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first_imgThe House of Representatives has passed a Bill to establish the Liberian Institute for Road Building and Maintenance, which would traditionally be known as “Road College.”The House Plenary unanimously voted for the enactment last Thursday, August 27, owing to a report from the Joint Committee on Public works and Education.The report from the Public works and Education Joint Committee says that Liberia, at 168 years old, is still seriously challenged by the lack of basic infrastructure, specifically a network of roads.The proposed law for the Liberian Road Institute has since been forwarded to the Liberian Senate for concurrence.In order to tackle the lack of motorways during the 1970s, the Government in partnership with the German Government established the Liberian Road Maintenance Training Center in District #2, Grand Bassa County. The center was damaged during the 1990 civil crisis.“The reactivation of the Road Maintenance Training Center would significantly help in training middle level road technicians in road building and maintenance,” the report said.“Mr. Speaker and distinguished colleagues, the Joint Committee on Education and Public Works… now recommends, that plenary endorses this report with its recommendation for the passage of the Bill seeking the creation of the Liberian Institute for Road Building and Maintenance.”The Bill is sponsored by Grand Kru County Representative Numene Bartekwa and co-sponsored by the Representatives of the Grand Bassa Legislative caucus.The Bill defines a road as a basic infrastructure that influences national growth and development and the lack of road connectivity in our country has served as one of the greatest drawbacks to our national growth and development.“The category of roads shall include railroad, runway/airport and motor road,” the report specified.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgThe founder and president of the Oasis Ministry, Rev. Foday E. Karpeh says the current generation of Liberia is faced with the responsibility of crafting a national framework for leadership to help the country achieve its development agenda.Rev. Karpeh made the reflection recently, during the five-day Young Political Leadership School (YPLS) training, organized by Empower, Engage & Educate (NAYMOTE) advocacy group at the headquarters of the National Elections Commission (NEC) in Monrovia.The opening day was witnessed by Antonio Vigilante, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for UNMIL, Lena Nordstrom, Sweden’s Ambassador to Liberia, Dr. Amos C. Sawyer, Chairman of Governance Commission (GC) and the president of the Press Union of Liberia, Abdulai Kamara, among others. Rev, Karpeh said, “It is time to turn the corner, break from the past, and chart a new course. We need connective leadership to collaborate, empower, and provide direction.”The challenge is that those at the helm of power are mostly functioning in the same mode of previous generations, observed Rev. Karpeh.“If power could develop people, Liberians would have been among the most privileged people, because we have had a one-party state, two party state, head of states, presidents, councils of states, democracy, and even autocracy.”He added that Liberia’s advancement as a nation depends on the willingness to analyze the country’s problems realistically and to work hard to uplift the people.It is the responsibility of the state to use the national platform, including incentives that come with it, to mobilize the people towards a common future, Rev. Karpeh said.“Liberian politics has been a one-hearted system only for self with little or no future capacity, without any template and the lack of an identifiable template is the unfortunate consequence of the lack of leadership,” he said.Benetta V. Davies, program officer of NAYMOTE said YPLS is the first of its kind in Liberia and is designed by NAYMOTE to groom a generation of transformational young political leaders to become sound decision makers.“Over the past ten years, Liberia witnessed two successful and relatively peaceful elections, including senatorial elections. We are proud of the democratic gains that Liberia has made,” she said.NAYMOTE also recognizes the challenges facing the sustainability of these gains and the threat to development and growth, she said.The challenges limit understanding of the essence of politics and the electoral process, weak political parties, disorganized political campaigns, election violence, immeasurable campaign platforms and voters’ apathy, which is largely due to lack of trust in the political system, according to Ms. Davies.Ms. Davies said NAYMOTE believes that when young people are empowered, they can contribute greatly towards good governance and democracy and serve as catalysts for national development. During the five day YPLS event, the young people, representing eleven political parties, seven student council governments and civil society organizations will be trained to lead peaceful political campaigns, promote research based platforms and development. Participants will also gain competence in issues based voting, and how to make constructive use of the media to project the brand of their candidates as well as support the Liberia 2030 vision.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgThis article is part of an LIB Life five part series to promote Liberia’s already decaying cultureBehsao, Western Liberia – The center of Behsao, Liberia’s second ‘culture village’ dedicated by President William R. Tolbert more 15 years ago, is dominated by a tree that stands over the grave of King N’jola, one of the kings who sold land to the freed African Americans hoping to settle in present day Liberia.Beneath the tree, a neglected historical rock, grass covered presidential residence, a palava hut shaped museum, and stage lie in ruins – all testaments to the neglect that resulted from Liberia’s prolonged civil war.If resurrected Behsao could be an ideal tourist hotpot in Liberia, with roads leading to the village dotted with palm trees and swamps.On a trip to the village a few months ago, a sprightly old man greeted us in his 80s, Morris Beysow, who welcomed us to the village. Elder Beysow led us to the town hall, where he lectured on the relevance of culture in modern Liberia.The last surviving generation to descend from King N’jola, and a former superintendent of Kendeja, Elder Beysow said modern Liberian society has failed to respect the cultural practices of their forefathers“It is shame that for a nation to sell its pride in the name of development. It’s a shame for a nation to classify its traditional practices as negative when these practices served as the center of civilization that the citizens boast of today,” bemoaned Mr Beysow.An early 1950s graduate of the Poro Society, the old man wondered why the new generation of Liberians continues to value western culture and traditional practices over those of their forefathers.“The unwillingness of Liberians to learn their cultural and traditional values has made them lose their identity as a people, leaving them exposed to foreign ones, which is now exhibited by the number of violent acts they are engaged in,” he said.While the cultural icon blamed the government for the neglect of our ancestral way of life, he also heaped blame on traditional leaders for not actually performing their duties as is given and expected of them.“The absence of cultural festivals such as the fire festival and harvest festival is evidence enough that the traditional leaders are at sleep and need to wake up as soon as possible to save the next generation from totally losing its identity,” he said.As we walked from the town hall to King N’jola’s grave, which lay between the museum and the hall, elder Beysow said the festivals are the occasions traditional leaders use to teach the traditional and cultural norms to the youth, narrate history about great peoples of the past, among other things.“I cannot do much any longer. I’m just appealing to the traditional leaders to make teaching the youth our culture a priority. And government needs to persuade historians to document the indigenous cultural history for everyone,” advised Mr Beysow.He blamed the increase and spread of indiscipline and violence in Liberia on the lack of culture and tradition, adding that such attitudes pose a serious threat to the nation’s present and future.Content with living among his people, who regard him as a fountain of wisdom, elder Beysow said that it is a total disgrace for young people of this generation not to know about Liberia’s ancient “female-warrior,” Madam Suakoko, or how Behsao came into existence. Mr Beysow used our visit to appeal to government to make Behsao the national culture village since Kendeja is no more “because the village was declared as the national second culture village by a sitting president.”“You cannot take the culture village to a place that does not have historical value. All government needs to do is transform Behsao into a vibrant national cultural center in place of Kendeja,” added elder Beysow.Elder Morris Beysow, who is the oldest surviving person in Behsao, took us on a tour to show us a few sacred sites in the village, including graves of the great king’s ancestors and descendants. The gravesite is where the town hall and the museum are built.“My father’s and other generations of children were buried here with the exception of three of my uncles who were buried on the outskirt of town,” he said before we parted ways.It goes without saying that a country that forgets and neglects its past will not have a clear picture of where it is heading. Liberia’s developmental trajectory after 168 years leaves much to be desired. To say that a neglect of its cultural and traditional past are reasons enough would belie the role played, and continue to be played by corruption, something that could have been averted were we to value our traditions and culture, which decry such tendencies. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgPublic Works Minister William Gyude Moore narrowly escaped death yesterday when a speeding vehicle hit him. The hit and run accident happened barely days after the death of a Deputy Minister of Commerce, Cyril Allen II, whose vehicle ran into a broken down truck on the Robertsfield Highway.Minister Moore was jogging in Congo Town along Tubman Boulevard yesterday, Decoration Day, when the incident occurred, an eyewitness reported. The driver did not stop to check on the victim, who suffered minor injuries and was rushed to the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Memorial Center where he is responding to treatment, according to hospital sources.The vehicle was reportedly overtaking another vehicle when it veered in Minister Moore’s direction, hitting him to the ground.Minister Moore had just returned from Ganta, Nimba County, where the Gbarnga-Ganta-Guinea road dedication ceremony took place on Monday.Many recollected that during the road dedication in Ganta, Minister Moore, who asked for a moment of silence in remembrance of his colleague, Cyril Allen II, warned drivers against excessive speeding, saying it has the propensity to destroy innocent lives. “Not because we are fixing the roads and they look so smooth and comfortable, you should put other people’s lives at risk. We need to stop excessive speeding,” warned Minister Moore who could not have realized he would soon be a victim of the behavior he was advising against. The Daily Observer could not get information on the make and year of the vehicle as well as information about the driver who nearly killed Minister Moore. The Executive Mansion said the Liberia National Police (LNP) is investigating the case which is being treated as a hit and run accident. While touring various gravesites around Monrovia and its environs where she laid wreaths, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, along with Information Minister Eugene Nagbe and several government officials, paid a brief visit to Minister Moore at the JFK where the Minister is receiving treatment. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgThe nine hundred kilometer Tappita Airstrip in Lower Nimba County was on Saturday, March 19 was officially opened after rehabilitation by Samaritan Purse in collaboration with the county administration. According to the Country Director of Samaritan Purse, Kendell Kauffeldt, the purpose for the rehabilitation is to support the Jackson F. Doe Referral Hospital in Tappita by making transportation of patients and medical supplies less difficult.He thanked the government for the partnership in steering the development agenda of the country and also all those who made the rehabilitation work successful.Those attending the occasion included former President Pro-tempore Gbehzongar Findley and Nimba County Superintendent Fong Zuagele, Mr. Harry Yuan among several other prominent Nimbaians.Mr. Finley on behalf of the Liberia Aviation Authority (LAA) praised Samaritan Purse and the Nimba County authorities for rehabilitating the airstrip. He urged the residents of Tappita to engage in hotel businesses so as to host visiting patients and travelers.He said, “Many people will be traveling to Tappita, especially from the southeastern region to get treatment from the hospital, so it is important to have somewhere they will be able to rest for the time.”“This airstrip will ease the transportation problems, which always occur on the road during the rainy season,” said Mr. Will Bako Freeman, General Manager, LAA.He said the LAA will soon set up a management team to look after the airstrip.However, Superintendent Zuagele called on Tappita residents to desist from taking their authority to court action and embrace development. He said one of the challenges the county administration is facing is a court action that came from the citizens of Tappita. The Supreme Court last year issued a writ of prohibition against the opening of streets or alleys in Tappita, due to the action by some Tappita citizens.Mr. Harry Yuan, one of the prominent sons of Tappita, also commended the county authority, including the Legislative Caucus for working with partners to get the airstrip rehabilitated, amid numerous challenges, including the court action.At the ribbon cutting, Samaritan Purse turned over the airstrip to the Liberia Aviation Authority, who later turned it over to the Board Chair Gbehzongar Findley, who then handed it over to Superintendent Zuagele.“This airstrip can host about four or five aircrafts at the same time,” said one of the engineers.Despite the rehabilitation, the airstrip does not have any terminal for passengers or any control mechanism to coordinate air traffic. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgPresley Tenwah (3rd from left), Chairman of PATEL, and other executive membersAhead of the April 10 mass protest planned by the Patriotic Entrepreneurs of Liberia (PATEL), the Liberia National Police (LNP) yesterday invited PATEL Chairman, Presley Tenwah at the LNP Headquarters for questioning.PATEL is comprised of Liberian business owners. Their planned action, they said, will shut down Monrovia and other cities to bring the government’s attention to the plight of business people, especially the indigenous traders.Unlike the three-day shutdown recently, the forthcoming protest, they say, will go on until the government does something about their concerns.Tenwah’s invitation from the LNP was confirmed by police spokesman Sam Collins in an interview yesterday.Collins said, “Tenwah was invited for questioning on why he was distributing leaflets to business people when it is part of the LNP operations under its Public Management Law.“The guy is planning a protest and the LNP does not know about it. We should be aware of such activity. We need to be aware about what is happening and this will help us to better prepare ourselves to ensure that the public is not disturbed,” said Collins.Asked how long Tenwah’s meeting with the LNP took, Collins said that was irrelevant. “After all, he was not in jail. We had a gentlemen’s discussion with him and we allowed him to go home.”PATEL issued a statement last week critical of the depreciation of the Liberian dollar against the United States dollar; high tariffs and incidental tariffs that are placed on goods imported by Liberian businesses, and constant police harassment of traders, including street sellers.The statement appealed to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to quickly respond to their concerns as soon as April 3, a week before the planned strike action to avoid any conflict that may arise.The statement also called on members of the House of Representatives and Senate to immediately look into “the imposition of high tariffs on goods imported to Liberia, constant increase of the United States dollar rate on the market and police harassment of petty traders.”PATEL called for the classification of Liberian businesses as a special group in relation to the four categories of tariffs, to enable them to pay a flat rate tax of 0% – 5% on all goods imported into Liberia.PATEL also called for a single customs examination before any payment is made, instead of multiple examinations of goods with separate and distinct tax payments.According to the LNP, however, the government will not tolerate any action that will destabilize the country’s peace, especially at such a crucial election period.Government spokesman, Information Minister Eugene Nagbe at the just-ended Cabinet retreat in Julijuah, Bomi County, strongly warned PATEL and other business leaders against disturbing the peace and hindering economic growth, saying such actions will not be tolerated.“We want to sound this alarm again to all of those who are planning the disturbance of our peace and the disturbance of our economic growth to desist because we will not tolerate any disturbance of the peace or any activity that will hinder economic growth in our country,” Nagbe said last Friday.With the current development, officials of PATEL could not be reached to find out from them what will be their next course of action – whether they will abide by the government’s orders to desist or carry out their nationwide strike action as planned. In their statement last week, PATEL warned Liberians to ensure that they purchase enough essential supplies for a long campaign.“This time around we are not going to relent if we cannot hear from the lawmakers. We are calling on Ma Ellen to speak for us so that our concerns can be resolved. All we’ve been getting is promises but nothing has changed. All they have been saying to us is that we should come on March 10th; and then go-and-come-back tactics,” the statement said, last week.Minister Nagbe accused PATEL and its agents of attempting to incite other businesses to participate in activities that are unfavorable to the economy and Liberia’s peace.He also accused the group of distributing leaflets with intimidating tactics, saying such actions by PATEL “are unacceptable to the government,” and called on peaceful business owners to go about their normal business activities without fear of intimidation from PATEL.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgEx-Justice Cooper signs the Book of Condolence at the LNBA office in Monrovia.-Former Chief Justice CooperFormer Chief Justice Henry Reed Cooper has described the late Dean David A.B. Jallah as one of the best and astute legal practitioners, who inspired a generation of young lawyers and whose death is an irreparable loss to the nation.Justice Cooper said that Jallah’s death is a loss not only to the legal community, but also to the country’s Judiciary System and the Liberia Chamber of Commerce, where he once served as a president.Cllr. Cooper was among several lawyers that include four of the five current associate justices of the Supreme Court to sign the Book of Condolence yesterday in honor of the late Cllr. Jallah, former Dean of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia.The signing ceremony was opened by the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) at its office on Ashmun Street office where Jallah also served as one of its president.Cllr. Jallah passed away on the morning of Monday, May 20, when he fainted and was rushed to the Redemption Hospital. There, doctors pronounced him dead upon arrival.Before he signed the book of condolence, Cllr. Cooper recalled how Cllr. Jallah was under his mentorship with the passion to become a “very successful” lawyer that Liberia can boast of.“He wanted to become a good lawyer and so, he worked very hard to earn that. He did plenty of things for this country and the legal community, so we are going to miss him a lot,” the former chief justice lamented of the late Dean Jallah.On behalf of the Supreme Court, Associate Justice Jamesetta Howard Wolokollie informed the bereaved family and the LNBA members that the judiciary stands and mourns with them in this difficult period of bereavement.“Dean Jallah played a very good role, particularly with the legal process and we are going to miss him,” Justice Wolokollie said.LNBA President Moses Peagar said Dean Jallah was a ‘reservoir of knowledge,’ and that his death was a loss to the country, specifically in the legal corridor.“Dean Jallah was not just a lawyer, but an educator who imparted knowledge unto us, because he believed in sharing knowledge,” Cllr. Paegar said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgFrom Right: Rep. Morris of District #1 Montserrado County, Mrs. Moore of KEEP along with beneficiaries of the program.The Kids’ Educational Engagement Project (KEEP) says 75 young people are expected to benefit from capacity-building to influence advocacy on developing a national policy on youth employment and training opportunities.Executive Director of KEEP, Brenda B. Moore, said the program is also aimed at pushing several things with emphasis in promoting literacy and transformative learning for the young people.Mrs. Moore said the project also focuses on youth engagement through meaningful ways, including changing their perceptions about land rights, gender, youth engagement and education.The program seeks to provide skills training opportunities for people with disabilities and also link them to organizations that will be prepared to employ them, according to Mrs. Moore.“We have also been attentive on including marginalized groups, including people with disabilities because most times, people forget about them being part of the population,” Mrs. Moore said.Mrs. Moore said, “We are also trying to establish whether the skills opportunities exist first and try to link youth to some of the available training opportunities, because most often people are always asked for experience while applying for jobs.”She said the program is also aimed at linking young people to businesses that exist within the communities for internships and on the job training, especially communities that the program exists.Mrs. Moore said the program has received some positive feedbacks within the communities to incorporate beneficiaries of the program into their own businesses.The program is a pilot project in five communities in Montserrado County, with the “hope that the results from the project will lead to bigger programs to help more youth.Mrs. Moore said the program will collaborate with organizations and institutions that are involved in youth engagement or youth empowerment to help in making it successful. According to her, KEEP has opened 13 reading facilities in six counties in Liberia since its establishment in 2014.She said it’s not just about creating the spaces, but getting the students involved and allowing the teachers to create the passion about teaching, as well as getting the families involved to be part of their education.”She said KEEP is working with other local organizations particularly to provide skills training and computer literacy. “We provide village saving loan clubs. Education is core to the work we do at KEEP,” she said.Mrs. Brenda B. Moore with Montserrado County District #1 Representative Lawrence Morris.Oxfam Liberia Education liaison officer, Josephine G. Urey, said she was delighted about the initiative as Oxfam sees the youth as one of its targets.“At Oxfam, we are more concentrated on transformative education for active citizenship and it means that youth will have the power and demand for their rights or challenge the social structures, be able to dialogue and consider multiple view points, while considering that they have their responsibilities,” Madam Urey said.KEEP is the implementing partner, while Oxfam is providing the funding through the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.Tamba Boimah Hali, a Liberian-born former American football linebacker, pledged his commitment to work with officials of KEEP.“My passion is in education, especially educating the young people of Liberia. I have been inspired by my father to create education programs and will be joining hands with KEEP. I will like to start a program for Science, Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM), which is a leading program around the world, particularly U.S.A.,” Mr. Hali said.According to him, given Liberia’s current situation, Liberians should focus on education because once the youth are educated, they will empower themselves and do more in the world.“I have come to endorse what is actually happening through KEEP and with a vision to continue,” said Mr. Hali.Hali played college football at Pennsylvania State University, where he earned All-American honors.Montserrado County District #1 Representative, Lawrence Morris, called on the program beneficiaries to utilize the skills acquired as the education will stay with them for life.Rep. Morris said KEEP remains unique in its efforts to promote literacy and called on the beneficiaries to hold KEEP to their hearts as it’s about building their foundation.“We must use our full potential to get what we want. I’m from a poor background but utilized the available opportunities to reach this level. I had to sleep in people’s cars and wash cars to survive, which makes me what I am today,” Rep. Morris said.According to him, his district is been left behind in everything, including education, infrastructure and development, despite being the first district in the first county.“With your support, determination and commitment, we can rise above this level. We can remain District #1, but it starts with everyone. Again, the youth empowerment is not just about putting money in the pocket but putting the mind to to work get the best that will keep putting money in the pocket every time,” Rep. Morris added.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_img…Wants gov’t restore citizensThe Board of Directors of the Faith and Justice Network within the Mano River Basin countries is deeply concerned about the increasing economic hardship being caused by the unprecedented shortage of Liberian Dollars on the market.This situation, according to a release, is leading to frustration among Liberians during the start of the festival seasons, especially among ordinary citizens. It has also instilled fear in the public, reduced investors’ confidence in the market and as well as their desire to trade.The Faith and Justice Network (FJN), a faith-based organization committed to fostering a just peace society within the Mano River Basin Countries; views the unexplained shortage of the Liberian Dollars on the market as a factor decreasing public trust in the CDC-led government’s ability to meet the achievement of the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) for its citizens.FJN has observed with grave concern, the increased level of poverty and anger prevailing in every community as the direct result of the inability of commercial banks to make complete payments on legitimate customers’ withdrawal.According to the release, an immediate intervention is needed in order to alleviate the rising economic hardship in the country. The Government through President George Weah, and respective ministries and agencies must speedily intervene by taking concrete actions to stabilize the cash flow of the local banknotes to meet up with costumers’ requests.It is evident that the current development challenges facing our nation should be overcome sooner than later. Concrete efforts must be exerted by respective government functionaries to faithfully translate the promises contained in the PAPD into action for all.On the other hand, FJN categorically advises against the hasty printing of new banknotes at this time when issues highlighted in the Kroll and Presidential Investigation Team (PIT) reports surrounding the alleged “missing L$16 billion” and the US$25 million mop-up exercises are yet to be conclusively addressed by the government.“The Economic Management Team must be made accountable to the citizens before requesting the Legislature for approval to print new banknotes,” the release said.Therefore, FJN admonishes and calls on the Legislative and the Executive branches of Government not to proceed with the printing of new money without first addressing the recommendations, and issues highlighted in the Kroll and PIT reports.The government must first tighten the monetary policy to reduce the inflation that is fast eroding the living standards of the poorest Liberians, and take prudent measures to safeguard financial sector stability.Finally, Faith and Justice Network remains grateful to the Most High God, our international partners, civic society organizations and all patriotic Liberians who continue to contribute to the peace, stability, and prosperity of the motherland.We urge all citizens and sundry to be assured of our fervent prayers for the progress of the nation during these advent seasons.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgGTT’s recently-introduced Brand Ambassadors Saiku, Poonam Singh and Drew Thoven teamed up with the company to take the message of hope to several schools across Guyana by sharing their stories of faith and persistence in achieving success.GTT’s Brand Ambassadors Saiku, Poonam Singh interacting with students on their recent outreachThe Brand Ambassadors highlighted that the platform given them as representatives provided the opportunity to reach out and inspire young people, a role which is perfectly aligned with GTT’s mission to connect and impact communities all across Guyana in a positive way.The first round of the tour started last Friday at the New Silver City Secondary and Mackenzie High Schools with positive and resounding responses from the teachers and students. They sang along to the popular songs “G.U.Y.A.N.A.”, “You” and “Pillow Could Speak”, by Singh and Saiku respectively.The Brand Ambassadors have been major acts on GTT’s “Million Dollar Smile” campaign, which has already visited several parts of the country, including Georgetown, Mon Repos and Linden.The campaign moves to Bartica on November 24, when someone from that community would be given a chance to become a GTT “Million Dollar Smile” winner.The Ambassadors will at the same time visit the Bartica Secondary and John Baptise Schools to continue sharing their positive messages, inspiring youths to follow their dreams to do more.last_img read more