UK goes a day without coal electricity

Coal-fired power generation contributes heavily to climate change; burning coal produces twice as much carbon dioxide as burning natural gas. “Symbolically, this is a milestone,” said Sean Kemp, a spokesman for National Grid, Britain’s power grid operator. In May last year, for instance, coal generation dropped to zero for the first time, but only for a few hours at a time. Last year, the share of coal in total power generation dropped to 9 percent, down from 23 percent in 2015 and 40 percent in 2012. In Switzerland, Belgium and Norway, “every day is a coal-free day,” said Carlos Fernandez Alvarez, a coal analyst at the International Energy Agency in Paris.

April 23, 2017 16:07 UTC

FDA hunts eggs over dioxin fears

By Lee I-chia / Staff reporterFollowing the recall of nearly 7 tonnes of eggs over fears they contain high levels of dioxin, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday said it has inspected 688 retailers and eateries and found them to be free of the questionable produce. Laboratory tests showed that eggs sold by a distributor in Miaoli County had dioxin levels exceeding allowable limits, with the eggs traced to three chicken farms in Changhua County, the administration reported on Friday. The administration said that since 2004 it has began inspecting food products that are more likely to accumulate dioxins, including meat, eggs and dairy products. Dioxins were detected in goose eggs in Changhua County in 2005, but last week’s case was the first time dioxin residues exceeding legal limits have been found in chicken eggs. As the agency is focused on tracing the origin of the dioxins found in the latest case, it will also consider expanding its eggs inspections, administration Director-General Wu Shou-mei (吳秀梅) said.

April 23, 2017 16:07 UTC

Religion, free homes spur Mumbai's bazaar revamp

It's smelly because there's sewage and garbage everywhere and the wooden stairs are really steep and dangerous. Three thousand two hundred families will receive new homes free of charge. Each will be a minimum of 32.5 square meters in size with private bathrooms and separate sleeping and living spaces. The first started around three years ago and the entire project is expected to be completed by 2025. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is taking a keen interest, hoping that the cluster redevelopment method can become a model for urban renewal across India.

April 23, 2017 16:07 UTC

Shareholders push for more info on political lobbying by US companies

NEW YORK -- Dozens of major U.S. companies are facing shareholder votes this spring that seek to require more disclosure about political lobbying, as activists demand greater corporate transparency. While still a minority of shareholders, these counts are high enough to force management to take notice, corporate governance experts say. "There's a general discomfort with the notion of corporate funds for political purposes," said Charles Elson, corporate governance chair at the University of Delaware Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics. Trade Groups in FocusCompanies are already required to account for annual lobbying expenditures in reports to Congress that detail the targeted issues and the amounts spent. They argue the companies should disclose their trade group memberships and the amount of money given to those groups that is then used for lobbying.

April 23, 2017 16:07 UTC

Icelandic language at risk as robots, computers fail to grasp its complexities

A number of factors combine to make the future of the Icelandic language uncertain. That is increasing the use of English as a universal communicator and diminishing the role of Icelandic, experts say. He has embarked on a three-year study of 5,000 peoplethat will be the largest inquiryever into the use of the language. Not A New CrisisConcerns for the Icelandic language are by no means new. The problem is compounded because many new computer devices are designed to recognize English but they do not understand Icelandic.

April 23, 2017 16:07 UTC



Palestine refugees mark 50 years of statelessness

As an adult, Abu Massoud was displaced again when Israeli forces captured Gaza, along with the West Bank and east Jerusalem, in 1967. Now 77, Abu Massoud is the white-haired patriarch of a refugee family spanning five generations, including a great-great-granddaughter. "Fifty years have passed without a step forward," said Abu Massoud. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which helps displaced Palestinians said they are no longer the world's focus. Abdullah Abu Massoud was born in a Bedouin encampment in what is now Israel.

April 23, 2017 16:07 UTC

Cosmos Hotel group eyes tourism in central Taiwan

By Crystal Hsu / Staff reporter, in TaichungCosmos Hotel & Resorts Group (天成飯店集團) has stood by its expansion plans in an increasingly competitive market by launching a new facility in Taichung to capitalize on tourism demand in central Taiwan. ICASA (回行旅), the second property under the group’s Cosmos Creation (天成文旅) brand, offers 100 rooms, the group’s assistant marketing director, Blythe Chao (趙芝綺), said in an interview on Wednesday. “Despite intensifying competition, the group pressed ahead expansion plans and is upbeat about a 70 percent occupancy for ICASA in the first year,” Chao said. Chao declined to elaborate on the third Cosmos Creation property except to say that it would have about 80 rooms. The Cosmos Creation brand was launched in 2013 to differentiate properties through features on local culture and customized designs, such as the Sun Dialogue Hotel (繪日之丘) in Chiayi, from its urban outlets like Cosmos Taipei (台北天成大飯店) and the Taipei Garden Hotel (台北花園大酒店).

April 23, 2017 16:07 UTC

Investor visa holder to be deported for working as ‘intern’

Staff writer, with CNAA Vietnamese woman who received a resident visa for investing in Taiwan is to be deported after she was found to be working as an “intern” at a dumpling store. The owner of the store said Nguyen had been working as an intern for about five or six days, learning how to make noodles and dumplings as well as order supplies from the franchise’s headquarters. Nguyen, 43, obtained a resident visa after investing US$200,000 to set up a company in September 2015 and came to Taiwan two months later. She said she should be treated as a white-collar investor and enjoy legal protection consistent with that status. She is to appeal her case to the Ministry of Labor, she added.

April 23, 2017 16:07 UTC

Wal-Mart wants suppliers to reduce greenhouse gases

As part of the goal, Wal-Mart says is to also reduce emissions in its own operations by 18 percent by 2025. The bulk of the reduction will come from suppliers, Wal-Mart senior vice president for sustainability Laura Phillips said. Wal-Mart has identified six areas where suppliers could focus their “clean” energy efforts: agriculture, waste, packaging, deforestation and product use and design. Reducing emissions beyond a company’s own operations can be challenging, as Dove soap maker Unilever has found. To make sure everyone is meeting those goals, Wal-Mart is working with nongovernmental organizations including the WWF and the Environmental Defense Fund to help suppliers track their progress.

April 23, 2017 16:07 UTC

Bill to propose CKS hall, statue moves

By Chen Wei-han / Staff reporterFollowing the decapitation of statues of former President Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and Japanese engineer Yoichi Hatta, a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker yesterday said he has drafted a bill that would repurpose the Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) Memorial Hall and relocate all the nation’s Chiang statues. DPP Legislator Pasuya Yao (姚文智) said that he would today begin seeking endorsements from other lawmakers for the bill, which would see the abolishment of the Organization Act of National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Management Office (國立中正紀念堂管理處組織法). The proposal seeks to shutter the memorial hall to remove all symbols associated with Chiang and then refurbish it for other purposes, and the relocation of all Chiang statues nationwide to Chiang’s mausoleum in Taoyuan’s Dasi District (大溪). “It is the government’s fault that different groups in society have taken to engaging in vandalism,” Yao said, referring to the statue decapitations. A statue of him was beheaded in Tainan earlier this month, allegedly by a former Taipei City councilor linked to a pro-unification group, as an act of revenge against the beheading of Chiang statues.

April 23, 2017 16:07 UTC

DPP might win at fishery association

By Chen Wei-han / Staff reporterThe Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is expected to take over a key position at the National Fishermen’s Association (NFA) from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), a source said yesterday. DPP-nominated Hsu Te-hsiang (許德祥), a former president of the Taiwan Provincial Fishermen’s Association (TPFA) — now the NFA — is expected to be elected NFA president tomorrow, an unnamed source from the DPP said. Hsu was named a legislator-at-large by the DPP in 2006 to fill the vacancy left by former DPP legislator-at-large Lin Choi-shui (林濁水). Hsu ran for TPFA president during former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) term, marking the first competition between the KMT and the DPP at the association. Compared with farmers’ associations elections, fishermen’s associations elections are less complex, and except for the fishermen’s associations of Chiayi, Jhongli, Hualien and Hengchun, where competition is fierce, this year’s local-level elections went smoothly, with most officials being re-elected.

April 23, 2017 16:07 UTC

Two years on from devastating earthquake, Nepal continues to rebuild

Nepal -- April 2017 marks the second anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Nepal, which took almost 8,860 lives, injured 22,000, damaged 602,257 houses, and rendered thousands of people homeless. The government, through the NRA, has begun to make serious efforts to respond to the needs in earthquake affected areas. Are the disaster response policies delivering justice to affected people, particularly marginalized and vulnerable communities, in practice? While reconstruction needs to be a key priority for the government, it must not overshadow other crucial needs of the affected people. Despite the damage, the earthquake has created an opportunity to reconstruct private homes, but also public infrastructure that is inclusive.

April 23, 2017 16:06 UTC

Savor some unpredictability as NBA playoffs begin

Say this about the NBA playoffs: It's usually quite predictable. 8-seeded Chicago, which needed a tiebreaker to slip into the playoffs on the final night of the regular season. He may not survive the opening round, but he's doing his best to extend one of the greatest seasons in NBA history. The Pacers have been competitive in every game, but James simply doesn't lose at this stage of the postseason. The list of legitimate championship contenders should be fully intact, since it's not very long to begin with.

April 23, 2017 16:06 UTC

Abusive Nastase banned as Fed Cup boils over

By Dave James -- Romanian tennis legend Ilie Nastase was sensationally kicked out of the Fed Cup on Saturday after a foul-mouthed rant compounded his controversial racial slur over Serena Williams's unborn baby. The day before, Nastase, a former world number one and two-time Grand Slam title winner, was overheard making derogatory remarks about US superstar Serena Williams's pregnancy. he said in Romanian, remarks then reported widely internationally, including by a British female reporter who he then berated, describing her as "stupid" and "ugly." The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said that Nastase had been expelled from the tie against Britain for "serious misconduct" and hinted at further punishment. Konta broke down in tears after the abuse and the match was held up for 25 minutes before Nastase was escorted out of the venue by burly security guards.

April 23, 2017 16:06 UTC

Benches cleared as Tigers beat Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins slugger Miguel Sano punched Tigers catcher James McCann in the mask Saturday during a bench-clearing scrap in the fifth inning of Detroit's 5-4 victory over Minnesota. There was plenty of pushing and shoving near home plate as both benches and bullpens emptied, though there did not appear to be any other punches thrown. Jones took a 90 mph fastball in the mouth from Twins reliever Justin Haley in the third and left the game. Rizzo connected in the first inning against left-hander Cody Reed (1-1), who was moved into the Reds' injury-depleted rotation. Nationals 3, Mets 1 Gio Gonzalez pitched no-hit ball into the sixth inning to win again at Citi Field as Washington beat New York for its sixth straight victory.

April 23, 2017 16:06 UTC




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