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March 26, 2013

Kiribati acquires international funding for solar power

Kiribati acquires international funding for solar power

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Environment
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Solar panel installation in the United States
Image: U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Last Tuesday, AusAID Australia and the World Bank’s Global Environment Fund (GEF) reached an agreement to give the government of Kiribati US$5 million (AU$4,779,000, NZ$5,985,000, 3,885,000) to install solar panels around the country capital, located on the Tarawa atoll. According to Business Desk of the Brunei Times, AusAID promised AU$3.2 million in funding, while GEF promised US$1 million. The country was the first in the Pacific to make a deal with the World Bank.

The funding was part of a US$530 million (NZ$635 million) package announced at yesterday’s Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland involving New Zealand and the European Union, Australia, the Asian Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the World Bank Group, and the United Arab Emirates. Also at the summit yesterday, New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully had announced a national commitment of USD$54,262,000 (AU$51,861,000 NZ$65 million, €42,178,000) to Pacific region energy solutions, of which US$8,348,000 (AU$8 million, NZ$10 million, €6,483,000) would be specifically earmarked for renewable energy and improved energy efficiency in the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu.

A small school maneaba (equivalent to a school hall) in Nabeina, North Tarawa, Kiribati
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

Kiribati is heavily dependent on diesel fuel for most of the energy available on the national power grid, which supplies power to half Kiribati’s population of 110,000. In addition, a third of the country’s population lacks access to electricity. Once installation of the solar panels is complete, they are estimated to reduce diesel consumption by 230,000 liters (60,760 gallons) a year and give access to the electricity to some parts of the population that currently have no electricity. The European Union already has committed €100 million to sustainable energy in the region, with €10 million of that coming as a result of an announcement made last week.

In a press release about the news, Kiribati President Anote Tong was quoted as saying, “Kiribati faces big challenges it is remote, it is at risk from the effects of climate change, and it is vulnerable to economic shocks. […] Shifting Kiribati’s focus to reliable solar energy will provide a more secure, more sustainable power source for the country’s people.” Radio New Zealand International quoted Tong as saying, “It’s the first time we are doing this. We’re excited at the prospect of even substituting fossil fuel to a small extent at this stage. What the system being envisaged will only produce around 500 kilowatts, but this is the beginning of what I hope will be a pattern, the trend in the future.”

The European Union’s Fiji-based head of operations for the Pacific region, Renato Mele, supported alternative energy solutions like solar power for the region, but said that solar power had limitations because climate and environmental conditions sometimes meant batteries required to power the panels had a life of only 12 months, compared to other climates where batteries normally last five years. This created the potential to drive up standard operating costs. Mele has also noted these additional costs though are still lower than the cost of diesel power.

One News Pacific Correspondent Barbara Dreaver noted, “Governments will be able to put the money they (currently) spend on diesel into things like education and health.”



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September 5, 2012

Effect of sanctions \”like war\” says Iran\’s Ahmadinejad

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pictured this year in Pakistan.
Image: Sinaf7798n.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran described the effect of European Union and United States sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program as “like war” Tuesday and said “[…]we are working to bypass them day and night.”

The comments, live on television, were the first time that senior Iranian sources have admitted that the sanctions are having any effect. They include financial restrictions and a ban by the European Union on the export of crude oil, from which the Iranian economy receives 80% of its foreign income. In its most recent monthly report, OPEC said exports of crude had fallen to their lowest level for two decades at 2.8 million barrels per day. The country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has described the dependency on oil as “a trap” dating from before Iran’s Islamic revolution in 1979 and from which the country should free itself.

Among the steps Iran has taken to circumvent sanctions is the reflagging of tankers, first to Cyprus and Malta and, more recently, to Tuvalu and Tanzania to mask their origins and allow continued oil exports. In August, the shipping registries of Tuvalu and Tanzania agreed to de-register Iranian ships following pressure from U.S. lawmakers. Howard Berman, the senior Democratic Party politician on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, commented then: “Iran is learning the hard way that we will not relent in applying crippling sanctions on the regime, and others are learning that evading international sanctions is a losing strategy”.

Ahmadinejad predicted Tuesday that Iran would overcome the effects of sanctions while acknowledging that financial controls were effecting the ability of the country to supply basic needs.


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Effect of sanctions \’like war\’ says Iran\’s Ahmadinejad

Effect of sanctions ‘like war’ says Iran’s Ahmadinejad

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Iran
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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

File:Ahmadi nejad 2012 pakistan.jpg
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pictured this year in Pakistan
Image: Sinaf7798n.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran described the effect of European Union and United States sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program as “like war” Tuesday and said “[…]we are working to bypass them day and night.”

The comments, live on television, were the first time that senior Iranian sources have admitted that the sanctions are having any effect. They include financial restrictions and a ban by the European Union on the export of crude oil, from which the Iranian economy receives 80% of its foreign income. In its most recent monthly report, OPEC said exports of crude had fallen to their lowest level for two decades at 2.8 million barrels per day. The country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has described the dependency on oil as “a trap” dating from before Iran’s Islamic revolution in 1979 and from which the country should free itself.

Among the steps Iran has taken to circumvent sanctions is the reflagging of tankers, first to Cyprus and Malta and, more recently, to Tuvalu and Tanzania to mask their origins and allow continued oil exports. In August, the shipping registries of Tuvalu and Tanzania agreed to de-register Iranian ships following pressure from U.S. lawmakers. Howard Berman, the senior Democratic Party politician on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, commented then: “Iran is learning the hard way that we will not relent in applying crippling sanctions on the regime, and others are learning that evading international sanctions is a losing strategy”.

Ahmadinejad predicted Tuesday that Iran would overcome the effects of sanctions while acknowledging that financial controls were affecting the ability of the country to supply basic needs.


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August 26, 2012

Tuvalu and Tanzania back down over Iranian ships after U.S. pressure

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

The flag of Tuvalu.
Image: Zscout370.

The shipping registries of Tuvalu and Tanzania this month agreed to de-register Iranian ships following pressure from U.S. lawmakers.

Tanzanian sources said its registrar, based in Zanzibar, allowed up to 36 Iranian oil tankers to fly their flag without its knowledge, whilst Tuvalu reportedly registered 22 vessels. The fees from shipping registries represent a valuable source of income for poorer countries like Tuvalu with few other sources of income.

Following the European Union and U.S. imposing sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program, the country re-flagged its tankers; first to Cyprus and Malta and, more recently, to Tuvalu and Tanzania to mask their origins and allow permit Iran to continue exporting oil. The names of the vessels were also changed to more European-sounding names. Vessels must be listed on a national shipping registry, as-is required by international law, and, in order to obtain maritime insurance. Brokers based in London provide over 90% of the world’s maritime insurance, and they are banned by E.U. sanctions from insuring Iranian oil tankers.

Howard Berman, the senior Democratic Party politician on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called on United States Secretary of State Hillary Clintonto take “aggressive action” against Tuvalu over the matter. He subsequently commented: “Iran is learning the hard way that we will not relent in applying crippling sanctions on the regime, and others are learning that evading international sanctions is a losing strategy”.



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September 29, 2010

Wikinews Shorts: September 29, 2010

Wikinews Shorts: September 29, 2010 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: September 29, 2010

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A compilation of brief news reports for Wednesday, September 29, 2010.

Landslide buries 30 people in Colombia

LocationColombia.png

Around 30 people have been buried in a landslide in the municipality of Giraldo, Antioquia Department, Colombia. Many of the people buried were bus passengers who were walking across a road that had previously been blocked off by another landslide. The locations of those trapped have been determined by sniffer dogs, but it could still take several days before rescuers can reach them. Heavy rain is believed to be a factor in the landslide.

While visiting the scene, President Juan Manuel Santos said that “[w]e are doing everything we can to find them.”

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Maatia Toafa named as new prime minister of Tuvalu

LocationTuvalu.png

Maatia Toafa has been declared the new Prime Minister of Tuvalu. The Prime Minister of Tuvalu is chosen by the Tuvalun Parliament, via secret ballot. Toafa won this ballot eight votes to seven, defeating runner up Kausea Natano. He replaces former Prime Minister Apisai Ielemia who has held the post since 2006. This is Toafa’s second term as prime minister; he previously held the post between 2004 and 2006.

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Former Pakistan defence minister Rao Sikandar Iqbal dies aged 67

LocationPakistan.png

Former Pakistani politician Rao Sikandar Iqbal has died at the age of 67 from kidney failure. At various points in his political career, Sikandar held the position of Defence minister of Pakistan; Federal Minister for Food, Agriculture and Cooperatives; and the Federal Minister of Sports, Culture and Tourism. He was also a founding member of the Pakistan Peoples Party. Tributes have been paid to him by President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.

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June 24, 2008

We\’ll always have .paris: ICANN votes for top level domain registration in 2009

We’ll always have .paris: ICANN votes for top level domain registration in 2009

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Internet
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The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit organisation based in California, United States to regulate internet domain names, will vote on Thursday for a proposal to allow the open registration of top-level domains (TLDs) for Internet addresses. If the proposal succeeds, then as soon as next year any entity with sufficient funds may be able to apply for ownership of a relevant TLD, so that, for example, web sites could have addresses ending in .paris, .ebay or .love.

The range of TLDs has traditionally been heavily restricted by ICANN, with most being country codes (such as .uk for the United Kingdom, or .jp for Japan) or related to the purpose of a website (like .com for commercial websites, .edu for educational sites, and .org for non-profit organisations).

Some existing owners of TLDs have already set up arrangements that have made use of their flexibility – for example, the countries of Tuvalu and the Federated States of Micronesia have leased many domains on their country code TLDs (.tv and .fm respectively) to entertainment websites based on the association with “television” and “FM radio”.

Commentators have pointed out that this may open the way for the controversial .xxx domain, proposed for sites with adult content, which ICANN has previously rejected. Its existence will not be guaranteed in the new system, however, as domain registration will be subject to an independent arbitration process, and granted only when the registrant can demonstrate “a business plan and technical capability”, and applications may be rejected on “morality or public order” grounds. While the proposal does not include registration fees, the TLDs are predicted to cost several thousand dollars, at least.

ICANN CEO Paul Twomey, speaking with the BBC, compared the opening of domains to the opening of real estate in the United States in the 19th century. “It’s a massive increase in the geography of the real estate of the Internet,” he said.

The ICANN International Public Meeting, which opened in Paris, France on Monday, includes workshops and public forums as well as the ICANN Board meeting.



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June 20, 2006

New Zealand PM faults Japan over Whaling Commission vote

Filed under: AutoArchived,New Zealand,Oceania,Tuvalu — admin @ 5:00 am

New Zealand PM faults Japan over Whaling Commission vote

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The International Whaling Commission

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark has accused Japan of creating a rift between Pacific Countries. She accuses Japan of influencing the voting of some member nations of the Pacific Island Forum at the International Whaling Commission by supplying vast amounts of aid to certain small pacific nations.

New Zealand provides a total of $23 million a year in aid to three of the six Pacific nations – Kiribati, the Solomons, and Tuvalu. Japan pledged approximately 45 billion yen (NZ $633 million) in aid for all Pacific nations. New Zealand’s annual budget for aiding pacific nations on the other hand totals merely NZ $173 million.

Miss Clark is quoted as saying “One would hope that over time Japan might reflect on the damage this is doing to [its] relationships around the world” and that it “sprayed a lot of money around” to garner support.

The Prime Minister has ruled out any retaliation against the islands, saying it would not affect any future aid funding.

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September 7, 2005

UN holding recruitment exams in under-represented countries

UN holding recruitment exams in under-represented countries

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Wednesday, September 7, 2005

In order to find P-2 level officers for the United Nations Secretariat, the international organization is holding competitive recruitment competitions in 42 countries. The examinations will take place in February, 2006.

Six occupational groups are being sought: Architecture, Demography, Library, Security, Science and Technology, and Statistics. There will be a written examination (both a general paper and a specialised paper) and an interview.

The written examination questions are given in English and French, the two working languages of the Secretariat. Candidates must write their answers for the general paper in English or French. However, they may write their answers for the specialized paper in English, French, or any of the other four official languages of the Secretariat, i.e., Arabic, Chinese, Russian, or Spanish.

The examinations will take place on February 28, 2006 in New York, Addis Ababa, Andorra La Vella, Athens, Bangkok, Beirut, Geneva, Monaco, Nairobi, Santiago, Vaduz, Valletta, and Vienna.

According to the UN, applicants “should hold at least a first-level university degree relevant to the occupational group in which they would like to take the examination. Furthermore, applicants should not be more than 32 years old on 31 December, 2006 … Fluency in either English or French is required.”

The following countries have been selected for the 2006 competition: Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Saudi Arabia, Barbados, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Comores, Republic of Korea, Gambia, Japan, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Equatorial Guinea, Israel, Kiribati, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Malta, San Marino, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Norway, Oman, Panama, Portugal, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tonga, Tuvalu, USA, and Vietnam.

The practice of scouting under-represented nations for highly-qualified employees is an annual occurrence.

The United Nations Secretariat is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and it is headed by the United Nations Secretary General and assisted by a staff of international civil servants worldwide. It provides studies, information, and facilities needed by United Nations bodies for their meetings. It also carries out tasks as directed by the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly, the UN Economic and Social Council, and other UN bodies. The United Nations Charter provides that the staff be chosen by application of the “highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity,” with due regard for the importance of recruiting on a wide geographical basis.

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