Several Arrested for Violence at ArcelorMittal

first_imgCalm is said to have returned to the ArcelorMittal concession area in Nimba after the violent demonstration that led to the ransacking of the properties belonging to the iron ore company.On Thursday, 3rd July 2014, a youth group identified as “Tokadeh Progressive Youth for a Peace and Development began what they claimed as a peaceful demonstration in the concession town of Zolowee along the Sanniquellie-Yekepa at the junction of the road leading to Mount Tokadeh.The aggrieved youth spokesperson Sayetee Zowehyee told this paper via mobile phone on the day of the standoff that their action came due to what he called “the failure of ArcelorMittal” to adhere to their plights and demands.He said prior to their demonstration they informed the County Attorney, LNP and UNMIL to carry on a peaceful march on 3rd June 2014 so as to claim the ArcelorMittal’s attention over petitions addressed to the company long time ago concerning the development of the areas.He said, while they were carrying on the peaceful march at the junction leading to Mount Tokadeh, the Emergency Response Unit/ERU came in and told them under the pretext that they were there to provide protection based on their request to the LNP.Superintendent Zuagele confirmed the request but said that the County Attorney upon receiving the letter he immediately wrote instructing them to put halt to all form of demonstration and again went on air informing the group not to demonstrate but they refused to adhere to his order.The youth claimed they were carrying on peaceful demonstration, but the road leading up the mount was blocked with fallen tree, with cooking taking place on the main road.He narrated that after they got through cooking around the intersection leading up the mount, the ERU seized the food and set it in their pickup and began firing discriminately, using tear gas to disperse them.It was from the action of the ERU that led the youth to flee into the bushes which of course let things get out of hand, he said.An eyewitness account says there was shooting of single barrel guns by the youth after they fled into the bush and they even committed extensive damage on ArcelorMittal facilities at the mines as well as on the train.Bridges along the road leading to Yekapa were tampered with by the youth in an attempt to dismantle them at some locations of the road.However, an Executive Mansion release says several of those involved in the disturbances were picked up and taken to Monrovia for interrogation.Several government officials, including the Information Minister Lewis Brown; Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Patrick Sandolo and some of the Nimba Lawmakers paid a visit to the area, aimed at finding a breakthrough, but it is not yet known what level of discussion was held with the both sides.Nimba District # 1 Representative Jeremiah Koung expressed frustration over the level of destruction ArcelorMittal sustained from the hands of the youth.He urged the youth to be proactive in their campaign and stop the attitude of destruction of infrastructures.It was also reported that the group went up the mount and ransacked activity there, forcing some ArcelorMittal workers to be airlifted by helicopter.This year appears to be tough for the company since they started the operation in Liberia nearly 10 years ago.In February this year, the citizens of the affected communities within ArcelorMittal concession blocked the roads leading up Mount Takadeh where the mining of iron ore is taking place.  They claimed that the management of ArcelorMittal failed to pay damages to their properties and also refused to employ the citizens.  Some of their plights were addressed where most of them received the required payment of damages.On Tuesday 29th April 2014 a group of Nimba youth under the banner, “Concerned Nimbaians calling for Re-signing and Renegotiation of the Arcelor Mittal Mineral Development Agreement with the Government of Liberia”, seized the railroad in demand of changes in the MDA.This issue was brought to rest after the intervention of the Nimba 53rd Legislative Caucus and some staff of the company.One of the Concerned Nimbaian Advocates, Saye Musah, attributed the eruption of this new crisis to lack of communication from the Nimba County Authority headed by Supt. Fong Zuagele.He said after their railroad seized in April, a meeting was called for by ArcelorMittal in May at the Royal Hotel in Monrovia, where Supt. Zuagele was instructed by the Nimba Legislative Caucus to convene a meeting with the aggrieved youth (including this group) so as to discuss some of the counts which were not discussed at Royal Hotel Meeting.  “But accordingly,” Musah said, “the county superintendent hasn’t called for meeting up this the time of the crisis,” something Superintendent Zuagele outrightly denied.The present aggrieved “Tokadeh Youth Movement” in August 2013, presented an eight counts resolution to the management of Mittal at the joint citizens meeting with CEO of Mittal in Zolowee calling for improved water system, health care facility, and employment at all levels, among others.At present, the road between Sanniquellie and Yekapa is now calm and traffic has resumed, but there no sign of work going on at the Tokadeh Mines since the standoff.Representative Larry Younquoi of Nimba District #8 told reporters in Ganta that almost a truckload of things looted from the ArcelorMittal camp around Mount Tokadeh had been retrieved and returned, while search is going on to get the remaining items.In a similar development, another group calling themselves “Movement for the Defense of Downtrodden” launched their activity in Ganta on 3rd July 2014.The group who described themselves as rights organization said they will be engaging institutions in Nimba and elsewhere in the interest of the communities, looking at the controversial Nimba Scrap deal, a purported US$4 million GOL owed Nimba from ArcelorMittal Social Development Fund, and the relocation of George Ways Hospital in Sanniquellie, among others.Despite the company’s almost 10 years of existence and almost four years of shipment of iron ore, one-third of Yekapa still remains undeveloped with the hospital there yet to be renovated and the roads still remain unpaved despite years of promises something the citizens greatly concerned about.Superintendent Zuagele has also confirmed the arrest of five persons in connection to the violence over the weekend and sent to Monrovia while their leaders, Sayetee and others, remain at large.He also confirmed that some members of the group, “Concern Nimbaian for Resigning and Renegotiating of the MDA”, are undergoing interrogation at the police station in Sanniquellie into their involvement into the violence.Earlier, one of the detainees, Ta Kruah, told this paper via mobile that they were asked by the Superintendent for a meeting early Sunday, 6th July 2014 but were immediately summoned by Police Chief of Operations, Abraham Kromah, for questioning and they are still being held with no charge(s).Meanwhile, the Executive Mansion Release said the full extent of the damage, which is still being assessed, includes destruction to private properties, as well as injuries to six police officers and the destruction of public roads and bridges.Information Minister Lewis Brown said, “There is no tolerance in this society for those who act outside the law by expressing grievances through violence, destroying properties, assaulting law enforcement officers, and violating the rights of others.”He also added that “all such individuals will face the full weight of the law.”However, Government of Liberia has assured the management of Arcelor Mittal and all private and foreign investors that no action will be spared to protect lives and properties as well as the general wellbeing of their staffs and employees.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Reports Differ on Kansas Evolution Debates

first_imgHow is the debate over evolution in Kansas going?  It depends on whom you ask.  MSNBC News focused on personal attacks between board members (see also the Lexington Herald-Leader).  The Discovery Institute, by contrast, focused on the content of the new proposed standards that allows a “common-sense” approach for teaching all the science about evolution, including the problems with Darwin’s theory.MSNBC’s title suggests that both sides are bickering, claiming “School board members hurl insults at each other.”  But if you look into the article, the only ones hurling insults are the evolutionists; the other side is just putting up their shields.  All Connie Morris said was, after being insulted, “Had you attended, you would have been informed.  You would be sitting here as informed individuals and not arrogantly calling us dupes.”  The article claims Morris mentioned the moderates by name in print, but does not say she insulted them like the Darwinists did; she only derided evolution itself, the article says.  The evolutionists, though, called the conservatives “dupes” of intelligent design advocates and their decision based on “absolute and total fraud.”  Judge for yourself which side is acting with civility and responsibility.    The majority conservatives had invited the pro-evolution moderates to come to the hearings, but they wouldn’t.  The Darwin Party could have contributed to the discussion, but chose to sit and pout.  If they had been listening, they would realize that the Board is taking no position on intelligent design.  The new standards are very mild.  They do not call for teaching creation or intelligent design, but only for permitting critical thinking about evolution such that it is treated like any other scientific theory, not like a sacred cow.  No advocates of a scientific theory would worry about that unless their position was weak.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Call for recognition of sign language

first_img19 January 2012The National Institute for the Deaf (NID) has called for sign language to be recognised as one of South Africa’s official languages.According to the NID, sign language is the fifth most used language in the country, with more people using it, for example, than those who speak SiSwati, IsiNdebele and TshiVhenda.The NID said that about four-million South Africans had hearing difficulty, while 1.5-million were “profoundly deaf”, with 93 percent of the deaf being unemployed.This was revealed during public hearings on the South African Language Bill hosted by Parliament’s portfolio committee on arts and culture in Cape Town on Tuesday.Several organisations and individuals were set to add their input into the Bill. These include the Pan South African Language Board, the Law Society of SA, Afrikaanse Taal en Kultuur Vereniging, Vriende van Afrikaans, and FW De Klerk Foundation.Ernest Kleinschmidt, one of the board directors at the NID, was one of those invited to add his voice to the Bill. He made a compelling appeal for the recognition of sign language.“I’m a deaf person. I’m proud of the language I use,” Kleinschmidt told the house, asking if there were people who did not use sign language in their daily life. He said people used sign language to express themselves, adding that “without communication, we are all deaf and dumb”.Avoidable sufferingHe asked that the Bill be crafted to include sign language as one of the official languages in the country.The NID said many deaf children suffered both at school and at home as they were not understood.Committee chairperson Thandile Sunduza said the South African Constitution had to be amended to accommodate the language.Among other things, the South African Language Bill seeks to provide for the “regulation and monitoring of the use of official languages by national government for government purposes”. It calls for the adoption of language policies by national government departments, national public entities and national enterprises.It also proposes the identification of at least two official languages that “a national department, national public entity or public enterprise will use for government purposes”.Indigenous languagesDuring his submissions, Dr Neville Alexander of the Xhosa Africa Network called for government and non-profit organisations to preserve indigenous languages.“If we are serious about democracy, we should take indigenous languages seriously,” Alexander said, indicating that democracy depended on people being able to communicate with each other.He said the government should review the “language dispensation in this country”.“Languages can cause conflict, but they can also reconcile people,” he said, cautioning that the language debate should not be a racial one.He said languages such as Afrikaans, IsiZulu and IsiXhosa were equal, and called for each province to have a Language Act. Currently, only the Western Cape and Limpopo had legislative pieces governing languages.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Brand South Africa Dialogue on health in the Eastern Cape

first_imgDr Petrus de Kock, research manager at Brand South Africa, addresses the audience at the inaugural Play Your Part/Sowetan Dialogues in East London, Eastern Cape.“The problems are not new, they have existed for over a decade and they are fixable if the Department of Health engages with civil society,” said Vuyokazi Matiso of the Treatment Action Campaign and Eastern Cape Health Crisis Action Coalition.(Images: Keshina Thaver)MEDIA CONTACTS • Dr Petrus de KockResearch managerBrand South Africa+27 11 712 5000Keshina ThaverCommunity members, government leaders and health activists and professionals held a stimulating debate at Brand South Africa’s inaugural Play your Part/Sowetan Dialogue in East London on Wednesday 20 November 2013.The dialogue focused on health issues in the Eastern Cape. The dialogue’s panel included the head of the province’s health department, Dr Thobile Mbengashe, Brand South Africa research manager Dr Petrus de Kock, Vuyokazi Matiso of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and Eastern Cape Health Crisis Action Coalition, Dr Nombasa Mayeko of the Rural Doctors Association of Southern Africa (Rudasa), Eastern Cape Democratic Nurses Organisation South Africa (Denosa) regional chair Luleka Ntlebi, and Eastern Cape Denosa provincial organiser, Sivuyile Sikwe.The event was sponsored by Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part campaign, in association with the Daily Despatch and Sowetan newspapers.Members of the audience raised significant issues regarding healthcare delivery in the province, which the facilitator, well-known Mhlobo Wenene FM radio personality Putco Mafani, directed with charm.While it soon became clear that a number of problems, from staff and medical supply shortages to unpaid staff and failing equipment, still needed to be addressed, community members and panellists alike expressed their appreciation that such a dialogue was taking place.“This is an important opportunity to talk about the things that affect us in the Eastern Cape,” said the province’s Mbengashe. “We have unique issues we have to address, such as the social determinates like access to water and the use of firewood in homes which affect the health of the population.“However, I have met some extraordinary people who are doing extraordinary things all the time, and I have met a few people who do not meet the standard, yet the focus is on them.“I challenge everyone to get the system to work. I am quite willing to work with anyone who has constructive ideas to improve the health system, especially for those without a voice,” Mbengashe said.Working with the Department of HealthBut Mayeko of Rudasa said it was not possible to talk about solutions without addressing the problems first, and a critical step in finding those solutions was for all the health organisations to work together with the Department of Health.“Doctors need leadership to meet their promises, not just to make them,” Mayeko said. “The harsh treatment of doctors leads to them leaving the province and this means that the people who need them the most are at risk.”She said the Eastern Cape Health Crisis Action Coalition needed to be listened to because they were able to voice solutions coming from the community. She asked Mbengashe to take note and allow the coalition to help the Department of Health improve health services in the province.“The problems are not new. They have existed for over a decade and they are fixable if the Department of Health engages with civil society,” said Matiso of the TAC and Eastern Cape Health Crisis Action Coalition.“In all of our attempts to engage with government, this is the first opportunity the coalition has had to directly address the Department of Health. We want Dr Mbengashe to know that we are willing to work with government if they give the coalition a chance.”Mbengashe responded by reiterating that he was happy and willing to work with anyone wanting to work with health services.“My door is always open, but we have to all come together to work on a constructive way forward,” he said.One of the audience members, Dr Nozipho Jaxa, asked Brand South Africa’s De Kock if he could take positive stories and show the public that even though doctors and nurses worked under stressful conditions, they were still doing incredible work under the circumstances.“I am very passionate about the Eastern Cape,” Jaxa said. “I was born here and I train doctors all over the province, and I see what wonderful work is being done.”last_img read more

Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch Could Be Coming To The Arm Race

first_imgRole of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Related Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology A Samsung smartwatch is likely in the works and it is coming to a Galaxy near you.In a patent filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Samsung details a smartwatch concept it appears to be calling “Galaxy Gear.” According to the patent, the device is a watch or a bangle that can connect to the Internet and transmit data and messages.The description from the patent filing:Wearable digital electronic devices in the form of a wristwatch, wrist band or bangle capable of providing access to the Internet and for sending and receiving phone calls, electronic mails and messages; wearable electronic handheld devices in the form of a wristwatch, wrist band or bangle for the wireless receipt, storage and/or transmission of data and messages and for keeping track of or managing personal information; smart phones; tablet computers; portable computers.A patent filing does not necessarily mean that a company will build a particular product. If you look back into the annals of patents given to tech companies, you will find such items as an iPod-like click-wheel iPhone. That product, thankfully, never made it to market. But Apple’s engineers and designers patented it. Samsung smartwatch patent. Image source: Moveplayer.Smartwatches are an inevitability. Between the fascination with smartphones and tablets and the emerging trend of the “quantified self,” the top mobile manufacturers will make, at the very least, a small foray into smartwatches.When that will be, no one is quite sure. The initial thought was that companies like Apple, Google and Samsung would have consumer-ready products by the end of 2013. That may still happen but there has been a lack of tangible news (outside of these types of patent filings) that say that smartwatches will hit the mass consumer market any time soon. Yet with each successive patent, we have a better idea of what these smartwatches will do. Samsung wants it to be a device that can act like a smartphone on your wrist and be able to have its own wireless data connection (which stands apart from other smartwatch rumors that indicate the wearable devices will have to be paired with smartphones for data connectivity). Images from Korean news site Moveplayer showing Korean patents filings for potential Samsung smartwatch. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#Android#Samsung#smartwatch dan rowinskilast_img read more

Ban mobile phones for girls: BJP MLA

first_imgIn a controversial demand, mayor of Aligarh Shakuntala Bharti and a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from the area Sanjeev Raja demanded that school girls should not be allowed to carry mobile phones. While speaking at an event at the Uday Singh Inter College in Aligarh, Ms. Bharti, who has courted controversies in the past, said, “Why do young schoolgoing girls need mobile phones? It is one of the reasons why girls of Aligarh are going in a wrong direction and meeting wrong people.” Parents’ responsibilityWhile agreeing with Ms. Bharti, Mr. Rana said, “I wonder why young girls cover their faces while riding motorbikes. It is like the idea of using mobile phones when all they have to do is go to school from home and come back home from school. It is the parents’ responsibility to prohibit girls from covering their faces.”last_img read more