Liberia the Republic of Liberia, is a country on the West African coast. It is bordered by Sierra Leone to its northwest, Guinea to its north, Ivory Coast to its east, the Atlantic Ocean to its south-southwest, it has a population of around 4,700,000 people. English is the official language and over 20 indigenous languages are spoken, representing the numerous ethnic groups who make up more than 95% of the population; the country's capital and largest city is Monrovia. Liberia began as a settlement of the American Colonization Society, who believed black people would face better chances for freedom and prosperity in Africa than in the United States; the country declared its independence on July 26, 1847. The U. S. did not recognize Liberia's independence until February 1862, during the American Civil War. Between January 7, 1822, the American Civil War, more than 15,000 freed and free-born black people who faced legislated limits in the U. S. and 3,198 Afro-Caribbeans, relocated to the settlement.
The black settlers carried their tradition with them to Liberia. The Liberian constitution and flag were modeled after those of the U. S. On January 3, 1848, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, a wealthy, free-born African American from Virginia who settled in Liberia, was elected as Liberia's first president after the people proclaimed independence. Liberia was the first African republic to proclaim its independence, is Africa's first and oldest modern republic. Liberia retained its independence during the Scramble for Africa. During World War II, Liberia supported the United States war efforts against Germany and in turn, the U. S. invested in considerable infrastructure in Liberia to help its war effort, which aided the country in modernizing and improving its major air transportation facilities. In addition, President William Tubman encouraged economic changes. Internationally, Liberia was a founding member of the League of Nations, United Nations, the Organisation of African Unity; the Americo-Liberian settlers did not relate well to the indigenous peoples they encountered those in communities of the more isolated "bush".
The colonial settlements were raided by the Grebo from their inland chiefdoms. Americo-Liberians developed as a small elite that held on to political power, the indigenous tribesmen were excluded from birthright citizenship in their own lands until 1904, in a repetition of the United States' treatment of Native Americans; the Americo-Liberians promoted religious organizations to set up missions and schools to educate the indigenous peoples. Political tensions from the rule of William R. Tolbert resulted in a military coup in 1980 during which Tolbert was killed, marking the beginning of years-long political instability. Five years of military rule by the People's Redemption Council and five years of civilian rule by the National Democratic Party of Liberia were followed by the First and Second Liberian Civil Wars; these resulted in the deaths of 250,000 people, the displacement of many more, shrunk Liberia's economy by 90%. A peace agreement in 2003 led to democratic elections in 2005, in which Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected President.
National infrastructure and basic social services have been impacted by previous conflict, with 83% of the population living below the international poverty line. The Pepper Coast known as the Grain Coast, has been inhabited by indigenous peoples of Africa at least as far back as the 12th century. Mende-speaking people expanded westward from the Sudan, forcing many smaller ethnic groups southward toward the Atlantic Ocean; the Dei, Kru and Kissi were some of the earliest documented peoples in the area. This influx of these groups was compounded by the decline of the Western Sudanic Mali Empire in 1375 and the Songhai Empire in 1591; the area now called Liberia was a part of the Kingdom of Koya from 1450 to 1898. As inland regions underwent desertification, inhabitants moved to the wetter coast; these new inhabitants brought skills such as cotton spinning, cloth weaving, iron smelting and sorghum cultivation, social and political institutions from the Mali and Songhai empires. Shortly after the Mane conquered the region, the Vai people of the former Mali Empire immigrated into the Grand Cape Mount County region.
The ethnic Kru opposed the influx of Vai, forming an alliance with the Mane to stop further influx of Vai. People along the coast built canoes and traded with other West Africans from Cap-Vert to the Gold Coast. Arab traders entered the region from the north, a long-established slave trade took captives to north and east Africa. Between 1461 and the late 17th century, Portuguese and British traders had contacts and trading posts in the region; the Portuguese named the area Costa da Pimenta but it came to be known as the Grain Coast, due to the abundance of melegueta pepper grains. European traders would barter goods with local people. In the United States there was a movement to resettle free-born blacks and freed slaves who faced racial discrimination in the form of political disenfranchisement and the denial of civil and social privileges in the United States. Most whites and a small cadre of black nationalists believed that blacks would face better chances for freedom in Africa than in the U.
S. The American Colonization Society was founded in 1816 in Washington, DC for this purpose by a group of prominent politicians and slaveholders, but its membership grew to include people who supported the abolition of slavery. Slaveholders wanted to get free people of color out of the South, where they were thought to threaten the stability of the slave societie
President of Liberia
The President of the Republic of Liberia is the head of state and government of Liberia. The president serves as the leader of the executive branch and as commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia. Prior to the independence of Liberia in 1847, executive power in the Commonwealth of Liberia was held by the Governor of Liberia, appointed by the American Colonization Society; the 1847 Constitution transferred the executive powers of the governorship to the presidency, modeled on the presidency of the United States. Between 1847 and 1980, the presidency was held by Americo-Liberians, the original American settlers of Liberia and their descendants; the original two-party system, with the Republican Party and the True Whig Party, ended in 1878, when the election of Anthony W. Gardiner marked the beginning of 102 years of single-party rule by the True Whigs. Following a coup d'état by disgruntled army officers led by Samuel Doe in 1980, the presidency was vacated until the election of Doe in the 1985 general election.
After the overthrow and murder of Doe in 1990, the presidency was again vacated for seven years during the First Liberian Civil War and again for two years following the conclusion of the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. Under the 1986 Constitution, the president is directly elected by eligible voters to a six-year term, which may be renewed once. Overall, 25 individuals have served as president, including Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first elected female head of state in Africa. On January 22, 2018, George Weah was sworn in as the current president of Liberia. Following the establishment of the Commonwealth of Liberia in 1838, executive power was vested in the Governor of Liberia, appointed and served at the pleasure of the American Colonization Society; the first governor, Thomas Buchanan, served from 1838 until his death in 1841. He was succeeded by the first black governor of Liberia. Upon independence in 1847, Roberts was elected as the first president of Liberia; the 1847 Constitution denied suffrage to the indigenous population by requiring voters to own real estate.
As a result, the presidency was held by Americo-Liberians until 1980, when a military coup led by Samuel Doe, an ethnic Krahn and murdered President William Tolbert The presidency was vacant from 1980 to 1986, with executive power held by Doe as the head of the People's Redemption Council. Doe was elected president in the 1985 general election, making him the first president outside of the Americo-Liberian elite. Doe was overthrown and murdered in 1990 following the commencement First Liberian Civil War, during which the presidency remained vacant. Following the 1997 general election, Charles Taylor held the presidency until his resignation on August 11, 2003 as part of a peace deal to end the Second Liberian Civil War, his successor, Moses Blah, ceded executive power on October 13 of that year to Gyude Bryant, the Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia. The presidency was resumed on January 16, 2006 following the 2005 election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as the first female president.
George Weah was elected in 2017 as the 23rd President of Liberia. Incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf signed Executive Order No. 91, thus establishing a Joint Presidential Transition Team, due to the fact that Liberia had "not experienced the transfer of power from one democratically elected President to another democratically elected President for over 70 years ". The presidency of Liberia is modeled on the presidency of the United States; the 1986 Constitution gives the president the power to appoint all cabinet ministers, ambassadors, county officials and military officers with the advice and consent of the Senate. Additionally, the president has the power to dismiss all appointees from office at his or her discretion; the president may grant pardons or revoke sentences and fines. The president conducts all matters of foreign policy, though any treaties or international agreements must be ratified by both houses of the Legislature. Furthermore, the president serves as the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia.
The Constitution grants the president the power to declare a state of emergency during times of war or civil unrest and suspend civil liberties during the emergency as necessary, with the exception of habeas corpus. Within seven days of the declaration, the president must state to the Legislature the reasons for the declaration, which both houses must approve by a two-thirds majority. Otherwise, the president must repeal the state of emergency; the president must sign all legislation passed by the House of Representatives and Senate. The president may choose to veto any legislation, which may be overturned by a two-thirds majority in both houses. Additionally, the president may exercise a pocket veto by refusing to sign legislation when the end of the twenty-day deadline for signing the bill falls during a recess of the legislature; the president may extend a legislative session past its adjournment date or call a special extraordinary session when he or she deems it necessary in the national interest.
The president must give an annual report to the Legislature on the state of the country. To be eligible for office under the current Constitution, a presidential candidate must: be a natural born citizen of Liberia. Additionally, the president may not be from the same county as the Vice President of Liberia. Under the original 1847 Constitution, the president was elected to a two
Charles Taylor (Liberian politician)
Charles McArthur Ghankay Taylor is a Liberian war criminal and former politician who served as the 22nd President of Liberia from 2 August 1997 until his resignation on 11 August 2003. Born in Arthington, Montserrado County, Taylor earned a degree at Bentley College in the United States before returning to Liberia to work in the government of Samuel Doe. After being removed for embezzlement, he arrived in Libya, where he was trained as a guerrilla fighter, he returned to Liberia in 1989 as the head of a Libyan-backed rebel group, the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, to overthrow the Doe government, initiating the First Liberian Civil War. Following Doe's execution, Taylor gained control of a large portion of the country and became one of the most prominent warlords in Africa. Following a peace deal that ended the war, Taylor was elected president in the 1997 general election. During his term of office, Taylor was accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity as a result of his involvement in the Sierra Leone Civil War.
Domestically, opposition to his government grew, culminating in the outbreak of the Second Liberian Civil War. By 2003, Taylor had lost control of much of the countryside and was formally indicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone; that year, he resigned, as a result of growing international pressure, went into exile in Nigeria. In 2006, the newly elected President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, formally requested his extradition, he was detained by UN authorities in Sierra Leone and at the Penitentiary Institution Haaglanden in The Hague, awaiting trial by the Special Court. He was found guilty in April 2012 of all eleven charges levied by the Special Court, including terror and rape. In May 2012, Taylor was sentenced to 50 years in prison. Reading the sentencing statement, Presiding Judge Richard Lussick said: "The accused has been found responsible for aiding and abetting as well as planning some of the most heinous and brutal crimes in recorded human history." Taylor was born in Arthington, a town near the capital of Monrovia, Liberia, on 28 January 1948, to Nelson and Bernice Taylor.
He attended The Newman School in his early years. He took the name "Ghankay" on to please and gain favor with indigenous Liberians, his mother was a member of the Gola ethnic group, part of the 95% of the people who are indigenous to Liberia. According to most reports, his father was an Americo-Liberian who worked as a teacher, sharecropper and judge. In 1977, Taylor earned a degree at Bentley University in Waltham, United States. Taylor supported the 12 April 1980 coup led by Samuel Doe, which resulted in the murder of President William R. Tolbert Jr. and seizure of power by Doe. Taylor was appointed to the position of Director General of the General Services Agency, a position that left him in charge of purchasing for the Liberian government, he was sacked in May 1983 for embezzling an estimated $1,000,000 and sending the funds to an American bank account. Taylor fled to the United States but was arrested on 21 May 1984 by two US Deputy Marshals in Somerville, Massachusetts, on a warrant for extradition to face charges of embezzling $1 million of government funds while the GSA boss.
Citing a fear of assassination by Liberian agents, Taylor fought extradition from the safety of jail with the help of a legal team led by former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark. His lawyers' primary arguments before US District Magistrate Robert J. DeGiacomo stated that his alleged acts of lawbreaking in Liberia were political rather than criminal in nature and that the extradition treaty between the two republics had lapsed. In response, Assistant United States Attorney Richard G. Stearns argued that Liberia wished to charge Taylor with theft in office, rather than with political crimes, that any international political decisions that could hold up the trial should be made only by the US State Department. Stearns' arguments were reinforced by Liberian Justice Minister Jenkins Scott, who flew to the United States to testify at the proceedings. While awaiting the conclusion of the extradition hearing, Taylor was detained in the Plymouth County Correctional Facility. On 15 September 1985, four other inmates escaped from the jail.
Two days The Boston Globe reported that they sawed through a bar covering a window in a dormitory room, after which they lowered themselves 20 feet on knotted sheets and escaped into nearby woods by climbing a fence. Shortly thereafter and two other escapees were met at nearby Jordan Hospital by Taylor's wife and Taylor's sister-in-law, Lucia Holmes Toweh, they drove a getaway car to Staten Island in New York. All four of Taylor's fellow escapees, as well as Enid and Toweh, were apprehended. In July 2009, Taylor claimed at his trial that US CIA agents had helped him escape from the maximum security prison in Boston in 1985; this was during his trial by the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague. The US Defense Intelligence Agency confirmed that Taylor first started working with US intelligence in the 1980s but refused to give details of his role or US actions, citing national security. Taylor escaped undetected from the United States and shortly thereafter it is believed that he reached Libya.
He took part in guerrilla training under Muammar Gaddafi, becoming Gaddafi's protégé. He left Libya and traveled to the Ivory Coast, where he founded the National Patriotic Front of Liberia. In December 1989, Taylor launched a Gaddafi-funded armed uprising from the Ivory Coast into Liberia to overthrow the Doe regime, leading to the First Liberian Civil War. By 1990, his forces soon controlled most of th
The New Zealand Herald
The New Zealand Herald is a daily newspaper published in Auckland, New Zealand, owned by New Zealand Media and Entertainment. It has the largest newspaper circulation of all newspapers in New Zealand, peaking at over 200,000 copies in 2006, although circulation of the daily Herald had declined to 115,213 copies on average by December 2017, its main circulation area is the Auckland region. It is delivered to much of the north of the North Island including Northland and King Country; the New Zealand Herald was founded by William Chisholm Wilson, first published on 13 November 1863. Wilson had been a partner with John Williamson in the New Zealander, but left to start a rival daily newspaper as he saw a business opportunity with Auckland's growing population, he had split with Williamson because Wilson supported the war against the Māori while Williamson opposed it. The Herald promoted a more constructive relationship between the North and South Islands. After the New Zealander closed in 1866 The Daily Southern Cross provided competition after Julius Vogel took a majority shareholding in 1868.
The Daily Southern Cross was first published in 1843 by William Brown as The Southern Cross and had been a daily since 1862. Vogel sold out of the paper in 1873 and Alfred Horton bought it in 1876. In 1876 the Wilson family and Horton joined in partnership and The New Zealand Herald absorbed The Daily Southern Cross. In 1879 the United Press Association was formed so that the main daily papers could share news stories; the organisation became the New Zealand Press Association in 1942. In 1892, the New Zealand Herald, Otago Daily Times, Press agreed to share the costs of a London correspondent and advertising salesman; the New Zealand Press Association closed in 2011. The Wilson and Horton families were both represented in the company, known as Wilson & Horton, until 1996 when Tony O'Reilly's Independent News & Media Group of Dublin purchased the Horton family's interest in the company; the Herald is now owned by Entertainment. That company is owned by Sydney-based APN News & Media and the Radio Network, owned by the Australian Radio Network.
Dita de Boni was a columnist for the newspaper, writing her first columns for the NZ Herald in 1995. From 2012 - 2015 she wrote a business and politics column until – after a series of articles critical of the Key government – the Herald discontinued her column for financial reasons. Gordon Minhinnick was a staff cartoonist from the 1930s until his retirement in the 1980s. Malcolm Evans was fired from his position as staff cartoonist in 2003 after the newspaper received complaints about his cartoons on the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Laurence Clark was the daily political cartoonist from 1987 to 1996, continued to publish cartoons weekly in the Herald until 2000. On 10 September 2012, the Herald moved to a compact format for weekday editions, after 150 years publishing in broadsheet format; the broadsheet format was retained for the Saturday edition. In April 2007, APN NZ announced it was outsourcing the bulk of the Herald's copy editing to an Australian-owned company, Pagemasters.
In November 2012, two months after the launch of its new compact format, APN News and Media announced it would be restructuring its workforce, cutting eight senior roles from across the Herald's range of titles. The Herald is traditionally a centre-right newspaper, was given the nickname "Granny Herald" into the 1990s; this changed with the acquisition of the paper by Independent News & Media in 1996, today, despite remaining free enterprise oriented on economic matters such as trade and foreign investment, the Herald is editorially progressive on international geopolitics and military matters, printing material from British newspapers such as The Independent and The Observer but more conservative newspapers such as The Daily Telegraph. It regularly reprints syndicated material from the and politically conservative, right-wing British tabloid the Daily Mail; the Herald's stance on the Middle East is supportive of Israel, as seen most in its 2003 censorship and dismissal of cartoonist Malcolm Evans following his submission of cartoons critical of Israel.
On domestic matters, editorial opinion is centrist supporting conservative values. In 2007, an editorial disapproved of some legislation introduced by the Labour-led government, the Electoral Finance Act, to the point of overtly campaigning against the legislation. In July 2015, the New Zealand Press Council ruled that Herald columnist Rachel Glucina had failed to properly represent herself as a journalist when seeking comment from Amanda Bailey on a complaint she had made about Prime Minister John Key pulling her hair when he was a customer at the cafe in which she worked; the Herald published Bailey's name and comments after she had retracted permission for Glucina to do so. The council said there was an “element of subterfuge” in Glucina's actions and that there was not enough public interest to justify her behaviour. In its ruling the council said that, “The NZ Herald has fallen sadly short of those standards in this case.” The Herald's editor denied the accusations of subterfuge. Glucina subsequently resigned from the newspaper.
In 1998 the Weekend Herald was set up as a separate title and the newspaper's website was launched. A compact-sized Sunday edition, the Herald on Sunday, was first published on 3 October 2004 under the editorship of Suzanne Chetwin and for five years, by Shayne Currie, it won Newspaper of the Year for the calendar years 2007 and 2009 and is New Zealand's second-highest-circulating weekly newspaper after the more established and conservative broadshee