Mental Health Needs Serious Attention

first_imgMedical doctors and physicians in a lecture series on June 23 raised an alarm that mental illness has become an unrecognized emergency that needs the collective effort of every party to fight. It means as doctors are at the forefront by providing medication and counseling for affected people, so is the government to provide the resources and facilities that will create the enabling environment for addressing the problem.Not only that doctors and government will play these cardinal roles, parents or relatives of affected people need to also care for the affected person while people taking risk of doing or consuming things that may serve as conduits for mental illness need to stop.According to the vice president of the Liberia chapter for the West African College of Physicians (WACP), Rose Jallah Macauley, one major cause of mental illness in Liberia today is drug abuse. Although she did not provide any statistics regarding cases of mental illness resulting from drug abuse, it is no doubt that many young people have turned to be drug addicts as ‘ghettos’ are erected in most parts of the country, especially the city areas.The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) of the Liberia National Police and presidential task force have on many occasions arrested drug abusers and even traffickers of dangerous drugs into the country. It is sad to note that despite attempts to battle against the production, trafficking and sale of these drugs to prevent abuse by young people, the Drug Law of Liberia remains stuck in committee room at the National Legislature and there is no deterrent law at present.World Health Organization (WHO) statistics show that about 130,000 people in this country have severe mental illness, reinforcing the call by Dr. Jallah to have a rehabilitation center for mentally ill people to undergo counseling and receive treatment for their conditions.The country is faced with a few consequences resulting from mental illness that can be underscored here. Severe mental illness is seriously decreasing the human resource capacity of the country. Some of the affected people could have become teachers, physicians and doctors, nurses and other useful people that can deliver valuable services in the Liberian society. But as the case is now, instead of these people being useful to the society, they have become societal burdens that government is called upon to provide money to cater for.As cases of mental illness increase, so is the danger posed to the rest of the people who mix up with mentally ill people in the streets on a daily basis. Any of these mentally ill people could be agitated to injure or harm anyone at any time. Who will take responsibility for such actions by mentally ill people? Everyone needs security; either the mentally ill person or the ordinary person. It is therefore possible that if a mentally ill person causes anyone to sustain an injury, the person can also react against the perpetrator, and more problems will arise.This newspaper, the Daily Observer, is therefore urging the government to attach seriousness to the passage of the Drug Law to deter traffickers and abusers and reduce the risk of mental illness. During the Ebola epidemic of 2014, there were survivors and relatives of victims who developed trauma. There are also other social conditions that are affecting people thus causing them to develop mental illness. The WHO also says about 400,000 people are suffering from some form of mental illness. We call on the government to therefore provide facilities that will accommodate such people, where care and counseling will be given them to overcome the issues that cause mental stress.The Daily Observer could disregard this societal problem as anyone else, but let us learn from the story, “Town trap is not for rat alone” written by Professor Wilton Sankawulo in one of his publications, Marriage of Wisdom. The cows, sheep, goats and pigs felt that they were not rat eaters, and therefore could not loosen the trap to allow cat in to find rats. But as the trap caught the rattle snake and the snake in turn bit the King’s daughter and she died, there were no other livestock to kill during the feast but cows, goats and sheep.Let the government and other people learn from some of these stories to put proper facilities in place to prevent future problems. Mental illness is increasing and overcoming the population. Let us be aware of this pressing unrecognized national emergency to develop plans to tackle it so we can continue to have a society that is at peace with itself.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Snowflake Designers

first_imgCould any “useless” natural object composed of simple materials exceed the beauty of a snow crystal?  As you wish for a white Christmas, think about two snowflake designers: one who makes them in a lab, and one who makes them in clouds.Kepler’s snowflakes:  Six-sided snowflake crystals have been known by everyone with sharp eyes living where snow falls – the Chinese who wrote about them in the 2nd century, Albert Magnus who described them in the 13th century.  But the first to really discuss their structure and origins in a scientific way was Johannes Kepler.  Philip Ball wrote about this in Nature this week (Vol. 480, 22 December 2011, p. 455, doi:10.1038/480455a).  The sight of a snowflake on his lapel provoked the great German astronomer to ponder their construction.  His short 1611 booklet, De nive sexangula (On the Six-Cornered Snowflake) “seeded the notion from which all of crystallography blossomed: that the geometric shapes of crystals can be explained in terms of the packing of their constituent particles.”  Kepler imagined that a snowflake was composed of constituent particles (“not explicitly atoms, but as good as,” Ball remarks) whose packing led to the emergent geometric structure.  Elegant as this beginning of a theory was, Kepler was unable to explain the plate-like shape and hexagonal ornamentation:Kepler instead fell back on Neoplatonic occult forces. God, he suggests, has imbued the water vapour with a “formative faculty” that guides its form. There is no apparent purpose to the flake’s shape, he observes: the “formative reason” must be purely aesthetic or frivolous, nature being “in the habit of playing with the passing moment”. That delightful image, which touches on the late Renaissance debate about nature’s autonomy, remains resonant today in questions about the adaptive value (or not) of some complex patterns and forms in biological growth.Ball does not discount the genius of the otherwise influential Kepler, “for not until the 1980s was this seen to be a consequence of branching growth instabilities biased by the hexagonal crystal symmetry of ice.”  In fact, Kepler’s tentative foray into crystallographic principles proved a good heuristic for researchers who followed him.Libbrecht’s snowflakes:  The modern master of snowflake photography today is Kenneth Libbrecht of Caltech.  His collection is not only vast (10,000 and growing), but stunningly beautiful (see his SnowCrystals.com Caltech website for a tour).  As a physicist, Libbrecht brings the quest for scientific explanation to his famous hobby.  Yes, he does believe that no two snowflakes are alike.  Though much has been explained in his lab experiments, where he can grow snowflake-like crystals under controlled conditions, he admits much remains to be learned.   Jascha Hoffman interviewed him for Nature (Vol. 480, 22 December 2011, pp. 453–454, doi:10.1038/480453a).  He asked why Libbrecht studies snowflakes.We see these beautiful structures falling from the sky, and we still cannot explain how they came to be. When you ask how snowflakes form, you are really asking about how molecules go from a disordered gaseous state to an ordered crystalline lattice. Unexpected phenomena can emerge — snowflakes are one fascinating example. The complex morphologies arise in part because different ice surfaces grow at different rates. What we learn could eventually find application in materials science or nanoscale self-assembly. But I am also motivated to simply understand how this natural phenomenon works.Libbrecht described how the six sides grow nearly identically because as the flakes fall through the clouds, they are exposed to the exact same conditions of temperature and humidity.  The shape of the flakes (“hollow columns, needles, bullet rosettes, stellar dendrites, sectored plates, 12-branched stars, triangular crystals and many more”) are sensitive to temperature – something known for 75 years. “But the origin of this odd behaviour is still not known, so I am working hard to solve this puzzle,” he said.  He has traveled the world in his quest, and taken the art of snowflake photography, begun by Wilson Bentley in the 1880s, to new heights.Intelligent design theory concerns “certain features of the universe and of living things [that] are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection” (IntelligentDesign.org).    ID advocates differentiate between phenomena that have random causes, natural law causes, and intelligent causes.  A snowflake obeys the laws of physics, and as such, does not convey a function or message – as would skywriting or the DNA code. Snowflakes are examples of natural phenomena that show emergent patterns based on natural law and the randomness each flake experiences falling through the winds and clouds.  The laws dictate the six-sided pattern, but not the result – a snowflake that is unique in the universe.  There is no “message” or function in a crystal; snow could just as well be composed of shapeless blobs of H20 crystals (like man-made snow), and would still water the earth.  Design theorists are, therefore, drawn to phenomena that convey messages, like codes as opposed to repetitive patterns.  The inference to design in snowflakes comes from higher, philosophical levels: (1) the origin of laws of nature that allow for these patterns, and (2) the “useless beauty” (aesthetics) that draws our minds to appreciate them.We began by promising stories of two snowflake designers.  One was Libbrecht, but the other was not Kepler.  Hint: “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail?” (Job 38:22).  A good visual resource on snowflakes, including some of Libbrecht’s most stunning photos, can be found in the beautiful film God of Wonders.  It explains why the beauty and design of snowflakes points to design in nature beyond what is needed for mere survival. Man is the only earthly creature endowed with the capacity to appreciate beauty.  Yes, snow crystals obey natural laws, but they point man to the Lawgiver, and provide insight into His attributes of power, wisdom, and love.(Visited 64 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africa to reopen teacher training colleges

first_imgThe Department of Higher Education and Training Department is to re-open three former teacher training colleges next year as South Africa pushes to produce more and better teachers, says Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande.New teacher training will pay attention to the development of Foundation Phase teachers, especially African language mother-tongue speakers. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa reporter“We will open the former Ndebele College Campus in Mpumalanga for foundation phase teacher education in 2013, and we also plan to open one former teacher training college each in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape,” Nzimande said in presenting his department’s budget vote to Parliament in Cape Town on Tuesday.“We have ring-fenced R450-million for the 2012/13 to 2013/14 funding cycle to expand university infrastructure capacity for teacher education, and this will continue in the next funding cycle.”Increases in teacher candidates, graduatesNzimande said there had been a 15 percent increase in full-time and equivalent enrolments in initial teacher education programmes, from 35 937 in 2009 to 41 292 in 2010.“The number of new teachers that graduated increased from 6 976 in 2009 to 7 973 in 2010, an increase of just under 1 000, or 14 percent.”The minister noted that particular attention was being paid to the development of Foundation Phase teachers, especially African language mother-tongue speakers.Teacher, lecturer developmentMeanwhile, an amount of R499-million has been allocated to the country’s universities for teaching development grants to help improve graduate outputs, and R194-million for foundation programmes to improve the success rates of students from disadvantaged educational backgrounds.Nzimande said that, in the coming financial year, programmes would also be initiated to support the academic and professional development of lecturers in universities.In addition, R177-million had been allocated to 15 of South Africa’s 23 universities, especially those institutions with low numbers of staff with masters and doctorate degrees, to develop the research capabilities of their staff.There had been a 15 percent increase in enrollments in initial teacher education programmes, from 35 937 in 2009 to 41 292 in 2010. (Image: Three2Six)University InfrastructureAn amount of R850-million has been earmarked for the period 2012/13 to 2013/14 for universities to build and refurbish their student residences, the bulk being allocated to historically black institutions.The department has been engaging with the Public Investment Corporation and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to secure more funding for student accommodation.Over the next two years, R3.8-billion has been earmarked for universities’ overall infrastructure development, of which R1.6-billion has been set aside specifically for historically disadvantaged institutions.Regarding progress on two new universities planned for Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape, Nzimande said he hoped to announce the seat of learning of each new institution in approximately three months, after full assessments and consultations had been completed.“I remain committed that the first intake of these two new universities will be at the start of the academic year 2014.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Shaken by Chiefs, Pirates take shot at Final 4 vs Altas

first_imgMOST READ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans San Sebastian hopes to stay in the thick of the fight for the last Final Four berth as it collides with St. Benilde at 4 p.m.Coming off a 76-65 loss to San Beda, the Stags face the dangerous Blazers, who turned in their best performance of the season last Thursday when they beat the Altas, 83-55.But while San Sebastian is hoping to stay in step with Letran and Emilio Aguinaldo College, which won their games last Tuesday, St. Benilde, with a 3-9 record, is looking to avoid early elimination.The Altas, who have a 4-7 record, have shown flashes of competitive fire against the top teams in the league.Perpetual Help coach Jimwell Gican hopes MVP leader Prince Eze and veterans GJ Ylagan, AJ Coronel, Keith Pido and Gab Dagangon can rise to the challenge and pin a first loss on the Pirates.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups But while the Pirates have been untouchable this season, they nearly fell on the wrong end of an upset last Friday before surviving the Arellano Chiefs, 94-92.Lyceum coach Topex Robinson hopes the narrow win will serve as a wake-up call for the Pirates to not take other teams for granted.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“I was actually ready for my speech, telling the team that we’re not invincible,” said Robinson. “But the lesson there is that if we’re not gonna play our basketball, any team could beat us.”The Pirates have a wide array of weapons though as the likes of Reymar Caduyac, MJ Ayaay and JV and JC Marcelino stepped up down the stretch when CJ Perez fouled out. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netIn the midst of a historic run, Lyceum shoots for a first Final Four appearance when it clashes with Perpetual Help on Thursday in NCAA Season 93 basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The Pirates, who have won their first 12 games of the season, can clinch the first postseason berth since joining the league in 2009 if they beat the Altas in the 2 p.m. duel.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. So, Aronian held to semis drawslast_img read more

Mighty-PH sweeps touted Lebanon five for 3rd place

first_imgUS judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants More importantly, the accessories and apparel team backed by SMDC, HealthCube, Go for Gold and Oriental Game closed out its campaign in the nine-day, 10-team invitational tournament on a strong note, a marked improvement from its woeful one-win showing on its tournament debut in 2017.“Overall, I think the stint was a successful campaign,” said Mighty Sports coach Charles Tiu.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesRandolph Morris finished with 11 points while top gun Justin Brownlee and Roosevelt Adams added 10 points each, but it was former Los Angeles Lakers star Lamar Odom who put on the finishing touches in a relatively easy windup.The 6-foot-10 Odom racked up eight points, five rebounds, two assists and a block. He nailed a triple for a comfortable 83-64 advantage with less than three minutes to play. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Rich ladies TCC lures us open champ ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting DUBAI—Mighty Sports-Philippines repeated over reigning Lebanon league titlist Homenetmen, 91-76, on Saturday night to finish third overall in the 30th Dubai International Basketball Championships at Shabab Al Ahli Club gymnasium here.Former Ginebra stalwart Jett Manuel saved his best for last with a team-high 19 points, making all his seven attempts inside as Mighty-PH bounced back from a painful 89-84 loss to fancied Al Riyadi-Lebanon in the knockout semifinal round the other night.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

Fit-again Andy Murray eyes first Monte Carlo final

first_imgWorld number one Andy Murray has recovered from an elbow injury and is keen to reach the final of the Monte Carlo Masters for the first time, the Briton said ahead of his opening match against Gilles Muller in the second round on Wednesday. (Novak Djokovic survives scare to reach Monte Carlo third round)Murray has been out of action since March but has worked his way back to full fitness and reckons his serve was back to its best.”I wouldn’t start the tournament unless I felt comfortable (going full tilt), but I’ve only been really serving at my normal pace the last couple of days,” Murray said in an interview on the ATP Tour website (www.atpworldtour.com).”I’ve been trying to build it up slowly to time it right for the beginning of the tournament. The elbow has been feeling better every day, so I am positive about that.” (Former runner-up Tomas Berdych progresses in Monte Carlo Masters)Murray took his time to come to grips with the clay surface, winning his first clay title in Munich in 2015, 10 years into his professional career.He followed that up by winning the Madrid Open later that year, beating Spaniard Rafa Nadal, arguably the best clay court player of his generation.Since 2015, Murray has been to three finals on clay, losing to Novak Djokovic in the 2016 Madrid and French Open before beating the world number two in the 2016 Italian Open final.”I’ve always enjoyed playing on clay but I never quite figured out the movement,” Murray said.advertisement”The last couple of years I spent lots of time with my team in training and preparation, working on it. Timing my slides better. Once I did that, it’s such a big part of my game and how I play that it just felt much more comfortable.”That showed in my results and obviously winning matches and tournaments on the surface builds your confidence as well.”Murray lost to Nadal in the semi-finals at Monte Carlo last year and said he was focused on improving his record at the tournament.”This tournament has got a lot of history. I’ve come here many years and I do enjoy it,” Murray added.”It would be nice to reach the final here. It’s not going to be easy, the first tournament back after a while, but I’ve been feeling good and hopefully I can do it.”last_img read more

Julia Georges stuns Caroline Wozniacki to clinch Auckland Classic title

first_imgJulia Goerges carried her strong end-of-year form into the New Year when she beat Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 7-6 (4) on Sunday in the final of the WTA Tour’s ASB Classic, a day after Wozniacki rose to the No. 2 world ranking.Georges won her last two tournaments of 2017 and extended her winning streak to 14 matches when she claimed the Auckland singles title for the first time at her ninth attempt, and after two previous finals appearances.”It feels amazing, but it’s not just about winning here but about my consistency over the last few months,” Goerges said after she became the first woman to be presented with a korowai, or Maori feather cloak, that will be awarded to every subsequent winner.”I have become much more mature, that’s thanks to my team who have really changed my brain.”It’s not about only winning here but it’s about my consistency in the last weeks and months. That’s just making me proud and I’m just enjoying every moment of it.”Goerges was rarely troubled by the Wozniacki as she used a powerful service and blistering forehands that kept the Dane pinned deep and unable to extend rallies beyond a few shots.Bad weather throughout the week wreaked havoc with the schedule in New Zealand’s largest city and both had been required to play their quarter-finals and semi-finals on Saturday.Both players had made the final at the Auckland Tennis Centre before, with the German losing to Sloane Stephens in 2016, while Wozniacki lost to Venus Williams in 2015.advertisementGoerges however stamped her intentions on the opening point when she smashed a forehand service return back at Wozniacki’s feet and broke to take a 1-0 lead that she never relinquished.She sealed the first set after 35 minutes with her seventh ace and then broke Wozniacki again in the first game of the second set and continued to just overpower the Dane.Wozniacki had an opportunity to get back on serve in the fourth game when she had a break point but Goerges simply pulled out another ace and consolidated her lead.The Dane, however, was finally getting into the match and while she blew her second break point two games later she finally broke in the eighth to get back on serve and then took a 5-4 lead.That was the only chance she had, however, as Goerges forced a tiebreak and then raced through it to seal the title after 91 minutes with another forehand winner.”I have got a lot of matches under my belt and it was the type of preparation I hoped for. “Hopefully it will be a great couple of weeks,” Wozniacki said as she looked ahead to the Australian Open from Jan. 15-28.last_img read more

New PSA With UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Liam Neeson To ENDviolence

first_imgYesterday at the United Nations children joined world leaders to launch a new partnership and fund to make ending violence a public priority and a collective responsibility.Video: End Violence Against Children Launch FilmEnd Violence Against Children – The Global Partnership brings together governments, foundations, the UN, civil society, academia, the private sector and young people in driving action toward achieving the new global target to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against children.“The Global Partnership to End Violence against Children is mobilizing the world,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “There could be no more meaningful way to help realize the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”The world’s governments set ambitious targets to end violence by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Working through the Global Partnership, governments and organizations can pool their resources and expertise to make accelerated progress toward this critical goal.“Every day, in every country and every community, children are victimized by violence – and far too often, this violence is accepted as normal, permissible, or a private matter,” said Susan Bissell, Director of the Global Partnership. “Violence against children is not inevitable – if we challenge the status quo that harms the lives and futures of so many children. Every child has the right to grow up free from violence – and we all need to work together to realize that vision.”The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that in the past year as many as 1 billion children around the world have experienced physical, sexual, or psychological violence. Globally, one in four children suffer physical abuse. Nearly one in five girls is sexually abused at least once in her life. Every five minutes, a child dies as a result of violence.“Violence against children is a problem shared by every society – so the solution must also be shared,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, who serves as founding co-Chair of the Global Partnership Board. “When we protect children from violence we not only prevent individual tragedies and support children’s development and growth. In doing so, we also support the strength and stability of their societies.”In coordination with the United Kingdom, the multi-donor trust fund has been established to support the Global Partnership. The UK Government is making a £40m contribution to catalyze the Fund in collaboration with the WePROTECT Global Alliance. The UK funding will be dispersed over the next four years and will focus on ending online child sexual exploitation.“Online child sexual exploitation is a global crime that transcends borders, and demands a global response,” said Baroness Joanna Shields, UK Minister for Internet Safety and Security. “This important new Fund will help tackle this abhorrent crime and protect children no matter where they live in the world. I encourage countries and organizations to seek this funding, and to support the Fund’s work to tackle the violence our children face online, in their everyday lives, and in places affected by conflict and crisis.”At the launch event, government ministers from Sweden, Mexico, Indonesia and Tanzania committed to developing specific plans that will combat violence against children, including tackling behaviours and traditions that further violence, making schools and institutions safe for all children, and strengthening data collection about violence and children, among other efforts.The Global Partnership today also launched the new INSPIRE package of seven proven strategies to prevent violence against children, created with the World Health Organization (WHO), the CDC, End Violence Against Children, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Together for Girls, UNICEF, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the World Bank. Drawing from decades of research and building on the progress made so far, the new INSPIRE strategies include parent and caregiver support programs, life skills training, the implementation and enforcement of laws, and services for victims.The launch of the Global Partnership includes the premier of a new PSA featuring Liam Neeson, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and international children’s peace prize winners from Liberia and the Philippines. The PSA tells the story of the impact of violence from the perspective of children, and includes powerful appeals from Åsa Regnér, Sweden’s Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality, Elisabeth Dahlin, Secretary General of Save the Children Sweden, Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, Vice President of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility for the Ericsson Group worldwide, and others – all calling on governments, societies, communities, and families to #ENDViolence against children.last_img read more

Atlanta Hawks Thabo Sefolosha Awarded 4M In Police Scuffle

Thabo Sefolosha will wrap his Atlanta Hawks career with a lawsuit settlement.(Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images)Atlanta Hawks’ forward Thabo Sefolosha will get a $4-million settlement in a police-brutality suit he filed against the NYPD that he said broke his leg and left him unable to finish the NBA season in 2015.“This settlement is not a concession that Mr. Sefolosha was blameless in this matter and there was no admission of liability by the defendants,” the city law department said in a statement to the New York Daily News. “But, in light of the gravity of his injuries, the potential impact on his career as a professional athlete and the challenge for a jury in sorting out the facts in this incident, the resolution of the case was in the best interests of the city.”The $4-million payout is a fraction of the $50 million Sefolosha originally sought from the New York City Police Department and the city it serves in October 2015.As previously reported, police maintained they had been close to Manhattan, N.Y.’s 1Oak nightclub in April 2015 addressing the stabbing of now-Turkish Basketball Super League player Chris Copeland. The cops claimed Sefolosha questioned their authority, adding they were simply trying to keep him out of the area. Sefolosha said he handed a homeless man money near the club when officers pulled him to the ground, arresting Sefolosha and breaking his leg. Former Hawks teammate Pero Antic had accompanied Sefolosha to the club and also was arrested.Sefolosha, whose suit also pointed to a “racial matter” regarding the hoodie he wore at the time of his arrest, testified that he referred to NYPD Officer Jean Paul Giacona as “a midget,” according to NYDN, before he was dragged to the ground. The act of police brutality injured the 6-foot-6 baller’s leg and could have ended his NBA career, his lawsuit said.Charges against Sefolosha stemming from the incident, including disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, were dismissed in October 2015.The 2016-2017 NBA season will be Sefolosha’s last as a Hawk as his three-year, $12-million deal comes to a close, Yahoo reported. He will become a free agent this summer, while Antic, who also sued the city over the scuffle, is playing for the Turkish Basketball Super League. Antic’s federal lawsuit over the incident is pending. read more

Essar Oil to pump in Rs 1625 crore to expand refining capacity

first_imgEssar HouseReutersEssar oil’s UK subsidiary, which owns and operates Ellesmere Port-based Stanlow Refinery, on Wednesday said the company is going to invest Rs 1,625 crore ($ 250million) to expand the refining capacity and aiming 400 petrol pumps in Britain in next five years.The oil marketing firm aims to increase its refining capacity from 9.09 million tonnes per annum to 9.7 million tonnes by March 2018, the Economic Times reported.”The investment in revamping of certain units of the refinery would help cut down on crude oil processing cost, improve product slate and lead to marginal increase in capacity,” chief executive S Thangapandian told ET.In revenue terms, the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) P Sampath said revamping would add Rs 65 ($1) to refining margin, translating into Rs 480 crore($70-75 million) in revenue.”The project will deliver enhanced yields of high-value products, reduce crude costs and drive revenue growth,” Thangapandian said.The firm’s net profit for the quarter dropped 17 percent to Rs 351 crore ($54 million), primarily due to the one-time tax adjustment. For the full year, the company reported a net profit of Rs 1,092 crore ($168 million) against revenue of Rs 31,980 crore ($4.92 billion).The firm is owned and controlled by Indian conglomerate Ruia-family of Mumbai. In the last week of August, Essar Group sold 98 percent of its stake in Essar Oil to a consortium led by Russian oil major Rosneft in a deal amounting to around Rs 82,697 crore ($12.9 billion).As part of the deal, oil major Rosneft will get a 49.13 percent stake in Essar Oil, while the Trafigura-UCP consortium will hold another 49.13 percent stake in the company. The remaining 1.74 percent will be held by retail shareholders.Essar has invested over Rs 5,200 crore ($800 million) since acquiring Stanlow in July 2011. The company currently has 39 petrol pumps in the UK currently and has permission to set up another 14. “Our long term target is to have 400 outlets in five years,” Sampath said. Prashant Ruia, Director, Essar Capital speaks during a news conference at the company’s headquarters in Mumbai, India August 21, 2017. REUTERS/Danish SiddiquiReuters”The major investment we have confirmed in Stanlow will materially increase throughput and further grow revenues, building on the tremendous progress we have made in turning around the business over the past six years,” said Prashant Ruia, non-executive chairman of Essar Oil UK.The firm has recently entered the direct aviation fuel supply market by selling the fuel produced at Stanlow to major airlines such as Emirates, Etihad, Jet2.com and Oman Air, ET reported.last_img read more