Richer countries have greater responsibility to restore financial stability – Ban

“Today, the G20 must be no less ambitious,” said Mr. Ban in an address to the 125th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in the Swiss city of Bern.“It must be imaginative in considering innovative new means of financing development and renewable energy for all. The G20 must also follow through on the development agenda agreed to last year in Seoul, with a special emphasis on achieving the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs].”He pointed out that developing economies are a vital source of global dynamism, which can be unleashed for the benefit of future generations if they are supported to advance on a course of sustainable development.The Secretary-General exhorted leaders of the larger economies to re-dedicate themselves to securing a comprehensive climate change agreement, noting that there can be no sustainable development or prosperity for anyone unless the realities of climate change are addressed.“Around the world, I hear people say yes, economic adjustment will be necessary. But do not adjust our hopes. Do not adjust our children’s dreams. The decisions we make today must lay the foundations for a healthy, inclusive economic prosperity for all of the world’s people,” said Mr. Ban.He also underlined the need to expand women’s participation in all spheres of life, including in parliaments. The Secretary-General noted that 28 countries now have at least 30 per cent women’s representation in parliament, but that also meant that more than 160 States have not reached that threshold.The youth must also not be neglected, the Secretary-General said, noting that they are helping change the world as evidenced by the recent political changes in North Africa and the pro-democracy uprising in a number of countries in the Middle East.“Since the dawn of the Arab Spring, young people around the world have taken to the streets, demanding greater opportunities to participate in economic and political life. Their future is our future. Let us listen to them, lest the coming decades be marked by an instability and alienation that undermine our prospects for peace, security and prosperity for all,” said Mr. Ban. 16 October 2011Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said that the world’s major economies must shoulder greater responsibility to restore global financial stability, urging them to follow the model of the 2008 London summit of the Group of 20 (G20) when leaders agreed to back the financial system for the benefit of all with more than a trillion dollars in credit. read more

New Act to strengthen coast guard activities

A new Act is to be introduced to strengthen the Department of Coast Guard and give it more powers.The task expected from the Department of Coast Guard which has been established by the Act no. 41 of 2009, is seen difficult to be performed within its present institutional structure. Accordingly, considering the timely needs, a proposal made by President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of Defence, to prepare a new Act by repealing the Act no. 41 of 2009, to establish the Department of Coast Guard department as a more powerful law enforcing authority, has been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. (Colombo Gazette)

President of TimorLeste meets with UN rights chief

At a press conference at UN Headquarters there, President Gusmão said that he had met with Ms. Arbour to request aid in the consolidation of democratic values in his country, to help with issues of gender and domestic violence, and to help civil society disseminate human rights values.He acknowledged that National Commission of Truth and Reconciliation of Timor-Leste did not satisfy everybody, adding that the Commission of Truth and Friendship has been established together with Indonesia to strengthen efforts to heal the wounds of the past.He said an office of Ombudsman had also been established and while in Geneva he had asked UN agencies to help provide it with training programmes and financial assistance.Last year, the UN created an independent Commission of Experts to review the prosecution of serious human rights violations committed in 1999 in Timor-Leste, then known as East Timor, after the former Portuguese colony occupied by Indonesia in 1974 voted for independence.The country achieved its independence in 2002. read more

UN envoy discusses foreign influence in Lebanon with Jordanian and Palestinian leaders

Terje Roed-Larsen, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Envoy for the implementation of Security Council 1559, which focuses on an end to foreign interference in Lebanon, travelled to Amman to meet first with His Majesty King Abdullah bin Hussein and other senior Jordanian officials.“Jordan has always played an important role in the efforts for security, stability and peace in the region. The Secretary-General’s partnership with His Majesty the King will continue in the pursuit of common goals,” Mr. Roed-Larsen said. The discussions focused on issues related to resolution 1559 and the situation in the wider region.Following these talks, he then went on to meet Palestinian Authority President and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, also in Amman.“I am much encouraged by my talks with the Palestinian President, which focused on the Palestinian militias in Lebanon in view of the situation in the wider region. President Abbas’s strong support for resolution 1559 is much appreciated, and on behalf of the Secretary-General, I will stay in close contact with him on all the relevant issues.”Security Council resolution 1559 calls for withdrawing all foreign forces from Lebanon, holding free elections, disbanding all militias and extending Government control over the whole country.While the first two goals were achieved last year with Syrian withdrawal and parliamentary elections, the Security Council has called for a dialogue on the second two, and earlier this month the Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, Nabih Berri, officially initiated the first round of the so-called Lebanese National Dialogue, a move Mr. Annan welcomed.“The Dialogue has already yielded important agreements, and we look forward to its next stage,” Mr. Roed-Larsen said on Tuesday, after conferring with senior officials of Qatar, another key regional player.Multi-party talks, aimed at bringing about national reconciliation, were scheduled to resume in Lebanon yesterday. read more

Yellen says Fed is monitoring softer economic data to see if recent

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Yellen says Fed is monitoring softer economic data to see if recent slowdown is temporary WASHINGTON – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen noted Thursday that some recent economic data have pointed to weaker-than-expected gains in consumer spending and job growth. She said the Fed will be watching to see whether the slowdown proves only a temporary blip caused by severe winter weather.Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee that the Fed will be alert to upcoming data to make sure that the U.S. economy keeps strengthening.“We have seen quite a bit of soft data over the last month or six weeks,” Yellen said. “We need to get a firmer handle about how much of the softer data can be explained by the weather.”Responding to a question, Yellen repeated the Fed’s assurances that its pullback in stimulus for the economy is “not on a preset course” and could be modified if there was a “significant change” in the Fed’s outlook. The Fed is gradually reducing its monthly bond purchases, which have been intended to keep long-term loan rates low to encourage spending and growth.Yellen said that while she was open to changing the pace of the Fed’s reductions in bond purchases, “I wouldn’t want to jump to conclusions” that such a change will be needed.Yellen repeated remarks she made to a House committee earlier this month that the job market’s recovery is “far from complete.” She said she expects Fed policies to favour low interest rates “for quite some time.”Yellen’s appearance Thursday completed her first twice-a-year report to Congress since becoming Fed chair this month. Her Senate appearance had been postponed by a snowstorm that shut federal offices in Washington on Feb. 13.In both her House and Senate appearances, Yellen sought to emphasize policy continuity with her predecessor, Ben Bernanke, who stepped down last month after eight years leading the central bank.Yellen said that she, like Bernanke, believed the economy is strengthening enough that the Fed can gradually pull back its monthly bond purchases.The Fed has cut the pace of bond purchases at both its most recent meetings. It reduced the original $85 billion monthly pace in December and again in January in $10 billion steps to a current level of $65 billion.Many economists think that as long as the economy keeps improving, the Fed will keep cutting the bond purchases by $10 billion at each meeting this year until ending the program in December.The Fed has stressed that it’s standing by a plan to keep a key short-term rate at a record low near zero for an extended period. At the past two meetings, it has said short-term rates will remain low “well past” the time unemployment drops below 6.5 per cent. The unemployment rate is now 6.6 per cent.Many economists think the first rate hike won’t occur until late 2015. But minutes of the Fed’s last meeting showed that “a few” policymakers felt it might be appropriate to make the first move to raise short-term rates “relatively soon.”The Fed has held its benchmark for short-term rates near zero since December 2008.The discussion revealed in minutes of the Jan. 28-29 meeting, released last week, drew the attention of financial markets. The “few” Fed officials who raised the possibility of a rate hike weren’t identified.But some Fed officials have worried that all the moves to provide support for the economy through trillions of dollars in bond purchases and ultra-low rates could eventually spark inflation pressures.But economists believe this Fed group remains in the minority. Yellen and many other Fed officials say the economy still needs support from the Fed until the job market and economic growth improve further. They note that inflation remains well below the Fed’s 2 per cent target. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, before the Senate Banking Committee to deliver the semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress. Yellen noted that some recent economic data have pointed to weaker-than-expected gains in consumer spending and job growth. She said the Fed will be watching to see whether the slowdown proves only a temporary blip caused by severe winter weather. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Feb 27, 2014 11:47 am MDT read more

Ban strongly condemns deadly car bomb attack in southeastern Turkey

In a statement issued by his Spokesman in New York, the Secretary-General expressed the hope that the perpetrators of the attack will be swiftly identified and brought to justice. According to early reports, the attack in Reyhanli, a town in the southeastern province of Hatay, near Turkey’s border with Syria, has claimed the lives of 40 people and has injured more than 100.“The Secretary-General condemns all acts of terrorism and reiterates that no cause or grievance ever justifies the targeting of civilians,” the statement said, adding that Mr. Ban sends his deepest condolences to the victims and their families, as well as to the Turkish Government and people, and wishes those injured a speedy recovery.

Ohio State lands commitment from fourstar defensive lineman Tyler Friday

Ohio State added another highly touted defensive lineman in the 2018 recruiting class when it picked up the commitment of four-star Tyler Friday.He announced his commitment Friday afternoon at a ceremony at Don Bosco Preparatory High School. According to, Friday is being recruited by the Buckeyes as a defensive end. Despite being recruited as an end, Friday is listed as a defensive tackle by 247Sports. He is listed as the No. 86 overall recruit in the 2018 class and fourth at the position of defensive tackle, behind fellow Ohio State commit four-star Taron Vincent, according to 247Sports composite rankings. The 6-foot-3, 263-pound prospect is also the second-highest ranked recruit in New Jersey.The Buckeyes also have four-star recruit Tommy Togiai and the top junior-college transfer, four-star Antwuan Jackson Jr. joining the team in 2018. read more

Theres No Place Like Home For John Isner

John Isner became the top-ranked American male tennis player by playing his best tennis at home. He wins more than two-thirds of his matches in the U.S., but just half elsewhere. Tennis writers have portrayed Isner’s strength at home as a weakness abroad. But in his sport, where players set large parts of their own schedules, displaying a repeatable competitive advantage is an opportunity, not a liability.1Unlike, say, in the NBA, where an Eastern Conference team that struggles out west can’t replace trips to California with more home dates.Even as he’s pledged to solve his road woes, Isner has filled his calendar with U.S. events. His home-court advantage has helped him rise this month from the world’s No. 13 to No. 10. A couple of weeks ago at a tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., Isner reached the semifinals, where he took a set off No. 2 Novak Djokovic. This week in Miami, he reached the round of 16 but lost on Tuesday to No. 7 Tomas Berdych. In two weeks, Isner will seek to defend his title in Houston.These wouldn’t have passed for spectacular American results when Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras ruled the sport in the 1990s, or even when Andy Roddick and James Blake took up residence in the top 10 during the last decade. These days, though, pretty good is as good as it gets for American men in tennis. None of Isner’s peers got past the round of 64 at either tournament this month; he was the last American man at each by at least two rounds. And no other American man is ranked in the top 60 in the world. (There’s little reason to hope for better things from the next generation: No American ranks in the top 20 in either the under-20 or under-21 world rankings.)Isner is famous among casual fans for his role in the longest match ever played, which he won over Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in 2010, with the basketball-like 70-68 score in the fifth set. But he’s done his best work at home. Fourteen of his 17 career finals and six of his eight career titles have come in the United States. He’s been an entirely average player at the tour level2This means matches that count towards a player’s official match record: matches at Grand Slam tournaments, in Davis Cup matches and at ATP World Tour events. away from the U.S., winning 51 percent of his matches. At American events, he’s won 69 percent.“I always play my best in the United States,” Isner said at a press conference in Indian Wells. “A lot of times, especially in Europe, I have ‑‑ you know, I haven’t had great results at all.” He was at a loss to explain why, offering perhaps a lack of toughness at overseas tournaments. “There is no reason I can’t have a result like this outside of the U.S.,” he said.The reasons for Isner’s home advantage are varied. The obvious suspects, like the surface he’s playing on and the strength of his opponents, don’t fully explain it. A lot of it comes down to Isner himself.It’s true that much of Isner’s home success has come against weak competition. He has thrived at smaller U.S. tournaments that are optional for top players, who mostly live in Europe and don’t bother to make the trip. These events account for all of his U.S. titles and all but two of his U.S. finals. Just 6 percent of his matches at those events have come against top 10 players, none ranked in the top four. The relative weakness of his competition thanks to these events can be seen in the median ranking of his opponents over the last year: just 64, making his the softest schedule of any player in the top 35 in the world rankings.Isner also gets to play on hard courts, his favorite surface, at most of the U.S. events where he chooses to play. Just two are played on other surfaces: Houston, on clay; and Newport, R.I., on grass.These factors alone don’t explain Isner’s U.S. success, though. I pulled his career match record and ran a logistic regression, controlling for surface,3Isner has played 32 matches on grass, 66 matches on clay and 256 matches on hard courts. I separately ran the regression with each surface and also combining hard and grass, since so few matches are played on grass. The results were essentially the same. the ranking of his opponent4Technically I used the logarithm of his opponent’s ranking, since there is a much wider gap between the No. 1 and No. 10 players in the world — and therefore the probability of beating each one — than there is between the No. 10 and No. 100 players. and the value of each match, in ranking points.5The goal was to check whether Isner plays better in higher-leverage matches, those that count for more — i.e. matches in big tournaments, or later rounds of smaller ones. If he does, this effect could be confused with a preference for home courts. That’s because many of his U.S. events have weak fields, pitting Isner against early-round opponents whom he’d likely beat anywhere. That gives him more high-stakes home matches, so if he thrives in high-stakes matches, it might help explain his home advantage.To calculate the leverage of each match, I took the number of ranking points Isner would receive if he lost the match and subtracted it from the number he would get if he won, then lost the subsequent match. The result is roughly the value of the match, as prize money rises with ranking points and the points also determine a player’s subsequent seedings and affect his earning potential. The calculation is complicated by the ATP’s change in ranking points in 2009, so it isn’t exact, but since most of Isner’s tour-level matches came after 2008, the effect is small. Even after controlling for these factors, Isner remains a homecoming king. Surface, it turns out, isn’t a statistically significant driver of his success. Nor is the value of winning the match. His opponent’s ranking is highly significant. But independent of these factors, a 50-50 match for Isner away from home becomes a match he’ll win two out of three times in the U.S.Tennis isn’t usually associated with strong home-court effects, because of its individual and international nature. Many events draw fans from across the globe, who cheer for players from countries other than their own. And most players get few chances to play at home outside of the Davis Cup, the partisan international team competition that provides a rare home-court advantage in tennis. A popular explanation for home advantage in many other sports — that officials are influenced by partisan crowds — doesn’t translate to tennis because electronic line-call review at the sport’s top levels has greatly reduced the potential influence of subjective calls on match outcomes.Perhaps Isner thrives so much at home because of his background in college tennis, a level of competition where the team is primary. Isner starred at the University of Georgia and loves college team sports, spending much of a press conference last Saturday in Miami breaking down his NCAA men’s basketball tournament bracket. Isner counts on support from American crowds, and was taken aback by U.S. Open fans’ cheers for his opponent, Frenchman Gael Monfils, last summer.Isner lamented his inconsistency away from home in that Indian Wells press conference, and he’d naturally rather do as well outside the U.S. as he does in it. But if he had to choose between his unbalanced current record and, say, maintaining the same win probability everywhere, he should opt for the status quo. Ranking points and prize money nearly double at each stage of a tournament, rewarding players who alternate finals with first-round exits over players who consistently lose in the second round.6We can illustrate this by imagining a simplified five-tournament sequence in which each tournament has 32 players and five rounds. Points and prize money double each round, from one point and $1 for a first-round exit up to 32 points and $32 for a title.Player A, with one title and four first-round losses, would pick up 32 points and $32 for the title, and an additional four points and $4 for the other four tournaments, for a total haul of 36 points and $36. His record would be 5-4.Player B, with five quarterfinal exits, would get four points and $4 in each tournament, for a total of 20 points and $20 — barely half the yield of Player A, despite a superior win-loss record of 10-5.So inconsistency in tennis is good. Even better is predictable inconsistency. A player who doesn’t know when he’ll thrive can’t plan around it. Someone who does best at clay-court events can schedule as many as he can fit in. A player who plays best at home ought to schedule as many home tournaments as possible. Isner has learned that lesson. He has reaped the benefits of a tournament calendar that still features a significant number of U.S. events, even as players from other countries have ascended in the rankings.In addition to the U.S. Open and the mandatory events in Indian Wells, Miami and Cincinnati, Isner had 10 ATP events in the U.S. to choose from in 2007 and 2008, his first two years on tour. That number declined to nine, then eight and then, this year, seven. But the decline in American men’s talent has been even steeper during that time, making ranking points at those events low-hanging fruit for Isner. Combine the easy fields with his home-court preference, and Isner finds lots of success in places such as Atlanta, Winston Salem, N.C., and Houston — even as events he played earlier in his career in Indianapolis, Las Vegas, San Jose, Calif., and New Haven, Conn., have vanished.Early in his career, Isner didn’t choose so well for himself. In his first two years on tour, he opted to play just three of his 10 non-mandatory events in the U.S. But from 2009 to 2013, he managed to play 29 of his 53 optional events in the U.S., even though only one-fifth of such events took place there. Last year, the U.S. hosted eight of these events, and Isner played in seven. He reached the semifinals of six and the finals of three, winning twice.Isner has taken advantage of his home-court preference more wisely than his peer and frequent doubles partner, Sam Querrey. I ran the same analysis on Querrey, the second-ranked American man today. For Querrey, too, surface and leverage weren’t significant. He also showed a significant home-court advantage, though the effect was smaller and less significant than for Isner.7A 50-50 match away from the U.S. for Querrey would turn into a match he’d win 62 percent of the time at home. Yet after playing almost exclusively at home in his rookie year on tour, Querrey has opted to play events away from the U.S. almost as often as home tournaments, averaging one more optional road trip per year than Isner.Perhaps many players would show a strong, significant home advantage if they had the chance. None of the world’s top five players gets more than two or three home events each year. Players from the other Grand Slam-hosting countries — the U.K., France and Australia — have a few more opportunities. But those countries combined have about the same number of tournaments as the U.S.Tennis’s general move away from the U.S., and Isner’s impending 29th birthday, might keep him from entering as many home events in the future. He’s compensating by making more of his opportunities and stepping up at the bigger U.S. events, such as this month’s strong runs and his finals in Cincinnati last year and in Indian Wells the year before that. If Isner can keep improving at the big U.S. events, he won’t have to worry about getting better away from home. read more

Program of world CoaltoLiquid conference available

first_imgThe liquefaction of coal is once again at the heart of strategic thinking about energy supplies. In South Africa, 30% of the fuels consumed are produced from coal. The US Air Force has just finished flight tests on a B-52 using similarly produced fuel and will have tested its entire fleet by the end of 2011. The China University of Petroleum has just launched a module in CTL, and China’s leading coal producer (China Shenhua) will start up its first CTL unit in 2008 with a capacity of 20,000 bbl/d. In strategic terms, CTL contributes to reducing the energy dependence of countries with large coal reserves and little oil. It will enable mining companies to become more profitable and allow petroleum companies to diversify their supplies.The World Coal-to-Liquids (CTL) conference in Paris, April 3-4, will start with a presentation by Gerald Doucet, Secretary General, World Energy Council (UK) on Worldwide supply and demand in energy, notably fossil fuels; medium term outlook. The conference will then move into: Session 1: ENERGY SUPPLY AND DEMAND (2010-2030): STAKES FOR NATIONS AND INDUSTRIES – Chair: Fatih Birol, Chief Economist, International Energy Agency (France) Opening remarksOpportunities for coal and CTL: reserves, illustration with competitiveness approach – Milton Catelin, Chief Executive, World Coal Institute (UK)Conclusions of IEA’s Coal Survey 2007 – Brian Ricketts, Energy Analyst, Coal, International Energy Agency (France)India: country case and projects – Prem Sawhney, Senior Vice President, Reliance Industries Ltd (India)USA: country case and US Air Force policy – The Honorable William C. Anderson, Assistant Secretary of the US Air Force, Installations, Environment & Logistics (USA)China: country case and Shenhua projects – Zhang Yuzhuo, Chairman, China Shenhua Coal Liquefaction Co. (China)CTL as a stakeholder for downstream industries – Panel with representatives of the automobile and aeronautics industriesCTL AVAILABLE ROUTES – THE COAL AND OIL INDUSTRIES PANEL – Chair: Jim Smitham, Deputy Director, Energy Transformed, CSIRO (Australia)Introduction to the two main CTL routesIndirect CTL– Christiane Schmid, Director of Business Development, Siemens Fuel Gasification Technology (Germany)– Merrick Kerr, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Rentech (USA)– Jannie Scholtz, Manager of Technology and Business Development, Sasol Synfuels International (South Africa)– Samuel Tabak, Licensing Executive, ExxonMobil (USA)Direct CTL– John Duddy, Technology Manager, Axens North America, Axens Group (France)– Theo Lee, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Headwaters (USA)– Sadao Wasaka, Executive Director, NEDO (Japan)The first day ends with a Coal and Oil Industries Panel, with Roger Wicks, Head of Energy, Anglo American (UK),  Frederick Palmer, Senior Vice President, Peabody Energy (USA) and Alfred Seema, CTL Business Development Manager, PetroSA (South Africa)Friday, April 4, begins with ENVIRONMENTGreenhouse effect, CO2 capture & sequestration, synthetic fuel benefits, R&D – Chair: Hanspeter Rohner, Vice President Europe and Australia, Schlumberger Carbon Services (France)Greenhouse effect, CO2 contribution to the global warming – Barbara McKee, Head of Fossil Fuels Collaboration, Department of Energy (USA)CO2 capture, storage – Pierre Le Thiez, Executive Vice President, Geogreen (France)Well to wheels approach: principle and application in several cases – Richard Boardman, Senior Lead, Coal-To-Liquids Research and Development, Idaho National Laboratory (USA)Quality of synthetic fuels, an improvement for the environment – Justyn Peters, General Manager, Government and environmental Affairs, Linc Energy (Australia)Great Plains (US) / Weiburn (Canada) carbon dioxide operation with efficient CO2 industrial use – George Pan, Oil & Gas partnership Manager, EnCana (Canada)Reducing CO2 emissions in CTL : Putting theory into practice – Diane Hildebrandt, Director of the Centre of Material and Process Synthesis (COMPS), University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)ASSOCIATED INDUSTRIESFinancing: approach of the financial risk on CTL – Christiane Bergevin, President, SNC-Lavalin Capital (Canada)Engineering: the specifics of CTL – Takuya Ono, Chief Engineer, Engineering Division, JGC Yokohama (Japan)Industrial gases – Nicolas Perrin, M arketing & Business Director, World Energy Conversion Market, Air Liquide (France)Coal-To-Chemicals, focus on Coal-To-DME – Huang Zhen, Director of The Energy Research Institute, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China)Biomass-To-Liquids – Matthias Rudloff, Business Development Manager, Choren (Germany)The event will finish with the presentation of the 2008 World CTL Award to Dr Sadao Wasaka, Executive Director, NEDO (Japan) by Yves Chauvin, 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Wasaka is recognised for his scientific work in CTL processes and his contribution in NEDO’s international cooperations.Wasaka is an Executive Director of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and is in charge of the development of clean coal technology such as coal gasification, coal beneficiation or coal liquefaction. He started his career with Mitsui Mining Co in 1976, and since then he has been actively engaged in the development of clean coal technologies. In particular, he has devoted over 30 years to the development of direct coal liquefaction. After joining NEDO in 1995, he contributed to the development of the NEDOL Process, an advanced direct coal liquefaction process developed exclusively in Japan. He received a doctorate degree in engineering from Kansai University in 2004 based on his research related to coal liquefaction and the NEDOL Process.The World CTL Award is granted to an eminent personality who has contributed substantially to the understanding and development of CTL.CONCLUSION AND KEYNOTE ADDRESS – Olivier Appert, President of IFP (France).Attendees will include experts from sectors that are end-users of petroleum products, such as the petrochemical, automotive and aerospace industries, as well as CTL suppliers, including the engineering sector, financial entities and catalyst suppliers. The World CTL 2008 conference will also present the production of chemical products from coal (coal to chemicals) and the use of biomass as a raw material (biomass to liquids). Alongside the conference, there will be an exhibition.At World CTL 2008, the technical, economic and environmental performances of the CTL processes will be presented by the leading businesses in each of the two production methods – indirect and direct. During World CTL 2008, a round table with senior managers of mining and petroleum groups will put the respective strategies of these two industries into perspective. In environmental terms, coal, because of its chemical nature, can emit a high level of carbon dioxide, as compared to other energy sources. This issue will be discussed during World CTL 2008. Researchers and manufacturers will present pilot solutions, as well as those that have already been industrialised. They will demonstrate the environmental advantages of CTL-produced fuels, known as synthetic fuels, in relation to conventional fuels.The economic issues related to CTL are important. Profitability will be affected by various factors – variations in coal and oil prices, the uncertain duration of fiscal policies and incentives, the cost of environment-related measures, and the reduced guarantees that licensers and engineering companies will be able to give.The World CTL conference will be held at the Méridien Montparnasse Hotel in Paris (France), April 3 to 4, 2008. For further information, please go to: read more

Why is Dublin dedicating a 300yearold tree to the city of Barcelona

first_imgIt is also dedicated to the cause of human rights which is a cause strongly promoted by Bill Shipsey through his global artist engagement programme, Art for Amnesty.The Deputy Mayor of Barcelona Jaume Ciurana thanked Dublin for the dedication.“I am extremely grateful for the dedication of this three hundred year old olive tree to my city, Barcelona, and to human rights. With this simple event we are two cities committed from today to extending the cause of freedom and human rights.”The 300 year old olive tree was donated by Bill Shipsey to the City of Dublin in 2006 and it has been situated in Cow’s Lane since then.Read: Bertie Ahern assaulted by man with a crutch in Dublin pubRead: NCAD wants Dublin 8 acknowledged as ‘leading cultural and creative quarter’ THE LORD MAYOR of Dublin will on Monday dedicate a 300-year-old olive tree in Dublin’s city centre to the city of Barcelona.The unusual dedication in Cow’s Lane is designed to mark 300 years since the Siege of Barcelona, which marked the end of the Spanish War of Succession. At the end of the 13-month siege, the city would fall into the hands of Franco-Castillian troops.Although ending in defeat, the siege is used to mark the national day of Catalonia.Dublin and Barcelona have been twinned cities since 1998 and Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisín Quinn says that the dedication is also aimed at acknowledging the cause of human rights.“It is a great honour for me to dedicate this olive tree to the City of Barcelona. The Cities of Barcelona and Dublin are twin Cities since 1998 and we in Dublin are happy to mark the 300th anniversary of the Siege of Barcelona, a very important time in the history of our sister city.last_img read more

Mikis Theodorakis dubs Greek government blind tool of NATO

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis dubbed the Greek government “a blind tool of NATO” following the ratification of the Prespes Agreement.In an article published in Greece’s daily newspaper Ta Nea, Mr Theodorakis said that the Greek government did not represent the people in its decision to ratify the controversial agreement that has put an end to the 28-year name dispute with FYROM.Prior to the ratification of the agreement, Mr Theodorakis had called on all 300 members of Greek Parliament to not support “this crime against Greece.”The decision to name FYROM the Republic of Northern Macedonia has prompted FYROM’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev to adopt the name Macedonia, which is what he refers to his country in Tweets, and this has angered Greek critics of the agreement.Meanwhile, Greece’s 10-year borrowing costs dropped to a four-month low on January 28 following the ratification of the accord.last_img read more

SWAT operation ends peacefully in Fruit Valley

first_imgVancouver police early Sunday arrested a 29-year-old man after a standoff in Fruit Valley.A press release from the department said Ryan J. Young was arrested for felony harassment domestic violence. The release said police responded about 4:30 a.m. to an apartment complex on Fruit Valley Road for a disturbance “caused by an ex-husband of a resident.”Officers went to Young’s residence at 2200 Simpson Road, asked him to come outside and he refused.Members of Clark County Regional SWAT were called, as well as negotiators.After a three-hour standoff, Young surrendered without incident.He was in the Clark County Jail Sunday night with bail not allowed.No other information was available.last_img

ELLE Launches Social Commerce On Facebook

first_imgELLE already has e-commerce relationships with Rue LaLa and HMS. O’Malley says that for now the actual e-commerce revenues for the media company are “small but growing.” With every experiment like this, however, the company learns more about how to leverage its editorial authority in moving people to buy as well as the kinds of things people will and won’t be likely to purchase on the Web.The next iteration of the S-commerce Trend Guide will focus on beauty to synchronize with the summer months and the heightened concern for skin and cosmetics. The fall version of the Trend Guide will be refreshed to focus on accessories and will accompany and support the re-launch of the suspended ELLE Accessories brand. We had “e-commerce” then “m-commerce” and more recently “t-commerce” (tablet commerce for those still catching up). Get ready to add “S-Commerce” to the endless digital lexicon. Hearst Digital Media has given us “social commerce” this week via a new feature at ELLE magazine’s Facebook page. The magazine is curating a series of products featured in a pop-up “Trend Report” on its fan page that links directly to the purchase pages for a range of retailers and brands. This story first appears on FOLIO: sister site, minonline. Although this is an experiment in “S-commerce” ELLE svp, publisher and chief revenue officer Kevin O’Malley tells minonline that the first version of the model actually doesn’t involve revenue. “In this deal there is no rev share,” he says. Although the buy buttons deep-link directly to the respective item’s sell page at the vendor, ELLE deliberately planned the first version to run without affiliate revenue sharing. “No one really knows if Facebook is a platform for transactional commerce,” O’Malley explains. “In iteration 1.0 we didn’t want to do a rev share and we said this to all participating brands.” It is a learning experience for everyone. ELLE wants to offer consumers the ability to follow inspiration to making the buy, but it is unclear yet whether consumers’ social network is the place readers want to shop.But O’Malley emphasizes that this Trend Guide program was designed to profit the ELLE brand and its partners regardless of sales. The custom Love, Want and Own gestures put the ELLE brand and the partner’s item on the reader’s wall with a link for all their friends to see and buy it. “The value proposition for us is that even if we don’t make a sale, this becomes like a shopping widget that goes out on her wall where friends can see it.” ELLE is adding to the Facebook experience by crafting icons and sentiments that are more nuanced than the somewhat blunt instrument of a “Like.” The Trend Guide is a Facebook tab that identifies six trends of the season: Flower Girl, Sea World, Sporting Goods, Portrait of a Lady, Showgirls and Wanderlust. Each trend opens up a gallery of related goods. Users can follow an ELLE “Lexicon” of tags or what ELLE calls “custom gestures” that let them “Love” an item, add it to their “Want” list or just declare on the social net that they already Own it. These gestures and related icons are posted as a “Shoppable Story” to one’s timeline, newsfeed or ticker. Or you can just tap the Buy! button to get kicked over to the partner’s order page.Affiliates in the program include Gucci, Bebe, AG Jeans, Nine West, Tommy Hilfiger and many others. The new functionality on ELLE’s Facebook page will be promoted via email, site and a Facebook ad campaign. Hearst partnered with 8thBridge, whose platform enables integration of transactions within the Facebook network.last_img read more

Over Governors Objection State Votes to Purchase Leased Space for Team Orlando

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The Florida Cabinet on Tuesday voted to purchase almost 10 acres of land in central Florida that hosts a number of DOD tenants primarily focused on simulation.The purchase would allow DOD to reduce its leasing expense for Team Orlando as part of a state-led effort to retain Orlando’s defense simulation cluster in the event of a new BRAC round. DOD pays about $5.4 million annually in rent for 200,000 square feet of commercial space in Orlando.“In this current budget environment, that’s a terrible place to be,” Thomas Baptiste, president of the National Center for Simulation, told News4Jax.Last year, Baptiste told the Central Florida Partnership that he fears DOD could end its leases in Orlando and move to other federal or military sites that have spare capacity.“I’m going to tell you today, there will be another round of BRAC. As the other services get smaller, there are empty federal buildings all over this nation that could house pieces and parts of Team Orlando, and undermine the fabric that drives this $5 billion industry,” Baptiste said at the time.The Florida Defense Support Task Force has made moving DOD tenants into government-rate leases a top priority. The purchase would add 9.58 acres to the Central Florida Research Park, which sits next to the University of Central Florida campus and Naval Support Activity Orlando.Gov. Rick Scott (R) voted against the purchase, based on his opposition to the $13.9 million purchase price and not the effort’s objective, according to the story.last_img read more

Diplo Bounces Around The World For Blow Your Head Season 2

first_img Facebook Diplo Bounces Around The World For ‘Blow Your Head’ Season 2 The two-time GRAMMY winner’s music docu-series has returned after a 4-year hiatusBrian HaackGRAMMYs Aug 16, 2017 – 12:10 pm GRAMMY.comDiplo is at it again. The mega-producer and jet-setting artist has teamed back up with director Shane McCauley to bring their music documentary YouTube series Blow Your Head back for a second season after a 4-year break.The pair released a new trailer today for the second season via Diplo’s YouTube account. By way of introducing the subject matter of the series, Diplo explains that Blow Your Head is about “people creating new and innovative things with simple tools. Pure creativity, talent and expressions of youth at a time before someone tells you ‘you can’t do that.'” Email Twitter News Watch: Diplo’s ‘Blow Your Head’ Season 2 Trailer diplo-bounces-around-world-blow-your-head-season-2 NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Feb 17, 2016 – 12:49 pm Justin Bieber, Diplo, Skrillex Win Best Dance Recording This season will see Diplo and McCauley head to a variety of locations around the world, including South Africa, Kenya, and New Orleans to investigate micro-scenes of vibrant cultural music.J. Cole Signs On For ‘Bertie County’ Documentarylast_img read more

Pakistan PM Imran Khan wants to avoid expensive hotels during

first_imgISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan wants to stay at the Pakistani envoy’s official residence in Washington instead of an expensive hotel during his visit to the US to reduce the cost of the trip, a media report has said, amidst an austerity drive by the government to solve the cash-strapped nation’s financial woes. Prime Minister Khan, after assuming office last year, launched several austerity measures. Also Read – EAM Jaishankar calls on European Parliament President David Sassoli Advertise With Us Officials in Islamabad are believed to have informed the Pakistan embassy that Prime Minister Khan desires to stay at the ambassador’s official residence in Washington during his three-day visit to the US starting from July 21, Dawn newspaper reported.The International Monetary Fund’s executive board last week approved a three-year USD 6 billion bailout plan to resuscitate Pakistan’s ailing economy. Also Read – This is why Denmark, Sweden and Germany are considering a meat tax Advertise With Us But the IMF has attached some tough terms for the bailout, indicating that the government needs to take strict austerity measures. While staying at the ambassador’s residence can considerably reduce the cost of the visit, Dawn report said that neither the United States secret service nor the city administration appears very receptive to the idea, the paper said. Advertise With Us The US secret service takes over the security of a visiting dignitary as soon as he or she lands in the US while the city administration has to ensure that the visit does not disrupt Washington’s traffic.The ambassador’s residence is in the heart of Washington’s diplomatic enclave. There are at least a dozen embassies in and around that area, including those of India, Turkey and Japan. A visiting government head holds a number of meetings with US officials, lawmakers and media and think-tank representatives during his stay in Washington. Since the residence is not large enough for all these meetings, the prime minister will have to meet his guests at the Pakistan embassy, commuting through Washington’s busy traffic during rush hours. To do so, his entourage will have to drive by most of these embassies as well as the US vice president’s official residence, the report said. Some immediate family members of President Trump also live between the two locations. Any closure of the street on which the ambassador’s residence is situated will prevent other residents, including several ambassadors, from travelling to and from their workplaces during the three-day stay of Khan.Security issues force visiting heads of state and government to stay at one of half a dozen hotels that have special arrangement for VVIPs. This makes it easy for the US secret service to protect the guest. But if the prime minister still wants to avoid a hotel, he can stay with one of the rich Pakistani-Americans in the DC suburbs, the report said. Most of these houses have high boundary walls and can be easily secured. Staying in a suburb, however, means travelling to Washington every morning and holding all the meetings at the Pakistan Embassy, it said. This, however, will be another headache for the US secret service, the report said.last_img read more

Heres When You Can Finally See Dragon Ball Super Broly in Theaters

first_img ‘Dragon Ball’ Wants to Set a Major Guinness World Record at SDCC 2019Toy Tuesday: 11 Most Powerful ‘Dragon Ball’ Toys Stay on target Looking forward to catching one of the biggest anime events of 2019? Better make sure you have your tickets ready for the upcoming Dragon Ball Super event that’s going to rock the fandom: Dragon Ball Super: Broly has an official release date, and you can expect it in theaters on January 16, 2019. That’s the recently-announced debut date for theaters for the upcoming movie, which is coincidentally the 20th film from the Dragon Ball franchise overall and Dragon Ball Super’s very first movie.“We’re thrilled to finally share the official opening date of Dragon Ball Super: Broly with fans since first announcing the acquisition in July, ” said Funimation president Gen Fukunaga. “From its updated art style to the assembly of canon characters new and old, Dragon Ball Super: Broly is sure to please fans. Creator Akira Toriyama’s imagination and masterful storytelling truly shine through in this exciting new movie.”For the uninitiated (or those who don’t know somehow), Dragon Ball Super: Broly is a new story in the Dragon Ball Super universe that follows the end of the series. It will introduce Super Saiyan Broly, the very same character previously introduced in earlier Dragon Ball Z movies, in a new continuity. Dragon Ball Super has become a veritable success and the previous Dragon Ball-themed movie, Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F ended up doing surprising numbers, grossing $8 million in North America.Interested in checking the movie out? Watch the trailer above to get a feel for what it has to offer, and get ready to clear your calendar for the debut of the first Dragon Ball Super movie. It’s going to bring the heat, from what we’ve seen so far, even if you’ve already been privy to the first time Broly made an appearance. It’s probably going to change what you know about the character, but sometimes change is good.Watch Team Geek play through the new Dragon Ball FighterZ. And with the new movie on the horizon, our favorite characters are getting redesigns. There are even mash-ups with the awesome One Punch Man. While we wait for Dragon Ball Super: Broly follow all of Goku’s adventures here.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

Costa Ricas cleanest beaches

first_imgVacationers heading to Costa Rica’s beaches for Holy Week can be sure that the water is contamination-free at beaches displaying a blue flag.The Costa Rican Tourism Board delivered 108 “Ecological Blue Flags” this week to the cleanest beaches in the country. Local residents apply for the flags, which are awarded based on ocean and drinking water quality, trash and recycling facilities, among other factors.The Ecological Blue Flag program this year awarded three Pacific beaches with flags portraying the maximum five stars: Matapalo and Punta El Madero in Guanacaste and Playa Blanca in Puntarenas. The same beaches also were the only ones awarded five stars last year.Tourism Minister Wilhelm von Breymann said the number of beaches awarded blue flags has increased since the program began in 2004. He praised the certification program, saying “it’s a genuine expression of real commitment to sustainability by participants.”Four beaches received three stars: Junquillal and La Macha in the Pacific, and Playa Blanca and Puerto Vargas in the Caribbean. Another 12 beaches received two stars and 89 were certified with one star.Beaches displaying the blue flag for the first time ever include Playa San Francisco in the northern Caribbean, Playa Caldera in Puntarenas, and Cocos Island’s Chatham and Wafer beaches.Read the full list of clean beaches by region Local residents from a total of 129 beaches submitted applications for the Blue Flag certification program this year: 29 in northern Guanacaste; 17 in southern Guanacaste; 20 in northern Puntarenas; 20 in central Puntarenas; 17 in southern Puntarenas; 9 in the northern Caribbean and 17 in the southern Caribbean. Raising the Blue Flag at Playa Blanca, 2015. (Courtesy Punta Leona Hotel)The tourism board is responsible for selecting winners in the beaches category each year. The certification process takes into consideration a variety of environmental factors, including sea water quality, access to water for human consumption, presence of trash and contamination along the coast and public access to recycling.Experts also evaluate safety aspects, such as the existance of appropriate information about strong waves or riptides and the availability of lifesaving and emergency staff throughout the year. They also look at public access to showers and restrooms and environmental education efforts.Besides beaches, Blue Flag certifications are awarded each year in 10 other categories: environmental awareness in communities, municipalities, schools, protected areas and micro-watersheds; climate change mitigation, climate-neutral communities, community health promotion, sustainable homes and special events. The awards are judged by 10 public agencies and non-profit organizations.Blue Flag certifications in other categories will be announced in coming weeks. Related posts:Costa Rica’s cleanest beaches of 2016 get blue flags Meet Costa Rica’s cleanest beaches 5 Pacific coast beaches declared Costa Rica’s cleanest Costa Rica’s INBioparque to remain open Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Ricas top prison official steps down

first_imgPeace and Justice Minister Cristina Ramírez has stepped down in President Luis Guillermo Solís’ latest cabinet shuffle.Ramírez will accept a position with the National Insurance Institute. Her resignation was announced during the president’s weekly press conference at Casa Presidencial on Tuesday.Ramírez’s replacement at the Justice Ministry, which oversees Costa Rica’s prison system, is lawyer María Cecilia Sánchez Romero. Sánchez was a criminal prosecutor and judge during her 28-year career with the judicial branch, according to her biography provided by Casa Presidencial.One of Sánchez’s biggest challenges will be tackling Costa Rica’s overcrowded prison system. According to the Ombudsman’s Office, Costa Rica’s prisons are more than 50 percent overcrowded and the country has one of the highest incarceration rates in Latin America.Public office runs in the Sánchez family. Her son, Celso Gamboa Sánchez, is a prosecutor and served as Public Security Minister for President Solís until February. Gamboa’s sister works as a public defender, he mentioned in a tweet following his mother’s nomination Tuesday.Ramírez is the seventh minister to leave the Solís cabinet. Facebook Comments Related posts:President-elect Luis Guillermo Solís names first half of his Cabinet Former Judicial Investigation Police official named Costa Rica’s new public security minister Russian asylum-seeker goes on hunger strike as indefinite detention stretches into third year Costa Rica’s Solís flies in former drug plane to El Salvadorlast_img read more

TFE to open new hotel in Brisbanes Fortitude Valley

first_imgBrisbane is about to gain its most sophisticated new hotel and lifestyle address, THE CALILE, in Fortitude Valley’s chic dining and boutique destination, James St.Sydney-based TFE Hotels will operate THE CALILE, which is being developed by Calile Malouf Investments (CMI) and due to open in 2018. CMI also delivered the highly acclaimed James St Market.THE CALILE will become the second hotel under the TFE Hotels Collection brand and will encompass the brand’s ethos of beautiful design, bespoke service and attention to the individual.Designed by Richards & Spence Architects, the seven-storey hotel will be located on bustling James Street – bounded by James, Doggett and Wandoo Streets – and will comprise 178 generously sized luxury hotel rooms and suites with over 2,600 square meters of new retail and hospitality space.Subtropical in style, THE CALILE promises a resort feel in a city-fringe location, making it a true urban oasis. It seeks to embrace Brisbane’s sunshine, blue skies and love of outdoor living to create a hotel that will set a new standard in design and service for travellers and locals alikeThere will be a mix of ground floor boutiques, restaurants and cafés linking to a podium level designed as a raised urban landscape – complete with pool, cabanas, a poolside restaurant, day spa, fitness centre and business centre. The podium level will also house a function room with capacity to host banquets for up to 300 seated guests. Basement parking will be provided for 220 vehiclesJames St in Fortitude Valley, just 2.5 km from the Brisbane CBD and 14 km from Brisbane airport, has rapidly become Brisbane’s foremost retail and lifestyle precinct. Having emerged organically from its inner-city industrial roots, the street and surrounding area has evolved into a high energy urban hub.James Street has a mix of 130 specialty shops, art galleries and day spas, award-winning restaurants Cru Bar & Cellar and James St Market and Palace Centro Cinemas.TFE Hotels CEO Rachel Argaman said THE CALILE would be much more than a hotel – it would be a new icon for Brisbane and a destination for the city’s stylish set and visitors to the city.“We are really excited to be partnering with CMI, who have been instrumental in transforming James Street into the most sought-after destination in one of Australia’s fastest growing cities,” Ms Argaman said.“This will be a sophisticated and fun resort experience in an urban location – where people will meet for drinks with friends, to shop or for a fun night out, taking advantage of that glorious sub-tropical outdoor lifestyle that Brisbane has to offer.” TFE Hotels Source = TFE Hotelslast_img read more