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first_imgA PROMISING young sports man swapped soccer for dope-dealing and ended up being caught by detectives, a court has heard.Sean McLaughlin, whose address was given as 41 Ard na Glaise, Kilmacrennan, got hooked on drugs at school, solicitor Kieran Dillon told Letterkenny District Court.The 23-year-old was caught running a cannabis dealing business from premises at 2 Ardglass, Long Lane, Letterkenny after a Garda raid on April 13 last year. Drugs unit officers found €300 worth of cannabis, cash, weighing scales and a ‘tick list’ indicating that he’d recently had €3,000 worth of sales.He was charged with possession of and the dealing of drugs.“He is relieved it has all come out because his life was being wasted in the mire of this activity,” said Mr Dillon.“He started using drugs at school where he was a great sportsman, a very good soccer player, and he lost it all through using cannabis. He entered a nocturnal world.“He used this stuff, passed it on to friends and whilst he had a tick list it wasn’t a very successful business,” said the solicitor.Mr Dillon said however that McLaughlin’s arrest was the catalyst to a change in his life.He was an excellent cook who had applied to join the tourism college.He was also back playing football, raising funds for charity and now leading a normal life again.“He has become himself again,” said Mr Dillon.Judge Paul Kelly agreed that a probation report was needed and adjourned sentence until September 18.PROMISING SPORTS MAN TURNED TO LIFE AS A DRUGS DEALER, COURT HEARS was last modified: July 18th, 2014 by John2Share 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:drug dealerkilmacrennanletterkennyLong LaneSean McLaughlinlast_img read more

Zaidi makes first moves, adds three to Giants roster

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO–Two weeks after Farhan Zaidi was hired as the Giants president of baseball operations, the highest-ranking front office executive has made the first personnel decisions of his tenure.The Giants announced Tuesday that pitching prospects Melvin Adon, Sam Coonrod and Logan Webb were added to the club’s 40-man roster ahead of Major League Baseball’s deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft.Earlier in the day, the Miami Marlins claimed right-handed pitcher Julian Fernández …last_img

Researchers Raise Questions About Rigid Foam Flame Retardant

first_imgA flame retardant introduced in 2011 as an environmentally safer alternative for polystyrene insulation can break down in the presence of sunlight and heat into chemicals that are potentially harmful to the environment, a group of German researchers said in a published report. In an article in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, the researchers said they had tested a flame retardant called Polymeric FR. The compound was designed to replace hexabromocyclodecane (HBCD) in extruded and expanded polystyrene (XPS and EPS) foam insulation. Both are commonly used in residential construction. Polymeric FR, developed by Dow Chemical, has a higher molecular weight than HBCD, making it less likely to travel in the environment and was therefore considered safer. But a team led by Christoph Koch of the University of Duisburg-Essen said Dow hadn’t considered that the new compound might degrade into other chemicals whose long-term behavior in the environment wasn’t clear.RELATED ARTICLESChoosing Rigid FoamRigid Foam InsulationCalifornia Law Addresses Fire Retardants in HomesMaking Healthier, Greener Foam Insulation Koch and his colleagues subjected the chemical to UV radiation and temperatures of 140°F, conditions which they said could be replicated over the course of the insulation’s lifetime. “To the best of our knowledge, all government risk evaluations until now focused on the polymer itself without considering possible degradation products,” the report notes. Exposure to heat and sunlight, it adds, “could result in smaller molecules with a different mobility and toxic potential.” Results of the study were first reported in Environmental Health News. The study is attacked as unfair and inaccurate Dow came out swinging. In a letter to Koch and in a statement posted at a Dow Dupont website, the company called results of the study technically flawed and accused Koch of being less than forthright about his employment with a competing insulation maker. Dow also criticized Environmental Health News for the way it reported the story, claiming the website failed to recognize the “serious flaws” in Koch’s work. “EHN further compounded the study authors’ glaring omission by reporting uncritically on their conclusions without doing even the most basic due diligence,” Dow’s statement said. “The result, whether by error or intention, is highly slanted reporting that is indistinguishable from outright advocacy.” Dow’s letter to Koch cited “serious ethical concerns” about the study. The title page of the study notes Koch’s connection with Dow competitor Deutsche Rockwool GmbH & Co., the German subsidiary of Rockwool International. But, Dow says, Koch said in a footnote to the article that he had no competing financial interest that would affect his work. Rockwool is a competing product to the EPS and XPS insulation used in construction. Dow also wrote to Environmental Science & Technology, denouncing Koch’s “ulterior motives” and citing what it said were technical inaccuracies. Dow said it wanted an “expression of regret” for Koch’s lack of disclosure and space in the magazine to “set the record straight.” Asked about his ties with Rockwool, Koch said in an email that he started the research before taking a part-time job with the company as he pursued his PhD. “During the whole project, there was no funding received from this company or any other source,” Koch wrote. “All the work that I have contributed for this publication has been done outside of my paid labour time for Deutsche Rockwool GmbH & Co. KG — thus in my private time. No facilities of this company have been used and no information regarding this publication has been exchanged.” Koch also said he had shared the results of his work with Dow prior to publication. “Yes, we had contact with Dow,” his email said. “We informed them about our work before submitting the manuscript to the journal Environmental Science and Technology. There were no major disagreements about our findings.” Brian Bienkowski, senior editor at Environmental Health News and the author of the January 9 story, said in an email that EHN contacted Dow as soon as the Koch study was published. “Rather than make a scientist or representative available to speak, they immediately made these posts disparaging the study and the story,” Bienkowski wrote. “While we updated the story with their statements and concerns about the study, they still have not made a scientist — or anyone — available for us to talk to. I offered to talk on the phone or even meet in person. “We stand by the accuracy of our reporting on the study and find it regretful that Dow will not engage with journalists but, rather, chooses to attack them,” he said. A “next generation” flame retardant Polymeric FR was developed because of the environmental and health risks of HBCD. Dow Global Technologies announced in 2011 that its Dow Chemical Company subsidiary had invented Polymeric FR and said that it expected the compound to become the “next generation industry standard” flame retardant for both XPS and EPS. It was commercialized as Bluedge Polymeric Flame Retardant Technology. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in a 2014 assessment that Polymeric FR was the best of the few available options to replace HBCD in polystyrene building insulation. North American producers of XPS and EPS have since switched to Polymeric FR, their respective trade associations said. Roughly 52 million pounds of Polymeric FR are produced each year. In an email, Koch said conditions causing the flame retardant to break down occur in hot attics or after the foam has been landfilled. But the research is far from conclusive. “We have not studied the toxicity of these smaller molecules,” Koch added, “and there is almost no scientific information available about them. Previous studies suggest that flame retardants — which are used in building insulation (this is different for flame retardants which are for instance used in textiles) generally do not immediately affect building occupants, but can end up in the environment and enter the food chain.” Koch also said their research focused on the flame retardant itself, without the “surrounding polystyrene matrix” of the insulation — a point Dow also makes. In other words, researchers tested the chemical, not polystyrene treated with the chemical. That, he said, might affect its degradation process. The only known use for Polymeric FR is in EPS and XPS, Koch said. It’s not used as a fire retardant in textiles, electronics, or furniture upholstery. Asked whether Polymeric FR is a better option than HBCD, Koch said it wasn’t possible to say based on the limited knowledge that’s currently available. “As the U.S. EPA and others stated, the long-term behaviour of ‘Polymeric FR’ is largely unknown,” Koch said. “It seems however indeed possible, that the development of ‘Polymeric FR’ is a step in the right direction. But certainly more research is know to give a solid reply to this question. “To underline this: Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies have been published for HBCD (and we still have open questions),” he added, “but there are not even ten studies for ‘Polymeric FR.’ ” Publication responds Environmental Science & Technology is a publication of the American Chemical Society, a Washington, D.C.-based organization with more than 150,000 members worldwide. GBA asked the publication for comment on Dow’s demands and received a written statement from Glenn S. Ruskin, ACS vice president for external affairs and communications. “Be assured that ACS takes all expressions of concern very seriously,” the statement reads. “When such concerns are raised, ACS editorial staff will look into them, but will not comment while the review is ongoing. Regarding the scientific content of the manuscript in this particular case, ACS editorial staff contacted the authors, who have confirmed that the paper accurately discloses potential conflict of interests.”last_img read more

Campus Insiders Releases ACC Bowl Projections For The 2016 Season

first_imgCollege Football Playoff logo.CFB Playoff.Campus Insiders has released their bowl projections for the 2016 season and they don’t have a team from the conference making the College Football Playoff. accCI has 12 ACC teams making bowl games (if you include Notre Dame) – Clemson, Louisville, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Florida State, Pittsburgh, Miami, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Duke, Virginia Tech, NC State.Here are their full projections: NC State in the St. Petersburg Bowl vs. TempleVirginia Tech in the Quick Lane Bowl vs. NorthwesternDuke in the Camping World Independence Bowl vs. Mississippi StateGeorgia Tech in the Military Bowl vs. CincinnatiSyracuse in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl vs. NebraskaMiami in the Russell Athletic Bowl vs. Oklahoma StatePittsburgh in the Birmingham Bowl vs. MissouriFlorida State in the Belk Bowl vs. South CarolinaNotre Dame in the Hyundai Sun Bowl vs. ArizonaNorth Carolina in the TaxSlayer Bowl vs. FloridaLouisville in the Capital One Bowl vs. AlabamaClemson in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl vs. HoustonAgree with their projections? You can see the full projections here.last_img read more

High Commission to Stage Panel Discussion in Memory of Mary Seacole

first_imgThe High Commission, in London, is to commemorate the life of the Hon. Mary Seacole, OM, by hosting a Panel Discussion on May 13, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Scheduled to be held on the eve of the anniversary of Mary Seacole’s death on May 14, 1881, the event will also see the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal officially passing the £300,000 landmark.The panel discussion will be chaired by Dr. Simon Woolley, Chair of Operation Black Vote, and the panellists are: Chair of the Trustees of the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal, Lord Soley of Hammersmith; Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Regional Director, Bernell Bussue and Senior Research Fellow in North East London Mental Health Trust and the Faculty of Health at South Bank University, Professor Tony Leiba.“The Jamaican High Commission is proud to host this special event to commemorate an outstanding Jamaican. We can only imagine the great difficulty encountered by a widowed, Jamaican woman of colour travelling in Victorian times. You cannot exaggerate what a pioneer she really was – as a healer, as an entrepreneur and as an individual,” High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Her Excellency Aloun N’dombet Assamba said.“She was well aware that there were many obstacles in her path, but she had no intention of letting other people’s limits stand in her way. Mary Seacole was an excellent example of the long tradition of Jamaican women, who had forged ahead in the face of adversity to make their own way in the world,” the High Commissioner added. Mary Seacole was born in Jamaica in 1805. She was posthumously awarded Jamaica’s third highest National Honour, the Order of Merit, in 1991.She is well known and revered in many sectors of the United Kingdom for her work in nursing British soldiers during the Crimean War.The High Commissioner is one of the patrons of the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal.By Vivienne Siva, JIS Reporterlast_img read more

Excavator blamed for islandwide blackout in Puerto Rico

first_imgSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – An island-wide blackout hit Puerto Rico on Wednesday after an excavator accidentally downed a transmission line, officials said, as the U.S. territory struggles to repair an increasingly unstable power grid nearly seven months after Hurricane Maria.Officials said it could take 24 to 36 hours to fully restore power to more than 1.4 million customers as outrage grew across the island about the state of Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority. It was the second major outage in less than a week, with the previous one affecting some 840,000 customers.“This is too much,” said Luis Oscar Rivera, a computer technician who just got normal power back at his house less than two months ago. “It’s like the first day of Maria all over again.”Authorities said the same contractor was involved in the two latest big power failures and had been fired. The outage last Thursday was set off when a tree limb fell on a power line as the contractor cleared land in central Puerto Rico and a backup line failed. On Wednesday, an excavator used by the contractor hit a transmission line near the south coast.Several large power outages have hit Puerto Rico in recent months, but Wednesday was the first time since the hurricane struck Sept. 20 that the U.S. territory has experienced a full island-wide blackout.The outage snarled traffic across the island, interrupted classes and work, and forced dozens of businesses to temporarily close, including the largest mall and popular tourist attractions like a 16th century fort in the historic part of Puerto Rico’s capital. Long lines formed stations across the island, while authorities offered assurances that there was enough gasoline available.Backup generators roared to life at the island’s largest public hospital and at its main international airport, where officials reported no cancellations or delays. Meanwhile, the power company said its own customer service centre was out of service and asked people to go online or use the phone.Officials said restoring power to hospitals, airports, banking centres and water pumping systems was their priority. Following that would be businesses and then homes.By late in the afternoon, power had returned to several hospitals and at least five of the island’s 78 municipalities.Carmen Yulin Cruz, mayor of the capital of San Juan, said the outage would not interrupt the last of a two-game series between the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins, which is being played on the island. She said all emergency systems at Hiram Bithorn stadium are functioning and that tower lights and additional security will be placed at the stadium’s parking lot.Justo Gonzalez, the power company’s executive sub-director, told reporters that workers were removing a collapsed tower Wednesday during unrelated power restoration efforts near the south coast and an excavator hit the transmission line.“We are working in areas that are quite crowded with high voltage lines,” he said.Fredyson Martinez, vice-president of a union that represents power company workers in Puerto Rico, told The Associated Press that he was concerned about the two back-to-back incidents.“That is not normal,” he said.Government officials said a company hired by Cobra Energy known as Dgrimm was involved in both incidents that led to the power outages. Dgrimm had been asked to change its security protocols after the first incident, and it has since been terminated, said William Rios, power generation director.“This is unacceptable for us,” he said, adding that government attorneys were meeting with officials at Cobra Energy, a Mammoth Energy subsidiary.Angel Figueroa, president of the power workers’ union, told reporters that workers were investigating why a backup breaker at a main power station in the island’s southern region did not function when the outage occurred, causing the entire electrical grid to shut down to protect itself. He noted it was the same problem that caused a 2016 power outage that affected the entire island.Geraldo Quinones, a power company spokesman, said in a phone interview that crews are investigating why the breaker failed.Rivera said he worries that such serious power outages are still occurring as the new Atlantic hurricane season, which starts on June 1, approaches.“If there’s a slight storm, we’re going to be worse off than we are right now,” he said.Federal officials who testified before Congress last week said they expect to have a plan by June on how to strengthen and stabilize the island’s power grid, noting that up to 75 per cent of distribution lines were damaged by high winds and flooding. Meanwhile, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is overseeing the federal power restoration efforts, said they hope to have the entire island fully energized by May. Some 40,000 power customers still remain without normal electrical service as a result of the hurricane.The new blackout occurred as Puerto Rico legislators debate a bill that would privatize the island’s power company, which is $14 billion in debt and relies on infrastructure nearly three times older than the industry average.last_img read more

Industrial building in Prince George BC holds record for most airtight

first_imgPRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – The Wood Innovation Research Lab in Prince George, B.C., appears to be nothing more than a modern cedar and black-metal building, but look past the cladding and you’ll find an engineering feat that has earned it the recognition as the most airtight industrial building on the continent.The University of Northern British Columbia building has received Passive House certification, making it the first of its type in North America to meet the internationally recognized standards for energy efficiency.Guido Wimmers, chairman of the Integrated Wood Design Program at UNBC, said the building is very efficient and cuts heating and cooling bills by up to 90 per cent in a central B.C. climate where temperatures range from -30 C in winter to 30 C in summer.“To get to Passive House standards in this climate, with this geometry, that was a big challenge and hasn’t been done, to the best of my knowledge. There are three or four industrial buildings worldwide,” he said.There are Passive House organizations around the world advocating for high-performance buildings in design, construction and liveability. Thousands of Canadian homes have been certified by the group indicating they have met limits for heat, energy use and being airtight.The research building is 30 metres by 30 metres, with walls that are a half-metre thick and contain blown-in mineral wool insulation.Generally construction costs about five per cent more for passive buildings, but the university is the owner and it’s also interested in the operation costs, said Wimmers.“The initial investment is higher, true, but the actually monthly costs of ownership are lower. And that’s always the goal. It has to be cost-efficient, otherwise nobody would do it.”It will cost about $1,000 a year to heat, Wimmers said.“A normal building of this type would have had a heating bill of $16,000, or something like that.”The biggest challenge to obtaining the certification was a large overhead door that allows material to be brought into the research lab.Wimmers said they brought in the big red door from Germany and had to optimize it even further to increase the air seal.“Well, first you close the door,” he said, laughing as he explained how they got the seal. “Those bay doors are prone to leak. They are very well known for not being airtight.”The other doors and windows in the building came from Poland, he said.The B.C. Energy Step Code will set much stricter provincial regulations for housing energy efficiency and be in place by 2032, but the construction industry has been slow to catch on and manufacturers don’t see the value, he said. Some cities, including Vancouver, are already enforcing higher energy efficiency standards.“The long-term goal is clearly not to keep on importing stuff. The goal is to create a local market so that local manufacturers can sell their inventions and new products.”Wimmers said he’s been in consultation with several B.C. municipalities and companies about construction of more passive buildings.The end result is all about comfort, Wimmers said.“Imagine you have a power outage. Typical buildings would be almost unlivable in 10 to 12 hours or so. In a Passive House, you just don’t care. You can be there for days and days and days and most likely it is never going to drop below 15 degrees.”— By Terri Theodore in Vancouverlast_img read more

Two youth killed in tbone crash north of Kiskatinaw River Bridge

first_imgTwo occupants of the minivan under the age of 18 were pronounced dead at the scene, while a third youth was airlifted by STARS Air Ambulance to a hospital in Alberta.The injuries sustained by the other 8 occupants of both vehicles were unspecified, though Cpl. Saunderson did confirm that several people were taken to hospital with various injuries.The highway was closed for the remainder of Sunday evening, reopening to traffic during the overnight hours.BC RCMP traffic services spokesperson Constable Mike Halskov said that at the crash is currently being investigated by the Dawson Creek RCMP with the assistance of Peace Traffic Services, the BC Coroners Service, and a collision analyst from Fort St. John.Cst. Halskov said that speed and alcohol are not considered factors in the crash, and that operator error on the part of the southbound vehicle is considered a preliminary cause. DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Two youth are dead and a third had to be airlifted to an Alberta hospital after two vehicles collided Sunday evening on the Alaska Highway just north of the Kiskatinaw River Bridge.According to Corporal Madonna Saunderson with North District RCMP, police were called out a report of a collision on Highway 97 at Orrin Powell Road at around 5:20 p.m. Sunday.A Pontiac Montana minivan with six occupants was travelling southbound on the Alaska Highway and was attempting to make a left turn into the pulloff area just north of the Kiskatinaw River Bridge when it was t-boned by a northbound Ford pickup truck with 5 occupants.last_img read more

Degree of preparedness

first_imgAs India gears up to safeguard its eastern coast against cyclone Fani, prevention is the reason to prioritise any step in the wake of the approaching cyclonic storm. Prior warning issued by India Meteorological Department puts Odisha on high alert as the storm will approach its coast in a matter of hours, and there is a strong likelihood of the storm to approach the adjoining districts of north-central Andhra Pradesh on May 03. IMD predicts heavy to very heavy rainfall in few places over the coast of Odisha and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh on May 03 and 04 while West Bengal will see light to moderate rainfall in most places and heavy rainfall in isolated places near the coast. This information comes well in time as it can allow adequate safety measures to be put in place. Fishermen are advised against venturing out in the southwest Bay of Bengal at this time. Indian Naval ships at Visakhapatnam and Chennai are put on standby should they need to proceed to the most affected areas to undertake humanitarian aid distress relief work, evacuation, logistic support, and for providing necessary medical aid. The Eastern command of the Navy has thus assumed a high degree of readiness to render requisite assistance. The Bay of Bengal is the birthplace for regional cyclones due to high temperatures, humidity, rainfall, sluggish winds, and a combination of other geographical reasons. Fani is the first tropical cyclone of this season that has developed in this hotbed. As far as natural disasters go, most of them have been precipitated for anthropogenic reasons. Floods happen because of haphazard urbanisation, clouds burst because capitalist development happens with utter disregard for the environment, earthquakes are also not the most inclement of calamities. It is not the geographical process of a sudden violent change brought by nature but the destruction that it causes that makes considering disasters valid. Cyclones cannot be attributed to anthropogenic reasons but cloud seeding is an effective method of mitigating the disastrous impact of a cyclone. Disaster preparedness essentially is a measure of what one can do to avert or mitigate a disaster, not how well rehabilitation happens after disaster strikes.last_img read more

IOCs RD centre patent filing crosses 1000mark

first_imgNew Delhi: State-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC) Tuesday said its research and development centre at Faridabad has become the first public sector oil and gas company to cross the milestone of filing 1,000 patents. The Centre filed the 1,001st patent this week, the company said in a statement here. “The R&D Centre’s IP (Intellectual Property) portfolio comprises 794 active patents, of which 542 patents were granted abroad and 252 in India. The centre has also registered a healthy commercialisation rate for its patents, higher than the global average,” it said. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraComplimenting the R&D team for lending a competitive edge to IOC’s business through innovative products, processes and technologies, company chairman Sanjiv Singh said several quality upgradation projects implemented at its refineries for production of ultra-clean BS-VI grde fuels are based on deep desulphurisation, isomerisation and dimerisation technology patents developed in-house. IOC’s internationally-awarded INDMAX technology patent, successfully commercialised at Paradip Refinery, improves LPG yields by 40 per cent besides ensuring the highest propylene yields in its class, the statement said adding the centre’s bio-methanation technology is best-in-class in methane yields and is being implemented at the Namakkal (Tamil Nadu) plant for production of compressed bio-gas (CBG). Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysEstablished in 1972, the centre is a pioneer in downstream petroleum sector R&D and has received wide acclaim for indigenising lubricants technology by launching the SERVO brand. With over 5,000 formulations and over 800 active grades covering all conceivable applications, including rail-road and marine oils, SERVO has grown to be the largest selling lubricant brand in India. From being the birth place of the highly successful, fuel-efficient ‘Nutan’ kerosene wick-stove in the late 70s, the R&D centre has come a long way in the past four decades. According to SSV Ramakumar, Director (R&D), IOC, the centre has been focussing on developing high-quality, environment-friendly products and innovative refinery processes that boost resource efficiency, enhance refinery-petrochemicals integration, and offer flexibility in product pattern and yields in line with market demand. With 50 per cent of its active patents in the refining category, followed by 16 per cent in bio-technology, the R&D team has made considerable progress even in the highly IP-crowded field of Ziegler-Natta catalysts, used in production of polymers (plastics). “We have not only created white space here but succeeded in earning a rich haul of patent grants that are well recognised by global majors,” he said. In line with IOC’s business objectives, the R&D centre has expanded its research domain to cover petrochemicals, nano-technology, alternative fuels, energy storage solutions and Hydrogen-based fuel cell research, among others, the statement added.last_img read more