Pa. prisoner on COVID crisis – Guards were the transmitters

first_imgSince Workers World received this letter, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has confirmed nearly 7,000 cases of COVID-19 among prisoners and over 2,500 among staff, who are not subject to mandatory testing. Many prisoners who report COVID-19 symptoms have been placed in restricted housing units, reviled as “the hole.” Prisoners faced with the psychological torture of solitary confinement are less likely to report when they are sick, allowing for further spread of COVID-19.Reports of deaths from COVID in Pennsylvania prisons vary widely — from 49 to over 65. It is difficult to verify since the PA DOC will only release the name of the first incarcerated person to die in each prison. In many cases, family members are not even being notified.  The following is a letter from an incarcerated trans woman.By Miley Selena FletcherSCI Forest, Marienville, Pa.For eight months the State Correctional Institution (SCI) Forest, where I am incarcerated, did not have any COVID-19 cases. The institution’s administration was impressed by the zero numbers. But at the beginning of December 2020, the virus hit SCI Forest. A lot of us are asking: “How did this happen?” After I sat and reviewed how it may have happened, reality set in.The only way it could have happened — the guards and staff brought it in. There were also massive transfers into SCI Forest during the pandemic. Even though SCI Forest has a quarantine block, it was not enough. It seems that guards and staff were the main transmitters.Now inmates are testing positive for the coronavirus. What bothers me is they brought it in to us, but we are being forced to adjust to restrictions. All of a sudden, we are in forced lockdown in our cell, with only 20 minutes to use the phone, take a shower and use the kiosks to email your contacts. No yard time for fresh air; no time to actually go through every day like that?One block pod took two and a half days to complete such a process. Some waited three days. You know how stressful? How that pulls on someone’s mental instability? How frustrated people get?If a prisoner goes and stands in front of someone’s cell, we’re given misconduct for unauthorized area. Once that happens, the prisoner is then given cell restrictions.  Where is that justified?Now the prisoners are being placed with more restrictions. We wouldn’t be on this forced lockdown — full of restrictions — if they hadn’t brought the virus in to us.The PA Board of Probation and Parole are even giving prisoners “hits” on their minimum dates, not releasing them. They are giving prisoners a year or two year hits, making them stay in prison. A lot of prisoners I overhear say, “It’s safer in prison than going out there in the streets right now.” But it irks me that we’re given these restrictions passed down from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel. And it’s his guards and staff alike who have brought COVID-19 into the prison! FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Corn vs. Soybeans Discussed at National Farm Machinery Show

first_img SHARE Facebook Twitter SHARE Corn vs. Soybeans Discussed at National Farm Machinery Show By Eric Pfeiffer – Feb 18, 2018 Home Indiana Agriculture News Corn vs. Soybeans Discussed at National Farm Machinery Show Facebook Twitter Corn vs. Soybeans Discussed at NFMS 2018As planting season draws nearer, many farmers are still making decisions on corn vs. soybeans and how to find cost savings. We caught up with Elston Sayers from Seed Consultants at the National Farm Machinery Show. He said that despite this tough ag economy, attitudes were overall very positive from farmers who passed through the Seed Consultants Booth. “I’m glad the grain markets have come up because that’s actually helped people’s attitude here a little bit. Really, it’s been a great show and a really upbeat show, a little more than I had expected.”Sayers says that farmers are looking at seeds, fertilizer, and just about anywhere else to find savings in 2018. “They are looking under every rock and every tree this year.”And when it comes to corn vs. soybeans for those last few acres, Sayers believes weather will be the deciding factor. “I think if we have a good, dry Spring, those acres are going to go to corn. If we have a wet spring and this thing drags out, I think those will switch to soybeans.” Previous articleNew DOE Study: Ethanol Among Best Options for Future Engine Efficiency Improvements and Emissions ReductionNext articleFFA Week Activities Underway Now Across Indiana Eric Pfeifferlast_img read more

RSF compiles 15 coronavirus safety recommendations specifically for Pakistani journalists

first_img News Pakistan is ranked 145th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index, three places lower than in 2019. PakistanAsia – Pacific Activities in the fieldProtecting journalistsProtecting sources Covid19 8. Don’t ask reporters and cameramen to do live reporting from inside hospitals and tell them to follow the recommendations of medical staff. June 2, 2021 Find out more 2. Don’t ask for live stand-ups from markets or other crowded places. 15. Finally, the central government and provincial governments should extend special credits to media organizations so that they can continue paying their employees and cover any exceptional expenses. The Associated Press of Pakistan national news agency closed its Islamabad bureau on 24 April after it was reported that one of its presenters was infected. And two journalists based in the northwestern city of Peshawar, one with GNN and one with Such News, have also been found with the virus. 3. Encourage cameramen and DSNG technicians to re-enter their vehicle as soon as possible and ensure they are carrying water, soap and hand sanitizer with them. 14. Press clubs and unions should set up a safety fund for journalists and employees, to which journalists earning more than Rs.100,000 a month should be required to contribute. 9. Ensure that the temperatures of TV studio guests are always checked on arrival with a thermal scanner, at least, and that they are asked to apply hand sanitizer. PakistanAsia – Pacific Activities in the fieldProtecting journalistsProtecting sources Covid19 According to the information gathered by RSF, two ARY News journalists based in Muzaffarabad, in Pakistani Kashmir, have tested positive; three 24 News TV reporters are infected in the eastern city of Lahore; and a journalist and technician with Geo News in the southern city of Karachi have tested positive. April 29, 2020 RSF compiles 15 coronavirus safety recommendations specifically for Pakistani journalists A health worker (right) tests a journalist for Covid-19 in Quetta on 4 April (Banaras KHAN / AFP).   Better late than never, Pakistan’s journalists are learning of the danger. As of this evening, a total of 39 Pakistani journalists and media workers have tested positive to Covid-19, according to RSF’s tally. In the absence of testing by many media organizations, the actual number of journalists with Covid-19 could be much higher. RSF_en Recommendations for newsrooms and media management: 7. Give preference to video messages and video press conferences by officials, including the health minister, chief ministers and government spokesmen. 13. Ensure that all employee sickness insurance provisions are up to date, with immediate effect. 12. Provide all employees with special “Corona Life Insurance” and cover the expenses of any employee and immediate family member who tests positive. Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists News 11. Ensure that kitchens are kept clean and that kitchen staff adhere to hygiene rules. On the frontlinecenter_img 10. Either close staff canteens and cafeteria or, at the very least, ensure social distancing within them by strictly limiting the number of people who can eat at any one time. Receive email alerts 5. Remind employees to keep computers and other equipment clean and sanitized. 6. Refrain from sending reporters to press conferences that are not necessary during the pandemic. Organisation Follow the news on Pakistan “The disclosure of these figures indicates a particularly high level of Covid-19 infection among Pakistani journalists,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “Journalists are clearly among the professions at risk in Pakistan, so appropriate measures must be put in place to ensure that they can continue working without putting themselves in danger.” Pakistani journalist critical of the military wounded by gunfire And in partnership with its local partner FNPK, RSF has now compiled a series of recommendations specifically adapted to the situation of journalists in Pakistan, where media outlets rely a great deal on direct reporting in the field that often disregards basic safety rules. 1. Don’t send reporters to locations where a big crowd is expected. Help by sharing this information In order to help journalists to be able to work safely, RSF has posted practical information and tips on Tracker-19, a tool it has developed to evaluate the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on journalism and press freedom. The management of ARY News TV, for example, reported on Monday that when tests were carried out on 20 of its employees at its Islamabad headquarters, no fewer than eight – 40% of them – were found to be positive. Today, the 24 News HD / City 42 TV channel reported ten coronavirus cases among its staff, as did the Dunya News media group. News Freedom Network executive director Iqbal Khattak added: “In Pakistan, journalists are among the frontline heroes, like doctors, paramedics and law-enforcement personnel, and they must be protected against Covid-19. It is the responsibility of both media houses and the National Disaster Management Authority to help journalists stay safe by providing them with all necessary equipment, so that they can continue to keep the public informed through their journalism.” 4. In newsrooms, encourage employees to adhere strictly to social distancing and keep washing their hands and face every hour. News In this picture taken on April 5, 2020 AFP photographer Aamir Qureshi (C) covers Christian devotees celebrating a Palm Sunday service in a neighbourhood during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Islamabad (AFP) Pakistani supreme court acquits main suspect in Daniel Pearl murder to go further April 21, 2021 Find out more Amid a rapid surge in the number of Pakistani journalists testing positive to coronavirus, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and its partner, Freedom Network Pakistan (FNPK), have compiled 15 recommendations for Pakistani news media so that they can avoid putting their journalists and employees in danger. January 28, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

The government reverses the10-day work ban on Al Jazeera journalist

first_imgNews IraqMiddle East – North Africa News December 16, 2020 Find out more Help by sharing this information to go further Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan Organisation Follow the news on Iraq News Receive email alertscenter_img February 15, 2021 Find out more July 25, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 The government reverses the10-day work ban on Al Jazeera journalist On 24 July, the Iraqi authorities lifted the 10-day work ban on Al-Jazeera journalist Diar al-Umari without explanation. The TV station then reopened and staff resumed operations without any change in the way they handled the news.___________________________________________________________________________________________07.23.2002 – Al-Jazeera correspondent banned from working for 10 days Reporters Without Borders protested today at Iraq’s 10-day ban on Al-Jazeera TV journalist Diar al-Umari, apparently because the regime did not like the way he was reporting.”After Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco and Mauritania, it is now Iraq’s turn to censor Al-Jazeera because it no longer likes its frankness” said Reporters Without Border secretary-general Robert Ménard in a letter to Iraqi Information minsiter, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf. “We await your explanation of this arbitrary step and ask you to cancel at once the ban on Al-Umari” added Ménard. The Qatar-based satellite station said Iraq had banned the journalist from working for 10 days from 20 July “as a punishment for certain words in his dispatches which the information ministry has deemed harmful to Iraq.” These included using the term “ruling party” instead of “Arab Socialist Party” to describe the Baath Party. Al-Jazeera editor-in-chief Ibrahim Hilal said the station “vigorously contested” the ministry’s suggestion that it had harmed Iraq in its reporting. The station has decided to close its Baghdad office during the 10-day ban. It will be reopened depending on the regime’s future attitude to Al-Jazeera and its correspondent. No reply has been received to a letter to the information ministry asking for an explanation,The authorities in Bahrain on 10 May prevented Al-Jazeera from covering local elections in that country. Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” December 28, 2020 Find out more News IraqMiddle East – North Africa RSF_en last_img read more

Suspects sought after refrigerator theft

first_img Facebook Odessa police reported a theft of a refrigerator from the front of a business on March 11, and is seeking assistance in identifying suspects from surveillance video.A release stated the theft took place around 3 p.m. in the 300 block of South Texas Avenue, with suspects driving a white, older model Chevrolet Silverado or GMC Sierra.The refrigerator is valued at $2,000. Local NewsCrime Suspects sought after refrigerator theft Facebook Home Local News Crime Suspects sought after refrigerator theft Twitter Pinterest WhatsApp Pinterest By admin – March 20, 2018 center_img Refrigerator theft suspects Police searching for woman connected to husband’s death Twitter Previous articleCity commits to closed-door meetings reformNext articleOPD seeks assistance after hit-and-run admin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Police searching for man connected to hit and run Hawaiian Roll Ham SlidersUpside Down Blueberry Pie CheesecakeCreamy Fruit SaladPowered By 10 Sec Mama’s Deviled Eggs NextStay Youngsters urged to be safe over graduation weekends last_img read more

[Criminal Cases Against MPs/MLAs] Madhya Pradesh High Court Seeks List Of Pending Cases [Read Order]

first_imgNews Updates[Criminal Cases Against MPs/MLAs] Madhya Pradesh High Court Seeks List Of Pending Cases [Read Order] Sparsh Upadhyay25 Oct 2020 1:41 AMShare This – xThe Madhya Pradesh High Court on Friday (23rd October) directed the registry to furnish the list of pending criminal cases against former and sitting MPs and MLAs in the state within 2 weeks.The division bench of Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Yadav and Justice Sujoy Paul specifically ordered,”Give list of all pending criminal cases involving sitting/former legislators (MPs and MLAs)…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Madhya Pradesh High Court on Friday (23rd October) directed the registry to furnish the list of pending criminal cases against former and sitting MPs and MLAs in the state within 2 weeks.The division bench of Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Yadav and Justice Sujoy Paul specifically ordered,”Give list of all pending criminal cases involving sitting/former legislators (MPs and MLAs) particularly those cases where stay has been granted by the High Court.”Meanwhile, the Court directed, response filed by the respondent-State be placed on record.The Matter has been listed for further hearing on Friday (06th November)It may be noted that in compliance of the order of the Supreme Court dated 16.09.2020 passed in W.P. (Civil) No.600/2016 (Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay & others vs. Union of India & others), the Madhya Pradesh High Court (Jabalpur Bench) has registered a suo motu petition on 21.09.2020 for monitoring the progress of the trials of the pending criminal cases against sitting/former Legislators (MPs & MLAs).Significantly, the Supreme Court on Wednesday (16th September) asked the Chief Justices of the High Courts to formulate an action plan to rationalize the disposal of criminal cases pending against legislators.Notably, with an aim to enable “timely action” in criminal cases pending against sitting and former MPs and MLAs, the High Court of Manipur on Thursday (October 1st) directed the State Government to create two “exclusive Special Courts” at Imphal at the Sessions and Magisterial levels.Recently, the Division Bench of the Orissa High Court comprising Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice B. R. Sarangi directed the Advocate General AK Parija to obtain instructions and file details of the criminal cases pending before different the courts of all the districts of Odisha against sitting/former M.Ps and M.L.A.s.Also, the Karnataka High Court has directed the Registrar General of the Court to register a suo-motu petition, in view of the directions issued by the Supreme Court.Click Here To Download Order[Read Order]Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

NAACP president calls series of church fires in Louisiana ‘domestic terrorism’

first_imgEvgen_Prozhyrko/iStock(NEW YORK) — As federal agents teamed with local fire investigators to probe a series of suspicious blazes at historically black churches in Louisiana in a 10-day span, the president of the NAACP called the destructive acts “domestic terrorism” and suggested they are the result of emboldened racial rhetoric sweeping the country.Derrick Johnson, president and chief executive officer of the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) spoke out as investigators combed the ruins of four church fires in Louisiana for clues to help them identify whomever is responsible.Three fires occurred between March 26 and Thursday in St. Landry Parish, destroying Mount Pleasant Baptist Church and Greater Union Baptist Church in Opelousas, and St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre, officials said.A fourth fire occurred on March 31 at Vivian United Pentecostal Church in Vivian, about 200 miles from St. Landry Parish in the northeast corner of the state. The state fire marshal confirmed the blaze was intentionally set inside the church and caused a small amount of damage before it burned itself out.Johnson said the Louisiana church fires occurred in the same span of time as a similar suspicious fire at a social justice training center in Tennessee. On Saturday night, vandals spray-painted anti-Semitic slurs and white supremacist symbols on the walls and in the parking lot of the Highlander Education and Research Center in New Market, Tennessee, and torched the building.Like in the Louisiana church fires, no suspects have been identified in the blaze at the Tennessee research center, police said.“What is happening in Tennessee and Louisiana is domestic terrorism and we must not turn a blind eye to any incident where people are targeted because of the color of their skin and their faith,” Johnson said in a statement.“The spike in church burnings in the Southern states is a reflection of emboldened racial rhetoric and tension spreading across the country,” he said. “But this is nothing new. For decades, African-American churches have served as the epicenter of survival and a symbol of hope for many in the African-American community. As a consequence, these houses of faith have historically been targets of violence. The NAACP stands vigilant to ensure that authorities conduct full investigations.”Louisiana State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning said that investigators probing the rash of church fires in his state have found similarities in the incidents, but he declined to elaborate.“There is clearly something happening in this community,” Browning said. “That’s why it’s imperative that the citizens of this community be part of our effort to figure out what it is.”A spokesperson for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) told ABC News that the federal agency’s National Response Team is in Louisiana investigating the fires at the houses of worship. Additionally, the ATF’s U.S. Bomb Data Center is providing support to determine if there are any links to similar fires in other parts of the country, the spokesperson said.Other churches in the St. Landry Parish welcomed the displaced congregations of the burned churches to worship at their sanctuaries on Sunday.The Rev. Gerald Toussaint, pastor of the burned Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, gave a sermon at the Morning Star Baptist Church in Opelousas, telling worshipers, “I have a feeling that this didn’t destroy a church. It just destroyed a building.”Meanwhile, Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., posted a video on the website of the Daily Advertiser newspaper in Lafayette, Louisiana, in which he aimed a message at the person or persons responsible for the church fires.“There can be many reasons why this happened, none of them are righteous,” Higgins said in the video while standing in front of the rubble of St. Mary Baptist Church. “If you participated this, you have succumbed to evil. Powers and principalities are controlling your life. I encourage you to look deep into your heart and step away from the darkness that has enveloped you and turn yourself in, because you will be caught.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

As plastic bag bans go into effect, some question the unintended consequences

first_img(NEW YORK) — Bans on single-use plastic bags — one of the most pervasive sources of pollution — are taking effect in cities and states across the U.S. as efforts to combat global plastic production pick up.But while the moves are being lauded by environmentalists and the local governments that support them, some are questioning whether the move will be effective, primarily because of the unintended environmental consequences associated with replacement materials such as paper, thick plastic and reusable bags.Plastic bags were widely introduced to American consumers in 1979 and were marketed as preferable to paper because they are durable, waterproof and have many functions, according to the United Nations Environment Programme.Until the early ’80s, paper bags were standard for carrying groceries. With the adoption of plastic bags by grocery chains Safeway and Kroger in 1982, plastic bags soon dominated supermarkets and convenience stores across the U.S. by the end of the decade, the UNEP states.In the U.S., 380 billion plastic bags and wraps are used every year, requiring 12 million barrels of oil to create, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Low-density polyethylene, the material from which plastic bags are made, is produced from crude oil or natural gas, making the petroleum-based plastic bags non-biodegradable.While many plastic bags are recyclable and large retailers in some areas are required to accept them for reprocessing, many wind up tangled in trees and littering streets.Plastic pollution costs some communities $1 million in annual fees to remove waste mostly made up of grocery bags, according to the EPA.A worldwide effortAcross the globe, countries have increased their efforts to limit plastic bags and other plastic materials from being produced, distributed and ultimately released into the environment.In the U.S., statewide bans against plastic bags are being put into place. Eight states have passed legislation banning single-use plastic bags, with three — California, Hawaii, and Oregon — currently in effect. Bans in New York, Maine and Vermont are scheduled as early as next month, while in several cities, restrictions have been implemented without the adoption of state-led legislation.California became the first to introduce regulations banning single-use plastic bags in August 2014. Proposition 67, also known as SB270, officially passed in November 2016, prohibits plastic bags at groceries, chain pharmacies, and other stores.Since the policy took effect, Californians Against Waste (CAW), a nonprofit organization that sponsored the bill, has reported a substantial reduction in plastic bag litter in the state’s rivers, beaches and landscapes.During a 2010 annual beach cleanup, crews from CAW reported that 65,000 grocery bags were scattered along water bodies, a number that CAW says decreased by 72% in 2017. Mark Murray, executive director of the nonprofit, attributed the decrease to the ban.Retailers in California have been in full compliance with the law, he said, and compared to the 13.8 billion grocery bags that were once distributed in the state each year prior to the policy, none are now distributed. Instead, paper and reusable grocery bags are supplied to customers for a fee.The organization initially feared that restrictions would prompt a significant uptick in the use of paper bags, but data suggests the 10-cent charge has curbed any growth in paper bag generation.California’s reported success with SB270 has sparked policies in states like New York, which is soon to follow suit on March 1. Similar to upcoming bans in Maine and Vermont, New York stores will be replacing plastic bags with paper bags that customers can purchase for a cost of no less than 5 cents.Commissioner Basil Seggos of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) hopes that the ban will prevent 23 million single-use plastic bags used annually in the state from ending up in the environment and landfills. He expects the quality of life for New Yorkers to increase when harmful litter becomes eliminated.Paper has been widely supported by legislators as a less environmentally damaging alternative to plastic bags. Terry Webber, executive director of the American Forest & Paper Association, a paper industry trade association, said paper is a renewable, recyclable and compostable resource that is made with wood fiber from sustainably managed forests.As opposed to petroleum-based plastic bags, Webber claims two-thirds of the energy used to make paper comes from renewable biomass (residuals such as tree limbs and bark that are used as a renewable energy source to power paper mills). 90% of water used during manufacturing also returns to waterways, he claimed.What the skeptics sayHowever, the shift from plastic to reusable and paper bags has been met with skepticism by some consumers, manufacturers and industry experts, who fear banning plastic will result in additional environmental problems and hurt consumers.A 2017 study conducted by Recyc-Québec, a government recycling agency in Canada, looked at the life cycles of different disposable bags used within the province.Results indicate that though conventional plastic bags tend to have higher environmental impacts when released into the environment, when compared to alternatives (such as compostable bioplastic, paper, thick plastic, and oxo-degradable plastic bags), they appear to have the least overall environmental impact (except as litter).“Because of its thinness and lightness, being designed for a single use, its life cycle requires little material and energy,” the report says. “In addition, it avoids the production of garbage bags since it is commonly used for this function as well.”The study, which looks at human health, quality of ecosystems, use of fossil fuels and abandonment in the environment, indicates that paper was the lowest-performing type of single-use bag with potential environmental impacts ranging 4 to 28 times that of a standard plastic grocery bag.Also, reusables made from cotton, woven and non-woven polypropylene bags require tens to thousands of uses before they become more environmentally efficient than single-use plastic bags, the study says.From Recyc-Quebec to the United Kingdom’s Environment Agency other studies highlight the necessity of prolonged use when using reusable bags in order for their environmental benefits to exceed that of single-use plastic bags.Research conducted by Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) suggests compostable materials can often result in greater environmental costs than non-compostable alternatives because of the impacts associated with extracting, processing, and manufacturing raw materials during onset production.David Allaway, a senior policy analyst at DEQ’s Materials Management Program, said that in the case of 90% of manufactured items, most impact occurs when producing the product rather than when it goes to the landfill or gets recycled.“The public believes materials come to us free of impact, and all we have to think about is compositing versus landfilling or recycling. In reality, it’s not quite true. By the time we buy this stuff most of the environmental impact has been done.”Allaway points to the importance of assessing materials based on their intended purpose.“I don’t think that a clear case can be made that either recycled paper or virgin plastic grocery bags are universally “better” or “worse” for the environment. Most life cycle assessments generally point to plastic grocery bags having fewer impacts than paper, but that isn’t always the case. Depending on which environmental issue you prioritize – litter, climate change, air toxins, marine debris, water consumption, etc. – you might favor one material over the other. There is no consistent or universal winner.”For Sarah Nichols, sustainable Maine project director at the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the decision to ban single-use plastic bags was one she struggled with for the past six years.Virgin plastic, she explained, is ultimately a byproduct of the fossil fuel industry and is kept a low-cost material, allowing it to be made abundantly. As fossil fuels are major contributors to climate change, Nicholas says she has come to believe banning plastic bags altogether is the right thing to do. Similar to California and Oregon’s bans, she believes people in Maine will not only adhere to the restriction, but reap its benefits.“Every independent life cycle assessment that has looked at various bagging options has found that the common plastic grocery bag, when disposed of properly, has the least environmental impact,” Matt Seaholm, executive director of the American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance said. “Paper has its purposes and should be an option that consumers can choose from, but there is no doubt that it takes more material, energy and water to manufacture than plastic, and its weight and bulkiness necessitate seven trucks to transport the same number of bags that can be hauled in just one truck of plastic.”And Adrian Hong, president of Island Plastic Bags, Inc. in Hawaii, believes grocery bags should be available for a fee rather than ultimately banned because of the impact on manufacturers.“I don’t think replacing plastic with other materials makes the planet better off,” he said, “You have to look at the life-cycle of the materials to see what’s best.”Advice for consumersIn Oregon, the Department of Environmental Quality received a steady stream of phone calls in the first few weeks after implementing the ban. As residents grew accustomed to the policy, calls slowly tapered off and officials noted an uptick in use of reusable plastic bags in supermarkets.When it comes to single-use plastic bag bans, environmental officials advise consumers to make choices that limit the number of any disposable bags they use – whether that is paper or plastic. Recycling paper and properly disposing of plastic bags ensure litter and harmful toxins aren’t excessively released into the environment. On the manufacturing end, environmental officials argue that the responsibility to construct products more sustainably must fall on producers to create systemic change.“The good thing is we’re entering a phase where people are starting to think about single-use, recycling, and the climate,” Matt Fletcher of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy said. “That in itself is a victory.”The EPA encourages consumers to reduce the number of bags they use, reduce the number of bags they throw away after one use, reuse bags, and recycle bags when they can no longer be used.“The Agency promotes sustainable materials management (SMM), a holistic, systemic approach to using and reusing materials more productively throughout the life cycle of products and services in the U.S. economy,” the agency said in a statement.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Prep Sports Roundup: 3/18

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailSoftball MANTI, Utah-Brynlee Golding went yard three times and posted five hits in as many at bats as the Manti Templars overpowered Union 19-8 Monday in non-region softball action. Tiffany Hermansen also homered for Manti while Sadie Cox tripled. Danielle Hatch, Kassidy Alder and Lexie Alder also doubled in the win for the Templars. Manti posted 18 hits as well in the victory. Non-Region Written by Tags: Brynlee Golding/Danielle Hatch/Kassidy Alder/Lexie Alder/Manti Templars/Sadie Cox/Tiffany Hermansen/Union Cougars March 18, 2019 /Sports News – Local Prep Sports Roundup: 3/18 Brad Jameslast_img

RICS fines Countrywide after it admits breaking rules on client money protection

first_imgCountrywide yesterday admitted two counts of not following Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RIC) rules on client money protection during a disciplinary hearing in Birmingham.Following the hearing it has been reprimanded and told to pay a £100,000 fine.The disciplinary action by RICS follows the revelation that between 2008 and 2018 Countrywide moved a total of £10.09 million of client funds from the company’s client account to its office account.Under RICS guidance no member of permitted to move funds in this way and therefore RICs say Countrywide ‘failed to preserve the security of client funds’.During the hearing it was explained that the estate agency had transgressed two rules of conduct.These include that its conduct represented a ‘serious and prolonged disregard’ toward the firm’s professional CMP obligations, and that it had failed to avoid ‘any actions or situations that are inconsistent with its professional obligations’.No loss to customersBut despite admitting to breaking the Rules of Conduct and moving money when it was not permitted to, Countrywide has released a statement explaining that ‘customers did not suffer any loss’ during the ten-year period when ‘many thousands’ of untraceable small sums were moved over.“Back in 2008 we started to accumulate many thousands of individual small amounts on client accounts in our lettings businesses, where funds over six years old could not be traced to source,” the company says.“Some would have been rightly Countrywide funds and others small amounts of landlord/tenant sums that could not be traced.“It was agreed at the time to move these untraceable amounts to an office account and put in place an indemnity that, should ever a recipient be identified, the amount would be paid across.”RICS client money protection Countrywide October 31, 2019Nigel LewisOne commentAndrew Stanton, CEO Proptech-PR Real Estate Influencer & Journalist CEO Proptech-PR Real Estate Influencer & Journalist 31st October 2019 at 1:18 pmIs it time that Countrywide got rid of its rotten apples.Back in August 2018 Himanshu Raja – Chief financial Officer at Countrywide, was until it was voted down to receive £7M of company shares, and Paul Creffield Group GMD was to receive £8M of shares. This was at a time that the scandal of the £10M funds was known to the company, but not disclosed to the shareholders.Then in early Spring 2019, Countrywide were fined £215,000 for Anti Money Laundering lapses, and now they have been fined another £100,000 for financial irregularities.Given that Mr Creffield is himself fully supportive of RoPA, and a single regulator. Is it not time for him and Himanshu to do the honourable thing?Two months ago Mr Creffield when asked about RoPA said, … ‘We’re really supportive of regulation because we believe it will help create a level playing field with all agents expected to have the same expertise, It’ll be good for the consumer too.’More worryingly for all parties, including perhaps Baron Best who heads up RoPA is Mr Creffield’s further comments regarding RoPA, ‘ Because of Countrywide’s scale, we’ve been consulted frequently (by RoPA) on proposals during their preparation, and we’ve conducted some pilot projects.’Now if the new regulatory framework that a forthcoming government may back comes into being in the form of RoPA, should some of its architects be coming from Countrywide’s top management team. For me they would be the last people I would look to.If Paul Creffield advocates root and branch industry regulation – then Countrwide should itself be a beacon of this industry change, at present it is a bonfire of vanities, which given the proximity of November the 5th is very apt. Matches anyone.Log in to ReplyWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » RICS fines Countrywide after it admits breaking rules on client money protection previous nextRegulation & LawRICS fines Countrywide after it admits breaking rules on client money protectionDecision follows a hearing in Birmingham yesterday during which it was revealed that the agency had improperly transferred £10 million of client funds over a ten-year period.Nigel Lewis31st October 20191 Comment2,926 Viewslast_img read more