Rooster thrash Knights 38-0

first_imgCan the Roosters mount a charge for the finals?It might’ve been just their second win of 2016, but Roosters players are still confident of playing at the business end of the season. The Tricolours won just four of their first nine matches in 2015 before going on a 12-match unbeaten run to charge home and lift their third minor premiership in a row.While they’re in a slightly worse predicament this year, their skipper is hopeful Saturday night’s crushing win could be the impetus to send them on a similar winning run. “It’s one win and we know where we’re sitting on the ladder now,” Jake Friend said. “It was a good performance, but I think for us it’s got to be the standard now and we’ve got to keep moving forward.”Hopefully we can string a few on the trot to get us in a position to fight for that top eight spot at the back end of the season. The belief is definitely there between the boys.”Brock Lamb shines on debutRookie five-eighth Brock Lamb made the step up from Holden Cup to the NRL in what was a highly impressive first grade debut. The debutant made 24 of his 26 tackles, took the line on seven times and kicked for a whopping 389 metres in what was a tough initiation into life as a first grade footballer. “I thought he played really controlled and did really well considering when you look at the circumstances he played in,” Knights coach Nathan Brown said. “Obviously there will be some parts that he’ll look at and think he can do better, but as a whole he had Boyd Cordner coming at him and he handled him reasonably well. “I thought he kicked the ball reasonably well and he looked comfortable out there. He’ll only continue to improve as the team can only improve.”Roosters bring back their famed Bondi wallAfter starting the year as the worst defensive team in the NRL, the Roosters showed glimpses of why they have been the most frugal team over the past three years by shutting out the Knights for the first time in their head-to-head history.The Roosters only missed 17 tackles on Saturday night against a Newcastle side that wasn’t afraid to throw the ball around, and that was the most pleasing of the big win according to five-eighth Jackson Hastings. “We feel like our heartbeat is sort of coming back in defence. We sort of live and breathe it at this club,” Hastings said. “I think a lot of teams talk about it but we actually do pride ourselves on our defence and when it does all go to [sic] as they say, you can have that backbone in defence. It was good to have a couple of those leaders back that really helped with the chat out there.”Trent Robinson said the Knights had been difficult to contain and was proud of the way his side protected the line. “I thought they were really hard to tackle. They were coming at us, creating some momentum and we had to control that.” Returning troops provide the Roosters with much needed artilleryRoosters halfback Mitchell Pearce looked like he hadn’t missed a beat as he played a starring role in his first game back in the NRL in 2016. The Roosters No.7 ran for 122 metres, scored a try and was involved in two more in a performance that had the home crowd on its feet when he left the field close to full time. “I wasn’t surprised with how well he played,” Roosters coach Trent Robinson said after the game. “It’s a real credit to him on what he’s done and we’ve been lucky enough to see when he came back how well he was talking, how well he was clear with his training and physical and the way that he sees the game. “He’s been ready for at least a month to play. We had our conductor back and it allowed us to move around freely around him.”It was also a successful return for teammate Jared Waerea-Hargreaves who played his first NRL game since tearing his ACL in Round 24 last year.The Kiwis enforcer made 77 metres and produced 11 tackles in a 21-minute hit out that ticked all the boxes for his coach. “It’s a tough thing to come back from…probably the toughest an ACL. There are always those thoughts leading into your first game so it was good for him to get that run out of the way,” Robinson said.”We wanted to get him off the bench and get him back into the rhythm of the game and I thought he did his job really well.”Battered Knights looking forward to week offNewcastle coach Nathan Brown hinted his players would be in for a relaxing week ahead with the bulk of his squad either missing through injury or playing busted.With rep round looming, Brown said the Knights would be on very light duties, but admitted he wasn’t expecting the week off to ease the ever-growing casualty ward that includes Jarrod Mullen, Kade Snowden and Robbie Rochow. “We’ll have a little bit of training early in the week and then at the back end of the week they’ll need some time away,” Brown said. “We’re pretty much down to only 18 players so there are some blokes playing today that obviously have bodies that aren’t in the best state at the minute but we’ve only got 18 blokes left. “Even our 18th man probably wasn’t quite fit to play either so thankfully we didn’t have to introduce him. There are a few fair guys out there [who are busted] so a week off is timely. “I don’t suspect we’ll get anyone back over the next couple of weeks but at least the bodies that are playing will get a good rest which will be pleasing.”last_img read more

An ill-deserved reputation threatens Sri Lanka’s ‘secretive snake’

first_imgBiodiversity, Conservation, Environment, Reptiles, Snakes Banner image of a Sri Lankan keelback, an endemic snake primarily inhabiting the island’s southwest, courtesy of Suranjan Karunarathna.   Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by dilrukshicenter_img Citation:Gabadage, D., Surasinghe, T., De Silva, A., Somaweera, R., Madurapperuma, B., Madawala, M., & Karunarathna, S. (2018). Ecological and zoological study of endemic Sri Lankan keelback (Balanophis ceylonensis): with implications for its conservation. Vertebrate Zoology, 68(3), 225-236. A widely held misperception of the threat it poses and changes to its habitat are threatening the existence of the Sri Lankan keelback, a mildly venomous snake that inhabits the island’s southwest, new research says.The expansion of agriculture and infrastructure development in rural areas is contributing to the loss and fragmentation of the species’ habitat.Researchers have called for further study into the keelback to achieve a better conservation assessment of the species, which in turn can inform national policies to ensure its survival. A general fear of snakes, lack of understanding of reptile behavior, and human encroachment into wilderness areas are putting increasing pressure on a unique snake species found only in Sri Lanka, a new study shows.In a paper published in Vertebrate Zoology after 11 years of field study of the Sri Lankan keelback (Balanophis Ceylonensis), also known as the blossom krait, researchers say the public’s fear and misunderstanding have led to people attacking and killing non-venomous and mildly venomous snakes.The keelback, like many rear-fanged snakes, is only mildly venomous, but is often perceived as being highly venomous. It’s a fear that’s widely held with regard to snakes in general in Sri Lanka, which for the most part are semi to mildly venomous.Contributing to this fear is Sri Lanka’s high snake-bite mortality rate, exacerbated by lack of access to adequate health care, particularly in rural areas where people are more likely to encounter snakes.Keelbacks in particular prefer forest areas with dense, mature canopy and microhabitats that provide shelter, such as decaying moist leaf litter and coarse, woody debris.But with the expansion of agriculture and infrastructure development in Sri Lanka’s rural southwest, there is increased habitat loss and forest fragmentation. Urbanization and increasing human settlements also contribute to habitat loss.According to Suranjan Karunarathna, a herpetologist and corresponding author of the new paper, this trend threatens the survival of the species, as its habitat undergoes rapid changes. “This also results in more road kills,” he said of the snakes flushed out of the forests as a result of fragmentation and habitat loss.“The current populations of these snakes are severely fragmented,” the paper says. “Deforestation and degradation of small forest patches where they live are now causing a decline in both the area of occupancy and the extent of occurrence.”Beraliya in southern Sri Lanka is an ideal forest habitat for this rare endemic snake, full of leaf litter and a perfect canopy. Image courtesy of Suranjan Karunarathna.Considered endangered in Sri Lanka and near threatened in the IUCN Red List, the keelback today occurs in a range spanning just over 1,600 square kilometers (620 square miles), known as its area of occupancy.“The core area of the lowland wet zone is the best habitat for them, where the probability of occurrence is high,” Karunarathna said. “Then, the wet zone periphery and the central massif support them.”Previous research identified the species as being restricted to 23 locations, but the new paper recorded 15 more.During their survey of 83 sites, the researchers recorded keelbacks in 25 locations, 10 of them previously known localities and 15 new sites. “We could not document the snake in 11 sites where the snake was previously recorded,” Karunarathna said.Unique traitsThe keelback has some unique traits: First, it’s a sluggish creature that’s mostly active during dusk. Second, it’s evolved a genetic resistance that enables it to ingest toxic prey. And perhaps most interestingly, it has the ability to play dead for well over 20 minutes, as a survival tactic.“With a bias towards small vertebrate prey, keelback is an active forager and not a sit-and-wait predator,” said study co-author and prominent herpetologist Anslem de Silva. “Its prey selections are also influenced both by genetics and the season of the year.”Researchers say the keelback’s secretive nature and its limited surface activity may contribute to the snake being considered somewhat of a rarity. This, in turn, confounds efforts to reach a scientific consensus on the species’ conservation status.“There is a conservation disparity about this rare endemic snake with a restricted distribution within Sri Lanka. Nationally, it is considered endangered whereas the global assessment is near threatened,” the researchers said. This disparity, they said, throws into question “the actual conservation status and the actual rarity.”“Disagreements between conservation assessments may also impede national conservation actions as well as policy decisions.” they said, calling for further studies into the keelback.“There is a need for a consolidated scientific information base and informed conservation planning of this unique secretive snake,” Karunarathna said.last_img read more

U.S. Virgin Islands bans coral-damaging sunscreens

first_imgArticle published by Rebecca Kessler On June 25, lawmakers in the U.S. Virgin Islands voted to ban common chemical sunscreen ingredients that can damage coral reefs.With the ban, the U.S. Virgin Islands joins a handful of other jurisdictions around the world pioneering action on harmful sunscreens.It will be the first such ban to take effect in the United States, followed by Hawaii and Key West, Florida, and among the first internationally. Beachgoers in the U.S. Virgin Islands will be slathering on more ecologically friendly sunscreens next year after lawmakers voted to ban common chemical sunscreen ingredients that can damage coral reefs. With the ban, the U.S. Virgin Islands joins a handful of other jurisdictions around the world pioneering action on harmful sunscreens. It targets one more ingredient than most similar laws, however, and will be the first to take effect in the United States and among the first internationally.The new law, passed unanimously in the U.S. Virgin Islands’ legislature on June 25, targets oxybenzone, octocrylene, and octinoxate, three UV-blocking chemicals found in most mainstream commercial sunscreen products in the United States. Studies have shown they harm coral and other marine ecosystems. Imports of sunscreens containing the chemicals will be outlawed as of Sept. 30, 2019; the ban on their distribution, sale, possession and use will take effect March 30, 2020.Craig Downs, executive director of the Virginia-based nonprofit Haereticus Environmental Laboratory, said outlawing harmful sunscreen ingredients is “low hanging fruit” when it comes to addressing threats to fragile reef ecosystems. “Degraded water quality,” to which sunscreen pollution contributes, represents “the greatest nemesis to coral reefs,” he said.In a 2016 paper, Downs and fellow researchers found that one of the three targeted chemicals, oxybenzone, “poses a hazard to coral reef conservation and threatens the resiliency of coral reefs to climate change” by deforming young coral and damaging coral DNA. The study is part of a growing body of research driving momentum toward legislative action on sunscreen contamination.The beach at Trunk Bay in Virgin Islands National Park, where researchers have detected sunscreen contamination. Image by Kaitlin Kovacs, USGS via Wikimedia Commons.Researchers estimate that globally reef area waters drink up between 6,000 and 14,000 tons of sunscreen every year. But while sunscreen is one tangible pollutant, climate change and ocean acidification pose even bigger threats to reefs.“Banning the sale of these sunscreens is not going to restore coral reef health. It is one step in a larger toolbox,” Tali Vardi, a coral biologist and coordinator for the Coral Restoration Consortium, said in an email.“The most essential step is strong government action on climate change since corals live at the brink of a very narrow thermal range,” she said. “However, this is something that individuals can do.”Beyond being the sites of tropical snorkel getaways, healthy coral reefs provide coastal areas with an essential buffer against storms and coastal erosion. They also make significant economic contributions. In the United States, reefs contribute at least $3.4 billion annually in tourism, fisheries, and coastal protection, including $1.7 billion in Hawaii, $1 billion in Puerto Rico, and $187 million in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Worldwide, at least 500 million people rely on coral reefs for food, coastal protection, and income.In the Caribbean, coral has suffered at least a 50 percent decline over the last half-century and could all but vanish in the next two decades without urgent conservation efforts, according to the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network. A key factor is a severe international bout of coral bleaching, in which reefs lose their color and defenses. Between 2014 and 2017, global coral reefs spanning hundreds of kilometers suffered what a report in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society dubbed the “longest, most widespread, and almost certainly most destructive” coral bleaching event ever recorded. Various stressors can spark bleaching, but when it happens en masse like this, rising temperatures are to blame, and the phenomenon has increased in frequency and intensity with climate change.A diver swims over bleached coral at Heron Island, Australia, in 2016. When ocean temperatures rise, corals under stress expel algae, causing them to turn bone white and suffer increased vulnerability to collapse if the stress is prolonged. Image courtesy of The Ocean Agency / XL Catlin Seaview Survey / Richard Vevers via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).Downs said that one of the key ways toxic sunscreen ingredients threaten coral reefs is by lowering the temperature at which coral will bleach. The chemicals also damage DNA and interfere with early development, threatening the coral’s long-term viability.“Sunscreen pollution is persistent and renewed on a daily basis,” undermining coral’s ability to bounce back after sustaining damage from bleaching or a hurricane “by preventing the ‘next generation’ of corals and fish from recruiting to a specific coral reef,” Downs said in an email. “This then causes this desolate seascape, especially in high tourism areas.”Aside from impacts on coral, researchers have found sunscreen chemicals can also lower fertility in fish, hinder algae growth, cause deformities in young mussels and sea urchins, and accumulate in dolphin tissue.Scientists are poised to monitor contamination levels as sunscreen bans take effect and to ramp up restoration efforts if sunscreen pollution drops as anticipated, Downs added.A diver swims in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Tourism is the cornerstone of the U.S. Virgin Islands economy. Image by Summitandbeach via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).Virgin Islands senator Janelle K. Sarauw, one of the sponsors of the legislation, stressed the importance of protecting the Virgin Islands’ beaches as a “natural playground of both our children and tourists” as well as fishing as one of the “economical ways of life” on the islands.“We want to encourage a healthier and safer alternative in the use of natural sunscreen, but we also have to be aggressive in saving our reefs now by banning harmful sunscreen,” Sarauw said in an email. “A cleaner Virgin Islands, both in the health of its people and spaces, only serves to benefit us all.”An earlier draft of the new bill set implementation in 2021, but the final version sped up the timeline, making the Virgin Islands the first U.S. jurisdiction to implement a ban on sunscreen chemicals.Hawaii and Key West, Florida, have approved bans, set to come into force in 2021, on the sale of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate. California has discussed a possible ban, while Florida withdrew a similar bill before it went to a vote, and Miami Beach lawmakers voted earlier this year against a proposed ban.Outside the United States, the Pacific island nation of Palau has banned the same three chemicals as the Virgin Islands, as well as several other ingredients, including parabens used in moisturizers, shampoos, and other personal care items, effective Jan. 1, 2020. In the Caribbean, Aruba and Bonaire, a Dutch municipality, have their own versions set to come into effect in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Some destinations in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, such as the Xcaret and Xel-Há ecological reserves, reportedly require visitors to exchange problematic sunscreens for biodegradable samples.Most commercial sunscreens on the U.S. market contain chemical ingredients that studies show are harmful to coral reefs. The FDA has also cast doubt on the safety of most SPF ingredients. Image by Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).In addition to the growing body of research linking sunscreen contamination to compromised reef health, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently raised questions about the safety of most sunscreen products. Out of 16 active sunscreen ingredients on the market, the FDA deemed only two UV-blockers — zinc oxide and titanium dioxide — as “generally recognized as safe and effective.” It found that two ingredients are unsafe and that further research is required to determine whether oxybenzone, octocrylene, octinoxate and nine other ingredients can be considered safe and effective.The Washington, D.C.-based NGO Environmental Working Group, which has determined that many U.S. sunscreens fall short of “meaningful skin protection,” advocates that sunscreen should be a “last resort” after other sun protection measures, such as wearing clothes, sticking to the shade, checking the UV index, and planning outdoor activities around the sun.In banning three common ingredients, the U.S. Virgin Islands law falls in step with the FDA stance, as it effectively only will allow mineral sunscreen products using zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as active ingredients.Despite the fact that most people live far away from coral reefs, Vardi said she believes popular interest in preserving them is strong. “I don’t think anyone wants to live in a world where an entire ecosystem — one that covers less than 1% of the ocean [and] is home to a third of all the fish in the sea and a quarter of all known marine life — goes extinct.”Banner image: A small coral appears on a reef in the U.S. Virgin Islands. In the Virgin Islands and the rest of the Caribbean, threats to coral ecosystems include climate change, storms, pollution, tourism, and fishing. Image courtesy of NOAA’s National Ocean Service via Wikimedia Commons.Heather Gies is a freelance journalist whose reporting on human rights and environmental issues has appeared in Al Jazeera, the Guardian, the Intercept, National Geographic, and other outlets. Follow her on Twitter @HeatherGies.Citations:Downs, C. A., Kramarsky-Winter, E., Segal, R., Fauth, J., Knutson, S., Bronstein, O., . . . Loya, Y. (2016). Toxicopathological Effects of the Sunscreen UV Filter, Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3), on Coral Planulae and Cultured Primary Cells and Its Environmental Contamination in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 70(2), 265-288. doi:10.1007/s00244-015-0227-7FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Biodiversity, Climate Change And Coral Reefs, Conservation, Coral Bleaching, Coral Reefs, Environment, Environmental Law, Governance, Green, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Marine, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Oceans, Pollution, Research, Water Pollution, Wildlife center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Follow the permits: How to identify corruption red flags in Indonesian land deals

first_imgArticle published by mongabayauthor Anonymous Companies, Coal, Corruption, Deforestation, Environment, Palm Oil, Plantations, Transparency Corruption is rife in Indonesia’s plantation and mining sectors, especially when it comes to the issuance of permits.For journalists and activists who lack the expansive powers of Indonesia’s law enforcement agencies, finding evidence of corruption in the issuance of licenses can be challenging.This article defines a number of red flags we have identified over the past several years, explains what they reveal and details the methods that can be used to identify them. This story was co-published with The Gecko Project. When Rita Widyasari, the former head of Kutai Kartanegara district in Indonesian Borneo, was sentenced to 10 years in prison last year for taking bribes in connection with a string of plantation and mining projects, it exemplified the success of the nation’s anti-corruption agency in closing such cases.Since its formation in 2004, investigations by the anti-graft agency, known as the KPK, have led to the conviction of a string of politicians for similar offenses. But research by the KPK, political scientists, activists and journalists suggests the problem extends far beyond the cases that have gone to court.The proliferation of permits for mines and plantations over the same period has left a tapestry of projects — some legitimate, some less so — across Indonesia. These are ripe for investigation by journalists, activists and citizens.For those who lack the expansive powers of the KPK, finding evidence of corruption in the issuance of licenses can be challenging. But in investigations by The Gecko Project and Mongabay over the past three years, we have identified a number of red flags — clues that some impropriety has potentially taken place. Permits, and the ways in which they are traded between brokers and investors, leave a paper trail that can be interrogated to find these clues.This article defines these red flags, explains what they reveal, and details the methods that can be used to identify them. While they do not individually provide irrefutable evidence of corruption, they can be used to identify leads or to inform other areas of research. Whether it is land-rights conflicts, criminalization, companies operating illegally, or something else, identifying questionable practices in the licensing and trade of mining and plantation companies can provide essential context.What data will you need?There are two key types of information that will be used in these methods. The first is shareholder, or ownership, data. The second is permit data. All of these red flags can be identified by cross-checking information within and between these data sets.Ownership data can be obtained from the Indonesian government’s corporate registry, hosted by the Ministry of Law and Human Rights. Indonesian citizens can acquire profiles for individual companies that will show either the current shareholders and board of directors (for a fee of 50,000 rupiah, or $3.60) or the entire history of shareholders and directors since the company was formed (for 500,000 rupiah, or $36). For these purposes, the full records are the most useful.In theory, permit data can be obtained from state agencies. But in recent years the government has sought to prevent citizens, journalists and NGOs from obtaining it, in violation of the law governing freedom of information. So realistically the data needs to be obtained from other sources. Many NGOs, particularly at the provincial level, have data sets for plantation and mining permits. They are often incomplete and potentially inaccurate, but can be sufficient to apply these methods.Most of the major holding companies operating plantations and mines in Indonesia are listed on stock exchanges, often in Indonesia, Malaysia or Singapore. When they acquire new assets, they have a duty to announce details of the deal via stock exchange websites. These announcements will often include the identity of the vendors, the permits they are effectively buying, and the value of the deal. As such, they present a rich and complete set of data.Red flag: permits are expeditedThe bureaucratic process required before a plantation firm can start operating should take several months. First, a company must obtain a location permit, or izin lokasi, usually from the district chief, or bupati. This defines an area of land in which the company can negotiate with existing landowners, and carry out an environmental impact assessment, or EIA (known in Indonesia as an Amdal).The EIA process involves consulting with local communities who will be affected by the project. The findings must be approved by a panel of academics, NGOs and community representatives. Once approved, the company can apply to for a plantation business permit (izin usaha perkebunan, or IUP). This usually takes place at the district level, but sometimes the IUP must be issued by the province.In some cases, bupatis expedite the permit process. When they do so, the most common casualty is the EIA. One motivation for doing so is that it is takes time and money to carry out the process as required by law. Another is that if done properly, it gives communities and NGOs and communities an opportunity to interject in the process, raising concerns over the location, extent or impact of the project.Expediting permits in this way is a criminal act. It raises questions over the motives of any politician who would do it.If this has occurred, it can be identified by comparing the dates on which location permits and IUPs were issued. If the two permits are issued within weeks of one another, it is usually an indication that the EIA process has not been carried out. In many cases, permit databases will show that they have been issued on the same day.An extract from the permit database held by the provincial government in Central Kalimantan.This record from the Central Kalimantan provincial government database shows a company that was issued a location permit and IUP just a day apart, presenting strong evidence that the bupati allowed the company to skip a vital step in the permit process.Red flag: shell companies used as vehicles for trading permitsPlantation companies are free to approach local governments directly to apply for permits. But in many cases the permits are first obtained by middlemen or brokers, with the sole intention of selling them on.Technically speaking, a permit for a plantation cannot be transferred from one company to another. But there is a workaround. To do these deals, a broker can form a shell company — a legal entity that exists only on paper, with no assets or history of trading — to which a permit can be issued. The broker then sells the company, and the permit attached to it, to an investor who actually intends to develop the land.The allure for brokers is obvious. They can conjure up assets worth millions of dollars simply by trading paper and exploiting connections with the politicians who issue permits and the companies that want them.In some cases, a broker may be a front for, or acting on behalf of, a politician. As a KPK prosecutor told us, it would be “suicide” for a politician to put their own name on a company — it would be obvious they were acting to enrich themselves. But by putting the names of relatives or associates on corporate records and using them as proxies to carry out the deal, they can monetize their control over land in a way that avoids detection.This red flag can be identified by examining the date a company was formed and when changes in ownership took place, either through company profiles obtained from the law ministry or stock exchange announcements posted online. That date can then be cross-referenced with the date the company acquired permits, either through permit databases or, again, stock exchange announcements.If a company was formed, licensed and sold in a small window of time, it is a strong clue that the people behind it had no intention of actually developing a plantation, and it could well be a vehicle for selling permits. While this is not necessarily illegal, it raises questions over the politician’s motive for issuing permits to such a company, and it raises the prospect that they benefited from it.The following stock exchange announcement from 2012 shows how three brokers formed a company in March 2012, obtained a permit four months later, and agreed a deal to sell almost all of their shares in the company a month after that.A stock exchange announcement for the purchase of a shell company holding permits for land in Gunung Mas, Central Kalimantan.We have published two investigations in which these permit-trading schemes were deployed by cronies and relatives of politicians, and were likely used to directly or indirectly benefit the politicians.Red flag: deals involving politicians’ family members and associatesWhere land deals involve the close associates or even family members of a politician, such individuals may be acting on behalf of the politician to disguise the fact that the politician is benefiting from it. It may be an act of nepotism — itself a criminal offense in Indonesia.The vendors in land deals can often be identified through stock exchange announcements. Online research or interviews with people familiar with the political landscape in the relevant jurisdiction can identify connections between the vendor and local politicians.In the case highlighted above, the stock exchange announcement named one of the three men who formed and sold the company as Cornelis N. Antun.Stock exchange announcement for the purchase of a shell company formed by Cornelis Nalau Antun and two partners.Court records and news reports reveal that Cornelis Nalau Antun was in fact the protégé of Hambit Bintih, the bupati of Gunung Mas district in central Borneo. Cornelis also served as the treasurer of Hambit’s election campaign. Stock exchange announcements showed how permits issued by Hambit transformed Cornelis’s shell companies into a $9.2 million asset.It is not unknown for the children of district heads to be named as shareholders in shell companies used in permit-trading schemes. This practice featured in our 2017 investigation into the plantation boom in central Borneo’s Seruyan district.Red flag: issuing permits close to electionsStudies by the KPK, research by political scientists, and our own investigations have provided irrefutable evidence of the connections between election financing and plantation permits. Elections for district head and provincial governor are expensive, with the costs far exceeding the campaign finances available through legitimate sources.It is possible to identify cases where there is a risk licenses have been used to finance election campaigns by looking at when permits were issued and when companies were traded.This is an imperfect approach: there are legitimate reasons for these things to occur close to election time. But the closer they occur to an election, the more attention they merit.Stock exchange announcement for the purchase of a shell company formed by Cornelis Nalau Antun and two partners.In the case referenced above, Hambit, the Gunung Mas bupati, issued an IUP to a company owned by his protégé, Cornelis, on July 31, 2013, a little over a month before he stood for re-election. He issued another principle permit (left in the graphic) on Sept. 11, seven days after the vote.Another investigation we published recently showed how Theddy Tengko, the bupati of Aru Islands district, issued a spate of permits to a single company to develop a giant sugar plantation less than a week before the vote for his re-election. The licensing process betrayed multiple instances of illegality, and Theddy was later convicted of corruption for unrelated offenses.The Mining Advocacy Network, or JATAM, an Indonesian environmental NGO, has analyzed permit data across the country. In several districts, it found a spike in new permits for mines in election years and the following year.Red flag: multiple permits issued in a single jurisdiction in a small window of timeIndividual plantations are capped in Indonesia at 200 square kilometers (77 square miles), more than three times the size of Manhattan. Companies can obtain several plantations through different subsidiaries, up to a limit of 1,000 square kilometers (386 square miles). (The allowable size of individual concessions and the total is doubled for companies operating in Papua and West Papua provinces).Where multiple individual companies obtain permits on the same day, or in a small window of time, it is an indication they may be controlled by the same investor. In some cases, they might do this to exceed the statutory limits on the area assigned to one company. In the Aru Islands, for example, Theddy Tengko issued permits to one group amounting to more than double the legal limit.The land concessions issued by Theddy Tengko in Aru.Even where they remain below the limit, such cases merit attention because the risks of corruption are greater. By issuing multiple permits, a politician can generate an asset worth many millions of dollars for a company, several times larger than if a single license was issued.This section of a plantation permit database from Central Sulawesi province provides a good illustration of this risk. The database shows that six companies obtained permits on the same day in June 2007, raising the prospect that the same investor is behind them, and that the bupati has created a huge — and potentially illegal — asset.Extract from a database of permits issued in Central Sulawesi showing location permits (second column from the right) and IUPs (right column).The potential illegality is suggested by other red flags. Two of the companies received IUPs (in the right column) on the same day as their location permits (left column), a strong indication the permits were expedited and the EIA process ignored. In the case of the other four, the IUPs were issued just three months later, which is likely still insufficient time to carry out an EIA.The election for head of the district in which these permits were issued took place on Nov. 5, 2007 — the same year the permits were issued. This provides no evidence of wrongdoing, but merits further attention due to the risk the licenses were connected to election financing. Identifying the shareholders of the companies through the government corporate registry (company profiles) and carrying out research into their connections would be a possible next step.Red flag: permits issued by a politician convicted of corruptionThe KPK has convicted dozens of district heads of corruption, for offenses ranging from accepting bribes, to procurement scams, to raids on state budgets. Many of these politicians have issued multiple licenses for plantations and mines. But where the corruption case is not connected to licenses, they do not come under investigation.To date, we have carried out three investigations into politicians who were convicted of unrelated corruption schemes, who also oversaw plantation projects riddled with improprieties. Yusak Yaluwo, the former bupati of Boven Digoel in Papua province, siphoned off money through the procurement of a shipping tanker, then signed documents for a mega plantation while he was in prison. Theddy Tengko stole the equivalent of $4.7 million from the district budget and then illegally issued IUPs in the absence of EIAs. Hambit Bintih bribed a judge, after he had issued licenses to his re-election campaign treasurer. In two of the cases, the plantation licenses remained in place.It does not automatically follow that a corrupt politician will solicit bribes for issuing permits, or trade them through nominees. But such cases are ripe for investigation. Corruption cases also leave an extensive body of evidence that can be used to support investigations into land deals.SummaryWhere they occur individually, none of the red flags we’ve identified provide strong evidence of corruption or any other form of illegality. Where a number of them occur in the same case, however, they paint a much more compelling picture. This nonetheless should still be viewed as a starting point to generate ideas for where further investigations could be directed.They could also be used to provide context and a better understanding of why other problems are occurring that are being investigated by activists or reporters. Why, for example, a company is consistently able to evade law enforcement for clearing beyond its boundaries. Or why a powerful local official has failed to support communities in their efforts to seek justice, after their land has been forcibly taken.Ultimately, examining permits and land deals in this way is a means to trace flows of money and assets, a process that is essential to holding power to account.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Timeforarms to outstay rivals in Mattis feature

first_imgTIMEFORARMS faces twin threats from Wayne DaCosta’s camp, IAN LINKS and HOVER CRAFT, but looks rather appealing at 52.0 kilos, coming off a good mile last month. Fitzroy Glispie has kept eight-year-old warrior TIMEFORARMS in good shape, always a dangerous horse whenever he drops to overnight allowance company, the level at which this afternoon’s 2000-metre Kenneth Mattis Memorial will be run. The race pits oldstagers such as seven-year-old HOVER CRAFT, TIMEFORARMS and other eight-year-olds such as former Horse of the Year, TYPEWRITER, and PHINEAS, against a young brigade led by half-their-age IAN LINKS and five-year-old SUPERLUMINAL. Despite having youth in their favour, SUPERLUMINAL and IAN LINKS will find the older horses no pushovers, especially TIMEFORARMS and HOVER CRAFT. Both horses have basically been riding out their conditions, having won at overnight allowance but simply can’t match up to open allowance unless facing a very cheap field. Having gradually made their way back to overnight allowance their respective trainers have been sharpening them this past summer, ready to pounce as soon as the class bottoms out. TIMEFORARMS, in particular, has the handicaps and form in his favour against SUPERLUMINAL, who finished last on his most recent outing, 14 lengths behind HOUDINI’S MAGIC and IAN LINKS a month ago at 1500 metres. SUPERLUMINAL had not trained well for that event but was expected to carry his form out of the Owen Silvera Memorial, a month prior, when he was beaten a length-and-a-half by WILL IN CHARGE. After chasing the pace down the backstretch, SUPERLUMINAL backed out of contention approaching the home turn and found nothing in the stretch run when asked by Omar Walker. The bay horse has not looked any better at exercise since and appears suspect, especially with topweight 126 lb at 10 furlongs. The other younger horse in the event with any semblance of form is IAN LINKS. However, he’s not light enough at 52.0 kilos to make up for the class that he lacks in a race which has the likes of his stablemate HOVER CRAFT, PHINEAS and TIMEFORARMS, who stormed from off the pace to beat him at 1500 metres in February. TIMEFORARMS, in particular, caught the eye when finishing third behind 14-1 upsetter ROYAL VIBES and UNCLE TAF at a mile on August 12, a race in which he had HOVER CRAFT and PHINEAS behind in fourth and fifth places, respectively. Returning at 52.0 kilos TIMEFORARMS should be the horse to beat coming from off the pace. Red-hot two-kilo claimer, Anthony Thomas, who has won 10 races in three race days, has the leg up. Thomas has been timing his finishes with almost perfection and can pull off a win at 10 furlongs with TIMEFORARMS. Not exactly a two-turn horse, TIMEFORARMS has performed creditably at 1820 metres to have as good a chance as any. Sitting level with SUPERLUMINAL on May 23, he was only three-quarter length behind his younger rival in the Mark My Word Trophy won by grade-one runner PERFECT NEIGHBOUR. Earlier this year, again at 1820 metres, he was a length and-a-half behind third-place HOVER CRAFT in the Bonnie Blue Flag Trophy narrowly won by FRANFIELD over BLUE DIXIE. HOVER CRAFT has trained well, 1:13.4 for six furlongs, last Saturday morning, and should be TIMEFORARMS’ biggest threat unlike PHINEAS, who, though one of the most consistent in the 10-horse field, is suspect at two turns. FORM IN HIS FAVOURlast_img read more

AG to brief Cabinet on findings

first_imgParking meter contractAt the upcoming meeting on Tuesday, Cabinet members will be briefed by Attorney General cum Legal Affairs Minister Basil Williams on his findings from reviewing the controversial Parking Meter Project contract between the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) and Smart City Solutions Inc. Government spokesman Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman on Thursday at the post-Cabinet press briefing disclosed that the AG had completed his contract review: “The Attorney General has completed his review and will make his report at the next Cabinet meeting.”In light of mounting concerns over the controversial project, Cabinet had ordered last month that the contract be reviewed by the State.The Parking Meter Project will see solar-powered parking meters installed along selected streets in Georgetown.While Government was reviewing the contract to ensure that the document is in compliance with local laws, Smart City Solutions has gone ahead with the project conducting demonstration exercises on how the parking meter works throughout the city. Persons are also seen conducting assessments on various streets in the city.This is being done in spite of mounting concerns over the lack of transparency in the deal, which persons say appears to be a shady one aimed at exploiting the populace.However, Kamau Cush, who owns the company implementing the project, maintained that the project is a legitimate one. In fact he had told reporters last month that he is not bothered by the review being conducted by Government and assured Guyanese that nothing illegal will be found.“There is no fleecing going on… We have everything to lose, we will be responsible for all the overhead, for the software, for the hardware – everything. The City of Georgetown and Central Government will have no financial responsibility in the installation or the operation of the project,” he pointed out.Furthermore, a United States-based Guyanese businessman disclosed that the contract was actually signed between the Town Council and Smart City Solutions, and not National Parking Systems as previously stated. He added too that when the joint venture between the two companies was formed, NPS was absorbed into Smart City Solutions, which he now claims is owned by Mexican Company – Operadora de Estacionamientos Bicentenario, S.A. de C.V.“Smart City Solutions is a subsidiary of Operadora de Estacionamientos Bicentenario, this is the parent company that is headquartered in Mexico City… NPS is no longer an entity that’s operating this parking system. The City of Georgetown signed a contract with Smart City Solutions. NPS is a shareholder in Smart City Solutions; Smart City Solutions is a subsidiary of Operadora de Estacionamientos Bicentenario, which is based in Mexico,” Cush had related to the media.This information comes in light of mounting concerns over the authenticity of the two initial companies – NPS and Smart City Solutions. Since the signing of the contract for the Parking Meters Project, several City Councillors have expressed scepticism about the project.In fact, Deputy Mayor Sherod Duncan had stated that he could not find proper information about NPS, which was believed to be the substantive company handling the project. Duncan had stated that the address given by Cush for NPS led to an address in New York City which housed the Atlanta City Bank.However, Cush had explained that no information could have been found about the company in the United States because its operation is based in Mexico City.last_img read more

Advanced voting results in as South Peace voters prepare for general election day

first_imgCutbank Community Hall, Fellers Heights, BC;Deveraux Elementary School, 4584 208 Road, Arras, BC;Doe River Hall, 3816 Rolla Road, Doe River, BC;Kelly Lake Community Centre, 107 Kelly Lake Road, Kelly Lake, BC;Parkland Elementary School, 5104 Parkland Road, Farmington, BC;Advertisement Peace River Regional District office, 1981 Alaska Avenue, Dawson Creek, BCPouce Coupe Community Centre, 5010 52 Avenue, Pouce Coupe, BC;Rolla Traditional School, 5167 405 Street, Rolla, BC;Tate Creek Community Hall, 15439 Frontage Road, Tomslake, BC; andTower Lake Hall, 5018 226 Road, Tower Lake, BC.Advertisement Electoral Area ‘E’Chetwynd District office boardroom, 5400 North Access Road, Chetwynd, BC;Jackfish Community Hall, 1515 Old Jackfish Road, Jackfish, BC;McLeod Elementary School/Community Hall, 8025 265 Road, Groundbirch, BC;Moberly Lake Community Hall, 6494 Lakeshore Drive, Moberly Lake, BC; andPeace River Regional District office, 1981 Alaska Avenue, Dawson Creek, BC. Mile 0 City encourages all eligible voters in the South Peace to make their voices heard by casting their ballots tomorrow, unless they have already done so. Check back with Mile 0 City tomorrow evening for the election results, which will begin to be reported shortly after 8 p.m. when the polls close.center_img In Dawson Creek, 262 residents cast their ballots during their second advanced opportunity on Wednesday. A total of 480 advanced votes were received, only slightly more than the 460 received in the last civic election in 2008.Dawson Creek voters will be going to the polls on Saturday to elect six city councillors from a field of 15 candidates, as well as two trustees to the board of School District 59 from a field of three candidates. Voting takes place between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. at the EnCana Events Centre.Pouce Coupe held its first advanced voting opportunity on Wednesday, and 17 voters participated. Village residents will choose a mayor from two candidates running for that seat, as well as four councillors from a list of five candidates. Voting takes place at the Village Office from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.- Advertisement -The second advanced voting day in Tumbler Ridge was on Monday, and 59 voters participated, for a total of 116 ballots cast during both days. Tumbler Ridge has two candidates running for mayor and eight candidates running for six seats on district council. Tumbler Ridge voters will cast their ballots tomorrow in Room 5 of the Community Centre between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.Two days of advanced voting wrapped up on Wednesday in the District of Chetwynd, and 87 residents cast votes to elect a mayor and council. Tomorrow, the remainder of Chetwynd voters will go to the polls to elect a mayor from two candidates running for that seat, and six district councillors from a field of nine candidates. Voting will take place at the Municipal Office between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. There will also be a special voting opportunity at 1 p.m. tomorrow at the Chetwynd General Hospital for staff and patients who are eligible voters.The Municipal Office in Chetwynd also acted as a polling station for Electoral Area E on both advanced voting days, and 19 voters total participated from the rural area. The Peace River Regional District office in Dawson Creek was the other advanced voting station for that area, and five voters cast ballots, for a total of 24 votes cast from Electoral Area E on both days. Voters from that area will elect a director to the regional district board from two candidates running.Advertisement The regional district office was also an advanced voting station for Electoral Area D, and 52 voters participated. Faye Salisbury, chief election officer for the Peace River Regional District, said that was a “pretty good turnout” for Area D, and she attributes the fact that voters no longer have to submit a sworn statement about why they can’t participate in the general election day to take part in advanced voting as a reason for the increased turnout. Area D voters will elect a regional director from one of three candidates running.Voters in Electoral Areas D and E can cast their votes from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the following locations:Electoral Area ‘D’Bessborough Hall, 6888 243 Road, Bessborough, BC;Advertisementlast_img read more

Griezmann brace fires Atletico to top

first_imgVictory takes Atletico top on goal difference from champions Barcelona.Both Barca and Real Madrid are in action on Wednesday when they travel to Celta Vigo and Athletic Bilbao respectively.“The early goal put us on the road to victory,” said Atletico boss Diego Simeone.“We played well for the first 10 minutes and improved a lot in the last 20 minutes.“In between we couldn’t create the chances to kill the game and allowed them to have good opportunities, particularly one just before and after half-time.”Simeone made six changes to the Atletico side that won 2-0 at Eibar on Saturday and the hosts got off to a flying start.A corner was only cleared as far as Gabi on the edge of the area and his ball back into the danger zone was expertly controlled and finished by Griezmann.Yannick Ferreira Carrasco was one of those given his chance to impress and the Belgian fired just wide as Atletico continued to push forward.Yet, it was Getafe who ended the half the stronger as Jan Oblak had to get down well to divert on-loan Celtic striker Stefan Scepovic’s drive to safety.The visitors had an even better chance to level on the hour mark when Pedro Leon fired wide with just Oblak to beat.Simeone responded by introducing Martinez for the ineffectual Fernando Torres.And despite again failing to get on the scoresheet, the Colombian unselfishly teed up Griezmann to fire home his fifth goal of the season.Elsewhere, Valencia’s poor start to the campaign continued as Victor Alvarez’s first-half goal was enough to give Espanyol a 1-0 win.Los Che have managed just five points from their opening five games and coach Nuno Espirito Santo was subjected to calls for his resignation by fans during Saturday’s 0-0 draw at home to Real Betis.However, the pressure on former Manchester United manager David Moyes was eased as his Real Sociedad side claimed their first victory of the season, 3-0 at Granada, thanks to an Imanol Agirretxe hat-trick.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Atletico Madrid’s forward Antoine Griezmann celebrates after scoring a goal during a Spanish league football match against Getafe at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on September 22, 2015. PHOTO/AFPMADRID, September 23- Atletico Madrid moved to the top of La Liga as Antoine Griezmann’s double handed them a 2-0 win over Getafe on Tuesday.Griezmann got the hosts off to the perfect start after five minutes and then sealed the three points despite an otherwise unconvincing Atletico display from Jackson Martinez’s stoppage time pass.last_img read more

Abramovich prepares for life after Mourinho

first_img0Shares0000Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho reacts during the English Premier League soccer match between Everton FC and Chelsea FC at Goodison Park in Liverpool, Britain, 12 September 2015. PHOTO/EFELONDON, December 18 –  In search of the 10th manager of his 12-year tenure as Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich appears no nearer to his dream of owning a self-sustaining, crowd-pleasing football team.Jose Mourinho, sacked on Thursday, came back to Chelsea in 2013 vowing to build a legacy, but he instead brought characteristic short-term success, followed by a staggeringly rapid collapse. He leaves behind a squad full of underperforming big-name players such as Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard and in which highly regarded youngsters like Ruben Loftus-Cheek remain desperately short of top-level experience.Abramovich is a known admirer of Pep Guardiola, who has given youth its head at both Barcelona and Bayern Munich and instilled playing systems based on intricate, passing football.Guardiola, though, is tipped to join Manchester City, where owner Sheikh Mansour has stolen a march on Abramovich by installing the Catalan’s former Barcelona allies Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain.Abramovich has been snubbed by Guardiola before and with Manchester United also felt to be a potential destination for the Bayern coach, the Russian may miss out on his man again.After nine defeats in 16 league games, Chelsea’s squad is clearly in need of a jolt and it is therefore little surprise to see Diego Simeone and Antonio Conte high on the list of potential long-term successors.Both coaches are passionate and relatively young (Simeone is 45, Conte 46) and exponents of aggressive, in-your-face football.Neither would be afraid to ruffle feathers, but Simeone is under contract at Atletico Madrid until 2020 and Conte has his sights set on leading Italy into battle at Euro 2016.Former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti is another candidate, but in the short term Guus Hiddink is the leading contender to return to Stamford Bridge on an interim basis.The Dutchman, 69, enjoyed success in a similar role in 2009, stepping in after the dismissal of Luiz Felipe Scolari and steering Chelsea to FA Cup glory, although his stock has fallen in the years since.First-team coach Steve Holland could be asked to take charge for Saturday’s home game with Sunderland if an appointment cannot be made in time.– Clean slate -Chelsea’s fans will mourn the departure of the club’s greatest manager, having noisily broadcast their support for Mourinho throughout recent games.But former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp, cousin of Chelsea great Frank Lampard, believes the players will relish the chance of a clean slate.“A lot of players who have fallen out with him will be pleased to see the back of him,” Redknapp said.“This is a wonderful opportunity for someone coming in because make no mistake, whoever comes in, that club is going to fly now. They’re going to win a lot of games and in a way prove it’s not just about Jose Mourinho.”Paris Saint-Germain await Chelsea in the Champions League in February, but the new manager’s immediate priority will be steering the club clear of the relegation zone.Chelsea face four matches in 16 days over Christmas, with home games against Sunderland and Watford followed by trips to Manchester United and Crystal Palace.Mourinho would have relished the December 28 trip to Old Trafford, but there are suggestions that, with Louis van Gaal still struggling to convince, he could find himself sitting in the home dug-out there before long.“Louis van Gaal will be looking behind him,” former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson told Sky Sports News.“If it doesn’t go well for Man United in the next week or two, I think they might look and think, ‘One of the best managers in the world of football is available. Let’s get him.’”PSG and Bayern have also been touted as potential destinations for Mourinho, who could also be tempted by a return to Inter Milan.In the meantime he retreats to the sidelines, just as he did in September 2007, when Abramovich’s vision for Chelsea caused their first parting of the ways. There is unlikely to be a third.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Chelsea agree deal with Atletico Madird for Filipe Luis

first_img1 Chelsea have reached an agreement with Atletico Madrid to sign Brazilian left-back Filipe Luis.The 28-year-old, who is yet to agree personal terms at Stamford Bridge, is poised to become the Blues’ second signing from Atletico in the last 24 hours after striker Diego Costa completed a transfer to London on Tuesday.A statement published on Chelsea’s official website read: “Chelsea Football Club can confirm an agreement has been reached with Atletico Madrid for the transfer of Filipe Luis.” Filipe Luis last_img read more