UN: Zika virus will be ‘way down’ before Olympics

first_imgGENEVA (AP):The head of the World Health Organization’s Zika response team is predicting that Brazil will host a “fantastic Olympics”, and that the mosquito-borne virus will be “way down” by the time the Summer Games begin in Rio de Janeiro on August 5.Dr Bruce Aylward, WHO’s executive director for outbreaks and health emergencies, said yesterday at a news conference that the mosquito population is expected to drop off around when Rio hosts the games, since it will be winter in the southern hemisphere.Rio’s Olympic venues are also in a relatively confined area, he noted, making it easier for authorities to control the local mosquito population.”Brazil is going to have a fantastic Olympics and it’s going to be a successful Olympics and the world is going to go there,” Aylward said. “I just wish I was going there, but there’s not going to be a lot of problems there by then, so I’ll be somewhere else.”Aylward also pointed to the “probability” that the Zika virus will have “gone through” a large slice of the country’s population by then, so many Brazilians might have developed an immunity to the disease by the time of the August 5-21 games.Zika, however, is just the latest cloud hanging over Brazil ahead of South America’s first Olympics. The country is coping with its worst recession in 100 years, impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff and a wide-ranging corruption scandal centred on the state-controlled oil-and-gas giant Petrobras.Brazil has recorded more than one million suspected Zika infections in recent months amid strong concerns that the virus could be linked to a spike in the number of babies born with abnormally small heads microcephaly and to a rare neurological syndrome that can cause temporary paralysis in people of all ages.In Brazil yesterday, ministers, state governors, health authorities and members of the armed forces visited schools throughout the country to involve students in the nationwide campaign to eradicate the Aedes aegypti mosquito that spreads the Zika virus.WHO has declared a global health emergency due to the virus, saying it could produce as many as 4 million cases in the next year. The mosquitoes that spread Zika which also spread dengue and yellow fever are entrenched across the region and in a wide belt around the globe, mostly in tropical areas.last_img read more

USAID-FED Committed to Improving Food Security

first_imgLess than two years to  conclude the United States Agency for International Development-Food and Enterprise Development (USAID-FED) support toward local farmers in the country, Lofa County is basically utilizing the technical expertise and capital benefits provided by the program.Lofa is noted for being one of the bread baskets of Liberia, where agriculture activities are always active.The five-year program, which started in 2010 is aimed at providing farming equipment, improved agricultural skills in swamp rice development, cassava planting, livestock and vegetable production.It also seeks to create marketing opportunities for local farmers, extension services and processing facilities.The aim is to reduce hunger and promote food security for Liberians through increased agricultural productivity and profitability. It is implemented in six counties: Bong, Nimba, Lofa, Grand Bassa, Margibi and Montserrado.The United States Government is supporting the Liberian priorities to build sustainable local capacity, make a difference in people’s lives, and move towards a shared vision of self-sufficiency and prosperity.USAID FED is Africa’s largest project under US President Barack Obama’s Feed the Future Initiative, which promotes a move away from subsistence and increasing food security by working with public and private bodies, including the Government of Liberia, the private sector, local NGOs and other key stakeholders.Interestingly, when the Daily Observer newspaper visited Lofa County recently, farmers from three districts including Voinjama, Foyah and Kolahun, expressed great satisfaction for USAIDFED’s support toward their various agricultural projects.They said that with support received, there is gradual improvement in there farming activities.According to them, farming implement such as machetes, hoes, power tillers, fertilizers and others have been provided by USAID-FED to improve their productivities.They also disclosed being taught the knowledge of improved skills through workshops and in farmers’ field schools.However, the farmers said that marketing has been a serious challenge for them but were now happy that FED was addressing such constraints.A farmer in Krugmia town, Voinjama District, Musa M. Kabbah, told this paper that they have embarked on the cultivation of 1.7 hectares of lowland with support from USAID-FED.He said the purpose of the project is to empower the members in order to support their families.“In 2010, we stated this project in our community with 17 females and 15 males. Last year, we were fortunate to get support from FED to grow rice harvesting 20 bags of seed rice,” he said. But this year, we are determined to cultivate the entire field,” he added.Betijama town is one of the towns in Lofa, that the project supports livestock farmers.According to Mustapha L. McCarthy, FED’s Lofa County livestock officer, more than hundred persons are engaged into the rearing of small ruminant (goats, sheep) to earn income.He told our reporter that 10 lead farmers from several communities in Foyah and Voinjama were trained last year on animal health care and intensive management.He said that the intention of the training was to make goat farmers graduate from the traditional method of livestock farming to commercial animal breeding.One of the beneficiaries of the livestock project in Betijama town, Massaquoi Morlu, said the number of goats raised by their group has increased from 50 to 78 goats.Morlu said before the coming in of USAID-FED their animals were left to wander by themselves.“We have acquired knowledge on how to raise the animal in the proper manner. This has enabled us to get money to improve our living conditions,” he said.He, however, said that the marketing of their animals was something that needed some improvement.“We do not have as many buyers to purchase the animals,” he mentioned. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Miss United Nations Earth Promises to Assist Lady Erma School System

first_imgMiss United Nations Earth, Mollyn Duwelle Jarbo, has assured the students and administration of the Lady Erma Children’s Foundation Precious Gift International School located in Central Monrovia, of her desire to assist the school with food and educational materials.Miss Jarbo, Liberia’s international model, made the promise recently when she paid a one-day visit to the school. Her visit was to give her the opportunity to render humanitarian assistance to the school.Jarbo, who won the title of Miss Liberia USA in 2013 and later became the 2016-2017 Miss United Nation Earth, runs a philanthropic organization known as ‘Rise for Africa’ (RFA). The RFA‘s motto is, “Education is the Passport to a Successful Future.”She believes that with unity and commitment, the country’s education system will once more rise to international standards.“The best thing that any nation can give her citizens is quality education,” Jarbo told the faculty and students.She promised to support the school in every way possible so that the students can receive quality education, adding confidently that “the educational system will rise again.”She expressed her excitement over the manner in which the students welcomed her and displayed their respective academic skills.Jarbo told the students that her visit was to give back to Liberians particularly the student community what she acquired as a Liberian woman living in America. Meanwhile, Jarbo has called for partnership among Liberian school authorities and philanthropic organizations to provide the needed education that would speed-up the learning process for pupils throughout the country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Guyana delegation to travel to UK to push for lifting of ban on greenheart

first_imgA high-level delegation led by Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman will be travelling to the United Kingdom to facilitate discussions on the complete lifting of its procurement ban on greenheart from Guyana. The meeting is set for November 19-21, 2018.The ban, which was introduced by the Environmental Agency (EA) in the UK in 2015, claimed that proof of sustainable sourcing of the forest product was inadequate. This has since resulted in a drastic decrease in exports of the product to the UK. It has also seen several concerns being raised by members of the Forest Producers Association and the public, as it was noted that the bannedMinister Raphael Trotmanproduct was historically vital to Guyana’s economy and the long-term effect of the ban could be damaging to Guyana’s export of greenheart as well as its credibility internationally.Greenheart represents over 18 per cent of Guyana’s logging industry production, of which timber is a major export earner, thus it was agreed that the Government of Guyana would engage in talks at the diplomatic level, among other things, to ensure this matter is sorted out.It must be noted that Guyana’s system of monitoring and verification to ensure logging is done in a sustainable and legal manner has been tested and proven over time, particularly, through our agreement with the Kingdom of Norway.With this being said, in December 2016, after being advised that a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification was awarded to Iwokrama, the EA relaxed the ban on greenheart. This meant that the UK began to accept Category A FSC 100 per cent greenheart only from Iwokrama, but continued to refuse Category B timber.In 2017, the UK agreed to reopen dialogue.In a statement, the Natural Resources Ministry said that Guyana saw this opening as an opportunity to fully ventilate the issue and Guyana’s position with regard to the UK, and made a case for completely lifting the ban on greenheart imports.Guyana will, therefore, take advantage of the opportunity for dialogue toward the resolution of the matter to restart the smooth export of greenheart to the UK, and strengthen the relationship between Guyana and the UK.“Guyana believes that it has met and maintained all international standards and criteria for the product and export of timber products of all species. This again is evidenced by the successful implementation of the Partnership Agreement with the Kingdom of Norway, and by the successful conclusion of a Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the European Union, under the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) regime, which is to be signed on November 23, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium,” the statement further said.It was outlined that while in the UK, the delegation will deliver a presentation in support of Guyana’s case for lifting of the ban and hold discussions with senior officials.The Ministry, which will also receive delegation support from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, is anticipating that the discussions will be “fruitful and rewarding.” The other members of the Guyana delegation include Guyana Forestry Commission Chairman Joslyn Dow, EU-FLEGT Secretariat Head Kenny David and GFC Deputy Commissioner Gavin Agard.last_img read more

Teen escapee found hiding in barrel at Agricola

first_imgEighteen-year-old Marlon Jeffery, an Agricola resident who escaped from policeguard at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC) on Wednesday last, was recaptured on Sunday morning, reportedly hiding in a barrel at a house in Brutus Street in that East Bank Demerara community.Recaptured: Melvor JefferyPolice Public Relations Officer Jairam Ramlakhan told Guyana Times that four other persons found in the home, two of whom are females, were also taken into police custody.Jeffery, also called “Melvor Jeffery” and “Buck”, of Lot 120 Agricola, EBD, was sometime last week apprehended by police allegedly for possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition, and to answer two counts of discharging a loaded firearm.In the police’s efforts to arrest Jeffery, the teenager had reportedly opened fire on the law-enforcement officials, and in that exchange of gunfire, the teen had sustained a gunshot injury to his back, thus he was hospitalised under police guard at the GPHC.The teenager was, reportedly for some time, planning his escape from lawful custody, since pieces of female clothing and a wig were found in the vicinity of his hospital bed. He had also left a short trail of blood after he had pulled out the tubes attached to the back of his hand in order to escape.The rank tasked with guarding Jeffery has since been placed under close arrest, after he allegedly had left his guarding post to go sleep, thus giving the suspect an opportunity to escape.last_img read more

Boil Water advisories issued for Blackfoot and Boundary Lake

first_imgDAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The Peace River Regional District and Northern Health are advising residents that use the Blackfoot and Boundary Lake water systems that they now must boil the water first before using it.Boil water advisories have been issued for both the Blackfoot and Boundary Lake water systems as of Friday August 26, 2016.  The boil water advisory issued in July for Fey Spring (Goodlow) water system remains in place.Northern Health says the advisories as the systems are at risk of containing pathogens.- Advertisement -Northern Health adds that you should boil water before using it for drinking, making ice, making infant formula, cooking, washing food or brushing teeth. Use hand sanitizer after washing hands. Water must be boiled for at least one minute.last_img read more

Croatia face Portugal but look to the future

first_imgThat fairytale glow took the spotlight off controversies plaguing football in Croatia, from the unsavoury ultra-nationalism of its hardcore supporters to a litany of legal problems.But fans will be reminded of the former when Croatia face England in its first Nations League home match on October 12.The game will be played in an empty stadium — punishment by UEFA for the swastika drawn on a pitch in Split, on Croatia’s Adriatic coast, ahead of a Euro 2016 qualifier with Italy.The perpetrators were never found, but it was not the first time Croatian fans have tainted the team’s image by using fascist slogans and symbols.That darker side of Croatia’s football fairytale also reared its head during the World Cup celebrations, when the players invited a singer known for pro-Nazi sympathies to join them on the bus and stage at their welcoming party in Zagreb.– Legal woes –Even during the euphoria of the World Cup one local paper warned that “after showering in the champagne of victory, not only cosmetic but deep changes should be made” in the sport.It may be only a matter of time before fans resume calls for the departure of the federation’s president, Davor Suker, accused of being a puppet in the hands of Zdravko Mamic, the self-exiled strongman of Croatian football.Mamic, the former head of the Dinamo Zagreb club, fled to Bosnia after being sentenced in June to a six and a half years in prison for corruption and embezzling funds from players’ transfers.“His influence on Croatian football maybe did not disappear overnight, but now he cannot influence Dinamo or even less the federation as he used to,” prominent sports journalist Davorin Olivari told AFP.The controversy also ensnared Modric, who was charged with giving false testimony during Mamic’s trial over his transfer from Dinamo.For now Modric, who won the Champions League with Real Madrid and the Golden Ball for the World Cup’s best player, appears untouchable.His reputation as a national hero was further cemented when he won the UEFA Player of the Year last month.– Player shake-up –Both Modric and Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, who will skip the Portugal match, will continue to be the pillars of the “Vatreni” — Croatian for “Fiery Ones”.But they are ageing fast. Modric turns 33 on Sunday while goalkeeper Danijel Subasic, striker Mario Mandzukic and defender Vedran Corluka all ended their international careers in August.Coach Zlatko Dalic admits it will take time to rebuild.“We are world vice-champions, we reached our peak in Russia and now everything will go down, which is normal,” he told the Sportske Novosti daily paper.Eight of his 22 World Cup players will be missing on Thursday — as will Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal.But the coach says he is focusing on the long game.“I am not worried or restless. My goal is Euro 2020, not the match with Portugal or the Nations League… We will try to win, but our real goal is the Euro.”Dalic sees the upcoming matches, including a Nations League match against Spain on September 11, as a good opportunity for younger players who did not get a chance in Russia.They include promising midfielders Marko Rog (Napoli), Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea) and Mario Pasalic (Atalanta), as well as strikers Marko Pjaca (Fiorentina), Ivan Santini (Anderlecht) and Marko Livaja (AEK Athens). In goal, Lovre Kalinic of Belgian club Gent will replace Subasic.“We will use Portugal and Spain for real preparations, to find a new energy,” said Dalic.“Our goal is to shape… three to four new players in order to find a new energy and get to the Euro in the same shape as at the World Cup in Russia. Not weaker!”0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Croatia midfielder Luka Modric led his nation to the World Cup final © AFP / FRANCK FIFEZAGREB, Croatia, Sep 5 – Still riding the wave of their historic World Cup run, Croatia are heading for a potential reality check as their new season starts with a friendly against Portugal in Faro on Thursday.It will be the tiny Balkan nation’s first match since the side led by star midfielder Luka Modric succumbed to France in the World Cup final in July — a loss celebrated like a victory by underdogs who had never made it so far on the world stage.last_img read more

West Ham’s Burn hopes up in smoke

first_img Dan Burn Fulham boss Kit Symons has told West Ham they can forget about signing defender Dan Burn.The Hammers are on the look out for a centre-back with Winston Reid considering his future and a number of clubs interested in the New Zealand international.Sam Allardyce has sent scouts to watch Burn in action for the Championship side, but recently-appointed Symons says the talented 22-year-old is not leaving Craven Cottage any time soon.“We’ve got an excellent group of young players and I want to take them forward with Fulham,” Symons said. “I want to keep Dan. He’s a big part of how we play and he’s been excellent since he’s come in – he’s one of our leaders.”“We’re under no pressure to sell anyone. It’s never once been mentioned and I don’t think it will be.” 1last_img read more

‘Our problems are so blatant – how does everyone else see it but Arsenal?!’

first_img1 Arsene Wenger has Gunners fans fearing the worst ahead of the new season Arsenal fans are fearing the worst ahead of the new Premier League season. Centre-back Per Mertesacker was recently ruled out of action for ‘a few months’, according to manager Arsene Wenger, and he is running out of defensive options, with Calum Chambers and Rob Holding set to pair in their pre-season tour.Wenger has only brought in three players so far this summer – Granit Xhaka (costing in the region of £30m), youngster Holding from Bolton and Japanese forward Takuma Asano – and fans want to see more through the doors at the Emirates. In comparison to rivals chasing the top four, including Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United and Antonio Conte’s Chelsea, that is very little.LISTEN: Arsenal transfers and signings: Fans disagree about club policy on talkSPORT – ‘It’s becoming embarrassing!’Last week, chief executive Ivan Gazidis said Arsenal can win the title without making more signings but he has recently talked about the pressure on the club to win trophies. Wenger bid for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette this week and has been linked to Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi, but supporters want to see deals done. READ MORE: Premier League transfers: Done deals so far in summer 2016With just over two weeks to go until the Gunners kick off their campaign at home to Liverpool, check out how frustrated some fans are feeling on social media:last_img read more

New Jersey girl casts her spelling on bee

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Katharine goes home with more than $42,000 in cash and prizes. Runner-up was Finola Mei Hwa Hackett, a 14-year-old Canadian, a confident speller during two days of competition who nonetheless stumbled on “weltschmerz.” Katharine, who always kept her hands in her pockets as she spelled her words, said she wasn’t trying to look cool – she was actually holding a good-luck pendant. “It’s an angel pendant in my pocket,” Katharine said, removing it from her left pocket. “It was given to me by a family in my town and I always put it in my pocket during spelling bees. I think it brings good luck, for some reason.” Driven by the popularity of recent movies, books and a Broadway musical on the seemingly improbable theme of spelling hard words, the bee featured prime-time television coverage for the first time in its 79-year history. WASHINGTON – A 13-year-old New Jersey girl making her fifth straight appearance at the Scripps National Spelling Bee rattled off “ursprache” to claim the title of America’s best speller Thursday on prime-time television. Katharine Close, an eighth-grader at the H.W. Mountz School in Spring Lake, N.J., is the first girl since 1999 to win the national spelling title. She stepped back from the microphone and put her hands to her mouth upon being declared the winner. She recognized the word as soon as she heard it. “I couldn’t believe it. I knew I knew how to spell the word and I was just in shock,” said Katharine, who tied for seventh place last year. “I couldn’t believe I would win.” Asked what she’ll remember most, she said: “Probably just hearing `ursprache,”‘ which means a parent language.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img