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Most Read News February 29 – March 6, 2016

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Anti-RMF motion proposed at St. Anne’s

first_imgSt. Anne’s College JCR will discuss a motion this Sunday that proposes to announce the Common Room’s opposition to the Rhodes Must Fall (RMF) campaign.The motion resolves to, “Publicly announce [the Common Room’s] opposition to the Rhodes Must Fall campaign, and any form of politically motivated iconoclasm in the university and its constituent colleges/PPHs”; “urge Oriel College to keep the statue of Rhodes and its associated plaques in their current position”; and, “lobby other JCRs to make resolutions opposing the Rhodes Must Fall campaign”.An email sent to the JCR encouraged those in “opposition of the motion (thus, supporting the RMF campaign)” to come to the meeting “in the interest of having a fully engaging, intellectual debate.”Matthew Kirtley, who proposed the motion along with Henry Williams, told Cherwell, “Generally, I’m antipathic towards the pernicious identity politics and attempts at playing at intergenerational guilt which seem implicit in the Rhodes Must Fall campaign. That served as my initial motivation why I opposed RMF, and why it was so easy for me to jump on board with the motion. The rationale for the motion is that we both believe that the statue must stand pretty sincerely, and we think a lot of other people do along with us. I’d like to get those people to remember that they’re not alone in their sentiments, and they have every right to respond to the RMF campaign.“The key principle at hand is that we don’t believe the cultural heritage of Oxford or Britain should be removed based upon our entirely contingent contemporary moral and political norms. I don’t see that the statue of Rhodes has any attached moral standing to it, other than the commemoration of his philanthropy towards Oriel and the University. It serves to acknowledge his donation, not to acknowledge his social, moral, or political views. Heritage is important as it serves to tell to us and posterity what helped influence the institutions that used to and still exist, and also tell us of the people who shaped said institutions. Who’s to say in a thousand years Rhodes will be as controversial as he is? “To attempt to claim that our generation alone has reached the apotheosis of moral and political thought is chauvinistic and naive. Depriving the future of the introspective value our heritage provides – such as removing the statue and whitewashing the origins of Oriel’s Rhodes Building away – to satisfy our contingent moral ideals does not strike me as right.”Other Common Rooms have passed motions in support of RMF, including St Catherine’s JCR and MCR, Christ Church’s GCR and St Hilda’s JCR.The Rhodes Must Fall campaign has been contacted for comment.last_img read more


The call of nature

first_imgHealth has overtaken convenience when it comes to retailers making claims about food. So says a new report citing ‘natural’ inclusions as a key driver in the rush to cash in on diet and well-being trends. Research indicates the so-called ‘functional foods’ market is still “in a state of evolution with product repertoires expanding rapidly as soon as new functional ingredients emerge”. (Mintel, Mar 2006).On one hand ‘natural’ ingredients with antioxidant properties, such as blueberries, as well as oats, nuts and seeds, are driving sales. On the other, added functional ingredients with specific health benefits are shaping NPD in functional foods.Natural focusBut media attention on naturally healthy foods such as whole grains and seeds could ultimately see consumers turning their backs on foods born in the laboratory, the report suggests. “It is possible that growing interest in health may prompt some consumers to bypass manufactured functionality in favour of nature.”Linseeds, known as flaxseeds in the US, are a natural source of ALA omega 3 fatty acid and could be the next big thing, says Mintel. The same goes for hemp, which is high in essential fatty acids, and helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure.Seeded bakery products such as The Food Doctor-branded bagels, which are selling in Tesco, are meeting with great success, says Crispin Clay of Lawncourt Harvest (Leiston, Suffolk). The company supplies a blend of flavoured sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds for the bagel topping, which are cholesterol and gluten free.“The demand for the product is definitely increasing and TV nutritionists are constantly mentioning the health benefits of seeds,” he comments. “This has had a dramatic effect on people’s perceptions – they don’t see it as bird seed any more.”Nuts for nuts“We have seen a huge increase in nuts – almonds, brazils, walnuts and the rest,” says Martin Rome, trading director at Whitworths (Wellingborough, Northants), which counts Northern Foods and RHM among its customers. “We have seen a desire to create premium products with more fruit,” he continues, adding that there is growth in flavoured fruits (such as a cranberry-flavoured raisins), vine fruit blends with added tropical fruits to “sex it up a bit”, and apricots.“A vine fruit or a nut in a cake or bar has all the right connotations, and therefore people are looking to put more of these in their products. It isn’t necessarily going to turn it into a healthy product, but people feel less guilty in buying it.”last_img read more


Time Appears to Be Running Out for Colstrip Units in Montana

first_imgTime Appears to Be Running Out for Colstrip Units in Montana FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Jay Kohn for KTVQ (Billings):Two separate actions, by two separate state legislatures, could lead to the future closure of all four coal-fired power plants at Colstrip, Montana.In Oregon, the state legislature passed a bill this week that sets a deadline for Oregon utilities to eliminate coal-fired electricity within 20 years.In Washington state, a bill that paves the way to close the two oldest coal-fired plants in Colstrip, passed the House of Representatives Friday afternoon.The bill allows Puget Sound Energy (PSE) to use a special fund to cover the costs of closing Colstrip plants 1 & 2.PSE, which owns half of Colstrip Units 1 & 2,, is the largest electric utility in Washington state.Supporters of the Colstrip plants say both measures are bad news for the plants future, although the Washington bill could have impacts much sooner.A spokesman for Puget Sound says the bill does not force the closure of Colstrip., but Montana state senator Duane Ankney says he doesn’t trust what Washington officials are saying.“You never get the same story out of anybody over there when you talk to them,” said Ankney.“What I do know, just from being an old coal miner, I know that you can’t count on anything they say,” Ankney said.Meanwhile, an energy economist told the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission Friday that market forces alone, are putting the squeeze on all four Colstrip plants.“Puget Sound Energy has said that Talen Energy, that owns half of Units 1 & 2, is hemorrhaging dollars, and we believe that’s true,” said economist David Schlissel, Director of Resource Planning Analysis for The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).“We also believe the same market and economic forces that are hurting Units 1 & 2 at Colstrip, are affecting Units 3 & 4 as well,” said Schlissel.“We’re not saying they’re going to be retired in the very near future, but their relative economics and financial viability have been weakened,” said Schlissel.Colstrip Power Plants 1 & 2, the oldest of the Montana plants, are co-owned by Puget Sound Energy & Talen Energy, the company that manages & operates the plants.Colstrip Units 3 & 4 are owned by five separate utilities, including Puget Sound, Pacific Corps, Avista, Portland General Electric, Northwestern Energy and Talen.Energy economist David Schlissel also told the Washington commission Friday that due to rising operating costs at Colstrip, Talen Energy’s share in Colstrip Unit 3 now has zero to negative value over the next 20 years.Sen. Ankney told MTN News that he believes the Washington State bill primarily protects Puget Sound Energy shareholders, from paying for the cost of closing Colstrip 1 & 2.Full article: Oregon and Washington legislatures advance bills targeting coal fired powerlast_img read more


Dominican Republic: Police dismantle international narcotics ring

first_img [EFE (Dominican Republic), 02/10/2012; El Comercio (Ecuador), 01/10/2012; El Nacional (Dominican Republic), 01/10/2012; El Excelsior (Mexico), 01/10/2012] By Dialogo October 03, 2012 SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – A massive international narcotics ring coordinated by Dominicans, Jamaicans, Colombians, Venezuelans, Puerto Ricans, Americans and Bahamians that smuggled drugs from South America into the United States has been broken up, Dominican officials said. Rafael Senén Rosado Fermín, owner of Caribair, Sergio René Gómez Díaz and José Figueroa Ortiz were taken into custody on charges they were in charge of the operation. Dominican Army Lt. Col. Juan Ramón Rosado Pérez, three soldiers and a former National Police officer were also arrested on charges they protected and gave the ring information to elude authorities, said Gen. Rolando Rosado Mateo, chief of the National Direction of Drug Control (DNCD). Venezuelan José Veras Márquez, Puerto Rican Harry William Nazario, Americans Alberto Laureano and Daimond Mario Pérez, Bahamian Holmer Errol Outram and Dominicans Víctor Hugo Sánchez Portez, Danny Salvador Ramírez Cabral and Christian Suárez Javier were also among suspects who were arrested. The Dominican Republic was used as a refueling stop so planes carrying drugs could travel greater distances. “This organization managed even to penetrate the airport controls as a result of the assistance received at the airports, where they managed to recruit soldiers of different ranks and civilians to conduct their activities without problems or suspicion,” Rosado Mateo said. last_img read more


Energy ministry’s budget cut by a third to Rp 6.2 trillion

first_imgIndonesia has so far budgeted Rp 695.2 trillion to tackle the COVID-19 epidemic, which has claimed 2,573 lives as of Wednesday, the highest death toll in Southeast Asia, official data shows.Read also: Indonesia increases COVID-19 budget again amid soaring deficitHowever, the cuts carry repercussions for the programs’ intended recipients, many of whom include Indonesia’s poor, said House of Representatives members and industry groups.The House pressured the ministry into diverting more funds to execute solar-powered street lighting (PJUTS), water well drilling, fishermen and farmer fuel-converter distribution programs, all of which were to be slashed by a greater degree before the hearings. The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry is cutting back on program funding after its annual budget was slashed by more than a third to Rp 6.2 trillion from Rp 9.7 trillion as the government diverts funds for COVID-19 containment. The largest cut is slated for oil and gas programs at 52 percent, lower than initially planned. This is followed by renewable energy programs (45 percent), geology programs (36 percent) and internal programs (15 percent). Some of the programs will be continued next year, according to ministry data released on Thursday.“[The budget cuts] support the financial needs to tackle COVID-19 and help the economy recover,” said Energy Minister Arifin Tasrif on June 23, which was the first of a three-day hearing with lawmakers in Jakarta. Oil and gas programsMinistry data from Thursday’s hearing shows that planned cuts in oil and gas programs are led by a 37 percent cut to farmers’ gas-to-fuel converter program and a 52 percent cut for the household gas pipe program.Such kits convert subsidized cooking gas (LPG) into a fuel for gas-fired engines, whether a fisherman’s boat engine or a farmer’s water irrigation pump. Using the gas reportedly cuts fuel expenses by around 30 percent.“Convertors are important in that it deals with fuel,” Indonesian Fishermen’s Association (HNSI) secretary-general, Anton Leonard, told The Jakarta Post. “If possible, do not make a cut now when fishermen are struggling to fish.”He added that fuel costs contributed between 40 and 50 percent of a ship’s total operational costs, depending on vehicle size.The gas pipe program, meanwhile, was slated to distribute gas pipe connectors to 266,000 households, mostly for towns in Sumatra and Java. Such piped gas is cheaper per unit volume than LPG canisters.“Fishermen’s convertor kits are meant to provide a boost for their economic growth. Household gas pipes as well, many poor people live in cities,” said Golkar Party lawmaker and former governor Alex Noerdin.Indonesia’s largest gas distributor, Perusahaan Gas Negara (PGN) , was not available for comment.Renewables programGreen technology budget cuts were led by those in solar panel-related programs, such as solar-powered street lights and solar rooftop installations for public buildings, including government offices and houses of worship.Government funding is a lifeline for the nascent domestic solar PV industry, which receives 70 percent of its business through state programs, an Indonesian Solar Panel Producers Association (APAMSI) previously told the Post.“That automatically means that a shift in spending will add to the burden on solar producers,” said APAMSI chairman Nick Nurrachman.Read also: Demand for photovoltaic panels plummets in Indonesia amid pandemicHowever, ministry data also shows that Rp 109 million was allocated to complete several unfinished renewable energy programs from last year. Programs include installing a mini hydropower plant (PLTMH) in Oksibil, Papua, and 13 biogas digesters, which process organic waste, such as human feces into cooking gas, in neighborhoods around the country.Internal programsThe ministry plans to cut 15 percent from its budget for internal programs, which is the most modest cut among the four categories.“We recommend diverting work trips and meeting package funds for infrastructure programs and imposing efficiency measures for work trips and meetings,” said ministry secretary-general Ego Syahrial during Wednesday’s hearing.His side will not cut salaries and operational costs such as utilities and office supplies.Geological programsBudget cuts to the ministry’s geology body were led by a 48 percent cut for volcanic observatories and a 37 percent cut for well drilling in remote communities.Former head of the Geology Agency, Rudi Suhendar, who retired a month ago, told the Post that the agency had completed the program bids before COVID-19 struck.“Aside from Jakarta, we were going to drill wells in almost every province,” he said. Lawmaker Ridwan Hisjam, also a Golkar politician, said the well drilling was particularly needed to support the Public Works and Housing Ministry, which was building water infrastructure as per the recently passed 2019 Water Law.“This program has to keep on going. Do not change them; programs that are pro-people, that are in the people’s interest,” he said.Topics :last_img read more


GTT grabs LNG tank design deal for South Korean shipyard

first_imgImage courtesy of GTTFrance’s GTT has been contracted by a South Korean shipyard to design liquefied natural gas storage tanks for a new LNG carrier. The LNG containment specialist said in its statement that the vessel is scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2020, keeping the names of the shipyard and the shipowner confidential at this stage.GTT will design the LNG cargo tanks with the planned capacity of 174,000 cubic meters.“The insulation solution Mark III Flex has been chosen for its ability to reduce the daily guaranteed Boil-Off gas rate to 0.085% of tank volume,” the statement reads.So far, 48 vessels that are already in service are equipped with this technology.last_img


Lithuania approves LNG terminal acquisition after 2024

first_imgLithuania’s Governmental Commission on the Economic Infrastructure Development has approved the acquisition of the LNG terminal beyond 2024. With the acquisition, the commission noted the long-term import of LNG into Lithuania has been secured, adding that it is the economically and strategically sustainable solution for the country to ensure competitive gas prices and lower maintenance costs in the short and long term.The decision came following a technical and economic alternative analysis and recommendations of international independent consultants, Klaipedos Nafta, the terminal operator said in a statement.Two main alternatives have been assessed, the long-term rent of the terminal after 2024 and the acquisition of the terminal, the operator said.With the decision to acquire the terminal after 2024, a terminal maintenance cost sharing has been agreed enabling a maintenance costs reduction by €23 million ($26.9 million) from 2019, dropping from €66 million to €43 million.“Bearing in mind that in future Lithuania will need a long-term assurance of LNG supply and taking into consideration energy security and competitive prices, we have chosen the option, which provides the highest economic effect and which is the most sustainable in the long run, since Lithuania will have the access to the international LNG markets,” said Žygimantas Vaičiūnas, minister of energy.Klaipedos Nafta’s CEO Mindaugas Jusius added that acquiring the terminal provides Lithuania with flexibility, due to the universal nature of the FSRU Independence, which,  when necessary, can be used in other commercial projects.According to the study performed by Pöyry Management Consulting, the LNG terminal in Lithuania will remain the main tool for the exertion of pressure on gas prices.According to the consultants, failure to assure the import of LNG supply will result in insufficient competitive pressure on Russian gas prices. The LNG terminal eliminates the risks related to Gazprom possibilities of abuse of the dominating position in the market and its unreasonable increase of gas import prices for consumers, the statement reads.Experts believe that without a terminal, Gazprom could increase the Russian gas import prices by up to 20 percent, with the annual amount overpaid potentially reaching €160 million.last_img read more


Guardian Geomatics Joins Australia’s HIPP

first_imgGuardian Geomatics has been appointed to Australia’s Hydroscheme Industry Partnership Program (HIPP).Guardian Geomatics will spend the next four years working alongside six industry leaders, acquiring and processing hydrographic, oceanographic and marine environmental data. The data acquired by the HIPP panelists will be used to produce digital charts of the Australian seafloor.The goal of this 150-million-dollar Government initiative is to further improve the understanding of the Australian sea charting area – which makes up around 10% of the earth’s surface.Guardian Geomatics commercial director, Steve Duffield said: “We are honored to have been selected, having worked toward this outcome for the past two years. The HIPP is a great Australian initiative, involving the best and brightest from the Australian hydrographic surveying industry. It is exciting to see the Australian Government’s commitment to building capacity and capability for hydrographic survey in Australia, and their commitment to the protection, understanding and sustainability of our ocean environment. This is certainly something that Guardian Geomatics cares deeply about. Since learning about this Program, we have been very keen to get onboard and contribute – we are very proud of this partnership.”The first phase end date is currently scheduled for 2024.last_img read more


Man stabbed, hacked to death

first_imgAn officer points at the lifeless body of resident Lito Bawa-an, who was hacked and stabbed to death, in Barangay San Jose, Sipalay City, Negros Occidental on Nov. 21. SIPALAY CITY POLICE STATION BACOLOD City – A man was stabbed andhacked to death in Barangay San Jose, Sipalay City, Negros Occidental. Police identified the suspects as24-year-old Jay-r Bacorna and 47-year old Bonifacio Tabanao. Bacorna and Tabanao were detained inthe Sipalay City police station’s lockup facility./PN The 58-year-old resident Lito Bawa-andied of hack and stab wounds on the body, a police report showed.center_img Bawa-an was brought to the SipalayCity Health Office where he was “declared dead on arrival.” The motive in the incident was notimmediately established.   According to police investigators,Bacorna and Tabanao were drunk when they stabbed and hacked Bawa-an using aknife and a bolo around 6 p.m. on Nov. 21.   last_img read more