Call to “close” two Donegal islands over health and safety fears

first_imgA Donegal County Councillor has called for the closure of two Donegal islands in the interests of health and safety fears. Local county councillor Micheal Mac Giolla Easbuig said damage to roads and walkways on Gola and Owey Island was going to cause serious harm to visitors if emergency funding was not allocated in the next week.The issue was raised at a meeting of Glenties Municipal District on Tuesday. It is understood that funding has not been sanctioned from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for the islands in 2019.In 2017, over €600,000 was allocated to all of the islands, while last year €359,000 had been allocated – a 25% reduction in funding.However, Mac Giolla Easbuig said while the government spent money promoting the islands every year, the lack of proper infrastructure being implemented was ‘alarming’.Speaking to Donegal Daily, Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig said: “Not one red cent has been allocated for roads on any of the Donegal islands this year. “And recognising that money has been sanctioned in the past, which is fine, but I now have roads that are not safe to walk on never mind drive.”He added: “There is a huge contradiction here because the government will promote the Wild Atlantic Way and the Islands’ but fails to put any proper infrastructure in place.“So, without money being allocated very soon, some of the smaller islands need to be closed in the interest of health and safety.“Gola and Owey Island are not fit for purpose, you cannot even walk on the island, it is that dangerous.“And the last floods in August have done a lot of damage. “I have been out on the Islands’ recently and we need to get the government to announce proper funding so that we can fix the roads up to an acceptable level.“We have businesses that are doing a huge amount of work to promote our islands, the likes of Selkie Sailing, Ian Miller, Rapid Kayaking.“They are doing a colossal amount of work and the islanders themselves try to better their own community, but we are at a stage now were two of the islands that I mentioned are unfit to walk on. That is not even an exaggeration,” he added.“How can the state be telling people to come and visit the beautiful islands’ of west Donegal if they are not fit for purpose? “If a tourist asked me about going on Owey Island, I would tell them not too because it is not safe. It’s sad.“People can get seriously hurt because there are holes on the ground.“There are literal holes on the ground and someone could break a leg very easily.“We should be making these islands accessible to people of all abilities because a lot happens on them.“Even over the summer, there were summer camps and festivals and the state continues to fail it.“These issues shouldn’t have to be highlighted like this, it should be done because the community deserve better.”Call to “close” two Donegal islands over health and safety fears was last modified: October 11th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:callclosuregola islandMicheal Mac Giolla EasbuigOwey Islandlast_img read more

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Photo library: Business and industry 11

first_img{loadposition tc}Click on a thumbnail for a low-resolution image, or right-click on the link below it to download a high-resolution copy of the image.» Download Business & Industry contact sheet (1.8MB) » Download full image library contact sheet (10.5MB) Beaufort West, Western Cape province: Prospecting operations, looking for uranium reserves. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Beaufort West, Western Cape province: Prospecting operations, looking for uranium reserves. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Beaufort West, Western Cape province: Prospecting operations, looking for uranium reserves. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Beaufort West, Western Cape province: Prospecting operations, looking for uranium reserves. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Beaufort West, Western Cape province: Diamond core drilling at Katdoornkuil.Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Beaufort West, Western Cape province: Diamond core drilling at Katdoornkuil.Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province: The Cargo Hold Restaurant at the uShaka Marine World theme park is set in a real ship. Photo: Graeme Williams, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal province: The Gateway Mall is the largest shopping centre in the southern hemisphere. Photo: Graeme Williams, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape province. New cars parked at the harbour. Some of these cars were manufactured at factories in the region, while others have been imported for the local market.Photo: Rodger BoschMediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY 11: {loadposition business}Having trouble downloading high-resolution images? Queries about the image library? Email Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.last_img read more

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African rats sniff out landmines

first_imgA giant pouched rat hard at work sniffingout landmines.(Image: Sylvain Piraux) Bart Weetjens with one of his trained rats.(Image: Sylvain Piraux) The rat is trained to dig when it sniffs amine.(Image: Sylvain Piraux) The rats are rewarded for a job well done.(Image: Sylvain Piraux) There is a strong bond between the ratsand their trainers.(Image: Xavier Rossi) Not just a pretty face – these adorableanimals are bright, too.(Image: Xavier Rossi)Jennifer SternAfrican countries such as Angola, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo have been devastated by civil war for decades. Although the conflicts are over and the countries are slowly rebuilding themselves, one deadly legacy remains – landmines.Landmines can lurk underground for decades, primed to explode and destroy the limbs and lives of rural people, and hamper any kind of development. But demining the land is a slow, dangerous and expensive process – particularly in these vast African states.Until now. A Danish engineer has developed an astonishing new system of locating and destroying landmines that is cheap, safe and quick. All it requires is trained deminers – and lots of rats.Most of us think of engineers as people who fiddle around with machines, electronic circuits, chemical reactions or cement. But Bart Weetjens is an engineer with a difference – part of a new wave. He studied design engineering at the University of Antwerp, and then worked at a couple of jobs that most people would have thought were pretty cool – designing coaches and then leisure goods.But he was frustrated. He wanted to use his considerable skills to address real problems in the real world, and he had a romantic notion that he wanted to live and work in Africa. But he still wasn’t sure where exactly in Africa he wanted to work, and what exactly he wanted to do.Then in 1993 he found a muse in the form of a tall, beautiful blonde. Princess Diana was a tireless campaigner for the removal of landmines, and her message fell on at least one pair of receptive ears. Weetjens had found his vocation.Insidious weaponsLandmines are the most hideous and insidious of weapons – and that’s saying a lot, because there aren’t any nice and gentle weapons.  The problem with landmines is that once they’ve been laid, they’re there for a long, long time.Weetjens would have been very aware of this in his native Belgium. Amazingly, the Belgian bomb disposal unit gets about 700 calls a year to remove and defuse landmines and unexploded ordnance from the First and Second World Wars. The Second World War ended more than 60 years ago, and Belgium is a small, densely populated, technically advanced first world country. But on average two unexploded devices are found there every day.Then think of vast rural countries such as Angola, Mozambique or the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is estimated that about 200 million unexploded landmines lie buried across the world – mostly in Africa and the Middle East. And this is only an estimate because minefields, by their nature, are not exactly well documented.Barrier to developmentWeetjens relates how Diana got the message across that landmines were not only awful weapons that maim and kill people. They are also an effective barrier to development. People can’t farm, or fish or prospect with landmines around. So in many once war-torn African countries they have to be removed before recovery can begin.Having decided that landmines were the problem he wanted to solve, Weetjens began work. He attended conferences, read widely and tried to find out all he could about demining. One of the biggest problems, he discovered, is that demining is expensive and depends heavily on high-level skills that mostly must be imported into developing countries.Before Weetjens there were two ways of finding mines. Using metal detectors, the traditional method, was costly, high-tech, slow and dependent on foreign expertise. Using dogs to sniff out mines was faster and more cost-effective – particularly in places like Afghanistan. But dogs didn’t work well in Africa. Norwegian People’s Aid brought 20 expensive trained demining dogs into Mozambique, but half of them were dead in six months. They were simply not adapted to Africa’s climate, and its interesting array of external and internal parasites.The perfect ratThen Weetjens came across an article describing how two US scientists had successfully trained gerbils to detect explosives, and the penny dropped. Whatever a dog or gerbil could do a rat could do as well – possibly even better. And certainly cheaper. But he was met with derision when he mooted the concept.From when he got the idea in 1995, it took two years to get funding to implement the programme and then, with the help of a rodent specialist, he set out to find the perfect rat.  This turned out to be the giant pouched rat, which is found all over Africa. It is resistant to local diseases, is relatively long-lived – surviving easily to the age of about eight in captivity –  and is much less aggressive than the more familiar city rat.It is also quite a lot bigger, being the size of a cat, which makes it easy to see as it scuttles over minefields. Like other rats, it is highly intelligent, has an excellent sense of smell, and is easy to train.It took another three years to breed up a stable of rats and to train them. The project was based at the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro, near Dar es Salaam. This site was chosen because Tanzania is a relatively stable country, and the university has a long relationship with the University of Antwerp.The first part of the programme was to recruit and train rat trainers, as the aim of the project was to produce a locally sustainable solution that would minimise, if not totally eliminate, dependence on imported expertise and technology.The rats were first trained to detect the smell of explosives in small contained areas, using classic sound association and food reward techniques. Once they had got the hang of it, they were trained on a specially built 24-hectare minefield. With 1 553 defused landmines of 14 different types, the field is the most varied minefield in the world, so it’s a good training ground.The real test was when the rats and their trainers were moved to Mozambique in 2003 to work their skills in the field – with real, live landmines. But this turned out to be easier than the test field. Ten years in the ground had increased the mines’ concentration of tell-tale vapour, making them easier to smell out.The processTo demine a field, it is divided into squares bisected by corridors that have been cleared with metal detectors. The trainers walk in the demined corridors and the rats, wearing little harnesses and leashes, run along laid-out lines, sniffing the ground.If they find a mine, they dig, showing the trainer where it is. The rats only weigh a couple of kilograms at most so they can’t set the mines off. Each area is covered by two or three different rats, and the results are collated before the mines are destroyed in a controlled detonation.It takes about half an hour to detect all the mines in a 100 m2 block using rats, whereas it would take two days to clear the same area in the traditional, more expensive way using metal detectors.With a sigh of relief, Weetjens realised the technology worked, so he applied for accreditation with International Mine Action Standards. The technology was accredited in 2004, and the programme as a whole in 2006.Each rat and trainer pair needs to be tested every six months, and the standards are high – 100%. Not only can the team not miss a single landmine, which obviously could have dire consequences in the real world, they can’t get a false positive identification.Although the animals and trainers are accredited as pairs, the beauty of rats is that they are not quite as dependent on one trainer as dogs are. But that doesn’t mean they don’t build up a relationship with their human colleagues. The trainers and other team members have developed a definite fondness for the rats. And, as they are well-fed, well-groomed and kept clean, they are actually rather cute – with their little twitchy noses and bright black eyes.The project is not only ground-breaking in its effective removal of landmines. It also challenges some of our most cherished prejudices. It’s shown us that rats can be clean and useful animals that save lives and make a positive contribution to society. It’s also shown that engineers can be people who work with ideas as opposed to machines, and that technology can be adapted to suit the needs of people, instead of the other way round.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at marya@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Useful linksApopoHero RatMine Action Standardslast_img read more

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PSL, Bundesliga in partnership deal

first_img4 May 2010 Apart from the day-to-day cooperation, two meetings will take place each year, one in South Africa and one in Germany. Another area that Siem is happy about is scheduling. He believes the Bundesliga has the best scheduling software in the game. Siem is especially excited about the development programme of the Bundesliga, which he believes will be of great help to South Africa. He explained that the PSL is in a similar position to that in which the Bundesliga found itself four years ago and there is plenty to build upon, including infrastructure and stadiums. Judging from the successes of the Bundesliga, it has a lot to offer the PSL. For starters, the Bundesliga features the largest average crowd size in the world of about 42 000. Back in 2000 that average was 28 000. How the league improved its average by 14 000 people a game over the course of a decade will be well worth investigating. Christian Pfennig, Director of Communication of the DFL, told the South African Press Association: “That success did not happen overnight. We planned hard and most importantly we plough €70 million (about R700-million) into development every year and it has paid big dividends with the Bundesliga being one of the best run and one of the most competitive leagues in Europe.” “If the Bundesliga can help us in that department then this partnership will have been more than worthwhile. “The Germans have the finest youth development structure in Europe and therefore the German national team is one of the best. We need to look into boosting our development structures,” Siem explained. Debts Siem told the press conference: “This is a truly momentous occasion for us in the PSL, and one of the highlights of my PSL career. This can only be beneficial to the entire PSL football family as we continue to raise the bar on and off the field.” A partnership agreement between South Africa’s Premier Soccer League and Germany’s Bundesliga was unveiled last week at the Deutsche Internationale Schule in Johannesburg, and PSL CEO Kjetil Siem says it holds many advantages for the development of the game in South Africa. Largest crowds in world football “But that is not the only place we can score. The Bundesliga can assist us to develop commercially and in the administration of the game.” Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Administration Tom Bender, the Chief Marketing Officer of the German Football League (DFL), said: “We are happy with the co-operation. We are convinced that both sides will profit and have enormous benefits from this partnership. The PSL is a perfect partner for a great future.” After the 2006 World Cup, which was held in Germany, the Bundesliga and the German Football Federation shared an estimated R1-billion rand. Just what the South African Football Association is going to share with the PSL remains to be seen, but the benefit would be great, said Pfennig. Another strength of the Bundesliga is the fact that relatively few clubs have large debts, unlike the English Premier League (EPL). Its operating margin is considerably better than that of the English Premier League, too, which sees much of the EPL’s money going towards massive salaries for the players. Clearly, there are more lessons to be learnt from this. As part of the deal, pay television channel SuperSport will broadcast a weekly Bundesliga programme. The channel already carries live matches from the league. Siem said that as part of the new deal there would also be an exchange of coaches and players between the PSL and the Bundesliga. Further co-operation would include establishing youth performance centres, a possible charity project in South Africa, and co-operation in club licensing, marketing, media, communication and sales. last_img read more

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Maoists torch vehicles, machines in Odisha

first_imgA group of Maoists set fire at a campsite of a road construction firm near Desughati on Belghar-Jhiripani road under Belghar police station limits in Odisha’s Kandhamal district on Monday night. No one was injured in the incident.They burnt down six vehicles and construction machinery, including three excavators, two tractors and one concrete mixer, parked at the spot.A handwritten poster left behind by the Maoists at the spot alleged that roads being constructed in remote areas of Odisha were not meant to benefit the tribals, but to loot the natural resources.According to sources, a group of 10 to 12 armed rebels reached the campsite on the Belghar-Jhiripani road late night on Monday. They threatened the workers at the spot not to intervene and torched the vehicles and machinery.Operation intensified Following the incident, anti-Maoist operation by the security forces has been stepped up in the area.last_img read more

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Caluag fails to defend BMX title, settles for bronze

first_imgUPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games FILE PHOTO – Daniel Patrick Caluag finally strikes gold for the Philippines on Wednesday by winning the men’s BMX race at the Ganghwa Asiad BMX Track during the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA/INQUIRERFormer Olympian Daniel Caluag settled for third place in the men’s BMX competition in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games Saturday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.Caluag, who represented the Philippines in the 2012 London Olympics, fell behind Thailand’s Nonthakon Inkhokshong, who won silver and Indonesia’s gold medalist Gusti Bagus Saputra.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games PLAY LIST 01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses View comments Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC The 30-year-old Caluag, who ruled the competition in 2013, wasn’t able to defend his crown in the 2015 SEA Games after host Singapore opted not to hold a BMX event.Caluag won the gold in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program MOST READ LATEST STORIES WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding NCAA Season 93’s Best 7: Week 7 SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Gameslast_img read more

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Adamson gets 2nd wins, trumps NCAA champ Arellano

first_imgPadda, who started her Adamson tenure in 2016, said their win over Arellano was quite an accomplishment considering the stature of their opponents.“This could be really small for other teams but this was huge for us,” said Padda. “Arellano is the NCAA champion and when we play against higher teams the girls usually get timid but today the girls were focused.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“I wasn’t expecting this and what I expected was that Arellano would give a better fight.”Jema Galanza reigned high for the Lady Falcons putting up 18 points while Christine Soyud added nine points. Ateneo snatches top spot, FEU humbles La Salle in men’s PVL Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games View comments Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side MOST READ Jovielyn Prado led the Lady Chiefs with 11 points.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Jema Galanza, Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAdamson remained undefeated and ran Arellano aground in straight sets, 25-20, 25-22, 25-16, in thePremier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference Saturday at Filoil Flying V Centre.The Lady Falcons, who recorded their first win streak under head coach Air Padda, remained undefeated and topped Group B with a 2-0 record while the Lady Chiefs slipped to 2-1.ADVERTISEMENT NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’last_img read more

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10 months agoRangers, Celtic rival Burnley, Huddersfield for Fran Sol

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Rangers, Celtic rival Burnley, Huddersfield for Fran Solby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWillem II striker Fran Sol is a target for a raft of British clubs.The Mirror says the 26-year-old, currently plying his trade in Holland with Willem II, is one of the Eredivisie’s top-scorers with 12 goals already to his name.Sol is nominally out-of-contract at the end of the season, although there is a one-year option in favour of his club who are certain to activate it given his current form.Celtic and Rangers have both sent scouts to watch him during the past few months.But they are not alone. Burnley, Cardiff, Huddersfield, Leeds, Derby and Swansea have also checked on him. last_img read more

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