UPDATED NEWS….’YES’ VOTE AHEAD BY A NOSE IN DONEGAL SOUTH WEST

first_imgTHE voting in Donegal South West is a close run thing.Estimates say that the ‘Yes’ campaign is ahead by just 27 votes.But it is expected that at the final count Donegal will vote ‘Yes’ for the marriage reforms.   UPDATED NEWS….’YES’ VOTE AHEAD BY A NOSE IN DONEGAL SOUTH WEST was last modified: May 23rd, 2015 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:UPDATED NEWS….’YES’ VOTE AHEAD BY A NOSE IN DONEGAL SOUTH WESTlast_img read more

Why New U.S. Ozone Standards Aren’t Enough

first_imgConnection to greenhouse gasesRegulatory actions aren’t the only factor in controlling ozone levels. Because ozone is produced in the atmosphere, its formation can also be affected by meteorological conditions.In many areas in the U.S. – in particular, densely populated areas where people live, such as the East, Midwest, and South – it is projected that climate change can make ozone worse, because changes like increasing temperatures can increase ozone formation.By 2050, it has been estimated that the global health costs from ozone could reach $580 billion, considering both climate and future emissions changes. Also, because both increasing temperatures and ozone can reduce crop yields, climate change and air pollution acting together are projected to cause substantial crop damage worldwide in the future.The other general point to be made is that the sources that contribute to ozone formation – such as vehicles and power plants – also emit other pollutants that, in turn, contribute to atmospheric particulate matter and climate change. Yet current regulations often deal with pollutants in isolation. Coordinated strategies could lead to greater benefits and, at the same time, save money.For example, controlling methane, a greenhouse gas, can help mitigate ozone damages at the same time as benefiting the global climate. Carbon policies, similar to those proposed under the Clean Power Plan, can also improve ozone air quality across the US.A truly healthy atmosphere would contain substantially less ozone than 70 ppb. Fully implementing the new standard, and taking advantage of innovative and coordinated strategies to reduce greenhouse gases and traditional air pollutants, could help the U.S. lead the way in addressing this global challenge. RELATED ARTICLES Ozone Pollution in the WestEPA Tightens Wood Stove RulesDo Wood-Burning Power Plants Make Sense?The Case for Nuclear Power — Despite the Risks Comparing numbersThe new ambient air quality standard was reduced from a level of 75 parts per billion (ppb) of allowed ground-level ozone in air to 70 ppb. This is at the top end of the range – 60 to 70 ppb – recommended by the scientific advisory committee tasked with informing EPA about this issue.A concentration of 70 ppb is still a high level of ozone when compared with targets set by other countries around the world. Ozone concentrations are often averaged over eight hours. As ozone forms from chemical reactions that include sunlight and temperature, the maximum level usually occurs in the afternoon.The World Health Organization’s health-based guideline (a recommendation only – the WHO is not a regulatory body) for all its member states is equivalent to 50 ppb. The European Union (EU) aims for a long-term objective to protect health that corresponds to 60 ppb, and Canada’s standard is 63 ppb. Research has also shown that the negative health effects of ozone can occur at concentrations far below these levels.However, it is difficult to compare regulations directly, as both the form and the enforcement capacity differ.The U.S. regulation allows the set level to be exceeded up to four times per year, before deeming an area to be violating the standard. The EU’s level represents a long-term objective – in the near term, concentrations can exceed the target level up to 25 times, averaged over three years. Canada’s standard, while measured similarly to the U.S., is essentially a voluntary target, with little enforcement capacity.In practice, both in the U.S. and elsewhere, ozone concentrations frequently fail to meet the standards. Based on 2012-2014 data, 241 counties in the U.S. had concentrations that exceeded the new standard. In the summer of 2014, the EU did not meet its long-term objective at 80% of measurement stations.In other parts of the world ozone is an even more widespread problem. High levels of industrial and traffic emissions in Asia lead to high ozone concentrations there that can far exceed levels in North America and Europe. While ground-level ozone is primarily a regional issue, pollutants that can contribute to ozone formation also travel across continents. For example, emissions from Asia contribute to local ground-level ozone problems in the United States.Much discussion of the new EPA rule has focused on the issue of compliance costs, with very different estimates of the economic implications of meeting the new standard.However, the health and ecological impacts of ozone have an economic cost as well – and these can add up. In the U.S., for example, the EPA estimates that strengthening the standards could lead to $2.9-$5.9 billion in benefits from improved health. On October 1, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced new standards for ground-level ozone. Much of the discussion around the new regulations has centered either on whether they are protective enough of health or on how much implementation will cost.The U.S. is not the only country taking action to restrict ground-level ozone – and from a health perspective, even the new, lower U.S. limit is still higher than guideline levels in other countries.Industry in the U.S. has resisted tighter controls on ozone because they would require upgrades to air quality equipment at power plants, industrial activity and vehicles. However, a true accounting of the costs and benefit should include the health and ecological benefits of stricter controls. Damaging impactWherever it comes from, ground-level ozone can cause substantial damage to human health, including respiratory problems, asthma attacks, and premature mortalities. Ozone impacts the environment, too, by harming plant growth and lowering agricultural crop yields. Ozone can also act as a greenhouse gas, contributing to warming of the climate. Noelle Eckley Selin is an associate professor of Data, Systems and Society and Atmospheric Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This post originally appeared at The Conversation.last_img read more

I-T Department issues summons to Lalu’s daughter, husband

first_imgThe Income Tax Department has issued summons to Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad’s  daughter Misa Bharti and her husband, Shailesh Kumar, in connection with its probe into alleged Rs. 1,000 crore benami land deals and a tax evasion case.This follows the arrest of chartered acountant Rajesh Kumar Agrawal by the Enforcement Directorate on May 22. He is alleged to have aided in illegal transactions involving Mr. Prasad’s kin.Officials of the department said the department had asked Ms. Bharti, a Rajya Sabha member, and Mr. Kumar to appear before the investigating officer in New Delhi in June first week.On May 16, the department searched multiple premises of about two dozen entities connected to this case and seized documents and computer hardware.The officials said the summons issued to Ms. Bharti and Mr. Kumar were a part of the investigation and their statements would be recorded.The couple are alleged to have links with Ms Mishail Packers and Printers Private Limited, which is suspected to have entered into benami deals for purchase of a farm house in Delhi’s Bijwasan area.Certain other property deals were also under the scanner of the taxman, the officials said.The officials had said they will apply provisions of the newly enacted Benami Transactions Act, 1988, which became operational from November 1 last, in this case. The law provides for a maximum punishment of seven years in jail and a fine.The action under this new law will be over and above the legal proceedings under the Income Tax Act, 1961, which relates to charges of domestic tax evasion.The officials had said Mr. Prasad’s kin held some of the property under their scanner in a ‘benami’ way. (Benami property are those in which the real beneficiary is not the one in whose name the property has been purchased).Lalu blames BJPThe RJD chief, however, had sought to put up a brave face after the raids, saying he was “not scared at all” and will continue to fight against “fascist forces“.“BJP mein himmat nahi hai ki Lalu ki awaz ko daba sake… Lalu ki awaz dabayenge to desh bhar me karoron Lalu khare ho jayenge… Main gidarbhabhki se nahi darne wala hoon  [the BJP does not have the courage to stifle my voice… If it tries to silence one Lalu, crores of Lalu will come forward. I am not scared of empty threats],” he had said in a series of tweets after the searches.The BJP had also accused Mr. Prasad, sons Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap (both Bihar Ministers) and Ms. Bharti of being involved in corrupt land deals worth over Rs 1,000 crore, and asked the Central government to probe one such transaction in Delhi.Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had alleged that these transactions were a case of quid pro quo, suggesting that money was paid in return for favour, as they dated back to the period when Mr. Lalu Prasad was the Railway Minister, and dared Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to take action against the RJD chief.Mr. Lalu Prasad’s official residence was the address of the owners of the firms allegedly floated by his family members, Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad had said.last_img read more