Spanish government looks to reform energy sector

first_imgSpanish government looks to reform energy sector FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:The Spanish government is exploring ways to persuade investors to finance a 100 billion-euro ($116 billion) transformation of its energy system as it tries to move beyond past policy mistakes that led to widespread losses and lawsuits.The Socialist administration is drawing up plans to expand renewable power generation, modernize its transport system and refit buildings to make them more energy efficient through 2030. But the effort to mobilize private investment is hampered by ongoing legal disputes from the party’s last green energy push a decade ago, which saw over-generous solar power subsidies cut retroactively.“We have to craft carefully a proposal that is adequate, credible and sound in terms of new investments, both for national and foreign investors, and also providing some recognition about what happened,” Teresa Ribera, minister for the ecological transition, said in an interview at her office in Madrid. “It can be through regulatory means or it can be via fiscal means.”Ribera has limited room for maneuver because the government is still fighting legal claims from investors over cuts in subsidies for photovoltaic power plants. Spain became the world’s biggest installer of PV panels in 2008 after the government misjudged the amount of subsidy required to stimulate investment. The payments were gradually reduced over successive years — leaving some plants struggling to cover their financing costs — as they began to jeopardize the public finances.A second problem for the minority administration is its lack of support in parliament, where the governing party has just 84 of 350 lawmakers. Ribera said she is aiming to win cross-party support for her plans but can also use administrative levers to push through some measures if she is blocked by opposition parties.Among her first moves, Ribera aims to remove a levy on Spaniards who installed solar panels on their homes by the end of November. She said both the left-wingers of Podemos and the liberals of Ciudadanos have in the past signaled they would support the decision, but the government can also push through the change by decree if necessary.More: Spain Aims to Win Investors for $116 Billion Energy Refitlast_img read more

Cheat River Festival: A Party in the Mud

first_img The Cheat River, in the vicinity of Albright, W.Va., has long been plagued by pollution and acid mine drainage. So much so that many of the rocks downstream of Albright remain stained rust brown to this day. Since the 1990’s, however, the Cheat has been making a slow comeback, in large part due to extraordinary efforts by the river advocacy group Friends of the Cheat. This year Friends of the Cheat hosted its 23rd annual Cheat River Festival. Cheat River Fest draws paddlers and water lovers from far and wide to help raise money, support, and awareness for the beautiful Cheat River.You never know what to expect for spring weather in West Virginia. We were told Cheat Fest was notorious for rain. Friday, which happened to be the first-ever Cheat Fest Friday, was a beautiful day. When we rolled into the festival grounds it was sunny and in the high 70s.It was perfect weather for the downriver race. We were able to set up in time to catch the hundred or so paddlers as they raced past the campground put-in. As the sun went down Friday night, though, so did the temperature. It began pouring down rain Friday night as the temperature dipped well into the low 40s. The rain continued and the temperature stayed cold all day Saturday. The Cheat Fest crowd didn’t skip a beat. The vibe of the entire crowd stayed overwhelmingly positive and the stoke stayed high, even as the festival grounds became a massive mud pit. We can’t say enough about the kindness that we experienced all weekend. It makes you wonder what it would be like if everyone had an attitude like the Cheat Fest crowd. Cheat Fest held up its reputation for being fun for the entire family. The kids tent was a place for little ones to learn skills, create crafts, and meet other kids. This year’s theme was “Water Unites Us.” Some of the activities included a comUNITY scavenger hunt, group mural, and like prior years crafts made with recycled materials and acid mine drainage tie dye.As always, you could find us holding down the Blue Ridge Outdoors booth, repping our favorite magazine, talking about our favorite outdoors brands, and enjoying the killer music lineup that Cheat Fest is known for. On Sunday we teamed up with Patrick from Blackwater Outdoor Adventures to give back with a Cheat River cleanup. The weather, which called for possible snow, was rough. That didn’t stop us from showing up to do our part to keep the Cheat clean. The water was a little high and fast to get in canoes, so we cleared the banks in Rowlesburg town park of all the trash we could find.To find out more, we encourage you to visit the Friends of the Cheat website and get involved in any way that you can.Up next we’ll be hitting the 31st Appalachian Trail Days in Damascus, Va. For those interested, we’ll also be participating in a little trail magic on the Thursday before the festival. We’ll be teaming up with Sundog Outfitter – Adventure Damascus to catch hikers coming into town and spread the love of the white blaze. Hope to see everyone May 18-20 in Damascus!_____________________________________________________________Like the gear we’re rockin’ ?  Check out some of the brands featured in the images above that support this program! La Sportiva, National Geographic, Mountain House, Crazy Creek, Lifestraw, RovR Products, Sea To Summit and, Lowe Alpine.Special thanks to La Sportiva and their Nucleo GTX boot and the Stormfighter 2.0 GTX jacket for keeping us dry all weekend long. last_img read more

NAFCU at FSSCC/FBIIC cybersecurity meeting, more

first_img 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr NAFCU Director of Regulatory Affairs Alexander Monterrubio on Wednesday will attend an all-day meeting in Washington with the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council on cybersecurity.The meeting will be jointly hosted with the Financial and Banking Information Infrastructure Committee. NAFCU is a founding member of the FSSCC and has worked with both groups on cybersecurity issues.On Thursday, NAFCU will focus on a CFPB public field hearing on debt collection in Sacramento, Calif. The hearing will feature remarks from CFPB Director Richard Cordray, consumer group and industry representatives, and questions and comments from members of the public.CFPB has told NAFCU the hearing will only focus on third-party debt collection, and that the bureau will address first-party debt collection later. Before the hearing, the bureau is expected to issue an outline of a potential rulemaking on debt collection and to begin the process of forming a Small Business Review Panel on the issue. continue reading »last_img read more

New bill mandates 2 percent state budget allocation for disaster mitigation

first_imgAce Hasan Syadzily, the deputy chairman of House Commission VIII overseeing disaster and social affairs, said the country’s disaster management budget was too low according to prevailing regulations, resulting in fundamental budget reallocations when disasters occur.”The budget allocation could be adjusted later, as well as whether it all goes to the BNPB [the National Disaster Mitigation Agency] or to other ministries and state institutions. The point is, the BNPB won’t only respond to disasters but also mitigate them,” the Golkar Party politician said.In financing the government’s COVID-19 mitigation effort, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati announced in March that the government would reallocate Rp 27 trillion (US$1.8 billion) from the state budget previously earmarked for ministries, state institutions and regional administrations to fund the healthcare system.Read also: Explainer: Indonesia to finance coronavirus battle mostly through debt The House of Representatives has initiated a revision to the Law No. 24/2007 on disaster mitigation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the bill mandating that the government allocate an endowment fund for disaster relief.Article 67 of the bill, a copy of which was obtained by The Jakarta Post, includes a provision that the fund allocated for disaster management must reach 2 percent of the annual state budget.  President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo also called on regional administrations to reallocate their budgets to fund ongoing COVID-19 mitigation efforts, as the country scrambled to slow the spread of the deadly disease across the archipelago.The government has also set aside Rp 695.2 trillion in funds for healthcare and economic stimulus spending to cushion the impact of the outbreak, from the previous allocation of Rp 677.2 trillion.BNPB head Doni Monardo, who also leads the national task force to contain the disease in the country, said the agency’s budget had been consecutively reduced from 2017 to 2020.This year’s budget, for example, was only Rp 450 billion, a reduction of 26.7 percent from the previous year.”There is a significant gap in disaster management needs and our budget availability,” said Doni.Read also: Disaster mitigation plan needed in infrastructure developmentArticle 14 of the bill also gives the BNPB authority to form regional forces to accelerate disaster management and cut down on bureaucracy, in line with the agency’s plan to build disaster management centers in several regions.Doni went on to say that the BNPB would establish at least seven disaster relief logistics centers, three emergency preparedness centers and three crisis command centers as the Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) in some regions still needed assistance.“We’ve communicated our plan to build such centers with the Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Ministry,” Doni said.Topics :last_img read more

Crushed by virus and war, jobless Afghans turn to opium for cash

first_img“Because of the coronavirus I lost my job. I have a family of 12 members, I am the breadwinner,” said Fazily, 42, a mechanic in the central province of Uruzgan who, like many Afghans, goes by one name.”I have no other way but to work in poppy fields to make some money.”Farmers usually rely on a seasonal labour force for the spring and summer harvesting months but the coronavirus pandemic meant many were unwilling or unable to travel for the work.A report published by the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in June found a shortage of workers had been observed “in the western and southern provinces of the country, mainly due to the closure of a border crossing with Pakistan”. Topics : Students unable to go to school because of the lockdown were among those who filled in, heading to the opium poppy fields looking to make quick cash.”Our school is closed and I have enough time to go work in a poppy field and make some money,” said Nazir Ahmad, an 18-year-old student in Kandahar.”About 20 of my classmates are also working here.”More than 38,000 cases of coronavirus have been declared in Afghanistan and more than 1,400 deaths, though the health ministry estimated earlier this month that a third of the population has likely contracted the disease.A months-long lockdown, which has mainly affected cities, has slowly been lifted since the beginning of August, with some schools, wedding halls and markets reopening.Despite myriad eradication programs over the years, Afghan farmers continue to grow poppies with near impunity, as both government officials and the Taliban often profit from the lucrative trade.Read also: Myanmar’s opium farmers cling on to lucrative cropMost poppy production is centered in the Taliban-controlled southern strongholds, although opium is also grown along the country’s eastern border with Pakistan.”There were no jobs, and a lot of people, especially my relatives and villagers, resorted to poppy cultivation due to joblessness,” Musafir, a resident of Khogyani district of eastern Nangarhar province, told AFP.The Taliban has long profited from poppies by taxing farmers and traffickers, and running its own drug-making factories that turn raw opium into morphine or heroin for export, with drugs then trafficked through neighboring Pakistan and Iran.International donors have spent billions of dollars on counter-narcotics drives in Afghanistan over the past decade, including programs to encourage farmers to switch to other cash crops such as saffron.But efforts to move farmers away from their lucrative but dangerous poppies have met with little success.”The forced-eradication policy has not worked in the past 18 years,” said Hayatullah Hayat, governor of southern Kandahar province.”Unfortunately, Kandahar faces an increase in poppy cultivation this year.”center_img Afghans pushed out of work by the coronavirus pandemic after businesses and schools were shuttered have turned to opium cultivation for cash during this year’s poppy harvest.Afghanistan has long been the world’s top grower of opium, producing more than 80 percent of the global supply and providing hundreds of thousands of jobs in the perennially cash-strapped economy.A coronavirus lockdown and travel restrictions saw trade grind to a halt and many businesses were forced to lay off staff, in a conflict-riven country where stable jobs are already rare.last_img read more

Parental leave bill resurrected

first_imgStuff 29 May 2014Maori party MP Pita Sharples was ”bullied” into not correcting a paid parental leave bill blunder, Labour claims.Labour MP Sue Moroney’s bill to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks failed at the second reading last night in shambolic scenes. National Party Whip Louise Upston incorrectly cast three votes on behalf of the Maori Party, after a paperwork gaffe.The error was corrected this afternoon, with co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell confirming an  “administrative error.”However, Labour’s shadow leader of the House Grant Robertson says Maori Affairs minister Sharples came down to the debating chamber to fix the record after 9pm last night.But after a meeting with National ministers Tony Ryall, Anne Tolley and junior whip Jami-Lee Ross, he failed to do so.Robertson says it is ”one of the worst examples of bullying I have seen in Parliament.”Tolley rejects this.”There was certainly no bullying from our side,” she said.”The Maori Party has said it was their stuff up. They’ve apologised to the National whips and good on them for that.”But Robertson is adamant National used underhand tactics. read more

Pogba to be assessed by Man Utd doctors this week

first_img Raiola said his client would be interested in a move to Juventus. He told talkSPORT: “Ole took parts of sentences of an interview of mine and acted a little bit offended that I was offering Paul Pogba to other clubs without permission. “If you read the whole interview I was asked if Paul would fancy Italy, and I said Italy is a second home. “But that is not the case now as he is concentrated on Manchester United and getting back in the team as soon as possible and to make a great end of the season. The Frenchman has been training abroad as he bids to return from injury Read Also: Pogba belongs to Man Utd, not Mino, insists Solskjaer “I think Paul has always demonstrated great commitment to the club and to his team. “Lately everything that happens around Ole is always my fault.” Getting Pogba back fit and focused would be a big boost for Solskjaer ahead of a busy run of games for United. Fellow midfielder Scott McTominay, 23, is also poised to return to the fray after a knee injury he sustained against Newcastle in December. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… Paul Pogba is due to see doctors at the end of the week to discover whether he is ready to return to full training. The Manchester United midfielder has made slow progress in his recovery from an ankle operation but has been running at 85 per cent in recent days. Paul Pogba will be assessed by Man Utd doctors at the end of the week He is scheduled to see medical staff to check his progress in the next few days — when he hopes to get the green light to step things up. In theory, that would see him return to full training before the end of the month. And that would put him in with a chance of playing in the Manchester derby against City on March 8. Whether Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will feel the French World Cup- winner’s head is in the right place to put him back in the team remains to be seen. Pogba has made only six starts for United this season and remains keen to leave in the summer. Agent Mino Raiola insisted his client is fully committed to United — at least until the end of the season. But he stoked up his war of words with Solskjaer by saying the Old Trafford boss was “out of line”. The pair made their feelings known before and after United’s win at Chelsea on Monday.center_img Promoted Content2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For Them7 Mind-Boggling Facts About Black Holes10 Awesome TV Series That Got Cancelled Way Too Soon7 Non-Obvious Things That Damage Your Phone7 Universities In The World With The Highest Market Value6 Interesting Ways To Make Money With A Drone7 Worst Things To Do To Your PhoneCan Playing Too Many Video Games Hurt Your Body?Best & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?Top 8 Best Looking US First Ladies Everlast_img read more

Ferdinand: Fernandes a breath of fresh air at Man Utd

first_img “He’s somebody who is going to have an impact and have an influence on other people it seems. He’s come in and I’m seeing improvements in other people’s performances. “Mata for one, he and Mata have linked up very well. He plays the ball into people, his awareness of space and people around him is phenomenal. Read Also:Man Utd star Fernandes pictured shopping at Tesco with his wife “It’s still early days, we can’t say he’s the saviour, but where we are now he’s scored two back-to-back penalties, but more importantly it’s been his performances, how he’s carefree his imagination.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has praised Bruno Fernandes for the impact he’s made at Old Trafford. Bruno Fernandes  Ferdinand has credited the Portuguese midfielder for bringing the best out of his teammates already. “He’s come in and he’s been a breath of fresh air,” the BT Sport pundit said on his YouTube channel. “There’s no heirs and graces and he looks like he’s come in and is someone who wants to play football and enjoys his football.Advertisementcenter_img Promoted ContentThis Muslim Woman Belongs To World’s 10 Strongest WomenEver Thought Of Sleeping Next To Celebs? This Guy Will Show You8 Fascinating Facts About Coffee6 Incredibly Strange Facts About HurricanesInsane 3D Spraying Skills Turn In Incredible Street ArtWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?Pretty Awesome Shows That Just Got Canceled10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks7 Universities Where Getting An Education Costs A Hefty Penny7 Universities In The World Where Education Costs Too Muchlast_img read more

Alleged intoxicated Brookville man flees accident scene

first_imgFranklin County, In. — A Brookville man was captured shortly after fleeing the scene of a crash Friday, September 21.A report from the sheriff’s department says around 9:36 p.m. a pickup truck driven by James Smith, 50, was eastbound in the 21000 block of U.S. 52 when he drove off the side of the road. Smith hit a culvert, went airborne and struck several trees. After responding to the scene, police found Smith hiding behind a nearby residence.Smith was treated for minor injuries at Margaret Mary Health and charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, operating a vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.last_img read more