Xcel’s Fowke leads utility’s transition away from coal

first_imgXcel’s Fowke leads utility’s transition away from coal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNN Business:Xcel Energy burned coal to generate nearly half its power just a few years ago. Now it’s helping to lead America’s clean energy revolution.The $30 billion Minneapolis-based utility has already shut down a quarter of its coal power plants. And it will soon pull the plug on another quarter.Xcel Energy recently announced an ambitious plan to deliver zero-carbon electricity by 2050, making it the first large American power company to set that challenging goal. “We are leading the industry,” Xcel Energy CEO Ben Fowke told CNN Business. “It’s a product of what our customers and regulators want.”The transformation of Xcel Energy underscores the rise of renewable energy, driven by a sharp decline in the cost of solar and wind and a desire among Americans for cleaner power.“Technology has come so far. Wind is already beating fossil fuel alternatives — even with low natural gas prices,” Fowke said during an interview from the sidelines of the BloombergNEF Summit in New York. Fowke estimated that Xcel’s wind costs have plummeted by more than two-thirds over the past decade, while solar is down by about 80%.Xcel is rapidly moving away from coal, which supplied 46% of its power of 2013. The utility has been approved by local authorities to retire 23 coal units between 2005 and 2027 — or about half its capacity.More: Xcel Energy was a coal-first power company. Now it’s going carbon-freelast_img read more

COVID-19: Jakarta prepares local quarantine scenario

first_imgThe Transportation Ministry is preparing a scenario for a local quarantine in Greater Jakarta to slow the spread of COVID-19, depending on a decision expected to be made at a Cabinet meeting scheduled for Monday, a ministry official said.Transportation Ministry land transportation director general Budi Setyadi said that the ministry, in coordination with the National Police’s traffic corps, had developed a plan including so-called “stopping posts” at toll gates and along other roads to and from Greater Jakarta. If a regional quarantine is enacted, the police at the posts will turn back those trying to enter or leave the city. “We have not ruled out the possibility [of a local quarantine], but the decision depends on the leaders,” Budi told The Jakarta Post on Sunday. “We are only acting as the implementer who creates the standard operating procedures and [plans] what the protocol will look like.”The government has already issued a warning discouraging people living in Greater Jakarta from leaving the city for their hometowns for the Idul Fitri mudik (exodus).However, many have ignored the warning. Central Java, for example, has reported thousands of mudik travelers arriving in the province, including in Jepara with 1,776 arrivals, Purwokerto with 2,323 and Wonogiri with 2,625 as of Tuesday.Central Java had reported 55 confirmed cases and seven deaths as of Saturday, the fifth highest number of cases of the country’s provinces. Read also: Greater Jakarta failing as floodgate to nationwide COVID-19 epidemic”After the meeting [on Monday], I do not know whether it will still be a stronger warning or a complete ban. It depends on the Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister, [Luhut Binsar Panjaitan],” Budi said.Budi previously told reporters during an online press briefing on Friday that his ministry was ready to close the entrances to Greater Jakarta and other national roads. However, he said he had no knowledge about when the decision would be made.The Post has obtained a copy of a classified Jakarta Police telegram, dated March 28, ordering the closure of the city’s main roads.Jakarta Police spokesman, Sr. Comr. Yusri Yunus, did not deny the authenticity of the telegram but said that the police were merely training for the possibility of a local quarantine.”We are still implementing physical distancing and social distancing, because there have yet to be any government regulations [requiring quarantine],” Yusri told the Post on Sunday. Indonesia had reported 1,155 confirmed COVID-19 nationwide as of Saturday, 627 of which were located in Jakarta. Sixty-two people have died of the disease in the capital, while 43 have recovered.While the total number of COVID-19 cases in Greater Jakarta is unclear, many of those who tested positive in other regions had recently traveled to Bogor and Bekasi, West Java, which is the province with the second-highest number cases in the country.Medical experts and COVID-19 volunteers have called on the government to implement local quarantines in virus-stricken areas such as Greater Jakarta. They say the government’s policy of physical distancing is not sufficient to contain the spread of the disease.The 2018 Health Quarantine Law stipulates that during public health emergencies, the central government can impose “regional quarantines” on areas that experience an outbreak of a disease. (dfr)Riza Roidila Mufti and Sausan Atika contributed to this story.Topics :last_img read more

Surinamese expected for this weekend’s Drag race

first_imgWITH the days counting rapidly down to the much-anticipated first Drag racing event of the Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club (GMR&SC), international competitors are beginning to signal their interest.According to the GMR&SC, Suriname is interested in supporting the event with a contingent of cars wanting to come in on Friday morning.GMR&SC is in the process of getting the list from that body’s motorsport division, but has confirmed at least five cars are expected.The interest shown by international competition in Drag racing locally is now renewed with the installation of the launchpad for drag racing.That, coupled with the fact that the strip is being extended from 1000ft to 1320ft or a quarter-mile, the Surinamese will be eager to finally unleash the full power of their machines.The icing on the cake was the fact that last week, one of the fastest Nissan GTR’s in the world was recently cleared at a port in Georgetown.The EKanoo/Magnus GTR, which will compete on Sunday under the Team Mohamed’s Enterprise banner is something that fans and other racers are most interested in seeing.In addition to that, the 1000ft strip record-holder, Goliath, the team’s other Nissan GTR, will also be in action.The event is sponsored by Mohamed’s Enterprise, BM Soat Auto Sales, Motor Trend Service Centre, Delco Ice Factory, Trans-Pacific Motor Spares, Supreme Ventures, Air Services Limited, PowerLine Auto, Cyril’s Taxi, Omega Brokers, E-Networks, Prem’s Electrical, Miracle Optical, Choke Gas Station, Top Brandz and Super Bet.last_img read more

USC suspends China programs

first_imgDube also mentioned the travel restriction may affect the orientation programs that the U.S.-China Institute normally provides for incoming international students. When students learned the University was suspending its overseas programs in China due to fears of coronavirus contagion, they were left uncertain of their next steps. Classes at the University had already begun, so the would-be study abroad students could choose between returning to Los Angeles and joining classes three weeks into the semester or taking a semester-long leave of absence. The decision to suspend the China overseas programs leaves students with limited options moving forward, especially for those concerned about the risk of flying back from China amid the coronavirus outbreak. (Twesha Dikshit | Daily Trojan) “The students either chose to come here back to school or they went on leave of absence for the semester,” O’Connell said. “Because last Friday was the last day to drop and add [classes], and this happened at the beginning of the week, they were able to get into classes here.” “USC does not send students to any countries where there is a Level 3 or Level 4 travel warning,” O’Connell said. “That’s the University policy, so we had to immediately suspend those programs.” “This is an important season in terms of obviously choosing the students, and then providing them with preparation so that they can come and get off to a good start,” Dube said. “It’s something the University does but all of these travel constraints are affecting that.” O’Connell said universities in China had a late start date for the spring semester that began after Chinese New Year, which was on Jan. 25 this year, and which is why students in Marshall’s international exchange programs hadn’t arrived in China before the program was canceled. Jessica Zhai, a senior majoring in communication, was a part of Dornsife’s Council on International Education Exchange program in Beijing that got canceled. She said she chose to take a gap semester and stay at home in China because she would have to make up for the missing assignments and lectures from the past three weeks. “[Universities in China] do not start classes until after Chinese New Year,” O’Connell said. “None of the students were attending classes or starting classes at [Peking University] or Fudan, where we have our exchange programs.” The Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences declined to comment further on the options for students enrolled in the China study abroad programs. O’Connell said the University has offered a few options for the students in the overseas programs in China: coming back to school or taking a leave of absence.center_img “The main impact, as far as the Institute goes, has been in complicating some travel arrangements that some researchers had planned,” Dube said. “Also potentially complicating some of the student-oriented programs that we have in place, not just for the spring but rather for the summer and fall.” “I just think that it’s hard for me to catch up,” Zhai said. “Currently, I have a very high GPA, so I do not want to jeopardize my GPA at all.” “I don’t want to travel back because of potential risk,” Zhai said. “My friends who went back to their countries often tell me that the next flight landed has people already infected.” Zhai also said the possibility of getting infected with the coronavirus on the flight back to the United States drove her not to go back to school. “It’s really awkward or difficult for students like me who [are] in China currently and the program got canceled,” Zhai said. “They’re very worried about our safety, and of course they do not want to assume any responsibility for whatever happens to you.” U.S.-China Institute Director Clay Dube said the travel advisory has complicated the travel arrangements that researchers and visiting scholars have planned.   Sean O’Connell, director of the International Business Program at the Marshall School of Business, said the cancellation of overseas programs in China was based on the University’s policy against sending students to countries with travel alerts. Zhai said she understands the University’s decision to cancel classes due to safety concerns, but since she was already in China, she wants the school to manage student cases on an individual basis. On Jan. 30, the U.S. Department of State issued a Level 4 travel advisory for China, warning people to stop all travel to China, due to the life-threatening risk from the coronavirus outbreak. All major airlines will be canceling flights to China beginning next week. The University, which cancels international programs at a Level 3 travel advisory, emailed students enrolled in the China programs last week to inform them of the cancellation and list alternative options.last_img read more

Uganda Cranes test Kenya’s Harambee Stars in Nairobi

first_img*Kenya vs Uganda*Sunday 8th September 2019 *Venue – Kasarani Stadium*4PM Nairobi, Kenya | THE INDEPENDENT | Kenya’s Harambee Stars will battle Uganda Cranes in an international friendly at the Moi International Stadium, Kasarani on Sunday.The two teams are using the FIFA International weekend to prepare their players ahead of 2020 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) and 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.In the absence of South African based goalkeeper Dennis Onyango, striker Emmanuel Okwi will captain the team. Abudallah Mubiru, Uganda’s interim coach told URN that playing Kenya will give his players a good build-up. Share on: WhatsApp “These International matches are very important for players to get playing time,” he added. Some of the foreign based players who will feature in the match include; Okwi, Timothy Awany, Khalid Aucho, Allan Kyambadde, Tadeo Lwanga and Kizito Luwagga among others.Kenya will miss the services of England based skipper Victor Wanyama, but Michael Olunga who plies his trade in Japan will captain the Harambee Stars.The Uganda Cranes will face Burundi later this month in the first leg of the 2020 CHAN qualifier in Bujumbura before the return leg in Kampala next month.*****URNlast_img read more

Orlando PD Pulls Plug on Facial Recognition Program

first_imgA decision made by the Orlando, Florida Police Department appears to be a victory for privacy advocates. The city announced yesterday police have stopped using Amazon’s facial recognition program after 15 months of testing. But due to bandwidth problems the program never went live.Orlando says it will stop testing Amazon’s facial-recognition tool. The city wanted Rekognition to alert if anyone on a police watchlist passed one of their surveillance cameras, but they never made “any noticeable progress” https://t.co/SUJxJZk3W2— Drew Harwell (@drewharwell) July 18, 2019 The program was designed to find suspects by scanning public spaces with facial recognition software. The ACLU was among those who criticized the program, but Mayor Buddy Dyer says the decision not to pursue the program was based on a lack of resources. The technology is designed to automatically identify and track suspects in real-time using facial recognition algorithms.“At this time, the city was not able to dedicate the resources to the pilot to enable us to make any noticeable progress toward completing the needed configuration and testing,” Orlando’s Chief Administrative Office said in a memo to City Council, adding that the city has “no immediate plans regarding future pilots to explore this type of facial recognition technology.”The American Civil Liberties Union brought Orlando’s pilot with Amazon to light in May 2018, triggering nationwide pushback from civil rights groups concerned about privacy breaches, the technology’s potential for abuse and its tendency to misidentify dark-skinned women more frequently than white men. Plus there is still the uncertainty over whether the controversial face-scanning technology “actually works.”last_img read more

Former CIA Analyst: Intelligence Agencies on High Alert After ISIS Leader’s Death

first_imgPresident Trump’s Sunday morning announcement that Islamic State leader Al-Baghdadi is dead raises the question about the future of ISIS.According to local former CIA analyst Lisa Ruth, U.S. intelligence agencies are on high alert following the news.She says of Al-Baghdadi, “He’s completely ruthless. He’s the one who started the beheadings and burning people alive.” Al-Baghdadi led the group since 2014. President Trump told the nation in a televised address that Al-Baghdadi was killed in a U.S. raid in Syria.Ruth adds, “His death is very important symbolically. It does mean ISIS is no longer what it was.” On the other hand, “Frankly, the risk potential right now over the next several months is fairly high because ISIS is in a position where they’re going to want to prove that they remain relevant.”last_img read more

1-year-old one of the victims in tragic boating accident

first_imgThe Martin County Sheriff’s Office is reporting at a 1-year-old girl and a 28-year-old woman were the victim’s of a tragic boating accident on the intracoastal Sunday.The incident occurred near Sewall’s Point and Sandsprit Park just after 8 pm.Officials say the victims, 1-year-old Hudson Matakaetis and 28-year-old Paige Barrett, were ejected from the boat when it crashed, however, they did not give any details on what the boat crashed in to or how the incident occurred.The victims were rushed to an area hospital with extremely serious injuries and later passed away.The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has since taken over the investigation and will be releasing more information on the incident once it becomes available.last_img

IRC Man Arrested in MAGA Hat Spat

first_imgIt’s getting rough out there for Trump supporters, especially on the Treasure Coast.Robert Youngblood, 67, told deputies with the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office that he was sitting at the bar with friends wearing his “MAGA” hat when 43 year old Matthias Ajple approached him and said, “You should go back to Russia, you communist” And slapped his hat. Then Youngblood says he came by again and spit on him.Deputies was able to track down “Ajple” at his home where he was arrested for battery.See video here.last_img

Report: UCF frat forced pledge to use cocaine for initiation

first_img(Orlando, FL) — A University of Central Florida fraternity has been placed on disciplinary suspension for the remainder of the semester as well as the upcoming spring semester for allegedly forcing a pledge to snort cocaine.According to a UCF incident report, Sigma Chi members blindfolded a pledge on Oct. 26 and forced him to use the drug to be initiated.The chapter attempted to appeal the suspension, but was unsuccessful.UCF officials released the following statement on the incident:“At UCF, our top priority is the safety and wellbeing of our students. Student organizations that endanger their members and violate the university’s code of conduct must be held accountable. Hazing in any form is unacceptable. We are thankful to the chapter members and others who had the courage to speak up so the university could investigate. UCF plans to bring chapter leaders together to discuss new ways to reinforce their commitment to Greek values. University leaders also are planning more frequent training to develop and strengthen up-and-coming chapter leaders who will step in when experienced chapter presidents and board members graduate. UCF offers resources to prevent hazing, including bystander intervention training; an anti-hazing webpage and online tutorials; and required workshops for freshmen, transfer students and leaders of Greek-letter fraternities and sororities. There are also multiple ways to report hazing:UCF, which is investigating, says hazing in any form is unacceptable, and it thanks those who came forward.The frat is already on suspension for a party at a resort in the Keys that led to police having to be called to help remove the students.last_img read more