‘Firestone and the Warlord’ Documentary Overrated and Underwhelming

first_imgThe author, Robtel Neajai Pailey, PhDReleased on Nov. 18 to fanfare in the United States, the ProPublica/Frontline investigative documentary ‘Firestone and the Warlord’ is nevertheless steeped in stereotypes, overly hyped and unappealing. Having intently studied and written about Firestone’s exploits in Liberia, I believe the film’s producers simply did not dig deep enough.Although there are some merits to the documentary—particularly revelations from declassified court documents, US State Department cables, Firestone corporate records, correspondences, and video footage—it conceals more than it reveals the true nature of Firestone’s asymmetrical relationship with Liberia.The film’s narrator begins: “This is a story about business and war. It’s a story about a small group of Americans and the choices they made many years ago. A story about the cost of operating in a volatile and remote country. It’s setting is a rubber plantation in Africa, owned and operated by the tire giant Firestone.”From the outset the narration harkens back to Joseph Conrad’s description of the Belgian Congo in Heart of Darkness. Liberia is an unnamed African backdrop of savagery, calamity and doom, while Firestone and its American workers, like Kurtz in Conrad’s book, are presumed innocent until they encounter ‘the horror’. Furthermore, the film’s title, ‘Firestone and the Warlord’, frames Firestone as a larger than life icon, juxtaposing it with an unnamed bogeyman, Charles Taylor, the counterrevolutionary-turned-president of Liberia.For the first eight minutes of the film, we are bombarded with an often distorted and caricatured interpretation of Liberia’s history by white male diplomats, journalists, and former Firestone managers. We do not hear from two of Liberia’s pre-eminent statesmen and scholars, Dr. D. Elwood Dunn and Dr. Amos Sawyer, until much later in the film and their contributions are disproportionately clipped into short sound bites. It sets the tone of the film early on as primarily concerned with the perspectives of non-Liberians.In an attempt to make the narrative palatable to a decidedly uninformed American audience, the film vilifies Taylor while portraying Firestone as somehow morally superior. It remains surprising that the film’s title was not ‘Charles Taylor and the Rubber Company’ since the gratuitous war imagery employed to demonize the former Liberian president makes him the central feature of the documentary. Never directly interviewed, Taylor is constantly referenced with accompanying video footage spanning his years in combat to his trial in The Hague for war crimes committed during Sierra Leone’s 10-year armed conflict. Although the film is sprinkled with important Liberian interviewee accounts that expose Firestone’s complicity in fomenting the country’s first war from 1989 to 1997, it primarily paints the rubber company as a coerced victim of Taylor’s brutality.“When evil is given an opportunity to reign freely, these things occur and we experience them”, says former Firestone accountant Steve Raimo, who reduces Liberia’s conflict to “tribal warfare”. His former colleague Ken Gerhart continues with a sinister smile on his face, almost mockingly: “Well, if they were the right tribe, they survived. If they weren’t, they didn’t.” Missing from their skewed analysis of Liberia’s armed insurgency is the shifting geo-politics of the Cold War, the country’s rising inequality and politicization of identity, and America’s alleged complicity in Charles Taylor’s mysterious jailbreak from a US prison. In diminishing Liberia’s conflict to the irrational machinations of African ‘tribes’, the film appears less concerned about Firestone’s criminal business practices and more obsessed with Taylor’s warmongering. This is a tired trope that lacks any originality.Contrasting Taylor, Firestone is portrayed as a law-abiding, tax-paying, responsible contributor to formal employment in Liberia. Yet deeply troubling is the almost deliberate erasure of the company’s abysmal record of gross human rights, labour rights, and environmental rights abuses. Less than ten years ago, the company’s workers would carry on their bare shoulders iron poles with two buckets attached on each end, filled with raw latex they had manually squeezed out of rubber trees. These 21st century rubber tappers resembled forcefully conscripted labour in the 1920s, when Firestone first started operations in Liberia under a severely flawed 99-year lease agreement.The film’s narrator argues that Liberia “offered Firestone” in 1926 a chance to develop one million acres of rubber at six cents per acre and that it was a “mutually beneficial arrangement.” For whom, one wonders. There is no mention that Liberia had been coerced into accepting the terms and conditions of the agreement as a pre-condition for a US$5 million loan from the Finance Corporation of America, sponsored by Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, at an interest rate of 7 percent. There is also no indication that those inhabiting the concession area were uprooted and forcefully conscripted to work for Firestone as rubber tappers under slave-like working conditions that persist today.Throughout the film, the Firestone plantation pre-1989 is painted as a haven, a place of bliss and tranquility for the mostly Liberian labour force. Yet while the film exposes the undeserved ‘good life’ of the company’s American and European expatriate managers—whose past times include golf on well-manicured lawns and clubhouse drinking parties—its framing of the miserable living conditions and low wages of Firestone’s Liberian employees is generally glossed over as a facet of plantation life because the company provided health and education services as well as parboiled American rice. Rather than protecting its ‘treasured’ workers during the early part of Liberia’s armed conflict, however, the company shuts down and its foreign staff leave the country in 1992. Shortly thereafter, they return to do business, but must first contend with Taylor. In a twist of irony, the film shows footage of Taylor scolding Firestone’s foreign senior staff for their negligence: “There’s a little war, and you leave…there’s no water, no food…It’s inexcusable, I don’t think Firestone should do such a thing.” Accusing Firestone management of abandoning plantation workers, Taylor demands to know how the company will make amends.It is not until the latter part of the film that Firestone’s dubiousness becomes apparent. Justifying why the rubber company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Taylor in 1992 to resume operations in Liberia, Gerald Padmore, a Liberian attorney and long-time Firestone legal representative, argues that it felt a “responsibility to the workers” and therefore, “had no other choice, the decision was to stay.” Former US assistant secretary of state for African Affairs Herman Cohen appears more sober: “You want to preserve what you can, so you have to make deals.” And what a deal! The film includes footage taken during Taylor’s testimony at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, in which he admits that Firestone provided economic and political capital during a critical juncture in the armed conflict becoming “our most significant principal source of foreign exchange.”Edwin Cisco, president of the Firestone Workers’ Union, argues in the documentary that the company’s motivations for working with Taylor boiled down to “profit, profit, and profit.” Yet, while the film harps on the fact that Firestone paid Taylor US$2.3 million dollars in ‘taxes’ and Firestone spent US$35.3 million on the plantation and its workers between June 1990 and February 1993, the unspoken elephant in the room is how much profit Firestone actually made during this period in rubber sales. The film also reminds us that Taylor allegedly siphoned off US$280 million to US$3 billion from the spoils of war, yet the same level of detail is not paid to Firestone’s revenue stream. One former senior manager of the company corroborates its true motivations, saying unabashedly, “Firestone’s intent has always been to make money. It always has and it always will be. We’re in the business to make money.” How much money, we are left wondering, since Firestone’s profits are unpublished. Although the film is meant to be an expose, it neither pursues this money trail nor questions why the information is concealed.As one US diplomat argues at the end of the documentary, “Firestone has blood on its hands” because it resumed operations in the midst of Liberia’s armed conflict. Yet, Firestone had ‘blood on its hands’ long before making its deal with the proverbial devil, and this too is not captured in the film. For instance, Firestone workers launched strikes in 1961, 1964 and 1975 in response to harsh labour practices, poor working conditions and low salaries. And years after the reprehensible MOU was signed, Firestone and Taylor remained cosy bedfellows. When Firestone workers demonstrated against the company’s arbitrary decision in 1997 to deduct 38 percent of their monthly salaries to replace money that had been allegedly stolen in the company’s safe deposit box during the first Liberian armed conflict, then president Taylor unleashed his security personnel to indiscriminately attack 7,000 unarmed demonstrators thereby muzzling dissent.In the film, Cohen and other diplomats eschew Taylor for being ‘venal’ and ‘unsavoury’, yet they do not once interrogate Firestone’s unsavoury labour practices. The film completely misses the fact that backlash against Firestone crystallised in a transnational campaign, Stop Firestone, spearheaded in 2005 by Liberians abroad, their counterparts in Liberia and an international coalition, to hold the corporation accountable. The campaign was largely based on a groundbreaking report by the Liberian NGO Save My Future Foundation (SAMFU), entitled, “Firestone: The Mark of Modern Slavery.” SAMFU representatives and Emira Woods, a US foreign policy expert and Liberian native, were neither consulted nor interviewed in the film.Also glaringly missing is that in November 2005, 35 Liberian plaintiffs filed a class action suit in a US court alleging that Bridgestone Corporation and Bridgestone North American Tire, the parent company of Firestone Liberia, had violated labour laws by using children to tap raw latex, inflicted unusual and cruel labour practices by instituting unrealistic daily quotas for tree tappers, and degraded the environment by deliberately dumping toxic substances in the plantation’s only water source, the Farmington River. As legal representatives of the plaintiffs, the International Labour Rights Forum invoked the Alien Torts Claim Act, under which US companies can be held liable for human rights abuses committed abroad. Although the plaintiffs lost the case in 2011, their decision to challenge Firestone in a court of law was unprecedented for Liberia. Yet the film’s producers do not interview Alfred Brownell, the Liberian lead attorney on the case.Instead, Padmore argues fiercely: “They [Firestone] did the right thing, they did not try to exploit the country…They did not pay off warlords or give money under the table. They didn’t do any of those things. They did the right thing.” Padmore’s responses almost seem orchestrated, like ProPublica and Frontline went out of their way to find a Liberian to somehow substantiate Firestone’s innocence. Padmore says that the decisions Firestone made were “completely justifiable…Had they not taken those decisions, Liberia would be much the worse for it today.” Despite Padmore’s staunch defence, however, there is an implicit recognition that Firestone should be among those who bear the greatest responsibility for Liberia’s armed conflict though no one has been formally prosecuted in this regard.Rather than climaxing with a fitting critique of Firestone’s criminality, the closing narration of the film reframes the company as largely exempt from culpability because it has “invested more than US$146 million to improve conditions on the plantation in Liberia and remains the country’s largest private employer.” The irony is that Firestone has not built a single processing plant in its almost 100 years of operation. On the world’s largest industrial rubber plantation with a sprawling 118,990 acres, the company could not produce one latex glove in Liberia to shield healthcare workers from contagion in the country’s latest Ebola outbreak.In an e-mail exchange I had with my mentor, Dr. Dunn, he argues convincingly that “Firestone has been able to get away with what it has because of a combination of factors—Liberian regimes’ permissiveness, US government support for its business interest/Firestone, and the inadequacy of the media (local and international) beaming the spotlight on the company’s transgressions.”If that’s not cause for reparations and a criminal investigation, I don’t know what is.Robtel Neajai Pailey is a Liberian academic, activist and author based at SOAS, University of London. She wrote the essay, “Slavery Ain’t Dead, It’s Manufactured in Liberia’s Rubber”, published in the 2007 Fahamu Trust book, From the Slave Trade to ‘Free’ Trade: How Trade Undermines Democracy and Justice in Africa. The above article was originally published on the blog, Conversations On Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Wounded LAPD officer, spouse make comeback

first_imgA couple of 97 East Coast Crips got blasted by a rival crew the night before, and the gang officers of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Southeast Station fear retaliation. The cops head north on McKinley Avenue, then swing left onto East 98th Street. Everyone keeps their lights off as they cut hard onto Avalon Boulevard, then make a right on East 97th Street, where they race to the middle of the block. A half-dozen squad cars converge in front of a nondescript bungalow. There’s a crowd out front, and as the cruisers screech to a stop, it quickly disperses. Some people disappear inside, and the door slams shut. A few stand frozen in the yard. One nonchalantly saunters away. Pearce points to him and calls out, “Watch out for that guy.” He leaps out. The big cop strides forcefully toward the man. Pearce sees something sketchy about the way he’s sidling off. “Excuse me, brother,” Pearce says. “Can I talk to you for a minute?” Southwest Station On another day, another first time back, Ripatti heads into her old station. She’s returning to the scene that changed her life, part of the routine procedure for officer-involved shootings. She and her partner, Officer Joe Meyer, have filed endless reports on that long-ago June3 night when she tackled 52-year-old James Fenton McNeal, a longtime criminal who had just added gas station robbery to his lengthy r sum . At the station, Meyer helps Ripatti into a black-and-white, then dismantles her wheelchair and loads it into the trunk. They drive two blocks to Leighton and LaSalle avenues, followed by Capt. Regina Scott. Ripatti eagerly scans the streets where she once worked, remembering long-ago arrests and altercations. The cops eye a cluster of gangsters and keep their pistols close at hand. Ripatti and Meyer get out and describe to Scott the incident they’ve both relived dozens of times. At this corner, Ripatti saw McNeal scuttling across the street suspiciously. She gave chase, and he bolted and almost got to his home nearby. After a short struggle on the porch, he drew a .22 and shot her in the armpit, missing her bulletproof vest and nailing her spine. He squeezed off two more shots into her gun arm and was preparing for the kill when Meyer rushed up, drew his weapon and fired. McNeal fell, dead. Meyer stuck his hand in Ripatti’s bloody chest wound and called for help. Her life in a wheelchair began. “I can guarantee you he didn’t have that gun in his hand when I first saw him,” Ripatti tells Scott. They approach the porch. Her blood has been scrubbed off the steps, and duct tape covers the bullet holes in the wall and ceiling. It looks like a nice, quiet place to live. “I was 99 percent sure that I killed him,” Meyer recounts, mimicking his Glock .45 with his thick hands. “He fell, and he didn’t make any noise.” As they describe the incident, an ice cream truck cruises slowly by, its speaker playing an eerie “Turkey in the Straw.” 97th Street The man plays it cool and freezes up. Pearce pats him down. He whispers to him, locks his handcuffs around the man’s wrists to be safe. He keeps his other hand on his pistol, just in case things go sideways. The man waits patiently, and everything seems OK until an officer produces a shoulder holster from the bushes. Suddenly, the cool night air feels warmer. They poke through the bushes and search for a weapon, but there’s nothing. No one saw who threw the holster, and there’s no pistol to go with it. It looks like the young men may be free to go. “Whoomp! There it is!” a cop calls out, echoing a line from a 1990s hip-hop song. A dull, black automatic sits behind the rear tire of a nicely kept-up Ford Expedition. There’s a sudden commotion. The man, now handcuffed and subdued, begins to run. Leighton Avenue Satisfied with the incident retelling, Scott thanks Ripatti and Meyer for their help, and everyone returns to their cars. The two old partners take a nostalgic cruise through their former territory on the way back to the station. “Hey, whassup?” a long-haired doper greets them, leaning over to smile at Ripatti as she eyes him from the passenger seat. “I heard what happened to you – that’s (messed) up. I was in jail when it happened, but I read about it in the newspaper. Damn. You take care, all right?” Ripatti gives him a hint of a grin. “OK, you, too,” she says. “And stay away from that crack. That stuff’s no good.” On the next block, they encounter three young men dressed in the deep blue of the Rollin’ 30s Crips. One recognizes the pair and lifts his chin to say hello. “Ripatti and Meyer?” he says, a little surprised. “Aw, man, you again?” Ripatti draws her shoulders back, staring out from the car. “Yeah, man,” she says, voice hard. “We’re back.” But only for a moment. East 97th Street Pearce sprints after the man, his heavy gun belt jingling. Footsteps echo as the pair recede from the glare of the streetlight. In seconds, the guy is on the ground, Pearce’s knee pinning him to the cold concrete. “What are you doin’, man?” he says, tone exasperated. “Why you runnin?”‘ The man, twisted awkwardly beneath the cop’s leg, angles his head up and speaks, tone perfectly calm. “I got scared, sir,” he replies. “C’mon,” Pearce laughs. “Scared of what?” “I thought you were gonna beat on me,” he says. “I didn’t know you were the police.” Pearce, dressed in a blue uniform with a shiny silver-and-gold badge pinned to his chest, shakes his head in disbelief. “We’re not going to beat on you,” he says, adopting the tone of a frustrated teacher. “So if I let you up, you’re not going to run, are you?” “No, sir.” The cops escort him to the car and continue the search. The now-detained gangster has placed a dealer’s paper advertisement over his license plate, hiding its true identity. Inside, they find registry in his mother’s name, a backpack full of clothes and a pornographic DVD featuring an obese woman. Another gun turns up in the yard, and another youngster, this one on probation, gets cuffed and loaded into the back of a car. The officers head back for the station. “First night back, not too bad, huh, Tim?” says his partner, Officer Dan Pearce, who’s not related. “When we first rolled up, you were like, `Get that guy!’ And I’m like: `Get out of here, that guy’s nothing! I’ve got five months in the unit, what do you know?’ And you were right. … You were right.” Tim Pearce pulls out the cell phone again and calls Ripatti. Before she got shot and their lives turned upside down, they used to compete about who could get the most guns off the street. Now, he wants to let her know he’s OK. Redondo Beach A trip to the gym. Eating dinner. Errands. Even relaxing at home. The danger never really goes away. Pearce and Ripatti always have their guards up, forever looking down the block or into the next car, in case someone comes to exact revenge for an old arrest. Earlier on the day she returned to the scene of her shooting, Ripatti found herself with a full schedule. She drove with Sgt. Deana Stark, a close friend, after rolling from her Craftsman-style home to the car. Six months earlier, she could barely get out of bed without the help of a nurse. She pulled herself into the car, nearly unassisted. “Wait,” she said. “Could you grab my gun? It’s the Colt on the top of the fridge.” She’s headed to the police station, two blocks from where she was shot, familiar but not always friendly territory. Even confined to a wheelchair, Ripatti wanted to be ready, just in case. Southeast Station Tim Pearce’s day began with a gun, as he checked out a beanbag shotgun from the equipment room and headed for Car85831. Dan Pearce walked with him. A deep breath or two and Unit18 George21 was ready to roll. “Good to be back?” Dan Pearce asked. “We’ve had some good capers lately. Got an AK(-47) out of Jordan just the other night.” That’s Jordan Downs, one of the largest public housing facilities in the country, home to law-abiding citizens and gun-toting Crips alike. Tim Pearce is tall and stern-looking in his uniform. Off duty he’s laid back, but on patrol he’s all business. Dan Pearce has spiky, blond hair and an energetic, chatty manner. He’s quick to laugh and very fast on his feet. The black-and-white Crown Victoria is beat-up and scratched, but the engine’s punchy, and Tim Pearce drives hard. As he gunned it out of the parking lot, his partner caught him up on all the recent gossip. Though their nametags read identically and they’re often mistaken for siblings, the two men are not related. Their gang opponents don’t know that, though. They’ve been told there are six Pearce brothers, each one bigger and tougher than the last. As they made their way through the neighborhood, Tim Pearce called out landmarks. “See that building up there?” he said matter-of-factly at 108th and Figueroa streets. “That’s where the guy on PCP ate that lady. Then across the street, some guy named New York got axed with an AK. Then on the other corner. … Man, four corners and a murder on every one.” Bridal shop, Saugus In one month, Ripatti and Stark’s closest friend, Ana-Maria Mejia, will get married. She wouldn’t consider not having them both there at the altar, wheelchair or otherwise. So Ripatti sequestered herself in a corner dressing room with her two friends, who helped her out of her track pants and T-shirt and into her bridesmaid’s gown. She rolled around the corner, eyebrow raised with stern authority. “Don’t laugh,” she warned. She wore a cranberry-red, A-line gown with a V-neck halter adorned with a rhinestone clasp. It showed off her toned shoulders and biceps and was cut to accommodate her torso when she leans forward to crank her chair’s wheels. A pink scar traced its way out of the dress, around her rib cage and over her shoulder blade. Beneath it, she still carries the bullet that paralyzed her. “When she tried this on, it was a brown dress,” Mejia said. “And she’s like, `Perfect, I look good in brown, we’ll do it in brown.’ I had to tell her, `It. Is. In. Red. No discussion!” Ripatti, who seems much more comfortable talking guns and gangs, squirmed in her moment of glamour. She was a knockout. Then she changed back into her regular clothes and left for a tougher locale. South Los Angeles Ripatti sat beside Stark, watching the avenues, recalling how things used to be. “Every time you hit a corner,” she said, eyes narrowed as she watched a teenager dash down the street, baseball bat in hand, “each block has a story you remember.” Like back in her days as an anti-gang officer, partnered up with Pearce. Before they got together, but as they began to fall in love. One night, they rolled up on a dope house she described as “like a 7-Eleven with weed.” Gangsters would come up to a little window on the side to buy their marijuana. Pearce and Ripatti crept up and waited, hearing the criminals’ voices before they popped up to make an arrest. A struggle broke out. “The fight’s on!” Ripatti recalled, voice excited. “We’re fighting in the house, and a loaded .45 comes out of his waistband and boom! It falls out and hits the ground. “He breaks free and runs out of the house. We chased him for three blocks before he gave up. We take him back, grab the gun and find a ton of weed. That was crazy.” For a moment, she was back in her element. The stories began to flow. Her career came back in snippets, scenes ripped from film noir and detective novels. But it was all real. Southeast Station For the remainder of the evening, Tim Pearce and the rest of the squad chased after suspects who never appeared and searched cars without finding guns or hard drugs. It was a slow night just before Christmas and no one got killed, but on every other block, they had a reminder of past violence. As Tim Pearce slouched in his chair back inside the station, his partner brought a printout on their earlier arrest. The gentleman, as they referred to him, was no stranger to jail time. “We’ve got a guy on parole associating with gang members in the presence of a weapon,” Dan Pearce said, making a tsk-ing sound. “So he’ll probably go away for a year. And in his mom’s car, too. … Better call off Christmas.” Everyone chuckled, and Tim Pearce finished a snack he was eating. He had made it through his first night back, caught a gangster and emerged unscathed. It should have been a triumphant feeling, but instead, he pondered asking for reassignment to the gang detectives, a position he would end up taking a few months later. There, he could focus on more dangerous gangsters and spend less time on the streets. He called home to his wife to check on her. She was fine. “I did a lot of soul-searching about this,” he said later. “I’ve been doing this almost 10 years, and I love the job, love the people. But it’s dangerous; the odds of getting hurt are pretty good. So I have to do something new. It would be selfish of me not to.” 110 Freeway Ripatti reclined in Stark’s car. She has been on the injured-on-duty list for nine months, returning to work only to visit colleagues. Soon, she will hit the one-year mark, when she must decide whether to return to active duty in a less physical role – or leave the force. Pearce found that less dangerous job as a detective, writing warrants for higher-profile criminals. Now, his wife considered her own future. Chief William Bratton promised her a job if she wanted one, but she doesn’t know if she can still be effective confined to a chair. She loved the adrenaline of chasing down a suspect or grabbing a gun away from a gangster. Directing operations from a desk or watching a camera just isn’t the same. “I feel like I lost my identity,” she said. “It’s a consuming job. You’re always thinking about it. And that’s why I think I have to cut the ties, instead of just hanging on because it’s comfortable. “There’s got to be something out there for me. I just don’t know what it is yet.” [email protected] (818) 713-3738 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Officer Tim Pearce’s Crown Victoria cuts silently through the South Los Angeles night, seeking some Crips with a grudge. He drives with an eye for trouble. It’s his first time back on the street in nearly six months. He’s spent long days helping Officer Kristina Ripatti – his wife and ex-partner, paralyzed from a night on patrol – reclaim her wounded body. He’s nervous. Gripping the wheel with one hand, he pulls his cell phone from his breast pocket and dials her up. He’s headed into danger and wants to hear she’s all right first. No answer. “We’re going to come in fast without squealing the tires and revving the engines,” Pearce thinks. “Every second counts. It’s a roll of the dice … but the stakes are even higher. Kristina’s hurt, and I’m the sole provider. Oh well, this is what we do.” last_img
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Kenya come from a goal down to defeat Tanzania in first East African derby at AFCON

first_img Tags: AFCON 2019Group CJohana OmoloKenyaMbwana SamattaMichael OlungaSimon MsuvaTanzaniatop Olunga (Left) scored twice in the win over Tanzania. (PHOTOS/Agencies)AFCON 2019Kenya 3-2 Tanzania30 June Stadium, CairoThursday, 27-06-2019It is always something special, getting one over your neighbour and rival.For Kenya, they registered their first victory at the on-going 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, defeating East African neighbour and long term rival Tanzania on Thursday night.Star striker Michael Olunga was the star of the show, scoring twice and the Harambee Stars put their AFCON campaign on track.Having lost each of their opening games, both side went into the game knowing that defeat would all but eliminate them from the running for a spot in the knockout round.Simon Msuva put Emmanuel Amunike’s side in front with a close range tap-in inside the opening 5 minutes of the contest.Kashiwa Reysol forward Olunga then drew Kenya level on 39 minutes, scoring a spectacular over head kick.However, barely a minute later, Mbwana Ally Samatta restored Tanzania’s lead and ensured Emmanuel Amunike’s side goes into halftime with the slender advantage.Samatta (Right) celebrates after scoring Tanzania’s second goal on Thursday.Johanna Omolo flicked in a header at the near post for Kenya to once again draw the Harambee stars level.The stage was now set for Olunga to win it, drilling him a shot with 10 minutes to play.The win takes Kenya level on points (three) with Senegal who lost 0-1 to Algeria earlier on Thursday.Kenya will need to defeat the Lions of Teranga on Monday so as to seal a spot in the last 16.However, they can also qualify via the four best-placed third teams, that is if they can draw with Aliou Cisse’s side.For Tanzania, they are eliminated from the competition as they cannot displace any of the top four in the group.They take on leaders Algeria on Monday at 8pm.The other games played on Thursday -Madagascar 1-0 Burundi-Senegal 0-1 AlgeriaFriday’s fixtures-Tunisia vs Mali @5pm-Morocco vs Ivory Coast @8pm-South Africa vs Namibia @11pmComments last_img read more

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Donegal’s little drummer boy ready to rock the Toy Show!

first_imgby Katrina TaskerRathmullan’s little drummer boy Finlay Sheridan is only seven, but he’s already been tipped as Ireland’s youngest rock star – counting Minister Joe McHugh as one of his biggest fans.And the whole of the village, and indeed Donegal, will be glued to their screens this Friday night when Finlay rocks The Late Late Toy Show in front of 1.5 million viewers. Totally unfazed by all the attention he’s been getting, the first-class pupil from Drumhalla NS, which only has 32 pupils,  has been wowing audiences locally with his amazing talent, and has already played live on BBC Radio Foyle.Finlay Sheridan with The Late Late Toy Show presenter Ryan TurbridyFinlay Sheridan at RTE StudiosAnd recently he gained a new fan when Education Minister Joe McHugh visited his school to raise their Active Flag.Finlay who plays in the family band My Generation along with his dad, Daniel and brother Evan jumped on the drums in his school uniform to play Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes, and the Minister for Education and Skills was blown away by the performance.Now, as Finlay and his family head off to Dublin for Friday’s Late Late Toy Show, Minister McHugh sent a good luck message to them all. Recalling the first time he’d watched Finlay at Drumhalla NS, McHugh said: “I had the pleasure of meeting Finlay on a recent visit to Drumhalla National School, and got to hear Finlay play the drums in the band with his dad Daniel and brother Evan.“What a fantastically talented child Finlay is, and I had to remind myself quite a few times, that he is only seven years of age!“Being chosen to be part of the Late Late Toy Show is an outstanding achievement for Finlay, considering over 5000 acts applied to be part of this national event.“I would like to pass on my best wishes to Finlay for an amazing magical few days in Dublin and hope his parents Rachel and Daniel and all the family enjoy this lovely once-in-a-lifetime experience.”Finlay Sheridan with The Late Late Toy Show presenter Ryan TurbridyDonegal’s little drummer boy ready to rock the Toy Show! was last modified: November 29th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Finlay Sheridanthe late late toy showlast_img read more

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Royalty Free Music Roundup: Tropical & Vacation Tracks

first_imgGo on a music journey with our favorite sunny royalty free tracks – perfect for slideshows and advertising.Every so often the road calls us. Be it a vacation or an all-out escape plan, sometimes you just have to go. Some say it’s about the journey, you don’t need to worry about the destination. We think the music shapes both.Whatever journey you need to shape, we have the tracks to transport your audience.  From laid back tropical grooves to sunny indie rock jams, we’ve handpicked royalty free music for your slideshow, video or commercial projects.last_img read more

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Ardent SSE Join Forces for Emergency Response in Singapore

first_imgzoom Maritime services provider Ardent and Singapore Salvage Engineers (SSE) have joined forces for future operations within Singapore and adjacent waters.The two companies signed a cooperation agreement on January 19, 2018 to closely work together on future opportunities and at the same time retain their own corporate identities.“Through SSE’s strong background within the immediate region of Singapore and adjacent waters in combination with the diversity of resources they operate, this cooperation enables the provision of high quality, cost efficient and prompt response solutions towards the maritime and offshore industry in this particular region.” Bas Michiels, Ardent’s Director Asia, said.SSE has been involved in maritime salvage services since their inception, and has intervened in salvage and marine contracting services in the waters off Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.“With this cooperation, Ardent and SSE are able to compliment respectively into forming a much more effective marine emergency response setup,” Michiels added.Prior to the cooperation, both companies had jointly worked on the numerous salvage cases all around the SE Asia region.last_img read more

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