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Skipping Dinner, Imran Khan Takes Helm in Pakistan Pledging Austerity

first_imgImran Khan, the former cricket star turned firebrand politician, was sworn in as Pakistan’s prime minister Saturday, taking control of a country facing a looming economic crisis as observers questioned whether he had the political acumen to govern a deeply divided nation.Khan’s first decision was to scrub the nine-course meal traditionally served after the oath-taking ceremony, held at the president’s house. It was a sign of the “austerity drive” he had promised while on the campaign trail, his party said. Instead, refreshments were served in the grand hall of the residence.Since winning the July 25 election, Khan has stressed that he would lead a lean life, shunning the ostentatious displays of power and wealth of his predecessors. He has said that he will not live in the prime minister’s house, a lavish, white marble building on a hilltop overlooking Islamabad.Instead, he vowed to take a smaller house belonging to the military secretary. Khan, however, maintains a sprawling, private Mediterranean-style villa nearby.Whether his campaign rhetoric will match the policies he pursues will be closely watched; as a politician, he has been criticized as relying on style over substance. On the campaign trail, he vowed to establish an Islamic welfare state and to build millions of housing units. Those promises will bump up against the reality that Pakistan’s government has little money to spare, is straddled with debt and must tighten its finances.“The main challenge is economic,” said Ayaz Amir, a former lawmaker and noted Pakistani columnist. “There’s not much money in the kitty, and there are a lot of debts coming due both in the immediate and long term.”Amir added: “He will be judged by what kind of people he appoints to key ministries — this will be crucial. And he has many other advantages: People look upon him as a clean leader with no legacy of corruption attached to his name, and he’s popular enough to withstand populist demands.”If Khan completes his five-year term, he would be the first prime minister in Pakistan’s history to do so.The new prime minister has said he would break the dynastic nature of Pakistani politics and promised to bring young, dynamic leadership to his government. Instead, he has so far elevated into key roles some of the same politicians he had denounced in the past over their political opportunism and checkered records on corruption.Khan, 65, announced his Cabinet appointments hours after the swearing-in ceremony Saturday. The list did not include appointments for the ministries of interior and power, leaving Khan in control of those portfolios. Observers warned that leaving those ministries under Khan’s purview was a mistake, with the country suffering from an acute electricity shortage and needing special attention and expertise.Asad Umar, a private-sector businessman whom economists view as a populist with a thin grasp of the challenges ahead, was named as finance minister.Pakistan’s current account deficit stands at $18 billion, while its foreign-currency reserves are just $10.1 billion, enough to cover two months of imports. Just days after the election, China gave Pakistan a $2 billion loan to help shore up its finances, following $1 billion given by Chinese banks in April. And more money is needed, soon.One of the first tests facing Khan is whether to ask the International Monetary Fund for a bailout or to extend another open palm to China, deepening Pakistan’s economic reliance on its larger neighbor. Pakistan already relies on China to develop critical infrastructure projects worth some $62 billion, with onerous loan terms and profit-sharing agreements benefiting Beijing.Pakistan will start negotiations with the IMF in the coming weeks and will ask for loans worth up to $12 billion, officials say, part of a four-year program that will require the country to undertake privatization measures and tighten its fiscal policy. Pakistan has taken 14 bailouts from the fund since the 1980s.If Khan’s government pursues an IMF bailout, he will have to explain to voters why the populist measures he promised will no longer be possible under the fund’s lending terms.Saturday’s swearing-in ceremony was the second democratic transfer of power in Pakistan since it was founded in 1947. The military has ruled for about half the country’s history through a series of coups.Before the election, the military was accused of propping up Khan by censoring the news media and influencing Pakistan’s courts in order to disqualify and jail the last elected prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, on corruption charges, which were seen as politicized.The vote was also fraught with irregularities, according to the opposition. And an observation team from the European Union determined the campaign in the lead-up to the election had a had a “lack of equality” for all parties.Khan takes over at a time when Pakistan finds itself increasingly isolated on the global stage. Washington froze aid to the country this year, citing the military’s ties to extremist groups fighting in Afghanistan, complicating the United States’ war effort there.In June, a global anti-terrorism watchdog group put Pakistan on a “gray list” for not doing enough to clamp down on terrorist groups at home. That listing will complicate and make more expensive Pakistan’s ability to raise money on international markets.Whether Khan can assert control over Pakistan’s foreign and defense policies will be another crucial test of how successful his government will be. The military has typically controlled those domains, and Khan’s objectives — such as brokering peace in Afghanistan and pursuing talks with India, a longtime rival, will need the military’s approval.Khan “needs to sit down with the military and figure out what are the national security objectives,” said Ikram Sehgal, an independent analyst and retired Pakistani military officer. “Everyone should be on the same page.”He added: “We need to fix the U.S.-Pakistan relationship. We cannot afford to be in either the U.S. or the China camp. We need to be neutral and friendly with everyone.”Although Pakistan’s main political parties all agree that the economy is the top priority, whether Khan can cobble together the needed support will be a challenge. He was voted in as prime minister by Parliament on Friday, with 51 percent of the vote. As he took the floor to make his acceptance speech, opposition lawmakers began chanting slogans against him.Khan quickly lost his cool, calling his opponents corrupt in a divisive speech. His party crowded around him ululating and mocking the opposition. The image was reminiscent of Khan’s political start: leading anti-government demonstrations while chanting from atop cargo containers.It was not the image that many had expected Khan to project: a new, composed prime minister. The tirade was a break from the conciliatory note he had taken in a national address just after his party won the elections.“He simply doesn’t have it; he doesn’t have the temperament to deal with dissent,” said Khurram Dastgir-Khan, a sitting opposition parliamentarian who served as the defense minister in the previous government.“That is why he abandoned whatever high-minded speech he planned and went back to his fiery accusations. He was elected with a razor-thin majority. This is our new leader, a man who will struggle to negotiate with Parliament to get support for his policies,” he added.During Saturday’s swearing-in ceremony, Khan stumbled as he repeated the oath, and was immediately denounced by opponents for not being prepared. But his followers praised his humility.There were other stumbles. When Parliament was inaugurated Monday, Khan forgot the national identification needed to enter the session. The speaker of the House had to grant him special permission to enter and to take his oath alongside fellow parliamentarians.“This wasn’t the most auspicious of beginning for this Parliament,” said Amir, the analyst, adding, “He has to make the transition from opposition leader to the leader of Pakistan.”© New York Times 2018 Related Itemsimran khanPakistanlast_img read more

On the Attack Against Climate Change

first_imgThousands of organizations around the world are trying in big ways and small to confront the challenges of climate change. Here are 10 examples.— Under the SeaCoral reefs are beautiful to look at, but they also play a crucial role as coastal barriers when storms or flooding hits, absorbing about 97 percent of wave energy.But because of rising temperatures, coral cover in the Caribbean is estimated to have decreased about 80 percent in the past few decades, said Joseph Pollock, Caribbean coral strategy director at the Nature Conservancy. He added that in 2016, a marine heat wave was estimated to have killed about a third of the shallow corals on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.The Nature Conservancy in partnership with Secore International, a conservation organization and a leader in coral restoration, are using an innovative approach to address the problem: helping coral reproduction.Coral mating works this way, Pollock said: Many coral species spawn by putting out bundles of eggs and sperm one night a year.“It’s like the craziest singles bar ever,” he said.Researchers know when those nights are, so they go out, collect the eggs and sperm and then mix them together to cross-fertilize, grow them for a few days or weeks until they become coral juveniles, then place them back in the sea.The survival rate is about 10 percent, Pollock said, but that’s much better than the survival rate without the help of the scientists. And compared with other restoration techniques, the cross-fertilization creates greater genetic diversity, and that creates more resilience.The work is focused on the Caribbean now, but Pollock said the hope is that it can be used throughout the world.“The aim of the work is to develop tools and techniques that are low cost and don’t require a huge amount of super specialized personnel and infrastructure,” he said.In a photo provided by Resilient Power Puerto Rico, one of the solar microgrids that have been installed by Resilient Power Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria knocked out most of the island’s power grid in 2017. Photo: Resilient Power Puerto Rico via The New York Times.— A New Kind of PowerAfter Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico last year and knocked out almost all its power grid, most residents were left without electricity for months. Jonathan Marvel, one of the founders of Marvel Architects, was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He wanted not only to help bring back power but also do it in a way that would be more environmentally sustainable than it was before the storm.So, with colleagues and friends, he created Resilient Power Puerto Rico, to develop and install solar microgrids for as many people as he could in the most efficient way possible. The organization, which received an early donation of batteries from Tesla, focused its efforts on areas with high-density, low-rise housing and installed the grids on rooftops of community centers that typically serve 3,000 to 4,000 people.Their work complements other efforts not only to rebuild the island but also to make its infrastructure more resilient and environmentally green.One benefit of the solar microgrids is that they can store solar power — allowing them to operate if the main power source is disrupted — which solar panels alone can’t do.So far, 28 microgrids have been installed, serving close to 100,000 people, Marvel said, and 30 more are almost finished. The cost, covered by donations from companies and individuals, is about $25,000 to $30,000 per solar hub.Almost all the power on the island is supplied by fossil fuels, but Puerto Rico is “an ideal locale to use solar power and renewable energy because it has so many more solar days than in many parts of the world,” said Marvel, whose offices are based in Manhattan and San Juan. “We want to keep the candle burning with solar energy, not fossil fuel.”In a photo provided by Kirill Shahmatov, peatland restoration outside Moscow. The abandonment of drained peatlands in parts of Russia has created not only widespread land degradation but also huge quantities of carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming. Photo: Kirill Shahmatov via The New York Times.— Saving the SoilThe role that soil plays in climate change is often ignored, but changing the way it is managed could have a big impact on global warming.Unfortunately, most soil has become less productive, with environmental consequences, said Michael Doane, managing director for agriculture and food systems at the Nature Conservancy. That’s because it has been eroded through too much tilling, lack of adequate ground cover and a failure to diversify crops.“This living ecosystem has become dead and we’re trying to bring it back to life,” Doane said.One pilot program, now taking place on more than 100 U.S. farms in about six states, is focused on reducing or eliminating the amount of tillage done on farms. It is done under the auspices of the Soil Health Partnership, a collaboration of environmental groups, farmers, academics and industry working to alter soil health practices.“Tillage is actually detrimental to soil,” he said. One of the main problems is that tilling releases carbon stored in the soil, which becomes carbon dioxide when exposed to air and contributes to global warming. Tilling also makes the earth more susceptible to erosion and less able to absorb heavy rainfalls.One solution is using plants — either rotating crops or using ground cover such as grass, depending on what’s needed to repair the soil — to cover the soil before and after the main cash crop is planted. Diverse plant cover has been found to make the soil healthier and helps control weeds, Doane said.“We want to try to avoid soil bare of plant cover,” he added. “Instead, our vision is a continuous living cover.” Calling it “nature’s solution to climate change,” he said the process of photosynthesis — where plants store the carbon in the soil and release oxygen — could be “a very cost-effective way to mitigate climate change.”This won’t work on every farm, because each is different, but “we know this works for many farmers in many situations — we have good data on that,” Doane said.And the process can make farms more productive by creating soil that can better hold water and recycle nutrients, meaning farmers can spend less money on fertilizer.“If we’re going to solve climate change,” he said, “We have to find economic solutions for people who don’t know they’re solving climate change.”— Up on the RoofKeeping cool is becoming more and more difficult as temperatures across the world spike. In addition, air-conditioning uses hydrofluorocarbons, which contribute substantially to global warming.One solution that numerous cities around the world have embraced is called cool roofs, which is simply painting dark rooftops with a reflective white paint or wrapping them with a light membrane that reduces the absorption of heat. This not only addresses the “urban heat island” effect — urban areas tend to be significantly warmer than surrounding rural areas due to human activities — but also helps decrease strain on electric grids and alleviate air pollution.A Yale University study cites a finding that if every roof in the United States were painted white, the urban heat island effect would be decreased by one-third.New York City, for example, has a CoolRoofs Initiative. Since 2009, 5,000 volunteers have painted more than 5 million square feet of rooftops in the city, according to the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability.In India, where only 10 percent of the households have air-conditioning units, two cities — Hyderabad and Ahmadabad — ran cool-roof demonstration projects. In Ahmadabad, volunteers and others painted 3,000 roofs in slum areas with white lime paint, said Anjali Jaiswal, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s India program. The environmental organization worked on the projects with local partners.DuPont, which has a research center in Hyderabad, owns Tyvek, a synthetic material that is often used in construction and can cover dark roofs. The company donated the material to cover 25 roofs in the city. Both paint and the coverings are considered equally effective, Jaiswal said.Cool roofs can reduce indoor temperature 3 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit, she added, for as little as 7 cents a square foot or $4 a home.As incomes and temperatures rise, so is demand for air-conditioning, she said. An important aspect of addressing climate change will be both developing more environmentally friendly units and reducing the demand for them.Both Indian cities are now developing a citywide cool-roofs policy mandating them for all municipal buildings and working with business leaders’ corporate responsibility programs to expand them throughout the cities.For relatively little cost, Jaiswal said, cool roofs are “saving lives, reducing temperatures and responding to climate change.”— Turning Plastic Into MoneyCollecting plastic to recycle as a way to earn money is nothing new. But David Katz, founder and chief executive of the Plastic Bank, has created a virtuous cycle of buying and reselling the plastic.The company’s idea, which last year received a U.N. “Momentum for Change” climate solutions award, aims to stop plastic before it even gets to the ocean by having collectors pick it up around canals, waterways and other areas that lead into the ocean. Through partnerships between the Plastic Bank and major corporations such as the German-based Henkel, the plastic is then reused. That cuts down on the emissions that cause greenhouse gasses used to make new plastic.According to research from the nonprofit Earth Day Network, about 8 million metric tons of plastic pollution are discarded into the ocean every year, equivalent to one garbage truck full of plastics being dumped every minute.Plastic Bank, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, started its work in Haiti three years ago; now about 2,000 collectors there can either receive cash, buy goods or services — such as cooking oil, LED lights or topping off pay-as-you-go cellphones — at one of the 40 recycling outlets around the country. They also have the ability, through the Plastic Bank’s app developed in partnership with IBM, to transfer the money into an online savings account.In Haiti, where more than half the people live on less than $2 a day, a full-time collector can receive several dollars a day, Katz said.The company also trains and supports local people who run the recycling outlets.The Plastic Bank has expanded to Brazil, and Indonesia; this month, it opened its first site in the Philippines and in the first week, Katz said, collected around 120,000 bottles.— Neighbors Helping NeighborsConstance Okollet had never heard of climate change, but she knew that her village in Uganda had been devastated by a 2007 flood that affected most of the country. She knew the weather was growing increasingly unpredictable, making the farming of the typical crops such as maize, sorghum and millet ever more difficult and sending a population that had been poor but self-sufficient spiraling into destitution.“We thought God was punishing us,” Okollet said. She suggested to her neighbors that they form a group to help one another and was elected to lead what was soon called the Osukuru United Women Network.At first, they helped each other in small ways, such as pooling their savings. Then in 2009, Okollet heard on the radio that Oxfam, the global relief organization, was holding a meeting focused on food insecurity in the area, and she decided to go.Once at the meeting, she said: “They kept talking about climate change and I asked, ‘What are you people talking about? What do you mean by that?’”She learned. And she and other members of the network (which now includes some men) have since begun awareness education about climate change — its impact and how to adapt — through workshops in churches and wherever people gather.They have undertaken numerous larger projects as well. The network received a $5,000 grant from the Global Greengrants Fund, a nonprofit that provides small grants to local groups working on environmental issues. The money went to buy six teams of oxen, which are much faster than the traditional hand tilling. An acre can be tilled in two days, compared with a hoe, which can take four weeks, Okollet said. This makes it easier to time the planting to good weather.In a photo provided by Liz Hale, an Ethiopian baby delivered with help from WeCareSolar, a nonprofit whose Solar Suitcases have been received by 3,500 facilities in 27 developing countries. Photo: Liz Hale via The New York Times.Two years ago, 60 members of the network were also flown to Nairobi, Kenya, to learn how to make and sell charcoal briquettes; deforestation means firewood is scarce and the briquettes in any case are greener. They mix ash, dry leaves and water, which when dried, actually even cook better than wood, she said.“We also sell the briquettes to make money — even $1 can help,” she said. “You can pay your school fees or start a small business, and you don’t have to take a loan from the bank.”— Restoring PeatlandsPeatlands may not be the first thing people think about when focusing on climate change, but the abandonment of drained peatlands in parts of Russia has created not only widespread land degradation, but also huge quantities of carbon dioxide, through peat oxidation. And carbon dioxide contributes to global warming.Over the decades, millions of acres have been drained and used for agriculture, forestry and the extraction of peat, a fuel used for heating and electrical energy. But when it was no longer profitable to dig out the peat, many of the areas were deserted, said Jozef Bednar, project manager for Wetlands International.“Peatland ecosystems play a crucial role in global climate,” said Bednar, noting that they store several times more carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas than any other ecosystem. As such, he added, “the world’s peat bogs represent an important ‘carbon sink’ — a place where carbon dioxide is stored below ground and can’t escape into the atmosphere and exacerbate global warming.”Bednar offered one staggering number: Peatlands cover only 3 percent of the global total land area, but emit twice as much carbon dioxide as the world’s forests, which cover more than 30 percent. The peatlands drained by people are prone to fires and the accompanying smoke spreads long distances, creating serious health problems.Wetlands International, along with its partners under the International Climate Initiative of the German government, began a major restoration of the peatlands after the extensive peat fires in the Moscow region in 2010. The goal is to return the peatlands to their original waterlogged state. With the help of experts, this is done by correctly blocking drainage ditches and channels so the peatlands’ water-storage capacity is re-established, Bednar said.The project was awarded a U.N. “Momentum for Change” climate solutions award last year and, to date, about 100,000 acres of drained peatlands have been restored in Russia and the process can be replicated in other countries facing the same problem, he added.— Climate LiteracyClimate and climate change are complicated, and while schools are a good place to learn about it, not all teachers have the knowledge and resources to teach the topic. That’s why the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a partnership of federal agencies, education-focused nongovernmental organizations, teachers and scientists wrote “The Essential Principles of Climate Literacy,” a curriculum guide for teachers.Available since 2009, but in the process of being updated for release at the end of the year, it is for at all ages and all forms of education, said Frank Niepold, a senior climate education program manager for NOAA and lead author of the guide.“In the 1990s, less than 1 percent of the national standards for science education was related to climate change. Now about 30 percent is,” he added.At the same time, the partnership established a website, Cleanet.org, that offers climate and energy educational resources — including quizzes- and guidance for teachers.Niepold estimated that over 50 percent of children in kindergarten through 12th grade nationwide are learning from all or some of the climate literacy framework, and “we’re on our way to 75 percent,” he said.Other countries are also using the guide in creating their own curriculums and standards, he added, and this month the National Science Teachers Association released its position paper on teaching climate science, referencing the Essentials of Climate Literacy as one of its sources.“Students are aware of climate change and want to know more and want to be part of solving it,” Niepold said. “And they know that requires an understanding of the fundamentals.”— Fighting Energy PovertyWhen Laura Stachel, an obstetrician, took a two-week trip to a remote hospital in Nigeria 10 years ago, she was interested in maternal health, not solar energy. But what she saw there changed her mind and her life.She knew maternal mortality was high: Worldwide, Stachel said, about 300,000 women and 2 million newborns die every year from pregnancy and childbirth complications. But she did not realize the extent of what has been called energy poverty.The hospital in northern Nigeria that she visited did not have electricity for 12 hours a day. Daytime cesarean sections were done by ambient light, and once, when it occurred in the middle of the night and the power went out, one was performed by the light of Stachel’s headlamp.She told the stories to her husband, Hal Aronson, who holds a doctorate in environmental sociology and has focused on solar energy issues for years. He designed and built what is now called a Solar Suitcase: solar equipment that is easy to transport, install and use in areas where power supplies are unreliable.The kit, the size of a suitcase, comes with everything needed from solar panels to medical lighting to fetal monitors. As news about the Solar Suitcases was spreading, Stachel and Aronson also started the nonprofit WeCareSolar, which has received grants from foundations, corporations and individuals. Last year, it received a U.N. “Momentum for Change” climate solutions award.Working in partnership with nonprofits and U.N. agencies, about 3,500 facilities in 27 developing countries around the world have received the Solar Suitcases. It costs $3,000 to support a clinic with a Solar Suitcase for five years, Stachel said, including all the equipment, transportation and training.The organization also works to train local people to install and maintain solar power.The health impact is clear, but so is the impact on the environment, she said. Diesel fuel generators and kerosene lamps are polluting and generate carbon dioxide. But perhaps even more important, the move toward solar would reduce the reliance on fossil fuel — something that some major U.S. hospitals are now trying to do.“We could leapfrog right past that and go right to clean, green electricity,” she said.— Greener RefrigerationSupermarkets around the world are major users of hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants, which contribute to ozone depletion and global warming — and in Chile, they are the biggest user. So, it is fitting that a supermarket chain called Jumbo has become the first in the country to adopt new refrigeration technology that is far more climate friendly than traditional methods.The new refrigeration technology uses transcritical CO2, which is a refrigerant that has a much smaller effect on the ozone layer and global warming. Hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants had replaced ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons, but because their effects on global warming are so severe, there has been a worldwide effort to find a replacement. Hydrofluorocarbons have 1,000 times the heat-trapping potency of carbon dioxide.Under the Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment, countries must meet specific targets and timelines to replace hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants with more environmentally friendly alternatives.Jumbo has installed the systems in three supermarkets in Chile and will convert four more stores in the near future, said Claudia Paratori Cortés, coordinator of the Ozone Unit in the Office of Climate Change in Chile’s Ministry of Environment.Cortés said comparisons between two types of refrigeration — transcritical C02 and one containing hydrofluorocarbons — found that the transcritical C02 systems were 20 to 40 percent more energy efficient, saving around $20,000 annually.In addition, she said, the residual heat from the transcritical CO2 systems can be used to heat water and therefore save energy.c.2018 New York Times News Service Related ItemsEnvironmentlast_img read more

Clean Energy Is Surging, but Not Fast Enough to Solve Global Warming

first_imgOver the next two decades, the world’s energy system will undergo a huge transformation. Wind and solar power are poised to become dominant sources of electricity. China’s once-relentless appetite for coal is set to wane. The amount of oil we use to fuel our cars could peak and decline.But there’s a catch: The global march toward clean energy still isn’t happening fast enough to avoid dangerous global warming, at least not unless governments put forceful new policy measures in place to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.That’s the conclusion of the International Energy Agency, which on Monday published its annual World Energy Outlook, a 661-page report that forecasts global energy trends to 2040. These projections are especially difficult right now because the world’s energy markets, which usually evolve gradually, are going through a major upheaval.Here are some of the report’s major themes:Wind and Solar Make GainsAround the world, the electricity sector “is experiencing its most dramatic transformation since its creation more than a century ago,” the report said. One big factor is the rapid growth of wind and solar power.Over the past five years, the average cost of solar power has declined 65 percent, and the cost of onshore wind has fallen 15 percent. The energy agency predicts those prices will keep tumbling as technology improves and governments scale back subsidies. Solar plants are becoming well-placed to outcompete new coal plants almost everywhere.The agency sees renewable power supplying 40 percent of the world’s electricity by 2040, up from 25 percent today. Even that forecast could prove conservative: In the past, the agency has underestimated the speed at which wind and solar power proliferate.“Our solar expectations are about 20 percent higher than they were last year, both because of new policies in China and India and because the costs are coming down so fast,” said Fatih Birol, the agency’s executive director.The report warns, however, that many countries will need to retool their grids to manage the output from wind and solar plants, which run intermittently. That will mean overhauling rules for how electricity markets operate, relying on batteries and gas plants for grid flexibility and exploring new tools like hydrogen storage.Coal’s Boom Days Are OverFor decades, developing countries like China and India have turned to coal as the cheapest, easiest way to power their economies and lift themselves out of poverty. It’s a big reason carbon dioxide emissions have skyrocketed.That’s quickly changing.China, which burns half the world’s coal, is making heavy investments in wind, solar, nuclear and natural gas, spurred in part by concerns about air pollution from its coal plants. The agency now projects that China’s coal consumption will plateau around 2025, with renewables overtaking coal as the country’s biggest source of electricity by 2040.And, while countries in Southeast Asia and elsewhere are still drawing up plans to build new coal plants, the agency expects this frenzy of construction to slow sharply after 2020.But don’t expect coal to disappear altogether. While the era of rapid coal growth is fading, the agency projects that global coal consumption could stay flat for decades. One reason for that: The average coal plant in Asia is less than 15 years old (compared with about 41 years in the United States). Those plants will keep polluting for decades, unless countries decide to retire them early or develop technology to capture and bury their emissions.Oil Won’t Peak for a WhileEven as the world puts hundreds of millions of new cars on the road, we’re increasingly using less oil to fuel them. The report projects that global oil use for cars will peak by the mid-2020s as countries ratchet up their fuel-economy standards and deploy more electric vehicles.That doesn’t mean overall oil use will decline, however. Only about one-quarter of the world’s oil is used to fuel passenger cars. The rest is used to fuel freight trucks, ships and airplanes; for heating; and to make plastics and other petrochemicals.Those sectors haven’t seen the same improvements in efficiency. As a result, the agency expects global oil demand to keep rising through 2040, led by developing countries.Climate Goals Out of ReachEven with the impressive recent gains for renewable energy, the world is still far from solving global warming. Global carbon dioxide emissions rose 1.6 percent last year and are on track to climb again this year. The report projects that emissions will keep rising slowly until 2040.One reason: Carbon-free sources like wind, solar and nuclear power aren’t yet growing fast enough to keep up with rising global energy demand, particularly in places like India and Southeast Asia. That means fossil fuel use keeps growing to fill the gap.For this to change, nations will have to enact sweeping new policies, like investing in energy efficiency to slow demand growth, curbing methane leaks from oil and gas operations, and developing carbon capture technology for existing fossil fuel power plants and cement factories.Governments will play a key role: The report notes that the world invests $2 trillion annually in energy infrastructure, and 70 percent of that is directed by state-owned companies or regulators. “That tells me that our energy destiny will rely heavily on government decisions in the next two decades,” Birol said.c.2018 New York Times News Service Related Itemslast_img read more

MS Dhoni’s lightning glovework denies Upul Tharanga a hundred

first_imgMahendra Singh Dhoni exhibited once again why he is the best wicketkeeper in the shortest format of the game during India’s third ODI against Sri Lanka at Vizag.Dhoni removed the bails in a flash to send a set Upul Tharanga packing in the 28th over.Kuldeep tossed the ball up outside off and Tharanga looked to drive it but the ball turned away and he got beaten. Dhoni behind the stumps collected the ball and waited for a bit before taking off the bails. He appealed and the umpire referred it upstairs. The replays showed Tharanga hasn’t dragged his back leg behind and it’s firmly on the crease and was given out.Tharanga, who breached the 1000-run barrier in ODIs for the calendar year, was attacking the bowlers and blazing away towards his 16th ODI ton. But, a sheer moment of brilliance from the seasoned campaigner meant Tharanga fell for a 82-ball 95.This is not the first time Dhoni was seen mastering the art of stumping. His iconic stumping in the T20 World Cup last year saw Bangladesh’s Shabbir Rahman walk back to the pavilion at a crucial juncture. That ultimately turned out to be crucial towards the end of the match.Earlier in the year, he reached the milestone of 100 stumpings in the 50-over format during his 301st match. MSD stumped Sri Lanka’s Akila Dananjaya of the bowling off Yuzvendra Chahal during the fifth ODI at Colombo in September to reach the landmark.He now has 105 stumpings to his name from 311 ODIs. In total, Dhoni has 397 dismissals in the 50-over format, out of which 292 are catches. He tops the list of most stumpings in ODIs followed by Kumar Sangakkara, who has 99 stumpings from 404 matches for Sri Lanka. Romesh Kaluwitharana is third with 75 from 189 games.advertisement?? stumpings in ODI cricket for @msdhoni! He’s the first ever player to reach the landmark. #SLvIND pic.twitter.com/sV89BrZLVT- ICC (@ICC) September 3, 2017Dhoni’s first stumping came in his maiden ODI series, in the third ODI against Bangladesh in Dhaka on December 27, 2004. With Sachin Tendulkar bowling, Dhoni took the bails off and sent Rajin Saleh packinglast_img read more

Angel Gomes told how to make Man Utd mark

first_imgManchester United Angel Gomes advised how to unlock ‘unbelievable potential’ at Man United Chris Burton 07:08 12/29/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Angel Gomes, Man Utd Getty Manchester United Premier League The highly-rated 17-year-old made his senior debut last season and is now being challenged to kick on and join the first-team ranks on a regular basis Angel Gomes has been offered advice by Scott McTominay on how to unlock his “unbelievable potential” and become a first-team regular at Manchester United.The 17-year-old made his first-team debut against Crystal Palace on the final day of the 2016-17 campaign.That outing saw him replace outgoing club icon Wayne Rooney, with Old Trafford witnessing a changing of the guard. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Gomes has been billed as a superstar in the making for some time and is now being challenged to make good on that promise and force himself into contention under Jose Mourinho.After seeing the youngster join training on Thursday, fellow academy graduate McTominay told MUTV: “Ultimately, it’s about working hard and listening to his coaches.Angel Gomes England“He’s got a really good coach in Kieran [McKenna], who pays really good attention to detail and that’s one of the most important things at that age when you’re learning – you can become such a better player, so that’s one of the main things for him.“He just needs to be himself and, every game that he plays in, if he comes up with the Under-23s, to try to dominate those games. Hopefully, he can do that and kick on and become a really top class player.“I remember when Angel was 13 years old, and even nine or 10 years old, and he had unbelievable potential.“It’s really nice to see that he’s signed his professional contract. I just want to say congratulations to Angel and all of his family because he does deserve that.”He’s one of the most hard-working lads that you can meet so I’m really pleased for him and, hopefully, he can kick on now and come to the first team and keep going the way he’s going.”Gomes signed his first professional contract at United on December 13, with those terms completing a memorable year for the youngster which also included an U17 World Cup triumph with England.last_img read more

This terror is different

first_imgPrime Minister Narendra Modi has done well to push India’s campaign against Pak-instigated terror in Kashmir and elsewhere to a new level internationally by bilaterally telling President Xi Jinping of China at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan that India could not engage Pakistan in talks unless that country took ‘concrete action’ against terrorism. China is a founder of SCO and President Xi has on more than one occasion described Pakistan as its ‘all weather friend’—China reportedly did not want Indian Prime Minister to raise the issue of terror at the summit. Also Read – A special kind of bondIn a swift move, however, India’s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale addressed a news conference announcing to the world how Prime Minister Modi had taken up the issue of Pak-sponsored terror with the Chinese President and conveyed India’s firm stand against resumption of talks with Pakistan since that country still needed to create an atmosphere free of terrorism. At his subsequent address at the summit, where Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was also present, Modi unambiguously called for concerted action to hold accountable countries that were sponsoring, aiding and funding terrorism. Also Read – Insider threat managementWithout naming Pakistan he was able to shame that country for resorting to state-sponsored terrorism. He urged those who were putting up with the menace because of some political consideration to ‘come out of their narrow purview’. Also, by giving a clarion call to all nations to come together to combat terrorism he further pushed Pakistan towards isolation in the world community. The Bishkek summit has also proved to be a milestone in the matter of recognition of India under Modi as an important global player in the economic development of the world. In his bilateral meetings with the Chinese President as well as President Putin of Russia, mutual economic cooperation was given a big impetus. After the recent Chinese climbdown on the issue of UN declaring Maulana Masood Azhar of Jaish-e-Mohammad as an international terrorist – India had pressed for it – and the earlier face-off between India and China at Doklam, President Xi, it seems, would be reluctant to take the Modi regime for granted on security issues and would also not push India to the other side in the ‘trade war’ that seemed to be developing between China and the US. At the bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Modi and President Xi, it was acknowledged that there was a ‘new momentum’ in Indo-China relations as both sides emphasised the need for preparing for the second informal summit between the two leaders in India next October. A statement from China’s Foreign Ministry quoted President Xi as saying that the two countries should strengthen confidence-building measures for stability in the border areas and ‘jointly safeguard free trade and multilateralism’. Modi’s meeting with President Putin enlarged the ambit of India-Russia relations with Putin inviting Prime Minister Modi to be the chief guest at the Eastern Economic Forum to be held in Vladivostok in early September. With Indo-US relations having touched a new high of friendship during the first tenure of Modi as Prime Minister, it is possible that India could play a balancing role of injecting sanity in US-Russia-China triangle of relationships – both on economic and security issues. It is gratifying to note that Prime Minister Modi, with his image of being upfront about policy enunciation and committed to building bilateral and multilateral relations entirely on the principle of mutual benefit in both economic and security matters, is making India a global player in promoting world peace and development. The SCO Summit has carried India forward in as much as the Bishkek Declaration echoed and endorsed India’s stand on an important issue like Afghanistan—it clearly called for an inclusive peace process that was led by ‘Afghans themselves’. On the prime threat of terror, that India faces much more severely than all other nations, there is a need for us to mentor the world at large to make it aware that the new global terror arising out of Pakistan is an entirely different kind of danger. Its geopolitical dimension would keep on growing unless an effective counter to it arose from within the Muslim world itself. Terrorism by definition is the resort to ‘covert violence for a perceived political cause’ and is propelled by a ‘commitment’ to the ’cause’ which in turn will be determined by ‘motivation’. The world has witnessed terror movements motivated by ‘ideology’ (Maoism), ethnic identity (India’s North East) or insurgency for national freedom. The new global terror of which Pakistan is becoming a fulcrum is rooted in faith-based motivation fostered through the call for Jihad. Islamic extremists have already created a history of covert offensives across the world – 9/11 in US attributed to Osama bin Laden of Al Qaeda, 26/11 Mumbai attack organised by Lashkar-e-Toiba of Maulana Hafiz Sayeed, Pulwama attack on CRPF in Kashmir owned up by Jaish-e-Mohammad of Maulana Masood Azhar and Easter Mass bombings at and around Colombo carried out by ISIS affiliates. Jihad is strong enough as the motivation that enabled the masterminds to produce suicide bombers and ‘lone wolves’. Laden, Hafiz Sayeed and Masood Azhar were all based in Pakistan and even the National Tawheed Jamaat of Sri Lanka involved in Colombo blasts has links with South India as well as Pakistan. Perpetrators in all these cases enjoyed the patronage of Pak ISI. Pakistan is now clearly the global hub of the new terror which is a development of mounting concern for India. There is little likelihood of Prime Minister Imran Khan doing any better than the previous regimes in putting down the advocates of Jihad entrenched in his country. He himself is a staunch practitioner of faith, is inclined to side with the Islamic radicals in the ‘war on terror’ that the US had launched against them and is an advocate of the Pak army – notwithstanding the collusion that exists between the army and the Islamic extremists. He has been parroting the line scripted for him by the Pak army-ISI combine on the issue of resumption of India-Pakistan talks. At Bishkek, he reiterated the need for dialogue on Kashmir in the interest of peace in the region but did not speak against violence in the name of Jihad prescribed by the likes of Hafiz Sayeed, Masood Azhar and Syed Salahuddin on the Kashmir front. He has not talked of action against these leaders of Islamic militancy – all that he could do was to tamely say that any act of terrorism originating from Pak soil would only harm the interests of Pakistan. It is a matter of deep concern for India that it is in the tenure of the Imran Khan regime that Pak agencies are exploiting the entire spectrum of militants – from the Islamic radicals of Al Qaeda and ISIS brands to the extremists of LeT and Jaish to queer the pitch for India. Pakistan continues to rely on its friends in the Muslim world as also in the US-led West, besides the ‘all weather friend’ China, for bailing it out of the serious financial trouble that it faces at present internally and helping it to mitigate the loss of image that it has suffered in the international community for providing safe havens to terrorists on its soil. Islamic extremists are confronting ‘Godless’ regimes, the Christian world of US-led West and the idolatrous people of Hindu or Buddhist persuasion. Fundamentalist Islam embraces the entire life of a Muslim – personal, social and political – and this makes it easy for the Ulema and the communally driven elite to influence the Muslim masses for their own brand of politics and vested interests. Faith-based terror will never be effectively countered unless the leadership in the Muslim world openly disowns Jihad as an instrument of politics in today’s world. Tinted views on Islamic militancy that considered some extremists to be better than others will not help. Prime Minister Modi’s call at Bishkek for a concerted move by all nations to oppose this new terror carrying the stamp of Islam has not come a day too soon. India has the historical grasp of how the country’s Independence became coterminous with a partition that was forced in the name of religion and also a ringside view of the rise of fundamentalism and extremism in the Muslim world around it. Intelligence sharing with the democratic world outside on matters of national security has its importance. However, this needs to be backed up by an ongoing exchange of analytical information originating from credible forums on the trends and expanse of faith-based terror witnessed in the Islamic world. All this is happening primarily because of the political nexus between the Ulema and the communal elite that was enjoying power in Pakistan and many other parts of that world. The Indian scene illustrates how the communal divide and tension resulting from it was used by many sections of the community leadership to instigate and justify faith-based militancy that would provide the run-up to terrorism in the name of Islam. Indian Mujahideen, an offshoot of the indigenous Jamaat-e-Islami, linking up with Islamic radicals of Al Qaeda’s umbrella was a noted example of this drift. It is hoped that the new Home Minister of India will find a way of strengthening the study and monitoring of the threat of radicalisation and establishing informal links to liaise with Homeland Security of US and other equivalent agencies of other friendly democratic nations in this regard. (The writer is a former Director of Intelligence Bureau. Views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Kerala man gets 3 life terms for rape murder of 7yearold niece

first_imgKollam (Kerala): A POCSO court here on Wednesday awarded three life sentences, besides 26 years of rigorous imprisonment, to a 25-year-old man, who brutally raped and murdered his seven-year-old niece on September 27, 2017.The convict, who will have to undergo the sentences separately, has also been asked to pay a fine of Rs 3.20 lakh to the family of the victim. The judgment was delivered by Kollam additional sessions judge E Baiju, who is in charge of the POCSO (protection of children from sexual offences) court here. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!The court had, on Tuesday, convicted Rajesh for various offences — murder, rape, unnatural sex, abduction and showing disrespect to a dead body. The prosecution case was that the convict had strangled his niece and raped her after taking her to a rubber plantation at Kulathupuzha, where he had abandoned the body. The convict used to live with the victim and her family at Anchal here. On the day of the incident, the girl was on her way to a tuition centre along with her grandmother when Rajesh assured them that he would drop her at her destination. However, he took the girl to the rubber plantation, about 16 km away, in an autorickshaw and committed the crime. Police had launched a hunt for the victim on the basis of a missing complaint from her mother. Rajesh was subsequently nabbed from a forest at Kulathupuzha, where he was hiding. The girl’s relatives werepresent in the court on Wednesday.last_img read more

Lego wins first China copyright case against imitators

first_imgHONG KONG – Danish toy maker Lego says it has won a major legal victory in China, where a court ruled in its favour in a copyright case against companies making knockoffs of its famous colored bricks.The company said Thursday that it was the first time it has won an unfair competition case against imitators in China.It said the Shantou Intermediate People’s Court ruled that two Chinese companies selling Bela brand blocks similar to the Lego Friends line infringed a copyright and ordered them to stop.The court issued its ruling in September but the decision didn’t take effect until November.Earlier this year, a Beijing court ruled that Lego’s name and logo are well-known trademarks in China, giving the company stronger legal footing for pursuing copyright cases.last_img read more

Deficits in bigspending preelection budget tee up ballotbox choice

OTTAWA — The final budget of the Trudeau government’s mandate will scatter billions in fresh spending — on everything from pharmacare to retraining workers to first-time home buyers — as the Liberals commit to an electoral fight that pits their deficit-spending vision versus the Conservatives’ balanced-books approach.Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s budget Tuesday resembled Liberal economic plans that preceded it: the government will exhaust a big windfall, run near-term deficits of about $20 billion and offer no timeline to return to balance.A stronger economy last year delivered an unexpected revenue bump that will flood an extra $27.8 billion into the federal treasury over the next six years, compared to government predictions in its November economic update.With seven months to go before the election, Morneau’s plan will spread the cash around. Most of it will be aimed at Canadians’ pocketbooks.Funding for some of Tuesday’s commitments will only start kicking in after October’s election, giving voters the chance to weigh in on the budget’s contents at the ballot box.The Liberals’ spending path places them in stark contrast with the Opposition Conservatives, who have called on the government to rein in spending.“The opposition would like to see us make cuts very rapidly — their idea is balance the budget at any cost,” Morneau told a news conference Tuesday after being asked about his deficits.“Well, if we had taken that approach in 2015 we would not be where we are today with a better outcome for middle-class Canadians. We’d be in a more difficult spot.”The measures in Morneau’s fiscal blueprint cover a lot of territory, with a clear focus on individuals — particularly younger adults — as opposed to businesses. The plan includes:— $4.6 billion over five years to help more Canadians afford and access skills training to keep up with the rapidly evolving workforce— $4.5 billion over five years to improve living conditions for Indigenous Peoples— $1.8 billion over four years to enhance the guaranteed income supplement for low-income seniors— $885 million over five years to make homes more affordable for first-time buyers— $500 million per year, starting in 2022-23, to help cover the cost of drugs for rare diseases.The government will make several large, one-time investments for 2018-19, including $2.2 billion worth of new infrastructure funding and $1 billion towards improving energy efficiency.The budget also pledges to commit up to $3.9 billion in support for supply-managed dairy, egg and poultry farmers affected by recent trade deals with the Asia-Pacific and Europe.Even with these investments, Ottawa’s fiscal track promises to be a key issue on the campaign trail.The annual deficit projections in Tuesday’s budget — which reach as high as $19.8 billion — are less than one percentage point of Canada’s gross domestic product, a modest level when compared internationally.Still, the Liberals will be forced to explain themselves repeatedly until election day.They came to power in 2015 on a platform that vowed to post annual deficits of no more than $10 billion and to return to balance by 2019.After the 2015 election, the Trudeau government abandoned the promise, arguing more investments were needed to lift Canada’s long-term economic growth. Instead, Morneau has focused on lowering the net debt-to-GDP ratio — a measure of how burdensome the national debt is — each year even as the actual debt has increased.In his budget speech Tuesday, Morneau tried to reassure the House of Commons that the shortfalls will start to shrink.“We’re going to make these investments to grow our economy for the long term — while we bring the books back towards balance,” he said.The budget’s planning horizon showed the deficit will shrink to $9.8 billion by 2023-24.The Conservatives have attacked the Liberals for breaking their deficit promise and have demanded Morneau map out a return to balanced books. They’ve accused the government of borrowing today on the backs of future generations.Leaders in corporate Canada and some economists have also criticized the Liberal deficits, especially since they’ve come during good economic times when many believe governments should be focused on paying off debt.A big question is what will become of the Liberal spending plan — and how big the shortfalls will grow — when Canada is hit by the next economic downturn.The economy has had a good run, but experts say it’s debatable how much of Canada’s recent economic performance has come from Liberal policies and how much has been a result of the stronger U.S. and global economies.— Follow @AndyBlatchford on TwitterAndy Blatchford, The Canadian Press read more

UN assists Liberian police in meeting international human rights standards

25 July 2007The top United Nations envoy to Liberia today handed over to the National Police newly renovated detention facilities which are crucial to ensuring that the conditions under which detainees are held meet the most basic international human rights standards. During the handover ceremony at National Police headquarters in Monrovia, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Alan Doss stressed that the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) will continue to support the National Police to become “a professionally managed and adequately equipped national police force.” He urged the force to help safeguard human rights including those of prisoners. Guiding Mr. Doss through the freshly-painted and renovated facilities, Inspector-General of Police Beatrice Monah Sieh expressed her appreciation to UNMIL and the Netherlands Government for the completion of the rehabilitation work on the cells. “This project will enable the Liberia National Police to live up to international human rights standards when suspects are questioned and temporarily detained before they are referred to court,” she stated. Ms. Sieh further explained that it has been over 14 years since the sewers in the cells had been functioning properly and that for the first time detainees now have access to water provided directly inside their cells. Inspecting the premises, the Acting UN Police Commissioner, General Maritz Du Toit, explained that the renovated facilities comprise of three different kinds of cells: the patrol cells, which will be used for suspects involved in minor offenses; the Criminal Service Department cells for suspects involved in capital offences; and the female cells for women exclusively. The refurbished facility can hold approximately 75 suspects. read more

Australia hails Lankas help against human smuggling

They held cordial discussions on issues of mutual interest and bilateral importance. The Australian High Commissioner conveyed her best wishes to Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne on his appointment as the Commander of the SLN and pledged her fullest assistance and cooperation. She also expressed her admiration of the SLN’s continued assistance to the Australian government in thwarting human smuggling via sea. Mementos were also exchanged on the occasion symbolizing the goodwill and the friendship of the two countries. The Australian Government today noted the assistance given by Sri Lanka in thwarting human smuggling at sea.The Australian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Robyn Mudie called on the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne at the Naval Headquarters in Colombo today. She was accompanied by the Defence Adviser to the High Commission Captain Jasen Sears. read more

Second reading of 2019 Budget passed

The second reading of the 2019 Budget was passed in Parliament by a majority of 43 votes today.When the vote was taken, 119 Parliamentarians voted for and 76 against it. The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) abstained from voting.The Budget 2019 was presented to Parliament on March 5th and the third reading and vote will be taken on the 05th of April. (Colombo Gazette) The Joint Opposition and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) voted against it. The United National Front (UNF), Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC) voted in support of the second reading of the Budget. read more

UN agency helps businesses sell goods and services to international community

“The United Nations purchases goods and services valued at more than $3 billion annually, but many suppliers know little about how to penetrate this market,” UNOPS said in a statement. Procurement experts from the UN and other institutions are on hand at the seminars to offer guidance to suppliers in identifying sales opportunities, bidding on contracts, and understanding the intricacies of doing business with the international community.”A lot of businesses know that the United Nations would be interested in their goods or services, but don’t have a clue about whom to contact or where to look for opportunities,” said Joseph Kelly of the UNOPS Division for Legal and Procurement Support. “Our business seminars are designed to eliminate the confusion and help buyers and sellers find each other.”The seminars are part of a larger event – the International Aid and Trade 2001 conference, which brings together top officials from governments, development banks, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and UN agencies to explore ways in which government procurement systems can bolster socio-economic progress in industrialized and developing countries.UNOPS is the arm of the UN that provides project-management services in every field where the UN has a mandate – from landmine awareness to public sector reform, from informatics solutions to eradicating poverty. Upon request, UNOPS will manage development projects from start to finish or provide ad hoc services, including selecting and hiring project personnel, procuring goods, organizing training, managing financial resources and administering loans.The International Aid & Trade 2001 conference, which is taking place at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, includes a trade show where more than 350 vendors are displaying their wares to procurement representatives from the UN, non-governmental organizations and international financial institutions. read more

Annan to speak at UNICEF gala during twoday trip to Los Angeles

After arriving in the Southern California city, Mr. Annan will immediately attend a reception for the LA-based World Affairs Council, where he will make an address to its 50th anniversary dinner.A spokesman for Mr. Annan told a press briefing today in New York that the Secretary-General will use the speech to the Council dinner to celebrate the great achievements of 20th century multilateralism under United States leadership, and to urge Americans “to help preserve and build on them for the 21st” century.On Wednesday, Mr. Annan is scheduled to meet Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn and City Council President Alex Padilla before addressing an open meeting of the City Council.Next he will attend a luncheon hosted by Diane Disney Miller and Heidi Kuhn, the founder and president of Roots of Peace, a non-governmental organization (NGO) that demines areas and then plants food crops in their stead.Mr. Annan and his wife Nane will then visit an AIDS clinic run by the University of Southern California and Los Angeles County.The Secretary-General’s last formal engagement during his trip will occur on Wednesday night, when he will speak at the UNICEF gala, which will benefit the Audrey Hepburn Foundation, an NGO that helps schools around the world.The Annans are scheduled to return to New York on Thursday. read more

Analysts say Rogers job cuts could be good if they lead to

TORONTO – With Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX:RCI.B) confirming that it has eliminated “several hundred middle management positions” as part of its Rogers 3.0 corporate revitalization plan, analysts say the Toronto-based company’s new CEO Guy Laurence is taking necessary steps to shake up the company after a period of stagnation.“Quite frankly, what do you do when you come in as the CEO of a troubled ship? You cut a lot of costs. You basically attribute it to previous management. You take a lot of (accounting) charges. And, perhaps in this case, you have to back off from guidance,” Canaccord Genuity analyst Dvai Ghose said in an interview Tuesday.“These are potentially positive moves. Obviously, we will see how they execute on them.”Ghose said that under Nadir Mohamed, who succeeded company founder Ted Rogers as CEO in 2009, the company was unprepared for the loss of its technological edge in the wireless and cable sectors as rivals such as BCE Bell (TSX:BCE) and Telus (TSX:T) that rolled out faster mobile networks and new television services.“I think shaking up what I would consider a complacent management team is in itself something which is a positive. Now, obviously the proof is going to be in the pudding. There’s going to be some big (accounting) charges, no doubt. Perhaps as early as when they report Q2 results this Thursday and, indeed, when they report Q3 results in three months time.”“But, in general, we’re very positively surprised. It’s absolutely necessary,” Ghose said.The company, which has Canada’s largest base of mobile phone subscribers as well as major cable, Internet and media businesses, has lost market share to long-time rivals Telus and Bell and there’s concern that Quebecor’s Videotron (TSX:QBR.B) could add to the pressure if it decides to expand its wireless business beyond Quebec.Macquarie Research said earlier this week that Rogers is the most likely major telecommunications and media company to miss analyst estimates for the second quarter. It also said that the wireless sector is maturing, resulting in slower revenue growth and pressure on average revenue per user.“The market is clearly concerned about the dividend growth outlook and returning to revenue growth is vital to reassure that sentiment,” the Macquarie report says.In addition, several analysts expect that Rogers continued to lose cable subscribers during the quarter — continuing a trend that began after Bell, and its affiliate Bell Aliant (TSX:BA), began offering fibre-optic television service to homes. Calgary-based Shaw has faced a similar incursion in the West, but Bell has been slower than Telus to roll out its IPTV product.Barclays analyst Phillip Huang said he wouldn’t be surprised if Rogers will lower its key financial targets for 2014, to reflect the impact of its new CEO’s initiatives.“They’re very much in turnaround mode and I think the whole reorganization inevitably would have had some disruption to the business,” Barclays analyst Phillip Huang said Tuesday in an interview.Laurence, who took the job at Rogers late last year, told reporters in May that he expected there would be some reductions in the management ranks at Rogers as it reduced bureaucracy to become more agile. The company said this week that it has reduced the number of senior executives (vice presidents and above) by 15 per cent and cut “several hundred” middle management positions.“The goal is to become a more nimble, agile organization with much clearer accountabilities. Savings will be reinvested in areas like training and systems to better serve our customers,” an emailed Rogers statement said, echoing Laurence’s earlier remarks.According to data compiled by Thomson Reuters, analysts are generally estimating Rogers will have about $12.8 billion in revenue for 2014. That would include about $3.2 billion in the three months ended June 30 — about the same as the second quarter of 2013 and up slightly from $3.02 billion in the first quarter of 2014.Analysts generally estimate about 84 cents per share of adjusted earnings for the second quarter, or 85 cents under standard accounting — both up from the first quarter ended March 31 but down from the year-earlier comparables.– Follow @DavidPaddon on Twitter by David Paddon, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 22, 2014 2:56 pm MDT Analysts say Rogers job cuts could be good if they lead to revitalization AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Mosaic curbs potash production in Saskatchewan because of weaker prices

by The Canadian Press Posted Sep 22, 2015 1:56 pm MDT Last Updated Sep 22, 2015 at 2:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Mosaic curbs potash production in Saskatchewan because of weaker prices REGINA – Mosaic Co. is cutting potash production at one of its Saskatchewan mines because the market for crop nutrients has softened.Mosaic says in a news release that it will reduce output at its Colonsay mine by extending maintenance downtime.It also plans to continue slower production in its phosphates business.The company says the move is primarily because of delayed fertilizer purchases in Brazil and North America.It says a volatile dollar, lower grain and oilseed prices, political and economic uncertainty, along with global equity market declines, have weakened prices.Mosaic president and CEO Joc O’Rourke says the long-term outlook for crop nutrient demand remains positive, but near-term challenges mean production and costs must be controlled.In its second quarter report released Aug. 4, Mosaic said it expected “robust global shipments in the second half of 2015.” The financial guidance looking forward at that time said total sales volumes for potash were expected to range from 1.6 to two million tonnes for the third quarter of the year.Mosaic says potash volumes are now expected to be in the bottom half of that range. read more

Cyber security workshops planned for October

Information Technology Services has launched two cyber security campaigns to mark October as Cyber Security Awareness Month. A number of awareness events are planned at Brock University.ITS said the key points of this year’s campaign are:Think before you post on line –  Be careful what you post to social media, it never really goes away. Do not upload anything you wouldn’t want everyone to see and do not upload or share sensitive information. You are never truly anonymous on social media.Password protect your mobile devices – Only download apps from trusted sources; never leave your mobile devices unattended.For a list of events and to register, click here. read more

Prince Charles and Camilla attend Princes Countryside Fund Raceday at Ascot

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall attended the Prince’s Countryside Fund Raceday at Ascot on Friday.The royal couple met supporters of the fund and handed out trophies to the winners. The race featured 12 riders, including British model Rosie Tapner.Prince Charles founded the charity fund in 2010 to support British farmers and the countryside. The Prince of Wales also unveiled a 12ft-high bronze horse head statue, which he was presented as a belated 70th birthday gift from Ascot racecourse. read more

DEUTZ holds world premiere of new TCD 90 engine at Bauma China

first_imgAt Bauma China 2016, Asia’s biggest trade fair for construction equipment, DEUTZ is exhibiting together with its Chinese joint venture, DEUTZ (Dalian) Engine (DDE). Bauma China takes place every two years at Shanghai’s New International Expo Centre and is aimed at industry, retail and service providers in the construction and mining sectors. DEUTZ exhibits there as a specialist in drive systems for construction equipment, mining vehicles and material handling solutions.The world premiere of the new TCD 9.0 is the highlight for DEUTZ at this year’s Bauma. This four-cylinder diesel engine with a capacity of nine litres is the first in a new generation of engines that DEUTZ is planning as part of an alliance with the Liebherr Group. As well as the TCD 9.0, this comprises six-cylinder diesel engines. The engines made by Liebherr within this cooperation will be sold by DEUTZ under its own brand.The plan is for DEUTZ’s Chinese joint venture to manufacture the TCD 9.0 under licence so that it can more easily serve the local market. The engine has a power rating of 300 kW and produces 1,700 Nm of torque. It also features a highly compact design that makes it easy to install in a wide range of applications and is particularly well suited for excavators and wheel loaders.All new engines are being developed for the EU Stage V, US Tier 4, China IV and EU Stage IIIA emissions standards and will be ready to go into series production in 2019. They will follow a standardised concept with a common customer interface and a high proportion of shared parts and are to be distributed via DEUTZ’s global network of dealers and service outlets.Michael Wellenzohn, member of the Board of Management of DEUTZ AG with responsibility for Sales/Service & Marketing: “By adding new engines from the alliance with Liebherr, we are enhancing our product portfolio and can now cover further power output ranges and applications. Furthermore, having the TCD 9.0 made in Dalian will give us the proximity to our Chinese partners that we need. We continue to see a great deal ofgrowth potential in this market when it comes to advanced technology.”DEUTZ says it is leading the way in exhaust aftertreatment using highly developed systems such as the diesel particulate filter (DPF), selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and diesel oxidising catalyst (DOC). The familiar DEUTZ engine portfolio (TCD 2.2 to TCD 16.0) and the new Liebherr engines all meet the EU’s most stringent emissions standard, Stage V (applies from 2019). Emission downgrade versions will also be available, meaning a single engine platform can be used both for Stage V markets and for regions with more relaxed regulations.In addition to the TCD 9.0, DEUTZ is exhibiting the successful TCD 2.9 in Shanghai as an example of its compact engines. This small four-cylinder engine is now also available as a High Power (HP) version with a power rating of 75 kW and as a High Torque (HT) version with 375 Nm of torque. The High Torque variant still falls below the relevant power output threshold of 56 kW and consequently does not need an SCR system to comply with EU Stage V. Because of these engines’ increased power rating and torque, they can be used in place of much bigger engines, leading to savings in weight, installation space and costs.From 2019, the TCD 2.9 will also be manufactured in China by DEUTZ’s Chinese joint venture DEUTZ (Dalian) Engine. “DEUTZ is continuously expanding its engine range and has long-standing expertise in modular solutions for exhaust aftertreatment,” says Michael Wellenzohn. “This means we are extremely well positioned to cater for the rapidly tightening emissions requirements in China and also for applications in export products for Europe, the USA and Japan.”last_img read more