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President Weah pushes to tackle poverty in Liberia

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President George Weah

Liberian President George Weah has said he would take measures to tackle rampant inflation and poverty, including injecting $25 million into the forex market and taking steps to bring more local cash into the formal banking system.

President Weah said in an address to the nation “I am fully aware of the negative impact of the declining exchange rate on the economic well-being of the Liberian people, and the serious hardship that this is beginning to cause”.

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“We believe a more aggressive enforcement of monetary policy should go a long way to … address the problem,” including giving the central bank stronger powers to regulate money changers and banks, he said.

Weah said the injection of dollars would help mop up some excess Liberian dollars, adding that 90 percent of local cash in circulation was being held outside the formal banking system, where there was no oversight.

 A former soccer World Player of the Year, Weah took office at the start of 2018 on a promise to stamp out corruption and end economic misery for millions of Liberians.

Civil wars in the small West African country killed hundreds of thousands of people between 1989-2003. As its economy was recovering, it was hit by falls in prices of its main exports, iron ore and rubber, and an Ebola outbreak from 2014 to 2016.

But the collapse in the currency since then has hit Liberians particularly hard, sparking protests by students.

Weah said the Liberian dollar had declined 25 percent over 2017 and a further 25 percent since January, blaming in part the end of Liberia’s U.N. peacekeeping mission in March, which had cut inflows of hard currency.

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Spice Girl Emma Bunton to host the Great American Baking Show

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Spice Girl Emma Bunton is the new presenter of the US version of The Great British Bake Off.



The Great American Baking Show will return to TV in the US later this year with Paul Hollywood returning as judge.

Baby Spice said it was her “dream job. Christmas time, eating cake and having such a brilliant time with Spice, Sherry and Paul.”

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Sherry Yard will join as a judge and Bunton will co-host with American footballer Anthony ‘Spice’ Adams.

Bunton revealed on her Heart Radio show that she has already started filming for the show – and was very excited.

“Just being in the famous tent – honestly it took me a week to get used to being in the tent,” she said.

Bunton added that working with Hollywood was “great fun”.

“I had lots of fun with Paul. He’s got a great sense of humour. I did watch out for him [though, as] he can be trouble. He’s got those eyes. Don’t look in his eyes!”

The Great American Baking Show was pulled off air last year after allegations of sexual harassment surrounding judge Johnny Iuzzini.

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UK minister pulls out of Saudi summit

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The UK’s International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has pulled out of attending an investment conference in Saudi Arabia next week.



It comes amid allegations the country was behind the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Mr Khashoggi has not been seen since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October, where Turkish officials allege he was killed.

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Saudi Arabia, which denies the killing, allowed investigators inside overnight.

The Dutch and French finance ministers, as well as several other politicians and business leaders, have said they are pulling out of the event.

However, a number of major businesses – including Goldman Sachs, Pepsi and EDF – are still intending to go despite growing pressure for a boycott.

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