18 Jan

Security Council Committed to Ending Ebola Outbreak

first_imgThe Security Council is unanimous on one thing: its commitment to ending the Ebola outbreak.In the first-ever emergency Security Council meeting called on a health crisis, all 15 council members voted to declare the disease a “threat to international peace and security.”The council met on HIV/AIDS in 2000, in a non-emergency session.On Friday, the General Assembly passed, with all 193 member states in favor, its own resolution on Ebola, after holding open debate on the health crisis.The resolution had the most co-sponsors in UN history: 134.Israel’s Ambassador Ron Prosor addressed the Security Council on Thursday and expressed unequivocal support for sending aid workers and funding to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.“Israel is proud to be playing its part,” Prosor said, citing tikkun olam, the Jewish principle that it is the individual’s responsibility to improve the world.According to the Jerusalem Post, one of Israel’s leading newspapers, Israel NGOs have deployed to Sierra Leone and Cameroon, the ambassador said, to help train doctors in how to fight the spread of the highly communicable disease.Stable healthcare infrastructure is the first line of defense for combating epidemics such as these, health expert say. Ensuring that patients exposed to the disease know to go to a healthcare facility immediately and not to say goodbye to family members is critical for helping stop the disease.“This must be the moment when we enable nations to become the architects of their health systems rather than its victims,” Prosor said.During Thursday’s meeting, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the creation of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response to respond to the epidemic. UNMEER”s five priorities, Ban said, are “stopping the outbreak, treating the infected, ensuring essential services, preserving stability and preventing further outbreaks.”For weeks, officials from the World Health Organization, other UN agencies and Médecins Sans Frontières have been calling on world leaders to ramp up aid to the affected countries. WHO director-general Dr. Margaret Chan and UN Systems Coordinator for Ebola Dr. David Nabarro have spoken to the press at UN headquarters on several occasions, pleading for more resources, rather than a de facto policy of isolation.“I estimate that to get ahead of outbreak the level of response needs to be about 20 times greater than it is at the moment,” Nabarro said on Thursday during the Security Council meeting.On Thursday, the Security Council finally responded to doctors’ pleas. In her testimony, the Security Council president for September, US Ambassador Samantha Power, reiterated the unprecedented speed with which this outbreak has spread. The death toll in Liberia is greater than that of the last 20 outbreaks combined, Power said.“Instead of isolating the affected countries, we call for flooding them—flooding them with the resources that are desperately needed to turn the tide in this fight,” the US ambassador said. “The math is simple: the sooner we act, the more lives we save.”During an appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Thursday, former US president Bill Clinton said that the WHO, UN, Médecins Sans Frontières and US Department of Health will speak about Ebola during this year’s Clinton Global Initiative.It will take a “Herculean effort” to isolate and stamp out the Ebola epidemic, he said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

22 Dec

Celebrity dinner date set to be a top Christmas gift choice

first_imgIf you are looking for a unique Christmas gift for the music fan in your life – the Shandon Hotel & Spa are hosting an unforgettable experience with singer Brian Kennedy in January 2018.The Shandon Hotel & Spa is excited to announce a glamorous dinner date with Brian Kennedy – back by popular demand!The event takes place on Thursday January 25th 2018, where guests enjoy Shandon G&T drinks reception and a sumptuous 4 course gourmet meal before Brian Kennedy takes to the stage to perform. Brian last performed in the Shandon on the 21st September 2017 to a sell out show and he ‘wowed’ the audience with his humour and amazing performance, he even joined guests on the dance floor to conclude a spectacular show!The Belfast man is first and foremost a live performer and songwriter. As he bluntly puts it himself, “Music is my lifeblood.” His constant touring from Ireland and the UK to Australia, Germany and the USA, including the major global festivals, has resulted in an ever-growing international fan base the old fashioned way, over a phenomenal twenty-five year career on the rollercoaster ride that is the unpredictable music industry. His work with Belfast legend Van Morrison has been well documented. Courtesy of Van’s continuing mentoring and generosity, Brian ended up sharing vocal duties on stages across the globe over a six-year period with Morrison and a breathtaking cast of some of the greatest artists in history: Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles and John Lee Hooker to name but a few.Brian has released a stream of chart-making albums. ‘A Better Man’ (1996) and ‘Now That I Know What I Want’ (1999), both went platinum at No.1 and earned him the awards of Irish Best Male Artist and Irish Best Male Album, as did the highly acclaimed ‘Homebird’ (2006) and cover album ‘Interpretations’ (2008).But it was Brian’s heart wrenching LIVE performance of ‘You Raise Me Up’ at the funeral of football Legend George Best that earned him a spot in the top 5 of the UK charts.Last year saw Brian begin a challenging journey with cancer and he cites singing and performing as the motivation for staying positive. In Brian’s words: “The gigs make everything worthwhile, the fans’ support means the world to me, if anything the diagnosis and treatment has given me greater focus and determination to get through it all. Music is the ultimate healer and my voice has never let me down.” Seeing him perform live is all the proof that’s needed.Well over two decades later and Brian genuinely feels like he is only really getting into his stride. So, what else is left for a multi-platinum selling singer/songwriter, highly regarded radio and television presenter, an Honorary Doctor of Letters from The University of Ulster, a published author of two successful novels – not surprisingly, for a lyricist of his calibre.This show will be a unique chance for fans to listen to and interact with Brian in the luxury surroundings of the Shandon Hotel.For more information or to book, please contact the Shandon hotel 00353 (0) 749136137 or email info@shandonhotelspa.com. Tickets must be purchased in full. Ticket price is non-refundable.Sponsored PostCelebrity dinner date set to be a top Christmas gift choice was last modified: November 16th, 2017 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Brian KennedyChristmas GiftsconcerteventsMUSICShandon Hotel and Spalast_img read more

9 Sep

Rep Tuck Budget burden shouldnt fall on middle class

first_imgWe’re talking with legislative leaders this week as part of a series on the start of the legislative session.House minority leader Rep. Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage, speaks at a press event Jan. 19, 2016. Photo: Skip Gray/360North.Anchorage Representative Chris Tuck is the minority leader in the state House. He questions whether the Governor’s budget proposal is fair for average Alaskans.Download AudioTUCK: One of the concerns that I have is a working family of four, making sure that they’re not taking the brunt of the burden and that when we look at fish taxes, when we look at oil taxes, when we look at mining taxes, and looking at all those other things, just weighing it in perspective. And so I just want to make sure that the working class isn’t fully burdened with the responsibility.TOWNSEND: When you say “fully burdened,”… where is your cutoff? When does the middle class have to contribute, or at what level would you be comfortable with?TUCK: Well, we’re all in this together. Everybody’s going to have to pay. But the way that the governor’s plan is right now, you take the owner of a wealthy utility, and you compare what that person’s going to have to pay out of his pocket versus a working family of four, it’s really bent on one direction. And so the governor’s plan is a good start. It is courageous. He does have inclusions from everyone. But, just for example, mining taxes haven’t been looked at in decades, and all he plans on generating from that is an additional $12 million. But you look at alcohol taxes alone, and that’s $40 million. So we’re going to be bringing in over three and a half times more in alcohol taxes than we are in mining taxes. And if we’re going to open up mining taxes, we need to seriously look at, “Is this going to be fair in comparison to where we’re gathering money from people in other ways?”TOWNSEND: When you’re talking about the total package and raising revenue, what about the budget cuts to fill this $3.5 billion budget gap? What else do you think needs to be looked at as far as cutting?TUCK: Well, there’s a lot of megaprojects that Alaska, right now, can’t afford the five megaprojects going forward. I know right now, for example, the Susitna Dam. It’s something I’ve always supported. I support hydro projects. That is a renewable energy in my mind. But then, when you look at some of the power generation projects that we have going through the state, especially in Southcentral Alaska, a lot of natural gas facilities just got built, so maybe now’s not the time to do that since the price of gas is so low, and we’ve already met the needs, with a little bit of extra capacity, in the most recent years.TOWNSEND: Democrats have introduced dueling bills: One to limit the session to 90 days and one to move it back to 120 days. What’s your opinion? Is 90 days long enough?TUCK: Obviously, last year 90 days was not enough. There’s questions about whether this year 90 days is going to be enough. We have a, right now, constitutional limit of 120 days. I can tell you that when I first got elected, I fell underneath the 90 day session, and it was the first year that that that initiative took action. And it’s like cramming for finals every day of the week. I mean, you’re really moving under a 90 day session, and it is difficult to build relationships and to have the necessary dialogue to have good policy. So, there’s a balance. I like that its statute is 90 days, but if we need to go over, we do have it for 120 days. Again, we’re a nonbinding caucus, so that’s the reason we have different opinions coming from our caucus, because people vote their conscious on that. So, it all depends on if we can get more work done in the interim; I do support the 90 days.Chris Tuck is the minority leader in the House. Tune in tomorrow for a conversation with Senate President Kevin Meyer.last_img read more