News to go further Organisation Australian public channel ABC complained on Monday about the recent blocking of its website in China. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) denounces the increasing censorship of foreign media in China. June 2, 2021 Find out more PHOTO: ABC / POWER AND INFLUENCE: THE HARD EDGE OF CHINA’S SOFT POWER Receive email alerts RSF_en News Access to the website and mobile applications of Australian public channel ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) has been cut off in China for ten days, said the board of the group on Monday, September 3rd.The Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission, which is controlled by Chinese President Xi Jinping, confirmed that it has classified ABC as a media “damaging [China’s] national pride” that should be banned.ABC’s critical coverage of China, especially its publication of a 2017 report denouncing the growing influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Australia, appears to have triggered Beijing’s recent shutdown of the Australian channel.Reporters Without Borders (RSF) denounces China’s increasing censorship of foreign media. “Given the Chinese government’s stranglehold on the media, foreign websites such as ABC are the only platforms providing independent information to Chinese citizens,” reminds Cedric Alviani, director of the RSF East-Asia bureau. “By adding ABC to its blacklist, which already counts more than 8,000 domain names, Beijing again demonstrates its commitment to keep Chinese citizens in ignorance.”According to official sources, over two million people are involved in China’s censorship and internet surveillance effort. Its “Great Digital Wall” keeps 800 million Chinese netizens away from countless foreign news websites, including Wikipedia, the New York Times, BBC and Bloomberg News.China stays at the bottom of the 2018 RSF World Press Freedom Index (176th out of 180 countries). June 7, 2021 Find out more September 5, 2018 – Updated on September 10, 2018 Australian public channel website ABC blocked in China Follow the news on Asia – Pacific ChinaAustraliaAsia – Pacific InternetFreedom of expression Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists ChinaAustraliaAsia – Pacific InternetFreedom of expression News Mongolia : RSF urges presidential candidates to voice support for press freedom Help by sharing this information June 2, 2021 Find out more China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison News
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 9-year-old Baldwin girl was fatally attacked by a Pitbull in Elmont over the weekend, Nassau County police said.Two officers responded to a 911 call reporting a dog attacking a child in the backyard of a Holland Avenue home, where upon arrival, they found the dog attacking the victim, Amiyah Dunston, at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, police said.When a third officer walked through the house and opened the back door, the dog stopped attacking the girl and charged toward the officer, who fired several gunshots, killing the dog, police said.The victim, who was visiting the home at the time of the incident, was taken to Franklin Hospital, where she died three hours later.The owner of the dog, 29-year-old Carlyle Arnold of Elmont, was arrested on an unrelated charge of violation of an order of protection.
Loading… But there could be a gaping hole if Premier League chiefs scrap the season over Covid-19. Reds captain Henderson, 29 — leading a drive for Premier League players to give the NHS £4million — also has a battle to get the proposals past local authorities. The Cheshire village’s parish council blasted the seven-bedroom design, which has an indoor pool, for being like a “hotel complex”. It also opposes the plans of England’s Henderson, married with three children, as they “seek to demolish two substantial homes”.Advertisement An objection letter said the look “is more akin to a commercial or industrial building than a dwelling”. Drawings by architect Wake Morley reveal the home has a leisure suite and a roof to attract wildlife, and a cinema room. Two guest bedrooms over the garage are linked to the house by a glass walkway. The grounds will also boast a tennis court, giant patio and barbecue area. read also:2018 UEFA Champions League Final: Who wins? Cheshire East Council is expected to make a decision next month. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson is spending millions on a mansion — complete with a “trophy corridor”. Promoted Content7 Black Hole Facts That Will Change Your View Of The Universe5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks7 Breathtaking Train Stations Around The GlobeWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?The Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks6 Extreme Facts About HurricanesWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?You’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of Anime7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterPlaying Games For Hours Can Do This To Your Body
Finally, the Winter Olympics are here — a time where we can all watch dedicated athletes we’ve never heard of compete in intriguing events we hardly ever see.We can turn on the TV and root for that woman who’s flying down gigantic moguls as fast as she can while at the same time preparing to land a switch-backside-triple-mctwist (or something like that) once she flies off a jump.Or, we can check out those Korean speed skaters whipping around a bend preparing to sweep the men’s 1500-meter event only to see the one athlete we’ve actually heard of — Apolo Anton Ohno — benefit from a tragic collision and take home the silver medal.And on Tuesday, the event with professional athletes we see on a somewhat regular basis finally arrived — Olympic men’s hockey.As a huge hockey fan myself, I’m about as excited as Bob Costas during an opening ceremony.In Canada no less.But fans must acclimate themselves with a completely revamped American squad, as this year’s team has a much younger look than the ones we’ve seen in years past (only three players have any previous Olympic experience).So who are these guys wearing the red, white and blue, and do they have a chance?Charlie Conway may not be leading the way, Coach Bombay may not be behind the bench and Wolf Stansson’s Iceland squad isn’t in this tournament, but the actual team USA — much like the team that performed in D2 ?– ?is absolutely worth watching.Here’s everything you need to know about the 2010 U.S. Olympic team:The young starsZach Parise. Patrick Kane. Bobby Ryan — the gifted forwards and new faces of USA hockey.Parise is relentless in the offensive zone, working along the boards to gain possession. He always seems to be in the right spot when the puck comes his way, and his non-stop motor and ability to find the back of the net has made him an elite talent.Kane, the NHL 10 video game cover boy, is another one of the league’s young phenoms. Kane doesn’t look too intimidating (5-foot-9 and 160 pounds), but his deadly-accurate wrist shot makes him a dynamic threat whenever he’s given space to get his shot off.The least well-known star of the bunch is Ryan (actually the second overall pick in 2005 behind Sidney Crosby), who possesses the most jaw-dropping athletic ability of any American. His stick handling ability and creativity with the puck are truly world-class.When one of these three is on the ice, pay attention, because Team USA could light the lamp in an instant.The weak linkInjuries have crippled the USA defense. Paul Martin and Mike Komisarek will not participate in the Olympics due to injury, meaning that an already underwhelming defensive corps is that much weaker.Tim Gleason and Ryan Whitney were added as replacements, and they’ll have to play mistake-free hockey to hang with the big boys.In Tuesday’s game against Switzerland, the Americans gave up a fury of odd-man rushes, but the Swiss just didn’t have the skill to finish.Against the likes of Canada and Russia, they wont be so lucky.The good at everything but not great at anything guysTeam USA can’t match the firepower that Canada and Russia bring to the rink — the depth just isn’t there. In an effort to counter that, guys like Jamie Langenbrunner (Team USA’s captain), Chris Drury, Ryan Kesler and Ryan Callahan were added to the roster.All of these guys are two-way forwards, meaning they are both defensively responsible and capable of chipping in with some goals.They aren’t going to wow with you with incredible skill, but they are willing to play a checking role.And against these loaded international powers, that will come in handy.If Team USA wants to reach the medal stand, these players will need to work tirelessly on the defensive end and chip in offensively whenever the opportunity presents itself.The all-important man between the pipesNothing is more important than a hot goaltender in a playoff or tournament setting.Ryan Miller has established himself as the top American goalie and his consistent play with the Buffalo Sabres has made him one of the NHL’s best, but he isn’t the only option.Tim Thomas and Jonathan Quick are also on the roster.Thomas is like that kid in Little League that dove for every single ball (even the ones hit right to him) to make himself look like a stud. He finds the need to sprawl around his crease and dive for the puck every time it’s within sight.Sometimes that leads to a highlight-reel save, and sometimes his lack of positioning leads to an easy goal.Quick doesn’t have much NHL experience, let alone international experience; so don’t expect him to play a large role in 2010.For Team USA, Miller isn’t the only choice, but he’s the best one.The final verdictSo I know you’re all wondering ‘Max, can Team USA win gold in Vancouver?’That’s not going to happen. Not this year. Not in Canada.The Americans, while extremely skilled on the top lines, are too young and inexperienced to take gold, and the lack of defensive depth is troubling.But on the plus side, USA Hockey is just oozing with potential. In the recent World Juniors Tournament, the Americans took home the gold medal, meaning there is that much more young talent on the way.USA will look to reach the medal stand here in 2010, but the gold is a little out of reach, unless of course you still believe in miracles.Max is a junior majoring in journalism and keeping it real. Who do you think will win the gold in Olympic hockey? Are you planning your schedule around that of the Olympic hockey competition? Let him know at [email protected]
Doug Marrone sat beneath the grandstands of Memorial Stadium, a fresh bottle of red Gatorade open by his left hand. He looked exhausted. His shirt bore sweat marks. His normally commanding voice lacked its usual vigor.But Marrone, the former Syracuse football coach, looked content late on this particular Saturday evening. Happy to be drained. Pleased in knowing that his effort was well spent.He had just exited the SU locker room, turned left and walked up a ramp toward a makeshift press table in Columbia, Mo. In those few strides he prepared for what felt like the press conference at the pinnacle of his coaching ascent, with the Syracuse football program he resurrected strapped tightly to his back.In three years of covering Marrone and Syracuse, first as a stringer for the Finger Lakes Times and the last two years with The Daily Orange, this is the moment I will remember most about his tenure. The 31-27 win over Missouri — on the road, on national television, on a night when his team overcame a double-digit deficit, on a field where Georgia once trailed with a minute remaining in the third quarter, on a Southeastern Conference stage — earned Marrone the right to cross the most important item off of his rebuilding checklist: compete on the national level.For that reason, not to mention the game clinched a second bowl appearance in three years, it represents Marrone’s most important win in a 25-25 career on the Syracuse sidelines.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe rest of the season was his ride off into the sunset. A ride that started joyously following a stop home in the Bronx for another Pinstripe Bowl victory but ended a bit sourly when he took offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett with him to Orchard Park, N.Y. and the Buffalo Bills.He had done such a good job of implementing his plan — he wanted to rejuvenate the program he credits with molding him into a man back in his playing days — that he was wooed by multiple NFL teams. He had bettered his players (see: Ryan Nassib, Justin Pugh, Chandler Jones) and his coaches (see: Hackett, Tyrone Wheatley and Scott Shafer), which bettered his stock as a leader and visionary.So when Marrone wrote in an email to his players that he left the program in better shape than when he found it, that was absolutely true. From top (coaches) to bottom (players), there was improvement. And as Nassib and Pugh are on the verge of potentially being taken in the second round of the upcoming draft, it wouldn’t surprise me if another assistant coach or two were rewarded with a better opportunity elsewhere.In the four years prior to Marrone’s arrival, former head coach Greg Robinson gave Syracuse fans two positive moments to remember: a win over a ranked Louisville team in his second season, and an upset on the road against Notre Dame. Most people would consider his firing the only other occurrence worth cherishing.But Marrone brought a handful of memorable moments, one of which was the win over Missouri on a breathtaking final drive orchestrated by Nassib. Then there were three consecutive victories over West Virginia, one on the road, one at home and one at a neutral site. A demolishing of a Top-10 opponent in Louisville. Another game-winning drive on the road at South Florida. A pair of Pinstripe Bowl trophies.For once — for the first time since Paul Pasqualoni — there were more ups than downs.And at the center of it all was Marrone, whose coaching morphed mediocrity into reliability and stretched glimmers of talent into flashes of greatness. His players loved him, and they loved busting heads for him.In return, he looked after them in their post-football lives, helping dozens land jobs and internships. It was all part of his promise to help them as citizens first and football players second. He followed through on that mantra almost to a T.So as the final seconds ticked away in Missouri and Alec Lemon scampered into the end zone for the winning score, it became clear that Marrone had officially done it. He had yanked the Orange from the seemingly unbreakable grasp of football’s bottom feeders and lifted it up to a level that commanded respect — at least a little bit — from the rest of the country.His boss knew it, and that’s why Athletic Director Daryl Gross celebrated with Lemon and his teammates behind the end zone in Missouri. And Marrone knew it as he praised the toughness of his team and resilience of his players following the best win of his career.The smiles and laughs would come more than a month later in the interview room inside Yankee Stadium, a rare outward sign of pleasure from the coach whose moods shifted from disgruntled to antsy to business-like with little variation. Only once West Virginia was thoroughly beaten would he relax and let loose.The crowing achievement, though, was the night in Missouri that cemented Marrone’s legacy. He had done the unthinkable by making Syracuse football relevant.And I’m sure that fruit punch Gatorade never tasted sweeter.Michael Cohen is a staff writer at The Daily Orange, where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at [email protected], or on Twitter at @Michael_Cohen13. Comments Published on January 14, 2013 at 2:43 am Facebook Twitter Google+
Syracuse football and lacrosse legend Jim Brown praised Dino Babers and Syracuse football at his press conference Saturday morning, following his receiving of the 2016 Arents Award — the highest alumni honor bestowed by SU, for excellence in athletics and social activism — Friday night. He also addressed NFL player Colin Kaepernick and social activism. Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on September 17, 2016 at 11:22 am Contact Jon: [email protected] | @jmettus
Despite Durant’s injury, the Warriors entered the break up 62-56. Golden State started the second half on a strong note, opening up a 12-point lead early in the third quarter.In the fourth quarter, the Raptors made their move. After scoring just one point in the fourth quarter, Kawhi Leonard went on a tear, scoring 10 straight points for Toronto to give the Raptors a six-point lead and putting an NBA Championship within their grasp.A Klay Thompson 3 made it a three-point game with just over two minutes to go. Toronto’s Kyle Lowry then turned it over, and Curry capitalized with a 3 to tie the game. Thompson followed with a 3 of his own to give Golden State a three-point lead with 56.6 seconds to go.BANG ‼️ pic.twitter.com/ZgX0sCzHrq— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) June 11, 2019Several possessions later, DeMarcus Cousins was called for goaltending a Lowry shot, and the Warriors’ lead wass cut to just one. To make matters worse, Cousins was called for a moving screen giving Toronto the ball down one with 15.7 seconds left.Leonard was given the ball but was immediately double-teamed, so he passed it to Fred VanVleet. VanVleet kicked it to Lowry in the corner where he attempted a 3-pointer that hit the backboard as time expired.Stephen Curry led all scorers with 31 while Thompson and Leonard had 26 apiece. The series now shifts back west for Game 6 as the Warriors look to stave off elimination and force a Game 7 back in Toronto.Sporting News tracked live scoring updates and highlights from Game 5 between the Warriors and Raptors below.Warriors vs. Raptors: Live updates, highlights from Game 5(All times Eastern)FINAL: Warriors 106, Raptors 10511:37 p.m.: Leonard is double-teamed, so he kicks it to Fred VanVleet who kicks it to Lowry in the corner. His 3 is off the mark and the Warriors survive 106-105 to force a Game 6 back in Oakland.11:36 p.m.: Holy cow. Cousins is called for a moving screen. Raptors’ ball with 15.7 seconds left down one.11:36 p.m.: Goal tending is confirmed. One-point game, Golden State ball with 30.4 seconds left.11:34 p.m.: Gasol misses a layup and doesn’t get the foul, but the Green commits the backcourt violation and the Raptors have the ball down three with 34 seconds to go. Lowry misses the layup, but there might have been goal tending by Cousins.11:32 p.m.: Danny Green misses a put back and the Warriors capitalize on the other end with a Thompson 3. A six-point swing has the Warriors up three with 56.6 seconds to go.11:32 p.m.: Lowry throws it away with 1:30 to go. Curry hits a 3 after the turnover and we’ve got a tie game.11:31 p.m.: The call is confirmed: no basket for Golden State.11:30 p.m.: Curry misses a 3, but Cousins gets the put back. Refs are looking at the replay to determine if it was offensive basket interference.11:28 p.m.: Thompson hits a 3 and Golden State cuts the deficit to three with 2:11 to go.11:24 p.m.: Leonard with another bucket. That’s 10 straight for him and the Raptors lead by six with 3:05 to go.KAWHI ‘BUCKETS’ LEONARD pic.twitter.com/r0c5037U4a— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) June 11, 201911:23 p.m.: Another 3 from Leonard and Toronto’s up 101-97 with 3:28 to go. Gasol picks up his fifth foul.11:22 p.m.: Leonard hits a 3 and the Raptors have the lead. He then follows it up with a finish at the rim and the lead is now three. 11:19 p.m.: It looks like Leonard traveled on a fast break and it doesn’t get called and Norman Powell gets a wide-open dunk. Warriors lead 95-93 with 5:34 to go.11:16 p.m.: Leonard cuts the lead to one, then Green hits a 3 to put the Warriors back up by four.11:15 p.m.: Another injury update for Golden State: Looney reaggravated his chest injury suffered earlier in the series and will not return.Kevon Looney reaggravated his right 1st costal cartilage non-displaced fracture injury and will not return.— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) June 11, 201911:11 p.m.: Ibaka flushes one home to cut the Warriors’ lead to 92-89. Golden State burns a timeout with 7:59 to go. 11:10 p.m.: UPDATE: Durant has left the arena in a walking boot. He was putting weight on his leg, but needed to use crutches.11:08 p.m.: A jumper from Serge Ibaka cuts the Warriors’ lead to just three. A Quinn Cook follows it up with a 3 to give Golden State some breathing room.End of third quarter: Warriors 84, Raptors 7811:01 p.m.: Golden State manages to weather the storm from Toronto and heads into the fourth quarter with the lead. Curry leads all scorers with 26. Thompson’s got 20 for Golden State while Gasol and Leonard have 17 and 14 respectively for Toronto.10:58 p.m.: Warriors managing to keep the Raptors at bay. Their lead is seven near the end of the third quarter. 10:51 p.m.: Toronto with a 10-0 run of its own to cut the deficit to four, but Thompson then hits a 3 to stop the bleeding for Golden State.10:46 p.m.: Golden State currently on a 8-0 run. Its lead has ballooned to 75-63. 5:52 to go in the third. Lowry’s just picked up his fourth foul.10:39 p.m.: UPDATE: Durant will not return after suffering a right lower leg injury. He will have an MRI tomorrow.Kevin Durant (right lower leg injury) will not return to tonight’s game. He will get an MRI tomorrow.— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) June 11, 201910:36 p.m.: Warriors open the second half with five quick points and now lead by 11.Halftime: Warriors 62, Raptors 5610:19 p.m.: The Raptors manage to cut the Warriors’ lead to one, but a 3 from Curry and a put back from Looney has Golden State up 62-56. Doris Burke mentions on the broadcast that Durant is still being evaluated in the locker room. 10:15 p.m.: Durant still has not returned since leaving the game earlier in the quarter.10:11 p.m.: A quick 9-3 run by Toronto and the Warriors’ lead is now 54-48.10:08 p.m.: Draymond Green picks up his third foul and is not happy with the officials. He then gets T’d up for arguing with the officials. Lowry hits two of his three free throws. Green then commits a backcourt violation.10:02 p.m.: Lowry gets a steal and a bucket, then Curry answers with a 3 of his own and the foul. Curry converts the four-point play and the Warriors’ lead is now 13.KLow doin’ it all pic.twitter.com/Pz6qHKkcbw— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) June 11, 20199:53 p.m.: Durant goes down grabbing his right leg. Warriors lead 39-34 with 9:46 to go in the second.9:46 p.m.: Thompson opens up the scoring in the second quarter with a 3 and the Warriors lead is up to eight.End of first quarter: Warriors 34, Raptors 289:42 p.m.: We’re through one and the Warriors lead 34-28. Stephen Curry leads all scorers with 14. Durant’s got 11 in his first game since May 8. Marc Gasol leads the way for Toronto with 10.9:36 p.m.: Lowry picks up his second foul and head to the bench. Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney each have two fouls for Golden State as well.9:25 p.m.: Kyle Lowry with a nice pass to Kawhi Leonard on a fast break who gets the bucket and foul. He converts the three-point play, and the game is tied at 19.This man is ridiculous 🤯 pic.twitter.com/t4xP8rCkbL— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) June 11, 20199:17 p.m: Warriors have started five for five from beyond the arc. They lead by six near the halfway point of the first quarter.9:15 p.m.: Durant’s hit his first two shots, both of them 3s, and he’s got six quick points early in the first.#SPLASH💦 for 3⃣5⃣ pic.twitter.com/9TALLI2DjK— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) June 11, 20199:11 p.m.: Raptors win the opening tip and turn it over on their first possession. We’re underway in Game 5. Pregame9:01 p.m.: Golden State’s starting five feat. Kevin Durant for the first time since Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals against Houston:First 5️⃣ pic.twitter.com/E3enB0hTrd— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) June 11, 20198:46 p.m.: Starters for the Raptors.#NBAFinals Game 5 @Sprite_CA starters. #WeTheNorth pic.twitter.com/hgpebzhNE3— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) June 11, 2019 It wasn’t pretty, but the Warriors rallied past the Raptors in the fourth quarter after blowing a 14-point lead to take Game 5 106-105 on Monday night in Toronto.Things started off well for Golden State. Kevin Durant played in his first game since May 8 and didn’t miss a beat, hitting his first two shots and scoring 11 points in the first quarter. Durant then went down in the second after reaggravating his right leg injury and did not return to the game.
Johannesburg, South Africa | AFP | Gor Mahia could become the first Kenyan club to reach the CAF Champions League group phase after defeating Lobi Stars of Nigeria 3-1 on Sunday in a 2018/2019 round-of-30 first leg.It was a better-than-expected result for the Nairobi outfit after they struggled to overcome Nyasa Big Bullets of Malawi in the preliminary round, scraping through on penalties.The overall outcome could hinge on whether Gor can score an away goal in Nigeria this Saturday to cancel the one Lobi snatched in east Africa.Kenyan clubs have failed to reach the group stage since its introduction in 1997, but Gor came close last year by losing 1-0 overall to eventual champions Esperance of Tunisia.Rwandan Jacques Tuyisenge gave Gor a sixth-minute lead in Nairobi that Samuel Onyango increased midway through the first half.Samuel Kadiri pulled one goal back for Lobi only for Onyango to net again before half-time with the last goal of the match.Five former winners of the competition were in action and four won at home while the other drew away.V Club of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the 1973 champions, look set for the group stage after hammering minnows Bantu of Lesotho 4-1 in Kinshasa.Jean-Marc Makusu, runner-up in the CAF Confederation Golden Boot race last season with 11 goals, bagged a brace for the Congolese. Tunisians Club Africain, who were African champions 27 years ago, came from behind to defeat Al Hilal of Sudan 3-1 in the Tunis suburb of Rades.The hosts had the narrowest of leads until Oussema Darragi scored a potentially crucial third goal one minute into stoppage time.Ismaily, whose 1969 triumph was the first in the competition by an Egyptian club, won 2-0 at home to Coton Sport of Cameroon with Baher el Mohamadi and Karim Bambo scoring.Five-time African champions TP Mazembe of DR Congo managed only a 1-0 win over Zambian club Zesco United in Lubumbashi with an early Jackson Muleka goal separating the sides.Mamelodi Sundowns, who two years ago became the second South African winners of the Champions League, drew 0-0 away to Al Ahly Benghazi of Libya in Cairo.Benghazi were forced to move the fixture to the Egyptian capital because of militia violence in their country.AS Otoho of Congo Brazzaville, who shocked 2018 semi-finalists Primeiro Agosto of Angola in the preliminary round, were held 1-1 at home by FC Platinum of Zimbabwe.Mamane Cisse gave the hosts an 18th-minute lead in the northern town of Owando and Lameck Namho levelled three minutes after half-time.The 15 second legs are scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday while defending champions Esperance of Tunisia received a bye into the December 28 group draw.Share on: WhatsApp
5 September 2012 South Africa is the highest-ranked African country and third-placed among the BRICS economies in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) latest Global Competitiveness Index, ranking 52nd out of 144 countries surveyed while placing third overall for financial market development. Published on Tuesday, the annual Global Competitiveness Report was first released in 1979 and has since evolved into the prime authority on relative competitiveness among most of the world’s nations. South Africa (52nd) and Mauritius (54th) continue to lead the competitiveness rankings by African countries, followed by Rwanda (63rd), Morocco (70th), Seychelles (76th) and Botswana (79th). China (29th) continues to lead the BRICS group of influential emerging market economies, followed by Brazil (48th), South Africa (52nd), India (59th) and Russia (67th). Switzerland tops the overall rankings for the fourth year running, followed by Singapore, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, United States, Hong Kong and Japan completing the list of the top 10 most competitive economies.Strength of institutions, financial markets According to the report, South Africa benefits from the relatively large size of its economy, particularly by regional standards, ranking 25th overall for market size. It also scores well for the quality of its institutions, ranking strongly for strength of auditing and reporting standards (1st), efficacy of corporate boards (1st), protection of minority shareholders’ interests (2nd), efficiency of legal framework (17th), intellectual property protection (20th), property rights (26th), and judicial independence (27th). Particularly impressive, according to the report, is the country’s financial market development, for which it ranks 3rd overall, “indicating high confidence in South Africa’s financial markets at a time when trust is returning only slowly in many other parts of the world”. Contributing to this assessment was South Africa’s high rankings for regulation of securities exchanges (1st), soundness of banks (2nd), availability of financial services (2nd), and financing through the local equity market (3rd). South Africa also shows up well for business sophistication, ranking 38th overall, and innovation, ranking 42nd overall – benefiting in the latter case from good scientific research institutions (34th) and strong collaboration between universities and the business sector in innovation (30th).Weaknesses At the same time, the report identifies weaknesses which South Africa will have to address in order to further enhance its competitiveness. South Africa ranked 63rd overall for infrastructure, and even though this was good by regional standards, it would require upgrading, according to the report. This is something the country has already embarked on, with President Jacob Zuma announcing a massive state-led infrastructure drive in his State of the Nation address in February. The country ranks 113th for labour market efficiency, thanks in large part to “rigid hiring and firing practices (143rd), a lack of flexibility in wage determination by companies (140th), and significant tensions in labour-employer relations (144th)”. The country can also develop its innovation potential by increasing its university enrollment rate, the WEF says, adding: “Combined efforts in these areas will be critical in view of the country’s high unemployment rate of almost 25 percent in the second quarter of 2012.” Other concerns raised by the WEF report include the security situation and the health of the country’s workforce.Sub-Saharan Africa On sub-Saharan Africa more widely, the report notes the region’s impressive growth over the last decade. “Registering growth rates of over 5 percent in the past two years, the region continues to exceed the global average and to exhibit a favorable economic outlook,” the WEF states. “Indeed, the region has bounced back rapidly from the global economic crisis, when GDP growth dropped to 2.8 percent in 2009.” In recent years, according to the report, the region has been improving its competitiveness in specific areas, such as educational attainment and goods market efficiency, “but a persistent infrastructure deficit and health concerns continue to be significant bottlenecks.” As a whole, sub-Saharan Africa continues to lag behind the rest of the world in competitiveness, “requiring efforts across many areas to place the region on a firmly sustainable growth and development path going forward”. SAinfo reporter
Not much sun during the winterOur climate is not good for solar in the winter. Virtually anywhere in the U.S. is at least as good as we are, or better. Certainly the eastern U.S. has similar solar resources. But here’s the thing: for nine months of the year, we will produce about 7 times what we need for our electrical demand! Yikes, what a nice problem to have. (We deserve this problem, we created it!)So, how much domestic hot water do we use? (You may have guessed that I know exactly how much.) I have installed a water meter on the 95% efficient 200,000 BTU/h propane on-demand water heater that supplies the whole house: 80,000 BTU/day, or 23.5 kWh if we think in terms of an electric plain-Jane water heater tank. Easy: we have up to 50 kWh on many days leftover. Now we could chop that down to 9 kWh by using a heat-pump water heater, but do we need to scrimp? It is an edgy question.We plan to get an electric vehicle soon to mop up some of that excess electric production, but both together could be supplied rather easily for nine months per year. Birken Forest Monastery is a retreat center in the mountains of British Columbia. It’s located at an elevation of 4,000 feet at Latitude 51, and experiences about 9,000 heating degree days (Fahrenheit) per year. The buildings are about 15 years old.We are off the grid. The nearest electricity line is 4 miles away, and it would cost about $200,000 to bring grid power in. (Then, of course, we would still have to pay for the electricity.) So off-grid it is, and will remain. PV costs are dropping fastFast forward in time, through an 80 kWh wet lead-acid battery bank for 7 years, to an 80 kWh maintenance-free AGM lead-acid battery bank for 6 years, to the present: we now have a recently installed 40 kWh AGM maintenance-free Surrette battery bank. Notice that this bank is half the size of the previous two. The cost of our latest battery bank: $8,000; life expectancy, 8 years.The reason for the smaller battery bank: the PV array went from 1.8 kW to 3.4 kW in 2009, and then in November 2014 to 11.4 kW!That’s a startling jump in solar power. Why? The economics are these: The additional 8 kW array was installed by an electrical engineer and two journeymen electricians for $3 per watt. There were no subsidies, no tax rebates, no special deals. The only things that weren’t new were the previously installed inverters.A new age in off-grid living has arrived. Old formulas must be revisited. Monitoring is essentialI carefully monitor all systems with sophisticated devices such as the Pentametric battery monitor, an hour counter on the diesel generator, a TED 5000 whole-house monitor, and daily notes and observations. December is the worst month, averaging 47 hours of bright sunshine (about 1.5 hours per day).Now that we have a much bigger PV array, what will happen to our diesel use? In December 2013, when we had a 3.4-kW PV array, the diesel run-time was 60 hours. In December 2014, with our new 11.4-kW PV array, generator run-time was only 10 hours. Hmmm.We are short about 50 kWh from being 100% off-grid solar. The generator run-times occurred on seven occasions, with each occasion requiring no more than 10 kWh. Conclusion? An additional battery bank rated at 20 kWh would zero out the generator year ’round! Now that may not mean much to you on-grid types, but any off-gridder will know that that is traditionally impossible amongst us forest-dwelling folk.Think again, my fellow hobbits, think again! Lowering electrical demandNow the question: “Is it worth it?” In order to answer that, I have to expand the view to include the rest of the set-up.Here is a snapshot of the main house. It measures 10,000 square feet. (Yes, you heard that right.) It has 12 bedrooms. It can accommodate 15 people and another 8 can use the facilities (sleeping in 8 separate “tiny houses”). The total population of 24 uses 5 washrooms, showers, cooking, 4 computers, all LED lighting, a 300-foot-deep drilled well, refrigerators, freezers, etc.Now our average population is 12 to 15 people, but hundreds of people stream through year ’round. Our average electrical demand is only 12 kwh per day!Yes, there is a deep back story to how we do it. I mean, we are talking about ¾ kWh per day per person, with all modern conveniences, including four-slice toasters, microwaves, dual-flush toilets, 4 showers, pressure pumps, a well pump, two refrigerators, and a freezer. (The refrigerators and freezer together use 1.2 kWh per day. They are in a large “cool room.”)So without carefully controlling our electrical demand with super-efficient appliances, our 100% off-grid solar community would not be possible. Years of off-grid experienceI have lived here for 14 years and have gained much off-grid experience and knowledge by the sometimes harsh teaching methods of Mother Reality. I should mention that I have been a Buddhist monk for the last 28 years. It doesn’t matter much, except that my training is to find simple and sufficient ways of life. How we do things, I believe, is appropriate to a comfortable American lifestyle as well, so I hope you can apply any of these strategies to your own houses, whether off-grid or on.I won’t go into too much detail about the evolutionary process, but it is important to note that our first set of photovoltaic (PV) panels, rated at 1.8 kW, cost about $10 per watt installed. At that price, the PV system still made sense compared to our 12-kW Kubota liquid-cooled 1,800 rpm diesel generator. (By the way, the Kubota generator about as fuel-efficient as possible for any kind of generator.) We charged a bank of batteries with it, which optimized the engine efficiency even more.How efficient was the generator, you wonder? About 32%. The energy you capture from a gallon of diesel is about one-third of its potential. Diesel fluctuates in cost; it’s at least $4 per gallon in Canada… sometimes $5. That translates to 50 cents per kWh of electricity, plus the life-cycle cost of the generator — so add maybe 20 cents. So the brutal reality of high-cost electricity (70 cents per kWh) turns you into an inventor/economist/minimalist, overnight. Ajahn Sona was born in Canada. His background as a layperson was in classical guitar performance. He was ordained as a Theravada Buddhist monk at the Bhavana Society in West Virginia. In 1994, he founded the first Birken Forest Monastery near Pemberton, British Columbia. In 2001, Ajahn Sona established Birken in its final location just south of Kamloops, British Columbia. Ajahn Sona posts comments on the GBA web site under the pen name “Ven Sonata.” Superinsulation helps reduce our energy needsI’ll conclude with a brief description of the enormous house. It is superinsulated, with R-80 ceilings. The walls range from R-60 down to R-20 (on the south wall.) The big innovation is our R-25 polyiso-and-birch-plywood insulating shutters for all our windows. The building has 1,350 square feet of argon-filled low-e dual-pane windows. When it became apparent that the building is over-glazed, we permanently installed insulated R-30 exterior shutters over about 500 square feet of glazing, leaving about 850 square feet of windows exposed. These windows have been fitted with hinged R-25 shutters that open inward. Most are hinged at the top, although some are side hinged.More than any other feature, these gasket-sealed insulating shutters contribute more to heat retention than any wonder machine or triple-glazed German miracle windows, for far less money… 80% less. (I’d be happy to go into detail if requested). During the 12- to 16-hour night, we basically don’t have any heat loss through our windows. In the daytime, with panels open, there is solar gain. It’s a win-win situation! For eight months of the year, we leave the panels open.The space heating is supplied by two indoor high-efficiency wood stoves. We burn 5 cords of fir per year, locally collected. (British Columbia is the Saudi Arabia of firewood.) We don’t need any electric fans for air circulation.Although there is in-floor radiant heat distribution throughout, we do not use it, ever. (Another learning experience). So for space heating, we need about 75 MBTU per year in a 9,000 heating degree day zone. Not bad. It’s not a Passivhaus (that would require 50 MBTU for a house this size), but it doesn’t require a heat-recovery ventilator! We have exhaust-only ventilation using 5 bathroom fans and 2 kitchen fans. Natural air purification also occurs through 70 large houseplants — a method recommended by NASA for air purification (not kidding).By the way, the kitchen is completely isolated from the main building by a glass door during cooking, so no air contamination spreads throughout the house. (This design detail just might catch on; this type of kitchen isolation was standard in large 19th-century houses.)All in all, good air, good light, good vibe, good economics. And thank you, Green Building Advisor, for so many good thoughts on building. I have benefited immensely.A concluding note: Our total energy use from all sources is 35,000 kWh per year. The Passivhaus allowance for a house this size would be 110,000 kWh per year. So we use 70% less energy (total kWh) per year than the Passivhaus allowance. Something to reflect on. Cost-effectiveness analysisSo back to economics. How much propane savings? About $1,000 year.How much gasoline savings? $2,000.How much diesel and generator life wear? Maybe $800. Total savings, about $3,700 per year.The payback period for the off-grid set-up (PV and battery payback) is (drum roll) 10 years. That includes the rather short life of the batteries (8 years) and the rather long life (30 years) of the solar panels.