Crashed AirAsia flight climbs too fast before disappearing from radar: Indonesia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UNITED NATIONS  |  2015-01-21 01:11:06

>>  UN chief urges immediate end to all hostilities in Yemen

By Pei Lei

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Tuesday of January 20 called on all sides in Yemen to immediately cease all hostilities after situation deteriorated in the country.

Ban deplored the heavy fighting between Houthi armed groups and Yemeni presidential guards throughout Sanaa, said a statement issued here by his spokesperson.

“The Secretary-General calls on all sides to immediately cease all hostilities, exercise maximum restraint, and take the necessary steps to restore full authority to the legitimate government institutions,” the statement said.

The Shiite Houthi group seized the presidential palace on Tuesday, a day after it signed a ceasefire deal with the Yemeni government that ended deadly clashes.

Monday’s clashes were triggered by the kidnapping of the director of the president office, Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, by the Houthis, in a wrangle over the country’s draft constitution.

In the statement, Ban condemned the kidnapping and called for the immediate release of bin Mubarak.

“All sides must abide by their stated commitments to resolve differences through peaceful means,” the statement said, adding that Ban also reminded all sides of their obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council is holding consultations on Yemen with Special Adviser of the Secretary-General Jamal Benomar briefing from Doha via video tele-conference on the latest situation.

 

 

 

 

 

WASHINGTON  |   2015-01-21 00:53:13

>>  U.S., allies launch 74 airstrikes against IS in Syria, Iraq

By Mu Dong

U.S. and partner-nation military forces have conducted a total of 74 airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) forces in Syria and Iraq over the past five days, the U.S. Defense Department said on Tuesday of January 20.

Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 38 airstrikes near Kobani, Abu Kamal, Aleppo and Hasakah in Syria, while the military forces conducted 36 airstrikes in Iraq, including Mosul, Al Qaim, Taji, Mosul and Sinjar, the Pentagon said in a statement.

The strikes were conducted between 8 a.m. Jan. 16 and 8 a.m. Tuesday local time, the statement said.

The airstrikes in Syria destroyed 19 IS fighting positions, 23 IS tactical units, six IS vehicles, an IS checkpoint, six IS staging positions, one IS tank and an IS mortar system, according to the statement.

The strikes across Iraq struck 21 IS tactical units, three IS vehicles, eight IS fighting positions, two IS heavy weapons, an IS checkpoint and an IS artillery system, and destroyed 18 IS buildings, three IS armored vehicles, two IS mortar systems, it added.

The U.S.-led strikes are part of an operation to eliminate the terrorist group, which controls land in Syria and Iraq and has declared an Islamic caliphate, and the threat it poses to Iraq, the region and the wider international community.

Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Iraq include the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Syria include the United States, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

 

 

 

 

 

HAVANA  |  2015-01-21 06:56:08

>>  Cuba, U.S. ready for historic talks on restoring ties

By Mao Pengfei

Cuba and the United States are preparing to hold historic high-level talks on restoring relations and immigration issues, starting Wednesday of January 21 in Havana, the Cuban capital.

The talks, the first following a surprise joint announcement in December by the leaders of both countries on their decision to normalize ties after more than a half century of hostility, are expected to lead initially to the reopening of their respective embassies.

The Jan. 21-22 talks will be held at Havana’s convention center. The talks will aim “to assess the progress of the 1994 and 1995 immigration accords and the actions taken by both sides to tackle illegal immigration and human trafficking in migrants, among other topics,” Cuban Foreign Relations Ministry said in a statement.

Officials from both nations met over immigration issues in July in Washington, with Cuba insisting that the U.S.’ so-called “wet foot, dry foot” policy prevent “legal, secure and orderly” immigration between the two countries. The policy basically grants Cubans who reach U.S. soil automatic residency, encouraging many to risk their lives to raft the dangerous waters between the Caribbean island and the southern U.S. state of Florida.

On Thursday, the participants are expected to broach the issue of normalizing diplomatic ties, as announced by U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro in simultaneously televised broadcasts on Dec. 17.

Officials will discuss “the principles and steps to reestablishing diplomatic relations and opening embassies in both countries,” said the statement.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson will lead her country’s delegation to Thursday’s meeting, marking the highest level encounter between the two nations in nearly four decades.

In the lead up to the talks, a U.S. congressional delegation traveled to Havana over the weekend, the first time in more than 50 years that U.S. legislators have visited Cuba.

After announcing the restoration of ties, Washington has relaxed its economic restrictions against Cuba, first imposed in 1962, including allowing the use of U.S. credit cards, raising the limit on purchases made in Cuba to 400 U.S. dollars, as well as the limit on remittances from the United States to Cuba, from 500 dollars to 2,000 dollars every three months.

State daily Granma described the measures as “a step in the right direction,” but added there was still “a long way to go” before the embargo is fully lifted.

 

 

 

 

 

TROMSO, Norway  |  2015-01-21 04:46:59

>>  Norway, Sweden, Finland issue joint expert report on Arctic cooperation

By Li Guorong

Norway, Sweden and Finland on Tuesday of January 20 issued a joint expert report on enhancing cooperation between the three Scandinavian countries in their respective Arctic regions in the north.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb and Swedish Minister of Strategic Development and Nordic Cooperation Kristina Persson expressed their support to the proposals laid out in the report.

Four divers identified in the report for future cooperation include liquefied natural gas and renewables, greener mining solutions, increased tourism and ice and cold climate solutions.

The governments of the three countries are advised to work on removing border obstacles, coordinating construction regulations, creating and providing borderless services, harmonizing education and qualification standards, trying out innovative new solutions in and between national labor services agencies, exploring creative funding for transport and infrastructure projects and speaking in one voice on Arctic matters.

The expert group consisting of experts from Norway, Sweden and Finland was commissioned in April 2014 by the heads of government of the three Nordic countries.

The report was the first step in the long process of materializing what is envisioned for a sustainable and prosperous north in the three countries.

 

 

 

 

 

BANGKOK

>>  Thailand joins Global Container Control Program

By Zhang Chunxiao

Thailand on Tuesday of January 20 joined the Global Container Control Program, an initiative aimed at minimizing the exploitation of maritime containers for the illicit trafficking of drugs and other transnational organized crime activities.

The Program was launched by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Customs Organization in 2004.

“The cooperation between the Thai Customs Department and the UNODC will considerably improve the control of the containerized trade supply chain by enhancing detection of illicit activities and seizure of illegal goods,” Paisal Chuenjit, deputy director general of the Thai Customs Department, said at the agreement- signing ceremony here.

Over 500 million sea containers transfer 90 percent of world cargo across the globe every year with over half of these containers originating from, in transit through or destined for the countries of Southeast Asia.

Traffickers exploit the sheer volume of this trade to conceal and transport illicit goods in the hope that they will evade detection, according to the UNODC.

“In Thailand, there is a vision to have a world class Customs Department, to promote economic development but at the same time to protect society. It is a vision for a strong and safe Thailand and a vision shared by us at UNODC,” said Jeremy Douglas, UNODC Regional Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

“But like all shared visions, we must take shared responsibility for its achievement and work together on common goals and against common threats if we are to succeed,” he added.

The Global Container Control Program operates through the establishment of specialized Port Control Units (PCUs) securing the global supply chain.

In the first 10 years of operation, PCUs established by the Program have seized over 95 metric tons of cocaine, 2.9 metric tons of heroin, 60 metric tons of cannabis and 1,200 metric tons of precursor chemicals used to manufacture both illicit drugs and explosives, UNODC figures showed.

It is expected that within 2015, the program will be operating in 52 countries.

 

 

 

 

 

TEHRAN  |  2015-01-21 03:58:54

>>  Senior Iran’s military official warns attacks on Israel over general’s death in airstrikes

A senior Iranian military official warned on Tuesday of January 20 of “overwhelming attacks” against Israel to respond to the killing of a general in a recent airstrike.

Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General, made the remarks as a response to the killing of an Iranian general in Sunday’s airstrikes in the Syrian Golan Heights.

The airstrike, believed to have been carried out by Israel, took place on Sunday in the Syrian Golan Heights, near the town of Quneitra when a helicopter struck a convoy of vehicles, killing six operatives of the Lebanese Shi’ite militant organization Hezbollah.

According to a statement by Hezbollah, the Shi’ite militant organization, a senior commander of IRGC, Mohammed Ali Allhadadi, was also killed in the airstrike, along with several other Iranian soldiers.

Israel refused to comment on the attack. However, Israeli media outlets quoted military sources as saying the target for the attack was terrorists plotting an attack against Israel.

“The IRGC will maintain and deepen its support of the Muslim fighters in the region in preparation for the elimination of Israel from the region,” Jafari said to Press TV.

The killing of Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Allahdadi revealed that “we should not abort Jihad,” he said, adding that “The Zionists should expect overwhelming attacks.”

“Several fighters from Hezbollah along with Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Allahdadi were visiting Quneitra and got attacked by an Israeli military helicopter,” the IRGC said in a statement Monday.

Allahdadi had traveled to Syria on consultant basis and to assist the Syrian government combat the terrorists, said the statement.

However, according to media report, a senior Israeli security source said on Tuesday that the killed Iranian general in the airstrike was not an intended target, adding that Israek was attacking only low-ranking guerrillas.

So far, Israel has still not officially confirmed that it has carried out Sunday’s aerial bombing.

Israel has struck inside Syria several times since the start of the Syrian civil war, mostly destroying weaponry such as missiles that Israeli officials said were to be sent to Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon.

 

 

 

 

 

JAKARTA  |  2015-01-21 00:49:03

>>  Crashed AirAsia flight climbs too fast before disappearing from radar: Indonesia

By Xie Meihua

Indonesia said here on Tuesday of January 20 that the crashed AirAsia flight QZ8501 climbed at an abnormally high rate and plunged suddenly before disappearing from radar.

Addressing the Parliament, Indonesian Transport Minister Ignasius Jonan said ” it is not normal to climb like that. It is very rare for commercial planes which normally climb just 1,000 to 2,000 feet per minute.”

“It can only be done by a fighter jet,” the transport minister added.

What caused the flight to climb too fast remained unknown now.

Flight QZ8501, with 162 people onboard, plummeted into the Java Sea near the Karimata Strait during its journey from Surabaya to Singapore on December 28.

The flight data and cockpit voice recorders, known as black boxes, have been recovered and they are vital to determining the cause of the crash.

 

 

 

 

 

SEOUL

>>  S. Korean civic group floats 100,000 anti-DPRK leaflets across border

By Yoo Seungki

A South Korean civic group floated leaflets against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) across the border Monday night of January 19, pouring cold water over expectations for thawing ties between the two Koreas.

Fighters for Free North Korea (FFNK), the civic group composed largely of “defectors” from the DPRK, said on its website Tuesday that it floated about 100,000 anti-DPRK leaflets via five balloons across the demilitarized zone at around 11 p.m. Monday in Paju, some 40 km northwest of capital Seoul.

The New York-based Human Rights Foundation accompanied the civic group to disperse leaflets criticizing the DPRK regime and its top leader Kim Jong Un.

Copies of “The Interview,” a film featuring a fictional plot to assassinate the DPRK leader, were not included in the hot air balloons, which the civic organization scattered Monday night.

Park Sang Hak, chief of the FFNK who defected from the DPRK in 1999, said that he will determine future activity depending on the DPRK’s response to South Korea’s offer to hold talks in January, indicating additional scattering of such leaflets.

The DPRK, which did not have an immediate reaction to Monday night’s campaign as of Tuesday, has long condemned the practice and demanded a ban from the South Korean side.

 

 

 

 

 

TOKYO

>>  Japan’s new map service offers smartphone users disaster information

By Zhu Feng

Japan’s national surveying and mapping authorities have developed a new map service for smartphone users to get information about areas at risk of natural disasters, the Asahi Shimbun reported on Tuesday of January 20.

The map provides disaster-related information such as active faults, areas susceptible to liquefaction and zones that are at or below sea level, according to the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI).

Users can also check for dangers in their immediate vicinity using the global positioning system (GPS) on their smartphones, GSI said.

GSI, the national institution responsible for surveying and mapping the national land of Japan, remodeled its online topographic map to make it more user-friendly on smartphones.

 

 

 

 

 

VIENNA  |  2015-01-21 01:41:23

>>  Cost of artificial snow for Austrian ski resorts estimated at 1.5 bln USD since 2000

By Enzenhofer Peter

Austrian ski resorts are increasingly being forced to implement snow cannons to make up for lack of natural snow, spending hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years.

Most recent estimates have the number of snow cannons in operation in Austria at around 20,000, with Director of the Austrian Hotel and Tourism Bank Michael Kleeman estimating the total amount spent on artificial snow creation since the year 2000 at 1.5 billion U.S. dollars.

In an interview with radio program Oe1 Morgenjournal, Michael Manhart, operator of the biggest lift and ski lift company in the Lech am Arlberg region in the state of Vorarlberg, said ski lift operators in the region are spending about 7 million dollars a year on artificial snow, equal to about 20 percent of their turnover.

Additionally about 23 million dollars has been invested in modernising the artificial snow technology in Lech, he said.

Robert Steiger from the Management Center Innsbruck (MCI) however said the cost often falls onto taxpayers, as increasing numbers of ski resorts are going into bankruptcy due to climate change, the cost for propping them up ultimately falling on either local towns or even the state.

He added that some studies show that further investment in smaller or lower-lying ski resorts is not recommended, while better plans are required on how to make ski regions more efficient overall.

 

 

 

 

 

MOSCOW  |  2015-01-21 01:41:29

>>  Three Russian Olympic champions tested positive for doping

By Ding Chao

Three Russian Olympic gold medalists in race walking were tested positive for abuse of using performance improving drugs, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency ( RUSADA) said on Tuesday of January 20.

Sergey Kirdyapkin and Olga Kaniskina were banned for three years and two months, while Valery Borchin received a ban for eight years from October 15, 2012. Their performance results were also annulled, according to the agency’s decision.

Ramil Khabriyev, Director General of RUSADA, told media that the International Olympic Committee would decide whether to rescind medals of these banned athletes.

Kaniskina won the Olympic champion in women’s 20km Walk at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 and won a silver medal at the London Olympic Games in 2012. Kirdyapkin became the gold medalist in men’ s 50km Walk also in London.

Borchin, who won the gold medal in men’s 20km Walk at the Beijing Olympic Games, has been accused of violating anti-doping rules for the second time, and the suspension penalty means he will have no chance to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

 

 

 

 

 

BRUSSELS  |   2015-01-21 06:16:33

>>  EU gender equality makes slow progress: report

By Shuai Rong

A report approved by the European Parliament on Tuesday of January 20 showed that very slow progress in gender equality has been made since 2009 in the European Union (EU) countries.

“There has been progress, but it is too slow. If we continue like this we will not eliminate the gender pay gap before 2084,” said Belgian S&D member Marc Tarabella who drafted the report.

Tarabella said since his last report five years ago the employment rate among women in Europe has grown from 60 percent to 63 percent, “which is not enough”.

“We also have to pay more attention to the quality of jobs, more and more women are in insecure or part-time jobs and on temporary contracts,” he said.

Tarabella also noted that to address the issue, elimination of violence against women should be a priority and measures also need to be taken to change the reality of the career glass ceiling of women.

“I think that gender equality is the equality of rights and accessibility. Men and women are not and never will be the same, but they should have the same rights,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

LISBON  |  2015-01-21 05:18:57

>>  Number of women on boards of Portuguese companies doubles in 10 years

By Catarina

The proportion of women on the board of directors of Portuguese companies has more than doubled in the last 10 years, but is still around half the European average, said a study on Tuesday of January 20.

According to the study issued by the Portuguese Commission for Equality in Labor and Employment (CITE), the 2013 report on the progress of equality between men and women at work in employment and professional training found that the percentage of women with places on the boards of directors of Portugal’s largest listed companies rose from 4 percent in 2003 to 9 percent by October 2013.

The European Union average, according to figures from the European Commission, stands at 18 percent, leaving Portugal way behind, according to CITE president Joana Giria who presented the report’s findings to a parliamentary sub-commission on equality.

Differences between men and women are also found within the labor market as a whole, according to CITE’s findings.

“The increased qualifications of women are, as yet, not fully reflected in the professions they have,” the report said, adding that women are “predominantly” hired as “non-qualified workers” (72 percent), “administrative staff” (63.3 percent) and “personal service, protection and security and sales workers” (63.1 percent).

Despite this, women made up the majority in the category of specialists in intellectual and scientific activities (60.4 percent).

 

 

 

 

 

UNITED NATIONS  |  2015-01-21 07:44:24

>>  Number of new Ebola cases declines: UNMEER head

By Shi Xiaomeng

There has been an overall decline in the number of new Ebola cases, especially in the three most affected African countries, said a UN official on Ebola on Tuesday of January 20.

Briefing on the progress in the global Ebola response to a UN General Assembly meeting, Ismael Ould Cheikh Ahmed, new head of United Nations’ Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) said that “the devastating spread of the disease has slowed.”

According to Ahmed, among the three most affected countries, Liberia has recorded the sharpest decline, from averages exceeding 300 cases per week in August and September to less than 10 cases per week today. In the past three weeks, the number of new cases in Sierra Leone and Guinea has been at its lowest since August and late July of last year respectively.

While the numbers of overall new cases has come down, the disease has spread across a larger geographic area, the UN official said, warning against complacency in the fight against Ebola.

Too many communities in Ebola-affected countries are still refusing to acknowledge the disease and are resisting response efforts, he said.

In this regard, Ahmed called on the international community to strengthen efforts in social mobilization and community ownership, and also adjust the global response to the evolving nature of the disease.

Also on Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed to national stakeholders, community leaders, response actors and member states to stay engaged and sustain the global effort in fighting Ebola.

“The outbreak has taught us that there is no room for complacency,” said Ban. “Resources continue to be required to adjust the response, monitor chains of transmission and end the outbreak.”

 

 

 

 

 

LONDON  |  2015-01-20 20:19:15

>>  Birmingham Airport receives record number of passengers in 2014

By Larry Neild

A record number of more than 9.7 million passengers visited Birmingham Airport in 2014, showing a year-on-year increase of 6.5 percent, an airport official said on Monday of January 19.

The airport also ended the year setting a new record for December. International services saw the biggest number of passengers in December, with 464,190 travelers taking flights from Birmingham during the month to overseas destinations, a year-on-year increase of 10.7 percent.

Routes from Birmingham posting the biggest increases in passenger numbers in December included Hamburg, Montego Bay, Lapland and Stuttgart.

“The passenger records have been achieved as a result of airlines introducing new routes and more people realising the ease of travelling to and through Birmingham Airport,” said airport chief executive Paul Kehoe.

In 2014, the airport experienced seven record months.

“The coming year looks equally exciting as we prepare for American Airlines, Norwegian and Vueling to start operations in the summer,” said Kehoe.

 

 

 

 

 

PARIS

>>  Coen brothers to preside over jury of 68th Cannes Festival

By Xing Jianqiao

U.S. filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen have accepted an invitation to preside over the jury of the 68th edition of the Cannes Festival, it was announced on Tuesday of January 20.

“We look forward to returning to Cannes this year,” said Joel and Ethan Coen, who won de Palme d’Or in 1991.

“We welcome as always the opportunity to watch movies there from all over the world. Cannes is a festival that has been important to us since the very beginning of our career,” added the Coens.

This is the first time in the history of the Cannes Festival that two leading figures will chair the jury. This festival will take place from May 13 to 24.

 

 

 

 

 

LILONGWE  |  2015-01-21 07:53:44

>>  Aid flows to Malawi in its efforts to combat floods

By Peng Lijun

Aid has kept flowing to Malawi as this African nation is battling devastating floods that left 180 people dead and 153 more missing, according to a source of the Malawian government.

Among organizations and countries that have responded floods in Malawi are the World Food Program (WFP), World Vision, Norwegian Churchaid, and Zambia, South Africa and Canada.

Updated report as of Tuesday showed that apart from the above- mentioned numbers for deaths and missing, 27,000 households, with 135,000 people impacted, had been displaced by the floods in the country.

The World Food Program (WFP), World Vision, Norwegian Churchaid have donated relief items such as tents, mosquito nets, food and water filters among other things.

On Tuesday, the UN organization airlifted into Malawi 77 metric tons of high energy biscuits from the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, to be distributed to 77, 000 people displaced by floods in the country’s border districts of Chikhwawa and Nsanje.

According to WFP Public Communications Officer in Malawi, Fitina Khonje, the high energy biscuits to be distributed to the displaced people in two districts are enough to last for five days.

Khonje said the biscuits were a highly demanded commodity due to their high nutritional value and with the various on-going emergency food situations across the world. The distribution of biscuits in Nsanje and Chikhwawa would be accompanied by food rations of maize, maize meal, fortified vegetable oil and Super Cereal as soon as possible.

World Vision and Norwegian Churchaid also flew into the country tents, water filters, mosquito nets and dolls for children, according to Gift Mafuleka, Deputy Director for Department of Disaster Management Affairs.

Since Malawi President Peter Mutharika appealed for humanitarian aid on Jan. 13, WFP has been providing food items such as maize, beans, fortified vegetable oil, and Super Cereal to more than 70,000 people affected by the floods in the districts of Phalombe, Mulanje and Chikhwawa.

Countries including Zambia, South Africa and Canada have also supported Malawi flood victims with cash, blankets, tents and aircrafts for the ongoing rescue operations.

More tents are still required to meet the demand of the displaced people who have occupied over 180 class rooms, a development that has led to closure of schools altogether in the affected areas.

Other organizations such as the British Department for International Development, The Red Cross, UNFPA local banks and the private sector have also contributed cash and relief items to the flood victims.

According to WFP, a total of 33,500 metric tons of relief food at an estimated cost of 22 million U.S. dollars is needed to feed thousands of displaced people in Malawi.

 

 

 

 

 

RIO DE JANEIRO  |    2015-01-21 08:15:25

>>  World Cup to leave Brazil 100 million USD in developing soccer

By Ji Ye

A 100 million U.S. dollars World Cup Legacy Fund will help 2014 hosts Brazil better develop soccer as the sport’s world governing body FIFA announced its plan on Tuesday of January 20.

FIFA presented the sustainability report of the 2014 FIFA World Cup based on international standards and the details of the 100 million U.S. dollars Football Legacy Project.

To keep the long-term impact of World Cup in terms of football, FIFA established the 2014 FIFA World Cup Legacy Fund.

“FIFA is committed to ensuring that the FIFA World Cup leaves a tangible legacy in the host country,” said FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke in the press conference held at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo.

According to the initial budget, an investment of 60 million U.S. dollars has been approved for infrastructure projects with a special focus on the 15 states that were not home to the host cities, 15 million U.S. dollars for youth football development, 15 million U.S. dollars for women’s football, four million U.S. dollars for medical prevention and public health awareness, four million U.S. dollars for social and community awareness projects and two million U.S. dollars for administrative and logistical costs.

FIFA will be in charge of funding, monitoring and control of the Legacy Fund, while the Brazilian Football Association (CBF) will carry out the project proposals and implementation tasks.

“We are convinced that the World Cup Legacy Fund will be an excellent platform to spread the benefits of the 2014 edition. Several key principles will guide us: the project will be implemented in close collaboration with the CBF, we will share and communicate the results in a transparent manner and the use of the funds will be controlled and audited in accordance with the relevant FIFA development regulations,” said Valcke.

The sustainability report also pointed out that all carbon emissions under the operational control of FIFA and Local Organizing Committee offset, and 445 tonnes of waste recycled in stadiums in collaboration with FIFA Partner Coca-Cola and local cooperatives.

 

 

 

 

 

LA PAZ  |   2015-01-21 07:55:46

>>  Bolivian quad racer Nosiglia hailed as hero

By Mao Pengfei

Bolivian quad racer Walter Nosiglia, who grabbed third place in his division in the 2015 Dakar Rally, was hailed as a hero on Tuesday of January 20 upon his return home.

Bolivian President Evo Morales, accompanied by Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera and members of his cabinet, presided over the welcome and awards ceremony at La Paz’s Plaza Murillo.

Nosiglia, who was third to cross the finish line on Saturday in Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires, in a race that also traversed Bolivia and Chile, was named the Bolivian athlete of the year.

“Our respect and admiration for this first ever achievement: that out of racers from five continents … out of so many racers, Walter Nosiglia took third place on the podium,” Morales said as he presented the competitor with a medal and trophy.

Nosiglia, nicknamed “the desert wolf,” also received 20,000 U.S. dollars towards his medical treatment, after breaking a rib in an accident during the rally.

Morales hailed other Bolivian competitors in the race, which he called the most dangerous in the world, including “Chavo” Salvatierra, Fortunato Maldonado, Sergio Mita, Luis Barbery and Marco Bulacia.

The Bolivian segment of the rugged off-road endurance race took racers through the world’s largest salt flats, the 10,582-square-kilometer Salar de Uyuni.

 

 

 

 

 

VIENNA  |  2015-01-21 07:23:27

>>  Austrian gastronomy industry wastes 200,000 tonnes of food each year

By Enzenhofer Peter

Austrian commercial kitchens, hotels, and other gastronomy industry establishments avoidably waste about 200,000 tonnes of food a year, the “United Against Waste” initiative has claimed.

During a presentation of its results in Vienna on Tuesday based on an extrapolated analysis of 29 establishments, the initiative said the figures from its pilot project were considerably higher than expected.

With help from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, it was found that waste in relation to prepared meals ranged from 5 to 45 percent.

In larger kitchens an overproduction particularly for soups and side dishes was found, that often do not even leave the kitchen or are returned unconsumed.

The initiative also revealed a number of suggestions such as shock freezing or vacuum-sealing non-served food, smaller packaging, or avoidance of edible decorations. Smaller portions with optional cost-free extras are also a possibility.

Tests on saving food are currently being carried out at a number of establishments, with findings to be made known to the industry in spring.

 

 

 

 

TIRANA  |  2015-01-21 07:28:39

>>  Teenagers have free access to buy abortion pills in pharmacy in Albania

By Liu Lihang and Ymerali

Abortion pills can be easily purchased in pharmacies without prescription in Albania and no recommendation from the gynecologist is needed even if the buyers are underage, Albanian Daily Shqip reported on Tuesday of January 20.

Abortion rate among teenagers is increasing in Albania over the past years although they have all the information on methods of contraception for preventing unwanted pregnancies or getting a sexually transmitted infection.

An increased trend of abortions in Albania was noticed during the two recent years and especially in the capital.

The data provided by Albanian maternity hospitals confirm that there are at least three cases of abortions per week. Females aged 15-19 have the highest rate of abortion among teenagers.

Albanian gynecologist Arian Shtylla from ‘Koco Gliozheni’ maternity hospital said that teenagers prefer to abortion pills which are used within the first month of pregnancy.

Pills can be easily purchased in pharmacies and no recommendation from the gynecologist is needed although the woman can be under the age of 18.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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