Obama Pushes Public Health Approach to Ebola Outbreak vs. Untested Drugs

first_imgAlthough the U.S. Government is conscious of the current Ebola crisis in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and willing to help to contain it, President Barack Obama has attributed the rapid spread of the disease to lack of improved health facilities in the affected countries.Making the observation recently in Washington, DC at a press conference following the U.S-Africa Summit, President Obama stated that Ebola now and of the past can b controlled when there is a strong public health infrastructure in place.“Well, I think we’ve got to let the science guide us. And I don’t think all the information is in on whether this drug is helpful.  What we do know is that the Ebola virus, both currently and in the past, is controllable if you have a strong public health infrastructure in place.”He said because health facilities in these countries are so overwhelmed that cases of the disease are not identified and isolated, it is rapidly spreading and killing people.“And the countries that have been affected are the first to admit that what’s happened here is that their public health systems have been overwhelmed.  They weren’t able to identify and then isolate cases quickly enough.  You did not have a strong trust relationship between some of the communities that were affected and public health workers.  As a consequence, it spread more rapidly than has been typical with the periodic Ebola outbreaks that have occurred previously.”Addressing Journalists following a question about whether U.S may help to provide some medication if medicine used to treat those Americans flown to USA proves effective, President Obama cautioned that the disease is not airborne and can be controlled and contained if the right protocols are followed.“But despite obviously the extraordinary pain and hardship of the families and persons who’ve been affected, and despite the fact that we have to take this very seriously, it is important to remind ourselves this is not an airborne disease; this is one that can be controlled and contained very effectively if we use the right protocols.”However, the President gave the assurance that the U.S. Government was working with the World Health Organization (WHO) and European partners to help address the worsening Ebola crisis in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.“So what we’ve done is to make sure that we’re surging not just U.S. resources, but we’ve reached out to European partners and partners from other countries, working with the WHO.  Let’s get all the health workers that we need on the ground.  Let’s help to bolster the systems that they already have in place. Let’s nip as early as possible any additional outbreaks of the disease.  And then during the course of that process, I think it’s entirely appropriate for us to see if there are additional drugs or medical treatments that can improve the survivability of what is a very deadly and obviously brutal disease.”The President also indicated that U.S. is focusing on the public health approach and will seek information about what is being discovered with respect to the drugs scientists are studying to use as medication for Ebola. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Tariff reduction on renewable energy equipment forthcoming – President

first_imgIn an effort to encourage the establishment of renewable energy sources, government will soon be moving to reduce the tariffs on the importation of key materials utilised to create greener energy. President David Granger has hightlighted the importance of having a greener economy; lessening the country’s addiction to fossil fuel, and moving into a new world with huge wind and solar farms, andPresident David Grangerhydropower systems.In order to advance to that stage, President Granger said his government will introduce legislation to allow for the reduction of tariffs on the importation of all equipment used to generate renewable energy. He was at the time fielding questions on his weekly programme,“The Public Interest”. In outlining the immediate steps he will soon embark upon to achieve a green economy, the President noted that the tariff reduction is of critical importance in this process.“We did this when we were embarking on the information technology revolution, we just reduced tariffs on computer equipment and we must do the same now for power generating equipment,” he stated. However, the President said the most important aspect would be to educate and expose stakeholders, including children, about the whole concept of a greener country. “Mainly it is, first of all, providing the sort of education and exposure to students, to teachers, to other operators within the public and private sector so that they will know what is available, have exhibitions, that sort of thing,” he stated.Thirdly, the President said government must lead the way in rolling out renewable energy systems: “We must take the lead, in government buildings, apartment buildings, university and so on, we must take the lead in actually converting these premises into buildings which use renewable energy, within the next 24 months.” Asked about any particular project of this nature, President Granger said the main initiative at this moment is to transform Bartica into a model green town, displaying all aspects and measures for implementing sustainable renewable energy.In fact, he disclosed that there is a plan outlining how government will embark upon converting Bartica into a green town. On the matter of funding for these lucrative undertakings, the Head of State made it clear that the country under his rule will not be seeking any handouts from other countries or international organisations. According to Granger, Guyana must learn to become dependent on its own resources and take responsibility of its own projects.However, he did not dismiss the idea of forming partnerships with international bodies to work on projects of this nature.On the topic of climate change and cheaper and sustainable energy, the President had previously stated that the Norway Funds, which Guyana receives, will be used on more projects than what was done under the previous administration.“The previous Administration was concerned about Low Carbon Development Strategy and was concerned with the direction of some of the funds to projects which were Amerindian retitling of lands and also regeneration of energy through the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project. We would like to look at climate change more broadly,” Granger had stated.Some areas to be covered include the introduction of policies to promote reforestation in mined-out areas, generation of energy apart from hydropower, coastal zone management, and to combat the impacts of El Niño.last_img read more

Stop targeting local doctors – Medical Association to Govt

first_img…blasts Public Health Ministry for its silence…as “doctors on call” allowances now being taxed… working under deplorable conditionsThe Guyana Medical Association (GMA) has joined the voices calling on Government to reverse the measures it has taken against benefits medical doctors formerly enjoyed. In addition, the representative body wants the Public Health Ministry to urgently sit down with doctors and consult.The Association lamented that doctors are being forced by the Government to joinThe conditions under which doctors who are on call sleepthe Public Service as pensionable public servants during their five years of service, as stipulated by their contract. The switch from gratuity, which the doctors once enjoyed, to pension, as currently obtains, was not preceded by consultations.This newspaper was also told that doctors will now have their allowances for “on call” services taxed. According to the medical association in a recent statement, these allowances fall under overtime services.“This betrayal of their reasonable expectations is unilateral, thus further compounding the sentiment of distrust and resentment that prevails among the affected young doctors”, the GMA has said, even as it has dispatched a memorandum to the Director of Medial and Professional Services (DMPS) of the Georgetown Public Hospital, and has copied same to that institution’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).The memo informed the officials of the decision to tax the doctors’ allowances inThe memorandum giving notice of the allowances that will now be taxedaccordance with Section 7(1) of the Income Tax Act, Chapter 81:01. The allowance had always been treated as non-taxable, but, according to reports, a recent review has changed this position.According to the association, there has been a breakdown in communication between the Government and the young doctors, who are in the process of fulfilling their contractual obligations. The GMA has made it clear that since the Government is yet to provide a reasonable explanation for these policy decisions, it would not be supporting the new policies.“The GMA has maintained contact with the young doctors, many of whom are members of the Association.They have informed the steering Committee of the recent woes that they are experiencing at the hands of the Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Public Health. These grievances have crystallized in the face of the recent ultimatum(s) declared by the Government, important among which is the provision of their monthly gratuity payment. The GMA will not support unconscionable and unilateral acts of the Ministry of Public Health in the absence of reasonable explanation, particularly by the authority, to the predicament of young doctors”, the GMA memo has detailed.Deafening silenceSince it was first revealed that as of March 24, temporary workers and contract workers with a GS 3 to GS 14 salary scale (including doctors) would be switched from gratuity benefits to pension, the Public Health Ministry and Government officials have maintained a carefully guarded silence on the matter.This fact has not gone unnoticed by the Medical Association, which noted that while the Public Health Ministry has remained silent, it is still adamant “in seeking to enforce their unilateral and oppressive measure.”“The GMA remains steadfast in solidarity with the young doctors as they face an uphill battle that impinges on their means of survival”, that body has said.The GMA is urging Government to withdraw its ultimatums and meet with representatives of the doctors to address mutual concerns in order to arrive at agreeable solutions. The body notes that this needs to be done as soon as possible.While a pension is a contributory arrangement, gratuity is a sum of money paid at the end of a stipulated tenure of service, or upon retirement. In most cases, there is a prescribed formula for calculating gratuity, thus removing payments from the employer the onus of determining those payments.Doctors were eligible, upon satisfactory service being provided, for gratuity at a rate of 22.5 per cent of their basic salary, calculated on the basis of three months. However, at one time, doctors could choose to receive their gratuity at six-month intervals.It is common for such categories of workers to have a personal preference for gratuity instead of pension. <> understands that the move has left some doctors disillusioned and frustrated, as many had begun their training with gratuity enshrined in their contracts.The Parliamentary Opposition has been critical of the move, stating that doctors were always allowed their gratuity in order to keep them incentivized. There are concerns that once doctors have completed their stipulated years of service, they will simply move to other jurisdictions with better compensation packages.As if the yanking of the contractual benefits doctors enjoyed was not enough, this publication was able to view the condition of residential quarters provided for doctors at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation. It has been observed that the quarters where doctors who are on call have to sleep sometimes have gaping holes in the ceiling, and the overhead fans have their blades exposed. It is these doctors who will now have a chunk of their on-call allowances decimated.last_img read more

Wolfowitz under fire over companion’s pay

first_imgWhat drove the anger at the Bank was not that Wolfowitz had denied earlier that he had sought Riza’s transfer, but that he had been less than fully candid in discussing it until documents surfaced showing his direct role. His earlier insistence that he had consulted with various ethics officials has also been disputed by some of them, who say they were not involved in the salary aspect of discussions. Wolfowitz, who is divorced, has been close to Riza for several years, according to people who have worked with them. She was a communications officer in the Middle East and North Africa bureau of the bank when Wolfowitz arrived, and was transferred in September 2005 to the Middle East and North Africa bureau to help set up a semi-independent foundation to promote democracy in that region. Her initial supervisor at the State Department was Elizabeth Cheney, whose father, Vice President Dick Cheney, has been a longtime associate of Wolfowitz. Riza now serves as a consultant to the foundation, known as the Foundation for the Future, while still drawing her World Bank salary, the State Department said. Wolfowitz, in his talk to the bank staff, essentially implied that his fate was up to the board.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The World Bank’s 24-member executive board, the body that elected Wolfowitz to the job after he was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2005, held hurried meetings throughout the day amid mounting speculation that it might reprimand him or ask him to resign. But at the end of the day, there was no statement from the board. The matter appeared certain to produce more meetings and engulf delegates at the annual spring session of finance ministry officials in Washington, sponsored by the bank and the International Monetary Fund. Wolfowitz apologized at a morning news conference and at the atrium meeting after the staff association disclosed that it had found a dated memorandum from Wolfowitz to a vice president for human resources at the bank, apparently instructing him to agree to the terms of a raise and reassignment for Riza. The transfer and a subsequent raise eventually took her to a pay of $193,590 from $132,660, tax free because of her status as a diplomat, and exceeding even the salaries of Cabinet members. “In hindsight, I wish I had trusted my original instincts and kept myself out of the negotiations,” Wolfowitz said. “I made a mistake, for which I am sorry,” he added, pleading for “some understanding” of the “painful personal dilemma” he faced when he left the Pentagon to become bank president. Wolfowitz said he had been seeking to avoid a conflict of interest by having Riza, with whom he had a personal relationship, transferred away from his supervision. WASHINGTON – Paul D. Wolfowitz’s tenure as president of the World Bank was thrown into turmoil on Thursday by the disclosure that he had helped arrange a pay raise for his companion at the time of her transfer from the bank to the State Department, where she remained on the bank payroll. In a chaotic day of revelations and meetings at a normally staid institution, Wolfowitz apologized for his role in the raise and transfer of Shaha Riza, his companion, to a few hundred staff members assembled in the bank building atrium, only to be greeted by booing, catcalls and cries for his resignation. Earlier, the bank’s staff association had declared that it was “impossible for the institution to move forward with any sense of purpose under the present leadership.” The association had helped spearhead an investigation into Riza’s transfer and raise, details of which came into the open in the last 24 hours. The events injected a new ugliness into what had already been a bitter rift between Wolfowitz and many of the bank’s employees, who have questioned his suitability for the job as a former deputy secretary of defense and architect of the Iraq war, and have challenged many of his policies at the bank, especially those cracking down on corruption in which he suspended aid to several countries without consulting the board. last_img read more

Pace of economic growth slowing

first_imgThe Conference Board said Thursday its index of leading economic indicators dropped 0.6 percent in August, slightly higher than the 0.5 percent fall analysts were expecting. The drop was offset by a revised 0.7 rise in July. While the index has jumped up and down in recent months, the cumulative change over the past six months has been a 0.5 percent rise. That’s consistent with the modest growth of the nation’s gross domestic product, which grew at around 2 percent in the second quarter, analysts said. Also on Thursday, the Labor Department said jobless claims declined to the lowest level in seven weeks, surprising analysts who were expecting a jump in claims. “That shows there’s firm demand for labor despite the turmoil in the marketplace. That’s good news,” said Gary Bigg, associate economist with Bank of America. Taken together, Bigg said the data indicated the economy will continue its slow but steady growth. INDEX: Despite drop amid tight credit, analysts see some bright spots ahead. By Candice Choi THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK – Strained by a tight credit market, the nation’s economy should stumble along at a slower pace in coming months, but it may find help from lower interest rates and possible employment gains. The Conference Board report, taken before the Fed’s rate cut earlier this week, may simply reflect the immediate effects of the clampdown in credit markets in August, analysts said. The Conference Board report tracks 10 economic indicators. Only one of those indicators, real money supply, advanced in August. The negative components, starting with the largest, were consumer expectations, unemployment claims, stock prices, building permits, vendor performance, manufacturers’ new orders for non-defense capital goods, interest rate spread and manufacturers’ new orders for consumer goods. Weekly manufacturing hours held steady. The report is designed to forecast economic activity over the next three to six months. The index rose a revised 0.7 percent in July, after slipping 0.1 percent in June. The erratic pattern reflects the ongoing uncertainty over the effect of the credit crisis on the overall economy. “Economic growth is likely to continue in the near term, although at a slower pace,” said Ken Goldstein, labor economist for the Conference Board. For growth to continue, however, Goldstein said there will be two potential hurdles to overcome – business confidence and the “wealth effect,” which has been hit by falling home prices. “This loss of household assets, if combined with weak employment growth, could have a negative impact on consumer spending going forward,” Goldstein said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Liverpool defender happy on Merseyside after landmark appearance on Wednesday

first_img1 Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel has no intention of leaving the club after reaching a landmark in his Anfield career.The penalty shoot-out win over Carlisle on Wednesday night was his 300th game for the club inside just eight years on Merseyside.“I made my debut there for Liverpool against Aston Villa, so if we’d waited until the weekend it could have been my 300th game against Villa!” Skrtel told Liverpoolfc.com“But obviously that’s not important – the most important thing is I’ve reached 300 games and I’m very happy about it.“I have been here almost eight years and if you’ve played 300 games in eight years, it’s around 40 games per season and that’s not easy to do.“I’m very happy about it, very proud and I just hope there will be more and more games in the future.”last_img read more

UEFA charge the FA and Lithuania over Euro 2016 crowd trouble

first_img1 UEFA charge the FA and Lithuania over Euro 2016 crowd trouble UEFA has charged England and Lithuania over crowd disturbances at the Euro 2016 qualifier in Vilnius on Monday.Disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the Football Association and the Lithuanian Football Federation (LFF) over the trouble which broke out in a section of the crowd just before kick-off.The LFF has also been charged over breaches of ticketing rules – it appeared some England fans without tickets gained access to sections reserved for home supporters – and for having blocked stairways.The cases will be dealt with by the UEFA’s control, ethics and disciplinary body on October 22.The FA said the disturbances did not involve England supporters who were in the official area or who had bought tickets from the FA.An FA spokesman said: “We were naturally concerned to witness scenes of disorder in Lithuania. However, we must be clear that these incidents did not happen within the official England Supporters Travel Club area, where supporters who had bought tickets from the FA were housed.“We would encourage the authorities to identify anybody involved in disorder and deal with them appropriately through the criminal system and with banning orders. We will, of course, fully co-operate with UEFA.”last_img read more

‘Friends’ writers win raunch case

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventLyle was fired after four months on the job, allegedly because she could not transcribe meetings fast enough or capture the flavor of the meetings. Warner Bros. acknowledged that sexually explicit talk took place but said it was vital to the show’s chemistry. The justices noted that Lyle had been warned when hired that explicit discussions were part of developing the sexually charged comedy. Still, the court said its decision should not encourage salty talk in the workplace, and added that the same dialogue and behavior might be illegal elsewhere. SAN FRANCISCO – Sometimes vulgarity is not just acceptable but necessary in the workplace, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday as it threw out a sexual-harassment case by a former assistant on the “Friends” TV show. The justices, ruling 7-0, agreed with Warner Bros. Television Productions that trash talk was part of the creative process and, therefore, the studio and its writers could not be sued for raunchy writers’ meetings. No jury would believe the writers’ assistant was the target of harassment during profanity-laced script sessions “for an adult-oriented comic show featuring sexual themes,” Justice Marvin Baxter wrote. “Most of the sexually coarse and vulgar language at issue did not involve and was not aimed at plaintiff or other women in the workplace.” Amaani Lyle, 32, alleged six years ago that raw sexual remarks peppering conversations added up to harassment against women. Lyle said she was offended by repeated references to the actors’ sex lives and to the writers’ own sexual exploits as they penned bawdy banter for six New York City pals in the NBC sitcom. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgEclipse CinemasTed 2Newlywed couple Ted and Tami-Lynn want to have a baby, but in order to qualify to be a parent, Ted will have to prove he’s a person in a court of law. Released 10th July: Certificate Strictly 16:  Run Time 115minsSong of the SeaSaoirse, a little girl who can turn into a seal, goes on an adventure with her brother to save the spirit world and other magical beings like her. Released 10th July:  Certificate PG:  Run Time 93minsTractor Ted: Diggers & Dumpers – 12 noon shows: €1.80/£1.50Introduces Tractor Ted fans to everyone’s favourite big machinery with Diggers and Dumpers big and small. See how the different trucks operate and what their different jobs are.Tractor Ted will take your child on an audio visual journey to a quarry in Somerset, a river bank and a farm where diggers and dumpers are working hard to get some very important jobs done.For two days only 11th/12th July:  Certificate Strictly G:  Run Time 40minsNew Releases – Tickets on sale now!! Thomas & Friends: Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure – 17th JulyInside Out – 24th JulyMission Impossible 5 – 30th JulyEclipse Classics – Coming Soon 27th July: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)24th Aug: Dirty Dancing (1987)BIGGEST COMEDY OF THE SUMMER TED 2 OUT THIS FRIDAY AT ECLISPE CINEMAS was last modified: July 8th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Eclipse CinemasEntertainmentNoticesTED 2last_img read more


first_imgENTERTAINMENT: Sister Sara’s is the No.1 nightspot every weekend in Letterkenny and this weekend it’s the perfect venue for all the major sporting action taking place. It’s an unbelievable weekend of sport with the All-Ireland semi-final replay and All-Ireland hurling final down for decision.Add in Ireland’s TWO crucial Euro 2016 qualifiers and it makes it one of the biggest sporting weekends of 2015 so far! At Sister Sara’s we have multiple large screens all over the bar with surround sound which makes it the ideal venue to watch all the major sporting action.It’s also as always a great venue for entertainment and on Friday they have karaoke with DJ Scoop. On Saturday resident DJ Marty Curran will have bopping and grinding all over the floor to get you in the party mood for the weekend.Make sure and drop into Sister Sara’s for another superb weekend of entertainment. EURO 2016: CHEER ON THE BOYS IN THE GREEN TONIGHT AT SISTER SARA’S SUPERPUB was last modified: September 4th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:EntertainmentFeatureslast_img read more