s nothing more enlightening or motivating than getting a peek into the minds of some of the most famous directors. But, if you listen closely, it can also be one of the most educational ways you can learn about the tangible elements of the art of direction.Camera and Medium DecisionsSofia Coppola on the set of The Beguiled via Focus Features.For any aspiring filmmaker, finding out information about what camera was used and why can be of great interest. Yes, a camera doesn’t make the story. But, if you’re serious about working on projects on your own, knowing which cameras, lenses, and even formats you’d like to shoot in is a huge part of the process.And, when you listen to directors’ commentaries, you’ll often hear just how fanatical they can be about their camera, lens, and filming choices. If you aren’t an astute student of shooting on film, it can also be a great way to learn some hands-on insights into how analogue filmmakers make decisions. In today’s industry, you might not be lucky enough to be a part of projects that shoot on film, the way many of your favorite classic films probably did.How They Achieved Their VisionSpike Lee with Adam Driver on the set of BlacKkKlansman via Focus Features.As mentioned above, the director holds the ultimate responsibility for a film. When you listen to them talk, you not only hear their confidence in themselves, but also their confidence and connection to their vision. This is doubly true for auteurs — writers/directors who have seen a project through from script to screen.You can hear how a director’s job extends much further beyond just the days on set. If you can find a good director’s commentary, you can get some insights into just what the director was doing in the early stages of storyboarding. And, how they ran meetings with the heads of different departments to bring their vision to life, well before the cameras even began to roll.The Relationship Between Director and DPKathryn Bigelow on the set of Strange Days via 20th Century Fox.One of the most consistent elements from a director’s commentary I’ve heard time and time again are the mentions of the tight relationship directors often have with their Director of Photography (DP). There are rare cases where a director will serve as their own DP. The majority of the time a director and DP relationship is an absolute marriage.The DP works with the director from the very beginning. Every shot, every light, every moment has probably been discussed in-depth between the two. In the commentary, you can often hear how this might lead to squabbles at times. But, ultimately, a director will always speak very intimately about their partnership.Directing Actors’ PerformancesQuentin Tarantino with Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt on the set of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood via Sony Pictures.Another aspect of directing you don’t hear enough about is the director’s relationship with the lead (and even minor) actors in the film. You can read a lot about directing online, in books, and learn about it in Master Classes and YouTube videos, but a huge part of the director’s job — often overlooked — is their direction of actors.In the commentary, you can learn a small trick or two from aside comments a director might make about how they were able to get a certain emotion, look, or performance from their actor. From the “I told them this was just a rehearsal take” to “we changed the lines last minute for this reason…” anecdotes, you can quickly learn that directing actors can be an ever-evolving challenge and art.The Insatiable Nature of DirectorsAkira Kurosawa via IMDb.Hopefully though, from combing through directors’ commentary tracks on some of your favorite films, you’ll be able to pick up the feeling of what it takes to be a great director. By their nature, good directors have an insatiability to them. Even in viewing their most successful and popular films, they’ll very often be unsatisfied with certain shots or angles, or wish they had done something different or better.While we might finally be moving away from a time when the “director as dictator” mentality was the rule, Kubrick’s obtrusive mindset still remains true. Being a director doesn’t mean you have to know exactly what you want, because that’ll be ultimately unachievable. However, the great directors are able to find a way to negotiate with themselves, partner with others, and bring the best version of their vision to life.Cover image of Stanley Kubrick on the set of 2001: A Space Odyssey via MGM.For more filmmaking and directing advice and insights, check out these articles below.Directing Challenges: How to Communicate Effectively with Actors5 Filmmaking Tips for Acting and Directing (At the Same Time)Directing Fight Cinematography: The Right Way and the Wrong WayInterview: Christina Kallas on Writing and Directing Multi-Protagonist Screenplays5 Tips to Ensure a Great DP and Director Relationshiplast_img read more

Sailor Rescued After Spending a Year on Abandoned Ship in UAE

first_imgIndian sailor Nirmal Singh Rawat was rescued from an abandoned ship by authorities earlier this week after spending close to a year alone on board MT Hamed 2. With no electricity and minimal food and water available, Rawat, the captain of the vessel, fought extreme weather conditions in the hope that he will one day make it home and reunite with his family.The oil tanker was anchored five nautical miles away from the shore of Sharjah and Ajman, from where Singh was rescued and flown home to Uttarakhand on Nov. 22. During the months he spent on the ship, he was able to communicate with authorities to register his woes when sailors from ships passing by helped him charge his phone.Singh, 27, joined the ship as the captain in July 2016. He was not given a contract and was promised $2,000 per month for the job. The ship had eight more crew members, who agreed to quit and return home without the pending salaries in November 2016. “I am the captain. I couldn’t go just like that. Also, I wanted to get my pending salaries. So I stayed back,” he said, Gulf News reported.“I was not given a contract even after I joined the ship. It was when I asked the other crew members that I realized that I was being fooled because they also had not been paid for 14 to 17 months,” he added.During his time on the ship, he ate once in three days to preserve ration. Sometimes, ships passing by would offer him some food. He spent most of the period alone, except when he saved another sailor who jumped into his vessel in February.“He had got into my ship when I was trying to rescue his smaller vessel by pulling the rope. As we both were pulling it, the rope broke and that vessel (Al Mahra) was washed away and sank,” he said.Bodies of seven crewmen and three sailors were found later by the Sharjah Coast Guard and the Police Air Wing. Two others from the vessel are missing.“There had been days I had to starve without food and water. Once I had to stay for 50 hours without a drop of water in the peak of summer,” he said. He slept on the deck in the summer months as conditions inside the ship were unbearable.Indian social worker Girish Pant helped in Rawat’s rescue efforts as he was in touch with him as often as possible. “I wouldn’t have survived without the constant assurance and motivation by Girish Pant that I will go home one day. I thank the Federal Transport Authority (FTA) of United Arab Emirates and the Indian Consulate for helping me out after he took up my case with them and pushed for my sign off,” Rawat said.Pant said Rawat’s condition perturbed him and he was worried that Rawat would take an extreme step. “I salute his grit and optimism. Though he was in such a terrible state, he never lost his calm. Sometimes there was no news from him for weeks and I used to worry about him a lot,” Pant said.The FTA provided Rawat with provisions after the matter was taken up with them. Consul General of India Vipul commended FTA and Sharjah Port Authority for their assistance in rescuing abandoned sailors. Rawat is the latest among the 220 Indian sailors sent back from the UAE in the last six months. Related ItemsGulfSailorUAElast_img read more

Asia Cup 2018- India vs Pakistan Preview: Arch-Rivals tussle for a spot in the…

first_imgAdvertisementImage Courtesy: DNA IndiaIndia and Pakistan are set for yet another clash in the Asia Cup with this time, a guaranteed spot in the final on the horizon. After suffering a drubbing at the hands of India early on in the competition and a wake-up call against Afghanistan, the Men In Green are amidst several problems.Meanwhile, the Blues, barring their close call against Hong Kong have been on cruise mode with convincing wins over Pakistan and Bangladesh. India, being the only undefeated side left in the competition have done well across all three departments of the game. Despite being marred by injuries, the Men In Blue have coped well much to the relief of skipper Rohit Sharma.On the other side, Sarfaraz Ahmad has plenty of problems to ponder which include Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Amir’s form. Moreover, Shadab Khan’s injury and middle order crisis add more issues to the table.When: September 23, 2018;  5:00 PM IST (3:30 PM Local Time)Venue: Dubai International CriStadiumadiumWhere to Watch: Star Sports Network, HotstarPredicted XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit BumrahPredicted XI: Fakhar Zaman, Imam Ul Haq, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Haris Sohail, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Usman Khan, Shaheen Afridi.Read Also:Cricket: Shikhar Dhawan joins Indian legends in achieving a unique featCricket: From cricket to Bollywood, there is no realm Virat Kohli won’t conquer! Advertisementlast_img read more

Par passes Bureau of Indian Standards Act

first_imgNew Delhi, Mar 14 (PTI) Parliament today passed a bill to replace the 30 year-old Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Act and bring more products like jewellery under the mandatory standard regime besides ending the Inspector Raj. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Bill 2015 and a few minor amendments made by the Rajya was brought to the Lok Sabha, which passed it by a voice vote. The bill, passed by Lok Sabha in August last year, was passed by voice vote in Rajya Sabha after two members withdrew their amendments last week. The bill seeks to establish the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) as a national body and empowers the Centre to authorise any other agency having necessary accreditation for the purpose of conformity assessment against Indian standards. Currently, 92 items are under mandatory standards and only products and systems come under the ambit of standards. The bill proposes to “include services, besides articles and processes under the standardisation regime.” The bill also provides for compulsory hallmarking of precious metal articles, widening the scope of conformity assessment, enhancing penalties, making offences compoundable and simplifying certain provisions in the Act. It also proposes recall of the products including with ISI marked, but not conforming to relevant Indian Standards. The new bill aims to empower the Centre and BIS to promote a culture of quality of products and services through mandatory or voluntary compliance with Indian standards. PTI PR SPG ARClast_img read more

Pink Revolution: Yuvi, Raina face off in D/N Duleep Trophy

first_imgGreater Noida, Aug 22 (PTI) Indian cricket will be taking its first steps into an unknown territory as Yuvraj Singhs Red team take on Suresh Rainas Green brigade in the first ever match to be played with pink ball under floodlights and coloured clothing. While there is a novelty factor with regards to an official first class match being played with pink ball, the lack of top stars will certainly rob some sheen from the Duleep Trophy beginning tomorrow. The likes of Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane will be busy in the United States playing T20 Internationals while the second batch comprising Karun Nair, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson is busy playing A series in Australia. It is effectively the third string that will be playing the tournament with old guards like Yuvraj, Gautam Gambhir (Blue team) and Raina providing the BCCI with their inputs on conditions and other variables associated with an experiment of this magnitude. Technically, this is not the first ever Day/Night first-class match in India as the 1995 Ranji final between Delhi and Mumbai (Bombay back then) was played in Gwalior but with white ball. With ICC keen on promoting Day/Night Tests in order to bring back the dwindling crowd in the longer format, the BCCI is keen on testing waters even though there are remote chances of a much anticipated Pink Ball Test match being played during the upcoming home season. It will be a test for BCCI chief of ground staff Daljeet Singh and his team to get the Shahid Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex ready for Pink Ball match. With pink Kookaburra showing signs of wear and tear after 40 overs, a layer of grass is expected on the 22 yard strip so that the ball lasts 80 overs and doesnt change its colour. It will be interesting to watch how likes of Yuvraj, Raina, Gambhir cope with swing under lights which is the bone of contention for many. The Kookaburra ball has a record of swinging more during the twilight session. For the record, Josh Hazlewood and Trent Boult swung it appreciably in Adelaide during the first ever Day-Night Test that took place between Australia and New Zealand. Rookie pacers from both sides Nathu Singh, Anureet Singh, Ashok Dinda will be testing the batsmen. The other interesting aspect will be how spinners like Kuldeep Yadav, Parvez Rasool bowl with the pink Kookaburra as a grassy layer may be an impediment towards extracting decent turn. With Indias Test squad bearing a settled look, there is a little chance that anyone from this lot will make an immediate headway but their first hand experience may go a long way to chart the course of future in the longer format. PTI KHS BS BSadvertisementlast_img read more