Easy going

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‘Major fire’ hits cathedral in French city of Nantes

first_imgDozens of firefighters were Saturday battling a  major fire inside a cathedral in the western French city of Nantes, emergency services said.Fire crews were alerted just before 8 a.m. (0600 GMT) to the blaze at the Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul, construction on which started in the 15th century, the emergency operations center said.It said the “major fire” was still advancing and 60 firefighters had been dispatched to the scence. The gothic structure was last hit by fire in 1972. Its roof took more than 13 years to repair.Another religious building in Nantes — the Basilica of St Donatian and St Rogatian — was struck by a fire in 2015 that destroyed three-quarters of its roof.In April last year, a fire engulfed Paris’s 13th century Notre-Dame Cathedral, causing its steeple to collapse and sending billowing fumes containing toxic molten lead into the air. The structure will take years to repair.Topics :last_img read more

Dutch shipping sector scheme to lose mandatory status

first_imgHijlke Hijlkema, the chairman of the pension fund, attributed the lack of support to the structure of the sector, with its 1,100 affiliated companies employing an average of just four staff.“They comprise many unattached entrepreneurs, skippers who are averse to too many rules and obligations,” he argued. Credit: Erich WestendarpIngrid Blom, responsible for social affairs at the employer organisations CBRB and BLN-Schuttevaer, said that the social partners wanted to develop new, non-mandatory pension arrangements, in order to generate sufficient scale and lower barriers for employers to join.However, both Blom and Klein said this would require extending the compulsory status of the pension fund by at least one year to allow for the transition.Hijlkema said he feared that suspending the scheme’s mandatory status would lead to a domino effect.“As large firms already pay wages from abroad and avoid mandatory participation, suspension may also tempt other employers to do the same,” he said. “This would lead to a vicious circle, with ever-increasing costs for the remaining companies.”Last year, the pension fund spent €327 per participant on pensions administration.At the end of last June, its funding ratio stood at 118.3%. Its financial position enabled the scheme to grant its participants and pensioners inflation compensation of 1.27%.The shipping scheme reported a 2% loss on investments. It has 4,985 workers, 11,335 deferred members and 2,910 pensioners. The €970m Dutch sector scheme for the Rhine and inland shipping is likely to lose its mandatory status, as not enough employers support the current compulsory participation.In its annual report for 2018, the Pensioenfonds Rijn- en Binnenvaart said that 40.7% of active participants were employed by companies affiliated with an industry organisation that had requested mandatory participation.This figure must be at least 50% for the pension fund to keep its legal mandatory status, and both the pension fund and its social partners have warned that the necessary improvement is unlikely be achieved before the deadline in May next year.According to Bert Klein, trustee at trade union Nautilus International, possible alternatives – such as setting up a employer organisation dedicated to pensions, or a merger with another sector scheme – had already been ruled out “as they would create new problems”.last_img read more

Chevron earnings hit by lower oil prices

first_imgOil major Chevron saw its first quarter 2019 earnings slip when compared to the prior-year period due to lower oil prices and weaker downstream margins. Michael Wirth, Chevron CEO. Source: ChevronChevron on Friday reported earnings of $2.6 billion for the first quarter 2019, compared with $3.6 billion in the first quarter of 2018.Foreign currency effects decreased earnings in the 2019 first quarter by $137 million.Sales and other operating revenues in first quarter 2019 were $34 billion, compared to $36 billion in the year-ago period.Michael Wirth, Chevron’s chairman of the board and chief executive officer, said: “Upstream production volumes were up 7 percent from a year ago, primarily in the Permian Basin and at Wheatstone in Australia. The company’s net oil-equivalent production exceeded 3 million barrels per day for the second quarter in a row. First quarter earnings declined from a year ago, largely due to lower crude oil prices and weaker downstream and chemicals margins.”Chevron’s worldwide net oil-equivalent production was 3.04 million barrels per day in first quarter 2019, an increase of 7 percent from 2.85 million barrels per day from a year ago.U.S. upstream operations earned $748 million in first quarter 2019, compared with $648 million a year earlier. The increase was primarily due to higher crude oil production partially offset by lower crude oil and natural gas realizations.The company’s average sales price per barrel of crude oil and natural gas liquids was $48 in first quarter 2019, down from $56 a year earlier. The average sales price of natural gas was $1.64 per thousand cubic feet in first quarter 2019, down from $2.02 in last year’s first quarter.Net oil-equivalent production of 884,000 barrels per day in first quarter 2019 was up 151,000 barrels per day from a year earlier. Production increases from shale and tight properties in the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico, and major capital projects and base business in the Gulf of Mexico, were partially offset by normal field declines and the impact of asset sales.Capital and exploratory expenditures in the first three months of 2019 were $4.7 billion, compared with $4.4 billion in the corresponding 2018 period.It is worth mentioning that Chevron recently entered into a definitive agreement with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Anadarko in a stock and cash transaction valued at $33 billion, or $65 per share.However, the U.S. oil firm Occidental Petroleum has entered into a race with Chevron by also offering to buy Anadarko.Anadarko said it would carefully review Oxy’s Wednesday bid and advised shareholders not to take action regarding the bid.Offshore Energy Today StaffSpotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email. Offshore Energy Today, established in 2010, is read by over 10,000 industry professionals daily. We had nearly 9 million page views in 2018, with 2.4 million new users. This makes us one of the world’s most attractive online platforms in the space of offshore oil and gas and allows our partners to get maximum exposure for their online campaigns. If you’re interested in showcasing your company, product or technology on Offshore Energy Today contact our marketing manager Mirza Duran for advertising options.last_img read more

Weekend of mourning declared for victims of St Lucia tragedy

first_imgLocalNews Weekend of mourning declared for victims of St Lucia tragedy by: – November 14, 2011 32 Views   one comment Share Share Tweetcenter_img Share Sharing is caring! Scene of accident. Image via: St Lucia StarCASTRIES, St Lucia — On Thursday evening, a minibus carrying mourners from a funeral went over a cliff and plunged into the sea at Morne Sion in Choiseul, St Lucia. This resulted in 17 confirmed deaths, mainly from the community of Dugard in Micoud.According to reports, the dead include an infant, a pregnant woman and the bus driver, 47-year-old Michael Alexander, who apparently missed a turn in the road and plunged 50 feet down a cliff.Prime Minister Stephenson King visited the site of the tragedy on Thursday night and remained on site until 3:00 am Friday morning. The Cabinet met in emergency session later on Friday to discuss this major national tragedy and to determine the government’s response.The Cabinet has declared Friday 11th to Sunday 13th November 2011 to be a weekend of national mourning in order to pay respects to those who lost their lives in the unfortunate accident. All flags on government buildings and business places must be flown at half mast during the entire weekend (over the three day period).Sunday, November 13, 2011, has been declared a National Day of Remembrance. During that day there will be an Ecumenical Service held at the Desruisseux Roman Catholic Church from 5:00 pm.During this weekend all political and public social events will be suspended. The government called on all Saint Lucians to observe fully the weekend of mourning as a mark of respect for the victims of this painful tragedy.“The Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the entire government extend heartfelt condolences to the families, relatives and friends of all those who lost their lives as a result of this most tragic occurrence. This is indeed a dark day in our history,” a government statement said.The government has begun putting measures in place to support and to comfort the bereaved. The Ministry of Education has taken steps to make counseling services available to the students of the affected schools. Through the Division of Human Services, arrangements are also being made to make such services available to the affected households, families and communities.Caribbean News Nowlast_img read more

Bacolod City bats for stricter fireworks rules

first_imgBACOLOD City – The local governmentunit of this city is set to confine the use of pyrotechnics during holidays byenforcing stricter regulation to lessen the risk of firework-related injuries. Familiaran also said that Pineda istasked to coordinate with the Permits and Licensing and Treasurer’s Office. Pineda for his part said the city has alreadydesignatedselling area for firecracker, which include the back of Pope JohnPaul Tower, Rizal Avenue and Reclamation Area. Familiaran said he issued MemorandumOrder No. 160 pursuant to City Ordinance No. 511 Series of 2009 and RepublicAct (RA) 7183. “We make sure that all correspondingpermits and licenses for the sale pyrotechnics are duly applied with paid forin the amount of P1,500 for the special permit,” he explained. According to Familiaran, thismemorandum mandates the police to conduct inspections to make suremanufacturers, retailers, and users of fireworks comply with all regulationsand laws, including RA 7183 or AnAct Regulating the Sale, Manufacture, and Use of Firecrackers and otherPyrotechnic Devices. “Pineda should coordinate with theBacolod City Police Office and Bureau of Fire Protection to ensure the properimplementation and regulation of security and safety of the area,” he said. Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran on Wednesdayenjoined Executive Assistant Ernesto Pineda, head of Task Force Paputok 2019,to coordinate with concerned agencies to strictly enforce laws and regulationson the sale, manufacture and distribution of firecrackers and pyrotechnicdevices. He added that village heads will betasked to identify their prescribed and designated areas for use offirecrackers and firework zone in their locality./PNlast_img read more

Cardiff ask after Hannover striker Diouf

first_img New Bluebirds boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer worked with the former Manchester United player at Molde, and is keen to secure his services once again. Norway international Magnus Wolff Eikrem has already joined Cardiff, while a deal for his compatriot Mats Moller Daehli is expected to be completed before the weekend meeting with West Ham. Cardiff have made an approach to sign Hannover striker Mame Biram Diouf. And Solskjaer is now also looking to bring in Diouf after a Hannover spokesperson confirmed to Press Association Sport the Bundesliga club had received an approach from Cardiff. Cardiff are believed to be prepared to pay around £2.5million to sign the 26-year-old, who has scored 30 goals in 61 appearances for Hannover. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Rodriguez beats Roche to goal award

first_img Press Association Stephanie Roche has missed out on becoming the first woman to win the FIFA Puskas Award for goal of the year. Colombia’s James Rodriguez was declared the winner from a three-strong shortlist including Republic of Ireland international Roche and Dutch striker Robin van Persie. Roche became an internet sensation following her stunning volley for Peamount United against Wexford Youths Women last year. center_img Over six million fans viewed the goal on Youtube and sparked hopes Roche could become the first woman to claim the coveted award at FIFA’s Ballon d’Or ceremony. But despite a concerted campaign Roche was beaten in the public vote by Rodriguez’s stunning effort against Uruguay in the 2014 World Cup. Unlike her two rivals for the award, Roche’s goal was watched by just 95 spectators and was filmed on a camcorder by Wexford coach John Flood. Roche collected a short cross from the right on her right instep, flicked it over bemused defender Laura Heffernan with her other boot and from 25 yards magicked up a left-footed missile of a volley that found the top-right corner. Following her nomination, Roche left Ireland to join ASPTT Albi in the south of France – though she is soon to leave the club after struggling with the language barrier. last_img read more

NASA astronaut accused of crime committed in space

first_imgABC News(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — Authorities are investigating the first allegation of a crime committed in space.Astronaut Anne McClain has been accused of unlawfully accessing her estranged spouse’s bank account aboard the International Space Station.McClain and her spouse, Summer Worden, have been engaged in a custody battle over Worden’s six year-old son Briggs after filing for divorce in October 2018.“Lt. Col Anne McClain has an accomplished military career, flew combat missions in Iraq and is one of NASA’s top astronauts,” NASA said in a statement. “She did a great job on her most recent mission to the International Space Station. As with all NASA employees NASA does not comment on personal, or personnel issues.”Worden, a former Airforce Intelligence Officer, claimed McClain got into her account as part of a plan to gain parental rights of her son.But McClain’s attorney said when she accessed the account, she was making sure the couple’s finances were in order as she had been doing for years using passwords that weren’t changed.McClain tweeted her response to the allegations writing, “There’s unequivocally no truth to these claims. We’ve been going through a painful, personal separation that’s now unfortunately in the media. I appreciate the outpouring of support and will reserve comment until after the investigation. I have total confidence in the IG process.”The two married in December 2014 but after filing for divorce nearly four years later, Worden argues since McClain did not legally adopt Briggs, she does not have custodial rights.ABC’s Chief Transportation Correspondent, David Kerley, spoke with McClain in 2018 about operating in space before her six-month stint aboard the International Space Station. When asked about training in the Astronaut Corps and going to space for the first time she said, “I do know that it as been something so magical that has given me such a purpose my whole life and I’m really looking forward to achieving it,” she said.McClain and Worden’s divorce trial is set for Sept. 17th in Houston.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

DEFY swim team sets records at state championships

first_imgELLSWORTH — The DEFY Dolphins took forth place at the State’s YMCA swim championships this past weekend in Orono.In addition to breaking five team records, DEFY brought home eight individual state championships and two relay championships. The team also won the 11-12 age group on the boys’ side.DEFY swimmers Colin Aponte, Owen Frank, Dasha Herrington, Nick Partridge and Hannah Wood brought home individual state championships. Aponte and Partridge won two each in 11-12, and Hannah Wood won two in the 15-plus division. Wood’s 200-yard IM time of 2 minutes, 12.58 seconds set a team record.Ava Sealander set team records in the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyles. She joined Wood, Sidney Hamilton and Ellie Clarke on the team that swam the 200 freestyle relay in a team-record 1:40.66.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textCamden Holmes, who won two state titles for Ellsworth High School in February. qualified for the YMCA national championships with a time of 21.96 seconds in the 50 freestyle. He and Sealander will travel to North Carolina for the event in April. Sam Alvarado received the state’s YMCA Citizen Award.last_img read more