If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! There are still more questions than answers regarding OSU’s arguably most questionable position group entering the 2016 season. The offensive line struggled for a second consecutive season last year and, even though coaches are very hesitant to be show too much optimism, Mike Gundy is confident the group is improving.“Just in the last couple practices, I’ve seen them start to make some strides,” Mike Gundy said in his weekly Cowboy Football Roundup with Dave Hunziker. “We’re covering the defensive lineman up, and we need to continue to work on finishing blocks. Now that we’re covering them up, we have to sink our hips and we have to run our feet. We have to finish those blocks in order to give those backs a chance to make cuts. We like where we’re at.”Gundy also noted the emergence of redshirt freshman Marcus Keyes at left guard to be a big factor in his reason for optimism, and spoke highly of incoming junior college transfer Larry Williams, who is listed No. 2 at left guard behind Keyes.As for X-factors to watch this season, underrated junior college lineman Shane Richards is expected to make some contributions this season as well Gundy says.“The incoming class is a good group, it’ll take awhile to develop those players. Shane Richards (6-8, 330lbs.), hopefully he can help us first of October, Larry Williams gives us a chance. We just have to find the right fit and stay healthy.”
Barcelona Barcelona condemn Spanish crackdown on Catalonia independence vote Dom Farrell 21:47 20/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Barcelona Primera División The Spanish government conducted raids to disrupt Catalonia’s independence vote on Wednesday, prompting a call for democracy to prevail from the club Barcelona have announced the club will “continue to support the will of the majority of the Catalan people” amid growing tensions related to a banned independence vote in the region.Spain’s Guardia Civil police detained 12 senior officials and raided three Catalan regional government offices on Wednesday.The national government and Spain’s constitutional court have both said a referendum on Catalan independence due to take place on October 1 is illegal and should not go ahead. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing There was no such action taken by the Spanish government before the last referendum in November 2014, however, this time Catalan leaders have revealed that they will declare independence within 48 hours of the final result if there is a majority ‘Yes’ vote.Wednesday’s raids came a day after 45,000 envelopes donning logos of the Catalan government were seized in the town of Terrassa, and Barcelona have now issued a statement in support of the democratic rights of the people of Catalonia.pic.twitter.com/j8hNbQb94a — FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 20, 2017 The statement read: “In the wake of the events that have transpired in recent days and, especially today [Wednesday], with regard to the current political situation in Catalonia, FC Barcelona, in remaining faithful to its historic commitment to the defence of the nation, to democracy, to freedom of speech, and to self-determination, condemns any act that may impede the free exercise of these rights.”Therefore, FC Barcelona publicly expresses its support for all people, entities, and institutions that work to guarantee these rights.”FC Barcelona, in holding the utmost respect for its diverse body of members, will continue to support the will of the majority of Catalan people, and will do so in a civil, peaceful, and exemplary way.”
FIT representative Peter Topp assisted with the delivery of the programs across three locations with the help of Queensland Touch Football (QTF) representatives Scott McAllister in Shanghai, Glen Walker in Guangzhou and TFA (Victoria) staff member, David Diack in Beijing. These programs according to Topp, focused on achieving the broad community development aspects of the program by providing participation clinics, field officer and referee training.â€œThe ASP Program was well received in all schools with many expressing interest in touring Australia as a development and cultural program for their students, which is promising for both regions,â€ Topp said on his return to Australia.The delivery of participation clinics was based around the successful Australian Sports Commission Sporting Schools program format whereby participants experienced the game in a fun, safe, friendly and supportive environment. All activities were game-based which provided opportunities for play and the development of game knowledge of the sport.This provided the perfect environment for young girls to experience a new sport in a safe environment to teach them the longer-term benefits of leading healthy and active lifestyles. Participants were provided information on the importance of nutrition and ensuring that they look after themselves to create a well-rounded individual.A major component of the ASP Program in China is to upskill the development workforce in the three targeted cities. This was addressed by the training and education of field officers in each of the locations. In total, 26 field officers were trained in current practice delivery of Touch Football; specifically, in a large group setting such as schools and universities. This provided a stable base to develop sport knowledge and competence whilst challenging existing skill levels.To assist further the development of Touch Football in China, the program also included referee training to maximise the delivery of the sport. A total of 64 referees participated through courses, coaching, practical and mentoring sessions. Further, a referee leadership program commenced in Beijing in 2016 and was completed within the 2017 education programs.TFAâ€™s Acting CEO, Tim Arnold believes the success of the program can be measured by the increase in female coaches and officials in the region.â€œThe program focused on ensuring that there were opportunities for females to become leaders in their community, not just in Touch Football. The referees and coaches we trained were provided with the skills and guidance needed to grow in confidence, to lead what is often a male dominated industry,â€ Arnold said.â€œWeâ€™ve created female role models for the community. Once the training was completed, the female coaches and referees went on to run the participation clinics and demonstrate to the young girls in the programs that they too can be leaders in sport and in broader society.â€The program has provided a platform for an economic development opportunity for women with the skilled coaches now able to earn an income through delivering programs in schools into the future.Several meeting engagements were also arranged for TFA and FIT personnel. These were opportunities to engage and promote the active support from the Australian Government.Through the ASP program, TFA have successfully assisted China to develop an educated and qualified workforce to assist with the continued development of Touch Football extending beyond the program. Overall, this has been achieved through the identification and training of female leaders to take on key roles within the Touch Football community in China as well as in their life away from the sport. The inclusion of these training programs combined with the participation clinics, has led to increased participation in Touch Football and physical activity opportunities for Chinese participants.TFA would like to thank the DFAT for making this program possible through the ASP program. This support from Government agencies allows the sport of Touch Football to improve the opportunities for female leaders in China. The program has enriched the lives of all participants through the benefits associated with living a healthy lifestyle and fun and social inclusion for participants in a team-based sport. And to the FIT, QTF and TFA crew on the ground, a valuable opportunity to profile and promote the virtues and aspirations of the sport to one of the most populous and prosperous regions of the world. Related LinksTouch in China Touch Football Australia (TFA) and the Federation of International Touch (FIT) have been conducting a series of Touch Football activities in various school visits across China over recent months. The visits are part of the Asian Sports Partnership (ASP) Program; funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in an effort to influence broader social and diplomatic outcomes. The key purpose of making a positive contribution to development and public diplomacy outcomes in Asia through effective sport partnerships.Through this program, TFA sought to use its prominent international status to work closely with FIT to improve the social standing of women in society by providing them with equal opportunities to access sport and lead healthy active lifestyles.The primary focus of the program is increasing the sporting opportunities awarded to females aged 12-20. The gender-parity nature of Touch Football ensured the program accommodated a neat split of both males and females totalling over 2,000 participants to date. The overall reach of the program was not only limited to the players; extended also to spectators, Government, school and sport officials and ultimately increasing opportunities to develop and deliver the sport of Touch Football in the community.
This Video Of Kirby Smart And Nick Chubb Playing Dodgeball Is IncredibleThis Video Of Kirby Smart And Nick Chubb Playing Dodgeball Is Incredible
ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 08: Head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs looks on during the third quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)You don’t earn four letters as a defensive back in the SEC if you’re not a good athlete, and even though Georgia head coach Kirby Smart is now 40 years old, he apparently still has some of the athleticism that he used as a safety for the Bulldogs in the late 1990’s. During a recent visit to Camp Sunshine, Smart, along with UGA star Nick Chubb and a host of other players, participated in a game of dodgeball with campers. Things got pretty intense, and Kirby seemed to be having the time of his life.The full, awesome video is available below, courtesy of UGASports.com. Kirby Smart, Nick Chubb and the Georgia players visit Camp Sunshine from UGASports.com on Vimeo.
Story Highlights He was delivering the keynote address at the closing ceremony for the Management Institute for National Development’s (MIND) Regional Public Sector Leadership Development Conference at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston on July 20. The amalgamation, aimed at strengthening the monitoring of the gaming industry, is expected to be completed by year-end. The Minister pointed out that the transformation exercise should not be viewed as one that will result in job losses, noting that the divestment of Caymanas Track Limited (CTL) to Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) in March this year, has seen an increase in employment and greater levels of investment.“I have already seen the transformation that is taking place at Caymanas Track as a result of the divestment (as) they have employed more people,” the Minister pointed out.“They are about to plough over $1 billion of investment into the development and expansion of the track,” he added.Additionally, he said, SVL plans include accepting wagers from members of the Diaspora, which would make the enterprise “bigger and better.’He urged that as the Government rolls out the transformation programme in the pursuit of excellence in service delivery, each public sector worker should endeavour to be the “one person (who) can make a difference.” Finance and Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the merger of the island’s three State-run gaming agencies has commenced with the entities now in the process of moving into one building.The entities – the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC), Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC), and Casino Gaming Commission (CGC) – are being combined to form the new Jamaica Gaming Commission.The amalgamation, aimed at strengthening the monitoring of the gaming industry, is expected to be completed by year-end.Minister Shaw said the entities will operate under one roof, “even as we work out the legislative arrangements to make them into one commission.”“So in that example, four become one, and there is a whole range of others (state entities) that we are going to be dealing with in similar fashion,” he added.He was delivering the keynote address at the closing ceremony for the Management Institute for National Development’s (MIND) Regional Public Sector Leadership Development Conference at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston on July 20.Of the over 200 public sector entities, 84 are to be closed, merged, subsumed into central Government or divested to the private sector.Mr. Shaw said he has signed off on a time-bound plan for the engagements, which will be submitted to Cabinet, in keeping with the Government’s public sector transformation programme. Finance and Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the merger of the island’s three State-run gaming agencies has commenced with the entities now in the process of moving into one building.
90 Per Cent of Loans from China to be Repaid in 10 Years90 Per Cent of Loans from China to be Repaid in 10 Years
Dr. Clarke informed that 99 per cent of the loans secured from China on behalf of Jamaica are at fixed interest rates of two and three per cent, which “are among the lowest interest rates in our entire loan portfolio”. Finance and the Public Service Minister, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, says 90 per cent of outstanding debt to the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of China will be repaid in 10 years.Dr. Clarke informed that 99 per cent of the loans secured from China on behalf of Jamaica are at fixed interest rates of two and three per cent, which “are among the lowest interest rates in our entire loan portfolio”.“Loans from China [also] represent a mere 3.9 per cent of the total $2-trillion debt of Jamaica. When you hear a loan being executed of (about) US$200 million from the China EXIM Bank, bearing in mind that at current exchange rates US$200 million is roughly $25 billion and then in a debt size of $2 trillion, it is just about one per cent,” he said.The Minister was speaking at LatinFinance’s third Caribbean Finance and Investment Forum, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on November 1.Dr. Clarke’s sentiments are consistent with those of Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, who, a day before, noted that the loans secured on behalf of Jamaica are done at the best interest rates and that there is no need to fear Jamaica’s relationship with China.“I don’t think that there needs to be any fear-mongering. The Government of Jamaica has been very strategic and the sovereignty of Jamaica is always foremost in my mind. So when we engage, we engage with that as a non-negotiable part of the partnership,” Mr. Holness said.Meanwhile, Dr. Clarke assured the group of regional bankers and potential investors at LatinFinance’s forum that “there is no better place to invest than in Jamaica”.He noted that all the economic indicators suggest that the Jamaican economy “is stronger than it has ever been”.“We have inflation at record lows, but more important than being at record lows is that inflation has been stable over the past four years and is increasingly becoming predictable. On top of that, loan growth is increasing at accelerated levels… foreign direct investments have been steady and capital imports have increased by fivefold over the past six years,” he indicated.Dr. Clarke reiterated plans for the establishment of an independent fiscal council designed to strengthen Jamaica’s fiscal responsibility framework and the modernisation of the country’s central bank, the Bank of Jamaica.Hosted in partnership with the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, LatinFinance’s third Caribbean Finance and Investment Forum brings together global banks and investors to lay out the road map towards achieving sustainable growth and investment.LatinFinance is the leading source of intelligence on the financial markets and economies of Latin America and the Caribbean.The entity’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Taimur Ahmad, acknowledged the ongoing growth in the Caribbean, which has “picked up in recent years, supporting the (existing) view that the region has finally turned the corner”.He said part of the aim of the forum is to explore the promise held by the region, which, he noted, is significant.Themes explored at the finance forum included exploring the new directions in the Caribbean economic outlook, understanding Caribbean fixed-income and Caribbean corporate finance and capital markets integration, among others. Story Highlights Finance and the Public Service Minister, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, says 90 per cent of outstanding debt to the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of China will be repaid in 10 years. “Loans from China [also] represent a mere 3.9 per cent of the total $2-trillion debt of Jamaica. When you hear a loan being executed of (about) US$200 million from the China EXIM Bank, bearing in mind that at current exchange rates US$200 million is roughly $25 billion and then in a debt size of $2 trillion, it is just about one per cent,” he said.
Nineteen YearOld Beccy Stables is the Season 5 Winner of CTVs MASTERCHEFNineteen YearOld Beccy Stables is the Season 5 Winner of CTVs MASTERCHEF
Advertisement On the Season 5 finale, the final two home cooks vie for the MASTERCHEF CANADA title in the most spectacular culinary showdown in MASTERCHEF CANADA history. In only three uninterrupted hours, Beccy and Andy had to prepare a three-course meal and were joined by their respective loved ones as well as fellow MASTERCHEF CANADA Season 5 home cooks that cheered them on from the gallery. Starting with one hour to complete the appetizer course, Beccy created a scotch quail egg on a nest of potatoes and parsnips appetizer, while Andy presented a Halifax donair salad with lamb, pita chips, and tahini dressing. The three esteemed judges enjoyed the nature-inspired presentation of Beccy’s dish, but some of the parsnips were overdone and elements inconsistent.With the clock continuously counting down, the home cooks moved on to prepare their entreés. Beccy presented the judges with rabbit two ways on a Jerusalem artichoke purée, while Andy prepared an elevated hodge-podge with Dungeness crab, sweetbreads, onion soubise, and crab bisque. The judges declared that Beccy’s dish had great composition, was perfectly cooked, showed great thoughtfulness and instinct. Andy’s presentation was lacking, but all of the elements were perfectly cooked and the flavours were fresh, rich, and bountiful.In the final round of the showdown, Beccy and Andy prepared and presented their complex desserts. The judges found Beccy’s fallen apple pie had a highly original presentation with familiar, but unique flavours, while Andy’s Newfoundland touton looked delectable, was rich in flavour, and one of his “finest moments” in the competition.The judges’ initial feedback left Beccy and Andy in a virtual tie with judging coming down to the finest details and slightest missteps. Following a difficult deliberation and considering the journey of each finalist, the judges revealed that Beccy would receive the title of the next MASTERCHEF CANADA.Season 5 of MASTERCHEF CANADA ranks among the Top 15 most-watched programs on Canadian television with all key demos this past spring, averaging 1.2 million viewers weekly.Viewers can relive all the culinary action from the MASTERCHEF CANADA Kitchen with Season 5 episodes available on demand at CTV.ca and on the CTV GO app. Season 5 is also available on CraveTV™ with episodes streaming beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, June 20, and on Gusto airing Mondays at 7 p.m. ET. The Season 5 finale encores Saturday, June 23 at 7 p.m. ET/MT on CTV Two; and Sunday, June 24 at 5 p.m. ET/MT on CTV (check local listings).Season 5 of MASTERCHEF CANADA has also partnered with Chefs Plate and SPLENDA® Sweeteners.The MASTERCHEF format and finished programmes are represented internationally by Endemol Shine Group, and is based on a format originally created by Franc Roddam.MASTERCHEF CANADA is produced by Proper Television in association with CTV. Proper’s Co-President Cathie James is the Executive Producer and Showrunner and Co-President Lesia Capone is Executive Producer. For Bell Media, Tina Apostolopoulos is Production Executive; Robin Johnston is Director, Original Programming, Factual and Reality; Corrie Coe is Senior Vice-President, Original Programming; Pat DiVittorio is Vice-President, CTV and Specialty Programming. Mike Cosentino is President, Content and Programming, Bell Media. Randy Lennox is President, Bell Media.Source: Numeris, Broadcast Year 2017-18 (September 25, 2017 – May 27, 2018), Spring 2018 (February 26 – May 27, 2018).SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:Twitter:#MasterChefCanada@CTV_PR@CTV@MasterChefCDAMichael Bonacini – @MichaelBonaciniAlvin Leung – @TheDemonChefClaudio Aprile – @ClaudioAprileFacebook:facebook.com/ctvfacebook.com/MasterChefCDAInstagram:@CTV_PR@CTV@MasterChefCDABeccy Stables – @beccystables Advertisement TORONTO, June 19, 2018 – Following an intense 12-episode culinary battle, judges Michael Bonacini, Alvin Leung, and Claudio Aprile revealed tonight that 19-year-old Beccy Stables (@beccystables) from Sherwood Park, Alta., is the winner of MASTERCHEF CANADA Season 5. Cooking her way through an epic culinary showdown, Beccy was awarded the much sought-after title of MASTERCHEF CANADA and the $100,000 grand prize over runner-up Andy Hay (@andyseastcoastkitchen_), a small business owner from Dartmouth, N.S.“I’m the new MASTERCHEF CANADA! This trophy is going to change every aspect of my life – I can finally pursue my dream of becoming a chef,” said Stables. “I’ve realized that dreams are possible, they’re not just dreams. I am not going back to tile setting; I just want to cook in a restaurant.” LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook Twitter
Caracas: Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro announced 30 days of electricity rationing Sunday, after his government said it was shortening the working day and keeping schools closed due to blackouts. Angry Venezuelans meanwhile took to the streets of Caracas to protest the power cuts and water shortages. The measures are a stark admission by the government — which blamed repeated power outages in March on sabotage — that there is not enough electricity to go around, and that the power crisis is here to stay. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe blackouts have worsened already dire economic and living conditions in the country, which sits on the world’s largest proven oil reserves. Power failures come alongside a political showdown between Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido, who is recognised as interim president by the United States and more than 50 other countries. Speaking on state television, Maduro said he had approved “a 30-day plan” to ration power. He did not detail how it would work but said there would be “an emphasis on guaranteeing water service”. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsMaduro also acknowledged that many Venezuelans could not watch his broadcast because they had no electricity. Crippled infrastructure, little investment in the power grid and poor maintenance have all contributed to electricity problems. A “brain drain” of qualified personnel has also hit the industry, with about 25,000 people in the electricity sector among the 2.7 million Venezuelans who have emigrated since 2015. Add to that the country’s deep economic crisis, which includes a soaring inflation rate. Earlier on Sunday, authorities announced other measures as a result of the electricity shortage. “To achieve consistency in the provision of electricity, the Bolivarian government decided to maintain the suspension of school activities and establish a workday until 2:00 pm in public and private institutions,” Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said on state television. With no electricity, pumping stations can’t work, so water service is limited. Street lights and traffic lights go dark, pumps at fuel stations stand idle, and cell phone and internet service is non-existent. Children don’t have “a drop of water” to drink, complained Maria Rodriguez, a Caracas resident.
Raja Casablanca Fans Raise Slogans Supporting ISISRaja Casablanca Fans Raise Slogans Supporting ISIS
Rabat- A video posted on Facebook and YouTube by fans of the football club Raja of Casablanca contains slogans supporting the terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Some Moroccans are calling the video “unprecedented,” especially because it includes the motto, “Allaho Akbar, Ila Al-Jihad”(“Allah is the greatest, towards Jihad”).Some Moroccans lacking a clear explanation for this unprecedented event, have called for an investigation by the competent authorities.However, some others have said that the video is a product of the hysteria of Raja fans and has nothing to do with the influence of ISIS. The video also showed many Raja fans cease using their common slogans and instead change them into the name of ISIS, indicating that they were simply having fun and the video was not intended to support ISIS, which represents a serious threat to the world.It is predictable, especially after this incident, that Raja’s next matches there will be accompanied by some kind of alarm and investigation.On the other side, the Rajawi association condemned what was posted on social networks, claiming that it encourages people to support ISIS.Noureddine El-Bachichi, the spokesman of Rajawi, told to Alyaom 24 that they condemn all that was shown on the video. He insisted that Raja’s real fans do not behave in such way, nor do they use ISIS mottos as encouragements. Real supporters go to the stadiums to support their team, and political slogans are not their concern at all.
Israel Calls on its Citizens to Avoid Morocco for NonEssential TravelIsrael Calls on its Citizens to Avoid Morocco for NonEssential Travel
Rabat- The Counter-Terrorism Bureau of the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office has called upon Israeli citizens to avoid Morocco and several other countries for non-essential travel, ahead of the Jewish Holiday Passover, which falls from March 31 to April 8. This announcement comes as a warning in anticipation of possible Daesh-led terrorist attacks for the many Israeli vacationers who choose to spend the holiday abroad. The Israeli government issued a list of 38 countries included on the warning list of countries that Israelis are advised to stay away from or avoid for vacation for non-essential travel. The list, which is issued twice a year, includes countries that are illegal for Israeli citizens to travel to: Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen, Syria,Lebanon, Afghanistan Somalia, Sudan, and Libya, in addition to countries that have been issued warnings to be avoided for non-essential travel. The bureau has included Morocco, Turkey, the Sinai Peninsula, and Thailand in its non-essential travel warning. The office believe has identified Turkey and Sinai as the main areas where Israelis might face the greatest threat.“Islamic State and those inspired by it are at the forefront of global jihadi groups that are highly motivated to carry out attacks during this period,” the bureau wrote, adding “all Israelis currently in the Sinai should return and … [we] also strongly advise that those wanting to travel to Sinai should not do so,” the bureau said in warning. The Counter-Terrorism Bureau also urged the Israeli nationals to avoid the aforementioned countries over terror fears and to stay vigilant in crowded places including tourist sites, stadiums, airports, shopping malls, museums, hotels, and public transportation stations, as well as worship places, such as churches and mosques. The Israeli bureau also encouraged citizens who are planning to travel to Europe to remain cautious, especially in the United States, Russia, France, Belgium, Germany, and India.
Annan names Bangladeshi general to lead UN military liaisons in Côte dIvoireAnnan names Bangladeshi general to lead UN military liaisons in Côte dIvoire
The Secretary-General informed the President of the Security Council of his intention to appoint Gen. Abdul Hafiz to the post of Chief Military Liaison Officer of MINUCI, effective today, in a letter that was released today at UN Headquarters in New York.He also informs the Council President that Austria, Bangladesh, Benin, Ghana, India, Ireland, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Poland, the Republic of Moldova, Senegal, Tunisia and Uruguay have agreed to provide military liaison officers for the initial group of 26 officers.MINUCI was established last month to help guide efforts to implement the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement, a French-brokered peace accord reached in January that calls on the government, rebels and political opposition to share power in a transitional government until elections in 2005.The new Mission includes a military component to complement the operations of the French and the forces of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The tasks of the military liaison group include advising the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Albert Tevoedjre, on military matters; monitoring the military situation, including the security of Liberian refugees; and establishing links with the French and ECOWAS forces, as well as with the Forces armees nationales de Côte d’Ivoire (FANCI) and the forces nouvelle, in order to build confidence and trust between the armed groups.
← Previous Story Men’s EHF CL (Round 5): Easy job for Ciudad Real, Barca and Montpellier Next Story → Viborg out of Champions League! Ivan Lapcevic Puerto Sagunto, the team that joined the elite ASOBAL league this season, will be reinforced with Ivan Lapcevic. The fact that they need any help they can get, the best proof is that they are currently on the 15th place out of 16 teams, so every help will be welcome in order to improve the performance.The former Napredak Krusevac player, signed a contract with the Spanish team until the end of the season, with a possibility that the contract is prolonged. Will Lapcevic help the team that managed to get only 4 points so far in the ASOBAL league is yet to see. In his rich career he played for Zupa Aleksandrovac (home team), Zeleznicar Nis, F.C Barcelona, Vfl Gummersbach and MKB Veszprem.
Four arrested as nine million cigarettes seized in LouthFour arrested as nine million cigarettes seized in Louth
APPROXIMATELY 9 MILLION cigarettes with a retail value of €4.3 million were seized by Gardaí and customs officials in Co. Louth this morning.The seizure was made when officers from the Revenue’s Customs Service, in conjunction with the Criminal Assest Bureau and An Garda Síochána, stopped a truck and a 4 x 4 vehicle at a service station on the M1 motorway near Castlebellingham.Officials believe the cigarettes had arrived into the state through Dublin Port from Malaysia and had a potential loss to the exchequer of €3.7 million.Four men aged between 36 and 44 were arrested at the scene and are currently detained at Drogheda and Dundalk garda stations.A number of business premises and private residences were searched following the seizure and officials say investigations are continuing.The Revenue Custom’s Service say ongoing invetigations have led to the seizure of 35 million cigarettes so far this year.Read: 1.2 million cigarettes seized in Dublin Port >Read: Cigarettes, tobacco and counterfeit vodka seized in €1.5 million sting operation >
LoveHates Fran Colin Farrell and Katie Taylor rally support for MerrynLoveHates Fran Colin Farrell and Katie Taylor rally support for Merryn
Read: Crumlin Children’s Hospital contacts families after contamination scare> A LITTLE GIRL in Dublin who has been diagnosed with a rare form of children’s cancer is getting support from some of Ireland’s best known actors and sportspeople.Colin Farrell, Peter Coogan and Katie Taylor have all wished Merryn Lacy well and donated prizes that are up for auction to raise funds for Merryn.At the end of July, Merryn and her family were in London for a few days visiting friends. Her parents said that Merryn “just wasn’t herself” and that she was unusually tired and was complaining of a sore tummy.Cancer When they returned home they went to the doctor and didn’t expect to end up in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin at 2am that Saturday morning.Following scans, Merryn was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma – an aggressive childhood cancer of the nervous system.So far, Merryn has had eight treatments and is currently undergoing front line treatment which will last approximately 18 months.However, her family say that the fight will not stop there, as there is a possibility of relapse. Their hope is to travel to Europe or the US where there are more treatment options, but this comes at a sizable cost.Just like any little girl her age, her parents said that Merryn loves her dolls and to dress up like a princess. “She knows she has a lump on her kidney and will ask questions and listen intently when doctors or nurses are talking to us. How do you explain these things to someone so young? Although it’s unfair and we’ve been angry, we know that we owe it to Merryn to give this battle everything we’ve got,” they said.Love/Hate’s Fran wished Merryn and her family well with this message while Colin Farrell said he was sending all his love to Merryn from a “chilly California” but said he knew that she was up for the fight ahead of her.Colin Farrell sends a video to Merryn to wish her all the best. (Via Robbie Doyle)A charity night was orgnanised by family friend, Robbie Doyle last week. However, fundraising is still ongoing and items are still up for auction which include Katie Taylor’s boxing gloves which are signed and a signed Leinster jersey.Last week, the Aer Lingus Regional Santa Express, operated by Aer Arann, departed Dublin Airport with Merryn and over 60 passengers including including children, parents and hospital staff from Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin to visit Santa.(Maxwell Photography)For more information on fundraising for Merryn, visit her Facebook page here and here is the online auction page.Read: Celebs bring Christmas cheer to sick kids at Crumlin hospital>
Column The way some people view African countries is inherently racist –Column The way some people view African countries is inherently racist –
Kevin McPartlan works with Glenevin, an Irish consultancy which spent most of 2012 on a project with the Government of Uganda to improve the country’s international reputation. He was in charge of the communications team that coordinated Uganda’s official response to the Kony2012 viral video. He says:We were hired to help improve the global perception of Uganda. We began by analysing news and social media content and comment concerning the country. With the help of Irish media analysis firm O’Leary Analytics; we were able to identify the most common reasons for which the government was criticized. Then we looked at which were fair and which were not.Improving engagement by the authoritiesIt was clear the vast majority of negative coverage in the international media related to the Uganda Police Force (UPF) and, in particular, to failings in the way it managed public order situations. We told the government the only way to improve how the global press reported on UPF was to improve the behaviour and performance of its officers.We brought a team of police trainers out from Ireland and worked with the UPF’s public order units to give them the skills to de-escalate situations and to respond in a measured and restrained manner.To respond to unfair criticism, it was necessary to improve the way in which the government engaged with the media. We improved Ministers and officials’ interviews skills and trained press officers to operate in way that would be more effective with international audiences.A grave threat to Uganda’s reputationWe had been working on the project for about four months when Invisible Children launched Kony2012 on YouTube. It seemed to explode across social media but, in truth, our media monitoring alerted us to it well before the likes of Oprah Winfrey got involved. We had a bit of a head start but it was clear to us it was going to get very big, very quickly.We watched the video and realised immediately that it posed a grave threat to the reputation of Uganda. It suggested the government was ignoring Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA); that it was standing idly by while young boys were being forced to take up arms and girls were forced into sex-slavery. It also painted the country as war-torn and unstable. None of this is true.In fact, the Ugandan military (UPDF) has been fighting the LRA for many years and has reduced the fighting force from upwards of 30,000 to its current strength of about 200. Joseph Kony has not set foot in Uganda since 2006 because UPDF troops forced the LRA to flee across the border into what was then southern Sudan. Since then, they have commanded an African Union task force that has continued to pursue Kony across international borders. It was the current Prime Minister of Uganda, Amama Mbabazi who sought the indictment of Joseph Kony by the International Criminal Court.The enormous power of social mediaI alerted the Prime Minister to the Kony2012 campaign and advised him to use the same social media channels to respond. It was a tough sell initially. He considered the claims of Invisible Children to be so inaccurate as to be unworthy of response. I argued that this campaign had the potential to define the reputation of Uganda for an entire generation of people in Europe and North America. Ultimately, Mr Mbabazi agreed to reply through YouTube.The Prime Minister recorded a video in his Kampala office soon after Kony2012 went viral. He thanked the people who had watched Kony2012 for their interest in, and concern for, Uganda and corrected the false impression which it created.He recognised that many younger people receive “news” not through traditional print or broadcast media but on YouTube, Facebook and other social networks. He is very aware of the power of social media – regularly engaging critics and supporters through Twitter. Mr Mbabazi personally tweeted celebrities involved in Kony2012 including George Clooney, Angelina Jolie and Jay Z and invited them to visit Uganda and see the facts for themselves.Within a couple of days the Prime Minister’s video had been watched over 200,000 times. His decision to use social media to directly connect with young people was reported in more than 2,500 news reports across the world.The only real criticism of the video related to the poor production values. What people didn’t realise was that due to poor ICT infrastructure in Africa, it took over 27 hours to upload it even in such a compressed form and low resolution.Kony 2012: deeply racist and politically motivatedI found Kony 2012 deeply racist and very politically motivated. It was tied up in a particular branch of American right-wing Christian fundamentalism, and played on the negative ideas we often have of Africa and suggested Africans need the “good oul’ US of A” of to point out right from wrong.It was deeply patronising. Offensive, actually.The release of the Kony 2012 video was not the first time the Government of Uganda had heard about Kony. They didn’t need a slick, well-produced viral video to inform them this man was evil. They had been fighting the Lord’s Resistance Army for years in an effort to bring Kony and his lieutenants to justice. They have had remarkable successes and continue to be engaged in the long process of rebuilding the villages and communities the LRA decimated.The ‘West’ must be more respectfulIt is important African nations are represented accurately to the western world. I consider the way some people view African countries to be inherently racist. The different ways in which Africans communicate or behave are not in any way inferior. I believe we in “the West” must be more respectful and willing to compromise.There are issues in Uganda that need to be dealt with. But, while it is essential to address the fair criticisms by raising standards and addressing abuses of power, the Ugandan’s have a right to point out when criticism is unfair too.Many reports about Uganda are grossly distorted or simply not true. An excellent example is the way The Anti-Homosexuality Bill currently before the Ugandan parliament is being reported. It is widely described in very reputable news media as the Kill-the-Gays Bill. While it does outlaw homosexual acts, it does not make provision for the death penalty.Don’t get me wrong, I strongly oppose this Bill but surely our distaste for the proposed legislation does not excuse the media from its obligation to tell the truth?Cultural differences lead to misunderstanding and suspicionThe Government of Uganda hired Glenevin because there is a very different style of communicating in Africa. Africans can be extremely direct but the style of debate – especially in politics, is not what we are used to.Serious politicians often will not defend or argue their point of view if challenged. Rather they will personally attack their critic or question their bona fides. That looks shifty to us; as though the politician has something to hide, but it is simply a cultural difference.As the world changes, the key audiences for African leaders now include their international counterparts. We taught Ugandan Ministers and officials how to communicate with audiences in Europe and in the US more effectively and persuasively.Joseph Kony’s global profile may have waned over the last year, but the victims cannot forget the suffering caused by the LRA. In recent weeks the UPDF has made significant arrests of Kony’s lieutenants. His troops have diminished in number; a terrorist gang rather than an army, but they haven’t gone away. Some say Kony may be dead already, but the Government of Uganda will not stop fighting until the LRA has been entirely defeated and its leaders brought to justice.Kevin McPartlan works with Glenevin, an Irish risk and security consultancy which primarily works with governments and multinationals. He was in charge of the communications team that coordinated Uganda’s official response to the Kony2012 viral video. You can contact Kevin by email email@example.com or on Twitter @kevmcp.