Poland’s coal-related mercury emissions revised upward, significantly

first_imgPoland’s coal-related mercury emissions revised upward, significantly FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享MetaMag:Polish coal-fired power plants may be cheating the European Union when reporting their toxic mercury emissions, Gazeta Wyborcza reports. As a result, a huge year-on-year increase in emissions from Europe’s biggest coal plant may be even higher than first thought.Last month META broke the story that mercury emission from Polish coal had jumped by more than 87.5% in just one year. EU data showed emissions from the giant Bełchatów plant in central Poland were eighteen times higher in 2016 than the previous year. Now a Gazeta Wyborcza story published last week has claimed that the mercury emissions for 2016 – reported as an enormous 2.82 tonnes – could in reality be even higher. The paper was shown emissions monitoring data that experts said point to mercury emissions of closer to 4.2 tonnes – 1.5 tonnes more than reported.Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin which damages human health and can destroy lives. Europe has committed to the Minamata Convention to phase out and limit mercury emissions from human sources and the EU’s Mercury Regulation was adopted last year. Across Europe burning coal is the single biggest source of mercury pollution entering the air. It is often carried over long distances and finds its way into the food-chain through bioaccumulation in large fish.Pressure grew on plant owner PGE to explain the discrepancy as campaigners explained that the increase was due to a new European law that requires the emissions reported to European authorities be based on actual monitoring data. Reported figured were previously estimated. PGE’s estimations for 2015 had been 18 times lower than the reported measured emissions for 2016.After digging deeper into the story, Gazeta Wyborcza reported that even under the new EU monitoring and reporting regime, the plant operators are allowed to take periodic measurements and then declare an average across the year. It is therefore possible that higher measurements were discarded and lower ones used to calculate annual emissions. Wyborcza also said the same practice may be being used by other power stations, including the Pątnów and Turów plants.More: Polish coal may be cheating EU on toxic mercurylast_img read more

Peru In Haiti: Arms For Peace

first_imgBy Dialogo December 23, 2010 Congratulations on the written article, to only add that Peru has always been a country that loves peace and has always demonstrated this in its peace missions participation that have been internationally recognized for its excellent professionalism, high ability and acknowledgement on behalf of its participants. I believe that Peru with the experience gained will continue contributing with global Peace. The article on Juan Sebastian Verastegui Marchena is excellent, the Peruvian forces have always had a outstanding professionalism and efficiency in spite of few economic resources compared to other armed forces in the region; for the experience gained fighting internal subversion they are in line with the UN peacekeeping mission and international security. I had the opportunity to meet Peruvians serving in Haiti; like Minustah, who visited my country which is the Republic that borders Haiti on the same island. I can say without fear of misspeaking that they are a proper military, educated and full of humane values. Its work in our sister Haiti has been excellent and I congratulate the Peruvian Armed Forces for the preparedness of its soldiers. It was from our native island that Francisco Pizarro departed from in his conquest of Peru and we are united by a brotherly bond. I would hope that all of the other countries could count on such an Armed Force as prepared. More than six years have passed since MINUSTAH was established to replace the initial Multinational Interim Force that acted in response to the desperation of a Haiti exhausted by poverty, AIDS, political instability, corruption, and many uncontrollable ills that forced Jean Bertrand Aristide’s resignation from the presidency of the Caribbean nation. Since then, Latin America has done justice to its reputation as a region of peace by keeping the threat of a conventional war at a distance and at the same time, through the political agreement of its governments, contributing to the reconstruction of Haiti as a viable nation. This great challenge tested the capacity of the region’s countries to meet the demands of operations of this kind. South America responded well, with Brazil at the head of the mission, excellently complemented by the participation of Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile as well. The case of Peru is particularly significant, since it is the country in the region that spends least on arms, and in a true demonstration of its foreign policy, maintains a significant military contingent in Haiti as a message of cooperation and interest in promoting the peace and development of the peoples of the world. The Andean country’s participation in peacekeeping operations dates from 1958 in Lebanon (June to December). Afterward came Iraq (August 1988 – September 1989), Namibia (1989), Western Sahara (September 1991 – October 1992 and then 1998), the Democratic Republic of Congo (2000), Sierra Leone (2000), Eritrea and Ethiopia (2001-2002, 2003), and Cyprus (2003), in addition to innumerable exercises held in the United States, Argentina, and Chile. There are two kinds of peace operations, those known as observer missions and those known as peacekeeping forces. In the latter, Peru has been a pioneer in sending troops to carry out so noble a mission. A clear example of those is found in the fact that already in 1973, the Inca nation sent a numerous group of officers, cadets, non-commissioned officers, and enlisted personnel to the Middle East to form the UN Emergency Force, established by the Security Council during the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Peruvians made up the “Peru Battalion” and were part of the international contingent, which had Peruvian Gen. Gastón Ibáñez O’Brien as its General Commander of the UNEF II Sinai Sector until the middle of 1974. Later, another Peruvian, Gen. Luis Block Urban, would serve as General Commander of the MINURSO peacekeeping forces (referendum in Western Sahara). Starting in the 1970s, more than fourteen peace operations missions have been able to count on Peru’s valuable participation, from that celebrated “Peru Battalion” to the current missions in Liberia, Congo, Sudan, Ivory Coast, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and of course Haiti. Peruvian Women For Peace The efficiency demonstrated by the Peruvian Armed Forces in peace operations has made it possible to detect new needs for support in operations of this kind, such as, for example, the protection of children at risk, of women, and of the most vulnerable. The Peruvian government already has women serving as observers on its different peace missions sent to various parts of the world; nevertheless, deeply identified with the new needs observed in the course of its vast experience with operations of this kind, it has seen fit, starting in 2011, to send mixed military contingents to carry out the peace missions ordered by the international community. Capt. José Luis Delgado, head of peace operations at the Armed Forces Joint Command, estimates that at the end of this year or the beginning of 2011, women from the three branches that make up the Peruvian Armed Forces (Army, Navy, and Air Force) will have completed preparations, adding that the training given to this contingent will guarantee their excellent preparation for taking part in any kind of peace mission ordered by the United Nations. An Ongoing Commitment For more than fifty years, Peru has deeply identified with the UN mission of maintaining international peace and security. Throughout that period, it has deployed its best human and material resources toward obtaining that end, showing itself to be the global entity’s most immediate collaborator in defending the peace and resolving conflicts through peaceful means. As we have already detailed, not even the treacherous attack of Shining Path interrupted Peruvian participation in peace operations, as the country continued sending military observers to Iraq, Namibia, and Western Sahara. Following the defeat of this terrorist group, Peru considered itself ready to increase its participation in peace operations. Two factors were fundamental in this regard: its excellent professional experience and its pacifist vocation. The experience of defeating the world’s third-bloodiest terrorist movement and the impeccable participation of Peru’s Armed Forces in Operation “Chavin de Huantar” justified the prestige of Peruvian arms in the region, and it was necessary to contribute those experiences to the regional community. For their part, Peru’s pacifist vocation, its continuous rejection of the regional arms race, and its demonstrated international solidarity precipitated the government decision to increase the Peruvian presence in peace operations. This excellent decision has enabled its uninterrupted participation in MINUSTAH, to which it recently sent a new detachment of 216 military personnel, who will be stationed in Port-au-Prince. Familiar with the efficiency of the country’s contingents, the UN increased the number of Peruvian military personnel it needs in order to carry out aid work and provide border security in Haiti. For that purpose, the Peruvian Armed Forces maintain military contingents of two hundred men that are sent every six months to the four military bases they operate in Haiti. Three of the four military bases are located on the border with the Dominican Republic, and the fourth is in Port-au-Prince. In all four, the Peruvians carry out security tasks, border control, and highway and lake patrols and support the police in controlling smuggling and migration, in addition to working on social and humanitarian aid projects to improve the Haitian population’s quality of life. Through these effective actions, Peru demonstrates to the international community that the arms that the nation places in the hands of her favored sons and daughters are not only for conflict, but rather, fundamentally, for preserving and keeping peace in the world.last_img read more

Cuomo Declares State of Emergency for Long Island Amid Winter Storm

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Plows attacking the snow during a previous storm.Gov. Andrew Cuomo Thursday declared a state of emergency for Long Island amid a prolonged winter storm that’s threatening to pound the area with a wintry mix for most of the day.The declaration allows the state government more flexibility in diverting resources to local municipalities, as it did last week when it delivered 3,500 tons of salt to towns and villages that were suffering from depleted supplies.But, Cuomo said, salt shouldn’t be an issue this time around because most municipalities appear to be well-stocked.As for this storm, the governor said it has “brought a mix of everything. We have snow, we have sleet, we have rain, we have ice.”He advised residents not to be fooled by the rain because forecasters expect a second cycle of snowfall later in the afternoon when temperatures return to below freezing.Cuomo has yet to close any state roads as he did in previous storms, but he left open the possibility if conditions worsen.As of Thursday morning, some parts of the Island have already seen up to 9 inches of snow, including Commack in Suffolk County and Uniondale in Nassau County.Several other communities measured upwards of 8 inches, according to unofficial amounts posted by the National Weather Service.The agency issued a winter storm warning until 6 a.m. Friday. A high surf advisory is also in effect until 6 p.m. Friday.The storm has already caused scattered systemwide delays on the Long Island Rail Road and made a mess of local roads and highways.A traffic map of Long Island on the New York State Department of Transportation website reported that most of the roads in Nassau were experiencing severe snow and icy conditions. Winter road conditions appeared less severe further east.“These storms are more frequent and they’re more ferocious,” Cuomo said.“Don’t get cocky about it,” he added, “and don’t take them casually.”The governor also declared a state of emergency for New York City and the Mid-Hudson.last_img read more

Georgia family demands arrests 2 months after son shot dead

first_imgThe parents of a 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery who was killed by two white men armed with guns called for immediate arrest after they faced the prospect of waiting a month or longer before a Georgia grand jury could consider bringing charges.The incident happened on February 23rd when Ahmaud Arbery was gunned down while he went out for a jog outside the port city of Brunswick. According to an incident report filed by Glynn County police, Arbery was shot after two men spotted him running in their neighborhood on a Sunday afternoon. Gregory McMichael told police that he and his adult son believed Arbery  had robbed houses in the neighborhood. They armed themselves with guns before getting in a truck to pursue him. The father said his son, Travis McMichael, got out of the truck holding a shotgun, and Arbery “began to violently attack.” He said Arbery was shot as the two men fought over the shotgun, according to the police report.After Arbery was shot, the police report says, Gregory McMichael turned him onto his back to see if he was armed. The report doesn’t say whether he had a weapon.Video caught on cellphone shows the killing. The video surfaced online Tuesday and has gone viral. Since the release of the video large numbers of crowds have gathered in the neighborhood Arbery was killed, and the state opened its own investigation.No arrests have been made or charges filed in coastal Glynn County more than two months after the killing. Jackie Johnson, the district attorney for Glynn County, recused herself from the case because Gregory McMichael worked as an investigator in her office. He retired a year ago.George Barnhill, the first outside prosecutor on the case, stepped aside in mid-April at the urging of Arbery’s family, and he has a son who works as an assistant prosecutor for Jackie Johnson.Now, an outside prosecutor placed in charge of the case said he wants a grand jury to decide whether criminal charges are warranted, and that won’t happen till June since courts remain closed due to the coronavirus.Attorney for Arbery’s family, Lee Merritt, said that the father and son should be arrested now before a grand jury decides to indict them. Merritt also says this should the U.S. Justice Department should also investigate the death as a hate crime. “These men were vigilantes, they were a posse and they performed a modern lynching in the middle of the day,” said Lee Merritt.The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is now investigating the shooting.Many state leaders have shown support to Arbery including Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, and Former Vice President Joe Biden. My full statement on the investigation into the death of #AhmaudArbery. pic.twitter.com/UOaCsSkNPz— GA AG Chris Carr (@Georgia_AG) May 6, 2020 The video is clear: Ahmaud Arbery was killed in cold blood. My heart goes out to his family, who deserve justice and deserve it now. It is time for a swift, full, and transparent investigation into his murder. https://t.co/alvY5WjdHx— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 6, 2020last_img read more