Ducere Foundation tells African stories

first_imgLearners at Zandspruit Primary School during the launch of Ducere’s African Children’s Stories Program. (Images and e-book: Ducere)Reading can be boring if the stories do not resonate with the lives of readers. The Ducere Foundation knows this, and aims to provide an African alternative in children’s literature.All too often, library shelves and school bags are filled with Western stories that have little or no relevance to the reality of primary schoolchildren in Africa. But the foundation’s African Children’s Stories Program is leading the way with an innovative initiative that aims to one day publish and distribute African children’s stories from each and every African nation.Julia Gillard, the former prime minister of Australia and its former minister of education, is the chancellor of Ducere and chair of the board of directors of its Global Partnership for Education. She was in South Africa earlier this month to celebrate the foundation’s African Children’s Stories Program roll-out.Julia Gillard, the chancellor of Ducere and chair of the board of directors of its Global Partnership for Education, emphasised how the grassroots are important for children to excel in basic education and literacy.Ducere has partnered with Monash South Africa (MSA), a leading private higher education provider founded by Monash University (Australia) and a member of Laureate International Universities, for the roll-out of the latest collection of stories. They were written by local South African pupils.EDUCATIONAL VISITWhile she was in Johannesburg, Gillard visited Zandspruit Primary School, where she encouraged the children to keep writing and to make their education a priority.“Education, employability and entrepreneurship begin at grassroots level, from the support of basic education and literacy to the preparation of students for today’s global economy,” she said.The MSA and Ducere collaboration is made possible through the MSA student-led programme, This is Me, which promotes children’s creative thinking, storytelling and literacy skills to support their academic and personal growth.“We will continue publishing stories written by African children, for African children to be shared across the globe,” said Di Fleming, the chief executive of the Ducere Foundation. “We encourage and celebrate literacy from a young age, and empower the young learners to embrace their African culture.”MSA distributed hundreds of these stories to schools through its campus community engagement programmes.STUDENT DEVELOPMENTEsther Benjamin, the chief executive of MSA and of Africa operations for Laureate International Universities, believes this project, one of many MSA outreach programmes, strengthens students’ passion for volunteering as part of their personal development, gives them an opportunity to make important contributions to the community, and equips them with valuable skills for leadership and entrepreneurial thinking.An example of African Children Stories from Rwanda (Collection 22).“By facilitating important conversations on education’s link to building robust economies and skilled marketplaces, we strive to be a leading change agent in South Africa and beyond,” she said.“We pride ourselves on local relevancy as well as a global perspective. We work with an extensive global network of thought leaders to ensure that our graduates are equipped for the global business environment as well as for entrepreneurial initiatives relevant to the marketplace.”Gillard’s visit culminated in a panel discussion that included prominent business, NGO, and community leaders.At the discussion, Gillard and Benjamin spoke about the challenges and opportunities for students in the global marketplace. It was emphasised that students needed to pursue academic excellence along with cultivating essential life and personal skills for employability and entrepreneurship.PLAY YOUR PARTAre you playing your part in transforming South Africa? If so, submit your story or video and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.last_img read more

Forum unpacks nation’s trade and investment

first_imgThe value of South African investment into Africa is important for development, but is often overlooked. (Image: Brand South Africa)30 August 2016South Africa remained the biggest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) from investors outside Africa; this could be attributed to the strength of the rule of law, robust banking system and the best infrastructure network on the continent.These sentiments were expressed in the Trade and Investment plenary session of the Brand South Africa Nation Brand Forum. The forum is a gathering of the government, business and civil society with the objective of defining an inspiring narrative that can be used by all stakeholders when marketing South Africa internationally. It was launched by Brand South Africa on 24 August 2016.It is a proactive marketing programme that will be a flagship initiative for Brand South Africa and will be used to promote a positive nation brand image and reputation.More importantly for South Africa’s relationship with Africa, the country was the largest direct investor into Africa, participants in the plenary said. This was commonly overlooked when the country interacted with the rest of the continent.Delegates raised the idea that the government needed to manage the flow of information between stakeholders better. To build a stronger nation brand South African investors needed the government and media to tell the story of South Africa driving African revitalisation.If, as the plenary suggested, Africa was reminded that South African investment was responsible for the creation of 50 000 jobs on the continent, it would go a long way towards leading the perception of South Africa in Africa. This narrative would help to improve the positioning of the country in Africa and strengthen the country brand.The government was halfway there, participants said. Policy had made doing business in and with South Africa simpler. Twinned with a robust financial and banking system, the country remained a sought-after FDI destination.While the reality of its importance in the trade and investment sphere in Africa was not in doubt, Brand South Africa had a perception problem. It was one that only collaboration and co-operation between the government and the private sector could overcome. As long as both sectors sang from the same hymn sheet, the country could easily change the way the country was viewed in Africa.The plenary delegates’ preoccupation with the country’s standing in Africa stemmed from the belief that trade between African countries was the best way to ensure continued continental economic growth. For that to happen, Africa needed to remind Africa that it was its best trade partners.“Africa needs to be in control of access to African markets,” pointed out a delegate in the breakaway session. For that to happen, African nations needed to trust that investment led to beneficiation. The shortcut to building that trust would be for South Africa to build a strong nation brand built on the work it did already.last_img read more

S-noilite Full Wigs 32″ : Good product, good arrival time

first_img It is perfect, as i expected it would be. For the price it is really good. The only issue i have with this item is the netting in the back is a little thin but it still is good. When wearing it i haven’t had any issue thus far. I will most definitely buying another. I found it difficult to brush as it. The product arrived promptly. I found it difficult to brush as it was so long it knotted easily but i was expecting that of a wig of such length. It was also hard to tie into a high pony tail but i was expecting this also. Wearing it down as it comes it would be perfect. Good product, good arrival time. Arrive in amazing time (day after i ordered) nice length and colour my only nit pick is it seems slightly to big for me (it’s not noticeable) and when i get around to styling it properly it will look tons better but other wise i’m pretty impressed and would buy from this seller again. Arrived when stated and good quality. I love the style and colours of these wigs. I bought this wig in both wine red and pink, and immediately upon recieving i was taken aback by how soft and natural they were. I love the style and colours of these wigs, and they are both fairly full although i did have a little trouble with the cap showing through at the back. Also, be aware that these wigs come up extremely small. I don’t have a large head and i’ve never had a problem with wigs being too small before but these ones only just fit. Overall i am happy with these wigs. It’s a great wig and after brushing it can look quite good, but because it’s only synthetic if won’t really look perfect. It came folded up in its packet, which i guess you can’t help but this caused bumping in the wig which still hasn’t come out after a few months- maybe you could wash it to get it out though. Brushed does pull some hairs out but it still seems like it’s packed with hair and still thick and shiny, doesn’t look as good as the picture though and covers more of the face than you think. Super speed delivery and looks like real hair. Arrived extra early very pleased with my purchase haven’t worn it yet but the quality looks very good and it looks like real hair. I will try to post a picture of it at a later date. Longer than i thought but i am more than happy about that. Lovely and soft longer than i thought but i am more than happy about that. Had tocut the fringe as it was quite long (im using this for a vulcan cosplay) but i knew i would be doing that anyway. Truthfully this is the best purchase i’ve ever made. I’ve been donning this wig for approximately a thirty day period now, and i you should not imagine it is even get rid of a hair. Arrived in about two days way too 🙂 would fee ten stars if i could i enjoy it.Extremely delighted with the merchandise. .Purchased it for my alice costume, required styling (no cutting just hairspray) and was great high quality for the price tag, surprisingly. The size wasn’t absurd, came just about shoulder size which was best.Was impressed by the adjustable places to assistance both fitting.Unquestionably incredible in my eyes. I ordered two days in the past and it came so speedy. So content to get it this early morning.Unfortunately the measurements usually are not exact, it truly is shorter then what i was told. In general although it’s completely fantastic, very good for my yui cosplay.I am a pink haired princess. Cannot think how excellent it is.center_img Good price, came earlier than expected and it doesn’t look horribly fake and works well with heathowever it sheds quite a bit and it doesn’t stay on your head very well, i personally found it too small, but a beanie works well to keep it on tight. Came really fast ordered it yesterday arrived today its such good quality and ooks so beautiful. ????????. Really good wig for my smurf fancy dress costume. Really good wig for my smurf fancy dress costume. Good quality, the picture is 100% true likeness of the product.I love the style and colours of these wigsGood product, good arrival timeWill be buying again.Super speed delivery and looks like real hair!Great quality does not look like a wig you could I am a pink haired princessS-noilite Full Wigs 32″(80cm) Long Straight Black Cosplay Wig Soft Bang StyleCondition: Brand new, New With Tags,High quality Heat Resistant Full WigsCap Size: adjusted hook inside/Fits most (The best matches ),No pins or tape required.Length Approx:32″(to the waist) — weight approx: 320g — style:straight — type:Cosplay Costume WigTexture: Top Heat Resistant Synthetic Full Wigs, Easy use, Tangle free,Silky soft,Quality guarantee,Harmless to HairFashion design for European,Suitable for Costume Party/Cosplay/Date/Club/Dance,Lady Women’s best hair accessorylast_img read more

Feeding Farmers Week One | Jeff Puthoff

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Ohio Ag Net crew team traveled to West Central Ohio for the first of the Feeding Farmers events in 2019. Dale visited with Jeff Puthoff and his family who farms corn, soybeans, wheat, and runs a holstein feedlot operation.A notable crowd of about 40 turned out to the celebration where the group talked about their wet growing season and crops that are behind what’s been seen just south of the area.You can nominate yourself or a neighbor at agrigoldohio.com.last_img read more

The Perfect Wall, Roof, and Slab — Building Science Podcast

first_imgRELATED MULTIMEDIA Video: Superinsulating a Home with Rigid FoamA Home Energy AuditGreen Builder Won’t Compromise on the Envelope GREEN PRODUCT GUIDE Insulation Blown Insulation Batt Insulation Board Insulation Foam InsulationThe most important factors are often not considered in design, construction, and regulation; and the unimportant ones tend to have an overly enthusiastic and detailed amount of specs associated with them. The Perfect Wall has all of the structure to the interior and all of the control functions to the exterior. Let’s start at the outside of the perfect wall with the cladding. Cladding provides three functions: 1. Aesthetics, 2. Protection from UV light 3. Physical, mechanical protection of the other control layers. Aesthetics matter because people don’t take care of ugly things. Ugliness is not sustainable. The longer something is around, the more resources it consumes, so the more resource efficient it is, and the fewer resources it uses over its lifetime. We want a beautiful building that lasts a long time and is ultra-efficient. Claddings should be completely open — we want air circulation behind the cladding system. The more air circulation, the better the system works. Sealants are purely aesthetic, they’re not functional. If the sealants fail, the primary air, thermal, vapor and rain control elements are not affected. If we take the perfect wall and lean it, we get the perfect roof. From the inside to the outside, the control layers are:StructureVapor control membraneInsulationCladdingSome of the old-timers will recognize this type of roof as an IRMA — Inverted Roof Membrane system. If you replace the ballast with dirt, grass, and a goat, you would get a green roof. (That was a joke.) Flip the roof and you get the perfect slab:Dirt and stonesInsulationVaporConcrete (structure)The physics of a foundation, wall and roof are the same (this is an Ah-Ha! moment). When we look at a section of the perfect roof, wall, and slab, and we get the other Ah-Ha! moment — the important parts are the corners. You have to connect the rain control element of the foundation to the rain control element of the walls, the air control element of the foundation to the air control element of the walls, the vapor control element of the foundation to the vapor control element of the walls, the thermal control element of the foundation to the thermal control element of the walls… Pretty fundamental stuff. Most failures occur where roofs connect to walls _Tip: Buy multi-colored pens_ Whenever we do design reviews in our office, we tell the youngsters to take a colored pen and trace the rain control layer around the building enclosure. If the pen has to leave the paper, they’ve identified a discontinuity that needs to be addressed. Use a different colored pen for each of the control layers. Whenever the pen leaves the paper, you’ve identified a flaw. It’s as simple as that. We find that the flaws are concentrated at the connecting elements. Windows complicate the perfect wall Now these are pretty easy, but it gets complicated. In the real world, someone pokes a hole in the building and we call that a window. Windows have to do everything that a wall does, and more. It has to control water, air, heat, and vapor; you want to be able to see through it, and every so often someone is going to want to open it too. Windows can actually do all of that stuff, which is pretty amazing. No wonder they’re so expensive. All we have to do is connect the rain control element of the window to the rain control element of the wall, the air control element of the window to the air control element of the wall, the vapor control element of the window to the vapor control element of the wall, the thermal control element of the window to the thermal control element of the wall. The reason we’ve been having so much trouble with window-to-wall connections is because we’ve been relying on one person to do all of this: His name is “By-Others.” Mr. By-Others shows up on all of these specs and you have to make sure he is not going to be responsible for all of these connections. Someone has to be responsible. The window industry doesn’t do us any favors either — they don’t tell us in their window system which part of these windows systems are responsible for controlling water, air, vapor and heat. In the absence of guidance, we have to assume that the innermost component of the window is where all four of those functions collapse. So we wrap the window openings and make the connection at the back — so that if the window should fail, the water will go to the outside. That’s how you design a building: water continuity, air continuity, vapor continuity, thermal continuity. It can’t be that simple, right? Well, the answer is, “Yes it is.” Podcasts: Podcast:Air Barriers vs. Vapor BarriersHow Heat Moves Through HomesEfflorescence = Water Damage Insulation Retrofits on Old Masonry BuildingsHow Air Affects a House RELATED ARTICLES Insulation Overview Insulating Roofs, Walls, and Floors Installing Fiberglass Right” Insulation Choices Can Foam Insulation Be Too Thick? The Global Warming Impact of Insulation CONSTRUCTION DETAILS Building Plans for the Energy Star Thermal Bypass Checklist Energy Star checklist details Insulating behind tub with rigid foam Air sealing behind tub Foundation/Floor Intersections Roof/Wall Intersections Wall/Floor Intersections _This podcast series is excerpted from a two-day class called_ Building Science Fundamentals _with Drs. Joe Lstiburek and John Straube of Building Science Corporation. For information on attending a live class, go to BuildingScienceseminars.com This week Dr. Joe talks about enclosure design principles of energy efficient buildings_ _______________________________Let’s start with smart things The building enclosure has four functions. In order of importance, they are: 1. Rain control 2. Air control 3. Vapor control 4. Thermal control Thermal control is the easiest to specify, calculate, and measure, so that’s what codes focus on. Codes typically ignore the most important layers because they’re the most difficult to specify. The vapor control layer is easier to specify than the air control layer, so codes obsess over specifying the vapor control layer and ignoring the air control layer. Video:last_img read more

Newly elected Haryana MLAs to take oath today

first_imgThe newly elected members of the Haryana Assembly will be administered oath here on Monday when the three-day session of the House begins. Senior Congress leader and Beri MLA Raghuvir Singh Kadian, the Pro-tem Speaker of the 14th Haryana Legislative Assembly, will administer the oath to the newly elected members, as per tentative programme of the session. After the members are administered the oath, election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker will also take place the same day. On November 5, Haryana Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya will also address the Assembly, this being the first session of the new Assembly. Later, discussion on the Governor’s address will take place while on concluding day on Wednesday, the House will conduct legislative business. The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Jannayak Janta Party have formed the government in alliance in Haryana. They also enjoy the support of seven independents. The polls were held on October 21 and results came out on October 24. In the 90-member House, the BJP won 40 seats falling short by six members for a simple majority. JJP won 10 seats, Congress 31, independents 7, INLD and Haryana Lokhit Party one each.Lone INLD MLAWhile Dushyant’s JJP has 10 members, his uncle Abhay Singh Chautala will be the lone MLA from his party representing his Indian National Lok Dal outfit. On October 27, Manohar Lal Khattar took oath as Haryana Chief Minister for the second time and is leading the BJP-JJP coalition government in the State, with JJP leader Dushyant Chautala being sworn in as his deputy.last_img read more

NBA players express frustration with Trump’s words

first_imgTrump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes PLAY LIST 01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss01:48Trump awards Penske Presidential Medal01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight MOST READ After deadly protests involving white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia last month, Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale has been actively trying to get Confederate symbols such as monuments removed from his city.On Monday, Fizdale said it was Trump who is disrespecting military members, not athletes who protest in various ways.“Look at what he’s doing with North Korea putting our troops in danger right now instigating a war,” Fizdale said. “You know how many troops we have in South Korea and Japan that’s in direct line with where this guy can fire missiles? Obviously the Gold Star family that lost their son … I can keep going on this, guys, you know that.“So when we talk about disrespecting our military, people need to take a look back at who’s really disrespecting our military and who’s really honoring our military by exercising their rights.”Media days in the NBA are a mixture of basketball-related interviews, photo sessions and some frivolity. At Heat media day, Goran Dragic — whose current contract is worth $85 million — talked about his decision to fly coach home from his native Slovenia. In Memphis, guards Mike Conley and Mario Chalmers gave hair-care tips. Coaches took questions en masse, sometimes even able to actually discuss the game.But there were countless questions about politics and Trump as well.“It’s like every time he opens his mouth, it’s like, ‘Oh, really?’” Haslem said. “When you think he can’t say anything like worse, he just kind of figures it out.”In Denver, the Nuggets said they were forming a four-player committee to help bring collective ideas from the locker room to team officials for further discussion. In Miami, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he would talk to players about how they want to respond to social topics later this week at their training camp in Boca Raton, Florida.“This is discourse that’s going on in every living room right now and this is our family. So we will have a discussion about it,” Spoelstra said. “It is such a polarizing topic right now that I think it’s healthy just for guys to express where they are on this right now and I know how the guys feel in the locker room. It’s exactly the same as the players in the other leagues and the other teams that you saw this weekend.”Dealing with Trump-related matters may be particularly thorny in Orlando. Magic owner Rich DeVos’ daughter-in-law, Betsy DeVos, is the Education Secretary. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers talks to the media during Media Day at Cleveland Clinic Courts on September 25, 2017 in Independence, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Jason Miller/Getty Images/AFPLeBron James is not backing down on his comments about President Donald Trump, and countless other players and coaches in the NBA made it clear at media days around the league Monday that they are equally fed up with what could perhaps be described as a pattern of actions from the White House that they would call divisive or worse.Politics were the storyline of the NBA on the first official business day of the season for most of the league’s clubs. That was no surprise, given the events of a weekend that included Trump rescinding the champion Golden State Warriors’ invitation to the White House, James calling the president a “bum” and stars like union president Chris Paul speaking out in frustration.ADVERTISEMENT The Magic, like many teams, said they weren’t sure what the right answer is — or how they’ll speak out as a team about social issues this season.“In all honesty, coming up with a quick answer would be doing a disservice to all of our fans and to the issue itself,” Magic President Jeff Weltman said. “This is something we need to evaluate, speak to our NBA peers about.”Stars like James, Paul, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony have spoken openly about the need for societial change in the past, and each of them are continuing to use their platforms now.James made it clear that will continue.“He doesn’t understand the power that he has for being the leader of this beautiful country,” James said of Trump. “He doesn’t understand how many kids, no matter the race, look up to the President of the United States for guidance, for leadership, for words of encouragement. He doesn’t understand that and that’s what makes me more sick than anything.” E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Added Miami forward Udonis Haslem: “I don’t think President Trump wants to fight any of them defensive linemen or anybody in the NFL. Probably should just be respectful.”James referred to Trump as “that guy,” and defended his decision to tweet that the president is a “bum” — a post that quickly became one of Twitter’s most-shared ever. The name-calling continued Monday: Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal said Trump is “a clown” and Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan said the president is a “so-called leader.”“I think the president brought a lot of this stuff on himself,” said DeRozan, who is American but plays in Canada. “He brought it on himself, he brought it on us as a country. … I feel no player is trying to disrespect anybody, no flag or anything like that, but we seem to be the ones who get all the disrespect from our so-called leader.”Trump’s comments about the NFL and NBA come at a time where the government has obvious concerns about matters involving North Korea, the pledge many Republicans made to repeal and replace health care legislation, with a tax overhaul plan looming and with Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico all dealing with crippling effects of hurricanes in recent weeks.“We all have to come together,” Denver guard Jameer Nelson said. “Whether you voted for Trump or not — the world needs to be better. I don’t know. I don’t know what the right answer is. I don’t know what the wrong answer is. Nobody does. If we did, we wouldn’t be sitting here and talking about it.”ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Sixers’ Embiid, Simmons eager to prove doubters wrong Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa “We know this is the greatest country in the world,” said James, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ star. “It’s the land of the free. But we still have problems just like everybody else and when we have those problems, we have to figure out a way how we come together and be as great as we can be as a people.“Because the people run this country. Not one individual. And damn sure not him.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThese tensions have obviously been present for far more than one weekend, but they are bubbling now in the NBA like perhaps never before — with players in many cities Monday saying they were angered over the president’s use of the line “son of a bitch,” cited last week during a rant about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.“You can’t get more insulting than that,” Phoenix center Tyson Chandler said. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

Mexican girl’s public Facebook invite goes viral, 1.2 million guests confirm presence

first_imgA birthday party with ‘millions’ of guests!Even Princess Diana’s birthday party would not be as GRAND as Rubi Ibarra Garcia’s, and add to it the fact that this to-be-15-year-old Mexican girl did not even want this.Rubi Ibarra Garcia’s father made a sweet video and posted it on Facebook. The video was made to invite his daughter’s close friends and a few family members to a birthday bash. It was just a simple invite that said “Rubi’s ‘quinceanera'”.It also said, “Hello, how are you? We invite you this 26 of December to the 15th birthday party of our daughter, Rubi Ibarra Garcia.(sic)”.He was generous to end it by saying “hereby everyone is cordially invited. (sic)”What happened next is unbelievable!Ibarra left the Facebook invite open to the public (Dad problems) and it went viral. To his astonishment, 1.2 million signed up for attending his daughter’s birthday party.The small village of La Joya in Mexico might have to host a birthday-mob and we hope it turns out an exciting affair. Help from police has been requested to ‘handle’ the guests and other appropriate measures are being taken to prepare for it.On the other hand, social media users are having a blast. It is flooded with memes, where more than 1.2 million people are joking that they will attend the almost-royal bash in a field.Some cannot stop laughing, others are being kind to the girl.Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal even did a comical skit impersonating the girl’s father. It seems a 30 per cent discount is being offered by an airline to the nearest airport to La Joya with the tagline “Are you going to Rubi’s party?”advertisementDespite the initial shock, Ruby’s dad has sportingly made fun arrangements for the party.The young Mexican girl’s plans were surely not to throw this Great Gatsby-like bash. But it has been reported that those who do turn up will get to enjoy music by three bands and the winner of a horse race will win 10,000 pesos (Rs. 39,000). We are too, looking forward to this event, which has become an internet sensation.last_img read more

She never said no to me once military cop tells his sexassault

first_imgHALIFAX – A Halifax-based military policeman facing a sexual assault charge says a female officer didn’t object at any point during sex he believes was consensual.Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre took the stand in his own defence Thursday at his military court martial hearing.MacIntyre has pleaded not guilty to a sexual assault charge resulting from an alleged incident on Sept. 27, 2015, at a Glasgow, Scotland, hotel during a Royal Canadian Navy exercise.The complainant told the five-man military panel Monday that she told MacIntyre “No,” several times as she was forced to continually remove his hand from her lower extremities “10 to 15 times.”On Thursday, defence lawyer David Bright asked his client: “What if anything can you say about her saying ‘no, no, no’?”“She never said no to me once,” MacIntyre replied.Bright asked whether the woman said, “Stop, you are hurting me.”“She didn’t say that,” said MacIntyre.“What can you say as to your thoughts on whether (the complainant) was consenting to sex between the two of you?” Bright asked.“I thought she was consenting,” MacIntyre said. “She was consenting.”Bright asked whether the complainant was so drunk that she couldn’t consent.“Absolutely not … I thought she was consenting,” said MacIntyre.MacIntyre denied sneaking into the complainant’s hotel room. He repeated much of what he told police during a videotaped statement on June 28, 2016, that had been played in court on Wednesday.He said he knocked on the officer’s door while looking for a black jacket that contained his room key, identification, and close to $1,000 in Euros. He said he was panicked because he couldn’t find it at the restaurant where he and the complainant had been drinking earlier with other Forces members.MacIntyre said the officer let him in and he found the jacket which had been left near the bed earlier, after he and another female officer had escorted the complainant back to her room.He said he used the washroom and soon after ended up lying down with the complainant as they chatted.MacIntyre said they fell asleep for about two hours. He said they woke up close to each other and then took their clothes off before having sex.The female officer made a formal complaint in March of 2016. The woman, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, testified Monday she awoke to find MacIntyre in her bed and didn’t know how he had gotten into her room.She said she didn’t want to have sex, but he eventually penetrated her while she lay on her stomach. The complainant said she believes she “just froze.”In earlier testimony Thursday, the naval officer in immediate command of the unit said the female officer only offered a “partial recollection” of an alleged sexual assault, and did not want to proceed with charges.He said he met with the complainant and another officer who had been with her and MacIntyre earlier.“There was no firm recollection; they admitted that there was a large amount of alcohol consumed,” he said under questioning by Bright.The commander said he asked the female officer a number of times whether she wanted to proceed with a formal complaint and she said no because she didn’t want her husband to know about what happened.He said he did not approach MacIntyre about the allegation.“I wasn’t comfortable and because it was a partial recollection,” he said.He told the court that he formed no conclusion at the time as to MacIntyre’s guilt or innocence. Still, he ended up redeploying him because of the complainant’s obvious discomfort.He said she was looked withdrawn and wasn’t eating.The officer said he informed his superior officer, who supported his plan to send MacIntyre ahead of the small team to the next port of call.During cross examination, prosecutor Maj. Larry Langlois asked the witness what he meant by partial recollection.“The things she mentioned she was clear about — she had no hesitation about those things?” Langlois asked.“There was some I think,” the witness replied.“So the information you received was sufficient to take some action?” asked Langlois.“It was sufficient,” the commanding officer replied.The defence also presented a series of witnesses who testified to MacIntyre’s character, describing him as honest, trustworthy, and a good husband and father.MacIntyre is scheduled to be cross examined by the prosecution on Friday.last_img read more

Several states are questioning the cost of using p

first_imgSeveral states are questioning the cost of using pharmacy middlemen to manage their prescription drug programs in a movement that could shake up the complex system that manages how pharmaceuticals are priced and paid for.The debate is playing out this week in an Ohio courtroom, as the state fights to release a report detailing what it paid two middlemen, CVS Health and Optum, to manage its Medicaid program’s prescription drug plans.The report shows that the companies charged the state 8.8 percent more than they paid to pharmacies to fill prescriptions. The companies kept the more than $224 million difference between what they charged the state and paid for the drugs.”I would love to tell you that 8.8 percent is too high, too low, or normal, but I’m really unqualified to say that because our state Medicaid program is the first state in the country to really get this level of transparency into how this works,” says Antonio Ciaccia, the director of government affairs for the Ohio Pharmacists Association.But he added, “I think 8.8 percent is insane.”Ohio’s Medicaid program is run almost completely through private managed care insurance companies. Those companies in turn contract with CVS Health and Optum to manage the prescription drug portion of recipients’ coverage. The companies — known as pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs — negotiate discounts from drugmakers and work hard to keep the prices they actually pay secret.Ciaccia says that independent pharmacists became alarmed because their reimbursements from the two companies plummeted in recent years. He and a partner started a company, 46 Brooklyn, specifically to analyze drug prices and found that pharmacists were being paid sometimes only a fraction of what the middlemen were charging states.For example, Ohio paid the PBM $273.50 per unit for the generic version of Gleevec, a drug that treats leukemia and other cancers, while pharmacies reported the wholesale price of the drug was $83.69. In other words, the PBM charged the state more than the three times the price of the drug.Ohio’s Department of Medicaid commissioned its own analysis of its prescription drug program costs after the Columbus Dispatch newspaper reported the program was spending far more for prescription drugs than the pharmacies that filled those prescriptions were receiving.Last month the state released a summary that revealed the two companies were keeping 8.8 percent of the pharmacy budget. But when the state said it planned to release the entire report, CVS sued to stop it. Optum joined the suit this week and at a hearing Tuesday a judge told the companies to identify any trade secrets they want redacted by next month.Ohio Medicaid spokesman Tom Betti said in a statement that the state is committed to releasing the findings.”Transparency is not only the duty of government to its owners—the people of Ohio—but it’s also essential for the market to function properly. We believe this deeply and will continue to pursue it,” the statement said.If the analysis is released, it will offer an unprecedented look into the opaque world of pharmacy benefit managers and the mechanics of drug pricing.The findings in the analysis have angered state officials and Attorney General Mike DeWine has threatened to sue.”It is clear that the conduct by PBMs in these areas remains a major concern, and we anticipate that our investigation will result in major litigation against PBMs,” he said in a statement.CVS Health spokeswoman Christine Cramer pointed out that Ohio’s report concluded that the company saved the state about $145 million compared to an alternative system where the state pays a fee for each prescription filled.And she said releasing the report would hurt the company’s ability to negotiate low prices.”When it comes to the proprietary rates and formulas we use to negotiate for lower drug prices or cost-effective dispensing within our pharmacy network, making those figures public only hurts our ability to negotiate the lowest rates and fees in a highly competitive market, which would ultimately cost the state and the taxpayers more,” she said in a written statement.Optum did not respond to calls and emails for comment.”I think that Ohio is going to have an uphill battle when it comes to releasing this information,” says Stacie Dusetzina, a professor of health policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “It’s going to be fought very hard by CVS because they think it would set a standard for transparency and providing the public with this information.” She adds that efforts in other states to reveal drug pricing secrets have failed.Ohio isn’t alone in questioning the value of using middlemen to manage their prescription drug plans.States spend more than $33 billion a year on prescription drugs through their Medicaid programs and for many, that’s the fastest growing part of the Medicaid budget. So efforts to control those costs are front and center in many state budget debates.West Virginia last year stopped using pharmacy benefit managers altogether. And Kentucky is also doing an analysis of its costs while lawmakers consider legislation that would require pharmacy benefit managers that contract with Medicaid to report details of their costs to the state and ensure they pay independent pharmacies a fair price.And In Iowa, State Representative John Forbes — who’s also a pharmacist — launched his own investigation into a county government health plan a few months ago after hearing complaints from pharmacists.”We went through the records for this county over about a three-month period and found that, in many cases, the pharmacies were being paid $5 to $10 for prescriptions, but the county entity was being billed over $100 for those same prescription medications,” Forbes said in an interview.He says the oversight committee in Iowa’s legislature now plans to investigate the PBM’s practices. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more