‘We Are Beginning to See Results’

first_imgU.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, who arrived in Liberia yesterday for high level talks about the Ebola pandemic, has said that positive results are beginning to emerge as the response efforts from the United States and other international community partners against the Ebola virus begin to take root.Ambassador Power said these tangible results are also coming forth as a result of the robust mechanisms and strategies employed by the government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and citizens are now aware of the situation around them and are responding positively.Speaking at a joint press conference held along with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the foyer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after a closed door meeting, Ambassador Power said that President Barack Obama had asked her to come to the worst hit countries to show solidarity and assure the people that they are not alone.Ambassador Power arrived in Monrovia on Tuesday, as part of a tour of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, to demonstrate U.S. support for their efforts to combat the spread of the disease and to draw attention to the need for increased support from the international community.She held talks with President Sirleaf and other high ranking Liberian government officials. Ambassador Power also discussed international efforts to combat Ebola with the USAID-led Disaster Assistance Response Team, which is overseeing the U.S. overall response to the health emergency and with representatives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense, UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) and the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).At the press conference, she indicated that the US has put its military and experts from the Center for Disease Control on the ground in Liberia and are now assembling their response efforts which will soon go full swing.The US diplomat said with all of the processes now in place, the three countries are now on track to eradicate the virus from the region, indicating that the coordination of the response process is now being efficient unlike from the onset.Giving an example of the robust coordination that is presently in place, the US Ambassador said that while it would take more than five days to get the result of tests of blood samples in places like Gbarnga, Bong County, it now take less than five hours.This is, however, being made easier by the presence of mobile labs in and around the country.  She further noted that the 17 Ebola Treatment Units that the US is constructing will be located in all parts of the country; some of which will be as large as 100 beds as well as smaller ones that will be community-centered.These logistical and technical gaps could be contributing factors to the wide and further spread of the virus from the onset, as international response was very slow in coming.  She said that the US is mobilizing more technical, human and financial resources in addition to what it has given already, when and where the need arises.The US government, early last month, ramped up its assistance with the announcement of a 3,000-strong U.S. military team to West Africa “to combat and contain” what was then being referred to as an “extraordinarily serious epidemic with over US$400,000, 000.00.The assistance is now seeing the supply of medical and logistical support to already overwhelmed local health care systems and increase the number of beds needed to isolate and treat victims of the Ebola crisis.President Sirleaf welcomed and lauded Ambassador Power, who she said has been very instrumental in rallying for help for the response exercises in Liberia.She thanked the US for its leadership role in the fight, something she said should continue till the virus is kicked out of the country also urging the US diplomat to continue to advocate for three affected countries.Meanwhile, Ambassador Power’s comments about progress in the fight is worth welcoming though much is yet to be reported of what may be considered as the gradual decline of Ebola virus infection in Liberia by the international media known for its robust reportage from the onset of the crisis.As the virus raged about Liberia few weeks back, the international media, including the British Broadcasting Corporation, Cable News Network and other were vigilant on reporting the damages on the ground, but much is yet to be seen from them as news of drastic decline in infection cases emerge.The ETUs are visually empty according to reports, but reports are also emerging that there is actually no reduction in cases but people are now afraid to take their loved ones to the ETUs for fear of being cremated.Her comments also come amidst numerous reports that there will be over 90,000 will die in the coming months, while others have said that they expect to see ten thousand new infection cases in coming weeks.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

There seems to be no hope for City Hall

first_imgDear Editor,Well it seems as though we are in for another sidesplitting, waste of time circus, better known as a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) in Guyana.Our beloved country over the last few years has become renowned for spending large sums of money, and enormous amounts of time to conduct a plethora of Commissions of Inquiry from Lindo Creek to the Guyana Sugar Corporation and from the public education system to circumstances surrounding the death in an explosion of the late Dr Walter Rodney and then having them all left on some shelf in a back room gathering dust.Now reports have surfaced that the Chairman of the Local Government Commission (LGC) has illegally and indecorously kicked one of the Commissioners out from committee meetings being held to discuss the findings of the CoI which the LGC requested and commissioned into the goings on at the Georgetown Municipality.This course of action apart from being unlawful, puts on full display another horrendous example of the clear disregard for women by some men in Guyana, and the level of the impactful political ‘bully culture’ that is raising its ugly head once again in our country. Why is the other former municipal employee and union leader not being forced to recuse himself from the proceedings as well? What’s good for the goose must be good for the gander.Each and every one in Guyana, or as they say here Tom, Dick and Harrylall, are well aware that the Georgetown Municipality is the most tainted, rotten and morally debased institution in the country and possibly the region. Corruption, embezzlement, cronyism and nepotism are regular pastimes at City Hall and everybody and their grandmother know that.It was therefore the expectation of all decent minded Guyanese that the entire top layer of the administration of the Council and some of the political directorate would have been removed years ago, with some of them being handed over to the various law enforcement agencies, that there would have been forensic audits into the finances of that institution held over the decades which were not, and that the bloated payroll would have been halved a long time ago getting rid of all of the friends and family who were illicitly recruited.Finally, however, a CoI was held, and the citizens were given hope of some redemption in the city when they saw the recommendations of its Chairman. Alas! Instead of quickly implementing those recommendations and possibly going even further, the folks at the LGC seem to be pussyfooting, playing politics and seeming to want to give their duplicitous comrades at City Hall, golden parachutes that would allow them to parascend honourably into retirement with their saddlebags full of the ill-gotten loot they snatched brutishly from the citizenry.Regrettably, there seems to be no hope for City Hall, as it has been business as usual at the Council with the offenders who were identified by the CoI in criminal enterprise being allowed to carry out their routine tasks at their desks as though nothing irregular has happened, with Councillors who were complicit with the wrongdoings over the years have been given key positions in significant committees in the new Council, and now with a major effort underway to exonerate the culprits who have been found guilty of major wrongdoings.Sincerely,Shanta Singhlast_img read more

Man, 49, Found Dead

first_imgResidents of Weabamah were shocked when they heard the news of the alleged murder of 49-year-old Sekele Sumo.The lifeless body of the deceased, according to sources, was found a mile away from his home, in a deep forest around midday on Monday, March 31.His remains were found near a foot path leading to Bulunga, a nearby village. The two places are situated across the St. Paul River away from Dobli Island. Perpetrators of the crime are still at large.Reports reaching the Daily Observer from Weabama are that local authorities and police officers arrived at the crime scene on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 2, to begin an investigation, beginning with the immediate arrest of suspects.This created some confusion due to “an alleged suspect being left out of the investigation” and local men of the area wanting to receive the decaying corpse for immediate burial.According to the residents, the suspect, known as ‘Roberson,’ whom they alleged escaped after committing the crime, has since been arrested by Gbarpolu police and is waiting to be turned over to Fuamah District Authorities.Mr. Ballah Sumo Jungo, father of the deceased, told this paper that his son was survived by his wife Tenen, whom he left pregnant along with three children. “How will I handle that problem?” he asked.He appealed to government to find and bring all the perpetrators to justice.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Breaking News: Enmore electrician shot to head during robbery

first_imgThirty-eight-year-old Terry Chand is now in a serious condition at the Woodlands Hospital nursing a gunshot wound to his head after being trailed by two gunmen following a visit to the bank. According to reports, Chand visited a bank at Triumph, East Coast Demerara at about 13:30h today and cashed a cheque for $800,000. However, after completing his transaction he was trailed by the two bandits to his Foulis, ECD worksite where he was shot to his head and relieved of his cash.More details in February 22 edition of Guyana Times.last_img read more

Sacked Fly Jamaica workers still to receive salaries

first_img…claim meeting with Labour Dept was for “show”Three months after meeting with the Social Protection Ministry’s Labour Department, sacked workers of Fly Jamaica are still awaiting a word from the Government with respect to the payment of salaries.A few sacked Fly Jamaica workersAn employee, who served as a flight attendant, reached out to Guyana Times stating that the meeting held with the workers three months ago was just a “show”, as the Department never contacted any of the sacked workers following same.The female staffer explained that the sacked workers are still awaiting their payments and are becoming frustrated as even the Government seems to be failing them and are unable to make proper representation.This publication understands that the embattled airline still owes workers for the period November 2018 through March 2019.Fly Jamaica had made its staff redundant at the end of March as was announced by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Paul Ronald Reece in a letter to employees dated Friday, March 29, 2019.It has been reported that the Jamaica-based airline had employed some 400 persons, and Reece had assured employees that the compensation they are owned from November to date would be paid, but he pleaded for time to fulfil this commitment.After weeks of suspense, the Labour Department finally met with the workers who claimed the meeting failed to address the issue of owed salaries, among other important matters.Nevertheless, along with ex-staffers, passengers are still awaiting refunds from booked tickets. In May, some 46 complaints were received by the Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission which value about $8,316,504. However, more recently, the agency said the number of reports received has doubled.The airline became crippled following a November 9 crash last year. The Boeing 757 flight destined for Toronto, Canada crash-landed at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) at Timehri, East Bank Demerara, after encountering hydraulic issues.It was reported that the flight took off around 02:10h but later returned to the airport where the aircraft crash-landed at about 02:53h.Hope recently surfaced for the airline when new investors announced their move to take over the Fly Jamaica.On July 29, it was reported that a team of investors including Jamaican aviation veteran, Glenn Logan, led by Yann LeProvost of the French-based company W&Y SAS has taken over the problem-plagued airline.The new owners took over on July 26 from Guyanese operators, Paul and Roxanne Reece. They have since pledged their commitment to addressing the issues affecting the airline, such as owed salaries to workers and compensation for tickets.This promise however remains in limbo as the investors are presently ironing out matters with regards to Fly Jamaica’s Insurance.last_img read more

Round two of the Ford Maintenance Series this Saturday at the Mower Mayhem Oval

first_imgGates open at 12:00 p.m. with the first event starting at 1:00 p.m.Admission is just $5.00 per person.For more information, you can visit Mower Mayhem Racing’s Facebook page. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Mower Mayhem Racing is gearing up for round two of the Ford Maintenance Race Series taking place tomorrow, Saturday, June 1.Classes include stock, junior stock, stock improved, pro-stock, and modified.The event will feature tractor pulls and an oval race.- Advertisement -The first event of the Series took place on May 19.According to event organizers, the pulling tractors should be exciting as they have five pullers in that competition.Round two of the Ford Maintenance Race Series takes place this Saturday, June 1, at the Mower Mayhem Oval on Johnson Road, south of Taylor.Advertisementlast_img read more

Strike averted at CSU schools

first_imgCSU faculty members will receive pay raises totaling at least 20 percent under a four-year agreement announced Tuesday, ending two years of contentious negotiations and averting a threatened strike. The 200-page agreement is widely expected to be ratified by the faculties at the 23 California State University campuses. “We have a tentative agreement that will be good for the CSU, good for our students, good for the faculty and, frankly, it will be good for California,” John Travis, president of the California Faculty Association, said in a statement. Last month, most of the union’s 23,000 members authorized a strike over stalled contract negotiations. At the same time, CSU trustees voted to raise student fees by 10 percent and to grant a 4 percent pay raise to about two dozen top administrators. “This is good news for everybody, including our 417,000 students, and we look forward to moving ahead with getting our faculty their salary increases,” said Roberta Achtenberg, who chairs the CSU board. Union officials said trustees realized the wage increases were needed to retain faculty, especially in cities like Los Angeles where the cost of living is high. “It’s not that they were forced to this. They are doing the right thing,” said James David Ballard, the president of the CFA chapter at California State University, Northridge. “If you look at where they were before now, it’s an enormous shift of resources, a difference of $80 million to $100 million.” The agreement, which was reached after an impartial fact-finder released recommendations, could cost the CSU system more than $400 million over four years. In addition to the 20.7 percent in salary increases, the agreement also includes a 1 percent step increase for each year of the contract; $28 million for merit pay for junior and senior faculty; and an additional 1 percent in each of the last three years of the contract, contingent on receiving more money from the state. The four-year contract will raise the average salary for a tenure-track faculty member from $74,000 to $90,749 and the average salary for a full-time tenured professor from $86,000 to $105,465, officials said. The union now will work on stopping the rise in student fees, and create new policies for compensating CSU executives as well as accountability and openness in how the CSU is managed. The Board of Trustees has said tuition fee hikes were needed because Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed state budget for the system assumes $123 million in fee revenue, based on a 10 percent increase in student fees and a 2.5 percent enrollment increase. “I am very pleased to see that both sides came together and put students’ needs first by preventing a faculty strike,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement. “This agreement benefits students, faculty and administrators and will continue to improve the excellence of the CSU system.” susan.abram@dailynews.com (818) 713-3664160Want 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

Delight for Ronaldo after match-winning display against PSG

first_imgRonaldo’s first was a penalty that took him to 100 Champions League goals as a Real player, cancelling out Adrien Rabiot’s opener for PSG.He then struck the second in the 83rd minute before a Marcelo strike gave the reigning European champions a two-goal advantage ahead of the return leg of their last-16 tie on March 6.Ronaldo admitted that the penalty that allowed his side to draw level just on the stroke of half-time was crucial.“We knew Paris were a very dangerous side, especially up front with the three strikers they have, but we knew we had to press them,” he added.“I think we sat back a bit more in the second half, but we played better, had more chances and scored two more goals.“Today things worked out for me — I scored twice and helped the team to win, but we know the tie is not finished yet. We need to win there too.”0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000100 goals: Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 100th Champions League goal for Real © AFP / CHRISTOPHE SIMONMADRID, Spain, Feb 15 – Cristiano Ronaldo was delighted at the manner in which Real Madrid kept going to beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 with two late goals in Wednesday’s Champions League showdown.“It was a very important victory. We started the match well but then conceded the goal. But this is the Champions League and Real Madrid know from experience that games last 90 minutes and here at home we wanted a good result,” the Portuguese superstar told UEFA.com after picking up his man of the match award for scoring a brace.last_img read more

Pochettino backs ‘unlucky’ Tottenham striker

first_imgTottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has revealed how the club is creating new training exercises for misfiring forward Roberto Soldado, claiming the former Valencia striker has been “unlucky with his finishing”.The 29-year-old has netted just six times in 34 Premier League appearances for Spurs since his £26 million move from Valencia last summer.But Pochettino said he has been impressed with Soldado���s recent performances and is confident the Spain international’s fortunes in front of goal will change.“We need to give him the chances to play again and keep him calm,” said Pochettino.“A striker always wants to score but against Partizan he created chances pretty well and was unlucky in front of goal. Maybe next time he will score.“We work very hard at training and create the exercises for him to improve his finishing in front of goal, but he created many chances and he was unlucky not to score [against Partizan].“In football it’s always mental and emotions, performances, physical condition, all these things affect your performance, but his performance was very good. For me, he was unlucky with his finishing.” Roberto Soldado 1last_img read more

Banks get flu pandemic tests

first_imgAccording to the doomsday scenario devised by Treasury, a number of cases of bird flu in humans are reported overseas and the illness spreads quickly to the U.S. by people traveling on international flights. From that beginning, the Treasury scenario presents financial institutions with many challenges over the course of the three-week exercise. The financial institutions got the first week’s scenario over the weekend from an Internet site where the test is being conducted. The whole exercise is part of a plan unveiled by President Bush in May 2006, directing various government agencies to upgrade their planning for pandemic outbreaks. The Government Accountability Office earlier this month criticized the administration for failing to conduct sufficient tests to make sure that the agencies understand their responsibilities. One of the biggest challenges financial institutions will face is how to cope with absenteeism. In week one, the Treasury exercise directs the financial organizations to assume that 25 percent of their work force is not coming to work, either because of illness or because of fear of being infected or because they are staying home to take care of children who can’t go to school because the schools have closed. To decide who is absent, the Treasury directs the institutions to assume that everyone whose last name begins with certain letters, which could cover the bank president down to the local teller, cannot come to work. The 25 percent absentee rate will jump to 49 percent in week two. Absent employees won’t be the only troubles facing the financial institutions. Under Treasury’s scenario, they also will have to cope with shrinking Internet bandwidths as more and more people try to work from home. Cash withdrawals from ATMs are expected to rise sharply and getting the machines refilled will present problems because of rising absentee rates at the armored car companies and the difficulty of getting fuel for the armored trucks as gasoline refineries curtail their production. By the end of the three weeks, Abend said the government and the institutions will have a much better idea of just what a flu pandemic will mean in the U.S. She said the test should get the institutions thinking about where they need to improve their contingency plans. “What would you do if you don’t have access to key people? Have you cross- trained enough employees to sufficiently cover that?” she asked. “We want to do a really robust test.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PLANNING: Exercise set up by the Treasury Department involves 2,700 financial institutions across the U.S. By Martin Crutsinger THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON – Don’t be alarmed if your local bank teller is looking a bit sickly over the next three weeks. It is only a cyber-illness. Hundreds of banks and other financial institutions are participating in the largest test of its kind ever conducted to ensure the nation’s financial system can keep functioning in case of an outbreak of pandemic flu. The test began Monday and is scheduled to run for three weeks. More than 2,700 financial institutions have signed up to participate, about five times the number the Treasury Department expected. “This shows how much the business sector is focused on pandemic flu planning,” said Valerie Abend, Treasury’s deputy assistant secretary for critical infrastructure protection. Treasury, aided by other federal agencies and the private sector, has devised a three-week script for how a serious outbreak of bird flu might affect operations at banks, from the biggest to the smallest, and at credit unions, securities firms and insurance companies. The exercise also covers companies that provide critical behind-the-scenes processing to keep the flow of checks and money circulating nationwide. last_img read more