Lone judo athlete Ovinou qualifies for his second Olympic Games

first_imgHe first stepped onto the Olympic mat as  the first Papua New Guinean Judo athlete in the 2012 London Olympics and three years later, he is on another Olympic voyage, this time for Rio de Janeiro sadly this will also be his last for Team PNG.Currently ranked 122 in the world and competing in the 66kg division, Ovinou will be Team PNG’s lone Judo representative to Rio.He is currently in PNG on break and will head back to Japan next week for more intensive training until the lead up to the South American qualifier-Panama Open in Argentina in March which will see him through to Rio.Ovinou told the media yesterday evening during the Rio Olympic 100 Day launch at Ela Beach Hotel that training in Japan was tough for him but he stands tall and  proud to represent PNG in a sport that is rare to Papua New Guineans and encourage other young people to master Judo and carry on the legacy of the sport.Ovinou also thanked his family, friends, relatives and of course the Olympic Committee for their continued support to see him through and urged Papua New Guineans for their support on game day.last_img read more

Manager Pardew leaves rock-bottom West Brom

first_imgAlan Pardew became the second manager to leave bottom-of-the-table West Bromwich Albion this season when he departed on Monday after four months in charge at the English Premier League club.West Brom, beaten 2-1 at home by Burnley on Saturday, have lost their last eight league matches, leaving them seven points adrift at the bottom of the table and 10 short of safety with six matches to play.Pardew, appointed at the end of November with West Brom two points above the bottom three, was in charge for 21 matches in all competitions, managing three wins with only one of those in the league.“West Bromwich Albion and Alan Pardew have agreed to mutually part company following discussions between both parties,” the club said on their website, adding that assistant head coach John Carver would also be leaving.“The club would like to thank Alan and John for their efforts and wish them well in their future endeavours.”First-team coach Darren Moore will take over until further notice.Pardew, former manager of Reading, Charlton Athletic, West Ham United, Southampton, Newcastle United and Crystal Palace, replaced Tony Pulis after he was sacked.The 56-year-old, an FA Cup runner-up with West Ham in 2006 and Crystal Palace 10 years later, was the tenth managerial casualty of the Premier League season.West Brom, owned by Chinese investment group Yunyi Guokai (Shanghai) Sports Development Ltd, have had a turbulent season and also sacked chairman John Williams and chief executive Martin Goodman in February.Mark Jenkins became the club’s new chief executive, taking back the role he held until 2016.Also in February, West Brom players Jonny Evans, Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore and Boaz Myhill apologised in a club statement after being questioned by police over the theft of a taxi in Barcelona, where the team were holding a warm-weather training camp.Pardew said they had broken a team curfew and he felt let down.last_img read more

Malaysia’s last Sumatran rhino dies, leaving Indonesia as the final refuge

first_imgIman, the last Sumatran rhino left in Malaysia, died over the weekend after a long battle with uterine tumors.Her death has sparked an outpouring of grief among wildlife conservationists, as it meant the species is now fully extinct in Malaysia, after being declared extinct in the wild in 2015.Named after a river near where she was captured in 2014 for a captive-breeding program, Iman was believed to be 25 years old when she died.The fate of this critically endangered species now lies with a tiny population of no more than 80 individuals in Indonesia, where captive breeding has yielded some success in recent years. The Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is now extinct in Malaysia following the death of its last captive individual, Iman, over the weekend. The fate of this critically endangered species now rests with a tiny population in Indonesia.Iman, a female rhino, died on the late afternoon of Nov. 23 at a captive facility in the Malaysian Bornean state of Sabah, according to the local wildlife department.“Its death was a natural one, and the immediate cause has been categorised as shock,” said Christina Liew, the state environment minister, said as quoted by local media.“Iman was given the very best care and attention ever since her capture in March 2014 right up to the moment she passed. No one could have done more,” Liew added.Iman, the last female Sumatran rhino in Malaysia. Image courtesy of the Borneo Rhino Alliance (BORA).In her last few days, Iman’s health had deteriorated, according to news reports. She had been battling massive blood loss from a ruptured uterine tumor over the past couple of years, a condition that almost killed her on previous occasions.“But we knew that she was starting to suffer significant pain from the growing pressure of the tumors into the bladder,” Augustine Tuuga, the director of the Sabah Wildlife Department, said as quoted by local media.Iman was believed to be 25 years old when she died. She was named after a river near where she was discovered and captured in Sabah’s Danuw Valley for a captive-breeding program.“You are the 5th Sumatran rhino the world has lost in the past 5 years, and the very last rhino in Malaysia,” the Borneo Rhino Alliance (BORA), a wildlife conservation group deeply involved with Malaysian authorities in caring for the captive rhinos in Sabah, said in a statement. “You were also the sweetest soul, who brought so much joy and hope to all of us.“We are in so much pain right now, but we are thankful that you are no longer in pain,” it added. “May we be as strong as you in our urgent fight to save your species. May we be as courageous as you to never give up.”As they did with the previous captive rhinos in Malaysia, all of which died of illness without ever managing to breed in captivity, conservationists have stored cell cultures from Iman. They hope that, when the technology is in place, these cells can be turned into viable embryos and transplanted into a surrogate rhino. They also plan to preserve Iman’s body for exhibition at Sabah Museum, according to the state’s wildlife department.Iman was the last Sumatran rhino in Malaysia. Image courtesy of the Borneo Rhino Alliance (BORA).Conservations had previously attempted to produce rhinos from Iman and Tam, the last male rhino in Malaysia, who died earlier this year from old age. These attempts included natural breeding and assisted reproduction technology. But Iman’s uterine tumor, which was first detected when she was captured, prevented conception. Last month, experts attempted in vitro fertilization of eggs harvested from Iman with Tam’s sperm, but the experiment failed to result in an embryo.“There is limited knowledge about Sumatran rhino reproductive physiology and converting cells in a laboratory into viable embryos is complex,” Susie Ellis, the executive director of the International Rhino Foundation, said in a statement. “Still, there is hope for the survival of Sumatran rhinos.”Conservationists in Malaysia had also hoped to try fertilizing Iman’s eggs with sperm from rhinos held at a captive-breeding site in Indonesia’s Sumatra. And although both countries have in principle agreed to a mutual bilateral partnership — a prospect that Indonesia had ignored for years — no joint breeding programs have yet to materialize.Indonesia insists that the best option is for Malaysia to send over egg cells for the IVF attempt, and if successful, the embryo can be transplanted into a surrogate rhino in Sumatra.Liew said Sabah would continue to pursue the partnership with Indonesia despite Iman’s death, as it could include collaborations in management of female Sumatran rhinos with reproductive pathology, safe harvesting of gametes from living rhinos, and cell culture.Mongabay’s reached out to Indonesia’s environment ministry for comment on Iman’s death and the future of the partnership with Malaysia. The ministry did not respond by the time this article was published.Iman’s death means there are now no more Sumatran rhinos in Malaysia — either in captivity or in the wild. The country declared in 2015 that the species was extinct in the wild, with only the captive population remaining. Between 1987 and 2014, Malaysia had captured over a dozen wild rhinos.“The passing of Iman, Malaysia’s last known Sumatran rhino, marks a tragic development for this species,” Jon Paul Rodriguez, chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, said in a statement.“Iman’s death underscores the urgency of the global community’s efforts to save the Sumatran rhino from extinction and we are committed to continuing our work to support the government of Indonesia’s Emergency Action Plan to save this species,” he added.Indonesia developed the plan in 2017 to capture rhinos and corral them into large, semi-natural breeding and research facilities, modeled on the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) in Way Kambas National Park, in Sumatra’s Lampung province. The action plan also calls for breeding programs between captive rhinos. Two rhino calves have been born at Way Kambas, both conceived by natural means. Indonesian conservationists also hope to try an IVF attempt using eggs harvested from a lone female at a second SRS facility in Indonesian Borneo. They plan to fertilize it with sperm from one of the males at the Sumatran facility, in a bid to boost the species’ gene pool.A tumor in Iman’s uterus ruptured in 2017. Scientists didn’t believe she could carry a baby to term, but her eggs can still be utilized. Image courtesy of Sabah Wildlife Department.The critically endangered species was decimated by poaching and habitat loss in the past, but today observers say the small and fragmented nature of their populations, and a correspondingly low birthrate, is the biggest threat to their survival. Few of the remaining populations left in the wild are believed to be large enough to support natural reproduction, and isolated individuals have been found to be prone to developing reproductive pathologies like the uterine tumors suffered by Iman.With no more than 80 Sumatran rhinos left on the planet, the species’ last hope lies in Indonesia. The country has eight individuals in captivity: seven in Sumatra, including the two captive-born calves, and one in Borneo.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. Article published by Basten Gokkon 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 overSponsoredcenter_img Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Politics, Featured, Governance, Mammals, Rainforests, Rhinos, Sumatran Rhino, Wildlife last_img read more

Madagascar launches massive planting drive, eyes 60 million trees

first_imgAfforestation, charcoal, Conservation, Reforestation, Seed Dispersal, Trees Article published by malavikavyawahare 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 overSponsoredcenter_img Madagascar launched a national drive on Jan. 19 that aims to plant 60 million trees in the coming months to mark 60 years of independence, and in the hope of restoring the island’s forests.Madagascar, the oldest island in the world and the fourth-largest, is home to an astounding range of plant and animal life.Between 2001 and 2018, it lost about one-fifth of its tree cover, according to Global Forest Watch, driven primarily by the expansion of shifting agriculture.Experts say the real challenge for the campaign is in safeguarding the young trees by weaning the Malagasy people away from unsustainable agricultural practices and reducing their dependence on wood for charcoal. Madagascar has embarked on its most ambitious tree-planting drive yet, aiming to plant 60 million trees in the coming months. The island nation celebrates 60 years of independence this year, and the start of the planting campaign on Jan. 19 marked one year since the inauguration of President Andry Rajoelina, who has promised to restore Madagascar’s lost forests.“The government has the challenge of making Madagascar a green island again. I encourage the people to protect the environment and reforest for the benefit of the future generations,” Rajoelina told the hundreds of people who attended the launch in Ankazobe district, 100 kilometers (60 miles) northwest of the capital, Antananarivo. In a span of a few hours, about 1 million trees and seeds were planted over 500 hectares (1,235 acres), according to the environment ministry — an area one-and-a-half times the size of New York City’s Central Park.Madagascar, the oldest island in the world and the fourth-largest, spanning 59 million ha (146 million acres), is home to an astounding range of plant and animal life. Between 2001 and 2018, it lost about one-fifth of its tree cover, according to Global Forest Watch, driven primarily by the expansion of shifting agriculture, known locally as tavy. The destruction of Madagascar’s forests could sound the death knell for many of its endemic species, found nowhere else on the planet.Participants at the tree-planting event in Ankazobe district, Madagascar, on Jan. 19, 2020. Image by Valisoa Rasolofomboahangy/Mongabay.Months of planning and a massive nationwide effort to amass seeds and populate nurseries culminated in the highly publicized launch. It saw participation from NGOs, schools, government ministries, and the army. Rajoelina, dressed in a T-shirt and jeans, launched the planting season by tucking a seedling into a pocket of earth. He later lent a hand to children, took selfies with babies, and was even photographed, hoe in hand, hauling dirt. But experts say the real heavy lifting to reclaim forests will come after the saplings are in the ground.“Right now, we are at the stage of planting trees, but the big question is: What is next? How to protect those young trees, so we don’t plant them in January and then destroy them in July,” said Jonah Ratsimbazafy, a prominent Malagasy primatologist who heads the Groupe d’Étude et de Recherche sur les Primates (GERP).For the planting season that runs until April, the Rajoelina administration wants 60 million seedlings to be planted across 40,000 ha (99,000 acres). Experts interviewed by Mongabay last November said it would be a formidable undertaking, especially for a country where almost 80% of the population does not have access to grid electricity, and felling trees to make charcoal for cooking is a widespread practice. Reconciling the immediate needs of the country’s poor and the long-term goal of stemming and then turning the tide of deforestation will be tough, observers say. It remains to be seen whether Rajoelina has the will to see it through, given his checkered record on the environment.Madagascar has hosted tree-planting drives in the past, but the push from the president’s office this time around is expected to make a difference. Nirina Rakotonanahary, 30, a participant at the launch, said it was his first time taking part in a tree-planting drive, which he said was popularized by the president. Close to 200,000 seedlings were gathered in nurseries for the launch event and transported to the Ankazobe site on trucks. For the national campaign, an estimated 100 million seeds have been rounded up by regional centers of the environmental ministry and its partners. The seedlings are being distributed free of cost to institutions and associations from government-run nurseries.The launch made it clear the government is trying to strike a balance between planting native species and agroforestry species, some of which are exotic and invasive. The 50 species that are available at the nurseries include exotic acacia, eucalyptus, fruit trees and various spice trees. Rakotonanahary said he planted fruit trees because if the yield was good, they might be able to export the produce.Seedlings at the tree-planting site in Ankazobe district, Madagascar, on Jan. 19, 2020. Image by Valisoa Rasolofomboahangy/Mongabay.To secure the trees, especially those viewed as useful by people, will be an uphill task. “We want to encourage people to plant and not consume the fruits of the trees inside the parks or cut them to make charcoal,” said Mamy Rakotoarijaona, director of Madagascar National Parks. Despite being protected areas, national parks in Madagascar have also witnessed significant deforestation; they have now emerged as important sites for the reforestation campaign.To extend the drive to remote areas, the government plans to use drones and airplanes. During the launch event, about 5 tons of seeds in the form of seed balls were dropped from an aircraft over 500 ha of land. Each ball of soil is packed with 25 seeds. The success rate measured in terms of how many seeds survive and germinate is about 60%, according to a government release that cited a pilot project carried out in 2018. The ministry of environment also said the practice would save on the cost of plastic bags that hold seedlings before they are transplanted.The immediate concern is to sustain the momentum for tree planting, and in the longer term to ensure that gains are not frittered away. The president, in his speech, said that meeting concrete targets and following up with action would be central to the campaign. “This time, the action will be continuous, and there will be a follow-up. The state will recruit guards to monitor and protect the young plants,” Alexandre Georget, Madagascar’s environment minister, said at the launch.In Ankazobe, there is a plan to recruit 50 people to monitor the saplings because the area is at risk from forest fires that could wipe out within days any gains from a planting campaign months in the making. Involving local communities is indispensable not just in planting trees but in monitoring and safeguarding them, according to Ratsimbazafy of GERP. “If the authorities do not have a clear and efficient strategy to fight against deforestation and fires, then Madagascar won’t return to forests,” he said.That’s a view echoed by Alliance Voahary Gasy (AVG), a coalition of Malagasy environmental NGOs. In a social media post, AVG expressed support for the large-scale effort but noted that if the government did not take strict action against those breaking environmental rules, including government officials, the campaign would fail to meet its objectives.While millions of seeds may sprout forth from the red soils of Madagascar in the coming months, a sense of optimism about the greening campaign has yet to take root. Rakotonanahary, who help plant fruit trees in Ankazobe, also struck a despondent note. “I’m not sure they will all survive,” he said of the newly planted trees. “The problem is that in Madagascar, we make efforts one day, and then we do not continue.”Banner Image of seedlings at the tree-planting site in Ankazobe district, Madagascar, on Jan. 19, 2020, by Valisoa Rasolofomboahangy/Mongabay.Malavika Vyawahare is a staff writer for Mongabay. Find her on Twitter: @MalavikaVy.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.last_img read more

Pangilinan, Vargas keep boxing association posts

first_imgMOST READ Prince Harry: ‘No other option’ but to cut royal ties Pangilinan, also chair of telecommunications giant PLDT, and Vargas are two of the highest executives of the MVP group, which has been boxing’s private sector benefactor for the past eight years.“I am honored and humbled by the continued support,” said Vargas. “While we were disappointed at our failure to win medals in the Olympics, we offer no excuses. Rather, we pledge to move forward and ramp up our efforts to energize the national boxers into a more potent force in the international arena.”Also elected were Rep. Raul Daza, vice chair; John Patrick Gregorio, vice president; lawyer Oscar P. Moreno, Jr., treasurer and secretary general Ed Picson. —CEDELF P. TUPASFEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town China counts sharp rise in coronavirus cases, 2 in Beijing NU undergoes attitude change in 5-set win over UP, says Santiago Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 2 ‘bookies’ bet collectors held in Quezon Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Beggar dead in Quezon hit-and-run incidentcenter_img Taal Volcano continues to emit steam, ash from weak explosions Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely Prince Harry: ‘No other option’ but to cut royal ties The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines’ (Abap) grassroots programs and search for the first Olympic gold medal will continue under sports patron Manny V. Pangilinan and Ricky Vargas.Pangilinan and Vargas were re-elected Abap chair and president, respectively, for the third straight term during elections held at Microtel by Wyndham-MOA in Pasay over the weekendADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

Hypocritical…

first_img…or unctuous?Your Eyewitness looked at President Granger’s address to the nation on the constitutional crisis into which he has plunged our country by his refusal to comply with the Constitution – even as he calls it “sacrosanct and supreme” – and wasn’t surprised that it was recorded rather than live. It would’ve been impossible to keep out the snickers of derision and disbelief that would’ve issued forth from any live audience!!And performance it was – as it has always been for Granger. But what kind of performance?? Being a church-goer and all that, was it pharisaical? You know, like the Pharisees, whose words were hypocritical, censorious and self-righteous?? He certainly was hypocritical, with his actions following the NCM certainly contradicting his words at every step of the way.Well…to be fair to the man, there was that brief moment when he and his Prime Minister both accepted that a democratic procedure had brought their Government to an end!!How can he say the Constitution is “sacrosanct” when he’s refused to resign, as commanded by Art 106 (6) – “the President and cabinet SHALL resign”! – and call for elections 90 days after Dec 21 2018?? He’s never even reproached his Attorney General, Basil Williams, for saying “the Constitution is WRONG”?? He went on to claim that “the authority of the legislative branch is unimpaired”.Well, not because of his not doing his darndest to do just the opposite to the National Assembly. For one, by raising the issue of dual citizens’ membership, which could’ve vitiated all legislation passed by that body since 2015!! How can the National Assembly maintain its “authority” when at least 7 members are “illegally” occupying their seats??Then there’s this whopper: “The legal challenges…were not…calculated to frustrate the implications of the no-confidence vote”!!! Can you believe that mountain of hypocrisy? You become President by claiming a MAJORITY of 33 seats in the National Assembly, and suddenly 33 seats AREN’T a majority to vote you out??Your Eyewitness fully expected Mr Granger’s tongue to split down the middle when he uttered those words!!Censorious?? What else but shade was he throwing at the Opposition Leader when he unctuously and slyly perorated, “I urge everyone not to be intimidated by incendiary insinuations aimed at instigating disaffection.”? What has been more “incendiary” than him saying “I am prepared to do my part to ensure credible elections within…the shortest time possible this year”!? NOW he says this? If his PNC were in the opposition, Georgetown would have been up in flames by now.And finally, how more “self-righteous” can Granger be when he said, “The resolution of the present political challenges requires collaboration”!!Sure, like collaborating with your executioner!!…judgementsCitizen Marcel Gaskin had filed a criminal charge against GECOM Chair James Patterson and the three PNC Commissioners for “conspiring to delay the elections” which were constitutionally due by Art 106 (7) three months after the NCM’s passage on Dec 21, 2018. Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan, however, dismissed the charge because “it does not create an offence; is frivolous and vexatious, and lacks basic human merits.”Not an offence for public officials to conspire to subvert their constitutionally designated duties?? So what about that “Misconduct of Public Office” against Brassington and Singh, which was also before her?? We know it was “vexatious” to the fellas charged, but isn’t that the case with all defendants!?? “Frivolous”??  McLennan said this was because the March 21 deadline is “still approaching””! Can you believe this?? The whole point of the conspiracy was to drag GECOM’s heels and have March 21 “approach”, and now this makes the charge “frivolous”??Does McLennan think elections can be held in four days?? THIS “lacks human merits”!!Oh Judgement, thou art fled to brutish beasts!!…on corruptionSo there will be no investigation (much less a CoI) into the Ministry of Public Infrastructure paying millions of US$ MORE for a DOWNSIZED CJIA??Is this the PNC’s “less is more” doctrine? Or just plain thiefin’??last_img read more

Turkey’s ruling party victorious

first_imgIt was unclear how Turkey’s powerful military would react, if at all. It issued a sharp warning to Erdogan’s party in April, saying it had strayed from secularism. It has deposed four elected governments since Turkey was founded in 1923.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! ISTANBUL, Turkey – The Islamic-inspired ruling party of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a larger-than- expected victory in nationwide parliamentary elections on Sunday, taking close to half the total vote in a stinging rebuke to Turkey’s old guard. With nearly all the votes counted, Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party won 46.6 percent of the vote, according to Turkish election officials, far more than the 34 percent the party garnered in the last election, in 2002. The secular state establishment had expected that voters would punish Erdogan’s party for promoting an Islamic agenda. But the main secular party, the Republican People’s Party, received just 20.9 percent, compared with 19 percent in the last election. The Nationalist Action Party, which played on fears of ethnic Kurdish separatism, won 14.3 percent, officials said. The result was also a broad mandate for Erdogan’s party, with large numbers of voters sending the message that they do not feel it is a threat to Turkish democracy. It fell short, however, of getting the two-thirds majority needed to amend the constitution, a blank check that secular Turks fear. According to the preliminary results, Erdogan’s party will receive at least 340 seats out of Turkey’s 550-seat parliament. The main secular party will have at least 111; the nationalists at least 71, and independents an unusually large 28 or more. Turkey is a NATO member and a strong American ally, positions Erdogan has emphatically affirmed, and its stability is crucial in a troubled region. Its current political soul-searching tries to find answers to a question Americans have been asking since the attacks of Sept. 11: Can an Islamic-oriented government that is popularly elected be democratic and westward looking? Speaking to cheering supporters at his party headquarters in Ankara, Erdogan, whose party is known by its Turkish initials, AK, savored the victory. But he also struck a conciliatory tone, trying to soothe deep divisions with urban, secular Turks. “Our nation certified the AK Party as the central power of the society,” he said in the nationally televised speech to a crowd that was waving flags and dancing. “I’m calling on our other citizens who didn’t make their choices in support of AK. I also understand the message you sent in ballot boxes. We respect your choices. We consider your different choices as the richness of your democratic life.” last_img read more

Changing of the guard in Britain

first_imgHe will need to revive his Labor Party’s electoral fortunes, which have suffered from Britain’s involvement in the deeply unpopular war in Iraq. He must also rekindle public trust in the party and deal with potentially explosive issues, including the extrication of British forces from Iraq without alienating the White House. The political landscape is all the more tangled for Brown, in that he was the architect of many of the policies in health, education and housing that he is now promising to change. Yet, as was underscored by Wednesday’s low-key events, he will try to do so without the flashing wit and charisma of Blair, who had captivated the nation until he sacrificed his popularity by sending British troops to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. For all the years Brown had waited for his moment of triumph outside 10 Downing Street, he seemed less confident and more low-key in his delivery than Blair. He offered hard work but no grand visions. Impatient with trivia and ill-equipped to emulate Blair’s easy charm, Brown signaled Wednesday that he would seek to impress Britain’s voters with a more traditional and far less personal political style. His words suggested as much a shift in tone as an effort to create a new social compact built on what Brown has called the values of his own moral compass, such as hard work and fairness. As if to amplify the earnest new mood music, Brown, the 56-year-old son of a Church of Scotland minister with a reputation for dourness, quoted his old school motto: “I will try my utmost.” LONDON – On a day of poignant farewells and sober new promises, Gordon Brown took over Wednesday from Tony Blair as prime minister, offering Britain a pledge to “try my utmost” and declaring, “Now, let the work of change begin.” For his part, Blair moved on swiftly, shedding the leadership with a wisecrack and resigning as a member of Parliament to assume the new mantle of Middle East representative for the so-called quartet of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations. The transfer of power, almost brutal in its brevity, signaled the start of the real political contest that will shape Britain’s future, pitting the dour and calculating Brown against the smooth-talking Conservative leader, David Cameron. Brown also faces momentous challenges in seeking to build a new political impetus to carry Labor to an unparalleled fourth term whenever he calls elections. Brown’s hoopla-free accession offered a marked contrast to the flag-waving jubilation of party supporters who greeted Blair at Downing Street after the landslide victory in 1997 that ended Labor’s 18 years in opposition.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

Dream Act out of defense bill; vote still likely

first_imgThe fight over the Dream Act marked a major aftershock in the immigration battle. After failing earlier this year to pass legislation putting millions of illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship, several lawmakers opted to push piecemeal bills like the Dream Act. Durbin’s measure, strongly backed by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, is aimed primarily at giving illegal immigrants who were brought here before age 16 a shot at legalization if they enlist in the U.S. military or go to college for at least two years. Feinstein also is separately trying to attach a bill legalizing millions of agricultural workers to upcoming farm legislation. That measure could come up later this month. Thursday, she said Republicans’ success in blocking Durbin’s bill underscores the need to secure broad support for her Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits and Security Act, known as AgJOBS. “AgJOBS should be passed because there is an agricultural labor deficit that can’t be filled with American labor,” she said. If the fight over the Dream Act is any indication, she faces an uphill battle. Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions in particular has vowed to use every tool available to block new legalization measures. Other Republicans, however, said they support the bill for illegal college students but objected to attaching it to a defense bill. Groups that advocate for illegal immigrants said they are confident that if the bill comes up alone, it stands a strong chance of passing. “The Dream Act has never had a vote before. It’s never had the promise of a vote,” said Josh Bernstein, a spokesman for the National Immigration Law Center. “To me what happened is a positive thing.” lisa.friedman@langnews.com (202) 662-8731160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., the bill’s author, said he was disappointed but hopeful. “This narrowly tailored bipartisan legislation will allow a generation of immigrant students with great potential and ambitions to contribute to our nation’s security and future,” he said. Opponents, however, were ecstatic and vowed to kill future attempts to pass it. “Taxpayers are angry. We have our own citizens and resident aliens who followed the rules,” said David Zitch of Northridge, a former payroll tax investigator for the state of California and one of thousands nationwide who contacted Congress to get the bill killed. Of the students – an estimated 35,000 a year – who graduate from high school but are blocked from serving in the military or attending a U.S. college because they are undocumented, Zitch said: “Sorry. Sorry that their parents brought them here without going through the hoops. Life’s not fair.” WASHINGTON – It’s a dream deferred for the Dream Act. Bowing to intense pressure from illegal immigration hardliners, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has pulled the measure that would have legalized undocumented college and military-bound students who came to the U.S. as children from consideration as part of a defense bill. While Republican opponents successfully blocked the bill, Reid said late Wednesday he remains committed to passing it and vowed a Senate vote by Nov. 15. “Children shouldn’t be penalized for the actions of their parents,” Reid said. “Many of these youths come to America when they are very young. … They think of themselves as American and many of these children are so desperate to be able to go to school.” last_img read more

Tilbury company’s donation will help children learn to walk

first_imgA donation of parallel bars to the Children’s Treatment Centre of Chatham-Kent from the Plasman Group in Tilbury will help children who receive physiotherapy services at the centre learn to walk.“We were told our son Bentley would never walk or talk when he was diagnosed with MECP2 duplication syndrome,” said Amanda Hann, whose son receives services at the treatment centre.“This past summer, he was using the gait-sling tracking at the centre during physiotherapy session and quickly progressed to walking with two hands held and weight bearing,” she said in a written release. “We are so happy with his progression.”The physiotherapy program Bentley uses at the centre was in need of an upgraded parallel bar system that was adjustable in height and width.The Plasman Group approached the Children’s Treatment Centre Foundation in the summer to see what one of the greatest needs was at the time and decided to donate the parallel bars.“We are proud to be partnered with the Children’s Treatment Centre of Chatham-Kent,” said Shauna Hatch, vice-president of human resources with the Plasman Group. “There is great work being done by both staff and children that make the world of difference in our community. Thank you for letting us be a part of it.”The foundation works to raise community awareness and funds for the children’s treatment centre, which provides quality care to children in the community who have physical, developmental or communication challenges.last_img read more