May 9, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 The journalist Malak Al-Shanawani arrested RSF_en Organisation The journalist Malak Al-Shanawani was arrested (and was held for six days). Help by sharing this information News
As the former vice chancellor of Germany and minister of foreign affairs in the coalition government of Chancellor Angela Merkel, Sigmar Gabriel is in a unique position to comment on current conditions in Europe.The John F. Kennedy Memorial Policy Fellow at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES) this fall, Gabriel on Nov. 1 will give the inaugural Guido Goldman Lecture on Germany and on Nov. 5 the keynote address discussing Europe’s security issues at the CES Summit on the Future of Europe. In an interview, the Gazette talked with Gabriel on topics ranging from global migration to Germany’s relationship with the United States, the European Union, and China.Q&ASigmar GabrielGAZETTE: In Germany, as in the United States, nationalism and populism are on the rise. Do you see similarities or differences in these movements?GABRIEL: I met the former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson the day after he came into office. I visited him in Washington and asked him, “Please explain to me the election of Donald Trump.” He answered, ‘It was a ‘Can you hear me now?’ election.” I think that’s a good explanation. Parts of society feel that the political elites do not recognize them, do not know that there are people in rural areas and families in bigger cities that cannot afford even a small flat. It’s the failure of centrists and progressives because they do not deliver alternatives and the only alternative that some people find is nationalism.GAZETTE: Is there also a sense of immigration and the rise of populism as a security issue?GABRIEL: I think it’s a trigger in Germany. You will find the highest rate of voters for the right-wing populists in regions where you do not find migrants. During the last federal election, people asked me, “So over the last few years, whenever I ask for a higher pension somebody tells me, ‘That’s impossible.’ Now a million refugees are coming, and you are offering them billions of Euros. So why do you give money to them and not to us? We are the taxpayers.” There is something that is triggering the emotions, but it’s not the real reason.GAZETTE: You recently told the publication Der Spiegel that Germany can’t just stand on the sidelines, but most Germans don’t seem to want an active military. How do you reconcile this?GABRIEL: First of all, not everything is about the military, but Germany has the potential to use much more of its diplomatic and economic influence. In some cases, you need military interventions because you will not convince Boko Haram and other terrorist organizations to put their weapons down and bring back the schoolgirls. Sometimes you have to fight. I think during the last 70 years we were in a very comfortable situation. Because of the experiences of the Second World War and the First World War, the rest of Europe and especially the United States, thought, “Let’s put Germany in a situation where the country will never try again to go it alone, never try again to be a hegemonic power, and never go alone to create wars.”GAZETTE: You are saying that the United States intentionally pushed Germany to become nonmilitary?GABRIEL: It was a political decision of the United States to place the burden for around 70 percent of the defense spending for Europe on the shoulders of the citizens of the United States. That was not a charity idea; it was in the interest of the United States because the United States thought, “We don’t want to send, for the third time, our kids into a world war in Europe.” Originally, the idea to found a European Union was the Marshall Plan. It was an interest-driven policy by the United States, and it brought us into a situation where we were geopolitical vegetarians because when we were not vegetarians it was very dangerous for the rest of the world.GAZETTE: And now the U.S. has changed its priorities?GABRIEL: Now, I think for good reasons, America says, “Times have changed. Europe has the same economic power as the U.S. Why should Europe not do more for its own defense?” I would say that’s fair. I’m not a promoter of investing 2 percent of the GDP every year only in the German army because it would mean €80 billion every year to the army. France is a military power with nuclear weapons, and they only invest €40 billion each year. But to invest 1.5 percent of GDP in our own defense and 0.5 percent in the common defense policy of Europe would show that Germany is willing to take on responsibility for the public good, which in the past was only taken on by the U.S.GAZETTE: In your new book (“Zeitenwende in der Weltpolitik” or “A Turning Point in World Politics”), you call for a common EU (European Union) foreign policy.GABRIEL: Such a policy is necessary because in the world of tomorrow, even Germany is too small if our kids want to have a voice in the world. I mean, Asia is growing, Africa is growing, Latin America is growing. Europe is shrinking. If our kids and grandkids want to have a voice in the world of tomorrow, it should be a common European voice.GAZETTE: What do you think of French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal for a European intervention army?GABRIEL: I understood him. Look at Libya and imagine it would be possible to form a government of unity in Libya. Then, somebody would have to fight against the militias, which control these concentration camps where they organize human trafficking under horrible circumstances. A new Libyan state would not be able to do this. France has said, “OK, maybe we are willing to do that, but not alone.” I think that’s right. Harvard ramps up focus on Europe Kennedy School program will study issues weakening continent, undercutting longtime U.S. alliance Related GAZETTE: How does the European view of Russia differ from that of the U.S.?GABRIEL: I’m not so sure that the U.S. and Europe have a different analysis of Russian policy. Maybe we differ on the question how to handle Russia. America is some thousands of miles away from Russia. In Europe, it’s our neighbor. If you come down from Finland to Spain, all have neighbors that are difficult. Russia, Turkey, North Africa, we always have difficult neighbors. On the west coast, we have the ocean and then the United States, but on our eastern border from the north to the south it’s difficult.GAZETTE: So Germany and the United States have very different geopolitical situations?GABRIEL: And geography and history define policy. I would say my advice would be: Remember what we did under the Harmel Doctrine at the beginning of the ’60s. We said we have to be strong; we have to have a common and clear position. Nobody in Russia should misunderstand our common position, but at the same time we are ready for dialogue. In parallel, we need strength and openness for dialogue, deterrence, and détente. I think that’s, even today, the right strategy.GAZETTE: And with Ukraine?GABRIEL: The only way to come to better cooperation with Russia would be to find a solution for eastern Ukraine. A blue-helmet mission from the United Nations was proposed by the president of the Ukraine and by the president of the Russian Republic, though they differ a lot about the circumstances on how they should implement this. But if everybody agreed on the withdrawal of weapons and to have a ceasefire, if we could come to an agreement about a U.N., blue-helmet mission, then maybe it could be the first step for better cooperation with Russia. Without that, it’s nearly impossible.GAZETTE: What about the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which the U.S. administration has disparaged as something that Russia can leverage?GABRIEL: First of all, it was interesting that the American position and the White House position was very blunt. They said, “Europe should stop the import of Russian gas and should replace it with liquid gas from the United States,” which is 20 percent more expensive. It was a very honest position, but this is an economic debate. I would say, yes, Europe should not be too dependent on Russian gas. What is the way to have more independence? There are two options. First, to stop Russian gas imports and to buy gas from other parts of the world. But I would prefer the second option: to invest in the gas infrastructure and to have an interconnected gas infrastructure in Europe so that if Russia really would try to use gas as a political weapon, then you could say, “OK, we will buy our gas from other parts of the world. We can bring it in via the gas infrastructure from the west and the north and the south.”GAZETTE: What are the different challenges with immigration within the E.U. and immigration from non-European countries?GABRIEL: The challenge of this century is migration: 68 million people migrate. That’s more than any time before, and the majority of them do not try to reach the U.S. or Europe. These are migrants between the poorest countries and the poorest regions of the world, so we always should be a little bit careful complaining about the migrants coming to us. I mean, Germany has 80 million citizens and maybe 1.5 million refugees coming out of North Africa and Afghanistan. A country like Lebanon has 5 million citizens and also the same number of refugees, and it’s much poorer than Germany. We have to be a little bit careful and to do more to fight against the reasons for migration.Then there is the migration inside Europe from European member states. Europe … had the idea that in a relatively short period the economies would converge. That has not been the case. The rich countries like Germany became even richer, and the poorer countries even poorer. So there is an incentive to migrate from the east and southeast to the northwest. Then the Brits, under Prime Minister David Cameron, started the idea that member states of the European Union should have an instrument that is able to control migration. Not to stop migration totally, but if too many people in the labor market would try to come and the social security system is overloaded, then member states should have instruments to react.I supported that idea, but unfortunately the majority of the European Union rejected it. At the end of the day, it was a big trigger for Brexit. My advice would be, let’s be honest. We will not come to a convergence of our social society in a short period of time, so we have to use some instruments to control migration.GAZETTE: In light of recent local elections in Germany, what do you see happening?GABRIEL: I do not have a crystal ball. They are a shock for both major parties. For the Social Democrats, it is, of course, a disaster, but also for the Conservatives. I think that the only way to get back more support from the voters is to listen to them. Politicians always have a reason why things that our citizens asked us for are not able to be realized, and people are fed up with that. I mean, I’m a father of three daughters. One went to school this summer. In Germany, we do not have enough teachers for our primary schools. I asked myself as a father, “What the hell did those ministers for education do for the last seven years?” Because 6½ years ago it was clear that my daughter and thousands of other kids would come to school this summer. Why did they not educate new teachers at the universities?So, of course, some other parents who knew that I am a politician asked me, and normally a politician from the federal level says, “Oh, yes, you are right, but unfortunately this is the responsibility of the state.” If they ask, “And what about the building; it’s in a very bad shape?” Then we answer, “Unfortunately, this is the responsibility of the communities.” Then the parents say, “We don’t want to discuss responsibilities with you. We want to see that something is happening.”GAZETTE: So it sounds like you’re predicting an angrier Germany?GABRIEL: At the end of the day, we are a stable country. Don’t forget, 15 percent voted for the right-wing populists, but 85 percent did not vote for them.GAZETTE: Before you were foreign minister, you were minister of the environment. What is the role of Germany in climate change?GABRIEL: What is the role of Germany and Europe? Whatever we do will not save the climate. The big emitters are in the U.S., in China, and other parts of the world. However, if the richest part of the world is not able to show to the poorer ones that we are able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without negative consequences for our economy, then nobody will follow us. So we have to be frontrunners — not because if we are successful we will save the climate, but if we can show that it’s possible to combine climate change and economic prosperity, then others will follow.GAZETTE: Would you discuss the role of China?GABRIEL: Maybe the instruments that the U.S. president is using against China are not the right instruments, but his criticism of China’s behavior is right. China is the only country in the world that has a gigantic dual economic strategy. We should not blame China for having that. We should blame ourselves for not joining hands between the United States and Europe. But the current policy of the U.S. president is to have a trade war with China and with Europe, and maybe that’s not the best idea.GAZETTE: What do you see as the future of U.S-E.U. relations?GABRIEL: First of all, we as Europeans cannot live with Donald Trump but we also cannot live without the U.S. I think, of course, there will be a next administration, but I don’t think that it will be again like it was before, because the change in our relations didn’t start with Trump. It was Barack Obama who said for the first time, “America is a Pacific nation.” The pivot to Asia, it’s normal. In a few years from now, the majority of American citizens will have no roots in Europe, so your country will change, and that’s normal.It has opened the opportunity to have a new relationship. We will not go back to the old times, and we will not stay in the current situation. There will be a new United States and a different Europe, and we have the chance to develop a new kind of relationship between the United States and Europe, and I think we should start now.This interview was edited for length and clarity.
Martina Callaghan from Clonmay, Co. Donegal won €25,000, including a luxury holiday, at the National Lottery’s Money Spinner event held at the Slieve Russell Hotel, Cavan on Saturday 26 July 2014. Pictured at the presentation of winning cheques were, from left to right: Brian Ormond, game show host; Martina Callaghan, winning player and Harry Cooke, Head of Operations, The National Lottery. The winning ticket was purchased in SuperValu, Carndonagh, Co. Donegal.Pic: Mac Innes PhotographyDONEGAL woman Martina Callaghan has something to cheer about today – she’s just won €25,000 including luxury holiday on a lotto game show.She won the cash on RTE’s Money Spinner TV programme.Martina is a retired factory worker. She is from a family of six: James Anthony, Margaret Theresa, Veronica and John, who live in the area and brother Marius who lives in England with his wife Margaret and daugher Narelle. She is close to her grandnieces and grandnephews Amy, Liam, Chloe, Lucy, Niamh and Eamer. Martina normally puts her nephews and nieces names on the Scratch Card but for some unknown reason she put her own name on this particular Scratch Card for the first time ever and had the luck to be drawn!Martina walks every day. She loves listening to country and western music, especially Big Tom. She would have travelled everywhere to see him – that’s her Garth Brooks! She last saw him live last October.Her grandniece Chloe gave her a teddy bear to bring with her for luck when spinning the wheel.“I can’t believe it, I still feel I’m chatting about somebody else.” Martina hasn’t even thought about how she will spend her winnings as she just felt so lucky to be a Money Spinner contestant. CLONMANY’S MARTINA WINS €25,000 ON LOTTO SHOW was last modified: July 28th, 2014 by John2Share 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:clonmanyMartina CallaghanMOney Spinnernational lotteryRTETV
If you were anywhere near the Big White Bay beach at Shroove on Friday night, you could have seen a lot more than expected.That’s because over 300 brave women were taking part in a topless dip!The daring fundraiser created a great buzz in Inishowen this month as women united for a liberating challenge for three important causes. Proceeds from the half strip and dip will go towards Breast Cancer Centre in Letterkenny, Cancer Care West and the Breast Cancer Ireland Schools Outreach Programme. No rain warning could stop the volunteers running into the sea together. The entire event was one big pink party, with many women getting into the spirit by dressing up, getting their friends together and celebrating womanhood.Half-Strip and Dip at Big White Bay Beach. Photo: Nicola Kelly PhotographyKatrina Doherty and Mary McLaughlin, organisers of the Half-Strip and Dip at Big White Bay Beach.Photo: Nicola Kelly PhotographyHalf-Strip and Dip at Big White Bay Beach.Photo: Nicola Kelly PhotographyIt was the ‘breast’ fun, with women aged from 18 to 70 travelling from all over Donegal and as far as Boston, Scotland and Dublin to take the plunge.Katrina Doherty, who organised the event along with Mary McLaughlin, said the night was far beyond anyone’s expectations.“We had 10 busloads taking women out to the beach. The atmosphere was electric and not one person was nervous, they just flung their stuff off. “Maybe the rain helped that. People ran into the water, some people went in twice and some wouldn’t come out again! Some people took their bottom halves off when they were in the water and were swinging them in the air!” Katrina said.Half-Strip and Dip at Big White Bay Beach.Photo: Nicola Kelly PhotographyHalf-Strip and Dip at Big White Bay Beach.Photo: Nicola Kelly PhotographyThe location of the dip was kept closely under wraps to protect the privacy of the volunteers. Buses were parked carefully to cordon off the beach and only females were allowed near the site. The four female members of the Greencastle Coast Guard also came out to keep an eye on everyone.Half-Strip and Dip at Big White Bay Beach. Photo: Nicola Kelly PhotographyHalf-Strip and Dip at Big White Bay Beach.Photo: Nicola Kelly PhotographyHalf-Strip and Dip at Big White Bay Beach.Photo: Nicola Kelly PhotographyThe party didn’t end after the dip was done! Everyone gathered at the Castle Inn in Greencastle for a buffet and a raffle with prizes kindly donated by local businesses. Of course, there was a breast-shaped cake for the occasion. Then the women moved on to Rosato’s in Moville!“We had playlist of great uplifting songs planned for before the dip, the beach and after. We played them all into the wee small hours,” Katrina said.The after-party featured another surprise half-strip – from Katrina’s husband Sean! Sean was sponsored by friends and family to join the stripping sensation that gripped Inishowen last week – he raised a fantastic €1,200 and impressed the crowds at Rosato’s with his half-strip, complete with a pink bra.Amidst all the fun, the event brought hundreds of women together in solidarity with those who have fought breast cancer and it shared an important message to women to ‘check your tatas’.Half-Strip and Dip at Big White Bay Beach.Photo: Nicola Kelly Photography“We’d like to thank all the businesses who got behind us and everyone who supported it and did the dip on the night. The community really got behind us and people are still giving us money, saying that we should be proud of what we have achieved,” Katrina said.The total amount raised is expected to be counted next month, so stay tuned for the grand announcement. If you’d like to support the fundraiser you can also donate online here: https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/8h0v8T4w9a?fbclid=IwAR1JCQ-qpix6lJPep88fC_dNQrPTbF5UgVBq3BtE5ebQEebWvE99JpCwMdw Half-Strip and Dip at Big White Bay Beach.Photo: Nicola Kelly PhotographySpecial thanks to Nicola Kelly for capturing the event in pictures, visit her page here: www.facebook.com/nicolakellyphotographyIn Pictures: 300 women bare all at the beach for breast cancer was last modified: September 4th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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:breast cancer awarenessCancer Care Westcharityfundraiserhalf strip and dipInishowenmoville
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest January’s Environmental Professionals Network breakfast program has a big title for a big topic — in fact, for four very closely related topics.It’s called “Global Warming. You and Me. Energy Audits. Money in Your Pocket. Cleaner Air. More Comfortable Home. Help Is Available. Don’t Procrastinate.”It’s from 7:15 to 9:30 a.m. Jan. 12 in The Ohio State University’s Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive in Columbus.And it features talks by four Ohio experts — led by renowned climatologist Lonnie Thompson, Distinguished University Professor in Ohio State’s School of Earth Sciences and senior research scientist with the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center — on a theme of climate and energy.There also will be a drawing for attendees to win one of five free home energy audits from Columbia Gas of Ohio, but the winners have to live within the company’s service area.Admission to the event, which includes breakfast, is open to both network members and the public. The cost is $10 by cash, check or Ohio State eRequest; $15 by credit card; and free for Ohio State students.Registration and other details are at go.osu.edu/Jan2017EPN.The scheduled talks and speakers are:“Climate Change: The Evidence and Our Options” by Thompson.“Energy Audit and Efficiency Measures Assistance for Homes” by Megan Melby, New Buildings program manager, Demand Side Management, Columbia Gas of Ohio.“Bowling Green Residents Take Energy Efficiency to Heart” by Neocles Leontis, Bowling Green community leader and Bowling Green State University chemistry professor.“OSU’s New Green Home Technology Center Programs” by Eric Romich, energy education field specialist with Ohio State University Extension.The network is a service of Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, part of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Romich’s organization, OSU Extension, is the college’s outreach arm.Columbia Gas of Ohio is the event’s sponsor. The school and two other Ohio State units — the Office of Energy and Environment and the Office of Student Life’s Energy Management and Sustainability program — are sponsoring the free student registration.
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View comments LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netJeron Teng is resigned to the fact that there’s little to no chance of him making it to the national team with the lineups already submitted to the respective tournament organizers.But that won’t stop him for extending help to Gilas Pilipinas as he joined the Friday afternoon practices at Meralco Gym.ADVERTISEMENT “I still have school and I’m finishing my degree. I have a full load, so it’s thesis, I have classes, and I also have an OJT which is project-based,” he shared.Teng is also suiting up for Flying V in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup, where his team is still undefeated through four games.But the 23-year-old forward said that he will show up when his loaded schedule permits as he hopes to practice with his contemporaries like Kiefer Ravena and Ray Parks.“I’m just happy that I was able to practice with them. I’m looking forward to learning from these guys and the coaching staff,” he said. “If I can help Gilas in my small little way, I’m already happy with that.”ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ MOST READ LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Bulls waive veteran point guard Rajon Rondo What ‘missteps’? Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ “I’m just here. Whenever I’m free, I’ll go here to help the team out,” he said.Chot Reyes lauded Teng for lending a helping hand for the national team, which he also believes will be a huge help for the former Green Archer.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“Being here would be beneficial for him. To be able to play with this kind of competition would be of great help to him,” the mentor said.Teng didn’t promise anything when it comes to his attendance to the national team practices. He’s currently on his final term on his business management course in La Salle and is set to graduate on October.
One of India’s brightest medal prospects at the Olympics, in-form badminton star Saina Nehwal will start her campaign on Sunday by taking on unheralded Swiss Sabrina Jaquet in her opening group match at the Wembley Arena in London.Fourth-seeded Saina is placed in Group E of the Olympic draw along with Sabrina and Lianne Tan of Belgium.The 22-year-old Indian, who had reached the quarterfinals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is one of the favourites to win the gold, beside three Chinese players and Denmark’s Tine Baun and Germany’s Juliane Schenk.Saina, who won two successive titles at Thailand Grand Prix Gold and Indonesia Superseries last month, is likely to play 14th seed Yao Jie of The Netherlands (Group F) if she reaches the pre-quarterfinals.The world number five Hyderabadi is expected to face some tough time as the competition moves forward as she is likely to take on either two-time All England Champion Baun (Group G), seeded fifth, or 12th-seeded Japanese Sayaka Sato (Group H) in the quarterfinals.”That’s (winning a medal) a dream for every Indian and me. But I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself,” the 22-year-old, who missed out of a medal on her Olympic debut in Beijing following a quarterfinal defeat, has stated.The World number five said she is expecting some good matches.”The draw looks quite tough. I’ve played them before and they’ve given me challenges. I’m expecting good matches. But I’m just going to take it one match at a time,” she has said.advertisement”I have developed as a player. This is my second Olympics and I want to be more relaxed and not take on too much pressure,” added Saina, who made her Olympic debut as an 18-year-old at the Beijing Games in 2008.
Manny Pacquiao discouraging son from going into boxing Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The 37-year-old Federer didn’t play in clay tournaments for two seasons, but said he will be back this year as he prepares for his first French Open appearance since 2015.Federer is the second most successful player at the Madrid Open with three titles, behind five-time champion Rafael Nadal. Federer’s last Madrid title came in 2012.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesNadal and top-ranked Novak Djokovic are also expected to play in Madrid this year. Urgent reply from Philippine football chief PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants View comments Switzerland’s Roger Federer, centre, poses for a selfie with supporters, during a pre-event of the Laver Cup, in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, February 8, 2019. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)MADRID — Roger Federer will play at the Madrid Open as part of his return to the clay court.Organizers say the 20-time Grand Slam champion will participate in the tournament from May 3-12.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations MOST READ LATEST STORIES PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte
Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon Peter Phillips, is reassuring the country of the World and Inter-American Development Banks’ commitment of “substantial” resources to finance Jamaica’s economic reform programme.The institutions’ provision of grant and loan support was contingent on the administration securing an Extended Fund Facility (EFF) agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which was achieved on May 1.On that date, the IMF Executive Board approved the US$932.3 million four-year EFF.Responding to questions raised regarding reported “skepticism” about the government’s ability to implement the programme, during a media briefing at the Ministry’s National Heroes Circle offices in Kingston, on May 21, Dr. Phillips said that it is “not a surprise” that the global community is observing, with keen interest, the “seriousness of purpose and resolve” in the programme’s implementation.This, he pointed out, is based on the fact that the programme is challenging, noting however, that “we have demonstrated, as a country, the commitment to the programme and the reform effort.”“I think it is also worth pointing (out) that whatever the apprehensions that may exist in various sectors of the global financial community, including the development banks, that both the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank committed, with the approval of their Boards, substantial resources to the Jamaican programme,” he added.Against this background, Dr. Phillips said it is incumbent on the nation to “fulfill our obligations” as a precursor to being able to secure, “not only from those institutions, but from the private markets and other institutions (and) other partners, a long term commitment to Jamaica’s economic transformation.”Head of the IMF Mission Team, which piloted negotiations for the EFF, Jan Kees Martijn, who was at the media briefing, also gave the assurance that the collaboration among the government, IMF, World Bank and IDB is “very good,” adding that this is “critical” for the economic programme’s implementation.“Both the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank are offering very important support to the programme’s implementation, both in terms of financing (and) in terms of technical assistance advice. I think that a partnership is in place and that is what is critical for this programme to become a success,” Mr. Martijn said.The IMF Mission Team Head was in Jamaica over the past week, along with other members of the delegation, for discussions with the government on the progress of the economic reform programme’s implementation.CONTACT: DOUGLAS McINTOSH