Powered by Bsbtuam!

Site C dam a threat to ecological values: report

VANCOUVER – Major development projects such as the Site C dam in British Columbia’s Peace River watershed could threaten up to $8.6 billion in ecological values, suggests a report commissioned by the David Suzuki Foundation.

Faisal Moola, a chief scientist with the environmental group, said the 56,000-square kilometre watershed is a “Fort Knox” of ecological wealth, with ecosystems providing benefits including clean air, clean water, carbon storage and flood and erosion control.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

BC Hydro is proposing an $8-billion hydroelectric dam in the Peace River Valley, which would flood an 83-kilometre stretch of land along the river. It would be the third dam on the river, downstream from the W.A.C. Bennett and Peace Canyon dams.

Moola said carbon stored in forests, wetlands and grasslands are conservatively worth $6.7 billion to $7.4 billion a year, while other ecological services amount to $1.2 billion annually.

Policy-makers typically ignore ecological advantages because they appear to be provided by nature for free, he said.

The study, authored by ecological economist Sara Wilson from the Toronto-based firm Natural Capital Research and Consulting, included satellite images of the watershed and used modeling techniques to ascribe a dollar value to services such as water filtration by trees.

“We know for example that forests are really important in terms of filtering water, but on the other hand, grasslands and farmland are really important in terms of providing habitat for bees and pollinators, which is something that is critical to sustaining agricultural commodities,” Moola said.

“If we actually make a decision to further degrade the amount of natural forest cover we have in an area, that will incur explicit costs. And in the case of water filtration, it’s been very well documented that this will actually increase the cost to local municipalities to provide potable drinking water. And typically, those costs are downloaded to rate payers.”

BC Hydro said in a statement that officials are reviewing the report, the project is undergoing a three-year, federal-provincial environmental assessment process, and the foundation presented its perspective at federal Joint Review Panel hearings last December.

The economic values in the report are for a watershed of about 5.6 million hectares but the amount of land that’s expected to be flooded for the reservoir is about 5,550 hectares, the utility added.

“All new electricity-generation projects have effects and Site C is no different,” the statement added. “While Site C has the potential to result in some significant effects, we believe those effects are justified by the need for the project, and the benefits it would provide for our province.”

The utility has said the Site C dam would generate enough energy to power 450,000 homes a year.

Further development in the area could erode its ecological benefits, Moola said.

“The Peace region is already some two-thirds developed. Essentially, it’s a perfect storm of logging, mining, conventional and unconventional oil and gas development. And there’s a proposal to build a major dam on the Peace River that will further the cumulative impacts of industrial development on this region.”

Along with the two existing dams, the region has more than 16,000 oil-and-gas well sites and about 8,500 petroleum and natural gas facilities. The area would also be the heart of B.C.’s proposed liquefied natural gas industry.

Earlier this year, a joint review panel concluded the dam would have significant adverse effects on the environment and wildlife. But it also said the benefits of the project are clear and there are few alternatives to provide the type of long-term, inexpensive energy source proposed by the Crown utility.

The panel report, released in May, did not give a clear yes or no answer. The federal and provincial governments are expected to release a final decision later this year.

Provincial Energy Minister Bill Bennett has said that if approved, construction could begin in January 2015, and the dam would be completed by 2024. He has also said that the benefits of the project will outweigh the impacts cited in the review.

Posted in 杭州龙凤 | Comments Off on Site C dam a threat to ecological values: report

City opens new downtown bike lanes on Richmond St. and Adelaide St. – Toronto

Watch above: New bike lanes in the city are a magnet for drivers looking to park. Jackson Proskow reports. 

TORONTO – The city’s newest bike lanes opened Thursday, running along Richmond Street and Adelaide Street.

Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, who chairs Public Works, admitted the city will need to enforce bylaws to stop cars from blocking the lanes.

“I drove downtown this morning and cyclists I know are disappointed, and I’m disappointed when you see trucks and taxis parked in these cycle tracks,” he said at an early morning press conference. “What we have to do is make sure these cycle tracks are clear for cyclists, because if they’re blocked, all this is for naught.”

But Minnan-Wong wouldn’t commit to supporting separated bike lanes along these streets: Some areas require different infrastructure, he said.  And painted lines make snow removal much easier.

The lanes are part of a $300,000 downtown bike lane pilot project.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

The city has already installed bike lanes on several downtown streets including on Simcoe Street and Bathurst Street, Richmond Street from Bathurst to Niagara Street and Phoebe Street from Beverley Street to Soho Street.

The Richmond and Adelaide Street bike lanes are council’s final cycling project before this term ends in late October but Minnan-Wong, who’s running for re-election, said he’d like the next council to keep building more cycling infrastructure.

(A couple of years ago, Toronto became one of the only cities in the world to dismantle bike lanes when it took them off of Jarvis street.)

“We also need to encourage cycling in the suburbs and I’d like to see more cycling infrastructure at subway stations,” he said. “So people can ride from their homes to a subway station where they can park their bike and come to work.”

Posted in 杭州龙凤 | Comments Off on City opens new downtown bike lanes on Richmond St. and Adelaide St. – Toronto

WATCH: 4 former Vancouver mayors throw their support behind the Vancouver Aquarium

VANCOUVER – Four former mayors of Vancouver have written letters to the current Mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson, and the Vancouver Park Board, showing their support for the Vancouver Aquarium.

Mike Harcourt, Philip Owen, Larry Campbell and Sam Sullivan wrote separate letters (embedded below).

The Vancouver Aquarium says they have also received an open letter signed by dozens of influential people in Vancouver showing their support for the aquarium, which has come under fire recently for the practice of keeping captive cetaceans.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

Related

    Filmmaker wades into Vancouver aquarium whale debate

    Vancouver Aquarium: Whales in Captivity

The Vancouver Park Board held two special meetings to hear from people in the community who are for and against the issue.

More than 130 people signed up to speak.

The board also received a report by an independent scientist who found that the aquarium meets industry standards but said more research is needed to evaluate the ethics of the practice.

The topic of keeping cetaceans at the Vancouver Aquarium has been a controversial topic in the past year.

The issue has prompted local petitions, protests and plenty of public comment. The movement gained traction ever since the popularity of the documentary Blackfish about orcas in captivity at Sea World.

READ MORE: ‘Cove’ director and ‘Blackfish’ stars wade into aquarium debate

In addition to the public, several city officials and Dr. Jane Goodall have also publicly urged the Vancouver Aquarium to phase out the cetacean exhibits.

The aquarium currently holds two Arctic beluga whales and two Pacific white-sided dolphins and they want to expand the tanks for these animals next year.

Philip Owen letter of support

Mike Harcourt letter of support

Sam Sullivan letter of support

Larry Campbell letter of support

Posted in 杭州龙凤 | Comments Off on WATCH: 4 former Vancouver mayors throw their support behind the Vancouver Aquarium

WATCH: Here’s why Israel says it wants to destroy Hamas tunnels – National

Watch above: A video released Tuesday appears to show Hamas militants emerging from a tunnel into Israel and carrying out a deadly attack at a military border post. Please note: This video has been edited to remove footage appearing to show the killing of an Israeli soldier.

Israeli assaults on the Gaza Strip have killed more than 1,300 people in the past 23 days. But the government, while insisting it makes every effort to limit civilian deaths, puts the blame for the loss of Palestinian lives on Hamas.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

The Israelis accuse Hamas of putting civilian lives at risk, by firing rockets from populated areas, encouraging people to act as human shields and using civilian facilities to store artillery—the rockets Hamas hides in its network of underground tunnels.

READ MORE: Dozens killed, hundreds wounded in Israeli strikes on Gaza market, UN school

The tunnels, most of which connected the Gaza Strip with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, have been a lifeline for Gazans to get much needed goods — such as food, fuel, building supplies and even cars — that aren’t easily accessible because of the seven-year-old Israeli blockade.

But they ultimately keep Hamas alive, allowing the faction — designated as a terrorist organization in Israel, the U.S., Canada and several other countries — to earn money off goods as well as to build its arsenal.

READ MORE: How much will it cost and how long will it take to rebuild Gaza?

The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) refers to the passages as an “underground terror network” to attack Israeli military installations (which it has) and possibly kidnap Israeli soldiers or even civilians.

The Israeli government’s security cabinet on Wednesday ordered the IDF to continue its ground operations until the tunnels are destroyed, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Hamas not only uses the tunnels to conceal rockets and sneak in materials to build them, it uses the them to infiltrate Israeli territory.

The tunnels are “a new strategy in confronting the occupation and in the conflict with the enemy from underground and from above the ground,” National Geographic quoted former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya saying.

READ MORE: Gaza analysis: Israel exit scenarios begin to take shape

Five IDF soldiers died Monday when members of Hamas’ armed wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, used one such tunnel to cross into Kibbutz Nahal Oz and attacked an Israeli border post.

Al-Qassam Brigades purportedly captured the infiltration, and seemingly the killing of one Israeli soldier, on video.

The video reportedly aired on the Hamas-run al-Aqsa television network Tuesday night.

The video hasn’t been independently verified, but it is consistent with details of the attack and the IDF confirmed the five soldiers were killed at Nahal Oz.

The IDF also posted, on 桑拿会所, a graphic showing how tunnels connect to Nahal Oz to Shujaiya —the site of one of Israel’s most destructive and deadly assaults in its 23-day offensive against Hamas and other militant organizations in the Gaza Strip.

Since the start of the Israeli ground offensive on July 17, following a similar infiltration — there have been at least four incidents since the beginning of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge — the IDF claims to have uncovered and destroyed more than 30 tunnels inside the Gaza Strip and, in the process, discovered weapons, ammunition, communication devices and IDF uniforms.

READ MORE: Hamas militants wearing Israeli military uniforms killed soldiers: IDF

Egypt, whose current government is no friend to Hamas, has also destroyed dozens of tunnels in the past weeks. But in the nearly 13 months since the Egyptian military toppled the government of Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood —an ally and forefather to Hamas — Egypt claims to have destroyed more than 1,600 tunnels.

Posted in 杭州龙凤 | Comments Off on WATCH: Here’s why Israel says it wants to destroy Hamas tunnels – National

Canada’s Drouin, Theisen-Eaton win gold

GLASGOW, Scotland – There was a moment Wednesday night when Derek Drouin was waiting to make his final attempt in high jump. In the tunnel to the track, Brianne Theisen-Eaton and Jessica Zelinka were waiting for their final event of the heptathlon.

All action had paused for a medal ceremony. It was for Canadian Jim Steacy’s gold medal in the hammer throw from the previous night.

The “O Canada” moment wasn’t lost on any of them.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

“The national anthem played right before my last attempt and I thought, ‘If this isn’t going to get me pumped up I don’t know what’s going to,’” Drouin said.

Drouin and Theisen-Eaton would both go on to claim gold, while Jessica Zelinka won silver in the heptathlon and Mike Mason took bronze in the high jump. Julie Labonte added a bronze in shot put for a five-medal night for Canada at the track.

“When we were in the tunnel … I was listening to the Canadian anthem and thinking, ‘An hour and that could be me,’” Theisen-Eaton said.

Drouin, from Corunna, Ont., cleared 2.31 metres to win his first major international high jump title, while Mason, from Nanoose Bay, B.C., won the bronze with 2.25 metres.

Theisen-Eaton won the heptathlon with a score of 6,597 and Zelinka scored 6,270 for silver.

“We got four medals in the span of about two minutes there, so we’re definitely moving in the right direction. Good things are happening,” Drouin said. “And Mike and I got to pass our (Canadian) flags on to the heptathlon girls, so it was a pretty special five minutes there.”

Added Theisen-Eaton: “All of a sudden, all of once, Scott (MacDonald, Athletics Canada’s high performance director) was trying to give everybody flags. Good problem to have.”

After another strong day, Canada remained in third place in the overall medal standings with 51 medals (22 gold, seven silver, 22 bronze). Australia leads with 106 medals, one more than England.

David Tremblay of Windsor, Ont., won gold in the men’s 61-kilogram category, Dori Yeats of Montreal won the women’s 69-kilo title and Arjun Gill of Surrey, B.C., won gold in the men’s 97-kilo event.

Jill Gallays of Saskatoon and Braxton Stone-Papadopoulos of Pickering, Ont., won bronze medals. Gallays finished third in the women’s 53-kilo category and Stone-Papadopoulos was third in the women’s 58-kilo class.

In diving, Montreal’s Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion of Laval, Que., won gold in the women’s synchronized 10-metre platform. Laval’s Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware of Beloeil, Que., later added silver in the three-metre springboard.

The 24-year-old Drouin, who won bronze at both the 2012 London Olympics and 2013 world championships, had hoped to go higher. He’s broken the Canadian record three times in less than a year, and in his first meet this season, cleared 2.40 metres to join an exclusive club — only about a dozen jumpers in history have jumped that high.

It wasn’t to be on a blustery night at Hampden Park, as he missed all three attempts at 2.35.

“I would really love to jump 2.40 again. I’d like to get up to those high heights again,” he said.

“I think we got a taste of what Scottish weather was like,” he added, of the conditions. “It was funny, within a matter of about two minutes we had a problem of rain and then the sun being in our eyes. It’s just what you have to deal with, it obviously wasn’t perfect but we dealt with it.”

Theisen-Eaton, a 25-year-old from Humboldt, Sask., won five of the seven events — high jump, shot put, 200 metres, long jump and the 800 — over the two days for her first major international victory. She won silver at both last year’s world indoor and outdoor world championships.

“So this gold medal makes me really happy,” she said. “I always said I don’t think I would get choked up but I had to fight back a few tears (on the podium). It’s just representing your country and knowing everybody back home is happy and watching and supporting you. It feels really good.”

Theisen-Eaton’s husband Ashton Eaton — a world record-holder and Olympic and world champion in the decathlon — cheered her on from the stands. The American even wore a Canada T-shirt.

“Ashton obviously knows what it’s like to be out there as an athlete, and knows that sometimes it’s hard to fire yourself up,” Theisen-Eaton said. “So at the long jump, he walked over and said, ‘Bri, come here!’ and I go over there, he was like, ‘Come on, you’ve got to get fired up for this one!’

“He just amps me up.”

The heptathlon marked the first time Theisen-Eaton and Zelinka had battled head-to-head since the London Olympics. The 32-year-old Zelinka, from London, Ont., took last year off from the multi-events, needing a break.

Earlier this season, Theisen-Eaton broke Zelinka’s Canadian record of 6,599 points, recording 6,641 in Gotzis, Austria.

Theisen-Eaton had a virtually unbeatable 326-point lead after six of the seven events, and they capped the two days with a hard-fought 800. Theisen-Eaton won in two minutes 11.46 seconds, Zelinka finishing eight-10ths of a second behind her.

“I wanted to be competitive and show I’m back, and I’m strong mentally in this event,” said Zelinka, who won the two events that Theisen-Eaton didn’t — the 100-metre hurdles and javelin.

“This is kind of like a little opening ceremonies for me coming back. It’s good to play again, it was playing. It was fun.”

Asked for her reaction to Theisen-Eaton’s victory, Zelinka said: “No reaction, I knew she could do it. She was second coming in. In the world. I was 20th. So it was no surprise. But I still wanted to challenge her, because that’s what we do in heptathlon.”

Zelinka, who was seventh in both the hurdles and heptathlon in London, almost didn’t qualify for Glasgow, as the cut-off date to qualify was June 1. She missed the qualifying standard at a meet in May, so decided at the last minute to try again.

“I did a race in Texas at 9 o’clock, drove four hours, got to bed at two, started the hep at about 10 o’clock the next day just to try again and I got (the qualifying standard),” she said. “I haven’t not made a national team since I was pregnant, every year I’ve been on the national team, and it really means a lot.”

Zelinka echoed the praise of all the Canadians for the raucous crowd in the 44,000-seat Hampden Park — normally the home of Scotland’s national soccer team, but transformed into the track and field venue for the Games.

The noise from the crowd for every event was deafening.

“It took us forever to get around that (victory) lap, everyone is so into it here,” Zelinka said. “It’s such a great crowd, very genuine and very supportive of just great efforts, no matter what country.”

The 24-year-old Labonte threw 17.58 metres for the shot put bronze. Valerie Adams of New Zealand won the gold with 19.88, while Cleopatra Borel of Trinidad & Tobago was second with 18.57.

Canada has 10 medals in track and field, including five gold, with three days of competition to go. The Canadian team brought home 17 medals in the sport from the Games four years ago in New Delhi.

Kyriakos Ioannou of Cyprus was second in the high jump with 2.28 metres.

England’s Jessica Taylor won heptathlon bronze with a score of 5,826.

Labonte threw 17.58 metres. Valerie Adams of New Zealand won the gold with 19.88, while Cleopatra Borel of Trinidad & Tobago was second with 18.57.

Posted in 杭州龙凤 | Comments Off on Canada’s Drouin, Theisen-Eaton win gold

Albertans asked to power down as electric system nears capacity – Calgary

CALGARY- As temperatures continue to soar, Albertans are being asked to power down devices so the electrical system doesn’t overload.

The Alberta Electrical System Operator says the system is operating at near full capacity due to hot weather, low wind and generators being offline.

Enmax suggests the following measures for conserving power during hot weather:

Close blinds and curtains on south and west facing windows to help limit the sun’s ability to heat up your house.Wash your clothes in cold water when possible – as much as 30 per cent of a washing machine’s energy usage goes towards heating the water.Hot, dry days are perfect for hanging clothes to dry outside. Set up a clothesline or a drying rack and you’ll almost eliminate the need to use the dryer.If you do need to use the dryer, throw a large dry towel in with your wet clothes. The towel will absorb some of the moisture and help cut drying time.Barbecue more. Maybe the best tip of all, but stoves and ovens are major sources of heat, so here’s another excuse to fire up the grill this summer.

READ MORE: It’s a scorcher! How Calgarians are coping with the hot weather

When asked if there was any concern of rolling brownouts, a spokesperson for the AESO said “the system is experiencing very high demand, wind is low and two coal plants are out,” but added that there was still a healthy reserve. “At this point we are good but our system controllers are monitoring the system very closely.”

The AESO will be posting updates on 桑拿会所 @theaeso and on its website.

HangZhou Night Net

Related

  • Alberta reaches new summer high for electricity use

  • Experts predict electricity rates could drop over summer

  • Calgarians warned to brace for electricity price hike

Posted in 杭州龙凤 | Comments Off on Albertans asked to power down as electric system nears capacity – Calgary

Gaza analysis: Israel exit scenarios begin to take shape – National

TEL AVIV, Israel – The savage fighting between Israel and Hamas is escalating in Gaza, cease-fire efforts take on elements of farce, and bravado rules the public discourse. But even through the fog of war, a few endgame scenarios can nonetheless be glimpsed.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

Related

  • Dozens killed, hundreds wounded in Israeli strikes on Gaza market, UN school

  • Senior Palestinian official offers 24-hour truce in Gaza; Hamas wants demands met

  • How much will it cost and how long will it take to rebuild Gaza?

  • Israel-Gaza: When real rockets lead to verbal missiles

For the moment, the deadlock is well-entrenched: As long as the crippling blockade of Gaza remains in place, Hamas says it will continue firing rockets at Israel – terrifying but mostly ineffectual, thanks to the “Iron Dome” defence system. Israel says the blockade must stay to stop a terrorist government from importing yet more weapons.

There is not much pressure yet on either side to stop – even in Gaza, where more than 1,300 people, mainly civilians, have been killed, amid widespread devastation.

An Egyptian-led cease-fire plan more than two weeks ago, which Israel accepted and was a straight return to the status quo before this current round – was rejected by Hamas, and there was little criticism of that decision in Gaza.

Such is the hatred of the air, land and sea blockade in the strip – in addition, perhaps, to the fear of Hamas.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry listens as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon makes a statement regarding the violence in Gaza during their meeting in Cairo, Thursday, July 24, 2014.

AP Photo/Pool

Last week’s mediation effort led by John Kerry fizzled amid a most undiplomatic frenzy of criticism in Israel of the U.S. secretary of state. He had dared suggest Hamas’ blockade-ending demands be on the table. He also had ignored Israel’s new demands – probably long-term at best – that the militant group be disarmed.

There is a chance the casualties will pile up so high that the world may start applying enormous pressure on Israel to stop even if that leaves Hamas with a victory of sorts. Things like that have happened before, especially during a Lebanon bombing campaign in 1996 against Hezbollah militants that ended after Israel hit a UN compound housing refugees, claiming error. But it hasn’t happened yet – despite an increasingly harrowing and somewhat murky reality on the ground.

While it is too early to say how all this will end, quiet diplomacy continues. There also is a growing sense that it can’t go on much longer – but then again, it might.

Here are some ways it could play out:

Israel declares victory and leaves

If you listen carefully, Israeli leaders generally describe the ground operation in Gaza as intended to destroy the Hamas-built tunnels leading into Israel, almost certainly for purposes of attack. The military says it has found and is destroying more than 20 tunnels and believes there are a few more. Once that job is done, Israel could well pull out and try to declare victory or even a unilateral cease-fire. The hope would be that the respite from the devastation visited on Gaza would compel Hamas to think again and quietly accept a return to the way it was: no rocket fire on Israel; no airstrikes and shelling of Gaza. This probably wouldn’t work. Hamas has put Gazans through so much that they certainly feel they must have something to show for their efforts in the form of an easing of the blockade. Rocket fire would continue and the hostilities would swiftly resume.

A Palestinian man burns a tire during clashes with Israeli soldiers following a protest against the Israeli offensive in Gaza, outside Ofer, an Israeli military prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Friday, July 18, 2014. Israeli troops pushed deeper into Gaza on Friday to destroy rocket launching sites and tunnels.

(AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Despite huge reservations, Israel may just end up reoccupying the strip, even at the cost of hundreds of soldiers and then being saddled with nearly 2 million Gazans to rule. If the situation becomes bad enough, more fantastical scenarios suggest themselves: perhaps even a NATO force to pacify and rebuild the traumatized strip. It probably won’t be necessary. Hamas will run out of rockets eventually. But for now, it’s believed to have thousands more, Israel will continue to strike back, and the destruction will be harrowing for weeks.

The Palestinian Authority takes over the border with Egypt

Hamas wants an end to the blockade that was imposed by Israel after the militants won the 2006 Palestinian parliament election, were sidelined by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and then seized Gaza in 2007. Some minor things are conceivable, like a small extension of the rights of fishermen to venture out to sea. But Israel will not allow true sea access or an airport as long as Hamas controls the strip. The concern is that even bigger rockets and weapons would stream in. Israel also won’t soon open its borders to Gazans, remembering too well the suicide bombings of a decade ago.

There is one plausible way to greatly ease the siege: Open the southern border near the town of Rafah leading to Egypt, and put the Gaza side not under the control of Hamas but under the Palestinian Authority. Cairo has been extremely cool to the idea of opening the frontier but not to the PA taking it over, in line with the tough Egypt-first policy of new President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. Egypt seems little inclined to help Hamas against Israel, views Gaza as someone else’s problem, and fears Gaza’s militants trickling in and compounding its own jihadi problems in Sinai. But the PA on the border could be spun as a win for everyone: Hamas broke the siege; the PA is back in business in the strip; Israel didn’t give up much under fire; the Gazans feel relief; and Egypt is the hero. When the dust finally settles, don’t be surprised if this is the face-saving way out.

The Palestinian Authority takes over Gaza

Somehow forgotten in the current discourse is that the blockade was imposed after the Hamas takeover. It was probably intended both to be punitive – an incentive to the people to rebel, which has proven impractical under the militants – and to prevent Hamas from arming further. At this point, it is mainly about this latter goal of reining in Hamas. Alternatively, Hamas could call the world’s bluff by accepting the conditions presented to it by the world community: recognize Israel, adhere to previous agreements, renounce violence. Acquiescence here would also probably eliminate the blockade. But no one expects Hamas to do this; it would cease to be Hamas. Either way, the principle’s the same: No Hamas – no blockade.

West Bank-based Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

AP Photo/Amr Nabil

West Bank-based Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas signed a “unity government” deal two months ago that would have actually achieved this on paper – but few seriously expected Hamas to give up its control of Gaza. Israel fought vehemently against the deal, lobbying the world to shun even Abbas – part of a series of events that culminated in the current fight. Essentially the “unity government” was stillborn – but the war could give the arrangement new and genuine life, especially if this comes with serious relief on the blockade. Hamas would find it especially hard to oppose this if major financial incentives were added, like billions in aid from the Gulf and the West, conditioned on the PA being in charge. After all, the support it finds among ordinary Gazans is about improving life for the people, not fighting Israel to the death. Last week, both the German and French foreign ministers said re-involving the PA in the administration of Gaza was the only way to guarantee a long-term cease-fire. Given Hamas’ relative unpopularity in the region at the moment, and its money crunch, it’s not inconceivable.

A challenge for Israel, therefore: It will have to go along with such a game-changing ambitions to a degree. But what if militants from an Abbas-run Gaza still find a way to fire rockets? It may actually rue the day Hamas melted away, removing with it Israel’s near-impunity to hit back as hard as the past month has seen.

Dan Perry has covered the Middle East since the 1990s and currently leads Associated Press’ text coverage in the region. 

©2014The Canadian Press

Posted in 杭州龙凤 | Comments Off on Gaza analysis: Israel exit scenarios begin to take shape – National

Alberta’s NDP wants PCs’ ‘immediate commitment’ for new hospital in southwest Edmonton – Edmonton

Watch above: The NDP is ramping up efforts to convince the province to build a new Misericordia Hospital. As Fletcher Kent reports, others are adding their voices to the call.

EDMONTON – The NDP is calling on the Alberta government to make replacing Edmonton’s aging Misericordia hospital more of a priority.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

Related

  • PC government under fire again for state of Edmonton’s Misericordia Hospital

“The PCs’ diversion tactics and band-aid solutions to dealing with infrastructure problems have gone on long enough,” NDP health critic, David Eggen said. “The Misericordia is beyond reasonable repair. It’s time the government listened to Albertans and committed to a new hospital.”

“There comes a point in time where band-aids are no longer going to ebb the flow of blood,” said Daphne Wallace on behalf of the United Nurses of Alberta.

She says she realizes that repairs on the hospital need to be done in the short-term, but points out that it takes a long time to build a hospital and a date should be set.

“When you have staff in tears over the working conditions in a hospital, it’s clear that the Misericordia is no longer a safe working environment for staff, let alone as an environment that promotes healing for patients,” added Marle Roberts with the Alberta branch of CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees).

The NDP claims that between January 2013 and February 2014, overcapacity protocol in the hospital was triggered 576 times. The facility has also repeatedly faced problems during heavy rainfalls.

READ MORE: Surgeries, procedures delayed at Misericordia Hospital due to flooding

The groups now say enough is enough. They are pushing the government to commit to a new southwest Edmonton hospital.

The PCs have been under fire for some time over the state of the 45-year-old building. Health Minister Fred Horne has admitted that more needs to be done.

“With respect to the Misericordia hospital, government has acknowledged for some time that this facility is nearing the end of its useable life and needs to be replaced,” Horne said.

“In the short term, over $20 million has been invested in critical infrastructure repairs and renovations, and the ministry continues to work with Covenant Health so that it can continue its operations until a new hospital is built.”

The NDP is encouraging Albertans to join its fight for a new southwest Edmonton hospital by signing an online petition.

Posted in 杭州龙凤 | Comments Off on Alberta’s NDP wants PCs’ ‘immediate commitment’ for new hospital in southwest Edmonton – Edmonton

Meet the Yukoner reuniting Haitian ‘orphans’ with their families

Morgan Wienberg recalls the scene that changed her life: Children sitting on concrete floors in their own vomit, emaciated and dehydrated, desperately in need of medical attention.

It was a series of small coincidences that brought the then-18-year-old to the orphanage in Titanyen, Haiti in the wake of a January 2010 earthquake that laid waste to an already fragile country.

After seeing the devastation, Wienberg had to go.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

And her mom, Karen Wienberg, wasn’t about to stand in her way, “My role as a parent is to support her passion in living her life. It’s what she wants to do … it’s her purpose there.”

Wienberg originally intended to work with animals in Haiti. But having just graduated from high school she didn’t have the qualifications. So she signed up with Mission of Hope to teach English and help in a prosthetics lab.

Two weeks after her graduation, in July 2010, Wienberg set out.

She started her placement in Titanyen, an area north of Port au Prince. Standing in front of 60 people, most of whom were her own age or older, Wienberg overcame her natural shyness to teach English.

‘I couldn’t see that and not do something about it’

Mission of Hope would take teams of missionaries to go visit a local orphanage to play with and bring candy to the children. Morgan decided to go along.

But the conditions shocked her.

“I couldn’t see that and not do something about it,” Wienberg says.

Wienberg started getting to know the children, making a list of their names after realizing no one else would notice if one of them went missing because their caretakers didn’t call them by name.

After two months of living and working with Mission of Hope, Wienberg returned home to Whitehorse, intent on going back. She deferred beginning her undergraduate studies at McGill and worked at a bakery and local animal shelter to finance her return.

In February 2011, Wienberg went back to live in the orphanage with the children to whom she’d grown attached. As she began to learn the language she got to know the children and it was then she realized that most of the children weren’t orphans at all.

Many came from poor families in the Haitian countryside or single-parent homes and had been given up in hopes that it would give them a better life.

“[The families] are seeing an influx of aid coming to Haiti but it’s funnelling into orphanages and institutions,” Wienberg said.

“Those parents feel that they will never have a chance of getting that aid or that support for their child.”

A country of ersatz orphans

Haiti has no shortage of orphanages: In 2012 there were an estimated 30,000 children living in  722 orphanages, according to UNICEF. And a flood of international aid can make things worse if it’s irresponsibly disbursed or poorly overseen. And if Haitian social services wants to shut an orphanage down, Wienberg says, there’s often nowhere for children to go in the meantime.

In 2011, Wienberg and Sarah Wilson, a paramedic and nurse from Waterloo, co-founded Little Footprints, Big Steps after meeting in Haiti. Their goal: reuniting children with their families, enrolling the children in school and putting a social safety net is put in place to make that reunion sustainable.

“If a child is sick, or if there is some kind of emergency they don’t have to panic and abandon their child,” Wienberg said.

The organization now has eight staff, all Haitians. Four are dedicated to visiting the 86 families involved in the program, which also offers the families support for agriculture, livestock or small businesses such as buying and reselling goods. The organization has also helped community members make food or coffee to sell and help purchase sewing machines to increase productivity.

“Strong families not only will strengthen the community but will foster better development for each child and prevent the exploitation of those children,” Wienberg said.

It doesn’t always work out: Three families who left their children at the orphanage have been left without answers, unable to find them.

There are children left at the orphanage who can’t return to their families for various reasons – they may not have families to return to or have been on their own for so long they need time to adjust before returning home. Wienberg set up a transitional “safe house” in Les Cayes where these children can live.

Job was among them.

He was 12 years old and living on the street when he came across Morgan two years ago , almost by accident. She was watching performances in the streets of Les Cayes when he happened to pass by.

“Job came up and sat beside me and just kind of leaned over in my lap and fell asleep,” she recalls.

She took him to the safe house and enrolled him in school. He is now at the top of his class and thriving, she says.

Job wasn’t comfortable returning to his parents’ home, in a dangerous area just outside of Les Cayes. In partnership with One Small House, Little Footsteps, Big Steps moved them to a safer area.

Wienberg moved to Haiti full-time at the end of 2011. She supports herself with her savings and her mom’s help.

Little Footprints, Big Steps has an operating budget of $180 000 which is spent on staff salaries and programs. The organization relies on individual donors, its sponsorship program, and the support of local businesses, in addition to partnerships with other NGOs.

‘I would never choose to be anywhere else’

In the past four years post-quake, Wienberg says, some things in Haiti have improved.

Tent communities have evolved into permanent homes, people are noticeably healthier and Wienberg believes the general attitude to be more positive.

Now 22, she hopes to take a step back from the charity she founded to go to university, perhaps to study social work, psychology or international relations.

For now, however, Wienberg is in Miami taking care of Ysaac, a 14-year-old boy who just had surgery to remove a benign tumor growing on the right side of his face. She became his legal guardian a year and a half ago after finding out his father was 75 years old and couldn’t take on an active parental role. Being Ysaac’s guardian allows Morgan to travel with him and make medical decisions. Her role in Miami is essential: She’s the only one there who can communicate with him in Creole.

“As stressful as it can be or as ridiculous as some situations are, I would never choose to be anywhere else.”

PHOTOS: A glimpse inside the life of a child in Haiti

 

Children living in the orphanage (2010).

Morgan Wienberg

Morgan and Nicollege, one of Morgan’s English class students on her first trip to Haiti. LFBS now sends Nicollege’s daughter to school (2010).

Morgan Wienberg

Giguermaie, 8-years-old, cares for a baby at the orphanage (2010).

Morgan Wienberg

Mika, one of 75 orphans living in the orphanage in Haiti (2010).

Morgan Wienberg

Morgan and one of the young children at the orphanage (2010).

Morgan Wienberg

Morgan and children at the Les Cayes transitional safe house. (2013)

Morgan Wienberg

Morgan and some children at the transitional safe house. (2013)

Morgan Wienberg

The outside of Little Footprints, Big Steps’ transitional safe house in Les Cayes, Haiti. (2013)

Morgan Wienberg

Some of the children who live at the transitional safe house.

Morgan Wienberg

Staff member Nicolas Joseph teaching English classes at the transitional safe house. (2013)

Morgan Wienberg

Children living in Little Footprints, Big Steps’ safe house are guaranteed three meals a day. (2013)

Morgan Wienberg

Morgan and some of the children at Little Footprints, Big Steps’ transitional safe house (2012).

Morgan Wienberg

Job, Morgan, and Ysaac, 2013

Morgan Wienberg

Job is now back with his family after living in the streets of Haiti.

Morgan Wienberg

Job at his new house just outside of Les Cayes, Haiti. (2014)

Morgan Wienberg

Job and his family.

Morgan Wienberg

Posted in 杭州龙凤 | Comments Off on Meet the Yukoner reuniting Haitian ‘orphans’ with their families

Driving safety tips to prevent a deadly long weekend

SASKATOON – Summer is in full bloom and families are setting their sights on the August long weekend, meaning traffic safety is key on Saskatchewan highways.

For those looking to get out to vacation destinations after work on Friday and back home on Monday, CAA Saskatchewan is reminding travellers to keep safety in mind.

According to Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), August and September long weekends tend to be the deadliest based on 2011 and 2012 statistics.

Numbers only account for fatal crashes in the province and 2013 numbers are preliminary*.

“Summer also means road construction so let’s also remember to slow down to 60 km/h when passing highway construction zones and also emergency vehicles,” said Christine Niemczyk, director of communications for CAA Saskatchewan.

Check out the province’s Highway Hotline for the latest road updates and construction zones.

Above all – Do not drink and drive.

READ MORE: What you need to know about new Saskatchewan traffic laws

Here are few more safe driving tips for travellers:

Drivers:

Get plenty of sleep before a long drive.Plan routes to allow more attention on travel safely.Remember all Canadian provinces have banned the use of hand-held communications devices behind the wheel.Keep a safe following distance between vehicles.

Towing trailers:

Make sure the weight of the trailer does not exceed the vehicle’s towing capacity because this could pose a safety risk. This information can be found in the owner’s manuals.Take into account the extra size and weight of trailers. Be extra cautious when changing lanes, making turns and especially when slowing down since the load could significantly increase the distance required to stop.Motorists should also ensure that the trailer is securely attached to the vehicle and check this throughout the trip.

Inspect vehicles, trailers and motorhomes to ensure reliable performance prior to any trips.

Pack an emergency kit that includes flashlight, booster cables, tire puncture sealant, first-aid kit, flares, drinking water and a charged cellphone.

CAA roadside assistance is available to members 24-hours day in Canada and the United States.

Want your weather on the go? Download Global News’ Skytracker weather apps for iPhone, iPad and Android.

HangZhou Night Net

Related

  • Saskatchewan police targeting speeders with new laws in effect

  • Preventing injury around the campfire: Safety tips for summer campers

Posted in 杭州龙凤 | Comments Off on Driving safety tips to prevent a deadly long weekend

Recent Posts

Default utility Image Sunscreen and you: the uncoated, goopy facts about sun protection – Toronto

TORONTO- Walk into any store and you’ll find shelves packed tightly...

Default utility Image Shaming bad parking: Social media accounts target Lower Mainland residents

VANCOUVER – Web sites and social media accounts dedicated to...

Default utility Image SaskPower ordered to remove all smart meters in the province

REGINA – SaskPower has announced that they are removing all...

Default utility Image Rob Ford orders 5 espressos in 1 cup on coffee run with Deadmau5 – Toronto

WATCH: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Deadmau5 go for coffee at...

Default utility Image One dropped, four added to Alberta’s threatened species list

Watch above: The province has added another bird and several fish...

Recent Posts

Default utility Image Default utility Image Default utility Image Default utility Image Default utility Image

Recent Posts

Default utility Image Sunscreen and you: the uncoated, goopy facts about sun protection – Toronto

TORONTO- Walk into any store and you’ll find shelves packed tightly...

Default utility Image Shaming bad parking: Social media accounts target Lower Mainland residents

VANCOUVER – Web sites and social media accounts dedicated to...

Default utility Image SaskPower ordered to remove all smart meters in the province

REGINA – SaskPower has announced that they are removing all...

Default utility Image Rob Ford orders 5 espressos in 1 cup on coffee run with Deadmau5 – Toronto

WATCH: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Deadmau5 go for coffee at...

Default utility Image One dropped, four added to Alberta’s threatened species list

Watch above: The province has added another bird and several fish...

Tag Cloud