The venerable Marco Benevento has released his 7-song live Woodstock Sessions EP via Royal Potato Family and Woodstock Sessions today. The session was recorded in one take at Applehead Recording studio in Woodstock, NY in front of a live audience. Benevento, along with bassist Karina Rykman and drummer Andy Borger, performed a set that spanned the keyboardist’s entire solo catalog.The set starts off with three songs from his most recent studio album, The Story of Fred Short, including “Dropkick,” which sounds like a 50’s pop rock tune that could be heard on an old-school diner jukebox over a cheeseburger and some soda pop. The 22-minute opus “The Story of Fred Short” is a futuristic indie-sounding number, cut into various sections, that bears witness to a wild build segment of jamming from the trio, before making its way into a dance-inspired finale.“Bus Ride” from 2008’s Invisible Baby makes an appearance in the set with some heavy synth work from Benevento on keys, showcasing his masterful skills. He beseeches the crowd to “Make some noise….now or never” as the group goes into the 2014 track “At The Show” from Swift; never a boring moment at a live Benevento show. “Greenpoint” from 2010’s Between The Needles & Nightfall brings the album to a resounding close, finding some beautiful interplay between each member of the group. As always, Benevento and company take you on an incredible journey, and the Woodstock Sessions EP is keeps in that tradition.The album is currently streaming in full on Spotify, and you can take a listen below:
Bright green grass across the fields, lawns and roadsides of northern and central Georgia is making those parts of the state look more like Ireland than a typical Georgia in February. Copious rain, coupled with periods of much warmer-than-normal temperatures, is waking up plants early and causing them to green up.The National Phenological Network says that Georgia is almost three weeks ahead of usual in signs of spring.Rainfall across northern and central parts of Georgia has been much above normal, with some areas receiving more than 7 inches of rainfall so far in February. Parts of the northeast mountains have received almost a foot of rain this month, including some melted water from snow.With the average precipitation for the month ranging from about 4.5 inches in most areas to 6.5 inches in the mountains, February has already surpassed the monthly average rain total at many locations.Many University of Georgia weather stations are experiencing their top five wettest Februaries on record, including Athens (first), Atlanta (third), Macon (fourth), and Columbus (fifth). These stations are also recording winter precipitation amounts in the top five highest. Athens is rated as highest ever, with Augusta, Columbus and Macon the third wettest, and Atlanta the fifth wettest winter to date. This is likely to make the winter season — November through February — one of the wettest on record for Georgia.By comparison, parts of southern Georgia are fairly dry, with rainfall amounts of less than four inches along the Coastal Plains. The southeast coast has been the driest part of the state, with Savannah reporting 2.9 inches and Brunswick receiving only 1.64 inches for February so far.Abnormally dry conditions have persisted in this area through the winter with the storm track stuck farther to the north and currently only a tiny area of the state in designated drought, according to the Drought Monitor.Due to the heavy rain conditions, many streams are flooding and standing water can be seen in many fields and ditches. Lake Lanier reached its highest level since 1964, and UGA soil sensors at the Gainesville station near the shore are currently underwater, as the lake has covered the ground beneath the station.Streams are overflowing their banks in many watersheds. A few small dams have been overtopped from all the rain in that region as well.Moderate rain is expected for the next week, with the heaviest amounts anticipated for southwestern Georgia, where it may alleviate some of the dry conditions there.In March, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center predicts that average temperatures will likely be colder than average, with wet conditions most likely in the southern half of Georgia. Continued wet conditions are predicted to persist through May, while temperatures are most likely to be warmer than usual.To view weather data from UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ automated weather stations, go to www.GeorgiaWeather.net.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) Executive Committee reportedly will meet in Accra on September 23, 2017 – to ratify decisions on host for the 2018 Total African Nations Championship (CHAN).Recently, speculations have been rife that the biennial football tournament could be taken away from Kenya due to the slow-pace work being carried out, with Morocco favored as replacement.Rwanda hosted the last edition in 2016 won by DR Congo who unfortunately failed to qualify for next year’s edition for the first time ever after losing to Congo on away goals rule.Teams who qualified for the CHAN 2018: Uganda, Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, Congo, Cameroon, Mauritania, Guinea, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Angola, Namibia, Zambia, Morocco, and Libya.CHAN 2018 is scheduled to take place between 12 January and 4 February 2018.Related
In a spirit of respect and support, the Center’s observation mission identified several areas where steps can be taken to improve the conduct of future elections in Liberia, including promotion of the Political Rights of Participation of Women, Youth, Persons with Disabilities, LGBTI, and Ethnic and Religious MinoritiesOne of the five justices of the Supreme Court of Liberia, on Friday, November 28, issued a “stay order” on the holding of the Special Senatorial Elections, pending a hearing by the full bench into a lawsuit filed against the National Elections Commission (NEC) by some political parties. The stay order includes all campaign activities.The Associate Justice Presiding in Chamber, Cllr. Philip A. Z. Banks’ decision was the result of a petition to halt any other proceedings on the part of NEC, because the ongoing electioneering process is a threat to public health against the spread and transmission of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).The lawsuit against NEC was jointly filed by several institutions and individuals including the Concerned Group of Eminent Citizens, the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) and Leaders of Political Parties. Others were the Civil Society Organizations by and thru its Spokespersons Blamoh Nelson and J. Emmanuel Z. Bowier, John Ballon, Milton and Nathaniel Barnes.Justice Banks did not say how soon the full bench would hear the matter and make its final determination, but NEC now has four days from the date the stay order was issued, to present its case to the Supreme Court as to why the elections should continue as planned.The Supreme Court will then decide whether or not to endorse Associate Justice Banks’ ruling, which could cause the election date to be further postponed if Banks’ ruling stands.A key concern among many is what becomes of the expenses undertaken by candidates, political parties and the NEC.The Chamber Justice’s decision coincided with the launching of the campaign of Amb. George Manneh Weah, standard bearer and Montserrado County senatorial candidate for the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC). The CDC campaign launch drew tens of thousands of people in a parade through Monrovia which literally brought the city to a standstill.According to the Justice in Chamber, the senatorial election which is scheduled for December 16, must be suspended pending hearing by the full bench of the Supreme Court, after listening to arguments.Justifying his action, Justice Banks said, he did it in accordance with the law, but clarified that the entire full bench would determine the next step, including whether the election process should be postponed in the midst of Ebola or if the NEC has put into place necessary preventive measure to stop the spread and transmission of the deadly virus.He was quick to point out that there is no Supreme Court justice can single-handedly determine the matter, adding, “Because it involves [a] constitutional issue, which required the full participation of the five justices of the High Court.”“The decision has to be made by the full bench to provide finality to this constitutional dispute and to ensure a lawful election,” Associate Justice Banks wrote in Friday’s decision.He also instructed the NEC to file all necessary legal documents supporting its legibility to hold the special senatorial elections within the period of four days.Election officials met Saturday to determine the next steps and asked attorneys for clarification on the Supreme Court order, including whether the entire special election which political parties and independent candidates have plunged themselves into making huge financial expenditure should be postponed or just campaign activities.In their complaint to the High Court, the lawyers based their argument on the proclamation made by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf regarding the protection of public health against the spread and transmission of the Ebola Virus Disease.“As the sole reason for suspending the voting rights of the Liberian people… the virus continues to threaten public health,” emphasizing that “the ongoing election activities represent a significant act of the complacency and a serious denial by Ministry of Justice (MOJ) that Ebola is invisible, that it is real that it has no cure… that it has killed and continues to kill thousands of Liberians; and could kill even more if such mass-based activities such as an election are allowed.”They further argued that the legal way to address the default of Article 83 (a) and to, at the same time, protect public health against the risk of spreading and transmitting the Ebola Virus Disease, (EVD), and the legitimacy of the tenure of the administration, is to revert to Article -1, “whereby a cross-representative forum of political parties and civil society organizations with legal and national character can be convened by the President, with the approval of the Legislature to set a suitable date for the conduct of the Special Senatorial Election,” concluding “while, at the same time protecting the Administration from losing its legitimacy over the issue of the Article 83(a). “Article -1 of the 1986 Constitution acknowledges and affirms that “All power is inherent in the People In order to ensure democratic government which responds to the wishes of the governed, the people shall have the right at such period, and in such manner as provided for under this Constitution to cause their public servants to leave office and to fill vacancies by regular elections and appointments.”It can be recalled that on October 1, 2014, the President wrote the legislature requesting approval to restrict, suspend and re-phrase the language of several provisions of the 1986 Constitution relating to the “…fundamental rights of Liberian citizens” as provided for under Articles 1, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, and 24Three days later, on October 4, 2014, the President issued a Proclamation stating that National Elections Commission (NEC) had “informed the government that it (NEC ) had been unable to undertake several of the processes that are prerequisites to conducting the pending 2014 Senatorial elections, including: the deployment of staff in the field to conduct civic/voter education; the recruitment and deployment of the required polling staff at polling centers; the importation of basic, essential and sensitive electoral material.”She added that, “due to the suspension of flights to Liberia, the requisite campaigning of senatorial candidates and the monitoring of the process and activities by the NEC to ensure that there are no violations of the Elections Law and that violations are adequately addressed… the government is convinced that the condition of elections in this period of the Ebola Virus crisis would not only be inimical to the nation and to its people, but would create greater problems for the stability of the nation and a lack of credibility in the result of such elections by the people and the international community under the current crisis situation.” Concluding the Proclamation, the President ordered and declared “the October 14, 2014 Senatorial Elections and all the voting rights associated therewith and connected thereto are hereby declared suspended.”Nine days after promulgation of the Proclamation, the Legislature, on October 13, 2014, passed a Joint Resolution #002/2014 approving the President’s order suspending the October 14, 2014 Senatorial election and, at the same time, directing the NEC to “immediately commence consultations and discussions with all recognized and accredited political parties, independent candidates, civil society organizations and other stakeholders, as well as national and international health authorities on a new date for the holding of the Senatorial election for 2014; not later than December 20, 2014, pending the approval of the Legislature.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)