first_imgPEOPLE living along Lough Foyle have been told they can lodge objections with the planning authorities in the North over plans for a massive wind farm on one of County Derry’s most spectacular beauty spots.The plans are for turbines on top of beautiful Binevenagh, the mountain range on the Derry side of Lough Foyle.“If residents in Donegal want to object to the proposed huge wind farm they can do so,” said a spokesman for County Derry residents. “The proposed development will destroy the unspoiled views across Binevanagh from across Lough Foyle and objections from cross border residents will carry weight in the planning process considerations. Once the turbines are built it is too late.“We know the good citizens of Donegal will not let us down.”You can get more information at the following links: DONEGAL RESIDENTS CAN OBJECT TO COUNTY DERRY WIND FARM was last modified: October 12th, 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:BinevenaghCounty Derrydonegalwind farmlast_img read more

‘No let-up’ in war on crime, corruption

first_img14 February 2013While increased police visibility and improved procedures had contributed to a reduction in the levels of serious crime in South Africa, more still needed to be done, President Jacob Zuma said in Cape Town on Thursday evening.Zuma was delivering his 2013 State of the Nation Address in front of a packed joint sitting of Parliament attended by, among others, former presidents Thabo Mbeki and FW De Klerk.Levels of serious crime decreaseThe 2011/2012 crime statistics, released by the police in September last year, showed that murder had decreased by 3.1%, attempted murder by 5.2% and common assault by 3.4%.Car hijackings had dropped by 11.9%, cash-in-transit heists by 37.5%, and bank robberies and ATM bombings by 10.3% and 34.6% respectively.Police operations focusing on illegal firearms, stolen and robbed vehicles, liquor and drugs, which are regarded as main generators of crime, had assisted in the reduction, Zuma said.The President said improved policing and an enhanced criminal justice system were key to beating crime and corruption in South Africa, adding: “We urge the private sector to also take this fight against corruption seriously so that we tackle it from all angles.”Zuma said the capacity of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), which had been compromised by lack of funds and personnel, had been increased from 70 staff members to more than 600.‘Zero tolerance’ of corruptionHe made it clear that combating corruption at all levels of government was of paramount importance.“I have since 2009 signed 34 proclamations directing the SIU to investigate allegations of corruption, fraud or maladministration in various government departments and state entities,” he told Parliament.Criminal investigations had been initiated against 203 accused persons in 67 priority cases under investigation by the end of September 2012, with pre-trial proceedings having so far been initiated against 191 persons.A total of 66 persons under investigation were alleged to have received R5-million or more through corruption, Zuma said, adding that orders for the freezing of assets had been obtained against 46 persons.The Asset Forfeiture Unit had seized assets valued at more than R541-million. A total of R61-million of these assets had already been forfeited to the state and would be channelled back into fighting crime and corruption.Zuma added that funding of R150-million from the Criminal Assets Recovery Account was approved for the work of the Anti-Corruption Task Team, which comprises the Hawks, the Special Investigating Unit and the National Prosecuting Authority.“These resources are aimed at strengthening the capacity of these law enforcement agencies in our resolve to fight corruption.”Source: read more

Global role for Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim

first_imgMauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim has been named the vice-chairman and trustee of the Planet Earth Institute (PEI). The organisation is striving for the scientific independence of Africa. South Africa is also actively engaging young people to take up careers in the Stem fields. Newly appointed vice-chairman of the Planet Earth Institute, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, gives a keynote address at the London headquarters of the institute on 1 July 2015. South African Minister of Science Naledi Pandor is in the background. (Image: Facebook) • Meet the new president of Mauritius  • New push for careers in science and innovation  • Infographic: Africa’s best brands  • Enactus promotes entrepreneurship, innovation  • Social assistance & your taxes: how many people do you support?  Priya PitamberScientist, biologist and president of Mauritius – now Ameenah Gurib-Fakim can add another role to her list: she has been appointed vice-chairman and trustee of the Planet Earth Institute (PEI), an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) striving for the scientific independence of Africa.“Mauritius has a proud track record of investing in scientific excellence and developing research,” she said. “In the future, science, technology and innovation will be vital in creating jobs and prosperity for our citizens in Mauritius and across the mainland African continent.“I look forward to helping lead the PEI’s work as vice-chairman and trustee, and in turn to contributing to our continent’s increasing scientific and technological excellence, as the underlying foundations of our sustainable development.”PEI will also open an office in Mauritius to run science, technology and innovation programmes. The organisation’s headquarters is in London; it also has an office in Luanda, Angola.The Mauritian office will open on 23 November. There will also be a high level meeting with African government ministries, international institutions, private businesses, local and pan-African universities, and civil society. A policy roundtable will focus on “Mauritius and Africa’s scientific independence: the role of business”.A huge privilege to welcome @aguribfakim to @PlanetEarthInst & a fantastic step forward for our work #scienceAfrica — Alvaro Sobrinho (@Alvaro_Sobrinho) October 22, 2015Soon after becoming president, Gurib-Fakim opened up in an interview with TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), the global set of conferences run by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation. She said as a female biologist, she had been through the glass ceiling but would like to set a positive example for young people, especially girls. “I hope to be a role model to promote the learning of science, to make it interesting and sexy.”President of Mauritius & scientist Ameenah Gurib-Fakim joins @PlanetEarthInst. Hear our Q&A on science, devp &gender— SciDev.Net (@SciDevNet) October 22, 2015Stats and figuresAccording to the PEI, Africa’s scientific output is among the lowest globally. “As a continent of over a billion people and more than 50 nations, it has been producing roughly the same amount of scientific research as the Netherlands for the last 20 years,” the institution’s website reads.The continent also has one of the world’s lowest tertiary enrolment rates – of 7% compared to a world average of 30% – and “science is often further underrepresented and overlooked by students, with only around one in 10 choosing Stem (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects at university”. As a result, Africa continues to look elsewhere for scientific knowledge and expertise. Africa is lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of Stem subjects, but progress is being made. (Image: Screengrab via PEI)The PEI wants to change that. “Scientific independence is not and could never be scientific isolation – collaboration and co-operation is at the heart of scientific progression – but scientific independence for Africa means ultimately Africa can take better control of its resources, its people and its future,” the organisation said.It would like Stem subjects to be part of governments’ policies and priorities, to have the continent train and retain African scientists, and inspire the next generation into the field. “Ultimately, we believe scientific independence means that African problems can be solved by African-led solutions. Yes, supported by working in partnership with others around the globe, but with Africa independent and empowered to design and deliver its own sustainable future.”Dr Álvaro Sobrinho, the chairman of the PEI, said while Africa had sustained economic growth over the past decade, scientific and technological output had not kept pace. “Yet, if we want to ensure that sustainable development is a reality for all, we must make greater investments in science and technology, and equip our next generations with the skills they need to compete in a globalised, 21st century workplace.”South Africa’s progressThe country’s National Development Plan (NDP) aims to promote initiatives that offer young people access to higher education, skills development and training opportunities. It would also like to improve South Africa’s and Africa’s place in the world.There are numerous projects running to encourage young people to tackle Stem subjects, from school into university.National Science Week is held annually in South Africa to celebrate the Stem subjects, including innovation. It is led by the Department of Science and Technology and it brings together various stakeholders, role players and interest groups to promote awareness of the value of Stem to people’s daily lives.“We have an unfortunate legacy inherited from the former education system of our country, which discouraged black learners from taking mathematics and science for matric,” said Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor at the opening of the Unesco Africa Engineering Week at the University of Johannesburg in 2014. She called on children at the event to reverse the legacy and take up those subjects.“Our desperate need is for you, as the future of this country, to take the decision from Grade 10 right through to Grade 12, to study maths and science at school, and to persevere with these subjects, right up to university,” the minister said. “If you stick with this decision, in 20 years’ time our country will be transformed.”Bayanda Madi, an Ncube High School student, was inspired. “By studying maths and science, young people will be able to help South Africa develop,” she said. “I have learned that engineering makes life easy; engineers build bridges and roads to improve movement and create a healthy environment in communities to reduce overcrowding which often brings diseases like TB, for example,” said the aspiring mechanical engineer.Mzansi for ScienceThe Department of Science and Technology was also behind the launch of the online information hub, Mzansi for Science. It contains career and bursary information, and information about funding in the sector.“We are on a mission in Mzansi to make all South Africans realise that the gold of our tomorrow does not lie underground but in the minds of our current and future technologists, scientists, engineers, and innovators,” reads the website. “Our beautiful country is a gold mine of ideas and new inventions just waiting to happen.” The career opportunities in the fields of science and technology are endless. What are you currently studying or hoping to study in the near future? Posted by Mzansi For Science on Tuesday, September 1, 2015The site was also created to raise awareness about the role of science, technology and innovation. It also celebrates unsung South African heroes and encourages South Africans to study, support and invest in the sciences.We have started a movement to get all South Africans to use #science, #technology and #innovation — Mzansi For Science (@Mzansi4Science) August 28, 2015 South Africa’s riches don’t lie underground, but in the minds of scientists and innovators. Together we can achieve great things! Posted by Mzansi For Science on Friday, August 28, 2015The department partnered with the South African National Space Agency, the Technology Innovation Agency, the Mineral and Metallurgical Innovation (Mintek), the Academy of Science of South Africa, and the National Research Foundation to create the portal.last_img read more

Maine Poised to Approve State’s Largest Wind Farm

first_imgRegulators from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection have signed off on a proposal to build a 62-turbine wind project, the state’s largest. The Bangor Daily News reports that a draft order approving the proposal from a subsidiary of First Wind of Boston, Massachusetts, is subject to public comment and further review. But even critics think the project is likely to win final approval.The $398 million wind farm in the Bingham area, about 50 miles west Bangor, would have a total rated capacity of 186 megawatts.Its supporters say the project will make the region’s power grid more reliable and provide an economic boost to the state.Critics object to the project’s potential impact on wildlife, the environment, and the tourist industry, a major employer in the state. Further, a group called Friends of Maine Mountains, objects to the land-use permit authorizing construction on grounds that First Wind is not setting aside enough money for the eventual decommissioning of the project.“I won’t say that I’m overly optimistic that DEP is going to do anything different than what’s in the draft,” Friends of Maine Mountains president Chris O’Neil told the paper, “but we’re going to take one shot at pointing out some weaknesses in … the applicant’s materials.” Maine ranks 26th in nation for wind energyAccording to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Maine has a total installed wind capacity of 431 megawatts in 13 separate projects, making it 26th in the country. Wind now provides about 7.5% of the state’s electricity.According to AWEA, the state set wind energy goals in 2008 that will require a total of 2,000 MW of installed capacity by 2015.There is still some question about that financial underpinnings for the project. The developer won approval for a financial partnership to pay for wind development in July after a Maine Supreme Judicial Court review. But the decision is apparently still open to further appeal by one of the intervenors in the case.But O’Neil says his group is focused on delaying wind projects, not defeating them, the Bangor paper reported. “If we can slow them down, we consider that victory,” he said.The wind farm would span a number of communities. The developer has already signed agreements to provide annual payments of $176,000 to Kingsbury Plantation, $106,000 to Bingham, and $20,000 each to Abbott, Parkman and Moscow, the newspaper said.Public comments are being accepted until September 4.last_img read more


first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Writer/director Nyla Innuksuk is filming a feature about an alien invasion in Pangnirtung, Nunavut. (Guy Godfrey) Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Twitter Teen girls are fighting against an alien invasion in the first feature movie to ever be filmed in Pangnirtung, Nunavut.Writer and director Nyla Innuksuk and a film crew of 50 people have descended on the Baffin Island community to begin filming Slash Back this week.“I loved watching movies like E.T. and I grew up with horror movies,” said Innuksuk. “So I had this idea about making a horror sci-fi movie that’s [also] an adventure movie with a bunch of girls.”last_img