Garda foil suspected attack by dissidents

first_img RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Previous articleFall in recorded redundancies in DonegalNext articleCitizens’ Information Board calls for integrated transport system News Highland 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal News Google+ A major garda search operation is continuing between Stranorlar and Convoy after three men fled from a garda checkpoint last night.At around seven o’clock, gardai stopped a car in which they say four men were seen acting suspiciously.One man was arrested at the scene and brought to Letterkenny Garda Station. Three men fled the scene, and are still at large. We understand a firearm has been recovered, and a possible link with dissident republicans is being investigatedSuperintendent Vincent O’Brien says the search for the three men  is being concentrated in the areas of Cooladawson, Gortnaletragh and Cavan Lower.[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/vince1pm.mp3[/podcast] Garda foil suspected attack by dissidents Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th Pinterestcenter_img Twitter WhatsApp By News Highland – February 3, 2010 Twitter Pinterest Facebook Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry WhatsApp Google+ Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan firelast_img read more

Indian Wells tennis cancelled over coronavirus fears

first_imgThe ATP and WTA tennis tournament in Indian Wells, California, has been cancelled over concerns about the outbreak of the new coronavirus, making it the first major sporting event in the US to be scrubbed due to health concerns. Austrian Dominic Thiem reacts after beating Roger Federer in the final of the 2019 ATP Masters at Indian Wells The tournament, one of the biggest outside the four Grand Slams, was cancelled just days before it was due to begin. Officials said in a news release on Sunday that they opted to cancel after the health department of California’s Riverside County declared a public health emergency for the Coachella Valley – in the desert east of Los Angeles – after a confirmed case of COVID-19 locally. No further details of the case were given. Days earlier, organizers had said they planned to go ahead with extra health measures in place such as hand sanitizing stations, beefed up cleaning protocols and gloves for ball kids, volunteers and food workers. The ATP and WTA had also issued virus-related guidelines, telling players not to accept items from fans to be autographed. Even before the cancellation the tournament, which draws more than 400,000 fans each year, had offered refunds to anyone who bought tickets but did not want to attend. Many of the players have already arrived in Indian Wells for the event with qualifying matches scheduled to start on Monday and the main draw set to kick off on Wednesday. “We are very disappointed that the tournament will not take place, but the health and safety of the local community, fans, players, volunteers, sponsors, employees, vendors, and everyone involved with the event is of paramount importance,” said tournament director Tommy Haas. “We are prepared to hold the tournament on another date and will explore options,” Haas added. The number of American coronavirus cases is now at over 500 and involves some 30 US states. California officials are also battling to contain an outbreak on a cruise ship off the coast where 21 people have tested positive for the virus among the 3,500 people on board. ‘too great a risk’ – Loading… Read Also: WADA to monitor anti-doping activity in coronavirus-hit area Among other sports disruptions worldwide, the start of Japan’s J-League has been postponed. The Chinese Formula One Grand Prix was cancelled and the Bahrain Grand Prix is set to be held without spectators. In the United States, the NBA has warned teams to prepare for the possibility of playing games in empty stadiums. The NHL is also monitoring the outbreak and indicated it wouldn’t object if teams choose to limit access to players by media in the locker room. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 “There is too great a risk, at this time, to the public health of the Riverside County area in holding a large gathering of this size,” said doctor David Agus, professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California. “It is not in the public interest of fans, players and neighboring areas for this tournament to proceed. We all have to join together to protect the community from the coronavirus outbreak.” Indian Wells lasts two weeks and draws some of the largest crowds for a tennis event in North America. The number of competitors and lucrative prize money being offered for the men and women has helped earn it the nickname “Fifth Slam”. There is also a men’s and women’s tournament schedule for Miami later this month but there was no word on any changes to that event. Following Miami, the tours head to Europe for the beginning of the clay court season. The run up to the French Open includes the ATP and WTA event in Rome, Italy, the hardest hit European country with 366 deaths from the virus. The virus now known as COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, China, late last year and quickly spread across the globe. The illness affects the respiratory tract and can be transmitted through coughing, sneezing and contact with those infected or with surfaces where the virus is present. Symptoms include fever, coughing and difficulty breathing. In Italy, the Serie A football season has descended into controversy because of match cancellations and player resistance to competing in empty stadiums. Promoted ContentWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?Top 7 Best Car Manufacturers Of All Time9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A TattooThe Origin Story Of The Best Chocolate Thing Ever Created10 Phones That Can Work For Weeks Without Recharging2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This Year10 Legendary Movies To Learn History From8 Fascinating Facts About Coffee7 Universities Where Getting An Education Costs A Hefty PennyWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?Most Famous Female Race Car Drivers Of All Time7 Reasons Why You Might Want To Become A Vegetarianlast_img read more

Tipp name team for Sligo clash

first_imgPeter Creedon’s side will be looking to keep the pressure on the top two in Division 3 and maintain the push for promotion.Sunday’s Round 6 game at Semple Stadium throws-in at 3pm.The team is;Evan Comerford (Kilsheelan Kilcash), Alan Campbell (Moyle Rovers), Paddy Codd (Capt.) (Killenaule), Robbie Kiely (Carbery Rangers), Seamus Kennedy (Clonmel Commercials), Peter Acheson (Moyle Rovers), Colin O’Riordan (J K Brackens), George Hannigan (Shannon Rovers), Steven O’Brien (Ballina), Liam Casey (Cahir), Philip Austin (Borrisokane), Ian Fahey (Clonmel Commercials), Jason Lonergan (Clonmel Commercials), Conor Sweeney (Ballyporeen ), Ger Mulhaire (Arravale Rovers).​ There are two changes in personnel on the Tipp team to face Sligo in the National Football League from that which defeated Louth last time out.Jason Lonergan of Clonmel Commercials and Arravale Rovers Ger Mulhaire come in at top of the right and left respectively in place of the injured Barry Grogan and Brian Fox.Meanwhile Ballyporeen clubman Conor Sweeney moves to full forward.last_img read more

Indonesia races to catch tiger alive as villagers threaten to ‘kill the beast’

first_imgA conservation agency in Indonesia’s Sumatra Island has deployed two teams to capture alive a wild tiger that has reportedly killed two people at an oil palm plantation.The incidents prompted villagers living near the plantation to threaten to kill the tiger themselves if it was not caught.Authorities are keen to take the animal alive, following the killing of a tiger earlier this month under similar circumstances. PEKANBARU, Indonesia — A wildlife conservation agency in Indonesia has deployed two special teams to capture alive a tiger blamed for killing two people this year, amid mounting calls for the animal to be killed.The Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) in Riau province has been on the trail of the Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) since the first reported incident, on Jan. 3, when the tiger attacked three workers at an oil palm plantation in Indragiri Hilir district. The tiger killed one of the workers, identified as Jumiati, 33, after she fell from a tree that she had climbed up to escape the animal.Although the BKSDA set out traps in the area around the palm estate run by the Malaysian company PT Tabung Haji Indo Plantations, the tiger proved to be elusive.Just over two months later, on March 5, the same tiger reportedly killed a 34-year-old man, Yusri Efendi, who was passing through the same plantation with a group of other people when they were attacked.A Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae). The big cats have increasingly been pushed out of their forest habitats by rampant deforestation and hunting. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.The two deaths prompted hundreds of residents of Pulau Muda village, where Yusri was from, to stage a protest on March 12 at the office of the plantation company. They demanded the company and the BKSDA immediately capture the tiger, which has been nicknamed Bonita.“The people of Pulau Muda will take action to kill the beast, whatever it takes,” said Ujang, one of the protesters, reading from list of demands to the agency and the company. “And we refuse to face any criminal charges over this.”Under Indonesia’s 1990 Conservation Act, the killing of protected species such as Sumatran tigers carries a prison sentence of up to five years and fines of up to 100 million rupiah ($7,000).In response to the demands, the BKSDA reached an agreement with the villagers not to kill the tiger, on condition that the BKSDA capture it before March 19.The agency has deployed two teams to capture the tiger by tranquilizing it. The teams are made up of officers from the police and military, as well as representatives from NGOs, veterinarians and companies operating in the area.Suharyono, the head of the Riau BKSDA, said the team had orders not to shoot the tiger with live ammunition unless under attack. Even then, they would only be allowed to shoot at its hind legs, and avoid its body and head.Suharyono said that once captured, the tiger would be transported to a wildlife rehabilitation center.The conservation authorities in Riau are determined to take the tiger alive, in the wake of a near-identical case earlier this month in which villagers in neighboring North Sumatra province speared a tiger to death and mutilated its body. The tiger had reportedly attacked and injured two people who were part of a hunting party out to catch the animal, which they considered a supernatural incarnation.In that incident, the villagers had earlier threatened and driven out a BKSDA team sent in to capture the tiger, insisting they were within their rights to kill the endangered big cat.Conflicts between humans and wildlife flare up regularly across Sumatra, whose once vast swaths of forest have been cleared at alarming rates for commercial development, primarily palm oil and rubber plantations, as well as mines. There are an estimated 500 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, according to WWF. The species is listed by the IUCN as critically endangered, or just a step away from going extinct.The Sumatran tiger is a key conservation focus for the Indonesian government and wildlife activists; two other tiger subspecies native to Indonesia, the Javan tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica) and the Bali tiger (Panthera tigris balica), were officially declared extinct in 2003 due to poaching and habitat loss — the same threats stalking the Sumatran tiger today.UPDATE (April 24, 2018): The tiger was captured alive and taken to a wildlife rehabilitation center.Banner image: A Sumatran tiger. Photo 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. Article published by Basten Gokkon 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 overSponsoredcenter_img Animal Rescue, Animals, Big Cats, Conflict, Conservation, Deforestation, Environment, Forest Destruction, Habitat Loss, Human-wildlife Conflict, Mammals, Rainforest Animals, Rainforest Deforestation, Tigers, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Rescues last_img read more

Cerrado: Agribusiness may be killing Brazil’s ‘birthplace of waters’

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 Agriculture, Controversial, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Politics, Featured, Forests, Green, Industrial Agriculture, Land Conflict, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Rivers, Social Justice, Soy, Traditional People, Tropical Deforestation The eighth World Water Forum takes place in Brasilia this week, and World Water Day is this Thursday, 22 March. So Mongabay here takes a close look at the Cerrado as Brazil’s “birthplace of waters.”The Cerrado savannah, despite its annual dry season, has in the past had water to spare. Eight out of 12 of Brazil’s major river basins and three aquifers — the Guarani, Bambuí and Urucuia — all rely on the Cerrado as a source for much of their water.Traditional communities are also reliant on the Cerrado’s aquifers and streams. But as agribusiness has moved into the region, putting large-scale irrigation into operation, those communities have complained of a diminishing water supply. A major water conflict arose recently between the town of Correntina and large-scale farms, in Bahia state.The diminishing Cerrado water supply has complex causes, including deforestation due to land conversion to agriculture; large-scale irrigation to grow water-intensive crops like soy, cotton and corn; and climate change. However, scientists say that addressing the problem proactively is critically important to local communities and all of Brazil. Small streams like this one are going dry even in the wet season. Correntina’s people have long relied on these streams to irrigate and grow their food. Photo by Alicia PragerThis is the third of six stories in a series by journalists Alicia Prager and Flávia Milhorance who travelled to the Cerrado in February for Mongabay to assess the impacts of agribusiness on the region’s environment and people.“It used to be right there,” says Marcos Rogério Beltrão pointing to a rocky red sand depression under a small wooden bridge.It’s the wet season in Correntina, a town in western Bahia state, and that depression should be filled with running water. But it’s bone dry. Another dozen or so nearby streams are either heavily silted, sluggish, or gone to dust in the 40 degree Celsius (104 degree Fahrenheit) heat of late February in Brazil.Beltrão, a former small-scale farmer and now an environmentalist, was born in Correntina, so he has many years of seasonal memories to measure by. He guides us along a rural valley where small tributaries should be amply supplying the Arrojado River. “It is flowing with 40,000 liters [10,570 gallons] per second during the wet season,” he says, standing on the riverbank. “This [weak flow] should be the amount in the dry season.”Sixty percent of the 31,000 people living in Correntina rely on traditional water supplies, such as that coming from artesian wells, to grow their food on small farms and in garden plots. But with that water disappearing, the rural town leaped into the national spotlight late last year when one-fifth of the population came out in protest against the excessive use of water for irrigation by large-scale farms in the region.Juscelino Santos and his family produce nearly everything they consume on their small farm, and they have a very deep connection with the land. Juscelino has lived in Correntina all his life and has witnessed dramatic changes in the water supply which locals say is connected with the arrival of large-scale agribusiness. Photo by Alicia PragerThe locals believe that intensive irrigation for extensive commercial soy, corn and cotton crops is why springs and small streams are no longer flowing, and why river levels are dropping.Correntina has watched the available water diminish over the years, while simultaneously industrial agribusiness moved deeper into the Cerrado savannah and set up large-scale irrigation there. The municipality is now an important soy producer and harvested 357,000 tons of the crop last year.There may be a second contributing cause for the vanishing water. The town is a big deforester: it cleared 165 square kilometers (64 square miles) of vegetation between 2013 and 2015, a trend seen across the Cerrado. There’s also a likelihood that an ongoing and future decline in Cerrado rainfall due to worsening drought could be adding to the problem.All these causes are related: scientists have found that the conversion of forests and native vegetation to croplands and pasture in the region diminishes evapotranspiration on those lands by an average of 60 percent during the dry season, which can reduce regional rainfall, according to Brown University researchers. That precipitation failure then causes agribusiness to pump more water for crops, which leads to a self-amplifying cycle.Many little streams in the region flow into the Arrojado River. Those tributaries are important for keeping the soil moist and are used for small-scale irrigation. However, many of them have dried up in recent years. The Arrojado River seen here is well below the level it should be at in the wet season. Photo by Flávia MilhoranceIntensifying water warsCorrentina, being a hotspot of Brazil’s industrial agribusiness expansion, has increasingly also become ground zero for conflicts over water.“The town is emblematic of the people’s growing dissatisfaction with agribusiness and its impacts on water in the region,” says Samuel Britto, from the NGO Comissão Pastoral da Terra, the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT), that tracks territorial conflicts in western Bahia.The NGO has counted 41 major municipal conflicts since 1985, most of them related to water. By 2017, at least 17 streams had been observed to have gone dry, according to local reports, Britto says. There are no exact counts today, but, according to the CPT, an organ of the Catholic Church, the situation hasn’t improved. “On the contrary, things are getting worse as [large scale farming] enterprises take more land,” he says.A major water-related protest hit the streets of Correntina on November 11, 2017. A week earlier, hundreds of angry local people had destroyed the facilities of the Rio Claro farm, owned by the Igarashi company. They did so out of anger concerning the firm’s perceived high water usage. Police were called in, but no one was hurt. The case is currently being investigated by the authorities who are conducting hearings.The damage done was so severe that the Rio Claro farm was inoperable, and is still recovering, months later. The firm says that it suffered 50 million reais ($15 million) in losses due to the attack. The farm was established 14 years ago as a producer of grains and vegetables. The Bahia state environmental agency INEMA approved the extraction of 176 million liters (46.5 million gallons) of water per day from the Arrojado River for the operation. This daily consumption by the farm could supply the whole town for more than a month, according to a calculation by CPT, based on data from the local water provider.Josei Ramos Santana (53 years old) and Josué Santos de Maria (26) on the way to their small farm. They’ve witnessed the reduction of available water in their region with concern. Photo by Alicia PragerBritto didn’t take part in the water-related protests last year, but he is overseeing the case. He says the demonstrations happened after local people saw sharp decreases in the Arrojado River’s flow, and were informed by the media that the farm was planning to further expand its operations; a verified causal link between the farm’s heavy water usage and the river level drop has not been made.Iragashi’s lawyer, Marco Aurélio Naste, says that the farm had been utilizing water at below its permitted limit, and at the time of the protests, was going to increase capacity to the full water allowance. Naste says the company was at all times operating within its environmental license, so was taken by surprise by the protests.“The company didn’t have any history of conflict with the community. It operates totally regularly,“ says Naste. He adds that the accusations that the firm was making excessive water removals are “unfounded.” Igarashi’s press office didn’t say precisely how much water the company was withdrawing from the river at the time of the demonstrations.Britto says that the public anger leading to the protests was also linked to the farm being licensed at all by Bahia state’s INEMA. The agency did not respond to Mongabay’s request for comment.The Igarashi controversy is just one of several major ongoing water conflicts in Correntina. Another involves Sudotex, a textile company that has a large-scale farm that grows cotton – an extremely water-intensive crop.Sudotex has been licensed by Bahia state to build up to 15 artesian wells on its land, and under its permit was to be allowed to withdraw nearly 2 billion liters (528 million gallons) of water from the Urucuia aquifer to irrigate cotton during the Cerrado dry season.The company’s water extraction infrastructure was under construction when, in 2015, local people took to the streets to protest the use of so much water by a single farm. Later, environmental groups took the case to court, which ordered the company to halt construction. Sudotex appealed and the case is currently in review. The firm declined to comment to Mongabay on the water conflict.A Correntina farm family: Left to right, Josivaldo, Francelina, three-year-old Lara de Oliveira Silva, and Glauciene Moura. Water resources are diminishing, they say. They lost their crops for the last three years due to harsh seasonal drought. Photo by Flávia MilhoranceRemembering the days of plentiful waterAs countryside water resources around Correntina dry up, local people are being forced to pay close attention to rain cycles and river levels. Everyone we talked to said the available water was clearly diminishing year after year, and no one had a positive image of the large-scale farms and their irrigation operations.“It’s because of them that we are facing water problems, and they are getting worse,” says Glauciene Moura, who lives in a rural part of the Arrojado Valley. “These companies cannot take our river. We only use a little. If they need water, we also do.”“They say they bring jobs, but [they] destroy our river,” Moura adds. “Look at my daughter, Lara. She is 3 years old. In 20 years, maybe she will have to leave this place.”Moura told us that her family has relied for five generations on the regos, a river-fed system of natural artesian aquifers, (where groundwater rises to the surface under pressure), combined with canals, to supply neighboring families and small farms. With river levels decreasing, and aquifer water pressure dropping, most of the regos are now dry. Less water from the streams and dried regos, force local people to rely instead on the municipal water supply. That means they must now pay for a resource that was once freely available, and that they can’t afford as much water as they need for small-scale farming.Veredas are clearings commonly possessing wet soil, swamps or small lakes, and they are framed by Buriti trees – an iconic Cerrado plant. Traditional communities value these undisturbed natural areas highly. But these wetlands are threatened by increasingly intense drought. Photo by Alicia PragerGlauciene Moura’s mother, Francelina says the rains have been diminishing too. The family lost their small food crop for the last three years due to harsh seasonal droughts. The last time it rained, she says, was two weeks before our wet season visit.“The rain was so good,” Francelina remembers. “It brings so much wealth.”Edite Silva, another small-scale farmer, lost her last five crops. Her family also had to reduce its cattle herd because of the need to rent pasture. Green grazing land, which is also disappearing due to lack of rainfall, is now disputed between multiple families.“We used to have plenty of water here,” recalls Silva, who has lived in the region for 35 years.Mongabay contacted the Association of Farmers and Irrigators of Bahia (AIBA), which represents 1,300 agricultural associates, but the organization didn’t reply to our questions concerning the water crisis.Edite Silva Santana works in her small village shop in Correntina. She immediately invited us in for coffee – with lots of sugar, of course, as it is always served in western Bahia. She lost her last five crops due to lack of water, and now relies more heavily on the shop to sustain her family. Photo by Flávia MilhoranceBirthplace of watersBefore the arrival of large-scale agribusiness, Correntina was mostly covered in native Cerrado vegetation. Deep-rooted, it protects the soil well. For as long as traditional people can remember, the region has been characterized by a good water supply, despite seasonal droughts.Located in the center of Brazil and composed of many plateaus, the Cerrado biome is a vital source of water not just for the region, but also for surrounding areas. Eight of 12 of Brazil’s major river basins and three aquifers – the Guarani, Bambuí and Urucuia – all rely on the Cerrado as a source for much of their water.The Cerrado, the second-biggest biome in Brazil after the Amazon, is for that reason known as the “birthplace of water.”But agribusiness expansion – with its rapid deforestation and wholesale irrigation – has greatly diminished this natural capacity. The Cerrado’s native vegetation once covered 2 million square kilometers (772,200 square miles), more than 20 percent of Brazil – an area bigger than Great Britain, France and Germany combined. Today, less than half of it remains.Even as the biome’s ability to store water diminishes, Brazil’s water use is rising. The country’s water demand rose by 80 percent in the last two decades, and it may increase another 30 percent by 2030. Today, agricultural irrigation accounts for 67.2 percent of the nation’s water consumption, according to national water agency ANA.The picturesque countryside around the town of Correntina. Traditional communities and large-scale agribusiness are increasingly in conflict over the region’s water resources. Photo by Flávia MilhoranceMeanwhile, a paper published in the journal Global Change Biology confirms the observations and suspicions of Correntina’s traditional people: large scale agriculture is impacting the Cerrado’s water cycles.The study suggests that increasing cropland has decreased the amount of water recycled to the atmosphere each year. Additional research by scientists from the University of Göttingen, in Germany, and the Federal University of Mato Grosso have found that the capacity of the Cerrado to deliver and store water depends heavily on the biome’s native vegetation; the conversion of that vegetation to pasture deteriorates the soil, reducing evapotranspiration, the researchers said.But even as science confirms the growing threat of Brazilian water scarcity, national laws to protect the water supply are growing weaker. For example, intermittent springs like those that feed the tributaries and rivers in Correntina, are not currently protected under Brazil’s New Forest Code, according to a study that analyzed the code’s effectiveness. Only springs that hold water year round receive state protection. However, 40 percent of the Cerrado’s springs are seasonal, but are nonetheless indispensable for the biome’s wellbeing. The removal of vegetation from around these springs could dry them up forever, says the author of the paper examining the Forest Code, Rafael Loyola of the Federal University of Goias.The Santos family has lived in the Cerrado for generations. Now they are resisting against the changes to their lives and livelihoods that have come with the rapid expansion of large-scale agribusiness that is growing soy, cotton and corn for global markets. Photo by Flávia MilhoranceSmall-scale farmers whose free water supply dries up must rely on municipal water, which must be paid for, and can be too costly to fully irrigate crops. Photo by Alicia PragerTraditional people vs. agribusinessJorge Enoch, a researcher at the government institution Embrapa Cerrados, argues in a recent article that even the much deforested and degraded Cerrado still has the capacity to meet heightened agribusiness water demands. However, he says that poor land management and the concentration of large irrigated farm operations in just a few areas, including western Bahia, have sparked water shortages and fierce conflicts with local people.There are real solutions available to address the worsening water problem: the scientists involved in the Brown University study, for example, suggested that double cropping could mitigate the overall decrease in water recycling now seen on much Cerrado agribusiness land. Double cropping is the planting of two crops in the same field in a single growing season, and it imitates the effect of year-round vegetation, holding water in the soil during the dry season and preventing high rates of evapotranspiration. Drip irrigation systems, and not watering at the hottest part of the day during the dry season could save more water.However, such innovations may only be able to go just so far: Matopiba (an acronym for the Cerrado states of Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí and Bahia) is seeing a dramatic surge in agribusiness, which means a far greater use of diminishing water supplies. And that means more water conflicts.CPT’s data points to a 150 percent increase (totalling 172 major water conflicts) in Brazil over the five year period from 2011 to 2016, affecting 44,000 families. Most of these conflicts were in the southeast, a more populated region. But the north saw 16,000 families impacted, while the northeast had 17 major conflicts resulting from the private appropriation of water supplies by agribusiness.The Matopiba region was historically occupied by indigenous groups and traditional communities that typically operated small farms and put little demand on the region’s once plentiful water. But since the 1980s, a variety of factors have attracted large-scale farmers, along with transnational commodities companies like Cargill and Bunge. The result is a clash of cultures – of local sustainable lifestyles conflicting with international agribusiness, national and transnational commodities companies, and investors.Juscelino Santos, a representative of a traditional community, Fundo de Fecho de Pasto, has lived in Correntina all his life. He says that his neighbors have long relied on Arrojado Valley water, and on the natural climactic rhythms of the Cerrado, for their livelihoods. Now everyone is desperate to save their vanishing springs. Up on the plateau above the valley, the community has put up fences around the springs to protect them. But Santos knows it likely won’t be enough.“My grandparents were born and lived here,” he says. “Now, I’m resisting here.”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.In order to mark their territory against large-scale agribusiness and to protect a spring, a traditional community put up this fence. Photo by Alicia PragerSmall-scale farms in Correntina commonly raise cattle. But increasingly, farmers need to reduce their herds because of the need to rent pasture. Green grazing land is becoming harder to find, as rainfall decreases. Photo by Flávia Milhorancecenter_img Article published by Glenn Schererlast_img read more

Hospital Foundation announces two new team members

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Hospital Foundation announced last week that two new members have joined their team.Foundation executive director Niki Hedges said that Jessica Cotton has been brought on to serve as the Foundation’s new Special Events and Administration Coordinator, while Megan Brooks will be working in Donor Relations.Cotton previously spent the past two years on the provincial executive board for Kin Canada and a member and past president of our local Kin Club, to raise funds and equity for associations including Kin Canada, Cystic Fibrosis Canada, STARS Air Ambulance, the Hal Rogers Endowment Fund, among others. She also ran some of the local Kin Club’s events, including RocKin the Peace 2018 and the 2019 Kin Convention.Most of Brooks’ family lives in Fort St. John and have been entrepreneurs and landowners since the community was founded. Her great-grandfather opened the very first general store in Fort St. John originally located in his log cabin, when his business expanded he decided to open up shop where Whole Wheat & Honey is today. Brooks has a background of small business as a Graphic Designer and headed, designed and implemented several promotional and marketing campaigns and had also worked as a care aide for adults with developmental disabilities.The Foundation also announced several big upcoming events in October and November.Shoppers Drug Mart “Women in Health” Fundraiser for the Fort St. John Hospital Foundation, October 6th – November 2ndThe Annual West Jet Raffle, Friday, October 12thBe an Angel Gala at the Pomeroy Hotel and Conference Centre, Saturday, November 3rdThe 15th Annual Moose FM “Light a Moose Radiothon” November 28th – 30thThe Foundation will also be hosting its Annual General Meeting on September 19th. In order to be eligible to vote at the AGM, a $10 fee must be paid at least 30 days in advance, with the deadline set for August 17th.last_img read more

Bail set at 1 mn for US actress accused in bribery scandal

first_imgLos Angeles: US actress Lori Loughlin appeared in federal court in downtown Los Angeles in connection with a massive college admissions scam involving other celebrities and top industry CEOs. Bail for the “Full House” star was set at USD 1 million, the same amount as for her husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, who has also been charged in the case. The couple, who are to appear in federal court in Boston on March 29, allegedly paid USD 500,000 in bribes to ensure their two daughters were recruited to the University of Southern California rowing team even though the pair did not participate in crew. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi JinpingLoughlin, 54, surrendered to FBI agents early Wednesday after returning from Vancouver, where she was filming. Judge Steve Kim told the star in setting her bail that she would still be allowed to travel for work as long as the court was made aware of her plans. The couple were among 50 people indicted on Tuesday in a scam to help children of the American elite gain entry into top US colleges. “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, who has also been implicated in the scandal, was arrested by FBI agents at her home on Tuesday and later released on bail. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in XinjiangThe 56-year-old actress and her husband William H Macy, the star of Showtime’s hit series “Shameless,” allegedly paid USD 15,000 for their eldest daughter to perform well on a college entrance exam. Macy was mentioned in the case but has not been charged. The ringleader behind the scam, William “Rick” Singer, who authorities say was paid about USD 25 million dollars to bribe coaches and university administrators, has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with authorities. Some of the universities targeted in the elaborate cheating scam include Yale, Stanford, UCLA and Georgetown. None of the schools or the students has been charged in the case. According to prosecutors, the accused parents paid a firm run by Singer as much as USD 6 million to cheat on college entrance exams for their children or to bribe coaches to help non-athletic students get scholarships. Others ensnared in the scandal include Gordon Caplan, co-chairman of New York law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, who allegedly paid USD 75,000 to have his daughter’s test grades fixed. Also charged is William McGlashan, an executive at the investment group TPG Capital who specialized in technology investments. He allegedly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to ensure his son got into the University of Southern California as a student athlete. The scandal has lit up social media, with many poking fun and expressing anger at the wealthy parents indicted notably Loughlin and Huffman as well as their children. “CAPTION THIS: ‘It’s ok honey. We’ll get you in a college close to your mom’s prison so you can visit,” one Twitter user said in response to a picture Huffman had posted on Sunday of her daughter sitting on Macy’s lap and hugging him. Ben Dreyfuss, the son of veteran actor Richard Dreyfuss, quipped: “I got into college the old fashioned way: by letting my father’s celebrity speak for itself.” Another Twitter user said: “So what I’ve learned from #CollegeCheatingScandal is that rich kids are so stupid that they can’t get into colleges without cheating.” Olivia Jade Giannulli, one of Loughlin’s daughters, disabled comments on her Instagram posts on Wednesday after some of her 1.3 million followers lashed out against her. “Please do a video for how you prepared for the SATs,” read one comment. Another berated the young woman, who posted a video blog last year in which she said she didn’t care about school, for stealing a college spot from “another deserving student (who probably actually rows!!)…”last_img read more

Southwest Monsoon likely to be below normal this year Skymet

first_imgNew Delhi: Monsoon rains may be “below normal” this year, Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency, said on Wednesday attributing it to the El Nino phenomenon.The monsoon is likely to be 93 per cent of the long period average (LPA), it said. Anything between 90-95 per cent of LPA falls under the “below normal” category. LPA is the average of rainfall between 1951 and 2000, which is 89 cm. If the forecast comes true, then this will be the second consecutive year of a below normal rainfall. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’East India, along with a major portion of central India, is likely to be at a higher risk of being rain deficient, especially during the first half of the season. Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Coastal Andhra Pradesh are most likely to see normal rains throughout the season, the forecast said. Agriculture, the major contributor to the Indian GDP, still heavily relies on seasonal rains. Skymet CEO Jatin Singh said June may see rainfall of 77 per cent of LPA, while July is expected to witness rainfall of 91 per cent of LPA. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KAccording to the forecast, June and July are likely to witness “below normal” rainfall. August and September are likely to witness rainfall of 102 per cent and 99 per cent of LPA, Singh said. “There is a 55 per cent chance of a below normal rainfall, zero chances of an excess and above normal rainfall and 30 per cent chance of a normal rainfall,” the forecast said. Skymet blamed the El-Nino behind a possible below normal rainfall. The El-Nino phenomenon is linked to the warming of Pacific waters. El-Nino has an impact on the monsoon, Air Vice Marshal (retired) G P Sharma, Skymet President (Meteorology and Climate Change), said. “The Pacific Ocean has become strongly warmer than average. The model projections call for 80 per cent chance of El Nino during March-May, dropping to 60 per cent for June to August. “This means, it is going to be a devolving El Nino year, though retaining threshold values all through the season. Thus, Monsoon 2019 is likely to be below normal,” Sharma said. He added that the three-monthly Nino index shows that by MJJ (May-June-July), there is a 66 per cent chance of El Nino, 32 per cent chance of neutral and two per cent of La Nina. La Nina is linked to cooling of Pacific waters and is generally believed to be good for the monsoon. The saviour factor, the Skymet said, could be IOD (Indian Ocean Dipole) which is likely to be in the neutral or positive phase during the monsoon. Thus, it may be able to absorb some of the El Nino blues and possibly would support rainfall during the second half of monsoon, Sharma said.last_img read more

Cyclone Fani Odisha likely to start evacuation on May 2

first_imgBhubaneswar: The Odisha government is likely to begin the evacuation of people affected by cyclone Fani from May 2 as the severe cyclonic storm is heading to make a landfall on the state’s coast, an official said here on Tuesday. The state government has also asked the concerned district collectors in the coastal regions to remain prepared to meet any eventuality. “The cyclone is currently headed northwest and after May 1, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), it will recurve and move towards Odisha. By late evening on May 3, the cyclone is expected to make landfall near Puri. However, the IMD informed that this too is expected to change,” said Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra Singh “If the cyclone makes landfall in Odisha on the evening of May 3, we will start evacuating the affected people on May 2.” As many as 879 cyclone shelters were already set up. Besides, 20 Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) units, 335 fire services and 12 NDRF units were on standby. Fani could become an ‘extremely severe cyclone’ by Wednesday, said the IMD. It predicted that after May 2, south-coastal Odisha and adjacent districts will receive heavy to very rainfall. Thereafter, on May 3 and 4, coastal and interior Odisha is also likely to receive extremely heavy downpours, while wind speed may touch 170 km per hour.last_img read more