Blood Drive Scheduled For Thursday At First Christian Church

first_imgFacebook2Tweet0Pin0 Olympia, WA – The FDA regulates all blood donation in the United States. Men who have sex with men (MSM) are permanently deferred from giving blood. Despite this discriminatory policy, a group of gay men and their allies have decided to adopt a blood drive, encouraging friends, family, and community members to donate blood on their behalf.All blood centers in the nation are bound to follow the guidelines established by the federal government. However, this is the official position of the local (Puget Sound Blood Center) on this issue:“There has been an FDA regulation in place since early 1983 which defers MSM (men having sex with men) from blood donation. At that time, much less was known about HIV and how it is transmitted, and there were no tests available for detection. Much has been learned since 1983. Today, we have highly sensitive and accurate tests for HIV. In the medical and scientific community, and among major blood centers there is broad agreement that the current FDA deferral criteria is outmoded, and can be updated to better reflect current science and testing sensitivity. For several years, some members of Congress and major blood centers and associations .across the U.S. have been urging the FDA to review the policy, recommending that the MSM deferral period can be shortened with no risk to the safety of blood supply.”Despite the FDA’s outdated policy, the MAC (Mpowerment Advisory Committee), a group that advises on LGBTQ issues in Olympia, has decided to take a positive approach to this issue, supporting and facilitating the vitally important community act of blood donation. This unique blood drive will take place at First Christian Church at 701 Franklin Street in downtown Olympia on Thursday, September 6th from 11am – 5pm. Appointments are encouraged and can be scheduled by visiting the following this link.  Walk-ins are also welcome. Visit Facebook for additional information.Two years ago, Matthew Shrader, a student at South Puget Sound Community College was not allowed to donate because of the MSM criteria. He researched the issue, circulated a petition –gathering 546 signatures — and presented his case to the FDA, which refused to change their established position. He decided to take action. “As a leader in the Olympia LGBTQ community, it is my responsibility to educate people, fight discrimination, and build a greater sense of community. I have great pride to serve on a committee with fellow community leaders that share this sense of responsibility. Gay men and their allies could boycott blood drives in protest, but that will only cause harm. The love, compassion, and leadership being displayed by the MAC is the only way to lead people and overcome discrimination.”Tori Fairhurst, who schedules local blood drives for PSBC, has been working closely with MAC to coordinate this event. “The fact that this group of men is choosing to respond with love instead of protest is incredible. They understand that there are people in our community who are sick and in need of help. The fact that these men are recruiting donors to give on their behalf is remarkable. This is unprecedented.”For more information please contact Matthew A. Shrader, MAC Secretary: 360-490-7004.last_img read more

Child Rights Condemns ‘Odd Traditional Practices’

first_imgChild Rights Foundation-Children Welfare Foundation International (CRF-CWFI) has in the strongest term, condemned traditional practices that pose threat to the existence and future of the younger generation.CRF-CWFUI, a local child rights organization involved with activism and children’s rights, said some ugly traditional practices are responsible for the continued spread of the deadly Ebola virus across the country.“Odd cultural practices are contributing to the deaths of many by Ebola. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) remains actively practice in the country thereby killing young and innocent children all in the name of tradition.“Ebola, for example, is a deadly virus that kills 90% of its victims and is very contagious. Despite continuous warnings of the danger of this virus, people in Liberia continue to touch, hold, bathe and perform other rituals with dead Ebola victims. This act has caused the rapid spread and deaths of hundreds of Liberians within a very short period,” a statement quoted CRF-CWFI deputy executive director Cyrus B. Sarwee and program & communication officer Ms Ernestine N. Clark.The statement further indicated that “gone are the days when evil traditional and cultural practices had relevance in the society.” Liberia needs to grow in line with scientific practices and strive to develop the minds of its younger generation to compute with others.CRF-CWFI at the same time wants the government of Liberia to enact legislation(s) prohibiting the practices of FGM/FGC and other practices that are harmful to the human person. They said anyone caught in engaging in such practices should be arraigned before a court of competent jurisdiction for prosecution.“CRF-CWFI appeals to the International Community and partners to seek a meeting of the mind and encourage our government to take a lead way in such a global imperative in stopping the continuous tears of the girl child,” the statement said.The rights activists declared that “evil traditional” practices remain deeply rooted in the Liberian society and needs strong and firm legislations to address such aged-old situation in modern day Liberia.CRF-CWFI latest stand is a follow-up to previous presentation made by the organization on July 26, 2014, in Colorado the United States during the 13th International Symposium on Genital Autonomy and Children’s Right.In that presentation, the statement said CRF-CWFI highlighted the danger of harmful traditional practices informed participants from across the globe that Liberia remains lagging behind today simply because traditional practices, that are counterproductive to growth and development, are still being practiced.To date, Liberia is governed by a dual legal system that includes Customary and Statutory laws.The group described as totally evil, demeaning and another form of cultural violence the scale at which FGM and other cultural believes are practice.“It is bad, wicked and inhumane to women and girls and makes them vulnerable to diseases, viruses and even death”.The global assembly was under the auspices of California-based National Organization of Circumcision’s Information Resource Centers, in collaboration with the University of Colorado, Boulder, and State of Colorado, USA.  It can be recalled that the two activists lives were threatened and had to go in hiding in June and July when they visited villages strongly involved with practicing FGM. They were chased out of their advocacy stance on FGM and other activities in those places while local authorities threaten circumcise both rights activists when caught.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

ECOWAS Pays Final Tribute to Prez. Sirleaf at Her Last Summit

first_imgPres. Sirleaf (3rd from right in front row) and other West African presidents at the 52nd ECOWAS Summit in Abuja on December 16.Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) recently paid homage to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as she attended her last summit of the regional body as President of Liberia.A release from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja says Madam Sirleaf’s special recognition took place during the 52nd Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS held on Saturday, December 16, in Abuja, Nigeria.The Chairperson of ECOWAS and President of Togo, Faure Essonzimna Gnassingbe, devoted a significant portion of his opening remarks to the honor of President Sirleaf.“I would like to take the opportunity, ladies, and gentlemen, to seize this exceptional opportunity to pay a final tribute to the one we all know as the ‘Iron Lady,’ Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia,” the release quotes the Chairperson of ECOWAS as saying.President Gnassingbe, in his opening remarks, continued, “Your Excellency Madam President, at the moment when you are about to pass the witness in your capacity as President of Liberia, allow me to address you our warm felicitations and to pay you a deserving homage for your determination to the cause of the economic integration and peace, and for the leadership you have shown during your tenure as the first woman president of Africa, the first female Chair of ECOWAS and the Nobel Peace Prize winner.“You have worthily represented West Africa and displayed exceptional strength and courage to lead the Liberian people in peace and cohesion throughout your tenure. You have represented West Africa with dignity and exceptional strength and courage to keep the Liberian people in peace and harmony throughout your tenure.”According to the release, the Togolese leader said his Liberian counterpart has guided the West African Region and that her influence has spread across their space, through social, political and economic challenges, including the end of the Ebola virus epidemic, recognized as a world threat.“To render this homage to her, I would like, very respectfully, to proffer if you agree, that we should rise to offer you an ovation which she deserves in more than one way for her greatness and recognize all her achievements, sources of our pride,” he added, as the rest of the West African leaders and the entire audience rose in applause.Meanwhile, regional leaders and guests congratulated President Sirleaf and the Liberian people for respecting the rule of law throughout the country’s electoral process.President Gnassingbe, in his opening remarks at the Summit, added, “Allow me to address here my congratulations to Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and to all the political actors for the salutary decision of the Supreme Court of December 7, to proceed to the second round of the presidential elections, after having managed to smooth out the protest of the first round.”President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, in his welcome remarks, said “I salute the people of Liberia for the manner in which they conducted themselves during and in the aftermath of the just concluded general elections.”The release further quotes the Nigerian leader, who was the host of the Summit, as adding that it is his fervent hope that the same attitude prevails in the coming runoff election scheduled to hold on December 26.President Buhari hopes that a new president is inaugurated in January 2018 as per the provision of the country’s Constitution, adding, according to the release: “My dear sister, Your Excellency Johnson Sirleaf, we appreciate the leadership you demonstrated in this electoral process.”According to the Nigerian leader, Liberia’s peaceful conduct of the elections was in accordance with the “ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance” adopted in 2001 by the Authority of the Heads of State and Government.The release also quotes the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Marcel de Souza, as saying in his opening remarks: “In Liberia, following attempts to contest the validity of the results of the first round of the presidential election of 10, October 2017, the decision of the Supreme Court delivered on 7 December 2017, to proceed with the second round of the presidential election was commended by all key persons involved, as well as the general populace. After consultations with all political parties, 26 December 2017 has been decided as the date for the second round of the presidential election in Liberia.”President Sirleaf, who headed a high-power Liberian delegation, returned home on Sunday, December 17, the release continues.Members of the President’s delegation included the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Marjon V. Kamara; Finance and Development Planning, Boima S. Kamara; Information, Culture and Tourism, Lenn Eugene Nagbe, and Transport Minister, Samuel A. Wlue.Others were the Liberian Ambassador to Nigeria, Professor Al-Hassan Conteh, and Montserrado County Representative Josephine Francis.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Illegal airstrip found in Rupununi

first_img… fuel drums, abandoned camps, chainsaw unearthedAn illegal airstrip was unearthed about five kilometres West of Santa Fe, Rupununi, Region Nine (Upper Takatu-Upper Essequibo) by members of the Guyana Defence Force on Saturday morning.Chief-of-Staff, Brigadier Patrick West when contacted confirmed the discovery was made by Guyana Defence Force (GDF) ranks that were patrolling the area.He noted that the ranks were conducting a reconnaissance mission on Saturday morning when they stumbled upon the seeming newly constructed airstrip.Brigadier West further stated that it was too soon to determine if the airstrip was in use recently, but noted that the relevant authorities were called in to investigate the incident.One of the dugout trenches in close proximity to the illegal airstripHowever, Public Relations Officer of the GDF, Earl Edghill told Guyana Times that following a closer inspection of the perimeter of the airstrip, several dug out trenches were found. They were covered with black plastic and dried branches.Upon removing the plastic and branches, several items were found concealed in the holes; including a chain saw and fuel drums. In addition, a quarter drum of aviation fuel was also found at the airstrip.Edghill also stated that at least 12 abandoned camps were found in close proximity of the airstrip. These camps, he noted, could be those used by farmers over a period of time.When asked if persons in the farming area indicated to the ranks about hearing the sounds of airplanes landing and taking off, he noted that residents are being questioned and an update will be provided shortly.The chainsaw and fuel drum that were found at the airstripIn September 2016, a Joint Service patrol discovered an illegal aircraft hidden just off of the Yupukari Airstrip, Rupununi with United States registration N-767-Z.Subsequently, a team of investigators from the GDF, Guyana Police Force (GPF), Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) and Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) was deployed from Georgetown to the area to conduct investigations and were able to determine that the registration number was fake.Moreover, investigators had discovered during interviews with nearby residents that the aircraft was sighted circling the area on numerous occasions in the past.Additionally, a number of residents shared information they deemed as “suspicious activity”, including the presence of motorcycles or ATVs frequenting the area at midnight.It was reported that a leak was discovered in the fuel tank. This, investigators believe, may have caused the aircraft to land in Guyana.However, it has been reported that one of the local law enforcement agencies was aware of the aircraft at least three weeks before the disclosure was made. It was reported that the security officials were monitoring the aircraft to see if anyone would return to salvage it.Meanwhile, President David Granger has established a one-man Commission of Inquiry (CoI) to probe the discovery of the illegal aircraft and appointed retired Brigadier Edward Collins to investigate, examine, advice and report on all aspects under which the foreign aircraft had entered the country.During the CoI, public meetings were held in several villages including Katoka, Kaicumbay, Yupukari and other villages. The CoI proved that the aircraft entered Guyana illegally.The illegal twin-engine Cessna aircraft was subsequently flown from Yupukari to Lethem initially, before it was flown to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport where it remains to date. (Bhisham Mohamed)last_img read more

Criminal charges possible in SOCU fraud probe – Minister

first_img…file sent for legal adviceThe recent revelations of fraud at the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), the orgainsation that is supposed to be investigating fraud, has prompted the legal advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) being sought by the police, with Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan revealing that criminal charges may be filed against officers.The minister made the revelations while speaking on the sidelines of the National Assembly on Wednesday. According to Ramjattan, the audit into SOCU made some damning allegations and legal advice will be needed on how to proSOCU’s file is with the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions, headed by Shalimar Ali-Hackceed.“It is not a nice report. It had some damning allegations. But these are operational matters now, the implementation of the recommendations is in the hands of the (Police) Commissioner. I understand the commissioner, because of the damning nature of the allegations, has decided to take it to the DPP Chambers and the Legal Advisers. That will take some time.”“I don’t know, I rather suspect there might be,” Ramjattan added, when asked if the seeking of legal advice from the DPP indicated the possibility of criminal charges being filed against the offending officers in the unit.However, Ramjattan refuted contentions that the tainted integrity of the unit necessarily affected the cases which it investigated… most of which involved former People’s Progressive Party (PPP) officials. Some of these cases have already been thrown out by the courts for various reasons.“I don’t think it will affect the cases. In a unit, you have the police. Police are known to do grievous things. It doesn’t mean the entire police force and their investigations in other matters will be necessarily undermined.”“I doubt whether that will be undermined. Because what you find in these investigations, there are other witnesses dealing with certain offences that others might have committed,” Ramjattan added.Following the revelations against SOCU, the parliamentary Opposition – Peoples Progressive Party – had called for the shutting down of the unit. But according to Ramjattan, even a restructuring of the unit is not on the table. He noted that fixing SOCU requires that the recommendations from the fraud probe be followed.According to Ramjattan, they have not sat down with Sydney James to have him defend his unit against the findings of the auditors.Meanwhile, President David Granger was also asked about the unit earlier on Wednesday. According to the head of state, whatever actions are taken in SOCU largely depend on Police Commissioner Leslie James.“I asserted that SOCU is an organic part of the Guyana Police Force so in terms of investigation, in terms of any recommendation out of the investigation it will be up to the Commissioner of Police first to initiate action and I’m sure, I’ll be advised by the Minister of Public Security,” President Granger said.A probe that was conducted into SOCU by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) had unearthed irregularities that included falsified records and missing documents. According to reports, there was even a case of an official who alleged his signature was forged. In addition, there are reports of listed expenditure being concocted and receipts being backdated.last_img read more

GFF, DFA gear up to sign MoU

first_imgIn its ongoing efforts to set a solid and holistic platform for the sport of football in Guyana, the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) will on Wednesday sign a historic Football Development Memorandum of Understanding with the Denmark Football Association (DBU).Guyana Football Federation President Wayne Forde and CONCACAF’s Howard McIntosh following the initial revelation of the MoU back in AprilFor this historic development to take place, President of the DBU, Jesper Moller, will lead to Guyana a three-member delegation which will include Andres Hoj, Manager of the Presidential Office, and Ms. Eva Pasquier, UEFA Head of International Relations.Making the trip on behalf of CONCACAF would be Mr. Howard McIntosh – Senior Project Manager of CONCACAF.GFF President Wayne Forde has disclosed that he is very excited to be closer to signing this historic MoU, which would further consolidate the ongoing efforts of the GFF to streamline the sport.Forde has hailed this historic development and noted that all the details would be shared on Wednesday October 16 at a press conference to be held at the Pegasus Hotel.“The GFF Executive Committee has undertaken to expand its international relationships, and we believe that a partnership with one of the leading football nations can only bode well for the development of football across Guyana. We’re excited to enter into this long-term partnership, and look forward to a fruitful engagement with the DBU in the coming years,” he has declared.last_img read more

Rain keeps practice time limited

first_imgHe was nominated by his wife, Pat. “The National Guard has done a lot for me,” said Martin. “I appreciate everyone who voted for me.” Sponsor news: Reed Sorenson will sport a Energizer e2 Lithium scheme at Fontana for his Chip Ganassi. … Racing Dodge and will be accompanied by the Energizer Bunny during prerace ceremonies and in the pits. … Dale Jarrett’s UPS Toyota will carry a paint scheme in conjunction with the 133rd Kentucky Derby. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Aaron Fike was the fastest of the five rookies in the field, posting the ninth-fastest time. “I think our Toyota Tundra is pretty fast,” said Fike, competing for Red Bull. “We were in the top-10 in both practice. All the other guys in front of me have got a billion laps around here. “The rain hurt me because we didn’t get to run. We only got to make a qualifying run so I think it hurt us a little bit.” Citizen soldier: Staff Sgt. Quinton D. Martin of the Mississippi National Guard will make NASCAR history Sunday by becoming the first non-celebrity to have his image on the hood of a Cup car. Martin was selected as the grand-prize winner in the “Heroes of the Year” campaign created by Jackson Hewitt at this race a year ago. Martin has been with the Mississippi Army National Guard 24 years, deployed in Germany, South Korea, Panama, Honduras, and Costa Rica besides his home state. He volunteered for duty in Kuwait shortly after helping with the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. Jack Sprague was second to Martin by 0.089 seconds at 176.108, with Mike Skinner third at 41.019. Sprague was second fastest to Kraig Kinser in the session. Kinser lost nearly a second in the later practice. Truck qualifying is set for 1:10 p.m. today, preceeded by a pair of Busch Series practices (8 and 10:30 a.m.) and a Nextel Cup practice at 11:30 a.m. center_img FONTANA – Mark Martin, defending champion of tonight’s Craftsman Truck Series San Bernardino Coun- ty200, was the fastest in a Thursday practice session cut short by rain. Driving a Wood Brothers/JTG Racing Ford, Martin sped the 2-mile oval at 176.795mph on the first of 13laps in the later afternoon session. The time was 40.795seconds, an improvement of nearly a half-second from the opening practice. last_img read more

Pogba can’t be happy at United – Deschamps

first_img0Shares0000France midfielder Paul Pogba has struggled to keep his starting spot at United in recent weeks © AFP / FRANCK FIFEPARIS, France, Mar 19 – France coach Didier Deschamps on Monday said that Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba “can’t be happy” with his current situation at Old Trafford.Pogba was an unused substitute in United’s FA Cup win over Brighton on Saturday, after being left out of the starting line-up when Jose Mourinho’s side were dumped out of the Champions League by Sevilla. The 25-year-old is with Deschamps’ France squad ahead of their World Cup warm-up friendlies against Colombia and Russia.“I haven’t discussed it will Paul, I’m sure I’ll know more about it,” said Deschamps.“But obviously this isn’t a situation he’s appreciating in relation to everything that he’s done. He can’t be happy with what he’s going through at the moment with his club.“I have a lot of talks with players to interact with them and understand their feelings.”Pogba has started just 24 matches for United this season, with manager Mourinho preferring Marouane Fellaini and youngster Scott McTominay to the former world’s most expensive player in recent weeks.Deschamps’ France, one of the favourites for the World Cup in Russia, face Colombia in Paris on Friday before travelling for a match in St Petersburg on March 27.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Silva, Pellegrini fight for survival after Arsenal sack Emery

first_imgThe Spaniard was the third Premier League manager to lose his job this season after the dismissals of Watford’s Javi Gracia and Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino.But who is next in line for the chop?Everton, according to reports, have held board-level discussions about Silva’s position while Pellegrini has gone two months without a win in any competition for his misfiring Hammers.Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores may be in trouble just weeks after returning to the club while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could come under pressure if Manchester United fail to climb the table.Here, AFP Sport looks at the managers fighting for their lives in the Premier League this weekend:Everton search for Silva liningSilva’s Everton are just two places above the relegation zone with seven defeats from their opening 13 Premier League fixtures — and they have a hideous run of matches coming up, starting with a visit to Leicester on Sunday.Everton splashed the cash in the close season, recruiting Fabian Delph from Manchester City, Alex Iwobi from Arsenal and Moise Kean from Juventus, but they have struggled, scoring just 13 goals all season.There have even been suggestions of a possible return to Goodison Park for former boss David Moyes.Former Everton player Michael Ball tweeted this week that there was no way back for 42-year-old Silva, with games to come in the next few weeks against Liverpool, Chelsea and both Manchester clubs.“Silva knows he’s going, Players do, the fans do,” he wrote.“Yes it’s difficult to bring someone in with that nightmare run of games but the fans need hope. Players need a fresh start & ideas to give us a slight chance to pick up points.”Pellegrini’s Chelsea testPellegrini’s side have not won in any competition since September and have plummeted down the Premier League table after a bright start.West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini © AFP/File / Adrian DENNISThe fourth-bottom Hammers face a challenging test this weekend against in-form Chelsea. Frank Lampard’s young side have won six of their past seven league matches.“We don’t talk about that,” the 66-year-old former Manchester City boss said on Thursday when questioned about his future. “You have to very clear what you must do, game by game.“Football changes all the time. We are working to try to beat Chelsea and after that, we will see the result.”Watford woesWatford are rock bottom of the Premier League table following a 3-0 home defeat by Burnley.It was a club-record 11th consecutive home league game without a win as well as a seventh league defeat of the season.Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores has struggled since returning to Vicarage Road © AFP/File / Glyn KIRKFlores finds himself under scrutiny despite having only returned to Vicarage Road at the start of September, but remains determined to focus on the bigger picture.The Spaniard, who has enjoyed just one Premier League win since his return, against fellow strugglers Norwich, maintains there is a regular dialogue with the club hierarchy.“We are making a big mistake talking about me and about my job, my position. Finally, the situation is not about my position, a coach.“You are talking about the happiness of a lot of people. This is the most important thing. The happiness of the fans, the future of the club, the future of the squad, (we should be) talking about that.”Solskjaer at risk?Is Solskjaer safe at Manchester United?Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under pressure at Manchester United © AFP/File / Paul ELLISThe Norwegian has overseen a moderate revival at Manchester United but the team are languishing in ninth spot in the Premier League, nine points off fourth-placed Chelsea.United’s rollercoaster 3-3 draw at Sheffield United last week brought to an end a run of five wins out of six games in all competitions.But United look short of quality and ill-equipped to close the gap on the top four despite their desperation to qualify for the Champions League again.FixturesSaturday (1800hrs unless stated)Newcastle v Manchester City (1530), Burnley v Crystal Palace, Chelsea v West Ham, Liverpool v Brighton, Tottenham v Bournemouth, Southampton v Watford (2030)SundayNorwich v Arsenal, Wolves v Sheffield Utd (1700), Leicester v Everton, Manchester United v Aston Villa (1930)0Shares0000(Visited 20 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Everton manager Marco Silva faces a tricky run of fixtures © AFP/File / Glyn KIRKLONDON, United Kingdom, Nov 28 – Arsenal’s decision to sack Unai Emery turns a harsh spotlight on Everton boss Marco Silva and West Ham’s Manuel Pellegrini, who are running out of time to save their Premier League jobs.Emery was dismissed after a winless run of seven games, with a 2-1 Europa League defeat by Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday proving to be the final straw.last_img read more

Leicester land ex-Chelsea star for £3m

first_imgLeicester City have completed the signing of Robert Huth, it has been confirmed.The German centre-back spent the back end of last season on loan at the King Power stadium and helped the Foxes survive the threat of relegation against all odds.And Nigel Pearson has decided to make the move permanent, snaring his target in a £3million transfer from Stoke City.Huth is Leicester’s second signing of the summer after acquiring Christian Fuchs on a free transfer. 1 Robert Huth in action for Leicester City last_img read more