President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says that “A Friend In Need Is a Friend In Deed” in expressing Liberia’s appreciation for the generous gesture of medical assistance given to us by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the fight against the Ebola virus. The quotation is very apt as recognition of a noble act of generosity and solidarity. As a citizen of Liberia, I have no doubt that I am expressing the sentiments of all Liberians in echoing the President’s statement. The quoted sentiment is an expression of our profound gratitude in this time of crisis by a friendly nation with whom we share very cordial relations and which has been very helpful to us in many ways in the past. Beginning in March of this year, at the outbreak of the first round of the Ebola virus, the government of the People’s Republic of China donated medical supplies valued at $160,000 to help combat the spread of the virus. At the same time, Chinese companies in Liberia donated $20,000 to communities engaged in fighting the epidemic. Since then the Chinese Ambassador has remained appraised of the situation. As a result, his government has very recently donated a cargo plane load of more medical supplies valued at $1.7 million to beef up the intensified efforts at stemming the spread of the virus and for treating those diagnosed as infected.This batch of supplies and other items include medical instruments, non-contact infrared thermometers, medical equipments, sanitizers, disinfectants and medicine. In addition, three Chinese Public Health experts, mostly epidemiologists, arrived on the 13th of August and followed by another batch of three medical experts who arrived on the 16th of August to join the team of other experts already in the country. At the delivery of the consignment of the much needed aid, China Ambassador ZHANG Yue read a message to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf expressing the deep sympathy and solidarity of the government of the People’s Republic of China. He emphasized that the PRC and the people of Liberia stand together in this crisis and in furthering the good and friendly relations that already exist between our two nations. President Sirleaf thanked the Ambassador and the government of the PRC from the bottom of her heart.The President and the Ambassador later visited the isolation clinics in Monrovia for the purpose of seeing first hand those afflicted with the virus. The Ambassador then promised further aid to fight the disease.It needs to be mentioned that the PRC also delivered similar aid to Sierra Leone and Guinea, the other affected countries.The action of the government and people of the PRC has touched the hearts of all the people of Liberia who are sincerely grateful and feel deeply indebted for the generous and thoughtful gifts. We will live to remember this gesture of friendship and hope to have occasion, though not in similar circumstances, to repay the kindness.In the main time, however, the virus appears to be spreading. According to recent count, 525 people are said to have died while more than 20 have recovered from the affliction. WHO has reported that close to 2,225 cases have been reported for the affected countries, of these 1,235 are reported to have died. WHO and Doctors Without Borders went on to say that the virus is spreading at a faster rate than had been believed and that the potential for the spread had been underestimated. As a measure to stop the spread, WHO advises that the four affected countries screen all departures from international airports, seaports, and land border crossing to prevent the spread of the virus.The Cameroon has closed its border with Nigeria and Ghana postponing all international conferences to be held there. The Ivory Coast is stimulating response exercises in case of an outbreak; South Africa has just announced that it is closing its borders to citizens of the affected countries in West Africa; Senegal has closed its borders to Guinea; and Chad has closed its borders to Nigeria.More and more attention is being paid to the potential of the epidemic spreading beyond the borders of the four affected countries. The United Nations has requested $1.8million as assistance to the affected countries and a senior official of the UN is soon to visit these countries.These concerns of our international partners are because the Ebola epidemic is going to have socio-economic effects beyond the boundaries of the currently affected countries. For instance, South Africa tourist trade has suffered a drastic decline recently because of the virus. People are reluctant to risk coming to Africa even though South Africa is well removed from West Africa. Last year ten million tourists were reported to have visited South Africa many of them Asians. This year the number of visitors is drastically reduced because people tend to see Africa as one country rather than a continent made up of countries.There is some talk of developing a vaccine or antigen to defend and protect against the virus respectively. The efforts are at an early stage, however. It is expected to take some time to produce substantial quantities of these to make a difference in curbing the spread of the disease – as explorative antidote is being experimentally tested on a couple of patients who return from Liberia to Atlanta, Georgia, USA. There is as yet no conclusive observation of the effect of this drug. However, the two patient doctors have now been released from hospital and fully recovered.Here at home the situation is being followed meticulously and aggressively. Action is being taken to bring matters under control. The areas reported to be most affected by the virus are in the northern part of the country.The awareness campaign is being waged intensively and more and more people are beginning to grasp the gravity of the epidemic. They seem to be understanding for some of the extraordinary measures that have been taken.Clashes with the police erupted when it was announced that the West Point area will be quarantined by some of the inhabitants of the community who woke up to find themselves barricaded by the security personnel. This clash led to a panic that reached the commercial areas of the city where the stores belonging to Lebanese are mostly located. The shopkeepers closed their stores for fear of looting.It is difficult to understand why some people will choose to act so recklessly in the face of this momentous challenge. There are those who are unwilling to accept the existence of the epidemic and would like to make a political issue out of it. They seem to want to undermine the efforts of the government so as to find reason to blame it for what, one hardly knows.No doubt, there are those who simply out of ignorance show reluctant to abide by the restriction imposed. With these I sympathize but even they must be brought to realize the national danger posed by the virus.We need to let the entertainment/video club places take the danger seriously by avoiding large gatherings particularly during the season of the Premier football League in London. Incidentally, a curfew has been imposed between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m to make sure that the lawlessness and callous disregard of public safety witness at West Point isolation center is not repeated. This will also take care of the problem of the large gatherings at the video clubs.The imposition of a curfew is definitely justified under the circumstances. It will enable the policing of the country during the night and early hours when the likelihood of the outbreak of disturbances similar to the ones recently observed at West Point is high.The decision to quarantine certain localities is equally necessary, if there is reason to believe that the incident or potential for infection is reasonably high in these places. Stringent security is required for policing these localities.However, steps must also be taken to ensure that the basic daily needs of the residence can be met without their having to leave the vicinity. Suggested is the setting up of an Ebola Control Administrative Agency with a central office in Monrovia and branch offices in each location that is quarantined. The function of the branch offices within the quarantined locations will be to order and store when necessary the basic necessities not available in stores or at markets within the localities. The residents could be asked to order their purchases through the office in their locality. Where there are stores for market the proprietors should be able to make orders of wares that are demanded by the residents. All of these require discipline — social discipline, without which it will be very difficult to stop the virus.Finally, after all that is happening we must be grateful to our Chinese friends for urgently delivering a consignment of epidemic preventive materials conducive to contain the Ebola virus and our other international partners for their continuous support and assistance, as well as health workers for their selfless devotion to duty.Let us now unite as a people, whatever our differences to wage a relentless war on this epidemic.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan’s recent announcement of his resignation may have been accepted by many in good faith since he based his decision on compliance with the Code of Conduct Act passed in 2014 at the National Legislature.While the timing of Mr. Ngafuan’s resignation runs almost exactly two years to the October 2017 elections, it nevertheless has created apprehension among other potential candidates who are still holding on to their positions and there are questions regarding who would be the next to resign. A survey conducted in Monrovia suggests that there could be a very good reason among potential presidential aspirants that are still in government to be jittery. After all, Section 5.1 of the Code of Conduct requires that a person appointed by the President may not engage in political activities such as canvassing or contesting elected office, should not use any government facility or serve on any campaign team, political party or be an independent candidate. The code of conduct further states that if such a person holds a ministerial position and has any desire to contest any elective public office, the person should resign his/her position at least two years prior to the date of holding elections.Section 5.2 states that if any person affected holds a tenured position, that person should resign at least three years prior to the date of the elections. The Act exempts the President, Vice President, Senators and members of the House of Representatives.However, a group, calling itself Citizens Solidarity Council (CSC) last year filed a petition in the Civil Law Court for Declaration Judgment, requesting the court to declare Sections 5.1 and 5. 2 of the Code of Conduct “unconstitutional.”Information gathered suggests that the government opposed the Petition and the case was forwarded to the Supreme Court and it is now awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision. Hence, many legal minds who spoke to the Daily Observer suggest that Minister Ngafuan may have made a hasty resignation.“If the Supreme Court later decides that the Act is unconstitutional, then Minister Ngafuan would have acted hastily since no Minister or anyone affected by the Act could be expected to resign,” said a legal expert who asked not to be identified.Accordingly, he said, “If the Supreme Court decides that the sections of the Code of Conduct that are challenged are unconstitutional, then any cabinet minister or director could hold on to the position for as long as necessary.“This can go on as long as necessary until the person declares an intention for the elected political office and is accepted by the Elections Commission as a certified candidate,” they said.The Daily Observer has learnt that one of the major contentions of the CSC is that the Code of Conduct is “discriminatory” and therefore a violation of the Constitution by infringing on the rights of officials.“Because it tries to have an incumbent violate a contract which he or she entered into with the institution that employed such a person or a position anyone is appointed to,” our source said, noting that the Supreme Court must decide the legality of the Code of Conduct.Another legal source said, “All eyes are now on the Supreme Court, which has been dealing with constitutional issues, to deal with the matter.”It was learned that other incumbents who are still holding on to their posts are waiting for the Supreme Court to decide on the case before they decide on what course of action to take.A lawyer described it as a “smart and wise decision” and therefore no one should need to resign at this stage while the matter is still before the Supreme Court.“If anyone resigns now,” the lawyers said, “on account of the Act whose constitutionality is still in doubt and waiting for the Supreme Court to decide, the resigned officials cannot be reinstated.”What is clear is that some of those interviewed, including lawyers told the Daily Observer that, lawmakers who have the desire to run in the next presidential race will be highly disappointed if they are prevented from running for the nation’s top office, if the Act that many consider as discriminatory is not changed, as it is being pursued at the Supreme Court.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Seventeen-year-old Christopher Shannon was on Friday arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on an attempted murder charge alleging that on November 10, 2018 at Grove, East Bank Demerara, he unlawfully assaulted Brian Sumeer with intent to commit murder.Represented by Attorney-at-law Stanley Moore, the teen, of Lot 128 Alexander Village, Georgetown, was not required to plead to the indictable charge.The prosecution’s case is that the teen discharged two shots at the victim, thus causing him to receive injuries to his chest.Shannon has been remanded to prison, and the matter has been adjourned to December 18, 2018.
LANCASTER – A road map to make elite closed-course off-road truck racing a mainstream sport features two stops in the Antelope Valley. The Championship Off Road Racing Series will open its season this weekend at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds for a two-day event that will feature some of the world’s top off-road racing talent, including defending CORR 2 champion Carl Renezeder and NASCAR star Robby Gordon. The CORR 2 Series, which features the world’s most advanced closed-course competition, will return to the A.V. Fairgrounds on Sept.15-16. Since the CORR 2’s inception in 1999, the sport has been wildly popular in the Midwest but hasn’t caught a wider audience. “Our goal is to take this race from the Midwest to the rest of the country,” CORR President and CEO Jim Baldwin said. “We want to make it a mainstream sport.” The races will be held along a 1.5-mile course, where 900-plus horsepower trucks will negotiate a course CORR officials say took more than four weeks and 3,200 man-hours to construct. Four featured races will be held on both days starting at 2p.m. Among those to watch at this weekend’s race is upstart Rodrigo Ampudia, who last season became the first Mexican national to win a CORR tour event. For some, the CORR race has been a springboard to bigger things. Former CORR standout Jimmie Johnson is a five-time NASCAR champion. firstname.lastname@example.org (661) 267-7802160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
0Shares0000Nantes coach Vahid Halilhodzic said Emiliano Sala would ‘forever leave a mark’ on the club © AFP / LOIC VENANCENANTES, France, Feb 8 – Nantes coach Vahid Halilhodzic on Friday described news that his former player Emiliano Sala’s body had been formally identified as “awful” and “unfair”, almost three weeks after the Argentine striker’s plane disappeared over the English Channel.“We had always maintained hope but we knew in the end that it was slim, almost an illusion,” said the 66-year-old former Japan coach, who had only worked with Sala for three months. “For the family of Emiliano and the pilot it is just terrible,” added Halilhodzic, who broke down in tears as he spoke to reporters.The Bosnian had been appointed by Nantes in October and had been hoping to keep Sala, who scored 12 league goals for the club in the first half of the season.The player was eventually sold to Cardiff City last month for 17 million euros and had been on his way to Wales to begin training with his new club when he disappeared on January 21 near the British island of Guernsey.The only other person on board was the aircraft’s 59-year-old pilot David Ibbotson, who has not been found.Nantes announced Friday that they would retire Sala’s old number nine jersey.Halilhodzic said that Sala “will forever leave a mark on this club for the way he carried himself, his modesty, not just as a player but as a man. He was popular with everyone.“You know, in football nowadays a lot of players are selfish, and only think of themselves…he was the opposite of that.”The press conference was scheduled to be about Nantes’ Ligue 1 game against Nimes on Sunday before it emerged late on Friday that Sala’s body had been found.Halilhodzic admitted that Sala’s old teammates would find it difficult to turn their thoughts back to playing football.“Before training we will have a small ceremony, dignified and modest like he was. But whether we will be able to do any work is another matter.”The Nantes coach also reacted angrily to a question about moves by the French club to ensure Cardiff pay the transfer fee for Sala.“I don’t want to talk about that, stop that, it’s not my problem…To talk about money in these moments is disgusting,” he said.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Story Links The Bulldogs recorded a 315 on the first day of the 36-hole event and are tied with Indiana State. William Woods is on top of the leaderboard with a score of 306, followed by Western Illinois with a 310. DES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University women’s golf team finished the first round of the Indiana State Spring Invitational tied for third-place on Sunday. Junior Brooke Miller, who is playing as an individual, recorded an 88 on the first day. First Round Results Junior Madison Glennie led the team with a two-over, 74, and its tied for third-place. Freshman Sigurlaug Jonsdottir shot a 78 and is tied for 11th-place. Sophomore Grace Dunn carded an 80, while freshman Aimee Gerschke registered an 83. Junior Nicole Blanchard rounded out the team’s effort with an 86. The Bulldogs will play the final 18 holes of the Indiana State Spring Invitational on Monday. Print Friendly Version
Billions of butterflies, flashing their gossamer wings with brilliant colors, have swarmed over Darwin, leaving him unable to breathe. Figuratively, that is. Illustra Media’s new documentary Metamorphosis, just released on Blu-Ray last week, leaves little room for Darwin’s theory, while making a powerful case for intelligent design. The film is already being hailed as a masterpiece. Featuring some of the most beautiful footage of butterflies and their amazing life cycles from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to flying insect, with information and music to match, Metamorphosis breaks new ground in butterfly research. Animations based on MRI imaging of a chrysalis show for the first time how organs are broken down and rebuilt inside within ten days. Electron micrographs zoom in on the antennae, compound eyes, legs and wings of butterflies. Stunning close-ups of egg-laying, caterpillar molts, chrysalis formation and emergence show phenomena rarely witnessed by non-scientists. The story of the Monarch butterfly migrations to Mexico is told with some of the most wondrous shots ever made of millions of butterflies flying through the air in remote mountain forest colonies only discovered in the 1970s. Metamorphosis presents 46 minutes of fascinating science about butterflies before asking how such natural wonders could come about. By then, the photos and information have laid such a strong foundation of intelligent design, the arguments against Darwinian evolution are almost academic. But they are well stated: neo-Darwinism cannot account for the origin of two body plans (caterpillar and insect) in the same genome, in a process that destroys one and rebuilds it into another. It would be like a car encasing itself in a garage, recycling its parts, and emerging as a helicopter. That whimsical analogy is actually an understatement, explains philosopher of biology Dr. Paul Nelson, because the butterfly is even more complex. A caterpillar entering a chrysalis is entering a casket unless it has a plan and a coordinated process to emerge out the other side. Most of the caterpillar’s tissues are consumed and reconstituted into organs that have no analogue in the caterpillar. Developmental biologist Dr. Ann Gauger adds that an unguided processes like evolution, with no ability to foresee a goal, cannot account for one body plan, let alone two. The message of Metamorphosis, though, does not end on a negative note – the bankruptcy of Darwinian theory. Nelson and Gauger show that butterflies present a positive case for intelligent design. The only cause capable of reaching an end goal is intelligence, they say. That the end result is an object of great beauty, an aesthetically pleasing butterfly, its wings painted like works of art, is icing on the cake. Metamorphosis includes the expertise of lepidopterist Ronald Boender, entomology department head Thomas Emmel and biology professor Richard P. Stringer along with Nelson and Gauger. In the Bonus Features, Dr. Emmel, who has visited the Monarch colonies in Mexico every year for over 20 years, answers many additional questions about butterflies, and viewers can take tours of three American butterfly houses. The original orchestral score by Mark Lewis includes voices of world-class African-American singers; the pieces can be enjoyed separately in the Bonus Features as conert pieces. The film is available on DVD and Blu-Ray at the Metamorphosis the Film website, where visitors can watch a 4-minute preview. This masterpiece of cinematography, music and scientific information is not only one of Illustra Media’s finest productions ever (which says a lot, considering the exceptional quality of Unlocking the Mystery of Life, Privileged Planet and Darwin’s Dilemma, but will appeal to everyone. What child does not enjoy butterflies? What adult doesn’t remember the childhood fascination of trying to capture and hold one of these amazing flying machines? The subject interests us all, and no one brings a subject like this to the screen in a more satisfying way than Illustra Media. For example, the combination of sight and sound in the scene of the Monarch colony discovery is so emotionally powerful, only a person in a coma could fail to be moved. The presentation of intelligent design is gentle, reasonable, appealing. The burden of proof will clearly be on the Darwinist to account for all they have just witnessed. This wonderful film (see also Melissa’s review) should be used by teachers, home schoolers, churches, study groups, and anyone not part of the Darwin Borg to drive home the clear, obvious message of design. No religion is pushed, no scripture quoted; just the clear implication that the complexity and coordination of parts in a butterfly, more complex than our science can describe, requires a transcendent cause, an intelligent agent, that not only has a plan and means to accomplish it, but an appreciation for beauty. That thought alone is enough to get the mental wheels turning down the track out of the Darwin prison into the joy of a designed, purposeful world.(Visited 52 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
There are many ways to wear a doek, or duku – an African headwrap. In fact, South African entrepreneur Princess Ofentse Maluleke can show you up to 50 different, fashionable styles. She recently published a tutorial book, 50 Shades of Duku, after she realised many of her customers had trouble tying their doeks.“My friend and I sell headwraps at the market. Customers would say they would love to wear a headwrap but don’t know how to tie it,” she explains.“You get videos on YouTube on how to tie a headwrap, but when you have several minutes to get ready in the morning, you don’t have time to look up a website.”Princess Ofentse Maluleke, who sells her own shea butter and wrote a book on how to style an African headwrap, says she has been an entrepreneur all her life. (Image: Taji Shop, Shopify)The writing processIt prompted her to write a book about different styles. “At the time I started, I only had 30 styles. The other 20 I made up – I mixed styles and created new ones. It really pushed my mental boundaries.”Maluleke says she wanted to do a good number of styles. “I thought 20 was too little. I wanted a significant number, because I wanted it to be like a klap (punch). I felt 50 was enough, not too much to burn me out.”She started writing her book in April this year and finished it by the end of May. The electronic book version has been available on her website since 31 May. “My aim is to write at least 10 books in my lifetime about different things.”Her supportHer book is sold as an e-book, as a print book or as a combination book and headwrap. “I have had Canadians and American tourists saying that my combo was a great gift to take back home.”Maluleke, a business science degree graduate, says she is very excited about this project. “I feel like I am at the right place in my life.”Her family is proud of her achievements. “They are very supportive. My brother, for instance, funded my first batch of books. My mom, Sally Tsipe, is distributing the books in KwaZulu-Natal and my sister, Omolemo Tsipe, distributes them in Cape Town.”Her husband and a friend helped her to finish the book.Part-time entrepreneurAs the chief executive officer of the Taji Shop, Maluleke says she has been a part-time entrepreneur all her life. “In high school I was known as the ‘Popcorn Lady’ and in university I would redesign old clothes to sell. I taught myself to sew. I started as a full-time entrepreneur earlier this year.”It began with selling her own organic shea butter body cream. “I get the shea butter raw from Ghana and add different oils to make the product easier to use. You can use it for your skin and hair.”Her duku partiesMaluleke, who lives in Johannesburg, is often invited to women’s parties such as baby showers to teach her duku styles. “I do one-on-ones and small groups. Showing a couple of duku styles is a great educational element at women’s events.”In many African cultures, a young bride wears a duku as a sign of respect, because they cover their heads, she explains. “I am also a young bride.”But you don’t have to be a young bride to wear a duku. “Also, you can make it look fashionable.”There are also no-nos: In an interview on radio station Power FM 987, Maluleke warned that wearing a headwrap tied too tightly could cause a “scarf headache”. Also, matching a doek to your outfit could be done wrong. “Rather stick to neutrals and go wild on yourdoek.”Another tip is to use an under-scarf – some fabric or another headwrap – to add volume to your doek.Maluleke also hosts her own duku parties where her doek combos are sold, and she teaches her audience how to use a T- shirt instead of a headwrap to create a doek style.Next up, she plans to take her parties all over South Africa.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website?See Using SouthAfrica.info material
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest In the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s recent 2018 seasonal assessment of the harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie it was reported that the Microcystis cyanobacteria bloom in 2018 had a severity index of 3.6, indicating a relatively mild bloom. The 2018 numbers were slightly more severe than 2016 at a 3.2, and much milder than the severe bloom of 2017 that was an 8.NOAA’s severity index captures the amount of bloom biomass over the peak 30 days of the bloom. The bloom was smaller than the ensemble forecast prediction of 6, and all models overestimated the bloom to some degree (a range from 4.9 to 7.8).“This bloom was unusual in that it started early, the last week of June. The early start was probably a result of the rapid early warming of Lake Erie, starting at the end of May. On the other end of the season, a storm on Sep 9-10 produced strong winds over Lake Erie, which severely disrupted the bloom. The bloom did not recover, and ended by the first week of October, one of the earliest ends of the bloom we have seen,” according to report authors Rick Stumpf, Tim Wynne, and Danielle Dupuy.While some scums did occur, scum was both more localized and less common in this bloom, especially in contrast to the much larger and more severe 2017 bloom.”
The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh to respond to a petition seeking a CBI probe into the 1,100 police encounters which killed 49 people and injured 370 in the State last year.A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra asked the petitioner People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) to serve a copy of its petition, which terms the police encounters as “massive administrative liquidations” to the Uttar Pradesh Additional Advocate General Aishwarya Bhati.The State has to file its response in two weeks before the apex court. The Bench has posted the case after three weeks.PUCL, represented by advocate Sanjay Parekh, submitted that police encounters were endorsed by the State administration in “open defiance” of human rights and civil liberties. That is, the State machinery chose to end lives instead of bringing people for trial.“State cannot adopt such means which are against the constitutional principles to fight with terrorism or hardened criminals. Such extra-judicial killings in the name of encounters are considered ‘State-sponsored terror,’” the petition said.In this context, the petition refers to the reported statements made by Chief Minister Adityanath like “criminals will be jailed or killed in encounters” and “everyone should be guaranteed security, but those who want to disturb peace of the society and believe in the gun, should be given the answer in the language of the gun.”The petition said the NHRC had written to the State government in response to the Chief Minister’s statements, saying that police personnel were misusing their powers to settle scores. The Commission had said that “creating an atmosphere of fear is not the correct way to deal with crime.”The petition, which refers extensively to The Hindu’s reports on the police encounters, said facts available in the public domain show that over 1,100 encounters have taken place in the past year, wherein 49 people were killed and 370 were injured.“According to the figures given by the State of U.P. to the NHRC, in the encounters, 45 persons have died between 01.01.2017-31.03.2018. Each such encounter is required to be investigated on the basis of FIR, followed by a Magisterial Inquiry and thereafter, a criminal trial in accordance with law,” it said.