Santo Antônio mega-dam on Brazil’s Madeira River disrupts local lives

first_imgArticle published by Glenn Scherer Agriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Dams, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Mining, Amazon People, Amazon Soy, Controversial, Corruption, Dams, Drivers Of Deforestation, Energy, Energy Politics, Environment, Environmental Politics, Featured, Flooding, Forests, Green, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Industrial Agriculture, Infrastructure, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Mining, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Mining, Rainforests, Rivers, Saving The Amazon, Social Justice, Soy, Threats To The Amazon, Traditional People, Tropical Deforestation 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 overSponsoredcenter_img The Santo Antônio mega-dam built in the Amazon has heavily impacted the traditional communities displaced from their homes on the Madeira River. Many local residents were relocated from the riverside to cities, and seriously uprooted from their lifestyles, livelihoods and cultures.These local communities say that neither the Santo Antônio Energia Consortium, which built the dam, nor the government have been responsive to their allegations of polluted water, lost fisheries, lack of jobs and difficult urban living conditions.Analysts agree that the close relationship between the Brazilian government and large dam building consortiums, energy firms, mining companies and agribusiness – all profiting heavily from new dams – has resulted in local concerns being poorly addressed or ignored in the past.Experts also say that the Amazon dam building surge of the past few decades is likely to continue as Brazilian funding sources like the BNDES development bank dry up, but China steps in to fund mega-dams, and smaller hydro projects. Socio-environmental harm could easily escalate. While the Santo Antônio dam benefits the consortium that built it, as well as mining, energy and agribusiness interests, the infrastructure project has harmed local communities, according to critics. Image by Hely Chateaubriand.Six miles southwest of the Brazilian city of Porto Velho, the Santo Antônio mega-dam – constructed in 2012 – stands like a wall blocking the flow of the Madeira River in Rondônia state. Eighty miles upstream lies Jirau, a second new hydroelectric plant, completed in 2016.Like many dams in the Brazilian Amazon, these two have drastically impacted the ecology and dynamics of the river on which they are located, along with local lives – while dam builders, operators and government are slow to respond with help.“We began noticing differences with the water in 2013 when the dam was raised. It suddenly smelled very strange,” says Ana Flávia Nascimento, who has lived in the community of Jaci-Paraná, located between the two dams, for more than seventeen years.A rise in reservoir water levels at the Santo Antônio dam – accomplished to increase energy production – have caused groundwater to rise higher too. Now at the same level as city sewers and cemeteries, the local aquifer for the entire area is contaminated, according to critics.“In the past, we drank from our wells,” Flávia explains. “Now everyone has to buy their drinking water,” an added cost that can be a hardship for poor families.Santo Antonio Energia representative and biologist Kaio Ribeiro expresses his views regarding public complaints against the dam consortium. Image by Hely Chateaubriand.The Santo Antônio Energia Consortium that built and operates the dam, and chosen by the Brazilian government for the project, is ambivalent to the complaints; the consortium is made up of large Brazilian construction and energy companies, including Odebrecht and Andrade Gutierrez, as well as partly state owned companies and investment funds like CEMIG and Furnas.Kaio Ribeiro, a biologist and environmental coordinator at the Santo Antônio dam and employee of the consortium, admits that water quality has declined in Jacy Parana, but he calls the locals opportunists, and says that they don’t want to connect to the new water network the company installed.“They have no interest in solving the conflict,” says Riberio. “They are just looking for financial compensation.”Local representatives of the Movement for those Affected by Dams (MAB), however, dismiss the claim that there is ready access to clean water, and explain that the water supply the consortium installed served only a small area, and that the residents of that area have since been relocated when a heavily opposed expansion of the dam was carried out. Today, the legal conflicts between locals and the consortium remain numerous and contentious.The traditional river people, known as Riberinhos, are highly adapted to their surroundings and live in harmony with the seasons and pulse of the river. The dam has disrupted this subsistence way of life. Image by Marcela Bonfim.Dams often fail to serve those most impactedThe water problems in Jaci-Paraná are not unique. A report from the World Commission for Dams (WCD) highlights the social and environmental problems arising with dam construction, and documents the failures by builders and governments to find solutions to aid locally affected people.However, the theme put forth by dam proponents remains consistent: national economic growth is touted to justify new dams, while the negative consequences are concentrated locally, and either ignored or minimized. People impacted by dams are often forced to relocate and to change their lifestyles and livelihoods. Many times these effects ­­– sometimes involving a drastic shift from subsistence to a cash economy – are difficult to foresee, hard for traditional and indigenous people to adapt to, and nearly impossible to compensate.Meanwhile at the local bus station in Jaci-Paraná, Flavia taps her colorfully painted nails on the side of the pink moped helmet she holds in her hands. “We weren’t completely opposed to the dams in the beginning,” she says. “The whole town believed in the dream,” but then she laughs bitterly. “They [promised] progress and benefits, but we have only seen the negative sides. In the past, this was a community depending on [the Madeira River] fishery. Now it’s forbidden to fish in the dam reservoir.” This is because Brazilian law prohibits fishing 1,000 meters upstream and downstream from hydroelectric plants.Many riverside communities were nearly self-sufficient before the dams were built, and lived from fishing and cultivation of tropical fruits like cupuaçu, açaí and babaçu. Forced to move away from the river to the outskirts of cities, people are now confronted by a multitude of social, economic and cultural problems.“Their [traditional] culture quickly disappears when they move away from the pulse of the river,” explains Porto Velho-based anthropologist Lucileyde Feitosa.Federal public prosecutor Raphael Bevilaqua represents a group of fishermen who were forced to move due to the dam. “The condition [guaranteed by the builders] was that their [local community] lifestyle could continue or improve. But what happened in the majority of the cases was that the quality of life deteriorated. Those who previously had a fair income, now have nothing; they live under miserable conditions, [dependent on] government grants.”It isn’t only fishermen who lost their livelihood, Feitosa points out, but also the buyers and sellers of fish in the city; thus, new dams can have repercussions for the entire local economy.Aerial view of the Santo Antônio mega-dam on the Amazon’s Madeira River. An archaeological excavation preceding dam construction revealed traces of numerous past indigenous cultures. Image courtesy of Santo Antonio Energia.Why dams? And why the Amazon?It isn’t a coincidence that so much dam building takes place in the Amazon; the region’s rivers do possess plentiful hydro energy potential. The Brazilian government and dam building companies often justify their hydroelectric plans by painting the Amazon as a poor, backward region; with the dams presented as bringing development, prosperity, jobs and progress.The placement of dams in the Amazon also needs to be understood in a geopolitical global context. “Nobody would accept the consequences [of building these mega-dams] in Europe. That’s why they are built in places like Brazil,” says Philip Fearnside, Professor of biology at the National Institute of Amazonian Research (INPA).Fearnside is well known for his 40 years of research on human influences in the Amazon, and especially for his study of, and outspoken views about, dams. His small office is filled floor to ceiling with books and research papers. He explains who owns the dams, who pays for them, and who doesn’t generally benefit.The dams have been funded, Fearnside says, mainly with Brazilian tax dollars distributed through BNDES, Brazil’s state development bank ­– one of the biggest such banks on the planet. But even though BNDES paid more than 70 percent of the costs for building the Santo Antônio dam, most river communities downstream of Porto Velho failed to benefit: they still lack access to the electric grid.The local river community of Nazaré has little access to electricity, despite its proximity to the Santo Antônio hydroelectric dam. Image by Marcela Bonfim.Stranger still is this contradiction: Brazilians pay one of the highest prices in the world for electricity, despite the fact that the major government argument for developing hydropower is that it is cheaper to produce than many other types of energy.The reason for the high energy bills: most of the hydropower produced (though generated by large dams paid for by Brazilian tax dollars through BNDES) is owned by the consortiums, powerful alliances usually consisting of private and state-owned construction firms, energy companies and investment funds, many of them transnational in nature.A key partner in these business alliances, often not noted when dams are built, is the electro-intense mining industry which needs massive amounts of electricity to process gold ore, as well as bauxite to produce aluminium. These transnational mining companies ­– including U.S.-based Alcoa, Brazil’s Vale and many Canadian firms – receive massive amounts of state subsidized energy, amounting to over 35 per cent of the country’s total consumption, most of it produced by hydropower and distributed via the Brazilian electrical grid.The Brazilian minister for mines and energy did not respond to Mongabay’s request for comment for this story.Another important player, and beneficiary, is the industrial agribusiness sector. Dams tame Amazon rivers, turning them into industrial waterways – canals that reduce the cost of transporting soy and meat from Brazil’s interior and to the coasts for export.Most of Brazil’s crops and mineral commodities are exported to China and Europe, meaning that the rapid growth of Amazon hydropower in recent decades has been driven by transnational and large Brazilian mining, energy and commodities trading companies serving global economic demands rather than the nation’s domestic needs.A fishing boat seen at twilight as dam lights brighten in the distance. Traditional communities are forbidden from fishing within 1,000 meters of the dam, which limits their catch. Image by Marcela Bonfim.Business and politics mixMany of these transnational companies, along with large Brazilian firms, have forged very close relationships with the Brazilian government.Few eyebrows are raised over the fact that the current Minster for Agriculture, Blairo Maggi and his family, own and operate Amaggi, a world-leading soybean producer, which stands to benefit greatly from the construction of new industrial waterways. Or that Brazil’s newly replaced Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles is also on the board of JSB, an international meat company. A similar politico-business link is found in president elect Jair Bolsonaro’s choice for Agriculture Minister, Tereza Cristina, the leader of Brazil’s bancada ruralista agribusiness lobby and an active agricultural producer.Being both a politician and entrepreneur is not only common in Brazil: it’s custom – just as it is in many nations around the globe. However, critics say that the highly market-oriented and big business friendly government of interim President Michel Temer has taken these relationships to new levels of intimacy, which according to some critics, is weakening Brazil’s democracy.“We are seeing a hollow democracy in Brazil today,” says Luis Novoa, head of the sociology department at Rondônia State University (UNIR). According to Novoa, the country has become a corporate dictatorship where politicians are for sale.A striking example of the fraternization between Brazilian politicians and the business community is the colossal bribery scheme revealed in 2014 by the Lava Jato (Car Wash) corruption scandal. Odebrecht, the major Brazilian construction company and shareholder in the Santo Antônio dam, played a major part in this scandal. For years, a ”bribery department” within the company paid hundreds of millions of dollars to corrupt government politicians in countries on three continents. This was done to gain advantageous construction concessions for infrastructure projects, including mega-dams.More than 200 Brazilian politicians, from the full spectrum of political parties, are currently under investigation for receiving bribes, including several of Temer’s ministers and even the interim president himself.But the problem is even bigger than corruption and bribery, says sociologist Novoa. He believes that Brazil’s government has become subordinate to the commercial market, a development seen in nation states around the globe.“The economic power is so concentrated [in a few large Brazilian and transnational companies] that the government cannot be said to act autonomously,” says Novoa. “Companies can more or less come to the government agencies and decide what they need. The dam companies’ promises of development, progress and jobs are used as propaganda to change the rules to suit their agenda. Backed by the government, the companies have more or less privatized the rivers of the Amazon.”According to Santo Antonio Energia, there have been no significant changes in aquatic ecology since the dam’s construction, a point of view not accepted by many local inhabitants. Image by Hely Chateaubriand.Environmental licensing as rubber stampCounter intuitively, Brazil possesses very strict environmental laws that should, in theory, prevent corporate needs from short circuiting the public good. For example, extensive environmental licensing processes – including viability studies, impact assessments and public consultations – precede dam construction.However, critics say that the licensing process has been reduced to a mere formality and rarely alters infrastructure plans. Some call these environmental assessments papel para gringo ver: paper to show the foreigners.A UNIR academic study for example, points out serious shortcomings in the socio-environmental impact assessment conducted for the Santo Antônio dam. The authors stress that more than a third of the potential consequences of the dam that were identified in the assessment were not followed up with any measures to compensate or minimize the predicted damage.For example, the dam building consortium’s proposed action to address “changed quality of life for the locals” was simply to “clarify this in advance.” Even the groundwater elevation that occurred in Jacy Parana was foreseen.When asked about the lack of compensating measures in the consortium’s PBA Projeto Básico Ambiental – a required document that outlines actions to mitigate impacts – Santo Antônio consortium representative Kaio Ribeiro shrugged and agreed that nothing was done.“Yes, that’s the way it is,” says Ribeiro. “There is no solution to elevation of groundwater; all we can do is keep monitoring.”The electrical transmission lines leading away from the dam connect with the Brazilian electrical grid. Critics say that the Santo Antônio mega-dam was built to benefit the mining industry and agribusiness. Image by Hely Chateaubriand.Analysts note that strong political pressure enabled the construction of Santo Antônio to stay on track, despite devastating criticism. According to Amazon scientist Fearnside, Santo Antônio and Jirau were the first cases of large dams where the views of IBAMA, Brazil’s environmental agency, were disregarded.“There were over two hundred pages from government experts who said that the dam permit should not be issued, which was circumvented by simply replacing the [IBAMA] licensing manager,” Fearnside said. “The new boss approved the preliminary license and was then promoted to the head of the agency, after which the operational licenses were approved.”According to Fearnside, the approval of these two dams set a dangerous new regulatory standard, resulting in the same disregard for environmental law seen during the construction of the Belo Monte mega-dam, which became operational in 2016.Despite internal conflicts that arose over inadequacies in the Belo Monte licensing studies within IBAMA, and despite the fact that indigenous groups in the affected areas brought more than twenty court challenges against the Norte Energia construction consortium, environmental licensing was approved and the dam was built. Indigenous and traditional riverine communities surrounding the Belo Monte dam have suffered the adverse impacts ever since.Children at play in the Madeira River community of São Francisco do Guaporé. Image by Marcela Bonfim.“Against the law”Dimis Braga, a federal judge in the Amazon state of Rondônia, agrees that large-scale infrastructure projects often have strong economic motives and are rarely stopped by Brazil’s environmental laws. Legal decisions that, on environmental or social grounds, prevent dams from generating energy are highly susceptible to defeat, he says, because of strong political pressure from the legislative  and administrative branches, which in turn are both greatly influenced by corporate lobbying.The entire legal system, and the entire edifice of a court case, can be overthrown by a single government trump card, an exception rule based on national and economic security built into the 1988 Brazilian constitution. The rule states that any Supreme Court judge can cancel decisions that risk “disturbing the economic order.” Thus, legal rulings that might benefit local people, or protect a river, but which could hinder construction of dams, can be annulled if the decision is found to harm the economy or endanger national security. This rule, called contra lei – literally meaning “against the law”– is widely used in hydroelectric dam legal conflicts. Braga describes it as an authoritarian “leftover from the military dictatorship that has not yet been completely wiped out of our legal system.”This rule was used more than twelve times in 2013 alone while the Belo Monte dam was being built, and according to Fearnside, there is little political or public pressure to change the law. ­­­“Most people in Brazil don’t know [it] exists,” he explains.Porto Velho public prosecutor Raphael Bevilaqua adds that it is very difficult to make community legal cases against dam consortiums, partly because of the vast economic disparity between moneyed interests and impoverished locals. “We don’t have the capacity to make the studies that the company can. It’s like fighting an army with a stick,” he says.Moreover, socio-environmental conflicts in Brazil have become notoriously dangerous to activists. In 2016, one of the local MAB leaders, Nilce de Souza Magalhães, better known as “Nicinha,” disappeared and her remains were found six months later close to her home at the bottom of the dam reservoir with her hands and feet tied to a rock. The murder is still under investigation; at least another 17 murders were committed in environmental and land conflicts in 2016 in Rondônia state alone. Brazil is the most hazardous nation for environmental activists in the world.Local activist Nilce de Souza Magalhães, better known as Nicinha, was found murdered, her hands and feet bound and tied to a rock, at the base of the Santo Antônio dam in 2016. Image courtesy of MAB.Amazon dam futureIn January 2018, two officials at Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) issued statements indicating a move away from mega-dam construction. Although seen as a promising win by environmental NGOs, indigenous people and local resistance movements, hopes that the country was downsizing its hydropower plans were quickly dashed.The Mining Ministry (MME) officials, Paulo Pedrosa, Executive Secretary; and Luiz Augusto Barroso, head of the Energy Research Enterprise department, were quietly sacked and replaced shortly after the two made the announcement.Likewise, Brazil’s official energy expansion plan contains little to imply a shift away from hydropower. At least 15 new dams – although smaller in scale than Santo Antônio and Belo Monte – are proposed for the coming decade. According to federal projections, hydropower will continue to grow more than any other energy sector in Brazil over the coming decade.Even the proposed São Luiz do Tapajós mega-dam in Pará state, put on hold in 2016, may soon be back from the dead, a “vampire project,” as some have dubbed gigantic infrastructure projects resurrected at a favorable political moment.Retired general Oswaldo Ferreira, in charge of infrastructure planning for newly elected president Jair Bolsonaro’s campaign, recently urged reopening feasibility studies for São Luiz do Tapajós, and also resumption of analyses for proposed Amazon hydropower dams with large reservoirs. The far right Bolsonaro, has also indicated his support for fast-tracking the infrastructure licensing process, limiting socio-environmental assessments to a mere ninety days, not near enough time to do proper scientific impact studies.The Santo Antônio mega-dam, one of the world’s largest hydroelectric projects. Brazil’s natural wealth, as reflected in powerful Amazon rivers, has helped prompt mega-dam construction. Image by Hely Chateaubriand.International pressure and resistance against mega-dams, in combination with Brazil’s current economic crises, has limited available funds for subsidized loans for mega-infrastructure projects in recent years. But as domestic funds dry up, China has stepped in, pledging to invest upwards of $250 billion in Latin American infrastructure over the coming decade, as it looks to meet domestic demand for goods like aluminium, soy and meat.If China invites Brazil to be a full participant in its global Belt and Road transportation and energy investment initiative, that move could herald many more large-scale infrastructure projects driven by foreign investors and built by Chinese state companies. Environmentalists warn that if Belt and Road is poorly managed, it could bring great harm to the natural world.A report published by Boston University on the future role of China in Latin America, however, deems it possible to exert control over hydropower development. It contends that some recent socio-environmental policy advances in the Amazon region came as the result of pressure from civil society and that, together with Latin American governments, there is now a need to hold the line against pressures to erode current protections.According to the report, pressure from international NGOs and independent monitoring organizations, and the implementation of compliance mechanisms, will be crucial in this process. Not least of all, the Chinese government, if it is to invest heavily in Latin America, will need to assume responsibility and a leadership role in safeguarding the environment and indigenous and traditional community rights, something that they, according to the authors, have previously shown themselves capable of doing.This means that governments and businesses must cooperate to not only ensure that infrastructure investment brings profit on the macro level, but they must also protect the Amazon and the living standards of people like Flavia on the micro level.Scientist Fearnside, when asked if he has hope for the Amazon’s future, responds: “I think it’s extremely dangerous to stop hoping.… It leads to fatalism and then you do nothing at all. Conversely, it’s just as dangerous to be too hopeful and imagine everything is heading towards the right direction, which also means you do not do anything. We must take a position in the middle that is constantly focused on action, whether you are a pessimist or not.”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.Looking at the Santo Antônio dam’s electrical generating facility from the Porto Velho city harbor. The Bolsonaro administration is sending signals that it will pursue an aggressive infrastructure construction policy upon taking over the government in January 2019. Image by Marcela Bonfim.last_img read more

UP wins 2nd place in Shell Eco-marathon in Singapore

first_imgFilipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Prince Harry: ‘No other option’ but to cut royal ties The eight students from UP Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute, led by King Marc Dimapilis on electronics and Johann Kenneth Alcantara on mechanics, bagged a prize of $2,000 (P100,400).Team “Dagisik,” a Filipino term for electron, also emerged as champions in the same category during the local version of the Shell Eco-marathon held in Pampanga last month.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnCONTRIBUTED PHOTO / Joseph Nair for ShellFifteen teams from 11 Philippine engineering schools competed against 109 teams from 19 other Asia-Pacific countries in this year’s Eco-marathon Asia, which gathered students to design, build and drive the most energy-efficient vehicles.Each team must build one of two types of energy-efficient cars: the prototype, a futuristic and highly aerodynamic vehicle; or UrbanConcept, a highly economical and innovative vehicle that resembles present cars. Teams must aim for the highest mileage with the least amount of energy used. Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely La Salle posts 3rd straight win, beats struggling UP Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘Bad Boys for Life’ debuts so good with box office top spot ‘1917’ takes top honor at the Producers Guild Awards LATEST STORIES MOST READcenter_img Duterte promises to look for funds to establish rail transport in Cebu Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos ‘It’s not my shame’: Why Filipino women are calling out sexual misconduct on social media The entries competed in three different categories based on selected energy source: internal combustion energy (gasoline, diesel, ethanol, gas to liquid fuel from natural gas or compressed natural gas); hydrogen fuel cell; and battery electric power.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Taal Volcano evacuees warned against going home CONTRIBUTED PHOTO / Joseph Nair for ShellTeam Dagisik UP of the University of the Philippines-Diliman won 2nd place in the UrbanConcept battery electric category in the recently concluded Shell Eco-marathon Asia in Singapore.Dagisik’s energy-efficient vehicle posted a mileage result of 107 km/kWh, a point lower from that of Vietnam’s Lac Hong University which had the best record of 108 km/kWh. Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember of Indonesia placed third with a result of 100 km/kWh.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

Spain hit Croatia for six

first_imgMADRID (AP): Luis Enrique couldn’t have asked for a much better start as coach of Spain’s national team. Two matches, two convincing wins against top opponents in the UEFA Nations League. Spain followed their gritty 2-1 win against England at Wembley Stadium last week with a 6-0 rout of World Cup runner-ups Croatia yesterday, keeping Enrique perfect since taking over as La Roja’s coach. It was the biggest defeat ever for Croatia, playing their first competitive game since reaching the World Cup final in Russia. The victory left Spain comfortably ahead in Group 4 of the top-tiered League A in Europe’s newest football competition, in good position to reach the tournament’s final four in June. In the other League A match on Tuesday, Belgium won 3-0 at Iceland in their Nations League debut. The Nations League gives UEFA’s 55 member countries competitive games and eliminates often meaningless friendlies. Luka Modric’s Croatia threatened early in the southeastern Spanish city of Elche, but Spain took control of the match by scoring three goals in 11 first-half minutes. Sa?l —Ìguez, who is becoming an undisputable starter in Enrique’s team, headed in a cross by Dani Carvajal in the 24th minute, then Marco Asensio hit two remarkable long-range shots in the 33rd and 35th to give La Roja a comfortable lead before half-time. His second strike bounced off the post and the back of goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic, who was awarded an own goal. Asensio, who was not among the starters against England, also set up Rodrigo’s goal early in the second half with a perfect through ball behind the defence. Sergio Ramos, one of the remaining members of Spain’s golden generation, added the fifth goal with a header off a corner kick in the 57th minute, and Isco closed the scoring in the 70th after another set up by Asensio. Other results: League B – Bosnia-Herzegovina 1 Austria 0; Finland 1 Estonia 0; Hungary 2 Greece 1 in Budapest. League D – Luxembourg 3 San Marino 0; Moldova 0 Belarus 0.last_img read more

My Ajee

first_imgWhoever could make two ears of corn or two blades of grass to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country than the whole race of politicians put together – Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s TravelsMy Ajee passed away last week in New York City. By sheer coincidence I’d already written my article published last week on my reaction to the death of an elderly patient on my watch – “First Crash”, when my father received word that his mother, my Ajee, had to be rushed to the hospital and she was critical. I wrote, “It’s impossible, I think, to be in that place and not think about your own loved ones. It’s impossible to avoid reflecting on whether you’ve spent enough time showing the people you love that you love them while you still have them in your life.” My Ajee was one of those persons I’d thought about.My Ajee, aged 30Since she lived in New York and I in Guyana, I only met her when we visited each other. With ten children, twenty-six grandchildren and sixteen great grandchildren I wondered how she remembered all their names much more their tiniest details, which she did. Of recent, she would faithfully read my articles in the New York edition of the paper – and complain bitterly on those weeks when they weren’t carried! She was a tad partial!But while I may not have been as lucky as my cousins and siblings residing in New York, we’re a family that’s constantly repeating the narratives handed down to us from our parents, and I do believe I knew her so well. As someone interested in history and the role of females in constituting that history, I’ve always been intrigued as to how she transitioned from her mother’s generation where females supposedly had much more “agency” and independence since they worked for wages of their own and were out of the home to one where she was “just a housewife”.But it seemed the times were changing and she and her parents were changing with it. She would gleefully regale us about how she “turned down” the offer from the family of a young goldsmith-to-be for my Aja, who was “tall and good looking” and who would (by sheer coincidence!) pass by her home every afternoon, just when she was “washing wares” at their outdoor sink. Her parents went along with her choice.She was determined to make her life a success and worked together with her husband to make their dreams a reality. She was a quiet woman but with a will of steel and was not deterred by her economic circumstances. She simply did what she had to do. She had thirteen children by the time she was thirty five, ten of them who survived. She scoffed at the “younger generation” of females making a fuss about childbirth!While she only went to primary school, she was determined that her children would receive an education and made great sacrifices to ensure that was accomplished. My Cha Cha’s and Poowas all recount the effect she had on them about imbibing good values with her stories taken from the Ramayan – but more so from her actions. She was very proud and never saw herself as “poor” even though by the official statistics she and her family were so defined. She would never accept a handout and made sure her debts were always paid.She was very bitter that conditions became so difficult during the seventies that most of the gains she had painfully made were wiped out. She was proud of the success she and my Aja carved out for themselves in New York, as well as the success of her children and grandchildren.My Ajee taught me a career is important to a woman but raising a family can also be fulfilling and merging the two can be achieved. She was a good role model for the modern woman.last_img read more

Bility Boasts ‘Surprise Support’ for FIFA Presidential Race

first_imgWith 75 days to the deadline of registration of candidates in the FIFA Presidential Bid, Liberia’s football chief, Musa Bility, has revealed that 13 countries have assured him of his nomination to replace Sepp Blatter.Mr. Bility said instead of the traditional five recommendations from member countries, he has received a surprise support of 13 countries up to yesterday and claimed that he is a potential candidate.Though, he failed to reveal the nations that pledged support to his nomination, as part of his pioneering strategy, he said they are from Europe and the Caribbean.He made the disclosure yesterday at the Headquarters of the LFA, attended by scores of sports journalists.“I received support and I’m surprised of it – I need five countries in writing – but up now I have support from 13 countries – and I don’t want to expose these countries as part of our strategy,” Mr. Bility said.“I am running for FIFA president that wouldn’t change – some people have limited vision and they want me to also have that limited vision – it’s good to think big and I’m running for FIFA President.”“There would be stumbles, but I wouldn’t be deterred, but would try to do whatever it takes – but the only painful thing is what comes out of my country,” Bility indicated.The LFA president stated that he is and strong confident and wouldn’t change his presidential bid.Mr. Bility, 48, said that he knows the “math and know what to go for the kill,” arguing that he has always been on the winning side.In the 2006 and 2011 Presidential Elections, Mr. Bility supported the Unity Party led government of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and in the latter was the chairman of the mobilization campaign for Montserrado County – and in both elections, President Sirleaf won.In the 2014 Special Senatorial Elections, Mr. Bility campaigned against the UP in favor of Sen. George Weah.Mr. Bility reiterated that his meeting with CAF, which was declined – was not about CAF endorsing him.Bility said the CAF meeting was an honor to gain their moral support, because their support cannot translate into votes.He stressed that it was merely a privilege to have had the opportunity to talk to the entire CAF Executive Committee, to answer questions – concerns, admirations – all the issues that are wrong with football, – but it was considered only an opportunity to explain his platform for the football top post.“I would love for CAF to endorse me but if on the 28th of October, CAF doesn’t support me, I would only salute them and move on,” Mr. Bility said. Meanwhile, Bility said though President Sirleaf endorsed his candidacy evidence of the appeal by Deputy Information Minister Isaac Jackson to Liberians to rally their support for him, there are many Liberians who think he shouldn’t run for the presidency.“There are many of you who don’t want me to dream my own dream – it’s my right to run, but most Liberians think I’m running to represent the country, so I shouldn’t run – but it’s wrong – I am running as Musa Bility from Liberia,” Bility said.Meanwhile, besides Bility, four persons have also registered their interest, they include: Michel Platini, President of UEFA; Netherlands Football Federation president Michael van Praag; Chung Mong-joon, former Fifa vice-president and Luis Figo, former Real Madrid Player.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Hoosiers too much for Illini to handle

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded cardWilmont provided the spark in the first half after Indiana fell into an early 11-point hole. Killingsworth scored 20 of his 23 points in the second half and also had 12 rebounds, one assist and four blocks. But Wilmont was every bit as impressive. He tied a season high with 17 points, matched his career-high with nine rebounds and sparked an 18-0 first-half run that gave Indiana the momentum it needed. After the game, Hoosiers fans poured onto the court, setting off a celebration that even Killingsworth joined. “I jumped right in there because I ain’t used to seeing that,” said Killingsworth, a fifth-year senior who transferred to Indiana from Auburn. “So I jumped in there with them.” For Illinois, it was a rare bad night. The Illini entered Tuesday with 55 wins in their last 57 regular-season games. They’d beaten Indiana five straight times and have now lost to only four Big Ten teams since Jan. 24, 2004 – Iowa, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Indiana. Shaun Pruitt led the Illini with a career-high 17 points. Brian Randle had 15 and James Augustine 11. Dee Brown, Illinois’ top player, was limited to five points but had 11 assists before fouling out. Illinois has now lost two of its last three, while Indiana has won 11 straight conference games at home. “Marco’s a good player and sooner or later he’s going to get some things,” Illinois coach Bruce Weber said. “In the first half we did a good job fighting him, but it’s tough. He’s just good.” At No. 5 Texas 80, Texas Tech 46 LaMarcus Aldridge scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Longhorns. Brad Buckman recovered from his latest leg injury to add 16 points and nine boards for Texas (15-2, 3-0 Big 12), which has won seven straight. Jarrius Jackson led the Red Raiders (10-8, 2-2) with 21 points. Tech coach Bob Knight is 2-8 against Texas in his five seasons with the Raiders. At No. 8 Villanova 73, Seton Hall 64 Randy Foye scored 19 points, Kyle Lowry had 14 and the Wildcats survived another tight one. Villanova (12-2, 3-1 Big East) got 12 points from Will Sheridan, the only true frontcourt player in its four-guard starting lineup. At No. 12 West Virginia 64, Providence 48 Kevin Pittsnogle scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help the Mountaineers win their 11th consecutive game. It is the school’s longest streak since winning 22 in a row during the 1988-89 season. West Virginia (13-3, 5-0 Big East) is also off to its best start in the league since joining 11 years ago. Mike Gansey added 18 points for West Virginia. At St. John’s 68, No. 17 Louisville 56 Eugene Lawrence matched his career high with 18 points and the Red Storm shook off a horrid first half to beat the Cardinals. Lawrence scored the Red Storm’s first 12 points of the game and he had 14 at halftime as the Cardinals took a 32-28 lead despite St. John’s shooting just 25 percent (5-for-20). No. 21 Boston College 63, at Holy Cross 53 Craig Smith scored 19 to surpass the 2,000-point milestone, and had a career-high 17 rebounds at the Eagles recovered from his slow start to beat the Crusaders. Smith, the school’s first preseason All-America selection, came into the game with 1,998 career points. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “I didn’t even think he could go,” Davis said. “But he fought through it and played a great second half.” The Fighting Illini (16-2, 2-2) had no answer for the Hoosiers’ tandem. center_img BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Mike Davis wasn’t even sure Marco Killingsworth could play Tuesday night. Fortunately for Indiana, Killingsworth’s back proved strong enough to carry the Hoosiers. Killingsworth overcame pregame back spasms to dominate the middle in the second half, and Roderick Wilmont scored 17 points as the 13th-ranked Hoosiers upset No. 7 Illinois 62-60. last_img read more

David Elleray believes video reviews will transform the game and spare referees

first_img1 The former Premier League referee is now the technical director for the IFAB The introduction of video replays to help referees could be the “most significant change” in football’s history, according to David Elleray.The former Premier League referee is now the technical director for the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the game’s law-making body that announced last year a two-year period of “live experiments” to trial video assistant referees (VARs).Thirteen countries signed up to take part in those trials, with three more, including England, following their progress closely.Speaking to reporters at Wembley this week, Elleray said the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and there is every chance VARs will be used at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.“It’s pretty daunting but it’s also exciting because it could change the face of football – it’s potentially the most significant change to football ever,” said Elleray.“It’s not a panacea but it could put an end to injustices like the (Thierry) Henry and Maradona goals, so it is a clear benefit.“We’re not looking for perfection but the 10 worst decisions of my career could probably have been changed pretty quickly with video.“All referees live with the scars of their worst decisions on their back; this will remove some of those scars.”The “Henry and Maradona goals” he referred to are two of football’s more memorable controversies, with clear handballs missed in crucial goals against Ireland in 2009 and England in 1986 respectively.Henry controlled a free-kick with his hand before teeing up William Gallas to score in a play-off and send France to the 2010 World Cup, while Maradona punched the ball past Peter Shilton at the 1986 finals in Mexico.As well as Elleray answering questions about the benefits of giving officials more assistance, the 62-year-old Englishman explained IFAB’s “minimum interference – maximum benefit” approach and how VARs will work in practice.The VARs themselves will be current or recently retired referees watching the action either in an on-site video room or truck, or at a central location, as is common in American sport. They will have access to at least six different camera angles and will view and review contentious incidents as the match progresses.They and the assistant referees will be able to recommend an official review but only the referee will be able to initiate one, which he or she will do by drawing an imaginary TV screen with their hands, just as in cricket and rugby.The referee must give a decision before a review can be made and he or she must always stay in sight. The review will take as long as it takes to get it right and will only reverse the original decision if it is a clear mistake.Elleray said the VARs are not intended to replace referees or break the flow of the game, so only decisions on goals, penalties, straight red cards and incidents where the wrong player has been penalised will be reviewed.FIFA has already trialled VARs at the 2016 Club World Cup in Japan and will do so again at the U-20 World Cup in South Korea in May, this summer’s Confederations Cup in Russia and the next Club World Cup in December.Last week, the Football Association said it was keen to start using VARs from the third round onward of next season’s FA Cup.Elleray added that VARs will never be “imposed” on any country or league, it will be an option. But he believes video reviews will improve player behaviour – in terms of foul play, simulation and interaction with the match officials – and even be a weapon against match-fixing.He also said referees should not worry about their bad decisions being corrected, as the experience from American football’s NFL is nobody remembers the original call as long as the right call is made in the end.last_img read more

Auf wiedersehen, USA

first_img“We want to take him everywhere before he goes, to explore different countries,” she said. Along with Noonan and the Jarquin brothers, two other American youngsters will be participating in Santa Fe Springs’ annual Sister City exchange program, as well as seven from Santa Fe Springs’ third sister city, Navojoa, Mexico. Jesus Dario Salvadorlepro, a high school student from Navojoa, said through Selenia Noonan’s interpretation that the most exciting part of the trip was “to get to know another culture, to get to know Germany’s history.” Salvadorlepro said he was very excited in general to get to go to Europe for the first time. Carbajal said that this year’s trip marks the 20th anniversary of the exchange program, which will be celebrated with a reunion party when they return in August. “After we get back home, there will be a reunion dinner and dance on Aug. 18 for everyone who has participated for the last 20 years,” she said. She said the sister cities program was started by President Dwight Eisenhower, “to promote peace through people coming together.” The exchange program has similar goals. “Our students get the opportunity to meet new people, explore new places, see things that they may never see again,” Carbajal said. Beannette De La Cruz is an embodiment of the program’s goals. She is excited to go to Germany to see her German friend, who she met when she stayed with the De La Cruz family last summer. “We still talk through the Internet,” she said. “This time I’m going to stay with her in Germany.” Carbajal said that students raise funds for a year or two in order to raise the money needed for the trip, by putting on pancake breakfasts, selling trips to Las Vegas or holding car washes. De La Cruz and fellow traveler Melissa Torres said they have been fundraising for two years. Torres is looking forward to taking in the scenery. “I really, really want to see Notre Dame, so I hope we go there,” she said, referring to a weekend trip to France the group will take while there. “I like all the sites. I’m going to take a lot of pictures.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Noonan, who just graduated from Southeast Academy, a military school, is excited both about going to Europe for the first time and about traveling with his cousins. “I’ll have people that I know that I’m traveling with. We’re really close and we get along,” he said. The older of the two brothers, Mario, participated in the exchange last summer. “I liked it a lot,” he said. “I’m glad I’m going again. It’s different but in a good way. There are buildings there that are older than our country.” Noonan has signed up for the Army and will be leaving for boot camp in September, his mother, Selenia Noonan said. SANTA FE SPRINGS – Amid piles of suitcases, smiles and hugs, the 12 youngsters heading for Tirschenreuth, Germany, excitedly milled around, hugging family members and shouting goodbyes outside Santa Fe Springs Town Center on Friday. Some of them have more in common than destination. This year’s trip is something of a family affair. Of the five Americans who headed for Tirschenreuth on Friday, three are closely related. Two brothers, Mario and Joel Jarquin, and their cousin, Joshua Noonan, will be traveling together. “We’ve had family members attend the program, but never at the same time,” said Francis Carbajal, the exchange program’s adviser. She added that the two Jarquin brothers are fluent in German. last_img read more

Liverpool sign world class talent when this happens

first_img 1967: Ray Clemence moved from Scunthorpe for £18,000 – Liverpool appear to have a thing for signing great players when the year ends in seven, beginning with Clemence, who is regarded as the greatest goalkeeper in Liverpool’s history. He was present for their era of dominance in the 1970s and 1980s during which the club won five league titles and three European Cups. He actually won every major honour except the Cup Winners Cup and missed just six games in his 11 years at Anfield. 1987: Liverpool paid Watford £900,000 for John Barnes – He arrived with Peter Beardsley and John Aldridge and had an incredibly huge impact. At the end of his first season, Barnes won a league title and both the PFA and Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year awards thanks to his fantastic displays of skill, and ability to score stunning goals. He was considered one of the most exciting players in Europe and won another league title in 1990 where he top scored with 22 goals. Liverpool have found a quality goal scorer, in the shape of summer signing Mohamed Salah.Bought from Roma in 2017 for £34million, the forward has scored more than 40 in all competitions in his first season.And the Reds have a history of great buys in the year ending in seven, as talkSPORT points out.Scroll through the gallery to see 50 years of great signings. 6 1997: Academy graduate Michael Owen makes his Liverpool debut – Newcastle had no answers for Owen’s brilliance 6 1977: Kenny Dalglish signed from Celtic in a £440,000 deal – Dalglish arrived as Kevin Keegan’s replacement in 1977, with Liverpool paying Celtic £440,000 for the privilege. He started with a goal on his debut against Newcastle and in 515 games, he scored 172 times. Known as ‘King Kenny’, he struck up a brilliant partnership with Ian Rush and later moved into the dugout. Dalglish won three league titles as Liverpool manager to go with the six he won as a player along with the three European Cups. The no.7 shirt is now iconic at Anfield. 6center_img getty 6 2017: Mohamed Salah was signed from Roma for £34m – A lot of money was spent on Salah in the summer, but right now he looks worth every penny. “You think of the great goalscoring wingers, and if he’s here for three or four years then he’s on the verge of eclipsing them all,” Jamie Carragher has said. In his first 18 games he scored 14 goals and manager Jurgen Klopp said he is already meeting expectations. “It’s all good so far. I like Mo, I really like his goals but I don’t have to talk too much about them because they are in the past. “I’m more interested in his statistics tomorrow night. But in our games, it’s not luck that he scored, he made really fantastic goals. He can build confidence off this.” 2007: Fernando Torres was signed from Atletico Madrid for £20m – Torres, 23 at the time, joined to much fanfare given his prolific reputation in Spain. He spent three and half years at Anfield and scored 81 goals in 142 games before agreeing to join Chelsea for £50m in 2011. However, in his first season on Merseyside he hit the back of the net 33 times and later struck up a great partnership with Steve Gerrard. He was the club’s best foreign signing before Luis Suarez’s arrival. 6 6last_img read more

LISTEN BACK: Colin Regan looks forward to tonight’s Leitrim Supporters’ Club launch

first_imgThe annual Leitrim Supporters’ Club launch takes place in the Celtic Suite of Croke Park on Thursday, January 18, at 7.30pm sharp. RTÉ’s Marty Morrissey will be the special guest at the hugely popular annual event for anyone with a Leitrim connection in the capital and surrounding counties.This year’s gathering also includes a special recognition by the Leitrim Supporters’ Club of the three Leitrim legends who, 60 years ago this year, won Railway Cup medals in 1958: Columba Cryan, Packy McGarty and Cathal Flynn. All three played for Leitrim in the most talked about game of them all, the famous 1958 Connacht final v Galway.Continuing the strong vein of talent to entertain at the gathering will be super-group Garadice, a collection of some of Leitrim’s finest musical exponents. MC on the night will once again be former Leitrim player Colin Regan, and he spoke to Ocean FM’s Darragh Cox on Sunday Sport.Organised by the Dublin Branch of the Leitrim’s Supporters Club, last year’s event drew 160 attendees and proved another highlight in the year’s social calendar.More used to interviewing than being interviewed, Marty Morrissey will find the tables turned as Leitrim Observer columnist and MC for the night, Colin Regan, puts the Clare man through his paces in a wide-ranging chat that will touch upon his stellar broadcasting career, his time as a player and a manager, and most recently, his turn on RTE’s hit show ‘Dancing with the Stars’.Prior to this, Leitrim senior team manager, Benny Guckian will outline his plans for the year ahead while County Chairperson, Terrence Boyle, will offer an update on all Leitrim GAA activities.The night will conclude with a special performance from Garadice. This exceptional quartet features Eleanor Shanley, one of Ireland’s foremost singers since her first appearance as the singer with traditional group De Danann, Padraig McGovern (who was taught uilleann pipes by master piper P.J. Flood and developed his music as a member of the Ceolas Céili Band), Dave Sheridan (whose playing style has been described as “free flowing and fluid, with sound technique and solid driving rhythm” and who has recorded two highly acclaimed solo albums as well as recordings with De Danann and Téada) and guitar and fiddle player John McCartin who has played with many noted bands including Lúnasa and Dervish.The night, of course, kick-starts a fundraising campaign without which the Leitrim County Board simply couldn’t continue its high level of work and investment in Leitrim teams on and off the field. Leitrim Supporters Draw Tickets (which this year include a prize of a trip to New York for the championship encounter in May) will be for sale on the night and all who buy one will also be entered in a raffle on the night containing some exceptional Leitrim-themed prizes.The event will take place on Thursday, January 18, in the Celtic Suite of Croke Park with parking available in the Cusack Stand car park (accessed through the GAA museum entrance off Clonliffe Road).Doors will open at the slightly earlier time of 7pm this year with the addresses and entertainment starting at 7.30pm sharp. Light refreshments will be provided at the interval with the night concluding at 9.15pm sharp. All are welcome to this free event and please let anyone with a Leitrim connection know it’s happening.last_img read more