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first_imgA new railway station is to be built in Oxford as part of the Oxford to London Marylebone rail link.The station, called Oxford Parkway, will open in Summer 2015 and it has been funded by Chiltern Railways £130m development of the Oxford to London Marylebone link.It will be built on the site of the derelict Water Eaton silo, demolished in October last year and will be the first station to be built in Oxford since 1935.The service running from here will get to London Marylebone in under an hour and is the first link between the two cities for 100 years.The project is being managed by Network Rail and Chiltern Railways.Managing director at Chiltern Railways, Rob Brighthouse, commented, “Oxford Parkway will be one of the best located stations in the county due to its positioning adjacent to the existing Water Eaton park and ride site just off the A34 and close to the A44.“This station is going to transform travel between Oxford and London when it launches in summer 2015. Our new station and service will provide significant economic, social and environmental benefits for people in Oxfordshire.”  The plans also show that it will have a car park with more than 800 spaces, over 100 cycle spaces and access to many buses which serve park and ride sites.last_img read more

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first_imgOn Monday evening, Saint Mary’s alumnae Liz Palmer ‘13, Malea Schulte ’14 and co-travelers Jonathan and Tameka Bell shared the lessons they learned from spending two weeks in Rwanda this past summer in a presentation titled “Project Rwanda: A Journey in Solidarity.” Caitlyn Jordan Saint Mary’s alumna Malea Schulte ’14 delivers presentation Monday evening on her experience in Rwanda working with both victims and perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide.In the Rwandans they met, Palmer and Schulte saw strength and faith resonating in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide, Palmer said.In 1994, over one million Tutsi Rwandans were killed in a 100-day period. During this genocide, one out of every 10 Tutsi Rwandans were killed, Palmer said.“In recognition of 20 years post-genocide, Malea and I were driven by Saint Mary’s core values of faith and spirituality, community learning and justice to embark on this mission of solidarity … simply to hear the stories of the people,” Palmer said. “We were looking to highlight our shared humanity and weave into the fabric of our culture that every single life matters.”The project began as part two of Malea’s senior composition titled “Storybank,” which included 26 portraits depicting a cross section of the Saint Mary’s community, Schulte said.“One of the participants was a woman from Rwanda whose story inspired me to journey to her home country with the goal of learning through listening and sharing through art,” Schulte said.Before journeying to Rwanda, Schulte and Palmer partnered with People Improving Communities through Organizing (PICO), an international, faith-based, non-governmental organization committed to stimulating communal growth through organization, Schulte said.“Together we formed a delegation of 20 people, and it included Catholic priests, Lutheran priests, writers, storytellers, professors and artists,” Schulte said.Two members of the delegation were Jonathan Bell, a senior communications advisor to PICO-Rwanda, and Tameka Bell, a story and communications trainer for PICO’s international network, Schulte said.With pictures taken by Jonathan Bell hanging in the gallery, Tameka Bell shared her experience during the presentation. In Rwanda, she witnessed community building in numerous lives, including when a woman died while giving birth during a long walk to the nearest hospital, she said. A few days after the woman’s death, a much-needed clinic and road was finally completed as a result of community organizing.“When one person tells a story to another person, they can change the world,” Tameka Bell said. “That’s really at the center of community organizing.”A meeting with the vice president of Rwanda’s senate inspired the group to share the story of their time in Rwanda with others, Tameka Bell said.“He said to us, ‘When you go back to the United States, would you tell them who we really are? Ask them not to judge us by the worst day of our life. Ask them to see the whole person, the whole community — the joy and the sorrow and the laughter and the innocence — who we really are,’” Tameka Bell said.Rwandans have worked for reconciliation and forgiveness in the aftermath of the genocide, Schulte said. The Gacaca courts facilitated healing by allowing perpetrators a chance to confess and ask for forgiveness, she said.“We witnessed victims and perpetrators working together in harmony,” Schulte said. “We visited a women’s vegetable cooperative where perpetrators and victims were working together to support themselves. … It was very clear they worked with a sense of pride and towards the common good.”In interacting with Rwandans, Palmer and Schulte initiated conversation with the question, “How do you want to be remembered?” The variety of answers to that question, such as ‘I pray,’ was life changing, Palmer said.During their time in Rwanda, Schulte and Palmer lived by the saying ‘We don’t wait for road to be built; we build them ourselves,’ a quote adopted from Pastor John, a friend made in Rwanda, Palmer said. Both learned about the world and themselves and how to grasp every moment of life.“Time is money, and we don’t know how much time we do have, and that’s one thing the Rwandans definitely made clear,” Palmer said. “And yet they live every day to the fullest. I think life is a series of single moments, and we need to grasp that.”Sophomore Lauren Zyber said she thought the presentation was incredible, and she was moved when an audio of Schulte and several other Rwandans spontaneously singing Amazing Grace was played.“I thought it was amazing to see how much this experience had impacted them and the stories that they told,” Zyber said. “… The power of stories is incredible to me.”Tags: jonathan bell, liz palmer, malea schulte, PICO, project rwanda: a journey in solidarity, Rwanda, rwanda project, Rwandan Genocide, storybank, tameka belllast_img read more

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first_imgBattle In Jamaica Basketball Tournament organiser Ludloo Barker says that he hopes that all objectives set out at the start of the competition will be met when it wraps up on Saturday. The competition, which is in its first year, tipped-off at the University of Technology auditorium yesterday. The tournament, the result of a collaboration between CMS Sports and the University of Technology, will give young players good preparation for the CENTRO tournament next June and will continue the development of Jamaica’s basketball, especially young players. “We have no preparation for CENTRO, which is going to be tough, and, if we are going to send any of our Jamaican players, they need to be ready. JABA have the boys two Saturdays out of every month, and we have the best U-16 players together with different coaches from different conferences and getting them prepared, and this tournament will get them exposed to international competition and a high level of doing things,” he said. The inclusion of Canadian Under-17 team Brampton Elite is an added bonus for Barker, who says that this will help the players get a feel for international competitions. “We are looking at CENTRO and the development this tournament could help bring and the experience it will give our players. They will feel (what it is like to play against) an international team that is well coached, and that should give us problems and some things to figure out. But the experience will be good – win or lose,” he said. “But we hope this will continue to develop basketball because the more you play, the more experience and exposure they get, especially at a younger age,” he added. Jamaica College, Calabar, Cornwall College, and Brampton Elite will contest the under-16 championship. Calabar, Ardenne, and St George’s College will vie for the under-19 crown, while Division One teams Spartans, Panthers, Camperdown, UTECH, and EXED will compete for the men’s open championship. Teams will face each other in a round-robin format in their respective groups from Wednesday to Thursday, with the semi-finals and final set for Saturday. Barker noted that more teams were slated to participate, but the holidays caused some to pull out. “This is the holidays, so the teams could not get their players. St George’s wanted to have teams in both Under-16 and Under-19. St Catherine and Old Harbour were hoping to field their teams; Herbert Morrison couldn’t find transportation; and at Knox (boarding school), most boys have gone home for holidays. So we are wondering if we should have it in August and we will probably get more participation,” he said. The winning teams will receive trophies at the end of the competition. POSITIVE EXPERIENCElast_img read more

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first_imgMoments after President David Granger’s address to Parliament on Friday, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo held an impromptu press conference where he dismissed many of the assertions and remarks that were made by the Head of State.While the Opposition Leader is maintaining that it was not a policy speech, he also sought to point out that no transparent policy guidance was specified for the future.“First of all, this was not a policy speech. This was the President speaking about his work programme for the past year and what they have done and grading and appraising himself and his Government,” the former President pointed out.In highlighting that Granger failed to disclose the impact of these governmental policies, some of the matters addressed by Granger were carefully examined and he formulated a synopsis of the actual scenario.According to Jagdeo, the 2051 new businesses that were created in the 215Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeohinterland communities through the Village Improvement Plans, were made through provisions that were set up under the tenure of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Administration and monies were left to fund these projects.“The Village Improvement Plans were there long before 2016 in each village and we left money to fund those plans. The presidential grant he talks about now was started under the PPP.”Adding to that, Jagdeo is of the belief that the training of youths did not lower the unemployment rate since thousands of persons would have lost their jobs over the past three years. Granger had mentioned in his address that the 40 per cent unemployment rate in 2015 would have been remedied by the implementation of minor training programmes for youths.“He did not say what youth unemployment is today because we know that many people have lost their jobs. In fact, 30,000 people have lost their jobs under his tenure in office and many of them are young people and many can’t find a job now so him enumerating how many people they’ve trained through small programmes doesn’t answer the fundamental question.”The Opposition Leader lamented that the reality of livelihood in Guyana demonstrates differently than what was said during the Head of State’ discourse, while alluding to the meager pension increase that is accompanied by cutbacks on subsidies for utility services.“They have now removed the water subsidy, electricity subsidy, put the VAT (Value Added Tax) on drugs that old people use more. The transport cost has gone up because they had a fare increase recently. That adds hardship to old people. He didn’t say a single word on how he will improve the lot of old people.”With respect to the President’s remark on the improvement in the quality of electricity that is being supplied to Guyanese, the former President urged the Government to take a closer look into this affair, adding that the situation has “deteriorated” with no long-term solutions.“The reality of Guyana is that it has deteriorated. You ask the people in Bartica or the Essequibo Coast or on the East Coast or Georgetown…and they have absolutely no plans for addressing it.”He also gestured at the 250 housing units that was mentioned by Granger is incomparable to the thousands of property lots that were distributed under the PPP Administration, while noting that the mortgage rate was lowered significantly from 38 per cent to a minimum of five per cent for persons who are borrowing up to $8 million.“So far, three and a half years in Government, they have decided to build 250 housing units. That’s their achievement. In the years PPP had been in office, over 100,000 house lots have been issued, many tens of thousands of houses built.”The Opposition Leader further went on to state the important issues that should have been mentioned by the President, which includes the fraudulent names on the Local Government Elections lists and the frequent security breaches at the penitentiary.“He talks about the prisons and that they inherit past failures. Twenty-three years in management of the country, we did not have yearly crises at the prison. The first one led to a massive escape and a fire, the second one led to a fire that burn down the whole prison [Camp Street Prison] and many people were killed. Then we had a breakout at Lusignan and now we have another breakout.”The “big revelation” to Parliament was to launch a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the piracy attack. A Mining Act will also be crafted where there will new regulations to control mercury and in the Jagdeo’s views, this will create a “huge impact” on small-scale miners.last_img read more