AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreResearchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a way to concentrate solar energy so that each photovoltaic cell produces 100 times the power of a conventional solar panel, which could have major implications for homeowners hoping to save money while helping the environment.Using carbon nanotubes (hollow tubes of carbon atoms), MIT chemical engineers can now funnel solar energy into antennas that capture and focus light energy, potentially allowing for much smaller and more powerful solar arrays.“Instead of having your whole roof be a photovoltaic cell, you could have little spots that were tiny photovoltaic cells, with antennas that would drive photons into them,” says Michael Strano, the Charles and Hilda Roddey Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and leader of the research team. Strano and his students describe their new carbon nanotube antenna, or “solar funnel,” in the Sept. 12 online edition of the journal Nature Materials. The antenna consists of a thin fibrous rope (about four millionths of a meter thick), containing about 30 million carbon nanotubes. Strano and his team have not yet built a photovoltaic device using the antenna, but they plan to. In such a device, the antenna would concentrate photons before the photovoltaic cell converts them to an electrical current. This could be done by constructing the antenna around a core of semiconducting material. While the cost of carbon nanotubes was once prohibitive, it has been coming down in recent years as chemical companies build up their manufacturing capacity. “At some point in the near future, carbon nanotubes will likely be sold for pennies per pound, as polymers are sold,” says Strano. Strano’s team is now working on ways to minimize the energy lost as energized electrons flow through the fiber, and on ways to generate more energy per photon. The nanotube bundles described in the Nature Materials paper lose about 13 percent of the energy they absorb, but the team is working on new antennas that would lose only 1 percent. (Read more in MIT News)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore
Their juggling and puppet shows prove that entertainment doesn’t have to involve a whole bunch of Hollywood technology. But they do need horses and a second cart, so they are crowd-funding their tour.Kenn Musso, the Director and Cofounder of Elsewhere Events believes that a more sustainable society will be better equipped to find creative solutions for problems, and hopes to inspire children to look toward nature for solutions and fun.If you’re able to catch the performance, please let us know if the Hobbit drives a Prius.(WATCH their enchanting video below) – Story tip from Antti JalkanenAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreIs old-fashioned storytelling and merriment a thing of the past?Nay! The fantasy lives, and it’s eco-friendly.Inspired by the writings of J.R.R. Tolkein, ancient mythology and Victorian romanticism, The Travelers of Elsewhere circus troupe will be enchanting Scottish audiences this summer by performing in forests across the country–and sleeping under the stars while they do it.The small group will travel to local woodlands in a horse drawn carriage to perform in green spaces within walking distance of towns. Promoting love of the environment and sustainable lifestyles, the caravan will entertain with a mix of interactive theater, improvisation and storytelling in the midst of their encampment.Tiny Library in Dr. Who Box Restored for Neighbors by Random Kindness
by Laura Krantz vtdigger.org(link is external) Senators on Monday approved a proposal for a bureaucratic shuffle that has alarmed some state health officials. The Senate OK’d a budget amendment that would transfer oversight of the state office that runs substance abuse programs from the Health Department to the Department of Vermont Health Access, which manages the state’s publicly funded health insurance programs. The switch of the program away from the Health Department is not final because the budget has not passed in final form. The Secretary of Human Services, whose agency oversees both departments, opposes the proposal, as does the health commissioner.Secretary Doug Racine. VTD/Josh Larkin“I think we’re doing a good job, so why upset this apple cart?” Human Services Secretary Doug Racine said.The Office of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs, known as ADAP, works with the Department of Vermont Health Access (DVHA) to run the state’s new hub and spoke substance abuse treatment and recovery system, which officials say is extremely successful and a national model.Racine said ADAP and DVHA work well together and a shuffle will cause more harm than good. Administration officials were not consulted about the idea, he said.“I was not aware they had any issues with ADAP,” Racine said.The proposal to move ADAP is an amendment to the fiscal year 2015 budget. The Senate on Monday gave the budget preliminary approval.Sen. Jane Kitchel, D-Caledonia, is chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDiggerSenate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Jane Kitchel, D-Caledonia, presented the amendment to her committee last week. Kitchel on Monday said the switch has to do with the source of ADAP’s funding, as well as promoting accountability.Much of ADAP’s funding comes from DVHA. Administration officials have said they expect DVHA to save $6.7 million next year by treating substance abuse patients through the hub and spoke system, which links methadone-dispensing hubs with local doctors and outpatient services.Administration officials proposed to transfer that savings to ADAP to reinvest it in substance abuse programs. As the Senate Appropriations Committee considered that potential transfer, the committee floated the idea of transferring ADAP to DVHA instead, Kitchel said.“The programs move, it’s just we’re putting all the funding together,” she said.The hub and spoke system builds on the state’s Blueprint for Health(link is external) and Community Health Team programs, which are run by DVHA, Kitchel said. DVHA also pays for much of the addiction treatment medication, she said.The transfer will streamline the treatment process and create more accountability and flexibility, she said. It should also result in better care for patients, she said.“What we’re trying to do is what is the best programmatic and functional alignment to manage the policy, manage the development of treatment and not fracture it,” Kitchel said.She is aware that the Agency of Human Services opposes the proposal.“Organizations find it very difficult to change, and ADAP has been in a variety of places,” she said.Racine said he intends to talk to Kitchel to learn more.Health Department Commissioner Harry Chen said Monday the proposal was an unwelcome 11th-hour surprise. The Health Department did not have a chance to comment, he said.“It is a proposal that could be very disruptive to the substance abuse treatment system we are creating, one that we hope will serve as a model for other states,” Chen said in an email.The amendment asks state officials to make sure the positions at ADAP that serve public health functions remain in the Department of Health. Positions and associated state and federal funding may be transferred to DVHA by June 30, 2015, the amendment says.If there are any savings as a result of the increased spending on hub and spoke, $30,000 should be used for needle exchange programs, the amendment says.It asks for a report to the Joint Fiscal Committee by September on the progress of the transfer. It should include a report on the impact to capacity and sustainability of residential substance abuse treatment facilities in the state, the amendment says.
Commercial Properties, Inc., Arizona’s largest locally owned commercial real estate brokerage, announced the sale of 4522-4530 N 7th Street in Downtown Phoenix, Arizona. Brandon Koplin of CPI’s Tempe Office Group represented the Buyer, Canal and Seventh, LLC.The ±12,613 SF, fully leased building was built in 1965 and is located just south of Camelback Road in the College Vista Subdivision adjacent to the Grand Canal. Brandon Koplin commented, “The buyer was motivated by the existing income on the property, excellent street frontage and future development potential on the 7th Street corridor.”The new owner, Canal and Seventh, LLC purchased the multi-tenant property, which closed at a value of $1.35 million.Just over a few blocks in the Camelback Corridor, Brandon Koplin also represented both sides of a Office Plaza deal at 4641-4645 N 12th Street in Phoenix, Arizona.The ±14,903 SF Class B, office plaza was built in 1982 and is just south of Camelback Road on the corner of 12th Street and Highland Avenue. Brandon Koplin stated, “12th Street Office Plaza sold to an owner/user, Arizona, LLC, in a quick 14 day escrow. The property is being updated cosmetically and 1/3 of the plaza will be available for lease.”The new owner/user, Arizona, LLC purchased the multi-tenant office plaza from the Gould Living Trust, which closed at value of $750,000.
Yahoo UK & Ireland: A group of Dutch scientists have studied penalty shoot-outs and have come up with some interesting findings.According to the boffins, goalkeepers tend to instinctively dive to the right in high pressure situations due to “animal instincts”, while in more normal situations they dive right or left an equal number of times.The bad news for England is that, despite the scientists at the University of Amsterdam using one of their penalty shoot-out defeats as a case study, they plan to pass over their full findings to the Netherlands national team.Read the whole story: Yahoo UK & Ireland More of our Members in the Media >
Share on Twitter People who participate in arts and craft activities and who socialize in middle and old age may delay the development in very old age of the thinking and memory problems that often lead to dementia, according to a new study published in the April 8, 2015, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.People age 85 and older make up the fastest growing age group in the United States and worldwide.“As millions of older US adults are reaching the age where they may experience these memory and thinking problem called Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), it is important we look to find lifestyle changes that may stave off the condition,” said study author Rosebud Roberts, MB, ChB, MS, of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “Our study supports the idea that engaging the mind may protect neurons, or the building blocks of the brain, from dying, stimulate growth of new neurons, or may help recruit new neurons to maintain cognitive activities in old age.” The study involved 256 people with an average age of 87 who were free of memory and thinking problems at the start of the study. The participants reported their participation in arts, such as painting, drawing and sculpting; crafts, like woodworking, pottery, ceramics, quilting, quilling and sewing; social activities, such as going to the theater, movies, concerts, socializing with friends, book clubs, Bible study and travel; and computer activities such as using the Internet, computer games, conducting web searches and online purchases.After an average of four years, 121 people developed mild cognitive impairment. Participants who engaged in arts in both middle and old age were 73 percent less likely to develop MCI than those who did not report engaging in artistic activities. Those who crafted in middle and old age were 45 percent less likely to develop MCI and people who socialized in middle and old age were 55 percent less likely to develop MCI compared to those who did not engage in like activities. Computer use in later life was associated with a 53 percent reduced risk of MCI.On the other hand, risk factors such as having the APOE gene, having high blood pressure in middle age, depression and risk factors related to blood vessels increased the risk of developing MCI. Pinterest LinkedIn Share on Facebook Email Share
Share on Facebook LinkedIn Share on Twitter Share Pinterest Email For nearly 15 years, Shisheva’s laboratory has studied the cellular functions of two enzymes, PIKfyve and Sac3, and one accessory protein ArPIKfyve – the three proteins originally discovered by her group from 1999 to 2007 – and the role these proteins play in disease mechanisms. Previous work by Shisheva’s team revealed that if the Sac3 enzyme is not bound and protected by ArPIKfyve, it is prone to a quick demise inside the cell. In addition, they found that this double ArPIKfyve-Sac3 protein complex is a part of a bigger, triple assembly incorporating the PIKfyve enzyme as well. The triple complex controls the production and turnover of one rare phospholipid molecule that controls the traffic of membranes towards the digestive system of the cell.It has remained a mystery why the Sac3 mutations are associated with neurodegeneration in humans, whereas the human mutations in PIKfyve are currently linked only to a relatively benign disease of the cornea. This led Shisheva’s team to believe that the double ArPIKfyve-Sac3 complex has separate functions in the brain. Shisheva’s group sought to identify brain-specific proteins that physically interact only with the double complex ArPIKfyve-Sac3.In a recent paper, “The protein complex of neurodegeneration-related phosphoinositide phosphatase Sac3 and ArPIKfyve binds the Lewy-body-associated Synphilin-1 preventing its aggregation,” published online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Shisheva and her research team characterized a novel interaction partner of the ArPIKfyve-Sac3 complex in the brain. The Journal of Biological Chemistry is the world’s largest and most cited journal based on PageRank algorithm.“We uncovered that the ArPIKfyve-Sac3 complex binds Synphilin-1, a protein already implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease through its interaction with alpha-synuclein,” said Shisheva. “As alpha-synuclein, Synphilin-1 is also entrapped in the abnormal Lewy body deposits. Our study revealed that the ArPIKfyve-Sac3 complex is an effective inhibitor of aggregate formation by Synphilin-1.”In addition, Shisheva’s team found that excessive levels of Sac3 cause protein self-aggregation and further facilitate the clumping by Synphilin-1. Not surprisingly, researchers in Japan have recently found that excessive Sac3 accumulates in Lewy bodies. Therefore, the ArPIKfyve-Sac3 complex may precipitate Parkinson’s disease manifestation in two ways: when it is too low and when Sac3 is disproportionally high. These observations raise the possibility that increasing the levels of the ArPIKfyve-Sac3 complex may have a beneficial effect in Parkinson’s disease.According to Shisheva, the ArPIKfyve-Sac3 complex could shift Synphilin-1 distribution from a form of multiple aggregates towards the soluble form. Future attempts to block aggregate formation or to break down formed aggregates of Synphilin-1 and, possibly, of alpha-synuclein, based on the ArPIKfyve-Sac3 complex may prove beneficial as a therapeutic approach in reducing neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease. The current study provides new insights into the neurodegeneration mechanisms and important clues about novel molecular means for reducing cytoplasmic aggregates in Parkinson’s diseases. More than one million people in the United States are afflicted with Parkinson’s disease, a progressive disorder of the brain that affects movement and coordination. The cause is typically unknown, and presently there is no cure for the disease.Scientists have discovered that the hallmark sign of Parkinson’s disease is the intraneuronal accumulation and progressive spreading of clumps in certain areas of the brain, known as Lewy bodies. These Lewy body inclusions are formed mainly through the accumulation of a protein, called alpha-synuclein. Because of a correlation between the extent of Lewy body clumps and the severity of the Parkinson’s clinical symptoms, it has been largely accepted that these inclusions accelerate the disease process. Therefore, identifying molecules and conditions which decrease or halt the formation of alpha-synuclein-containing toxic inclusions may be beneficial for Parkinson’s disease patients.A research team led by Assia Shisheva, Ph.D., professor of physiology in Wayne State University’s School of Medicine, has made breakthrough advancements on a new molecular mechanism that may provide a means to “melt” these pathological clumps.
Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… Young people from across the Region will have an opportunity to interact with the CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque via social media on 29 June 2015. The event, which is happening just before the Thirty Sixth Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM in Barbados, is an initiative of the CARICOM Youth Ambassadors. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #askSG on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Persons can share their questions and comments via any of these media, which will be monitored by the CYAs. The Secretary General will be available from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm to answer questions and host a discussion with the participating youngsters. The main topic of discussion will be ‘Entrepreneurship: CARICOM’s Economic Life-jacket’. According to Kishore Shallow, Vice Dean of Communications for the CARICOM Youth Ambassadors, many scholars share the view that entrepreneurship is the key to solving the problem of unemployment which is a major challenge for CARICOM countries. He said he thinks entrepreneurship could provide a major boost for CARICOM economies, and reduce the strain on governments, which could then divert more energy and resources to other critical areas such as health and education One of the main objectives of the social media interaction is to expose young people across the Region to the work of the CARICOM Secretariat and its organs. It also aims to highlight the strides made by the CARICOM Secretariat in the area of youth engagement and development. It will also allow the Secretary-General to share his opinion on entrepreneurship and give the average young person a chance to “interact” with him while sharing their views and opinions on CARICOM-related issues. This is not the first social media interaction with youth and the CARICOM Secretary-General. More than 37 000 hits were received from users of the CARICOM Youth Ambassadors Facebook page from one held in January 2014. It was hosted at the Secretariat’s headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana, and its purpose was to expose young people across the Region to the work of the CARICOM Secretariat and its organs. The forum was hosted in two parts. The first was spearheaded by Assistant Secretary-General in charge of Human and Social Development, Dr. Douglas Slater. Issues related to the CARICOM Youth Development Action Plan, which was developed to guide national policy, integrated planning and action regarding youth, were discussed. Shallow said the CYA’s chose to have another social media interaction with the CARICOM Secretary-General for young people because they have realised its value in sensitising them about topical issues in the Region, as well as to share and to receive feedback. It is hoped that this one will receive even more attention from the youth than the one last year. CARICOM SG’s social media interaction with youths a successYouth from across the Region as well as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) diaspora Monday evening got the opportunity to engage in a live social media interaction with the CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm. The event was hosted just before the Thirty-Sixth Meeting of the Conference of…June 30, 2015In “Anguilla”Social Media Interaction with CARICOM SG today Young people from across the Region will this evening be able to interact with CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque between 6 and 8pm. The event, which is happening just before the Thirty-Sixth Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM in Barbados, is an initiative of the CARICOM Youth…June 29, 2015In “Barbados”#AskSG876 about role of youth in advancing Single MarketYouth across the CARICOM Region will, once again, have an opportunity to interact with the CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, via social media on Monday, 2 July. The interaction begins at 4:30 pm in Jamaica, 5:30 pm in ECT, 3:30 pm in Belize, and 6:30 pm in Suriname. The main topic of…July 1, 2018In “Associate Member States”Share this on WhatsApp
Up Next:Phil Moore Joins Federated Auto Parts Distributors In this article: Print FARMINGTON HILLS, MI — GDX Automotive has appointed Howard Duxbury as COO and president, global. Duxbury came to GDX Automotive after senior management positions with TI Automotive and Siebe Automotive. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement “GDX is fortunate to have a proven automotive industry leader of Duxbury’s qualifications joining the team as we concentrate our efforts on improving operational performance of our global businesses,” said David Thursfield, GDX Automotive executive chairman. In addition to Duxbury’s appointment, GDX also announced the appointments of several senior executives who will report to Duxbury: Janice Stipp, executive vice president, administration and CFO. Stipp’s previous experience includes serving as finance director at TI Automotive Global Fuel Systems and vice president, finance of Oxford Automotive. Doug Chapple, president, North America. Chapple joined GDX Automotive in March 2005 after leading Sarnamotive Blue Water Inc., a supplier of injection molded plastic components. Mark Ploof, managing director, International Operations. An adviser to Cerberus Capital Management, has previous industrial restructuring and operational experience with General Electric. Ploof succeeds Mark Krupp in this position. Mark Krupp, vice president, North America special projects with responsibility for operational restructuring. For more information about GDX Automotive, visit: gdxautomotive.com. _______________________________________ Click Advertisement Don’t Miss:Cooper Names New VP, Global Supply Chain
Colonel Leonard Waterworth, Executive Director of the Port of Houston Authority, announced last week that he is stepping down as its Executive Director.Waterworth advised the Port Commission that he had accepted the role for two years, to help the Port Authority through recent transitions and to use his U.S. Army Corps of Engineers background to help obtain permits to deepen and widen the Port Authority’s container terminal channels. Having completed those matters, he advised that he wanted to pursue other opportunities, including personal travel.In making his announcement at the Port Commission meeting, he stated: “I take pride in our accomplishments on my two year anniversary with the Port Authority. I knew I could provide leadership stability during a transitional period for the Port Authority, but as a team we have achieved so much more.”He said: “Under the combined leadership of the Port Commission and management, the Port Authority has increased revenues and profitability to record levels. We obtained the first long-term commitments with two cruise lines to use the Bayport Cruise Terminal for its intended purpose. And, maybe most importantly, working with the Army Corps of Engineers, we are on the verge of obtaining the necessary permits to prepare our container terminals for the larger ships we will see from the Panama Canal expansion, and we achieved this objective in about half the expected time.”Waterworth continued: “I have been proud to lead the capable staff at the Port Authority, and to work in tandem with the Port Commission. I thank Commissioners for the opportunity to serve, and thank the staff for their dedicated work on behalf of the Port Authority, the premier economic engine for our region.”Janiece Longoria, Chairman of the Port Commission, congratulated Waterworth on his service: “My fellow Port Commissioners and I are grateful to the Colonel for his steady leadership and his service to the Port Authority during his tenure. He worked effectively on many endeavors including operational matters and the federal permit to deepen and widen the Bayport and Barbours Cut Channels. We are proud of what has been accomplished during the past two years, and the Port Commission wishes Len the very best in his future endeavors.”The Chairman further announced that the Port Commission has appointed Roger Guenther, Deputy Executive Director of Operations, as the Port Authority’s Executive Director, and said: “Given his background and experience, the growth in our business under his operational leadership, and his long and positive service for the Port of Houston Authority, we are confident that Mr. Guenther is the right choice as successor to lead the institution as we move forward.”[mappress]Press Release, February 5, 2014
Ships agency services and maritime logistics had been provided in Japan by Wilhelmsen Aall Ships Service and these will combine with the full range of services offered by Wilhelmsen Ships Service to give a seamless continuity to customers under the new Wilhelmsen Ships Service banner across the region.Neal de Roche, area director North East Asia explains the process. “A management restructure during 2008 moved Wilhelmsen Aall Ships Service considerably forward” he said. “Customer feedback over the next couple of years was very positive and the company gained considerable market share in that period.”Wilhelmsen Ships Service then took steps to acquire 100 percent ownership of Wilhelmsen Aall Ships Service, with the objective of accelerating the combination of resources and business opportunities within the existing Wilhelmsen Ships Service entities already in Japan.De Roche adds “It has always been our priority to ensure we operate with daily Wilhelmsen Ships Service values, governance and policies. This acquisition will allow us to move at a faster pace in aligning ourselves with the overall strategy and vision we have for the future in the region.”
Berard Transportation moved the 80 m x 18 m vessel from its position in a fabrication yard to the drydock in preparation for launch.Challenging weather conditions and nearly a week’s worth of rain made ground conditions very poor. Upon Polaris’ arrival at the drydock, Berard rotated the vessel by 90 degrees in preparation for the load-out. Then the drydock’s water pumps were activated and the load slid forward to its final position, ready to be discharged into the water. www.berardtrans.com
CES and its UK distributor, Shad Group, presented the VRS-K, which boasts a lifting capacity of 150 tonnes, to CS Wind at its newly developed offshore wind turbine tower manufacturing plant in Campbeltown, Scotland.CS Wind is utilising the pair of reachstackers for handling wind tower components. The new equipment was demonstrated with the lift and move of a 111-tonne wind tower section across the facility (pictured below). The new VRS-K heavy-duty reachstacker joins CES’s VRS-J and VRS-L models, which offer 120-tonne and 250-tonne lifting capacities respectively.Nicolas Huthloff, managing director of CES Group, said the new reachstacker is an industry first, not just due to its high lifting capacity but also its variable telescopic wheelbase, which allows for up to seven different wheelbases and capacities in one machine.”The sliding, extending chassis keeps ground pressure very low,” added Peter Doggett, managing director of Shad Group. “This is a major investment on the part of CS Wind and the operations here will not work without these machines… The reachstackers have been designed from the ground up and CS Wind is the first customer in the world.”Huthloff added: “We do see a growing demand in heavy-duty reachstackers. Currently you must use self-propelled modular transporters (SPMT) and crawler cranes to lift and move weights more than 130 tonnes. Investment is far higher for two crawler cranes and SPMTs, in comparison to two reachstackers, so the customer can save a lot of costs.”Huthloff has also identified the oil and gas and steel industries as target markets for the VRS reachstacker range.Doggett also said that the reachstackers are more reliable and cheaper to maintain than using a combination of crawler cranes and SPMTs.According to Dong Energy, which made a multi-million dollar investment in CS Wind’s new offshore tower manufacturing facility, the new location will be able to produce at least 50 towers a year for the UK’s burgeoning wind energy industry. CES presents the reachstackers to CS Wind. www.cesgroup.euwww.cswinduk.comwww.shadgroup.co.ukwww.dongenergy.com
The Crown Prosecution Service has taken the unusual step of clarifying how it makes charging decisions after being heavily criticised for pressing ahead with a case against TV presenter Caroline Flack, who died on Saturday.In December the 40-year-old host of reality TV show Love Island was charged with assault after allegedly attacking her boyfriend at her home. Flack pleaded not guilty and a trial was due to take place next month. However, on Saturday her family said she died.The news prompted widespread criticism of the way Flack has been treated in the media since the alleged incident and the CPS’s decision to prosecute her.A CPS spokesperson said: ‘Our deepest sympathies go to the family and friends of Caroline Flack. Given the tragic circumstances, we will not comment on the specifics of this case at this stage.’However, yesterday the prosecuting body posted a detailed explanation of how it decides whether to charge an individual with a criminal offence.The CPS said it had to review every case referred by the police and applied the same two-stage test to every charging decision: does the evidence provide a realistic prospect of conviction and is it in the public interest to prosecute?Guidance for prosecutors when considering domestic abuse allegations gives specific advice on how to proceed when a complainant does not want to support a prosecution ‘which can often be a feature of these difficult cases’. Guidance was recently published for prosecutors in cases involving suspects or defendants with mental health conditions or disorders.
THE CHAIRMAN of Pakistan’s Railway Board Kurshid Ahmad Khan joined ceremonies at Lahore station on January 15 to dispatch the first cross-border train to India for more than two years. The Samjhauta Express between Lahore and Delhi had been discontinued in 2001.A three-year agreement to restore freight and passenger services was signed by representatives from the two railways at a two-day conference in Delhi on December 18-19. The passenger service will initially operate twice a week between Lahore and Attari, from where Indian Railways will provide connecting services to Amritsar, Delhi, Kanpur, Lucknow, Aligarh, Ilahabad, Saharanpur and Muradabad. Under the agreement, PR will be allowed to open its own ticket offices in the eight cities.PR General Manager Mohammad Iqbal Khatri expected cross-border freight services to resume a few days later.
HELLENIC RAILWAYS has called bids for detailed engineering design on the first phase of the proposed rail network intended to open up the western side of the country. Under an agreement signed by former Transport Minister Christos Verelis and EU Transport & Energy Commissioner Loyola de Palacio, the Western Railway Axis has been included in the list of TEN priority projects which will receive EU funding in 2006-14.The Western Railway comprises two main corridors. One will run west from the existing OSE terminus at Kozani through Kalambaka to Ioannina and Igoumenitsa on the Ionian Sea coast opposite Kerkyra (Corfu). The other will run south from Ioannina to Andírrion where it will cross the Gulf of Patros to the Peleponnese, where it will continue through Patras and Pyrgos to Kalamata on the south coast.The Greek government has committed to start work on the east-west route in 2006 for completion by 2012. The north-south corridor will follow in 2008 and should be finished by 2014.Plans have already been approved for the Kozani – Kalambaka – Ioannina – Igoumenitsa route, together with a branch from Siatista to Kastoria. Detailed alignments, preliminary technical work and geotechnical surveys have already begun, and the next step will be to complete an environmental impact assessment.To meet the deadlines agreed with the EU, the government decided earlier this year to push ahead with appointing consultants to undertake engineering design on the first phase. According to the official OJEU notice, this work is worth €21m. Meanwhile, preliminary design and geotechnical studies are getting underway for Phase B, together with hydraulic studies for the various tunnels. Work is also in hand to select locations and design station structures.