– Advertisement – Dr. Nathaniel Barnes is also named in the leaked documents. — Amb. Barnes says on alleged campaign funding by Czech CompanyThe bitter feud between secretary of the Senate, J. Nanborlor Singbeh, and his 70 percent majority shareholders and investors, Czech brothers Martin and Pavel Miloschewsky, has taken a dramatic turn with the Czech brothers admitting to a donation of over US$3,500 toward Ambassador Nathaniel Barnes’s bid to replace Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, as standard bearer of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2016.Singbeh is the president and chairman of the board of directors of a Czech Republic owned company, MHM Eko-Liberia Incorporated, a rock crushing company in the country, where he also holds a 30 percent share, and is being accused of mismanaging over US$5 million from the coffer of the entity.The Czech’s investors are claiming that with the establishment of MHM Eko-Liberia Inc. in Seeke-Ta, Weala, Township, Margibi County in 2013 up to present, Singbeh has not produced or sold a single truckload of crushed rocks, of which they have invested the over US$5 million.However, in a leaked document dated October 24, 2016, entitled: “Minutes of Meeting” that contained in a shareholders’ discussion in the Czech Republic, a copy of which is with the Daily Observer, where the Czech brothers, among other things, claimed that Singbeh encouraged them to make donation in the amount of over US$3,500 for Barnes’ campaign.The document claimed that Singbeh during the meeting, explained to his partners that Barnes is a long time suppliers for MHM Eko-Liberia, and he personally with his advice, contributed to development of the company, as such, they should donate to the Barnes’ campaign.“It was when the shareholders agreed to make a donation of over US$3,500 for Barnes campaign, while Singbeh demanded an immediate payment,” the document alleged.When contacted via mobile phone, Ambassador Barnes denied collecting campaign donation from Singbeh and his investors, the Czech brothers in 2016, though he admitted to having had a cordial working relationship with the MHM Eko-Liberia and Singbeh, where he provided business consultancy for a number of years.“I served as consultant to the company, and I was paid for the work that I performed; at no time did I ever receive money from Singbeh, as donation toward my campaign. That information is not true, but misleading,” Amb. Barnes said.He said it has been “many years now” since he parted company with the MHM Eko.In the NPP standard bearer elections, then Senator Jewel Taylor claimed 332 (79%) out of the total 417 votes cast from 12 counties, while Ambassador Barnes, former ambassador of Liberia to the United States, won 71 votes (17%). Another contender, Reverend Hannaniah Zoe, earned just 14 votes (3%).Nanbolor Singbeh, Secretary of the SenateAlso, when this reporter went to the Capitol Building Office of Singbeh for his response, Singbeh could not be found. However, one Mrs. Chea, who introduced herself as Singbeh’s chief of office staff, informed the reporter that Singbeh had advised her not to allow any journalist to his office in regard to the MHM Eko-Liberia situation.“The chief advised us that if any journalist comes here to see him about the MHM Eko-Liberia issue, we should tell that person that the matter is in court, and he is not prepared to make any comment on it,” Mrs. Chea quoted the instruction given her by Singbeh.The “minutes of meeting” document also revealed that at the meeting, Singbeh mentioned that it would be appropriate to prepare some gifts for former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, especially if Singbeh will arrange with her.“Singbeh suggested some crystal products with engraved names of founders of the country,” the document quoted Singbeh.During the meeting, it was gathered that the investors asked Singbeh to provide more details about what exactly the gifts should be because, his partners, shareholders and investors have no experience with “presidential gifts,” which the investors donated toward the purported Sirleaf’s gifts.Again, during the meeting, Singbeh reportedly demanded his investors to make available US$10,000 to open an escrow account at any bank in Liberia for a Class ‘B’ license holder to serve as a guarantor during the operation of said company.Justifying the US$10,000 during the meeting in the Czech Republic, Singbeh said although the yearly fee of US$10,000 had been paid, the license was still upheld [until] at such time, the guarantee amount can be deposited in the company’s escrow account.At that meeting, Singbeh briefed his investors that since the operation of the quarry was about to start, it was important that the amount be deposited upon his return to Liberia so that the upheld license would be released to avoid future embarrassment to MHM Eko-Liberia.“This, without reservation, was agreed upon to be undertaken, and Singbeh opened the account at the Afriland First Bank,” the documents claimed.Investigation continues.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
If there had to be just one silver lining to the pandemic that has swept through most of the world, most people stuck at home would point to an increased awareness of their personal health.Eager to stay fit during these difficult times, millions of people have decided to exercise from the comfort of their own homes.Sports physician Andi Kurniawan said the COVID-19 outbreak had raised people’s awareness of health, as more and more people understand the importance of strengthening their immune system. “People are more aware that it is so important to maintain our immune system so we can’t be easily infected,” he said.For people like Ratna Puspitasari and Marco Puli Sandy, who have been using their spare time sheltering at home for the past two months to get into the habit of exercise, the quarantine has triggered a significant change in their pursuit of health.“Before the quarantine started, I always felt tired of making time to exercise during the weekday. So I just spend 15 to 20 minutes on the weekend to exercise,” said 26-year-old Ratna, who works for a start-up in the Indonesian capital Jakarta.“And now as I work from home, I can exercise every day.” Inspiration doesn’t even have to begin with the individual.After poring through Youtube, Ratna said she found a variety of workout channels that helped her set up a personal exercise regimen to do from the comfort of her rooming house.She even designed a detailed workout program for every day of the week, combining simple and short workouts during the weekdays with longer and more intense workouts on the weekends – all geared to help her stay fit throughout quarantine.“On the weekdays, I do exercises that aren’t too time-consuming, like a 15-minute full body stretch or morning yoga. Whereas on the weekends, I do a combination of practices from yoga to HIIT,” she said, referring to High Intensity Interval Training.“The motivation comes from within. In the beginning, it was more like I forced myself to exercise because I wasn’t feeling healthy,” she said.“Additionally, I started a clean eating program at the end of last year, so I needed to accompany it with exercise.”While Ratna takes pleasure in exercising in her own room, Marco said he likes to jog around his housing complex and play some basketball with his brother once in a while to add some variety into his exercise routine.On the weekdays, the private company employee said he liked to do a 7-minute cardio workout which he combines with strength exercises such as push-ups and pull-ups.“I almost have no social life nowadays because I cannot go anywhere [due to the pandemic]. It’s quite stressful actually. Before the pandemic, I used to go to the cinema or hang out with my friends to destress,” he said.“[Since I can’t do any of those things], I feel like exercising helps me to manage [that stress]. Now I’m used to exercising almost every day.”With millions of people worldwide going into quarantine for months, sheltering in place from COVID-19 has resulted in its own health crisis, as people are forced to stave off social engagement.The uncertainty still lingers for both Marco and Ratna, who admitted that they had been left with nothing to do about creeping anxiety other than to keep a positive mental attitude.“Now, if I feel stressed out I am willing to admit that I’m not in a good condition. But then I am able to focus on resolving [the issues] one at a time,” Marco said.“We do whatever it takes to stay sane.”Both Marco and Ratna have also promised themselves that they would maintain their exercise habits even when the pandemic ends.“I need and must maintain this habit. I used to wake up at 7 a.m. and immediately prepare for work, but now with regular exercise, I can adjust my sleeping time and wake up earlier,” Ratna said.“Without realizing it, exercise has become a habit, even if I just do it for 5 to 15 minutes during weekdays.”As for the current large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in place, they have limited the number of options to exercise at gyms and other sporting facilities are closed.But Andi suggested that people should not be tempted to just lie in bed or sit in isolation for long hours.“The thing with isolation is people are more likely to lie in bed. But we have to stay active. For instance, every one hour when we sit, we need to stretch for five minutes.“A little stretching or moving our body while in isolation is enough as calories continue to burn. Cleaning the house or following a Youtube tutorial on exercise are also good for beginners,” he said.Topics :
A serial underwear thief was sentenced to nearly six months in jail Monday for breaching Singapore’s strict coronavirus lockdown to sneak into a backyard and steal women’s lingerie. Lee Chee Kin was on bail on similar charges when he snuck out of home last month and climbed into a backyard on the hunt for more underwear. The 39-year-old had stolen underwear from homes on at least 30 occasions since 2018, according to court documents, and police found more than 100 bras during a raid on his home last year. He admitted last month to breaking lockdown rules by leaving his residence without good reason, and failing to wear a mask outside. He also pleaded guilty to theft and criminal trespass, and was sentenced to 23 weeks in jail.Lee’s lawyer told the court that the former part-time actor was a “late bloomer”.A prosecutor previously told the court that Lee “would select bras and panties to steal based on their appearance”, and that he used them “for his own sexual gratification.” Singapore authorities imposed a partial lockdown in early April, with schools and most workplaces told to close, and people only allowed to leave home for essential purposes. Topics :
Conte ‘not worried’ “The things I have to say to the prosecutor, I will say to the prosecutor — I don’t want to anticipate,” he said.”I will conscientiously set out all the facts of which I have knowledge. I am not at all worried.”All investigations are welcome. The citizens have the right to know and we have the right to reply.”The team, lead by chief prosecutor Maria Cristina Rota, has already questioned senior officials in Lombardy region, who say it was up to Rome to decide whether certain areas should be shut.The region’s health minister, Giulio Gallera, has said it was clear from February 23 that there were a lot of cases in the areas around Nembro and Alzano, towns in the Bergamo province.But the government failed to act, he said.Conte replied that “if Lombardy had wanted to, it could have made Alzano and Nembro red zones”.Codogno was closed on February 21. Lombardy and 14 provinces in the neighboring regions of Veneto, Piedmont and Emilia Romagna followed on March 8, and the whole of Italy shut down two days later.But a scientific committee advising the government and the national health institute had warned in early March 3 that the towns should be locked down, according to the Corriere della Sera. Prosecutors are to question Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and the health and interior ministers over how the government handled the coronavirus pandemic, news agencies reported Wednesday.The prosecutors from Bergamo, the city in the northern Lombardy region worst hit by the virus, have launched an investigation into the crisis, which has killed over 34,000 people in Italy.They are looking in particular at why a red zone was not enforced in February around the towns of Nembro and Alzano. Regional officials and the government blame each other for the failure. Salvini denounces ‘lies’ Fifty relatives of coronavirus victims — members of the “Noi Denunceremo” (We Will Denounce) committee — filed complaints with the Bergamo prosecutors earlier Wednesday over the handling of the pandemic. It is the first such legal group action in Italy.”If it hadn’t been so disorganized, if [the province of] Bergamo had been made into a red zone earlier, perhaps the hospitals would not have been driven to collapse,” said Monica Plazzoli, whose husband Armando died of the virus.Far-right opposition leader Matteo Salvini, head of the League party which governs Lombardy, on Wednesday welcomed the investigation.”After so many lies and shameful attacks, justice has been done: those who have made mistakes must pay,” he said.Andrea Orlando of the center-left Democratic Party (PD), part of the government coalition, rebuked Salvini for using “a painful situation for propaganda”.It was normal procedure for prosecutors to speak with institutional representatives, he said. Italy was the first European country to be ravaged by the virus. The government imposed the country’s first red zone, around the town of Codogno, 24 hours after doctors discovered a patient positive for COVID-19.It went on to shut down 10 other towns, and then large areas of the north, before imposing a nationwide lockdown.Speaking to journalists on Wednesday evening, Conte said he would be interviewed by prosecutors on Friday. Topics :
Topics : Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan is in hot water for holding a final tribute to Jakarta secretary Saefullah, who died after contracting COVID-19, by bringing his body in a hearse to City Hall before the burial on Wednesday.Public policy observer and Jakarta Residents Forum (Fakta) chairman Azas Tigor Nainggolan questioned Anies’ decision, saying that Saefullah’s body should have been taken directly to a public cemetery in accordance with COVID-19 protocols.“If Anies really wanted to pay his last respects, why did he not, as the governor, come see the body of the deceased at the hospital?” Azas said in a statement on Wednesday. He had received treatment at the MMC hospital in South Jakarta since Sept. 8, before being transferred to one of the city’s COVID-19 referral hospitals, Gatot Subroto Army Hospital, on Sunday.Prior to his burial at the Rorotan cemetery in North Jakarta on Wednesday, Anies welcomed the hearse in the City Hall yard to pay final respects. Jakarta Legislative Council (DPRD) chairman Prasetio Edi Marsudi and other working unit (SKPD) officials were present.The funeral prayer took place at Al-Khoiriyah Mosque, which is located right next to the late Saefullah’s house, and was attended by dozens of residents, tribunnews.com reported.Jakarta Personnel Agency (BKD) head Chaidir said the process for paying respects to Saefullah at City Hall had been carried out in accordance with COVID-19 health protocols.“Everyone followed health protocols. The body was in a coffin in a tightly closed ambulance. There was no problem,” Chaidir said on Thursday.Chaidir said paying final respects to officials who died before retiring was a common practice. Moreover, he said, Saefullah had died while helping the city fight against the pandemic.“We have a procedure for [paying tribute] to active officials [who die]. He was an authorized and active official, did not retire and was still took part in a plenary meeting when he got sick,” he said.“If you, as a leader, are let go offhand, how would you feel?” he added.Chaidir argued that those criticizing the event at City Hall did not understand bureaucratic ethics and eastern customs. Azas argued that Anies had shown a superior attitude toward his subordinates, while also risking the lives of people gathering at City Hall on Wednesday.“Anies’ attitude showed that he did not care and had no commitment to protect the people of Jakarta. He only made the pandemic a stage of power and arrogance, as well as a stage for imaging,” he added.He asked the Health Ministry and the national COVID-19 task force to reprimand Anies for violating health protocols and order all attendees to get tested and undergo a two-week quarantine.Saefullah, who had worked as the Jakarta secretary since President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s time as governor, died at noon on Wednesday after previously testing positive for COVID-19.