Brazilian environmentalists tell residents to urinate in shower to save water
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Brazilian environmentalists tell residents to urinate in shower to save water

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Environmentalists in Brazil are urging the country’s residents to urinate in the shower while washing themselves, to help conserve water and save the rainforest. Television ads being aired in the country claim that by doing so, the nation could save over 1,000 gallons of water per household each year.

SOS Mata Atlantica ran the ad campaign in an attempt to use comedy to get people to reduce the amount of water they use. “[The ad is] a way to be playful about a serious subject,” said Adriana Kfouri, a spokesperson for Atlantica.

The animated ad narrated by children shows people, including a trapeze artist, an alien and dancers, all taking a shower while at the same time, urinating in it. The ending of the ad then states, “Pee in the shower! Save the Atlantic rainforest!”

Ken Livingstone, former mayor of London, England, proposed a similar campaign in 2006. He said urine should be classified as a “green waste” and that “there is no earthly reason that you need to flush the loo if you have merely urinated. That’s a huge saving of water.”

2012 Olympics clash with Ramadan
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2012 Olympics clash with Ramadan

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Muslim groups from across the world are criticising the organisers of the 2012 Olympics in London after it was revealed that the games will take place over Ramadan. The most holy month in the Muslim calendar, which will take place from the 21 July to 20 August in 2012, involves fasting during daylight hours and will affect an estimated 3,000 athletes.

Joanna Manning Cooper, spokesman for the games said: “We did know about it when we submitted our bid and we have always believed that we could find ways to accommodate it.”Nevertheless, this will come as a huge embarrassment for the organisers who have tried to ensure the event involve all of Britain’s ethnic communities.A quarter of the athletes who took part in the 2004 Athens Olympics were from predominantly Muslim countries and the fast will put any athletes involved at a clear disadvantage.

The chairman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, Massoud Shadjared said: “This is going to disadvantage the athletes and alienate the Asian communities by saying they don’t matter. It’s not only going to affect the participants, it’s going to affect all the people who want to watch the games.”

The president of the National Olympic Committee of Turkey, Togay Bayalti, said: “This will be difficult for Muslim athletes. They don’t have to observe Ramadan if they are doing sport and travelling but they will have to decide whether it is important to them. “It would be nice for the friendship of the Games if they had chosen a different date.”

The games will run from the 27 July to 12 August to coincide with the British Summer holidays. The summer holidays are a six week period running from mid July to early September. During this time, public transportation is generally less crowded and it will be easier to find the 70,000 volunteers needed to keep the games running. The International Olympics Committee has specified that the games must take place between July 15 to August 31. Giselle Davies, IOC spokesperson said, “We give a window to the five bid cities. The host city selects the dates within that window.”

The organisers are working with the Muslim Council of Great Britain to find ways around the problem.

Euro reaches new lows
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Euro reaches new lows

Friday, July 15, 2011

On Tuesday, the Euro fell to a new record low in relation to the Swiss Franc, and to multi-month lows against the U.S. Dollar and Japanese yen; all considered by investors to be safe currencies during times of economic turmoil.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that recent comments from the newly installed head of the International Monetary Fund, France’s Christine Lagarde, resulted in a sell-off of the Euro. At a roundtable discussion in Washington, Lagarde noted that the IMF had not yet reached discussion of terms and conditions of a second Greek bailout plan. In fact, a representative from the IMF is currently meeting with Eurozone policymakers to draft such a new proposal. The yield differential between Italian bonds and German bonds has spread to more than 300 basis points, something not seen in over a decade and evidence of investors’ concern.

Adding to the Euro’s woes is the upcoming release of the bank stress tests on Friday. The European Bankers Association said that they expect the data release to shed new light on the Eurozone’s banking situation. Representatives of several of the Eurozone’s governments, including Germany, have requested that the association consider releasing fewer specific details for fear that investor panic will ensue. The inadequacy of the capitalization rates has been an issue with the European Central Bank, whose president recently called upon Eurozone banks to make every effort to put their balance sheets in order.

For the time being at least, an unsubstantiated rumor reported by the Wall Street Journal states that the Eurozone’s central banks’ purchase of periphery debt has helped to quell the downward momentum of the Euro.

News briefs:May 08, 2010
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News briefs:May 08, 2010
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China loans Ethiopia US$349 million for construction of expressway
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China loans Ethiopia US$349 million for construction of expressway

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

China has loaned Ethiopia US$349 million worth of funds for the construction of the the country’s first modern expressway, making Ethiopia among the first beneficiaries of the recently implemented China-Africa development funding plan.

The road is to be close to 80 kilometres long, and will connect Nazaret (also called Adama), the country’s second-largest city, with the capital, Addis Ababa.

Funds from the Export-Import Bank of China are to be used to give the loans, according to the agreement. The deal was signed by Li Ruogu, the president of China’s Export-Import Bank, and Ahmed Shide, the Ethiopian state minister of finance and economic development.

According to the Ethiopian News Agency, the motorway is to be completed by 2014. The country has also agreed to other financial deals with China, mainly in the telecommunications and energy sectors.

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Bangladesh security tightened following Pilkhana massacre and Bashundhara City fire
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Bangladesh security tightened following Pilkhana massacre and Bashundhara City fire

Friday, March 20, 2009

Following the Pilkhana massacre which occurred February 25 and 26 leaving 74 dead and the inferno at the Bashundhara City shopping mall complex March 13 leaving seven dead, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said security measures are being tightened countrywide across Bangladesh.

Fire drills will be enacted at all key-point installations (KPI). Fire fighting systems will be examined by the fire brigade and the public works department (PWD) to ensure functionality. Security measures will be enhanced supplementing areas under private security such as at the Bashundhara City Complex.

The Fire Service and Civil Defence Department requires modernization and needs new equipment to fight fires past the sixth floor of buildings. The Fire Brigade says it needs turntable ladders, snorkels, foam-tenders, lighting units, emergency tenders, fireproof uniforms, and rescue ropes for fire fighting and rescue operations. Transportation to fires is also an issue due to narrow roads, low electrical wires and congestion.

The Bangladesh National Building Code requires fire fighting equipment installed in buildings over seven floors. This code is to be monitored by authorities to ensure compliance with the new guidelines and to make sure buildings are being maintained.

The Bashundhara City Complex opened Monday for shoppers two days after Friday’s blaze. A probe is underway to determine the cause of the fire and to assess structural damage.

Loss of life was minimized as the blaze broke out on a Friday, the beginning of the weekend in Bangladesh, so offices in the upper floors were empty. The lower eight floors are used for shopping and the upper floors are all Bashundhara Group offices.

The mall is valued at Tk 7.0 billion (US$100 million). It is not known if the complex is covered by fire insurance.

It is estimated that it will take over two years to rebuild the area damaged by flames which were burned down to a skeleton. Bashundhara City’s technical advisor, Latifur Rahman, estimated damages at Tk 2.0 billion (US$29m).

Only one television cameraman has been allowed in to film the burnt area. None of the 2,500 shops, cinemas or cafes were burnt by the inferno. The seventh and eighth floors still experience smoke damage, and there was water damage to merchandise.

A three member committee is currently investigating the cause of the fire which will consist of Iqbal Khan Chowdhury, joint secretary of the ministry, representatives of the police, IGP Noor Muhammad, and fire brigade, Director General Abu Nayeem Md Shahidullah. The committee is required to report within the week with their findings. The forensics department is also sifting through the burnt remains.

The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industries has also formed a committee which has begun interviewing witnesses and recording their testimony alongside the government committee.

It has been discovered that 150 closed circuit cameras were not being used when the fire started. Another mystery is why the mall fire fighting system has been found unused.

Why the fire burnt so fiercely is a matter to think….These matters seem to be mysterious

“In the shopping mall there is an ultra-technology elevator which runs even without electricity but we have found that locked,” Iqbal Khan Chowdhury, joint secretary (Police) of the home ministry, said. “Why the fire burnt so fiercely is a matter to think. We have to see if there was any incendiary substance there. These matters seem to be mysterious.”

Mall management has been asked to submit substances and items which would have been in the upper floors when the fire started. The fire erupted on the 17th floor and spread quickly to the two floors above and engulfed the three floors below. The aerial ladders belonging to the Fire Service and Civil Defence reached as high as the 13th floor of the 21-storey building.

Videos have been sent to the United States (US) for examination to assist in determining the cause of the fire and to help in the damage assessment. Experts from the US are expected to arrive soon.

Firefighters were brought to the rooftop of the 20-storey tower by helicopter. The only fatality in this operation was Baki Billa, a firefighter of Bashundhara City firefighting department, who fell when climbing down a rope from a helicopter to the roof of the building. Three other firefighters made the transition safely. At this same time, the chief security officer was safely rescued by the Bangladesh Air Force helicopter, a Bell 212. Six security officers of the complex also lost their lives.

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Two die in two-car crash near Connel, Scotland
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Two die in two-car crash near Connel, Scotland

Friday, August 2, 2013

A man and a woman have been killed in a road traffic accident near Connel in the west of Scotland. Seven people, including three children, were also injured in the head-on collision on the A85 road in Argyll at approximately 1830 BST (1730 UTC) yesterday.

A 74-year-old female passenger of a blue Honda CRV and a 32-year-old male passenger of a blue Vauxhall Vectra died at the scene of the crash. The Vauxhall driver, a 32-year-old woman, was transported by helicopter to Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital, where she is reportedly in a critical albeit stable condition.

Three child passengers in the Vauxhall, aged fourteen, five and two, were taken to Oban Hospital and given treatment for minor injuries, as were the Honda’s 51-year-old female driver and two female passengers aged 49 and 46.

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said hydraulic cutting equipment was used during rescue efforts. “Ambulance personnel and police officers worked closely with our team throughout the incident but sadly one passenger from each car lost their life”, the spokesperson continued. “The thoughts of all emergency responders who were at the scene will be with the casualties and their loved ones as they attempt to come to terms with what has happened.”

Police have appealed for potential witnesses to contact them.

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Giant tuna sold for $177,000 at Japanese fish market
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Giant tuna sold for $177,000 at Japanese fish market

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

File:Tuna.jpg

This Tuesday, at a wholesale auction at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, a 512-pound bluefin tuna was sold for over sixteen-million yen ($177,000 USD). The great fish was bought and then shared by the owners of a local sushi restaurant and a Hong Kong-based dining establishment. This tuna is the most expensive fish sold on record since 2001, when a 440-pound tuna was sold for over twenty-million ($220,000) at the very same market.

When asked by local media outlets why he decided to purchase this giant tuna, the Hong Kong restaurateur said, “I want[ed] to make an impact on the Japanese and Hong Kong economies by buying the highest-priced tuna.”

This locally caught tuna was among over two-thousand others bought and sold at this bustling fish market. Japan is the world’s largest consumer of seafood per annum. With tuna being a major staple of their cuisine, the Japanese eat nearly eighty-percent of all commercially caught bluefin.

However, tuna consumption in Japan has declined over recent years due to the change in the spending habits of its people as a result of economic downturns from the most recent recession.

“Consumers are shying away from eating tuna…We are very worried about the trend,” a spokesperson for the Tsukiji market told the Associated Press.

In addition to the lack of demand and declining tuna stocks, fishermen and wholesalers worldwide are worried by the possibility of tighter fishing regulations that will be sanctioned and enforced by the Japanese government. Despite this promise, many environmentalists say that this is not going far enough; they say that the only way to curb the inevitable extinction of the Pacific bluefin tuna is to initiate a trade ban on the fish altogether.

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Report: quarterback Michael Vick won’t plead guilty to killing dogs
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Report: quarterback Michael Vick won’t plead guilty to killing dogs

Friday, August 24, 2007

Atlanta Falcon’s quarterback Michael Vick will enter federal court on Monday, but a newly published report says he will not admit to gambling or killing the dogs. However, Vick is expected to plead guilty to the charge of ‘interstate commerce for the purpose of dogfighting.’

A source told ESPN he did not kill any dogs, but he was present when the dogs were being killed.

Vick faces a maximum of five years in jail. However, a government source told the Associated Press yesterday that prosecutors would most likely recommend a sentence of 12 to 18 months in prison.

Three co-defendants in the case have already pleaded guilty and, if the case goes to trial, will likely testify against Vick.

Vick’s future in the NFL is still uncertain.

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What To Consider Before Choosing Flood Control Installation

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If you live in an area where it rains and floods, you know that you should probably have some type of flood control system in place on your property. However, you might not know the first thing about having these systems installed, or what you can expect. There are a few things that you should consider when you are choosing this type of system for your property.

The Installation Company

While there may be some systems that you could attempt to install on your own, it is not a good idea if you are not familiar with flood control installation. If they were installed incorrectly, it would not do your property any good at all. Instead, you want to take the time to find a quality company in your area that knows and understands these systems and how to install them properly.

Research the company and find out a bit more about them. You should also check their site to see if you can find any testimonials from other customers who have used them. This can give you a better idea of what you can expect.

Types of Products and Systems Used

When you are learning more about the companies you are considering, you will want to learn what types of systems the company can install. What are the materials and are they going to be a good solution for your location? You may want to learn a bit about how the systems work, so you can then ask the installation company questions with at least a small measure of knowledge regarding those systems. However, it is not necessary if you are working with a quality company. They can explain everything that you need.

The Maintenance

In addition to the installation, a quality company is also going to be able to provide you with the maintenance that you need. It is essential that you maintain the system to ensure that it continues to work properly and protect your home from flooding.

If you are in need of proper flood control installation, you can put your trust in North Coast Sewer and Drainage. The company can provide everything that you need, and they can help to provide the maintenance you need for your system, along with a range of other plumbing services.

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