EBOLA: A THREAT TO INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY

first_imgThe people of Liberia and the West African region face an existential threat. The threat has implications beyond the sub-region and the African continent. The Ebola crisis constitutes a threat to international peace and security. It is far past time for the world community to step up its engagement from a “public health emergency of international concern” to a Chapter Seven Mandate to “Deliver as One.”The evidence of the threat is abundant since the Ebola outbreak began making headlines worldwide a few months ago – the unfolding  drama in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea with the decimation of large population segments, destruction of cherished human values, human insecurity on an unprecedented scale, including the absence of medical attention to non-Ebola ailments.  Add to this the potential that if unchecked in time the virus could mutate, become transmissible and present a clearer and more present danger. Already some have begun to speak of a shift from linear growth to exponential, citing possibilities of 20,000 to 100,000 casualties in the months immediately ahead.Led by the international scientific community, notably Medecins Sans Frontier, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health, among others, the nature of the disease has been focused and treatment requirements made clear. Even more, a host of private and governmental personnel is in the fields battling the disease and its devastating consequences for the affected populations now bearing the brunt.If one can speak of a measure of progress registered in the fight by national, regional and global actors, it is equally clear that the opportunities of this challenge loom large.  The small battles won (cases of recovery and the continuing efforts being deployed) have yet to add up, to make a significant dent in this devastating war. There are encouraging headlines such as “Obama Commits ‘Military Assets’ for Ebola Health Care Surge,” “Italy Aids Ebola Fight – Sends Mobile Lab Team, Food, Drugs,” “EU announces 140 million Euros Ebola Response Package.” All of this in addition to reported plane loads of supplies arriving from China, the U.S. and elsewhere.A few weeks ago the UN Secretary General named Dr. David Navarro, a British Physician, as his Special Envoy to West Africa with a mandate to stop the spread of the disease. No doubt serious work is underway to which we are not privy. What seems clear, however, is that the impact of that work has yet to be felt on the ground if one judges from the alarming reports pouring in daily from the fields, including a warning from the WHO that thousands of new cases will come to light in the coming weeks.While Liberians and West Africans appreciate the “international public health emergency” measures that Dr. Navarro’s mandate addresses, developments in the fields, among the populations in the affected West African countries require a ratcheting up of effort to Chapter 7 Mandate   with a UN Security Council Resolution declaring the Ebola situation a threat to international peace and security and calling forth the requisite measures to containing the threat.Here is what this would mean:That the national and regional efforts would benefit from a more robust global effort underpinned by political commitment at the highest level, including the possible re-activation of the civil war-era International Contact Group on Liberia (ICGL) to lead and monitor implementation of the Security Council Resolution;Robust command and control infrastructure replete with an epidemic response force comparable to UNMIL at the height of its operations in the country, as opposed to its current drawdown posture;The “Deliver as One” doctrine would enable decision-making and implementation mechanism that would gather all of the pieces of the international effort and direct them to the goal of reversing the current rapid spread of the disease;Envisage a division of labor where appropriate assets could be brought to bear in particular circumstance. For example, given the historic role of the US in Liberia, it would play certain central roles, as would Britain in the case of Sierra Leone.Such highly coordinated actions by governments and governmental organizations could lead to change in behavior of the international private sector such as the airlines and shipping industries, even expert workers engaged in foreign direct investment activities in the affected countries.The thrust of what I am suggesting is that the global community would—in a more supportive role, backstopping governments and regional organizations – be delivering as one.We appeal to African leaders of conscience, African leaders of earned credibility to step forward and make this happen. I have in mind non-government leaders taking the lead in exciting action on part of global leaders through the instrumentality of the United Nations. These include, but are not limited to, former Nigerian Presidents Abdulsalam Alhaji Abubakar and Olusegun Obasanjo, former South African President Thabo Mbeki, former Mozambique President Jacquim Chissano, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, Philanthropist Mo Ibrahim, Nelson Mandela’s widow, Graca Machel, Bishop Desmond Tutu, and our own Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee.What this means is nothing short of a coordinated effort at national, regional and global levels driven by the need to “deliver as one.”  This is not “outsourcing” of national responsibility. This is the nation and the region availing themselves of critical international collaborative crisis leadership. For after all, when the crisis subsides, it will be national governments and their peoples who will remain to pick up the pieces as they learn lessons from this horrific experience. And the world community would have contributed to saving the lives of many West Africans while averting the prospect of the Ebola virus mutating, becoming transmissible, and therefore posing even greater threats to international peace and security.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Zidane place in pantheon of great coaches secure

first_imgLess than two and a half years after being promoted from his position as coach of Real’s second team to his first managerial role at the highest level, the Frenchman has become only the third coach in the history of the game to lift the European Cup three times.Leaving behind contemporaries Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, Zidane has equalled former Liverpool manager Bob Paisley and Carlo Ancelotti, the man he used to serve as an assistant.“I need to congratulate the players as it is not at all easy what they are doing,” Zidane said after the game in the Ukrainian capital.“This is the business. There are no words for it. That is what this squad is all about. They have no limit to what they can do.”Zidane was reluctant to take too much of the credit after seeing his side secure their fourth Champions League title in five seasons, and the 13th in the club’s long love affair with the European Cup.The 45-year-old also won the trophy as a player for Real, his volley in the 2002 win over Bayer Leverkusen in Glasgow being considered one of the best ever to grace a final — although it was possibly surpassed by Gareth Bale’s overhead kick on Saturday.It is 20 years since the Marseille-born son of Algerian immigrants scored twice as France beat Brazil 3-0 in the 1998 World Cup final.Two years later his midfield artistry inspired France to victory at the European Championship, and on the eve of Saturday’s game Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp called him “one of the best five players of all time.”– ‘No secret’ –Zidane celebrates with with wife Veronique and son Theo after winning Saturday’s final © AFP / FRANCK FIFEYet as a coach, he has now won nine trophies since replacing Rafael Benitez in the Santiago Bernabeu dugout in January 2016.It is a remarkable record, all the more so for a man who has not yet convinced everyone that he is a tactical genius.“What I am doing is just a continuation — I have just started as a coach, what I am experiencing with my players is impressive,” he said.“There is no secret. It is just a lot of work. We have players who are very good, but behind that there is lots of hard work. They have the desire, the hunger to win.”Having such a talented squad certainly helps. Zidane has also had a fair amount of luck on his side, with Liverpool’s night being marred by the first-half injury to Mohamed Salah that forced off their best player.Two goalkeeping errors by Loris Karius helped too, just as a howler by Bayern Munich’s Sven Ulreich had been vital in the semi-finals.Nevertheless, guiding Real to the longest period of sustained success in Europe’s elite club competition since the 1970s means, statistically at least, his place in the pantheon of great coaches is secure.The question is, where does he go from here?Zidane recently insisted that winning La Liga is harder than anything else, but his Real side finished well behind Barcelona in third place in the season just finished.As long as he has the motivation to carry on in his current role — possibly outlasting the ageing Cristiano Ronaldo and building a new team — he will try to wrestle back the domestic title from Barcelona.“We are not going to settle now for anything. You know that at the start of the season we always want to win everything.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Zinedine Zidane with the Champions League trophy after Real Madrid’s win against Liverpool in Saturday’s final in Kiev © AFP / GENYA SAVILOVKIEV, Ukraine, May 27 – He was one of the all-time greats as a player, and Zinedine Zidane now merits consideration as one of the game’s great managers after making history with Real Madrid in Saturday’s Champions League final.His team’s 3-1 win over Liverpool on a dramatic evening in Kiev allowed Zidane to become the first coach ever to win the Champions League in three consecutive seasons, with Real becoming the first team to achieve that feat in more than 40 years.last_img read more

Half-time: Swansea 0 Fulham 0

first_imgBrede Hangeland and Ashkan Dejagah both missed great chances to put Fulham in front during an even first half at the Liberty Stadium.Swansea started well with Wilfried Bony seeing a header loop on to the roof of the net and Jonjo Shelvey firing wastefully over the bar when well-placed.But Fulham grew gradually into the game and Hangeland wasted a golden opportunity when he was found unmarked by Kieran Richardson’s free-kick, but the big centre-half couldn’t get over the ball and headed over from close range.Dejagah later sent a header too close to Swansea keeper Gerhard Tremmel after Alex Kacaniklic’s fine cross.Five minutes before half-time, Shelvey sent a curling effort smashing off the Fulham crossbar with Maarten Stekelenburg beaten and shortly afterwards the Whites keeper kept out Bony’s header.While Swansea finished the half strongly, Fulham had the last word with Clint Dempsey getting a shot away which Tremmel was equal to.After the draw with Sheffield United in the FA Cup on Sunday, Rene Meulensteen has reverted back to the eleven who started the last league game against Arsenal, meaning Dan Burn keeps his place in defence.Fulham (4-2-3-1): Stekelenburg; Riether, Hangeland, Burn, Richardson; Parker, Sidwell; Dejagah, Dempsey, Kacaniklic; Berbatov.Subs not used: Stockdale, Hughes, Duff, Christensen, Rodallega, Tankovic, Bent.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Live updates: Raiders vs. Chiefs, Sunday afternoon

first_imgGet live updates, news and analysis Sunday at 1:05 p.m. as the Raiders try to slow down the high-scoring Kansas City Chiefs at the Coliseum.Kansas City (9-2) comes into Oakland on the heels of a scandalous episode that resulted in the Chiefs releasing their star running back Kareem Hunt Friday. Hunt was let go hours after a video surfaced of him physically assaulting a woman last February. Hunt, who was fifth in the NFL with 824 rushing yards, will be replaced by veteran backup …last_img

100 days: Joburg shows its 2010 spirit

first_img2 March 2010Johannesburg residents took a break from their busy schedules, donned their Bafana Bafana jerseys and kicked back with the rest of the country on Tuesday to celebrate the 100 days countdown to the 2010 Fifa World Cup.BuaNews spoke to some of the South Africans who gathered at the 100 days countdown celebration on Maude Street, Sandton, on Tuesday.Thami Makhaya, wearing his Bafana jersey and sporting a vuvuzela, spoke of the long road to 2010, beginning with the country winning the bid in 2004 to host the World Cup.“This World Cup will unite this country,” Makhaya said. “I think once people realise just how big this event is, they will look beyond the differences and unite as South Africans to show the world what we can offer as a nation.“We have travelled a long journey as a country, and this is an opportunity to take yet another step forward.”The Khan family of four, who where dressed up for the occasion, said they came to Maude Street to support their country.“It is important for us be part of this historic occasion … All of Africa is supporting South Africa,” said Suraya Khan. “The World Cup is already a success, because it has shown that Africa is capable.”2010 will undoubtedly go down in the history books as one of the country’s most memorable moments, she said.For Josef Mkhabinde, the World Cup is about the legacy it will leave behind. “It’s what Africa has been dreaming about … I approach the tournament with confidence. Our stadiums are ready, our transport and security plans have been fine-tuned.“I can assure you we will not disappoint,” Mkhabinde said, “because we are a loving nation.”The world will descend on South African shores on 11 June – more than six years after the country was chosen as hosts – to witness the world’s greatest sporting event being held on African soil for the first time.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Blue Flag beaches for holiday season

first_imgThe pristine environment of HumewoodBeach has earned it Blue Flag status forthe coming season.(Image: Emily van Rijswijck)MEDIA CONTACTS • Ted KnottNational Blue Flag coordinator, Wessa+27 33 330 3931 or +27 82 337 1273RELATED ARTICLES• Sharkspotting keeps seas safe• PE’s King’s Beach gets a facelift• Life’s a beach in South Africa• Saving the African penguin• SA protects its oceansEmily van RijswijckHolidaymakers heading for South Africa’s coastline can look forward to 27 Blue Flag beaches to choose from when the summer festive season gets underway in December.The latest beach to receive Blue Flag status is Humewood in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. Another 14 beaches in the country have applied for a developmental or pilot stage in Blue Flag status.Blue Flag Beach status is awarded every year for a specific period, depending on the season when the beach is visited the most.The accolade is awarded only after rigorous judging by a South African and international Blue Flag jury, and indicates that these beaches have met standards in excellence in the areas of safety, amenities, cleanliness, environmental information and environmental management.Throughout the period that a blue flag is flying on these beaches, visitors can be sure that the stringent standards apply and are upheld.In South Africa, the six sub-tropical beaches of KwaZulu-Natal have a year-long Blue Flag status while the more temperate to colder waters of the Cape beaches only have Blue Flag status for two to four months during the peak summer holiday season.At the end of the season, lifeguards, cleaners and security staff go off duty and visitors should not expect these services to be in place.In addition to the country’s beaches the Blue Flag programme will in future also include marinas, with three marinas in Cape Townand one in Port Alfred looking to achieve pilot status in the forthcoming season.Tourist leisure craft may also apply for Blue Flag status. The Dyer Island Conservation Trust‘s Whale Whisperer, a whale-watching craft, has received a pilot Blue Flag for the environment-sensitive manner in which it undertakes its activities.For a map of South Africa’s accredited Blue Flag beaches, visit the local Blue Flag website.South Africa the firstIn South Africa, the programme is co-ordinated by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (Wessa) through its National Coastal Project, which in turn resides within Wessa’s Water Programme.In 2001 the country became the first outside Europe, where the Blue Flag programme originated, to implement its own programme.This year’s national Blue Flag beach season, running from summer 2011 to summer 2012 was officially launched at the Eastern Cape resort of Kenton-on-Sea, near Port Alfred, by Rejoice Mabudafhasi, the deputy minister of Environmental Affairs.“The success of the Blue Flag programme in South Africa over the past 10 years can be attributed to the commitment of participating municipalities to provide beach-goers and holiday-makers with world class beaches,” she said, speaking at the event.The beach at Kenton-on-Sea has had Blue Flag status since 2009.The same commitment has been shown by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality who worked hard to restore its Blue Flag status for Humewood beach. This is the view of Morgan Griffith, Wessa’s conservation officer in the Eastern Cape, who handed over the flag to the municipality on 1 November.In 2001 Humewood Beach became the first local beach to receive Blue Flag accreditation. It lost its status as a result of logistical problems when too many people flocked to the beach and insufficient numbers of lifeguards were present, breaking one of the important requirements for a Blue Flag beach – that of safety.Griffith says the role of Wessa, as overseer of the programme, is not to police, but rather to help municipalities to get to grips with real environmental management of their marine areas, and to sustain this for the greater benefit of the community and the economy in the long run.“One of the effects of Blue Flag status is that it brings about real economic benefits, boosting tourism,” he said.Research has shown that the investment coastal municipalities make in meeting and sustaining the international standards of Blue Flag accreditation pays off.South Africa’s domestic tourists are increasingly choosing Blue Flag beaches as their destination of choice, and in so doing, mirror trends that have been seen in Europe and Scandinavia on their Blue Flag beaches.Marketing assetMandela Bay Tourism acting CEO, Cheryl Witte. says the area has about 80 kilometres of unspoilt beaches, with the addition of the Humewood beach as a Blue Flag beach now becoming a real marketing asset for the city.Port Elizabeth has boosted security around the beach area and lifeguards will be on duty at all times during the Blue Flag season, which runs from November to April. The beach’s water is also tested every two weeks by an independent laboratory.Blue Flag criteria are set by the Foundation for Environmental Education, a non-profit organisation promoting sustainable development through environmental education.The Blue Flag programme is one of its five key projects and is actively pursued in 44 countries worldwide. There are now almost 3 650 Blue Flag beaches and marinas around the world.last_img read more

Go-ahead for BRICS development bank

first_img27 March 2013 The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have agreed to establish a BRICS development bank to help finance infrastructure programmes and sustainable development in the BRICS and other developing countries, South Africa President Jacob Zuma said at the conclusion of the 5th BRICS summit in Durban on Wednesday. “We have agreed to establish the new development bank. The initial capital contribution to the bank should be substantial and sufficient for the bank to be effective in financing infrastructure,” Zuma said.Issues still to be ironed out While certain issues still needed to be ironed out, such as the bank’s location, initial start-up funds and voting rights, Zuma said that following the report from their finance ministers, the bloc was satisfied that the establishment of the bank – the grouping’s first formal institution – was feasible and viable. South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was optimistic on Tuesday night when he told the media that the talks for the bank were on track, while urging reporters to wait for the leaders’ formal announcement. Ahead of the summit, officials had said the BRICS countries were considering injecting an initial US$50-billion into the bank, with each nation contributing $10-billion. The idea of a BRICS Development Bank was first proposed at the 4th BRICS summit in New Delhi, India last year. While Russia was cautiously optimistic about the idea this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday signalled his country’s support for the institution. Putin further proposed the establishment of a permanent secretariat to lead the group’s day-to-day operations.BRICS contingency reserve The BRICS leaders have also endorsed the idea of creating a financial safety net in the form of a contingent reserve arrangement (CRA) among BRICS countries. Zuma, who has assumed the BRICS chairmanship for the next year, told reporters that the bloc’s leaders had concluded that the establishment of a self-managed contingent reserve arrangement would have a positive precautionary effect. It would help BRICS countries forestall short-term liquidity pressures, provide mutual support and further strengthen financial stability. “It would also contribute to strengthening the global financial safety net and complement existing international arrangements as an additional line of defence. “We are of the view that the establishment of the CRA, with an initial size of US$100-billion is feasible and desirable, subject to internal legal frameworks and appropriate safeguards,” Zuma said. “We direct our finance ministers and central bank governors to continue working towards its establishment.” The summit commended the launch of the BRICS Think Tanks Council to assist member countries with innovation, as well as the hosting of the 5th BRICS Academic Forum.Tackling skills shortages, unemployment In a speech delivered earlier to the summit plenary, Zuma emphasised the importance of promoting a knowledge economy among BRICS members. “In South Africa, we need to upgrade the skills of at least 3.2-million youths who are neither in employment, education nor training, so as to ensure that they are employable and can be absorbed into productive labour market economy.” He said South Africa was working on overhauling its post-school education and training system, as well as its skills development environment, in order to address this challenge. “Our government has classified education as an apex priority and thus, naturally has a bigger share of our national budget. We are keen to learn from the experiences of other BRICS countries on how they are dealing with similar challenges.” Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Message of big yield success brought to the Buckeye State

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Yield champion Randy Dowdy harvested 171-bushel-per-acre soybeans on his farm inBrooks County, Georgia this year from a 3.15-acre plot. He has worked for years in the minutia of producing big corn yields to set world records and has started applying some of those lessons to his soybeans. The strategy seems to be working.Dowdy is in Ohio this week sharing his secrets to success with farmers.“We’re going to talk about corn production in its totality. We’re also going to talk about our strategies we have used in corn and now implemented it in soybeans. You’re always encouraging growers to do something different. The goal is to provoke farmers to think about what they are doing — control the controllables. There are things that are in their control. We need to make sure all of those boxes are checked,” Dowdy told Dale Minyo yesterday in an interview. “You have to continue to be a student of the crop and make sure you are aware of the things costing you yield and remove the variables. My purpose is to teach them ways to increase their productivity and return on investment. The easy way to reduce your cost per bushel is to raise your bushels. You need to spend money on things that pay. Farmers can often get tunnel vision and the goal is to think about other things that make sense. Attention to detail is the key.”Dowdy’s Ohio tour is sponsored by Novus Ag as a part of their winter crop conferences. Yesterday’s conference was held in London and Dowdy will be in Findlay today and Circleville tomorrow.“One of the biggest things we’ve looked at is taking the challenges from his operation and putting them into how our operations work in Ohio,” said Scott Spelman with Novus Ag. “As we look at prices and returns on an acre, maybe it’s time we have to make some changes and adapt. Why do we buy more land when there are many things like tile, irrigation and fertility that we can be doing to improve the ground we currently farm? It is all about putting the right product on at the right time on the right crop. It is not about farming more it is about getting more out of that acre.”Contact your local Novus Ag rep to sign up for this week’s events.last_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast — March 6, 2018

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest 180306_RyanMartinWet snow showers are moving across the state for the first part of today, but we should see some improvement by this afternoon. Clouds will dominate the region today, and cold air is not going anywhere, so we won’t rule out some wet snowflakes here and there this afternoon, although the most organized action is going to be off to the east.Cold air will be the main feature of the rest of the week. That cold air mixes with a little bit of moisture coming in from the NW tomorrow, and will trigger some light snow and flurry action statewide. We look for 70% coverage, and there is the potential for a coating to an inch or two of general accumulation, while north central and northeast parts of Ohio can see 2-5 inches due to lake effect and enhancement. The snows for midweek look better here than to our west, and that is a testament to the cold air that sits over the top of us. Wednesday will likely be a day with some travel and weather challenges. Temps will struggle to break the lower 30s tomorrow, Thursday and Friday over nearly all of the state. Only far south central Ohio has a chance to run toward 40. Thursday we should see sunshine reappear over western Ohio areas, but we stay chilly right on through Friday.Our next system is still on track for the start of the weekend. However, it is coming a little faster, and we see precipitation breaking out early Saturday morning over the southwest areas of the state. The heaviest rains will be in far south central Ohio, near the river, where we can see up to a quarter of an inch. The rest of areas that see scattered showers will be more like a few hundredths to a tenth or to. The closer you get to I-70, the lesser chance of rain we have Saturday, and north of I-70, we should stay dry. Another surge of rain brings up to half an inch of moisture to southeast Ohio Sunday, but the rest of the state just features a mix of clouds and sun.Dry weather remains in our forecast for next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Next thus day we start to see some light precipitation come in from the west, the likely leading edge of our system for the 16th. Moisture totals do not look all that impressive yet, but we expect the system to strengthen. For the rest of the extended period, moderating temps are expected with normal and above normal temperatures in for most of the second half of the month. We continue to watch a system for the 20th and 21st, where we can see some rains of half to 1 inch at least. Strong southwest flow in the extended 11-16 day forecast window will lead to a slightly higher chance of stormy weather.last_img read more