By F. Shelton GonkerwonOn tomorrow March 13, 2019 which is declared National Decoration Day tears and fresh memories of sorrow will certainly be ushering thousands of Liberian mourners and residents alike to grave sites in various locations of the country to decorate the respective graves housing their deceased. This event is constitutionally set aside every Second Wednesday in March each year to demonstrate national respect to those who have departed the surface of the earth one way or the other.Obviously, it often alerts the conscious mind that the grave is an assured and unavoidable home of all mankind simply because death is the imminent instrument that has and continues to sever human beings from the earth surface at the appointed time. Accordingly, every day that turns or every time that leaps on the clock where mankind dwells has its assigned death rate likewise birth rate on a proportionally alarming basis.Indeed, it’s evidently clear that every day is accompanied by its assigned joy as it is with sorrow. Certainly, every day has its share of wise people who think positively and act accordingly, while at the same time, the fools remain blind and insensitive to the calling of reality in favor of triviality.Every day has its own patriotic chiefs who are reserved and guided in line with the tradition of defined leadership aimed at stabilizing society, while at the same time there are thieves who would creep under the cover of darkness to rob innocent people of their hard-earned properties. That’s the nature of life-a platform of certainties and uncertainties, truth and falsehood, poverty and prosperity, among other things, consistent with the doctrine of life.Hence, one can safely conclude that no one has permanent resident status here on earth, not even members of the noble kingdom, not even those who have wealth and would feel that their financial vestments can prevent them from death. Like the sun that struggles to pass through the domain of the dark cloud as it performs its daily duty, the human beings are challenged by the countless odds of life from the day of birth to the day of death.From where I sit on the floor of the jammed packed city of Monrovia, a city that is struggling to get used to a novel administration and being unable to form part of the queue that will be marching to the grave sites to decorate the graves of their deceased in line with the calling of the day, the floor of my mind is already playing host to the fresh memories of my fallen parents — Barpaye Zeagbea, Lawo Zaguah, Daylee Kregbein and Gonkerwon Karnleahfehn — my grandparents and parents, respectively.It is all too obvious that my ears (like the ears of others), are being refreshed by those sugary words of wisdom my parents offered me during my prime by which, I was nurtured along the way in life, thereby keeping me enhanced and stimulated in time like these when wisdom has become the core requirement to pierce through the world where temptation has become more like the hostile wind.I am grateful to these fallen heroes and heroines for making me who I am today, though physically poor, yet rich in dignity and honesty supplemented by spiritual guidance. Their places in my mind can be likened to the thrones of the kings simply because the blessings they endowed me in reciprocation of my obedience has and continue to make me defined rangers in the face of assorted dangers, especially at a time when love is at the battlefront with hatred, truth is being dared by falsehood, while the culture of deception has become awesome. Hence they will forever remain honorably seated in my mind that houses their indelible graves, which will continue to shine even more than the face of the evening star.I humbly salute them and all other departed souls hoping that they are comfortably resting in the bosom of Abraham, and listed as prospective qualified candidates for eternity. It’s my hope also that as the graves are decorated, the people of the land will equally decorate their minds in terms of generating the sense of patriotism and nationalism to harvest the necessary vision to give the nation a look that resembles or represents the face of civilization.A nation is decorated when its citizens rise above the culture of greed and selfishness; discover the secret of defined national life with the vow to graduate from the ugly past.A nation is decorated whose citizens will submit to the doctrine of national love as opposed to letting hatred sever them apart.About the author: F. Shelton Gonkerwon, a practicing Liberian Journalist and a Poet, holds a Bachelor Degree from the University of Liberia. He authored “Dark Freedom: a Gloomy Tale of Once a War Divided Liberia.” He is one of Liberia’s progressing writers whose works are steadily surfacing to the notice of the outside world.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Borussia Dortmund went seven points clear of the current Bundesliga champions at the top of the table after forging a remarkable 3-2 win over their great rivals.Dortmund had trailed twice in the match against Bayern Munich but they struck back both times and then substitute Pco Alcacer scored a winner to deflate Bayern Munich.In a mightily entertaining encounter, Marco Reus got a brace for Dortmund and Robert Lewandowski scored twice for Bayern Munich. Lewandowski would have got his third and an equaliser in the dying moments of the match only for the goal to be correctly ruled out for offside.It was almost like a battle between Lewandowski and Reus in terms of goals till Alcacer and English youngster Jadon Sancho combined for the winner in the 73rd minute. Marco Reus (no.11) scored a brace for Borussia Dortmund against Bayern Munich. (AP Photo)It was Alcacer’s seventh goal in his fourth substitute appearance this season and lifts Dortmund, who remain unbeaten in the league, to 27 points, with Borussia Moenchengladbach second on 24 and Bayern third on 20.”It was a great game and I have to congratulate my players,” said Dortmund coach Lucien Favre. “I don’t think I have seen a tougher Bayern team than in the opening 30 minutes.”I was happy to go into the break trailing 1-0 because I knew they could not keep up that pace. It was hard for us but we then felt we could win the game.”The result piles more pressure on embattled Bayern coach Niko Kovac, with the Bavarians, so accustomed to domestic success having won the last six league titles, now struggling in their pursuit of vibrant Dortmund.advertisementBayern, whose last failure to win a match after leading twice by a goal came 18 years ago, could drop to fourth on Sunday if RB Leipzig beat Bayer Leverkusen.”We were twice caught on the break and that should not happen,” said Kovac. “Dortmund have very quick players and we should have been more compact.”STRONG STARTYet it all started well for the champions, who took advantage of the home side’s somewhat sluggish start, to take the lead with former Dortmund striker Lewandowski’s 26th minute header. Robert Lewandowski scored twice for Bayern Munich in losing cause vs Borussia Dortmund. (Reuters Photo)Reus, in sensational form this season, was brought down in the box and drew the hosts level with his penalty four minutes after the restart.Yet the joy of the home crowd was short-lived when Lewandowski again headed in at the far post after a quick combination for his 12th goal in nine games against his former club.The hosts then laid siege to the Bayern box, with Reus and Alcacer wasting golden chances, before Reus making amends with his eighth goal of the season, an unstoppable one-touch missile that left keeper Neuer frozen to the spot.There was more misery to come for the visitors, who looked rattled by Dortmund’s speed, as Spaniard Alcacer, beating the offside trap, raced clear to chip the ball over Neuer for the winner.He needed just 218 minutes to score eight league goals, seven of which have come as a substitute. No player has ever taken less time on the pitch to score his first eight goals in the Bundesliga.Earlier, Gladbach tightened their hold on second place with as 3-1 victory at Werder Bremen courtesy of a hat-trick from forward Alassane Plea, who also took his season’s tally to eight goals.(With Reuters inputs)
The public is being warned to be vigilant when purchasing pharmaceuticals One of the main indicators of counterfeit products is the price Story Highlights The Commissioner warned the public about consuming these counterfeit products The public is being warned to be vigilant when purchasing pharmaceuticals, particularly sexual performance enhancers.This comes following the recent seizure of counterfeit pharmaceutical products by the Jamaica Custom Agency (JCA).Speaking during a media briefing on Thursday, September 19, at the JCA’s headquarters in Kingston, Commissioner of Customs, Major (ret’d) Richard Reese, noted that these illicit products, which include popular sex enhancers and erectile dysfunction treatments such as Viagra, were among a number of merchandise seized during a joint operation with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).“The JCA in association with the JCF has initiated a series of interdiction operations in support of Trade and Intellectual Property Rights and we have been targeting illicit cigarettes, pharmaceuticals and general merchandise, and also we will be focusing on appliances,” he said.The Commissioner warned the public about consuming these counterfeit products, which he said, can be detrimental to one’s health.“We want to make the public aware that using these products are harmful…you have situations where the use of these preparations can be fatal because of their composition,” he said.“So, it is a very serious matter and persons don’t recognise the importance of the role of the Ministry of the Agriculture (and Fisheries), the role of Customs, the Ministry of Health and the Bureau of Standards in ensuring that the products that are imported are compliant and it is really for our health and safety,” he said.The Commissioner advised that one of the main indicators of counterfeit products is the price, noting that if the cost seems too good to be true, then it most likely is.“In terms of general merchandise, in situations where defects occur, the consumer will have no recourse because there is no warranty afforded these products. And usually when they are purchased, they don’t really last as long as the genuine product,” he said.Anyone having information on counterfeit goods can call Crime Stop at 311 or 1-888-991-4000 or they can email Jamaica Customs at [email protected]
zoom All five holds of Bibby Line’s troubled bulk carrier MV Cheshire have cooled down, however, salvors are still unsuccessful in their attempts to board the ship due to adverse weather conditions, the shipowner said in an update.As informed, the process of decomposition is believed to have completed and there are no fumes emanating from the 56,597 dwt vessel.“The salvors planned to board the vessel today (August 27) in order to make their assessment of the situation and leave to report back on their findings. Unfortunately due to deteriorating weather conditions their attempts to board today have been unsuccessful,” the statement says.To remind, the UK-flagged bulker experienced elevated temperatures in cargo holds 4 and 5 on August 12. The vessel was loaded with a full cargo of fertiliser and was on passage from Norway to Thailand to discharge. The vessel arrived at around 15.00 hours on August 13 at a safe position 45 miles south of Gran Canaria, as it was scheduled to stop in Las Palmas to take on bunkers.Salvors Resolve Marine were appointed to attend the vessel and deal with the cargo problem. Resolve Marine arrived in Las Palmas on August 14, but in the meantime, the crew of Cheshire were evacuated and taken ashore for their own safety as wind conditions were so light that the fumes were not being carried away from the ship.A standby tug from Sasemar stayed with the vessel and an access ladder has been rigged. The vessel had been drifting in a south westerly direction away from any landmass.The crew are reported to be well and in a good condition and all except the second engineer, who has been assisting the salvors, have been flown home.Resolve Marine have been on station alongside the vessel since August 16 but had failed to get on board due to adverse weather conditions, the heat and the fumes being generated from the affected holds.On August 21, the salvors managed to get a tow line attached and the Cheshire, according to AIS data, is currently approximately 50 nautical miles SE of Gran Canaria with a tug towing, VB Hispania providing support and a Sasemar vessel escorting.The initial plan is to provide an independent power pack in order to power up the windlass and emergency fire pump and establish an emergency stern towing connection. Following this, the plan is to make the vessel safe to board, which would require gas freeing the accommodation, engine room and main deck.The salvors have received permission from the Spanish authorities to bring the vessel in closer but no less than 12 nautical miles from the shore, which would make their task easier.