Plans for customs checks on island of Ireland under new UK Proposals

first_imgBoris Johnson’s letter to the EU including his plans for the Irish Backstop has been released this afternoon (Weds).The British prime minister finally tabled his alternative proposals to the backstop this evening, including a plan for checks both on the island of Ireland and in the Irish Sea.The EU and Irish government will seek time to study the document but ultimately there is little hope that it will break the impasse. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has endorsed Boris Johnson’s offer to the EU.Speaking before seeing the proposals, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said what is being put forward “is not promising and does not appear to form the basis of an agreement”.He said he wanted to see the plans in writing before coming to a “definitive conclusion”.The Taoiseach will discuss the situation with Mr Johnson by telephone later.“Nobody in Northern Ireland wants checks on the border between north and south, nobody in the Republic of Ireland wants checks on the border between north and south. So why would any British government want to force that on Irish people north and south who don’t want them?” Advertisement Ireland has always maintained that anything short of an invisible border would under the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) and peace on this island.Plans for customs checks on island of Ireland under new UK Proposals was last modified: October 2nd, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Kin Selection and Group Selection: Survival of the Fictitious

first_imgNature1 provided another case where W. D. Hamilton’s kin selection theory, which proposes that “selfish genes can lead to cooperation and altruism,” is wrong.  Kinship does not always lead to cooperation.  David C. Queller comments, “a once-heretical theory [group selection] and an unconventional social organism show that the cooperation-enhancing effect of kinship is sometimes negated.”1David C. Queller, “Social evolution: Kinship is relative,” Nature 430, 975 – 976 (26 August 2004); doi:10.1038/430975a.We appreciate the continuing efforts of the Darwin Party to undercut their own beliefs.  It saves us a lot of work.  Queller tries to claim that the case under consideration, a study of bacteria by Griffin et al., does not mean we should discard kin selection theory.  He claims it has support from studies of social insects.  But on what basis?  He claims that both kin selection theory and group selection theory are both good for each other, to “rein in” each other’s excesses: “Once, group selectionists saw cooperation everywhere but were brought down to earth by individual selectionists.  Now group selection is being used, not to show the ubiquity of cooperation but to rein in theories on an important form of cooperation envisaged by individual selectionists.”  Pardon me, David, but two wrongs don’t make a right.(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Absa’s eco-friendly office tower

first_img22 July 2011The Absa Campus, located in downtown Johannesburg and home to the bank’s headquarters, consumes at least 12MW of electricity a day – but hardly any of this is drawn from South Africa’s national grid.Absa has built has an eco-friendly energy centre to generate its own electricity from low-pressure gas in Towers West, one of eight high-rise blocks of offices on the campus.Power generated from the centre is mostly used between 6am and 10pm, during which electricity consumption peaks in local businesses. The co-generation scheme used at the centre means that Eskom’s power mainly comes into play at night after 10pm, when the demand for energy is less. This keeps the electricity bill in check.“The energy centre has the capability to power the entire Absa Campus. The campus becomes independent off Eskom’s grid as demand peaks,” Shaheed Hendricks, head of Absa’s corporate real estate services, said in an interview last month.Dedicated gas pipelineThe energy centre has four gas-powered engines generating a combined 11.2MW of power. Each of the four GE Jenbacher J620 gas generators is enabled to peak at 2.8MW. Diesel units are on standby to generate a further 6MW during an emergency.The gas used in the engines is generated from Egoli Gas, the city council-owned natural gas supplier. Absa’s demand magnitude meant it had to install its own pipeline that stretches from Egoli’s location site in Auckland Park, some 6km from the Absa Campus.Egoli Gas has 1 200km of gas pipelines that reach various users around Johannesburg.“There’s a dedicated pipe from Egoli Gas to the Absa Campus. That makes us the biggest user of their services,” said Sandile Mthiyane, Absa’s head of energy. “Because of our energy requirements, we had to have our own dedicated pipe.”Absa’s decision to introduce the gas-generation system at its headquarters was largely driven by power outages experienced in South Africa between 2007 and 2008. The new headquarters were being built during this period.“All the power outages were a major motivator. We were forced to think differently,” said Mthiyane.Minimising its carbon footprintAbsa’s decision was also in response to Eskom’s appeal for responsible electricity usage. The utility continues to urge South Africans to do this, with a special focus on high-energy consumers.The surrounding environment is also benefiting from the scheme. Gas emits 40% fewer greenhouse gases compared to coal- or diesel-based generation models.The centre does not emit any smoke or exhaust gas fumes. “Besides reducing our energy consumption, it contributes to the wellbeing of society,” Hendricks said.The carbon footprint of Absa Campus has also been reduced quite significantly, which is enabling the bank to trade carbon credits.CO2 emissions from the campus have been cut from 97 000 tons to 78 000 tons per year.Absa, one of the four major banks in South Africa, is hoping to expand the centre in future by adding two more engines that could generate an extra 6MW.Once this happens, the centre could be able to supply power to neighbouring facilities like the Carlton Centre, which houses Transnet offices and a shopping mall. Residential blocks of flats in the vicinity could also score, and in turn reduce pressure on Eskom’s national grid.“In future we can export power onto the grid,” said Hendricks.Towers West’s energy-efficiencyBesides being home to the energy centre, the Towers West is the greenest building on the campus, and certainly beats all those in the Johannesburg CBD.A number of energy-efficient designs put it above the rest.The 3 000-plus employees working from the campus rely on a heat-recovery steam generator to exploit wasted energy from the gas turbines. It’s harvested and then used for air-conditioning as well as warming up water for showers.“Instead of using electric heaters, we’re capturing exhaust heat from the machines to heat up the air that we use to either cool or warm the building,” Mthiyane said. “We use exhaust heat that would otherwise be wasted.”The roof over the building’s wide atrium is transparent enough for natural light to pierce through, ensuring that there’s no need to use light bulbs.“The building has been designed to capture as much natural light as possible. There’s no chance of leaving light bulbs switched on for 24 hours in Towers West, as lighting has been designed to direct itself.“The lights automatically switch off if there’s no-one in a room. They sense the movement of people in the building.“As soon as you walk into the room, the lights will switch on,” Hendricks said.Now the challenge for Absa is to transfer similar technology to other buildings on the campus, as well as introduce such interventions at many of its branches spread across the country.First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

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West Coast One helps to power South Africa

first_img10 June 2015West Coast One has reached commercial operation.The 94 megawatt (MW) wind project located 130km north of Cape Town is owned by Engie, together with partners Investec and Kagiso Tiso Holdings.The consortium was selected as preferred bidder for this project in May 2012 and signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Eskom, the electricity parastatal, in May 2013. Construction of the wind farm, which consists of 47 turbines of 2MW turbines, started in mid-2013.Gerard Mestrallet, the chairman and chief executive of Engie, said: “South Africa is an important market for Engie and we are a committed long-term investor in the African continent.“The West Coast One wind farm supports South Africa’s objective of increasing renewable generation and promoting local economic development. This project demonstrates Engie’s ability to deliver important renewable projects and underlines our commitment to developing sustainable sources of energy.”Investment in the wind farm was €160-million (R2.2-billion), funded by a mix of equity and debt, which has been provided by local banks. West Coast One will offset an estimated 5.6 million tons of carbon dioxide over the 20-year duration of its PPA.This project follows the start of operation of the 300MW Tarfaya wind farm in Morocco in 2014, Africa’s largest wind power project. It is owned by Engie in partnership with Nareva Holding.South Africa is implementing a 20-year plan that makes provision for 42% – 17gigawatts (GW) – of new generation to come from renewable energy, with 8GW allocated to onshore wind. The successful Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) is in place, with a number of projects already closed.In addition to West Coast One, Engie is actively developing further projects in South Africa. In 2013, the group signed PPAs for two greenfield open-cycle gas turbine power plants of 335MW (Dedisa) and 670MW (Avon), which are located in Eastern Cape and in KwaZulu-Natal, respectively. This year, an Engie-led consortium with South African partners, was nominated as preferred bidder for the 100MW Kathu Solar Park in Northern Cape.Engie currently has 19GW of renewable generation capacity in operation worldwide, of which more than 4GW is wind. It holds a 43% equity interest in West Coast One, while Investec owns 34.5% and Kagiso Tiso Holdings has a 20% interest. The remaining 2.5% will be allocated to a community trust, with the purpose of developing and sustaining the surrounding community.Engie, which is based in Paris, develops its businesses (power, natural gas, energy services) around a model based on responsible growth to take on the major challenges of energy’s transition to a low-carbon economy. It has expertise in four key sectors: renewable energy, energy efficiency, liquefied natural gas and digital technology.Source: Engielast_img read more

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The Best Film Visual Effects Through the Years

first_imgTake a trip down memory lane with this compilation of the Oscar winners for Best Visual Effects.This video montage by independent filmmaker and editor Nelson Carvajal has been making the rounds over the ‘net, and is a real treat for filmmakers and movie buffs. Nelson has compiled a montage of the winners of The Academy Award for Best Visual Effects since 1977, the first year this award began to appear as a regular category by the Academy.It’s amazing to see how VFX have improved so much since then, and also interesting to note how many films that were “way ahead of their time” in regards to their special effects work. Do you recognize each of the films in the montage? Check out the full list below.Thanks for sharing this great montage of film history, Nelson!Academy Award for Best Visual Effects1977: Star Wars1978: Superman (Special Achievement Award)1979: Alien1980: The Empire Strikes Back (Special Achievement Award)1981: Raiders of the Lost Ark1982: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial1983: Return of the Jedi (Special Achievement Award)1984: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom1985: Cocoon1986: Aliens1987: Innerspace1988: Who Framed Roger Rabbit1989: The Abyss1990: Total Recall (Special Achievement Award1991: Terminator 2: Judgement Day1992: Death Becomes Her1993: Jurassic Park1994: Forrest Gump1995: Babe1996: Independence Day1997: Titanic1998: What Dreams May Come1999: The Matrix2000: Gladiator2001: The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 2004: Spider-Man 22005: King Kong2006: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest2007: The Golden Compass2008: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button2009: Avatar2010: Inception2011: Hugo2012: Life of Pilast_img read more

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Muslim man beaten up in Gurugram, told to remove skullcap and chant Jai Shri Ram

first_imgCow vigilantes beat up three in M.P. for possession of beef; police arrest victims first  When Mr. Barkat tried to push the man and run away, the man allegedly tore his shirt. As Mr. Barkat started crying, the men left. Four of them drove away in a motorcycle and two just walked away into one of the alleys in the area.Mr. Barkat’s cousin Murtuja then took him to civil hospital. The hospital authorities made a call to the police.A case has been registered on charges of promoting religious hatred, causing hurt, criminal intimidation and unlawful assembly, among others, at City Police Station in this connection.Haryana BJP condemns incidentHaryana BJP spokesperson Raman Malik strongly condemned the incident saying that his party was against any kind of appeasement but any illegal act would not be tolerated. He said that he had spoken to the police in this connection and directed them to identify the persons involved at the earliest and take action against him as per the law. A Muslim man was beaten by a group of men at Jacubpura in Gurugram on May 25 night after he was told to remove his skullcap and chant Jai Shri Ram. No arrests have been made so far.Mohammad Barkat, 25, was returning to his shop around 10 p.m. on Saturday after offering prayers at Jama Masjid in Gurugram when a group of about half a dozen men allegedly accosted him outside a sweet shop and told him to remove his skull cap. “One of the men called me with an offensive word and told me that skullcap was not allowed in this area. When I told him that I was returning from a mosque, he slapped me. He also asked me to chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Jai Shri Ram. When I refused, he threatened to feed me pork,” Mr. Barkat said. He had come to Gurugram earlier this month to learn tailoring.Mr. Barkat claimed that the man allegedly picked up a stick and hit him and also abused him.Also Readlast_img read more

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