Egyptian military kills 52 militants in Sinai

first_imgEgyptian air force pounds Sinai militants: military Egyptian forces kill 52 militants in restive Sinai Military forces are seen in North Sinai, Egypt, December 1, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany Military forces are seen in North Sinai, Egypt, December 1, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El GhanyEgyptian security forces killed 52 suspected militants in North Sinai, the military said in a statement.Security forces launched a large-scale operation in February to crush militants who have waged an insurgency that has killed hundreds of security forces and residents over many years.Their deaths bring the total of suspected Islamist militants killed since the beginning of the operation to at least 509, according to Reuters calculations based on military statements.The statement described those killed as “very dangerous” and said they were in possession of automatic rifles, ammunition, grenades and a drone.Half of the militants were killed in al-Arish, the capital of North Sinai province, the statement said. Three military personnel were killed, it said.Militants in Sinai intensified their attacks after the ousting by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the military in 2013 of Egypt’s first freely elected president, Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood.Defeating the militants and restoring security after years of unrest has been a promise of Sisi, re-elected in March in a landslide victory against no real opposition.Sisi’s critics accuse him of cracking down on all dissent. Supporters say tough measures are needed to stabilise Egypt, which was rocked by years of unrest after protests toppled veteran leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011.The media is not given direct access to cover high-security operations in Sinai.Relatedcenter_img Egyptian army kills 23 militants in North Sinailast_img read more

UWF men’s soccer falls to No. 24 UAH at home Friday night

first_img  PENSACOLA, Fla. – The University of West Florida men’s soccer team fell to No. 24 Alabama Huntsville 1-0 at home on Friday night. West Florida (4-6-2, 2-2-1 GSC) out-shot the Gulf South Conference opponent 16-6 in the loss.UWF held the majority of possession in the first half and in return outshot the Chargers 12-3. Junior Pablo Paz (San Jose, Costa Rica/Virginia Commonwealth) had two shots on goal in the first half while fellow junior Jorge Chirinos (Tampa, Fla./Darton State College) had three shots with one shot on goal. UAH failed to put a single shot on goal in the first half.Alabama Huntsville started fast in the second half as the Charger’s Anthony Benitez headed in a goal in the 50th minute off a cross from Mitch Wilson. UAH converted the goal on the team’s first shot on goal. UWF managed only four total shots in the second half.West Florida will next play host to GSC opponent West Alabama on Sunday, Oct. 19 at 3 p.m. CT.For information on all UWF athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com. #ARGOS#   Print Friendly Version UWF fell to No. 24 Alabama Huntsville 1-0 at home on Friday night. (Photo by Bill Stockland) UWF men’s soccer falls to No. 24 UAH at home Friday nightcenter_img Sharelast_img read more

Times claim Cahill could miss out on World Cup

first_imgMeanwhile, there remains much speculation over the future of Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who continues to be linked with Real Madrid.The Daily Telegraph claim Real want Courtois to stall over signing a new contract until April, when apparently they will decide whether to move for him or Manchester United keeper David de Gea,The newspaper also claims Courtois has been offered more than £200,000 a week by the Blues, which would make him the highest-paid keeper in the world, and that he risks annoying Chelsea if he delays committing his future to the club. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook Gary Cahill is in danger of missing out on a place in England’s World Cup squad because of his poor form for Chelsea, The Times say.The club captain was dropped by boss Antonio Conte for Tuesday’s Champions League game against Barcelona.The Times say concerns about his form are shared by England boss Gareth Southgate and that Cahill faces a battle to get into the squad for the tournament, let alone the starting line-up.AdChoices广告center_img Cahill has struggled for form this seasonlast_img read more

As planned excise flops, Indonesia ponders how to give up plastic bags

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Basten Gokkon The proliferation of free plastic shopping bags, coupled with a lack of recycling infrastructure and a general disregard for waste management have turned Indonesia into one of the major contributors to the global plastic waste crisis.The government has backed down from imposing an excise on plastic shopping bags, planned for this month, following opposition from manufacturers and the Industry Ministry.The plan is the second to fall through, after a pilot program to charge consumers for plastic bags was abandoned by retailers in 2016.Plastics producers say the main problem is the inadequate waste management system to deal with all the waste. JAKARTA — Suryadi, a cashier at a convenience store in Jakarta, says he prepares some 400 plastic bags every morning for the day’s shoppers. Sometimes he runs out before the end of the day and has to restock.“It’s quite rare to see someone bring their own shopping bag or decline a plastic bag, even if they’re only buying a deodorant stick,” Suryadi tells Mongabay.Not far from the store, hundreds of people flock to a traditional market for their groceries every day. The produce on offer ranges from onions and chili peppers to fish and meat — almost all of it packed in plastic bags.The bags are “more convenient,” says Endang, a vendor at the market. She can’t say how many she hands out daily, but notes that she bags nearly everything she sells.Plastic bags are handed out freely at stores and markets across Indonesia. The country ranks just behind China for the volume of plastic waste it dumps into the world’s oceans. Image by Sapariah Saturi/Mongabay-Indonesia.Plastic bags abound at stores, markets and malls throughout Indonesia — as well as in the country’s rivers, beaches and landfills. Consumers here went through 9.8 billion plastic bags in 2016 alone, according to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, typically using them just once before discarding them. The practice has made Indonesia, a country of some 250 million people, the second-biggest contributor to the plastic trash crisis in the oceans, behind only China. It produces 3.22 million tonnes of mismanaged plastic waste every year, of which 1.29 million tonnes ends up in the sea.The problem has prompted calls from both within the country and around the world for the Indonesian government to take steps to curb the waste, particularly in the use of plastic shopping bags. The government responded by announcing earlier this year that it would impose an excise on plastic bags that would come into effect this month. The Finance Ministry, which proposed the plan, said it expected the move would both reduce consumption of plastic bags while also generating 500 billion rupiah ($34.5 million) in revenue.But the planned excise has failed to get off the ground, amid strong opposition from plastics manufacturers and their main backer in the government, the Industry Ministry. The Finance Ministry has backed down, promising to address to the issue again next year. Realistically, though, widespread acceptance of a plastic bag excise could take another two years, experts say.Plastic floating in the sea. Image by Ben Mierement/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (public domain).‘Not the solution’The failure of the excise mirrors that of a similar initiative by the government in 2016 to charge a 200 rupiah levy, or about 1 U.S. cent, on plastic shopping bags. The pilot program was rolled out in 23 cities, including Jakarta. In the three months that it ran, there was a 55 percent reduction in plastic waste, according to the Indonesia Plastic Bag Diet Movement (GIDKP), an advocacy group. A separate assessment by the Indonesian Consumer Foundation (YLKI) found 40 percent of shoppers in Jakarta stopped using plastic bags.But participating retailers refused to continue beyond the trial period, saying that charging customers for the bags remained a controversial policy without a sound legal basis.This time around, the government hoped to avoid that problem by going with an excise on plastic producers instead of a levy targeting consumers. (The end result would have been the same, with the producers passing on the costs to consumers.) The Finance Ministry is authorized to impose an excise on any products considered harmful to the public or the environment and whose consumption therefore needs to be regulated, such as tobacco and alcohol.The proposal was welcomed by the environment ministry, which had led the earlier, failed, effort. It said the excise would spur the domestic plastics industry to switch to making bags made from biodegradable material, thereby contributing to an overall reduction in plastic waste.Plastics manufacturers, however, were far from convinced. “Imposing an excise on plastic bags will have a large impact on the plastics industry, including small and medium enterprises,” the Indonesian Olefin, Aromatic and Plastic Industry Association (Inaplas), said in a press release in March.It said the excise “is not the solution” toward a trash-free environment, but would instead be “a burden imposed on consumers that will ultimately be to the detriment of Indonesia’s development.”The plastics manufacturers also found a strong ally in the Industry Ministry, whose approval was necessary for the excise to go through.Nugroho Wahyu Widodo, a director at the Finance Ministry, said in early July that the Industry Ministry “is concerned that the excise could disrupt small and medium enterprises especially, which use a lot [of plastic bags], so it would be a [cost] burden.”Indonesia previously tried charging consumers a token fee for plastic shopping bags, but the plan was abandoned by retailers. Image by Anton Muhajir/Mongabay-Indonesia.Waste managementOn a per capita basis, Indonesia’s plastic consumption is dwarfed by that of other countries. The average Indonesian goes through some 17 kilograms (37 pounds) of plastic each year, compared to 35 kilograms (77 pounds) for Malaysians and 40 kilograms (88 pounds) for Thais. But it’s the size of the country’s population — the world’s fourth-biggest — that gives rise to the sheer amount of waste generated. Plastic consumption in 2017 may have increased to 21 kilograms (46 pounds) per person, according to Inaplas projections.Any effort to chip away at that number would thus have a significant impact on reducing the total plastic waste being generated. Nugroho said the Finance Ministry hadn’t abandoned the excise plan, and expected to bring it up again during budget discussions next year.But even that might be too soon, according to the GIDKP, the advocacy group.“This excise tax was to discourage the public’s tendency for single-use plastic bags,” Tiza Mafira, the group’s director, told Mongabay. However, she said, the government’s target for the plan was ambitious.“I wasn’t surprised that the plan couldn’t come into effect this month,” she said. “Considering the various stakeholders that must agree on the plan, I think it would take at least two years for it to be approved.”Inaplas says the problem isn’t the proliferation of plastic bags, but rather how to deal with the waste.“The main issue in terms of plastic waste is the ineffective waste management system and low awareness of [keeping the environment] clean, and not the material from which the bags are made,” the association said in its press release. To that end, it urged the government, industry and nonprofit organizations to support the development of a comprehensive and effective waste management infrastructure.A manta ray swims amid plastic pollution in Indonesian waters. Image by Elitza Germanov/Marine Megafauna Foundation.Long-term strategyAn increasing number of countries around the world are taxing plastic bags, while some are completely banning them. In Denmark, the use of plastic shopping bags has dropped by more than 40 percent since 1993, when it became the first country to impose such a tax. Ireland passed a similar measure in 2002, and has seen plastic bag use drop by 94 percent, as consumers switched to cloth bags.But an outright ban on plastic bags can bring problems of its own. In Rwanda, a nationwide prohibition enacted in 2008 has led to a flourishing black market for plastic bags, which are smuggled around like illicit drugs.In the case of Indonesia, Mafira suggested imposing stringent manufacturing standards on plastics manufacturers to ensure the bags in circulation were easily recyclable.“Most countries impose a thickness limit for plastic bags. The thinner the plastic, the more difficult it is to recycle,” she said, adding that many countries had banned polythene bags thinner than 20 microns, or 0.02 millimeters. In India the minimum thickness is 40 microns.Having thicker plastic bags available, Mafira said, would encourage people from using them more than once, and would improve the chances that they could be recycled. She also called for wider production of biodegradable plastic bags, which are typically more expensive to manufacture.But as with the failed excise, imposing these higher standards on producers would require approval from the Industry Ministry. Still, Mafira said both measures could be adopted eventually.“The key is to have higher standards for plastic bags available and impose an excise on them to reduce overconsumption by the public,” she said. “[Manufacturers] need to have a long-term strategy so they can adapt to consumers’ progressive preferences. People are becoming more aware of the harms of plastic waste,” she said.The Indonesian government plans to spend $1 billion over the next five years to reduce marine debris, much of it plastic waste. The goal is to cut it by 70 percent by 2025, according to the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs. And once again, it’s the Industry Ministry that will have “the biggest role in controlling plastics over the next five years,” according to Safri Burhanuddin, a senior official at the coordinating ministry.Back at the convenience store, Suryadi, the cashier, says he supports reducing the use of plastic shopping bags.“I guess we don’t actually need that many plastic bags, do we?” he says. “My grandmother used to have a woven bag for grocery shopping. We can go back to that.”Some plastic garbage on Kuta beach, one of the main destinations in Indonesia’s Bali island. Image by Luh De Suriyani/Mongabay-Indonesia.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Corporate Responsibility, Corporations, Ecology, Environment, Environmental Law, Environmental Policy, Environmental Politics, Fish, Industry, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Marine Ecosystems, Microplastics, Oceans, Plastic, Pollution, Sustainability, Waste, Water Pollution, Wildlife Conservation last_img read more

Rose In Reds HOF; No. 14 jersey to be retired

first_img“Inducting Pete into the Reds Hall of Fame and retiring his iconic number 14 will be a defining moment in the 147-year history of this storied franchise,” said Bob Castellini, Reds President and CEO. “He is one of the greatest players to ever wear a Reds uniform and it will be an unforgettable experience watching him being honored as such.”“Pete Rose’s on-field achievements and impact on the Reds and its fan base are unquestionable and worthy of induction into the Reds Hall of Fame,” said Rick Walls, executive director of the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum. “We look forward to this summer where, in front of his fans and with his teammates, ‘Charlie Hustle’ will be recognized for his contributions to the rich and distinguished history of the Reds.”2016 Reds Hall of Fame Induction Weekend – schedule of events (subject to change)– Friday, June 24: Reds vs. San Diego Padres (7:10 p.m.)• Pregame ceremonies celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 1976 World Series Champion Reds• Reds players and coaches will wear 1976 throwback uniforms• All fans receive a commemorative 1976 Reds team photo• 1976 World Series replica ring ticket package (details to be released soon)• Fireworks Friday presented by Cooper Tire– Saturday, June 25: Reds vs. San Diego Padres (4:10 p.m.)• Pregame Hall of Fame Induction ceremony presented by PNC Bank• As part of Super Saturdays, all fans receive a Pete Rose poster– Sunday, June 26: Reds vs. San Diego Padres (1:10 p.m.)• Pregame Pete Rose Number 14 Retirement Ceremony• All fans receive Pete Rose commemorative print• Hall of Fame Induction Gala presented by Clark Schaefer Hackett at the Duke Energy Conv. Center (starts at 6 p.m.)Visit reds.com/Pete for updates and additional details for 2016 Induction Weekend.The best way for fans to guarantee tickets to all three Hall of Fame Induction Weekend games is with the Pick-6 Plan:• Pick any six regular season home games (excluding Opening Day) and receive a Joey Votto 30-inch Louisville Slugger® bat and six free McDonald’s® Extra Value Meals® with the 2016 Reds Pick-6 Plan presented by McDonald’s®. Save up to 25%!• Order online at reds.com/Pick6 or call (513) 765-7500.Tickets to the 2016 Reds Hall of Fame Induction Gala presented by Clark Schaefer Hackett on Sunday, June 26at the Duke Energy Convention Center will go on sale February 14.Peter Edward “Pete” Rose, Sr.The most prolific hitter in baseball history, Cincinnati native Pete Rose wore the uniform of his hometown Reds from 1963-1978 and again from 1984-1986. He ranks at the top of the Reds’ all-time franchise list in games played (2722), plate appearances (12,344), runs scored (1741), hits (3358), singles (2490), doubles (601), total bases (4645) and bases on balls (1210). Only three players in Reds history have driven in more career runs than Rose’s 1036 and only three players hit more triples in their Reds careers than Rose’s 115. Rose’s Reds career was marked by virtually every honor that can be bestowed on a Major League Player. His 13 All-Star selections as a Red are the second-most in Reds history and include selections at an All-Star -record five different positions. In 1963, Rose was named the National League’s Rookie of the Year and was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the National League in 1973. A three-time NL batting champion, Rose was also a two-time winner of Gold Glove Awards for defensive excellence. In 1975 and 1976, Rose captained the Big Red Machine to consecutive World Series titles and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1975 Fall Classic. In 1978, Rose authored a 44-game hitting streak which stands as the third-longest in Major League history. Rose played for the Phillies and Expos from 1979 – August 16, 1984 when he returned to the Reds in a trade. On September 11, 1985, Rose singled in the bottom of the first inning of the Reds game against the Padres for the 4192nd hit of his Major League career which broke the all-time career hit record held by Ty Cobb.  Rose finished his career with 4256 hits.About the Reds Hall of Fame:The Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame is the oldest continually operating team Hall of Fame in all of baseball. Since its inception in 1958, 85 players, managers and executives have been honored with induction. The Reds Hall of Fame & Museum at Great American Ball Park features 15,000 square feet of historical, interactive and educational exhibits, highlighting the rich and storied tradition of the Reds and baseball in the Queen City. The mission of the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum is to celebrate greatness, preserve history and provide inspiration. Plan your visit at RedsMuseum.org. Rose’s No. 14 jersey to be retired and ’76 World Series Champions honored during 2016 Reds HOF Induction Weekend, June 24-26CINCINNATI (Jan. 19, 2016) — Cincinnati Reds legend Pete Rose will be inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame and his number 14 jersey retired during 2016 Reds Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, June 24-26, 2016.Rose was selected as the sole inductee for the class of 2016 by the Reds Hall of Fame Board of Directors.last_img read more

If ‘speed kills’ why is Ontario mulling faster highway speed limits?

first_imgIt ranks among the “big four” roadway killers the Ontario Provincial Police see.In Vancouver, politicians have taken aim at it on some of their roads.London is considering the same.The research, experts say, is clear: speed kills.Against that grim backdrop, Ontario is getting ready to run pilot projects this fall on three of its highways – including one in Southwestern Ontario, Highway 402 between London and Sarnia – to hike speed limits to 110 km/h from 100 km/h, where they’ve been since they were cut in the fallout of the 1970s energy crisis to help conserve fuel.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.The two-year tryouts, if successful, could pave the way for higher speed limits across the province on its 400-series highways, including Highway 401, the nation’s busiest road, which runs through the heart of Southwestern Ontario.The Ontario Safety League, among others, is in favour of the pilot project, which will include signs and other messages to let drivers know. Supporters also say vehicles are safer now than a generation ago, with features such as airbags and crumple zones that absorb and redistribute the dangerous energy of crashes.Major road systems also are capable of handling higher-speed traffic, advocates insist.Not so fast, others say. A higher speed limit goes against everything many drivers were taught, including the idea that speed kills.Cities, including London, are concerned and taking action that goes in the exact opposite direction of Queen’s Park by lowering local speed limits. But it’s not just some residential streets where speed limits are coming down.Consider British Columbia, where a decision to raise some rural highway speed limits to 120 km/h in 2014 was reversed on 15 of 33 stretches of road last year after deadly crashes more than doubled in some areas.Higher speeds in crashes mean worse impacts, leading to “a higher incidence of . . . injury and fatality,” said Gordon Lovegrove, an engineering professor at the University of British Columbia and co-author of the report that led to B.C.’s speed-limit reversal.“The term ‘speed kills’ comes from the fact that at a higher speed, there is a greater dissipation of energy. It’s a non-linear relationship. It’s kinetic energy, and all sorts of physics are involved,” Lovegrove said.“Speed does kill, because the human body is what’s inside those cars and our heads, heart, bones cannot take significant impacts,” he said.Driving faster – at 110 km/h, a vehicle goes roughly 30.5 metres per second – also means less time to react. Should Ontario raise the speed limit on 400-series highways to 120 km/h?YesNoVoteView ResultsCrowdsignal.com“Humans have two and half seconds to perceive a risk, or something changing in the road conditions  . . . and then decide what to do,” said Lovegrove.Facing traffic gridlock in some areas – especially on major highways in the Toronto area – moving traffic faster might be a cheaper option for the new Progressive Conservative government than expanding or widening major road systems, no matter how counter-intuitive it might seem to a generation of drivers weaned on the “speed kills” message.In Southwestern Ontario, the speed test comes as the cash-strapped government has hit the spending brakes on a proposed $20-billion high-speed rail system that would connect the region to the Toronto area. Instead, the Tories say they’ll bring out a regional transportation plan this fall.The three speed-test zones – Highway 402, the Hamilton-to-St. Catharines stretch of the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) and Highway 417 from Ottawa to the Quebec border – were chosen for specific reasons, the government said.Those roadways required no, or minimal, upgrades and have interchange spacing of three kilometres or more. They connect key parts of the province, the government said, plus the 402’s safety record is better than the provincial average.The zones will be monitored for safety and operations, and data will be collected and evaluated after the two years are up to determine any changes from before and after the pilots, Ontario’s transportation ministry says.Notoriously tricky in winter, when it’s often pounded by snowstorms from Lake Huron, the heavily travelled, 102-km stretch of the 402 between London and Sarnia is flat and can, some say, be a boring drive in summer.At its end, near Sarnia, the road leads to a major international border crossing, the Blue Water Bridge.According to the latest provincial statistics, 180 collisions took place there in 2016 and three people were killed.The pilot projects starting in September could bring Ontario’s speed limits in line with other jurisdictions and catch up with how fast drivers already are travelling, Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek says.It was similar thinking, including improved safety and mobility, that led B.C. to increase speed limits, Lovegrove said.His message?Officials need to weigh the idea that highways were built for and capable of handling higher speeds, versus the reality of less driver reaction time and more severe injuries.“There is always going to be a tension there because it’s a calculated risk,” he said. “But even with analysis of variables such as weather, economics and volume, the 2018 findings (in B.C.) were the same: fatal crashes went up by 20 per cent,” he said.Unlike B.C., which raised its limits to 120 km/h before going back, Ontario will test a lower limit. And unlike B.C., where some roads cover remote or mountainous terrain, the Ontario test zones are in its urban south, differences that could weigh heavily in the pilot projects.“I’m always cautious,” Lovegrove said.“But is the actual frequency of fatal crashes going to increase or decrease?” he asked.“I am expecting professional engineers have it analyzed and have a number in mind they feel they can live with. We don’t know if there will be fatal crashes; there could be less. That’s the thing. Speed does kill and increased speed leads to more fatal crashes when crashes occur.”One advocate for higher speeds on Ontario’s major highways says the evidence from B.C. has been “misinterpreted,” and notes that on many stretches where speed limits went up, deaths went down.“There’s no point designing multi-lane divided highways, which carry vehicles at higher speeds, if we’re going to be telling people that speed kills,”said Chris Klimek, founder of Stop100, which wants speed limits of 120 to 130 km/h on 400-series highways based on how fast people now drive.“The evidence is pretty clear,” said Klimek. “Divided highways carry about one-third or one-quarter of the fatality rates that are seen in cities on the secondary highways. The fastest roads, or the roads where you travel at 120 or 130, are actually the safest roads. It’s complete nonsense. Speed doesn’t kill and it’s clearly evidenced by the statistics.”That’s a tough sell to some drivers. Chad Clark, a London-area resident who regularly drives the 402 in a truck for his job as a kitchen installation contractor, said poor road conditions and lousy drivers make higher speeds unattractive. Most drivers already are going 10 or 20 km/h faster than the posted limit, he said.“Overall, it would have been a good idea 10 to 15 years ago. But highways aren’t in good enough condition to handle those speeds,” he said. “Drivers aren’t capable, either. When speed increases, everything happens that much faster.”Driving instructor Sam Qazi, owner of Driverzed.com in London, agrees that “speed does kill,” but the bigger problem is driver ignorance of the rules of the road, including slower motorists plugging up the passing lane and aggressive drivers dodging in and out of lanes.“I’m not too worried for people who have experience, etiquette and good road manners,” he said. But for those “ignorant” of potential risk, “it’s going to be a concern.”Qazi is especially concerned about new drivers who complete a 20-minute road test, which includes demonstrating a number of driving skills but none involving highway driving, something he says should be changed if Ontario moves to higher highway speed limits.“That’s one issue they have to address: If you are going to increase speed limits, then maybe we need to change the road test format and test these youth on the highway portion as well to see what their capabilities are.”[email protected]/HeatheratLFPressTOO FAST FOR ONTARIO? HERE’S A SAMPLING OF CITIZEN VOICES:“I have been driving to Strathroy for 50 years. Everyone is doing 120 out there. I don’t think (raising the speed limit) will make any difference because they are doing more than 110 km now.” -David Ross, tow truck driver and owner of Ross Towing***“I’m not in favour – being a little older – I don’t like the idea. I don’t see the merits of it. I’ve seen cars whipping by and people just being aggressive. I don’t know the reason why they did it.” -Chuck Howitt, retired journalist who often drives the 402***“I think it’s a good idea. Everyone else is whizzing past and driving the speed they want to drive. But if they are going to do it they should raise the truck limit (of 105 km/h) at least a little bit.” -Matt Degriek, who often travels 400-series highways as a truck passenger for workTEST ZONES WILL HAVE HIGHER LIMITS, BUT THESE RULES WON’T CHANGE:Truckers in the test zones will have to keep to their existing maximum speed of 105 km/h The threshold for stunt driving, with penalties including fines up to $10,000, remains 150 km/h BEYOND 100: Provinces with higher speed limits in some areas110 km/h: Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan120 km/h: British Columbia Highway 401. (File photo)last_img read more

Hayesville Man Charged with Embezzlement from Volunteer Fire Department

first_imgCherokee County Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced the May 31st, 2016 arrest of 32-year-old Brandon Scott Goforth, who gave a Hayesville, North Carolina address for charges stemming from an embezzlement of funds investigation involving a local volunteer fire department.During an audit of funds being held by the Culberson Volunteer Fire Department, several discrepancies were noticed which were brought to the attention of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office. During the 3 month investigation, it was alleged that Goforth converted funds in excess of $50,000 for his personal use.Goforth was arrested and charged with 17 counts of Embezzlement of Funds and 17 Counts of Obtaining Property by False Pretense. Goforth was released upon making a $10,000 secure bond and is scheduled to be in Cherokee County District Court on June 15th , 2016.Sheriff Palmer stated, “We appreciate the boldness and honesty of current members that brought this to our attention and glad to see the current board has and is continuing to make changes to ensure a stricter accounting procedure is in place.”last_img read more

This is what the team is capable of, says Virat Kohli

first_imgCompleting one of the best chases in ODI history has given the Indian team a new fillip and centurion Virat Kohli is pleased that the side has managed to show what it is capable of.”We had nothing to lose in this game. We just wanted to enjoy the game and the way we batted, it will lift the spirit of the team. It is important to win like this after the kind of season we have had in Australia. We will take a lot of positives from this game if this turns out to be the last match. Just to look back and reflect what kind of players we are and what kind of cricket we can play,” Kohli said after the game at the Bellerive Oval on Tuesday.”If we reach the final, we will be as expressive as today. We are not going to think twice before doing anything. If we make it to final, we will play like we did today.”On his own batting, which came of age during the Perth Test, Kohli said he blocked out the negative comments about his temperament.”Critics will always be there. It was more of proving it to yourself. It was like ‘if you play well, make sure you take your team to victory’. When you play in the middle, you hit a four and don’t think ‘Now I have answered the critics’. Before my innings in Perth, I was thinking way too much about what was being said or written. After that I stopped watching news or reading papers. I told myself I am good enough and if I stay positive and do my mental preparation, there is no good reason why I can’t score runs,” he added.advertisementNeedless to say, the Delhi batsman rated this as the best innings of his career.”It has to be the best innings of my career. The kind of situation we were in, chasing 320… it was a crunch game and also we needed a bonus point. So to play an innings like that, it feels really good.”Mahela defends tacticsSri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene defended his decision to continue bowling with Lasith Malinga, who ended up figures of 7.4-0-96-1, and delaying the bowling powerplay, which gave India 10 overs of fielding restrictions right before the 40th over.”That (Powerplay) decision was because I wanted to bowl my spinner but they were going at nine an over, so I couldn’t take it then. I wanted to take the Powerplay around the 20th or the 22nd over. They still went at eight-nine an over. Then I had to delay it, thinking I could get a wicket but it didn’t work today. They batted really well throughout,” Jayawardene said.The skipper bowled Malinga, instead of left-arm spinner Rangana Herath whose four overs yielded 20 runs. For him, it was just one of those days. “Once the ball gets a little older, that’s when Malinga gets effective. I don’t know. That’s the thing. Lots of ifs and buts. It’s easy to say, ‘I could have done this or that’. But that’s the way the game goes.”[email protected]last_img read more

Steffi Graf backs Serena Williams to break her Grand Slam record

first_imgFormer Grand Slam champion Steffi Graf believes Serena Williams will beat her record of 22 titles, a record for the Open era for majors.The German said that Williams, who has 20 Grand Slam title wins, had the talent and experience to overtake her record.Graf was speaking on the sidelines of an event in Paris. She was in the French capital to open a new store for one of her sponsors.Sport24 quoted her, as saying that she was not too worried about her record being overtaken, as she was never interested in numbers.Graf retired in 1999 and went on to marry fellow former tennis great Andre Agassi.Williams has a chance this year to sweep all four majors in the same year, a feat last achieved by Graf in 1988.last_img read more

WSC Number of Containers Lost at Sea Drops

first_imgzoom The international liner shipping industry has managed to cut the average number of containers lost at sea, a survey by World Shipping Council (WSC) showed.Namely, according to the 2017 survey, which gathered input for 2014, 2015 and 2016, the average number of containers lost at sea excluding catastrophic events was 612 for each year, which is about 16% less than the average of 733 units lost each year for the previous three year period.When catastrophic losses are included, the total containers lost at sea averaged 1,390 with 56% of those lost being attributed to catastrophic events. This is a 48% reduction from the average annual total losses of 2,683 estimated in 2014.This larger number in 2014 is due primarily to two factors, including the complete loss in 2013 of the MOL Comfort in the Indian Ocean and all of the 4,293 containers on board and, in 2011, the grounding and loss of the M/V Rena off New Zealand, which resulted in a loss overboard of roughly 900 containers.Wehn looking at the results of the nine year period, from 2008 to 2016, the WSC estimates that there were on average 568 containers lost at sea each year, not counting catastrophic events, and on average a total of 1,582 containers lost at sea each year including catastrophic events. On average, 64% of containers lost during the last decade were attributed to a catastrophic event.The international liner shipping industry transported around 130 million containers packed with cargo, with an estimated value of more than USD 4 trillion.Even with proper packing of the cargo into the container, correct container weight declaration, and proper stowage and securing aboard ship, a number of factors ranging from severe weather and rough seas to more catastrophic and rare events like ship groundings, structural failures, and collisions can result in containers being lost at sea.At any point in time, there are about 6,000 containerships active on the world’s seas and waterways linking continents and communities through trade. WCS said that the container shipping industry’s goal remains to keep the loss of containers carried on those ships as close to zero as possible.last_img read more