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Venezuela’s slums are turning on Maduro – but Guaidó faces uphill battle

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first_imgA member of the Bolivarian national police special forces take a position during a raid against criminal groups at the Petare slum in Caracas (SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images photograph)…the support of barrios like Petare may be key to overcoming Maduro. But not all residents are sold on his challengerNicolás Maduro’s special forces set up camp on Petare’s doorstep just days after efforts to depose him began, daubing the pitch black exterior of their base with their Commander-in-Chief’s call to arms: “Always loyal, never traitors.”Alongside, troops painted two white skulls and a second chilling mantra: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”Almost three months later, black-clad operatives stare down from the compound’s wooden rampart, assault rifles trained on slum-dwellers once considered Chavismo’s most fervent supporters.“It’s a way of intimidating the population,” complained José Luis Castañeda, a community leader in this vast tapestry of redbrick homes in eastern Caracas. “But it won’t sway the petareños.”Seventeen years earlier, Castañeda was one of tens of thousands of people who streamed down from their hilltop homes to defend Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chávez, when he was briefly deposed by a botched US-backed coup.For millions of disenfranchised citizens, Chávez’s Bolivarian revolution represented, finally, the possibility of social, economic and racial inclusion in a profoundly lopsided society.But now, with their lives upended by the economic and social disaster unleashed under Maduro, many of those same marchers are turning on Chávez’s successor in what could prove a fatal blow to his rule.“Maduro is a delinquent. Maduro is wicked. Maduro is a monster. He is evil … The people no longer want him,” fumed Magaly Arismendi, a 54-year-old manicurist from El Campito, one of dozens of working-class communities that make up Petare.Across Petare’s vertiginous back alleys such anger is inescapable – even if some still lionise Chávez as a champion of the poor.“Petare was Chavista. Not anymore,” said Héctor Lunar, a Catholic Priest who lives and works in the community and is part of the Opposition movement to overthrow Maduro. “Most here are against the Government and they are crying out for change.”A man of the cloth, Lunar is more diplomatic than most.Joel Rivero, another community leader, said the rage was such that Maduro would be lynched if he showed his face in Petare. “And I’ll tell you something: I’m a practising Catholic … but I think I’d take a piece of him myself … because there’s no name for what they have done to Venezuela.”Franklin Piccone, a local teacher and activist, said many felt so desperate they hoped a missile would obliterate the presidential palace, Miraflores, and its occupants.Orphaned child“People don’t care anymore – they just want these people out,” Piccone said. “If you ask me, [they must go] if they don’t want to end up like Gaddafi … We really are now facing a social explosion.”But as Venezuela’s political mutiny enters its third month, that often untamed rejection of Maduro has yet to translate into universal support for his challenger, Juan Guaidó.Alexis Pineda, an 18-year-old student from El Campito, said that for all his community’s hardships he felt ambivalent about both men.“The way I see things, neither of them has done anything,” he grumbled. “All right, Guaidó declared himself President … but we haven’t heard much from him since.”José Jaramillo, a 32-year-old construction worker, said the political crisis had left him feeling like an orphaned child: “None of them are any good. Not Maduro. Not the Opposition. None of them.”William Pirela, a 45-year-old window fitter, said he was optimistic Guaidó could drag Venezuela out of a crisis that had forced his two daughters to flee to neighbouring Colombia in search of work.But Pirela admitted he was too scared to take to the streets on behalf of Maduro’s challenger, having seen a friend killed during a previous round of anti-Government protests.“They are nice and safe in their homes … They are protected by bodyguards and Police and the rest of it,” Pirela said of the Opposition’s leaders. “What about us?”Venezuela’s impoverished barrios have been making their voices heard in the weeks since Guaidó threw down the gauntlet to Maduro on January 23 – and have paid dearly for it, with human rights activists accusing security forces of a string of politically driven killings.But Opposition Leaders and activists say the unequivocal backing of the barrios is essential if Guaidó is to prevail over Maduro – hence Maduro’s use of special forces and paramilitary gangs known as colectivos to snuff out even the slightest hint of rebellion.“If the people who live in the barrios rise up and say, ‘No more!’ that will be the end of Maduro,” predicted Henrique Capriles, a prominent Opposition Leader who narrowly lost the 2013 presidential election to Maduro and is now backing Guaidó.Capriles said he did not believe Venezuelan soldiers – many of whom themselves hail from the slums – would open fire if barrio residents mobilised en masse, meaning it was imperative for Maduro to stop things going that far.Crossroads“This is the crossroads at which Maduro now finds himself … and this is why he needs to … extinguish [any kind of uprising] immediately – with repression,” Capriles said. “The regime knows that if the barrios wake up … they will remove Maduro.”In recent days, as Venezuela has grappled with a succession of devastating blackouts that have hit slum dwellers particularly hard, Guaidó has shown signs of understanding the need to do more to win over the hearts and minds of the barrios.“You have the power to change this country,” he told crowds during a visit to El Valle, a working-class stronghold in south-west Caracas.Lunar, who has worked in Petare since 2012, predicted that once Guaidó had the barrios on board “many things will start to change rapidly”.But for that to happen, “a profound reconciliation” was needed between Venezuela’s Opposition – long regarded as an opulent, aloof and overwhelmingly white elite – and the poor, “and this needs to start now”. “If we want the people to speak out, the leadership must get close to the communities,” Lunar said.Capriles said he had advised Guaidó to travel widely outside the capital in order to create an unstoppable political “snowball” that would drive Maduro out. “Caracas is not Venezuela. You have to visit the people in Maracaibo, in San Juan de los Morros, in Ciudad Guayana – and you have to set about getting the Venezuelans to believe in the struggle, so they can overcome fear.”As petareños wait for Guaidó to visit, the priority for most remains day-to-day survival in a country no longer able to provide a reliable supply of water or electricity to its people.“The situation is terrible. Our children are fleeing the country,” said Rosa Cárdenas, a 68-year-old resident of Los Algarrobos, one of Petare’s most deprived sectors, who had spent the last four days without water.Hyperinflation was so dire that it now cost her entire pension of 18,000 bolívar?es to buy a single bottle of washing-up liquid. “If it wasn’t for my children helping me, how would I eat?” she wondered.As she spoke, Venezuela suffered the latest in a succession of massive nationwide blackouts and the whole of Petare was plunged into a sinister gloom.Shouts of the Opposition’s risqué rallying cry echoed across the hilltops.“I feel afraid. I feel anger. I feel hatred,” said Cárdenas, as her neighbours placed improvised oil lamps outside their electricity deprived homes. “The truth is, it’s all just too much.”Cárdenas did not hesitate in declaring herself part of the opposition to Maduro, but admitted she was still not completely convinced by Guaidó.As she sat in the shadows, the grandmother of six scoffed at the chirpy slogan of his campaign to topple Maduro: “Vamos bien”, or “We’re doing well”. (The Guardian)last_img read more

“It’s time now to start the Biggest Party” – Malik

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first_imgHero CPL 2018 at Providence…team poised ahead of opener at ProvidenceBy Clifton RossA smiling Guyana Amazon Warriors Captain Shoaib Malik said it was time to get the party started as the home team opened their 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) campaign against the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, today, Thursday August 9 at Providence.After months of building excitement, franchises from around the Caribbean are beginning to lock horns in the sixth edition of the T20 extravaganza. During Wednesday’s pre-match press conference at the Guyana Marriott Hotel, Guyana Amazon Warriors Head Coach Johan Botha and skipper Malik, along with Patriots Coach Donovan Miller and skipper Carlos Brathwaite spoke on the moods in the respective camps ahead of match night.Botha, speaking on the local team’s training sessions which commenced last week, said he was happy with Guyana’s training. Botha, a former South African skipper, said that it was ample time to put together all they have been working on and execute well so they can get off to a great start at home.“It’s gone really well so far; yesterday, we had our full squad on deck and that was nice; everyone has had a good hit out and got used to conditions, especially the heat. We are just looking forward to the real stuff now,” said Botha.The Guyana Warriors’ star players in both departments looked to be in good form following their returns in the two recently-concluded practice matches at Providence under lights. Malik – along with the likes of Shimron Hetmyer, Sherfane Rutherford, Luke Ronchi – and spinners Devendra Bishoo, Chris Green, Imran Tahir and Veerasammy Permaul all bowled well with wickets to their name.The Warriors Captain as a result believes that his team’s practice games will be very crucial to the outcome over the next few days in Guyana. “The preparations were going well; we did a lot of hard sessions; now it’s time to show up; it is the responsibility of the seniors who played here and the local guys. In franchise cricket, if your local players do well, you end up with a right result, so it’s time to start the Biggest Party and it’s good to start from our home conditions.”The veteran Pakistani batsman was adamant that the Warriors could click in a major way as a unit, given their cohesiveness and familiarity with the conditions and each other. Malik, who hasn’t played at the venue in nearly five years, said that he was still backing a positive result from his side that were keen on winning all three of their home games before going on the road.“I think it’s the bowlers’ responsibility to win games; if you’re playing on a good pitch and score 170, 180, it’s the bowlers’ responsibility to take wickets, so taking wickets is the key. There’s no pressure at all, I expect the same thing from our players. Obviously, you want to start well if you go deep in the tournament, but there’s no pressure, it’s just about going out and giving it your best shot,” Malik added.Patriots skipper Brathwaite, who is also the Windies T20 skipper, however, said that his camp were not banking on their big gun in “T20 Boss” Chris Gayle as they seek to fully utilise the vast talent in the side.“I never played a CPL game in Guyana, but traditionally the Guyanese wicket is slow and tends to turn, so we have to adapt to that, because we have some good spinners in Hayden Walsh Jr and Lamichhane (Sandeep), so at the end of the day is who plays best,”The all-rounder, who has been around since the first CPL, has never played a game at Providence and as such deemed the opener as “uncharted” turf for him but is confident of a good showing. “It’s all about the team coming together, we are stacked with quality player if they can replicate the season they had last year and new players put their hands up and fill the voids and hopefully get us over the line,” he said.Coach Miller, meanwhile, said he was satisfied with his team’s training over the past few days; he further added that the confidence level was soaring in the camp as players know the importance of getting off to a winning start, especially away from home.Last season, the Patriots gained a 2-0 victory over the Warriors when the two sides met with Gayle and Warriors opener Chadwick Walton among the top scorers while Warriors seamers Sohail Tanvir and Rayad Emrit had good games for their team.The Providence National Stadium will come alive when the Warriors get their title hunt on the road while their opponents, led by Gayle, will want to show their class away from home when the first ball is expected to be delivered by 18:00h. The match will also be broadcast one hour later (19:00h).last_img read more

Test-prep methods aid English learners

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first_imgThe measures taken by California schools to improve student scores on standardized tests work just as well for English learners, according to a report released Friday. The report by EdSource, a nonprofit educational research organization, examined 237 California elementary schools of similar size and socioeconomic makeup. EdSource’s researchers found that despite the similarities between the schools, Academic Performance Index (API) scores for their English learner students differed by more than 250 points. Using student assessment data like standardized tests, aligning the school’s curriculum to state standards and setting measurable goals for student achievement were among the practices used by schools with higher-scoring English language learners, said Trish Williams, EdSource executive director. Those were the same factors differentiating overall school API scores that EdSource found during a previous study in 2005. “We happen to consider this good news from the standpoint that for schools that want to do the hard work, English-learner students will benefit as well as non-English-learning students,” said Williams, who was also the study’s project director. “It is a two for one.” Other factors the study found helped English learners perform better on the API were the use of English-immersion techniques in math instruction, and taking students out of class for intensive English as a second language (ESL) classes with a resource teacher. “Our theory is that the quality of English-language development instruction matters more than the number of minutes spent doing it,” said Williams, noting schools that spent more time on English-language development did not benefit as much as those that removed the students from class for more one-on-one instruction. California mandates at least 30 minutes of English Language Development (ELD) instruction, the state’s term for ESL, every day. Garvey School District in Rosemead has some of the higher-performing English- learner students in the San Gabriel Valley, among smaller districts with a majority of low-income students. Its English learners scored on average a 721 on the API, 29 points behind the overall district score of 750. The average gap between English learners and overall scores at similar Valley districts is about 45.3. District Superintendent Virginia Peterson said the district generally places the responsibility of ELD education on regular classroom teachers, though the school does have some pull-out programs where students are taken out of the classroom for more intensive instruction. “We certainly use \ in teaching math,” said Peterson, adding that teachers are well-versed in using “manipulative” techniques – in addition to language techniques – to help make math as concrete as possible. The Pasadena Unified School District separates English learners in grades one through three and places them in English- immersion classrooms as opposed to mainstream classrooms, said Joan Morris, the district’s coordinator for English learner programs. “So we do not have much need for pullout programs except for first-time students in grades four through six,” said Morris, adding that in those cases English learners are pulled out of the classroom to work with a resource teacher. Pasadena’s English learners scored 641 on the API, as opposed to 701 for the entire district. The study’s results showing a correlation between English immersion programs and higher test scores heartened Ron Unz, chairman of English for the Children. “It is nice that the numbers are pointing in our direction,” said Unz, whose group led the drive for Proposition 227, which mandated English immersion as opposed to bilingual education for the state’s students. Unz said that test results showed English-learner scores doubled in four years after passage of Proposition 227. There are more than 1 million English language learners in Southern California, according to state figures. fred.ortega@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2306 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Snowfall warning issued for the North Peace

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first_imgB.C. North Peace River3:45 AM PST Monday 16 December 2013Snowfall warning for B.C. North Peace River issuedHeavy snow developing Monday nightThis is a warning that significant snowfall is expected or occurring in these regions. Monitor weather conditions..listen for updated statements.- Advertisement -An intensifying low pressure area heading toward the coast will result in snow developing over the east central part of BC overnight. Heavy snow is expected over the Williston lake area after midnight and to spread to the Fort St John area by morning. Snow will ease over the Williston Tuesday morning and later in the day over the Northern Peace. Total amounts will be in the 10 to 20 cm range. Lesser amounts are expected over the Southern Peace and the McGregor region at this time.Please refer to weather.gc.ca for links to the latest public forecasts and warnings.last_img read more

Manuel Pellegrini reveals if he’ll rest key Man City players against Stoke

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first_img Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini 1 Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini claims he will not hold players back this weekend as Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final clash with Real Madrid draws near.Excitement is building ahead of the first leg of the European glamour tie at the Etihad Stadium but City must first deal with Stoke at home in the Barclays Premier League.City need points to tighten their grip on a place in the top four and Pellegrini therefore does not want to go easy this weekend.Pellegrini said: “It’s a very important game. We are involved in the semi-final of the Champions League, but that doesn’t mean we are not worried about the Premier League.“It was exactly the same against Paris Saint-Germain when we played the quarter-final. We had two important Premier League games and I said in that moment the best way to prepare is to win your next game. That gives you a lot of trust in the way you are playing and individual performances.“So, the best way to prepare for Tuesday is to try to beat Stoke, keep a clean sheet, try to score goals and play well. That will help a lot.“You always have risk of an injury but for big teams you cannot choose one competition. It is very important to reach as near to the top of the table as we can and try to beat Real Madrid.”Pellegrini accepts that rotation is sometimes necessary but it has not been one of his regular selection traits.The Chilean said: “Without the final we need to play eight games in 30 days. If we continue with the same players maybe for the last two or three games you are not going to be with energy, so it’s important to make some rotation.“But it’s important not to take the whole team out waiting for the game on Tuesday.”If any players are to be rested, Pellegrini gave no indication that top scorer Sergio Aguero might be one of them when asked at his latest pre-match press conference.Aguero has started City’s last 13 games and hit a hat-trick against Chelsea last weekend. His involvement is likely to be critical to City’s hopes against Real.But Pellegrini said: “Sergio is a very important player for us but I’m sure Real Madrid will play with their best squad on Saturday because they are also trying to win the league. All of them have the risk of an injury.“I’m sure Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich will play their complete squads. So we are going to try to win that game with our best players.”Stoke are destined to finish in mid-table and their form has tailed off with heavy defeats to Liverpool and Tottenham in their last two games.But City were outplayed by the Potters in December, losing 2-0 at the Britannia Stadium, and Pellegrini has warned against complacency.He said: “They played very well in Stoke. It was a very good day when they had important players in their best performance. But every game is different.“We need three points to keep our options for finishing third in the table. We need a good performance.“When you’re playing for nothing it’s not very easy to motivate the players, but everyone wants to win every game. If you give them time and space they will win you the game.”last_img read more

BOOK ROCK CLIMBING & HILLWALKING IN THE GAELTACHT WITH ROCK N ROAM

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first_img(30% off before 3pm tomorrow)The forecast says balmy autumnal weather across the county Saturday and Sunday. Get away from it all and make the most of one of the last weekends of good weather.You’re invited to immerse yourself in the tapestry of color that is Donegal in autumn. Enjoy the splendor of the mountains, endless coastline and beaches and the cosy pubs with Rock and Roam. You will see it all in the most breathtaking way possible via rock climbing and hill walking also get to practise your “cúpla focal” and have a bit of craic. It’s happening this Saturday and Sunday, the last w/d of every month. We make it easy – all you need to do is get in touch, we’ll do the rest. www.mng.ie Accommodation can easily be arranged starting from €15 per night pps. We have a list of all local accommodation to suit any budget/preference. Stay one night or two or simply come for the day.Connor from Belfast said “We were immersed in the outdoors, the crisp clean air, the smells of nature, the Atlantic, the open green and mountainous space, I felt at home and peaceful, there was also great Guinness everywhere we went”. Amanda from Derry, Rock n Roamer from August had this to say “I’ve always wanted to try Rock Climbing and was so glad to finally get a chance and on Donegal too. It was exciting and exhilarating, everyone climbing together was so much craic and not that hard at all, definitely up for that again, I even felt a wee bit of my Irish coming back after all these years”.Your walking guide on Sunday morning from Walking Donegal.net, a local and native speaker can converse via Irish on the hill walk. He’s a mine of information about the area, the history and the wild life. A Rock n Roamer from last month had this say “ I was a bit apprehensive about the hill walking at first, being a local myself and needing a guide, but when we were out there and Séamus was able to share such knowledge of the area and of the earth, it was definitely worth every penny and definitely doing it again!”. Suzanne Comerford, Ballyboffey It’s very easy to get here with our local coach company’s Mangan Tours via Donegal, John McGinley coaches via Dublin, Bus Feda via Galway, Patrick Gallagher via Belfast, and local transport can be arranged to get you from A to B when you are here.If you are further afield, Donegal Airport also offers a Rock n Roam Flybreak package from Dublin or Glasgow starting at €239 pps and includes, car hire, flights, accommodation. www.donegalairport.ieEmail, book or call via www.mng.ie Everyone welcome. Bígí Linn!BOOK ROCK CLIMBING & HILLWALKING IN THE GAELTACHT WITH ROCK N ROAM was last modified: September 26th, 2013 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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:ROCK CLIMBING & HILLWALKING IN THE GAELTACHTrock n roamlast_img read more

R1.7bn SA rail contract for French firm

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first_img4 June 2013 The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has awarded a R1.7-billion contract for a rail signalling solution for the country’s Western Cape province to French multinational transport firm Thales, through the Thales-Maziya consortium. The contract to modernise rail signalling, communications and train management systems will cover 250 kilometres of the province’s passenger rail system, as well as 46 train stations. “This state-of-the-art signalling system will enable highly reliable operations and improved passenger services and comfort,” Thales said in a statement last week. It forms part of Prasa’s rolling stock fleet renewal programme, which is looking at the acquisition of 7 224 electrical multiple units with an estimated investment of R123-billion over a period of 20 years between 2015 and 2035.Ensuring safety and efficiency The Thales contract includes the construction of a control centre which will enable the monitoring and management of all train operations in the region; and the design, supply, installation and testing and commissioning of new electronic interlocking systems and telecommunication and security systems to ensure the highest levels of safety in train control. It also involves the upgrade and construction of new technical buildings and improvement of the track in critical zones to allow better performance. Consortium partner Maziya will provide infrastructure, civil works and power supply expertise to the project. “Being part of the country’s major ground transportation projects is very exciting and we are committed to delivering solutions that positively impact the country’s development,” said Thales South Africa’s deputy chief executive officer, Justice Tootla. “As local players forming part of a continuously innovative global company, we are able to match the local industry challenges with our global technology advancements. “The provision of an integrated rail signalling system to the country’s Western Cape province will ensure efficiency and reliable investments, contributing to a fast- developing continent,” Tootla said. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

How South Africa can create a less power-hungry economy

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first_imgShifting South Africa’s economy from energy intensive sectors to those with lower energy consumption will take more time, and even more funding. But the impact will be more permanent and sustainable.South Africa’s abundance of coal will make changing the energy supply mix less easy. State-owned power utility Eskom’s power stations, for example, run mostly on coal. (Image: Brand South Africa) • Solar car races around southern Africa • Make saving the planet a habit • Businesses urged to team up for innovation • New technologies stand to benefit poorer countries • Khi Solar One: renewable energy for the agesRoula Inglesi-Lotz, University of PretoriaSouth Africa’s energy sector has faced a crisis since 2008, marked by power cuts, high tariffs and a general inability to match supply and demand. This has led to a dismal picture being painted about the future of the country’s energy supply and its impact on economic growth. It is imperative that a solution is found to the current difficult situation. This is because energy plays a vital role in the growth and development of a country.A priority for policymakers since the end of apartheid in 1994 has been to provide energy to everyone. Since this target has nearly been achieved, the attention is shifting to the intensity of electricity use in South Africa.What will it take to achieve greater efficiency?There are three key areas that can lead South Africa towards greater energy efficiency, as well as reductions in carbon emissions. These are:technological innovations for energy efficiencychanging the energy supply mixpromoting structural changes in the economyAll these can be combined in national energy policies and strategies, but they differ in two points: the time horizon of the results and the risk of outcomes.The introduction of technological innovations that can achieve higher energy efficiency levels depends heavily on the availability and cost of the innovations. It also depends on the receptiveness in sectors where they will be adopted.South Africa’s abundance of coal will make changing the energy supply mix less easy. State-owned power utility Eskom’s power stations, for example, run mostly on coal.When energy was plentiful and cheap, South Africa pumped huge incentives towards energy-heavy sectors such as manufacturing. (Image: Brand South Africa)Equally, the sectors that drive the economy are energy intensive. They are also important sources of employment, investment and income. Historically the country promoted capital-intensive mega industries that used a lot of energy. Until 2008-09, South Africa’s comparatively low industrial electricity tariffs attracted significant investments in traditionally energy-intensive sectors such as mining and manufacturing.These industries are inflexible and slow to change. Once a major investment has been made in the construction of a smelter, for example, opportunities to change to more energy-efficient technology or production process are limited.The government appreciates the need to reduce the energy intensity of the economy over the long term. This year’s budget made specific mention of the need to promote growth in tradeable and services sectors that consume less electricity per unit of output.But it will take more to bring about any meaningful change. To achieve the shift in the economy without affecting output and production, economic and industrial policies should be combined with efforts from energy policymakers.The South African government has suggested the need for promoting growth in tradable and services sectors that consume less electricity per unit of output. (Image: Brand South Africa)It would be helpful to adjust the incentives and tariffs that attract energy-intensive investments. Incentives should be directed to low-emission and low-intensity sectors. By lowering the cost of energy, input costs would come down and South African exports could achieve greater competitiveness.Admittedly, the trade-off and eventual balance is difficult and requires financial and political support from different stakeholders. Of critical importance is the coordination of various policies. A concerted effort should be made by all government departments involved with South Africa’s economic sectors. This can only be achieved by all-inclusive debate and design over time.The transition from a resource-based economy to a knowledge and service economy based on the quality of human capital requires information, education, and research and development. Any new strategy therefore must include investment in research activities that will show the way to innovative solutions. Areas to be explored could include structural changes in the economy as well as more efficient ways to consume energy.In this transition, South Africa should also investigate alternative fuels that would make even highly energy-intensive sectors’ consumption cleaner and more environment-friendly. For this, a properly planned, organised, managed and monitored market for renewable energies must be established. This needs to be combined with a comprehensive policy to provide consumers with alternatives to “dirty” fossil fuel-based energy.Instead of penalising heavy users of electricity such as mines, the government should offer them incentives to become energy efficient. (Image: Brand South Africa)Finally, how else can this transition be promoted? There is one thing that all sectors, industries and firms are interested in – economic gain and profits. Instead of penalising intensive users with mechanisms such as the carbon tax, they should be offered incentives. These could include a reward programme such as an emissions trading system or, even more suitable to South Africa, an energy-intensity trading scheme. By trading credits of energy-intensive use, the sectoral users would work to reduce their energy consumption as well as trade their credits for additional profits.South Africa is a unique case with a number of inherited socioeconomic challenges and difficulties. But its energy policymakers have started aiming at more fundamental changes rather than the recent short-term solutions.Structural economic changes and an effort to shift the economy to sectors with lower energy consumption and a smaller footprint will certainly take more time, and even more funding, to bear positive results. But the impact will be more permanent and sustainable.Roula Inglesi-Lotz is Associate Professor of Economics at University of Pretoria.This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.last_img read more

June weather outlook

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It appears June will remain a warm and humid month overall. Most daytime temperatures will remain at or below 90 degrees but nighttime low temperatures will be much above average due to more clouds and humidity during June. Expect lots of lows in the 60s and even some 70s in June.Even though there are pockets of dry areas, expect a wetter month of June. There are some scattered rain chances early and again the middle of the week but it will be scattered. Rain chances appear to increase into the week of June 14-21 with locally heavy rain possible.See the latest week 2 outlook from NOAA at:http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/predictions/814day/814prcp.new.gifhttp://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/predictions/814day/814temp.new.gifThe 16-day rainfall outlook on NOAA/NWS/Ohio River Forecast Center:http://www.erh.noaa.gov/ohrfc/HAS/images/NAEFS16day.pdfNormal rainfall is close to an inch per week.The latest water resources outlook from the Ohio River Forecast Center can be found at:http://www.erh.noaa.gov/ohrfc/WRO.shtmlLooking ahead into July, temperatures still look normal or slightly above normal with rainfall possibly drying out.last_img read more

Survey: Only 25% Want to Share TV Habits With Friends

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first_imgGuide to Performing Bulk Email Verification When Facebook recently added Clicker – the TV guide for Internet video – to its Instant Personalization program, we wrote that it was a “smart next step for the program” because now you could find out what your friends were watching and, in Facebook’s words, “spend less time channel surfing and more time socializing.”According to SideReel, an online service similar to Clicker that helps you find content and TV shows online, that isn’t necessarily what users want. The company surveyed 1,800 users and found that TV wasn’t as social an experience for its users as it used to be, among interesting findings.Click for full view.Sidereel conducted a similar survey of its users in 2009, at which time 50% of respondents said that they were interested in sharing what they’re watching with their friends. This time around, only 25% said they wanted to share. Among the social apps, only Twitter made a significant appearance in the results, with 29% saying they used Twitter as part of sharing their TV watching socially. (See yesterday’s article, “What Glee Means for Twitter & Television” for more on Twitter’s interesting relationship with Internet TV.) “None of the check-in services,” writes the company, “including GetGlue, Miso, Clicker or Foursquare have significant usage among SideReel’s TV watchers. Only 10 percent of users want to broadcast what they are watching or want to watch to their friends.”According to the company, this wasn’t the only interesting finding, which came from 1,800 of its 10 million monthly unique users.“People are mixing new technologies with familiar ones to get a personalized TV experience that includes all of their favorite shows,” said SideReel CEO Roman Arzhintar. “For many, traditional TV watching is starting to supplement online watching, rather than the other way around.”According to the survey, 5% had used devices like Boxee or Roku, whereas 40% had connected their computer to their TV in the past month, a threefold increase over the previous year. Both Boxee and Roku are relatively new to the market and Sidereel says this number is evidence that these sorts of devices are beginning to gain traction.As a testament to Netflix’s continued popularity, SideReel found that 70% of users who do stream video via the Internet to their TV do so using Netflix, whereas the other 30% use other sources. What do you think? Do you want to share what you watch with friends, and vice versa, in order to figure out what’s good on television? Or is this something that just the device makers and advertisers hope users want to share?Twitter really does seem to be the stand-out exception when it comes to social television watching, though is this different from “sharing what your watching with friends?” It seems that Twitter and TV go together more in being able to interact around a piece of content, not necessarily just sharing the fact that you indeed like a certain TV show. Related Posts A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…center_img The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos mike melanson Tags:#Internet TV#social networks#Statistics#web last_img read more