Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor has designated Associate Justice Philip A.Z. Banks to pay tribute on behalf of the Judiciary, at today’s funeral services for the late Chief Justice Johnnie N. Lewis.Chief Justice Korkpor who succeeded Lewis said Associate Justice Banks was the person best suited to perform such a task for the third branch of government.Justice Banks is one of the newest justices on the bench of the Supreme Court.The Chief Justice declared that “Associate Justice Banks knows Chief Justice Lewis the best among us. Both of them attended Yale University in the United States of America.They also taught at the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia.”He added, “They succeeded each other as Dean of the Law School and they have known each other for a very long time. This is why we justices agreed for him to pay the tribute on behalf of the judiciary.”Chief Justice Korkpor made the disclosure yesterday at the Temple of Justice, during an hour of viewing of the remains of the late Chief Justice.In his tearful remarks at the viewing ceremony, Chief Justice Korkpor said, “We miss a very good person in the law profession. His memory will always live with us, the Judiciary, because of the many infrastructure developments he undertook when he was chief justice.”“He was more than a friend to us, he was our mentor and he was a fearless and bold individual,” the Chief Justice recollected.“He rendered valuable services that will remain in the history of the judiciary,” the Chief Justice noted.According to him, it was Chief Justice Lewis who introduced the James A.A. Pierre Judicial Institute at the Temple of Justice where more than 100 Liberians have acquired legal knowledge.He said that some of graduates of the Judicial Institute have been deployed as magistrates (judges) throughout the country.He went on to say that the late Chief Justice was instrumental in establishing the Public Defender Program at the Judiciary.This program was created to provide free legal services to people who are unable to hire and pay lawyers to plead their cases.Besides that, Chief Justice Korkpor said, Chief Justice Lewis constructed several courts in the country including, Criminal C, D and two Civil Law Courts at the Temple of Justice, following his appointment in 2006The gold and black casket bearing the remains of the late Chief Justice Lewis arrived at 4:50pm at the Temple of Justice.It was immediately taken to the first floor of the Temple of Justice where the viewing ceremony was held.After the brief ceremony, the remains of Chief Justice Lewis were taken to the St. Thomas Episcopal Church on Camp Johnson Road for wake keeping. The funeral service will take place today at 10am at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion on Ashmun Street.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Against arguments that her government has not done much to the expectations of the Liberian people, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has continually stated that there is no need for arguments as the evidences are clear for all to see. And it was in this vein, she said, that the country is currently undergoing more infrastructure facelifts than previous years.Speaking at the dedication ceremony at the National Social Security & Welfare Corporation’s (NASSCORP) Village, a project of the National Housing Authority (NHA), in Brewerville yesterday, President Sirleaf said Liberia’s developmental agenda continues to make tremendous progress, with the construction of 70 housing units for low-income earners.“Liberia is changing,” the President confidently said, smiling. “These people are now the proper owners of these housing units. NHA has constructed quality housing units and NASSCORP has been the strategic institution behind the construction of these estates. We want to thank NASSCORP for its efforts in ensuring that low income earners have places to sleep.” She called on new and prospective homeowners of the various estate units to take care of and properly maintain the facilities, and be proud owners of the housing units. She reminded the tenants to ensure that their mortgage for the housing units are paid according to an arrangement with the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), and failure on their part to honor the mortgage would result in the building being repossessed by the bank.She wants the management of NHA to extend the construction of housing units from Montserrado County to the leeward counties to benefit many more Liberians.In an earlier statement, NASSCORP’s Managing Director, Dewittt Von Ballmoos, praised the President for her tireless efforts in ensuring the development of Liberia, including the rehabilitation of the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant, the construction and rehabilitation of roads throughout the country and other major projects.Mr. Von Ballmoos said the construction of housing units at the NASSCORP Village started three years ago when the first and second phases of the project were targeted.He disclosed that NASSCORP has spent US$5.5 million on the housing project as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility. “These units will be given out at an affordable cost. The proceeds will go towards the construction of more housing units in the country,” he said.Mr. Prince Wreh, Acting Managing Director of the National Housing Authority (NHA), thanked the Chief Executive for her support of the National Housing Authority, adding: “Thanks to you, Madam President, this is a dream that has come to reality that Liberians can own their own homes now.” He said the NHA’s goal is to ensure that more Liberians become homeowners. He praised President Sirleaf for giving young professionals the opportunity to serve their country responsibly, but was quick to note that there is still more work to be done. For his part, the Chairman of the NHA Board of Directors, Bishop George D. Harris, disclosed that NHA anticipates dedicating the fourth phase of the housing project, comprising 53 units, with its partners.He said NHA has constructed a total of 163 housing units, adding, “progress is being made.” He lauded the management of NASSCORP for the partnership and assured that more work will be done to build affordable housing units for Liberians around the country.At a cost of US$20,000, a unit will be paid for through a mortgage arrangement subsidized by government at an interest rate of 7 percent over a ten-year period.The ceremony was graced by senior government officials including Madam Miatta Beyslow, NASSCORP Board Chair; George V. Curtis Sr, the Mayor of the City of Brewerville; citizens, among others. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
In a first, gold price rose above $1,200 for the first time since late October with the Swiss voters rejecting a proposal to boost its reserves, the softening of the dollar and weakening appetite for high-risk assets.Gold slid to $1,142.91 as the Swiss voters rejected the proposal to lift central bank gold holdings to 20% of its forex reserves. The move, had it been passed, would have forced the Swiss central bank to purchase 1,500 tonnes of the precious metal, at the cost of 60bn Swiss francs ($62bn.)Traders judged that the move was overdone and gold bounced back to a peak of $1,197.10.Japan’s credit rating was cut on Monday by Moody’s Investor service to A1 from Aa3, citing “heightened uncertainty over Japan’s ability to cut its fiscal deficit” after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decided last month to delay an increase in the national sales tax scheduled to take effect next year. The move sent the Japanese Yen to a seven-year low against the Euro, simulating some demand for gold.On Friday, India, the second biggest consumer of gold, decided to scrap a rule mandating traders to export 20% of all gold imported into the country.RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan termed the move “reasonable,” and added that the government will review its gold import policies.On the other hand, China, the world’s largest consumer, saw a drop in demand for gold, reeling against the tough crackdown on corruption by its government, which began earlier this year. The country is expected to consume about 850-900 ton gold this year, contrasting to the record of more than 1,000 tons in 2013.The Chinese typically steps up gold purchases in late November, where solid gold bars, jewellery and figurines are used as gifts during the Lunar New Year. Also, buying has picked up slightly, with Hong Kong premiums at $1-2 against the usual $3-5 an ounce.The softening of the US dollar also supported gold’s rally, as a weaker greenback boosts commodities traded in the dollar, making them cheaper for holders of other currencies.Spot gold was up 4% at $1,216 an ounce. Gold clocks above $1,200 for the first time since October with Japan sovereign downgrade and import relaxations in India.
Court Limits Display Of South Africa’s Old Apartheid… Denis Farrell by NPR News Bill Chappell 8.21.19 11:30am A South African court is restricting gratuitous displays of the country’s old apartheid-era flag, calling the banner “a vivid symbol of white supremacy and black disenfranchisement and suppression.” The flag was the official standard of South Africa from 1928 until the end of apartheid in 1994, when it was replaced by a six-color flag whose Y-shape symbolizes unity. On Wednesday, the Equality Court ruled that the old flag is “a symbol that immortalizes the period of a system of racial segregation, racial oppression through apartheid, and of South Africa as an international pariah state that dehumanized the black population.” The lawsuit was filed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, which said displaying the apartheid flag amounted to hate speech, unfair discrimination and harassment against black people. “Judge Phineas Mojapelo of South Africa’s Equality Court delivered the ruling to restrict the use of the orange, white and blue flag of the former white minority regime,” NPR’s Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports. “However, he said the move was not a complete ban, because use of the divisive flag associated with the apartheid years is protected by law for artistic, academic, journalistic and other purposes in the public interest.”The suit targeted a group called AfriForum, which is widely seen as representing the views of a conservative white minority of Afrikaners. In court, AfriForum’s representatives contended that South Africa’s hate speech laws apply only to words, not symbols. They also said that under the constitution, displaying the flag is a protected expression.”Simply displaying it, in our view, is not sufficient for it to be hate speech,” AfriForum Head of Policy and Action Ernst Roets said after the court released its decision. “For it to be hate speech, it has to be coupled with some form of a call to action to inflict harm or something to that effect.”On Wednesday, the Nelson Mandela Foundation said the 1928 flag has become a global symbol of white supremacy and hatred “and is considered by most South Africans as a source of trauma and terror.”The foundation filed suit after the flag appeared at protests in late 2017 that decried deadly attacks on white farmers. Those protests, dubbed “Black Monday,” were promoted by AfriForum.In siding with the Mandela foundation, the Equality Court ruled that in addition to being racist, gratuitous display of the old flag “demonstrates a clear intention to be hurtful” and to promote hatred against black people.Given the flag’s adoption by a whites-only parliament and its six decades of symbolizing the apartheid era, the court said, “It is thus, not surprisingly, viewed differently even today by mostly white people on the one hand and black people on the other.”Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.