UPDATE: In a March 25 teleconference with Southland Conference athletics directors, it was determined that the March 30 date to prohibit all team activities, organized or voluntary, has been extended until further notice. The Southland’s spring sports offerings include baseball, softball, beach volleyball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s outdoor track and field. The Southland Bowling League Championship, scheduled for March 19-22, has also been cancelled. The Southland had previously announced the cancellation of all competitions through March 30, including its Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments this week. Now, in addition to the new competition and championship changes, athletic departments have also agreed to prohibit all team activities, organized or voluntary, through March 30. Beyond that date, campus leaders will make determinations on other immediate and longer-term issues, such as team practice opportunities and other activities. Athletic departments and Conference office staff will address future NCAA eligibility issues for current spring sports student-athletes, and other matters of importance to the membership. Further, as with any legislative action, the Conference’s Board of Directors reserves the right to reconsider previous decisions. — Southland Strong — FRISCO, TX – The Southland Conference announced Saturday that the league will cancel all remaining spring sports competitions and championship events, effective immediately. The decision was reached by the Conference’s presidential Board of Directors, in consultation with campus athletic directors, in full consideration of the health, safety and well-being of the league’s student-athletes, coaches, administrators, support personnel and fans on the league’s 13 campuses. Southland members have been monitoring national, regional and local developments related to the worldwide COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, and its impact on U.S. professional and collegiate sports, including Thursday’s announcement that NCAA Championship events will be cancelled through the spring.
Stoke City are closing on a deal for Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph.The Daily Mail says Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez had been hoping to lure the 27-year-old to the north-east. And his failure to do so could persuade the Spaniard to turn his back on St James’ Park.Last week, Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham agreed to join Swansea, while former Manchester City goalkeeper Willy Caballero has decided to move to Stamford Bridge.It is also understood that Benitez is set to suffer another double snub, with Manchester City duo Delph and Eliaquim Mangala poised to join Stoke City and Lyon respectively.
3 Highlights from the New HFC InitiativesThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has already started offering incentives and standards to phase out the use of the most potent kind of HFCs in appliances and other uses, personal vehicles, and pickups, vans and combination tractors. Many companies are already using more climate-friendly alternatives while saving energy at the same time. Yesterday’s announcements build on this action in many ways, but three really stand out:EPA proposed a rule that will extend the servicing and disposal of air conditioning and refrigeration equipment requirements for other ozone-depleting substances (like chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbon) to HFCs. Like we mentioned in last year’s Seeing is Believing: Creating a New Climate Economy in the United States, this action will help capture, reclaim and recycle more HFCs from existing equipment to reduce the amount of new HFCs produced. This is especially important because two-thirds of HFC emissions likely occur as a result of commercial refrigeration and mobile air conditioning system leaks and service practices.EPA also announced that in the first half of next year, it will propose new rules that will ban even more of the most potent HFC uses while also expanding the current list of climate-friendly alternatives. This will give industries and other users more options in how they can cut their GHG emissions.Fourteen companies and private sector associations announced new commitments to reduce their HFC use, including:Target will eliminate HFCs from all of its stand-alone coolers in its stores (with a compressor capacity below 2,200 btu/hr) starting in January of next year—several years ahead of what EPA requires.Honeywell expects that its Solstice® line of products using climate-friendly HFC alternatives will reduce global GHG emissions by 475 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) by 2025, more than one-third higher than the reductions the company projected last year.The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy will work with the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute and other organizations to establish a Reclaimed HFC Credit Bank. The goal of this bank will be to “implement a market mechanism that allows building owners, manufacturers, and industry participants to expand the use of reclaimed HFCs.”Building Momentum GloballyThe new announcements also provide strong momentum in advance of the Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Dubai in early November. Here, countries will work together to amend the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer, in order to establish a phase-down of HFC use globally. This could be a huge win for the climate; the White House reports that strong international action on HFCs could avoid 0.5 degrees C of warming by the end of the century.There’s still more work to be done, but progress made this week is a big step forward in preventing dangerous HFCs from entering the atmosphere, both at home and abroad. The White House and private-sector leaders announced ambitious new actions yesterday to reduce emissions from hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), greenhouse gases commonly used as refrigerants that are as much as 12,000 more potent than carbon dioxide. These new commitments, combined with existing HFC-reduction initiatives, are expected to cut global greenhouse gases by the equivalent of more than 1 billion metric tons of CO2 cumulatively by 2025, as much as would be achieved by taking 210 million cars off the road for one year.One More Step Toward the US Emissions-Reduction GoalHFCs may not get as much attention as carbon dioxide, but regulating them is an important sign of progress. In 2013, HFCs accounted for 2.4 percent of total U.S. GHG emissions, but their use is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. Addressing HFC leakage from existing sources checks off another “step” on the 10 point action plan the United States could take to achieve its target of reducing emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.Click to enlarge.
OVER THE NEXT few weeks students and their parents are likely to go through a roller-coaster of emotion and it’s important that everyone knows how to prepare for all scenarios.We’ve all been there before; it’s a special day no matter what the outcome. While students have been on one hell of a journey and the parent’s role isn’t over yet. It is important for parents to take time ahead of this important day to prepare for all eventualities, so that their children feel supported and the correct course of action is taken to ultimately secure a college place.If you’re a parent coping with students on results day, follow these tips:Reassurance in advanceParents and students should sit down in advance of the results to talk about their options. Even the most laid-back students will be feeling stressed in the lead-up to receiving their results so it is up to parents to remind them that the exam results will be just one chapter in their lives, regardless of the outcome.Prepare a plan BExams are important though they are one milestone in a much longer path to success. Steven Spielberg, Albert Einstein, Jane Austen are just some names who didn’t succeed in exams first time around.It is up to parents and students to prepare a plan B in advance; discuss the options available if points aren’t achieved and decide on what the best course of action will be.For example, if a law degree is the first preference but the points aren’t achieved, the plan could be a decision to study a Diploma in Legal Studies as a gateway to the degree or prepare a direct entry application to a degree course with an independent college or institution.It is also important to remember that the CAO re-opens applications during August and September for college places that haven’t been filled with their Available Places utility. I would highly recommend that parents or applicants check out this list online regardless of whether they have been offered a place, as new courses that were not available at the time of deadline might now be open for application.One person’s disappointment is another’s successParents should remind students to be sensitive when discussing results with friends. While they may not have achieved points as high as they would have liked, these could be a far cry from what their peers achieved.Avoid hypeThe final outcome is not determined until the offer in late August so don’t over-speculate or spend too much time discussing with relations, neighbours or friends. This will only serve to increase stress on the student at an already difficult time.CelebrateEven if a first or second preference course isn’t secured, this is the start of a new chapter in the student’s life and should be celebrated. Starting college is an exciting time and the student should be encouraged to make the most of it, academically, socially and professionally.Richard Murphy, schools liaison officer for Griffith College. For information on the direct application courses available at Griffith College Dublin, Cork and Limerick, please log on to www.griffith.ie.Opinion: What’s the point in learning about history?Opinion: The CAO system can clearly be gamed, and it’s perpetuating disadvantage
In this photo taken yesterday, a health worker as he examines patients for Ebola inside a screening tent, at the Kenema Government Hospital Source: Michael DuffAN ELDERLY SPANISH priest infected with Ebola died in a Madrid hospital today, five days after being evacuated from Liberia, a hospital spokeswoman said.The 75-year-old Roman Catholic priest, Miguel Pajares, had been treated in Spain with an experimental US serum called ZMapp after being flown to Madrid on August 7.He contracted the virus at the Saint Joseph Hospital in the Liberian capital Monrovia where he worked.Experimental drug use Source: AP/Press Association ImagesMeanwhile, a World Health Organisation panel has said it is “ethical” to use experimental drugs in the fight against Ebola.Liberia, one of the hardest hit by the killer virus, said it had requested samples of an experimental drug and that supplies would be brought into the country “by a representative of the US government” later this week.No cureThere is currently no available cure or vaccine for Ebola.The deadly outbreak has until now been limited to Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, all in west Africa where ill-equipped and fragile health systems are struggling to cope.But countries around the world are taking measures to prevent the tropical disease reaching their shores.The WHO has had to draft guidelines for the use of experimental medicines at a meeting in Geneva and is to present its conclusions on Tuesday.Ethical thing to do? Source: AP/Press Association ImagesThe use of an experimental drug called ZMapp on two Americans and the Spanish priest infected with the virus while working in Africa has opened up an intense ethical debate.The drug, made by private US company Mapp Pharmaceuticals, has shown promising results but is still in an early phase of development and had only been tested previously on monkeys.ZMapp is in very short supply, but its use on Western aid workers has sparked controversy and demands that it be made available in Africa.“Is it ethical to use unregistered medicines to treat people, and if so, what criteria should they meet, and what conditions, and who should be treated?” WHO assistant director-general Marie-Paule Kieny said ahead of Monday’s meeting.“What is the ethical thing to do?”Where is the serum being used? Source: AP/Press Association ImagesMapp Pharmaceuticals said it had sent all its available supplies to West Africa.In responding to the request received this weekend from a West African nation, the available supply of ZMapp is exhausted.“Any decision to use ZMapp must be made by the patients’ medical team,” it said, adding that the drug was “provided at no cost in all cases.”The company did not reveal which nation received the doses, or how many were sent, but Liberia said it had requested samples which would “be brought in the country by a representative of the US Government later this week”.“The White House and the United States Food and Drug Administration have approved the request for sample doses of experimental serum to treat Liberian doctors who are currently infected with the deadly Ebola virus disease,” the Liberian presidency said.‘Everyone is afraid’ Source: Michael DuffThe disease has killed 1,013 people since early this year, according to latest figures from the WHO, which says it is worst outbreak since Ebola was discovered four decades ago.In Liberia — where Ebola has already claimed more than 300 lives — a third province, Lofa, was placed under quarantine on Monday after similar measures in Bomba and Grand Cape Mount.President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf also banned state officials from travelling abroad for a month and ordered those outside the country to return home within a week.While impoverished Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone account for the bulk of the cases, the latest outbreak has spread further afield. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, has so far counted two deaths and a number of suspect cases.Numerous countries have imposed a raft of emergency measures, including flight bans and improved health screenings.Ivory Coast flight ban A large billboard promoting the washing of hands to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in Monrovia, Liberia Source: AP/Press Association ImagesIn the latest such move, the Ivory Coast announced yesterday it was banning all flights from the three hardest-hit nations.And it said in the past few days it had turned back around 100 Liberians trying to flee across the border into Ivory Coast, which has not reported any Ebola cases.Niger, which also has yet to confirm any cases, has put in place an “emergency plan” to train health workers and boost checks at borders, airports and stations. Togo has also strengthened health screenings.Sierra Leone evacuations Source: Michael DuffJapan’s foreign aid agency said today it was evacuating two dozen staff from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.China’s ambassador to Sierra Leone Zhao Yanbo said that seven doctors and one nurse who treated Ebola patients had been put in quarantine, but would not be drawn on whether they were displaying symptoms of the disease.In addition, 24 nurses in Sierra Leone, most from the military hospital in the capital, have also been quarantined, according to Yanbo and hospital director Sahr Foday.Foday said a senior physician at Freetown’s Connaught Hospital had contracted Ebola but was responding well to treatment. The nation’s sole virologist, who was at the forefront of its battle against the epidemic, died from Ebola last month.- © AFP, 2014Read: Rwanda tests German student for Ebola>