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ColumnsContracts Of Adhesion : Does The NCLT Have Power To rule Generally On Validity Of The Clauses Of Contracts ? Rushab Aggarwal L & Tejasvi Chaudhry24 April 2020 12:50 AMShare This – xThe National Company Law Tribunal (‘NCLT’), established under the Companies Act, 2013, has emerged as the forum of choice for the purpose of ‘recovery’ of debt from corporate debtors under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (‘IBC’), even though it was not established with the intent to enforce and effect recovery of debts. As much as everyone, including the learned members of the…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe National Company Law Tribunal (‘NCLT’), established under the Companies Act, 2013, has emerged as the forum of choice for the purpose of ‘recovery’ of debt from corporate debtors under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (‘IBC’), even though it was not established with the intent to enforce and effect recovery of debts. As much as everyone, including the learned members of the NCLT, often insist to the contrary, the stark reality is that the NCLT has become indeed, a forum to arm-twist corporate debtors to effect recovery of monies by confronting them with the fear of facing corporate death in the form of insolvency resolution or liquidation. Statistics don’t lie. Therefore, to decipher whether the NCLT really emerged as a forum of choice to effect such recoveries, we must see the recovery rate which has emerged? To confine our analysis for the present, we may take the case of only financial debt (i.e. bad loans), recoverable by banks. As per the data for Financial Year 2018-2019 released by the Reserve Bank of India, scheduled Commercial banks in India recovered a staggering amount of Rs. 70,819 Crores out of claims of Rs. 1,66,600 Crores under the IBC mechanism (which translated to an impressive recovery percentage of 42.5%). To put this figure in perspective, a measly recovery of Rs. 41,876 Crores out of claims of Rs. 2,89,073 Crores (translating to a paltry recovery percentage of only 14.5%) was effected under the SARFAESI Act. These numbers infact justify the newly discovered proclivity of banks to advert to the IBC mechanism to make good their bad loans. Under the IBC regime, a financial creditor need to satisfy only the bare requirement, which is best captured in the words of Rohinton F. Nariman, J., in Innoventive Industries Ltd. v. ICICI Bank, (2018) 1 SCC 407, it reads : “28. When it comes to a financial creditor triggering the process, Section 7 becomes relevant. Under the Explanation to Section 7(1), a default is in respect of a financial debt owed to any financial creditor of the corporate debtor — it need not be a debt owed to the applicant financial creditor. Under Section 7(2), an application is to be made under sub-section (1)….. Under Rule 4, the application is made by a financial creditor in Form 1 accompanied by documents and records required therein. …… The speed, within which the adjudicating authority is to ascertain the existence of a default from the records of the information utility or on the basis of evidence furnished by the financial creditor, is important. This it must do within 14 days of the receipt of the application. It is at the stage of Section 7(5), where the adjudicating authority is to be satisfied that a default has occurred, that the corporate debtor is entitled to point out that a default has not occurred in the sense that the “debt”, which may also include a disputed claim, is not due. A debt may not be due if it is not payable in law or in fact. The moment the adjudicating authority is satisfied that a default has occurred, the application must be admitted unless it is incomplete, in which case it may give notice to the applicant to rectify the defect within 7 days of receipt of a notice from the adjudicating authority. Under sub-section (7), the adjudicating authority shall then communicate the order passed to the financial creditor and corporate debtor within 7 days of admission or rejection of such application, as the case may be.” The only lifejacket, that a corporate debtor in this situation gets, is that he “… is entitled to point out that a default has not occurred in the sense that the “debt”, which may also include a disputed claim, is not due…”. The corporate debtor may do this inter alia by challenging the validity of certain clauses of the Loan Facility Agreement, or the interpretation of the Financial Creditor as to whether the loan has become due and payable. As per ‘Innoventive Industries’ “A debt may not be due if it is not payable in law or in fact.”. As a matter of fact, most loan facility agreements executed by banks are contracts of adhesion, more commonly known as standard form contracts. These contracts generally have onerous and one-sided repayment clauses including unconscionable penalties and hidden fees & charges etc. It is also not possible for corporate debtors to switch bankers because credit in India is normally extended on long-standing relationships between the party and the banker. It is in these circumstances, that a seminal question arises : “Does the NCLT have the power to rule generally on the validity of clauses of contracts and more specifically on contracts of adhesion?” The Black’s Law Dictionary, (Fifth Edition), defined an ‘Adhesion Contract’ as follows: “‘Adhesion contract’ : Standardized contract form offered to consumers of goods and services on essentially ‘take it or leave it’ basis without affording consumer realistic opportunity to bargain and under such conditions that consumer cannot obtain desired product or services except by acquiescing in form contract. Distinctive feature of adhesion contract is that weaker party has no realistic choice as to its terms. Not every such contract is unconscionable.” There is a tendency amongst financial institutions to bury unconscionable terms of contract in the fine-print and word it in complex legal language so that the contracting party has no meaningful understanding but to sign on the dotted lines. As back as in the year 1986, our Supreme Court had expounded the principle that the courts will not enforce unfair and unconscionable clauses in a contract which are entered between parties having unequal bargaining power. This pronouncement of in Central Inland Water Transport Corpn. v. Brojo Nath Ganguly, (1986) 3 SCC 156 is locus classicus on the issue, relevant portion whereof reads as follows: “89….This principle is that the courts will not enforce and will, when called upon to do so, strike down an unfair and unreasonable contract, or an unfair and unreasonable clause in a contract, entered into between parties who are not equal in bargaining power. It is difficult to give an exhaustive list of all bargains of this type. No court can visualize the different situations which can arise in the affairs of men. One can only attempt to give some illustrations. For instance, the above principle will apply where the inequality of bargaining power is the result of the great disparity in the economic strength of the contracting parties. It will apply where the inequality is the result of circumstances, whether of the creation of the parties or not. It will apply to situations in which the weaker party is in a position in which he can obtain goods or services or means of livelihood only upon the terms imposed by the stronger party or go without them. It will also apply where a man has no choice, or rather no meaningful choice, but to give his assent to a contract or to sign on the dotted line in a prescribed or standard form or to accept a set of rules as part of the contract, however unfair, unreasonable and unconscionable a clause in that contract or form or rules may be. This principle, however, will not apply where the bargaining power of the contracting parties is equal or almost equal.” Few decades back, in Gillespie Brothers & Co. Ltd. v. Roy Bowles Transport Ltd.,  1 Q.B. 400, Lord Denning, sitting in the English Court of Appeal, held as follows: “The time may come when this process of ‘construing’ the contract can be pursued no further. The words are too clear to permit of it. Are the courts then powerless? Are they to permit the party to enforce his unreasonable clause, even when it is so unreasonable, or applied so unreasonably, as to be unconscionable? When it gets to this point, I would say, as I said many years ago : ‘there is the vigilance of the common law which, while allowing freedom of contract, watches to see that it is not abused’ : John Lee & Son (Grantham) Ltd. v. Railway Executive  2 All. E.R. 581, 584. It will not allow a party to exempt himself from his liability at common law when it would be quite unconscionable for him to do so.” The NCLT, is not a court, however , it being the adjudicating authority in terms of the IBC, has the contours of its jurisdiction delineated in Section 60 of the Act. A specific reference may be made to clause (c) of Section 60(5) as follows: “60. Adjudicating authority for corporate persons.— (5) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law for the time being in force, the National Company Law Tribunal shall have jurisdiction to entertain or dispose of— (c) any question of priorities or any question of law or facts, arising out of or in relation to the insolvency” Therefore, the jurisdiction of the widest amplitude has been conferred on the NCLT, to decide ‘any question of law or facts arising out of or in relation to the insolvency…’. This would necessarily mean ruling upon the terms of the contract which would have deemed to trigger the insolvency. Any claims of unconscionability of the terms of contract, or it being a contract of adhesion, would also necessarily have to be ruled upon by the NCLT. It cannot be emphasised enough that the jurisdiction of civil courts is completely and unequivocally ousted by the clear language employed by both legislations on the topic. The jurisdiction of any civil court, to consider the claims of unconscionability, stands ousted by the umbrella legislation i.e. the Companies Act, 2013 in the following terms: “430. Civil court not to have jurisdiction.— No civil court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceeding in respect of any matter which the Tribunal or the Appellate Tribunal is empowered to determine by or under this Act or any other law for the time being in force and no injunction shall be granted by any court or other authority in respect of any action taken or to be taken in pursuance of any power conferred by or under this Act or any other law for the time being in force, by the Tribunal or the Appellate Tribunal.” A similar and equally unequivocal ouster of jurisdiction of civil courts, is also provided in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 as well. It reads as follows: “63. Civil court not to have jurisdiction.—No civil court or authority shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceedings in respect of any matter on which National Company Law Tribunal or the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal has jurisdiction under this Code.” However, an established principle of natural justice, as accepted and affirmed by the Supreme Court, is that no one can be left remediless in law (Re: Ashish Ranjan v. Anupma Tandon, (2010) 14 SCC 274). Therefore, unconscionable terms of the contracts must be open to challenge once the same are enforced as against its signatories. One may argue that since the jurisdictional bar under the IBC and Companies Act would kick in only upon filing of the application under the IBC, the civil courts may hear challenges by corporate debtors on the validity of these clauses prior to the financial creditors approaching the NCLT. While legally this may be correct, but from a practical standpoint it will amount to commercial suicide by the corporate debtor as it will irreversibly strain relations with the banks. At a stage prior to the alleged default, a challenge in the civil court may also be prone to rejection as being premature and may not be maintainable in vacuum in absentia of surrounding factum of default. Drawing a contradistinction, such challenges to validity of clauses of contracts perhaps cannot be made before the DRT in proceedings under Section 17 of the SARFAESI Act, 2002. While there is a bar under the SARFAESI Act as well excluding the jurisdiction of the Civil courts, yet the contours of the bar of exclusion are narrower than the total bar prescribed under the IBC, being a ‘Code’ by itself. Section 34 of the SARFAESI Act states that “No civil court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceeding in respect of any matter which a Debts Recovery Tribunal or the Appellate Tribunal is empowered by or under this Act to determine…”. An appeal under Section 17, to the DRT, is available only to impugn the measures taken by the secured creditor under Section 13(4), which include taking over possession of the asset [13(4)(a)]; taking over the management of the business [13(4)(b)]; appoint a manager to the secured asset in possession of the credit [13(4)(c)] and requiring third parties to pay the consideration of the secured asset to the secured creditor instead of the borrower. [13(4)(d)]. The Supreme Court in Mardia Chemicals Ltd. v. Union of India, (2004) 4 SCC 311, was perhaps clear that a civil action against the SARFEASI process would be maintainable where the claims of the secured creditors were inter alia either fraudulent or manifestly absurd and thus untenable. The court held as follows: “51. However, to a very limited extent jurisdiction of the civil court can also be invoked, where for example, the action of the secured creditor is alleged to be fraudulent or their claim may be so absurd and untenable which may not require any probe, whatsoever or to say precisely to the extent the scope is permissible to bring an action in the civil court in the cases of English mortgages. …” The DRT, therefore cannot, in our opinion, exercising jurisdiction under the SARFAESI Act, hear challenges to validity of clauses of contract on the ground of they being unconscionable. Such challenges, in that case, will belong in the domain of the civil courts for decision. Conclusion Therefore, to sum it all up, it seems apparent that while the National Company Law Tribunal has caught the fancy of the Banking Institution to recover bad loans, yet the same cannot be a one-sided and oppressive process against the corporate debtors. The NCLT is vested with plenary powers to adjudicate and set aside unconscionable terms of banking contracts when such pleas are raised before recording its ‘satisfaction’ of default and ordering initiation of the CIRP process. Whether this legalese is only in theory or it translates to the happenings in the courtroom is something which remains to be seen. Views Are Personal Only(Rushab Aggarwal & Tejasvi Chaudhry are lawyers at the Supreme Court of India and Delhi High Court. Authors may be contacted on [email protected] Views are personal.) Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Story
The Saint Mary’s Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) held its annual kickoff picnic to raise awareness of sexual assault and confidential resources available on campus through the organization, BAVO director Connie Adams said.The event was moved inside to the Noble Dining Hall due to weather Wednesday evening, but that didn’t lower the energy of the students, Adams said.“The dynamics of the event change with a new venue, but the integrity of the event remains the same,” Adams said.The BAVO office advocates for a culture free from violence through education, training and support, Adams said.“Our primary goal is to raise awareness and connect students with the office,” she said. We’re excited to debut the Clothespin Project. Students will have the opportunity to decorate a clothespin with paint and sequins and incorporate a positive message. Then, they take the clothespins and give them to others who either seem to need the positive message or exemplify what it shares. The concept is based on enhancing our community and empowering those who are a part of the community.”The kickoff included food services from SODEXO, a DJ, crafts and a photo booth, Adams said.“I hope students who come to the kickoff event have fun and gain a better understanding of BAVO,” she said. “Sometimes these issues can be difficult to talk about, but I hope they learn that we can approach them in a positive way. I hope they take a picture away from the photo booth and flyer from our awareness table and a fun craft to hang in their room or share with a friend.”BAVO Advisory Committee member and senior Payton Moore is in her second year as head of the Outreach and Awareness Committee, whose mission is to spread knowledge to students, faculty, and staff through educational events and discussions, Moore said.“It was interesting to have an event I have always seen outdoors inside the student center,” Moore said. “We were able to make the Student Center and the DH [dining hall] into BAVO Central. I’m really happy that a lot of Saint Mary’s women held up #yesallbelles signs in their pictures. It’s a hashtag that BAVO really wants to promote this year, and I think this kickoff was a great way of doing just that.”Adams said students often approach her with their stories of prevention.“Sometimes it’s after a student seeks support services for herself or her friend,” she said. “Sometimes it’s the Green Dot stories when someone feels empowered to take action and literally prevent violence. I just heard a story from a current first-year who heard about Green Dot when she visited campus last year from the student she stayed with, and it became one of the main reasons she chose Saint Mary’s because of what it represented for our wider community.“More than anything, I want students to know that violence is not inevitable, that prevention is possible, and that we, each of us, are a part of the solution. I hope BAVO helps each student discover what that means for her.”Student body president, senior McKenna Schuster, agreed to have Student Government Association (SGA) sponsor the event after Adams reached out to SGA over the summer, Schuster said.“SGA has offered to sponsor, because Student Government has a large pull on the student body and can really spread the word about events going on more effectively,” Schuster said. “Connie had reached out to me over the summer asking if SGA would want to sponsor the BAVO kickoff event. We’ve helped in the past, [and] we have so much woman power. We have about 35-40 girls in student government.”Understanding what on-campus confidential resources BAVO provides allows students to utilize the office after freshmen orientation, Schuster said.“I find that student government has a really good relationship with Connie in the BAVO office,” she said. “I think Connie has certain outreach in terms of the students she has on her advisory council. I believe she has one girl on the volleyball team, so now the volleyball team has reached out to student government. One of their games [is] raising awareness about sexual assault. I would hope that as student leaders, people would look to us to see what’s going on on campus [and] what are the relevant topics. I really emphasize that girls in student government really try to get the word out there about certain events that are going on.”BAVO organizes year-round events including self-defense classes and Green Dot training to maintain a constant on-campus presence, Adams said.“The first week of classes, we had a Green Dot training with an enthusiastic response,” Adams said. “We also have a … basic self-defense session on Monday, which was co-sponsored by Security, Women’s Health, BAVO, and Athletics.“[Tuesday], we hosted a presentation on Title IX and unveiled our new shirt with the back design of #YesAllBelles. Of course, we have a range of programming offered for incoming students including Sex Signals improvisation program, student-facilitated small groups and a Green Dot overview supported by Student Involvement and Multicultural Services (SIMS) and Student Government Association.”For women and as young adults, it is crucial to know how to prevent and handle uncomfortable situations, Schuster said.“Especially at an all-women’s college with co-ed colleges next door and across the street where a lot of our social scene comes from, it’s just really important to know what consent is [and] know the resources … if something were to happen and to keep yourself safe. You can’t control others, but you can control yourself. I just think it’s really important and pertinent information to carry with you,” Schuster said.The message of BAVO emphasizes how much the organization cares about students, Moore said.“To me, the message of BAVO is quite simple: We care. We know that Saint Mary’s students care about each other,” Moore said. “Thus, we strive to give Saint Mary’s students the skills to recognize and appropriately respond to violence against women which will in turn help decrease the very violence that impacts our community.”Adams said it is the strength of survivors of sexual and relationship violence that inspires her and other mentors to work with students and the Saint Mary’s community.“I feel a calling to do this work, to reduce violence and, more specifically, to do this here, at Saint Mary’s,” Adams said. “It’s a true blessing to work with such incredible, passionate and inspiring women.“When I hear stories of students who take initiative and educate their friends, when a student shares her excitement about intervening in a situation and helping a friend or someone she doesn’t even know [and] when I see the progress we’re making, I’m filled with great hope for the cultural change we’re working towards.”Tags: BAVO, Kickoff Picnic, Saint Mary’s Belles Against Violence Office
The Brazilian Military delegation invaded the streets of Lima, Peru, with their green and yellow spirit to celebrate their record-breaking three gold medals from the XXI South American Cadets Sports Festival, which ended on October 28. The Brazilian athletes became champions in the military pentathlon and shooting, aside from achieving good results in other disciplines. The event gathered 646 athletes from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, and Uruguay. The Brazilian Armed Forces were represented by 68 athletes, of whom 13 were Naval School contenders, 22 Cadets from the Military Academy of Agulhas Negras (AMAN), and 33 Cadets from the Air Force Academy (AFA) – 21 of them members of the women’s team. The gold won by the swim team came from the excellent performance by Marcelo Fábio de Araújo Lopes (AMAN), who won the 100-meter freestyle competition, and candidate Rafael Godofredo do Norte (Naval Academy), who achieved first place in the 50-meter freestyle. These results were critical for the group to win the championship. In total, they won three gold medals, two silver and one bronze for swimming. In the military pentathlon, a competition that includes five different contests, Brazil also rose to the podium. They received five gold medals, two silver, and four bronze. Two AMAN athletes stood out: Thiago Rezende matched the South American record at shooting, and Thiago Dias became the overall individual champion in the modality. The men’s team came in first place overall, and Mayara Soares da Silva (AFA) won the bronze medal. The athletes set new records in shooting, and won gold in both the male and female categories. Ary Batista Rocha Neto, from the AFA, set a new individual mark in the rifle prone. In the team competition, the women’s team stood out at the pistol shooting, and the men’s team in the rifle prone shooting and the rifle three positions. The total sum of these results represented a new South American record. Brazil also won five gold medals for track-and-field in disciplines like the 100-meter hurdles, shot put, and siscus, 4 × 100m, triple jump and long jump. The South American champion in this competition was Brazilian Cadet Alexandre Junior, also from AMAN. He won first place in the long jump and triple jump events. The cadets took third place as a team in fencing, a traditional military sport, with two gold medals, one silver, and two bronze. In this discipline, Gabriel Dondeo Lima (AMAN) won the foil championship, while Cadet Ribeiro (AFA won the sword fencing championship. The goal of the South American Cadets Sports Festival is to establish bonds of unity and brotherhood between the military institutions in countries linked to the South American Military Sports Union. This edition of the sports event was hosted by the Peruvian Armed Forces. The next cadet military sports event will be the 2nd CISM World Cadet Games. The competition will take place in 2014, in Quito, Ecuador. By Dialogo November 02, 2012
“A simple brown box that has all kinds of goodies in them that people like to get when they are away at college, away at deployment,” said Pastor Joe Coudriet. “Some of them are single, some of them are married and some have children. They’ve come out to be a blessing today and to help us get this job done,” said Coudriet. Coudriet said the process began with volunteers social distancing and making sure the gift boxes were properly sanitized. “We’ve separated them, we are now packing them and of course everybody serving here is wearing a mask and is taking precautions as they pack,” said Coudriet. Coudriet said the National Guard is another group on a long list that the church is trying to help during a time of need. VESTAL (WBNG) – On Saturday, in the basement of Family Life Church, volunteers prepared 250 gift boxes for men and women deployed with the New York State National Guard. “It’s our mission to lead people into a relationship with Jesus Christ, we glory God, grow together and give to others. Those are the three pillars on which our church stands,” said Coudriet. Once the boxes are packed, they will be prepared to be shipped to the National Guard armories who will spread them throughout New York State. “Like” Jacob Seus on Facebook and “Follow” him on Twitter. Volunteers consisted of Family Life Church Pastor, Joe Coudriet, and members of the churches lifeline outreach team. “These people have been pulled away from their families, their employment, their careers, their homes and for many, it is a great financial sacrifice,” said Coudriet. Coudriet said, as Christians the ultimate expression of their faith is giving to those who need it most. “Someone told me once that everything begins as a seed and grows into an experience, find your seed, get it into the ground and be a blessing to others.” For more coronavirus coverage, click here.
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Topics : Private lender PT Bank DBS Indonesia has donated thousands of test kits and staple food assistance worth Rp 26 billion (US$1.7 million) to support the government’s coronavirus response.Aside from food assistance for unemployed or furloughed workers, the bank donated 100,000 rapid test kits, 15,000 viral transport mediums, 5,000 swabbing kits, two portable machines to perform polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and 3,000 reagents, said Paulus Sutisna, the bank’s president director.“We believe that greater accessibility to testing will bolster the effort to handle the spread of COVID-19,” Paulus said in a virtual press briefing on Thursday. Indonesia, the second-hardest-hit country in Southeast Asia, has not done enough testing, with only about 8.3 tests per confirmed case as of May 14. It is far lower than neighboring Malaysia, which has performed 40 tests for every confirmed case, according to data provided by Our World in Data, a publication of global socioeconomic data.To improve its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has infected over 16,000 people and killed more than 1000, the government seeks to do more tests especially in hard-hit regions.National COVID-19 task force head Doni Monardo said his office would distribute the test kits from DBS Indonesia to East Java, the second-hardest-hit province in the country with 1,772 confirmed cases, accounting for 11.5 percent of the national aggregate.“The priority, of course, is regions seeing a surge in cases,” Doni said in the same briefing. “We hope with this help from test kits, the task force can significantly increase the number of samples tested for early detection and prevention of further spread.
Aggressive Mitigation Orders LiftedAll Individuals Must Follow CDC and PA Department of Health Guidelines Life Sustaining Businesses OnlyCongregate Care and Prison Restrictions in PlaceSchools (for in-person instruction) and Most Child Care Facilities Closed Social Restrictions Stay at Home Orders in PlaceLarge Gatherings ProhibitedRestaurants and Bars Limited to Carry-Out and Delivery OnlyOnly Travel for Life-Sustaining Purposes Encouraged Social Restrictions Yellow Phase April 22, 2020 Green Phase Reiterate and reinforce safety guidance for businesses, workers, individuals, facilities, update if necessaryMonitor public health indicators, adjust orders and restrictions as necessaryAs regions or counties move into the yellow phase, some restrictions on work and social interaction will ease while others, such as closures of schools, gyms, and other indoor recreation centers, as well as limitations around large gatherings, remain in place. The purpose of this phase is to begin to power back up the economy while keeping a close eye on the public health data to ensure the spread of disease remains contained to the greatest extent possible. Work & Congregate Setting Restrictions Gov. Wolf: Reopening Targeted for May 8 in North-Central, Northwest Monitor public health indicators, adjust orders and restrictions as necessaryJust as the administration took a measured, county-by-county approach to the stay-at-home order before expanding statewide, it will do the same to ease restrictions and reopen the state.The governor first announced the standards for reopening last week and they remain the focal point for the comprehensive plans announced today:The approach will be data driven and reliant upon quantifiable criteria to drive a targeted, evidence-based, regional approach to reopenings in Pennsylvania.There will be guidance and recommendations for employers, individuals, and health care facilities and providers for assured accountability as we reopen.Reopening necessitates that adequate personal protective equipment and diagnostic testing are available.Reopening requires a monitoring and surveillance program that allows the commonwealth to deploy swift actions for containment or mitigation.Protections for vulnerable populations must remain steadfast throughout the reopening process, such as limitations on visitors to congregate care facilities and prisons.Limitations on large gatherings unrelated to occupations should remain in place for the duration of the reopening process.The commonwealth is partnering with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to create a data-driven decision support tool that will enable a balance between maximizing the strengthening of the economy while minimizing public health risks. This tool will help officials better understand the current health and economic status, as well as the inherent risks and benefits to easing restrictions by sector and region.There is no single tool or model that can determine easing of restrictions or reopening, but the commonwealth, through partnerships with Carnegie Mellon University and other institutions of higher education, and the criteria set by the Department of Health, will make informed decisions based on data and science.To determine when a region is ready to reopen and return to work, the state will evaluate the incidence rate of COVID-19 cases per capita, relying upon existing regional health districts used by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. A regional assessment will measure the COVID-19 cases to determine if the target goals of an average of less than 50 cases per 100,000 individuals over the course of 14 days is met. The administration will work closely with county and local governments to enable the communities to reopen and transition back to work.Throughout this process, the administration will have guidance in place to support best public health practices to avoid these negative impacts. This guidance will reinforce and build on existing business and building safety orders and will adapt to the changing nature of the pandemic, even as we learn from the first communities to reopen.View this information in Spanish. Press Release, Public Health Phased Approach Relies on Safety and ScienceGovernor Tom Wolf today presented his detailed plan for reopening the commonwealth with a targeted May 8 start. The administration will categorize reopening into three phases: red, yellow, green. Phases will be assigned based on conditions in a county, counties or region.The administration will first study conditions in the north-central and northwest regions with a target of moving from red to yellow on May 8. Additional monitoring will take place and direction will be provided in the next week.To decide when to move to a new phase, the administration will use Department of Health metrics and a data tool developed by Carnegie Mellon University. The full plan is available here.The red phase, which currently applies to the whole state, has the sole purpose of minimizing the spread of COVID-19 through strict social distancing, non-life sustaining business and school closures, and building safety protocols. Stay at Home Restrictions Lifted in Favor of Aggressive MitigationLarge Gatherings of More than 25 ProhibitedIn-Person Retail Allowable, Curbside and Delivery PreferableIndoor Recreation, Health and Wellness Facilities (such as gyms, spas), and all Entertainment (such as casinos, theaters) Remain ClosedRestaurants and Bars Limited to Carry-Out and Delivery Only Telework Must Continue Where FeasibleBusinesses with In-Person Operations Must Follow Business and Building Safety OrdersChild Care Open with Worker and Building Safety OrdersCongregate Care and Prison Restrictions in PlaceSchools Remain Closed for In-Person Instruction All businesses must follow CDC and DOH guidance for social distancing and cleaningMonitor public health indicators, adjust orders and restrictions as necessaryThe green phase eases most restrictions by lifting the stay-at-home and business closure orders to allow the economy to strategically reopen while continuing to prioritize public health. While this phase will facilitate a return to a “new normal,” it will be equally important to continue to monitor public health indicators and adjust orders and restrictions as necessary to ensure the spread of disease remains at a minimum. Work & Congregate Setting Restrictions Work & Congregate Setting Restrictions All Businesses Must Follow CDC and PA Department of Health Guidelines Red Phase Social Restrictions SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
I have to give equal time to our granddaughter who plays fast-pitched softball in the 12 and under league. We were able to see her play 4 games in the week we were there. It is amazing how much girls improve from one year to another at this age level. While watching her play last year, you hoped your pitcher would strike out the opposing batter, because if the ball was hit, it was an adventure as to what might happen. It was very seldom caught. Since Audrey pitches, you can imagine me squirm in my seat every time she let go of the ball.This year, the fielders actually fielded the ground balls and their arms are strong enough to throw players out at first base. Even when the ball is popped up or is hit in the air to the outfield, there is a better than 50/50 chance it will be caught. One of the 4 games went 5 1/2 innings in the 65-minute time limit that their league allows for a game. Major leagues don’t even play this quick.I will have to say, Sally & I enjoyed the games and we are looking forward to watching Audrey and her teammates as they improve with another year’s growth.
The duo will be seeking to become the first Nigerian women duo to compete at the same championships for places in final of the event and follow in the footsteps of their male counterparts Yusuf Ali and Paul Emordi who both competed in the semi-final and qualified for the final of the event in 1987 in Rome.While Okagbare-Ighoteguonor will also be seeking to become the first Nigerian athlete to win two individual medals in the same event at two championships following her silver medal feat in Moscow, Russia four years ago at the 14th edition of the championships, Brume, the reigning Commonwealth Games champion will be hoping to toe the path of Glory Alozie (100m hurdles in 1999) and Ajayi Agbebaku (triple jump in 1983) who made the podium on their debut at the championships.Brume, finalist in the event last year at the Rio Olympics will also be seeking to become the fourth Nigerian to qualify for the final of the event after Christy Opara-Thompson in 1991, Chioma Ajunwa in 1997 and Okagbare in 2013.For the duo to turn their dreams into reality however, they will have to hit the 6.70m qualification mark or be among the top 12 performers at the end of the qualifying series.Meanwhile Glory Onome Nathaniel was disqualified for a possible lane violation during the second semi-final heat of the women’s 400m hurdles.The brave Nigerian who ran a new 55.30 seconds personal best in the first round looked sharp in the race and was in contention for a place in the final via the fastest losers slot after finishing fourth in the race in 55.40 seconds.A review of the race however showed she may have had a lane infringement and was subsequently disqualified to end her dream of becoming the first Nigerian woman to make the final of the 400m barrier run.Henry Amike remains the only Nigerian man to have qualified and ran in the final of the event. The Nigeria record holder in the event ran 48.63 seconds in Rome in 1987 at the second edition of the championships to place 6th in a race the great Edwin Moses of the US won with a 47.46 seconds championships record.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram IAAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS*Nathaniel disqualified in 400m hurdlesNigerian duo of Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor and Ese Brume will attempt to make history this evening when they file out for the long jump event at the ongoing 16th IAAF World Championships at the Olympic Stadium in London.