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VIDEO. Liberia: George Weah is the new president of Liberia

By RouTe, 29 December 2017, 14:24 (0 comment)
George Weah: From ghetto to football star to president

VIDEO. Liberia: George Weah is he new president of Liberia

GEORGE WEAH
- Born in 1966 in Monrovia, Liberia
- Signed for Monaco in 1988
- Scores wonder goal for AC Milan against Verona in 1996
- Retires from football in 2003
- First attempt at presidency in 2005
- Wins Senate seat 2014
- Wins Liberian presidential election 2017


VIDEO. Liberia: George Weah is he new president of Liberia

As a footballer, George Weah won accolades few could hope for, picking up the Ballon d'Or and seizing African Footballer of the Year on multiple occasions, alongside a raft of team honours.

Fewer still would dare dream of leading their countries; but after winning around 61 percent of votes in Liberia's presidential election, Weah, from the Congress for Democratic Change party, is set to do just that.

His footballing talent was honed in the slums of Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, an experience that saw him catch the attention of French club Monaco - for which he won the French Cup.

Later, Weah played for Italy's AC Milan, winning the Serie A title twice before whittling out the tail end of his career with stints at Chelsea and Manchester City, among others.

Known for his dribbling ability, Weah's most illustrious moment on the pitch came when he single-handedly dismantled an entire team, winning the ball from a Verona corner against AC Milan, and keeping a hold of it until he had placed it in the opposition net with half a dozen players trailing behind him in vain.



Political career

At the peak of elite football, the world of politics seemed distant.

But it wasn't long after his sporting career had drawn to a close that he made his fist foray into political life.

Weah led the first round of voting for Liberia's 2005 presidential election, which took place after decades of civil war and instability but eventually lost to the Unity Party's Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who became Africa's first female president.

Defeat was a bitter pill for the former AC Milan star to swallow; Weah initially rejected the result claiming fraud.

His first step towards the presidency came in 2014, defeating Sirleaf's son Robert Sirleaf for a seat in Liberia's senate.

Weah built his political success on an anti-establishment platform, promising economic opportunities to young people.

In a country with where 70 percent of the population is under 35, and around 80 percent live on less than $1.25 a day, the message was well received.



2017 election

Weah cruised to victory in the 2017 presidential vote, beating Johnson-Sirleaf's vice president, Joseph Boakai.

Potential legal challenges his defeated rivals might launch in the wake of the vote are the only remaining hurdles between the former footballer and the top office.

Though his sporting stardom propelled his popularity, Weah's allies were keen to stress that his campaign relied on more than just celebrity.

Speaking to Al Jazeera before their runoff win, Weah's running mate Jewel Howard-Taylor said his roots in Monrovia's deprived neighbourhoods were as important as his footballing career.

His second attribute is his vision. Coming from a ghetto to reach where he did, he must have been committed and hardworking to become the best
JEWEL HOWARD-TAYLOR, VICE PRESIDENT ELECT


VIDEO. Liberia: George Weah is he new president of Liberia

"Let's look at what it takes," Howard-Taylor responded when asked if she was concerned about Weah's lack of political experience.

"Football, first of all, is a team sport," she continued. "If George Weah was an individualistic person, the team would never have had a chance of winning.

"His second attribute is his vision. Coming from a ghetto to reach where he did, he must have been committed and hardworking to become the best."

That's a sentiment shared by Nigerian sports journalist, Oluwashina Okeleji.



"For a man to score goals it is easy, but to run a country is a very different challenge," he told Al Jazeera.

"As a politician, he spent around 10 years trying to get himself into power ... I think the people who mandated him with their vote, trust in him and they believe in him.

"I believe George Weah can actually deliver."



INSIDE STORY: Is Liberia on a path to a democratic transition of power? (24:31)




SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS


VIDEO. Apple, Tesla will not buy unethical cobalt from Congo

By RouTe, 05 December 2017, 17:47 (0 comment)
DR Congo's child labor spurs demand from Apple, Tesla for ethically produced cobalt

VIDEO. Apple

Some estimates say more than a third of all cars in the world could be electric in 20 years. But as the demand and interest for an obscure mineral increases, car manufactures are presented with a new challenge: acquiring enough in time to make electric vehicles.

Tesla is among the companies looking for stable and responsibly-sourced supply chains of cobalt, which helps power everything from smartphones to laptops to electric vehicles.

It's a key ingredient in lithium batteries, a product that has seen an explosion in demand recently.

But 60 percent of the world's cobalt comes from the Congo, where children often do much of the hard labor.

Because of that, Apple and Tesla are among companies refusing to use what they term "unethical cobalt" in their batteries. In 2014, a spokesperson for Tesla promised to use only cobalt mined in North America.



But mining industry analysts like Gino Chitaroni say that's just not possible.

"It is highly unlikely that there's gonna be enough cobalt to come out of here in the next year to two years that would satisfy any needs in the EV market in North America," Chitaroni said.



That's because outside of the Congo, there are few options.

Tesla alone will require 7,800 tons of cobalt for the half-a-million Model 3s the company expects to be producing annually by 2018. That's more cobalt than is mined in North America in a year.

And not all cobalt goes into batteries. Fifty-six percent of the world's production is used in military and industrial products like jet engines.

Batteries for electric vehicles require a great deal more cobalt than other products.

"Never in the history of modern mining have you seen cobalt as a primary focus for us miners," said Trent Mell of mining company First Cobalt. "It was an after-thought."

The company is one of a handful hoping to breathe new life in an old Canadian mining town.

"Our own little property itself that we have right now that we're focused on could produce enough cobalt to supply the gigafactory that Elon Musk is building today," Mell said.

Another location with substantial cobalt resources is in Idaho, where prospectors will break ground within the year. But it isn't expected to start producing cobalt for a hungry lithium battery market for at least five years.



Adding to the shortage: hedge funds buying up thousands of tons of cobalt, waiting to sell until the prices spike.

And to protect its electric-vehicle industry, China is cornering the market, aggressively buying controlling interests in all of the largest mines in the Congo.



By DON DAHLER CBS NEWS November 25, 2017, 8:48 PM
© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Donald Trump Authorises Release Of JFK Assassination Files

By RouTe, 21 October 2017, 15:00 (0 comment)
VIDEO. In a statement on Twitter, Trump revealed he will be allowing the “long blocked” documents to be opened for the first time.

Donald Trump Authorises Release Of JFK Assassination Files
The moment President John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963

Donald Trump intends to authorise the release of “classified” files relating to the assignation of 35th President John F. Kennedy, despite concerns from officials.

Trump caveated the decision as being “subject to the receipt of further information”.

The move comes against the advice of federal bodies that have expressed concern at the release of the documents.



The National Security Council warned Trump to withhold a batch of files that could shed more light on the November 1963 assassination.



Legislation passed in 1992 led to the release of millions of papers, memos and other evidence relating to the shooting, carried out by Lee Harvey Oswald.

But a stumbling block presented itself with a final cache of documents, due to be revealed by October 26 this year.

As sitting president, only Trump has the power to override the Security Council’s advice.



HuffPost UK by George Bowden Oct. 21st 2017 14H47


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