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Trukai acknowledges organising partners

first_imgThe 2017 Trukai Fun Run will take place on Sunday, June 11, in Port Moresby and other centres around the country.“The Trukai Fun Run is the biggest sporting spectacle in the country with events running in towns and cities simultaneously. This is all possible thanks to our organising partners,” said Greg Worthington-Eyre.“I sincerely thank the wonderful organisations that have taken on this responsibility in our participating centres in 2017.“Without their help it would be an incredibly difficult, if not impossible, task to run an event of this size and scope.”With Trukai Industries the organising partner for Port Moresby, Buka and Arawa, their counterparts in other participating centres this year includes Lae Huon Rotary (Lae), Red Cross (Mt. Hagen), Goroka Rotary (Goroka), Kavieng Rotary (Kavieng), Bipada Ltd (Vanimo), Ramu Agri Industries Ltd (Ramu) and Higaturu Oil Palm (Popondetta).last_img read more

Compton, Aces not taking any chances with injured Abueva

first_img“Calvin is really injured and it wasn’t the tonsillitis,” said Compton. “Maybe if it was Game 7 we’d shoot some drugs into him and make him be able to play, but we couldn’t risk a complete tear.”Compton said Abueva could miss a few more games and their Philippine Cup Finals rematch against San Miguel on Dec. 3 could see  him sit on the bench.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad Ali“If he’s not ready for San Miguel I’m not gonna force him, he’s too important,” said Compton. “With Calvin we could win or lose against San Miguel, without Calvin we could win or lose against San Miguel.”Abueva has played in more than 50 games in three of his four seasons with his sophomore year being the exception when he played 42 and he hasn’t suffered any major injury that left him sidelined for long stretches. Compton: 28 turnovers, ‘stagnant’ offense led to Alaska loss vs NLEX Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine View comments Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes MOST READ “The Beast” averaged 15.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 24 minutes per game last season.“We’re talking about the most dynamic player in the league that completely changes the game and I can’t rip his muscle for a regular season game so while we need the win, especially after this loss, we gotta take care of him,” said Compton.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan PLAY LIST 01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH Calvin Abueva. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAlaska forward Calvin Abueva will be out indefinitely for the Aces after a torn quad left him sidelined in their season opener against NLEX Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Aces head coach Alex Compton said Abueva tore his quadriceps during the offseason, and it’s not just the tonsillitis that sidelined the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup Best Player of the Conference in their 99-97 overtime loss to NLEX on Friday.ADVERTISEMENT We are young EDITORS’ PICK PH among economies most vulnerable to virus 30 Filipinos from Wuhan quarantined in Capas Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908last_img read more

New dam set to spoil Sumatran wonderland (commentary)

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Animals, Birds, Commentary, Conservation, Dams, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Editorials, Environment, Forests, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Infrastructure, Mammals, Monkeys, Orangutans, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Researcher Perspective Series, Rivers, Roads, Threats To Rainforests, Tigers, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Amid the tropical rainforest in the Hadabuan Hills Ecosystem, where Siamang and Agile gibbons cry out and where Rhinoceros hornbills and Black hornbills growl and cackle above the forest canopy, survey work by a Korean hydroelectric company has just wrapped up, and construction is slated to begin in 2020 on a dam called Siborpa Hydroelectric Power Plant.The Hadabuan Hills isn’t a national park or a wildlife sanctuary; about half of it is considered a hutan desa, or village forest. It is essentially a cluster of steep mountains that were too difficult to cultivate quickly and easily, and were thus spared wholesale conversion to oil palm plantations due to the challenging topography.So far we have confirmed the presence of tigers, clouded leopards, marbled cats, golden cats, Malayan tapirs, sun bears, leaf monkeys, the fast-disappearing Sumatran Laughingthrush, and a plethora of other wildlife. If this place isn’t a national treasure, we don’t know what is. To see it badly scarred by a hydroelectric dam of questionable use and value would be deeply disturbing.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. The general public knows about the precarious situation of the world’s mostly recently identified great ape — the Tapanuli orangutan — within the Batang Toru Ecosystem. There, the construction of a Chinese-backed dam is underway, a questionable development scheme that is already sending orangutans fleeing out of the forest and into nearby farmlands. This is a highly distressing situation, made all the more so because this forest is also home to other species listed by the IUCN as Critically Endangered, such as the Sumatran tiger.But not many people know about another brand new dam going up in a relatively unknown forest ecosystem not far from Batang Toru — the Hadabuan Hills Ecosystem. There, amid the jungle walls of tropical rainforest, where Siamang and Agile gibbons cry out and where Rhinoceros hornbills and Black hornbills growl and cackle above the forest canopy, survey work by a Korean hydroelectric company has just wrapped up, and construction is slated to begin in 2020 on a dam called Siborpa Hydroelectric Power Plant. The dam is named after a beautiful waterfall by the same name — Siborpa — that it will destroy, as it will be built on the Bila River close to the waterfall. This seems like a particularly cruel twist, naming a killer after its victim.The Bila Waterfall plunging down into a pool beside the Bila River. Photo by Haray Sampurna Munthe.To the best of our knowledge, not a single Western scientist or tourist has ever glimpsed this waterfall, which roars off a narrow and jagged escarpment into the deep and swift Bila River, which flows southeast to the city of Rantau Prabat in North Sumatra province, where it then glides through palm oil plantations before emptying into the Strait of Malacca.The Hadabuan Hills isn’t a national park or a wildlife sanctuary; about half of it is considered a hutan desa, or village forest. It is essentially a cluster of steep mountains that were too difficult to cultivate quickly and easily, and were thus spared wholesale conversion to oil palm plantations due to the challenging topography. The PRCF Foundation, Habitat ID (headed by Gregory McCann), and the local grassroots organization Sumatran Tiger Rangers (headed by Haray Sampurna Munthe), have been carrying out camera trap reconnaissance surveys in the area, as well as occasional forest patrols, for the past three years. So far we have confirmed the presence of tigers, clouded leopards, marbled cats, golden cats, Malayan tapirs, sun bears, leaf monkeys, the fast-disappearing Sumatran Laughingthrush, and a plethora of other wildlife. If this place isn’t a national treasure, we don’t know what is.A Sumatran tiger inspects a camera trap. Photo courtesy of Gregory McCann.A critically endangered and endemic Sumatran laughingthrush making a rare trip to the forest floor. Photo courtesy of Gregory McCann.It may be a forgotten, leftover land of rare species, but that doesn’t mean that the Hadabuan Hills has fallen off the radar of local and international developers. Construction of the 114-megawatt Siborpa Dam will not only plug up this section of the Bila River and doom the gorgeous Siborpa waterfall, but a series of access roads will likely need to be punched through healthy forests, scattering tigers, tapirs, and hornbills just as the Batang Toru dam is sending the Tapanuli orangutans packing. In fact, a villager told us that a tiger recently strolled right into the tent camp of the Korean survey engineers, who ran for their lives. It’s a picturesque tale, but it is unlikely to repeat — or at least, to result in a similarly benign outcome — when the heavy construction equipment rolls in and sturdy workers’ barracks go up.Thirty or forty years ago, Batang Toru and Hadabuan Hills, which are about 70 kilometers apart, were connected by lowland forest, which is one of the reasons why we thought there might be some credence to villager reports that orangutans had been sighted in Hadabuan Hills in recent years. For our 2017 expedition, we brought in primatologist Julia Mӧrchen, a PhD candidate from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, to assess the possibility of an orangutan presence. She found that the high fruit abundance and diversity found in all elevations (more than 93 fruits and flowers documented, from a range of 300 to 2,000 meters above sea level), as well as the abundant presence of at least five different primates species, distinguish the area and fulfill the criteria of being a good habitat for orangutans.Although we gathered several independent reports of local villagers sighting orangutans and their nests or hearing the “longcalls” of males in different locations around Hadabuan Hills, the short time period of the expedition didn’t allow us to gather direct evidence of the great ape’s presence. Therefore it becomes clear that we need an orangutan-specific second expedition with a different strategic approach of spending more time in the area with a much smaller number of people, which would allow us to survey the area specifically and in more detail.Most likely orangutans were present in Hadabuan Hills decades ago — the question is whether or not a relic population persists or even just some individuals remain. According to Julia Mörchen, these individuals will most likely belong to the newly recognized species of the Tapanuli orangutan, Pongo tapanuliensis. However, due to the high elevation, the population density would probably be very low. But, orangutans or not, the Hadabuan Hills is a biological gem that deserves full protection from the dams, palm oil plantations, and poachers that now threaten it.This is a place where magic-eyed tigers entice monkeys and gibbons to fall from trees through hypnotism, and so well-known is this “magic” to the primate community that gibbons and monkeys have reportedly taken to sleeping on branches that overhang rivers so that if they fall during the night — nudged off a branch from down below by the tiger’s powerful pupils — they’ll have at least a fighting chance at survival in the swift-moving rivers. Anecdotal reports also describe tigers stealing recently gutted fish from evening campsites where fishermen were just an arm’s length away, with the big cats either partially submerged in the river or crouching low in the gloom of the nearby foliage; some tigers, so the stories go, unwilling to creep too close to camp, will swat the ground several times in succession with their mighty paws, demanding a tasty river fish from the human intruders, until those intruders toss a few to harimau, King of the jungle.And it is not just wildlife, rivers, and jungles that are of interest in this little-known ecosystem. Rock carvings, of possibly ancient, pre-Islamic origin, have been found chiseled into a limestone cliff beside the Bila River. Rock carvings are pretty much impossible to date, so the images have to be compared stylistically to other similar carvings from the region. Rock carvings of insects and hornbills(?) are somewhat unusual, and probably better pondered by professional archaeologists. It is possible that more carvings will be found, while a couple thousand feet above the river, in the village of Lobu Tayas, large stone carvings of what are apparently ancient kings or gods have been found and are looked after by villagers. The Hadabuan Hills is therefore a natural and cultural treasure for Indonesia.Curious rock carvings depicting an insect and possibly hornbills on the Bila River. Photo by Haray Sam Munthe.Purportedly ancient rock carvings in Lobu Tayas Village depicting an ancient king or god. Photo by Haray Sampurna Munthe.We called it a “leftover land,” but the Hadabuan Hills has got to be one of the prettiest places in Sumatra, and that’s saying something. To see it badly scarred by a hydroelectric dam of questionable use and value would be deeply disturbing. We have seen what dams do in the tropics: it is like some kind of famine has ravaged the biodiversity, leaving behind a dead, broken, and drowned ecosystem. This cannot be allowed to happen to yet another biodiversity hotspot in Indonesia.Is there any hope? Any plan? We would like to install several camera traps in and around the dam construction site to show the government that nationally protected species such as tigers and tapirs reside in this area, in order to get them to reconsider this project. We have started a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for it.Big business almost always wins in situations like this; maybe the tigers can work some of their magic for us and stop the Siborpa Dam.The Bila River near Lobu Tayas. Photo by Gregory McCann.Gregory McCann is the Project Coordinator for the NGO Habitat ID and the author of Called Away by a Mountain Spirit: Journeys to the Green Corridor.Haray Sampurna Munthe is the founder of Sumatran Tiger Rangers.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Article published by Mike Gaworeckilast_img read more

Team is important, not individual merit – Holder

first_img Attitude factor “If we can get that attitude going throughout the team, the team would definitely be headed in the right direction.” Holder missed the ill-fated tour of Bangladesh with a shoulder injury as the Caribbean side suffered a devastating 2-0 whitewash. He underwent successful rehabilitation and recently turned out for Barbados Pride in their third-round match of the Regional first-class championship against leaders Guyana Jaguars. He managed only a single wicket and sent down 17 overs in Jaguars’ massive first-innings total of 548, and did not bowl in the second innings with the visitors requiring only 45 runs to win. Holder said his recovery had gone well and that while he was not yet back to 100 per cent, he would be in match condition in time for the opening Test starting January 23 at the Oval. “I felt the rehab went pretty well. I had four solid weeks in England doing some rehab, and I’ve just got back into playing cricket,” he said. “I’m still probably not a hundred per cent but hopefully come [the first Test], I’ll be there or thereabouts.” He continued: “I felt the body held up pretty well. I have to keep building and keep the strengthening going and obviously keep my body active as much as possible. “It’s been a long time away, so you expect some stiffness and soreness after not playing for quite some time, so it’s just a matter of negotiating that and keep pressing forward.” BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC): Captain Jason Holder says he is already eyeing another successful year in international cricket but also wants to see the Windies excel, starting with the upcoming series against powerful England. The Barbadian all-rounder was one of the leading bowlers in Tests for 2018, snaring 33 wickets at 11.87 – the best average by any bowler in a calendar year in 100 years. He now lies 10th in the ICC bowling rankings and second in the all-rounders rankings but Holder said that whatever his achievements, they needed to help drive Windies’ overall success. “Obviously my goal is to be the number one all-rounder but there is a bigger picture in front of me and that’s for us to lift this [Wisden] Trophy,” Holder told reporters here. “We’ve had individual brilliance within the last two years so it’s a matter for us to put it together. I would feel a lot better for us to put it together as a side than for me to continue (in my personal goals). “I’ll do whatever it takes to compete and get the job done for the team, whether it is scoring a hundred or taking seven or eight wickets. I’m willing to put up my hands for the sake of the team.last_img read more

‘Nothing Too Good for Liberia’

first_imgVice President Joseph N. Boakai was visibly impressed at the launching of Cellcom’s latest venture, the long-awaited 4G+LTE network, heralding the company as “always the number one, as far as I am concerned,” and attributing this to many commitments the company has lived up to.The last speaker at the program, his remarks were brief, non-political and full of wisdom. He said he had three things to say. “First,” he told the audience, “Cellcom has told us that nothing is too good for Liberia; and the second thing is that all of us must learn to give Liberia our best.I sometimes wonder why it takes people from outside to give us what is best for us… It is our obligation to give our people the best.” Third, he said, “Confidence in the government: I think all of us should develop that confidence to invest quality in the country.”Cellcom presented a very colorful ceremony at the Monrovia City Hall to launch its new, groundbreaking 4G+LTE network.At the occasion, which brought together several hundred guests from government, business, diplomatic and other sectors, the chairperson of the Board of Commissioners at the Liberia Telecommunications Authority, Madam Angelique E. Weeks commended Cellcom for their many valuable services in Liberia’s telecommunication sector.Mme. Weeks said that Cellcom has made a difference by making the average Liberian to have access to communication services at very affordable costs. The LTA boss said while Cellcom has a success story as a GSM company in Liberia, its history could not have been written if its numerous consumers were not supportive of its progress.Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Dr. Federick B. Norkeh recalled that the telecommunication service monopoly was ended by Cellcom in 2004 when the company entered Liberia. “Since then,” he said, “Cellcom has made and continues to make many sacrifices to improve the communication system in the country by bringing in more advanced technological elements such as the 4G+ LTE.”Minister Norkeh said Liberians should move along with the technology as it waits for no man because technology brings employment opportunities and empowers a generation.He called on Liberians to use the opportunity provided by Cellcom and admonished other GSM companies to emulate Cellcom’s example.Cellcom GSM’s Chief Executive Officer, Avishai Marziano, assured Liberians of Cellcom’s commitment to provide affordable products.“This new era forces us at Cellcom to constantly keep pushing forward towards new frontiers with our products and services. We pride ourselves in the ability that we have always had to connect between people, the digital world and real life,” he said.He added, “I am excited about breaking grounds in Liberia again and evolving from a cellular company to a digital communication company and proud to officially launch for the first time ever in Liberia, the next generation of high speed internet…the new 4G+ LTE.”This launch, he said is as a result of a journey embarked on four years ago to develop the best network in the country and strive towards digital inclusion by empowering the internet generation. “We are not only investing in building a network, we are also, and most especially, investing in the Liberian people. We are investing in the future of the youth in Liberia by providing top-of-the-line technology, which will improve education, health care, business, and tourism,” he said.“I am proud to announce that Cellcom is currently the only operator that has an LTE license in Liberia,” Marziano said.“We are set to roll out the 4G+ LTE services in Montserrado County, for a start, before scaling up in other areas outside of the county in the coming months. “The LTE Advanced network will offer peak speeds of up to 155 Mbps, which is 10 times more than the speed offered on our previous technology platform. In effect, we are talking about a network that enables you to download a full movie in high definition in seconds. “4G+ LTE, otherwise known as long term evolution, is the most advanced version of the 4G system for mobile networks. This technology promises to bring significant improvements in data speed and latency to our customers while also contributing to the socio-economic development of the country. “With 4G+ LTE, we will deliver cutting-edge services like tele-medicine, e-banking, virtualization or real-time video streaming that will have an immediate and transformational impact on this society. Our customers will be able to download and upload files faster, as well as, enjoy online-TV and buffer free streaming of audio and video files,” Marziano said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

TB case riddled with ironies

first_imgSpeaker said in a newspaper interview that he knew he had TB when he flew from Atlanta to Europe in mid-May for his wedding and honeymoon, but that he did not find out until he was already in Rome that it was an extensively drug-resistant strain considered especially dangerous. Despite warnings from federal health officials not to board another long flight, he flew home for treatment, fearing he wouldn’t survive if he didn’t reach the U.S., he said. He said he tried to sneak home by way of Canada instead of flying directly into the U.S. He was quarantined May 25, a day after he was allowed to pass through the border crossing at Champlain, N.Y., along the Canadian border. The inspector ran Speaker’s passport through a computer, and a warning – including instructions to hold the traveler, don a protective mask in dealing with him, and telephone health authorities – popped up, officials said. About a minute later, Speaker was instead cleared to continue on his journey, according to officials familiar with the records. The Homeland Security Department is investigating. The border officer “who questioned that person is at present performing administrative duties,” said Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke, adding that the officer is not checking people at the land border crossing. Colleen Kelley, president of the union that represents customs and border agents, declined to comment on the specifics of the case, but said “public health issues were not receiving adequate attention and training” within the agency. Early stages On Thursday, a tan and healthy-looking Speaker was flown from Atlanta to Denver, accompanied by his wife and federal marshals, to Denver’s National Jewish Medical and Research Center, where doctors planned to isolate him and treat him with oral and intravenous antibiotics. Dr. Charles Daley, chief of the hospital’s infectious-disease division, said he is optimistic Speaker can be cured because he is believed to be in the early stages of the disease. Dr. Gwen Huitt of National Jewish described Speaker as “a young, healthy individual” who is “doing extremely well.” “By conventional methods that we traditionally use in the public health arena … he would be considered low infectivity at this point in time,” she said. “He is not coughing, he is healthy, he does not have a fever.” Doctors hope also to determine where he contracted the disease, which has been found around the world and exists in pockets in Russia and Asia. Speaker’s tuberculosis was discovered when he had a chest X-ray in January for a rib injury, Huitt said. His care – which could also include surgery – could cost between $250,000 to $350,000, she said. The air ambulance flight and other costs of transporting him from Atlanta to Denver on Thursday morning totaled another $12,000, said a spokeswoman for Kaiser Permanente, Speaker’s health insurer, which paid the bill. He will be kept in a special unit with a ventilation system to prevent the escape of germs. “He may not leave that room much for several weeks,” hospital spokesman William Allstetter said. Speaker’s father-in-law has worked at the CDC for 32 years and is in the Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, where he works with TB and other organisms. He has co-authored papers on diabetes, TB and other infectious diseases. “Fatherly advice” “As part of my job, I am regularly tested for TB. I do not have TB, nor have I ever had TB,” he said in a statement. “My son-in-law’s TB did not originate from myself or the CDC’s labs, which operate under the highest levels of biosecurity.” In a brief telephone interview with the AP, Cooksey said that he gave Speaker “fatherly advice” when he learned the young man had contracted the disease. “I’m hoping and praying that he’s getting the proper treatment, that my daughter is holding up mentally and physically,” Cooksey said. “Had I known that my daughter was in any risk, I would not allow her to travel.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Under quarantine Cooksey would not comment on whether he reported his son-in-law to federal health authorities. Nor did the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain how the case came to their attention. However, Cooksey said that neither he nor his CDC laboratory was the source of his son-in-law’s TB. Speaker is now under quarantine at a hospital in Denver. He is the first infected person to be quarantined by the U.S. government since 1963. The disclosure that the patient is a lawyer – and specifically a personal injury lawyer – outraged many people on the Internet and elsewhere. Some travelers who flew on the same planes with Speaker angrily accused him of selfishly putting hundreds of people’s lives in danger. “It’s still very scary,” 21-year-old Laney Wiggins, one of more than two dozen University of South Carolina-Aiken students who are getting skin tests for TB. “That is an outrageous number of people that he was very reckless with their health. It’s not fair. It’s selfish.” ATLANTA – A globe-trotting Atlanta lawyer with a dangerous strain of tuberculosis was allowed back into the U.S. by a border inspector who disregarded a computer warning to stop him and don protective gear, officials said Thursday. The inspector has been removed from border duty. The unidentified inspector explained that he was no doctor but that the infected man seemed perfectly healthy and that he thought the warning was merely “discretionary,” officials briefed on the case told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter is still under investigation. The patient was identified as Andrew Speaker, a 31-year-old personal injury lawyer who returned last week from his wedding and honeymoon trip through Italy, the Greek isles and other spots in Europe. His new father-in-law, Robert C. Cooksey, is a CDC microbiologist whose specialty is TB and other bacteria. last_img read more

What if activists were wrong about LAPD?

first_imgLast week on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood, two LAPD officers chased a theft suspect before tackling and wrestling him to the ground. When dust settled, crime-scene tape cordoned the area as detectives scoured for evidence. Their investigation was unrelated to the theft. The alleged thief wasn’t even the suspect. Rather, their focus was Officer Ivana Gallegos, who, for all intents and purposes, is the suspect in an assault. The possible crime: During the struggle, Gallegos’ radio struck the suspect’s head. Accidentally. Why did this innocuous incident require such fanfare? Why was this cop treated like a criminal? Short answer: The federal consent decree. In the late 1990s, rogue Rampart Division CRASH officers provided the Los Angeles Police Department’s legion of critics with ammunition to get the Clinton administration Justice Department to place their vaunted enemy under the oversight of a federal court. In certain circles, it is gospel truth that the LAPD is racist, brutal and corrupt. The consent decree was their panacea for the “The Gang in Blue,” as the American Civil Liberties Union once labeled the department in full-page ads. News reports of the day show that many predictions were made about the decree’s benefits, but few were quantifiable. The only concrete promise was that the decree would provide definitive proof of LAPD racial profiling. The message in the undercurrent was unmistakable: Things will change — fewer shootings and uses of force. Fewer public complaints, more complaints sustained, and none swept under the rug. More officers prosecuted for “bad” shootings like that of Margaret Mitchell (a mentally ill transient shot to death in 1999 after brandishing a screwdriver). So federal Judge Gary Feess decreed — at the city’s acquiescence — that L.A.’s Finest must fill out reams of paperwork. Feess incorporated the anti-cop activists’ recommendations in dictating policies that bring every action by every cop under a bureaucratic microscope. However, when viewed in the context of statistics, this remarkable scrutiny seems to reveal something the activists never expected. All complaints against officers are now thoroughly investigated and subject to triple audits — by the LAPD Audit Bureau, the inspector general and the consent decree monitor. The complaint’s plausibility is disregarded. Just ask the cop who was investigated for stealing a woman’s ovaries. Serious uses of force are double-investigated — one administrative investigation and one criminal one, functionally making an officer a suspect in an assault — just like Officer Gallegos. And each of those investigations gets the same triple audit, thus producing eight potential reviews per incident. In short, after six years, if the LAPD was at all brutal and corrupt, shootings should be down, use of force down, complaints down, sustained complaints up and more officers prosecuted. But the numbers show something quite different. In the three years before the consent decree — when the LAPD was allegedly at its worst — the department averaged 40.6 shootings (excluding accidents and animals) per year. Under the decree, that average has risen to 46.8 — an increase of 15 percent. That figure hit 56 — twice. Remarkably, only once has the single-year OIS total been lower than the highest of the pre-decree period. In terms of shootings per thousand arrests, the comparison is magnified, reaching 70 percent higher than the pre-decree average. Even with the police’s leading critic, John Mack, in the catbird’s seat — the presidency of the Board of Police Commissioners — the BOPC has ruled just four shootings out-of-policy in two years, all involving officers in stressful situations. In two cases, no one was hit, and in one — the Devon Brown case (a 13-year-old joyriding suspect shot to death by an officer in February 2005) — Mack made his conclusions known before even joining the commission. If the LAPD’s top critic finds only a handful of this increasing number of shootings to be factually improper, exactly how bad was the situation? The activists can’t complain that these incidents are poorly investigated — their hand-picked second-guessers scrutinize investigations they set up. Yet no officer has been prosecuted for an on-duty shooting since Rampart. By contrast, two officers were prosecuted for shootings between 1993 and 2001, both with the old system, and Rampart corruption leaders Nino Durden and Rafael Perez were also convicted based on LAPD investigations. As for racial profiling, the statistics are foggy — to the activists, anyway. The numbers show people of certain races are stopped more often in certain neighborhoods. But they revealed no evidence of illegal or unethical conduct. So, the BOPC demanded another survey. When that report proved nothing, it launched a third inquiry. While the commission is clearly determined to prove its preconceived conclusion, the fact remains that the lone detailed promise of the consent decree remains unfulfilled. The statistics for complaints against officers are equally at odds with the activists’ premise. While complaints have increased 25 percent, the rate at which officers are found guilty has dropped to 50 percent of the pre-decree level. Keep in mind, complaints now receive far more investigation and scrutiny than in prior years. The bulk of sustained complaints are generated by the LAPD itself for things like preventable traffic collisions. For citizen complaints, the triple-audited investigations sustain less than seven of every 100 allegations. Before the decree, more than 15 percent were found true. So much for a department that couldn’t investigate itself. About the only statistic that appears to have tracked as the activists indicated is use of force. On a per-100-arrests basis, serious use of force is down about 20 percent. However, serious use of force (“categorical use of force,” in LAPD parlance) has remained consistently between 80 and 100 incidents per year. This year, there have already been more than 70 CUOF incidents. Notably, the LAPD couldn’t provide pre-decree figures for comparison. Ironically, one cause of these trends may be the consent decree itself. Cops are fleeing in record numbers. At the LAPD’s last Medal of Valor ceremony, nearly a quarter of the recipients wore uniforms of their new departments. Fully 60 percent of LAPD officers now have less than five years on the force. Notably, officers who leave the LAPD before five years must refund their academy costs, so 60 percent of officers are financially handcuffed to the department. As a result, inexperienced cops with unseasoned supervision are using more deadly force and getting more complaints, but the force is deemed acceptable and the complaints are increasingly bogus. So much for promises. However the numbers play out, this evidence of activist puffery should be of little surprise when compared to the statistics of the Rampart scandal itself. Though 86 Rampart-related officers were sent through the LAPD disciplinary system, two-thirds were deemed innocent of all charges. Just seven were fired. Of the nine cops criminally prosecuted, only five were found guilty. Perhaps most telling, while the city paid $70 million to people who were wrongly prosecuted, according to Rafael Perez, it also lost a $15 million jury verdict to four of the accused Rampart cops who sued because they felt persecuted To the activists, these facts are, quite literally, footnotes in the story — that’s where activist attorney Connie Rice buried the $15 million payout in her most recent report, “Rampart Reconsidered,” a seminal tome for the anti-cop crowd. And perhaps reconsideration is exactly what’s needed. While Ivana Gallegos reconsiders her decision to tussle with a theft suspect, perhaps fair-minded Angelenos should reconsider the Rampart scandal. Here’s a question to start: What if everything the activists said was a lie?— Robert C. J. Parry is an independent observer of politics and media in Los Angeles. Write to him at rcjparry@gmail.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! 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Watford sign Tottenham midfielder for club record fee

first_imgWatford have completed the signing of Tottenham midfielder Etienne Capoue.The France star will move to Vicarage Road for a club record fee, and has agreed a four-year deal at the Hertfordshire side.The international has featured seven times for his country, scoring once, in a 3-1 victory over Belarus during qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.Capoue arrived at Tottenham from French club Toulouse in 2013, but has failed to impress at White Hart Lane, and links up with Quique Sanchez Flores’ side. 1 Former Tottenham midfielder Etienne Capoue last_img read more

Calabasas council leading the way to mannerly society

first_img This idea of public harm could certainly apply to some motoring behavior – most notably, driving below the speed limit in the fast lane. There’s a special hell for people who pull onto the freeway, veer instantly over to the fast lane, set up the cruise control at 60 m.p.h. and crank up the cell-phone call-a-thon. Not only does such an obstruction in the fast lane disrupt the flow of traffic, thus affecting the commutes of thousands of people, but such selfish lane hogging also might easily spark a deadly act in these days when tempers flare so easily into road rage. Then there’s the very real, very ugly issue of UGG boots worn with shorts. OK, perhaps this isn’t technically hazardous to anyone’s health, but it is just so aesthetically wrong. Maybe once this smoking ban takes hold, the Calabasas City Council will take up these other social ills. Certainly, I have lost hope that Los Angeles would ever consider adopting – let alone enforcing – laws that make the city a healthier place in which to live. Even littering seems to be socially acceptable now; just consider the state of the Los Angeles River. Meanwhile, the Calabasas City Council is set for the final reading on the smoking ban ordinance on Feb. 1. At that point the final details of the law, such as the definition of a “public place,” will be decided. Anyone with a strong opinion on the subject, or about UGG boot fashion, might want to attend. Mariel Garza mariel.garza@dailynews.com160Want 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 MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Smokers, who have seen their right to light up reduced to such a narrow list of places as empty parking lots, dark alleys outside of bars and inside their own homes and cars, might feel a little picked upon by these further limits. But those who have asked that smokers extinguish their butts only to receive sneers and lewd gestures will certainly applaud the move. Whatever your take on this particular piece of legislation, the Calabasas City Council has a point. Cigarette smoke is known to harm people who breathe it. If you choose to do so, cool. But if it’s forced upon you, that’s not so cool. That makes this no different from kicking excessively smoggy automobiles off the road or from fining companies that emit too much carcinogenic material in the air. Besides, consider the fun to be had by broadly applying such a law to other annoying, if not to say injurious, public behavior. For example, if exposure to cigarette smoke is harmful to one’s physical health, surely exposure to loud one-sided cell phone conversations could be hazardous to one’s mental health. Like the noxious fumes of a Marlboro Light, the details of one’s visit to a proctologist can do serious psychic damage if let loose in public. Of course, cell phones are a fact of life. But with a little common courtesy enforced with the power of citation, we should be able to limit unwitting exposure of the worst kinds of cell phone abuse. Los Angeles’ upscale municipal neighbor in the Valley, Calabasas, is taking a tough stand for clean air by outlawing smoking in public places, including the great outdoors. Starting soon, if someone can see you puffing without the aid of binoculars, it’s probably a crime. But not a huge one. Before you vote to give Calabasas a new motto – “City of healthy living – whether you like it or not” – consider Mayor Barry Groveman’s explanation that the ordinance is not meant to be punitive. “There are not going to be any Smoking Police,” Groveman said. “This is really designed to make it acceptable for somebody to ask someone else to put out a cigarette.” And when one does screw up the courage to address that hard-looking knot of smokers outside Starbucks to stop polluting the air, the power of the city attorney will be behind the request. last_img read more

Annual push of new laws is wasteful work

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los AngelesOutgoing Assemblyman Keith Richman, a San Fernando Valley Republican, sent out a satirical “test” bill to protect Pluto’s status as a planet. Richman couldn’t get the Legislature to reform its “safe seats” gerrymandering scam, but he quickly got 53 co-authors eager to protect Pluto as a planet. What a fiasco.One of the most mindless laws approved was Assembly Bill 2108, by Sonoma County Democrat Noreen Evans. It requires parents to stick kids in backseat booster seats until they turn age 8 or reach a specified height.This onerous law will save between zero and seven lives annually in California.Is that a typo?Is it possible that our full-time “professional” Legislature approved a law forcing parents to spend tens of millions of dollars and preventing them from visiting with their bigger kids in the front seat, all to save fewer than 10 lives a year?That would be insane. Welcome to the nuthouse.I cannot exaggerate the turmoil this silly bill will create. Booster seats cost about $20 to $90, and the U.S. Census says California has roughly 1 million 6- and 7-year-olds, the group hit by AB 2108. LIKE demons pushing more than 1,000 mostly unneeded or Orwellian new laws, California legislators barely had time for the other dark activity each August: back-to-back fundraising events as they rushed hundreds of bad laws onto Arnold’s desk.Even as legislators approved hundreds of these awful special-interest laws, such as my “favorite” that forces parents to strap older children into safety seats, they were taking scads of special-interest money over cocktails.The scrappy Capitol Weekly reported that during a seven-day period, officeholders got more than 700 campaign donations bigger than $1,000, working out to “about a donation every 15 minutes.”Have you ever seen that scum that floats back and forth during a change in the tides? That’s what goes on in Sacramento each August: Money and laws swirl in an endless dance. By my estimate, in the first year alone, parents will get slammed with $2 million to $10 million. Parents who try to economize using boosters from the attic will find that many are too small.Worse, about 500,000 of California’s under-8 children are from big families. Where do parents put four under-8 kids if none can sit up front in the Camry? Big families — largely Latino, by the way — will be forced to buy huge vehicles.Yet in my Google searching, I could not find a single media outlet in California that bothered to report that AB 2108 will save fewer than seven lives annually.In April, a National Transportation Safety Board expert testified in Sacramento that, “From 1995 through 2004, 145 children age 6 and 7 were killed (in car crashes) in California; 84 percent were unrestrained or improperly restrained in adult seat belts.”Translation: If we didn’t cleverly lump these rare deaths in with deaths of kids who aren’t even wearing a belt, you’d see they are doubly rare.Evans’ aide, Jazmin Rodriguez, conceded to me that Evans’ office has no idea how many 6- and 7-year-olds died because they used adult belts. Previously, Evans cited vague data that kids are “59 percent less likely to be injured” using boosters.Said Rodriguez: “I can’t guarantee we can distinguish between (deaths from) no restraints and (deaths from) adult belts.”Translation: They’re contemplating an onerous shift in the way California families transport their kids and don’t know why.National Transportation Safety Board staffer Danielle E. Roeber told me that of these rare 145 deaths between 1995 and 2004, 63 children wore adult belts. About the same number weren’t restrained at all.Got it. Now, of these 63 kids, how many would have died in a booster seat as well? Roeber explains: “I can’t tell you that…. We have no idea how many would be killed with a booster” seat versus an adult belt.Good grief. Think of the lives we could save if the millions of dollars wasted under AB 2108 were spent on something semi-intelligent.You can bet that the mostly Democratic legislators who voted for this dog of a bill have hands outstretched now for donations from medical, legal, consumer and other groups who love a Nanny State.Yet it’s not just Evans and her ilk. Hundreds of idiotic laws sit on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk, with little real attention by the media.How do we stop this endless dance? No campaign reform known to man will ever make a dent. Maybe the day the Legislature orders all adult passengers to ride in the back seat (after they ban smoking in your own car), the public will take back its government. Then again, maybe not.Jill Stewart is a print, radio and television commentator on California politics. Contact her via her Web site, www.jillstewart.net.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