Observer at 36: A Milestone Worth Celebrating

first_imgThe history of the Liberian Observer Corporation, publisher of the Daily Observer, is synonymous to the struggle of the Liberian state, especially for the past three and a half-plus decades. The Observer’s story embodies resilience, tenacity, determination and strength in the face of fear, torture, intimidations that have overwhelmed the country in recent years.These vices, which were evident everywhere during the peak of the Liberian struggle, were invoked by a bloody coup that ignited the prolonged civil crisis in the country. The Observer story is one that also speaks of resilience—which has become a nature of the Liberian people, bravery, determination and, focus and truth telling (to authorities) even in the face of death.Established February 16, 1981 months after the 1980 bloody coup that that took the life of President William R. Tolbert, Jr., eventually ending the long reign of the True Whig Party (TWP), the establishment of the LOC was a joy to many Liberians after being informed that the aim of newspaper was to be the voice of the voiceless and the conscience of the state. This came especially at a time when the country had been forced into total silence by the brutal regime of the People’s Redemption Council (PRC) led by Master Sergeant Samuel K. Doe, with no opposition or alternative voice(s) hardly heard across the entire country.The Observer also suffered a series of afflictions in the hands of the military junta. But after all the trials and tribulations over the years the Observer has remained consistently credible in informing the Liberian people and the world about happenings in the country.So it was indeed worthy when the entity, surrounded by some good friends, celebrated its 36th anniversary in sober reflection last week at its headquarters in Paynesville. At 36, the Daily Observer has finally caught up with Liberia’s longest surviving newspaper – the Liberia Herald – established in 1926 by John B. Russwurm. Other black luminaries such as Edward Wilmot Blyden and Hilary Teage, who eventually acquired the paper in 1839, edited the Herald successively. TheHerald, which was for the most part a monthly paper, folded after 36 years, in 1862, the same year Liberia College (now University of Liberia) was opened. The co-founder and the Publisher of the Daily Observer Newspaper, Mr. Kenneth Y. Best, during the entity’s 36th anniversary celebration last Friday, said the celebration is indeed a milestone not just for the entity, but for the promotion of democracy, good governance and social inclusion in the country. Mr. Best however noted that the sufferings and pains he bore with some friends by his side at the start of his company were not in vain, for the media company is now bearing remarkable fruits, evidenced by the proliferation of media outlets as well as several renowned practitioners—many of them grown by the veteran journalists and the Observer.The establishment of the Daily Observer was a dream conceived by Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Y. Best while in Nairobi, Kenya where they had seen two leading newspapers in that country, the African Standard and the Daily Nation, making great impact in that country.“Between the two, I decided to copy from the Daily Nation because it was revered for its accuracy and professionalism in news presentation,” said the publisher, Mr. Best, who provided an abbreviated history of the Daily Observer.During his time in that East African country, Mr. Best served as the secretary general of the All Africa Council of Churches. In a brief narration of his journey into journalism, Best concluded that it was only the Almighty God that led him into the profession, and the Observer family thus far. Giving highlights of his experiences with the PRC regime, Best said, “We were closed down five times and our lives were threatened by arbitrary imprisonments and tortures only because we reported true stories in which the lives of our people and the progress of our country were entrapped significantly.”The first incident that put the Newspaper in trouble with the Doe regime—leading to the imprisonment of him and some staff – was when the Observer reported a story directly linking Justice Minister, Chea Cheapoo, to placing some citizens behind bars for a long time without due process. “We were dragged to jail and threatened with execution but were released after 10 days, but after being heavily blasted at (humiliated) by the powerful Minister. He asked us never to publish any story not in his favor,” Best said.He further narrated that after several months, the Daily Observer reported that Conmany Wesseh (now Senator for River Gee County) had been jailed by President Doe. The president ordered that Best be jailed and the Observer be closed down, with a threat of death if Best remained defiant.“A letter to the editor, calling on the government of the day to pay teachers their arrears, was written by three students we took interest in it by also developing a story therefrom in order to get the government’s feet to the ground for the welfare of our fellow compatriots. “Doe,” Mr. Best explained, “was annoyed and claimed that the Observer was tarnishing his reputation to the outside world and our action, he feared, could discredit his administration.”Other than the arrests and imprisonments, the Publisher said there were three separate arson attacks on the facilities of his media company.The celebration was graced by several eminent Liberians; some of who helped established the institution during such a difficult period at the time. In attendance were the Newspaper’s Chairman of the of the Board of Directors, C. T. O. King, III; Ambassador and Mrs. Charles A. Minor; former NOCAL boss, Clemenceau Urey; Mrs. Edith N. Ricks; Charles Dennis; former Observer Editor-in-Chief, Philip N. Wisseh, now publisher of the Inquire Newspaper; former Observer photographer, Sando J. Moore, now publisher of Images Magazine; former Observer reporter and international journalist Maureen Sieh; Jan McArthur, country representative of Internews; and the host of other Liberians. The Liberian Bank for Development and Investment, which has helped the Observer in expanded and improving its investment, was represented by its Chief Accountant, Wilbert Thomas, II.Mr. Best expressed his gratitude to LBDI for standing by the Observer all these years. Board Chairman King, in brief remarks, said the road to the company’s today’s success was rocky, hilly and it also contained valleys and rivers very tough to cross over.“All I can say today is that we give God the glory for all He has done and continue to do in our lives and the survival of this business,” Chairman King said. According to him, the Bests, who he met Kenya prior to the launch of the LOC, had a set mind to return to their homeland and do something to impact lives and contribute to the nation.He praised the Observer’s editorials, noting that they (editorials) are nowadays the best in the country.“Mr. Best has proven at all times that journalists should be brave, courageous, and accurate in their reportage and determined to shape the destiny of a nation positively,” he said. Mr. Urey said Liberia’s progress lies in the hands of Liberians and as such Mr. Best and his staff are a great force in achieving the actual status the country deserves. He commended the Observer family for the good job over the years.Ambassador Charles Minor lauded the Newspaper for holding accountable the Liberian government and people. He indicated that the Observer has also been at the center of the country’s democracy.Mr. Sando Moore, Publisher of the Images Magazine and one of the first employees of the Daily Observer, said with all the calamities experienced, his former boss, Mr. Best proved professionalism, courage and the tenacity to move on.“He has never led the system with iron hands. Mr. Best is a hero because he listens to his staff and doesn’t make unilateral decisions. This has been the strength of the Observer,” Mr. Moore noted. Also present was the Publisher of the Inquirer Newspaper, Phillip Wesseh.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Tunisia first Cup of Nations top seeds not to win

first_imgTunisia led when Msakni blasted a penalty into the net on 34 minutes only for Campos to punish a blunder by goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha in the 73rd minute.It was the second time Angola and Tunisia met at the biennial African football showpiece and the second time they drew after a goalless deadlock in Ghana 11 years ago. The stalemate offered former runners-up Mali or newcomers Mauritania a chance to lead Group E later Monday by winning the second match in a double-header at the Suez Army Stadium.“Drawing was not satisfactory for us — we wanted to win our first match,” said substitute Ferjani Sassi, who won a lengthy fitness battle to be ready for the tournament.“We were winning and had chances to add more goals, but did not take them. Tunisia were better than Angola but because of poor defending we conceded an equaliser.”Tunisia led at half-time after a cagey first half at the 27,000-capacity venue, one of six being used for the competition.Naim Sliti was floored inside the box by Salomao Paizo and the Ethiopian referee pointed to the spot before yellow-carding goalkeeper Tony Cabaca for dissent.Msakni took a perfect penalty, striking the ball with power and accuracy over the Angolan shot-stopper. The goal gave a small but enthusiastic crowd something to cheer after a pedestrian opening half in which the teams had only one goal attempt each on target.Geraldo, a surprise absentee from the Angolan starting line-up, was introduced by Serbian coach Srdjan Vasiljevic for the second half in place of Stelvio da Cruz.Campos grabbed a crucial equaliser for Angola © AFP / FADEL SENNAA second substitution made during half-time saw Gelson Dala, who scored three of the nine goals that took Angola to the finals, replacing Wilson Eduardo.Tunisia coach and former France star Alain Giresse waited until midway through the second half to make his initial change, sending on Sassi for Ghaylen Chaalali.Angola levelled thanks to a blunder from Tunisia goalkeeper Ben Mustapha, who spilled a weak Mateus da Costa shot and Campos tapped in the rebound.Wahbi Khazri came close to putting the north Africans ahead again with seven minutes remaining as his shot eluded Cabaca but trickled just wide of the far post.Msakni was the next Tunisian to try and snatch a late winning goal, unleashing a low shot from just outside the box that Cabaca held at the second attempt.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Midfielder Youssef Msakni had given Tunisia the lead © AFP / FADEL SENNASuez, Egypt, Jun 24 – Tunisia became the first 2019 Africa Cup of Nations top seeds not to win their opening match when Djalma Campos cancelled out a Youssef Msakni goal and earned Angola a 1-1 Group E draw on Monday.Hosts Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco and Senegal won their first matches of the 24-team tournament and the other top seeds, Cameroon, debut Tuesday against Guinea-Bissau.last_img read more

Researchers take major step in eliminating cancer without harming healthy tissue

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Aug 24 2018A major advance towards targeting cancer without harming healthy tissue has been discovered by University of Bristol researchers. The team has found a way to exploit hypoxia (reduced oxygen levels) — a condition which occurs during the development of many common cancers and drives their progression and spread. The findings, which have implications for targeted oncology, are published today [24 August 2018] in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine.Hypoxia arises because tumors often grow faster than their blood supply, causing oxygen deprivation, which forces cancer cells to adapt — this makes their behavior more aggressive and in turn leads to their spread around the body. The team sought to understand how cancer cells adapt to hypoxic conditions, with the hope of finding new ways to stop cancers growing and spreading. Using human cancer cells grown in dishes and a technique called proteomics, the team examined all the proteins that are ‘switched on’ by cancer cells in hypoxia. These experiments enabled the team to identify a new signaling mechanism that in the future could be therapeutically targeted to kill cancer cells without harming the surrounding normal cells.Related StoriesHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsNew study reveals ‘clutch’ proteins responsible for putting T cell activation ‘into gear’Study reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskDr Alexander Greenhough, who led the Cancer Research UK-funded study from Bristol’s School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, found that using genetic techniques to stop cancer cells ‘switching on’ a specific receptor (GPRC5A) when oxygen levels are low triggered cancer cell death.Dr Greenhough said: “Hypoxia is considered an excellent target for cancer therapy because it generally features in cancers rather than healthy tissues. However, finding ways to effectively exploit this difference in the clinic is a major challenge. This work advances our knowledge of hypoxic cancer cell behavior and take us a step closer towards developing novel therapies that could achieve this goal.”Hypoxia is an area of great interest and well-known to cancer researchers but identifying the proteins most important for cancer cell survival in hypoxia that are also ‘druggable’ has, until now, remained an unmet challenge.Dr Greenhough added: “This type of receptor is a GPCR, which are considered to be among the best drug targets for many diseases. We would like to know whether this receptor serves as a biomarker for more aggressive cancers that are resistant to therapy, and whether it has roles in other diseases where hypoxia or inflammation is implicated, which could lead to advances in regenerative medicine as well as oncology.”Source: read more