Statement on NSW flood

first_imgStatement on NSW flood The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) is closely monitoring the severe weather and flooding currently impacting large parts of NSW, particularly around the Mid-North Coast and Hawkesbury-Nepean.Insurers have received storm-related claims over the last four days, however it is still too early to estimate the damage bill as many communities remain isolated. Insurance assessors are standing by to move into these communities once the flood waters recede.The ICA is continuing to work with NSW Government to understand impacts on the community and ensure affected residents receive assistance.Quote attributable to Andrew Hall, CEO, Insurance Council of Australia:The volume and intensity of rain that has fallen in the past few days has caused damage over a huge area of NSW. Insurers are assisting customers with their claims to help alleviate the stress and uncertainty associated with this unfolding weather event. Insurers have placed disaster response specialists on standby to move into affected communities and assist customers with claims as soon as it is safe to do so.Insurance and flood damage – what to do when you return to your property:– Safety is the priority – don’t do anything that puts anyone at risk– Only return to your property when emergency services give the go ahead– If water has entered the property, don’t turn on your electricity until it has been inspected by an electrician– Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to lodge a claim and seek guidance on the claims process– You can start cleaning up but first take pictures or videos of damage to the property and possessions as evidence for your claim– Keep samples of materials and fabrics to show your insurance assessor– Remove water or mud-damaged goods from your property that might pose a health risk, such as saturated carpets and soft furnishings– Make a list of each item damaged and include a detailed description, such as brand, model and serial number if possible– Store damaged or destroyed items somewhere safe– Speak to your insurer before you attempt or authorise any building work, including emergency repairs, and ask for the insurer’s permission in writing. – – Unauthorised work may not be covered by your policy– Do not throw away goods that could be salvaged or repaired /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Australia, building, community, council, disaster, electricity, Emergency, Emergency Services, Government, insurance, Insurance Council of Australia, NSW, property, Safety, stress, weatherlast_img read more

TSB calls for mandatory risk mitigation measures for passenger vessels operating in Canadian Arctic

first_imgTSB calls for mandatory risk mitigation measures for passenger vessels operating in Canadian Arctic From: Transportation Safety Board of CanadaTSB calls for mandatory risk mitigation measures for passenger vessels operating in Canadian ArcticOn 24 August 2018, the passenger vessel Akademik Ioffe, with 102 passengers and 61 crew and expedition members on board, ran aground near the Astronomical Society Islands, 78 nautical miles north-northwest of Kugaaruk, Nunavut. Multiple search and rescue assets from both the Canadian Armed Forces and Canadian Coast Guard were tasked to assist the distressed vessel. The vessel self-refloated with the flooding tide later that day, and passengers were evacuated and transferred to another passenger vessel the next day. The vessel sustained serious damage to its hull: two ballast water tanks and two fuel oil bunker tanks were breached and took on water. Approximately 81 L of the vessel’s fuel oil was released in the environment. No injuries were reported.The investigation determined that the Akademik Ioffe was sailing through narrows in a remote area of the Canadian Arctic where none of the vessel crew had ever been, and which was not surveyed to modern hydrographic standards. Since the navigation charts did not show any shoals or other navigational hazards, the bridge team considered the narrows safe; and despite a note to mariners indicating that the information used to establish water depths was of a reconnaissance nature, they did not implement any additional precautions or add extra personnel to the watch. Consequently, with the officer of the watch multitasking, and the helmsman busy steering the vessel, the steady decrease of the under-keel water depth went unnoticed for more than four minutes because the echo sounders’ low water depth alarms had been turned off.The investigation also found that passenger safety operations did not meet some of the SOLAS Convention (International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974) requirements. For example, safety briefings were carried out more than 12 hours following the vessel’s departure, while the requirements state that newly-embarked passengers must undergo safety briefings and musters before or immediately upon vessel departure. Additionally, expedition staff were informally tasked to coordinate passenger safety during the voyage, and provided the safety briefing to passengers on behalf of the vessel’s crew. The SOLAS Convention also requires that passenger vessels like the Akademik Ioffe have in place a decision support system (DSS) to manage all foreseeable emergency situations that may occur on board. The investigation determined that the DSS on board the Akademik Ioffe did not include emergency procedures for the vessel touching bottom or running aground.Since 1996, there have been three groundings of passenger vessels and one of a chartered yacht in the Canadian Arctic. TSB investigations into three of these found that deficiencies in voyage planning or execution were significant contributing factors. This investigation noted that operating in the Canadian Arctic poses unique risks, as passenger vessels are often navigating in areas that are not charted to modern standards in a harsh climate, with limited local search and rescue resources. Given these risks, it is critical that operators of passenger-carrying vessels operating in the Canadian Arctic adopt additional mitigation strategies to address them.Transport Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, combined, have the regulatory mandate to implement various risk mitigation measures to reduce the likelihood and consequences of a passenger vessel running aground in Arctic waters. Therefore, until the coastal waters surrounding the Canadian Arctic Archipelago are adequately charted, and if alternate mitigation measures are not put in place, there is a persistent risk that vessels could make unforeseen contact with the sea bottom, putting passengers, crew and the environment at risk. This is why the Board is recommending that the Department of Transport, in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, develops and implements mandatory risk mitigation measures for all passenger vessels operating in Canadian Arctic coastal waters.See the investigation page /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Arctic, bunker, Canada, climate, Emergency, environment, Fisheries, Government, investigation, rescue, resources, running, Safety, Society, Transport, Water, yachtlast_img read more

One-off 1967 Jaguar Pirana trades hands for $324,000 at Monterey

first_img We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. Trending in Canada RELATED TAGSJaguarLuxuryClassic CarsClassic Cars & TrucksLuxury VehiclesNew Vehicles Despite being a one-off concept car, the Pirana has not netted the popularity or spike in value of similar Maserati, Ferrari and Lamborghini commissions. But maybe that’s fitting, considering it hews more closely that way to the low-cost-alternative ethos John Anstey dreamed up on that day in 1967. The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car ever The captain of the project was John Anstey, who desired to build a car that could compete with Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini, offering the same experience but for a lower price. Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Alex Reid Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Alex Reid Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Alex Reid Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Alex Reid Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Alex Reid Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Alex Reid Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Alex Reid Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Alex Reid Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Alex Reid Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Alex Reid Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Alex Reid Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Alex Reid Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Alex Reid Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Alex Reid Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Alex Reid See More Videos Trending Videos The one-off Jaguar Pirana sold for US$324,000 after fees) this weekend at RM Sotheby’s Auctions Monterey, marking only the third time the incredible car has ever changed hands.In an unusual fashion, the Pirana was not dreamt up by a manufacturer or even a client, but instead by The Daily Telegraph, as part of an effort to create the “Ideal Car.”The idea was relayed to Nuccio Bertone, and it only took two letters to get him to agree to design the sleek body. center_img If the styling looks familiar, it’s because there are more than a couple vehicles that benefitted from the design genius that was Marcello Gandini. The Lamborghini Marzal was debuted at the Geneva Motor Show the same year the Pirana was built, 1967.Designed by the same man for Bertone, the Marzal and the Pirana both featured similar, beautiful lines that would go on to inspire the Lamborghini Espada.The Pirana was built from existing parts from the Jaguar lineup, meaning it would be easier to make the vehicle than if it were a one-off, and cheaper as well. The entire chassis was sourced from a 2+2 E-Type — even the engine was sourced from the E-Type.The trusty XK 4.2-litre engine produced 265 horsepower and 283 lb.-ft. of torque, which at the time could propel the Pirana to 100 km/h in 7.1 seconds, and on to a top speed of 235 km/h.The car toured the show circuit for a few months before falling out of public sight for many years. It was sold at auction in 1968, when it was insured for 20,000 pounds, over 10,000 more than a brand-new Ferrari 275 GTB/4. In 2011, the car resurfaced and was returned back to its original specification as shown at the Earls Court Motor Show.At one point, the vehicle was modified to have an automatic transmission, and the air conditioning system was relocated from behind the front seats so it could be turned into a four-seater. When it surfaced on eBay in 2010, it had been painted a dark green colour.The vehicle was most recently restored back to its original, as-built specification, which uses the unique design of the cockpit to optimize the air conditioning system through an overhead console, ideal for a grand touring automobile. The automatic transmission was also swapped out for its original four-speed gearbox. Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Karissa Hosek, RM Sotheby’s Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Karissa Hosek, RM Sotheby’s Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Karissa Hosek, RM Sotheby’s Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Karissa Hosek, RM Sotheby’s Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Karissa Hosek, RM Sotheby’s Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Karissa Hosek, RM Sotheby’s Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Karissa Hosek, RM Sotheby’s Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Karissa Hosek, RM Sotheby’s Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Karissa Hosek, RM Sotheby’s Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Karissa Hosek, RM Sotheby’s Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Karissa Hosek, RM Sotheby’s Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Karissa Hosek, RM Sotheby’s Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Karissa Hosek, RM Sotheby’s Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Karissa Hosek, RM Sotheby’s Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Karissa Hosek, RM Sotheby’s Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Karissa Hosek, RM Sotheby’s Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Karissa Hosek, RM Sotheby’s Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Karissa Hosek, RM Sotheby’s Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Karissa Hosek, RM Sotheby’s Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Karissa Hosek, RM Sotheby’s Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Karissa Hosek, RM Sotheby’s Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Karissa Hosek, RM Sotheby’s Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Karissa Hosek, RM Sotheby’s COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS Buy It! Princess Diana’s humble little 1981 Ford Escort is up for auction An engagement gift from Prince Charles, the car is being sold by a Princess Di “superfan” ‹ Previous Next › advertisement PlayThe Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car everPlay3 common new car problems (and how to prevent them) | Maintenance Advice | Driving.caPlayFinal 5 Minivan Contenders | Driving.caPlay2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge | Ministry of Interior Affairs | Driving.caPlayThe 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a new take on Canada’s fave truck | Driving.caPlayBuying a used Toyota Tundra? Check these 5 things first | Used Truck Advice | Driving.caPlayCanada’s most efficient trucks in 2021 | Driving.caPlay3 ways to make night driving safer and more comfortable | Advice | Driving.caPlayDriving into the Future: Sustainability and Innovation in tomorrow’s cars | Driving.ca virtual panelPlayThese spy shots get us an early glimpse of some future models | Driving.ca Being British, the car was also used to showcase the advanced technology that the U.K. had at the time, including an AM/FM cassette player, the first of its kind to be put into a car, as well as seatbelt warning lights, speed limit warnings and a heated front and rear windshield supplied by Triplex. last_img read more

Earthquake reconnaissance: Students learn in Japan

first_imgCategories:EnvironmentScience & TechnologyNews Headlines Seeing the severe damage and massive loss of life from earthquakes led Jenny Ramírez into the field of geotechnical earthquake engineering. Ramirez, who was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, is a doctoral student in civil engineering at CU-Boulder. She now is doing numerical simulations of soil deposits subjected to earthquakes.Two earthquakes occurred in Japan that same month and Ramírez had the opportunity to be part of a scientific reconnaissance team that traveled to Japan to study the geotechnical damage there. The goal is to recommend changes in how geotechnical structures, such as foundations, tunnels, pipelines, dams and slopes, are built in order to better withstand natural disasters. “We can learn a lot about the type of structures that are successful after an earthquake,” said Ramírez.Shideh Dashti, assistant professor of geotechnical engineering and geomechanics at CU-Boulder, co-led a scientific reconnaissance team mobilized by the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) Association to travel to Kumamoto-shi, Japan, after the two earthquakes that occurred on April 14 and 16. In the days after the magnitude 6.2 and 7.0 earthquakes, geotechnical engineers investigated the damage to see how well the infrastructure that was built to withstand earthquake loading had performed. Extreme-events engineering is an experience-driven field in which perishable data that can be used to advance understanding of the effects of earthquakes needs to be collected as soon as possible.“Right after a disaster the affected area becomes a giant laboratory,” said Dashti. “Geotechnical engineers rush to learn what causes damage to structures, foundations and pipelines. The important thing about a reconnaissance project is that we go with an open mind. We don’t go in with a hypothesis in mind and then try to prove it.”Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, GEER is an organization of geotechnical engineers who are mobilized into teams and sent to study a variety of disasters.Accompanying Dashti, Ramírez and other team members from the United States was Samantha Gullies, a senior majoring in civil engineering at CU-Boulder. Gullies found the experience to be educational and inspirational.“Being out in the field was great,” said Gullies. “It was an incredible experience to get to learn from the people on the trip. I followed them around and asked questions all day. If I could do this as a career, I absolutely would in a heartbeat.”Impacts of earthquakes include liquefaction, a phenomenon that makes the soil behave like a liquid while the ground is being shaken; landslides; site and basin effects and surface faulting. Liquefaction can cause major damage to structures and lifelines that cause buildings to tilt or even sink into the liquid-like soil or the pipelines to float.The U.S. team of engineers and engineering students collaborated with Japanese engineers and scientists to document the damage. They focused on mapping the occurrence and effects of soil liquefaction as well as how well structures, slopes, and sewer and water networks held up.Dashti said the science team’s hypothesis is that the soil contained a lot of plastic soils—mainly clays—which likely prevented extensive soil liquefaction to the extent they expected given the amount of sand present in the area, a high water table and the extreme level of ground shaking. Earthquake shaking.“Surprisingly, there was not a lot of damage,” said Dashti. “What we learned was the type of soil and the type of movement of the earthquake did not lead to as much damage as we expected for such strong earthquakes. While the shaking level was greater than what the code recommended for building design, we think we have an explanation that will be explored as we do more detailed investigations in collaboration with our Japanese colleagues.”After the field investigation is complete, observations and findings will be posted on the GEER website.  Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mailcenter_img Published: June 22, 2016 last_img read more

Comment / Air cargo in India set to take off as the economy grows and carriers expand services

first_img By Alex Lennane 09/02/2016 It is said to have placed an order for 100 less-than 3-tonne trucks, and is leasing commercial space for 40 warehouses around the country. This follows plans to order around 200 aircraft by March, both large and small, according to chairman Ajay Singh, who took a controlling stake in SpiceJet last year.It is a bold move for a carrier which nearly closed down in late 2014. Its most recent annual results, published in March last year, show it made R29.18m ($429,000) from cargo, against R2.1bn ($31m) for passengers. The previous year was better, when it made R56.42m ($829,000) from freight.Last month SpiceJet reported its fourth consecutive profitable quarter, of R238 crore. But nowhere in its most recent investor guidance does it mention any significant investment in freight. And it has stopped listing its freight revenue as a separate item, putting it instead into “ancillary revenues”.However, a source told India’s Economic Times: “Initial estimates suggest that the new business could be profitable, given the fact that the airline is already carrying the cargo on its passenger flights.”The news comes as QuikJet, the ASL Aviation-owned, Bangalore-based carrier that has struggled to get off the ground, received its scheduled air operators’ permit, according to CH Aviation. Its first 737-400F arrived in India in October last year.It has been a long slow burn for the wannabe-cargo carrier, acquired by ASL in November 2014, when ASL chief Hugh Flynn told The Loadstar that the airline expected to secure an integrator contract within a year to 18 months.“It has been a slow start because the integrators need to work out what they want to do with their networks.” He expected Quikjet to operate with a mix of ATRs and 737s, “maybe more 737s”.The airline was first formed in 2008 – and has never appeared to operate a scheduled service, although its website states that it serves Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengarulu.Change has been slow to get to India, but with GDP forecast to grow faster than China’s this year, the country is in the spotlight. It announced this week that its economy had grown 7.3%, year-on-year, in the last quarter and the fiscal year is expected to have seen growth of 7.6%.E-commerce, and door-to-door is expected to be a huge focus for growth. The former head of Emirates SkyCargo, Ram Menen, has become non-executive director of Connect India, a last-mile delivery company set up last summer, which will have 15,000 local outlets by next month.Mr Menen’s new interest in India mirrors that of his former colleague, Pradeep Kumar, who recently left Emirates SkyCargo to head Jet Airways’ cargo division after Martin Drew left to join Etihad’s passenger operation. Jet had been due to take on a freighter, but changed its mind at the last minute on advice from its Abu Dhabi shareholder, according to one source. It will be interesting to see if Mr Kumar, who has long worked with freighters, thinks the Indian market is a viable option for cargo development – as QuikJet and SpiceJet clearly do.Pradeep Kumar © Vinesh Kumarcenter_img There appears to be some movement in the Indian air cargo market – at last.Local media is reporting the perhaps surprising development that low-cost carrier SpiceJet is to launch a door-to-door cargo delivery service.Door-to-door is hardly a natural step for a budget carrier, especially one coming out of a turnaround plan. Even infrastructure-rich, full-service airlines balk at the idea of anything other than airport-to-airport.But, Indian media says SpiceJet is investing significantly in a service which will start this fiscal year.last_img read more

Grand stadiums add sparkle to Lions tour

first_img‘ Cape Town Stadium  1  0 Published on December 4, 2019 Life Exact BrazilRemember Grace Jones? She Is Almost 73, See Her NowLife Exact Brazil|SponsoredSponsoredUndo Buzz TreatmentRemember Grace Jones? Try Not To Smile When You See Her NowBuzz Treatment|SponsoredSponsoredUndo Post by John Goliath The Lions Test at Cape Town Stadium ushers in new era for rugby in the Mother City, while Durban pays the price for poor attendance, writes JOHN GOLIATH.We’re going to bid farewell to Newlands next year when the grand old lady of South African rugby enjoys her last hoorah in the shadow of Table Mountain before Western Province packs its bags for Cape Town Stadium in 2021.Newlands has been the scene of many great wins for Western Province, the Stormers and indeed the Springboks. It’s where rookies have made their mark and where legends have left a legacy. But it’s reached its sell-by date – actually a long time ago already.Western Province’s move to the former Fifa World Cup Cup venue has actually nothing to do with keeping up with the times in terms of playing their rugby at a modern stadium, which offers a great viewing experience and world-class facilities. It’s been necessitated by their dire financial situation. If they were flush with cash, I suggest that they would probably have stayed put.But it’s a move that can invigorate rugby in the Mother City, moving to a grand arena which offers so much more. Yes, Newlands will be missed, but like iconic venues such as Cardiff Arms Park and the old Lansdowne Road, it was time for an upgrade.Cape Town Stadium is a fantastic venue and a top choice to host one of the 2021 British & Irish Lions’ Tests against the Boks. The venue next door to the Atlantic Ocean, not to mention the iconic FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, will just add more sparkle to what is going to be a great occasion in just over 18 months’ time.ALSO READ: Historic B&I Lions tour schedule unveiledIt would have been great if the organisers had given us the trifecta of former World Cup venues, by allocating the beautiful Moses Mabhida Stadium a Test match. It would have been the perfect spread to play a Test in Durban.However, attendance figures for Springbok Test matches in Durban have been terrible over the past few years, with many empty seats in last year’s Rugby Championship Test between the Boks and Argentina, as well as the year before when France visited these shores.Durban, though, does get a tour game, but it’s certainly a big blow after hosting the Lions at Kings Park in 2009, when Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira folded Phil Vickery like a pretzel at scrum time.But it also makes sense to play two matches on the Highveld to give the Boks the best chance of winning the series. Ellis Park also deserves the Test, because it’s arguably the venue that gives the South Africans that extra bit of motivation and grunt.But the second Test at Cape Town Stadium is what I’m looking forward to. Unless there is a Test match at the venue next year, it’s going to the first time that a rugby Test will be contested at the venue. It’s long overdue, but something that should be a great spectacle.Thank you, Newlands, but it’s time to embrace a shiny new venue.Registration for interest in tickets for the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa has now opened. Loans | Search AdsGetting a loan in Hong Kong may be easier than you thinkLoans | Search Ads|SponsoredSponsoredUndo Watch: I wanted to rip Jean’s head off – Jaque FourieSA Rugby MagUndocenter_img ‘ AlphaCuteOprah’s New House Cost $90 Million, And This Is What It Looks LikeAlphaCute|SponsoredSponsoredUndoAaron Smith names South African as greatest World Cup scrumhalfSA Rugby MagUndoJapan-based Kiwi player: I hope to never experience this againSA Rugby MagUndoGrammarlyAvoid Grammatical Errors with This Helpful Browser ExtensionGrammarly|SponsoredSponsoredUndo ‘ ‘ ‘ World Cup-winning Bok quartet in Eddie Jones’ all-time XVMaverick coach Eddie Jones has named his Test dream team made up of players he has worked with throughout his illustrious career.SA Rugby MagUndoDatemyage.comOver 40 And Single?Datemyage.com|SponsoredSponsoredUndoGoGoPeak10 Most Beautiful Cities You Should Visit Once In Your LifetimeGoGoPeak|SponsoredSponsoredUndo熱門話題對肚腩脂肪感到後悔!試了在萬寧賣的這個後…熱門話題|SponsoredSponsoredUndoBuzzAura16 Cancer Causing Foods You Probably Eat Every DayBuzzAura|SponsoredSponsoredUndoBuzzSuperDetails About Meghan Markle’s Wedding Will Leave You SpeechlessBuzzSuper|SponsoredSponsoredUndo Posted in British & Irish Lions, Columns, Lions Tour, Springboks, Test Rugby, Top headlines, Tournaments, Uncategorized Tagged British and Irish Lions, Springboks Grand stadiums add sparkle to Lions tour ‘last_img read more

Malta will let rescue ship dock — as EU partners help take migrants

first_img Also On POLITICO Council largely rejects Commission’s proposals on migration — again By Jacopo Barigazzi Tajani: EU faces ‘last chance’ to tackle migration crisis By Gabriela Galindo A rescue ship adrift in the Mediterranean carrying 234 migrants will be allowed to dock in Malta if other EU countries agree to take in some of the migrants, according to AFP Tuesday.The Lifeline, a German NGO-operated ship, rescued the migrants off the coast of Libya on Thursday, but has been unable to dock as both Italy and Malta initially refused to take it in. Malta says four EU members have agreed to take in migrants, but didn’t say which ones.“I just got off the phone with [Maltese] president [Joseph] Muscat: the NGO ship Lifeline will dock in Malta,” Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said. He said Italy “will do its part and welcome some of the migrants who are on the Lifeline,” and he hoped that “other European countries would do the same.” He did not specify when the ship will be allowed to dock in Malta, or how many immigrants Italy will take in. Portuguese Interior Minister Eduardo Cabrita said that the government was making preparations to receive some of the migrants from the Lifeline, after talks Tuesday with the Maltese authorities. He said they would arrive in the next few days, but the number coming to Portugal had yet to be defined.Portugal will act with “responsibility and solidarity” in seeking a solution to the issue at a European level, state news agency Lusa quoted Cabrita as saying.France has previously volunteered to send a team to Malta to process asylum requests, and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Madrid will take part in a “joint response” in which “several countries must participate.”Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, leader of the far-right League, has pledged to end illegal immigration by closing Italian ports to rescue vessels run by NGOs. On Friday, Salvini called on Malta to allow the Lifeline to dock, then insisted the ship be impounded and its crew detained, accusing the rescue boat of “trafficking.”The dispute over the Lifeline comes less than two weeks after the rescue ship Aquarius was denied entry to both Italy and Malta, sparking an international row. The 630 migrants aboard — including several pregnant women, people injured with chemical burns and more than 100 children — were later taken in by Spain after around a week in rough seas.While migrant numbers have dropped below the peak of the 2015 ‘crisis,’ the issue has again moved to the top of the EU agenda. After an emergency mini summit of 16 EU leaders Sunday made limited headway on the bloc’s most divisive political problem, it will be discussed again at a regular EU summit later this week.last_img read more

GRiZ Rebel Era Tour: Recap Video Part 2

first_imgGood vibes, funky beats, and sax (LOTS OF SAX)! These are just some of the awesome aspects of electro-infused blues producer GRiZ’s national Rebel Era Tour. The tour, which kicked off October 10th in San Diego, and ends on New Years Eve in New Orleans, has been a great success for 23-year-old Grant, who started off just mixing at college parties. Along with his own unique bluesy sound, the jams and collaborations of talented artists such as The Floozies, Gramatik and Manic Focus were also heard all over the US during this tour.With the announcement of  GRiZ’s newly found record label, Liberated Music, fans are desperately awaiting for news on all the awesome artists that will be signed and funky collaborations that will be sure to happen.Just released was the second video installment of the Rebel Era Tour, which spotlights Grant and his crew, skateboarding along the way, inviting fans to watch them attempt stunts during down-time, kicking ass during live shows, and of course always turning up. The video is weaved together by a phone call between GRiZ and his mom, in which she lets him know how fun his show was and that she loves him (Awwww). Who knew GRiZ was a mamas boy?GRiZ is set to play True Music Festival in Scottsdale, Arizona with Flaming Lips, Bassnectar, Wiz Khalifa, Capital Cities, Kill Paris, Hellogoodbye, Lord Huron, He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister, Kopecky Family Band, and more!Here’s a link to the video:last_img read more

Ryan Blaney rolls to Busch Pole in Pocono qualifying

first_imgLONG POND, Pa. – Just as he had done in winning his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race last June, Ryan Blaney kept Kevin Harvick behind him at Pocono Raceway when it mattered most.Blaney sped around the 2.5-mile triangular track in 50.877 seconds (176.897 mph) in Friday’s knockout qualifying session to earn the top starting spot for Sunday’s Pocono 400 (2 p.m. ET Sunday on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).RELATED: Qualifying results | Full Pocono scheduleIn winning his first Busch Pole Award at the Tricky Triangle, his second of the season and the fourth of his career, Blaney beat Harvick (176.807 mph) by .026 seconds. Harvick, a five-time winner in the series this year, had the top speed in each of the previous two rounds.But Pocono is becoming a special track for Blaney, who got his first taste of competition in a quarter midget on the dirt track outside Turn 3.“I’ve always enjoyed this place,” Blaney said. “I enjoyed coming here to watch my dad (Dave Blaney) race. I made my first-ever start in a race car at the dirt track out there. So it’s been special to me.“Me and Jeb Burton and Brandon McReynolds grew up racing scooters. There used to be a small Pocono with MRO (Motor Racing Outreach) in the infield over there. We used to race scooters around that. I have a lot of memories about this place.”Blaney and his No. 12 team also have developed a knack for negotiating the track with three distinctly different turns.“I feel like we have a pretty good line of communication with where we need to be from practice to qualifying to the race. I feel very comfortable, and the team feels very confident, and that’s always a good combination.”Harvick had a pole-winning lap going until he slipped in Turn 3.“I thought we did a really good job of trying to pick a pace and trying not to be a hero on every lap, and we were able to pick up a 10th (of a second) in each round,” Harvick said. “We got a little loose there in (Turn) 3, and I didn’t want to tug on the wheel any more just because of the fact I didn’t want it to get any looser.“So I just let it slide to the center and had to wait and gave up a good solid 10th there. It was still a great lap for our Busch Beer Ford, and starting up front is a big deal here.”Jamie McMurray qualified third in the No. 1 Chevrolet, followed by Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. Kyle Busch, who picked up his fourth victory of the season in last Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, will roll off fifth beside brother Kurt Busch, who qualified sixth.Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott and Daytona 500 winner Austin Dillon completed the top 12.last_img read more

Lawmakers scramble to meet deadline; key bills given exemptions

first_imgby Anne Galloway March 16, 2013 vtdigger.org The annual make or break deadline for new legislation was on Friday. VTDigger.org has compiled a rundown of the bills that made the cut, which ones will go the Senate Rules Committee for exemptions, and which proposals are now in doubt.Here is a short list of the bills that passed out of House committees this week: pre-K expansion legislation; a provision prohibiting public schools from going private; new state reporting requirements for elder abuse investigations; new rules designed to curb opiate addiction; equal pay rules for employers; a program that will advance the state’ s commitment to improving the thermal efficiency of residences and businesses; a clarification of insurance rules for preventive medical care. In addition, the House passed a bill on the floor this week that requires the Vermont State Police to coordinate search and rescue efforts with municipal and volunteer groups.In the Senate, key legislation that has emerged includes: a bill requiring Act 250 regulation of an oil pipeline in the Northeast Kingdom; a controversial bill that requires the Public Service Board to consider Act 250 rules when approving renewable energy projects; a ‘ flexible pathways’ bill that would enable more high school students to attend state colleges; a change to the public records law that would allow public access to some information regarding criminal investigations. The patient-directed death bill that passed out of the Senate last month will likely be taken up by the House in early April. A bill that would have allowed child care workers to unionize was shot down in the Senate Economic Development Committee this week. The Senate approved bills requiring non-union members to pay partial dues, expanding workers compensation allowances for firefighters and allowing independent home health care providers to collectively bargain with the state.A number of proposals that didn’ t make the deadline have a chance of resurfacing. There are 10 pieces of legislation that House Speaker Shap Smith, Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell and the Senate Rules Committee will consider exempting from the deadline. A number of these measures are controversial and full passage this year is by no means guaranteed. Here’ s a partial list: a bill requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods; the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana; a shoreline protection bill; legislation requiring more intensive Taser training for law enforcement; unionization of employees who work for state’ s attorneys; changes to the open meeting law; drivers licenses for migrant workers; a bill that would make electronic communication between lawmakers and constituents confidential; and proposed regulation of pet breeders and kennels.A few bills, including new pension forfeiture legislation, which allows the state to seize the pensions of public officials who have been convicted of embezzling, have passed out of both the House and the Senate.The flurry of activity, which took place largely in policy committees last week, will switch to the floor in the coming weeks, as lawmakers in the Senate and House begin the process of winnowing through the dozens of bills on the slate.But the real yeoman’ s work will be in the House money committees over the next few weeks. Lawmakers will decide whether to raise taxes to pay for roads and bridges; how to proceed with bonding for more than $70 million to pay for the new Waterbury State Office Complex; whether to assess $20 million in additional taxes to fill this year’ s budget hole; and how to manage state spending at a time when demand for state programs for low-income Vermonters has continued to grow, even after the recession. Lawmakers on the budget and tax committees say putting together the state’ s annual spending and revenue bills is tougher than the worst years of the recession because federal money is shrinking.Meanwhile, legislators in the House and Senate will also be moving dozens of bills forward in the last nine weeks of the session. Some will pass in one body or the other, but not make final passage, others will make it through the whole process. If history is any guide, by early May about 70 to 80 bills will land on the governor’ s desk.Here is a synopsis of some of the key bills that lawmakers will consider in the second half of the legislative session:House panel backs bill tackling opioid drug prescription abuse and treatmentThe House Human Services Committee unanimously approved a patchwork piece of legislation today that seeks to reduce opioid and methamphetamine abuse.Rep. Ann Pugh, D-South Burlington, chair of the Human Services Committee, outlined the intent behind the legislation.‘ What we hope to do with this is improve treatment, prevent deaths, improve access to treatment and appropriate prescribing, and to keep communities safe,’ Pugh said.The bill amalgamates a handful of bills that began in three different committees ‘ Human Services, Judiciary, and General, Housing, and Military Affairs. Human Services stitched the bills into a single piece of legislation just in time to make the crossover deadline Friday.Pugh described the bill and the collaborative drafting process, as ‘ a visual picture of the multifaceted way that we need to respond to these issues.’The bill seeks to make the Vermont Prescription Monitoring System a more effective tool for alerting doctors and pharmacies when people are ‘ doctor-shopping.’ It requires physicians to register with the hitherto voluntary database and to consult the database each time a patient requests a replacement prescription and whenever they prescribe medication to a new patient with chronic pain symptoms.The legislation also sets up a pilot program for distributing opioid antagonists and establishes an electronic database program that will require pharmacists to monitor the sales of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and other drug products that are used to make meth. It also lays the groundwork for a statewide drop-off program for unused medication, and it attempts to make it easier to crack down on drug sales that take place on abandoned properties.In addition, the committees had planned to wrap H.65, which would give limited immunity to people reporting drug overdoses, into the larger bill, but it was not included in the version that was approved by the Human Services Committee on Friday.What the bill doesn’ t address, due to budgetary constraints, Pugh said, is the lack of treatment options for people with drug addictions.‘ Alicia FreeseS.30 would give towns more say over wind and other renewable projects; $75,000 allocated for studyThe legislation requires the Public Service Board to conform with Act 250 criteria, which would give towns a greater say in how renewable energy projects, including wind projects, are sited. It also sets aside $75,000 for a study of the impacts of wind turbines.Act 250, the state’ s landmark land use law, uses a different set of criteria than the Vermont Public Service Board, which reviews power projects under its Section 248 rules.The study will zoom in on the health, environmental and economic impacts of wind. It would also examine sound and ‘ infrasound’ emissions ‘ an issue being raised increasingly by opponents and those living near utility-scale wind projects.Department of Public Service Commissioner Chris Recchia told the committee that a previous study on sound impacts from wind towers cost $60,000. 

Previously, the Senate Natural Resources Committee killed a proposed moratorium on wind projects, which had been unpopular with the Democratic leadership and the Shumlin administration. The Senate Appropriations Committee green-lighted $75,000 for a newly mandated Department of Public Service study due in October on how the state should proceed with renewable energy projects, particularly wind power.The study will also examine renewable energy credits, if renewable energy investment impacts the state’ s greenhouse gas emissions, and how to fund public participation in the siting process for energy plants. It calls for substantial public participation.This legislation also convenes an interim legislative committee, of undecided makeup, which will examine the Department of Public Service findings, and report back in December with recommendations on integrating regional and local planning, and standards applying to all wind turbines.‘ Nat RudarakanchanaBill granting migrant licenses in limbo after vote delayed; legislative leaders agree to waive crossover deadlineThe push to grant driving rights to migrant workers suffered a slight setback, as the Senate Transportation Committee failed to vote on the measure on Friday.Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell has granted the bill a waiver so that it can be considered at some point next week.The migrant workers legislation has been tweaked to include so-called ‘ driving privilege’ cards, rather than a standard driver’ s license, to 1,500 migrant farm workers who now lack the ability to drive legally in Vermont.Brendan O’ Neill, an advocate with Migrant Justice, which pushed for the driver IDs, says he supports the ‘ driving privilege’ cards.Campbell sits on the Senate Transportation Committee, which is currently reviewing the bill.‘ Nat RudarakanchanaSenate panel advances bill that subjects oil pipelines

 to Act 250 reviewThe Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee passed legislation mandating that any changes to how oil pipelines are used, excepting routine repairs, will be subject to Act 250 review. The vote was 4-0-1. Sen. Peter Galbraith was absent.Environmental groups including VPIRG, the Conservation Law Foundation and 350.org have argued in favor of the legislation. Ben Walsh, VPIRG clean energy advocate, told VTDigger that he believes the latest version is an update of existing law.

 The decision could affect a potential future route for Canadian tar sands oil through the Northeast Kingdom.Larry Wilson, CEO of the Portland Pipe Line Corp., told House lawmakers that he opposes the bill, that transporting tar sands through the pipeline is safe, and that he’ d like to pipe tar sands oil through Vermont in the future.In an attempt to avoid federal pre-emption 

issues, the legislation says that district commissions shall not address safety considerations when applying Act 250 criteria.‘ It also has language that really simply says that we’ re not going into safety issues that are pre-empted under federal law, and it cites the federal statute,’ Bob Hartwell, chair of Senate Natural Resources, said.Lobbyist Joe Choquette, who represents the American Petroleum Institute, said the legislation sets a ‘ terrible precedent’ by targeting one unpopular company and placing unreasonable burdens on it.‘ Nat RudarakanchanaFate of Statehouse bill regulating use of stun guns uncertainIt’ s unclear if action on statewide training and deployment policies for Tasers will have to wait until next year. The measure didn’ t come to a vote in the House Government Operations Committee by Friday afternoon.Committee Chair Donna Sweaney, D-Windsor, told VTDigger she’ d asked Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell for an extension for the bill, but hadn’ t yet heard back on Friday, the deadline for bills to move between chambers.She emphasized, however, that she doesn’ t want the measure to be rushed through.

‘ There’ s still more information to come, and we decided that we should wait and hear what the attorney general is coming up with, from after his hearing,’ said Sweaney.She also plans to hold an evening hearing next month for public input regarding Tasers and their use, or misuse, by law enforcement.‘ Of course it would be hard to get it through this year, possibly, but certainly we want to get it through within the biennium,’ she said.Although there’ s broad committee consensus welcoming more training and standardized policy on use of the stun guns, which tend to be administered and managed at a local police level, law enforcement officials have said they object to legislators micromanaging how Tasers should be used, Sweaney said.‘ Police ask that we not be so prescriptive, as to what their procedures could be, when they need to intervene with a Taser,’ she said. ‘ It’ s an issue and a sticking point that we need to iron out.’One issue in the debate is whether Tasers should be considered lethal weapons, and whether police should only use them in situations that call for deadly force.Officials with the Vermont Police Academy support a proposal to increase required officer training for Tasers.‘ Nat RudarakanchanaBill setting social media protections for job applicants sidetracked for summer studyThe Senate Committee on Economic Development unanimously delayed legislation that protects the social media privacy of job applicants, delegating the issue to a summer study committee instead.An 11-person committee including labor representatives, civil rights advocates and lawmakers, will study the experience in other states as well as federal law before reporting back in January 2014.Allen Gilbert, ACLU-VT’ s executive director, told VTDigger that in the last few weeks, the bill somehow switched from a ‘ job applicant protection bill to an employer surveillance bill.’‘ This resulted in the bill being sidetracked to a summer study committee because of all the complicated issues involved with employers monitoring employees’ habits while at work,’ Gilbert said.Gilbert proposed eliminating any issues about employees and focusing again on job applicants only, but said last minute objections from the Department of Public Safety scuttled his attempts to pass legislation this year.Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn previously argued that candidates for state trooper positions should be forced to turn over their Facebook passwords, because screening the character and judgment of such candidates is crucial to hiring police the public can trust.‘ Nat RudarakanchanaReporting requirements for elder abuseLast year, Gov. Peter Shumlin vetoed a bill that would have mandated reporting of elder abuse investigations to a legislative oversight committee.The House Human Services Committee passed a new version of the legislation on Friday in a second attempt at requiring the state to regularly disseminate data about abuse, neglect and exploitation reports and investigations. The bill requires the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living to issue reports to lawmakers on a quarterly basis through July 2015.In its findings, bill H.105, states that the Adult Protective Services program received 1,829 reports of abuse, neglect and exploitation in 2012; of those, 872 were investigated. ‘ Currently, there are no data that explain why 957 reports received in 2012 were not investigated,’ according to the bill. In addition, ‘ consistent data are not available that explain what referrals were made to assist or protect the alleged victims.’Advocates say the state isn’ t doing enough to investigate elder abuse complaints.The state is currently embroiled in a lawsuit with Vermont Legal Aid over the issue.‘ Anne GallowayPre-K bill would expand early ed programs; Vermont Strong Scholars program gets approval; provision would block another North BenningtonThe House Education Committee advanced a bill that allows school districts to expand preschool programs with money from the statewide property tax system. Qualifying districts would be able to include pre-kindergarten students as part of the average daily membership rate used to determine state reimbursement levels for schools.Rep. Johannah Donovan, D-Burlington, chair of the committee, says the legislation will enable school districts to provide ‘ universal’ access to 10-hour a week preschool programs for students in about 15 communities,including Stowe, Colchester, Woodstock, Norwich and Rutland.The legislation would also make it easier for families living in areas of the state without programs for young children to get access to programs in other school districts.The pre-K education initiative is a key component of Gov. Peter Shumlin’ s education plan.The Joint Fiscal Office and the Agency of Education estimate that the total cost will be about $2 million a year.Another one of the governor’ s proposals ‘  the Vermont Strong Scholars Program ‘ was also backed by the committee. The program would repay a portion of the cost of tuition for post-secondary graduates who study science, technology, engineering or math at state educational institutions and choose to stay in Vermont. The scholarships would not be issued until 2015; consequently, the bill does not include an appropriation.In an attempt to ‘ prevent another North Bennington from happening,’ as Donovan puts it, the committee approved a provision in a technical bill that prohibits a community from closing a public school and re-opening it as a private school. The conversion of the North Bennington Village School from a public school to a private, nonprofit entity was recently approved by the State Board of Education. Several other schools around the state, including an elementary school in Burke are considering a similar switch. Donovan says there was previously nothing in state statute to prevent public schools from going private. Lawmakers in House Education are concerned about the use of public funds for private schools that do not comply with the same standards for universal student admittance, special education, teacher certification and free and reduced lunches for low-income students. The Senate Education Committee has proposed legislation, S.91, that would require private schools to adhere to state mandates for public schools.Thermal efficiency bill bifurcated; committee separates policy goals from revenue proposalThe House Natural Resources and Energy Committee divided and conquered this week. Most of the media attention on the committee’ s ‘ big bill,’ a thermal efficiency proposal that aims to facilitate the weatherization of 80,000 homes in Vermont (about 25 percent of the state’ s housing stock), between now 2020, has been focused on how the state plans to finance the proposal and the Clean Energy Development Fund.Discussion in committee this week ranged from funneling the gross receipts tax on fossil fuels to a new special fund, which would have effectively removed roughly $15 million a year from the General Fund, to applying a 55 cent monthly surcharge on meters. House Natural Resources Chair Tony Klein’ s gross receipts trial balloon was popped when Rep. Martha Heath, chair of House Appropriations, caught wind of the proposal.The latest iteration of the funding mechanism is the 55-cent monthly electric meter charge. An identical proposal two years ago passed the House then was reversed when Rep. Oliver Olsen, R-Londonderry, launched a hue and cry over what he deemed a regressive tax proposal designed to subsidize renewable investors who receive subsidies through the Clean Energy Development Fund. Gov. Peter Shumlin asked the House leadership for a revote and the representatives then canned the idea.The 56-page thermal efficiency bill outlines why the state needs to continue to make investments in building weatherization.The proposal cites climate change and the economic impact of Vermonters’ dependence on heating oil as the two main reasons for accelerating efforts to insulate the state’ s aging building stock.Two-thirds of the sources of Vermont’ s greenhouse gases in 2010 were from transportation and heating buildings and water, according to a study the legislation cites. Household and business expenditures on fossil fuels for hot water and buildings, doubled between 2000 and 2010, from $300 million to $600 million.Rep. Margaret Cheney, D-Norwich, who helped to craft the bill, said the proposal makes economic and environmental sense. Insulation can save the average homeowner about $1,000 a year on heating fuel, she said.‘ If people invest in thermal efficiency and reduce the need for oil, they will have a positive impact on greenhouse gases and save money,’ Cheney said.The bill highlights the importance of investments in weatherization programs for low-income Vermonters who rely on the Low Income Heating Assistance Program. Cheney says the state must move ahead with these investments in order to save money over time, especially since the federal government has reduced its support for LIHEAP over the last few years.The state’ s $12.5 million low income weatherization program is currently funded by a 0.05 percent gross receipts tax (which was put in place in 1990) and funding from an agreement with Green Mountain Power as part of a $21 million payback to CVPS ratepayers.For middle and upper income Vermonters, the thermal efficiency bill sets up a clearinghouse program like Efficiency Vermont for residents who want information about how to get an energy audit; how to obtain loans for weatherization projects; what incentives are available; and how to find contractors to do the work.A new entity would coordinate the delivery of efficiency services and provide a one-stop shop for consumers with a web portal and a help line.The bill also allows IBM to pay $55,000 into a ‘ self-managed’ energy efficiency program in lieu of paying an efficiency fee on natural gas.In addition, the legislation sets new residential building energy standards. Homeowners must obtain a Residential Energy Building Standard certificate under the bill.‘ Anne GallowayEditor’ s note: This story was updated at 8:30 a.m. March 16.last_img read more