Pledge Peace http://pledgepeace.org/ Fri, 25 Nov 2022 04:29:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://pledgepeace.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/cropped-icon-32x32.png Pledge Peace http://pledgepeace.org/ 32 32 Vietnam to explore Belarusian law enforcement, emergency management training programs https://pledgepeace.org/vietnam-to-explore-belarusian-law-enforcement-emergency-management-training-programs/ Thu, 24 Nov 2022 14:10:00 +0000 https://pledgepeace.org/vietnam-to-explore-belarusian-law-enforcement-emergency-management-training-programs/



MINSK, Nov. 24 (BelTA) — It is important for Belarus and Vietnam to develop ties in the field of education and exchange of experiences, said State Secretary of the Belarusian Security Council Aleksandr Volfovich to the media after a meeting with Vietnamese Public Security Minister To Lam in Minsk on November 24.

Aleksandr Volfovich noted that a memorandum on security cooperation was signed as a result of the talks between the State Secretariat of the Security Council of Belarus and the Ministry of Public Security of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

“The document will contribute to improving the climate of mutual understanding, partnership relations and security between Belarus and Vietnam,” the secretary of state said.

“We provide training and development services for the Vietnamese military in Belarusian institutions, namely the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the University of Civil Protection of the Ministry of Emergencies, the Institute of National Security. Vietnam is interested in the issue,” said Aleksandr Volfovich.

The Secretary of State said he was convinced that the measures taken would contribute to strengthening peace and security not only in the two countries, but in the region in general.

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Community Cafe founder Don Murfin is set to retire at the end of the year https://pledgepeace.org/community-cafe-founder-don-murfin-is-set-to-retire-at-the-end-of-the-year/ Thu, 24 Nov 2022 11:00:00 +0000 https://pledgepeace.org/community-cafe-founder-don-murfin-is-set-to-retire-at-the-end-of-the-year/

The kitchens light up early. The doors unlock. Hosts set up tables and chairs for guests who may or may not bring something to share. People who haven’t seen each other in days, months, or even years share stories and plans over a hot meal someone spent countless hours preparing.

For many, Thanksgiving is a holiday. For Don Murfin, it’s a goal.

The community cafe is kind of like coming home to mom for people,” Murfin said. “We treat everyone with love. We get to know them. If they come back a second time, we talk to them and greet them by name.

Murfin, founder and head chef of the Community Cafe since its inception more than a dozen years ago, recently announced that he will be retiring at the end of the year.

The free lunch sites will continue. But not with the man who threw them. The man who organized more free lunches than there are people in the communities served.

“I’ve been doing this for quite a long time and to be very frank,” Murfin said, “I’m starting to get tired.”

A door prize led to an open house

Don and Linda Murfin moved to South Carolina in 2008. They found a church, tried civic groups. Murfin won a door prize in November 2008 at a meeting of a Christian chamber of commerce. The prize was one hour with a life coach.

“And I thought that would be awesome,” Murfin said. “Because she could help me figure out what I’d like to do. I had all kinds of crazy ideas.

Around the same time, Kenny Ashley served as one of many pastors at the River Hills Community Church in Lake Wylie – now Lake Wylie Community Church. Cult leader Kevin Gray asked Ashley what he would do if the money wasn’t limited.

“I said I would build a cafe and feed people for free,” Ashley said. “If they donated, fine. Otherwise, everyone would come to eat and share around a table to enjoy an hour of peace and good food.

The conversation became a call for volunteers in the parish bulletin. It would begin in January 2009, in the midst of a national recession.

“Right in the middle of bailing out banks that were too big to fail,” Ashley said. “People were struggling financially. Some have lost most of their savings.

Murfin saw the newsletter afterwards, unbeknownst to him, telling the life coach that he had long wanted to open a kitchen to help those in need.

“I saw this and I said, OK Lord, you’re talking to me here,” Murfin said.

At a Christmas party in 2008, Murfin asked if he could help.

“I said ‘no,'” Ashley said. “You can’t help with the soup kitchen. You can handle the soup kitchen. And the rest is history.”

Murfin made calculations. He figured a cafe could feed people for a dollar a meal. Murfin remembers the senior pastor at the time saying that Murfin could give it a shot for a few months.

“I thought, if that’s how you think, I’m not your person,” Murfin said. “Things like that are doomed. If you’re really interested, I’ll do it.

Over half a million meals served

The Community Cafe may look like a soup kitchen, but it started out as a gathering table.

Customers who could buy a meal at any Lake Wylie restaurant sat down with people who had lost their jobs. Business and church leaders stopped for meals. There was soup, but also sandwiches and desserts, pasta and other dishes. The cafe served approximately 25,000 meals that first year.

Other churches contacted Murfin.

Bethlehem Baptist Church at Fort Mill opened the second location in 2011. Other Fort Mill sites would follow at Fort Mill Community Bible Church, then its current Sisk Memorial Baptist Church in 2016. The Lake Wylie Cafe moved to Lake Wylie Christian Assembly. Another opened at Lake Wylie Lutheran Church near Tega Cay.

“And they all just kept growing and growing and growing,” Murfin said. “And as you can see here, we have people who come in and sit down, and they like to socialize. They enjoy food, they can take it home and it really, really helps people.

Dinner was not enough.

“We decided after talking to a lot of people that a lot of people couldn’t come see us,” Murfin said. “We ended up buying a food truck and started driving the truck into small communities and we just serve the food out of the truck.”

All of this expansion, the food truck, and the meals came at no charge for any meals.

Grocery stores and local businesses line up to help. Nonprofits helped out as word got out, earning Murfin the AARP Top Volunteer Award in 2016 and the highest community service award given in South Carolina, the Silver Crescentone year later.

“He dedicated eight good years of his life to making this happen, to developing it,” SC representative Raye Felder said as she presented the 2017 Murfin award during a cafe lunch service. . “You can definitely see it’s a ministry not just of volunteers coming together and doing the work, but of the people who actually benefit from the hot meals.”

A cup of the branded signature barley beef soup meal no. 100,000 in 2014. Just three years later, the cafe served its quarter millionth meal. Although the COVID-19 pandemic shut down cafes for a while, it didn’t dampen the need. The pandemic has actually boosted meal production.

“There were really a lot of people who needed food and during that time,” Murfin said. “We more than doubled the amount of food we were putting out.”

At one point, the cafe was preparing and delivering around 6,000 meals a week.

At the end of 2020, coffee hit the 500,000 meal mark – half a million free meals – while largely serving inmates. To date, coffee sites have served approximately 550,000 free meals.

“A Thing of God”

Mary Rasmussen started volunteering at the cafe about ten years ago. During COVID, Rasmussen has seen people struggle to find everything from toilet paper to meat.

“We decided to do a fundraiser,” Rasmussen said. “We called it toilet paper and tampons. I didn’t say anything to Don. I used her address as a drop off location and suddenly Don and Linda had boxes of tampons and toilet paper on their doorstep.

Don called. He asked if Rasmussen had started another fundraiser and how long it would last. He didn’t ask why.

“About a week later I came with a few trucks to carry all the goods,” Rasmussen said. “I asked Don to take a picture with everything. He blushed and happily agreed.

Charities that involve government funding often have guidelines and requirements. Since Murfin’s group runs on donations, he doesn’t have to ask questions.

“People can take home whatever they want,” Murfin said. “We’ll have it ready for you when you leave.” And if you need help getting it to your car. Well, we will too.

At first, the cafe volunteers quietly approached Murfin if anyone requested, say, a dozen meals.

“I said fine, yeah, it’s okay,” Murfin said. “Did you ask if they needed more?” Because they say, well, you don’t know where it’s going. I said ‘I don’t care where it goes. It’s a god thing. I’m here to make great food and pass it on to people who want to eat it.

The generous attitude proved contagious.

From the hundreds of volunteers who have kept the cafes running for all these years, to the businesses that step in and donate for a new freezer or food truck, to the big donation people passing through at a time when the café needs it most.

“Feeding or sharing food with someone in need is the most fundamental and profound act of kindness one can offer,” read a note the cafe received from a couple traveling from Minnesota to Florida a few years ago, accompanied by $1,000.

Ashley saw that the donations of styrofoam cups and spoons, bread and other items kept coming in.

“God has met all the coffee needs,” Ashley said.

retirement and the future

Murfin is almost 80 years old. It is synonymous with the free lunch service that operates throughout York County through churches and a food truck. Still, he’s been consistent throughout, coffee isn’t about him.

“It’s a thing of God,” Murfin said. “The Lord is the main person in the Community Cafe and that’s why it worked so well. He is in control. And it’s amazing what he’s done for us.

Which brings him to retirement.

“Some people say I shouldn’t, some say it’s about time,” Murfin said. “For me, I’m just exhausted.”

Sous-chef Constantine Mitsopoulos will take charge of the catering part. Murfin continues to work to put the nonprofit accounting side back. The room in his house that has been requisitioned for all these years for work in a café is going to have a new life.

It will be the same for Murfin’s schedule.

“My dear wife has a list of things she wants me to do,” he said. “But basically, for a while, I’m just not going to do a lot of things.”

If anyone deserved the break, Ashley said, it was Murfin.

“I don’t have the paper to list all the things God has done through Don and Linda Murfin and the Community Cafe,” Ashley said. “I just know that the Lord has been glorified, people have been nurtured and encouraged, and the spiritual water level of our communities has increased dramatically over the past 13 years.”

Related stories from the Rock Hill Herald

John Marks graduated from Furman University in 2004 and joined the Herald in 2005. He covers community growth, municipalities, transportation and education primarily in York and Lancaster counties. The Fort Mill native has won dozens of South Carolina Press Association awards and several President McClatchy Awards for news coverage in Fort Mill and Lake Wylie.
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]]> ‘The Season of the Spirit’ at Culpeper Community Tree Lighting https://pledgepeace.org/the-season-of-the-spirit-at-culpeper-community-tree-lighting/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 10:15:00 +0000 https://pledgepeace.org/the-season-of-the-spirit-at-culpeper-community-tree-lighting/

Families, friends, neighbors and citizens, at least a few hundred people, gathered on a cold Sunday evening at the Culpeper Depot for the annual Culpeper Town Center Community Tree Lighting.

Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus were there for the holiday and Christmas themed event with musical performances by the Theatrical Arts Children’s Choir and the Blue Ridge Chorale.

MFA Studio students donned Santa costumes for their festive dance during the outdoor holiday program, also featuring Amber Rose Ballet Studio. Kona Ice was on hand with tasty snow cones and there was crafts by the Windmore Foundation for the Arts and Culpeper Girl Scouts.

Seek Lavender offered lavender-infused cotton candy and on the street, Culpeper County and Eastern View High School Band students serenaded shoppers at the open house and lighting trees sponsored by Culpeper Renaissance, Inc. end of East Davis Street, creating a magical scene.

People also read…

Culpeper Mayor Frank Reaves Jr. summed up the sentiment.

“The holiday season breathes life into all of us. We are going to celebrate the season of the spirit – the spirit of hope, love, joy and peace,” he said before lighting the tree. “The holiday season is a time for giving to each other, hugging and reaching out to the community, families and friends,” the mayor said.

Reaves encouraged everyone to buy local this season. Around the city center, the windows of shops and restaurants sparkle with decorations and inside awaits a wide selection of varied and unique items and flavors that are definitely worth a visit.

Join the Downtown Culpeper Holiday Scavenger Hunt from December 1-15 to explore and discover downtown Culpeper-town, while solving clues to help Cindy Lou Who find the Grinch and bring Christmas back to life. Culpeper-ville! Pick up a map at the visitor center and use your cell phone to discover the QR codes around the city center. Drop off completed scavenger hunts at the CRI office and enter to win a Culpeper Downtown gift basket.

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Los Angeles County law enforcement rookie in serious condition after being hit by SUV https://pledgepeace.org/los-angeles-county-law-enforcement-rookie-in-serious-condition-after-being-hit-by-suv/ Mon, 21 Nov 2022 01:52:24 +0000 https://pledgepeace.org/los-angeles-county-law-enforcement-rookie-in-serious-condition-after-being-hit-by-suv/

LOS ANGELES (AP) — One of the Los Angeles County law enforcement recruits hit by an SUV during practice last week was in deteriorating condition on Sunday, authorities said.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement that Alejandro Martinez “has suffered setbacks that have left him in serious condition. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.

Three other members of the sheriff’s academy class remained in critical condition and all others who sustained non-life-threatening injuries were released, the department said.

Seventy-five members of the academy class, which includes recruits from the sheriff and other police departments, were running in formation down a street in suburban Whittier when an SUV veered into columns on November 16, injuring 25 of them.

The SUV driver was initially arrested to investigate an attempted murder of a peace officer, but authorities later released him on the grounds that further investigation was needed. His lawyer said he had no animosity towards law enforcement and it was a tragic accident.

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Red Deer County Council briefs: off-road vehicles, law enforcement authority, potential aged care facility https://pledgepeace.org/red-deer-county-council-briefs-off-road-vehicles-law-enforcement-authority-potential-aged-care-facility/ Fri, 18 Nov 2022 21:19:56 +0000 https://pledgepeace.org/red-deer-county-council-briefs-off-road-vehicles-law-enforcement-authority-potential-aged-care-facility/

Current regulations prohibit the use of ORVs on county-controlled highways, known as county road rights-of-way, for the general public, with exemptions for county employees in the line of duty. and peace officers for enforcement purposes.

The proposed bylaw would permit the use of ORVs on county road rights-of-way, with restricted uses outlined in particular areas and guidelines for who can operate an ORV in those restricted areas.

County officials say that in the past two years the patrol has not dealt with any OHV by-law violations, as enforcement focuses primarily on Highway Safety Act violations.

“The administration recommends this proposed off-road vehicle by-law because it will allow county ratepayers to operate off-road vehicles in a safe and reasonable manner, while allowing law enforcement officers to enforce unsafe actions under of the Highway Safety Act,” the county said. on the board’s agenda.

The article will be brought back to council at its November 29 meeting for second and third readings.

EXPANDING THE AUTHORITY OF COMMUNITY PEACE OFFICERS

The Council unanimously authorized the expansion of the existing powers of Community Peace Officers (CPOs) in Red Deer County to include enforcement of the Trespass to Premises Act (TPA).

The County Patrol Service said it periodically receives complaints about begging at private businesses, homeless people loitering in private parking lots, particularly Gasoline Alley, and people loitering on county-owned roads, like ditches.

CPOs currently have the power to enforce the Petty Trespass Act which applies to Public Lands Act “land” that does not include buildings, structures or parking lots.

The TPA applies to “premises” which includes buildings, structures and parking lots. The enforcement of both Acts is complaint-driven.

Within the framework of the application of the TPA, the patrol could only respond to complaints lodged by the private owners themselves. If other members of the public call, the county says the patrol will work with affected property owners to determine an appropriate response.

Although RCMP officers have the authority to enforce both laws, the county administration recommended expanding the authority of CPAs to “relieve some of the pressure on the RCMP’s workload and its ability to react.

LAND USE PLANNING REGULATIONS FOR CARE FACILITIES FOR POTENTIAL ELDERLY PEOPLE

Council unanimously granted first reading of an amendment to the Land Use Bylaw to redesignate two parcels of land located in Direct Control District No. 9A – Liberty Landing as single family dwelling with attached garage at medium density residence.

Additionally, in the mid-density residential area, council passed at first reading the addition of a social care facility as a discretionary use to facilitate the eventual development of an aged care facility.

The plots are located on the west side of Highway 2 in the hamlet of Gasoline Alley.

A public hearing is scheduled for January 10, 2023.

]]> Buenos Aires Weather | Remembrance Day marked by the Anglo-Argentine community https://pledgepeace.org/buenos-aires-weather-remembrance-day-marked-by-the-anglo-argentine-community/ Fri, 18 Nov 2022 03:20:27 +0000 https://pledgepeace.org/buenos-aires-weather-remembrance-day-marked-by-the-anglo-argentine-community/

Remembrance Day, aka Poppy Day in Britain at least, was memorably marked both at the British Cemetery on the day (Friday, November 11) and at St. John’s Anglican Church the following Sunday. And yet the most moving highlight came after – WWII Fleet Air Arm veteran Ronnie Scott, who turned 105 last month, received his royal telegrams from British Ambassador Kirsty Hayes .

Born just before the Russian Revolution and now surviving Queen Elizabeth II, Ronnie had the distinction of receiving congratulations from both old and new monarch on Sunday – the belated acknowledgment of his century was one of the very last telegrams sent by the Queen on her 105th birthday. was one of the very first telegrams sent by King Charles III.

Remembrance Day (with the exact moment of the First World War Armistice at 11am on 11.11.1918 marked by two minutes of silence) was appropriately marked at the British Cemetery with bagpipes, bugles and wreaths. Ronnie Scott read Siegfried Sassoon’s poem ‘Offensive,’ written in the year of his birth (1917) and marking the start of tanks in warfare. For the first time in the memory of this journalist, the full text of Laurence Binyon Poem of the dead was read (by British cemetery director John Hunter) instead of the usual few lines: “They shall not grow old, etc.”

Bagpipes (Alan Oliver) returned to the church service, which was also musically enriched by the Vox Celeste choir, impeccably conducted by Ian Gall as always. The lessons were read by Ambassadors Marc Stanley and Hayes.

Stanley only had six verses of Deuteronomy to read, but his appearance was always memorable – introduced as Major Ben Watson of the British Embassy, ​​he prefaced his text with words in Hebrew. Major Watson later read the final lesson, which he then followed with a few words that were quick to mark the 40th anniversary of the South Atlantic War this year, highlighting the empathy between veterans .

New Bishop Brian Williams delivered a thoughtful sermon with memory and peace as central concepts, highlighting the challenges of memory today due to its effortless replacement by modern technology – his predecessor Gregory Venables was a difficult act to follow but Williams delivered.

“Let’s not forget” is the motto of Poppy Day, but the war dead were rightly commemorated by Argentina’s English-speaking community this past weekend.

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Driver charged with oncoming crash, punching 3 law enforcement officers in the face https://pledgepeace.org/driver-charged-with-oncoming-crash-punching-3-law-enforcement-officers-in-the-face/ Wed, 16 Nov 2022 19:52:29 +0000 https://pledgepeace.org/driver-charged-with-oncoming-crash-punching-3-law-enforcement-officers-in-the-face/

A wrong-way driver who allegedly rammed an off-duty sheriff’s deputy’s car — then assaulted her and two other law enforcement officers who came to help her — has been arrested in downtown San Diego early Wednesday, police said.

The collision was reported around 5:25 a.m. on Fourth Avenue at the intersection with Ash Street.

Police said the man was driving north on Fourth Avenue – a one-way street – when he collided with a westbound car on Ash driven by a deputy on his way to work. The man’s car overturned and the deputy got out of her car to check on him as he crawled out of his vehicle.

When she approached, the man allegedly punched her in the face, police lieutenant Christian Sharp told OnScene TV.

Some uniformed deputies ran to the crash site, and one of them was also hit by the suspect, Sharp said.

When an off-duty San Diego police detective went to work, he was also punched in the face by the suspect, Sharp said.

The officers and driver became involved in a struggle, and the driver broke free and began running east on Ash. When he saw several uniformed officers and patrol cars approaching, he quickly lay down on the ground.

He was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and assaulting three peace officers, and was taken to hospital for evaluation, Sharp said. .

None of the law enforcement officers were injured, he said.

“Obviously people are running up hoping maybe to provide someone with help or assistance. Most people, including the deputies and the officer, don’t expect to be assaulted by an accident victim,” Sharp said.

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VetRest Brings Support and Community to Oregon Veterans https://pledgepeace.org/vetrest-brings-support-and-community-to-oregon-veterans/ Wed, 16 Nov 2022 14:35:40 +0000 https://pledgepeace.org/vetrest-brings-support-and-community-to-oregon-veterans/

Birds flew over VetRest’s Bybee Lakes Victory Garden on October 15, 2022, and tomatoes were hanging heavily from the vines. It seemed to be the last harvest for the garden, which is built and maintained by VetRest, a non-profit organization that provides wellness and mentorship to veterans in safe, supportive environments on land used by the Bybee Lake. Hope Center for Transitional Housing. Chainsaws rang through the air that day as a large pile of wood donated by the Portland Rotary Club was intended to be used to build six fresh raised garden beds.

The wood has been cut and laid to further increase the capacity of the garden for the coming year. The small expansion leaves more room for the dual purpose of this particular Victory Garden: a therapeutic place for veterans and others to garden and a way to supplement the dietary needs of recently homeless Bybee Lakes Hope Center residents. However, this is not the only organization VetRest works with, nor the only Victory Garden they are building in the Portland community.

VetRest was originally founded in Portland in 2016 by Major General Daniel York in response to mental health crises in the military. Originally, VetRest was built with the goal of providing a safe environment to mentor veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by encouraging them to work with soil in Therapeutic Gardens. Now VetRest has expanded to the Northeast, Southeast, Central and West regions.

VetRest Harvest Day at Bybee Lakes Victory Garden. Camden Benesh/PSU Vanguard.

The mission has also relaxed from providing specific guidance to a subset of individuals in difficulty, to being a welcoming place for veterans and civilians who wish to create community gardens. Those who need help with PTSD can always seek mentorship, but it’s more of a loose form, as it’s working in the ground and with others who are struggling with similar struggles that makes VetRest so valuable to volunteers and beneficiaries. York moved his base of operations to Colorado, but handed the reins of the Portland chapter to retired Lt. Commander Ron White.

VetRest is expanding by building a new Victory Garden in St. John’s, North Portland. Because this area is being prepared for future work in the spring, White invited Portland State Vanguard at the already established Victory Garden in Bybee Lakes.

Bybee Lakes was originally built as Wapato’s correctional facility, although it was never used. Now it has a train-themed playground tucked into one corner, a memorial garden for those who died homeless, and an ever-expanding garden growing out of the area that was once intentionally kept bare.

“This whole area, we call it the Residents’ Garden, looked like this,” White said, pointing to scrubland. “Empty land when we got here…that was one of the challenges of it all because it was once designed as a prison. It was designed with a lot of open space around it for a perimeter trail. These lights here are security lights and you can see the posts here, that’s where the fence was.” He pointed to a strip of concrete that separated low plants like vegetables from a larger, more extensive orchard.

Among the obviously practical plants were several marigolds, quite vibrant even in October. The flowers had multiple uses, both for pollinators and for gardeners.

VetRest Harvest Day at Bybee Lakes Victory Garden. Camden Benesh/PSU Vanguard.

“What it’s really about is creating a place of peace,” White said. Although the obvious practical benefits of having a food source are obvious, White said the garden was designed primarily for therapeutic purposes. When Avant-garde asked if that focus changed based on location, he said it changed based on who VetRest was working with right now.

Victory Gardens, smaller community gardens that grow supplemental foods, are unique to the Portland chapter. Although VetRest has run a larger-scale farm in Florida where veterans can go to train and take in more involved therapy, the vast majority of their gardens across the country aren’t focused on food production. It is only thanks to the invitations of community partners willing to meet the food needs of the earth that this aspect has developed. The original was built on land owned by the Bomber Restaurant on what had been a Victory Garden during World War II. When nonprofits or corporations offer VetRest a location to build a community garden, the idea that gardens can be useful for food security appeals to both VetRest and the many partners they have worked with locally at Portland: Helping Hands, Team Rubicon, OSU Master Gardeners, Rotary Club and many more.

“What we’re going to do is we’re going to start planting for next year,” White said. “We have a small greenhouse and this is going to help us make it a bit sturdier.” Like the six planters built with donated wood, VetRest is preparing to help the community by providing gardening tools and space and garden produce.

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Wike Signs Executive Order 22…enables outdoor signage and advertising enforcement https://pledgepeace.org/wike-signs-executive-order-22-enables-outdoor-signage-and-advertising-enforcement/ Wed, 16 Nov 2022 05:12:17 +0000 https://pledgepeace.org/wike-signs-executive-order-22-enables-outdoor-signage-and-advertising-enforcement/

Rivers State Governor Chief Nyesom Wike said his administration had proven that through budget integrity, commitment and prudence, nothing was too difficult to achieve in governance for Nigerians.
Wike spoke at the inauguration of the 72-bed Dr. Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Diagnosis and Treatment Center in Port Harcourt, carried out by the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, last Monday.
The Governor noted that his administration transparently delivered the center within the agreed time frame of 14 months for the benefit of the people of Rivers and Nigerians in general.
He noted that one of the reasons why federal government projects take years to complete was that the National Assembly often allocated paltry funds to projects intended to be executed each fiscal year when it knew those funds were largely insufficient to reach a significant milestone.
Wike said such a practice has continued to encourage abandonment of projects and fostered inadequacy in terms of governance, project delivery and public service.
“For a project that will cost N26 billion; you put 500 million naira in the budget for one year. Then it will now take you more than 20 years to get there. By then, the cost will rise from 26 billion naira to a hundred and something billion naira.
“That’s why you see in this country abandonment of projects. If we are serious in this country to say that we will get the best, I can tell you that it is not impossible.
Wike emphasized that the people of Rivers deserved the best, which is why the best quality was provided at the center, similar to the best quality provided on all other projects.
He mocked those who said they had set out to build the Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte Specialty Hospital which never came to light despite the huge funds invested in this endeavor.
Wike explained that already there was a partnership agreement in place based on the strength of the agreement negotiated with the Consul General of the United States, Mr. Will Stevens.
The governor said Stevens has visited the hospital and is currently making contact with people who know how to best run the hospitals in a cost-effective manner, which would be seen as taking over center operations.
He also explained that the facility was named after Dr. Peter Odili because he was one of the Rivers executives who operated one of the best clinics in the state, served as governor with merit, and now contributed to medical education in the state.
The Governor expressed his joy at the completion of the center and said it is a report card and proof of the fulfillment of the promise made to the people of Rivers.
During the inauguration of the project, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, said that it was fitting to salute the sagacity and foresight of Wike for initiating and updating such an innovative project.
He noted that the centre, which was the first of its kind in the Niger Delta and in Nigeria as a whole, would surely benefit people beyond the borders of the South-South region.
“The dreaded disease of cancer and its devastating effects on its victim cannot be overstated. Not only does it emotionally destroy its victims and their families, it renders them financially incapacitated.
“Therefore, it can be said that cancer diagnosis and treatment are out of reach and affordable for the common man.
“So with the commissioning of this center, people with this disease and other oncological conditions can, at least, breathe a sigh of relief, here is help at their doorstep.”
He said that in the spirit of good neighborliness and as keepers of brothers, patients from neighboring states and even states as far away as Kano will not be turned away from the God-sent cancer relief center.
According to him, it was undeniable that infrastructures of this magnitude are very difficult to maintain, and called for a positive paradigm shift in the attitude towards the culture of maintenance.
“We are calling on the incoming administration and the people of Rivers State to take ownership of this improved infrastructure by ensuring that this very vital center is well equipped and maintained at all times.
“Facilities need to be regularly upgraded to meet global standards. Staff should be trained, retrained and updated on the latest medical technologies and innovations.
He also noted that it is a well-known fact that due to oil and gas exploration in the Niger Delta, some of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) may not have used the best global practices in their exploration in the Niger Delta.
Such neglect, he said, has thus exposed the people of this region to diseases caused by gas flaring and oil pollution of ecosystems and the environment.
“It is also not out of place to call on the Federal Government of Nigeria to borrow a leaf from the Governor of River State and establish similar centers in each of the geopolitical zones to alleviate the suffering of the people with cancer and cardiovascular problems.
“It’s a good step to stop our people from getting into medical tourism, which benefits other countries’ economies at the expense of ours, especially in these times of scarce and high exchange rates.”
In his goodwill message, former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, said he and his family were overjoyed at the honor bestowed on them with such a center bearing his name from his living.
Odili said Wike should have been a doctor because of the medical infrastructure he provided in the state which was unparalleled in Nigerian history.
“Look at this building. The Honorable Commissioner for Health lectured us on the uniqueness of this centre. Everything he said about the center is true, I fully support and approve of him.
“The president of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) also spoke about it and I said there is no medical facility in this country, built by a state government that has everything you have here No one can see your break light in your health care program.
“The Cancer Center which you have also introduced here, has only three functions in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is one of three. None other belongs to the state government; the other two belong to the federal government.
In his speech, NMA President Dr. Uche Ojinmah happily noted that Wike had timed the center’s inauguration to coincide with the ongoing cancer awareness campaign.
According to him, Wike’s administration has been bold in providing medical infrastructure that promotes public health and cares for patients.
Providing the description of the project, the Commissioner for Health, Professor PrincewillChike, said the centre, among other features, has three theatres, a catheterization laboratory, radiotherapy, brachytherapy and nuclear medicine.
According to him, there were doctors’ quarters, a helipad, modern incinerators, 1000, 1000 & 800 KVA in series to supply the center.
In his address, the Chairman of the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Attorney George Ariolu, described the Dr. Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Diagnosis and Treatment Center as a benevolent donation to the humanity.
Julius Berger’s chief executive, Lars Richter, said the center, with its state-of-the-art medical equipment, will boost medical tourism in Rivers State.

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Xi calls for unity of int’l community at G20 summit as world faces challenges https://pledgepeace.org/xi-calls-for-unity-of-intl-community-at-g20-summit-as-world-faces-challenges/ Tue, 15 Nov 2022 13:44:00 +0000 https://pledgepeace.org/xi-calls-for-unity-of-intl-community-at-g20-summit-as-world-faces-challenges/

Chinese President Xi Jinping visits the venue for the 17th Group of 20 (G20) summit in Bali, Indonesia, November 15, 2022. Xi delivered a speech titled ‘Working together to meet the challenges of our times and build a better future at the summit. The G20 summit kicked off here on Tuesday. Photo: Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed the importance of unity among the international community during his speech at the G20 summit on Tuesday, saying the world should promote more inclusive, universally beneficial and resilient global development.

Observers said the Chinese leader’s speech offers a guide for the world to overcome global challenges, including food and energy crises, as many countries around the world are under threat from hegemony, unilateralism and confrontation of blocks.

The G20 summit kicked off Tuesday morning on the Indonesian resort island of Bali. After arriving at the main venue of the summit, hosted by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, world leaders began the first working session, focusing on global food and energy security, as part of Indonesia’s plan for the summit to focus on the global economic recovery. in the midst of a multitude of challenges.

The world right now really needs major countries to take responsibility for uniting the international community and helping the world overcome crises and achieve recovery, experts said.

As the United States faces escalating partisan struggles and domestic polarization and continues to seek hegemony abroad, the EU is badly damaged due to the Ukraine crisis and other issues. Thus, China, a major power with credible strength and global influence, is leading the world out of the current crises, and Xi’s speech offers China’s answers to questions shared by the world, noted experts.

G20 Photo: CGV

G20 Photo: CGV

Emphasize unity, solidarity

In his speech, Xi said, “We meet at a time of momentous changes not seen in a century, changes that are consequential to the world, to our times and to history. The global economy is weakening. The geopolitical environment remains tense. Global governance is seriously flawed. The food and energy crises follow one another.

Xi said all countries should replace division with unity, confrontation with cooperation and exclusion with inclusiveness. All countries must come together to answer the question of our times – “What is wrong with this world, what should we do about it” – in order to overcome the difficulties and together create a better future, Xi noted.

Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Tuesday that “the unity of the international community is threatened by some countries that have tried to further divide the world in accordance to ideology, to replace international rules with their own hegemonic rules and to use globalization to serve a group of countries rather than the vast majority of the international community.”

Analysts have named the United States and some of its close supporters, saying its military expansion has led to bloc confrontation and conflict in Europe, hurting Russia, Ukraine and the EU from the crisis. The US-led bloc launched unilateral sanctions that further damaged the supply chain, forced more countries to follow suit and formed cliques to contain the development of its competitors, especially China.

All of this undermines the unity of the international community.

Highlighting the tension between the great powers, many journalists covering the G20 summit in Bali focused on whether world leaders will reach a statement or even pose for a group photo.

Despite the tension, many world leaders also called for global cooperation and affirmed their opposition to geopolitical conflicts at the summit.

Xi called for making global development more inclusive, resilient and beneficial to all.

During Tuesday morning’s working session, Indonesian President Widodo told world leaders that “we should not divide the world into parts. We must not let the world descend into another cold war,” according to Bloomberg.

Other world leaders have also warned of the disastrous consequences of division and protectionism for the global economy. Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF, said protectionism must not be allowed because it leads the world to drift into separate blocs. She warned that a divided world would lose at least 1.5% of GDP per year, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

When meeting Xi in Bali on Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron said France supports independent diplomacy and opposes bloc confrontation. Faced with the current turbulent international situation, France hopes to continue to uphold the spirit of mutual respect, equality and reciprocity with China, Macron said.

The Chinese president’s call for unity and inclusive global development has also been welcomed by global experts.

Selcuk Colakoglu, director of the Ankara-based Turkish Center for Asia-Pacific Studies, which also attended some G20 sessions, said China had played a very responsible role in preventing a major rift in the economy world since the beginning of the pandemic and as the first trading country, China plays a very important role in global supply chains.

“Xi’s three-point proposal was an inclusive, universally beneficial and resilient global development plan and points to a concrete roadmap to boost global sustainable development,” Colakoglu told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Cooperation rather than division

In his address to the G20, Xi said food and energy security is the most pressing challenge for global development. The root cause of the ongoing crises is not production or demand, but interrupted supply chains and international cooperation.

Xi said we must resolutely oppose the attempt to politicize food and energy issues or use them as tools and weapons, adding that unilateral sanctions must be lifted and restrictions on relevant science and technology cooperation must be lifted. be lifted.

Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of International Affairs at Renmin University of China, told the Global Times that international cooperation at this time requires solidarity and true multilateralism. The United States has claimed it embraces multilateralism, but its “rules-based order” challenges the international order with the UN at its center, its long-armed sanctions and jurisdictions, and the approaches of “decoupling” to reduce interdependence with China. , are all opposed to true multilateralism.

More and more countries around the world, such as Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Germany, France, Argentina, India and Turkey, shared similar sentiments that the United States try to dominate the world order but have failed to deliver benefits to everyone, only creating problems. and the transfer of pressures to other countries. That’s why they’re all considering not following Washington too closely, some have even started to say no to the United States, experts say.

If the international community cannot compel the United States to correct its mistakes, then countries have the right to decide their own destiny and join together to fix damaged supply and industrial chains in order to deal with crises together and achieve common development. , analysts said.

During his speech, Xi said, “The Global Development Initiative (GDI) that I have proposed aims to meet the long-term goal and immediate needs of the world’s common development, foster consensus on promoting development, cultivating new engines for global development, and facilitating the common development and progress of all countries.”

In one year, more than 60 countries have joined the Group of Friends of the GDI. China has established the Global Fund for South-South Development and Cooperation and will increase funding for the China-UN Peace and Development Fund, Xi said.

Regarding food and energy crisis management, Xi said, “This year, China has proposed, together with six partners including Indonesia and Serbia, the International Cooperation Initiative on Industrial and Supply Chains. resilient and stable, joined other countries in calling for the establishment of the Global Partnership for Clean Energy Cooperation and presented the International Cooperation Initiative on Global Food Security within the G20 We look forward to deepening cooperation with all parties in these areas.

A Chinese analyst said that China, as a major power with strength, ability and influence, is working with other countries to solve common problems, and more and more countries have been motivated and convinced to join in cooperation to build a community with a shared future for mankind together, and in the future, this kind of cooperation will be further increased and globalization will be reformed and improved through the efforts of China and its partners.

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