Vancouver businessman David Sidoo pleads not guilty in US college bribery case

first_imgThe Canadian Press BOSTON — Lawyers for a prominent Vancouver businessman say their client has pleaded not guilty in court in an alleged college admissions scam in the United States.The U.S. attorney office in Massachusetts says in a tweet that David Sidoo has been released by the federal court in Boston on a secured bond of US$1.5 million and his travel restricted to Canada and the United States.Sidoo was charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud as part of a prosecution by United States authorities of an alleged college admissions scam involving dozens of accused people.An indictment released Tuesday alleged Sidoo paid $200,000 in total for someone to take an entrance exam on behalf of both his sons, and that he also paid an undisclosed amount for someone to fly to Vancouver and take a high school test.St. George’s School says a review of its records from 2012 indicates no school or provincial exams were written at the school by the student in question on or around the date referenced by the indictment.Sidoo, known for his philanthropic causes in British Columbia, was CEO of Advantage Lithium and is a former Canadian Football League player for the B.C. Lions and Saskatchewan Roughriders.At least nine athletic coaches and 33 parents, including Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, are among those who have been charged in an investigation dubbed Operation Varsity Blues.No students were charged. Authorities have said that in many cases the teenagers were not aware of what was going on.Advantage Lithium said Thursday that Sidoo has taken a leave of absence from his executive role as company president and that his responsibilities as CEO have been assumed by another executive on an interim basis.The law firm representing Sidoo says he “looks forward to fully contesting the charges in a well-respected court and not in the media.”“He will be returning to his home in Canada and asks people not to rush to judgment.”The U.S. Justice Department says Sidoo, 59, was arrested in San Jose, Calif., on March 8.An indictment alleges Sidoo paid $100,000 in 2011 to have an individual secretly take the Scholastic Assessment Test, or SAT, in place of his older son. It also asserts that Sidoo emailed copies of his son’s driver’s licence and student card for the purpose of creating a falsified identification card for the individual. The individual, whose name is redacted, flew from Tampa, Fla., to Vancouver to take the SAT on behalf of Sidoo’s son, the indictment alleges.The indictment says the test score was emailed to an administrator at Chapman University, a private California university, where Sidoo’s son was admitted and later enrolled.The indictment also alleges Sidoo agreed to pay another $100,000 in 2012 for someone to take the SAT in place of his younger son.It claims that in 2013 and 2014 the falsified SAT scores obtained on behalf of his younger son were sent to universities, including Yale and Georgetown, as part of his college applications. The score was also sent to the University of California-Berkeley, where the younger son was accepted and later enrolled, it says.Sidoo’s legal team has said the two sons have not been accused of any impropriety.If convicted of the charge, Sidoo must forfeit any property that is derived from proceeds traceable to the offence, the indictment says.last_img read more

More Leading Voices Join UNHCR IBelong Campaign To End Statelessness

first_imgThis international women’s day, the UN refugee agency wants to remind the world that women in 27 countries are still not allowed to pass their nationality on to their children on an equal basis with men, creating a cruel cycle of statelessness.On Tuesday March 10th, UNHCR will co-host an event at UN Headquarters in New York to shine a light on this issue in order to encourage states to reform their nationality laws. Reform of nationality laws is a key element in UNHCR’s #IBelong Campaign to End Statelessness.To help spur action on this situation and on statelessness in general, UNHCR is honored to announce another group of high level supporters who have signed up to its #IBelong Campaign Open Letter which encourages world leaders to end statelessness by 2024.Around the world at least ten million people have no nationality – a situation that often deprives them of access to the most basic rights: education, health care, social services, the ability to open a bank account, buy a house or even get married.The new supporters to the #IBelong Campaign to End Statelessness include: • Tawakkol Karman, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and human rights defender from Yemen • Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and human rights defender from Ireland • Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former Secretary-General of the United Nations • Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, former Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity, and former Prime Minister of the Republic of Tanzania • Rokia Traoré singer songwriter from Mali • Angelique Kidjo, singer songwriter from Benin • Zainab Salbi, author and founder, Women for Women International, • Peter Capaldi, British actor • Neil Gaiman, writer, and authorMalian singer songwriter Rokia Traoré said: “As a mother it seems inconceivable that I would not be able to pass my nationality on to my children. We need to make sure that all mothers and their children can say #IBelong.”These supporters join a long and distinguished list of other signatories that include several former heads of State, and celebrated human rights defenders, including; Archbishop Desmond Tutu, UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie and former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. They have joined the call to urge global action to ensure that everyone in the world has the right to a nationality.The high-level side event on March 10 coincides with the Beijing +20 conference on women’s rights at UN Headquarters in New York. The event, on Equal Nationality Rights aims to encourage countries to change their nationality laws.UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Volker Türk will lead the call for countries to reform their nationality laws.“When a woman cannot pass on her nationality to her children, the effect can be crippling. Without a nationality, mothers and their children are often deprived of education and medical care and can be more vulnerable to exploitation, early marriage, violence or even human trafficking,”In the past 10 years, a dozen countries have reformed their laws to enable women to pass their nationality to their children equally with men. The New York event will build momentum towards a September UN pledging conference, where it is hoped that more governments will commit to reform their laws to ensure gender parity in nationality matters.Source:UNHCRlast_img read more

More Stars Pledge To Wear Orange For Gun Violence Awareness

first_imgToday, more than 25 cultural influencers and 60 U.S. Mayors joined the coalition of best-in-class organizations and activists pledging to “Wear Orange” – a color that symbolizes the value of human life – on June 2nd, the first-annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day.Wear Orange is a new campaign that amplifies existing efforts to reduce gun violence in America and helps honor the 88 Americans whose lives are cut short by gun violence every day. In the past two weeks, more than 140 groups and luminaries have joined the campaign, including MTV, Motown Records, HBO, Vans Warped Tour, Essence Magazine, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Brady Campaign, and Million Mom March.Participating cultural influencers include Julianne Moore, Russell Simmons, Sarah Silverman, Michael Stipe, Patti Smith, Aasif Mandvi, Alyssa Milano, Padma Lakshmi, John Hodgman, Amanda Peet, Perez Hilton, Melissa Joan Hart, Tiffani Thiessen, Tunde Adebimpe of TV On The Radio, Rise Against, Mario Batali, Anti-Flag, Nigel Barker, Grace Weber, Jon Foreman, Judith Hill, Amber Coffman of Dirty Projectors, Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees and Thomas Roberts of MSNBC.Efforts of note on June 2nd include: • MTV – The network will change its on-air logo – as well as several of its social media avatars – to orange in recognition of National Gun Violence Awareness Day. • Motown Records – The most widely recognized record label in history, Motown will turn its iconic logo orange on its social media platforms with staff and artists #WearingOrange. • HBO – The network will debut the trailer for its hard-hitting new documentary, Requiem for the Dead: American Spring 2014, from Emmy-Award winning filmmakers Shari Cookson and Nick Doob, which premieres on HBO June 22nd at 9:00pm EST/PST. Told entirely through social media postings, news accounts and other found media, the new documentary offers an unvarnished portrait of the human toll from gun violence in America – giving viewers a window into the lives of dozens who died from gunfire last spring through the present-tense moments leading up to the shootings and the reverberations that followed. • Essence Magazine – Essence staff will be #WearingOrange, sharing their orange selfies on Instagram and Twitter and encouraging their readers to join in the Wear Orange campaign.“We’re often presented with a false choice in the guns debate: that you have to ‘pick a side’,” said Michael Stipe. “But every American opposes gun violence and all of us can do more to help save lives. I’ll wear my orange with pride on June 2nd and hope people nationwide will join me in showing their true colors.”“Motown Records has a legacy of being the voice of a generation through our artists and fostering an environment of creativity and innovation. In these times, more than ever, it is crucial for all of our voices to collectively come together on June 2nd for the first-ever National Gun Violence Awareness Day to raise awareness and promote anti-violence so that the voices of today, and tomorrow, have a chance to be heard,” said Ethiopia Habtemariam, President, Motown Records. “We encourage fans and artists alike to join us on June 2nd by #WearingOrange and honoring the life of Hadiya Pendleton, and all those lives senselessly lost to gun violence.”Elected officials committed to protecting their constituents from gun violence will also be wearing orange on June 2nd. Members of Congress from coast to coast, New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, former New York City Mayor and co-founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Michael Bloomberg, as well as mayors in more than 60 cities from 20 states representing more than 10 million Americans around the country have joined the campaign. Mayors who will be wearing orange on June 2nd, many of whom plan to issue proclamations declaring June 2nd Gun Violence Awareness Day in their cities, include Mayors Emanuel (Chicago), Nutter (Philadelphia), Lee (San Francisco), Walsh (Boston), Hales (Portland, OR), Wharton Jr. (Memphis), Slay (St. Louis), Schneider (Santa Barbara), Murray (Seattle), Peduto (Pittsburgh), and Coleman (Columbus, OH).Newly added supporters of the Wear Orange coalition include the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Brady Campaign, the Caliber Foundation, CT Coalition Against Gun Violence, Greenwich Council Against Gun Violence, Media Matters, Million Mom March, MomsRising, National Council of Jewish Women, New Mexicans for Gun Safety, North Carolina Coalition Against Gun Violence, Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, and Parents Against Gun Violence.Wear Orange and National Gun Violence Awareness Day was inspired by a group of Chicago teens who asked their classmates to commemorate the life of their slain friend, Hadiya Pendleton, by wearing the color orange. Hadiya was claimed by gun violence just days after marching in President Obama’s second inaugural parade. Her friends chose the color because hunters wear orange to announce themselves to other hunters when out in the woods. Orange acknowledges that America has a proud heritage of responsible gun ownership, while also reflecting the value of human life. This June 2nd would have been Hadiya’s 18th birthday; First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver the commencement address at what would have been Hadiya’s graduation ceremony on June 9th.Additionally, today the Wear Orange campaign released a new video telling the story of Hadiya’s tragic death, how her friends and family refused to let her die in vain, and how what they started on the south side of Chicago is becoming a national movement. You can view the video here.Anyone can join the Wear Orange campaign by visiting and using the website’s pledge tool to change their social media profile picture or share why they’ll be #WearingOrange on June 2, the first-ever National Gun Violence Awareness Day.last_img read more

Winnipeg police set up hotline for tips about accused serial killer

first_imgAPTN National NewsWinnipeg police are asking for the help of canadians as they investigate the actions of an alleged serial killer.In the past few weeks, police in Winnipeg have been come under fire for ignoring tips that might have prevented the murders or even helped locate the bodies of victims.But tonight, police investigators are issuing a public appeal for information.APTN’s Meagan Fiddler has that story.last_img

Grains mostly higher Grains mixed

first_imgCHICAGO — Grain futures were higher Friday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade.Wheat for Dec. delivery was rose .20 cents at $5.3420 a bushel; Dec. corn was up 2 cents at $3.7740 a bushel; Dec. oats fell 3.20 cents at $2.8920 a bushel; while Jan. soybeans gained .40 cent at 9.0640 a bushel.Beef was mixed and pork was higher on the Chicago Mercantile cattle rose .55 cent at $1.1970 a pound; Jan. feeder cattle was off .05 cent at $1.48 a pound; Dec. lean hogs was up .20 cent at .5490 a pound.The Associated Presslast_img read more

China tells US to avoid ‘wrong moves’ over Iran oil controls

BEIJING — China has told Washington to avoid “wrong moves” that hurt Chinese interests following a U.S. threat to impose sanctions on buyers of Iranian oil.A foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said Wednesday that Beijing opposes the Trump administration’s “unilateral sanctions and so-called long-arm jurisdiction” over Iran.Geng said China, one of the biggest buyers of Iranian oil exports, would protect the “legitimate rights” of its companies but gave no indication how Beijing might respond if Washington imposes penalties.Geng said at a news briefing, “We urge the United States to earnestly respect China’s interests and concerns and refrain from taking wrong moves that will undermine our interests.”The Associated Press read more

Ford to invest $500M in electric vehicle startup Rivian

DETROIT — Ford is sinking a half-billion dollars into electric vehicle startup Rivian in a deal that has the companies working together on a new Ford electric vehicle based on Rivian underpinnings.Ford will become a minority partner in Rivian, which is based outside of Detroit and recently rolled out a new electric pickup truck and an SUV that will go on sale late next year.Ford CEO Jim Hackett says in a statement that the partnership will bring a fresh approach to Ford’s intelligent and electric vehicles. He says Rivian will benefit from Ford’s manufacturing expertise and resources.Rivian will remain an independent company. But Ford President of Automotive Joe Hinrichs will get a seat on the startup’s seven-member board.The deal is still subject to regulatory approval.Rivian has a large engineering and administrative operation in the Detroit suburb of Plymouth Township, Michigan, as well as outposts in San Jose and Irvine, California, and Surrey, England. The company also is starting manufacturing operations in a 2.6-million-square-foot factory in Normal, Illinois, that was once used by Mitsubishi.The company’s R1T pickup and R1S SUV that are supposed to have more than 400 miles of range on a single charge. The five-seat pickup is aimed at the market for off-road capable trucks with outdoorsy features, a market that electric vehicle competitor Tesla Inc. has not yet entered. A basic truck with smaller 230-mile (370 kilometres) battery pack will start under $70,000. A truck with the longer-range battery will be around $90,000. They’ll roll out in the U.S. first, then to other markets.The Associated Press read more

Tamil Progressive Alliance to go it alone in some areas

The Minister said that the Tamil Progressive Alliance is confident of being victorious at the elections in February. However he said the United National Party and the Tamil Progressive Alliance could not reach an agreement on some areas and as a result the Tamil Progressive Alliance will contest in those areas under the ladder symbol. The Tamil Progressive Alliance today announced it will go it alone in some areas at the Local Government (LG) elections.Minister of National Co-existence Dialogue and Official Languages and Tamil Progressive Alliance member Mano Ganesan said that there was an agreement with the United National Party to contest the election in some areas under the elephant symbol. He also said that contesting separately in some areas does not mean the Tamil Progressive Alliance is not part of the Government.Ganesan said that the main focus of the Tamil Progressive Alliance and the Government is for a united Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Former PC MLA warns against forced economic diversification in Alberta

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Many Albertans want to see the province get away from our dependence on the resource of oil, and diversify because of the drop in oil prices.However, a former PC MLA, who was finance minister for a year under Ed Stalmach, says it’s something we’ve seen in the past with disastrous results and warns the government can’t force diversification.According to a new paper from Ted Morton, a senior fellow at the School of Public Policy, the government needs to create the conditions for businesses to create jobs, and not try and do it themselves.He says that from 1973 to 1993 the province lost $2-billion while trying to spur diversification.“It just shows how difficult it is for government to try to come in and change, if you like, the market realities of any region. Governments aren’t good at picking winners and losers, they’re good at picking governments,” explained Morton.Morton argues it’s difficult for government to change structural limitations, and that it needs to build on competitive advantages in labour and resources instead.He says the Prentice government needs to take a shotgun approach to the economy, investing in infrastructure, investing in worker training and keeping taxes competitive, and let the market decide winners and losers. Former PC MLA warns against forced economic diversification in Alberta by News Staff Posted Mar 20, 2015 7:10 am MDT read more

Mens basketball report Junior forward Keita BatesDiop out for season with stress

OSU sophomore forward Keita Bates-Diop (33) during a game against Rutgers on Jan. 13 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorFollowing Ohio State’s 76-75 loss to No. 20 Purdue on Thursday night that dropped the Buckeyes to 10-5 and 0-2 in the Big Ten, it appears the team’s uphill climb to the NCAA tournament just got a whole lot steeper.OSU coach Thad Matta said in the postgame press conference that junior forward Keita Bates-Diop will undergo surgery on a stress fracture on his shin next week. Bates-Diop did not play against the Boilermakers. He had missed five games earlier in the season with a high-ankle sprain he suffered on Nov. 17 against Providence.Bates-Diop originally suffered this injury in the summer and after attempting to play through it, the injury kept reoccurring, Matta said.“That’s definitely a punch in the gut to us,” he said. “It is what it is and we got to move forward.”Matta called the 6-foot-7 Bates-Diop the team’s best defender considering his length and his ability to rebound with the taller players in the country.The Normal, Illinois, native played just nine games this year, starting three times. He averaged 9.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in an average of 23.3 minutes. Matta said that Bates-Diop will receive a medical redshirt.1/5 Correction: Matta said Bates-Diop will have surgery next week. It was originally printed as Friday. read more

HALTED High Court halts parking meter contract

Parking meter scandal… as MAPM holds its largest parking meter protestChief Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards (ag) has issued an order bringing paid parking, penalties and the implementation of the controversial parking meter contract in Georgetown to a screeching halt, pending the results of a hearing later this month.The order was granted yesterday after an application for judicial review was made by Attorney Kamal Ramkarran, on behalf of Mohendra Arjune. Georgetown Mayor Patricia Chase Green, Town Clerk Royston King and City Councillors were named as the respondents.According to the document, which was seen by this news outfit, “an order nisi of certiorari be and is hereby granted to quash the decision of the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown to enter into an agreement on or around 13 May, 2016”.In addition, the order also prohibits the respondents from making “any amendments thereto for the establishment of parking meters in Georgetown with (Smart City Solutions – SCSI) and all acts and things thereafter which flowed from that decision”.The order also curtails the power of the Town Clerk. According to the High Court order, “this court orders that an order nisi of certiorari be and is hereby granted to quash the decision of the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown and the Town Clerk empowering and authorising the Town Clerk to sign and operationalise contracts with (SCSI) for the establishment of parking meters in Georgetown and all acts and things done or caused to be done thereafter flowing from that decision”.It also revokes “the decision of the Mayor and Councillors and anyone acting by or through them or under their directions or instructions or on their behalf to exempt persons or categories of persons from paying fees for parking in the City of Georgetown and being subject to penalties for parking in Georgetown”.The respondents will have to show cause against all the orders made by the Chief Justice to quash their decision to enter into the contract, which has already caused weekly mass protests in front of City Hall. Their day in court is set for February 27, 2017, before Justice Brassington Reynolds. Should they fail to comply, the document noted, they will be held in contempt of court.The original contract had been shrouded in secrecy, with Councillors complaining of it being kept in a secret room at City Hall. Mayor Chase Green has, in the past, defended this secrecy. When the original contract was revealed, it was found that only four City Hall officials signed it.The four officials – Chase Green; King; Chairman of the Finance Committee, Oscar Clarke and his predecessor and current Councillor, Junior Garrett – were dubbed the “Fantastic Four” after they embarked on trips to Mexico and Panama, funded by the company, to conduct due diligence checks on the parking meters the company had previously installed. However, these checks were done after they signed the contract with SCSI. However, Chase Green has always denied the existence of a ‘Fantastic Four’ faction which would sideline other Councillors when making decisions affecting Georgetown.The City Council, including outgoing Deputy Mayor Sherod Duncan, had reportedly not sanctioned the trips or even known about them. The Deputy Mayor had insisted that a full council must discuss the deal, as that is the role of the council. During the first of three Movement Against Parking Meters (MAPM) protests in front of City Hall, the Town Clerk had been asked about the legality of the contract and the rates and penalties prescribed in the by-laws.King had been adamant that there was no need to tender at the national level. He had also expressed the belief that the penalties were just.MAPM, a recently formed lobby group composed of concerned citizens, has always held the view that solid legal grounds existed for the termination of the contract.PROTEST While some sought redress in the courts, MAPM organised its third and largest protest yet in front of City Hall on Thursday. The third consecutive protest to shut down Regent Street for an hour, it was supported by several city businesses that closed their doors from 12:00hrs, when the protest started.Present at the protest was activist Ras Leon Saul, who made it clear that the conciliatory measures being pursued by the M&CC were not sufficient. Noting that matters have escalated, Saul stated that former SCSI Director and co-signatory on the original contract, Ifa Cush, did not help matters when he referred to protesters as having a “slave mentality”.“The voice of the people is (sacrosanct). And right now the people are calling for total revocation. I think we’ve got to listen to the people’s call. And even though the Mayor and City Council has given some leeway, it’s still too little, too late.” (Guyana Times) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedHigh Court order means ‘paid parking on hold’ – former AGFebruary 20, 2017In “Business”M&CC shows ‘gross disrespect’ for Chief Justice’s Court OrderFebruary 18, 2017In “latest news”Justice Reynolds denies ‘stay’ to put on hold M&CC’s paid parking projectMarch 6, 2017In “Court” read more

Randgold uniquely positioned to sustain value delivery says CEO

first_imgRandgold Resources’ operations are strongly placed to generate robust cash flows even at gold prices below current levels and to continue delivering value to all stakeholders, says Chief Executive Mark Bristow in the company’s 2015 annual report.What the gold mining industry needs, says Bristow, is to make new discoveries, as even a significant rise in the gold price and an injection of fresh capital will at best enable it to clear its debt, but will provide little scope for adding any value or reversing the production decline. Through its consistent investment in exploration and development Randgold, in contrast, was projecting sustained growth from a solid foundation.“Our mines have been modelled to generate cash flows at gold prices well below the $1,000/oz level. Our positive production and cost profiles extend to a 10-year horizon, we have had no impairments or write-downs, and have substantial cash resources. Our exploration teams are not only replacing the ounces we deplete but are making significant progress in the hunt for our next big discovery. In fact, we are in a unique position to continue delivering value to all our stakeholders,” he says.Randgold set a new annual production record of more than 1.2 Moz in 2015, up 6% on the previous year, while reducing group total cash cost per ounce by 3% to $679. Strong cash flows from the operations boosted cash on hand by 158% to $213.4 million but profit for the year was $212.8 million against the previous year’s $271.1 million, reflecting the decline in the gold price. The board nevertheless recommended a 10% increase in the annual dividend.Also in the annual report, chairman Christopher Coleman reports that even in the current challenging market, Randgold is not reducing its investment in corporate and social programmes, in line with its philosophy that sustainability is central to all its activities.“Randgold’s social initiatives extend far beyond the life of its mines. At all its operations, it is developing ambitious legacy projects designed to provide a permanent source of employment and economic opportunity to these communities. Based on agriculture, the primary building block of any developing economy, these range from training and funding would-be commercial farmers to a wide spectrum of agribusiness initiatives, many of which are already supplying local markets. The company is equally mindful of the health and safety of its employees, and it strives constantly to improve an already exemplary record in this regard,” he says.last_img read more

Funding issues delay Irelands first District Heating project

first_imggenerate energy from up to 600,000 tonnes of waste per year that would otherwise go to landfill and will generate enough electricity for up to 50,000 homes annually as well as district heating for up to a further 60,000 homes.The project received planning approval from An Bord Pleanála in November 2007, was granted a waste license from the Environmental Protection Agency in December 2008 and received authorisations from the Commission for Energy Regulation in September 2009. But now funding is needed for the rest of the plan to go ahead.The Poolbeg incinerator plan was opposed by the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, and has also been opposed by some residents in the local area.A report on the potential of DH in Dublin suggested the waste from the Poolbeg plant could be used to create the energy needed. Following its publication, a pipe was laid in 2010 from Poolbeg to Spencer Dock, which would be the first area to benefit from DH. However, this type of heating would only be placed in new homes being constructed in Dublin, and homes would not be retrofitted, said the RPS spokesperson.The report found that:Dublin City has both the quantity and concentration of large buildings to host a large DH system. Despite the mild Irish climate, heating is necessary for several months of the year and domestic hot water is needed year round.  In addition, there is a demand for cooling of hotels, offices and shopping centres inter alia during the summer season.What is District Heating?District heating allows the use of thermal energy from combined heat and power plants (CHP), refuse incineration plants, waste heat from industrial processes, natural geothermal heat sources, and fuels.The proposed district heating (DH) network for Dublin will circulate hot water in an underground, pre-insulated pipe system.District Heating (DH) can offer higher energy efficiency, and reduced consumption of energy resources, as well as cost savings and reduced operating and maintenance costs, its proponents say.Russia In Russia, heating is on all the time during the colder months, due to the fact that the temperatures drop so low in the winter.One blogger wrote:the local council takes care of everything.  Every apartment has a few central heating radiators, which are switched on around October and work 24/7 until April/May.  There are NO on/off switched or controls to raise or lower the temperature, the Soviets didn’t think this was necessary, the main thing was keeping everybody as warm as possible.  When the heating is on, its on until the council switch it off, and there is nothing you can do about it.With 70 per cent of homes having district heating, and this type of heating being installed for so long, plans are underway to cut the country’s heating bills and regulate temperatures.One company, Danfoss, worked with authorities in Moscow for introducing guidelines for the use of thermostats on radiators – but it says that some people didn’t use them, as they paid the same amount regardless. But with Moscow eliminating the district heating subsidy, people may find themselves reaching for the thermostats.Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Finland, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, the UK and other countries also use DH in varying amounts.In Warsaw, for example, over 1 million people throughout 19,000 buildings benefit from this type of heating.One commenter explained:Here in Poland, I have no choice about the heating being on or off. Heating is provided by the city council to virtually every apartment in the city. It’s free (well, paid for by taxes) so you never have to worry about having it up too high. Just regulate each radiator to suit your preference. With the harsh winters here, this is done to ensure no one dies of the cold because they can’t pay the gas bill. As soon as the temperatures dip below ten degrees for three days, on goes the heating for the whole city. If it stays over ten degrees for three days, it goes off again. It’s off right now because it’s still around 18-24 degrees most days. As well as this, the city council provides your hot water as well (though there is a water meter for this and a separate one for cold water, but it costs half nothing) so no need to ever worry about the immersion.PaymentWe’ve seen that in some countries, payment for this type of heating is through the council, or through taxes. But it hasn’t been decided yet how people in Dublin would pay for it.That said, the project’s spokesperson said that it is envisaged that the costs would be lower than gas, and that it “normally is cost effective” when compared with gas or coal.The spokesperson for the Dublin Waste to Energy Project told that unlike heating plans that are fitted in places like the older buildings in Ballymun, if DH was installed the temperature and duration of heat would be controlled by the homeowner.Read: Dublin councils have spent €91 million on Poolbeg plant so far> DUBLIN IS ON track to being the first city in Ireland to install District Heating – but funding issues with the Poolbeg generating plant are delaying the project.District Heating (DH) is used in countries like Russia and Poland, where it is low-cost or paid for through taxes, and involves “the distribution of heat from centralised heat sources via a hot water pipe network”, explains Dublin Waste.A piping system has even been laid from Poolbeg to Spencer Dock in Dublin city that is supposed to pipe the heating to homes, but it can’t be used until the funding is gathered for the Dublin Waste to Energy project. This project in turn is dependent on work beginning at the Poolbeg generating site, as this is where the incinerator would be based that would generate the steam used to heat homes.Earlier this week, a report presented to the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee said the deadline for the resumption of work at the Poolbeg facility – which is currently set for November 5 – is set to be extended in order to give its operator Covanta enough time to secure funds for the deal.Dublin Waste to Energy projectThis project is a public private partnership between Dublin City Council (acting on behalf of the four Dublin local authorities) and Dublin Waste to Energy Ltd “to provide a thermal treatment plant to treat approximately 25 per cent of waste that cannot be reused or recycled”.They say the plant will:last_img read more

Matrox launches TripleHead2Go Digital SE for triplemonitor laptop output

first_imgBuy any laptop or Ultrabook today and it will have some form of video out, be it through VGA, HDMI, or DisplayPort. But typically you are limited to just a single extra display and therefore a dual-screen setup. Matrox doesn’t think that’s good enough so it has released a new version of the TripleHead2Go adapter.The TripleHead2Go Digital SE promises to expand your laptop’s desktop to up to three additional screens. Using a DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort, or Thunderbolt output, you can use three additional 1920 x 1080 monitors on a PC, or 1360 x 768 resolution displays with a Mac.A total of four displays may be overkill for most people working on a laptop, but for 2 or more extra displays it offers a simple solution and you can use multiple adapters to offer up even more display space. There’s nothing to stop you using this with a desktop PC too, with the bonus being you don’t need to install any new hardware inside your rig.The 5.25 x 2.5-inch adapter isn’t exactly huge so it’s going to appeal to anyone who needs this kind of display output on the go, and you can also hook it up to projectors. A higher spec laptop will be required if you want to use all three additional displays though, as it relies on your GPU to cope with the resolution.Matrox is also pushing the use of multi-monitor setups using the adapter for gaming. Alongside the TripleHead2Go the company offers Monitor Bezel Management, which adjusts the visuals to better fit across multiple displays.Here’s an example of TripleHead2Go being used to play Crysis across 3 displays:The TripleHead2Go Digital SE isn’t cheap at $279, but as a convenient way to hook up extra monitors it may be worth it. A lot of graphics cards already offer multi-monitor support, but if yours doesn’t or you are a laptop user primarily, it might be worth a look.More at Matroxlast_img read more

SkyDrive bug is making Opera hang

first_imgVisit the Microsoft SkyDrive website in your browser and you’ll see the login page above. It works just fine in nearly any semi-modern browser. After entering credentials and clicking the “sign in” button, however, Opera 12 users are receiving an unpleasant surprise. A quick check in task manager will reveal that CPU usage is spiking, and Opera quickly becomes unresponsive and needs to be killed.No big deal, right? There’s a lot going on inside today’s browsers, so the odd hang here and there is to be expected. What’s interesting about this particular glitch is that it’s not really Opera’s fault — it’s SkyDrive that’s misbehaving. For some reason, SkyDrive is apparently sending a whole lot of null characters inside the HTML code. How many is a lot? Around two million, Opera’s Hallvord Steen reckons.All web browsers handle the excess characters differently, so if you haven’t noticed any adverse reactions after surfing over to SkyDrive and logging in, it’s probably because your browser of choice is simply discarding the unexpected data. In its current form, Opera doesn’t quite know what to do with the influx of nulls. Interestingly, when I tried to access SkyDrive in Opera 11 I was able to log in just fine. Either something (perhaps even something as minor as a site-specific tweak) has changed from version to version, or what SkyDrive sends Opera 12 users is different than what it sends to other browsers.The latter doesn’t seem likely — Steen’s own investigation revealed that Firefox and Opera are receiving the same torrent of characters. At this point, two things will probably happen. One, Opera will issue a patch that allows its browser to deal with the unneeded characters more gracefully. Two, Microsoft’s web developers will probably take a peek at SkyDrive and see what’s causing all those extra characters. On a service as large as SkyDrive is, those two million characters per user will add up to an awful lot of wasted bandwidth over the course of a day, so I’d expect a fix from Microsoft pretty swiftly.More at Operalast_img read more

Border shutdownrefugees stuck in Greece

first_imgMohammed Asif and his family have no food, no shelter and no security. “Home,” for now, is a thin green blanket spread over a piece of plastic on a pavement in a grimy neighborhood of the Greek capital. Asif, who though 43 looks at least 20 years older, is one of thousands of Afghans trapped in Greece, their hopes of reaching sanctuary in northern Europe dashed by a cascade of border shutdowns from Austria to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).“We are desperate. We left Afghanistan because we are Hazaras and the Taliban threatened to kill us, my entire family,” he told Reuters. “What will we do now?”Most of the 400 Afghans vying for limited pavement space in Athens’s Victoria Square are Hazaras, an ethnic minority who have long suffered discrimination and persecution back home, with thousands massacred by Taliban militias in the 1990s. Asif, his wife and their two children, 10 and 13, have been sleeping rough for three days.The Greek state, inundated by an influx of trapped refugees which was at the last count at least 22,000, is clearly absent from Victoria, a once upmarket area of Athens that has now sunk into disrepute.Drug dealing and prostitution are rampant. There are no public facilities and soiled nappies are strewn on a sidewalk next to bins brimming with rubbish. A Christian charity distributes biscuits and orange juice, and the occasional local turns up with a saucepan of food.Further down, young mothers with month-old babies sat on the sidewalk. A man held a child aged about 10 in his arms, looking stonily ahead., Reuters reports.“I’ll stay here until Macedonia opens its borders,” said Ali Khan Ranjbar, 28, from Ghazni, a city in central Afghanistan and a Hazara like Asif.As of February 20, crossings of Afghans to FYROM have ceased, with witnesses reporting migrants being forcibly removed from border outposts and sent by buses back to Athens.On Monday, FYROM police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of migrants who stormed the border from Greece as a deeply divided Europe traded barbs over how to tackle its biggest humanitarian crisis in decades.According to United Nations data, about a quarter of the one million refugees and migrants who fled their homes to head to Europe last year were Afghans. “I don’t have any more money. I paid $10,000 to get to Europe … I want to go to Germany or Sweden or Austria for my kids to have a better future,” said Asif. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Man with rare brain disease cured at Jackson Memorial Hospital

first_imgMIAMI (WSVN) – A husband and father of two diagnosed with a rare brain disease was cured at Jackson Memorial Hospital.“I feel great. I feel good, and I’m happy to be with my family and spend time with the kids,” said 28-year-old Paul Casas, an Air Force Special Ops trainee.Casas suffered from Moyamoya, a rare brain disease that affects less than one in a million people.“A large part of the right side of the brain was ‘hungry’ for more blood flow. We call it ‘misery profusion,’” said Dr. Jaques Morcos, a neurosurgeon at UM Health.The disease affected Casas’ memory and caused headaches and numbness.“I would have numbness on the left side of my arm, the left side of my face, and I thought it was just related to the training,” said Casas.Casas and his wife, Stephanie, said most of the doctors they encountered didn’t seem familiar with the disease or have the resources to treat it. “We had been to numerous neurosurgeons or reached out to numerous neurosurgeons, and everybody either was kind of not sure of what to do or took the wait it out approach,’” she said.The couple then reached out to Morcos after being referred to him by a friend. Soon, they made a twenty-hour drive from San Antonio to South Florida, where Paul underwent surgery the very next day, May 24.“It’s a very fine surgery. The suture we use is about five times thinner than a human hair to connect the arteries together, and I did two of them in him,” said Morcos. “Essentially it’s rebuilding a new artery for Paul on the right side of his brain, and luckily it was very successful.”Casas, who is also a father of two, said he is excited to see the impact the surgery will have on his life.“With Dr. Morcos fixing me, I’m definitely excited to get back into school and start studying again and see the difference that this extra blood flow to my brain is going to be able to help out,” he said.Casas said his symptoms went away almost immediately after the four-hour surgery. He is looking forward to spending time with his family and has plans to eventually return to training.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Will Nirav Modi Vijay Mallya share the same Arthur Road jail UK

first_imgActivists of the youth wing of India’s main opposition Congress party burn a cut-out with an image of billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi.reutersIn a deja vu moment, a UK Court Judge, Emma Arbuthnot while hearing the bail plea of fugitive diamantaire, Nirav Modi on Friday, March 29, said in a lighter vein that he could share the same space in jail along with India’s liquor baron, Vijay  Mallya. Judge, Arbuthnot coincidentally heard Mallya’s extradition trial last year when he had filed an application against the order. At that time, the Indian government shared the video of Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail where it was planning to lodge the flamboyant businessman with the UK Court. The Judge told the lawyers that “she was getting a sense of deja vu” as she ordered the extradition of Mallya last year.During the hearing, the judge asked the prosecution if he knows which part of India would Nirav Modi be jailed in. “Do we know which part of India he [Modi] is being sought in,” the Judge asked. The Crown Prosecution Service, represented by the Indian government, said that it would be the same Mumbai jail where Vijay Mallya will be held in. To this, Judge, Arbuthnot replied in a light-hearted manner that it could even be the same cell as “we know from the previous video that there is still some space left in that jail”.Mumbai’s Arthur Road prison is described as one of the most fortified jails in the country which has also housed the Mumbai, 26/11 attack convict and a Pakistani national, Muhammad Ajmal Kasab.  It has been proposed that Vijay Mallya will be kept inside a highly secure barrack of a two-storeyed building of the Arthur Road jail complex. The Indian government recently reviewed the security cover of the Arthur Road jail and submitted the findings along with the video to the UK Court.Judge, Arbuthnot had sought the footage of Arthur Road prison from the Indian government during the Mallya extradition case. The Indian officials responded by saying that the medical as well security arrangements at the prison are in compliance with the international standards and that Mallya once extradited would get complete security cover. LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 10: Indian businessman Vijay Mallya smokes during a break in his extradition ruling at Westminster Magistrates Court on December 10, 2018 in London, England. India is seeking to extradite Mr Mallya from Britain to face criminal action over loans taken out by his defunct Kingfisher Airlines and debts amounting to £1.1 billion pounds, which Indian authorities say Kingfisher owes. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)Jack Taylor/Getty ImagesBoth Modi and Mallya are sought by the Indian government in money laundering and fraud cases amounting to billions of dollars. The fugitive billionaires are currently in the UK, however, Narendra Modi government has sought their extradition, the trial cases of which are being heard in the Westminster Magistrates Court.last_img read more