EU pledges R1.7bn for SA schooling

first_imgThe agreement was signed by South African Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and EU Commissioner for Education and Culture Androulla Vassiliou. South Africa’s Department of Basic Education has received R1.7-billion from the European Union to help improve primary education in the country over the next three years. The funds are part of the ongoing financial cooperation between South Africa and the European Commission. It will also be used to attract appropriately qualified and competent teachers in all learning areas at all levels. This was announced on Tuesday ahead of the 3rd South Africa/European Union (SA/EU) Summit taking place in Brussels, Belgium, with President Jacob Zuma in attendance. 29 September 2010 According to the Presidency, the R1.7-billion will be used for expanding access to quality early childhood development opportunities in poor communities, as well as improving numeracy and literacy at primary school level.center_img The overall objective of the ESP-SP is to improve learner performance in literacy and numeracy at primary school level, in order to achieve better output to secondary and higher education and vocational training. According to the Presidency, the handing over of the funds, and subsequent signing of the Primary Education Sector Policy Support Programme (ESP-SP) agreement, makes this the single largest ever development cooperation programme between the European Commission and the South African government. SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Single-largest commitment Early childhood developmentlast_img read more

Kubota unveils third phase of hay tools

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest 2016 Hay Tools Product Introductions Include Disc Mowers, Disc Mower Conditioners, Rakes and New Variances in Round BalersKubota Tractor Corporation continues to expand its hay offerings for a third consecutive year, solidifying the manufacturer’s position as a full-line hay and forage equipment provider. The expanded hay tools line brings to market new disc mowers, disc mower conditioners, rakes and new variances in its popular round baler line.The introduction of the new hay tools illustrates Kubota’s commitment to the agricultural market and positions the company as a full-line hay product supplier. “Our entrance into the hay market two years ago was deliberate with an all-in commitment from Kubota. The response we’ve received from our dealers, as well as customers, has been overwhelmingly positive as we continue to engineer equipment that provides agricultural market solutions,” said Dave Palmer, senior product manager of Kubota hay tools. “Kubota has built its business on its reputation for high-quality equipment, and our hay tool offerings are no exception. Kubota is committed to the agricultural market; this is our third year with significant product introductions in the segment, and you can count on this momentum continuing for years to come.”Hay Tools Heritage Meets Innovation and Continued QualityKubota completed a full-ownership acquisition of Kverneland Group in 2013, which helped make the first phase of Kubota hay implements possible, including disc mowers, a rotary rake and a tedder. In 2015, Kubota introduced round balers and disc mower conditioners as well as expanded offerings in the disc mower, rake and tedder lines.“We are starting 2016 strong, with an unwavering dedication to the agricultural market. Kubota founded its reputation for quality in the compact tractor segment, and we are taking the same approach with the hay segment. Quality and engineering are always our first priorities, as well as listening to customers who tell us what they need in terms of products and day-to-day solutions,” added Palmer.Two New Disc Mowers Move Kubota into Large Hay OperationsKubota’s two new disc mower introductions, the DM3087 and the DM4032, come equipped with Kubota’s fully-welded cutterbar. The DM3087 is a center-suspended disc mower that is an ideal combination of low weight and wide working width. At only 3,000 lbs., and large working width measuring 28 ft. 7 in. wide, the “butterfly” formation offers ideal weight distribution. In addition, the DM3087 allows farmers to effectively cut extensive areas with a minimum of 140 PTO horsepower (standard: 97/68/EC). The second mower introduction, the DM4032, distinguishes itself through its excellent cutting performance and its unique ability to adapt to a variety of terrain. Both mowers offer outstanding suspension: the DM3087 center suspension system ensures optimal tracking and precise ground contour following, while the DM4032 allows the operator to set the height of the tractor linkage and adjust ground pressure by tightening the suspension springs.New Disc Mower Conditioner Fills Gap and Completes Range of Kubota OfferingsRounding out the Kubota DMC8000 Series of trailed disc mower conditioners is the new DM8028R. The new DM8028R features full-width roller conditioning and Kubota’s 3-bladed cutterbar technology designed to allow the cutterbar and conditioning unit to float separately from the main chassis, creating an outstanding ability to follow a variety of terrain. Equipped with features such as a fully-welded, highly durable cutterbar; SemiSwing or chevron roller conditioners; independent active suspension; the series offers a machine to meet a variety of environmental conditions with exceptional performance.Continued Expansion of FarmLine RakesSmall but mighty, the new RA2072 is Kubota’s most compact double rotor center delivery rake, and is perfect for all operations and those in need of added flexibility. Operators can work comfortably in tight fields, producing consistent windrows with hydraulically-controlled working widths ranging between 20 ft. 4 in. and 23 ft. 7 in. Kubota’s FarmLine double rotor, center swath rakes are engineered for professional operations and serve as entry models into the twin rotor segment. These rakes feature oil-immersed cam discs, guide rollers and tine bearings, helping ensure longevity and easy maintenance. All rakes in the line offer curved tine arms, to ensure a regular and even swath formation.Round Baler Line Adds Three New Variances Featuring Net Binding SystemsAs a direct response to customer feedback, Kubota brings three new variances to its popular baler line in 2016. New offerings include the BV4160 and BV4180 PremNet models, and the BV5160 Net model. These new variances offer a net only binding system that ensures trouble-free and reliable operation while the efficient fork feeder makes quick work of silage, hay and straw for superb in-field performance. The BV4180 PremNet model is packed full of premium productivity with a bale diameter of 4 ft. wide by 6 ft. high with 79 in. pickup capacity. These balers precisely craft softer cores with stronger exteriors for better weathering. Operators can depend on the newly patented PowerBind net wrap system for trouble-free and reliable operation as well as the efficient fork feeder intake system for a faster, more efficient baling process. The PremNet models are compatible with all brands of nets and feature a direct injection system for a sure start every time.The BV5160 Net model features a bale size of 4 ft. wide by 5 ft. high with an 86 in. wide pickup capacity for fast and efficient pickup. An Intelligent Hay Density system allows the operator to pre-select between three different bale densities from inside the tractor cab. The 14-knife chopping system provides a fast and efficient flow in to the baler. With a chopping length of 2.75 in., it is the ideal solution for producing dense and airtight bales.For more product information, please visit the Kubota Hay Tools new product pages on read more

The Curious Case of the Imploding Windows

first_imgIn 2008, a Dutchman named L. Korn found himself in Toronto buying windows for a house he was building back in the Netherlands. Unavailable at the time in Europe, the quad-pane insulated glass he wanted could be ordered from a Canadian manufacturer, and Korn was ready to do business. Korn placed an order for 193 insulated glass units — just the glass, no frames — with Eco Insulating Glass Inc. of Mississauga, Ontario in April 2009. The $40,400 order went to a warehouse in New York and from there was shipped by sea to his house in the Netherlands. Carpenters inserted the glass into frames that had been made in Guatemala and installed them. The krypton-filled insulated glass units (IGUs) consisted of two sheets of glass and two sheets of Heat Mirror film. The high-performance windows were part of Korn’s plan to use only the best green building materials he could find in the construction of his 3,000-square-foot, €1.2 million home. He also bought one spare unit and stored it in a garage, just in case something happened to one of the windows in the house.RELATED ARTICLESAdvances in WindowsAre High-Performance Windows Worth Their High Cost?Installing High-Performance WindowsAll About Glazing OptionsWindow Reflections Can Melt Vinyl Siding And by 2016, something did start to happen to the windows in his house. They began imploding. “The first IGs imploded in 2016,” Korn said in an email. “It made a big bang. I had no idea what happened. I reported the problem to Eco Insulating Glass on 29 November 2016.” Now, two years later, a total of nine windows have imploded. The manufacturer blames the problem on Korn’s decision to glue wood grilles on the outside faces of the glass and has voided its warranty. An engineer hired by Korn says the practice is common in Europe and that a manufacturing defect, not the grilles, is the most likely reason that the glass panels are failing. In the meantime, Korn is left with a number of shattered windows and a €135,000 estimate to replace them. The problem is not unknown Insulated glass units consist of two or more panes of glass, with the sealed space between them typically filled with gas, often argon or krypton. After the units are manufactured, the outer panes of glass are susceptible to some distortion as temperature and air pressure change, says Dutch engineer Walter Frank Westgeest. The phenomenon is well known in the glass industry, but it rarely results in a problem. “Yes, I’ve seen many glass panes that are curved by air pressure differences or other causes, but it hardly ever results in breaking,” Westgeest said in a telephone call. “If you look at buildings, you can see all kinds of curvature in the glass panes, especially with a certain ratio of length and width.” An exasperated Korn hired Westgeest to find out what happened after an extended exchange of emails with the manufacturer got him nowhere. Westgeest, who works for the Dutch firm Bouwkans, is a building scientist who spent 10 years working solely for a glass consultancy. In a report on Korn’s windows last year, Westgeest said that all of the IGs he inspected, except for one, appeared to be concave, with interior panes always distorted more than the exterior pane of glass. The wood window grilles that had been glued onto the glass were often detached, meaning they had pulled away from the glass and could no longer impede movement. Westgeest said that he measured distortion with a straight ruler and a sliding gauge. The distortion ranged from 2mm to 8 mm (0.06 inch to 0.31 inch) on the inside pane, and from 1 mm to 4 mm (0.03 inch to 0.157 inch) on the outside pane. The uninstalled spare unit also showed an inward distortion: 3.8 mm (0.149 inch) on the inside pane. Why do glass surfaces deflect? Westgeest cites three reasons why insulated glass units become concave or convex in shape: The gas content inside the IG is constant, but the ambient air pressure where the window is installed varies. The IGU is convex at low ambient air pressure and concave at high ambient air pressure. He describes this as a “dynamic process whereby the IGU will eventually return to its original flat shape …” It is not, he adds, enough to break glass panes, but the effect is magnified when the unit was manufactured under air pressure conditions significantly different than where the windows are put into service. Sealants and spacers are designed to contain the gas inside the IGU, but the gas can still leak out. Argon and krypton have a tendency to move from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration, and materials used for sealant barriers let some molecules go through more easily than others. Krypton and argon can get out, but larger oxygen and nitrogen molecules in the atmosphere can’t get in to replace it. Westgeest calls this a “molecular sieve.” In time, the sealed space inside the window is at a much lower pressure than ambient air pressure. A dessicant is placed inside the sealed space to absorb moisture, but when a dessicant with the wrong specifications is used, gases like argon, krypon and nitroten are absorbed instead. “Because these gases are the main content of these IGUs, the absorption or ‘disappearance’ leads to a lower pressure in the unit, which will lead to concave shaping of the IGU,” his report says. Westgeest said the insulated glass industry has, in time, learned to cope with these problems and that reports of glass failure now are unusual. For example, IGUs can be subjected to big differences in air pressure when they are shipped from a low-altitude manufacturing plant to a house high in the Swiss Alps. Manufacturers counter the problem by inserting very small tubes that vent the interior of the window and let excess pressure escape. When the windows arrive at their destination, the tubes are sealed. Westgeest believes that either a faulty dessicant or a faulty sealant is to blame for Korn’s window problems. “I can’t imagine anything else,” he said. “That’s the only thing I can really think of. It can be worsened by transport, but I don’t think that’s the primary cause.” In the U.S. early IGU makers learned to tweak the internal pressure of the windows so they wouldn’t rupture on the trip from a manufacturing site in the Denver area (elevation of 5,000 feet) to the Houston area, one expert who didn’t want to be quoted by name told GBA. Early on, windows failed. Then manufacturers learned how to adjust. These days, failures on the scale of Korn’s experience are rare indeed. The manufacturer blames the applied grilles Glenn MacEachern, vice president for sales at Eco Glass,  believes the problem with Korn’s windows stems from the decision to glue wood grilles to the outside of the glass, not a manufacturing defect. That was the basis of a letter from Eco attorney Stephen Walters to Korn last year in which the company disavowed any responsibility for the breakage. Walters said the 20-year warranty on the window units excludes “glass breakage from any cause” and exempts units that have been retrofitted with “any type of solar film or tinted film or any other added covering to the original glass surface.” “We have inspected the unit you shipped to Eco for review and note that your complaint is in respect of the breakage of the glass and that, in addition, the glass had an added covering to the original glass surface,” Walters wrote. “As such, the products supplied are exempted from any warranty coverage. The glass breakage is excluded from coverage, and the glass was covered with a non-factory covering and excluded from coverage.” Bottom line: “Eco has no obligation pursuant to the warranty or otherwise to replace the glass.” In a telephone call, MacEachern said the grilles could interfere with the “pumping action” that any IGU undergoes with changes in ambient air pressure. “It’s a violation of the warranty,” he said. “A unit has to be able to change with changing environmental conditions.” He said he suspects Eco’s warranty is no different on that point than a “vast majority” of IGU manufacturers. Moreover, Eco has not had any other complaints of this kind in the more than 30 years it’s been making IGUs with the Heat Mirror film developed by Southwall Technologies. “If this problem were going to be across the board, we would have had a similar situation exist in production other than Mr. Korn’s,” he said. “This one example is the only one that we’re aware of … If there’s a problem with our production methodology then why is it just this one specific job? That’s it. I’ve not seen it anywhere else.” The privately held company manufacturers IGUs, but not finished windows, for the North American market. MacEachern declined to be specific about production volume or sales. A long string of emails goes nowhere Korn has posted his tale of woe online, including a series of email exchanges with MacEachern, another Eco Glass executive named Jim Larkin, and officials at Eastern Chemical, which owns the Heat Mirror technology. The emails trace Korn’s repeated requests for an explanation and help, from the early days following the initial implosion in 2016 through his frustrated accusation last month that Eco Glass was refusing to take responsibility for its production errors and didn’t seem to care about damaging its reputation. Eco at first seemed eager to help. In January 2017, MacEachern wrote that he was trying to find an engineer in Europe who could help assess the problem. He offered possible causes for the breakage — the frames around the units were too tight, or the sealant on the window edges was not sufficiently protected from UV light. “Please rest assured that we are working diligently to address your situation,” he said in an email. In a followup email in April 2017, MacEachern told Korn that he was waiting to hear from Eco’s gas supplier as well as suppliers of polyurethane and silicone, who might also have some ideas. “I’ve always been a proponent in assessing the root cause for failures so that we simply do not repeat the problem again for you,” MacEachern said. “I want to get to the bottom of things and correct the situation.” But as time went on, the correspondence became less cordial. By last month, Eastman was asking to be dropped from any further inquiries, and Eco made it clear it was at the end of its efforts to help. “The bottom line here is that Eco Insulating Glass Inc. simply cannot be responsible for the mishandling or misuse of our product after delivery,” Larkin wrote. Next steps uncertain Korn, 56, said he originally found Eco through a Google search. No one in Europe was using Heat Mirror film at the time, so he piggybacked a visit to the Eco factory with a family trip. The visit went well. “It was all OK,” he said, “they’re not a big company.” Separately, Korn had selected a Guatemalan firm at a building fair to manufacture the frames. He also visited that company before placing his order. The window frames were shipped separately to Holland where they were married up with the glass from Canada and installed in the house. The windows were installed without incident, and it wasn’t until 2014 that someone pointed out to Korn that one of the windows seemed to have a concave shape. The following year, the first of the windows imploded, he said in a telephone call, but the window was in a room that didn’t get much use and he put the problem out of mind. But the following year, two others went and Korn’s concerns grew. At Eco’s request, Korn removed a damaged window and sent it to the company for testing.  On the advice of his engineer, he declined to send Eco the only uninstalled unit he had. But, Korn says, he never was told what the tests revealed. Eco’s did not follow through on its initial offer to find an engineering firm in Europe to look into the problem, and the company did not comment on the results of Westgeest’s €1,200 report, he said. In short, Korn doesn’t seem to have much leverage with Eco, and not much of a way forward without hiring a lawyer, a move he recognizes as an expensive next step. “If you start talking to a lawyer, the first thing he says is, ‘Well, send me 10,000 Euros and I’ll have a look into it.’ That’s the first thing they say,” Korn said. “… I’m looking into it but first I want to try if I could convince Eco Glass to handle this in a normal way. “They have tried to get around it, and of course that has made me very upset and angry,” he continued. He hopes the website he has created will prompt others who have experienced the same problem to step forward, but so far none has. “I have no idea,” he said when asked what he will do next. “I’m just waiting and hoping.”last_img read more


first_imgWell, the clouds threatened all day on day two of the Seniors NTL and at 4:28pm down the rain came. Not just a sprinkle or a drip or two, but a bucket load. It poured down, along with some great lightning and thunder to match, while the players walked away looking tired, sore and drowned. (“It’s just a sea breeze, it’ll blow away”, CEO Bill Ker tried to tell us. That’s not exactly how I would have described it.) Let’s just say, the fields looked like a swimming pool, the lights were turned on at 4pm and ATA staff refused to leave the office to go down and harass coaches standing in all the wrong spots. On top of that, we were getting ideas about using the Ausport field barriers as a slip and slide in the rain. (See the picture.) At 5:13 the games were postponed, with another two and a half timeslots still to play. The last two timeslots were also postponed and will be played at various times tomorrow morning and tomorrow evening under lights, it is expected games will begin at 7:30am and finish at 10pm! A long day for all! The changes have been uploaded onto the Sporting Pulse website. It was certainly a tough day at the office for many of the players today, with some divisions having another three games in one day. Injuries and weather is certainly starting to take its toll, especially after the heat yesterday and then the bucketing rain this afternoon. Special mention has to go to the ACT Mens 45’s, who look like they should be sponsored by leucoplast or one of the strapping companies. At last count 11 of their 15 players had one, two or three parts of their legs strapped in some way or the other. Despite this however, it’s obvious to all, that the mind of these players, all the players at the NTL, is still willing and able. It’s fantastic to see some the Touch legends out on the field and to see the people who have been involved in our sport for so long, who have encouraged family and friends to get in and give it a go. The ATA would like to send out a special “you go girl!” to Peter Topp, National Technical Manager and Assistant CEO, who’s playing for the ACT Mens 45’s. We’re loving seeing you play Toppy, just please look after those hamstrings. Summary of day two: With so many divisions affected by the game cancellations last night today’s day 2 summary is a little shorter than usual… MENS 30’s: The Mens 30’s were lucky enough to just miss the torrential downpour, with the Sydney Mets and South Queensland Sharks on top of the ladder. The match of the day was no doubt the meeting of the Sydney Mets and Sydney Scorpions, with the Mets winning a close encounter 4-2. Both of these sides will no doubt feature come finals day. Round five also saw a 5-5 draw between the Southern Suns and Brisbane City Cobras, as well as a 5-4 win to the Warriors over the Crusaders. It was certainly a great round of Touch. The Crusaders and the Cyclones are now the only two sides yet to record a win in this division. MENS 35’s: The Mens 35’s was affected by the storm, with half of their round six matches being postpones just into the second half and will be continued at 7:30am Friday. The Sydney Mets and Sydney Scorpions are once again looking the goods, although the Sharks, Suns and Cyclones have all put in some strong performances. The Sydney Mets had a 5-3 win over the Scorpions in their round 5 clash of the titans, while the Suns look on the rise with an 8-3 win over the Warriors. The Sharks also look to be a threat to the Sydney title hopes, a 6-1 win over the Rustlers keeping them in third spot. MENS 40’s: The Mens 40’s was hammered by the storm, with one match to be continued at 7:30am this morning and the others to be played under lights at 9:10pm tonight. The competition is being lead by the Northern Eagles, South Queensland Sharks and Southern Suns. In round five the Sydney Scorpions upstaged defending Champions, the Northern Eagles, to win 6-2, while Touch West defeated the Sydney Mets in an absolute thriller 4-3. The Cyclones and Warriors also played out a great match 2-2. MENS 45’s: Over half of the round 6 matches for the Mens 45’s were also postponed, to be completed at the early hours of 7:30am Friday. The Sydney Scorpions are looking hot, a 9-4 win over the ACT signaling they’ll be keen come finals time. The Sydney Mets, Brisbane City Cobras and Northern Eagles look fill the top four positions along with the Scorpions, MENS 50’s: An entire round of the Mens 50’s was postponed and will be played at 7:30pm and 8:20pm Friday night. The Sydney Mets and Hunter Western Hornets remain undefeated and their match at 8:20pm will be a good one no doubt. WOMENS 30’s: The Crusaders and Sydney Scorpions are sitting on top of the ladder, both yet to lose a match. Their final round on day two was also cancelled and will be replayed on Friday afternoon. The meeting of the Scorpions and Crusaders at 10:10am Friday will no doubt be a good indication of what’s to expect come finals time. The match of the day in the Womens 30’s was the Rustlers 5-4 win over the Southern Suns, it was close and exciting. WOMENS 35’s: The Womens 35’s division played two matches each today, with all being close fought affairs. The match of the day in the 35’s division went to the 2-2 draw between the Southern Suns and the Hunter Western Hornets. After four rounds the only team yet to register a win is the North Queensland Cyclones. They will play one more match each tomorrow morning, before the fourth and fifth placed teams will play for a spot in the semi finals against the top three sides. WOMENS 40’s: After four rounds in the Womens 40’s, the Sydney Scorpions are the only undefeated team, although they did record a 2-2 draw against the Cyclones earlier in the week. The Northern Eagles were runners up in 2004 and were on top of the ladder after the first two rounds yesterday. In their grand final rematch the Sydney Scorpions held on to a tight 2-1 victory. By Rachel Moyle, [email protected]last_img read more

Syncrude outage expected to ease pipeline congestion boost heavy oil prices

first_imgCALGARY, A.B. – A production shutdown at Syncrude Canada’s oilsands mine and upgrader complex in northern Alberta is expected to free up pipeline space out of Western Canada and strengthen prices for Canadian heavy oil.The company has said production of upgraded bitumen could remain offline at its works north of Fort McMurray through July. The stoppage was caused by a power outage last week.The interruption should help alleviate pipeline congestion in Western Canada that has increased the difference in price for Western Canadian Select bitumen blend oil versus New York-traded West Texas Intermediate crude oil, said Canadian analysts with Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. in a research report. The differential spiked at about US$30 per barrel in February, fell to the high teens in April and May as oilsands projects went through maintenance shutdowns, but rose again in the past few weeks as output again filled pipelines. It closed at US$25.50 last Friday.The differential will likely revert back to US$13 to $15 per barrel in July, Barclays analysts predicted in a report.Syncrude has the capacity to produce 350,000 barrels per day but Barclays estimated it has averaged only 245,000 bpd so far this year because of planned and unplanned downtime. It lowered its estimate of third-quarter production from 305,000 bpd to between 200,000 and 215,000 bpd, adding it expects Syncrude to post significantly higher costs per barrel.The analysts say the news is negative for Suncor Energy Inc., which owns about 59 percent of Syncrude, and Imperial Oil Ltd., with a 25 percent stake.On June 7, Suncor said in a news release it was ready for “strong production” this year after completing maintenance at facilities including Syncrude.(THE CANADIAN PRESS)last_img read more

Drivers expected to see delays as Site C work continues

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – B.C. Hydro is advising drivers that they can expect some traffic delays as part of the ongoing work for the Site C Dam Project.Currently, Hydro is moving large penstock segments from a manufacturing facility in Fort St. John to the Dam.According to B.C. Hydro, due to the size of the penstocks, there will be minor traffic delays along Old Fort Road as the equipment is moved on oversized trucks. The moving of equipment will be taking place now until June 2021.Another delay that drivers can expect is a short detour on Old Fort Road.As B.C. Hydro constructs a conveyor belt system, a section of Old Fort Road will need to be dug up as they lay the system under the road.This will be taking place at Old Fort Road and Shaman Industrial Way and is expected to last until the end of June.For more information, you can visit read more

Fort St. John Firefighters extinguish burning child’s wagon

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Firefighters were called to a brush fire that turned out to be a child’s wagon set on fire.Monday, September 30th, 2019 at 11:34 pm the Fort St. John attended a call and extinguished a child’s wagon that was set on fire on 93rd Street. The image was posted to a local FB group, showing the Fire Department on the scene with the wagon extinguished.To view the post; CLICK HERElast_img

Chinese connectivity projects across the world have national security element: Pompeo

first_imgWashington: Chinese infrastructure and connectivity projects around the world have an element of “national security” and are less of an economic offer for host countries, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said as Beijing is gearing to host the second Belt and Road Forum. The One Belt One Road OBOR, also called the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), is a multi-billion dollar project focused on improving connectivity and cooperation among countries in Asia, Africa, China and Europe. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Pompeo Thursday told a Washington audience that China poses security threat to the US, its friends and allies. “They’re moving into the South China Sea is not because they want freedom of navigation. Their efforts to build ports around the world aren’t because they want to be good shipbuilders and stewards of waterways, but rather they have a state national security element to each and every one of them,” Pompeo said in conversation with Rich Lowry at the National Review Institute’s 2019 Ideas Summit. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is no different, he asserted. “We’ve said this every place we’ve gone, every if you talk to any of our ambassadors or our charges, they will tell you we are happy to compete on a fair, transparent basis under rule of law with the Chinese anywhere in the world. We’ll win more than our fair share, but we’ll lose some to them too, he said. “But when you’re showing up with a non-economic offer, whether that’s through state-facilitated, below-market pricing or handing someone something knowing that you can foreclose on their nation shortly, so predatory lending practices, that’s not straight and we are working diligently to make sure everyone in the world understands that threat,” Pompeo said. India has been raising concern over the BRI’s China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as it is being built through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). The 3,000-km CPEC is aimed at connecting China and Pakistan with rail, road, pipelines and optical fibre cable networks. India too cautioned specially the neighbouring countries about debt traps. Apprehensions over the huge loans grew after China acquired Sri Lanka’s strategic Hambantota port on a 99-year lease as a debt swap. The world is waking up to this threat, the US secretary of State said. “I think Asia and Southeast Asia in particular are waking up to this risk, and I hope the State Department can continue to be a part of making sure that they see that, identify it, and that it becomes more difficult for the Chinese to engage in these practices,” Pompeo said. Pompeo’s comments came as China is getting ready to hold the second Belt and Road Forum (BRF) next month. India boycotted the first BRF meet held in 2017 as Beijing went ahead with the CPEC with Pakistan. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told an annual media briefing here this month that the BRF meeting to be held in April would be bigger that that in 2017 with more international participation. Wang refuted the criticism from the US, India and several other countries that the BRI is driving smaller countries in debt traps. The BRI is not a “debt trap” that some countries may fall into but an “economic pie” that benefits local population, Wang claimed.last_img read more

Pak appoints its envoy to India as new foreign secretary

first_imgIslamabad: Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood has been appointed as the country’s new foreign secretary, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Sunday. Qureshi, while talking to reporters in Multan, said that the decision to appoint Mahmood as foreign secretary had been made following discussions with Prime Minister Imran Khan. “Sohail Mahmood is being appointed as new foreign secretary,” he said. Incumbent Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua will retire on April 16. It was so far not clear who will replace Mahmood in India. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Qureshi said that he talked with Mahmood on the telephone on Saturday and congratulated him over his new appointment. “He is a seasoned diplomat Even now, after the Pulwama incident took place, he came to the headquarters for consultations and I benefited from his experience,” Qureshi said, describing the deadly terror attack on CRPF soldiers as “incident”. Mahmood was appointed as high commissioner to India in August 2017. He was serving as ambassador to Turkey when sent to India. He previously also served at Washington and New York in addition to other posting in his long career. Qureshi also thanked Janjua for her services. “She always handled things with courage, bravery, clarity, and with a smile,” he said.last_img read more

Algeria’s Bouteflika nominated for 4th term: party

first_imgALGIERS- Algeria’s 76-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was on Saturday designated his party’s candidate in the 2014 presidential election, his National Liberation Front (FLN) said. Bouteflika, in power since 1999, had been largely unseen for months because of health problems before he presided over a cabinet meeting on September 29 for the first time this year.Since 2005 he has been honorary president of the FLN, which has 208 seats in the 462-seat national assembly. “The central committee has chosen the president of the party, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, to be the FLN candidate in the next presidential election,” said a party statement issued after a meeting in the capital.“The choice was a natural one given the positive assessment” of his three terms as Algerian head of state, FLN head Amar Saidani said in a speech at Saturday’s meeting.Bouteflika returned home in July after nearly three months in France recovering from a mini-stroke, and critics have said his health concerns should rule out extending his time in office.But the president’s allies had indicated they would back him should he seek re-election next year.One of the few remaining veterans of the war of independence against France, Bouteflika came to power after helping to end the country’s civil war in the 1990s.But in addition to health concerns in recent years, his rule has also been dogged by corruption scandals implicating members of his inner circle.last_img read more