A Donegal county councillor has reacted after dozens of posters thanking him and a well-known Donegal GAA star for working for the gay community appeared on lamp-posts.The posters, which depict both Cllr Micheal Mac Giolla Easbuig and footballer Eamonn McGee appeared in West Donegal today.Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig said he does not know who is responsible for erecting the posters. But he added “I would like to thank the “anonymous” people who put up posters in Gaoth Dobhaire acknowledging my support for the gay community in Donegal.“I will continue to do whatever I can to support oppressed, marginalised communities throughout the county, but it’s nice to get some recognition for that support.”Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig is seeking to retain his position as a county councillor in the local elections this weekend.Mr McGee is a well-known commentator and activist but is not standing for election. Confusion over erection of mysterious posters in West Donegal was last modified: May 20th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare 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) Tags:Cllr Micheal Mac Giolla EasbuigpostsWest Donegal
Paul Matthew visits a roadside wellness centre in Kenya and talks to Kenyan truck drivers. (Image: Virginie Lepetre) The North Star clinics are open after hours when drivers have parked for the night. (Image: North Star Alliance) North Star staff go “door to door” to raise awareness about the services offered at the roadside wellness centre in Mwanza, Malawi (Image: North Star Alliance) MEDIA CONTACTS • Robin Landis Marketing and Communications +254 (0) 736 300 413 RELATED ARTICLES • Software speeds HIV diagnosis • SA’s second health train rolls out • Board game makes Aids education fun • SA’s first green transport service Wilma den HartighSouth African social entrepreneur Paul Matthew’s pioneering work in HIV/Aids prevention in the road freight industry is making an important contribution to finding innovative healthcare delivery models for Africa.Matthew’s commitment to this cause has just won him a place among the continent’s top five social entrepreneurs, named by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, a sister organisation of the World Economic Forum (WEF).Speaking from Addis Ababa where the proceedings of the 2012 WEF Africa are underway, Matthew says that the recognition of his work – which spans over 20 years – is a great honour.“There was such a build up to the awards ceremony last night, and it is only this morning that it is all starting to sink in. Only now I have been able to reflect on it,” he says.Matthew received the prestigious accolade for his foresight in establishing an organisation, known as the North Star Alliance, to address the impact of HIV/Aids on mobile workers such as truck drivers in Africa.The North Star Alliance is a cross-border HIV prevention initiative that has set up a network of roadside wellness clinics along key transport routes in Africa, such as border posts or transit towns where large numbers of trucks stop and sex work and other informal trades flourish.What makes this particular initiative so important is that it is very much in line with the WEF’s objective to find new ways to deliver healthcare to communities in Africa.But many years ago when Matthew first got the idea to establish a project that could take HIV education to the road where truck drivers spend most of their time, he had no idea that it would achieve success of this scale.“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would stand on a stage and receive this award,” he says.North Star’s wellness clinics are open to everyone, but they are designed for the specific health needs of truck drivers and other mobile populations. They provide prevention and treatment services such as HIV counselling and testing; treatment for sexually transmitted infections; basic health services; information and education and behaviour change communication.“South Africa is ahead of the rest of the continent when it comes to HIV prevention in the freight industry, but elsewhere in Africa there is a major need for such services,” he says.Small beginnings on a cold nightHe remembers the humble beginnings of the project, particularly the very cold nights on the N3 highway, one of South Africa’s most popular transport routes.“While I was at the ceremony last night, I remembered sitting in an ambulance next to the road on the N3 highway near Harrismith,” he recalls. “I remember asking myself what I was doing.”This was the first pilot project to gauge how truck drivers responded to the idea.“I was with a nurse and we set up a tent near one of the popular truck stops to encourage drivers to come in,” he says.At first only a few drivers made use of the facility, but by the end of the week as the trucks travelled further news got out about what was on offer and more people were visiting their tent.“The model works well because the clinics are where the drivers pull up,” he explains. Along South Africa transport routes, the centres are set up at truck stops but in other countries, they are stationed at border posts and hot spots along the transport routes.Why truck drivers?Matthew, who is North Star’s Africa director, has been working in the education and health sectors most of his career. He realised that taking HIV prevention to the road, where the drivers are, is vital.The issue of health and mobility came under the spotlight during the 2003 – 2005 Southern Africa food crisis, when world food programmes struggled to find enough truck drivers to deliver relief food to communities.In terms of freight transport, truck drivers are important for the economy as many businesses in Africa rely on them as a resource.North Star’s observation at its inception was that with the incidence of disease being so prevalent, the numbers of drivers available to transport freight has, over time, decreased dramatically.Their research showed that simple factors such as limited operating hours and the location of health services are huge barriers to healthcare provision. For instance, there may not be suitable large vehicle parking or the health facility may be closed in the evenings.The North Star clinics are open after hours when drivers have parked for the night.“The life of a truck driver is harsh. Once a driver leaves the depot, he is away for up to three weeks on the road without access to healthcare,” explains Matthew.He says that once started the project, he quickly realised that the clinics couldn’t only provide healthcare for truck drivers exclusively – sex workers on route and surrounding communities also needed help. “Now our clinics are also providing treatment to these people.”Working with governmentsThe initiative has the support of many transport companies and because it is a public- private partnership, North Star also works closely with governments in various countries to align its healthcare offering with local state programmes.“Whenever we set up a new clinic in a specific area, we sign a memorandum of understanding with the ministry of health in that country,” explains Matthew. “In some countries our clinics complement their healthcare provision services by acting as a satellite to what they are doing.”Sometimes the respective governments provide staff and medical supplies for the clinics, but otherwise it is up to North Star to raise funds to employ nurses and buy medication.Expanding its reachNorth Star operates in 19 countries including Burundi; Côte d’Ivoire; Benin; Zimbabwe; The Democratic Republic of Congo; Nigeria; Rwanda; Swaziland and South Africa.Since opening its first centre in 2005 in Malawi, North Star has set up 22 additional centres in 10 countries across the continent.“North Star has exciting new projects on the card,” he says. “In the next 12 months we will upscale the clinics to include mobile container clinics that can travel around.”Matthew says they are setting up a commercial arm of the project, in partnership with fleet safety management company Fleet Forum, that will focus on safe driving practices such as driver skills and managing fatigue.The initiative, which launched in a pilot phase at the beginning of May, makes use of an innovative training approach that communicates with drivers via CDs that can be played in trucks – an ideal means of communication for drivers who are always on the road.The recording on the CD is structured to sound like a radio programme with a disk jockey that plays music, carefully selected, based on research, to find out what type of music drivers enjoy.“The training module comes where radio stations usually play adverts between songs. Instead of adverts, quick information on driver safety will be played,” he explains.Bringing about social changeSelected from more than 500 candidates, the work of Africa’s social entrepreneurs has been set apart as examples of how entrepreneurship in the public interest can transform the continent.Matthew’s groundbreaking work in area of HIV/Aids and healthcare provision, two of the continent’s biggest challenges, is making a significant difference to the lives of thousands of people in Africa.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Editor’s Note: Each year the Kansas City Board of Trade (now part of the CME Group), the Kansas Grain & Feed Association, the Kansas Wheat Commission and Kansas Association of Wheat Growers provide updates of the Kansas wheat harvest. Today’s update is the first report of the 2019 harvest.This is day 1 of the Kansas Wheat Harvest Reports, brought to you by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association.Harvest got off to a slow, labored start in south central Kansas over the weekend. The normal excitement and anticipation for wheat harvest can hardly be found in the area, as farmers who are normally finished by late June hop into their combines to face the muddy, dreary conditions for the first time this year. Farmers, who are not typically folks who complain about rain, need some hot, dry weather to really get combines rolling.According to USDA/NASS for the week ending June 23, winter wheat condition rated 4 percent very poor, 12 poor, 28 fair, 43 good and 13 excellent. Winter wheat coloring was 92 percent, behind 97 last year. Mature was 47 percent, well behind 82 last year. Harvested was 5 percent, well behind 48 last year and 36 for the five-year average.Mike Snell, manager of the Farmers Coop Equity Co., in Medicine Lodge, reported that his location took in their first load on the 18th, but have only had three dry days since for harvesting. His area, which would have normally finished their harvest this week, is only around five to ten percent harvested. The area received more rain over the weekend which halted progress. It’s too early in the harvest to get a good feel for yields, but test weights (until yesterday) were hanging at about 62 pounds per bushel. Snell estimates the most recent rains may lower that average by about a pound.Scott Van Allen, a farmer near Clearwater, reported very similar conditions in his area. So far his family, which is normally completely done with harvest at this point, has only harvested around 250 acres. He estimates that with perfect harvesting conditions, he would need around ten days to wrap up. The one field the Van Allens completed yielded in the mid 40 bushels per acre, and he was pleasantly surprised with test weights ranging from 59-61.5 pounds per bushel.“Everyone’s got bills to pay, and we have neighbors who are still trying to get milo and soybeans in. The jobs are starting to stack up around here,” said Van Allen. “We were fortunate to escape most of the hail over the weekend, but the longer our wheat sits out there, the more vulnerable it is to Mother Nature’s mood swings.”The 2019 Harvest Report is brought to you by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association. To follow along with harvest updates on Twitter, use #wheatharvest19.Send comments to email@example.com(BAS)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.
Rishi Kapoor loves recalling how he felt like a prodigal son when he first visited the Johnnie Walker distillery in Scotland. The Scotch label, he remembers feeling at that time, owed his family at a least a square metre of land for the services it had rendered to it for three generations.The whisky-gargling generation of Bollywood heroes has made way for Bacardi-loving hunks. The three Khans of Mumbai’s dream factory – Aamir, Shah Rukh and Salman – are famous for their love for Bacardi and Coke, so is Sanjay Dutt, and fawning film journalists dine out on stories of how Salman and Sanjay just breeze through their parts even after a night dedicated to Cuba’s exiled rum.But if there’s a drink that’s synonymous with Hindi cinema, it’s VAT 69. Think of any villain of the yesteryear, from Ajit to Pran, and there’s bound to be the light green bottle of VAT 69 somewhere in the background of the frame.Maybe the satraps of Bollywood couldn’t bear to see their favourite Johnnie Walker Black being sullied by bad company.VAT 69′ s biggest Bollywood moment, however, was when a very drunk Shatrughan Sinha lipsynched Zindagi Imtihaan Leti Hai swigging from a bottle of VAT 69 in the Manmohan Desaiblockbuster Naseeb (1981).For reasons I haven’t been able to fathom, the whisky of the villains went out of favour in the retail market despite all the free publicity it got from Bollywood, but VAT 69 is being re-launched in a new bottle and will be available across the country for Rs 900 (its price point, clearly, makes it the poor cousin of the guy who keeps walking). VAT 69, incidentally, is owned by Diageo, whose topselling brand is Johnnie Walker.advertisementThe world of alcoholic beverages can be incestuous.Will Bollywood be drinking to its health? I doubt it. Bollywood’s new generation tends to swing between Bacardi and wine ( Winchester- educated Saif Ali Khan is said to be quite a wine connoisseur, for instance), but VAT 69′ s recurrence in popular culture doesn’t cease to surprise me.Sir Ernest Shackleton took a stock of VAT 69 with him on the 1914 Imperial Trans- Antarctic Expedition. Gregory Peck drank it in the 1949 World War II film, Twelve O’Clock High.It shows up frequently in James Hadley Chase novels, and in Fawlty Towers, and puts in a guest appearance in Raymond Chandler’s The Lady in the Lake . And in the film version of Graham Greene’s Our Man in Havana, starring Alec Guinness, one of vacuum cleaner salesman James Wormwold’s agents is found killed with a bottle of VAT 69 in his hand.Even the high priestess of feminist literature Simone de Beauvoir had a thing for VAT 69. A character in one of her lesser- known novels, She Came to Stay (1943), makes this statement that’s often quoted in cocktail parties: ” When I’m rich and run my own house, I’ll always keep a bottle of VAT 69 in my cupboard.” That’s a line Diageo can filch for its promos. California Burger doesn’t sound any goodCan you imagine a Superbowl final without hot dogs or a Kentucky Derby sans a Mint Julep, or an English Premier League match without the lager fumes blowing across the stadium?Every big-ticket sports event becomes synonymous with a kind of food (or drink), so what is the signature offering of the Commonwealth Games going to be? We now know all about the kitchens that have magically become operational in the Games Village but what about the appetites of spectators?With Fast Trax, a lesser-known fast food chain backed by the Rs 1,000-crore meat processing company, Hind Group, getting the contract at the last minute – as we have come to expect by now – for catering to spectators and the media during the Games, it looks like the event will be remembered for the California Burger.I’m not being hyper-nationalistic, but shouldn’t thick chicken burger with mint yogurt sauce-in place of the traditional mayonnaise- been named after hamaari Dilli? I would’ve loved to dig into a New Delhi Burger, or Shera Tikki Wrap. And I would have wolfed down a Purani Dilli take on the vada pao with aloo tikki and chhole.Such finer details must have escaped Fast Trax – after all, it has had to plan in record for over 16 lakh meals that it estimates it’ll serve across 97 outlets at all the 12 stadiums during the Games. It promises to flip a burger in three seconds. I’ll be around to see if Fast Trax delivers on its promise.A little bit of trivia: Siraj Qureshi, who heads the Hind Group, is also the chief of the Indo- Islamic Cultural Centre, which has a fine restaurant that you enter, literally, through a back gate for a meal you would normally get only at Jama Masjid.advertisementBurger for veg buffs If you’re vegetarian and are tired of having the McAloo Tikki Burger, which insults both the aloo tikki and the burger, I strongly recommend Choko-la’s Lentil Burger. The name, let me forewarn you, can be misleading, for the burger patty does not have any daal. Instead, it’s made with kidney beans (rajmah) that are spiked with crushed walnuts and masala. It tastes different and its crunchy exterior quilts a melt-in-the-mouth core that entices you with its simple charm. I only wish chefs across the industry get innovative and make life peppier for the vegetarians.
WhatmoreViswanathHopefully when the Indians queue up at Heathrow immigration on their tour of England, they will know who their coach is. What we already know is that Indian cricket is adamantly refusing to move up the evolutionary ladder. Going by the noise, this could be 2000, the first time the,WhatmoreViswanathHopefully when the Indians queue up at Heathrow immigration on their tour of England, they will know who their coach is. What we already know is that Indian cricket is adamantly refusing to move up the evolutionary ladder. Going by the noise, this could be 2000, the first time the Indians hired a foreign coach. The conscientious objectors to the idea have remained the same, their arguments have remained the same, and their choice of alternative candidates does not feature any new names. At least none that have made public.Sri Lanka and Pakistan, with equally capricious Boards, now know how to hunt for coaches. They put out ads, invite candidates. India’s method involves big-name committees, shooting in the dark, Chinese whispers and conspiracy theories.While other countries pick coaches in a planned manner, the BCCI believes in shooting in the darkWhat do the Indians look for when picking a coach? Er, who cares because coaches, apparently, come in only two kinds: Indian and foreign. Other qualities like a track record, the ability to manage men, to work hard, to build trust, are, apparently, built into passports, rather than the men carrying them.Dav Whatmore, as is known, is the front-runner but could be part of a package deal which includes G.R. Viswanath as batting consultant. South African Graham Ford is a late entrant with backers in the team, but more names will be thrown into the meeting for dramatic effect.In 1990, former India batsman Nari Contractor went to England to find a coach for the Mumbai Cricket Association’s bowling scheme. When no one impressed him, he returned and was not satisfied until he ran into former England fast bowler Frank Tyson. Twenty-seven bowlers from that scheme played first-class cricket and one of them, Paras Mhambrey, is a coach himself today. That’s the effect the right man can have in a job.advertisementLike Mhambrey, there are other former players who have committed themselves to cricket coaching like students, rather than gurus. Robin Singh and Venkatesh Prasad are already with the team. It won’t be long before an Indian heads our support staff. But to push for an Indian for the sake of his Indianness is meaningless.This is no defence of or campaign for What more. But the Sri Lanka-born Australian must be wondering what is it about him that has so incensed two of our luminaries, Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar. When asked about Whatmore taking the job he once did (without any great distinction) Kapil Dev responded, “Who is Whatmore? Why do we need to talk about Whatmore?” So often has Kapil paaji replied to questions by asking “Who is…?” in his fabricated earthiness, that he should consider patenting the response to prevent other rent-a-quote artists from making capital out of it.Sunil Gavaskar’s recent newspaper columns have contained a series of sniper attacks on Whatmore. May 23: “While it is no secret that (Habibul) Bashar is not the greatest tactical captain, what was the dressing room doing?” May 26: “Bangladesh’s limited success… is largely a matter of a good team playing them having a bad day… If eyes aren’t opened after this, then we are a myopic nation.” May 28: “What more does it take to prove that they have been plain lucky in their odd oneday wins and have made zilch progress in Test cricket? Nothing more, I guess.” You get the drift.For a columnist, all this is fair game but Gavaskar was also part of the panel to pick the new coach. Couldn’t a candidate believe Gavaskar has it in for him? Didn’t this strident public stance muddy the process? Besides, is any of it constructive? As India staggered into a new season, the search to find a perfect fit for their backroom turned into a battle of wills, a contest of non-issues and an exercise in self-aggrandisement.