After floods swell French rivers, government promises help

first_imgPARIS (AP) — Rivers across France broke their banks this week amid heavy flooding. The prime minister promised support Friday for farmers and residents whose land was devastated. In Paris, several embankments were submerged under the Seine River for a fourth straight day, and the national weather service forecast that waters would stay high through the weekend. In southern France, waters are starting to recede after the worst flooding in 40 years swelled the Garonne River between Bordeaux and Toulouse. Vineyards and orchards turned into lakes, and rescue boats floated along small-town streets.last_img read more

Poet reads reflections from “American Urn”

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s English Department hosted poet Mark Irwin for a reading and book signing Tuesday. Irwin read from his newest book of poems, “American Urn: New & Selected Poems (1987-2013),” a collection of what he said he considers to be his best work.Assistant Professor of English Aaron Moe introduced Irwin, whose poems and essays have been published in numerous literary magazines, including The American Poetry Review, The Atlantic and The Kenyon Review. Irwin holds a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Case Western Reserve. He has also taught at various colleges and universities across the country.Irwin’s collections include “Against the Meanwhile” (1989), “Quick, Now, Always” (1996), “White City” (2000), “Bright Hunger” (2004), “Tall If” (2008), “Large White House Speaking” (2013) and “American Urn” (2014). “Just as there are endangered species, there are endangered forms of thought,” Moe said. “Reading through ‘American Urn,’ one quickly recognizes how Irwin has revived and created his own forms of thought and gives us, as readers, the opportunities to dwell and linger within those forms, and as those several distinct forms recur throughout the collection, one can settle into those forms and wander in them and discover a new largeness.”Irwin read a number of his poems from “American Urn” and from his next, unpublished book. Among the poems he read were “Go,” “Poem Beginning with a Line by Milosz,” “My Father’s Hats” and “Lucky Boy.” “I never really plan a reading,” Irwin said. “I kind of listen to what people are saying and compose it around the moment. I was talking to [Moe] and he said, ‘I think Big Bang is still going on at this moment. That we are moving out and that’s actually what the present is. That we’re one with the Big Bang which is continuous.’ So a lot of my poems are about the present tense.”After reading his poem “Ars Poetica,” meaning the art of poetry, Irwin said, “I’m just realizing that there are all these advertisements in Los Angeles all on the freeways. Everything is reduced to a stock phrase. We have to fight against the pollution of language. That woke me.” Irwin said he draws inspiration for his poems from everything around him. When he taught Humanities for Veterinary students at Colorado State, he witnessed a professor perform a spay on a labrador retriever, which he used in one of his poems, titled “The Death.” His poem “My Father’s Hats” was written in part when Irwin’s father was alive and finished in a matter of minutes after his father’s death.Irwin said he was able to draw inspiration from the most mundane aspects of life. He said he named one of his books “Bright Hunger” after waking up to the bright sun and realizing he was hungry. His poem “Tomato Soup” depicts life in the suburbs, which he found in a can of tomato soup.“The gift of poetry is the gift of wakefulness,” Moe said after the reading. “Thank you [Irwin] for your gift to help us be more awake.” Tags: American Urn, Mark Irwinlast_img read more

Vermont attorney general announces plan to reduce lead hazards in Winooski

first_imgVermont Attorney General William H Sorrell has announced that his office sent letters to owners of sixty five rental properties in Winooski requesting that they demonstrate compliance with the Vermont lead law at the properties. The landlords have been given 90 days to show that they are in compliance with the law.“Winooski, like most of Vermont, has an aging housing stock,” said Attorney General Sorrell. “Approximately 80% of Vermont’s rental housing units were built prior to 1978, when lead based paint was being actively marketed and widely applied. Two out of every three lead poisoned children are living in pre-1978 rental housing. Landlords need to ensure that their properties are safe and in compliance with Vermont law, and these letters represent a chance for the landlords to work with us toward that goal.”These mailings continue the lead poisoning prevention efforts of the Attorney General’s Office state-wide. Since the fall of 2008, the Attorney General’s Office has sent letters to large landlords in 11 of Vermont’s 14 counties. The mailings to Winooski landlords were not based on number of properties owned, rather, the Winooski mailings focused on specific streets in the downtown Winooski area: East Allen Street, Main Street, Mallet’s Bay Avenue, West Allen Street, West Canal Street, Weaver Street, Maple Street, Elm Street, Franklin Street and Weaver Lane.“By August, anyone driving into or out of downtown Winooski should be able to appreciate the efforts of the property owners to bring their properties into compliance,” Attorney General Sorrell continued. “A person driving down one of these streets will be able to see that peeling and deteriorated paint on the outside of these buildings has been repaired. And tenants living in these properties should also see changes on the interior including: the cleaning of common areas, repair of peeling paint and placement of window well inserts in non-vinyl windows.”The Attorney General’s plans for Winooski have been welcomed by the city’s legislators. “I fully encourage this effort to protect the youngsters of Winooski from the dangers of lead paint and improve the city’s housing stock,” said Representative Clem Bissonette. Representative Kenneth Atkins added, “I wholeheartedly support the reduction of lead paint in our community and hope that Winooski landlords will take advantage of this opportunity to work with the State.”Landlords in Winooski (and Burlington) can contact the Burlington Lead Program at 802-865-LEAD (5323) or visit the website of the City of Burlington Community and Economic Development Office’s Housing Division at: is external) more information and assistance with the Vermont lead law. The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board’s lead hazard reduction program operates on a state-wide basis and can be reached by calling 802-828-5064 or online at: is external).For information concerning Vermont’s lead in housing law, the duties of owners, managers, and sellers of pre-1978 housing, and for copies of court documents from recent enforcement actions involving lead, see the Attorney General’s website at: is external) and click on “Lead.”Source: Vermont Attorney General, April 22, 2010last_img read more

Outdoor Updates: NOAA predicting widespread coral bleaching in Hawaii

first_imgThe “lungs of the earth” are burning. More than 74,000 fires have ignited so far this year in Brazil, half of them in the Amazon rainforest—marking an 80 percent increase in fires recorded over the same time period last year in the country. The fires are blamed on deforestation and a practice called slash-and-burn, which clears the forest for agricultural practices. Newly elected Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro ran on a platform of opening up the forest for increased development and has gutted many of Brazil’s environmental regulatory agencies. As the fires raged, Bolsonaro claimed they were a conspiracy to attack the government. For daily news updates, join our News Group on Facebook Here On August 9, Harold Thompson, 58, of Knoxville, Tennessee experienced cardiac arrest while hiking along the Injun Creek manway in the Tennessee side of the park. Thompson’s brother and park medics administered CPR, but he was also pronounced dead at the scene. There have been 11 deaths in Great Smoky Mountains National Park this year.  NOAA predicting widespread coral bleaching in Hawaii Two deaths from cardiac arrest in Great Smoky Mountains National Park  In recent days, thousands of Brazilians have taken to city streets to demand action. In Rio de Janeiro, protesters marched on the city’s famous Ipanema Beach. The pressure, both in Brazil and around the world, seems to have forced Bolsonaro to change his stance on the fires—at least temporarily. Last week, Bolsonaro ordered 44,000 troops to begin fighting the fires and to address the criminal activity behind them. Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coral Reef Watch Program has indicated that coral reefs in Hawaii will enter into a major bleaching event within the next two months. Rising seawater temperatures causes coral bleaching, which change coral from their normal browns, greens and yellows into a white color. Right now, August ocean temperatures in Hawaii are 3 degrees higher than normal.  Brazilians march in the streets to demand action on fires burning in Amazon Coral can recover from moderate heat increases but will die if the higher temperatures remain over an extended period of time. Hawaii experienced an unprecedented coral bleaching event in 2014 and 2015 where, in some areas, over 50 percent of coral died. This bleaching event is expected to be even more severe. Anyone dipping their toes into the waters of Hawaii are asked to avoid touching corals or coral reefs and to use reef safe sunscreen.  Read the Latest Outdoor News Here In the past two weeks two men have died from cardiac arrest while hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. On August 22, Kirk Lazar, 70, of Evans, Georgia, collapsed while hiking the Juney Whank Falls Trail near Bryson City, NC. Bystanders immediately began CPR and emergency medical personnel responded quickly, but Lazar could not be revived.last_img read more

Reading Offices Meeting demand halfway

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Iraq announces first coronavirus death

first_imgTopics : Schools, universities, cinemas, cafes and other public places in Iraq have been ordered shut until March 7 to further contain the outbreak, but many continue to operate normally.Responding to Wednesday’s death, Sulaimaniyah Governor Haval Abu Bakr told reporters that all rallies in the province will be banned and that all football matches will now be held behind closed doors. Local religious authorities for their part announced a ban on mass prayers, including on Fridays, until further notice.The outbreak has fuelled public panic among Iraqis who say the war-ravaged country’s healthcare system cannot handle the epidemic. Many hospitals in Iraq are poorly equipped or in disrepair after successive waves of conflict. According to the World Health Organization, there are fewer than 10 doctors for every 10,000 people. Iraq said a 70-year-old Muslim cleric died on Wednesday from the novel coronavirus, the first death from the outbreak in a country where 31 people have been infected.The Iraqi preacher had been quarantined in the northeastern city of Sulaimaniyah before his death, a spokesman for the Kurdish autonomous region’s health authority said.According to local sources, he had recently met with Iraqis returning from neighboring Iran, which has recorded the third deadliest outbreak outside China, the epidemic’s epicenter. center_img Across the world, 3,155 people have died from the virus, with China recording 2,943 deaths, Italy 79 while 77 people have died in Iran from the disease.Iraq is one of Iran’s largest export markets and a popular destination for Iranian pilgrims visiting the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala.Many Iraqis also cross the frontier for business, tourism, medical treatment and religious studies.Iraqi authorities have closed land borders with Iran and banned the entry of foreign nationals travelling from there and other badly affected countries.last_img read more

UK government bows to internal pressure on DC fees disclosure

first_imgThe UK government will table an amendment to its own pensions reform legislation forcing providers to provide transparency on charges in defined contribution (DC) pension schemes, amid pressure from party hierarchy.An amendment to the Pensions Bill 2013, which is entering its final stages of the parliamentary process, before becoming law, will call for the introduction of measures requiring transparency in transaction charges.The government said this was the latest step in wider plans to ensure savers and consumers received value for money. It added that the extra information provided, as a result of the amendment, would help those running DC schemes see exactly how much they paid for asset management services. The amended Bill moves into the report stage, the penultimate formality of parliamentary processes, this week.It forces the Secretary of State to make regulations that require greater transparency around transaction costs within occupational DC schemes.Current pensions minister and Liberal Democrat Steve Webb will table the amendment.In his written ministerial statement, Webb said the increased transparency enacted by the amendment would ensure fairer charges for those entering workplace DC schemes via auto-enrolment.“We’re taking action to ensure consumers have access to good-quality pension schemes,” Webb added.“A lack of transparency around the true costs of trading can prevent schemes from securing value for money for their members.”The move comes after the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition came under a scathing attack from former Conservative heavyweight and chancellor Lord Nigel Lawson.Lawson, who sits in the House of Lords, the UK’s second parliamentary chamber, had called for the government to do more on transparency, suggesting full disclosure was the only way to avoid industry mischief.The amendment has been made to appease Lawson’s calls and ensure the Pensions Bill, which includes legislation on the new single-tier state pension, passes through Parliament on schedule.As the cross-party debate over DC scheme charges, specifically within auto-enrolment schemes, intensifies, this is the second amendment to the Bill in as many weeks.On Thursday, opposition Labour peers tabled an amendment to the Bill, which would force the secretary of state to implement a cap of charges in DC schemes by the end of April 2015.This was in reaction to the UK government’s postponement of plans to cap charges, which were due to be enforced on providers by April this year.The opposition reaction to the cap postponement resulted in accusations that the government was avoiding the cap altogether, as it pushed it too close to the next general election.Reacting to the latest government amendment, opposition and Labour spokesman for pensions, Gregg McClymont, claimed credit for the move, suggesting Webb had given in to Labour pressure.“The government appears to have finally backed down under Labour pressure on transparency over costs and charges,” McClymont said, “but ministers are only implementing half of Labour’s reform agenda. The government’s headlong retreat on bringing in a pensions cap has left savers at real risk of rip-off charges.”last_img read more

WindEurope: Investments in new offshore wind projects slide in 2019

first_img€ 6.1 billion was invested in four European offshore wind projects with a combined capacity of around 1.4 GW in 2019, marking the lowest amount invested and the capacity financed in a year since 2012, according to a report by WindEurope. Capital expenditure per MW for new offshore wind, which decreased between 2015 and 2018, increased in 2019, according to the report, with three of the four projects reaching FID being financed with a CAPEX of € 5 million per MW or more. These projects are Hywind Tampen, Neart na Gaoithe, and Saint Nazaire. According to the report, “Financing and Investment Trends: The European wind industry in 2019”, non-recourse debt accounted for 77% of all investment in the new offshore wind farms, highlighting the importance of banks in wind energy financing. Offshore wind farms reaching an FID in 2019 required a relatively high capital expenditure (CAPEX) leading to a slightly lower capacity financed compared with the previous three years, the report said. The four wind farms that reached the Final Investment Decision (FID) in 2019 are the 480 MW Saint Nazaire in France, the country’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm; the 88 MW Hywind Tampen floating wind farm in Norway; the 382.7 MW Windpark Fryslân nearshore wind farm in the IJsselmeer, the Netherlands; and the 450 MW Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm in Scotland.center_img The CAPEX is expected to revert to levels seen in previous years, the report said. 2019 saw a slide of over 40 percent in investments compared to 2018 when € 10.2 billion was invested into new offshore wind farms in Europe. The last year’s result is more than three times lower compared to the record € 20 billion invested in new offshore wind projects in 2016. Possible reasons for an increase in CAPEX per MW in 2019 are the new technology used (Hywind Tampen), installation depths of over 50 metres and the use of jacket foundations (Neart na Gaoithe), and in the case of the Saint Nazaire project the proviso that wind turbine factories for the project had to be built on French territory, according to the report.last_img read more

Kalibo drug bust nets 2 suspects

first_imgTyrone Yves Amante and Arnel MaximoRetino yielded the suspected illegal drugs, according to the Philippine DrugEnforcement Agency in Western Visayas. Tyrone Yves Amante and Arnel Maximo Retino were arrested in an entrapment operation staged by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Region 6 in Barangay Estancia, Kalibo, Aklan on Dec. 19. PDEA REGION VI-WESTERN VISAYAS KALIBO, Aklan – Suspected marijuanaleaves valued around P3,000 was seized in a buy-bust operation in BarangayEstancia, Kalibo, Aklan. The suspects were nabbed after theysold suspected marijuana leaves to an undercover officer around 3:30 p.m. onDec. 19, it added.    Amante and Retino were detained andcharged with violation of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive DangerousDrugs Act of 2002.(With a report fromPDEA-6/PN)last_img read more

Indiana State Track Coach Dies

first_imgRecently John McNichols, the long-time Indiana State track coach passed away because of a stroke.  He was attending a track clinic in Florida at the time.  To many in the state of Indiana John was a colleague, mentor, and a friend.  This includes yours truly.Three of Batesville’s female track stars ran for John at Indiana State.  They were Angie Menser, Carly Asher, and Jillian Yorn.  They all excelled under his tutelage.  On an ironic note, Angie became John’s boss as a member of Indiana’s state athletic department.John’s expertise in hurdle events was well known not only in Indiana but in the track world in general.  At the age of 66, John was still leading Indiana State to many conference track championships.last_img read more