Alumnae promote benefits of study abroad

first_imgThree Saint Mary’s alumnae took part in a panel discussion Wednesday to highlight the impact of study abroad experiences on careers. Class of 2006 alumna Molly Monceaux, manager of ideation at Just Marketing International, began the presentation by discussing her yearlong experience in Ireland and the effect it had on her career in marketing. “When I came to Saint Mary’s, I definitely wasn’t prepared to be at school on my own yet,” Monceaux said.  “So my first semester abroad was a lot of getting acclimated and meeting people, and then second semester was a blast because I was comfortable and could really enjoy the experiences much more.” When she returned, she was a completely different person from when she left for Ireland, Monceaux said “I fell into an internship with a marketing agency in Indianapolis, and [after graduation] I worked on a Chevrolet racing team. This skyrocketed my career because I made a ton of connections,” Monceaux said.  “It was an opportunity for me to use the traits I learned studying abroad.” Studying abroad teaches students to live and work independently, adapt quickly to new situations, be financially responsible, be exposed to new philosophies and to develop global-mindedness, Monceaux said. “It’s key to approach study abroad as an educational experience,” Monceaux said. “Don’t go out as a tourist, but really get into the culture because that way, you will learn a lot about yourself.” Kara Kelly, a member of the class of 1996 and director of communications for the City of South Bend, said she also studied abroad in Ireland during her time at Saint Mary’s. Kelly said she experienced a different community atmosphere while abroad. “Through study abroad, I experienced a sense of community that I never felt, even in my hometown,” Kelly said.  “I now feel a deeper connection to the larger world.” Kelly said her study abroad experience helped her realize the power of communication across cultural boundaries and the importance of sprouting from our personal, familiar worlds. Class of 1992 alumna Catherine Singleton, an attorney for Gresk and Singleton, said she came to Saint Mary’s simply to study other languages, especially Spanish. “Not all programs are the same, and you don’t need to know why you’re going abroad,” Singleton said. “For me, I think it’s important to know what I was trying to accomplish, [which was] proficiency in foreign languages. I wanted to see how I would feel speaking that language and trying to blend into that country. I believe that cultural acclimation is a skill that you can learn.” Singleton said now as an attorney she is able to speak Spanish on a regular basis with her clients.  She also currently works in a building that she helped design both interiorly and exteriorly based on inspiration from the beauty of France and the architecture of Italy. The panel concluded after students were able to ask questions about the particulars of each alumna’s experiences and careers. Freshman Emily Sullivan said she enjoyed the panel and learned many helpful tips. “I’m planning to go abroad in the spring of 2015, so this panel reassured me that going abroad is not only good for the experience but also for my future after college,” Sullivan said. Junior Emily Scanlon, who studied abroad in Rome in the fall of 2012, said the alumnae made her consider how she would use her experience in Italy to further her career goals. “I’m always thinking about my time in Rome, but I never know how to put the consequences of my experience into a context that will help me in the workforce,” Scanlon said.  “The panel made me reflect on the long term impacts that studying overseas will have and already has on me, which is great, since I know it will always be one of my favorite memories in my life.” Contact Kelly Konya at [email protected]last_img read more

Mixed results for Badgers in back-to-back weekend meets

first_imgThe Wisconsin men’s and women’s swim and dive teams took their show on the road this past weekend, facing off against conference rival Northwestern Friday and following up with a meet against a tough Notre Dame squad Saturday.The women’s team took care of business Friday against the Wildcats winning 162-136, while the men’s side had more trouble against their Big Ten opponent, suffering a 135-165 defeat. Saturday proved to be a  difficult day for both, losing by a final combined score of 362.5-234.5.Third-year head coach Whitney Hite remains proud of the way the teams performed, emphasizing his lack of concern about their dual meet record, instead focusing on the valuable experience the Badgers gained from competing against tougher opponents.“We’ve gone out and swam against some of the best teams in the country, “ Hite said. “We’re not afraid of them and we want to make sure that we compete against the best.”Despite taking the loss against Northwestern, the men’s team had multiple moments of strength. Freshman diver Andrew Suchla continued to prove he will be a force in the Big Ten for years to come, picking up an impressive victory in the one-meter dive against Northwestern freshman rival Andrew Cramer by just 5.50 points.Additional notable swims for the Badger men included dominant finishes in the middle-distance events. Junior Drew teDuits was victorious once again in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of one minute and 48.9 seconds, while junior Nick Schafer cruised to a convincing win in the 200-yard breaststroke with a two minute and 2.3 second finish and freshman Brett Pinfold stole the show in the 200-yard freestyle clocking in at one minute and 37.88 seconds.teDuits, the defending NCAA champion in the 200-yard backstroke, gave credit to the training methods executed in practices for his consistency in meets.“Our coaches have the team as a whole practicing race strategies in all of our events,” teDuits said. “I practice my strategy in the 200 back twice per week and make sure I work harder in the last 100 yards where it really hurts.”The women’s team came out of the gates swinging Friday, dominating the 200-yard medley relay by taking the top two spots. This set the tone for the rest of the evening as freshman diver Ashley Peterson followed up the team’s opening relay performance by owning the competition in the three-meter dive, winning the event by almost 30 points with a score of 296.63 over second place Northwestern senior Mary Kate Campbell.Multiple memorable performances in a variety of different races also helped seal the deal for the women’s side, including victories by senior Rebecka Palm in the 200-yard freestyle and sophomore Anna Meinholz in the 100-yard breaststroke. Junior Ivy Martin finished with arguably the most lopsided victory of the night, securing a first-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle by almost two seconds with a time of 49.83 seconds.Martin, a five-time NCAA All-American, credited her training methods as a big factor of her continual success in the sprint races.“It’s been a matter of getting stronger for me this year that has accounted for my improvement.” Martin said, “Going under 50 seconds in the 100 is a goal in every duel meet, and staying consistent in both meets and practice has been important as well.”Martin believed the teams diminished performance Saturday against Notre Dame was the culmination of exhaustion from back-to-back meets and long drives on the road. teDuits echoed Martin’s comments, but the team as a whole sees their road-heavy schedule (just one home meet all year) as good practice for the long and tiring championship weekends on the road at the end of the season.“Going to back-to-back dual meets where you’re swimming four events per day doesn’t even compare to swimming one event per day at the Big Ten’s and feeling rested,” teDuits said.Although the top-place finishes came in fewer numbers Saturday, the loss to the Fighting Irish showcased some strong performances, the most impressive being a pair of two-event finishers for the Badger men and women. teDuits finished atop the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke — with times of 49.88 seconds and one minute and 48.91 seconds respectively — and Martin winning the 50-yard at 22.67 seconds  and 100-yard freestyle races at 50.55 seconds.These consistent performances out of Martin and teDuits are exactly what Hite looks for in his team leaders. He is quick to point out the contributions by his two star swimmers have had an impact on the team far beyond anything that can be read on a results sheet.“I think they’re both growing into their role as leaders since it’s not only about performance, but stepping up and saying the right thing at the right time and holding teammates accountable,” Hite said.Having reliable leaders on a team is especially crucial for a program that has a heavy base of underclassmen looking for an strong example to follow. Martin, teDuits and Hite all agreed the underclassmen have done a great job of stepping up and providing the team with some much needed depth.teDuits recognized the efforts of the underclassmen sprinters in particular for “taking a hold of those freestyle events,” referring to the efforts of freshman Chase Kinney and sophomore Annie Tamblyn on the women’s side, as well as the performances of freshman Ryan Barsanti and sophomore transfer Zach Wagner for the men this season.Hite added this is the most talented team he’s coached so far, and their potential is exciting for him to see.“We definitely have some good pieces in place to have great success this year,” Hite said.Following two weekends off, both Badger teams will travel to Austin, Texas for the three-day Texas Invitational Dec. 5-7.last_img read more

No more elephants? Poaching crisis takes its toll in the Central African Republic

first_imgAnimals, Biodiversity, Elephants, Endangered Species, Environment, Giraffes, Interns, Mammals, Poaching, Protected Areas, Wildlife, Wildlife Trafficking Article published by Maria Salazar An aerial survey last year found that elephants might be locally extinct in northern Central African Republic.The survey also showed that the poaching crisis had taken a considerable toll on many other large mammals, including giraffe, African buffalo and the giant eland.A park in eastern CAR shows that threats to wildlife can be tackled, but security is required first and foremost. Years of civil war and poaching have virtually wiped out elephants from one of their historical strongholds in Central Africa, an aerial survey conducted last year by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) indicates.The survey, in northern Central African Republic, found surviving but small populations of giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis), giant eland (Taurotragus derbianus), buffalo (Syncerus caffer) and roan antelope (Hippotragus equinus) — but not a single bush elephant (Loxodonta africana). “We weren’t anticipating to find many elephants, but we were hoping to find some,” said Paul Elkan, the WCS’s Sudano-Sahel regional director, who led the investigation. “It doesn’t mean that there are none; it means that, if there are, there are very small numbers.”The destruction of the CAR’s once abundant wildlife is due to poaching and illegal trafficking rooted both inside the country and in neighboring nations. This is part of a historical phenomenon that has been exacerbated by the country’s civil war, ongoing since 2013.But experts in wildlife protection say there is still hope for the nation’s wildlife. If the CAR can preserve its rich habitats by scaling up and strengthening conservation efforts that are currently undermined by conflict, it could not only potentially bring back wildlife, but also greater security for its citizens.Two teams from the WCS, ECOFAUNE+ (a European Union-supported conservation project) and staff from the CAR’s Ministry of Environment performed the survey in March and April 2017. Their planes covered 63,657 square kilometers (24,578 square miles) across several national parks and their outskirts: Bamingui-Bangoran, Manovo-Gounda St. Floris, Vassako-Bolo Nature Reserve, Gribingui-Bamingui Faunal Reserve, Aouk Aoukale Wildlife Reserve, Yata Ngaya Faunal Reserve and Presidential Park Awakaba.Conservationists had earlier conducted similar surveys across 21 African countries, but the armed conflict in the CAR delayed them here.The survey identified a small number of highly endangered Kordofan giraffes in northern CAR. Photo: Paul Elkan/WCS.They discovered, once the survey was carried out, that elephants were missing from large areas of their historical range. In 2005, conservationists found 929 elephants in the region, but five years later there were just 68. Those last elephants may now be gone.This absence points toward a gradual decimation of their populations that started at the end of the 1970s and gained momentum again after 2000. The teams found small numbers of highly endangered Kordofan giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis antiquorum), giant elands and buffalos. Warthogs appeared to have declined in some areas in the survey, while roan antelope and bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus) populations remained stable, with frequent sightings of Grimm’s duikers (Sylvicapra grimmia) and red-flanked duikers (Cephalophus rufilatus). Poaching unfolding – past and presentWildlife poaching is not new to the CAR. The ivory poaching crisis of the 1970s and 1980s saw Sudanese poachers on horseback ravaging elephant populations. Automatic weapons replaced traditional spears, and elephant numbers dropped from around 35,000 in the 1970s to 4,000 by the mid-1980s across the country.“We focused on the area because historically, in northern CAR, Bamingui-Bangoran [National Park] was a real stronghold for elephants,” Elkan said.Active poaching camp in Manovo-Gounda-St. Floris National Park, northern CAR. Photo: Paul Elkan/WCSSurveys done in 1985 and 2005 showed a plummeting trend that Elkan said could be attributed to ivory poachers from Sudan and Chad. But in the last seven years, local poachers and armed groups have become heavily involved in the bushmeat trade.“This is what led from an elephant poaching focus to a broader, all-wildlife one,” Elkan said.But the story is not confined to the north of the CAR. David Simpson, manager of the Chinko National Park, describes a similar history for the southeastern part of the country.“What we’ve had in the last 30 to 40 years is a huge invasion of militarized poachers that have come into the east of CAR and far down as Congo and they exterminated the elephants,” he said. “In Chinko we’ve lost about 60,000 elephants in 30 years — population is down to 150 elephants.” Today, Chinko is run by African Parks, a South Africa-based organization focused on national park rehabilitation and long-term management in partnership with governments and local communities. They hope to revitalize the park through strong security.According to Simpson, now that the elephants are largely gone, poachers are targeting other animals. Moreover, cattle herders from Chad and Sudan have overrun parts of the park. The cattle started showing up in 2012, and today the park estimates cattle numbers at 200,000 head or more in eastern CAR.The herders, usually working for wealthy individuals, are doing much of the poaching, he says.“They dry the meat, then sell it in villages or back in Sudan. It’s like a bonus that the boss doesn’t know about. And it often can fuel the conflict, as meat goes directly to feed the rebel groups,” Simpson said.Reports from local anonymous sources suggest that armed groups are allowing access to commercial hunting as compensation for military service.The meat also goes to Bangui, the CAR’s capital, which over recent years has become a hub for the illegal trade, according to Elkan.Though numbers are difficult to pin down, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has labeled the bushmeat trade across Central Africa “the single greatest threat to wildlife” there. The agency estimates that the region as a whole consumes about a million metric tons of bushmeat annually.Cattle herd northern sector, Manovo-Gounda-St. Floris National Park CAR 2017. Photo © P. Elkan WCSSecurity that brings back wildlifeThe civil war that erupted in 2013 not surprisingly severely undermined conservation efforts. Rangers were forced out of Manovo-Gounda St. Floris National Park, Elkan says, though some remain in Bamingui-Bangoran.“It’s an area that needs to be saved, to be invested in from a security perspective, as well as from a conservation justification,” he said. As poaching threatens to spill over into northern Cameroon and Chad, securing the region would provide a buffer for these countries as well, he added.But the CAR government currently controls just 10 percent of the country, with the rest divided between 23 different armed groups. Such instability leaves little space for regulating cattle or providing any security for people and wildlife.What’s happening in Chinko may prove an example of how to turn the tide. In the last three years that African Parks has had full control over the park’s management, it has succeeded in controlling both poaching and herders, according to Simpson.“We’ve been very effective through establishing a unit of 60 rangers to cover the 20,000 square kilometers [7,722 square miles] of the park and we reduced illegal human presence by 90 percent,” he said. “We confiscated the weapons, we made arrests.”At the same time, 300 people displaced by the war have found refuge in the park.“Chinko is the one safe place in the entire region,” Simpson said, “and our rangers are the only stabilizing force here.”The WCS is now hoping to turn things around for the surveyed parks in the north. It is discussing long-term park management with the government for these once-wild landscapes.“This will lead to stabilizing the country, securing wildlife and protecting people,” Elkan said. Banner image: Group of hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus) roaming through the northern Central African Republic. Photo: Paul Elkan/WCS Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

The world’s last male northern white rhino has died

first_imgAnimals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Deforestation, Environment, Green, Mammals, Northern White Rhino, Rhinos, Wildlife, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking Sudan, a 45-year-old rhino believed to be the world’s last surviving male northern white rhino, died at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya on March 19.Sudan had been battling ill health over the past few months, and after his condition worsened considerably in the last 24 hours, veterinarians decided to euthanize him.Sudan lived at Ol Pejeta with the only other northern white rhinos left on Earth — his daughter, Najin, and her daughter, Fatu — under 24-hour armed surveillance.The survival of the species now hinges on costly and never-before-attempted in vitro fertilization using eggs from the remaining females, stored sperm samples, and southern white rhino females as surrogates. The fate of the northern white rhinoceros now hangs by an extremely thin thread.Forty-five-year-old Sudan, believed to be the world’s last surviving male northern white rhino (Ceratotherium simum cottoni), died at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya on March 19.Sudan fell gravely ill earlier this month following a series of infections and age-related health issues that developed last year. Veterinarians worked around the clock to save him, but his condition deteriorated considerably in the last 24 hours, with Sudan unable to stand up, according to a press release from the Ol Pejeta Conservancy and U.S.-based conservation group WildAid. Given the extent of the rhino’s suffering, the team of veterinarians from the Czech Republic-based Dvůr Králové Zoo, Ol Pejeta and Kenya Wildlife Service made the decision to euthanize him.Sudan lived at Ol Pejeta with two elderly female northern white rhinos — his daughter, Najin, and her daughter, Fatu — under 24-hour armed surveillance. The two females are now the last known members of this once wide-ranging subspecies.“We at Ol Pejeta are all saddened by Sudan’s death,” Richard Vigne, Ol Pejeta Conservancy CEO, said in the statement. “He was an amazing rhino, a great ambassador for his species, and will be remembered for the work he did to raise awareness globally of the plight facing not only rhinos, but also the many thousands of other species facing extinction as a result of unsustainable human activity. One day, his demise will hopefully be seen as a seminal moment for conservationists worldwide.”It is with great sadness that Ol Pejeta Conservancy and the Dvůr Králové Zoo announce that Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhino, age 45, died at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya on March 19th, 2018 (yesterday). #SudanForever #TheLoneBachelorGone #Only2Left pic.twitter.com/1ncvmjZTy1— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) March 20, 2018The only hope for this subspecies now exists in developing artificial reproductive techniques, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), experts say. Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Dvůr Králové Zoo are partnering with the Berlin-based Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research; Avantea, a medical laboratory in Cremona, Italy, specializing in IVF; and Kenya Wildlife Service to carry out the first-ever IVF procedure. This will involve safely removing egg cells from the two remaining females, fertilizing these with stored semen samples collected from now-dead northern white males, and inserting the resulting embryos into female southern white rhinos that will act as surrogates. The procedure could cost as much as $9 million.“This has never been done before in rhinos, and does not come without risks. Yet this is the hope for preserving an entire subspecies,” the press release said.Mother and daughter Najin and Fatu are now the last two northern white rhinos left on Earth. Screengrab from video courtesy of WildAid.Northern white rhinos were once found across Uganda, the Central African Republic, Sudan, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo. But intense poaching to meet rhino horn demand in China and other Asian countries wiped out most populations, leaving just 20 to 30 rhinos by the 1990s and early 2000s. In 2008, conservationists considered the subspecies to be extinct in the wild.Other rhino species are under immense threat from poaching and habitat loss as well. For example, as few as 30 Sumatran rhinos, along with about 60 Javan rhinos are believed to be surviving in the wild.“We can only hope that the world learns from the sad loss of Sudan and takes every measure to end all trade in rhino horn,” said WildAid CEO Peter Knights. “While prices of rhino horn are falling in China and Vietnam, poaching for horn still threatens all rhino species.”Sudan, now dead at the age of 45. Screengrab from video courtesy of WildAid. Article published by Shreya Dasguptacenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Jaguars, Pride battle for title in nervy final round in WICB Regional Four-Day Championship

first_imgBRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):Championship leaders Guyana Jaguars and challengers Barbados Pride both enter the nerve-jangling final round of the Regional four-day championship starting today, hoping to deny each other the prestigious Headley/Weekes Trophy.Jaguars, the title-holders who have led all season, are on 130 points, while the clinical Pride outfit are seven points behind in second. They are the only two teams in with a chance of clinching the championship.Were it not for their stumble in the penultimate round last week against minnows Leeward Islands Hurricanes, Jaguars could have virtually wrapped up their title defence by now.However, they will now hope to get the better of a resurgent third-placed Jamaica Scorpions, who crushed Windward Islands Volcanoes last weekend, in order to stave off Pride.Captain Leon Johnson, the leading run-getter this season with 714 runs, believes Jaguars will be under pressure, but backed his side to prevail.”We are playing at home, we are defending champions and we have all to lose. There is a little bit of pressure, but we just need to put that behind us and play a good game of cricket,” Johnson said.Jaguars are unbeaten this season, winning seven of their nine games and drawing two. They reeled off five consecutive wins before the break for the Regional Super 50, but have won only two of their four games since the resumption.Fittingly, Jaguars host Scorpions at the Guyana National Stadium and will hope hometown advantage pays dividends.Meanwhile, Pride will be focused on beating fifth-placed Hurricanes at Warner Park in St Kitts and hope Jaguars stumble, in order to emerge champions.They take on a Hurricanes side which has been poor all season, but have lifted themselves in recent rounds and actually moved off the bottom of the standings for the first time last week.”The key for us will be to remain disciplined. We need to stick to our plans, build pressure around them and we will win it,” said Barbados captain Kraigg Brathwaite, whose 645 runs leaves him fourth on the run-getters list this season.”We must not become complacent. We need to give 110 per cent. These will be the keys for us going out there and trying to win this last game.”They have lost just once this season ironically to Jaguars but have been on a good run of recent.The other game of the final round will see Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, who lie fourth, clashing with bottom-placed Volcanoes at the National Cricket Centre in Couva.last_img read more

Mortgage decisions made simple, with Pascal at Advice First

first_imgThis month’s finance column breaks down mortgage decisions, from switching to cash-back offers, with Pascal Curran, Letterkenny-based financial advisor and founder of advicefirst.ie.Lately, there is a lot of chatter about switching your mortgage to a different lender and the apparent benefits of switching providers, as well as these alluring lump-sum cash-back offers that lenders can provide – we can be bombarded by seemingly amazing options. It’s hard not to get excited by potential savings (yay!) – but, it’s important to take a closer look get down to the simple facts; is there real value to you?Let’s break it down… Switching – “Should we switch?!”Long answer short. Yes, but only if you are paying more than you should.That is, if your interest rate is higher than what is available from other providers. This is why it’s key to get advice though from someone who is not tied to any one lender, before switching your mortgage. You need a simplified and unbiased approach to figuring this out based on your own situation. Offers can sound AMAZING on paper – but help getting a broader picture is invaluable. You need to know exactly what is being offered, the pros and the cons. Is there a possibility your current provider could offer a better rate?! It’s good to check in with them, too. “So, you’re saying we should switch?!”No! Not in all casesWhilst the interest rate is a good starting point to consider whether to switch or not it is not the only factor to consider. If you are on a Tracker rate with your current provider, for instance, you need to consider the implications of switching, the new provider will not give you a tracker rate. Caution is needed here, and here is where the advice comes back into play. You are not just another number, it’s important not to allow your circumstances to be generalised; you’ve got to look at your own life and consider things, like; Your ageHow long your mortgage has to runYour plans for the property in questionSo, “should we switch”, if the emphasis is simply to save money, then yes.*Example:This is an actual case Advice First looked at recently (names have been changed)Bill & Mary, have a mortgage balance of €175,000 with 23 years to run, current interest rate is 3.15%, they are paying €892 monthly, there is a rate 2.3% available to them, the repayment would be €817 monthly, a saving of €75 monthly. It could be argued this would represent a saving of €20,700 over the remaining 23 years. If you enjoy overpaying for everyday items, then, you should not switch providers. Remember your mortgage is an everyday item. That is, you think about it almost every day!So, could we switch?!Now this is where it gets interesting. Not everybody that should switch will be able too. The process of switching mortgage providers is almost the same as applying for new mortgage (see our previous Donegal Daily column for help preparing to get yourself mortgage ready!) whilst, the terms and conditions of a new application are not exactly the same as a switcher application a lot of the lending criteria is the same.So, things like:Your ageYour employment or self-employmentYour incomeYour credit historyThe value of your property versus the outstanding balance of your mortgageNote: If the property in question is not your principle private residence than switching providers may not be an option. The best way to really figure out the answers to these burning questions is, to talk to someone who can help you to clearly figure out your options based on your situation; Give us a call on 074 910 3938A burning question: Would you be bothered….?!The hassle of it all.A question for you. We like to use this example to illustrate a point around this topic; “If you had a hole in your pocket and you were losing, let’s say, €55.23 per month out of this hole. Would stop using the pocket or get it mended or continue to use it and continue to lose money? We think not….Will you contently continue to lose money with your mortgage repaymentsWe at Advice First, suggest that a little hassle is worth enduring, if, savings can be made and importantly, it was the right decision after taking advice. The big question: Why continue to pay more than you need to?!The time to take action is now!We are happy to help you through the process, to make it easier.What about the cost of switching?A few lenders, not all, are offering “Cash Back”. This will help cover the initial outlay of moving to a new provider. Again, advice is needed as not all Cash Back offers are the same and not all offer long term value for money. We have a detailed blog on our site about the Cash back offers where we really break it down. Our advice – is to get advice to help you to:Educate yourself on whether switching is an option for you or not.Look at the pros & cons of switching or not switching Empower yourself with information about aspects like Cash Back offers – knowledge is power. Each month Pascal will provide financial advice on the most frequently asked topics – here on Donegal Daily and is looking forward to further breaking down the barriers around financial advice in his renowned experienced and jargon-free way! If you would like to book a no obligations consultation with Pascal, click here or simply call  +353 74 910 39 38 to talk to us today.Follow us on Facebook & Instagram  Advice First Financial Services Ltd trading as Advice First Financial is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. *example above is based on a mortgage of €175,000, term 23 years, rate variable 3.15%, switching to a 2-year fixed rate of 2.3%.Warning: If you do not keep up your repayments you may lose your homeWarning: You may have to pay charges if you pay off a fixed-rate loan early.Warning: The cost of your monthly repayments may increase.Warning: If you do not meet the repayments on your loan, your account will go into arrears. Mortgage decisions made simple, with Pascal at Advice First was last modified: April 30th, 2019 by Pascal CurranShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:advice firstfinancial adviceMortgagePascal Curranlast_img read more

Five bidders for new power plants

first_img24 August 2005Five consortia have qualified to bid for the exclusive rights to build, own and operate two new power stations needed to meet South Africa’s growing energy demands.The new plants, at sites still to be finalised in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, are expected to cost R6-billion to build and to be fully operational by the end of 2008.The successful consortia were announced by Minerals and Energy deputy director-general Nelisiwe Magubane in Pretoria on Tuesday.The five successful applicants are AES, comprising black-owned Tiso Energy and Lereko Energy; Inkanyezi, which includes French company Suez Energy and Mvelaphanda Holdings; Tata-J&J Consortium; the Malaysian YTL-led consortium; and the International Power Consortium.Magubane said that some of the evaluation criteria included experience in the green fields of building power stations, black economic empowerment, the applicant’s reputation in the energy sector, and the ability to raise finance.Peaking plantsThe new generation capacity will comprise two oil-fired, open-cycle gas turbine power stations with a combined capacity of about 1 000 Megawatts, operating as peaking plants – meaning the power stations will operate mainly during peak hours of electricity use.According to Business Day, the introduction of independent power producers is aimed at bringing competition to power utility Eskom, which currently produces 95% of SA’s electricity, and at further reducing the cost of SA’s electricity, already among the cheapest in the world.The two privately operated stations, although restricted to selling their power to Eskom, will effectively end the state company’s monopoly.Magubane said that Eskom would be increasing its generational capacity, and would be involved in 70% of new energy production projects in the country, with independent producers being involved in the remainder.According to Business Day, Eskom is expected to spend R48-billion in the next five years on building new capacity, with the private sector expected to invest R23-billion.‘Ambitious’ timetableMagubane said that while energy shortages in South Africa were only expected around 2010, the recent economic boom had led to increased energy use, prompting the government to revise that timetable.“An estimated 12 000MW of peak generation capacity will be needed for the next 20 years, excluding the capacity provided by the return to service of a mothballed plant”, Magubane said.Magubane said prefered bidders would be announced by June 2006, with construction due to start in the first quarter of 2007 and to be completed within 18 months.Admitting the that the timetable was “ambitious,” Magubane said: “We are not going to compromise on the deadline.”SouthAfrica.info reporter and BuaNewslast_img read more

Bollywood yes for Cape Town

first_imgSea Point in Cape Town, with Lions Headin the background.(Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. Formore free photos, visit the image library) MEDIA CONTACTS • Tammy EvansMedia liaison, office of Alan Winde+27 82 378 2235• Linton RensburgCape Film Commission – Communications,Media and 2010 Manager+27 82 508 0990 USEFUL LINKS• Cape Film Commission• Cape Town Film Studios• Filmmaker South Africa• Department of Trade and Industry• Cape Town TourismJanine ErasmusAnother high-profile Bollywood film, featuring some of the Hindi film industry’s most popular stars, is taking shape on the streets of Cape Town – and regional government hopes there will be many more to follow.The police action comedy No Problem, directed by Anees Bazmee, has also taken the superstar cast to various locations in KwaZulu-Natal.The cast includes veterans Anil Kapoor, fresh from Slumdog Millionaire success and a stint of filming for TV series 24, and Sanjay Dutt, in real life a politician too. The film also features the ever-popular Sunil Shetty, former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen, and Akshaye Khanna.Dutt, who turned 50 while filming, celebrated his birthday at a quiet gathering in Cape Town with family and friends.Sought-after film destinationThe calibre of Indian stars visiting South Africa’s shores lately is good news for the city, the province and the country. This is in part due to the efforts of the Cape Film Commission, which has implemented a long-term plan to market the Western Cape as an attractive film location.During a recent visit to the No Problem set, Cape Film Commission CEO Laurence Mitchell expressed his delight that the hard work of the past five years, aimed specifically at pulling in big film productions, is now reaping rewards.“The production of No Problem on our shores has already had significant spin offs,” said Mitchell, “with at least 80 local people being employed as crew and cast members.”Other industry sectors that have benefited include catering, transport and security services. Cape Town hotels have also received a big boost, said Mitchell, with the accommodation of cast and crew accounting for over 2 000 bed nights in less than a month.Later in 2009 the Cape Film Commission is due to travel to India to market the local film industry in the subcontinent, and interact with Bollywood bigwigs.Contribution to economyThe good favour of the super-lucrative Bollywood film industry is a huge boost for Cape Town, and indicates that the local film industry is poised to contribute significantly to regional economy.The US$6-billion (R47-billion) Indian film industry churns out over 1 000 films every year. Of those, the Hindi and Telugu film sectors account for about 300 films each, with the remainder shared among other languages. However, Hindi films bring in half of the industry’s total annual revenue.Provincial Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Alan Winde, who accompanied Mitchell to the set of No Problem, was optimistic that the local industry could handle the challenge. “In order to ensure that we grow this contributor even further, we need to make sure that our service offering, whether in tourism or film, is exceptional.”Winde attributes the ongoing presence of Bollywood’s leading men and women to the fact that Cape Town is recognised as a global film industry destination. He added that the province was now setting its sights firmly on the potential of the Indian and Middle Eastern film markets.Thumbs upCape Town has recently played host to casts and crews from the romantic comedies Seasons Greetings and Life Partner, psychological thriller Tasveer, action comedy Cash, and the horse-breeding film Race, among others. Race went on to become the fifth most successful Bollywood film of 2008, in terms of revenue.And the country gets the thumbs-up from the stars themselves. In 2006 Anil Kapoor was appointed as global brand ambassador for South Africa by South African Tourism. Big names such as Akshay Kumar and Govinda are regularly seen enjoying the Cape Town ambience.Kapoor said that with Cape Town’s unique offerings of locations, weather, culture and world class services, the city would become a magnet for large Bollywood productions.Sunil Shetty told the Sunday Times Extra that he believes his films have been such big hits because many of them were filmed in South Africa.“I’ve loved South Africa from the first time that I came here. The things I love most about the country are its beauty, food, particularly the seafood, Nando’s chicken, beautiful terrain and fantastic weather,” enthused the actor, adding that South Africa is also his favourite holiday destination.Cricket successEarlier in 2009, the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament drew thousands of excited fans to South Africa, as well as team part-owners Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Shilpa Shetty, all influential Bollywood stars.The success of the tournament has added to expectations that Cape Town will become the African base of the Bollywood machine.According to Winde, the province received huge exposure in India because of the IPL. “Images of our country were beamed into the homes of millions,” he said, “and this provided the Western Cape with a wonderful opportunity to access this significant tourism and film market.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at [email protected]last_img read more

SKA South Africa joins ‘big data’ project

first_img‘Dream team’ of scientists and engineers “The Dome collaboration brings together a dream team of scientists and engineers in an exciting partnership of public and private institutions,” said Dome-South Africa technical coordinator Simon Ratcliffe. “This project lays the foundation to help the scientific community solve other data challenges such as climate change, genetic information and personal medical data.” According to Dr Ton Engbersen, Dome project leader for IBM Research, the Dome research “has implications far beyond astronomy. These scientific advances will help build the foundation for a new era of computing, providing technologies that learn and reason. “Ultimately, these cognitive technologies will help to transform entire industries, including healthcare and finance,” said Engbersen. “For example, we are designing a system for storing information that learns from its interactions with the data and parcels it out in real time to the storage medium that’s most appropriate for each bit, which can also be applied to medical images.” Dr Albert-Jan Boonstra, Dome project leader for Astron, said Dome was not only innovating in the laboratory, “but our user platform is setting a new standard in open collaboration. “In addition to SKA South Africa, four additional organizations are expected to join in the coming weeks, including universities and small and medium-sized businesses located in the Netherlands.” SAinfo reporter 11 March 2013 Square Kilometre Array South Africa is joining IBM and the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (Astron) in a four-year collaboration to research extremely fast but low-power “exascale” computer systems aimed at developing advanced technologies for handling the massive amount of data that will be produced by the SKA. As part of this collaboration, South African scientists will be involved in exploring new computer architectures, developing advanced algorithms for radio astronomy imaging, and developing rugged microservers capable of handling harsh desert conditions. The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is an international effort to build the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope, which will be co-hosted by South Africa and Australia. The ultimate ‘big data’ challenge The project, which aims at a better understanding of the history of the universe, also constitutes the ultimate “big data” challenge, and scientists will have to produce major advances in computing to deal with it. “The impact of those advances will be felt far beyond the SKA project – helping to usher in a new era of computing, which IBM calls the era of cognitive systems,” IBM, Astron and SKA South Africa said in a joint statement on Monday. When the SKA is completed, it will collect data from deep space containing information dating back to the Big Bang more than 13-billion years ago. “The aperture arrays and dishes of the SKA will produce 10 times the global internet traffic, but the power to process all of this data as it is collected far exceeds the capabilities of the current state-of-the-art technology.”The Dome partnership To tackle this challenge, Astron and IBM last year launched a public-private partnership called Dome, which aims to develop an IT roadmap for the SKA. The collaboration includes a user platform that enables organizations from around the world to jointly investigate emerging technologies in high-performance, energy-efficient computing, nanophotonics, and data streaming. South Africa’s National Research Foundation, through its SKA South Africa unit, is now a user platform partner in Dome, and scientists from SKA South Africa, Astron and IBM will collaborate remotely and at the newly established Astron & IBM Center for Exascale Technology in Drenthe, the Netherlands. More specifically, according to the three partners, SKA South Africa scientists will focus on three main research themes: Visualizing the challenge -fundamental research will be conducted into signal processing and advanced computing algorithms for the capture, processing and analysis of SKA data so that clear images can be produced for astronomers to study.Desert-proof technology – the Dome team is researching and prototyping microserver architectures based on liquid-cooled 3D stacked chips. The team in South Africa will extend this research to make the microservers “desert proof” – capable of handling the extreme environmental conditions in which the SKA will be located.Software analytics – the 64 dishes of the SKA prototype MeerKAT telescope in South Africa will be used for developing a software programme to help design the entire computing system holistically and optimally – taking into account all of the cost and performance trade-offs for the eventual 3 000 SKA dishes.last_img read more

Japan beckons for young South Africans

first_imgIf you join the Japan Exchange and Teaching programme, you can expect to work in schools in beautiful towns and villages such as Shirakawa. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)Japan – the name conjures images of cherry blossoms, sushi and samurai, and for some pop culture junkies, anime and role-playing games. But the country is more than this. With a rich history dating back 35 000 years and a culture based on Shintoism, Japan can be a place that will change your perspective on life forever.Young South Africans have a chance to experience the beautiful island nation through the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) programme.On the programme, successful applicants work as assistant English teachers in primary (or elementary), junior high or senior high schools.Since landing a job in South Africa is proving to be a challenge for many graduates, JET offers a unique way for young men and women to gain work and life experience.Bonolo Mogotsi, an international relations graduate who joined the programme in 2012, urges all recent or imminent graduates with a degree to apply. “It was daunting because it was the first time I’d left South Africa but it was an amazing opportunity. You earn good money and can travel quite a lot, exploring a country and culture that are very different but also welcoming and homey. The way I see the world broadened and I also became more patriotic, wanting to learn more about where I come from.”JET considers itself a cultural exchange programme. Each participant brings their culture to a local community in Japan while they learn more about Japan, its people and culture.“This is an experience that can really enrich participants’ outlook and prospects for the rest of their lives,” says Minister Councillor Kawaguchi from the embassy of Japan in South Africa. “We really urge South African youth to take advantage of this excellent opportunity.”JET has been running in South Africa since 1997, and there have been more than 80 South African participants. These participants also act as unofficial ambassadors, taking part in international exchange activities, promoting better understanding and creating closer ties between South African and Japanese youth.Applications are open until 11 November, but you must have a Bachelors degree or higher. Following your application, interviews take place either in Pretoria, Durban, Port Elizabeth or Cape Town. If you are accepted, you will get a one-year contract by the prefectures, municipality or private schools, and the work year starts in July 2017.WHAT TO EXPECTYou will be guided by language teachers to teach English as a foreign language, prepare teaching materials and help with extracurricular and club activities, including English-language speech contests.You will usually work 35 hours a week. Working days in Japan usually run from 8.30am to 5.15pm, Monday to Friday. Over and above weekends and public holidays, you get 10 days’ paid leave during the year. And you work as a Japanese civil servant or private school staff member for the year so be prepared to observe the code of conduct of these contracting organisations, says JET.“The JET courses and workshops helped us with self-development and self-awareness,” says Mogotsi. “This personal growth made me focus better on what I want to achieve personally and in my career. I have made the most of my new networks by working with Japanese parastatals and corporates since I returned.”MORE ABOUT JETNow in its 30th year, JET has hosted nearly 5 000 participants from 40 countries. It is an official Japanese government programme, implemented through the country’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications; Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; and its Council of Local Authorities for International Relations.The application process is long and competitive. Because the programme is a one-year commitment, you are advised to give serious consideration as to whether you want to live and work in Japan for at least a year.Unlike other English teaching opportunities in other countries, JET tries to expose local – mainly rural – Japanese communities to foreign cultures and norms, helping them to improve foreign language education and developing an international exchange at community level.last_img read more