World pledges aid for Lebanon, to be delivered ‘directly’ to population

first_imgCalls for calm Trump also called for calm, according to the White House, which said he agreed with other leaders to “work closely together in international response efforts.””President Trump also urged the government of Lebanon to conduct a full and transparent investigation, in which the United States stands ready to assist,” it said.”The President called for calm in Lebanon and acknowledged the legitimate calls of peaceful protestors for transparency, reform, and accountability.”Apart from heads of state and government ministers, Sunday’s conference was attended by UN aid coordinator Mark Lowcock, representatives of the World Bank, the Red Cross, the IMF, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.Israel, with whom Lebanon has no diplomatic relations, did not participate, though Macron said it had expressed a wish to contribute, nor did Iran which wields huge influence in Lebanon through the Shiite group Hezbollah.Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq and the UAE were represented, as were Britain, China, Jordan and Egypt.Macron said Russia and Turkey, with which France’s diplomatic ties have been icy over the Libyan conflict, had indicated their support for the initiative, though they did not take part in the conference.According to the UN, at least 15 medical facilities, including three major hospitals, sustained structural damage in the blast, and extensive damage was caused to more than 120 schools.Thousands of people need food and the blast interrupted basic water and sanitation to many neighborhoods.Pope Francis called Sunday appealed for “generous help” from the international community.France has been sending tons of medical and food aid, dozens of search and rescue personnel and forensic experts to aid the investigation, as well as reconstruction materials.On top of cash aid pledged by nations, Egypt and Qatar have promised field hospitals, Brazil said it would send 4,000 tons of rice, and Spain 10 tons of wheat.”In these horrendous times, Lebanon is not alone,” concluded the conference statement. “The participants agreed that their assistance should be timely, sufficient and consistent with the needs of the Lebanese people, well-coordinated under the leadership of the United Nations, and directly delivered to the Lebanese population, with utmost efficiency and transparency,” it said.USAID acting administrator John Barsa also said Sunday that American help, some $15 million announced so far, “is absolutely not going to the government” of Lebanon.Donor nations urged Lebanon’s authorities to “fully commit themselves to timely measures and reforms”, both politically and economically, in order to unlock longer-term support for the country’s economic and financial recovery.And they said assistance for “an impartial, credible and independent inquiry” into Tuesday’s explosion “is immediately needed and available, upon request of Lebanon.” Topics : Lebanon’s future ‘at stake’ The UN said some $117 million will be needed for an emergency response over the next three months, for health services, emergency shelter, food distribution and programs to prevent further spread of COVID-19, among other interventions.Lebanese President Michel Aoun, who was on Sunday’s group call, thanked Macron for the initiative.”Much is needed to rebuild what has been destroyed and to restore Beirut’s luster,” the Lebanese presidency quoted him on Twitter as saying.”The needs are many and we need to address them quickly, especially before the arrival of winter, which will accentuate the suffering of homeless citizens.”Macron was the first world leader to visit the former French colony after Tuesday’s devastating explosion which killed more than 150 people, wounded some 6,000 and left an estimated 300,000 homeless.While it is not known what started the fire that set off a huge stockpile of ammonium nitrate, protesters say the disaster could not have happened without the corruption and incompetence that have come to define Lebanon’s ruling class.At least 21 people are still missing, and the Lebanese army said Sunday hopes of finding survivors are dwindling.Lebanese people enraged by official negligence blamed for the explosion have taken to the streets in anti-government protests that have resulted in clashes with the army.Macron said it was now up to the authorities of Lebanon “to act so that the country does not sink, and to respond to the aspirations that the Lebanese people are expressing right now, legitimately, in the streets of Beirut.””We must all work together to ensure that neither violence nor chaos prevails,” he added. “It is the future of Lebanon that is at stake.” World leaders on Sunday pledged “timely, sufficient” emergency aid for disaster-struck Lebanon which they vowed to deliver “directly” to a population reeling from the deadly port blast in Beirut.Fifteen government leaders including US President Donald Trump took part in a virtual conference hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron and the UN, pledging solidarity with the Lebanese people and promising to muster “major resources” in the coming days and weeks.A joint statement issued after the emergency meeting in which nearly 30 countries as well as the EU and Arab League participated, did not mention a global amount, but individual nations announced pledges amounting to tens of millions of dollars.last_img read more

Read More

Rotech Wins Harbor Clearance Contract

first_imgRotech Subsea Ltd. has won a significant harbor clearance work scope and are set to deploy a new RS1 excavation tool which has been specially adapted to meet demand from port authorities.Based on the subsea innovator’s high pressure RS1 excavator, the evolved tool has been adapted in-house by Rotech Engineering for excavating difficult to access areas, such as underneath pontoons or piers. The modifications were carried out by the Aberdeen group’s on-site fabrication unit, Rotech Fabrication.“We are delighted to mobilize our new RS1 tool on this harbor clearance scope,” said Rotech’s Director of Subsea, Steve Cochrane. “We have been in dialogue with a number of key Port Authorities recently and our in-house Engineering and Fabrication division have subsequently developed, built and tuned a tool to meets their requirements.”“It’s a great example of the flexibility of the RS design,” added Cochrane. “But also a great demonstration of the group’s ability to work closely with clients to produce bespoke tools to meet their subsea needs.”According to Rotech, the RS1 will mobilize for the undisclosed UK Port Authority client in the coming weeks.last_img read more

Read More

Barkley is back in the starting spot

first_imgAfter a shoulder injury held quarterback Matt Barkley out of last week’s upset loss to Washington, USC coach Pete Carroll named the true freshman the starter for Saturday’s game against Washington State after practice on Wednesday.“We’re going to go with Matt in the game,” Carroll said after practice. “It’s clear that he had a very good day today.”Back to the start · Matt Barkley, whose shoulder injury prevented him from playing in last week’s loss, will be back at the helm Saturday. – Johnni Macke | Daily TrojanQuarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates also noticed an uptick in Barkley’s performance Wednesday, which included a turnover-free practice on a day Carroll stressed would be all about ball security.“Matt looks good, and he’s getting better every day,” Bates said.Barkley’s performance on Wednesday was finally good enough for the coaching staff to reaffirm Barkley’s insistence Tuesday that he would be the starter against the Cougars, although the coaches did restrict Barkley’s attempts.“He’s still controlled, we’re trying to make sure he makes it through practices every day,” Carroll said. “The way he responded today, we felt good about it.”Redshirt sophomore Aaron Corp, last week’s starter, took a good percentage of the snaps in all offensive drills and looked good enough for the coaching staff to be reassured if anything were to happen to their starter.“If [Barkley] has any problems Aaron’s ready to go,” Carroll said. “But right now, [Barkley] gives us the best chance to win.”uInjuries bothered USC last weekend, but many of the Trojans made steps on Wednesday that helped the coaches get a better sense of where everyone stood.Senior safety Taylor Mays, who sat out last weekend’s game after spraining his knee against Ohio State, was finally able to return to practice on Wednesday and the staff was confident that he could return to action this weekend.“Taylor had a good day, but we’ll see how he responds [Thursday],” Carroll said. “He will definitely have a chance to play this week.”Junior linebacker Malcolm Smith had a sprained ankle that looked as though it would hold him out of action on Saturday, but Carroll described him as “better than they thought he would be” Wednesday.Junior wide receiver Ronald Johnson, who broke his collarbone during the preseason scrimmage at the Coliseum, is making good progress as well.“He’s coming out of the sling Saturday,” Carroll said. “He’s the fastest guy we’ve got and we miss his big strike ability, but he’s still a couple of weeks away.”uRedshirt junior Mitch Mustain, third on the quarterbacking depth chart, spent Wednesday’s practice working on his punting technique and impressed coaches with his speed.“He’s a really good athlete and has the potential to be a really great [punter],” Carroll said. “He has a one-step kick, which gets the ball out very quickly.”During 11-on-11 special teams drills, Mustain took just one snap as the punter, but was able to land the punt inside the 10-yard line and the kick coverage was able to down the kick at the one-yard line.“He’s kicking about .300 right now, which would be great in baseball, but he’s got plenty of potential,” Carroll said.last_img read more

Read More