Global Witness’ Evidence Credibility Questioned

first_imgOn trial for alleged bribery, as claimed by Global Witness in the Sable Mining case (clockwise): Sen. Varney Sherman, J. Alex Tyler, Dr. Eugene Shannon, PPCC Chairman Willie Belleh, and Senator Morris Saytumah. -Experts witnesses denied any changes made to ‘controversial’ Section 75 of the PPCC ActTwo experts’ witnesses that were involved with the controversial Section 75 of the Amendment and Restatement of the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) Act of 2005, which provides for non-bidding areas for acquisition of mineral rights in the country, testified on Friday, July 12, but denied accusation that the section was illegally inserted in the document.The prosecutors have laid out their case at Criminal Court ‘C’ where they claimed that Senator Varney Sherman of Grand Cape Mount County influence Sable Mining, a UK-based mining company to bribe several keys government officials to include former Speaker of the 53rd Legislature, J. Alex Tyler, to insert section 75 into the draft amendment and restatement of the PPCC Act of 2005.The act was drafted in 2009, and approved on September 10, 2010, and subsequently submitted to former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who later signed it before it was printed into handbill on September 18, 2010.Prosecution also relied on the report, ‘The Deceivers 2010’, a publication of Global Witness, an international NGO established in 1993 that works to break the links between natural resource exploitation, conflict, poverty, corruption, and human rights abuses worldwide to indict Sen. Sherman and his co-defendants.Global Witness further alleged that over US$900,000 was paid by Sherman, who was then lawyer of Sable Mining to his co-defendants at various times to facilitate the insertion of Section 75 in the Amendment and Restatement of the PPCC Act of 2005, to give Sable Mining an undue advantage over the Wologisi Mountain in Lofa County without going through a competitive bidding exercise.However, during his testimony, Witness Emmanuel O. Sherman, deputy minister for operations at the Ministry of Mines and Energy, told the court that Section 75 came about from a recommendation of experts that included international lawyers in the mineral and mining sectors hired by the United States Government, the World Bank and the European Union (EU).Mr. Sherman, who served as chief geologist of the Geological Survey at the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, now Ministry of Mines and Energy, said the international experts made several prominent recommendations, one of which, he said, was to do with the declaration of an area where there was insufficient geologic information.He further explained that once the non-geologic area was defined, then the processing of mineral rights over such area should be considered as a non-competitive bidding area.“So those recommendations that were put forward by the experts’ report of 2008 formed the basis for the drafting of Section 75 of the PPCC Act of 2005,” the expert witness said.According to Mr. Sherman, he was assigned with the experts from the Global Master of Arts Program (GMAP) that was sponsored by the US Government through the USAID.He testified that between 2008 and 2009, under the USAID’s GMAP program, a new mineral adviser, Dr. Paul Jordan, and an international lawyer Jeff Woods, were tasked with the responsibility to continue with the drafting of Section 75, which they did up to the time the Act was approved in 2010.Also, the former PPCC executive director Joseph S. Neufville, who was responsible for the implementation of the passage of the Act, supported Mr. Sherman’s statement when he said that Section 75 was included into the approval law by the international experts.“I saw that from the report of Fui Tsikata, who was contacted by IBI International, the USAID sponsor program to harmonize the PPCC Act of 2005,” Neufville said.Witness Neufville said Tsikata was a Ghanaian mineral and mining expert hired to help in the process of harmonizing the Act that call for a non-competitive bidding exercise.“The report on the harmonization of the mineral mining Act to the PPCC Act was issued in 2008 of which, a vigorous collaboration process with the hiring of an international Procurement and Concession Law Firm in Ghana, and about December 2009, a draft law was prepared for submission to then President Sirleaf,” Neufville told the court.Meanwhile, the case will resume on Tuesday, July 16 at which time the prosecution is expected to produce their rebuttal witnesses, after the defense team announced that they have rested with the production of oral and documentary evidences.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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Govt wasted opportunity to push for major developments – Jagdeo

first_imgCaricom summitOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo said the David Granger Administration missed an opportunity to push for major developmental policies and programmes in areas interrelated with massive large-scale potential that could have benefitted the entire Region and by extension, Guyana.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoThe recently concluded 37th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) which was hosted in Guyana provided the appropriate platform for the Guyana Government to take a comprehensive approach to push for vital projects that would be of utmost significance to the regional integration process, Jagdeo posited.During a recent news conference, he rapped the Government over its short-sightedness and absence of a long-term vision for the development of the country as he lamented its wastage of the exceptional opportunity where the regional leaders gathered with the sole intention of developing initiatives aimed at enhancing the lives of its citizenry.Jagdeo, who served as President of Guyana for 12 years, said Government could have started the process for the commencement of new polices in areas of agriculture, climate change, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), among other sectors that would have brought tremendous benefit to the entire regional organisation.“I have spoken to many of the leaders privately and some former heads and they all share the view that we are running out of steam in the Region and the integration process is faltering for lack of being championed… In Guyana’s case, I thought that being the country that has potential in many areas, with a strategic location we would have gone to Caricom with a comprehensive approach to address some of the issues here and expand opportunities for the people,” he emphasised.In agriculture, he opined that strategies could have been crafted to fight for equal concessions and other incentives as is being given out for tourism.Hypothetically, he said the movement would govern the entire Region and because of Guyana’s stronghold in the agriculture sector, the country would most likely stand to benefit enormously.Jagdeo noted too that climate change was a critical area in which Government could have lobbied for more support.“Our most productive lands are still below sea levels. We talk about hurricanes in these countries which are once in a while events with devastating impacts but we live daily below the sea… Climate change and the management of water and adaptation to climate change must be a critical part of our agenda… We did not lead on that,” he expressed disappointedly.In fact, he assessed that the only major development coming out of the Caricom Summit is the Arrest Warrant Treaty; a tool which he said will be used against the Guyanese people.“We will be arresting more of our people. And half of the time it will be the Guyanese people who will face the brunt of this because of the prejudice in many of these territories against our people,” he stated.Overall, Jagdeo said he is very disappointed at the outcome of the Caricom Summit, especially since nothing major emanated that would dramatically enhance the lives of the Guyanese populace.last_img read more

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Report: L.A. still has the goods

first_imgSouthern California lost more manufacturing jobs last year, but the Los Angeles metro area remained the nation’s top manufacturing center, according to a report that will be released today. The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. report also found that the six Southern California counties ranked third in terms of overall industrial employment. Between 2001 and early 2006, the San Fernando Valley lost 21,119 manufacturing jobs, employment in the South Bay held steady at 86,107, the San Gabriel Valley lost 23,219 positions and Long Beach lost 600 jobs. Modest gains did come in north Los Angeles County with the Antelope Valley adding 198 manufacturing jobs and the Santa Clarita Valley getting an additional 169. For all of Los Angeles County last year, manufacturing slipped 0.7 percent, or 9,400 factory jobs. Manufacturing averaged 911,000 jobs last year and remained the biggest employment sector in the county. Manufacturing employment has been declining since 1990, with two modest blips up in 1997 and 1998, said Jack Kyser, the LAEDC’s vice president and chief economist. The sector is expected to have a mixed outlook through 2009, the report said. “It’s not a growth sector,” Kyser said of manufacturing. “But there are certain sectors in it that are growing.” Biomedicine is making gains in Ventura County and a variety of industries are going to the Inland Empire because of low lease rates and space. Space in the rest of the county is tight. “While the manufacturing employment news for Southern California has been generally downbeat, the industrial vacancy rates for the region have been stunningly good,” said Kyser. Los Angeles County had the nation’s lowest vacancy rate, 1.5 percent, at the end of last year. The vacancy rate in the San Fernando Valley ended last year at 1.8 percent, it was 1.9 percent in the South Bay, 1.2 percent in the San Gabriel Valley and 0.9 percent in Central Los Angeles. “What you are seeing is that firms are investing in plants and equipment. Output is increasing but the employment numbers are decreasing,” he said. The report also found that: Manufacturing in Southern California tends to be small to medium-size firms often in high-tech type of activities. The sector has a higher job “multiplier,” meaning that more indirect jobs in other industries are supported by every direct position in manufacturing. Local manufacturing firms are under heavy competitive pressure, often from off-shore production. Many are being wooed by other states, which point out the high cost of doing business in California. greg.wilcox@dailynews.com (818) 713-3743 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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PES 2019: A beautiful game that is simply a joy to play

first_imgKevin De Bruyne feels extra special when you’re unlocking a defence with a 25-yard cross-field pass, that is just a joy to execute.You feel the strength and power of Paul Pogba when he’s bursting through the lines, or the agility and close control of Mo Salah as he steps into the box – and it’s all delivered with stunning visuals.PES has used all the might of its Frostbite engine to deliver perfect lighting that leaves you genuinely wondering if it’s a game you’re playing or watching the real thing.The way the sunlight sneaks through the gaps at the San Siro and reflects off the face of your player as he sprints through that space is remarkable and a real treat.While PES 2018 occasionally felt a bit robotic, players now feel much more natural and just a lot more fun to control.So what are the downsides?While PES 2019 is all these things, some of the magic is lost when playing in unofficial stadiums and with players who don’t have real faces.For example, the time spent adding Hector Bellerin’s vast array of sleeve tattoos is amazing, but when he’s up against a Bournemouth player who looks like an extra from iRobot, the contrast is stark.myClub has seen changes, but other modes including Master League remain largely the same, and the menus still look dated.Take away the Champions League, Europa League and Super Cup licences, lost to great rivals FIFA, and many fans will be disappointed.To counter-attack that, a handful of new leagues have been added, and PES is promising new stadiums and additional updates in data packs coming throughout the season.Overall, the gameplay shines above the downsides, and true football fans will soon become addicted to the glorious passing, variety of shooting animations and in depth tactics that replicate real life superbly well.PES 2019 wants to move the battle ground with its rivals to the pitch, and there it can’t be beaten.PES 2019 is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC and is out now. 2 Forget extended game modes, licences, packs and flashy menus, the real joy in a football sim is on the pitch, and PES 2019 delivers the best gameplay of any title ever.After earning rave reviews for its focus on passing in PES 2018, this years game moves onto another level with extra animations and a sense of authentic player individualism.last_img read more

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LOCAL NEWS: LETTERMACAWARD COMMUNITY NOTES

first_imgLETTERMACAWARD NOTESSeniors Party You are heartily invited to our Partyon Wednesday  9th May starting at 4pm. We will have good entertainment and nice refreshments. There will be a good laugh and you will have plenty time for a chat with friends and neighbours. So come along and let us guide you through a wonderful afternoon. To make it a perfect day we would like to hear if you are available on the 9th. Please give us a ring Mary   087 613 7869   or Angela 9544341Charity Cycling Rector’s Challenge The cycling tour will take place  26th May starting at 11 in Glencolmcille to Lettermacaward.  The tour will benefit St. Brigid’s Hall and Leitir Parish Church Repair fund. For further details and sponsor sheets please contact – Angela  074 9544341   or Jackie   086 1500622  S.V.P. St. Vincents Trift shop Dungloe  opening hours Mon/Wed 10am to 2.30pm Thursday and Friday 10am to 4pm and Saturday  11am to 2pm. Come along to support the shop and pick up a bargain.  LOCAL NEWS: LETTERMACAWARD COMMUNITY NOTES was last modified: May 2nd, 2012 by BrendaShare 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:LOCAL NEWS: LETTERMACAWARD COMMUNITY NOTESlast_img read more

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ROAD CLOSED NEAR CREESLOUGH FOLLOWING ACCIDENT

first_imgThe main Letterkenny to Dunfanaghy Road has been closed due to a traffic collision around 5pm.The road has been closed on the Letterkenny side close to Creeslough Tyres.Diversions are in place. Details of the accident have not emerged yet.We will bring you more details on this incident as we get it. ROAD CLOSED NEAR CREESLOUGH FOLLOWING ACCIDENT was last modified: September 24th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Raiders add five new assistant coaches to Jon Gruden’s staff

first_imgThe Raiders patched up some holes on their coaching staff Thursday with the addition of five assistants, including a pair of coaches who previously worked under Jon Gruden.Former Jets offensive coordinator John Morton, who spent eight years with the Raiders, including four during Gruden’s first tenure in Oakland, was hired as senior offensive assistant.The 49-year-old Morton was previously on the Raiders practice squad three times as a receiver (1993, ’94 and ’96). Four of his 17 years …last_img read more

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Black people lead in paid-off homes

first_img25 January 2011More black South Africans live in homes which are fully paid for than any other race group in the country, according to a study by the SA Institute of Race Relations.“The relatively high home ownership figures for Africans, particularly in urban areas, are a triumph over laws such as the Natives (Urban Areas) Act of 1923, which sought to limit home ownership of this population group,” Kerwin Lebone of the institute’s research department said in a statement on Monday.The study conducted by the SAIRR found that some 60 percent of black households in the country had fully paid-up the homes in which they lived in 2009, compared to 46 percent for other race groups.The institute said the higher home ownership figures for black people could in part be explained by state-subsidised housing programmes.In South Africa’s two most affluent provinces, Gauteng and the Western Cape, 34 and 42 percent of households respectively had fully paid off their homes.The less wealthy Eastern Cape and Limpopo provinces had higher home ownership figures, with 71 percent of households in both provinces having paid off their homes.“The total number of households that owned and had fully paid off their homes, out of a total of 13.8-million South African households, was just over 56 percent. Out of the total fully paid homes, male-headed households made up 56 percent and female 44 percent.”Seventy percent of all households headed by women had fully paid off their homes, while only half the households headed by men had fully paid up theirs.Sapalast_img read more

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Formula One drivers fear another wrong turn with 2017 rules

first_imgFormula One drivers expressed concern on Thursday that the sport was heading in the wrong direction with its plans for a 2017 rules revamp.Teams have until Saturday to approve the regulations by majority vote, rather than unanimous agreement, and have already hammered out most of the details in meetings over the past few months.The plans are for cars and tyres to be wider and more aggressive looking, making them more exciting and harder to handle while also producing closer racing.Drivers fear, however, that aerodynamic changes will instead make it harder for cars to follow and overtake.”You hope that the engineers who know what’s going to happen — just like they knew with the qualifying — I hope they are proven wrong,” triple world champion Lewis Hamilton told reporters at the Russian Grand Prix.”If they arent, then were stuck in that period for three years and for the fans, it doesnt get any better. But those guys who made the decision have to live with it,” said the Mercedes driver.Formula One revised its qualifying format this season in a bid to shake up starting grids but the move was derided as a fiasco, by fans and teams alike, and scrapped after two races.Hamilton’s team mate and championship leader Nico Rosberg said he had hoped the teams would have second thoughts about the 2017 changes.”Our opinion was that it’s not the right direction to go,” he said. “Now that’s the way it is, so now all we can do is accept it and make the most of it and hope that there are going to be some surprises.”advertisementMercedes have been dominant since the 1.6 litre V6 turbo hybrid power units were introduced in 2014, the team winning 35 of 41 races. However, rivals Ferrari and Red Bull appear to be catching up.The Mercedes drivers views chimed with those of team boss Toto Wolff, who has said the sport should put the changes on hold because cars were already faster, performance gaps narrowing and races more exciting.McLaren’s Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso also said they felt it was worth waiting for greater convergence between the various power units before making major changes.Haas’s Mexican driver Esteban Gutierrez felt introducing wider cars and tyres was the right move but was “not fully convinced” about increased downforce “which will naturally make overtaking more difficult.”last_img read more

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