A Tribute to the Late Theo Bettie

first_imgThe great American poet, J. G. Holland, in his immortal poem, “God Give Us Men,” appeals to the Creator to give the country men who possess:“Strong minds, great hearts, true faith, and ready hands;Men whom the lust of office does not kill;Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy . . .For while the rabble, with their thumb worn creeds,Their large professions and their little deeds,Mingle in selfish strife, Lo! Freedom weeps,Wrong rules the land and waiting justice sleeps.”Heaven knows we need more Theo Betties in Liberia, men—and women—who truly love their country and people and will do everything in their supreme interest to make Liberia a country owned and run by Liberians!May God send us more men and women like Theo Bettie!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Speaking against the cancer of corruption

first_imgDear Editor,During the last General Election campaign, we have heard about the many varied facets of corruption allegedly perpetrated by the previous Government and there was even a corruption debate on the National Communications Network (NCN) which the A Partnership for National Unity refused to participate. They probably felt that the debate itself is ‘corrupted’ and that they need to sit on the moral high ground or were afraid of questions of corruption under the People’s National Congress era in Government.It must be recalled that one of the pledges made to the people of Guyana was to wipe out corruption as it relates to procurement. An Alliance For Change leader had said on a Berbice TV channel that ’kickback’ accounts for more than 20 per cent of the contract cost and at the time it seemed a well-educated guess. His party vowed to eradicate this type of corruption. Unfortunately, the Public Procurement Commission can now be regarded as impotent against the tsunami of procurement corruption and the Public Infrastructure Ministry and the Government itself seem to have given a free rein to the corruptors.As a Regional Councillor, it is my duty to speak against the cancer of corruption which is engulfing and spreading in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) at an alarming rate with no solutions in sight. I had written extensively about the allegedly corrupt bulldozer deal but despite assurances from the Regional Executive Officer (REO) that the decrepit piece of machine will be sent packing, it is still to this day ensconced next to the entrance of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) Office at Vrymens Erven at New Amsterdam. The REO had said the supplier had signed a bond to the value of $15 million and should the supplier fail to replace the bulldozer then that bond will be forfeited. At the last RDC meeting when I raised the matter, the ‘bond’ seemed a distant memory. Unfortunately, the REO was not present at that meeting.Another area of corruption is substandard and poorly executed works. Recently, an emergency contract was given for excavation works at the mouth of the #43 Channel. The fishing boats at #43 were stranded due to the fact that the canal and the mouth of the channel is heavily silted making it impassable for a large number of boats to go fishing and for those which have already gone out to sea to return with their catches. This situation has been festering for over one month now. Those boats which are out have to use the Eversham channel to offload their catches and reload. Several complaints were made by these fishermen and after a long period and much financial losses to the fishermen, the NDIA invited quotations for the excavation of the mouth of the channel.An experienced contractor who has the capacity to do the job was selectively sidelined even though he was asked to submit a quotation. The fishermen explained to me that they were told that the emergency work was given to a contractor who lacked the capacity to do the job since he does not have the dredging equipment to do it effectively. They claimed it was quite humorous when the contractor showed up with 12 men and two shovels sitting idly, looking at the blockade and contemplating their next move.Moreover, they pointed out that the excavation of the creek to the channel was done by the same contractor who dug both sides and leave the middle which resulted in rapid resilting. Since May 2017, this was done two times at the cost of $8 million each. It was also done once in 2016 for $8 million as well. This canal seems to be a milking cow for the said contractor. The fishermen said if this contractor cannot excavate a canal properly, they cannot fathom how he is going to excavate the embankment at the mouth of the channel. This is another area of corruption where certain contractors who refused to give ‘kickbacks’ are rejected. The best bribers are given the contracts, not the best man to do the job.What is also eating away the quality of work done is the deliberate under-bidding for contracts. Some contractors, through inside information, know exactly how low they should bid. In doing, so they effectively erode their profit margins and when this is compounded with the inevitable ‘kickback’, the result is substandard work which again will be subjected to bribery to ensure it passes certification. The Public Infrastructure Ministry is turning a blind eye to this since cronies and families are allegedly involved.Political commitment is a necessary condition to eradicate corruption in awarding contracts, certifying works completed and rejecting substandard works. There is a clear misuse of public office and Region Six is losing tens of millions each year due to this form of corruption. We simply cannot get value for money.In conclusion, contracts must be awarded to only those contractors who can be certified that they have met anti-corruption commitments and this means establishing a system to identify these corrupt contractors and at the same time award contracts to those contractors who have the capacity and are incorruptible. On the other hand, those found guilty of corruption should be dealt – feeling the full brunt of the law and debarred for life.Yours sincerely,Haseef YusufRDC Councillor,Region Sixlast_img read more

CelebrateLAB Hosts West Africa’s Largest Laboratory Professional Conference

first_imgCelebrateLAB, the largest gathering of laboratory professionals in the ECOWAS region, will host its fifth gathering April 23-24 at the Monrovia City Hall in Sinkor, Monrovia.The two-day event will bring together laboratory scientists from public and private sectors, officials from the World Health Organization, Ministry of Health and the National Institute of Liberia (NPHIL).Laboratory experts and other health officials will share knowledge and experience on best practices that make sense for West Africa. The core audience is the laboratory scientist who makes a difference by treating every patient sample with care. CelebrateLAB Ambassadors from Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Liberia have pledged to improve regional laboratory diagnostics. Dr Dougbeh Chris Nyan, one of the conference ambassadors, an industry innovator and Chief Executive and Scientific Officer of Shufflex Biomed (USA and Liberia), said, “we have the ingenuity to take Africa’s scientific destiny into our own hands for the benefit of humanity.” The 2014 Ebola Virus outbreak in West Africa exposed the vulnerabilities of regional health systems and highlighted the urgent need for collaboration and experience-sharing as populations move across borders.This year’s theme, “Bio-risk Management in West Africa,’’ touches all aspects of laboratory medicine. CelebrateLAB 2019 emphasizes strengthening collaborations across West African borders and promoting public-private partnerships. Candace Eastman, CEO of Africabio Enterprises, said “CelebrateLAB is all about striving for better health outcomes.”GIZ, the German development organization is one of the event’s sponsors. GIZ works with the Liberian Ministry of Health and the National Public Health Institute of Liberia to strengthen laboratory and biomedical capacity through training, mentorship, and the establishment of a regional biomedical engineering workshop and microbiology lab.  During the event, GIZ will facilitate a workshop that will focus on product life cycle management, preventive  maintenance, share lessons learned, and emerging best practices for strengthening the workforce and supporting quality improvements in public laboratories and biomedical workshops.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Dr. Dougbeh Christopher Nyan , CEO, Shufflex Biomed: “we have the ingenuity to take Africa’s scientific destiny into our own hands for the benefit of humanity.” – Advertisement –last_img read more

Coffee, cake and generosity on the menu in Clonmany Day Centre fundraiser

first_imgStaff at Mullins of Ballyliffin were delighted to present a cheque for €1,149.25 to the Clonmany Day Centre after a successful coffee morning last month.Tea, coffee and treats were on offer on Friday the 14th of October as the shop staff all rallied to the cause and put on a spread for guests. Visitors were hugely supportive with their donations and the Mullins staff were proud to deliver the proceeds to the local Day Centre and were very thankful to all who took part. Coffee, cake and generosity on the menu in Clonmany Day Centre fundraiser was last modified: November 2nd, 2016 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:charityclonmanycoffee morningmullins of ballyliffinNoteslast_img read more

JIM MCGUINNESS – “WHAT WE DID TO DUBLIN LAST YEAR CLEARLY WON’T WORK THIS TIME AROUND”

first_imgJim McGuinness has delivered a fascinating and in-depth analysis into the changes Dublin have made to their defensive system – and it doesn’t make for good reading from a Donegal perspective.Last August, Donegal delivered one of their greatest ever performances and defeated the so-called invincible Dublin side in a match that stunned the GAA.McGuinness masterminded that famous victory, but has said the system they adopted last year won’t work against Dublin this time around time. In his column with The Irish Times, McGuinness disclosed the changes Dublin have made to their tactical approach and believes Jim Gavin’s side could be unbelievably difficult to stop this year.McGuinness wrote, “For Dublin, Cian O’Sullivan was the sweeper dropping back to cover space in front of the Kildare full forward line.“Nothing radical in that. But it was the Dublin defensive system that fascinated me. They had spoken a lot about core values and man to man defence and the principles of Dublin football.“But there has been a definite paradigm shift which I feel will make them very hard to beat. So Dublin went man to man with O’Sullivan sweeping – and occasionally Jack McCaffrey.“But the interesting thing was that when Kildare attacked them, they left their men and stepped off them and drifted from that into protecting the D, like an arc which is a zonal system.“If the ball was pushed out to the wing, they sometimes stepped up again and went man to man.“The other thing they were doing defensively is they were passing players on. If someone ran across the D and, say, the ball was on the left wing, they would pass that player on and keep the pressure on the ball in a zone format.McGuinness also said they appeared to have strengthened their structures going forward which will give headaches to full-back lines all across the country. “So that philosophical shift they have made – and the defensive adjustment they have made – are massive changes.“The other thing is – bad news for all full backs – they appear to have become even better inside. They had three men inside – rotating between Dean Rock, Bernard Brogan and Kevin McManamon.“Normally two full forwards would play inside the large square and the other on the D in a conventional triangle.“But they were stretched 50 metres apart and the other near the ‘45’. That creates a horrible problem for the sweeper. “So where does he position himself? He cannot cover that ground. Even with a double sweeper, the space is incredible.“Then what impressed me was the aggression and length of the runs made by the inside men.“Forty metre sprints to win the ball and winning the ball at full speed: the Dubs were doing this again and again. That ability to win the ball at full speed is very difficult to coach – and to defend against.McGuinness also said the scary thing was he felt Dublin were only in third gear which makes apprehensive for Donegal and other counties plotting the downfall of Dublin.“I am not saying Dublin are invincible. But I am honestly not sure right now how they can be beaten with what they can bring to the table.“What we did last year clearly won’t work this time around.“They have taken zero away from their strategy but have devised a new system. They looked more like a team on Sunday too.“You could see the communication and the passing on and that they were working in concert. You can argue there was a gulf in standard on Sunday.“But what could Kildare have done differently? How do you take that athleticism on? How do you stop Cluxton’s precision?“How do you break them down? The list of questions they pose for all teams is very, very long now.“Dublin cast a very long shadow before the championship started but, at times on Sunday, it looked more like an eclipse.JIM MCGUINNESS – “WHAT WE DID TO DUBLIN LAST YEAR CLEARLY WON’T WORK THIS TIME AROUND” was last modified: June 30th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:columndonegaldublinGAAIrish TimesJim McGuinnesslast_img read more

Check your tickets: €500,000 ticket bought at Ramelton shop

first_imgChampagne is being popped at Whoriskey’s EuroSpar in Ramelton as they celebrate selling the winning Euromillions Plus ticket. The National Lottery have this morning confirmed that they sold the €500,000 ticket.The winner of the €500,000 does not have to split the cash, scooping the full jackpot. The lucky numbers were 16, 17, 43, 47, 49.Have you checked your ticket yet?Check your tickets: €500,000 ticket bought at Ramelton shop was last modified: July 1st, 2017 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:lottoRameltonwhoriskeys eurosparlast_img read more

Half-time: Everton 0 Chelsea 0

first_imgChelsea grew in confidence after a cagey start to a fiercely competitive FA Cup quarter-final lacking clear chances.Everton played a high-tempo pressing game from the start, but Chelsea stayed solid defensively and refused to be rattled.Tom Cleverley had a feeble shot easily saved by Thibaut Courtois inside a minute.But the visitors slowly began to dominate possession and looked the more likely to score.Kenedy shot over after a fine run and clever interchange of passes with Pedro, and Willian went close with a free-kick late in the half.Diego Costa, starting up front despite a hip injury which saw him come off in the Champions League defeat against Paris St-Germain, was booked early on following a tussle with Gareth Barry.Eden Hazard was left out of the squad but captain John Terry was included on the bench following injury.Everton: Robles; Coleman, Funes Mori, Jagielka, Baines; Cleverley, Barry; Lennon, McCarthy, Barkley; Lukaku.Subs: Howard, Stones, Niasse, Besic, Osman, Deulofeu, Kone.Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Kenedy; Mikel, Matic; Willian, Fabregas, Pedro; Costa. Subs: Begovic, Baba, Terry, Loftus-Cheek, Oscar, Traore, Remy.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

The Magnetic Sky Is Falling

first_imgSpace.Com reports that the strength of Earth’s magnetic field has dropped 10% over the last 150 years.  At that rate of decline, it could vanish in 1500 to 2000 years.  Scientists gathered recently at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union pondered whether a reversal is occurring, but a Harvard scientist claimed that would be a rare event.     If the magnetic field continues to decline, life on Earth is in grave danger in the far future.  Atmospheric ozone would diminish, exposing life to deadly ultraviolet radiation, and high-energy cosmic rays and solar storms would put life at risk of ionizing radiation, leading to cancer, blindness and neurological diseases.The strength of the earth’s magnetic field is one of the longest-measured physical properties of our planet.  It shows a steady decline over the past 150 years.  There is much we still do not understand about planetary magnetic fields.  What causes it?  (The leading dynamo theories are beset with complexities that perplex the experts.)  How big did it get in the past?  (Earth still has the strongest field of any rocky planet, by a large factor.)  Will it reverse and go back up to its former strength?  If it did so in the past, how did life survive the periods when it was weakest?  How long does a reversal take?  There is much we do not know, but one thing is clear from the empirical data: in the present epoch, it is dropping at “an alarming rate” (see Nov 6, March 4, and 11/25/2002 headlines).  Those who believe such a dynamic property can be sustained for 4.6 billion years must add secondary assumptions and subplots to their stories.(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Teach everyone to operate in a digital world

first_imgThe rise of robots, and opportunities for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, were some of the topics that were discussed at the annual Leading Women Summit in Johannesburg.Embracing the use of technology in the workplace is discussed at the Leading Women Summit in Johannesburg on 8 March 2017. The speakers on the panel are, from left: Jo-Ann Pohl of Telesure Investment Holdings, Lindani Dhlamini of SekelaXabisa, Bernice Samuels of MTN, and Gugulethu Cele, the moderator. (Image Melissa Javan)Melissa JavanDigital fluency was something we needed to teach everyone, Accenture’s Roze Phillips said at the Leading Women Summit. Coinciding with International Women’s Day, the second annual summit, themed “Disrupting the norm”, was held in Johannesburg on 8 March 2017.This complemented the International Women’s Day theme of “Be Bold for Change”. It is, according to the International Women’s Day site, a call on women to “help forge a better working world; a more inclusive, gender equal world”..The Leading Women Summit, hosted in collaboration with Forbes Woman Africa and MTN Business, was held at Montecasino in Fourways, Johannesburg.More women needed in STEM careersMaria Tulumello, head of human resources for sub-Saharan Africa at General Electric (GE), spoke about the impact of having women in the technology and manufacturing sectors.Women were still underrepresented in the science, mathematics and engineering industries, she said. One of GE’s goals was 20,000 women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) roles by 2020. To date it had 13,700 women in STEM, said Tulumello.A discussion was held was about the business of social media influencers. Watch the session with social media influencers Aisha Baker, Theodora Lee and Tshepang Mollison, here:Will robots replace humans?Phillips, who is the managing director of consulting at Accenture, was on the panel discussion “Forbes Woman Africa Cover Story: The rise of the machines”. The discussion centred on whether robots would replace humans in the workplace.According to Phillips, everyone should be taught how to operate in the digital world. She suggested that people should teach those around them to be digitally fluent. “Teach your girls how to code; teach women, for example, how to do internet banking.”Artificial intelligence understood natural language, Phillips said. “They (robots) can sense things. They can act, these artificial robotics. Knowledge is no longer a commodity.”Although the rise of robotics would lead to job losses, other jobs would be created. “The choice of how we engage with technology is ours. The problems we have now, we should solve now.”Phillips added: “We have the opportunity to take the human-centred approach first.”Ryan Beech, managing director of and chief roboticist at Ryonic Robotics, said there would definitely be job losses. “But we can build skills and train people, especially to work on the robotics.”Charmaine Houvet, public policy director Africa at Cisco South Africa, said it was important to remember that robotics did not exist on their own. “There will be intelligence and we will be in charge of things like that.”But she warned: “Just because we don’t see it (artificial intelligence) taking over, does not mean it’s not happening.”People should be mindful that there were many jobs available in engineering, for example. “The top jobs available are, for example, web developers and system engineers.”Fuzlin Levy-Hassen, senior manager of new industries at the Industrial Development Corporation, said she did not believe that people would be replaced by robotics. “There are cases where we need robots, for example where there’s a health hazard concern for people in a working environment.”Creating sustainable employment was important to the corporation, she added.Using technology to our advantageSeveral speakers on the panel, “A for artificial intelligence, B for business, C for C-suite and D for disruption” spoke about how companies should adjust to technology in their businesses.Lindani Dhlamini, CEO of audit firm SekelaXabiso, said the firm had to embrace the use of technology to accommodate its clients. It would be irrelevant if it did not change according to its clients’ needs.“Technology is here to stay – we have to embrace the use of technology.”Dhlamini advised that businesses needed to be structured for change. “Businesses can leverage off their clients and their suppliers, for example. They must be built for change.”The biggest constraint to technology was how to humanise it, said Bernice Samuels, group executive manager at MTN.We needed to be adaptable and innovative, she said. “You need to read the market appropriately and see how you can be helpful in other people’s lives.”Trends seen on food apps“South Africa’s disruptive mobile apps” was another panel discussion. In this session moderator Alexander Liebner spoke to Cara Lee Hedding, the marketing manager at Zomato, and Ailyssa Khan, the restaurant operations manager at UberEats.Khan revealed that people mostly ordered healthy foods during the week through the UberEats app, while on weekends it was mostly pizzas and pastas. There was high orders traffic on Sunday evenings.Hedding said that 65% of Zomato’s users were women.Watch the session with people from the apps Zomato and UberEats:Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more

Retail Net Metering Will End in Nevada

first_imgUtility regulators in Nevada have approved a new net-metering plan for their solar customers that will increase the fixed service charge and gradually lower reimbursements for electricity sent from a homeowner’s photovoltaic (PV) array to the grid from the retail to the wholesale rate.The unanimous vote by the Nevada Public Utilities Commission took place on December 22. The next day, SolarCity announced that it would suspend operations in the state and accused regulators of damaging the state’s economy and jeopardizing thousands of jobs.“The PUC has protected NV Energy’s monopoly and everyone else will lose,” SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive said in a statement reported by Greentech Media. “We have no alternative but to cease Nevada sales and installations, but we will fight this flawed decision on behalf of our Nevada customers and employees.”Changes go into effect on January 1. SolarCity, the nation’s largest installer of residential PV systems, said that the commission’s decision to apply the rates to existing as well as new customers amounted to “sabotage” of customer investments.“Most disturbing is the Commission’s decision to retroactively sabotage existing solar customer’s investments by not grandfathering them onto current rates,” Rive said. “The Nevada government encouraged these people to go solar, and now the government is putting them at great financial risk.”Vivint Solar, the second largest residential installer after SolarCity, also said that it would halt operations in Nevada if the plan won approval, Greentech Media said. New training center will closeThere’s some painful irony in SolarCity’s decision to stop Nevada installations: SolarCity opened a 13,000-square-foot regional training center in Las Vegas less than a month before the PUC’s vote.The opening of the West Las Vegas facility, which had been expected to train as many as 4,000 workers per year, was lauded by Governor Brian Sandoval and Senator Harry Reid, among others. SolarCity Public Affairs Manager Amanda Myers said the center will close.“There are no more jobs to train people for,” she said in an email.The company said in a news release that it employs more than 2,000 Nevada residents, and that the state is the top solar job creator in the county on a per capita basis. It’s wasn’t immediately clear what would happen to SolarCity’s employees in Nevada.“We will try to minimize the impact as much as we can with transfers and relocations, but we still expect several hundred Nevada-based employees may be affected by the PUC decision,” Myers’ email said. “The specific impacts will be determined in the coming days and weeks.”She added that the PUC is considering motions from both the Nevada Bureau of Consumer Protection and The Alliance for Solar Choice to delay the new rate plan. “Both grounds have also suggested they will file a petition for reconsideration of the PUC’s decision,” Myers said. Compensation gradually declines The Associated Press said that the exact amounts of the changes have not yet been determined, but base service charges were expected to double or triple over five years while the reimbursement rate for excess electricity would decline by 75%.Regulators said that the current net-metering plan, which pays the state’s 17,000 solar customers the retail rate for excess electricity, shifted costs of maintaining the grid to customers who didn’t own any PV panels, the AP reported. This is the same argument that utilities around the country have been making in other net-metering disputes.The Nevada PUC, however, did reject a proposed “demand charge” because it might confuse customers at a time when other rate changes were going into effect. Demand charges, more common for large commercial customers, bases rates on highest use and can penalize even thrifty customers who experience a spike in electricity consumption at certain times of the billing cycle.The PUC said in a statement prior to the vote that the changes would “eliminate unreasonable cost shifts between ratepayers without resulting in any additional profits to NV Energy.” NV Energy is a holding company whose two main subsidiaries, Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Company, have 1.3 million customers in the state.“The draft order finds that current rates enable net metering customers to avoid paying for some of the fixed costs associated with the sale of electric service by NV Energy to net metering customers,” the PUC said. “For example, NV Energy incurs significant costs investing in the infrastructure necessary to ensure that it can meet net metering customers’ full electricity demands when the customers’ solar energy systems are not generating electricity.”It said that paying the full retail rate for electricity “unreasonably increases the costs that are ultimately borne by other ratepayers.” Lowering the rate to the “avoided cost,” what NV Energy would pay to generate or buy the power, would reflect its “true value.”The order, however, allows customers with PV systems to take advantage of time-of-use and time-of-production rates.“Time-of-use pricing will enable net metering customers to respond to price signals for both the excess generation produced by their net metering systems and the electricity delivered by NV Energy, while position them to benefit from future advancements in technologies such as storage,” the PUC said.last_img read more