The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected five projects, totalling nearly $12 million, that target cost-effective technologies to improve the performance and economics of near-zero emission, coal-based power generation systems. Developed for the Office of Fossil Energy’s Advanced Research programme, the projects focus on identifying technologies that address physical, chemical, biological and thermodynamic constraints in the cross cutting technology areas of instrumentation, sensors and control systems, materials, and computational energy sciences. DOE is providing more than $9.3 million in funding while industry is contributing more than $2.3 million. The projects range from 24 to 36 months in duration.The research will continue to emphasize US energy goals addressing global climate change, enhancing energy security, ushering in a hydrogen economy, and building the FutureGen plant. Cumulatively, the results will meet the efforts to develop the power generation systems of the future. The projects are as noted below.ALSTOM Power of Windsor, Connecticut will develop computational process models and a process dynamic simulator to investigate and develop advanced sensing and control systems for hybrid combustion-gasification chemical looping. The work hopes to achieve a more reliable, economical and emissions-optimized future plant process. (DOE share: $1,198,998; industry share: $299,750; duration: 24 months).Babcock & Wilcox of Barberton, Ohio will develop comprehensive modelling focused on predicting the corrosion rates of boiler tubes under low-NOx corrosion. Eight common coals will be tested and the intention is to accurately estimate the corrosion rates of boiler tubes using different variables including chemicals and temperature. (DOE share: $2,103,543; industry share: $525,884; duration: 36 months).General Electric of Niskayuna, NewYork will perform computer modelling research focused specifically on coal gasification plants and will install and develop a harsh environment sensor package at Tampa Electric’s Polk power station. The collected temperature data will be used for model validation. (DOE share: $2,427,588; industry share: $606,897; duration: 36 months).The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) of Palo Alto, California will develop advanced nanostructure coatings to significantly improve corrosion and erosion performance of tubing used in boiler applications. The coatings will undergo testing in simulated boiler environments using coals from three different regions. EPRI’s partners include the Southwest Research Institute, Foster Wheeler North America and Applied Films. (DOE share: $1,994,828; industry share: $498,708; duration: 36 months).University of Colorado at Boulder will develop a gas-solid model, using new methodologies tailored to polydisperse systems, targeted specifically at materials with differences in size and/or density. Novel aspects include incorporating the effects of random particle motion between systems. (DOE share: $1,594,175; industry share: $402,995; duration: 36 months).Meanwhile, America’s Coal Utilization Research Council, Edison Electric Institute and the Electric Power Research Institute are partnering to host a two-day forum in Washington, D.C., February 5-6, which the National Mining Association (NAM) is also supporting. The aim is to bring together global experts to examine national, regional and global challenges to the development and use of new coal technologies designed to more cleanly generate electricity from coal in the 21st century. NMA says the forum will offer participants “the chance to engage in roundtable discussions with leading coal technology experts to discuss meeting the ever-increasing demand for electricity in a world marked by growing concern for the environmental implications of energy production.”Industry representatives and government officials from the world’s major coal-using regions have been invited to participate and will examine a number of critical subjects, including the technologies needed to meet rising energy demand; whether sufficient funding, national will, and public support exists to develop technologies to meet the environmental challenges for long-term coal use; and whether adequate understanding and co-operation among industries and governments exists to ensure the accelerated development and adoption of clean coal technologies. More details, along with registration information can be found at: www.coal.org
SGS has been awarded the operational contract for the on-site laboratory at the Oyu Tolgoi mine in the Southern Gobi Region of Mongolia. This three year operational contract was awarded to SGS at the end of 2011. Operation at the on-site laboratory is expected to begin on June 1, 2012. The on-site laboratory is scheduled to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Its scope of operations will include rapid grade control, process plant, final concentrate and environmental determinations.SGS currently runs an on-site sample preparation laboratory for the Oyu Tolgoi exploration team at the Oyu Tolgoi site. Samples are prepared at the exploration site and shipped to SGS’ nearby commercial laboratory in Ulaanbaatar for all required analyses. The new on-site facility will employ more than 50 staff and many are currently being trained at SGS’s local laboratory in Ulaanbaatar. The Ulaanbaatar facility is a fully equipped commercial facility with fire assay, ICP, XRF, fluorine, chlorine, sulphur, carbon and classical wet chemistry capability as well as a full scope of testing for coal and conforms to the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025 for specific registered tests. Its complete scope of testing can be found at http://www.sgs.com/en/mining/quality. A metallurgical laboratory is also being commissioned by SGS in Mongolia to service the Oyu Tolgoi mine.SGS states: “The Oyu Tolgoi on-site laboratory complements SGS Minerals Services’ existing facility in Ulaanbaatar and further expands our broad network of commercial labs around the world. SGS offers a wide range of services to the minerals sector including geochemical analysis, resource calculation, mineralogy, metallurgy, advanced systems, water treatment, energy and fertiliser minerals testing and trade services.”
DEM Solutions, one of the leading global groups supplying discrete element method (DEM) simulation systems for mining industry applications, and Shandong University of Science and Technology, have announced the opening of the EDEM Joint Laboratory in Qingdao, China. With support from Scottish Enterprise and the Qingdao Economic & Information Technology Committee, the new EDEM Joint Laboratory will provide training programs to university students and industry professionals to help build up their capability in DEM simulation-based design and promote joint innovation in the development of bulk material handling equipment and systems for the Chinese mining and energy industries.Jingyuan Wang, Vice President of the Qingdao Economic and Information Technology Committee, opened the ceremony, saying: “I express my heartfelt congratulations to DEM Solutions and Shandong University of Science and Technology for the establishment of the EDEM Joint Laboratory. On behalf of the Qingdao Economic and Information Technology Committee, I would like to affirm the importance of this laboratory for enhancing economic and industrial development in Qingdao. The Qingdao City Commission will continue to support the development of this high-level cooperation for research and training.”“China’s mining industry is experiencing strong growth, driven by demand from the power, manufacturing and construction industries – all which handle and process bulk materials,” stated Richard LaRoche, VP Engineering of DEM Solutions. “DEM is an advanced simulation technology specifically designed for simulation of bulk materials and solids, and is a key engineering tool for optimising product design for improved performance, reliability and user safety. Building on the university’s status as a hub for engineering expertise for the Power and Mining industries, the EDEM Joint Lab will enable Shandong University to remain at the forefront of engineering excellence and innovation.”He added: “The EDEM Joint Lab will provide engineers, scientists and researchers access to DEM Solutions’ market proven EDEM suite of simulation software and learn about the industrial benefits of DEM to drive innovation in the design and development of bulk materials handling systems, such as coal handling solutions, that perform more efficiently, use less energy and have less environmental impact.”Anne MacColl, Chief Executive of Scottish Development International, said: “We’ve worked closely with DEM Solutions Ltd over the last three years to help it take advantage of the significant software and technology opportunities that exist in China. By providing overseas market support we’ve helped the company increase its knowledge of the cultural, economic and political landscape of the country – a vital component of doing business in China. The launch of the EDEM Joint Laboratory, in partnership with Shandong University, is an exciting step forward for the company, helping it to raise its credibility within the Chinese market and to elevate its perception among potential customers. We look forward to continuing to work with the company to help realise its ambitious growth plans in Asia.”“There is universal need to design bulk material handling systems that perform efficiently, with great energy savings, while protecting the environment for society,” commented Qianming Yang, Vice Dean, from Shandong University. “Shandong University has seen the need to bring the benefits of EDEM simulation technology and simulation-based design for bulk materials engineering to China industries so that they can address these types of engineering challenges.”
WS Tyler, the premium screening solutions company in the mining, aggregate and industrial mineral industries, is expanding to offer the full line of technology provided by its parent company, Haver & Boecker. “To better align the company’s name with its new strategy and product offerings”, the WS Tyler Screening Group will now be known as Haver & Boecker.“Haver & Boecker has a long, established history of servicing not only the mining, aggregate and industrial minerals industries, but also the cement, chemical, building materials and food industries worldwide,” said Karen Thompson, President of WS Tyler. “In addition to our screening, washing and pelletising equipment, the new portfolio also will include packing, liquid filling, palletising, loading and storage technology. The move to the Haver & Boecker name represents growth here in North America, and most importantly more value to our customers.”The company’s team of screening experts will continue to focus on WS Tyler customers and the core screening technology and expertise that is valued by their customers today, while new teams are being added to support the new technologies. “As we grow our company and add new technologies and industries, our top priority is to ensure our WS Tyler customers are the ones who benefit the most; they are the reason we go to work every day, and their trust has allowed us to grow to offer bigger benefits to their operations,” Thompson said.The complete line of Haver & Boecker products and services includes WS Tyler; synonymous in North America with premium screening, washing and pelletising equipment, including the Hydro-Clean and F-Class; Haver & Boecker packing technology is focused on stationary and rotating feeding solutions for valve- and form-fill-seal bags; Behn + Bates, which is highly recognised for its bag packaging systems that are designed for food and animal feed filling applications; Feige Filling Technology which produces turnkey systems for filling liquid and pasty products into drums, pails, cans and IBCs (intermediate bulk containers); IBAU Hamburg, which specialises in bulk loading, material handling and storage equipment for many land and marine applications; and NEWTEC Bag Palletising, which creates innovative solutions for palletizing bagged products.“When you buy Haver & Boecker technology anywhere in the world, you can be assured that you’re getting the best combination of products, services and expertise, regardless of your industry,” Thompson said. The WS Tyler Industrial Group in Mentor, Ohio, which is the pioneer for laboratory equipment, such as testing sieves and shakers, and considered to be the specialist for industrial applications of woven wire, will not be affected by this name change.
In its Q2 2018 results, Hecla reports that preparations for the introduction of its Epiroc Mobile Miner 40V, which the miner refers to as a Remote Vein Miner (RVM), expected in late 2019, continues to be a major focus at Lucky Friday silver/lead/zinc mine in Idaho. “The RVM project is proceeding as expected and has the potential to revolutionise how the Lucky Friday is mined, making it a safer and more efficient operation. In addition, limited production and capital improvements continue to be performed by salaried staff.”Production has been limited since March 13, 2017 due to an ongoing strike and now the focus is completing the development necessary to accommodate the RVM in 2019. Research and development spending was $2.3 million for the quarter, with completion of the design and procurement phase of the RVM project. Fabrication of the machine started at the end of the second quarter and is expected to be complete in the fourth quarter of 2018, and a testing phase in Sweden during the first half of 2019 is planned. The machine is expected to be delivered to Lucky Friday in late 2019. Expectations for 2018 research and development spending have declined to $6-$10 million from $12-$16 million, as investment in the RVM project are expected to be capitalised going forwards.Elsewhere, at the Casa Berardi gold mine in Quebec, the automated 985 drift project is working well, with the autonomous haul truck running better and with higher availability than originally anticipated. The second 40 t Sandvik autonomous haul truck is expected to be delivered later this year. Operating two autonomous trucks is expected to result in operating savings of several million dollars a year.
Minerals Council CEO, Roger Baxter today presented at the Africa Down Under conference in Perth, Australia. He noted: “South Africa’s mining potential is huge. Even in the absence of a Greenfields exploration boom in South Africa, mining investment could almost double in the next four years if the country was to return to the top 25% of the most attractive mining investment destinations worldwide. This would result in another 200,000 jobs being created in the economy with 50,000 direct jobs created in mining alone; output, exports and procurement would increase substantially; as would direct and indirect taxes, and royalties paid to the fiscus; and the mining industry would be in a better position to increase its contribution towards infrastructure development and social projects in mining-affected communities. Given the industry’s commitment to real transformation, this would also materially advance the entire country’s transformation agenda.”Baxter pointed out that in recent years South Africa had not realised its significant mining potential.“In 2017, South Africa was rated 48th out of 91 mining jurisdictions in the Fraser Institute’s mining investment attractiveness rankings, despite being ranked 20th out of 91 for the country’s mineral potential assuming best policy and regulatory practice. South Africa’s mineral policies were ranked 81 out of 91 jurisdictions, and clearly there is a mismatch between the mineral potential and the policy scorecard. The consequences are evident with real net capital formation in mining declining by over 50% between 2013 and 2017. South Africa accounted for a poor 1% of total global exploration expenditure in 2017 compared to 14% for Canada and Australia respectively and 13% for the rest of Africa.”The top issues that have been undermining the competitiveness of South Africa’s mining and exploration sectors are policy and regulatory uncertainty, costs rising at rates well above inflation, infrastructural constraints, restraints on exploration, a lack of trust between stakeholders and corruption.Baxter outlined the key requirements that would enable the South African mining industry to realise its full potential which include:• A shared Vision of the furture of the mining industry• Ethical leadership and good governance• Policy and regulatory certainty and competitiveness• Available, efficient, cost competitive and reliable infrastructure• Improving productivity and competitiveness• Creating a “greenfields exploration boom”.“Encouragingly we have seen a number of positive developments in the right direction. Since February, the President Ramaphosa administration has implemented measures to tackle corruption and promote investment. The appointment of the respected Mr Mantashe as the Minister of Mineral Resources, along with other cabinet changes in key economic portfolios and the implementation of new measures to improve governance and stabilise SOEs have been positive.“Since his appointment, Minister Mantashe has worked hard to overcome the trust deficit between stakeholders, has engaged all parties in a frank and open manner, has withdrawn the problematic MPRDA Amendment Bill, proposed talks on individual commodities to address their specific challenges and allowed for detailed discussions to take place on a new Mining Charter which has had some positive outcomes such as recognising previous empowerment transactions. While some issues remain in respect of the new Mining Charter, we are hopeful of an outcome that promotes both transformation and investor confidence which will ultimately ensure the growth and viability of our sector. However, there is still much more work to be done in finalising a workable charter, in developing a competitiveness and growth strategy for the mining sector, to assist some commodities through the specific economic challenges they face and in building the sector for the future. What is important is that stakeholders are working together and the processes are certainly pointing in the right direction,” he concluded.
The coach of Bosna Sarajevo, former Egypt national coach and legendary player from the time of Yugoslavia and later, Croatia, Irfan Smajlagic (49) was beaten up in the training of his team at Sunday! This shocking news were published by sportsport.ba, most popular sports website in Bosna and Herzegovina in a form of unofficial information.More precise, on Sunday’s training session Smajlagic had a conflict with the left back Risto Arnaudovski. Verbal discussion was followed by physical contact and Smajlagic was beaten. Police had to come in the end to solve the situation.Media expecting more official information from the Police and club representatives.Risto Arnaudovski wasn’t in the squad at the last match of Bosna in Champions League in Romania (HCM Constanta won 26:25). Reasons are not clear, because he wasn’t injured during this time.Last season, many players had a problem with Smajlagic’s “way of discipline”. For example, Nebojsa Golic and Adnan Jaskic. ← Previous Story Lazovic and Antequera mutually terminated contract Next Story → Chaos in the Macedonian National team Irfan SmajlagicIrfan Smajlagic beatenRisto Arnaudovski
Most of the Handball-Planet.com fans think that HSV is absolut favourite in the matches with Celje PL: ← Previous Story Sead Hasanefendic new GWD Minden coach! Next Story → EHF CL TOP 16: HSV storm over “Zlatorog” – Outstanding Mackovsek! HSV wins both matches – cum. advantage less than +10 (39%, 124 Votes)HSV wins both matches – cum. advantage over +10 (31%, 97 Votes)HSV progress – 1:1 wins (more goals) (18%, 57 Votes)Celje PL progress – 1:1 wins (more goals) (7%, 23 Votes)Celje PL wins both matches – cum. advantage less than +10 (3%, 9 Votes)Celje PL wins both matches – cum. advantage over +10 (2%, 5 Votes)Total Voters: 315 Celje PL VS HSVHSV HandballRK Celje Pivovarna LaskoRK Celje PL
← Previous Story Alexandros Vasilakis signs for HBW Balingen Next Story → NO EUROPEAN FINAL IN DOHA: Al Sadd beat Flensburg! handballjan stehlikst raphael A ligaments rupture in the right knee is most likely the cause for the season ending injury for St Raphael’s player – Jan Stehlik. The Czech international suffered this in the friendly against PSG Handball, and the additional screenings have revealed a more serious injury, giving a blow to the ambitions of St Raphael this season on the right back position.
3.Flensburg-H.272133805:67145 Who will win DKB Bundesliga 2015/2016? The world’s best handball league coming to the final stage with three teams who have almost equal chances to win the “most important trophy” even more prestigious than EHF Champions League one. 1.Rhein-Neckar282404801:61848 ← Previous Story Kristianstad and Alingsas for Swedish title! Next Story → Budapest celebrate Beach Handball this summer. draw on Thursday! Who will win DKB Bundesliga 2015/2016? THW Kiel Rhein Neckar Lowen SG FlensburgView Results 2.Kiel272223828:69346 Loading …Rhein-Neckar Löwen11.05. 20:45 : SC DHfK Leipzig vs. Rhein-Neckar Löwen22.05. 17:30 : HSG Wetzlar vs. Rhein-Neckar Löwen29.05. 17:15 : Rhein-Neckar Löwen vs. TSV Hannover-Burgdorf05.06. 15:00 : TuS N-Lübbecke vs. Rhein-Neckar LöwenTHW Kiel11.05. 19:00: SC Magdeburg vs. THW Kiel 15.05. 17:15: THW Kiel vs. SG Flensburg-Handewitt22.05. 15:00: MT Melsungen vs. THW Kiel01.06. 20:45: ThSV Eisenach vs. THW Kiel05.06. 15:00: THW Kiel vs. TVB 1898 StuttgartSG Flensburg-Handewitt11.05. 20:15: MT Melsungen vs. SG Flensburg-Handewitt 15.05. 17:15: THW Kiel vs SG Flensburg-Handewitt21.05. 15:00: SG Flensburg-Handewitt vs. ThSV Eisenach29.05. 15:00: TVB 1898 Stuttgart vs. SG Flensburg-Handewitt 05.06. 15:00: SG Flensburg-Handewitt vs. Bergischer HC DKB Bundesliga 2015/2016
Jose MlakarOrlen Wisla PlockŠime IvićZiga Mlakar One of the guys who “exploded” in current season of VELUX EHF Champions League, Slovenian right back Ziga Mlakar, will join Polish second best team – Orlen Wisla Plock. According several Polish and Balkan sources, the 27-years old lefthander of RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko will leave team from “Zlatorog” hall at the end of his current contract in summer 2018.The Polish team has two lefthanders on right back position which contracts are valid until the end of season – Sime Ivic and Jose Toledo.PHOTO: RK Celje PL ← Previous Story THW KIEL: “Duvnjak in the line-up in December” Next Story → ROMANIA: Steaua beat Dinamo Bucuresti to overtake first place
A MAN DIED after his mobility scooter fell into the River Thames today, police said, as dozens of flood warnings remained in place across Britain.The 47-year-old was pulled from the river near Oxford, south England, after he fell in while trying to avoid a flooded pathway.Police are treating his death as unexplained.More than 200 homes along the west coast of Britain have been flooded after heavy rains, strong winds and high tides hit the country over recent days.Around 70 flood warnings remain in place with more stormy weather forecast.“The risk of flooding to the coast will continue over the next few days, especially on the south and west coast and along the Severn estuary,” said Environment Agency spokesman Jonathan Day.Rescuers are still searching for 18-year-old Harry Martin, who disappeared after going to take photographs of stormy seas in Devon, southwest England, on Thursday.- © AFP, 2014 Read: Storm a-brewin’: Met Éireann upgrades weather warning ahead of Atlantic stormGallery: Battered: Your pictures of how the storm took its toll
Why was Kiely never asked to take a pay-cut by the Board of the CRC?How did Goulding not know for a significant period of time [what] Mr Kiely’s salary [was]?How did Goulding “manage to preside over an organisation which managed to have €12 million in reserve and yet refused to provide some of the service necessary to its clients”?Why do “we have no information on what Goulding, and his colleagues on the board did, in relation to HSE letters they received warning them that they were not in in compliance”?In relation to the transfer of money from a charity account, the Friends and Supporters of the CRC, to Kiely, does Goulding view this as an acceptable transfer and did he seek advice in relation to the legality of the issue?Harris described Goulding’s comments in relation to the confidentiality agreement as “simply not credible”.“The minutes of the board meeting on 25 March 2013 make clear reference to the fact that a legally-binding confidentiality agreement was to be put in place. Considering Mr Goulding was the chairperson of the board who made a presentation on Mr Kiely’s retirement package, how can he claim that the confidentiality agreement was merely something that was put in without being requested, when it was recorded in the board minutes?” asked Harris, adding “he needs to clarify this”.Harris said that Goulding, and his colleagues, need to outline to the committee how they arrived at the final sum given to Kiely, and what advice they sought in this regard.The TD wants Goulding and his colleagues to provide more information on the appointment of Kiely’s successor, Brian Conlon.Finally, Harris said that he wants to know if the CRC board was unified in its approach that Kiely must depart the organisation.“It is absolutely vital that these individuals now come before the Public Accounts Committee, we also need to see the Remuneration Committee meeting minutes which relate to Mr Kiely’s departure,” said Harris.He also called for more minutes of board meetings that took place before and after the meeting of 25 March 2013 to be made available to the PAC.Read: Cowen: Kiely had no ‘hand, act or part’ in running of FF> HAMILTON GOULDING, THE former chair of the Central Remedial Clinic, still ‘has 10 questions to answer’ following an interview this morning, according to Fine Gael TD and Public Accounts Committee member, Simon Harris.Goulding spoke on This Week on RTÉ Radio 1 this morning, but Harris said that there are still “a number of outstanding questions” that he needs to answer.Deputy Harris called on Goulding to make available to the committee all documentation and material he possesses in relation to board minutes, board agendas and any supporting documentation relating to the governance of the organisation, former CEO Paul Kiely’s pay-off and the transfer of hundreds of thousands of euro from a charity account to meet this payment.Among the questions that Harris wants answers to are:
HE’S COME A long way from Walford.Having travelled the world, from Afghanistan to Africa and India, Ross Kemp’s Extreme World has led him closer to home, with tonight’s episode set to show last year’s Twelfth of July marches in the Ardoyne area of Belfast.Pictures released from the filming show the former Grant Mitchell wearing what appears to be a skateboard helmet and paintball goggles as an injured PSNI officer is carried away from the scene of rioting.Other pictures show Kemp posing with an Orangeman and being generally laissez faire about the whole thing while slouching against a riot van. Kemp told TV3′s Ireland AM last month that people from England had very little grasp of the Troubles, but added that the Belfast he had seen now was a world away from the one he had visited in the early 90s.“I still think it’s worth saying and celebrating the fact that I think Northern Ireland, and I went to Northern Ireland during the Troubles, that it’s a very different place and a far better place than it was.”All pics: Paul Faith/PA WireRoss Kemp’s Extreme World airs tonight at 9pm on Sky1 HDRead: Ross Kemp to investigate ‘extreme world’ of The Troubles
IS THE NEWS getting you down? Current affairs causing a frown? Satirical site The Mire has an alternative angle on the week’s hot topics…New political party now most popular in IrelandMonday, 18 FebruaryA new political party is taking Ireland by storm and is now the most popular party in the country.Little is known about the background of the party or its charismatic young leader Micheál Martin.“Martin is a mysterious figure. Nothing is known about him except that he was a Cabinet Minister between 1997 and 2011 in governments that ruined the country,” our political analyst said.“He’s exactly what the country needs – a fresh start with a fresh face,” he added.Martin’s party is called Fianna Fáil which is believed to be Irish for ‘same shit different day’.Gerry Adams’ teddy bear was senior figure in Provisional IRATuesday, 19 FebruaryA soft toy belonging to Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams was a senior figure in the Provisional IRA.“It’s all the talk in toy town,” a soft toy source said.It is thought that Adams was completely unaware that Ted, a teddy bear, was Officer Commanding of the Belfast Brigade of the IRA during the darkest days of the troubles.Mr Adams himself has consistently denied having been a member of the IRA.“This explains a lot. It was Ted all along. Gerry wasn’t lying. He was blinded by love, just another lovesick fool who trusted his teddy,” the source said.“Gerry was duped. He loved that teddy. He still does.”Today’s marginalised now hopeful of State apology by 2063Wednesday, 20 FebruaryThe State apology to survivors of the Magdalene laundries has offered hope to many of the people currently marginalised in Irish society.“It means a lot to us,” an asylum seeker kept in direct provision said. “We now think we might get a State apology too… by about 2063.”“It will make the institutionalisation worthwhile.”“Some of us might even be alive to hear the apology,” a child in State care said.Elderly people abused in nursing homes skipped lightly with the aid of their zimmer frames.“Our grandchildren could get to hear an apology,” one said as she fell over when a carer took her zimmer frame. “Oh happy day.”Shock as judge in Pistorius case never charged with murderThursday, 21 FebruaryIt would appear that the judge handling the Oscar Pistorius bail hearing has never faced murder charges.Early this morning it emerged that the lead detective in the case Hilton Botha faces seven attempted murder charges from 2011. It now seems that he has been taken off the case.“As things stand we’ve no reason to think that the judge faces murder charges but life is full of surprises,” an observer said.The case has not gone to trial yet. When it does it could feature vampires and zombies.“Anything’s possible mate,” the observer observed. “I hope it rains giant frogs. I like giant frogs.”Poll recommends housing pregnant women togetherFriday, 22 FebruaryA poll has found that pregnant women would be happier housed together in dormitories and given menial work to do.The survey, conducted for an anti-abortion group, said such measures would reduce the likelihood of contemplating suicide and/or having an abortion.“Exhausting work would make the women happier as their minds would be less likely to wander (think),” a spokesman for the group said.“They could do laundry work for example. It’s a wonder no one thought of it before.”Read previous week’s editions of The Mire’s Not the News >
Source: GoodLaughz.com4. The situation in Iraq has got so tense that even Iran and the US are considering talking to each other about it. Need to catch up? Our explainer is here. And news of those horrific photos that emerged yesterday is here. Source: AP Photo via militants’ website5. Manchester Fire Service has released previously unseen images of the devastation after the 1996 IRA bombing of the city.6. Let’s finish on some good news. The sun is coming. Be careful out there, folks. Source: ImgurRead all of today’s news here> WHAT’S THE STORY?1. Michael Schumacher is out of his coma and has left hospital. The F1 champion now starts his “long phase of rehabilitation”. Source: James Moy Photography/Press Association Images2. International media outlets are pointing to Ireland’s tax laws (again). Reuters says Medtronic’s €32 billion buy-out of Covidien is “the latest move by US firms to harvest lower corporate tax rates”.3. The banking inquiry is still all over the place. Micheál Martin now wants a judge-led probe, while Sinn Féin still wants to boot two senators off it.
THE LEVY ON electricity bills announced yesterday has been described as a “regressive tax” that will put a financial burden on vulnerable people, the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) has said.It described the increase in the 2014/2015 Public Service Obligation Levy (PSO) on electricity bills announced by Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) as “even greater than proposed by the Regulator just two months ago”.“The proposal at the beginning of June was to raise €327.7m. The levy announced today will raise €335.4m,” said SVP.The CER said that the next levy period runs from 1 October 2014 to 30 September 2015.Vulnerable customersThe society said this will add €21.50 per year to the average household electricity bill and will substantially increase costs to SMEs and larger electricity users.The PSO levy for 2014/2015 will now be €64.37 per customer. This is more than three times the levy, €19.33 announced by CER this time three years ago. This is clearly out of proportion to the ability to pay of low income customers and can be viewed as a regressive tax.SVP said it believes customers are “in a no-win situation” with the PSO.John-Mark McCafferty, SVP Head of Social Justice and Policy, said that the biggest single driver for this proposed increase, among the lower running of a gas plant (Tynagh) and more renewable generation, is lower wholesale electricity prices.Herein lies the irony for SVP: higher wholesale electricity prices mean higher unit prices for customers as these are passed on; yet when wholesale electricity prices drop (circa 9% year on year), customers pay anyway because the PSO plants need to be compensated for the lower money they are predicted to get from the market.Read: ESB: It doesn’t make financial sense to sell these two peat plants>
CHINESE STATE MEDIA has said that 37 civilians and 59 “terrorists” were killed in an attack earlier in the week in Xinjiang, home to China’s mainly Muslim Uighur minority.The total toll makes the incident by far the bloodiest since rioting involving Uighurs and members of China’s Han majority killed around 200 people in the regional capital Urumqi in 2009.Police had arrested 215 “terrorists” while 13 civilians were also wounded in Monday’s attack on a police station and government offices in Shache county, or Yarkand in the Uighur language, in Kashgar prefecture, according to the official Xinhua news agency.Latest violent attackIt was the latest in a series of violent incidents over recent months in and connected with the vast resource-rich region, where rights groups accuse China’s government of cultural and religious repression they say fuels unrest.News of the clash first emerged late on Tuesday when Xinhua reported that dozens of people had been killed or wounded by knife-wielding assailants.In its report Sunday, Xinhua said that 35 of the dead civilians were Han Chinese while two were Uighurs.“A gang armed with knives and axes attacked a police station and government offices,” it said, with some later moving on to another township, “attacking civilians and smashing vehicles as they passed”.The gangsters also set roadblocks and stopped vehicles passing by, before slashing passengers indiscriminately and forcing civilians to join them in the terror attack.Officers had confiscated knives from the scene as well as “banners that hailed holy war”.The news agency cited the government as saying investigations showed the attack was “organised and premeditated”, and “in connection with the terrorist group East Turkestan Islamic Movement” (ETIM).Information in Xinjiang, in China’s far west, is often difficult to verify independently, and many foreign analysts doubt ETIM’s capacities.Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the exiled World Uyghur Congress (WUC), accused Beijing’s security forces of using submachine guns and sniper rifles, leading to “huge casualties”.“China has distorted the incident and claimed terrorism in order to cover up the truth, which is that they opened fire to repress Uighurs,” he said in a statement emailed to AFP. Uighurs living in Turkey set on fire a representation of a Chinese flag outside the Chinese consulate in Istanbul. Source: AP Photo/Emrah GurelBeijing has blamed violent separatists from Xinjiang for a series of attacks which have grown in scale and sophistication over the last year and have spread outside the region.Among the most shocking were a May assault on a market in Urumqi, where 39 people were killed, and a deadly rampage by knife-wielding assailants at a train station at Kunming in China’s southwest in March, which left 29 dead.The violence has also included a fiery crash at Tiananmen Square, Beijing’s symbolic heart, in October, that killed two tourists and the three people in the vehicle, all from the same family.On Friday, police in Xinjiang shot dead nine suspected terrorists and captured one, according to Xinhua.- © AFP, 2014Read: Child labour allegations lands Samsung in hot water >
If you’ve ever watched a nature video you’ll know that one of the most popular uses for time-lapse photography is displaying the growth of plants. After all, what time-lapses do best is get something very slow, even imperceptibly slow, and speed them up so that we we can observe changes.The growth of plants–something that we know happens, but does so at a rate that is too slow for us to appreciate–has an almost magical effect in time-lapse but it turns out that it can be as creepy as it is interesting. The video above of a blossoming chrysanthemum is from the Action Plant series, which covers the flora of Japan’s Kōchi prefecture. The videos of the plants are incredible, but the black backgrounds and discordant music give them an eerie feeling, as it something preternatural was going on.AdChoices广告Here is the oddest of the bunch, the snake gourd flower:And, still cool but less creepy, the soy bean:Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t watch these without thinking they were shot for laser disc.ODAKATOSHIO’s channel via Pink Tentacle
When Nintendo confirmed E3 would be the event where the Wii 2 is being unveiled, we thought it was a clever move that would see the company have a clear run for a couple of years. Added to that the rumor it is a very powerful machine and it could leave the PS3 and Xbox 360 in the dust. But that may no longer be the case, and Microsoft could be about to cause a major upset come this June.Develop has been told that EA is already in possession of the successor to the Xbox 360 and is doing some early development tests with it. As with all early hardware builds, the next Xbox currently takes the form of a PC desktop case, but what’s inside is the hardware that will be inside Microsoft’s next console.The same source also believes that Microsoft is aiming for an end of 2012 launch date, which would put it in direct competition with the Wii 2. Worse news for Nintendo comes in the form of a potential surprise reveal during E3 next month.For gamers this is great news. Two new consoles being revealed at E3 will certainly generate some excitement, especially if one clearly out performs, or out innovates, the other. Whether Microsoft planned this all along and Nintendo suprised them with a Wii 2 announcement, or the Xbox Next plans have been rethought due to the Wii 2 we don’t know. We are just really looking forward to E3 now.As is usually the case, Microsoft and EA are saying nothing. But if this is true then it puts Microsoft and Nintendo as the two competing console brands with Sony in the background. With Sony’s security woes at the moment I doubt this is what they will want to hear about its competitors.Read more at Develop