kgwkxhqtpbdw

Ellen Shifts Blame on Liberians

first_img“Liberians’ quest to engage in politics rather than business ventures is largely responsible, to a certain extent, for the marginalization of Liberians in business,” President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said.The President believes that Liberians not attracting more bank loans can be attributed to the society placing a premium on politics over business activities.At the launch of the Aquarius Mineral Water brand over the weekend in Kingsville, Montserrado County, Madam Sirleaf noted that the economy’s structure has always favored concessions, large capitalist and major operators. “To a certain extent, this is because of the lack of capital and capacity to what is called the marginalization of Liberians and businesses.”She said that Liberians have never wanted to do business because of their traditional focus on politics. Since assuming power in 2006, President Sirleaf has been struggling to develop a middle income economy while trying to build the capacity of Liberian businesses, but said quest is unable to advance after almost nine years of her rule.However, President Johnson Sirleaf praised other Liberian businesses that, despite difficulties they have faced, they have always stood tall to compete with foreign businesses.“There have been some stalwarts over the years that have pursued business interest,” the President said. The Liberian leader urged the Commerce Ministry to increase her engagement with Liberian businesses in order to develop and strengthen their capacity.She warned against Liberians taking loans and defaulting on payment, adding; “These attitudes of not being responsible for paying back these loans undermines our efforts to encourage Liberian businesses.”President Sirleaf made the disclosure when she delivered a special statement at the re-launch of Aquarius Mineral Water.Aquarius is a Liberian business owned and operated by Representative Josephine George Francis.The business was launched on the market a few years back, but had to close down due to lack of capital.Speaking with reporters after the program, Madam Francis recognized the challenges associated with such big investments. She said that her reappearance on the market confirms her ability for progress and her urge to compete with others.Rep. Francis represents District #1, Montserrado County, in the House of Representatives and had been an entrepreneur for years now.With a staff of over 100 people, Madam Francis said her business capacity is ready to meet the growing demands of the public and expressed delight in working with Liberians.One foreign technician was flown in from India to help train Liberians in the plant for one year, Rep. Francis pointed out. “The reason behind this,” she said; “is so our own people can be fully in charge of all activities of this business.”She disclosed that in five years when the business has grown, the public will have an opportunity to buy shares in the company.Aquarius Mineral water, with its new capacity, she said; “produces 3,000 bottles of water per hour and is ready for business.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Read More

Russia faces ‘very real’ threat of attack at World Cup

first_img0Shares0000Russia plans to spend at least 30 billion rubles (445 million euros, $512 million) on security for the World Cup next year © AFP/File / VASILY MAXIMOVMOSCOW, Russian Federation, Nov 6 – Russia says it will take extraordinary measures to combat any terrorist threat when it hosts the World Cup next year, as its military campaign in Syria makes the country a prime target for jihadists.A bombing on the metro in Saint Petersburg in April that left 15 people dead was among the recent high-profile terror attacks on Russian soil. The fear of more attacks was heightened after seven people were stabbed in Siberia in August in an attack claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group, while the authorities have reported breaking up several jihadist cells across the country.“There is a very real threat of an attack in Russia” during the World Cup, which runs from June 14 and July 15 2018, said Alexander Golts, an independent Russia expert specialising in security.Russia has experienced a number terror attacks over the last 20 years and during two wars in Chechnya, but the threat has increased since Moscow’s military intervention in Syria in September 2015 to support President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, making it a priority IS target.“The authorities say they have succeeded in destroying IS. But several thousand Russians have been taking part in (jihadist) conflicts and now they are beginning to return to Russia,” Golts told AFP.According to the Federal Security Service (FSB), about 2,900 Russian jihadists, most of them from the Muslim-majority Caucasus republics, have fought in Syria. Between 2,000 and 4,000 more fighters from Central Asia now live in Russia.The world’s most high profile sporting event, along with the Olympic Games, makes an ideal terrorist target.– Threats against players –A suicide bomber killed 15 people on a busy metro line in Saint Petersburg in April © AFP/File / Olga MALTSEVAEvery day, dozens of calls to commit attacks during the tournament from IS propaganda organs are published via social networks. Many of these involve threats against players.But Pascal Boniface, director of the Institute of International and Strategic Relations in Paris, said these threats are put out “to attract attention”.There is a risk of terror at “any global sporting event which attracts cameras and those with a desire to make an impact”.Several months before the Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in 2014, bomb attacks killed 34 people in Volgograd, also in southern Russia, and “we were very worried about attacks” during the event, Boniface said.FSB director Alexander Bortnikov revealed last month that a number of planned attacks had been thwarted ahead of the World Cup warm-up event the Confederations Cup in June.– Human rights concerns –The new part of Domodedovo International Airport, outside Moscow, will open before the 2018 FIFA World Cup football tournament, one of many sensitive areas that could be targeted by terrorists © AFP/File / Alexander NEMENOVIn 2016 Russia set up an international “working group” charged with overseeing safety at the World Cup and bringing together the security services of 32 countries, despite diplomatic tensions between Moscow and the West, Bortnikov said.“Every country is sending delegations and the common cause of the fight against terrorists goes beyond any disagreement they might have,” Boniface added.Saint Petersburg police last week began deploying dogs trained to sniff out explosives on the underground network, while a list of sensitive areas which will be kept under particularly close watch — including luxury hotels, training grounds and tourist areas of host cities — was published.Although the authorities remain tight lipped on the details of the World Cup security plan, deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko has announced that at least 30 billion rubles (445 million euros, $512 million) will be spent by Russia in this area.A decree concerning “strengthened security measures during the Confederations Cup and the World Cup” signed by President Vladimir Putin came into force this June and will be applied again from May 25 to July 25 next year.The decree includes measures limiting the right to protest and curbing driving in the tournament’s 11 host cities, as well as introducing no-fly zones and forbidding entering these cities by bus without a special permit.Human Rights Watch said it was “impossible not to be concerned” by aspects of the increased safety measures.“We have already seen the consequences of the presidential decree,” its Russia researcher Yulia Gorbunova told AFP, pointing to the 33 people arbitrarily detained during the Confederations Cup.“There are reasons to believe that during the World Cup (these restrictions) will be all the more severe,” she said.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Read More

Transfer rumours and paper review – Sunday, June 7

first_img1 Transfer rumours and paper review Here’s the top transfer-related stories in Sunday’s newspapers…Tottenham may make an audacious £20m bid for Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke, who has a £32.5m buy-out clause in his contract and is wanted by Liverpool and Chelsea. (The Sun) Real Madrid are keen to sell 27-year-old striker Karim Benzema to Manchester United in a bid to speed up the signing of goalkeeper David De Gea, 24. (AS English) Manchester City could turn to Bayer Leverkusen’s 26-year-old Germany international midfielder Lars Bender if their pursuit of Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, 22, is not successful. (Mirror) Liverpool are closing in on their second summer signing after reportedly agreeing terms with Inter Milan for 21-year-old midfielder Mateo Kovacic. (Daily Star) Manchester United’s Javier Hernandez wants to return to Real Madrid where he spent last season on loan. The 27-year-old striker has praised new Real manager Rafa Benitez. (Daily Mail) Arsenal forward Theo Walcott, 26, says his year-long injury came “at a great time” as it allowed him to enjoy being with his baby son Finlay. (Daily Mail) Arsenal appear set to make a £25.7m bid for Colombia striker Jackson Martinez after Porto rejected a bid for the 28-year-old from Atletico Madrid. (Metro) Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew looks set to make a double bid for two of his former Newcastle United players, France midfielder Yohan Cabaye, 29, and his international team-mate striker Loic Remy, 28. (Daily Express) Newly-promoted Norwich City are thought to be interested in Hull winger Robbie Brady, 23. (Hull Daily Mail) Norwich are also set to bolster their midfield options with a £7m bid for Crystal Palace’s Scotland international James McArthur, 27. (Daily Star) And here’s the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…Liverpool eye next summer bargain by edging closer to deal for goalkeeper Adam BogdanManchester United interest in Raheem Sterling could HELP Liverpool, talkSPORT toldTottenham transfer news: International midfielder linked but starlet could quit the clubManchester United transfer news: THREE players agree deals with Red Devils?Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley turns down Aston Villa and Southampton to join EvertonMonaco join Liverpool in race for France starRoma enter race for Arsenal and Liverpool target Lucas DigneArsenal face competition to land Brazil international Felipe MeloChelsea star Filipe Luis ‘desperate’ for Atletico Madrid returnFormer goalkeeper tells Manchester United: Target Manuel Neuer if David De Gea leavesMarcelo Bielsa ready to snub West Ham interest and extend stay at MarseilleArsenal facing defeat in race for Juventus starlet?AC Milan prepare bid for Manchester City defenderlast_img read more

Read More

Blackburn keen on hiring former QPR boss – talkSPORT sources

first_img1 Udinese boss Luigi De Canio is on the radar of Blackburn Rovers.Rovers are searching for a new boss following the departure of Paul Lambert who opted against extending his stay at Ewood Park.De Canio, 58 has experience of the Championship with a spell at QPR in 2007 and is keen on a return to England. The Italian took over at Udinese in March following a disastrous spell under previous boss Stefano Calantouno, which left the club perilously close to relegation from Serie A.Despite only signing a short term deal until the end of the season, De Canio steadied the ship with ease, with the Little Zebras clear of relegation with one game of the campaign left.His work over the last few months has attracted the attention of the Venky’s who are keen to get their new man in place to prepare for a tilt at the Premier League next season.The exprienced Italian is yet to agree a new deal despite leading Udinese to Serie A safety, and he would seriously consider a switch to England if the right offer came along. Udinese boss Luigi De Canio last_img read more

Read More

O’HERLIHY WAS A ONCE-OFF, HARPS MAKE HISTORY, AND O’BRIEN FOR DERRY CITY? – IT’S WALSHY ON WEDNESDAY

first_imgTHE MAN WHO BROUGHT SPORT INTO OUR LIVING ROOMSBack in early March last, I was watching that never to be remembered Allianz National Football League clash between Donegal and Monaghan at O’Donnell Park. And I was standing in close vicinity to Jack O’Herlihy, former lecturer at the Letterkenny I.T. and the keenest of sportsman in every sense of the word. If you didn’t know it, the facial resemblance would have given it away – for he was surely the brother of Bill O’Herlihy and no mistake.I didn’t get chatting to Jack at the time but I have encountered him on a number of occasions over the years and there were also mannerisms that would have confirmed that family link (though I can’t ever recall him saying “we’ll leave it there so”).Bill’s sudden passing this week was a shock to the rest of us sports addicts – what it must have been to Jack and the family we can only guess even if many of us will have been there ourselves at some time in our lives.The R.T.E broadcaster was truly a once-off – a man who brought the world of sport into our living rooms and made it seem that he was actually there with us, as comfortable as a woollen pullover. Home and away, and for whatever sporting occasion – often the Republic of Ireland soccer team – he asked the questions that we all probably would have wanted to ask of his panel and took them to task in his traditional gentle way if needed be.And Home and Away is quite apt for didn’t the very same Bill announce the cancellation of the Australian soap as he and his panel and those of us on the other side of the television screen celebrated that penalty shoot-out victory over Romania at Italia 90 which brought us into the World Cup quarter-finals and overturned the R.T.E. schedules for the night (had that been the only achievement in Bill 0’Herlihy’s lifetime, many of us would also have loved him for it!).The Cork born presenter reckoned that he had “piggybacked” on the talents of the three R.T.E. soccer panellists, Dunphy, Giles and Brady, but, of course, we all know it was the other way around.It was appropriate that both the weekly rugby programme ‘Against the Head’ and its footballing equivalent ‘Soccer Republic’ on Monday night gathered together some of our top sporting personalities to pay tribute to the late broadcaster.And appropriate, too, that the likes of Paul McGrath, Bernard Brogan, and Barry McGuigan, tweeted their own tributes to him – acknowledging how each and every sport viewed him in this country. And not just here as former Liverpool and Scotland great, Graham Souness, also took time to praise the one and only O’Herlihy.“His questions were deliberate and to the point and he asked them with a bit of mischief,” lauded the occasional R.T.E. panellist.There are many hilarious memories from Bill O’Herlihy’s stint on television whether it was presenting the Olympic Games or the World Cup Finals but few were as funny as his appearance on an edition of ‘The Late Late Show’ when he was paired with his Apres Match impersonator, Barry Murphy, a segment that was broadcast on Monday night’s ‘Soccer Republic’.Good night and God bless, Bill, and our sincerest sympathy to Jack and the family on their immeasurable – and the country’s – loss. THE HISTORY BOYSIt’s F.A.I. Cup action for Finn Harps this weekend as they travel to face Longford Town with their unbeaten league run still intact.Let’s be honest, it was under serious threat after a first half when U.C.D. were in complete control in Ballybofey on Friday night. Somehow Harps held them scoreless up to the break but when the students took the lead twelve minutes into the second half it looked like curtains for that unbeaten stint and for that slice of club history.But twice, Harps came back from goal deficits – the second a typically powerhouse finish from Kevin McHugh as the clock – though not the one on the Finn Park scoreboard which has long since given up the ghost – ticked towards full-time.Another hefty attendance at the old venue – 200 at the very least I’ve been told! – including my old pal, Seamus McBride, who confessed he hadn’t been at a Harps match in over 35 years! See what you’ve been missing, young McBride.And any teenyboppers among the crowd can’t have failed to notice that the visitors had included Ed Sheeran in their starting line-up though they had him down as Conor Cannon.Will Harps be singing after their Cup trip to City Calling Stadium on Friday night?They’ll be doing exceptionally well to bring it back to a replay on Monday but it’s going to be a tough task against a side that have already tested the mettle of some of the Premier Division big boys this season.See you in Ballybofey for that replay.SHAUNA LOOKS TO THE OLYMPICSRight, what exactly DO those McFaddens have for breakfast? Given that they probably have breakfast after coming in from early morning – as in very early morning – trudges along the roads and footpaths around their home town of Letterkenny while the rest of us are maintaining a close connection to our  pillows. Just a couple of months after her father, Sean, took the hard-earned honours in The Race – a lot more extreme than it might sound – Shauna McFadden, at the tender age of fifteen, has been selected for the Irish team for the European Youth Olympics to be staged in Georgia in late July.A third year student at the Loreto Convent in Letterkenny, the young athlete, a member of the Errigal Cycling Club, will be competing alongside four other Irish performers in Tbilisi.Proud parents, Sean and Irene –the latter no mean athlete either – will no doubt be trackside cheering on Shauna’s every step and I wouldn’t be surprised if she returns with something more than a certificate that she has represented her country in an Olympic Games. Not when she hails from that particular family.ULSTER CHAMPIONS SHOW THE WAYSunday evening, Market Square, Letterkenny and the newly crowned Ulster Champions have just arrived home.What, you didn’t know Donegal had secured an Ulster title at the weekend? Well, there you are – or rather, there you weren’t, apart from the contingent of us who assembled to welcome back the heroes.  Or the heroines. Earlier in the afternoon, the county’s under-14 girls team had beaten Antrim in the Ulster B Final at Drumragh Sarsfields G.A.A. pitch a couple of miles the other side of Omagh.A nervy opening half that saw them trailing by two points at the interval was followed by an outstanding second half performance that put their opponents to the sword and saw them winning out on a scoreline of 4-9 to 1-11.Three goals from ace Naomh Padraig full-forward, Megan Havlin, sent them on their way to victory but this was an impressive all round display from everyone though I’d have to pick out Amy Boyle Carr for special mention as she covered every blade of grass and set up a hatful of scores for her team-mates as well as taking a few of her own.An All-Ireland semi-final now awaits this team and tributes to Greg Harkin and his coaching staff for bringing them this far. The Connacht champions stand in the way of bringing them further and either Leitrim or Roscommon will be the opponents on the weekend of June 13th/14th.FAIR SYSTEM?Exciting as they can be and as miserable as they can turn out for some – particularly if you happen to be the player who misses the key penalty in the decider – I have a couple of serious grievances with the play-off match system across the water.Firstly, a team can finish a few points above their opponents at the end of a gruelling season but they can still miss out on promotion should they lose either in the semi-finals or the Wembley Final. Where’s the justice in that?And secondly, why on earth does the victorious play-off winners secure a Cup when the side that finishes in an automatic promotion berth is left with absolutely zilch for its trophy cabinet?Not that Stephen McLaughlin’s Southend United will be complaining too much even if took a 7-6 penalty shoot-out for them to triumph over Wycombe Wanderers to climb their way out of Sky Bet League Two at the weekend. The former Finn Harps and Derry City player started as he had hoped but didn’t finish the game – substituted an hour into proceedings with his replacement, Joe Pigott, netting a dramatic equalizer just over twenty seconds from the end to send the game into penalties.At the other end of the match, the Isle of Doagh native did manage to give away a free-kick a full TWO seconds into the play-off with a tackle on Wycombe’s Sam Saunders. Some record there, surely.CANARIES O; DOG 3.And still in play-off territory, how about the Norwich City fan who almost missed out on seeing his heroes clinch promotion to the Premiership when his Cockapoo pet dog chewed his three match tickets to pieces in the week leading up to Wembley?The supporter, aided by his wife, attempted to glue the tickets together but to no avail. Still, they did manage to secure newly printed tickets so they could take their places for the match against Middlesbrough.As for Freddie the Cockapoo, he deserved a red card but he probably would have chewed through that as well…COCKHILL COCK-A-HOOPA third successive double for Cockhill Celtic confirmed after their 2-1 win over Bonagee United at Leckview Park in the Donegal News League Cup Final on Sunday. Some achievement that for the Inishowen outfit who continue to push the boundaries in local soccer.They’ve done so with former Harps and Derry City ace, Donal O’Brien at the helm but they’ll now have to look elsewhere for a manager following the Dubliner’s decision to step away from the post at the end of the season. “I’ve taken the team as far as I can,” he declared at the weekend.CockhillNot quite, of course, because if they can overcome St. Mochtas in the F.A.I. Intermediate Cup this Sunday he can take them further and don’t be surprised if they do even in the Dublin team’s own backyard – having already disposed of Leinster League king pins, Crumlin United, in the last round.O’Brien is taking a twelve month break from management once that run comes to an end – at the Final stage? – but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s back in some club’s hot seat before then. Perhaps in the Brandywell where current boss, Pizza Hutton is struggling to lift the Candystripes from the lower reaches of the Premier League table?O’HERLIHY WAS A ONCE-OFF, HARPS MAKE HISTORY, AND O’BRIEN FOR DERRY CITY? – IT’S WALSHY ON WEDNESDAY was last modified: May 27th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:It’s Walshy on WednesdaynewsPaddy WalshsoccerSportlast_img read more

Read More

Crabs’ bats come alive in home win

first_imgThe Crabs have, more times than not, fallen behind before scoring any runs in most of their outings this season.On Wednesday night the visiting Seals Baseball Club, winners of Tuesday’s game against the Crabs, seized a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning and — perhaps rightly so — the Crabs fans gathered at the Arcata Ball Park, witnesses to their team’s 1-6 start to its home schedule, braced themselves for another long night at the park.Perhaps they’ll think twice next time.With one …last_img read more

Read More

JSE’s SSF market a world leader

first_img26 July 2007South Africa’s JSE has overtaken its Indian counterpart as operating the largest single stock futures (SSF) market in the world in terms of volume of contracts traded, according to a World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) report on derivatives markets.The WFE’s 2006 Derivatives Market Survey, covering 49 exchanges trading derivatives products, was presented at the 2007 conference of international derivatives market trade group the IOMA-IOCA in Mexico in May.According to the report, the JSE traded 44-million contracts in the first quarter of 2007, compared with 30-million traded on the National Stock Exchange of India, 12-million on Euronext.liffe and 11-million on Eurex.Single stock futures activity on the JSE almost tripled both in 2005 and 2006, the report found, attributing this growth to “an aggressive advertising campaign aimed at both the retail and the wholesale market, and of positive changes in the regulatory regime of these products in South Africa.“The open interest increased even faster (it was multiplied by eight between 2005 and 2006), thanks to a new method of valuation of all contracts, including non-liquid contracts.”Because the size of stock futures contracts is smaller on the JSE compared to the other leading exchanges, however, South Africa’s exchange dropped to sixth place for the value trades on this market, after the National Stock Exchange of India, Euronext.liffe, Eurex, Borsa Italiana and MEFF.“Taking into account that the JSE really got this market off the ground only six years ago, this is an achievement which we can be justifiably proud of,” said Allan Thomson, director of trading at the JSE.“It is also encouraging that an African exchange has risen to the fore, given the world’s overwhelming interest in Asia.”SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Read More

Shanghai Expo boosts South Africa’s profile

first_imgSouth Africa’s pavilion at the Shanghai Expo attracted about 3-million visitors. (Image: Mediaclubsouthafrica.com. For more free photos visit the Image library) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma believes the expo will result in better cooperation between local and Chinese businesses. (Image: Bongani Nkosi) MEDIA CONTACTS • Kgomotso Molobi Chief Director for Public Diplomacy Department of International Relations and Cooperation +27 82 940 1647 or +27 12 351 0083  RELATED ARTICLES • SA opens at 2010 Expo Shanghai • South Africa-China trade ties to strengthen • Local heroines in the spotlight • Gallery: South Africa at 2010 Expo ShanghaiBongani NkosiSouth Africa’s image as a globally competitive nation has received a major boost from its successful participation in the Shanghai Expo, the government said.Since the expo opened on 1 May 2010, about 3-million people have flocked to the country’s pavilion, which South Africa’s Minister of Home Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma visited on 18 July.More than 190 countries have had a presence at the six-month-long expo, which is the biggest of its kind in the world. It will come to an end on 31 October.“We are sure that the combination of our participation in the Shanghai Expo and the 2010 Fifa World Cup has totally rebranded South Africa to the world,” Dlamini-Zuma said during her visit to the Chinese city.“Not only has South Africa been rebranded, it has also been exposed to a lot of people, especially young people around the world and this has created a better understanding of South Africa and Africa.”The joint African pavilion has attracted about 10-million people over the last few months.These massive turnouts “indicated the interest that the world has taken in Africa and South Africa”, said Dlamini-Zuma, adding that the country has presented itself as a rising modern economy and one of great industrial and scientific power in Africa.The minister said South Africa has proven itself to be a country that’s ready for trade. “South Africa is open for business and ready to serve as a gateway to the rest of Africa.”She tipped the local private sector, which has had a major presence at the expo, to cash in on the exposure it received to further contribute to the country’s economic growth. “This will ensure government delivers on its mandate to improve the lives of all our people.”More South African cities could have been represented at the expo to showcase the country’s urban diversity, Dlamini-Zuma said. “We think that in future, more cities must participate in these expos.”Boost for business cooperationAbout 72 South African organisations have exhibited at the expo, representing sectors like mining, information and communications technology, energy and agro-processing, among a range of other industries.Participation by South Africa’s private sector will strengthen economic ties between the country and China, Dlamini-Zuma said. “We are confident there will be further conversations between these business houses and we will see cooperation in a variety of areas.”As it is, China and South Africa have a healthy trade relationship, with the burgeoning Asian power surpassing the US as South Africa’s biggest trading partner in 2009. “China is one of South Africa’s strategic partners,” Dlamini-Zuma confirmed.Every cent was worth itSouth Africa’s government is predicting lucrative economic spinoffs from exhibiting in Shanghai. “It is too early to calculate the impact of the expo on our economy, but I am confident we will begin to see very positive effects,” the minister said.“All in all, we think every penny spent on organising and participating in this expo has been worth it.”Organisers at the South African pavilion are currently hosting fashion shows, where local designers can show off their latest trends.Throughout the expo South African musicians have fired up Shanghai stages. Jazz maestro Don Laka and flautist Wouter Kellerman are still due to perform in the city. “Our culture has also been showcased … through the performances rendered by South African artists,” Dlamini-Zuma added.Like the line-up of artists, various exhibitions are in the pipeline. “We will also present science, climate change and environmental initiatives. These activities will continue,” South Africa’s Consul-General to Shanghai, Vika Khumalo, said in a statement. STYLE–> MediaClubsouthafrica.com. For more free photos, visit thelast_img read more

Read More

The Hardest Insulating Job Ever

first_imgI’ve done a bunch of home weatherizing and insulating projects over the years; let me tell you about the worst.By the mid-80s I had already done quite a bit to improve the energy performance of our house—a 1785 cape in Dummerston, Vermont—including gutting all the walls; insulating them with fiberglass plus an inch of Styrofoam insulation on the interior; and hiring a weatherization professional to caulk and air-seal most of the house. But when we would pick up our young daughter from the floor, she’d be cold to the touch. With our Vermont Castings Resolute wood stove cranking full-bore, the temperature at the ceiling in our kitchen living area would be well above 70 degrees, but it hovered in the 50s at floor level—where our daughter was crawling around. I had to do something.What I did was insulate and air-seal the underside of the floor. This wasn’t so bad where we had a full basement—it meant cutting pieces of extruded polystyrene (XPS) to fit between the floor joists and against the underside of the subfloor, then wedging them into place. But about a third of our house, including our kitchen, has a crawl space under it instead of a full basement—and insulating that part of the floor was incredibly challenging.My plan was to install the two-inch-thick XPS, leaving a quarter- to half-inch gap at the edges along the joists, and then seal those edges with expanding foam sealant, which would provide a good air seal. To access the crawl space from the basement, I first had to remove stones from the dry-stone foundation, creating an access hole. Then, because there was only about a six-inch space from the bottom of the joists to the floor of the crawl space, I had to dig a sort-of access trench to get in and move around.After avoiding the project for weeks, I finally donned a pair of old coveralls one sunny, late-autumn afternoon, put on a dust mask, and slithered into the cramped, dark space, trowel in hand. I have these vague, mostly repressed, memories of inching along under the kitchen floor, dragging an extension-cord-tethered light with me to illuminate the cobwebs and assorted wildlife that called our crawl space home.After digging in far enough in my expanding trench network, I’d crawl back out to grab a piece of the insulation. I don’t recall how I cut the insulation boards to fit—whether I did that in the crawl space or out in the full-height basement—but I do remember it being really hard. It was especially difficult because every piece of insulation had to be a different size and shape. Our kitchen addition was built around 1800, and the joists are roughly ten-inch-diameter round beech logs. These joists were in remarkable shape, owing perhaps to the very porous soil, but the insulation had to be trimmed to fit around the bumps and bends.Once the many insulation pieces were cut and fit—held in place with nails I think—I crawled back in with a polyurethane sealant foaming gun and a length of plastic tubing. This I used to foam-seal all the joints. The foam canister had to be held upside down when the foam was injected, and I awkwardly directed the foam into the gaps with the tubing. This particular phase of the project was particularly challenging—all the more so because polyurethane foam creates a real mess. If you get any on your hands or face, you basically have to wear it off. And I had to work fast, because the foam would begin to cure in the tubing.So I wore goggles, along with my coveralls, and even a bandana over my hair—as much to keep out the spiders as the spray foam. But after a number of weekends of this (how many I no longer remember), I finally finished the job.I report on this project not to scare readers off from weatherizing and insulating, but to make the point that the work isn’t always easy or fun or even safe. Some projects are really difficult and unpleasant—though I think in the annals of energy conservation few experiences could be worse than my crawl-space insulation project.I also report on this to describe the incredible difference the work achieved. Starting immediately, the huge floor-to-ceiling temperature differential we had experienced was reduced to a much more reasonable level of maybe five to ten degrees. This house will never be as tight and comfortable as a new one that I would build today—a house that could be heated with a few 100-watt light bulbs in each room—but the work that I did makes our house reasonably comfortable and relatively affordable to heat. For a 235-year-old house, it’s really not too bad!Our older daughter, whose cold little body inspired me to embark on this project twenty-three years ago, has now graduated from college (perhaps not coincidentally in a warm climate!). But the insulating and air sealing work I did in that crawl space benefits us to this day.last_img read more

Read More