Hazy figures cloud Indonesia’s peat restoration as fire season looms

first_imgBanner image: Firefighters extinguish fires in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Image by Junaidi Hanafiah/Mongabay Indonesia. Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong An El Niño weather system in the early months of 2019 could see forest fires flare up once again in Indonesia.The government rolled out a slate of measures following disastrous fires in 2015, centering on the restoration of degraded peatlands that had been rendered highly combustible by draining for agriculture.While the number and extent of fires since then have declined significantly, activists attribute this more to milder weather in the intervening years, rather than the government’s peatland management and restoration measures.Activists have also questioned figures that suggest the target of restoring 24,000 square kilometers (9,300 square miles) of peatland by the end of 2020 has been almost achieved, saying there’s little transparency about the bulk of the required restoration, being carried out by pulpwood and plantation companies. JAKARTA — Indonesia has restored degraded peatlands the size of a million football fields in the three years since President Joko Widodo launched an ambitious program aimed at preventing a repeat of some of the worst forest fires in the country’s history.But that success may have had more to do with luck than anything else, activists say, as anticipated tinderbox conditions mirroring the 2015 dry season that led to those earlier fires loom over the next few months.The 2015 fires raged across 26,100 square kilometers (10,100 square miles) of land, much of it peat forest that had been drained for agriculture and rendered highly combustible. The resultant haze sickened hundreds of thousands of people, shut down airports, and spread to neighboring countries, inflaming long-running diplomatic spats. The dry conditions that year were exacerbated by an El Niño weather system, which is likely to make an appearance again in the next few months, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).The impact from El Niño “started in November, but the trend is increasing, and it’s going to peak in February or March,” said Ruanda Agung Sugardiman, who oversees climate change policies at the Indonesian environment ministry.NOAA has predicted up to an 80 percent chance of a full-fledged El Niño by February, with a 60 percent chance of it continuing into April.In anticipation of the coming dry season, the government is taking extra measures, Ruanda said, including allocating more funding to local governments for fire prevention.“Before this, most of the budget [for forest fires] was earmarked for the central government, but now we’re allocating 75 percent of our climate change budget to local governments,” he said.The environment minister, Siti Nurbaya Bakar, said the slate of policies rolled out since 2015 had resulted in a significant decline in the number and extent of fires, from 26,100 square kilometers that year to 1,950 square kilometers (750 square miles) in 2018. The number of fire hotspots also dropped during the same period, from nearly 71,000 to just 9,200.But that apparent success may have had less to do with the peat-restoration and fire-prevention measures than with the milder weather conditions in the intervening years, activists say: there hasn’t been a full-on El Niño since 2016.“We attribute the decrease in the intensity of forest fires not to an improvement in [peat and forest] management, but to natural factors,” Khalisah Khalid, a spokeswoman for the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), the country’s biggest green NGO, told Mongabay.Activists from Pantau Gambut, a coalition of 23 NGOs that acts as a watchdog for peat protection and restoration efforts, have also questioned the effectiveness of the government’s policies. The coalition’s own spatial analysis shows most of the hotspots detected during the peak of the dry season in August 2018 were inside areas that were either prioritized for peat restoration or supposed to be protected under a moratorium on developing peatland.If those measures were truly effective, there should have been a steep reduction or complete elimination of fires in those particular areas, Pantau Gambut said.“These findings indicate that we need to question [the government’s] claim and the effectiveness of its restoration work,” said Muhammad Teguh Surya, the coalition’s national coordinator.A peat swamp in Sumatra smolders during the 2015 haze crisis. The drainage canals were dug in order to prepare the land for planting with oil palm, but the practice renders the land vulnerable to catching fire. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.‘We can handle this’In the wake of the 2015 fires and haze, President Widodo established the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) and charged it with leading nationwide efforts to restore 24,000 square kilometers (9,300 square miles) of peat areas, the size of 4.5 million football fields, by the end of 2020.The rationale was that by restoring degraded peatland, including through blocking drainage canals and rewetting the dried-out peat layers, it would be harder for fires to spread out of control and make it easier for officials to contain them.In 2017, the BRG rewetted just over 2,000 square kilometers (770 square miles) of degraded peatland. In 2018, it restored another 4,600 square kilometers (1,780 square miles), for a total of 6,650 square kilometers (2,570 square miles), or the size of a million football fields.In addition to the restoration policy, in 2016 President Widodo also announced a moratorium on the clearing of carbon-rich peat forests across the country.The BRG chief, Nazir Foead, said he believed that peat fires on the scale of the 2015 disaster would not happen in 2019, citing lessons learned from past mistakes.“We are very convinced … that we can handle this,” Nazir said as quoted by The Straits Times. “We cannot say that there will not be fires, but there will be fewer incidents, and they will be put out much quicker.”Enviroment minister Siti was similarly upbeat, saying at a year-end gathering at her office that “our transboundary haze [policies] have shown results.”Fires engulf a palm oil plantation in Rokan Hilir district, Riau, Indonesia. Image by Zamzami/Mongabay Indonesia.‘A lie and an error’But field investigations by Pantau Gambut throw those claims into question. The coalition found that peat-rewetting and firefighting equipment in some areas weren’t functioning properly. One village in Jambi province on the island of Sumatra was found to have fire hoses that were too large for the available water pressure, and too short to reach fire-prone areas. In another village in Jambi, a water pump installed there wasn’t powerful enough to provide sufficient water to put out fires.“If we’d found this inadequate equipment in the 1990s, maybe we could understand,” Teguh said. “But this happened after the president launched the peat-restoration initiative, so we have to question this. How can areas that had been prioritized for peat restoration have equipment that can’t be used in the event of a fire?”BRG secretary Hartono Prawiraatmadja said those particular facilities had been built by third parties in 2016, before standardized specifications for the equipment needed had been drawn up. He also said the BRG had earmarked at least 20 percent of its funding for the maintenance of equipment.“Last year, we didn’t allocate any budget for maintenance,” Hartono said. “There’s a concern that if there’s no maintenance, then the facilities won’t work properly during fires. That’s why, starting in 2019, we’ve allocated funding for maintenance.”Teguh dismissed the explanation as a cop-out.“There should have been concrete actions [to fix the equipment],” he said. “In my opinion, the excuse of not having funding or standardization is a lie and a serious error. How could such a vital project be carried out without any clear standards [or maintenance]?”Fires smoldering from a peat forest in West Kalimantan. Image by Aseanty Pahlevi/Mongabay Indonesia.Target in sight?There’s another key point where the BRG and NGOs differ. Under the peat-restoration initiative, companies whose concessions include peatlands are responsible for restoring those areas, which amount to 14,000 square kilometers (5,400 square miles) of the total 24,000 square kilometers.The concessions in question include areas of deep peat that contain high biodiversity. Under the president’s signature anti-haze regulation, these areas must be zoned for conservation and rewetted to prevent fires. As of August 2018, 127 pulpwood and plantation companies had submitted their restoration plans to the environment ministry. Three months earlier, the ministry reported that the companies had restored a combined 10,000 square kilometers (3,900 square miles) of degraded peatland since 2015, mostly by blocking the canals initially dug to drain the peat in preparation for planting.That figure has since been updated to 14,000 square kilometers, which, if accurate, means the companies have fulfilled their peat-restoration obligations, the BRG’s Hartono said. He added that this claim on the part of the companies had yet to be verified through on-the-ground inspections.But Pantau Gambut says the government has failed to disclose detailed information on the implementation of the companies’ restoration plans. There also hasn’t been any transparent follow-up to the companies’ submitted plans, despite the fact that the restoration is required to be carried out immediately upon approval of the plans.Ultimately, Teguh said, there’s no independent confirmation that the peatland restoration has been carried out as reported by the companies.“Unfortunately, after they’ve revised their plans, it remains unclear whether the restoration work has been carried out or not,” he said. “The public has never been involved in the process. Without a transparent [process to disclose the] information, the public is left in the dark.”For its part, the government is preparing a regulation to serve as a guideline for the BRG and civil society groups to monitor the companies’ restoration activities, Hartono said. To verify their claim to have restored 14,000 square kilometers of peatland, the BRG needs to have the regulation in place, currently being drafted by the environment ministry.“If the BRG enters [the companies’ concessions] without a clear regulation [permitting it to do so], the companies are worried that it might disrupt [their operations],” Hartono said said.“We haven’t been able to confirm yet that what the companies are doing matches our expectations,” he added. “So we will supervise the companies, both in terms of what they’ve done and what they’re planning to do.”If the companies’ claims are confirmed, then that leaves the BRG with less than 4,000 square kilometers (1,540 square miles) of degraded peat areas to restore before the end of 2020.“We’re optimistic [we can meet that target] if that’s the case,” Hartono said.Teguh cautioned that while this might seem a small number compared to the agency’s achievements in the past two years, the BRG should be diligent about ensuring it met its target in an open and accountable manner.“Considering how there’s only two years left, the BRG has several big tasks pending,” he said. “That includes making its peat restoration agenda more inclusive and accountable, sharing its data and restoration progress in more detail, accepting criticism and recommendations for improvement, and not basing its work only on projects.” Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Climate Change And Forests, Deforestation, Environment, Fires, forest degradation, Forest Fires, Forests, Haze, Peatlands, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforests, Southeast Asia Haze, Southeast Asian Haze last_img read more

Contractor killed over money

first_imgA small contractor, who also moonlights as a “PH” taxi driver “to make ends meet”, was stabbed to death on Saturday night allegedly by one of his part-time employees over money.Michael Ali, 31, the father of a two-year-old daughter, of Quarry Village, Siparia, Trinidad died some three hours after the attack while undergoing treatment at the San Fernando General Hospital.A 42-year-old fruit vendor has since been detained. The suspect, Police said, was released from jail about three weeks ago.“Michael didn’t deserve that,” cried Ali’s grieving uncle-in-law Jaglal Singh. He described Ali as an honest, hardworking man who always looked out for others.“With all his (suspect’s) faults, he (Ali) still gave him a chance and carried him to work with him in Princes Town.“He owed him a little balance (money), because the lady (person who hired Ali) didn’t pay him all the money she suppose to pay him, for him to pay his workers,” Khan told Newsday. He said Ali explained the situation to the suspect asking him to “hold on” as he was going to work “PH” to make up the money to pay him.However, about 20:00h on Saturday, Khan said the suspect arrived near Ali’s home and began cursing and “carrying on” for his money. Khan said he was forced to intervene. “I cross the road and gave the worker $200 hoping that would have calmed him down, but it didn’t.” Relatives said the man pulled a knife and stabbed Ali in his upper chest.“Michael was like a son to me, very respectful and someone you could trust. He worked very hard,” Khan said.Investigations are continuing. (T&T Newsday)last_img read more

Ronaldo looks to avoid Ballon d’Or curse

first_imgSince the inception of the Ballon d’Or, conceived by France Football magazine in 1956 to recognise Europe, and then latterly, the world’s most outstanding player each year, of the 14 players in possession of the prize heading into a World Cup none have achieved ultimate success on the global stage.Granted the facts are skewed to an extent given only European players were eligible for the prize prior to 1995, ruling out the likes of three-time World Cup winner Pele and Diego Maradona, who was central to Argentina’s 1986 triumph, but that still leaves some of the game’s most decorated players who have fallen short.Take Barcelona star Lionel Messi, who won the first of his four consecutive Ballon d’Or awards in 2009, for example.An Argentina side with an embarrassment of attacking riches breezed through to the quarter-finals at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa despite Messi not contributing a single goal. However, when they needed him most he was unable to deliver as Maradona’s shellshocked Argentine team were ruthlessly torn apart by Germany 4-0 in the last eight.That provided merely just the latest chapter of a World Cup campaign ending in disappointment for the world’s leading player, a story that dates back to 1957 Ballon d’Or recipient and Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano.For Argentine-born Di Stefano, who acquired Spanish citizenship in time for the 1958 qualifiers despite previously representing his homeland as well as Colombia, his adopted nation fell short in their quest to reach the finals leaving one of the world’s greatest players to ultimately finish his career without ever appearing at the World Cup.The only other time the reigning European Footballer of the Year, as the award was also referred to prior to merging with the FIFA World Player of the Year accolade in 2010 to become the FIFA Ballon d’Or, didn’t appear at the global showcase was in 1978 when Danish striker Allan Simonsen, a European Cup finalist with Borussia Moenchengladbach the previous year, saw his nation’s hopes dashed in qualifying.However, there have been five teams featuring the reigning Ballon d’Or winner to reach the final.Perhaps no player has come quite as close nor suffered a fate so cruel as the one that befell Italy’s Roberto Baggio at USA ’94.Baggio netted all five of his goals in the knockout rounds, including two in the semi-finals against Bulgaria, to send the Azzurri into the final against Brazil.But after a goalless 120 minutes in Pasadena, the Juventus forward blazed his penalty over the bar in the shootout to hand Brazil their fourth world title.Before that Johan Cruyff and the Dutch appeared most likely to put an end to the curse at the 1974 tournament.The Netherlands and their revolutionary brand of “Total Football” conquered all before them on their way to the final and seemed destined to be crowned champions after an early penalty put them ahead against West Germany.However, the Dutch came unstuck and would lose 2-1.Italy’s Gianna Rivera (1970), West Germany striker Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (1982) and Brazilian forward Ronaldo (1998) also fell a win shy of the Ballon d’Or-World Cup double.Three-time reigning European Footballer of the Year Michel Platini saw his France side knocked out in the last four of the 1986 edition, while Eusebio, despite a sparkling performance at the 1966 tournament where he scored nine times to claim the Golden Boot, was part of the Portugal side dumped out by hosts England in the semi-finals.2001 award winner Michael Owen could only help England as far as the quarter-finals the following year before they were dispatched by Brazil, while a sub-par Ronaldinho was helpless to save his country from a last-eight exit the following tournament.The Netherlands’ Marco van Basten (1990) and Italy’s Omar Sivori (1962) fared even worse, also succumbing to the mysterious jinx of the Ballon d’Or.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000PARIS, June 2- When Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded last year’s Ballon d’Or in recognition of his dazzling achievements over the course of 2013 he naturally had plenty of reason to celebrate although one could forgive him for feeling apprehensive about his country’s hopes at the World Cup in Brazil.Portugal will go the tournament as dark horses heavily reliant on their captain and talisman Ronaldo, who will need to defy the odds if he is to avoid becoming another footnote in a cautionary tale.last_img read more

College texts add to already hefty bill

first_imgNEW YORK Like many college students, Andrew Favreau finds shopping for textbooks to be a challenge. “Most people don’t think about it, but the cost of textbooks is huge,” said Favreau, 26, who is studying part time for a master’s in business administration at DePaul University in Chicago. While most families factor rising costs for tuition and room and board into their college budgets, they often overlook the increasingly hefty bill for books. The College Board, which tracks college pricing trends, estimates that students spend about $940 a year on books and supplies. “An absolute best-seller – and there are few – would sell 40,000 editions a year,” he said. Teachers have options At the same time, some textbooks are “incredibly expensive to produce,” especially math and science texts that require frequent revisions. Hildebrand also pointed out that it is professors who decide which textbooks they want their students to use – and that they often have a lot of options. “Take introductory psychology, a very popular course,” Hildebrand said. “There are currently 216 different introductory psychology books on sale, and prices at retail range from $22.50 to $125.” Still, he said, publishers were trying to respond to calls for lower-cost texts, producing some in black-and-white instead of color, offering split texts – half now, half later – for some courses, even customizing compilations for some professors. Jennifer Libertowski, spokeswoman for the National Association of College Stores, a trade group of campus bookstores based in Oberlin, Ohio, said a recent study found students were buying about a quarter of their textbooks online, with the bulk still from bookstores. Comparing prices Students still worry that books ordered from the Internet won’t arrive ahead of the start of school, she said. But a bigger reason to buy from a brick-and-mortar store is that if a student drops a course, “the local store will take the books back, with a receipt of course.” Libertowski said a major contributor to cost was the “bundling” of scholastic material – a textbook plus a study guide, a CD, a passcode to a Web site. This trend, however, can cut into the resale value because some bookstores may be hesitant to take the textbook back if they can’t replace the other materials separately, she said. Some students also are shopping for textbooks on price comparison sites such as www.bestbookbuys.com, which is operated by Best Web Buys of La Ca ada. Sugi Sorensen, vice president of engineering, said shoppers can “get prices from the 23 stores we search.” Among the offerings are lower-cost, overseas editions, he said. Heidi O’Connor, 20, who will be a senior this fall at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, said it wasn’t unusual for undergraduates to spend $1,000 a year for books, “and for my friends in law school and medical school, it’s even worse.” Advance planning While she does shop at the campus bookstore and local bookstores, she and her friends also use “as many channels as possible,” including the marketplace section of the social networking sites Facebook and Craigslist.org. “What really gets students angry is the buyback problem,” O’Connor said. Campus bookstores often will buy back books for just pennies on the dollar, especially if they’re not sure the text is going to be used in subsequent semesters. Her advice to incoming freshmen: “Hammer out your classes, then be a pest if you have to figure out what books you need. E-mail the professor to make sure. It’s your education; you’re paying for it.” With more time, O’Connor said, students have a better chance of getting lower-cost texts. “The earlier you can buy, the better because the inventory of used books tends to go pretty fast,” she said. “Or if you want to order online, you have time for the books to get there.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! To hold costs down, students who once shopped for texts only at the campus bookstore are casting wider nets, searching for new and used textbooks at online bookstores, seeking out student book exchanges, investing in e-books, sharing books with fellow students – even borrowing books from public libraries. Favreau, who works in marketing and public relations, said he’s been willing to invest in some business school textbooks “because I’ll likely revisit them or use them during the course of my career.” He said he’s saved money by buying used texts at www.amazon.com, eBay Inc.’s www.half.com and other online booksellers. He’s also turned to the Internet to resell the books he doesn’t want to keep – and, he said, got more cash than he would have selling through a campus or local bookstore. Last semester, for example, he needed a book on information systems management that retails for about $150 new. He bought it used online for $84.99 and resold it for $59.99. Amazon.com currently sells used editions of the book for $73. Bruce Hildebrand, executive director for higher education with the New York-based Association of American Publishers, said textbooks are more expensive than other books in part because most have small press runs. last_img read more

Bruins earn rematch with No. 1 Cornhuskers

first_imgFrom staff and news reports The fifth-ranked UCLA women’s volleyball team had to wait more than eight months to get another shot at Nebraska, but thanks to its 30-23, 30-21, 30-27 victory over No. 21 Utah in the opening match of the AVCA College Volleyball Showcase in Omaha, the Bruins get their long-awaited rematch with the defending national champion tonight at 6:30. Junior setter Nellie Spicer had 36 assists, eight digs and five blocks for UCLA, which won its ninth consecutive season opener. Junior outside hitter Ali Daley recorded 11 kills and 13 digs, in addition to serving three consecutive aces to cap UCLA’s rally from a 27-23 deficit in the final game. Men’s soccer Jeff Clark’s second goal was the game-winner as Concordia (Irvine) shocked host Cal State Dominguez Hills, 3-2, in its season opener. Gus Zarate and Sammy Rivas scored for the Toros (0-1). Women’s soccer Former North Torrance High standout Corrie Horikawa scored both of her team’s goals as host Cal State Dominguez Hills (1-0) edged Nebraska-Omaha, 2-1, in its season opener. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! UCLA, which has been eliminated from the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons by the Cornhuskers, has never won the AVCA season-opening event. Top-ranked Nebraska crushed Tennessee, 30-15, 30-19, 30-18. No. 6 USC 3, Michigan State 0: Opposite hitter Asia Kaczor recorded 13 kills and hit .455 to lead the Trojans to a 30-24, 30-23, 30-25 victory in the first night of the Trojan Invitational at the Galen Center. Sophomore setter Taylor Carico (Mira Costa High) had nine digs and 31 assists. USC plays St. John’s today at noon and Loyola Marymount tonight at 7. St. John’s 3, Loyola Marymount 0: Heather Hughes had 14 kills for the Lions, who suffered a 30-23, 30-19, 30-23 setback in their season opener at the Trojan Invitational at Galen Center. Emily Day (West Torrance High) recorded seven kills for LMU, which faces Michigan State today at 10 a.m. No. 15 San Diego 3, No. 19 Long Beach State 0: Alexis Crimes had 16 kills and four blocks in a losing cause as the host 49ers (0-1) fell, 30-28, 30-27, 30-14. Southwest Minnesota State 3, CS Dominguez Hills 0; Fort Lewis 3, CSDH 1: Lauren Wells had a combined 22 kills and 15 digs as the Toros (0-2) dropped both of their matches at the Coyote Classic in San Bernardino. last_img read more

Man City want West Ham starlet, Conte close to Chelsea job and Mahrez to Barca?

first_imgHere are the top transfer-related stories in Friday’s newspapers and online…Antonio Conte has edged closer to becoming the next Chelsea manager after positive talks between his representatives and the Premier League club on Thursday. The Italy manager is keen to succeed Guus Hiddink in the summer and is now hoping to be offered a contract in the next 10 days. (Guardian)Pep Guardiola wants Manchester City to hijack Chelsea ’s move for Dutch wonderkid Riechedly Bazoer. The Premier League champions – poised to make Italy boss Antonio Conte their new boss – are already in advanced talks with Ajax over a £24million move for the 19-year-old midfielder. (Daily Mirror)Manchester City are stepping up their interest in West Ham prodigy Reece Oxford. City sent scouts to watch the 17-year-old in Under -21 games after his impressive display on his Premier League debut when the Hammers won 2-0 at the Emirates. And rivals Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool are also thought to be monitoring the centre-half’s progress as they look to add valuable home-grown talent to their squads. (The Sun)Barcelona and Real Madrid are preparing to battle it out for Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez this summer. Both clubs are prepared to pay up to £25million to land him. (The Sun)Arsenal could make a double raid on Newcastle this summer. Arsene Wenger has set his sights on 19-year-old goalkeeper Freddie Woodman, who is out of contact at the end of the season, and winger Rolando Aarons, who has also entered the final year of his contract. (Daily Express)Neymar signed a new five-year contract with Spanish giants Barcelona in December, quashing talk he could join Manchester United. Barca have kept it secret due to the player’s ongoing tax issues. (ESPN Brasil)?Michael Carrick has rejected the chance to become the latest recruit to the Chinese Super League. The Manchester United and England midfielder, 34, is out of contract in the summer and has not yet secured an extension to his current deal. (Daily Mirror)Mauricio Pochettino wants to make a summer move for Napoli’s Italy international forward Lorenzo Insigne. The Tottenham boss has been assured that after two years of transfer-market profit, he will be given funds to spend this summer as long as Champions League qualification is sealed. (Daily Mirror)And here are the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…?Chelsea transfer report: Blues set to swoop for £30m-rated AC Milan defender Alessio RomagnoliManchester United transfer report: Fiorentina starlet wanted in £22million dealTransfer report: Leicester planning audacious move for Roma legend Francesco TottiInter Milan star denies Roberto Mancini bust-up reports as Arsenal and Manchester United links played downTransfer report: AC Milan ready to rival Arsenal and Liverpool for Dutch starlet Riechedly Bazoerlast_img read more

Guardiola says a ‘chance’ of new Man City centre-back amid Maguire links

first_img 2 GETTY Pep Guardiola says Manchester City have ‘three incredible centre-backs’ – but has not ruled out adding another to his squad.City have been linked with a move for Leicester City’s Harry Maguire this summer, with Vincent Kompany having left the Premier League champions to join Anderlecht as a player-coach. Guardiola was speaking in China ahead of City’s Premier League Trophy final against Wolverhampton Wanderers in Shanghai on Saturday afternoon.He also discussed the continued rumours over Leroy Sane’s future, with Bayern Munich having publicly expressed their interest in the German winger.Guardiola insisted there had been no contact from Bayern and he was not planning to sell the 23-year-old.“For a long time they talk about their interest but Leroy is our player and hopefully he can stay next season and next season and next season,” added the City boss. When asked if he is in the market for a new central defender to replace Kompany, Guardiola responded: “There is a chance but I don’t know if it is possible.“If not we have three incredible centre-backs and Fernandinho can play in that position.”Guardiola has not confirmed publicly whether Maguire is on his radar, and the City boss appears relaxed about whether City do any more business in this transfer window.City have so far brought in Rodri from Atletico Madrid, left-back Angelino from PSV Eindhoven and goalkeeper Zack Steffen from Columbus Crew for a combined cost of around £80million.“We are so happy with the squad we have,” said Guardiola. “I don’t know what is going to happen until the end of the market.“I don’t know if players are going to leave or players are going to come.” Getty Images – Getty Kompany left City at the end of last season after 11 years at the club Guardiola looks on during a training session at Nanjing Olympic sports center in Shanghai, China 2last_img read more

February 14, 2014: Weekly Roundup of Web Design and Development Resources

first_imgAnd with the launch of @pewinternet today all of the @pewresearch web sites are now running on @WordPress with responsive themes.— Russell Heimlich (@kingkool68) February 12, 2014 Using Media queries in your design: Another responsive design tutorial, this one a video from Adobe, for learning the basics of using media queries in your responsive design.CSS and HTMLA Sass Component in 10 Minutes: Hugo Giraudel walks you through creating a Sass component for alert messages, which is clean and understandable, easy to scale, and lightweight. A Simple Guide to Responsive Design: Nice visual guide for learning responsive design, with code snippets and explanations for the markup and CSS. Somehow the explanation for the viewport meta tag was missed; it would be helpful to provide explanations for the properties used in his example.It’s important to understand the basics, like how elements are generated and behave in the browser, before diving into responsive web design. The CSS Box Model consists of four distinct parts. Couples, the Internet, and Social Media: Some of the results in the Pew Research Internet Project surprised me: 25% of married or partnered adults text their partner when they’re in the same home, 67% of married or partnered adults share their passwords, and 27% share an email account. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…RelatedOctober 26, 2013: Weekly Roundup of Web Development and Design ResourcesIf you’re new to my blog, each week I publish a collection of some of my favorite web development and design news, articles and tweets I’ve discovered in the past week. In this week’s roundup, you’ll learn about scroll highjacking, find out about the improved search feature in the just…In “Web design & development links”Weekly Roundup of Web Design and Development Resources: June 20, 2014Welcome to this week’s roundup of web design and development resources. The web design world was abuzz with talk this week about Adobe’s announcements of their updated Creative Cloud applications, five new mobile apps, Creative SDK and two new pieces of hardware. Designers were quick to react to the announcements…In “Web design & development links”October 18, 2013: Weekly Roundup of Web Development and Design ResourcesIt seems late, but we’re finally seeing cooler weather this week, and some great autumn colors in the trees. One of my favorite times of the year in Michigan. In this week’s roundup, you’ll learn about our upcoming World Usability Day event in Detroit, how users who are blind informed…In “Web design & development links” In this week’s roundup of web design and development resources, you’ll learn about the usability study results of online donation behavior for two non-profit websites, discover how to create an accessible dialog box, find out what 40 social and blogging experts consider to be the top five WordPress plugins, and more.This week’s photo shows the cool ice sculptures at last weekend’s Winter Blast event in downtown Detroit. Favorite TweetHearing users read lorem ipsum out loud during a user study is a nice reminder to use real content in your designs.— Timothy Whalin 👊 (@TimothyWhalin) February 11, 2014User ExperienceThe Positive Impact of Good UX on Non-Profits: Over 500 people participated in a usability study of online donation behavior for two Australian non-profit websites. Interesting to see the results showing how user experience influences behavior and increases online donations. Because every person knows what he likes, every person thinks he is an expert on user interfaces.-Paul Heckel#UXCMB #UX #LKA— UXColombo (@UXColombo) February 14, 2014 At times, it feels like many of our challenges stem from treating “accessibility” and “performance” as somehow separate from “web design.”— Responsive Design (@RWD) February 12, 2014 Buckets: A WordPress Widgets Alternative For Placing Content Anywhere: The Buckets plugin allows you to create “buckets” of content you can use anywhere on the website, not just limited to widget areas. Buckets can be used with the Visual Editor and Media Manager. WordPress Core Proposal: Offline Editor: Do you ever wish you could create your WordPress post offline? My friend Eric Mann explores the possibilities, highlighting how it could work and discussing areas of concern. Good discussion in the comments.Responsive DesignA new year, a new design: Richard Rutter, co-founder of Clearleft, discusses his recent website re-design which incorporated responsive design techniques. Finding the Right Statistics: Whitney Quesenbery discusses the challenges of qualitative statistics for user research, to give people an idea of how personas fit into the larger picture: the audience for your website or web applications. What matters is that designing for everyone ensures no one is left out.A Guerilla Usability Test on Dropbox Photos: Doing guerilla usability tests at a San Francisco coffee shop, Francine Lee quickly uncovered the pain points users have in using Dropbox’s Photos feature. Based on her testing, she shares her recommendations for onboarding, viewport changes, and uploading photos.AccessibilityMaking an accessible dialog box: In this tutorial, Nicholas Zakas walks through adding a few lines of code to add ARIA roles, setting/trapping/restoring focus, and exiting the dialog, to improve the accessibility of dialog boxes.Building a Better Twitter Button: A Story of Community: What started out as a question to Twitter became an international community of accessibility professionals and developers working together to develop and test an accessible Twitter button.Accessible technology development roundup: Apple’s dedication to OS X accessibility is questioned: If you want to learn more about recent accessibility technology news, I highly recommend this weekly roundup from IT World.Future of Accessibility and Video Captions According to Google, Dell, T-Mobile:In this almost one-hour video, panelists from Google, Dell and T-Mobile discuss their company’s work with video captioning and transcription, best practices, what’s driving their efforts, and lessons learned.IBM standardizing on EPUB to reduce digital barriers and increase mobile support: By standardizing on the EPUB format, an open standard format based on HTML5 and other technologies created by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), IBM can provide better support mobile devices, accessibility, and enterprise content.WordPressBest WordPress Plugins: 40 Experts Share Their Favorite WordPress Plugins: Love this post from Devesh Sharma of WP Kube, who asked 40 blogging and social media experts for their five favorite WordPress plugins. What I find valuable: it’s not just a list. The majority of the experts included an explanation on why they chose that plugin and what problem it solved for them. How-to Guide: 5 Ways to Use Google Webmaster Tools to Maximize Your SEO Campaign: Google Webmaster Tools allows you to view your site in the same way that Google does. Review the rich data from search queries, traffic patterns, keyword insights, authorship statistics, and site speed metrics to learn what content your visitors value most and how you can improve your SEO.In the Labs section, you can view Author Stats to identify the search statistics for external posts for which you’re the verified author DoSomething’s Charity Teamwork: To create their weekly email newsletter that goes out to over 1 million subscribers, DoSomething’s team write 20 subject lines for every email, test campaigns repeatedly, use an internal email style guide, organize with Google Docs, manage the project with Trello, and use MailChimp’s team collaboration feature.What I Found InterestingPlay YouTube Videos in Slow (or Fast) Motion:Did you know you can change the playback speed of YouTube videos? It’s only available in the HTML5 YouTube player. World Information Architecture Day 2014: Ann Arbor: February 15, 2014 is World Information Architecture Day, held in 24 cities around the world. Open to the public, World IA Day is a global celebration of information architecture, a day where people in your community can learn about recent research, network, and showcase new ideas. I’ll be attending the event in Ann Arbor; if you’re there, stop by and say hi! If not, I hope you can attend a World IA Day event near you. The best code is still the one you don’t have to write because you thought long and hard about keeping it simple.— Thomas Fuchs 🌵 (@thomasfuchs) February 13, 2014last_img read more

Virgin Australia to streamline its way back to profitablity

first_imgVirgin wants to fly to Japan. Virgin Australia is to conduct a sweeping review of its operations, layoff staff and streamline its various divisions to return to the airline to profitability after reporting an Underlying Loss Before Tax of A$71.2 million and a statutory loss after tax of A$315.4 million for the 12 months ended 30 June 2019.The Underlying Loss Before Tax of $71.2 million, compared to an Underlying Profit Before Tax of $64.4 million for the prior year, was a decline of $135.6 million.However, despite the loss, the Group continues to focus on strengthening its balance sheet, increasing its cash position to $1.7 billion at 30 June 2019, a $324.5 million improvement on the prior corresponding period.WATCH a stunning colour video of the Boeing 707 that started the jetset. The Virgin Group is made up of: Virgin Domestic, Virgin International, Tigerair and Velocity.The airline said that the result was driven by “subdued trading conditions in the second half of the financial year, combined with fuel and foreign exchange headwinds and increased operational costs.”The Group reported an increase in total revenue of 7.6 per cent to $5.8 billion for the full year, including a 2.1 per cent improvement in Revenue Per Available Seat Kilometre (RASK).However, market demand moderated in the second half of the financial year, impacted by the timing of the Easter holiday period and the Federal Election, which saw both the corporate and leisure travel sectors soften the airline said.The airline said that the challenging trading environment in H2 FY19 was “compounded by increasing costs including fuel and foreign exchange headwinds of $158.8 million and a $15.0 million investment in Trans-Tasman routes following the cessation of the Air New Zealand alliance.”Group Cost per Available Seat Kilometre (CASK), excluding fuel and foreign exchange, rose by 4.0 per cent for the 12 months to 30 June 2019.Virgin said that the statutory loss after tax of $315.4 million was impacted by $223.2 million in restructure costs. This result was impacted by major accounting adjustments following a review of the Group’s asset values in accordance with accounting standards.The Group is responding to these challenges with a series of immediate improvement initiatives to streamline operations and reduce costs. These include a simplified organizational structure, organizational rightsizing program, fleet and network capacity review and a Group-wide review of supplier contracts. These initiatives are being implemented whilst the Group’s ongoing strategic review is undertaken to improve business performance.Virgin Australia Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Paul Scurrah, said in a statement that “today’s results were disappointing and underscored the need for change.”“There is no doubt that we are operating in a tough economic climate with high fuel, a low Australian dollar, and subdued trading conditions. However, today’s results show that we must improve our financial performance. While we have continued to grow revenue and have a strong loyal customer base, we need to make changes to our costs to ensure we see financial benefit from the growth in our business,” he said.“Today, we have announced a number of changes to help drive business improvement. This includes a restructure of our leadership team to take in group-wide accountability across all brands, a reduction of 750 roles from our workforce, a review of all supplier contracts and agreements, and a fleet and network review which will see a tight focus on capacity management going forward.“It’s important to note that we have already addressed a number of other business priorities including the restructure of our Boeing 737 MAX order, which deferred a significant amount of capital expenditure.“Regarding the reduction of our workforce, I am acutely aware of the impact this has on our team members. However, if we are to position the business for the future, create new opportunities, improve competitiveness, and continue to deliver for our customers, we need to make tough but important decisions that are in the long-term interests of the Group.“These are just some of the strategic decisions that have been made to help in the short-term. However, there’s more work we need to do on the long-term focus and positioning of the business. We will be focused on being the best value airline for both the corporate and leisure traveller, offering the strong and unique Virgin experience and proposition that we know will appeal to all market segments.“As I’ve said previously, key to our success is ensuring we strike the right balance between the interests of our team members, customers and our shareholders. We’ll be focused on delivering for all three groups.”last_img read more