Learning about the ‘Ring of Fire’ For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Break new ground “Slowly, we’re picking up. What’s important for us is to stress and make sure that we can be mentally tough and prepared for this coming season in terms of how to handle pressure.” MOST READ “We need to improve on our finish last year, but we have a tough task ahead of us. As we all know, other teams have been rebuilding since last year. It’s a never ending process. Two years ago, they’ve stockpiled their players so we just have to assess everything once the season gets going,” he said.The Soaring Falcons will have a virtually intact line up with Cameroonian big man Papi Sarr upfront, together with the trio of Jerrick Ahanmisi, Robbie Manalang, and Sean Manganti.Pumaren, though, is expecting more from his bench unit as he wants Adamson to be unpredictable on both ends.“Hopefully, we can get some lift from our guys and the rest of the team because it’s so hard if you rely in only a couple of guys. You’ll be predictable,” he said.But more than the talent, Pumaren is putting emphasis on he mental side of things as he seeks to see a more mature Adamson crew this year.ADVERTISEMENT It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Coach: Franz PumarenLast Season: 8-6 (Final Four)Holdovers: Jerrick Ahanmisi, Robbie Manalang, Papi Sarr, Sean MangantiAdditions: Tyrus Hill, Koko PingoyKey Losses: Jaydee Tungcab, Harold NgADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next 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 End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend After bursting into the Final Four last year, Adamson is now regarded as one of the contenders for this season’s championship.Coach Franz Pumaren is well aware of that, and he believes that it’s time for the young Soaring Falcons embrace the challenge head-on.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smog“It’s important for us to start manning up, start accepting the pressure. The difference right now, probably, is that other teams will be preparing for us, unlike last season that they underestimated us because we’re consistent being at the bottom of the team standings,” he said.With focus on consistency in his program, Pumaren has also set higher expectations for his team—from just merely trying to make the Final four to achieving higher than fourth place. Mayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’ A costly, catty dispute finally settled OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. NBA: ‘Special’ Kyrie Irving to be a better playmaker with Celtics, GM Ainge says Winning start View comments
Buttressing the state’s position as a prime destination for Responsible Tourism, Kerala tourism has bagged a set of awards at FilmAT, one of the biggest international film festivals dedicated to tourism, art and ecology, in Poland.The state’s Responsible Tourism initiative won three gongs at the 11th edition of the festival held recently in the Polish city of Lublin, taking top honours for the ‘Best Promotional Social Campaign’ and in the ‘Protection of Nature’ and ‘Eco-Food’, categories for, respectively, the ‘New Worlds’ films ‘Sowing the Seeds of the Future’ and ‘A Taste of Life’.A fourth award, for ‘Best Editing’, was conferred on Kerala Tourism for the film ‘The Great Backwaters of Kerala’, which showcased life in and around the legendary backwaters.“Winning four awards at such a prestigious festival is a significant achievement for Kerala. It speaks to our commitment to realising the state’s potential for international tourism in a responsible manner – always with the best interests of the people and the environment at heart,” said A C Moideen, Minister for Tourism.Conceived and scripted by Stark Communications, and directed by Malayalam filmmaker Anwar Rasheed, the ‘New Worlds’ films are snapshot vignettes into one of the world’s best implemented Responsible Tourism campaigns.
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In 2014 the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) encountered its share of challenges and constraints due primarily to the deadly Ebola virus and some funding gaps.One major challenge faced by LWSC and the bane of most large and small entities throughout the nation is the cost of power supply needed to operate. In the case of LWSC, the management relies on one major power supply source, a 1700 kilowatt diesel generator that consumes enormous fuel oil to the detriment of the Corporation.Not only is the cost of fuel oil for a large scale operation like LWSC prohibitive, but the maintenance cost on its generator is equally considerable.The Corporation continued to encounter technical breakdowns during 2014 thus hindering the pumping of safe drinking water into Monrovia and its environs.The popular slogan ‘Big Water Today and Small Water Tomorrow’ is used by LWSC customers with an equal mix of approval and dissatisfaction as the system made some significant strides and stumbles in the provision of safe drinking in some critical parts of MonroviaLWSC undertook several water development projects in urban Monrovia and some rural parts of Liberia signifying that the Liberian Government has some degree of confidence in the current management of LWSC, well-placed sources in the Corporation told the Daily Observer. These sources say plans are underway to ensure that before end of the year 2015 an additional generating unit will be installed in order to enhance the provision of safe drinking water to Monrovia and its environs. LWSC executives told the Daily Observer that the funds for the procurement will be provided by the Liberian Government.Such confidence was manifested during the year under review when the Liberian Government provided funds to rehabilitate the 112 damaged kiosks (hand pumps) in various communities and 43 public latrines, reflecting a sixty percent increase in access to safe drinking water in deprived communities in Monrovia.The renovated latrines were turned over last year to the General Services Agency (GSA).Another success story of the LWSC was its improved billing and customer service which have provided a significant increase in cash flow, permitting the Corporation to utilize funds provided through government budget to be utilized for capital expenditure.Meanwhile the LWSC’s Board of Directors has also continued to monitor and provide substantive oversight of Liberia’s prime water agency.A heightened level of government confidence and financial reporting have led other stakeholders such as United States Agency for International Development (USAID), African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank to show support for the management of LWSC.With regard to outstation facilities, three city water projects are being funded by USAID under the Liberia Municipal Water Project (LMWP). A 12 hour regular water supply has been restored to Kakata City in Margibi County and improved access via a two-kilometer pipeline for services to Robertsport in Grand Cape Mount County is to be completed within the next two weeks.Technical officials of the LWSC also disclosed that the subsequent phase in the next 18 months is to cover the rest of Robertsport with Voinjama City and Sanniquellie City scheduled for 18 to 24 months hence.However, under the AfDB project for Zwedru, Kakata and Buchanan Cities, the sanitation works commenced but were suspended due to the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus disease in the country.Meanwhile Monrovia, which comprises a significant portion of the nation’s population, continues to experience an insufficient supply of safe drinking water.Under a 90-day program it is planned that by the end of March 2015, central Monrovia should have increased access to the same level of services now being experienced by the rural parts of Monrovia and its environs.The 90 day action plan which was previously underway but stalled due to funding constraints, will improve water access in the areas of Randall, Broad, Carey, Ashmun and Newport streets, Mamba Point as well as Clara Town.When the renovation works for the Water Treatment Plant at White Plains have been tendered in early 2015 and are completed within 12 months, the citizens and residents of Monrovia will enjoy a three hundred percent increase in potable water, according to LWSC management.Other ChallengesIn 2014 LWSC continued to be challenged with limited sewer services, inadequate equipment including de-slugging trucks on one hand and beleaguered on the other by citizens’ apathy, failure to report damages to distribution lines and water theft.In spite of these perennial setbacks, water supply to Monrovia increased from four million gallons per day to six million gallons and 12 hours pumping schedule during the year under review, according to top LWSC’s officialsThe officials also explained that, for the second year in a row, its customers have come to expect the delivery of water as a norm, rather than an exception.The Managing Director of LWSC, Mr. Charles B. Allen, during an interview with this newspaper, assured Liberians, foreign residents and customers that the greater Monrovia will in the near future be connected to the system’s water delivery services in homes and business entities.He disclosed that construction work has resumed on the 36 inch pipeline from the White Plains Plant in Careyburg to several parts of central Monrovia intended to enhance the smooth delivery of safe drinking water.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
There have been mixed reactions from Liberians who learned last week that nearly 30,000 people are expected to be enrolled in the first large-scale trials of the Ebola experimental vaccine.The vaccine uses a type of chimpanzee cold virus, and it is being carried out by the United States National Institutes of Health.The vaccines, developed by GlaxoSmithKline, is targeting one-third of the 30,000 people, while others will get a routine vaccine against another disease, such as measles.During the trial, investigators will look to see whether there are further cases of infection in the control group than among those who would be given the potential Ebola vaccine.Sir Andrew Witty, the CEO of GlaxoSmithKline expressed high hopes for the potential vaccine that arrived in the country last Friday. However, while many Liberians interviewed said they planned to enroll in the trial, others told the Daily Observer they were not convinced of the vaccine’s effectiveness.Participants who attended a one-day clinic at the Corporation Hall in New Kru Town were told that “no one is forced to take the vaccine.” But many wondered that if the vaccine has been developed to fight the Ebola virus disease, then “it must be made for people living in the badly hit communities to take the vaccine to protect themselves against Ebola.” Others made references to, for example, the polio vaccine, that parents are encouraged to vaccinate their children against potential dangers in their children’s physical development. What has compounded skeptics’ position is the late arrival of the vaccine at a time when there has been a reported rapid decline of Ebola cases in the country, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and Liberian health officials, and therefore, “to find out whether the vaccine can work effectively against the Ebola virus disease,” as it is the case now raises questions. GSK’s vaccine is the first of several being developed to enter trials in Liberia and neighbors Guinea and Sierra Leone. Participants last Friday were told that trials of healthy volunteers in Europe, the US and unaffected African nations have shown it is safe and produces a response from the immune system. But what they could not confirm is the question of whether that response will protect vaccinated health workers and burial teams from infection or enable them to fight off the disease. “Pregnant women and children cannot take the vaccine,” participants were told, “the rest of the people from 18 years and above are the targeted group.” They were also told that any participant will receive thorough medical check-up to ensure that other diseases or infections are not lurking in a person’s system that may bring about other complications. There were many others who welcomed the trial. “I’ll take the vaccine,” said Mary Koffa, known popularly as Mary Broh, “if it is meant to protect me against the Ebola virus then so good.”Simeon Saydee, 42, whose young daughter is an Ebola survivor, said, “I will take the vaccine and encourage my family to take it.”Austin W. Doe of the United Methodist University, (UMU) said, “Whatever the case is, the vaccine is meant to protect me, and so I will take it.”Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chairman of global vaccines at GSK, described the arrival of the vaccine in Liberia as a major achievement, noting: “The initial phase one data we have seen are encouraging and give us confidence to progress to the next phases of clinical testing, which will involve the vaccination of thousands of volunteers, including frontline healthcare workers. If the candidate vaccine is able to protect these people, as we hope it will, it could significantly contribute to efforts to bring this epidemic under control and prevent future outbreaks.“It is important to remember that this vaccine is still in development and any potential future use in mass vaccination campaigns will depend on whether the WHO, regulators and other stakeholders are satisfied that the vaccine candidate provides protection against Ebola without causing significant side-effects and how quickly large quantities of vaccine can be made.”However, GSK did acknowledged that the declining number of cases in Liberia will make it harder to find out whether the vaccine works and this begs the obvious question as to whether the trials can result in any concrete, legitimate optimism.“Clearly it is good news that new cases of Ebola appear to be falling, and we hope this trend continues,” said a spokesperson. “Lower incidence of Ebola does increase the chance that the planned trials may take longer to complete; and if cases drop very low, they may not be able to answer the question about whether the investigational vaccines are able to offer protection from the disease. However, we are absolutely committed to going ahead as planned to see if we can gain the information we need to help with this outbreak or prevent future outbreaks.”Meanwhile, Dr. Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, which is funding a trial of the vaccine in UK and Mali and parallel studies of other vaccines in Geneva, Gabon, Kenya and Guinea, said: “This week we’ve heard encouraging news from West Africa, indicating that we may at last have reached a turning point in what has been the worst Ebola outbreak in history. Mali has been declared free from the disease and schools in Guinea reopened, restoring some sense of normality for those communities.”Still, a number of eminent Liberians hold reservations, expressing the hope that Liberians participating in the trial not just be informed that it is a trial vaccine, but will be given full disclosure of any potential side effects.”If a Bassa woman is taking the trial vaccine, the possible side effects should be explained to her in Bassa so that she is well aware of the risks. This has to be done according to our Liberian context,” said an eminent female Liberian lawyer who asked not to be named.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)