On the re-opening of SLPP Office … “We would never encourage violence” John Benjamin...

Sierra Leone News: Africa Notebook

Remember the days when one would toss the odd coin to the pavement musician in Western Europe and the United States as he asked, “please sir, can you spare a dime?” Now, times are so hard that there’s no spare coins when you’re in these places. Delegates including scores from African countries were confronted with how to square up money in the 22nd Annual Conference of the Development Bank for Latin America, the InterAmerican Dialogue and the Organisation of American States in ever busy Washington. Though the African delegates were there as observers, the issues discussed and debated had far reaching implications for both continents. Correspondents in an analysis noted that the conference has grown to be the primary forum for policy makers, journalists, governments and international organizations, entrepreneurship, investors and civil society representatives to review financial programs in the Western Hemisphere and address pending challenges. Topics included 21st Century challenges to a free press and politics beyond the short term of chaotic economic swings. Ever taken a minute or two to think of which is the most stolen cars in the US? Released figures between 1997 and 2017 showed the Honda Accord with 50,427 topping the list in 1997 and in the following year Honda Civic, 49,547. In 2015, 12,221 Nissan Altima and 11,989 Toyota Corollas were stolen while in 2016, 16,732 Toyota Camrys were lost. Christmas may be some months away but the merriment started awhile back with shaggy dancing in the streets of Washington. Observers described the dance as a new viral trend that people of all ages jumping from moving vehicles and dancing to rap music. Some participants are just passengers while others go to the extreme to put their cars in neutral gears and video themselves getting out and dancing to a song. Law officials have condemned the act and warned of severe court fines or imprisonment. Many believed it will fizzle out before Christmas as many of these crazes come and go. Caffeine remains the most commonly used psychoactive drug in the world  – for good reason. It wakes us up, helps us stay on task and provides an extra energy boost. Most people in America and Europe get their caffeine fix from coffee. But people often worry that they should limit their coffee consumption or cut it out completely. It is possible to over do it on caffeine as many heavy coffee drinkers surpass the recommended limit of 400mg of caffeine per day and that can cause insomnia, restlessness or a fast heartbeat, especially if consumed too fast. Well, not to worry that much as a new report on the world’s oldest drink said it’s ok to gulp as many cuppa in a climate that is temperate. It keeps the brain active and in motion than any stimulant, part of the report suggested. Considered to be one of the world’s most valuable international commodities, the coffee bean represents billions of dollars in annual commercial traffic. The most romantic tale of intrigue belongs to one Francisco de Melo Palherta. In 1727, the Viceroy of Brazil dispatched him on a diplomatic mission to neighboring French Guyana. His real purpose though was to make off with French Guyana’s closely guarded coffee beans. He succeeded by wooing the French Governor’s wife, who presented him with a bouquet in which she had hidden seeds. From that modest beginning, Brazil became the largest grower of coffee beans, supplying one third of the world’s consumption. According to a Turkish proverb: Coffee should be black as hell and sweet as love. Thought for the week: Leaders must be seen to be up front, up to date, up to their job and up early in the morning.


By Rod Mac-Johnson

Wednesday October 31, 2018.

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