Govt ‘means business on performance’

first_img15 February 2010 South Africa’s Ministry of Monitoring and Evaluation unveiled 12 performance outcomes on Friday, a day after President Jacob Zuma announced in his State of the Nation Address that government departments would be subject to new, strict performance monitoring. “The work of departments will be measured by outcomes developed through our performance and evaluation system,” Zuma told Parliament in Cape Town on Thursday. “The ministers who are responsible for a particular outcome will sign a detailed delivery agreement with the President.” In an interview with the SABC on Sunday night, Zuma said regular monitoring and evaluation of the government’s performance was crucial if it was to achieve its delivery objectives. “In order for us to be able to deliver, we need to give ourselves timelines in everything,” Zuma said, warning that ministers who failed to deliver on their mandate would have to leave. “They all know nobody is going to sit who’s not doing anything; part of the reason we are giving timelines means you must achieve that. If you don’t achieve it, how could you sit on the job which you are failing to do?” Performance outcomes Collins Chabane, Minister of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency, said the performance measures focused on education, rural development, health and local government, among others. Briefing journalists in Cape Town on Friday, Chabane said the expected outcomes were approved at the recent Cabinet meeting, and that all ministers were expected to implement them in order for government to achieve its delivery targets. A further three outcomes – in the areas of public administration, international relations and the environment – would be discussed by the Cabinet over the next two months.Bi-monthly reports to the President As from April, the beginning of the 2010/11 financial year, ministers will be expected to submit bimonthly reports to the President detailing their department’s progress towards achieving the 12 outcomes. “We want to focus more on implementation, rather than … policy, because that’s where our challenges lie,” said Chabane. Zuma will now send letters to each minister or group of ministers responsible for each of the 12 performance outcomes. These letters will form the basis of their performance and delivery agreements, Chabane said. He said the ministers will be expected to form delivery forums that will bring together all parties inside and outside of government that affect the targets contained in the outcomes. “The delivery forums will develop detailed service delivery agreements that will indicate each party’s contribution to achieving the … outcomes, with typical information on budget contribution, implementation timelines and personnel allocation,” he said. Chabane said his unit in the Presidency was ready to assist any ministry that needed help in relieving hold-ups in implementing their outcomes.‘Not based on punitive measures’ The government will not take punitive action against ministers and top officials before considering what resources and skills they might need to achieve the targets, he said. But while the monitoring and evaluation system would not be based on punitive measures, it was expected that those entrusted with providing services delivered on their mandates. He added that recent developments that led to a wave of service delivery protests in South Africa necessitated a comprehensive plan to turn around local government. “We want to build a responsive, accountable effective and efficient local government system.” A different approach to municipalities was needed, and urgent steps had to be taken to address basic infrastructure and services backlogs, as well as low levels of governance and accountability. Chabane said work was under way on developing intergovernmental agreements on the scope of services, in order to develop a new approach to municipal financing and support. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Towards gender equality in South Africa

first_imgMembers of several women’s groups in South Africa are taking the initiative to improve their situation, and are contributing to the drafting of the proposed Gender Equality Bill.South African women still face an uphill struggle when it comes to competing against their male counterparts, especially in the workplace. (Image: Brand South Africa)Shamin ChibbaAfter 17 years of democracy, South African women still face an uphill struggle when it comes to competing against their male counterparts, especially in the workplace.Although the country has a number of legislative procedures in place to uphold the right of women and girls, such as the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act (2000), the Employment Equity Act (1998), the Domestic Violence Act (1998), and the Constitution of South Africa (1996), there is still work to be done.But recently, more than 50 representatives from various local and international women’s organisations gathered in East London, Eastern Cape province, earlier in May for a conference titled A strategic review of gender equality and violence against women in South Africa.The conference, organised by East London-based NGO Masimanyane Women’s Support Centre, was used as a platform to discuss the bill, which falls under the Department of Women, Children, formerly called the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities. The bill is still in the green paper stage.Masimanyane’s executive director Lesley Ann Foster said the proposed legislation will define discrimination against women and subsequently get rid of it.The gathering was also used to acknowledge the gains women have made in the 17 years of democracy. However, Foster noted that at the same time much ground has been lost.“We have to ask what were the losses, and then determine what do we need to do to advance gender equality,” she said.Legislation for gender equalityFoster said the bill has been in the making for two years but it had been overlooked recently as there was nobody championing it.However, interest in the bill was revived in January 2011 when a delegation of South African women’s organisations presented a report on the status of women in the country to the committee of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in Geneva, Switzerland.The committee became aware that there was no gender equality legislation, and accordingly issued a set of recommendations to the South African government, one of them being that gender equality should be legislated.Foster said that though gender equality is enshrined in the South African constitution, if it’s not in the legislature, discrimination against women is invisible and therefore becomes rife.She stated that with the passing of the proposed bill, the disparities between men and women, one of which is leadership in the workplace, will be highlighted.According to guest speaker Ntombazana Botha, the former deputy minister of arts and culture, representation of women in the public sector has improved since 1994 but females are still under-represented in leadership positions.“There is no longer a 50% representation of women in the public sector whereas women occupy only 16% of senior management positions in the private sector,” said Foster.From green to whiteAccording to the document Green Paper: Towards a Gender Equality Bill, the bill will look to achieve the empowerment of women, eliminate discrimination and accelerate women’s participation and involvement in decision-making in public and private sectors.It will also make it mandatory for institutions in both sectors to conduct an audit to analyse gender equality in the workplace.The document also stated that the bill will aim to eradicate patriarchy that is often seen in the traditional practise of primogeniture, or succession through the male line. Traditional customs that are discriminatory towards women will also be targeted.Once public comments on the green paper have been analysed, the government will then publish a white paper, which will allow the public to make additional comments. At the same time the topic will be researched in more depth.Rural women affected Botha said in her address that though women working in the private sector face some of the biggest challenges, the wellbeing of those in rural areas is also threatened by cultural boundaries.“We have to change the mindset. We have to start changing our attitudes as individuals,” she said.Botha mentioned that rural women are most affected by inequality because they and their traditional leaders are unaware of advances in gender issues.The objective of equality, according to Foster, is to ensure that women and girls are afforded the same opportunities as men, so as to enjoy life to the fullest.“Many women do not know about these opportunities. They are socialised into taking lesser roles in society,” she said.Foster added that while the fight for equality may change societal norms, women do not wish to trample on traditions – but they should not hesitate to ask questions in the case of discriminatory traditions.“Are these traditions in the best interest of both men and women? Who does virginity testing and genital mutilation serve more?”Women most affected by economyMcebisi Jonas, the Eastern Cape’s MEC for economic affairs, was the guest speaker on the second day of the conference and spoke of the economy’s effect on gender inequality.He said that on paper, the country has done well in drawing up policies and legislations. However, in reality there is a stark difference.He believes gender inequality is a structural and historical phenomenon. Patriarchy, he said, is embedded in social and economic structures.Jonas said that if gender equality was to be realised, more intervention from the government was needed, along with a greater investment of relevant resources into the economy.Jonas stated that 13 000 jobs in the Eastern Cape’s automobile industry are currently at risk as the province’s two manufacturers have not fared well in recent years. This, he said, does not bode well for women as they are less likely to be employed and become vulnerable to the scourge of poverty.According to a recent report by the Eastern Cape Socio-Economic Consultative Council, though 1.1-million women entered the labour market last year, female unemployment increased from 27.7% in 2000 to 30.3% in 2010. Most of the women affected were between 20 and 34 years of age.Foreign women suffer no lessOther conference speakers included Tove Smaadhal, director of the Norwegian Crisis Shelter Centre, who said that transformation takes time and for it to happen, women have to unite in confronting violence against their sisters.She said that the UN may have named Norway as the best country in the world but her organisation still sees up to 2 500 women a year. “I still have hope in stopping domestic violence and trafficking but I know that this is a damn hard fight,” she said.Professor Bene Madunagu, head of Nigeria’s Girl Power Initiative as well as the pan-African group Amanitare Sexual Rights Network, said that women should think of ways to use instruments such as the UN’s Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and make it a part of the law.She added that Nigerian women were also oppressed to the point that when they wanted to travel outside the country, they were required to submit a letter of permission from their husbands to the Nigerian government.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

eBoot 3 Pieces Hair Donut Bun Maker Hair Ring Styler Maker Round Chignon, 3 Pieces Hair Donut Bun Maker Hair Ring

first_imgEboot 3 pieces hair donut bun maker hair ring. I need to set my daughter’s hair in a bun for ballet class and, getting dropped her donut bun from very last 12 months, needed to exchange it. Most shops only appear to be to inventory the most significant dimension, which is merely much too substantial for a youngster. So, i obtained this established, which has three various sizes – small, medium and significant. I would consider the smallest sizing would be fantastic for kids of about 3-six, the medium dimensions great for seven-12 or thereabouts (my daughter is nine) and the greatest dimensions perfect for young adults/grownups. I was pretty happy with these. The high quality is very good and the color matches her hair, so it will not present if any tiny gaps do build while she is dancing. I obtain a donut bun helps retain the shape of the bun and can make it glance neat, as properly as trying to keep it in put. These do the job very perfectly and give you a good decision of sizes.Key specs for eBoot 3 Pieces Hair Donut Bun Maker Hair Ring Styler Maker Round Chignon for Women, Black:3 Different sizes hair donut bun maker; Diameter: 3.45 inch, 3.15 inch, 2.36 inchUse this donut ring bun to create a neat ballerina bun for kidsEasy and elegant; Only few minutes to make a special look all by yourself; Keep hair neat and tidySuitable for different occasions, ballet recital and dance recitalWon’t hurt the hair; No peculiar smellComments from buyers“eBoot 3 Pieces Hair Donut Bun Maker Hair Ring”last_img read more

Flatrock Passive: A Winter Update

first_imgEditor’s Note: This is one of a series of blogs by David Goodyear describing the construction of his new home in Flatrock, Newfoundland, the first in the province built to the Passive House standard. You’ll find his complete blog here. In a previous post I talked a little about food security. I tried to focus some of the landscape in our yard on producing food — and it was a huge success! We had a steady supply of baby root vegetables and greens until the end of September. The garden was quite a bit of work but it was amazingly enjoyable to watch it flourish and be able to pick vegetables throughout the summer. I battled nature and learned a lot from my planting mistakes. I will put those lessons to work next year as I add new crops. Getting ready for the fall harvest was no easy task. I had never owned a cellar before now, nor had I harvested or stored vegetables. A lot of effort went into researching the old methods of root cellaring vegetables to keep them fresh for a long time. Storage for most root vegetables is basically about creating underground conditions to keep the vegetable “alive.”RELATED ARTICLESDucting HRVs and ERVsMisconceptions About HRVs and ERVsBreathe Easy With Balanced VentilationHow to Provide Makeup Air for a Wood StoveAn Introduction to Pressure Diagnostics A low, constant temperature (less than 5°C, or 41°F) with high humidity (95% plus) is necessary and can be achieved by adjusting dampers to regulate air flow through the ventilation stacks inside the cellar. Luckily, my father and my father in-law have been around a few cellars. They grew up in a time when every family had a garden. It was a necessity. They provided me with much of the knowledge needed to create good storage conditions. Storage is pretty easy for potatoes. A large bin with slatted sides promotes air movement around the potatoes. I made some bins from leftover flooring, and they also proved useful for storing carrots, beets, and parsnips. The vegetable garden was well worth the effort, providing produce through the summer and root crops that could be wintered over. My fall harvest provided our family with a great bounty. Some of the root vegetables were ready for harvest through the summer so we picked away while the garden continued to grow. Nature provided us with turnip greens, lettuce, beet greens, and a variety of small vegetables, including carrots, rutabagas, potatoes, beets and onions. By October the potato plants had completely died back and I let their skins “harden off” in the ground to toughen them for storage. By mid-October we pulled the potato plants. We left them to dry for a day, and moved them directly to the cellar. We ended up with about 300 pounds. The cellar at this point was cool (less than 10°C [50°F]) but humidity was low. A perfect combination to promote drying for a couple of weeks to further harden-off the skins before closing up the door for winter. I left most the vegetables (carrots, parsnips, cabbage, beets) in the ground until the beginning of November while I waited for the root cellar to cool. Gently pulling them (on a cold day) to ensure minimal damage, cutting off the greens and leaving the dirt on them is all you really need to do for preparation. They were then stacked inside of a burlap lined crate with sawdust between each of the layers. I paid careful attention to keep the roots from touching each other as that can promote rot in storage. One month later, the carrots had little green sprouts growing out the top, a good sign that the vegetables are still alive and kicking! A root cellar will keep root vegetables fresh over the winter with a combination of low temperatures and high humidity. Although the snow-covered garden is a beautiful sight, looking out at an empty garden does lead to some heavy feelings. This being said, I get to enjoy the fruits of our labor (or should I say vegetables) for the whole winter and will start again in the spring. Creating food security does take work. Some of the work is easy. Some of the work is hard. The end game is all pure enjoyment! Going to your personal grocery store on a cold winter day to pick roots for a warm winter stew is priceless. Next year I plan on adding more perishable varieties of vegetables that lend themselves well to canning. Now that the days are short and the nights are long, I guess I’ll have plenty of time to research what comes next. Airtightness and indoor air quality It was a fairly cold fall this year with a noticeable drop in temperature around mid-September. At the same time, it was somewhat humid, as would be expected for our climate. Humidity inside the house was high. After a purge with open windows on a dry day, humidity would drop dramatically in a very short period of time. After closing the windows humidity would continue to climb over several days until we would have to purge again. Although the temperature inside the house was comfortable, the high humidity sometimes made it feel stuffy. Running a dehumidifier wasn’t much of an option because dehumidifiers just add sensible heat to the living space. Our heat-pump water heater helped a little, but our hot water usage was just too low for it to be effective. I really should have listened to my Passive House designer from the beginning and installed a minisplit. Lesson learned! From what I recall, his primary concern wasn’t actually humidity. Instead, he expected the interior temperature to be an issue during the summer months, although the house has performed fine in that respect. In any case, we opted to install a minisplit in order to address dehumidification. The minisplit, a Fujitsu 9RLS3H, made a huge difference up until the end of September and was able to keep the humidity around 50% while running in dry mode. As the exterior temperature dropped, I expected the interior humidity to fall as well, albeit more slowly than it would have with an HRV. It was much slower than expected (the opposite was true during the summer). It would take days to drop a couple of percentage points. Depending on the moisture load in the house, on some days relative humidity would increase, reach a new equilibrium humidity, then start falling again. I was concerned that as the temperature decreased, I would see a significant amount of condensation on the windows and doors. In response, we ran a dehumidifier continuously. Construction contributes to high humidity Many new airtight homes see high humidity levels. Where does all the moisture come from? Construction materials are filled with moisture. Drying those materials takes a long time. A concrete slab could take years to dry. However, the house had been closed in for almost a year so I suspected that most of that construction moisture would have dissipated. Given that we could purge the house of humidity quickly (it could drop 10-15 percentage points in 10-15 minutes just by opening the windows), I suspected there was some sort of ventilation issue. I wondered whether it was the ERV, the airtightness of the house, or construction moisture. Was the current moisture load too high for ventilation to eliminate? I think the answer is a combination of things. Most houses are leaky (3-5 ach50). Even the ones that people call energy-efficient (less than 2 ach50) are still leaky when compared to the airtightness of this house — 0.36 ach50. At this leakage rate, the natural air infiltration is about 2% of the volume of the thermal boundary. At 3 ach50 the natural infiltration is about 20%. If 20% of the air in a house (under average weather conditions) is being exchanged from outside to inside I would think that the effect it has on interior humidity must be astoundingly greater than infiltration in an airtight house. It is well known that gaining energy efficiency through airtightness can lead to indoor air quality issues if ventilation is not addressed properly. I started investigating every aspect of the ventilation system, from materials to installation methods and balancing. Then I started thinking, and here’s where it got complicated. Tracking down the source of the problem I lit our Walltherm stove when we moved in back in April. Smoke started leaking from the flue pipe joints. The joints are typically not sealed since the natural draft of the chimney should prevent smoke from entering the living space. When I opened the windows, the smoke infiltration stopped. The next day, I decided to do some testing. I placed my hands around the stove pipe joints and I could feel cold air leaking through them. My first intuition was that the ERV was unbalanced, leading to depressurization of the house. I checked the airflow balance (using a digital differential manometer) according to the manufacturer’s test method and found that it was fine. After some additional experimenting, it became evident that the house was under negative pressure even though the ERV was balanced. I increased the amount of fresh air supply to the building until the manometer read slightly positive. I tested this setup by burning a match near the stove pipe and the smoke was immediately sucked into the stove pipe joints. I had to unbalance the machine by almost 30 cubic feet per minute in order to achieve this. I left the ERV in this unbalanced state so I could use the wood stove. I decided at the time that I would revisit the issue in the fall when I had more time. The depressurization and smoke issue seemed quite complicated and a solution eluded me for many months. I figured it was related to the ducting of the ERV, so when fall rolled around I started an investigation. My initial thoughts were that the depressurization was caused somehow by the duct configuration on the supply and return, so I switched them just to test the hypothesis. The good news was that the ERV basically remained balanced, meaning that the supply and return duct runs had nearly equivalent lengths. I rebalanced the unit and once again could feel cold air leaking from the stove pipe joints. I decided to change the ducting at the outside hoods. I switched them and made a few other configuration changes and rebalanced the machine — with much disappointment. After rebalancing, the cold air kept seeping out the joints of the stove pipe. Each test led to the same result and further despair! Creating neutral pressure inside the house Then I thought that if the results are always the same it obviously has nothing to do with the unit. Instead, there must be some underlying fundamental physics going on. Then it came to me: Even a tight house is still a “leaky” plenum. Both fans in the ERV operate independently. Fresh air is being fed into the house by the supply. The exhaust has no way of differentiating where air is being drawn from. It simply pulls air from the space. It will pull some air from the fresh air sources but air will naturally start infiltrating through holes in the envelope since they offer a path of least resistance — unless they are plugged. Plugging the holes can be done artificially by unbalancing the ERV so that the difference inside and outside the envelope is neutral. There are obviously more holes in the envelope then just the stove pipe so when pressurizing by using supply air, you have no control over which holes the supply air exits through. As a result, a large amount of air (in my case 30 cfm) could potentially be needed to effectively “plug” the holes and create neutral pressure. I am guessing that with airtightness at 3-5 ach50, most homes are so leaky that there is little to no depressurization. I can almost bet that anybody in a Passive House who has balanced their ventilator would see depressurization if a manometer was used to measure the difference between interior and exterior pressure. I am yet to find anybody willing to test this. If you do, please let me know! This effect is simply not unique to Flatrock! Physics is the same everywhere. It seemed like a good idea to just continue operating the ERV in an unbalanced state to deal with the stove issue. What could possibly go wrong? The problem is that a solution to one problem can often lead to problems elsewhere. Needless to say, unbalancing the ERV had unexpected consequences. After a lot of research I determined that operating in an unbalanced state (supply greater than exhaust) will collect more of the moisture from the exhaust air stream than when it is operating in a balanced state. When it is dry outside, interior humidity will drop much slower in this unbalanced state. In the summer, this unbalanced state will lower the moisture removing capacity of the unit and the interior humidity will climb much quicker than if the machine were balanced. The assumption during planning is that our ventilation would take care of exhausting some humidity during the winter but leave enough to be comfortable. The assumption is fine as long as the machine is balanced. The wood stove provides welcome heat, but also created an indoor air quality issue that took some time to sort out. My solution for the wood stove was based on a lack of understanding about the mechanism of moisture migration from one air stream to another in the ERV core. I balanced the ERV airflows and interior humidity would drop dramatically quicker than in the unbalanced state. So operating in an unbalanced state fixes the stove issue but leads to humidity problems! This also explained why humidity climbed so quickly during the summer when it was humid outside. So another solution had to be investigated. Another solution emerges I had read that wood-burning appliances in tight homes can be problematic… and they can be! Good quality assurance is absolutely necessary. This being said, I feel like this ongoing depressurization issue is beyond the understanding and scope of most ventilation installers. I do think that other people who are building super-airtight houses should measure to see if the house is depressurized even though the airflows are equalized. Equality of the supply and exhaust exchange rates does not imply that the house pressure is neutral and therefore could lead to dangerous backdrafting, flooding the living space with carbon monoxide. I read some time ago that the Zehnder brand of ventilators have a function that helps prevent depressurization. I believe it’s called “ChimneySweep.” When activated, it unbalances the unit in order to provide 10% more makeup air, and therefore pressurizes the house to prevent back-drafting of smoke into the living space. My experience was that 10% would not be enough, and in fact I required almost a 30 cubic feet per minute differential between the supply and exhaust (on a ventilation rate of 95 cfm) in order to balance to neutral pressure. By December I had concocted a strategy that would work. I decided that a normally open motorized damper on the supply duct would do the job. I balanced the ERV unit (with the damper open) to pressurize the house, checking pressure between the inside and outside using a differential manometer. Then I adjusted the damper’s closed position so that the supply and exhaust were equal. Flipping the switch opens a damper and allows the ERV to pressurize the house, eliminating a back-draft of wood smoke into the house. When I want to use the wood stove I would just flip a switch on the wall by the ERV control to force the damper to open, which would pressurize the house. It worked like a charm. If the damper motor fails, the spring-loaded damper opens and the wood stove can still be used. I feel this is a much safer solution and has redundancy built in. Unfortunately, it is another mechanical part that adds complication, but the safety factor makes it worth the complication. The added benefit of pressurizing the house is that when I add wood to the fire there are now no issues with smoke spilling into the living space. The stove now works like a charm! Energy use So how about energy use? I am pleased. I currently heat about 3,376 square feet of interior living space, including both the house and the garage. In December 2018, we depended purely on electricity since I wasn’t ready to use the stove until I fixed the ventilation issue. The temperature in the house and the garage (woodworking shop) are both set to 20°C (68°F). We used a total of 1,576 kWh of electricity. I have found that the heat loads of the house and garage are definitely lower than the lowest heat output of the Fujitsu heat pumps. How do I know this? Simple: The heat pumps short cycle. This can be easily confirmed by measuring the amperage at the breaker panel and tracking how long the machine is drawing power. At 0°C, the heat load for the garage is below the lowest modulated heat output for the Fujitsu unit (3100 Btu per hour). I calculated the load to be somewhere around 2800 Btu/hour, including air infiltration and heat loss through the envelope. The heat pump short cycles every 10 minutes or so. Unfortunately, this does affect efficiency. How much I have no idea, but operating in a steady state would be more desirable. The heat pump in the house has short cycled less. It is the same size as the model in the garage and there is more heat loss due to a larger envelope, so that makes sense. As the nights get even colder I have witnessed longer run times and less short cycling, which is great for efficiency. I think that the usage could have been less if the heat pumps short cycled less. I am still investigating what is going on but it appears to be a common thing with heat pumps operating under low-load conditions in airtight houses. So far, our bills have been about 38% of that used in our previous home which used electricity and propane. BLOGS BY DAVID GOODYEAR A Garden and a Sun Shade Air Sealing the Penetrations Blower Door Test Comes Up Roses Wrapping Up the Air Barrier Firing Up the Heating System Laying Out the Mechanical System Framing and Insulating an Interior Service Wall Insulation and an Air Barrier Installing Windows and Doors Foam Sheathing and Window Details Framing and Air Sealing A Well Insulated Slab Footings and Frost Walls A Final Design and Energy Modeling An Introduction to the Flatrock Passive Houselast_img read more

Cyclone Ockhi: search and rescue, relief operations underway at Lakshadweep

first_imgSearch and rescue, and relief operations are in full swing in the Lakshadweep islands, battered by cyclone Ockhi since Thursday. Ten navy ships and eight aircraft have been engaged in search and rescue, and relief operations. These include the INS Shardul, the INS Sharda, INS Kolkata, INS Kalpeni, INS Chennai, INS Nireekshak, INS Kabra, INS Sagardhwani, INS Jamuna and INS Trikand. Several houses have suffered damage, PTI reported, after trees were uprooted and communication lines were disrupted on Saturday as rains, accompanied by strong winds lashed the islands. Coconut trees have been uprooted in various places and houses damaged in eastern Kalpeni and Minicoy, official sources told PTI. The breakwater jetty, the embarkation and disembarkation point to Kalpeni island have also suffered severe damage.Meanwhile, early on Sunday morning, a dead body was washed ashore Kalpeni island. In a separate incident, four people reportedly swam to Suheli – an uninhabited island near Kalpeni – after their boat capsized. (With inputs from S. Anandan)last_img read more

Long Wheelbase variant of the new Mercedes C-Class being manufactured in China

first_imgIt has been just about six months since production of the new Mercedes C Class began in Germany. Now the car’s Long Wheelbase (LWB) variant is already being produced in China, though it will be officially launched in September this year. The launch is significant for Mercedes in China as it marks a Joint Venture between the German manufacturer and Beijing Benz Automotive Co (BBAC). It is also positive news for the Indian automotive market as the LWB variant is expected to land here soon.What’s new? Technology and featuresThe LWB variant gets 8 centimetres more in wheelbase when compared to the original. This translates into extra comfort for rear passengers, who now have greater legroom. Also, the rear passenger can now adjust the front seat. The new C-Class’s advanced features include a touchpad for operating the head unit functions and a semi-autonomous driving pilot system. Mercedes is known for its safety standards, and the new C-Class LWB sets the benchmark even higher.Engines and variantsThe engine powering the new C-Class will be produced in Beijing. It is a 1.8 litre engine with 201 bhp peak power and 309Nm of maximum available torque. The car is capable of setting a 0-100 kmph timing of 7.6 seconds and can hit a top whack of 241 kmph. Two trim levels will be offered- Sedan and Sport Sedan.The Indian angleIt is likely that the new C-Class will be produced in Chakan near Pune (Mercedes’ current plant) for the Indian market. This will help the company offer competitive pricing for the vehicle. At present, however, it is not certain whether the LWB variant will be made available in India or not.advertisementlast_img read more

WA Super League Series Starting Soon

first_imgIt’s that time of the year again, with the 2008/2009 WA Super League Series starting on 2 November.It is a tournament for Perth Metropolitan affiliates, with the best from the clubs battling it out over 10 rounds, plus finals. There are Men’s and Women’s Open divisions, with Mixed One Day Tournaments included during the tournament as well. The Series starts in Brighton, with the tournament being shared between seven locations across Perth and outer districts throughout the course of the series. Five teams will play off for the Men’s Open title, with Southern Stars vying for back to back premierships. Perth Brothers will be the favourite in the Women’s Open’s and Mixed divisions after taking out the 2007 titles. The finals will be played in Fremantle on 18 January 2009.For further information, please visit – www.superleagueseries.com.aulast_img read more

9 months agoKilbane still unimpressed by Man Utd midfielder Pogba

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Kilbane still unimpressed by Man Utd midfielder Pogbaby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Everton defender Kevin Kilbane remains unimpressed by Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba.United travel to Wembley to face Spurs in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first big test at 4.30pm.”It’s all very well strutting his stuff now Jose Mourinho is gone – Paul Pogba needs to show he’s not a one trick pony today,” Kilbane told the Daily Mail.”He could be one of the Premier League’s best midfielders but he is quite obviously a weak player who needs someone to tell him how good he is all the time, before he can perform.”Clearly Mourinho was not the ideal manager to get the best out of the Frenchman. “But then the former United and Chelsea boss has shown little sympathy for dozens of mavericks or pretty average players throughout his career.”The relationship between the two was poison but while Pogba is undoubtedly very talented, and now a World Cup winner, he has been really poor and remarkably inconsistent in this second spell at Old Trafford.” last_img read more

Do Canadians know enough about food safety Federal survey says No

first_imgOTTAWA – Canadian are becoming less aware of how to safely handle and prepare food to avoid food-borne illness and food poisoning, according to government-backed research.The findings from the report, which cost the government $126,449, point to an overall deterioration over the past eight years in Canadians’ confidence that they can protect themselves and their families from food-borne illness and food poisoning.A majority of seniors and pregnant women in the survey didn’t consider themselves to be at any greater risk from food poisoning, even though they are.The pollsters recommend the government gently target public awareness campaigns at those groups, among others, about how to properly handle food “without undermining the public’s confidence in agriculture or the agri-food industry, or Canada’s food safety system, which is reasonably good.”The results of the survey are based on responses from 1,201 respondents through telephone interviews, and 1,613 people through an online panel. All work was done between Dec. 14, 2017 and Jan. 18, 2018.A spokesman for Health Canada said the department will update its safe food handling advertising campaign based on the research report, as well as information from other sources.The Liberals introduced new food safety rules last month, just a few weeks after the research report was delivered to Health Canada. The regulations will come into force early next year, and will require companies to keep detailed records about the path food takes from producer to consumer.Federal officials believe that being able to trace food to its source could speed up the pace of recalls.Consultations on the regulations are open until Sept. 7.The survey provided to Health Canada in early May will now become the benchmark by which the government can measure the effects of public awareness efforts in the coming years, but also provide insight into how attitudes have changed since 2010.Each year, about one in eight Canadians — or four million people — are affected by a food-borne illness like norovirus, salmonella or listeria, leading to about 11,500 hospitalizations and some 240 deaths.Many small things can be done to avoid problems, but the survey found a broad lack of knowledge about washing reusable shopping bags, rinsing poultry before cooking, as well as properly storing, defrosting and cooking meat and seafood.More pregnant women and parents of young children in 2018 than in 2010 defrost meat or poultry at room temperature rather than in the fridge.And seniors are more likely to view food as safe to consume past the best-before date, aren’t aware of the proper temperature to leave a fridge — between 2 C and 4 C — and tend to believe frozen, breaded chicken products just need to be reheated rather than cooked through.“The results of this survey also suggest an ‘out of sight … out-of-mind’ tendency among the public with regards to safe food handling in general, food-borne illness and listeria in particular,” the report says.“In the absence of sustained messaging related to food safety, it is likely that consumer vigilance may lapse, especially with respect to specific food safety practices that have not yet become normalized or habitualized.”If the federal government wanted to increase food safety awareness with seniors — defined in the survey as anyone 60 and over — it should focus on consequences, said Wanda Morris, vice-president of advocacy with CARP, formerly known as the Canadian Association of Retired Persons. She pointed to campaigns about falls that focus on the likelihood that not preventing them could lead seniors to live in long-term care homes.She suggested food safety authorities should try “tying in an awareness campaign of ‘do you want to save a few pennies and risk long-term care or death’. And the bigger fear is long-term care. In my experience people are more concerned with long-term care than they are about dying.”last_img read more

Why didnt police take her to the hospital despite charges Debra Chrisjohns

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe family of Debra Chrisjohn says they still have a number of questions about her death that the police have never answered.In a statement following the announcement that two police officers have been charged with Chrisjohn’s death by Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the family said many things are still a mystery.“Why didn’t the police take her to the hospital sooner when they knew she was sick and needed help? Asked Debra Chrisjohn’s father Robert Chrisjohn. “The police arrested her and were responsible for making sure she was okay. This happens way too often in our community.“This happens all the time. The police don’t seem to care.”On Thursday, the SIU announced that Ontario Provincial Police Const. Mark McKillop, and London Police Service (LPS) Const. Nicholas Doering are each facing one charge of criminal negligence causing death, and failing to provide the necessities of life.According to the SIU and the release sent out by Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto (ALST) that is representing the Chrisjohn family, Debra Chrisjohn was in contact with police on Sept. 7, 2016 after it was reported that she was obstructing traffic.She was arrested by Doering who learned that she had an outstanding warrant for shoplifting – but in another jurisdiction. Doering handed Debra Chrisjohn over to Mckillop at an OPP detachment.Less than three hours after being taken into custody – Debra Chrisjohn was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead.“Aboriginal Legal Services has long been concerned with the relationship between Indigenous communities and the police,” ALST Lawyer Caitlyn Kasper said in the statement. “This is an important issue not just for Debra’s family, but for all Indigenous people across Ontario.”Mckillop and Doering are scheduled to appear in court on July 31.news@aptn.calast_img read more