Dr. Amos C. Sawyer, Chairman of the Governance Commission (GC), yesterday paid a surprise visit to the headquarters of the Liberia Football Association on Benson Street in Monrovia to plead for calm in the wake of the shocking disappointment in the match against Togo last Sunday.“These things happen,” Dr. Sawyer, the former interim president, told Mr. Henry Browne and Coach Kaetu Smith. “Pass my message on to James Debbah and we must look forward and not let the disappointment defeat us.”Dr. Sawyer also appealed to Liberians not to let the disappointment sap their determination to support Lone Star’s technical team, led by James Salinsa Debbah.Responding, LFA technical director Browne assured Dr. Sawyer that he would convey his sentiments of solidarity to Coach Debbah and to his technical team on his recommendation.Meanwhile, Coach Debbah, on an LBS radio program yesterday expressed disappointment with Liberians who say that he has done nothing to develop the national team.“I am ok when I am criticized constructively,” said a disappointed Debbah, “but I am not happy when people state that I have done nothing for the team, because of the team’s failure to have maintained its lead to win the match against Togo.”He admitted that Togo is an experienced soccer nation with players who are more experienced than their Liberian counterparts.Coach Debbah, who felt he was not being fairly criticized, further admitted that he was disappointed after the game and would be glad to resign for another coach to take his position.He further admitted that the national team players are good at playing for 65 minutes and thereafter they suffer lack of stamina and pointed out that he signed his contract with the Liberia Football Association to build a team and not qualify the team for a continental contest like the African Cup of Nations.Though many disagreed with him and insisted that he must express apology to the over 3.5 million Liberians who placed their trust in him as a coach to lead their national team against Togo that did not materialize as expected.Later, Debbah said, “I apologize for the disappointment but Liberians must understand that that is soccer and these things happen sometimes.” He said the Togolese French coach Claude de Roy, coached him during his playing days with French club Paris St. Germain and admitted that the game was between a boss and a student.Contributing, LFA President Musa Bility explained that all over the world coaches are blamed when teams lose matches and there is no other way to handle the disappointment on Sunday.“In such a situation we all have to look at what went wrong and talk about it and fix what we can fix as a family,” Bility, who expressed confidence in Debbah’s ability to carry on the job, said.Many others said Debbah must lead the campaign to pick up the pieces and forge ahead to face upcoming challenges, since Liberia will have to travel to Tunisia for the last decider.Debbah meanwhile explained that he suffers from a back pain that made him unable to have stood up during the game to give instructions to his boys, for which many fans have criticized him.“I took 6 injections before the match and I was still suffering the pain,” he said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
After six cases of branding of babies by traditional healers came to the light in Odisha’s Keonjhar district in the last ten days, the administration launched an awareness campaign urging people, especially tribals, to shun the superstitious practice.Despite being one of the richest districts of the country, Keonjhar has very poor health infrastructure.While four cases of branding of babies emerged from the Banspal area, one each was reported from the Keonjhar, Sadar and Harichandanpur blocks of the district. Although branding did not result in any death, two seriously ill infants were shifted to Cuttack.Tribals usually look up to traditional healers whenever infants or kids develop stomach ailments. The traditional healers then brand stomachs with a hot iron nail. It is one of the crudest forms of dealing with childhood illness.“Apart from pictorial advertisements on walls, we have directed all ASHA workers and anganwadi workers to counsel people against branding of babies,” said Kabindra Prasad Sahoo, Chief District Medical Officer of Keonjhar.
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Both are held regularly at Temple Sinai in Los Angeles and Adat Ari El Synagogue in Valley Village. Taubman was asked at last year’s Passover-timed festival to develop an event as a fundraiser for humanitarian projects implemented by Encino-based Jewish World Watch. The “Seder for Darfur” proceeds were used to fund construction of water wells in the western region of Sudan that has been in turmoil since 2003. Among other efforts, Jewish World Watch has built two medical clinics and donated solar cookers to refugee centers in Darfur. Taubman has designated that this year’s festival will benefit Jewish World Watch’s mission to help stop genocide and other atrocities in Darfur and around the world. “I want people to leave (the events) with an `I can’ attitude. I can make a difference,” Taubman said. “No, we’re not going to change the world in one day. But we can make a start.” The personable Taubman could concentrate his time with his concert appearances and his independent record label Craig `n’ Co., which produces CDs of contemporary Jewish music by assorted musicians and singers. But he said tikkun olam – or repairing the world – is one of his priorities. “If you had to do something tomorrow, next week, next month, next year – and not get paid – what would it be? That’s what you have to commit yourself to,” Taubman said. “I know that on some level, it’s making a difference.” This year’s “Let My People Sing … Again” events include: “Freedom Song,” a Passover-themed play based on true stories from addicts, and Faith Jam ’07, a concert with Muslim, Jewish and Christian artists from around the world. It also will include a Friday Night Live Shabbat service; a Shabbat morning service with Jewish recording artist Debbie Friedman; a sing-along with cantors and a 200-member choir and an evening of contemporary Israeli dance and music. The major fundraiser to benefit Jewish World Watch will be Voices of Hope at The Brandeis-Bardin Institute in Simi Valley. The event will include performances by Theodore Bikel, Jason Alexander, Pharaoh’s Daughter and Taubman. “It was an incredible, moving, spiritual and entertaining event that raised $100,000,” said Tzivia Schwartz-Getzug, executive director of Jewish World Watch, recalling the “Seder for Darfur.” “When Jews say `never again,’ that applies for any community. But we all have to stand up and be counted.” Acknowledging that people could be overwhelmed with appeals for donations to many causes, Schwartz-Getzug said, however, that simple acts like e-mailing the United Nations or President George W. Bush could help the desperate situation in Darfur. “You can speak to your community group, your Girl Scout troop, your church. For $30 dollars, you can purchase two solar cookers for one family. The solar cooker (campaign) can empower women who are subject to attack and rape when they go looking for firewood,” Schwartz-Getzug said. “Individuals can do a lot, and if we all do something together, we can make an impact.” “Voices of Hope” concert, 7:30p.m. March 10, The Brandeis-Bardin Institute, 101 Peppertree Lane. Admission: $75-$100. Tickets in advance from Jewish World Watch, call (818) 501-1836 or www.jewishworldwatch.org. For more information, go to www.letmypeoplesing.com. email@example.com (818) 713-3708160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Musicians, singers and dancers from around the world will gather together for a five-day arts festival designed to raise public awareness on the plight of ethnic groups in Darfur, Sudan. “Let My People Sing … Again” is the second-annual event produced by San Fernando Valley-based singer-songwriter-record producer Craig Taubman. The March 7-11 festival will include six programs in various locations across Los Angeles and Ventura counties. “Our goal is to bring awareness. We can do it here, and we are obligated to do it,” said Taubman, who also is known for his musical involvement with two Jewish Shabbat services, “Friday Night Live” and “One Shabbat Morning.”
“It allows us to run a school within a school,” Dennis said. The two options come with drawbacks, though. Parents who enroll children in the Think Together program are not allowed to pick their child up before the 6 p.m. dismissal, except in emergency situations or doctor’s appointments. Additionally, this program is only for the school year though district officials said parents can enroll their children in the city program during summer and winter vacations. The city-sponsored program, available at eight elementary schools, gives parents more flexibility but cost $55 per week. The city program is in its 10th school year and has 157 students. The district and city are discussing the possibility of expanding the program to the five remaining schools. A decision is expected after the district receives survey results expected to highlight how much use the city program may get from parents who choose not to accept the Think Together option. Baldwin Park officials met with parents in two community meetings last week to discuss the situation and answer questions, said Froilan Mendoza, senior director of student achievement. Adriana Vargas’ 8-year-old daughter is enrolled in the state latchkey program at Walnut Elementary and and expects to use the Think Together option. Vargas’ three other children participated in the state-sponsored program but believes that her daughter will receive some benefits from the new program. “If it is an enrichment, it will help her, especially the nutrition component,” Vargas said. firstname.lastname@example.org (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2108160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! State legislation is forcing school districts that offer state-funded child care to overhaul their programs. Under the law, children will no longer be automatically enrolled in a subsidized child-care program if there is a before- or after-school program available. However, both of the local options parents have in the Baldwin Park school district have drawbacks, including inflexible pick-up times or a high enrollment fee. Locally, Baldwin Park and Garvey are among the districts that offer state-funded child-care or latchkey programs, providing these children with supervision between 3 and 6 p.m. Experts say the three hours – typically when working parents worry – are the most dangerous times for kids and that after-school programs or child care provide security that they are under a watchful eye. Baldwin Park officials said the new law required after-school programs have a more academic focus, said Christine Dennis, assistant superintendent of student services. “The law wanted children to be in a program that was far more comprehensive that would keep the children off of the streets,” Dennis said. Parents with children enrolled in the district’s state-funded latchkey program will have two options for their child-care needs when the 2007-08 school year starts in August: Think Together, a nonprofit that can serve up to 1,300 students – 100 per site – at all 13 elementary schools, or a city-sponsored program now available at eight elementary schools. The Think Together program is available in Baldwin Park in a smaller capacity that serves 30 to 50 students per site. The program gives students homework assistance, math and reading classes, a physical education and nutrition component.