The thrust of this fifth article of the series on what happens to Liberia after the Ebola crisis is on what I perceive as the significant role of the religious community in fighting Ebola now and in post Ebola Liberia. How is the religious community involved with the fight against Ebola? And what role will it play in attending to some of the post Ebola challenges that will inevitably follow? Who or what is the religious community we have in mind. We shall discuss below. The fourth article on some key suggestions to the government underscored the following points:I would like to suggest that there be some all inclusive conferences on our health system economy, education, agriculture, and on how we fight corruption. These conferences should make use of the best minds of the land, regardless of political affiliation, in critically researching where we are at in these critical areas of our national life, and come up with concrete plans and systems that transcend any particular governments. We pray and trust that this greatest of national challenges will be an opportunity for the rebirth of the nation in the areas of health, economy, education, agriculture, the management of what we have, and fighting corruption.In post Ebola Liberia serious attention has to be paid to those who are hit the hardest by Ebola, the survivals, families of the health workers who die in the fight, orphans, widows, widowers, and all who have and are losing their means of living. Integration of survivals into their communities must be a priority. The nation will have to take care of the education of the orphans caused by Ebola who are of school going age up to college or at least high school, and entrepreneurial support to those who are able to enable them support themselves and families and be in a position to contribute to the welfare of the nation. The government of Liberia will have to encourage and facilitate the unifying of the whole country in going back to the drawing board and re-make the nation for the better. There is a need for us to move away from rote learning to creativity and innovation and commitment to making the most of what we have. History has shown that those who pass through some of the greatest challenges in life tend to develop better and faster than ever before and I trust this will be the case with Liberia.This brings us to the role of the faith based institutions in fighting Ebola and in dealing with post Ebola concerns. Most Liberian believers who have considerable influence in the nation are either Christians or Muslims. I am aware that there are others who may be African traditional believers or some other religions but the most influential are Christians and Muslims. These two religious groups fall under the umbrella of the Liberian Council of Churches (LCC) and National Muslim Council of Liberia (NMCL). All the mainline Churches (Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc.) and some Pentecostal denominations are members of the LCC. Again I am aware that there are some Churches and Mosques that do not fall under the LCC and NMCL and they too are involved in some ways. Most of what I am sharing about the involvement of the religious community with Ebola fight is specific to the Inter-Religious Council of Liberia (IRCL) headed by Archbishop Jonathan B. B. Hart and Sheikh Kafumba F. Konneh.This group is collaborating and coordinating the interventions of Churches and Mosques in the national response to Ebola. They are making as parts of their sermons Ebola messages and awareness, training and dialoguing with their members about Ebola prevention and care for its victims, and providing relief and practical support.Recently the IRCL sent pastors and imams in pairs (one pastor and one imam) to five affected counties, Bomi, Bong, Cape Mount, Lofa, and Nimba to hold training sessions and dialogues with over 300 pastors and imams about Ebola. The trainings and dialogues emphasized religious practices that are deemed dangerous with regard to the spread of Ebola and why they must be suspended now in order to save the living. It was stressed how these pastors and imams must be involved at every level: county, district and community. They can help their communities isolate and care for suspected cases and their affected households, and support victims get treatment while protecting themselves and others. More of such interventions are planned to be implemented soon by the IRCL. A large segment of people are excited to see Muslims and Christians working together for the common good.It intended that such collaboration to pursue the common good will continue and even accelerate in post Ebola Liberia. The need will be for community involvement in overcoming common problems and in advancing the good of all of society in the areas of health, economy, education, agriculture, management, and dealing with the cancerous virus disease of corruption. More will be said about this when we, in the last article, explore the role of all segments of society in post Ebola Liberia. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
CONSIDERING POST-EBOLA LIBERIA (PART FIVE): THE ROLE OF THE RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY
Weah, Kaipay Elected to Int’l Bodies
A week after electing Gbarpolu County Senator Armah Zolu Jallah President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate, that body yesterday in fulfillment of its Standing Rules, elected chairpersons of its Statutory Committees and representatives to three international bodies.Though conducted in an open, free and fair atmosphere, the election like most electoral proceedings did not go on without some drama and surprises.It all started when new comers to the Senate Conmany B. Wesseh (River Gee), and Daniel Flomo Naatehn (Gbarpolu) together with Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif were named as candidates for the committee on Executive, which is one of the coveted statutory committees.However, Senator Naatehn immediately announced that he was withdrawing from the race, saying it would not be prudent for him to participate because he and Pro Tempore Jallah hail from the same county and that the Executive committee post is a leadership one as is the Pro Tempore.Senator Wesseh who was called on to make a five-minute pre-election comment, in a surprise move, announced that he was not available for the election, meaning that he was no longer a candidate even though he voted for other candidates who vied for other posts.The River Gee lawmaker said he had hoped that in the name of reconciliation, individuals would have been appointment to positions the Senate believes they are competent and qualified to ably perform and not through elections.The two withdrawals left Senator Doe-Sherif as the lone candidate, and Bong County Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor cast the white ballot to elect her the new Chairperson on Executive.In a close race, the Senate voted 15 for Grand Cape Mount County Senator Edward Boakai Dagoseh, against Grand Gedeh County Senator G. Alphonso Gaye as the new Chair of the Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget.For the post of Chair on Rules, Order and Administration, the lone candidate Lofa County Senator George Tamba Tengbeh received the white ballot cast by Senator George Manneh Weah.Another interesting drama during yesterday’s proceedings occurred when River Cess Senator Francis Saturday Paye who had earlier announced his candidacy for the post of Chair on the committee of Internal Affairs, Governance and Reconciliation, mysteriously disappeared from the Chambers and failed to appeared when his name was announced by the Secretary of the Senate to mount the podium for pre-election comments.His name however, remained on the ballot and in the voting process he was massively defeated 18-3 by Nimba County Senator Thomas S. Grupee.For elections of three representatives to international bodies, Grand Bassa County Senator Jonathan Kaipay, the ‘David who beat Goliath’, former Pro Tempore Gbehzohngar Findley, was voted on white ballot to represent the Senate at the Inter-Parliament Union (IPU).Montserrado County Senator and Congress for Democratic Change political leader George Weah, and Nimba County political godfather Prince Yormie Johnson were nominated and unanimously voted to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament; while River Cess Senator Dallas A.V. Gueh was elected to represent the Senate at the Pan African Parliament.Election for arguably one of the most important statutory committees, the committee on Judiciary, Claims, Petitions and Human Rights chaired by Sinoe County Senator Joseph N. Nagbe was postponed as it was discovered that the lone candidate, Matthew Zargo of Lofa County, had withdrawn.All eyes may now turn to the most recently certified Grand Cape Mount County Senator and Chairman of the ruling Unity Party, Cllr Varney Nabir Gboto Sherman, whom from all indications, is the sole favorite to replace Senator Nagbe who is not contesting to retain that post.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Thieves hit Delicious Restaurant
The owner of Delicious Restaurant is now counting his losses after bandits broke into his premises on Monday evening and carted off an undisclosed amount of money and other items.According to reports received, the restaurant which is located at Lot 60 Cummings Street, Alberttown, was broken in to about 22:00h when the family of the owner was out.A waitress at the restaurant told this publication that the thieves broke in to the premises via the back entrance.“When the owners for the restaurant returned home that night, they noticed that the back entrance of the restaurant was opened and upon inspection saw the entire inside of the restaurant ransacked,” the waitress said.Upon further inspection, it was discovered that the thieves drank a quantity of alcoholic beverages, as empty bottles of Guinness and Heineken were found on the restaurant floor.“Also we usually buy food and leave it for our boss, and the food was eaten out and the boxes were on the floor,” the woman explained.According to the waitress, a number of sunglasses that were stored in the restaurant were also stolen.The surveillance cameras which were inside the restaurant were also disconnected and the DVR (digital video recorder) was taken by the thieves.The owner of the restaurant refused to report the matter to the Police, as he stated that on a number of occasions the restaurant has been robbed and when reports were made to the Police, no one showed up to investigate the matter.
Defendant was at the scene of the crime – Prosecutor’s main witness
Ex-GDF rank’s trial– while accused claims she had good relations with murdered housewifeAs the High Court trial of former Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Private Abiola Jacobs nears its end, Samantha Sabbatt who narrowly escaped an alleged attack on her life on Thursday testified via Skype from London, England, to what she witnessed on the night that Agricola, Great Georgetown housewife, Donna TaylorMurdered Agricola housewife Donna Taylorwas murdered.Sabbatt was an overseas British guest of the Taylors at the time of the housewife’s demise while Jacobs was the estranged girlfriend of Taylor’s son Bertrum Taylor, Jr. She admitted that she had an intimate relationship with her friend’s son at the time she was staying there and that Jacobs was kind to her whenever she visited Bertrum Jr.Recounting the events of January 31, 2014, when Taylor’s motionless body was found, Sabbatt told the jury that she was in the bedroom of the upper flat of the home when she heard footsteps, voices and a male later shouting for her to open the door, moments after the lights were switched off.Knowing that it was only her and Donna Taylor at home, the star witness stated that she remained still and quiet and refused to comply.She said that she looked up through the lattice work at the top of the bedroom wall and saw the defendant about six feet away and that they stared at each other for about five seconds. Sometime after, the accused walked off and Sabbatt said theAccused former GDF rank Abiola Jacobslights came on and she jumped through the window into the verandah and sustained injuries in a bid to save her life. On February 1, 2014, Sabbatt recalled attending a confrontation with Jacobs where she told her: “Sweet girl, you never saw me.” The witness stressed that she never told Bertrum to break up with “Abby”, a named by which Jacobs was known.Under cross-examination by the defendant’s lawyer, Adrian Thompson, Sabbatt repeated several times that she did not fabricate her story after the Attorney disputed her recollection of events. Thompson suggested that the witness could not have made out whom she saw on the night of the attack as the lights were off but the witness highlighted that the street lights were bright enough for her to make out that it was Jacobs’ face see saw and her outline in shadow.Following the conclusion of the star witness’ evidence, State Counsel Mandell Moore announced that the prosecution was not calling any other witness. As such, Jacobs led her defence via an unsworn statement from the witness box, which meant that she was not allowed to be cross-examined.From her standpoint, she and Donna Taylor had a good relationship and were friends even after the relationship with the woman’s son ended. Jacobs told the 12-member jury that she last saw the woman alive on January 29, 2014, at the woman’s home. She maintained her story that on February 1, 2014, she received a phone call informing her of what transpired, noting that she later went to the Taylors and saw Bertrum crying.After seeing other family members, she went outside and Police approached her and questioned her about her whereabouts. Jacobs claimed that after being taken away for questioning, an officer shouted at her and verbally abused her and went through her mobile phone when she was being questioned at the Police station. All the while, she maintained her innocence as she concluded her testimony before the jury and presiding Judge James Bovell-Drakes.On that fateful night, Taylor was discovered with her throat slit and hands behind her and her shirt wrapped around her neck. The jury had been told that Taylor’s daughter, Marcelle Collymore, the accused Abiola Jacobs and her mother had a fight on the day of her mother’s demise. This was also confirmed in the evidence of Police Superintendent Joel David who testified that Jacobs informed him that she spoke with Taylor on the day of her death. Superintendent David had also corroborated that the survivor of the attack; Samantha Sabbatt, had placed Jacobs at the scene of the crime.Justice Bovell Drakes adjourned the matter to Monday when the accused will know her fate.
Govt approves $3.4B for elections preparations
With the possibility of the Caribbean Court of Justice’s (CCJ) impending ruling finding that the No-confidence Motion against the coalition Government was validly passed on December 21, 2018, thus paving the way for General and Regional Elections to be held, the National Assembly on Thursday approved some $3.482 billion to assist the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) in preparing for the upcoming polls.Finance Minister Winston JordanBut Finance Minister Winston Jordan, during the consideration of Financial Paper One of 2019 totalling in excess of $7.9 billion, pointed out to the Committee of Supply that the additional monies approved for the elections body are not in anticipation of the impending CCJ decision.“This provision, I want to say today, is not in anticipation of anything that the CCJ may or may not say or decide on. It is one in keeping with the President’s [David Granger] commitment even before the matter went to the CCJ, after the Guyana Elections Commission Chairman [Justice James Patters] wrote to him, requesting funding for the actual holding of elections. He had committed to giving the Elections Commission the resources for the conduct of those elections,” Jordan told the Committee before $3.3 billion was approved under current expenditure.This funding will go towards “additional cost of conducting General and Regional Elections”. This includes areas such as education subventions and training – $113.4 million; transport, travel and postage – $409.5 million; fuel and lubricants – $35.4 million; rental of buildings – $82 million; utility charges – $31.9 million; other good services $616.9 million, and other operating expenses – $1.5 billion.Meanwhile, the Committee of Supply on Thursday also approved an additional $182.3 million for GECOM’s elections preparations. This money will be used to cover the elections body’s capital expenditure in becoming ready for the upcoming polls. It will facilitate, among other things, the upgrading of the Multiple Identity Document Issuing System, which is used to produce the National Identification (ID) card. Upgrading this system will result in better quality ID cards and will reduce downtime of the machines.Additionally, the monies will also cover the purchase of three Toyota 4×4 pick-up vehicles at a cost of $13.3 million each to be used to traverse interior locations to conduct elections. Moreover, four All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and two boats along with engines also are all being bought at $4 million each for the same purpose. Other costs includes the purchase of office furniture such as desks, chairs and filing cabinets, as well as a power surge protectors and tents.According to Minister Jordan, these supplementary funds are more than 99 per cent of what GECOM had initially requested and will go towards putting GECOM in a state of readiness financially for the upcoming polls.“These monies will be made available to the Elections Commission for them to start the process of the elections proper. I think many people would’ve heard the advertisements already in relation to the house-to-house [registration]… Now this money is being provided to the meat of the transactions,” he posited.Minister Jordan further stated that the elections are very costly, noting, “In addition to the $5.371 billion that had been voted, now have an additional 3.5 billion roughly being voted (for and) bringing the total sum to almost $9 billion and counting for the elections that are constitutionally due in 2020… So this is nothing else but in keeping with the President’s commitment to GECOM.”However, the Finance Minister had explained last week after tabling the Financial Paper that the money is just in case GECOM should need it. The elections body has contended that it needed additional resources including funding in order to prepare for elections earlier than 2020. But Jordan said if there are no early elections, then the additional money approved would not be used.The $3,482,344 in supplementary funding to GECOM was approved by the coalition Members of Parliament (MPs) in the absence of the Opposition parliamentarians.The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) has vowed to stay away from parliamentary proceedings until the hearing and determination of the matters before the CCJ.The Trinidad-based regional court is currently deliberating on several appeals asking it to overturn the Guyana Court of Appeal’s March ruling which invalidated the passage of the Opposition-tabled motion of no confidence against the coalition Government.The CCJ is being asked to throw out the Appeal Court ruling and uphold the High Court’s January decision that the motion was validly passed and as such Government should resign and call elections.Earlier this month, the CCJ panel heard submissions from the parties and is expected to hand down its decision in the coming weeks.
Artifacts from Pink Mountain bring understanding of First Nations’ history
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — An archaeologist working in the Peace Region says a newly discovered spear point could improve our understanding of First Nations history.It was Steve Kasstan and his team who discovered a Clovis point — a rare, distinctive spearhead linked to the Clovis culture, who were among the first to settle the Americas – near Pink Mountain, on Treaty 8 land.“This point is the oldest in British Columbia in terms of its style. It’s fairly thin, it has a really narrow base, it’s exquisitely made … when we found it, we knew immediately what we had,” Kasstan told Robert Doane, host of CBC Daybreak North.- Advertisement -The area in which it was found is to the east of the Rocky Mountains has been dubbed the ‘Ice-Free Corridor.’ This is because humans used the area for habitation and migration when two ice sheets melted the ice age ended.The 13,000 year old site itself is the farthest-north site of its type discovered so far in Canada.In the interview, Kasstan also says the site yielded some obsidian, which is super sharp and black. He adds that the discovery indicates some indigenous peoples moved from the south to the north of the continent, he said.Advertisement “We were able to track down where it came from, and it came from Anahim Peak, which is in the Chilcotin Plateau, and where the site is; that’s over 500 kilometres to the southwest. … which kind of gives us a clue that people are moving north.”The artifacts can now be found at the North Peace Museum, here in Fort St. John.
Messi’s disappointments with Argentina
Widely considered one of the greatest players ever, the Barcelona star is still looked upon unfavourably by many in his homeland compared with Diego Maradona, who led Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986.Messi turned 31 last week and his best chance of ending Argentina’s 25-year wait to win a major tournament may now be gone.Here, AFP Sport looks at Messi’s biggest disappointments with Argentina.World Cup 2018Messi’s World Cup got off to the worst possible start when he missed a penalty in Argentina’s opening game, which ended in a disappointing 1-1 draw with tournament debutants Iceland.He was then largely bypassed in a 3-0 thrashing by Croatia that put Argentina on the brink of an embarrassing group-stage exit.Messi did ride to their rescue with a superb opening goal to help squeeze past Nigeria 2-1 to set up the meeting with France.But despite setting up two of his side’s three goals, Messi could only watch from afar as 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe exposed Argentina’s fragile defence by scoring twice and winning a penalty in a seven-goal thriller in Kazan to announce himself as a potential successor to Messi as a global superstar.Copa America Centenario 2016Not prone to showing his emotions, Messi sobbed uncontrollably after blasting his penalty over the bar as Argentina lost a second Copa America final in as many years in a shootout to Chile.In the aftermath, with emotions running high, Messi announced his retirement from international football on the back of three final defeats in three consecutive years.“I’ve done all I can. It hurts not to be a champion,” Messi said at the time.What might have been: Lionel Messi reacts to losing the 2014 World Cup final to Germany © AFP/File / ODD ANDERSENLess than two months later he reversed that decision. “We need to fix many things in Argentinian football, but I prefer to do this from inside and not criticise from outside,” he said.Messi almost single-handedly carried Argentina through a troubled qualifying campaign, but that ultimately only delayed another bitter disappointment.World Cup 2014The first of those three final defeats came on the biggest stage of all and by the finest of margins in Brazil four years ago.Messi scored four goals and converted his spot-kick in a semi-final shootout against the Netherlands to lead Argentina to a first World Cup final in 24 years.However, at the end of a rare injury-plagued season at Barcelona, he was limited to short bursts of energy to try and change games and ultimately ran out of steam in a 1-0 extra-time defeat by Germany.Messi had one great chance that he would normally bury on his left foot that slipped just wide, but even winning the Golden Ball for the best player of the tournament did little to dim the pain of getting so close to the holy grail of following in Maradona’s footsteps.World Cup 2010Fresh from being crowned as the world’s best player for the first time, Messi arrived in South Africa as the star attraction of a top-heavy Argentina under Maradona’s management.Diego Maradona consoles Lionel Messi after Argentina lost 4-0 to Germany in the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals © AFP/File / JAVIER SORIANOEarly on, the Albiceleste’s sheer firepower proved too much as they eased past Nigeria, South Korea and Greece in the group stage before beating Mexico 3-1 in the last 16.Messi failed to get on the scoresheet, but was still pulling the strings for Gonzalo Higuain, Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero.Yet, Maradona’s lack of tactical nous was finally exposed as a young Germany side that would reach its peak four years later ran riot 4-0 in the quarter-finals in Cape Town.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Another day to forget: Lionel Messi’s last chance to win a World Cup may have gone © AFP / Roman KruchininSAINT PETERSBURG, Russian Federation, Jun 30 – Five-time world player of the year Lionel Messi suffered more World Cup heartbreak with Argentina on Saturday, unable to match France’s firepower in a thrilling 4-3 World Cup last-16 tie.Messi only scored once in Russia and is still yet to net in the knockout stages of a World Cup.
Ex-England star urges Tottenham to keep Wanyama
As exclusively revealed by Football Insider Wanyama is viewed by Tottenham as someone who could be sold this summer to help build transfer funds for Pochettino, joining the likes of Vincent Janssen and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou on the chopping block.Harambee Stars and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Victor Wanyama alongside teammate Moussa Sissoko during a training session at Hotspur Way in LondonHowever Mills insists he is good enough to remain as an important squad player for Spurs, tipping him over 25-year-old Eric Dier in their inter-squad battle.The former England star told Football Insider: “You’ve still got Victor Wanyama, would you keep him around as a squad player? Definitely.“Do you need him and Eric Dier? Possibly not. One or the other perhaps. Their midfield is not really the issue, I don’t think that’s a massive problem for them.”Tottenham Hotspur’s Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama tackles Ajax midfielder Donny van de BeekWanyama, 27, played 22 times for Tottenham during the 2018/19 season, 13 of those outings coming in the Premier League.He has a total of 93 appearances to his name in north London, with seven goals and a single assist to add to his record.-By Football Insider-0Shares0000(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Harambee Stars and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Victor Wanyama celebrates after his side’s victory against Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League quarter finalsLONDON, United Kingdom, June 21 – Danny Mills says that Tottenham should definitely keep Victor Wanyama on board as a squad player this summer as he heralds the midfield options at Mauricio Pochettino’s disposal.Speaking to Football Insider in an exclusive interview, the former England star backed the Kenyan international to remain in north London and play as backup to the starting XI.
VIEWPOINT: COUNCILLORS MUST SUPPORT THE RIGHTS OF GAY PEOPLE
Dear Sir,I am writing in response to Miss Gallagher’s letter of September 14th ‘Why We Must Oppose Gay Marriage’ in which he urged readers to contact County Councillors to vote against the motion before them on Monday, on marriage equality.Miss Gallagher makes assertions that, should gay marriage become a legal reality in Ireland, the family would be undermined and society endangered. This is common rhetoric of a man with no understanding of the real issues at hand. All too often people in our society hide behind their ignorance and their beliefs in order to justify their discrimination against certain sections of that same society. They refuse to engage in order to actually learn about the issues at play. Let me clear some things up. Marriage equality would not endanger or undermine the family or the institution of marriage; it would strengthen them. Marriage equality seeks to protect families that exist where the parents of children are of the same sex. Presently these families are in danger with a lack of fundamental rights – both of the parents and, crucially, of the child. Marriage provides legal protections for the individuals involved within a family unit that civil partnership does not, such as citizenship and inheritance issues. One of the most important functions of marriage is to provide a stable environment in which children can be brought up. This stability currently does not exist.Miss Gallagher also states that Cllr. McCallion has, in tabling this motion for marriage equality, confused “the issue of rights and entitlements with changing the institution of marriage.” There is no confusion. The institution of marriage needs to be more accessible in order to grant those rights and entitlements associated with the institution to every citizen of Ireland. Ireland is a republic in which everyone is supposed to be treated equally before the law. Civil marriage is a state-provided institution. As such it should not be closed to a section of society. It is a discriminatory practice and needs to change immediately.“True love is about making sacrifices for others”, says Miss Gallagher. Yes, it is. So let those who experience true love, and want to demonstrate that true love, get on with it. Allow them to marry.Donegal County Council has an opportunity to send a signal and message to LGBT people living in the county that they are accepted and valued citizens of Donegal. It also has an opportunity to send a strong message to gay and lesbian youth in the county that the discrimination and prejudices they experience are unjustified and intolerable. The Tanáiste recently stated that the struggle for marriage equality is the great civil rights movement of our generation. He is correct. Donegal County Council would do well not to be on the wrong side of history. I call on all your readers to contact their Councillors and urge them to support the motion on Monday.Yours etc,Declan Meehan VIEWPOINT: COUNCILLORS MUST SUPPORT THE RIGHTS OF GAY PEOPLE was last modified: September 14th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:VIEWPOINT: COUNCILLORS MUST SUPPORT THE RIGHTS OF GAY PEOPLE
‘Momma’ proves it’s her house
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Bruce Snyder, president of domestic distribution for Twentieth Century Fox, said the popularity of its “Big Momma” films rests with Lawrence’s comic appeal. “People like the ‘Big Momma’ character, pure and simple. She’s funny, she’s sassy, but it’s a guy underneath there,” Snyder said. Sony’s “Underworld: Evolution” tumbled to the third spot, with $11.1 million in sales, a 59 percent decline from its strong first week. The fourth spot was claimed by the new release “Annapolis,” one of three Disney films in the top 10. The story of a quick-fisted undergraduate, shot on location at the U.S. Naval Academy, pulled in $7.7 million. “Hoodwinked,” an animated update of the Little Red Riding Hood story from the Weinstein Co., fell to the fifth spot, off 29 percent from the previous week, with $7.4 million in sales. Moviegoers embraced a supersized momma in a wig and a governess who tames an unruly brood as family-friendly films dominated the weekend box office. Twentieth Century Fox’s “Big Momma’s House 2,” with $28 million in estimated ticket sales, turned in the second-best January opening ever, trailing only the $35.9 million scored by the 1997 release of a special edition of “Star Wars,” according to Exhibitor Relations, which tracks box office results. As in the original “Big Momma’s House,” Martin Lawrence layers on the bulges and dons billowy, floral print dresses, along with the wig. It was followed by another new release, “Nanny McPhee” from Universal Pictures, starring Emma Thompson, with $14.1 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates. “Audiences are obviously in the mood for some lighthearted films,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations. A week after the vampire thriller “Underworld: Evolution” led the pack, the marketplace is proving “adaptable to all these films.” Oscar contenders proved resilient, turning in modest drops in attendance weeks after their release. The cowboy romance “Brokeback Mountain” from Focus Features, in its eighth week in theaters, ranked sixth on the list, with $6.3 million in sales. The Johnny Cash biopic “Walk the Line” failed to climb into the top 10, but the Twentieth Century Fox film dropped only 5 percent from the previous week to land at No. 12, with $2.9 million in estimated sales. “These films are still very robust, but it’s natural filmgoers like to see new films,” Dergarabedian said. Rounding out the top 10 were Disney’s “Glory Road,” followed by Paramount’s “Last Holiday,” Disney’s “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” and the Weinstein Co.’s “The Matador.” Overall, the top 12 films grossed an estimated $99 million, down slightly from the same weekend last year, which had $104 million in sales. TOP MOVIES Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Final figures will be released today. 1. “Big Momma’s House 2,” Twentieth Century Fox, $28 million. 2. “Nanny McPhee,” Universal, $14.1 million. 3. “Underworld: Evolution,” Sony, $11.1 million. 4. “Annapolis,” Disney, $7.7 million. 5. “Hoodwinked,” Weinstein Co., $7.4 million. 6. “Brokeback Mountain,” Focus Features, $6.3 million. 7. “Glory Road,” Disney, $5.2 million. 8. “Last Holiday,” Paramount, $4.8 million. 9. “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” Disney, $4.4 million. 10. “The Matador,” Weinstein Co., $3.8 million. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!