“It’s been challenging but it’s been fun. Challenging (because) the school needs a good netball court but really fun and rewarding because they are like sponges and so many of our young people want guidance,” she added. The netball team, under the guidance of coach, Christopher Smart, won the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association Under 19 Urban title last year. “There is so much respect and admiration that the players have for him (Smart) and the way he interacts with them. The discipline is very important and so they know that once they step on the court for training or matches, Excelsior’s brand becomes foremost in their minds and so far I couldn’t find a better way to spend the free time that I have time now,” she added. Bernard, who is an accountant by training, and was also treasurer for the International Netball Federation before stepping down from that role a few years ago, said the experience she gained at the higher level helped her in her current role. Bernard makes all the arrangements for matches such as player registration, hydration, transportation, and in conjunction with the school’s sports department, helps to monitor the movement of students between training, matches and home. “I couldn’t sit down and not let my sport be a part of the disciplines that are doing well,” she explained. The programme is a holistic one and the girls are helped with their homework and as she calls it taught “soft skills”. “It’s the soft skills that a lot of these girls need and they’re going to leave school and go out into the working world and I want to impart some of the skills I learnt from my parents,” she said. THEY WANT GUIDANCE After finding satisfaction in giving back to her alma mater Excelsior High School former Netball Jamaica president Marva Bernard is encouraging other women to do the same. Bernard, who left the top post at Netball Jamaica in 2015 after 10 years at the helm, was moved by the way many from all alumnae of prominent all boys institutions have already mastered the art of giving back. “There is a need for those of us who have the time to give back. I would like to see many more women just coming back and giving back to their high school. If it makes a difference in just one person’s life it is worth it,” she told The Gleaner. Since last July, Bernard has been the effective manager of Excelsior High School’s ‘lady eagles’ netball team. She said she was inspired to take on the role after observing Excelsior Old Boys Desmond Shakespeare and track team head coach David Riley in action. “I said ‘this is my school and I have a lot of time on my hands’ and it’s a no brainer because working with young people is something I enjoy and the girls need us to come back to help with that part of the programme because we have been doing well in so many areas,” she said.
The Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC), for Women’s Empowerment, has officially launched an awareness campaign called “You Can Stop Ebola -Women Working Toward Zero Cases” in four communities in Monrovia and its environs.ABIC and its partners indicate that as complacency starts to engulf Liberians in the fight against Ebola, especially in public places, the campaign’s aim is to intensify anti-Ebola awareness in market places. It is also providing logistical support for four major markets, including Jorkpen Town Market, LBS Community Market, ELWA Community Market, and Du-Port Road Market.The campaign will ensure that these major markets that it has selected will benefit from regular collection of garbage, intense awareness and sensitization about Ebola, its prevention and control.The initiative is being undertaken by several institutions, including the Leadership Development, International Peace & Security in collaboration with the Sirleaf Market Women’s Fund (SMWF), Liberia Marketing Association (LMA), Paynesville City Corporation (PCC), Monrovia City Corporation (MCC), and the Liberia Crusaders for Peace (LCP).A release from ABIC states that nearly five months since the outbreak of Ebola severely intensified in the country, women have been mostly affected by the virus due to their role as caregivers in homes and their vulnerability especially in market places.ABIC Establishment Coordinator, Cllr. Yevette Chesson Wureh, said that in the midst of the Ebola crisis, women are “breadwinning for their families in the shackles of economic adversity created by the Ebola virus across the country.“The prevailing evidence is that most of the market women have not been trained on the preventive measures of Ebola thus leaving them unprotected and vulnerable in market places and communities,” she added.“We cannot be complacent as our number of infected cases decreases. We must remain vigilant and continue to protect ourselves and families against Ebola. Our sponsor, the Urgent Action Fund has recognized this important ongoing need to educate and support women at this crucial time. We thank them,” Cllr. Wureh stated.The ABIC boss indicated that Liberia is still in a situation where no one can predict the outcome of Ebola; adding, “Ebola is real; it is dangerous and has no cure. It is still in Liberia.”Noting that the disease has killed over 2000 people in Liberia, with majority of the dead being women, Cllr. Wureh said “we must not neglect the preventive measures such as washing hands, keeping our distance, and avoiding personal contact especially with sick people showing the following symptoms: vomiting, running stomach, fever headache, muscle pains, rash and red eyes, no contact with dead bodies. This must be our daily recitation,” she warned Liberians.With the erection of hygiene stations in some market places, Cllr. Wureh said, the issue of lack of training of market women and sensitization on clean and safe environment still need serious attention as the preventive measures of Ebola also demand cleanliness.She meanwhile disclosed that for Ebola to be 100% eradicated from Liberia, there should be an organized women’s sector such as the market women who must be empowered with anti-Ebola logistics, Training of Trainers (TOTs) and the creation of an enabling environment for market women’s participation in the fight against Ebola.“Until Liberia is declared Ebola free, we have to continue to sensitize and educate so as to provide a clean and safe environment for market women, who are mostly bread winners and caretakers of their children until we can stop Ebola and work towards Zero cases,” she stated.Monrovia City Mayor Clara Doe Mvogo described the awareness campaign as an initiative that will help empower market women in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus.Mayor Mvogo urged all Liberians not be complacent with the reduction in new cases but must continue to observe the preventive measures.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE — The development of a flying laser weapon to destroy ballistic missiles hit a major milestone when it showed it could detect and track a target. The Airborne Laser, a highly modified Boeing 747 based at Edwards Air Force Base, demonstrated it could find a flying target with a laser during two test missions in March. The tests were a major step toward proving a laser weapon can find and destroy ballistic missiles while they are still in the booster phase. “We have a crawl, walk, run approach to Airborne Laser,” said Col. John Daniels, the director of the airborne laser program. “Right now we’re between crawling and walking.” The Airborne Laser tested its battle management system and its tracking laser system against a simulated missile — a KC-135 dubbed “Big Crow” that was equipped with infrared heat lamps to simulate a missile plume. Several test firings were conducted during flights over the Pacific Ocean on March 15 and March 20. The system detected the plume and the aircraft’s nose turret turned toward the target and the tracking laser was fired. Daniels did not disclose the distance between the two aircraft during the testing, saying only that it was “a significant distance.” “The laser actually tracked and ranged an airborne target,” Daniels said. “This was a huge risk reduction for us.” The next major milestones ahead for the program will involve the firing of the tracking laser along with the firing of a surrogate weapon laser to simulate an actual missile shoot-down. Program officials envision future Airborne Laser aircraft patrolling in pairs at more than 40,000 feet and inside friendly territory, scanning the horizon for missiles. When a missile is detected, a set of lasers will track and illuminate it, and computers will measure the distance and calculate its course and direction. A second high-energy laser, fired through the nose turret mounted on the aircraft, will destroy the missile. The weapon laser is made up of six modules, each weighing 4,500 pounds and about the size of a sport utility vehicle turned on its end. The beam will heat an area about the diameter of a basketball on the missile’s relatively fragile fuel-tank casing. The laser will weaken metal already under high pressure from the ignited rocket fuel, causing the missile to explode. The weapon laser is being refurbished after being tested on the ground at Edwards. The plan now is to begin installing it on the aircraft this summer, with work likely to stretch into mid-2008. A test against an actual ballistic missile is scheduled for 2009. If that test is successful, there are plans to begin development of another airborne laser aircraft. Airborne Laser is one of the largest test programs at Edwards involving about 700 workers and three major contractors — Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin. — Jim Skeen, (661) firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Ranchi, Mar 9 (PTI) The Opposition in the Jharkhand Assembly today demanded setting up of a commission to look into issues pertaining to land acquisition, particularly those protected under the Santhal Parganas Tenancy Act (SPT) and the Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act (CNT).”Let the government announce a commission to resolve all land-related issues,” Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) Legislature Party leader Pradip Yadav said.Debating over his Cut Motion on the Budget allocations for Revenue, Land Reforms, Art, Culture, Sport and Youth Affairs departments, Yadav sought to know from the state government about the “result” of the special investigation team (SIT) it had instituted a year back to look into land deals in violation of SPT and CNT.”The government had set up a SIT a year ago to look into violation of SPT and CNT. What is the result? Was it set up to intimidate anybody?” Yadav asked while drawing the attention of the House on sale of land in Godda, Sahibganj and Dumka districts of the Santhal Pargana region to a private industrialist.Claiming that a couple of amendments in land acquisition rules had drastically reduced the compensation amount in the three districts, Yadav wondered how the poor land holders were “losing” land, despite 90 per cent of land being protected under CNT/SPT Acts.”Let industrialists come, but with adequate compensation to the people as they suffer from industrial pollution and displacement,” Yadav said.Reminding Chief Minister Raghubar Das promise of protecting 86 basti in Jamshedpur, Yadav asked whether he would keep his vow now. (More) PTI PVR DKB IKAadvertisement