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first_img Need for issues with Mica redress scheme to be addressed raised in Seanad also Dail hears questions over design, funding and operation of Mica redress scheme Facebook Facebook Google+ Google+ Minister says full inquiry into whistleblower allegations ‘is likely’ Pinterest Twitter By News Highland – February 26, 2014 70% of Cllrs nationwide threatened, harassed and intimidated over past 3 years – Report WhatsAppcenter_img Dail to vote later on extending emergency Covid powers RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Minister McConalogue says he is working to improve fishing quota A Cabinet minister believes it is likely there will be a full Commission of Investigation into garda whistleblower allegations.A barrister has been appointed by the government to look at the claims and determine whether one is necessary.The Justice Minister is addressing the Dail about his response to the allegations.More than five hours of proceedings have been given over to discussing the controversy with Alan Shatter set to take questions from TDs this evening.Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney was asked this morning if he felt a full independent inquiry would ultimately have to happen.”I think there is likely to be but I don’t know is the honest answer” he said.”I think the Taoiseach is taking this very seriously – we had a long discussion on it yesterday in Cabinet”.”The government only want out of this, the truth – and they want to rebuild confidence in the gardai which has clearly been damaged as a result of this”.”If that means a full-blown inquiry, so be it” he added. Man arrested in Derry on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences released Pinterest Previous articleCharges against Donegal man John Downey droppedNext articleBigger nurse patient loads result in more hospital deaths News Highland WhatsApp Twitter Newslast_img read more

first_imgRelatedPosts Lampard: I still have confidence in Tomori Pirlo not out to copy anyone after Juventus’ comfortable opening win Mane double eases Liverpool to win over 10-man Chelsea Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso is reportedly in contention to take over as Manchester City assistant manager next season.Pep Guardiola is on the lookout for a new right-hand man following the departures of Domenec Torrent and Mikel Arteta over the past two years. According to Goal, Alonso is one of those being eyed up by City boss Guardiola to join him in the Etihad Stadium dugout.The pair worked together at Bayern Munich, with Alonso describing his countryman as the best coach he had played under.Alonso, who also represented Real Madrid during his playing days, is currently manager of Real Sociedad’s reserve side.Tags: LiverpoolManchester CityMikel ArtetaPep GuardiolaXabi Alonsolast_img read more

first_imgAC Milan are ready to offer goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma a new contract to ward off interest from Manchester United, according to reports in Italy.The 16-year-old made his debut last month, becoming the youngest ever goalkeeper to start a Serie A match.Donnarumma is expected to have a big future and has already been compared to Italy legend Gianluigi Buffon.Manchester United have tracked the youngster for several years and they had been linked with a January move.But now, according to reports in Italy, Milan are ready to offer Donnarumma a new contract to ward off any interested clubs.The Italian’s current deal ends in 2018 and any new one is expected to contain a pay rise and an extension of a few years. Gianluigi Donnarumma has impressed AC Milan officials 1last_img read more

first_img4 March 2013South Africa’s Dawie van der Walt captured the biggest title of his career at the Copperleaf Golf and Country Estate outside Pretoria on Sunday when he was crowned the winner of the inaugural Tshwane Open.The final round of the event, co-sanctioned by the Sunshine and European Tours, began with a four-way tie for the lead, with Van der Walt, Africa Open champion Darren Fichardt, Charl Coetzee and Mark Tullo all on 16-under-par 200.Fichardt remained in the running, with a final round of three-under-par 69. Coetzee failed to mount a real challenge, posting a level-par 72, while Tullo’s game fell apart as he closed with a five-over 77. Van der Walt, meanwhile, fired an eagle on the 626-metre fourth, added four birdies and dropped just an single shot on the 10th, to finish with a five-under-par 67.‘Goal’“My goal was to shoot 10-under for the weekend, and my focus was reaching five-under for the round today. I’m just really happy that I played well and won, because you can play well and not win,” he said.Van der Walt, whose only previous wins had come on the satellite tours in the USA, was thrilled to finally make a breakthrough on home soil. He said: “You can only imagine what it’s like to win such a big one. I don’t know what I’ll do yet. The purses are a lot bigger on the European Tour, so I’ll have to rethink some things.”Van der Walt’s winner’s purse was €237 750 (R2.8-million).“You start doubting yourself,” he admitted, “and at 30 years old you start to wonder if you’re good enough, and this proves that I am.‘Fantastic’“I would have liked to win before 30, but I’ll definitely take this! Golf is a game where you don’t get a lot of chances to win, and to do it is fantastic.”Van der Walt identified the 12th hole, where he made a birdie, as being crucial to his victory. “It was a big turning point when I made that putt on 12, because I was just trying to make another birdie to get to five-under, and once it dropped I felt like I was in control,” he said.Fichardt began his final round superbly, slotting three birdies within the first five holes. He couldn’t find another one the rest of the way, though, and finished with 13 consecutive pars.Coetzee, like Fichardt, began well, with birdies on the second and third holes, but drops on the seventh, 13th and 14th, along with another birdie on the 10th led to a level-par round.Fell apartAfter rounds of 67, 66 and 67, Tullo had birdied 16 holes without a single drop, but his challenge fell apart over the final 18 holes. He improved to 18-under with birdies on the fourth and seventh, but then dropped a shot on the eighth.His inward nine then turned into a nightmare, with four bogeys and a double-bogey seeing him tumble to a 42 over the last nine holes and 77 for the round.Louis de Jager, who started the final round one shot off the pace, matched Fichardt with a 69 to finish in third place on 18-under-par 270.American Peter Uihlein, a former number one amateur in the world, claimed fourth place on 17-under 271.LEADERBOARD 267 Dawie van der Walt (RSA) (-21) 68, 65, 67, 67269 Darren Fichardt (RSA) (-19) 65, 71, 64, 69270 Louis de Jager (RSA) (-18) 71, 65, 65, 69271 Peter Uihlein (USA) (-17) 68, 66, 68, 69272 Bjorn Akesson (Swe) (-16) 66, 75, 66, 65272 Charl Coetzee (RSA) (-16) 67, 65, 68, 72272 Danny Willett (Eng) (-16) 68, 68, 70, 66273 Morten Orum Madsen (-15) 70, 67, 69, 67273 Graham van der Merwe (-15) 70, 66, 68, 69 Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

first_img3 February 2014Investors should broaden their perspective, look beyond the obvious and prepare for African mining to rebound on the back of growing demand from recovering global economies, delegates heard at a private forum ahead of the Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town on the weekend.The inaugural Mining Indaba Investment Discovery Forum took place at the Westin Hotel in Cape Town on Saturday, bringing together serious investors, important stakeholders and mining executives to discuss the numerous viable opportunities in African mining.“As the platinum sponsor of this inaugural Investment Discovery Forum, we were excited at the opportunity to participate in this critical event to drive awareness of emerging opportunities on the continent,” Mark Tyler, senior investment banker at Nedbank Capital, said in a statement on Sunday. “The engagement from investors and mining corporates in this exclusive environment was very positive.”Delegates were exposed to a balanced position on the challenges and opportunities in African mining, with speakers providing a holistic view on what has happened and what to expect in the next 12 months.Andrew Monk, chief executive of VSA Capital Group in London, said that 2012 and 2013 “were horrible years; there was no investment. [But] there is definitely money coming into the mining sector at this stage”.Angelos Damaskos, chief executive of Sector Investment Managers, was upbeat about the continent: “We believe African mining and resources are protected from some risks. There is low delivery risk because the host country is so dependent on the proceeds of delivery. To that extent we think that Africa is very attractive investment territory.”At the same time, Damaskos noted: “[T]he culture of controlling a licence and pumping it has stopped. Now the emphasis is on benefiting the local economy as well.”The 20th annual Investing in African Mining Indaba, the world’s largest gathering of influential stakeholders and decision makers in African mining, gets under way at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Monday.During the four-day Indaba, the Departments of Mineral Resources, Trade and Industry, Science and Technology and Brand South Africa will host an exhibition under the “South African Pavilion” banner.They will also host an investment promotion workshop to give expression to the theme of this year’s Indaba: “Investment opportunities in South African mining – from exploration to value addition”.SAinfo reporter and Investing in African Mining Indabalast_img read more

first_imgOven: Frigidaire FGEW3045I don’t have much to say about our Frigidaire oven, which is actually a fairly glowing recommendation.The controls are straightforward (I don’t think I’ve ever had to consult the user’s manual), and I can’t recall ever being annoyed with it. The one weird behavior is that the fan blows for a while after you turn off the oven, but it’s not obnoxiously loud, so I don’t mind it. Andrea Lemon lives in Brattleboro, Vermont, where she works as a web designer for BuildingGreen, Inc. She and her husband Ted Lemon write the Almost Passive House blog. Range hood: XOMI Island HoodExternally-vented range hoods are not the best idea in a tightly-sealed passive house because they require a lot of makeup air, so we weren’t going to install one at all. But Aubrey from Zehnder America, who sold us our heat recovery ventilator, recommended that we get a recirculating range hood to suck grease and smoke from the air before the HRV exhaust vents suck it up.Unfortunately, island range hoods are a lot more expensive than wall-mounted range hoods. XO Ventilation had the best prices (though Frigidaire seems to have introduced a few models as well), and the one we bought is fairly attractive.One of the lights didn’t work, so we fixed that under warranty, but otherwise there’s not much to report. After living in our house for 1½ years, I finally have enough distance to evaluate the many decisions that went into building it. I plan to write a series of “Hindsight” posts, speaking frankly about what worked and what we’d do differently if we had to do it all over again.To start the series, I’m going to keep it simple and talk about our kitchen appliances. Don’t worry, I’ll cover all the hairy Passivhaus details eventually, but I’ll start at the shallow end. Microwave: GE JES1451DSBBWe actually bought this in 2010 for the apartment where we lived during construction, with the intention of moving it to the new house. It’s a mid-sized countertop model, which now looks built-in thanks to some clever carpentry.We bought it at Best Buy, and my main requirement was that it have a one-touch “potato” setting, simply because I love living in a world where you can stick a potato in a microwave and press a button that says “Potato.” This model eclipsed its rivals by having a little picture of a potato on the button, bringing the magic of one-touch potato cookery even to the unlettered.Approximately 366 days after we bought it, the microwave stopped working. Ted dourly assumed it would cost more to fix than to replace, but I stubbornly refused to submit to our throwaway society. I therefore paid the diagnostic fee at the local appliance store and was pleased to find out it merely needed a new magnetron and could be fixed inexpensively. That was three years ago and it’s still working fine.Ted and I don’t really push the envelope with our microwave use (no duck à l’orange, for example) and there’s nothing specifically eco or passiv about it, but we never swear at it, which is perhaps the highest praise an appliance can receive. Dishwasher: Miele G Dimension 5575I have mixed feelings about our Miele dishwasher. It has some good features: it’s very quiet, and it has a dedicated tray on top for silverware.But sadly it doesn’t clean the dishes all that well. I checked the sprayers, I clean the filters regularly, and I’ve tried various types of detergent, but a few dishes per load tend to need soaking and rewashing. If anyone from Miele reads this, I invite you to contact me and troubleshoot this further, but for now I am not particularly impressed.But it’s nice and quiet! Stove: Bosch NIT3065UC Induction CooktopNo custom home is complete without a huge and powerful gas range. The ultimate expression of this would be a $50,000 La Cornue Grand Palais, but plenty of fine stoves are available for a mere $10,000 or less from Viking, Wolf, Dacor, and others. (I was also perfectly happy with my humble GE range back in Chicago, and probably would have done fine with something similar.) Ted makes a lot of stir-frys, so he longed for a lot of power, and a gas range seemed like the obvious choice.But our blue-flamed ambitions came to an unexpected end when energy guru Marc Rosenbaum persuaded us to skip the gas range and install an induction cooktop instead. In a super-tight house like ours, the combustion from a gas stove would require more makeup air than we would expect to get from random leaks in our envelope. Furthermore, gas cooking requires fossil fuels, and it would be nice to build a house that could operate exclusively from clean energy. Induction stoves, we learned, could give us a high-powered, responsive cooking experience without any carbon-spewing combustion.Induction burners are electric, but unlike radiant electric burners they use magnets to induce a current in the metal cookware, essentially turning the pan itself into the heating element. They boil water extremely quickly, like a radiant electric burner, but they are every bit as responsive as a gas flame. And unlike a gas flame, the settings are electronic and therefore extremely consistent, which means I can set the burner to 7 and know it’s exactly the same power as every other time I’ve set it to 7.We bought the low-end Bosch induction cooktop (Bosch NIT3065UC, MSRP $1,699), and it has all the features we need. All it lacks compared with the higher-end models is precise heat controls, which allow you to press the “5” button rather than pushing the up-arrow until it reaches 5. But I don’t mind using the arrow buttons (you can hold them down until they reach the desired setting), and the low-end model has the same cooking power as the others. (The most powerful burner goes to 3,600 watts, which is roughly equivalent to a 26,000 BTU gas flame — insanely powerful.)It also has a separate timer for each burner, which is particularly handy when using the pressure cooker. For example if I’m cooking chickpeas, I bring the cooker to pressure, lower the heat, and then set the timer to 30 minutes. It stops on its own, and then the pressure releases naturally at its own pace — great for set-it-and-forget-it cooking.Our cooktop gave us a bit of trouble initially, and we had to get the logic board replaced under warranty, but otherwise it’s worked very well. Refrigerator: Frigidaire FGUI2149When we built our house in Tucson, we found out the hard way that there are two categories of refrigerator: standard depth and counter depth. Counter-depth refrigerators look sleek amid the cabinets since they don’t stick out past the counter, but they cost more, have lower capacity, and are generally less energy-efficient than their standard-depth brethren. Our kitchen in Tucson was designed for a counter-depth model, so we were stuck paying more for a smaller, less-efficient fridge.With this in mind, I designed our current kitchen to accommodate a standard-depth refrigerator.My choice of brands was limited by my irrational grudge against the Whirlpool Corporation — I had a vexing over-the-range microwave experience with them back in 2004 — so I combed the list of CEE Tier 3 refrigerators and discovered that Frigidaire made a couple of likely 21 cubic foot models. RELATED ARTICLES Going High-Tech With an Induction CooktopAn Induction Cooktop for Our KitchenChoosing an Energy-Efficient RefrigeratorMarc Rosenbaum: Choosing an Efficient RefrigeratorAlex Wilson: Buying a New RefrigeratorAll About DishwashersMakeup Air for Range HoodsAll About Washing MachinesGBA Encyclopedia: AppliancesProduct Guide: AppliancesSaving Energy In the KitchenBlog Review: Almost Passive HouseThe Passivhaus/Almost Passive House FaceoffGreen Building Haikus We got the Frigidaire FGUI2149 (356 kWh/year) because our local vendor was able to locate one for us (it was a relatively obscure model), but the slightly-fancier FPUI2188 would have done equally well. Both models seems to have been discontinued, alas, but Whirlpool appears to still make a few with similar specs.The shelves inside the refrigerator door are a good size and easy to rearrange, and I’ve never found myself cursing at the refrigerator, so it must be pretty good. My only gripe is that the cover of the ice cream compartment (which sees a lot of traffic in our house) has a cheap plastic catch and seems likely to break one of these days. There is also an occasional rattle when the condenser is on, but we’ve never bothered leveling the refrigerator according to the manual so I suspect that might fix it.Long story short, if you have a time machine and can buy appliances that were discontinued two years ago, I can cheerfully recommend the Frigidaire FGUI2149. We haven’t owned it long enough to know how reliable it is, but for now we have no real complaints.last_img read more

first_imgOntario, Canada’s most populous province, will increase the energy performance of homes by 15% starting in 2017. The changes are required under the province’s updated building code known as SB-12. The two biggest changes are complementary: All new homes must have heat-recovery on their ventilation systems while incentives will be put in place for making buildings more airtight as verified by air leakage testing.Gone are the days of a principal exhaust-only bath fan as a means for ventilating a house. As of 2017, either a heat-recovery ventilator (HRV) or an energy-recovery ventilator (ERV) will be mandatory. Amen! But are homeowners ready? What about builders, trades, and municipal building inspectors?Most homeowners don’t know much about their ventilation systems, much less how to operate and maintain them. Adding insult to injury, HRVs are poorly understood by building officials and builders alike.We commission ventilation systems in custom homes and with surprising regularity what we’re finding in the field is disturbing. If it’s not the homeowner turning the system off, it’s tradespeople botching the installation and the municipal inspectors failing to catch installation errors.The industry is poised for a collision due in large part by lack of education. RELATED ARTICLES Is your tight home a cesspool of mold, mildew, and rot?The 1980s launch of Canada’s avant-garde R-2000 program for high-performance homes never took off. Though tens of thousands of R-2000 homes were built, wide-scale adoption never took hold, largely because of resistance from the home builders association in the early days.The standard called for very tight homes with heat-recovery ventilators, not to mention limited carpeting for better indoor air quality. Some 30 years later, there’s a lot of conjecture about these high-performance houses and why they weren’t more popular; ironically, the most damaging allegation is they suffered from poor indoor air quality.Granted, this combined HRV and forced-air unit isn’t common, but it shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that a single, uninsulated pipe leading to the HRV is wrong.Fixed: There are now two pipes: a stale-air exhaust on the bottom and the fresh-air intake on the top.Even celebrity renovator Mike Holmes is on record (in Canada’s national newspaper) spewing hyperbole such as, “I remember stories of test homes built so tight, the windows would break if someone slammed the front door. The windows were tiny, and you could literally suffocate in the houses if there was no heat exchanger.” This last sentence shows a persistent conflation of windows and ventilation. This notion needs to be dispelled; windows are for connection to the outside world, daylight, and fire egress, not for reliable ventilation of conditioned living space.Keep in mind that all these homes had HRVs in them. Holmes egregiously adds, “What they didn’t realize then was that tight houses were also prone to rot. If homes don’t let in some air, they also don’t let moisture out, and that moisture gets inside the walls and eats away at the structure. Your nice, tight home becomes a cesspool of mould, mildew and rot. Houses have to breathe.”I’m sure Holmes would take back many of the above statements, but the stigma persists for airtight houses. It doesn’t take much for homeowners to get the jitters. It’s even possible that a few ignorant people have suffered illnesses because they unplugged their mechanical ventilation system or because it was improperly installed. In the last year alone, I visited two homes where the homeowner had unplugged the HRV because it made too much noise or because it caused a draft. Loud kitchen exhaust fans over gas stoves in homes tend not to be used, and ditto loud bath fans — even if the mold on the wet window frames is screaming for fresh air.The irony is that homes are getting quieter indoors as they become more airtight and better insulated. These significantly quieter new homes tend to make small noises from mechanical equipment seem louder. As a designer, if you’re thinking of cheaping out on the ventilation system, be forewarned. The system may get unplugged, and the homeowner will suffer.In a three-month span, I found two homes in the municipality of Toronto, each less than 1 kilometer from the Humber River, that had disastrously installed HRVs. (See the various photos on this page for more details.). Both systems were permitted by the municipality, and it’s reasonable to infer that both systems were inspected and given the green light by the municipality.For the record, it’s not just domestic HRVs — even the expensive European systems are subject to botched installations. Houses need to dry, not breatheHouses need greater energy efficiency, and the lowest hanging fruit for energy savings is improved airtightness. These days, we’re also adding more envelope insulation. The high R-value assemblies result in colder wall sheathing. If conditioned indoor air sneaks through cracks in the envelope, the moisture the air carries may condense inside the colder assembly. So it’s crucial that high R-value assemblies be more airtight for the sake of durability.Prior to this code change, mechanical ventilation systems in Ontario largely consisted of crude and wasteful exhaust-only systems. These bath exhaust fans would grind away in the background, forcing air out of the house, typically through one large principal bath exhaust fan. That would pull fresh air indiscriminately through leaks in the building envelope.But as we add heat recovery to mechanical ventilation systems, more of the energy contained in the exhaust air will be retained in the living space. Green Basics: Balanced VentilationHRV or ERV?Are HRVs Cost-Effective? Designing a Good Ventilation SystemResidential CommissioningDoes a Home with an HRV Also Need Bath Fans?Ventilation Failures and Vocabulary Lessons Pulling the plug on loudIn my years of energy auditing, I’ve found a direct relationship between noise and machine use. The more noise a machine makes, the less likely occupants are to use said machine, even if their health depends on it. Help homeowners learn about ventilationThe province would be wise to push ventilation system literacy onto homeowners so they don’t accidentally pollute the air they breathe. Further, the province would be wise to train building inspectors, designers, and HVAC technicians on what to look for in a properly installed HRV. A bit of training on why it’s preferable to have low sone ratings on ventilation equipment and why fully ducted systems are preferable to a “simplified installation” would also be helpful.As for the mechanical designer of the home or the mechanical system, you’ll be mandated to choose equipment that provides heat recovery — so make the house tight to ensure that the HRV earns its keep. You can size a smaller heating plant using actual air leakage rates as described in CAN/CSA-F280. Further, consider having these “lungs of the house” commissioned, not only to catch issues in this budding industry but also to tune the systems so that each room gets the designed quantity of fresh air the occupants deserve. Greg Labbé is co-owner of BlueGreen Consulting Group, a high-performance home consulting firm that works with architects, builders, and homeowners to optimize the energy performance of new and existing homes through detailed energy modeling and site testing.last_img read more

first_imgThe Children’s Health Fund will hold its annual benefit on June 1, hosted by CHF co-founder Irwin Redlener, MD.Fellow co-founder Paul Simon will be unable to attend this year, but the event will feature a special appearance by Julianne Moore, and a performance by Moe.The event will take place at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall. Cocktails and dinner at 6pm, awards presentation and performance at 8pm. A Dessert Reception will follow the performance.Find out more here.Editor: This article was updated on 8th May to reflect Paul Simon’s non-attendance. It previously stated that he would co-host the event.last_img read more

first_imgAPTN National NewsFor decades the Lubicon Lake Cree Nation in northern Alberta has been a house divided.For the last few years, there were two band councils, one led by Bernard Ominyak, the other by his brother-in-law Steven Noskey.Noskey this week wrote to the federal government saying he is stepping down and Ominiyak is now chief.Noskey’s letter read in part:“The Lubicon Lake Indian Nation demands that INAC and its agents immediately remove themselves from the community and refrain from all further interference with the community and its long established customs.”Ominyak was chief of the impoverished band since the 1970s. He was against multi-national corporations taking oil and gas from Cree territory without consulatation.This led to the formation of the Little Buffalo band in the 1980s and the creation of Noskey’s council in Lubicon Lake in 2009.Since 2009, the band has been under third-party management and has refused to sign any deals with Canada or oil companies.Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan could not be reached for comment.last_img read more

Kroos Missing Ronaldo wont help Real Madrid now

first_imgReal Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos believes they must prove themselves without Cristiano Ronaldo instead of regretting allowing him to leave in the first placeThe Portuguese forward completed a shock €112m move to Juventus in the last transfer window and has quickly settled in at his new club.While Ronaldo enjoys his new life in Italy though, Real have endured a torrid start to the season with just the one win in their last six outings.However, Kroos has urged Los Blancos to move on instead of dwelling in the past following Tuesday’s 2-1 Champions League win against Viktoria Plzen.“Of course it’s changed a little bit,” said Kroos of Ronaldo’s exit, according to the Express.“But I think this is what the club wanted with this decision.“We started well into the season and had games where we scored three or four goals and nobody was missing him (Ronaldo).Fati and Suarez shine against Valencia at Camp Nou Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 15, 2019 With a mesmerizing first half from Ansu Fati and a brace from Luis Suarez in the second half, Barcelona demolished Valencia at Camp Nou.Valencia…“It makes no sense to speak about players that aren’t here.“He’s an unbelievable player, maybe one of the most important in history. That’s nothing that helps us now.“We have to do this without him, that’s the only way, and we’ve shown we can do it.“Of course we missed some goals in the last games and today we could have easily won 4-1, 5-1 or 5-2.“At the moment it’s a little bit difficult for us to score, but the only way to improve is to continue working and the ball will go in.”Real, who are only seventh in La Liga this season, will now prepare themselves for Sunday’s El Clasico against Barcelona at the Camp Nou on Sunday.last_img read more