Forest preservation plan debated at climate talks

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Delegates at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Indonesia are wrestling with a proposal that would allow developing nations to earn billions of dollars through carbon trading by leaving idle forests such as those in Borneo, the Amazon and Congo basins.

The news comes on the same day that it was announced that forest clearance in the Amazon Rainforest was falling compared to previous years.

Delegates from about 190 countries are negotiating a plan for private companies and wealthy nations to pay poorer nations to keep their forest intact. It is called the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries, or REDD proposal.

Environmental scientists say tree cutting in tropical areas accounts for about 20 percent of all man-made carbon dioxide emissions blamed for global warming. Tropical forests soak up vast amounts of carbon dioxide; burning timber to clear land releases it.

Marcelo Furtado with Greenpeace in Brazil says the REDD plan is needed to fill gaps in the current Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement to limit emissions of greenhouse gases which does not include ways to preserve forests.

“We would like to see, at the very least, a REDD mechanism moving forward, because we want to see countries taking action now. We don’t want to wait to 2013 to start seeing this action taking place. And this is something this convention, this group of countries could deliver,” said Furtado.

Frances Seymour, Director General for the Indonesia-based Center for International Forest Research, is concerned a premature REDD agreement could do more harm than good.

“Because in many forested countries, land tenure rights to forest lands and resources are either unclear or contested or both. And you can imagine that if a potential new income stream is available for those who can present themselves as owners of the forest, this could create conflict and create conditions under which some of the world’s poorest people, who are people who live in forests, could be pushed aside,” said Seymour.

Financial analysts are also cautious about the proposal.

Charlotte Streck, the director of Climate Focus, a Rotterdam-based consultancy, said investors are worried about how governments would monitor their forests and ensure the carbon stored in them remains intact.

“This is what makes the private sector nervous, because these are risks that they cannot hedge properly, and that they cannot evaluate in the same manner as the project related risks,” she said.

Conference delegates are still debating how to monitor the world’s remaining tropical forests, how to stop logging in one place without shifting the problem to another area, and how to estimate the amount of carbon in a piece of land.

Yvo de Boer, the U.N.’s climate change chief, said a REDD agreement is unlikely during this conference, but a group working on the details is making significant progress.

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Your Siding Contractor In Downers Grove Il Will Do A Beautiful Job

byAlma Abell

If you have come to a point in your life where you are tired of painting the outside of your home every season, it may be time to think about doing things a little differently. Before you head down to the home improvement store to buy more paint, set up an appointment with your Siding Contractor in Downers Grove IL.

Your contractor will meet with you and take some measurements. At this point, he will be able to give you a better idea as to how much money it will cost to have siding installed in your home. There are a number of different colors that are available for you. Talk with your siding contractor and find out which colors are more popular. He can also look at the other homes in your neighbourhood and let you know which color would be the best.

Talk with your contractor about installing shutters to complete the look on your home. Once again, shutters are available in a number of different colors. Your contractor can let you know which color of shutter is going to look best with your siding. Unlike painting your home, this is generally something that you are only going to do once. Because of this, you will want to make sure that you are happy with the color that you choose. Some homeowners even prefer to meet with a professional decorating service to help them to come up with the right color scheme.

Exterior Designers, Inc.has a strong reputation for doing quality work that is going to look great for several years. Of course, sometimes accidents happen with the siding on your home. If there is a horrible windstorm and some of your siding were to come off, you could set up an appointment to have it repaired. Hiring a Siding Contractor in Downers Grove IL is an investment that you are going to be able to appreciate every day for the rest of your life. If you are not satisfied with the current condition of your home, set up an appointment to learn more about having some siding installed.

Alaska senator Ted Stevens indicted in corruption scandal

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

United States Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska has been indicted by federal grand jury on seven criminal counts for making false statements in his Senate financial disclosure forms. The longest-serving Republican in the Senate, Stevens is the highest-profile politician ensnared in the corruption scandal surrounding VECO Corporation and its executives’ attempts to influence politics.

VECO, a subsidiary of CH2M Hill as of September 2007, is an oil pipeline and services company. It is alleged to have funded renovations to the Stevens home in Girdwood, Alaska in 2000. The renovations include a new garage and first floor, a two story wrap-around deck, as well as new wiring and plumbing. In 2007, VECO chief executive Bill Allen pleaded guilty to charges of extortion, bribery, and conspiracy.

The 28-page indictment alleges that Stevens “knowingly and willfully engaged in a scheme to conceal” gifts from VECO, which totaled “hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of things of value.”

A press release was issued by Stevens’ office in response to the allegations: “I am innocent of these charges and intend to prove that.” And Stevens himself commented, “I have never knowingly submitted a false disclosure form required by law as a U.S. senator.” Senator Daniel Inouye, a close friend of Stevens, commented: “As far as he’s concerned, he’s not guilty. And I believe him.”

Stevens was reportedly caught unawares on Tuesday when the indictment charge was filed. “Apparently, the media knew about it before he did,” Inouye stated, adding that he had just talked to Stevens. Ted Stevens was in a meeting with other Republicans when he found out about the charge.

Stevens is the longest-serving Republican senator in history and is up for reelection this November. Calls to his office in Washington for comment were redirected to a voicemail indicating that his “office is closed.”

The United States Department of Justice says it has already obtained seven convictions in the case: Peter Kott, a former Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives; Thomas T. Anderson, a former state representative; Victor H. Kohring, another representative; James A. Clark, chief of staff to the former governor of Alaska; William Bobrick, a lobbyist; Bill Allen, VECO chief executive; and Richard L. Smith, VECO vice president of government relations.

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Worst storm in thirty years hits Newcastle, Australia

Friday, June 8, 2007

Up to eight people may have died after Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia experienced its worst storm in thirty years.

NSW Premier Morris Iemma made the declaration at 9.30pm on the 8th June, as people waded through waist-deep water in the centre of the city. Authorities have had to call off the search for a family of five, who were lost when the Old Pacific Highway sank into a thirty-metre deep chasm underneath them. The bodies of an adult and two children were found in the car this morning.

Police are also looking for an elderly couple missing in the Hunter Valley, and a Newcastle man who was swept down a storm water drain in the northern part of the city.

Authorities also fear a “potentially major environmental disaster”, as bulk carrier Pasha Bulker is grounded on a reef in Nobby’s Beach. The vessel contains over 700 tonnes of fuel and shows some signs of breaking up. Twenty-two crew members were rescued earlier in the day. Two other vessels, the Sea Confidence and the Betis required assistance from tugs with the Sea Confidence coming within 700m of the shore.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has issued further flooding and severe weather warnings; they expect the weather to continue overnight easing during Sunday for the area.

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Disputed island disappears beneath sea on India-Bangladesh border

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The island of New Moore, an uninhabited territory near the Bay of Bengal between India and Bangladesh, has vanished, according to Indian scientists.

The island, located south of the Hariabhanga river, has been claimed by both Bangladesh and India for almost thirty years, since it first appeared in the seventies. The School of Oceanographic Studies in Calcutta commented that the disappearance of the island was confirmed by satellite imagery.

“There’s no trace of the island anymore. After studying satellite images, I reconfirmed this from fishermen,” said Sugato Hazra, the director of Jadavpur University’s school of oceanography studies. According to the Times of India, the island only appears above the water surface if there is an unusually low tide. “What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking has been resolved by global warming.”

Hazra commented that, until 2000, sea levels in the area increased approximately three millimetres annually, but in the past year the figure was augmented to about five millimetres. The director said that ten other islands in the vicinity of New Moore were in danger of being submerged as well.

Hazra attributed the island’s disappearance to global warming, saying: “Coastal erosion and rising temperature in the Bay of Bengal between 2000 and 2009 led to the Purbasha island getting submerged. Temperature in the region has been rising at an annual rate of 0.4 degree celsius.”

In 1996, another isle nearby, Lohachara, was submerged beneath the waters, displacing its inhabitants; meanwhile, the Ghoramara island had lost about half its land, Hazra said. “We will have ever larger numbers of people displaced from the Sunderbans as more island areas come under water.”

According to officials, eighteen percent of the Bangladeshi coastal land will be submerged if sea levels increase by one metre by 2050, and twenty million people will be displaced.

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Why Is Cosmetic Surgery Abroad Popular?

Why is cosmetic surgery abroad popular?



In the past, it was difficult to find decent cosmetic surgery abroad. If you tried to find a decent clinic in Turkey, where our CTG Healthcare surgeons are based, you would have been hard pressed to find more than a handful of doctors, who were willing only to carry out the simplest of cosmetic procedures such as tummy tucks and gastric band surgery. However, there are many highly skilled surgeons working in the field today, offering both cosmetic surgery and cosmetic dentistry abroad, at very affordable prices.

What’s more, in the past decade, we have seen the prices of budget airline flights plummet, with companies such as Easy Jet offering extremely cheap flights to many destinations in Europe. This has made travelling for cosmetic surgery abroad, a much more viable option, financially. This, combined with the ever rising cost of cosmetic surgery in Britain compared with that in other countries, such as Turkey, has been a huge factor in the rising number of patients travelling abroad to get the surgery they so desperately want, in order to make themselves happy. It is now possible to get cosmetic surgery abroad for less than the cost in the UK, without having to sacrifice your safety or settle for lower standards, so why not travel and get a good deal?

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Another reason why travelling abroad for surgery is so popular at the moment is the fact that you can combine a holiday and various leisure activities with the surgery. For example, if you are travelling to Turkey for a cosmetic procedure on a Friday, you could head out on the Monday, spend most of the week enjoying the sun and having a fun time experiencing a new culture, then head to the clinic for your surgery before returning home to recuperate and show off the new you.

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Egypt protests: Army say they will not use force on demonstrators as Mubarak announces cabinet

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The president of Egypt has suffered a “devastating blow” after the country’s army announced they would not use force against their own people, who continue to protest against the government tonight. The news came hours after six journalists who reported on the protests were released from custody.

Hosni Mubarak yesterday announced a new cabinet, which does not include several figures who protesters largely do not approve of. Analysts have, however, suggested little had changed within the government; many positions, they say, are filled with military figures.

To the great people of Egypt, your armed forces, acknowledging the legitimate rights of the people … have not and will not use force against the Egyptian people.

In a statement broadcast on state media in Egypt, the army said: “To the great people of Egypt, your armed forces, acknowledging the legitimate rights of the people … have not and will not use force against the Egyptian people.” A BBC correspondent in Cairo said the announcement meant it “now seems increasingly likely that the 30-year rule of Mr Mubarak is drawing to a close.”

“The presence of the army in the streets is for your sake and to ensure your safety and wellbeing. The armed forces will not resort to use of force against our great people,” the statement added. “Your armed forces, who are aware of the legitimacy of your demands and are keen to assume their responsibility in protecting the nation and the citizens, affirms that freedom of expression through peaceful means is guaranteed to everybody.”

Earlier today, six journalists from the independent news network Al-Jazeera were released from custody after being detained by police. The U.S. State Department criticized the arrests; equipment was reportedly confiscated from the journalists.

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Egyptian officials yesterday ordered the satellite channel to stop broadcasting in the country. Al-Jazeera said they were “appalled” by the government’s decision to close its Egyptian offices, which they described as the “latest attack by the Egyptian regime to strike at its freedom to report independently on the unprecedented events in Egypt.”

In a statement, the news agency added: “Al-Jazeera sees this as an act designed to stifle and repress the freedom of reporting by the network and its journalists. In this time of deep turmoil and unrest in Egyptian society it is imperative that voices from all sides be heard; the closing of our bureau by the Egyptian government is aimed at censoring and silencing the voices of the Egyptian people.”

On Friday, Wikinews reported the government had shut off practically all Internet traffic both out of and into the nation, as well as disrupting cellphone usage. A spokesperson for the social networking website Facebook said “limiting Internet access for millions of people is a matter of concern for the global community.”

A reported 50,000 campaigners, who are demanding the long-time leader step down and complaining of poverty, corruption, and oppression, filled Tahrir Square in Cairo today, chanting “We will stay until the coward leaves.” It is thought 100 people have so far died in the demonstrations. Today there have been protests in Suez, Mansoura, Damanhour, and Alexandria.

Speaking to news media in the area, many protesters said the new cabinet did little to quell their anger. “We want a complete change of government, with a civilian authority,” one said. Another added: “This is not a new government. This is the same regime—this is the same bluff. [Mubarak] has been bluffing us for 30 years.”

In Tahrir Square today, protesters played music as strings of barbed wire and army tanks stood nearby. Demonstrators scaled light poles, hanging Egyptian flags and calling for an end to Mubarak’s rule. “One poster featured Mubarak’s face plastered with a Hitler mustache, a sign of the deep resentment toward the 82-year-old leader they blame for widespread poverty, inflation and official indifference and brutality during his 30 years in power,” one journalist in the square reported this evening.

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UN: Military attacks on Darfur violated international law

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A United Nations report released Thursday states that recent attacks carried out on four villages in Darfur by the Sudanese military and armed miltias were a violation of international law.

The attacks, which involved aerial bombardment in two of the villages, left a total of 115 people dead and over 30,000 forcibly displaced, according to the report. Damage to civilian property was extensive; homes, schools, and shops were systematically destroyed, vandalized, or set ablaze, food reserves were burned, and livestock was looted. In addition, there were several reports of rape in one village.

The report, issued jointly by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN African Union Mission in Darfur, describes attacks on the West Darfur villages of Saraf Jidad, Sirba, Silea and Abu Suruj in January and February. The attacks were part of a Sudanese military campaign to regain control of West Darfur’s northern corridor and drive out rebel insurgents from the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).

The damage to civilians was deemed to be a “deliberate and integral part” of the military strategy. In failing to “distinguish between civilian objects and military objectives”, the UN accused the Sudanese military of violating international humanitarian law. The activities of the JEM were also denounced, as they were found to be in violation of the 2004 N’Djamena Ceasefire Agreement.

In Saraf Jidad, which was attacked three times in January, 26 civilians were killed, and almost the entire population was displaced. Witnesses described the attackers as Arab men called Janjaweed, who have had the assistance of the Sudanese government. The men were seen riding horses and camels, and some were in military vehicles. After exchanging fire with the JEM, they entered the town, where they started torching homes and shooting at civilians.

An Antonov flew into the area and dropped three bombs … I saw many houses set ablaze by the bombing. People started running randomly in fear and confusion.

One of the victims from Saraf Jidad, who was around 80 years old, recalled the January 24 attack. “The attackers entered my house,” he said. “They were four, in military uniforms. One of them hit my head with the butt of his gun. I fell down. He told me, ‘If you do not all move from here we will burn you alive.’ At that, they set my house on fire. I was inside, but managed to escape though I had my arms injured by the fire.”

In the other three villages, witnesses reported seeing Antonov planes and military helicopters along with the armed militiamen and Sudanese troops. In Silea, the ground offensive was preceded by three aerial bombardments in different areas of the town. Nearly the entire population of 10,600 was displaced, with some having to go across the border to Chad.

One witness of the Silea attack reported, “An Antonov flew into the area and dropped three bombs … I saw many houses set ablaze by the bombing. People started running randomly in fear and confusion. I witnessed SAF and Janjaweed looting houses, shops and NGO offices. They would load the stolen goods in their cars and on their camels and horses and take them away.”

The village of Abu Suruj was also bombed, but no casualties were reported from this bombing. However, over 75 percent of the town was burnt down by ground troops, and 30 people were killed.

In Sirba, the pattern of attack was similar to that of Abu Suruj. Half of the village was burned down and 45 people were killed. One victim described an encounter with an armed man: “I was holding tight my four-year-old brother; I was scared that the man was going to shoot him. Instead he left. After a few seconds the roof of the house was burning. He saw we were inside and he set the hut on fire to burn us alive. We escaped from the window and ran in different directions.”

Witnesses reported acts of sexual violence being committed by the attackers in Sirba, and UN investigators believe at least 10 women were victims of rape. An eyewitness reported four girls being taken into a hut and raped at gunpoint by Sudanese soldiers.

There were also reports of air and ground attacks in Jebel Moon, where many victims had fled following the attacks, but the UN was denied access to the area.

On March 3, the UN met with a West Darfur security official to address their concerns. The official argued that the JEM had taken control of the villages and a deployment of troops was necessary to regain these areas. He also denied that the Sudanese military was involved in the Saraf Jidad attacks, stating they were done by Arab tribes who had nothing to do with the military campaign.

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Rally Racing

Rally Racing



Rally racing is a very distinctive type of racing which is termed as an unrefined kind of racing as well. A rally race does have laps which is similar to any other type of a race. However the difference is the racetrack which is used & so is the texture of the track also. The track which is used in a traditional grand prix is straight, solid & much more predictable. The track is uniformly surfaced as well. Hence the driving tasks become simpler as well. The control which is necessary by a driver is simpler when compared to a rally race driver. A rally racetrack is very unpredictable as it’s a sand texture & that s the reason why it is extremely important to have ideal Brake Kits.

Other than that there’s jumps in a rally race which are not present in a traditional grand prix race. The cars which are used in a rally race are personalized in a much different manner. They have broader types which have a higher durability temperature limit as well. Moreover, different types of wheels are selected for better performance but most driver prefer HRE Wheels for their strength.

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It is necessary to mention that rally cars are not fuel efficient at all. However in any race, fuel is not the area of concern as it is checked after certain durations in terms of laps. Rally racing is a worldwide sport & numerous competitions which happen all over the globe.

Speed management is the most important tasks which require to be fulfilled in the best possible manner in a rally race. The safety measures which are present in a rally race are less when compared to a traditional race. A rally race is filled with sudden turns which can harm the driver if they do not have proper control of the automobile. In some cases it is necessary that the automobile has to be turned without diminishing the speed. This requires immense experience as turning an automobile on an uneven track without slowing down the speed is a difficult task after all.

The brakes which are installed in a rally automobile are better in terms of the timing. Rally vehicle brakes are fully applied in a much lesser period as compared to a traditional grand prix automobile. The drivers are given much more protection as compared to a grand prix driver. This is because the accident rate in grand prix races is much less when compared to a rally race.

In a rally race the rate of predictability is a lot less compared to a grand prix race. Getting used to a rally race requires much more time as compared to other forms of racing. Time management is also very important in a rally race as well. The race laps must be managed according to the turns and jumps that are present in a rally racetrack. The rally races which happen in South America have venues through the woods. These tracks are hard to race on. Dirt rally races are the ones in which the drivers must race through muddy tracks. In such races the drivers must be very attentive to maintain proper vision.

Thanks for reading and to learn more about

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On the campaign trail in the USA, July 2020

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University defeat Maroochydore in round five of 2020 Sunshine Coast Rugby Union season

In Australian rugby, University have maintained top spot on the Sunshine Coast Rugby Union A grade ladder with a 22 points to 10 win over Maroochydore at Cotton Tree, Australia on Saturday.

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