New study questions trope that conservatives are happier than liberals

first_imgYears of psychological research have suggested that people who are politically conservative are happier than their liberal counterparts. This so-called “ideological happiness gap” has inspired elaborate theories for why conservatives enjoy life more than liberals do.But there may be no happiness gap at all. According to a new study published online today in Science, the tiny differences found in previous studies may have resulted from a slight tendency on the part of political conservatives to “self-enhance,” or view themselves in an unrealistically positive light.Happiness is hot stuff in psychology. One reason is that the tool used by nearly all studies in this field—surveys asking people to self-report their happiness on numerical scales—is cheap and easy to implement. Plus, the results matter to policymakers: People’s happiness correlates with important life outcomes such as health, wealth, and even life expectancy.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)So researchers have combed through demographic data in search of factors associated with lesser and greater happiness. Some of those factors seem obvious: Living in destitution in an affluent nation is strongly associated with unhappiness. Others factors are more puzzling.The purported happiness gap between liberals and conservatives has attracted considerable media attention. Conservative Americans, Canadians, and Europeans all seem to be happier than their liberal compatriots. Those results are generally based on surveys that ask respondents, for example, to rate on a scale of 1 to 7 how well a statement applies to them. Examples include: “The conditions of my life are excellent. If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing. I am satisfied with my life.”Psychologists have proposed myriad hypotheses to explain the gap. Conservatives could be more content with the status quo, according to one argument, or liberals may be prone to anxious self-reflection.But there could be a simpler explanation. Rather than truly being happier than liberals, conservatives may be more prone to put a positive spin on their lives. To test that possibility, Sean Wojcik, a psychologist at the University of California, Irvine, and colleagues devised a study that aimed to assess not just happiness but also people’s tendency to self-enhance.To get enough subjects to nail down this tiny statistical effect, the researchers used a website——open to people of any political persuasion. A total of 1433 people filled out and submitted not only the standard happiness questionnaire but also a series of questions called the Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding. That instrument measures “the tendency to engage in self-deceptive enhancement.” For example, people who highly agree with statements such as “I am fully in control of my own fate,” or, “I never regret my decisions,” are deemed to be self-enhancing.Sure enough, the new study finds that people’s political conservatism was slightly correlated with their tendency to self-enhance. That effect is tiny, but still big enough to explain away the happiness gap, according to the researchers.The researchers also used two other measures to gauge the happiness of liberals and conservatives, neither of which indicated greater conservative happiness. First they used language-processing software to measure the positive and negative emotions of 47,257 tweets. People who follow the Republican Party on Twitter were somewhat more likely to use emotionally negative words than were followers of the Democratic Party. Second, the researchers hired an expert in facial expression analysis to examine the photos of current members of Congress. Democratic members were scored as having slightly more genuine smiles than Republicans.“Conservatives don’t seem to be any happier than liberals,” concludes Dan Kahan, a psychologist at Yale University who was not involved in the study but has waded through battles about the minds of liberals versus conservatives himself. The study, he says, “raises questions about the validity of happiness self-report measures generally.” Kahan wonders if happiness surveys “are truly measuring what we care about.”For his part, Wojcik is optimistic about the future of happiness research. But he agrees that “this research quickly raises philosophical questions about what it means to be happy at all.”last_img read more

Everton new boy Tosun warned about Allardyce

first_imgEverton Everton new boy Tosun warned about Allardyce tactics Ryan Benson 07:10 1/13/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Cenk Tosun Besiktas Everton Premier League The striker is set to make his debut against Tottenham on Saturday, but one of his compatriots is not convinced by the Toffees manager New Everton striker Cenk Tosun has been warned about Sam Allardyce’s tactics as he prepares to make his debut.Tosun joined Everton from Besiktas for a reported £25 million in early January after earning rave reviews with the Turkish side.He will be expected to ease Everton’s woes in attack, but Emre Belozoglu has given Tosun a word of warning about his new manager. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Emre, 37, played under Allardyce at Newcastle United during the 2007-08 season and the Englishman clearly did not leave a great impression on the midfielder.Speaking to Tivibu Spor , Emre said: “I’m really happy for Cenk Tosun. I feel it’s easier for Turkish players to go play abroad now than it was in our time. “Cenk is really professional. He doesn’t see himself better or worse from what he is. He just wants to constantly improve himself.”The football in England is physical, but Cenk Tosun’s finishing is top class. His biggest misfortune, I would say, is Sam Allardyce, who was my coach at Newcastle United.”Allardyce lets his striker feel alone on pitch and his system can’t really provide for his team’s striker.”Tosun is likely to be included in Allardyce’s squad as the Toffees take on Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday.last_img read more

Shaqiri insists Liverpool are feeling no pressure

first_imgXherdan Shaqiri insists Liverpool can handle the pressure of being Premier League favourites.And the Reds star has rejected the idea that the Reds can blast Manchester City out of the title race when they travel to the Etihad this week.Jurgen Klopp’s side have enjoyed a dream Christmas, winning all three of their festive fixtures to open up a seven-point gap at the top of the table. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? City, who leapfrogged Spurs to go second with a win at Southampton on Sunday, can cut the deficit to four with a win over Liverpool in Thursday night’s blockbuster clash. Klopp’s men, though, know that a victory, or even a draw, would simply reinforce their own credentials.Liverpool were ruthless in brushing past Arsenal at the weekend, recovering from an early setback to win 5-1 at Anfield. They have now won nine straight league games, and are unbeaten in 21 stretching back to May.Klopp, for his part, has been eager to play down talk of a first league title since 1990, but Shaqiri says that the players are not burdened by the scrutiny which comes with their lofty position.“Pressure is everywhere in your life,” said the Swiss international. “Even in football, there is always pressure.“When you are first in the table everyone comes after you, everyone wants to beat you, so every game is very tough. We just have to keep going, to stay at the highest level.“I’m sure we can keep going, but there’s a long way to go if we’re going to be successful.”Roberto Firmino Xherdan Shaqiri Liverpool ArsenalCity are one of only three teams to have taken points off Liverpool this season, and could even have had all three, with Riyad Mahrez missing a late penalty in the sides’ goalless draw back in October.Pep Guardiola’s side won 5-0 when the teams met at the Etihad in the league last season, but Liverpool were victorious there in the Champions League in April.Shaqiri, accordingly, expects a fiercely-competitive game this week.“For us we don’t go there to take Man City out of the race, we go there for a Premier League game,” he told reporters.“We go there to make a good performance first of all and try to win games. That’s the only goal that we have. There are no other things in our minds at the moment. We just have to keep going, to work hard every day in training to win games. I’m sure when we keep going like this we are going to be very successful.“We play very good football, very successful football and we are in a very good way to be very successful. Everything can happen this season but it’s a long way to go. We have closed this [Arsenal] game, and in a few days we have another one to go. We are going to go again.”Riyad Mahrez Manchester City LiverpoolHe added: “Of course for you guys it’s always a message when we win games but for us it’s three points that are very important. City is also behind with Tottenham.“Of course they’re going to come after us and try to win, to grab three points. It’s going to be a very interesting game, a good game. We’re looking forward to this game to go and make a very good performance. We’re also confident to try to win the game.”Shaqiri smiled when it was suggested that Liverpool, despite their plaudits and their points and their remarkable unbeaten record, still had room for improvement.“Obviously we play very good football,” he added. “You can see that on the pitch and that’s also important for the fans.“But it’s also important to win games, to have three points in the bag every game. I think as a team everybody gives everything. The mix is very very good and you can see that.”Liverpool will assess the fitness of midfielder James Milner, who has missed their last two games with a hamstring issue. City, meanwhile, have doubts over the fitness of midfield duo Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

HapagLloyd Praised for Green Ship Recycling

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: DNV GL German container shipping line Hapag-Lloyd has received the “DNV GL Excellence Green Star” certificate in recognition of its compliance with the highest standards in ship recycling.DNV GL presented the certificate to the liner company at the SMM trade fair in Hamburg on Wednesday, September 5.“In 2007, Hapag-Lloyd was the world’s first container shipping line to be certified with DNV GL’s ‘Excellence – 5 Stars’ award. We are very happy to continue this tradition,” said Hapag-Lloyd COO Anthony J. Firmin. “Hapag-Lloyd will continue to spearhead efforts to make ship recycling greener, seeking innovative ways to conserve global resources and protect the environment.”Hapag-Lloyd’s ship recycling program includes partnering with yards that discard hazardous waste in accordance with ISO 14001 standards and the guidelines of the Hong Kong Convention.The carrier is also monitoring and documenting the ship recycling process, preempting the stricter rules that will apply under the EU Ship Recycling Regulation (SRR) from year-end.“With the ‘DNV GL Excellence Green Star’ certificate, we recognize Hapag-Lloyd’s commitment to being out in front of the regulatory agenda, by voluntarily implementing a compliance regime that will reduce the environmental impact of their recycling program,” said Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of DNV GL – Maritime.Speaking at the event a day earlier, Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd, said that the liner company is facing around USD 1 billion of extra fuel costs stemming from the new sulphur regulations entering into force in 2020.“We have a real problem in our hands, and we need to figure out what are we going to do about it,”Jansen said.The company is testing scrubbers on two large containerships and exploring the benefits of LNG as fuel, but believes that the majority of ships will have to switch to a different fuel come 2020.last_img read more

Artist behind Perceptions aims to tackle racism through art

first_imgAPTN National NewsAn off the cuff opinion by a Winnipeg mayoral candidate’s wife inspired the latest work by Winnipeg artist KC Adams.Perceptions is a series of portraits taken by Adams that debunk the myths of what some people might think about Indigenous men and women.APTN’s Matt Thorardson reports.last_img

Some chiefs want ban on oil tankers in northern BC

first_imgAPTN NewsTodd LamirandeSenators on Parliament Hill were asked Tuesday to support legislation that would ban large oil tanker traffic off British Columbia’s north coast.“We are a salmon people; we are an ocean people,” said Marilyn Slett, chief councillor of the Heiltsuk Nation.“Our way of life depends on a healthy ecosystem.”Slett was part of a delegation of 25 First Nation hereditary chiefs to address senators about Bill C-48.Her community was affected by a diesel spill two years ago.“We’ve had some, certainly some support,” she told reporters.But, she said, some Senators believe a ban would hurt economic development.So does Chief Dan George of Burns Lake First Nation.He told a news conference a ban would kill a proposed Indigenous-owned pipeline called Eagle Spirit.“There’s quite a bit of economic opportunities for all First Nations along the corridor,” he said.“But in northern B.C., First Nations communities have a few and far between opportunities to get revenue. Because we don’t have prime real estate land, very few opportunities in the North.”The chiefs were in Ottawa to attend a special meeting of the Assembly of First Nations.Peter Lantin, president of the council of the Haida Nation, doesn’t want more tankers added to the traffic already travelling down the coast from Alaska.“That’s what we’re up against,” he said.“So there’s already risks today…We’re just trying to put a cap on opening it up to more.”Garry Reece, hereditary chief of Lax Kw’alaams, said his community won’t support oil tankers or Eagle Spirit.“They don’t have the support of my tribe or some of the other tribes in my community,” he read more

Stocks climb for 3rd day in a row erasing Mondays plunge

NEW YORK — Stocks marched higher for the third day in a row Thursday, erasing the big plunge they took on Monday on worries about the worsening trade fight between China and the U.S.Banks reversed course and helped lead the broad gains. Banks were benefiting from higher bond yields, which allow them to charge higher interest rates on loans. Bank of America added 1.5% and Citigroup added 1.3%. Bond yields rose following a surprising rise in new home construction in April.The steady gains mark a turnaround from Monday, when stocks took a nosedive after Beijing issued retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, ratcheting up tensions between the two largest economies in the world.The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are now both at breakeven for the week following steep drop drops on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is still down slightly for the weekTechnology stocks were also big gainers. The sector, which is highly exposed to trade tensions with China, has been volatile all week. Microsoft added 2.6% and Amazon rose 2.4%.Utilities and real estate companies lagged the market, another sign that investors were becoming more comfortable holding riskier assets.KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 1.1% as of 10:30 a.m. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 207 points, or 0.8%, to 25,856 points. The Nasdaq composite rose 1.3%.GOOD CONNECTION: Cisco jumped 5.9% after the company beat Wall Street’s fiscal third quarter earnings forecasts. The maker of gear that connects computers also issued a solid forecast for the current quarter. The company said it has factored in the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China and sees “very minimal impact” ahead.WALMART WHIPS GROWTH: Walmart rose 3.5% after reporting a surge in a key sales measure and strong online sales growth. The world’s largest retailer also beat Wall Street’s profit forecasts for the first quarter. The company has been working to get more people into its stores and use its online shopping service. It recently launched next-day delivery as it faces tougher competition from other retailers and Amazon.Damian J. Troise, The Associated Press read more

TSX rises loonie surges on upbeat GDP data

TORONTO — Another sign that Canada’s economy is doing better than expected and a strong rally in energy stocks helped push the Toronto stock market higher Monday as it entered one of the quietest trading weeks of the year.The S&P/TSX composite index rose 48.10 points to 13,447.70, while the loonie jumped 0.33 of a cent to 94.24 cents US.Statistics Canada reported that the economy grew by 0.3% in October, higher than consensus estimate of 0.2% and on par with September’s increase. The latest reading marked the fourth consecutive month of growth for the country’s gross domestic product.The figures were a welcome sign in what is expected be a muted week for the TSX as it heads into 2013’s second last week of trading. The Toronto exchange is scheduled to close early Christmas Eve and will be shut down on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.New York is shuttered just for Dec. 25.On Monday, U.S. indexes were positive as the Dow Jones industrials surged 73.47 points to close at a record-high 16,294.61. The Nasdaq jumped 44.16 points to 4,148.90 and the S&P 500 index gained 9.67 points to 1,827.99.The Dow was supported by tech giant Apple Inc., which announced that it is teaming up with China Mobile. Apple said China’s largest carrier will begin selling the iPhone 5S and 5C models beginning next month.The iPhone already is available in China through two smaller carriers but this latest agreement links it with a bigger network and state-owned China Mobile Ltd.’s marketing power. Shares in Apple closed up $21.07 at US$570.09.Fred Ketchen, ScotiaMcLeod’s director of equity trading, said the lift in North American markets may indicate that investors are finding comfort in the upbeat economic news.“The economic standpoint is not upsetting. It’s not roariously healthy, but there is a certain calmness to it,” said Ketchen.“I just think there’s a fair amount of comfort of where we are economically, where we are politically and where we are when it comes to the markets. I don’t expect any disasters.”The outlook south of the border also painted a rosy picture. The U.S. Commerce Department reported that Americans increased their spending in November by the most in five months as incomes edged up modestly. Consumer spending rose 0.5% last month compared with October, when spending had risen 0.4%. It was the best showing since June, with the gain driven by a jump in spending on durable goods such as autos.How much consumers spend is carefully watched because it accounts for as much as 70% of U.S. economic activity.Strong economic news helped the U.S. Federal Reserve decide last week to cut its asset purchases by $10 billion to $75 billion a month beginning in January. The stimulus has kept interest rates low and helped make stocks more attractive to investors.In corporate news, Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. said it was selling its five% stake and transportation rights in a Colombian oil pipeline to a consortium led by a private equity unit of Franklin Templeton for US$385 million in cash.Pacific Rubiales acquired its stake in the OCENSA pipeline when it bought Petrominerales Ltd. in a $1.6-billion deal that was announced in September. Proceeds from the sale will be applied to the Petrominerales transaction and reduce the cost for Pacific Rubiales to about C$1.2 billion. Its shares closed up two cents, or 0.11%, at $18.76 on the TSX.Meanwhile, shares in Reitmans (Canada) Ltd. were nearly nine% higher after Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. disclosed that it has increased its stake in the struggling retailer to 13.8% from just under 10%. Reitmans’ shares close up 57 cents, or 8.98%, at $6.92.Reitmans is a retailer of mainly women’s apparel operating under such banners as Reitmans, Smart Set, RW&CO., Penningtons, Addition-Elle and Thyme Maternity.French railway operator SNCF has exercised an option to buy an additional 30 Regio 2N double-deck electric passenger trains from Bombardier Inc. The order is valued at US$379 million and brings the total number of units that SNCF has ordered to 159, Bombardier announced Monday from Berlin, where its rail division has its global headquarters.Commodities were mostly lower as February crude fell 41 cents to US$98.91 a barrel.However, energy stocks helped boost the TSX, rising by 0.36%. Shares in EnCana Corp. climbed 18 cents to C$19.17.The info tech sector was the leading advancer, up by 0.63%, as shares in BlackBerry rose 3.10%, or 24 cents, to $7.98.Gold prices lost $6.70 to US$1,197 an ounce, and the sector was the leading decliner on the TSX, falling by 0.71%. Shares in Barrick Gold dipped 12 cents to C$17.72.March copper was unchanged at US$3.31 a pound. read more

Piyankara Jayaratne questioned by Presidential Commission

A complaint had been received at the Presidential Commission Investigating Large Scale Corruption and Fraud over the alleged use of Srilankan Catering Services for private functions of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family.The Commission was also to record a statement from the former Chairman of Srilankan Airlines Nishantha Wickramasinghe. (Colombo Gazette) Former Minister of Civil Aviation Piyankara Jayaratne was questioned by the Presidential Commission investigating large scale fraud today.He was questioned over the alleged misuse of the catering service on Sri Lanka’s National airline, Srilankan Airlines, when he was the Minister in charge.

Second Cup to launch loyalty program push for more renovations this year

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – After another tough quarter, Second Cup hopes coffee drinkers chasing their java fix will also get behind the company’s new loyalty card this spring.The chain plans to expand “Perks from Second Cup” across the country in the coming months after a test run in Calgary. The program will allow users to accumulate and redeem points for every dollar spent through either a plastic card or smartphone app.The rewards launch is part of a three-year turnaround plan that chief executive Alix Box expects will change the perception of the brand.“We’ve taken it to a much more premium type of experience,” she said in an interview on Monday, after the company reported a quarterly loss.“I felt the brand was playing way too much in the middle, and too close to the McDonald’s and Tim Hortons of the world.”Second Cup has been trying to overcome an identity crisis that stunted its growth just as a barrage of new competitors entered the market about four years ago in hopes of taking a share of the basic and premium coffee markets.While McDonald’s has chased the low-priced segment in competition with Tim Hortons, others like Starbucks have stepped up their Canadian expansions at the same time independent coffee shops see a resurgence in popularity.But a recent study suggests the traditional bean has lost flavour to some Canadians.An ongoing study of consumer consumption habits from research firm NPD Group says that Canadians drink about 2.1 billion cups of coffee per year, their out-of-home consumption declined by more than three per cent in 2014.Even though coffee orders are down, the study found that consumer visits to coffee shops remain steady, which suggests more people order non-coffee items from the menu.Box joined the top ranks of the Toronto-area coffee company a year ago as part of an effort to turn around its eroding market share in an already pressured coffee business. She previously held senior positions at Holt Renfrew and Starbucks.When she arrived there was “no question the business needed a complete overhaul,” Box said.But those widespread changes will take time before any positive the impact is seen in the financial results.During the fourth quarter, the Second Cup Ltd. (TSX:SCU) posted a net loss of $469,000 or four cents per share, as it booked a $391,000 provision for cafe closures and a $692,000 item for acquisition of some franchise cafes.A year earlier, the franchisee operator turned a profit of $1.2 million or 12 cents per share in the same period, even with restructuring charges and a provision for store closures.Fourth-quarter revenue was $8.4 million, up from $8 million a year earlier, while sales within its cafe network fell to $49.4 million from $51.9 million.Same-store sales at locations open at least a year was down 3.9 per cent in the fourth quarter and down 4.7 per cent for the full year, while the number of cafes as of Dec. 27 was 347, down from 356 a year earlier.In December, Second Cup launched a key part of that plan by opening a store in downtown Toronto that had a new look and notably different approach to making coffee.The remodelled store featured a curved bar to encourage a more communal experience while an array of high-end brewing machines added character to the brewing process.“Once we’re really satisfied with it, then we will roll that (design) out to new cafes and cafes that are under renovation,” Box said.Second Cup aims to renovate 35 to 40 per cent of its franchised locations by the end of 2017, which amounts to as many as 139 stores across the country.Follow @dj_friend on Twitter. by David Friend, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 9, 2015 7:51 am MDT Second Cup to launch loyalty program, push for more renovations this year read more

José Graziano da Silva reelected as head of UN Food and Agriculture

The election took place on the first day of FAO’s biennial governing Conference, which is running in Rome, where the agency is headquartered, through 13 June. According to a press release, in ballot by FAO member countries today, Mr. Graziano da Silva received a total of 177 out of 182 votes cast.Nominated by Brazil, Graziano da Silva was the only candidate during this year’s election cycle. His new term will run from 31 July 2015 to through July 2019.Addressing the plenary after his re-election, Mr. Graziano da Silva reaffirmed FAO´s commitment to ending hunger and malnutrition.Since taking up the post of FAO Director-General, Mr. Graziano da Silva has spearheaded major transformational changes within the Organization, making FAO more responsive to its Members’ needs.He sharpened the focus of FAO’s work on five strategic objectives, with the new goal of totally eradicating hunger and malnutrition. He also reinforced institutional capacities both in the agency’s headquarters and in the field; found significant cost-savings by streamlining administrative procedures; increased collaboration with external partners; and enhanced support for South-South Cooperation. Mr. Graziano da Silva joined FAO in 2006 as the head of its Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean and was first elected Director-General on 26 June 2011. Prior to that, he led the team that designed Brazil’s highly-successful ‘Zero Hunger’ (‘Fome Zero’) programme and led its initial implementation.José Graziano da Silva is the eighth FAO Director-General since the Organization’s founding in 1945. read more

Beside The Points For Thursday May 3 2018

See more NBA predictions All newsletters Oh, and don’t forgetDisgusting, Washington We’re launching a sports newsletter. 🏆 Join the squad. Subscribe Things That Caught My EyeTanks for playingAccording to FiveThirtyEight’s Elo projections, there are eight teams in the MLB on track to lose 90 games, four of whom are on track to lose in the range of about 100 games. That is the most potential 90-game losers at this point in the season since at least 1969. This is exactly what Major League Baseball needs to win the next generation of baseball fans: a season where more than a quarter of the league is not even trying to succeed. [FiveThirtyEight]Is there a better way?This uniquely dismal state of baseball has prompted some serious introspection, and ESPN’s here with some wild ideas to fix the mess. One idea: what if every team made the playoffs? By restructuring the MLB postseason the league can make every game count for every team. This is important, because literally 14 out of 30 teams entered the 2018 season with a 10 percent or less chance of making the playoffs. When roughly half the fans of the sport have absolutely no reason to tune in, maybe the MLB needs to be worried. [ESPN]Maria Konnikova finds true callingMaria Konnikova is a New Yorker writer who is writing a book about the world of professional poker. In reporting out the book, it turns out Maria Konnikova is outstanding at poker, winning $57,519 in an Asia Pacific Poker Tour Macau event where she finished second. The book writing is reportedly on hold, and is planned for summer or fall of 2019. [Deadspin]Try out our interactive, Which World Cup Team Should You Root For?Derby day!The Kentucky Derby is this Saturday, in case any readers were reaching for a valid excuse to get drunk in the middle of the afternoon. The favorite is “Justify,” a horse with 3-1 odds of winning the Derby. Is horse racing a sport? Tonight I will find out based on your emails in response to this item. [The New York Times]Fountain of youthSeventeen of the 32 players selected in round one of the NFL draft will be aged 21 or younger come the start of the season, the highest number in this century. It’s just the latest in a trend where the average age of a first round pick has fallen from 22.6 in 2000 to 21.7 today. [FiveThirtyEight]England did fine I guess despite their enormous advantagesLiverpool made the UEFA Champions League finals after kind of sort of dispatching Roma. An English team hasn’t made the final in six seasons, which is crazy, because the English Premiere League has 14 of the 30 richest clubs in the sport and is the richest football league on the planet. [FiveThirtyEight]Big Number(s)3 reportersThe New Orleans Pelicans have an extremely small professional press corps, with generally just Scott Kushner of The Advocate, Will Guillory of and the Times-Picayune, and Jim Eichenhofer of the Pelicans’ own website showing up to cover home games. With their success in the playoffs, New Orleans has seen some national reporters parachute in, but three professional conventional press reporters is quite low for any professional sports league. [The Ringer]Leaks from Slack: walt:Shaq Appears To Have An Insane Method For Saving Money On Gasolineandrea:hahahareminds me of a cartoon I read a million years ago where a waiter asks a customer whether she’d like the pizza she just ordered cut into 4 or 6 pieces and she says “Four! I could never eat six slices of pizza.” If I were better at google I would just find the thing.neil:Shaq is like, this close, to stumbling across the Banach–Tarski paradox and having his mind truly blownPredictions NBA read more

Wrestling No 2 Ohio State handles No 14 Minnesota with 317 victory

Ohio State senior Kyle Snyder peeks at the scoreboard while battling Kent State redshirt junior Devin Nye on November 21, 2017 in Columbus. Credit: Colin Barringer | For The LanternThe No. 2 Ohio State (9-0, 4-0 Big Ten) men’s wrestling team won comfortably 31-7 against No. 14 Minnesota (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten) Friday night at the Schottenstein Center. In a match between two top competitors in the 125-pound weight class, No. 1 Nathan Tomasello took on No. 4 Ethan Lizak. This was Tomasello’s first home match of the season, after making his season debut Jan. 5 on the road at Maryland. He missed the opening portion of the season with a right knee injury.The first period was quiet, with no points scored until Tomasello came up with a late takedown to go up 2-0. In the second, Tomasello capitalized quickly with a takedown and near-fall against Lizak. This put Tomasello up 8-1 following a Lizak escape. Tomasello went on to score more takedowns, and won 18-3 via technical fall. “I just was wanting to put out a dominant performance, and I felt like I did that,” Tomasello said.Tomasello’s victory with bonus points gave the Buckeyes a 17-0 lead after the first four matches of the meet. The first matchup of the night was between Ohio State junior Myles Martin, and Minnesota redshirt freshman Dylan Anderson at 184 pounds. Martin got the Buckeyes off to a fast start and won a 17-7 majority decision. Ohio State No. 1 Kollin Moore beat Minnesota’s Robert Stevenson 7-4 at 197 pounds. He scored three takedowns, plus a bonus point, to defeat Stevenson. Kyle Snyder beat Rylee Streifel 24-9 at heavyweight, scoring 11 takedowns. “[Streifel] did a pretty good job in the first period with that, but I thought I wrestled pretty well overall,” Snyder said. “Minnesota always studies their opponents pretty well, and tries to find ways to slow people down.”Dropped matches by Ohio State’s Joey McKenna and No. 13 Te’Shan Campbell at 141 pounds and 165 pounds, respectively, showed Minnesota’s unwillingness to give up. McKenna led 2-1 after the first period, but junior Thomas Thorn battled back, and earned two four-point near-falls to take the lead 9-2. Thorn added another takedown to extend the lead in the third period. “As well as some guys wrestled tonight, this team is better than we wrestled tonight,” Ohio State head coach Tom Ryan said.Thorn won 12-3 against McKenna, and Campbell lost 8-5 to Minnesota’s No. 9 Nick Wanzek. Ohio State No. 2 Luke Pletcher remained undefeated, holding off Steve Polakowski 9-6 at 133 pounds. Buckeye Ke-Shawn Hayes also won an 11-2 majority decision against Ben Brancale at 149 pounds. Ohio State No. 6 Micah Jordan faced No. 18 Jake Short at 157 pounds, and came out victorious after a series of takedowns and a four-point near-fall in the third period. Ohio State’s next opponent is No. 7 Iowa, who it faces Jan. 21 at the Schottenstein Center. read more

UK food bank usage rises again with benefit delays the most common

first_imgThe number of people in the UK having to rely on food banks to eat has increased again this year, according to a leading charity.The Trussell Trust, which operates hundreds of food banks across the country, gave out three-day food parcels to 519,342 people in the six months to the end of September – including 188,584 to children.This is an increase compared to the 506,369 parcels the charity gave out during the equivalent months of 2015 and means that the Trussell Trust is on course to deliver a record number of food parcels this year. British director Ken Loach celebrates on stage after being awarded with the Palme d'Or for the film "I, Daniel Blake" during the closing ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 22, 2016 Use regions/landmarks to skip ahead to chart.Regional variation in Trussell Trust food bank usage. Percentage change in visitor volume between first halves of 2015-16 and 2016-17Long description.No description available.Structure.Chart type: column chart.column series with 12 columns.The chart has 1 X axis displaying categories.The chart has 1 Y axis displaying values.Chart graphic.Regional variation in Trussell Trust food bank usageRegional variation in Trussell Trust food bank usage – Highcharts CloudRegional variation in Trussell Trust food bank usagePercentage change in visitor volume between first halves of 2015-16 and2016-17Percentage change in visitor volume between first halves of 2015-16 and 2016-17Northern IrelandEast MidlandsEastNorth WestScotlandWalesSouth WestWest MidlandsSouth EastYorkshire & HumberLondonNorth East-40%-30%-20%-10%0%10%20%30%40%50%Source: Trussell Trust One of the scenes in Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or winning film I, Daniel Blake takes place in a food bankCredit:Valerie Hache/AFP The number of food banks operating in the UK has increased in recent years and they have come to be seen by many as symbolic of a widening inequality gap.There are hundreds of small independent food bank operators across the UK so the Trussell Trust’s statistics alone cannot be used as a measure of the raw volume of people needing emergency food.However, due to their nationwide coverage, Trussell Trust food banks can be used as a way to gauge trends in demands for emergency food and the factors driving people to need it.The most common reason for people needing to attend a Trussell Trust food bank was because of delays in receiving benefits payments or due to changes in the benefits they were entitled to.Over two in five people attending Trussell Trust food banks between April and September this year gave benefits changes or delays as one the reasons they needed emergency food. Use regions/landmarks to skip ahead to chart.Food parcels distributed by the Trussell Trust. Three-day emergency food parcels given out at food banks between April and SeptemberLong description.No description available.Structure.Chart type: column chart.column series with 3 columns.The chart has 1 X axis displaying values.The chart has 1 Y axis displaying values.Chart graphic.Food parcels distributed by the Trussell TrustFood parcels distributed by the Trussell Trust – Highcharts CloudFood parcels distributed by the Trussell TrustThree-day emergency food parcels given out at food banks between Apriland SeptemberThree-day emergency food parcels given out at food banks between April and September492 641492 641506 369506 369519 342519 3422014201520160100k200k300k400k500k600kSource: Trussell Trust Use regions/landmarks to skip ahead to chart.Reasons for Trussell Trust food bank usage. Proportion of attendees who gave each reason for needing emergency food, April-September 2016Long description.No description available.Structure.Chart type: column chart.column series with 6 columns.The chart has 1 X axis displaying categories.The chart has 1 Y axis displaying values.Chart graphic.Reasons for Trussell Trust food bank usageReasons for Trussell Trust food bank usage – Highcharts CloudReasons for Trussell Trust food bank usageProportion of attendees who gave each reason for needing emergency food,April-September 2016Proportion of attendees who gave each reason for needing emergency food, April-September 2016Benefit delaysLow incomeBenefit changesDebtHomelessnessSickness0%5%10%15%20%25%30%Source: Trussell Trust A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: “Reasons for food bank use are complex so it’s misleading to link them to any one issue and the vast majority of benefits are processed on time.“We know that work is the best route out of poverty and employment is at a record high. But for those who need extra support, we provide a strong safety net through the welfare system, including hardship payments, benefit advances and budgeting loans.”The DWP also noted that Jobcentre Plus District Managers already have the flexibility to work with food banks on a local level if they wish, as they do with other local community initiatives such as hostels for homeless people.An example of a local partnership on food banks is the Lalley Centre in Manchester where a Work Coach currently visits the centre one day each month. Low income was the second most common reason for needing emergency food, with one in four food bank attendees citing it.David McAuley, Chief Executive of The Trussell Trust, said: “As the number of emergency food parcels provided to people by food banks rises once again, it’s clear that more can be done to get people back on their feet faster. Many food banks now host independent welfare and debt advisers but they cannot solve all the issues.“To stop UK hunger we must make sure the welfare system works fairly and compassionately, stopping people getting to a point where they have no money to eat.”It feels like we could be seeing a new era at the DWP with a consultation on Work Capability Assessments and willingness to engage in dialogue with charities working on the front line. A telephone hotline could build on this and go a long way to improving food banks ability to help get people out of a crisis faster.” On a regional level, Northern Ireland saw the largest increase in Trussell Trust food bank usage with numbers up by 43 per cent in the six months to the end of September 2016 compared with the equivalent period in 2015.The East Midlands saw the next largest increase (up 16.4 per cent), while the North East was the only region to see the number of visitors to Trussell Trust food banks decrease compared to last year. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.last_img read more

Googles Motorola Mobility purchase what does it mean

first_imgAs I’m sure you’ve heard by now, unless you live under the coolest rock ever, the world was stunned yesterday as Google announced that it was purchasing the year-old spinnoff Motorola Mobility. While Android fans around the world were seeing double rainbows, drooling at the possibilities, we here at decided to explore the possibilities of this union, and the potential to permanently alter the tech world as we know it. What are the possibilities of this purchase, should it go through? How does the affect the tech landscape?UnderstandingGoogle has announced an intent to buy. Much like the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile, this must be approved before anything happens, and that is not going to be a very quick process. Some estimates put the completion of this purchase at either the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012. Of the many things that could slow this down, accusations of antitrust or companies who oppose the purchase are just a couple of things on a very long list. It’s also important to point out that Google is not buying Motorola. Google has stated an intention to buy Motorola Mobility, the mobile and home branch of Motorola that was split off into its own company last year.Additionally, if anything should go wrong and the purchase not happen, Google has agreed to a blackout figure of nearly 3 billion dollars to be awarded to Motorola Mobility. The company wouldn’t be folded into Google immediately, either. As it stands right now, Motorola Mobility will remain a separate company under Google.Why Motorola?Of the comments that I saw across the web in the last 24 hours, one of the most prevalent was “Why not HTC/Samsung/LG/etc?” It’s a good question, though one with a pretty simple answer. This purchase was all about the patents. Motorola, for all intents and purposes, pioneered the cellphone. The many years of service in this industry has earned them over 17,500 patents and 7,500 patent applications relating to mobility products. There’s a pretty good reason Apple went after HTC and Samsung with far more vigor then Motorola, and it’s not because they were infringing any more or less then Moto. With a massive stack of mobility patents as an arsenal, Google would be able to better defend Android from those looking to usurp the inflatable bouncy castle that is the Android empire.What about everyone else?Some might think that this purchase would have a negative effect on Android. After all, if Google’s in bed with Motorola, what chance to HTC, Samsung, LG, Huawei, Sony, or anyone else have of producing a device of similar caliber? Well, as we’ve noted already, Morotola Mobility is going to still exist as a separate company, and they have no intention of switching to stock Android for their devices. Google’s Larry Page tried to address this on Google+ earlier today, issuing statements from many of Google’s partners with positive remarks about the purchase and its long term benefits for everyone running Android.On a tangentially related note, where would the other manufacturers go, exactly? According to Gartner, Windows Phone sold less then Samsung’s BADA OS this past quarter. even when Mango arrives for Windows Phone, Microsoft and their partners have a long hill to climb before Windows Phone is a platform viable to manufacturers again. Then there’s WebOS, which has rumored to soon be available to license, though that news is probably a little less enticing after mediocre sales. Even RIM is faltering, especially now that the Playbook 4G has been dropped.Whether it’s good or bad, Android is the only viable platform right now if what you want is sales. At this point in time, whether or not the other partners like the purchase is irrelevant, as Android has cornered the market.Not just AppleIt seems like there’s some misunderstanding that Google did this just to thwart Apple. What many people may not know is that Android faces a far greater threat than having its OEMs picked off one by one after years in court across the globe. Oracle, the current owners of Java, the language on which Android is largely based, have had their sights set on Google since they acquired the Java patents during their purchase of Sun Microsystems.While Motorola’s patent stack is not directly aimed at Oracle, the library of possibilities offered by Motorola will give Google more artillery against Oracle. There’s also the comglomerate that now owns the Nortel patents to keep in mind as well. By purchasing Motorola’s patents, Google has what it needs to stave off an attack from any of the companies that seem to be circling.Keep Your GoodbyesAmidst the cheers that rang out from starry eyed Android fans today was the celebration of the death of The Motorola Experience, more commonly known by its previous name of Motoblur. Google has announced that they have no current plans to affect how Motorola Mobility deploys software, and that includes bootloaders. As I said before, for now they are two separate companies under a single banner.We’ve seen Motorola be the favorite of Google several times in the past, most notably the original Droid and the recent Motorola Xoom were given first crack at software that wasn’t even available to developers yet. It’s possible that will continue in other ways as well, though only time will tell as to what degree, including the Google Nexus program. While Google has just as much ability as any other manufacturer to court Google for the next Nexus phone, Google has no plans to play favorites. The Nexus program will remain, as it always has, a project available to all of Google’s partners.The future of Google TV and ChromeOSWhile nothing has been announced, Motorola and Google have some other gadgets in common, not just smartphones. Many digital TV providers have been switching to Motorola set top boxes for high definition digital television. While right now Google has a deal with DirecTV, it would be a huge deal to be able to just hand the cable providers Google TV ready set top boxes and could easily saturate the market in oh… about five years. If Google TV is still around that long, it likely won’t look anything like what we’ve got now (or even the future version we leaked a little while ago) but it could give Google the in-home search it has been pining for.The other avenue that is somewhat exclusive to Motorola and Google respectively is Chrome OS. Motorola released a laptop shaped dock this year for their high-end smartphones, giving them tremendous battery life and extended their capabilities to include a complete web browser and a linux-based OS to be more productive in. It turned out this suited a pretty niche market, but those that wanted it have been pretty happy with it, from what I have seen. That reminds me of another niche device, the Chrombook. If Google were to replace the OS onboard the Lapdock and modify ChromeOS to handle the data coming to and from the phone, it would open Google up to a whole new realm of possibilities with their Chromebook line.Final ThoughtsIn a perfect world, by which I mean Google’s perfect world, this purchase will solve all of their problems and make Android untouchable. In reality, however, there are far too many variables to begin counting on this purchase to be a cure-all. It’s important to keep in mind that at a minimum this will probably level the playing field, which might not be a good thing. Google’s competitors might not be able to attack them, but they certainly aren’t going anywhere. If Google sticks to this plan to just kind of ignore Motorola Mobility except for to tap its patent wallet, we could be heading towards a stagnant market. Many of Android’s OEMs won’t be leaving the platform because there is no where else to go. In a stagnant market, neither side bothers with real innovations, as they are too busy keeping the status quo.As smartphone users, we’ve been enjoying a long stride of innovation and enhancements. If that slows down or stops it could bring the entire smartphone ecosystem crashing down on top of itself. If the OS manufacturers stop innovating and creating, how long before the developers for those platforms file suit? Or am I the only one who remember Windows ME?last_img read more

iPad 3 will have LTE according to previouslycorrect source

first_imgSome details of the next iPad appear to be set in stone. That 2048×1536 Retina Display is a great example. Numerous supply chain leaks have all but confirmed it, and Apple put any doubt to rest with its image for Wednesday’s event that clearly shows the high-res display.Other iPad 3 features, however, have some uncertainty surrounding them. One big questions is whether the imminent tablet is going to provide LTE connectivity. If a new report from iMore has any legs, then the answer is a resounding “yes.”The report supposedly comes from the same source that accurately predicted that the event would be on Wednesday, March 7. It says that the Verizon and AT&T versions of the iPad 3 will ride on the carriers’ speedy LTE networks. Sprint, who won’t be unrolling its LTE coverage until later this year, is expected to be left in the dark.If this rumor turns out to be accurate, then this will be Apple’s first device that utilizes 4G of any kind — let alone LTE. You could argue that the AT&T iPhone 4S sort of has “4G,” with its HSPA 14.4 speeds; but its speeds tend to hover much closer to 3G than to LTE. The LTE iPad would naturally serve as a prelude to an LTE iPhone 5 that would (likely) be released either in June/July or October.The source of this rumor didn’t stop short at LTE. He also added that the chip in the next iPad will indeed be quad-core. Conflicting reports have jousted over whether it will be a quad-core A6 SoC or an advanced dual-core A5X chip. Either way, the iPad 3 is universally expected to be faster and have an upgraded GPU over the A5 in the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S.Despite the clear picture of the iPad 3 that leaks and rumors have painted, there are still some areas of uncertainty. All questions will be answered on Wednesday morning; you can drop by Geek for full iPad 3 coverage.via iMorelast_img read more

Amazon and Tesla Have Some of the Most Dangerous Facilities in the

first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Amazon Employees Join Sept. 20 Global Climate WalkoutGeek Pick: Amazon Smart Plug Puts Alexa in Your Walls Stay on targetcenter_img While tech giants may once have been the golden bois of the modern world, they’ve definitely been pretty bad of late. Yahoo failed to notify its customers of one of the largest data breaches ever, and Facebook has been staring down some similar fire from Congress. But Amazon and Tesla are apparently death cults. By which, of course, I mean it’s apparently really dangerous to work there. Like… really bad.In a new report from the advocacy group the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, has listed both of the companies on their “Dirty Dozen,” a list of the most dangerous places to work in the US. The report stated that both companies reported high injury rates as well as a persistent stubbornness when addressing problems. The companies also struggled to manage unnecessary risks. Amazon alone as had seven workers die in its warehouses over the past few years. The main cause? A “relentless demand” to fill orders, regardless of working conditions. Teslam on the other hand, had 83% higher rates of serious injuries vs the rest of the car industry, on top of numerous OSHA violations. Other companies that made the list include Lowe’s for its use of toxic chemicals and DineEquity (a parent company for many restaurants, including Applebee’s and IHOP) for numerous unaddressed sexual harassment complaints.Make of this what you will, but it’s hard to shake the idea that both companies have more than enough cash (and are head by some of the world’s most prominent billionaires) that it seems like they shouldn’t have an issue keeping pace with industry standards on things as basic as safety. But… Eh. We are living in the worst timeline, so who knows.What’s clear, though, is that many tech companies play fast and loose with regulation and accountability as a general rule, and we are bearing the brunt of that — with our lives and limbs. But hey, at least you get your pointless crap in two days (most of the time).last_img read more

Unimaginable destruction Hurricane smashes rows of houses

first_imgPANAMA CITY, Fla. — The devastation inflicted by Hurricane Michael came into focus Thursday with rows upon rows of homes found smashed to pieces, and search crews began making their way into the stricken areas in hopes of accounting for hundreds of people who may have defied evacuation orders.At least two deaths were blamed on Michael, the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental U.S. in over 50 years, and it wasn’t done yet: Though reduced to a tropical storm, it brought flash flooding to North Carolina and Virginia, soaking areas still recovering from Hurricane Florence.Under a perfectly clear blue sky, families living along the Florida Panhandle emerged tentatively from darkened shelters and hotels to a perilous landscape of shattered homes and shopping centers, beeping security alarms, wailing sirens and hovering helicopters.Gov. Rick Scott said the Panhandle woke up to “unimaginable destruction.”“So many lives have been changed forever. So many families have lost everything,” he said.The full extent of Michael’s fury was only slowly becoming clear, with some of the hardest-hit areas difficult to reach because of roads blocked by debris or water. An 80-mile stretch of Interstate 10, the main east-west route along the Panhandle, was closed.Some of the worst damage was in Mexico Beach, where the hurricane crashed ashore Wednesday as a Category 4 monster with 155 mph (250 kph) winds and a storm surge of 9 feet (2.7 meters). Video from a drone revealed widespread devastation across the town of about 1,000 people.last_img read more

Its hurry up and wait for state gasline corporations federal permitting schedule

first_imgAlaska Gasline Development Corporation President Keith Meyer gives a lunchtime update on the Alaska LNG project on Thursday, January 25, 2018, in Juneau, Alaska. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/Alaska’s Energy Desk)In mid-January, Alaska’s gasline corporation filed tens of thousands of pages of documents with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).Listen nowNow, the state is waiting for the commission to make a decision on if, and when, the state can get to work on its massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project.Last week, the head of Alaska’s gasline corporation landed in Juneau for two days of meetings with lawmakers and updates on the Alaska LNG project. In between those meetings, Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) President Keith Meyer sat down to answer some questions on the federal permitting process.In mid-January, the state corporation announced that it finished several months of work filing responses to questions FERC had on its application for the Alaska LNG project. Those questions were on everything from impacts on Alaska native culture to how the project could impact fish in the water bodies it crosses.With those answers, the application has ballooned from 36,000 pages that the state corporation filed last year — to a current total just shy of 100,000 pages.Now, Meyer and the state corporation are hoping that the federal commission will put out a schedule for completing that environmental review.And that could happen, or the federal commission could just come back to the state with more questions.The state corporation is on a tight deadline to get that permit. Meyer said he wants to start construction in the second half of 2019. They’re trying to build a facility on the North Slope, an 800-mile long pipeline and a large plant in Southcentral Alaska and bring it online right around 2025. Meyer calls that a “window” when global natural gas demand is projected to skyrocket.And that federal schedule will be packed with public comment periods, outside review of the project, and there will be other federal agencies that want permits. Some analysts have said it could take years to get through that process.Meyer said he thinks the federal commission can get through an environmental review, on what is likely the largest project in its history, in 11 months.“We certainly think that’s possible. Where there’s a will there’s a way. So we hope there’s a will,” Meyer said.That’s because Meyer said huge portions of the projects 800-miles of pipeline have already been studied.“With this project, the corridor is an existing corridor that we are going down. It already has a pipeline in it. The oil pipeline has a road in it and then we deviate from the pipeline corridor and follow road and rail. So it’s all existing corridors,” Meyer said.Additionally, the Army Corps of Engineers has been working with the state on another, smaller gas pipeline project.“It’s basically the same route,” Meyer said.Meyer said that means the environmental review work doesn’t need to be duplicated.“What we really want FERC to do is take a look at the work done by the Army Corps and use that as the starting point rather than start everything from scratch,” Meyer said. As the state corporation moves forward with its federal regulatory process Meyer says it has also picked up negotiations with the gas producers on the North Slope.BP, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil were originally partnered with the state in developing this project — but pulled out in 2016 citing a tough global market. The companies still control the natural gas on the North Slope, a federal export permit and some of the land needed for the project. The producers have met with Gov. Bill Walker in recent weeks and Meyer said they are motivated to get the pipeline into the ground so they can sell their gas.“We don’t expect them to be a big investor in the project, but it’s material and we have support from all of them,” Meyer said. “They want to get the gas supply agreements done, as do we.”There are some other potential snags. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough and City of Valdez are fighting to get the project re-routed.But, Meyer says he doesn’t want to change the project now.“That’s the horse we’ve picked and that’s the one we’re going to ride to the finish,” Meyer said.last_img read more