Madagascar regulator under scrutiny in breach at Rio Tinto-controlled mine

first_imgArticle published by malavikavyawahare A breach at an ilmenite mine in Madagascar that came to light earlier this year is drawing attention to possible lapses on the part of the country’s environmental regulator.A group of civil society organizations has asked the Malagasy government to intervene in the matter and to hold consultations to strengthen regulatory oversight of the extractive industries.In response, the Malagasy government said it will look into the actions of the National Office for the Environment (ONE), the agency responsible for overseeing the mine, which is owned by London-based mining giant Rio Tinto.However, two months on, the government has shared no updates about its inquiry with the civil society groups that requested its intervention. The government of Madagascar is looking into the actions of its top environmental regulator in the case of a buffer zone breach at a mineral sands mining operation in the southeast of the country.Five years ago, the QIT Madagascar Minerals (QMM) ilmenite mine breached its buffer zone around Lake Besaroy. In March, the mine’s owner, London-based mining giant Rio Tinto, sent a memo acknowledging the breach for the first time to the Andrew Lees Trust UK (ALT UK), a social and environmental advocacy group. Activists fear that radionuclide-enriched tailings, residue from the mine’s mineral extraction process, could contaminate the lake, which locals use for drinking water. They also say the breach highlights the problematic relationship between the mine’s regulator, the National Office for the Environment (ONE), and the companies it is supposed to oversee.Rio Tinto, which owns an 80 percent stake in QMM, has invested about $1 billion in the mine, which is the second-largest in Madagascar, spread across 6,000 hectares (14,800 acres). Ilmenite extracted from the sands here is rich in titanium dioxide, which is used to produce pigment that gives a white finish to paint, plastic, paper and dye.The government’s inquiry was prompted by a letter sent by Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Madagascar in August to the environment minister and the minister for mines. The letter, supported by several Malagasy and foreign civil society organizations, drew attention to a lack of transparency and possible regulatory lapses on the part of the ONE in the case of the QMM breach.“PWYP and ALT UK asked in writing and verbally on multiple occasions since last year for Rio Tinto/QMM to provide copies of the ONE reports on the assessment of the QMM buffer breach,” Herinarahinjaka Eryck Randrianandrasana, the national coordinator at PWYP Madagascar, said in an email. “In particular to provide evidence of how the claims made by Rio Tinto that the Malagasy regulator deemed the impact of the breach to be ‘negligible’ had been reached. Their repeated failure to do so promoted the PWYP action to write to the Malagasy Government.”In an August email to PWYP Madagascar, the minister of environment promised to investigate the matter.The ONE is responsible for ensuring that public and private investments do not pose environmental risks. It is tasked with implementing the Compatibility of Investments with the Environment (MECIE by its French acronym) that lays down rules about conducting environmental impact assessments (EIAs), holding public consultations, and penalties for violations. However, the ONE, like many other Malagasy regulatory agencies, is short-staffed and resource poor. For projects that require EIAs, which are done by the project promoters but must be signed off by ONE, the promoters pay annual fees to cover the costs of subsequent monitoring.In a statement Rio Tinto issued to Mongabay in response to emailed questions the company said that “QMM pays approximately US$35,000 – $40,000 per year in these statutory fees, depending on the specific activities planned and delivered during any given year.”The breach has highlighted what activists with PWYP and other organizations say are flaws in the regulatory mechanisms that govern extractive industries like mining. Activists raised concerns for several years about a possible breach at the Rio Tinto mine into the buffer zone around Lake Besaroy. But until sending its March memo, the company did not confirm the existence of a breach.“The incursion occurred between December 2014 and January 2015,” the Rio Tinto statement said, adding that “the issue was raised with ONE as the environmental regulator when it was confirmed in 2018, and ONE inspected the area in September that year.”The confirmation of the breach the statement referred to came from a 2018 study Rio Tinto commissioned an Australian consultancy called Ozius Spatial to carry out. According to Rio Tinto, the ONE did its own evaluation of the breach, deemed the impact “negligible” and did not take any regulatory action. In its March memo to ALT UK, Rio Tinto acknowledged that the mine had breached the buffer zone but said there was no evidence of significant damage, citing the ONE’s evaluation of the breach. The company continues to maintain that position.“The impact of the disturbance to the ground and to the invasive vegetation prevalent within the area, along with the benign composition of the sand, which is also typical of the area, would not be expected to result in immediate, widespread, or sustained pollution or sustained physical damage,” the Rio Tinto statement said.“That is a question for ONE. We are not aware of any formal inspection report,” it said in response to a request from Mongabay for the ONE report on which the company’s assessment is based. The ONE did not respond to requests for a copy of the report.What raised red flags, according to the civil society organizations’ petition, was that Rio Tinto’s outlay for supporting the ONE’s monitoring activities remained relatively unchanged for the 2017-2018 period compared with previous years. “The lack of an increase in Rio Tinto/QMM financial contributions to the ONE indicates that no additional studies were undertaken and no expert inputs were requested or contracted by the ONE for the buffer zone inspection in 2018,” the petition noted.A file photo of Tolagnaro also known as Fort Dauphin, the nearest city to the QMM mining operation, where the port from which ilmenite is exported is located. Image by Rhett A. ButlerThe breach has raised larger questions about the ability of regulators to provide oversight in cases where they are heavily dependent on the companies they are supposed to regulate. “Local people have a right to information that they cannot get at the moment, and the right to live in a safe environment, which cannot happen if the regulator is not actively protecting these rights,” said Yvonne Orengo, ALT UK’s director. Orengo owns one share in Rio Tinto and has consistently raised questions about the QMM mine’s social and environmental impact at the company’s annual general meetings.“The request of the letter is for a round table with Malagasy civil society in order to review and revise the Decret MECIE and mining code,” Randrianandrasana said. “In particular, to close gaps that allow extractive companies to pay the regulator, the ONE, to carry out evaluations of their activity but which does not then compel them legally to publish the results or to transparently share reports and findings.”The mining code is expected to be revised in 2020 and Malagasy civil society organizations are pushing for more transparent and inclusive consultations on it.Andrianasolo Mamialisoa, an ONE official, told Mongabay in an email that the environment ministry had transferred the civil society groups’ letter about the QMM case to the ONE in September and that the concerned ONE department had shared some responses with the ministry. The minister, in his email to PWYP Madagascar, said that the ONE would keep the NGO updated about developments in the inquiry. As of the second week of November, however, Randrianandrasana said PWYP Madagascar remains in the dark about the progress of the government’s inquiry.Madagascar’s ministries of environment and of mines and strategic resources did not respond to Mongabay’s requests for a comment at the time this article was published.Banner Image: Rio Tinto’s QIT Madagascar Minerals mine in southeastern Madagascar. Image courtesy of Google Earth.Malavika Vyawahare is the Madagascar staff writer for Mongabay. Find her on Twitter: @MalavikaVyFEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Conservation, Corporate Role In Conservation, Corporate Social Responsibility, Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Politics, Forests, Mining, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Regulations, Wildlife center_img 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 overSponsoredlast_img read more

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Hopes dim as COP25 delegates dicker over Article 6 and world burns: critics

first_img 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 Article published by Glenn Scherer Even as half a million protesters demonstrate outside, UN climate summit negotiators inside Madrid’s COP25 seem blind to the urgency of the climate crisis. In fact, instead of making effective progress, the rules they’re shaping to carry out the Paris Agreement’s Article 6 could worsen carbon emissions, not staunch them.For example, Article 6 doesn’t include rules to protect native forests. Instead it could promote turning forests into monoculture tree plantations — providing minimal carbon sequestration and no ecosystem services, while devastating biodiversity. Some critics think the policy may have been shaped by logging interests.The so-called biomass carbon accounting loophole is also not up for discussion. Its continuance will allow the burning of biomass wood pellets at power plants, energy production classified by the UN as carbon neutral. However, establised science has found that industrial biomass burning will add significantly to carbon emissions.According to activists at COP25, delegates are working to hide emissions and allow UN carbon accounting loopholes. One key aspect of Article 6 found in the original Paris Agreement which guaranteed “the protection of human rights” was deleted from a revised draft Saturday night, as was verbiage assuring civil society and indigenous consultations. Delegates have set a low bar at the COP25 climate summit, putting the world’s future at risk, according to critics. Image by Justin Catanoso.MADRID, Spain – Climate sensation Greta Thunberg drew 500,000 people to a boisterous rally in central Madrid on Friday evening, near the end of the first week of negotiations at the 25th United Nations climate summit (COP25).“We are getting bigger and bigger, and our voices are being heard more and more,” Thunberg told the crowd. “But of course that does not translate into political action. I sincerely hope that world leaders, the people in power, grasp the urgency of the climate crisis because right now, it doesn’t seem like they are.”Inside the cavernous halls of COP25, the Conference of the Parties, delegates from UN member nations large and small appeared deaf to the rising global clamor for action — thus far shirking their responsibilities to lead in the kind of transformational change in energy production and land use that scientists warn is required immediately to slow the calamitous pace of global warming.Instead, many delegates appear to be clinging to vested interests and outdated policy positions and definitions that haven’t kept pace with the science, while ignoring the urgency of a slew of alarming studies and reports — including one warning of a potentially catastrophic cascade of looming climate tipping points that could shatter ecosystem balance around the globe. In fact, evidence indicates that many delegations are promoting policy choices that actually undermine climate ambition.“Over the last week at COP25 we have heard about the emissions gap, the funding gap, and the consumption gap. But I have never before seen an action gap so large between people all over the world as those sitting in the negotiations room,” said Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of the World Wildlife Fund’s global climate and energy practice and Peru’s former minister of the environment. “Outside the COP, people are taking the climate crisis seriously, taking action, and taking to the streets. As we move to the Ministerial level in Madrid this week, we expect leaders to match our levels of ambition and close the action gap.”Mongabay has seen little evidence so far that this “action gap” will close. Requests to speak with delegates representing developed and developing nations came up empty. No response. No comment. Meanwhile, hopes among NGOs and activists for the final week of COP negotiations — when table-setting policy technicians are displaced by decision-making politicians — have dimmed.“I’m afraid I have low expectations for what’s going to come out of the end of this summit,” Bill Moomaw, professor emeritus of international environmental policy at Tufts University, told Mongabay. “It’s not going to move us far toward limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius [2.7 degrees Fahrenheit] or even 2 oC [3.6 oF], which we desperately need. Article 6 could undermine half of it, and lack of will the other half.”Virginia Young (right) meets with Climate Action Network members to discuss Article 6 outside the media center at COP25. Image by Justin Catanoso.Forlorn hopeArticle 6 is the star of this show — the last rule in the Paris rulebook requiring negotiation. The Paris Agreement’s Article 6 and its rule book will establish complex policy mechanisms that establish carbon markets to provide financial incentives to encourage the world’s nations to voluntarily up their emissions-reduction ambitions.At present, none of the world’s 20 largest economies, responsible for 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, have increased their modest and inadequate carbon-reduction pledges since the Paris Agreement of 2015. None is expected to do so in Madrid, even as global emissions hit record highs in 2018, and after setting records the two previous years.There is especially great concern among forest and land use experts interviewed here in Madrid by Mongabay. All had regular access to negotiators during the first week of COP25, and all these experts came away more worried than encouraged. They say that Article 6, if actually completed this week, would imperil old-growth forests and their biodiversity, while promoting the planting of monoculture tree plantations that provide minimal carbon sequestration or ecosystem services.According to Virginia Young, director of climate and forests with the Australian Rainforest Conservation Society, the problem starts with the official definition of a forest, which the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) established more than two decades ago.“My concern is that this convention has failed forests all along the line,” Young told Mongabay. “They failed in Kyoto in 1997. When they defined forests, they did not distinguish between primary, old-growth forests and monoculture tree plantations. Yet there is a fundamental difference between the carbon stock (sequestration capacity) and the stability of that stock in each. Treating them as identical from a carbon perspective is just nonsense.”Deforestation for an oil palm plantation in Sabah, Malaysia. Plantations rarely sequester as much carbon as native forests and they devastate biodiversity. Despite those facts, plantations have long been included under the UN’s definition of the word “forest.” Image by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay.Troubling forest definitionYoung suspects that the logging industry may have had a hand in the FAO forest definition. And reading that definition, it does not sound like any forest you may have ever hiked through.According to the FAO: “Forest includes natural forests and forest plantations,” and one acre with just 10% tree cover with trees just 6-feet tall constitutes an official forest. FAO also states that a primary forest is still technically a forest for five years after it’s been clear cut.“By those definitions, the Simpson Desert [in Australia] could qualify as a forest,” Young said. “Here’s the danger: emissions reduction goals are not based on protecting primary forests or reducing deforestation. They are based on planting more monocultures of trees. The way the [emissions] accounting system works, you can offset the carbon loss in a natural forest if you plant a monoculture of trees, and plant enough of them.”This environmentally dangerous definition has been kept in place despite the repeated demands of environmentalists like Young to revisit the policy and honestly address ecological risk. Revising that definition under Article 6 is not on the COP25 agenda. So it is that Article 6, without safeguards, will likely incentivize deforestation as countries seek to sell or buy carbon offsets to technically reduce their own emissions.What’s more, Young worries biodiversity, already under assault from warming temperatures and extreme weather events such as drought, will be further threatened.“Biodiversity is not just about nice critters we’re trying to save,” Young said. “It’s about the functional role of every organism in the ecosystem. From a carbon perspective, biodiversity keeps forests stable and as resilient as possible. What we need is 100% natural forest protection and a focus on restoration to maximize ecosystem stability and resiliency.”Bill Moomaw, a leading expert on international climate policy and a former author of United Nations climate change reports. Image by Justin Catanoso / Mongabay.Cutting corners and cheating the baselineMoomaw sees trouble everywhere: in how delegates, under Article 6, are trying to hide emissions, slip through loopholes, and get credit for emission reductions where none currently exist.“Governments are saying, ‘It’s going to be hard to grow my forests so let me find a way to cheat my baseline,’” said Moomaw, an author of previous UN climate change reports and a respected expert among national leaders. “So they want to carry over reductions from the Kyoto Protocol. These will not be additional reductions from their forests; they’ve already been counted.“The second thing many countries want to do is sell indulgences to other countries that ‘if we let our forests grow, you can count the reductions if you pay us. But we also want to count those reductions as ours, too,’” explained Moomaw. That’s a carbon accounting gambit known as “double counting.” And it’s the basis of a huge debate right now at COP.“How much are they going to be able to get away with? One or the other, but probably some combination of both,” concluded Moomaw. Of course, the trouble with double counting is that nature won’t be fooled, and emissions will rise to everyone’s detriment.Experts with the World Resources Institute (WRI), who typically aim for neutral to glass-half-full evaluations of COP negotiations, have been extra cautious when it comes to Article 6: “Strong rules are needed to ensure that double counting is avoided and that environmental integrity is preserved,” wrote WRI senior associate Kelly Levin in a briefing document. “With strong rules, Article 6 could also support higher ambition in mitigation and adaptation action.”But, WRI warned: “A failure to agree on effective Article 6 rules, in light of the number of countries that signaled the use of carbon markets in their [carbon reduction pledges], will certainly weaken the achievement of the Paris Agreement’s goals and compromise its ambition.”Importantly, one specific aspect of Article 6 enshrined in the original Paris Agreement calls for guaranteeing “the protection of human rights” in all aspects of carbon trading. But as Levin noted after a revised draft of Article 6 was released late Saturday night, December 7, language “safeguarding human rights has disappeared from the text.”Other sources said delegates from Brazil, China and Saudi Arabia — tossing the most hand grenades into the drafting process — pushed for the stripping out of the human rights guarantee on the basis of “infringing on national sovereignty issues.” Language on consultations with civil society and indigenous people was also deleted, according to another Mongabay source. Neither the European Union nor the United States reportedly came to the defense of human rights or safeguards.At the start of the second and final week of COP25 negotiations, high-level ministers gather for decision-making on agenda items. Here, former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos meets with Latin American media to discuss his expectations. Image by Justin Catanoso. “We are past offsets”Jannes Stoppel, a forests, land use, and climate expert with Greenpeace-Germany, has thought long and hard about the underlying premise of Article 6 — market-driven mechanisms to encourage what countries should be doing to cool the planet. He sees it as the wrong policy at the wrong time.“If you create incentives through markets, it can easily help nations sell themselves out of the responsibility to act,” Stoppel told Mongabay. “That’s where we see the grave danger for ecosystems, land, biodiversity, indigenous peoples.”Stoppel nearly despairs when he considers that delegates are spending so much effort on shaping Article 6 rules that would essentially allow one country that’s polluting too much, to pay another country that isn’t polluting much, in order for all to continue burning fossil fuels.“We are past offsets; it’s about reducing all emissions now,” Stoppel said. “This offsetting market mechanism is potentially undermining the whole ambition of climate action.”A year from now, at COP26 in Scotland, the entirety of the Paris Agreement goes into effect with rules and policies that will be difficult to revise or reverse no matter how scientifically invalid or harmful.The experts quoted here are all fearful that COP25 organizers — Chile and Spain — will be desperate to claim some success, thus pushing through a dangerous version of Article 6 rather than leave it in limbo until the political will arises to make it meaningful for climate mitigation.One such glaring example of bad UN policy re-entrenchment concerns a scientifically outdated Kyoto-era policy that negotiators refuse to acknowledge: the declaration that burning biomass in the form of wood pellets at power plants is carbon neutral (with nations not required to report emissions) when, in fact, a decade of scientific research has concluded that biomass is more carbon-intensive than the coal it’s replacing.“Too many nations are wedded to business as usual,” Young said. “They don’t think creatively or even have a real sense of urgency despite all the awful storms and wildfires and climate refugees. Scientists talk about the need for transformational change, yet all we’re seeing in policies for land use and forest preservation are scaled-up business as usual. And that’s dooming us to failure.”Justin Catanoso, a professor of journalism at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, covers climate change and climate policy for Mongabay; this is his sixth UN climate summit. Follow him on Twitter @jcatanosoBanner image caption: Costa Rican rainforest. COP25 negotiators presently have no plans to protect native forests under Article 6 rulemaking, potentially a disaster for tropical forests and for the world. Image by Reht A. Butler / Mongabay.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.Ambitious rhetoric is rife at the COP25 summit, but climate action commensurate with the seriousness of the world’s climate crisis seems unlikely. Image by Justin Catanoso / Mongabay.center_img Adaptation To Climate Change, carbon, Carbon Conservation, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Emissions, Carbon Footprint, Carbon Market, Carbon Offsets, Carbon Sequestration, Carbon Trading, Climate, Climate Change, Climate Change And Forests, Climate Change Negotiations, Climate Change Policy, Climate Change Politics, climate policy, Climate Politics, Climate Science, Controversial, Emission Reduction, Energy, Energy Politics, Environment, Environmental Law, Environmental Policy, Environmental Politics, Forest Carbon, Forests, Global Environmental Crisis, Global Warming, Global Warming Mitigation, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Law, Monitoring, Pollution, Research, United Nations last_img read more

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To deter Chinese sea claims, Indonesia puts its fishers on the front line

first_imgArticle published by Basten Gokkon Coastal Ecosystems, Conservation, Environment, Environmental Policy, Fisheries, Fishing, Governance, Illegal Fishing, Marine, Marine Conservation, Marine Ecosystems, Oceans, Overfishing, Sustainability Indonesia is increasing both its security and fishing presence in the waters around the Natuna Islands, following the latest incursion into the area by Chinese vessels.China claims much of the South China Sea, including the waters near the Natunas, but that particular area is internationally recognized as part of Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone.In a bid to deter future incursions, the Indonesian government has called on fishing fleets operating in the Java Sea to move to the Natunas.But observers warn that the arrival of the better-equipped Java fishers could create new tensions with the small-scale fishers already plying the Natuna waters, while doing little to thwart Chinese or other foreign fishing boats. JAKARTA — Indonesia is ramping up its fisheries in the waters around its northern Natuna Islands, following an incursion into the area by fishing boats and a coast guard vessel from China.The area in question is internationally recognized as part of Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone, a sweep of sea extending 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) from the country’s coast. But according to China, the area falls within the “Nine-Dash Line” that stakes Beijing’s claim to much of the South China Sea. (China doesn’t claim the islands themselves, but fishing rights within the seas around them.)The latest standoff began last December when a fleet of Chinese fishing vessels appeared to be operating in the Natuna waters, accompanied by a Chinese coast guard ship. While foreign boats are allowed to pass through a country’s EEZ, fishing there is strictly prohibited.Indonesia has since beefed up its military presence in the area, with the Chinese vessels reportedly leaving Indonesia’s EEZ earlier this month. President Joko Widdodo, who visited the islands in a show of force, has also asked Japan to invest in fisheries, energy and tourism in the Natunas, in a bid to cement Indonesia’s presence in the area.“There is no bargaining when it comes to our sovereignty, our country’s territorial,” Widodo said on Jan. 6.In addition, the government has called on domestic fishing fleets operating in the Java Sea to deploy to the Natunas some 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) away. This last move has prompted criticism of both the longstanding lack of government support for Natuna’s local fishers, and the potential for a fresh dispute if the better-equipped Java fishers are perceived to benefit at the expense of the Natuna fishers.Indonesian President Joko Widodo, center, and officials from the fisheries ministry visit Natuna following illegal fishing activity by Chinese boats in Indonesian waters. Image courtesy of the Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.Experts have highlighted the scarcity of Indonesian fishing vessels operating in the Natunas and the lack of facilities on land to process catches, which inevitably end up being taken to Java.“We’ve always been weak in exploiting the natural resources in Indonesia’s EEZ, including the Natuna waters,” Ari Purbayanto, a fisheries professor at the Bogor Institute of Agriculture Institute (IPB), outside Jakarta, told Mongabay in a text message.Most of the catches brought ashore in the Natunas come from vessels smaller than 10 gross tonnage (GT), while larger boats reportedly almost never landed their catches there. The Natuna waters are estimated to have more than 750,000 tons of fish stock. The government has tried to address this by establishing a cold storage center and a boat repair station in Natuna.“Exploiting the resources in Indonesia’s EEZ by our national fleet is a form of ‘effective occupation’ by us [who] clearly have the sovereign right there,” Purbayanto said.Chinese fishing boats operating in the waters of Indonesia’s Natuna Íslands. Image courtesy of the Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.But others have criticized the plan to send hundreds of fishermen from the northern coast of Java to Natuna. They warn the increased Indonesian fishing presence won’t necessarily deter Chinese or other foreign fishing vessels, while at the same time they could potentially trigger conflict with the local small-scale fishers of Natuna.“We can and are willing to sail all the way to the EEZ, but the thing is our fleet is inadequate and we don’t have the technology,” Al Izhar, a fisherman from Natuna, told Mongabay Indonesia in a phone interview.“But if we are trained, we can contribute to play our role in being on the front line for the nation,” he added.Beefing up the state’s security presence is also key to tackling fishing by foreign vessels, experts say. Indonesia’s former fisheries minister, Susi Pudjiastuti, was widely hailed for her tough policy against foreign poachers, which centered on seizing and sinking their boats.“Indonesia’s tough policy against foreign fishing boats under Susi’s leadership in the last five years clearly grabbed the attention of and became a key consideration for neighboring fishing vessels to be more careful when they operate in the borders or within Indonesia’s EEZ,” Arifsyah Nasution, oceans campaigner at Greenpeace Indonesia, told Mongabay in a text message.Maritime observers have called for an immediate easing of tensions between Indonesia and China in Natuna, which they warn could affect the sustainability and security of the fisheries industry in the region.Purbayanto said that Chinese fishing boats typically used destructive equipment such as large pair trawls. “They will drain the resources while we just watch it happen,” he said. “It’s possible that right now we’re importing fish from China that actually was stolen from Indonesia.”President Joko Widodo has ordered an increased security presence in the Natuna waters following the incursion by Chinese fishing boats and coast guard. Image courtesy of the Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img 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 overSponsoredlast_img read more

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Serena seeks to cap comeback year with Grand Slam No. 24

first_imgHalep in formWorld number one Simona Halep arrives at Flushing Meadows buoyed not only by her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros but by an impressive hardcourt campaign that included a victory in Montreal followed by a runner-up finish in Cincinnati.The Romanian has reached six finals this year, displaying a new maturity on the court.“Now she’s understanding what the problems are, when she gets a little bit emotional how many points in a row she’s losing because of that,” Halep’s coach Darren Cahill said.“She’s starting to see the structure and the momentum changes and the swings much better than she used to. That’s why now she’s able to turn matches around, where as once upon a time they used to slip away pretty quickly.”World number two Caroline Wozniacki arrives in New York amid injury uncertainty, having withdrawn from Washington with a right leg injury and then retired with a left knee injury from her second-round match in Cincy — where she also played with a shoulder strapped.Sloane Stephens, the world number three, will be in unfamiliar territory as she defends her first major title, but a third final in the last five Grand Slams appears to be within her reach.Kerber will be aiming to expunge the memory of a first-round exit last year.The Wimbledon champion has reached at least the quarters of each Slam this year and looks again like the player who won two majors in 2016 — including the US Open. ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins She could also join Court, Evonne Goolagong and Kim Clijsters as the only mothers to win Grand Slam singles titles, but since an impressive run to the Wimbledon final — where she fell to Angelique Kerber — Williams has endured a lackluster buildup to the hardcourt showpiece in Flushing Meadows.“I’m still at the very beginning, this is a long comeback,” she defiantly told reporters after a second-round loss to Petra Kvitova — winner of five titles this year — in the second round at Cincinnati.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’“I just began, I just started,” Williams said. “I’m definitely at the very, very beginning.”She had shrugged off an even bigger disappointment two weeks earlier — a 6-1, 6-0 loss to Johanna Konta in San Jose that was the most lopsided defeat of her career. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Atletico Madrid, Valencia open Spanish season with draw LATEST STORIES View comments Williams later revealed she had learned shortly before that match that the man convicted of killing her sister Yetunde Price in 2003 had been released on parole, something she “couldn’t shake out of her mind”.It was another instance of personal matters intruding on the tennis court in a way they never have before, with Williams opening up about her struggles with post-partum emotions since the birth of daughter Olympia last September, and wrestled with feelings of inadequacy that many new mothers experience.“I have been through a lot of stuff in my life, but I have never been through this,” Williams said. “Having a baby and feeling with the emotions and the ups and downs and the fears and the excitement.”And then there’s her game, worryingly inconsistent in six tournaments so far this year — including the French Open where she withdrew before the fourth round with a pectoral injury.“Basically, my whole game needs to improve,” she admits, if she is to avoid her first season since 2011 without a Grand Slam singles title.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Peza offers relief to ecozone firmscenter_img Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal Serena Williams returns a shot to Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic during the Western & Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 14, 2018 in Mason, Ohio. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFPSerena Williams, riding an emotional rollercoaster as she adapts to juggling tennis and motherhood, seeks to end 2018 on a high with a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title at the US Open.The US great counts six US Open victories among her 23 Slams and with one more would match Australian Margaret Court’s record for most major singles titles.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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Detainee confesses to constructing airstrip in Rupununi

first_imgIllegal aircraft– 2 others in custody as Police hunt businessmanAs the Guyana Police Force continues with its probe into the discovery of the illegal Beechcraft King Air 350 aircraft and a makeshift airstrip that was found in the Upper Takutu region last month, one of the three men detained for questioning has admitted to constructing the airstrip.Head of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Wendell Blanhum, confirmed to Guyana Times on Saturday that ranks from the CID Headquarters contacted the suspect in Lethem, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) and during an interview, he admitted to his involvement in the construction and preparation of the said airstrip which facilitated the landing of the illegal aircraft discovered recently.“As a result of the information received, the Police are currently pursuing one of the businessmen, who was previously held but was subsequently released on bail, for further questioning,” the Crime Chief disclosed.It was also related to this publication that the two other persons are still in Police custody assisting with investigation as the probe continues.On Monday last, acting Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine, told reporters that documents found in the Beechcraft King Air 350 aircraft may have links to South American neighbours, Brazil and Colombia.However, the acting Top Cop was unable to say who the individuals were that brought the illegal aircraft into Guyana.“I know some collaboration is being done with the Civil Aviation Authority and another agency but I don’t have the benefit of those details at this point in time… I know a few persons were in custody, and I think one or two brought to CID headquarters and interviewed, questioned and so on but I will await the outcome of the report,” the acting Police Commissioner had stated.Just over three weeks ago, Police ranks in F Division (Interior Locations) went to an area in North Rupununi, where they discovered a 5400-foot long, 45-foot wide airstrip. As they were leaving the site, an aircraft landed and upon seeing the Police approaching, the occupants escaped into the nearby bushes.In addition to the identification documents, several pieces of communication equipment, including cellular phones, flashlights, a quantity of dried ration and medical supplies were found aboard the aircraft.Additionally, a search of the area unearthed three abandoned camps, in which canned food and other items were found along with containers of suspected aviation fuel.An inter-agency probe has since been launched and it was unearthed that the aircraft, which initially had a Colombian registration number, was actually registered to Brazil’s third largest banks, Banco Bradesco.However, an official from the bank said that they do not own any planes but it is registered to them since the owner may have acquired a loan to purchase it. A mining company named Riwa SA Incorporated Investments and Participants operated the aircraft.A history of the aircraft shows that it was owned by 11 companies in the past 27 years.Nevertheless, Ramnarine said investigators are expected to wrap up the probe within the coming days.This discovery has raised concerns within Government and during a recent visit to the Guyana Defence Force Base Camp Kanuku, located at the border town of Lethem, Region Nine, Commander in Chief, Brigadier David Granger, told Army officers to be vigilant at the country’s borders. He also called on various stakeholders in the region to work together to protect the borders against intruders.last_img read more

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Pasadena boys earn top seed again

first_img Pacific Hills defeated Maranatha in the Delphic League finale to earn a co-league title, but that didn’t stop the Minutemen from earning the top-seed in the Division V-AA playoffs. The Minutemen received a first-round bye and will play the winner of Wednesday’s first-round game between North County Christian and Saddleback Valley Christian in the first round on Friday. Marshall, which finished third in the Delphic, was given a No. 6 seed and could meet the Minutemen in the semifinals. Marshall will be on the road against Highland Hall in the first round on Wednesday. Pacific Hills was the No. 2 seed and gives the Delphic three of the top six seeds. “We’ve worked hard to get back to this point,” Bulldogs coach Tim Tucker said. “We were shocked the way it ended last year, so our whole focus has been to get that top seed again and take it from there.” Muir finished third in the Pacific League and will play a wild-card game at home Wednesday against Valencia of Valencia. After earning the top seed in the CIF-Southern Section playoffs and losing in the second round last year, the Pasadena High School boys basketball team wants to make sure it stays focused when the Division II-AA playoffs begin this week. The three-time Pacific League champion Bulldogs earned the top seed again and will play the winner of Wednesday’s wild-card game between Bishop Amat and Golden Valley in Friday’s first round. center_img Rio Hondo League champion La Ca ada earned the No. 3 seed in Division III-AA and will host Alhambra in an exciting clash between local schools in the first round on Friday. Keppel earned the No. 13 seed after finishing second in the Almont League and will host Santa Clara in the first round. Temple City finished second in the Rio Hondo League and will host Montebello, the third-place finisher in the Almont League. South Pasadena beat Monrovia on Friday to determine third in the RHL, but both teams are in the playoffs. The Tigers travel to Tri-Valley league runner-up Carpinteria while the Wildcats visit Almont League champion Schurr. San Gabriel earned an at-large berth and will face No. 2 seed Price. Camino Real league champion La Salle earned the No. 4 seed in Division IV-A and will have a first-round bye. Prep League champion Pasadena Poly earned the No. 11 seed and will host Providence in the first round on Wednesday. Freelance Renaissance Academy earned the No. 2 seed for the Division III-A playoffs. The Wildcats have a first-round bye and will play in a second-round game on Friday. fred.robledo@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 4485 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Fortran computer-language developer Backus, 82

first_imgThe result, Fortran, short for Formula Translation, reduced the number of programming statements necessary to operate a machine by a factor of 20. Even more importantly, “it took about as long to write one line of Fortran as one line of assembly code,” Horning said. Previous attempts at high-level language had failed on that count, so Fortran showed skeptics that machines could run just as efficiently without hand-coding. From there, a wide range of programming languages and software approaches proliferated, although Fortran also evolved over the years and remains in use. That organization gave Backus its 1977 Turing Award, one of the industry’s highest accolades. Backus also won a National Medal of Science in 1975 and got the 1993 Charles Stark Draper Prize, the top honor from the National Academy of Engineering. “Much of my work has come from being lazy,” Backus told Think, the IBM employee magazine, in 1979. “I didn’t like writing programs, and so, when I was working on the IBM 701 (an early computer), writing programs for computing missile trajectories, I started work on a programming system to make it easier to write programs.” John Warner Backus was born in 1924 and grew up in Wilmington, Del. His father was a chemist who became a stockbroker. Backus had what he would later describe as a “checkered educational career” in prep school and the University of Virginia, which he left after six months. After being drafted into the Army, Backus studied medicine but dropped it when he found radio engineering more compelling. Backus finally found his calling in math, and he pursued a master’s degree at Columbia University in New York. Shortly before graduating, Backus toured the IBM offices in midtown Manhattan and came across the company’s Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator, an early computer stuffed with 13,000 vacuum tubes. Backus met one of the machine’s inventors, Rex Seeber – who “gave me a little homemade test and hired me on the spot,” Backus recalled in 1979. Backus’ early work at IBM included computing lunar positions on the balky, bulky computers that were state of the art in the 1950s. But he tired of hand-coding the hardware, and in 1954 he got his bosses to let him assemble a team that could design an easier system. John Backus, whose development of the Fortran programming language in the 1950s changed how people interacted with computers and paved the way for modern software, has died. He was 82. Backus died Saturday in Ashland, Ore., according to IBM Corp., where he spent his career. Prior to Fortran, computers had to be meticulously “hand-coded” – programmed in the raw strings of digits that triggered actions inside the machine. Fortran was a “high-level” language because it abstracted that work – it let programmers enter commands in a more-intuitive system, which the computer would translate into machine code on its own. “It was just a quantum leap. It changed the game in a way that has only happened two or three times in the computer industry,” said Jim Horning, a longtime programmer who co-chairs the Association for Computing Machinery’s award committee. last_img read more

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‘Potential to be world’s best’ – Man United’s missed opportunity?

first_img1 Raphael Varane could have joined Man United, according to the player himself.Varane joined Real Madrid from Lens in 2011, but he was a wanted teenager and could very easily have ended up at Old Trafford.Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was in charge of Real when Varane signed, and recently said the player “had had one foot at Manchester United, but Real Madrid are very strong and Rapha came to us.”When discussing the teams who were interested in signing him, including French champions PSG, the 21-year-old said: “Manchester United? They had just signed Phil Jones in my position.”Man United had spent £17m on Jones, whose injuries have hampered his progress at Old Trafford, while Varane went on and picked up a Champions League winners medal with Real last season.Here, talkSPORT’s Expert Eye looks at what football’s biggest names have said about the young France international.Varane has the potential to be the best defenders in the world. He’s still young – 21 years old – but he’s fast, he plays well, he’s a good boy in that he’s humble and wants to learn– Cristiano Ronaldo, the world’s best playerVarane has the same intelligence, the same calmness, the same presence as Laurent Blanc on the pitch. But, putting aside the respect I have for Blanc, Varane is a lot quicker– Mourinho in 2012 revealing he thinks Varane will be better than France World Cup winning defender BlancVarane is very young and he played at a high level. He proved he has a place on the team. He is a great footballer despite his young age and may go very far– Real Madrid centre-back Sergio Ramos on the 18-year-old Varane in 2011I told him at the start of the [2012/13] season that I thought he would be one of the best centre-backs in the world in a couple of years– Real Madrid stopper Pepe in March 2013He is a very promising player and was an obvious target for a club such as Real Madrid seeking talent. He is a player I like very much and in many ways resembles Laurent Blanc. I haven’t seen many players like that – France icon and Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane in 2011 Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane last_img read more

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Bruce recalls duo from loan spells as Hull boss attempts to arrest slide

first_imgRelegation-threatened Hull City have recalled Maynor Figueroa and Tom Ince from their loan spells.Figueroa had been due to remain with Wigan until December 30 after returning to his former club on a temporary deal in October.But Steve Bruce has recalled the 31-year-old earlier than planned to bolster his defence ahead of the away trip to Sunderland on Boxing Day.The Honduras international, who signed for Hull from Wigan in 2013, made six appearances for the north-west side during his second spell at the DW Stadium.Ince heads back to the KC Stadium from Nottingham Forest.The England Under-21 winger struggled to make an impact at the start of the campaign after his summer arrival from Blackpool and was sent to Forest at the end of October.But he is now set to be given another opportunity with the struggling Tigers, as Bruce looks to end his team’s 10-match winless run.“Tom Ince and Maynor Figueroa have been recalled from their loan spells with Nottingham Forest and Wigan Athletic respectively,” read a Hull City statement.“Both players will be available for selection for the Boxing Day fixture against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.” 1 Maynor Figueroa last_img read more

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FAMILY OF TRAGIC TEACHER ASK CORONER NOT TO RECORD DEATH AS ‘ACCIDENT’

first_imgThe family of a teacher killed by a man who had downed six pints of beer before driving has asked a coroner not to say her death was as a result of a road accident.Marie O’Donnell died in the crashMarie O’Donnell, 51, was killed instantly when a car crashed head-on into her when she was returning home from a wedding anniversary party in Termon. The driver, Damien McGeehan, had drunk six pints of beer and had a row with his girlfriend before getting behind the wheel on August 11th, 2010.The inquest into mother-of-two Mrs O’Donnell’s death heard McGeehan had crossed over to the wrong side of the road and smashed head-on into his victim’s Nissan Micra car just outside the village of Milford.McGeehan, 20, from Loughanure, was jailed for five years for dangerous driving causing the death of Mrs O’Donnell who taught at Drumfad National School, Kerrykeel.After hearing the evidence of yesterday’s case, coroner John Canon, instructed the ten women jury to find that Mrs O’Donnell’s death was as a result of injuries sustained in a road traffic accident.However solicitor for the O’Donnell family from Knockbrack, Kerrykeel, Niall Sheridan, said he would prefer if the word accident was not used because this was no accident.Much-loved teacher Marie O’Donnell“An accident gives the impression that this was an unavoidable occurrence but this was not such an event,” he said.McGeehan had pleaded guilty at Letterkenny Circuit Court of having no insurance, no driving license, driving unaccompanied, driving dangerously and driving with two bald tyres.The dead woman’s husband John said his wife had volunteered to take her car so he could have some drinks.Mr O’Donnell leaving courtMr O’Donnell told the court he fell asleep as they left the function at The Lagoon, Termon and the next thing he remembers was waking up in hospital.Simone Duggan, the former girlfriend of McGeehan, said she had tried to hide the car keys of his car but he had found them.He had only driven about 800 yards outside the village of Milford on the Kilmacrennan Road when the smash occurred.Mr O’Donnell, who also suffered multiple injuries, had previously told the court that his wife was the centre of their world and could not describe his loneliness and the impact her death had had on the couple’s two sons George and Jonathon.“Marie was a beautiful person with a heart of gold. And her loss is not isolated to me.“Our sons George and Jonathon. Can you imagine the pain of their loss – never being able to speak to their mum again,” he said.Simone DugganCoroner John Canon said Mrs O’Donnell had not deserved to be in an accident as she had taken all the relevant precautions including not drinking, driving below the speed limit and wearing her seat belt.He found in accordance with the jury that Mrs O’Donnell had died as a result of injuries sustained in a road traffic collision.FAMILY OF TRAGIC TEACHER ASK CORONER NOT TO RECORD DEATH AS ‘ACCIDENT’ was last modified: September 13th, 2013 by StephenShare 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:Damian McGeehanFanadfatal car crashinquestJohn O’DonnellKERRYKEELletterkennySimone Dugganteacher Marie O’Donnelllast_img read more

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