Towards Repealing Liberia’s Draconian Press Laws

first_imgAaron Kollie, CEO of Power TV, made a strong point last week when he insisted that the perilous media conditions existing in Liberia can and must be reformed by the Liberian government exercising the political will to make reform happen.Addressing a panel during the two-day Media Law and Regulatory Reform Stakeholders Conference, Mr. Kollie said the free press, which government continuously boasts about, must not be measured simply by the proliferation of media houses and free talk, but by the formulation of laws and policies that safeguard that freedom in line with constitutional foundation.Kollie described the media reform initiative as “a strategic initiative to safeguard the sacred journalism profession.”We are pleased to hear Mr. Kollie describe the journalism profession as “sacred,” but how many Liberian journalists think so? But first, let us understand what “sacred” means. It means holy, consecrated, revered. How many Liberian journalists are practicing journalism in a “sacred” manner? For a very long time the profession has been seen by many as “pay as you go,” meaning you can get anything published or broadcast once you are backed by some unseen hand paying for it. No! That is just as corrupt as the very government which we journalists so often and so vigorously criticize for wrongdoing.This brings us to the main point of Mr. Kollie’s remarks, that Liberia’s perilous media conditions “must be reformed by the Liberian government exercising the political will” to make it happen.True, Liberia’s “perilous conditions” were made “perilous” by the punitive and punishing legislations made by the government itself, without regard to the Constitution. Take the law on Criminal Malevolence passed by the Tolbert Legislature in 1978. That law, seriously criticized by the constitutional analyst and pamphleteer Albert Porte, said the media could not criticize the Head of State of Liberia or any other country or high government official, even if the allegation were true.Mr. Porte urged the government to repeal that law; otherwise it would spell trouble for the country. Like so many other warnings, this one went unheeded and ignored. And what happened almost two years later? The 1980 coup d’état, followed by the civil war.So surely, it is primarily the responsibility of the government, which first put these laws into place, to take the first step to have them repealed and struck off the law books. If the GOL has the political will to do so, it should commandeer all the lawyers under its control, especially those in the Justice Ministry, but also lawyers that GOL can contract or co-opt to help with the repeal process by drafting the repeal bills for forwarding to the Legislature. GOL should then undertake the necessary follow-ups until the repeal process is successfully concluded.But it takes two to tango. The PUL and all Liberian journalists have a stake in this noble and urgent endeavor. Fortunately, the PUL and Liberian journalists are not weak. They have many friends in the legal profession who think that way—lawyers who know that the perilous laws are wrong because they violate the Constitution. These media-friendly legal professionals are willing and ready to help PUL put its case before the Legislature.We refer to such media-friendly lawyers as Counselor Tiawan Gongloe, former Solicitor General and former Labor Minister, Attorney Kofi Woods, former Public Works Minister, and others. We recall that when in 1984 the People’s Redemption Council (PRC) government closed down the Daily Observer and later sued it for “quo warranto” in an attempt to cancel its Articles of Incorporation, Counselor Varney Sherman, then a partner in the Maxwell and Maxwell Law Firm, joined the Observer’s retained Counsel, Counselor S. Raymond Horace, Sr. and other powerful lawyers and came to this newspaper’s defense, free of charge! The Daily Observer won the case before the Justice in Chambers, His Honor Emmanuel Koroma. But the state, under the leadership of the infamous Attorney General, Jenkins Scott, shamelessly took appeal to the full bench of the Supreme Court. All of the Justices on the Supreme Court bench were seen laughing as Counselor Laveli Supuwood, representing the state, floundered while presenting his legal arguments. We the Observer staff present, and our lawyers, knew we had won the case again.Alas, on the day of judgment, Chief Justice Emmanuel Gbalazeh did not have the courage or integrity to place the case on the docket. When, during the Supreme Court’s first recess, Counselor Horace asked him why the Observer case was absent from the docket, the CJ replied, “You think I’m stupid? You want me to lose my job?”Having surrendered his constitutional, judicial authority to the Executive, in clear violation of the “separation of powers,” Chief Justice Gbalazeh was himself listening to the radio on July 26, 1984, when Head of State Samuel K. Doe announced the reopening of the Daily Observer newspaper.We submit that PUL should not wait for government alone to take the repeal initiative, though it should. But we in the PUL, too, should marshal our own team of erudite and patriotic lawyers to join in the repeal process, and work diligently until all these draconian laws are repealed.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Duke is no longer the earl of top 25 poll

first_imgThe Bruins’ run lasted 221 weeks, from the 1966-67 preseason poll to Jan. 8, 1980. North Carolina is third all-time with 172 straight weeks from the 1990-91 preseason poll to Jan. 17, 2000. “If you do it for a long period of time, it means you’ve been good that long,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said of his team’s streak that began in the 1996-97 preseason poll. “We never bring it up. It’s a nice stat thing.” UCLA and Memphis are now tied for the longest active streak at 34 straight weeks in the Top 25. Duke was No. 8 two weeks ago before losing in the final seconds to Virginia and Florida State. The Blue Devils lost to then-No. 5 North Carolina 79-73 on Wednesday and fell 72-60 at Maryland on Sunday for their first four-game losing since Jan. 3-13, 1996. “We travel a narrow road between winning and losing,” Krzyzewski said. “We were in a position to win, you have to make sure the kids know that. They are doing a lot of things to put themselves in a position to win.” Duke received 150 points, falling just eight short of No. 25 Alabama. The Blue Devils will try to end their slide Wednesday against Atlantic Coast Conference leader Boston College. The Eagles (18-6, 9-2) are finally back in the poll at No. 21 after falling out in week 3. Duke’s Top 25 streak is over. Saddled by its first four-game losing skid in 11 years, Duke fell out of The Associated Press poll Monday for the first time since the end of the 1995-96 season. The Blue Devils had been in the media poll for 200 straight weeks – the second longest streak behind UCLA. center_img Florida remained a unanimous No. 1 for the second straight week, garnering all 72 first place votes. Florida beat Georgia 71-61 on Wednesday and won at then-No. 20 Kentucky 64-61 on Saturday in front of a raucous record crowd of 24,465. It was the Gators’ fifth straight victory over their rivals. It had been 20 years since the Wildcats, college basketball’s winningest program, lost five straight games to an opponent. Tennessee was the last to do it from 1975-77. UCLA fell to fifth after splitting games this past week. The Bruins beat then-No. 19 Southern California 70-65 on Wednesday, but lost to West Virginia by the same score Saturday. The Bruins had to fly across the country and play an early afternoon game. UCLA found itself down by 19 early in the second half before clawing back. “I was really pleased with the way we fought back,” UCLA coach Ben Howland said. “Obviously it’s a long way to come to get beat.” With UCLA’s loss, Ohio State moved up to No. 2 – its highest ranking since 1991. Wisconsin and North Carolina also gained a spot, moving up to No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. Texas A&M was No. 6, followed by Pittsburgh, Kansas, Memphis and Washington State. The Cougars (21-4, 10-3 Pac-10) moved up four spots after beating then-No. 25 Stanford and California. Washington State is only a half-game behind first-place UCLA as the Cougars chase their first league title. Nevada was No. 11, followed by Marquette, Butler, Georgetown, Oregon, Southern Illinois, Air Force, Oklahoma State, Arizona and Kentucky. Georgetown made the biggest jump, moving up eight spots to No. 14 after convincing wins over Louisville and then-No. 11 Marquette. The Hoyas have won seven straight. “We’re getting better, and our guys definitely have a comfort level with how we want to skin the cat, so to say,” said Georgetown coach John Thompson III after Saturday’s win over Marquette. “We’re more poised. A lot of times early in the season teams would make a run, and we’d stand around looking starry eyed.” Oregon fell two spots after splitting games with Arizona State and then-No. 24 Arizona. Southern Illinois moved up five spots to No. 16. Boston College was followed by Southern California, West Virginia, Indiana and Alabama. Besides Duke, Vanderbilt and Stanford also dropped out of the rankings. 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

Photos: Oakland Athletics work out at Yankee Stadium in preparation for do-or-die wild card game

first_imgClick HERE if you’re having trouble viewing the gallery on your mobile device.The Oakland Athletics work out at Yankee Stadium in preparation for a do-or-die wild card game tomorrow night in the Bronx. The winner of the game will advance to the American League Division Series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Friday. Pitcher Liam Hendriks will start for the A’s and Luis Severino will start for the Yankees. The A’s have a 97-65 record versus the Yankees 100-62 record. …last_img read more

Die Another Day — Geocache of the Week

first_imgDifficulty:1Terrain:1.5 SharePrint RelatedWelcome TB-Hotel Liechtenstein — Geocache of the WeekMarch 27, 2019In “Community”Come on in, the water’s fine. — Blue Lagoon (GC25643) — Geocache of the WeekApril 9, 2014In “Community”Woest Willem – Geocache of the WeekJune 6, 2018In “Community” Location:Jökulsárlón, IcelandN 64° 02.736 W 016° 11.134 On the southeastern coast of Iceland lies Jökulsárlón, which translates literally to ‘Glacial River Lagoon’. Situated at the head of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, Jökulsárlón lake is dotted with iridescent icebergs. A mountain range underlines the sky in every landward direction.Photo by chaufmaIt’s no wonder this place is a popular setting for dramatic, pinnacle scenes in Hollywood movies. The traditional cache here is part of a series of geocaches hidden at filming locations in Iceland. It marks the spot where a scene from the James Bond epic film Die Another Day was filmed. The movies A View to a Kill and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider also had scenes shot here.The cache container itself fits the James Bond theme… kind of.The cache page notes, “Extra points if you upload a picture of yourself in front of the lake posing as James Bond.” And geocachers definitely have been doing that… though some of them appear to be reproducing scenes from the film’s outtakes!Photo by KapistijnJessikoePhoto by lecon2011Photo by ísbjörnPhoto by devilonightPhoto by Placebo & VincePhoto by JetteSumskThe cache has earned 217 favorite points in four years, making it the 11th most-favorited geocache in Iceland. Should you be lucky enough to visit the area, the highly-favorited EarthCache JÖKULSÁRLÓN (ICELAND) can also be found nearby.Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.Share with your Friends:More TraditionalGC3MEKWby Kvikmyndir.islast_img read more

Once Again, Twitter Drops Ruby for Java

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Twitter has now moved its entire search stack from Ruby-on-Rails to Java.That’s a big shift. Twitter moved its back end message queue from Ruby to Scala, a Java platform in the 2008-2009 time frame. The move was attributed to issues with reliability on the back-end.This latest move makes the shift pretty much complete. At Twitter, Ruby is out of the picture.Twitter explains the change on its engineering blog:Last week, we launched a replacement for our Ruby-on-Rails front-end: a Java server we call Blender. We are pleased to announce that this change has produced a 3x drop in search latencies and will enable us to rapidly iterate on search features in the coming months.Does this mean that Java is better than Ruby for services with heavy loads? Ganeshji Marwaha, director at Triomatrix Webservices, says it all depends:Wow, that is quite an achievement. Could this mean that Java is a better platform than Rails for high scalability needs? Even if that is the case, for simpler scenarios, the beauty of RoR out-weighs Java’s performance.They say that this change will enable them to rapidly iterate on search features in the coming months. That along with the news that Twitter has hired 25 more employees kinda tells that Java’s code base is practically more maintainable than equivalent Ruby code – at least when the code base is huge and the team size is large. Or that could mean that this time they really put a lot of thought into designing a maintainable system than when they started out. But for smaller team size and code base, RoR is still an unbeaten champion.You can read the full account about the new search capabilities with Java on the Twitter blog post. It goes into detail about the changes and the benefits that it is seeing with the switch. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img alex williams Tags:#cloud#news Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more