Retno calls on FPGH to be ‘positive force’ for equitable vaccine access

first_imgOther nations with more limited resources have opted to band together under multilateral initiatives to procure future vaccines or have secured bilateral agreements with vaccine-producing countries.Read also: New reckoning for WHO vaccine plan as governments go it aloneIndonesia is no exception, as it has ordered 30 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine for delivery by the yearend and up to 340 million doses for delivery next year in deals with China and the United Arab Emirates.The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that the ideal goal was for each country to receive enough vaccines to inoculate 20 percent of its population, starting with health workers and the most vulnerable groups regardless of nationality. Retno said that meeting domestic needs and securing access to affordable vaccines could go hand in hand, highlighting that a global effort was necessary to overcome and recover from the pandemic together.“[The FPGH] must continue to stand behind multilateral initiatives such as the global allocation framework [of] the COVAX Facility to speed up vaccine development and ensure equitable and fair allocation,” she said. “No one and no country should be left behind.”The COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) is an initiative led by the Gavi vaccine alliance in coordination with the WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to purchase 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines for equitable distribution to countries around the world in 2021. It has secured 300 million doses to date, reports AFP.WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who attended Thursday’s FPGH meeting, said that the COVAX effort had only managed to secure less than 10 percent of global needs.He also underscored the danger of “vaccine nationalism” in compromising equitable access to future COVID-19 vaccines for all countries.Read also: Efficacy and safety first: Experts urge government not to put vaccines on pedestal”Once we have an effective COVID-19 vaccine, it’s vital that we also use it effectively. And the best way to do that is to ensure that some people in all countries receive it, rather than all people in some countries,” Ghebreyesus tweeted.The head of the global health authority lauded Indonesia’s efforts as the 2020 FPGH chair in advocating for “affordable health care for all”.The FPGH comprises Brazil, France, Indonesia, Norway, Senegal, South Africa and Thailand. Established in 2006, the forum has agreed to fully support global efforts to bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic through global health and foreign policy harmonization.In a related development, Retno also attended the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Thursday, during which representatives of the world’s top economies sought international cooperation over easing travel restrictions and reopening borders.Read also: G20 foreign ministers discuss easing travel restrictions“This effort needs collective global leadership. Efforts to revive and reconnect our economic cooperation must be supported, [but] without sacrificing strict health protocols,” the minister said in her remarks.During the meeting, the ministers discussed the “importance of coordinating precautionary measures” across borders to protect lives and livelihoods, the G20 said in a joint statement following a virtual meeting hosted by Saudi Arabia.Topics : Indonesia has called on fellow members of the seven-nation Foreign Policy and Global Health (FPGH) forum to push for equitable access to vaccines, especially at a time when poorer countries may lose out to their richer neighbors in securing access to any future COVID-19 vaccines.“Meeting the domestic need for vaccines is a necessity, but we must not do so at the expense of others. […] We must be a positive force for accessible and affordable vaccines for all,” Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said in an official transcript of the forum’s virtual meeting on Thursday.Retno’s remarks come as a number of developed countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, European Union members, Canada and Japan, have reserved an estimated 3.1 billion doses of experimental vaccines for themselves, before the clinical trials have even finished.last_img read more

Track and field teams prepare for indoor challenge

first_imgWith a strong performance to begin the season at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational in New York, the men’s and women’s track and field teams continue to prepare for the upcoming Texas A&M Challenge, which will take place Saturday.The teams are seeking to prove themselves against the toughest indoor track competitors nationwide. USC has traditionally proven successful in the outdoor season; the men have won 26 NCAA championships while the women won their first championship in 2001.But contrary to the outdoor team’s dominance, track and field has held relatively little influence indoors, claiming only two NCAA titles. Despite this apparent lack of success in the spring, the program is continuing to grow indoors.During their competition in New York, the teams faced stiff competition from colleges with traditionally stronger programs, including the University of Oregon and the University of Florida. The team came out of the meet with a single win, with junior Alitta Boyd jumping 20’9-3/4″ to win women’s long jump.Despite the lack of individual wins, the women’s team managed to finish 18th overall, thanks to the efforts of sophomore Jessica Davis and senior Dalilah Muhammad. Davis placed sixth in the 200 m dash finals, while Muhammad — competing at her last New Balance Invitational — finished eighth in the 60-meter hurdle.This growth is attributable to longtime USC Track & Field Director Ron Allice, who has been building both programs for more than 16 years. Allice, who has led the program to enormous success: 10 men’s individual titles and USC’s only women’s team title in 2001. Allice continues to build the foundation for a storied chapter of USC athletics that has dominated collegiate track and field, seeking to add yet another set of plaques to the National and Olympic Monuments in Loker Stadium.last_img read more

United Way’s ‘Celebrate for a Purpose’ quickly approaching

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis(Photos Courtesy of Steve Jakubcin)Alpena — The United Way’s annual fundraising kick off effort is just under one month away.“Celebrate for a Purpose” turns three years old on September 19th. This fundraiser allows community members to buy tickets for items in order to help raise money for the United Way of Northeast Michigan’s 2019 campaign goal. The organization uses those funds to distribute to local agencies in Alpena, Alcona, and Montmorency County that help better the community.“The most recent things we did was a back to school initiative, supplying 33 students with back to school [items],” said Alison Jakubcin, Co-chair of United Way of Northeast Michigan. “They could purchase backpacks, school supplies, and clothing to get them ready for the upcoming school year.”Last year, the organization hit their campaign goal of $215,000. This year’s goal is to eclipse $217,000. “Celebrate for a Purpose” will offer more ‘experience’ items like a stay at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island or a visit to a brewery in order to generate more ticket sales. The community provides a number of the donations to help United Way start the campaign season on the right foot.The event takes place on Wednesday, September 19th at 6:00 p.m. at the APlex. Tickets can be purchased at a number of locations including Cliff Anschuetz Chevrolet, Alpena Alcona Area Credit Union, the United Way Office, or at the door on the night of the event.For more information and to catch the items up for raffle, visit the Facebook event Celebrate for a Purpose.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: Alison Jakubcin, Celebrate for a Purpose, community, Fundraiser, Fundraising Event, Grand Hotel, Prizes, Raffle, United Way, United Way of Northeast MichiganContinue ReadingPrevious Economic and cultural impact of horses in the state of MichiganNext What’s Trending for August 22ndlast_img read more

Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia: What else did you expect?

first_imgThe 31-year-old Garcia (who entered the ring to face Spence with a 39-0, 30 KOs ledger) won the WBO 126-pound title by technical decision over Orlando Salido in 2013. Next, he seized the 130-pound WBO belt with an eighth-round stoppage of Roman Martinez. Two more belts, courtesy of Sergey Lipinets (IBF 140) and Robert Easter (IBF 135) followed. A unanimous-decision triumph over Adrien Broner at a contract weight of 140 pounds was also in the mix.Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearSpence was a curious choice of opponents for Garcia, given the disparity in size between them. Garcia began the year as a contractual free agent. He was free to work with any promoter. “If Mikey wants to be bold and prove how he’s a fighter for all time,” Frank Lotierzo wrote, “he’d holler from the mountaintop for Lomachenko, stating how he wants to be remembered for beating him when Vasyl was at his best. But no, he seeks a fight where he’ll be praised for just showing up.”Even Spence seemed dubious about engaging with Garcia, acknowledging during a March 8 teleconference call. “At first, I didn’t really care too much for fighting him. But it got to a point where he started talking a lot more and a lot of other welterweights like Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, they all had their dates. Manny Pacquiao, too. Then, when I found that I could be fighting at AT&T Stadium, it just made sense.”Asked for more regarding the merits of the matchup against Garcia, Spence sounded almost apologetic, saying, “I’m not the bully here. Mikey really pushed for the fight. People who say that he doesn’t stand a chance; I feel like they don’t really know anything about boxing or don’t know the history of boxing. He does have a lot of skills and he’s fundamentally sound. So he definitely has a chance. I mean, everybody has a chance.”The promotion was built on platitudes like “dare to be great.” Garcia took the lead, telling various media outlets, “I need this fight. I need a marquee name. I want to beat great champions. … He’s the best right now in the division. I want to make a statement. I want to make a mark. … I want to be the best fighter on the planet, the pound-for-pound No. 1. I want people to talk about the things that I did inside a boxing ring long after my career is over. Taking on Errol Spence gives me the chance to get everything I ever wanted in one night.”MORE: Spence calls out Pacquiao after dominating GarciaPromoter Richard Schaefer predicted that the fight could do as many as one million pay-per-view buys, which everyone (including Schaefer) understood was multiples off the mark.Bart Barry summed up the reality of the situation with a pre-fight analysis that read, “Garcia now shoots at the moon, bounding up a couple of weight classes and fighting one of the world’s two best welterweights. What will happen in Arlington? What we think will happen. Two of this generation’s best fighters in an unsatisfying handicap match.”That was in accord with the view of the betting public which made Spence an almost 4-to-1 favorite.Garcia talked the talk before the fight:— “People say Errol is bigger. That’s just obvious. But there’s a lot more that goes into this sport and who’s going to win this particular fight.”— “It’s the subtle little moves that make the difference inside the ring. I’m always one step ahead. Opponents don’t see that on video. When they get in the ring, they realize it’s a whole different experience. I don’t have any doubts. I know I’ll win.”— “I have all the tools and all the skills needed to beat Errol Spence. When it comes to timing, speed, reflexes and defense; you name it, I’m better. Saturday night, Errol is going to find out why I picked this fight. I’ve always said I’m better than him. Not by a lot, but just enough to beat him.”Garcia’s partisans evoked images ranging from Manny Pacquiao vs. the larger Oscar de La Hoya to the biblical David vs. Goliath. But De La Hoya was an old man in boxing terms when Pacquiao fought him, whereas Spence is in his prime. And David brought a sling onto the battlefield when he fought Goliath. No smooth stones would be allowed at AT&T Stadium.Size matters in boxing. That’s why they have weight divisions. No matter how much Garcia built up his body, the 5-10 Spence would be four inches taller than Mikey on fight night and the naturally bigger man. Indeed, Garcia had never been in a fight before where either combatant tipped the scales at 140 pounds or more.The biggest question regarding Spence as a fighter is whether he can take a bigtime punch. Throughout his career, his management team has steered him clear of punchers. But few knowledgable observers expected Garcia, who seems to have left his power behind as he moves up in weight, to make a serious inquiry regarding Spence’s chin.”I can’t worry about what Mikey sees in me,” Spence said at the final pre-fight press conference. “Everyone thinks they see something looking on the outside, but it’s a lot harder once you’re in the ring. Skill for skill and talent for talent, I’m more dominant than him in every aspect. I’ll beat him at anything he wants to do.”Bottom line: If Garcia were to win, the headlines would trumpet that Mikey had taken a step toward greatness. If, as expected, Spence prevailed, the storyline would be, “Errol beat up a little guy he was supposed to beat.”MORE: Twitter reacts to Spence’s win over GarciaSpence-Garcia was the inaugural pay-per-view telecast for the union between Premier Boxing Champions (which controls rights to Spence) and Fox. The network pulled out all the stops in promoting the event, including an hour-long press conference that was televised on the Fox broadcast network one month before the fight card and extensive shoulder programming on Fox and FS1.When fight night arrived, there was an eight-person commentating team consisting of Kenny Albert, Chris Myers, Joe Goossen, Lennox Lewis, Ray Mancini, Shawn Porter, Heidi Androl (reporter) and Kate Abdo (host). Eight was too many.The camera work was good but there was too much hype. Viewers were told throughout the telecast that Spence-Garcia was “a fight for the ages” and the winner of every undercard fight looked “great.”Thirty-eight-year-old Chris Arreola didn’t look great.Arreola, who’d won just three of eight fights over the preceding eight years, entered the ring for the first pay-per-view fight of the evening with a 37-5-1 (32 KOs) record. His opponent, Jean Pierre Augustin, had a manufactured 17-0-1 (12 KOs) ledger and had last fought in 2017 against a 334-pound club fighter.Arreola’s timing, reflexes, and balance were off. One had to push memory a bit to remember that he was once a world-class fighter. But Augustin seemed intimidated from the start and tired visibly in the second round. Arreola wobbled him with a jab in Round 3 and stopped him at the 2:03 mark. The Fox announcing team said that it was “an amazing win.” In reality, all it did was set Arreola up to be knocked out by another Premier Boxing Champions heavyweight like Adam Kownacki.Next up, former WBC 118-pound champion Luis Nery (28-0, 22 KOs), who lost his title on the scales last year, faced light-punching McJoe Arroyo (who last scored a knockout five years ago). Nery-Arroyo was a dreary beatdown that the latter’s corner mercifully halted after four knockdowns in four rounds.Then, to fill dead-air time, Fox inserted a mismatch that saw Lindolfo Delgado brutally demolish a no-hope opponent named James Roach in the first stanza.The final bout before the main event matched 22-year-old former WBC 168-pound beltholder David Benavidez (20-0, 17 KOs) against J’Leon Love (who’d scored one win in three fights since 2016). Benavidez, who was stripped of his title last September after testing positive for cocaine, scored a predictable second-round knockout.As for the main event; the assumption was that Garcia would fight to win, at least at the start. But once the bell rang, Mikey didn’t dare to be great.Spence controlled an uneventful Round 1 with his jab. Rounds 2 and 3 were more of the same. Then Spence opened up, and Garcia fought a tactical survival fight for the rest of the bout.MORE: A plea for Spence vs. CrawfordNeither man gave the other much to work with. But as the fight progressed, Spence took what he wanted. He was bigger and stronger. And he completely outboxed Garcia, dictating the distance between them with his reach, footwork, and jab. Garcia never made adjustments. He rarely got close enough to counter effectively and didn’t seem anxious to try.In Round 9, Lennox Lewis said of Garcia, “He has to take chances. I haven’t seen him take one chance.” But by then, Spence had stepped up the pace, digging effectively to the body, and Garcia was doing all that he could to simply survive.The CompuBox numbers were a lopsided 345-to-75 in Spence’s favor. The judges’ scorecards were just as lopsided: 120-107, 120-108, 120-108.A huge amount of money is flowing into boxing these days thanks to ESPN, Fox, and DAZN. But each network in conjunction with its respective promoter (or promoters) has its own separate economic interests. Thus, with a handful of notable exceptions (such as the May 4 matchup between Canelo Alvarez and Danny Jacobs on DAZN), the money isn’t translating into the fights that boxing fans most want to see. As the boxing universe expands, its component parts are moving further apart.Fight fans want to see elite boxers. But they want to see them in good fights. As Carlos Acevedo noted recently, “Too many fighters seem comfortable with the knowledge that the closest they will get to facing some of their biggest threats is on Twitter.” On Saturday night, March 16, Errol Spence Jr. dominated Mikey Garcia from start to finish before an announced crowd of 47,525 at The Jerry Jones Pleasure Palace a/k/a AT&T Stadium (home of the Dallas Cowboys) in Arlington, Texas.Spence, 29, has now fashioned a 25-0 (21 KOs) ring record. He won the IBF 147-pound crown with an 11th-round stoppage of Kell Brook in 2017 and successfully defended it against a faded Lamont Peterson and no-hoper Carlos Ocampo last year. As Tris Dixon wrote recently, “He is meticulous yet aggressive, clinical but watchable. He’s patient but forceful. He remembers to work the body and also dazzles with shots upstairs. As with any true talent, the exciting part is seeing what happens when they match up against someone of similar ability.” Before fighting Mikey Garcia, Errol Spence said, “This win makes me pound-for-pound No. 1.”No! If Errol Spence wants to be No. 1 pound-for-pound, he should fight Terence Crawford.Thomas Hauser’s email address is His most recent book — Protect Yourself at All Times — was published by the University of Arkansas Press. In 2004, the Boxing Writers Association of America honored Hauser with the Nat Fleischer Award for career excellence in boxing journalism.last_img read more