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POM and NCD to do battle in men’s final at basketball champs

first_imgNCD secured the first spot in the grand final after proving the better side defeating Daru 97-68 in the first semi-final.Port Moresby (1) on the other hand had the easiest of wins forfeiting Kupiano to book themselves into tonight’s grand final at 7:30pm.Daru and Kupiano will play for bronze.last_img

Cerrado farm community fights for life against dam and eucalyptus growers

first_imgArticle published by Glenn Scherer A wealth of great rivers caused Brazil in recent years to pursue a frenzy of mega-dam construction in the Amazon and Cerrado, work that enthusiasts claimed would benefit Brazilians with cheap energy. Critics say otherwise, however, noting much of the power produced goes to large mining company operations.Analysts also point to completed projects, such as the Belo Monte, Teles Pires, Santo Antonio, Jirau and other dams, that have resulted in significant environmental harm, the displacement of rural indigenous and traditional populations, and to generating massive corruption.A case in point can be found in the small town of Formosa in Tocantins state. The building of the Estreito mega-dam, completed in 2008, flooded fields, pastures and homes. The most impacted half of the community was relocated by the consortium of companies that constructed the dam.The rest remained and were denied the social and economic benefits they’d been promised by either the government or the dam building consortium, which includes two mining giants, Alcoa and Vale, and Suez Energy and Camargo Corrêa Energia. Many Brazilian mega-dams were planned to offer energy to large mines. Aerial view of the Estreito dam on the Tocantins river. Formosa residents are still waiting to be given compensation promised them by the dam-building consortium and the government. Image by Cleber Magri licensed under a CC 4.0 license.This is the seventh in a series by journalist Anna Sophie Gross who traveled to the Brazilian states of Tocantins and Maranhão in Legal Amazonia for Mongabay to assess the impacts of agribusiness on the region’s environment and people.FORMOSA, Tocantins, Brazil – The tiny settlement, or rather, what remains of it, sits on the border between Maranhão and Tocantins state, and it is steeped in a history of conflict. Its sixty families, now diminished to 29, have fought the government, a consortium of mining and energy companies, and local eucalyptus plantations for more than a decade to keep the rights to a parcel of land that they can till and live upon.Founded in 2002 with a valid land deed, Formosa had roughly four good years in which to cultivate crops, rear livestock, put down roots and weave together a strong community fabric based upon friendship and mutual dependency.In 2007, the Formosa families were suddenly confronted with an existential threat to their homes and livelihoods.Despite great protest from people in the region and environmental activists, the Estreito hydroelectric dam was built on the Tocantins River, just 40 kilometers (25 miles) downstream from Formosa.Some speculate that the dam was built primarily to provide electricity to mining operations, though officially the energy is distributed to the national grid. Either way, its reservoir filled and flooded half of Formosa’s titled territory. In 2008, the year the dam went operational, thirty of the families were relocated by the consortium of mining companies that constructed the dam and profit from it to this day. Those whose homes were not directly flooded, but who lost farmland, remained.“We lost our friends, but we also lost access to water [and] to the areas we used to plant crops and to the river beach,” explained Maria Helena de Souza, the community’s leader.Before the dam, Formosa’s river beach had been a popular destination for local people who gathered there to swim and lounge on sunny days. That afforded the community with a business opportunity, selling fruit and snacks to the beachgoers. Local women would also pluck nuts from babaçu trees near the river shore and make oil, which they’d sell locally.The beach and all the babaçu were drowned by the dam’s reservoir, washing away two steady streams of income.Maria Helena de Souza, Formosa’s leader, looks out over the land that has been flooded by the Estreito dam: “We lost our friends, but we also lost access to water [and] to the areas we used to plant crops and to the river beach.” Image by Thomas Bauer.Babacu trees flooded in the Formosa community. Local women used to pluck nuts from babaçu trees near the river shore and make oil, which they’d sell locally. The babaçu trees were drowned by the dam’s reservoir, washing away a steady stream of community income. Image by Thomas Bauer.Unkept pledgesThe relocated were taken to new homes 150 kilometers (93 miles) away. Those that remained in Formosa were promised the same amenities that their departed friends had received – clean drinking water, proper sanitation, improved access roads. But it has been a decade since the dam became operational; nothing has materialized.The initial reparations agreement was made between the community and the Consortium of Hydroelectric Energy in Estreito (CESTE) – the coalition of energy companies that built the dam – and the federal National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA).“We received nothing, nothing, nothing. Not money, or the services they promised they would provide,” said de Souza. She pointed to a water pump that it took CESTE 5 years to install but which has never functioned.“They had the nerve to try to host an inauguration ceremony for the pump, but we wouldn’t let them celebrate something that doesn’t work,” she said. That was four years ago, and since then no one has come to repair the broken pump.The reason for the stalemate comes in the form of a disagreement over whose responsibility it is to provide Formosa with its guaranteed reparations. The superintendent of INCRA in Tocantins, Carlos Alberto da Costa, flatly denies INCRA’s accountability: “It is CESTE’s responsibility to supply all of these things,” he said. “It’s not our responsibility to make CESTE hold up their end of the agreement.”But CESTE told Mongabay a different story, stating that it did not have any responsibility for the promises made within the agreement. “We note that the implementation of the UHE ESTREITO [dam] occurred with absolute dialogue and respect for the community and government institutions,” CESTE representatives said.However, it seems likely that both government and consortium share in the responsibility. In the case of other Brazilian mega-dams, such as with Belo Monte on the Xingu River, it is the dam building consortium that is accountable for paying reparations, while it is the government’s responsibility under the law to make sure that happens.But at Formosa, the deadlock remains, and the community suffers on, mostly in silence and so far without legal recourse.A Formosa neighbor, 73 year-old eucalyptus farmer Ataide Vas do Santos, seen inside one of his plantations. “The eucalyptus hasn’t had any effect on communities around here,” he says. But Formosa residents tell a different story, of extreme water shortages due to the trees’ excessive water use and pesticide-contaminated streams. Image by Thomas Bauer.Enter the speculators The dam’s reservoir is just one of Formosa’s survival worries. Large eucalyptus plantations, “green deserts” devoid of biodiversity, and an egg farm, surround the community today.And there is no shortage of entrepreneurial representatives looking to buy up the settlement’s remaining land along the river to gain access to irrigation water. Many residents have received low purchase offers from agribusiness – tempting nonetheless for those whose subsistence livelihoods and sources of income have been deeply curtailed by the dam.“Our quality of life here’s gotten so bad, which means more and more people are thinking of selling out and moving on,” said de Souza. “It’s weakening us.”The village leader still dreams of a future where Formosa will regain its vibrancy and culture. She hopes that the community will someday be able to build a school to provide its young people with education and hope. She also yearns for a working water pump so residents no longer need to drink polluted river water.The Estreito dam and reservoir. Completed in 2008, the dam flooded fields, pastures and homes. The most impacted half of the Formosa community was relocated by the consortium of companies that constructed the dam, but the rest goes uncompensated for the reservoir’s flooding. Image by Thomas Bauer.How the dam came to beAnyone crossing the President Juscelino Kubistchek bridge over the Tocantins River six years ago would have seen a much more pastoral scene. Where once there was forest and a few scattered homes, now stands one of the biggest hydroelectric complexes in Brazil, generating 1,087 megawatts (MW).But the construction of the Estreito dam didn’t only change the look of the countryside. It also changed the character of the nearby city of Estreito, as hotels, restaurants, gas stations, a concert hall and other amenities sprang up to meet the demands of newly arrived construction workers, there to build the dam, transmission lines, roads and other infrastructure.It had all begun with a lengthy federal bidding process. Then, on July 12, 2002, Suez Energy, Camargo Corrêa Energia, Vale and Alcoa – two of the world’s mining giants – were awarded the lucrative hydroelectric project. The companies organized the CESTE consortium, which planned and constructed the Estreito Dam, and which operates and profits from it today.A railroad track, built for freight transport in 2010, cut straight through Formosa, causing further community disruption. Formosa leader Maria Helena de Souza stands on the trestle. Behind her are dead Babacu trees and drowned community lands: “Our quality of life here’s gotten so bad, which means more and more people are thinking of selling out and moving on. It’s weakening us.” Image by Thomas Bauer.A business-biased building process?Some commentators have identified troubling aspects to the construction on this, the biggest, high-impact energy project of its kind in Maranhão state.In a doctoral thesis, Adila Maria Taveira de Lima, of the Federal University of Tocantins, writes that the building process “was marked by the [consortium’s] rush to finish the work and obtain return on investment.” She adds that this haste resulted in “extreme government influence being used to expedite the work and put pressure on licensing bodies to issue licenses.” All consortiums awarded large federal infrastructure construction projects are compelled under the law to conduct socio-environmental impact assessments, which require the full participation and input of potentially impacted communities.However, de Lima says that CESTE’s negotiation meetings were barely participatory. Instead, the consortium cherry-picked supportive representatives from each group of impacted parties, rather than allowing the groups to self-select their own representatives. She concludes that final “decisions reached the affected communities without [residents] having the opportunity to make any significant changes.”According to another qualitative study conducted in 2012 by Amarildo Silva Araujo, also from Tocantins Federal University, local communities endured a wide range of negative impacts caused by the dam – among them, the death and displacement of thousands of animals, cost of living increases, as well as micro-climatic disturbances.The study author writes that all of his interviewees felt they were “significantly impacted by the establishment of the Estreito Hydroelectric Power Plant, and point out that none of the impacts were properly monitored by those in charge of construction.”Silva Araujo concludes that the environmental impact assessment carried out ahead of construction failed to adequately anticipate the social and environmental harm that the dam would cause, and that there were serious failures on CESTE’s part to uphold reparations commitments made to river-dwelling populations.Such failings, say critics, are a hallmark of Brazilian mega-dam projects, with similar accusations launched against the Belo Monte dam on the Xingu River, the Santo Antonio and Jirau dams on the Madeira River, a series of dams on the Teles Pires River, and others.CESTE presents a different picture, celebrating its positive impact in Maranhão. In a statement sent to Mongabay, the company said that the consortium invested more than $75 million reals  (US $20 million) in projects to improve social and health infrastructure in the region, and that 90 percent of its dealings with homeowners who were impacted by the dam were “conducted in a friendly manner.”The consortium also claims that the construction of the dam generated 10,000 jobs, albeit temporary ones. CESTE does admit that now that the dam is operational, the hydroelectric project employs just 300 personnel.An aerial view of the train track that cuts directly through Formosa and which is used to transport steel across Brazil. Image by Thomas Bauer.Damming the Cerrado to support miningA series of huge hydroelectric dams have already been built along the Parnaiba, Tocantins, and Estreito rivers in Maranhão – the Brazilian state with the second lowest GDP in the nation.Plans for six new dams on the Tocantins River, means that Maranhão is poised to become among the highest energy producing states in all of Brazil, ultimately generating 11.6 million MW, almost ten times the amount the state currently uses.Maranhão presently consumes just 1.5 million megawatts, including that generated by the Estreito dam. But according to Araujo’s research, almost two thirds of that amount is utilized by a single corporate enterprise – the Alumar Consortium, which refines and sells aluminum and is made up of three major transnational mining companies, Alcoa, South 32 and Alcan. It’s important to note that Alcoa is also one of the main companies in the CESTE consortium. The mining and processing of aluminum requires a tremendous amount of energy, so the proposed new dams seem intended to serve a potential massive increase in bauxite mining and aluminum processing.“There are studies which show that dams have been constructed to produce energy specifically for certain major industries,” said Dernival Ramos Junior, Professor of History, Society and Territory at the Federal University of Tocantins.He explained that the popular view that mega-dams bring economic development to the nation and benefits to the general population is a potent one with the Brazilian populace, but that it is “simply untrue.” He adds that, “The option to construct dams is political, and is very tied to the interests of big corporations.”According to CESTE’s website, the Estreito dam has “the capacity to supply energy to a city with four million inhabitants” which “represents more energy and development for Brazil and the region where the plant is located.”However, with Maranhão shooting for a ten million megawatt surplus of hydroelectric energy over what the state consumes, it is clear that much will be exported to other states, most of them richer and unperturbed by the social and environmental impacts that these mega-projects cause to rural populations in the Cerrado. It’s also clear that much of the exported electricity would likely benefit transnational mining companies like Alcoa, or giant Brazilian mining companies like Vale. The value of these big dams to the general public is less clear.Formosa residents prepare cassava flour, a staple in the Brazilian national diet, usually served alongside beans and meat. The coming of the dam, the reservoir, the eucalyptus plantations, and the railroad have all disrupted the farming community’s livelihoods and subsistence lifestyle. Image by Thomas Bauer.The future of hydraulic power in BrazilBrazil is a land famous for its great rivers, with eight percent of the world’s freshwater found there. So it’s logical for government, industry and agribusiness to want to harness this cheap and abundant source of energy.Brazil’s first dam was built in 1889 in Minas Gerais state, though the sudden proliferation of Brazilian hydroelectric dams can be traced to the policies of President Juscelino Kubitschek (1956-61), a proponent of post-World War II industrialization.An explosion in mega-dam construction arrived in recent years, also resulting in a significant socio-environmental backlash, which even halted construction in a few ultra-controversial cases, including the defeat – at least for now – of the 8,000 MW São Luiz do Tapajós dam on the Tapajós River in the Amazon basin in 2016.There have even been whisperings of an end to the contentious mega-dam construction craze, with a shift to medium and small dams (though even these can be dangerously ecologically disruptive), and to renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar.Philip Fearnside, a specialist in Amazonian dams, isn’t hopeful. “Dams are still very much the center piece of Brazil’s electricity generation plans,” he told Mongabay. Fearnside points out that, to date, none of the dams on the government’s ten-year plan have been de-listed, while two top officials who positioned themselves against hydroelectric megaprojects resigned abruptly earlier this year.Fearnside notes that Chinese state-owned companies have been buying up Brazilian dams and transmission lines, and are negotiating for the purchase of others. Chinese investment banks and construction companies are also active in promoting major Brazilian transportation infrastructure projects, including new industrial waterways that would require dams, railways and roads, that could soon bring Brazilian commodities more easily and cheaply to Asia.There are also a host of pending legislative proposals in Congress that could massively weaken environmental licensing, making dam construction significantly easier and cheaper in the future.Among the troubling bills now in the legislature is PLS 654/2015 which calls for the creation of a fast-tracked environmental license, which would take just eight months to obtain, for infrastructure projects of “strategic importance” to the government. The strategic importance label is sufficiently vague to be slapped on a host of projects.PL 447/2012, dubbed the “Corruption Bill” by critics, would prohibit the suspension or cancellation of infrastructure projects once they have already begun, and also restrict the power of oversight bodies, such as the Public Prosecutor’s Office and even the judiciary, from intervening in cases of malpractice.Newly elected president Jair Bolsonaro, who takes office in January, has indicated his support for fast-tracking the infrastructure licensing process. Retired general Oswaldo Ferreira, in charge of infrastructure planning for Bolsonaro’s campaign, also recently suggested reopening feasibility studies for the São Luiz do Tapajós mega-dam, in Pará, and resuming analyses for proposed Amazon hydropower dams with large reservoirs. Ferreira favors wind and solar energy, but feels neither are sufficient to “keep the economy growing.”Fearnside is categorical about what he thinks needs to happen next. “Dam construction should be stopped and priority given to using less electricity,” he said. Then it is time for Brazil to shift its focus to wind and solar power. That’s a move that the residents of Formosa ­– feeling cheated out of hydropower’s promise – would almost surely applaud.Mongabay contributor Anna Sophie Gross was accompanied on her trip by Thomas Bauer, a photographer and filmmaker who has been documenting and supporting communities in the Cerrado and Amazon for over 20 years. He produced nearly all of the photos and videos for this series.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Agriculture, Agrochemicals, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Dams, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Mining, Amazon People, Conflict, Controversial, Corporate Environmental Transgressors, Corporate Responsibility, Corruption, Dams, electricity, Energy, Energy Politics, Environment, environmental justice, Environmental Law, Environmental Politics, Featured, Flooding, Forests, Governance, Government, Green, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Industrial Agriculture, Infrastructure, Land Conflict, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Law, Mining, Rainforest Mining, Regulations, Rivers, Saving The Amazon, Social Conflict, Social Justice, Threats To The Amazon, Traditional People center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

NU strengthens UAAP Final Four bid, downs UE

first_imgJaja Santiago (3) of National University celebrates with her teammates during their game against University of the East. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/STNational University bolstered its Final Four bid after dispatching of University of the East, 25-15, 25-21, 22-25, 25-21, in the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The Lady Bulldogs improved to 6-4, tying idle University of Santo Tomas in the third and fourth spots while the Lady Warriors slid to a woeful 1-9 slate.ADVERTISEMENT “I don’t want to be super positive that we can still get the higher seeds, we just have to accept the truth, accept the fact that it will be tough to get to the No.2 seed. Santiago was dominant against the Lady Warriors as she led NU with 23 points, 20 off spikes, while Jorelle Singh and Risa Sato combined for 27.NU’s constant offense bombarded UE with 52 scoring spikes as compared to the latter’s 31. Shaya Adorador had 16 points to lead UE.ADVERTISEMENT ‘1917’ takes top honor at the Producers Guild Awards Thai Sor Rungvisai stuns Gonzales for super flyweight title MOST READ Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town Prince Harry: ‘No other option’ but to cut royal ties Taal Volcano evacuees warned against going home Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos ‘Bad Boys for Life’ debuts so good with box office top spot LATEST STORIES Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely Duterte promises to look for funds to establish rail transport in Cebu Middle blocker Jaja Santiago scored the Lady Bulldogs’ last three points despite being stationed in the back row.NU head coach Roger Gorayeb chose not to field in a libero in the final set that forced Santiago to be positioned in unfamiliar territory. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnGorayeb, whose team now holds a stable position in the standings, said they have to settle for either the third or fourth seeds with Ateneo (9-1) and La Salle (7-2) taking solid footholds on the top two positions.“We’re still in contention for the Final Four, but this is the time when everything’s on the line,” said Gorayeb. “No one can bring down Ateneo and La Salle in the top two.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘It’s not my shame’: Why Filipino women are calling out sexual misconduct on social media View commentslast_img read more

Pulse set to launch Mash Band 2018 on Saturday

first_imgAll roads will lead to the Giftland parking lot on Saturday for the launch of Pulse Entertainment 2018 Mash Band. At the event, the Band’s theme will be unveiled along with the various designs and designers to advise perspective revellers on deals for Mash 2018.At the moment, the entertainment group is working around the clock to derive the most affordable packages for those who want to be part of the Band.On Saturday, the event will be graced with performances by reigning International Chutney Soca Monarch Ravi B, Trinidadian Soca artiste 5 Star Akil and former Carib Soca Monarch Kwasi “Ace” Edmondson.Music will be provided by DJ Ryan, DJ Energy, DJ Countri Boi and Shizzle. In addition, there will be several surprise performers.Revellers are urged to get ready for the fete of a lifetime with GTT and Pulse Entertainment. Tickets for Saturday’s band launch cost $2000 in advance and $3000 at the gate. Stage-front tickets cost $6000The event is powered by GTT Do More, Pulse Entertainment, XM Rum and Ticket Master Travel Agency.last_img read more

Careysburg Mayor Commends UNICEF, Dutch Gov’t, Others for Services to City

first_imgThe United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Dutch Government, and several others have been commended by Careysburg City Mayor, Mrs. Anna Urey-Phillips, for providing valuable and sustainable services to the City.During the recent dedication of three modern latrines in the city, Mayor Urey-Phillips explained that the latrines constructed by UNICEF have four stalls – male and female sections, hand-washing areas and are also handicap accessible. There are also shower facilities with pipe borne water, she told citizens at the dedication, adding “you must show appreciation by making good use of the facilities.” Mayor Phillips also informed the audience that UNICEF and the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) have built the best elementary school in the city at Harris Town, Lower Careysburg City.“Although this school was turned over to the Ministry of Education in 2014, it still lacks teachers and teaching materials for hundreds of its students,” she said.Other assistance from UNICEF include fencing around three schools among them the only high school in the city, as well as the provision of basic skills training and quilt making for many young women. All of these developments were sponsored by UNICEF under the leadership of Mr. Shelton Yett, Country Director, said Mayor Urey-Phillips.She also commended Merlin, the European Union and West Concept, for providing solar panels to the community clinic, Save the Children for building schools, wells and helping with the clinic and Water Aid for providing pipe borne water to the clinic. UNMIL also received appreciation for training one hundred and sixteen young people in eight different disciplines. Those trained are now providing livelihoods for themselves and their families.Mayor Phillips list of donors also included UN Women for providing skills training and awareness, CEMENCO for contributing cement to build toilets and renovate the market, Mr. Desere Satia, who donated paint for the market and Mr. Benoni Urey, for his moral and financial support.The Mayor praised the World Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU), represented by Mr. Ezzart Eid, for breaking ground in May this year to construct a modern public kindergarten school, slated to open in early January 2016.On the other hand, the Mayor said that there were some organizations whose services did not meet the standards set by her administration, and were politely asked to leave the city. She believes, however, that those organizations will come back in the near future and make good with the people of this ‘little city.’“To those who are not mentioned here and are contributing to the city, we do apologize for the oversight,” added Mayor Phillips.During her interview with the Daily Observer, Madam Phillips revealed that when she was appointed Mayor of Careysburg City in 2012 by President Ellen Johnson, she was informed that the city was never placed in the National Budget and therefore her mandate would be collecting municipal taxes and fees, and to solicit assistance from friendly donor partners. She said that due to the lack of electricity and pipe borne water throughout the city, “It is difficult to attract businesses that would pay these fees, but even with these constraints, some progress is being made within the city.”The Mayor said one of the ongoing projects for which she is soliciting assistance is the renovation of the building currently being used by the kindergarten school, which served as a cafeteria for the public high school before the war. She wants to do this for safety and health reasons in this era of Ebola. The cost for this project is estimated at US$13,000.Another project, which she said is estimated at US$19,000, is the renovation of a building on the high school campus that was once used as a student arts center. Mayor Phillips wants to convert this building into a student center equipped with laptops, chairs and tables, a generator, water pump, basketball court, teachers’ lounge, restrooms among other facilities. This, she believes, will help to alleviate some of the psychosocial issues facing students in the area.Careysburg City is open for investment, even the possibility of providing pipe borne water and electricity that can be generated from within the City, for a fee, Mayor Phillips said. She used the opportunity to urge Liberians and foreign residents to visit the city and see the new developments and possibilities.“Come and see our potentials,” Mayor Phillips said in closing.The highest peak in Montserrado County is located within the City of Careysburg. Below this peak, on Gold Dust Street, there is a beautiful amusement park ideal for wedding photographs and other outdoor functions, not to mention Wullei and Quelue Farms to name a few attractions in the area. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Good news for Stoke as key man commits future to club

first_imgStoke defender Marc Muniesa has handed Mark Hughes a major boost ahead of the new season by committing his long-term future to the club.The Barcelona academy prospect, 23, has impressed for the Potters since arriving from the Spanish giants in the summer of 2013.The centre-back, who can also operate at left-back, has made 39 appearances for the club over the past two seasons, and is popular figure in Hughes’ squad.“We’re delighted that he’s recommitted to the club,” said the City boss.“He made a big decision when he decided to join. It’s not easy to leave a club of the stature of Barcelona, you have to have a real strength of character to concede that you’re going to shut the door on maybe a dream that you’ve had for a long, long time and go on another path.“He was prepared to do that, he saw us as a good option for him. He had to be patient, he didn’t walk into the team. He probably wasn’t physically strong enough initially when he came but he’s worked exceptionally hard on the strength and conditioning side. That helped him.“But it was always going to be his talent that forced him into my thinking. Whenever I’ve asked him to come on, he’s never let me down. He’s growing stronger month on month and we’re delighted he’s recommitted.“He’s a good guy as well; he always plays with a smile on his face and he’s an engaging character around the group.” Marc Muniesa 1last_img read more


first_imgA CO Donegal man who was adopted as a child has tracked down his birth father’s family.Churchill man John O’Donnell wrote a moving article for earlier this month detailing his 55-year search for his birth mother.Now John has revealed that his search for his birth father has now also proved successful. And although he is dead, John has discovered he has a half-sister and eight half-brothers in Co Cork.In another moving article for today, John tells how he plucked up the courage a few days ago to call his half-sister and break the news to her.John’s previous article is here:, in his own words, is his moving update: My Journey of Hope and Heartbreak….the Final Chapter!By John O’Donnell (Cotter)Recently I opened my heart to the world  about my long and often painful search to find my birth mother, a search that has taken many twists and turns, setbacks and disappointments but after 55 years was to have a conclusion of sorts. After many years of searching, I discovered my birth mother had died in 2005 and  sadly  I was to be denied meeting her in this world.Perhaps if I had taken another path or commenced my search earlier I might have been able to meet up with her. On the other hand, perhaps she did not wish to make contact, as was her apparent wish in the  short terse note which I had received from her in 1996. I will never know the answer ….I can only speculate and try to think how I would have reacted if faced with this stark choice.A secret carried for so long and kept from so many, especially her own family…I understand fully how difficult this would have been for her. So many times my mind has travelled to my birth place in a Mother and Baby Home in Bessborough in Co Cork and how she must have felt at the time and the predicament she found herself in. She was to have a child out of wedlock ….. the terror that must have been in her heart in the harsh and unforgiving Ireland of the 1950s.I hope I was forever in her thoughts, her firstborn child. I know from recent discussions with my sister that my mother was a kind and loving woman and I know  that occasions like my birth date, Christmas and other family occasions  like 1st Communions etc must have been  particularly difficult times for her.Sadness tinged with joy as along the way I discovered I had two long lost half brothers and a sister living in England and America as my mother had married  very soon  after I was born and had borne four more children. Unfortunately, one of these children a little girl named Bernadette Mary died aged 7 months.As I penned my earlier report, I stated that the jigsaw was not completely finished, I had one last  important piece to slot into the puzzle …who was my father? How do I explain that burning obsession to uncover one’s past?  Only another adopted child  can fully understand that need and determination … eats at your soul day and night. It’s every child’s birthright to know about their parents, their roots and their  beginnings in life. An adoptive child’s rights are just as important as any other child…’Cherish all children Equally’. Little did I know at that time of writing, I was to find out his identity very shortly afterwards!My story got a lot of media coverage both in Donegal and throughout the country. I stated in my story that I thought my father was still alive,  however I was to be proved very wrong in this assumption!Things happened very quickly!  A distant cousin who heard/read my story and had   knowledge of the identity of my father contacted Michael Cotter, the administrator of the Cotter Family website.  Michael in turn contacted me with the name of my father  and further information regarding my birth father’s family.It was common knowledge in the Inchageelagh area that my mother and father were in a relationship but due to work commitments my father had moved some distance away to live with relatives.Last Saturday 25th February 2012 began as an ordinary day in my ordinary life, a beautiful day in early Spring,  but before the day was over I would have made contact and spoken to my paternal half sister in Co Cork. The previous day I had  discovered my birth father lived in a small village in Co Cork and was dead for a number of years.However, he had a family of eight sons and one daughter  .   I had a name and some details so’ taking the bull by the horns ‘I made discreet enquiries and within a short time had ascertained  the name of my half sister . With trepidation I dialled the number I had been given and a lady answered and identified herself.  I knew immediately I was talking to my half sister .  Shaking with nerves, I explained my purpose for calling her  and feared rejection with my preposterous story.   But she was very forthcoming  and most interested when I said I was making enquiries about her late father.I now had to inform her of my identity and to say she was shell shocked and overwhelmed was an understatement!  However, when she had recovered from the shock of my announcement she was delighted to have another brother and welcomed me warmly to her family. A simple phone call and the 55 year mystery of my parentage  and the mystery of my birth I had struggled so long to solve was unravelling!She informed me she would be contacting the rest of her siblings with this stunning news and I should expect contact from them in the near future. All my half brothers with the exception of one are living in Ireland in various locations around the country.How do I describe my feelings at this news ? In the space of a few minutes I had acquired eight half brothers and a half sister. I wasn’t expecting this great news so quickly and so sensationally. I had resigned myself to another long and arduous search for my father’s identity.But this piece of news took my breath away and I must admit I was overcome by my emotions for some time afterwards.The following day  four of my half  brothers made contact with me and all welcomed me with open arms in to their family. One of my half brothers is currently in Keyna doing voluntary work. By this time the initial shock had worn off and we swapped stories about our respective families. I referred them to my earlier story  and photos of myself and all agreed that I very much resembled my late father.  Another comforting thought!  It was one of my brother’s birthday on that day as well ….once again another coincidence in this journey of mine!  Out of respect to my new found family I am not prepared to reveal their identity at this particular time but perhaps later and with their approval all will be revealed.My mind whirled with conflicting emotions but as the day passed and the wonderful news sunk in, a certain peace and calm descended on me. Nobody’s path through life is without obstacles but mine seemed to be longer than most and at times  particularly bumpy. For so long I had been sorely troubled about what I considered the unfortunate hand life had dealt me. But I had accepted my fate a long time ago and got on with life  although this proved very difficult at times. But I never gave up on my search for my parents although life got in the way at times.But I finally had the answers  and closure I yearned for, and the last piece of the jigsaw slotted perfectly  into place. My life is  no longer in turmoil,  My mother and father are no longer an enigma…. I have finally found that inner calm and a wonderful assurance that we will meet when there will be no more sorrow, no more pain.For some time now I have felt this niggling need to write about my experiences so that it might be a help someone somewhere…perhaps give them the confidence to undertake a search of their own.  And what a story it has become! Nothing is impossible in this technologically advanced world of ours any more.  Information is only a click away!I will be eternally grateful to Michael Cotter who helped me in my search and provided me with the links that set me on this journey of discovery  and eventually led me to this happy day in my life. To my adoptive brother Patrick, I owe so much. My big brother,  he has always been a constant in my life since my adoption and he and his family have been so supportive and encouraging to me every step of the way  in my long and oftentimes frustrating search for my roots.   My adoptive mother continues to cling to life in a nursing home and she is my main priority in my life  at present.  I will always be indebted to her and my late father for providing me with a warm and loving home when I was in desperate need of one.My journey will finally come to an end this year after I have visited the graves of my Mother , my Father and baby sister Bernadette, The void in my life has been filled even though it has not had the happy ending I hoped for.But with my identity and my past no longer a mystery I feel complete and my path in life ahead is clear.© John O’ Donnell. (cotter)ADOPTED DONEGAL MAN: ‘AFTER 55 YEARS I’VE FOUND MY FATHER’S FAMILY’ was last modified: February 29th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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:ADOPTED DONEGAL MAN: ‘AFTER 55 YEARS I’VE FOUND MY FATHER’S FAMILY’last_img read more

Letterkenny Islamic Association condemns London attack

first_imgLetterkenny Islamic Association have condemned that acts of terrorism committed on London Bridge and Borough Market on the 3rd of June.Posting on their website the Association have said: “The incidents in London last night have left us shocked, disgusted, heartbroken and utterly devastated.”“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their loved ones.” “The people who carry out these attacks have nothing to do with Islam. Their actions are completely opposed to the principles of Islam. They follow a twisted ideology a million miles away from the peaceful religion taught and practiced by the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims who continue to live peacefully and harmoniously with those around them.”Eight people were killed and 48 were injured in the attack including four unarmed police officers who attempted to stop the assailants. The three attackers, who wore fake explosive vests, were all shot dead by police. Letterkenny Islamic Association condemns London attack was last modified: June 8th, 2017 by Callum LaveryShare 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:Letterkenny Islamic AssociationLondon Attacklast_img read more

India Plans to Restrict Email Use After NSA Leaks

first_imgIndia is planning to impose a ban on the use of foreign cloud-based email services to send official communications, before the end of the year. Related Itemslast_img

AirAsia India to start third daily Bengaluru-Delhi flight

first_imgNew Delhi, Jan 27 (PTI) No-frills carrier AirAsia India today announced it was enhancing the frequency on the Bengaluru-Delhi route with a third daily flight, a move which is expected to ramp up competition on this key trunk route.The proposed daily service will be operational from March 1 and AirAsia India has already opened bookings for the new flight, a release said.With this, the airline will operate 40 flights connecting 10 destinations across India, it added.The airline is also offering all-inclusive one-way fares, starting at as low as Rs 3,199, on this new frequency, it said, adding the bookings to avail of the special promotional fares can be made up to January 31 for travel between March 1 and November 24, 2016.”We strongly believe in enhanced connectivity between Bengaluru and Delhi. These are two of our hubs and its only apt that we give our passengers more connectivity and choice in terms of flight times,” AirAsia India Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mittu Chandilya said.AirAsia India is a three-way joint venture between Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia, Tata Sons and Telestra Tradeplace of Arun Bhatia.At the time of its entry into the Indian market, the airline had talked about aggressive expansion plans, including for adding 10 aircraft per year and focusing on operations from the countrys under-utilised airports.However, the airline later decided to go slow with its fleet expansion citing lack of clarity on international flying rules. Currently, it has only six aircraft in its fleet after over 18 months of starting operations.Significantly, AirAsia India along with another start-up carrier, Vistara, has all along been lobbying hard for removal of international flying norms, popularly known as 5/20 norm, for domestic carriers, which will allow them to fly overseas.advertisementUnder the 5/20 regulation, only local carriers with five years of operational experience and a fleet of 20 aircraft are allowed to fly overseas. AirAsia India started operations in June, 2014, and today has a fleet of six aircraft while Vistara, which started its services in January last year, operates with nine planes. PTI IAS KKM SK KKMlast_img read more

Three tips for dealing with corporate partners

first_imgYesterday, I posted on four things you need to know before pitching a corporate partner. I cited some interesting new research on how consumers feel about the products of companies that support charity. To summarize:1) A company that does good is perceived to have better products2) Consumer mindset dictates when “good” matters3) A socially responsible company trumps socially responsible product4) Consumers smell self-interest a mile awaySo what are your takeaways?1) Companies benefit from working with nonprofits. Remember, you give companies a brand halo. And if the partnership is positioned well, people will perceive the company’s products as superior. Assert and know your worth to the company – and have high standards for your partners.2) Companies do best when focusing on their firms’ work to advance social good as a whole company, not necessarily how each product is a reflection of those policies. So encourage company-level support – it’s better for their business – and for your organization because of the broader support.3) Companies don’t want to appear self-serving with their corporate social responsibility, because that can backfire. So if your partners have genuinely advanced your cause and made a difference, help them tell that story. You’ll be a good partner – and encourage more support over time.last_img read more

Debuchy & Elneny start against Red Star

first_imgUEFA Europa League Arsenal team news: Debuchy and Elneny start in defence against Red Star Chris Wheatley Last updated 2 years ago 03:11 11/3/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Mathieu Debuchy Arsenal Bournemouth Getty UEFA Europa League Arsenal Arsenal v Crvena Zvezda Crvena Zvezda The Frenchman has been out of favour at Arsenal but recently impressed in the Carabao Cup against Norwich Mathieu Debuchy and Mohamed Elneny start in defence for Arsenal in their Europa League group stage match against Red Star Belgrade.French defender Debuchy had previously struggled for game time with the Gunners and was close to leaving the club in the summer, but a recent turn of events has seen him play in the Carabao Cup for Arsene Wenger’s side.Wenger talked up defensive midfielder Elneny in his pre-match programme notes, suggesting that the Egyptian could have a future at centre back, where he starts alongside Debuchy and Rob Holding.Francis Coquelin and youngster Joe Willock are the central midfield pairing while Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles occupy the wing-back slots.Arsenal’s strong front three features Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud.Arsenal XI: Macey; Debuchy, Elneny, Holding; Nelson, Coquelin, Willock, Maitland-Niles; Walcott, Wilshere, Giroud.Subs: Cech, Osei-Tutu, DaSilva, Sheaf, McGuane, Akpom, Nketiah.ArsenalXIlast_img read more

How Many Perfect March Madness Brackets Remain? 273, According To ESPN

first_imgThe 2015 NCAA Tournament Bracket.After a truly wild opening day of the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament, there aren’t many college basketball fans left with a perfect bracket. In fact, according to ESPN, which had a record 11.57 million brackets submitted, there are just 273 people who got all 16 games correct. According to ESPN’s Keri Potts, just 7,802 people got 15 of 16 right.For those wondering, just .0023% of fans got every game correct. As a reminder, no person in history has ever notched a perfect bracket.Of the 11.57 million brackets entered in ESPN’S Bracket Challenge, ONLY 273 are perfect. Last year, there were 18,471 correct after day 1.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 20, 2015Day one kicked your bracket butts: Just 273 of 11.57 million ESPN brackets were a perfect 16-for-16 on Thursday. 7,802 went 15-for-16.— Keri Potts (@MsPotts_ESPN) March 20, 2015Obviously, ESPN isn’t the only network offering an NCAA Tournament pool, but percentages across most of the sites are the same.As the tournament continues to progress, it’ll be interesting to see if anyone, anywhere, makes a serious run at history.last_img read more

Golden Energy to Reclassify PSV ‘Energy Swan’

first_img My location Print  Close Golden Energy, February 17, 2014 此页面无法正确加载 Google 地图。您是否拥有此网站?确定 zoom Golden Energy Offshore has decided to expand their fleet to meet the increasing demand of ORO vessels and NOFO class requirements and will within the end of March reclassify and update the ship Energy Swan according to the 2009 regulations.Energy Swan is a PSV/ROV of ST-216 L design, built at Brattvaag Shipyard in 2005.Part of and included in PARAT’s scope of supply will be combined electric steam & hot water boiler with capacity each of 1250kW, including all necessary equipment for an oil recovery mobilization.Together with Westcon Yards, who will execute the main upgrade on board the ship, the delivery carefully planned, organized and specially adapted for installation in an already furnished machinery room.Energy Swan will according to plan be back in operation on the Norwegian continental shelf in the end of March / beginning of April this year.last_img read more

Traffic Advisory Cumberland County

first_img Local Area Office: 902-893-6194 Fax: 902-893-8175 CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Newcombe Bridge Newcombe Bridge, 17.4 kilometres west from the Cumberland-Colchester county line on Trunk 2, will have a one-lane closure to replace the rail and repair concrete until Friday, Oct. 10. Traffic control signals are in place. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. -30-last_img

Game Of Thrones Star To Run London Marathon For Charity

first_imgGame of Thrones star Natalie Dormer will be running the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13 to raise money for Barnardo’s.“I am proud to be running the Virgin Money London Marathon this April to raise money and awareness for Barnardo’s,” she says. “Barnado’s transforms the lives of the most vulnerable children through its services, campaigning and research. Issues such as child poverty, sexual abuse and exploitation, disability, mental health, alcohol and substance abuse and domestic violence.“I’m training whilst shooting ‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ in Atlanta. So rest assured there will be plenty of ridiculous alarm times and running the streets after long days on set. My goal is to finish the 26.3 miles in under 4 hours!“Huge thanks in advance. I am grateful for any donation no matter how big or small. Every penny makes a difference and it’s going to a cause I believe has a massive impact on many children’s lives.”To donate to Natalie’s run, click here.last_img read more