IMX Resources sees great potential in Tanzanian expandable graphite

first_imgIMX Resources says its “strategy to pursue the lucrative expandable graphite market has been validated after end user testing confirmed the outstanding suitability of the flagship Chilalo graphite project in Tanzania to supply this high growth sector.” Feedback from IMX’s targeted end user, with whom the company is in advanced discussions, confirmed exceptional expansion rates exceeding 1,000 times, indicating that Chilalo graphite is ideally suited to a range of high-value and in-demand products.In particular, Chilalo coarse flake graphite in excess of 180 micron has been identified as suitable for the production of high value expandable graphite products such as graphite foil, graphite paper, knitted tape (high temperature and fire resistance), narrow flexible graphite strip, and other graphite based products requiring high rates of expansion. Chilalo fine and medium flake graphite (<180 micron) has been confirmed as suitable for application in flame retardant building products, where lower rates of expansion are required. The high expansion rates mean that for the same quantity of graphite, Chilalo produces a higher volume of expandable graphite meaning the product can attract a premium due to a higher “value in use”.IMX Managing Director Phil Hoskins said the results opened up enormous new market opportunities for Chilalo graphite and reduced IMX’s reliance on the market to supply graphite into lithium-ion batteries. “Coarse flake graphite is theoretically suitable to many different end uses including refractories and spherical graphite, but in the absence of costly chemical or thermal purification, maximum revenue is achieved selling it into the expandable graphite market. However, not all graphite expands and some graphite expands at a higher rate and it is therefore pleasing that our targeted end user has confirmed Chilalo’s world-class expansion rates and validated the Company’s strategy of targeting this high growth market.“Chilalo’s finer flake product is still expected to be suitable for the manufacture of spherical graphite for lithium-ion batteries, ensuring the project maintains exposure to this rapidly growing market segment. However, spherical graphite is exclusively produced using fine and medium flake graphite (<180 micron) which is likely to be an oversupplied market given we understand China has approximately 800,000 t/y idle capacity for finer flake graphite and Syrah Resources plan to produce over 300,000 t/y, the majority of which is finer flake targeting the battery market. Having received confirmation that the rate of expandability of Chilalo graphite at finer flake sizes is suitable for the production of expandable graphite, the company has product optionality in that we can choose to supply either the battery market or the rapidly growing expandable graphite market where its use in flame retardant building materials is expected to offer outstanding opportunities for IMX.”Feedback from end users is that expansion ratios from Tanzanian graphite are generally known to exceed those from Chinese domestic graphite. These latest test results by the Company’s targeted end user, a major Chinese consumer, have placed Chilalo product number one for expandability compared to both Chinese domestic and international graphite they have tested. In recent years, demand in China for larger flake graphite has increased and the domestic supply of the required quantity and quality of such graphite is insufficient to meet this demand. IMX is ideally placed to take advantage of this opportunity to supply quality coarse flake graphite into China.Over the past 12 months, IMX has undertaken a program of product marketing activities in China which has included close engagement with various end users, manufacturers, industry bodies and potential offtake partners. These test results underpin the interest from end users with whom the Company is in advanced discussions.Expandable graphite is a compound of graphite that expands or exfoliates when heated. This material is manufactured by treating flake graphite with various reagents (such as acid) that migrate between the layers in the graphite. When the graphite is heated it rapidly expands to several hundred times its original size (the expansion ratio). The expansion ratio is the volume of expandable graphite produced per gram of graphite product at a specified temperature. In general, coarser flake graphite typically has higher expansion ratios than smaller flakes.Producing expandable graphite is a relatively inexpensive process and there are no issues with product recoverability with 1 t of flake graphite producing between 1.1-1.2 t of expandable graphite with the additional mass coming from reagents and water. This is a positive compared to production of spherical graphite where the yield of spherical graphite from flake graphite is approximately 40%.China dominates the expandable graphite market producing 95% of the world’s expandable graphite, with the balance produced in the US and Germany (source: Benchmark Mineral Intelligence 2015). Given China’s diminished reserves of coarse flake graphite, there is a substantial shortage of coarse flake graphite capable of producing the quantity of expandable graphite required to meet China’s demand, representing a substantial opportunity for IMX. The company’s recent visit to a Chinese factory that is currently producing expandable graphite illustrated this shortage of quality graphite – the graphite feedstock was +100 mesh with an expansion rate of ~200 times (far inferior to Chilalo graphite).Natural flake graphite possesses certain properties including heat resistance, corrosion resistance and self-lubrication. Expandable graphite also possesses other properties including softness, compression resilience, adsorption and radiation resistance.Expandable graphite is not transported great distances as a finished product because its properties change if it is compressed and it is not cost-effective to do so as it is a low weight but high volume product. As a result, IMX will not produce expandable graphite in Tanzania, but will export directly to the end user for manufacturing.Expandable graphite is one of the fastest growing markets for graphite and has multiple uses, including:The production of high-value graphite foils (market price of ~$50,000/t) which are used as heat shields in electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops and TV screensThe production of graphite paper used in the manufacture of heat shield gaskets and other products such as fire and thermal seals for machinery and electronic partsWith its unique fire and heat resistant characteristics, expandable graphite is being increasingly used in the manufacture of flame retardant and thermally efficient building materials, such as insulation for example, with a rapidly growing market for these products.The radiation resistant properties of expandable graphite also have military applications.Discussions with Chinese end users over the last six months have revealed that the market size has been entirely restricted by supply and that coarse flake graphite with the expansion characteristics of Chilalo graphite can be readily absorbed by current demand.End users capable of producing these expandable graphite products are moving to continuous 24 hour plant operations and are still unable to keep up with demand. The current supply/demand imbalance has resulted in long wait times for expandable graphite products with significant up-front payments required to secure orders.The addition of expandable graphite to ordinary insulation foam or cement provides the material with flame retardant properties. It also provides thermal efficiency improving the material’s ability to assist in heat retention.The company understands that China has recently mandated the use of flame retardant building materials for all future new construction or building renovations. Note that flame retardant building materials are only required in certain aspects of the construction. These regulatory changes are expected to significantly increase the demand for expandable graphite and result in a large volume market.End user feedback still being verified by the Company has estimated the size of the flame retardant building materials market at 5 Mt/y. Assuming that these materials contain anywhere from 5-50% expandable graphite, it is clear to see the potential size of this market which is a game-changer for graphite demand.The type of expandable graphite suitable for the manufacture of flame retardant building materials can be produced from fine and medium flake graphite (<180 micron), with expansion rates exceeding 100 times. The grade of the graphite can range anywhere from 85-94% total graphitic carbon (TGC).According to existing manufacturers of expandable graphite products, higher end expandable graphite products range in pricing from $4,000 to $10,000/t depending on the quality and the end use. At the lower end of this range are gaskets, seals and other products used in the manufacturing industry where the expandable graphite has been produced from large flake graphite between 92-94% TGC with high expansion rates.The upper end of this range is graphite foil and paper produced from high purity (95-96% TGC), coarse flake graphite with high expansion rates. At the extreme, high purity, high expansion graphite capable of producing <3mm graphite foil could fetch up to $50,000/t but this requires the application of highly technological processes.IMX Resources is an Australian minerals exploration company that holds a 5,400 km2 tenement package at the Nachingwea property in southeast Tanzania. The Nachingwea Property hosts the Chilalo graphite project, the Ntaka Hill nickel project and the Kishugu and Naujombo gold prospects. IMX’s primary focus is on developing the high-grade and coarse flake Chilalo project. The PFS released in November 2015 outlined a low cost, high-margin operation, with attractive project economics and confirmed the potential viability of a small scale open pit mining and conventional flotation processing operation. The PFS is based on a high-grade Indicated and Inferred JORC Mineral Resource of 9.2 Mt grading 10.7% TGC, comprised of an Indicated Resource of 5.1 Mt grading 11.9% TGC for 613,800 t of contained graphite and an Inferred Resource of 4.1 Mt grading 9.1% TGC for 370,300 t of contained graphite. Chilalo lies some 220 km by road, from the deep water commercial Mtwara Port, the majority of which is a sealed main road. www.imxresources.com.aulast_img read more

Belt cleaner manufacturer introduces forever equipment guarantee

first_imgIn what it says is “a first for the bulk material handling industry,” Martin Engineering, a global manufacturer of conveyor belt cleaning systems, is offering lifetime no-cost replacement of tensioners and mainframes for belt cleaners that are fitted exclusively with the company’s cleaner blades.  Under the Forever Belt Cleaner Guarantee, Martin Engineering will provide replacement parts as required, for all cleaner assemblies using its urethane belt scrapers, regardless of model or blade type.  The company’s replacement blades are mixed, formed and cured in a computer controlled, modular work station designed and built by the company’s engineers, rather than subcontracting the production as some suppliers do.  This process allows for the highest quality control and a one-day turnaround on most orders.Engineered to effectively remove carryback, reduce material loss and provide longer belt life, the six color-coded blade types allow operators to perfectly match urethane compounds to the specific belt, speed and types of material.  Some blade types are designed to perform under extreme temperatures and others are best suited for specific cargo such as hot slag and clinker, or moist materials. Martin Engineering primary cleaners are produced using the patented Constant-Area Radial Pressure (CARP) curved design, first introduced by Martin, to deliver consistent cleaning throughout all stages of blade life.  Martin assemblies allow one-pin replacement, making maintenance a safe, no-tool operation performed from outside of the transfer chute.last_img read more

EURO 2012 QualRound 3 Swedish back to reality – Denmark Poland and

Here are the results of EUR 2012 qualification – Round 3:Group 1Macedonia : Hungary 22:29 (6:16)Estonia : Bosna and Hercegovina 35:30 (16:13)Standing:1. Hungary 3 -62. Macedonia 3-33. Estonia 3-24. Bosna and Hercegovina 3-1Group 2Thursday19:00 Lithuania – Romania20:00 Spain – CroatiaStanding:1. Spain 2-42. Croatia 2-43. Romania 2-04. Lithuania 2-0Group 3Slovenia – Poland 30:28Ukraine – PortugalStanding:1. SLovenia 62. Poland 33. Portugal 14. Ukraine 0Group 4Slovakia : Sweden 23:21 (13:11)Israel : Montenegro 29:24 (15:13)Standing:1. Slovakia 3-62. Sweden 3-43. Israel 3-24. Montenegro 3-0Group 5Latvia : Austria 25:28 (13:14)Iceland – Germany 36:31 (21:14)Standing:1. Austria 3-52. Iceland 3-43. Germany 3-34. Latvia 3-0Group 6Czech Republic : Norway 29:26 (11:13)Greece : Netherlands 30:23 (14:12)Standing:1. Czech Republic 3-62. Norway 3-43. Greece 3-24. Netherlands 3-0 Group 7Russia : Denmark 31:27 (16:13)Switzerland – Belarus 31:34Standing:1. Russia 3-62. Denmark 3-43. Belarus 3-24. Switzerland 3-0 ← Previous Story Men’s EURO 2012 Qualification (Round 3): “Exciting Wednesday” Next Story → Tone Tiselj to coach Slovenia’s female team read more

The RNL Manager criticizes Nielsen

← Previous Story 4.000 Argentinians watched the “Experts” Next Story → Paris – Ivry fusion? The manager of Rhein-Neckar Lowen, Thorsten Strom, has publicly criticized Jesper Nielsen, regarding his idea to move most of the RNL players to Copenhagen. He said that the team under Gudmundsson finally achieved continuity in the play, and that now Nielsen is now destroying it, even though he has promised everybody to keep the squad strong and solid, and instead he is doing exactly the opposite. Strom also expressed hope that the team plays in the Champions League next season through the “Wild-Card” chance, also adding that the team was better than Fuchse Berlin and should have perhaps ended 3rd. read more

Hidden Ireland Ancient Irelands secrets unveiled

first_img(Abandoned Ireland/YouTube)SCATTERED AROUND THE island of Ireland are thousands of places that link us to the past.Impressive round towers, isolated dolmen stones and long-forgotten tombs stand as they have done for centuries, away from civilisation as we know it, all waiting to be visited by us.But for too many people, these sites are unknown. We drive past them on long trips, we might see the signposts every day, but we just don’t make the effort to see what’s there.But that could all change thanks to husband-and-wife team Tarquin Blake and Fiona Reilly, who have combined their knowledge of Irish heritage with an explorer’s nose and a photographer’s eye and created a huge guidebook to the best Irish heritage sites.Their book, Ancient Ireland: Exploring Irish Historic Monuments, would give even those with a cursory knowledge of Irish history a sense of excitement. It will make you want to throw on a pair of wellies, get in the car and seek out the nearest location to you. Who knows what you’ll find?The processBlake, a keen photographer, is known for his Abandoned Ireland books, while Reilly is an archaeologist. Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Blake said that putting together the 312-page book began three years ago.He set himself a personal challenge to get the photography done within a year, but the research and writing meant reading around 1,000 journals and books.The idea came to Blake after being asked by readers of his Abandoned Mansions books about how they could get to the locations.The mansions are not really suitable for members of the public to visit. At the same time, my wife is an archaeologist and she was dragging me around these places and I started getting interested in the castles and tombs.He realised these were national monuments under State ownership that would be much easier to visit – but the first thing he had to do was to narrow down the sites, as there are around 1000 national monuments in the Republic of Ireland and 2000 in the North.The criteria he used was that he could get decent photographs of the places; that the locations differed in some way; and that there was an interesting story around the places.In covering the 32 counties, the book also covers all the periods of Irish history up to modern times.“It covers a full 10,000 years of human occupation of the island of Ireland,” said Blake. There are even maps and GPS coordinates for each location to encourage people to take trips to them and each site is profiled in an accessible – rather than boring or academic – way.The locationsOne of his favourite locations is Carrowkeel Passage tomb cemetery in Co Sligo, where his first visit left him “gobsmacked”.Blake doesn’t believe that these sites are well-advertised in the Republic, but admits that the OPW doesn’t have an enormous amount of resources for this.One of the aims of the book really was to try and make people aware of these heritage sites we have in Ireland and get people out to these places – some of these sites they are not well visited at all.Blake jokes about “dragging the family around with me” while taking shots for the book, but his wife was equally delighted to take part.The first photo in the book was even taken on their honeymoon. The couple split the writing duties, with Reilly penning the introduction.“I was trying to stop her being too academic and she was making sure I had everything correct,” laughed Blake. “I thought we were a good combination.”“I’ve been all around the world looking at places, and the tombs in Egypt are special – but we’ve got things that are spectacular,” said Reilly.She pointed out that lots of Irish people explore other countries when they go on holiday, but they haven’t explored their own country.One of her favourite locations is Kilcooley Abbey in Co Tipperary, which has incredibly well-preserved Medieval carvings.While the couple want people to visit these sites, they encourage visitors not to take anything away from them, such as stones or keepsakes.“Respect the place that you’re in and remember how old it is. Some of them have been here for thousands of years and we want them to be there for thousands of years more,” said Reilly.With Ancient Ireland, Blake and Reilly have brought us the definitive guide to Ireland’s ancient sites – and with his next book, Blake will be taking us around haunted Ireland. Clearly, there’s still much more of Ireland yet to explore.Below are some photographs from the book, all taken by Tarquin Blake.last_img read more

Water charges will be announced in or around August

first_imgWATER CHARGE PRICES will be announced in or around August according to the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER).Commissioner at the CER Paul McGowan made the revelation this evening during a sitting of the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee at Leinster House.The charges are set to begin in October with the first bills due in early 2015 but a pricing structure has yet to be decided.One of the roles of the CER is in  regulating  price changes in other utilities such as gas and electricity.McGowan told the committee members this evening that the CER has not yet been given this statutory regulatory power over Irish Water but assured members that “the commencement order is due within days”.In setting the charges, McGowan said that the CER would ensure that the charges are reasonable in terms of the costs of setting up Irish Water.He said, however, that he could not provide any details as yet as to whether these charges would be universal or whether they will be different across various local authorities.McGowan did pledge however that the CER will publish Irish Water’s submission on its proposed charging structure along with the CER’s commentary on it.A public consultation programme will then follow with the final decision on charges expected in late Summer.McGowan was then questioned about whether there would be different charges for water that is used for drinking taps and that used for sewage leaving a property. He said that although no definitive decision has been taken on such matters that he would envisage that this would be the case.He added that in some properties, those with septic tanks for example, charges would only be incurred for water used in sewerage removal.CEO of Irish Water John Tierney reiterated that the new semi-state will not have the power to cut off customers for non-payment of charges.Fianna Fáil TD Seán Fleming asked Tierney whether supply limiters would instead be put on properties instead, echoing a loopholes used by local authorities currently.“If you look at the last three charges that were introduced including the property tax, 93 per cent of people pay these charges. Those people want to see that for people who don’t pay that there are penalties in place,” he responded.Read: ‘You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs’: Hogan defends Irish Water spending >Read: Irish Water will spend nearly €86 million on consultants, contractors and legal advice >last_img read more

Ireland to take on Turkey in Dublin

first_imgIRELAND WILL TAKE on Turkey in an international friendly in Dublin on 25 May, it has been confirmed.Manager Martin O’Neill began his tenure with a win and a draw back in November and in the coming weeks will name his squad for next month’s meeting with Serbia.And while the FAI are hoping to schedule a game against Italy at a neutral venue on 21 May, they have today confirmed the Aviva Stadium will welcome Turkey four days later.It will be Ireland’s first time to face Turkey, managed by Fatih Terim and ranked 45th in the world, since 2003 while fans will also remember losing out to them on away goals in the Euro 2000 play-offs.The match will also be preceded on the day by the FAI Junior Cup final.For more information, visit fai.ieGiggs and Neville set to invest in football club‘Teams come to Old Trafford with a swagger believing they can win’ – Colelast_img read more

European Tour chief says some of Sergio Garcias best friends are coloured

first_img The US is building a case against Iran in the attacks on Saudi Arabia, but Trump is in no rush to act A DAY AFTER Sergio Garcia’s fried chicken joke blew up, the head of the European Tour used the word “colored” on live TV in the UK.According to multiple reporters who are in England covering the BMW Championship, Euro Tour CEO George O’Grady said on Sky Sports, ”Most of Sergio’s friends are coloured athletes in the United States.” Here’s the full quote from ESPN UK:“We know the connotation [of the words ‘fried chicken’] in the United States. We accept all races on the European Tour, we take it very strongly. Most of Sergio’s friends are coloured athletes in the United States and he is absolutely abject in his apology and we accepted it.”Accidentally using a term from America’s overtly racist past probably isn’t as bad as what Sergio did. But it certainly shows a lack of racial sensitivity. Yesterday, Tiger called Sergio’s comments “wrong, hurtful, and clearly inappropriate.”McIlroy, McDowell and Clarke labour at PGA as Lowry leads Irish challengeDonald: Sergio ‘full of regret’ over Tiger fried chicken comment A car plowed through the main hall of Trump Plaza in New Rochelle, New York SpaceX is trying to buy a hamlet inside its Texas rocket-launch site because it ‘did not anticipate’ there’d be any ‘significant disruption’ to residents who live there 16-year-old Greta Thunberg met with Obama and chided senators, saying they’re not trying hard enough to fight climate change last_img read more

Open thread What TV shows would you like back for one more

first_imgTHERE ARE SOME things we just can’t let go.Wouldn’t we all kill for another series of the TV show we love? A chance to see all those old friendly faces again?An extra series would be like a bonus week on holidays or a day added to the weekend, but one that we could get to keep and watch forever on DVD.My So-Called LifeBring back Angela Chase and Rayanne Graff!Image: ScreenedAnd while you’re at it we’ll take Jordan Catalano back too. Yeow.The WireImage: via What Fresh Hell Is ThisEach season of The Wire was set in disparate communities within Baltimore, so another season isn’t beyond the realms of possibility.Or at least that’s what we keep telling ourselves.FireflyFirefly was ripped away from us all too soon. Cancelled before its time.Image: via The TV WatchtowerLuckily, Joss Whedon went on to make Buffy. But now that we mention it, we want another series of that too!The KillingIs there anything worse than an unsatisfying end to a much-adored series?Image: via Crime Time PreviewLet us fix this. Bring us back Lund and we can fix this.The Sopranos These GIFs illustrate exactly why we need more Tony and Carmela Soprano in our life.GlenroeOh, Biddy come back.YouTube/joycecountrySunday nights have never been the same since the dulcet tones of the Glenroe theme tune left our lives for good.We’d even take a Christmas special. Something. Anything. Just one more hit.FriendsWe’ve spoken about what a contemporary series of Friends might look like before and how the gang might have fared ten years on. Image: Lance Staedler/NBC/Zuma/allaction.co.uk /EMPICS EntertainmentWould you watch it?The West WingThe West Wing gave us awesome lines like this one….It’s hard not to be wistful about CJ and co making a triumphant return to the Oval Office.Freaks and GeeksThe Judd Apatow original. Judd has given us a lot of laughs in his later career, but Freaks and Geeks is a TV show that delights more with each watching.Image: via CuratorAnd what a cast. One more tune, Judd!Pushing DaisiesAnother programme that was unjustly cancelled before its time. A twee, camp and fun show that could have been incredible if let run its course properly.Image: via Fan PopWe’ll never forgive ABC for taking Anna Friel away from us like this.Be careful what you wish for…Some programmes deserve one last spin of the wheel. We were delighted to see the Seinfeld crew reunite in Curb Your Enthusiasm, and we did a cheer of joy to hear Arrested Development was coming back on Netflix.But some things should just stay gone.Sex And The City went out on a high, yet the subsequent movies tarnished the whole thing. The second season of Twin Peaks was a bitter disappointment.And while we’re at it, The Simpsons should have stopped a long time ago.What TV series would you love to resurrect for one last hurrah? And what shows should just stay gone? Let us know in the comments!Open thread: Are you a big tipper? >Read: Ghostbusters 3 is a real thing and here’s what Dan Akroyd says it’ll be like >last_img read more

Oireachtas agenda Israeli airspace public pay cuts and property tax

first_imgLunch for an hour at 1:30pmJoan Burton taking Questions to the Minister for Social Protection at 2:30pmDiscussion on four Topical Issues at 3:45pm, until just after 4:30pm90 minutes of debate on Fianna Fáil’s motion of no confidence in Alan Shatter, upon which a vote will be taken at 9pmThe day’s Dáil business can all be viewed here.SEANADOrder of Business – the daily 75-minute discussion on everything – begins the day at 10:30am, before a visit from Margareta Wahlstrom – the UN’s special representative for disaster risk reduction – who will give an address on the challenges in building ‘risk resilience’ in nations at 11:45am.After lunch members will discuss amendments to new legislation on tobacco marketing at 3pm, while at 4:30pm two hours will be devoted to a motion from Rónán Mullen and Feargal Quinn discussing how Ireland can better support children with special educational needs.The day’s Seanad business can all be viewed here.COMMITTEESAfter yesterday’s quiet day on the committee front, there are no fewer than six public meetings today: (Watch here.)The Transport and Communcations committee is first up, to discuss no fewer than 14 new plans for EU-wide legislation, on matters including trans-European energy distribution, ‘occurrence reporting’ in civil aviation, marine equipment and more. (Watch here.)The Education committee gathers at 1pm to hear from Departmental officials and Eagraíocht na Scoileanna Gaeltachta on the impact that changes to the pupil-teacher ratio will have on small schools.The Foreign Affairs and Trade committee meets the ‘Value Added in Africa’ and ‘Traidlinks’ groups at 2:30pm to mark Africa Day and discuss how trade and investment can help the continent to flourish.At 3:30pm the chairman of the Revenue Commissioners, Josephine Feehily, will be in at the Finance committee to discuss how the property tax collection is going so far. This may offer one of the first indications of how many people signed up before last night’s deadline.At 4pm the secretary-general at the Department of Health, Ambrose McLoughlin, will attend the Public Service Oversight and Petitions committee to discuss some outstanding legacy issues from the 2010 report about the right to nursing home care.Finally, Leo Varadkar makes it into the Transport committee at 6pm to discuss Ireland’s proposed approval of an EU-Israel aviation agreement to integrate the air markets of the two jurisdictions.Explainer: How does a Bill become a law? WHAT ARE OUR politicians doing in the halls of Leinster House?TheJournal.ie lets you know with our guide to what’s coming up to the Dáil, Seanad and various Oireachtas committees today.DÁILThe day kicks off with Leaders’ Questions at 10:30am, while that is followed by a quick discussion on the rest of the day’s agenda in Order of Business just before 11am.At 11:30am there’ll be 85 minutes of discussion on last week’s European Council summit, which discussed tax evasion and avoidance across the EU and which urged for a new clampdown on “aggressive tax planning” from multinationals.The rest of the day, minus a few interruptions, will be spent putting the finishing touches to legislation enforcing pay cuts for public workers earning over €65,000. The cuts are part of the ‘Haddington Road’ structures, and will be reversed for workers on between €65k and €100k between 2017 and 2018.A final vote on that legislation will be held at 10pm – with interruptions in the meantime for the following:last_img read more

6 unexpected things that happened this week

first_imgFaking your death? Make like this guy and use a dog dressed in your clothes. Shockingly, police in China weren’t fooled by the fraudster, who left a dead dog’s body on the road to try and fake his own car-crash death to abandon his family and start a new life with his lover. What a luckywoman, real gem she’s got there. (Global Times)A man in Perth, Australia, has been charged with drink-driving… a motorised cooler. Motorised cooler? Fine. Motorised cooler fully stock with beer? Errr. Hillary’s police stopped the man booting it down the middle of West Coast Drive and charged him with driving under the influence despite the fact that he was only going about 20km an hour. Well, at least he avoided the horrible fate of having to sip warm beer. (Perth Now)Here’s all the previous weird news. JUMP IN> PGPD issues BOLO for Bunny. CA$H reward from @PGCrimeSolvers for info leading to arrest. http://t.co/eluphkxLTT pic.twitter.com/1ZdBIKpP5q— PGPDNEWS (@PGPDNews) June 9, 2014 CRAZY, WE JUST can’t sleep. We’re so excited, we’re in TOO DEEP. Less about Brit Brit and being crazy, some weird and wonderful stuff happened this week.How fortunate you are that we’ve rounded them all up for you this fine Saturday morning. You lucky, lucky bunch. “Isn’t she luuucky”.Hit it.A dog in Spain gave her owners a shock when she gave birth to a litter of pups, two of which were green. There’s no obvious reason why the two have green coats, leaving everyone baffled. Breeder Aida Vallelado Molina initially thought the puppies were dirty, but attempts to clean them failed. A local vet is now investigating the cause of the little alien pups but we’re sure they come in peace. (The Local)A woman was left in shock when thieves stole her… 60-foot brick wall. The brick bandits pretended to be builders and dismantled the handmade bricks dating back to the 1890s. Poor Leigh O’Shea who is doing up the property couldn’t believe it when she realised what had happened. The bricks were said to be valued at £4,000 and Essex Police are now investigating the incident. Bet they’re brickin’ it they’ll be caught, WHA? (Southend Standard)A man has been arrested for attempting to shoot the moon. What, even? Cameron Read from Arizona, was confronted by the Prescott Valley Police Department when his girlfriend called them, claiming Read was firing a handgun. Apparently, Read spotted Halley’s Comet and began firing out the window. His target? The moon. Worth a shot, we suppose, but what did the moon ever do to you, man? (ABC15)Police in Maryland issued a lookout notice for a giant bunny costume. It’d be a bit hard to miss, in fairness. The Prince George’s County Police are on the lookout for the stolen 6-foot tall grey and white bunny suit and they AREN’T KIDDING. As much as we love the idea of an outlaw in a bunny suit, we hope its found ASAP. (NBC Washington)center_img Source: PGPDNEWS/Twitterlast_img read more

Irish and US authorities in touch about man who claimed he killed

first_imgHe said the questions surrounding the measures open to the Irish authorities to bring the alleged perpetrator of this crime to justice “have been examined in detail in the Department of Defence in conjunction with the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Attorney General’s Office and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)”.“The country with primary jurisdiction in this case is Lebanon in terms of pursuing a prosecution against the alleged perpetrator,” said Coveney.He said this matter has been continually pursued with both the US and Lebanese authorities over the years through all available channels.“During his recent visit to Irish troops serving with UNIFIL in the Lebanon, the Taoiseach again raised the matter with the Lebanese authorities,” said Coveney.Difficult day for the familiesHe added:While the efforts of Irish and other State authorities to see justice done have been consistent and continuous, our thoughts today should be with the families of Privates Barrett and Smallhorne, whose efforts and those of their comrades have ensured that this issue was never forgotten and whose respectful actions and protest have touched us and helped in advancing their cause.I know this is a difficult day for them and while they welcome the detention of Mahmoud Bazzi, I’m sure this re-ignites very difficult memories. Coveney added that the Irish Government will do “everything possible” to pursue justice for both men who lost their lives in active duty. He said he will meet with the families in the coming days.Read: Silent vigil for two Irish peacekeepers tortured and murdered in Lebanon>Read: Man who claimed he killed Irish soldiers arrested in America OFFICIALS AT THE Department of Defence are “in touch” with the US authorities in relation to the detention of the alleged perpetrator of the murder of two Irish soldiers in the Lebanon in 1980.Speaking today on the arrest of Mahmoud Bazzi, a Lebanese man who stood in front of Lebanese reporters in 1980 and claimed he had shot Privates Thomas Barrett and Derek Smallhorne, the Minister for Defence Simon Coveney said he welcomed his detention.On the 18 April, 1980, Private Thomas Barrett and Private Derek Smallhorne were murdered and one soldier, Private John O’Mahony was seriously injured in the incident.The personnel were serving as peacekeepers with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).Special agents with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested Bazzi at his Dearborn, Michigan, residence for administrative immigration violations.Coveney said he understands that he will be held in custody by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s pending removal proceedings.Justice Coveney said:I hope this is the start of a process to bring to justice the alleged perpetrator of what was a heinous crime, the torture and murder of two innocent Irish peacekeepers.  My officials are in touch with the US authorities in relation to the matter and how this process will proceed and I am awaiting a report in that regard.last_img read more

It has been 100 days since the Nigerian schoolgirls were abducted

first_imgThe diplomatic reaction continued through the month, with comments from Amnesty International and condemnations from the UN Security Council.Britain, France and the US, as well as China and Israel, help in the search. The US says it is using drones as part of the surveillance.On 12 May, another Boko Haram video is released. This time, the group claims the girls have been converted to Islam and will not be released until a number of militant prisoners are freed.Cameroon President Paul Biya issued a declaration of war on Boko Haram on 17 May following a meeting in Paris between his country, Nigeria, Benin, Chad and Niger.However, the parents of the girls have still had little or no contact with authorities. Martha Mark, the mother of kidnapped school girl Monica Mark cries as she displays her photo, in the family house, in Chibok on 19 May Source: AP/Press Association ImagesOn 7 June, local residents say that another 20 young mothers have been abducted.During a World Cup game on 18 June, 21 people perished in a Boko Haram bomb attack at a viewing centre. Source: AP/Press Association ImagesThe following week, another wave of violence as 68 girls and women abducted on 24 June and 21 killed in a shopping centre explosion the next day.July has brought much silence for the victims and families until last week when Goodluck Jonathan said he would meet the relatives of the hostages. He extended the invite after coming under pressure from activist Malala Yousafzai.However, the families rejected the offer because it was not extended to all relatives.The talks were eventually held today in Abuja with the girls who escaped also in attendance.“It was a very peaceful and loving meeting. No arguments,” said Ayuba Chibok, who has nieces among the hostages.Jonathan “said he would use every capability for the girls to come back… For me, I want to wait to see if there is improvement,” Chibok added. “I want to see action.”According to one AFP reporter, the meeting was emotionally charged with some bursting into tears when they entered the room.Additional reporting by AFPColumn: ‘Africa is not a single country, many countries and cultures make up the continent’ TODAY MARKS THE 100th day since more than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped in Nigeria – and there is no indication yet of when or if they will be returned by Boko Haram.Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan met with the parents of the girls – and some of those who escaped for the very first time today.So, what has been happening over the past three months?On 14 April, 276 girls were abducted from the Chibok region of the country. The case attracted worldwide attention and an international relief effort.Some of the girls managed to escape but there are still 219 in captivity.The youngest victim is 12 and the oldest 17 years old. On the fateful day, members of the terrorist group entered the boarding school, rounded up the students from their dormitories and forced them onto trucks which were driven into the dense bush.The following month, on 5 May, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau released a video taking responsibility for the abduction. He said that he would sell the girls as slaves or child brides. A social media campaign with a hashtag #BringBackOurGirls was started with Michelle Obama joining on 7 May.center_img Our prayers are with the missing Nigerian girls and their families. It’s time to #BringBackOurGirls. -mo pic.twitter.com/glDKDotJRt— First Lady- Archived (@FLOTUS44) May 7, 2014 Source: The First Lady/Twitterlast_img read more

Steve Jobs goes on medical leave of absence

first_imgSteve Jobs has today requested a medical leave of absence. In an e-mail sent to all Apple employees Jobs explained the reasons:Team, At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health. I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company. I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for all of Apple’s day to day operations. I have great confidence that Tim and the rest of the executive management team will do a terrific job executing the exciting plans we have in place for 2011. I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can. In the meantime, my family and I would deeply appreciate respect for our privacy. Steve The news will obviously raise concern as to how well Jobs is doing following his liver transplant in 2009. He returned to work slowly following the transplant managing a few days a week, and through 2010 he looked to be back to working full time if remaining quite thin.We wish Steve all the best and hope he manages to recover quickly and return to Apple fully fit as soon as possible.Read more at Business Wirelast_img read more

Sony to release a Honeycomb tablet of its own with the wavelike

first_imgThese days, just about everyone has their own tablet coming except for Sony. That’s typical: Sony can be slow to jump on new computing trends. Consider, for example, how long it took them to enter the netbook market with the radically different Vaio P even after basically creating the ultraportable notebook range with their Vaio series of slim, tiny laptops.No surprise, then, that Sony intends on releasing a tablet of their own a little later than the competition. It’s called the S1, and like the Vaio P, it’s a very interesting new take on traditional tablet design.According to Engadget, Sony tentatively plans to ship the S1 in September. It’ll cost $600, and like the rest of the tablets coming out of this year’s Mobile World Congress, it’ll be a Honeycomb affair. Hardware-wise, the S1 is a 9.7-inch affair boasting a 1280×800 display, a Tegra 2 processor, a built-in USB port and just two physical buttons for volume.Where things get interesting is Sony’s new “wave” design, as seen in the strange “curl” in the above image. The idea here is that typing on a tablet sucks without a case, because the display’s not inclined enough to see. Sony’s wave design tries to get around that by giving you an improved angle for typing on a flat surface. Supposedly, because it also shifts the center of gravity, it also makes the S1 feel lighter in the hand.As for software, Sony’s been doing a lot to synergize its products with the Xperia Play and Sony PlayStation 3, so expect the S1 to ship supporting PlayStation games, the Bravia Media Remote and Qricocity.It looks interesting, but Sony’s engineers sometimes allow their imaginations to get away from them. Right now, though, it’s not official… it’s just a sketch. We’ll have several months of rumor mongering ahead of us before we even see anything close to a real announcement.Read more at Engadgetlast_img read more

Uranium could be the future of hard drives

first_imgIf you’d been putting your money on a bet that SSDs will edge out traditional hard drive technology entirely, you might want to rethink your gamble. Traditional high-capacity moving hard drives will be around for a long time, most likely, and researchers at Nottingham University think they have a way to make them even denser: use depleted Uranium.Depleted uranium, the same material that the military uses for tank shells and gun turret rounds, may one day be used for super-high density storage in hard drives. The trick is to keep the uranium cold. Normally uranium atoms are paramagnetic, meaning they don’t show magnetic properties unless an external magnetic field is applied. At cold temperatures, uranium starts to show those properties on their own. This means that as long as the uranium is kept cold, you can use it to store information.AdChoices广告Of course, one of the biggest challenges is keeping uranium cold enough to maintain its magnetic properties. To resolve this, Dr. Steve Liddle of Nottingham University leveraged a unique property of uranium to create a single-molecule magnet (SMM,) or two Uranium atoms connected to one another to create a north and a south pole. With applied current, suddenly your molecule can flip one way to store a 0, and flip another way to store a 1.Those stored 0s and 1s are the basis of hard drive technology, and using electric current to read and change those magnetic states is how data is written and read to and from hard drives. Dr. Liddle is optimistic, but says additional research is necessary before we can jump to the conclusion that we’ll see depleted uranium hard drives in our local electronics stores.Regardless, depleted uranium is attractive for data storage because it’s a byproduct of nuclear enrichment and has no real use in nuclear applications. It’s no longer radioactive, but it is incredibly dense with uranium atoms. This means that if you can work with those atoms to store information, you can cram a lot of 0s and 1s into an incredibly small space. We’ll have to see where future research goes, but the science is definitely there.Read more at Nottingham University, via Futurity and Gizmodolast_img read more

You can watch The Godfather for free via Youtube UPDATED

first_imgUpdate: Wow, that was fast… It’s been removed.Using the embedded video above can watch The Godfather, in its entirety, for free. Enjoy!It’s no secret that since the day they bought YouTube, Google has wanted it to be more than simply a place for amusing cat videos. Sure, YouTube loves viral videos, but they’ve also done their best to promote premium content. Just about every user interface element on the site is designed to direct people to top-notch content, not the thousands of hours of user-generated crap that gets uploaded every day.In addition to promoting the best videos (and allowing uploaders to make some money from them), YouTube has also delved into television and movie. The Movies section gives people a place where they can stream recently released films for $4 a pop or old ones for free and the Shows section does the same for television. It’s great for users: you can sit down and watch all of Star Trek: The Original Series while at work, without ever having to pay a cent or get up from your desk. And it’s a Google-owned site, so you don’t have to worry about using any of those sketchy “watch [you show of choice] online” sites.As for The Godfather specifically, it was uploaded by Sony Pictures UK, and currently has 762 likes and just 3 dislikes. It’s the only full movie they’ve uploaded and while the view numbers are not available yet, it already has a number of YouTube honors for the amount of views its received. The users, as you can probably guess, are overjoyed…The film, which won big at the 1972 Academy Awards, is highly regarded in the cinema world and is considered by the AFI as being the 3rd best movie of all time.  (So you should watch it if you haven’t yet.)via TNWlast_img read more

Microsoft sues UK retailer Comet for selling counterfeit Windows CDs

first_imgIn the UK there are a few well known electronics retailers still operating stores across the major cities and shopping parks. One of those is Comet, which sells just about every home electrical product you can think of including PCs.Today, Microsoft has announced it is suing Comet for creating and selling counterfeit copies of Windows XP and Vista CDs. More specifically, Comet is alleged to have burnt 94,000 Windows recovery CDs at a facility in Hampshire and then sold them on to customers through its stores.Usually, a PC is shipped with the ability to create a Windows recovery CD. In this instance it seems Comet decided to offer customers the convenience of purchasing a recovery CD rather than having to go through the hassle of creating one themselves. Microsoft class the creation of such CDs as counterfeit, and has classed Comet’s actions as “unfair to customers.” It’s not only the fact the CDs were created by Comet, but that they charged for them too, which has pushed Microsoft to take action against them.So far Comet has yet to respond publicly. I assume the company will argue they were offering a service to customers, but that doesn’t mean what they were doing is legal under Microsoft’s terms and conditions.Microsoft may actually be missing an opportunity here. If they offered official recovery CDs direct to retailers it may form a new revenue stream. Comet seems to have taken the initiative, but is suffering the consequences for doing so.Read more at Microsoftlast_img read more

Is Microsoft preparing to unveil an Xbox HDTV

first_imgThis much we know: Microsoft is going to show off something later today in Los Angeles. Beyond that, it’s anybody’s guess. The smart money so far seems to be on a Microsoft-built tablet, possibly running Windows RT though not one done in collaboration with Barnes and Noble. But what if it’s something unexpected — like an Xbox-powered HDTV?A reportedly leaked document has popped up on the web that offers a strange mix of hardware specs for a device called the Xbox Surface. It starts out sounding very much like a tablet, with a 7-inch LED display that packs 1280×720 pixels. There’s a rechargeable battery rated for 7 hours of untethered use, WiFi, Bluetooth support, and an SD card slot for storage expansion. From there on, the specs take a sharp turn away from tablet territory.The main processor, for example, is pegged as a 6-core 3.1GHz monster — which would necessitate a gargantuan power pack in order to last for 7 hours. For internal storage, a 250GB 2.5-inch 10K RPM SCSI is noted. That’s certainly not the kind of slim, low-power drive you’d expect to find in a tablet. And what about all the ports that are listed? Plenty of tablets offer HDMI and USB — but four USB 3.0 ports seems like a bit of a stretch for a tablet. You also wouldn’t expect to find an RJ45 Ethernet port, component video hook-ups, or an optical audio connector. Not on a tablet. And a 350W power supply would be overkill for a 7-inch device.It’s entirely possible that this spec sheet is a fake. But what the sprinkling of tablet hardware that’s mentioned is the part that’s off the mark? What if Microsoft is planning a device that would beat Apple and the iTV to market and strengthen their already-strong position in the battle for living room dominance? Microsoft wants the Xbox to be the only box in your home entertainment system. Suppose that means one box period and not just one box plus an HDTV. They’ve certainly got the content deals, partners, developer ecosystem, and brand recognition to make an Xbox TV not only happen but also to be a success. They’ve also gambled in the space before and won big.It’s been confirmed that Barnes and Noble is not an integral part of what’s being shown, and that makes the possibility of a tablet a bit more remote. It’s also worth considering the fact that a Microsoft tablet would be a tricky sell since they’re already working with a number of partners very closely on both x86 Windows 8 tablets and ARM devices running Windows RT. Releasing an HDTV would be a less contentious move, particularly if it’s tied closely to the Xbox brand — which only really competes with Sony and Nintendo.Whatever the case may be, let’s hope that Microsoft is planning on dropping a real bomb tonight… and not simply showing off some Windows RT tablets or notebooks or offering up a deeper dive into Smart Glass.via Shifted2Ulast_img read more

China tests system to grow vegetables harvest oxygen on Mars

first_imgElon Musk wants to send 80,000 people to live on Mars, and there’s a good chance he may be relying on Chinese tech once he gets there to keep them alive. That’s because the Chinese Astronaut Research and Training Center (CARTC) in Beijing is hard at work testing systems that make living on another planet possible.This week CARTC has tested a 300 cubic meter ecological life support system. The structure will apparently allow food to be grown and oxygen and water produced/purified on another planet, with the Moon and Mars being key targets for the system.The life support structure works by allowing the growth of vegetables, plants, and algae inside. In so doing, they provide a source of food, water, and oxygen that will allow a group of humans to live well beyond the life of the supplies carried on the spacecraft that ferried them there.Little is known about the test CARTC carried out other than the fact they managed to grow four types of vegetable. It seems likely China will deploy the life support system on the Moon for testing first as there are already plans for a manned mission to the lunar surface in the future.China will begin visiting the Moon next year when an unmanned craft will make the journey. That will eventually lead to Chinese astronauts setting foot on the Moon, and if China’s first astronaut Yang Liwei is to be believed, they intend to set up a branch of the Communist Party there, too.via AFPlast_img read more