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first_imgThe Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has approved US$256.7 million grant to Liberia under the Millennium Challenge Compact program.The grant was approved during the MCC Board’s annual meeting held on September 7, in Washington D.C and chaired by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.The Board’s approval now paves the way for the formal signing of a bi-lateral agreement (to be known as the Liberia Compact) between the Liberian and U.S. governments to be held in the United States by October.It will fund projects in electricity, road maintenance, reforms and capacities building and also replace the damaged water supply line from Mt. Coffee Hydro Plant to the White Plains Water Treatment Plant.Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara M. Konneh will sign on behalf of the Government of Liberia, while Ms. Dana Hyde, CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, will sign on behalf of the US Government.Upon signing, the Compact will be submitted to the Liberian National Legislature for ratification.The Liberian government, through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, has welcomed the news and praised the U.S. Government for the Compact Grant, noting that it will significantly impact the lives of ordinary Liberians through poverty reduction, job creation and economic growth.The Finance Ministry noted that Liberia’s road to the Compact began in 2008 with the Threshold Country Program through which the U.S. Government provided US$15 million grant to support the Liberian government’s interventions to increase girls’ primary education completion, land rights and access, and to improve Liberia’s trade policy, all of which have contributed to Liberia’s recovery.The Compact program is competitive, and requires countries to meet key indicators relevant to economic and political governance. These include ‘Governing Justly’, which measures the protection of civil rights including the right to free speech; and ‘Control of Corruption’, measuring government’s transparency and accountability in public financial management. Liberia continues to make progress on those and other key indicators, in spite of the many challenges.Meanwhile MFDP has disclosed that MCC CEO Hyde has telephoned President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to inform her of the MCC Board’s decision and congratulated her for Liberia’s success in securing the MCC Compact Grant.The MCC Board has also approved a Compact Grant with Morocco and a Threshold Program with Sierra Leone. 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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first_imgFrench World Cup winner Nzonzi headed in his first goal for Roma since his move from Sevilla in the 36th minute, with Bosnian ace Dzeko following his midweek Champions League hat-trick against Viktoria Plzen by wrapping up the points five minutes from time.Roma are now ten points behind leaders Juventus — who have a maximum 24 points after eight games — and one point adrift of Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli who host Sassuolo on Sunday.“The main thing is we’re back winning,” said Dzeko.“It wasn’t an easy period but we worked our way through it, we have now won four games in a row heading into the international break and we have fixed things a bit.”Teenage defender Luca Pellegrini got his first Roma start, with midfielder Javier Pastore and centre-back Aleksandar Kolarov injured.Lorenzo Pellegrini sent a free-kick over for Nzonzi to get the opener with Empoli proving wasteful.Ismael Bennacer rattled the woodwork for the hosts after the break with Francesco Caputo blazing a penalty over the crossbar on 58 minutes after a Cengiz Under handball.But Dzeko grabbed the second, collecting a Stephan El Shaarawy through ball to fire into the roof of the net.Roma have now won their last four games over Frosinone, Lazio, Viktoria Plzen and Empoli, for a total of 14 goals with just one conceded.But Di Francesco insisted there was room for improvement.“We made a few too many mistakes and tended to switch off at times. That’s why I changed the system in the second half.”0Shares0000(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000World Cup winner Steven Nzonzi scored his first goal for Roma. © AFP / GABRIEL BOUYSMILAN, Italy, Oct 7 – Steven Nzonzi and Edin Dzeko scored in either half as resurgent Roma won their fourth consecutive game to move third in Serie A with a 2-0 win over promoted Empoli in Tuscany on Saturday.Eusebio Di Francesco’s side had slumped to ninth after a four-game winless streak, but jumped into the top three with a win over second-from-bottom Empoli.last_img read more

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first_imgAgoura Hills attorney Robert Nagle, who helped cut the county’s litigation costs from a high of $109 million in 2002-03 to $75 million in 2004-05, alleged in a letter to the supervisors last year that County Counsel Ray Fortner’s office hid information about rising costs. “(We) are very concerned that there is a backsliding into a lack of oversight in the monitoring of legal costs,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. “There needs to be an independent investigation as to why this guy was terminated. The decreased costs during his tenure suggest he was doing precisely what he was hired to do.” Litigation cost manager Steven H. Estabrook, who replaced Nagle, said the County Counsel’s Office is working to bring the costs down. “They are making sure the fees we are paying are appropriate to outside counsel,” Estabrook said. “Efforts are also being undertaken to make sure the cases are being properly managed, the proper amounts are spent on settlements and the right cases are going to trial.” In the report, Estabrook said supervisors approved 238 lawsuit settlements last fiscal year totaling $36million. Ten of the cases involved amounts of more than $1 million and contributed to more than half the total value of all settlements. Settlements included $2.8 million for former jail inmate Jose Beas, who was severely beaten by other inmates, and $1 million for the family of Chadwick Shane Cochran, a mentally ill inmate who was beaten to death after he was left unsupervised. The supervisors also approved $1.8 million in a case involving a sexual assault by a sheriff’s deputy and a $1.8 million medical malpractice suit in which a baby died. The total amount paid in settlements for the year includes $11.7 million for settlements made in prior years, including $2.5 million paid to attorneys overseeing a consent decree. The number of cases the county took to trial dropped from 38 to 24 last fiscal year. The county prevailed in 15 of those cases. The amount of money spent on legal fees and outside law firms totaled $50 million last fiscal year, 6 percent more than the prior year. Estabrook said the County Counsel’s Office fees and costs have increased as in-house services have replaced some of those previously provided by outside law firms. “The increase in in-house fees is also attributable to upward adjustments of in-house billing rates brought about by annual increases in salaries and employee benefits,” Estabrook wrote. troy.anderson@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityThe disclosure is expected to be presented to the Board of Supervisors this month, but some have already expressed concern. “Supervisor Gloria Molina is very concerned that these costs went up for another year in a row,” said Roxane Marquez, Molina’s spokeswoman. “It’s a troubling trend in large part because the supervisors have taken strong steps to decrease legal costs. The fundamental reason we insisted that the county counsel hire a litigation cost manager was to get a handle on our legal fees. “County counsel said they heard our message loud and clear, but these numbers indicate the opposite,” Marquez said. The findings come shortly after the supervisors approved a $450,000 wrongful-termination settlement for the county’s former litigation cost manager. By Troy Anderson STAFF WRITER Los Angeles County’s legal costs jumped 17percent from $86 million in 2005-06 to $101million last fiscal year, just shy of the record high, officials said Friday. The $51 million in settlements and judgments was 20 percent higher than the average paid in the past five years and 32 percent higher than the previous year. last_img read more

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