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Where were you while we were getting high?

first_imgOn the rebound from Varsity defeat, Dan James and Hertford soar to new heights Early on Saturday morning is perhaps the least likely time at which one might find a group of Oxford students bouncing up and down (with vomit-inducing abandon) of their own free will, yet this week Iffley Road played host to such a spectacle under the auspices of the trampolining Cuppers tournament. With the much vaunted panel of judges failing to show up, tournament organiser Lucy Raw was forced to assemble a motley crew whose lack of knowledge of the sport belied the commitment of the partcipants. Their inexperience was demonstrated in their setting a new record for the highest standard deviation of form marks in any trampolining competition in history. The event was split into three categories, novice, intermediate and advanced. Each group, in theory, had to perform a routine of ten moves, although, with the judges’ unfamiliarity with the rules apparently matched by many of the competitors, the number of skills performed by each competitor varied significantly. Yet the participants in each category showed considerable aptitude. In the novice section, Hertford’s welsh wonder Ellie La Trobe Bateman scored some of the best marks of the day to win by a clear four points from Oriel’s Felicity Bulmer. Keble’s James Kenny came third, his bitterness evident in shouting “Dan’s biased” when Herford captain Dan James awarded high marks to La Trobe. Kenny’s own college colleague Sarah Davis and St Hilda’s Jamie Brown finished fourth and fifth and a hard-fought contest. The intermediate contest was perhaps less hard fought, with the judges awarding the first three competitors 0.0, and Ben Arnold resorting to copying exactly the moves of Wadham’s Natasha Brereton, even falling on his arse at precisely the same juncture. Almost by default, veterans Kath Edward of Oriel and Alex Rowley of St.Annes won the section, with Sarah Day in third. In the advanced category, despite Univ’s Alex McAleenan’s attempts to impress the judges in her lycra, her efforts were only good enough for third place behind Wadham’s Elaine Bettaney [who scored her own personal best] and the winner, Hertford’s Dan James. The dimunitive James earned a truly massive points total, 59.2, finishing six points clear of Bettaney. Another Hertfordian, Emily Kemp displayed the athleticism familiar to fans of women’s volleyball [surely almost every man in the university] to finish fourth with 47.7 points, although the Essex girl thought she needed to do nine moves instead of ten. So Hertford claimed the trophy, taking it back to Catte Street where it will be lodged in the trophy cabinet alongside the fourth division rugby title they claimed last term and the third place pennant they won in shove ha’penny in 1956. Whether it was La Trobe’s poise, James’s good looks or Kempo’s east end contacts which decided the outcome, no-one can be sure. Yet, ultimately, trampolining was the winner, and the organisers can expect a higher turnout next year.ARCHIVE: 1st Week MT2003last_img read more

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Fudges singles out foodservice

first_imgFamily-run biscuit company Fudges has launched new single-serve sweet and savoury biscuits for the foodservice sector. The individual packs are being targeted at cafés, hotels, offices, canteens and airline catering. Fudges saw its products take off for the first time on a BA flight in March this year.The range includes: cheese biscuits – for example cheese straws; biscuits for cheese, including oat crackers and malted wheat biscuits; and sweet biscuits including dark chocolate florentines and chocolate stem ginger biscuits.”Customers have been asking us to launch individual packs for some time and we’re happy to oblige,” explained MD Steve Fudge. “We put the same biscuits into single serves in order that Fudges can be enjoyed on more occasions, in more places whether it’s in a café or 50,000 feet up in the air.”www.fudges.co.uklast_img read more

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Speech: DFID Ghana Social Sector Team Leader’s speech at Adolescent and Youth Pre-Summit to African Union Second Girl Summit

first_imgHonourable Minister of Gender, Children & Social Protection, H.E. The Second Lady of the Republic of Ghana, UN Resident Coordinator, Representative from the Canadian High Commission, Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.Thank you to the African Union and the Government of Ghana for hosting this important conference.Yesterday marked the anniversary of the Declaration and the Convention of Children’s Rights, the most widely-ratified human rights treaty in history which Ghana was the first country to ratify. So it is a time for celebrating children’s rights, to continue to press for action that will improve the lives of children and youth around the world, and to recognise that the future belongs to them– not us.So I am delighted to be here. The UK government is committed to empowering young people and giving them the chance to have their voices heard, especially on issues that affect them specifically.This includes the crucially important issue of child marriage, which we know is incredibly widespread. Over 650 million women alive today were married during their adolescent years. And every day, 20,000 adolescent girls become pregnant. I look forward to this Summit’s discussions and decisions on how to tackle this.We know that young people have enormous potential to shape the future of their countries when given the right opportunities and support. Without the active participation of young people, we will not be successful in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. This is why DFID provides support to youth programming and policy development that enables productive employment; develops future leaders and active citizens; protects young people from harm; and raises awareness of development issues.And if I may speak specifically on Ghana for a moment.The UK Government’s International Citizen Service programme brings together young people form the UK and young Ghanaians. Working in Eastern region and Upper West, these young volunteers build their own skills, confidence and job prospects as well as working to promote gender equality, adult literacy and help to support education for children with disabilities. To date, this UK Aid programme has supported 35,000 young people across the globe.I also want to note His Excellency the President’s vision for a self-reliant Ghana. This vision is truly inspiring and is applauded by the UK and all development partners. In the long term, economic development and investment in human capital, which means an investment in young people’s health, education and tackling barriers that block their potential, is the sustainable pathway to self-reliance.It is fantastic to be part of the adolescent and youth pre-summit, and to see so many impressive young people represented here today. To the young people – I would urge you all to raise your voice and use this forum to share your expertise and knowledge of the issues that are affecting your generation. And to the not-so-young… I would encourage you to listen openly to what young people are telling us.This final point is summed up by the #ourlivesourleadership, #enoughwiththesilence and #endchildmarriagenow hashtag that will be circulating Twitter to tie in with the summit. These issues affect young people, and we should be empowering young people to speak out and end the silence.last_img read more

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Making drinking water clean

first_imgThe permanent way to prevent diarrhea from killing an average of 4,000 children a day worldwide would be for governments to step in and provide safe, clean water for their people to drink. But that prospect appears to be years away.In the meantime, Harvard economist Michael Kremer is among those working on alternative solutions, conducting research and allying with nongovernmental organizations to develop systems that are effective and that people will use.Kremer, Gates Professor of Developing Societies, described his efforts and provided an overview of recent research on the topic of safe water during a talk Tuesday at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Part of the institute’s water series, Kremer’s talk took the audience from urban Morocco, where a key study examining links between water access and health took place, to rural Kenya, where Kremer’s own research has centered on chlorination of rural water sources.There are several challenges regarding the world’s water, Kremer told the audience crammed into a seminar room in the Radcliffe Gym. Among the concerns are possible shortages in the global supply, though that issue is more central to agriculture, which uses 70 percent of the global supply, and industry, which uses 20 percent. Domestic use accounts for just 10 percent. Conversations about safe water involve just a fraction of domestic use, Kremer said, since you’re mainly talking about water for drinking and cooking, not for bathing and other household uses, like flushing toilets or watering lawns.The major issues concerning domestic water supply involve safety and access. There is considerable willingness to pay for improved access to water, even untreated water, as illustrated by a 2009 study in urban Morocco that compared homes with piped water to families getting water from a communal source.The researchers thought there might be a health benefit from having water — even if untreated — piped into homes, perhaps through a willingness to wash hands more, but the study showed no link between improved access and health.While people appear willing to pay for improved access, studies of chlorination use to purify water have shown there is little interest in paying for purification. One study showed that less than a tenth of families would pay full price for a bottle of water purification solution, and just a few more would pay if the price were reduced. When the solution was offered for free, however, usage jumped to about 60 percent.Kremer has worked with local nongovernmental organizations to design and distribute free chlorination systems at springs across Kenya, which now serve 400,000 people. A similar pilot program in Haiti serves 30,000.Even when chlorine solution is very inexpensive, the question remains on how you set up such a system and maintain it. Though some analysts argue that charging a nominal fee for maintenance and replenishment is a reasonable request, Kremer said that even low fees appear to discourage many people from using the system.Kremer is investigating alternative financing sources, such as using carbon offsets created by preventing the burning needed to boil water.“We’d like this to be free. We’d like it to be automatic, or as convenient as possible,” Kremer said.The low cost of chlorination, Kremer said, brings such improvements within the financial reach of even the poorest governments. The more difficult challenge comes in designing viable systems and getting people to use them, which will require expertise in management, economics, engineering, and even sociology.“If we come together, this is a goal we can … realize,” Kremer said.last_img read more

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HMS publication recognized in national design competition

first_img“Frontiers in Ophthalmology,” the comprehensive report of Harvard Medical School’s Department of Ophthalmology, was chosen June 6 as one of a handful of winners in the 2012 U360 Design Competition. In the nationwide competition, a panel of leading designers selected 14 finalists from 330 entries. “Frontiers in Ophthalmology” was one of eight winners in the category of communication excellence, and will be included in a book of winners. A PDF of “Frontiers in Ophthalmology” is available here.Read more information.last_img

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W.Va. lawmaker who resigned over slurs returns to statehouse

first_imgCHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A Republican lawmaker in West Virginia who resigned after posting an anti-gay slur is set to elude political consequences now that he has won back his seat. John Mandt stepped down as a Statehouse delegate in the heat of his reelection campaign last October after screenshots showed him using the slur in a Facebook Messenger group. It had been the latest in a series of discriminatory remarks from him about gay people and Muslims. But he reversed his decision to bow out of the race and won re-election. The Republican speaker of the House of Delegates did not say Mandt would face any repercussions.last_img

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Vandalism incident reported in Riley Hall

first_imgAn art installation on display was vandalized Thursday night, according to an email sent to art students Friday by Olivia Williamson, undergraduate and graduate studies coordinator for the department of art.Editor’s Note: The artist who created the display that was vandalized, Charlie Ortega Guifarro, is a sports writer for The Observer.At the time the email was sent, it was unknown who carried out the act. The display showcased Notre Dame students who are recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The display’s content was thought to have been the motivation behind the vandalism.“Due to the nature of the artist’s installation, we believe this to be politically motivated,” Williamson said in the email. “ … Although it is normal to feel strongly about particular pieces of art when viewing someone’s work, it is never acceptable to touch, modify or destroy them in any way.”University spokesman Dennis Brown said in an email that such incidents are handled by Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP). After an investigation, a decision is made over whether charges or other further action is necessary.“NDSP follows up on any information that can be gleaned in the course of investigating, and then determines what, if any, course of action should be taken related to charges,” he said.Tags: Art Department, DACA, NDSP, Riley Hall, vandalismlast_img read more

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New Program Makes Available $2 Million in Low Interest Loans for Home Energy Improvements

first_imgNew Program Makes Available $2 Million in Low Interest Loans for Home Energy ImprovementsState Treasurer Jeb Spaulding will announce September 17, 2008, a new low-interest home loan program that will make available $2 million to Vermont homeowners seeking to weatherize their homes and reduce energy costs. Joining Spaulding will be TD Banknorth President Phil Daniels, Efficiency Vermont Director Blair Hamilton and Burlington homeowner Bob Poczabut.The new program can potentially provide very low-interest loans to weatherize approximately 800 homes, depending on the loan amount granted. Efficiency Vermont also will announce a limited time offer associated with the program that will further help defray homeowner costs for undertaking comprehensive weatherization improvements. In addition to weatherization projects, the new program will provide low-interest loans for the replacement of old, inefficient heating equipment.For More Information: Lisa Helme, Director of Financial Literacy & Communications, Office of the State Treasurer, (802) 828-3706, email: [email protected](link sends e-mail)last_img read more

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Better food for world’s poor could hike climate-changing emissions

first_imgGlobally, more than 3 billion people – about two in five – cannot afford healthy diets, the UN report said. That includes 18 million people across North America and Europe, it said.In Indonesia, more than a third of children under five are stunted and a quarter of all adults are overweight or obese.Ensuring a healthy diet – on average 2,300 calories per person per day, including sufficient protein – for everyone would increase Indonesia’s emissions by 15%, said the five UN agencies behind the report.In Malawi, where UN figures show half of people face severe food insecurity, a healthy diet could mean more dairy and less tubers, Loken said.That change would increase Malawi’s emissions by 31%, said Loken, a scientist who also leads work on food issues globally for conservation group World Wildlife Fund (WWF).But Malawi’s small size means such an increase would not have a significant global impact, he said.Agnes Kalibata, a UN special envoy for a summit next year on improving food systems, said tradeoffs between lowering emissions and improving nutrition do “not need to be our only path forward”.She pointed to a program in western Kenya where environmentally-friendly farming practices doubled yields of staple crops and farmers “are no longer encroaching on forests for farming or fuel because they don’t need to”.Because forests absorb planet-heating emissions, better protecting them can help hold the line on climate change, scientists say.More meat, less animalsEthiopia’s government plans to produce more meat and dairy products – but by raising more productive animals rather than more of them, said Katrin Glatzel, program head of the Malabo Montpellier Panel, a group of international agriculture experts.Both meat and dairy require more climate-changing emissions to produce than food typical of a vegetarian diet, scientists say.In North America, with both a meat-heavy, carbon-intensive diet and a serious problem with obesity, shifting to healthier diets would cut both emissions and healthcare costs, said Cindy Holleman, the UN report’s editor.The latest UN report revised the number of hungry people in the world to almost 690 million or 8.9% of the global population in 2019, a significant drop from 822 million, or 11% of the population, in 2018.But the new figures, based on updated data for 13 countries including China, do not mean the world is winning the fight against hunger, it said.Overall trends still show hunger rising since 2014 and the economic shifts associated with the coronavirus pandemic could leave an additional 83 million to 132 million people hungry globally in 2020, the report warned.Hunger is rising fastest in rapidly growing Africa. The region is likely to account for half of the world’s hungry by 2030, it said.Topics : To feed their people a healthy diet, countries from Ethiopia to India may need to hike their climate-changing emissions – a shift only possible if richer nations simultaneously curb theirs, a United Nations flagship report on hunger said Monday.Increasing emissions to provide poor children, in particular, with more protein or dairy products – “outweighs the negative effects deriving from higher national emissions” in those countries, the report said.But Brent Loken, lead author of an upcoming report on the G20’s role in transforming the food system, said overall global emissions cannot increase as diets improve in poorer countries. That means rich nations – from the United States and Britain to South Korea and Argentina – would need to cut back on carbon-intensive diets, both he and the annual UN report said.”If we truly feel that every single person on the planet has a right to healthy food, has a right to be able to eat enough food, this is the only way that we’re going to be able to do this without destroying the planet,” Loken said.Currently, the world’s food system is responsible for at least a fifth of planet-heating emissions, according to the report.Scientists have warned that failure to curb the world’s still-growing emissions could lead to crises from food and water shortages to worsening weather disasters and sea level rise.last_img read more

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EC unveils version 2.0 of strategic investment fund, with COP21 links

first_imgThe European Commission has announced new measures intended to boost public and private investment in Europe and beyond, including beefing up the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) with a greater focus on clean energy and other environmental objectives.The plans were unveiled by Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in his “State of the Union” speech to the European Parliament yesterday, 14 September, with the Commission then providing more details.The EFSI is a key vehicle for implementing the Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe, formerly known as the Juncker plan.It is a joint initiative with the European Investment Bank (EIB), which is the main investor. The Commission is proposing to double its duration and financial capacity.The EFSI was initially established for three years, with the aim of mobilising at least €315bn in investments in its first three years (2015-18), with “maximum” private sector contributions.The Commission is proposing to extend the EFSI to reach a target of “at least” €500bn in investments by 2020, with the member state contributions.“And,” said Juncker, “we will work beyond that to reach €630bn by 2022.”Some €116bn in investments has been mobilised so far under the EFSI.EFSI2.0, as the Commission refers to the beefed-up fund, will focus “even more on sustainable investments across sectors to help to meet COP21 targets and help the transition to a resource efficient, circular and zero-carbon economy”.At least 40% of EFSI-approved “infrastructure and innovation” projects “should contribute to climate action in line with the COP21 objectives”, according to the Commission.The EFSI’s increased firepower, however, will not solely be for more environmental projects.The Commission is also proposing to increase to €1bn the total amount of financing for social enterprises and microfinance, from €193m.It said this was expected to mobilise almost €3bn in overall investment.The envisaged new-and-improved EFSI is also intended to have a broader geographical and sectoral reach and offer more transparency on investment decisions and governance procedures.The Commission is going “global” with its investment plan for Europe, as Juncker put it, launching a €44bn plan for Africa and “EU Neighbourhood” countries.Member states and other partners are encouraged to match the EU’s contribution to the new External Investment Plan (EIP). “The logic is the same that worked well for the internal Investment Plan,” said Juncker. “We will be using public funding as a guarantee to attract public and private investment to create real jobs.”The Commission said the EIP would contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are becoming more of a focus for some large European pension fund investors.CMU agenda Juncker also emphasised the “urgent” need to “accelerate” the Commission’s capital markets union (CMU) project to free up non-bank financing of the European economy.“The Commission is putting a concrete roadmap for this on your table today,” he said.This is based on “accelerating the delivery” of already-announced initiatives, such as new securitisation rules, and “new and substantive” proposals the Commission wants to make by the end of the year.This includes steps to unlock private investment in infrastructure and SMEs by amending insurance legislation and banking legislation.For insurers, this will involve amending Solvency II rules to reduce capital charges.“New legislative initiatives may also be warranted in the future for other priorities,” said the Commission.This includes “a possible framework for an EU personal pension product”, it said.The Commission is consulting on this at the moment.Also as part of its CMU project, the EU executive announced that it would establish an expert group to develop a European strategy on sustainable finance “to support green technologies and ensure the financial system can finance growth in a way that is sustainable”. It will adopt non-binding guidelines on the methodology companies should use to report to investors and consumers on environmental, social and governance issues and said it was “assessing the follow-up” to its recent consultation on long-term and sustainable investment.last_img read more

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