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first_imgDeputy Pearse Doherty.The European Commission has decided to include the Gaoth Dobhair Sewerage Scheme as part of an infringement case against the government over its failure to deliver the project.The decision, which was taken following the submission of a report to the European Commission by Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy, means that the institution has now formally launched infringement procedures against Ireland as the delay to progress the scheme is in clear violation of the EU Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive.The move has been welcomed by Deputy Pearse Doherty. “Back In May my party colleague MEP Matt Carthy brought this matter to the attention of the Commission when he submitted a report to the Commissioner in Brussels in which he argued that the inaction by successive governments to introduce the scheme was in violation of EU legislation, namely the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive.“The Commissioner, Mr Karmenu Vella, subsequently responded to this submission in June in which he said that in light of the evidence provided by Matt Carthy in his report that it was the intention of the European Commission to include the Goath Dobhair Sewerage scheme to the outstanding infringement cases against Ireland as he agreed that the failure to introduce waste water infrastructure in Gaoth Dobhair contravened EU legislation.“The Commissioner stated in his response that a formal decision to proceed with this case would be made once authorities here had the opportunity to respond to the report as is part of normal procedure in such cases to find an early resolve.“I understand that the Commission last week wrote to Matt Carthy to confirm that it has now formally included questions concerning the situation of compliance surrounding the Gaoth Dobhair Sewerage Scheme to its infringement file and that as part of this procedure a letter of formal notice for non-compliance has now been issued to the government. “The Government now has a number of weeks to respond to the Commission’s notice following which, if it fails to satisfactorily prove to the Commission that it is making all necessary progress to resolve the issue, then the European Commission may then decide to refer the matter to the EU Court of Justice in order to initiate litigation procedures.“While I of course welcome the Commission’s decision, it is completely unacceptable that successive governments have allowed this situation to manifest to such an extent to get to this stage where we now have infringement procedures being brought against the state as a result of complete inaction and utter incompetence.“The people of Gaoth Dobhair have been waiting for over 40 years for a much needed sewerage scheme to serve the region and this ridiculous delay by governments illustrate the complete lack of concern which Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour have for the area: not only for its economic development but also for its residents.”GAOTH DOBHAIR SEWERAGE SCHEME INCLUDED IN COMMISSION’S INFRINGEMENT CASE was last modified: December 13th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgOAKLAND — Matt Olson’s batting stance is menacing. His 6-foot-5 frame towers over the 17-inch rubber pentagon at his white-cleated feet. His lumber isn’t perched readily at his shoulder, but expectantly and loosely just inches from the strike zone.Olson’s game matches his batter’s box presence at this point. It’s safe to expect that Olson’s at bats will spawn something spectacular. With a little more than a week remaining in the regular season — a wild card game looking promising — Olson’s bat …last_img

first_imgIt’s one thing to say an ecosystem can take care of recycling a carcass. It’s another to say the ecosystem needs the carcass to thrive.Credit: Stefan Swanepoel, WikimediaConsider this headline from National Geographic: “How 2 Million Pounds of Rotting Flesh Helps the Serengeti.” Shaena Montanari’s article reports on findings by four Yale biologists who measured how many wildebeest drown crossing a river during their annual migrations, and what becomes of the remains as scavengers feed on them. The scientists did not say that the carcasses floating downstream “help” the Serengeti. They only reported that the mass drownings “influence” the ecosystem. There’s a big difference. Yet Montanari practically celebrates these mass casualties as she continues, “The thousands of wildebeest that die during their yearly migration are a critical ecosystem resource.”Everyone knows that many living things thrive on the remains of dead animals. Who has not witnessed crows picking at roadkill along the highway? Vultures, flies, bacteria, fungi and other scavengers help to recycle the remains of the dead, turning death into life for the next generation. In that sense, this is a helpful and necessary thing. Without it, the earth would be littered with the rotting corpses of the dead for decades, centuries, or millennia. We humans pretend that burying our dead in fancy coffins will preserve them in suits and gowns, but you wouldn’t want to look at the remains after a few years’ work by worms and soil organisms. Death, decay and recycling are part of our natural reality. We accept this and move on.But imagine if National Geographic implied that soil organisms “need” our dead corpses. What kind of demented government policies might result from too much emphasis on the “help” that our corpses give the worm ecosystem? This cartoon by Brett Miller expresses the danger of twisted values based on moral equivalence:The Yale biologists, publishing in PNAS, measured the nutrient content of drowned wildebeest as the carcasses floated downstream. The biomass is substantial:Here, we show that mass drownings of wildebeest occur nearly annually during the Serengeti wildebeest migration, and these mass drownings contribute the equivalent biomass of 10 blue whale carcasses per year to this moderately sized river. Soft tissues of the carcass decompose within several weeks and are assimilated by both in-stream and terrestrial consumers. Bones decompose over years, which may influence nutrient cycling and food webs in the river on decadal time scales. The loss of migrations and associated mass drownings may fundamentally alter river ecosystems in ways previously unrecognized.Whale carcasses are known to support organisms living at the bottom of the sea that make quick work of them. That’s why whale fossils are unusual (see 2/02/04). The Yale biologists do not suggest that wildebeest death is good or necessary for the downstream ecosystem, even though they find that vultures, fish and other opportunistic scavengers profit from the remains. One of the new findings was how much the bones of the unfortunate wildebeest contribute phosphorus to other organisms downstream. In fact, “contribute” is the only word they use in the paper that comes close to a value judgment on the benefits of wildebeest drownings to the ecosystem. As published, the paper adds to our knowledge of how ecosystems work without capitalizing on any “benefit” the tragic drownings might provide to other organisms. We might compare it to an earlier paper we noticed (11/14/14) that quantified the amount of carbon transported down African rivers by hippopotamus poop. The organic matter was found to be “nourishing a whole food web of insects, fish, and other animals.”The thousands of wildebeest that die during their yearly migration are a critical ecosystem resource.When a reporter focuses on the benefits of death, bad ideas can follow—and ideas have consequences. Would totalitarian dictators and mass murderers justify their genocides by arguing that they just want to benefit the ecosystem?Many of us have watched nature documentaries of these river crossings by herds of wildebeest. Producers like to accentuate the drama and danger, showing crocodiles snatching a vulnerable juvenile and dragging it off, making us gasp as are hearts are stirred with sympathy for the poor victim. But who are you going to root for, the wildebeest or the starving croc? Actually, not that many are killed by crocodiles, the scientists found. “They can only eat so much,” Montanari quips. Most die of drowning. Let us note in passing that nobody knows how the migration patterns might have changed since the Serengeti ecosystem became established. Perhaps the rivers have gotten deeper and more dangerous over time. Many variables could have changed.There’s a scene in the IMAX film “The Serengeti” that shows how producers tug at our emotions. A newborn wildebeest calf can’t get up. The narrator says that unless it can get up and follow its mother, it will die. The cameraman zooms in on the lurking lions and hyenas waiting to take advantage of the situation. Adult wildebeest, needing to move on, pause momentarily and stare silently at the helpless calf, wondering if it will get up in time to follow the herd. Seconds seem like hours as the calf keeps struggling to stand, only to fall back in a heap again and again. The predators sneak closer. The music becomes more tense. Finally, like the breakthrough of sunshine through a dark cloud, the music becomes celebratory as the calf succeeds in standing up. It  trots happily off to mom who gives it a loving lick. The adult wildebeest all “moo” in chorus, nodding their heads in satisfaction.Actually, this incident (highly staged, for sure) says more about humans than wildebeest. Whether wildebeest are capable of emotions like ours is debatable, for one thing. And every successful calf leaves a hyena hungry; who will root for them? Couldn’t the producer create a tragic episode, music to match, about the mean old wildebeest that gets away or kicks him in the face? Certainly many of the newborns do fall prey to the lions. By now, many of our readers have seen an exceptionally dramatic video of an iguana escaping snakes in a desperate chase (BBC Planet Earth II). So yes, prey animals are well equipped to give their predators a challenge. But do iguanas celebrate courage, tenacity and perseverance? Are the snakes sad that they missed a meal?The fact that we care about triumph over death points to something unique in mankind. We sense that death is wrong. It’s an intrusion into the natural order. It’s an alternative natural order that works, recycling nutrients, providing food for living things in a complex food web. We should not forget that most wildebeest usually enjoy a long and contented life in their own reality, grazing peacefully with their kind, succumbing only after years of satisfying abundance. But the reality of death keeps us humans on edge, knowing our time is short, and that we need to think about eternity. The Bible points to death as an enemy, something that was not part of the plan when God looked at everything he had made and pronounced it “very good.” National Geographic and the Yale scientists recognize the tragedy of death in spite of their evolutionism. As scientists, some of them try to report what they observe as dispassionately as possible. But without that innate sense of human value that celebrates life and weeps at death, wildebeest carcasses become little more than sources of carbon and phosphorus. By extension, that kind of thinking could lead to dictators using “ecological science” to justify sending hordes of humans to firing squads, killing fields and gas chambers in order to nourish the worms.(Visited 360 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_img27 July 2010 It has been many years since her teaching days, but Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga returned to the front of the class on Monday to give teachers at the Winnie Ngwekazi Primary school in Soweto tips on how it should be done. English text book in one hand and chalk in the other, Motshekga spent more than two hours reading with grade 3 students. She then explained the content of the story, greatly amusing the kids by referring to them as “angel” and “baby boy” or “baby girl” when answering their questions. “You must read loud and with confidence, like the presenters on TV,” Motshekga told the children. After reading, it was time for a spelling lesson. “Take out your pen, write today’s date and – no cheating,” she warned. The students did not disappoint, spelling most of the words correctly. The minister, who visited the school as part of activities to mark Mandela Month, encouraged the kiods to read a book at least once a week. “If you see a book or newspaper, read it, and if there is a word you don’t understand, go to your dictionary and check its meaning, and you’ll become clever kids. “The secret to success is through reading, and if you pass well, we’ve got a government who will pay for your [university] fees and you can be what you want to be,” Motshekga said. School principal Pumla Mabilo said they were impressed with Motshekga’s teaching skills. “We are humbled by her visit and have picked up on her teaching skills and will implement them, as our aim is to remain the school of excellence,” Mabilo said. Grade 4 science teacher Bheki Radebe said the minister’s visit showed the school that she cared and had encouraged the teachers to do their best. “Challenges are always there in schools, but we deal with them; if you know your story, you don’t panic when the minister comes to your school,” Radebe said. Motshekga acknowledged the teachers, saying they had maintained a high standard of learning in the school. “I’m so impressed. There’s order in the school, the kids are very bright and the school is very clean. I’m also impressed with the school’s Life Orientation Programme, which is very important to help them to work through their difficulties,” she said. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

first_imgAfter a successful run in Soweto in June, the Siyabangena Seminars are now headed to KwaZulu-Natal, with established South African business people sharing their skills and experience with young black entrepreneurs from the townships.The next series of the national seminar series will take place on 26 and 27 September at Ekhaya Multi Arts Centre, K-CAP Theatre, in KwaMashu B Section.Panel speakers include successful business people like Clive Manci, CEO of Oteo Investment Holdings, Jabulani Ngcobo (Serial Entrepreneur/CEO of CashflowPro), Mpume Langa (Head ABSA Private Bank KZN/Chairperson of Businesswomen’s Association DBN), Brian Mpono (Project Director of 1Source Group), DJ Tira (CEO of Afrotainment), Ramsay Daly (Marketing Director of iKhokha.com) and many more.A hungry stomach, an empty pocket and a broken heart can be ur fuel to future greatness.#SiyabangenaDBNpic.twitter.com/99LS5sWWvX— Siyabangena Seminars (@SiyabangenaSA)September 18, 2015The aim of the seminars, held in township areas, is to empower young black entrepreneurs by bringing established business people into their hometown to share skills and knowledge.The previous seminar was held in Soweto in June 2015. (Image: Supplied)Discussion will cover a range of business related topics such as getting a business started, marketing a business, building strategic partnerships, how women can conquer male-dominated environments, legal matters, and building successful brands.Brand South Africa supports Siyabangena since it embodies the fundamentals of the Play Your Part campaign, which encourages all South Africans to contribute to positive change by identifying and solving problems in their communities through entrepreneurship.The team behind the seminars is CEO, Sbusiso Hlongwane and director, Sinenhlanhla Mkhize. (Image: Supplied)“Youth Entrepreneurship is the answer to the challenges we are facing in our country,” said Siyabangena Seminars CEO, Sbusiso Hlongwane. “We need to grow the economy and a great way to achieve this is to see a rise of entrepreneurs coming from our townships and rural villages. This is where the game-changers are, and that’s exactly where we need to go to empower and ignite the young minds.”“It’s very exciting to see this happening in my hometown,” said director Sinenhlanhla Mkhize.“KwaMashu has never seen anything like this; we are bringing top businessmen and women to share their knowledge and experience with aspiring entrepreneurs. It will be two days of information and knowledge sharing, and not forgetting the valuable networking.”For more information, and ticket sale details, see the Siyabangena Seminars website.SA.info reporterlast_img read more

first_imgThe Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday named all-rounder Shahid Afridi as the captain for the team’s World Cup campaign starting later this month in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.Afridi, who led Pakistan to their first one-day series win since late 2008 with victory over New Zealand on Thursday, will have Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq as his deputy, the PCB release said.Pakistan had announced their final 15-member World Cup squad last month but delayed naming the captain leading to speculation that Misbah, who led Pakistan to a Test series win in New Zealand, would be become the captain.The board did not give any explanation for the delay in naming the flamboyant all-rounder, who has appeared in 311 one-dayers, as captain.Pakistan have been drawn in Group A of the February 19 to April 2 World Cup alongside Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Canada and Kenya.Pakistan’s former Test captain, Rashid Latif backed the retention of Afridi for the World Cup.”It was the logical thing to do because he has now been leading the one-day side since last year and the players are also comfortable with him and understand his leadership style,” Latif said.- With agency inputslast_img read more

first_img‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town MOST READ He shaved 0.14 off the old mark of 3:31.18 set by Moroccan great Hicham El Guerrouj in February 1997.“I can’t believe that,” Tefera said. “I’m delighted with the outcome and to have the world record is a special feeling.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesKejelcha had said before the meet that he was aiming to break the record, after coming within 0.01 seconds of setting a new world mark in the indoor mile last week at the Millrose Games.El Guerrouj still holds the outdoor world record of 3:26.00, set in 1998. Britain’s Laura Muir also pleased the home crowd by beating the national women’s indoor record in the mile, which had stood since 1988.Muir finished in 4 minutes, 18.75 seconds, shaving more than 5 seconds off the old mark set by Kirsty Wade 31 years ago. It was the third fastest indoor mile of all time by a woman.“To run one of the fastest runs ever, a British record and a win in your final race before the (European) championships is perfect,” Muir said.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera poses next to the time indicator, as he celebrates getting the mens 1500 metre World Indoor Record during the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham, England, Saturday Feb. 16, 2019. (David Davies/PA via AP)BIRMINGHAM, England — Ethiopian teenager Samuel Tefera broke a 22-year-old indoor world record in the 1,500 meters on Saturday, clocking 3 minutes, 31.04 seconds at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix.The 19-year-old Tefera, who won the indoor world title in the distance in Birmingham last year, went past countryman Yomif Kejelcha as the duo entered the final bend and had the stronger finish to win by 0.54 seconds.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town View comments At All-Star Game, Anthony Davis finds himself in spotlight Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games hosting troubles anger Dutertelast_img read more

first_imgSASKATOON – A Saskatchewan man has welcomed his new wife to Canada with a single red rose, some fancy dance steps and a big warm hug.Vaibhav Thakar surprised his bride Himadri as she walk off a plane at Saskatoon airport after a 34-hour trip from Bahrain.“My wife was coming for the first time, so it has to be magical,” said Thakar, who lives in North Battleford.As she walked through the gate Vaibhav danced some Bollywood-style steps with some friends before taking her into his arms and kissing her gently on the forehead.The couple, who met three years ago in India and married last month, had been apart for most of their relationship.Himadri said she was thrilled despite suffering lots of jet lag.“I came outside and was like, ‘Wow!’ They were like dancing to the beautiful songs, the Bollywood songs. It was mesmerizing. Of course he dances great,” she said.The couple said they hope many more dances are in store for their future.A video of his greeting is posted on Facebook. (CTV Saskatoon)www.facebook.com/skyxe.ca/videos/1633459616690914/last_img read more

first_imgAnnette FrancisAPTN NewsFor the second time in three years, an Elder from a Northern Ontario First Nation has been forced from her home.Marie McGregor Pitawanakwat, 65, was forced from her home on the Whitefish First Nation where commercial development may be possible in the future.The band says it did everything it could to provide her with a new [email protected]@aptnafrancislast_img