A delegation from the US Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), led by Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Nash, visited Sri Lanka this week to continue progress on the proposed MCC compact – a large-scale five-year grant program, the US Embassy in Colombo said today.MCC is developing the compact in partnership with the Government of Sri Lanka to promote inclusive economic growth that will benefit Sri Lankans. “The proposed MCC compact reflects our commitment to development projects that make economic sense and drive growth in a way that increases local jobs,” said Chargé d’affaires Robert Hilton.  “With this compact, we have an opportunity to promote transparent decisions about Sri Lanka’s long-term interests in terms of costs, benefits, and sustainable development.”“We are pleased that progress continues on the proposed MCC compact,” said MCC COO Nash. “Developed in partnership with the Government of Sri Lanka, the proposed MCC Sri Lanka Compact is designed to spur economic growth and investment by the private sector to reduce poverty and increase economic opportunities for the people of Sri Lanka.” Based on an analysis of Sri Lanka’s economy and the constraints that are holding back private investment and growth, MCC expects to invest in projects proposed by the Government of Sri Lanka in the transport and land sectors.The proposed compact would improve road networks and the bus system in the Colombo Metropolitan Region, and improve road connectivity between the central region and ports and markets in the Western Province. The compact would upgrade more than 300 kilometers of urban and interprovincial roads. In addition, the compact would improve land administration, and strengthen land rights and tenure security.MCC is an innovative foreign assistance agency of the United States Government established in 2004 that has signed compacts with 29 countries around the world. In December 2016, MCC’s Board of Directors selected Sri Lanka to develop a compact. (Colombo Gazette) During the visit, COO Nash met with senior government officials, including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera, State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne, and Foreign Secretary Prasad Kariyawasam. The proposed MCC Sri Lanka Compact is in the final stage of development. The compact is expected to be negotiated with the Government of Sri Lanka in the coming weeks. MCC will fund the compact entirely through grants which do not need to be repaid rather than loans. read more

Then-sophomore defenseman Dani Sadek (8) celebrates after a goal during a game against North Dakota on Feb. 20. Credit: Lantern File PhotoThe Ohio State women’s hockey team was in the middle of a crucial transition into the 2016-17 season. Looking to bounce back from last season’s abysmal 10-25-1 record after posting a record above .500 in 2014-15, OSU would have to do so without Dana Rasmussen, captain Alexa Ranahan and leading goal scorer Claudia Kepler, who all transferred to other schools.Then it became more difficult. On Aug. 18, just five days before classes began, coach Jenny Potter’s contract was terminated amid NCAA violations, leaving the Buckeyes without a head coach.On Saturday, OSU announced former Minnesota assistant Nadine Muzerall as head coach of the Buckeyes with just 20 days before the first face-off. But without a coach, OSU was able to stay afloat due to a few members taking leadership.“Us juniors are really trying to be leaders in practice and off the ice,” said junior defenseman Dani Sadek. “And younger girls coming in, we’re just being good role models to them. We’re just trying to stay positive through this whole thing.”When OSU was searching for a new coach after Potter, the men’s hockey coaches assisted the team in running its captain’s practices and team activities for the few hours a week allotted by the NCAA in the offseason.Sadek said that this experience of not having a coach just weeks before the season begins on Sept. 30 made the team mature and brought all of them together on and off the ice. “It’s tough, but the school and everyone here, we’re all such a family,” Sadek said. “We’re like glue. We stick together.”Potter — who replaced former coach Nate Handrahan who resigned followed sexual harassment allegations — brought in a different style to the Buckeyes in 2015-16. Sophomore forward Maddy Field said the problem with the offense wasn’t the fit, but the timeliness of its adoption.“It was different than anyone else in the league and I think that for some people it was very hard to adapt to,” Field said. “I think that just as a whole it just didn’t work for everyone.”New coach Nadine Muzerall comes in with instant credibility. She was a member of the Minnesota Golden Gophers’ coaching staff that saw five straight NCAA national championship appearances, and won four of them in her five seasons in Minneapolis.Sophomore forward Jincy Dunne, who has been called the Jack Eichel of women’s college hockey, is finally ready to take the ice after suffering two concussions in less than six months. Dunne said that she’s hopes the changes in the program make OSU a conference contender.“I don’t think we’re going to look at (last year) as embarrassing, but I think we’re going to look at it as an opportunity with some adversity that we went through in order to be the best team we can be,” Dunne said. “I know I’m hungry to get back at it and I know after not having the best season last year, everyone is ready to go.” read more