Ellen’s Letter to Obama: A Wakeup Call for the International Community, Liberians

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has written her United States’ counterpart, Barack H. Obama, requesting America’s swift intervention in Liberia’s Ebola crisis.She appealed to him to send US medical doctors and equipment to help stop the spread of the deadly epidemic in the country.In her letter, she told President Obama and the American people that the Ebola virus is spreading at an exponential rate “and we have a limited time window to arrest it.”The Liberian leader also bluntly told President Obama that the virus outbreak has overwhelmed the containment and treatment measures her government has attempted thus far.”Our already limited resources have been stretched to breaking point and up to now a private charity, Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF), has responded robustly in all the affected countries. But MSF, too, has reached its limits,” she said.Liberia will lose the battle against the Ebola virus without more direct help from the US Government, she warned.She also told President Obama that well over 40% of total Ebola cases have occurred in the last 18 days.“Our message has gotten out and our citizens are self-reporting or bringing in their relatives. But our treatment centers are overwhelmed. MSF is now running a 160 bed-unit, the largest ever Ebola treatment unit in the history of the disease and even that is inadequate,” she stated.President Sirleaf openly told President Obama that the Ebola virus has created a national health emergency that posed serious challenges to the country’s unemployed youthful population, some of whom were child soldiers, and threatens civil order.“What is even heartbreaking is that we are unable to reopen our basic secondary health facilities because terrified health workers, who have watched their colleagues die from the disease, are afraid to return to work,” she said.About 153 health workers have been infected and 79 have died.President Sirleaf’s admittance that the Ebola virus outbreak has overwhelmed her government is a wakeup call to the international community to promptly and affirmatively respond to save Liberia.It is well over six months since the outbreak, but nothing really  concrete has come from the international community.By sitting and watching innocent lives taken away daily by a virus that can be contained and defeated is equal to the commission of genocide.The international community has a responsibility to Liberia in lines with international protocols, to which this sovereign nation is signatory and which it has always respected and enforced.It is time for President Obama and the American government and people to demonstrate their  true traditional friendship and partnership and demonstrate to Liberians and the world that Americans are truly our ally.The British Government has proven its worth in Sierra Leone where it is heavily involved in helping the Sierra Leone Government contain the Ebola virus from spreading. Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization’s later data, has the lowest Ebola-related deaths in the Mano River Union basin.We are also told that the Russian Government has dispatched doctors and scientists to Guinea and they have made successful gains in containing the virus from spreading. Guinea’s total Ebola deaths toll, WHO says, is about 600.But the toll in Liberia is fast  approaching 1,400 and could even go higher. One may wonder where are our international partners we usually boast of.And what is the United States,  our traditional ally, friend and partner—doing to help its oldest African friend? We pray that we are not being reminded of the 1990 civil war when US President George Bush refused to intervene to stop the civil war.The US Government’s refusal to send US troops to help stop the senseless civil in Liberia and save it from self-destruction led to the death of over 250,000 and the near total destruction of the country.  It took Britain and other partners of Liberia to  criticize the US before “Uncle Sam” sent US troops on the ground and demanded Charles Taylor’s departure, to which he immediately acceded.The US always supported ECOWAS troops during the war, however, but it wasn’t sufficient of them.The Liberian civil war immediately ended few months after US troops arrived in the country. We salute the US for the little it has done, but a lot  more is needed.The second wakeup call President Sirleaf’s letter goes directly to the Liberian people. The President has already made it very clear that her government lacks capacity financial, human resources and logistics to contain the deadly Ebola virus. What we need to do the most as a people is a ‘break in transmission.’Let us avoid coming in physical contacts with infected person (s) or sick people whose sicknesses have not been diagnosed by medical doctors.We are too good a people to be  destroying our own lives. We must stop pointing fingers, accusing and blaming one another for this virus and begin to report all suspected sick persons in our communities and save lives.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Atletico shoot for football future in cricket-mad Pakistan

first_img“We are not looking for players for Atletico Madrid because we know that this is going to be very difficult… Our target is to improve the football here,” coach Javier Visea told AFP.To succeed in carving out a place for football, they will need to overcome marginal government support, poor infrastructure and a troubled history with FIFA that has resulted in multiple bans for violating the body’s rules.The country remains on thin ice with the governing organisation, currently sits 199th in the FIFA rankings and has still never qualified for a football World Cup.– Cricket country –Things weren’t always so dire.The national squad boasted a top 10 place in Asian football until the 1970s. The sport remains widely watched by middle-class Pakistanis, and football video games like the FIFA franchise are as popular as ever.Those seeds of fandom are what Atletico hopes to nurture with their facility, which opened last September in the nation of over 200 million.“We know cricket is the main sport,” said Visea. “But … there are a lot of football fans, they are following (the) Premier League, they are following La Liga.”A promising future for football in Pakistsn may not be as quixotic as it sounds © AFP / ARIF ALIAtletico aims to promote football, health, and sports in general, he said — along with their own brand in the vast untapped football market that is South Asia.And a promising future for football may not be as quixotic as it sounds.For decades, field hockey was the most popular sport in the country as Pakistan dominated international competitions and won four World Cup titles.The sport was only overshadowed by cricket with the rise of the dashing all-rounder, and now prime minister, Imran Khan — culminating with the country’s World Cup win in 1992 under Khan’s leadership.Cricket has ruled the sporting roost ever since — but the hope is that another strong personality with a winning streak in football could change everything again.– ‘A little bit scared’ –Ten-year-old Fiza Shahid dreams of becoming a footballer like her heroes Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, practising in her backyard before joining Atletico’s academy.Father Muhammad Shahid said he takes great pride in watching his daughter Fiza Shahid play the beautiful game in conservative Pakistan © AFP / ARIF ALIAs she sprinted down the new facility’s pitch, her father Muhammad Shahid said he takes great pride in watching his daughter play the beautiful game in conservative Pakistan, where boys are more likely to be allowed to compete in sports than girls.Shahid, who is from a humble background and holds conservative religious beliefs, is a firm believer in his daughter’s right to play.“Both the sons and daughters have equal rights,” he said.For 12-year-old Hussam Suhail the Atletico academy not only provides a place to emulate his idols but also a safe pitch to hone his skills.“In the streets there are trees and cars coming, you can’t play well, while here you can play very well without stopping,” he said.Pakistan currently sits at 199 in the FIFA rankings and has still never qualified for a World Cup © AFP / ARIF ALIThe opening of the academy also comes as security has dramatically improved across Pakistan after years of militancy, paving the way for the gradual return of international sports.“At the moment they asked us about coming here we were a little bit scared because all the news coming from Pakistan to Spain (is) not good news,” said coach Daniel Limones.But things changed when he landed in Pakistan.“We are feeling like if we are Spain, so there is no security issue or those things,” he said.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Atletico Madrid hopes to nurture Pakistan’s football with their facility, which opened last September in the nation of over 200 million © AFP / ARIF ALILAHORE, Pakistan, Jan 20 – Spain’s Atletico Madrid are taking on a challenge tougher than winning La Liga — developing football in cricket-mad Pakistan, where bat and ball are king, pitches come with stumps not goalposts, and even the prime minister is a former World Cup winner.During a recent session at the club’s new facility in Lahore — the country’s first European football academy — a cabal of Spanish coaches watched as a new class of young Pakistani hopefuls fired off penalty kicks.last_img read more

St. Bernard’s girls advance to NCS Division V title game with 64-40 win over International

first_imgEureka >> For the past three seasons, the road to the Division VI title has gone through Crusader Gymnasium. Even with the Crusaders playing up a division this year, it’s no different come the first weekend of March.And, as head coach Matt Tomlin put it, his team played their best game of the season to get the chance to play for yet another section title.The St. Bernard’s girls basketball team booked its ticket into the North Coast Section Division V championship game in impressive fashion, …last_img

Home from Home: Raising orphans in loving community homes

first_imgCentral to the Home from Home model of care is the special bond between foster parent and child. (Image: Home from Home)It all started 11 years ago with one house and six children. Today it is a network of community-based foster homes that give orphaned and neglected kids a chance at a real childhood, outside institutions, in a loving home. This is the innovative model of South Africa’s Home from Home fostering network.“Home from Home isn’t an institution. We’re not a children’s home,” says co-founder and managing trustee Pippa Shaper. “We are a group – a cluster – of small community-based family homes. Our homes look like any other home on the street. They integrate into the local community.”Recognising that children respond better in small community foster homes than in institutional care, Home from Home was founded in 2005, and has grown rapidly from one house in Khayelitsha to many homes around the country.Over the past 11 years, about 300 children have been raised by the Home from Home network. Today, it cares for 198 children in 33 homes, in 15 different communities, all over the Western Cape.“When we decide to work in a new community, we come from a couple of angles,” says Shaper. “Either we will discover, through working with the Department of Social Development, that there is a tremendous need to have a new home in the area. Other times, a church or community organisation will come to us and say, ‘We’ve got a need in our area.’ But they don’t have the resources, they don’t have the model, they don’t have the idea to do it.“That’s when Home from Home comes along. We’ve got the model of care set up. We have the experience. We’ve got the professional skills. So we can come in and partner with a local community group or church to help them – and empower them, really – to look after their own orphans.”Central to the Home from Home model of care is the special bond between foster parent and child.“To work with children – this is the thing I like most in my life,” says Hellen Ntshikila, a foster mother living in Khayelitsha. “I used to look after my sisters at home. It’s in my veins, to look after children.”Selecting the right person for the role of foster mother is paramount. A small, loving family unit, where siblings are kept together, is the recipe for the children’s ongoing development.This creates a place where they can be brought up as part of a community, speaking their first language, and gaining a sense of their own identity.“Selecting the home mother, the foster mother, is the most difficult part of all our work. They are the most important people in the whole organisation,” says Jayne Payne, social worker and co-founder of Home from Home. “We need to get someone who is really going to love and cherish the children, and look after them as if they are their own children. It has to be someone who really wants to care for children.“And we’ve been very, very lucky. We’ve got wonderful foster mothers – so dedicated. Because it’s a hard job to care for children who aren’t your own.“We see the foster mothers every few days. We are very involved with them.”Many of the children under the care of Home from Home are HIV-positive. But with proper care and medication, they can go on to live full and meaningful lives.A safe, stable, loving family is what every child needs and deserves. Children in foster care have often come from a place of great sadness – of abuse, neglect, poverty, ill health and loss. Home from Home aims to redress this by providing children with security from harm or any form of abuse, in secure families where they can settle and not be fearful of being uprooted. It also provides children with the food, health care, education and psychological support they need.By loving the children and accepting them as they are, Home from Home aims to raise its foster kids to become well-adjusted adults who will contribute to society.The network creates opportunities for them to become valuable members of society through every means possible – individual treatment plans, therapeutic assistance, extra help with educational needs, excellent health care, the chance to expand their world vision through experiences they would otherwise not get.HOW TO VOLUNTEEROne of the most rewarding ways to get involved with Home from Home is by becoming a volunteer. They accept both local and international volunteers, and there are many tasks they need help with. Everything, from taking children on outings to helping get children and foster parents to clinics, the NGO needs assistance from taking children on outings to providing a lift to a foster mother and child to the local clinic for an appointment.“We would also love to have volunteers with special skills – for example, counselling, physiotherapy and occupational therapy amongst others – which we could incorporate into our programme,” says Shaper.To find out more, visit the Home from Home website.last_img read more

Ohio’s Crop Progress — April 10th, 2017

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest There were 0.8 days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending April 9, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. A very wet week has kept producers out of the fields. There was a lot of rain in the beginning of the week followed by some snow on Thursday. The week ended with a warm weekend which helped dry some fields. Wheat remained in good condition, despite ponding and delays in top dressing.Read the full report here.last_img

Highway ban in Kashmir likely to hit tourism, horticulture

first_imgFacing criticism from both the political class and the civil society, the State government’s ban on civilian traffic twice a week on the 270-km-long national highway in Kashmir is bound to dent the Valley’s horticulture industry and tourism, according to the stakeholders.“We have stored apple stock in cold storages, which requires urgent transportation to various destination in the country. The apple crop will be hit badly by the ban. Besides, it will delay the chemical treatment of orchards. The ban is unjustified and will make small-time farmers suffer,” said Bashir Ahmad Basheer, chairman of the Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers-Cum-Dealers Association.According to an estimation, around ₹300 crore worth of fruit is in cold storages in south Kashmir. However, the ban order issued by the Governor’s administration has barred the movement of civilian vehicles, including trucks, from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m. twice every week.Travel Agents Association of Kashmir president Ashfaq Siddiq Dug said, “This will have serious implications for upcoming tourist season. It will only add to the woes of tourists and pilgrims.”Stating that Kashmir does not have any alternative road connectivity, Mr. Dug said, “It will result in shortage of essentials.” Doctors Association of Kashmir president Dr. Suhail Naik warned of “increase in morbidity and mortality in patients due to delays in patient care”. Parties condemn banCalling for its immediate withdrawal, all major political parties, including the Congress, the National Conference, the Peoples Democratic Party, the Peoples Conference and the CPI(M), condemned the government move taken in the wake of the Pulwama attack, which left 40 CRPF jawans dead on February 14.“The Srinagar-Jammu Highway was not closed even during the Kargil war. Is the Governor’s administration trying to make Kashmir a colony?” said NC president Farooq Abdullah.PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said, “The Government of India only wants Kashmir and not Kashmiris.”Seeking its revocation, State Congress president G.A. Mir said, “It’s a decision taken in haste and will prove perilous for civilians.”“It’s another dictatorial move that will cause great distress to people. The government should stop punishing people of Kashmir,” said Hurriyat chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.last_img read more

Derrick Rose leaves Cavaliers to handle personal matter

first_imgDerrick Rose #1 of the Cleveland Cavaliers dribbles the ball against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena on November 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO Rob Carr/Getty Images/AFPCLEVELAND — Derrick Rose’s injuries may have pushed him to a breaking point.The former league MVP, who has been trying to revive his career with the Cavaliers, left the team earlier this week to handle a personal matter. A team spokesman said Friday that Rose has been excused since Wednesday and there is no timetable for his return.ADVERTISEMENT Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 “We want him to take his time — just know the team, the coaches, the organization, we all have his back and wish him well,” Lue said before the Cavs, who have won six straight, hosted the Charlotte Hornets. “We expect to have him back. I reached out to him and texted him and told him that we support him. We know he’s going through a tough time right now.”Rose has played in just seven of Cleveland’s 18 games this season because of a left ankle injury the point guard sustained while driving to the basket on Oct. 20 in Milwaukee. He’s averaging 14.3 points per game in his first season with Cleveland.Rose’s career has been slowed by knee injuries, which have required surgeries. He sat out the entire 2012-13 season in Chicago and played only 10 games the following year due to injury.The medical issues have taken an understandable toll on Rose.“He has been through injury after injury for the last few years,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. “When you’ve played at an MVP level like he has, I’m sure that’s hard to take. Listen, he’s still playing at a high level. I think he averaged 18 points last year with New York and was playing well when he got hurt this month. They always say the toughest thing for the great ones is when you lose a step.”ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Read Next The team did not offer any other details about Rose’s absence.ESPN reported that Rose is taking personal time “to evaluate his future in the NBA.” A team source told ESPN that Rose’s numerous injuries are “taking a toll on him mentally.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutRose’s agent, B.J. Armstrong, did not immediately return messages from the AP seeking comment.Cavs coach Tyronn Lue expects Rose to return to the team. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort MOST READ The 29-year-old Rose had been excited about a new start with Cleveland after spending last season with the New York Knicks. He signed a one-year, $2.1 million free agent contract this summer with the Cavs and was expected to be the team’s backup point guard behind Isaiah Thomas.However, Thomas is still recovering from a hip injury sustained last season with Boston, and Rose was thrust into a starting role.Rose dropped some weight to pressure off his knee joints, and showed flashes of his former self before getting hurt. The ankle had been bothering him for nearly a month when Cavs coach Tyronn Lue announced last week that Rose would be sidelined for “at least” two more weeks.Rose had been wearing a walking boot and undergoing treatment on his ankle. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Rivals kick off title clash View comments Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:04Hazing is a matter of perception, PNP chief Albayalde says01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City LATEST STORIES Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMClast_img read more

Olympic tennis team: Who is Vishnu Vardhan and why was he picked?

first_imgA towering presence on court… a booming serve — Vishnu Vardhan is one of the bright stars in the next line of India’s tennis players. And, to justify this tag, the 24-year-old has ensured that his career has witnessed a steady rise in the past couple of years.Many are surprised that the youngster from Vizag has been picked by the All India Tennis Association (AITA) to pair with Leander Paes for the 2012 London Olympics. However, this is not the first time that the association has shown faith in him.Vishnu, in fact, is no stranger to big-ticket events. In 2010, he was chosen to represent India in the Asian Games, where he did his reputation no harm.As India’s number two ranked player, Vishnu won the bronze medal in the men’s team event and also partnered Sania Mirza in the mixed doubles to ensure another silver medal for the country.Moreover, Vishnu has been in great form this year, winning two ITF tournaments, the most recent one in Bangalore just a few days ago.As far as chemistry on court is concerned, Vishnu’s baseline game and big serve would fall perfectly in place with Paes’s net-play, allowing the veteran to exploit his deft touches to the maximum.So do we have a gold medal winning pair? Well, not quite. There’s certainly a lot of fine-tuning and hard work that will have to be put in by both players in the month or so before the Olympics begin. But the prospects are surely bright. And who knows, perhaps there is a surprise in store!advertisementlast_img read more

10 months agoREVEALED: Arsenal chief Kroenke only Prem owner never to spend on their club

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say REVEALED: Arsenal chief Kroenke only Prem owner never to spend on their clubby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveStan Kroenke has not spent a penny of his personal fortune on Arsenal, it has been revealed.The Sun says he is the only Prem club owner not to dig into his own pocket to fund the team over the past decade.Arsenal owner Kroenke sits on a massive personal fortune of £7billion but has been unwilling to spend any of that money on the club.Instead the 71-year-old has restricted the Gunners to only using money the club brings in itself – leading to them falling behind their Premier League rivals.Arsenal’s business model means that, unlike the rest of the Prem, their spending was entirely funded from self-generated revenues – through television, sponsorship and marketing income, plus prize money. last_img read more

10 months agoRomero reveals Solskjaer has ‘restored happiness’ at Man Utd

first_imgRomero reveals Solskjaer has ‘restored happiness’ at Man Utdby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer restored happiness to the playing group.The Norwegian has gone five from five since taking over as caretaker manager last month.And Romero believes that the players are enjoying their football.”We’ve had a great run,” Romero told the club’s website.”Not just the results, but the way in which we have won the games as well. Scoring five goals in one match was a big boost to confidence and was really something.”What we’re showing now, after a great Christmas, is only right for a club of this stature, [it] proves what we can do. The run we’ve had over Christmas and new year is testament to that.”[The manager] knows what he wants to achieve – both for the club and us as individuals. On the pitch and within the club, he has made it very clear from the outset so we know the expectation of us inside the club and externally.”You can see he has brought to the club a certain happiness and it is going well.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more