Canada Rejects Stewart’s Quest for Student Visa

first_imgAs Liberia passed more than one month having been declared free of Ebola transmission by the World Health Organization (WHO), journalist Gboko J. Stewart was confident that the Canadian Embassy in Accra, Ghana would finally see reason to grant him a visa to be able to enroll at Quest University this September. His first attempt at a Canadian visa was made earlier this year when he contacted the embassy to inquire as to whether he could go to Accra to submit his visa application. It was then that he was initially informed that due to the Ebola outbreak, Canada had a freeze on visa applications from all Ebola-affected countries, including Liberia. By then, Liberia had been recording a steady decline in the number of new Ebola infections, well on its way to becoming the first member of the 3 affected Mano River Union countries to be declared Ebola-free by the WHO. The May 9 declaration by WHO that Liberia was finally Ebola-free prompted the Canadian government to lift the restriction on visa applicants from Liberia, only days later. However, No sooner was the restriction lifted that Stewart’s application was denied on June 25. Stewart says he stayed in Accra for about a month during the visa application process. “I’m just so disappointed they have all these hurdles to keep someone at bay so their dreams can’t be pursued,” Stewart told the Squamish Chief, a Canadian newspaper, in an interview from his home in Liberia. “I’m not giving up, but there’s nothing more I can do – maybe some things are just not meant to be.”According to Stewart, the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) claimed he was a risk of not returning to his home country. “I’ve been to Europe and back on time with no intention on staying there,” he said. “The same would have applied to Canada.” Stewart said he “found it incredulous that they arrived at that decision, including travel history, because I was never granted an interview.”Gboko John Stewart was accepted to enroll at Quest in the fall semester of 2014, with a scholarship to study liberal arts and science. The scholarship is renewable every year upon reapplication and good grades. Quest has stood with Stewart throughout his ordeal with a promise to keep his acceptance (and scholarship) at the university open, should the Canadian government finally decide grant him the visa. “Gboko displayed tremendous perseverance throughout the visa ban on Ebola-affected countries, but the study permit application process is ultimately a matter between the applicant and Citizenship and Immigration Canada in which universities cannot intervene,” said Quest University’s Bradley Klees, senior admissions counselor, who added that Stewart’s acceptance at the university will be honored if the visa is eventually granted. “It is up to the applicant to satisfy the visa officer that they are coming to Canada on a temporary basis and that they are admissible. Visa applications are considered on a case-by-case basis on the specific facts presented by the applicant in each case,” read the statement from Nancy Caron, CIC spokesperson, who said the total number of Liberians granted visas since May is not available to the public.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

USC finds magic at Galen, too

first_imgThe players paid tribute back to the fans for the electric atmosphere that built throughout the season and reached a crescendo Saturday. Then the players lifted senior walk-on Chris Penrose – who hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds Saturday – onto their shoulders and carried him off the court. USC’s 84-66 victory over California in its final home game showed how much has changed within the program this season – the attitude, attendance and atmosphere. “We said from day one, we’re not going to beg our people to come out,” coach Tim Floyd said after his team played in front of a Galen Center-record sellout crowd of 10,027. “You have to earn those things.” USC has done that with a team that has exceeded all expectations. Senior Lodrick Stewart led the USC student section in displaying the university’s trademark victory sign as the school’s fight song played. Teammates surrounded Stewart, some going into the aisles, as the crowd paid tribute to one of the Trojans’ best seasons since the Pacific-10 Conference expanded to 10 teams in 1979. • Photo Gallery: 02/24: USC vs. Cal LOS ANGELES – Galen Center’s inaugural season could not have had a better ending. center_img The Trojans (21-8, 11-5) are guaranteed at least fourth place in the conference, will finish second if they win both games in Washington this week and can wrap up third place with any victory or a Stanford loss in its final two regular-season games. All this for a team that entered the season picked to finish sixth in the conference and that had starting freshmen at point guard and power forward. “We’re playing for seeding now,” Stewart said. “There’s not a doubt we’re going to the tournament. I think we’re going now, and the coaches feel the same way.” USC’s 15-3 record at Galen Center is its best home mark since going 16-3 in 1961. The Trojans’ three seniors – Stewart, Penrose and center Abdoulaye N’diaye – received framed jerseys before their final home game. Stewart hit four 3-pointers to give him 220 for his career and break the school record of 218 held by Brandon Granville (1999-02). His record-breaking shot came at an opportune time, as Cal had drawn within five points with a little more than 13 minutes remaining. “It’s great to get the record on a day like this,” said Stewart, who left the game to a large ovation with 55.8 seconds remaining. “It was so sad knowing it’s my last time playing here.” Stewart finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots. Taj Gibson led the Trojans with 18 points. But the basket that drew the biggest crowd reaction of the season came from Penrose, who hit a shot from the right corner with 5.3 seconds to go. (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Dembele gem caps France win over Italy

first_img0Shares0000Dembele scored and also hit the bar as France displayed their wealth of attacking talent against Italy © AFP / FRANCK FIFENICE, France, Jun 2 – Ousmane Dembele scored a terrific goal in an impressive display for France as the World Cup contenders defeated Italy 3-1 in a friendly in Nice on Friday.Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti grabbed the opening goal after eight minutes at the Allianz Riviera, converting a rebound from close range after Kylian Mbappe’s volley was saved by Salvatore Sirigu. N’Golo Kante fired against the post from distance as Sirigu produced a fine fingertip save, but Antoine Griezmann added a second from the penalty spot following a foul on Lucas Hernandez by Rolando Mandragora.Italy cut the deficit before the break when Leonardo Bonucci alertly followed up after Hugo Lloris failed to deal with a powerful Mario Balotelli free-kick.Balotelli forced Lloris to save low with his foot within seconds of the restart after half-time, while Dembele rattled the crossbar moments later having burst past a pair of Italy defenders.But the Barcelona forward sealed victory on 63 minutes, curling a sublime first-time shot into the top corner after Mbappe’s searing run was halted on the edge of the area.“There are lots of things that pleased me beyond the three goals,” France coach Didier Deschamps told French television station TF1.“It could have been a bigger scoreline. If we had been more efficient we could have been at ease a bit earlier.“We’re not going to get carried away, there’s still a second part of our preparation ahead of us.”Paul Pogba though was jeered by a section of home fans in the second half after a misplaced pass, and again when he was replaced by Steven N’Zonzi with five minutes remaining.Pogba didn’t have his best night and was whistled by supporters in the second half © AFP / VALERY HACHEDespite an underwhelming display from the Manchester United midfielder, Griezmann quickly sprang to his team-mate’s defence.“The whistles are part of football, you have to stay tough mentally. We’re all playing for the same shirt. He plays his game, you’re used to him scoring. We don’t expect that from him, only that he rotates the ball and plays for the team,” Griezmann said.“He has had a difficult season at Manchester United but he has a lot of confidence in himself.”The match was just the second in charge for Italy coach Roberto Mancini, who took the job last month after Gian Piero Ventura was sacked following the four-time world champions’ failure to qualify for the World Cup for the first since 1958.“We made some errors but France are among the best teams,” said Mancini, whose side beat Saudi Arabia 2-1 in Switzerland on Monday. “We did some good things but we know that we must improve.“I even had hope of equalising but I’m not going to say we deserved to win. France are better than us. Even if it’s a friendly nobody likes to lose.”0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more


first_imgPICTURE SPECIAL: Creevy National School held a Lá Glas today in the school.All children and staff dressed up in green colours for the day and celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a ceolchoirm in the school hall.And don’t they all look great! ST PATRICK’S DAY PICTURE SPECIAL: THEY’VE GONE ALL GREEN AT CREEVY NATIONAL SCHOOL! was last modified: March 15th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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:BallyshannonST PATRICK’S DAY PICTURE SPECIAL: THEY’VE GONE ALL GREEN AT CREEVY NATIONAL SCHOOL!last_img read more

PSG, Lyon aim to stem rot as Ligue 1 returns

first_img Tags: French Ligue 1top PSG lost 2-1 at home to Guingamp on Wednesday (Photo by Agency)France’s two most successful clubs this century, Paris Saint Germain and  Olympique Lyon, find themselves under pressure to perform when Ligue One action resumes this weekend.Lyon welcome newly promoted Reims to Stade Lyonnais on Friday night keen to appease fans following Tuesday’s shock 1-2 exit at the hands of Strasbourg in a French Coupe de La Ligue quarter final tie.Bruno Genesio’s side were a tad unlucky to fall to the Alsace region kingpins, as they hit the woodwork thrice. Genesio’s instructions to his players will be to avoid feeling sorry for themselves if they are to make ground in the race for Champions League positions.Champagne country outfit Reims are to have a busy night thwarting the hosts’ exuberant attack featuring Nabil Fekir, Moussa Dembele and Memphis Deepay.In Amiens, the hosts expect to compete favourably against runaway league leaders PSG, who are still smarting from Wednesday’s cup exit at the hands of basement club Guingamp.Thomas Tuchel’s Parisians are slowing down after a blistering opening third of the season that saw them register fifteen consecutive league victories. Defeat to Guingamp was PSG’s first loss in a domestic cup competition in four years and came on the back of league draws at Bordeaux and Strasbourg.After averaging over three goals per game in the first 15 games, PSG’s goals have dried up. They could only muster a 1-0 win over Nantes in their solitary Ligue One triumph over the last one month, whereas they were held to one-all draws at Bordeaux and Strasbourg.However, fireworks are anticipated in the Southern France derby as Rudi Garcia’s off colour Olympique Marseille battle Thierry Henry’s beleaguered Monaco.Following a chequered beginning to his managerial career, on Tuesday night Henry got a huge shot in the arm on when the principality club outlasted Rennes on spot kicks to reach the Coupe Del La Ligue semis.Marseille are meanwhile hoping to atone for last weekend’s French Cup exit at the hands of a lower division minnow. Mouthwatering action lies in store at Stade Velodrome as household names like Dmitri Payet, Florian Thauvin, Aleksandr Golovin, Radamel Falcao and Kostas Mitroglou are all expected to feature.Fixtures:Friday.Caen vs Lille @9pmOlympique Lyon v Reims @10:45pmSaturday.Amiens v Paris Saint Germain @7pmNice v Bordeaux @10pmGuingamp v Saint Etienne @10pmNimes vs Angers *ppSunday.Nantes vs Rennes @5pmDijon v Montpellier @7pmToulouse v Strasbourg @7pmOlympique Marseille v Monaco @11pmComments last_img read more

Hearing crying puppies trapped in a storm drain, A’s pitcher flies into action

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos or video on a mobile deviceIt’s 2 1/2 months before pitchers and catchers are due to report to spring training. A’s hurler Daniel Mengden already has nailed down his first save.Mengden was returning to his Houston home when he ran across a rescue in progress, reported. Two puppies were trapped in a storm drain.“It was just kind of dumb luck,” Mengden told “I noticed some people were outside their cars, kind of …last_img read more

Lady Panther Classic returns

first_imgFour local girls basketball teams will get their first up-close looks at each other this weekend as the 39th annual Lady Panther Classic begins today at McKinleyville High.St. Bernard’s will get the weekend started with a first-round clash against Redding Christian at 5 p.m. and Fortuna will finish the night up with a contest against Yreka at 8 p.m. while the tournament’s host team, McKinleyville, will face Hoopa in its first-round matchup today at 6:30 p.m.The best offense is a…Good …last_img read more

“One Africa!” says Gaddafi

first_imgLibyan leader Muammar Gaddafi isadamant that Africa’s power lies in its unity.(Image: ItnewsAfrica) A young Muammar Gaddafi during hismilitary days.(Image: Wikimedia)Khanyi MagubaneLibyan President Muammar Gaddafi, the newly appointed chairperson of the African Union (AU), has reiterated that Africa will only truly be powerful once it’s led by one strong government.At his appointment on 2 February during the 12th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Gaddafi was adamant that the power of Africa lies in its unity.“I shall continue to insist that our sovereign countries work to achieve the United States of Africa,” he said after accepting his role as the new AU leader.Gaddafi said the united Africa would have a single military force and one currency. Africans would only need one passport and would be able to move around the continent freely.But African leaders may not be as ready for the move as the controversial Libyan leader thinks.During the first day of talks behind closed doors, member states fervently debated the “unity project”, which was on the agenda.In the end, as a compromise, it was decided that the African Union Commission – which overseas the work of the AU – would be transformed into an AU authority with a broader mandate, said the outgoing chairperson, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete.“In principle, we [are saying] the ultimate is the United States of Africa. How we proceed to that ultimate – there are building blocks,” Kikwete said.Uniting Africa a step at a timeBriefing journalists about the new body on 2 February, AU Commission Chairperson Jean Ping said the new authority would deal with greater issues than the existing commission. “We are creating an institution with a bigger mandate, with bigger capacities, which moves us towards the goal of the union government.”Ping said that a unified continent, which would give Africa stronger bargaining power at international forums, has been a dream of several generations of pan-Africanists.The work of the AU authority would ensure a gradual process of integration and the strengthening of multilateral institutions as well as the strengthening and integration of the different regional economic communities across the continent.Some head of states, however, voiced their reluctance to relinquish power and opted rather to strengthen regional institutions before creating a continent-wide system.But despite the reluctance of some leaders, Gaddafi is optimistic that the move will materialise.He told delegates that so serious was he about his “unity project” that he expected the venture to be approved at the organisation’s next meeting in July unless, he added, the majority of member states were against the move.The main point of contention is how the unity government will affect the sovereignty of the 53 member states and economies of differing strengths, where some African governments are economically weak, and others strong.The member states have, however, made it clear that the issue is not whether a union government should be in place or not, but rather a matter of identifying the steps of how to get there and when it should happen.Timelines and the method for the integration process will be set out according to the Accra Declaration, adopted in 2007 at the 9th Ordinary Session in Accra, Ghana.The Accra Declaration expresses the AU leaders’ conviction that the ultimate objective of the AU is the United States of Africa.During this week’s intense summit, which was extended by a day to four days to accommodate all the outstanding issues, Kikwete gave his last speech as the chair, appealing to African leaders to put political greed aside and focus on improving Africa’s economic status.“Africa must be included in the search for global solutions to the current financial crisis.”Kikwete said more time needed to be dedicated to discussing a global solution to Africa’s under-development.He further stressed the need for Africans to seek a greater voice on global affairs and called on Africa to establish better working ties with European and Asian leaders.The Gaddafi administrationThe appointment of the infamous Libyan leader to the most powerful African body has been met with mixed reaction.The BBC spoke to Africans from different regions about what a Gaddafi-led AU would mean to the continent.Pius Serlorm Dzramado, a 28-year-old tailor from Accra, was not so optimistic about the move. “Gaddafi does not adhere to the principles of democracy in Libya,” he said. “For those of us who believe in advocating democracy in Africa, choosing Gaddafi as African Union chairman is not progress.”Dzramado said human rights abuses suffered by Libyans should have been enough to discourage the organisation to make the move.“There doesn’t seem to be much respect for human rights in Libya, so I don’t think Gaddafi’s own country is a good role model for the rest of Africa. As AU head, I can’t imagine Gaddafi will have the moral courage to speak out against human rights violations in other African countries.”Feras Al-Geblawi, a 29-year-old engineering student in Libya, is, however, of a different opinion. “Gaddafi is the bravest leader Africa has seen in the last 30 years. He always speaks his mind; he’s like a philosopher, very intelligent.”“There are some people who say Gaddafi is not a good choice as AU chair, claiming we don’t have a strong record on human rights. But I haven’t seen any injustice here.”Kenyan journalism student, 28-year-old Amos Marube, said he was not sure if the united Africa idea would work. “Gaddafi’s vision of a United States of Africa is far too ambitious; it will never happen,” he told the BBC.Marube said governments must first get their act together before thinking of uniting the whole of Africa. “He wants to unite the continent – but here in Kenya we are already so divided by tribalism. If African countries are unable to unite nationally and regionally, I can’t see how Gaddafi would be able to unite us as a continent.”At the helm of Libya for over 40 years now, Gaddafi is a saint to some, while he remains a villain to others.Dubbed by former US president Ronald Reagan as the “mad dog of the Middle East”, Gaddafi is known for his unchanging stance of African nationalism.He has been accused of taking part in acts of terror and his country suffered drastic United Nations sanctions after he refused to extradite two Libyans accused of planting a bomb in 1988 on Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded ever Lockerbie, Scotland and killed 270 people.Gaddafi finally admitted responsibility for the attack in 2003 and paid over US$2.7-billion to the families of the victims, initiating the end of Libya’s international isolation.Do you have any comments or queries about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at: Related articlesAfrica catches investors eyes The African Union AU stands by Zimbabwe African leaders unite economies  Useful linksAfrican UnionThe government of LibyaAccra declarationlast_img read more

Tewari approaches Election Commission

first_imgSenior Congress leader Manish Tewari lodged a complaint with the Election Commission, seeking action against those indulging in “false and malicious” propaganda against him and his family on social media. In a video clip that was attached with Mr. Tewari’s tweet, it was alleged that his father, late Professor V.N. Tewari, was involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi and petrol was supplied from his filling station to “burn Sikhs”. ‘Gutter, despicable’ Describing the propaganda against him as “gutter and despicable”, the former Union MMr. inister, who is contesting from Anandpur Sahib in Punjab, said his family never owned a petrol pump anywhere in the country and his father was assassinated by militants on April 3, 1984, six months before the riots. “My mother was a Jat Sikh. My father was an academic at Panjab University, Chandigarh, and my mother retired as the Dean of the PGI. Our family has never owned a petrol pump ever in our lives anywhere in India. We have complained to the returning officer, Ropar SSP and the CEC. They need to act against the miscreants as soon as possible,” he tweeted.‘Outrageous lies’ “Those who failed in trying to raise the outside bogey against me have now stooped too low to malign me and my family with outrageous lies,” Mr. Tewari said on Thursday. The Congress leader is locked in a four-way contest against sitting Member of Parliament and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Prem Singh Chandumajra, Aam Aadmi Party candidate Narinder Shergill and Punjab Democratic Alliance nominee Bir Devinder Singh. Voting in Punjab will take place in the last phase of the Lok Sabha election on May 19.last_img read more