Coronavirus: ‘Worst yet to come’ for countries in conflict, says UN chief

first_imgUN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Friday renewed his call for a global ceasefire, urging all parties to conflict to lay down arms and allow war-torn nations to combat the coronavirus pandemic.”The worst is yet to come,” Guterres said, referring to countries beset with fighting like Syria, Libya and Yemen. “The COVID-19 storm is now coming to all these theatres of conflict.” Guterres said there had been some progress following his March 23 call for peace, but that fighting still rages in a number of countries, hampering the ability to put into place plans to combat the virus.”The need is urgent,” Guterres said at a UN press conference.”The virus has shown how swiftly it can move across borders, devastate countries and upend lives.”He said that parties to conflict in a number of countries, including Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Colombia, Libya, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen, have expressed support for his call.”But there is a huge distance between declarations and deeds — between translating words into peace on the ground and in the lives of people,” Guterres said.”In many of the most critical situations, we have seen no let-up in fighting — and some conflicts have even intensified.”While expressing gratitude for support of his earlier call from some 70 countries, NGO groups and religious leaders worldwide including Pope Francis, Guterres said more concrete work was necessary. “We need robust diplomatic efforts to meet these challenges. To silence the guns, we must raise the voices for peace,” he said.Guterres did not mention the UN Security Council, where divisions between the United States and China have blocked action.The EU “strongly supports” the call, its foreign policy chief Josip Borrell said after a video conference of the bloc’s foreign ministers.”We urge all those involved in armed conflicts anywhere in the world to engage in efforts to find a political solution to the conflict,” Borrell told a media conference in Brussels.Call for more aid Since the beginning of the global pandemic, the Security Council has not met once on COVID-19, making no statement or joint resolution.On Thursday the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for international cooperation and “multilateralism” in addressing the virus, which has infected more than one million worldwide and killed more than 50,000.Guterres appealed for developed countries and multilateral institutions to do more to aid poorer countries face the pandemic.”To act early rather than later is essential… This is particularly true with the developing world,” he said.Guterres noted that the ceasefire in Idlib, Syria is holding but said it needs to be expanded to the entire country to allow full efforts to slow the coronavirus spread.But he also said expressions of support for a ceasefire by different factions fighting in Libya had not ended the violence.”This war is now not allowing the response to COVID-19 to take place,” he said.”This is the moment to stop. It’s not morally acceptable to continue with this conflict.” Topics :last_img read more

BLOG: Governor Wolf Offers A Choice – Address Pennsylvania’s Fiscal Crisis or Face Severe Consequences (ROUND-UP)

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Budget News,  Round-Up,  The Blog Yesterday during his 2016-2017 budget speech, Governor Tom Wolf laid out the crisis facing Pennsylvania and the critical decision lawmakers in the House and Senate must make this year: fix Pennsylvania’s structural budget deficit and invest in schools or continue down a path of greater devastation and face further, billion dollar cuts to both our schools and essential social services.“There are two paths we can take: we can fix our deficit and invest in education to move Pennsylvania forward or we can continue to embrace the failed status quo and cut $1 billion from education funding, cut hundreds of millions of dollars to essential social services and continue to stifle the commonwealth’s economic growth.” – Governor WolfHere’s what others are saying about the plan Governor Wolf has laid out:“We support Governor Wolf’s commitment to public schools in his proposals for completing the current fiscal year budget with an increase of $377 million, increasing basic education funding further in the upcoming year, and applying the fair funding formula proposed by the bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission. In fact, we believe the Governor and General Assembly must invest even more than the $200 million proposed by the Governor for next year to move the state further toward the goal of full and fair funding for schools.” [The Campaign for Fair Education Funding, 2/10/16]“If Pennsylvania doesn’t start making the right budget choices, we’ll end up with a $2 billion budget deficit and $1 billion in cuts to public education. That means another generation of kids – not some hypothetical kids, but real kids, our children and our grandchildren – will struggle to learn with larger classes, fewer teachers, shuttered libraries, and no school nurses. Some schools won’t even have enough money to stay open through June. We can and must do better….Anyone who says this isn’t a crisis is just wrong. It is. Gov. Wolf has a solution to fix it. Now, let’s get it done.” [PSEA, 2/9/16]“”With the resolution of a budget for FY 15-16 still in flux, Governor Wolf today delivered an unprecedented budget address for FY 16-17. Governor Wolf, since the launch of his campaign, has committed to being “a different kind of Governor,” and the past year he has proven just that. His simple refusal to negotiate a budget on the backs of our children and workers is a testament to his fortitude, and his commitment to governing for the people he serves.” [Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, 2/9/16]Easton Area Superintendent John Reinhart placed the blame on the Republican-controlled Senate and House. ‘I thought that the voters in Pennsylvania spoke loudly and clearly with [Wolf’s] election over Corbett,’ he said. ‘It is hard to understand how elected leaders in both the Senate and the House can continue to disregard their responsibility to approve a state budget at the risk of our children and the state’s neediest populations.’” [Morning Call, 2/9/16][Governor Wolf] gave a sobering account of Pennsylvania’s future if lawmakers don’t address a deficit that Wolf called ‘a time bomb, ticking away, right now, even as I speak. If it explodes, if the people in this chamber allow it to explode, then Pennsylvania will experience a fiscal catastrophe the likes of which we have never seen,’ he said.” [Tribune-Review, 2/9/16]“Unless next year’s deficit is closed, property taxes for homeowners will skyrocket, Wolf said. More than 23,000 teachers and school employees would be cut, as would special education and pre-kindergarten programs. Services for senior citizens, the mentally ill, child care and domestic violence shelters also would be slashed, he said.” [Reuters, 2/9/16]“Wolf delivered his plan in a speech to a legislature that has repeatedly rejected his attempts to have any completed budget passed. So this one was laced with sharp rebukes to lawmakers, and dire predictions about what looms if the gridlock doesn’t end: tens of thousands of teacher layoffs, overcrowded classrooms, higher property taxes, and devastating cuts in services for the disabled.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/9/16]“Gov. Tom Wolf warned lawmakers on Tuesday that Pennsylvania’s finances are a ticking time bomb amid a record-long budget gridlock, sending them a spending proposal for the coming fiscal year with no full plan in place for the fiscal year that began back in July.” [WTAE, 2/9/16]“Governor Tom Wolf presented his 2016-1017 Budget. He says the Commonwealth is in crisis  and threatening our future. He told state lawmakers the Commonwealth is billions of dollars in the red and the state will experience what he calls a ‘fiscal catastrophe.’ Governor  Wolf says if the general assembly doesn’t act quickly nearly three quarters of state homeowners will see property taxes skyrocket.” [WBRE/WYOU, 2/9/16]“Gov. Wolf made it clear from the beginning that he doesn’t view the issue of one of ideologies but one of simple arithmetic. ‘The problem is not that Republicans in the General Assembly and I don’t see eye-to-eye,’ Wolf asserted. ‘No, this crisis is not about politics at all. This is about math. Pennsylvania now faces a $2 billion budget deficit. That’s not a Democratic fact or a Republican fact. It’s just a fact.’ He then went on to list the various horrors that would be inflicted on the commonwealth’s schools and citizens if no budget is passed.” [PoliticsPA, 1/9/16]“Wolf says lawmakers must pass the now seven month late budget bill he wants. The governor says that will lead to a half billion dollar increase for schools pre-K through twelve while getting the state out of $2 billion in debt.” [WGAL, 2/10/16] By: J.J. Abbott, Deputy Press Secretary You can find updates and behind-the-scenes content on the 2016-2017 budget announcement on our Facebook and Twitter all this week.Read more posts about Governor Wolf’s 2016-17 budget.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: February 10, 2016 BLOG: Governor Wolf Offers A Choice – Address Pennsylvania’s Fiscal Crisis or Face Severe Consequences (ROUND-UP)last_img read more

New undersheriff greeted with pushback regarding pay

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisALPENA, MICH — The new Alpena County Undersheriff officially stepped into his new position this week. Unfortunately, he was greeted with pushback regarding pay.Undersheriff Erik Smith was sworn into his new role by Sheriff Steven Kieliszewsi this Monday. Smith has served Alpena county for nearly 13 years, but that hasn’t stopped board members from attempting to deny him a pay increase.“The first vote was to not give the undersheriff his pay raise, that vote ended up in a four to four tie. There was another motion to give him a pay raise and that motion ended up in a four to four tie.”Some commissioners fear raising his pay would negatively impact the county budget, but Sheriff Kieliszewski says smith should at least make the same amount as before his promotion.“I went to the personnel committee and informed them that in my opinion the pay rate for the undersheriff is too low. The rate was going to be lower than what the sergeants are currently making.”Smith says for now, he’s just happy to serve his community through his new role.“Obviously we don’t go into law enforcement for the money, and yeah, it might have been a little bit of a hot topic today, but I’m not concerned. I feel that things will work out.”The topic is still up for discussion and will be addressed between the sheriff and board members in the future.Lauren Mixon, WBKB News.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: alpena, Erik Smith, undersheriffContinue ReadingPrevious Kalamazoo artist painting for Alpena Wildlife SanctuaryNext Northern Lights Arena bringing back free open ice skatinglast_img read more

Teams head to Northumberland to contest senior county crown

first_img There will be a new name on the trophy after the English Senior Men’s County Championship is played next week at Goswick Golf Club, Northumberland.The four teams seeking the senior counties’ crown for the first time are Gloucestershire, Sussex, Warwickshire and Yorkshire.They each represent one of the England Golf men’s regional groups – South-West, South-East, Midlands and the North – and they will play off in the round robin tournament over three days, from Tuesday to Thursday, 10-12 October.They’ll be challenged by the championship links at Goswick, near Berwick-on-Tweed, which returns to the list of Open championship qualifying venues next year. It was previously used from 2008-2012.The course runs along the coast offering views across the North Sea and of Holy Island and Bamburgh Castle to the south. The wind, inevitably is one of the key factors, in scoring.The drawTuesday 10 October: Match 1 – Sussex v YorkshireMatch 2 – Warwickshire v Gloucestershire.Wednesday 11 October: The match 1 winners play the match 2 losers.The match 2 winners play the match 1 losers.Thursday 12 October:Completion of the round robin.TeamsGloucestershire: Bob Broad, Vernon Chappell, Carl Gyde, Mike Jarvis, John Keenaghan, Mike Parkin, Hugh Purvis, Rob StephensSussex: David Alderson, Malcolm Cawte, Peter Crowther, Martin Galway, Colin Jones, Doug Park, Paul Plant, Roy StephensonWarwickshire: Tony Allen, Mike Calvert, Andrew Carman, Martin Fell, Peter Gordon, Laurence Greatley, Rob Soen, Graham TaylorYorkshire: Ian Clarke, Gary Cuthbert, Andy King, Johnny Lawrence, Mark Lawson, Jonathan Plaxton, Peter Ward, Andy WhitworthClick here for the championship web page 1 Oct 2017 Teams head to Northumberland to contest senior county crown last_img read more