Sitting BJP MPs to contest LS polls in Goa

first_imgSitting MPs of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Narendra Sawaikar and Union Minister for AYUSH Shripad Naik will contest the North Goa and South Goa Lok Sabha seats respectively, a State BJP office-bearer said on Saturday. Former Mapusa MLA late Francis D’Souza’s son Joshua has been given the ticket to contest from Mapusa Assembly constituency.Mr. Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte, both of whom quit the Congress to join the BJP in October last year, have been given the ticket for the Shiroda and Mandrem Assembly constituencies respectively, Goa BJP general secretary Sadanand Shet Tanavde said. The BJP Central election committee has cleared the names of the candidates, he said.The election for the two Lok Sabha constituencies and three Assembly by-polls will be held in Goa on April 23.last_img read more

Why FIFA hit Chelsea with transfer ban & how appeal works

first_imgContents1. Why have Chelsea been hit with a transfer ban?2. Can Chelsea appeal the transfer ban?3. How long will the Chelsea transfer ban last?4. Which other clubs have had transfer bans? Chelsea have been slapped with a two-window transfer ban and a fine by FIFA, meaning they will now have to make alternative plans when it comes to their immediate recruitment approach.The game’s world governing body announced the sanction, which relates to breaches concerning the transfer of players who are under 18, on February 22 and the Premier League club have been working to appeal against it. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? The Stamford Bridge outfit are expected to exhaust every avenue that is available to them as they seek to challenge the decision and preserve their reputation.So why have the sanctions been imposed and what exactly can they do about it? Goal takes a look at how it all works. Why have Chelsea been hit with a transfer ban? According to FIFA, the ban is being imposed on Chelsea because the governing body found the club to be in breach of regulations relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.Specifically, the Blues were found to have breached article 19 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players in the case of 29 minors.The club was also found to have breached article 18bis (which concerns third-party influence on clubs) in connection with two agreements that were reached concerning minors.It is not clear which players the breaches in question are related to.Maurizio Sarri Chelsea 2019As well as a ban, FIFA issued a fine of 600,000 Swiss Francs (£460k/$600k) and the Blues have been given a period of 90 days to “regularise the situation of the minor players concerned”.Furthermore, not only have Chelsea been sanctioned by FIFA, so too have the Football Association (FA).FIFA fined the English governing body 510,000 Swiss Francs (£390k/$510k) for breaches and imposed a six-month period in which to “address the situation”. Return to top Can Chelsea appeal the transfer ban? Chelsea Eden HazardYes, Chelsea are allowed to contest the decision reached by FIFA by bringing their case before the FIFA Appeal Committee. Indeed, the club appealed the findings of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.”Chelsea FC categorically refutes the findings of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee and will therefore be appealing the decision,” an official statement said back in February.”The club wishes to emphasise that it respects the important work undertaken by FIFA in relation to the protection of minors and has fully cooperated with FIFA throughout its investigation.”However, that appeal, which was heard on April 11, was subsequently rejected by FIFA on May 8.While the decision of the FIFA Appeal Committee is “final and binding”, should Chelsea not be satisfied with the outcome they can make a further appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) – something they are doing.How long does an appeal take?The duration of the appeal process varies depending on the case. As you might expect, such things require a lot of paperwork and legal representations and there is a natural processing period for each step.In this case, a number of months have already elapsed, with the initial appeal lodged in February before ultimately being rejected in May – a span of three months.Unsurprisingly, the club is not satisfied with the decision of the FIFA Appeal Committee and they have now brought the issue before the CAS in Switzerland. Again, the duration of the CAS appeal process also varies, depending on the court’s schedule among other things, but it will generally take a number of months. Return to top How long will the Chelsea transfer ban last?As mentioned, the transfer ban that has been imposed on Chelsea is scheduled to last for the next two consecutive registration windows following the verdict.The windows in question were the 2019 summer window and the 2020 winter window. That means they won’t be able to complete transfer deals until the summer of 2020 at the earliest.However, in the event of an appeal process being set in motion, the ban can be temporarily suspended until the outcome of the final appeal is reached. In effect, what that means is that clubs can buy themselves some time in which to create a contingency plan by signing players to minimise the effect of a ban.Maurizio Sarri Chelsea 2019For example, Barcelona were granted a temporary suspension of their transfer ban in 2014, which allowed them to recruit the likes of Luis Suarez, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Thomas Vermaelen.Unfortunately for Chelsea, FIFA rejected their request to delay the sanction until the appeal is heard, a decision which left the Premier League club feeling “astonished”.A statement released on the club’s official website read: “Chelsea Football Club is astonished by the FIFA Appeal Committee’s decision not to suspend its sanction pending completion of the appeal process.”The statement added: “So far as the Club is aware, in all previous cases where a registration ban has been imposed by FIFA, a decision has also been made to suspend the sanction until the appeal process has been completed. In this case, Chelsea considers that it is being treated inconsistently in comparison with other European clubs.”It now seems unlikely that the ban will be overturned before the 2019 summer transfer window, but it could be resolved before the 2020 winter window. Return to top Which other clubs have had transfer bans?Chelsea are by no means alone when it comes to this sort of breach and some of the world’s biggest clubs have previously been implicated.Liga giants Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid were all sanctioned by FIFA for similar regulation breaches, with the governing body imposing similar two-window bans.However, while Chelsea’s breaches concern the cases of 29 minors, the cases of the Spanish clubs involved many more players. In the case of Barcelona, 31 minors were investigated and Real Madrid’s case saw the investigation of 70 minors. However, Atletico’s breaches involved more than double the Clasico pair combined, with 221 investigations.Each of the cases involving the Spanish clubs took a number of years to be completed. From start to finish, Barcelona’s case concluded in two years, Atletico’s lasted just over three years and Real’s was approaching four years.In each of the aforementioned cases, the FIFA-imposed transfer bans were upheld, though the transfer ban was reduced to just one window in the case of Real.In 2017, Liverpool were sanctioned by the Premier League over the so-called ‘tapping up’ of an underage Stoke City player. The length of the ban was two years, but applied only to the signing of any player who has been with another Premier League or Football League club within the previous 18 months. Return to toplast_img read more

New Underground Mining Regulations Approved

first_img The province has approved new regulations governing undergroundmining. The regulations define the duties and responsibilitiesfor employers and employees of underground mines. They establishtraining requirements and qualifications for mine workers and thetechnical specifications for safe mine operation. “The new regulations will make Nova Scotia’s mines safer placesto work,” said Kerry Morash, Minister of Environment and Labour. An industry-based committee was consulted extensively duringdevelopment of the regulations, which replace two out-of-datestatutes. The new regulations apply to underground mines of alltypes and come into force on Nov. 8. Currently, the Canada Salt Company mine in Pugwash is the onlyoperating underground mine in Nova Scotia. The approval of the regulations continues the province’simplementation of changes to workplace safety management. Many ofthe new regulations were suggested by the report from the WestrayMine Public Inquiry. ENVIRONMENT AND LABOUR–New Underground Mining RegulationsApprovedlast_img read more

Akwesasne rallies in support of Standing Rock

first_imgAnnette FrancisAPTN National NewsOn Sunday, the United States Army Corps of Engineers said it would not grant permission for the Dakota Access pipeline to continue.But that didn’t matter in Akwesasne.That’s where people gathered to pray, and march in support of the water protectors in North Dakota.afrancis@aptn.calast_img

Andhra Pradesh to witness multicorner contest

first_imgNew Delhi: While there is a nationwide debate going on whether who will form the government at the Centre, beyond Vindhyas in Andhra Pradesh, where elections are being held for both Assembly and Lok Sabha, has become quite interesting.The 175- member Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats are going for polls on April 11 in Andhra Pradesh. As the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) led by Chandrababu Naidu is trying to retain the power in the state, the main opposition party in the state, YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) led by Jagan Mohan Reddy is busy giving a tough fight to come to power. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The Jana Sena Party led by star-turned politician Pawan Kalyan is trying its luck for the first time in this election with an alliance with left parties. Both the national parties – Congress and BJP are also in the fray. Many political heavyweights, more than 20 retired civil servants, including former joint director of CBI Lakshminarayana are in the fray. Lakshminarayana is contesting from Vishakhapatnam Lok Sabha seat on the Jana Sena ticket. Former Union Minister in UPA-1 and UPA-2 and daughter of NT Rama Rao, Purandeshwari is contesting from Visakhapatnam for Lok Sabha on BJP ticket. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KPerhaps this is for the first time, the family members of the founder of TDP and former Chief Minister NT Rama Rao (NTR) are contesting from three political parties. While Purandeshwari is in the race for Lok Sabha seat on BJP ticket, NTR’s eldest son-in-law and husband of Purandeshwari, Dr Daggubati Venkateshwara Rao is contesting for Assembly on YSRCP ticket and NTR’s son-in-law Chandrababu Naidu is contesting for assembly from TDP. Chandrababu’s son Lokesh is trying his luck in Mangalagiri assembly seat, Babu’s brother-in-law Balakrishna is seeking a second term from Hindupur assembly seat. Moreover Balakrishna’s son-in-law Bharat is in the fray for Vishakhapatnam Lok Sabha seat from TDP. While YSRCP leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy is contesting for Assembly from Pulivendula, his relative Avinash Reddy is contesting from Kadapa Lok Sabha seat. Another relative of Jagan Mohan Reddy is also in the fray for Assembly. Of course, Jana Sena is not lagging behind. While Pawan Kalyan is contesting from two assembly seats, his elder brother and film star Naga Babu is in the race for Narsapuram Lok Sabha seat. Interestingly, enough former Union Minister V Kishore Chandra Deo, who joined TDP recently, is contesting for Araku Lok Sabha seat, his daughter Shruti Devi is also racing for Araku Lok Sabha seat from Congress ticket. Former Union Ministers Panabaka Lakshmi, JD Seelam, Ashok Gajapati Raju, Dr Chinta Mohan, Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy are also trying their luck in this elections. Many family members of senior leaders from various political parties are fighting elections to keep their dynasty tag to go on. Interestingly enough, going by the nomination papers of candidates, many of them are crorepatis and some of them are having properties worth of more than Rs. 100 crores. Multi-cornered contest: With all the five political parties have fielded candidates, who will benefit from the multi-corner fight for the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls is the main debate going on in the political circles of Andhra Pradesh. While TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu is more focused on developmental agenda, welfare schemes and trying to ignite the sentiment of self-respect of Telugus, besides Special category status to Andhra Pradesh. Chandrababu is also critical of BJP leadership and Prime Minister Modi for not keeping the promises to the state and more trying to conspire against the state by having a secret understanding with Jagan and TRS leader K Chandrasekhar Rao. Going by the past experience, Chief Minister Chandrababu hiked the pensions from Rs. 1000 to Rs. 2000 in January and promises to increase it by Rs 3,000 after coming to power. As per the government data, the pensions would benefit more than 5 million people. On the other hand, opposition leader Jagan Mohan Reddy, who lost the last elections by a very thin margin, he is pulling all his might to come to power by exposing the unfulfilled promises of Chandrababu, unemployment and promises people that he would bring back YSR raj in the state. Jana Sena Party led by Pawan Kalyan, which supported the TDP-BJP alliance in 2014, is promising transparency in politics. Though Congress and BJP are also giving tough fight some constituencies, these parties are unlikely to win many seats in the assembly.last_img read more

IGNCA welcomes Indian New Year with musical evening

first_imgIndira Gandhi National Center for the Arts welcomed ‘Nav Samvatsar 2076’ with power packed performance by Pandit Gajadhar Pathak, Hindustani classical singing by Vidushi Rita Dev, violin playing by Viduasi Apuapriya Devtale and Haryanavi Ragini singing by famous folklorist Palaram.The program started with Saraswati Veena Vadan and Shankha Nada by Pandit Gajadhar Pathak, who along with his team from Mathura enthralled the audience. After this, Dr Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA lighted the lamp and gave best wishes for the Indian New Year ‘Nav Samvatasar 2076’. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainHe said that ‘Indian New Year’ is a day to celebrate as it is believed that four Vedas were composed on the same day. He further explained that it is important to for us to introduce younger generation to our culture and beliefs, and make them aware of Indian heritage and traditions. “As a part of this effort, IGNCA is organising ‘Welcome Nav Samvatsar’. Let’s start by celebrating our traditional New Year, and gradually our younger generation will understand its importance and will participate in it,” he added Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardAfter this, Vidushi Rita Dev presented the Bhakti Geet in the Hindustani classical style. She started her performance with ‘Mero Man Ram Ram Rate ….’ in Raga Aheer Bhairava. She was accompanied by Vinay Mishra on harmonium, Uma Prasanna on flute, Gautam Majumdar on tabla and Ustad Ahsan Ali on Sarangi. Later, Vidushi Apurapia Devtale caught all the attention for her remarkable performance. She presented the Raga Mukhari, Madhya laya, Druta Teen Taala on the violin. At the end of the program, Paley Ram presented the popular Folk Music Ragini along with his team.last_img read more

Six people arrested with knives iron poles

The suspects in the car, who were arrested, were later released on police bail. ASP Ruwan Gunasekera said that posters in support of a UPFA candidate were also found in another vehicle which was also checked at the same police checkpoint.He said that 870 posters and 150 hand bills were found in the vehicle. Three people were arrested but were later released on police bail. (Colombo Gazette) Meanwhile, on the same night, the police had arrested three people at the Maligawatte police checkpoint with posters promoting a UNP candidate.Gunasekera said that 1622 posters and 712 hand bills were found in a car which was checked at the Maligawatte police checkpoint. When the police checked the vehicle they found knives, iron poles and other sharp objects hidden inside. The police arrested six people at a police checkpoint in Maligawatte after knives, iron poles and other sharp objects were found in their jeep.Police spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekera said that the white defender type jeep was stopped at the check point when it was about to enter Colombo late last night. The six people who were in the vehicle were then arrested and the Maligawatte police launched an investigation. read more

Mens Volleyball No 5 Ohio State comes back to knock off Ball

Then-junior opposite hitter Maxime Hervoir spikes the ball during the NCAA championship on Saturday. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Oller ReporterThe No. 5 Ohio State men’s volleyball team (8-2, 1-0 MIVA) was victorious in its first conference match of the season against long-time rival Ball State (5-6, 0-1 MIVA), winning 3-2.Throughout the night, the Buckeyes’ offensive distribution differed from the past. Head coach Pete Hanson said Ball State’s defense caused some issues for redshirt freshman opposite Jake Hanes, which forced Ohio State to use more of its other offensive options. “[Senior outside hitter Nicolas Szerszen] was pretty good throughout, although there were times that they game-planned for Nic. They knew that we set him in critical situations,” Hanson said. “Maxime [Hervoir] had a great night offensively. He became the guy that kind of carried us down the stretch.”Hervoir hit a .400 and topped the leaderboard with 19 kills.The first set started slow with both teams struggling to establish tempos. Though the Cardinals did not stand out in attacks, they wielded a solid defense with four blocks and 11 digs in the opening set and managed to shut down Ohio State’s offense. The Cardinals won 25-21.Hanes was off his game for the first set, hitting a -.007, despite entering the match with a .642 hitting percentage. As a team, the Buckeyes had a match-high nine attacking errors and hit a .121.Ohio State redshirt junior middle blocker Blake Leeson brought the Buckeyes back to life in the second set with four key blocks across the net and aggressive attacks from the middle. Leeson scored nine of the Buckeyes’ 25 points in the set. Szerszen also came out with increased gusto, hitting a .800.The Cardinals had only two digs the entire set and hit a -.059, losing to the Buckeyes 25-13 to even the match at one set apiece.The third set served another loss for the Buckeyes with Ohio State falling 25-18. The Cardinals bounced back after their loss with high energy and the Buckeyes struggled to keep up. Ohio State’s hitting percentage dropped to .346 from .706 in the previous set, and it committed nine hitting errors. Although Ohio State struggled in the third set, Hervoir picked up some momentum, scoring six kills.“After the first set, I was really pissed. I started to bring energy because I saw the guys needed energy and I told them to get pissed off and to be aggressive,” Hervoir said.He said in the first set, Ohio State struggled with its serves. The team’s issues allowed Ball State to have an aggressive offense.The Buckeyes entered the fourth set trailing 2-1, in danger of dropping their first conference game of the season. The Cardinals jumped out of the gate fast and kept the Buckeyes at arm’s distance away for a while, maintaining a consistent one or two point lead early.Trailing 7-3 the Buckeyes sided out and scored the next three points to catch up to the Cardinals. Leading 7-6, Ball State disrupted Ohio State’s run with a kill from and maintained the lead until the two teams knotted things up at 22. Ohio State pulled away though and won 27-25 to tie the match at two sets apiece. Hervoir and Hanes combined for 11 kills in the set.Hanson said there was a point during the fourth set that he could see the match going either way. “I think it was finally at about 17-all where we finally got the add-point where we were in the lead and we were playing ahead,” he said. “That makes all the difference in the world mentally and up until that point in time, yeah, it was a pretty dicey match.” With the game on the line in the fifth and final set, there were many long rallies with aggressive attacks and consistent defense from both teams. But the Buckeyes reached eight points first, switching court sides with a three-point lead. Ohio State junior setter Sanil Thomas had a four-serve run towards the end of the set until the Cardinal sided out, trailing 14-10. A quick set from Thomas and powerful kill by Leeson won the set 15-10 and gave the Buckeyes a 15-10 victory. read more

3 Ohio State wrestlers listed No 1 in their weight classes in

Redshirt freshman wrestler Kollin Moore gets his hand raised after defeating Penn State’s Matt McCutcheon at 197 pounds on Feb. 3, 2017 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Nicholas McWilliams | Former Sports EditorThree Ohio State wrestlers — heavyweight Kyle Snyder, 187-pound Kollin Moore at 187 pounds and 125-pound Nathan Tomasello — were listed in No. 1 spots in FloWrestling’s preseason NCAA wrestling rankings on Monday.Buckeye wrestlers are represented in the top-12 of every weight class. FloWrestling also ranked Ohio State second in the NCAA in its preseason rankings. Coach Tom Ryan’s group ranks behind Penn State, which won the NCAA team championship the past two seasons.The Buckeyes, coming off a runner-up finish at the NCAA team championships last season, has three other team members listed in the top five in their respective weight classes. Junior Myles Martin is ranked second in the 184-pound class. Redshirt senior Bo Jordan is ranked third at 174 pounds while his brother, redshirt junior Micah Jordan, is listed fourth at 157 pounds. Sophomore Luke Pletcher (133 pounds) and redshirt sophomore Ke-Shawn Hayes (149 pounds) are both ranked ninth in their respective weight classes. Two new additions to the Buckeyes are also ranked. Joey McKenna, who transferred from Stanford, is ranked sixth at 141 pounds and Te’Shan Campbell, who transferred away from Pittsburgh, is ranked 12th at 165 pounds. Seven Penn State wrestlers are ranked, including five who are ranked No. 1 and two others ranked fourth and fifth. The Buckeyes will face off with the Nittany Lions on Feb. 2 or 4 in University Park, Pennsylvania. Michigan, which FloWrestling ranks third in team rankings behind the Nittany Lions and Buckeyes, will showcase eight ranked wrestlers in its lineup during the upcoming season with six being ranked in the top six. Ohio State will travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan for a dual meet with the Wolverines on Feb. 11. The Buckeyes kick off the 2017-2018 campaign on Nov. 4 when they compete in the Princeton Open in Princeton, New Jersey. read more

12th International Seminar on Paste Thickened Tailings

first_imgPaste ’09 will be held April 21-24 in Viña del Mar, Chile. The deadline for submitting abstracts is August 4. As it has been since 2006, International Mining is the international media partner for this important event. Paste and high density thickened tailings is now recognised as a consolidated technology which has been gaining greater interest in recent years. As a result, a number of applications are being developed in different countries and at different scales for a very broad range of mining operations. The new age of this emerging technology is accompanied by numerous research and development efforts all aimed at more efficient environmental management and, ultimately, a sustainable and safer mining. The seminar theme for the event in Chile will be Water Conservation – Coping with Water Scarcity. Water has become a key strategic resource for the mining industry worldwide. An increased emphasis is being given to a water use efficiency and understanding of water conservation and recovery under variable climate conditions and climate change scenarios. For numerous mine sites the lack of water may make it impossible to operate or expand operations. Research efforts have focused on engineering and technical solutions to reduce water consumption and increase water reuse in an environmentally conscious way. Paste and high density thickened tailings appear then as an attractive and promising solution towards sustainable water use and conservation, especially in the light of increasingly stricter environmental and closure regulations.Papers are called in the following areas:Environmental drivers / legislationEconomic issuesOperational issues / tailings disposal schemesColloidal and water chemistrySolid – liquid separation / flocculantsTransport and disposal of high density thickened tailingsGeotechnical characteristicsRheologyWater balance and conservationLong term geochemical behaviourSeismic loads and stabilityCase studies / lessons learnedAuthors are invited to submit a 500 word abstract by 4 August 2008 to . Full seminar information at www.paste2009.comlast_img read more

China reorganises and gets a tighter grip on rare earth element production

first_imgChina is giving its biggest, state-owned rare earths miner and producer a monopoly for the northern part of the country in reforms aimed at bringing the strategically important resource that’s crucial to advanced manufacturing under tighter control. The Ministry for Industry and Information Technology said in a statement seen Wednesday on its website that Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth (Group) Hi-Tech Co will be the only rare earths producer in the region – China’s biggest production base for REEs. It said 35 other companies would be restructured or closed down by the end of June and that Baotou Steel Rare Earth will handle all mining, processing and trading in Inner Mongolia.The company was the only company able to satisfy the capacity and production requirements of various government ministries, the state-run newspaper Global Times cited Liu Jingchun, a researcher at Inner Mongolia’s Economic and Information Technology Commission as saying.China has abundant reserves and produces 97% of the global supply of the 17 rare earth minerals, hence the boom in REE exploration and development in the rest of the world. REE projects are widely reported in International Mining Project News, sample copies of which can be obtained from REEs and are used in disk drives, hybrid car components, weapons and other high-tech products.To cope with growing demand at home and to reduce environmental damage, China has been reducing export quotas of rare earths over the past several years. Such moves have raised alarm in importing nations, especially after some in the industry accused China of holding back rare earth shipments to Japan due to a flare up in tensions last year.last_img read more

Herrenknecht brings boxhole backreaming to shaft sinking market

first_imgHerrenknecht expects to install one of its new boxhole backreaming machines in a mine in Asia later this year, one of the company’s Mining Project Managers, Alexander Frey, told attendees at an SME technical presentation, in Denver, Colorado, last week.Looking to produce a system able to develop ore passes with simultaneous drilling and lining, the company has adapted boxhole boring machines it has been working on for the past nine years – which use an adapted form of the pipe jacking method – and come up with the boxhole backreaming machine.This new machine can stabilise the shaft with thrust pipes and a steel liner, which avoids collapses of the shaft or a rework, while reducing the amount of activities in the upper level during mine development.Herrenknecht has already built one machine and tested it at a mine in the Black Forest of Germany, Frey said. This testing saw the company sink an ore pass with a 2.8 m diameter and 22 m length at an angle of 19°. During this test work in 150 MPa Gneiss rock, Herrenknecht achieved reaming rates of up to 1.3 m/h, Frey said. According to Frey, the machine, which is equipped with a cutterhead like those employed on raiseborers, can cut really hard rock.He added that the machines would likely be used for safely and efficiently sinking ore passes with a maximum 70 m shaft length and 3 m diameter, but it could also find other industry applications.last_img read more

Shatter Greece case may have had some undue influence on Roma child

first_imgMINISTER FOR JUSTICE Alan Shatter has admitted that the case of the girl removed from a Roma family in Greece may have possibly had some undue influence on the removal of two Roma children from their families by gardaí and the HSE this week.Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland Shatter said that the “international backdrop” of the case in Greece “that has been under the spotlight for sometime may have had possibly some undue influence in the decisions that were made” in two cases in Ireland this week.The Minister was speaking after authorities confirmed yesterday that a seven-year-old girl taken into care due to queries over her identity was in fact the daughter of the couple she lived with.In a second case in Athlone, a two-year-old boy was also taken into care only to be later returned to the Roma family he was living with after his identity was confirmed.Shatter told Morning Ireland that he expects a report from the gardaí on what happened within two weeks and said the HSE intends to deliver a similar report to the Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald.These two reports will then be considered by the Children’s Ombudsman, Emily Logan, but Shatter would not be drawn on whether he or anyone in his department will meet with the two Roma families affected.“I have no doubt that in these two cases the gardaí acted in good faith,” Shatter said adding that he is “very anxious” to ensure that “any lessons that need to be learned are learned”.He said that “we never stop learning in these areas” but added that the HSE and the gardaí face a difficult balancing act.“In a sense they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t,” he said.Shatter said that, although he did not believe it was the intention, he wants to ensure that no minority is being singled out in a case which he said was “obviously traumatic” for the families and their children.He continued: “I am also anxious to ensure that there is no question of any group or minority or community being singled out.”The Minister added that it was “regrettable” that details of the case found their way into the public domain.Read: Pavee Point calls for full independent review into Roma child casesShatter: Gardaí responded in good faith to child concernslast_img read more

Turnbulls financially risky defence project for Adelaide

first_imgFrance is the winner of the $50 billion contract to build the 12 submarines, beating the bids by Germany and Japan, after a lengthy competitive evaluation process. South Australia has secured the nation’ s biggest ever defence project after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s official announcement on Tuesday, that the 12 war naval machines would be built at ASC’s shipyards in Osborne, South Australia, creating 2,800 jobs nationwide. “Historic Choice by Australia for France and DCNS for the construction of 12 submarines; I congratulate all those who have contributed to it,” tweeted French President François Hollande, on Tuesday. “Our future submarines, 12 regionally superior submarines will be built here at Osborne in South Australia and the project will see Australian workers building Australian submarines with Australian steel here where we stand today,” said Turnbull during his official announcement in Adelaide. “We do this to secure our island nation but we do it also to ensure that our economy transitions into the economy of the 21st century,” he concluded. DCNS Australia’s chief executive officer Sean Costello confirmed that 90 per cent of the work will be done in Australia requiring a new production factory bigger than the Adelaide Oval. He also revealed that DCNS was happy to comply with requirements to use local steel, where possible. The Weatherill government welcomed the federal government’s decision which will contribute to SA’s much needed economic boost.“This is a massive step forward in the transformation of the SA economy, to meet our vision for an advanced manufacturing (and) hi-tech manufacturing economy,” said Premier Jay Weatherill after the announcement was made.“We’ve fought hard for it, and today we have the news our State has been waiting for – all 12 subs will be built in South Australia.”“This shows us the South Australian economy is already under transformation.Weatherill also said that he knows that submarines of this sort require steel of the sort that’s produced in Whyalla, giving hope about the financial future of the Arrium plant in Whyalla that’s currently in administration. It is a known fact that South Australia, displays the highest unemployment rate 7.7% in the country and is in desperate need of more infrastructure projects. The submarines, together with other naval projects are integral for SA economy. “12 Submarines built in Adelaide with the bulk of the work here in South Australia with Australian Steel and South Australian labour, is a great victory for our state,” tweeted SA Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis. Opposition Leader Steven Marshall agreed that the decision was “unambiguously good news for South Australia” but called for more detail on the local content. Along the same lines, independent Senator Nick Xenophon is keen to see the promises being followed through after the election. “The PM’s announcement today that the 12 submarines will be built in South Australia by French company DCNS, is unambiguously welcome.“But the devil will be in the detail and my job is to make sure the government guarantees a maximum number of Australian jobs and follows through on promise,” wrote Xenophon on social media. Along the same lines, Steve Georganas, Labor Candidate for Hindmarsh, has attributed this decision to the efforts of Labor, stating that more than 1,500 shipyard workers have already lost their jobs of the games the Liberals have played with the country’s vital shipbuilding industry. “Turnbull and his Government have been brought kicking and screaming to this decision by Labor, the SA Government, shipyard workers & the unions. “The SA community and the people of Hindmarsh deserve full credit for this decision, for refusing to accept the Governmentt breaking its promise to build 12 subs at ASC. After trying everything Turnbull & Marise Payne have finally made the right decision. The fact that it’s taken 3 years is an outrage,” said Georganas to Neos Kosmos before tweeting that “it’s disappointing that Turnbull doesn’t want to tell what percentage of submarines will be built in SA.”On another front, it seems the Japanese government as well as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries – which would have built the Japanese submarines – is not impressed with Australia’s explanation on why they chose to use the French design for the new war machines project. “The decision was deeply regrettable,” said Japan Defence Minister Gen Nakatani on Tuesday, whose country’s bid was publicly backed by former Prime Minister Abbott.“We will ask Australia to explain why they didn’t pick our design.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Investigation into fetuses found at harbor treatment plant called off

first_img SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Police announced Friday that they have halted an investigation into the discovery of the remains of unborn twins found at a wastewater-treatment plant near San Diego Bay because the fetuses were not at a viable stage of development.Investigators were still concerned that the mother of the fetuses, which were discovered Thursday at the treatment plant on Harbor Drive, could be in need of medical attention, San Diego police Lt. Matt Dobbs said.“This is obviously a very difficult time and the investigators hope these developments will give the mother the confidence to seek whatever medical or emotional assistance she may need,” he said.Homicide detectives were assigned to investigate, but the probe was called off after it was determined that the fetuses “were not of a viable stage of development,” Dobbs said.“Incidents like these are thankfully rare, but nonetheless tragic for everyone involved,” the lieutenant said. “The San Diego Police Department would like to remind everyone of the safe-surrender law, which allows for the anonymous surrender of a newborn to any emergency room or fire station to avoid babies from being hurt or killed due to abandonment.”Information about the state statute can be found on the city of San Diego website.___A pair of human fetuses — the remains of unborn twins — were found today at a wastewater-treatment plant near San Diego Bay.The developmental stage of the fetuses discovered at the utility facility on Harbor Drive, how they got there and the identity of the mother were unknown, according to San Diego police officials, who assigned homicide detectives to investigate due to the nature of the case.“The investigation is in the very early stages at this time, and the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of the fetuses are unknown,” Lt. Matt Dobbs said this afternoon. “Of primary concern at this time is the welfare of the mother. The investigators are concerned the mother may have experienced some type of medical distress during the birthing process.”The county Medical Examiner’s Office will seek to determine the age of the fetuses and how they died. Dobbs described the case as unusual.“Incidents like these are thankfully rare, but nonetheless tragic for everyone involved,” he said. “The San Diego Police Department would like to remind everyone of the safe-surrender law, which allows for the anonymous surrender of a newborn to any emergency room or fire station to avoid babies from being hurt or killed due to abandonment.” April 18, 2019 KUSI Newsroom Investigation into fetuses found at harbor treatment plant called off KUSI Newsroom, center_img Updated: 12:06 PM Posted: April 18, 2019 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

ASA Urges Government to Defend the Value of Biotechnology

first_imgAmerican Soybean Association (ASA) President Marc Curtis today presented the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee with a list of suggestions on what the Federal government can do to strengthen the commercial environment for biotechnology crops and products. During testimony before the Committee, Curtis, a producer from Leland, Miss., highlighted benefits offered by biotechnology crops, such as the availability of more nutritious foods to consumers and others.Curtis pointed out that producers are concerned that actions in the European Union (EU), Japan and elsewhere may jeopardize U.S. soybean and soy product exports.”We have seen the tactics of activist groups in the EU shift from failed attempts to raise fears of the environmental effects of biotech crops to linkages with food safety concerns and the right of consumers to know whether biotech ingredients are in their food,” Curtis said. “This linkage led the EU to require labeling of biotech products which, in turn, triggered decisions by leading food manufacturers in several EU countries to take soy out of food product formulations, and by retailers to take these products off grocery store shelves.”As a result, U.S. soybean growers have lost sales in Europe. In Japan, a labeling law approved this year could affect up to 700,000 metric tons of soybeans shipped in bulk for the tofu market.”The good news is that Japanese buyers are lining up Identity Preserved contracts with U.S. farmers to supply non-biotech soybeans,” Curtis said. “Unlike the Europeans, the Japanese appear willing to pay a premium to identify and preserve non-biotech crops through the production and marketing system.”Although U.S. acceptance of biotechnology crops appears solid, Curtis expressed concern that decisions not to use biotechnology ingredients by major food or beverage companies in the United States could dampen consumer opinion. To support biotechnology domestically and overseas, Curtis listed several suggestions for Congress:The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, and Food and Drug Administration and other government agencies should defend the biotechnology review process. While no one expects the agencies to be advocates for the technology, they should serve as credible spokespersons on the safety and science behind biotechnology.It is essential that the next World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement include improved rules to facilitate biotech trade and ensure science-based reviews. The Administration has not yet announced how it intends to address biotech issues in the upcoming round of WTO negotiations that start in November. Congress should insist on knowing details of the U.S. negotiating position.U.S. officials involved in developing a biotech labeling policy under the auspices of the Codex Alimentarius Commission should be encouraged to pursue voluntary guidelines for non-biotech claims, as is done for labels for organic products.The United States should support funding to increase capacity building for biotech regulatory activity in developing countries.Congress should consider making the destruction of biotech field trials a Federal crime, with strong punishment and penalties.The Agriculture Committee should spearhead efforts by Congress to urge all sectors of the U.S. food chain—including farmers, processors, merchandisers, exporters, food manufacturers, seed companies, and technology providers—to become more active in educational and support initiatives. They also need to coordinate their efforts, and establish close and ongoing working relationships with the Administration and with Executive Branch agencies with oversight responsibilities for biotech issues.last_img read more

Skagway Assembly formally voices support for police chief following loss of state

first_imgThe old Skagway Police Department. (Emily Files)The Skagway Borough Assembly formally voiced its support for Police Chief Ray Leggett at a meeting last week.Leggett lost his Alaska police officer certification earlier this year after a lengthy legal battle with the state.Now, Skagway officials are affirming their support for Leggett to stay on the job. But they’re also updating the police chief job description and personnel policy.Leggett came under scrutiny of the Alaska Police Standards Council after he conducted a lie detector test on his disabled son, who was the suspect of an investigation in Haines.The council revoked Leggett’s certification on the grounds that he lacks good moral character.The decision went against an administrative law judge’s recommendation.The judge said the council did not prove that Leggett lacks good moral character, just that he displayed bad judgment in a difficult situation.Leggett has remained on the job during the police standards council’s investigation and following the loss of his certification. Alaska law exempts “chief administrative officers” of police departments from the certification requirement.Leggett met in private with the borough Assembly at two meetings.After the most recent meeting last week, Tim Cochran made a motion which was unanimously approved by the Assembly.“The Assembly would like a motion to support Ray Leggett as chief of police in full capacity going forward, in line with the administrative judge’s ruling and evidentiary judge’s ruling against the Alaska Police Standards Commission’s complaint,” Cochran said. “And to have the manager review the job description and personnel policy for the police chief.”In an email, Borough Manager Scott Hahn said the Assembly wants to update the job description to clarify that state certification is not required for the Skagway chief.The job description currently says the chief must be eligible for certification.Hahn said the review of the personnel policy is to clarify that police employees should avoid any involvement in a police matter if it has to do with the employee’s family member.That’s what got Leggett in trouble in the first place – offering to assist in the Haines Police’s investigation of his son.The manager’s recommended changes to the policy and job description will go to the assembly before being finalized.last_img read more

This Pig Bone Pudding Comes Alive With The Taste of Tonkotsu Ramen

first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. If you’ve ever eaten tonkotsu ramen, you probably know all about how delicious, milky, and savory the broth is. That’s because it’s made with the broth of a pig bone broken down into a savory soup. It’s a little saltier than regular ramen, but it’s also very hearty and delicious, especially when eaten with ramen noodles. So you understand how it might not be the best flavor to chow down on as a type of pudding. Or it could be the best, depending on who you are.Tonkotsu Pudding, or “pig bone pudding,” is now a thing. It’s available via Glow Foods online for 345 yen a cup (about $3), and the slogan on the actual box says something like “No, seriously.” It makes sense why anyone might question its existence, after all, because it’s a frozen treat like ice cream but also a pudding that’s been seasoned with the bones of a pig. Alrighty then!via glow-foods.jpWhen the cup is opened, it even features a chocolate bone on top of the confection. According to RocketNews24, however, the taste isn’t even that of pork ramen, but just a saltiness and delicious pudding with the chocolate bone to top things off. It’s possible that it might have some pork bone in it in some way that doesn’t give it a meat flavor, or maybe it totally is a gag, and Glow Foods just doesn’t want anyone to know.Whatever the case may be, it looks pretty appetizing, and even if it did taste like pork, there’s probably someone out there who’d find it decadent and delicious. It looks like the actual pudding is more on the sweet side though, so it’s probably going to appeal to a wider audience than you might have guessed from the start. Still, it’s got a weird and slightly unappetizing ring to it, huh?last_img read more

Okami HD announced exclusively for PS3

first_imgPS2 cult classic Okami is back, but this time it’s making an appearance on the PS3 in glorious 1080p, with 51 trophies (including a platinum) and the now prerequisite Move compatibility.For those of you who don’t remember the critically acclaimed game, Okami sees players take on the role of Amaterasu, the Japanese sun goddess who inhabits the form of a wolf. After a horrible monster turns the world into a wasteland, she must use her magical abilities to transform it back into a land of life and color and, of course, defeat the demon responsible.Such a colorful game already looked beautiful on Sony’s last-gen console, so the Japanese calligraphy art style will look fantastic in HD. The trailer above shows the huge difference between the old PS2 version and new, digitally remastered one.Players can also use their PlayStation Move to paint with the Celestial Brush, which is used to solve puzzles and defeat enemies. Don’t worry if you don’t have a Move controller though, you can play Okami just fine with your standard PS3 controller.If any of you lucky readers happen to be in Tokyo next week, Okami HD will be playable at the Capcom Summer Jam event held between June 30th and July 1st. The rest of us will just have to wait to play Capcom’s masterpiece which will be released on PSN this fall for the bargain price of $19.99. If you’re after a disc version of the game, it seems that Capcom is only making it available in Japan, so make some space on your hard drive.via PlayStation Bloglast_img read more

Delays excuses and gripes mark approaching deadline for distributed electricity generation in

first_img A map of electricity distribution in Costa Rica by company. (Courtesy of ICE)‘It’s complicated,’ say distributorsImplementing these steps has proven difficult, however. According to Marcelino Blanco, sub-director of electricity production at the Cooperativa de Electrificación Rural de San Carlos (Coopelesca), “The complicated issue here is that the tariff for [electricity] exchange on the grid has yet to be defined.”That tariff must be set by ARESEP, Blanco said.ARESEP spokeswoman Ana Carolina Mora told The Tico Times that in order to determine the tariff, the regulatory agency must first calculate the cost of interconnecting to the grid. An entire methodology needs to be designed, she said, and that likely won’t happen until the end of the year.Asked if her company has all of the other requirements ready in case that tariff framework moves forward, Coopelesca’s Blanco said, “We’re working on all of it.”“We’ve had the contract part of the process ready for some time, we were working on the technical requirements for interconnection, and we have a working group for the commercial side of it and the engineering side,” Blanco said. “We’ve been meeting frequently to comply with all of the requirements.”Coopelesca provides service to the cantons of San Carlos and parts of Sarapiquí, Grecia, San Ramón and Los Chiles.The Tico Times asked if Coopelesca would meet the upcoming deadline.“What’s happened is that we have been working on this, but we haven’t finished. Even if we do finish, it’s going to be difficult, due to the other requirements that aren’t ready, such as the concessions for generation that each customer must obtain. That’s definitely going to delay the issue,” Blanco said, referring to concessions that must be granted by MINAE to each customer hoping to connect to the grid and produce electricity.Asked again if Coopelesca would meet the Oct. 8 deadline, Blanco said, “Yes, yes.”MINAE’s role A key part of the process is the consumer concession issued by MINAE. That concession allows the agency to have a registry of the locations and amount of production by customers. But in reality, in its current form, it is a mountain of paperwork, and concessions are currently designed for companies who plan to sell electricity to the grid. Small-scale consumer-generated electricity would not be sold, but rather exchanged for credits, requiring a different type of concession to be drafted.Several electricity distributors accused MINAE of dragging its feet on the concession issue. But others said MINAE has been trying for years to reduce the bureaucracy involved in the concessions process, which is designed for larger projects by bigger companies, not small-scale consumer generation. Ryan said ARESEP – which has the authority to remove the concession obligation for small-scale distributed generation – is to blame for the delay, not MINAE.The Tico Times attempted to clarify the issue with officials from MINAE but received no response.“According to what they’ve told us, they’re evaluating a way to make the requirements more flexible in order to grant those authorizations [concessions],” ARESEP’s spokeswoman told The Tico Times.In statements to the newspaper La República, Energy Vice Minister Irene Cañas said MINAE for several years has been trying to persuade ARESEP to eliminate the need for distributed generation concessions.“MINAE could issue a decree on distributed generation concessions that would mean fewer requirements and a framework with which it’s easier to comply,” she said.But in order to do that, Cañas said reforms would be needed for certain definitions contained in Costa Rica’s Electricity Law – such as public service, generator and distributor – that currently limit small-scale electricity production, adding another bureaucratic step that likely will delay the process even more as lawmakers become involved.She added that the National Dialogue on Electric Energy, a panel created by President Luis Guillermo Solís to discuss national energy issues, could be the best forum for resolving these disputes. Lawmakers would have to approve any such agreement, likely “by the end of the year.” The Tico TimesARESEP’s roleThe Tico Times spoke with Marisol Arias, head of corporate communications at Coopeguanacaste, about POASEN and the likelihood its implementation would face delays. Arias said, “We’ve complied with the timetable,” but, “whether or not the regulation [POASEN] is implemented doesn’t depend on that, but rather on issues that are exclusively the responsibility of ARESEP and MINAE, [such as] the tariffs and the concessions.”Coopeguanacaste services the northwestern province of Guanacaste in the districts of Liberia, Santa Cruz, Nicoya, Hojancha and Nandayure, as well as the province of Puntarenas in Lepanto, Jicaral and Paquera, among other areas. (Note: For a full list of areas covered by Coopeguanacaste, see below at end of story.)According to Arias, the company has finished its “technical requirements” and sent them to ARESEP, along with a proposal for distributed generation service contracts. A framework for receiving requests from consumers also will be finished by the end of this month, she said.“As soon as ARESEP approves what we’ve submitted to date, Coopeguanacaste will finish the integral procedure that summarizes all of the steps to respond to [customer] requests [for distributed generation], from the receipt of a request from a consumer to the connection of that consumer’s generator,” Arias said.Melvin Pacheco, sub-director of operations at the Consorcio Nacional de Empresas de Electrificación de Costa Rica (Coneléctricas), also took a jab at ARESEP.“The timetable will be met in October. What’s funny to us is that ARESEP issues a statement saying that the [electricity distribution] companies are failing to comply, but we haven’t even reached the deadline,” Pacheco said.On Sept. 2, ARESEP issued a statement reminding distributors that they must submit a timetable for the implementation of the various steps in the process. ARESEP said all of the companies had complied except Coope Alfaro Ruíz. ARESEP also stated that the companies were required to submit a draft of the contracts.“Due to the failure [by companies] to meet the deadline for these contract drafts, this week ARESEP asks for those contracts,” the ARESEP statement said.But according to Pacheco, ARESEP is the entity that has failed to meet deadlines. He echoed other companies’ statements on tariffs, and he added that the regulatory agency has not yet defined the technical regulations that govern where in the point of interconnection distributors’ infrastructure stops and where a consumer’s system begins.“On this point in particular, there needs to be definitions on issues of operational safety, because, for example, if the distributor provides maintenance and shuts off electricity service, the generators should be able to automatically disconnect in order not to send energy to the grid, because that could cause problems of human safety,” Pacheco said.“For October, given these urgent issues that ARESEP has been unable to resolve, I think that distributors will be in a legal vacuum, and won’t be able to say, ‘We’re ready to establish distributed generation in our areas,’” Pacheco said.Controversy over net metering and surplus electricityOne of the conditions needed to ensure that distributed generation systems are economically viable and efficient in terms of investment and operation is the ability to recognize the flow of energy from the consumer to the grid, ICE noted in an explanation of its pilot program. A billing system must be in place that subtracts the amount of electricity a consumer produces from the amount the consumer uses.Currently, ICE’s pilot program does not purchase surplus electricity produced by customers. Instead, consumers accumulate kilowatt-hour credits for later use, while ICE enjoys the use of free injected power into their network. But POASEN offers an option to change that structure – a contentious issue for distributors.POASEN creates two types of net metering. One is a common method used by ICE and other countries that already have net-metering rules. Under this “simple” type of net metering, electricity customers with solar power, for example, use a distributor’s grid as a type of virtual battery, exporting energy generated during the day and using it when needed at a later period.The grid can immediately use this free surplus electricity in exchange for kilowatt credits. Customers exchange those credits during periods when their consumption exceeds solar production, typically during nighttime hours, for example.According to Ryan, one of the benefits to distributors is that solar and wind – the two most commonly used types of distributed generation – both produce their highest levels during the times of the day and year when distributors and generators are under the most stress, such as during summertime days – and especially late summer, when hydropower resources are depleted and oil-fired generation is increased.But Marcelino Blanco said Coopelesca doesn’t believe it should have to pay a one-to-one rate for electricity surplus because distributors have fixed costs. A credit system, Blanco argued, would transfer those fixed costs to all electricity customers, regardless of whether they produced their own energy. Blanco said Coopelesca hopes to propose their own methodology to determine tariffs.Critics say these types of proposals by the distributors could make investment in distributed generation less attractive.Meanwhile, ICE’s pilot program refutes Coopelesca’s argument by showing that generation for personal consumption actually optimizes total investment when surplus electricity is used by the grid.ICE’s summary report on its pilot program notes that, “There is a mutual benefit between electricity companies and customers when eventually there is energy flow into the grid.” These same benefits are well documented in mature solar markets such as in the U.S. states of California and New England.Pacheco argued that lower-income electricity consumers would be discriminated against with a distributed generation system at the proposed surplus tariffs.“Not everyone can afford to invest $10,000 or $11,000 in solar panels, for example, to recover that investment and reduce their electric bills,” he said.Pacheco claimed that a solar system only would benefit people whose electricity bills average between ¢60,000 ($111) and ¢70,000 ($129) per month. The average residential electricity bill in Costa Rica, he claimed, is only ¢15,000 ($28) to ¢20,000 ($37).“Only a financially select group of Costa Ricans could invest in this,” Pacheco claimed.Pacheco also said distributed generation would reduce sales for distributors while their costs would remain fixed, a common argument used by companies against the distributed generation framework POASEN seeks to create.“They’d have the same crews, they’d have to tend to the same power outages, and those costs would be passed on by ARESEP through rate hikes to people who aren’t in a position to invest in distributed generation,” he said.The other side of the battleRyan, whose company installs solar and wind technology for consumers in Costa Rica, is highly critical of the arguments set forth by the distributors.“I sort of chuckle because it sounds like they’re opposed to net metering because it doesn’t benefit all parties. Yet they are not necessarily a champion of the modest household that is under stress for their electric bill. So it’s interesting to hear them use this defense,” Ryan told The Tico Times.“We have historic low levels of equipment prices, historic high tariff prices, and we need to make solar available to any family with good credit, regardless of their wealth,” Ryan said.He claimed that, “Utilities always inflate the costs and minimize the benefits for those who are thinking about going solar. That is their front-line propaganda to dissuade clients from ever making the investment.”He added that “for a modest home, for a family with an electricity bill of ¢10,000 [$18] a month, that’s the equivalent of about 700 kilowatts per annum, which is very small. You are looking at 60 kilowatt-hours per month.“Here in Guanacaste we can produce that much with just a couple of solar panels, maybe [costing] a couple of thousand dollars. This is an example of the utility companies grossly misstating the economics,” he said.Ryan acknowledged the need for low-income families to be able to access financing for renewable technologies. He said he is working with a nonprofit Costa Rican organization and private donors to develop a revolving financing program for low- to medium-income families who “spend a much higher percentage of family income on electricity and are in the greatest need of price relief” from high utility costs.“This is a real issue, and for years we’ve talked with banks and lending institutions to try to get a recognition that this is a good business. Slowly that is changing and banks are starting to offer financing,” he said.ICE’s report notes that some banks in Costa Rica already offer financing options for small-scale, renewable energy generation projects. Some nonprofit organizations also have funding for these types of projects, ICE said.Ryan scoffed at the argument that offering net metering with one-for-one kWh credits hurts distributors’ bottom lines. That claim, he said, “entirely ignores the significant economic benefits [distributors] receive from distributed generation networks,” a point that ICE also makes in its report.“The solar peak production during midday – and especially during summer months – is also when the utilities are buying the most expensive power or are short of power, and a lot of oil is being consumed in generating peaking power. It’s a perfect complement to hydro-resources, which are nearly exhausted in the mid- to late-summer months, and right now especially, with the pattern of rain we have here in Guanacaste,” Ryan said. “Until the last couple of weeks, we’ve been 90 percent below normal rainfall in Guanacaste. That is catastrophic if the majority of your generation is run-of-river flow or is reservoir-based.”Ryan had a different take on the impact that net metering would have on distributors: “Both their fixed costs and their operating costs do go down, and they go down significantly. Permanent expenses should decline due to lower maintenance and especially lower investment requirements to upgrade or add transmission and distribution lines. And what about the free energy they are receiving every day, and especially at their peak ‘network-stress’ times, like daytimes during summer months?”For Ryan, the foot-dragging that continues over distributed generation and small-scale renewable energy production is a combination of intentional resistance and bureaucratic mire.“This is a battle,” he said. “The distributors don’t want this, and they will say and do what is necessary in trying to prevent it.”•Rules for participating in the consumer electricity distributed generation programConsumers who would like to install a small-scale electricity generation project for personal consumption from renewable sources – such as solar, wind or biomass – and who want to interconnect with the national electricity grid must comply with the following rules outlined by POASEN. The date for this program to be up and running is Oct. 8. However, it appears increasingly unlikely that the agencies and companies involved will be ready by that date. Consumers must:Pay ICE or the relevant electricity distributor for connection request studies.Pay the costs associated with interconnection and network services for transport and distribution, according to a tariff set by ARESEP.Design, build, mount, enable and provide maintenance to consumer-end equipment according to norms set by ICE or the relevant distributor.Install, operate and maintain the necessary equipment for protection, interruption, measurement, telecommunications, failure notification, supervision and control.Pay for the energy consumed at the point of connection according to a tariff set by ARESEP.Sign a connection contract with ICE or the relevant distributor to connect to the national electricity grid.(Source: “Planeación, operación y acceso al sistema eléctrico nacional,” AR-NT-POASEN, La Gaceta, April 8, 2014.)To contact the reporter of this story, email: To contact the editor, email:•*As requested by the distributor Electrificación Rural de Guanacaste (Coopeguanacaste), we are including here a full list of the company’s coverage area, which spans some 3,700 square kilomters. In Guanacaste, the canton of Liberia in two districts: Liberia and Nacascolo (Guardia); in Carrillo in Filadelfia and Belén and partially in Palmira y Sardinal; in Santa Cruz, nine complete districts, including Santa Cruz, Cartagena, Tempate, Cabo Velas, Veintisiete de Abril, Diriá, Bolsón, Cuajiniquil and Tamarindo; in Nicoya, San Antonio, Quebrada Honda and parts of Nicoya, Mansión, Nosara and Sámara; part of the canton of Hojancha and the canton of Nandayure; in the province of Puntarenas, Lepanto, Jicaral and Paquera. Facebook Comments Related posts:ARESEP announces pricing proposal for consumer-generated electricity ICE could sell surplus electricity to neighboring countries Costa Rica opens the door to more renewable energy generation Construction of Central America’s biggest hydroelectric dam is nearly finished in Costa Rica Despite Costa Rica’s talk of its commitment to promoting consumer-based renewable energy sources to produce electricity, the country is lagging in its efforts. One setback involves the country’s electricity distributors, who some say are dragging their feet on requirements to offer customers the option of connecting to the national grid with small-scale electricity generation projects from renewable sources.These companies, which include cooperatives such as Electrificación Rural de Guanacaste (Coopeguanacaste) and Electrificación de Los Santos (Coopesantos), as well as the Empresa de Servicios Públicos de Heredia (ESPH) and the Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz (CNFL), have until Oct. 8 – just nine days from now – to comply with a requirement to allow all residential and commercial customers in the country to generate their own electricity through solar, wind, biomass and other renewable sources.However, some of these distributors interviewed by The Tico Times said complying with the requirement by the approaching deadline would be difficult. Asked to explain why, they pointed the finger at the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) and the Environment Ministry (MINAE), which according to distributors, has lagged on meeting their responsibilities to assure that distributed generation becomes a reality countrywide.But reality isn’t quite that simple.ICE: A pioneer in distributed generation Distributed generation from renewable sources began in Costa Rica as a pilot program carried out by the Costa Rican Electricity Institute, or ICE. In October 2010, ICE launched the “Distributed Generation Pilot Program for Personal Consumption” to test the demand from consumers to produce their own energy with small systems that are connected to the national electricity grid. Customers can produce their own electricity through the pilot program using solar, wind, biomass and hydropower.The initial duration of the program was two years, but in October 2012, ICE extended it through 2015. As of October 2013, 177 customers had signed up for distributed generation across ICE’s broad service areas. According to ICE, the first customers were eager to invest in environmentally sustainable energy options. Today, some 300 customers are participating, and by year’s end the total generation capacity is expected to grow to approximately 7 MW. Over time, participating electricity customers have increasingly sought the savings distributed generation offers, especially given Costa Rica’s consistently escalating utility prices.Following the launch of that pilot program, the government began promoting distributed generation as a cost-effective, sustainable option across the country. In April 2011, faced with resistance from distributors and ARESEP to implement net metering, MINAE published two rare decrees in the official government newspaper, La Gaceta, to require action on introducing distributed generation. The directives ordered electricity sector agencies to develop their own pilot programs and pressed ARESEP to create a regulatory framework.(Read those decrees in Spanish here and here.)That same year, ARESEP formed a commission composed of personnel from electricity distribution companies to define those regulations. According to Jim Ryan, president of ASI Power and Telemetry, a company that has long advocated for the introduction of net metering for all consumers, the customers who would potentially benefit from net metering – the “stakeholders” – were absent from the process.By the end of 2013, the result of that work – a draft of the regulation titled “Planeación, Operación y Acceso al Sistema Eléctrico Nacional,” known by its acronym POASEN – was presented publicly in an open forum meant to generate discussion and feedback. According to Ryan, who participated in the public hearing, only a few private energy companies made public remarks at the hearing, and none of the distribution companies presented their positions.(ARESEP called a public hearing for Nov. 27, 2013 to discuss the POASEN proposal. Read that document in Spanish here.)According to the report “Pilot Program for Distributed Generation for Personal Consumption,” redacted by the coordinator of ICE’s pilot program, Alexandra Arias, ICE had included all of the country’s electricity distribution companies in its pilot program from the early stages. At first supportive, these companies later balked, saying they preferred to wait for the results of ICE’s program.Finally, on April 8, 2014, ARESEP approved POASEN, publishing the directive into law in La Gaceta. The directive gave electricity distributors six months to develop and implement their own systems of distributed generation for consumers. That included the technical requirements for interconnection between consumers and the grid, a guarantee that the systems would function properly, a definition for the procedures to follow when applying as a consumer and installing a small-scale energy generation project, a pricing plan of how to measure and account for electricity produced by consumers, and a the technical elements of concessions and contracts – both between consumers and MINAE, and between distributors and consumers.As Ryan noted, the regulation’s passage into law set Costa Rica on pace to catch up to other countries in the region with already established grid-interconnection rights and net metering, such as Panama, Guatemala and El Salvador, “not to mention many other countries in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America.”(Read POASEN as published in La Gaceta in Spanish here.)last_img read more