Category: baaballp

Pandemic panners: Indonesians hunt for gold in desperate times

first_img ‘Ecological disaster’ Thousands of kilometers to the west in Kalimantan — Indonesia’s section of Borneo island — police this month arrested 400 gold miners accused of operating illegally in a conservation area, a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison.Here, the dangers of mercury to both miners and the environment is severe, said Sustyo Iriyono, the environment ministry’s director of prevention and forest protection.”The recent arrests in Kalimantan show that illegal activity was huge,” he said.While the ministry does not yet have hard data, Iriyono said illicit mining has spiked nationwide, including on the densely populated Java island and remote Sumbawa.”The high price of gold during the pandemic is the stimulus behind this… illegal activity,” he said.”They’re making profits by destroying the environment. We’re trying to find a solution.”Environmental activist Aiesh Rumbekwan said the “massive increase” in unsanctioned mining was being driven by people desperate to feed their families in the pandemic-battered economy.Government aid has been slow to reach many parts of the sprawling archipelago nation.”Illegal miners [often] use mercury to speed up the process and that will harm the environment and places where this activity connects to water sources like lakes or rivers,” said Rumbekwan, who heads the Papua chapter of environmental network Walhi.”It could lead to an ecological disaster.”Indonesia banned the use of mercury for artisanal miners in 2017. But the dangerous metal, which can affect the nervous system and cause disabilities in newborn children, can still be purchased on the black market.The livelihoods of at least one million Indonesians are supported by small-scale mining, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which promotes mercury-free technologies.Despite pandemic restrictions, there are reports of unlicensed operators bringing scores of domestic migrants to makeshift mines sites across the country, which have long been prone to fatal accidents.”There’s no control from the authorities,” Rumbekwan said. Father-of-two Mustafa is among the hundreds who play a daily game of cat-and-mouse with authorities in the restive Papua region as they pan for nuggets in a river near US-based Freeport’s sprawling Grasberg site — one of the world’s biggest gold mines.On a good day, Mustafa collects a gram of gold by sifting through the mud with a fabric filter, which he can sell to a local trader for about 800,000 rupiah ($55) — no small sum in one of Indonesia’s poorest regions. The miners here don’t use mercury, he said, but there are plenty of other dangers lurking in Indonesia’s rugged easternmost territory.Fear of arrest is ever-present and so is being caught in the middle of deadly fights between security forces and independence-seeking rebels locked in a decades-old insurgency. Topics : “There are more of us here now during the pandemic because the price of gold has jumped,” Mustafa told AFP in a telephone interview.”We’re risking arrest by security forces, but we don’t have any option because we need money to support our families.”The arduous job also carries the risk of catching the coronavirus or skin infections from wading through waters chock full of waste from the nearby mine.”This is very dangerous for our health. Me and some of my friends have skin diseases,” Mustafa said. “But thank god, so far no one has got the virus.” With the coronavirus devastating jobs across the country, desperate Indonesians are flocking to illegal gold mines as the soaring price of the precious metal overrides the risk to their lives and the environment.Spooked by the economic destruction wrought by the pandemic, consumers and investors around the world have been snapping up gold, which is seen as a hedge against volatility, sending its price to a record above $2,000 an ounce last month.The surge in demand has fuelled a boom in mineral-rich Indonesia’s illegal mining industry, with workers ignoring the threat of arrest, mercury poisoning or being caught in the middle of gun battles.last_img read more

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Governor Wolf: Metal Panel Manufacturer to Expand in Monroe, Create 70 Jobs

first_imgGovernor Wolf: Metal Panel Manufacturer to Expand in Monroe, Create 70 Jobs SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Press Release,  Workforce Development Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced that All Weather Insulated Panels (AWIP), a manufacturer of insulated metal panels, will expand its manufacturing operation in Monroe County. The project will help create at least 70 full-time jobs in the area.“We welcome All Weather Insulated Panels to Pennsylvania and, specifically, to Monroe County,” said Gov. Wolf. “The investments being made in business expansion and job creation by the company and the commonwealth will impact both the local community and the local economy, and we look forward to continued investments in the years to come.”AWIP must increase its insulated metal panel production capacity to better serve customers in Northeastern U.S. The project includes the purchase of an existing building in Stroud Township. The company has committed to investing at least $24 million into the project, and creating at least 70 new, full-time jobs over the next three years.“All Weather Insulated Panels is very excited to have chosen Pennsylvania as the location for our third manufacturing facility in the U.S.,” said President of All Weather Insulated Panels, Natalia Rizzatti. “This location provides us with a strategic geographic position that will support our ambitious growth plans. A brand-new best in class continuous insulated metal panel production line combined with unparalleled processes and services will ensure we continue to provide the highest quality products and customer experience possible. We are thankful for the support Pennsylvania has provided us to this date and look forward to embarking on this exciting project together.”AWIP received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development for the project. The proposal includes a $315,000 Pennsylvania First grant, $70,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be distributed upon creation of the new jobs, and a $78,000 workforce development grant to help the company train workers. The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the Governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania, with additional coordination through the Pocono Mountains Economic Development Corporation (PMEDC).“We are excited to welcome All Weather Insulated Panels to the Monroe County community and look forward to working with them closely as they establish their operations in East Stroudsburg. We appreciate the collaboration and assistance received from Penn’s Northeast, our regional economic development marketing organization, and the Governor’s Action Team. Stroud Township has also been very helpful and accommodating to the company and this has helped the process go very smoothly,” said Chuck Leonard, PMEDC Executive Director.“All Weather Insulated Panels joins the growing list of companies that are realizing the benefits of moving to NEPA,” said Penn’s Northeast President/CEO, John Augustine. “Our strong and dedicated workforce, transportation infrastructure and low cost of doing business continues to be a driving factor in corporate relocation and expansion decisions. This project could not have happened without the support and teamwork of all of the partners involved. We wish All Weather Insulated Panels all the success in their future growth.”Founded in California in 2006, AWIP is a leading manufacturer of insulated metal panels used in energy efficient building construction projects across North America.For more information about the Governor’s Action Team or DCED, visit September 27, 2019last_img read more

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Altmann: UK likely to adopt IORP Directive given Brexit timeline

first_imgShe added: “I would hope we might want to adopt it because, if we want to stay part of a united Europe, that’s an area that makes sense to align ourselves with.“I can’t tell you exactly what’s going to happen, but that would be my best answer for you.”Altmann’s comments were in response to a question from Catherine Howarth, chief executive of ShareAction, a responsible investment campaign organisation that was also co-host of the event.Citing provisions in the IORP II compromise text relating to ESG factors and climate risk, Howarth had asked Altmann to comment on whether the UK government – “whatever happens on the Brexit question” – will ensure that UK pension savers “have the same level protection as other pension savers in the EU”, whether this be through the transposition of the IORP Directive or a new law.The IORP II Directive has still to be passed by the European Parliament, but this is largely seen as a formality, given the agreement reached on a final compromise text. A plenary vote is understood to be due to take place in September, and there is a two-year timeline for member states to implement the directive. The newly agreed revised IORP Directive will have to become UK law despite the vote to leave the European Union, given the overlap between the timetable for transposition of the directive and that for the UK’s remaining an EU member, pensions minister Ros Altmann has suggested.Speaking at an event to mark the passing of two years since the Law Commission released its report on the fiduciary duties of investment intermediaries, Altmann said she was “really proud of work the UK has done within Europe to get the IORP to the place where it has ended up”.She added: “We have protected the UK pensions industry to a large degree. It could have been a pretty big disaster in some ways.”Qualifying her answer to a question about the UK decision on IORP II by saying that “I can’t tell you what is going to happen because, as we all know, nobody knows”, Altmann then said she would expect that, as “we are still in the EU, and we are going to be in the EU for at least another two years, by then, the IORP will have started […] we will have to adopt it anyway”.last_img read more

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ESMA issues ‘no action letter’ on benchmarks ESG disclosure duties

first_imgThe EU financial markets watchdog has told national supervisory authorities not to rush to any supervision or enforcement of ESG-related disclosure obligations for benchmark administrators because the rules detailing those obligations are not ready.The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) also wrote to the European Commission about the need for “prompt adoption” of the so-called delegated acts.The draft delegated acts were published on 8 April for a one-month consultation period, while the new environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure requirements under the Benchmarks Regulation were applicable from yesterday. In its letter to the Commission, ESMA said that without the delegated acts, benchmark administrators face legal uncertainy. “Without the delegated acts, there is no specific selection of ESG factors or appropriate level of transparency specified by the new requirements,” ESMA wrote in its “opinion” document to the EC.” This gives rise to legitimate doubts on their legal consequences and proper application.“The range of potential approaches by administrators will cause the sustainability-related aspects of benchmarks to be incomparable by users of benchmarks, preventing them from being able to choose appropriately amongst benchmarks in relation to ESG factors for investment purposes.”It added: “This risks generating a fragmented approach to sustainability-related disclosures for benchmarks in the Union, which is contrary to the objectives of the new disclosure requirements.”National supervisory authorities were told not to “prioritise any supervisory or enforcement action against administrators” regarding the new requirements until the delegated acts apply.After the Commission adopts the delegated acts they will be subject to a scrutiny period by the European Parliament and by the Council before they enter into force. The rules it has proposed are based on recommendations from the technical expert group (TEG) that has been advising it on sustainable finance.For benchmarks pursuing ESG objectives, the disclosure duties referred to by ESMA oblige benchmark administrators to:include in their methodology document an explanation of how the key elements reflect ESG factors for each benchmark or family of benchmarks; andinclude in their benchmark statement an explanation of how ESG factors are reflected in each benchmark or family of benchmarks provided and publishedThe obligations stem from legislation adopted under the Commission’s sustainable finance action plan, which amends a pre-existing EU benchmarks regulation and is arguably better known for the EU climate benchmark categories and labels that it introduces. These are voluntary.Cost benefit considerationsSmart beta index provider Scientific Beta recently commented on the draft delegated acts relating to the sustainable finance-related benchmark regulations.Echoing criticisms it has made of the underlying TEG proposals, it said the draft delegated act relating to benchmark statement disclosures presented “long lists of ESG indicators to be computed and disclosed”.It said “such extensive” minimum disclosures would entail material costs for benchmark administrators and stood to harm competition in the industry, with the minimum disclosures required also being of low “overall informational potential”. In an explanation of the delegated act, the Commission said it expected compliance costs with the new rules to be limited, arguing it was “already current market practice for benchmark administrators to disclose ESG information in so-called ‘factsheets’”.It said it was proposing to “refine further the approach suggested by the TEG, streamlining in particular the list of ESG factors to be disclosed, simplifying the terminology used and referring, where applicable, to international standards, treaties and conventions”.last_img read more

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Leidos Tech for US Navy Submarine Defense

first_imgLeidos has been awarded a contract by the US Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command to develop torpedo countermeasure technologies for submarine defense. The contract has a two-year base period of performance, three one-year option years, and a potential value of approximately $36 million, if all options are exercised.Work will be performed in Washington, Northern Virginia, Ohio, California, and Florida.Leidos will design, build, and test an acoustic device countermeasure (ADC) called the ADC MK5 – a three-inch diameter device launched from submarines to defend against incoming torpedoes.The company will also provide technical and non-recurring engineering services such as software and hardware development.The project is part of the Navy’s Next Generation Countermeasure program to replace existing ADC MK3 systems with newer technologies.Leidos Defense Group President, Gerry Fasano, said: “This win opens a new market for our organization in underwater sensors, and our focus is to provide the right combination of technical depth and customer insight to deliver the right solutions within challenging operational environments.”last_img read more

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Swan Hunter Adds Onshore and Offshore Carousel System

first_imgSwan Hunter together with its partner DOC, has taken delivery of a new 1000Te capacity modular onshore and offshore carousel system.The system offers clients a flexible product handling equipment solution within the onshore storage, offshore installation, and marine transportation markets, Swan Hunter said.The principle comprises three interchangeable components, specifically utilized dependant on the product loading location. Modular liftable storage baskets of varying capacities are coupled with either a hydraulically powered turntable or standard SPMTs to provide basket rotation and support.The hydraulic turntable has integrated hydraulic lift rollers, that allow it to be pulled away from beneath the basket when supported via crane or SPMTs. These inbuilt functions, allow for the loading of multiple baskets using a single turntable or SPMT spread.Upon completion of the onsite assembly DOC director, Dave Hangoor said: “We are very pleased to have another item of new build equipment constructed here at the DOC-Swan Hunter Cable Storage and Spooling Yard. This 1000Te system nicely compliments our smaller and larger carousels, further increasing our cable handling and storage capacity, and allowing us to offer various solutions to our client’s requirements”.The equipment is now due to undergo onsite commissioning works and will be operational on it’s first cable handling and storage project in early Q2 this year.last_img read more

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Estes Express Lines expands clean fuel fleet

first_imgEstes is acquiring the Class 8 natural gas trucks equipped with the Cummins Westport ultra-clean ISX12N engine for its California fleet, and is expected to use an approximate 2.8 million gallons of RNG over the seven-year contract, Clean Energy Fuels said in its statement. Courtesy of Clean Energy Fuels Clean Energy Fuels, the California-based LNG supplier for the North American transport industry, has struck a deal with Estes Express Lines. Under the agreement, Estes Express Lines will add 50 new trucks to its fleet fueled with Redeem renewable natural gas (RNG), bringing its total to 71.center_img Clean Energy’s Redeem was the first commercially available RNG vehicle fuel, derived from capturing the biogenic methane produced by the decomposition of organic waste from dairies, landfills, and wastewater treatment plants. Redeem reduces greenhouse gas emissions by at least 70 per cent, and even up to 300 per cent depending on the source of the RNG. For Estes, this represents a geographical expansion of its current 21 ultra-clean truck fleet currently operating out of Texas, and also fueled by Redeem.last_img read more

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Parents told to enroll children through online, text

first_imgJoel Sermeno enrolls his nephew at the Sibalom Central School through online on Monday. The Department of Education (DepEd) encourages parents to enroll their children online in the meantime that the face–to-face enrollment is not yet permitted. PNA SAN JOSE, Antique – The Department of Education (DepEd) in this province has advised parents to enroll their children through online or by text message.Dr. Felisa Beriong, DepEd-Antique superintendent, said on June 2 that they will adhere with DepEd Memorandum Circular Order Number 2020-008 which prohibits face-to-face enrollment.The enrollment for students of all public schools in this province started on June 1. “We also started our enrollment on June 1 but through online,” said Lopez. “DepEd cannot yet hold face-to-face enrollment for the first two weeks, so parents are advised to enroll their children online,” she said. According to Beriong, parents may also get enrollment forms in their respective barangay halls. For parents who won’t be able to do so, meanwhile, they can text the former teachers of the children and inform them the kids will enroll to the next grade level for this school year. “I have asked school principals or school heads to post in different conspicuous places contact numbers of their teachers so that the parents could contact them for enrollment,” she said. Joel Sermeno, an uncle of a Grade 2 pupil studying at the Sibalom Central School, in Sibalom town said on June 1 that it only took him 10 minutes to enroll his nephew online.center_img She added that parents may enroll their kids at the school on June 15 as long as they wear face masks and observe physical distancing.(With a report from PNA/PN) “Parents will fill up the enrollment forms, which they could submit to teachers on June 15 when face-to-face transactions would already be allowed,” she added. On the other hand, Adelaida Lopez, owner of private Christian school Barley Learning Center in Sibalom also, said they will adhere to the no face-to-face enrollment order until June 15. He only filled out some personal details about his nephew such as name, age and grade level. “The online enrollment program was also user-friendly,” he said.last_img read more

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Emerson rallies for Late Model feature win, series title at Benton County

first_imgVINTON, Iowa (Aug. 30) – The slimmest of margins separated Todd Cooney and John Emerson atop the IMCA Late Model Sunday Series standings entering the final night of action at Benton County Speedway.As such, it stands to reason it took all 25 feature laps to remove all doubt in determining the series champion.Cooney held a one point edge over Emerson entering the ninth and final series tilt and, based on the tie breakers in place, unless he won the feature Emerson had to beat Cooney by at least two positions on the track to steal championship honors.Done and done.Emerson chased pole sitter Charlie McKenna for the first six laps before assuming command on the next circuit and just prior to the race’s only caution. Cooney, who started outside of McKenna, worked past him on the restart while Ryan Dolan raced the top side into contention.Dolan, the winner of two of the first three series events held in Vinton this season, slid past Cooney and quickly chased down Emerson. Dolan assumed command with six laps to go, however Emerson remained committed to the low groove and stayed in close pursuit.Emerson rallied and surged ahead of Dolan as the white flag waved en route to victory, clinching the series title in the process. Darren Ackerman made his way around Cooney late to steal third.National title contender Tony Olson won for the eighth time in Vinton and for the 27th time overall this season in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod division.Olson, who locked up track championships with feature wins at Davenport and Independence earlier in the weekend, took the lead on the third circuit of Sunday’s feature. He started to pull away from traffic while Danny Dvorak raced through the field and settled into second.Dvorak reeled in the race leader and was able to steal the top spot when Olson bobbled in turns one and two. A caution, however, negated the pass and left Olson at the helm for a restart with five laps remaining.Olson drove away from the field when racing resumed to score the win in the 16-lapper ahead of Dvorak and Sam Wieben.Nathan Ballard and Justin Wacha have battled at the top of the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock standings all season and they did the same on the track for top honors in that division’s 15-lapper.From a fourth row start, Ballard quickly raced the low side into contention and took the lead after the completion of just one lap. Wacha chased him to the front as the lead pair pulled to a straightaway advantage over the field.Wacha was able to slide beneath Ballard to snare the lead on lap six, however Ballard dialed in his No. 29 on the top side and resumed command four laps later. Ballard led the remainder of the 15-lapper to record his ninth win of the season. Wacha ran second ahead of Matt Pohlman.Troy Cordes raced from a row five starting spot and into the lead after just seven of 20 laps in the Cassill Motors IMCA Modified main. Cordes took the top spot from Mike Burbridge and drove away from the pack to score the win, his third of the year.Tony Snyder held off Scott Hogan for runner-up honors. Cordes, who started the night with a two point lead over Hogan, will have a four point advantage entering season championship night.In only his second night behind the wheel of a new-to-him IMCA Sunoco Stock Car, Justin Temeyer raced to his first local win since last season. Temeyer took the lead away from Kevin Rose on the sixth of 16 laps and then held off pressure from Damon Murty to score the win. Scott Pippert ran third.Racing action will take a break the next two weekends due to the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s, which will be held Sept. 7-12 at Boone Speedway. Action returns to the Vinton quarter-mile one more night this season for the Salute to Soldiers Season Championships on Sept. 20.last_img read more

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AVB wants Spurs to refocus

first_img Spurs had plenty of players away on international duty this week, with Argentina’s Lamela and Brazilian Paulinho not expected back until later Thursday following their long-haul flights back from South America. Villas-Boas, though, hopes the gruelling schedule will not have had too much of an impact on the jet-setting squad. He added: “We will just have to wait and see how they arrive, but most of them should arrive okay because we have not had any reports of injury.” Defender Jan Vertonghen was part of the Belgian squad – also including Spurs’ team-mates Chadli and Mousa Dembele – which moved a step closer to qualification for Brazil 2014 with a 2-0 win over Scotland at Hampden Park. Vertonghen believes having so many players involved at top domestic teams has helped boost Belgium’s competitiveness on the international stage as Marc Wilmots’ men aim to reach a first World Cup since 2002. He said on the club’s official website, “We have a strong mentality now. The pressure is there because we have big players at big clubs, lot of pressure from the press and from ourselves as well, because we have never been to a tournament. I think we can deal with it as well.” Manager Andre Villas-Boas has called on Tottenham to now put the Gareth Bale saga behind them and get back to winning ways – starting with the visit of Norwich on Saturday. Press Association But with everyone now set to refocus on the matters at hand, Villas-Boas believes there are plenty of reasons to be positive following two wins from the first three Barclays Premier League matches and qualification for the group stages of the Europa League. “It is the end of the market, and it was a transfer which took so much time to resolve, but it gives us the possibility to focus on what is our work from now on,” Villas-Boas told talkSPORT at BGC’s Charity Trading Day, where the Spurs head coach was supporting Ace Africa. “We just have to continue winning (now). “After the defeat at Arsenal, we want to be back alongside the top teams. Most of them have lost points though, apart from Liverpool, but we want to be in the mix, so it (Norwich) is a game we have to win. “There is a long way to go and the objective is to get the most amount of points possible. “Losing to Arsenal is always difficult for us, so we want to bounce back as soon as possible.” Villas-Boas added: “The calendar dictated that (the timing of Arsenal match), and for us it (the schedule) was fine either way. “Now it (the defeat) has already gone by and it does not change the importance of the Norwich game either way – we have to win just the same, so that is where our focus will be.” Spurs’ build-up to the new campaign was overshadowed by the frenzied speculation over the future of Wales forward Bale, who eventually completed a world-record £85.3million move to Real Madrid on the eve of the transfer deadline. Villas-Boas had already moved to strengthen Spurs’ options during the summer. However, the arrivals of men such as Paulinho, Etienne Capoue, Nacer Chadli, Romanian defender Vlad Chiriches, Roma forward Erik Lamela and Ajax playmaker Christian Eriksen as well as £26million striker Roberto Soldado could not stop his new-look side from slumping to defeat in the north-London derby at Arsenal before the international break. last_img read more

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