People’s United Community Foundation awards $45,000 in funding

first_imgPeople’s United Bank,Vermont Business Magazine The People’s United Community Foundation, the philanthropic arm of People’s United Bank, has announced today that it has awarded $2,500 to Mobius for their Quality Mentoring System (QMS). This brings the Foundations giving in Vermont during February to $45,000, including the Graham Emergency Shelter, Samaritan House, Zack’s Place, The Mentor Connector, and the Vermont Foodbank.QMS is a national evaluation system developed by MENTOR (The National Mentoring Partnership) to ensure that mentoring programs are meeting all of the best practices in the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring. In collaboration with Vermont mentoring programs, Mobius – a statewide nonprofit supporting more than 140 adult-to-youth mentoring program sites serving 2,300 mentor pairs – has adjusted this national system to fit the local needs of the Vermont mentoring community.In order to qualify for funding through the Vermont Mentoring Grants, programs must successfully complete the QMS every three years. Mobius works collaboratively with program staff throughout the year to complete this process.“We are proud to partner with People’s United to bolster the important work that mentoring programs are doing across Vermont,” said Mobius Executive Director Chad Butt. “This grant will help us to ensure that mentors are well supported and that youth are receiving the full evidence-based benefits of having a mentor.“Mobius is an incredible resource in our community,” said Michael Seaver, Officer, People’s United Community Foundation and President, People’s United Bank, Vermont.  “With their Quality Mentoring System, we can feel confident that our mentoring agencies are maintaining high standards for their programs.”It also has awarded $5,000 to John W. Graham Emergency Shelter Services Inc. of Vergennes.The funding brings the total grant amount from People’s United Community Foundation to the organization to $17,000.Since 1980, the John Graham Shelter has served individuals and families as Addison County’s only full-time homeless service provider. The organization provides food, shelter, and housing, support services to help transform lives, and prevention and intervention for people in crisis to address the complex issues that clients face in order to attain permanent housing.People’s United Community Foundation also has awarded $10,000 to Samaritan House in St. Albans.Samaritan House assists homeless individuals and families in obtaining sustainable housing by providing temporary shelter, transitional housing and collaborative support services within the counties of Franklin and Grand Isle. The grant from People’s United Community Foundation will fund housing and support services such as rental subsidies, job training and development, budgeting and credit repair assistance.The funding brings the total amount given to the organization by People’s United Community Foundation to more than $42,000.“This much-needed donation from People’s United Community Foundation will allow us to help folks transition out of homelessness and into permanent housing and self-sufficiency,” said Linda Ryan, Executive Director, Samaritan House.“Samaritan House offers critical support to individuals and families throughout Franklin and Grand Isle Counties,” said Michael Seaver. “We are proud to continue our role as a community partner in helping Vermonters obtain and maintain permanent housing and the necessary skills and resources to become self-reliant.”“Having a warm place to lay your head at night is something many of us take for granted,” said Michael Seaver, Officer, People’s United Community Foundation and President, People’s United Bank Vermont. “Unfortunately, the fastest growing homeless population throughout America is our children. We are pleased to continue our support for the important work of caring shelters like John W. Graham, which ensure that there is a warm place for everyone.”“In the past year, we have had a lot of success in helping homeless families find housing. Now we want to give them the support they need to keep their apartments and remain permanently housed,” said Elizabeth Ready, Executive Director, John W. Graham Emergency Shelter. “We plan to work with families on an ongoing basis to make sure that they have housing well into the future.” The People’s United Community Foundation has also announced that it has awarded $3,000 to Zack’s Place Enrichment Center of Woodstock.Zack’s Place provides people of all ages with special needs opportunities for community engagement, education, vocational programs, and recreational activities. The funding from People’s United Community Foundation will support the ZP Greeting Card Business, which teaches clients art, computer, writing, reading, marketing, and a variety of other skills.“Our participants are crafting a product that they can share with friends, family, and the community, aiding in their job skill development and increasing their self-confidence,” said Dail Frates, Executive Director, Zack’s Place Enrichment. “By creating and selling their own greeting cards, they are able to experience a business model from beginning to end and carry the skills over into job positions in the community.”“Individuals are learning valuable job skills through the greeting card business program,” stated Michael Seaver.  “We are pleased to support a program that is uncovering hidden abilities and aiding in the creation of part-time employment for these individuals.” It also has awarded $3,500 to The Mentor Connector in Rutland, Vermont.The Mentor Connector, a formal mentoring program, pairs youngsters in the Rutland area with adult mentors of the same community.  Mentors and mentees are matched according to their similar interests and the mentor becomes a trusted adult friend with a long-term, consistent commitment to provide guidance and support.The funding brings the total grant amount awarded by People’s United Community Foundation to the organization to $19,000.“Peoples United Community Foundation makes the ongoing support to mentors and their mentees possible and we are so grateful for the continued assistance that helps local youth learn skills involved with everyday life, things we refer to as ‘soft skills,” said Christopher Hultquist, Executive Director, The Mentor Connector.  “This is one-on-one attention and guidance in the specific areas of need and mentees also get assistance with career exploration and college opportunities.”“We are pleased to continue to assist The Mentor Connector in their efforts to bring in additional mentors for their Dropout Prevention program,” said Michael Seaver. “We have been longtime supporters of mentor programs throughout Vermont as it is critical in these times that our future citizens are prepared to succeed.”Earlier this month, the People’s United Community Foundation announced that it had awarded $20,000 to the Vermont Foodbank for the purchasing and distribution of food.The Vermont Foodbank was founded in 1986 in response to an increased need for emergency food assistance among low-income households in central Vermont.  At that time, the Vermont Foodbank distributed to eight food shelves in the central Vermont area.  Today, there are 225 network partners statewide that receive food from the Vermont Foodbank for local distribution.The grant brings the total amount awarded by People’s United Community Foundation to the organization to $120,000.“The donation from People’s United Community Foundation will help the Foodbank continue to provide food to thousands of our Vermont neighbors in need,” said John Sayles, CEO of the Vermont Foodbank.  “We are so grateful for the steadfast support and partnership of the People’s United Community Foundation, which has acted as a constant and strong voice in the fight against hunger.”Demand for charitable food had never been greater. In fact, the Vermont Foodbank distributed nearly ten million pounds of food to 153,000 people in need in 2015.  This year, one in four Vermonters is expected to access a food shelf or meal site at some point.“Many of us take for granted that we can walk into a grocery store and purchase what we need for the week or even just the day,” said Michael Seaver.  “We are pleased to be able to continue our partnership with the Vermont Foodbank and provide $20,000 to aid in securing and distributing healthy food for Vermonters in need.”Established in 2007, People’s United Community Foundation was formed to help support programs and activities that enhance the quality of life for citizens in the communities that People’s United Bank serves. People’s United Bank, founded in 1842 and serving customers from New York to Maine through a network of more than 400 branches, is the largest independent bank headquartered in New England. The Foundation places special emphasis on programs designed to promote economic self-sufficiency, education and improved conditions for low-income families and neighborhoods. The funding priorities of the Foundation include community development, youth development, and affordable housing.Source: People’s United Community Foundationlast_img read more

Oxylane (Décathlon) buys 25% stake in Storck Bicycle

first_imgOxylane Group, the parent company of European sports retailing giant Décathlon, is continuing its acquisition path, with further investments in other sporting goods companies. After buying a share in a French specialist scuba diving retailer, Au Vieux Plongeur, Oxylane has now acquired a minority stake in Germany’s Storck Bicycle.Founded in 1995 in Bad Camberg, Germany, Storck has established itself as a key player in bicycle design and innovation, garnering multiple awards from cycling publications and at Eurobike’s annual design competition.Oxylane has taken a 25% stake in Storck. Founders Markus and Helena Storck have increased their stake in the company from 62.4% to 75%, ensuring a consolidation of ownership.According to Markus Storck, the major shareholder of the eponymous company, the additional financing brought by Oxylane will help it support annual growth of more than 20%. The investment will also be used to develop the Storck brand and to invest in logistics.Day-to-day operations will remain unchanged, Markus Storck added; “Storck Bicycle will continue as an independent company. Our store concept will expand worldwide with dealers and distribution partners. Moreover we expanded our management team.”It is understood that no synergies are planned with Décathlon, whose bicycles are positioned in a lower segment of the market – in contrast with the premium/high-end positioning for Storck bikes.According to reports, in addition to the Storck investment, Oxylane has also acquired shares in a multisport retailer in India, Sport XS; and an online retailer in Japan, Naturum, which specializes in fishing, outdoor and other sports.www.decathlon.com www.storck-bicycle.de Relatedlast_img read more

News Scan for Jul 07, 2017

first_imgMore babies born in the US with Zika-related birth defectsAccording to the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are now 88 babies born in the United States with Zika-related birth defects, an increase of 8 since the last report. The number of pregnancy losses showing Zika-related birth defects remains at 8.The numbers are updated through Jun 27. A total of 1,687 Zika-affected pregnancies with or without birth defects have been documented in the United States since 2016. In the US territories, including Puerto Rico, the corresponding number is 2,830; this includes 122 infants with birth defects and 6 pregnancy losses.The numbers reflect only laboratory-confirmed Zika infections in pregnancies registered with the US Zika Pregnancy Registry.Jul 6 CDC update  China’s weekly H7N9 total declines to single caseChina reported just one H7N9 avian influenza case this week, down sharply from six reported the previous week, Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection (CHP) said today in its weekly update.The patient is a 35-year-old man from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the far northwest of the country who began having symptoms on Jun 23 and died on Jun 30. An investigation into the source of his exposure to the virus found that he had sold and slaughtered chickens at a market.Xinjiang has reported a few H7N9 cases in the past, but not in the recent wave of activity, which has been marked by a wide geographic spread of detections in poultry and in people.China has had more than 750 cases in the fifth and largest wave of infections, at least 209 of them fatal.Jul 7 CHP updateIn other H7N9 developments, Chinese researchers who compared recent human infections with highly and low-pathogenic H7N9 in Guangdong province found that clinical outcomes were similar, though people sickened by the highly pathogenic form had longer hospitalizations. The team reported their findings yesterday in the latest issue of Eurosurveillance.Their analysis included 9 patients infected with highly pathogenic H7N9 and 51 who had been sickened by the low-pathogenic strain.Researchers also assessed poultry market environmental surveillance, finding that the touching of sick or dead poultry was the most important risk factor for contracting highly pathogenic H7N9, hinting that because that form of the virus disseminates to multiple organs, including muscle, handling sick birds could be more risky. Raising backyard poultry and touching live poultry were also risk factors.They concluded that it’s still not possible to tell if highly pathogenic H7N9 causes more severe disease in humans, but detailed investigations about shedding, virus dissemination, and inflammation levels are needed to shed more light. They also noted that investigation of the impact of the virus on chickens is urgently needed.Jul 6 Eurosurveill report Washington state hantavirus cases rise to fiveWashington state reported another hantavirus infection, raising the season’s total to five, the most since 1999, the Washington State Department of Health (WSDH) said yesterday in a press release.The illnesses are from four counties, Franklin, King, Spokane, and Skagit, and three deaths occurred among the cases.Deer mice are known to carry hantavirus, which can spread to humans through contaminated air or direct contact with the animals or their saliva, urine, droppings, or nesting material, the WSDH said.In its background materials on the disease, the department said 1 to 5 cases are typically reported each year, and about 1 in 3 people who have hantavirus pulmonary syndrome die.Jul 6 WSDH press release WSDH hantavirus background Jun 28 CIDRAP News scan “Washington state reports fourth hantavirus case of the year” CDC warns of meningitis risk in vaccinated patients on SolirisThe CDC today issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) advisory warning about a high risk of meningococcal disease despite vaccination in patients who are being treated with Soliris (eculizumab), a monoclonal antibody used to treat rare blood diseases including atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria.Patients taking the drug are known to be at 1,000- to 2,000-fold greater risk of meningococcal disease, and Soliris comes with a warning that those on the medication should be vaccinated.The CDC said that between 2008 and 2016 it has identified 16 cases of meningitis in eculizumab recipients, 11 of whom had nongroupable Neisseria meningitidis, which isn’t covered by the MenA conjugate vaccine. The newly approved meningococcal B vaccine protects only against that strain. The CDC detailed the findings and concerns today in an early release report in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). They said researchers haven’t assessed the extent of any cross-protection for nongroupable N meningitidis strains.In today’s HAN, the CDC urged health providers to consider antimicrobial prophylaxis for the duration of eculizumab treatment and to continue to vaccinate patients who are on the medication, administering the first dose at least 2 weeks before starting treatment when possible. They also recommended that clinicians keep a high index of suspicion for meningococcal disease in patients who are taking eculizumab.Jul 7 CDC HAN notice Jul 7 MMWR reportlast_img read more

Slot Canyon Trail At Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument To Undergo Trail Maintenance July 22-24

first_imgKasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. Courtesy photo BLM News: ALBUQUERQUE ― The Bureau of Land Management is announcing a partial closure of the Slot Canyon Trail at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument.  Like other monuments and public lands across the nation, the Monument has seen significant increase in visitation over the last five years. So far, in 2019, the Monument has had over 80,000 visitors. The BLM, in partnership with Pueblo de Cochiti, is currently researching additional ways to protect the Monument’s unique resources and the visitor experience through alternate visitor use management strategies. The decision to limit access in this area for maintenance is consistent with the BLM’s ongoing communication with the Pueblo.   Due to the exposure, weather and consistent foot traffic, this section of trail is showing signs of erosion, making foot travel more difficult for visitors. The lower section of the Slot Canyon Trail will remain open to the public, as will the Memorial Overlook Loop Trail. The necessary trail improvements will be conducted July 22-24 on the last half-mile section of the Slot Canyon Trail that climbs steeply out of the canyon to the mesa top. By providing these trail improvements, the BLM is striving to protect the fragile geologic features of this area and increase visitor safety.   For more information, or to inquire about alternate recreational opportunities in the area, please contact BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner Jamie Garcia at 505.761.8787.last_img read more

NSCC survey of specialists highlights strategic industry problems

first_imgGet your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe now for unlimited access Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

Unclear nuclear

first_imgTo continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

IMCA seminar to focus on cranes

first_imgThe seminar, which will be held at the Novotel Hotel, will focus on all aspects of offshore cranes for a range of applications including subsea, wind energy, heavy lift and decommissioning. It will also look at the future of subsea lifting. Mark Ford, IMCA’s technical manager, said: “The Lifting and Rigging seminar is a great way for delegates to get involved in discussions on issues affecting the industry. It’s an opportunity to identify common issues and needs for offshore contractors, which can feed into future strategies and guidelines for improvements.” The seminar is aimed at subsea contractors, offshore crane designers/manufacturers, equipment suppliers, crane training and academic institutions. It will feature a combination of presentations and workshop sessions, with a focus on facilitating discussion between contractors, suppliers and research institutes. TechnipFMC’s David Cannell, chairman of the event, said: “We have a great agenda and important contributions from major industry contractors, operators and suppliers. “It’s also an opportunity for delegates to hear about some of the latest technology and thinking on crane operations with presentations from top academic and training institutions.”  www.imca-int.comlast_img read more

Human rights

first_imgLiberty – Detention – Sentence of imprisonment for public protection Following the dismissal of their appeals before the House of Lords (see[2009] 4 All ER 255), three linked cases, in which the offenders had been sentenced to indeterminate sentences of imprisonment for public protection (IPP) under section 225 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 with minimum terms or tariff periods of less than five years, were heard together before the European Court of Human Rights because they raised a similar issue of whether the applicants’ detention following the expiry of their tariff periods had breached their right to liberty as guaranteed under article 5(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights. As well as contending that article 5(1) had been breached, the applicants also sought just satisfaction for non-pecuniary loss under article 41 of the convention. The issue for determination was whether there had been a violation of article 5(1) of the convention in respect of the applicants’ detention following the expiry of their tariff periods. An issue arose as to whether one of the purposes of the applicants’ detention was their rehabilitation, particularly in the light of the fact that, by virtue of section 142 of the 2003 act, the sentencing objectives were disapplied in the case of sentences for IPP. Consideration was given to the delay in determining whether it had been safe to release the applicants and to reports on the impact on the applicants of the unavailability of treatment courses due to their detention at local prisons following the expiration of their tariff. The court ruled: (1) The object and purpose of article 5(1) was to ensure that no one was dispossessed of his liberty in an arbitrary fashion. The right of liberty was of fundamental importance. In order to assess whether an applicant’s detention post-tariff was arbitrary, the court had to have regard to the detention as a whole. While case law demonstrated that indeterminate detention for the public protection could be justified under article 5(1), it could not be allowed to open the door to arbitrary detention. For a deprivation of liberty not to be arbitrary there had to be some relationship between the ground of permitted deprivation of liberty relied on and the place and conditions of detention. The requirement that detention not be arbitrary implied the need for a relationship of proportionality between the ground of detention relied upon and the detention in question. Where a government sought to rely solely on the risk posed by offenders to the public in order to justify their continued detention, regard had to be had to the need to encourage the rehabilitation of those offenders. In cases concerning indeterminate sentences of imprisonment for the protection of the public, a real opportunity for rehabilitation was a necessary element of any part of the detention which was to be justified solely by reference to public protection. Accordingly, one of the purposes of the applicants’ detention had been their rehabilitation. While article 5(1) did not impose any absolute requirement for prisoners to have immediate access to all courses they might require, any restrictions or delays encountered as a result of resource considerations had to be reasonable in all the circumstances of the case, bearing in mind that whether a particular course was made available to a particular prisoner depended entirely on the actions of the authorities (see [187], [194], [195], [201], [209], [218] of the judgment). In the instant case, where the government had sought to rely solely on the risk posed by offenders to the public in order to justify their continued detention, it had been required to provide the applicants with reasonable opportunities to undertake courses aimed at helping them to address their offending behaviour and the risks they posed. It was significant that substantial periods of time had passed in respect of each of the applicants before they had even begun to make any progress in their sentences. It was clear that the delays were the result of a lack of resources, and it was significant that the inadequate resources at issue in the instant case appeared to be the consequence of the introduction of draconian measures for indeterminate detention without the necessary planning and without realistic consideration of the impact of the measures. Further, the length of the delays in the applicants’ cases had been considerable. It followed, in those circumstances, that there had been a violation of article 5(1) of the convention in respect of the applicants’ detention following the expiry of their tariff periods, and until steps were taken to progress them through the prison system with a view to providing them with access to appropriate rehabilitative courses (see [218], [220]-[222] of the judgment). A declaration would be made that there had been a violation of article 5(1) of the convention in respect of the applicants’ detention following the expiry of their tariff periods and until steps were taken to progress them through the prison system with a view to providing them with access to appropriate rehabilitative courses (see [250] of the judgment). Lawless v Ireland (No 3) (application 332/57) 1 EHRR 15 considered; Winterwerp v Netherlands (application 6301/73) 2 EHRR 387 considered; Guzzardi v Italy (application 7367/76) 3 EHRR 333 considered; Bouamar v Belgium (application 9106/80) [1988] ECHR 9106/80 considered; Saadi v United Kingdom (Application No 13229/03) [2008] ECHR 13229/03 considered. (2) Making an assessment on an equitable basis, the applicants would be awarded €3,000 (in the case of J); €6,200 (in the case of W); and €8,000 (in the case of L) in respect of non-pecuniary damage (see [250] of the judgment). James and others v United Kingdom (app nos 25119/09, 57715/09 and 57877/09): European Court of Human Rights (Judges Lech Garlicki (president), David Thór Björgvinsson, Nicolas Bratza, George Nicolaou, Zdravka Kalaydjieva, Nebojša Vucinic, Vincent De Gaetano): 18 September 2012center_img Join our LinkedIn Human Rights sub-grouplast_img read more

No H1N1 Influenza In Dominica

first_imgThe Ministry of Health has announced that there are no confirmed cases and no outbreak of the H1N1 Influenza commonly known as Swine Flu in Dominica.This follows media reports of confirmed cases of Swine Flu in St Vincent and Barbados, which the Ministry said it has noted.In light of the outbreak in neighboring islands , the Ministry of Health is monitoring the situation closely and wishes to assure the public that all systems for response to influenza cases are in place. However, the Ministry would like to remind the public to practice good personal hygiene to protect themselves and others from acquiring the influenza (flu) virus. Symptoms of the Influenza virus include:Sudden high fever (over 38°C or 100°F), sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, coughing, headache, body aches and fatigue.Persons experiencing Influenza-like symptoms and any signs of faintness, weakness or breathing difficulty should seek medical attention immediately.The most common method of transmission of the influenza (flu) virus is through droplets released into the air from the coughs and sneezes of an infected person.This can happen when droplets are inhaled directly by people nearby. Some droplets containing the virus also fall on hard surfaces (like desks, tables,phones and door knobs). People get infected when they touch these surfaces and then touch their eyes, mouth or nose.Here are some of the things you can do to protect yourself and others from getting the Flu:-• Wash your hands with soap and water more now than usual;• If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizers and rub your hands together very hard for a minute or more;• Avoid shaking hands and kissing;• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing• Throw away soiled tissue in a garbage bin after single use;• Avoid touching your face if your hands are not clean because cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose and mouth;• If you are sick, stay away from crowds, young children and very elderly persons• Drink a lot of fluids, juice, water, coconut water and soups; The Ministry of Health will provide updated information to the public of any new developments.Dominica Vibes News Share Sharing is caring! Share 20 Views   no discussionscenter_img Share Tweet LocalNews No H1N1 Influenza In Dominica by: – October 4, 2013last_img read more

US wants ‘free, fair and transparent’ elections in Haiti

first_img Tweet 78 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Share InternationalNewsPoliticsPrintRegional US wants ‘free, fair and transparent’ elections in Haiti by: Caribbean Media Corporation – January 4, 2016center_img Share US Secretary of State John Kerry (file photo)WASHINGTON (CMC) – The United States is calling for “free, fair and transparent” elections in Haiti, saying that it will attract broad participation and reflect the will of the people.In congratulating the citizens of Haiti on the 212th anniversary of their Independence Day, on January 1, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, said, as Haitians pause to take stock of more than two centuries as an independent state, “they also have an opportunity to more fully realise the democratic governance they so greatly need and deserve.”Kerry urged the country’s leaders to work together to organise the elections and to inaugurate a new president by February 7, as mandated by the national constitution.The US Secretary of State said when he visited Haiti last October, he noted that “Haiti’s future depended on the unity of its people and the country’s ability to develop strong and stable democratic institutions.“I said then, and I believe today, that the legitimate transfer of power can only take place through elections,” he said, adding that the partnership between the United States and Haiti is of “long standing and reflects the close ties between our peoples, our collaboration in business and many other sectors, and our commitment to advance shared values in the region and around the world.“The United States looks forward to deepening its friendship with Haiti in years to come,” Kerry continued.On Saturday, Haiti’s President Michel Martelly announced that the run-off election to choose his successor will be held on January 17.The run-off was scheduled to take place two weeks ago, but was jettisoned after opposition factions alleged fraud during the first round in October.In his speech on Independence Day, Martelly, who is constitutionally prohibited from seeking re-election, urged nationals respect the election rules and go to the polls.Jovenel Moise, a banana exporter, who has Martelly’s backing, will face ex-state construction company head Jude Celestin, who placed second in the first round of voting.Celestin is seeking the Haitian presidency for the second time.The election fervor in Haiti has been exacerbated by the death of two female police officers in the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).On Thursday MINUSTAH said the officers’ bodies were found in their house in the northern town of Cap-Haïtien.The mission says an investigation is continuing to shed light on what happened.The UN said that MINUSTAH, which was established in 2004, has more than 4,500 troops and police deployed in Haiti.Just before Christmas, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern over what he regarded as “growing political uncertainty” in Haiti and urged the two candidates in the presidential run-off there to help the electoral process move forward while preserving the country’s democratic gains.In his December 22 statement, Ban also reaffirmed the commitment of MINUSTAH and the entire UN system “to continue supporting the Haitian people in the fulfillment of their democratic aspirations.” Sharelast_img read more