As the Ebola calamity rages in Liberia and other parts of West Africa killing more than 1000 people, the United States Government through its aid agency, USAID has provided US$14.5 million to combat the spread of the disease.In addition, the U.S. Government has provided $1 million to the Red Cross for the purpose of contact tracing.The disclosure was made on Wednesday, August 13, at the U.S. Embassy by health experts from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). There are currently 15 experts from the United States in the country to work with the Liberian government, non-governmental organizations and other partners including World Health Organization (WHO) to stop the spread of the epidemic.Satish Pillai, Medical Officer of Centers for Disease Control, and Tim Callaghan, Ebola Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) leader both told journalists that their presence in Liberia and affected West African countries is meant to work with partners, government and people of the country to prevent the rapid spread of the disease.The health experts clarified that the amount provided will be used to train health workers and provide safety equipment that will prevent workers from contracting the virus.They also disclosed that additional experts are expected to join them to help with the fight against the virus as it rapidly spreads.Expressing grief for loss of lives, the American experts emphasized that they have come to work with the government and partners because such a global situation cannot be handled alone.They therefore requested that stakeholders cooperate and be willing to coordinate activities in order to effectively combat the disease.One method already known to affected countries including Liberia is the isolation and care system, which the experts stressed should be applied regularly to help prevent the spread of the disease.The experts are going to be deployed in affected counties to train health workers to properly log suspected and death cases, keep surveillance, and train health workers how to approach cases of the disease. As regards information about avoidance of bush meat from chimpanzee, monkey and bat, Satish Pillai said it is a good piece of advice to avoid eating meat of these animals.However, he said the sickness can be contracted from an infected person when another individual comes in contact with fluid from that person, stressing that there has not been a test done to ascertain that the disease is in bat, deer and other animals being named.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was herself the first Chairman of the Governance Commission, appointed by National Transition Chairman Charles Gyude Bryant in 2004. That alone set the stage for her sustained and resolute commitment to government reform, whose primary aim is to decentralize the government and bring it closer to the people.Following her election as President of Liberia in the 2005 elections, she resigned as Governance Commission Chair and was succeeded by Dr. Amos Sawyer.Dr. Sawyer was eminently qualified for that position. He is, to begin with, a student of history and a political scientist,a vocation that knows all about politics and government. In addition, he served, beginning in September 1990, as the Chairman of the Interim Government of National Unity (IGNU) during the civil war.The Commission, under Sawyer’s leadership, made great strides in establishing the platform for governmental reform. Many documents were prepared, position papers written and numerous consultations were held throughout the country, bringing the discussions to the people—the tribal chiefs and their people, students, political leaders, civil servants, scholars and media people.In the end, the platform was created for what the experts call “the devolution of power,” meaning the transfer of power from the central government to the people at the local level.The devolution process began this week in Gbarnga, the Bong County capital where many of the preparatory consultations had been held over the years. During three days of discussions, which President Sirleaf kicked off on Wednesday, coordination in the delivery of services began for the devolution of power at the local level. This will engender (bring about) greater participation of the people and cost effective operations. Vehicle registry at the local (county) level will be one of the key operatives here. This means that vehicle owners, whether commercial, corporate, concession or individual, will not need to come all the way to Monrovia to have their vehicles registered and to receive license documents and plates. Everything will be done at the county level in the various counties. The postal service will also be decentralized. The county postal service will have to plant post offices in all the cities, towns and villages. This means that when all is organized at the local level, people will no longer need to come all the way to Monrovia to send or receive mail. Another major step in this devolution is the establishing of school boards in each county. These school boards will determine school policies at the local level as well as the personnel—such as District Education Officers and elementary, junior and senior high principals and other personnel. Parent-Teacher Associations will also be coordinated.Then there will be the local registration of marriages, indeed a history-making development. Since 1847 and the founding of the Republic, no regular weddings have taken place in Liberia without the couples first coming to Monrovia to obtain their licenses from the Registrar of Marriages. It may take time for Directors of Marriage Registrations to be appointed in the counties; and perhaps more time to set up their offices. But once these are done, there would be no need for couples to travel all the way to Monrovia to obtain their licenses for marriage.All of this is at the initial stage of devolution.A most important part of this devolution process will be the passage by the National Legislature of the Local Government Act, which will formalize the restructuring and re-districting of townships and cities. This Act will also lay the framework for the election of district commissioners, city mayors and county superintendents, all of whom have, until now, been appointed by the President. The Bill for this Act is expected to be submitted by the President to the Legislature by June 16 this year. Once the bill is passed, the many constitutional issues embedded in the Act will be submitted for a constitutional referendum, which may hopefully be conducted in 2016 or 2017, before the presidential and general elections.That referendum will be earthshaking, for the Liberian electorate’s approval of the constitutional amendments will for the first time strip power, for example the appointment of many local government officials, from the presidency and hand it over to the Liberian people.All of this will be done under Ellen’s watch which, if all goes well, will no doubt constitute one of the cornerstones of her legacy—the devolution of real power from the Liberian President to the Liberian people. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Day 3 of the 56th annual Oilmen’s Bonspiel has officially gotten underway at the Fort St. John Curling Club.In the second round of action in the ‘B’ bracket that started at 9:00 this morning, Epscan-A beat Poor Boy to advance to Round 3. The other three matchups took to the ice at 11:30 this morning. Troyer up is against HSE Integrated. D+D is up against Secure, and Vertical’s is playing against the rink from Petron.The winners ‘A’ bracket teams take to the ice this afternoon at 2:00 and 4:30. IPAC will be taking on Tracker C this afternoon. Rhyason Contracting will play against DRS Energy. ClearStream will be playing Rogers, and Atomic will play Peace Country Rentals first team.- Advertisement –
“Certainly the surge in subprime defaults has contributed to the overall rise in foreclosures,” James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, said in a statement. “We estimate that more than 50 percent of the foreclosure activity we charted in the first quarter was from subprime loans.” Foreclosures are now also spreading to higher-priced homes, too. California – the state with the nation’s largest population – totaled 80,595 foreclosure filings in the January through March period, the most in the country. The number includes default and auction sale notices and bank repossessions, and properties in all three stages of the default process – notices of default for late payments, properties set for auction and those that have been taken back by lenders. “Most of the activity is still in the early stage,” said Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac’s vice president of marketing. “Many of these properties are sold before they get to (an actual foreclosure).” In the Inland Empire, there were 17,499 filings in the first quarter, one for every 68 households. By comparison, in the Los Angeles/Long Beach area, there were 14,145 filings, one for every 231 households, ranking 46th nationally. The national average is one filing for every 264 households. And activity increased an annual 35 percent nationally in the year’s first three months. While sales are falling in L.A., too, prices are holding up and set a record in the quarter. “That sort of insulates the L.A. region from the worst fallout you can get from foreclosure activity,” Sharga said. A similar picture emerges from an analysis last week by La Jolla-based DataQuick Information Systems, and supports RealtyTrac’s contention that most of the activity here remains in the early stage. In the first quarter, lenders filed 46,760 default notices across the state, an annual increase of 148 percent. In L.A. County, they spiked 110 percent, to 8,843 notices. DataQuick analyst Andrew LaPage believes Los Angeles’ size is providing a cushion. “There is a fairly strong diverse economy there and we haven’t seen the same degree of erosion in home prices we’ve seen in some areas, including the Inland Empire,” he said. The median price per square foot of a home in Riverside County has been falling for several months, and the price just went negative in San Bernardino County. Jack Kyser, chief economist at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., expects this area to hold up a little bit longer. “This economy is diverse and it is growing. We are creating quality jobs and we have a lot more going for us than Detroit does or even Miami,” he said. “We have to keep our fingers crossed that we are going to hold up.” firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 713-3743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Foreclosure activity soared an annual 172.8 percent in California during the first quarter, but the numbers reflect an uneven pattern of pain across the state, a market tracker said Wednesday. The spike is in response to a residential real-estate market roiled by an 18-month slump and distress in the subprime loan sector, said Irvine-based Web site RealtyTrac.com. So far, the biggest problems are surfacing in such places as the Inland Empire, which saw a surge of new home construction over the past several years, analysts said. The Riverside/San Bernardino counties region now has the third-highest foreclosures-per-household rate in the country, behind Las Vegas and Detroit, according to RealtyTrac.com. Nationwide, 37 of 50 states reported a year-over-year increase in foreclosures.
GRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – Due to the winter-like weather conditions, Grande Prairie RCMP would like to remind drivers to slow down.As of Friday morning, parts of the Alberta Peace and into the Southern B.C. Peace are experiencing heavy snow and poor road conditions.RCMP advise that roads and highways in the Grande Prairie area may be slippery due to precipitation and are asking drivers to use caution.- Advertisement -There may also be reduced visibility in some areas.
0Shares0000City pride – Pep Guardiola believes overseeing Manchester City’s bid for the Premier League title this season ranks as one of his best achievements © AFP / Oli SCARFFMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, May 6 – Pep Guardiola has suggested remaining in control of this season’s relentless Premier League title race is his most satisfying achievement as a manager.The Manchester City boss says the English top division is the toughest domestic competition he has faced during a 10-season coaching career that has brought him 25 trophies. City have won 12 Premier League matches in a row, and are on course to finish just two short of matching last season’s competition record of 100 points, yet they are being pushed all the way by Liverpool, who have set extraordinary standards of their own.Jurgen Klopp’s side have lost just once in the league all season, against City in January, and recorded their eighth successive top-flight victory on Saturday, beating Newcastle 3-2 to return to the top of the table.City have a game in hand, at home to Leicester on Monday, but are likely to have to win both that and their final league match at Brighton next Sunday to retain their title.“Yeah, it’s the toughest league I’ve ever played as a manager, because of the quality of the rivals,” said Guardiola, a former manager of both Barcelona and Bayern Munich.“No doubts. That’s why being there is incredible. But, of course, only one will take the prize and the other one will be at home sad.”– Liverpool ‘wow’ –Guardiola is thrilled his City players have maintained their standards following last season’s record-breaking points total, with the club three wins away from completing an unprecedented domestic treble of Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup.“When you get 100 points, everyone thinks we won’t do what we have to do (the following season), that we will do less because we won, but it has been completely the opposite,” the Catalan manager said.“Arriving at this stage, two games left with 92 points, after 100 points last season, being there, that is the most satisfaction I’ve had as a manager.“It’s not easy, honestly. And they did it again. Now, we try to win against Leicester and then go to the final league game at Brighton with it in our hands, with a chance to be champions.”The standard of this season’s title race has rarely been equalled at the highest level of English football.Since the rules were changed in 1981 to make a win worth three points, only once has a top-flight team finished with more than 95 points, and that was City last season.Yet both City and Liverpool are on course to pass that total this time around; Klopp’s team have 94 points with one match left, at home to Wolves next Sunday.Guardiola suggested Liverpool are one of the two best sides he has ever faced as a manager, with the other being the Barcelona team that thrashed City 4-0 in a 2016 Champions League meeting.“The difference is Liverpool. We did the same job (as last season), he said.“In my career as a manager, I played against incredible sides. There are two that were ‘wow’. One is Barcelona with Luis Enrique, with Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in front. The other is this Liverpool. I think they’re the best two sides I’ve faced as a manager.“That’s why I am so happy being there, with it in our hands, fighting against them until the end, after being seven points behind at one stage this season, after collecting 100 points last season.“When you are seven points behind, you can say: ‘It’s done’. We did the opposite of that. We were like (chipping away at) a stone. After that, we arrive here.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
CANYON COUNTRY – Two vehicles collided head-on on a remote stretch of Sierra Highway today, leaving four people seriously injured, the California Highway Patrol said. The crash was reported at about 3:50 p.m. at Sierra Highway and Davenport Road, and at least one of the injured was ejected from the vehicle, a CHP dispatcher said. The intersection was closed to traffic for about 20 minutes to airlift the injured to an area hospital before reopening at 4:45 p.m. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp called for his side to make it easier for themselves after an anaemic display in a 3-0 defeat at Watford.Odion Ighalo scored twice after Nathan Ake opened the scoring inside two minutes to leave the Reds five points off the top four and with just one point from their last three games against Newcastle, West Brom and the Hornets.Liverpool’s form since Klopp succeeded Brendan Rodgers has been hugely inconsistent, and the German believes his side need to simplify their approach to improve their results.“We didn’t play like we want to play – we didn’t play easy. Watford played very easy especially the second goal,” Klopp said.“Leicester aren’t playing complicated football – all the teams who are playing easy are winning games.”Despite taking just one point from the last nine on offer Klopp feels his side aren’t far away from remedying their long-term problems.He added: “The team and myself – we are really close. We only have common problems. Now we have to show a reaction.“It was always clear that it would be really difficult this season. We all know we can do better but we have to do it often. This is a good team but if you play football the wrong way then it’s really easy for the opponent to win.”
1 Zlatan Ibrahimovic is already making an impact at Manchester United Zlatan Ibrahimovic has issued a brilliant response to Eric Cantona’s claim that ‘there can only be one king in Manchester’.Cantona sent the enigmatic Swede a video message after he sealed a free transfer switch to Old Trafford.In it, the United legend warned Ibrahimovic that he will have to settle for being the ‘prince’ of the city.Cantona, who was nickamed ‘The King’ during his legendary spell at the club, said: “I have a personal message to Zlatan. You have decided for United and it is the best choice you’ve ever made. But one last thing, there can be only one king in Manchester. “You can become a prince if you want and jersey number 7 is yours if you are interested. It is my welcome gift to you. The king is gone. Long live the prince.”Ibrahimovic, who like Cantona has enjoyed cult status throughout his career, has now been prompted into a response.The 34-year-old told Swedish paper Aftonbladet: “I admire Cantona and I heard what he said. But I won’t be king of Manchester. I will be God of Manchester.”Ibrahimovic’s hilarious statement comes as he prepares to head to Manchester to link up with his new team-mates.The former Paris Saint-Germain striker has been on holiday in America after playing for Sweden at Euro 2016.He is expected to start pre-season training for United this week but it is unclear whether he will be part of Jose Mourinho’s squad for their trip to China.
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “Look, most of the people in Musharraf’s party came out of Nawaz’s party,” the official said, referring to Sharif and speaking on condition of anonymity because of diplomatic sensitivities. While he acknowledged that an alliance between Sharif and Musharraf was unlikely given the long-running enmity between the men, he added, “I wouldn’t predict anything in politics.” Foreign policy analysts and diplomats said that if there were one thing Bhutto’s assassination had made clear, it was the inability of the United States to manipulate the internal political affairs of Pakistan. Even before the assassination, the United States had limited influence and did not back Bhutto to the hilt. “We are a player in the Pakistani political system,” said Wendy Chamberlin, a former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, adding that as such, the United States was partly to blame for Musharraf’s dip in popularity. But, she added: “This is Pakistan. And Pakistan is a very dangerous and violent place.” That said, Pakistan has never been more important for the United States than it is right now as it teeters on the edge of internal chaos. Bush administration officials have been trying mightily to balance the American insistence that Pakistan remain on the path to democracy and Musharraf’s unwillingness to risk unrest that would allow al-Qaida and the Taliban to operate more freely, particularly with American and NATO troops next door in Afghanistan. That is why the administration had been fighting so hard, amid skepticism from many of its allies, to broker an agreement in which the increasingly unpopular Musharraf would share power with Bhutto after presidential and parliamentary elections. American officials viewed the power-sharing proposal partly as a way to force Musharraf onto a democratic path, and partly to relieve the growing pressure for his ouster. WASHINGTON – The assassination of Benazir Bhutto on Thursday left in ruins the delicate diplomatic effort the Bush administration had pursued in the past year to reconcile Pakistan’s deeply divided political factions. Now they are scrambling to sort through ever more limited options, as American influence on Pakistan’s internal affairs continues to decline. On Thursday, officials at the American Embassy in Islamabad reached out to members of the political party of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, according to a senior administration official. The very fact that officials are even talking to backers of Sharif, a man those officials have long mistrusted and whose return to Pakistan they discouraged because they believe he has too many ties to Islamist parties, suggests how hard it will be to find a partner the United States fully trusts. The assassination highlighted, in spectacular fashion, the failure of two of President Bush’s main objectives in the region: his quest to bring democracy to the Muslim world and his drive to force out the Islamist militants who have hung on tenaciously in Pakistan, the nuclear-armed state considered ground zero in Bush’s fight against terrorism, despite the administration’s long-running effort to root out al-Qaida from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Administration officials say the United States still wants the Pakistani elections to proceed, either as scheduled on Jan. 8 or soon after. But several senior administration officials acknowledged that Musharraf may decide to put off the elections if the already unstable political climate in Pakistan deteriorates further. The administration official said American Embassy officials were trying to reach out to Pakistani political players across the board.