France ready to host UK marines if amphibious ships are axed

first_img View post tag: Royal Navy View post tag: HMS Albion December 4, 2017 View post tag: French Navy Back to overview,Home naval-today France ready to host Royal Marines if UK amphibious assault ships are axed The French Navy is considering allowing UK’s Royal Marines greater access to its amphibious ships should the Royal Navy’s HMS Bulwark and HMS Albion amphibious assault ships be axed as part of defense cuts.This was revealed by senior French officials, according to a report in Financial Times, who said that the French Navy was ready to allow the Royal Marines to embark one of its Mistral-class amphibious assault ships.The report comes at a time of widespread fears of possible cuts to the Royal Navy’s amphibious assault fleet ahead of a new UK defense and security review.According to the FT report, the cooperation could be organized within the 2010 Lancaster House treaty signed between France and the UK with the aim of developing an improved cooperation between British and French Armed Forces including a joint use of equipment and materials.While any official comments on the possible improved cooperation between the two countries are yet to be made, this would not be the first time for France and the UK to cooperate aboard Mistral-class LHDs. Earlier this year, BPC Mistral embarked two Royal Navy Mk3 Merlin helicopters from the UK’s Commando Helicopter Force for a five-month deployment to the Indian Ocean.In addition to UK troops, French amphibious ships are a platform for cooperation with other allies. Another Mistral-class ship, BPC Tonnerre, today embarked US marines from Naval Amphibious Force, Task Force 51, 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (TF 51/5) and the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit for a deployment to the US 5th Fleet area of operations. Authorities Share this article France ready to host Royal Marines if UK amphibious assault ships are axed View post tag: Mistral-class View post tag: HMS Bulwarklast_img read more

Spiritual and sustainable

first_imgIt’s considered a serious threat to the future, and it’s what Harvard Divinity School (HDS) Dean David N. Hempton called one of the key topics of our time.Climate change and its impact are why HDS holds among its values a commitment to sustainability and being a good steward of the environment everyone shares. It’s why HDS is working and succeeding on its part of the University’s goal to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. It’s also why the School hosted scores of people at a conference organized by HDS staff to examine how religion can respond to climate change.Through tangible efforts, HDS reduced its emissions by 32 percent from fiscal year 2006 to fiscal 2014, according to data from the Office for Sustainability. The School also decreased its energy use nearly 9 percent over the same period.But at HDS, the effort to help the Earth goes beyond numbers. On Nov. 7, the daylong conference “Spiritual and Sustainable: Religion Responds to Climate Change” on the HDS campus brought together activists and leaders from various faiths to discuss ways in which religions can talk and take action on environmental issues.Addressing the attendees gathered in the Braun Room of Andover Hall for a sustainably sourced lunch, Hempton said the forum touched on many of the values held by the HDS community, “especially our commitment to the work of sustainability and good environmental stewardship.”“We’ve kind of practiced this on our campus for a long time now, in the way we design, heat, and cool our facilities, the way we produce our food, recycle our waste, and all the other ways we try to lower our impact on the environment. We’re proud to have been leaders of this work at Harvard,” he said.The Rev. Jim Antal, president of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ (UCC), discussed the preacher’s role as a leader not just of his or her congregation, but in efforts to heal the environment. He said he believes that faith leadership should be edgy and risky, and that he urges his pastors to occasionally preach a “pack your bags” sermon, one that could push the congregation’s thinking enough that they might seek the preacher’s removal.“Every time I meet with any group of our UCC pastors, I tell them that they should be at least touching upon climate change every third or fourth sermon, and they look at me like I have forgotten everything I ever learned in seminary,” said Antal. “Let’s use the bell in the church steeple for its original purpose, to sound the alarm and rally the town. It’s time for the sleeping giant of the church, the synagogue, the mosque, and the temple to awaken to the challenge or our age.”The Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, who serves in the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, offered a framework for climate activists to respond wisely and creatively to the challenge.“All the world’s religious practices, from mindfulness meditation to practicing gratitude, are disciplines we’ve been given to help our hearts awaken,” she said. “Experiencing and claiming our God-given preciousness is a powerful antidote to the messages we hear that human beings are a cancer on the planet, a virus taking down life.”The conference was the most recent example of HDS’ ongoing effort to help the environment. This fall, more than 70 solar panels were installed on the roof of the Center for the Study of World Religions, the first renewable energy installation on the divinity campus. In 2008, HDS received LEED Gold certification after renovating Rockefeller Hall. Every day, HDS makes an effort to capture waste for recycling.Part of the reason HDS is able to implement changes successfully and reduce its energy use is the support from administrators, students, and staff who recognize the effort as a moral calling, said Leslie MacPherson Artinian, an organizer of the conference and leader of the HDS green team. HDS’ director of operations, Ralph DeFlorio, who also helped organize the conference, sees it as a beginning.“This conference is a first step in bringing people together from many different traditions to talk about an issue we all have in common: climate change,” he said.last_img read more

Legendary boxing coach Dick Katende dead

first_imgLegendary boxing coach Dick Katende has passed on. Though the cause of his death is still very much speculative, reports claim he slipped and hit his head on a hard surface at his home in Naguru.The fall turned out to be fatal. In a condolence message, the Uganda Sports Press Association said “Your contribution to boxing has been immense,you nurtured many boxers past and present.You’ll be greatly missed. Rest In Peace Dick Katende.”Share on: WhatsApplast_img

Leafs find ways to set pace in Murdoch Division

first_imgSunday, the Leafs close out a five-game road trip with a date in Fruitvale against the defending KIJHL champion Nitehawks.The last time the teams met, Nelson crushed the Hawks 8-0.However, Nelson will see a Beaver Valley team that enters the weekend winners of five straight games.Next home game for Nelson is Wednesday against Grand Forks Border Bruins.Cramer playing like a Shea Webber prototypeLeaf defenceman Robson Cramer continues to stoke the team offence from the back end.Cramer, currently riding a six-game point streak and points in 10 of his last 11 games, leads the Leafs in scoring with 25 points.Second is Rayce Miller, who is also on a six-game points streak. Miller and teammate Matt MacDonald is two points behind Cramer.Leafs again part of Remembrance Day CeremonyThe Leafs joined the rest of the country in remember those who gave their lives to guarantee freedom at the Remembrance Day Ceremony Tuesday at the Nelson Cenotaph.The Leafs were part of the parade and also laid a wreath on the cenotaph honouring Nelson’s war heroes. Difficulty finding players? No problems, this Leafs team keeps winning.Injuries? Who cares? Other players step up and the team keeps winning?Off-ice issues? No worries again, as Leaf players pull together and the squad keeps winning.Twenty-one games into the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season and the Green and White continue to occupy top spot in the Murdoch Division.However, the Leafs will need to bring more than just their “A” game to the rink this weekend as the club meets two hungry teams breathing down their backs in a pair of divisional showdowns in Castlegar and Beaver Valley, Saturday and Sunday.Nelson travels to the Sunflower City to play a Rebels team on a three-game winning streak.The Leafs currently lead the season series between the two clubs, winning two of three — one game ended in a 1-1 tie — and outscoring Castlegar 10-7.last_img read more

Township ‘vluit’ hits the stage

first_img6 December 2004A comic play exploiting the township language of “vluit” – a unique whistling style that has its roots in the self-defence units of the once violence-ridden township of Katlehong – is now running at the Market Theatre in Newtown, Johannesburg.“Barbershop” explores the often overwhelmingly difficult, but comic experiences, of a street barber, Baba ka Dennis, an immigrant who leaves his rural home to make ends meet in the City of Gold.Baba ka Dennis sets up shop on a street in Johannesburg and has to learn street-talk – the township language of “vluit”. This he does with the help of a benevolent imbiber.There are temptations of the flesh as well as stumbling blocks in Baba ka Dennis’s life, difficulties which aren’t helped by the dangerous, wintry Jozi streets.The characters, played by Thabo Xaba, Pepe Sithole, Themba Skhosana and Bonginkosi Masango, live out their frustrations, anger, love and desires without a word being spoken – “vluit” says it all.“We have taken this language and turned it into a way of entertaining people and showing them more about the world we come from”, says Xaba, who is also the playwright.The unique whistling has its roots in the self-defence units of Katlehong, an East Rand township which was overrun by violence in the run-up to the 1994 elections. Former members of the units formed the Whistlers of Art theatre group after encountering the therapeutic power of theatre as part of an integration programme in 1995.Each group in the township, says Sithole, has its own code of whistles. “It’s a way of communicating in secret, especially at night when criminal gangs are at work. After you have seen the play, you will have a totally new understanding the next time you hear a whistle in the street.”“Barbershop” was developed at the Sibikwa Community Theatre and the Market Theatre Laboratory under renowned director Mncedisi Shabangu. The play has enjoyed acclaimed runs at the Wits Theatre, the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town and the Market Theatre as part of the 2003 Arts Alive Festival.“Barbershop” is on until 19 December. For more information, contact the Market Theatre on (011) 832-1641.Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

Brand South Africa at World Marketing Forum

first_imgBrand South Africa CEO Miller Matola willshare success stories with delegatesat the inaugural World Marketing Forumin Ghana.(Image: Nicky Rehbok)MEDIA CONTACTS • Darrell KofkinGlobal Marketing Network+44 845 838 1860  or +44 1767 731809• Oliver SchmitzBrand Finance South Africa+27 82 087 0507Source: Brand South AfricaMiller Matola, CEO of Brand South Africa, recently named the most valuable African nation brand by Brand Finance, and Thebe Ikalafeng, founder and chairman of Brand Africa, are just two of the delegates scheduled to speak at the inaugural World Marketing Forum.The event, organised by Global Marketing Network and the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana, takes place from 27 – 29 June in Accra.Attendees can look forward to hearing success stories from the chief executives of three of Africa’s most valuable nation brands.In what promises to be a powerful opening afternoon session on 28 June Oliver Schmitz, MD of Brand Finance South Africa will be joined by Mathias Akotia of Brand Ghana, Mary Kimonye of Brand Kenya, and Brand South Africa’s Matola.Each CEO will deliver a keynote presentation on such themes as The host nation speaking with one voice, One people building a nation brand together, and Holding hands to build Africa’s most valuable nation brand.Later the same evening Ikalafeng of Brand Africa will deliver a thought-provoking keynote presentation. He contends that Africa’s global image does not reflect the growth and entrepreneurial spirit that has seen the continent outpace developed economies, growing at 5% during tough global economic conditions.“Key to Africa’s growth and future are dynamic African businesses and brands,” said Ikalafeng, “and an enabling political environment that will be a catalyst for Africa’s independent agenda and economic emancipation.”Schmitz of Brand Finance South Africa said: “As Global Marketing Network’s global brand valuation partner we were delighted at the invitation to be a strategic partner of the inaugural World Marketing Forum.”He added that Ghana’s ability to emerge victorious in the race to host the event is testament to the emerging strength of Brand Africa.The World Marketing Forum affords business and marketing leaders the opportunity to listen to, engage with and be inspired by more 20 leading marketing experts from across the globe through presentations, case studies, and insights. Delegates will come away with practical knowledge on how to develop effective marketing strategies for business, for today and tomorrow.The event is followed on Friday 30 June by a marketing masterclass with Professor Michael Solomon, bestselling author on consumer behaviour, and Dr V Kumar, a leading expert on customer relationship management.To register to attend, contact the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana on +233 244 220427, send email or visit the website.2011 Brand Finance nation brand rankings – Africa:RankCountryBrand value (US$bn)Brand rating1South Africa149.7A-2Egypt79.2BBB3Nigeria56.0B4Morocco9.9A-5Algeria39.2BB6Angola23.8CC7Tunisia19.0A-8Ghana13.3A-9Kenya13.2BBB10Libya13.2Blast_img read more

SA astronomers discover stars on edge of Milky Way

first_img16 May 2014 A team of South African and Japanese astronomers, using the Southern African Large Telescope as well as an infra-red survey facility at Sutherland in the Northern Cape, has discovered the first known stars in the flared disk of the Milky Way galaxy, the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) announced on Wednesday. The stars, known as Cepheid variables, are situated on the far side of the galaxy, approximately 80 000 light years from the Earth. “The discovery is important because stars like these will allow astronomers to test theoretical ideas about how galaxies, like the Milky Way in which we live, formed,” the SAAO said in a statement. “In particular these stars, which are close to the effective edge of the Milky Way, will help astronomers trace the distribution of the very mysterious dark matter.” Dark matter is known to be an important component of all galaxies, but its nature and distribution remain elusive. “The five stars involved in this discovery are very special ones whose brightness changes regularly on a cycle time of a few days,” the SAAO said, adding: “These Cepheid variables have characteristics that allow their distances to be measured accurately.” The team used observations made at the SAAO’s site in Sutherland to determine the distances of these stars and their locations within the galaxy. “The majority of stars in our galaxy, including our own sun, are distributed in a flat disk,” the SAAO explained. “Early in the 21st century, radio astronomers discovered that hydrogen gas, of which the galaxy contains a great deal, flared away from the disk at large distances from the galactic centre, but until now no one knew that stars did the same thing.” The team comprised University of Cape Town professor Michael Feast, John Menzies and Patricia Whitelock, both from the SAAO, and Noriyuki Matsunaga from the University of Tokyo. Their findings were published online in international scientific journal Nature on Wednesday. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Three abducted Jharkhand policemen released

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BJP to finalise seat sharing with Shiv Sena in Maharashtra

first_imgThe Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hopes to finalise seat sharing arrangements with the Shiv Sena by September 22 or the upcoming weekend, ahead of the Assembly polls in Maharashtra, but is clear that the question of just who is the dominant partner has been settled in its favour.Senior party sources told The Hindu that the alliance with the Shiv Sena, called the ‘Mahayuthi’, was very much on, but that the seats (number and specific areas) were still being hammered out between the two parties. Before the two parties had parted ways just before the 2014 Assembly (later coming together to be partners in the Devendra Fadnavis government), the seat-sharing arrangement was heavily loaded in favour of the Shiv Sena, which contested 169 seats, while the BJP contested 119 seats. By the time 2014 rolled around, the BJP, cresting on the Modi wave, wanted a renegotiation on a more realistic assessment of the ground situation. Talks broke down in October 2014, and the two parted ways. The BJP and the Shiv Sena came back together after a period of being apart.‘Faced off’“What is interesting, of course, is that out of the total 288 Assembly seats [one member is nominated to the Assembly, taking the total number to 289], the BJP and the Shiv Sena directly faced off against each other in 54 seats. The BJP won 32 of these seats and the Shiv Sena 22. So the question of who the dominant force in the Mahayuthi is, has been settled in the last elections,” said a senior BJP leader. “This is when the BJP had fought only on 260 seats and the Sena on 280,” added the source. The BJP had fought on 25 seats out of a total of 48 seats in the Lok Sabha polls, and the Sena at 23 seats. The BJP’s strike rate is better, too, with the party winning 23 of the seats; the Sena came in with 18 seats.With all these numbers, the BJP is determined to settle the question of who can be seen as the big brother in the alliance in its favour, for some time to come.last_img read more

Flag that flew on Parliament Hill on Canada Day gifted to Queen

first_imgEDINBURGH, Scotland – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marked Canada’s 150th birthday with the Queen Wednesday by giving her the Canadian flag that flew on the Peace Tower on Canada Day.On a daylong stop in Edinburgh, Trudeau met with the Queen for a private audience at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, her official Scottish residence, where he presented her with the Maple Leaf raised last weekend.“It was as it often is, as it always is, a warm and engaged conversation in which she displayed knowledge and interest in a wide range of global affairs and goings on in Canada,” Trudeau said in a brief statement following the meeting.The meeting was arranged to mark Canada’s sesquicentennial since the Queen, 91, is no longer able to travel as far as Canada; Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall had attended Canada Day events in her place.Trudeau’s conversation with the Queen began with a chat about the fact the prime minister had received an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh earlier in the day.“Probably dismays a number of my former professor to see me as a doctor now,” Trudeau said as they walked together towards a sitting area.The Queen said his getting the degree was “lovely.”While Trudeau was inside the palace, a small number of protesters approached the gates holding placards calling for an end to the “tar sands” and to grant Indigenous rights.It was but a tiny taste of what is to come for Trudeau at the G20 summit in Germany where tens of thousands of anti-globalization protesters have already started to descend on the northern port city of Hamburg.As many as 20,000 police have been commissioned to safeguard the event from protesters calling their demonstration “Welcome to Hell — Don’t Let Capitalism Get You Down.”One of the stated goals of the protesters is to block the roads leading into the site, given there are limited ways in and out.Fireworks are also expected inside the meeting as the heads of 20 of the word’s largest economies clash over trade, climate change and international security.For Trudeau, and host German Chancellor Angela Merkel, it is the Paris climate change agreement they want as job one.Merkel has been working steadily to try and isolate Trump for his decision to withdraw from the agreement, which commits countries to cutting their emissions in an attempt to keep global warming to within two degrees compared to pre-industrial levels.Andrew Light, a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute and member of the climate change negotiation team under President Barack Obama, said the hope is that the U.S. is the only one at the G20 that won’t sign the climate change section of the communique.But, he said there is fear countries such as Russia and Saudi Arabia will use the U.S. backing away to reduce their own commitments in areas such as international climate finance, or commitments to stop funding coal development in other countries.Environment Minister Catherine McKenna told reporters this week Canada is standing firm on Paris and pushing all other countries at the G20 to do so to.— follow @mrabson on Twitter.last_img read more

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