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Vermont ‘tar sands’ pipeline opponents cautiously hail delay

Vermont ‘tar sands’ pipeline opponents cautiously hail delay

first_imgThe US Department of State is delaying its decision on a controversial pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to Texas. In a statement issued today, it said that it needed more time to review the environmental implications, especially those in Nebraska. Vermont’s congressional delegation has been opposed to the pipeline, which would bring “tar sands” oil into the United States for refining.Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) issued the below statement following the announcement by the State Department that it will delay a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. ‘The State Department today raised the correct concerns, but reached the wrong conclusion. The catastrophic environmental risks of this proposed pipeline dictate the project be rejected, not delayed. I look forward to a swift and thorough investigation by the inspector general into the State Department’s review process.’ Welch led efforts in the House demanding an investigation into whether conflicts of interest tainted the State Department’s process for reviewing the proposed crude oil pipeline. On Monday, the State Department Inspector General agreed to open an investigation. US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) also commented: ‘While this is a sign that the State Department has been listening during the comment period, there are many problems with this pipeline, and the tar sands project behind it, that go far beyond the particular route it would take.  This pollution-ridden project and its path through our country should not go forward at all.  The environmental harm and risks that are inseparable from this project far outweigh any benefits, and I hope the Administration will pull the plug on an inherently bad idea.” Vermont Governor Shumlin said in a statement: ‘The State Department’s announcement to delay a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t go far enough. Our nation should be moving away from our dependency on fossil fuels, not building a pipeline without adequate knowledge of the project’s environmental impacts. I will continue to urge the Administration to reject this project.’State Department statement reads in part:”Since 2008, the Department has been conducting a transparent, thorough and rigorous review of TransCanada’s application for the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline project. As a result of this process, particularly given the concentration of concerns regarding the environmental sensitivities of the current proposed route through the Sand Hills area of Nebraska, the Department has determined it needs to undertake an in-depth assessment of potential alternative routes in Nebraska.”As part of the National Interest Determination process, the State Department held a public comment period, including public meetings in the six potentially affected states and Washington, D.C., to increase the opportunity for public comments. During this time, the Department also received input from state, local, and tribal officials. We received comments on a wide range of issues including the proposed project’s impact on jobs, pipeline safety, health concerns, the societal impact of the project, the oil extraction in Canada, and the proposed route through the Sand Hills area of Nebraska, which was one of the most common issues raised. The comments were consistent with the information in the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) about the unique combination of characteristics in the Sand Hills (which includes a high concentration of wetlands of special concern, a sensitive ecosystem, and extensive areas of very shallow groundwater) and provided additional context and information about those characteristics. The concern about the proposed route’s impact on the Sand Hills of Nebraska has increased significantly over time, and has resulted in the Nebraska legislature convening a special session to consider the issue.”State law primarily governs routes for interstate petroleum pipelines; however, Nebraska currently has no such law or regulatory framework authorizing state or local authorities to determine where a pipeline goes. Taken together with the national concern about the pipeline’s route, the Department has determined it is necessary to examine in-depth alternative routes that would avoid the Sand Hills in Nebraska in order to move forward with a National Interest Determination for the Presidential Permit.”Based on the Department’s experience with pipeline project reviews and the time typically required for environmental reviews of similar scope by other agencies, it is reasonable to expect that this process including a public comment period on a supplement to the final EIS consistent with NEPA could be completed as early as the first quarter of 2013. After obtaining the additional information, the Department would determine, in consultation with the eight other agencies identified in the Executive Order, whether the proposed pipeline was in the national interest, considering all of the relevant issues together. Among the relevant issues that would be considered are environmental concerns (including climate change), energy security, economic impacts, and foreign policy.”US Department of State. 11.10.2011last_img read more

Pompeo Says Venezuelans, Not US, Will Restore Peace in Venezuela

Pompeo Says Venezuelans, Not US, Will Restore Peace in Venezuela

first_imgBy Agence France-Presse (AFP) August 10, 2020 The United States seeks to restore democracy in Venezuela, but it will be the Venezuelan people who will “ultimately” do it, top U.S. diplomat Mike Pompeo said on July 9.During a press conference with international media, Pompeo said that the Donald Trump administration will continue to do “all we can do” to bring about Nicolás Maduro’s exit from power, as Washington considers his 2018 reelection to be illegal.Pompeo added that this includes economic pressure on Caracas and its partner, Cuba, by imposing a series of sanctions, “but we have also, importantly, built out a global coalition to try and help the Venezuelan people achieve their objectives.”“In the end, what the United States is trying to achieve is restoring democracy, and the Venezuelan people will be the ones who will ultimately restore that democracy,” Pompeo said.“It is indeed the Venezuelan people who choose to serve in the Venezuelan military,” he added, in reference to the role that the Venezuelan Armed Forces might play to generate a change of regime in Venezuela.The military leadership is seen as one of the main pillars of support for Maduro, who clings to power with the help of Russia and China, despite the offensive of parliamentary speaker Juan Guaidó.Pompeo said that, in addition to the Lima Group, which gathers over a dozen Latin American nations and Canada to facilitate a democratic and peaceful solution to the crisis in Venezuela, some 60 countries have recognized Guaidó as the country’s duly elected national leader.“This is the process that we intend to continue to support what the Venezuelan people want,” the secretary of State for the Trump administration said.“We’ve watched Maduro’s corrupt court system. We’ve watched him now try and take over political parties. And we remain convinced that the Venezuelan people see this for what it is, and that they will respond in a way that reflects their deep desire to restore order and democracy to their own nation,” Pompeo concluded.Venezuela’s highest court, aligned with the current government, removed the leader of Guaidó’s political party and gave its control to an adversary on July 7. In mid-June, the high court had already taken similar measures against two other important opposition parties.Electoral authorities have called the next legislative elections in Venezuela for December 6, but the main opposition political parties will boycott the ballot.last_img read more

What about Rose Hall?

What about Rose Hall?

first_imgDear Editor,At this time, too, we recognise there is a deafening silence regarding Rose Hall Estate, where the people are very hard pressed and are contending with several challenges and difficulties.The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) noted that Special Purpose Unit (SPU) spokesperson, Alex Graham, is reported in the February 19, 2018 Guyana Times as saying that if certain conditions are present at Rose Hall, the estate would also operate. Graham, Guyana Times reported, said the availability of canes was one of those conditions. We are aware that Rose Hall has canes available for harvest. A booklet prepared by the SPU, and which was shared with our Union during our January 19, 2018 engagement with the Government, advised that Rose Hall has the possibility of producing 5740 tonnes of sugar in the first crop and a further 8545 tonnes during the second crop.We would be eager to know of the other conditions, using Graham’s term, that East Demerara and Skeldon have satisfied, and Rose Hall has not.From the developments that are taking place, it seems to us that there is no clear, coherent plan to deal with the terrible situation brought about by the closure of sugar estates. The GAWU wishes to reiterate that the Government has not truly and fully considered all the ramification of its decisions to close estates and put thousands on the breadline. This, as we see, is clearly illustrated by the confusion that we are now seeing.While Government has belaboured the support the State provided to the sugar industry, we see, in effect, possibly billions of State subsidies being provided to the potential owners and the industry’s customers. The best approach, it seems, was to keep the estates opened and invest the billions being paid as severance to improve production and productivity, as the GAWU suggested and reiterated time and time again.This would be the least costly option before the Administration, rather than the foolhardy approach of closing the estates and then, like Rip Van Winkle, wake up to the realisation that the estates should have remained operable.Yours faithfully,Seepaul NarineGeneral Secretary,GAWUlast_img read more

ARRESTED! GARDAÍ NAB HIT-AND-RUN DRIVE SUSPECT AFTER 60KM CHASE

ARRESTED! GARDAÍ NAB HIT-AND-RUN DRIVE SUSPECT AFTER 60KM CHASE

first_imgThe scene of the crashBREAKING Exclusive: GARDAÍ have arrested a 20-year-old man after a 60km chase through Co Donegal on Wednesday.The arrest came just hours after a man driving a Nissan Primera fled the scene of a crash in Letterkenny. The driver of the car he smashed in to had to be treated in hospital for several injuries.That suspect had been tailed by Gardai from Ardara on Wednesday afternoon after he was spotted driving dangerously in the area. But instead of pulling over the man – believed to be a resident of Derry – continued to drive at speed.Attempts to stop the suspect using a Stinger device failed with Gardai fearing the driver could cause serious harm to other road users.The subsequent chase lasted close to an hour and came to a sudden and dramatic end in Letterkenny.He drove into an Audi A4 on De Valera Road – close to Letterkenny’s fire station – at 4.20pm, injuring the driver. The suspect then drove off, but had to abandon his car and fled on foot, leaving one of his shoes behind.He entered Tobin’s garage where he demanded staff call him a taxi, but when they refused he ran off towards LYIT.The one-shoed suspect was apprehended close to the Polestar roundabout later.He was taken to Letterkenny Garda Station where he is being held overnight. ARRESTED! GARDAÍ NAB HIT-AND-RUN DRIVE SUSPECT AFTER 60KM CHASE was last modified: March 5th, 2014 by John2Share 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) Tags:Ardarabreaking donegal newsbreaking newscrashDerryDonegal DailyGarda chaseletterkennylast_img read more

Gardai on ATM alert after digger robberies in Donegal

Gardai on ATM alert after digger robberies in Donegal

first_imgGardai in Co Donegal are on high-alert after the theft and attempted thefts of diggers in recent days.Officers fear the robberies are being carried out by a gang who could use them to steal ATMs from the county.It follows the recent spate of ATM thefts across the North and in the border counties. AN attempt was made to steal a digger from a yard at Pearse Road in Letterkenny over the weekend.The lock was broken and a windscreen smashed between 5pm on Saturday and 7.30am on Monday morning.It follows the theft of a digger from a Donegal County Council yard in St Johnston recently.The Hitachi 26U digger was loaded onto a trailer in the yard and driven away across the border towards Derry. The €38,000 digger, which was rented from Watson Hire in Letterkenny, has still not been located.Garda Sgt Eunan Walsh appealed to members of the public to be vigilant.“Obviously we have to keep an open mind on these robberies or attempted robberies because of the recent spate of thefts of ATMs.“The latest attempt to steal a digger happened in Letterkenny over the weekend when a machine parked beside the Letterkenny Community Centre was interfered with.“We’re not sure if this is in any way connected with these ATM thefts but we have to consider all options,” he said. He appealed to members of the public who notice specific behaviour late at night to contact Gardai.“If someone is out late at night and they spot a digger being towed at three of four o’clock in the morning then we would ask them to contact us.“This would be unusual. It might not be anything but we will investigate it and it is better to be safe than sorry,” he said.Local Gardai are also liaising with bank employees in relation to best practise around ATMs. Irish retailers in border counties have told Retail Excellence, Ireland’s largest retail representation body, that they are bracing themselves for more in the recent spate of ATM thefts.David Fitzsimons, CEO of Retail Excellence, conveyed the anger of member retailers.“It seems that we are hearing of another ATM theft almost on a daily basis at this stage, of another business targeted and destroyed, and vital services taken away on which many local people rely. These criminals are physically gouging out huge holes in banks and filling stations, but they’re also tearing apart dependent businesses and retailers.“We welcome the comments last night from Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan that all resources will be provided to the Gardaí. Retailers in border communities want assurance that everything is being done to co-operate with PSNI to stop this scourge on already hard-pressed towns and villages.“This is emphatically not a victimless crime. Such criminal activities bring people face-to-face with organised crime or terrorism. These are clearly dangerous people that don’t care about property damage or the effect that their activities have on people. The danger is that the digger will be set alight at a filling station, putting neighbouring homes and businesses at peril.“Without doubt, this spate of robberies puts the viability of retail at risk at a particularly difficult time. The livelihoods of the business owners who have worked for years to build up their businesses is jeopardised. A further concern is that spiralling insurance costs could ultimately put them out of business.“We’re talking about an estimated €70,000 taken from one ATM robbery, the impact of which is to take money out of consumers’ wallets. You can be sure that there’ll be little shopping done the following day in the local town, spend on discretionary items will be down, and coffee shops will be quiet.“These are small, rural family-owned retailers that are struggling and have taken years to build up their businesses. With all the best security in the world, there’s little they can do to defend themselves from the sort of destruction that we’ve seen from CCTV footage. The destruction done to the fabric of the buildings will mean their businesses are put out of action for months. Then do they take the risk and cost of replacing the ATM in future?“On behalf of our members in retail, we’re asking that any information is passed on to police on both sides of the border. We also ask for those involved in construction and retail to be extra vigilant.“Act like your premises is being watched and double your efforts to lock up diggers, trailers and jeeps. We need to make sure it’s as difficult as possible for thieves to take these vehicles for the purposes of crime.”Gardai on ATM alert after digger robberies in Donegal was last modified: April 12th, 2019 by StephenShare 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)Tags:atmbreak-indiggersGardairobberieslast_img read more

Premier photo award for Goldblatt

Premier photo award for Goldblatt

first_img9 March 2006South African David Goldblatt has been named the recipient of the 2006 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography, the most important photographic prize in the world.The award, announced on Wednesday, comes with US$70 000 (about R420 000) and a gold medal. It will be presented at a ceremony in Goteborg, Sweden in November. A new exhibition of Goldblatt’s work, curated and organised by the Hasselblad Centre, will open at the same time.“David Goldblatt’s work is a life-long observation of the social and political developments within South African society,” the foundation says in its citation for the award.“His interest in the violent history of his country, and his awareness of the symbolic significance of architecture, form an extraordinary statement both personal and sociopolitical.“His acute historical and political perception provides a sense of the texture of daily life, and an important piece of missing information regarding life under apartheid in South Africa.”Major achievementsThe 26-year-old Hasselblad award is presented to “a photographer recognised for major achievements” – someone who has made a pioneering achievement in photography, who has had a decisive impact on younger photographers, or who has implemented internationally significant photographic projects.Every year, the foundation’s board of directors appoints an award committee of nationally and internationally prominent experts in photography. The committee nominates three candidates, and the final decision is made by the board.Goldblatt photographed South Africa for over 50 years, “exploring with a critical view the context in which evolve both the life of its people and the construction of its landscape,” the Hasselblad Foundation says.His photographs have been exhibited in Europe, the US, Australia and South Africa, and form part of collections in world-class museums such as the South African National Gallery, the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, the New York Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona.“For Goldblatt, photography is an instrument that allows him to analyze the social and cultural structures of his country, making possible to sketch a documented and testimonial journey of the evolution of colonialism and apartheid,” the foundation says.Tolerance and antiracismDavid Goldblatt was born in 1930 in Randfontein near Johannesburg in South Africa, the son of Lithuanian parents who fled the persecution of Jews in the late 1800s. His parents were middle-class and moderately orthodox, and raised their children with an emphasis on tolerance and antiracism.His interest in photography began when he was at Krugersdorp High School, and continued while he studied commerce at university. He dreamed of becoming a magazine photographer. As a young man, he admired the great days of magazines such as Life, Look and Picture Post. After his father’s death in 1963 he sold the family business and took up photography full-time.Goldblatt is not so much interested in events, in the news, as he is in the observation of conditions in the society before they emerge in the form of events.“Behind each one of Goldblatt’s images there are several stories, most of them related to vital questions, which affect in a direct or tangential way the values by which the country moved and moves,” the foundation says.“Throughout his career, Goldblatt has been searching for a photograph that would discover, probe, reveal or clarify some of these values.”Silence of observation and analysisIn one of his first publications, On the Mines (1973), Goldblatt portrayed his environment, the people that lived near him, in his community, and who worked in the mines. At the height of apartheid, he published Some Afrikaners Photographed (1975), in which he explored the values of Afrikaner nationalist culture.In the early 1970s Goldblatt photographed the townships Soweto, Transkei and Pageview, analysing daily life under apartheid. “Little by little, the cartography of the different social and political realities of the country took on a very personal shape,” the foundation says, “in agreement with his particular way of conceiving the social use of photography; which avoided the stridency of protest to focus on the silence of observation and analysis.”In the 1980s Goldblatt photographed migrant workers on their daily bus ride from the apartheid “homeland” of KwaNdebele to Pretoria and back. Many of them travelled eight hours every day to get to work and return home.Images of packed and sleeping bodies on the bus, with faces worn by tiredness, were published in 1989 with the title The Transported of KwaNdebele. The book reveals the almost banal daily evil of apartheid, under which black people in supposedly independent tribal homelands, which were anything but independent, had to endure great hardship in going to the “white” cities to earn a living.The meaning of buildings“One of the most outstanding features of the work of Goldblatt is his ability to discover the plights of a society by observing its constructions and its landscape,” the foundation says.Over his career, Goldblatt has travelled South Africa, photographing the architecture that reveals the ideology of its purpose and creators. His images of houses, governmental buildings, public housing, churches, monuments, ornamental elements and settlements all reveal the historical values of South African society.Since 1999 Goldblatt has examined the various aspects of the post-apartheid society in colour photography.“His renewed interest in the elements of the construction of the South African landscape that reveal the complexities of this country continues to be the driving force of his work,” the Hasselblad Foundation says.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Malaysia Airlines Business Class Review

Malaysia Airlines Business Class Review

first_imgWhen I first stepped foot on Malaysia airlines flight MH124 to Kuala Lumpur from Perth my heart sank, seeing an almost empty plane broke my heart as I’m a big advocate for Malaysia Airlines and the contributions they have made to the aviation world.  What has happened this year could have happened to any airline (and indeed has) but why Malaysia Airlines have had the two tragic incidents is a mystery that may forever go unsolved.  Thankfully, the flight home was completely full and after two days at Malaysia Airlines headquarters watching the steps this airline is taking to rebuild it was a great sight to see.  But enough of that, my main priority for being on the flight was to review Malaysia Airlines very popular Business Class and to sample their signature dish, the peanut satay.In flight entertainmentMalaysia Airlines doesn’t hand out the noise cancelling headsets until after takeoff and they collect them again 30 minutes before landing so when you’re offered a paper before takeoff I suggest you take it because a good hour of the flight will be spent with no in flight entertainment. The actual screen is large and clear however when the lights are on and the sun is out it was a little difficult to see on the window seat. There is an excellent choice of movies and TV shows available and being that Australia is one of Malaysia Airlines most important markets – our tastes were definitely catered for.Food and Beverage serviceBusiness Class passengers are offered the standard pre departure welcome drink upon boarding and not long after takeoff another drink is offered from the full beverage selection available as well as a hot towel. The menu featuring three main meal options had something for everyone but I noticed on the flight from KL that a lot of passengers had taken advantage of the Malaysia Airlines Chef On Call service. Business Class passenger can go online 24 hours before their flight and pre select their meal/s from some 20 selections rather than the three offered on board. Whilst I enjoyed the menu onboard the flight, upon having a look at the online menu for Chef On Call I would definitely recommend this service as the meals being served looked and smelt even better than that offered from the onboard menu. One thing I noticed about Malaysia Airline’s main courses versus other airlines was the serving size. They were amongst the most generous I had experienced and of a high quality too -no padding out with onion here. The actual service delivery was exemplary and I was impressed considering the short flight time. To have a full Business Class cabin served and cleared within 90 minutes on both flights demonstrates the efficiency and skill of the staff onboard. The cabin crew on both flights were nothing short of excellent. Prior to the meal, another hot towel is given and then the tables were lain with white linen cloths and meals served on china with stainless steel cutlery, china mugs for tea and linen napkins. The appetizer for the flight to KL was of course the signature satay sticks served with peanut sauce and they were every bit as good as I had anticipated. Soft meat, chunky peanut sauce and a little cucumber to add to the mix as well as the option to have seconds and thirds if you wished! The picture really sells this signature dish much better than any words ever could and next week I will share with you exactly what goes in to making these satay sticks – all 26000 of them a day!Seat and amenitiesThe Business Class seat on the A330 was quite hard and at best reclined to an angled flat bed of approximately 160 degrees which I just slipped down. There were plenty of other recline options available to get comfy but lying flat was not one of them. This seat however needs to be put into perspective – I was only on a short flight, long haul flights feature completely flat lie flat beds with a mattress and duvet. The blankets on the flight were my biggest disappointment – they were what would I would expect in economy and with no spares available on the flight home I froze (admittedly I feel the cold more than most). Pillows were of a decent size and eyeshades and earplugs are available upon request – there is no amenity kit offered as such on these flights however on the flights over 7 hours there is an amenity kit on every seat. In the Business Class bathroom, toothbrush and toothpaste packs were available as well as aftershave, shavers, moisturiser lotion and mouthwash.Final WordOverall my Business Class experience was excellent and with important fundamentals such as service and food ticking all the boxes there’s not a lot to complain about. I would love to see those blankets upgraded and gate to gate in flight entertainment offered but other than that it’s a competitively priced, high class business product and one that I would highly recommend.EmailTwitterlast_img read more

FIRE DAMAGES WESTSIDE HOME

FIRE DAMAGES WESTSIDE HOME

first_imgInvestigators say a space heater was the cause of a fire that damaged a westside home Wednesday morning.Sioux City Fire Rescue was called to 1900 West 1st Street around 7:15am and found flames visible inside the one-story, single family home.The only occupant had safely exited the home prior to the fire department’s arrival.Fire investigators have ruled the blaze accidental with a space heater igniting nearby combustibles.The space heater was powered by an extension cord connected to a neighbor’s house.That’s because the house had its utilities turned off.A previous fire took place at the same home on December 13th caused by the occupants using a fire contained in a metal can as a source of heat because all utilities had been discontinued.City Inspectors had red-tagged the home at that time until utilities could be reconnected.The structure sustained moderate damage in Wednesday’s fire.The incident remains under investigation.Photo courtesy KMEG/KPTHlast_img read more