Ebola Corpses ‘Dumped’ in Wetlands

first_imgAgainst the backdrop of the Liberian government’s announcement that it would “consider cremating” (burning) the corpses of those who have died from the deadly Ebola virus, the burial team from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOH/SW) on Saturday dumped at least 45 bodies in Kissi Camp, near the Kpeh-kpeh Town Community, Upper Johnsonville, just northwest of the City of Paynesville. Guarded by a heavily armed platoon of the Liberian Army as well as Police Support Unit (PSU) officers from the Liberia National Police, two mini trucks conveyed the corpses to the west bank of the Kpanwein River to be dropped off in mass graves dug by a hired yellow machine.The Kpanwein River connects the Kpeh-Kpeh Town Community to Whein Town in the east and Chicken Soup Factory on Somalia Drive in the west, as well as Upper and Lower Johnsonville and many other communities.Since the first truckload of corpses arrived Saturday, residents of Johnsonville have vehemently rejected the use of their community to dispose of the bodies.  According to Kpeh-Kpeh Town Chief Joseph S. Karway, the community’s main concern is that the plot of land where the graves have been dug is a wetland on the bank of a river that is a source of water for many surrounding communities. They fear that their wells – from which they get water for drinking and domestic use – will get contaminated, exposing them to other diseases. Furthermore, the land designated for the disposal of the corpses is privately owned, with cornerstones conspicuously planted and marked.  One of the landowners, a businessman named Mr. Cole, said he was never contacted regarding the use of the piece of land he had purchased with a probated deed for his son, Joseph F. Dolo (cornerstone marked: JFD).  “I’m not asking them to pay me [money] for my land.  I’m going to take the authorities to task for illegally using my land to bury dead bodies,” he said.Enraged that they had not been informed that their community would play host to such a burial site given the implications involved, youth from Kpeh-kpeh Town and nearby communities started felling trees across the road, denying passage to the vehicles en route to bury the dead. The PSU responded with brutal action which turned bloody for some of the resistant residents.  The police were backed by troops of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) commanded by 1st Lieutenant Alloycious Quaye of the Military Police Unit (MP).1st Lt Quaye told the Daily Observer that the AFL’s duty was to provide ‘security’ for the yellow machine and other government vehicles that were assigned with the process of burying the bodies in the area.”But in the process, some residents who tried to put up resistance to the process — identified as Carey Daniel, Sheriff, Armstrong, and few other persons, among them, a couple, Prince and Patience Yormie — were allegedly brutalized by the LNP officers.For his part, Johnsonville Township Commissioner, Melvin Bettie, told the Daily Observer that he was indirectly connected to the dumping of the bodies, because, when approached by the MOH/SW authorities, he could not immediately provide a burial site for the corpses.According to him, he was not the one who ordered the execution of the burial exercise, but “because of my job, I assigned the Land Commissioner, Michael Taylor, to supervise the process.”Mr. Taylor is yet to comment regarding his involvement.While it is not yet clear exactly who authorized the burial of the Ebola corpses in that location, this is a glaring example of the Liberian government’s lack of coordination and capacity to handle the effects of the Ebola epidemic. The yellow machine broke down after a few graves were dug and, as a result, several other bodies were left floating in holes of water, not properly buried. The corpses, according to our security source, were those collected from several other local hospitals including the ones picked up from the ELWA Hospital, particularly at the Ebola ‘Quarantine’ Unit.The corpses were accompanied by corresponding plywood pegs bearing their respective names, ages and dates of death. However, the pegs were left scattered on the ground with no apparent attempt to mark the graves of the deceased.Among the corpses deposited there is that of the late Dr. Patrick Nshamdze, 57, who expired on August 1, 2014.  He was a Cameroonian and the Chief Administrator of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital in Congo Town, Monrovia. Others include: Vivian Pewe, 24; Joyce Paul, 28; John Forkpah, 27; Musu Johnson, 39, Sister Shalor, 35; Gerald K. Kollie, 45; Joe Gbozeh, 50; Mercy Dahn, 35; James D. Paul, 35; Joy Moses, 58; Augustine Jalo, 45; Isatu Joe, 20; Mamie S. Kparteh, 29; and Edward K. Brown, 63; Lusu Fayia, 60; Hawa Sirleaf, 24; Krubo Carter; 17, Korpo E. Kollie, 25; and Kollie Klemie, 60; among others. They all died at various locations reportedly of the Ebola-like symptoms between July 29 and August 1, 2014.Up to press time last night, the Observer reliably learnt that authorities of the MOH/SW were transporting more corpses to the site for dumping.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

$35M in lights for selected hinterland airstrips

first_imgMany airstrips throughout the hinterland are set to receive $35M in lights before the end of 2019. This was revealed by Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson on day four of the National Toshaos Council (NTC) Conference.Bimichi airstrip in Morocu subdistrict“That is exciting news for me,” Toshao Milton Fredricks of Mainstay-Mayaka told the Department of Public Information (DPI).The village leader explained that during a conference at Mainstay last year, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure assisted with lighting the airstrip to facilitate landing and departure at nights.“If we have permanent lights in place, it will certainly serve a very good purpose because we do have cases of emergencies in the village, and not only in the village but on the Essequibo Coast and if aircrafts or helicopters need to come in and we have lights, it will be no problem. So, I really really feel excited about that news and I look forward to the implementation,” the Toshao added.Representing the Annai District, Toshao Zacharias Norman wasted no time in stating his unequivocal approval of the Ministry’s move. In an invited comment, Toshao Norman said, “first of all, I must thank the Government [for] upgrading the airstrip. It is in good condition right now and now putting this system into place would be a great improvement for the airstrip… It would be a big improvement for the people of the North Rupununi”.Even though Akawini does not have an airstrip, the village’s Toshao welcomed the transformation that awaits some of the other hinterland airstrips. Toshao David Wilson called on the village councils to secure the lights so that it can serve their communities. The Toshao also shared the opinion that lights along the airstrips are critical to the advancement of Indigenous communities in the hinterland.In his address to the Toshaos, Minister Patterson disclosed the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), for which he has oversight, will, “procure solar lights with chargers so that we can install on selected airstrips so that medevacs in the evening can be done”.According to the Minister, the items will be in the care of the village Council to reduce the likelihood of tampering and theft.Several hinterland communities are also on the list for airstrip upgrades under the Public Infrastructure Ministry’s budget for 2020. These will be conducted at a cost of $690M. Karukubaru, Orinduik, Kaieteur, Fairview, Karisparu, Paruima and Achiwib will receive major rehabilitative works.Since 2015, the coalition government has invested a staggering $1.4billion in upgrades for 16 airstrips. It is the Granger-led Administration’s mission to reduce the disparities that may exist between the coast and the hinterland by the execution of these critical projects.last_img read more

Archery Guyana hosts successful Olympic Day competition

first_imgThe winners’ row after the competitionLike many other sport disciplines, Archery Guyana took the time out over the past weekend to commemorate Olympic Day. In their celebration, the local archers took to the National Gymnasium to compete for medal prizes which were donated by the National Sports Commission (NSC).Despite getting off to a late start, the local archers, many of whom recently received their Level 1 certificate, were pumped and ready to showcase their ever improving skills. Operating under World Archery rules, the competition kicked off with the blow of the whistle by Director of Shooting Frederick Ewing-Chow.In the Senior Women’s Class, four ladies competed. They were Shereeda Yusuf, Samira Duncan, Narda Mohamed and Vidushi Persaud-McKinnon. While in the Junior Class, Jessica Callender was the lone competitor.Action began with the females starting off the competition with a qualifying round, each shooting five ends of three arrows each (a total of 15 arrows) to qualify for the final round. The three ladies to make it to the final round were Narda Mohamed – 46 points; Samira Duncan – 53 points; and Shereeda Yusuf – 10 points. This final round was hotly contested by the ladies resulting in a tie between Narda Mohamed and Samira Duncan which provided some extra excitement with a shoot-off of one end of three arrows each.The winner of the shoot-off, and gold medal winner was Mohamed with 16 points, while Duncan got the Silver with six points. The Bronze went to Yusuf. The Junior Class saw lone competitor Jessica Callender taking away the Gold.In the Senior Men’s Class there were seven competitors. Antiono Hackette, Colin Loncke, Robert Singh, Ryan McKinnon, Anand Mangra, Umasankar Madray and Nicholas Hing shooting the same five-end qualifying round.The first four to the targets were Anand Mangra, Robert Singh, Ryan McKinnon and Antonio Hackette, while the other three men were Colin Loncke, Nicholas Hing and Umasankar Madray. There was heated competition during the first round with the results of the final three men showing McKinnon who gained 106 points ahead of Mangra’s 95, followed by Hing’s 88 points.The final three-end round saw action with McKinnon, Mangra and Hing contesting the coveted Gold medal ending with Mangra taking away Gold with 83 points ahead of McKinnon’s 72 for Silver, and leaving Hing behind with 65 for Bronze. The only X (10) points of the finals were shot by McKinnon and Mangra, while Hing shot an X in qualification round.In an act of benevolence and support, wheelchair-bound potential Paralympic archer Uttamkumar Isurdeen – who met with many of the Archery Guyana coaches and members on Sunday – was afforded the opportunity to try out the Olympic recurve bow under proper instruction. Isurdeen was very enthusiastic about this opportunity and is eager to take up archery as a sport. Persons who are interested in becoming involved in the Olympic sport of Archery can email archeryguyana@gmail.com.last_img read more

4 low-performing schools awarded grants

first_img“This much-needed money will help schools implement effective action plans and provide critical resources to help students succeed,” he added. Locally, the grant amounts were: Evergreen Elementary, $232,400; Aeolian Elementary, $191,200; Huerta Elementary, $144,400; and Norwalk High, $959,200. At the 550-student Evergreen Elementary, where about 70 percent of students are English learners, Principal Gabriela Tavitian said the extra money will allow officials there to purchase a TOSA – or “teacher on special assignment.” That teacher would work “with third-, fourth- and fifth-graders during the day to help them in reading, writing or math,” he said. “We’re really excited about the possibilities,” Tavitian said. “We’ll keep on implementing standards and having immediate interventions, so we expect next year it should bring a big growth \ for the school.” WHITTIER – Four Whittier-area schools have been approved to receive a combined $1.5 million in grants to improve student learning and school academic performance. Evergreen, Aeolian and Huerta elementary schools, as well as Norwalk High School, were among a second group of schools to receive grant money from the state’s High Priority Schools Grant Program. More than $101 million will be handed out through the program this year to schools that ranked in the lower half of the 2005 Base Academic Performance Index, the state’s measuring stick for school performance. “These grants are designed to help tens of thousands of additional students in low-performing schools,” state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell said in a statement. The grant-receiving schools will each get $400 per student annually for up to four years, officials said. But the recipients also must also raise their API rankings by at least 10 points over the next three years. “The purpose of this funding is really to help us fill in the gap of resources that schools are suffering from,” said Norwalk High Principal Dina Wilson. “We have a good staff, a good group of students and community support,” she added. “And with the extra funding, we’ll bring Norwalk High students up to be competitive with everyone else and enhance the programs we already have.” tracy.garcia@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955 Ext. 3051160Want 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

Tillman cover-up alleged

first_imgLynch said she has been battling “misinformation and hype” since she returned from Iraq, badly injured, to discover a media depiction of her as “the little girl Rambo from the hills of West Virginia who went down fighting. It was not true.” The Defense Department’s inspector general, Thomas Gimble, defended his investigation into the handling of Tillman’s death. He noted that his March report found fault with nine officers – including four generals – and that they face possible punishment. “Not well handled” Tillman’s case “was not well handled, but I don’t see a cover-up,” Gimble said. Waxman, D-Calif., disagreed. “Even now, there seems to be a cover-up to prevent us from knowing what happened.” Waxman said his committee was just beginning to investigate how the Defense Department handled five different Tillman investigations since 2004, and a committee spokesman said additional hearings are likely. The committee, known for its extensive investigations, heard from two key witnesses who played important roles in the case: Spc. Bryan O’Neal, who was just yards from Tillman when he was killed, and Senior Chief Petty Officer Stephen White, a Tillman friend who gave a eulogy at the May 2004 memorial service in San Jose, Tillman’s hometown. O’Neal recalled how he and Tillman frantically waved and shouted as other members of the platoon fired on them. He recalled seeing blood everywhere, and seeing Tillman “slumped back on the ground, covered in blood. He was shot in the head. There wasn’t much left of him.” Hours later, O’Neal said he was “appalled” when Lt. Col. Jeff Bailey gave him an unusual order: Don’t tell Kevin Tillman, who was serving nearby but unaware of the death, that his brother was killed by friendly fire. “He basically said, `Don’t let Kevin know, that he’s probably in a bad place knowing his brother is dead.’ And he made it known I would get in trouble, sir, if I spoke with Kevin on it being fratricide,” O’Neal said. Days later, O’Neal sent a brief report on the shooting for a narrative that led to a Silver Star being awarded posthumously to Tillman. But that narrative was changed substantially, and the citation for the award spoke about Tillman’s valor under enemy fire. Under questioning, Gimble said his investigation was “unable to determine who in the chain of command altered that statement.” White was asked by the Tillman family to speak at the memorial service. He said an officer whose name he can’t remember gave him a summary of how Tillman was killed, and White told the large crowd of how Tillman “took the fight to the enemy.” “I’m the guy who told America how he died. That was incorrect,” White told the committee. He paused. “That does not sit well with me.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said his panel was looking into other friendly-fire incidents and how the military handled information and informed families. Mary Tillman agreed the scope of the inquiry should go beyond her noteworthy son. “This really isn’t about our family or about Pat. It’s about what they did to the nation. “They’re diminishing true heroism. War is ugly, bloody and painful, and to write these glorious tales is a disservice.” Lynch testifies Waxman and his panel also heard from Jessica Lynch, the 19-year-old Army supply clerk captured during the first month of the Iraq war and then rescued by U.S. forces. Lynch testified Tuesday that Pentagon accounts depicting her as a “G.I. Jane” emptying her rifle at Iraqi soldiers before her capture were a public-relations fabrication. Washington – Friends and relatives of Pat Tillman told Congress in emotional testimony Tuesday that the military misled the nation and betrayed Tillman’s family with false stories about how the former NFL star died. Kevin Tillman, who served with his brother in an Army Ranger platoon, went further. With his mother, Mary Tillman, at his side and military brass sitting behind him, he accused leaders of “exploiting Pat’s death” with “deliberate, calculated lies” that suppressed how other Rangers killed Tillman in a 2004 “friendly fire” incident in Afghanistan. “This wasn’t a misstep or error in judgment. The Army tried to hijack his virtue and legacy. It was simply horrific,” said Kevin Tillman, speaking in public for the first time about his brother’s death and how news about it was handled by the military. The purpose of the embellished story, he charged, was to deflect Americans’ attention from some unsavory aspects of the war in Iraq, and that it worked – for a while. The hearing was the first congressional inquiry into problems of notifying families in a timely and truthful manner about their loved ones’ deaths on the battlefield, and the perils of distorting events in wartime to cast them in more positive light. last_img

Pickup truck collides into apartment complex

first_img“There was a pickup travelling west on 100 Avenue, and it attempted to avoid having a collision with another vehicle, and due to road conditions – when he went to stop – he slid off road [to the] right and into a lower apartment in the apartment building,” Cpl. Jodi Shelkie said.Cpl. Shelkie adds, “He went through the exterior and inside the suite.”Nobody was home at the time of the incident, and the driver who was travelling alone was transported via ambulance to the Fort St. John Hospital with minor injuries.- Advertisement -Cpl. Shelkie says the driver’s decision was a good one, but goes on to emphasize the importance of slowing down on the road during the winter season.“If he was avoiding a vehicle, that’s all good,” Cpl. Shelkie goes on to say. “You have to do that but you need to be travelling much slower, and it’s a good reminder to everybody; you need to driver slower all winter long in these road conditions – give yourself longer to get where you’re going.”last_img read more

Wonder kid wanted by Liverpool, plus more Champions League stars to scout

first_img 7 7 5. Max Meyer (Schalke) – Find out which Man United and Man City target is next on our list by clicking the arrow – German starlet Meyer is being monitored by a number of Premier League sides. The attacking midfielder, 19, is a talented dribbler who has already been capped by Joachim Low and has been compared to compatriot Mario Gotze. He’ll be attempting to unlock the Real Madrid defence tonight. 4. Yacine Brahimi (Porto) – Click right to see which striker is interesting Man United and Everton – Often found causing mayhem while coming in from the left-flank, Brahimi looks like earning Porto another hefty portion of profit. They signed the Algerian flyer for €6.5m and could now sell for around £30m. Man City are on his trail along with rivals Man United. 6. Jackson Martinez (Porto) – Up next is a German talent being eyed by Chelsea and many others – One of the most clinical strikers in Europe, Martinez is wanted by Liverpool and has earned rave reviews from Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who believes he will leave Porto soon. The Colombian has scored 21 times in 26 games across all competitions. 3. Breel Embolo (Basel) – Continue through our gallery to see which starlet Liverpool want to add to their ranks – Another starlet who could be in action tonight is striker Embolo. He might have just signed a new deal with Basel but that won’t stop scouts from looking out for his performances. His talents have caught the eyes of Everton and Manchester United and if he can make an impact against Porto could find himself a wanted man. 7 1. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) – It’s likely you’re no stranger to the abilities of Welsh wonder Bale, but it’s worth noting Man United’s continuing interest in the attacker and how he is still yet to earn the full support of the Bernabeu fans. Could he be on his way back to the Premier League in the summer? 2. Ruben Neves (Porto) – Click right to find out which superstar will be being monitored tonight – It’s likely he’ll only be on the bench but it’s worth keeping an eye on Neves should he take to the field against Basel. The 17-year-old midfielder has already had the titles ‘golden boy’ and ‘wonder kid’ handed to him since his performances 2014 UEFA Under-17 European Championship and has made 15 appearances for Porto this campaign despite his tender age. 7 There might not be any British sides in action in the Champions League tonight but there are still plenty of reasons to keep an eye on the matches taking place.Real Madrid travel to Gelsenkirchen as they tackle Bundesliga side Schalke, while Porto fly to Switzerland to take on Basel.These ties mean there will be lots of players in action who have been targeted by Premier League clubs, so here at talkSPORT we’ve picked seven stars you might want to keep an eye on across the two matches… 7 7 7. Benedikt Howedes (Schalke) – Click right for a striker earning rave reviews from Arsene Wenger – Wanted by Manchester United, World Cup winner Howedes will captain Bundesliga side Schalke against Real Madrid. The versatile defender, capable of playing in any position across the back, will be a vital part of Roberto Di Matteo’s back-five who will be out to stop the Champions League holders from scoring. 7last_img read more

Starlets in CECAFA Challenge group of death

first_img0Shares0000Harambee Starlets skipper Dorcas Shikobe leads the team out during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification match against Malawi at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on September 1, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 24 – National women’s football team Harambee Starlets find themselves in the group of death for this year’s CECAFA Women’s Senior Challenge to be staged in Tanzania as they have been drawn with Uganda, Ethiopia and Djibouti in Pool B.Pool A has hosts and defending champions Tanzania, ‘small sisters’ Zanzibar, Burundi and South Sudan for the tournament that kicks off on November 14 at the Chamazi Complex in the outskirts of the capital Dar es Salaam. Starlets head coach David Ouma has welcomed the challenge of facing some of the tournament’s big guns and believes his side will be ready.“I know it will be tough but we respect all teams. We have enough experience and we know how to handle every situation in the tournament. For us I believe we will have a better performance than we have had in the previous games,” Ouma told Capital Sport.The tournament will find Starlets match fit as it will fall just a few days after they face Zambia in the third round of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers. The home and away ties are scheduled for between November 4 and 12.Ouma says that he will call up a huge squad when they start camp next week and CECAFA will offer him a chance to give a few new players an opportunity to show their worth.Harambee Starlets head coach David Ouma gestures on the bench during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification match against Malawi at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on September 1, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu“For us we want to create as much depth as possible and this will be a great place for us to test new players. We have already built up one solid unit all through the Olympic qualifiers but now we need to ensure we have a bigger group,” stated the tactician.Starlets open their campaign against Ethiopia on November 15. The two sides have already met in a friendly in Machakos a few weeks ago with Kenya winning 3-2.During the last CECAFA Championship in Kigali Rwanda, Starlets finished fourth, a huge dip from their performance in the maiden edition in 2016 when they reached the final only losing by a slim 1-0 margin to two time champions Tanzania.0Shares0000(Visited 57 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Switzerland 1-1 Poland (4-5 pens): Poles through to last-eight after Xhaka miss

first_img Poland celebrate their penalty shoot-out win over Switzerland 2 2 Arsenal’s summer signing Granit Xhaka missed from the spot as Poland beat Switzerland in a penalty shoot-out to become the first team to progress to the Euro 2016 quarter-finals.Fans were treated to one of the liveliest, end-to-end contests of the tournament so far in Saint Etienne, which saw both teams create loads of great chances.Poland dominated the first-half and went into the half-time break with a deserved lead courtesy of Borussia Dortmund winger Jakub Blaszczykowski, who scored after a clinical counter-attack.But the Poles sat back and allowed Switzerland back into the game in the second-half and Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri scored the best goal of the tournament so far to pull the Swiss level and force extra-time; finding the net with a stunning overhead kick from the edge of the box.It was the first goal Poland had conceded in France, and the teams could not be separated by an additional 30 minutes.Even the best players can be a victim in the lottery of a shoot-out, and this time it was Switzerland’s star midfielder Xhaka who suffered.His spot kick was woefully off target, skewing wide of the left-hand post, while Poland kept their cool and netted all five kicks to book their place in the last eight. It was an even contest at the end, but the first-half belonged to Poland as the Swiss struggled to make an impact.That’s not to say the men in red didn’t have their chances. Poland were yet to concede a goal ahead of this tie, and while Switzerland did threaten to break their defensive record, the opportunities they created often lacked conviction and failed to really test Lukasz Fabianski.The Swansea goalkeeper was probably Poland’s best player with a series of stunning stops to deny Switzerland’s best chances.Star man Robert Lewandowski has struggled to perform at his best so far in France and he was similarly quiet here.His strike partner, Ajax frontman Arkadiusz Milik, was presented most of Poland’s goalscoring opportunities, but he showed none of the Bayern Munich star’s prowess in front of goal; wasting three or four clear chances.But Jakub Blaszczykowski made amends for his team-mates’ profligacy by firing the Poles ahead on the stroke of half-time.A long throw from Fabianski sparked a rapid counter down the left flank, and the Dortmund winger was unmarked and had time to line up his shot as he fired in at the back post.It was a deserved lead, but Switzerland rallied after the break and were the more dangerous side throughout the second period.Most of their attacks were led by Shaqiri, who drove at the Poland defence and caused all sorts of problems at the back.The stubborn back-four were a match for most of the Swiss attacks though, through with a mix of organised defending and desperate last-ditch blocks, and it took a moment of magic to break themShaqiri had earlier passed at the chance to take a well-placed free-kick – with Ricardo Rodriguez’s effort forcing a brilliant save from Fabianski – but a moment of individual brilliance from the Stoke flyer eventually had them level in the 90th minute.A loose ball which bounced out to the edge of the box looked inviting, and the Potters star showed exquisite technique to scissor kick the ball past Fabianski and in off the post.Extra-time was a frantic affair which produced only a few clear-cut chances, but forward Eren Derdiyok really should have won it for Switzerland when he was played through one-on-one with the goalkeeper.His header wasn’t good enough, though, and Fabianski did well to react and push the ball wide of the goal.It was a chance which will surely haunt the player for years to come, as Poland showed their class from the resulting shoot-out to seal their place in the next round, and dump Switzerland out of the championship.last_img read more