Qatar Airways adds new destinations to global network | News

first_imgQatar Airways Group, chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are delighted to continue rebuilding our network, resuming routes and adding new destinations. “We have made it our priority to not only restart most of our existing destinations as soon as possible but also to launch new routes. “With more than 700 weekly flights currently to just over 100 destinations, and plans to increase our network to more than 125 destinations by the end of the IATA winter season, our passengers will enjoy more options to travel when they want across the globe, safely and reliably.” Qatar Airways resume flights and increase services to several destinations in the coming weeks, the carrier has announced. The Middle Eastern airline will fly to Algiers twice a week from November 13th, with Chicago to follow, with nine flights a week starting from November 15th. – Advertisement – In between, on November 14th, a twice weekly service to Miami will resume, while there will also be 14 flights a week to New York. Next month, Kiev will welcome three flights a week from December 18th, two flights a week will depart for Phuket from December 4th, with three flights a week for Seychelles and Warsaw from December 15th and December 16th, respectively. The national carrier of the Qatar will also launch two new destinations in December with one weekly flight to Luanda, Angola starting from December 14th and four weekly flights to San Francisco from December 15th.- Advertisement – OlderABTA issues new plea for government support- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Roche cuts Tamiflu production as demand cools

first_img Apr 19 WHO summary of H5N1 treatment recommendations A study of the feasibility of an intravenous formulation “Today we can satisfy significant additional orders from governments and corporations, and unless demand picks up, Roche will be tailoring its production schedule accordingly,” said William M. Burns, chief executive officer of Roche’s pharma division, in a press release. Plans to cut productionDespite the continuing pandemic threat, demand for Tamiflu seems to be dropping off, Roche executives said at a press briefing today. Eugene Tierney, global head of virology and transplantation for Roche, told reporters the company has so far this year received orders for only 215 million doses, most of which have already been produced. However, he lauded governments that are encouraging businesses to prepare their own pandemic plans. He said corporate Tamifu programs for employees can help ensure that critical goods and services are delivered during a pandemic. Roche said it has received Tamiflu orders from more than 250 corporations, accounting for about 5 million doses. The company said it would maintain stocks of the ingredients it uses to make Tamiflu throughout its supply chain and would maintain close contact with its manufacturing partners so that it could respond quickly to surges in demand. Jan van Koeveringe, head of Roche’s pharma global technical operations, told reporters it would take 4 months to restore production to its current output level. Current and future research activities and collaborations, he said, also include: Apr 26 Roche press release Citing mathematical models that appeared in the medical literature in 2005 and 2006, Reddy said countries could decrease the clinical attack rate of a circulating pandemic virus by boosting their stockpiles to levels that would allow not just treatment of sick patients but also preventive use (postexposure prophylaxis) for their household and other contacts. Government antiviral stockpiles that cover only 20% to 25% of a population may not be enough to mitigate the impact of an influenza pandemic, Reddy said. Reddy said Roche is concerned that many government Tamiflu stockpile programs lack important details such as priority lists of groups to receive the drug, detailed logistical plans for distribution, and clarifications on treatment versus prevention. In response to stockpile demands and the desire of some businesses to supply their employees with Tamiflu, Roche geared up its manufacturing capacity to more than 400 million doses per year. The company, at the request of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), upgraded its US supply chain to utilize US sources for all phases of Tamiflu production and can now produce 80 million doses a year in the United States. “We’ve taken capacity constraints out of the equation now,” said David Reddy, leader of Roche’s pandemic taskforce, at today’s press conference. “The question now is how much do governments want to be prepared for wave one of a pandemic?” Apr 26, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche announced today it is scaling back production of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) because of waning demand, and simultaneously questioned whether countries stockpiling the drug are buying enough to protect their citizens in the event of an influenza pandemic. According to the modeling studies, Reddy said, stockpiling enough Tamiflu for 57% of a country’s population would allow it to provide enough treatment and postexposure prophylaxis, including family contacts, to lower its clinical attack rate during a pandemic to 22%. Stockpiling enough for 102% of the population would enable a country to expand prophylaxis to other contacts and reduce the clinical attack rate to 13%, he said. Postexposure prophylaxis case studies See also: Preclinical virology studies to characterize how different H5N1 strains respond to Tamiflu Reddy said the same research group, known as the Southeast Asia Influenza Clinical Research Network, also has plans to study long-term prophylaxis for healthcare workers. A 6-week course has already been studied and approved, he said, but the researchers will explore whether 20 weeks of preventive treatment for healthcare workers is safe and effective. Roche questions stockpiling goalsTierney said that among the more than 80 countries stockpiling Tamiflu, coverage plans vary widely. For example, Greece and Brazil plan to buy enough to treat about 5% of their populations, whereas Switzerland, Kuwait, Luxemborg, Australia, and France aim to have enough to treat more than 40% of their populations. The US stockpile plan would cover 25% of the population. Research directionsIn other comments, the company said several studies are under way to clarify how to make optimal use of Tamiflu. For example researchers from Southeast Asia and the United States will soon test whether doubling the standard dosage of Tamiflu will improve patients’ chances of overcoming either the often-deadly H5N1 virus or severe seasonal flu. Monitoring of H5N1 virus resistance to Tamiflu Two events would prompt Roche to restore production to full capacity, van Koevering said: if inventories of key Tamiflu ingredients drop below target levels, or if the WHO raises the pandemic alert level from 3 to 4 (signaling increased human-to-human transmission). Safety profile studies for Tamiflu use in children younger than 1 year. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the antiviral drug as the first-line treatment for patients who have H5N1 avian influenza and has advised countries to stockpile it. In its most recent H5N1 treatment update, released last week, the WHO reaffirmed its Tamiflu recommendations. An avian flu registry to collect clinical data on the virus and use of Tamiflu Mar 29 CIDRAP News article “International network to study high-dose Tamiflu”last_img read more

Great start to the new tourist season in the Duboka camping resort

first_imgThe new tourist season at the Duboka camping resort started on April 1, 2018, and judging by the arrivals in the first month, a great season awaits them.Duboka Camp Resort, located in the Papuk Nature Park, is an investment worth 2,8 million kuna including VAT, and was financed through the PARCS project with a grant from the Global Environment Facility, whose beneficiary is the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Croatia.Kamo rest area covers 8.000m2 and has a total of 32 accommodation units with a capacity of up to 96 guests. Of that, 11 units are equipped with electrical and plumbing connections for camper vehicles. “We are extremely pleased to have returnee guests who have spread the good word about the camp and this time came in a real caravan. These are guests from Germany who travel to Albania every year and look for small camps in natural oases. The guests stayed in the camp for two days, exploring the beauties of the first Croatian UNESCO Geopark ” stand out from PP Papuk.The peculiarities of the Duboka Camping Resort have been recognized by the Croatian Camping Association, and it has been included in the list of 38 best small campsites in Croatia as part of the OK Mini Camps quality standard certification project, a project to encourage camp quality and education supported by the Ministry of Tourism. Thanks to its position, the camp is an ideal starting point for visiting the Papuk Nature Park and offers the opportunity to enjoy the many gastronomic specialties for which this part of Slavonia is widely known.The first tourist season at the Duboka camping resort attracted over 200 visitors who spent 320 nights. The structure of visitors is dominated by foreign guests from Western European countries. It is interesting to note that these are guests who are just looking for campsites located in areas with preserved nature, and the Duboka campsite meets all their requirements, which shows the need for the same content on the continent.The environment of the camp offers numerous recreational opportunities such as hiking, sport climbing, cycling or jogging, and the camp is well connected to the main hiking and biking trails in the park.Related news:CAMP RESORT – ZLATNI LUG OPENED IN POŽEGACAMPSITIES RECEIVE 67% OF NIGHTS GROWTHlast_img read more

Changes to three tourism laws. Extended deadline for determining the amount of tourist tax

first_imgIn the amendment of the Government, it is proposed to extend the deadline for making the Decision on the amount of the tourist tax by two months. Namely, in the final bill on the tourist tax as the final deadline was defined on July 15, 2019, and is now extended to September 15, 2019. Povećana stopa za obračun plaćanja članarine u turističkim zajednicama za banke i telekomunikacijske tvrtke. Većina županijskih turističkih zajednica imati će udvostručene prihode.  Also, Article 37 of the Final Proposal of the Law on Tourist Tax determined its entry into force on the eighth day from the day of its publication in the Official Gazette, but now it is proposed how the entry into force of the said law relates to the day of its publication. adopt an ordinance prescribing the minimum and maximum amount of tourist tax. Pored zadaća iz stavka 1. ovoga članka, lokalne turističke zajednice koje ostvaruju preko 1.000.000 komercijalnih noćenja godišnje mogu izvršavati i sljedeće zadaće vezane uz marketing: odnosi s javnošću, stvaranje, održavanje i redovno kreiranje sadržaja na mrežnoj stra nici i profilima društvenih mreža, definiranje smjernica i standarda za oblikovanje turističkih promotivnih materijala, uspostavljanje marketinške infrastrukture temeljene na informatičkim tehnologijama, provođenje aktivnosti strateškog i operativnog marketinga (brending destinacije, online i offline aktivnosti, internetske stranice i profili društvenih mreža, sajmovi, studijska putovanja, prezentacije, partnerstva, sponzorstva i slično), koordinacija i provedba udruženog oglašavanja na lokalnoj razini, obavljanje i drugih poslova propisanih ovim Zakonom ili drugim propisom.“. Slijedom navedenoga, daje se prethodna suglasnost predstavniku Vlade Republike Hrvatske za prihvaćanje amandmana Kluba zastupnika HDZ-a, od 10. travnja 2019. godine, na članak 32. stavak 2. Konačnog prijedloga zakona o turističkim zajednicama i promicanju hrvatskog turizma, u cijelosti, na način da isti glasi:  Također prihvaćen je i amandman zastupnika Ivana Šipića kojim se predlaže da HTZ sredstva iz fonda za turistički nedovoljno razvijena područja s kontinenta raspodjeljuje regionalnim turističkim zajednicama koje ostvaruju izvorni prihod od turističke pristojbe i članarine manji od 500 tisuća kuna. Kako ističu iz Vlade RH, amandmani se prihvaćaju iz razloga što je turistička članarina neporezno davanje i moguće je očekivati njezino daljnje smanjenje, dok se očekuje rast prihoda iz turističke pristojbe, a što će biti rezultat povećanih aktivnosti turističkog sektora i turističkih zajednica.  By the way, the Laws have already passed the second reading in the parliamentary procedure, and the adoption of which should improve the development of Croatian tourism. The Government of the Republic of Croatia accepted the amendment of Domagoj Mikulić, Member of the Croatian Parliament, to Article 19, paragraph 2 and Article 20, paragraph 1, which proposed that the amount of sojourn tax for development projects and programs for creating new tourism programs in underdeveloped tourism areas increases from 2.5% to 3.5%. Omogućuje se lokalnim turističkim zajednicama koje ostvaruju preko 1.000.000 komercijalnih noćenja i izvršavanje zadaća vezanih uz marketing The Tourist Tax Act enters into force immediately on the day of publication Klub zastupnika HDZ-a podnio je amandman na Konačni prijedlog zakona o turističkim zajednicama i promicanju hrvatskog turizma, na članak 32. stavak 2., kojim se lokalnim turističkim zajednicama koje ostvaruju određeni broj noćenja daje mogućnost izvršavanja zadaća vezanih uz marketing. Nakon analize predmetnog amandmana predložilo se usvajanje amandmana u cijelosti. S obzirom da neke turističke zajednice ostvaruju preko 80% nekomercijalnih noćenja neophodno je naglasiti da se broj noćenja odnosi isključivo na komercijalna noćenja te je u tom smislu broj noćenja smanjen sa 2.000.000 na 1.000.000. Predloženim rješenjem omogućuje se lokalnim turističkim zajednicama koje ostvaruju preko 1.000.000 komercijalnih noćenja i izvršavanje zadaća vezanih uz marketing. Article 32 of the Final Proposal of the Law on Tourist Tax stipulates that the County Assemblies, ie the City Assembly of the City of Zagreb should make decisions on the amount of the tourist tax by 15 July 2019. Before making the mentioned decisions, it is necessary to adopt an ordinance which will prescribe the lowest and highest amount of tourist tax. Therefore, the County Assemblies and the City Assembly of the City of Zagreb should have enough time to make decisions on the amount of tourist tax, given that it is necessary to obtain the opinion of local tourist boards and the Tourist Board of the City of Zagreb, said the Ministry of Tourism. With regard to Article 12, paragraph 6, in the sense of that paragraph, not all revenues that can be generated by the tourist board are considered revenues, but only revenues from the sojourn tax and membership fees that are considered as original revenues. Since paragraph 8 of the said article defines what is considered as original income, it is necessary to add paragraph 6 to paragraph 4 in addition to paragraph 4, they conclude from the Ministry of Tourism. Što znači da će sada djelatnosti elektroničkih komunikacija i banke plaćali članarinu po stopi od 0,12920, a ne, kako je prvotno bilo predloženo, po stopi od 0,09690. Kako ističu iz Vlade RH, Amandmani se prihvaćaju iz razloga što djelatnost telekomunikacija i bankarski sektor imaju direktnu ekonomsku korist od turizma povećanjem potreba za uslugama jednog i drugog sektora. Amandmanom Kluba zastupnika HDZ-a u Hrvatskome saboru, predloženo je da se djelatnost Elektroničkih komunikacija i banaka za prihode u bilanci iz skupine “Prihod od provizija i naknada” razvrstaju iz treće u drugu skupinu. Amandmanom Kluba zastupnika Stranke rada i solidarnosti i nezavisnih zastupnika u Hrvatskome saboru, predloženo je brisanje članka 7. stavka 7. prema kojem osoba plaća članarinu na prihod iz samo pretežite djelatnosti, a ne po prihodu za sve djelatnosti po kojima je obveznik. Člankom 8. stavkom 2. je pravilno određeno da se članarina plaća na ukupan prihod po svim djelatnostima za koje je osoba obveznik, ali da može platiti po stopi koja je određena za pretežitu djelatnost, ako je to za nju povoljnije. At the 155th session of the Government on Thursday, the Government of the Republic of Croatia gave its consent to the adoption of certain amendments by members of parliament to three tourist laws – the Tourist Tax Act, the Tourist Boards Act and the Promotion of Croatian Tourism Act.  Increased amount of sojourn tax for development projects and programs for creating new tourist programs in underdeveloped tourist areas  Extension of the deadline for making the Decision on the amount of the tourist tax last_img read more

Gov. Wolf: New 21st Century Manufacturing Apprenticeship in Southwestern Pennsylvania

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Gov. Wolf: New 21st Century Manufacturing Apprenticeship in Southwestern Pennsylvania PAsmart,  Press Release,  Workforce Development Harrisburg, PA – Building on his commitment to expand job training, Governor Tom Wolf today announced a new apprenticeship program for machinists in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The apprenticeships will prepare workers for new jobs in the machine manufacturing industry in the region.“Apprenticeships give Pennsylvanians the opportunity to build a rewarding career and earn a good wage,” said Governor Wolf. “Registered apprenticeship programs provide students and workers with the hands-on experience needed for growing careers, while strengthening the pipeline of talented workers that businesses need.”Apprenticeships are part of Governor Wolf’s PAsmart initiative to invest in apprenticeships, job training, and science and technology education. The governor’s budget unveiled last month builds on the success of PAsmart to create opportunities for Pennsylvanians from birth to retirement. The governor’s Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program (SWEAP) expands access to early childhood education, increases investments in schools, and partners with the private sector to build on the PAsmart initiative.In Ford City, a machinist apprenticeship with Herkules USA Corp was approved by the Department of Labor and Industry’s Apprenticeship and Training Office (ATO). Herkules USA specializes in manufacturing and modernizing new machines, and is dedicated to continuous training to ensure that their employees are up-to-date with technological developments. Westmoreland Community College will provide the related technical instruction for the apprenticeship program.“With our newly approved State Apprenticeship Program, we are happy to be at the same level as our sister companies in Germany, which have had established Machinist Apprenticeship Programs for many years and have been able to perform in-house education,” said Jakob Scheiffarth, President, Herkules USA Corp. “We are pleased to now be able to train motivated individuals to learn new skills in the trade of machining.”The Wolf administration created the ATO in 2016. Since then, the office has registered 138 new sponsors and 193 new apprenticeship programs or occupations, bringing the total number of registered apprentices to 16,866 statewide.“Labor & Industry is working to double the number of registered apprentices in the state by 2025,” said L&I Secretary Jerry Oleksiak. “Governor Wolf wants to build the strongest workforce in the nation and has proposed additional funding for his PAsmart initiative to further improve access to education, apprenticeships and training programs for students and workers.”Apprenticeship programs approved by the ATO provide employer-driven training to create a more productive, highly-skilled workforce for employers and help reduce employee turnover. The program provides job seekers with increased skills, and a nationally recognized credential to support future career advancement and increased wages.For more information about pursuing an education and career in Pennsylvania at any stage of life, visit PAsmart.Visit ATO for more information about apprenticeship programs and the Apprenticeship and Training Office.center_img March 26, 2019last_img read more

Bob McCoskrie: State has no authority to reinvent marriage

first_imgNZ Herald 1 August 2012Stephen Rainbow (on this page yesterday) seems to make a plausible argument that allowing same-sex marriage will attract back to NZ same-sex couples who want to be married – until we look at the international evidence.In Australia, studies have found that only about one-fifth of homosexuals and lesbians have shown an interest in same-sex marriage. In the Netherlands, the first country to legally recognise same-sex marriage, studies have shown only around 6 per cent of homosexuals have married during the first five years of legalisation.In Belgium, it is estimated at less than 5 per cent and in Canada, around 10 per cent on average across the provinces. The US state of Massachusetts seems to be doing the strongest with 16.7 per cent.Supporters of same-sex marriage argue that civil unions are a second-class marriage but there are many same-sex advocates who argue against “marriage” for same-sex couples, and even suggest that the claim is hurtful to those who have deliberately chosen civil unions.Marriages are a matter of significant public concern, as the record of almost every culture shows.If it weren’t for the fact that sexual intercourse between a man and a woman can lead to children and bring with it a further obligation to care for those children, the notion of marriage would probably never have existed, and the state would not have been interested in it.Marriage encourages the raising of children by the mother and father who conceived them. On average, children raised by their biological parents who are married have the best outcomes in health, education and income, and by far the lowest involvement with the criminal justice system.As the prominent Irish homosexual and political commentator Richard Waghorn says, this is certainly not to cast aspersions on other families, but it does underscore the importance of marriage as an institution.It is true that marriage by definition is discriminatory. A homosexual cannot now legally marry but neither can a lot of other people. A 5-year old boy cannot marry. Three people cannot get married to each other. A married man can’t marry another person. Two old aunties living together cannot marry. A father cannot marry his adult daughter. A football team cannot enact group marriage – the list is endless.It is disingenuous to complain about rights being taken away, when they never existed in the first place.It is also important to note that marriage is not solely a religious belief. Marriage is a social practice and every culture in every time and place has had some institution that resembles what we know as marriage, associated with procreation. Every society needs natural marriage.If the law were to allow same-sex marriage, and only same-sex marriage, it could then be argued that we are discriminating against those seeking polygamous, polyamorous, or adult incestuous unions – if all that counts is love and equality.As then-Labour leader Phil Goff argued at our 2011 Forum on the Family conference, same-sex couples have the option of civil unions to recognise their relationship so there is no need for redefining marriage.Equality does not mean we must redefine marriage for everyone. Same-sex marriage is, by definition, an oxymoron.Being pro-marriage and wanting to maintain its definition as being between a man and a woman is not “anti-gay”. Gays and lesbians do have a right to form meaningful relationships, they just don’t have a right to redefine marriage. The state – which did not invent marriage – has no authority to reinvent it.last_img read more

Area Basketball Scores (1-9)

first_imgArea Basketball ScoresThursday  (1-9)Boys ScoresRivertown Classic @ South DearbornLawrenceburg  54     South Dearborn  52Switzerland County  44     Rising Sun  39The Batesville Bulldog Freshman moved to 5-6 with a win over Connersville Thursday. Ben Harmeyer made the go-ahead layup with 3 seconds left in the game to secure a 22-20 victory over the Spartans. Nate Vankirk led the team with 10 points, while Bryson Bonelli added 6. The Bulldogs will play Greensburg away next Monday.Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Scott Henderson.Girls ScoresNorth Decatur  59     South Decatur  29Greenwood Christian  69     Hauser  44Shawe Memorial  29     Rock Creek Academy  11Shelby County TourneyTriton Central  79     Waldron  35Morristown  44     Southwestern Shelby  43   (OT)The JV Lady Bulldogs fell to a scrappy South Ripley team last night 38-33. The ladies jumped out to a quick start in the first half but we had trouble finding the bottom of the net in the 2nd. The Bulldogs played with great effort the entire game falling just short.  Scoring:  Sarah Ripperger 10, Emma Weiler and Calley Kaiser 7, Ava Hanson 4, Carley Pride 3, Gabby Elston 2.  The Bulldogs will be back in action next Friday.Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Clint Pride.last_img read more

Wilkinson upsets field to claim Reagan Rodrigues Memorial Road Race title

first_imgTEAM Evolution’s Akeem Wilkinson turned in an impressive ride on the roadways of West Demerara to upset a field of Guyana’s top cyclists and win the 15th edition of the Ricks&Sari/Reagan Rodrigues Cycling road race on Sunday last..The 46-mile race began at Schoonord, West Bank Demerara and proceeded to Bushy Park, East Bank Essequibo before returning to the starting point for the climax.The overall winners of the Ricks & Sari/Reagan Rodrigues Memorial Cycling road race pose with their trophies and prizes.Wilkinson followed a breakaway which included Curtis Dey, Warren Mc Kay, Paul DeNobrega, Jornel Yearwood, Jamaul John, Horace Burrowes and Alanzo Ambrose, but the youngster worked his way back into the peloton and managed to draw level with the pack at Vreed-en-Hoop on the return leg.Down the back stretch was where Wilkinson produced his best work and sprinted to the finish line ahead of the big guns, winning the race in a time of one hour 37 minutes 55.82 seconds. Dey took second place, while Borrowes placed third followed by Alonzo Ambrose, Lear Nunes and Jornel Yearwood in that order.Michael Anthony grabbed two primes with Warren McKay, Paul DeNobrega, Anthony, Briton John, Andre Green, Marlon Williams, Christopher Griffith winning one each. Ajay Gopilall won the junior category, while Jason Sampson placed second and Jonathan Ramschuit third. Burrowes won the veterans division ahead of Nunes and Mc Kay in that order.last_img read more

After hiatus, Alcoholics Anonymous returns to USC

first_img“Hi, I’m Paul and I’m an alcoholic.”“Hi Paul,” the attendees greeted in unison.At Wednesday night’s Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, six recovering addicts took turns sharing stories of their struggles to overcome alcoholism and drug addiction. The meeting — the second weekly meeting at USC after a hiatus of more than two years — began at 6 p.m. in University Religious Center room 205 with the reading of the AA preamble. Together, the members recited the Serenity Prayer.“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”Paul S., a senior majoring in health sciences, attended his first AA meeting three years ago at USC. He explained that unlike other addicts, he had no legitimate reason to start drinking alcohol.Anonymous · Recovering alcoholics meet at the University Religious Center once per week to share their struggles in overcoming addiction. USC has not hosted regular meetings in more than two years. – Amaresh Sundaram Kuppuswamy | Daily Trojan“I come from this perfect Leave it to Beaver family and Beaver’s got a drinking problem,” he said. “My mom is the sweetest person — she makes Martha Stewart look like an amateur. There was nothing that made me start drinking.”During his childhood, Paul’s family often added wine to their drinks as a Croatian cultural tradition, he said. As he got older, Paul began to understand that the good feeling, which came with consuming those drinks, was because of the alcohol mixed in.“The last time my drinking was pure was when I was 9 years old,” he said. “After that, I was sneaking into the liquor cabinet.”Paul said he started drinking and smoking marijuana every day. He also took pills every day when he began working at a pharmacy.He reached his “bottom” — the low point in which he realized he needed help — when he was regularly injecting heroin to the frequency that his parents began noticing it. Yet he did not want to become sober, he said.“The only reason I got sober is because I started going to the AA meetings that [my rehabilitation center] told me to,” he said. “I’ve been sober almost five years now … I’m really grateful to be sober. I mean it.”Wednesday’s meeting was the second AA meeting USC has hosted this year. Several years ago, AA meetings existed on campus but the program disappeared until this semester.The USC Office of Religious Life recently revived the meetings, though the office is not involved in the program. The office solely provides a location for the meetings and the staff does not sit in on meetings or necessarily know the students who attend.Unlike most groups on campus, there is no one leader at the AA meetings. Each member is able to vocalize his stories equally, and as one member tells his story, the group is silent and listens.Also, because USC provides a location for meetings, students do not need to pay any fees to come, nor must they sign up to join. Meetings are open to both students and non-USC attendees. Donations are optional and recovering addicts are allowed to attend whenever they want, without inquiry. The program accepts donations so that members can provide coffee or food at some meetings. In other AA meetings around the world, groups collect donations in order to pay for minimal costs, such as toilet paper in the bathrooms or food; however, dues are never required at any AA meeting.Associate Dean of the Office of Religious Life Jim Burklo said that he expects many students to attend the meetings.“We’re going to have a lot of alcoholics. It’s true in any university,” he said. “AA is a very powerful, spiritually grounded program for maintaining sobriety. It’s not a magic pill … But it’s great for people trying to maintain sobriety.”Anthony B., 39, another AA member, said he was homeless at one point because he spent all his money on drugs.He said he initially challenged the AA’s principles and attempted to prove them wrong because he did not believe that they would be effective. He finally decided to try out AA, he said, because he preferred his AA peers’ lifestyles to his own.“It was hell where I was. I don’t ever want to go back there,” he said.A junior majoring in mathematics and economics who helped bring AA meetings back to USC, and who preferred to remain unnamed, said AA is based on a 12-step process that helps develop a relationship with a higher power. Members put their faith in a higher power to end their obsession of drugs and alcohol.The junior attends meetings all across Los Angeles and said each meeting usually ranges in attendance anywhere from three to 500 people. More than 3,000 registered meetings take place in Los Angeles per week, he said.“A meeting is a collection of people with the common goal of staying sober today, that meet together and share their experience, strength, and hope,” he said. “[AA] is very surrounded around a spiritual source to keep us sober.”AA meetings are held in URC 205 on Mondays from noon to1 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.last_img read more

Dougherty: Rick Pitino can learn from Jim Boeheim after media day no-show

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 28, 2015 at 6:38 pm CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For Trey Lewis and Damion Lee, a day of interviews started at 9:02 a.m. and Lewis was asked about their head coach three minutes later.Lewis, a transfer to Louisville by way of Cleveland State, was the first player from any team to talk in the press conference room at Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball Media Day. He was first asked about becoming a leader as a transfer. Then his 3-point shooting ability. Then, if to only acknowledge the elephant in the room, a reporter asked if Lewis felt “hung out to dry” by head coach Rick Pitino.Pitino was not at media day on Wednesday.Lewis and Lee were.Pitino is under fire for a sexual scandal.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLewis and Lee are not.Two transfers who joined the program months ago were in Charlotte to answer questions surrounding the program. The coach who’s run the program for 15 years hung behind.“We understand why he’s not here,” Lewis said. “He sent us because we are the leaders of this team.”On Friday, Louisville announced that Pitino, as advised by counsel, would not attend media day with the swirling allegations that former director of basketball operations Andre McGee hosted parties that connected players and recruits to escorts. A year ago, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim was in the middle of an NCAA investigation that resulted in the well-documented sanctions at season’s end. The situations aren’t completely parallel, but it’s clear that Pitino can still learn from the coach who hired him as a 24-year-old assistant in 1976.Like Pitino, Boeheim was told he couldn’t speak about the impending investigation at last year’s media day. Unlike Pitino, Boeheim showed up last year and told reporters what he could and could not say. Most importantly, Boeheim didn’t leave Trevor Cooney and Rakeem Christmas to speak on behalf of his embattled program.“No I have not (had a conversation with Pitino), I will call him but I have not right now, but I will talk to him,” Boeheim said at media day. “I don’t give advice. I’ll just talk to him as a friend, that’s all. He knows, he’s smart, he knows what he has to do.”Cooney, who went through a similar experience to the Louisville players at last year’s media day, said he “wouldn’t wish it upon anybody.” Michael Gbinije, who joined Cooney this year, said he and Cooney definitely “feel for” Lewis and Lee because they’ve been there before. Gbinije’s advice to the Louisville players was to do their best to take the attention and turn it toward basketball and the coming season.That’s easier said than done, as Lewis and Lee faced a steady stream of Pitino- and scandal-related questions in an hour with reporters.“I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Lewis, who added that the players were advised not to speak on matters unrelated to basketball. “I knew I was going to be asked some tough questions, but I also believe that’s why (Pitino) put me and Damion here to talk about these things — because first of all, it doesn’t involve us.“I can’t really speak on it too much because I really don’t know anything about it. I came here to talk about basketball and have some fun and enjoy this experience. And so far, I have been.”Pitino’s absence from media seemed to have little effect on Lewis and Lee, but that doesn’t mean it was the right way to go about this. The two players continually echoed Louisville’s initial release, saying Pitino was advised by counsel to not attend and that they understood why he wasn’t there. Lewis, after implying that his and Lee’s presence was in some ways strategic, said that Pitino “would love to speak on things, he just can’t.”But there have probably been a lot of times Pitino was “advised” not to do something but did it anyway. Pitino’s a grown man capable of making his own decisions. His past tells us as much. He chose not to represent Louisville when his representation was most necessary, and left two players to talk about something that did not and should not concern them.“We don’t let any outside distractions get to us,” Lee said during his press conference.And while that may be true for Louisville’s players, it can’t be said for its absent coach.Jesse Dougherty is the Web Editor at The Daily Orange, where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at jcdoug01@syr.edu or @dougherty_jesse. Commentslast_img read more