Teal time raises awareness

first_imgBy ANEEKA SIMONIS A BERWICK hospital helped raise awareness for a disease with a harrowing survival rate for women. Teal…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

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Milestone museum opens

first_imgBy Jessica Anstice Puffing Billy Railway now brings even more rail history to life with its highly anticipated new Menzies Creek Museum now…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

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Ecuador’s isolated indigenous tribes: Stuck between oil and state neglect

first_imgFollowing the dissolution of Ecuador’s Ministry of Justice, responsibility for the country’s isolated indigenous peoples changed hands.It’s the latest in a series of shake-ups, yet several experts said the government has not been able to adequately protect vulnerable isolated tribes.They said the oil industry’s advance into the rainforest remains the greatest threat to these tribes. This story originally appeared on Mongabay Latam as part of a special series on threats facing isolated indigenous peoples in Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela. Other stories in the series available in English:Mercury poisoning chief among health problems facing Peru’s uncontacted tribesGold, wood, religion: Threats to Colombia’s isolated indigenous peoplesVenezuela’s isolated indigenous groups under siege from miners, disease and guerrillas Article published by Maria Salazar According to the website of the now-dissolved justice ministry (which is still live), the ministry employed 3,267 people. According to those emails, only 35 of these employees worked in the field of isolated indigenous affairs — just 1 percent of the former ministry’s workforce.Nemonte Nequimo, a Waorani, shows “the diaper of the jungle,” a thick, absorbent leaf that babies are wrapped in at night. Image by Daniela Aguilar.According to information sent by the Office for the Advancement of Indigenous Tribes in Voluntary Isolation, their concrete actions comprised “an intervention strategy on the ground, implemented from the Monitoring Station in the Tagaeri-Taromenane Intangible Zone, which involves, among other things, carrying out monitoring patrols to control illicit or unilateral activities that may put pressure on the isolated indigenous tribes and consequently provoke violent reprisals on their part. They also work continually with communities located near the isolated indigenous tribes to promote a culture of peace.” The response states that they also used remote technology including flyovers, satellite image analysis and mapping, all of which involved a qualified team of experts.The only project documentation from the Office for the Advancement of Indigenous Tribes in Voluntary Isolation that could be accessed via their website was one titled “Implementation of the Shiripuno Monitoring Station.” The ministry itself gave this project a priority rating of zero, an indication that the government had many other priorities ahead of protecting the country’s isolated indigenous peoples.José Proaño is an anthropologist who served on a presidential commission created in 2013 following another massacre of around 30 isolated indigenous people. The commission was formed by civil servants from the ministries of justice and health, as well as the recently eliminated Secretariat of Policy. One of its functions was to create a public policy for isolated indigenous affairs. “Correa signed it but up to now, it hasn’t been valid,” said Proaño.A Waorani man makes a high-pitched sound with a long leaf to attract toucans during a hunting trip. Image by Daniela Aguilar.Conversations in the city, contact in the jungle Early this year, jurisdiction over the affairs of isolated indigenous peoples shifted within the Ecuadoran government. It now rests within the newly formed Secretariat of Human Rights, in a unit dedicated to “plurinationality and interculturality.” The branch of government responsible for protecting these vulnerable tribes has changed a number of times in recent years, and the latest move followed a period of uncertainty after a governmental reorganization in August. Yet the latest change brings little clarity or transparency about how the government will manage the indigenous groups’ affairs.The Tagaeri and Taromenane tribes, both of Waorani heritage, are the two isolated indigenous communities that live in the northern part of the Ecuadoran Amazon, including inside Yasuni National Park and the surrounding area. Both tribes are exposed to the dangers of the expanding oil industry and other threats. The government’s shuffling of responsibility for the tribes’ affairs has left the response to the threats unclear.The latest organizational shake-up began on Aug. 21, 2018, when Ecuador’s president, Lenín Moreno, announced the dissolution of the Ministry for Justice, Human Rights and Religious Affairs. The ministry had covered disparate areas, including helping female victims of violence, managing the country’s prisons, and protecting isolated indigenous peoples. Organizations and activists promoting women’s and children’s rights came together to protest the ministry’s dissolution; however, those involved with the isolated indigenous tribes did not.At the time, the isolated tribes’ affairs were housed with the ministry’s Office for the Advancement of Indigenous Tribes in Voluntary Isolation. But the office did not have a clear public policy. Former civil servants told Mongabay that in the last few years, the office created documents that never saw the light of day because a more important issue kept coming up against them: oil.There is hardly any photographic evidence of Ecuador’s isolated tribes, which belong to the Waorani indigenous group. Image by Valeria Sorgato.Nearly three months later, on Nov. 14, President Moreno decreed that the justice ministry would be given the rank of a secretariat, outside any ministry. In the same decree, he ordered that this secretariat, to be called the Secretariat of Human Rights, would be responsible for “the protection of indigenous tribes in voluntary isolation.” The new secretariat began working on Jan. 14 this year.The delay in receiving clear answers about how the government would handle their affairs seems to be the norm for the Tagaeri and Taromenane. The groups made their first contact more than 60 years ago, but have only been protected by the government for the last 20 years.In 1999, for the first time, a reserve was created by presidential decree for the two groups. According to the decree, the reserve, called the Tagaeri-Taromenane Intangible Zone, should have been implemented within 120 days of the signing; however, it took eight years for the boundaries to be defined.When the government of Rafael Correa took power in 2007, the new president responded to calls by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) for measures to protect these groups. A civil-society group had requested protective measures, given the defenselessness of the isolated indigenous tribes and in response to a 2006 massacre in which around 30 members of these tribes were killed. The previous government had ignored the request for almost 12 months, and Correa’s response appeared to be a good omen.“But it didn’t last long,” said Eduardo Pichilingue. At the time, Pichilingue was the coordinator of the Plan for Protective Measures for the Protection of Isolated Indigenous People, which functioned as an office under the Ministry of the Environment.Waorani women walk the streets of Puyo for International Women’s Day. Image by Kimberley Brown.In 2008, the plan’s first year, Pichilingue remembered there was a lot of work and it was a positive time. “We managed to generate an energy that meant we could fight the seemingly uncontrollable illegal logging activities that directly affected these tribes,” he said.But as soon as this threat was removed, the next one came along: the expanding oil industry. According to Pichilingue, at the beginning of 2010 he was asked to change a report that confirmed the presence of isolated indigenous people near Campo Armadillo in the province of Orellana, an area that was to be conceded to the government-run Petroecuador for exploitation. “They expressly asked me to state that there were no isolated indigenous people. Then they said: ‘OK, don’t say there aren’t any, but just don’t mention it’s dangerous to exploit and that it should be prohibited. Write another report that doesn’t say anything.’” The former civil servant didn’t do it and he broke ties with the environment ministry.Up until 2015, the environment ministry was responsible for affairs relating to the isolated indigenous tribes. That year, the responsibility was handed over to the justice ministry. Milagros Aguirre, who began working in the Waorani area in 1997 and has written several books about isolated indigenous peoples, told Mongabay that it seemed like a positive move. “The Ministry of the Environment was judge and jury because they granted exploitation licences for oil but they were also in charge of protecting the tribes,” she said. “That automatically caused problems.”For Aguirre, that the environment ministry ever had this responsibility was a conceptual error. “It should always have been thought of as a human rights issue,” she said, “but as soon as they made this change, the budget was then cut.”Following the dissolution of the justice ministry, Mongabay Latam reached out to the ministry’s Office for the Advancement of Indigenous Tribes in Voluntary Isolation, before its fate had been settled. The government would not grant an interview, but on Sept. 14 sent some answers by email that were signed by the office’s “Expert Team.” According to the emailed replies, “there is a lack of resources — human, financial, technological and logistical — that makes monitoring and management difficult, increasing the risks for the team’s activities on the ground. To protect these people, a minimum number of experts with experience is required to carry out the decreed measures, as well as to coordinate the State ministries involved, within their area of responsibility.”State indifference Conflict, Conservation, Environment, Environmental Policy, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, National Parks, Oil, Oil Drilling, Uncontacted Tribes center_img While in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, the future of the responsibility for isolated indigenous people was being decided behind closed doors, in the Amazon, Waorani groups that maintain contact with the outside world had noticed the presence of some these isolated people. Alicia Cawiya, a Waorani leader, told Mongabay that she and other members of her community would approach an area where they had noticed isolated indigenous people to leave them pots and other tools. This kind of contact led to the murder of two Waorani elders by isolated indigenous people in 2013, according to some specialists consulted for this report.The book A Hidden Tragedy (Una Tragedia Ocultada [pdf]) by Aguirre, Massimo de Marchi and Miguel Ángel Cabodevilla, tells how one of the elders, named Ompure, told an assembly of Waorani about visits to his house by members of the isolated groups. “Two Taromenane elders had approached several times, quite confidently, asking for axes, machetes and pots. He [Ompure] had only been able to gather a few objects … It appears this meager handout, which had only reached a few people, had provoked the anger of others, some of whom approached Ompure at his house in a threatening manner, demanding goods for everyone. Ompure, in turn, requested goods, somewhat nervously, from the assembly and the oil company, reportedly saying ‘I’m not going to comply with what they are asking for and they are going to kill me.’”A year later, they killed him.Peke, a Waorani elder, says he will not allow the oil companies to enter his territory. Image by Daniela Aguilar.The reason for his murder and that of another Waorani elder remains unclear, but 20 days later, the Waorani massacred around 30 isolated indigenous people in an act of vengeance.Aguirre said that in this case, the government made two mistakes: one when the isolated people killed the two elders and again afterward, when the Waorani retaliated. “There was nobody from the state to act,” said Aguirre. “We told them: ‘Do something, give them compensation of some sort, because the [Waorani] will seek vengeance.’ But nobody did anything. They didn’t give any compensation. They didn’t send condolences. And then the isolated people were killed and they still did nothing. At the beginning, they didn’t even see the bodies.”For Aguirre, it’s clear where the responsibility lies: “the state has a protected group called the isolated indigenous people. If this group attacks other people, the state has to react.” In the case of the murders of the two Waorani elders, it was “their protected people” who attacked, and therefore, according to Aguirre, the government should have responded. She suggested it amounted to an attempt to hide what happened. “It’s as if the state is uncomfortable about the presence of these groups that they know so little about.”Roberto Narváez, an anthropologist who has studied isolated indigenous people and spent 20 years working in Waorani territory, confirmed that in recent months, Waorani have reported evidence that these groups have been near the oil block 21, outside the reserve.According to some experts Mongabay Latam consulted, the current relationship between some Waorani and the uncontacted groups could be described as fearful. The Waorani gave the uncontacted groups pots, axes and other tools because they were scared of being attacked.A Waorani man visits an oil development site in Ecuador’s Pacayacy parish as part of the “Toxic Tour” put on by an NGO in 2018. Some Waorani attending the tour were shocked by the waste pools and flares they encountered. “We have clean air, clean water,” they repeated. Image by Daniela Aguilar.An awkward presence Narváez, the anthropologist, has investigated and analyzed the violent meetings involving the isolated communities. Since 2001, he has registered the murders of 80 isolated indigenous people. In contrast, the former Ministry of Justice’s information sheet relating to the project to implement a monitoring station in Shiripuno quotes a baseline of “34 victims that have been reported since 2001.” That’s less than half of the murders documented by Narváez.For him, the government’s biggest problem is that it doesn’t have enough information, doesn’t investigate, and makes decisions without having historical and anthropological facts. “That’s why they impose the wrong boundaries and some even deny that these groups even exist,” he told Mongabay Latam.The government, through its representatives, has denied the presence of isolated indigenous people more than once. Aguirre, the book author, remembered that after the 2013 massacre, she met with ministers and then-president Correa. “They wanted to handle everything as if it were an allegation. Nobody wanted to recognize what had happened.”An illustrative demonstration of this attitude came from Wilson Pástor, the then-president of PetroAmazonas, another government-run oil company, who said in an interview with the national channel RTS in 2010, “… you tell me that there are uncontacted communities but we don’t know that. We’ve carried out studies in block 31 […] it’s all doubtful. They aren’t confirmed facts, it’s possible that some are even fabricated. There is one hypothesis that this isn’t really about uncontacted communities after all, but about political movements trying to prevent this area from being exploited.” Pástor went on to become the minister of energy and non-renewable natural resources.Verónica Potes, a lawyer specializing in indigenous peoples, said she believes that any government agency controlling isolated indigenous affairs would be problematic. “In these areas, there is a well-known economic interest,” she said. “If these people didn’t exist, these territories would quickly see more activity from the oil industry, roads and highways.”Mencayn, a Waorani, prunes cacao plants so they will grow better. Image by Valeria Sorgato.Historically, according to Narváez, the territorial borders for the isolated communities were imposed taking the interests of the oil industry into account, prioritizing these over human rights. He said that the 500-square-kilometer (190-square-mile) reserve inside Yasuni National Park is not enough. The groups, he said, also need an additional mobility area, that, according to his studies and analysis over more than a decade, would cover the entire national park, which spans more than 9,800 square kilometers (3,800 square miles).At the moment, however, there are nine oil blocks threatening the isolated indigenous people by their proximity to the reserve: 4, 16, 17, 21, 22, 31, 43, 55 and 66.In October 2018, the minister of energy and non-renewable natural resources, Carlos Pérez, announced that before the end of the year, he would put blocks 86 and 87 in Pastaza province out to tender. According to the former Ministry of Justice’s map, there are isolated indigenous people in block 87. In May, Pérez said those plans were on hold until the government performed a consultation with local communities — but what that means for the isolated groups remains unclear.Narváez is not very optimistic. He emphasized that the government needs to define what it wants. “What it wants is to extract, it wants oil resources,” he said. However, this exploitation is not compatible with the isolated indigenous communities. Faced with these powerful economic interests, the isolated indigenous people in Ecuador find themselves in a difficult situation. Whether the government’s new secretariat can effectively defend their interests remains to be seen.Banner image: Waorani indigenous people. Image by Daniela Aguilar.This article was first published by Mongabay Latam in December 2018, prior to the handling of isolated indigenous affairs transitioning to a unit within the Secretariat of Human Rights. This story has been updated to reflect that development. Edits by Rebecca Kessler. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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Warriors coach Brown stopped by traffic cops

first_imgSwing Out Sister back to PH this April For Ina, portraying a zombie is like an ‘out-of-body experience’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Celtics win NBA draft lottery, Lakers at No. 2 keep pick Brown said he was rapidly surrounded by multiple police officers.“So then I got scared. I’m like, I’ve got five cops around me, so I just stopped,” Brown said. “I said, ‘I’m trying to get to the game.’”Brown then revealed that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich phoned him from the team bus to poke fun.“So I answer the phone, and Pop is dying. He goes, ‘Mike, I didn’t know that was you… When I saw it was you, I died laughing,’” Brown revealed.Popovich later joked about the incident before the game.ADVERTISEMENT Brown told reporters he was pulled over after ignoring a request to stop at a red light as the Spurs coach rolled towards the Oakland Arena.“I’m like, ‘This is great, I didn’t have to stop for any of these red lights,’” Brown said. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnSPORTSBreak new ground“So I literally start to go, and I’m going to get in the far left lane to go through where we all go through, and a cop out of nowhere pulls in front of me and goes, ‘Hey, you, stop!’” he said.“So I’m, like, feeling myself a little bit. I’m like, ‘Hey, I’m being bullied by Oakland PD or San Francisco PD in my own building, my own parking lot.’ So I start to go a little bit, and another one pulls up: ‘Hey, you! You heard him! Stop!’” View comments Yanson buses to keep operating despite legal battle MOST READ Gerald: Just because I’ve been bashed doesn’t mean I’d stop working Trump’s impeachment defense, prosecutors dig in OAKLAND, CA – MAY 14: Acting head coach Mike Brown of the Golden State Warriors looks on during Game One of the NBA Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs at ORACLE Arena on May 14, 2017 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images/AFPGolden State Warriors acting coach Mike Brown had the last laugh on Tuesday after a pre-game confrontation with traffic police who failed to recognize him as they escorted the San Antonio Spurs to Game 2.Brown, who saw the Warriors run out 136-100 winners to take a 2-0 lead, was a late arrival for the game after being stopped by traffic police as he attempted to join the Spurs motorcade.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Ex-Bulacan town vice mayor, village chief shot dead Presidency bid needs ‘deep reflection’ – Sara Duterte “Somebody’s got to teach him if the California Highway Patrol tells you to move, you move over,” Popovich said. “He didn’t do that. But it was funny.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next China reports 17 new cases in viral pneumonia outbreak End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendlast_img read more

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Clarence L. Simpson, Jr. Dies

first_imgThe death is announced of Mr. Clarence Lorenzo Simpson, Jr., former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and former Attorney General of Liberia.He died at 5:22 p.m. on Saturday, January 30, 2016 at his Brewerville home. He was in his 83rd year.Following his return home with a Law degree, Mr. Simpson, son of President Tubman’s first Vice President Clarence Lorenzo Simpson, was appointed Legal Counsel of the Ministry of Public Works.President Tubman later called young Mr. Simpson as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia.Following the death of President Tubman and the accession of Dr. William R. Tolbert as President of Liberia, he named Mr. Simpson as Attorney General and Minister of Justice, a job he held for a number of years.Mr. Simpson was born on June 15, 1933 to the union of Counselor Clarence Lorenzo and his wife Mrs. Abrametta Stubblefield Simpson. He received his high school diploma from Williston Academy in North Hampton, Massachusetts, and later enrolled at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. He later took the LLB degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.On July 19, 1961 he married Judith Mars Simpson in Kakata, Margibi County and this union was blessed with seven children. His survivors include his widow, Mrs. Judith Mars Simpson; children, Clarence L. Simpson III, Mrs. Lorraine Simpson Harvey Mrs. Linda Simpson Emiroglu, Clarine Simpson Vaughn, Cheryl Simpson Cornwall, Christian and Alpha Simpson; several grand children; and sister Amanda Simpson.Mr. Simpson, Jr., like his father, was a lifelong Episcopalian.Funeral arrangements will be announced later.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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A New Song for Liberia

first_img“Liberia so mightyYour energy is strongYou’ve never been forgottenI’ve loved you all along…” The above are lyrics to the reflective and soul searching song, “Forgotten,” written by a Liberian artist based in Yorkshire, England, Sarah Güsten-Marr.This song, a reflection of the Liberian experience, creates awareness of long forgotten and marginalized people.“Liberia is a unique country with a humble history, but our people have endured a lot, such as social and economic marginalization, civil war, disease and many more. This somehow gives the country some negative image out there,” Sarah told the Daily Observer in a telephone interview.With “Forgotten,” Sarah delivers a soulful mixture of R&B and traditional African melodies.Her exquisite vocals are complemented by the sweet and equally exquisite sounds of Mindy Homewood, daughter Josephine Marr and Libby Tomlinson. This grouping birthed what seems an effortless groove.This delicate but powerhouse of vocalists, who did their thing smoothly over dope beats, will have music lovers who got soul dancing and doing their own renditions to the song. The track is perfectly written, with the various artists painting pictures with their words, demonstrating their ease with lyrical poetry. “Forgotten” was produced by UK producer John Robinson of CliqueUK Productions.“The motivation behind the song ‘Forgotten’ is to create awareness for the people who have been marginalized. This is a song dedicated to the Liberian people, written by one of their own,” she said. With the song, Sarah hopes to unite Liberians through the positive change preached throughout the song.Sarah said she has been working with award winning international filmmaker Dave Thorpe to shoot a video that would complement the song. The video brings together a group of internationally acclaimed artists.Also part of the video is music legend and guitarist, Junior Marvin. He was reggae icon Bob Marley’s guitarist.“Marvin has been a wonderful mentor for me, and I’m so glad that I’m working with him during the creation of ‘Forgotten,’ a song written for my country, Liberia, the country of my birth,” she said.Sarah also revealed that she is working on another project, the “Great Nelson Mandela Project,” with Marvin.Added to the list of stars in the video are Indian dance queens, Zubia and Shazia Naqiu. “They flew from Holland and Italy respectively to be a part of the process,” added Sarah.She said Thorpe has been very professional throughout the process, bringing out a lot of personality to the shoot, adding: “The first shoot is always the hardest.”“It will truly be a great honor to be helpful in my own country of Liberia. Over the years, Liberia has received a serious amount of negative press and it is time for Liberia to change this view in the eyes of the world,” she said, adding: “Liberia’s legacy is truly humbling considering why the country was established in the first place.“When I wrote my song I felt it would be an honor to remember in a song the lives that have been lost, and the lives that are still struggling in Liberia. I want to make sure they are never forgotten. ‘Forgotten’ is a song dedicated to the Liberian people, written by one of their own.”Music, she said, is a wonderful way to touch the human spirit. “I am hoping that my song/video will bring together the Liberian people and create positive change.”Sarah was born in January 1970 to a Bassa couple in Liberia, but her story almost came to an end before it actually started. “My biological mother died in childbirth while giving birth to me and my father was unable to take care of me,” Sarah said. Tiny and sickly, Sarah was discovered by a German couple, Rolf and Michaela Güsten, who adopted her from her father. The Güstens already had two beautiful daughters but still decided to adopt Sarah. This is where Sarah’s life took a new and positive turn. Sarah grew up happy, with a charmed life travelling the world with her new family. She lived in Germany, Ivory Coast, the USA and Italy before finally settling in England. She adores her adopted mother, calling her an angel from heaven, while having some fine words for her father and sisters. “When my mother heard my story, she said, ‘bring her to me.’ I had cholera and malaria and they had to take me to hospital in Monrovia,” she added.Sarah was a creative child and always loved painting. She studied fashion at university.Sarah returned to Liberia for the first time in 45 years last October. Her trip to Liberia focused on health education and negotiating for the establishment of the Liberian Arts and Crafts Society, which aims to promote indigenous talent. She always stressed that some of the best art comes from the most disadvantaged places. “Everywhere there is poverty, you will find some of the best music. Art is a great healer,” she said. Sarah intends to personally fund art prizes in an effort to unearth the best Liberian talents.“If someone comes from a small village and their art gets admired or acknowledged in the new Liberian Arts Center, and they win a prize, that brings hope.” Upon her visit, Sarah’s song, “Forgotten,” received maximum airtime on various radio stations including Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS), Sky FM and others. “I felt it would be an honor to remember in a song the lives that have been lost and the lives that are still struggling in Liberia. I want to make sure they are never forgotten,” she told the Daily Observer during her visit. “I want to help promote Liberia to the wider world and show a side not often seen,” she said. She believes her story will inspire others, especially artists. While in Liberia, she also visited an orphanage. “We have a lot of orphans here as a result of the prolonged civil crisis and the recent Ebola outbreak, which nearly ripped our country apart. I was one – and one of the lucky ones. It’s my duty to make a difference for them,” she said. Sarah said her coming back after 45 years was not to discover who she is, but to make a difference, to encourage and to educate. Sarah is artistically gifted. She owns a visual art establishment, known as Gallery GM, in Yorkshire, England. She runs Gallery GM from her new base in the Vale of York. 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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Cops, prison officers charged over prisoner’s escape

first_imgThree Constables attached to the Guyana Police Force, along with one prison officer, are expected to make their court appearance in connection with the escape of alleged rapist Dellon Blake from the Lusignan penitentiary on October 4, 2017.Following legal advice, the charges were instituted under the Criminal Law Offences (Act), Chapter 8:01. The four men were reportedly performing duties at the facility on the morning Blake successfully escaped.Recaptured: Dellon BlakeThirty-five-year-old Blake of Kamuni Creek, West Bank Demerara, was, however, recaptured two days later in the vicinity of the Linden- Soesdyke Highway.Based on reports received, Blake used his bed sheet and wooden pallets to climb over the fence on the northern side of the facility in full view of Police ranks performing duties in the tower. That area, according to Police, was well-illuminated.The fugitive was admitted to the prison on July 24, 2017. He was on remand for raping a relative.Days after the incident, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan bashed the officers on duty at the time for negligence, and dubbed the behaviour of the ranks irresponsible.“It is shocking when prison wardens, under their noses, people could escape like that,” he said. “You are so embarrassed by certain staff members within these units, and that is why sometimes you sack them, you terminate them,” he explained, after which they “will come pleading that they are left unemployed”.The Minister noted that after visiting the facility following the escape, he was told that Blake had placed a few pieces of wood under a platform where the Police Officers were stationed, and scaled the barb-wire fence.“It is horrific, the irresponsibility of our policemen,” the Public Security Minister declared.last_img read more

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Tiger Woods pleads guilty to reckless driving

first_imgThe deal requires Woods, winner of 14 major golf championships, to spend one year on probation, pay a $250 fine, perform 50 hours’ community service, and complete “DUI (driving under the influence) school”, among other conditions, Dave Aronberg, the state attorney for Palm Beach County, told AFP.“He was calm” while entering the plea, Aronberg said.Woods, 41, had five drugs in his system, including the opioid painkiller hydrocodone, when he was arrested on May 29 in Jupiter, Florida, according to a toxicology report police released at the time.They arrested him on suspicion of driving under the influence.The toxicology report also showed the presence of the powerful painkiller hydromorphone; anxiety drug alprazolam (also known as Xanax); sleep drug zolpidem (also known as Ambien) and THC, a chemical component of marijuana.Woods told officers he was taking Vicodin and Xanax to deal with pain from back surgery, which he underwent in April for the fourth time.According to Aronberg the golfer must “subject himself to random drug and alcohol testing through the year” and enter into a program requiring counseling.He must also refrain from using or possessing alcohol or drugs unless they are prescribed by a doctor.Woods last played competitively in the Dubai Desert Classic in January but withdrew with back spasms.ESPN reported in mid-October that doctors have cleared him to resume full golf activities, though his rehab post-surgery is ongoing.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000This still image from a dashcam video released by police on May 31, 2017, shows officers arresting Tiger Woods two days earlier © Jupiter Police Department/AFP / HOWASHINGTON, United States, Oct 27 – Tiger Woods pleaded guilty in a Florida court on Friday to reckless driving, the state attorney said, after police found the golf champion asleep in his Mercedes-Benz beside the road last May.Under the plea agreement reached in Palm Beach County, north of Miami, Woods will not serve jail time unless he commits major violations of his probation.last_img read more

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Wales scoop Six Nations grand slam

first_img0Shares0000LONDON, England, March 17 – Wales won the Six Nations Championship title on Saturday after completing the Grand Slam by beating France 16-9 in Cardiff.It was the third time in eight years that Wales had swept all before them in European rugby union’s premier international tournament and was a measure of revenge for their World Cup semi-final defeat by France last year in Auckland. Wales wing Alex Cuthbert scored the only try of an absorbing match in front of a capacity Millennium Stadium crowd, as the hosts added to their 2005 and 2008 Grand Slams.“This makes all the sacrifices worth while,” said Wales skipper Sam Warburton, who was sent-off in last year’s World Cup semi-final.“You have to give credit to the French. They made it difficult for us to get our game going. But we won and that’s what counts.”Victory also meant Wales had equalled the record of their celebrated 1970s predecessors by winning three Slams in the one decade.Saturday’s match took place the day after Welsh great Mervyn Davies, captain of the 1976 Slam team, died from cancer.“It’s a very young team and this was their first chance to win anything,” Wales back-row forward and man-of-the-match Dan Lydiate told the BBC.“To do it at home in the last match in the Six Nations, what could be better? The crowd were our 16th man, thank you all for turning up.“Mervyn Davies was a legend of the game and our thoughts go out to his family at this time.”Earlier, Scotland finished with the wooden spoon as Italy beat them 13-6 in Rome.The defeat means Scotland have lost all of their five matches in this Six Nations, with their losing streak now extended to seven Tests in a row — a run dating back to last year’s World Cup in New Zealand and their worst since 1998.For Italy, who scored the only try through wing Giovanbattista Venditti early in the second half, victory saw them avoid the wooden spoon for the first time in five years and gave their French coach Jacques Brunel his first win in charge.“That (the win) feels good. We’ve had enough good matches in this tournament, we only just lost against England here at the (Stadio) Olimpico for example,” Italy captain Sergio Parisse told Sky Sports.Scotland have now lost 12 of their 15 Six Nations matches under coach Andy Robinson and this latest defeat is bound to intensify speculation surrounding his position, even though his contract runs until the 2015 World Cup.“I’m still contracted until 2015. I’m going away to reflect on the Six Nations and reflect on the future, in terms of the positivity that we have, the players we have and the way forward — and putting a plan together for the way forward,” he said.“There is not a set timescale on that. There’s a lot to take in in terms of what’s happened and it’s about looking at the future and what’s best for the future.“Now’s not the time to be discussing that, with the feelings that everybody has,” he added.England and Ireland wrap up this year’s tournament at Twickenham in a 1700 GMT kick-off in what could be interim coach Stuart Lancaster’s last match in charge of the hosts.The Rugby Football Union is still to announce a permanent successor to Martin Johnson.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Exercising options

first_imgAt Jersey Avenue Elementary School, SPARK trainer Faith Grinder kept teachers on their feet Wednesday and Thursday, teaching them how to play aerobic bowling and centipede bucket brigade, and exercises like crab dips and mountain climber. Using limited types of equipment – jump-ropes, cones, balls, Hula Hoops, cards and small toss pillows with numbers – Grinder showed teachers how to quickly set up, conduct and break down the activities while maintaining order and keeping students’ attention. Clad in tennis shoes, shorts and T-shirts, the teachers and principals intently followed directions, making note as they went along of the possible modifications that would work for their students. “Children are meant to move,” Grinder said. “So let’s move them, and then let’s teach them – and then, let’s move them while we’re teaching them.” Statewide, public elementary schools are supposed to provide at least 200 minutes of PE every 10 days. Fifth-, seventh-, and ninth-graders are also tested every year to see if they’re meeting fitness standards in several areas, including aerobic capacity, abdominal strength and flexibility. “The great thing about this program is that the lessons are pre-planned and placed in a binder for the teachers, so it’s easier for them,” said Maria Soto, administrator of educational services for the Little Lake district. “And for students, the focus is on making it fun for them so that they stay engaged,” she said. Soto said the district has purchased enough PE equipment to accommodate students in every class with state monies handed down last year for PE and music programs. “I think this is a great program because it’s so active,” said Jersey Avenue Elementary Principal Monica Johnson. “It’s nice to have a district that supports you not just in what you teach, but that gives you the tools, training and equipment to implement it.” tracy.garcia@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Video: Physical EducationSANTA FE SPRINGS – Fourth-grade teacher Georgette Baltierrez remembers when summertime was all about kids getting out into the streets. From tag and street football to bike riding and roller-skating, kids were outside playing as early as 8 a.m. – and stayed outdoors as long as they could. “It’s crazy how it seems there are never any kids out there anymore,” said Baltierrez, 27, who teaches at Orr Elementary in Norwalk. “And we’re seeing now that children’s inactivity is a concern, especially with obesity rates going up,” she said. “So now we really need to make sure we’re keeping kids active.” That’s exactly what Baltierrez and about 120 other teachers from the Little Lake City School District were doing last week – training for a new PE program designed to get kids moving and engaged in physical activity, even in a limited-size area like a classroom. “It’s kind of unique,” said Superintendent Philip Perez, who participated in the training along with principals and teachers. “PE, along with art and music, is not one of the areas that is being emphasized as heavily as academics,” he said. “With this, we’re hoping to bring life to our PE program this year for our elementary schools.” The new program is called SPARK, or Sports Play and Active Recreations for Kids. It aims to improve the quantity and quality of physical activity for children and teachers. last_img read more

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