Body recovered from River Foyle believed to be missing Strabane woman

first_img Body recovered from River Foyle believed to be missing Strabane woman Twitter Homepage BannerNews WhatsApp Police have confirmed that body was recovered from the River Foyle this afternoon.It is believed to be that of 69 year-old Lesley McHugh who has been missing since January 6th.West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan has expressed his sympathy with the family of Ms McHugh and says he is hopeful these developments bring closure for them. Previous articleMain Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Wednesday 7th FebruaryNext articleGame of Thrones bosses leaving Westeros for Star Wars News Highland Pinterest News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Google+ Facebook Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme center_img Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Twitter By News Highland – February 7, 2018 RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Google+ Facebook Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic WhatsApp Pinterest Community Enhancement Programme open for applicationslast_img read more

Some turtle embryos can influence their own sex, study finds

first_imgThe sex of some turtle species is influenced not by genes but by the temperatures they experience in the nests. Embryos of the Chinese pond turtle, however, can move inside the eggs toward cooler or hotter spots and influence their own sex, at least to some extent, a new study has found.This is good news because it means that, at least in theory, the turtles might be able to buffer some of the predicted shifts in the sex ratio because of climate change.But while the embryos seem to be influencing their sex under ideal conditions, researchers say that it may not be enough to counter the rapidly changing climate brought about by human activities. The sex of some turtle species is influenced not by genes but by the temperatures they experience in the nest. Eggs incubated at cooler temperatures develop into males, while those that face warmer temperatures turn out to be females. When temperatures fluctuate between cool and warm, the eggs produce a mix of male and female babies.The Chinese three-keeled pond turtle (also called the Chinese pond turtle) is one such species. But its embryos seem to have some control over their own sexual fate, according to a new study.The embryos can move inside the eggs toward cooler or hotter spots, researchers have found, influencing their own sex to some extent. This is good news because it means that, at least in theory, the turtles might be able to buffer some of the predicted shifts in sex ratio because of climate change. Since hotter temperatures produce only female babies, rising temperatures due to climate change could end up creating populations of mostly female turtles, scientists say, leading to population declines.“Our research shows that a reptile embryo is not just a passive victim of global warming, but may control their own sex fate to some degree,” Du Wei-Guo, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and corresponding author of the study, told Mongabay.A turtle embryo. Image by Ye et al./Current Biology.In previous research, Du and his colleagues had shown that embryos of the freshwater Chinese pond turtle (Mauremys reevesii), an endangered species, move inside eggs in response to temperatures. The significance of this behavior, though, remained unclear.To find out more, the researchers conducted experiments on Chinese pond turtle eggs both in the laboratory — using eggs collected from a private commercial turtle farm in China’s Zhejiang province — and in an outdoor pond where farm turtles had laid some eggs.When incubation temperatures are cooler than 26 degrees Celsius (79 degrees Fahrenheit), the turtle’s eggs all hatch male babies. When the temperature rises above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), every embryo is a female. At 29 degrees Celsius (84 degrees Fahrenheit), or the pivotal temperature, the eggs are known to produce a 50:50 sex ratio.The researchers used capsazepine, a chemical that blocks the eggs from sensing temperature, on half of both the laboratory and outdoor eggs, and monitored the embryos throughout their development. When the eggs hatched, the team found that the embryos inside the eggs treated with capsazepine did not move as much compared to those in eggs that hadn’t been treated. The treated eggs also produced all male babies when the incubation temperature was low, and all females when the temperature was high. Embryos in the untreated eggs, meanwhile, had moved around inside the eggs and hatched into a 50:50 mix of male and female turtles.“Until a few years ago, we thought that even given the choice, turtles would not be able to choose among temperatures in the egg,” Rory Telemeco, an assistant professor at California State University, Fresno, who was not involved in the study, told Mongabay in an email. “Then, thanks to earlier work by this laboratory, as well as myself and other colleagues, we thought that [embryos] could choose among temperatures, but may never be given the opportunity in nature. This study confirms that, at least in this species of turtle, both the choice of thermal environment and ability to choose among them can be available for embryos. Moreover, when available, embryos appear able to make the ‘good’ choice and choose the environment that will result in a more 50:50 sex ratio.”But a turtle embryo likely has very limited control over its own sex in the wild, researchers say. “The sexes of the baby turtles are most sensitive to conditions available in the environment and the mother’s nesting choices,” Telemeco said.The extent to which the embryos can counteract the effects of climate change also remains unclear.Telemeco said that while the embryos seem to be influencing their sex under ideal conditions, those conditions “might not be available much of the time, especially given climate change predictions.”“For embryos to meaningfully alter their temperatures within the egg, eggs must be large, near the surface, and average temperature during a 1-month window must be very close to the pivotal temperature for sex determination,” Telemeco said. “This study confirmed that this behavior only works under those conditions.“Most reptiles produce eggs that are too small, or buried too deep, or exposed to too extreme of average conditions for this behavioral response to have any effect. Therefore, we cannot consider embryo behavioral thermoregulation to be a panacea allowing this species or others to respond to climate change,” he added.Ideal conditions aside, Du agreed that the embryos’ power over their own sex may not be enough to counter the rapidly changing climate brought about by human activities.“However, the discovery of this surprising level of control in such a tiny organism suggests that in at least some cases, evolution has conferred an ability to deal with such challenges,” Du said.Chinese pond turtle. Image by Σ64 via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0).Citation:Ye, Y., Ma, L., Sun, B., Li, T., Wang, Y., Shine, R., and Du, W. (2019) The embryos of turtles can influence their own sexual destinies. Current Biology. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2019.06.038 Article published by Shreya Dasgupta Animals, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, freshwater turtles, Green, Herps, Reptiles, Research, Turtles, Turtles And Tortoises, Wildlife center_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 overSponsoredlast_img read more

Analysis: Floating solar power along the dammed-up Mekong River

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 This year, the first floating solar power generating system in Southeast Asia was deployed on a reservoir in Vietnam.Floating solar power systems are being written into the energy master plans of Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines as well as Vietnam, and into the calculations of investment banks.The technology presents an alternative to additional hydroelectric power projects. For two decades or more, alarms have been sounding for the Mekong Delta. It’s being hammered by climate change, by a proliferation of upstream dams, by unsustainable and inappropriate farming practices, by greed and political expediency. The punishment the delta’s taking has been well reported, first in scholarly papers, then in specialized publications and appeals by NGOs.Now there’s a consensus: an environmental disaster is inexorably unfolding over 75,000 square kilometers (29,000 square miles) of famously fertile lowlands in Vietnam and Cambodia, home to some 35 million farmers and fishermen. Major media are publishing melancholy obituaries for the Mekong that once was.And yet, in the autumn of a year when the Mekong flood pulse came later than ever, there’s reason to believe that disruptive technology and market forces will spare the Mekong Delta more irreversible disturbance to its hydrology and ecosystems. It boils down to this: low-cost, easily scalable solar power generating technologies have destroyed the economic case for additional hydroelectric power projects.Gaining groundA floating solar power generating system, the first in Southeast Asia, was deployed this year on a reservoir in south-central Vietnam. The 47.5 megawatt Da Mi project was financed by an Asian Development Bank loan. Its builder and operator is a subsidiary of Vietnam’s national power company, EVN.Da Mi is not a heavily subsidized demonstration project, but instead a very sensible response to market incentives. To jump-start a shift toward solar power generation, Vietnam’s government had instructed EVN to pay 9.35 U.S. cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for 20 years to any project brought online by June 30, 2019. For the operators of the Da Mi hydroelectric power plant, the economics of integrating a solar system with the existing dam were compelling. The 50-hectare (124-acre) array of solar panels, each tilted to a precisely calculated angle to maximize solar gain, began supplying power to Vietnam’s national grid in May.Because the cost of solar photovoltaic panels has fallen so sharply in the last decade, and because utility-scale installations can be completed in a matter of months, these projects are now competitive with coal, gas, hydro or nuclear. Panel fabrication and battery storage costs are widely expected to fall much further. Floating solar power arrays constructed on the reservoirs of existing hydropower dams are particularly cost-effective; there are no site acquisition costs, they are simple to scale up as demand increases, transmission infrastructure is already in place, and power generation can be optimized by relying chiefly on photovoltaic power during daylight hours and on hydropower at night.Floating solar power systems are being written into the energy master plans of Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines as well as Vietnam, and into the calculations of investment banks.Floating solar power on a larger scale, 400 megawatt peak (MWp) power, also figures as an alternative to plans to build a massive dam and power plant on the Mekong in eastern Cambodia. By 2014, growing concern over the proposed Sambor Dam’s ecological impact persuaded the Cambodian government to commission a study of alternative designs. The study, delivered three years later by the California-based Natural Heritage Institute (NHI), declared the project an ecological disaster that no set of environmental mitigation features could overcome. Remarkably, the NHI found that an entirely different alternative, floating solar photovoltaic arrays on the nearby Lower Se San 2 reservoir, could deliver electricity to the Cambodian grid at lower life-cycle cost than any permutation of the Sambor scheme, and without significant environmental impacts.Purely on economic and financial grounds, the Sambor hydro plan ought to be dead. However, Cambodia is a country in the early stages of industrialization; its power needs are growing by 15 to 20 percent annually. The country is also a de facto ally of China, on which it counts to deter efforts by Vietnam or Thailand to push it around. Official corruption is rife. Complaints from citizens don’t seem to impress the Phnom Penh authorities. If Chinese state banks remain willing to lend Chinese companies the cash needed to build Sambor and another controversial dam further upstream at Stung Treng, will Phnom Penh have the sense to refuse it?Laos still dreams of getting rich from power exports. Although it, too, is considering an NHI floating solar proposal, neither the ever more dismal economics of hydropower nor accumulating debts to Sinohydro and other Chinese contractors have yet dimmed Vientiane’s enthusiasm to host about 200 power-producing dams. Nor have its neighbors yet backed away from promises to import large amounts of power from Laos. Thailand has reportedly committed to raise its import of power from Laos to 9,000 megawatts (MW) by 2025 from the present 4,000 MW or so; Vietnam, meanwhile, has plans to take 5,000 MW by 2030; and Cambodia has just promised to take 2,400 MW beginning in 2024 from coal-fired power plants now under construction in Laos.In Vietnam, which has left hardly a river within its own borders undammed, expert opinion has now turned sharply against hydroelectric projects on the Mekong and its tributaries. As often reported in the Vietnamese vernacular press, dams in China, on tributaries of the Mekong in Vietnam’s highlands, and on river after river in Laos have throttled the annual flow of nutrient-laden silt to Vietnam’s Mekong Delta provinces and depleted fishing stocks there. Ironically, an engineering and construction firm with close government ties, PetroVietnam Power, has announced that it will begin construction of a $2 billion, 1,400 MWp dam and power plant on the Mekong just above Luang Prabang in 2020; a Thai firm, Chart Karnchang, is expected to be a major subcontractor.Cambodia and its upstream neighbor, Laos, are willing to take foreign aid aimed at greening up their power grids, but neither feels much obligation to reduce an admittedly tiny carbon footprint. In short, though generating power from coal or damming rivers is fast becoming uneconomical, the old ways still have considerable momentum.The Mekong River in Laos, site of the Xayaburi Dam. Photo by International Rivers CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0 (Flickr)A bold visionNetting out these crosscurrents, it’s by no means certain that good technology will drive out bad, particularly at a scale that meets mainland Southeast Asia’s fast-growing power demand.Still, environmentalists can dream.One of them is Vietnamese-American engineer Long Pham. Since 1995, Long’s Viet Ecology Foundation has fostered dialogue between experts in the Vietnamese refugee diaspora and counterparts in Vietnam. Now he is urging policymakers in Cambodia to consider his vision of a 28,500 MWp floating solar energy plant on Southeast Asia’s largest lake, the Tonle Sap.Long’s “Sun on the Lake” project is bold in its scope: he proposes a floating installation that is scaled up year after year in step with Cambodia’s growing power needs until it is 590 times the size of the Da Mi solar generating plant in Vietnam mentioned earlier, 70 times larger than the solar plant proposed by the NHI on Cambodia’s Lower Se San 2 reservoir as a partial alternative to the Sambor hydro project, and the equivalent of 47 average-sized coal-powered generating plants.The Tonle Sap is an ideal location for a floating solar power array: it’s one of the sunniest places in Southeast Asia. Panels tilted south at a 14 degree angle will receive, on average, 2,034 kWh of irradiation per square meter per year.Long foresees that a floating solar power system on the Tonle Sap can be built out in 34-square-kilometer (13-square-mile) annual increments to keep pace with Cambodia’s thirst for power. He assumes that the cost of solar panels, currently about $800/kWh, will decline 2 percent per year and battery storage costs will also decline. Adding operational and maintenance costs and the cost of connection to Cambodia’s national grid, Long calculates that the floating solar array could meet all of Cambodia’s energy demand from 2020 to 2045, and likely beyond, for a levelized cost of 7.73 cents per kWh. That’s comparable to the cost of building more dams on the Mekong mainstream, and less than half what Cambodian consumers now pay for electricity.A floating village on the Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia. Upstream dams are impacting the Mekong River, and with it, the lives of those who live downstream. Image by Jialiang Gao GNU Free Documentation License 1.2 (Wikimedia).When avoided losses — the preservation of inland fisheries and agricultural land, and the creation of jobs for Cambodia’s riparian population — are considered, the levelized cost of power from the Sun on the Lake project falls by Long’s calculation to only 4.93 cents per kWh.Long does not suggest who’s going to provide the $31 billion he estimates will be needed to build the 330-square-kilometer (127-square-mile) Tonle Sap project. Will Chinese banks be as keen to fund a huge floating solar array as they have been to lend to hydroelectricity projects? That’s entirely conceivable; China’s factories produce more than 60 percent of the global supply of solar panels and its engineers have plenty of experience building solar farms. “It would be a high-profile opportunity for the Chinese to show their neighbors that they are good big brothers,” Long says.Choices aheadIf not China, perhaps Western development banks and contractors can be persuaded to step up to this unique opportunity to avert ecological catastrophe and profit from doing so. In the near term, however, they’ll more likely focus on the floating solar concept proposed by the NHI in July 2018, which would leverage existing hydropower plants and their reservoirs — five in Cambodia and nine in Laos — to produce an additional 5,000 MW of power.Co-locating floating solar with existing hydropower plants, explains NHI CEO Greg Thomas, roughly doubles power output and reduces its variability. This is because the two modes of power generation are complementary. During the day, the hydropower turbines can be ramped down except when needed to balance dips in solar output induced by passing clouds. At night, taking advantage of the water added to the reservoirs during the day, the turbines can be run at higher speed.Solar retrofit of existing dams, Thomas adds, would enable Laos to meet its ambitious power export targets by building fewer dams and bringing additional power online far faster and at substantially lower cost.An image from National Geographic’s May 2015 feature on Mekong Dams shows the Miaowei dam under construction in 2012. Image courtesy of manhhai/Flickr.Will the decision-makers in Vientiane and Phnom Penh forgo the hydropower projects that they endorsed many years ago, before environmental impacts were properly understood and when wind and solar power alternatives were hardly conceivable?In Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen and a few trusted aides monopolize decision-making. The national power development plan, about to be updated, will likely be once again a grab bag of possibilities. Chronic power shortages are a brake on Cambodia’s economic growth, and conventional wisdom has it that what gets built will be whatever somebody is willing to finance at power prices set by the national power company, EDC. The urgency of getting more power onto the grid should favor solar, especially floating solar, but for that to become a big part of the solution, EDC will have to improve its grid stabilization capability.As utility-scale power generation from wind and solar (floating or not) gains traction in Thailand and Vietnam, the Lao government will face difficult choices. It must face up to the very real possibility that the fast-falling cost of generating power within their own borders will induce both Thailand and Vietnam to walk away from commitments to purchase power produced by the erstwhile “Battery of Southeast Asia.” In that case, further hydropower development on the Mekong and its tributaries will no longer be financeable.David Brown, a retired American diplomat, is now a frequent writer on contemporary Vietnam and its neighborhood. In 2016 he produced an in-depth, four-part series for Mongabay exploring threats facing the Mekong Delta and how they might be addressed. Banner: A fisherman on the Mekong River in Laos. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.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. Analysis, Coal, Dams, Economics, Energy Politics, Environment, Environmental Economics, Environmental Policy, Environmental Politics, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Infrastructure, Mekong Dams, Renewable Energy, Rivers, Solar Power, Water center_img Article published by mongabayauthorlast_img read more

Southampton defender commits future to the club

first_img Defender Jose Fonte (right) has committed his future to Southampton Southampton defender Jose Fonte has signed a new contract at St Mary’s Stadium.The Saints captain, 31, has penned a three-year deal which will keep at the club until the summer of 2018.Since joining from Crystal Palace in 2010, Fonte has been key in helping Southampton’s rise from League One to the Premier League, making 247 appearances in all competitions. Fonte, who featured Portugal in the international break for his sixth and seventh international caps, said: “I’m obviously very pleased and very happy.“I want to thank the manager, Les Reed, Ralph [Krueger], Katharina [Liebherr] – all of the staff and all of the board – for showing their trust and belief in me.“I am extremely happy that they are giving me this opportunity to keep being in this great club, and I hope I can give back with good performances and by helping the club move forward.“This is where I feel happy and where I’ve been very successful, so this is where I want to be and where I want to win.”The centre-back started out at Benfica before moving to Selhurst Park, where he spent two-and-a-half years. He has been an ever-present in Southampton’s defence this season, featuring 13 times in all competitions.“I’m very pleased because he’s an important player for the team – he’s our captain,” a delighted Ronald Koeman added.“He has played already several years for the club and he is really feeling well in Southampton – he’s a great professional and an example how you have to behave in football. “He knows what you have to do to develop yourself, and I’m very happy that he stays for more years.”Koeman’s Southampton return to Premier League action this weekend when they host Leicester City looking to make it three wins in as many games. 1last_img read more

Team South Africa profile: Austin Smith

first_img11 May 2012“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary”. That’s the motto that drives the captain of the South African men’s hockey team, Austin Smith.Under coach Gregg Clark, Smith recently led South Africa to a stirring 2-1 victory over Japan in the Olympic qualifying tournament in Kakamigahara to claim the last available hockey place at the London Olympic Games.That victory brought to an end a tough qualifying road for the South African men’s team. They were guaranteed a place at the Olympics after being crowned African champions in September 2011, but the South African Sports Commission and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) ruled that they would have to prove themselves against tougher competition to secure a place in London.Narrow missSascoc tasked the South Africa team with finishing at least runner-up in the Champions Challenge. They narrowly missed out on achieving that finish; a 3-1 win over world number eight Argentina left South Africa in third place.That left Smith and company with the option of winning the qualifying tournament in Kakamigahara, or staying at home while the South African women’s team, which won an Olympic qualifying tournament in New Delhi, went to London. Thankfully for the men’s team, they did what was necessary.Smith will be playing in his second Olympics. Previously, in 2008 in Beijing, he finished as the team’s top scorer, netting four times as the side finished a disappointing twelfth, without a win. Four years on from Beijing, Smith will lead a much better team in London.Sacrifices and commitmentIt has been quite a journey to the top for Smith, and it has required some sacrifices and huge commitment to his chosen sport.The youngest of four children, he began playing the game at the age of five. With the guidance of his siblings and of parents who played competitive hockey in South Africa and the United Kingdom, the game came to him quickly.He found a mentor at school in speedy former national striker Murray Anderson, who encouraged Smith to focus his energy on hockey. Anderson believed that his young protege had it in him to become an international player, and Smith was just 12 years of age at the time!National coloursIn high school, he represented his province at under-13 level and then earned national colours in the under-16 and under-18 age groups, and captained both teams.In March 2004, aged only 18, he earned his first call-up for South Africa in a three-test series against Canada. “It was an incredible feeling walking onto the field to play my first match for South Africa, and it remains a special moment every time I wear the green and gold,” he said in a recent interview with the South African Hockey Association.Smith, though, later admitted that he wasn’t quite ready for the big step up and said he felt out of his depth. Once he had the opportunity to train regularly with the national team, he began to feel more comfortable.ReadingThe following year, Smith played for South Africa at the Under-21 World Cup in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He also joined top English club Reading, where he remained for four years.“Playing in the English Premier League made the biggest difference in my game. The standard of the training sessions was what I enjoyed the most. Although we only trained for two hours twice a week, with a game on the weekend, the quality of what we did, and with the players I had around me, made it top quality,” he said.“I chose Reading Hockey Club because of the level of players that were already there. It meant that every time I trained I needed to be at my best, and my game rapidly developed in all aspects.”During his time with Reading, the club won the English Premier League twice and made the last eight of the European League in consecutive years.Olympic dreamIn 2008, Smith realised a lifelong dream when he took part in the Olympic Games. He was named the South African men’s Player of the Year, as well as Reading Hockey Club Player of the Year.The following year, he was appointed captain of South Africa. He also made a move from the UK to The Netherlands, joining Den Bosch to play in the Dutch League, regarded as possibly the best league in the world.That same year, 2009, Smith was named in the World All Star Team, proof that he had elevated his game to among the elite of the hockey world.World CupHe helped South Africa qualify for the 2010 World Cup by leading the team to victory in the African Championships.They finished tenth in the World Cup and placed fifth at the Commonwealth Games. Smith was once again named South Africa’s Player of the Year.In 2011, he led South Africa to the title of African champions once more.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

SEA Games: Kayla Richardson skips 100m dash, targets 200m gold

first_imgPH Volcanoes off to hot start in SEA Games View comments Kayla, according to her father Jeffrey, has a personal best of 23.60 seconds in 200m but ran 23.45 “with a little tailwind.”Her expected opponent in 200m is Singaporean champion Shanti Perreira, who won it with a time of 23.60 seconds two years ago in her backyard. Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Man sworn in as lawyer by judge who sentenced him to prison as a teen 20 years ago LATEST STORIES MOST READcenter_img LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games “I don’t really want to say that I am giving it up, but this is not the event I have been training for,” said Richardson, who snared silver in 200m right after her century dash triumph two years ago.The team is looking at finally clinching the 200m gold this time and save the University of Southern California sophomore for possible golds in 4X100 and 4×400  relays.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutREAD: With a heart for old people, Richardson twins hope to run to golden finishShe will be running in the relays with twin sister Kyla, Katherine Santos and either Eloisa Luzon or another Fil-American Zion Nelson Corrales. UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students PLAY LIST 01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd Flags of SEA Games countries raised at Athletes Village Read Next Kayla Anise Richardson of the Philippines (center) finishes first for the gold medal at the 28th SEA Games Women’s 100m finals held at the National Stadium, Singapore Sports Hub. INQUIRER PHOTO/RAFFY LERMAKUALA LUMPUR — In an apparent strategic shift, reigning century dash queen Kayla Richardson won’t defend her Southeast Asian Games crown and instead will concentrate on 200-meter and the relays.The 17-year-old Richardson said she didn’t train for the 100m dash — easily the showcase event of centrepiece sport of athletics.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

SIXTY SECONDS IN TOUCH

first_imgWelcome to the last edition of Sixty Seconds in Touch for 2005…yes that’s right! The final edition for 2005! * Yes, after another year of my weekly Sixty Seconds in Touch column, I’m sad to say this will be the final edition for 2005. It has been a big year for the column with all the happenings of 2005. Rumour has it that the new website (to be released in the next few weeks) will have a special section on the front page purely for each weekly column! We’re moving up in the world! * With the office closed over the Christmas period, some of the TFA staff (including myself) are taking the opportunity to use leave, to spend time with family and friends over the holiday. Sixty Seconds in Touch will be back first thing next year, Tuesday January 3rd to be precise! So only 2 weeks will be missed. * Well, firstly happy birthday to TFA’s Maree Curran, we hope you’re having a great day today! * There’s all new merchandise in the TFA office, including referees gear, a cover for personal organisers and also Azuma shoes. Check out the following story for all the details, pictures and prices: MERCHANDISE FOR SALE * The Azuma Touch shoes are starting to take off, as people are purchasing shoes for Christmas presents or for their upcoming summer season. At just $105 the Azuma Bexsta are a great price and are available in white, black or blue. * In NSW news, the Sydney Scorpions are holding their NTL trials. Check out www.nswtouch.com.au for all the info. * NSW Touch are also running a Level One Coaching Course at Tempe on Saturday 4 February 2006 from 8:30am – 4:30pm at the NSWTA Clubhouse – Canterbury Velodrome Bayview Ave, Earlwood. The cost is $95 and includes course workbook and materials and lunch. Any person/s who would like to do the course please contact Kylie Hearne in the NSWTA Office on 9558 9333 or [email protected] with your full name and address details. If you have any questions in regards to Level 1 Coaching courses in the Sydney area please contact Andrew Lees on 02 9558 9333 or email [email protected] * ACT Touch have announced their NTL teams, they can be seen at www.acttouch.com.au, check out the competition coming from the Nations capital. * Elwood Park Touch Association retained it’s champion affiliate tag with a magnificent showing in this years Victorian State Affiliates Cup at Doveton on Saturday. Contesting the final of all divisions on offer, Elwood managed only one win – the Men’s Open – but took overall competition points over the new Moorabbin outfit from their consistent finals attendance across the board. The newly formed Moorabbin affiliate – fielding sides containing many past & present Elwood reps – would be happy nonetheless with their inaugural showing, taking out titles in the Women’s Open and Men’s 30s division, and adding a new dimension to the Affiliates competition. FINALS RESULTS: Mens Open Elwood (3) def Moorabbin (1) Womens Open Moorabbin (1) def Elwood (0) Mens 30s Moorabbin (3) def Elwood (1) Mens 35s Diamond Valley (3) def Elwood (2) Mens 40s Albert Park (5) def Elwood (2) Full details of the day may be found on the VTA Website. * The December edition of Touch-e-Talk, the online newsletter has been released. Click here to view the newsletter: http://www.austouch.com.au/uimages//967.pdf * Attention all referees for the NTL: The deadline for early bird nomination is TOMORROW DECEMBER 14. Discounts for one or both tournaments will apply if your nomination is received by Chris Tarlinton at the TFA office by close of business tomorrow. You can fax the forms to (02) 6285 2820. * NTL Gear order forms for referees: This will be out within the next 1-2 weeks. * The TFA Annual General Meeting will be held on February 11 in the TFA Conference Room in the national office at Canberra. * That’s it for now, but remember Sixty Seconds in Touch will be back on January 3rd 2006! Stay safe over the holidays, enjoy your time with family and friends and remember to drive carefully on the roads. By Rachel Grantlast_img read more

Johns and Jones to Play in Touch Football Charity Match at Auckland Nines

first_imgRugby League greats Andrew Johns and Stacey Jones will come out of ‘retirement’ this weekend in the name of charity at the inaugural 2014 Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines. Johns and Jones will pull on the boots once again to raise funds for NZ charity, The Rising Foundation, when they line up in the first Beko Media Stars Touch Football match between New Zealand and Australia to be played prior to the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines final at Eden Park on Sunday, 16 February. The nine-a-side charity Touch Football match will see a select group of former players now working in the Australian and New Zealand media being joined by print, radio and television reporters. The match will be played over two nine-minute halves in front of a crowd of more than 46,000. Johns will be joined in the Australian side by former Test players Gorden Tallis and Danny Buderus, and ex-premiership winning players Brett Finch (NSW Origin) and Steve Turner.The New Zealand side will feature former Kiwi internationals in Jones, Richie Barnett, Monty Betham and Wairangi Koopu.Home appliance brand, Beko, will sponsor the media match with the aim of trying to raise $20,000 for The Rising Foundation.  Beko will donate $2,000 to The Rising Foundation for each try scored in the media match. The Rising Foundation was established by a group of former South Auckland children with an aim to assisting at-risk-youth to develop to their full potential. Chairman John Bongard said these children in New Zealand are on the verge of being lost to their families, schools and community. “The Foundation does this through developing pathways, involving parents, schools and other agencies using outdoor education programs, one to one mentoring and group therapy,’’ Mr Bongard said.Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs CEO Raelene Castle is on The Rising Foundation Board. Australian team (not in playing numbers)1.      Andrew Johns, Captain, (Rugby League Week ‘Immortal’)2.      Gorden Tallis (Qld Origin, Australia)3.      Brett Finch (NSW Origin)4.      Danny Buderus (NSW Origin, Australia)5.      Steve Turner (ex Melbourne/Bulldogs premiership winning winger)6.      Brent Read (reporter, The Australian)7.      Michael Chammas (reporter, Sydney Morning Herald)8.      Josh Massoud (reporter, The Daily Telegraph)9.      David Riccio (reporter, The Daily Telegraph)10.  Pat Molihan (reporter, Channel 7)11.  Shannon Byrne (reporter, ABC Radio)12.  Steve Hart (reporter, Fox Sports News)13.  Tony Adams (reporter, RLW’s ‘The Mole’)NZ Team List (not in playing numbers)1.      Stacey Jones, Captain, (Sky Sport, ex NZ Test player) 2.      Sam Ackerman (reporter, TV 3 News)3.      Richie Barnett (reporter, NZ Herald/SKY TV, ex NZ Test player)4.      Jenny May Coffin (reporter, TV 1 News, ex Silver Fern netball player)5.      Monty Betham (SKY Sport, ex NZ Test player)6.      Wairangi Koopu (Sky Sport/Maori TV, ex NZ Test player)7.      Karl Te Nana (reporter, SKY TV/ Maori TV, ex NZ Sevens player)8.      Sam Ackerman (reporter, TV 3 News)9.      Nickson Clark (Mai FM breakfast host)10.  Sam Wallace (TV 1 Breakfast)11.  James McConie (Prime TV)12.  Bryce Casey (The Rock Breakfast host)13.  Dominic Harvey (The Edge Breakfast host) Referee: Stephen Killgallon (Fairfax Media, ex Test international referee)To learn more about Beko Home Appliances, click here:http://www.beko.com.au/ To learn more about The Rising Foundation, click here:http://www.therisingfoundation.org.nz/about_us/To keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and results from the Auckland Nines, please click on the link below. http://www.nrl.com/DrawResults/AucklandNines/tabid/11376/Default.aspx  2014 Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines February 15 – 16, Eden Park, AucklandTwitter/FacebookNRL Nines is on Twitter and Facebook @NRLAkl9s #DickSmith9sDick Smith is on Twitter and Facebook @DickSmithAU #DickSmith9’sRelated LinksAuckland Nines Touchlast_img read more

15 Secrets to Great Subject Lines

first_imgKatya’s note: The name of a white paper recently caught my eye – it promised 15 rules to good email subject lines. My marketing colleague Rebecca Ruby here at Network for Good was interested too — and lucky for us, she read it and summarizes it here for us. Thanks Rebecca!By Rebecca Ruby, marketing maven at Network for GoodLyris HQ has a great a white paper “Email Subject Lines: 15 Rules to Write Them Right,” which highlights the make-or-break importance of subject lines. It’s well worth taking a few moments to go through their registration and obtain your own copy, but here my favorite highlights:•Test! Test subject lines. Write them early (not at the last minute). Test again, measure results, and use those analytics to drive future content.•Structure and content are both important. You need to be cognizant of where the key info goes, as well as how strong your call-to-action is.•Subject lines play into trust-building. The subject line can include a branding element or another device to tie to the “from” address. A quick way to kill that positive messaging? Stretching the truth about what’s inside the message.Here’s a breakdown of their entire list:1. Read the newspaper. Newspaper headlines highlight a story’s most important fact in a limited space—which is coincidentally exactly what marketing email subject lines should do.2. There is no sure-fire formula. Subject lines are non-recyclable and not necessarily the same when sending different types of campaigns.3. Test, test, test. According to rule 2, there’s not a surefire winner, so be sure to allow time for testing.4. Support the “from” line. The “from” tells recipients who sent the message, and the subject line sells that recipient on whether to open it. You don’t need to repeat your company name in the subject, but do consider some subject-line branding (ex: the name of the newsletter).5. List key info first. Put the key information in the first 50 characters. Not sure where the subject line will be cut off? Send it to yourself to test and check!6. Open rates don’t always measure subject-line success. Your end goal is not necessarily high open rate, but to have subscribers take a specific action. Focus on those results instead of open-rate numbers.7. Personalize. Personalize subject lines based on your recipients’ content preferences and/or interests, and then be sure to make it easy for readers to find and update this information upon receiving your message.8. Urgency drives action. Set deadlines for action, and consider using a series: “Only five days left until–!” followed up later in the week with, “Just 24 hours left until–”9. Watch those spam filters. Run your copy through a content checker to identify spam-like words, phrases and construction. A couple of big no-no’s: all capital letters and excessive use of exclamation points.10. “Free” is not evil. As a follow-up to number 9, avoid putting the word “free” first, but you needn’t leave it out entirely.11. Lead, but don’t mislead. Subject lines are not the place to overpromise. Be truthful about whatever the text claims to avoid distrust.12. Write and test early and often. Flip your thinking: Craft and test your subject line prior to composing the rest of your message. (Remember rule 3?)13. Review subject-line performance over your last several campaigns or newsletters. Not only will this type of data-mining shed light on your subject-line successes (highest conversation rates, click-through rate, etc.), it will drive future content strategies.14. Continue the conversation. Sending campaigns more frequently than once per month or quarter helps create a back-and-forth with readers, and also allows for content follow-up if something from a previous campaign has news.15. Can you pass the must-open/must-read test? Must-read means this: If a subscriber doesn’t open the email, they will feel like they are out of the loop and may have missed an offer they will regret not taking advantage of. Also, be sure to check out whether your message is going to the bulk-folder (see rule 9).last_img read more