first_imgCHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Harvard University researchers who have been studying a North Carolina school system to learn what makes teachers effective are reporting their findings.The Charlotte Observer reports that the Harvard researchers unveil on Tuesday what they’ve found out about Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers…Read more herelast_img


first_imgMILWAUKEE (AP) — A police officer in a Milwaukee suburb who resigned after being involved in his third fatal shooting in five years has been hired as a sheriff’s deputy. Waukesha County Sheriff Eric Severson said Tuesday that he hired Joseph Mensah after an extensive review that found his use of force was proper in all three shootings. Mensah was cleared in October in the death of 17-year-old Alvin Cole. Mensah was a Wauwatosa police officer when he shot Cole on Feb. 2 outside Mayfair Mall after police responded to a reported disturbance. Severson says Mensah will go through a supervised field training program.last_img read more


first_imgThe annual seminar series will be held Jan. 14-23 in Gainesville, Cartersville, Bainbridge, Lyons, Tifton and Macon. Registration for the series is open at www.georgiaagforecast.com. The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences hosts the annual seminar series, and its attendance grows every year. Nearly 1,000 business people, producers and community leaders attended their local seminars in 2014. “The main objective of the Ag Forecast seminar series is to provide Georgia’s producers and agribusiness leaders with information on where we think the industry is headed in the upcoming year,” said Kent Wolfe, director of the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development. “It helps farmers plan what they’re going to plant in the next year, but it’s also good for bankers and others who do business with farmers or who will be impacted by the farm economy.” Economists from the Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development and from the UGA Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics will deliver the economic outlook, which will focus on Georgia’s major commodities and the way that global markets, weather patterns and historical trends will affect those commodities. In addition to the annual economic outlook, Douglas Britton, program manager for the Agricultural Technology Research Program at Georgia Tech, will speak about research being done in conjunction with UGA and will provide insight into the next wave of innovation in agricultural technology — from remote-sensing systems to unmanned aerial vehicles. The 2015 Ag Forecast sessions will be held Jan. 14 in Gainesville, Jan. 15 in Cartersville, Jan. 16 in Bainbridge, Jan. 21 in Lyons, Jan. 22 in Tifton and Jan. 23 in Macon. The Georgia Ag Forecast seminar series is organized by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. This series is made possible through the Georgia Farm Bureau Land Grant University Lecture Series Endowment and is supported by the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Agribusiness Council. For more information on the 2015 Ag Forecast series, see www.georgiaagforecast.com, follow @UGA_CollegeofAg on Twitter or search for #agforecast on social media. From new varieties to new technologies and new markets, Georgia’s agricultural landscape is guaranteed to change every year. The University of Georgia’s team of agricultural economists will provide valuable insights into what 2015 will hold for the state’s largest industry during the 2015 Georgia Ag Forecast series. last_img read more


first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享West Virginia Public Radio:For generations, coal power has fueled American prosperity. But for each shovelful thrown into the furnaces, a pile of ash was left in its place. Today, as coal’s dominance in the power sector wanes, those piles of ash have grown into mountains as coal ash became one of the largest waste streams in the country, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.Hundreds of waste ponds and landfills, many constructed without liners to prevent leaks, dot the American landscape, especially in the coal-rich Ohio Valley. And the ash they contain includes the concentrated remains of the many toxic compounds associated with coal and its combustion, such as arsenic, lead, and radium.The Ohio Valley ReSource and partner station WFPL analyzed newly available data from groundwater monitoring wells near ash disposal sites in the region and found that most show signs of leaking contaminants. At several sites, hazardous compounds are found in groundwater at levels that far exceed federal drinking water standards.What the first round of monitoring data revealed is a toxic blend of coal ash chemicals that appear to be leaching into groundwater across the country. Environmental advocates say the data demonstrate that contamination is ubiquitous, not just in the Ohio Valley but at coal ash sites around the United States.Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law center, found 92 percent of sites showed evidence of contamination in a review of 100 sites across the country. “And this is industry produced data,” Lisa Evans, an attorney with Earthjustice, emphasized. “Data is showing us that across the board there was groundwater contamination at almost every site in the country,” she said.In Kentucky and West Virginia, every power plant covered under the EPA rules had coal ash waste sites with evidence of contaminated groundwater, according to the analysis by WFPL and the Ohio Valley ReSource. Already, three sites in Ohio, four sites in West Virginia and 11 sites in Kentucky have said they will do more testing after finding evidence of possible groundwater contamination.More: Coal ash uncovered: New data reveal widespread contamination at Ohio Valley sites Industry data show widespread contamination from coal ashlast_img read more


first_imgTen years ago, King Coal reigned supreme. The Southeast’s electric companies operated 246 coal-fired power plants and planned to build another nine units.Today, utilities plan to retire or have already retired 126 of those coal-fired units, and they have shelved plans for seven of the proposed units.How did this happen—especially in the heart of coal country?“There are basically three driving forces behind this trend: changes in technology, changes in economics, and changes in regulation over the past few years,” says Jonas Monast, director of the climate and energy program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.On the regulatory front, one important driver was EPA’s 2011 Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Rule, which requires power plants to substantially limit their emissions of toxic air pollutants like mercury, arsenic and heavy metals. The rule forced utilities to install the most effective pollution controls available, essentially making them pay for the pollution created by burning coal by internalizing the costs of using it as a fuel. Faced with these installation costs, utilities in the six Southeastern states decided instead to shutter 58 old, inefficient coal-fired units.Sierra Club - Jeff Rich NC Asheville_FIXState laws have played a role as well. The 2002 North Carolina Clean Smokestacks Act required the state’s 14 coal-fired power plants to reduce by three-quarters the emissions of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide—the main pollutants responsible for ozone, smog, acid rain and other air quality problems. Power companies achieved those cuts by installing $2.9 billion worth of scrubbers and other pollution controls, as well as closing many older coal-fired power plants. Utilities have shuttered seven coal-fired power plants in North Carolina since 2011 and slated another three for retirement or conversion to other fuel sources by 2020. These pollution controls and closures have reduced North Carolina’s carbon emissions from electricity by 27.4 percent and mercury emissions by 70 percent.Replacing CoalAt the same time that federal and state regulations are making coal-fired plants more costly to operate, other sources of energy, particularly natural gas and renewables, have become less expensive.Duke Energy has already retired about half of its Carolinas coal fleet, shutting down units at 11 coal-burning power plants. In their place, the company has built two combined-cycle natural gas plants, which generate up to 50 percent more electricity than traditional plants by routing waste heat from the gas turbines into a nearby steam turbine. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), South Carolina Power & Gas, and Dominion Virginia Power also plan to replace coal-fired plants with natural gas units.“Natural gas is a more attractive fuel source because federal policy is not friendly to carbon, and coal emissions generate carbon,” says Dominion spokesman David Botkins.Renewables are also playing an important role in the Southeast’s clean energy economy. For example, North Carolina has 1 gigawatt of installed solar power in the state, making it fourth nationally in installed solar, and is also home to one of the South’s first large-scale commercial wind farms, the Amazon East Wind Farm, which is expected to start producing power by the end of the year.And some utilities are relying on renewable energy sources from other parts of the country to boost their renewable portfolio as well. Since wind power has proven difficult to develop in much of Tennessee, TVA has contracts to purchase more than 1,500 MW of wind capacity from the Midwest, in addition to purchasing wind power from the 27 MW Buffalo Mountain Wind Energy Center in Oliver Springs, Tenn.One factor driving the switch to cleaner-burning energy is EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which sets state-specific targets for achieving a 32 percent reduction in the nation’s carbon emissions. The Supreme Court temporarily stopped the plan in February, ruling in an ideologically split decision that EPA can’t implement the plan until the courts settle the legal challenges against it. A coalition of 24 states—including Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina—are challenging the plan, questioning EPA’s authority to impose the regulations and some of the plan’s specifics, such as its use of 2012 as a baseline year, after many states had made significant progress in cutting CO2 emissions from coal-fired plants.CoalPlant_retirement_update_FIXMap courtesy of Southern Environmental Law CenterBenefits for Health and the EnvironmentOutdoor organizations and public health groups are hopeful that cutting back on coal will have benefits for human health and the environment. “Someone who’s in the hiker community and spends a lot of time active in the outdoors may not think of themselves as at risk from air pollution in the outdoors, but it affects everyone,” says Janice Nolen, assistant vice president of national policy for the American Lung Association. She notes that several studies have shown a decline in hikers’ lung function as ozone levels rose, even at levels below EPA’s safety standard.Less demand for coal also reduces mining and its associated environmental impacts, including habitat disturbance, water pollution, acid mine drainage, and greenhouse gas emissions. There are also direct impacts from the coal-fired generation itself, most notably the storage of waste products in coal ash landfills and ponds, which can contaminate groundwater, wetlands, creeks, and other waterways with toxic metals that can cause cancer and neurological damage. In the Southeast alone, there are about 400 coal ash storage facilities, including more than 50 sites where there is known pollution or contamination, according to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. Most notably, a 2008 spill at TVA’s Kingston Plant sent more than 1 billion gallons of ash sludge pouring into the Emory River and a 2014 spill at a Duke Energy plant sent almost 39,000 tons of coal ash and 24 million gallons of wastewater into the Dan River. David McKinney, chief of environmental services for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, noted that coal-fired facilities affect fish populations by releasing water that’s too warm for fish or killing fish when they draw water from lakes and rivers. “As the global demand for coal diminishes, eventually the environmental consequences of the extraction and preparation process should likewise diminish,” McKinney says.The South’s dramatic reductions in carbon emissions in a single decade show that a clean energy future is within reach, says the Sierra Club’s Kelly Martin. “Transitioning to renewable energy sources will ensure we have cleaner air and cleaner water in the places we live and love to be in.”last_img read more


first_imgBy Dialogo February 10, 2011 Three kidnapped Mexicans and forty-four kidnapped Guatemalans being held in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas (in northeastern Mexico), near where seventy-two immigrants were massacred last year, were freed on 7 February, an official from the Secretariat of Defense told AFP. “We were carrying out a reconnaissance operation (…) when we observed the occupants of two vehicles acting suspiciously, and upon investigating, we managed to locate the people who were kidnapped,” explained the Defense Secretariat official, who asked to remain anonymous. The operation took place in Reynosa, on the border with the United States and located 147 km from San Fernando, a Tamaulipas community where seventy-two undocumented migrants were murdered at the end of August, allegedly by the Los Zetas cartel. One of the survivors of the massacre told the Mexican authorities that the drug traffickers kidnapped them when they were on their way to the United States, and when they failed to obtain ransom money, they tried to force them to join the cartel. When they refused, they were shot, and some also suffered torture. The state of Tamaulipas has been severely affected by conflicts among drug traffickers, who are expanding their sources of financing through kidnapping and extortion, among other crimes, according to the authorities. There has been a resurgence of violence in Tamaulipas since 2009, when the Gulf Cartel split from its armed wing, Los Zetas.last_img read more


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first_imgAs of Monday, at least 122 Indonesian citizens have tested positive for COVID-19 overseas – an increase from 113 on Sunday – and two have died.According to the Foreign Ministry, the infected Indonesians were spread out across 20 foreign territories.Singapore bore the highest number of infected Indonesian citizens as of Sunday, with a total of 34 patients – of which three have recovered, 28 are in stable condition, two have received special treatment and one has died, kompas.com reported. Twenty-four infected citizens are now in a stable condition in Malaysia, as well as 14 in India.Nine Indonesians, all of whom were crew members of the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship, have recovered.Meanwhile, three Indonesians with COVID-19 in Taiwan and another three in Brunei Darussalam are now in stable condition. Three Indonesian citizens have been recorded as infected with the disease in Spain and another two in the Netherlands. One Indonesian coronavirus patient in the Netherlands has recovered.Australia, Cambodia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Germany have each identified two COVID-19-positive Indonesian nationals, all of whom are now in stable condition, as are six Indonesians in Saudi Arabia.  Read also: https://www.thejakartapost.com/multimedia/2020/03/30/thai-monks-make-virus-masks-from-recycled-plastic.html” target=”_blank”>Thai monks make virus masks from recycled plasticFive Indonesians have tested positive in Vatican City and are now in a stable condition as well, according to kompas.com.In Italy, four Indonesians – all crew members of the Costa Luminosa cruise ship – have tested positive for COVID-19 and are now in stable condition, as well as one citizen in Macau and one in Ireland.Meanwhile, the ministry also reported on Monday a second COVID-19 fatality among Indonesian citizens abroad.“A citizen, a woman, has died in the UK,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah told The Jakarta Post.According to data from Johns Hopkins University, at least 723,740 cases have been confirmed as of Monday, resulting in 34,018 deaths. However, more than 152,000 people have recovered around the world.Meanwhile, as of Sunday, Indonesia had recorded 1,285 infections with 114 fatalities and 64 recoveries.Topics :last_img read more


first_img“The airport construction was really fast, just 20 months. That was really quick,” Jokowi said during the broadcasted inauguration ceremony. “I’m sure this airport will be the busiest airport when a [COVID-19] vaccine is available.”The new airport boasts a 3,250-meter runway, which compares to just 2,200 m at Adisutjipto International Airport, and can accommodate wide-body aircraft like the Boeing B777 and Airbus A380.YIA has a passenger capacity of 20 million per year, a massive upgrade from Adisutjipto’s 1.6 million, due to its larger terminal of more than 219,000 square meters.A total of Rp11.3 trillion (US$775 million) was invested in the airport, with land acquisition accounting for around Rp 4.2 trillion and the remaining Rp 7.1 trillion spent on the construction of the terminal and runway. The new airport is equipped with an early detection system for earthquakes, tsunamis and extreme weather events. It can withstand an earthquake with a magnitude of up to 8.8 on the Richter scale and a 12-m-high tidal wave, Jokowi said.“Insya Allah [God willing], we are prepared for the possibility [of disasters],” he said.Separately, state-owned air navigation firm AirNav Indonesia’s president director Pramintohadi said YIA was equipped with state-of-the-art navigation equipment that would increase the airport’s flight capacity compared to Yogyakarta’s older airport.YIA has a capacity of 28 aircraft movements per hour, much higher than Adisutjipto’s 17 movements per hour.“So, we can imagine the significant addition to the capacity of aircraft movements, which will support air connectivity in the Yogyakarta area,” he said in a statement.AirNav Indonesia invested Rp 87.6 billion to build the 39.5-m air traffic control tower, administration building, operational building and navigation facilities, according to the company’s statement.The tower is equipped with a satellite navigation system, surveillance radar and Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS), among other equipment.With the YIA’s full operation, Pramintohadi said, Adisutjipto airport would be used specifically for training and military purposes, while all commercial flights would be directed to the new airport.“With the increasing capacity comes a huge potential for passenger growth in the future. Connectivity in the southern part of Java also remains high, which we could capitalize on,” he said.Meanwhile, Angkasa Pura I (AP I), in charge of both the construction and operation of YIA, reiterated that the new airport would resolve the capacity constraints of Adisutjipto airport, according to AP I president director Faik Fahmi.National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia and its low-cost subsidiary Citilink Indonesia have moved inbound and outbound flights serving Yogyakarta to YIA from Adisutjipto airport.Similarly, the largest private carrier, Lion Air Group, has also moved the Yogyakarta operation of its airlines, Lion Air and Batik Air, to the new airport. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo officially inaugurated Yogyakarta International Airport (YIA) in Kulon Progo regency on Friday, several months after its full operation began in March.Situated around 45 kilometers from the city of Yogyakarta, the new airport has replaced the older Adisutjipto International Airport as the main flight hub in the province of Yogyakarta.The president touted YIA’s development and construction processes, which took less than two years, while also highlighting the airport’s features, which he described as “the best in Indonesia so far.”center_img Topics :last_img read more


first_imgThe pensions group – which includes the firm’s huge life and pensions subsidiary and the independent professional pension funds AP, PJD and ISP – said the Hungarian green bonds had been earmarked for the development of wind and water energy, biogas facilities and the generation of electricity from biomass and solar panels.“In addition, we have invested DKK37m in bonds from the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) and DKK112m in an issue from the World Bank,” said Nørgaard.Though the World Bank bond was not an explicitly green issue, Nørgaard said Sampension could be sure it was supporting projects in developing countries implemented under responsible standards when buying into any World Bank bond issue.The Copenhagen-based pensions group said it also invested DKK18m to help in the fight against COVID-19 in Guatemala.Sampension said that overall, it currently had approximately DKK11.3bn invested in forestry, renewable green energy solutions and green bonds.Germany’s finance agency last month confirmed the country’s planned debut in green bond issuance is still on track for the second half of this year, despite the coronavirus pandemic.Meanwhile, the Danish central bank is still hammering out the technical details of Denmark’s first green issuance – a model to include green certificates alongside standard government bonds in order to avoid fragmentation of the Nordic country’s limited government debt.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here. Danish labour-market pension fund Sampension said it has invested around DKK300m (€40m) in green and sustainable bonds since the beginning of this year, boosting its investment volumes in this fixed income asset type.Green bond issuance is now slowly picking up again, the DKK293bn (€39bn) pensions group said, after a dip when the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic became serious, and ESG bond issuance focused more on financing to tackle the viral outbreak.Jesper Nørgaard, deputy chief investment officer at Sampension, said: “If the risk is the same and there is no difference in the expectations of the return, then we always invest in green.”Sampension listed the investments in green and sustainable bond issues it had made so far this year, including more than DKK52m of Chilean government-issued green bonds, DKK15m of green bonds issued by the Polish government and over DKK42m of green bonds from the Hungarian state.last_img read more