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first_imgThe Liberian government announced last weekend the resumption of academic activities, beginning Monday, January 12, 2015.  The Ministry of Education (MOE) said registration of students would commence that day,   followed by teacher orientation and other preparatory activities.  Classes will commence on Monday, February 2.This announcement immediately received mixed reactions from school authorities, especially in Monrovia.  Some for various reasons expressed un-readiness.  They cited teacher availability, as some have resigned and moved on.  Others wondered about money for buckets, Clorox and thermometers to enforce Ebola-preventive measures; and other emergencies associated with school reopening. Still others argued that the notice was too short. Many school authorities also raised the burning issue of transportation. But two leading Liberian educators, both of them women and heads of private institutions, reacted differently.  Sister Mary Laurene Browne, head of the Roman Catholic-run Stella Maris Polytechnic, told our Education Correspondent C.Y. Kwanue that yes, times are tough, but Liberians and their partners should make the sacrifice and proceed with school reopening.  She gave two primary reasons: first, waiting any longer for the resumption of academic activities would cause the country’s education system to “go from bad to worse.”  The longer we took, she reckoned, the more difficult and more expensive it would be to reopen schools.  Secondly, she feared that should we wait until Liberia is declared Ebola-free “our school-going children would become over-aged for their current classes.”The renowned educator suggested that all of us—government, schools, including all staffs and the students— “should ensure strict observance of the preventive measures . . .” Madam Hesta Katakaw, probably the nation’s leading education entrepreneur, lamented that many of the school authorities were behaving like “foolish virgins.”Remember the story Jesus told about the bridegroom’s coming, and how the Kingdom of Heaven would be like unto that?  There were ten virgins who were told to prepare for the bridegroom’s coming.  Five of them were wise, five were foolish.  While the bridegroom tarried (delayed), all of the virgins slept.  But before then, the wise virgins prepared themselves by filling their lamps with oil.  The foolish five, however, never bothered to prepare themselves or their lamps.  When at midnight it was announced that the bridegroom was arriving, the foolish virgins rushed to the wise ones saying, “Give us some oil, for our lamps are gone out.”  But the wise replied, “No, lest there be not enough for ours.  Go ye therefore to the shops and buy oil.”  By the time the foolish virgins returned, the bridegroom had arrived and the door had been shut.  They cried to him to open the door, but it was too late. Jesus then told his disciples, “Watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of man   cometh.”  Surely, like Sister Laurene and Madam Katakaw, there is not a single school principal or authority that did not know that it was only a matter of time when   all schools would be declared reopened.  So while the government waited for   the deadly Ebola virus to go away, all educational authorities, beginning with MOE, and even the parents, should have been preparing for school reopening.Alas! The hour has come when President Sirleaf has declared the time ripe for our students to return to school.  Which MCSS school is there that has not, during all these months of waiting,  cleaned its yard and building, repaired its broken benches, refurbished its bathrooms and made ready its classrooms, laboratories and libraries for school reopening?In the Ebola interim, which commenced   in March 2014, the Ministry of Education itself should have been engaging all public school authorities and helped them get ready for the eventual school reopening.    We hope that has been the case, and that MCSS and all other government educational institutions in Monrovia and around the country are ready.  And as Sister Laurene has reminded us, every school should be equipped with all the utensils, buckets, thermometers, etc., and materials—Clorox and other needed chemicals and soap for the bathrooms—to ensure that all the measures are strictly observed.School authorities may reject the notion of being foolish virgins; but surely in times of crisis—any crisis—no one should sit supinely and do nothing.  If it is no more than keeping the surroundings clean or repairing the broken benches, that would have been something.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_imgAmid a rampant crime wave, the Public Health Ministry has decided to close the Sophia Health Centre until further notice, after the staff there were given a scare on Wednesday.Guyana Times was informed that around 11:00h on Wednesday, a young man went into the facility and made enquiries from a staff member about the centre and whether they had surveillance cameras. This caused the nurses to become suspicious of the individual, who was subsequently seen removing a firearm from his pocket and placing it into a bag he was carrying.The incident has left many staff members traumatised. A report was made to the Public Health Ministry and a decision was made to close the facility.  In October 2015, the health centre was robbed by two armed gunmen who pretended they were in need of medical attention.The two men entered the health centre claiming that they were in need of urgent medical attention and stormed into a room where the nurse was attending to a patient. They then held them at gunpoint.According to a resident in the area, the staff at the centre is in constant fear that the facility could be robbed at any time since there is no security. The woman stated that although the closure of the facility would bring inconvenience, it was in the best interest of the staff and residents.last_img read more

first_imgHABBANIYA, Iraq – The U.S. military’s push to organize Sunni Arabs into local Neighborhood Watch-style groups has been one of the United States’ most important initiatives in Iraq – so much so that President George W. Bush flew to Anbar province in September to highlight growing alliances with Sunni tribal leaders. But now that the Americans are trying to institutionalize the arrangement by training the Sunnis to become police officers, the effort has been hampered by halfhearted support and occasionally outright resistance from a Shiite-dominated national government that is still inclined to see the Sunnis as a threat. It was the U.S. military that pressed to open the new Habbaniya Police Training Center where Sunni tribesmen and former insurgents are to be trained to serve as police officers in Anbar. And it was the Americans who provided the uniforms, food, new classrooms and equipment for the police recruits. Scaled back plans AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m. While the Iraqi government has agreed to basic police instruction at the academy, it has balked at training more senior officers there. The government has also scaled back plans by Anbar officials to expand the provincial police force by almost 50percent. “The Ministry of Interior deals with the Sunni provinces different than they deal with the other provinces,” said Brig. Gen. David D. Phillips, a U.S. Army officer who oversees the training of the Iraq police. “The only reason the Anbar academy opened is because we built it, paid for it and staffed it.” He said the Interior Ministry “was very hesitant about it.” The ministry says that it pays the salaries of the Iraqi personnel here, and that more money will come as soon as proper administrative procedures are established between the government and the academy. Anbar is not the only source of contention. In Diyala province, north of Baghdad, U.S. military officers have pushed the Iraqi government to hire more than 6,000 local Iraqis, many of them Sunnis, as police. Despite promises of action by Prime Minister Nouri Kamal al-Maliki, none has been hired by the Interior Ministry. Maj. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, who is winding up a tour as the senior U.S. commander for northern Iraq, said in an interview at his headquarters at Camp Speicher that the “foot-dragging” stems from “highly sectarian” hiring in Baghdad. “They want to make sure that not too many Sunnis are hired,” he said. “The situation is unsatisfactory in terms of hiring Iraqi police.” The growing tensions over efforts to hire more Sunni police officers comes at a critical moment in the U.S. military deployment in Iraq. With the number of U.S. combat brigades set to decline by a quarter by mid-July, U.S. commanders are eager to build up the Iraqis’ capability to secure their neighborhoods. One way has been to organize local Sunnis into neighborhood groups, what the U.S. military calls “Concerned Local Citizens.” The benefits of this have been evident near Yusufiya and Mahmudiya, in an area south of Baghdad that was once so violent it had been known as the “triangle of death” and has been overseen by the 2nd Brigade of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division. Just the first step Before neighborhood groups were organized in this region in June, more than 12 U.S. and Iraqi soldiers were killed each month in the area, according to an analysis circulating within the U.S. military command. After June, the casualties declined to one soldier killed each month. The number of vehicles destroyed from roadside bombs was running at 11 per month before June, but is averaging fewer than one per month now. But organizing local Iraqis into watch groups is just the first step. The Americans’ ultimate goal is to codify the arrangement by training these groups as police. The Americans also hope that by persuading the Iraqi government to hire Sunnis as police they will encourage a new, ground-up form of political accommodation. Shiite-dominated ministries in Baghdad will develop new working relations with largely Sunni police forces in the field, easing the sectarian divide and laying the basis for a more representative national government, or so the theory goes. At its best, the process of hiring new Sunni Arab police is a bureaucratic one. Prospective recruits have their fingerprints taken and undergo retina scans that are included in an intelligence database. The list of potential recruits is submitted to the Interior Ministry, which in turn generally submits them to a committee of national reconciliation overseen by close aides to al-Maliki. With persistent American pressure, the process has led to some new hires. In the town of Abu Ghraib, just west of Baghdad, 1,738 of the 2,400 Sunnis who had been put forward to serve as policemen in the town were hired. Plans have been made to add 12,000 new policemen in Baghdad over the next six months, and it is estimated that about half would be drawn from the ranks of local Concerned Local Citizens. But as Diyala indicates, the process does not always run smoothly. U.S. forces pushed through western Baqouba, the capital of the province, in June in an effort to sweep the city clear of militants from al-Qaida in Iraq, a mainly Iraqi insurgent group with foreign leadership. More than 4,600 Concerned Local Citizens have since been organized in Diyala province. But hiring them as police has proved difficult. Al-Maliki ordered that the Diyala police force be increased by more than 6,000, and provincial officials submitted a list of names in July that included many Sunnis to the Interior Ministry in Baghdad. But some Interior Ministry officials have questioned whether such a large increase is needed, and some members of the reconciliation committee have argued that the original decree by al-Maliki might no longer be valid, putting the plan to hire them as police in limbo. While no action has been taken on the list, the Iraqi government surprised the Americans by hiring 548 Iraqis who were not on the roster. When U.S. officials analyzed the new hires, they determined that the list was predominantly made up of Shiites. It was not the only time that the Interior Ministry hired Shiite police despite the concerns of local officials. The ministry sent 663 Shiite police in recent months to the city of Tal Afar in the northern Nineveh province. Wathiq al-Hamdani, the police chief in Nineveh, said in an interview at his Mosul headquarters that the decision was taken over his objections and would undermine efforts to establish a force that was more balanced on sectarian lines. “We are trying to have some Sunni police officers in Tal Afar, but we have a lot of problems in doing that,” he said. Diyala and Tal Afar are mixed areas where both Sunnis and Shiites live, so they have drawn the attention of the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government. But even Anbar, an overwhelmingly Sunni Arab region in western Iraq, has been of concern to wary Iraqi officials in Baghdad. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

first_imgIf you’re one of the 7.1 million Californians hitting the highway this holiday season, you may get a nice surprise: Cleaner, brighter and more accessible rest stops. At a cost of $13 million a year, nearly half of the state’s 87 rest stops have gotten makeovers since 2000 and all are supposed to be up to federal American’s with Disabilities Act standards by 2009. “You need to have good rest stops on the road. They are valuable,” said Marie Montgomery, Automobile Club of Southern California spokeswoman. “If people have this idea that they will be grungy, then there’s a reluctance to stop.” Visited by more than 100 million each year, the state’s rest areas were largely built during the 1960s and 1970s during the heyday of new freeway construction. In fact, the last rest stop to be built in California was back in 1984, said Caltrans spokeswoman Cassandra Hockenson. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonRest stops have a history in California nearly as old as the state. The state’s earliest rest areas began popping up along highways in 1868 as wayside stations to provide water and shade to travelers and livestock. Although times have changed, the need for rest stops has not. Feeling drowsy while on the road remains a top reason to pull over and take a break, Montgomery said. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2002 estimated that 100,000 police-reported crashes annually are the direct result of driver fatigue. These crashes cause more than 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries. “The big thing is making sure there’s a parking area where people can feel safe taking naps,” Montgomery said. “You find that restaurants don’t like you doing that, so it’s good to have public parking space where you can sleep.” By 2009, Caltrans officials say, all 87 state-run rest stops should be in compliance with the federal disability act – with bathrooms expanded, sidewalks repaired lighting improved. Eighty more rest stops are needed in California, according to a plan developed in 2000 by the Office of State Landscape Architecture. The proposal does not include a financial plan or time frame to construct them. Caltrans is first looking to build three new rest areas on the Golden State (5) Freeway between Kern and San Joaquin counties. Another four are under consideration for Southern California deserts. David Rizzo, a Fullerton transportation expert, argues that the state does not need additional rest stops because today’s highways are no longer isolated from cities and people, like they were during the 1960s and 1970s. “There are hardly any desolate places in California anymore,” Rizzo said. “The suburbs have encroached.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

first_imgCharlie McConalogue TD has accused the Government of betraying medical card holders with a five-fold increase in prescription charges – despite a promise four years ago to abolish them.Charlie McConalogue TDIt comes as new figures released to Fianna Fáil show that the Government has collected €312m in prescription charges in the four years since it promised to axe the charge.Last year, medical card holders handed over a massive €120m in prescription charges and the figure has reached €48m in the first half of this year. “These new figures highlight the complete hypocrisy of the Government on prescription charges. Shortly after they were elected, Fine Gael and Labour promised to abolish the prescription charge of 50c. Instead, they have introduced a series of increases and prescription charges have now gone up 200% to €2.50 per item,” explained Deputy McConalogue.“Several pensioners and people with serious illnesses who require constant medication have raised this issue with me, saying they simply cannot afford the additional expense at a time when other State supports have been cut. I know of cases where some people are forgoing medication as a result or they are forgoing other essentials in order to pay for their prescriptions. It is a disgrace,” said Deputy McConalogue.“Many of these people took the former Minister for Health James Reilly at his word when he promised in 2011 that the charge would be scrapped. Instead he trebled the charge to €1.50 in 2013 and then added another euro a year later, bringing the charge to €2.50 per item. This is subject to a monthly cap of €25, which really adds up for someone who needs regular medication and is only living off the State pension or disability payments.“This substantial charge is extremely short sighted, given that in many cases it is acting as a deterrent to sick people getting prescriptions filled. The result is more people potentially having to be hospitalised and costing the State more in the long-run. “This charge needs to be phased out, beginning with the upcoming budget. It is yet another example of the Government’s sneaky attack on pensioners and people with disabilities. Why is it that the sick, disabled and elderly are consistently expected to bear the brunt of government cuts?”McCONALOGUE SLAMS GOVERNMENT ON PRESCRIPTION CHARGES was last modified: September 22nd, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgLetterkenny Gaels Club NotesThe senior football teams had no games last weekend due to fixture changes. This coming weekend Naomh Brid are the opposition at Pairc na nGael. Throw in times are 5.30pm (reserve) and 7.30pm (senior). Please come out and support both teams.On Thursday night our U-12 hurlers played neighbours St.Eunans at Pairc na nGael. Despite a good team performance they lost out to a strong St.Eunans side. The Senior Ladies football team travelled to Glenswilly on Sunday to take on the Glen girls in their Championship match.Glenswilly’s experience and strength was too much for the young Gaels side but the girls are improving all the time.Well done all.The Letterkenny Gaels trio of Diarmuid O’Cathail, Mikey Sweeney and Ross Marley played for Donegal in last weekends Buncrana Cup. The lads lost their first game against Monaghan and won the match against Armagh which gave them 3rd place in the competition. Well done lads.Laura Foody and Niamh Hanley are the Letterkenny Gaels representatives on the Donegal LGFA U-17 Development Squad for 2016. The girls played in a National U-17 Development Squad Blitz in Portmarnock GAA club on Tuesday. Well done girls.The annual Letterkenny Gaels camogie camp took place last week at Pairc na nGael and once again was a huge success. Over 60 girls from 5 to 14 years participated over the 3 days under the guidance of lead coach Ann Marie Gibbons. Day 1 saw the visit of Glenavy Camogs from Co Antrim. The girls joined with the U10 and U12/14 groups and enjoyed coaching and matches. They finished off their day with food and entertainment in Arena 7. On day 2 the camp enjoyed a BBQ courtesy of Castlegrove Country House, prepared by Alan Sweeney and chef Gary. The final day saw Clare Dowdall, Camogie Regional Development Officer, work with different groups on first touch and striking from the hand. Coaching is all games based so the girls were always busy working with coaches Ann Marie, Rory, Emer, Una and Eimear. The U8s and nursery group combined under the watchful eyes of coach Ellen with assistance from Terezena, Mary and Bridget. Despite some windy weather, the camp was thoroughly enjoyed by all with positive feedback from parents and girls alike. The camogie club t-shirts were a great hit and undoubtedly will be evident at Pairc na Gaeil in the near future. For information on training contact Aideen on 086 816 3605 or drop down to training on Monday 6pm for U12/14 and older or on Fridays for U8 & U10.Underage football training continues every Sunday from 11am – 12 noon for U-6s, U-8s and U-10 age groups. If Sunday morning doesn’t suit, the club also provides an additional training session for the U-8s and U-10s age groups on Wednesday evenings from 7 – 8 pm. To enquire about the underage football training, Parents should contact John McDermott (086) 8561768 (under 6s), Brian Sweeney (087) 2282386 (under 8s), David O’Callaghan (086) 769 0305 (under 10’s) and Donal Murphy (087) 6858546 (Under 12’s) or come along any Sunday or Wednesday. New boys and Girls welcome to join in the fun any week.Bingo continues every Monday in Arena 7. The Jackpot this week is €2400. Doors from 8pm. Eyes down 9pm. All welcome. Outdoor Hurling training for U-6, U-8 & U-10 continues every Thursday evening from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. Hurls and helmets provided. New players welcome.U-12 to U-18 hurling continues every Tuesday evening from 6.30pm – 7.30pmU-12 girls football training takes place at the pitch every Sunday morning from 11am-12noon. All welcome.For regular club updates and photos see our club web page, Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @LetterkennyGael GAA News: Gaels camogie camp a huge success was last modified: August 16th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgWest London fighters Ryan Toms and Steve O’Meara clash tonight knowing a victory could secure a crack at the British light-middleweight title.They meet at Bethnal Green’s York Hall, where Toms defends his southern-area title – and his unbeaten professional record – against the slick O’Meara, who is likely to try to outbox the hard-hitting Northolt southpaw.Toms improved his record to 9-0 with an impressive fourth-round stoppage of Pat McAleese last time out, while former Prizefighter contestant O’Meara, 27, has won 13 of his 15 bouts.Toms is unbeaten in nine fightsBoth men were comfortably inside the 11-stone light-middleweight limit at yesterday’s weigh-in at Planet Hollywood in Piccadilly.They believe a win will pave the way for a fight with British champion Prince Arron, but a confident O’Meara declared. “There’s a lot at stake, not just because of that, but in terms of local pride as well.“We’re both from the west London area and know many of the same people. I don’t want to let down those who are backing me.O’Meara has sparred with American superstar Floyd Mayweather“I’ve sold lots of tickets for this and with the support he’ll have too, this might not be the main event but it will be the main event in terms of support and atmosphere.”The fight is the chief support to the Commonwealth super-featherweight clash between Liam Walsh and Paul Appleby.It also represents a step up in class for Toms, who acknowledges O’Meara’s boxing skills but is convinced he can extend his winning run.“O’Meara is a good technician. I’ll be looking to hit him with some good shots and break him down,” said the 29-year-old.“I’m improving all the time and showed that in the fight against McAleese. This is another test for me and I’m feeling really confident.”For updates from York Hall follow us on Twitter.last_img read more

first_imgLike any good catcher, McKinleyville senior Jacob Smith is always thinking ahead.And as he gets ready for his final prep season here on the North Coast, Smith already has his eyes set on where he’s going to be next year, recently signing a letter of intent to play baseball at Carleton College in 2019.The fact that Carleton is in Minnesota and a little over 2,000 miles from McKinleyville doesn’t seem to bother Smith, who led the Big 5 in hitting last spring.“I’m relatively untraveled,” he …last_img

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Anyone who knows me knows that I am not the kind of guy to really speak my mind…unless I am truly compelled to. It isn’t that my views are all that different or that I care about what others think. It may be because what seems to be right in my head may be too much common sense for the world we live in. Simple will always be better for me and in that respect society and our government have passed me by. With that said I am not an economist and politics aren’t my strong suit. Now on with the blog…As I have mentioned before I live in Suburbia, USA. It is a great neighborhood and everyone gets along just fine. We watch after each other’s homes when someone goes out of town, we mow each other’s yards when someone can’t get to it and so on. We feel safe and it is a wonderful place to raise a family. As I have also mentioned, I am the only neighbor for miles around with a corn field (I use the term field loosely as it is 1/100 of an acre of sweet corn and green beans). Everyone knows what I do for a living and they are very curious about Ohio agriculture and they ask some great questions that I am more than happy to answer. My neighbors are your everyday average consumer so the more questions the better.We recently had a neighborhood gathering and agriculture happened to be a part of the conversation again as local TV stations have talked a bit about the very wet spring and the late finish to the planting season. During the conversation my neighbor asked me if I knew why a farmer’s hat bill was rounded. I am always up for a good joke so I asked for the punch line and he said it was so they wouldn’t knock their hat off when they looked into the mailbox for their government check. I didn’t laugh. I didn’t even smile. Especially after the rough months that Ohio producers have just experienced.I am not for big government, but I do believe that when the government helps individuals and companies, it is because as a country as a whole, we would be a lot worse off if the number of lost businesses, defaulted home loans and bankruptcies kept growing. There is a reason for bailouts, unemployment checks and food stamps.I am not afraid to admit that I had to ask the government for help a few years back when I lost a job. Unemployment was the hardest thing for this proud man to take, but if it weren’t for that government check I certainly would not still be the owner of a house. I think me continuing to make my monthly payments on this house, instead of just walking away from it, is better for my community, township, county, state and national government.There is a reason for farm subsidies and crop insurance as well. If it weren’t for that bit of help from Uncle Sam, there certainly wouldn’t be as many farmers in business and that would hurt from a local standpoint and a global one as well.There is a reason that a farmer’s bill is rounded, it is to block out the Sun as he or she puts in an 18-hour day. The only thing a farmer may need if he has a government check coming is a good pair of boots because it is a long walk to the mailbox. I can tell you that from experience.last_img read more

first_imgBut the complexity of automated environments that use containers mean that if security of the underlying components aren’t properly configured, they can cause problem that are harder to find and much harder to correct later. Container and non-container security issues that arise are actually not so different. For example, one of the biggest problems in both types of environments is simply ignoring security, like keeping default security permissions. Is container security a problem? Not really. But the nature of containers mean that container security needs to be done carefully and early in an implementation. Amir Jerbi, co-founder and CTO of Aqua Security, told InformationWeek that “vulnerabilities in container images — running containers with too many privileges, not properly hardening hosts that run containers, not configuring Kubernetes in a secure way — any of these, if not addressed adequately, can put applications at risk.” Richard Henderson, head of global threat intelligence for Lastline, said that “containers, while a boon to many developers and IT organizations, are just as susceptible to bugs and vulnerabilities as any other technology tool or platform. Keeping that in mind, it means we have to keep our eyes open for threats targeting the underlying products we’re using and make patching a critical imperative. Attackers waste no time exploiting issues that are disclosed.”last_img read more