Split Sessions at Capitol

first_imgAn unprecedented three separate and distinct sessions were yesterday held simultaneously in the 68 year old Capitol Building (at the Legislature) with two at the Lower House and one in the Upper House with the presence of over 400 elite officers of the Liberia National Police. Compelling Recusal of Speaker Tyler?Thirty eight (38) members of the House of Representatives (34 present and four distance), who are referred to as “Renegade or Conscious Lawmakers” have unanimously adopted a resolution to remove Rep. Alex J. Tyler, Sr., as Speaker or Presiding Officer of the Legislature.The defector lawmakers, in an outlawed separate session in the William R. Tolbert Joint Chambers, which was presided over by Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue, made the decision yesterday due to a resolution signed by 40 members of the House of Representatives. However, three of them, including Saah Joseph, Samuel Woleh and Morais Waylee, claimed that they withdrew their signatures. The “conscious Lawmakers”, in search of a place to hold their session, proceeded to the Joint Chamber, which they found locked. The sergeant-at-arms, believed to be a Tyler sympathizer, was unavailable to provide access to the Joint Chamber. It was then that former Speaker, Edwin M. Snowe, Jr. ordered the door busted, according to eyewitnesses, which was performed by a staffer of Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue. The anti-Tyler lawmakers suspended the House’s Rules and Procedures on the Motion for Reconsideration as well as the Normal Legislative Procedural process of the Committee’s work to effect the decision to recuse Speaker Tyler.The lawmakers also appointed an ad hoc Chief Clerk and Deputy Chief, Rudolph Hill and Darlington Blayon, staffers of the Deputy Speaker.In the resolution, the lawmakers said the Speaker has denigrated his colleagues who have expressed disagreement with his dictatorial leadership and refers to elected Representatives of the Liberian people as surrogates, forgetting that he is just ‘primus inter pares’ (first among equals) by the free election of his peers.“Whereas, that the Speaker has been criminally indicted of a crime. We the members of the House should not have to bear the burden of these allegations. Let the Speaker exonerate himself of these criminal charges using our court system and not hide under the authority of the Speaker’s gavel,” the Interim Chief Clerk read.“Whereas and in so declaring, we, the majority members of the Honorable House of Representatives of the 53rd Legislature having taken a solemn oath of office to protect and uphold the constitution and all other laws of the Republic call upon Hon. J. Alex Tyler to immediately recuse himself as presiding officer.”The Interim Chief Clerk added: “Whereas we also call on those doing business and other activities with him to immediately halt and refrain from future transaction with him in the name of the Honorable House of Representatives including the Liberian Senate, the Executive and Judiciary Branches of Government and the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations Mission.”Those who signed the resolution included: Rep. Numene T.H. Bartekwa, Rep. Emmanuel Nuquay, Rep. Munah E. Pelham-Youngblood, Rep. Samuel G. Kogar, Rep. Thomas P. Fallah, Rep. Acarous M. Gray, Rep. Edwin M. Snowe, Rep. Julius Berrian, Rep. Morais T. Waylee and Rep. Samuel G. Wolleh.Others are Rep. Richmond S. Anderson, Rep. Corpu G. Barclay, Rep. Adolph A. Lawrence, Rep. Christian Chea, Rep. Johnson Chea, Rep. Saah Joseph, Rep. Roland O. Cooper, Rep. Worlea S. Dunah, Rep. Henry B. Fahnbulleh, Rep. Edward S. Forh, Rep. Josephine George Francis,Rep. Stephen S. Kafi, Jr., Rep. Jefferson Kanmoh, Rep. Edward W. Karfia, Rep. Mary Karwor, Rep. Jeremiah Koung, Rep. Eugene F. Kparkar and Rep. Gertrude T. Lamin.The remaining lawmakers are Rep. Jeremiah W. McCauley, Rep. Prince Moye, Rep. George S. Mulbah, Rep. Tokpah Mulbah, Rep. Robertson N. Siaway, Rep. Gabriel Smith, Rep. Richard M. Tingban, Rep. Ricks Toweh, Rep. Bill Twehway, Rep. Ballah G. Zayzay, Rep. J. Byron Brown and Rep. J. Gabriel Nyenkan.Meanwhile and simultaneously, the 51st day sitting under House’s Speaker J. Alex Tyler, Sr., in the House’s official chambers, ended successfully with the appearance of Public Work Minister Gyude Moore, summoned to update the lower house on the progress of the Somalia Drive Road. Speaker Tyler conducted yesterday’s session with a quorum of 37 persons; 34 in person and three in distance.Prior to the Public Work Minister’s appearance, the House’s Plenary summoned the management of the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) to appear on Tuesday, 16 August. The decision was predicated upon a complaint from Hon. Larry P. Younquoi of Electoral District 8, Nimba County.In his letter, the Nimba Lawmaker questioned the refusal of the Liberia Broadcasting System to honor a request from the House Press and Public Affairs Bureau to provide live broadcast coverage to the on-going public hearing on the Draft National Budget at the Capitol Building. Following discussions on the matter, plenary agreed to invite the management of LBS to appear next Tuesday to give reasons for the entity’s action predicated on a motion proffered by Hon. Isaac Roland of Electoral District 3, Maryland County.Pro-Tyler’s ReactionThe chairman of the House committee on Foreign Affairs, Maryland County District # 1 Representative, Rep. James Biney, has accused President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of sponsoring the recusal campaign to unseat Speaker Tyler, over an unbearable working relationship with him.“If the precedence of getting the leader of one branch removed on the basis of indictment (not court verdict) through subterfuge, the tendency of the Executive controlling the Legislature will be further enhanced at the time when it should be broken,” Rep. Biney said “This is not good for any emerging democracy. When a leader of a country says, I will never work with the head of the legislative branch of government and the leader succeeds in removing the head of that branch of government, such a leader cannot be a true representation of genuine democracy. As we proceed to protect our democracy, it is quintessential that we accept to work with each other as leaders not because we want to, but because we have to,” Rep. Biney added.He added: “On the issue of the fight against corruption, I call on President Sirleaf to also go after those who wrecked NOCAL, squandered the Japanese Aid to Liberia, mismanaged Chevron Social Development Support to Liberia, etc. The contrary would suggest to the public and the world that the fight against corruption is not only selective, but a sham. Finally, we leaders, especially President Sirleaf, have the responsibility to enhance the peace and protect our democracy.”However, two senior staff members to the Speaker, who begged for anonymity, said the Speaker and his colleagues have termed the renegade lawmakers’ decision as “trash.”They further said the pro-Tyler lawmakers are considering going to the Supreme Court, but they did not say why or when.Speaker Tyler’s compelling recusal is due to his alleged accusation of receiving US$75,000, according to the May 11 Global Witness report, for his alleged role in changing the Public Procurement Commission Committee (PPCC) law in favor of the London based Sable Mining Company to win a concession agreement to exploit iron ore in the Wologisi Mountain in Lofa County.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Chandler said he does mixed martial arts training

first_imgChandler said he does mixed martial arts training during the offseason, and has said before that he’d like to square off against his brother for charity.However, it doesn’t look like we’ll all get treated with the sibling matchup anytime soon, if going off comments the Cardinals linebacker made two years ago. If you were at the Arizona Cardinals Red & White Practice at the end of July, you might have noticed linebacker Chandler Jones sprinting off the field shortly after it concluded.That wouldn’t be out of the ordinary, except that the Cardinals all participated in an autograph session on the field for the fans immediately following the training camp event.No, Jones wasn’t trying to avoid handing out his signature. He was hurrying to get to his brother’s professional fight. Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Your browser does not support the audio element. Lol you suck “@Chan95Jones: Well I would pick on someone my own size but you aren’t @JonnyBones #dingding lol”— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) March 22, 2015Arizona Sports’ Craig Grialou contributed to this story. Chandler’s brother is none other than Jon “Bones” Jones, the longtime MMA and UFC fighter. That night, Jon was set for a highly anticipated matchup against Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 in Anaheim, California.At least, it was a highly anticipated fight for the fans. For Chandler, it was an anxious time.“Truly I get more nervous for his fights than my own football games. They’re nerve-racking. I mean I can’t really eat,” Chandler told Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station Tuesday. “That fight I couldn’t eat, I was up, I had the jitters until he knocked the guy out.”Several of Chandler’s teammates took to Twitter to offer their support using the hashtag #TeamJones. It turns out Chandler had nothing to worry about though. His brother knocked out Cormier to reclaim the UFC light heavyweight title.“It didn’t mean as much as it did for our family than it did for him. Jon, he really wanted his belt back and I feel like he felt a bit empty without it,” Chandler said. “For him to have the opportunity to go out there and showcase his ability and to show people that, ‘Hey, there was no ring rust. I’m still good. Hey, I know that I made some mistakes but hey, never say never. It’s never too late.’ So I’m happy for him and hopefully he keeps going and hopefully be the greatest ever.” (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) LISTEN: Chandler Jones, Cardinals linebacker Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 2 Comments   Share   Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

How Yammer Turned Being Small into a Big Competitive Advantage

first_imgWho says being a small business doesn’t have its own advantages? All month long we’ll be publishing a series of stories of how the little guy prevailed using its size as a competitive advantage — and so can you.How Yammer turned being a small business into a big competitive advantageWhen Microsoft announced in July that it would acquire red-hot business networking platform Yammer for $1.2 billion in cash, industry insiders theorized that the tech giant’s purchase had everything to do with an attempt to finally get into the social networking game.Why Didn’t Microsoft Build its Own Solution?Microsoft could have chosen to build its own enterprise social networking application to squash Yammer’s uprising. With $1.2 billion in cash, the behemoth could have very easily hired the developers it needed to build a new product. And it could have spent far more on sales and marketing than Yammer could have possibly afforded. The reason the company didn’t do that is pretty simple, however. Yammer had built a product and developed a user base that Microsoft – and other software giants, for that matter – couldn’t easily replicate (even with a seemingly limitless pile of cash). And it had done it by leveraging one critical competitive advantage of being smaller and nimbler: every member of Yammer’s team was closer to the customer. Thanks to that, they had access to critical information that Microsoft couldn’t – or was choosing not to – tap into.A Small Business Competitive Advantage: Information (Not Data) Is PowerWhich melts more slowly, a small snowball or a large one? All other things being equal, the larger snowball will melt more slowly because its outer layer of snow insulates the snow inside. By contrast, more of the snow in the small snowball is exposed to the outside world, and it therefore reacts to its environment faster. Big companies have the same basic geometry as a large snowball. Most of them have a much harder time getting a true feel for their outside world (i.e., their customers, market, and competition) than small companies do. This has nothing to do with the quality of the people who work there or the company itself, it’s just a natural disadvantage that large companies have relative to small ones. By contrast, smaller companies and their fewer management layers often interact directly with prospective customers as they develop their technology. As a result, they can generally access information from the outside world (customers, non-customers, competitors, suppliers, etc.) much faster than their Goliath competitors, and use that information to influence virtually all of their product development, sales, marketing, and customer service strategies.How Yammer Used its Information Advantage to Build Something Microsoft Couldn’tBy the time Microsoft acquired Yammer, the enterprise social networking application had five million corporate users that included employees from much of the Fortune 500. More importantly, VentureBeat’s Jolie O’Dell wrote soon after the acquisition was announced, those users aligned perfectly with Microsoft’s sweet spot. By understanding what its large competitors would want to achieve from an enterprise social networking application and maximizing their direct access to key information generated from the outside world, Yammer was able to:Focus on innovations that conflicted with large competitors’ model/decision-making processDevelop a product that would take larger competitors far too long to build, market, and incorporate into their corporate strategyGrow a user base that aligned with larger competitors’ target customers and maintain user loyalty through rapid response to customer feedback, insight, and pain pointsEssentially, Yammer had built exactly what Microsoft – and other large companies hoping to get into the enterprise social networking market – wanted. And they had done it in such an efficient way that no bigger business could replicate that success in a time and cost-effective manner.5 Ways You Can Mimic Yammer’s Information AdvantageIn a rapidly expanding digital world, it’s tempting to gather exceedingly large amounts of data simply for the sake of collecting and having access to it. However, hoarding volumes of data won’t do you much good if it’s not actually useful. In fact, it may just overwhelm your team. Instead, the key to maximizing your information-gathering efforts is to uncover truly valuable information — not data — that is contextually relevant and beneficial. Ultimately, that can be achieved by performing one or all of these activities:Expose all of your employees to your customers. If your employees understand your customers’ needs, how they interact with your product, the best approaches to helping them resolve issues, and the marketing messages that will best resonate with them, you will have a natural advantage over larger competitors.Study your customer service interactions. Tracking trouble tickets is one of the best ways to determine what your customers are doing with your product and how you are servicing them. If you have customer service reps, listen to the phone calls, ask them about their interactions, give them a few questions to ask your customers, and then gather the feedback.Ask your customers. Once customers have purchased your product, most will be willing to give you detailed feedback because they want you to continue getting better. User conferences, advisory boards, and surveys are great ways to get information. Another approach is to sit down with customers periodically to really get to know them.Find out what your competitors are doing. Make a list of things you would like to know about your competitors and then get creative about how you are going to (legally and ethically) get the information. Study their websites, visit their booths at conferences, and use resources such as Hitwise, Compete, and Alexa.Share what you’ve learned. Work this knowledge into your management meetings, company wiki, e-mail, management reports, employee feedback systems, and all other vehicles you have to manage/monitor progress and communicate internally. For more on how your company can leverage its small business competitive advantage download OpenView’s free eBook: Slaying Goliath Slaying Goliath: How Small Companies Can Compete Against Their Large Competitors This list is intended to generate ideas, not mandate all of the things you need to do right away. If you try to do too much, you will water down your efforts and actually get less useful information. Remember it is information – not data – that you are looking for, and you need to spend the vast majority of your time building a great product and then selling and servicing it. Start with the easy steps, and increase the activities as you grow. Naturally, some larger companies will execute these tactics. But they still have the natural disadvantage of being the large snowball. Your small company has a real opportunity to make the most of its natural advantages to give itself a winning edge. Just ask Yammer. Check back in throughout the month for more inspiring underdog stories and examples of how your small company can come out on top in our “Slaying Goliath” series.We want to hear from you!What are some other great examples of small businesses utilizing their size as a competitive advantage to take on the big guys?  AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more