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An Innovative Financing Tool That Makes Energy Efficiency Affordable

first_imgThis post originally appeared at Ensia. For customers of the Roanoke Electric Cooperative in rural North Carolina, high energy costs are much more than a pesky bill or a grudging expense. “We’re one of the poorest areas of the nation,” says Curtis Wynn, the cooperative’s president and CEO. “We have a lot of low-income individuals who are our members and, quite frankly, a major portion of their monthly budgets are consumed by paying their electricity bills.”RELATED ARTICLESCalifornia Approves a Pilot Program for Energy UpgradesWhy Do People Invest in Home Energy Upgrades?The FHA Problem with PACEHow to Sell Green Upgrades: Energy AuditsCalifornia Lenders Sued Over PACE Financing Wynn says he has seen monthly bills reach nearly $700. But high rates aren’t to blame. It’s often the homes themselves that are the problem. Drafty windows, leaky ducts and poor insulation are common, and that means that much of the heating and cooling it takes to keep them comfortable slips outside, leading customers to use much more energy than they should have to — an estimated 10% to 20%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The simple solution to this problem is an energy efficiency upgrade — patching leaks in ductwork, sealing the frames of windows, laying insulation in attics, replacing old heat pumps. The costs can range from a few hundred dollars to about $8,000, but these interventions can result in energy savings over time that more than offset the expense. It’s a pragmatic investment that lowers costs in the long run. Such an investment, though, can be out of reach for low-income energy customers who have neither the cash to afford the upgrades nor the credit score necessary to borrow what they would cost. But with an innovative financing mechanism, electric utilities like the Roanoke Electric Cooperative are using their borrowing power to finance energy efficiency upgrades in homes at no upfront cost to their customers. “We’re helping the members lower their electricity consumption and ultimately their bills, and we’re lowering our costs for the power that we go out and purchase on their behalf,” says Wynn. Upgrade and save This is possible through what’s called tariffed on-bill financing. Using energy efficiency loans available from the federal government, utilities pay the upfront costs of upgrading a home’s energy efficiency and then amend that home’s newly lowered bill with a tariff charge that pays back the cost of the upgrade month by month. The key to making it work is that the tariff is calculated so the customer’s bill is always lower than it was before the upgrade. About 80% of the monthly savings go toward paying off the cost of the upgrade, and the rest goes to cutting the customer’s costs. In other words, they reimburse the utility for the cost of the upgrades and still pay less for energy each month than they did before the improvements were made. The Roanoke Electric Cooperative program, Upgrade to $ave, is administered by EEtility, an Arkansas-based B corporation that works with utilities to perform energy audits on homes, prescribe efficiency upgrades, and coordinate the contractors that implement them. Tammy Agard, the company’s co-founder, calls this approach a win-win-win that benefits residents, utilities, and the environment. Unlike most debt-based energy efficiency upgrade programs, the tariff-based model links the monthly charges to the address and not the customer, allowing renters to have their energy costs lowered through upgrades without necessarily paying the full cost for them if they move. After the upgrade is paid off, the tariff is lifted and the utility bill associated with that address becomes even lower. This approach, known as “Pay As You Save” and originally developed by the Energy Efficiency Institute in Vermont, has been licensed for use at utilities around the country, from California to Ohio to New Hampshire. “This is an all-inclusive model,” Agard says. “There’s nobody from the brain surgeon to the person cleaning the floor at the hospital who can’t participate in this program.” In 2018, Agard was named a Champion of Energy Efficiency by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) for EEtility’s work helping low-income residents in rural electric cooperatives like Roanoke. Increasingly common, but barriers remain Such on-bill financing programs are increasingly common. Because it’s cheaper for utilities to improve energy efficiency than to build more energy production capacity — and because many states now require them to — utilities have initiated a variety of efficiency upgrade options, including utility-financed loans that tend to raise customers’ bills and programs that pay back upgrade costs through a line item on annual property tax bills. But these efforts haven’t pushed the masses to make energy efficiency upgrades. “It’s a challenging area,” says Martin Kushler, a senior fellow at the ACEEE. He’s been reviewing utility energy efficiency programs across the country since 2003, and says that even though programs are improving, adoption rates for energy upgrades remain low. “While you can pencil out the fact that these improvements are cost-effective in terms of the energy that they save over time, there’s a lot of what we call market barriers to people taking action.” These include financing, lack of time, concerns about dealing with contractors, and a scarcity of information about which programs a customer can use. “Well-designed programs have features that address each of those aspects,” Kushler says. For Wynn at the Roanoke Electric Cooperative, EEtility’s approach checks all those boxes. So far, more than 400 of the cooperative’s 14,000-plus members have received upgrades through the program, and about 1,500 have expressed interest in participating. “We’re getting inquiries every day,” he says. The biggest challenge, Wynn says, is that some homes are in such rough shape that the investment in an energy efficiency upgrade can’t be justified. Even so, he expects to work with EEtility on at least another 500 upgrades within the next few years. EEtility is now working with three utilities in the U.S. and is in talks with about a dozen more. Most are rural electricity cooperatives serving low-income customers, but Agard says this approach to energy efficiency upgrades can work in any market. “We have a program that absolutely can be scaled across the country,” she says. “Because if it’s providing services for our most vulnerable populations then why couldn’t it provide services for everyone?”last_img read more

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Trump tells Curry that White House visit is off; LeBron reacts

first_imgBSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight The Warriors were expected to comment further later Saturday after their opening practice. Other athletes weighed in quickly, including LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers.“U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going!” James tweeted. “So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!”For Trump, it was the NFL one day, the NBA the next.At a rally in Alabama on Friday night, Trump said NFL players who refused to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” are exhibiting a “total disrespect of our heritage.” Several NFL players, starting last season with then-San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, have either knelt, sat or raised fists during the anthem to protest police treatment of blacks and social injustice.“That’s a total disrespect of everything that we stand for,” Trump said, encouraging owners to act. He added, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired.”ADVERTISEMENT NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell strongly backed his league’s players.“Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities,” Goodell said in a statement.Seattle Seahawks star Richard Sherman said the president’s behavior is “unacceptable and needs to be addressed.”“If you do not condemn this divisive rhetoric you are condoning it!!” Sherman tweeted.Trump also bemoaned what he called a decline in violence in football, noting that it’s “not the same game” because players are now either penalized or thrown out of games for aggressive tackles.“No man or woman should ever have to choose a job that forces them to surrender their rights,” DeMaurice Smith, the NFL Players Association executive director, said Saturday. “No worker nor any athlete, professional or not, should be forced to become less than human when it comes to protecting their basic health and safety.”The NBA did not immediately react to Trump’s tweet about Curry. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told The Players’ Tribune in July he believes teams should visit the White House when invited, though also said he would not order anyone to make such a trip.“I think that these institutions are bigger than any individual politician, any individual elected official,” Silver said then. “And it concerns me that something like going to the White House after winning a championship, something that has been a great tradition, would become one that is partisan. I will say, though, even though I think that teams should make decisions as organizations, that I would also respect an individual player’s decision not to go.”Trump has met with some teams already in his first year in office.Clemson visited the White House this year after winning the College Football Playoff, some members of the New England Patriots went after the Super Bowl victory and the Chicago Cubs went to the Oval Office in June to commemorate their World Series title. The Cubs also had the larger and more traditional visit with President Barack Obama in January, four days before the Trump inauguration. It was not immediately clear whether Trump was rescinding the invitation for Curry or the entire team.“Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!” Trump wrote from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutGolden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (2nd L, front row) flanked by forward Draymond Green (L) and guard Shaun Livingston (C) are seen during an event honoring the 2015 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors in the East Room of the White House on February 4, 2015 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGANThe Warriors, who hold their first practice of the season Saturday, had not made a collective decisionwhether to go to the White House in celebration of last season’s title. Curry has said he did not want to make such a visit.“By acting and not going, hopefully that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country and what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye to,” Curry said Friday at the Warriors’ media day. “It’s not just the act of not going. There are things you have to do on the back end to actually push that message into motion.” MOST READ And if the Warriors don’t want to meet with Trump, they may still get a welcome in Washington: House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California has said she would like to bring the team to the Capitol. Read Next Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Stephen Curry: Trump tweet ‘further cemented’ stance on White House1.9K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss PLAY LIST 02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes00:58Trump blames media, Democrats for impeachment during Kentucky rally01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Perasol, UP ready for risk of possible forfeitures Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SOMERSET, N.J. — Stephen Curry and President Donald Trump agree on one thing: The Golden State star isnot going to the White House anytime soon.Trump tweeted Saturday that Curry is no longer invited to the White House because of what the president called hesitation by the two-time NBA MVP in deciding whether to make the traditional champions’ trip to Washington. Trump’s comment on Curry came one day after the president told NFL owners to fire players who won’t stand for the national anthem.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

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Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup: Mohun Bagan Follow Gokulam Kerala As Indian Challenge Ends in Semis

first_imgMohun Bagan lost to Terengganu FC 4-2 in the semi-final of the Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup at the M. A. Aziz Stadium in Chittagong on Tuesday.Lee Tuck scored a hat-trick as Syafik Bin Ismail had got the Malaysian team back in the lead after Fran Gonzalez equalized twice in the second half for Mohun Bagan. There was controversy as Mohun Bagan were denied two calls for a penalty in the first half, which were waived away by the referee. Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. Gokulam Kerala FC had lost 2-3 to Chittagong Abahani Limited in the first semifinal on Monday.Henry Kisekka (29′) and Marcus Joseph (80′) twice gave Gokulam Kerala the lead but Didier Brossou scored a brace to force the game into extra-time.Chittagong’s Matthew Chinedu scored the winner in the 105th minute to put the host team in the final.center_img Chittagong AbahaniGokulam KeralaMohun Bagansemi final First Published: October 29, 2019, 10:04 PM ISTlast_img read more

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Watch Guide: Week 10

first_imgWeek 10 already?! Say it ain’t so. There are some good ones this weekend. TCU-Baylor, Bama-LSU, Arkansas-Florida, Nebraska-Ohio State and of course OU-Iowa State on a Thursday night in Ames. What in the world could ever go wrong with the top Big 12 team going as a three TD favorite to Jack Trice in November?!Thanks as always to Ryan Hartwig for his work.Weekend Watch Guide: Week 10If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

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Navigator Adds Three More

first_imgzoom Navigator Holdings Ltd. has exercised its option to build an additional three 35,000 cubic meter ethylene/ethane capable semi-refrigerated liquefied gas carriers, in addition to the one vessel of the same size already under construction.The three additional vessels will be built at Jiangnan Shipyard in China for $78.4 million each.The carriers are specifically designed in anticipation of large scale exports of ethane becoming available from surplus U.S. shale gas production and the desire by international petrochemical companies to diversify their feedstock supplies with low cost U.S. ethane.However as the world’s largest semi-refrigerated liquefied gas carriers, they will have the versatility to transport the full range of liquefied gases such as propane and butane, as well as petrochemicals including ethylene & ethane, and ammonia.They will be delivered with dual fuel engines, reducing running costs through optimized propulsion systems, and together with larger carrying capacities, will offer greater economies of scale, increasing competitiveness for our customers.Following its exercise of the option to build three additional vessels, Navigator has thirteen vessels in its newbuilding program, four of which are scheduled for delivery in late 2014, four in 2015 and five in 2016. April 23, 2014last_img read more

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Eimskip Secures Loan for Construction of Boxship Duo

first_imgzoom Reykjavik-based shipping company Eimskip has reached an agreement for the financing of the construction of two 2,150 TEU container vessels ordered in January 2017.The loan, secured by China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure), is for an 80% financing of the contract price of the vessels with a 15 year tenor in Euros taken upon delivery.Under the shipbuilding contract signed with China Shipbuilding Trading Company Limited and Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard, the boxships are each priced at around USD 32 million. The order was subject to financing and that has now been lifted, Eimskip informed.The payment profile of the vessels, which are expected to be delivered in 2019, is that 40% of the contract price is paid during the building period and 60% upon delivery.“The financing has a long tenor and has very favorable terms. By securing this financing we are taking an important step towards the renewal of Eimskip’s vessel fleet,” Gylfi Sigfússon, President and CEO, said.Eimskip earlier said that the new ships will be designed in accordance with the Polar Code. With an overall length of 180 meters and breadth of 31 meters, the ships will have a TIER III engine to lower Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emission into the atmosphere.“These new vessels are the largest container vessels that have served in the North Atlantic in scheduled liner services and the ongoing expansion of the ports in Nuuk in Greenland, Reykjavik and Thorshavn in the Faroe Islands will make it possible for these large vessels to serve this market,” Sigfússon added.last_img read more

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UN relief chief voices concern over flood disaster in SouthEast Asia

Valerie Amos, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said in a statement late on Saturday that the severe floods have claimed the lives of more than 700 people in Cambodia and Thailand.In Laos, the Philippines and Viet Nam, homes, crops and vital infrastructure have been destroyed. Millions of people living in low-lying areas remain vulnerable to further destruction.“I commend the action taken by national governments and emergency responders, which has saved many lives,” said Ms. Amos, who is also the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator.“The United Nations and partners stand ready to support those national-led responses where necessary.” 16 October 2011The United Nations humanitarian chief has voiced great concern over the rising impact of storms and flooding on millions of people across South-East Asia, saying the situation is expected to worsen, with river levels still rising and heavy rainfall forecast. read more

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SriLankan employees told to help make airline profitable again

“I believe that employees who were part of the ‘UL 1st Campaign will take key learnings of the programme to their heart and make a conscious effort to commit themselves to the turnaround efforts of the Airline. Special note of appreciation should also be extended to the UL 1st Team for their positive engagement,” he said.Pradeepa Kekulawala, Head of Human Resources, SriLankan Airlines said the rationale behind launching employee engagement initiatives of this scale is to get employees actively engaged in the turnaround efforts of the company. (Colombo Gazette) Employees of Sri Lanka’s national airline, SriLankan Airlines, have been told to help make the airline profitable again.In a media statement today, the airline said that the human resources division of the Airline has launched a series of employee engagement initiatives which seek to integrate the employees towards the mission of making the airline profitable again. “The Airline has recognized the importance of possessing a driven, committed and motivated workforce as the Airline draws blueprints to become a profitable entity. At the core of these employee engagement initiatives is the launch of ‘UL 1st’ Theme which was conceptualized with a vision to inculcate a culture where employees are advocated to always prioritize the Company. The employees are encouraged to shed self-centred motives and work towards a common goal which is to make the Airline profitable again,” the Airline said. Ranjith Fernando, Chairman of SriLankan Airlines said that each and every employee has a critical role to play within an organization and no organization can succeed relying on the performance of only one or two star Managers or one or two departments. read more

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Body of woman found on Highway 401 in Toronto

The Coroner is assisting OPP in the investigation. Police say they do not believe foul play is involved. Any witnesses who have not spoken with police are asked to contact the OPP. All westbound express lanes of Highway 401 at Brimley Rd. were closed during rush hour with traffic being diverted into the collectors lanes. The highway reopened around 9 a.m. Ontario Provincial Police say the body of a woman has been found on Highway 401 near Warden Ave. in Toronto. OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said a 49-year-old woman from Scarborough was struck by a transport truck shortly after 4 a.m. Thursday.Schmidt said a female pedestrian was spotted on the highway prior to the collision. read more

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On World Population Day UN calls for gender equality as way to

The United Nations marked World Population Day today by deploring the discrimination and violence against women and girls that is still rampant around the world and demanding full gender equality as the way to win the battle against poverty, hunger, armed conflict and disease. “When discrimination prevents true equality, the consequences are grave,” Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a message. “Millions of girls are ‘missing’ from populations because parents preferred the birth of sons. More girls than boys are out of school, denied their right to an education and the keys to a better life, and impoverishing the communities in which they live.“Poverty, gender discrimination and violence are fuelling the AIDS epidemic, with the number of women and adolescent girls newly infected rising in every region. And in some regions, alarmingly high levels of maternal mortality are claiming the lives of too many women and depriving children of their mothers’ love and care,” he added.“Despite these enormous challenges – indeed, because of them – women all over the world are mobilizing to secure their rights,” he declared, citing important successes such as the focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment in global debates on development, and new laws enacted in many countries advancing women’s rights.“On this World Population Day, let us resolve to empower women and girls by our commitment to gender equality,” he concluded. “And let us remember that every society that wishes to overcome poverty, hunger, armed conflict and disease must draw fully on the talents and contribution of all of its members.”The Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, emphasized the many benefits of gender equality, including a higher quality of life for individual women and girls, and stronger families, communities and countries. “On the other hand, the costs of maintaining inequality are also high and can be measured by broken bodies, shattered dreams and crushed spirits,” she said, citing high rates of maternal death and disability because women’s health is not made a political priority, and the continuation of harmful practices that place women’s lives in danger.“For tens of millions of girls, child marriage and early childbearing mean an incomplete education, limited opportunities and serious health risks,” she said. “But perhaps the highest cost of gender discrimination is widespread violence against women and girls, which remains one of the most pervasive and shameful human rights violations, compromising the personal security, liberty, dignity and well-being of millions of women and children worldwide. The world can do better. The solutions are well known and effective.” read more

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Truckstop co owned by Cleveland Browns owner Tenn governor to pay 92M

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The truck-stop company owned by Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has agreed to pay a $92 million penalty for cheating customers out of promised rebates and discounts, authorities announced Monday.In an agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Pilot Flying J has accepted responsibility for the criminal conduct of its employees, ten of whom have pleaded guilty to participating in the scheme.For its part, the government has agreed not to prosecute the nation’s largest diesel retailer as long as Pilot abides by the agreement. Among other conditions, Pilot has agreed to co-operate with an ongoing investigation of current and former employees. The agreement does not protect any individual at Pilot from prosecution.The agreement was signed by U.S. Attorney Bill Killian on Thursday and attorneys for Knoxville-based Pilot on Friday.Nashville criminal defence attorney and former prosecutor David Raybin, who has followed the case but is not involved, said the agreement most likely signals that Pilot CEO Jimmy Haslam will not face charges.“No prosecutor would enter into an agreement like this, ask for this kind of sanction, unless they didn’t have enough evidence to indict Haslam,” he said. “Also, Pilot would not agree to pay unless they felt the government would not prosecute him.”FBI special agent Robert H. Root said in an affidavit filed in federal court last year that the scheme was known by a variety of euphemisms including “manual rebates.” Sales team members would make reduce the amount of money due to trucking company customers they deemed to be too unsophisticated to notice, according to the affidavit.The scheme was widely known in the sales department, according to court documents, with supervisors teaching other employees how to do it.Court records said the scheme lasted from at least 2007 until an FBI raid in April 2013.Jimmy Haslam has said he was unaware of the scheme. Through a spokesman, he declined an interview on Monday, but issued a statement: “We, as a company, look forward to putting this whole unfortunate episode behind us, continuing our efforts to rectify the damage done, regaining our customers’ trust, and getting on with our business.”Gov. Bill Haslam holds an undisclosed ownership share in the company but has said he is not involved in Pilot’s day-to-day operations. Pilot has annual revenues of around $30 billion.In May, several top executives abruptly left the company. Pilot officials have not said why the employees left, but the agreement with prosecutors acknowledges that the company has terminated or placed on leave employees who violated company policies. It also acknowledges that Pilot acted quickly to investigate problems with the rebate program and repay cheated customers with interest.Pilot agreed in November to pay out nearly $85 million to settle claims related to the fraudulent withholding of fuel rebates and discounts in a class-action lawsuit with 5,500 trucking companies. Several companies have filed separate lawsuits against Pilot that are ongoing. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Truck-stop co. owned by Cleveland Browns owner, Tenn. governor, to pay $92M fine for scheme by Travis Loller, The Associated Press Posted Jul 14, 2014 12:23 pm MDT read more

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Joint efforts critical to achieve peace in eastern DR Congo – UN

“A genuine and collaborative political effort must now take place at the regional level,” Mr. Ban said in his remarks at the 11+4 regional oversight meeting of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region, which was held on the sidelines of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.“While the situation remains volatile, we have an historic opportunity to end the suffering and stabilize the region, which holds such a great potential for human development.”Mr. Ban emphasized that while the signing of the UN-brokered Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region was “a milestone” in efforts to launch a comprehensive peace process, countries now face a test of implementation that will be met “only if all the signatory countries work together to end the political impasse and generate momentum towards human security and economic development.”The Framework, which was signed in February by 11 African leaders including Rwanda and Uganda, aims to end the cycles of conflict and crisis in the eastern DRC – where, in the most recent hostilities, rebels from the 23 March Movement (M23) have been clashing with the DRC national armed forces (FARDC) – and to build peace in the wider region.Mr. Ban reiterated the support of the international community, including the four organizations that were witnesses to the signing of the Framework – the African Union, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, the Southern African Development Community and the UN.In addition, Mr. Ban said that his Special Representative to the region, Mary Robinson, is working closely with all signatories and is spearheading the effort to define benchmarks on regional commitments.Mr. Ban also commended DRC President Joseph Kabila’s commitment to implement significant reforms in the country, including the establishment of a national oversight mechanism. On the margins of the Summit, The Secretary-General has been meeting with various African leaders.Today he met separately with the President of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, South African President Jacob Zuma, Senegalese President Macky Sall, President of Zambia Michael Chilufya Sata, and Vice-President of Angola Manuel Domingos Vicente, with whom he discussed regional developments.In his meeting with the President of the Republic of the Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso, Mr. Ban praised the Head of State for his efforts to address the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), in his capacity as Mediator in the crisis there, and for hosting the first meeting of the International Contact Group on the CAR. Mr. Ban also met with the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, with whom he discussed the persistent violence in the northern part of the country and the state of emergency declared in three states. Mr. Ban said he hoped that the state of emergency would be lifted quickly and that the safety and welfare of civilians will be protected. read more

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Most important Buckeyes for 2014 – No 5 Dontre Wilson

Then-freshman running back Dontre Wilson runs the ball in a game agains Purdue Nov. 2. OSU won, 56-0.Lantern file photoWith the first five already accounted for, The Lantern continues its countdown of the top 10 most important Buckeyes for the 2014 Ohio State football season.No. 5: Dontre Wilson, sophomore H-backEver since the Southeastern Conference began to dominate the college football landscape in 2007, fans from other regions of the country have been reminded that their favorite teams don’t possess enough quickness to beat schools from the SEC.When coach Urban Meyer took the reins at OSU in November 2011, he made it clear that he intended to change that: the Buckeyes were going to get a lot faster. After an undefeated campaign in 2012, the puzzle of constructing a more explosive offense acquired a key piece when four-star recruit Dontre Wilson committed to OSU in February 2013. In Wilson, a speedster who is able to play both running back and wide receiver, Meyer landed a player that epitomized his offensive philosophy. Expectations were high for the then-freshman.Wilson wound up playing in all 14 games in 2013, and although he didn’t adapt to the offensive schemes as much as his coaches would’ve liked, the double-threat still produced some decent numbers. As the team’s primary kickoff returner and a significant threat on the ground and in the air, Wilson finished with 983 all-purpose yards. Only running back Carlos Hyde, quarterback Braxton Miller and wide receiver Corey Brown had more.He showed glimpses of his ability from the first game of the season. In the second quarter against Buffalo he returned a kickoff for 51 yards. A week later he rushed five times for a total of 51 yards and his only touchdown run of the season as the Buckeyes dismantled San Diego State 42-7. Then came the shootout against California that suited his skillset, helping him to season-highs in both rushing (59 yards) and receiving (48 yards).The Big Ten portion of the schedule didn’t quite see the same production out of Wilson. His 26 rushing yards against Indiana were his highest total of conference play, as were his 35 receiving yards against Penn State.What was more concerning was the way Wilson’s impact seemingly disappeared in the team’s crucial three-game run to end the season. The then-freshman’s production was limited to just the return game against Michigan and Michigan State as he gained 16 and 70 yards, respectively. In the Discover Orange Bowl loss to Clemson, Wilson rushed for 24 yards on three carries, had one return of 25 yards and a catch that resulted in a loss of five.While he might not have exploded onto the scene in the way many hoped he would, Wilson is poised to do just that during his sophomore season.Both Wilson and his coaches have admitted over this offseason how he didn’t really understand his role in last year’s offense. But now things have changed, and the expectations of Wilson –– especially from Meyer –– are high.“Last year he was a hybrid guy that really wasn’t great at anything. (He) was not quite strong enough to run inside like you need that hybrid guy to do. (He) was simply an outside running player,” Meyer said on Monday at the Big Ten Media Days in Chicago. “He’s gained the weight. He’s much stronger. He’s much more prepared for this level of football. He’s always had the talent and he’s always had the effort, so…he’s an impact guy for us in a lot of ways.”One of Wilson’s main roles toward the end of last season was to redirect the attention of opposing defenses toward him and away from his offensive teammates. Now, with the departures of Hyde and Brown to the NFL, Wilson becomes the unit’s most important and dynamic player behind Miller.When Meyer recruited Wilson many analysts were quick to draw comparisons with current Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin, who succeeded in the hybrid position under Meyer at Florida. If they do turn out to be similar players, Buckeye fans can take heart in the fact that Harvin nearly doubled his yards from scrimmage and total touchdowns from his freshman to sophomore year.If the Buckeyes hope to capture their first Big Ten title in five years, they need Wilson to have a similar improvement.OSU’s first game of the season is scheduled for Aug. 30 when the Buckeyes face Navy in Baltimore, Md. read more

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Tim Peake has dinner with the Queen at Windsor Castle

first_imgMajor Peake, who returned to Earth from a historic six-month European Space Agency mission in June, corresponded with the Queen while he was in orbit.The astronaut became the first person to deliver a “God save the Queen” message directly to the monarch from space when he addressed the Queen in a video message live from the ISS after she sent him her own wishes. Queen Among others listed in the Court Circular as attending the soiree with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were the Belgian ambassador, the Brazilian ambassador, the former Bishop of London the Rt Rev and Rt Hon Richard Chartres, and the head of Eton College Simon Henderson. The Queen takes up official residence at Windsor for a month each spring for Easter Court when she hosts dinner parties – often for famous guests who in the past have included director Tim Burton, actress Helena Bonham Carter, Bond star Daniel Craig and actress Rachel Weisz.Known as “dine and sleep” events, guests are also given a bed for the night. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Major Peake travelled to the International Space Station Credit:Dmitry Lovetsky/APcenter_img British astronaut Tim Peake has dined with the Queen at Windsor Castle.Major Peake, who became the first Briton to form part of the crew of the International Space Station (ISS), and his wife Rebecca joined the monarch at her favourite home in Berkshire on Monday evening. He was also made a CMG – Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George – in the monarch’s birthday honours, making him the first person to be honoured while in space. Major Peake collected the award from the Queen in December. Major Peake The Queen welcomed Major Peake to Windsor CastleCredit:REX/Shutterstocklast_img read more

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Caledonian Sleeper investigation after train overshoots its platform

He said: said: “Clearly this is an incredibly serious situation which calls for nothing less than the grounding of the entire new Sleeper fleet until we have the full details of what went wrong.“No-one should be playing fast and loose with faulty brakes on our railways and Serco need to wake up to that fact and act now.”The Twitter account for the Caledonian Sleeper posted: “Our apologies to guests affected by the incident at Edinburgh this morning.“Our northbound service to Edinburgh Waverley overran the platform due to an earlier operational issue at Carstairs.“An investigation is under way into the cause of the incident but early indications are that there are no technical problems with the rolling stock. We have notified the relevant authorities.” An investigation has been launched after a new Caledonian Sleeper train overshot its platform by hundreds of yards amid calls for the train to be pulled from the tracks. The incident at Edinburgh Waverley station is being probed by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) after overshooting its platform at Edinburgh Waverley station.The train was brought to a halt by staff activating the emergency brake – stopping the train across a junction several hundred yards down the track.This blocked services to London, Dunbar, North Berwick and Tweedbank before the train could be returned to the platform, causing delays.A spokesman for the RAIB, said: “An RAIB inspector was deployed yesterday to gather evidence. We will use this information to decide any further course of action.” Serco, which operates the Caledonian Sleeper service apologised and said: “early indications are that there are no technical problems with the rolling stock.”Inspections of the train, which was introduced alongside the rest of the new fleet at the end of April, and the scene were conducted in an attempt to find the cause of the incident.In response, Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) general-secretary Manuel Cortes called for the entire fleet to be pulled from service. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

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Former royal surgeon has denied bullying Muslim colleagues when they took time

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Mr Truscott read from a diary entry that the surgeon was unable to go into theatre after being left “shaken”.Krukowski said: “That is a falsehood. He was not scheduled for theatre.“We worked and discussed it and I thought we had addressed the issue.“He recognises that he misled me about the detail of the surgery and patient care was far below what should be accepted.”He added: “I lost my temper with him and I was embarrassed and mortified. I have subsequently apologised.”The then health secretary Alex Neil was first alerted by a whistleblower to concerns from senior medics of the management and clinical standards at ARI in March 2014.Healthcare Improvement Scotland carried out a full review on performance and culture at the hospital, with inspectors raising concerns about a minority of consultants in general surgery.The tribunal continues. A former royal surgeon has denied “bullying” Muslim colleagues when they took time off for prayer, a tribunal hears.  Professor Zygmunt Krukowski oversaw the medical care of the Royal family at Balmoral but was suspended from Aberdeen Royal Infirmary after a misconduct investigation was launched in 2015. He has now launched an employment tribunal into his “unfair dismissal”, after he was cleared by the General Medical Council in July 2015. Professor Krukowski, 70, was cross examined by Ian Truscott who asked if he had said: “Some patients were more important than some religions.”But Krukowski claimed he said: “What’s more important? Patients or prayers?”The solicitor said an NHS colleague had claimed Krukowski used the derogatory phrase “hairy-a***d Muslims” when talking to the then chief executive of the NHS trust. But Professor Krukowski “strenuously denied” the claims. He said: “I have never used that phrase in my life. “I would have been astonished that the chief executive of a national board would not take action immediately.“I strenuously deny I would use that phrase and I would not be so stupid to use it at a chief executive.”Another worker said he felt he was being “bullied, harassed and mobbed” after Prof Krukowski “raised his voice” at him. read more

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Scanbox turns your smartphone into portable scanner

first_imgDoes this sound familiar? Someone asks you to scan a document and send it via email, so you take a photo of it with your smartphone. Easy, right? Well, if you’ve done it before then you know that there has to be enough light, and don’t move or else the image will come out blurry. If you’re looking for an easier (and cheaper) solution, a smart little box designed for this specific purpose has come to Kickstarter seeking funds.The Scanbox, simply put, is a box with a small hole at the top that acts as a platform for your smartphone allowing you to take photos of documents or whatever else you can fit inside the 12.2 x 12.2 x 9.05-inch frame. As well as simplyfying smartphone scanning, the Scanbox can fold down to the size of a standard folder, making it a good travel companion and easy to store on your desk.The Scanbox is held together by strong neodymium magnets, so it doesn’t fold under the weight of your smartphone. It’s also compatible with any smartphone that has a rear facing camera, but the creator, Phil Bosua, claims it has been “optimized” for iPhone and iPod Touch devices.Bosua is seeking only $12,500 of funding for the first production run, packaging, and materials. He has already far exceeded that amount meaning the Scanbox is definitely going to happen.If you’re looking to snag one and back the project, there’s still a $15 option open to receive the standard Scanbox.There’s also a $25 option for the Scanbox Plus, which includes internal lights and a side enclosure to help reduce lense flare and diffuse light.The Scanbox is Phil Bosua’s first successful Kickstarter. Bosua’s other project, which sought to digitally revive Golden Age Comics, failed due to a lack of funding.Read more at Kickstarterlast_img read more

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Call for new girlfriend orders to be used against Irish domestic abuse

first_img A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE organisation has said ‘Criminal Behaviour Orders’ like those used in the UK could help protect future victims from abuse.This week, a woman in the UK who has been viciously assaulted numerous times by her ex-partner praised the order, which now requires him to inform police of any relationship lasting more than 14 days.Kylle Godfrey is serving a three-year sentence for his offence but the Criminal Behaviour Order lasts for seven years. This is believed to be the first time in England and Wales that such an order has been used, the BBC reported.His victim told BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme that the order “makes me feel more safe, and other women will be protected”.“Instead of us women trying to prevent them [from being abusive], they have to go away from us.”Domestic abuse organisations in Ireland were watching closely and are keen to see similar orders used against offenders here.Women’s Aid Director Margaret Martin told TheJournal.ie it was “very significant”.“It shifts the blame and the response away from the victim and focuses on the perpetrator. It’s also really good in terms of safety management. It’s always a concern for women, they say ‘now maybe I’m safe, but what about other women he becomes involved with?’”.Here, the State is taking responsibility for protecting other women.She said her organisation sometimes deals with multiple women who have been abused by the same man.Martin also said this kind of action against offenders also shifts the discussion around domestic violence away from it being a private matter.What we would see is that men who are extremely dangerous are not seen as a threat to the wider public. When it goes through the courts, they get a suspended sentence.The courts treat it like there was something to do with this particular couple, but that’s a high risk criminal who can do very serious harm to women and children.There have already been changes in how gardaí deal with domestic violence, Martin said, and she welcomed their focus now on risk assessment when called to these incidents. She said police are often frustrated at their lack of power when it comes to people they know are violent towards their partners.“It must be infuriating if you know someone is really dangerous and you can’t protect women. I think this is something that would give them another tool in their box.” By Michelle Hennessy Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Apr 9th 2017, 7:45 AM Image: domestic abuse image via Shutterstock 28,748 Views Sunday 9 Apr 2017, 7:45 AM http://jrnl.ie/3330929 Short URL Image: domestic abuse image via Shutterstock Call for ‘new girlfriend orders’ to be used against Irish domestic abuse offenders One of these orders was used recently for the first time in England and Wales. Share Tweet Email4 98 Comments last_img read more

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Le cyclone Oli se renforce et fait un mort

first_imgLe cyclone Oli se renforce et fait un mortPolynésie – Alors qu’il se renforce et accélère son déplacement vers le sud-est de la Polynésie française, le cyclone Oli a fait sa première victime jeudi à Papeete. Un homme de 40 ans a en effet été emporté par la houle.Une première victime du cyclone Oli est à déplorer, a annoncé jeudi soir Eric Spitz, secrétaire général du Haut-commissariat en Polynésie Française. “Il s’agit d’un homme de 40 ans emporté par la houle à Tubuai dans l’archipel des Australes. Son corps a été retrouvé” a-t-il précisé.À lire aussiLa tragique histoire de l’homme évacué d’un avion à cause de son odeurA Bora-Bora, une dizaine de blessés dont un grave ont été recensés, tandis que sous le passage du cyclone, quelque 320 maisons ont été partiellement détruites et plus de 4.000 évacuations ont dû être effectuées.A 6 heures vendredi matin (19h00, heure locale), Oli se situait à 370 km au sud-ouest de Tahiti et poursuivait de plus en plus rapidement son déplacement vers le sud-est. C’est désormais sur l’archipel des Australes que le cyclone est attendu, avec des vents qui pourraient atteindre plus de 250 km/h. La houle pourrait quant à elle s’élever jusqu’à huit mètres.Face à la violence du cyclone, le gouvernement de Polynésie française pourrait demander la déclaration d’état de catastrophe naturelle.Le 5 février 2010 à 15:32 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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A third want more communications on employee benefits

first_imgA third (34%) of respondents want their employer to communicate more about the employee benefits and perks available at their organisation, according to research by group risk insurance provider Canada Life Group Insurance.In a survey of 1,001 full and part-time employees, Canada Life also found that 20% received information about their benefits and perks when they first joined their organisation, but have not received any communications since then. This compares to 34% who believe that their employer clearly communicates the benefits and rewards they have available.More than one in 10 (16%) respondents do not know who they should ask about available employee benefits and perks, while 9% do not know which, if any, benefits are even offered.More than half (56%) of respondents prefer to receive information on workplace benefits via email, although 29% like to have face-to-face interactions and 26% want to access information using an intranet hub.Paul Avis (pictured), marketing director at Canada Life Group Insurance, said: “Employers should re-evaluate their communication methods and learn what works for their employees. Our research suggests a renewed focus on email updates, face-to-face communications or an internal intranet system is a good place to start to fully articulate the availability of workplace benefits and give regular updates. This will ensure that all staff members understand which perks are available to them and will ultimately improve their perception of their employer.“Advisers also have a role to play in arming employers with the information and tools necessary to effectively promote benefits within the workplace, ideally working in close partnership with the insurance provider.”last_img read more

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