Elizabeth Davis-Russell’s Rejection by the Senate Politically Motivated

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first_imgI read about Dr. Elizabeth Davis-Russell’s rejection by the Senate on the grounds that she is an American citizen, and was immediately concerned. Even though I have reservations about dual citizenship for Liberia, I was stunned that a woman of Davis-Russell’s credentials, competence, and track record could be cast aside so easily for the sake of political expediency.While I recognise the need to maintain the rule of law in Liberia, I am worried that this latest rebuff was more politically motivated than based on any deep, abiding adherence to constitutionality.As a case in point, there is a fundamental contradiction between Article 27 of Liberia’s 1986 Constitution, which states, “All persons, who, on the coming into force of this Constitution, were lawfully citizens of Liberia shall continue to be Liberian citizens,” and Section 22.1 of the 1973 Aliens and Nationality Law, which automatically revokes the legal citizenship status of Liberia-born nationals of ‘Negro descent’ who naturalise in, declare formal allegiance to, enter into the armed forces of, vote in the elections of, or formally renounce their Liberian citizenship in a foreign state.Until this contradiction is resolved, the Senate has the wherewithal to use its own discretion to confirm nominees like Davis-Russell who are more than qualified for particular cabinet positions. I have seen too many unsuitable people breeze through the confirmation process, so can’t understand the Senate’s hardball stance this time around.But I was reminded recently that this is election season, so politics rules supreme.Lest we forget, however, the Senate has a record of botched confirmations. During the course of my doctoral research on the historical and contemporary factors that have influenced both the introduction and postponement in passage of Liberia’s dual citizenship bill, I encountered a number of anomalies in the legislative confirmation process and Davis-Russell is the first case of a barred confirmation based on citizenship status. For instance, Luseni Dunzo, former minister of public works, was questioned about his US citizenship, but later confirmed on a technicality. And I know a number of former and current cabinet officials, based on anecdotal evidence and personal knowledge, whose other citizenships did not stop them from passing through the same Senate that rejected Davis-Russell.  If we say we are a country of laws, then we need to uphold those laws consistently without fear or favour. As far as I’m concerned the Senate has two options: recall all the confirmations of those who have other citizenships to maintain legality or issue a moratorium on senate confirmations based on citizenship status until after the Constitution Review process is complete and the matter of dual citizenship officially resolved.A precedent has already been set on suspending decisions based on constitutional matters. For instance, when the Liberian people voted ‘No’ in the National Referendum of 2011, it was clear that the 10-year residency clause for presidential candidates should have been upheld. Instead, that particular Referendum item was forwarded to the Supreme Court and they decided it would be tabled until the 2017 elections.Why not overturn Davis-Russell’s rejection in a similar fashion and enable her to serve until 2017, on the grounds that she is capable of reviving an education system that is clearly challenged?But alas, I understand that Davis-Russell has done the honourable thing and asked the president to withdraw her nomination. I can’t help mourning this loss, especially since many with less integrity are in positions of authority across all three branches of government and failing the Liberian people in the process.Come next elections, whenever that will be, I hope we will choose wisely.Robtel Neajai Pailey is a Liberian academic, activist and author based at SOAS, University of London. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


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first_imgAlitalia plans to cut costs by 1 billion euros ($US1.07 billion) over three years, cut its single-aisle fleet by 20 aircraft and move to a domestic low-cost model in the latest plan to turn around its fortunes.Losing money in an environment where low-cost carriers make up almost half the market and shape consumer habits,  the airline’s board has put forward an ambitious restructuring plan aimed at making it profitable by 2019.The plan is subject to the airline’s fractious trade unions agreeing to job cuts and new work agreements.It will see the Italian carrier fit extra seats to its single-aisle planes, increase aircraft utilisation and cut short- and medium-haul air fares as it tries to boost revenues while reducing costs.  It will also charge for ancillaries such as seat selection, checked luggage and food.But it will stay a full-service carrier on its long-haul markets.Also in train are plans to grow the number of flights from Italy to the Americas by increasing frequencies on existing routes and adding new cities as well as to build a bigger presence in Milan Linate, Sicily and Sardinia.“In the short and medium-haul markets – domestic flying in Italy and throughout Europe – passengers will be able to personalise their journey.’’ Alitalia chief executive Cramer Ball said. “We will simplify air fares and offer customers the opportunity to purchase products such as seat selection, checked-in luggage and priority boarding throughout the booking process, and all the way up to the airport gate.“On flights that are four hours or less we will introduce the buy-on-board concept that is not only commonplace with low-cost carriers but is happening more and more at traditional, network airlines.’’On the long-haul front, the airline said its wide-body intercontinental flights would be based on a full-service model but maintain “an intense focus on costs and efficiency”.The airline will fit new in-flight entertainment and wi-fi to its Boeing 777s and said its new flagship, a 382-seat Boeing 777-300ER, would join the fleet in August.Alitalia, which has been 49 per cent owned by Abu Dhabi-based Etihad since 2014,  has lost passengers as low-cost rival Ryanair grew strongly in the market. According to one analyst quoted by The Wall Street Journal, it is losing 1.5 million euros a day.The airline did not reveal in its announcement how many jobs would go as a result of the change but said it present details of the board-approved plan, including “head-count” measures to the Italian government and then unions. It said the plan’s funding by shareholders was subject to the airline’s trade unions agreeing to a new collective works agreement and the job cuts.The three-year cost reduction plan would be accompanied by a push to boost revenue by 30 per cent to 3.7 billion euros by 2019, when the airline would be expected to be profitable. This included renegotiating contracts in areas such as aircraft leasing, global distribution, in-flight catering, airport ground handling and airports.Ball said the airline had rebuilt its brand and invested heavily in staff training and technology. “The aviation industry is ferociously competitive and never stands still,’’ he said. “Only through radical change will Alitalia’s fortunes be turned around,” he said. “We must transform this business into a dynamic entity that is attractive to customers who have plenty of choice for their air travel needs.”The Alitalia chief expressed confidence the next stage of the airline’s industrial plan would be successful “provided that all interested parties play their part”.“The radical and necessary measures across the entire airline will secure our long-term sustainability which will only materialise if the airline is the right size, the right shape and with the right productivity and cost base,’’ he said.“We must do this, especially in our short and medium haul business in order to provide a platform to grow our profitable long-haul business further in the future.“This is a critical aspect because most of our customers fly on our short and medium-haul planes to connect onto our long-haul services.’’Other parts of the airline’s “four pillar strategy” include plans to build on a 200 million euro investment in technology to develop new sales channels to help boost revenue as well as to improve efficiency and productivity.last_img read more


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first_imgCreate a stunning 5.1 surround sound mix in Adobe Premiere. Check out the tips and tricks in the following video tutorial.Audio is paramount to translating a the emotions of a film to its audience, but is often the most overlooked aspect of video production and filmmaking. If you edit in Adobe Premiere, save time by creating your 5.1 surround sound mix in Premiere. Follow the step-by-step example below or jump to the end for the video tutorial.1. Create a new 5.1 SequencePremiere defaults to a stereo sequence, meaning your audio will only be in two channels, left and right. To change this, navigate to New Item>Sequence and a window will pop up.2. Create TracksIn the New Sequence window, click on the ‘Tracks” tab near the top. In the Tracks tab click on the box next to Master and select 5.1.3 tracks will appear below. Hit the “+” button to add 3 more tracks. All of the tracks should have the “Standard” setting selected. Hit “OK” to create your sequence.3. Pan all Channels AccordinglyOrganize and name all 5.1 audio tracks in the audio track mixer tab: Left Front, Middle Front, Right Front, Left Rear, Right Rear and Sub. If you can’t see the audio track mixer in your workspace navigate to Window>Audio Track Mixer. Use the cursor to drag the black dot to the correct speaker. Pan new tracks in-between…experiment! Now you can customize the surround field according to the visuals on film. Dedicating core tracks to each speaker, in addition to multiple automations, will sonically bring life to your film.In the following video tutorial Andrew Devis demonstrates 5.1 surround sound in Adobe Premiere:Want to learn more about 5.1 Surround Mixing with other platforms? Check out these great resources below:5.1 Audio Mixing in AvidSurround Sound Mixing in FCPXHow do you mix 5.1 Surround Sound? Share in the comments below.last_img read more


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first_imgKammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Read Next LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary PBA IMAGESBlackwater took the last quarterfinals spot in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup after turning back Globalport, 118-107, Sunday at Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo.The Elite remained at the eighth spot with a 5-5 record to clinch the last playoff seat while the Batang Pier dipped to 3-7.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games MOST READ Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Golovkin and Alvarez deliver classic middleweight fight Blackwater had a 21-point lead, 90-69, at the 3:07 mark of the third quarter after Mac Belo converted on a jumper and that was essentially the Elite’s foundation until the final buzzer.Henry Walker finished with a five-by-five to lead the Elite with 19 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists, five steals, and five blocks.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAllein Maliksi had 22 points and Roi Sumang put up 21 points to provide the scoring punch for Blackwater.Murphy Holloway had a 20-20 game with 28 points and 23 rebounds to lead the Batang Pier. View comments BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fightlast_img read more



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first_imgThe Australian Men’s Open team impressed on day one of the 2016 Trans Tasman Series, with a six touchdown win over New Zealand, 13-7. Both teams started strongly, with Scott Buckley and Reihana Soutar-Finch trading touchdowns in the opening exchanges to lock the game up at 1-all early. Rob Nakhla scored soon after for Australia, before Soutar-Finch hit back for his second touchdown of the game.Australia then went to another level, scoring four touchdowns in five minutes, with touchdowns to Buckley, Matt Prowse, Pete Norman and Lachlan Pierce, to take a 6-2 lead New Zealand hit back soon after through Ngarohi Black, and when Soutar-Finch scored his third touchdown of the half the home side were back within two touchdowns. The Australians went to the half-time break with a two touchdown lead, 6-4. Whatever Australian coach Tony Trad said to the team at half-time must have worked, with his side scoring five of the next six touchdowns to stamp their authority on the game. Captain Nick Good scored in the second minute, before Black scored his second of the match in the next set for the Kiwis.  Nakhla had his second not long after, before Daniel Barton, Ben Moylan and Shaun Francis scored to give Australia a handy 11-6 lead. New Zealand’s Connah Pamatatau was next to score, while Jordan Marshall-King replied one minute later to score his first Men’s Open touchdown against New Zealand. Shanan Tomuri put the Kiwis within five touchdowns, before Buckley continued his strong performance, scoring his hat trick with just minutes remaining. Australia proved too strong on day one with a 13-7 win and will be hopeful of a series win tomorrow when they play at 3.30pm (NZST). The victory gave the Australians three wins on day one following the Mixed and Women’s wins earlier in the day.FINAL SCORE: Australia 13 (Buckley 3, Nakhla 2, Prowse, Norman, Pierce, Good, Barton, Moylan, Francis, Marshall-King) defeated New Zealand 7 (Soutar-Finch 3, Black 2, Pamatatau, Tomuri). Related LinksMen’s Match Reportlast_img read more


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first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Valencia coach Marcelino: Will sacking me make a difference?by Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveValencia coach Marcelino was relieved to overcome Huesca.Marcelino went into the game under pressure.”Is it always the coach’s problem at Valencia in recent years?” he asked reporters, in what could be perceived as a challenge to their line of questioning.”The change of coach always changed things on the pitch?”The club will make the decisions it deems appropriate if it considers that the work of the coaching staff is not adequate, and we will accept it.”We are the same in victory and defeat, the team is not broken, it may have doubts, but it isn’t broken.”The reaction of wanting to keep going until after the ninety minutes is what it is.”If you decide to dispense with the coaching staff you should not differentiate because of a goal in injury time or not.” last_img read more


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first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Chelsea boss Sarri: We need balance in January transfer windowby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveMaurizio Sarri has admitted Chelsea will need to cull their squad in January, and hinted about the position of any new arrivals.The Blues suffered a shock defeat to Leicester City at home on Saturday.Cesc Fabregas made a rare appearance in the Premier League as a substitute and Sarri suggested this was because of the excessive size of his squad.”At the moment we are too many. We have 28 players and it’s impossible to use all of them. I think 25 is the right number,” the Italian said.”We have a lot of offensive midfielders and we have only [N’Golo] Kante as a defensive midfielder, so it’s not easy now for the midfield to have the right balance.” last_img read more


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first_imgChelsea put breaks on Zappacosta’s move to Lazioby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea have stalled Davide Zappacosta’s move to Lazio.The fullback has agreed personal terms with the Romans about a return to Italy.But Sportitalia says Chelsea are holding up the move.That is because they do not want to let him leave on loan with an option to buy, preferring something more definitive.Negotiations will continue and the Aquile are confident of striking a deal during the January transfer window. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more


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first_imgKentucky male cheerleader appears to obstruct Ocatvius Ellis.Kentucky didn’t have a ton of trouble with Cincinnati Saturday afternoon, as the Wildcats cruised to a 12-point victory to become the first 36-0 team in history. But there was a bit of a controversial moment early in the second half, when a male cheerleader for the school appeared to impede Bearcats star Octavius Ellis from returning to the court. The cheerleader appears to hold onto Ellis as he tries to make his way back to the floor. Judge for yourself. No, it didn’t realistically matter when it comes to the outcome of the game. But it’s still a bit odd.[Lost Lettermen]last_img read more


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