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first_img15 October 2013 South Africa will count on France’s support for the implementation of United Nations Resolution 2033, which calls for closer coordination between the UN Security Council and the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council, President Jacob Zuma said on Monday. Zuma was speaking during a state banquet held in Pretoria in honour of visiting French President Francois Hollande. “South Africa believes that to comprehensively address this challenge of peace and security on the continent, there is a need for closer cooperation between the United Nations Peace and Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council.” He said the resolution accorded the AU “a leading role” in facilitating the resolution of conflicts on the continent, with the support of the United Nations. “At a multilateral level there is a need for us to further intensify our collaboration and partnership. “This we should do … to encourage faster reform of the United Nations, especially the Security Council, so that this important world body can become a truly democratic forum, reflecting the political and other realities of the 21st century.” Zuma and Hollande agreed on Monday that intervention was needed in the Central African Republic to help stabilise the country. Zuma said that relations between France and South Africa would grow from strength to strength following Hollande’s visit. In 2012, more than 120 000 French tourists visited South Africa, an increase of 16% compared to 2011. “This shows great potential, which we will continue to harness,” he said. Among the agreements reached on Monday was for France to supply the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa with more than 3 000 train carriages. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, Agricultural and Resource Law Program, Ohio State UniversityThe Ohio General Assembly has returned from the midterm elections with a potentially busy lame duck session ahead of it. Already a number of bills that we have been monitoring have seen activity in their respective committees.The Ohio Senate Agriculture Committee held first hearing on multi-parcel auction bill. State senators heard testimony on House Bill 480 on Nov. 13. The bill would authorize the Ohio Department of Agriculture to regulate multi-parcel auctions, which are currently not specifically addressed in the Ohio Revised Code. The bill also defines “multi-parcel auction,” saying such an auction is one involving real or personal property in which multiple parcels or lots are offered for sale in part or in whole. The bill would also establish certain advertising requirements. The bill’s primary sponsor, Representative Brian Hill of Zanesville, says that he introduced the bill in an effort to recognize by statute what auctioneers are already doing, and to do so without interrupting the industry. The bill passed the Ohio House of Representatives 93-0 in June.last_img read more

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts chris cameron Tags:#e-commerce#web In a press release this morning, MasterCard has announced that desktop and mobile developers will have access to an API from the credit card giant later this year. The company hopes that by opening its technology to developers, new and innovative e-commerce applications that leverage the MasterCard network will be created, potentially competing with the likes of Visa, PayPal and Square.MasterCard Chief Innovation Officer Josh Peirez says the company is “excited about tapping into the ingenuity of software developers around the globe to help create the next generation of game-changing payment applications.” A newly launched portal – MasterCard Labs – will give developers access to APIs, SDKs, guides and forums for discussing and experimenting with the company’s technology. The announcement comes at a time when the mobile-payments market has begun to heat up with competition between startups and large credit card providers. San Francisco-based startup Square has many people excited about its mobile application and dongle that allows credit cards to be scanned by various mobile devices; online payment staple PayPal recently teamed up with Bump Technologies to provide a mobile transaction service as well.Visa also recently announced its own foray into the mobile payments market. Earlier this month, the MasterCard competitor teamed with DeviceFidelity to launch special cases for iPhones which would allow users to take advantage of Visa’s wireless and contact-less payment method, Visa payWave, straight from their phones.But mobile payments is just one of the platforms MasterCard hopes developers will innovate on using its technology. The company says it has identified 20 other areas in which their APIs could be used, including payroll systems, social networking applications, eWallets, and online games. With the growing popularity of sites like Blippy, which allows users to automatically share their credit card purchases with their friends, MasterCard may be providing a valuable API to developers at a ripe moment for these kinds of platforms and services.Many have been skeptical about these new services due to apparent security risks that come from mobile payment systems, but MasterCard is taking precautions to make sure their platform is not abused. According to its press release this morning, “all developers will be approved and registered by MasterCard to ensure that MasterCard payment and data services continue to be used appropriately and productively.”center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

first_img GREEN PRODUCT GUIDE First, the flooring choicesAbove-floor radiant tubing can be installed in aluminized floor panels such as Quik Trak and then covered with finished flooring. Alternately, the tubing can be covered with a layer of concrete, either conventional concrete if the floor framing is designed for the weight, or a lightweight gypsum concrete. RELATED ARTICLES Minisplits may mean the end for ground-source systemsKevin Dickson wonders whether the “impressive” performance of the Mitsubishi minisplit, particularly when heating loads are very low, “should make everyone think twice about ever doing a ground source heat pump.”Ground-source heat pumps have been considered a good cold-climate option because they operate more efficiently than conventional air-source heat pumps. But they are very expensive to install, and some critics think their efficiency numbers are often overstated.“Marc Rosenbaum has predicted the withering away of GSHPs as a residential option — because the Asian ductless minisplits are getting so good,” Holladay says.“Martin, good point about the perhaps waning of the GSHP trend,” writes James Morgan. “I was never happy about the extent to which it has been promoted through tax credits.” All About Radiant FloorsRadiant-Floor HeatingGoodbye Radiant FloorGreen Heating OptionsHeat DistributionCooling OptionsHeating a Tight, Well-Insulated House Will a water heater work?No matter what kind of flooring ultimately covers the tubing, a more fundamental question is whether a water heater will produce enough hot water for the radiant distribution system.“You might be able to heat with a water heater,” Meiland adds, “but the real question is, how many BTUs do you need for space heating and how many for water heating? I tend to like boilers a lot more than water heaters for radiant, but ultimately what you need is someone highly skilled to design and install the system, and should probably ask their opinion.“Anyway,” Meiland says, “it all starts with a heat loss calc.”Depending on the heating load, a conventional water heater might struggle to handle both heating and domestic hot water needs. Harold Turner points Smith toward the high-efficiency Phoenix water heaters made by Heat Transfer.Turner says the water heaters have a peak output of 166,000 BTU and come with an optional solar heat exchanger should Smith want to add thermal solar panels down the road.Damon Lane suggests Smith contact a company called Radiantec, which designs radiant floor systems and recommends a Polaris, another high-efficiency water heater.Radiantec advocates an “open-direct” system in which domestic hot water is circulated directly through radiant floor tubing.“They can help you with the installation details,” Lane says, “and I would guess the limited cooling their open direct system offers by pushing your domestic cold water through your floor in summer will be enough for your house.” Lucas refers to this second option as an “over-pour,” and says some contractors have told him not to pursue it because the house is so tight. “Others say I would be wasting my money not doing it,” he adds.But David Meiland thinks Smith is talking apples and oranges: “I don’t see what an ‘over-pour’ has to do with the house being extremely tight,” Meiland says. “You are either going to install tubing using a product like Quik Trak, or you’re going to pour gyp or lightweight over it. In my opinion you ought to review your choices of floor coverings and see which way that pushes you. I personally like gyp but it’s harder or impossible to install some types of flooring over it. “ What about a ductless minisplit?Smith does not have gas service, but he reveals that his electric rates are currently about 6 1/2 cents per kWh, and that prompts an entirely different suggestion.“Your electricity is very cheap,” GBA senior editor Martin Holladay says. “I think that a ductless minisplit system would make sense for you, providing both heating and cooling at a much lower energy cost than propane-fired hydronic heat.”Ductless minisplits are a type of air-to-air heat pump in which a single outdoor unit serves a number of air handlers in individual rooms, without the need for installing a conventional duct system. Although traditional air-source heat pumps resort to electrical resistance heat when outdoor temperatures drop into the 40s, newer versions are much more efficient in cold weather.“A good option with your cheap electric rates would be a ductless minisplit, as Martin mentioned,” says Bob Alsop, “which would take care of AC as well as heat during the ‘marginal’ seasons (spring, fall). An electric boiler would take care of the radiant (winter) as well as domestic. Ductless minis are great, but be aware that they are limited when it comes to very cold winter temps. At least here in Vermont.”Not so, Holladay adds, pointing out that Mitsubishi Electric makes a minisplit that performs at -13°F “without using any electric resistance elements.”NLehto seconds Holladay’s suggestion. He writes that he has a 1-ton Mitsubishi minisplit in his 1,900-sq. ft home in Connecticut. “As of January 12th I’ve spent $170 heating it this season and that’s with Connecticut’s ridiculously high electricity rates,” NLehto writes. “The coldest outdoor temp I’ve experienced with it so far is -4°F, and it had no problem keeping the house at 70°F.”Robert Riversong argues that at sub-zero temperatures, the heat output of these units is “negligible,” but Holladay adds that Mitsubishi’s Mr. Slim Hyper Heat unit, with a nominal output rating of 38,000 Btu at 47°F, will still produce 30,000 Btu at -13°F — a reduction in heating capacity of only 21%.Yes, says Riversong, but efficiency suffers. “According to the spec sheet, the [Coefficient of Performance] at 47° is 3.3, at 17° it’s 1.85 and at 5° it’s 1.65. At -13°, I suspect it operates with no more efficiency than resistance heat – COP = 1.“So, you’re correct that this unit can maintain output at very cold temperatures, but it trades output for efficiency, which makes it inappropriate for very cold climates with little to no AC requirement. “Holladay disagreed with Riversong, noting that “a COP of 1.65 at 5°F is excellent.” Lukas Smith, a framer by trade, is building a 3,100-sq. ft. house in southern Ontario and plans to install a radiant-floor system in the basement slab as well as the first and second floors. The house will be built with structural insulated panels (SIPs) and have R-values of 33 in the walls and 50 in the roof.With that as background, Smith poses three questions in his Q&A post: should he pour a layer of gypsum-concrete over the tubing; can he run the system from a hot water heater instead of a boiler; and what is the best way of providing air conditioning?The discussion is the subject of this week’s Q&A Spotlight. Heat Pumps Our expert’s opinionWe asked GBA technical director Peter Yost for his thoughts. Here is his response:Air-tightness and radiant floor heat “base”: I see no connection between radiant floor heating distribution systems and air-tightness, unless this is an oblique reference or connection to the fact that radiant floor distribution, as a non-forced air distribution system, will require a stand-alone ducting for mechanical ventilation system in airtight homes?Using a water heater to supply radiant floor space and domestic water heating: Absolutely go with a high efficiency tank water heater, such as the Polaris or Phoenix, particularly in a climate like Ontario, CA. And heat calcs are a must.Real care is required to use radiant floor distribution systems for space cooling because you can’t push very many Btus around for cooling without thermal comfort and condensation issues on the floor. And I would bet that in Ontario the times you need space cooling are the very times you might have higher relative humidity, further constraining the use of radiant floor distribution for space cooling.Here in our Vermont home in the summer, we only run refrigerant-based cooling for a handful of days in the summer, relying on ceiling and whole-house fans and night-time flushing almost all of the summer. And if we get control of our late afternoon solar gain from the west this year, we won’t need any refrigerant-based cooling at all. I bet in Ontario, the right design and shading strategies can mean no refrigerant-based cooling as well, or at least just one well-placed ductless mini-split.The main thing here is what he thinks of the thermal comfort of each system. It’s hard to beat the feel and quiet of radiant heat in comparison to the potential noise and cold-blow issues of heat pump-based forced air systems.last_img read more

first_imgShortly after moving in almost five months ago, the owner of a newly completed single-story two-bedroom overlooking Echo Lake, in Morris, Minnesota, began monitoring the energy usage of the house. And while it is too soon for a definitive ruling on the building’s four-season performance, the odds are pretty strong it will be exemplary.Among the factors supporting that expectation are the home’s well-insulated and nearly airtight shell, its simple, rectangular shape, and its extraordinary HERS Index rating: zero.The 11 7/8-in.-thick double-stud walls are insulated to R-45 with dense-packed cellulose, and the wood truss roof is insulated to R-60 with 18-in. of blown-in cellulose. The slab, with an insulated concrete form (ICF) perimeter stem wall, is insulated to R-40 with 8 in. of extruded polystyrene.A ground-source heat pump and a photovoltaic arrayThe slab also is equipped with an in-floor hydronic heat distribution system. Other HVAC needs are met in part by minimally ducted air conditioning from a ground-source heat pump that has three 180-ft. vertical loops. Limited air conditioning is supplied by a fan-coil unit connected to the heat pump, noted Rachel Wagner of Wagner Zaun Architecture, whose team includes Elden Lindamood, the architect who designed the home. There also is a propane fireplace for a “fast bump” in interior temperature.In all, the house has 1,596 sq. ft. of conditioned interior space, plus an attached two-car garage.Blower-door testing showed an airtightness of 0.467 air changes per hour at a 50 Pascal pressure difference. Triple-pane Inline Fiberglass windows, with a high solar heat gain coefficient for those installed on the south-facing wall, were used throughout.Because the home’s 7.74-kW pole-mounted photovoltaic array is expected to generate as much energy on an annual basis as the house uses, the home’s HERS Index is zero.last_img read more

first_imgSome people see the glass as half empty. They believe that there is something missing. There isn’t enough. There aren’t enough opportunities, enough resources, enough money, or enough hope. They’re bearish on their prospects, and they’re pessimistic about the future.This belief structure makes the “half-empty” folks believe that the glass is half empty for everyone, even you. They see only scarcity.Other people see the glass as “half full.” There is no difference in the amount of water in the glass, but the people who see it as “half full” believe that there is enough there. There is ample opportunity, resources, money, and hope. They’re bullish on their future.This belief structure is what underlies their opinion that the glass is “half full” for everyone. They don’t see scarcity, but they don’t see abundance either. They see enough.But there is a third group of people. These individuals see the glass as overflowing. Not only is there enough, there is way more than enough. To the “glass-overflowing” people, there is more opportunity than anyone could ever need, and more than enough for every man, woman, and child. There are more than enough resources, including money.The “glass overflowing” people have this viewpoint because they are grateful. Because they appreciate what they have, they possess as keen ability to see abundance.If you practice gratitude, you will see that your cup is overflowing.last_img read more

first_imgA mob beat up a local trader to death in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district on Monday on suspicion that he is a thief. Superintendent of Police, Cooch Behar, Bholanath Pandey, said two persons were beaten up by a mob of about 300 suspecting that they are cycle thieves. The incident occurred under the Kotwali police station in the heart of the district in north Bengal..“Abu Sahaj, 55, succumbed to his injuries and the other person has been admitted to hospital in a serious condition,” Mr. Pandey said.Both were spotted by locals at Chilkirhat Natun Bazar on Monday and were beaten with bamboo sticks and rods.last_img read more