Celebrating World Health Day 2019

first_imgWorld Health Day 2019 focuses on universal health coverage (UHC), the medical services provided by health facilities, and the way to obtain them. Universal health coverage is about ensuring all people and communities have access to quality health services where and when they need them, without suffering financial hardship. It includes the full spectrum of services needed throughout life — from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care — and is best based on a strong primary health care system.One of our main roles at the EPA is to ensure the public is fully considered when assessing impacts of developmental projects and activities carried out in the environment. This is important since human health and the environment are integrally interrelated.Environmental factors influencing the spread of communicable diseasesA number of environmental factors influence the spread of communicable diseases that are prone to cause epidemics. The most common of these are:A lack of safe water, inadequate excreta disposal facilities, poor hygiene, poor living conditions, and unsafe food can all cause and contribute to a number of diseases. Climate can affect disease transmission in a variety of ways. The distribution and population sizes of disease vectors can be heavily affected by local climate. Flooding after heavy rains can result in sewage overflow and widespread water contamination. In addition, there is some evidence to suggest that pathogens can be spread from one region to another along air streams or by wind.The depletion of important biodiversity species contributes indirectly to the spread and transition of diseases. A number of animals are considered indicator species, like butterflies, frogs, fishes and some types of worms. The absence of these in a particular ecosystem indicates that something is not right, like a change in temperature, water quality and air quality. Some other species help to control the spread of pathogens and diseases caused by animals through biological methods. Additionally, rapid expansion in cities due to urbanisation can contribute to the spread and introduction of diseases. Increased activities in traffic, construction, and even human population can put pressure on resources.How is the EPA working to protect public health?The very mandate of the EPA is to ensure the effective protection and management of natural resources, by controlling and monitoring pollution and by assessing the impacts of developmental activities on the environment. Specifically, a major part of our work programme aims towards safeguarding human and environmental health. This is achieved through:Education and awarenessThe EPA works to develop and deliver a number of educational materials and programmes, to raise awareness on the importance of good environmental practices at the household, community and country levels to protect the environment and safeguard human health.Environmental AuthorisationThough its authorisation process, the EPA ensures that business and different project activities that might have significant impacts on the environment are permitted in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act, Cap. 20:05. This is important, since these activities can have negative impacts on the environment and human health by reducing water, air and soil quality; destroying important biodiversity, and releasing harmful gases and chemicals to contribute to climate change. Through this process, the EPA works closely with persons to ensure all possible impacts are identified, and that measures are put in place to reduce, remedy and avoid negative impacts.Environmental Compliance and enforcementIn addition to ensuring persons and businesses are authorised to carry out certain activities in the environment, checks are constantly being made by the EPA to ensure persons are operating in accordance with what is required in their permits. We work along with relevant agencies to develop a number of standards, regulations and guidelines in the area of water quality, air quality, and waste management etc. to guide and support environmental users in accordance with the laws.Happy World Health Day 2019!last_img read more

Commercial banks cannot operate as microfinance institutions, those of venture capital firms

first_img—the real constraint with small business financing is more of a financial market problem Today’s article is inspired by the concerns raised in the press a few weeks ago by the Small Business Bureau (SBB) in an article carried in the print media titled, Commercial banks’ squeeze on small business lending strangling entrepreneurial ambitions, job creation.Commercial banks are naturally risk averse because they are deposit-taking institutions – thus, having the responsibility to protect depositors’ funds, which means they have to engage in prudent lending. Compounding the situation in which access to financing is apparently difficult for small and medium-sized enterprises especially; it is not necessarily the inherent nature of the commercial banks per se, but rather, a series of limitations with respect to the businesses themselves and by extension the management and owners of the said enterprises – so it can be regarded as twofold.In the conduct of credit assessment, a borrower needs to fulfil certain qualifying criterion before the decision to approve a loan is made. One of the primary requirements in this process is collateral, and in many instances, this is one of the main limitations – lack of adequate and tangible collateral. Instantly, this may be a deterrent – much to the disadvantage of the prospective borrower.It must be noted, also, that having healthy collateral is not always a decisive factor in the loan approval process. The more important decisive factors in this regard are premised upon the borrower’s ability to repay – debt servicing ability, and, this other element might sound surprising – but in reality – the most crucial of them all is the borrower’s willingness to repay.With experience over the last 25 years or so, bankers have recognised that borrowers are not disciplined as they were for the period prior to 1992. This is undoubtedly one of the key reasons loans are consistently in arrears and also non-performing in some cases. This notion hinges on the fact that there has been, over this period, a paradigmatic change in the socio-cultural construct of the market within which the banks operate – that is, the customers.In respect of the technical limitations of businesses, most small and medium-sized firms lack crucial expertise in the industry within which they operate; such as, sound financial management practices, and particularly, cash flow management. These, therefore, inevitably disqualify such entities from accessing financing through the commercial banks.The problem of access to financing is not so much an interest rate problem or cost of capital. The broader problem about access to capital is not because of commercial banks: it is because of Guyana’s underdeveloped financial system. It is important to understand and acknowledge that commercial banks are inherently different in their structure. They are not designed for microfinance. Commercial banks do, in fact, help and contribute to some extent, but micro financing is usually risky.If at all the notion of “notoriously high” interest rates hold any merit as posited in the referenced article, which it doesn’t hold much in this author’s view, then institutions like the Institute of Private Enterprise Development (IPED) would have been a failure today.IPED was founded specifically for the purpose of microfinance and it is doing extremely well today. To this end, one ought to therefore pause to examine the structure of IPED. Ironically, if we want to talk about notorious interest rates then guess what is IPED’s on microfinance? 20-30 % in some cases. Of course IPED’s interest rates are reflective of high risk nature of such businesses and poor collateral. Commercial banks’ interest rates are way below that. Now, in terms of IPED’s structure, the way they operate is to take a hands on approach to help their clients manage their business, extensive field work and they even have training programs for their clients. Commercial banks don’t do this and they don’t have the incentive to so do.Another important factor with IPED’s structure is that they hold anything from household effects to cars, or any asset as security which the banks cannot do because of the Financial Institutions Act. The contention is this: if we want to deal with the issue of microfinance, that’s not for commercial banks, we need more microfinance institutions like IPED, and this comes right back to capital market development. Moreover, IPED’s financing structure that is, the source of its financing is different from the commercial banks. Meaning, it is not a deposit taking institution, its capital is actually shareholders money and it reinvests its profits. Unlike the commercial banks which take savings from ordinary people (householders) and firm. So the source of financing and the way microfinance institutions versus commercial banks are designed, are all different. The SBB is therefore suggesting that commercial banks should in effect function as a micro-finance institution and that of a venture capital firm. Unfortunately, it doesn’t and cannot work like that. Commercial Banks can’t take the savings from householders and lend it as it like. It has to be done very prudently.last_img read more

Cabella keen to find best form at Newcastle after Pardew warning

first_imgRemy Cabella has revealed that Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has told him to up his game or he will continue to be on the bench.The French midfielder was dropped for Newcastle’s 2-1 win over Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Sunday, but came on as a second-half substitute to set up the winner for Ayoze Perez.And Cabella, who is yet to find the net for his new club, admits he must improve his performances to justify his £12m price tag.“Alan Pardew has spoken to me a lot, he has made things clear. He tells me when I am on the bench if things are good or not,” the 24-year-old told L’Equipe.“He wants me to be decisive and score goals, I haven’t done that so far. That’s why I haven’t been playing a lot.“Now I am only thinking about scoring, but I don’t feel any pressure, that would be pointless. I am just here to play football.“I am having so much fun in England. It is a new challenge in a new league, so of course I need some time to adapt.” Remy Cabella 1last_img read more

Local agencies help in terror fight

first_imgRe “Terror at Home,” (Our Opinions, July 25):As head of the FBI’s Los Angeles division, I was disappointed in the recent Daily News editorial for its uninformed assessment of the contributions of local police officers – particularly the LAPD – in their efforts to assess and combat terror threats to our area. Local police, sheriff’s deputies and Highway Patrol officers, as well as investigators from the State and numerous federal agencies, work closely together to detect, deter, and disrupt terrorism in the seven counties comprising the FBI’s territory and the Central Judicial District of California.Saying that “federal authorities terrorize us with ill-defined threats” simplistically overlooks the challenge facing the government to protect the public. It is also a tremendous disservice and insult to the officers and investigators who day and night investigate the thousands of terrorism threats in a given year, to weed out those that are without basis and identify those that may pose real risk and require further investigation. Los Angeles area public safety agencies have long been in the vanguard of counterterrorism preparedness with trained Terrorism Liaison Officers in law enforcement agencies and fire departments.We have learned much since the catastrophic 9-11 attacks of nearly six years ago. Today, municipal police forces, in concert with the FBI and other agencies, contribute to detecting and stopping plots that may originate elsewhere, but would be carried out here in our communities. To that end, the Los Angeles Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs), in existence since 1984, are staffed with skilled investigators with various backgrounds and expertise who lawfully investigate potential terror cells. They carefully sift through leads generated from all over the world that might point, in some manner, to the Los Angeles area. Federal Bureau of Investigation160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! We don’t have to go far to find a prime example of local police identifying and combating potential acts of terror. The Torrance Police Department, in the course of investigating an armed robbery gang, discovered materials and other information indicating the group may be plotting terrorist attacks here in Los Angeles. Torrance officers went to the JTTF, and ultimately, this potential terror cell was disrupted and its members are awaiting federal trial.Like the LAPD and other law enforcement agencies, the FBI must strike a balance in deploying resources and to what crime problem they are dedicated. For all agencies, joint task forces are force multipliers that best serve Los Angeles and surrounding jurisdictions. For example, the FBI has contributed special agents to LAPD’s West Valley Bureau gang and commercial robbery effort, and to other violent gang suppression efforts around the city. Day in and day out, using our combined resources, the LAPD, the Sheriff’s Department and the FBI, and our many partners are tirelessly protecting the public they have sworn to serve against terror and other crime threats. Importantly, the LAPD is a vital partner in this effort.Sincerely,J. Stephen TidwellAssistant Director in Chargelast_img read more

Prayer and attire helped keep this cross-country trip moving

first_imgTo prepare for the move, I had an hour’s lesson on how to drive the nine-shift truck with the hydraulic lift. It had an auxiliary gas tank, and I’d mastered how to turn it on. The truck went 55 mph and had no power steering. It also slipped out of gear on a downhill run. If I manually held it in place, we were all right. So it was with a lot of optimism that we attempted this 3,000-mile trip. The cab was small. Behind the seats were sleeping bags, air mats and pillows stuffed with pajamas in their cases, and on board were my trusty electric tea kettle, two cups, powdered coffee, milk and a small tablecloth. One small pan, two bowls, and silverware were in the shopping bag – this was the economy trip. My girlfriend had styled my hair, and we were bidding a last farewell to neighbors and friends when someone passed David a tall, black, silk hat. David’s eyes lit up, but there was no place to put it except on his head. We set out on the 1,000-mile turnpike from Boston to Chicago in style, with me in my dress and my son with his silk hat. Halfway across the continent we noticed there was something sluggish about the shifting. At each gas station we went in we were told about this big truck garage “just up ahead” that could fix it. We arrived just before lunchtime. I asked the owner how long it would take to get it repaired. He took me to the back of the garage, where he had a large blackboard. “You see that?” Names of owners, types of trucks, license plates and times of arrival were listed. Some at the top were crossed out. “We take them as they come in, and when they are finished they’re crossed off and they leave,” he said. “Your truck is at the bottom now.” “That’s a fair way to do business,” I said. “Now as for me and my truck, we are on the way to Los Angeles. We’ll be your guests until the truck is fixed. We have our sleeping bags, air mattresses and pillows, and will sleep beside or under the truck until we leave. “I’m a Christian, a Sunday school teacher and honest. Nothing will be disturbed in your garage for the duration.” “Not in my garage,” he said. Lunch came and I found a barrel, put the tablecloth over it, and set the two fold-up stools on either side of it. I plugged in my tea kettle, and put a Twinkie on each plate with a roll of crackers. The tea kettle whistled, and I poured the hot water into the soup. As we sat down, I told David to take off his hat for grace. I thanked the Lord not only for the food, but also for the garage, and His care of us. I also asked His mercy with the garage owner. I assured him that we were most grateful for this place to sleep out of the cold, wind and maybe rain. The sound of the kettle must have drawn the owner’s attention. When we got through lunch and packed up the truck, I heard the owner holler, “Will someone get on that Bachelder truck and get it out of here?” The truck needed only some small adjustment and we were soon on our way. I worried that I wouldn’t know when we had a flat with so many extra tires on the truck. But in a rainstorm it happened, and I was driving. Several burly truck drivers helped David get it changed, and I wondered if the outfits we were wearing had anything to do with their generosity. I pulled into the yard in Lawndale just six days after we left Massachusetts, still intact in the beautiful dress and pearls. Shirley Bachelder is a 42-year Torrance resident who is retired. Do you have a story to tell? Submit your column to Lisa Martini, My Turn, Daily Breeze, 5215 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503-4077, or e-mail us at lisa.martini@dailybreeze.com. Please limit to 800 words and include your telephone number. We’ll pay $25 for each column we publish. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.I told Mildred that the dress had seen its last hurrah, and she said, “I have a couple of dresses I’d like to give you. I’m sure they’ll fit.” They were lovely: One was a brown print Bergdorf Goodman with an enormous full skirt and tight-fitting waist, the other was a light blue dimity with a beautiful wide lace collar. I discarded that old dress then and there. The morning I was getting ready to take the plane to Massachusetts, Mildred gave me a cultured pearl necklace and earrings. It was a beautiful choker and the pearls were as big as blueberries. I was in heaven. “Wear them always,” she said. We said a tearful farewell, and I headed home. It was the summer of 1962 and my family had bought a 2-ton Ford truck to move our things to California from Medford, Mass. I was 41 years old and going to drive the truck loaded with 28,000 pounds of furniture with my teenage son, David. Before leaving the East Coast, I flew to New York for the weekend to see my friend who had been my junior high school teacher and mentor. Mildred had married and lived in a penthouse apartment and was delighted to see me one last time. I wore an old navy blue serge dress and planned to discard it before leaving for California. I intended to wear dungarees driving cross-country. A small locked box on the running board of the truck was my entire wardrobe. last_img read more


first_imgFidget Feet Aerial Dance Company spent two days in Loreto Secondary School, Letterkenny giving workshops to six groups of very enthusiastic students.This was a great opportunity for them to do something completely different and they had a wonderful experience.   PICTURE SPECIAL: FIDGET FEET AERIAL DANCE COMPANY AT LORETO LETTERKENNY was last modified: February 19th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Aerial Dance CompanyFidget FeetLoreto Letterkennylast_img read more

Plymouth 9/1 to beat Liverpool and continue run of FA Cup shocks – CORAL DD

first_imgCoral’s Dave Stevens joins the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast to round up the latest sporting odds.This morning we looked ahead to tonight’s FA Cup third round replays, with Coral offering a 9/4 treble on favourites Liverpool, Southampton and Newcastle to win.But, the FA Cup is always full of surprises, so – after non-league sides Sutton United and Lincoln City secured two big shocks last night – will we see another upset?League Two outfit Plymouth Argyle are 9/1 to beat Liverpool at home – having held them to a 0-0 draw at Anfield – Norwich are 11/2 to stun Southampton at St Mary’s and Birmingham are 5/1 to beat Newcastle away at St James’ Park.Coral is the official betting partner of the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfastlast_img read more

New commander at Plant 42

first_imgCommissioned through the ROTC program in 1988, Hirtle’s early career was spent in missile combat roles. He later switched over to the contracting field. Hirtle’s career includes serving as one of two acquisition staff officers in the Joint Logistics Directorate, United States Central Command for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. In that capacity, Hirtle deployed to the Middle East as the lead contracting officer for the Security and Justice Sector for the Iraq Ministry of Interior. Hirtle said his experience in Iraq will be helpful in his new post. In the Iraq deployment, Hirtle said he had to work hand in hand with defense contractors much in the same way a Plant 42 commander must work with contractors. Hirtle said he was very impressed with the Antelope Valley’s high degree of support for the military. “I’ve seen yellow ribbons all over the community,” Hirtle said. “When the community backs the military – that’s what you love to see.” Hirtle came to Palmdale with his fiance, Laura Snow, and his son, Alex. Hirtle earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and political science from the University of New Hampshire, a master’s in health care administration from Central Michigan University and a master’s of business administration in contracts and acquisition from Western New England College. Ortiz is leaving after a three-year stint as Plant 42’s commander. During Ortiz’s tenure, the installation saw the first flight of the first production Global Hawk reconnaissance aircraft, the start-up of the midfuselage production for the F-35 joint strike fighter, the installation of a new weapons delivery system on the F-117 stealth fighter, and ongoing support of the upgrade program of the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft. Ortiz oversaw the start-up of two major improvement projects for Plant 42 – the installation of new taxiway lights that will reduce energy consumption by 60 percent and the start of a four-phase program to update aging fire protection facilities. Ortiz also lists among his highlights the installations work with Lancaster High School students in hosting an annual Armed Forces appreciation event. “It allows the kids to plan out the event and hopefully learn some skills. And it instills some civic pride and patriotism,” Ortiz said. Ortiz is going to Los Angeles Air Force Base to serve as director of contracts for special acquisition programs. In that role, he will work on systems engineering and federal research contracts supporting Air Force space systems. james.skeen@dailynews (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PALMDALE – In what one official called a changing of the Rons, Lt. Col. Ronald Hirtle took command Wednesday of Air Force Plant 42, succeeding Lt. Col. Ronald Ortiz. With some of the nation’s most sophisticated aircraft serving as a backdrop, Hirtle took command of the installation in a brief ceremony in front of civic leaders and defense contractors. Hirtle now commands an installation that produces and modifies cutting-edge aircraft and serves as the Antelope Valley’s second-largest center of employment. “When I was 15 years old, I knew I wanted to be an Air Force officer,” Hirtle said. “Now, to be commander of Plant 42 is a honor for me.” The commander of Plant 42 is responsible for providing security and fire protection for eight separate production sites. The commander is also responsible for the operations and maintenance of two 12,000-foot runways used by the military, contractors and commercial aircraft. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Plant 42, along with the neighboring Lockheed Martin plant, employs more than 6,500 people. Work at Plant 42 includes the production of the unmanned Global Hawk and modification operations for the B-2 bomber fleet, the F-117 stealth fighter and the U-2. The ceremony was presided over by Col. James Godsey, deputy director of the engineering directorate of Aeronautical Systems Center, Plant 42’s parent unit. A B-2, a F-117 and a U-2 were among the aircraft arranged as a backdrop for the ceremony. In addition to keeping the airfield accessible to defense contractors, Hirtle will also have to work on a number of community issues, including plans by the city of Palmdale to build a power plant on the northern boundary of the installation and efforts to establish airline service out of the Palmdale Regional Airport. “The main thing is to get settled in, get my family settled in, and take the issues as they come,” Hirtle said. Hirtle is coming to Plant 42 from Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts, where he was chief of contracts for the Mission Planning Systems Group, Battle Management Wing. last_img read more

Termed-out Alarcón mulling a return to City Council

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’The fallout is having an incredible chain reaction. Under the original local scenario, it was all a neat and clean political merry-go-round: Alarcón was elected to the Assembly seat being vacated by Cindy Monta ez due to term limits, and Councilman Alex Padilla was elected to Alarcón’s seat in the state Senate. The idea then was that Monta ez would have a shot at replacing Padilla on the City Council in what could have been a tough election against Padilla’s chief deputy Felipe Fuentes and businesswoman Monica Rodriguez. It even got to the point where Alarcón and Monta ez held a private meeting in late October in which aides said he promised to endorse Monta ez and help her election. Then came Nov. 8 and voter approval of Measure R – and everything is up in the air. Even for state Sen. Richard Alarcón – who for years has coped with term limits by hop-scotching among political jobs – this is a sudden turnaround. Alarcón, who grew up in the San Fernando Valley, served as deputy mayor for former Mayor Tom Bradley and six years on the City Council. But in a move that has stunned the field around him, Alarcon now is considering returning to the council under this month’s voter approval of a measure that allows him to serve a third four-year term. That means Alarcón is looking at taking the oath of office to the state Assembly on Dec. 4 and – four days later – filing to run for the City Council seat he vacated six years ago. Alarcón has formed an exploratory committee and has been busy calling local business and political leaders to gauge their support. Monta ez and Fuentes, however, have not been idle. Fuentes has opened a campaign account with the city and is beginning fundraising. Monta ez also plans to open a campaign account. Aides to both also insist they will not withdraw if Alarcón is in the race. It’s not quite the national audience he would like, but Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa got his chance to put “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart on the “seat of heat.” The two were the stars at a fundraiser Friday night at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood as part of a campaign to raise the final $3.2 million for the $19 million makeover of the historic theater. The program, put together by Oscar producer Gil Cates, included Stewart and Villaraigosa in “an evening of conversation and comedy.” Those who paid up to $250 per seat – or $500 to be part of the cocktail reception – got to watch the mayor question Stewart and the two take questions from the audience. Supporters of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger – don’t put away those checkbooks yet. The Terminator will be back. Fresh off his re-election, the governor has formed a committee to coordinate, plan and raise money for his Jan. 5 inauguration in Sacramento. No details have come out yet, but the committee plans to raise private funds for the event. Schwarzenegger has proven to be a prolific fundraiser in his years in office. Three years ago, if it’s any standard, the governor held what was described as a “low-key” event that cost his backers an estimated $350,000. That event had more than 7,500 invited guests and drew international news coverage with more than 600 credentialed reporters. Carl Bendix, executive producer of the January event, said it is designed to “further the spirit of bipartisan cooperation.” Presumably that means donations from both Democrats and Republicans will be accepted. City Council President Eric Garcetti was scheduled to travel east today to meet with some of the governor’s in-laws. Garcetti is one of three people being honored with the New Frontier Award, presented annually to Americans under the age of 40 who are active in public service. The award is being presented by Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and Caroline Kennedy. rick.orlov@dailynews.com (213) 978-0390160Want 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

Sam Torrance named by Darren Clarke as fifth Ryder Cup vice-captain

first_imgThe Scot captained the European team at the 2002 Ryder Cup at The Belfry, with Europe winning the competition over their American rivals.Now Torrance will once again be part of the European team at the Ryder Cup this time working under Clarke. European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke has named Sam Torrance as his fifth vice-captain for September’s contest at Hazeltine.Clarke made the announcement during a press conference ahead of this week’s US PGA Championship and said he was “delighted” that 2002 skipper Torrance had agreed to join Ian Poulter, Paul Lawrie, Thomas Bjorn and Padraig Harrington on his backroom staff.“Sam’s been a very good friend of mine for a long time,” former Open champion Clarke said. “He was a wonderful captain to play under at The Belfry.“He was very thorough and everybody that played under him enjoyed the week because it can been difficult at times, but Sam put everybody at ease and made everyone comfortable.”last_img read more