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Council investigating illegal dump of toxic waste at Inishowen site

first_imgDonegal Council County is continuing to carry out an investigation into the illegal dump of toxic waste at a site in Bridgend. It is understood that the hundreds of thousands of tonnes of the waste has been buried at the site in Bonemaine, Bridgend.Concerns have previously been raised that a Northern Ireland Waste Disposal company could be using the site as an illegal dumping ground. The Donegal County Council said: “These works involve detailed site investigation and sampling works that will inform a tier 2 assessment of the site in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Code of Practice on Environmental Risk Assessment for sites of this nature.“It is anticipated that works on site will be concluded in the coming weeks.”Council investigating illegal dump of toxic waste at Inishowen site was last modified: August 30th, 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)last_img read more

Cape Town’s transport system lauded

first_imgDedicated bus lanes have improved thecommuting experience of Cape Townresidents.(Image: City of Cape Town)MEDIA CONTACTS • Councillor Brett HerronMayoral Committee Member+27 21 400 1298Emily van RijswijckCape Town was one of four cities short-listed for the prestigious 2012 Sustainable Transport Awards held in Washington recently, with its non-motorised transport (NMT) and bus rapid transit network MyCiti receiving an honourable mention.One of 16 other cities nominated, Cape Town made it into the finals along with Argentina’s Buenos Aires, San Francisco in the US and Medellin in Colombia. Medellin and San Francisco were chosen as eventual overall winners.The awards were hosted by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, an organisation which helps cities to implement transport solutions that cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce poverty and improve the quality of urban life.Longest continuous cycling laneCape Town received the recognition for its 16km bicycle lane, the longest continuous such lane in Africa.It runs parallel to one of the MyCiti lanes, both forming part of the city’s plans to provide a quality integrated transport system to its inhabitants.The two dedicated lanes run along the R27, better known as the West Coast Road. This arrangement has cut travelling time by half for commuters as the rapidly expanding West Coast area of Cape Town has no rail services, the other popular form of public transport for the more than 3-million Capetonians.The judging panel noted that the bus and bicycle lanes in this area are particularly important as no mass transport facilities were previously available.Mayoral committee member for transport, roads and stormwater Brett Herron accepted the award on behalf of the city. He said that while Cape Town is still in its infancy in providing a safe and efficient quality public transport service to everybody, city management remains committed to the process.“This award, which sees us on stage with some of the world’s greatest cities, is a massive vote of confidence in our pursuit of this objective and is enormously encouraging.”The other city nominees were Jaipur, Fazilka and Bihar in India; Singapore; Antalya in Turkey; Cuenca in Ecuador; Chicago and Minneapolis in the US; Lviv in Ukraine; South Korea’s Seoul and Chnagwon; Jerusalem in Israel; and Seville in Spain.Integrating all The MyCiti and cycle/pedestrian lanes form part of Cape Town’s approved integrated rapid transit network (IRT), a business plan for all public transport measures and upgrades.It aims to bring about a more sustainable and balanced integrated transport system, especially linking the poorer, outlying areas of Cape Town to economic and social nodes in the city.Now six years in the making, the first phase of the IRT started in 2007, focussing on the inner city basin and the Blaauwberg-Atlantis corridor first because of the extreme congestion experienced in these areas during peak traffic periods.A MyCiti bus service was also introduced between the Cape Town Civic Centre and the Cape Town International Airport and for the duration of the hugely successful 2010 Fifa World Cup, the city offered a dedicated MyCiti service to spectators and tourists.Included in the IRT portfolio are the metro rail network, the MyCiti network, conventional bus and minibus operations, metered taxis, and bicycle and pedestrian lanes, all of which will eventually be connected to make an integrated whole, says Herron.“Ultimately we want a citywide network, with priority given to projects which links homes with key transport nodes.”During the second phase MyCiTi will expand to the outlying suburbs of Atlantis and Dunoon in the coming months, linking them to the retail, commercial and industrial centres of the city.The network will also be extended to the metro’s south-eastern areas including the poorer Cape Flats suburbs of Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain. In this way the city will support the economic and social inclusion of these residents.“The City’s objective is to make all these modes work as a seamless and integrated package of options for the travelling public,” confirms Herron.Bike, walk or skateboardAn important part of MyCiti is the network of cycling paths and upgraded pedestrian walkways connected to these bus routes. One of the first, the NMT lane from Table View in the northern suburbs to the city centre is already a favourite with cyclists and pedestrians.“Cape Town is very committed to the non-motorised network. The City is known to be a cycle-friendly city. We want to build on this image and increase the cycle model share across the city.”Cape Town plays host to the Cape Argus Cycle Tour every year, a gruelling 110km race with the spectacular Cape Peninsula as backdrop. Since 1978 it’s been recognised as the world’s largest individually timed cycle race and attracts over 35 000 cyclists from around the world ever year.Cape Town has budgeted for 19 bicycle and pedestrian projects at a cost of R50-million (US$6.5-million) for this year, with the projects in various phases of development, from design to actual construction.As part of the network, secure bicycle storage facilities will be provided at major MyCiti and railway stations. Meanwhile, bicycles may be taken on the buses except during peak periods.The NMT upgrades include street furniture, signage and landscaping, and are creating jobs through the government’s Expanded Public Works Programme which provides poverty and income relief through temporary work for the unemployed.“Our future vision for transport in Cape Town is a cycle- and pedestrian-friendly city with a well-connected network of NMT infrastructure providing the opportunity to walk or cycle or skateboard as far as you like on safe, dedicated lanes.”The entire IRT network is expected to take about 20 years to complete.last_img read more

Van der Burgh captures Olympic gold

first_img30 July 2012South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh swam “the perfect race” to capture Olympic gold in the 100 metres breaststroke in London on Sunday evening, winning the final in a world record time of 58.46 seconds.Christian Sprenger of Australia finished strongly to win silver in a time of 58.93 and American Brendan Hansen claimed bronze in 59.49.After touching the wall, Van der Burgh turned around, his eyes searching for the result on the scoreboard. Seeing his name atop the standings, and in a world record time, his features broke into a grin that never left his face the rest of the evening.Took in the sceneHe raised his arms in triumph and acknowledged the cheers and clapping of the crowd. Then, he laid himself back along a lane divider, rested his head against the side of the swimming pool and took in the scene while lying on his back.Twenty-five minutes later, at the medal ceremony, the smile remained etched on Van der Burgh’s face as he received his gold medal. When the South African flag was raised, he quietly sang the anthem.Van der Burgh’s victory ensured that the 2012 London Olympics will be more successful for South Africa than the Games of 2008 in Beijing where Khotso Mokoena was the sole medal winner, with a silver in the long jump.Fifth Olympic swimming gold for SAHis victory was only the fifth Olympic gold medal in swimming for South Africa, following in the footsteps of 1952 100m backstroke winner Joan Harrison, 1996 100m and 200m breaststroke champion Penny Heyns, and the men’s 4 by 100m freestyle relay team of 2004. It means he is the first South African to win an individual men’s swimming title.In the lead up to the final, Van der Burgh faded a little towards the end of his qualifying heat, but qualified for the semi-finals with a strong time, nonetheless, of 59.79 seconds.In the semi-finals, however, he raised the bar, clocking an Olympic record of 58.83 seconds to become the only swimmer to go under 59 seconds ahead of the title-deciding race. His time was a big 0.61 seconds clear of the next fastest qualifier, Fabio Scozzoli of Italy, who touched the wall in 59.44.World recordThat suggested that Van der Burgh could win gold, but Olympic finals can overwhelm some. Not Van der Burgh, who produced a sublime performance to lift the title in a time that bettered the three-year-old world record set by Australian Brenton Rickard in the “swimsuit era”, when records fell left, right and centre as technology played a role in lowering numerous world records.The South African breaststroke ace now owns the world records in the 50m and 100m breaststroke in both long course and short course swimming pools.From the start of Sunday’s final, Van der Burgh set the pace, leading through 25 metres. By the 50 metres mark, he had opened a lead of over half-a-second. The South African star was especially impressive over the third 25 metres, extending his advantage. He then held his form to take victory in a time never before matched.Training adjustmentVan der Burgh’s traditional strength has been his speed, which has made him more suited to the 50 metres, but the 50 metres breaststroke is not an Olympic event, so he had to adjust his training to suit the 100 metres. Winning the title, he said, was four years in the making, but it was worth it.“If there is such a thing as the perfect race, I think I swam it at the right time tonight,” he said after the final, which he swam in front of his family and a very vocal band of South African supporters.“I don’t really care about the world record. It really doesn’t faze me,” he said.“Once you become an Olympic champion, you join a club and they can never take it away from you. I can tell my kids when they are watching one day that I did that.”Alexander Dale OenVan der Burgh also took time to remember his friend, Norwegian world champion Alexander Dale Oen, who died of heart failure at the end of April as a result of an undetected coronary heart disease.“I just have to pay tribute to Alexander Oen tonight. I know he has been with me this year. I think he helped me finish the race in such a strong manner,” he said.“Alexander pushed me in training. It made me realise I had to go faster to win the gold medal. That is what we trained for and that is what we have achieved.”He added that he hoped his gold medal winning performance would help spur South African swimmers on to win more medals in the Olympic swimming pool.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Play Your Part ambassador Thabang Mabapa doing extraordinary things to solve Africa’s energy crisis

first_imgAs we wrap-up Youth Month, we take up the opportunity to profile another young person who is doing extraordinary things. Play Your Part ambassador, 26-year old Thabang Mabapa was part of the line-up at the 2018 Sustainability Week hosted at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Tshwane.Mabapa shared his contribution on how he is playing his part in helping solve Africa’s energy crisis and alleviate the shortage of skills and high unemployment in rural areas through his biofuel company during the Youth and Green Economy Dialogue.The dialogue provided a global view of the way in which skills development in the smart, green economy is progressing, and examined opportunities available in the vital fields of renewable energy, water and waste management, industrial design, engineering, manufacturing, project management, and tourism and hospitality.“The Sustainability Week conference is important especially to young people because it informs us of different ways to be sustainable, be it as an individual or company. The conference is also important for entrepreneurs to network and also deepen their understanding of sustainability”, said MabapaSelokong Sa Dimelana (SSD) is an organisation that was created by Mabapa following his interested in energy when he volunteered at his community church in 2012. SSD farms castor seed and processes them to castor oil and biodiesel. The business is primarily in the agricultural sector yet plays a significant role in a number of industries including energy.“I encourage young people to read and learn more on sustainability in the environment. As young people, we have to always seek ways to sustain our environment. Young people can also support organisations that are dedicated to sustainability”, adds Mabapa.When asked what is next for SSD regarding sustainability, he indicated that it is to scale the business to other villages around South Africa and plant more castor trees. “We also aim to minimize waste and to use products that are energy efficient” he concludes.last_img read more

What are the impacts of facial recognition tech on society?

first_imgTags:#Facial Recognition#featured#Internet of Things#IoT#top Shaun Moore Follow the Puck Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You…center_img Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts In the early 1960s, an unnamed intelligence agency funded the first attempt at automation of facial recognition. Technology has improved, needs have changed and data collection has become significantly smarter since then, allowing facial recognition to have real-world everyday consequences, both positive and negative.Traditionally a government-centric technology, facial recognition has become the talk of the airline industry, the banking industry, smartphone companies, the computer industry, and more. With accelerated improvements in processing power, facial recognition can be assessed in real time and without the consent of the individual.What is the social impact our privacy?The perception was much different pre-September 11, 2001. This perceived type of futuristic technology was only something people saw in Hollywood and fell under the umbrella of Big Brother is watching us. At Super Bowl XXXV the federal government ran a test in which it scoured the 100,000 attendees and reported to have found 19 potential risks. This test was subsequently discovered by the media, leading to public conversation on privacy concerns.When questioned about the secret test, Tampa police spokesman Joe Durkin expressed, “It confirmed our suspicions that these types of criminals would be coming to the Super Bowl to try and prey on the public.” The dilemma, which in my opinion was the result of 9/11, becomes a conversation about improved security and the impact on our personal privacy.See also: Facial recognition tech makes it official — you no longer have privacyNothing substantial came of this test other than Tampa exploring the use of facial recognition further for a year, with mixed results. Being able to run facial recognition in real time poses all sorts of complications: lighting, facial angles, covered faces, rainy weather. Their testing eventually fizzled out over the next few months.Public conversation began to shift after 9/11 when fear of terrorism and prevention of said terrorism overshadows the invasion of privacy issue. Would you be willing to have your face scanned as you entered a supermarket, or a concert venue if there was a slight chance it could catch a potential threat? Is this living in fear or is this being intelligent about utilization of technology we have been developing since the 60s? What was once intended purely for government use can now make us safer and provide more convenience in our lives. While futuristic maybe, yes — but so was the iPod and the iPhone, so was an electric car, and a website to connect more that 1 billion people.These technologies were met with initial adoption resistance, facial recognition has the potential to streamline parts of our life, make them more secure, provide us a greater level of convenience that range from withdrawing money at an ATM to entering your personalized home.So will facial recognition become part of everyday life? I think this answer is far more complex than I could do justice here. People openly talk about how easy it is to open their iPhones with their thumbprints, willingly giving a public company their biometric information. Clear (Expedited Airport Security) reached their 1-million-member mark for improving your airport experience with biometrics. This technology is actively being tested all around the world and it will only keep improving.So how strong is your privacy?If you are worried about your privacy you would need to throw away your credit cards, dump your phone in a lake and not go out in public. Phones now utilize sensors and accelerometers to track our every behavior, understanding exactly when we wake up in the morning, where our offices are, where we shop for groceries, what our interests are and how we spend our time. This to me is the ultimate invasion of privacy, we willingly give up our personal information that these “free” services offer, then turn around and sell for profit, all for a split-second hit of dopamine when someone “likes” a picture we post on Facebook.Facial recognition is a tool in a larger toolbox of solutions. As with any powerful technology, if it ends up in the wrong hands, it could be problematic. For now, I believe, it is here to stay as it improves the flow of people’s lives and has the potential to silently protect individuals. When we do not understand a shift of behavior and the positive impact it can have, we as a society, always want to resist. Education is the crux to this resistance and once society recognizes the overwhelming benefits offered as a result of facial recognition we will be able to move past the mental hurdles.last_img read more

Sachin Tendulkar’s autobiography to release on November 6

first_imgThe much-awaited autobiography of batting icon Sachin Tendulkar will hit the stands on November 6 with a high-profile release of the book in his home city Mumbai.The book, titled ‘Playing It My Way’, will be published worldwide by Hodder and Stoughton and by Hachette India in the Indian sub-continent.The book has been co-authored by renowned cricket historian Boria Majumdar.”I knew that agreeing to write my story would need me to be completely honest, as that’s the way I have always played the game. It would require talking about a number of aspects I have not shared in public before,” said Tendulkar in a press release issued by the publishers.”So here I am, at the end of my final innings, having taken that last walk back to the pavilion, ready to recount as many incidents as I can remember since first picking up a cricket bat as a child in Mumbai 35 years ago,” Tendulkar added.”My autobiography will be available on Nov 6th…Excited,” Tendulkar tweeted.The front cover of the book shows Tendulkar raising his bat while walking away from the field one last time after his knock of 74 against the West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium on November 15.last_img read more