A horizon scan of global conservation issues for 2015

first_imgThis paper presents the results of our sixth annual horizon scan, which aims to identify phenomena that may have substantial effects on the global environment, but are not widely known or well understood. A group of professional horizon scanners, researchers, practitioners, and a journalist identified 15 topics via an iterative, Delphi-like process. The topics include a novel class of insecticide compounds, legalisation of recreational drugs, and the emergence of a new ecosystem associated with ice retreat in the Antarcticlast_img

Obesity still on the rise

first_imgEighty per cent of men and almost seventy per cent of women will be overweight by 2020 according to a study by Oxford University’s Professor Klim McPherson.Unlike childhood obesity rates, which according to a previous study have now peaked, adult obesity is expected to continue to rise.The study predicts that 41 per cent of men aged 20 to 65 will be obese by 2020, along with 36 per cent of women.McPherson stated, “We are being overwhelmed by the effects of today’s ‘obesogenic’ environment, with its abundance of energy-dense food and sedentary lifestyles.” He warned, “The Government needs to redouble its efforts to tackle obesity.”last_img

Weehawken resident appointed to Governor-Elect Phil Murphy’s transition team

first_img× Before joining the firm, he was corporate counsel at Greenskies Renewable Energy LLC in Middletown, CT, the largest commercial and industrial solar developer in the nation.He earned his law degree from Rutgers University School of Law, and holds numerous board positions for charities state-wide.“I look forward to working with my committee colleagues on examining energy and environmental policies, issues and initiatives impacting New Jersey and offering recommendations as the Governor-Elect prepares to assume office,” Artiles said of his new position. WEEHAWKEN — Local resident Guillermo C. Artiles has been appointed to Governor-Elect Phil Murphy’s transition team, per a press release. Artiles will serve on the Environment and Energy Committee. He is a lawyer with the McCarter & English firm, which features 400 attorneys spread throughout the Northeast.Artiles is part of McCarter’s Intellectual Property/Informational Technology Practice Group. There, he focuses on intellectual property cases. Additionally, he is a registered government affairs agent in New Jersey.last_img read more

Ocean City – Things to do this weekend

first_imgSunday, March 27, 2016Easter Sunrise Service:A traditional non denominational service by the sea. All are welcome. 6:30am, Music Pier, Moorlyn Terrace and Boardwalk. For more information call 609-399-6111. Easter Fashion Promenade:In front of the Music Pier, Moorlyn Terrace & Boardwalk.  Come dressed in your Easter best to stroll in our Fashion Promenade and meet the Easter Bunny.  Judging begins at 1:00pm. For more information call 609-399-6111. A mother and son enjoy a sunny afternoon in Ocean City near 21st Street. Saturday, March 26, 2016Woofin’ Paws Pet Fashion Show: 11:00 am at Carey Stadium, 6th St. off the Boardwalk.  Dress your pets in their Easter’s best. For more information call 609-399-6111.The Great Egg Hunt:2:30pm, 11th St. – 14th St. Beach.Five (5) age groups 0-2yrs and 3yrs (11th Street) 4yrs and 5yrs (12th Street) & 6yrs and  7yrs old (13th Street). Raindate: March 27th. For more information call 1-800-BEACH-NJ.last_img read more

Press release: Foreign Secretary flies into Kabul to support signs of progress in Afghanistan

first_imgFor journalists On the back of the ceasefires over Eid, which saw government and Taliban forces talking rather than fighting in cities across the country, the Foreign Secretary held talks in Kabul with Afghanistan’s President, Chief Executive, and Deputy Foreign Minister.The Foreign Secretary underlined that Britain was fully committed to helping build a stable, peaceful, and prosperous Afghanistan. He welcomed the National Unity Government’s determination to achieve a peaceful political settlement to the conflict with the Taliban, including through holding timely and credible Parliamentary and Presidential elections.He also highlighted the UK’s strong support for girls’ education in Afghanistan by meeting Afghan girls who are getting access to sports education through UK funding.The Foreign Secretary also met General Nicholson, the Commander of Resolute Support, NATO’s training and assistance mission in Afghanistan, and had a chance to talk to and ride in an armoured vehicle with some of the Welsh Guards helping to mentor the Afghan National Security and Defence Forces.The Foreign Secretary said: During his visit the Foreign Secretary met President Dr Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah, and Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Karzai.This is the Foreign Secretary’s second visit to Afghanistan, where the UK is currently investing more than £750 million in development assistance to support the Afghan people.Notes to editors The UK is contributing £750 million in development spend between 2016 and 2020. UK Aid is helping improve access to education, services and justice for the Afghan people, offering humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable and supporting good governance and anti-corruption efforts. The UK has also committed £70 million per year until 2020 in non-military support to help sustain the Afghan National Security and Defence Forces. Over 650 UK troops are currently serving in Afghanistan in non-combat roles as part of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission to help train, assist and advise the Afghan Security Forces. At this important moment when Afghan-led efforts towards peace and a political settlement have gained considerable impetus, I was proud and inspired to be in Kabul to see how the UK is working in support of the Afghan government to achieve this goal. In my meetings with President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah, I welcomed their historic offer of unconditional talks earlier this year, and their determined recent efforts towards a political process with the Taliban. I urge all countries with influence in Afghanistan, especially in the neighbourhood, to use it constructively at this crucial moment. My visit comes just as the UK is considering the request from the US and NATO to give additional assistance to Resolute Support. I was hugely impressed by the work done by British troops as a part of this NATO mission and I believe there is still a lot the UK could contribute to this vital operation. The government will be taking a decision very soon. I was also delighted to meet a talented group of Afghan girls to see how excited they were about their prospects, thanks to British funding and the Afghan government’s determination to do more in this area. A good education for them will help Afghanistan’s development and is a big part of the UK’s commitment towards a brighter future for Afghanistan. I am proud that UK Aid has helped 300,000 marginalised Afghan girls into education and trained over 10,000 teachers over the last six years. Follow the Foreign Secretary on Twitter @BorisJohnson and Facebookcenter_img Follow the Foreign Office on Twitter @foreignoffice and Facebook Media enquiries Further information Follow the Foreign Office on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn Email [email protected]last_img read more

Trent Reznor Explains Why ‘Bad Witch’ Is An LP, Tells Persnickety Fan To “Suck My Entire Cock”

first_imgYesterday afternoon, Trent Reznor took to the Echoing The Sound thread to respond to the fans’ EP/LP hysteria, providing some succinct, logical reasoning about the choice. Posting under his forum handle, teitan, Reznor responded:Want to know why it’s being labelled an LP instead of an EP? EPs show up with singles in Spotify and other streaming services = they get lost easier. EPs feel less important in today’s music-isn’t-as-important-as-it-once-was world. Why make it easier to ignore? We’re not charging any more for it so why get worked up about it?Seems pretty clear-cut the way he puts it… Don’t get so hung up on semantics and labels. As someone who’s thoroughly cognizant of the modern streaming landscape through his integral roles with Beats Music and Apple Music, Trent Reznor just wants to make sure his album gets heard. Of course, Trent also threw in a mic drop at the end of his post, further clarifying his feelings on this petty squabble and fan entitlement: “Quantum 550: suck my entire cock.”[H/T Consequence of Sound] Trent Reznor had some choice words for one fan who got too persnickety with minor details surrounding Nine Inch Nails‘ anticipated new album, Bad Witch, set for a June 22nd release. The disagreement stems from Bad Witch‘s classification as an LP, rather than as an EP.Bad Witch was initially conceived as the third and final volume in a trilogy of EPs by Nine Inch Nails, following 2016’s Not The Actual Events and 2017’s Add Violence. However, despite the fact that Bad Witch clocks in at just over half an hour in length (compared to Not The Actual Events‘ 21 minutes and Add Violence‘s 27 minutes), it is being released as a full-length album.Various fans have made comments about this apparent discrepancy, with a lengthy thread unfolding on popular NIN online message board Echoing The Sound reflecting confusion over Bad Witch‘s classification as an “album” and what deeper meaning may underly that decision.One user, in particular—Quantum550—seemed to take personal offense to the entire situation. In one post, the user writes “Heard the leaked song…I’m disappointed. Wasn’t expecting this… Cancelled my order just now. … Track leaked is UNACCEPTABLE!”In later post, after a rep from the NIN camp confirmed that Bad Witch was, in fact, an LP and not an EP, Quantum 550 railed:I wonder why the “representative” of NIN is even in the music business to issue a statement like that? I know very well how an album length is and an EP length is. This is an EP. You can consult every source out that this duration is of an EP … Fucking hate music industry sometimes. … The EP must have been delayed for obvious reasons… (all apologies, etc) but the real fact is lack of inspiration. That is the truth I think. … After [Add Violence] I was expecting something really bombastic.You can see a few screenshots of comments from one particularly peeved fan post from user Quantum550 below:last_img read more

German central banker sees walls in need of mending

first_imgCentral banks should focus more on fighting inflation and less on bailing out struggling governments and lagging economies, the head of Germany’s central bank said Monday during a talk at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies.Jens Weidmann, the president of Deutsche Bundesbank and also a member of the European Central Bank’s governing council, advocated firm separation among central banks, governments, and private financial markets.Several central banks, including the European Central Bank, have stepped in to help manage the global financial crisis in recent years, buying government bonds and keeping interest rates near zero in order to stimulate the economy. But Weidmann cautioned against asking too much of such institutions, saying they could lose sight of inflation if loaded with other priorities.“By piling more and more stabilization tasks onto monetary policy, stability will prove ever more elusive,” he said.To reinforce his point, Weidmann analogized church and state to politics and civil society, saying that just as the former allows for freedom of religion, the latter permits free markets to operate. The independence and freedom of central banks have allowed them to effectively fight inflation in the past, he said.Tough times have blurred boundaries, with governments bailing out financial institutions and central banks gearing policy to support governments and the broader economy. The situation is fraught with risk, Weidmann said.“By tearing down the walls between monetary, fiscal, and financial policy, the freedom of central banks to achieve different ends will diminish rather than flourish. Monetary policy runs the risk of becoming subject to financial and fiscal dominance.”Weidmann delivered the inaugural speech at the Center for European Studies’ European Economic Policy Forum, part of the new European Economic Policy program. The program’s initiatives will include hosting visiting and resident fellows and a research and outreach fund to provide resources for research on European economic activity.The potential of mixed responsibilities to cause imbalance is particularly acute in Europe, Weidmann said, where the monetary union that created the euro has taken monetary policy beyond national borders and made it a shared responsibility, while decisions on taxes and spending remain at the national level.One way of addressing this imbalance would be for countries to hand budgeting power — and with it a measure of their sovereignty — to the European government. The idea has met with strong resistance, however.Another possibility would be to de-link monetary policy from government fiscal policy and from the private financial world. Severing those ties would allow individual banks and even governments to fail, but reduce the risk to the broader financial system.Experiences in Ireland, where stability was risked to bail out banks, and Greece, whose enormous debt hurt the broader economy, illustrate the both ends of the issue.One idea for severing what Weidmann called the “sovereign-bank doom loop”: end the practice of assigning government bonds zero risk and cap the amount of sovereign debt held by non-central banks, as is already done with other kinds of investments. This would reduce banks’ exposure to government fiscal problems and insulate the broader financial system against government budget woes.“With regard to the euro area, the assumption that all sovereign bonds are risk-free means that all bonds are treated alike, regardless of fundamentals. This calls into question market discipline and is, obviously, not in line with recent history,” he said.In a question-and-answer session after the talk, some in the audience wondered whether such an approach might worsen the current situation, where the Eurozone has its highest unemployment on record (12.2 percent) even though inflation is at its lowest point in four years (0.8 percent). Weidmann allowed that it might, but predicted long-term benefits. Institutions hobbled by an accumulation of short-term crisis measures won’t work over time.“We will be facing the same situation in a couple of years’ time, and people will ask us, ‘Why didn’t you do something?’”last_img read more

India’s Coal Appetite Dwindles

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Ajoy K. Das for MiningWeekly.com:Green shoot pointers like the growth, or decline, in thermal power projects and the rapid up-scaling of renewable-energy projects indicate that India’s appetite for coal is dwindling. Even as domestic coal production rose, moving from a shortage towards the surplus zone, growth in new thermal power projects was showing a decline for the first time in the last three years.According to data sourced from government departments, growth in new installed thermal power capacity was recorded at 8.78% in 2015, down from 8.99% in 2014 and 12.48% in 2012. In sharp contrast, growth in new capacity in the renewable-energy sector was up to the highest level ever at 18% during 2015.A senior official with the country’s largest power producer, NTPC Limited, said that the “pipeline of new thermal projects has completely dried up” and “no new plant are scheduled to come on stream in 2016”.He said that, at the earliest, in 2018/19, 10 000 MW of new thermal capacity could come on stream in the form of ongoing projects delayed by varied reasons such as conclusion of fuel supply agreements, environmental clearances and/or scrimping of funding options by project promoters. Ultra mega power projects (UMPPs), planned by the government were also turning out to be “pipe dreams”, with no such new projects put up for bidding since 2014.Even UMPPPs put up for bidding in 2014 had all fallen through with all successful bidders subsequently withdrawing from the projects, he added. In sharp contrast, in renewables, India was poised to commission 2 000 MW of solar power between January and March 2016, equal to the total generation capacity added in the full year of 2015.While the impact of these trends in the power generation sector on medium- and long-term coal demand consumption patterns was not readily available from government departments, current empirical data indicate that the ‘coal rush’ in consuming industries had eased, giving way to stockpiles at both the producer and consumer ends.Coal India Limited accounted for over 80% of domestic supplies – notching up 9% production growth so far in the current fiscal and expecting to close the year on March 31, with 550-million tonnes of coal – and was current saddled with unsold pithead stocks of 40-million tonnes. Thermal power plants across the country were carrying a combined stock of 32-million tonnes of coal as of January 2016, up from 12-million tonnes during corresponding month in 2015. The lack of takers for coal was also having a spillover impact on allied infrastructure sectors such as the government-owned and operated Indian Railways (IR).IR had during 2015/16 projected additional freight traffic of 85-million tonnes on the total freight handling of 1.10-billion tonnes achieved in the previous fiscal period, largely banking on ferrying an additional 46-million tonnes of coal. However, IR freight traffic was now not expected to grow by more than 1% during the year, largely resulting from the sharp fall in coal handling as thermal power producers with high fuel inventories were not making bookings, the official said.India’s coal appetite dwindles India’s Coal Appetite Dwindleslast_img read more

Maduro Steps Up His Repression of Democracy

first_imgBy Noelani Kirschner / ShareAmerica March 11, 2020 The Nicolás Maduro regime and its allies continue to find new ways to repress democracy and brutalize the Venezuelan people.When Interim President Juan Guaidó returned from his diplomatic trip abroad on February 11, pro-Maduro bullies attacked him at the airport near Caracas. One tried to smash his car’s window with a traffic cone.While Guaidó was unharmed, others weren’t so lucky.Maduro’s cronies beat journalists while security forces watched and did nothing. Several reporters were seriously injured and many more were robbed of their equipment, according to the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists.“[W]hen journalists attempted to file a formal complaint about the attacks at the prosecutor’s office, armed police officers blockaded the building and didn’t let them enter,” the committee said.Police agents transport surviving prisoners after police holding cells caught fire in Valencia, Carabobo state, Venezuela, March 28, 2018. (Photo: Juan Barreto / AFP)The regime’s security forces seized Guaidó’s uncle, Juan José Márquez, as he went through customs. The Maduro regime alleges that Márquez carried explosive material on Guaidó’s return flight from Portugal and has suspended the airline, TAP Air Portugal, from sending flights to Caracas. Portuguese Foreign Minister Teresa Ribeiro told the Associated Press the decision was “completely unfounded and unjustified.”“This is an obvious and vicious effort to attack Guaidó’s closest advisers and his family,” said the U.S. State Department’s Elliott Abrams.Márquez was last seen in the custody of the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence, a pro-Maduro intelligence agency known for torturing citizens.More than a week later, officers of the Directorate forced entry into Márquez’s home while his wife and children were present. The interim government and Márquez’s lawyer denounced the act.In a State Department statement, the U.S. condemned the baseless detention and called for the Maduro regime to release Márquez. “We will hold Nicolás Maduro and those who surround him fully responsible for the safety and welfare of Interim President Guaidó’s family and all those who defend democracy in Venezuela,” it said.According to reports, in 2019, there were 2,219 arbitrary arrests in Venezuela. Since Maduro took power in 2014, there have been roughly 15,000.In January, according to the Venezuelan National Assembly, the Maduro regime illegally looted an international aid station, leaving the Venezuelan people with fewer medical supplies and less nonperishable food, medicines, and blankets.“The United States condemns the thousands of killings, attacks, and arbitrary detentions that have taken place in Venezuela,” the State Department statement said. “We stand with the victims’ families in demanding justice and accountability.”last_img read more

What can you learn from Purell?

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » In news that probably comes as no surprise to anyone, there appears to be a national shortage of Purell®.The Philadelphia Inquirer recently reported that the popular hand sanitizer has been flying off the shelves at stores and pharmacies across the country. To date, the product’s parent company, GOJO Industries, Inc., hasn’t provided a timeline for when the Purell supply might return to normal. But Samantha Williams, GOJO’s corporate communications senior director, told the Inquirer, “We have a surge preparedness team that runs in the background all the time, who have been fully activated and are coordinating our response to the increase in demand.”While it’s currently due to increased concerns about the coronavirus, Purell’s high demand actually stems from unconventional business strategies implemented in the brand’s early days. Sure, Purell is a household name now, but when GOJO launched the sanitizer back in 1988, the public response was far less enthusiastic. The fact that Purell is still around—let alone in historically high demand—speaks volumes about the hard work and dedication of those who believed in its potential.Whether you’re the CEO of a credit union, the manager of a branch, or a leader in any capacity, Purell’s story demonstrates three key traits that you can apply to your leadership:last_img read more