Unusual features for a mobile homeVHCB said in a report on the project that the U.S.Department of Housing and Urban Development first developed standards for manufactured housing in the mid-1970s. They’ve been updated several times since then, but mobile homes still put their occupants at a big energy disadvantage and they’ve long been disparaged as poorly built.“Replacing poor quality but very inexpensive homes with homes of better quality that cost more must be considered in the context of the fact that nationally 41% of mobile home-dwellers have incomes below 50% of the area median,” the VHCB says.The prototype includes features that plenty of conventional stick-built houses still don’t have:Double 2×4 walls on 24-in. centers creating 10-in. wall cavities insulated to R-43 with blown-in fiberglass insulation.5/8-in. gypsum wallboard on the interior glued to the studs.5/8-in. Zip System roof sheathing covered with Grace Ice & Water Shield.Roof trusses 24 in. on center with 14 in. of blown-in fiberglass (R-60), plus a floor system insulated to R-44 and sealed with Zip System sheathing and tape.A Conditioning Energy Recovery Ventilator, or CERV that combines an air-source heat pump with a ventilation system that monitors carbon dioxide, humidity, and volatile organic compounds in the air and adjusts ventilation rates as needed.Triple-glazed awning and casement windows manufactured by PVC Industries.A heat-pump water heater.This new breed of mobile home isn’t cheap; the homes cost roughly $100,000 each. But, says VHCB, energy accounts for nearly half of monthly housing costs in a conventional HUD-certified mobile home but should total only 16% in a high-performance model. Renewable energy systems strongly recommendedWith the addition of a rooftop photovoltaic array, this type of the house is designed for net-zero energy operation, says Peter Schneider, a senior energy consultant with Efficiency Vermont, which provides energy efficiency services for Vermont ratepayers and took part in the pilot program.An array of up to 5.5 kW in capacity can be installed on a home 66 ft. long, and 6 kW systems can be installed on a 70-ft. model, Schneider says. That’s about all these roofs will hold, but it should be enough for net-zero operation, and reduce monthly power bills to the service charge alone.“You’re going from a conventional mobile home that is looking at $200 to $300 a month for their total energy costs and taking it down to $16 a month if they put the PV on it,” Pasho said, adding that the quality of construction also is much higher than a conventional mobile home.“For this project we’re working with the state and building them as single module homes with the configuration of a traditional mobile home because they’re designed to be replacement homes in [mobile home] parks,” he said. “You can’t come in and put a nice ranch in there because the park layout is for sausages.”Schneider said a blower-door test of the first unit showed air leakage of 0.9 air changes per hour at 50 pascals of pressure. Once the units are set on their sites and all penetrations for utilities are sealed, the results might be somewhat better. Air leakage rates also may be reduced as Vermod crews gain more experience.The HERS rating will be in the single digits, Schneider said, with the exact number still to be determined based on values allowed for the CERV unit.In all, Pill-Maharam designed one-, two- and three-bedroom models, including one that is ADA-compliant. Pill said the goal was to make the buildings as space- and energy-efficient as possible while keeping them aesthetically pleasing and low in cost. UPDATED on November 6, 2013 with information on the design teamA high-performance mobile home that will use a fraction of the energy of standard manufactured housing and rival the energy efficiency and quality of advanced stick-built homes has made its public debut in Vermont.The first of 10 mobile homes to be produced under the Manufactured Housing Innovation Project was unveiled Oct. 23 in White River Junction, Vermont. The “single-wide” mobile homes, roughly 14 ft. wide and either 66 ft. or 70 ft. long, have features common for high-performance houses but virtually unheard of in manufactured housing: double stud walls, triple-glazed windows, and more than a foot of blown-in insulation in the roof.The project to develop this new type of mobile home is a response to Tropical Storm Irene, which brought widespread damage to Vermont in 2011. Although mobile homes make up just 7% of the state’s housing stock, they represented 15% of the homes damaged in the storm, according to the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board (VHCB).The year after Irene barreled through the state, VHCB, with help from the High Meadows Fund and others, launched an effort to improve mobile home design. They were prompted not only by the disproportionate storm damage but also by two studies published in 2012 that showed people who live in mobile homes pay a lot more for energy than do those who live in stick-built houses.A working group of two dozen or more people joined the effort. Vermod High Performance Manufactured Housing in White River Junction is building them. The houses were designed by Pill-Maharam Architects of Shelburne, VT, in collaboration with Vermod.“This ain’t no mobile home,” Vermod General Manager Chet Pasho said by telephone. “It just looks like one at 50 miles an hour going down the road. This is a high-performance modular home that right how we’re building on mobile home geometry.” People in many states could benefitImproved air quality and energy efficiency would be a big boost in Vermont, where winters are long and common fossil fuels like oil and kerosene are expensive. But Vermont is actually in the middle of the pack in terms of the percentage of total housing represented by mobile homes. The U.S. Census bureau says 6.9% of all Vermont houses were mobile homes in 2008.Elsewhere, the fraction is much higher. The top three states are South Carolina (17.9%), New Mexico (16.4%) and Mississippi (15.2%). And if Vermont’s case is any guide, lots of these mobile homes are showing serious signs of age.“Over 22% of mobile homes in Vermont are pre-1976, the year that the HUD standards went into effect,” the VHCB report says. “These homes are aging out and will need to be replaced with something. Having a super-energy efficient alternative is an important option.“In addition, 45% of Vermont’s mobile home or manufactured housing stock is pre-1990. Although a 25-year-old home is not particularly old if it is stick built, some manufactured homes of this vintage are also beginning to show signs of significant deterioration.”One big problem is how buyers with low incomes will be able to afford $100,000 mobile homes. Although buyers for these first high-performance homes will be eligible for subsidies, a used HUD- certified model can be had for as little as $8,000. Many mobile home park residents don’t have mortgages, and might not be interested or able in taking out a big loan for a new mobile home, no matter how energy efficient it might be.Pasho says the $100,000 price tag does not include a foundation or utility hookups, but early buyers will get a helping hand from subsidies and loans that could bring the cost to as little as $35,000. That’s what the buyer of the first unit will pay.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has barred Anil Ambani and four other directors at two of his companies, Reliance Infrastructure and Reliance Natural Resources Limited, from investing in secondary markets and fined them $11 million for unfair market dealings. Ambani, Satish Seth, S.C. Gupta, Lalit Jalan and J P Chalsani are accused by the SEBI of misrepresenting investments and annual reports from 2007 to 2009. Related Items
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday asked his Ministers to have lunch at orphanages, special schools for children with disabilities, primary schools and Aahar centres during their visits to different districts. This will help in finding out the quality of food being provided and know about the problems those government-run institutions are facing, said Mr. Patnaik.‘Secret’ visitsStating that visits by Ministers will also help improve the management of those institutions, Mr. Patnaik asked them to keep their visits secret, and not take more than three to four people along while going to have lunch at any such institution.Mr. Patnaik further asked the Ministers to give details of their visits to orphanages, schools and Aahar centres in their monthly report and suggest measures to improve the situation.
MOST READ 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash New Orleans Pelicans center Julius Randle (30) blocks a layup by Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) in the second half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 4, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)SALT LAKE CITY — Jrue Holiday and Julius Randle each scored 30 points to rally the New Orleans Pelicans past the Utah Jazz 115-112 on Monday night.Anthony Davis had 15 points and 11 rebounds in three quarters for the Pelicans. Davis didn’t play in the fourth, but New Orleans still won its third straight game.ADVERTISEMENT Jazz: Mitchell was selected Western Conference player of the week for the second time in his career after averaging 34 points on 46.6 percent shooting while leading Utah to three wins last week. . Rubio and Mitchell combined for 14 assists in the first half, but only three in the second half. . Utah outscored New Orleans 47-23 in bench points. . Joe Ingles matched his career high with 11 assists.UP NEXTThe Pelicans host the Jazz on Wednesday.The Jazz visit the Pelicans on Wednesday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy Nets crush Mavericks to end 3-game skid Holiday kept the Jazz from pulling away early. He scored 10 points in the first quarter, including consecutive 3-pointers that cut Utah’s lead to 17-15.The Pelicans couldn’t erase the deficit entirely, and the Jazz pulled away again during the second quarter. A four-point play from Korver ignited a 16-5 run that gave Utah another double-digit lead. Ricky Rubio finished off the spurt with a 3 off a bounce pass from Mitchell to put the Jazz up 58-41.New Orleans rallied again during the third quarter. The Pelicans scored baskets on seven straight possessions, culminating in a dunk from Randle, to cut Utah’s lead to 78-77. Davis missed a potential go-ahead layup, and Crowder and Korver hit 3s a minute apart to keep the Jazz in front.TIP-INSPelicans: Frank Jackson had four points and two rebounds in his first NBA game in his home state. Jackson played high school basketball in Utah before attending Duke. . Holiday and Randle combined to score at least 50 points for the fourth consecutive game. . New Orleans scored 21 points off 18 Utah turnovers.ADVERTISEMENT P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Jae Crowder and Kyle Korver scored 20 points apiece off the bench to lead the Jazz. Rudy Gobert added 19 points and 19 rebounds, and Donovan Mitchell had 19 points and nine assists.Utah overcame a six-point deficit and took a 112-111 lead on Mitchell’s layup with 43.9 seconds left. Elfrid Payton answered with a layup on the other end and Randle hit two free throws with 0.9 seconds remaining to close out a comeback win for New Orleans.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesAfter trailing most of the way, the Pelicans finally succeeded in erasing Utah’s lead late in the fourth quarter. Randle sparked a 22-2 run with back-to-back baskets. New Orleans completed the surge by scoring on six straight possessions, capped by Randle’s layup, and took a 111-105 lead. Randle made five baskets during the run.Utah hit 10 of 15 shots to open the game and shot 50 percent from the field in the first quarter. That helped the Jazz take control out of the gate. They raced to a 12-2 lead behind back-to-back baskets from Gobert and a three-point play from Mitchell. SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem View comments
Blackwater gets ‘fresh start’ under new coach Aris Dimaunahan The 2019 Palarong Pambansa anchored on the theme, “Shaping the Future through Sports,” is slated from April 27 to May 4.Davao City will host this year’s event alongside its Schools Division Office (SDO) and DepEd Region XI.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsDepEd said this year’s national sporting event will introduce two side events – Larong Pinoy and Sports Heroes Day.Larong Pinoy, also known as the Philippine Indigenous Games, aims to strengthen and revive the traditional Pinoy games such as kadang-kadang, patintero, hilahang lubid, and karera ng sako. DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones is joined by Undersecretaries Revsee Escobedo and Annalyn Sevilla, Assistant Secretary G.H. Ambat, Philippine Sports Commission Chair William Ramirez, Davao City Administrator Zuleika Lopez, and UP Mindanao Campus Vice Chancellor for Administration Luzviminda Aurelia Gomez during the ceremonial signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the hosting of the 2019 Palarong Pambansa / Photo from DepEdBAGUIO CITY, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) and the City Government of Davao have officially signed the memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the hosting of the 2019 Palarong Pambansa.In a statement on Monday, DepEd said the MOA was inked by Secretary Leonor Briones and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.ADVERTISEMENT DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Lumad school backers vow to fight legal battle vs DepEd closure order PLAY LIST 02:14Lumad school backers vow to fight legal battle vs DepEd closure order01:50IED blast rocks Bilibid’s Quadrant IV01:55Cops raid Manila office of Bayan, nab 3 activists for guns, explosive02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles MOST READ View comments Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting It will be played by DepEd Executive Committee members, DepEd Sports Officials, local government unit (LGU) representatives, and sports icons.Meanwhile, young athletes will have the opportunity to personally interact with their sports idols and icons through Sports Heroes Day.DepEd Region XI will manage Larong Pinoy, while DepEd-Youth Formation Division and SDO Davao City will be in charge of Sports Heroes Day. Both events will take place on April 28.Prior to the signing of the MOA, three provinces placed their respective bids to host this year’s Palarong Pambansa: Davao City, Zamboanga Del Sur, and Misamis Occidental. /kgaADVERTISEMENT Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next
Roger Federer made an impressive return to clay by easing past Richard Gasquet to reach the last 16 of the Madrid Open on Tuesday, while Novak Djokovic also breezed through with a straight sets win over American Taylor Fritz.Twenty-time Grand Slam winner Federer took just 52 minutes to see off Frenchman Gasquet 6-2 6-3 in what was his first match on clay in three years after skipping the 2017 and 2018 seasons on the surface to manage a knee injury.”I would have always felt regrets not being on the clay in 2019 because my knee problem is far enough away now. I grew up on this surface, so I feel comfortable on it,” the 37-year-old Federer told reporters.”It feels good to be back on the clay now and I enjoy it. Some of these rallies where you get pushed to the side, you slide, you hit the ball, you slide, you hit the ball, you come back into it, then you can defend in a different manner than you do on the hard courts, or on the grass.”World number one and Australian Open champion Djokovic needed only one hour and five minutes to win 6-4 6-2 against 21-year-old qualifier Fritz, ranked 57th in the world, who he also beat in straight sets at the Monte Carlo Masters last month.Last year’s runner-up Dominic Thiem reached the round of 16 without having to finish his match with American Reilly Opelka, who withdrew due to injury one game into the decider.Austrian Thiem lost the first set 7-6(2) before winning the second 6-3 and was leading 1-0 when 21-year-old Opelka retired.advertisementIn first round matches, Monte Carlo Masters champion Fabio Fognini comfortably beat Britain’s Kyle Edmund 6-4 6-3 to reach the last 32, while Stan Wawrinka had a straight sets win over Pierre-Hugues Herbert.Home favourite David Ferrer, who is playing the last tournament of his career, delayed his retirement by beating fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4 4-6 6-4 and will play German hotshot Alexander Zverev in the round of 32.Five-time Madrid champion Rafael Nadal enters the tournament on Wednesday when he faces Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime in the second round bidding to reach the last 16.
features Autumn internationals Share on Twitter Owen Farrell will resume kicking duties for England during the autumn. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images Facebook Reuse this content Dylan Hartley captained England’s Calcutta Cup victory over Scotland at Twickenham during the Six Nations tournament. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian Topics Left wing: Jonny May (Leicester)It says everything about May’s electric start to his time at Leicester – nine tries in eight games – that he is among the first names on England’s autumn teamsheet. His sprinting ability and increasingly good understanding with Ford makes him a sharp attacking weapon and he is visibly growing in confidence. He also keeps the dressing-room consistently entertained.Fly-half: George Ford (Leicester)Ford’s confidence and assurance is returning since his return to Welford Road and his team-mates marvel at his tactical acumen and organisational skills. England’s record with him calling the shots at 10 is impressive and he is more durable than he might look at first glance. The more proactive the game plan, the more influential a figure he becomes.Scrum-half: Ben Youngs (Leicester)Looks revitalised alongside Ford at club level having withdrawn from the Lions tour for family reasons. Jones wants a third scrum-half to put pressure on Youngs and Care – he name-checked Richard Wigglesworth, Dan Robson and the injured Jack Maunder this week – but there is currently little doubt about the identity of England’s first-choice half-back.Loosehead prop: Ellis Genge (Leicester)Normally Mako Vunipola would be in pole position but there is a case for holding the Saracen back, along with a couple of others, for the visit of Australia. That would allow Jones to see how the aggressive Genge responds to the slightly different pressure of starting a Twickenham Test. There has been no more destructive ball carrier in the Premiership this season.Hooker: Dylan Hartley (Northampton, capt)Everyone has an opinion on Hartley and a betting man might fancy a wager on someone else captaining England into the Six Nations. But just think about it from a team perspective for a second: Hartley’s record as captain is outstanding and, whether or not he remains his country’s best hooker ahead of Saracens’ Jamie George, offering him the chance to defend his shirt this autumn will help motivate everyone. Share on Messenger Since you’re here… Pinterest Twitter Tighthead prop: Harry Williams (Exeter)Dan Cole will probably start against the Wallabies, so it makes sense to give the ever-improving Williams a shot at the Pumas. As well as a dry sense of humour big Harry contributes in an unusually large number of areas and has already packed down against Argentina in the summer. The suspended Kyle Sinckler will have to wait his turn.Lock: George Kruis (Saracens)His Lions tour did not go entirely according to plan but he was at the heart of Saracens’ outstanding European demolition of Northampton this month. England have an array of good options at lock, not least the up-and-coming Nick Isiekwe, but Kruis is probably the most expert lineout caller and his work-rate is exemplary.Lock: Maro Itoje (Saracens)Itoje has already had a lot of rugby for Saracens this season but Jones wants him to play at least some part in the autumn series. With one or two slightly callow faces elsewhere in the home pack it would make sense to send him out for 50-odd minutes against Argentina to help England set the tone before Courtney Lawes rumbles on in his place.Blindside flanker: Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)Along with Hartley and Brown, these are crucial weeks for the 31-year-old Robshaw as he seeks to hold off an increasing posse of rivals for the No6 shirt. England’s former captain deserves massive credit for the way he has bounced back from his country’s 2015 World Cup disappointment and remains the most unselfish of players. Jones, crucially, still sees him as first choice at blindside.Openside flanker: Sam Underhill (Bath)No young English back-row has caused more ripples of excitement than Underhill before he has even started a Twickenham international. Mentored by Richard Hill, he is a defensive menace and is smart enough to know precisely when and where to attack the breakdown. All he needs is more hands-on Test experience and England could finally have their own version of Richie McCaw.No8: Nathan Hughes (Wasps)Billy Vunipola may be unavailable but Hughes offers another strong ball-carrying option off the base. Luckily for England his recent suspension will have been served by the time of the Argentina fixture, ensuring he will be fresh and even keener to show he can be every bit as destructive as Billy V. Every back row has to possess a decent balance and Hughes gives England all-important momentum. Twitter Outside centre: Henry Slade (Exeter)It has reached the point where Slade simply has to start a major Test at Twickenham to preserve his sanity. If he goes well – and his form this season for the Chiefs has been exceptional – his range of skills could make him hard to dislodge. Jonathan Joseph ripped it up for England last autumn but it is time to invite the 24-year-old Devonian to show what he can do.Inside centre: Owen Farrell (Saracens)If there is one player whose presence reassures England it is Farrell, he of the warrior temperament and assassin’s boot. The talented Alex Lozowski, his understudy at Saracens, could fill in for him alongside Slade but Jones remains a firm fan of the Farrell-Ford 10-12 combo and, with Ben Te’o injured, will be keen to reunite it for the first time since March. Share on Pinterest England rugby union team Rugby union Share on LinkedIn Pinterest Support The Guardian Full-back: Mike Brown (Harlequins)Anthony Watson and Elliot Daly started all three of the Lions’ summer Tests and, for that reason, are set to be used sparingly this autumn. Daly is a potentially exciting option at No15, possessing both pace and a powerful boot, but Brown, for now, is still in possession. Jones will want his rivals to demonstrate they want it as badly as the bristling Harlequin still does.Right wing: Denny Solomona (Sale)With Jack Nowell injured and Watson likely to be rested there is a possible opening for an out-and-out finisher. Solomona has already scored against Argentina at Test level and England need some extra power to complement their footballers. His summer squad expulsion for late night drinking also appears to have focused his mind. Nathan Hughes is likely to take the No8 jersey in the first match against Argentina. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images, Share on WhatsApp Replacements: Jones’s “finishers” will be equally eager to impress and press their claims for places in the matchday 23 against the Wallabies. The uncapped Sam Simmonds’ versatility and line-breaking pace make him a perfect bench option alongside a raft of returning Lions in the shape of George, Mako Vunipola, Cole, Lawes, Joseph and Daly. Isiekwe, Sale’s flanker Tom Curry and Lozowski should all feature against Samoa in the third and last of England’s autumn fixtures. Facebook Share on Facebook Eddie Jones gives chaos a whirl to keep England on their toes for autumn Tests Read more Facebook Share via Email Pinterest Twitter … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.
Finances Pinterest Topics Share on Twitter Business Facebook Share on Messenger Amanda Staveley in the stands during a Premier League match at St James’ Park. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA Amanda Staveley home was not a campaign HQ for Theresa May, say Conservatives Read more Share on LinkedIn Yet little noted by the many write-ups of her rise as a fairytale fable was a proposed $2bn investment with the US company BlackRock in a June 2009 acquisition of Barclays Global Investors, which fell through when she had to advance the money. The Wall Street Journal later reported that BlackRock had expected a Qatari sovereign wealth fund to be the investor, then was told it was wealthy individuals but was not given their identities, so the company went elsewhere to plug the funding gap. Sources close to Staveley were reported then to have said the money was there but that the backers had required anonymity.Last year Staveley mounted a bid to buy Liverpool Football Club from the Fenway Sports Group, reportedly backed by the huge Chinese conglomerate Everbright. When this went public, Chen Shuang, its chief executive, said he had called executives in different departments who might have been involved in it and “no one was aware of the deal”. Staveley maintained she had been backed by a division of Everbright which then backed out; subsequently she tried again with different backers but no deal was done.The backing for her bids to buy Newcastle – she first offered £350m, then £300m; both with instalments and penalties if the club were relegated, followed by a straight £250m in December – is said to be from four or five individuals in the Gulf, as yet unidentified, with some of her own money. Chris Mort, a lawyer at the City firm Freshfields, is acting for her, and sources close to her say Mort has a letter from an overseas branch of a UK bank stating that sufficient money is there to do the deal. Ashley rejected that £250m offer in December, then did so publicly in characteristically inelegant style, sources close to him telling Sky Sports News there was “no deal on the table with Amanda Staveley.”When all this fog on the Tyne slowly cleared, late January was approaching and it exposed a club nearing the end of the transfer window unbudgingly owned by Ashley, with no reinforcements except the loan signing from Chelsea of the Brazilian winger Kenedy. Newcastle were alone among all clubs at risk of relegation in not spending money to strengthen their squads; Ashley declined to meet Feyenoord’s €27m price for Benítez’s most wanted striker, Nicolai Jorgensen. The last-minute alternative, the loan signing of Leicester’s Islam Slimani, was still being hurriedly cleared throughout the 31 January match against Burnley. It finished 1-1, Joselu missing a penalty and a second-half golden chance.Benítez is wearing the look of a stressed Sports Direct store manager, trying to wring the best out of willing lads on zero-hour contracts. Ashley is said to be a gambler but this is not high-stakes playing, taking risks to win; it is parting with as little money as possible in the aim not to lose.So Newcastle face another grim run-in, the extent of ambition being to avoid a third relegation in Ashley’s 11-year reign, at a great football club he seems, bewilderingly, to derive little pleasure from owning. Which leaves supporters turning up at their home stadium, the Sports Direct Arena in all but official name, still hoping that Keegan’s promise will one day come true, and they will get the soul of their football club back. Share via Email The aching resentment many Newcastle United supporters feel for the dispiriting culture under the club’s owner, Mike Ashley, was articulated in the powerful banner at the home match against Burnley on transfer deadline night.Under the oppressively huge logo of Ashley’s cut-price retail business Sports Direct slapped on the Gallowgate End roof, it read: “Don’t ever give up on your club. Keep supporting it; it’s your club and trust me, one day you will get your club back, and it will be everything you wanted it to be. Newcastle United is bigger than anyone. It hurts I know but just keep going. He is only one man. We are a city, a whole population. Trust me.”Heartfelt, poignant, proud, the banner proclaimed supporters’ deep knowledge of their football institution’s heritage and 125 years of history. Those were the words of Kevin Keegan, embodiment as a player and manager of an adventurous Newcastle spirit profoundly missing now, after Keegan won his 2009 constructive dismissal case in a judgment damning of the Ashley regime. The Observer Share on Facebook Twitter Read more Isaac Hayden: ‘We have mansions, yet people are queueing for food’ Before that, Staveley had been in personal financial difficulties, subject to an individual voluntary arrangement with creditors following the collapse of her conference business Q.ton. She had moved to Dubai, having first met wealthy figures from the Gulf while running a restaurant near Newmarket where they owned racehorses. Since 2008, she has sought busily to pull off the same feat, with mixed results. She does appear to have secured connections to Qatari sovereign wealth funds, becoming involved in their acquisitions of prestige properties in London. In 2010, she was reliably reported to have advised on the £250m Qatari purchase of Park House on Oxford Street, which was redeveloped into retail and apartments. In 2012 she was involved in the Qatari purchase of another London office block, Arundel Great Court, for a reported price of £234m, with a PCP company this time reported to be an investor itself.She is said to have made good money selling her interest in that, and to have since advised on further acquisitions of London property and a business, again by Qatari funds. Her well-appointed home in London is owned by an offshore investment fund, with connections to Harrods, which is also Qatari owned. Mike Ashley Newcastle United features Although Ashley’s Sports Direct brand is spattered all over St James’ Park, the owner himself is usually absent now. So he, unlike the 50,000 loyal souls who pack St James’ Park, spares himself from witnessing Rafael Benítez’s damage-limitation efforts, straining just to bank Premier League survival from a squad parched of investment.So when Amanda Staveley appeared in this ground of miserable stagnation after Ashley put the club up for sale, hopes were fuelled that she would take over and restore the future with some of the Keegan spirit. But supporters calling for Ashley to get out of their club were somewhat missold an image of Staveley, an exaggerated version of her as a wealthy, connected saviour.Sources close to Staveley herself confirmed to the Observer this week that she is not, as claimed by her own representative and widely reported in recent weeks, a fund manager, with the repeatedly cited figure of £28bn under management. That was always barely credible given any familiarity with Staveley’s life story and how she does business.Nor, clearly, does she or her company, PCP Capital Partners, manage sovereign wealth funds, as has been claimed. Furthermore, Staveley does not claim personally to have anything like the kind of money suggested, which would enable her to acquire the bulk of Newcastle herself – even at her own offer price of £250m, which Ashley has contemptuously and publicly rejected.The Guardian had already established before this that another claim as evidence of Staveley’s substance, that she lent the use of her London home to Theresa May’s Conservative party leadership campaign, was untrue. Staveley’s representative has said neither he nor the businesswoman ever made that claim, so it remains a mystery how the story was written, more than once, following interviews with her.Staveley does not engage in fund management, which entails the constant investment of pension and other wealth funds in a wide range of shares in different markets and other assets, to increase their value for clients as reliably as possible. Bluntly, managing £28bn would have meant PCP Capital Partners is one of the City of London’s biggest fund managers, and would involve teams of financial professionals.Staveley’s operation is essentially to look for individual opportunities and to try to secure investors for them. She made a remarkable leap to success in 2008, becoming involved as an adviser on two investments by Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi: the purchase of Manchester City, then his £3.5bn investment in Barclays bank, for which she was paid a £30m fee. Share on Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Reuse this content
Man Utd striker Lukaku: Solskjaer style benefits meby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United striker Romelu Lukaku says he’s working closely with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.Lukaku scored in the FA Cup win over Reading.He told MUTV: “I take it one day at a time, work as hard as I can and help the team.”I am really happy and try to improve along the way.”He [Solskjaer] helps us a lot in the training when we’re doing finishing practice with things like how to strike the ball, how to move away from the ball.”The way he wants us to play really benefits me because he wants me to be in positions where I want to be.”He understands what type of striker you are and plays to your strength.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
STATE COLLEGE, PA – SEPTEMBER 29: Kirk Herbstreit plays catch before the game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Ohio State Buckeyes on September 29, 2018 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)For the fourth straight year, Alabama and Clemson are slated to face off in the College Football Playoff. Unlike last year, this one will be for all the marbles: The national title game.The quarterback matchup between Alabama and Clemson will be very different from the last two times they’ve faced off.Whereas last year the game pitted Alabama’s Jalen Hurts against Clemson’s Kelly Bryant, this year will pit Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa against Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence.ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit gave his initial thoughts this morning on the national title game matchup and how the various new faces for the game will respond to the pressure.“I don’t think the big stage is going to make (Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence) up tight or nervous,” Herbstreit said. “He plays with unprecedented poise. The big thing will be the way Tosh Lupoi and Nick Saban create ways to disguise pressures. They do a very good job of showing one thing pre-snap and then going to another. If there’s one area you’ll see Dabo Swinney and his offensive staff come up with a plan, it’ll be to make sure those late blitzes don’t affect him.”Herbstreit made it clear that avoiding turnovers would be key for Clemson.“You’ve got to be able to avoid costing yourself the game by turning over the football. Trevor Lawrence was inserted for Alabama. I think (Clemson) was envisioning going up against this Alabama team with Trevor Lawrence’s ability to stretch the field. This is the matchup we’ve been waiting for and we’re excited about it.”Turnovers shouldn’t be a huge issue for Trevor Lawrence though. He has only four interceptions in 14 games this season.Alabama and Clemson are set to meet on Monday night at 8 p.m. E.T.
London: Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday issued a stark warning to rebels within his own Conservative Party to fall in line with his Brexit plans or risk a government led by Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. The warning came amid reports of secret government plans to de-select Tory MPs who vote against Johnson in order to block a no-deal Brexit, as Opposition MPs plan urgent legislation to be tabled when the UK Parliament resumes after its summer recess next Tuesday. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe urgency follows Johnson’s announcement to suspend Parliament from the week of September 9 until October 14, depriving MPs of crucial sitting days in which to scrutinise Brexit plans and triggering street protests by thousands across the UK on Saturday against what has been branded a “coup” by the British Prime Minister. “Jeremy Corbyn has made a historic decision to turn his party into the anti-democratic, referendum-cancelling party. That’s his decision. I think it’s totally wrong,” Johnson told ‘The Sunday Times’. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”I just say to everybody in the country, including everyone in Parliament, the fundamental choice is this. Are you going to side with Jeremy Corbyn and those who want to cancel the referendum; are you going to side with those who want to scrub the democratic verdict of the people and plunge this country into chaos? Or are you going to side with those of us who want to get on, deliver on the mandate of the people and focus with absolute, laser-like precision on the domestic agenda. That’s the choice,” he said. The UK is set to leave the European Union (EU), with or without an agreement in place, by October 31 after the June 2016 referendum in favour of Brexit. Johnson took charge at Downing Street in July with a “do or die” pledge on Brexit, demanding that the EU re-consider the controversial Irish backstop before any withdrawal agreement can be finalised for the so-called divorce. However, the EU has remained firm on what it believes is a non-negotiable insurance policy against a post-Brexit hard border between EU member-country Ireland and UK territory Northern Ireland. “The one thing that could undermine the UK’s ability to negotiate would be Brussels thinking there’s some chance that the referendum could be cancelled and that Brexit could be blocked,” Johnson said, in a warning to MPs finalising legislation to block a no-deal chaotic Brexit. “The people who claim to be campaigning against no deal are making no deal more likely. That’s the problem,” he claimed. Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Kier Starmer disagreed with this stance, saying legislation was essential to prevent a damaging Brexit. “The legislation is intended to ensure we don’t leave without a deal, that will require an extension. The length of the extension is secondary, frankly. We have simply got to stop us leaving without a deal,” said Starmer. And, the EU’s lead Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier once again categorically rejected Johnson’s demands for the Irish backstop to be scrapped. Writing in ‘The Sunday Telegraph’, Barnier said: “On the EU side, we had intense discussions with EU member states on the need to guarantee the integrity of the EU’s single market, while keeping that border fully open. “In this sense, the backstop is the maximum amount of flexibility that the EU can offer to a non-member state.” The clash over Brexit is set to dominate next week once Parliament resumes after its customary summer recess on Tuesday. With Johnson allowing only a few sitting days before suspension the following week, the Opposition MPs are plotting frenzied moves to ensure immediate action. Meanwhile, thousands of protesters took to the streets over the weekend for coordinated “Stop the Coup” demonstrations against the Parliament suspension confirmed earlier in the week. Protests were held in more than 30 towns and cities across the UK, including Edinburgh, Belfast, Cambridge, Exeter, Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham. Parts of central London were brought to a standstill, as people chanted: “Boris Johnson, shame on you”. They also staged a sit-down protest on the roads around Trafalgar Square, before marching to Buckingham Palace shouting: “Whose democracy? Our democracy.”
Rabat – The Algerian press agency APS has claimed that Horst Köhler, the United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy to Western Sahara, had held an “official meeting” Thursday with the Polisario Front’s UN representatives.However, it appears that calling the encounter a “meeting” was a stretch, considering its participants and the lack of substantial discussion that occurred.The agency said that a Polisario delegation was led by the Mhamed Khedad, the organization’s coordinator with the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). The so-called “meeting,” the state-run Algerian press agency said, took place in the presence of Ahmed Boukhari, Polisario’s representative to the UN. The discussion, said the agency, provided a chance “to exchange points of view and information” about the UN process, “ahead of achieving a just and lasting solution that guarantees the unalienable right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination.”“On this occasion, the Polisario Front reiterated that is ready to cooperate with the UN Secretary General’s Envoy to solve the Sahrawi question,” said the agency.The claim that this was an “official meeting” is belied by various facts, many revealed by APS itself.First, the “meeting” was not reported on the UN’s website, suggesting that no meaningful exchange took place.Further, as APS affirmed, the Polisario delegation was headed by the organization’s coordinator with MINURSO, rather than the permanent representative. APS did not explain, however, how the MINURSO coordinator had the authority to lead an “official meeting” between a Polisario delegation and the UN Envoy.Another striking feature is that the news was not reported even by Polisario-run media. While the official press agency of Algeria, the main backer of Polisario, presented the encounter as a previously coordinated meeting, Polisario itself apparently did not judge the incident newsworthy.The Algerian agency’s dispatch did not mention anything the Western Sahara envoy said to his interlocutors, which suggests that the encounter was brief. The piece merely noted that Kohler had substituted Christopher Ross as the Secretary General’s Envoy.The Moroccan online media outlet le360 reported the Kohler was approached by the Polisario members inside the UN’s meeting room.
LONDON — Britain’s pro-Brexit Conservatives are protesting angrily against Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to seek the opposition party’s help in finding a compromise Brexit agreement.May acknowledged Saturday that, despite her best efforts to persuade lawmakers to back her European Union divorce deal, “there is no sign it can be passed in the near future.” She said there was no choice but to reach out to the opposition Labour Party. Otherwise, she says, Brexit could “slip through our fingers” unless a compromise alternative can be reached with Labour lawmakers.But leading Conservative Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg on Sunday slammed May’s move to include Labour in the Brexit talks, and blamed her for failing to take Britain out of the EU already.Three days of cross-party talks so far have ended with no agreement.The Associated Press
Speaking on the opening day of the General Assembly’s annual general debate, where dozens of heads of State or government have gathered, Mr. Berzinš underlined that the UN is “the only truly global, universal international organization.”But he said the UN “must change and adapt to the new realities in order to deliver the best results and sustain its influence. The revitalization of the General Assembly and reforming of other principal organs is essential for the UN in order to keep pace with the modern realities in the world and to make the whole work of the UN more effective.”The President said reform of the 15-member Council, where five countries have a permanent right of veto, is much needed.Mr. Berzinš also said overall reform would allow for better budgetary discipline within the Organization and for a fairer distribution of contributions and expenses among the UN’s 193 Member States.“In the context of the global economic slowdown, we welcome the initiative of the Secretary-General to cut the UN budget for 2012-2013 by 3 per cent,” he added.President Micheline Calmy-Rey of the Swiss ConfederationSwiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey, for her part, told the Assembly debate that the Council’s composition has to alter “to better reflect the political balance of power in the 21st century.”The panel should also become more transparent and more accountable to other UN Member States, she added, given that its decisions affect all countries directly and are legally binding.Ms. Calmy-Rey said practical and concrete steps could be taken in the short-term to enhance the working methods of the Council.“A genuine improvement in the way the UN operates can only come about, however, when the nations which rigidly insist on a greater say in decision-making show themselves ready at the same time to accept greater responsibility for the Organization’s proper functioning as well as its financial situation.” 21 September 2011The United Nations needs to adapt quickly to new global realities so it can better serve the world’s peoples, starting with the “long overdue” reform of the Security Council, Latvia’s President Andris Berzinš said today.
US construction spending rises 0.6 per cent in July, reflecting solid gain in housing AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – Spending on U.S. construction projects rose in July, led by strong gains in housing and nonresidential projects.Construction spending increased 0.6 per cent in July compared with June when activity was unchanged, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. The June performance represented an upward revision from an initial estimate that spending had fallen 0.6 per cent.Total construction activity rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $900.8 billion in July, the strongest performance since June 2009.The July gain reflected a 0.6 per cent rise in housing construction with both single-family and apartment construction posting gains. In June, housing had fallen 0.9 per cent.Government projects fell 0.3 per cent in July with state and local spending down 0.4 per cent. That drop more than offset a 1.1 per cent rise in the smaller federal category.The advance in housing activity pushed residential construction to its highest level since September 2008. The increase for nonresidential building was led by a 6.1 per cent increase in construction of hotels and motels. Office building and the category that covers shopping centres also showed gains.Total construction is 5.2 per cent higher than it was a year ago with residential activity up 17.2 per cent and nonresidential construction up by a more modest 2 per cent. Public construction is down 3.7 per cent from a year ago as all levels of government are still facing tight budget constraints.The housing rebound that began in 2012 has helped drive economic growth and create jobs in the construction industry. But mortgage rates have climbed more than a full percentage point since May.Although rates remain low by historical standards, the increase in rates has slowed the momentum in housing and has heightened concerns about what might happen going forward. Sales of new homes dropped 13.4 per cent in July although sales activity remains 7 per cent higher than 12 months ago.Economists at JPMorgan expect that housing will keep improving with construction this year hitting 925,000 homes and apartments, up 18 per cent from 2012. The forecast is for a further increase to a level of 1.13 million homes and apartments in 2014.The overall economy grew at an annual rate of 2.5 per cent in the April-June quarter, an improvement from a growth rate of 1.1 per cent in the first three months of the year.Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has said the central bank is prepared to start reducing its monthly bond buying later this year if the economy and labour market keep improving.Some economists believe the first cut in the $85 billion per month in bond purchases might come at the Fed’s next meeting on Sept. 17-18. But others argue that the economic outlook remains too uncertain at the moment to start reducing bond purchases. They are forecasting the Fed will wait until either its October or December meetings before making a move. by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Sep 3, 2013 10:53 am MDT
LONDON – In a debate that has gone from office corridors to Britain’s Parliament, lawmakers put their foot down Monday and told employers to stop making women wear high heels as part of corporate dress codes.Members of Parliament debated a ban on mandatory workplace high heels, in response to a petition started by a receptionist who was sent home without pay for wearing flat shoes. The debate was non-binding, but the government promised to act against heel-height rules, makeup guidelines and other corporate codes that apply to women but not to men.Labour lawmaker Helen Jones, who helped lead a parliamentary investigation into dress codes, said she and her colleagues were shocked by what they found.“We found attitudes that belonged more — I was going to say in the 1950s, but probably the 1850s would be more accurate, than in the 21st century,” she told lawmakers at Parliament’s Westminster Hall.Monday’s debate was triggered by the experience of Nicola Thorp, who was told in December 2015 that her smart flat shoes were unacceptable for a temporary assignment in London with finance firm PwC.Her employment agency, Portico, had a dress code specifying that female workers must wear non-opaque tights, have hair with “no visible roots,” wear “regularly re-applied” makeup — and appear in shoes with a heel between 2 and 4 inches (5 and 10 centimetres) high.For Thorp, that was a step too far.She started an online petition, calling formal workplace dress codes “outdated and sexist.” It has gathered more than 150,000 signatures, making it eligible for a debate in Parliament.Thorp told the BBC after she launched the petition that “dress codes should reflect society.”“Twenty years ago, women weren’t allowed to wear trousers in the same role that I’m doing now,” she said. “And it’s only because some women spoke up about that and said, ‘We feel like we have a right to wear trousers,’ that that’s changed.”The British government says the law already forbids companies from discriminating against women, but a report from Parliament’s Women and Equalities Committee found that “discriminatory dress codes” remain commonplace in sectors including the retail and tourism industries.The committee said it had heard from hundreds of women “who told us about the pain and long-term damage caused by wearing high heels for long periods in the workplace, as well as from women who had been required to dye their hair blonde, to wear revealing outfits and to constantly reapply makeup.”The College of Podiatry told the committee that women who wear high heels for long periods have “reduced balance, reduced ankle flexion and weaker muscle power in the calf” and are prone to disabling pain.Jones said that “women told us that when they raised these concerns they were belittled.” One was told “she’d have plenty of time to rest her feet when she was unemployed.”In London’s financial district on Monday, many workers felt that companies were entitled to impose dress codes — but that mandatory high heels went too far.“A lot of things are enforced, but high heels in particular — because that can also be a health issue for people — I think that’s unnecessary,” said company director Penelope Mantzaris.Banker Dan Matthews said his company expected men to wear suits and ties “and I think that’s a fair request.”“So I suppose it’s fairly contradictory in a way, because in one respect I’m saying that we men should be required to wear a suit and tie but women shouldn’t wear high heels,” he said. “But I think that’s just where the line happens to be at the moment.”Thorp’s petition has already caused one change. Portico announced last year it was amending its policy to adopt a gender-neutral dress code and to allow workers to wear flat shoes if they prefer.Britain’s Conservative government said it was listening. Women and equalities minister Caroline Dinenage told lawmakers that the U.K. had “strong laws to tackle sex discrimination at work, and this includes dress codes.”But she said they needed to be more widely understood and better enforced. Dinenage said she had written to key trade bodies about “outdated and sexist employment practices.”“Shod in heels or flats, we are collectively putting our foot down,” she promised.___Jonathan Shenfield contributed to this story. Equality activist Nicola Thorp poses for a picture outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Monday, March 6, 2017. Nicola Thorp was told in December 2015 that her shoes were unacceptable for a temporary assignment in London with finance firm PwC. Members of Parliament on Monday will debate banning mandatory workplace high heels, in response to a petition by a receptionist who was sent home for wearing flat shoes. Thorp’s petition, which calls formal workplace dress codes “outdated and sexist,” gathered more than 150,000 signatures, making it eligible for a non-binding debate in Parliament. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland) UK lawmakers to companies: End sexist high-heel dress codes by Jill Lawless, The Associated Press Posted Mar 6, 2017 8:19 am MDT Last Updated Mar 6, 2017 at 2:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
…One arrested with stolen motorcyclePolice ranks on a mobile patrol on Tuesday night in the vicinity of Bourda Market responded to a report of an armed robbery committed on two male sex workers of their motorcycle and a cellular phone and arrested one of the suspects with the stolen motorcycle .This is according to the Police Public Relations Office and Press Officer – Superintendent Jairam Ramlakhan who said that about 21:15hrs the sex workers were seated on their motorcycle at the corner of Croal Street and Orange Walk when they were suddenly pounced on by four armed males who arrived in a motorcar. The bandits then relieved the victims of their aforementioned valuables and escaped but not before they (sex workers) relieved one of the bandits of his firearm and “valiantly attempted to restrain them from escaping.”According to Ramlakhan, “during the commission of the crime, the victims engaged the armed suspects in a scuffle and were successful in disarming one of his weapon (a .32 pistol with 5 matching live rounds) and soon after handed same to the police.”The swift response by the police resulted in a 24-year-old suspect of no fixed place of abode being pursued and arrested on Camp Street with the victims’ motorcycle.Police say the suspect was positively identified by the sex workers and is cooperating with investigators as investigations are ongoing. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedAlleged bandit 19, killed in confrontation with police after Zeelugt robberyOctober 27, 2018In “Crime”Bandits who robbed 71-year-old man of monthly pension caught by PoliceFebruary 6, 2018In “Crime”Western Union cashier robbed at Bagotstown Mall by armed banditsJanuary 11, 2018In “Crime”
A ground breaking ceremony attended by high profile dignitaries on April 18 marked the start of construction on Volvo’s SEK350 million excavator factory, underscoring the company’s commitment to the Russian market.The new plant is being built in Kaluga – 150 km southwest of Moscow – and will be Volvo’s seventh excavator manufacturing facility (of a total of 16 plants globally). Building has begun on the 15 ha plot and, when completed, the final manufacturing area will be 20,660 m2. Six models of excavators are planned to be made at the plan ranging from the 20 t EC200 to the 48 t EC480. New Russian dealer Ferronordic Machines has an ambitious investment and expansion program that will see numbers of branches swell to some 100 locations by 2015 (up from today’s 55) and workforce more than double to around 1,000 people in the same timescale. The first machines are due off the assembly lines in 2013, creating 280 new jobs in the process. While these excavator models are mainly used in the construction and quarrying industry, they are also employed in mining applications such as smaller gold operations – both for selective ore mining, as well as host machines for breaker attachments. They have also been delivered to Russian coal operations. This year, Ferronordic delivered a Volvo EC460B excavator to Yakutugol, which will be used for coal loadnig at its Dzhebariki-Khaya mine.“This is a considerable investment and underscores Volvo’s confidence in – and commitment to – the Russian economy,” commented the company’s President Pat Olney. “Excavators are a key product in this rapidly developing market and customers in Russia have a high regard for the Volvo brand and for the fuel efficiency, reliability and performance of our machines. This investment also demonstrates our strategy of, where possible, manufacturing goods close to where our customers are located.”“This is the first completely new plant Volvo CE has built for quite a while,” said Carl Slotte, Vice-President of the company’s activities in northern Europe. “Starting with a clean sheet of paper gives us the opportunity to create an advanced manufacturing site that incorporates innovative technologies and designs. It will be built in close compliance with our performance and environmental requirements.” Volvo CE states that it is a leading player in the Russian market today, and plans to double sales in the country by 2015. Excavator manufacturing in Kaluga will play an important role in achieving this goal. The second important success factor will be developing a distribution network.
Virtual reality has come a long way since those terrible contraptions from the early days that were so heavy they could cause spinal damage, all while showing you blocky, unimpressive graphics. The Oculus Rift has wowed a lot of gamers and developers, even luring gaming heavyweight John Carmack away from his full-time gig at id Software. Sony has apparently been watching the trend and is reportedly working on a VR headset for the PS4 that will come out sometime in 2014.Sony’s VR headset will work in a similar fashion to the Oculus Rift. There will be two screens inside to give the user the correct view for each eye that combines to produce the 3D effect. Sources claim the device has been integrated with Evolution Studios’ upcoming PS4 racer DriveClub. The integration goes so deeply that players can look around in the interior of the car by turning their heads.Evolution Studios makes sense as a test site for the PS4 VR headset. The folks at Evolution have been working on 3D for years. Though, the company’s 3D chief — Mick Hocking — has been keeping a low profile since the PS3’s 3D implementation failed to catch on.The Sony VR headset was originally supposed to appear at the recent Gamescom show in Germany, but sources indicate the device was pulled at the last minute. Although, it may have just been a dummy mockup or a non-functional prototype. Sony is probably aware that selling console games on a VR headset will be harder than getting PC gamers to back the Oculus.There is an inherently DIY aspect to the Oculus Rift. Developers are putting out test software, and users are free to tinker with the device. In fact, the Oculus Rift is really only available as a $300 dev kit right now. Sony has to make a VR headset consumer-friendly before it scares anyone away with the concept. Its previous efforts in head-mounted screens, like the HMZ-T2 (seen above), have been very pricey.Sony of course refuses to comment on the rumors, but you never know what a suddenly more confident Sony could be planning.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The wife of Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis yesterday gave emergency first aid to an unconscious journalist during an official visit to Cyprus with her husband. According to reports, Natassa Pazaiti-Karamanlis was visiting an archeological museum in the capital city of Nicosia when a local television cameraman covering the story collapsed. Natassa, who is also a doctor at Laikon Hospital in Athens, immediately began to give the journalist first aid before an ambulance arrived.