Motorsports has potential to be a mass sport in India Gill

first_imgNew Delhi: Gaurav Gill believes that motorsports has the potential to become a mass sport in India. The 37-year-old rally car, who recently became the first from the field of motorsports to win an Arjuna award, said that India having one of the largest automobiles industries in the world is something that motorsports should harness. “India is very quickly becoming the world’s third largest automobile manufacturer. If it has the capacity to do that and if it can have millions of vehicles on the road, our sport is directly linked to that,” Gill told IANS. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh Gill announced on Friday that he will be entering the World Rally Championship 2 this season representing JK Tyre Motorsport for the first time. His previous forays into the WRC2 came during his tenure with MRF that lasted over 12 years. He will be starting at Rally of Turkey that is scheduled for later this month. Gill said that it took some time for the news of his Arjuna award win to sink in. “I had just finished my training and was having my power nap in the afternoon,” he said about the day he got to know about it. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later “Somebody called me up and said congratulations. And I said, for what? I didn’t do any rally recently and I didn’t win anything. Then the person told me that I was on the final list of Arjuna Awards. I got up and made a few other calls and it took me a few days to realise that this had happened. It was an amazing feeling.” He said that a direct effect of this win is the encouragement it gives to parents to let their kids get into motorsports, citing the example of the number of calls he and JK Tyre Motorsport chief Sanjay “Hardy” Sharma received. “I am flooded with calls and messages about my academy. People want to have me help their younger ones to pursue it. Hardy actually got more calls because people are sending their kids for karting. Now they can see that if they start something like this now, 10 years down the line they will reap the rewards,” he said.last_img read more

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Canadians to watch US midterms unfold at viewing parties across the country

first_imgTORONTO – People are expected to gather at viewing parties across Canada tonight to watch the American midterm elections unfold.The U.S. Consulate General in Toronto is hosting one event, which will be attended by representatives of both Democrats Abroad and Republicans Overseas.In the nation’s capital, the Harvard Club of Ottawa and Democrats Abroad are both set to throw viewing parties.Democrats Abroad will also host events in eight other cities, including Vancouver, Edmonton and Montreal.All 435 seats in the U.S. House are up for re-election, and 35 Senate seats are in play, as are almost 40 governorships and the balance of power in virtually every state legislature.While he is not on the ballot, U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledged on Monday that the 2018 midterms represent a referendum on his presidency.The Democrats have run a super-charged campaign to end the Republicans’ hold on power in Washington.Should they win control of the House, the Democrats could derail Trump’s legislative agenda for the next two years, along with subpoena power to investigate Trump’s personal and professional missteps.last_img read more

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Sears Canada gets court approval to begin soliciting bids for its sale

TORONTO — An Ontario judge has given Sears Canada the green light to immediately proceed with reaching out to potential buyers while it’s under creditor protection.Ontario Superior Court Justice Glenn Hainey approved the motion for the sale and investor solicitation process Thursday, following hours of discussions between lawyers representing the company, its lenders and retirees and laid-off employees.According to the decision, the national retailer and its court-ordered monitor, FTI Consulting Inc., can select one or more successful bids by Oct. 25.In separate documents filed by Sears Canada’s lawyers prior to Thursday’s hearing, the retailer’s chief financial officer said it’s “crucial” to begin liquidation sales of inventory no later than July 21 and to complete them by Oct. 12. Hainey is expected to hear that motion Tuesday.Sears Canada announced in June that it planned on closing 59 locations across the country and cutting approximately 2,900 jobs as part of a restructuring under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.The department store owner wants to shutter dozens of stores in the coming weeks while it negotiates with potential buyers who might acquire some or all of the company’s remaining assets, pending court approvals.“I’m in total shock this happened,” said Zobedida Maharaj, who was one of dozens of former employees who packed an overflowing Toronto courtroom to hear Thursday’s proceedings.Maharaj, 53, said she had worked at Sears Canada for 28 years before she was laid off at the end of March when her store was closed.The senior manager of operations and merchandise said she was initially told she would get eight weeks of severance and benefits, but was cut off June 22 when the company secured temporary court protection from creditors.“It’s like getting slapped in the face,” Maharaj said.Earlier in the day, Sears Canada struck a deal over benefit and pension payments to retired employees. The retailer had initially asked the court for permission to immediately halt payments for pension, health and dental benefits for laid-off employees, retirees and surviving spouses due to a severe cash crunch, but later agreed to continue payments to retirees until Sept. 30.Many former employees said the company’s compromise on temporarily paying retiree benefits and pension compensation has them cautiously hopeful.Pina Rupa, 58, from Vaughan, Ont., said outside the courthouse that she hoped Sears Canada, where she worked for nearly 40 years, would reinstate her benefits and severance which she said were worth tens of thousands of dollars.“I was such a loyal employee,” said Rupa, who was laid off from the company’s head office.Employment lawyer Susan Ursel, whose firm represents more than 17,000 non-unionized former and current employees, said her law office is filing motions to ask the court to reinstate benefit, severance and pension payments to the workers who were laid off. It is also asking to set up a temporary hardship fund for those who are in dire need of cash and health benefits.Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said her government is paying close attention to the situation but there isn’t a role it can play at this point.Follow @LindaNguyenTO and @DavidPaddon on Twitter. read more

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Ortis arrest unsettling top Mountie says amid damage assessment

OTTAWA — The Mounties are assessing and trying to mitigate the damage that might have been caused in light of the arrest of one of their senior intelligence officials, RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki said Monday.In a statement, Lucki said last week’s arrest of 47-year-old Cameron Jay Ortis, who is charged under three sections of the Security of Information Act, has “shaken many people throughout the RCMP, particularly in federal policing.”Ortis also faces two charges under the Criminal Code, including breach of trust, for allegedly trying to disclose classified information to a foreign entity or terrorist group.“While these allegations, if proven true, are extremely unsettling, Canadians and our law-enforcement partners can trust that our priority continues to be the integrity of the investigations and the safety and security of the public we serve,” said Lucki.She also confirmed that Ortis was director general of the RCMP’s National Intelligence Co-ordination Centre, after starting his career with the Mounties in 2007.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.Ortis had access to domestic and international intelligence, including information coming from Canada’s allies, she said.Ortis has also worked in the RCMP’S Operations Research and National Security Criminal Investigations branches, she said.“By virtue of the positions he held, Mr. Ortis had access to information the Canadian intelligence community possessed. He also had access to intelligence coming from our allies both domestically and internationally. This level of access is appropriate given the positions he held,” Lucki said.“This is an ongoing investigation and we are assessing the impacts of the alleged activities as information becomes available,” she added.“We are aware of the potential risk to agency operations of our partners in Canada and abroad and we thank them for their continued collaboration. We assure you that mitigation strategies are being put in place as required.”Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had little to say Monday when asked about the impact on Canada’s counterparts in the Five Eyes, the intelligence group that also includes the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.“I think people will understand I can’t make any public comments on this, but I can assure you this is something that the responsible authorities are engaged with at the highest levels, including with our allies,” Trudeau said at a campaign stop in Waterloo, Ont.Ortis studied the international implications of the darker corners of the internet before joining the RCMP. He earned his PhD at the University of British Columbia in 2006, one year before joining the Mounties, and after seven years as a graduate student.He published two essays that were co-written with one of the university’s leading experts on China and Asia, political-science professor Paul Evans.A 2003 paper published in The Pacific Review appears to have been prophetic about the rise of cybercrime and the use of the internet as a government surveillance tool. It was part of a broader examination of how the internet was being used by bad actors, while acknowledging that it is also sometimes a force for good.“The walk on the dark side does not lead to the conclusion that the internet is the enemy of those wishing to construct a more stable and peaceful regional order,” they wrote.“What we are claiming is that the proponents of a more digitized form of community building need to be aware of the risks involved and the likelihood that national governments will be more concerned than ever with surveillance and control. For individuals, whatever their level of capacity, IT poses threats of information overload, eavesdropping and monitoring, and various forms of attack including viruses and worms.”They also predicted that non-governmental organizations and networks would face threats to their “infrastructure, confidentiality, mailing lists, electronic subscriptions and databases.”In a statement to The Canadian Press, Evans described Ortis as the “exemplar of discretion” and said that nothing in Evans’s experience with him “would lead me to suspect he would be (in) any way involved in activities that would lead to such charges.”Evans said he was a member of Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee and worked with him on several projects. They also saw each other socially from time to time after Ortis started his RCMP job, but Evans said Ortis never discussed the details of his work. read more

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Treaty to protect persons with disabilities should be ready in two years

The instrument presently being negotiated will create a “verifiable and enforceable” regime for the protection and promotion of the human rights of disabled persons, committee President Luis Gallegos of Ecuador told a news briefing.The Ad Hoc Working Group Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disability, established by the General Assembly in 2001, has been holding its second session at UN Headquarters in New York since 16 June.Mr. Gallegos said the process constituted a major step in international efforts to legislate on behalf of the disabled community. Such a convention would also guide attitudes for generations to come.It was an important step for the UN, which sought to be in the forefront of the evolution towards a holistic and integrated society that incorporated groups which, for different reasons, had been discriminated against, he declared. The disabled community had been participating actively in the talks, as they were the shareholders and “guiders” of the process. As facilitator, he greatly admired their dedication to meet their community’s challenges.The authors were trying to follow a regime of human rights protection and promotion, with the major subject being that of disability, no matter the reason for that disability, Mr. Gallegos said. The convention would seek to protect the individuals’ human rights.The process was at a stage of “trying to vocalize” that the convention should deal with all types of disabilities – not necessarily the causes, but the consequences of being disabled, he added. People who were disabled as a result of war or armed conflict, whose human rights were not respected, could use the convention as an enforceable right not to be discriminated against. Mr. Gallegos said his goal was to have an instrument that responded to the needs of the disabled community, whatever the cause of their disability. read more

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UN refugee agency spotlights plight of detained child asylum seekers in US

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has long advocated against detention of asylum seekers and refugees worldwide and has often played a vital role in monitoring and ameliorating conditions of those detained, particularly children in the United States and other industrialized countries with detention policies. For the past year UNHCR has been has been working with the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the US Department for Health and Human Services to provide even greater protection, assistance and support for unaccompanied children. UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador actress Angelina Jolie visited detained asylum seekers at three facilities in Arizona last weekend and was particularly moved by the plight of unaccompanied children trying not only to survive the often harrowing situations that brought them to the United States but also to weave their way through an extremely complicated immigration system. “Many of these children have survived tragedy, so being separated from their families can only add to their suffering,” Ms. Jolie said. “Access to legal representation and a guardian to help them through this difficult immigration process is absolutely essential to protect them and ensure that their best interests are met.” She was pleased with the progress that ORR has made in improving the conditions for shelter of unaccompanied children in a very short time. “I am excited that UNHCR is working with ORR on this initiative,” she said. “These children are true survivors. I am awed by their spirit and inspired by their resilience. I hope they can find ways to work together to provide them with the care and assistance they deserve.” read more

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India presents growing opportunity for Canadas aerospace sector trade advocate

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by News Staff Posted Oct 14, 2012 8:00 am MDT India presents growing opportunity for Canada’s aerospace sector: trade advocate MONTREAL – Canada’s aerospace sector can create jobs at home by taking advantage of India’s modernization and recent moves to liberalize its foreign ownership restrictions, says the head of the Canada-India Business Council.The world’s most populated democracy has been growing in the shadows of fellow Asian giant China and other regional powers. But with India investing billions of dollars a year in infrastructure, the country is expected to jump to become a top five aerospace country by 2020.“I think there is a real opportunity for us,” council president Rana Sarkar said in an interview from Toronto.“They’re not going to go with one supplier, they’re going to go with a syndicate of suppliers and it’s for us to be in that mix is an important thing.”Canada’s aerospace and space sectors generate annual revenues of over $22 billion and employ about 80,000 Canadians in more than 400 firms across the country. Companies such as Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) and CAE Inc. (TSX:CAE), along with engineering and construction firms are already pushing to take advantage of the growing demand for new aircraft, pilot training and airport construction.But more potential remains untapped.“In virtually every sector in the aviation business, this is sort of like the 1950s in North America. You’re starting to see just an arithmetic growth,” he said.The opportunity could total $1 trillion. And even though Canada’s share will be small, it’s still significant compared to where Canada’s sector has been historically, Sarkar said.Canadian exports to India increased by 29 per cent last year to nearly $2.6 billion, with aircraft and spacecraft being the fourth-largest category accounting for almost nine per cent of total exports. Overall bilateral trade totalled $5.1 billion but is targeted to reach $15 billion by 2015.Much of India’s potential comes from the massive airport construction underway that could upgrade 35 facilities and add 10 new airports in smaller cities. The number of airline passengers is expected to quadruple to 160 million per year by 2020.But India also has great demand for soft infrastructure such as training services, air traffic control and maintenance, as well as education.That’s where Canada can use its strengths, particularly in the country’s largest aero cluster in Montreal, he said.“We have an opportunity to help India with what they would consider a crisis need right now.”The head of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada said the future competitiveness of the Canadian industry is dependent on its ability to maintain and grow its market share in both current and emerging markets.“As India continues to grow and expand its infrastructure and air travel capacity, Canadian interest in pursuing market and investment opportunities there will only increase,” said Jim Quick.“Not only does India represent a tremendous opportunity from a market development perspective, but it is also a very valuable partner for the execution of R&D activities which complement strong core Canadian capabilities in that respect.”The Indian government’s recent move to increase the foreign investment threshold to 49 per cent could strengthen Indian airlines by making it easier for them to forge alliances and allowing them to join strong outside networks.Still, it has retained a strong offset policy that requires foreign companies to make significant investments by partnering with local firms in exchange for selling into the country.Bombardier said it is looking at all kinds of avenues to take advantage of the huge opportunities that await in India.“It’s too early to say whether it’s about manufacturing products there but … we would not rule out looking into any of these regions and what kind of business relationships beyond selling we would be looking at,” Ben Boehm, vice-president of international business, said in an interview from Russia.Much like China, the expansion of airline services in India presents huge sales opportunities for both commercial and business aircraft.Bombardier forecasts 1,345 business jet deliveries over the next 20 years and that the Asia-Pacific region (including China) will take delivery of about 4,000 commercial aircraft with 20 to 149 seats.It has about 40 business jets operating in the country. Its largest commercial plane customer Spicejet flies seven Q400s but has ordered 15 turboprops and has options for an additional 15. Air India Regional operates four CRJ700 regional jets.So far, the Montreal-based manufacturer has yet to win an Indian order for the CSeries. Boehm said the plane could allow non-stop connections between smaller airports and destinations in Southeast Asia and the Middle East because it’s the only plane in the 100- to 150-seat category capable of travelling 3,000 nautical miles.India’s focus on low-cost carriers could make a 160-seat CSeries attractive to the country. But Boehm said it’s too soon to know whether any buyers would opt for a larger configuration, which would require airlines to make compromises such as reducing the number of toilets.“I think right now anybody that we are talking to in India is still in the early stages where we aren’t down to what their final configuration is.”Boehm said sales in India will be good for Bombardier’s suppliers such as landing gear makers Heroux-Devtek (TSX:HRX) and Goodrich, along with engine maker Pratt & Whitney.“It’s going to be important for all of us,” he said. “We need to become much more outward looking in terms of (what) the aerospace market and the real growth demand over the next 20 odd years is going to be in these types of emerging markets.”Shortages of trained aerospace workers in India limit the threat that work performed by Canadians could initially be transferred. But longer term, the country poses a competitive threat as companies such as state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited look to eventually develop their own fighters and commercial aircraft. read more

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Ohio State womens volleyball sweeps three teams wrapping up nonconference play

Ohio State’s libero Valeria Leon passes a ball in the regional quarterfinal versus Washington on December 11, 2015. Credit: Ohio State AthleticsThe No. 19 Ohio State women’s volleyball team couldn’t have asked for a better ending to its nonconference season. Just like dominos, three teams fell to the Buckeyes. Not to mention, all of the matches were three-set sweeps. OSU dominated the competition to clinch the Ball State Active Ankle Challenge title on Saturday in Muncie, Indiana. Valparaiso was the first of the Buckeyes’ victims on Friday, followed by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The Ball State Cardinals gave OSU the biggest run for its money on Saturday, but it was the Buckeye “tribe” who came out on top. Senior libero Valeria León, senior middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe and sophomore outside hitter Audra Appold earned all-tournament honors. León earned the tournament MVP title with 3.78 digs per set. Sandbothe and León have been named to all-tournament squads in three of the past four weekend tournaments.ValparaisoValparaiso hung with the Buckeyes in the first set until OSU started to pull away at 19-13, with credit to the power of middle blockers Sandbothe and freshman Madison Smeathers. An assisted block from Sandbothe and senior middle blocker Kylie Randall sealed the win in the first set, 25-17. OSU jumped out to an early lead in the second set and eventually put away the Crusaders, 25-13. Junior outside hitter Luisa Schirmer contributed five kills to the Buckeye offense. A block by Smeathers and Schirmer for the final point in the third set would wrangle in the victory for OSU, 25-18. Sandbothe led the offense for the Buckeyes with a .458 hitting percentage, followed by a strong performance from Appold who hit .364. OSU more than doubled the Crusaders in kills, 50 to 19. UNCGErrors on OSU’s side of the net and an aggressive UNCG team kept the first set of the match close, with nine times during the opening frame. A final Spartan timeout wasn’t enough to hold back Sandbothe. She closed out the set with three kills, making the score 25-20 going into the second set. The Buckeyes would shut down the UNCG offense in the next set. OSU went on a seven-point run to win 25-12. The third and final set showcased OSU’s “tribe” motto with six players slamming down kills for the 25-14 set and match win.Randall, Schirmer and Appold all had an errorless hitting performances. Appold also tied León for a team-high 10 digs, and Sandbothe walked away from the match with a monstrous .615 attacking percentage. Ball StateOSU’s final match carried some weight with it – the last nonconference match for the team and a tournament title on the line. The momentum from the Buckeyes’ previous two matches carried into the first set against the Cardinals. Despite a couple of four-point leads by Ball State, OSU battled back to eventually take the advantage, 17-16 on a service ace by Sandbothe.Another service ace by sophomore setter Taylor Hughes coming out of a Cardinal timeout was enough to push the Buckeyes to secure a first-win set, 25-21. In the second, Smeathers went to work on defense, assisting on three blocks and stuffing the Cardinals’ Sydnee Vanbeek for a solo block. OSU took the second set, 25-17. Two early three-point runs put the Buckeyes up 9-2 in the final set. Ball State would have its own five-point run later in the game to tighten the set, two OSU kills and an attacking error for the Cardinals would give the Buckeyes the set win, the match win and complete the perfect trifecta of tournament play. Hughes racked up 36 assists during the match, and five out of six OSU hitters hit above .300. Sandbothe and Appold combined for 27 kills against the Cardinals. The women’s volleyball team improved to 10-2 on the season and will challenge its first Big Ten opponent when they travel to Wisconsin on Sept. 23. read more

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Childbirth charity boss resigns in row over mental health care

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The president of the country’s leading charity for new parents has resigned, claiming that its focus has shifted from breastfeeding and maternity support to mental health issues.Seána Talbot says she believes the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) is being taken in the wrong direction.She accused the charity of changing its emphasis away from its central mission towards postnatal mental health.In her letter of resignation, Ms Talbot, who had been president since 2017 and on the board since 2009, said the NCT was “no longer the ‘go-to’ charity”.“Others have taken our place or, worse still, there is silence where women’s voices should be,” she said. Ms Talbot also claimed there was “a profound lack of trust” within the organisation and a “culture of fear”.She states: “I have now concluded that those responsible for NCT’s direction and strategy are determined to lead the charity in a direction I cannot support.”In 2013, Kirstie Allsopp, the presenter, described the NCT, which has more than 320 branches nationwide and 5,000 local volunteers, as “a very politicised, dogmatic and, in my experience, scary organisation”.Ms Talbot was elected president after a row in which she claims she was pressured to resign as a trustee in 2016, following the death of a baby in a cot endorsed by the NCT, despite an inquest finding it was not to blame.She claimed her complaints about “bullying and coercion” that she says she suffered at the time were never investigated and a wider review by senior staff had been wrong to conclude there was no bullying in the charity.It is also understood that 38 of the NCT’s practitioners have written to the charity to voice concerns. During the past five years the charity’s annual income has fallen from £17.6 million to £15.6 million, although it says it has made a surplus of £1.6 million.But the NCT has hit back, saying it had not abandoned its core purpose, but that it was right to also focus on mental wellbeing.Jessica Figueras, the chairman of trustees, said: “We know we can do more to support parents postnatally.”The organisation rejected Ms Talbot’s claims that it operated amid a climate of fear and there was a culture of bullying.Ms Figueras said: “We want everyone to be treated with dignity, courtesy and respect and we will not tolerate bullying or harassment of any kind. We are not complacent and we treat any allegation of bullying with the utmost seriousness.”She added: “In June 2018 Seána formally submitted a complaint to the board centring around a decision taken in December 2016 to ask her to resign.“Trustees took this complaint extremely seriously and in response took a number of steps, including appointing a QC … and following the QC’s advice to work with a mediator to discuss the process of moving forward. This work was ongoing in the week Seána resigned.” read more

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Govt approves 25B in supplementary spending in the National Assembly

The National Assembly late last evening approved a supplementary provision on the current and capital estimates totalling $2.5B for the period January 01 to December 31, 2017.The extra budgetary funding includes:Ministry of Agriculture-$730.640M-Flood Risk Assessment Project: construction of three pump stations, continued rehabilitation of the East Demerara Water Conservancy-Rural Agricultural Infrastructure Development Project-rehabilitation of the pump station at Mocha, East Bank Demerara (EBD.)-Sustainable Agriculture Development Project-resources associated with an agriculture censusMinistry of Business-$197M-Works on the Lethem Industrial Estate developmentMinistry of Public Infrastructure-$520M-Sea Defence at Rotterdam-Ruimzeight, West Coast Demerara (WCD) and at Cottage   Mahaicony.-The Bagotsville Main Access Public Road-Rehabilitation of MV SandakaMinistry of Public Health-$98.3M-Procurement of platelepheresis machine for the National Blood Bank-Procurement of a Mammography machine for the National Blood Bank.Ministry of Legal Affairs-$116.3M-Provision for the establishment of the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA)Ministry of Public Security-$765M-The establishment of the National Anti-Narcotic Agency-Prisons: construction of temporary holding facilities at the Lusignan Prison; cleanup at the site at Camp Street Prison, refurbishment of the dormitory among others.Public Service Appellate Tribunal-$22M-Provision for salaries and allowances-Purchase of office equipment and furniturePublic Procurement Commission-$62M-Provision for salaries and allowances and charges such as rent, security, electricity and water-Purchase of equipment, a vehicle, computers, equipmentRegion 10: Upper Demerara/Upper Berbice-$2.6M-Purchase of a roller Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCabinet notes award of 36 contracts worth $3.8 billionJanuary 19, 2019In “latest news”$52M for inquiry into GuySuCo; Agriculture Budget approvedAugust 25, 2015In “Politics”Cabinet notes award of 57 multi-million-dollar contractsApril 28, 2018In “Business” read more

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Reilly letter should be a concern for all citizens – Labour senator

first_imgA LETTER SENT by the Health Minister that raised concerns about electro-magnetic fields in his constituency should concern everyone in Ireland, a Labour Senator has said.Denis Landy, who lives in Tipperary, said that the letter that James Reilly sent to Environment Minister Phil Hogan outlining concern over electromagnetic fields created by the Eirgrid East-West Interconnector, lent weight to the 35,000  objections that had been made to Eirgrid’s plan to place pylons in rural Tipperary.“The Minister’s concern should be of concern for all Irish citizens, not just those in North Dublin.“As minister for health, the minister has a responsibility ensure the health of all citizens of the country.”Reilly’s letter contains evidence from a DCU public health expert, with Reilly saying that he was worried “as a doctor and Minister for Health” about an interconnector that was being built in Rush, County Dublin.The Department of Health has previously said that the letter asked for ways in which Reilly’s concerns could be addressed, but Landy says that, in light of the letter, stock should be taken.“It is a concern for us. But there is now a chance for Minister Pat Rabbitte to bring an up to date position to the Oireachtas. Nothing should be done for now.”Landy said that there is huge worry in Tipperary over the potential impact of pylons being placed on land, particularly in the horse-breeding and horse-racing communities.Read: Underground pylons will add 3% to electricity bills over the next 50 years, says RabbitteRead: ‘They were whipped into line’: Committee backs appointment of Eirgrid chairmanlast_img read more

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Operation Slow Down 321 vehicles caught speeding in 24 hours

first_imgGARDAÍ ARE CONTINUING to carry out checkpoints nationwide under ‘Operation Slow Down’.The campaign was rolled out to remind drivers of the dangers of inappropriate and excessive speed which is one of the main factors in road-related deaths.GoSafe cameras checked 53,469 vehicles nationwide between 7am Friday to 7am Saturday, detecting 321 offences.Six people were killed over the June Bank Holiday weekend last year, and 12 were seriously injured. A serious and fatal crash in Kildare claimed two lives yesterday.“There is always a risk associated with driving at the weekend, but bank holiday weekends are riskier still,” said the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar.(Images: An Garda Síochána/Flickr)-Additional reporting by Sinéad O’CarrollRead: 75 killed on Irish roads this year, don’t be number 76 this weekend>last_img read more

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Ford Announces Focus Electric with Value Charging Data Cellphone

first_imgLAS VEGAS – Ford joined the electric car fray today with the announcement of the Ford Focus Electric. Ford’s first electric car ships late this year and will be more like the Nissan Leaf than the Chevrolet Volt because it’s an electric-drive-only car. And it will employ an enhanced version of Ford Sync and MyFord Touch with an embedded cellular modem, the first for a Ford Sync vehicle, that lets the car search for the cheapest recharging rates. The delivered price will likely be under $25,000. The range will be around 100 miles.  Enhancements to MyFord Touch With the Focus Electric, Ford rolled out new dashboard technology to help drivers maximize their range while driving, customize the instrument panel view, and communicate with the car and the charging process when they’re away from the car. The MyFord Touch touchscreen display already on other Fords and Lincolns gets enhancements applicable to electric driving such as customize (called MyView) their driving-range display or give feedback on regenerative braking performance (Brake Coach) which boils down to: Long, gentle braking regenerates more energy than race-car stops. As on other Fords, the MyFord Touch interface comprises an eight-inch center stack touchscreen display and two 4.2-inch displays flanking the speedometer. MyFord Touch Driver Connect Technology Embeds a CellphoneThis is the first MyFord Touch vehicle with an embedded cellular phone. It lets the driver monitor the car’s charging from afar. It’s necessary because the core Ford Sync technology of the past three years (Bluetooth, music connectors, free emergency crash notification) uses the driver’s paired cellphone. You can’t have one phone be in the car while it’s parked as well as in the hands of the driver who is elsewhere. Ford calls the embedded phone plus data services MyFord Touch Driver Connect technology. It’s free for the first three years of ownership or lease and the price after that – as is often the case when automakers say “free for the first X years” – is TBD. Ford crosses that bridge when they come to it. Since Ford has made a point of beating competitors’ feature sets (mpg, charging time) it would likely have to be under the $200 a year GM charges for its basic OnStar service, Safe & Sound. Value Charging Powered by Microsoft for Cheapest Electric Rates The Focus Electric anticipates the advent of time-of-day electric pricing in more areas of the U.S. We don’t have enough generating power on a hot summer afternoon and too much late at night. When offered cheaper rates in the early morning hours, consumers may want to defer electric car charging and dishwasher operation. Ford calls this “Value Charging by Microsoft” because you-know-who is part of the equation. Via an online search (through Microsoft), the car searches for the best and cheapest time to charge the Focus Electric. According to Ed Pleet, product and business manager for connected services, “Value charging allows our customers to reduce their electricity costs by taking advantage of off-peak or other reduced rates from their utility without a complicated set-up process.” The driver needs to key in the time he or she needs the car the next morning; Value Charging figures out when to start charging based on how empty the batteries are, and when within the late night / early morning hours electricity is cheapest. Value charging won’t matter until your electric company actually offers time-of-day pricing, and that entails installing a smart meter at the house, and possibly a two-way connection if there’s a pricing-plus feature that negotiates a cap on usage during peak hours in exchange for lower overall rates. Eco Routing via Onboard Navigation In conjunction with the Focus Electric navigation system, drivers will get the option for an “EcoRoute option based on characteristics of efficient EV driving.” If you’re going to out-drive the range of the Focus Electric – range being one statistic Ford didn’t yet announce – you can get a list of public charging stations through Ford Sync’s Traffic, Directions and Information (TDI) service.  Match and Raise You on Statistics: Quicker Recharge, More MPG than Leaf The Focus Electric isn’t the first to the party but Ford says it will be better than the competitors in several ways. The available 240-volt household charger will fully recharge the Focus Electric in 3-4 hours, half that of the Nissan Leaf, Ford says. (To be meaningful, the Focus Electric would need to have equivalent range.) Ford also says the Focus Electric will offer a 1 mpg equivalent better than Chevrolet Volt “and [be] competitive with other battery electric vehicles.” In electric mode, most lightweight cars (meaning Volt and Leaf) get around 100 mpg equivalent, factoring in the cost of using power generated by an electric company vs. burning fossil fuel in an internal combustion engine. A 1 mpg savings is a rounding error. If Ford is competitive on price as well, the selling price would be in the low thirties, no more, and $25,000 or less after a $7,500 federal tax credit. The Leaf stickers at $32,780, or $25,280 after the tax credit. The Volt lists for $41,000 but the gasoline engine makes it a different car, one that could be used for all kinds of driving including vacation trips. One indicator on Ford’s possible pricing aggressiveness is the price of the 240-volt home charger: $1,500 sold through Best Buy. Most other 240-volt chargers are about $2,000. 120-volt household chargers are cheaper still, but they take overnight to fully charge an elecric car. Ford said the charger plug was designed for easy use, including indicator lights on the jack to indicate proper connections and a quick read on state-of-charge. But How Long Will It Run? The information Ford presented leading up to the announcement didn’t go into detail on range. The closest competitor, the Nissan Leaf, like the Focus a roomy compact-class car, is good or about 100 miles, meaning as little as 50 miles under adverse conditions or if treated like a sports car; as much as 125 miles driven by a hypermiler. (See Nissan Leaf First Drive: Groundbreaking Electric Car.) So expect a similar range. Ford now says the range will be “up to 100 miles depending on driving style.” The Chevrolet Volt, our reigning Digital Drive Car of the Year, is a plug-in hybrid meaning it runs on battery power only for 25-40 miles (depending on conditions) then switches to a small gasoline internal combustion engine using a nine-gallon fuel tank. Second ces Automaker Keynote in 2 Days The Ford Focus Electric was rolled out at a ces 2011 keynote speech by Ford CEO Alan Mulally. It was the second automaker keynote in two days, following a keynote by Audi CEO Rupert Stadler that some found a snooze (it wasn’t) because the Audi keynote was short on brand-new-product information. It was meaningful for those who listened carefully to Audi’s commitment to alternative-fuel vehicles, to closer alliances with the CE and PC industries (the announcement it will use nVidia’s Tegra 2 chip to control dashboard functions), and to make sure in-cockpit infotainment systems won’t be rendered obsolete before the car’s mechanicals give way. That is a huge issue for automakers and is only now starting to be addressed as we near a decade of life with iPods. Ford Electric Car’s Embedded Phone: Is Ford Shifting Focus?last_img read more

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How to use NFC to automate your mobile routine

first_imgEvery time we change locations, the first thing most of us do is adjust our phones. When you leave your home or office, maybe you turn off WiFi to conserve battery life and turn on Bluetooth to connect to a hands free device. Power users meticulously configure brightness and sound setting on their devices based on what environment they are in, so as to save battery life and adjust to personal preferences. It’s something most people don’t even notice they are doing, and it happens every all day, every day.If you have a phone with an NFC chip, none of that is necessary. This guide will walk you through a NFC setup that you can shape to fit your routine, making full use of near field communication and all your smartphone’s customization options.Here’s what you needNFC Tags – There are plenty of places to buy NFC tags online, but the ones used in this article are 38mm round Desfire EV1 from NXP Semiconductors. These were recently unveiled at CES, being able to store 4KB of data to the tag itself. For the purposes demonstrated in this article, these tags are overkill. To date, the largest tag I have written is 134 bytes. If you are interested in the tags used in this article, you can find them here.Android App – Head to the Android Market and grab the $1.99 NFC Task Launcher app.“Car Mode” NFC TagIf you have a car dock for your phone, or if you have a good spot for an NFC sticker in your car, you can place a tag that will automate the settings you normally change when you get in your car. Additionally, you can launch whatever apps you prefer to use while driving, be it navigation, music, or a specialty in-car app like Torque.To get things working, just open up NFC Task Launcher and pick out all of the settings you would normally change when getting into your car. When you have finished choosing your setting, select any apps that you would normally open in the car. Be sure to do this in the correct order, as you are compiling a script that will perform each task in a row. When you are done, it will look a little like this:Once you have chosen everything you want the Tag to do, push the “Write Tag” button and press the phone to the NFC sticker. As soon as the tag is in range, you will hear a sound and the instructions will be written to the tag. Now, you can take that tag and place it wherever you choose, for example, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone dock. (Just be sure to place it towards the bottom of the device, as that is where the NFC chip is on the Galaxy Nexus.)Now, every time you tap your phone to that NFC tag, the phone will immediately run the list of commands assigned by the app. This can be done for nearly every aspect of your phone, with the only limit being how many commands you can write to a tag.NFC Task Launcher is a great basic app that can tie into more advanced apps as well. Tasker is a paid app in the Android Market that allows you to automate things on your phone using any event you choose. It’s a pretty advanced app that requires some setup, but the end result is amazing. You can used Advanced Tasker tricks, like the ability to automatically respond to an SMS you receive while driving as items that can be launched in NFC Task Launcher.Once the Car Mode is setup, you might want to try one for your living room, office, bedside table, and any other place where you have special demands for your handset. All you need is a stable spot to put down the NFC sticker.Final ThoughtsCombining the time I have spent with this, and everything the NXP Semiconductors team demonstrated at CES 2012, NFC has a pretty bright future here in the US. Just picture it: one day you will tap your phone to your favorite bar stool, and you’ll check into Foursquare. Everything from viewing movie trailers by tapping your phone to the poster to starting a motorcycle is (or will be) possible with NFC. As early adopters of NFC in the US, how we choose to use this technology on a daily basis will help shape how it is used in the future.As our homes get smarter, the ability to automate the whole house will be possible. Maybe that tag by the bedside will also tell your Nest Thermostat to lower the temperature a couple of degrees, or turn off the television and shut the lights off.last_img read more

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Scientists print highest ever resolution nanoscale image at 100000 dpi

first_imgYour printer at home is probably capable of printing at a few hundred dots per inch (dpi). For the vast majority of situations, that’s just fine. Researchers at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore just weren’t satisfied with that, though. They have managed to build a nano-scale printer that can print at 100,000 dpi.This might be the highest resolution that we can ever reasonably expect to be printed — ever. That’s because the images created by the nano-printer are near the optical diffraction limit of visible light. That is, it would be impossible to resolve two distinct dots at a higher dpi than this, no matter how closely you look. Think about that for a second: this is the closest two dots can be and still be visible as dots.This is a different process than what goes on in your conventional inkjet printer, far from it in fact. Each pixel in the nano-scale image is composed of a series of precisely placed groupings of four “nanodisks.” Each nanodisk is placed on small a small pillar just 95nm tall. The disks themselves are made from gold and silver, and are deposited via electron-beam evaporation.The different colors are produced by varying distances between groups of nanodisks. The larger the spaces, the more toward the red end of the visible spectrum the reflected light will be. This is called structural color.The journal nature has the full paper complete with diagrams available on its website. It’s a little dense at first, but once you get the terminology down, it’s surprisingly readable.Nature, via Gizmodolast_img read more

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Jimmy Case pleads for patience with Mark Hughes

first_imgEnglish retired footballer Jimmy Case points out that although Mark Hughes’ record from his first 16 league games is worse than any Saints manager since George Burley, patience is all the team needs, stating that Cherries are reaping the benefits of Eddie Howe’s longevity.“Eddie Howe has been at Bournemouth six years and they look settled as a team as a result,” said Case.“But Southampton have had six managers in that time and again there is talk about certain managers coming in.“I like Mark Hughes and the way his teams play and I think he needs a bit more time” case said via Bournemouthecho.“Some people shout from the terraces ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ but when a new manager comes in it takes time to find out about your players and the best formation to use.“They look a bit tentative but whether they know the way they should be playing or are trying to find his way, I don’t know. I think they are just lacking a couple of results.”Case, haven spent the 1991-92 season at Dean Court after six years in Saints’ midfield under Chris Nicholl, added: “I have an affinity with both clubs.“I played for Southampton against Bournemouth years ago and it’s certainly been a turnabout.Eddie Howe pleased with attacking poise, but feels Wilson was too honest Stuart Heath – August 25, 2019 A.F.C Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe felt as though his striker Callum Wilson was too honest against Manchester City and may have won a penalty,…“When I left Bournemouth, Harry Redknapp and the chairman came to me and said they would have to let me go.“Although I was 39, I’d played nearly all the games but that was a moment when the banks had just come in and anyone at the end of their contract had to leave.“I said I would go on half money just to keep playing but me and Kevin Bond had to leave.“I used to have a cup of tea with the groundsman next to the lawnmowers in his shed underneath the stands!“They have come a hell of a long way since then.“They have a squad together that can maintain a push beyond mid-table and they have started really well.“As well as being a settled side, they have quality in there with forwards like Callum Wilson and Josh King”last_img read more

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Hundreds sued for peaceful road safety protests

first_img.Police have sued hundreds of people in over a hundred ‘ghost cases’ across the country in connection with last month’s safe road protests.In most of the cases, the incidents were unspecified and the accused were unidentified, suggest the documents of the police stations sent to the headquarters.So far 43 cases were filed with several police stations in the capital, 37 in Sylhet region, 17 in Chattagram region, 11 in Mymensingh region, 2 in Barishal region and one each in Rajshahi and Rangpur regions, according to police headquarters’ documents.The 37 cases were filed with several police stations in Sylhet.No violence had been reported in the six police stations of the Sylhet Metropolitan City, but even so, several cases were filed with the city’s Dakkhin Surma, Shahparan and Kotwali police stations.Asked about the matter, Dakkhin Surma police station officer-in-charge Khairul Fazal told Prothom Alo that the cases were filed as movement of  vehicles was barred there.The Shahparan police station OC Akhter Hossain came up with the same comment.Kotwali OC Mosharraf Hossain said a case was filed after a brickbat was thrown at a bus during the safe road movement.On 12 August, Habiganj town’s model police station sub-inspector Nazmul Islam filed a case with the police station against 70-80 unidentified people.The case statement says the unidentified people were ‘involved with acts of sabotage, attempiing to overthrow the government, and trying to damage government property on 30 July when hundreds of people were staging demonstrations for safe roads in Dhaka and other parts of the country.But, the local people said nothing had happened in Habiganj at the time.The police also filed more 10 cases against several people in the district.The police’s media wing assistant inspector general Sohel Rana said, “The cases were filed as something had happened there.”But, the leaders and activists of the political parties said the cases were filed clandestinely to harass the opposition.Officials at the police headquarters said two letters had been sent to police superintendents across the country since 8 August.In one letter, the police supers were asked to submit lists of the cases filed between 29 July and 6 August and lists of those who were punished for posting comments on social media platforms.Habiganj sadar model police station SI Abdur Rahim filed another case against more 50-60 unidentified people.SI Zahir filed another case against 100-112 unidentified people for sabotage under the Special Powers Act 1974.Asked about the 10 cases in Habiganj, police super Bidhan Tripura said, “The people don’t know about what happened during and after the safe road movement.”At least 12 cases were filed with several police stations in Moulvibazar town despite no violent activities there.On the other hand, at least one case was filed with each of 15 police stations in Chattagram district.A case was filed against 70-75 unidentified people with Mirsarai police station for allegedly vandalising a pick-up van on Dhaka-Chattagram highway.When asked about the matter, Mirsarai union parishad chairman Fazlul Kabir said he had no knowledge about any such incident.  In Cumilla, none could bring out any procession in the city due to the vigilance of the current regime-backed student and youth organisations.Yet, the police filed a case with police Sadar Dakkhin Model police station under the Special Powers Act on 5 August.More than one councillor and some leaders of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Jamaat and their activists were accused in the case.Cumilla City Corporation’s ward 20 councillor Siddiqur Rahman, also a BNP leader, was sued after his son was found involved in a leaked phone conversation with BNP leader Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury.About the ‘ghost cases’, human rights activist Nur Khan told Prothom Alo that this kind of case was filed to keep the opposition under pressure and implicate them whenever opportunity cropped up.(Staff Correspondents from Chattogram, Cumilla, Moulvibazar, Habiganj, Mirsharai and Sylhet Office contributed to file the report)last_img read more

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Civil Rights Legend Gloria Richardsons Eternal Struggle

first_imgBy J. K. Schmid, Special to the AFROGloria Richardson might be better know by her photograph than by her name.A sequence of photographs captured her in Cambridge, 1963, forcing a bayonet out of her face while giving a White National Guardsman the most contemptuous of looks.Cambridge was under martial law at the time, and tensions were at their peak. Jim Crow was strong in Cambridge. Schools, hospitals and churches were segregated and Black unemployment was quadruple White unemployment.Joseph Fitzgerald and Dion Banks discuss the history and life of Gloria Fitzgerald and at Red Emma’s Feb. 28.Richardson nee St. Clair, an heiress of the Baltimore Black elite, was born and raised on Stricker Street until moving to Cambridge at six years old. She attended St. James Episcopal Church and Public School No. 119. She played in Lafayette Park.“Her family was not middle class, they were actually above middle class,” said Joseph R. Fitzgerald, assistant professor at Cabrini University. “Her family was so wealthy that when Ms. Richardson’s maternal grandfather died, he was a city councilman in Cambridge, Ms. Richardson’s family, they found IOUs where he was lending White politicians money.”Fitzgerald’s latest work of scholarship is “The Struggle is Eternal: Gloria Richardson and Black Liberation,” what Black Panther Kathleen Cleaver called “the first book to fully examine the Cambridge movement and its leader.”Cleaver goes on in her critique to describe the now 96-year-old Richardson as a leader “whom the authorities considered almost as dangerous as Martin Luther King Jr.”And there was real danger. While spokesperson of the Cambridge Nonviolent Action Committee, Richardson nevertheless found herself at the fore of an armed uprising of disenfranchised Blacks, facing off against police, soldiers and White rioters.The danger was so acute, that Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy was forced to intervene lest neighboring violence spread to the nation’s capital.Kennedy, representatives of the Department of Justice, the  State of Maryland, and local leadership all signed “The Treaty of Cambridge,” a guarantee of civil, economic and human rights for the people of Cambridge. The Civil Rights Act would not be signed into law until the next year.Businesses, schools and hospitals desegregated over the summer of 1963.Richardson has told a story of how her uncle died from a White hospital’s neglect when they refused to admit him and save his life.Cambridge finally elected its first Black and first woman mayor, Victoria Jackson-Stanley, in 2008.Dion Banks worked on Jackson-Stanley’s 2012 reelection campaign.“When I talk about reclaiming our narrative, telling our story, one of the things I wanted to do was to make sure that Gloria Richardson was honored,” Banks said at a Red Emma’s book forum and signing with Fitzgerald. “In the state of Maryland you have to be dead in order to get a day declared for you.” Banks and other activists persuaded the Governor’s office to change the rule, but didn’t stop there. “February 11 in the state of Maryland is Gloria Richardson Day, which was the platform that we used to launch what we call Reflections on Pine to tell our story all across the world about Gloria and the Civil Rights Movement in Cambridge.”Reflections on Pine is a walking tour of Cambridge, a city that historians have described as another-if not the second-Black Wall Street.“She’s one of the icons who’s not recognized in my opinion, just like Robert Williams, another overlooked figure in the Black liberation movement,” Dr. Ken Morgan, assistant professor Interdisciplinary and Urban Studies at Coppin State University, offered during the forum’s question and answer period. “I just wanted to say that hopefully that, in Maryland at least she should be able to be recognized in the Hall of Fame as a great person who led a great struggle in Maryland.”“Cambridge, we look at it as a second Black Wall Street, but Cambridge has problems, just like Baltimore City,” Morgan continued, recalling her example and conversations between her and his students. “As well as Salisbury, as well as Prince George’s County, as well as Montgomery County, as well as Frederick County, Hagerstown, other places. It’s going to be really significantly important for Black folks to get together in Maryland to make things happen.last_img read more

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Resident Evil 6 Premium Edition costs 1300

first_imgFor the most part I don’t think collector’s editions or deluxe versions of games are worth the higher price tags they command. At best you get an art book or a soundtrack CD, and unless the game is something special in either of those areas, the extras just end up taking shelf space.With Resident Evil 6, there’s a much more useful item in the Premium Edition of the game. The problem is, most people either won’t be able to afford it, or be willing to pay to get it.Resident Evil 6 Premium Edition is expensive. Owning it will cost you 105,000 yen, which is $1,300 dollars. Why would you consider paying that much for Capcom‘s latest Resident Evil game? Because it actually includes a leather jacket just like the one worn by Leon in the game.As well as the game and jacket, Capcom has been kind enough to throw in four tablet cases, which are used to store herb items in the game. These aren’t cases to put a tablet in for protection in case you were wondering.Even if you are contemplating hitting your savings or credit card to acquire the Premium Edition, it seems highly unlikely Capcom will offer it in the West. To acquire it in Japan you have to buy it through Capcom’s own online store called e-Capcom. It will be very limited in quantity, and the jacket is sure to disappear quickly in the size you want (it’s available in S, M, L, and XL).Resident Evil 6, sporting a brand new control system and zombies using weapons, is scheduled for release on October 2 in standard edition form for the much more reasonable price of $60.Read more at Andriasanglast_img read more

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New theoretical technique applied to properties of ultrathin solar cells

first_img More information: Near-Field Electromagnetic Theory for Thin Solar Cells, Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 138701 (2012) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.109.138701AbstractCurrent methods for evaluating solar cell efficiencies cannot be applied to low-dimensional structures where phenomena from the realm of near-field optics prevail. We present a theoretical approach to analyze solar cell performance by allowing rigorous electromagnetic calculations of the emission rate using the fluctuation-dissipation theorem. Our approach shows the direct quantification of the voltage, current, and efficiency of low-dimensional solar cells. This approach is demonstrated by calculating the voltage and the efficiency of a GaAs slab solar cell for thicknesses from several microns down to a few nanometers. This example highlights the ability of the proposed approach to capture the role of optical near-field effects in solar cell performance.Physics Synopsis Explore further Citation: New theoretical technique applied to properties of ultrathin solar cells (2012, October 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-theoretical-technique-properties-ultrathin-solar.html © 2012 Phys.org Journal information: Physical Review Letters This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Cheap and efficient solar cell made possible by linked nanoparticles To start, the team describes the connection in solar cell technology between two states: thermal equilibrium and one where a disturbance has occurred. When in equilibrium, they say, many processes are occurring, most specifically those involving absorbing and emitting photons. To calculate a cell’s efficiency, its photocurrent (the rate of creation of electron-hole pairings) and recombination current (the rate of recombining of electron-hole pairs in making photons) must be known. In looking at the recombination events, the team found they were able to use the fluctuation-dissipation theorem (to connect the equilibrium state to the one where a small disturbance has occurred) to calculate the power involved as it applies to thermodynamic properties, e.g. chemical potential and temperature. Such calculations allowed them to then generate parameters for voltage, current, and efficiency for ultrathin solar cells based on an idealized cell made of gallium arsenide on a gold substrate. Using these parameters, the team then measured four emission channels of the idealized cell—two polarizations each of light that is emitted back into the air or the gold substrate. In so doing, the researchers were able to calculate the overall efficiency of the solar cell in advance of its actual construction. Such a discovery leads to the possibility of creating a simulator capable of providing such statistics to build new, more efficient solar cells based on ultrathin materials. In testing their calculations, the team found that while nanometer-sized structures do allow for taking advantage of near-field optical effects, their properties can also affect the rate at which electrons and holes combine, impacting overall efficiency. Consequently, this impact must be taken into consideration when developing real-world applications to prevent building in a negative efficiency factor. (Phys.org)—As solar cell technology matures, researchers continue to look for ways to develop ever-thinner technology to reduce material costs. Such technology also reduces the distance electrons and holes, loosened by light, have to travel—resulting in less loss when they recombine. However, using traditional materials means that less light is absorbed. As such, recent efforts have focused on using cells with nanometer-sized structures as they allow for the number of light interactions to be increased. However, researchers have been limited in their ability to predict the properties of solar cells when using such materials. Now researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a theoretical technique for calculating such properties. As they write in their paper published in Physical Review Letters, the technique lends itself to possible use in simulation tools. last_img read more

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