Some of the Challenges Facing the GoL’s E-Government Initiatives

first_imgLast week’s article provided some much needed insight on the Chief Information Office, Republic of Liberia, the CIO Regime and the current Chief Information Officer-RL. Based on the number of calls and emails received after that article was published, I can safely say that there were a lot of folks who were totally oblivious to the existence of that office. This week, my intent is to identify and delineate some of the issues and challenges that have been strangulating efforts to achieve a robust Government of Liberia’s (GoL’s) ICT environment. I also use this medium to acquaint you with efforts that are being and will be made to achieve a robust e-Government program. Just as many people were not cognizant of the existence of the CIO-RL, so too are many citizens, residents and our international partners not knowledgeable about who decides, plans or implements GoL ICT projects. Worst yet, ask a few of the ICT professionals who work in GoL ministries, agencies, corporation/commissions (MACs), about how Government’s ICT resources (software, Hardware, network equipment, training, services, etc) are purchased; who makes the decisions; how are those decisions made; and whether they are based on particular standard. That ICT professional might likely tell you that purchases are made without his/her knowledge. All he/she knows is that when ICT resources are made available, his job is to ensure that they are deployed and operational and sometimes maintained. There are no standard hardware or software platforms (dell or HP, Microsoft Windows or Linux) or no standards at all, no warranties, no comprehensive training programs, and worst of all, no due diligence (in procurement) that subsumes total cost of ownership (TCO).Web development and hosting (and Software) contracts are signed without the ICT (tech folks) or the legal department’s involvement. As I write this article, we currently have Government entities that have their websites temporarily shut down or “hijacked” (as it is locally termed) because egregious contracts are/were not honored. Oftentimes, when this happens, the MAC loses its web presence (including content). Worst yet, it loses its “customers” (citizens, residents, businesses, global partners). Should this be happening at all?Then we also have Government institutions that are on the Web using “.Com” and “.Org” top level and second level domains when they should be using the “.Gov.Lr” second level domain name. Worst yet, there are official documentations that carry the “@Yahoo” or “@Gmail” email accounts, when the official email address should follow this format: GoLpersonnel@GoLinstitution.Gov.Lr or JDoe@MinistryofEverybody.Gov.Lr Other issues such as the individuals bringing their own computers to do “Government’s work”; taking home Government laptops without proper “check-out and check-in” procedures; employees installing their own software on Government’s computers totally ignoring license agreements; watching movies on Government computers during work hours are just a few that need to be addressed. What’s even worrisome is the use of pirated software on Government computers, an act which is not only ubiquitous, but is often perpetrated by ICT professionals who might not understand the implications of their actions. This often happens because someone might have previously recommended and implemented a solution (software, system) that the MAC (entity) could not sustain but forced its implementation because it satisfied the need at the time. Meanwhile, someone got paid and left! Now that I have said all of the above and could say more had it not been for space limitations, let me tell you what the road ahead looks like for GoL’s ICT environment. The Ebola Crisis has given us a chance to build those things we were lacking and fix all that we did faultily. We should take advantage of this opportunity to leapfrog into modernity by incorporating innovative solutions. Through the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, USAID-GEMS, the World Bank (WARCIP-Liberia Project), and other funding partners, the GoL has begun several initiatives that are geared toward bringing “sanity” to GoL’s ICT environment. An e-Government program has begun that will lead to a fully functional, robust, efficient and effective GoL ICT environment based on standards and best practices. In addition to a bespoke e-Government strategy, policies governing the use of GoL ICTs have been developed and gradually disseminated among MACs. GoL’s online presence is in the process of experiencing a “total reboot.” Communications, collaboration and information sharing will be optimized, modernized, and fully realized, while many of our traditional processes will soon be automated. The primary goal of all of these initiatives is to provide information and services to citizens, residents businesses and global partners in a seamless, transparent, effective way; ensure operational efficiency and effectiveness within GoL MACs, reduce costs and achieve economic development through ICTs.To succeed in doing all of what I just mentioned, we will need an “ALL HANDS ON DECK” approach. For starters, every MAC needs to or MUST consult the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications through the Chief Information Office for standards, types of purchases, SLAs, etc. New projects must involve the Chief Information Office and the Project Management Office. MAC’s heads or their deputies responsible for signing ICT purchases and contracts MUST ensure that they garner the technical expertise of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications through the CIO, their internal CIO or IT Director/Manager, and their legal departments. More importantly, MAC’s heads MUST ensure that they fully support and enforce the GoL e-Government and ICT policies.Finally, we have been given an opportunity to build/fix or contribute to the building and fixing of our ICT environment through various means. Our contribution will determine the future of the sector. Introducing new and ambitious approaches to reduce costs and waste in government ICT procurement and improve operational efficiency may not be an easy task but it is doable. The challenges involved in achieving our goals are infinite. But all of us must do what we can to ensure that what was said to be impossible becomes a possibility. If we fail to do so, then we would have failed our motherland.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Service to the public: Drug security

first_imgAll modern Governments, whatever may be their ideology, are committed to ensuring the health of their populations. As such, public health forms an important part of governmental activity and budgetary allocations.As is well known, public health has many facets; there are for example, the maintenance of the hospitals, training and employment of doctors and nurses, the extension of health centres countrywide, and an ambulance service with ambulances equipped with personnel and facilities to run the emergency treatment of patients while on their way to hospital.Though all facets are linked, there are some which are more important than others; and among the most important is the supply of drugs and medicines to the system. A health system without the adequate supplies of relevant drugs would be like an abandon house.It is well known that the State is the largest drugs and medicine purchaser in the country and hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on doing purchases annually. For this reason it is very crucial that the most reliable, transparent and effective system is utilized to do same. From bitter experience, it was found that the value and service for public money expended were not achieved. The Government is fully aware that the State and tax payers would have better value for money if an objective methodology was employed for the acquisition of drugs.The objective system employed worldwide in the procurement of drugs and medical supplies has rules designed to make it as fair and transparent as possible. The main features of the drug/ pharmaceutical procurement systems are a board of persons of integrity being appointed to be responsible for ensuring the system works; suppliers being invited to make bids in which price, quality, and other important factors such as storage and time of delivery are stated; all bids being opened at the same time so that no bidder will be disadvantaged and the evaluation of bids are done on certain accepted criteria. If the system worked as was intended, it will be fair, ideal and productive.The failure to work the system has resulted in much embarrassment to the ministries involved and Government as a whole. Not so long after the APNU/AFC Government took office it came under severe fire over its handling of the drug procurement system; the drugs bond fiasco; the awarding of over $600M contract to an overseas supplier under questionable circumstances; the steady shortage of basic drugs at hospitals and health centres were just a few of the cases in which the Government faced criticisms.It must be mentioned that the Government has a tender procedure whereby orders must be tendered for and those tendering must be reputable suppliers with proper cold storage facilities etc. This tendering procedure was established to protect Government and prevent public funds from being siphoned away. Based on information gathered, in quite a few cases, this tender procedure was generally ignored by those responsible.The Government has promised to assiduously reorganized and repair with immediacy the system so that it will deliver an exceptional service to the public and benefit to the tax payers. The business community and the public at large anxiously await the reorganized procurement system that works fairly and efficiently in the interest of all citizens.That said, drug security is as important as food security for every nation. The state could greatly assist in creating drug security for Guyana by buying locally through a transparent tender procedure. It could also assist in providing assistance to pharmaceutical companies to manufacture more drugs and medicines and purchasing them once they attain international standards. For example, one type of pharmaceutical that needs to be urgently manufactured locally is anti-biotics; indeed there can be no drug security in any country except there is an anti-biotics manufacturing facility.In is hoped that in 2018 every effort will be made to continue revolutionizing Guyana’s health sector to ensure that the country attains drug security.last_img read more

Detective admits error in filing documents

first_img“Picture Boy” trialAs the third trial for double-murder accused Cyon ‘Picture Boy’ Collier continues, Detective Superintendent Michael Kingston continued his testimony in the presence of Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry and a mixed jury on Monday at the Demerara Assizes.Collier is accused of murdering two brothers, Ray ‘Sugar’ Walcott and Carl ‘Alo’ Andrews at Victoria Village, East Coast Demerara in 2006.Kingston was cross examined by Defence counsel Lyndon Amsterdam, while Prosecutors Narissa Leander and Tuanna Hardy represented the State.The major part of the day was spent with Amsterdam going back and forth with Kingston on the uncertainty of three key points and errors in filing the documents.Kingston gave evidence in the High Court that the accused had uttered the words “boss man them man violate me yuh know,” and whenCyon “Picture Boy” Collierasked by Kingston about the guns used to kill the brothers, Collier pointed him to the guns on the bed.However, Amsterdam indicated that it is best practice for the officer to make note of these words in one of the many record books in the Cove and John Police Station.Kingston recollected that his role in the Criminal Investigations Department for this case was to gather information, plan and stage an operation and this resulted in the capturing of Collier and recovering of an AK-47 assault rifle.Kingston stated that during the operation he along with several other ranks, including Linden Lord, acted on information leading them to Lot 23, Bachelors Adventure, ECD.When the team reached the property they were met at the door by the accused. During discussions with the accused, Kingston was lead to the guns and ammunition after which he asked Collier if he was the holder of a firearm licences.According to Kingston’s testimony, Collier responded by saying “no” and so was arrested and taken to the Station.He said that at the station he filled out the charge sheet and the station diary but during the cross examination, it was discovered that the charge sheet was incompletely filed. It did not include the time the accused was placed in custody and the time of arrest was incomplete, having only the time 07:4, missing the final digit.Kingston tried to justify his actions by saying, “it is an error on my part in filing the documents and it was some sort of distraction thatDead: Ray “Sugar” WalcottDead: Carl Andrewsresulted in the error.”Collier is accused of murdering the two brothers in Victoria on September 23, 2006.Reports are a group of young men were playing dominoes at the Victoria four-corner when the two brothers were allegedly shot by the accused who rode up on a motorcycle.The brothers were rushed to hospital, where they were pronounced dead on arrival.The trial continues on Tuesday.last_img read more

MPI restricts bidding pool for latest IDB-funded project

first_imgBy Gary EleazarThe Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) is currently looking for contractors to undertake the upgrade of the Sheriff Street-Mandela Avenue roadway, but the bidding pool has been restricted.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoThe Ministry, in notices issued recently, is asking bidders to lodge up to $41 million in bid security before their proposals are even considered for evaluation.According to the notices issued by the Ministry, the project is being undertaken in six lots.Each bid must be accompanied by bid security. The rate set for lot six is US$200,000 (G$41.6 million). Lots one through three are set at a rate of US$50,000 (G$10.4 million). Lot four has been set at a rate of US$30,000 (G$6.2 million) while lot five has been earmarked at US$20,000 (G$4.1 million).According to the notices issued by the Ministry, the project entails rehabilitative works.Public Infrastructure Minister David PattersonThis means that contractors looking to submit a bid for evaluation to undertake works in lot six will firstly have to come up with $41.6 million in collateral before even being considered.The procurement notice has been posted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the funding agency for the project.Observers recently questioned what exactly the Administration was looking to construct, since half of the money that was made available for the project has already been diverted towards a housing drive.The IDB had initially approved some US$66 million for the road upgrade project, but the coalition Government opted to divert US$30 million of that amount towards the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) for works to be undertaken in Sophia.The Sheriff Street-Mandela Avenue road upgrade project has been on the cards for a number of years – piloted by the previous Administration, but its scope was revised under the current Administration. Critics have also raised eyebrows at the level of the bid security being asked, and pointed to recent lamentations by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, who had alleged tampering with the procurement process in order to award contracts to favoured supporters.The original Engineer’s Estimate had been set at US$36,377,564, but the procurement process was annulled on previous occasions.Jagdeo recently sought to make a case against the Public Infrastructure Ministry and its regular annulment of contracts as proof of tampering with the procurement process.Jagdeo, at the time, told reporters that the Ministry had adopted a strategy where it would advertise and invite persons to bid for projects, but at the last minute, would annul the process. The Ministry would then go on to negotiate a contract with a chosen ‘crony’, according to Jagdeo.As he sought to outline the Administration’s penchant for annulling the process and then opting to negotiate with favoured contractors, the Opposition Leader said this did not obtain only in the case of the well-publicised feasibility report for the new Demerara River crossing.The Opposition Leader at the time supplied media operatives with a paper trail for other contracts which clearly showed the Ministry annulling the process before going on to select favoured contractors.According to Jagdeo, “they annul the bid process after they award the contract… another set of corruption in the same Ministry”.He told media operatives that the Administration has developed a modus operandi where it has a penchant for annulling tenders “when the desired person doesn’t get the bid – win the bid – one of their cronies.”Jagdeo recalled too that the same practice obtained by the David Patterson-run Ministry for the multibillion-dollar Sherriff Street upgrade.The Opposition Leader told media operatives this practice was also employed by the Administration for a range of other projects, such as a recent award for a contract for a water treatment plant, and projects at the Guyana Power and Light Inc, among others.With regard to the sudden cancellation of the vehicular overpass that was announced, Jagdeo suggested that none of the favoured bidders had been successful and this was why the project was scrapped and that it had nothing to do with the reasons offered.The Ministry recently indicated that the land earmarked for the project had in fact been sold in a private arrangement.“This is not an exhaustive list. It is just indicative of the corruption at the Ministry of the Public Infrastructure… the Ministry is spending money in a reckless way. It does not know what it is doing. It is corrupt to the core,” he said.The Ministry recently came under fire also when social commentator and eminent Chartered Accountant, Christopher Ram questioned the rapid rate of expenditure by the Ministry at the end of the year – the very ministry that had barely managed to spend 28 per cent of its annual allocation 10 months into the year.The scope of works for the Sheriff Street- Mandela Avenue road corridor includes asphaltic pavement, road safety, upgrading traffic intersection signals at each of the major road junctions, and traffic and drainage improvement works. There will also be structural works to bridges, culverts and other supporting infrastructure. Pavement works will include the construction of a two-lane roadway with a median partitioning the two lanes along Sheriff Street.The first section of Mandela Avenue will involve expansion from a two-lane to a four-lane roadway with a median in the centre, while the second section will consist of three lanes.The total length of roadway to be rehabilitated/constructed is seven kilometres and would involve road-widening, reconstruction of failed sections, and asphalt overlay.last_img read more

Southern California Edison joins with Ford to test plug-in hybrids

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. and Southern California Edison will team up to test rechargeable hybrid vehicles and hasten mass production of the new technology. The California utility, which serves 13 million people in 11 central, coastal and Southern California counties outside the city of Los Angeles, will get a Ford plug-in hybrid vehicle by the end of this year and as many as 20 by some time in 2009 to test durability, range and impact on the power grid, said Susan M. Cischke, Ford senior vice president for sustainability, environment and safety engineering. Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally and other company executives were in California on Monday to announce what Cischke says is a unique power provider-automaker partnership that should help bring plug-in hybrids to market more quickly. Plug-in hybrids generally have batteries that power an electric motor, with an internal-combustion engine for use when the batteries run low. The batteries can be recharged by plugging them into a standard wall outlet. Southern California Edison will help Ford by placing the cars with consumers and collecting data, Cischke said in an interview with The Associated Press. “They have the wire-side knowledge about the grid and all the issues there. … We’re hoping that it does accelerate the commercialization and certainly drive some of the cost issues down,” she said. Power shortages have been an issue in Southern California Edison’s heavily populated service area. The company is under a state mandate to build five power plants that would fire up during peak energy-use periods. The plants would help avoid projected energy shortages. Many automakers have plug-in hybrids that are similar to Ford’s experimental vehicles, but mass production has been held back by battery technology and costs that limit the vehicles’ range. Manufacturers are racing to bring the technology to market as consumers seek alternatives to traditional engines and high gasoline prices. “We see electricity as itself an alternative fuel in support of transportation,” said John Bryson, chairman of RosemeadZZPAS-based Edison International, parent company of Southern California Edison. Bryson said the collaboration will allow Ford and the utility to see how technology that has been tested in the laboratory works in the real world. He said plug-in hybrids have the potential to put the power grid to better use — for example, by charging vehicles during overnight hours when electricity demand is lower. Ford, Cischke said, already is testing two plug-in hybrids in its Dearborn labs that are based on the Escape small sport utility vehicle, a model that Ford offers as a gas-electric hybrid. Cischke said it’s still too early to predict when Ford might mass-produce the cars. “That’s one of the reasons for this program, to gather more data and fully understand the customer usage part,” she said. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is interested in the tests because plug-in hybrid batteries could reduce the need for additional generators. The batteries could store electricity generated at off-peak hours and feed it back to power companies during peak use times, Commissioner Jon Wellinghoff said Monday. “If you could have thousands or millions of plug-in hybrids providing these services instead, you could take generators out of that role,” Wellinghoff said. It’s possible that power companies could pay hybrid owners for the power, he said. Ford and Southern California Edison also said the cars could be used to power homes as well, even storing power from rooftop solar panels.last_img read more

DONE DEAL! Leicester sign Atalanta defender Yohan Benalouane

first_imgLeicester have confirmed the signing of 28-year-old defender Yohan Benalouane from Italian side Atalanta.The Tunisia international has signed a four-year deal with the Foxes, and becomes Claudio Ranieri’s second signing as manager following N’Golo Kante’s arrival from Caen earlier on Monday.“Defender Yohan Benalouane has completed a move to Leicester City on a four-year deal subject to international clearance and Premier League and FA approval,” the club said in a statement.Benalouane has moved for an undisclosed fee, rumoured to be around £5.6million [€8m] and becomes the club’s fifth signing of the summer. Kante, 24, comes in on a four-year deal to fill the gap left by Esteban Cambiasso after the veteren and firm fan favourite decided not to renew his contract with the Foxes.The pair join Robert Huth, Christian Fuchs and Shinji Okazaki in signing at the King Power Stadium this summer and they could make their debuts in Saturday’s Premier League opener at home against Sunderland. New Leicester defender Yohan Benalouane 1last_img read more

Two changes from defeat to Chelsea? Possible Tottenham XI v Crystal Palace

first_img 2. Kyle Walker (right wing-back) 11 11 11 19. Mousa Dembele (centre midfield) 4. Toby Alderweireld (centre back) 15. Eric Dier (centre back) 11 20. Dele Alli (attacking midfield) 11 10. Harry Kane (striker) 1. Hugo Lloris (goalkeeper) – check out the full XI, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above, right 12. Victor Wanyama (centre midfield) 11 5. Jan Vertonghen (centre back) 11 23. Christian Eriksen (attacking midfield) 11 Tottenham Hotspur will be bitterly disappointed at exiting the FA Cup with defeat to Chelsea, but their focus now returns to keeping the pressure on the Premier League’s title leaders .Tonight could be a tricky encounter for Spurs, with Crystal Palace in inspired form, recording victories over Arsenal and Liverpool in their last three games.Mauricio Pochettino’s side have the best defence in the top flight, however, and have a fully fit Harry Kane to call upon.So how might Tottenham line up against the Eagles?Scroll through the gallery above to check out talkSPORT’s predicted Spurs XI. 33. Ben Davies (left wing-back) 11 11 11last_img read more

New Getty Trust head promises fundamental reforms

first_imgBryson replaces John Biggs, who was elected chairman of the nation’s third-largest private foundation in 2004 but announced in July that he was stepping down.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.Bryson said one of her top priorities is to “find the right person to lead the Getty” after the resignation of President and CEO Barry Munitz in February amid scrutiny over his lavish spending. He agreed to resolve “any continuing disputes” by paying the institution $250,000 and giving up severance pay. Munitz admitted no wrongdoing. “We’re searching everywhere for the best person possible with all the right skills and leadership, and we will find that person,” Bryson said. “It’s too important to rush into. Whoever comes will leave a lasting legacy.” Bryson said another top priority is finalizing negotiations with Greece and Italy on the return of disputed ancient artifacts. Marion True, former antiquities curator for the J. Paul Getty Museum, has been on trial in Rome accused of trafficking in looted artifacts. Bryson was one of three vice chairmen and is the president of distribution for Lifetime Entertainment Services and general manager of the Lifetime Movie Network. She has been a board trustee since 1998. The new chairwoman of the J. Paul Getty Trust is promising quick and fundamental changes at the beleaguered Los Angeles arts institution. “What I really want to do most of all is get back to the work of the Getty and focus on our programs, the heart and soul of the Getty,” Louise H. Bryson told the Pasadena Star-News. “The work we do is so important.” The trust, which governs museums including the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Villa in Malibu, has been mired in scandals over the past two years. Bryson, elected last month, takes over the board amid controversy over its financial affairs and criminal charges that a former museum curator dealt in looted art. last_img read more

Dems take the Senate

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’But Bush also was demanding action on several controversial measures before the current Republican-led Congress disbands next month. The president renominated John R. Bolton to the post as U.N. ambassador and asked Congress to complete work on a bill authorizing domestic surveillance by the National Security Agency, both lightning-rod matters for Democrats. Bolton’s prospects for winning Senate approval essentially died Thursday as Democrats and a pivotal Republican said they would continue to oppose his nomination. While Washington was digesting the changed balance of power, there was a sign from the heartland that the 2008 contest for the presidency had already begun. Tom Vilsack, the Democratic governor of Iowa, announced he was running for president, the first high-profile entrant in an expected parade of presidential hopefuls who will enter the race in coming months. On the other side of the partisan ledger, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Ken Mehlman, a close associate of Bush’s political strategist, Karl Rove, said he would step aside. In Virginia, the margin separating the two Senate candidates was 9,000 votes, or less than one-half of one percent of more than 2.3 million votes cast. Under Virginia law, Allen was entitled to a recount at state expense. But it was clear from a preliminary review of the ballots that Allen had little hope of reversing the verdict through recounts or lawsuits. “I do not wish to cause more rancor by protracted litigation that would not, in my opinion, alter the results,” Allen said. Webb, a novelist, Marine combat veteran and former Secretary of the Navy, claimed victory 90 minutes later at a rally in Arlington. He brandished the sand-colored combat boots he wore throughout the campaign in tribute to his son, a Marine lance corporal serving in Iraq. “Hoo-ah,” shouted several Marines in the audience as he started speaking, using the military cheer to show their support. Webb, occasionally glancing at a three-by-five card of notes, said that Allen and Sen. John Warner, a Republican and Virginia’s senior senator, had called to congratulate him on his victory. But he then spoke bitterly of the campaign just ended, calling on Bush to denounce the slice-and-dice political tactics that served Republicans well in recent campaigns. “This was a brutal campaign and in many ways an unnecessarily brutal campaign,” Webb said, “and I think it’s hurting the country.” Webb also said that when he takes his seat in the Senate he will continue to agitate for a rapid end to U.S. military involvement in Iraq, even if it puts him at odds with fellow Democrats seeking a more gradual withdrawal. Also on Thursday, Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., conceded to Jon Tester, the Democratic State Senate president and organic farmer, formally bringing to a close a race that members of both parties had declared over a day earlier. His phone call caught Tester on his way to the barbershop to get his distinctive flattop haircut trimmed, according to The Associated Press. The call was “very cordial, very professional,” Tester said. Burns, a three-term GOP senator, said in a press release, “We fought the good fight and we came up just a bit short. We’ve had a good 18 years, and I am proud of my record.” The new Senate will have 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans and two independents, Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and Bernard Sanders of Vermont. Lieberman and Sanders will caucus with the Democrats, giving the party effective control, with the right to name committee chairmen and dictate parliamentary rules. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – Democrats gained control of the Senate on Thursday, giving them a majority in both houses of Congress for the first time since 1994 and increased influence over President Bush’s policies at home and abroad, starting with the war in Iraq. The Democrats picked up the seat they needed to capture the Senate when the Republican incumbent in Virginia, George Allen, conceded to Jim Webb, his Democratic challenger, completing a broad realignment of power in Washington. Including two independents who align themselves with the Democrats, Democrats will have a 51-49 advantage in the new Senate. Within moments of Allen’s announcement, Democrats rallied outside the Capitol to celebrate their victory, cheering and chanting, while their leaders began planning how to proceed after a dozen years in which their only taste of power in Congress was when they controlled the Senate for a period in 2001 and 2002. “The election’s over,” said Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, who will be the new Senate Majority Leader. “It’s time for a change.” Bush continued adapting to the new political climate by having lunch with Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who stands on the cusp of becoming the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House. He invited Reid to join him at breakfast at the White House today. last_img read more

Alisson has made Liverpool genuine title contenders, insists Gary Neville

first_img Neville insists Alisson has made a bigger impact on the team than Virgil van Dijk, right 3 gameday cracker “But for me it’s the goalkeeper [Alisson] who has made all the difference and makes them genuine contenders.”The Reds face Napoli in a crucial Champions League clash tonight, before entertaining arch-rivals Manchester United on Sunday. Alisson’s incredible Premier League season so far Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update SORRY The Brazilian has been a superb acquisition for Liverpool after his mega-money move from Roma The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 The £67m Liverpool paid Roma for the Brazilian was a new world-record fee for a goalkeeper, comfortably surpassing the £35m Manchester City paid for Ederson.And he’s proved so far that he was worth every single penny of that mega transfer fee with some quite stunning stats below! latest “So is Van Dijk the biggest impact on that team? No he’s not.“Look at the stats: 86 per cent save ratio – the highest in the league. Last season it was 64 per cent (ranked 19th).“Yes, the two young lads alongside Van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez are fantastic – and I love watching them play. Sky Sports presenter apologises for remarks made during Neville’s racism discussion Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT center_img Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions Following their 4-0 win at Bournemouth, he became the first ever Liverpool player to remain unbeaten for their first 16 Premier League matches.The Brazilian has also conceded just six goals in the English top flight since his debut, helping the unbeaten Reds to the top of the table – lying one point clear of title rivals Manchester City.And speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, Neville hailed Alisson’s impact – insisting he has had a bigger influence on the side than the likes of Virgil van DijkHe said: “Alisson has saved Liverpool on numerous occasions this season; earned them big points.“Great goalkeepers win you point after point after point after point. You don’t always notice it. 16 games85.71% save percentage36 saves10 clean sheets6 goals conceded 0 defeats 3 revealed scrap Most Read In Football Gerrard launches furious touchline outburst as horror tackle on Barisic sparks chaos BEST OF Gary Neville, right, has heaped praise on Liverpool keeper Alisson Manchester United legend Gary Neville believes Alisson has made Liverpool ‘genuine’ candidates for the title this season.Alisson, 26, joined from Roma for a then world-record fee for a goalkeeper of £67m in the summer and has been an instant hit on Merseyside. 3last_img read more