Stay on target After a decent but not mind-blowing debut of its State of Play online press conference, Sony’s latest stab at a Nintendo Direct last week ended on a much more exciting note. There may not be a PlayStation event at E3 next month, but it would be easy to forget after getting the surprise first new footage in forever of Final Fantasy VII Remake with a promise of more news in June.Depending on who you asked, this HD PlayStation 4 re-imagining of the beloved (and bad) PlayStation 1 JRPG classic was first announced at Sony’s 2015 E3 show or way back in a tech demo for PlayStation 3. Either way, it’s been a while, and we still don’t have high hopes for the game releasing anytime soon. However, if nothing else, we’re now more convinced than ever that Final Fantasy VII Remake has become a real video game. Low bar, but small victory.That definitely wasn’t the case before! In 2015 Final Fantasy VII Remake was little more than some spruced-up Advent Children CGI footage and a director who didn’t know he was a director until he saw his name on stage. Presumably what followed was years of actually developing the project, hiring and firing outside development teams in the process, and letting it basically do whatever it wanted even as Square’s Western games picked up the immediate slack and still got frustratingly ignored.But just as Death Stranding went from nothing at all to a game I can now imagine people eventually playing, this weekend it finally sunk in that Final Fantasy VII is probably going to be a real video game. There’s a new trailer with snippets of new action-oriented gameplay, bothering those who prefer the original turn-based combat in an example of lofty dreams turning into disappointing reality. We saw updated versions of characters like Aerith with her dumb flowers and Barret with his unfortunate voice. And Square Enix even recommitted to the “ambitious” idea that this game is so big it’ll need to be released in episodic installments, carrying a torch for Telltale I guess.The biggest proof to me though that Square Enix will actually ship a product called Final Fantasy VII Remake to store shelves is the company’s surprisingly consistent track record with its huge vaporware JRPG boondoggles that spend years upon years in development Hell. Final Fantasy XIII eventually came out. Final Fantasy XV eventually came out. Kingdom Hearts III eventually came out. Their quality may vary, but they came out. And so with nothing else on its elaborately over-designed Tetsuya Nomura plate, Square Enix will also make sure Final Fantasy VII Remake comes out. Then they can focus on making Verum Rex a game and not just a temper tantrum.For more on Final Fantasy check out our character guide for Cloud Strife in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and read about the massive impact of Final Fantasy VI, still the best game in the series. Sorry, You Can’t Date Keanu Reeves in ‘Cyberpunk 2077”Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball Form Final Fantasy VII remake is still somehow coming March 3, 2020.And now this new Tokyo Games Show trailer offers even more proof this game really exists!
The Jallah Special Independent Committee which President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf appointed to investigate the scandal involving the National Security Agency (NSA), whose operatives, without a warrant arrested several Korean businessmen and others and seized from them US$247,500, made a number of forthright recommendations.In our editorial of November 13, 14, we commended the Jallah Committee in particular for recommending that the NSA ‘operatives’, having acted illegally, should be sent to the Ministry of Justice for prosecution.The Jallah Committee further recommended that the government of Liberia (GOL) repay the Koreans their money. The Committee’s full Report has not yet been made public.The Executive Mansion did, however, issue a press statement indicating that President Sirleaf had received the Report and forwarded it to the Ministry of Justice. She mandated the Ministry to review the Report and to ensure that “appropriate actions, including all of the recommendations contained [therein] be taken into consideration, consistent with law.”One of the recommendations made by the Jallah Committee concerned the US$247,500 which the NSA operatives seized from the Koreans, calling some of the money “counterfeit.” Recommendation (c) of the Jallah Committee Report said inter alia: “The Government of Liberia refund to the Korean nationals the full amount of US$247,500, which they withdrew from the International Bank of Liberia (IB) on July 8, 2014 and which they proceeded with to the City King Hotel immediately thereafter and were arrested shortly after their arrival.”The Daily Observer approached Counselor Jallah and requested a copy of the Report, but he declined, saying he had already submitted it to the President and only her office could furnish us a copy. Since Chairman Jallah further declined to divulge any details of the Report whatsoever, we speculated in our November 13 editorial that being a reputable professional lawyer, Counselor Jallah and his Committee had contacted IB Bank to confirm that the Koreans did indeed withdraw the amount of US$247,500. We felt the Committee had found it absolutely necessary to do this, if for no other reason than to confirm that the full amount was legitimate money and not “counterfeit,” as the NSA operatives had claimed.We reckoned that had the Committee found the NSA’s “counterfeit” charge to have been true, the Committee would not have recommended that GOL “refund” the Koreans’ money.Without the benefit of having seen the Committee’s full Report, we do not know why Counselor Jallah and his Special Committee recommended that GOL, rather than the NSA operatives themselves, who seized the money, refund the Koreans. Nor do we know what the Report said about what has happened to the money seized by the NSA operatives.What is now clear, however, is that the US$247,500 is in the possession of somebody at NSA. Somebody within the Agency knows where that money is. It is only appropriate, just and responsible that the Director General, Fumba Sirleaf, who happens to be the son of President Sirleaf, should be called to account for that money, since he heads that Agency. We most certainly believe that it would be a travesty (mockery) of justice should the Liberian government be made to refund the Koreans’ money. It would undermine everything the President has said or done to fight corruption which she, in her first inaugural address, described as “public enemy number one.”Such a precedent would open even wider the floodgate of corruption which the President herself has admitted to be “endemic” (common, widespread, rife) in Liberia.GOL paying back that money, which we know GOL does not have, given the grave economic crisis into which Ebola has plunged the country, would send a terrible message to the Liberian people and the international community, to whom GOL has appealed for support in the fight against this deadly virus.It is our uncompromising conviction that the NSA, and not the government, should be directed to find and make restitution of the money they seized from the Korean businessmen. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)