Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president Mike Fennell said they have been paying close attention to the various health and political issues affecting Brazil ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and that they were pleased with the precautions and countermeasures being taken. The Zika virus outbreak in Brazil has been a major cause for concern going into the 2016 Olympic Games. The virus, which the World Health Organization has declared an international public health emergency, has created great uncertainty and has left many doubting whether or not they should attend the games in the South American country. There is also the issue of an impeachment in congress for the country’s first female president, Dilma Rousseff, while there are also concerns with water pollution. Noting that he hopes that the political situation can be resolved before the games commence on August 5, Fennell said he was comfortable with the situation at this point. “In Rio, there are a number things we have to deal with. Everyone knows there is a public health problems with the ZIKV, but we are quite comfortable with the arrangements that have been made for the protection of the athletes, officials and other people, so we are satisfied Brazil has taken all the precautions that are necessary and we are monitoring that carefully,” Fennell said. He also believes it would be best if the country’s leaders resolve the uncertain political situation ahead of the games. “What has not directly impacted the games but will affect the nation is the government situation in Brazil. The president of the country is facing impeachment, and that always presents a challenge when you have political uncertainty. We just have to wait and see how it unfolds, but it would be best if that is sorted out before the games not, just for Jamaica, but for the whole world.” he continued. Meanwhile, the long-serving JOA boss believes that the Olympic Games today plays an even greater role in enhancing the careers and reputation of sportsmen and women right across the globe. “The demand for a place on the Olympic team is even greater than ever before because it is such an important event in the life and career of any sports person. It’s the ultimate achievement, representing your country at the Olympic Games. This has been enhanced even more for those athletes, who are following careers, as representing your country at the Olympic Games opens up doors for professional contacts later on, and if you medal it even goes much further … it’s a tremendous thing for the athlete,” added Fennell. NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS
There is outrage over revelations that the HSE has cut the number of hours of respite care it provides to Donegal children with intellectual disabilities by 245,551 since 2013.The number of respite hours delivered in Donegal is down to 23,668 in 2018: more than 70% fewer than had been provided just five years ago.Sinn Féin Deputy Pearse Doherty, who obtained the figures, has branded them as ‘grotesque’ and ‘unforgiveable’. He said: “They show that back in 2013 there were 80,773 hours of respite provided to children with intellectual disabilities living in Donegal, while last year this figure had tumbled to just over 23,500.“While there were 70 per cent fewer respite hours delivered in 2018 compared to 2013, there was a shocking 245,551 cumulative reduction in the number of overall respite hours provided to children in this county over the past five years – that is nothing short of grotesque and it is simply unforgiveable to say the least.”The Donegal T.D. said the people of Donegal will be “rightly disgusted and saddened” by these figures.“Respite services are a vital part of any health care system as they provide much needed relief and a welcome break to families and loved ones caring for children living with high dependency needs and or complex health conditions. “It’s of course understandable that the number of hours of respite needing to be delivered will inevitably differ from one year to the next due to changing demand with hours may having to be reduced owing to variables such as some children transitioning to adult care, other children sadly passing away, families relocated, etc.“However, the sheer scale of the cuts made to the number of respite hours provided by the HSE to children residing here over the past five years cannot be explained by simple demographic changes or other related reasons.“Clearly, a willful decision has been taken by authorities to make these cut backs and the feedback which I’ve been receiving from parents and service users paint a picture of families struggling to access supports.“And these figures today bear this out, so much so that we now not only have anecdotal evidence of their plight but we also have hard facts to back them up.”Deputy Doherty is calling on the government to take responsibility for the drop in respite care: “They must hang their heads in shame for what they have allowed to happen under their watch as they have allowed some of the most vulnerable children in this county and their families to go without these crucial supports.”Respite for children with disabilities cut by 245,000 hours in Donegal was last modified: July 9th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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)
Nelson Mandela turned 92 years old onSunday 18 July 2010.(Image: BuaNews)MEDIA CONTACTS• Nelson Mandela Foundation+27 11 547 [email protected] ARTICLES• Mandela: a remarkable 92 years• Gallery: Mandela meets Bafana Bafana• Education focus of Mandela Day 2010• Mandela meets final Bafana squad• Mandela Day now a global eventMary AlexanderLeaders across the world extended birthday wishes to former South African president Nelson Mandela on 18 June, with US President Barack Obama hailing the “extraordinary vision, leadership, and spirit” of the South African statesman and global icon of freedom.“On behalf of the United States, I wish Nelson Mandela a very happy 92nd birthday,” Obama said in a statement. “We strive to build upon his example of tolerance, compassion and reconciliation.”“I also join the American people, the South African people, the United Nations and the world in celebrating the first annual Nelson Mandela International Day. I encourage us all to heed the call to engage in some form of service to others in honour of the 67 years of sacrifice and service Madiba gave to us,” Obama said.In November 2009 the United Nations declared that 18 July, Mandela’s birthday, would henceforth be globally celebrated as Nelson Mandela Day. Yesterday, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon lauded Mandela, describing him as “a towering figure” who “embodies the highest values of humanity, and of the United Nations”.“Nelson Mandela’s accomplishments came at great personal cost to himself and his family. Today, on the first Nelson Mandela International Day, we thank him for everything he has done for freedom, for justice and for democracy,” Ban said.The day was also the 12th anniversary of Mandela’s marriage to Graca Machel, who he married when he was 80 and she 52. Speaking to the BBC, Machel said Mandela “is very well … he is healthy and taking into account the kind of life he had, it is really heartening … he is getting old, he is getting frail but he is absolutely healthy, full of life, spirits high”.Mandela spent his birthday in his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, surrounded by family. “We will gather at home, we will sit around, give him a lot of love,” Machel said.In honour of Mandela, Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman undertook a road trip with 29 other bikers from Johannesburg to Cape Town, along the way contributing to community projects such as building a fence at an Aids care centre in a poor township.“I take it as my connection to Madiba,” Freeman said. “We should do it every day.” Freeman played Mandela in the 2009 film Invictus.South African President Jacob Zuma spent the day at Mandela’s birthplace, the village of Mvezo in the Eastern Cape province. In his speech to mark the occasion, Zuma repeatedly referred to Mandela as “tata”, isiXhosa for “father”.“This is a special birthday celebration because 2010 also marks 20 years since Tata was released from prison, which accelerated our march towards freedom and democracy,” Zuma said.“He became the leader of this nation and president of the republic at the right moment for South Africa in 1994, as we emerged from the horrors of apartheid.“Tata helped us to internalise that we are one nation, united in our diversity. He taught us to overcome hatred and embrace reconciliation.”The day was auspicious for 27-year-old South African golfer Louis Oosthuizen, who got to win the British Open competition on Mandela’s birthday.“I would like to take this opportunity to say happy birthday to Mr Nelson Mandela back in South Africa,” Oosthuizen said after being presented with his trophy.“What he’s done for our country is unbelievable, and happy birthday to him.”In Vienna, on the sidelines of the 18th International Aids Conference, South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe led delegates in singing “happy birthday, Madiba” accompanied by vuvuzela trumpets.Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan described Mandela as “an exemplary statesman and selfless leader, whose invaluable contributions to human endeavour continue to earn him international repute and goodwill”.“His legacies continue to inspire people all over the world.”The UN celebrated with activities around the world from Africa to Europe to Central Asia. Communities in Sudan took part in a “Football for Peace” tournament in El-Fasher, with the winning team awarded the Nelson Mandela Cup. In Spain, a 6.7-kilometre charity walk in Madrid was held late on Sunday.
Game of Thrones and Harry Potter star Natalia Tena has lent her support to a Survival International campaign to finally bring the killers of three Colombian Indian leaders to justice.Twenty-two years ago, in November 1990, Angel María Torres and two other leaders of Colombia’s Arhuaco tribe were kidnapped, tortured and killed. They were travelling from their home in Colombia’s northern Sierra Nevada region to the capital Bogotá when they were detained by the army. Shortly after their disappearance, their corpses were found with signs of severe torture.In a rare interview, Angel María Torres’s widow Dilia has spoken of the grief and despair of the last 22 years.‘My husband’s hair was gone and his fingers were missing (…) I have lost my husband and all hope of a life with my partner and family.’ Dilia Torres told Survival.The appeal is supported with a voice-over by Game of Thrones and Harry Potter star Natalia Tena.Following an international campaign by Survival, its supporters and the Arhuaco, the United Nations and the Colombian government upheld the army’s responsibility for the men’s death. However no-one has been punished for the crime.Colombia’s indigenous peoples are caught in the cross-fire of Colombia’s civil war, and attacks on them continue. In November, Arhuaco leader Rogelio Mejia was driving in a car with a Survival researcher when the vehicle was attacked by gunmen. Mejia escaped with three gunshot wounds, but the case remains unresolved.Natalia Tena said, ’Dilia’s story of the loss of her husband touched me deeply, which is why I am supporting Survival’s campaign against impunity for crimes against Colombia’s indigenous people.’Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said, ‘Rarely is there a more explicit and stomach-churning example of government-sponsored violence against tribal peoples. And yet there are those that continue to promulgate the lie that tribal peoples fare better when the state is imposed upon them. Arhuaco tribeswoman Dilia Torres would vehemently disagree.’Source:Survival International