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  • Mayhew ready to go

    first_imgHours away from a historic run in the monobob at the Winter Youth Olympics now under way in Lillehammer, Norway, there’s an air of optimism around 17 year-old Jamaican participant Daniel Mayhew.The Monobob heat gets under way at 8 a.m. (Jamaica time), with Mayhew scheduled to be the 13th competitor on the ice. The Charlemont High school student is Jamaica’s first competitor at the event, and coach Harry Nelson was in a confident mood ahead of today’s heat, where the youngster will be looking to vie for a top spot.Nelson told The Gleaner that Mayhew is in good spirits, has been training well, and has been performing with more consistency since his arrival.”He had his final training run today (yesterday) and he didn’t look bad at all. He is showing some consistency, his driving time wasn’t a personal best, but the conditions on the day wasn’t that good. But going into the event, he is actually eight right now and moving up, so we are feeling good,” said Nelson.”I’m very pleased with how things are looking at this point. Even though the conditions weren’t great in training yesterday, he got his best push-off time of 5.70,” added Nelson. “The day before, he got his best track time of 57.40 seconds.”STILL CONFIDENTNelson, however, admitted that he would have preferred if he was able to work a little longer on the ice with his young charge, but remains confident that he will represent himself and the nation well when competition gets under way.”We would have definitely liked more time on the ice, but we have to work with what we’ve got,” Nelson noted.”Daniel is very upbeat and ready to go. There is no pressure on him. He went through his qualification runs with no incident, as well as a personal best in his runs, so we are happy,” Nelson added.The coach underlined that the main objective is to ensure that the youngster completes the course without incident, but made it clear that they are keeping an eye on the top positions.”The major objective is to make sure he finishes the track incident-free, and anything after that, we will go for it. We are Jamaicans, so you know we always give our best, and so we will be looking to put ourselves in a spot where we can try to get the gold,” said Nelson.last_img read more

  • Ebola Orphans Survive on Handouts

    first_imgThe Ebola Virus Disease is gone out of Liberia and so seem all of the “good plans” that were crafted by the government of Liberia and its numerous partners in regards to post Ebola recovery plans.This is especially as it relates to the welfare of worst victims of the crisis, the many survivors and orphans.Many continue to wonder as to whether the GOL has in place a program intended to cater to the needs of those many children that were made orphans by the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), as many of them continue to live at the mercy of good hearted people and humanitarian organizations as well as community members through donations.The livelihoods of these children are however left at the mercy of people’s goodwill. One of such gestures was when a group of young women under the banner, Unique Sisters, made a donation of assorted food and nonfood materials worth over US$2,000.00 to two Ebola orphans centers in Caldwell and the Red Hill Field in Lower Virginia. The beneficiaries are about sixty children who are resident in the Sis Rebecca Maternity Center in Caldwell and the Red Hill Field Community in Virginia.Lack of holistic support from government for all of the orphans in the country, inspite of the traumatic conditions that are already enduring, has made these children’s lives more vulnerable, thereby putting their caregivers under intense stress to fend for their livelihoods.One very typical case in point is a young Liberian nurse, Elizabeth Moses who is catering to about 23 of these children that were recruited from ETUs across Monrovia after being abandoned by family members upon the death of their parents. The youngest of these is about eight months old.Moses, who converted her mother’s maternity center into a residential area to shelter these children, said she began taking the children in last year after they were being left at the ETU were she was working. Some were abandoned by immediate relatives who were afraid to take them home due to fear of the Ebola stigma. She spoke upon receiving a donation from Unique Sisters.Ms. Moses indicated that since she took charge of the children, she is yet to receive assistance from the government and has only been supported by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), humanitarian groups and good hearted individuals. She, however, noted that these goodwill gestures are not sustainable.“To take care of these children, especially providing their basic needs, has not been an easy task, but praise God, we have been resilient and other people are really helping us by making donations including food and other nonfood items,” she said, as she expressed fear that “these are not long-term programs and as such, are not sustainable.“We want a program that will impact the lives of these kids forever, especially in regards to their education and this is where we want government to step in,” she said.Liz, as Ms. Moses is affectionately called, noted that feeding the children at times becomes very difficult, especially when their supplies have run out. “Sometimes feeding these children can’t be easy. When supplies finish it can become very difficult for us because we have to buy about eighteen cups of rice daily.”She, however, called on the government to help the children through the means of a long-term support, which she believes will have a positive impact on the children.Fortunately for Elizabeth Moses, all of the children of school going ages are in school, thanks to the goodwill of the Indian and Lebanese communities who saw the need to help in that direction. But the biggest question is how long will they be willing to help?The Caldwell Ebola orphans are not alone in this struggle as many of their peers with the similar fates are also found throughout the country, especially in Foya, Lofa County, which was the epicenter of the crisis. They have been neglected by their government.These donations are not sustainable because we don’t know when we will receive them again, Ms. Moses feared.President EJS, on many occasions, especially during visits to Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs), promised that GOL and partners would have designed a program that would seek to cater to the social, educational, psychological and basic needs of victims, especially the young ones (orphans), but this is yet to be effected as many of these children remain vulnerable.President Sirleaf made a similar commitment during a visit to Foya, Lofa County, last year then the epicenter of the outbreak, where the virus left hundreds of children parentless.Though it is stated that the government, through Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, has a program in place to cater to the physical needs of these children, yet not much is known or heard of, as most of these orphans are yet to benefit the program.“The government said that it wants to get rid of this orphanage business in this country so they are no longer supporting the children in the orphanages. They are rather trying to unite these kids with their relatives that would take care.“Financial assistances are provided to these families to take care of the children,” a governmental source, who begged anonymity due to what he termed as lack of sufficient information, told the Daily Observer. The source was, however, unable to disclosed how many of these children are benefitting from this scheme.The president of Unique Sisters, Marie Kolleh, has called on Liberians to support and empower these children educationally in order to make them better people who will narrate their own positive stories in the future. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

  • Tracker Flyers set for busy pre-season weekend

    first_imgThe team will start their three-game weekend Friday evening, when the Tracker Flyers play Grande Prairie. Recovery time will be minimal, as the team will travel to both Peace River and Whitecourt Saturday, for a double-header.Newly appointed head coach Brennen Giroux says the focus this weekend is taking care of business within the Trackers’ own zone.”This week we are really concentrating on our defensive end and our systems, because last week we played Prince George and only had a quick rundown on our defensive end Friday night.”- Advertisement -Giroux adds this will be the team’s focus until roughly December, and he feels that defensive responsibility within the team will lead to the team becoming offensive leaders within the league.Despite already making the majority of cuts for this year’s roster, Giroux says there is still a few too many players on the roster, which means a few more cuts will be necessary.He says the team’s defence has been finalized, but there are a couple more cuts for forwards, as well as in between the pipes.Advertisement Eight goalies tried out for the Tracker Flyers a couple weeks ago, and coach Giroux says they have cut that number in half, but only two goalies can make the final roster.Exhibition games are an important factor in making those cuts, as well as how his team compares to others around the league.”It’s a benchmark of where we are at currently with the team, in terms of system play and individual skills. So this weekend will be a good eye opener to see where we are at with the team.”This weekend’s trifecta of games will conclude the Tracker Flyers’ pre-season, as they prepare for their season-opening road game against the Slave Lake Thunder on Sunday, September 30.Advertisementlast_img read more


    first_imgJohn McGrotty leaving Letterkenny courthouse after being barred from Donegal last month (North West Newspix)A deaf man who pleaded guilty to harassing a doctor and his family has been told he must stay inside his own house if he sees them out in public.John McGrotty, 65, had been banned from staying in Co Donegal for the past month after pleading guilty to 35 counts of harassment. Dungloe District Court had heard how McGrotty made rude gestures to the McEniff family, their children, and threw rusty nails under the tyres of the family’s car.He also appeared naked in front of Mrs McEniff.Judge Paul Kelly previously told McGrotty to stay away from the family but he broke that order and was arrested and brought before Letterkenny District Court last month.He was then ordered to stay with his daughter in Dublin and ordered to appear at Dungloe District Court.McGrotty, of St Peter’s Terrace, Dungloe, who is deaf and speech impaired communicated to the court with the assistance of two sign language interpreters.His solicitor Patsy Gallagher, asked the court to allow his client to come back to live in his home.Dr Dara McEniff and wife Eimear leaving Letterkenny courthouse at a previous sitting (North West Newspix)Judge Kelly heard how progress was being made with McGrotty following intervention from Mr Declan Boyle, the only social worker in the county who is qualified to work with speech and hearing impaired people.A member of the DeafHearDeaf Mental Health Services, Mr Boyle gave lengthy evidence to the court about his involvement with McGrotty over recent weeks.“We have discussed his interpretation of events and how things can move on from here. We have also arranged for him to meet with a Dr Defoe, a specialist psychotherapist from Belfast and that assessment is due to take place on June 28.”Mr Boyle outlined that he has a number of concerns about the defendant living away from Donegal. These included the fact he has spoken of feeling depressed and the inability for him to fully engage with the support services that have now been put in place in Donegal on a regular basis.He said that if McGrotty is allowed to return home he will meet with him on a weekly basis and become his first point of contact.Judge Kelly said “I appreciate that there are difficulties under which he has to operate but the concern of the court is the interaction with the victim and his family. My concern is for the victim and how we can ensure McGrotty will comply with the order the court makes.”Outlining her concerns to the court, victim, Ms Eimear McEniff said that she had a real fear of the defendant being allowed to return home.She added that the accused was often naked inside his house and that herself and her family would have moved house if they had been able to afford it.“I have no reason to believe that his behaviour has changed. This has been a living nightmare and his behaviour always escalates over the summer. Since he has been living in Dublin for the past four weeks we have a new found sense of freedom that we have never had before. It would be a great relief if he wasn’t in his house.“I would greatly appreciate if you could allow us one summer of freedom. We cannot get to our house without passing his. He is always outside and if he is not then he is standing inside naked. If it was financially viable we would have moved long ago.”Judge Kelly said that while he took on board Ms McEniff’s concerns, he could not “lock (him) up for life”.“Even if the court imposes the maximum sentence of two years, sooner or later he will be back out. There has to be a starting point,” he said.One of the conditions imposed by the court on the last occasion created boundaries within the town of Dungloe where the defendant was not allowed to be.On the suggestion of Mr Boyle, the defendant along with gardai and the social worker walked the route that he has been allowed to take to ensure that he had full understanding of where he was and was not allowed to go. It had been imposed due to the close proximity between his home and the home of the injured parties.Mr Gallagher appealed to Judge Kelly to allow his client to return home.He said “We have a totally different situation since the intervention of Mr Boyle. My client now has more of an understanding of his actions and their consequences. There seems to be a road map that has been started here and it can only continue if he has access to the service in Donegal.”Judge Kelly said he was grateful for the extensive evidence provided by Mr Boyle and his assistance in “ensuring a solution to this problem is embarked upon”.“I need to be proportionate in the way I deal with him. I also note the eloquent plea from Mrs McEniff but I have to look at the justice of the situation on both sides. The defendant has no previous convictions, is awaiting sentence and complied with the order on the last occasion.“He cannot make long term progress without regular engagement with the relevant mental health professionals and I feel it is appropriate to all him to return to Donegal subject to a number of conditions.”The first condition was that McGrotty, under oath, give an undertaking to the court that he fully understands the implications of breaching the conditions imposed, namely that any breach would lead to him being taken into custody.He has also been ordered not to commit and further offences, reside at his home, have no contact with witnesses for the prosecution or the McEniff family. He must also adhere to the boundaries which have been put in place as to where he can be and must re-enter his home if he sees any of the injured parties.He must also engage with all relevant mental health professionals and gardai and comply with their recommendations.The case is due back before the September sitting of Dungloe District Court.MAN WHO HARASSED DOCTOR’S FAMILY ORDERED TO STAY INDOORS IF HE SEES THEM was last modified: June 16th, 2016 by StephenShare 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:courtDeafdonegalDr McEniffdungloeJohn McGrottyJudge Paul Kellynakedlast_img read more

  • Chelsea deny reports Antonio Conte could QUIT Stamford Bridge this summer

    first_img Chelsea expect Antonio Conte to stay at Chelsea 1 Chelsea insist Antonio Conte is happy at Stamford Bridge and reports to the contrary are false.Conte won the Premier League title in his first season in charge, but the subject of his future has been continually raised in recent months.There has been speculation that the 47-year-old is stalling over a new contract amid tensions with club chiefs.It has been suggested that Conte unhappy with the club’s lack of investment in the transfer market this summer.Chelsea, however, are calm over the speculation, which they consider to be unfounded, and sources at the club say it is business as usual.Despite winning the Premier League and finishing runners-up to Arsenal in the FA Cup, Conte and Chelsea’s hierarchy recognise the need to reinforce the squad ahead of a return to the Champions League in the forthcoming season.Striker Diego Costa recently claimed Conte had sent him a text message that he was not part of his future plans and could leave this summer.That prompted suggestions of friction between Conte and the Chelsea leadership, given Costa’s availability becoming public could reduce his value in the transfer market.But Conte has an excellent relationship with technical director Michael Emenalo, owner Roman Abramovich and the board.Conte joined on a three-year contract last July after two years as Italy head coach.He was named first-team head coach, rather than manager, outlining his priorities are on the training pitch, rather than in transfer negotiations, for example.He has made Emenalo and director Marina Granovskaia aware of his transfer wish list and Chelsea will continue recruitment efforts.The 47-year-old, who won three Serie A titles with Juventus, had been linked with Inter Milan prior to Luciano Spalletti’s recent appointment as Inter boss.Conte, after winning the title last month, said his wife Elisabetta and daughter Vittoria would, as planned, be moving to London this summer.last_img read more

  • Nigeria captain Mikel reveals father was kidnapped hours before Argentina clash

    first_imgHowever, while travelling on the team bus towards the stadium, Mikel was made aware his father had been kidnapped in south east Nigeria.As reported by The Guardian, Mikel received a phone call from a family member telling the midfielder to call a designated number. When he made contact with the kidnappers using that number, a ransom was demanded.Mikel did not tell anyone of his ordeal before the match, as he ‘was told that they would shoot my dad instantly if I reported to the authorities or told anybody’.Mikel’s father, Pa Michael Obi, has since been released after the police got involved, but he is receiving emergency treatment in hospital having claimed he was tortured.This is the second time he has been kidnapped, having gone missing in Jos, Nigeria back in 2011. This time, Obi Sr was taken as he travelled to a funeral along the Makurdi-Enugu road from Jos.Speaking to The Guardian, Mikel said of the ordeal: “I played while my father was in the hands of bandits. I had to suppress the trauma. I took a call four hours before kick-off to tell me what had happened.“I was emotionally distraught and I had to make the decision about whether I was mentally ready to play. I was confused. I did not know what to do but, in the end, I knew that I could not let 180 million Nigerians down. I had to shut it out of my head and go and represent my country first. I could not even inform the coaches or NFF staff and only a very tight circle of my friends knew. Mikel discovered his father had been kidnapped just hours before kick-off John Obi Mikel has revealed his father was kidnapped just hours before he captained Nigeria in their World Cup group stage clash against Argentina.The two sides faced off in St Petersburg last Tuesday, with Argentina winning 2-1 to book their place in the knockout stage at the Super Eagles’ expense. Mikel captained Nigeria against Argentina despite the news 2 2 “I was told that they would shoot my dad instantly if I reported to the authorities or told anybody. I also did not want to discuss it with the coach [Gernot Rohr] because I did not want my issue to become a distraction to him or the rest of the team on the day of such an important game. As much as I wanted to discuss it with the coach, I could not.“Thankfully, my father was safely released on Monday afternoon. I thank the police authorities for their rescue efforts and the support I’ve received from friends and family members. Unfortunately, my dad is now in hospital receiving emergency treatment as a result of the torture he received during his capture.”last_img read more

  • Cut the Habitable Worlds by Half (or More)

    first_imgAstrobiologists figure that most earth-like planets give off toxic gases.A press release from UC Riverside announces, “New study dramatically narrows the search for advanced life in the universe.” Reporter Jules Bernstein adds, “Toxic gases limit the types of life we could find on habitable worlds.” The implications are that “Scientists may need to rethink their estimates for how many planets outside our solar system could host a rich diversity of life.”A planet cannot be considered habitable simply for orbiting in the so-called “habitable zone” (HZ) where liquid water can exist. UCR researchers have come to realize that toxic gases can build up over time on many exoplanets, even if they are safe inside the habitable zone. The study, published in the prestigious Astrophysical Journal, “shows that accounting for predicted levels of certain toxic gases narrows the safe zone for complex life by at least half — and in some instances eliminates it altogether.”Why is that? Timothy Lyons and team figured that, except within a narrow zone within the traditional habitable zone, an exoplanet would require so much carbon dioxide (CO2), it would poison complex life.Using computer models to study atmospheric climate and photochemistry on a variety of planets, the team first considered carbon dioxide. Any scuba diver knows that too much of this gas in the body can be deadly. But planets too far from their host star require carbon dioxide — a potent greenhouse gas — to maintain temperatures above freezing. Earth included.“To sustain liquid water at the outer edge of the conventional habitable zone, a planet would need tens of thousands of times more carbon dioxide than Earth has today,” said Edward Schwieterman, the study’s lead author and a NASA Postdoctoral Program fellow working with Lyons. “That’s far beyond the levels known to be toxic to human and animal life on Earth.”The new study concludes that carbon dioxide toxicity alone restricts simple animal life to no more than half of the traditional habitable zone. For humans and other higher order animals, which are more sensitive, the safe zone shrinks to less than one third of that area.Not only that, some of the most promising candidates for earthlike exoplanets (TRAPPIST-1 and Proxima Centauri b) have stars that would generate poisonous carbon monoxide (CO) in abundance. For complex life, the planet needs free oxygen, but not too much carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide. These three molecules must be finely balanced. The common M-dwarf stars may be the last places to look for intelligent life. The paper in ApJ concludes,Our results have a number of important implications for the search for exoplanet biosignatures and complex life beyond our solar system. For example, our predictions of a more limited zone for complex life place constraints on the planetary environments suitable for the evolution of intelligence, if it requires free O2 and limited concentrations of CO2, CO, and other potentially toxic trace gases. One implication is that we may not expect to find remotely detectable signs of intelligent life (“technosignatures”) on planets orbiting late M dwarfs or on potentially habitable planets near the outer edge of their HZs. These CO2 and CO limits should be considered in future targeted SETI searches. The possible importance of photochemistry in creating environments conducive to complex and intelligent life further suggests a strong need for stellar UV characterization (e.g., France et al. 2016; Loyd et al. 2016; Youngblood et al. 2016) not only for biosignature prediction and assessment but also for SETI target prioritization….We suggest that the expected physiological impacts of high CO2, CO, and other gases possibly toxic for complex life should be considered in attempts to search for biological complexity beyond our solar system.In short, the amount of ultraviolet radiation produced by the host star must be considered in estimates of habitability. UV light will have profound impacts on the ratios of molecules in the atmospheres of exoplanets.These findings must be discouraging for NASA’s Astrobiology Project that funded the study. Laura Geggel at Live Science says that the study “dramatically reduces the number of worlds where scientists will have the best luck finding ET.”There is one bright side, according to the UCR press release:“I think showing how rare and special our planet is only enhances the case for protecting it,” Schwieterman said. “As far as we know, Earth is the only planet in the universe that can sustain human life.”The book Spacecraft Earth by Richter and Coppedge lists 15 requirements for habitability of complex life. The new findings add more information to one factor in the list, the “ultraviolet habitable zone.” Not only must the planet’s atmosphere filter out UV light, the host star must not produce so much UV as to swamp the atmosphere with deadly photochemical molecules.Dr Richter’s book examines many amazing finely-tuned “coincidences” that make our planet habitable(Visited 330 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

  • Ebola vaccine trials show positive results

    first_img5 February 2015The first results from a trial of a candidate Ebola vaccine at Oxford University in the United Kingdom suggests the vaccine has an acceptable safety profile at the doses tested, and is able to generate an immune response.“The vaccine was well tolerated. Its safety profile is pretty much as we had hoped,” said Professor Adrian Hill of the university’s Jenner Institute, who led the trial.The researchers say these results suggest the vaccine is suitable for further testing in West Africa during the current outbreak, with the aim of determining whether the vaccine offers protection against Ebola.The candidate Ebola vaccine is being co-developed by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the British multinational pharmaceutical group, against the Zaire species of Ebola, which is the one circulating in West Africa.It uses a single Ebola virus gene in a chimpanzee adenovirus to generate an immune response. As it does not contain infectious Ebola virus material, it cannot cause a person who is vaccinated to become infected with Ebola.The Oxford trial is one of several safety trials of the GSK/NIH vaccine candidate – in the United States, UK, Mali and Switzerland – that have been fast-tracked in response to the outbreak.Between 17 September and 18 November, 60 healthy volunteers were vaccinated at the Jenner Institute. Researchers reported safety data and immune responses for the volunteers for 28 days after immunisation, and follow-up of the vaccinees will continue beyond these initial data until six months after the volunteers received the experimental vaccine.Importantly, the vaccine generated immune responses against Ebola in the volunteers.“Whether we have a vaccine that is safe, effective and works, we won’t know for a while yet. But we owe it to the people who have been affected so badly by the Ebola outbreak to find out,” said Hill.“The results are very encouraging in terms of the safety profile of the vaccine. That is the main outcome from this trial,” he said. “We have seen an immune response in the great majority of people receiving the vaccine. It is possible to be optimistic about the immune responses we’ve seen; it’s also hard to be really confident the levels would be protective.“Larger trials in West Africa will be able to tell us more. We are also currently assessing another option, involving a booster dose, for improving immune response levels.”Similar initial results from an American trial in 20 people of a related Ebola vaccine formulation were published on 26 November. Results from trials in Mali and Switzerland are expected shortly.The Oxford scientists have also begun testing the safety of a candidate booster vaccine against Ebola, to find out whether it could further increase the immune responses.“The speed at which all this is happening is remarkable,” Hill said. “We’d especially like to thank all the volunteers. They continue to take time out of their busy lives to give blood samples at regular intervals so we can understand more about their immune responses having received the vaccine.“It’s also thanks to the hard work of many scientists, funders, pharma firms, regulators and agencies, all coming together, that we can make such rapid progress.”Source: University of Oxfordlast_img read more