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More sports in brief

first_img Red Force, Pride draw BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC): Trinidad and Tobago Red Force escaped with a draw as little fireworks materialised on the final day of their second-round game of the Regional First Class Championship against Barbados Pride here on Monday. Set 298 for victory, the visitors finished on 182 for four at Kensington Oval, to walk away with six points from an encounter in which they always trailed and at no point ever threatened the hosts. Left-handed opener Evin Lewis struck a top score of 41, Narsingh Deonarine got 38, while Yannic Cariah chipped in with 37 not out. England beat Pakistan SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (AP): England beat Pakistan by six wickets in the third one-day international at Sharjah Cricket Stadium to lead the series 2-1. England 210-4 in 41 overs (James Taylor 67 not out, Jos Buttler 49 not out), defeat Pakistan 208 in 49.5 overs (Mohammad Hafeez 45, Azhar Ali 36; Chris Woakes 4-40) by six wickets. Hurricanes lose again GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC): Leeward Islands Hurricanes crashed to their second straight innings defeat of the Regional First Class Championship, when they went down by an innings and 30 runs to defending champions Guyana Jaguars here on Monday. Starting the final day of the second-round encounter on 215 for three and with an uphill battle to save the game, Hurricanes were dismissed for 299 about 20 minutes before lunch to concede defeat at the National Stadium at Providence. Only last week in St Kitts, Hurricanes were hammered by an innings and 23 runs by Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, inside three days at Warner Park.center_img INSPORTS/TTJ club league The University of the West Indies (UWI) stopped Pembroke Hall 3-1 in Division One, while Swallowfield Chapel Smashers blanked Excelsior High School 5-0 in a Division Two encounter on Saturday in the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS)/Table Tennis Jamaica (TTJ) National Club League. In the UWI/Pembroke Hall duel, Darrell Gordon turned back Brandon Phillips 3-1 and Ryan Peters outlasted Kevin Nelson 3-2 in singles wins for UWI. Mark Phillips and Gordon crushed Nelson and Phillips 3-0 in doubles for UWI’s third triumph, while Glen-Ross McDonald overcame Gordon 3-0 to pull one back for Pembroke Hall. In the Division Two encounter, Swallowfield Chapel’s Winston Johnson, Andre Girdod, Leon Lee and Patrick Donaldson all scored easy 3-0 victories over Christopher Lyn, Keelia Howell, Brianna Blake and Brandon Forbes, respectively, in singles. In doubles action, Johnson and Donaldson overpowered Excelsior’s Lyn and Blake 3-0 to complete the 5-0 triumph.last_img read more

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To Avoid Ebola Virus Being Exported, MRU Imposes Cross Border Isolation Zone

first_imgAs the Ebola virus continues to wreak havoc in three of four Member States of the Mano River Union (MRU), leaders of the sub-regional organization have committed themselves to taking stringent measures aimed at eradicating the deadly disease that has already claimed the lives of over 700 persons.According to a dispatch from the Guinean Capital, Conakry, Heads of State and Government of the MRU at an extraordinary summit agreed in a Joint Declaration, among other things, to impose a cross-border isolation zone at the epicenter of the outbreak, considered the world’s worst-ever outbreak of the disease. The summit was held in that city over the weekend.“We have agreed to take important and extraordinary actions at the inter country level to focus on cross-border regions that have more than 70 percent of the epidemic,” the dispatch quotes Ambassador Dr. Kaba Hadja Saran Daraba, Secretary General of the MRU, who read the Joint Declaration.“These areas will be isolated by police and the military. The people in these areas being isolated will be provided with material support,” she said, adding, “The health care services in these zones will be strengthened for treatment, testing and contact tracing to be done effectively.”Dr. Saran Daraba did not specifically outline the exact area to be part of the isolation zone, but said the epicenter of the outbreak has a diameter of almost 300 kilometers (185 miles), spreading from Kenema in eastern Sierra Leone to Macenta in southern Guinea, and taking in most of Liberia’s extreme northern forests.“The healthcare services in these zones will be strengthened for treatment, testing and contact tracing to be carried out effectively,” she said.The MRU leaders also agreed to provide health personnel incentives, treatment and protection so they could come back to work. “We will ensure the security and safety of all national and international personnel supporting the fight against Ebola,” the leaders assured.Considering Ebola as an international problem that requires an international response, the MRU leaders committed themselves to doing their part to bring the Ebola outbreak to an end as soon as possible. However, they urged the International Community to support Member States build capacity for surveillance, contact tracing, case management and laboratory capacity.“We the Heads of State want to assure the international community that the disease is not being exported,” the Joint Declaration stated, assuring the International Community that the three countries have instituted measures at international ports of entry/exit.The MRU leaders committed themselves to mobilize private and public sectors to work in synergy and increase sensitization efforts to enable communities to understand the Ebola disease for effective and efficient eradication.They further pledged to strengthen the surveillance of cross border movement through information sharing on screening of passengers, among others.Opening the summit, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Margaret Chan termed the first outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa as “unprecedented”, accompanied by unprecedented challenges, which are extraordinary.Dr. Chan frankly told the MRU leaders that the outbreak was moving faster than efforts of control it. She was providing the MRU leaders with some frank assessment of the situation.“If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences can be catastrophic in terms of lost lives but also severe socio-economic disruption and a high risk of spread to other countries,” Dr. Chan said. She described the outbreak as “by far the largest ever in the nearly four decade history of this disease”.“It is taking place in areas with fluid population movements over porous borders, and it has demonstrated its ability to spread via air travel, contrary to what has been seen in past outbreaks,” she told the summit. “Cases are occurring in rural areas which are difficult to access, but also in densely populated capital cities. This meeting must mark a turning point in the outbreak response.”In addition, the WHO Director General said, “the outbreak is affecting a large number of doctors, nurses and other health care workers, one of the most essential resources for containing an outbreak,” adding, “These tragic infections and deaths significantly erode response capacity.”She stressed that the situation in West Africa is of international concern and must receive urgent priority for decisive action at national and international level.Meanwhile, the MRU leaders used the summit to launch a US$100 million (€75 million) action plan that will see several hundred more personnel deployed in the affected countries to supplement overstretched treatment facilities.Of greatest need are clinical doctors and nurses, epidemiologists, social mobilization experts, logisticians and data managers, among others to battle the epidemic.President Alpha Conde, who is also the Chairman MRU, was mandated by the MRU members to convey the message of the Union related to Ebola to the U.S. -Africa Leaders Summit in Washington that began yesterday.All the MRU leaders signed for their respective countries except for Côte d’Ivoire who was represented by the Health Minister Dr.  Raymonde Goudou Coffie.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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‘Support the Person Capable for the Job’

first_imgCentral Bank Governor Dr. J. Mills Jones has called on Liberians to support a person capable of doing the work for them, and not to undermine their compatriot.Governor Jones made the statement Wednesday, January 6, at program marking the dedication of the Coalfield market in Paynesville City.The CBL Governor said there are capable Liberians to move the country forward to meet the desired goal.He said Liberians should not allow people to fool them that they cannot move the country forward, noting that it only takes the support of all Liberians to help the one who is willing, and not to undermine him/her.Governor Jones said, “I am committed to working with all of us to see how we can move this country forward, to see how we can move Liberia forward. We are committed to that whether we are at the Central Bank or outside of the CBL; we are committed to working with all Liberians to move Liberia forward.”“And if you ask me if we can do it, my answer to you is ‘yes, we can!’ And don’t let anybody fool you because we can create a better future for ourselves.”The Central Bank Governor whose micro loan scheme across the country has been viewed by Legislators and other Liberians as a political ploy to position himself to contest the presidency in 2017, urged the audience to desist from acts that bring their compatriot down while the person is striving to go up.“But we need to put down the crab mentality,” he told his audience, “where if you see somebody going up then you want to pull them down. If you keep pulling people down, we will continue to remain down the bucket because nobody will be able to see the top of the bucket, if we continue to pull people down.”He alluded that everyone has his/her shortcomings, and no one is perfect. However, the CBL Governor cautioned Liberians to consciously think and support the person that can perform better instead of getting people who are ill-prepared and don’t mean any good toward their country.“Our doors remain open; you are our brothers and sisters and all of us must be our brothers’ keepers; therefore, we need to work together to ensure that our country is on the right path with the nations,” he said.Also speaking, superintended of the Coalfield Market, Mrs. Korto Rogers, showered praises on Governor Jones for his immense economic support to Liberians, especially businesswomen.Mrs. Rogers said Governor Jones and Mr. Dee-Maxwell Kemayah, president of the Liberian Business Association, contributed financially to the roofing of the market, calling their contributions “‘timely,’ because business people were embarrassed selling in the rain.”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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ANC’s Fate Lies in Recount for Seat in 54th Legislature

first_imgThe hope of Alex Cummings’ ANC for the party’s only elected seat now rests on Bong County District #4 incumbent Rep. Lester Paye (right), pending a recount of votes cast for his seat.71 ANC candidates failed to secure seats in October 10 electionsThe Alternative National Congress (ANC) will not hold a single seat in Liberia’s 54th Legislature if incumbent lawmaker Lester Paye of Bong County District #4 fails again in the recount of votes cast during the recent elections.  The recount is expected to be conducted today.None of the 71 ANC candidates secured a win during the October polls making the party the only one among the seven top parties to tally zero in the 2017 representatives elections despite being the party with the highest contestants. The ANC fielded 56 males and 15 female aspirants.That number placed the party second to the Independent candidates who fielded 96 contestants.Following the ANC, the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) had 69 aspirants; while the United People’s Party and the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) had 64 apiece, with the Unity Party (UP) carrying 63.According to the NEC results, 21 contestants each from the CDC and UP accrued the highest numbers from 42 to 73 districts across the country, followed by 12 Independent candidates. The People’s United Party (PUP) put forward six candidates while Liberty Party (LP), All Liberian Party (ALP) and the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), three each.The remaining parties, United People’s Party (UPP), Liberia National Union (LINU), Liberia People’s Party (LPP), and Liberia Transformation Party (LTP), had one each.UP aspirant Robert P. Womba earned the highest votes of 4,232, equivalent to 19.6% of the votes among the 14 candidates who contested the Bong County District #4 election. He was followed by ANC incumbent lawmaker Lester Paye with 3,471 votes, equivalent to 16.1 percent.According to the NEC, through its local office in upper Bong County, it will conduct a recount in Electoral District #4 later today.Senior Elections Magistrate for Upper Bong County, Daniel G. Newland, said the recount will be conducted in nine of the 84 polling places in the six precincts of the District.Newland named the precincts as: Shankpalai Public School, with code #06102, housing polling places 1, 2 and 3; Nyensue Palava Hut, code #06088, housing polling places 1 and 2; Kollieta Public School, code #06092, polling place 2; Foequelleh Public School, code #06018, polling place 1; Payeta Public School, code #06064, polling place 2; and Bellemu Public School, code #06008, polling place 3.Incumbent representative Lester Paye and three-time defeated candidate Susannah Lorpu Mator filed separate complaints of election irregularities to the NEC.  Hearings were conducted by the NEC hearing officer at the NEC office in Gbarnga resulting in today’s recount.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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‘Salary Harmonization’ Dominates Supreme Court’s Opening

first_imgChief Justice Francis Saye Korkpor: ” Judges should not be given the cause to be corrupted.”Chief Justice Francis Korkpor: “As priest of justice, a judge should not be given the cause to be corrupted in the performance of his/her judicial duties so as to be justified for any disciplinary action taken against him/her if found deficient in those qualities.”A decision by the legislature to create an Act to be named “An Act to Establish the National Remuneration Standardization of 2019”, with the intent to give the government legal rights to institute its salary harmonization plan to cover all government workers was the biggest theme on Monday, October 14 during the opening of the October 2019 Term of the Supreme Court that was attended by hundreds of lawyers.Recently, the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel Tweah, defended the salary harmonization policy, saying that it was the country’s international partners and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that gave the advise requesting that the harmonization of pay salary should not exempt any of the three branches of government, including the legislators themselves. This in essence includes workers of the three branches of government and even public corporations.However, addressing his audience, many of whom were lawyers at yesterday’s ceremony, Chief Justice Francis Saye Korkpor, partly quoted Judicial Canon #6 under the caption: “Judges as Government Paid Officials,” which he said, provides that “As priest of justice, a judge should not be given the cause to be corrupted in the performance of his judicial duties, so as to be justified for any disciplinary action taken against him/her if found deficient in those qualities.”The entire Cannon#6 also states: “The judge is a government paid official, and must be paid adequately, he/she holds an exalted position, which prevents him from engaging in any business pursuit, therefore, he must be provided with the necessities of life, and with every means by which he will be able to perform his judicial duties effectively, efficiently and speedily.”It continues: “The judge must be encouraged and given the incentive to live a decent and dignified life that would prevent financial and domestic worries, and enable him to repel temptation, which is susceptible to human life. As priest of justice, a judge should not be given the cause to be corrupted in the performance of his/her judicial duties so as to be justified for any disciplinary action taken against him/her if found deficient in those qualities.”Justice Korkpor said he has followed with keen interest national discussion on the issue of salary harmonization to the point that the legislature has promulgated an Act to “Establish the National Remuneration Standardization of 2019.”“Let me comment on the burning issue that has to do with the ongoing process of salary harmonization,” Justice Korkpor said, asking his audience to carefully look at Article 72 of the 1986 Constitution.Article 72 provides: “The Justices of the Supreme Court, and all other judges shall receive such salaries, allowances and benefits as shall be established by law. Such salaries shall be subject to taxes as defined by law, provided that they shall not otherwise be diminished. Allowances and benefits paid to Justices of the Supreme Court and judges of subordinate courts may by law, be increased but may not be diminished except under a national program enacted by the Legislature; nor shall such allowance and benefits be subject to taxation.”That provision, also states: “The Chief Justice and the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court and judges of subordinate courts of record shall be retired at the age 70; provided, however, that a justice of judge, who has attained that age may continue in office for as long as may be necessary to enable him/her to render judgment or perform any other judicial duty in regard to proceedings entertained by him/her before he/she attained that age.”In light of the foregoing, Korkpor added, “We urge that any process of harmonizing or standardizing salaries of government officials and senior civil servants take into consideration requisite provision of the law, especially when applying to the judiciary to ensure justice and equality.”As though he was thinking about the effect of the salary harmonization on the judiciary, Justice Korkpor also expressed interest to be a part of any processes in that direction, meaning his money should be cut by whatever percentage.“We are prepared to work with, and engage the requisite government functionaries to provide necessary input(s) for proper application of the Act to the judiciary,” Korkpor said.In his intervention, the president of the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA), Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe, said that before the LNBA says anything on the matter, they would be happy if they were to know the salaries, allowances and benefits of the Chief Justice, the president, vice president, the speaker, the president pro-tempore, justices, ministers and judges.“As this matter has now been introduced for public consideration, a full knowledge of the salaries and or allowances and benefits of the Chief Justice, the President, the Vice President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President Pro-Tempore, Justices, ministers and judges will be helpful for the LNBA participation in the emerging public discourse on the issue raised by Chief Justice Korkpor,” Gongloe said.He said that based on such vital information, the issue of disparities between the salaries, allowances and benefits for the senior government officials of the other two branches of government, and those of the judiciary can be fully discussed and resolved, “because we are aware of  Article 72 of the Constitution.”The LNBA’ president explained that the same article 72 provides that the allowances and benefits of justices and judges should not be subject to taxation.“In any case, where it is determined  that the act reduces the salaries of the chief justice, justices and judges or subject their allowances and benefits to taxation; this court has a remedy as it has done in an other matters through a  ‘Sua Sponte’ consideration of the constitutionality of the act.“While the current issue of fairness in the implementation of the law on salary harmonization is being considered, we call for the maintenance of zero tolerance of corruption in the judiciary under all circumstances,” Gongloe advised the branches of government.Gongloe told Korkpor and the gathering that as of his view, the issue is an administrative matter that should be taken up at the highest level of government as a coordinate branch of government.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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Govt hands out huge tracts of State lands

first_imgOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo pointing to one of the areas that were allegedly handed out to a staff of the Ministry of the Presidency…Govt, SARA & GECOM officials among beneficiariesOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo is calling on President David Granger to answer for a massive distribution of prime state lands to employees of the Ministry of the Presidency as well as to cronies in the PNC-led A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) fraction of the coalition Government and officials of the States Assets Recovery Agency (SARA), which were supposed to recover state assets.The lands were all strategically located to massively benefit the beneficiaries from the coming oil boom.Speaking at his weekly press conference on Thursday, Jagdeo revealed that leases of mammoth plots of prime real estate were issued by the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GL&SC) after the December passage of the Opposition-sponsored No-Confidence Motion that caused the Government to fall.One such person benefiting from these giveaways is the Head of the Project Management Office (PMO) at the Ministry of the Presidency, Marlon Bristol, whom Jagdeo said got one acre of land at Mocha, East Bank Demerara, in February 2019 and another 12 acres in Linden in June 2019.Pointing to a map of the issued land, the Opposition Leader explained that the land in Linden is in an area known as Dalalwala – which was the proposed site to build the industrial estate for Linden and the potential site for a deep-water facility.“So (Bristol) got 12.6 acres there in the prime area of Dalalwala, where a potential deep-water facility or shore base facility, very lucrative shore base facility, could go,” he noted, adding that if sold, those lands would carry massive sums of money because of the oil companies’ interest in such locations.Jagdeo further revealed that in February this year, Bristol also got another 80 acres at Bohemia in Berbice, on shore from where the much touted deep-water harbour project was earmarked to be constructed and other lucrative shore base facilities could be located.Additionally, the Opposition Leader disclosed that the husband of a staff within the Department of Environment at the Ministry of the Presidency, Charles Ceres, received, along with others, some 1,297.1 acres in the Canje Creek last year and then recently another 112 acres at Bohemia, the same deep-water harbour location in Berbice.He added that there were two other sets of land issued to this person, including 5000 acres at an unknown location, and another set of land at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown.Furthermore, Jagdeo highlighted that a senior official of SARA allegedly cashed in on the land grab with 10 acres on File No. 411412/522B and another acre in Mocha, recently issued as well.Another beneficiary Jagdeo named was advisor to SARA, Eric Phillips, who had denied back in February that he ever applied for, or received any, 3000 acres of lands as being claimed.But on Thursday, the Opposition Leader pointed to File No. 321132/1604 which showed 1000 acres in the Essequibo River was issued to Phillips in April 2019 and File No. 3312317 for another 1000 acres in the Demerara River.“So we’ve established already that three agencies – Department of Environment, PMO and SARA – all reporting to the President… had been beneficiaries to large tracts of land in strategic locations in the last few months alone… Consistent with the theme, and you would see it, everywhere that there is strategic locations now for the possibility of shore based facilities, etc., there is a mad rush to give out the lands,” he asserted.In fact, Jagdeo further noted that at the Best Foreshore, West Coast Demerara, some 50 acres was given away as well as another 20 acres, each in the Demerara River.“So, we have now given out 40 acres in the Demerara River itself that is from the Harbour Bridge almost all the way to the mouth of the River on the western bank of the river,” he noted.These giveaways were all linked to Shawn Hopkinson and are reflected in File No. 332232/3 for Schoonoord Foreshore, No. 3322421/3 for Goed Fortuin, and No. 332231/30 for Best Foreshore.One name, according to the Opposition Leader, that keeps popping up in these giveaways is the company Great Wall Incorporated, which links to Saratu Phillips, who attended the surveys for all three allocations on behalf of the two companies awarded these acres.Saratu Phillips was involved in the controversial Parking Meter Project and is also among the principals in the company Gold Bar Development and Consultant Inc., which was granted license to export gold last year.Last year, Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman had told the National Assembly that Gold Bar Development and Consultant Inc., which is headed by Shawn Hopkinson, Maurice Hopkinson and Saratu Phillips, is the newest licensed dealer having been granted a license.This connection, Jagdeo noted, leads right back to the Ministry of the Presidency and the allocation of these lands.Land given out to friendsApart from this, the Opposition Leader also revealed acres of lands issued to an ex-PNC parliamentarian and his relatives, who got over 10,000 acres in the Pomeroon River, as well as two other unidentified persons who got 1400 acres and 1083 acres respectively.“So, in a matter of a few months, they would have given out land in the Pomeroon River to three individuals, more lands than the PPP gave out in 23 years in the Pomeroon…,” Jagdeo stressed.Another PNC member, who also holds a senior post in the sport department was also allegedly given plots of land in Aubrey Barker Road.Meanwhile, another alleged giveaway, which Jagdeo said is quite worrying, is to a top ranking official of GECOM.“Something that is very, very worrying; and I hope that this does not influence the individual if the Government decided to give him the land to influence his decisions in relation to elections. Keith Lowenfield, in February last year, along with Ceres and others, was part of the 1297 acres, and just in June of this year, this month, he got 216 acres on File No. 012211/599 at Milly’s Hideout (in Linden), and then two acres at Mocha and so this is a worrying one too, very worrying,” the Opposition Leader posited.He noted that these show a pattern at the Office of the President and the Lands and Survey’s deep involvement. In fact, the Opposition Leader noted that there are more such deals being made, not only at GL&SC, but at the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and at the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL) with the sugar lands.To this end, Jagdeo is calling on President David Granger to explain the issuances of these large plots of land, especially to those working within his office at the Ministry of the Presidency. He noted that for too long, the Head of State has remained silent or claimed lack of knowledge about these corrupt acts within his Ministry.“This has to stop and today, I want to show that this is not about the other agencies. This is about the Presidency itself and that the corruption emanates from his office, a lot of it. And so, I’m hoping that he will be forced to respond to these issues and he has to answer whether he knows what is being done in his name, whether he agrees to the issues, and if he does agree to what I will reveal, he needs to inform the public of the reasons why his office is doing this because transparency is vital for us and the President is placed on this pedestal as though he is not corrupt and so he needs to give answers if I give him the benefit of doubt,” Jagdeo stated.According to the Opposition Leader, these land giveaways will be reviewed if the PPP gets into office and find any act of corruption. Meanwhile, the Lands and Surveys Commission has since called a press conference on Thursday, where officials are expected to respond to these revelations.last_img read more

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Big power outage in the South Peace

first_imgResidents in the South Peace from just south of the Peace River to Sunset Prairie in the South and Farmington to the East have lost power.The outage started just after 5:30pm and BC Hydro is currently investigating the cause.  Over 350 customers are without power and may have power again by 8pm.  Residents in this same area were some of the hardest hit during the freak snow storm last weekend.  They lost power Friday evening and didn’t get it back until Monday night.Keep checking this page for more details or visit www.bchydro.com/outagesAdvertisement – Advertisement -**Update:  Power was restored shortly after 7pm Wednesday night.  The cause of the outage is still under investigation. This map shows the location of the outage – BC Hydrolast_img

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Authorities search for girl’s kidnapper

first_imgSIMI VALLEY – Police were searching Friday for a man they say kidnapped a 9-year-old girl from her front yard, offered her a drug while he drove around the city, then dropped her off near her home. Police said the man grabbed the girl about 4 p.m. Thursday and forced her into a dark-color, four-door truck with a camper shell. The girl told officials the man spoke Spanish and drove to various locations in Simi Valley while taking a white powdery drug and attempting to get her to do the same. Police said the man kept the girl in the truck for about an hour and partially disrobed. Eventually, police said the man became frustrated and dropped the girl off about a block from home on Patricia Avenue. Police said the girl suffered minor scratches and bruises. Police described the man as Latino, 45 to 50 years old, about 5 feet 6 inches or 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a thin build, short curly hair and a mustache. Anyone with information is asked to call police at (805) 583-6950.last_img read more

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Balotelli dropped for Italy’s Nations League game in Portugal

first_imgThe 28-year-old was substituted with a muscular problem, with Mancini conceding his fitness level was a problem.It will be the first game which Balotelli has not played since Mancini took over last May after the four-time winners’ devastating failure to qualify for the World Cup.But Balotelli has made the trip to Portugal with the squad as Mancini considers him to be a central figure in the team he is trying to rebuild.Balotelli had played in all four games so far under Mancini, scoring in a 2-1 friendly win over Saudi Arabia.Mancini’s other two friendlies were a 3-1 defeat to World Cup winners France and 1-1 draw with the Netherlands.Lorenzo Pellegrini has also been left out along with Cagliari goalkeeper Alessio Cragno, Juventus defender Daniele Rugani and Roma midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo.Mancini confirmed that Fiorentina forward Federico Chiesa would start after the 20-year-old proved pivotal when he came on last Friday, along with goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.Balotelli’s place could be taken by either Andrea Belotti or Ciro Immobile.Mancini defended Balotelli from criticism.“A player knows when he has played well or badly,” he said.“I think Mario knows full well what his performance against Poland was like. Criticism is part of the game.“We are only at the beginning of this journey and will change several players from the Poland game, also to look after the lads.“We are ready and know it can be a very important match. I won’t say it’s decisive, as there are another two to go, but we are facing the reigning European champions.”Italy’s have won six games to four for Portugal in previous meetings, but the Azzurri have not won a game in Lisbon in 31 years.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Forward Mario Balotelli was substituted in the draw against Poland with a muscular problem © AFP / MARCO BERTORELLOLISBON, Portugal, Sep 10 – Forward Mario Balotelli has been dropped by Italy coach Roberto Mancini for Monday’s Nations League game against European champions Portugal in Lisbon.Nice striker Balotelli came under fire for his performance in their Nations League opener against Poland on Friday, where the Azzurri were held 1-1.last_img read more