My fellow Liberians,Our nation is currently affected by the deadly Ebola virus, and the disease has now spread to eight (8) counties. Liberia is among three (3) countries experiencing an unprecedented outbreak of the virus — the largest ever since this virus was first discovered. It now poses serious risks to the health, safety, security and welfare of our nation. And beyond the public health risk, the disease is now undermining the economic stability of our country to the tune of millions of dollars in lost revenue, productivity and economic activity.The healthcare system in the country is now under immense strain, and the Ebola epidemic is having a chilling effect on overall healthcare delivery. Out of fear of being infected with the disease, healthcare practitioners are afraid to accept new patients, especially in community clinics all across the country. Consequently, many common diseases, which are especially prevalent during the rainy season, such as malaria, typhoid and common colds, are going untreated and may lead to unnecessary and preventable deaths.The virus currently has no cure and has a fatality rate of up to 90 percent. The aggregate number of cases — confirmed, probable and suspected — in our country has now exceeded five hundred (500), with about 271 cumulative deaths. With 32 deaths among healthcare workers, the death rate among citizens — especially among healthcare workers — is alarming.Two weeks ago, I established a National Task Force, which I chair myself, to respond to this crisis. I instructed all non-essential government staff to stay home for thirty (30) days, ordered the closure of schools and authorized the fumigation of all public buildings. We have shut down markets in affected areas and have restricted movement in others. We have improved our response time and contact tracking, and have begun coordinating with regional and international partners.Despite this and other continuing efforts, the threat continues to grow. Ignorance, poverty, as well as entrenched religious and cultural practices continue to exacerbate the spread of the disease, especially in the counties. The actions allowed by statute under the Public Health Law are no longer adequate to deal with the Ebola epidemic as comprehensive[ly] and holistic[ally] as the outbreak requires. The scope and scale of the epidemic, the virulence and deadliness of the virus now exceed the capacity and statutory responsibility of any one government agency or ministry. The Ebola virus disease, the ramifications and consequences thereof, now constitute an unrest affecting the existent security and well-being of the Republic, amounting to a clear and present danger.The government and people of Liberia require extraordinary measures for the very survival of our State and for the protection of the lives of our people.Now therefore, and by virtue of the powers vested in me as President of the Republic of Liberia, I, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, in keeping with Article 86(a) and (b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, hereby declare a State of Emergency throughout the Republic of Liberia, effective as of August 6, 2014, for a period of ninety (90) days.Under this State of emergency, the government will institute extraordinary measures, including, if need be, the suspension of certain rights and priveleges. As mandated by the Constitution, I will immediately forward the declaration of the State of Emergency to the National Legislature accompanied by an explanation of the facts and circumstances leading to the declaration.May God bless us all and preserve our great Nation.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
An early morning fire left several homeless after three houses were gutted in Sandy Babb Street, Kitty, on Friday. A parked vehicle was also destroyed when the blaze extended on to an electrical pole. Families in close proximity were forced to evacuate their homes as the fire threatened buildings nearby.The origin of the fire is yet to be determined.Details of this story will be published in the February 11, 2017 edition of Guyana Times.
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The Liberia National Olympic Committee (LNOC) has criticized the recently held election of the Liberia Basketball Association (LBA) and has given the association a 90-day ultimatum to have re-elections.The President of the LNOC, Philipbert Browne said the basketball election has procedural errors and it was not free, fair and transparent.Mr. Browne maintained that the LNOC is responsible to protect and safeguard the autonomy of its members, and it therefore has the right to issue ultimatum, suspension or expulsion when it is plunged into administrative or technical slip.The LNOC boss made the announcement on Thursday, March 17, at the end of Sports Minister Saah Charles N’tow’s assessment visit to the Olympic Village.Mr. Browne said the LNOC was only notified of the elections’ result, two days after it was held but was not rather officially written to observe the elections.“We believe the election was in error and we have given hem 90 days to have reelection,” Mr. Browne said.It may be recalled that for over two years, there was a hullaballoo between the leadership of the LBA, headed by Rufus Andersons and the Aggrieved First Division President, accusing the leadership of administrative and financial misappropriation.The conflict led to the postponement of the basketball election four times, and lastly resulted into an injunction from the Temple of Justice.The injunction was lifted owing to the intervention of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the LNOC. Meanwhile, Mr. Browne has announced that handball’s provisional membership has been suspended owing to non-free, fair and transparent election.Mr. Browne said the decision was based on a report from the Assistant Secretary General of the LNOC, Fred Pratt, who served as an observer during the handball’s election held in Harbel, Margibi County.For over four years, the membership of Volleyball is still suspended owing to an election which was spearheaded by the Ministry of Youth and Sports.Mr. Browne said the direct involvement of the Ministry to supervise election – is a political interference.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Paul Clement’s side took advantage of Hull’s unexpected slip-up against Sunderland Swansea moved out of the Premier League relegation zone as Fernando Llorente’s first-half header gave them a precious 1-0 victory over Everton.Llorente’s 13th goal of the season saw Swansea leapfrog Hull into 17th place, the Tigers punished for their earlier home defeat to already relegated Sunderland.Swansea are now one point above Hull and firmly in charge of their own destiny with two games of the season remaining.Everton might have had little to play for as they have already qualified for the Europa League but Swansea had to defend for their lives at times, especially in the closing stages as Paul Clement’s side clung on.The mood at the Liberty Stadium had been lifted by kick-off as news of Hull’s shock defeat filtered down to south Wales.But it was Everton who created the first opening inside 45 seconds as Romelu Lukaku headed straight at Lukasz Fabianski.It was tight and tense with so much at stake for Swansea, the midfield was packed full of bodies and chances were at a premium.Everton shaded possession but did little with it, and Lukaku was admonished by his captain Phil Jagielka on one occasion for losing the ball carelessly.Swansea were too hurried in the final third but demanded a penalty when Gylfi Sigurdsson tumbled in the area.They might have been left to stew on referee Martin Atkinson’s refusal to point to the spot, but Swansea were ahead inside 60 seconds when the hard-running Jordan Ayew worked some space on the left.Gareth Barry failed to cut out Ayew’s cross and Llorente rose above Jagielka at the far post to send the Liberty Stadium into a frenzy.The lead was almost doubled four minutes later as Sigurdsson’s centre found Alfie Mawson and the goal-scoring defender was only foiled by a desperate block from Mason Holgate.Swansea now had a definite spring in their step and Ayew and Martin Olsson combined well to create a shooting opportunity which Barry diverted for a corner.Everton sent on Ross Barkley at half-time to find some inspiration and Swansea had to survive some anxious moments.But the lead was almost doubled after 54 minutes when Sigurdsson drove his mis-hit shot into a crowded area. The ball struck Mawson and fell to Ayew, who smashed it on to the outside of an Everton post.Lukaku’s low shot was held by Fabianski, but Swansea threatened whenever Sigurdsson stood over a corner.From one such set-piece Federico Fernandez’s goalbound header hit the shoulder of Barkley and ballooned to safety, then Llorente met the next one to stretch Maarten Stekelenburg on his goal-line.Swansea almost settled the contest through substitute Leroy Fer’s first touch but Stekelenburg blocked his close-range effort with his legs.Everton piled on the pressure in the final minutes, but they drew a blank for three successive league games for the first time since April 2006 as Swansea held on. 1