DONEGAL MAN DENIES MURDERING FOUR BRITISH SOLDIERS

first_imgA Donegal man has denied murdering four British soldiers in an IRA bomb attack in London’s Hyde Park in July 1982.John DowneyJohn Downey, 62, from Creeslough is accused of killing Roy Bright, Dennis Daly, Simon Tipper and Geoffrey Young. The Household Cavalry members were killed as they rode from their barracks in Knightsbridge to Buckingham Palace.The BBC reports that Mr Downey also denied intending to cause an explosion likely to endanger life.The bomb that Mr Downey is charged with planting was the first of two that caused carnage in London on 20 July 1982.In the first incident, a nail bomb in a blue Austin car was detonated as the Household Cavalry members made their way through the park to the Changing of the Guard parade at Buckingham Palace.As well as the four men, seven horses were killed and a number of police officers and civilians were injured.In the second explosion, less than two hours later, seven Royal Green Jackets bandsmen in a Regent’s Park bandstand were killed.Mr Downey, who was arrested at Gatwick Airport last May, entered the pleas at the Old Bailey. He remains on conditional bail.DONEGAL MAN DENIES MURDERING FOUR BRITISH SOLDIERS was last modified: January 24th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CreesloughHYDE PARK BOMBINGJohn Downeymurderlast_img read more

Darwin Debates Attract Rhetoricians, Some Pro, Some Not

first_imgNothing like a controversy to get people talking.  Some understand the issues and speak with skill and style; some just like to be part of the excitement.  Here are samples from the war of the words over evolution:Connect the Dots:  Having just read Richard Weikart’s From Darwin to Hitler (02/03/2005), Chuck Colson on BreakPoint drew parallels to the Terry Schiavo incident.The Skill of Skell:  Dr. Philip S. Skell again showed the power of a cogent editorial as he asked “Why Do We Invoke Darwin?” in The Scientist.  He claimed that Darwinian evolution is essentially useless as a heuristic in experimental biology.  The subscription-only article has been reprinted by Discovery Institute.Sports ID:  Sally Jenkins, sports writer in the Washington Post, gave surprisingly good press to ID.  Her point is not that ID is good science, but a little philosophical adventurism can be helpful.  She seems to have a point here and there, but mostly engages in name-dropping and complaining that the human body isn’t perfect.  Rob Crowther at Evolution News liked it.  He thought she hit a home run – at least for getting the definition of ID straight. Larsony:  Edward J. Larson, professor of science history (U of Georgia), told the LA Times what he thought the country needs to do about ID: not replace Darwinism, which he feels has been useful to science, but use it as a teachable moment: “good biology teachers could use issues raised by the intelligent design movement to help their classes better understand Darwinism.”  Larson delivered the lectures “The Theory of Evolution: A History of Controversy” in 2002 for The Teaching Company Great Courses Series.  He recognized then and now that most people do not accept doctrinaire evolution and that their values need to be taken into consideration by scientists and educators.  Nevertheless, he agrees with the scientific establishment that science must operate by methodological naturalism.  Tom Magnuson at Access Research Network considers Larson a brilliant man with blinders on.[A]theistic Science:  Cornelia Dean in the New York Times wrote about varying views on God among scientists, focusing on the theistic-evolution views of Dr. Francis Collins of the Human Genome Project.Highlander Games:  No Bobby Burns is he; guest columnist for The Scotsman, Robin Dunbar, called ID a “dangerous folly” and let President Bush have a piece of his mind.When the rhetoric flies, exercise sense, not sensationalism.  Some get it right, some have no context.  This debate has deep roots in history.  Perpetuating buzzwords or labels is not going to make the debate over naturalism vs. design disappear.  Caution: read news articles and editorials on this issue only with Baloney Detector engaged and in good working order – but do read.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Where in the world is Signal the Frog®? Australia!

first_imgAfter a busy time meeting with thousands of geocachers at Mega and Giga-Events all over the world, Signal the Frog® is ready for a summer vacation. Yes, that’s right – he’s packing flip flops*, a snorkel, and many bottles of amphibian-proof sunscreen, because he is headed for Australia!Photo by Schlauchen near GC3QDK0We’re excited to share Signal’s next destination with you as he continues to celebrate geocaching around the world. Visiting the Southern hemisphere for Australia Day 2018, our favorite frog is planning to join in on the festivities and barbecue like an Aussie would do!You can take part in the celebration by hosting or attending an event on Friday, January 26 through Sunday, January 28, 2018 and earn the Australia Day 2018 souvenir.If that is not enough to make you brave the cold by firing up a grill in the Northern hemisphere’s winter, we’ll give you some fun facts and clear up a common misconception about Australia.There is rarely any shrimp on the barbie. “I’ll slip an extra shrimp on the barbie for you” was a marketing slogan from the Australian Tourism Commission in a TV ad in the 1980’s. Australians actually use the word prawn not shrimp, and you’re more likely to find sausages or hamburgers on the barbecue for Australia Day.January is summer time in Australia. Living in the Southern hemisphere means that having a picnic, beach parties, barbecues, and fireworks are all common activities on Australia Day.There is deeper relevance for the emu and the kangaroo on the Australian coat of arms. Not only are both animals indigenous to Australia, they also have one trait in common: none of them can walk backwards. This characteristic serves as a metaphor for Australians to always move forward.Do you have any interesting facts about Australia? Share in the comments below!*Flip flops are called ‘thongs’ in Australia, or ‘jandals’ in New Zealand.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedSignal the Frog® celebrates Australia DayFebruary 6, 2018In “Community”Caching hot spots in Australia, according to Signal the Frog®January 16, 2018In “Community”Signal the Frog® celebra el día de AustraliaFebruary 6, 2018In “Español”last_img read more

Recent Changes to LEED for Homes — Part 1

first_imgStructural changes I DON’T likeThe LEED for Homes Committee was very happy with several innovations we pioneered – things we felt were distinct improvements over the more senior members of the LEED family, for reasons of clarity. One of these was having prerequisites and optional measures reside within the same credit, so it was easy to understand the baseline requirements and then the enhanced measures that could be taken to step up performance above the baseline in a given area. Sadly, that wisdom has been steamrollered under the behemoth that is non-residential LEED. The prerequisites and credits are now decoupled, irrationally, with separate names and numbers – purely for the sake of conformity, alas.The threshold adjustment mechanism to account for home size impacts – though not very aptly called, originally, the “Home Size Adjustment” (no, the homes’ sizes were not being adjusted) – has been transformed into a prerequisite, EAp4, Home Size. I haven’t had time to play with the numbers to see how this affects scoring, if at all. But I do lament the move, if for only this reason: the mechanism was developed to account for not only lower or higher energy use associated with smaller-than-average or larger-than-average homes, but also for differences in material resource consumption. This idea will now be lost – whether or not it’s accounted for in the numbers.The newly remodeled prerequisite is also now tied to the Energy Star for Homes, version 3, reference home – which was undoubtedly fashioned to some degree after the original LEED for Homes mechanism. Perhaps it’s an improvement, perhaps not. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to plumb its depths.Another reversion to the non-residential LEED norm is the move of low-emitting building materials from their original home (MR2.2) to the Indoor Environmental Quality category. The logic of their former placement was to enable a specifier to understand all the different material properties that were of interest when selecting materials. Ah, consistency – the hobgoblin of small minds!Now on to more petty complaints: does anyone really think that having a bunch of “cases” and “options” and “paths” (which appear now in numerous credits) lends to clarity? Not me! I also find that while some credit language has been nicely trimmed and clarified, some has been muddied and rendered overly complex and layered.I also fail to understand why the Innovation and Design Process category has been split into two categories, Integrative Process (comprising one lonely credit) and Innovation (which has but a single prerequisite and two credits). Was ID really so overcrowded?On the other hand, the Awareness and Education (AE) category has disappeared, and its contents subsumed into Energy and Atmosphere. Since there were only two AE credits – that really should have been one all along – I don’t object to the category going away, but the vestigial credit, now EAp3, really isn’t only about energy.And then we have the Regional Priority category, comprising the single Regional Priority credit. I would have really preferred to see some consolidation – perhaps into a nice, tidy, “Other” category. But that’s just me, apparently.Now on to some categories – not necessarily in order, but rather in order of most improved to most … well, you fill in the blank. BLOGS BY ANN EDMINSTER High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 1The Green Countertop DilemmaMore Lighting Options, Please?!A Theory of Work: What Number Are You?The First … Charrette?Ready, Set, Go!Does Green Building Cost More? Water efficiency (WE)The new WEc1 provides a performance pathway alternative to the prescriptive credits WEc2 (indoor water use) and WEc3 (outdoor water use), which mirror and consolidate the old WE3, SS2.3, and SS2.4. This is very sensible and uses the EPA WaterSense Water Budget Tool to calculate percentage reductions from a baseline.WEc2 now includes clothes washers and reduces the allowable flow rates for lavatory faucets and showerheads. There is now only one award level for toilets. Any fixtures with a flow rating higher than 2.5 gpm now trigger mandatory use of WEc1.WEc3 may or may not be an improvement – it seems straightforward, but the proof will be in the pudding. It combines limits to turf grass with minimums for native/adapted planting area. Projects with pools or other outdoor water features are required to use WEc1. Structural changes I LIKEFirst, there’s some good news with regard to the rating system structure: midrise projects have been integrated into the rating system, no longer being shunted into a separate document. It’s about time! (If we could get the California version integrated, too, I would be even happier.)It’s also great to see that credits that include multiple performance levels are no longer parsed (absurdly) into numbered sub-credits. The levels have also been evened out more rationally into proportional steps … at least in most multi-level credits. My perspective on the latest version of the LEED for Homes standard (version 4) has an inescapably historic slant. This doesn’t mean that I categorically reject change. In fact, much as a parent reserves the right to be her child’s most ardent fan and harshest critic at times, I have not been at all hesitant to point out flaws in LEED for Homes over the years since the launch of the pilot.Having established that, let me say that I applaud a number of significant improvements in the New! Improved! LEED for Homes (version 4). There are other changes about which I am considerably less enthusiastic. Green Building Advisor has been kind enough to let me share both my praise and my discontent.In Part 1, I’ve offered some overall structural comments and reviewed the two categories that have seen the greatest improvements: WE and EQ. In Part 2, I will cover the remaining categories.center_img Indoor environmental quality (EQ)The ventilation credits (former EQ4 and EQ5) have been consolidated into a single prerequisite (EQp1) and a single credit (EQc1), each addressing both exhaust and supply (or balanced) ventilation. This is handy, since they reference the same (updated) ASHRAE standards.Some measures that used to be optional are now – appropriately – mandatory. Shared surfaces between living spaces and garages must now be air-sealed (was EQ10.2, now EQp3). Environmental tobacco smoke controls (formerly EQ11 in Midrise, now EQp6) are now mandatory and slightly simplified. Compartmentalization (formerly EQ12.1 in Midrise, now EQp7) now applies to both multifamily and attached single-family dwellings.A number of measures have also been made more stringent, including enhanced ventilation (was EQ5.2 and EQ4.2, now EQc1), midrise compartmentalization (was EQ12.2, now EQc4), enhanced combustion venting (was EQ2.2, now EQc5), and enhanced garage pollutant protection (was EQ10.3 and EQ10.4, now EQc6).One credit that seems a bit wacky is EQc2 (was EQ8), Contaminant Control – particularly the walk-off mats for multifamily projects. I’ll be truly shocked if any project puts in 10-foot walk-off mats to earn ½ point.And, as mentioned above, I’m not fond of the inclusion of low-emitting products in this category (EQc7), although I do understand the logic. I have no quarrel with other aspects of this new credit, though.The EQ category, because it is one of the largest, particularly suffers from segregating prerequisites from their companion credits. Were it not for this flaw, this category would definitely warrant “Most Improved.”For Part 2 of this series, click here. RELATED ARTICLES Recent Changes to LEED for Homes — Part 2GBA Encyclopedia: LEED for HomesWhy Is the U.S. Green Building Council So Out of Touch?It’s 2012 — Do You Know Where Your LEED for Homes Is?How to Cheat* at LEED for HomesNew Urbanist Andres Duany Lashes Out at LEEDGreen Building Programs Got Some ’Splainin’ to Do LEED-H Clarifications Raise More Questions Than They AnswerEqual-Opportunity Feather Ruffling Ann Edminster is the owner of Design AVEnues , a green building consulting firm in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also a member of GreenBuildingAdvisor.com’s team of advisors and is the former chair and co-chair of the LEED for Homes Committee.last_img read more

NDA principal booked for malpractice

first_imgThe CBI on Wednesday raided the premises of the National Defence Academy (NDA) in Khadakwasla for alleged irregularities in the selection and appointment of teaching staff for training military recruits, said authorities.The agency has booked 13 senior faculty members, including principal Om Prakash Shukla, under various Sections of the IPC and relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The CBI said that during t2006-15, the accused got selected by furnishing false information and certificates in connivance with Union Public Service Commission authorities and officials at the HQ-Integrated Defence Staff (HQ-IDF), Ministry of Defence.last_img read more

BJP attacks govt in Lok Sabha over CWG scam, House adjourned till 5 pm

first_imgPandemonium continued in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday after Opposition cornered the UPA government over the Commonwealth Games scam. The Lok Sabha was adjourned till 5 pm after uproar over BJP leader Yashwant Sinha’s remarks about Sports Minister Ajay Maken .Sinha said that the government must explain who appointed Kalmadi as CWG Organising Committee chief and said that the government must fix responsibilities. Sinha’s comments followed reports that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh overruled the PMO’s recommendation to appoint former Sports Minister Sunil Dutt as the OC chief. Reports said the prime minister had picked Kalmadi ahead of the former sports minister. Earlier, the Opposition shouted down Maken over his statement blaming the NDA government for Kalmadi’s appointment. Maken threw his headphone on the floor during the heated discussion in the House.last_img read more

Rs 35 lakh cheque creates problem for BCCI, pitched battle in the offing

first_imgS.K. Wankhede (left) and N.K.P. Salve: Power struggleOf all the sports organisations in this country, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is possibly the richest. Last fortnight, however, the riches had created a problem: the simple matter of a cheque for Rs 35 lakh – the proceeds,S.K. Wankhede (left) and N.K.P. Salve: Power struggleOf all the sports organisations in this country, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is possibly the richest. Last fortnight, however, the riches had created a problem: the simple matter of a cheque for Rs 35 lakh – the proceeds of the Delhi Test between India and the MCC last year – which should have gone to the BCCI account in Madras, but instead went into a fresh fixed deposit account in Bombay.Over half-a-dozen of the 28 BCCI members asked for details of the cheque’s curious progress. Jagmohan Dalmiya, honorary secretary of the Bengal Cricket Association, wrote to M.A. Chidambaram, BCCI treasurer, asking if any board official or working committee member had approved the opening of the account for such a huge amount – according to BCCI rules no new bank account can be opened without the board’s approval.The Delhi Test was handled by a special committee appointed by the BCCI, because the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) had been superseded. BCCI President S.K. Wankhede headed the committee, I.S. Bindra, president of the Punjab Cricket Association was convenor and P.M. Rungta of Rajasthan was treasurer. As there was no permanent body in Delhi to look after the record profit of Rs 35 lakh, it was resolved that the money would be transferred to the BCCI’S account in Madras. According to Bindra, he along with Rungta wrote a cheque for Rs 35 lakh on February 5, 1982 in favour of the BCCI.advertisementBut instead of handing the cheque to Chidambaram, Rungta inexplicably withdrew the money from the Tolstoy Marg branch of the New Bank of India and converted it into a demand draft – No 434072/78/82 dated February 6, 1982 – drawn on the bank’s Bombay branch – Bindra was not in on this. In a letter to the bank, Rungta wrote: “Please issue a demand draft in the name of Board of Control for Cricket in India payable at Bombay.” On the same day, as it happened, an account was opened in the Banque Nationale de Paris and a fixed deposit of Rs 35 lakh for one year was made in the name of the BCCI. Chidambaram received a fixed deposit receipt from Rungta, instead of a cheque.Disputed Matters: The matter was first raised at the working committee meeting on April 1, 1982. Some pointed questions remained unanswered: why Rungta converted the cheque into a draft on his own; why a foreign bank was preferred, especially when the rate of interest – 7.5 per cent – is the same as that of Indian banks; who endorsed the account papers as only the BCCI president and/or treasurer can operate an account and that too after a BCCI resolution; and how the bank opened an account in the name of an organisation without asking for the resolution and the memorandum of association.The group that has talked the most about Rungta’s initiative is the “anti-Bombay group’, and consists mostly of senior government officials like Bindra, Phalgum Matilal, a joint director in the Railway Ministry, Kamlesh Sharma, a joint secretary in the Union Home Ministry and S.K. Kakkar, a senior Chandigarh administration official.They are powerfully backed by Minister of State for Information N.K.P. Salve, Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah and Kamal Nath, the powerful MP who dislodged K.K. Mehra and his friends from the DDCA. Kakkar says that “there is ample scope for smelling a rat” and feels that the bank “might have used the cash for sanctioning loans to various firms” in the wake of the credit squeeze.In the August 16-17 meeting of the BCCI in Bombay, this group demanded that the Central Bureau of Investigation investigate the matter and that the account be closed. But Rungta was not present and a decision was postponed. For his part, Rungta refutes the allegation that there was anything wrong in opening the account.Said he: “Bindra signed a cheque and gave it to me to be handed over to the treasurer of the board. It is also correct that I handed over the demand draft receipt to Chidambaram.” He also claimed that the new account was opened in consultation with the treasurer and the president. But both Chidambaram and Wankhede, when asked in the board meeting, did not accept that they knew about it earlier.Financial Problems: ‘Irregularities’ in financial procedures have occurred earlier. Dalmiya had pointed out 54 errors in the audited accounts for 1980-81. The general body meeting in Bangalore on September 28, 1981, took note of his objections which included: glaring discrepancies in the cash and bank balances in accounts presented by the treasurer to the BCCI working committee on August 3, 1980 and figures given out at the Bangalore meeting; Rs 26 lakh expenditure on the Golden Jubilee Test between India and England at Bombay when only Rs 11 lakh was approved; unexplained expenditure of Rs 2 lakh in foreign exchange in England during the 1979 tour; and investment of nearly Rs 1 crore in various private companies by the BCCI investment committee without the approval of the BCCI board or working committee.advertisementThis last provoked quite a furore at two meetings of the board. According to the statement of accounts for 1980-81, the private companies so favoured are Tata Oil Mills (Rs 10 lakh), Mahindra and Mahindra (Rs 25 lakh), Bayer India Ltd (Rs 15 lakh), Standard Oil Mills (Rs 15 lakh) and ITC Ltd (Rs 25 lakh). The money came from nationalised banks by prematurely cancelling fixed deposits, and board officials accepted that the board or the working committee did not authorise the withdrawal and that the terms and the conditions were not disclosed earlier. Wankhede and others claimed, however, that no BCCI office-bearer was connected with any of the companies. Only after Dalmiya persisted was an eight-member inquiry committee, headed by Wankhede, appointed to look into these allegations: the final report is still to come even after a year.Things are likely to come to a head on September 26, 1982, at the elections for the office-bearers. The ‘anti-Bombay group’ led by Bindra is determined to oust Wankhede and his men and they seem to have numbers on their side: at a recent meeting of their group 16 of the BCCI’s 28 members were present.They have reportedly decided to field Salve for the president’s post. Says Matilal: “Ours is a democratic fight. We don’t want politics and money to spoil Indian cricket; we want to cleanse the BCCI of unscrupulous elements.” A pitched battle is clearly in the offing.last_img read more