A none-governmental organization, the Mineke Foundation, held its first annual Kid’s Club spelling bee competition over the weekend. The exercise produced three winners who received cash awards of US$255.Elton J.Vah won the kid’s Club when he correctly spelt all the words that were assigned to him and walked away with a cash prize of US$100.Elton kept a serious expression throughout the competition until he finally brokered a smile when the judges announced that he had won the contest. Payne N. Gibson emerged as the runner up to Elton, for only two misspelled words in the final round, while Lovetta C. Jefferson the only female contender that reached the final took the third place. Payne received a cash award of US$75, while Lovetta walked away with US$50. Eight other participants including the three finalists each received a gift of school materials.The Assistant Minister for Early Childhood Development (ECD) at the Ministry of Education, Yukhiko Amnon, frowned on the poor attendance of parents at the competition. She said the spelling bee competition was a good initiative to keep their kids busy, especially during the school break.Min. Amnon commended the Mineke Foundation for its “good work,” and promised the ECD’s full support of its endeavors while urging community leaders to follow the good example to motivate students by introducing various competitive academic exercises.“We are open to help build the spirit of ECD in communities, but we need commitment from community leaders,” she said.For her part, the Coordinator of Mineke Foundation, Bukola Ayoola, observed that if a man spells a word, it is of no interest, but when a child spells great words, that becomes of great interest.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’The 27-year-old singer told People in July that he didn’t earlier disclose his sexuality because he didn’t want to affect ‘N Sync’s popularity. ‘N Sync, known for a string of hits including “Bye Bye Bye” and “It’s Gonna Be Me,” went on hiatus in 2002. – Associated Press Clooney’s pig Max dies at 19 George Clooney’s beloved potbelly pig Max has died. He was 19. Lance Bass and his boyfriend, Reichen Lehmkuhl, have called it quits, People magazine reported on its Web site Monday. Bass’ publicist, Ken Sunshine, didn’t respond to a message from The Associated Press. The AP was trying to locate a representative for Lehmkuhl. Bass, who was part of the boy band ‘N Sync, revealed earlier this year that he is gay and was in a relationship with Lehmkuhl, a former Air Force captain and winner of season four of CBS’ “Amazing Race.” Max, who lived at Clooney’s Hollywood Hills home, died “peacefully” of natural causes Friday, Clooney’s publicist, Stan Rosenfield, said by phone Monday. The Oscar-winning actor, 45, who owned the hog for 18 years, reportedly once said the porker was his longest relationship. – Associated Press Arraignment for Snoop delayed A judge agreed Monday to postpone rapper Snoop Dogg’s arraignment on a felony possession of a deadly weapon charge until January. The rapper, whose real name is Cordozar Calvin Broadus, was charged with the felony count after a security screener at John Wayne Airport noticed a collapsible baton in his luggage Sept. 27. He remains free on $150,000 bail. – Associated Press160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and climate change do not often appear in the same headline together. Indeed, environmental issues have been, at most, peripheral to the Fund’s core functions. But now economists inside and outside the IMF are beginning to understand that climate change has significant implications for national and regional economies, and so it’s worth reconsidering the Fund’s role in addressing the climate challenge.To her credit, Managing Director Christine Lagarde has boldly injected the IMF’s voice into the global debate on policy responses to climate change and has identified a number of roles the Fund can play.The Fund has conducted valuable work on how carbon emissions can be reduced through market prices that reflect the negative externalities of those emissions. In particular, the Fund has become a leading voice for quantifying and streamlining or eliminating fossil fuel subsidies, as well as for introducing carbon-pricing mechanisms.What is still missing, however, is a bigger role for the IMF in enabling countries to prepare and manage the potential impacts of climate change. There are three things the Fund could do, building on its current efforts, that would make a big difference:1. Deepen Research on Macroeconomic and Financial Impacts of Climate ChangeIn a climate change debate that has become heavily politicized, the Fund’s technical and nonpartisan voice is uniquely valuable. Few questions are as important as understanding the possible effects of a changing climate on the world’s economies, especially the most vulnerable ones.The Fund has recently started to make important contributions in this area. In a paper published last year, the IMF started to look into the implications of climate change on so-called “small states”. And last week, the Fund devoted for the first time a whole chapter of its flagship World Economic Outlook to the impacts of weather shocks on economic activity.Building on these foundations, the Fund should focus its research capabilities on a key question, namely whether climate change is having have a “level effect” or a “growth effect” on per capita income. If the former, then climate change will only destroy a given amount of income over time (think of damaged bridges and buildings) but not affect the capacity of the economy itself to grow. If the latter, then climate change is also harming the drivers of growth themselves, such as the productivity and availability of workers, the productivity of agriculture, and the flow of investment. The economy’s growth rate will slow as a result, and losses will compound year after year, leaving an economy significantly worse off than if only level effects applied.Getting better answers to this question is essential for policymakers making decisions about how much to spend today to avoid damage tomorrow.2. Formally Incorporate Climate Change Into Policy DialogueOne of the Fund’s core functions is macroeconomic surveillance. This function brings Fund staff into regular policy dialogues (called Article IV consultations) with financial authorities in virtually every country in the world.Financial authorities have a key role to play in preparing for climate change, as they are charged with budget planning and managing fiscal and financial risks. The Fund should bring climate risk into the dialogue as a formal part of its consultations, not just with small states, but with a much larger set of vulnerable countries as well, including systemically-significant ones.The Seychelles. Flickr/Federico Robertazzi This year, in collaboration with the World Bank, the Fund launched the first Climate Change Policy Assessment (CCPA) during the Article IV consultations for the Seychelles. The assessment focused on policy options to reduce vulnerability to climate change; the Seychelle authorities found it to be very useful. More CCPAs are planned – a small handful per year – but this is simply not fast enough given the urgency and gravity of the challenge.The Fund should formalize CCPAs as a routine part of Article IV consultations for a broad swath of vulnerable, low-income countries. This will require investing in staff capacity and training, including in the Fund’s Monetary and Capital Markets Department, which can help countries identify how climate risks and opportunities could affect their financial systems. Maximizing synergies with the World Bank on the CCPAs will also be necessary.3. Treat Expenditures on Climate Resilience as InvestmentsCountries facing a balance-of-payments crisis often draw on IMF resources and enter into a program relationship with the IMF. One of the trickiest elements when negotiating such a program is how to treat different categories of spending and where to cut to restore fiscal balance. How should the Fund treat expenditures designed to provide financial protection against extreme weather events? These include, for example, deposits into a national reserve fund, premium payments on sovereign insurance against natural disasters, or the costs of issuing catastrophe (“cat”) bonds.Protecting some of these expenditures from program-mandated cuts is fully appropriate, as they are designed to provide a measure of fiscal protection to the government in the aftermath of an extreme weather event. For instance, the Fund might treat cat bond issuance costs and insurance premiums as investments with potential upside, rather than as expenditures, thereby exempting them from cuts.Managing Director Lagarde has positioned the IMF as an important and credible voice in the debate about climate change. Now it’s time for the Fund to expand and institutionalize this new role, helping poor and vulnerable countries understand and confront the macroeconomic and financial risks of climate change.