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Pacific nations call for action on rugby league pay gap

first_imgThe lead-in to the World Cup has been dominated by some high profile names forgoing the chance to play for the Kiwis and Kangaroos, instead choosing to represent their Pacific heritage.Toa Samoa coach Matt Parish believes this will be the most competitive World Cup yet but said the Rugby League International Federation needs to take the lead in addressing the financial disparity between the haves and have-nots.”They need to have some spine and make sure that every team in the tournament gets the same amount of money, then we will see a much evener contest,” he said.”At the moment when you’ve got three teams getting $20,000 a game and the rest of us getting pittance it’s very unfair and very uneven but if you pay everyone the same amount of money then let the players choose who they want to play for I can tell you then it will be a lot different story”.”The thing about our team is they don’t play for money because they don’t get any and that’s the whole thing and it’s admirable but why should they get none when other teams are getting more.”It’s just such an uneven playing field at the moment and I think it’s grossly unfair and until someone does something about it it’s going to continue to do that”.Tonga have been the talk of the last few weeks, since Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita opted to switch allegiance from New Zealand and Australia at the 11th hour, and were quickly joined by the likes of Manu Ma’u, Sio Siua Taukieaho and David Fusitu’a.But coach Kristian Woolf argued that the playing ground remained far from even.”It’s something that has to be looked at and there has to be some sort of move or change there, that’s for sure, to improve things,” he said.”Where that comes from I don’t know because I’m not sure what pool is available there – the NRL fund Australia and New Zealand, I’m not sure what sort of pool is available there – or whether the International Rugby League (Federation) needs to take up some of the slack.””It’s certainly something that needs to be looked at and there’s obviously been a fair bit made of the fact some guys chose to play for us, as opposed to some of the bigger nations.”The sacrifice that those guys have made is enormous – something that most people just wouldn’t do, to be frank, and I think if there was a lot more even ground there then you’d see a lot more of those decisions made,” reflected Woolf.”While for some people that would be controversial – and some people certainly found negatives in it – I think for the good of the international game we want competitive teams and we want the best talent to be spread around those nations, as opposed to all playing for one or two.”That’s how I think we help to grow the game and that can only be positive for the game”.Pacific team name strong line-ups for opening roundTeams for the opening round of matches have been revealed, with all of Tonga’s big-names included and Samoa selecting a monster pack to take on New Zealand.Jason Taumalolo, Andrew Fifita and Michael Jennings will all start for Mate Ma’a Tonga against Scotland on Sunday, while Konrad Hurrell to make his long-awaited debut in the centres.Toa Samoa captain Frank Pritchard is joined in the back row by former Australia international Josh Papalii for their clash against New Zealand on Saturday night, while fullback Young Tonumaipea is selected for his first test appearance in three years.Jarryd Hayne slots in at standoff for Fiji’s World Cup opener against the United States with Akuila Uate in the centres and front-rower Ashton Sims to make his first test appearance since 2014.Meanwhile David Mead will captain Papua New Guinea from fullback in their tournament opener against Wales in Port Moresby.Kato Ottio and Nene MacDonald also return in the centres, after missing the Pacific Test in May, while former captain Paul Aiton will make his first Kumuls appearance since the 2013 World Cup in the back row. Papua New Guinea squad:David Mead (c), Justin Olam, Kato Ottio, Nene Macdonald, Garry Lo, Ase Boas, Watson Boas, Stanton Albert, Wartovo Puara, Luke Page, Rhyse Martin, Rod Griffin, Paul Aiton. Interchange: Kurt Baptiste, Willie Minoga, James Segeyaro, Enock Maki. Reserves: Lachlan Lam, Stargroth Amean, Wellington Albert, Moses Meninga.Samoa squad:Young Tonumaipea, Peter Mata’utia, Timoteo Lafai, Joseph Leilua, Ken Maumalo, Joseph Paulo, Ben Roberts, Junior Paulo, Jazz Tevaga, Sam Lisone, Joshua Papalii, Frank Pritchard (c), Leeson Ah Mau. Interchange: Pita Godinet, Herman Ese’ese, Suaia Matagi, Bunty Afoa. Reserves: Zane Musgrove, Ricky Leutele, Frank Winterstein, Fa’amanu BrownFiji squad:Kevin Naiqama (c), Suliasi Vunivalu, Taane Milne, Akuila Uate, Marcelo Montoya, Jarryd Hayne, Henry Raiwalui, Ashton Sims, Apisai Koroisau, Kane Evans, Viliame Kikau, Korbin Sims, Tui Kamikamica. Interchange: Joe Lovodua, Jacob Saifiti, Eloni Vunakece, Petero Benjamin Nakubuwai. Reserves: Brayden Wiliame, James Storer, Junior Roqica, Pio Seci.Tonga squad:William Hopoate, Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Konrad Hurrell, Manu Vatuvei, Tuimoala Lolohea, Mafoa’aeata Hingano, Andrew Fifita, Siliva Havili, Sio Siua Taukeiaho, Manu Ma’u, Sika Manu (c), Jason Taumalolo. Interchange: Sione Katoa, Sam Moa, Peni Terepo, Ben Murdoch-Masilia. Reserves: Joe Ofahengaue, Solomone Kata, David Fusitua, Samisoni Langi.last_img read more

JNBS Foundation marks successful 5K Run/Walk in Falmouth

first_imgThe organisers of the inaugural Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) Foundation Heroes In Action 5K Run/Walk were pleased with Saturday’s event, which was held in the historic tourist town of Falmouth, Trelawny, with close to eight hundred people taking part.Ryon Chambers won the male run category in a time of 17 minutes and 58 seconds. Second place was taken by Lenford Adams, 18:15, while Ronique Williams copped third in 18:19.On the women’s side, first place went to Karlene Blagrove of Pacers Running Club in an easy-looking 22:07 minutes. She was trailed across the finish line by Jozanne Harris (Jamdammers) in 22:57 minutes. Jordan Waldschmidt ended in third, running 25:04 minutes.What made the event more special was the fact that multiple Olympic and World Champion and world record holder over the 100m and 200m Usain Bolt was on hand to send the participants on their way.Bolt, through his foundation, were key endorsers of the event that seeks to provide funding to the tune of $8m for the construction of a building that will house a classroom, a library and a sewing room at the Granville Place of Safety for Girls in Trelawny.Celebrity participantsAlso taking part were Bolt’s parents, Wellesley and Jennifer Bolt; the town’s mayor, Garth Wilkinson; and several other well-known personalities, including members of the Trelawny FA, Linnel McLean (president), Ronald McLean (no relation) and Ms Hernie Brown, among others.Paula Sinclair won the overall female 5K walk title ahead of Kimberly Clarke, with Brynn Broadie finishing in third place. On the men’s side, victory went to AndrÈ Smith of Go Run Running Club. The Jamaica National pair of Vivian Lawes and Jason Henry were second and third, respectively.Munro College won the Team Championship (5K race) ahead of Grange Hill High (second) and Bolt’s alma mater, William Knibb High, in third.Munro’s team of Rushane Fullerton, Leon Whyte, Daviere Witter, Marville Yee, and Michael Goss crossed the line first in a combined time of 1:34:26, with Grange Hill (1:45:36) next best. William Knibb had a time of 1:46:1.Port Authority took the Team Championship 5K Walk, with Good Hope in second and the Child Development Agency back in third.Saffry Brown, general manager, JN Foundation, described the occasion as a special one.”It is an awesome occasion. It actually has a special meaning to the Granville School of Safety for Girls and the wider community,” said Brown.”That we are able to hold this event in Falmouth, a very historic town, and with Usain Bolt on board through his foundation, it gives a real sense of pride and purpose to the event,” she added.The event was held as part of the JN Foundation’s 141st anniversary celebrations.last_img read more

Less Than 400 Ebola Cases Nationwide as Ebola Declines, Says Dorbor Jallah

first_imgRestrictions on the movement of people, quarantining of communities and positive response to the frequent washing of hands and avoiding infested dead bodies have helped to reduce the infection rate of the Ebola virus throughout Liberia, according to Mr. James Dorbor Jallah, Deputy Incident Manager for support services at the Incident Management System.Moreover as the Dry Season approaches in Liberia, he said, intense heat and sunlight will contribute to Liberia’s effort to eradicate the disease. The Ebola Virus has been described as ‘fragile’ by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, and is easily destroyed by heat and sunlight.The Incident Management System, (IMS) is the body that has replaced the National Ebola Taskforce set up by the Liberian government earlier in the Ebola fight, headed by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.  Mr. Jallah told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview in Monrovia Sunday that despite the optimism, “We should remember that we are still fighting the Ebola Virus disease and, therefore, there is no need for celebration.”  Instead, he emphatically stated that the Liberian public should continue to take all safety measures, including regular hand washing, refraining from touching infected persons or dead bodies, avoiding all cultural and traditional practices that could spread the disease and  avoiding movement from one area to another.     According to Mr. Jallah, coordinated information reaching his office from the various Ebola Treatment Units, (ETUs), indicates that across the country, “there are less than 400 people who are in treatment.” “Therefore,” Jallah said, “there are more than 300 ETUs that are empty, which means they are without people who are being treated for the virus.” The latest report has also made it clear that decisions and recommendations approved by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and implemented by the Liberian government have worked to reduce increased infection from the insidious disease, Mr. Jallah said.  “All of us should continue with the measures outlined in this fight,” he said, “because the less than 400 people being treated in the various ETUs is still a high number,” he noted.   With particular reference to the six hardest hit counties of Montserrado, Bomi, Bong, Lofa, Nimba and Margibi, Jallah said, “Lofa County, particularly Foya and Barkedu, have registered less than ten persons in treatment in the last couple of weeks.”   At the peak of its infection, Jallah said, nearly eighty people were admitted at the ETU in Foya, with most of the cases coming from Quarduboni.   “The infection reduced tremendously when the communities in Lofa and citizens from areas in Monrovia, including religious leaders, got involved,” Jallah disclosed. “They implemented the measures issued by government and that has brought relief,” he said. Jallah said, “Currently, Foya has reported no new cases and the 120 bed ETU is empty.” While these reports show a success story, the World Health Organization, (WHO) has indicated that there could be 10,000 infections weekly in the coming weeks in Liberia. But with the dry season now in Liberia, as mentioned earlier, nature could work to support the fight against Ebola, according to health officials.   Since there are “sparks” of cases now and then, according to Jallah, “Liberia is still in the woods, meaning the country is not yet out of danger.  However, recent reports on the decline in the use of the ETUs do not support the WHO’s dire prediction.  Jallah, whose division coordinates and ensures the effective provision of non-medical support to the Incident Management System, (IMS), said the re-organization of the National Ebola Task Force, headed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is effective in its fight against the disease.   He insisted that what could be considered as a success story came about and would continue if Liberians and residents take the following measures daily: Avoid touching sick or dead persons; Avoid movement from one community to another, particularly for people who may have been exposed to the virus and If one gets exposed to the virus, observe the 21-day quarantine.   Other measures are: Avoid contact with sick, symptomatic, or dead person’s saliva, excretion, vomit, urine, semen, etc.; Wash your hands regularly and Wash your hands when entering AND leaving buildings, since it is possible for an infected person to leave a virus on surfaces and other areas which people find easy to touch, such as door handles and stair rails.   Meanwhile Mr. Tolbert Nyenswah, Incident Manager of the Incident Management System of the Ebola Response, corroborated Mr. Jallah’s report yesterday in a phone interview and added that since October 19, there have been 329 patients in ETUs with 725 bed capacity across the country.  “While we are encouraged by such a prospect, it does not mean we are free from the disease,” Nyenswah said. “It is too early to determine why there are not many cases and we are investigating.”   Nyenswah said there are possibilities that “We have Ebola infected individuals in our various communities,” stressing on the need to follow measures outlined by the Liberian government in its fight against the disease.  In addition a source at the Foya Ebola Treatment Unit, (ETU), confirmed to the Daily Observer yesterday in a telephone interview that “in the last two and half weeks, there have been no new cases.” This corroborates information from the nerve center in Monrovia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Alpha Sorority Distributes US$100,000 Medical Supplies

first_imgEight hospitals, ETUs and clinics last Friday took delivery of medical supplies estimated at US$100,000 from Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., during a program held at the Fish Market in Monrovia.  LPRC Managing Director, T. Nelson Williams, president of Eta Epsilon Lambada Chapter, before the distribution, said the donation was in response to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s appeal to Liberians last July to join the fight against the then raging Ebola Virus Disease.  “We realized that the Liberian government did not have the capacity to respond to the fight and therefore we made contact with our sorority friends in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, who mobilized to support the fight against the virus,” he said.   He indicated that additional supplies, expected to arrive very soon, will also be distributed to hospitals outside Montserrado County. The Alpha Phi Alpha, he said, is a brotherhood organization that seeks to relieve humanity of difficulties, adding that the sorority will not relent untill the Ebola virus disease is eradicated from the country.       He called on Liberians not to resort to complacency because of the drastic decline in Ebola infections.  Responding on behalf of the Incident Management System, Health Assistant Minister Tolbert Nyeswah commended the fraternity, along with others, and noted that the supplies would go a long way to help sustain gains achieved so far in the Ebola eradication effort.  Minister Nyeswah warned that Liberia is not yet out of danger, since “there are a couple of positive cases, here and there.”  He urged Liberians to continue practicing Ebola preventive measures.  He recounted Alpha Phi Alpha’s contributions since July 2014, and commended the organization for its continuous support to the national fight against the Ebola Virus Disease.  Monrovia City Mayor, Mrs. Clara Doe Mvogo, also expressed appreciation to Alpha and urged Liberians to keep observing Ebola preventive measures to ensure the end of the virus in the country.  Earlier, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who briefly joined the distribution event, commended Alpha Phi Alpha for their invaluable contribution to support the national effort.   Vice President Joseph Boakai, also in a passing visit, expressed appreciation to Alpha Phi Alpha for the valuable contribution and promised 600 cartons of tuna fish to be delivered to the benefiting institutions.  The eight beneficiaries are the Bensonville Hospital, Lakpazee Clinic, Clara Town Clinic, THT Hospital and Hotel Africa ETU.   Others are Curren Lutheran Hospital in Zorzor, Lofa County, TB Annex Health Clinic and Duport Road Health Center.The items included examination gloves, surgical gloves, Clorox, wipes and surgical masks.   The rest are assorted surgical items, ICU materials, injection needles, IV lines, syringes, tourniquets and spinal needles.On behalf of the recipients, Mr. Samuel Tarplah of the Unity Conference Center ETU, expressed gratitude to Alpha Phi Alpha and assured them and their U.S. based partners that the medical supplies would be used for the intended purposes. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Beyond Insanity

first_imgChapter 1It was the beginning of a new adventure and I thought it could not come to this. For many years the war created conditions that I thought could end as quickly as it had begun. It just started as a rumor and then it proceeded to develop and became huge.The last we checked, what we thought would just come and sweep over us had come to stay. And since the day in December 1989, the dogs of war turned our lives upside down. And from there war, the real one, became the daily dose for thousands of us.The war created several monsters: they were called ‘freedom fighters’ and with their weapons of power, life itself lost its value. Young men and women were trained and given weapons that because of them they could command authority and respect from their elders. Families were torn asunder as the young men and women in their new roles as defenders of our freedom dictated how we should live.The soldiers, yes, those who had been trained for many years to defend the nation and protect the people could not do it. The majority of them were interested in staying alive. But they were wrong. Their enemies did not forgive those who, for their personal reasons, decided to throw down their weapons. They were, many of them, marched on to their doom.As the war progressed and the butchers from all the various factions learned the effective means of killing other Liberians, the game took a different turn. From the national army to the rebels, civilians were their primary targets. And the price for the war was devastating in its nature!Even the house of God was no longer safe. The local communities where thousands sought refuge were places waiting to be invaded and in many instances displaced Liberians were slaughtered in their beds. From the Lutheran Church to the United Nations Compound on to the Duport Road community – all in Monrovia – the dogs of war went in their furor, mowing their fellow human beings down.They were tragedies of serious proportions, and many of the survivors often asked, but to no one in particular: ‘What kind of war is this?’Chapter 2War is one of the greatest enemies of mankind; someone is reported to have said in frustration. It was apparent that whoever said it might have seen the horror of war and he could no longer remain unconcerned with its destructive nature. But again, one may ask: Is mankind’s history devoid of war? From the beginning of time, the Bible reports the continuous battles the Israelites engaged in and the destruction that those wars meted on mankind.So it can be said that the wars of our time, while different in the means and methods of their execution, are not really different in their end results. The results are death and the destruction of material properties that have been sought after many painful years.But whoever thought that a nation born out of the frustrations of the world’s greatest inhuman trade, the slave trade, could end up destroying what was cherished to build in the days when man’s desire for emancipation was at its highest demand, might have been considered insane. But the reality after close to one hundred and fifty years of statehood made it an obvious fact that what can be described as deliberate failure played a major role in the actions of the leaders and eventually sent Liberia to face its tragic history.I am not sure, but it seemed probable that the fragile foundation of Liberia and the shortsightedness that accompanied its development, sadly, set the stage for the eventual conflagration and division of the nation-state. And when the dust finally settled, the nation was bleeding and panting for breath.Poor thing!So it came to pass that when the war was announced over BBC, many people thought with the manner the leader of the insurgents (call them rebels if you wish) was confidently declaring the movement’s objectives, that it would have been in a few days’ time.The unpopularity of the Samuel Doe regime had sunk deeper into the abyss of the people’s discontent. He had become a nuisance and the man whose triumphant entry into the Liberian political landscape had engendered so much goodwill was becoming a nonentity among the people. “Monkey come down,” was refrain, as thousands demonstrated throughout the major streets of Monrovia to express their dissatisfaction and by that way telling him that it was time to leave the chair. And everybody agreed, though with some exception, that Samuel Doe had outlived his usefulness. In doing this damage to his ego, the leader of the insurgents, Charles Taylor, declared with an element of confidence that the “only good Doe was a dead one.”The successes of the insurgents to kick the butt of the national soldiers created some optimism and hope among many of the people. There was a sizable number of people who had otherwise remained cautious of the simmering declarations of the man in the bush. But as it is with the affairs of men, when the end comes for the one who has ruled with an iron fist, many are those who consider him a historical person. The war had become the Achilles’ heel of the Doe regime, and as the insurgents continued to announce their successes, the spirit of the soldiers began to deflate.In anger, the soldiers turned on the civilian population, and it is with shame that I write this and I hope, it is with shame, you may read it: Gios and Manos residing in the capital and other political opponents became sacrificial lambs for the vanquished national army. The hope that might have been seen at the end of the tunnel was losing steam. For, it was not very long before the insurgents began to kill off all Liberians. They were not discriminating among those who had wished for the old regime to be replaced. It was, by all accounts, the self-destruction of a nation that could not remember its heroes.Those who understood the meaning of hope could not agree that the insurgents had anything better for the battered nation.Chapter 3The young man looked on with disdain. It had been too long since the war should have ended but it would not. Standing several feet away from the soldier, his heart beat increased and it was clear that he was afraid of what might happen next.The war had been panting for the lives of its enemies and the young man was sure that barring a miracle, would he survive? The other night, soldiers, several of them from the Armed Forces of Liberia, had visited his family. Just eighteen and little experience in the difficulties of the political crisis in the country, the city of Monrovia where he had lived with his mother and four siblings had been relatively safe. No, it was safe until the political troubles began and it eventually progressed to the direct confrontation against the Gios and Manos and other political figures in the country.As the man had said to him, when they came, “All you Gio and Mano people are marked for destruction.” The soldier had meant business, for he had demonstrated that statement by whipping his mother with the butt of his gun.“You are killing me,” his mother had wailed, pleading for help that James Zonn could not give. In fact when the soldiers saw him staring at them, they thought he was taking mental pictures of their action, and he was warned to look away.“If you want to live,” the other soldier had warned him, “you must never look at us like that, rebel.”From here, he turned his face to the other side of the house but that did not satisfy the soldiers. He was not looking when he felt the slap of heavy metal against the back of his head.“Ma they are killing me,” was all he was able to say, and then he blacked out.He did not know how long it took, but by the next morning, he awoke to find his mother missing, and his two brothers and two sisters sprawled on their mats. He thought they were dead but he was glad that when he began to shake them, they all awoke, with tears in their eyes.Two of his sisters, one was sixteen and the other was fifteen, he saw, had their underwear torn in several places. And there was blood also.In tears, he grabbed the hands of the girls and pulled them along to the bathroom.“They took Mamie away,” the seventeen-year-old girl said, as the rest of the children began to shriek.And their father?He had been missing. He had gone in search for food for the family in Saye Town when news came that he had been arrested. From the pieces of information he could put together, he learned his father had been arrested at a checkpoint by some soldiers. And he also learned that his father was a “rebel.”He was now becoming use to the description of being a “rebel” and from then on since any Gio and Mano was considered a “rebel” he realized that it was no longer safe for him to accept the description of being a “Gio or a Mano.” But can he change it? He knew being a Gio or a Mano simply meant the tribe he originated from, which had its distinctive cultural practices among other cultural identities. But he also knew that it was a designation about the language or dialect he communicated with at home with the family. But was a language a crime that others must pay with their lives?Since his mother was taken away and the father had also been long arrested, he saw how unfair life had become. He thought about one of his uncles in the national army. Was he still alive? Had he been arrested and perhaps killed, since he was also a Gio?There were sounds of shooting outside and he could hear people running helter-skelter.“The soldiers are coming,” he told his siblings. Hunger pangs were biting them deeper, and he did not know what to make of the situation.Yes, the day had dawned on him and the future looked bleaker than he had anticipated. He wished he understood the reasons for the suffering of the Gios and Manos, and likewise the entire Liberian people. He wished he knew.He also knew that by 1700GMT, the BBC would broadcast the latest news from the warfront, and at the time he would be able to hear what the National Patriotic Front of Liberia’s leader, Charles Taylor, say about the war. It was now 1500GMT and there were two more hours to go.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Body found afloat near GTI

first_imgThe body of an unidentified man was found on Tuesday morning, in a trench near the Government Technical Institute, Georgetown. The body was discovered by a staff of the institute, on her way to work.An investigation has been launched.Details of this story will follow in the March 22, 2017 edition of Guyana Times.last_img

Bishop Alemany wins brain bout

first_img“Not everyone can play a sport,” Schnelldorfer said. “This is an academic way to excel.” St. Francis High School of La Ca ada Flintridge finished second, and Santa Ana’s Mater Dei High School took third. In the same order, the three schools also won the Super Quiz – a highlight of tests that focused this year on climatology. The theme was China and its influence on the world. Throughout the year, students studied everything Chinese, from music to science. Winners at the state decathlon will vie for the national championship in Honolulu. (818) 713-3746 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! MISSION HILLS – Bishop Alemany High School took home the gold Sunday after seizing first place in this year’s Southern California Private Schools Academic Decathlon. Led by team member Eddie Grinnell, the Mission Hills school bested 18 others to take the title. The team now heads to the state competition March 15-18 in Los Angeles to compete against public schools as well as other private ones. An awards banquet Sunday recognized participants at Bishop Alemany, where about 170 students competed in the all-day battle of the brains Feb. 3 – a combination of essays, speeches, interviews and tests covering eight subjects. This year’s contest attracted 27 more students than last year’s, said Jo Ann Schnelldorfer, regional coordinator for the event. Universities recognize the hard work and dedication the teens put into the challenge. last_img read more

King’s L.A.

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita Interracial marriages? Integrated neighborhoods? These are just part of our daily lives in Southern California, as unremarkable as sunny weather or traffic jams. In L.A., for the most part, we have come to expect to be judged not by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character. That’s not to say all is perfect in this town. Crime and poverty continue to disproportionately afflict the African-American and Latino communities, as do subpar schools and gang violence. But the challenges of today are rooted more in culture and economics than in racial prejudice, and this itself is great progress. We still have a way to go, but the Los Angeles and America of today are far more tolerant and less bigoted than they were 40 years ago. For this, we owe King a tremendous debt of gratitude. He had the courage to call America to live up to its own ideals, to be a better, more-just nation. And because of him we can now say, more confidently than ever, we shall overcome. Martin Luther King Day is one of those civic holidays that’s too easily and too often taken for granted as a day off for public employees, bankers and students. But if we really want to honor King and admire his amazing legacy, there’s something very simple each of us can do – look around this great city of ours. The Los Angeles of 2006 may fall short of the dream King famously envisioned in 1963, but it is a remarkable testament to how far our society has come in eliminating racism and advancing equality – thanks to his courageous and inspiring leadership. Just a few years after King was assassinated, Los Angeles elected its first black mayor and then re-elected him four times. Then last May, Los Angeles elected Antonio Villaraigosa as mayor. That Villaraigosa is a Latino somehow qualified as big news nationwide, but in L.A., the racial angle was all but irrelevant. We elected a Latino? What else is new? The diversity of our elected officials – at the city, county and state levels – is unparalleled. In this town, there is nothing unusual, let alone uncomfortable, about seeing people of all races and ethnicities in all sorts of positions of power, be it political, corporate or academic. 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


first_imgAlexander Ellis Roswell heading to Tory Island with Tory Hostel owner, Deirdre SweeneyA man who has clocked up 4,650 miles walking around the coastline of Ireland and the UK has arrived on Tory Island.Alexander Ellis Roswell has been walking along the coastline of the two countries since the 3rd August 2014 to raise funds for the RNLI.He has now clocked up 4,650 of the expected 10,000 miles it will take him to circumnavigate the British Islands while arriving on Tory Island. Since leaving Minnis Bay in Kent nearly two years ago he has raised in excess of £20,000 for the RNLI.Alexander says has been astounded by the generosity of the communities he has met on this fundraising walk, in particular since he has arrived in Donegal.He recently left Arranmore and spent the last two ways making his way through the Rosses and Gaoth Dobhair before travelling to Tory Island this evening (Wed).Alexander was met and welcomed on the pier by the King of Tory Patsy Dan Rodgers and hopes to spend the next few days exploring Tory Island before returning to the mainland and heading towards Malin Head. He wouldlike to thank all the people who have offered him support on his journey, especially Turasmara and Tory Hostel for making his much anticipated visit to Tory Island a reality.Tory IslandMAN WHO WALKED 4,650 MILES AROUND COASTLINE ARRIVES ON TORY was last modified: June 29th, 2016 by StephenShare 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:Alexander Ellis RoswelldonegalRNLITory Islandlast_img read more

Katrina inquiry considers subpoenas, evacuation procedures

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON (AP) – A House committee investigating the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina issued a subpoena Wednesday to force Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to turn over documents but stopped short of sending a similar legal demand to the White House. The subpoena commands Rumsfeld to produce internal records and communications about the Pentagon’s response to the Aug. 29 storm, including efforts to send supplies to victims, stabilize public safety and mobilize active duty forces in the Gulf Coast. It requires the Pentagon to deliver the documents, spanning from Aug. 23 to Sept. 15, from Rumsfeld and eight other top military officials by Dec. 30. Separately, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it would comply with a judge’s ruling that FEMA keep paying for hotel rooms for hurricane evacuees until Feb. 7. The agency also agreed to extend the program for eligible storm victims who have not been helped by that deadline. The subpoenas were one focus of a House hearing that was marked by angry barbs between Gov. Kathleen Blanco, D-La., and Republicans who challenged her about why a mandatory evacuation for New Orleans was not ordered until the morning before Katrina hit. Mandatory evacuations were ordered for coastal parishes south and east of New Orleans before then. “We had mandatory evacuations,” Blanco said. “We got 1.2 million people out. We ended up saving another 100,000 people and we lost 1,100. That’s the whole story. We got people out.” Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., said Blanco’s explanation was “a story that’s not acceptable because 1,100 people is one half of the men and women we have lost in Operation Iraqi Freedom.” “You lost that many on one day,” Miller said. Shot back Blanco: “Then it’s not acceptable for us to lose … soldiers, either.” Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky., asked Blanco why New Orleans’ emergency management and evacuation plans were not followed. “It’s detailed,” Rogers said of the plan. “All it needed was for the mayor and/or the governor to say ‘Let’s go.’” “We did that, sir. Don’t pretend that we didn’t do that,” Blanco responded tersely. Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers said they were frustrated by the administration’s failures to provide the House investigation with internal memos, e-mails and other documents before and after the storm hit. Pentagon spokesman Army Maj. Paul Swiergosz said the panel’s requests for information have been “very far-reaching and very broad, and we’re doing everything we can to answer them as quickly as we can. “We’re going to provide the documents as fast as we can,” Swiergosz said. “No one has been dragging their feet on these things.” The chairman of the special House committee rejected, for now, legal action against the White House, but left open the possibility of a future subpoena. Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., asked lawmakers to wait until after a private briefing Thursday at the White House before deciding whether to go ahead with a subpoena. “We cannot do our job if we don’t get these documents, and we won’t get these documents if we don’t subpoena them,” said Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-La. The committee, which plans to issue its findings on Feb. 15, has requested hundreds of thousands of documents more than two months ago from the administration and Gulf Coast state and local officials. Louisiana has handed over more than 100,000 documents to the committee. Though the White House said it has provided 450,000 documents, lawmakers said it has claimed executive privilege to refuse e-mails sent to and from White House chief of staff Andrew Card. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said lawmakers would be briefed by a high-level administration official and that he did not immediately anticipate a subpoena against the White House. “I’m not expecting anything of that nature at this point,” McClellan said. “What we have done is work to make sure that they get the information they need to do their job. We’ve worked in good faith.” The hearing came as FEMA pledged to continue paying for hotel rooms for evacuees still unable to find apartments, trailers or other stable housing by Feb. 7, a month beyond the agency’s cutoff date. A federal judge in New Orleans this week set the February deadline in a ruling to give victims more time in hotels as FEMA processes aid applications. FEMA’s acting director, R. David Paulison, did not cite an end-date for the hotel payments, but said “it won’t be indefinite.” He said FEMA will pay hotel bills for up to two weeks after evacuees receive temporary housing assistance because “sometimes it’s tough to find an apartment.” An estimated 40,000 families still are living in hotels, compared with a peak of 85,000 two months weeks ago. “We are going to be flexible, we will make changes to our plan as we move along,” Paulison said. “And we are going to continuously work to make sure nobody falls through the cracks. And if they do fall through the cracks, we are going to find them, locate them and get them back into our system.” Associated Press writer Lolita C. Baldour contributed to this report.last_img read more