Let us first give praise and thanks to God Almighty because it is by His grace and goodwill that we celebrate our 169th Independence Day today. Our country has gone through many changes in the past few decades. Some of those changes, long expected, did not live up to the full potential because they were marred by anger, frustration, and sometimes a deep sense of alienation that led to violence. However, because of the resilient people that we are, we have managed to move past those days. Today’s young Liberian will grow up with no experience of the trauma that the older generations including myself have gone through. We now have peace, we enjoy an emerging democracy, and there is light at the end of the tunnel. I am humbled to be a part of the leadership of the nation into this era of transformation, a process that will positively impact in every aspect of our society.In the most recent past we have seen the reform of state structures and changing procedures, processes, and technologies to make existing systems more effective in doing what they were intended to do. Thus, our reform agenda included, first and foremost, building safeguards, so that we don’t slip back into the old habits that almost destroyed our country. By changing structures, a new political culture was launched. These days, when Liberians speak of corruption, national budget, press freedom, the rule of law, they do so freely and with an understanding of what these words mean. However, this is not something that government can do on its own, no matter what amount of resources it has. The government can create the institutions and the environment, but every Liberian must take responsibility for transformation. It is a patriotic duty for every Liberian – whether in government or in the private sector, in urban or rural areas, old and young – to support the process.What do we mean by transformation? By transformation, we mean doing things radically different from the ways they were traditionally done. For transformation to occur, the beliefs, values and culture of institutions must be changed completely. Transformation also involves changing the current rules, roles, and relationships so that the innovations – the new ways of doing things – can be embraced. The first example of this is the issue of feeding ourselves – growing food that we eat, and eating the food that we grow. Our second is transforming our social fabric – our traditions, our values are taught less, and that is because the dislocation of our family structures has been one of the negative consequences of our civil conflict. Families broke down, and, in turn, family values broke down. We must bring back those moral and civil lessons that once made families strong. The struggle to regain our dignity is the real reason behind our quest for transformation. As a people, we must renew hope and confidence in our own abilities to transform our country and shed the dependency syndrome that has gripped so many of us. Partnerships with the international community are good; they help us to build strong institutions. But we must not become overly dependent on aid; we must be able to do for ourselves and as proud Liberians. This is something that we can do if we join our forces together. We did it before, and we can certainly do it again!I tell people all the time that I am proudly Liberian, the person that I am today is because of the foundation I obtained in Liberia. My formative years were spent in Liberia, I graduated from High School in Liberia, I was raised and learned my values by my parents in Liberia. Those formative years in Liberia prepared me to be able to travel to the United States to obtain advanced degrees and have a very successful career for almost 20 years. I explain all of this, not to impress you, but to inspire you and say that, if I could do it, ANY of you can do it. Liberia is responsible for the person I am today and it is because of my fond memories of Liberia that I decided to leave a successful career in the US and return to work in Liberia about 10 years ago. I have not regretted that decision for one minute! I truly believe that if we do not build our country, no one will do it for us!We must accept and take pride in our native Liberia by being patriotic and nationalistic, putting Liberia first, above all else. We must take ownership of our communities and not wait for the government to do everything. We must respect our Constitution and the rights of equality of all people. We are at a new juncture, Fellow Liberians. Having laid the foundations, we must now ensure that the new structures we put in place will stand the test of time, will not carry the same deficiencies of the past. In order to succeed, we must change our mind-set about the public good, the national interest and the greater good.I call on all Liberians to take a moment and think about the future. I invite you to envision a greater and better Liberia. If we are capable of looking into the future, and if we are able to envision the better days ahead, then we can all put in place the mechanisms for success. To everyone present, to Liberians and residents throughout our nation, to our compatriots in the Diaspora, and to our special guests, partners and friends, we extend hearty greetings and say a “Happy 26.” May God continue to bless Liberia!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A waitress who was charged for assaulting a man and then stealing his cellphone was on Friday found guilty of stealing the cellphone and was sentenced for that offence.Sherryann MarksTwenty-five-year-old Sherryann Marks, of Lot 123 Middle Road, La Penitence, Georgetown, pleaded not guilty to the charge which stated that on July 31, 2019, at Vlissengen Road, Georgetown, she stole one Alcatel cellphone valued at $60,000, property of Collin Woolford.During her address to the court, Marks claimed that she walked away with the phone by mistake and was not given a chance to return it.When the matter was called previously, the Magistrate ruled that there was sufficient evidence that Marks stole the cellphone and as such, she was sentenced to spend the next six months behind bars.Marks was also charged for using threatening behaviour and was fined $10,000, for that offence, since she pleaded guilty to that charge when she made her first court appearance.However, the assault matter against Marks is still ongoing and that ruling will soon be handed down.The Court heard that the Virtual Complainant (VC) and the defendant are known to each other.It was reported that on the day in question, Marks and the VC had a misunderstanding which caused her to become annoyed. It was then the defendant dealt Woolford several slaps and cuffs about his body and relieved the man of his cellphone.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Golden State Warriors hardly expect to fix every flaw in one night.Beating Denver in dominant fashion certainly provided a positive first step. The two-time defending champions showed some of that swagger again.“Pride,” coach Steve Kerr said.Klay Thompson returned from a two-game absence to score 39 points with nine 3-pointers, and the Warriors bounced back from their worst loss of the season to beat the Nuggets 122-105 on Friday night in a matchup of the top two teams in the Western Conference.Thompson sat out that embarrassing 128-95 home defeat Tuesday night to the Celtics, the worst at Oracle Arena in Kerr’s five seasons, because of soreness in his right knee. He then scored 27 points in the first half Friday and wound up 9 of 11 from deep.Having him back meant a lot, and everybody else brought their best, too.Kevin Durant added 26 points and six assists, and Stephen Curry scored 17 points. DeMarcus Cousins had a strong outing on both ends with 13 points, six rebounds, six assists, six blocked shots and three steals.Dubs brought the energy tonight.Relive the win with the Game Rewind, presented by @Verizon ⏪ pic.twitter.com/UEkGX0h4SB— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) March 9, 2019Golden State played with a purpose again, an edge that hadn’t been seen much the past month.With the Warriors on a two-game home losing streak, they didn’t let Denver get into the game for any significant stretch — much like a 142-111 road win against the Nuggets in January.“Our guys have responded for the last five years to bad losses, to lulls, so it didn’t surprise me at all that we came out with energy and passion and got off to that great start,” Kerr said.Denver Nuggets’ Will Barton, left, guards Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 8, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Malik Beasley scored 17 points off the bench for cold-shooting Denver, which lost for the fourth time in five games following a five-game winning streak.After Golden State’s worst loss of the season overall to Boston and fifth at Oracle by 20 or more points, the Warriors quickly got back to work and players spoke up as they spent the next day at film study and practice re-establishing their goals: Do the little things better. Defend. Hustle. Secure home court for the playoffs.Draymond Green acknowledged the team wasn’t competing.Kerr said his team needed to play angry.Curry called for action on the court, enough talking about doing it.Durant challenged everyone, from the coaches on down, to improve.The collective effort was clear from the opening tip.“The last couple days of practice was great for us,” Green said. “You could just kind of sense that everybody was locked in, and there’s still a lot of things we can correct. … It was good to kind of feel that energy and focus level from the start of the game.”Nikola Jokic had 16 points for the Nuggets, who beat the Lakers in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.On Friday, Denver’s starters didn’t get it done, with the Nuggets’ bench outscoring Golden State’s reserves 58-23.“They’re a better team than we are. If it wasn’t for our bench we would have gotten completely blown out,” coach Michael Malone said. “Our bench at least kept it respectable.”Golden State started 8 of 15 with seven assists and eight rebounds to go ahead 20-6 and force a second Denver timeout at the 6:18 mark of the first. The Warriors led 67-50 at the break.“We’re not going to just flip it all around in one night, but this was a great start to getting back on track and playing like ourselves,” Kerr said.Denver Nuggets’ Torrey Craig, right, shoots against Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 8, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)TIP-INSNuggets: The Nuggets outrebounded the Warriors 45-44 but shot just 33 for 87. … Trey Lyles missed his eighth straight game with a strained left hamstring. … Denver returns to Oracle Arena on April 2 after the teams split their two meetings in the Mile High City.Warriors: Thompson notched his 11th 30-point performance with his eighth 20-point half this season. … Green moved past former Warriors player, coach and GM and current team ambassador Al Attles (2,483) for eighth place on the franchise career assists list. … Shaun Livingston was back after missing Tuesday’s loss with neck spasms, while C Kevon Looney returned after being sidelined two games with right pelvic soreness.STEPH’S PROMISECurry and Under Armour teamed to fulfill their promise to Riley Morrison, the 9-year-old Napa girl who wrote a letter to the two-time MVP in November asking why his signature Curry 5 shoes weren’t offered for girls. Curry apologized and vowed to send her two pairs, including the new Curry 6 model.Curry announced the ICON Curry 6 “United We Win” edition that features a personal design touch from Riley in the sock liner.The girl was doing an interview Friday on CBS about the shoes and Curry when he walked in. He gave her a pair of the new shoes and rebounded for her while she shot baskets.Morrison was Curry’s guest for the game on International Women’s Day.Meanwhile, Durant wore bright pink sneakers in the spirit of the day.By: Janie McCauley, AP Sports WriterTweetPinShare0 Shares
Virat Kohli is getting bigger, and better. Period. This is how Chris Gayle likes to sum up the Indian skipper’s unmatched clout in world cricket right now.As Kohli was hammering England bowlers on Day 2 of the Edgbaston Test, the big Jamaican, on a short trip to India, wrapped up a shoot in Mumbai and switched on the TV in time to watch the highlights of his former RCB teammate’s 22nd Test century, the first in England.”Wow, that was a great knock by Virat – a captain’s innings, a fantastic one,” gushes Gayle in a chat with India Today.”Look at the way Indian team was positioned at that moment in the match. The way he handled the situation with the tail-enders was fantastic. That goes on to show a lot of experience there and also the determination. You could see him talking to the non-striker, urging the tail-ender to just stay on with him in an effort to take it down as close as possible (to the England first innings total). You get a chance, you make the best use of it, that’s what he did. No wonder he is the No. 1 ranked batter in the world right now.”The accolades don’t stop there, just like the ultimate run-machine Kohli.”Virat is absolutely phenomenal. 22 Test centuries plus 35 in ODIs. And, at the same time, he keeps on growing as a captain. He is getting bigger and better, more powerful as well. Be it his training, technique, his ability to batting in trying circumstances, he is always able to produce the goods. Like I said, all I can say to him is continue. I wish him success and that he just keeps growing strength to strength,” says the swashbuckling left-hander.advertisement India vs England 1st Test: Virat Kohli smashed 149 vs England at EdgbastonGayle’s opening partner at Kings XI Punjab is a certain KL Rahul. The West Indian, his eyes wide open, stood in awe at the non-striker end as Rahul smashed a 14-ball 50, the fastest in tournament’s history, a few months ago. He may not have had a good start to the Test series in England but Gayle will always put him right behind Virat.”I am a huge fan of KL Rahul and always tell people that after Virat Kohli, Rahul will be the man. It is only up to him to not excel and get as close or as far as Virat. He is so talented, a superb player and I love to watch him bat. He is a sweet timer of the ball, has shots all around. KL Rahul, soon to be the man!”Only last week, while playing against Bangladesh in the final ODI at St. Kitts, Gayle equalled Shahid Afridi’s long-standing record of hitting the maximum number of sixes in international cricket. While Afridi hit 476 sixes in 524 matches, Gayle has reached the mark in just 443 games. MS Dhoni (342 sixes from 504 matches) is at No. 5 in that list while Rohit Sharma (291 sixes from 292 games) is currently at the seventh spot.”Oh, you guys are way behind, a lot…Come on, come on, catch us up,” he says jokingly. “But seriously to be able to tie with Afridi, the legendary boom-boom, with 476 sixes is great. I think I will keep it at that and hit no more sixes. I think we are both big six-hitters, entertainers and it is fantastic to be joint first with Shahid Afridi. So boom-boom, don’t worry, your record is safe, okay!”The record will in all probability be broken when West Indies tour India later this year. Gayle is optimistic of getting selected and even playing the next year’s World Cup.”I will be back in India, if selected. I am really looking forward to it, always a pleasure to play cricket in India. We know each other well so it is always a great tournament and lots of entertainment. Also I am happy with lots of discussion happening between players and board (WICB) in the past few weeks. Every player now has an understanding and I am sure they have put it forward to players to make themselves available and see what happens.Maybe by the time World Cup happens, we can get the best squad out there.”The news of former cricketer, Imran Khan, becoming the next Prime Minister of Pakistan brought a smile on Gayle’s face.”Someone just told me earlier as I haven’t been following the news. It is good to see a cricketer in that category. Being a Prime Minister is a lot of hope for the cricketers to come.”advertisementSo ‘Universe Boss’, as Gayle likes to call himself, fancy his chances as Jamaican PM one day?”(Laughs) Not me, for sure. But it certainly paves way for Shahid Afridi to be the next PM!”