Afghanistan, who made an impressive debut in the World Cup earlier this year, continued their dream run in 2015 when they crushed Zimbabwe by 49 runs and broke into the top-10 of the International Cricket Council (ICC) ODI rankings for the first time.Afghanistan had been dismissed for 131 at Sharjah against Zimbabwe in the first ODI of a five-match series on Friday but thanks to a four-wicket haul by left-arm spinner Amir Hamza, Mohammad Nabi’s men successfully defended the paltry score.Afghanistan were ranked 12th when the ongoing series started and have now leapfrogged Ireland and Zimbabwe to take the 10th position in the ICC ODI rankings. They will retain their spot if they win the series.It has been a meteoric rise for Afghanistan, whose cricket team was formed only 14 years ago after the fall of the Taliban. Afghanistan, this year, won their first ever World Cup match, beating Scotland by one wicket in a thriller.Afghanistan followed that up with a 3-2 series victory over Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in October, becoming the first Associate team to defeat a full member in a bilateral series.
- Liberia’s Leadership Succession at Risk
This newspaper, the Daily Observer, has often complained of the seeming lack of coordination within the Liberian government.The erudite counselor and human rights activist, Tiawan Gongloe, acknowledged as much when, in an article that appeared on the back page of yesterday’s Daily Observer, he said that the absence of both President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her Vice President, Joseph N. Boakai, from the country at the same time “demonstrates a lack of coordination and makes the country vulnerable and insecure.”Those were strong words. But Cllr. Gongloe would have leveled a far stronger criticism at the government had he realized that there were two more alarming absences. Both the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alex Tyler, constitutionally the second in the line of succession after the Vice President, and the President Pro-Tempore of the Senate, Armah Jallah, are also out of the country!And who was left in charge? Well, Defense Minister Brownie Samukai, whom the President left in charge this time—an assignment to which she has appointed him on numerous occasions.But! If anything happened in Liberia, Defense Minister Samukai would not be constitutionally eligible to accede to the Presidency because after the Speaker, the next in line to the succession is the Dean of the Cabinet, who is the Foreign Minister. ButLiberia has no Foreign Minister at this time, since the resignation a few weeks ago of Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafuan in order to seek political office in the 2017 presidential and general elections. Yes, there is an Acting Foreign Minister in the person of Mr. B. Elias Shoniyin, whose Nigerian-born father, according to unconfirmed reports, is a naturalized Liberian.It may be recalled that in December 1930, when in the midst of the Fernando Po Crisis, President Charles D.B. King and his Vice President, Allen Yancy, resigned, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Johnnie N. Lewis, was away in Sinoe County.With no airplane available to transport him immediately to Monrovia, the Joint Session of Legislature decided to install Secretary of State Edwin J. Barclay as President of Liberia.In the absence of the President, Vice President, Speaker and Senate Pro-Tempore, would the Legislature feel comfortable naming the Acting Secretary of State as President of Liberia?We give this analysis to underscore the critical importance of coordination in any government. In the Executive Branch of the Liberian government, there is one particular office that is responsible for coordination, and that is the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs (MOS). This office should definitely know of the travel schedules of both the President and the Vice President, and all the key players in the Executive Branch—the Cabinet and heads and deputy heads of all state enterprises. Did the MOS know that the Vice President was traveling to the United States and how long he would be away?The MOS surely must maintain the yearly travel schedule of the President of Liberia. This schedule should be regularly updated and coordinated with that of the Vice President so as to ensure that at no time will these two top officials of government be away from the country at the same time. The reason is the matter of constitutional succession. That is what vice presidents are for—to stand by in case something happens to the President. When President E.J. Roye was assassinated in 1871, his Vice President, James Shivring Smith, succeeded him. On July 23, 1971, when President W.V.S. Tubman died in the London Clinic following prostate surgery, Vice President William R. Tolbert was sworn in as President of Liberia. V.P Tolbert had been advised not to leave the capital until it was conclusively confirmed that President Tubman’s surgery was successful. But as soon as the Vice President learned that the surgery was successfully done, he left Monrovia for his Bellefanai farm in Bong County, about 140 miles into the interior. But when later that morning things turned for the worse and President Tubman bled to death, the Vice President was immediately sent for. He arrived in Monrovia later that evening and was escorted to the Cabinet Room of the State Department (now Foreign Ministry). There, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Richard A. Henries, swore Tolbert in as President of Liberia.We think it is a dangerous thing for the President and the Vice President to be away from the country at the same time. Serious constitutional issues are involved here. This should not have happened and should never happen again. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Gattuso ‘furious’ over Europa League exit
AC Milan deserved their Europa League exit at the hands of Olympiacos, according to coach Gennaro Gattuso.Milan needed just a point to secure their progression from Group F, but crashed out thanks to a 3-1 defeat in Piraeus, with Konstantinos Fortounis’ late penalty booking Olympiacos’ passage through to the knockout stage.Cristian Zapata – whose own goal had put Milan 2-0 down following Pape Abou Cisse’s opener – had made it advantage Milan courtesy of the Rossoneri’s improved head-to-head record. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! But Ignazio Abate’s clumsy foul on Vasilis Torosidis handed Fortounis the chance to seal the win, and although Gattuso acknowledged the penalty was soft, he made no excuses, blaming Milan’s profligacy in front of goal.”We gifted the game,” Gattuso told Sky Sport Italia.”I am furious because we could’ve been stronger even than all the incidents and emerged with qualification.”We had the game in hand, but when creating eight scoring opportunities in a stadium like this and then falling apart the moment things go wrong, you deserve to go out.”We’ve shown we are still not good enough to get the game on track when we have the chance.”It’s true, there were some debatable refereeing decisions, but if you create eight chances in this atmosphere and then after the first sign of difficulty you start making stupid mistakes, it’s only right we go home, because we don’t deserve to go further.”2001 – AC Milan have been eliminated in a group stage of an European competition for the first time since 2000-01 (2nd group stage in Champions League). Incredible. #OlympiakosMilan— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) December 13, 2018Milan could have been behind inside the first 10 seconds had Miguel Angel Guerrero made better contact with a first-time effort, but missed a glut of chances before the interval.Cisse’s header handed Olympiacos the initiative, although both Patrick Cutrone and Gonzalo Higuain wasted great opportunities before Zapata’s own goal set up a grandstand finish.And Gattuso cited a lack of big-game experience as another reason for Milan’s failure.”We mustn’t allow the opponents into the game and I think at the moment that lack of experience is the main problem for us,” he added.”We’ve got to get out there with determination, with fire. “We gifted the game, there are no excuses and we have to take the responsibility. “It’s a difficult atmosphere, but that mustn’t be an excuse. We often look like we do things without much belief, as if we don’t want to hurt the opposition.”