Stacey Abrams draws credit and praise as Biden inches ahead in Georgia.

first_imgStacey Abrams, who earlier this year was on a short list of potential vice-presidential candidates, was ultimately not chosen by Joseph R. Biden Jr. But on Friday, as Mr. Biden took a narrow lead in Georgia, it was Ms. Abrams who was celebrated, a sign of her remarkable ascent as a power broker since her failed bid for governor of that state two years ago.Celebrities, activists and voters across Georgia credited Ms. Abrams with moving past her loss — she came within 55,000 votes of the governor’s mansion — and building a well-funded network of organizations that highlighted voter suppression in the state and inspired an estimated 800,000 residents to register to vote.- Advertisement – Still, Democrats in the state were jubilant.- Advertisement – “You have to build the infrastructure to organize and motivate your base, and you have to persuade people,” said Jason Carter, a Democrat who was the party’s candidate for governor in 2014. “Stacey built that infrastructure, and Donald Trump’s presidency energized that infrastructure, and it opened up voters to persuasion who were previously not open, particularly in the suburbs.”Mr. Biden pulled ahead of President Trump in Georgia, a state that has not elected a Democratic presidential candidate in nearly three decades, and maintained a slight lead throughout Friday. He was up about 4,100 votes Friday evening with more than 98 percent of the ballots counted. Because of the small margin, the secretary of state confirmed there would be a recount. Ms. Abrams declined to comment on Friday. But in a tweet, she wrote, “My heart is full.” And she cited the work of other activists. “Georgia, let’s shout out those who’ve been in the trenches and deserve the plaudits for change.”If Mr. Biden holds onto his slim lead in Georgia, her profile is likely to grow. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Brandon Figueroa vows to expand his profile with each fight en route to world title shot

first_imgFrom that point onward, Figueroa gained confidence and skills with each fight, developing into the promising, high-volume puncher he is today.A big win Saturday night would only add to that promise — not to mention, push his name up the list for a world title shot.”For right now, I don’t know, but hopefully it comes after this fight,” Figueroa said of getting that coveted shot. “So, for that being said, obviously every fight is a step toward the title. I can’t wait for the opportunity.” Brandon Figueroa’s name might not register among fight fans as quickly as a Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia, Devin Haney or Teofimo Lopez — to name a few — when it comes to rising boxers 25 and under.It’s not that he doesn’t have the sweet science skills. His 19-0 pro record spells that he certainly does. It’s more to do with the fact he’s comfortable being low-key. “I’m really more behind the scenes,” Figueroa told Sporting News. “I’d rather just stay in the dark and put in my work. When it’s time to shine, I shine. I guess everyone is just different. I guess I’m just a little bit more conserved with my stuff and my personal life.”Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearThat’s not to say he isn’t working to come out of his shell.“I definitely believe I need to take advantage of social media,” he said, currently counting nearly 6,400 followers on Instagram — a number that is bound to grow. “I’m slowly learning the ropes. I’ve always been a shy kid, but I know what I have to do and I have to market myself a little bit better and a little bit more. But with every fight that goes on, I’m trying to get rid of that (shyness).”What he hasn’t been sharing on social media, Figueroa more than makes up for in the ring, where his personality pops with each punch and performance. The 22-year-old will have a chance to bolster his profile, perhaps inching closer to a world title shot on Saturday, when he faces Javier Chacon (29-4-1, 9 KOs) on the nationally televised “PBC Fight Night” on Fox Sports 1.Plus, the fight will take place at the Bert Ogden Arena in Edinburg, Texas, in Figueroa’s Rio Grande Valley backyard. Figueroa has fought in the area before, but this marks the biggest stage — and as a headliner.“It’s a big opportunity to create a bigger fan base here in my hometown and definitely give a good fight at the same time and also a stepping stone toward a title fight,” Figueroa said. The last time Figueroa was in action, April 20 at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif., he battered Yonfrez Parejo into quitting to become the WBA interim super bantamweight champion.That night, he shared the same “PBC on FOX” card with Andy Ruiz Jr., who made Alexander Dimitrenko quit on his stool. That performance — and Jarrell Miller’s subsequent failed drug tests — served as a springboard for Ruiz to shock Anthony Joshua and the world via a stunning seventh-round TKO on June 1. With the win, he became the first Mexican heavyweight champion of the world.So, who’s to say that the next nationally televised PBC card can’t be a launching pad for Figueroa, too?Already an interim champion, Figueroa could land a title shot against WBA/IBF champ Daniel Roman (27-2-1, 10 KOs) with a convincing win over Chacon, although he’d be happy to face WBC titleholder Rey Vargas or WBO champion Emanuel Navarrete as well.“I’ve been wanting to get that fight (against Roman) lined up, but at this point, I’m taking it a fight at a time,” Figueroa said, “and whatever Al Haymon and my team decides to do, that’s what I’m going to do next.”MORE: Joshua-Ruiz in Saudi Arabia can change boxing forever, says Eddie HearnOf course, handling Chacon is first in line. The 38-year-old veteran has nearly double the pro experience of Figueroa. He’ll try to leverage that savvy to avoid becoming Figueroa’s 15th knockout victim in 20 fights.Brandon Figueroa’s father and trainer, Omar Figueroa Sr., will be in his corner as usual, as will his older brother and former world lightweight champion Omar Figueroa Jr. It’s because of those two that Brandon even took up boxing.Figueroa says his father forced the sport on him as a kid. He’d scrap with his brother, eventually falling in love with the sweet science. He later came to the realization during high school that he was better off boxing than playing sports more typical of his age group.“It was my sophomore year … I remember I had my own little revelation,” Figueroa said. “I was in basketball, swimming and baseball and I knew I wasn’t going to be good in basketball because the tallest I could grow up to be was 5-9. Baseball — I didn’t really like baseball. I was just doing it to be cool.“That’s when I told myself, ‘You know what? I’m just wasting my time with these sports that I’m not going to amount anything into,’” he continues. “That’s when I dedicated all my time into boxing.”Figueora had already earned his boxing nickname prior to that revelation, however. He earned it while tagging along with his dad and brother during Omar Jr.’s amateur fights in Mexico: “The Heartbreaker.”“Every time I went to the arena, there were little girls, I guess, gushing over me like ‘Oh my gosh! The Heartbreaker is here!’ But in Spanish,” he says. “It’s rare to see a white-complexion kid with black hair and blue, blue eyes, so to them it was kind of like new to them, so they were starstruck when they saw me. Ever since then, my dad started calling me that from then on.”last_img read more

Sarajevo: Footballers Travelled to Haugesund

first_imgThe players of the football club Sarajevo are travelling today to the Norwegian city of Haugesund. Tomorrow, they will play rematch meet of the second qualifying round of the Europa League. Even though the first match was lost, the representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina at that meeting showed that Sarajevo was a better team and that it is certain that players chosen by Dženan Uščuplić can achieve the desired result in Norway.“We have made a complete analysis of the match against Haugesund on some points. Players want to achieve a good result in Norway” – said Uščuplić.Rematch meeting between Haugesund and Sarajevo will be played on Thursday, 24th  July, in the FK Haugesund starting at 18:00 o’clock.(Source: Fena)last_img read more

Carter Center: “Grant Non-Negro Citizenship, Gay Rights”

first_imgIn 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 MinoritiesAmong other recommendations for election reform in LiberiaThe Carter Center (TCC) on Monday, December 10, released the final report from its observation mission of Liberia’s 2017 elections, outlining key findings and offering recommendations for reform to strengthen the country’s electoral process.TCC’s international election observation reflects the Center’s long-term commitment to support democratic development and improve health in the country. The Center plans to remain engaged in Liberia, working with the current government, civil society organizations, the Liberian National Police, and community leaders to advance access to justice, access to information, and mental health.Liberia’s 2017 presidential and House of Representatives elections were a historic milestone for the country, demonstrating Liberians’ commitment to peace and democratic development. The first round of elections on October 10 was orderly and transparent, despite long lines in some polling places, particularly in urban areas.The electoral dispute-resolution process that followed the first round of voting posed an important test of Liberia’s resilience. While the fundamental rights of justice and access to an effective remedy were broadly respected, elements of Liberia’s electoral dispute-resolution system should be reviewed to avoid the potential for constitutional crises in the future. The presidential run-off election that took place on Dec. 26 was technically sound and demonstrated some improvements over the first round, including identification of voter’s polling places and a more efficient tabulation process.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 the country, including promotion of the Political Rights of Participation of Women, Youth, Persons with Disabilities, LGBTI, and Ethnic and Religious Minorities.Women’s political participation. The failure of Liberia’s legal framework and electoral process to bring women’s political participation in line with the country’s international commitments is one of the greatest weaknesses of Liberia’s democracy. Liberia’s legislature, electoral authorities, and other stakeholders should consider a range of steps to increase women’s participation in public affairs, including passing legislation to promote women’s political participation, increasing the number of women working in the administration of elections, waiving fees for female candidates, granting female candidates access to the media, and continuing to collect data on gender and minority representation (including continued use of the gender data capture sheet).Political participation of minorities. In light of Liberia’s commitment under Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to ensure that no ethnic or religious groups are excluded from political participation, the Liberian constitution should continue to protect religious freedom and should not be weakened, including by amendments that would identify a preferred faith.Removal of race-based citizenship. In future efforts on constitutional reform, consideration should be given to removing the race-based citizenship requirements.Removal of criminalization of homosexuality and LGBTI political participation. In light of Liberia’s international commitments for non-discrimination, homosexual acts should be decriminalized and legislation should be brought in line with international commitments for equal opportunities.The right to stand for election: property ownership, residency, and mental health. The qualifications for serving as a candidate that are listed in in Liberia’s constitution should be reviewed to determine whether they are overly restrictive and inconsistent with the ICCPR, including requirements of property ownership and references to mental health. Limitations on the right to stand for elections based on property ownership particularly impact women, as the legal framework does not guarantee spouses the right to joint ownership of property.Review candidate registration requirements and fees. Liberia should review candidate registration requirements and fees to ensure that political participation rights are respected, and should remove onerous registration requirements for independent candidates.Electoral Dispute Resolution: Right to Due Process and a Fair Trial Review EDR system. Consideration should be given to ways to strengthen electoral dispute resolution in Liberia. The strengths and weaknesses of an electoral court system should also be considered.Review EDR time frames. Legislative reform of the time frames for elections is needed to avoid the potential for constitutional crisis that became apparent during the 2017 electoral process. The timeframes for the electoral dispute-resolution process should be well-synched with other areas of law, including the expiration of terms and the swearing-in of newly elected leaders.Establishment of EDR procedures for pre-election complaints. The dispute-resolution process for pre-election complaints should be clarified, and specific time frames established. The National Election Commission (NEC) should ensure that all complaints and appeals about candidate registration are adjudicated prior to the start of the campaign period so that the right to due process and appeal does not negatively impact the right to participate in public affairs.Requirement that disputes regarding election results clearly demonstrate impact on results. In line with international best practice, the legal framework for the resolution of election disputes should consistently require that disputes requesting an annulment of election results clearly demonstrate that the alleged improprieties could have changed the outcome of the election. While the current election law (chapter six) does suggest that only complaints that demonstrate a possible effect on election results should be filed, this standard was not consistently implemented and should be strengthened in future legal reform.Election AdministrationPolitical participation of persons with disabilities. To facilitate participation of persons with disabilities, the NEC should increase access to polling precincts through the use of temporary measures, including ramps and other devices that effectively enable access. In addition, election officials should increase voter awareness of the availability of physical accommodations and the tactile ballot, and train poll workers to proactively offer the tactile ballot to visually impaired voters.IPCC. The Intra-Party Consultative Committee played a positive role building a relationship between the political parties and the NEC. This forum should be maintained outside the election cycle, and where possible, replicated at the county level through the magistrate offices.NEC media strategy. To enhance public confidence in the election administration, the NEC’s communication strategy should include greater efforts to inform citizens of NEC actions. Substantive meetings of the commission should be open to the public and agendas and decisions posted online.Training. To improve the consistent application of rules and procedures and ensure that all voters are treated equally and all votes counted in a consistent manner, training materials should be developed well in advance of election day and distributed to the magistrates, including for any run-off elections. Magistrates should be trained on all key aspects of the process, including tabulation.Boundary delimitation and equal suffrage. To ensure respect for the equality of the vote, constituency boundaries should be redrawn to minimize the deviations in constituency size and reflect the current demographics of the country.Timing of elections. Consideration should be given to moving the election date out of the rainy season, which would require a constitutional amendment. When reviewing the timing of elections, consideration should also be given to the time frames necessary to complete any dispute resolution processes in time to meet deadlines for the inauguration of newly elected leaders.Voter RegistrationRight to vote for youth, pre-trial detainees, and the hospitalized. Procedures to extend voter registration to persons turning 18 between the end of voter registration period and election day, as well as to pre-trial detainees and the hospitalized, should be established in order to prevent unlawful disenfranchisement of persons eligible to vote.Extracting the voter registry from a civil registry in future elections. Careful consideration should be given to the pros and cons of linking the voter registry to the civil registry. This should be assessed well in advance of future elections so that alternatives to using the civil registry can be in place, if needed. Regardless of the system, the goals should be to ensure enfranchisement of as much of the voting-age population as possible, to minimize the strain on resources, and to instill greater public confidence in a voter register that can be periodically updated.Candidate Nomination, Campaign Period, and Campaign FinanceReview National Code of Conduct to ensure compliance with the international obligations. The National Code of Conduct time frames for public officials to step down from their posts in advance of contesting elections should be carefully reviewed to ensure that they are not overly restrictive on the right of persons to contest as candidates.Two percent requirement. The requirement for political parties to obtain two percent of the votes in the constituencies where they contest or be prohibited from participating in the next two elections is an undue restriction on the right to participate in public affairs, and is inconsistent with Liberia’s commitments under the ICCPR.Strengthen and enforce campaign finance reporting requirements. To foster a level playing field and greater transparency, campaign-finance regulations should be closely monitored and enforced, and NEC’s capacity to monitor and enforce regulations should be bolstered. Further consideration should be given to requiring campaign-finance reporting before election day, and those reports should be published so that voters can make informed decisions.Ensuring a level playing field. Measures should be put in place to guarantee that requests for public space and access to roads for campaign purposes are treated on an equal basis.Equal access to media. In accordance with international standards, all candidates and parties should have equitable access to the media for campaign purposes. Consideration should be given to mandating that state media provide some free airtime for all contesting political parties and candidates.To address issues that arose on Election Day and improve the integrity of the process, The Carter Center recommends that officials: Adjust the structure of the voter list to allow voters to easily identify their polling place and polling officials to quickly find their names on the list, perhaps by making it alphabetical; Strengthen recruitment and training of queue controllers; Strengthen ballot-handling procedures; Improve visibility of party agents and observers; Strengthen training on counting procedures; Adjust the record of the count form to capture the number of voters according to the marks on the voter lists as well as on information from the gender data sheet, and Strengthen tabulation procedures and release them earlier.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more