With just six days remaining before the 90-day deadline expires to host national elections, the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has written several international bodies requesting that they do not recognise the Coalition Government after March 21.Speaking at his weekly press briefing on Thursday, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo disclosed that letters have been written to the Commonwealth, the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Community (Caricom).“In all three cases, we are requesting that these agencies not recognise the Government of Guyana after March 21. There are other issues we’ve raised in the letters; we give them a detailed briefing as to how the Government has deliberately been slowing down the process of complying with the Constitution; how they’ve acted in bad faith throughout, even at the engagements we’ve had; and so we’ve brought the international organisations up to speed on those things, and we’ve requested non-recognition of the Government,” Jagdeo asserted.He noted that these international bodies have acknowledged receipt of the letters but did not indicate their positions on how they will treat the Government post March 21.Nevertheless, Jagdeo said, they will be following-up with these bodies. In fact, he disclosed that he had already contacted the Secretary General of CARICOM, Ambassador Irwin La Rocque, and plans to do the same with the heads of the other organisations.In addition, the Opposition Leader pointed out that over the coming days the Opposition will also be re-engaging the diplomatic community to discuss, among other issues, non-recognition of the Coalition Government. The first meeting is expected to be held sometime today.But even as the PPP Opposition continues to lobby the international community, questions were raised about the party’s past attacks on diplomats here.Referring to the controversial ‘feral blast’ delivered by the PPP administration against the United States (U.S.) envoy back in 2014, Jagdeo explained that “It was not the concern about a statement on local government elections that triggered what may seem as a harsh response from the Government at that time. It was the personal comments in relation to (former) President Donald Ramotar, and that we take strongly… The international community has always been involved in Guyana on the democracy front…so urging them to be involved now is nothing new.”Further, he reminded that back in 2016, President David Granger, as Opposition Leader then, had called for international sanctions against Guyana if the PPP administration did not reconvene Parliament after the prorogation, to face the no-confidence motion.“He called for sanctions against Guyana (in 2014), and today he’s saying, when the external forces say that you have to have elections and you have to respect the constitution… he’s lecturing about “mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs”,” Jagdeo noted, while referring to the Head of State’s comments during the accreditation ceremony of new U.S. Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah Ann Lynch, who said on Wednesday that her country will continue to support “genuinely free and fair” elections in Guyana.The Opposition Leader further spoke about the “non-interference” versus the “non-indifference” concept adopted in the Constitutive Act of the African Union.“They have a new principle of non-indifference as opposed to the non-interference in the domestic affairs of member states… When there is a serious threat to legitimate order… the world and the African Union will not have an indifferent approach… and we all recognise that in Guyana there is a threat to legitimate order; that the Government will become unconstitutional…” he asserted.Meanwhile, during the media briefing, Jagdeo disclosed that last week he received a telephone call from former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and took the opportunity to update him on the looming political crisis.“I did not mention it last week that we had a conversation because President Carter said to me he was trying to get onto President Granger, and did not want, as soon as I get the call, go in the media and talk about. So I give him enough time for that, and I thought it was necessary for Guyanese to know that I received a call and I spoke with him, but I prefer to keep a little quite on the content at this point in time, until I hear back from him as to whether he had spoken to President Granger,” the Opposition Leader noted.While it is still unclear whether the former U.S. President had since contacted the Guyanese Leader, the Government, in a statement on Thursday, said that Jagdeo’s interpretation of the Constitution is flawed, and that President David Granger will remain President until the new president is sworn in. More so, the release stated that the members of the Coalition Government have not resigned.“There is no provision in the Constitution of Guyana which requires the President to resign or demit office following the passage of a no-confidence motion… [Jagdeo’s] statement is patently flawed and must be rejected outrightly,” the missive from the Government stated.Since the December 21, 2018 passage of the motion of no- confidence against the APNU+AFC Coalition, calls have been made by various stakeholders, including foreign diplomats here, for the Government to abide by the Constitution and set a date for elections.In fact, earlier this week, British High Commissioner Greg Quinn, in an exclusive interview with Guyana Times, reminded that the clock is ticking on the constitutional three months’ deadline for holding elections. This deadline expires next Thursday.Representatives from the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) have also echoed similar calls in February for the Guyana Government to adhere to the Constitution.
Galactic Habitable Zone, where a star must be located (09/29/2009);Circumstellar Habitable Zone, the right radius from the star where liquid water can exist (10/08/2010);Continuously Habitable Zone, because too much variety can be lethal (07/21/2007);Temporal Habitable Zone, because habitable zones do not last forever (10/27/2008);Chemical and Thermodynamic Habitable Zone, where water can be liquid (12/30/2003);Ultraviolet Habitable Zone, free from deadly radiation (08/15/2006);Tidal Habitable Zone, which rules out most stars that are small (02/26/2011).Stable Obliquity Habitable Zone (1/12/2012)Stellar Chemistry Habitable Zone (this entry) The list will probably continue to grow. Although the current paper assumes billions of years of evolution, it’s a problem for evolutionists of all stripes: atheistic, deistic and theistic. Why? They all need billions of years. Theistic evolutionists, for instance, would need for God to intervene and move the earth as the habitable zone evolves. If the solar system were created much more recently, this is not a problem at all. The hopes of Carl Sagan and other astronomers of the 1980s for billions and billions of worlds filled with life are looking more simplistic with each new discovery. The earth is looking more Biblical all the while. The chemistry of a parent star can have drastic effects on the habitability of an earth-like planet.Scientists at the University of Arizona have added another factor to consider when looking for habitable planets. PhysOrg reported,As a star evolves, it becomes brighter, causing the habitable zone to move outwards through its solar system. The team’s study indicates that a greater abundance of oxygen, carbon, sodium, magnesium and silicon should be a plus for an inner solar system’s long-term habitability because the abundance of these elements make the star cooler and cause it to evolve more slowly, thereby giving planets in its habitable zone more time to develop life as we know it….The stellar abundance of oxygen seems crucial in determining how long planets stay in the habitable zone around their host star. If there had been less oxygen in the Sun’s chemical makeup, for example, Earth likely would have been pushed out of the Sun’s habitable zone about a billion years ago, well before complex organisms evolved. Considering the first complex multicellular organisms only arose about 650 million years ago, such a move would have likely destroyed any chance of complex life taking hold on Earth.There are probably other factors, too: “Habitability is very difficult to quantify because it depends on a huge number of variables, some of which we have yet to identify,” said the university’s assistant professor of School of Earth and Space Exploration, Patrick Young.Update 9/11/2012: The BBC News claims that habitable planets may be more abundant due to the fact that water can exist under the surface, even outside the habitable zone where liquid water can exist. There are, however, constraints on how long a body’s internal heat can last. Water is not alive; many other factors are required for life. Even if life were possible in a deep, dark, subsurface ocean, it would not be the kind humans would be able to learn about or would want to contact. That being so, it remains a theoretical possibility only, not conducive to observation.Let’s tally up the factors we’ve reported so far that make the “Goldilocks Zone” more complicated than just allowing for liquid water: (Visited 55 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
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The owners like the Passivhaus approachPaul and Diane Honig weighed their options carefully before undertaking the project and considered buying and renovating as well as new construction. In the end, the Passivhaus approach held the most appeal.“I had read about the whole concept of Passivhaus in The New York Times — I don’t know, five years ago — about a house being built in Germany, and I thought it was kind of a cool idea,” Paul said. “I liked the idea that you make an investment up front and you get paid back in three ways: you have a more comfortable place to live, you save money in reduced energy costs, and you do something good for the environment. It seemed to make a lot of sense to me.”And as far as choosing Passivhaus certification over a less stringent but still energy-efficient design, he said, “If you’re going to do it, you might as well do it. And since we were starting from scratch I don’t think it was that much extra effort to get the house to perform to the Passivhaus standard.”Diane was especially drawn to the indoor air quality and comfortable temperatures the design promised, in part because she grew up in New York City apartments were no one really has any control over the indoor air environment. “There are so many quality-of-life benefits to Passivhaus as well,” she says. “That was one of the things I liked about Passivhaus specifically, rather than just a ‘green’ house that lots of green aspects to it.”The Honigs were in the house when Hurricane Sandy struck last fall, and lived through a couple of blizzards this past winter.“The interesting thing was the quiet,” Diane says. “It was eerily quiet. Where other people told me it sounded like there was a freight train coming through their house during the hurricane, we heard little tippy-tapping of rain on the windows, occasionally. It was weird. We were looking outside watching the trees blow 10 feet in each direction and we didn’t hear a thing.” A 3,561-sq. ft. home in Harwinton, Conn., is the state’s first certified Passivhaus and the overall winner of the 2012 Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge, a statewide design/build competition that recognizes energy-efficient building practices.The three-bedroom house was designed and built by Wolfworks Inc., of Avon, Conn., and incorporated a variety of features to help it meet the Passivhaus standard for low energy use and low rates of air infiltration.In addition to winning the Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge, the Harwinton house also won three of the four contest categories, including the lowest HERS index (-12), the lowest projected annual net operating cost ($64), and most affordable project ($169 per square foot).Homeowners Diane and Paul Honig moved in last October. Some of the highlights detailed by builder Jamie Wolf:A double stud wall consisting of two 2×4 stud walls separated by 5 inches of rigid foam insulation (4 inches of expanded polystyrene and 1 inch of polyisocyanurate) sheathed with Zip System OSB.Dense-packed cellulose insulation in the walls and 24 inches of loose-fill cellulose in the roof trusses.Raised-heel roof trusses.Triple-glazed tilt-turn windows.Windows with a high solar heat gain coefficient on both the north- and south-facing walls.A photovoltaic system with a rated capacity of 10.5 kW and a homeowner-built solar domestic hot water system.Ducted minisplit heating and cooling and a heat-recovery ventilator. Rigorous building practicesWolf went to great lengths to limit air infiltration, including the use of EPDM sill seal, air-sealing tapes around windows and on sheathing seams, and a layer of taped sheathing on the bottom of the roof trusses as an air barrier. Builders were rewarded with very low air leakage: the blower-door result was 0.34 air changes per hour at 50 pascals. That’s far below the Passivhaus threshold of 0.6 ach50.The insulation values were equally impressive: R-28 slab, R-32 foundation, R-46 walls, and an R-83 roof.If you’re interested in learning more about the house, there are at least three good sources of information: a blog written by Diane Honig, the website for Wolfworks, which also includes a very detailed description of the project written by Wolf, and the website for the CT Zero Energy Challenge.Wolf says the project was his first net-zero house and the first Passivhaus design that went all the way through construction (he designed a couple of Passivhaus projects earlier but they were never built). Wolf started as a house painter, then got into remodeling. Eventually he became interested in Passivhaus construction, “drank the Kool-Aid,” and became a certified Passivhaus consultant. Because of that certification, the Honigs contacted him.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated the first airport in Sikkim; with this inauguration, the number of functional airports in the country went up to 100.“This is a historic day for the State of Sikkim and also an important day for the rest of India. With this inauguration, the country has hit a century (in the number of airports),” Mr. Modi said while addressing a gathering at Pakyong in Sikkim. The Prime Minister described the airport as an “engineering marvel”, and said that within a week or two, regular flights to Kolkata and Guwahati would be started. The airport at Pakyong, about 30 km from Gangtok and surrounded by mountains, is a major boost to connectivity in the mountainous State. Mr. Modi said the airport would be linked to the Union government’s UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) regional connectivity scheme and the airfare for about an hour would come to ₹2,500. The airport had been constructed at an estimated cost of ₹605 crore.
The much-anticipated expansion of the Maharashtra Cabinet will take place on Sunday with 12 cabinet and ministers of state likely to be sworn in. While confirming this Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis added a word of caution and said a final meeting was pending with Shiv Sena to formalise last- minute names. “Cabinet expansion will take place tomorrow (Sunday). We have had one round of meeting with the allies on Friday and a final meeting will take place today,” he said after meeting Union Ministers at New Delhi on Saturday. This was later confirmed by the Governor, who will host the swearing-in ceremony at 11 a.m.According to sources BJP ministers likely to be sworn in include former Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil; Parinay Fuke, MLA from Bhandara-Gondia; Atul Moreshwar Save, MLA from Aurangabad east; Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar; former cabinet minister Jaydutt Kshirsagar; Vidarbha legislators Dr. Sanjay Kute and Dr. Anil Bonde; Sanjay Vishwanath Bhegade, MLA from Maval; and, Sangli MLA Suresh Dagadu Khade. Avinash Mahtekar (RPI) is also in contention. Government source told The Hindu that Shiv Sena is likely to get one cabinet and one MoS post with MLA from Yavatmal, Tanaji Sawant, being one of the two to be inducted. With Assembly elections due by October, the expansion will give the government much-needed impetus, leaders said. Party sources said the BJP names were cleared at a meeting of the Haryana, Jharkhand and Maharashtra core group chaired by party president Amit Shah on June 9 in New Delhi. Mr. Fadnavis held meetings with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to finalise the alliance candidates, and handed over a list to Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao on Friday.
Everton in contact with Shakhtar Donetsk sports director José Botoby Carlos Volcano14 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveMarcel Brands is under pressure at Everton.With the Blues languishing at the wrong end of the table, the Dutch sports director is bearing the brunt of criticism.And TMW says Brands could yet be replaced.Everton have made contact with Shakhtar Donetsk sports director José Boto about a move to England.Talks are well underway with Boto, though it’s not been established whether he would join Everton to work with Brands or replace him. TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
Chelsea have three signings lined up for Januaryby Paul Vegas5 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea have three potential signings lined up ahead of the January transfer window.The Blues are still serving a two-window ban, but are planning to bolster their ranks IF their transfer suspension is lifted.Gazzetta dello Sport says Chelsea have their sights set on Chievo midfielder Emanuel Vignato, Atalanta star Ruslan Malinovskiy and Bournemouth’s 22-year-old Lewis Cook.Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is eager to bolster his ranks having been unable to make any signings since his appointment. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, says the Ministry’s disaster preparedness plans are in high gear, as the country braces for an overly active hurricane season.“As it stands now, we are beefing up our non-perishable supplies and our meetings continue with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) to ensure the training of (our field personnel),” he informed.The Minister was addressing journalists on Thursday, June 6, at the weekly Jamaica House press briefing held at the Office of the Prime Minister.He informed that the Ministry is always ready to work with its various partners, including the Salvation Army, Jamaica Red Cross and ODPEM, to ensure that relief supplies are available to those residents, who have been affected.“We are also ready to assist with the recovery process as it relates to damage to houses and property,” he stated.Meanwhile, the Meteorological Service is predicting an above average hurricane season, with some 20 storms on the horizon.Head of the Weather Branch at the Meteorological Service, Evan Thompson, informed that forecasts show a 50 per cent above normal chance for the development of a tropical cyclone this year.“Normally where we would see about 12 systems developing, this year. We are likely to have as many as 20 tropical storms develop during the hurricane season,” he informed.Additionally, Mr. Thompson said there is a 100 per cent above normal chance of the development of a major hurricane this season.“So, whereas we would normally have maybe two to three of the hurricanes developing into major hurricanes – Category three, four or five – this year, we could have as many as six developing,” he said.Mr. Thompson said there is a very strong likelihood that the Caribbean will be directly impacted by a major hurricane and is therefore urging Jamaicans to ensure that they are properly prepared to mitigate any disaster,” he said.Last year, which was considered the third most active hurricane season on record, there were some 19 tropical storms. The 2005 season was the most intense season on record, with five of the season’s seven major hurricanes – Dennis, Emily, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma, causing significant damage.In Jamaica, Hurricane Dennis caused flooding and landslides and severely impacted the agricultural sector and road infrastrucure.The 2013 hurricane season, which officially began on June 1, ends on November 30.Contact: Athaliah Reynolds-Baker
OTTAWA – First Nova Scotia’s Jamie Baillie, then Ontario’s Patrick Brown, and finally Ottawa’s Kent Hehr.The toppling of three politicians in the space of two days obliterated all other talk around federal politics this week, reverberating through caucus meetings in Victoria and Ottawa, and reaching the prime minister during his trip to Davos, Switzerland.While circumstances around each man’s downfall are dramatically different, they all link to allegations of sexual misconduct — and have prompted politicians of all stripes to take a hard look at what happens behind closed doors.Whether the introspection will turn into better working conditions for women in politics and young staffers, or whether it will turn into a tit-for-tat leaking of lurid tales is an open question.Drowned out by the scandals were developments on mail delivery, opportunities for trade and investment with Asia, and the taking root of a Canadian brand of populism.Here’s how politics mattered this week:OF CANADA POST AND ELECTION PROMISESHome delivery was a contentious issue in the 2015 election campaign after the Conservatives moved to halt it and replace the service with community mail boxes that residents would have to walk to.This week, the Liberals rolled out their response. After many months of consultation and close scrutiny of the numbers, they say they will not convert any more home delivery routes to community mail boxes. More controversially, however, they also say they won’t “put the tooth paste back in the tube” by restoring the conversions of 840,000 households that have already taken place.Not going ahead with the Conservative plan to eliminate door-to-door delivery means foregoing $350 million a year in savings. But the Liberals say they are giving Canada Post new freedoms and incentives to spread its wings and compete on parcels, on remittances, and off-hour deliveries.Does all this mean Justin Trudeau has kept an election promise? Many voters had the impression — from comments made by Trudeau and his team — that home delivery would be completely restored. The Liberals’ election platform promises to “save home mail delivery.”OF FREE TRADE WITH JAPANIn the wee hours of Tuesday morning, as Trudeau was consorting with the rich and famous in Davos and the bulk of Canada’s trade negotiators were holed up in Montreal for the renewal of NAFTA, Canadian officials in Japan agreed to sign on to a massive trade and investment agreement with Asia-Pacific countries.The treaty will give Canada free trade with some of the world’s most dynamic economies — Japan, Australia, Vietnam. But the cheers of joy have been tempered in Canada by concerns about secrecy, and an outcry from the auto sector and dairy farmers.Canada held off signing on to the deal late last year because of concerns about the cultural and auto industries. It came away this week with a cultural exemption in hand.On the auto front, officials point to a side deal with Japan that will protect Canada’s interests. But since that bilateral agreement has yet to be made public, the auto sector and its unions fear for the worst — at a time when the NAFTA negotiators in Montreal are also under pressure to make concessions on auto manufacturing.OF CANADA-STYLE POPULISMFormer Conservative leadership contender and MP Kellie Leitch announced this week she would not seek re-election, and massive new polling and research by EKOS and The Canadian Press could give some insight as to why.During her ill-fated leadership campaign, Leitch did not hesitate to invoke Donald Trump. She advocated screening immigrants for so-called Canadian values, and made no bones about adopting some of Trump’s populist tactics. She finished sixth.Research published this week shows that populism may have a foothold in Canada, but it’s unique and doesn’t exactly replicate forces that drove voters to choose Trump.EKOS Research took polls involving 12,604 people who discussed their opinions on economics, culture, openness towards the world and towards immigration. The polling firm formed an index that plotted the respondents according to how “open” or how “ordered” they preferred their world to be.Fewer than half are on the “open” side of the spectrum. About 30 per cent are “ordered” — feeling economically and culturally insecure. And about 25 per cent have a mixed view.The 30 per per cent of “ordered” respondents is not generally linked to race or immigration. Rather, there is a stronger correlation with education, income and hopes for the next generation.