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Creeslough does its bit to help the homeless this Christmas

first_imgThe local community in Creeslough is supporting the tremendous work of Brother Kevin of the Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin.Brother Kevin has been at the forefront in helping the homeless for many years.A collection is now taking place for the ‘Brother Kevin’ appeal over the next week at St Michael’s Church in Creeslough. Items can be left at the back of the church up until next Tuesday, December 17th.The centre is urgently in need of nappies for children, baby food, baby wipes, new/unused clothing for infants, babies and children. Also they would be very grateful for tea, sugar, tinned foods, biscuits, new/unused scarves, gloves, socks, ponchos, coats for adults and any type of foods with a long expiry date, e.g. cereal.Brother Kevin has sincerely thanked the people of Donegal for their tremendous generosity which has greatly helped so many homeless people and people in need.Brother Kevin continues to do amazing work in helping the homeless.He said he feels humbled and is eternally grateful to the many people who have reached out. He assures everyone of his continued prayers. Ards Friary and the people of Donegal hold a very special place in his heart. The Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin continues to feed around 1000 people per day and there is a growing number of mothers with babies and young children and also senior citizens sadly having to avail of this service. Unfortunately, homelessness and people in dire need is increasing on a daily basis.Donations of material goods or donations of money can be left in St. Michael’s Church Creeslough, or the Ozanam Centre, Dunfanaghy with Fr. John Joe Duffy 087 3143532.* Meanwhile, raffle tickets are available today Friday at Primo (Creeslough Supermarket, Creeslough for the Brother Kevin Capuchin Day Centre Appeal for the Homeless with some great prizes on offer!Creeslough does its bit to help the homeless this Christmas was last modified: December 13th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Brotehr KevinCreesloughDonationsdonegallast_img read more

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All-day news for SA viewers

first_imgHi-tech touch screens similar to those atinternational news channel CNN will also beused in the eNews Channel newsroomTamara O’ReillySouth African independent television channel e.tv is taking a step forward in news broadcasting with the launch of a 24-hour news channel – the first of its kind in Africa – in June.Joining the ranks of international news channels like CNN and Sky News which broadcast news around the clock, eNews Channel will offer viewers South African, regional and international news, sport reports, financial information, weather, entertainment and investigative reports. Some of the country’s popular TV personalities like Jeremy Maggs and Redi Direko will anchor the eNews Channel’s bulletins.e.tv is one of two terrestrial free-to-air television networks in the country, the other being the state-owned SABC which runs three channels. As an independently run station, e.tv is known for its probing investigative reports, and viewers of the 24-hour news channel can expect similarly independent news reporting.The channel will be broadcast on DSTV, the country’s multi-channel digital satellite TV service which has more than 1.5 million paying subscribers.“This is an historic moment for the broadcasting industry in South Africa,” says Marcel Golding, Chief Executive Officer of e.sat the sister business to e.tv. “In a developing country with so many challenges and issues, a 24-hour news channel will contribute to keeping society abreast of what is happening and can play a critical role in informed debate and discussion. We believe the eNews Channel will become an important voice in South Africa’s democracy.”Multichoice South Africa Chief Executive Nono Letele says, “We are very excited to add the eNews channel to our DST platform. We believe the channel will enhance our news offering by bringing high quality insightful and independent reporting alongside our other successful news channels.”Although the free-to-air channel has several news programmes, 24-hour news is new to South African broadcasters. The 24-hour news channel has been two years in the making, during which time management visited newsrooms that run similar operations, like ABC, BBC and Sky News.According to reports in the Sunday Times, special attention has been paid to equipment and the layout of the newsroom. Some of the innovative equipment includes touch-screen plasma screens – similar to those used by CNN in their coverage of the US primary elections – on which presenters can highlight information.South Africa has a largely independent press with several independent newspapers, magazines, websites and alternative media like community newsletters in many of the 11 official languages. In last year’s Press Freedom index published by Reporter Sans Frontieres, South Africa ranked 43 out of 169 countries surveyed, beating media heavyweights like the US.Although South Africa was one of the last countries to receive television, and colour broadcasts only began in 1975, it has developed the largest media network in Africa and viewers have access to a wide spectrum of local and international drama, comedy, sports and news.Useful linksDSTVETV 2007 Press Freedom Indexlast_img read more

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Better farming with mobiles

first_imgIn a seven-month pilot project in twoUgandan districts, community workerscollected and disseminated information oncrop acreage and projected harveststhrough mobile phone surveys.(Image: Irin News)The ability to correctly diagnose and treat crop diseases such as banana wilt via mobile phone is just one of endless possibilities for smallholder African farmers if location-specific, or geospatial, information were available, according to researchers.Such a project would, for example, use mobile devices equipped with global positioning systems and cameras.“A trained community worker can input the location coordinates, take a photo of the diseased crop, send it to our database, from which we would forward the image for expert review and feedback,” says Whitney Gantt, a project officer with the Grameen Foundation. “In addition to being able to identify a disease, people will know what to do.”The Grameen Foundation is conducting a seven-month pilot project in two Ugandan districts, whereby community workers collect and disseminate information on crop acreage and projected harvests through mobile device surveys.In the scheme, 45 community knowledge workers, selected from existing farmers’ groups, are trained in using mobile devices for data collection.Each has a mobile phone, some equipped with cameras. From a drop-down menu on the phones, the community workers are able to enter the required data, which is then transmitted to the foundation’s database for agricultural forecasting.The phones cost between US$30 (about R270) each and $330 (R3 000). “It is a cost-effective method and we are also testing the three devices to see which collects better data,” Gantt says.ChallengesFinding community knowledge workers who are literate and fluent in English is difficult, as is reaching women farmers, as most phone-owners are men.Network connectivity and lack of electricity in the rural parts are a also a problem and can delay information transmission.Ensuring accurate data is also a challenge. “Getting information that is actionable is very useful… how do you ensure that the data is accurate?”According to Gantt, the goal of the project is to work intensively with the community workers with a view to a possible scale-up. From the information collected, the foundation also hopes to link farmers with buyers. “A lot of providers are without such information,” she says.MappingIn another application, a study in Ethiopia is expected to capture information on rural road types, sea and inland water ports, airports, border crossings, private and community depots and silos and market locations for use by farmers and other service providers, according to Tesfaye Korme of the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development.The use of high-resolution mapping is another possibility.“High-resolution mapping for fields would not only help with field acreage knowledge but could also be a precursor for sustainable land management,” says Pierre Traore of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics. It could also be used to map low fertility areas within farms.Crop yieldsAccording to researchers, geospatial information on soils and the best crops, appropriate farming techniques and early warning on droughts, floods, diseases and pests, as well as up-to-date market and price information, would not only maximise crop yields and market access but also improve livelihoods and reduce uncertainties in production.Such information does not reach those who most need it.“The information is often used by a select group of project farmers yet many such projects do not last beyond project funding,” says Jennifer Barnes of the consulting group CH2M Hill. “Current data is also not provided in relevant time and map scales yet there is a need for the information to reach farmers rapidly.”Says Enrica Porcari of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) : “There is a lot of information at the policy level yet the problems are at the local level. Although we have solutions, they often don’t come off the shelf.“There are challenges in the nodes of the chain from the researchers to the farmers.” Porcari adds that the mandate of research institutions does not extend to dissemination of information to the farmers. CGIAR is holding a meeting in Nairobi on opportunities in geospatial technology and accessing a broader range of users.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected]: Irin NewsRelated articlesSkills via phones for rural women Broadband in Africa set to soar Young reporters go mobile Low-cost phones for Africa Eating, earning from city farms Useful linksGrameen FoundationRegional Centre for Mapping of Resources for DevelopmentInternational Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid TropicsCH2M HillConsultative Group on International Agricultural Researchlast_img read more

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Maine’s Carbon Credit Plan, Vermont’s Retrofit “Leverage” Proposal

first_imgMaineHousing, the Pine Tree State’s affordable-housing authority, has an ambitious goal: weatherize, by 2030, all of the 477,000 single-family homes and half the businesses in the state that haven’t already been retrofitted for energy efficiency.The key ingredient for accomplishing that, of course, is money. It turns out, though, that Maine has a plan to help raise funds for that purpose – a plan that would enable the state to sell carbon credits based on verifiable emissions reductions achieved by already completed weatherization work. Maine, in other words, aims to use international commodities markets to leverage its energy efficiency chops. MaineHousing announced last week that its method for measuring the carbon savings that result from weatherizing a home received initial approval from an independent, third-party validator. A second third-party verification will be required before the state can start selling carbon creditsA world firstThis would be the first time in history a state or other government entity has used weatherization improvements to accrue and sell carbon credits, said MaineHousing’s director, Dale McCormick, who added that with one validation yielding positive results and another evaluation under way, other states are tracking the results closely.“There’s no sense in everybody doing this, right? So everybody’s anxiously waiting, and actually we just reached a tipping point on that,” McCormick said in MainHousing press release. “It’s very interesting . . . we get more and more calls about other states – California just called, Oregon, Wisconsin, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia – like we’re too popular.”Since prices for carbon credits fluctuate (in the European Union, for example, the opening price today was just under $17.50), it’s not clear how much money Maine’s weatherization-based credits could bring. One carbon credit equals 1 ton of carbon dioxide, and weatherization of a home in Maine saves, on average, 2 tons of carbon dioxide annually. McCormick told the Bangor Daily News that between MaineHousing’s weatherization projects and those managed by the Efficiency Maine Trust, which administers energy efficiency and alternative-energy programs for the state, Maine might sell an estimated 8,000 carbon credits a year.“Up until now, the carbon world has gone after the low-hanging fruit, like big power plants in China and recovering the methane from big cattle feed lots in Nebraska and that kind of thing,” she said. “But houses – 477,000 single-family homes in Maine – no one has even dared to tackle that because it’s so small, the savings you can get per house compared to a feed lot in Nebraska.”Vermont: sweeten the incentive for reaching weatherization goalsAnother take on making the most of weatherization projects is Vermont’s proposal to allow states that meet their retrofit goals under the stimulus-funded version of the Weatherization Assistance Program to use leftover weatherization funds, if any are left, for further retrofits.Although some states struggled to ramp up their weatherization programs and bring them into compliance with stimulus guidelines, others, including Vermont, have moved things along quickly. Vermont received a $17 million allocation, based on a goal of weatherizing 1,612 houses for low-income homeowners. And now Shaun Donahue, director of Vermont’s Office of Economic Opportunity, is suggesting that, with weatherization crews up and running (almost 75 crew members have been added to the weatherization workforce), access to unused funds will help the state make the most of stimulus-funded investments in time and training. The deadline for states to spend their allocations is March 31, 2012.“Certainly we could use them,” Donahue told the Burlington Free Press. “We have homes that could be weatherized, and we have trained crews that will run out of (stimulus) funds before the project is over.”A Department of Energy spokeswoman also told the paper that even though the agency doesn’t expect to have leftover weatherization stimulus funds, it is authorized to distribute leftovers to states “with an expressed need and a proven ability to spend funding rapidly and deliver high quality work.”The spokeswoman also noted that an additional $90 million in federal money for sustainable energy projects will be awarded to some states based on a number of criteria, including, prominently, their performance using stimulus funds. Vermont is among the almost 30 states that have applied for the project grants.last_img read more

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An Arman to play for country

first_imgEveryone is talking about 13- year- old Arman Jaffer’s record 498 in the Giles Shield Inter-School Tournament in Mumbai.But the batting prodigy has been in tremendous form throughout the season, as the scores of 150, 143, 15, 80 not out, 96 and 152 testify.Arman Jaffer scored 498 in the Giles Shield inter-school tournament in Mumbai on Wednesday. Photo by PTIOn Thursday, Arman, a standard VII student of Rizvi Springfield High School (Bandra), scored 35 while batting lower down the order in the second innings to take his tally to a whopping 1,169 so far. “There were so many media people at the ground to interview Arman that I was forced to send him lower down the order,” his coach Raju Pathak told M AIL TODAY.Rizvi Springfield, having already qualified for the semifinals before this match against IES Raja Shivaji Vidyalaya, collected two points from the three-day drawn encounter.The batting of Arman, nephew of ex-India opener Wasim Jaffer, is a reflection of the principles on which his father and Pathak have raised him off and on the field.Guidance from father Kaleem Jaffer and coach Raju Pathak have shaped Arman’s game. “I have taught him to be mild in his behaviour so that it endears him to people. It also means that he’ll be mentally at peace and will absorb the pressure while playing at higher levels,” Kaleem, a coach at the Khalsa Degree College (Dadar East), told MAIL TODAY.Kaleem, who witnessed Arman’s knock, said his presence boosts Arman’s game. “I am very friendly with him. If I am not around, he becomes nervous. But it’s wrong for parents to have high expectations from their children and I was aware of this even while coaching Wasim. I never scolded or slapped either Wasim or Arman because you can’t make a great cricketer like that,” he said.advertisementPathak said that Arman is extremely disciplined. “He is technically very sound and is very disciplined. Whether it is a two, three or four-day match, he never plays lofty shots. He always plays along the ground – his strong point,” he said.”I have told him that he has to bat with responsibility at No. 3.And he does his home work well.Last season, I used to tell him to play fast as I had to declare the innings. This time we had already qualified, so I was not worried about declaration and told him to forget about his 295, scored overnight, and start afresh on Wednesday. He followed my instructions.” On Wednesday, Arman (498 off 490 balls, 77x4s) broke the record of the highest score in all school competitions, held by his teammate Sarfaraz Khan, who had record 439 last year.”When I went into bat, my plan was to bat the whole of Tuesday.Sir [Pathak] said he won’t declare the innings until I was batting. I got out two short of 500 due to a lapse in concentration,” Arman told MAIL TODAY. Arman was aware that he not only broke the Giles Shield record of 366, scored by Parikshit Walsankar, but also made more than his hero Sachin Tendulkar, who hit 326 not out with Vinod Kambli ( 349 not out) during their record 664- run thirdwicket partnership for Sharadashram Vidyamandir in the inter- school Harris Shield in 1988.”I know I broke Sachin Sir’s record. He is my favourite but I have never met him,” he said. Asked about his ambition, Arman said: ” Every cricketer wants to play for India, so do I.”last_img read more

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Pistorius not guilty of girlfriend’s premeditated murder

first_imgOscar PistoriusSouth African Judge Thokozile Masipa said on Thursday the state had failed to prove that Oscar Pistorius was guilty of premeditated murder when he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year.”The state has not proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of premeditated murder. There are just not enough facts to support such a finding,” she said.Masipa, who adjourned the reading of her verdict until Friday, said the Olympic and Paralympic track star was ‘negligent’ when he shot dead his girlfriend.She also said she was ‘not persuaded’ that a reasonable person with Pistorius’ abilities would have fired the shots that killed the law graduate and model.The state has said Pistorius killed Steenkamp on February 14 last year after a heated argument. The former Olympic and Paralympic star said he shot her in a tragic accident after mistaking her for an intruder.last_img read more

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