Two American women journalists to be tried soon

first_imgNews As doubt persists on North Korea’s “zero” coronavirus cases, RSF urges for transparency Organisation April 24, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Two American women journalists to be tried soon News North KoreaAsia – Pacific Campaigns Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders condemns the North Korean government’s decision to charge and try the two American reporters, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who were arrested at the Chinese border on 17 March. They are accused of entering the country illegally, spying and “hostile activities,” but in reality they were just trying to report the fate of North Korean refugees at the border.“We deplore the way the authorities are treating these two women as criminals when in fact they were just doing their job as journalists,” Reporters Without Borders said. “There is every reason to fear that North Korea’s opaque judicial system will not give them due process. But we hope the country’s leaders will heed the many calls for their release.”North Korea’s official KCNA news agency announced in a brief dispatch today: “A competent organ of the DPRK (North Korea) concluded the investigation into the journalists of the United States. The organ formally decided to refer them to a trial on the basis of the confirmed crimes committed by them.”If found guilty, Ling and Lee face up to 10 years of forced labour. Article 63 of the penal code regarding “crimes” against North Korea provides for jail terms of five to ten years for foreigners gathering information inside the country. They work for the San Francisco-based online television station Current TV.Around 1,500 journalists and bloggers have already signed a petition in support of Ling and Lee that was launched by Reporters Without Borders and the International Women’s Media Foundation. You can sign the petition. November 18, 2019 Find out more North KoreaAsia – Pacific center_img News Follow the news on North Korea RSF_en to go further Receive email alerts “Without independent journalism, this would be the news” – RSF’s new ad Journalists face archaic sanction of capital punishment in some parts of the world July 6, 2020 Find out more April 1, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Environment ministry task force thwarts alleged bird smuggling attempt

first_imgAgus said the birds were caught by illegal hunters and were about to be sold in birds market in Medan. The team also arrested two men allegedly involved in the smuggling.The executive director of bird conservation group FLIGHT Protecting Indonesia’s Birds, Marison Guciano, said bird poaching remained rampant in Mount Leuser National Park’s protected areas.The group has recorded more than 14 million bird smuggling attempts from Sumatra, including Mount Leuser, to various bird markets in the country, especially in Java.“If we let the illicit practices take place, it can bring harm to the ecosystem and the bird population in Mount Leuser,” Marison said, adding that birds played a pivotal role in their natural habitat by helping the regeneration of plants and balancing the food chain. The team members then combed busses heading to Medan, finally stopping one that carried packages filled with the protected small passerine birds in Babalan district, Langkat regency in North Sumatra on Thursday.“We found hundreds of birds inside 30 cardboard boxes that do not have official documents. We seized all the birds,” Agus told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.Read also: Mt. Leuser park rangers save two young orangutans from smugglerOf the 1,266 birds, 556 had died inside the sealed boxes. The team released the remaining birds into the wild in the Sibolangit area in Deli Serdang regency on Friday. The Environment and Forestry Ministry’s rapid response team for the environment, the Leopards, has thwarted alleged attempts to smuggle hundreds of protected typical white-eyes that were illegal caught in Mount Leuser National Park in Aceh.The team, under the North Sumatra Environment and Forestry Protection and Law Enforcement Agency, secured 1,266 birds that are locally known as pleci as they were allegedly being smuggled in a public bus heading to Medan, North Sumatra.Leopard team chief Agus Siswoyo said the authorities received a tip from local residents on the alleged transportation of protected wild animals using a public bus from Takengon, Banda Aceh, to Medan.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Raiders secure No. 4 pick in 2019 draft after blowout loss to Chiefs

first_imgClick HERE if you’re unable to view the gallery on your mobile device.KANSAS CITY — The Oakland Raiders will pick fourth in the 2019 NFL Draft.After their 35-3 loss to the Chiefs on Sunday, the Raiders finished the season 4-12, along with the 49ers and Jets. Because the Raiders have the highest strength of schedule among the three 4-12 teams, they receive the latest pick.The 49ers will select second and the Jets third, with the Cardinals (3-12) owning the No. 1 overall pick. The Buccaneers …last_img read more

SA Google Earth layer is tops

first_imgGoogle Earth overview of the South Africa layer. (Image: South African Tourism)Janine ErasmusSouth African online marketing company Quirk eMarketing has won an international award for innovation in digital marketing. Quirk was acknowledged for its role in creating the Google Earth South Africa layer as part of South African Tourism’s online marketing strategy. The company has also recently worked with NGO Breadline Africa on the Worldwide Blogger Bake-Off to encourage internet users to fight hunger in Africa.The inaugural E-consultancy Innovation Awards were held early in December 2008. E-consultancy is a leading light in the fields of digital marketing and e-commerce, and is also the UK’s major online publisher of internet marketing research and how to guides, as well as best practice reports.The company instituted the awards in 2008 to recognise clients, suppliers and agencies for their innovation and success. The competition, which featured 14 categories, attracted some 230 entries from all around the world.The judging panel included a stellar group of marketing experts, including Obi Felten, Google’s head of consumer marketing, Apple’s online store manager John Veichmanis, David Bainbridge of the BBC, and Spencer McHugh, head of digital and direct at telecoms giant Orange UK.The South African Google Earth layer easily caught the judges’ attention and earned Quirk top marks in the category of Innovation in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)/Natural Search. In the final round Quirk was pitted against digital marketing agency and SEO specialist Guava, and, which is currently building an index of the internet based on the varying degree of influence of a web page.International acknowledgementWhile the E-consultancy award does not have a monetary component, Quirk staff is ecstatic with their achievement.“It’s fantastic to see the international community acknowledging the work coming out of South Africa,” said Quirk CEO Rob Stokes. “As one of the largest European awards in innovation, with judges from prestigious companies like Apple, the BBC and Whatif!, we are tremendously proud of our achievements and look forward to showing the world what South Africa is capable of.”Stokes added that the concept had all the elements the judges were looking for. As well as being interesting and ground-breaking it encouraged a high level of user interactivity. According to E-consultancy, Quirk’s work with the South African Tourism website elevated it above the other entries in its category.E-consultancy praised Quirk’s collaboration with Google Earth, saying that it was an extremely innovative way of engaging with visitors to the South African Tourism site. It also improved natural search visibility by driving the creation of more external links to the site.The South African layer was designed to promote the country as a top tourist destination and to help potential visitors plan their trips. It features more than 120 points of interest ranging from scenic drives, safari destinations and cultural attractions to 2010 Fifa World Cup venues. Maps, terrain and 3D satellite imagery provide visual enticement while the itinerary planner makes it easy for holidaymakers to put together a trip to remember, without having to move away from their computer.The project took about three months from initial development to implementation and, said Marketing Manager Tim Shier in his blog, meant that the Quirk team had to quickly learn an entirely new markup language (Keyhole Markup Language or KML, created especially for use in Google Earth). But the team’s fresh approach to the use of Google Earth elements, and a dedicated supporting website, has proven to be a roadmap for success.Amongst the hundreds of user-created layers, the South African layer was only the third, after those of New Zealand and Egypt, to receive official Google sanction and to be integrated into the core of the application.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at [email protected] articlesGoogle Earth zooms in on SABloggers to fight hunger in AfricaMedia in South AfricaGoogle with South African flairUseful linksQuirk eMarketingGoogle Earth SA layerSouth African TourismPure New ZealandEgypt Tourismlast_img read more

Tips from the Chicken Whisperer

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest There is no denying the dramatic recent rise in poultry popularity and the booming backyard chicken trend. More small farm, suburban and even urban residents are learning that there are a number of benefits to having chickens in the backyard in addition to the eggs or meat they provide.Andy Schneider, better known as the Chicken Whisperer, has become the go-to guy across the country for anything related to backyard chickens. He hosts the “Backyard Poultry with the Chicken Whisperer” web radio show, and serves as a national spokesperson for the USDA-APHIS Bio-Security for Birds Program. He is the editor of “Chicken Whisperer Magazine” and author of “The Chicken Whisperer’s Guide to Keeping Chickens.” This spring Schneider toured Kalmbach Feeds distributors around Ohio and shared plenty of poultry pointers.“We know chickens are really good composters. For the most part your group of chickens will eat just about everything off of your plate. You only want about 10% of their diets to come from food scraps. It prevents food waste from going into the landfill,” said Andy Schneider. “They are also pumping out a lot of poop. But a lot of people who have chickens know that is like gold for your compost bin, your garden and your yard. Chickens can make absolutely wonderful all organic pest control. They eat just about anything they can get.”Schneider’s goal is to help educate novice (and not-so-novice) chicken owners about the more important points of responsible chicken management. Most of his audience already understands the benefits of chickens, but they have plenty of questions about nearly every aspect of raising homegrown birds.While many new owners of chickens are familiar with the benefits of chickens, they may not be as familiar with the inherent risks of working closely with birds. To combat the rising numbers of Salmonella cases associated with backyard poultry, for example, the Centers for Disease Control launched a “Don’t kiss your chicken campaign” to educate poultry owners about the public health issues with bringing their birds into their homes and the potential perils of smooching their Silkie.With this in mind, Schneider talks extensively about biosecurity measures to protect the health of both the birds and their owners.“When you are somewhere in the car around wild birds, stop and rinse off your tires — no one is going to do that,” he said. “But when you invest in a flock you want to protect them. There are a few thing that are cheap and easy and reasonable to do.”Here are some low-cost and easy biosecurity measures that Schneider suggests for a backyard flock:• Use hand sanitizer before and after you handle your birds. That can go a long way for biosecurity.• Have one pair of designated boots that are only worn in the backyard and around the birds.• If designated boots are a problem, a footbath can be used to scrub boots before entering the bird area.• Cheap coveralls that are designated for wearing around the birds is also good.• When it comes to disease, don’t take it out and don’t bring it in. If the birds are taken off the farm, quarantine them.Schneider also really emphasizes his great disdain for the use of heat lamps and the safety hazards that result.“The No. 1 most common source of heat used is a $10 heat lamp. I can’t stand them. They are a true fire hazard. They get hot and people don’t even know they are a fire hazard. In Maine a popular local vet recently died because she had a brooder in her bedroom with baby chicks and she burnt her house to the ground,” he said. “If you must use one, clamp the lamp to one end of the brooder. Get good quality duct tape and tape the clamp. Now get another clamp and clamp the first clamp over the duct tape. Get some chain and hooks and chain that lamp to something up above. Then there is still potential for problems because the bulbs are made in China and they get hot and melt the glue used to hold the bulb in and the bulb falls out of the socket.”Other than very young birds, heat is generally not necessary for chickens anyway.“Heat is far more detrimental to your chickens than the cold will be,” Schneider said. “They are very cold hardy. Chickens produce a lot of heat themselves.”In his presentation, Schneider covered a wide array of additional topics including housing, nutrition, and bird care throughout the life of the chicken.Here are more general tips:• At $239, the Universal Brooder Box it is the best on the market dollar for dollar because “it makes brooding a breeze.” But, he said a large Rubbermaid bin works fine, is low cost, easy to use, and easy to clean.• The best bedding is pine wood shavings. Hay or straw can work but you will have to clean the brooder more often to prevent odor and disease. Sand is bad.• There are endless amounts of waterers that can be used, but the birds need access to cool, clean water 24 hours a day seven days a week.• Lift the feeders as the chicks grow and start with the 50-pound bag of feed. They eat more than most first-time chicken owners think.• Coop options are almost endless, but be sure to make every effort to predator-proof them and make them easy to clean.• Coops should also be well ventilated but free of drafts.• Only one nesting box for every three to five hens is needed and 12 square inches is ample for most breeds.• Chickens may be on the roost for half their lives. Do the chickens a favor and provide a good roost. Wood is the best material for a roost that is 2.5- to 3-inches round or a 2X4 with rounded off corners. There should be at least eight to 10 inches of roost space per bird.• For the first eight weeks, chicks need high protein starter in crumble form. After eight weeks, switch to a grower feed and at 16 weeks switch to layer feed in crumble or pellet form with lower protein but extra calcium.• Medicated feed prevents coccidiosis. It is not an antibiotic.• Scratch has no nutritional value. It is like candy for chickens.• There are only two 100% ways to get a hen to stop eating eggs: 1. eat her or 2. incorporate rollaway nest boxes so the eggs roll to an area where they cannot be accessed after being laid.For more from the Chicken Whisperer, visit read more

One free Fall Soil Test for Farm Bureau members

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest  Leave a CommentShow your Farm Bureau membership card at Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake or Trumbull County OSU Extension offices between Oct. 25 and Nov. 30, 2018 to get your FREE test!  Only valid for Farm Bureau members.*Who should soil test?  Anyone applying lime and/or fertilizer to gardens, yards, pastures, hay and crop fields, etc.Why should you fall soil test?  According to OSU Extension, fall is an ideal time to sample soil for several reasons:  1.  Soils often have an ideal moisture range that makes sampling easy.  2.  It gives producers ample time to apply fertilizer or lime before the next crop.  3.  It helps ensure spring planting will not be delayed.When can you get your free test?  Oct. 25-Nov. 30 during your county OSU Extension office’s regular business hours.How do you obtain your free test?  Go to your county OSU Extension office, show your Farm Bureau membership card, (call 440-426-2195 for your ID number if you don’t have a card,) pick up your FREE soil test, have Extension analyze your results if needed.Any questions, call Farm Bureau at 440-426-2195 or email us at [email protected]. View the flyer here.*Pick up your free soil test at your county Extension office:Ashtabula:  30 Wall Street, Jefferson, OHGeauga:  14269 Claridon-Troy Road, Burton, OHLake:  99 E Erie Street, Painesville, OHTrumbull:  520 W Main Street, Cortland, OH     Leave a Commentlast_img read more

Ground-Source Heat Pumps (2010)

first_img RELATED ARTICLES For the past month, I’ve examined various home energy improvements for which one can earn a 30% federal tax credit. The last of these opportunities I’ll cover is ground-source heat pumps. A ground-source heat pump (GSHP) is also referred to as a “geothermal” heat pump, though I prefer the former terminology, to avoid confusion with true geothermal energy systems that rely on elevated temperatures deep underground from the Earth’s mantle. GSHPs are eligible for the 30% tax credit with no cap on the dollar amount that can be received. But this system may not be the best choice for home heating, and I’d like to offer some warnings about the potential for exaggerated claims and outright scams.GSHPs are pretty amazing systems. Like all heat pumps, they extract heat from one place (in this case, underground) and deliver that heat–at a higher temperature–to your house. That may sound impossible, but it’s how your kitchen refrigerator works. In the summer, heat pumps can be reversed to remove heat from your house, providing air conditioning.While electric resistance heat is 100% efficient at converting electricity into heat, a heat pump provides at least two to three units of energy for every one unit of energy consumed. This is often measured as the annual “coefficient of performance” or COP; a COP of 3.5 means an effective efficiency of 350%. (Note that if you consider the “source energy” that a power company uses to generate that electricity, the true efficiency numbers are significantly lower.) Ground-Source Heat Pumps (2009)GBA Encyclopedia: Heat Pumps: The BasicsGBA Encyclopedia: Green Heating OptionsAre Affordable Ground-Source Heat Pumps On the Horizon?Podcast: Ground Source Heat Pumps, Part 1: The BasicsPodcast: Ground-Source Heat Pumps, Part 2: Rules of ThumbPodcast: Ground-Source Heat Pumps, Part 3: Five QuestionsGround-Source Heat Pumps Don’t Save EnergyGround-Source Heat Pumps Have Low Operating CostsIs a Ground-Source Heat Pump a Renewable Energy System?Air-Source or Ground-Source Heat Pump?Heating a Tight, Well-Insulated Housecenter_img In cold climates, a GSHP has higher efficiency than an air-source heat pump (which extracts heat from the outside air), because temperatures underground are considerably warmer in the winter than the outside air. Installing a GSHP involves digging a trench or series of wells into which tubing is embedded. Either refrigerant, water, or antifreeze solution is circulated through this tubing. Another version pulls groundwater from a well as the heat source (or heat sink), and then returns the water to the well.To earn the 30% federal tax credit, a GSHP must be Energy Star listed. The Energy Star requirements vary by type and are currently as follows: a closed-loop GSHP has to have an energy efficiency ratio (EER) of at least 14.1 or a COP of at least 3.3; an open-loop GSHP must have an EER of at least 16.2 or a COP of at least 3.6; and a direct-exchange (DX) GSHP must have an EER of at least 15 or a COP of at least 3.5.The reason I’m not a huge proponent of GSHPs is that they’re really expensive. Most of the expense is due to the cost of digging trenches and laying tubing. In addition, field experience shows that these systems often aren’t meeting performance expectations. Sometimes the annual COP turns out to be only slightly higher than 2.5.Meanwhile, performance of air-source heat pumps–in particular, the ductless mini-split heat pumps that have been popularized by such companies as Mitsubishi, Sanyo, and Daikin–have been improving dramatically in recent years, especially at low temperatures.In the past, air-source heat pumps only made sense in warmer climates, because the efficiency would drop dramatically at lower temperatures; at about 40°F, these systems would usually switch over to electric-resistance heating. New mini-split heat pumps, by comparison, especially “inverter” models, can function pretty well down to about 0°F. And they cost a whole lot less than GSHPs.It is not unusual to hear about GSHPs in Vermont costing as much as $35,000 for typical homes. For the same investment, one could spend $30,000 reducing heating loads (insulating, air sealing, replacing windows, etc.) and install a state-of-the-art mini-split heat pump.The 30% tax credit that’s available for GSHPs allows homeowners to recover some of that very high cost. Air-source heat pumps also earn the tax credit, but only up to $1,500 and only through the end of 2010 (while the GSHP tax credit isn’t scheduled to expire until the end of 2016).Here’s my concern: Because GSHP dealers can show homeowners how much money they can get back from Uncle Sam (over $10,000 for that $35,000 system), they can make a pretty compelling argument. A few unscrupulous companies might also be tempted to inflate the price of the system–allowing you to earn an even higher tax credit–and then offer you a special rebate or pyramid-marketing inducement of some sort so that both you and the company benefit–at the expense of the rest of us taxpayers.I don’t have a problem with subsidizing energy improvements through tax credits and other incentives, but if my tax dollars are being spent on these improvements I’d like to be sure that the money is spent wisely. I don’t believe a GSHP costing tens of thousands of dollars is nearly as cost-effective as combining energy conservation and a far less expensive mini-split air-source heat pump.I invite you to share your comments on this blog.To keep up with my latest articles and musings, you can sign up for my Twitter feedslast_img read more

Classes empty as schools reopen in J&K

first_imgThe J&K government on Thursday re-opened all higher secondary schools across the Valley, after 60 days of closure, only to a very negligible attendance by students, while teachers complained of several structures being occupied by the security forces. Srinagar’s prominent government-run Sri Pratap Higher Secondary School at Lal Chowk wore a deserted look, with no student presence on its sprawling campus. Just two students without uniform appeared from the nearby Barbar Shah area to know the status of the school.“I was shocked to see a security bullet-proof picket come up at the gate. I was stopped by the security personnel and questioned. I immediately left the premises,” the students said, on the condition of anonymity.Top officials of the school told The Hindu that no attendance of students was recorded. “We have around 1,500 students in the school. A very negligible number turned up. We decided not to hold any classes. However, teachers met to chalk out the future course of action,” school authorities said.The teachers said around 500 security personnel had been stationed at the main building of the school after the August 5 decision to revoke J&K’s special status. “Security personnel need to be vacated so that students feel safe in the school,” said a teacher. There was a similar scene at the all-girls Government Kothi Bagh Higher Secondary school, another prominent educational institution. “We are hopeful that attendance will improve in coming days,” said an official.last_img read more

James Harden’s 50-point triple-double propels Rockets over Lakers

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. LeBron James finished with 29 points for the Lakers, who had won their previous two games.Houston’s lead was three after Kyle Kuzma’s soaring dunk, but Harden was fouled on a 3-pointer and made all three free throws to make it 112-106.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefHarden then made 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to push the lead to 12 and cause Lakers coach Luke Walton to call a timeout. James was in Harden’s face on the second one and Harden fell to the court as the ball rolled around the rim for a couple of seconds before dropping in.James added a dunk before Clint Capela and Harden made consecutive baskets to compete the 13-2 run and make it 122-108 to put the game out of reach. SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion View comments Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño LATEST STORIES Kuzma was called for a foul after that and Walton got a technical for arguing about that call.Harden made the technical shot and Paul added two more free throws to leave Houston up 90-88 after three.TIP-INSLakers: Kuzma received a technical foul in the first quarter for arguing about a foul call. … Brandon Ingram missed his fourth straight game with a sprained left ankle. … Kuzma had 24 points to give him 20 or more points in a career-best six straight games.Rockets: Brandon Knight played in his first game since Feb. 15, 2017, after recovering from surgery to repair a torn left anterior cruciate ligament. He came in with about four minutes left in the first quarter and played about four minutes with one assist and one rebound. … James Ennis sat out with a strained right hamstring.UP NEXTLakers: Visit Charlotte on Saturday night.Rockets: Visit Memphis on Saturday night. Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Houston Rockets’ James Harden (13) screams after making a basket as Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, left, and Lance Stephenson, right, watch during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, in Houston. The Rockets won 126-111. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)HOUSTON— James Harden had 50 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, scoring 11 points during a big fourth-quarter run to lead the Houston Rockets to a 126-111 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.Harden grabbed his 10th rebound with less than 90 seconds left to give him his second triple-double this season and the 37th of his career.ADVERTISEMENT It was the first meeting between these teams since Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo got into a fight on Oct. 20 that led to suspensions for both players and Brandon Ingram. There wasn’t an altercation this time around in a game where Rondo sat out as he recovers from surgery to repair a broken right hand. But there was a spate of technical fouls late in the third quarter that led to the ejection of Nene.The Lakers scored six straight points, highlighted by a dunk from James, to get within 74-72 midway through the third quarter. Los Angeles ran off six in a row later in the period to tie it up before Harden ended the run with a jump shot. Nene then received a foul after being knocked to the ground trying to defend Kuzma as he drove to the lane. He yelled at officials and received a technical foul.Kuzma made his free throws but Kentavious Caldwell-Pope missed the technical shot.Nene made a hook shot before fouling Kuzma again on the next possession. He continued to scream at officials and was hit with a second technical foul and was ejected. Harden attempted to calm him down, but Nene continued to be agitated until he was escorted to the locker room.Kuzma made all three foul shots and added a 3-pointer with Harden in his face after a 3 by Harden to leave the Lakers up 88-87 with 9.9 seconds left in the quarter.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Lacson: 2019 budget delay due to P75-B House ‘insertion’ Mavs great Dirk Nowitzki set to make 21st season debut vs Suns TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games openinglast_img read more