‘Preaching Peace through Songs’

first_imgCultural Ambassador Juli Endee set to officially launch her albumLiberia’s Cultural Ambassador Juli Endee has disclosed that all is set and ready for the big event of the official launching ceremony of her musical album “Prevenient Grace” in Monrovia following her musical tour in 5 counties.According to Ambassador Endee, over the past ten years she has been putting her album together with key focus on preaching peace through her songs in order for Liberians to unite and maintain the peace they are enjoying in the country.She told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview that the essence of launching her album, which began since January, following the launchings in 5 counties including Bong, Nimba, Grand Bassa counties, is to also showcase Liberian talents and take the Liberian songs to the world.She said she titled her album ‘Prevenient Grace’ because of the grace of God upon her life and the endless protection of God that keeps her alive to contribute to her country by preaching peace to her people.“In my album, I also mention ECOWAS and other partners who contributed greatly to the peace our country is enjoying today because without peace a country cannot develop. That is why all of my songs are directed to preaching peace and educating our people about the essence of having a peaceful nation,” she said.Amb. Juli Endee performing one of her songs during her county tourThe music and video album, the Cultural Ambassador explained, features few local musicians and excellent dance choreography, created by Liberians.  “And we want the world to adopt that dance, so that dance will go a long way,” she said.Endee said as part of the official launching and the nationwide musical tour, she hopes to teach Liberians the peace and reconciliation dance and to help foster peace among citizens of Liberia.“The peace that we now enjoy, we must maintain it, and with peace, there will be development with lots of love and unity to reconcile our people,” she said. “We can only build Liberia through peace and music plays a major role.”Traditional leaders and local county officials of Bomi, Margibi, Bong, and Nimba were taught Endee’s new dance. They will now serve as ambassadors to spread the dance.Endee’s album contains 20 songs, which she said were prepared over the past 10 years and were mostly recorded in Nigeria, along with their corresponding music videos.The entrance fees for the official launch at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium will be the same amount paid by citizens who attended the launched from the various districts of Grand Bassa which is L$100 for admission.The program will feature several giveaways of the newly launched album, t-shirts, and other gifts.Additionally, PCK & L’Frankie, Davero, CIC, as well as Semah Weefur, the visually challenged boy who featured on a recording with with Nigerian musical icon Flavour N’abania, will be performing at the program, among other artists.Ambassador Endee said it is about time every Liberian thinks positively about their country and join hands with the government in bringing development to the country. She wants citizens to embrace one another and promote peace which, according to her, is a catalyst for economic development.Juli Endee has rallied Liberians to get behind the government of President George Manneh Weah, in furtherance of peace and economic development.The launch of her Prevenient Grace Album Tour started in Ganta, Nimba County, on Thursday, January 31, with momentum growing through subsequent activities in the provincial capitals of Bong, Margibi, Grand Gedeh, Grand Bassa and Bomi counties.A key feature of the nationwide tour is the passing of the “Peace Torch”, through all 15 counties, to promote peace and reconciliation.Endee will also use her platform to build awareness against sexual and gender-based violence and HIV/AIDs. The team will educate people on culture, creative arts and capacity building for youth empowerment.Meanwhile, the raffle draw tickets are on sale for the event, which will be followed by the official launching ceremony at Monrovia City Hall follow by the performances at ATS and a grand celebration at Miami Beach in Paynesville.“I therefore invite everyone to attend this unique program and pledge their support to lasting peace in the country for a better and developed nation,” she said.The schedule of events is as follows:Corporate Launch: Friday, March 8, 2019 Monrovia City Hall6:00 PMAdmission: By Invitation OnlyMass/General Album Launch: Sunday, March 10, 2019 Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS)2:00 PMAdmission: L$100Grand Celebration: Friday, March 15, 2019 Miami Beach, PaynesvilleAll DayAdmission: L$500Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Texas Sen Carlos Uresti Indicted On Fraud Bribery Charges Update

first_img Share Robin Jerstad for The Texas TribuneState Senator Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, at a Texas Tribune legislative preview on Dec. 2, 2016. Uresti’s San Antonio office was raided by the FBI on Feb. 16, 2017.Editor’s note: This story has been updated throughout.State Sen. Carlos Uresti, accused of misleading a former client who invested in a company in which Uresti has a financial stake, was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on 11 charges over his involvement in the alleged investment Ponzi scheme, and he also faces a separate indictment alleging bribery surrounding a government contract.In the first indictment, the federal grand jury charged Uresti, a San Antonio Democrat, with eleven counts of wrongdoing over his complicated saga involving a now-bankrupt company. The company, FourWinds Logistics, purported to sell sand used in hydraulic fracturing, a process that extracts oil and gas from shale rock, but has been accused of misleading investors and grossly misspending funds. The grand jury indicted Uresti on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud; one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering; five substantive counts of wire fraud; two counts of securities fraud; one count of engaging in monetary transactions with property derived from specified unlawful activity; and one count of being an unregistered securities broker.A separate indictment centered on a contract to provide medical services to a correctional facility in West Texas. That indictment alleges that a colleague of Uresti’s, Vernon C. Farthing III, paid Uresti $10,000 per month as a marketing consultant and that half of the money was given to an unspecified Reeves County official to win over his vote to award the contract to Farthing’s company. It was the culmination of a 10-year scheme to commit bribery and money laundering, prosecutors argued.In a prepared statement, Uresti said he would plea not guilty to the charges.“I am hard at work representing District 19 in the 85th Legislative Session,” he said. “The charges against me are groundless and I look forward to proving my innocence in a court of law at the appropriate time.”It was the frack sand case that received the most scrutiny in recent months.A lengthy investigation published by the Express-News in August first detailed the involvement of Uresti, a personal injury attorney, in the company and fraud allegations it faces.FourWinds’ supposed intent was to buy sand and sell it at a markup to oil and gas companies, but investors have accused the company’s leadership of misrepresenting its financial health and spending their money on frivolous, personal expenses. It now faces millions of dollars in claims from investors and other companies.Uresti’s alleged wrongdoings trace back to one of his previous legal clients. Uresti represented Denise Cantu in a wrongful-death case after Cantu’s 13-year-old daughter, four-year-old son and two friends were killed in 2010, when a tire on her SUV blew out, causing the vehicle to roll over. Cantu received $900,000 in a settlement, but she said she lost most of the money after she invested it in the now-bankrupt FourWinds firm at Uresti’s suggestion.Cantu has said she was not initially aware that Uresti would get a piece of her investment, though Uresti has suggested otherwise.With allegations of serious financial mismanagement detailed in bankruptcy court, the FBI last year opened an investigation. Federal agents raided Uresti’s law offices in February in connection to the case.Documents in the company’s bankruptcy proceedings list Uresti as owner of a 1 percent stake in FourWinds. Also, the company granted Uresti a $40,000 loan in June of 2014, and hired him to perform legal services, the documents show.At least four former FourWinds employees have now been indicted for their involvement in the company: chief executive Stanley Bates; Eric Nelson, the former marketing director; Shannon Smith, who held a 48 percent stake in the company; and Laura Jacobs, who worked as its comptroller. Gary Cain, a company consultant, was also indicted.Three months after the Express-News story, Uresti coasted to re-election, winning his San Antonio seat with 56 percent of the vote against Republican and Libertarian challengers. Uresti is among the Legislature’s most powerful Democrats. He is vice chair of the Health and Human Services committee and sits on three other high-profile committees: Finance, Education and Veteran Affairs & Border Security.Uresti’s indictments put Texas Democrats in an awkward position. The fraud charges bear similarity to another high-profile case: that of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican. Paxton is similarly charged with misleading investors and failing to register as a securities broker.A spokesman for the Texas Democratic Party did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But Texas GOP chairman Tom Mechler was quick to condemn Uresti in a prepared statement: “As I’ve said before, there is an unprecedented amount of corruption among Texas Democrats, and Senator Uresti’s indictment only further proves that they are clearly incapable of being entrusted with governing in the state of Texas.”Uresti could face up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted of the fraud-related charge, and the money laundering charge carries prison time of up to 10 years. If convicted of being an unregistered securities broker, Uresti could spend up to 20 years in federal prison.In the Reeves County case, Uresti could face up to five years in federal prison if convicted of conspiracy to commit bribery, and up to 20 years if convicted of the money laundering charge.Uresti is expected to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Bemporad at 11 a.m. tomorrow in San Antonio.Julián Aguilar contributed to this report.Read related Tribune coverage:Three members of the Texas Legislature, all Democrats, easily won their re-election bids in November despite a cloud of ethics questions hovering over their campaigns.More than two dozen former elected officials convicted of felonies may be receiving taxpayer-funded retirement pay. But state law keeps the details secret.This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2017/05/16/texas-sen-carlos-uresti-indicted-fraud-charges/.Texas Tribune mission statementThe Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.last_img read more