Grizzlies acquire Justin Holiday from Bulls

first_imgNadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil View comments No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college The Grizzlies hope Holiday — averaging 11.6 points — provides a lift. They have dropped 10 of 13 and had what general manager Chris Wallace described as an “emotionally charged” meeting following a loss to Detroit on Wednesday.Memphis has fallen from first to 10th in the Western Conference after a 12-5 start.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissWith Holiday gone, rookie Chandler Hutchison figures to play a bigger role for Chicago. Brooks is averaging 6.6 points and Selden is scoring 5.4. LATEST STORIES Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plumcenter_img After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk MOST READ Leo Austria optimistic Terrence Romeo gamble will work for Beermen ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Justin Holiday #7 of the Chicago Bulls is trapped by Wesley Iwundu #25 and Jarell Martin #2 of the Orlando Magic at United Center on December 21, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/AFPCHICAGO — The struggling Memphis Grizzlies have acquired guard Justin Holiday from the Chicago Bulls for guards MarShon Brooks and Wayne Selden Jr.Memphis also sent second-round picks in 2019 and 2020 to Chicago in the deal Thursday. The Bulls waived guard Cameron Payne in another move.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruptionlast_img read more

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Rafael Nadal says ‘no pain’ after Sydney tie as Slam looms

first_imgView comments The 32-year-old had surgery on his ankle in November to remove a loose intra-articular body and only resumed training a month ago.He played the opening round at an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi to start his season, where he lost to South African Kevin Anderson, and had a first round bye in Brisbane before withdrawing ahead of the second round.Asked by reporters if he considered himself a genuine title contender in Melbourne despite his injury problems, he replied: “Why not?”“You can’t predict that. Of course it would be better if I had the chance to play a full tournament in Abu Dhabi and a full tournament in Brisbane, but the big importance is I am feeling good with the ball,” he said“The only thing is that I didn’t play matches since a long time ago.”ADVERTISEMENT Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Rafael Nadal of Spain speaks during a press conference at the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane on January 2, 2019. (Photo by Saeed Khan / AFP)Injury-plagued world number two Rafael Nadal insists he is healthy and in no pain after coming through an exhibition game in Sydney, just days after pulling out of the Brisbane International.The Spaniard teamed up with Canadian Milos Raonic to defeat Australians Nick Kyrgios and John Millman in the FAST4 Showdown on Monday evening — a shortened, quicker format of the game often described as the tennis equivalent of Twenty20 cricket.ADVERTISEMENT Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college MOST READ Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra LATEST STORIES Nadal will now head to Melbourne, where he was the champion in 2009, to get in as much practice as possible before the opening Grand Slam of the year begins on Monday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Nadal said that he was “feeling better” after withdrawing from Brisbane, when an MRI revealed a slight strain of his left thigh, casting doubts over his fitness for next week’s Australian Open.“I did not feel the pain here,” the 17-time Grand Slam champion said. “I think it was a good start for me, a good comeback to the action in front of a fantastic crowd in Sydney.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“I really enjoyed playing here. I’m happy to be back on court and happy that I’m healthy again.”Nadal has not played a main tour event since a knee problem forced him to retire during his US Open semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro in September. Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:13New Year: Sydney celebrates start of 2020 under toxic cloud00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? China, South Korea, Iran open Asian Cup with victories Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship historylast_img read more

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ONE Championship looks to make MMA splash in States

first_imgCarpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title “Our deal is more in the lines of a real pro sport deal, like football or baseball,” Alvarez said. “The package deal is an eight-figure deal. When we brought that to the UFC to match it, they declined matching it and I had to move forward. I’m happy I did because ONE Championship is the only major promotion that I have not won and conquered the world title in. It’s history and legacy for me.”Alvarez was part of a flurry of transactions that put MMA fans on notice that ONE was intent on becoming a singular sensation. ONE obtained Demetrious Johnson, the long-reigning UFC flyweight champion better known as “Mighty Mouse,” in a trade with UFC — yes, a trade — for Ben Askren. Sage Northcutt, once hailed as a future UFC star, also signed with ONE. Meisha Tate, a former 135-pound champion in UFC and Strikeforce, has signed on as ONE’s vice president and was set to move to Singapore.ONE strengthened its roster with notable U.S.-based talent ahead of a North American television deal with Turner Sports. The three-year deal will see ONE content broadcast on Turner’s platforms including TNT, which is received by more than 90 million households in the United States, as well as streaming platform Bleacher Report Live and other Turner properties. Turner, which also broadcasts the NBA and the NCAA Tournament, is set to air 24 events in 2019 on its various outlets. B/R Live will stream ONE: Eternal Glory on Jan. 19 from Jakarta, Indonesia.That date is already familiar to MMA fans — UFC is running its debut show on ESPN-plus the same night (yet in different time zones).Johnson and Alvarez will make their ONE Championship debuts on March 31 in Japan in tournament competition.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title LATEST STORIES In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Photo from ONE ChampionshipHow many casual American sports fans about a year ago had heard of ONE? Try none.OK, maybe that’s a bit of a reach. But the Singapore-based mixed martial arts organization was an afterthought at best in the United States among the hodgepodge of companies trying to put a dent in UFC’s heavyweight share of the combat sports marketplace.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img “I’m not the smallest guy in the organization anymore,” the 5-foot-3 Johnson said. “In America, everybody always looked at me as a child. I won’t have that issue when I’m in Asia competing.”More elite fighters could be on their way to ONE.Alvarez, who said he left on good terms with UFC and President Dana White, has suddenly become quite popular among his MMA peers.“Every fighter in town is sliding into my DMs. What’s going on? What are you being offered?” Alvarez said, laughing.Sityodtong, raised in Thailand and a graduate of Harvard Business School, is the self-made multimillionaire entrepreneur behind ONE. He’s made a name as the most powerful MMA executive in Asia and has trained and coached in martial arts. Alvarez was wowed — and wooed — by Sityodtong’s approach toward building ONE into an American MMA juggernaut.“In three years, our goal is 100 million live viewers per event, making us as big as Super Bowl Sunday,” Sityodtong said at the press conference to introduce Alvarez.ONE has been aggressive in establishing a U.S. foothold in large part because of an influx of cash from some of the top venture capital firms in the world. Sequoia Capital and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek helped ONE secure an additional $166 million in funding in October. ONE said at the time of the announcement it had exceeded $250 million in total capital base. ONE also recently announced an exclusive partnership in Japan with TV Tokyo, one of the country’s largest national television broadcasters.ONE could quickly crush Bellator as the No. 2 promotion in the United States with a national TV deal and become a viable option for free-agent fighters — even with no scheduled events in America.Alvarez has a stout belief that the MMA promotion made in Asia can make it in America.“The fans there get it,” Alvarez said, “and it won’t be long until the American fans here get it, as well.” Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Try ignoring ONE Championship now.After staging shows for seven years across Asia from Myanmar to China, ONE has come out swinging in the U.S. — throwing millions at big-name free agents, signing a major cable TV deal and raising capital needed to not only keep its grip as the dominant MMA promotion of the East, but perhaps use global expansion to eventually rival UFC as the champ of the West.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“They’re making a serious push,” ONE fighter Eddie Alvarez said. “I don’t think it’s going to be long before you can crown them one of the top promotions in the world. They’ve done everything possible in their favor to become that.”Alvarez, a Philadelphia native, should know as well as any fighter about ONE’s commitment to becoming a major player in the U.S. fight game. “The Underground King” has fought for several MMA promotions and made his name in Bellator as a two-time lightweight champion and in UFC where he won the same title in 2016 and headlined the promotion’s first card in Madison Square Garden against Conor McGregor. The 34-year-old Alvarez became a free agent after his last fight in July 2018 and decided to explore his options outside UFC. He traveled to Singapore and met ONE founder and CEO Chatri Sityodtong and learned U.S. expansion plans and acquiring other name fighters were on the horizon, as well as ongoing talks that would broadcast fights in America. Alvarez was impressed, not just by ONE’s outline for the future, but in a multimillion-dollar contract offer that he says makes him one of the highest-paid fighters in the sport. Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra View comments Tearful Murray: Australian Open could be his last tournamentlast_img read more

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Tim Cone sees his former players in Tey Teodoro: ‘He just caught my eye’

first_imgJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ “There’s a little bit of pressure because I didn’t expect that I would have this kind of performance,” said Teodoro. “Right now I’m just thinking of putting numbers in quality minutes.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Teodoro scored four points in seven minutes of play in the Gin Kings’ 90-79 win and he was surprised head coach Tim Cone already trusted him to play in the team’s first game of the season.“I was super happy because this is just our first game and I’m already playing,” said Teodoro, who checked in late in the first quarter, in Filipino. “I never expected that I would enter the game that early.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“I was surprised but I kept myself ready because I’m always watching their games and whatever plays they ran. And I think being a fan helped me,” added Teodoro.Cone said that he saw big things in Teodoro despite the husky guard failing to earn a contract with Columbian—the original team that drafted him in the third round of the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft. Undersized TNT makes most of it has vs Ginebra giants in loss Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers LATEST STORIES “He plays with a kind of Johnny Abarrientos type personality where nothing rattles him,” said Cone. “I’ve been watching him since he was with JRU and I saw him in a couple of games with JRU and I was impressed. Then, I saw him in the Maharlika league two or three times where he was just completely dominating.”Cone also likened Teodoro to his former players Poch Juinio and Merwin Castelo, whom he drafted fifth and sixth overall in the 1994 PBA Rookie Draft, and also Phoenix forward Alex Mallari.“He just caught my eye. I remember Merwin Castelo was a guy that caught my eye and Poch Juinio was a guy who caught my eye, guys that in the past that I just get kind of enamored with. Alex Mallari was another guy when I first watched him play,” said Cone.“Teytey is one of those guys who just caught my eye so I’ve followed him ever since thinking that he would fit in with what we do,” added Cone.As for Teodoro, the kind words Cone said about him are going to be added source of motivation as he tries to make a name for himself in the PBA.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Explosive Gilas Pilipinas not yet at its best, says Tim Cone PLAY LIST 01:45Explosive Gilas Pilipinas not yet at its best, says Tim Cone00:50Trending Articles01:33Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Tey Teodoro. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Teytey Teodoro’s basketball  has come full circle.From watching Barangay Ginebra as a fan, the gunner out of Jose Rizal University, eventually donned the Gin Kings colors and got his own moment under the limelight in the PBA season opener against TNT Sunday at Philippine Arena.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college View comments Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titlelast_img read more

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ECOWAS Chief Justices Meet in Benin

first_imgA meeting of Chief Justices of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has ended in the capital city of Benin, Cotonou.According to the Supreme Court of Liberia, the delegates at the meeting, which included the Chief Justices of the 12 of the 15 West African States, agreed on mechanisms for improving the enforcement by National Courts of laws that strengthens integration.At the meeting, the Chief Justices also discussed the need for more resources to promote cooperation among national judiciaries, with the goal of streamlining the judicial systems of member states to in turn facilitate intra community enforcement of courts processes, affective integration and decisions.The West African Chief Justices proposed to ensure greater respect for the rule of law in the Economic Community of West African (ECOWAS) member states, as well as to improve judicial services and relations with other arms of government to ensure greater independence for their judiciaries.The conference was addressed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission Vice President, Dr. Toga McIntosh, the Host Chief Justice of Benin and his counterpart from the Ivory Coast, who is also the Chairman of the Counsel of the West African Chief Justices.The High Court Justices who attended the meeting were his honor Francis S. Korkpor, Sr., of Liberia, and his colleagues from Benin, Ivory Coast, Cape –Verde, Togo, Senegal, Nigeria, Niger, Burkina –Faso and Ghana among others.The meeting of the Chief Justices of the economic community of West African states usually involves activities that highlight issues of national justice and how they can be addressed.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Postal Affairs Employees Get Technical Training

first_imgTen staffers of the Ministry Of Posts And Telecommunications, who had undergone two weeks of vigorous training exercise in the Federal Republic Of Nigeria have returned home to put to work the knowledge acquired in that country.The employees were trained in the following disciplines: Mail Handling & Processing, Postal Security, IPS Light/Track and Trace, Postal Administration, Financial Services and Terminal Dues in Nigeria. They returned back in the country onThose who benefitted from the training include Inspector General George Peter of the Postal Inspectorate Bureau, Abraham Lakpor and Mary Garkoto of the Expedited Mail Services (EMS), and Feona Arman, Superintendent of Parcel Post,.Others were Philip Kiazolu, Atina Toe of Registered Letter Section, Buchanan Post Master Aaron Pailey, Susanna Conteh of the Finance Bureau, Chupee Keamue of Stamp Supply and Philip Jayjay of International Accounts.Since his arrival at the ministry, Postmaster General/Minister of Post and Telecommunications, Dr. Frederick Norkeh, , has always stressed Maintenance, Postal Operations, Personnel, Finance, Procurement and Logistics as key areas to consider for infusing dynamism, recommitment and motivation to appraise and consider the category of priority systemization of professional services of the Ministry.Minister Norkeh noted that in his anticipation of practical results from members of his staff, he has remained resolute to infusing all the quality training needed for a skilled and trained workforce required to dramatically improve bottom line performance.He emphasized the need to  make overall operational delivery services easier to compete internationally with other postal administrations and meet the challenge of offering professional postal delivery service at affordable cost to all stakeholdersin Liberia. In order to do this, the Ministry must keep up with technological advancement and remain compliant with standards set by the Universal Postal Union of the United Nations.“It was against this backdrop that prompted my engagement with my Nigerian counterpart, M. Alhaji Ibrahim Mori Baba, who gladly accepted to have these ten postal personnel of the Ministry trained to help strengthen and sustain the Ministry’s capacity.My dream is to also collaborate in the future with partners such as the Roraima Group, which has been identified to help provide postal financial services to Liberians, and other residents in and out of Liberia through Liberia’s Postal Delivery System.The Post Master’s vision is to support the proposed establishment of local Internet Exchange Services in Liberia, as being done across Africa, through the African Union Commission, in Collaboration with the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and Internet Society that conducted “Best Practice Capacity Building Workshop of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs)” in Monrovia on October 1, 2013.In a related development, Minister Norkeh has recently departed the country to attend the 2014 World Telecommunications Development Conference in Dubai, the United Arab Emirate (UAE).His trip is as a result of an invitation of the government of that country extended to their Liberian counterpart.The conference is scheduled to be held at the World Trade Center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 30 March to 10 April 2014.The World Telecommunications Development Conferences (WTDC) is convened every four years in the period between two Plenipotentiary Conferences and provides a forum for the consideration of topics, projects and programs relevant to telecommunications development and for the provision of direction and guidance to the Telecommunications Development Sector.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Female Locomotive Operator Asks for Support

first_imgThough there are jobs that are considered to be for men only, the current competition among workers is reducing that gap, and women are taking on many more demanding professions in the job market.Ms. Marion M. Teah, 43, has a career that is usually reserved for men in Liberia. She is a locomotive operator with China Union. It is a job that she enjoys, and hopes that with an increased salary from her employers, she would have less trouble taking care of the needs of her two daughters.“I operate the locomotive consisting of 25 wagons for each trip,” she told the Daily Observer in a recent interview. “Each trip I carry a total of about 63tons.”The train, moving from Monrovia to Bong Mines with Operator Marion in charge, also has a ‘breakman’ on board.“He helps to change the track for the train to change course during the journey,” she said, with a smile. “The train rumbles on at 40 miles per hour, and it takes me nearly two and half hours to reach my destination.”Her daughters are Marion Konneh, 25, presently a student at the Zion University, and Marionlyn Konneh, 20, who is about to enter college. They need financial support that can not necessarily be generated by their mother’s job to realize their dreams.Marion Konneh is studying Criminal Justice and hopes to help the country’s justice system; but her desires can only become reality if her mother earns enough.Operator Marion Teah’s husband died several years ago, leaving the care of her children squarely on her shoulders. She said the journey has not been easy.“I am an independent woman,” she told the Daily Observer, “and as such, I’m sometimes confronted with challenges that concern the education of my girls.”This is why she is appealing to good Liberians and companies to come to her aid.  “I want my children to complete their education and I can only do it when I obtain the necessary financial support for them,” she said.Thankfully, she does not pay rent since she built a home for her family in Sinkor, Monrovia.Before arriving at her current job in 2012, she worked for Amlib Mineral United as a mechanic. She trained with Geo Services until the company was closed in 2011. She then went to Buchanan Renewables (BRE) and and on to ArcelorMittal.Marion Teah graduated from the Accelerated Vocational Training Center, located on 12th Street in Monrovia in 2002.“It’s tough being a single mother with two girls,” she admitted, “but they are my own and I must sacrifice for them.”She is always at home with the children, except when she is on the night shift. “I am not afraid when I am traveling at night, and I am always confident doing my job,” she said.Though the money from the job is not enough to keep her children at school, it does not mean that they are facing immediate problems.“In spite of my relative stability, some financial help from well meaning Liberians will be a blessing to my kids,” she appealed to readers.It is an appeal that would go a long way to communicate to her children the concept of Liberians being their brothers’ keeper.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Police Arrest Asst. Finance Min. for Assault

first_imgOfficers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) have arrested and are investigating an Assistant Minister at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), for allegedly publicly assaulting a female traffic police officer.Sources at the LNP headquarters told the Daily Observer that Assistant Min. Jeremiah Krah is now behind bars, pending arrangements for court trial.Assistant Min. Krah, according to the police, assaulted the traffic officer when she requested the documents of the vehicle he was operating, “at which time he refused on grounds that he was rushing for a meeting.”The officer who than requested that the vehicle be transferred to the Metro Deport was forcibly removed from the vehicle, in the tussle, “her official police uniform and accessories were torn off her in the public.”The incident which occurred at the interjection of Board and Buchanan streets Tuesday, September 23, drew several onlookers as the Minister was heard shouting that “noting will come out of his action,” according to the police.Meanwhile, the police said, Asst. Min. Krah has told police investigators that he regrets his action and pleaded for mercy, stressing that he was misled by the devil to flog the officer. They said he has also agreed to take responsibility of the damages incurred by the officer during the incident.Assistant Police Commissioner for Operations Gregory Coleman said the matter will be sent to court for proper adjudication, stressing that no Liberian is above the law regardless of position in the society.      Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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New Health Minister Faces Colossal Challenges

first_imgThe new Health Minister comes into office facing more serious, even colossal challenges than any of his predecessors.Not even Dr. Joseph N. Togba, who first took over this awesome portfolio right out of medical school in 1945, faced so stupendous a set of challenges as today’s incoming Health Minister, whoever that may be.True, when Dr. Togba returned home he faced all the childhood and other diseases.  Among these were chickenpox, diarrhea, whooping cough, measles, mumps, sleeping sickness, smallpox, tuberculosis, worms, yaws and yellow fever.Yet every one of those diseases was unlike the deadly Ebola virus. None of them had people dying in the thousands.  None of them was so vicious as to shatter our lives, our way of life, our economy, our cultural and social traditions and our good neighborliness. Ebola has separated us from our next door neighbors of Guinea, Sierra Leone and La Cote d’Ivoire, to the extent that we can no longer trade with one another.  When the Ivorians had their political crisis a few years ago, they streamed across the border into Liberia in the hundreds of thousands and were wholeheartedly welcomed by their Liberian brothers and sisters.  For after all, the same languages, Gio, Mano, Grebo and Krahn are spoken across the borders. There are relatives on both sides of the border, divided by France when it seized huge portions of Liberian territory that became parts of Guinea and La Cote d’Ivoire.Yet in this Ebola season, the Ivorians effectively closed their air, land and sea borders with Liberia and the two other grievously affected countries, Guinea and Sierra Leone. But the Ebola virus went further to   devastate our international relations.  So many other countries stigmatized our three countries, causing our citizens great embarrassment and humiliation.No, even though Dr. Togba faced the task of building from scratch the National Public Health Service (NPHS) that later became the MOH, it was far from what the incoming Minister of Health faces today.For starts, even though we face an awesome health and medical crisis, our Minister-designate, Mr. George T. Werner, has spent not a day in medical school.  But that need not be to his disadvantage.  Several others served though they were not doctors.  The first was Madam Mai Padmore, for many years President Tubman’s Special Assistant, whom President W.R. Tolbert appointed his first Health Minister.  She was succeeded by Counselor Oliver Bright, and after him another lawyer, Cllr. Estrada Bernard.  Then came Dr. Abeodu Jones, a historian, and after her Dr. Kate Bryant, MD, a pediatrician. Given this historical background, the Senate should not be too quick to reject Mr. Warner as the new Health Minister.  What he will need is all the help he can get from those who know about the business—medical practitioners and related persons who can help him put together a program to finish the fight against the Ebola virus.This hopefully last stage in the anti-Ebola crusade is critical; for the new Minister will have to work closely with the Chief Medical Officer the Incident Management System that handles the Ebola crisis, the World Health Organization and all the partners, including the Americans, Chinese, Europeans, Africans, Asians, etc.  He will need all the help he can get in taking the fight to the finish, which he does not have much time to achieve, since President Sirleaf and the Liberian people are hoping that Liberia can be Ebola free before Christmas.The new Minister’s next challenge is to develop a Master Plan for the rebuilding of Liberia’s entire Healthcare Delivery System.  This must ensure that modern hospitals are built in places where they do not yet exist, including Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Grand Kru, River Cess and Sinoe Counties.  And where they do exist, the hospitals must be seriously revamped and modern equipment installed, including specialized equipment for radiology, dialyses, heart, dental surgery and ophthalmology procedures,  to list a few.The Master Plan should also include healthcare centers throughout the country, especially in remote villages, making lack of access to healthcare a thing of the past.The new Minister will have to work closely with the Dean and Faculty of the A.M. Dioglotti College of Medicine, the West African Post Graduate College of Physicians and Surgeons and all the other partners to develop a comprehensive plan to train medical doctors, nurses and paramedics to man the new health system. Well-conceived and sustainable terms of service and remuneration structures are necessary components of medical personnel development planning so that the focus will remain where it is critically needed – on saving and enhancing lives, instead of constant fights over pay, benefits and the horrendous conditions in most medical facilities around the country.Not to be ignored is the need for a healthcare delivery system to be trusted and embraced by the people.  That trust must be earned by good customer service delivered by doctors, nurses and other medical staff from janitors to CMO who are inculcated (instilled) with the culture of empathy and unconditional, non-judgmental acceptance of those needing and seeking their care. There is rampant egregious (extremely bad) treatment of patients by many hospital staff and this must be thoroughly and uncompromisingly reversed.Furthermore, the people’s trust must be earned by a healthcare delivery system that makes informed decisions and acts expeditiously in the people’s interest.  That kind of system ensures that those hired are indeed qualified to serve in their posts, that medications on the local market are rigorously inspected for safety and authenticity.  That kind of system is also seen to be enforcing without prejudice all the rules, laws and regulations to prevent medical crises and move quickly to control crises as it is now doing to prevent further spread of the Ebola virus.To win the people’s confidence and trust, the well-conceived healthcare delivery system will allocate funding to teach, monitor and engage the communities it serves across the country.  Messages targeting prevention such as pre and post natal care, good hygiene, healthy eating, fitness, vaccination, environmental cleanliness must be seriously and relentlessly promoted by every effective means possible until disease and death rates in the country are far lower than they are today.It is a tall order and we wish the new Minister well.   Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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PrEP helps to strengthen the entire HIV care continuum

first_imgDear Editor,Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is medicine that can reduce the chance of getting HIV by more than 90 per cent and can reduce the chances even more when combined with condoms. The medication works by stopping HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout the body if there is exposure to the virus, and it has been proven to be safe and effective in high-risk groups all over the world. For the last four years the World Health Organization (WHO) has been recommending PrEP as an additional HIV prevention choice, but uptake in the Caribbean has been slow, but steadily increasing. Currently, Bahamas and Barbados are the only two countries which provide PrEP to persons who meet the criteria for use, but Suriname, St Lucia, Grenada, Cuba and Jamaica either provide PrEP to certain populations or have plans to start provision in 2019.Guyana’s Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD Guyana) conducted an assessment on the knowledge, attitudes and delivery preferences on PrEP among men who have sex with men and transgender persons earlier this year, and from the focus groups held in five regions, it was found that 60 per cent of the participants had never heard of PrEP before. This was especially the case for persons who lived outside of Region Four. Once persons became aware of it, however, almost everyone was interested in taking it for their personal protection. This led to the conclusion that there is the need for a lot more education and sensitisation on PrEP, especially involving NGOs within this effort, and that the time has come for the provision of PrEP within the Guyanese public healthcare system. Starting PrEP in Guyana will entail the use of a medication that is already present in the country and that is already procured at a fairly low cost. Studies in other countries have demonstrated that the savings a country receives from the HIV infections avoided by using PrEP makes it a cost-effective prevention measure.The theme for this year’s World AIDS Day is “Know your status”, which emphasizes HIV testing as a strategy that also empowers people to make choices about HIV prevention so they can better protect themselves and their sexual partners. Before persons can be placed on PrEP they must know their status because the medication is only for HIV-negative persons. Being on PrEP helps to strengthen the entire HIV care continuum in the country because persons must present for initial and regular testing, increasing engagement with the health service system and also providing opportunities for linking any HIV-positive persons into care and treatment. Know your status so that you can know whether you should be using PrEP as an additional prevention measure to continue to stay HIV-negative.Yours faithfully,Dr NastassiaRambarranDr Roger Welch andJoel Simpson(for SASOD Guyana)last_img read more

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