Rand Paul owns self once again over election security

first_imgIn June, 2019, they blocked legislation requiring presidential campaigns to report offers from foreign government for election assistance to the FBI. Nope. Trump might have needed Putin, so no go there. They did it again a few months later, blocking three different bills that would have helped states beef up their security and try to limit foreign interference.They even blocked a bill sponsored by one of their own members, Sen. Marco Rubio, to deter foreign interference with the promise of harsh sanctions, and two more to boot.So spare us the scaremongering now, Rand and every other Republican. We dodged a bullet this time. States were able to mostly scrabble together their elections, and the fact that it was so hugely mail-in, the possibilities for Russian hacking were minimal. That’s no thanks at all to any Republican.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – After the pandemic hit, Democrats in the House and Senate tried to pass legislation to help states deal with what Paul and Republicans are screaming fraud over now—a massive wave of mail-in ballots spurred by voter safety concerns over COVID-19. That included funding specifically for risk-limiting audits, $20 million for it, in fact. Mitch McConnell wouldn’t even think about bringing that to the floor. Republicans called it part of her “liberal wish list.” Securing elections from the supposed “fraud” they’re now trying to hype.Before the pandemic, the issue that was topmost in was foreign election meddling. Special counsel Robert Mueller warned about it in the summer of 2019. FBI Director Christopher Wray warned about it earlier this year. But for a solid who years, McConnell and team had been fighting even modest efforts to prevent it.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Arlington puts limited partnership plans on ice

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Sinar Mas to produce 1.8 million masks per month to meet rising demand

first_imgPaper producer Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), a subsidiary of diversified conglomerate Sinar Mas Group, is planning to locally produce masks through one of its subsidiary’s factories in Banten to help combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.APP will produce 1.8 million masks per month starting from late April after it procures mask-manufacturing machines from China, the company’s director Suhendra Wiriadinata said in a written statement on March 30, as quoted by Tempo.“We expect that mask production will begin in the third or fourth week of April. We are also simultaneously working on the production licensing with relevant agencies and ministries” he said.  Sinar Mas Group’s managing director Gandi Sulistiyanto previously said the company would use a factory owned by APP subsidiary PT The Univenus, which is located in Cikupa in Tangerang, Banten, to produce the masks. He added that the masks would be primarily distributed for paramedics.[RA::Indonesian manufacturers step up as G20 nations coordinate global medical supplyhttps://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/03/27/indonesian-manufacturers-step-up-as-g20-nations-coordinate-global-medical-supply.html]To help flatten the COVID-19 curve, the government is now urging people to wear face masks whenever they are out in public. The new recommendation is an update from the previous guidelines and is in line with the World Health Organization’s latest recommendation.”The President has asked us to make guidelines on face masks in accordance with the World Health Organization’s advice,” head of Indonesia’s COVID-19 rapid-response task force, Doni Monardo, told an online press conference on Monday.Sinar Mas previously donated 10,000 masks alongside the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Kadin) donation of Rp 300 billion (US$18.3 million) to the government on March 24. The majority of the masks were produced by a Sinar Mas factory in China.Besides APP, textile factories in Indonesia are also switching their production lines to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical personnel, including mass-producing masks and protective coveralls as the country scrambles to fight the spread of COVID-19.The Health Ministry announced 218 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the total number of infections nationwide to 2,491. Speaking at a press conference on Monday, the ministry’s disease control and prevention director general, Achmad Yurianto, added that 11 more people had died of the disease, bringing the death toll to 209.Topics :last_img read more

Botanical rum, oolong tea gin and rosé cider: what’s coming in booze this July?

first_imgSource: Northern MonkNorthern Monk Northern Powerhouse rangeLeeds-based craft brewer Northern Monk has unveiled a seven-strong range of collaborative beers – dubbed the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ series – designed to show off some of the north’s most exciting and innovative craft brewers. It includes tie-ups with the likes of North Brewing Co, Wylam Brewery, Buxton and Cloudwater, and covers styles from double dry-hopped IPA to imperial maple brown ale, with booze content ranging from 3.3% (a ‘small IPA’ with Track brewery) to a whopping 10% (the aforementioned imperial maple brown ale, with By The River brewery). They will launch on-site at Northern Monk’s venues in Leeds and Manchester, as well as By The River, a taproom owned by Wylam Brewery, in Newcastle. A series of tap takeovers across the UK will follow. They can also be purchased directly from Northern Monk online. Northern Monk founder Russell Bisset said: “Community, collaboration and creation are at the core of our business, and the Northern Powerhouse sits in perfect alignment with these values. We’re looking forward to getting the beer into people’s hands.” Source: Drynks UnlimitedDrynks Unlimited Smashed rangeIt wouldn’t be a Grocer NPD round-up without a look at what’s happening in the blossoming low and non-alcoholic sector. Drynks Unlimited claims to be the only UK alcohol-free supplier which uses a cool vacuum distillation system to remove alcohol from its beers and ciders.So far the brand has unveiled a four-strong range of drinks, called ‘Smashed’, including Smashed Berry Fruit Cider, Smashed Apple Cider, Smashed Hops IPA and Smashed Citrus Beer (all 0.0%). Source: Brookie’s GinBrookie’s GinAustralian gin brand Brookie’s has set its sights on growing in the UK with the launch of two SKUs, its core Dry Gin and ‘Slow’ Gin.The distillery itself is situated in the Byron Bay area of Australia, which is surrounded by sub-tropical rainforest, from which the owners source many of their ingredients. The ‘Slow’ Gin, for example, substitutes traditional sloe berries for Davidson plums, an indigenous rainforest fruit. Other local botanicals used include Byron Sunrise finger limes, aniseed myrtle, native river mint and raspberries. It’s also launching Mac by Brookie’s, a roasted macadamia and wattleseed liqueur, which the brand claims is ideal mixed into an espresso martini. So far the gins have scored UK listings with posh retailers such as Harrods, Hedonism, Flavourly, Master of Malt and The Whisky Exchange (rsp: £34.95-£39.95). Source: MagnersMagners rosé ciderFlavoured ciders have taken Britain by storm. Case in point: as our Focus on Beer & Cider report reveals this month, there are now 1.2 million more fruit cider drinkers in the UK than there are apple cider drinkers – and many of these are younger shoppers buying into the category for the first time. So it’s no surprise nearly every cider brand wants a piece of the action. Having already moved to tap the Dark Fruit crowd with Magners own competitor in late 2017, Magners’ latest NPD is positioned as being slightly more upmarket – there’s more than a whiff of pink gin to the launch.The drink itself is billed as being “semi-sweet and bursting with apple flavour” (4% abv). It rolls out through Matthew Clark from the start of July. Read more: beer & cider category report 2019 Every month The Grocer takes a close-up look at the hottest booze launches hitting the shelves of the UK’s supermarkets. This time around we’ve got London-made single malts, an upmarket brand extension for Magners and an oolong tea gin.,Source: Bimber DistilleryBimber Distillery oolong tea ginLondon-based distillery Bimber’s much-anticipated single malt whiskies have come of age. Well, they’re three years old, which means they can officially be called whisky now (rather than ‘spirit drinks’). A core range of whiskies won’t hit shelves until September, but in the meantime the brand has launched what it claims is the UK’s first handpicked oolong tea gin, called Da Hong Pao (51.8% abv). Oolong is one of the world’s most expensive tea plants, with Da Hong Pao, the strain used in this gin, coming from the Wuyi Mountains in China.center_img Source: Quintessential BrandsGreenall’s RTDsGreenall’s Gin has given its RTD range a shake-up. It has rolled out a new look for the drinks, and added a new flavour, Blueberry Gin & Tonic. The brand has also reformulated its Wild Berry Gin & Tonic “to give consumers a more vibrant raspberry and blackberry flavour” (rsp: £1.99/250ml).”Research shows that colour has an increasing influence on purchasing decisions so we’ve purposely given these cans, which are likely to be more of an impulse buy, a colour makeover which is sure to wow consumers,” said global marketing director for gins at Greenall’s owner Quintessential Brands. “All we need now is for the summer weather to make an appearance and these will be flying off the shelves.” Source: BrewDogDavid Gates, BrewDog Distilling MDBrewDog Five Hundred CutsThe first rum from craft beer behemoth BrewDog’s spirts arm, BrewDog Distilling. The Grocer first revealed BrewDog was eyeing launches in the rum category back in October 2018, but there had been no mention of it since by the brand – until BrewDog boss James Watt tweeted an image of a prototype ‘Botanical Rum’, called Five Hundred Cuts, last week. It’s the latest in a series of new spirits from BrewDog, which last year hired Diageo stalwart David Gates to lead its distilling wing. So far it has rolled out a trio of collaborative whiskies made with the likes of Compass Box as well as a new vodka, Rogue Wave, and a gin, Zealot’s Heart.Read more: can BrewDog shake up spirits in the same way it has beer? According to Bimber’s master distiller Dariusz Plazewski, it “yields a golden yellow liquid that produces a pleasant, long-lasting aftertaste” and is “renowned for its nourishing medicinal properties”. To make the gin, tea leaves are infused in the spirit for one week “to ensure maximum flavour extraction”. It is available through distributor Speciality Drinks and online at The Whisky Exchange (rsp: £38.75).last_img read more

Versailles man leads police on 2 hour pursuit

first_imgRIPLEY COUNTY, Ind. –A Versailles man was arrested after a 2-hour long pursuit through Ripley, Dearborn, and Franklin Counties Thursday night.The Ripley County Sheriff’s Department says that a reserve deputy attempted to stop Jesse Gabbard, 23, in Sunman for his car being too loud.Instead of stopping, he fled in excess of 80 miles per hour.Officers used stop sticks to stop Gabbard’s about 30 minutes into the pursuit, but police say he still refused to stop and led police on a slower pursuit (25 – 45 MPH) for around 90 minutes.Gabbard’s car eventually stopped south of Osgood on US 421 when it ran out of gas.Gabbard was arrested on the charge of Resisting Law Enforcement.It took the fleeing vehicle running out of gas to end a two-hour police chase in Ripley County Thursday night.last_img read more

Inside Conditions…‘I am a rock I am an island’

first_imgBulletin, now hear this: Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor injures thumb against Redskins during the first preseason game of 2011 on just the second play. Injuries are par for the course when you compete in what is arguably (well it used to be anyway) one of the most, if not the most, violent and dangerous game in the universe.I am convinced that there will be a lot more injuries to defensive players, especially in the backfields because players that “lead with their heads” when bringing down a ball carrier or receiver will now be grabbing at instead of hitting players. Oh by the way, most of the media seemed to be more interested in whether Taylor could be fitted with a special apparatus or cast to allow him to continue to perform as opposed to the extent of his injury. That is “toemain” insane because Ike was scheduled to undergo surgery yesterday.I am not going to go as far as Steelers linebacker James Harrison in describing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as a “crook” and a “puppet” but I will go on record as saying that the “commish” might be ill-advised on the issues of safety and continuity of a “credible product” in regards to “fair” and “undiluted” competition. See, when you tamper with, water down or augment one segment of any game the entire concept becomes infected with a false and dishonest “vibe” in regards to the integrity of that particular sport.Let’s jump ship for a moment. It has been alleged for decades that MLB baseballs have been juiced in order to spice up the offense. Teams all seem to mirror the concept of pitching, pitching, and pitching. However, the league itself promotes, hitting, hitting and more hitting because generally, fans are not interested in a 12 inning pitching duel.In Jan. 2007, the AP published an article about the “alleged” juicing of baseballs. The story stated that; “A company that uses computer imaging claims baseballs had a larger rubberized core and a synthetic rubber ring in 1998, including the ball Mark McGwire hit for his 70th homer.” Universal Medical Systems Inc. said that with the assistance of Dr. Avrami S. Grader and Dr. Philip M. Halleck from The Center for Quantitative Imaging at Penn State, it took images of 1,998 baseballs.“Examining the CT images of Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball one can clearly see the synthetic ring around the core—or ‘pill’—of the baseball,” UMS president David Zavagno said. “While McGwire may or may not have used illegal steroids, the evidence shows his ball—under the governing body of the league—was juiced.”Now folks, let’s kick it for real. It has been “propagandized” for years and years and years by many a baseball, football and basketball “guru” that “offense wins games but defense wins championships.” Well in the real world defense may win championships but offense wins “pocket books.” The three point shot in basketball is another example of “amping” up the offense because when defenders zip out beyond the “key” to match up against a player who has long ball shooting skills, the percentage of another player being open “in the paint” increases significantly.All of the powers that be in sports shall be accountable for the demise of their “games if they allow the bottom line to totally disregard and disrespect the premise on which that particular sport is founded and maintained.When the world of sports compromises it values it extends a negative hand to those it is expected to positively influence. The message is one that says; “it is okay to compromise your values as long as you get paid. The owners and players as was evidenced by the “lock out” all seem to have gotten their undergraduate degrees from “ME” University with a discipline in selfishness. Please, do not allow your children to follow their lead.(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at abruce@new­pitts­burghcourier.com or 412-583-6741. Bruce is also the AFC North and NFL analyst on “The Odd Couple” sports show every Wednesday from 11-11:30 a.m. on Fox Sports Radio 1230 WCWA-AM, Toledo, Ohio. Listen live at: www.1230foxsports.com/mediaplayer/?station=WCWA-AM&action=listenlive&channel_title) As my main man Foghorn J. Leghorn might say, “boy, I say, boy what was wrong with the Steelers against the Washington Redskins last Friday? Even though, I say, even though the contest was meaningless, let’s see, I say, let’s see how the secondary, uh how the secondary, the media and uh, like uh, the Steelers nation deals with this unfortunate, I say, unfortunate injurious ‘sithumuation’ in reference, I say, in reference to the ‘indisposition’ of ‘General’ Ike.”last_img read more

The Washington Center Announces “Purr-fect” Partnership with Feline Friends

first_imgFacebook14Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by The Washington Center for the Performing ArtsThe Washington Center is proud to partner with Feline Friends at our upcoming production of National Geographic Live photographer Steve Winter: On the Trail of Big Cats. Feline Friends is a local non-profit providing services for stray cats and kittens in Thurston and Mason County.They are more than just a shelter. Feline Friends provides the following services to stray cats in their program: rescue, foster care, spay and neuter, and placement into permanent, caring homes. You can read up on the terrific work they do from the happy stories on their website or by browsing through their saving lives photo album.Take care of little cats while you learn about big ones! For every new ticket ‘purr-chased’ using the promo code “FELINEFRIENDS” The Washington Center will donate $2 to Feline Friends. You can also stop by our lobby pre-show to meet their volunteers and learn more about how to support local cats. It’s a win win!The Washington Center Presents:National Geographic Live photographer Steve Winter: On the Trail of Big CatsThursday, February 2, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.Join award-winning National Geographic photographer Steve Winter for a thrilling journey into the world of big cats. From trekking high in India’s Himalaya in search of rare snow leopards and stalking the elusive jaguar through Latin American jungles to chronicling the nocturnal activities of the “American lion” or cougar, this determined explorer ventures far and wide to come face-to-face with his subjects. This is no easy task. Since many big cat species are in danger of extinction, they have good reason to avoid humans.While these felines may be endangered, they’re still wild, unpredictable creatures and caution is required in their presence. Negotiating their habitats can be more dangerous still. Winter has been attacked by rhinos and gotten stuck in quicksand while working in the field. There have been lighter moments as well: mishaps with remote-control cameras, and waiting on a southern California hillside to catch a shot of a cougar under the famous “Hollywood” sign. Throughout it all, Winter’s mission is to share the beauty of big cats while reinvigorating efforts to save them.One of Winter’s snow leopard images won him the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year award. His decade-long project to document the world’s shrinking but resilient tiger species recently culminated in the stunning National Geographic book, Tigers Forever, co-authored with Sharon Guynup. Spend an evening daringly close to tigers, snow leopards, jaguars, and cougars through the unforgettable stories and images of Steve Winter.Tickets can be purchased here.last_img read more

New County Fire Marshal Named

first_imgBut Colts Neck Deputy Mayor Frank Rizzuto, also president of Colts Neck Fire Company 1 and a captain in the Long Branch Police Department, spoke up for Migliaccio. He said that when Migliaccio led the public works department in Long Branch, “his logistics abilities were unsurpassed.” “We were pleased withboth of them,” he said.“There was discussion. Iknow nothing was etched instone at that time.” Freeholder Lillian G. Burry was the only member of the board to vote against Migliaccio, a rare “no” vote for any action item by the board. She said that a few months ago officials had put out a request for applicants for the job and inter viewed both men. She said Hogan was told he would get the job and that Migliaccio would be his assistant, “which was a good compromise.” “He’s a wealth of knowledge,” said Migliaccio, who has been with the office for more than 25 years. “When I joined the fire marshal’s office, he was the first one to step up to help me.” By Philip Sean Curran Of the rumors of his influence on the choice, Golden said, “I heard something about it. I don’t buy into rumors.” Deputy fire marshal Fred Migliaccio and acting fire marshal Richard W. Hogan were vying for a job previously filled by Kevin Stout, who retired. Freeholders voted 4-1 July 25 to appoint Migliaccio, even though members of the fire service around the county packed the freeholders’ work session meeting earlier in the day to support Hogan. Both men attended the meeting wearing their dress uniforms and sat on opposite sides of the meeting room. “I can’t understand how you’re not taking the best person for the job,” Cohen said. “They had two good, experienced candidates in the mix for fire marshal,” Golden said by phone July 29. “And it appears as though they went with the one that could put more time in to the position. And certainly as sheriff, we don’t run the fire marshal’s office, but we certainly will work hand in hand with whoever the new fire marshal is.” “I don’t know that,” Migliaccio said in an inter view after ward. “If you know that, that’s news to me.” After the meeting was over, some Hogan supporters privately pointed to the influence of Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden, also the chairman of the county Republican Party, on the selection by the all-Republican freeholder board. Sources said Golden, who was at the freeholder meeting, supported Migliaccio for the job. Englishtown fire chief Lou Sarti, speaking during the public comment portion of the meeting, was among those backing Hogan, a man he said he has known for 38 years. He said Hogan is “going in the right direction in trying to unify the fire departments, trying to settle some of the issues with manpower, with oversight with fire departments, trying to bring them together and not keep them apart.” “He took a town that was in dire need of help and, through his department of public works, really turned what you see in Long Branch around,” he said. He said he and Hoganhave been friends and that hehopes Hogan stays with thefire marshal’s office. Hogan did not respond to a request for comment. Migliaccio and Hogan have both served as deputy fire marshals. Migliaccio, 63, is also a borough councilman in West Long Branch, served as a firefighter for 45 years in the Long Branch and West Long Branch fire departments and worked as the director of public works for Long Branch before retiring. center_img “But the point is, we supported this unanimously,” she said. Patrick Impreveduto, deputy freeholder director and liaison to the fire marshal and fire academy, said from the dais that Hogan and Migliaccio were “outstanding candidates.” Monmouth County Freeholders last week named a new county fire marshal, despite one member of the board saying officials had promised the job to the other candidate for the position. Marlboro fire chief Joe Chaplinski told freeholders he had only learned about Migliaccio’s appointment less than two days before the vote and lamented how there is “no communication from the county to local departments right now.” Jim Merriman, president of the Monmouth County Firemen’s Association, shared how, during a fire in Ocean Grove earlier this year, Hogan had showed up at midnight to offer his help. Hogan also enjoyed the support of Manalapan Mayor Susan Cohen and Deputy Mayor Jack McNaboe, who both attended the meeting. “At the end of the day, I wasn’t in the interview process,” Golden said. “I don’t run the fire marshal’s office.” “Rick has been doing a great job in the last seven months communicating,” he said. “Before that, it was a little up and down.” But just like in 2016 when Stout was named, freeholders bypassed the order of succession within the fire marshal’s office by choosing Migliaccio. As marshal, he will be paid $30 an hour for 25 hours per week. His duties include investigating fires, overseeing the county fire academy and advising fire companies, among other things. In an interview afterward,Migliaccio was asked hisview of the large turnout atthe meeting for Hogan. “It’s politics, it’s politics,”he said. “I could have donethe same thing. I tried not todo that.” Yet during the meeting,some fire officials made theircandidate preference known.last_img read more

‘I am in the medal mix’ – Powell backs himself for 100m glory

first_img Still, he does have two World Championships bronze medals to his name and he does carry a greater sense of calmness and confidence about him these days, but despite the cold shoulder he’s receiving from the pundits, Powell remains convinced that this may be his shot and actually welcomes the fact that most eyes are focused elsewhere. It’s a shame really. Powell arrived in Beijing as the second fastest man on the planet with his 9.81 seconds season’s best bettered only by Gatlin and having posted seven sub-10 seconds times. “It’s a good feeling to be back, we have a lot of great memories here in Beijing. At the 2008 Olympics the Jamaican team came here and dominated and we left our signature here in Beijing so it’s good to be back, I think everyone remembers that and they are coming out to see the Jamaican team again,” Powell added. “I don’t mind, let them focus on whoever they want to focus on and leave me out of it, let me do what I am supposed to do. Everyone has their own opinion and beliefs. I believe in myself and I am going out there to show them that I am there,” Powell told The Gleaner yesterday during an interview at the Nuo Hotel in Beijing. BEIJING, China: With all the talk about a Usain Bolt/Justin Gatlin clash in the 100 metres heading into the 15th IAAF World Championships in Beijing, one can be excused for forgetting that another Jamaican speedster Asafa Powell is also in the medal mix. “I’m in gold medal shape, I am one to contend with and I am going out there to give everything I have and I will definitely run fast here,” added Powell, whose camouflage pants matched his militant attitude.  “I know that they are in the race with me but I try to focus on my own thing there’s nothing you can do to avoid competing with these guys so it doesn’t make sense to make them be your problem. My problem is to execute my race and run like I’m supposed to,” Powell continued. Under normal circumstances, it would be criminal to write off a man with such an impressive record and a history of high – level performances. The thing is, Powell will not easily shake his reputation of being an athlete that more often than not fails to deliver when it really matters – at major international championships. “Come Sunday when we cross the finish line (after men’s 100m final), I want to be the one in front, that would be the most satisfying thing for me because over the years I have been running and I’ve not been able to get that individual gold medal yet so that’s really my aim,” said Powell, who added that he isn’t too worried about Gatlin’s form or Bolt’s ability, noting that his focus is to execute his own race.   The heats of the men’s 100m get started at 6:20 a.m. Jamaica time on Saturday.last_img read more

Occupational Health and Safety: Role of Liberian Colleges and Universities in Post-Ebola Liberia

first_imgPost-conflict Liberia and Ebola-hit Liberia needs to use portion of the Ebola money and equipment to establish and sustain a high-quality occupational safety & health course and undergraduate degree in occupational health & safety at Liberian colleges and universities. This is particularly so, given the manner in which Ebola  spread exponentially and deeply within the communities and that the country lacks the requisite  manpower such as environmental engineers, sanitation technicians, emergency responders, occupational health & safety specialists, risk communicators, environmentalists, hygienists and activities such as higher institution-involved occupational health & safety courses and research to effectively and efficiently respond to the prevention and control of the insidious disease. For example, according to an analysis of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2014), the total cases of Ebola in Liberia at the moment are 4,249, which accounts for about 47% of the total of 8,993 cases within the world. Liberia also accounts for 2,458 of the total of 4,992 deaths within the world, which constitutes about 55% of the total deaths.Although Ebola entered Nigeria from Liberia in mid July 2014, by September 5, 2014, that country was able to contain the virus within just 46 days, thus tallying only 8 deaths during that period. This must have been facilitated by that nation’s established educational system that trained professionals in our deficit areas. We can only conclude that the gut-wrenching scenes that we witnessed in our nation today are because of the lack of applied curriculum of relevance and short-term courses. Sadly, acronym name like personal protective equipment or PPE became a household name for the first time in our nation’s history during the Ebola crisis. This is a self-abandonment and we, as Liberians, need to recognize that. Nigeria was able to quickly control and eradicate Ebola because of its higher educational system that trained adequate occupational health & safety, sanitation engineers, emergency responders, and risk communicators who were spread out though the country.However, unlike Nigeria, Liberia has a seriously inadequate public health infrastructure, scant health manpower, an insufficient number of specialized professionals, and a highly centralized higher education. According to the National Health and Social Welfare Plan (2007) Liberia only has 168 physicians, 273 physician assistants, 453 registered nurses, and 1,000 nurse aids and other health professionals to respond the health needs of  3.6 million citizens. The International Labor Organization (ILO) also says that, of Liberia’s 1.13 million labor force, of which 195,000 are paid employees, there is visible absence of occupational health & safety specialists and inspection of workplace to enforce regulatory compliance. It is, therefore, no coincidence that the levels of health education and risk perception in Liberia contribute to how Ebola is perceived, especially, when the lack of risk communication, misinformation and fear mongering became a lucrative business.Putting all of these analyses aside, what can be done immediately in our own lifetime about the threat of any viral outbreak in Liberia? First and foremost, Liberia should stop abandoning herself and heed the words of Nelson Mandela that ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”Thus, the proposal to begin teaching occupational and health class at all colleges and universities in Liberia to establish a BS in Occupational Safety & Health at least at three colleges or universities with the aim to teach and conduct research in environmental health-risk-communication, risk management, environmental health, occupational safety & health, public health, occupational toxicology, environmental assessment, infectious and re-emerging diseases, and public health.It is truism that the tripartite—and universal—mission of colleges & universities is to teach, conduct research and render service. It is not normal that higher institution of learning in Liberia has not upturn curricula in some of these areas to create knowledge for our nation. It can be recalled that in his recent address to the American public about Ebola’s spread in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, President Barack Obama lamented about how higher education and health care system had been considered a luxury by development partners and, currently, these nations’ determination to build their higher educational system—under financial duress.Factually, a strong undergraduate and graduate programs that enhances research capability is overdue because the central hub for research and innovation remains to be colleges & universities. Without strong programs, it is simply impossible to establish a viable research culture and innovative capabilities in the Liberia nation. As such and in order to be able to respond to Ebola and other infectious and re-emerging diseases, it is imperative that donors and Liberian government divert some of the Ebola money for capacity building, training and conducting research with students’ participation. This program will set our national affairs by training and conducting research at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Along with this intellectually rich breadth of topics, there is also an increasing expectation of students to weigh in on compelling questions in fields such as biology, in order for occupational safety & health, industrial hygiene, infectious diseases, environmental assessment, epidemiology, emergency management, fire safety, religion, and history to respond to our needs.To foster national emergency response competitiveness, post-Ebola Liberia should constantly be concerned about its national competitiveness in light of emerging diseases and other national disasters. And these concerns can only be addressed through strong institutions—institutions with research and innovative capabilities. What does this mean? For example, our nation will be conducting exploitation in the near future. None of the Ebola control and prevention contracts have any proposed curriculum to research and train manpower in environmental health, spill management, occupational safety & health, emergency response, disaster management, fire safety engineering, and accident investigation, and other related areas of national needs. Nations without the appropriate curriculum of relevance, infrastructure and human resources cannot capitalize on knowledge that was never generated and harvested at their higher institutions, unless the situation is reversed.The proposed curriculum identifies what Liberia needs to do in areas of our national competitiveness and capitalize on our assets—natural resources or otherwise. While it is important (and may even be at times inevitable) to engage development partners in matters of national interest, the nation however has to take the driver’s seat in setting its own educational needs and determining its own strategies in order to raise its national competitiveness.Enormous amount of Ebola-related aid has been given to Liberia. Prior to the imposition of the state of emergency, the country spent US$1 million dollars to eradicate the disease; it then incurred 129 deaths. Throughout the current state of emergency, which has only lasted for about 100 days (July 31, 2014 to November 9, 2014), Liberia has received an estimated amount of US$300 million worth of cash donations and about US$100 million worth of in-kind (medical supplies) donations. The US government has earmarked several billions for Ebola research, education, training and economic development. Sadly, it will be business as usual: US entities and NGOs will come to Liberia with their people to do the work. They will then leave with the money and personnel and no capacity-building that would have empowered Liberia to produce its own needed brains.  This is not normal!As Liberia strives to control, prevent, and kick Ebola of out Liberia on May 9, there is an urgent need for strengthening skills, developing newer competencies and broadening our knowledge in environmental health, spill management, occupational safety & health, emergency response, disaster management, fire safety engineering, and accident investigation, and other related areas of national needs in Liberia. To this son of the soil, this one of the best ways to Ebola and other outbreaks, you will never renter and enter the house of Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more