Peacekeepers demand immediate solution

Three international peacekeeping organizations here including ECOWAS, AU and UNMIL are jointly cautioning Liberia’s three branches of government to coordinate and find an immediate amicable solution to an impeachment plan being advanced by lawmakers against three justices of the Supreme Court.

“While fully respecting the sovereignty of Liberia and its institutions, the AULOL, ECOWAS and UNMIL call upon the Legislative, Judicial and Executive branches of Government to work in a coordinated and mutually supportive way and to spare no effort in finding an amicable and immediate solution to this dispute..,,” the peacekeepers said in a joint statement issued Wednesday, 16 August.

The African Union Liaison Office in Liberia (AULOL), the Office of the Special Representative of the President of the ECOWAS Commission in Liberia and the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) have jointly acknowledge that over the past 13 years since the end of civil war, Liberia has made tremendous strides in strengthening its institutions and in building a strong and vibrant democracy.

But they are now asking Liberian authorities at these three branches of government to act in coordination in the interest of all the Liberian people who are looking forward to peaceful elections in a violence-free atmosphere.

Three justices are being pursued with impeachment by lawmakers here at a time presidential and representatives candidates look to the Supreme Court for decision in elections - related matters.

There are some 20 presidential candidates in addition to hundreds of candidates that are contesting for 73 seats at the House of Representatives. In the wake of emerging constitutional crisis, the peacekeeping organizations remind all branches and institutions of Government here to respect the letters and spirit of the Constitution and abide by the laws of the Republic of Liberia in compliance with international best practices and promotion of good governance.

They are asking the various branches of government to spare no effort in finding an amicable and immediate solution to this dispute in the interest of all the Liberians.They are clear that they note with grave concern the tensions between the Legislature and the Judiciary over attempts to initiate impeachment proceedings by the House of Representatives against three Supreme Court Justices.

They also cite the ‘stay order’ placed against the impeachment proceedings by the Supreme Court, as well as the press statement from the Executive Mansion on this matter.
“We call upon all stakeholders to prioritize national interest as the country moves toward the final phase of peaceful, fair, participatory and transparent elections, and the transition to a new Government in 2018,” the organizations say.

They also request all political parties to reaffirm their love of country and their commitment to violence-free elections as agreed in the Farmington River Declaration. “We assure all Liberians of our continuous support towards maintaining stability, ensuring sustainable peace and facilitating development in Liberia,” they note in a joint statement.
They conclude that they will continue to follow developments closely and support all efforts aimed at de-escalating the situation.


Helping the Heroines of Polio Eradication

NEW YORK – Last month, world governments and other donors pledged $1.2 billion to help carry the 30-year fight to eradicate polio over the finish line. At its height, the polio epidemic caused 350,000 cases of paralysis in children every year. Last year, only 37 cases were reported. So far this year, the number stands at six.

But as momentous as these gains are, victory over polio is not yet assured. And one factor – the role of female vaccinators – will be a critical determinant of success. Women have long been on the front lines of the global effort to end polio. In places like the tribal areas of Pakistan, male vaccinators are often not allowed to enter a stranger’s home, whereas female health workers can deliver the vaccine to vulnerable children, along with other routine immunizations and basic health services.

In 2015, I traveled to neighboring India to take part in a national immunization campaign, joining an all-female team of health workers assigned to administer the polio vaccine to children in an impoverished part of New Delhi. I accompanied a local health worker, Deepika, on my crutches, as I have been crippled by polio myself.

We made our way through the crowded dirt paths, and at one house, a mother of three whom Deepika knew well invited us in. Deepika paused knowingly: “Someone is missing,” she said, counting two children. The mother replied that her eldest child had gone to another village. Deepika recorded this fact in her notepad, vowing to return, and vaccinated the remaining children before moving on. Even one child missed is too many.

Where polio still persists – in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria – vaccinators like Deepika work tirelessly to reach every child. This “last mile” in the global polio eradication drive is indeed the toughest. According to the June 2017 report of the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, more than a million children remain unvaccinated, including 858,000 in Pakistan alone.

The hardest-to-reach children in Pakistan are those on the move, traveling from relative to relative as families search for a better life, often crossing the Afghan border. While some of these children are vaccinated at border crossings, many are missed.

The IMB is now calling for a new approach: finding the children not when they are in transit, but wherever they reside, no matter how short their stay. This strategy calls for deep local knowledge to anticipate when a child will return, so that a vaccinator can be there. And who better to know such intimate details than the women of the communities in need of this service?

In the Pakistani district of Kohat, south of Peshawar, female vaccinators have been credited with helping to lower the number of unvaccinated children from 30,000 to 22,000, and to reduce the number of vaccine refusals from around 4,000 to 400. These brave and dedicated women conduct their work despite great obstacles, including threats to their safety. One health worker described how she has been going door to door to administer the polio vaccine to children for 16 years. Despite pleas from her family to stop, she persists, heartened by the fact that for years, not a single child in her area had been crippled by polio.

Conversely, in Quetta, the area of Pakistan with the highest number of susceptible children, female vaccinators are in short supply, and turnover is high. There, the number of confirmed polio cases is on the rise.

These two cities tell the story of the polio eradication campaign: success, or failure, depends on the role that female vaccinators play. To ensure that female vaccinators stay engaged in this fight, it is essential to address the obstacles – whether physical security, social constraints, or low pay – that they confront.

Let us not forget that the risks these women take to protect everyone from a disease that has taken an enormous toll on global health. As a polio survivor, I simply cannot fathom the possibility that, with complete eradication in our sights, we might allow polio to return.

Since UNICEF began emphasizing the hiring of women for its polio program in 2014, the number of female vaccinators has increased dramatically. Nearly 62% of vaccinators in Nigeria are women. In Pakistan, the proportion of female vaccinators is 58%, and 30% in Afghanistan. As Aidan O’Leary, UNICEF’s chief of anti-polio efforts in Pakistan, has noted, “female vaccinators are driving every single operational gain that is being made.”

To be sure, female vaccinators are not the only ones immersed in this global fight. Religious and local leaders have played pivotal roles in building public understanding and engagement. Police and military personnel are sometimes needed to protect vaccinators from security threats. And, of course, political commitments at the highest levels have kept the momentum going.

But at the end of the day, women on the ground know their communities best, and are uniquely qualified to finish the job. Completing the last mile will require creativity and tenacity, and governments and donors should support the women who will get the world across the finish line, to a world with zero polio cases – forever.

Minda Dentler, a 2017 Aspen New Voices fellow, is a polio survivor and a global health advocate. In 2013, she became the first female wheelchair athlete to complete the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.

By Minda Dentler

Ellen warns against false passports

President Ellen Johnson -Sirleaf says reports are still emerging here about “false passports” that have not been officially issued, but are out in the hands of individuals, noting that she does not know where they are issued, how they are issued and who issues them.

While launching the Liberian Biometric E-passport at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia Friday, 4 August, Mrs. Sirleaf warned personnel at the Bureau of Passports and Visas that such act must stop.

“Not because of the loss of revenue, as important as that is, but because it gets into the hands of wrong people – criminals – thereby undermining the credibility and reputation of the country,” President Sirleaf warns.

The President further notes that bad reports are coming out against the Bureau of Passports and Visas, a section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that once got revamped under the watch of former passport director Madam Mary Broh.

“I hear it is slipping back again. Let me put you on warning; you are here to serve the people with honesty, integrity and efficiency,” Mrs. Sirleaf reminds personnel at the passport division.

She asks Foreign Minister Marjon Kamara to sit with the Bureau’s staff and hear from them too about their challenges, noting that maybe government needs to do more for them. “We need to hear some of your issues so we can address those issues in all fairness to you,” she says.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Marjon V. Kamara informed President Sirleaf that the launch of the international standardized E-Passport was another piece of the Ministry’s deliverables.

She discloses that plans are underway to have passport centers in South Africa and Ethiopia by the end of this year. A passport center is to shortly open in Beijing, People’s Republic of China, she adds.

“We are moving forward and we want to thank you for the opportunity of serving in your administration,” she informed the President. Giving the background of the new e-Passport and the opening of the Expedited Service Center, the Deputy Minister for Legal Affairs, Cllr. Deweh E. Gray informed President Sirleaf that the whole negotiating exercise with Buck Press Limited had been inter-agency collaboration including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice,

Liberia Revenue Authority, Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, National Security Agency, and others. Touching on the Expedited Application Service Center now established, she disclosed that applicants who are urgently in need of a passport can now come in and process their applications and pay an expedited service charge of US$50.00 in addition to the passport fee and be guaranteed same day delivery.

Applicants for the new E-Passport can also apply online at www.mofa.gov.lr. Since the introduction of the biometric passport, Liberian and foreign security operatives have easily detected all forgery attempts in the Liberian passport, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says.

President Sirleaf became the first recipient of the new travel document, having performed the official launch along with the opening of the Expedited Application Service Center at the Bureau of Passports and Visas, Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday.

Vote on performance

President Ellen Johnson - Sirleaf is urging electorates here, especially women, to vote based on the performance of candidates in the ensuing October 10 representatives and presidential elections.

“I’m not contesting again so I will stand with you, work with you in making sure that our women who have worked over the years be given the opportunity to serve and subsequently deliver to our people in their respective elective posts,” she said Tuesday, 1 August at the Capitol Building.Speaking at a Women Political Forum in Monrovia Tuesday afternoon, the Liberian leader enjoined Liberian women to campaign, use the available means and vote for candidates based on their past records.

Mrs. Sirleaf who is ending her second six years term in January 2018, has cautioned females here that voting politicians based on performance is a guarantee that they will perform at the Legislature or the Executive Mansion if given the opportunity by the Liberian people. President Sirleaf encourages electorate here to examine the performance of candidates, visit their communities, counties and see what they have done for the people, see whether they have supported community initiatives and ascertain if they have supported their people.She urges voters to give support to candidates who have done such works for their people on grounds that such works can help the Liberian women to close the wide gap between the men and the women.

Mrs. Sirleaf wants female voters to apply such evaluation method on newcomers in the process of elective posts, adding, once it is established that female contestants have passed these tests, then the rest of the other women should join hands in making sure that they win sufficient number of seats in the House of Representatives.

“This is our time”, Mrs. Sirleaf says, recalling the support of the Liberian women in 2005 that helped her to win the presidential elections on the ticket of the Unity Party (UP).
“I won because of the women on grounds that our women claimed that they wanted their own kind at the top. In 2011, though I won, but there’s a wide gap created and the gap currently exists at both the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate at the Liberian Legislature. I need to close the gap drastically,” she adds.

In an effort to close such gap as recognized by Mrs. Sirleaf, she says it takes hard work, dedication and commitment on the part of every woman throughout the country and the strong backing from the candidates.She then challenges the women here to use the Jehovah Witness method by going from house to house and door to door to ensure that more women are elected in these elections.She urges the women to select the candidates who have worked, served and willing to serve the Liberian people if given the chance. By Bridgett Milton--Edited by Winston W. Parley

Don’t be engineers of violence

A young Liberian high school instructor at the Sister Shirley Kolmer Memorial Catholic School is urging fellow young people to say no to violence and avoid being used as engineers of violence as campaigns start here for the October elections.

Instructor Manual Zar urges told the NewDawn in an exclusive interview Tuesday, 1 August that young people should ensure that the upcoming elections are violence freed, expressing observation that the youths are always manipulated.

Mr. Zar says the youths are in majority and they therefore need to think and vote right, while staying away from violence. He cautions that violence helps to destroy the country that “we all” want to build.

He describes as strange, the politics in Liberia, arguing that politics here is more of self interest than national interest. “If many of our young people were gainfully employed, the rate of election violence will reduce”, he claims, and adds that violence must be avoided in these elections.

He also expresses concern that most of the presidential candidates are owning radio stations here, noting that he views it as a serious problem that have the tendency of instigating violence.
By Ethel A. Tweh--Edited by Winston W. Parley

Trump’s Growth Charade

WASHINGTON, DC – Officials in President Donald Trump’s administration frequently talk about getting annual economic growth in the United States back above 3%. But they are doing more than just talking about it; their proposed budget actually assumes that they will succeed.

If they do, it would represent a significant improvement over recent performance: the US economy has averaged less than 2% annual growth since 2000. And, while an increase to 3% might sound small, it would make an enormous difference in terms of employment and wages.

Unfortunately, left to its own devices, the economy will most likely continue to sputter. And the policies that Trump’s Republican Party has proposed – for health care, taxes, and deregulation – will not make much difference. The assumption of higher growth is more of an accounting smokescreen for tax cuts than anything else. If administration officials acknowledge that a 3% annual rate is not feasible, they would need to face the reality that their forecasts for tax revenues are too high, and that their proposed tax cuts, if enacted, would dramatically increase the budget deficit and the national debt.

The US economy used to grow at more than 3% per year; in fact, this was the norm in the second half of the twentieth century. Since then, however, the US has been forced to confront three major constraints.

First, the US population is aging. As the baby boom generation (born after the end of World War II) retires, the proportion of retired people in the total population increases. Over time, this demographic shift has reduced US potential annual growth by perhaps as much as half a percentage point.

The details of what will happen to health insurance remain unclear. But making it harder or more expensive for lower-income and older Americans to get health insurance is not likely to encourage people to work. The best independent assessment of these policies, produced by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), does not predict any economic miracles – just that around 20 million fewer Americans will have health insurance.

And lurking in the background are potential policies that would restrict legal immigration. The US currently allows about one million mostly working-age people per year to take up residence and work in the country. Moreover, immigrants’ tendency to have more children than non-immigrants do keeps the US population growing faster than in other developed countries (for example, in Europe or Japan). So any move to reduce annual immigration – some Republicans are proposing 500,000 people or fewer – would make 3% annual economic growth even less likely.

The second economic constraint is the slowing rate of productivity growth. There was a major increase in average output per person in the post-World War II years, as better technology was developed across a wide range of sectors. And there were hopes in the 1990s that the information technology revolution would have a similar effect. But the impact on productivity has been disappointing. Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon’s recent book, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, argues that, despite all the hype from the tech sector, we are unlikely to see a dramatic change on this front.

The Trump administration argues that by reducing taxes and “reforming” healthcare, it can boost productivity – for example, by encouraging capital investment. But the tax cuts that will soon be on the table are likely to resemble closely those implemented by President George W. Bush’s administration, which did not lead to any kind of economic boom (a point that James Kwak and I examined in detail in our book White House Burning).

The third constraint stems from the 2008 financial crisis. One danger inherent in pushing for high growth is that it is always possible to juice an economy with short-term measures that encourage a lot of risk-taking and leverage in the financial system. Deregulation in the 1990s and early 2000s did exactly that, leading to slightly higher growth for a while – and then to a massive crash.

The details of the Trump administration’s plans remain to be determined, but officials will most likely push in the direction of relaxing limits on leverage (thereby allowing banks to borrow more relative to equity). Any boom generated in this way is likely to end badly – not just financial ruin for millions of individuals, but also a long and difficult recovery.

The two least political and most influential official forecasts – those issued by the CBO and the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee – both foresee 2% growth, on average, for the coming decade and perhaps beyond. Assuming 3% growth is, to put it generously, wishful thinking.

Worse, it is deeply misleading – and potentially dangerous. If those pushing for tax cuts stick to their guns and refuse to accept reality, their agenda, if enacted, would result in a significantly wider budget deficit, which would increase the national debt to unprecedentedly high levels.

Simon Johnson is a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and the co-author of White House Burning: The Founding Fathers, Our National Debt, and Why It Matters to You.By Simon Johnson

Shooting on Bypass for woman

A gunman suspected to be a police officer is said to have caused panic on the Bypass in Monrovia on Monday afternoon, 31 July when he allegedly discharged a Guinean - made firearm after he allegedly caught his wife in extramarital affairs with another man.

A huge crowd was seen chasing the suspect on foot along with some police officers amidst traffic as he (suspect) threatens to shoot, while holding up the firearm. Sources in the community say the gunman fled from angry crowds following the shooting incident.

Some eye witnesses had alleged that the suspect had shot dead the man. Police authorities confirmed the incident, but say the suspect only fired the gun in the air upon catching his wife in extramarital affairs with a man. Police Spokesman Sam Collins told the NewDawn on Monday evening that the suspect has been arrested and is being held in police custody while investigation is being conducted.

Mr. Collins, however, dropped the line during the mobile phone interview upon being asked over the accuracy of claims by sources that the suspect is a police officer.
In addition to escaping further inquiry over the suspect’s alleged connection with the police force, Spokesman Collins also declines to provide the name of the man that he claims has already been arrested and held in custody at the Liberia National Police Headquarters over the shooting incident.
The police spokesman, however, insists that the suspect fired in the air, and adds that the man and woman that were allegedly caught in extramarital affairs have no wounds as a result of the shooting incident.
“I’m giving you my official response, okay. Nobody shot any man and woman; there’s no bullet wound on anybody. The discharge of the weapon was done in the air so nobody got shot anywhere. You can go to the house and ask the people [that are] there now”, Mr. Collins says.
Mr. Collins confirms that police’s initial information is that the suspect met his wife in extramarital affairs with another man, but says he did not shoot anybody.-Edited by Othello B. Garblah

Ellen waives customs, storage fees

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has issued Executive Orders No. 85 and No. 86 respectively, waiving customs duty and storage fees at the Freeport of Monrovia, while also extending executive Order No. 78 that exempts the Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation (LWSC) from customs duties and selected items.

An Executive Mansion release issued Monday, 31 July says the Executive Orders came as a pronouncement made by President Sirleaf, during her annual message on 23 January that the Government will provide relief on custom duties and storage fees, and that the Liberia Revenue Authority and the National Port Authority shall establish procedures for the effectuation of such relief.

The Government of Liberia having assessed the increase in storage fees and custom duties accrued to containers at the Freeport of Monrovia, decided to initiate measures that will provide relief to its people, thereby issuing those orders.

Executive Power is vested in the President by the Constitution to issue Executive Order in the public interest to correct a particular situation.

President Sirleaf has ordered waiver on storage charges beyond the first seven days and customs duty on non-commercial containers accrued at the Freeport of Monrovia prior to December 31, 2016, by NGOs, Churches, Mosques, Schools, Hospitals, Clinics, Humanitarian Organizations and individual Liberians for non-commercial
relief and personal goods excluding vehicles.

Meanwhile, Executive Order No. 86 has directed the extension
of Executive Order 78, exempting the Liberia Water &
Sewer Corporation (LWSC) from customs duties and selected items. The Executive Order took effect as of 25 July 2017, up to and including
31 August 2017. --Press release

La sphère publique à l'ère de Trump

BERKELEY – Dans de nombreuses sociétés, les universités sont les principaux bastions de l'indépendance idéologique et intellectuelle. Nous comptons sur elles pour transmettre nos valeurs aux jeunes et pour encourager à court et à long terme les recherches sur la condition humaine. Dans l'Amérique de Donald Trump, elles sont plus importantes que jamais.

Contrairement aux universités, les entreprises à but lucratif n'ont jamais été à la hauteur de la tâche de nourrir une forte « sphère publique. » Inévitablement, leur couverture se traduit par une pression énorme pour faire plaisir à leur base (leurs annonceurs ou investisseurs) ou pour éviter tout au moins de leur causer du tort. C'est pour cette raison que l'auteur et commentateur politique américain Walter Lippmann (qui connaît bien le journalisme), a fini par faire confiance aux intellectuels qui travaillent dans les universités, dans les centres d'études ou dans d'autres niches.

Pendant la plus grande partie de l'après-guerre, les difformités structurelles des médias à but lucratif ont été relativement inoffensives. L'extrême-droite, après avoir déchaîné le nazisme et le fascisme sur le monde, était en exil politique. Et l'extrême-gauche avait son propre fardeau : « le socialisme réel » au sein du bloc soviétique s'était avéré meurtrier et improductif.

Cela n'a laissé que le triptyque de l'Atlantique Nord de la démocratie politique, de l'économie de marché et de la couverture sociale. Les débats technocratiques sur la façon de parvenir au plus grand bien pour le plus grand nombre de citoyens a pu se poursuivre sans le bagage des idéologies malmenées. L'Occident a fait alors l'expérience de la « fin des idéologies » ; ou de manière encore plus optimiste, de la « fin de l'histoire. »

Mais à présent, nous sommes confrontés à ce que Lawrence Summers appelle « les défis de l'ère Trump » et les enjeux n'ont jamais été aussi importants. Dans un récent commentaire du Financial Times, Summers déplore que les universités, en particulier, n'aient pas réussi à relever les défis d'aujourd'hui.

Premièrement, Summers demande à juste titre que les universités fassent davantage d'efforts pour « recruter, inscrire et éduquer des étudiants défavorisés sur le plan économique. » Quand les universités n'acceptent que les personnes bien préparées, elles ne se montrent pas simplement paresseuses. Elles causent également du tort à leurs étudiants, à leurs professeurs et aux collectivités qu'elles sont supposées servir. Les étudiants défavorisés, moins préparés que leurs pairs, ne doivent pas avoir à subir le fardeau du milieu dans lequel ils sont nés.

En termes économiques, la tâche d'une université consiste à maximiser sa « valeur ajoutée » éducative, ce qui signifie qu'elle doit rechercher les étudiants qui se distinguent pour bénéficier en priorité de ses services. Une fois admis, ces étudiants doivent recevoir les sommes nécessaires pour accomplir leurs études.

Summers a également raison de trouver « terrifiant le fait que les États-Unis aient leur premier Président post-rationnel, capable de refuser les résultats de la science, de proposer des budgets arithmétiquement infondés et de faire siens des faits alternatifs. » Les universités, comme le remarque Summers, doivent « être les remparts d'un débat honnête et ouvert, sur la voie d'une plus grande vérité. » Les universités sont effectivement des lieux qui servent non seulement à exprimer, mais également à évaluer les idées. Nous devons cultiver la diversité intellectuelle. Mais nous devons également rejeter les idées avortées, peu sûres ou frauduleuses.

Pour cette raison, chaque faculté et chaque étudiant doit pouvoir proférer tout type d'argument ou d'idée pour autant qu'on estime ces derniers dignes de recherche. Et ces institutions doivent être libres d'inviter des orateurs qui partagent leurs points de vue. Summers a raison de dire qu'une université n'est pas le lieu pour « donner le veto d'un chahut à ceux qui veulent l'emporter par la force de leur sentiment plutôt que par la force de leur argument. »

Et pourtant il existe une forme de conflit entre le rejet des idées qui ont avorté et le maintien d'une diversité intellectuelle. Une règle empirique, proposée il y a 70 ans par l'historien Ernst Kantorowicz, et celle selon laquelle ceux qui avancent une idée ont une obligation « devant leur sens moral et devant leur Dieu » d'être sincères à propos de cette idée.

Prenez l'exemple cité par Summers : la visite de Charles Murray à Middlebury College, qui a déclenché de nombreuses manifestations d'étudiants. J'ai vu Murray y discuter de son livre fameux : The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, au milieu des années 1990 et il ne m'a pas impressionné. Et depuis lors, les idées de Murray (surtout ses thèses sur le QI et les races), n'ont pas été bien reçues.

Donc selon moi, si Murray était invité, il devrait pouvoir parler. Mais les étudiants de Middlebury qui l'ont invité sont également redevables devant leur sens moral, devant leur Dieu et le reste d'entre nous, d'expliquer de bonne foi pourquoi ils pensent que ses idées sont toujours dignes de notre considération.

Une idée sur laquelle je ne suis pas d'accord avec Summers concerne sa défense de la méritocratie. Suggérer que la méritocratie est un bien sans mélange ignore la provenance de ce terme, que le sociologue Michael Young a inventé dans sa satire dystopique de 1958 The Rise of the Meritocracy.

Summers déplore que les facultés soient à présent « entraînées à penser qu'il soit erroné et même raciste de dire que « l'Amérique est une terre d'opportunités » ou que « la méritocratie est une bonne chose. » » Mais la question de savoir si de telles déclarations sont répréhensibles dépend du contexte dans lequel elles sont prononcées. Il est bon d'encourager de jeunes gens prometteurs à travailler dur. Mais la méritocratie que nous avons est un arbitre peu digne de confiance sur la valeur individuelle, étant donnée la discrimination dont elle fait preuve à l'égard de ceux qui, bien qu'il n'y ait rien à leur reprocher, ne sont pas préparés à remplir les critères de réussite de cet arbitre.

À ce point de la discussion au sujet des universités actuelles, le terme « espace sécurisé » refait souvent surface. Bien évidemment, les universités doivent être des espaces sécurisés pour échanger et pour juger des idées, ainsi que pour faire changer d'avis une personne confrontée à de nouveaux arguments et à de nouvelles preuves. Summers, quant à lui, à raison de dire qu'« une éducation progressiste qui ne provoque pas un profond malaise est un échec. » Mais il se trompe en ne reconnaissant pas que certains étudiants éprouvent un malaise profond lorsqu'on leur fait sentir qu'ils sont exclus du système.

En tant que communautés de discours et de débats, les universités sont vulnérables aux perturbations, c'est pourquoi la courtoisie, sur laquelle Summers insiste à juste titre, mérite d'être respectée. En outre, l'agitation sur les campus est souvent perçue comme le symptôme de problèmes de société. Summers cite l'historien Rick Perlstein pour nous rappeler que la montée politique de Ronald Reagan dans les années 1960 reflétait en partie ses « vitupérations » contre les manifestations étudiantes à l'Université de Californie de Berkeley à l'époque. Summers suspecte que le radicalisme des campus ne va cesser de croître et que « les effets politiques seront à peu près les mêmes qu'à cette époque. » On soupçonne dans certains milieux que Trump compte là-dessus.

J. Bradford DeLong, ancien sous-sous-secrétaire au Trésor, professeur d'économie à l'Université de Californie de Berkeley et chercheur associé au National Bureau of Economic Research.

Par J. Bradford DeLong

Police re-echoe elections commitment

Liberia’s Police Inspector General Col. Gregory O. W. Coleman, has recommitted the Liberia National Police’s willingness to work with all political parties and candidates during the course of the 2017 Presidential and Representatives Elections.

The police chief’s reaffirmation of the institution’s commitment is aimed at dismissing any fear of police prejudice. The Liberia National Police says in a statement issued on Tuesday, 4 July that Col. Coleman says the LNP sees the forthcoming elections as pivotal to the country’s emerging democracy.

Col. Coleman says his primary focus is to provide a more professional policing service to the public during and after the elections, but stressed that the commitment of all actors in the political sphere of the country is needed.

He says the LNP is holding regular discussions with major actors in the electoral process to include civil society organizations and the media for the sole purpose of confidence building leading to the elections.

The LNP Inspector General adds that as part of the police’s commitment to the process, the LNP will assign three police officers to all political parties during the campaign period to serve as liaisons between the parties and the police for smooth interaction.

IGP Coleman notes that the provision of a conducive security environment is a matter of concern to the elections security management board, adding that “we are all concerned about the pending elections and are working collectively in making sure that the electoral process is handled without any major incident that will question the credibility of the country’s security apparatus”.

Commenting on logistics for the police ahead of the elections, the LNP boss says that it is a matter of concern to the police, but quickly adds that the government is showing strong commitment in providing the needed logistics for the police.

He says his administration is also lobbying with some international partners to assist the police with logistics for the elections.

At the sametime, the LNP has expressed regret over the dysfunctional nature of some traffic lights in the city and its environs. The police have attributed the problem to the heavy downpour of rains in recent weeks, but say officers are being assigned to these troubled lights to provide assistance to road users.

The Police say they working with the Ministry of Public Works to have the lights functional in the soonest of time. -- Press release


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