CPLP: Third Quarter 2013 Financial Results

first_imgzoom Capital Product Partners L.P. (CPLP), an international diversified shipping company today released its financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2013.The Partnership’s net income for the quarter ended September 30, 2013, was $33.2 million, including a $24.8 million gain from bargain purchase related to the purchase value of the M/V ‘CCNI Angol’ (ex ‘Hyundai Prestige’), the M/V ‘Hyundai Privilege’ and the M/V ‘Hyundai ‘Platinum’ (together the “Additional 5,023 TEU Container Vessels”), as the fair value of the vessels and their attached time charters exceeded the purchase consideration. After taking into account the $4.5 million preferred interest in net income attributable to the unit holders of the 20,855,555 Class B Convertible Preferred Units outstanding as of September 30, 2013, (the “Class B Units” and the “Class B Unitholders”), the result for the quarter ended September 30, 2013 was $0.35 net income per limited partnership unit, which is $0.13 lower than the $0.48 income per unit from the previous quarter ended June 30, 2013 and $0.29 higher than the $0.06 net income per unit in the third quarter of 2012.Operating surplus for the quarter ended September 30, 2013 was $25.8 million, which is $30.8 million lower than the $56.6 million from the second quarter of 2013 and $3.9 million higher than the $21.9 million of the third quarter of 2012. The Partnership’s operating surplus for the quarter ended June 30, 2013 included a $32.0 million gain related to the sale to a third party of the Partnership’s claims against Overseas Shipholding Group Inc. (“OSG”) and certain OSG subsidiaries in connection with their voluntary filing for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The operating surplus adjusted for the payment of distributions to the Class B Unitholders was $21.3 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2013. Operating surplus is a non-GAAP financial measure used by certain investors to measure the financial performance of the Partnership and other master limited partnerships. Please refer to the section “Appendix A” at the end of the press release, for a reconciliation of this non-GAAP measure to net income.Revenues for the third quarter of 2013 were $42.7 million, compared to $38.0 million in the third quarter of 2012, the increase mainly a result of the Partnership’s increased fleet size and improving employment day rates for certain of the Partnership’s vessels.Total expenses for the third quarter of 2013 were $30.7 million compared to $26.9 million in the third quarter of 2012, the increase mainly a result of the increased fleet size of the Partnership. The vessel operating expenses for the third quarter of 2013 amounted to $13.9 million for the commercial and technical management of our fleet under the terms of our management agreements, compared to $11.3 million in the third quarter of 2012. The total expenses for the third quarter of 2013 also include $13.2 million in depreciation and amortization, compared to $12.0 million in the third quarter of 2012. General and administrative expenses for the third quarter of 2013 amounted to $2.1 million, which include a $0.8 million non-cash charge related to the Partnership’s Omnibus Incentive Compensation Plans. The Partnership’s Omnibus Incentive Compensation Plan is now fully vested and the non-cash charge is not expected to be incurred in the coming quarters.As discussed above, in the third quarter of 2013, the Partnership reported a gain from bargain purchase of $24.8 million related to the purchase value of the Additional 5,023 TEU Container Vessels, each of which was acquired by the Partnership on September 11, 2013.Total other expense, net for the third quarter of 2013 amounted to $3.6 million compared to $3.8 million for the third quarter of 2012.As of September 30, 2013, the Partners’ capital amounted to $804.5 million, which is $230.7 million higher than the Partners’ capital as of December 31, 2012, which amounted to $573.8 million. This increase primarily reflects the issuance of 13,685,000 common units in the quarter ended September 30, 2013, which raised gross proceeds of approximately $126.6 million, the issuance of the 9.1 million Class B Units, which raised gross proceeds of approximately $75.1 million, combined with the payment of $63.3 million in distributions since December 31, 2012 and the net income for the nine months period ended September 30, 2013.As of September 30, 2013, the Partnership’s total debt has increased by $126.3 million to $584.7 million, compared to total debt of $458.4 million as of December 31, 2012, as a result of the loan advances under the Partnership’s credit facilities during the nine months period ended September 30, 2013 in connection with the acquisition of the five 5,023 TEU Container Vessels acquired in 2013.Issuance of 13,685,000 Common Units, Entry into a New Up To $200.0 million Senior Secured Credit Facility and Acquisition of Three Additional 5,023 TEU Container VesselsThe Partnership announced on August 13, 2013 the issuance and sale of 13,685,000 common units representing limited partnership interests at a public offering price of $9.25 per unit, which included 1,785,000 common units sold as a result of the full exercise of the over-allotment option granted to the underwriters of the public offering.In September 2013 the Partnership entered into a new senior secured credit facility of up to $200.0 million led by ING Bank N.V. The facility is non-amortizing until March 2016, with a final maturity date in December 2020. The facility carries a rate of LIBOR plus 350 basis points and a commitment fee of 100 basis points. The facility will be available for the funding of up to 50% of the charter free value of modern product tankers and post panamax container vessels.The Partnership used the net proceeds from the issuance of the 13,685,000 common units together with approximately $75.0 million from its new up to $200.0 million senior secured credit facility and part of its cash balances to acquire the three Additional 5,023 TEU Container Vessels from its sponsor Capital Maritime & Trading Corp. (“Capital Maritime”) for an aggregate purchase price of $195.0 million. Each of the Additional 5,023 TEU Container Vessels was built in 2013 at Hyundai Heavy Industries. Co. Ltd. and each Additional 5,023 TEU Container Vessel is employed under a 12 year time charter employment (+/- 60 days) to Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. Ltd. at a gross rate of $29,350 per day. The charters commenced shortly after the delivery of the Additional 5,023 TEU Container Vessels to Capital Maritime during the first half of 2013.Fleet DevelopmentsThe Partnership announced on September 24, 2013 that the M/T British Ensign or M/T Atlantas (36,760 IMO II/III Chemical Product Tanker built 2006 Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, South Korea), the M/T British Envoy or M/T Aktoras (36,759 IMO II/III Chemical Product Tanker built 2006 Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, South Korea) and the M/T British Emissary or M/T Aiolos (36,760 IMO II/III Chemical Product Tanker built 2007 Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, South Korea) will extend their charters with BP Shipping Limited (“BP Shipping”) for an additional 18-36 months in direct continuation of their previous bareboat charters at a revised day rate.The M/T British Ensign will continue its bareboat charter with BP Shipping after the completion of its current charter in April 2014 for an additional 24 months at a bareboat rate of US$6,750 per day. BP Shipping has the option to extend the duration of the charter for up to a further 12 months either as bareboat charter at a bareboat rate of US$ 7,250 per day for the optional periods if declared or on time charter basis during the optional periods at a time charter rate of US$ 14,250 per day, if declared. If all options were to be exercised, the employment of the vessel would extend to April 2017.The M/T British Envoy will continue its bareboat charter with BP Shipping after the completion of the current charter in July 2014 for an additional 18 months at a bareboat rate of US$ 7,000 per day. BP Shipping has the option to extend the charter duration for up to a further 12 months either as a bareboat charter at a bareboat rate US$ 7,250 per day for the optional periods, if declared or as a time charter at a time charter rate of US$ 14,250 per day, if declared. If all options were to be exercised, the employment of the vessel would extend to January 2017.The M/T British Emissary will continue its bareboat charter with BP Shipping after the completion of its current charters in March 2015 for an additional 24 months at a bareboat rate of US$ 7,000 per day. BP Shipping has the option to extend the duration of the charter for up to a further 12 months either as bareboat charter at a bareboat rate of US$ 7,250 per day for the optional periods if declared or on a time charter basis during all optional periods at a time charter rate of US$ 14,250 per day if declared. If all options were to be exercised, the employment of the vessel would extend to March 2018.The M/T Avax (47,834 dwt, IMO II/III Chemical Product Tanker built 2007 Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, South Korea) was chartered in October 2013 to BP Shipping for a minimum charter term of one year (+/- 30 days). BP Shipping has the option to extend the charter for an additional 12 months at a gross day rate of $15,600 per day. The vessel had been under charter with Capital Maritime as of May 2013 for 12 months (+/- 30 days) at a gross daily charter rate of $14,750. The vessel’s actual earnings under the new charter will be $14,750 gross per day until May 2014 and $14,800 gross per day between May and October 2014, as the new daily charter rate includes compensation that Capital Maritime will pay to the Partnership for the vessel’s early redelivery in accordance with the terms of the charter party agreement with Capital Maritime.The M/T Apostolos (47,782 dwt, IMO II/III Chemical Product Tanker built 2007, South Korea) extended its charter with our Sponsor, Capital Maritime, by a period of 14 to 18 months at a gross rate of $14,850 per day, which is $850 per day higher than its previous employment day rate. The charter is expected to commence in October 2013 and the earliest redelivery for the M/T Apostolos is expected to be December 2014.The M/T Anemos I (47,782 dwt, IMO II/III Chemical Product Tanker built 2007, South Korea) entered into a new charter with our Sponsor, Capital Maritime, for a period of 14 to 18 months at a gross rate of $14,850 per day, which is $150 per day higher than its previous employment day rate. The charter is expected to commence in November 2013 and the earliest redelivery for the M/T Anemos I is expected to be January 2015.The charters of each of the M/T Avax, M/T Apostolos and M/T Anemos I are subject to 50/50 profit sharing arrangements for breaching Institute Warranty Limits and were unanimously approved by the Conflicts Committee of the Partnership.As a result of the above acquisitions and charter extensions, the weighted average remaining charter duration of our fleet is 8.9 years as of September 30, 2013 compared to 4.0 years at the end of 2012.In October 2013, the Partnership has entered into two separate agreements with non-affiliated third parties to acquire an eco-Type MR product tanker to be renamed M/T Aristotelis (51,604 dwt IMO II/III Chemical Product Tanker built 2013, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Ltd, S. Korea) and to sell the M/T Agamemnon II (51,238 dwt IMO II/III Chemical Product Tanker built 2008, STX Shipbuilding & Offshore, S. Korea). The acquisition of M/T Aristotelis will be funded with proceeds from the sale of M/T Agamemnon II and approximately $6 million from the Partnership’s cash balances.It is expected that the M/T Aristotelis will be employed on a period time charter for $17,000 gross per day for 18-24 months with Capital Maritime. Currently, the M/T Agamemnon II is employed on a time charter to Capital Maritime at a gross rate of $14,500 per day until March 2014. We expect these transactions to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2013.Each of the transactions of M/T Aristotelis and M/T Agamemnon II have been unanimously approved by our Board of Directors.Market CommentaryOverall, product tanker spot earnings in the third quarter of 2013 were at levels higher than in the third quarter of 2012. Strong petroleum product exports from the U.S. Gulf, stemming from increasing oil production and high refinery throughputs, continued to support the market. However, softer rates compared to the earlier part of 2013, were seen in the Atlantic as declining European refinery utilization, the lack of arbitrage opportunities and seasonally weaker gasoline imports to the U.S. exerted downwards pressure on the market.The product tanker period market remained active during the course of the third quarter of 2013, as more charterers sought to take period coverage and at slightly higher time charter rates compared to the previous quarter.On the supply side, the product tanker order book continued to experience slippage during 2013, as approximately 21% of the expected MR and handy size tanker newbuildings were not delivered on schedule. Analysts expect that net fleet growth for product tankers for 2014 will be in the region of 3.5%, while overall demand for MR product tankers for the year is estimated to grow at 4.8%. We believe the improving demand and supply balance of the product tanker market should continue to positively affect spot and period charter rates going forward.The Suezmax spot market remained at seasonally low levels as increased vessel supply, reduced U.S. crude imports and lower Libyan production at the end of the third quarter put downward pressure on rates.Slippage for the Suezmax tanker order book continues to affect tonnage supply as approximately 35% of the expected crude newbuildings were not delivered on schedule. Industry analysts expect the Suezmax tanker order book slippage and cancellations to increase going forward due to the historically weak spot market, the soft shipping finance environment and downward pressure on asset values. Suezmax tanker demand is expected to grow by 4.1% in the full year 2014 with net fleet growth projected at 2.3%.Quarterly Common and Class B Unit Cash DistributionOn October 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Partnership declared a cash distribution of $0.2325 per common unit for the third quarter of 2013, in line with management’s annual distribution guidance. The third quarter common unit cash distribution will be paid on November 15, 2013, to unit holders of record on November 8, 2013.In addition, on October 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Partnership declared a cash distribution of $0.21375 per Class B Unit for the third quarter of 2013, in line with the Partnership’s Second Amended and Restated Partnership Agreement, as amended. The third quarter Class B Unit cash distribution will be paid on November 8, 2013, to Class B Unitholders of record on November 1, 2013.Management CommentaryMr. Ioannis Lazaridis, Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer of the Partnership’s General Partner, commented: “During the third quarter we have taken more steps to grow the Partnership. At the same time the period charter market in product tankers, where the majority of our fleet operates, has continued to improve. As a number of the charters for our product tankers expire during the remainder of 2013 and throughout 2014, we expect to benefit from our exposure to the improving fundamentals of the product tanker sector.“We have successfully concluded an important transaction for the Partnership with the acquisition of three additional 5,023 TEU container vessels with long term period charters, partly financed by the proceeds from our issuance of 13.7 million common units earlier in the quarter. We believe that this transaction, the effects of which will be fully reflected in the fourth quarter, enhances the cash flow visibility to our shareholders, further diversifies our revenue stream, and will further underpin our existing distribution level and allow for potential distribution growth ahead.“In addition, we are pleased to have fixed three product tanker on new period business and to have extended the charters of three existing product tankers with BP Shipping, as the prospects for the product tanker market continue to improve. Importantly, the new $200.0 million loan facility we have arranged during the quarter will further facilitate us to continue to pursue our growth path ahead.”Mr Lazaridis concluded: “I would like to reiterate our commitment to the $0.93 per unit annual distribution guidance going forward, and to the continued enhancement of our financial flexibility and distribution coverage, in order to pursue growth opportunities and forge a pathway to distribution growth.”CPLP, November 1, 2013last_img read more

Highway Upgrades Continue in Eastern Nova Scotia

first_imgSeveral large road construction projects are winding down this month but there are still many jobs keeping the province’s road builders busy in the months ahead. In Cape Breton, a $6,060,752 contract was awarded for paving and widening a section of the Cabot Trail in Victoria County and a $4,758,905 contract was awarded to complete the twinning of Highway 125 near Sydney. Work is also continuing on several large projects including the twinning of Highway 104 in the Antigonish area, an $84.8 million project scheduled for completion in fall 2012, and the replacement of the Little Bras D’Or Bridge near Baddeck, a $10,205,847 project to be completed in 2011. “By working closely with our funding partners and the roadbuilding industry we’re creating good jobs for Nova Scotians and keeping the economy rolling,” said Bill Estabrooks, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “This co-operative approach is paying benefits across the province.” According to the Nova Scotia Road Builders Association, a typical $2-million paving contract generates 60 direct jobs and about $200,000 worth of business for the trucking industry and significant spin-off expenditures for local businesses. This year’s $310-million capital construction budget is the second largest in the province’s history after a record $325-million investment in highway infrastructure in 2009. Work in other areas of the province includes the latest twinned section of Highway 101 that opened July 29, and a newly twinned section of Highway 104 in the Pine Tree Road area of Pictou County, expected to open in the next few weeks. In addition, work will soon be completed on the Larry Uteck Interchange on Highway 102 near Bedford. “We appreciate the efforts of the construction industry and the patience of Nova Scotia drivers as these projects continue,” said Mr. Estabrooks. “These jobs are vital to Nova Scotia’s well-being.”last_img read more

Canada claims leadership but lacks details on plan to cut shipping emissions

first_imgOTTAWA – The United Nations group which regulates the international shipping industry is being asked to cut emissions from the cargo ships, oil tankers and other vessels that crisscross the world’s oceans, as they threaten to become the single-largest source of planet-warming greenhouse gases.Canada, however, is being secretive about what it wants to see done ahead of a meeting in the United Kingdom next week that will try to set some emission-cutting targets.A standoff is expected at the International Marine Organization meeting in London. While several countries, including those in the European Union as well as Japan and China, want significant cuts to shipping emissions, the United States, Saudi Arabia and Brazil want to move more slowly, fearing the economic impacts to the industry.Emissions from international shipping were excluded from the Paris agreement in 2015 with the IMO promising to handle it. In 2016 the IMO said it would aim to have an interim strategy in 2018 and a final plan in 2023.The IMO estimates that, if left unchecked, emissions from shipping could grow up to 250 per cent by 2050. Shipping emissions are not assigned to any one country, but on their own, they are bigger than the total emissions from all but the six biggest emitters — China, the United States, India, Russia, Japan and Germany.A spokesman for Transport Canada says Canada is one of the most ambitious members of the IMO, but would give no specifics about what Canada is pressing for or what it is willing to commit to doing to cut shipping emissions.“The government of Canada is playing a leadership role in the fight against climate change and has been amongst the most vocal and ambitious member states at the International Maritime Organization,” Pierre Manoni said in an email. “We are working with our international partners to gain consensus and develop an ambitious strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international maritime shipping.”Andrew Dumbrille, the sustainable shipping specialist at the World Wildlife Fund Canada, said that’s about the same response he got during a conference call with the government when he asked what they were proposing to do.“I can’t get anything more concrete than that,” he said.Dumbrille said Canada has been in favour of discussing short-term measures, such as reducing the speed of ships, which can be done immediately. He said cutting ship speeds can reduce emissions by as much as 30 per cent. But he says commitments on the longer-term side have been invisible, if they exist.The WWF says the shipping industry has to cut emissions 70 to 100 per cent by 2050. That would largely come through technological improvements including better fuels. Right now the shipping industry relies on the “dirtiest fuel on the planet” said Dumbrille.Heavy fuel oil, a byproduct of distilling gasoline, is a sludgy, tar-like substance that is half the cost of most alternatives but produces significantly more emissions, including carbon dioxide and black carbon, as well as fine particulate matter and sulphur, all of which contribute not just to global warming but to lung diseases.It’s estimated heavy fuel oil contributes to thousands of deaths from air pollution each year.Several countries are trying to ban the use of heavy fuel in the Arctic and reduce its use everywhere, but Canada last year asked to slow that process while it looks at economic impacts on Arctic communities.last_img read more

Sensex ends 8day bull run logs weekly gain

first_imgMumbai: Snapping its eight-day winning streak, the BSE benchmark Sensex tumbled over 222 points Friday as investors scrambled to book profits after the recent rally while ratings agency Fitch slashed India’s growth forecast. Lacklustre global cues and a depreciating rupee also weighed on the markets, analysts said.The 30-share index opened on a positive note at 38,452.47, but soon succumbed to heavy selling pressure, touching an intra-day low of 38,089.36. It finally closed at 38,164.61, down by 222.14 points, or 0.58 per cent. On similar lines, the NSE Nifty shed 64.15 points, or 0.56 per cent, to finish at 11,456.90. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalOn a weekly basis, the Sensex added over 140 points, while the wider Nifty gained 30 points. Fitch Ratings Friday cut India’s GDP growth forecast for the next fiscal to 6.8 per cent from 7 per cent estimated earlier on weaker than expected economic momentum. In its latest Global Economic Outlook, Fitch also slashed GDP growth forecast for current fiscal ending March 2019 to 6.9 per cent from 7.2 per cent projected in the December edition. Tata Motors was the biggest loser in the Sensex pack, tumbling 2.47 per cent, followed by Reliance Industries (2.44 per cent), Maruti (1.84 per cent), SBI (1.76 per cent) and Bajaj Finance (1.23 per cent). NTPC emerged as the biggest gainer in the index, spurting 3.67 per cent. Other winners included L&T, Asian Paints, Tata Steel and PowerGrid, rising up to 1.54 per cent. “Domestic market ended on a weak note as investors turned to profit booking given the sharp rally in last two weeks and weak global cues.”last_img read more

Moroccan Parliament Rushes Approval of Public Prosecution Independence Bill

Rabat – The Moroccan parliament approved on Monday a bill making the King’s Attorney General at the Court of Cassation the new head of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, independent from any parliamentary oversight or government intervention. It took less than two weeks for members of the first chamber to review and validate the 33-17 bill. The text in question, relating to the transfer of the powers of the prosecutor’s office of the Ministry of Justice to the Attorney General of the King at the Court of Cassation and presented to Parliament on July 6, sparked fierce opposition from the majority and opposition parties alike.  The parties in questions could not reach an agreement on some of the points proposed by the bill, concerned that it would remove the Public Prosecution from the authority of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary The Justice and Development Party (PJD) led a fierce opposition. While the PJD’s first amendment on the necessity for the new prosecution office to adopt the penal policy enacted by the government, its second amendment, which refused to grant financial and administrative autonomy to the prosecutor general, was rejected. Isolated, the PJD parliamentary group was forced to withdraw its demand. The Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM), which expressed its utmost rejection of the bill, is considering to take matter to the Constitutional Court. “The prosecution office should not be above monitoring and accounting,” Abdellatif Wahbi told Morocco World News, expressing his fears regarding an institution that might become “autarch in a time when we lost control over it.” On July 19, the bill was voted in committee after validation and rejection of the amendments proposed by the deputies and accepted by the government. The bill was validated in record time, as it was adopted during the plenary session on Monday, and then submitted to the Second Chamber Tuesday. At this rate, the bill will leave the legislative circuit before the end of the current spring session, which should be closed by August 8. The draft law is expected to be implemented before October 7, when the public prosecutor should enter service in its new form, permanently sealing the independence of the judiciary.This is neither the first nor the second time in a few months that Parliament will adopt a bill with such speed. Last January, it took only a few hours for the Committee on Foreign Affairs to validate the bill approving the statutes of the African Union. The 2017 Finance Bill was also rushed through the House of Representatives, sparking in turn a huge controversy among the parliament and the public alike. On average, the examination and voting of a bill in both Houses takes about 207 days. read more

Weeklong taxi strike against Uber hinders traffic in Madrid

MADRID — Spanish police are clearing away taxis that are blocking a main avenue in the capital of Madrid, the latest action in a weeklong standoff with authorities over the growth of app-based ride-hailing services that taxi drivers say threaten their livelihood.The striking Spanish taxi drivers want the regional government in Madrid to impose tighter regulations for rides hailed through apps like Uber and Cabify.They demand similar steps like those announced for Barcelona, where local authorities can now modify regulations to require app-based rides to be hired up to one hour in advance.Madrid authorities have rejected any compromises that would wipe out competition for the taxis, which are regulated as a public service.Cab drivers responded Monday by moving their protest from the capital’s outskirts to Castellana Avenue, in Madrid’s central north-south axis.The Associated Press read more

Failure to protect forests will lead to huge financial losses – UNbacked

In a report entitled “REDDy-Set-Grow Part II: Recommendations for international climate change negotiators,” the UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) – in partnership with over 200 financial companies – urged negotiators at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to remain committed to the international policy framework on the reduction of deforestation and forest degradation reduction known as REDD+.The report points out that any post-Kyoto climate convention negotiated in Durban, South Africa, later this year must include text that clarifies the fundamental role of private engagement and investment in funding REDD+, as well as effective measures to tackle the causes deforestation by changing behaviour in the private sector towards sustainable land use.The Kyoto Protocol is an addition to the UNFCCC that contains legally binding measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and whose first commitment period is due to expire next year. Negotiations on the second commitment phase of the Protocol are ongoing.A positive outcome in Durban would also send an encouraging signal to the next year’s UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil, where one of the two key themes will be the Green Economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, according to the new report.An ineffective climate change regime on forests would entail losses in the global economy of $1 trillion per year by 2100, and affect a large portion of the estimated 1 billion people who rely on forests for their livelihood, according research done previously, the report adds.By contrast, a healthy forestry-based carbon market could mobilize investment for the protection and rehabilitation of natural forests to the tune of more than $10 billion by 2020.“The fundamental reason for current levels of deforestation worldwide is that cleared forests translate into economic opportunity for farmers, local communities and governments while standing forests do not,” said Christian del Valle, the Director of Environmental Markets & Forestry at BNP Paribas.“There is a price for soybeans, palm oil, beef and other products grown on deforested lands, but not for the many critically important services provided by healthy forests, including the sequestration and storing of carbon. With the possibility of a global funding mechanism for REDD+ we now have, at the global level, the unprecedented opportunity to address this imbalance. I hope we do not miss it so that natural forests are given the value they deserve.” 13 September 2011The United Nations and a coalition of financial institutions warned today that huge losses, both financial and environmental, could result from a failure to agree on a climate change agreement that spurs private sector investment in efforts to reduce deforestation and forest degradation. read more

Toronto stock index dips as oil falls below US50 a barrel amid

Toronto stock index dips as oil falls below US$50 a barrel amid OPEC deal by Linda Nguyen, The Canadian Press Posted May 25, 2017 9:34 am MDT Last Updated May 25, 2017 at 4:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – The price of oil fell below the US$50 mark Thursday as investors expressed disappointment over OPEC’s decision to only extend production cuts by another nine months.The July crude contract plunged $2.46 at US$48.90 per barrel, marking its biggest decline in more than two months.Oil prices have rallied in the last several weeks on expectations of an extension, but some had been hoping for deeper and longer cuts from the 14-member OPEC cartel and 10 other countries led by Russia.The new agreement means that the reductions of 1.8 million barrels a day agreed on last November will stay in place until March 2018.Chief market analyst Colin Cieszynski of CMC Markets Canada says investors had already priced in the likelihood that there would be an extension for at least six months, but others had a “pie in the sky” notion that the group might agree to a 12-month extension.When that didn’t materialize Thursday, it resulted in some profit taking with the price of oil, he said.OPEC and non-OPEC members are facing stiff competition from U.S. shale producers, who have returned to the market since crude prices have risen due to the cuts. Many are determined to resume operations if crude prices go even higher.“That’s why we didn’t see them cut any further really, because if they cut more it would just get replaced by U.S. production and they don’t want that,” Cieszynski said.A price of US$50 a barrel is still less than half the commodity’s level from early 2014, though above the low of below US$30 in early 2015.The weakness in crude weighed on the S&P/TSX composite index, which fell 8.76 points to 15,410.73.Losses from the energy sector were partially offset by gains in financials stocks, as three of the county’s largest banks — TD Bank (TSX:TD), Royal Bank (TSX:RY) and CIBC (TSX:CM) — reported strong quarterly results.The Canadian dollar was up 0.04 of a U.S. cent to an average price of 74.33 cents US.New York indices gained for a sixth straight sessions as the Dow Jones industrial average added 70.53 points to 21,082.95. The S&P 500 index advanced 10.68 points to 2,415.07 and the Nasdaq composite index gained 42.24 points at 6,205.26 — both hitting record highs.In other commodities, the June gold contract gained $3.30 to US$1,256.40 an ounce, the July copper contract was up a penny at US$2.60 a pound, and July natural gas contract was down three cents at US$3.28 per mmBTU.— With files from The Associated PressFollow @LindaNguyenTO on Twitter. read more

Racism will not disappear from football stadiums by magic warns UNESCO report

“The playing fields of football are built with the profound values of fair play, equality and mutual respect – they sometimes also display unacceptable racist, xenophobic and intolerant views,” said UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova said in the foreword the new report Colour? What Colour? released jointly with the Juventus Football Club over the weekend in Paris.The report takes stock of what has been done and what is being done to combat racism and discrimination in the sport; it examines ways to assess actions undertaken and envisages other complementary actions, as well as offering examples of best practice.Noting that “the existence of racism and discrimination in football is not a secret, but it is a shame on the game,” the 83-page report contains the fruit of research and surveys involving an international team of experts, researchers, football managers and officials, and concludes that “racism and discrimination will not disappear from the football stadium by magic.” As the report has tried to show, they may be further reduced by systematic, coherent, and coordinated action by those who share the objective of promoting “a football of cultural diversity and social inclusion.”All experts interviewed for this report agreed on the fact that eliminating racism and discrimination will not be a ‘walk in the park,’ but requires sustained and combined efforts from all sides, it said.“Sometimes it is necessary to re-design the entire machine in order to achieve progress,” according to the report’s conclusion. “Sometimes re-adjusting or re-arranging some nuts and bolts is sufficient. From within the machine, it is difficult to judge, but from the outside, things may appear in a different light.”In the foreword, Ms. Bokova argues that sport provides a unique platform to promote the values of intercultural dialogue and understanding, as well as gender equality, while reinforcing social inclusion. However, she cautions that it can also be exploited to divide and discriminate.“We have seen the exchange of racial epithets between athletes, along with crowd taunts that are based on race, ethnic or cultural background – and these have occurred at all levels of sport,” she underscored.“This report offers the first exhaustive overview of the challenge and proposes good practice that can be taken forward,” Ms. Bokova said, commending the Juventus Football Club for their political engagement against discrimination and racism in football.“This report will allow UNESCO and other stakeholders to take this struggle to a higher level still,” she said.To counter this challenge, UNESCO is acting across the board with all its partners to promoting the inclusion of anti-discrimination and anti-racism clauses in players’ contracts. According to the UNESCO chief, since 2009, in multiple partnerships with football clubs – including Barcelona and Malaga FC (Spain), Ruby Shenzhen (China), Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia) and recently with Juventus – UNESCO has placed emphasis on the role of clubs in propagating the essential messages of tolerance, respect and inclusion. read more

Football Greg Schiano staying with Ohio State despite NFL rumors

Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano speaks to the media on Dec. 27 prior to the 2017 Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State raked in its best statistical recruiting class under head coach Urban Meyer with two more commitments on National Signing Day, but that wasn’t the biggest news for the Buckeyes when looking at the 2018 season.After rumors circulating that defensive coordinator and safeties coach Greg Schiano was expected to take the vacant New England Patriots defensive coordinator position, Schiano apparently spoke with Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Feldman to set the record straight that he was remaining at Ohio State next season.Greg Schiano tells me he is staying at #OhioState contrary to reports from Monday that he was leaving for the Patriots. Big day for the Buckeyes. Schiano played a key part in landing top OT Nick Petit-Frere out of Tampa.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) February 7, 2018It’s been a turbulent offseason for the Ohio State coaching staff with reports that quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day would leave to become the Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator — he eventually was promoted to offensive coordinator to stay with the Buckeyes — and cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs signing on to become the Titans cornerbacks coach. Coombs was one of Ohio State’s most integral recruiters and position coaches, having produced four first-round picks from his position group in the last four drafts, so losing Schiano would’ve been another blow to the defensive outlook of Ohio State, as well as its recruiting prowess.Schiano said he does have aspirations of becoming a head coach, but that doesn’t have to happen. Adds he loves what he’s doing right now.— Edward Sutelan (@EdwardSutelan) February 7, 2018 read more

Dando works with Sonic Drill to supply new compact SDC375 rig

first_imgDando Drilling has been working in collaboration with Canadian company, Sonic Drill Corporation, to bring a brand new light, compact sonic drilling rig to the market. Sonic Drill Corporation, established for over 35 years, is a market leader for the sonic drilling rig industry and a leading innovator in sonic drilling technology, holding key patents for this type of drilling technique. The new SDC375 drilling rig, now available for purchase through Dando, will feature the Sonic drill head which is well regarded for its performance and reliability.The SDC375, like all Dando rigs, is designed to be robust and reliable and also boasts a small footprint allowing it to operate in tight spaces as well as fit inside a standard sized container for easy transportation. This is Dando’s first step into the sonic drilling market and the company stated that sonic drilling “boasts many advantages over conventional drilling including being faster, requiring less drilling fluid, continuous high quality coring and greatly reduced hole deviation.” In addition to the sharing of technology, Sonic Drill Corporation will also be Dando’s agent for North America.last_img read more

Tipperary Rape Crisis service will continue as normal

first_imgTHE HEAD OF the Tipperary Rape Crisis & Counselling Centre has moved to assure people that the centre will continue to operate as normal.A funding shortfall meant that Rape Crisis Midwest would have to shut for a month, but Anita Clancy Clarke of Tipperary Rape Crisis & Counselling Service said that this will not affect their services.“I would like to clarify that Tipperary Rape Crisis & Counselling Centre services continue to operate as normal.“The services are available out of the main office in Clonmel and the outreach offices in Carrick on Suir and Cashel. I am making this statement in response to an announcement made earlier this week in the media regarding the closure of some Rape Crisis Centres for a month.“We have been receiving calls from distressed clients and we want to reassure them and to invite anyone with concerns to ring the Freephone number 1800 340 340.”Earlier this week, it was revealed that Rape Crisis Midwest is to close services in Clare and Tipperary because it is €120,000 short on funding.Read: Two rape crisis centres are to close temporarily as cuts take holdlast_img read more

Philadelphia newspapers to offer cheap Android tablets with digital subscription

first_imgIt’s 2011, and most old-school media outlets are still struggling to figure out what to do with their digital presences. Paywalls have been a risky bet for the most part (partly because they’ve been easy to get around), and monetizing content by serving advertisements isn’t always enough to keep the ship afloat when it’s so easy for readers to hop sources on the Web.Two Philadelphia newspapers have come up with an interesting plan: to bundle inexpensive Android tablets with digital subscriptions. Both the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News are hoping the combined offering will boost readership of their downloadable news, which currently runs about $3 per week.  While tablet pricing hasn’t been revealed just yet, it’s thought that parent company Philadelphia Media Network would offer the tablets as cheaply as half price. That’s not too shabby considering there are some fairly nice Android slabs available for around $200 retail — like Barnes and Noble’s Nook Color and the Viewsonic gTablet.AdChoices广告At the company’s press conference yesterday, PMN announced that a limited number of tablets would be available at launch, perhaps as few as 2,000. As you’d probably also expect, the devices will be Wi-Fi only to begin with — though 3G or 4G versions may be a possibility in the future. There is also an iPad app in the works, though subscriptions accessed via your shiny Apple tablet will unsurprisingly not be eligible for any kind of hardware subsidy.As Brad Linder points out over at Liliputing, if readers are willing to sign up for long-term subscriptions, it’s a win-win situation. Subscribers get a good deal on a decent piece of Android hardware while the publisher guarantees its costs are covered and a little bit of profit will roll in for the next year or two. Sounds like a good deal to me, but sadly my local publications aren’t nearly so forward-thinking.Read more at Liliputinglast_img read more

The end of an era for iconic Greek restaurant

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Located in the Rundle Street precinct since 1995, Eros Ouzeri, one of the most iconic restaurants in Adelaide’s East End, has closed its doors after 20 years of operation. Owner George Michail, who purchased the restaurant in 2007 from restaurateur Jim Dimitropoulos, ceased trading after going into liquidation. A notice displayed on the business’ front door confirms that the lease of the premises has been terminated as a result of unpaid rent.Greek Australian restaurateur Jim Dimitropoulos opened Eros Ouzeri in 1995 alongside Eros Kafe, which he still owns and continues to operate successfully as a family business. According to local press, landlord Steve Maras, of Maras Group, confirmed that the Eros Ouzeri premises went up for lease earlier this week, and that they are now looking to secure a high-quality operator to deliver a restaurant similar to the already existing venues in the East End of the Rundle Street precinct.He also confirmed that the news has no relevance to Eros Kafé.last_img read more

Washington school shooters texts turned dark

first_imgMARYSVILLE — A detective investigating the high school shooting in Washington state that left five teens dead says in court papers that the young shooter’s texts turned dark the week before he opened fire, with references to his funeral and the message: “Bang bang I’m dead.”Moments before Jaylen Fryberg, 15, shot his fellow students Oct. 24 in the Marysville Pilchuck High School cafeteria, he texted more than a dozen relatives, describing what he wanted to wear at his funeral and who should get his personal possessions, the detective’s search warrant affidavit says.The boy asked relatives to apologize to the families of his friends “who get caught up in the (expletive) tomorrow” — referring to the day after the shooting. He also sent texts in the previous days to a female friend talking about his death and funeral.The popular teen fatally shot four friends he had invited to lunch and wounded a fifth teen before killing himself.The victims are Gia Soriano, Zoe Galasso and Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, all 14, and Andrew Fryberg, 15. All were shot in the head. Nate Hatch, 14, was shot in the jaw and is recovering. Andrew Fryberg and Hatch are the shooter’s cousins.Investigators have found no evidence to support a rumor that students had expressed concerns about Jaylen Fryberg to school authorities before the shooting, police spokeswoman Shari Ireton said Wednesday.last_img read more

Digging a Fighting Hole

first_imgSince I wrote that piece, I’ve spoken to a few more b-to-b folks. And nothing I’m hearing suggests that I’m wrong to be nervous.So if I may continue this metaphor, let me say this, and let me say it my best drill sergeant voice: “Shut your damn mouths. Grab your goddamn entrenching tool and dig a goddamn hole!”When the new year begins, I’ll post some of my thoughts on what a B2B fighting hole looks like. In the meantime, it’s worth noting that some of the smarter folks in the industry are offering their suggestions on how to weather the coming dark times.First, David Shaw says now is NOT the time to panic or overreact.Second, Scott Karp suggests that now IS the time to go for broke in online ad sales.Third, in an article in FOLIO: magazine, 1105 Media’s Neal Vitale says it’s time to rethink staffing and accept that “you might find that you need more resources devoted to online content development.”More here … Back when I was younger and even more attractive than I am today, I was a soldier. And like other soldiers, I learned a set of skills that are sometimes difficult to transfer to the civilian world. I, for example, am a pretty good fighter with a bayonet. But my clients in the B2B world seldom have the need to employ me for my skills with edged weapons.On the other hand, back in infantry training at Fort Benning, I learned to dig a fighting hole. And I think that will prove a valuable skill-at least in the metaphorical sense-in 2008.A fighting hole, sometimes called a fox hole, is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a hole in the ground from which a soldier fights. But the key to a fighting hole is that it is a defensive position. It’s the place where a soldier lives, fights and struggles to hold the line. Although it is possible to advance from a fighting hole, it is more of a place to resist an onslaught than to plan an attack. And I’ve decided that it’s time for b-to-b editors and publishers to build some fighting holes.As the year draws to an end, I find myself worrying more and more about what next year will bring for our industry. As I mentioned a few days ago, “I’m worried that 2008 is going to be an awful year for B2B publishing.”last_img read more

Opposition candidates in Turkey fear vote rigging

Opposition candidates in Turkey fear vote rigging
first_imgSupporters of Muharrem Ince, presidential candidate of Turkey`s main opposition Republic People`s Party, attend an election rally in Istanbul, Saturday 23 June 2018. Turkish voters will vote Sunday 24 June in a historic double election for the presidency and parliament. Photo: APTwo main candidates posing a tough challenge to president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections have cast their votes and vowed vigilance amid fears of possible fraud.Erdogan and his ruling party are seen as the front runners in the dual polls but for the first time in his 15-year-rule, the Turkish leader is facing a united and more energized opposition.Rallies by Muharrem Ince of the secular opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, have drawn massive crowds, while Meral Aksener of the newly-formed nationalist Good Party is trying to attract conservative votes away from Erdogan’s ruling party.Both leaders on Sunday alluded to fears of vote-rigging.Ince voted in his home town of Yalova in northwest Turkey. Aksener told reporters in Istanbul: “I hope these elections are beneficial and truly reflect the free will of the voters.”Turkey’s state-run news agency says authorities have arrested six people for allegedly insulting president Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of a campaign rally by his main opponent in Sunday’s elections.The Anadolu Agency said the six were detained late Saturday days after videos posted on social media reportedly showed them shouting expletives against Erdogan. The news agency said they were later charged with “insulting state elders.”The agency said police were searching for other suspects.Insulting the president is a crime punishable by up to four years in prison. Erdogan has filed close to 2,000 lawsuits against people, including school children, for insulting him.As a goodwill gesture, he dropped the cases following a failed military coup in 2016. But many more cases have been filed since then.Turkey is holding high-stakes presidential and parliamentary elections that could consolidate president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s hold on power or curtail his vast political ambitions.Voters flocked to polling centres Sunday to cast ballots in an election that will complete Turkey’s transition to a new executive presidential system, a move approved in a controversial referendum last year.Erdogan, 64, is seeking re-election for a new five-year term with hugely increased powers under the new system, which he insists will bring prosperity and stability to Turkey, especially after a failed coup attempt in 2016 that has left the country under a state of emergency since then. His ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, is hoping to retain its majority in parliament.Still, Erdogan – who has been in power since 2003 – is facing a more robust and united opposition this time, one that has vowed to return Turkey to a parliamentary democracy with strong checks and balances and decried what it calls Erdogan’s “one-man rule.”last_img

Italy threatens to torpedo EU migration summit

Italy threatens to torpedo EU migration summit
first_imgPresident of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker reacts as he speaks to journalists during an European Union leaders` summit focused on migration, Brexit and eurozone reforms on 28 June 2018 at the Europa building in Brussels. The two-day meeting in Brussels is expected to be dominated by deep divisions over migration, with German Chancellor saying the issue could decide the fate of the bloc itself. Photo: AFPItaly’s hardline new premier threatened Thursday to sink a crunch EU summit on migration that embattled German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned could decide the bloc’s fate.Prime minister Giuseppe Conte, who heads Italy’s month-old populist and anti-immigration government, said he would block a joint statement from the meeting in Brussels if fellow leaders fail to do more to help Italy.Rome has refused to let several migrant rescue boats dock at Italian ports, reviving EU tensions despite the fact that numbers of arrivals have dipped sharply since Europe’s migration crisis in 2015.”Italy does not need more words, but concrete actions,” Conte told reporters as he arrived at the summit. “It’s a possibility I hope not to consider, but if we reach that point, on my behalf we will not have shared conclusions.”Italy wants the responsibility for migrants on ships arriving on its shores across the Mediterranean to be shared out across the EU.It cited the way other European governments had offered to help after Italy refused to admit the rescue ship Aquarius, which docked later in Spain, and Lifeline, which went to Malta.Conte comes to the European Union gathering emboldened the announcement of an upcoming visit to US President Donald Trump, who has hailed Rome’s tough stance, and who himself blocked the conclusions of a recent G7 leaders meeting on tradeFailure to issue a joint statement would be a catastrophic show of disunity for the EU leaders, who are meeting amid warnings that authoritarian and “anti-European” movements will profit from their failure to tackle migration.- ‘Europe’s destiny’ -Merkel’s political future at home also hangs in the balance over the issue, and she issued a rallying call to the other European leaders to back her stance.”Europe has many challenges but migration could end up determining Europe’s destiny,” Merkel told German lawmakers hours ahead of the summit.For years Europe’s most powerful leader, Merkel risks seeing her fragile coalition collapse if she cannot reach deals with Italy and other countries to stop migrants initially arriving in those countries from moving on to Germany.After allowing more than one million asylum seekers into Germany since 2015, Merkel faces an end-of-the-month deadline from her own interior minister to seal the pacts to curb so-called secondary migration.Italy however insists on getting help for dealing with new arrivals before making any further deals.European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker suggested there was room for compromise.”I’m not worried about a veto,” the former Luxembourg prime minister said, adding that he has been pleading for years for member countries to show more solidarity with Italy.EU president Donald Tusk meanwhile issued a fresh warning on the need for action on migration to stave off rising populism and authoritarianism, saying that “the stakes are high and time is short.””Some may think I am too tough in my proposals on migration, but trust me, if we don’t agree on them, then you’ll see some really tough proposals from some really tough guys,” the former Polish premier added.- World Cup surprise -Tusk has proposed that the leaders approve work on migrant “disembarkation platforms” in countries outside Europe, most likely in Africa, according to a draft summit statement.The aim is to discourage migrants from boarding smuggler boats bound for Europe.But long-mulled plans for a permanent scheme to share migrants arriving in Italy and Greece around other EU countries appear doomed to fail for now.A temporary scheme was introduced during the migration crisis in 2015 amid bitter recriminations.Former communist contries in Eastern Europe, particularly the authoritarian governments of Hungary and Poland, implacably oppose the plan.The leaders will on Friday discuss largely French and German proposals, many watered down, to reform the euro in an effort to avert a repeat of the debt crisis and rebuild confidence in the single currency.Notably absent is any overt support for French President Emmanuel Macron’s plans for a eurozone budget, given the bitter opposition of the Netherlands and others.On Brexit, EU leaders are expected on Friday to deplore a lack of progress and say talks, which have stalled on the issue of the Irish border, must be stepped up with a view to reaching a deal by October.Leaders would “appreciate” if Prime Minister Theresa May would give them more details on Thursday as to the “intentions of the British government”, particularly on relations after Britain leaves in 2019, a senior EU official said.In a light-hearted bid to ease the tensions, Belgian premier Charles Michel surprised May with a gift of a Belgian football shirt, as a World Cup clash between Belgium and England coincides with the summit on Thursday night.last_img

Arch Social Club Poised to Win Preservation Funding Community Support is Key

Arch Social Club Poised to Win Preservation Funding Community Support is Key

first_imgAs a participant of the 2018 Partners in Preservation campaign, Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street is encouraging the public to Vote Penn Ave (visit votepennave.com) to secure funding to help preserve the Arch Social Club. For nearly a century the Club has stood proudly as a cornerstone for Baltimore’s African-American civic, political and cultural life.Established in 1905 as a meeting hall for “negro” men in a then segregated city, the Club brought together tradesmen, laborers, clergy professionals and entrepreneurs to craft strategies for addressing the issues of the day and to fellowship.Arch Social Club is a Pennsylvania Ave Landmark. (Courtesy Photo)Located at the center of Baltimore’s famed Pennsylvania Avenue, a prime stop along Black America’s storied “chitterling circuit,” the arch Social Club opened its doors to people from all walks of life and to the likes of Billie Holiday, Cab Calloway, Pearl Bailey, Lena Horne and James Brown.The Club also served as a meeting place for the civil rights movement, hosting the NAACP leaders Clarence and Juanita Mitchell, Thurgood Marshall and others.In recent years the Arch Social Club has helped to launch talent such as jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut, R&B artists Dru Hill and Tupac, and served as safe-house and comfort station during the demonstrations that followed the death of Freddie Gray.As Baltimore’s Pennsylvania Avenue, an American “Main Street” (designated by the Mayor of Baltimore) stands poised for revitalization, the Arch Social Club once again plays a pivotal role as a prominent cultural institution in the African-American community.Through the proposed construction of a new theater marquee, the Club will serve to “shine a light” on efforts to redevelop this formerly vibrant commercial corridor and to welcome a new generation of civic leaders, artists, entrepreneurs and patrons to “The Avenue.”American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in collaboration with Main Street America, recently announced that their annual Partners in Preservationcampaign is headed back to Main Street with a focus on sites that celebrate diversity and the fight for equality.Partners in Preservation is a community-based partnership, created by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express, to raise awareness of the importance of preserving historic places and their role in sustaining local communities.To date, it has committed over $22 million in support of more than 200 historic sites across the country. Drawing on the success of the 2017 program, this year the campaign will award $2 million in grants to historic sites on America’s Main Streets. Each of the 20 sites featured in the campaign played a role in the development of a diverse nation or the struggle for equal rights.Main Streets seeks to inspire long-term support from local citizens for sites on Main Street. Each local partner is receiving an initial grant of $20,000 to increase public awareness of the importance of these historic places and build grassroots support for their Main Street district.The public will decide which historic sites will receive a share of $2 million in preservation funding by voting for their favorite main streets through Oct. 26 atVoteYourMainStreet.org, hosted by media partner National Geographic. Winners willbe announced on Oct. 29.For more information and to vote daily for Baltimore’s Arch Social Club through Oct. 26, visit pennave.com.last_img read more

Severe air pollution may cause birth defects deaths

Severe air pollution may cause birth defects deaths

first_imgHarmful particulate matter in the atmosphere may lead to birth defects and even fatalities during pregnancy, according to a study conducted in mice. Researchers at Texas A&M University in the US examined the adverse health effects of exposure to fine particulate matter consisting of ammonium sulphate commonly found in many locations around the world. During winter months in India and China, where severe haze events frequently occur, fine particulate matter levels are especially high at several hundred microgrammes per cubic metre, they said. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAccording to the World Health Organization (WHO), nine out of 10 people worldwide breathe air containing high level of pollutants. One out of every nine global deaths can be attributed to exposure to air pollution, totalling over seven million premature deaths a year, researchers said. “People typically believe that ammonium sulphate may not be terribly toxic, but our results show large impacts on female pregnant rats,” said Renyi Zhang, a professor at Texas A&M University. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”It is unclear yet what is causing these profound effects, but we speculate that the size of nanoparticles or even the acidity may be the culprit,” Zhang said. Sulphate is mainly produced from coal burning, which is a major energy source for much of the world in both developed and developing countries. Ammonium is derived from ammonia, which is produced from agricultural, automobile, and animal emissions, “so this certainly represents a major problem worldwide,” Zhang said. “However, our results show that prenatal exposure to air pollution may not dispose offspring to obesity in adulthood,” said Guoyao Wu, Texas A&M University Distinguished Professor and one of the lead authors of the study. “Nutrition and lifestyle are likely major factors contributing to the current obesity epidemic worldwide,” Wu said. Numerous previous studies have shown that air pollution is a serious public health threat throughout the world, with millions of people breathing air that is far less than standards set by the WHO. Previous studies have shown such pollution to impair metabolic and immune systems in animal offspring. However, the study shows definitive proof of decreased foetal survival rates, and also shortened gestation rates that can result in smaller body weight, in addition to damage to brains, hearts and other organs in the adult rat models. The findings present obvious concerns and challenges on a multi-scale level, the researchers said. “While epidemiological studies have been widely adopted to assess the health effects of air pollution, these tend to yield little insight into adverse outcomes and long-term effects,” Zhang said. “Furthermore, there is an absence of clinical recommendations for prevention and treatment of air pollution-related health issues. “Our study has demonstrated that well-controlled exposure experiments using animal models offer major advantages for future air pollution control and are promising in the development of therapeutic intervention and treatment procedures,” he said.last_img read more