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NIGERIANS IN DIASPORA AWARDS – THE GAMBIA at the Ocean Bay Resort in Cape Point, on Saturday 23rd of November 2019 at 8pm.

A memorable night celebrating the brotherhood between The Gambia and Nigeria.

This event will have in attendance top Nigerian professionals who have contributed immensely to the legal, education, medical, commerce, diplomatic and military fields among many others in the Republic of The Gambia. Nigerians have rendered their support to this nation through the Federal Government Technical Aid Programme as well as through other formal and informal bodies.

European Tourists visiting The Gambia despite Thomas Cook’s liquidation

European Tourists visiting The Gambia despite Thomas Cook’s liquidation
European travel agents bringing tourists and other visitors to The Gambia have confirmed that despite Thomas Cook UK Plc and associated UK entities that recently entered compulsory liquidation, reservations to Banjul will continue and that is “not” affecting bookings as previously thought.

Several interesting locations in the country such as The Gambia National Museum, Abuko Nature Reserve, Kachikally Crocodile Pool and Bijilo Forest Park have been revealed and identified for European travelers and tourists to experience during their stay in The Gambia.

Certain towns and villages such as Banjul, Brufut Beach and Wassu were branded as “stunning places to see.” Serekunda Market and Tanji Fish Market are also recommended for tourists.

In a rare shift portraying the country as ‘‘dictatorship that could easily slide into an unpredictable event’’, the European Press is currently depicting the Gambia as a ‘‘good country to visit’, taking into consideration the current political dispensation.

Respected media organizations now consider the country as ‘‘friendly and attractive for visitors’’ and further highlighted many areas of interest to visitors.

The reputable and respectable Telegraph in the UK has revealed more than a dozen ‘‘reasons’’ for visiting The Gambia. It includes ‘‘cruising the river Gambia; bird watching at dawn; meet some island-whooping chimps.”

The paper also disclosed to tourists some personal areas that may be worth experiencing such as ‘‘tracing the grim history of the slave trade and visiting an art village.” Even ‘‘hanging out with village elders’’ was also cited to European tourists.

Notwithstanding, in some quarters, visitors are cautioned to be careful and suspicious during certain dealings or movements; however, the general view is optimistic and sanguine.

A ‘‘tourism advice’’ script seen by this correspondent also revealed that the Gambian Ministry of Tourism and Culture had ‘averted the sudden trauma against its industry during the event of Thomas Cook’s cessation.”

It further revealed that Hamat N.K. Bah, Gambian Minister of Tourism and Culture ‘‘handling of the incident was remarkable.” It added that an ‘‘inclusive meeting of all stakeholders both inside and outside of the country seeking remedial actions yielded a very positive results.”

President Barrow Promises to Launch Investigation on Fire Incident

President Adama Barrow has promised to set up an enquiry to investigate the Sunday night fire incident at Jimpex.

The fire incident reportedly broke out from the gas depot on Sunday evening spreading to the nearby companies, warehouses and car garages.

The incident claimed several properties including buildings and vehicles in the vicinity of Jimpex – Kanifing Industrial Area. The area is designated to be an industrial area and it hosts several factories including gas factories.

“An enquiry team will be set-up to look into what had happened and to establish the facts that caused the fire,’’ he said.

Barrow said the investigation will be to inquire as to what caused the fire and for the team to provide them with the recommendations on how to prevent a recurrence of such fire incidents in the country.

“It is a very unfortunate and difficult situation….We cannot thank enough the respondents from the fire service team for the hard work. They work under very difficult circumstances, but the good thing is they are determined to put out the fire and contain the situation,” President Barrow told the press, adding preventive measures will be taken to reassess the safety standards in place at similar facilities across the country.

President Barrow announced that the government will set up a commission of inquiry to look into what had happened in order to establish facts around the cause of the fire and how to avoid future recurrence..

After enquiry, he said the damage caused by the fire will be assessed, adding that from there they would know what exactly happened and what government can do. Additionally, the assessment will further enable the government to establish the level of damage caused, he added. President Barrow assured that the government will give all the support within its capacity to the victims of the incident.

Kisham Reepchandans, who was in tears while speaking to reporters, said his company had many building materials such as toilets seat, teals, water paint and tools for building.

Kisham Reepchandans

“My business is finished now. I lost around 10 to 15 million dalasi. I cannot survive. I cannot continue, because all my hard-work since 25 years ago….., all I worked for  from evening and night is gone. I’ve to pay people’s load,’’ he said while tears filled his eyes.

“I cannot continue,’’ he added. “It started when a gas company’s tank of gas was leaking on Sunday. It exploded and was spreading all over and it then hit my store and everything went on fire,’’ he said.

“I’ve 15 employed Gambians and 3 Indian employees. I’m completely finished. I cannot work now. President Barrow who is a good friend was here and has also felt sorry about the incident. I was not here when the leaking happened because Sunday was not a working day,’’ he explained.

He continued: “People living within the area saw the leaking and informed the company owner.”

He said no one informed him that a gas tank was leaking in the nearby company. He said he received the information about the incident after the intervention of the Fire and Rescue Service.

 “It was our Indian festival on that Sunday, we were at home with our family. We couldn’t do anything since everything vanished away,’’ he said.

Dodou Trawally, the Executive Director of the National Environment Agency (NEA), said they usually do rapid assessment when such incidents happen.  He added that a team of inspectors from Fire Service, NEA and Disaster Management are on the ground to ascertain what caused the incident.

He said, “We feel people really need to know what’s happening. We’re waiting for the Police to help us with the crowd for the inspectors to do their job. The rapid assessment would be able to know how many cars, building and properties were damaged.’’

“Looking around, you will know a huge damage occurred here,’’ he said.

Abdul Rasheed the owner of Pure & Drinking Water company said he has been operating since 2006. He added that he lost 5 million dalasi after the gas explosion.

“I lost dozens of bottles of water. My two standby generators were burnt but the water processing machine is saved,’’ he said. He added, “we would like compensation from the government, but we will also file report and proceed to a lawyer.’’

Hadim Gogan, the owner of the gas-company said the inferno consumed the consignment of gas he ordered for the country.

He explained: “The problem started when the gas-tanks arrived and some were discharged. We cannot ascertain what coursed the explosion until the investigators are ready.”

Hadim said he cannot estimate the loss he incurred as a result of the fire incident. He added that nobody lost his live as a result of the incident.

Rising sea levels threaten hundreds of millions — and it’s much worse than we thought

Hundreds of millions of people worldwide are at risk of losing their homes as entire cities sink under rising seas over the next three decades, according to researchers.

A new study, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, found that as the climate crisis intensifies, sea levels globally are expected to rise between two to seven feet (0.6 meters to 2.1 meters) — and possibly more — over the course of the 21st century.
The findings are based on new artificial intelligence and data, nearly tripling the previously estimated area and populations under threat.
By 2050, land that is currently home to about 300 million people will fall below the elevation of the average annual coastal flood — meaning they could face severe floods at least once a year. By 2100, land that is home to 200 million people could sit permanently below the high tide line, rendering those coastal areas all but unlivable.
“The results indicate that, yes, a great deal more people are on vulnerable land than we thought,” said Benjamin Strauss, one of the study’s co-authors and CEO of non-profit organization Climate Central. He added that these affected regions need to take immediate action to avoid the impending “economic and humanitarian catastrophe.”
Entire coastal cities could be wiped out if there aren’t enough sea defenses in place. Some 70% of the people at risk of yearly floods and permanent inundation are in eight Asian countries: China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Japan, according to the study.
China’s low-lying big cities are particularly vulnerable, according to a Climate Central press release — think Shanghai, Tianjin, and Hong Kong. Other Asian cities at risk include Vietnamese capital Hanoi, Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, and the eastern Indian city Kolkata.
The entire southern tip of Vietnam could be flooded, according to Climate Central’s projections.
It’s not just Asia, either — according to Climate Central, 19 other countries, including Brazil and the UK, could see land falling permanently below the high tide line by 2100.
“If our findings stand, coastal communities worldwide must prepare themselves for much more difficult futures than may be currently anticipated,” the study warned. “Recent work has suggested that, even in the US, sea-level rise this century may induce large-scale migration away from unprotected coastlines, redistributing population density across the country and putting great pressure on inland areas.”
The climate emergency has seen glaciers and ice sheets rapidly melting, from the Himalayas to Antarctica. Previous reports had predicted that sea levels could rise by three feet (0.9 meters) — which Climate Central researchers now say was too conservative an estimate.
“We’ve already shifted from a world in which sea level was stable to one in which it is rising, and it will continue to rise for decades, and in fact, hundreds of years,” Strauss told CNN.
Of the major ice sheets, Greenland’s is melting the fastest, and lost more than 275 gigatons on average per year between 2006 and 2015, according to a landmark report last month by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). But the even larger Antarctic ice sheet is also shrinking, and its mass loss tripled between 2007 and 2016 compared to the previous 10 years.
These rising oceans spell disaster for coastal residents who could be forcibly displaced. Entire Pacific islands could be submerged, creating waves of climate refugees who might not have anywhere to go. They are not protected by international laws, so industrialized countries aren’t legally obligated to grant them asylum.
Rising sea levels contribute to warmer global temperatures, changing what kinds of crops farmers can grow — meaning millions of people could face food and drinking water scarcity, health crises, and a disrupted global economy.

South Africa’s worst drought in years affects farmers

Government imposes water cuts and gives aid to farmers as part of emergency measures to fight severe drought.

South Africa is experiencing what many farmers say is the driest season they can remember. They are having to sell their livestock, and this is having a knock-on effect on the economy.

In response to the lack of water, the government has imposed emergency measures to restrict water use and improve supply infrastructure.


Robert Evans, ‘Chinatown’ and ‘Godfather’ producer, dead at 89

Robert Evans, whose charisma rivaled some of the actors who appeared in the hit films he produced, died Saturday, according to his publicist Monique Evans.

He was 89.
As a studio head, Evans helped resurrect Paramount Pictures in the 1960s and 1970s by bringing such projects as “Chinatown,” “The Godfather” and “Rosemary’s Baby” to the big screen.
Evans seemed to epitomize Hollywood excesses with his seven marriages, outspoken nature and freewheeling lifestyle that he documented in his 1994 memoir, “The Kid Stays in the Picture.” (The book was developed into a 2002 documentary film.)
“There are three sides to every story: my side, your side, and the truth. And no one is lying,” Evans once famously said. “Memories shared serve each one differently.”
Born in New York City to a dentist and his wife, Evans was a child actor on radio and in the early years of television.
When stardom eluded him, Evans took a job promoting sales for Evan-Picone, a clothing company co-owned by his brother, Charles.
He was working that gig when actress Norma Shearer spotted the good-looking Evans at the Beverly Hills Hotel pool.
She successfully lobbied for Evans to portray her late husband, MGM producer Irving Thalberg, in “Man of a Thousand Faces,” a 1957 film about Lon Chaney.
He also caught the eye of producer Darryl F. Zanuck, who cast the young actor as the matador Pedro Romero in “The Sun Also Rises,” based on the classic Ernest Hemingway novel.
Evans wrote in his memoir that Hemingway and the cast’s attempt to get him thrown off the picture led to the line he used to title his biography after producer Zanuck declared, “The kid stays in the picture.”
A few unsatisfying and unsatisfactory supporting roles would end his acting career and Evans turned to producing.
In 1976, he told The New York Times that his time as an actor led to him being the butt of many jokes when he first went to work for Paramount in 1966.
“People said, ‘That B‐actor is suddenly becoming an executive,'” Evens told the publication. “When I came into Paramount, they thought I’d last six months.”
Instead, he went on to turn the studio around thanks to his deft hand at acquiring and producing hits.
One film he produced, “Love Story,” starred Ali MacGraw, one of his seven wives.
Evans was also married to actress Sharon Hugueny, actress Camilla Sparv, former Miss America Phyllis George, former Versace model Leslie Ann Woodward, “Dynasty” actress Catherine Oxenberg and socialite Victoria White O’Gara.
But his greatest love may have been the movies.
He served as production chief at Paramount for eight years.
Evans told The New York Times he “was a bad executive” partially because he “would get very involved with just a few pictures, and I let a lot of other things pass.”
“I was lucky, because at least the pictures that I got involved with ended up being successful. But I realized in the last couple of years that my interest was not in sitting down with agents or packagers all day and making deals,” Evans said. “I wanted to be in the cutting room, working on the scoring; I wanted to be more fully involved with the making of the film.”
He did just that as an independent producer, working on films including “Marathon Man,” “Urban Cowboy” and “The Cotton Club.”
That last film found Evans embroiled in a scandal due to the murder-for-hire killing of a theatrical producer who had been involved with “The Cotton Club” project, Roy Radin.
Evans’ tumultuous life also included pleading guilty to cocaine possession in 1980, after his brother and another man were arrested in a scheme that involved buying $19,000 of cocaine from a federal narcotics agent posing as a dealer.
He described himself as a “hermit” in a 2017 interview with Vanity Fair, preferring to live quietly in a property once owned by Greta Garbo.
Evans also recalled with horror a 2013 fire that destroyed his projection room containing many of his precious Hollywood memories.
“I’d give the rest of the house to have it back,” he said. “It’s awful. Every director, writer, producer, young actor — I’d get together with them here five times a week to see movies. It was a very sad day. It’s one of the worst things that’s ever happened to me.”

C.A.R declares national catastrophe as floods render more homeless

Thousands more people are without homes after two days of rain and severe flooding in the Central African Republic.

On Sunday, the government said more than 20,000 people have been made homeless across its provinces and additional 8,000 in the capital, Bangui.

A coordinator for one of the makeshift camps set up for residents displaced by the floods in Bangui is concerned that more homes were likely to fall.

To see something that you spent years building collapse, that is hard, I feel sad.

“Really, we need assistance. Some homes were destroyed, families are outside their homes. It is hard when you leave your house, unexpectedly. To see something that you spent years building collapse, that is hard, I feel sad”, Rock Lionnel Koigningbo said.

The situation has worsened following the overflow of the Oubangi river, located in the southwest of the capital. The State is appealing for international support.

Firmin Ngrebada is Prime Minister for the Central African Republic.

“The government is working hard since the start of this catastrophe to help our compatriots who are in distress, but in view of the scale of the disaster and in particular the difficult situation the country finds itself in, the government. I with the authority of the President of the republic and Head of State, accordingly declare a national catastrophe and we are appealing for national and international solidarity”, Ngrebada said.

According to authorities, heavy rains in recent weeks have caused an unusual increase in the rising levels of the Oubangi river.

Is the IEC financially independent to carry out its work?

Section 44 of the Constitution states:

The Independent Electoral Commission shall submit its annual estimates of expenditure to the President for presentation to the National Assembly in accordance with this Constitution. The President shall cause the estimates to be placed before the National Assembly without amendment, but may attach to them his or her own comments and observations.”

Hence the IEC is supposed to regulate the income of its Commissioners and staff, make projections regarding its requirements of its operations, and submit a realistic budget to the National Assembly.

The Executive has no mandate to alter the budget of the IEC. It is therefore hoped that as the new electoral cycle begins the IEC will be able to execute its duties.

Gambia Government Accepts Janneh Commission Recommendations against Edward Sighatey, Others

The Gambia Government has accepted the recommendations made by the Janneh Commission against former leaders of the AFPRC Military Government.

The recommendations are contained in the White Paper published by the Government shortly after cabinet met and deliberated on the findings and recommendations of the Commission. See the Government’s decision below:

Mr Ebou Jallow, Mr Edward Singhateh, and Mr Yankuba Touray were all soldiers of the Gambia Armed Forces and together with former President Jammeh, constituted the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) in 1994. They held various positions in Government including Spokesperson of the AFPRC, Vice Chairman of the AFPRC, and Minister of Local Government, respectively.

The Commission found, inter alia, that they were involved in financial dealings of the AFPRC and its Chairman former President Jammeh.
The Commission found that the AFPRC forged diplomatic relations with Taiwan in the expectation of obtaining financial aid for their Transition Programme. Taiwan gave The Gambia a loan of $35 million. The Commission found that Mr Jallow negotiated for $5 million cash payment of the said loan on the instructions of former President Jammeh which was bought to The Gambia by special flight and presented to the AFPRC. Mr Jallow and Mr Edward Singhateh deposited the amount of $2.3 million at the Central Bank of The Gambia. $2.7 million has not been accounted for amidst claims that it was handed over to former President Jammeh. Mr Yankuba Touray was responsible for supervising the Transitional Programme projects.

The Commission found that the AFPRC failed to account for $32,220,000 of the loan from Taiwan, and that they are jointly and severally liable or answerable for the amounts not accounted for. The Commission noted further that the ouster clauses under the Second Schedule of the 1997 Constitution do not apply as the members of the AFPRC were not acting in the performance of their official duties or in exercise of their executive powers when they operated outside the framework of the law and/or misappropriate public funds.

The Government accepts the findings of the Commission in so far as they relate to Mr Ebou Jallow, Mr Edward Singhateh, and Mr Yankuba Touray. The Government has noted that the collective actions of the AFPRC in overthrowing a democratic government in 1994 set the stage and substantially enabled former President Jammeh perpetrate and perpetuate the unprecedented looting of The Gambia’s meager resources to the detriment of the country.

Consequently, the government has decided that they (Mr. Ebou Jallow, Mr. Edward Singhateh and Mr. Yankuba Touray) are not fit to hold public office and should be banned, and Mr. Ebou Jallow, Mr. Edward Singhateh and Mr. Yankuba Touray are hereby banned from holding public office for the remainder of their lives. They are also banned from holding any director positions in any state-owned enterprises in The Gambia for fifteen (15) years from the date of publication of this White Paper.

Mr. Ebou Jallow, Mr. Edward Singhateh and Mr. Yankuba Touray are hereby ordered to pay back to the state the sum of $32, 220, 000 within 30 days from the publication of this White Paper failing which their properties will be forfeited to the state and sold. The proceeds of sale shall be applied to the payment of monies for which they are found to be liable for in the report, in addition to criminal proceedings to be instituted against them.

Protocol Alagie Ceesay Harps on Jammeh’s Sexual Relationships

The Chief of Protocol at the State House has on Monday, 28th October 2019, testified that his former boss President Yahya Jammeh used to have sexual relationship with some ladies.

Alagie Ceesay said he was responsible for coordinating meetings and trips for the former President. Ceesay testified there were girls who were having sexual relations with former President Yahya Jammeh. He said there were girls living in the State House while some others used to come after working hours who used to have sexual relationship with the Gambia’s former president.

The 59 – year – old said one Jimbe Jammeh was the link between the girls and the former President and she was responsible for facilitating their meeting.

The Protocol Officer confirmed to the TRRC several names of women who the former President used to have sexual relations with, although they are under protection by the Commission. He said there were girls who were brought to him by the former President as protocol officers at the Office of the President.

Ceesay said the normal process of employing these girls as protocol officers would require his involvement and the Public Service Commission but instead, these women were employed based on Jammeh’s directive.

“It was an executive directive that select these protocol officers. You don’t have a choice. There were lot of them who came, mostly girls,” said Ceesay.

“You have a lot of them who were academically limited… I would find some of them to be good but others, not… It was an open secret. Some of them are “Special Ladies,” Ceesay said.

He said even the officials working at the State House at the time knew that the issue of protocol officer is obscure. The girls were being used for something else – sexual relation.

He said the former First Lady used to travel frequently and he does not know why she used to travel every time.

Mr Ceesay was re-appointed Chief of Protocol by President Adama Barrow in 2017. He was appointed Permanent Secretary at the Office of the President in 2009 and promoted to the portfolio of Chief of Protocol in 2010. He said two years later, he was demoted and later appointed as the PS to the office of the former First Lady.

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