Liberia YMCA Multi Country Slums Project to Graduate 54

first_imgThe YMCA of Liberia will tomorrow, Wednesday, April 20, graduate 54 young people from West Point and Slipway communities under the second phase of life skills training of the Multi Country Slums Development Project titled: “Young People as Agents of Change Helping to Transform Slum Settlements”With funding from Comic Relief through Y Care International, the graduation is the second phase of vocational, entrepreneurship and life skills training for beneficiaries from the two communities.Twenty eight males and twenty six females will receive certificates in cosmetology, tailoring, pastry making and other professions.The program takes place at 10:00 a.m. at the YMCA Headquarters on Crown Hill, Broad Street. These beneficiaries have undergone skills training in different disciplines in both vocational and apprenticeship training programs for nine to 14 months. The beneficiaries will be provided toolkits as part of their post training support to enable them to start their own ventures practicing their trade to improve their livelihoods.The YMCA Multi Country Slum Project aims to strengthen communities’ resilience and improve the living conditions in West Point and Slipway, utilizing the energy and drive of young people as catalysts for change. Over the years the construction of water points, latrines and youth-led health and hygiene training; the establishment /strengthening of local associations of slum dwellers to enable them to better advocate for pro-poor approaches to slum upgrading and development are some of the many activities implemented under the project.Additionally there have been training on advocacy, civic education and budget literacy, monitoring for youth-led advocacy groups; the provision of vocational, entrepreneurship and life-skills training and post-training inputs for young people; and building the capacity of CSOs to better respond to the needs of young people.Also a new slum project “Mobilizing Young Slum Dwellers in Liberia to Rebuild Communities after the Ebola Outbreak” will be launched during the program.In partnership with Y Care International with funding from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) – UK Aid the project will contribute to the social and economic empowerment of 710 young slum dwellers (15-24) in seven zones of West Point, Monrovia. Young women and men will receive supports and trainings in livelihoods, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), advocacy and health and hygiene, which will empower them to become leaders within their communities, provide support to 12,960 other slum dwellers and act as catalysts for long term community change and development. At the end of the project an improved slum upgrading policies for approximately 75,000 slum dwellers in West Point would have been achieved, while at the same time an improved health, livelihoods and resilience, including 12,960 (50% females) slum dwellers in West Point would also be achieved.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Chelsea boss Conte hits back at Costa claims

first_imgConte told Costa by text that he wasn’t in his plans for the forthcoming season after the Italian grew tired of the volatile 28-year-old’s attempts to engineer a transfer to his former club Atletico Madrid.Costa’s representative, Ricardo Cardoso, launched a scathing attack on Conte on Thursday, saying he had made it “impossible” for him to stay at Stamford Bridge because of the way the Blues manager had “dismissed” the Spain striker via text.But Conte is adamant he made it clear to Costa during last season that he would be sold in the summer if a buyer could be found, so the text exchange was only reinforcing that message.“For me it is very simple. I repeat what I said in the past; the player, his agent and the club knew very well the future of the player in the summer,” Conte told reporters on Friday.“For sure I don’t understand why the lawyer gets involved. The situation is very clear. It is always the same. For me it’s in the past.”Given the threat of legal intervention, a Chelsea spokesman, seated next to Conte at his press conference, said the club also felt compelled to respond.“The premise the lawyer has put forward is just wrong,” the spokesman said.“The decision on Diego was made back in January. The player knew the decision, his agent knew the decision, clearly the lawyer has not been well informed.“The lawyer’s argument that Antonio as a coach has forced the player out by text message in June is just nonsense.“We’ll just have to see what the window brings.”Costa, valued at around £50 million ($65.39m) by Chelsea, would prefer a move back to Atletico, while AC Milan are also reported to be interested, but his former club are currently subject to a transfer embargo until January 2018.As a result, Costa will remain exiled when Chelsea face Arsenal in the Community Shield on Sunday and is certain not to be involved when the Blues start their Premier League title defence against Burnley on August 12.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Chelsea manager Antonio Conte (right) left forward Diego Costa out of the club’s pre-season tour of Asia © AFP/File / Lindsey PARNABYLONDON, United Kingdom, Aug 4 – Antonio Conte insisted Friday that Diego Costa has no grounds for complaint after a lawyer for the exiled Chelsea striker claimed the Blues boss had made it impossible for his client to remain with the Premier League champions.Costa was left out of Chelsea’s pre-season tour of Asia and has been training away from the rest of the first-team squad since revealing the contents of a text message exchange with Conte at the end of last season.last_img read more

Virgin Australia Business and Premium Economy review.

first_imgVirgin Australia Business Class Perhaps that is the best way of summing up Virgin Australia’s radical upgrade of its international fleet of Boeing 777-300ERs.Gone forever is the 2-3-2 business class configuration replaced by individual suites that are more at home in most airline’s first class cabins, while premium economy –  now just Premium – has more leg room than most standard domestic business class.To cap off the good news for economy travellers there is a new Economy Space + product which sits neatly between Economy and Premium. Now the airline can boast it has a world class product for all budgets.And not only are the products superb but the atmosphere is stunning with excellent use of LED lighting to create a feeling of an opulent nightclub. The new products underscore that the airline really means business and is after a bigger share of the market.In business class there are 37 individual and private suites that convert into the length of a queen size bed at 80 inches (203cm) and they are set in a reverse herringbone layout, maximising privacy and enabling 100 per cent direct aisle access in a 1-2-1 configuration.There is loads of space to work, multi task and store personal items.And when dinner comes around there is no need to put anything away – just put your laptop or iPad aside. I was surprised by the amount of space on my return flights from Sydney to Los Angeles. The suite is essentially an enlarged version of that fitted to the airline’s A330s that ply Australia’s domestic routes. Big difference as you would expect on a larger aircraft is the amount of gadget space and just the sense of space. I could easy stow all the “stuff” I would need; iPhone, iPad, laptop, charger, and even my “good” camera for those classic sunset shots. Lunch was yet another Luke Mangan special and I chose King Prawns with carrot, daikon and coriander with miso and yuzu dressing. Main course was easy! Barramundi, a much sought after Australian fish, with black bean sauce, snow peas, rice and spring onions.The menu flowed on with range of magnificent deserts and cheeses but as I am on a health kick I resisted the temptation. And there are 10 choices of tea or coffee!But the real plus is the bed with its triple-layer seat cushion supported by a hammock sub-frame which guarantees a really good sleep. On my return flight from Los Angeles to Sydney I had eight hours!I know that compared to economy, business is luxurious but there are some business seats that don’t translate well into a flat bed and thus a good night’s sleep. If you are paying $8000 return from say Sydney to LA you expect to have a good night’s sleep.Of course if you don’t want to sleep the suite has the largest in-flight entertainment screen flying between Australia and North America, with an 18 inch High Definition touch screen claims the airline.I passed on the IFE and simply used my iPad loaded with all the classic movies and David Attenborough documentaries that I love.Virgin Australia has also revamped and expanded its business class bar and lounge and it now rivals Emirates A380 business class bar which I know is a big call. It is an intimate space and would be at home at the top end of Paris or London.The only issue is its proximity to the first row in the second business class cabin but Virgin Australia has now installed heavy duty curtains to block the light and any chatter. The bar also doubles as a place to have a continental breakfast before landing.Virgin Australia Group chief executive John Borghetti is lyrical about the new offering telling AirlineRatings.com that the airline is “committed to product innovation and delivering a superior customer journey on the ground and in the air.”“With competition increasing from Australia to North America and the Middle East, we believe this will be the best Business Class on the Pacific, with the product also being introduced to Abu Dhabi later this year,” said Mr Borghetti.Summing up – stunning product which matches the service!Note: The fleet will be ALL upgraded by the end of the third quarter of 2016. You can easily tell when you go to seat select which aircraft you will be on. Premium Virgin Australia has done a superb job repositioning its top economy product while adding a new twist that is sure to excite. Perhaps you could say the new and upgraded products are a time machine – back to when economy travel was more humane! Firstly it has morphed its premium economy into what it calls Premium. The improvements to the 24-seat cabin are numerous with more legroom than any other Australian airline is offering.Australian Business Traveller makes an interesting comparison noting that Virgin’s Premium offers 3 inches more legroom that the standard domestic offering in Australia. And the product has 9 inches more than economy – with a 19.5 inch wide seat and nine inches of recline.While I did not travel in the class I did take a seat and was surprised at what an amazing difference there is from economy. Essentially it is what the original business class was in 1979.Passengers get a plated meal services served on business class crockery and accompanied by a selection of wines from the business class cellar. There is dedicated check-in, priority boarding and priority baggage, enabling Premium guests to speed through airport formalities.Virgin’s explains that the number of Premium seats have been reduced and it is in a “smaller, more exclusive cabin which has taken seat comfort to a new level and really the positioning is around business light rather than economy plus.”But the big news is the new product, called Economy Space +, which is designed to make travel more comfortable and seamless for budget travellers who want a touch of class. This product will be available for flights commencing 30th of August. Its cost between A$135 and A$165 one way.This new class is located in a dedicated cabin of five rows behind Premium and the exit rows of the main economy cabin. And it’s amazing value!Passengers get extra legroom, check-in via a dedicated Premium check-in counter; pre-boarding, preferred overhead locker; dedicated crew members throughout the flight; guaranteed first meal choice; and premium noise-cancelling headset.Virgin Australia’s chief customer officer Mark Hassell told AirlineRatings.com that the airline believed Economy Space + will be very popular with a range of travellers.“Economy Space + enables you to speed through the airport and enjoy service from dedicated crew members throughout the flight, providing great value for guests,” said Mr Hassell.Virgin is the first Australian airline to adopt a local version of America’s popular “economy comfort” class, which allows travellers to trade up to a seat with more room without the premium economy price tag.According to AirlineRatings.com Consumer Editor Clive Dorman Economy Space+ is “big news” and I would have to agree and its “great news” as well for all those over 6ft or 182cms! “There are a total of 67 seats – 47 of them in the one cabin, the rest further down the main cabin and the “pitch” per seat row is 34 inches (86 cms) compared with 32 inches (81 cms) in economy,” said Mr Dorman.That brings economy back to what it used to be in the late 1960s. And it is amazing what a difference that two inches (5cms) makes!I found that at 193cm I had room to move that the extra sense of space is extraordinary. The feeling of claustrophobia disappears. “Instead of paying double or triple the economy rate, for say business the upgrade costs between $135 and $165 per seat one-way between Australia and the USA,” said Mr Dorman. Summing up Virgin Australia has this product mix perfectly targeted for all economy budgets and pockets – well done!!Premium fares from Sydney to Los Angeles is around is A$2200. Economy can be purchased for about A$800 and thus Economy Space + sits just under A$1000 one-way. (Fares sourced Sunday May 22 for travel August 30th)last_img read more

Green Building Priority #8 — Use Green Products

first_imgThose who are new to green building may be surprised that material selection isn’t right at the top of my priority list. Many people assume that what makes a home green are things like the use of recycled-content or bio-based materials — decking made out of recycled milk jugs or foam insulation made from soybean oil, for example.Selecting green materials is important, and our company focuses a lot of attention on providing guidance for product selection (especially through our GreenSpec Directory) but, in my opinion, material selection is well down the list of the most important green building priorities — sitting at #8. (Over the coming weeks, you’ll learn about the green building strategies that I consider to be higher priority.)What should we look for in green building products?In our GreenSpec Directory, we have 26 different attributes that we use to define products as green. These are organized into five major categories:Products made with salvaged, recycled, or agricultural waste content;Products that conserve natural resources;Products that avoid toxic or other emissions;Products that save energy or water; andProducts that contribute to a safe, healthy built environment.Our full list of these green attributes can be found in our article Building Materials: What Makes a Product Green?, available on our website.In GreenSpec, we employ a “life-cycle thinking” process in our product reviews. It’s not as robust as full “life-cycle assessment,” and we don’t have the budget to do actual product testing. But we synthesize information about products that we get from manufacturers, we dig into government and academic reports on chemical toxicity and product performance attributes, and we filter that through a common-sense perspective that we’ve developed over 20-plus years of looking at green building products.One of the challenges in identifying green building products is separating claims from reality. “Greenwashing” is rampant in the building products industry, with many manufacturers exaggerating claims about the environmental performance of their products and some providing blatant misinformation.“Third-party certification” provides a way to assess products and materials more objectively. We can be fairly confident that wood products carrying Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification come from well-managed forests, for example.Many industries have green certification programs. The carpet industry created Green Label and Green Label Plus for carpeting with low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Energy Star is a certification program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for recognizing appliances, lighting, office equipment, and other products that operate efficiently — aiming for the top 25% of products on the market. Similarly, EPA recently created the WaterSense Program for water-conserving toilets, showerheads, faucets, and other plumbing fixtures.One of the challenges for architects and builders specifying products is the proliferation of labels that are used to identify green products. There are dozens of different certification systems and corresponding labels. Some refer to this as the “NASCAR effect,” with products carrying as many distinctive labels as racing cars. Designers, builders, and consumers are often left confused — especially because some certification systems are more rigorous than others.To further confuse matters, some certifications are for single attributes (forest management, energy efficiency, or VOC emissions, for example), while others are more comprehensive — covering multiple attributes. EcoLogo is a multi-attribute certification system developed in Canada; this certification system was just acquired by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) to become part of the UL-Environment system (this may be the start of consolidation that is likely to occur in green certifications).Product certification and green product selection can get pretty complicated. Our company works hard to understand all of the relevant product certifications, and we use that information in selecting products to list in our GreenSpec directory. Our goal is to make process of product selection easier. We want architects and builders to have more time to focus on design issues that are usually a lot more important.Posted from San Francisco, where I am speaking at the West Coast Green conference this week.In addition to this Energy Solutions blog, Alex writes the weekly blog on BuildingGreen.com: Alex’s Cool Product of the Week, which profiles an interesting new green building product each week. You can sign up to receive notices of those blogs by e-mail — enter your e-mail address in the upper right corner of any buildinggreen.com blog page.Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, LLC and executive editor of Environmental Building News. To keep up with his latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed.last_img read more

Metta World Peace arrives in Manila, satisfies Filipino food craving

first_imgMetta World Peace craves for Filipino food. Photo from his Twitter accountFormer NBA player Metta World Peace arrived in Manila Saturday for a quick trip to the Philippines.“Just arrived in Manila .. Love the Filipino people. Halo halo time!!!” said World Peace in a tweet, hours after complaining about his flight getting delayed.ADVERTISEMENT After landing, World Peace immediately satisfied his craving for Filipino Food and dined at a local restaurant in Makati.It’s time!!! #manilla pic.twitter.com/VpLdKe6FcKFEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout— Metta World Peace (@MettaWorldPeace) August 12, 2017 NCAA Season 93’s Best 7: Week 5 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding MOST READcenter_img LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Manila police chief: Cops tolerating illegal street vendors to get ax PLAY LIST 01:22Manila police chief: Cops tolerating illegal street vendors to get ax01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:18Woman gives birth at Manila North Cemetery on All Souls’ Day01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments K-pop star Jung Joon-young convicted of gang rape, spycam crimes The former Los Angeles Laker, who was known as Ron Artest before having his name legally changed, will only spend less than a day in the Philippines, according to Snippet Media’s Kristina Maralit.Earlier, he asked his Twitter followers for leads on where to find the best street ball park in Manila. It is unsure whether he will have time to play ball while here.World Peace’s 16-year-old son Jeron Artest is born to a Filipino mother.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Read Nextlast_img read more

Nokia Lumia 900 launched in India at Rs 32,999

first_imgNokia’s Windows based Smartphone Lumia 900 has quietly been launched in India. The new phone, which is available on Infibeam.com at a price of Rs 32,490, features a powerful camera and has a good storage capacity. According to reports, the Nokia Lumia 900 runs on the Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 Mango operating system. It also boasts of having 1.4 GHz Scorpion, 512MB RAM, 4.3″ touch screen, besides having Corning Gorilla Glass and AMOLED display technology.The report published on Tech2.com says, “Rs 32,999 price tag seems a bit heavy for a Windows Phone 7 device, especially one that’s never going to get Windows Phone 8. We also think the Lumia 900 is a bit out of date, especially with the Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 being unveiled.”Nokia Lumia 900 has a 1830mAh battery that offers a maximum of 300 hours of stand-by time, and seven hours of talk time. It has an 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash with an aperture of f/2.2.The major features of the Nokia Lumia 900 are:- 4.3-inch AMOLED touchscreen with ClearBlack technology- GPRS, HSPA, EDGE,HSUPA, GSM, HSDPA, LTE, WDCMA, Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA- GPS and A-GPS support- Bluetooth v2.1 with EDR- 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash, VGA front facing camera- 512MB RAM, 16GB internal memory- microUSB 2.0 portWith Agency inputslast_img read more

McDermott Bags FEED Contract for Sohar LNG Bunkering Project

first_imgzoomIllustration; Image Courtesy: STX/Wartsila US-based McDermott International has received a contract to provide front-end engineering design (FEED) services for the Sohar LNG Bunkering Project in Oman.The project has an aim of establishing Oman as a regional LNG bunkering hub capable of supplying LNG as a fuel to marine vessels.Under the deal, awarded by Total Oman E&P Development B.V. in partnership with Oman Oil Company S.O.A.C., the scope of work during the FEED phase includes fully defining the onshore mid-scale LNG facilities and preparing a competitive tender for the engineering, procurement, supply, construction and commissioning phase.The global LNG bunkering market is entering a rapid growth period driven largely by the International Maritime Organization’s legislation to significantly limit sulphur emissions.Work on the project will begin immediately and the contract award will be reflected in McDermott’s second quarter 2019 backlog.last_img read more

MOL Oshima Get AIP for Wind Challenger Design

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: MOL Japan’s shipping major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Oshima Shipbuilding have jointly obtained Approval in Principle (AIP) from ClassNK for the design of a hard sail system.The system converts wind energy to propulsive force with telescopic hard sail, and is a fundamental technology of the “Wind Challenger Project” that the parties are spearheading.Along with other participating organizations, MOL and Oshima Shipbuilding have played a central role in research and development on the Wind Challenger Project, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by using wind energy. Obtaining the AIP marks the completion of the initial design related to the sail structure and controls, the companies said.MOL and Oshima Shipbuilding will continue to move toward a detailed design and implementation for the Wind Challenger Project, with the aim to launch of a newbuilding vessel equipped with a hard sail. That would reduce the vessel’s GHG emissions by about 5% on a Japan-Australia voyage, and about 8% on Japan-North America West Coast voyage.The long-term goal is to develop a widely accepted solution to achieve the IMO target in combination with other measures to reduce GHGs by equipping vessels with multiple sails.Through this project, MOL and Oshima Shipbuilding will establish one of the technological choices for GHG reduction, with the objective of contributing to environmental conservation.The Wind Challenger Project started in 2009 with the “Wind Challenger Plan”, an industry-academia joint research project led by The University of Tokyo, and from 2013, the team has been chosen to receive “Subsidy for Next-generation marine environment-related technology research” by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. In January 2018, MOL and Oshima Shipbuilding took charge of the plan.last_img read more

Thad Matta to Jake Lorbach Dont be another Mark Titus

Junior forward Jake Lorbach (34) takes a shot during a game against Bryant Dec. 11 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 86-48. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorWhen Ohio State junior forward Jake Lorbach made the men’s basketball team as a walk-on before last season, coach Thad Matta had only one thing to say to him.“He (told me), ‘I don’t want another Mark Titus. So just try not to do that.’ But sometimes you can’t help yourself,” Lorbach said Friday.Titus, a former OSU walk-on who graduated in 2010, gained stardom in his Buckeye career after starting a blog known as Club Trillion. He has since written a book called “Don’t Put Me In, Coach,” chronicling his time as OSU’s goofball whose goal was to play in as many games as possible without recording any statistical significance.Matta’s lighter side is mentioned throughout Titus’ book, but the former player’s antics — making faces behind his head coach after the team won the 2010 Big Ten Tournament, for example — led some to believe his popularity got on the coach’s nerves. Lorbach hasn’t taken the goofing around to Titus’ level quite yet, but did photobomb LeBron James during a sideline interview when the football team was taking on Wisconsin Sept. 28.Matta denied having told Lorbach to avoid following in the footsteps of Titus, though.“I don’t think I told him that,” Matta said with a laugh Friday. “I love Mark, still do … (but) Jake’s done a tremendous job for us.”Lorbach made a splash Wednesday when he entered OSU’s 86-48 victory against Bryant and scored six points, the first two on a breakaway dunk where he barely jumped high enough to put the ball over the rim.“When I was sitting on the bench for the majority of the game, my knees were feeling kind of tired from that week of practice and so I think once I got the ball on the breakaway, it was just like a lot of adrenaline and then me thinking about my knees and whether or not I was going to get high enough,” Lorbach said. “It was a split second, so fortunately I was able to get up high enough and put it down and that’s all that matters.”The Schottenstein Center crowd — and his teammates on the bench — erupted every time Lorbach got the ball and scored against the Bulldogs, but if he had missed the dunk attempt, they might not have been so nice.“I’m pretty sure the crowd would have reacted a lot differently,” Lorbach said with a smile.“We might have laughed a little bit but told him to get it the next time,” junior guard Shannon Scott said Friday, speculating on the team’s reaction if Lorbach’s try had been unsuccessful.Lorbach, who played volleyball in addition to basketball at St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio, said his performance against Bryant has been recognized on campus and social media as well.“(I’ve) definitely gotten a lot more (Twitter) followers after that debut. People have come up to me a lot and said good job,” Lorbach said. “It’s cool getting the attention, it’s a lot different. Usually, I just walk through the shadows and now I’m kind of out there and people know who I am.”Having only played 10 minutes the past two seasons combined, the majority of Lorbach’s time is spent on the practice court getting the scholarship players ready for their next opponent. His hard work on his own game, though, doesn’t go unnoticed by his coach.“He does everything we need him to do,” Matta said. “For Jake, wanting to be a part of this basketball team and knowing that his role was never going to be significant by any stretch for the team, but we’re going to require him to be a great teammate and have a great attitude every single day and he’s definitely exceeding our expectations when it comes to that. For (the other players), basically the work he’s putting in, he’s here every second that they’re here and not getting to do the majority of the things they are, so when something happens, I think they’re excited for him.”Not getting the playing time others do is something that comes with being a walk-on, and even if he does not get a chance to play Saturday when the Buckeyes are scheduled to take on North Dakota State at 8:15 p.m., Lorbach said he is just happy to get any opportunity after all his hard work.“It definitely feels like it’s paying off finally,” Lorbach said. “I come to practice every day and do what I can to help the team and then finally, I was able to go out there and showcase what I’m able to do.” read more