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Stanbank secures $100m European loan

first_img11 December 2009Standard Bank has signed a six-year US$100-million (about R747-million) loan agreement with three European development finance institutions. The loan will be used to fund infrastructure projects and project finance lending in Africa.The loan was coordinated by Germany’s Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), along with Netherlands’ FMO and the Austria’s Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank (OeEB).“The deal will hopefully serve as a platform for future cooperation between Standard Bank, DEG and the other lenders across a range of different banking products and geographies,” said Standard Bank Africa CEO Clive Tasker in a statement last week.It is the first transaction between Standard Bank of South Africa and DEG, one of Europe’s largest development finance institutions.“The tranche, made available by several development finance institutions, will enable Standard Bank to finance investments in the infrastructure sector,” said DEG chairman Bruno Wenn.Boosting continental trade, investmentStandard Bank has been very active in securing international credit facilities to fund trade and investment on the African continent, especially in light of the global financial crisis.In April, it received a $400-million credit line from the International Finance Corporation’s Global Trade Liquidity Programme to support trade in sub-Saharan Africa.In September, it raised a further US$1-billion loan facility with four major Chinese banks: the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Macau), Bank of China, China Development Bank, and China CITIC Bank.And, in October, it signed a further $150-million loan agreement with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation to boost trade on the continent.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Indian junior shuttlers win 3 golds a silver and 2 bronze at

first_imgPazardzhik (Bulgaria): Indian junior shuttlers reaped rich dividends at the Bulgarian Junior International Championships, returning with six medals including three gold, a silver and two bronze. Samiya Imad Faruqui defeated second seed Anastasiia Shapovalova of Russia 9-21 21-12 22-20 in the finals to win the gold medal in the women’s single’s category. Mixed doubles pair of Edvin Joy and Shruti Mishra also won the gold after defeating No 2 seeded British pair of Brandon Zhi Hao and Abbygael Harris 21-14 21-17 in the summit clash. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhIn women’s doubles, Indian pair of Tanisha Crasto and Aditi Bhatt also continued their fine run to pick a gold, beating top seed Bengisu Ercetin and Zehra Erdfm from Turkey 21-15 18-21 21-18 in the finals. Men’s doubles combination of Ishan Bhatnagar and Vishnuvardhan went down in the finals to top seeded British pair of William Jones and Brandon Zhi Hao 19-21 18-21 to settle for silver medal. In other singles events, Malvika Bansod lost 13-21 15-21 to No 2 seeded Anastasiia Shapovalova in the semifinals to settle for a bronze medal, while Meiraba Luwang suffered a 19-21 21-12 18-21 loss to Georgii Karpov of Russia to also settled for a bronze.last_img read more

Robot created to monitor key wine vineyard parameters

first_img 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. A robot to help improve wine production Explore further “This prevents the vine-grower and winemaker from having access to complete and reliable information during the grape’s growth and maturation cycles on a regular basis and in real time. Thus, a majority of producers don’t use data that could help them optimise the handling of their vineyard and, ultimately, influence the quality of the wine they produce,” explains Francisco Rovira, head of the Laboratory of Agricultural Robotics (ARL) of Valencia’s Polytechnic University (UPV).To solve this deficiency, a European research consortium headed by the UPV is working on an automated robot for vineyard monitoring in the framework of the VINESCOUT project. The end goal is to help wine producers measure key parameters of their vineyards, including water availability, the temperature of the leaves and plant robustness.After almost two years of work, they showed off the newest prototype in Portugal in late August. “Our robot enables intensive sampling, going from the 20 measurements per hour that the traditional method allows, to more than 3,000 pieces of data per hour without the user having to make an effort to get these measurements. At the end, the producer obtains a map of his plot of land with data that gives them an idea of when to activate the watering systems if they have one installed, or of the harvest date, as well as the most productive plant distribution for their vineyard,” says professor Francisco Rovira, coordinator of the European project.As well as the UPV, the Televitis research group from the Universidad de La Rioja (televitis.unirioja.es/) is taking part, as well as French company Wall-Ye SARL, the British Sundance Multiprocessor Technology Ltd and the Portuguese Symington Family Estates.Among the novelties of the new prototype are an improvement in autonomous navigation, which makes the system more robust by combining 3-D with LiDAR and ultrasound sensors (sonar). The built-in artificial intelligence has also been improved, resulting in more accurate handling when guiding it through the vineyard and turning to change row.”The autonomous navigation system has improved a lot, which means the vehicle can move faster and more safely through the vineyard rows, while maintaining the same data collection ability,” says Verónica Saiz, researcher of the Laboratory of Agricultural Robotics of the UPB and project manager of this project.The robot can also generate maps at night, thus broadening its work capacity. This option, automated nighttime navigation, was tested this summer during field tests in the Portuguese vineyard. “We have verified that the robot operates the same at night and during the day, and is able to generate automated maps of the thermal status,” says Saiz. Furthermore, the robot also includes a multispectral camera to measure robustness through various vegetative indicators.More compact, agile and with more energyThe external appearance has also been modified compared to the previous prototype. “Now, the robot is more compact and agile, and has more protection from a hostile environment such as these fields. Furthermore, it has lithium batteries instead of lead, like the previous model, which are lighter and therefore more easily interchangeable, and guarantee enough energy for an entire working day,” explains Andrés Cuenca, fellow researcher at the UPV’s ARL.”We already have the first automated temperature and plant robustness maps; they are generated by the robot in real time with an infrared sensor and a multispectral camera. The next step is to check whether these maps have good correlations with those obtained with manual methods; if this is so, we will have a much more effective and practical automated monitoring system for vine-producers and winemakers,” adds Francisco Rovira. Grapes must be picked at the exact point of maturation, and its plant must have the appropriate intake of water during development so that the wine ends up with desired properties. Controlling those parameters is complicated and expensive, and few can afford to use pressure chambers that measure water potential.center_img Citation: Robot created to monitor key wine vineyard parameters (2018, September 20) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-robot-key-wine-vineyard-parameters.html Provided by Asociacion RUVID VineScout day and night. Credit: Asociación RUVIDlast_img read more

Poor Ivory Coast pupils ray of hope solar backpacks

first_imgChildren in poor communities with no electricity are at a disadvantage, said inventor Evariste Akoumian. ‘We must give them light so they can study’ Last year, 13-year-old Lucienne, shown here walking to school with Marie-France, could not go to school at all because their mother was off work with an illness “At the same time, children were returning home from school,” he recalls. “I said to myself, ‘We must give them light so they can study. It’s not normal for rural children to be unable to do so.”The Ivorian government has set a target of ensuring electricity to 80 percent of the country.”These rural children are poor. They use rice sacks or plastic bags to take their things to school,” Akoumian said. “The idea was to kill two birds with one stone: give them a backpack with a light to go with it.”The entrepreneur stressed that the solar backpacks belong to the children: “So Dad or Mum can’t come and take the light from them… to use while they are cooking or doing housework.”Sales are brisk and have reached 55,000. Akoumian’s company Solarpak already sells the backpacks in Gabon, Madagascar and Burkina Faso, as well as to charities in France and Germany. Back home in the evening, eight-year-old Marie-France Amoandji Ngbessoo does her homework by the light of her backpack’s LED—captured by solar panels on her way to and from school. The light can run for three hours. With insects flitting overhead, Marie-France points to the pictures in her textbook, identifying them: “Orange, plane…”Allepilla, some 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of the West African country’s economic capital Abidjan, is a rural community centred on cocoa and coffee production.A single pump supplies water to the village of around 400 inhabitants including 150 children, and, as is the case for thousands of villages and hamlets across the country—there is no electricity.Instead, oil-burning storm lanterns and battery-powered torches are the only sources of light.An Ivorian charity that promotes education for rural girls, Yiwo Zone, has raised funds to provide the backpacks—which cost 13,000 CFA francs (20 euros, $23) apiece—to schoolchildren across Africa.Computer salesman Evariste Akoumian had the idea for the solar backpack in 2015 when his car broke down as night was falling near Soubre, in the southwest of the country. Sales are brisk. Akoumian’s company Solarpak already sells the backpacks in Gabon, Madagascar and Burkina Faso, as well as to charities in France and Germany The equatorial sun has been up for about an hour as a gaggle of children set off from the Ivorian village of Allepilla on their hour-long trek to school. Citation: Poor Ivory Coast pupils’ ray of hope: solar backpacks (2018, October 26) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-poor-ivory-coast-pupils-ray.html Striving to keep up with demand, Akoumian seeking aid or loans so that he can set up an assembly plant in Abidjan and boost production. 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. © 2018 AFP Explore further ‘Better marks'”It may seem cheap, but these are large sums that the villagers don’t have,” said Anna Corinne Menet Ezinlin, head of Ywo Zone. “Here in this village some people can’t afford the school fees or even notebooks. Usually school is free, but there are always registration fees or (other) payments.”Last year, Marie-France’s 13-year-old sister Lucienne could not attend school at all because their mother was off work with an illness.”It’s hard for the children,” said village chief Jean-Baptiste Kotchi Okoma, whose seven-year-old daughter Nethania received a solar backpack. “There’s not enough money here.” Backpack smarts from a pro He added: “I hope their marks will be better. Children are disadvantaged here. With the backpack, I hope they will all progress.”Lucienne, flipping through a book, said: “I am happy. Before it was more difficult. It’s easier now, with the backpack.” “These rural children are poor. They use rice sacks or plastic bags to take their things to school,” Akoumian said. “The idea was to kill two birds with one stone: give them a backpack with a light to go with it”last_img read more

The Last Lunar Eclipse of 2019 Occurs Tuesday Just in Time for

first_img Watch a Meteor Smack the Blood Moon in This Lunar Eclipse Video! This Video of a 1900 Total Solar Eclipse Is the Oldest One Ever (and Made by a Magician!) In Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the moon will enter penumbra (the weaker part of Earth’s shadow) at 18:43 and umbra (the darker part of Earth’s shadow) at 20:01. The midpoint of the eclipse will come at 21:30. The moon will leave umbra at 22:59 and leave penumbra at 00:17 on July 17, marking the end of the event. The magnitude of the eclipse, which refers to the maximum percent of the moon’s diameter immersed within Earth’s umbral shadow, will be 65%. This deepest stage of the eclipse will take place at 21:30 UTC, when the dark red-brown umbra will cover the northern 65% of the moon’s diameter. The moon will appear directly overhead, or very nearly so, from the Mozambique Channel. This NASA chart shows both the map of visibility and times of major events (in UT) of the partial lunar eclipse of July 16, 2019. Credit: NASA/Fred Espenak This map shows the region of visibility for the partial lunar eclipse of July 16, 2019. Observers in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia will be able to see the eclipse, weather permitting. Credit: NASA/Fred Espenak Tomorrow (July 16), the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11 to land astronauts on the moon and two weeks after the moon totally eclipsed the sun, it will be the moon’s turn to undergo an eclipse of its own. The full moon, in Sagittarius, will pass partway through the southern part of the Earth’s shadow resulting in a partial lunar eclipse. This event favors the Eastern Hemisphere, known colloquially as the “Old World”: Africa, Europe and western Asia. Most of South America will see the moon rise already within the Earth’s shadow. Conversely, for central and eastern Asia and Australia, the eclipse will still be in progress when the moon sets during the dawn hours of July 17. Unfortunately, North America will be completely shut out; the eclipse occurs during the daytime with the moon below the horizon.Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65941-lunar-eclipse-july-2019-explained.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  Related: Amazing Photos of the Super Blood Wolf Moon of 2019! The penumbral phases of the eclipse occur when the moon is only within the penumbra, or the pale outer fringe of Earth’s shadow. The weak, pale-gray penumbral shading is detectable only within about 25 minutes of the partial eclipse’s beginning or end, depending on sky conditions and how carefully you look. A faint shading or smudge on the moon’s disk should become evident for most viewers around 19:35 UTC, and the last vestige of any faint tarnishing should disappear around 23:25 UTC. This will be the moon’s last interaction with Earth’s umbra for a while. During the next four lunar eclipses — all during the year 2020 — the moon will pass only through Earth’s penumbra. We’ll have to wait until the morning of May 26, 2021, when the central and western United States will be treated to a total lunar eclipse, although totality will be relatively short, lasting less than 18 minutes. Then, on the morning of Nov. 19, 2021, North Americans will be treated to an eclipse covering 98% of the moon’s diameter. Finally, on the night of May 15-16, 2022, an unusually long total lunar eclipse will be visible over most of the Americas. Totality will last almost 1.5 hours. Mark your calendars. Joe Rao serves as an instructor and guest lecturer at New York’s Hayden Planetarium. He writes about astronomy for Natural History magazine, the Farmers’ Almanac and other publications, and he is also an on-camera meteorologist for Verizon FiOS1 News in New York’s lower Hudson Valley. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. How Yesterday’s Total Solar Eclipse Looked From a Plane (Photos, Video)last_img read more

12000 Years Ago a Boy Had His Skull Squashed into a Cone

first_img Even though the Houtaomuga man is the oldest known case of ICM in history, it’s a mystery whether other known instances of ICM spread from this group, or whether they rose independently of one another, Wang said. “It is still too early to claim intentional cranial modification first emerged in East Asia and spread elsewhere; it may have originated independently in different places,” Wang said. More ancient DNA research and skull examinations throughout the world may shed light on this practice’s spread, he said. The study was published online June 25 in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. The M72 skull is between 6,300 and 5,500 years old. Credit: Qian Wang Ancient people in China practiced human head-shaping about 12,000 years ago — meaning they bound some children’s maturing skulls, encouraging the heads to grow into elongated ovals — making them the oldest group on record to purposefully squash their skulls, a new study finds. While excavating a Neolithic site (the last period of the Stone Age) at Houtaomuga, Jilin province, in northeast China, the archaeologists found 11 elongated skulls — belonging to both males and females and ranging from toddlers to adults — that showed signs of deliberate skull reshaping, also known as intentional cranial modification (ICM). “This is the earliest discovery of signs of intentional head modification in Eurasia continent, perhaps in the world,” said study co-researcher Qian Wang, an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Texas A&M University College of Dentistry. “If this practice began in East Asia, it likely spread westward to the Middle East, Russia and Europe through the steppes as well as eastward across the Bering land bridge to the Americas.” [In Images: An Ancient Long-headed Woman Reconstructed] The Houtaomuga site is a treasure trove, holding burials and artifacts from 12,000 to 5,000 years ago. During an excavation there between 2011 and 2015, archaeologists found the remains of 25 individuals, 19 of which were preserved enough to be studied for ICM. After putting these skulls in a CT scanner, which produced 3D digital images of each specimen, the researchers confirmed that 11 had indisputable signs of skull shaping, such as flattening and elongation of the frontal bone, or forehead. The oldest ICM skull belonged to an adult male, who lived between 12,027 and 11,747 years ago, according to radiocarbon dating. Back to the Stone Age: 17 Key Milestones in Paleolithic Life Archaeologists have found reshaped human skulls all around the world, from every inhabited continent. But this particular finding, if confirmed, “will [be] the earliest evidence of the intentional head modification, which lasted for 7,000 years at the same site after its first emergence,” Wang told Live Science. The 11 ICM individuals died between ages 3 and 40, indicating that skull shaping began at a young age, when human skulls are still malleable, Wang said. It’s unclear why this particular culture practiced skull modification, but it’s possible that fertility, social status and beauty could be factors, Wang said. The people with ICM buried at Houtaomuga were likely from a privileged class, as these individuals tended to have grave goods and funeral decorations. “Apparently, these youth were treated with a decent funeral, which might suggest a high socioeconomic class,” Wang said. The 25 Most Mysterious Archaeological Finds on Earth 25 Grisly Archaeological Discoveries Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoSecurity SaversWindows Users Advised To Do This TodaySecurity SaversUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoArticles VallyDad Cuts Daughter’s Hair Off For Getting Birthday Highlights, Then Mom Does The UnthinkableArticles VallyUndo An excavation at the site during 2010. Credit: Lixin Wang last_img read more

Israel opens visa application centre in KolkataIsrael opens visa application centre in

first_imgPublished on COMMENTS visa Israel SHARE SHARE EMAIL August 11, 2018center_img tourism COMMENT SHARE To encourage more Indian travellers to visit Israel, Embassy of Israel has opened a visa application centre in the city for tourists from West Bengal and the north eastern states.Additionally, visa applications in jurisdiction under the New Delhi centre are also acceptable at the new Kolkata Centre, it said in a press release. The visa application categories include B1 for employment, B2 for business, tourism, meeting or conference and A2 for students.Visa fee reductionAmong other initiatives, Israel recently announced a reduction in visa fees to Rs 1,100 (from Rs 1700) for Indian citizens. last_img read more

Delhi monsoon rains unlikely before July 15

first_imgDelhi monsoon rains unlikely before July 15The dry spell is likely to continue without any significant precipitation in the region, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday.According to IMD, light rainfall was expected in Delhi-NCR on the night of July 15.advertisement Next Indo-Asian News Service New DelhiJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 13:31 IST The dry spell is likely to continue without any significant precipitation in the region. (File photo: PTI)HIGHLIGHTSThe much awaited monsoon rains are unlikely for at least another three daysLight rainfall was expected in Delhi-NCR on the night of July 15The seasonal trough has shifted towards the Himalaya foothillsDespite the cloud cover over Delhi-NCR, the much awaited monsoon rains are unlikely for at least another three days.The dry spell is likely to continue without any significant precipitation in the region, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday.According to IMD, light rainfall was expected in Delhi-NCR on the night of July 15.”The dry conditions will prevail over the next three days. There will be dust in the air and light rainfall is expected only on July 15 and thereafter,” IMD’s regional weather forecasting chief Kuldeep Srivastava told IANS.Private weather forecasting agency Skymet echoed the IMD, saying there was unlikely to be any significant weather activity over the next three days.According to Skymet, the seasonal trough has shifted towards the Himalaya foothills and heavy rains were expected in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar and the northern districts of Uttar Pradesh.”From July 15, this trough will start travelling south with rains across Delhi-NCR and other parts of Haryana and Punjab. The intensity of rainfall is expected to increase between July 17 and 19,” Skymet chief Mahesh Palawat told IANS.As per an IMD bulletin released on Friday, the northern limit of the monsoon continues to pass through Barmer, Jodhpur and Churu in Rajasthan and Ludhiana and Kapurthala in Punjab.A low pressure area was also persisting over northeast Uttar Pradesh and adjoining Bihar with the associated cyclonic circulation extending up to 7.6 km above mean sea level.The IMD recorded heavy rainfall on Thursday at isolated places over Bihar, east Uttar Pradesh, Konkan and Goa, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura.Also read | IMD issues heavy rain alerts for Uttarakhand, BiharAlso read | Farmers rejoice as India receives above normal monsoon rainsAlso watch | Mumbai rains: Wall collapses due to heavy rainfall, massive traffic across cityFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAnumika Bahukhandi Tags :Follow Delhi rainsFollow Delhi NCRFollow Delhi monsoonFollow Monsoonlast_img read more

Former Arunachal Pradesh CM booked on charges of corruption cheating

first_img Next Munish Pandey New DelhiJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 20:37 IST Former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki.The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked Nabam Tuki, former chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh, on charges of corruption, cheating and forgery.A case has been registered against Nabam Tuki and his brother Nabam Tagam on allegations that Nabam Tuki, as minister of consumer affairs and civil supplies in 2003, had given 11 contracts to his family members including his brother which were worth Rs 20 crore.Charges under which the FIR has been filed include Prevention of Corruption Act and cheating and forgery.The case was given to the CBI by Gauhati High Court.Tuki was the chief minister of the state during 2011-16.His brother Nabam Tagam, N N Osik, the then director civil supplies, and the then chief manager United Commercial Bank Sohrab Ali Hazarika have also been booked, the officials said.It is alleged that Osik paid illegal gratification of Rs 30 lakh, which were credited in his account in Itanagar branch of the United Commercial Bank.The cheque was issued in the name of Tuki and was later changed to “yourself”, the agency alleged.It said Hazarika, as the branch manager, helped to get the amount credited in Tuki’s account and did not obtain any authorisation for alterations made in the cheque beneficiary.The name of account holder in the bank records were also “obliterated” and were replaced with T Nabam in the specimen signature card. A picture of Tuki’s brother Nabam Tagam was also put on the specimen signature card.However, in the agency enquiry it surfaced that the account was indeed in the name of Tuki and his specimen signatures were on the account opening form.Also Read | CBI books brother of ex-Arunachal CM, others on corruption chargesAlso Watch | SC harassment case: Is judiciary facing its biggest test?For the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byShifa Naseer Tags :Follow Arunachal PradeshFollow Nabam TukiFollow Corruption Former Arunachal Pradesh CM booked on charges of corruption, cheatingIt was alleged that former Arunachal Pradesh CM Nabam Tuki, as minister of consumer affairs and civil supplies in 2003, had given 11 contracts to his family members including his brother which were worth Rs 20 crore.advertisementlast_img read more