Ellen Dedicates US$11M NASSCORP Complex

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has officially dedicated a US$11 million commercial complex constructed by the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP) at the ELWA junction in Paynesville City.The complex is intended to raise revenue for the government to further its development drive, according to NASSCORP officials.President Sirleaf dedicated the magnificent picturesque structure, which faces and can be viewed directly from the country’s most significant entry route from the Roberts International Airport (RIA), on Friday, June 6 at an elaborate ceremony held in one of the many beautiful halls in the building.  She termed the building as a classic example of the process of transforming Liberia.“I’m just pleased to be with all of you today to give recognition to the transformative contribution that have been made by those who are here and those institutions that have made this event possible, firstly NASSCORP itself.  An official of the entity has already mentioned where this corporation was in 2006 and where they are today,” President Sirleaf said.The Liberian leader lauded the kind of transformative initiatives that the corporation is embarking on with specific references to restructuring, re-organization, sound management system that is now being employed at the entity and what she termed as their investment quality.“Let me say that I’m very proud of the kind of work that is ongoing here at NASSCORP, their restructuring, re-organization, their sound quality management and their investment quality. All of these have made them today a key contributor to our development as evidenced by what we see here today,” President Sirleaf said.The Liberian President indicated that transformation is a process, and so the work of NASSCORP is not over. She said the leadership of the corporation must work to ensure completion of the civil service reform, which is at an advanced stage, and then move on to the pension reform, which she said will be the very basis upon which the government will meet its full obligations to NASSCORP.When all of these are done, it will give them the capital they need to expand their investment into facilities such as this. “We will continue to work with you,” she told the NASSCORP managementShe said completion of the multipurpose building has further demonstrated that Liberians still have a sense of what they want their country to be in the future and will help government achieve it. “It will now fast track the completion of the civil service and pension reforms that will enable government to fulfill its obligations to NASSCORP in order that they expand their activities to other parts of country,” she noted.The President expressed delight that the project is owned by Liberia and was built by a Liberian company, ECOCON Incorporated, demonstrating the realization of the Liberianization policy. ECOCON is owned and management by Henry Q. Taylor, a Liberian architect.NASSCORP Director General Dewitt vonBallmoos described the structure as a long-term investment that will help raise revenue for government as negotiations are well advanced for full occupation of the commercial complex by investors.He expressed delight that the corporation without a loan or borrowing from any commercial bank exclusively raised the US$11million used to construct the building.Mr. vonBallmoos, however, thanked the commercial banks for always servicing the benefits of its beneficiaries that he said has further brought confidence between beneficiaries and NASSCORP.He encouraged those he referred to as non-compliant employers to see reason why they should let their employees take advantage of the opportunities offered by NASSCORP.NASSCORP Investment and Development Specialist, Christopher McBorrough, said investment remains a critical function in the management of the Social Security Program (SSP). “Indeed, risk management, assets diversification and the maximization of returns remains cardinal to NASSCORP investment strategy.In 2006, the management of the Corporation inherited a non-performing investment portfolio assets base of US$4.7 million which subsequently included US$3.5 million disbursed before the 1990 civil war on land acquisition and some construction works.To date, NASSCORP’s management through the re-organization of the investment division, strategic investment policy guidelines and bold initiatives, can boast of a total current investment portfolio assets base of US$33.7 million. This is a 617 percent increment that stands at US$29 million.This comprises two core categories, real property which is 72 percent and financial assets, which is 28 percent. In terms of real property, the entity has commercial and residential properties in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, sixteen-bedrooms guesthouse in Voinjama, Lofa county, a property in Kakata, Margibi County and other acquired land in Monrovia and its environs.In terms of financial assets, NASSCORP has US$4M share in Ecobank, US$2.5M share in LBDI, US$1M debenture share in Cellcom and approximately US$10M in fixed income deposits at various local commercial banks.The dedication of this complex is in fulfillment of a statutory requirement that the NASSCORP invests 25 percent of its insurable earnings into profitable and realistic ventures.Accordingly, the management in 2007 drafted an investment policy and strategic document, purposely to fast track its investment activities to meet long-term benefit commitments and cater to the socio-economic well being of Liberians.Construction of the commercial complex began on April 18, 2009, and is the single largest infrastructure investment under the investment portfolio of the corporation. The complex includes an international conference center, shopping malls, office spaces, and banking facilities, among others.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Jagdeo demands Govt comes clean on proposed Demerara bridge

first_img…says ‘no coincidence’ coalition financier Stanley Ming stands to reap millionsBy Gary EleazarFormer President Bharrat Jagdeo is calling on Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson, and the Government at large, to come clean with the Guyanese populace on its bid to bridge the Demerara River, including the financial structure,Former President Bharrat Jagdeolevel of subsidies, toll increases and likely sovereign debt to be guaranteed.The former President now Opposition Leader made the demands during a press engagement with members of the local media corps at his Church Street office on Wednesday and further suggested that based on what little information was available, the project already reeked of corruption.No coincidenceJagdeo was adamant it was no coincidence that a senior member of the Reform component of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) and financier of the ruling coalition government, Stanley Ming, now stand to benefit from possibly hundreds of millions of dollars.The Opposition Leader during his media engagement used the occasion to drawPublic Infrastructure Minister David Pattersonreference to a plan that had been devised by Ming in 2015, which had concluded that the best location for the new bridge was between Versailles and Houston.Jagdeo surmised that Ming’s suggestion was made without the aid of a feasibility study and juxtaposed his then suggestion, with the recommendation in the feasibility study which ‘miraculously’ chose that location as the best option for the bridge. This despite the conclusion of any environmental and other social impact studies being conducted on the identified alternative locations.According to the former President, Ming now stands to benefit from huge sums of money, since the land at the Versailles end of the proposed bridge belongs to him and Government will have to pay him to acquire the land.The former President suggested that based on the recommendations of the projectFinancier of the ruling coalition government Stanley Mingconsultant, Lievense CSO  a Dutch consulting and engineering firm in the area of city & environment and water & infrastructure  the project will, in fact, be the costliest public infrastructure project.According to Jagdeo, based on the recommendations of the consultant in addition to the monies that will be required to construct the ‘approach roads network’ and acquire the private property, including those belonging to Ming, coupled with the actual construction of the new bridge, the cost could be as high as US$200 million.He noted that this would see the construction of the new bridge being even more expensive than the construction of the Skeldon Sugar Factory, completed at a cost of some US$130 million and the expansion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) at US$150 million.SecretiveIn his critique of the current approach being pursued by Government in order to construct the bridge, Jagdeo pointed to the shady nature of the ongoing entreats to solicit contractors.He reminded that Patterson in August had publicly criticised the past Administration for its resort to confidentially clauses  a practice Patterson said the coalition Government would move away from.Jagdeo subsequently drew reference to the secretive nature of the process now being employed by the Administration, as evidenced in its invitation for contractors to be prequalified and the demands being made for parties to sign non-disclosure agreements.The former President said notwithstanding the public pronouncements and criticisms of the construction of the Berbice River Bridge and the nature of the concessions offered, a plethora of documentation, including the Information Memorandum, for that project was made publicly available.The Berbice River Bridge was constructed at a cost of US$40 million and according to Jagdeo, this obtained with no debt having to be guaranteed by the State or any subsidies having to be transferred.Raising several burning questions on the construction of the new bridge across the Demerara River, currently being pursued by the Administration, Jagdeo pointed to the concerns raised by the consultant in its feasibility report  a document which has since been pulled from the public domain.SubsidiesIn that report  excerpts of which were shared with members of the media by Jagdeo, the Dutch consultant had pointed out that the cash flow from the operations of the bridge would remain in the negative for at least 15 years and that Government would have to subsidise the operations in addition to having increased tolls.It was found that the commercial markets cannot support the operations of the bridge and, as such, it would require the financial support of Government.The consultant in its report informed the Guyana Government that the tolls alone would not be enough to cover the operations of the bridge and the costs to even get it in place would be considerable.The consultant said too that commercial funding parties would require Government’s involvement and further commercial investors were not likely to be found, since they would demand value creation and an exit strategy within 10 years following its opening.With the project being considered under a Public-Private Partnership model, Jagdeo noted that the consultant has pointed out that Government was being called on to provide a subsidy on tolls, guarantee minimum toll revenues and guarantee debt servicing along with an upfront subsidy or grant to lower the investment amount to be financed privately.The former President recalled the plethora of critics that were against investing in the Berbice Bridge at the time, saying “we have seen a lot of the financial commentators say it is a bad investment, so if that one (Berbice Bridge) is bad, much less this investment where the cash flow can’t even cover the debt service.”Jagdeo was adamant “the Government needs to tell us now how much they are going to put into this bridge and where the money is going to come from, how much toll support they will give per year, what will be the level of the subsidy…the extent of the sovereign guarantee for debt contracted on this project.”Come cleanHe has since challenged the ‘financial commentators and economists’ to analyse the feasibility study conducted and concerns raised, and “see how many unanswered questions are there. We believe that this project requires much more work, the Government still has to answer how these alignments landed in their supporter’s land.”Jagdeo surmised that Government itself also seemed unaware of how exactly to move forward with the financing of the bridge since it was inviting applications to make proposals.“This is like advertising for buying mangoes, not a US$200 million bridge,” Jagdeo suggested as he urged the preparation and dissemination of an Information Memorandum for the project that will outline the parameters for bidders, as was done by his administration for the construction of the Berbice River Bridge.“I anticipate that if we go ahead with this project, it will be a corrupt project it will saddle us with debt long into the future or if not debt, a significant toll increase on the people who use the bridge.”The Opposition Leader concluded that the Public Infrastructure Minister “needs to come clean on this to the public what would be the level of subsidy if we are giving any.”He was adamant that the current Administration while in Opposition had railed against the construction of the Berbice Bridge despite the fact that no subsidies were being provided by the State at the time.“Tell us how much you are going to put into the bridge and where the money is coming from…What the fare increase is, what would be the increase in tolls, how much debt will you guarantee, these are huge questions for a project of this nature.”Jagdeo’s lamentations were made on the very day this publication highlighted the secretive manner in which the Government was pursuing the project.Guyana Times, in its report, highlighted that in addition to the non-disclosure agreement, bidders will be forced to waive a number of rights.These include the right to protest if a bidder believes an unqualified or undeserving contractor was given the nod ahead of everyone else.The invitation states that bidders waive their right to ownership of all information and designs they provide in the prequalification and bidding period.Firms also waive the right to any payment or compensation of costs they would have incurred in tendering, no matter the outcome of the process. As if that is not enough, companies can have their bids refused without any reason having to be provided.According to the Ministry’s invitation to prequalification, “The Employer reserves the right at its sole discretion and without stating any reason, at any time and in any respect, not to award a contract following the tendering, or to terminate the prequalification and/or tender procedure.”last_img read more

Upcoming events at the Fort St. John Public Library

first_imgThis Is Not a Box is a family event sponsored by ArtSpace and the Fort St. John Public Library. A box and art supplies will be provided and groups will have one hour to turn it in to best non-box possible. Space for the event is limited.Illustration Station with Stephen Ferris will give young artists the chance to meet Stephen will trying some hands on art. A tour of his exhibit The Maze will take place as well. The exhibit will open February 15 at Peace Gallery North.For more information or to register for the above programs call 250-785-3731.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Bayern star Boateng poised for PSG move

first_img0Shares0000Bayern Munich’s German defender Jerome Boateng could be set to join French champions Paris Saint-Germain, according to Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.© AFP Christof STACHEBERLIN, Germany, July 25 – Bayern Munich centre-back Jerome Boateng could join Paris Saint-Germain providing the price is right, the German giants’ chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge suggested on Wednesday.“There is no direct contact between the clubs at the moment, but there is contact between the agents, Jerome has two,” Rummenigge said in Philadelphia on Bayern’s tour of the USA. “Now, we have to wait and see if we can find a base at the end of the day to get together and need to find a compensation that is acceptable to both sides,” Rummenigge added.PSG’s German coach Thomas Tuchel reportedly met with Boateng before the World Cup in May, according to magazine Sport Bild.However, Bayern chairman Uli Hoeness said no formal approach has yet been made.“If there was a concrete offer, I would have been informed. That is not the case at the moment,” said the Bayern boss.Boateng, a 2014 World Cup winner with Germany, is currently valued at 45.5 million euros ($53.2 million).He had a poor World Cup campaign after being sent off for two yellow cards in the last-gasp 2-1 win over Sweden and was suspended for the shock 2-0 defeat to South Korea, which confirmed Germany’s exit after the group stages.However, the burly centre-back has hinted at his desire to leave Bayern, who are reportedly chasing Benjamin Pavard, Vfb Stuttgart’s French World Cup winner who can play right-back or centre-back.“Basically, we have enough players in the position, both quantitatively and qualitatively,” said Rummenigge, in regards to Boateng, with Bayern centre-backs Mats Hummels and Niklas Suele both in the Germany squad.However, the biggest stumbling block to a possible transfer for Boateng to Paris is likely to be UEFA’s financial fairplay rules, which forbids clubs from spending more than they earn.In the last 12 months, French champions PSG, one of the world’s wealthiest clubs and owned by Qatari shareholders, bought Brazil star Neymar, for a world record 222 million euros from Barcelona, and Kylian Mbappe, for 180 million euros from Monaco.Earlier this month, European football’s governing body UEFA reopened a financial fair play case against big-spending PSG over the Neymar and Mbappe transfers.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

LAUSD lacks a commitment to kids and community

first_imgAnd then they charge them for it. To collect a measly $3.8 million for maintenance, the LAUSD is fixing to levy a fee on nonprofit organizations that want to use school facilities and fields. This proposal could have widespread ramifications on the city’s youth sports organizations at the very time when city leaders are talking about launching new activities to counter gangs. This fee could very possibly derail sports activities for poorer kids. While $3.8 million is barely a blip to the district’s $6.4 billion budget, it would cost the Northridge City Little League about $2,000 a week for the 12-week season. No doubt that cost will be passed on to players’ families. The argument is that the schools should charge what the city and other districts do. That might be a good argument if the district’s only mission were to raise money – but we would hope the district’s mission is much larger than that. ONCE upon a time, when LAUSD officials were trying to sell the people of Los Angeles on costly school building bonds, they spoke of the new schools as magical places where the community would come together and reconnect. These newly built campuses around the city and region would not just be houses of education, they would be community centers where all manner of activities beneficial would occur. It was a good tactic, and the people of Los Angeles bought it time and again, willingly accepting a $15 billion burden to create these pillars of the community and education. Now that the money is in the bank and those construction projects are far along, the truth of that promise is wearing thin. Los Angeles Unified School District officials clearly still see the campuses as theirs, and only grudgingly allow the community in which they reside to use them. Not only does this pay-to-play proposal fly in the face of the prevailing collective desire to create more activities to keep kids off the city’s streets, it’s also factually wrong. The people have already paid for these fields and their upkeep. They own them – not the bureaucrats running the Los Angeles Unified School District. The public’s taxes are supposed to provide enough money to maintain the schools. Or at least they should. Unfortunately, the bureaucracy so often chooses to spend funds on more bureaucracy and fewer things that benefit kids. If it really needs the cash, perhaps it would make more sense to ask the city to divert some of the millions it already spends on anti-gang programs that don’t work. If the LAUSD follows through with this pay-to-play plan for community sports groups, it will show more than anything that the district has lost sight of its responsibility to the children and the community. And if it’s lost that, than how can the public trust anything it does?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

Top 20 most valuable U21 players REVEALED! Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United stars make the list

first_imgThe summer transfer market has turned up a notch in recent days with the window officially opening last week.Amongst the moves already made have been several for young players across Europe as team attempt to corral the best starlets as they look to build dynasties, which will win titles for years to come.It’s hard to put a value on potential leading to outrageous sums being spent on talented teens.But over at Soccerex, with the help of Prime Time Sport’s Football Value Index, have presented their top 20 Under-21 stars.The list presents us with the players’ estimated value, which is calculated using a number of factors, including average sale values of their current clubs and their form.You can check out the brilliant list full of Premier League stars and targeted players above. Click the right arrow above to scroll through… 1. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) – Value €49,295,000 – The wantaway starlet didn’t quite have the same impact last season as he did in the Reds’ 2013/14 campaign, but that hasn’t stopped him being rated the most valuable Under-21 star in Europe. A move to Manchester City seems like Sterling’s most viable move this summer but it will likely cost Manuel Pellegrini more than the amount Soccerex believe him to be worth. 20 12. Youri Tielemans (Anderlecht) – Value €19,392,000 – Click right to find out the most valuable Under-21 stars – The deep-lying playmaker has, despite his tender years, been a star in Belgium for the last two seasons. He’s got an exquisite eye for a pass and at just 18 is also capable of slamming home a long-range strike. He’s another star soon to join Eden Hazard and co. in the Belgian national team and may well be cherry-picked from the Anderlecht side too. 20 17. Anthony Martial (Monaco) – Value €15,848,000 – Click right to find out the most valuable Under-21 stars – Tottenham Hotspur were keen on the teen forward this summer only to have their hopes dashed as Monaco thrashed out a new deal for their starlet. He will remain in Ligue 1 for another season but if his burgeoning career continues on its upward trajectory then it’s likely he’ll soon be moving on. 4. Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo) – Value €30,521,000 – Click right to find out the most valuable Under-21 stars – Already wowing fans in Serie A, the talented forward is capable of both scoring and assisting, having netted 15 times last season and laid on 10 goals for team-mates. Sassuolo now fully own the player after they gave Juventus €10m to end their co-ownership. 20 20 8. Jose Gaya (Valencia) – Value €25,873,000 – Click right to find out the most valuable Under-21 stars – The Spain Under-21 star signed a new contract this summer as Valenica attempt to ward off interest in the prodigious talent they’ve nurtured since childhood. Last season was his breakout campaign at the Mestalla as he made 35 La Liga appearance and, so highly-rated is the player, they’ve slapped a €50m release clause in his new five-year deal. 16. John Stones (Everton) – Value €16,850,000 – Click right to find out the most valuable Under-21 stars – One of the most highly-rated young players in the Premier League, Stones, once of Barnsley, is a talented young defender who is able to play at both right-back and centre-back. Cool on the ball, although at times clumsy with it, he has the potential to be an international star for the next decade. 11. Kurt Zouma (Chelsea) – Value €22,726,000 – Click right to find out the most valuable Under-21 stars – There’s more to French starlet Zouma than his monstrous size, he’s composed on the ball and his display in midfield against Tottenham in last season’s League Cup final, was superb. Mainly used in cup competitions and as a substitute to help the Blues hold onto wins as they bludgeoned their way to the Premier League title. 15. Emre Can (Liverpool) – Value €17,026,000 – Click right to find out the most valuable Under-21 stars – A smart signing from Bayer Leverkusen last summer, the German is probably Brendan Rodgers’ best buy since Philippe Coutinho. His versatility saw him step into a back-three and perform solidly in what was, in the end, a disappointing campaign for the Reds. With more signings at Anfield, Can could soon be back in a more familiar midfield role, which he occupied for Germany’s Under-21s this summer. 7. Mateo Kovacic (Inter Milan) – Value €26,137,000 – Click right to find out the most valuable Under-21 stars – At just 21, Kovacic is already a seasoned professional with two league titles, won with Dinamo Zagreb, to his name. His spell in Italy is yet to garner any silverware but with the Serie A side already signing Miranda, Geoffrey Kondogbia and Martin Montoya, they could well challenge this time out. Inter’s ambition spending could well tempt Kovacic to remain with them despite interest from Liverpool. 14. Anderson Talisca (Benfica) – Value €18,091,000 – Click right to find out the most valuable Under-21 stars – The Brazilian had an excellent first season in Portugal, winning the Primeira Liga title with the Eagles after scoring nine goals in 32 games. Jose Mourinho has already hailed him after English sides missed out on his signature due to work permit issues. It wouldn’t be a surprise if his stay with Benfica was short, especially with the player being compared to several top stars such as Neymar and Rivaldo. 20 20 10. Aymeric Laporte (Athletic Bilbao) – Value €23,956,000 – Click right to find out the most valuable Under-21 stars – The French starlet is highly regarded over in La Liga and can play at centre-back or left-back, and he’s an Under-21 international to boot. Manchester United were keen on the defender but he extended his contract with Athletic, although he does have a €50m release clause if any club fancies taking a punt this summer. 18. Divock Origi (Liverpool) – Value €15,261,000 – Click right to find out the most valuable Under-21 stars – After some exciting cameo’s in Belgium’s 2014 World Cup campaign, Brendan Rodgers moved swiftly to sign the 20-year-old forward. As part of the deal he remained with former club Lille last season, but was panned for his performances by L’Equipe. He did hit eight goals but his confidence may have taken a blow, but despite this he’s still valued highly by Soccerex. 20 6. Hakan Calhanoglu (Bayer Leverkusen) – Value €27,431,000 – Click right to find out the most valuable Under-21 stars – Free-kick master and creative outlet, Calhanolgu’s first season with Leverkusen was impressive and there is still more to come from the 21-year-old attacking midfielder. 20 20 20 9. Luke Shaw (Manchester United) – Value €25,390,000 – Click right to find out the most valuable Under-21 stars – After an injury hit season, the Red Devils youngster has seen his value depreciate quite considerably. Signed from Southampton for around £28m last summer, his fitness was criticised heavily and he’ll be hoping for more than the 16 Premier League appearances he made last campaign this time out. 20 5. Jose Gimenez (Atletico Madrid) – Value €30,205,000 – Click right to find out the most valuable Under-21 stars – Signing the Uruguayan centre-back for €1m in 2013 now appears a canny piece of business by Atletico. His performances at the back last season have seen the club sell Miranda to Inter Milan this summer as they look to bring through the 20-year-old, who represented his current at the Copa America this summer. 20 20. Hector Bellerin (Arsenal) – Value €14,829,000 – Click right to find out the most valuable Under-21 stars – The young Spanish right-back burst on to the scene last season as he capitalised on injuries in the Gunners’ defence. Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers, both new signings, struggle to maintain their fitness and Bellerin pace, athleticism and defensive qualities proved pivotal as Arsene Wenger’s men made a late charge for the Premier League title. 20 19. Calum Chambers (Arsenal) – Value €15,058,000 – Click right to find out the most valuable Under-21 stars – Injuries disrupted his first season at the Emirates but Chambers’ potential is still recognised by the Soccerex 20 Under-21. Able to play at right-back, centre-back and in midfield, the future is still bright for the former Southampton star, 20, who went to the European Under-21 Championship this summer with Gareth Southgate’s Young Lions. 13. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Anderlecht) – Value €18,129,000 – Click right to find out the most valuable Under-21 stars – Already being linked with Newcastle, Swansea and Tottenham, the Serbian striker has hit 36 league goals in 69 matches across the last two seasons. A strike against Arsenal in the Champions League increased his fame and a transfer soon seems likely. 20 20 20 20 20 2. Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain) – Value €39,768,000 – Click right to find out the most valuable Under-21 stars – The versatile defender has been with PSG for two campaigns now but is finally making his impact on the first-team after making 21 starts last season. Able to play a full-back or in the centre of defence he’s highly valued by his club too as they gave him a one-year contract extension in March. 3. Memphis Depay (Manchester United) – Value €33,640,000 – Click right to find out the most valuable Under-21 stars – The Red Devils moved swiftly this summer to land their top target from PSV Eindhoven, but Soccerex reckon they may have overpaid a touch. The Dutch winger was sensational in his homeland last season, leading his side to the Eredivisie title, and netting 22 league goals. 20 20last_img read more

White night not enough to save USC

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson White lingered on the field long after an MVP-type performance in which he scored three touchdowns and ran for 124 yards on 20 carries. He soaked in the atmosphere of what could’ve been his final game with family and friends. White, a junior, will take about a week to decide if he’s turning pro but it will take a lot longer to erase that fourth-and-2. “I’ve got some thinking to do,” White said. “I have to talk things over with my family. I don’t want to bail out but there’s a lot of money there and NFL dreams out there. It’s a big decision. I’ll lean on some people, but ultimately I’ll go with my heart. I don’t think my heart will let me down.” White didn’t let USC down and athletic director Mike Garrett made sure to let White know as much. As White tried to hold back tears, Garrett told him: “You were a monster out there. Don’t get down. What you showed is all you need to show.” Like that play when White ran down the sideline and stiff-armed Michael Huff in the second quarter. He shoved him backward by the face mask and tossed him to the ground and was tackled at Texas’ 3. He scored on the next play to give USC a 17-16 lead. He gave USC a 24-23 lead just before halftime with a 12-yard score and high-stepped his way into the end zone. Texas and the rest of the free world was preoccupied with finding a way to contain Reggie Bush, who ran for a 26-yard score and 82 yards on 13 carries. White and Bush have been such a potent combination. Well-known as “Thunder and Lightning”, the duo set a combined record for 99 career touchdowns, eclipsing the previous mark set by Army’s Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis, who combined for 97 career touchdowns from 1943-46. This time, the combination wasn’t bigger than Texas. White was tackled for a 1-yard gain and USC turned the ball over on downs to Texas. The Longhorns then turned it over to Vince Young and Texas won a thrilling national championship, 41-38. Pete Carroll momentarily hid the tears in LenDale White’s eyes with an emotional embrace. Carroll leaned on White for several seconds, much like he leaned on him in the Rose Bowl. White’s power game worked like magic against Texas. But on fourth-and-2 and needing only a first down to ice the game, Carroll went for it and put the game in the hands the offensive line and White. center_img A two-headed monster, indeed. Texas couldn’t stop White, but USC couldn’t stop Young, either. And that’s why the loss was so hard to fathom. In White’s career at USC, he’s 37-2. Winning became a habit. Losing wasn’t. “I haven’t lost in a long time,” White said. “But it’s easy for me to walk around with my head up high.” He just might not be doing it around the USC campus next year. Jill Painter, (818) 713-3615 jill.painter@dailynews.com 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

Soap, sink best weapons in battle against bird flu

first_imgIt’s coming. Bird flu reached Europe earlier this month. It won’t be long before it shows up in the United States, probably by way of Los Angeles and its busy port. And the experts say it’s just a matter of time before the highly lethal strain of avian influenza mutates to the point that it can pass from human to human and infects a good chunk of the world’s population. Yup, just a matter of time, they warn. Problem is, everyone’s getting a little numb to all the warnings about these sure-thing catastrophes such as the Big One, the Y2K computer virus, worldwide nuclear war and killer bees. Another dire threat to humanity? Hold on while I check my emergency stash of granola bars and Chardonnay. The thing is, this bird flu isn’t another SARS or West Nile virus deal. Every year, regular strains of influenza alone kill about 36,000 people in the United States. Quarantines won’t stop it, although I do feel better knowing that the officials at Los Angeles International Airport are preparing for the arrival of avian flu among cargo and passengers. But it’s unclear how vigilance at the airport will make much of a wall against a virus in a metropolitan area that is home to several million people who slipped into the U.S. without a visa, let alone a health check. There’s no way the state’s ever fewer medical centers (more than 70 hospitals have closed in the state in the past 10 years) can possibly handle a massive outbreak. A typical weekend night already taxes the state’s emergency rooms. That’s why instead of worrying about it, we should be examining our personal hygiene practices, particularly you men out there. It’s no joke. A recent study for the American Society for Microbiology and the Soap and Detergent Association (who knew?) observed bathroom habits of more than 6,000 Americans and found fairly disgusting levels of personal hygiene. For example, one of out four men in the study didn’t wash their hands after a bathroom break. By contrast, 90 percent of women did. I don’t need a study to suggest that if that many people don’t bother to wash up in the bathroom, as many or more aren’t washing up after sneezing, coughing or generally tending to bodily needs. It sounds simple, but basic cleanliness is the best way to fight any kind of infectious disease. This fear of the bird flu pandemic could fade as fast as the hantavirus or ebola, or it might very well come true. Either way, there’s no reason we can’t get a grip on it with clean hands. Mariel Garza mariel.garza@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week And every so often, a particularly virulent strain comes along and wipes out millions of people. The last time it happened was 1918, when an avian version of the flu hit the world at the same time everyone was at war. It was called the “Spanish flu,” and by the time it diminished in 1919, as many as 50 million people worldwide had died. So far, the 121 people around the world who have contracted this current strain of bird flu have a higher than 50 percent mortality rate. Government officials are telling people not to panic, while they frantically try to prepare for the unpreparable by killing off chickens and setting aside stores of the antiviral medication Tamiflu, which might not even work against this strain. They’re right. There’s no reason to worry about the march of bird flu, because short of the development and mass distribution of a bird flu vaccine, there’s little we can do to stop a pandemic if it wants to spread. According to the World Health Organization, an international pandemic is unstoppable because so many people spread it through coughing or sneezing before they realize they are sick. last_img read more

NA CHÉAD FHÓGRAÍ FOILSITHE AG AIRE STÁIT NA GAELTACHTA I DTACA LEIS NA LIMISTÉIR PLEANÁLA TEANGA GHAELTACHTA

first_imgD’fhógair an tAire Stáit sa Roinn Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta, Donnchadh Mac Fhionnlaoich, T.D., inniu go bhfuil na chéad fhógraí foilsithe aige i dtaca leis na Limistéir Pleanála Teanga Ghaeltachta, mar atá:Ciarraí Thiar;Cois Fharraige; agus Gaoth Dobhair, Rann na Feirste, Anagaire agus Loch an Iúir.“Tá lúcháir orm a bheith in ann a fhógairt go bhfuil an chéad trí fhógra foilsithe agam faoi alt 7(3) d’Acht na Gaeltachta 2012. Cuireann na fógraí seo tús oifigiúil leis an phróiseas pleanála teanga ar an talamh sna limistéir seo,” a dúirt an Aire Stáit Mac Fhionnlaoich.Tabharfar tréimhse suas le 2 mhí ón 16 Eanáir 2014 d’eagraíochtaí chun iarratais a dhéanamh chuig Údarás na Gaeltachta le bheith roghnaithe mar eagraíochtaí chun plean teanga a ullmhú agus a fheidhmiú sna limistéir sin. Tá sé beartaithe ag an Roinn na treoirlínte pleanála teanga faoin Acht a fhoilsiú ar an lá céanna.Tabharfar tréimhse suas le 2 bhliain ón dáta ar a roghnaíonn Údarás na Gaeltachta an eagraíocht chun plean teanga a chur faoi bhráid na Roinne le faomhadh i gcomhréir leis na critéir pleanála teanga forordaithe. Ina dhiaidh sin, beidh tréimhse 7 mbliana ag na heagraíochtaí chun na pleananna teanga a chur i bhfeidhm le cabhair ó Údarás na Gaeltachta. Déanfaidh an Roinn athbhreithniú tréimhsiúil ar chur i bhfeidhm na bpleananna le linn na 7 mbliana sin.“Agus tús oifigiúil curtha anois leis an phróiseas pleanála teanga i 3 Limistéar Pleanála Teanga Gaeltachta ó thuaidh, ó dheas agus thiar, táim ag súil go mbeidh 10 bhfógra eile foilsithe i gcás 10 limistéar eile an bhliain seo chugainn agus go ndéanfar na fógraí eile ina dhiaidh sin,” a dúirt an tAire Stáit Mac Fhionnlaoich. NA CHÉAD FHÓGRAÍ FOILSITHE AG AIRE STÁIT NA GAELTACHTA I DTACA LEIS NA LIMISTÉIR PLEANÁLA TEANGA GHAELTACHTA was last modified: December 21st, 2013 by John2Share 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:Anagaire agus Loch an Iúir.Gaoth Dobhairlanguage planRann na Feirstelast_img read more

Without a nation there is nothing to brand

first_imgNation branding challenges and successes faced by Eastern European countries such as Ukraine, Bulgaria and Kosovo, in the wake of political and social change in the region since 1989, were held up as lessons in nation branding.Professor Nadia Kaneva offered the analysis in a presentation titled “The branded national imagination and its limits: Insights from the post-socialist experience” given at a Brand South Africa Competitiveness Forum for South African academia. Held at the University of Pretoria, Tshwane, on 5 October 2016, the forum aimed at in-depth analysis of global and domestic issues influencing the reputation and competitiveness of the nation’s brand.“As communism was ending, the Romanian flag allowed for a discourse around the future of the Nation” says Dr. Nadia Kaneva @Brand_SA forum pic.twitter.com/31tJ98AQhF— Guido van Garderen (@GuidovGarderen) October 5, 2016Presenting at the event were key academics in the fields of business, humanities and political science, from a host of South African universities and tertiary institutions.The goal of the dialogue is to compile all presentations and contributions into a peer-reviewed journal, with a view to positioning South Africa as a thought leader in nation branding. Key to the success of that journal will be the keynote contribution from Kaneva.Bulgarian-born Kaneva is an associate professor in the University of Denver’s media, film and journalism faculty. She is a globally respected and widely published researcher who uses critical sociology and media studies to dissect the commercialisation of politics and culture in Eastern Europe through nation branding and reputation-building.Kaneva’s ultimate conclusion – that in order to be more effective, an imagined nation brand should align closer to and more realistically to the changes in the nation and its people – was honed through extensive research on radical changes in Romania after the fall of communism, post-conflict Kosovo during the 2000s and the relationship between Ukraine and Russia as recently as three years ago.The lessons learnt in the research can be just as easily applied to any nation brand, especially for emerging economies like South Africa, she says.In introducing Kaneva, University of Pretoria deputy dean of humanities Professor Maxi Schoeman highlighted the importance of getting an outsider view on building South Africa’s brand internationally, someone objective enough to weigh up the differences and similarities between the country and nations with similar histories.The science and application of nation branding was now very much part of mainstream academia and an essential tool for governance, Kaneva said at the start of her presentation. As a legitimate interdisciplinary field, the study of nation branding included elements of media and marketing ideas, anthropological study, business theory and sociology.Yet, Kaneva argued, developing and managing a national brand and reputation would always be a highly political and therefore delicate process, the success of which did not always lie in the area of savvy marketing or critical theory.This was evident in post-socialist Eastern Europe countries experiencing the swift changes of political and economic experiments, Kaneva said.Extensive global multichannel marketing campaigns by Romania and Kosovo highlighted each country’s promise in its people and economics in a vastly depoliticised way, focusing on things such as tourism and investment and replacing a more realistic national identity with something more market-oriented, in other words, what “the outside world wanted to see”.In 2009, two years after gaining independence, Kosovo’s first attempt at marketing the country to the outside world was in the form of a television commercial, The Young Europeans. While carrying a positive message of reconciliation and cultural tolerance as well as an eagerness to partake economically in the European Union, it told little about the country and its people to outsiders (investors, tourists) that would differentiate it from any other European nation.While initially successful, there was a negative reaction from citizens, who felt misrepresented by this imagined nation brand. As Kaneva says, a rejection of idealised, imagined branding is ultimately counter-productive to what a country brand really wants to achieve.Watch The Young Europeans:At the crux of the argument, Kaneva says, is honesty with the nation brand, creating an identity that can actually be recognised by the people it is supposed to be representing.Offering solutions to link the imagined nation brand closer to reality, Kaneva highlighted the following:Recognise that nation branding has a political element and embrace it, with all its shortcomings and diversities.Invest in programmes and policy that encourages and grows both citizen engagement and development in the nation and its brand: let people inform the national message.Look beyond the data of perception ratings to formulate effective nation brand evaluation and measurement: outside views, particularly those formulated with data, are important, but other research models are necessary to get the complete picture of a nation.Diminish the focus and use of transnational mass media nation brand advertising; look to niche marketing opportunities for creating a truer, most consistent national image and reputation.Concluding her presentation, Kaneva said that reconstructing and refreshing national identities, particularly for nations with a history of significant political and societal transformation, should always consider the transformations of the people it represented, adding that, “without a nation there will be nothing to brand”.Download full presentationSouthAfrica.info reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SouthAfrica.info materiallast_img read more