Disgruntled Commercial Drivers Refuse Lower Fares

first_imgFrom all indications, irate commercial drivers are ignoring the reduced fares recently announced by the Ministries of Transport and Commerce and Industry and have instead continued to hike their fares for destinations in and around Monrovia.The transport fares were reduced in line with reductions in the prices of petroleum products on the market.After the recent announcement of the new fares it was surprising, early last week, in the business district of Red Light in Paynesville, to find commuters engaged in bitter confrontation with public transport drivers who refused to accept the reduced fares.As a result of these standoffs, commercial drivers usually abort their direct trips to Monrovia and instead route passengers to Old Road, which would then require passengers to pay for the added trip from Old Road to central Monrovia.  For commuters, this could mean at least one and a half times what they already pay for a direct trip.Reports received from commercial districts around Monrovia also reveal that drivers are still charging the old or even higher transport fares from the commercial districts of Waterside, Duala and Red-light to central Monrovia.“We are not going to accept the newly adjusted fares because we are only taking three persons at the back of our taxis and buses from this Red-light Market in Paynesville,” drivers contended.“As for me, I will not accept the new transport fares because nobody helped to buy my car,” driver Cyrus Thomas declared.Some observers are of the opinion that the newly announced fares are not sustainable and may be unrealistic because government simply does not have the capacity to enforce the fares.Others believe that if the fares must be enforced, then police officers and others charged with that responsibility should exhibit the highest standards of integrity and fairness.Affected commuters and businesspeople encountered at the Red-light and Waterside Markets sounded urgent appeals for the enforcement of the new fares to be carried out without fear or favor, no matter who is involved in the violations.Commuter Washington B. Kolliewala, 57, intimated that the police, as well as the Ministries of Transport and Commerce, must be vigilant and muster the courage to arrest and prosecute all violators of the transport fare regulations.Kolliewala who was visibly angry and frustrated over the fare hikes called on the Liberian Government to immediately deploy the buses recently donated by the Indian Government.“Adding more transport buses in Monrovia and other parts of the country would certainly ease the fare increases by commercial drivers and other public service transport providers in Liberia,” commuter Kolliewala suggested.Another commuter, Davidetta M. Flomo, 54, told the Daily Observer that warnings issued by ministries and agencies of the Liberian Government should be translated into concrete and practical actions.Madam Flomo claimed that each time the government pronounces new transport fares in Monrovia, defiance and confrontation take place instead of compliance to rules and regulations in the country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Kobe doesn’t disappoint young fan in 90-83 win

first_imgKobe Robert Grandstaff had the best seat in Philips Arena to watch his namesake drill four jumpers after checking back into the game, then wag his finger and dismiss the Atlanta Hawks in a 90-83 victory. “I was a Lakers fan my whole life,” father Tim Grandstaff said, “and from when they drafted (Kobe Bryant), I liked the fact that he was a kid and nobody thought he could do anything. He proved the world wrong.” What’s in a name? Bryant scored 27 points, made 10 of 18 shots, and delivered the Lakers a victory they had to have on this eight-game road trip. Afterward he met the Grandstaffs in the locker room, greeting little Kobe with a “What’s up, sir?” “I’ve heard of a few,” Bryant said when asked about fans naming their kids after him. “I’ve never seen one quite that old before. Father time, I guess. It’s very humbling.” Tandy Grandstaff, the boy’s mother, told Bryant, “You made our life.” Bryant also carried the night for the Lakers, who swept the Hawks for the first time since 1999-2000 and held a team to fewer than 90 points for the first time since Dec. 4. He returned with 8:10 remaining and the Lakers holding a 68-65 lead, which could have been even smaller had Josh Childress not missed two free throws. Lakers coach Phil Jackson thought Bryant finished the third quarter with tired legs and rested him to start the fourth. The first time he touched the ball after returning, Bryant hit a 19-footer over Joe Johnson, starting him on a memorable roll. He connected on two more jumpers, including a 3-pointer from the corner with the 24-second clock expiring. With the crowd on its feet, Bryant then answered a 3-pointer by Johnson with a shot straight out of his highlight films. With Johnson and Speedy Claxton trying everything to stop him, Bryant buried an 18-footer on the move to put the Lakers ahead 77-71 with 5:07 remaining. The Lakers shot 42.7 percent, committed 17 turnovers and improved to 3-2 on this trip. Jackson joked afterward that the Lakers took Super Bowl Monday off, something they can’t afford with games left at Detroit, Toronto and Cleveland. Center Andrew Bynum finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds. ross.siler@dailynews.com (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img • Photo Gallery: 02/05: Lakers vs. Hawks ATLANTA – In the fifth row across from the Lakers bench, a 5-year-old boy stood during the fourth quarter Monday night with a No. 24 jersey, a matching pair of Nike sneakers and a sign: “Kobe My Parents Named Me After You.” last_img read more

‘I don’t like the way he’s handled Rashford’ – Mourinho criticised on talkSPORT

first_imgManchester United boss Jose Mourinho has been criticised for his treatment of academy product Marcus Rashford.The 19-year-old forward has been in and out of the United XI so far this season and is now without a goal in ten appearances.The England international looks a shadow of the starlet who burst onto the scene in the second half of last season under Louis van Gaal and Tony Cascarino feels the Portuguese boss could have dealt with him in a better way.Speaking on Jim White on talkSPORT, the former Aston Villa and Chelsea forward said: “I don’t like the way he’s handled Marcus Rashford.“I just thought – start of the season, you bring Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] in, whatever you do get the kid in alongside him. Just give him a chance to show how good he can be.“I’ve seen Rashford deteriorate quite a lot this year, and there is no other reason because he has been taken out of the firing line.“Last year he was absolutely sensational at the end of the season for United and now I am looking at a young lad that has been given a new deal, but been taken out of the firing line, not playing much football now.“He came on for a sub yesterday [for England against Spain], albeit not for a long time but he looked completely out of sorts.”last_img read more

46th Test Wing may be moved to Edwards AFB

first_imgEDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE – The Air Force is considering relocating an aircraft test wing from a base in Florida to Edwards Air Force Base as part of an effort to trim the service’s overall number of personnel. The 46th Test Wing, a 3,400-member unit from Eglin Air Force Base, is being eyed for a move west. If the Air Force were to make that move, an undisclosed number of positions would be slashed before the transfer. The proposal is one of many being considered by the Air Force as it looks to trim 40,000 people over the next five years. The savings in personnel costs would go toward new aircraft and equipment. “It’s true that a proposal to realign the 46th Test Wing to Edwards Air Force Base, California, is one of many options being considered as the Air Force must execute its mission more efficiently on an increasingly tighter budget,” said John Norgren, spokesman for Eglin’s Air Armament Center. “Realigning the 46th Test Wing is only one of many options being looked at by the Air Force and no realignment decisions have been made.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2It is possible the Air Force could make realignment decisions in August after the Air Force submits its budget for fiscal year 2008, Norgren said. It is Air Force policy not to discuss possible unit realignments until final decisions are made and announced by Air Force officials. At that time, Air Force officials will provide specific details regarding how a realignment action will impact an affected unit, base or mission, Norgren said. Air Force officials called any reports of the transfer of the unit as speculative and “pre-decisional.” Col. Brent Baker, commander of Edwards’ 95th Air Base Wing, said he could not discuss any of the scenarios being looked at by the Air Force. Baker said he anticipates that the Air Force would be making decisions sometime later this month or in August. The 46th Test Wing performs test and evaluation work on air-launched systems and uses A-10, F-15 and F-16 aircraft. The unit also has a climatic laboratory in which aircraft can be tested in a variety of simulated weather conditions. Eglin advocates are gearing up to oppose the transfer, should the Air Force opt for that move. In a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Florida Sens. Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez and Reps. Jeff Miller and Allen Boyd called for the Pentagon to stop the implementation of any Air Force cuts until Congress could review them. “We believe their (the Air Force’s) approach will significantly degrade our nation’s ability to support our men and women in harm’s way today and adversely impact our nation’s readiness in the future,” the Florida lawmakers wrote. Antelope Valley aerospace advocates argue that consolidating test and evaluation missions in the U.S. Southwest makes sense given the capability of bases such as Edwards and the China Lake Naval Warfare Center at Ridgecrest. These bases are already geared toward test and evaluation work, have access to large areas of restricted airspace, and have good weather. “We’ve been advocating this for years,” said Bob Johnstone, executive director of the Edwards Community Alliance. james.skeen@dailynews.com (661) 267-5743160Want 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

The 72 on talkSPORT 2: Football League podcast on Tuesday, October 10

first_imgDan Windle and Mark Webster are joined in the studio by Alan McLoughlin to review another weekend of EFL action.Filmmakers Adam Darke and Paul Watson also speak to the lads about the upcoming release of the Justin Fashanu documentary ‘Forbidden Games’.last_img

De Ligt to make Man United decision, Chelsea wait for Juve bid and more

first_img Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father talkSPORT.com rounds up the latest transfer news and football gossip from Saturday’s papers and online… 2 Sarri delivered the Europa League on Wednesday night, but his time as Chelsea manager could come to an end after just one season Sadio Mane says he was on the verge of joining Manchester United after speaking to manager Louis Van Gaal, before a phone call from Jurgen Klopp changed his mind. (Mirror)Arsenal manager Unai Emery is willing to let Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil, 30, leave the club this summer. (Standard)Leicester and Man United are keen on Chelsea sensation Reece James (Full story)The Gunners have contacted Leicester about signing England midfielder James Maddison, but have been quoted £60m. (Mail)Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen has criticised the club for putting a £53million price tag on him amid interest from Manchester United and Benfica. (Mail)Bundesliga side Schalke are leading the race to sign Everton’s 22-year-old England defender Jonjoe Kenny on loan this summer. (Sky Sports) Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti TRANSFER RUMOUR BLOGE: ALL THE LATEST NEWS LIVE IN DEMAND Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt will give Manchester United a decision about his future in the coming days. (Telegraph)Manchester City have identified Lyon’s Tanguy Ndombele and Real Madrid’s Marcos Llorente as alternatives to Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri. (Manchester Evening News)Ilkay Gundogan will be allowed to break Man City’s policy on contracts and run it down, meaning he will leave for free next summer. (Sun)Zinedine Zidane personally intervened to prevent defender Sergio Ramos leaving Real Madrid. (ESPN) Getty Images – Getty targets LATEST TRANSFER NEWS REVEALED TOP WORK LATEST three-way race moving on Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri told the club he wants to return to Italy for family reasons and to become manager of Juventus, who will need to stump up £5m (Guardian)Frank Lampard is a favourite to replace Sarri, but Harry Redknapp suggests it may have come too early (Full story)West Ham striker Javier Hernandez is set for a move to Valencia and could pay £8m for him. (Sun)Stoke want £30m for goalkeeper Jack Butland, who is wanted by Bournemouth and Crystal Palace. (Star) Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland Tottenham line up bid for West Ham star who was labelled a ‘monster’ by Mourinho The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer Sadio Mane scored 22 Premier League goals this season and shared the Golden Boot with Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang target Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Liverpool’s signings under Michael Edwards – will Minamino be the next big hit? targets Chelsea confident of beating Man United and Liverpool to Sancho signing Real are set to hold talks with Chelsea to negotiate a deal for Hazard. (Mail)The club will move for Ajax’s Donny van de Beek or Spurs’ Christian Eriksen should they fail to land Paul Pogba. (Sun)Aston Villa are close to agreeing a shock deal with Birmingham City for midfielder Jota. (Express and Star)Arsenal and Leicester are monitoring Valencia’s 19-year-old winger Ferran Torres, who could be available for around £25m. (Mail) Getty 2 LIVING THE DREAM Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ last_img read more

Chat with the DNR about Christmas Trees on Facebook Wednesday

first_imgFacebook followers of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources can “talk” online with Community and Urban Forester Carrie Tauscher from 2-3 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Nov. 19, on the DNR’s Facebook wall.Tauscher will discuss using a live Christmas tree versus an artificial tree, picking a tree and keeping it fresh through the holidays. Participants are invited to join the conversation and bring any questions that they would like answered. Future topics, instructions on how to join a conversation on Facebook, and commenting guidelines are posted at dnr.IN.gov/7315.htm.To join a chat, go to the DNR’s Facebook wall, facebook.com/INdnr, and click “like” (if you are not already a “friend”).You may begin typing questions during the time slot. The DNR experts will answer questions as time allows.last_img read more

Raising the profile of mental health

first_imgIntegrating mental health care into existing primary health care systems will make it possible for more people to access the treatment they need. There are also other ways to deliver affordable mental wellness services that don’t necessarily require medical intervention, such as counselling through trained community workers. (Image: www.healthnettpo.org) The South African Depression and Anxiety Group produce educational materials such as speaking books. Each book speaks to people in their own language, often through the voice of a local celebrity, providing important information about topics such as suicide, depression, hygiene and how to say no to drugs. (Image: www.speakingbooks.com) MEDIA CONTACTS • Prof Crick Lund   University of Cape Town  +27 21 685 0120 RELATED ARTICLES • Proactive approach to mental health • Local solutions for animal health • SA’s second health train rolls out • SA, Cuba to train more doctors Wilma den HartighThe University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Alan J Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health is part of an international consortium of scientists that is to receive a multi-million rand grant to develop ways to improve treatment for mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety and substance abuse disorders in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs).One suggestion is to integrate mental health care into existing primary health care systems, making it possible for more people to access the treatment they need. However, an important first step towards this goal is for governments to develop the political will, and make more financial resources available for mental health care.The research forms part of the Emerald project, a global mental health initiative to improve emerging mental health systems in LMICs, such as adequate and sustainable resourcing and integrating the provision of physical and mental health.The R60-million (US$7.1-million) grant, awarded by the United Nations 7th Framework Programme for research, will be used to assess health systems for mental health care in Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda over the next five years.These countries are members of the international consortium, led by the King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry together with partner institutions in each country, the University of Madrid and the World Health Organisation. Solutions for the treatment gapProfessor Crick Lund, director of the Centre for Public Mental Health at UCT, argues that there is a great need to integrate mental wellness and primary healthcare. He adds that approximately 75% of people living with a diagnosable mental health problem in LMICs do not get the care they need.One of the main goals of the consortium’s research is to address the treatment gap that exists in LMICs by ensuring that mental health services are provided within the primary health care system.“We are calling for the inclusion of mental health treatment in social health insurance packages such as National Health Insurance,” Lund says.He says there are also other ways to deliver affordable mental wellness services that don’t necessarily require medical intervention, such as counselling through trained community workers.“These are inexpensive forms of mental health provision,” he says.Professor Graham Thornicroft, coordinator of the Emerald project, said the funding makes it possible to develop more ways to improve mental health systems in low income countries.“In such countries as few as 2% of people with mental illness receive any treatment, Emerald will accelerate progress to close this mental health gap,” Thornicroft said at the launch of the Emerald project.The health systems of LMICs are particularly strained due to the lower availability of resources and higher overall burden of disease in these populations, compared to high-income countries.Many LMICs have to deal with a ‘double burden’ of disease. Levels of mortality due to communicable, maternal, perinatal and nutritional conditions are high, while there are also increasing rates of chronic non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and mental disorders.According to the Programme for Improving Mental Health Care (Prime), a project of the UCT Centre for Public Mental Health, more than 13% of the global burden of disease is due to mental illness, which includes neurological and substance abuse disorders.“Mental health is a neglected area in public health globally, especially in low and middle-income countries, where most people living with mental illness remain untreated,” Lund says.“By the year 2030, depression will be the second most disabling health condition in the world.” Treatment makes economic senseWith access to more funding, the consortium can highlight the need for improved treatment of mental illness, particularly for poor and vulnerable communities who have little or no access to such facilities.New findings from a research study show that it costs South Africa more to not treat mental illness than to treat it.The research, undertaken by Lund and his colleagues at UCT, suggest that there is a strong economic argument for preventing mental illness and scaling up mental health care and rehabilitation services to alleviate the economic burden of these diseases.People living with mental illness lose substantial income due to the disability and stigma they face.Lund’s research showed that the total annual cost in lost earnings for South Africans with mental disorders was about R30-billion (US$3.6-billion). In contrast, government’s projected total annual expenditure on mental health services is around R500-million ($59.3-million).The researchers expect the cost of lost earnings due to mental illness to be even higher as their analysis excluded child and adolescent mental disorders, and other severe chronic mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar mood disorder.This has important implications for public health policymakers in LMICs, as it reveals that government’s investment in mental health care for the public can translate into economic benefits, and reduce the societal costs of mental illness.   Mental health and povertyLund says poverty is a major driver of mental health problems. In an article co-authored by Lund, Poverty and mental disorders: breaking the cycle in low-income and middle-income countries, published in The Lancet, Lund says it is critical to improve mental health care, not only as a public health and human rights priority, but also as a development priority.There is growing international evidence that mental ill health and poverty interact in a negative cycle. According to the article, this cycle increases the risk of mental illness among people who live in poverty and increases the likelihood that those living with mental illness will drift into or remain in poverty.“People who live in poor conditions are at greater risk,” Lund says. Socio-economic factors such as job security, housing, employment, food insecurity and financial stress all contribute to a person’s mental wellbeing.Healthy mind, healthy bodyThrough the programme, the consortium also wants to encourage people to manage their lifestyles, and prioritise both mental and physical health. Hopefully, future interventions will also alleviate mistrust in psychology and psychiatry.“Someone who is HIV positive and on antiretroviral medication is more likely to stop taking medication if they are depressed,” he says. Trials have indicated that treating depression with medication such as anti-depressants will improve a person’s willingness to take their medication, and it will boost their CD4 count. Dealing with stigmaIt is well documented that mental illness carries a stigma in cultures around the world.“There are varying explanations as to why these conditions exist, and they are all culture specific reasons,” he says.According to a research paper co-authored by Lund, Mental Health Stigma: What is being done to raise awareness and reduce stigma in South Africa? published in the African Journal of Psychiatry, stigma plays a major role in the persistent suffering, disability and economic loss associated with mental illnesses.The paper points out that the absence of supportive family and friends, the loss of employment and a lack of access to mental health services can worsen a person’s mental illness. It can also place these individuals at increased risk of substance abuse and criminal activities.Although more can be done to promote a better understanding of mental illness, a number of innovative strategies have been developed to address stigma and improve awareness about mental health in South Africa.Organisations such as the South African Federation for Mental Health (SAFMH); the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG); and the Mental Health Information Centre, based at the University of Stellenbosch, are working towards reducing stigma in the country.The SADAG has formed partnerships with communities, schools, universities, churches, youth groups, prisons, corporations and the government’s directorate of mental health and substance abuse in the Department of Health, and are often requested to give talks on mental health issues.They also produce educational materials including free multilingual brochures, audio cassettes and speaking books, which are available in several languages and are also able to provide information to the illiterate people.The SAFMH have three mental health campaigns every year. March is intellectual disability awareness month; July is psychiatric disability awareness month, and October is mental health month where activities focus on world mental health day on 10 October.• Slideshow image courtesy of www.transnetfoundation.co.zalast_img read more

EU, US nod for South Africa’s air cargo security systems

first_img7 August 2014South Africa’s air cargo security systems have been given the thumbs-up by both the European Union and the United States’ Transport Security Administration.South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) director Poppy Khoza said this week that South Africa was the only country in Africa to receive this dual affirmation.“This essentially means that, following audits by the European Union and the United States, South Africa is acknowledged as one of the countries where the level of aviation security is regarded as robust and reliable,” Khoza said. “This will benefit air carriers operating between South Africa and the two regions.”In the case of the US, the Transport Security Administration (TSA) carries out yearly assessments of South Africa’s aviation security regime, with the last audit conducted in June.The results of the audit indicate that South Africa did not attract any findings or observation and in some instances, the standards were found to be higher than in previous years.“The TSA audit comes after almost a year since the CAA and the TSA concluded a recognition agreement on air cargo security programmes, thus acknowledging that South African systems are on par with the stringent requirements of the USA,” Khoza said.“This agreement also enhances air cargo security measures and initiatives between the two countries. Most significantly, the agreement enables quicker facilitation of goods between the two countries, and helps eradicate duplicative or redundant measures while still ensuring the highest levels of security that both the TSA and the CAA require.”The European Union (EU) recognition means that South Africa has been included in the list of countries where air carriers are exempted from the application of the ACC3 (Air cargo and mail carrier operation into the EU from a third-country airport) regime, the requirements of which are viewed as stringent to operators from countries outside the EU.In terms of the ACC3 process, carriers wishing to carry cargo into the EU have to request ACC3 status, which requires rigorous screening of air cargo or the existence of a properly functioning and secure air cargo system.As from July this year, cargo operators flying to the EU destinations must therefore either hold a valid EU validation report, proving that they have adequate security measures in place, or use the expensive services of EU validators to pronounce their cargo as secured.“This recognition by the EU is a significant milestone for the country and South African carriers, as this means that they can now benefit from an exemption from the ACC3 regime, provided that the level of risk remains similarly low, commensurate with a robust oversight system being in place,” Khoza said.She added that it was further acknowledgement that South Africa’s security measures are on a par with those applied in the EU.Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more