first_imgGARDAÍ are investigating a Chinese mafia link to a massive drugs bust in Ballybofey.Officers seized an estimated €360,000 worth of cannabis during a raid in Navenny Street in the town on Tuesday evening.All four people arrested at the scene are Chinese nationals; one a woman in her 60s, two women in their 20s and a man in his 30s. The Letterkenny Drugs Squad was involved in the operation.None of those arrested could speak English and interpreters had to be hired to process the prisoners at Letterkenny Garda Station.Those arrested are the latest Chinese suspects to be detained by gardai in Donegal in recent months.Officers believe Chinese mafia – or triad – gangs are behind a the increasing number of grow houses being found across the county. Often those found tending the plants are themselves victims of human trafficking and slavery.The Garda National Immigration Bureau has been informed of the latest arrests.You can read how Donegal Daily broke the story of the arrests on Tuesday evening here: DONEGAL GARDAÍ DEAL MASSIVE BLOW TO CHINESE DRUGS GANGS was last modified: January 22nd, 2014 by John2Share 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:BallybofeyChinese nationalsdrugs raidinvestigationletterkennylast_img read more

Sharks coach’s praise for rookie defenseman speaks volumes

first_imgVANCOUVER, British Columbia — It only took Joe Pavelski half-a-period to do what he does best: score goals.The Sharks captain netted his 38th of the season just 10:47 into his first game since March 16, burying a blocked shot that bounced out to him on the doorstep. Despite a seven-game absence to recover from a lower-body injury, Pavelski led all Sharks forwards in shots (6) and attempts (9) while logging 16:45 of ice time.Unfortunately for the Sharks, Pavelski’s return wasn’t enough to stop …last_img read more

CSIR develops low-cost Aids drug

first_imgSouth Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed a low-cost method of manufacturing the antiretrovirals used to treat HIV/Aids, paving the way for more extensive HIV treatment across Africa.The CSIR’s new technique will reduce the production costs of thymidine, a valuable ingredient in the antiretroviral (ARV) drugs AZT and stavudine. The two generic drugs are used in combination therapy treatment of HIV/Aids.By using two drugs of different classes, combination therapy minimises both HIV virus resistance to ARVs and the development of serious side-effects. Because of this, it is the preferred method of ARV administration.Until now, Indian drug manufacturers supported by state subsidies have offered the most competitively priced active pharmaceutical ingredients, and so dominated the global market.The CSIR’s breakthrough will now allow for the production of thymidine at a fraction lower than the Indian market.According to Dr Moira Bode, who led the CSIR project probing the low-cost production of ARVs, this research could stimulate establishment of an industry for local production of active pharmaceutical ingredients.“This will empower African governments to supply more people with the life-saving drugs,”  Bode said.The CSIR-developed technology relies on a biocatalytic step to produce thymidine. The research included total development of the biocatalysis reaction to produce 5-methyluridine as well as the chemistry to convert 5-methyluridine to thymidine.“This involved, among other things, initial screening work to identify useful enzymes, the fermentations to produce enzymes and the process development for scale-up of the biocatalytic reaction, as well as the chemistry,” said Bode.“The entire process was scaled at the CSIR to produce thymidine at kilogram scale.”The CSIR has filed a patent application on the technology and a new market player in antiretroviral manufacturing, Arvir Technologies, has been granted the commercial rights.The company will explore various options, including granting licences to existing ARV active pharmaceutical ingredient producers, and establishing a new ARV pharmaceutical ingredients facility for South Africa.“We need to ensure that South Africa has an economically sustainable and well-secured supply of high quality ARVs,” ,” said Dr David Walwyn, CEO of Arvir. “Negotiations are presently underway with government.”Dr Gatsha Mazithulela, executive director of the CSIR Biosciences research unit, said South Africa’s high HIV prevalence rate made low-cost ARVs essential.“In South Africa, with the number of people requiring ARV drugs estimated at approaching 1 million [where the CD4 count of the individual is less than 200], the local manufacturing of these drugs is an imperative,” he said.“Ironically, now that the science has been done, the challenge is to find commercial partners willing to invest in manufacturing. We look forward to interesting conversations with our government and other stakeholders in making local production of ARVs a reality.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at marya@mediaclubsouthafrica.comUseful linksCouncil for Scientific and Industrial ResearchArvir Technologieslast_img read more

E Cape farmers in ‘green’ dairy venture

first_img18 July 2011A newly established South African dairy company has taken the lead in milk processing, and boasts the smallest carbon footprint of any dairy in the southern hemisphere.The idea to establish a dairy with green credentials came about in 2010, when a group of Eastern Cape dairy farmers decided that they wanted to create a facility that could add value to locally produced milk. The farmers wanted to maintain the high quality of their products, but also had a vision to process milk using more eco-friendly methods.The Coega Dairy initially invested R50-million (US$7.3-million) in advanced ultra-high temperature (UHT) processing equipment that makes it possible to produce UHT milk, also known as long life milk, more efficiently.Coega Dairy CEO Dr Hennie Kleynhans said that no other dairy in the region or on the continent has invested in the advanced technology, known as OneStep, and internationally, he is only aware of a dairy in Spain that is using it.According to Kleynhans, this is because the technology is new in the market and besides being very expensive to install, would require dairies to undergo a complete overhaul of existing infrastructure.However, given the cost squeeze on dairy producers in South Africa, Coega Dairy deemed the investment worthwhile.Local trade magazine DairyConnect reports that South African milk producers face tough competition from countries where milk can be produced more competitively or where farmers receive subsidies. In South Africa, producers also have to contend with increasing input costs and low producer prices.The founders of the Coega Dairy realised that the technology could help them overcome some of these challenges: it allows for more eco-friendly milk production while also performing exceptionally on cost savings.Investing in the best green technologyCoega Dairy’s marketing director Marlize Smit said that the new UHT processing plant is significantly more efficient than conventional UHT equipment used in other South African plants.The Coega plant makes use of OneStep technology, which reduces the need for various steps during production. This means that milk can be processed faster, using fewer resources, at a lower cost.Energy and water consumption is considerably reduced, while the end products, which also include butter and custards, still maintain their high quality and have enhanced taste profiles.“The new plant is one of the most modern UHT plants, and one of the top green dairy plants in the world,” Smit said.The processing unit uses half as much energy, water and chemicals and generates 50% less effluent, of which 65% is recycled. The technology cuts carbon dioxide emissions by 40%, which results in a lower carbon footprint compared to world average values.According to Kleynhans, ordinary dairy plants use three litres of water to produce one litre of milk. In comparison, the OneStep technology makes it possible to use only 300ml of water per litre of milk. He noted that some dairies can use less water using traditional technology, but this is difficult as it requires extreme efficiency.Greening the dairy industryThe dairy industry struggles with eco-friendly operations. Production plants require daily cleaning, and this uses large quantities of water and chemicals. Cleaning chemicals are expensive and once used, are released in the effluent, which could harm the environment.“Many dairies do treat their water, but this is still not efficient,” said Kleynhans. Unlike traditional dairy plants, the OneStep technology design only requires cleaning every 60 hours, using fewer chemicals. This means less water and fewer chemicals, but an increase in production time, as less downtime has to be scheduled for cleaning.Establishing a green dairy and sourcing milk from farmers using eco-friendly farming methods is a step in the right direction for the local dairy industry. For the consumer, it also shows that farmers and the rest of the value chain know how important it is to produce food and beverages more sustainably.The switch to green technology anticipates changing consumer demands.“Eastern Cape dairy farmers are being pro-active. Consumers expect green products these days. It isn’t an option anymore,” said Smit.The farmers are also working towards greening the entire value chain, from the farm to the consumer.Smit said that the Coega Dairy will source milk predominantly from pasture fed cows raised in the province’s unpolluted surroundings.Coega Dairy products will be packaged in paper cartons, of which the majority can be reclaimed and recycled to make new paper products. The milk will also not be transported over long distances, which reduces the logistics and transport carbon emissions.Representative ownershipAt the moment 13 commercial milk farmers own the Coega Dairy, but next year the ownership structure of the company will change to ensure a benefit for all participants in the value chain.By 2012, dairy farm workers, black farmers and farm managers and factory workers will own 40% of the company’s shares.Additionally, said Kleynhans, the dairy will have a further positive economic impact on the Eastern Cape by creating 350 direct and 750 indirect jobs.Towards the end of 2011 when the plant becomes operational, milk will be sourced from black owned and managed dairy farms, many of which are highly successful.“These farmers milk over 25 000 litres of milk daily,” said Kleynhans. “Some also own close to 2 000 cows and on a properly managed farm, farmers can milk 15 to 20 litres of milk per cow per day.”Ownership of the company will be expanded further to include joint ventures with Amadlelo, a black empowerment agri-business concern, with the purpose of training black farm managers through shared milk production.Construction underwayThe Coega Dairy is currently under construction at the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) just outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. It will be fully operational in October this year.Kleynhans said that with the infrastructure available, the road network and a reliable source of power at the Coega IDZ, it was the most suitable site for the new dairy.Extensive environmental impact assessments and relocation of vegetation, animals and insects were also undertaken before construction started.“Vegetation, animals, insects and even spiders, snakes and rats were relocated to a nearby site,” he said.Next year the Coega Dairy plans to install a second plant at the site. This will be valued at R192-million ($28.6-million) and will include value-adding equipment.First published by – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

R90m fund for black South African filmmakers

first_imgThe Emerging Black Filmmakers Fund launched on Monday, which benefits films that have been directed and produced by black South Africans.The South African film Tsotsi won an Oscar for best foreign language film in 2005. It’s one of the films that the The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), invested in through its film and television production incentive scheme. (Image: South Africa reporterHelp is at hand for emerging black South African filmmakers trying to break into the industry, in the form of a new, R90-million fund launched on Monday by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the Department of Trade and Industry and the National Film and Video Foundation.Over the next three years, the Emerging Black Filmmakers Fund will bankroll the full R5-million production and marketing budget of six qualifying feature films a year – with R4.5-million earmarked for development and production, and R500 000 for marketing.To qualify, a film has to be directed and produced by black South Africans, meaning that a black producer must own at least 51% of the production company behind the movie.“We have identified a growing need to support the production of South African films and documentaries, particularly by black filmmakers and producers,” the IDC’s head of media and motion pictures, Basil Ford, said in a statement.National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) chief executive Zama Nkosi said this partnership aimed to address past imbalances in South Africa’s film industry. “Creating this opportunity will benefit our industry immensely, as content is key in elevating our industry, and as we take the sector to another level of attracting new markets and investments,” Nkosi said.According to a study published by the NFVF last year, the film sector contributes R3.5-billion to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP), while providing employment for more than 25 000 people.The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through its film and television production incentive scheme, has invested more than R500-million in over 50 local films in just over a decade.These include Tsotsi, which won an Oscar for best foreign language film in 2005, and the acclaimed film adaptation of Nelson Mandela’s biography, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

South African journalists excel at CNN awards

first_img13 October 2015Four South African journalists have won CNN African Journalist Awards, held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) in Kenya, Nairobi. The awards recognised and awarded 32 African journalists, drawn from over 1 400 entries from 39 African countries.The Mohamed Amin Photographic Award went to @hermanverwey, Beeld #AfricanJournoAwards #AJA20— AfricanJournoAwards (@AfricanJourno) October 10, 2015Photographer Herman Verwey from the Beeld newspaper won the Mohamed Amin Photographic Award for his photos taken during the murder trial of the Paralympic athlete, Oscar Pistorius.“When you look at Herman Verwey’s work, for a second, you can wonder. the characters are so full of life, these pictures really give you a sense of their feelings. Herman’s body of work gives also a proper idea of the high pressure that surrounded this trial, so important for the South African society,’ said the judges of their choice of this year’s winner.The awards were handed out on Saturday evening, 10 October.The Dow Technology & Innovation Reporting Award went to @sarahemilywild, Mail & Guardian #AfricanJournoAwards #AJA20— AfricanJournoAwards (@AfricanJourno) October 10, 2015Sarah Wild from the Mail & Guardian newspaper won the Technology & Innovation Reporting Award for her story, “Robot”, on the environmental testing of the health of the oceans’ “lungs” in relation to effects of global warming.Judges highlighted the article’s intuitive and simple tone in communicating the technicalities of the subject matter, saying: “Sarah Wild delivered an original report on a major innovation in research over global warming, conducted by a South African scientific team. It’s an excellent reminder that there are African-led research programs at the forefront of the climate change issue. Sarah Wild transports the reader into the heart of the project, with the team deploying this new generation of sea-cruising robots.”The IPP Media Features Award went to @JulieLaurenz & #JacquelineJayamaha #AfricanJournoAwards #AJA20— AfricanJournoAwards (@AfricanJourno) October 10, 2015Freelance documentary-makers Julie Laurenz and Jacqueline Jayamaha won in the Features Award category for their harrowing profile piece, “Viola’s Hope”, for the e-tv channel, about the effects of woonga drug addiction.“Tragic. Educative. Committed. The team that brought us this piece spent over a month putting it together and they stayed with their story which was well-shot, produced and written,” said the judges.CNN/MultiChoice African Journalist 2015 is Hyacinthe Sanou, Burkina Faso #AfricanJournoAwards #AJA20 w/ @UKenyatta— DStv Kenya (@DStv_Kenya) October 10, 2015Burkinabe journalist Hyacinthe Boowurosigue Sanou won the top prize – African Journalist of the Year – for his piece, “Room 143”. Published in the Ouagadougou daily newspaper L’Observateur Paalga, the story covered the ousting of Blaise Campaore, who had ruled over Burkina Faso for 27 years.“My story was about power and how people can fight against it – I’m so proud that the story has been told and will now be remembered,” said Sanou.Uhuru’s speech during 2015 CNN Multichoice African Journalist Awards #AfricanJournoAwards— The Star, Kenya (@TheStarKenya) October 11, 2015Keynote speaker for the event, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, paid tribute to the hard work journalists did to find the real stories of Africa. He asked that they do their best to continue to find the real “African truths” and reclaim the African story, so that they could tell global audiences of the success stories.Ferial Haffajee, editor-in-chief of City Press newspaper, was this year’s chairperson of the judging panel. She paid tribute to the winners, saying the awards were recognition for a lot of sacrifices that journalists made to get their stories. “Journalism can be very dangerous, lonely,” Haffajee told the gathering.Speaking on behalf of the hosts and sponsors of the event, Deborah Rayner, CNN senior vice-president for international news gathering, TV and digital, said that the winners demonstrated the very best of journalism, from investigative journalism through to stories of hope and change.“I’ve seen tremendously courageous reporting, brilliantly innovative reporting and highly entertaining reporting,” added Tony Maddox, executive vice-president and managing director of CNN. “The awards really do cover the full panorama of all that is good in journalism.”Source: News24last_img read more

Self-Driving Cars Will Mean More Sprawl

first_img RELATED ARTICLES By Timothy HodgettsSelf-driving cars will change how we live, in all sorts of ways. But they won’t just affect us humans — the coming revolution in autonomous transport has significant implications for wildlife as well. Nature conservationists and planners need to think hard about the impact of driverless vehicles, most notably in terms of renewed urban sprawl.In some ways, wider developments in automotive technology bode well for the environment. Electric cars will increasingly replace the internal combustion engine, and that should, in theory, reduce carbon emissions and health-afflicting air pollution.Through minimizing traffic jams, driverless cars may also reduce overall energy use. Unlike human drivers, computers can avoid the “concertina” effect of needless acceleration and braking that exacerbates congestion, and won’t be tempted to “rubberneck” when passing an accident. And, as autonomous vehicles aren’t restricted by human reaction times, it may make sense to increase speed limits for them on major inter-city routes. So driverless cars promise a future of faster journey times with much reduced environmental impacts. They may even mean less wildlife roadkill. But it’s the very efficiency of driverless cars that poses a challenge for planners and conservationists. The threat is an unchecked increase in low-density urbanization. Driving into the countrysideAutonomous vehicles promise a future in which passengers are free to use their time productively (working, for example). And driverless vehicles can park themselves (or be part of a shared pool) which saves yet more time in the morning rush. Coupled with faster journey times, the incentives to live further out of town will increase significantly.There are both push and pull factors at work here: sky-high residential prices in most cities push people away from urban centers while healthy environments and green living pull people towards the hinterlands. The limiting factor in suburban spread is often travel time, either by public or private means. Driverless cars fundamentally alter the equation.Existing planning policies are based on our current transport systems. Green-belts, for example, are designed to reduce urban sprawl by restricting development within a buffer zone around an urban area. However, the reduced transport times offered by driverless cars make it easier to live outside the belt while still working inside. So these loops of green are in danger of becoming a thin layer in a sandwich of ever-spreading suburbanization.This is, of course, a familiar challenge since the rise of the automotive age in the 1940s. However, the solutions designed by planners have been calibrated for a human-driving automotive system — not for the supercharged future of driverless transport.Other examples of planning protection for wildlife include nature reserves, national parks and (in the U.K.) “areas of outstanding natural beauty.” Such areas have either strict controls on development, or do not permit it at all. However, they are nice places to live in or nearby. The coming revolution in automotive journey times and the ability to work behind the (computer-driven) wheel will make living in such areas increasingly compatible with a commute to the nearest city. Sick of sprawlNatural habitats being lost entirely or splintered into ever-smaller fragments have long been understood as some of the primary causes of species extinctions across the world. Renewed urban sprawl threatens to increase the magnitude of both habitat loss and fragmentation. These threats are well known among conservationists, but there are differences of opinion on how best to respond.For example, eco-modernists advocate a strategy of “land-sparing,” whereby human activities are concentrated into urban areas and vast tracts of land are set aside for nature. There are many cultural and ethical problems inherent in herding humans into cities, but the near-term planning issues posed by autonomous vehicles will exacerbate the challenge given they will boost demand to live in “unspared” lands.Alternatively, some conservationists advocate “land-sharing,” in which human communities redesign the way we farm and live so as to co-exist with wildlife, cheek-by-jowl. Autonomous vehicles pose significant challenges for either approach, by supercharging the fragmentary effect of road systems.Whichever approach is taken, we’ll need to redesign existing systems and policies to take account of the increased range that driverless transport facilitates. This may involve new zoning laws to protect wider areas of countryside than at present. It certainly requires further development of green infrastructure, habitat corridors and “greenways.”It might also involve engineering solutions, especially given the fact that autonomous vehicles should be much more amenable to being driven underground. It is possible to imagine a future in which the famous bear bridges of Banff are tiny precursors to a vast program in which rural highways are covered with forests of green. Retrofitting roads into tunnels won’t be cheap, but it becomes easier when human drivers are taken out of the equation. Software drivers are less bothered by artificial light and more efficient at mitigating the congestion impact during construction.Much conservation policy is based on planning for the world we live in now. Strategic conservation planning needs instead to take account of likely futures. And in a future of driverless cars, that is likely to result in the mega-cities of the 20th century becoming the mega-sprawls of the 21st. Unless, of course, planners and conservationists rise to this new challenge. Will Self-Driving Cars Save Energy?Suburban Sprawl Costs a BundleA Forgotten Tool to Solve the Housing CrisisCan Rural Living Be As Green As Urban Living?Location EfficiencyTo Save Transportation Energy, Change Behavior Timothy Hodgetts is a research fellow at the University of Oxford. This post originally appeared at The Conversation.last_img read more

Oppo Reno 10X Zoom key specs and price leak ahead of launch

first_imgOppo’s highly anticipated Reno phone has been leaking from every direction over the past few weeks, and it’s getting pretty clear what to expect now. The Oppo Reno phone will come in two models, a mid-range version with a Snapdragon 710 chipset and a top-end flagship with a Snapdragon 855 SoC and a Periscope zoom camera. A few hours ago, tipster Ishan Agarwal shared some key specs of the flagship model, that could be called Oppo Reno 10X Zoom.According to Agarwal, the Oppo Reno 10X Zoom will come with a Snapdragon 855 chipset paired with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. The handset will sport an OLED display with a 93.1 per cent screen-to-body ratio, which seems right considering the display will have no notch or hole-punch cutout. The tipster could not provide the screen size of the smartphone, but past report suggest a 6.4-inch display with a FHD+ (2340×1080) resolution. The handset will measure 162.0×77.2×9.3mm and weigh 215 grams.I have some exclusive info about OPPO ‘Reno 10X Zoom’ (Yes, that’s probably the off. name) for you all.-> 162.0×77.2×9.3mm, 215g,-> ColorOS 6.0-> SD 855-> 8GB+256GB-> OLED Display-> Screen Ratio: 93.1%Camera Specs Leak coming later! :)PS: Img not mine.#OPPOReno#OPPO Agarwal (@ishanagarwal24) April 3, 2019The tipster mentions that the official name of the Oppo Reno flagship phone could be Oppo Reno 10X Zoom, which is a direct reference to the phone’s biggest USP – the Periscope zoom camera. The flagship is said to come with a 5x optical and 10x hybrid zoom camera. In addition to the Periscope camera, the Oppo Reno 10X Zoom will get two more rear cameras that may include a 48MP primary sensor and a 5MP secondary sensor for depth sensing.advertisementA separate leak this week claims to know the official pricing of the Oppo Reno flagship in Vietnam. The phone is tipped to cost between VND 1.4M (approx Rs 37,000) and VND 1.5M (approx Rs 40,000) depending on the storage variant. In addition to the latest information, the top-end Oppo Reno is said to house a 4,065mAh battery with support for 50W fast charging. It will also come with an unusual angular pop-up selfie camera. Oppo VP Brian Shen has confirmed that the Oppo Reno 10X Zoom will have a copper tube and liquid cooling, while the mid-range Reno will get a graphite sheet. The Oppo Reno will go official on in China on April 10.ALSO READ | Oppo Reno roundup: 10x zoom, pop-up selfie camera, Snapdragon 855 SoC and everything else we know so farlast_img read more