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Thursday, 15 August 2013

Climate For Change In Istanbul - But How Much Is Charity And How Much Is Business

CifCif (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ace News Services 
Subject: Climate for change in Istanbul or business as usual for those involved - Judge for yourself?
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A view of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. -   Photo: Shutterstock 
As the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) and its stakeholders from the private sector, government,  the multilateral development banks, civil society and indigenous peoples' groups gathered in Istanbul to participate in the first CIF Private Sector Forum, their attention is increasingly focused on synergies between the private and public in addressing climate change.  There is a growing understanding among both governments and private sector players - from investors to small project developers to large utility companies - that gains are much larger if common strategies are developed and new partnerships are forged.
Michael Liebreich, CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, opened the day with an energetic keynote address, provocative and positive, setting up the stage for the day by announcing the scope of challenge and opportunities for dynamic, and pragmatic climate investment strategies. Sessions on private sector adaptation, and business attitudes towards climate risk followed. The `Matching Expectations' panel brought together indispensable partners, the triangle of project developers-investors-policy makers, into discussion of regulations, fund raising challenges and investors' expectations and requirements. 
The day also showcased five CIF projects, beginning with the highlight of the Morocco Ouarzazate CSP project, a unique PPP model, presented by Paddy Padmanathan, the CEO of the project's developer ACWA Power. 
Consensus emerged that the private sector will deliver much of the innovation and finance required for investments in low carbon technologies and climate resilience in rich and poor communities alike. With scientists warning that we are not on a path to limit global warming to 2° or less, there is growing urgency to identify effective ways in which the public and private sectors can best work together to tackle and adapt to climate change.  The CIF provide a platform for learning by doing to develop such models for effective collaboration and share experiences among the network of CIF recipient and contributor countries.
The CIF are already demonstrating the gains that come from the public and private sectors working toward common purposes. In Turkey, the government has enacted supportive policies for RE and EE, but access to finance for these investments remains a barrier. The Clean Technology Fund (CTF) is helping to break through this barrier through a $50 million contribution to the Turkey Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (TURSEFF) - a credit facility developed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for business and household investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
By working through commercial banks, the facility is helping to build capacity among Turkey's banking sector to develop their own instruments for RE and EE financing. Turkish government officials participating in the CIF meetings in Istanbul cited this and other CTF investments as transformational in Turkey's transition toward a low carbon development path, by helping to create a conducive investment climate for clean technologies.
There is real buzz around the CIF's first global gathering targeting the private sector with more than 200 participants representing a wide range of perspectives expected. There is also new momentum from the CIF governance committees with a decision this week to provide resources for increased private sector participation under the Program for Scaling up Renewable Energy (SREP). And during the CIF pilot country meetings that have just concluded here in Istanbul, many countries expressed eagerness to learn from each other on how best to mobilize the private sector to contribute to achieving national targets responding to climate change. The CIF Private Sector Forum is a step in deepening the engagement between public and private actors to tackle one of the greatest challenges facing the world today.
Click here https://blogs.worldbank.org/climatechange/climate-change-istanbul to view full story.

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Government response: Water metering: response to an article in the Telegraph

Press Release: 10 August 2013 00:25
Subject: Government response: Water metering: response to an article in the Telegraph
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Their reply to the Telegraph: 

The myth

The Telegraph has claimed that there will be ‘compulsory water meters for millions of householders’ following a recently published report into water stressed areas.

The truth

This week we removed several water companies from the list of companies covering severely water stressed areas first published in 2007. No new areas have been added, so nothing has changed for the vast majority of water companies and water users.
Any suggestion that this has made it more likely that customers will face compulsory water metering is not true.
No water company is required to introduce compulsory metering, even if it is in an area of severe water stress.
Metering is just one of many ways water companies can manage water resources in their area.
The government is doing more than ever before to tackle water prices, securing a £50 rebate off the exceptionally high bills of those in the south west, bringing in social tariffs for the first time and, through our water bill, bringing in competition for all non-household users.
Which of these is the real truth? Read them both and research and judge for yourself?   

9 August, 2013 at 11:25pm

Reports that there will be 'compulsory water meters for millions of householders' are false


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Contracts with G4S and Serco -Press Release -Judge for Yourself!

This logo was used to illustrate an article on...This logo was used to illustrate an article on reacting to Freedom of Information Act requests (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Request for Information under Freedom of Information Act: The finance system of the Department shows that from the 1st January 2013 we have made payments for one contract with a value of £613.86 to G4S Security services (UK) and two contracts with Serco, one with a value of £3,000 and another contract valued at £675.00.
This is the information you receive when you email asking the question? My question is how far from the real truth is it? Read the pdf and do your own research and then send me your comments?    

Date: 15 August 2013 14:34
Subject: FOI release: Contracts with G4S and Serco
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15 August, 2013 at 01:20pm

Response to request for information on contracts between DECC and G4S and Serco

But the other related articles do not seem to agree with certain facts, judge for yourself! 

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Google Is Either Lying To The Court Or To The Public, Consumer Watchdog Says

Consumer WatchdogConsumer Watchdog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Press Release:
Date: 15 August 2013 14:16
Subject: News Release: Google Is Either Lying To The Court Or To The Public, Consumer Watchdog
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Consumer Watchdog
For Immediate Release Aug. 15, 2013
Contact: John M. Simpson, 310-392-7041

Google Is Either Lying To The Court Or To The Public, Consumer Watchdog Says

SANTA MONICA, CA – Google is either lying to the court or lying to the public, Consumer Watchdog said today, after the Internet giant made new public claims asserting it respects users' privacy that contradicted an earlier court filing it made. Google said in a court filing that there was no legitimate expectation of privacy when emails were sent to its system.

If what Google claimed publicly in response a news release from Consumer Watchdog is true, then Google must amend the court filing and stop reading and analyzing the content of emails sent to its system, Consumer Watchdog said.

"Google simply cannot be allowed to have it both ways, saying whatever suits them at the moment," said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog's Privacy Project director.

On Wednesday Google claimed in response to Consumer Watchdog:

"We take our users' privacy and security very seriously; recent reports claiming otherwise are simply untrue. We have built industry-leading security and privacy features into Gmail — and no matter who sends an email to a Gmail user, those protections apply."

Google's motion to dismiss a class action suit made this obviously contradictory claim:

 "Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient's assistant opens the letter, people who use web-based email today cannot be surprised if their emails are processed by the recipient's [email provider] in the course of delivery. Indeed, 'a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties.' Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735, 743-44 (1979)"  [Motion to dismiss, Page 19]

Read Google's motion to dismiss here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/googlemotion061313.pdf

"If they take privacy seriously, then they must amend their brief and stop reading and analyzing the content of email we send to their system," said Simpson.  "If Google stands by the claim of no expectation of privacy it asserted in the court filing, they cannot claim to respect users' privacy. These two claims are obviously incompatible."

Google made the statement that people can't expect privacy when sending a message to a Gmail address in a response to a class action complaint filed in multi-district litigation. The suit says Google violates federal and state wiretap laws when the company reads and analyzes emails.

The class action complaint was filed under seal because it details many of Google's business practices about the way it handles email. 
A highly redacted version of the complaint was filed publicly.  Read it here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/gmailcomplaint051613.pdf

A hearing in the case, In re Google Inc. Gmail Litigation, Case No. 5:13-md-02430-LHK, will be held before Judge Lucy H. Koh in U.S. District Court in San Jose, CA. at 1:30 p.m., Sept. 5.

"Google's brief uses a wrong-headed analogy; sending an email is like giving a letter to the Post Office," said Simpson.  "I expect the Post Office to deliver the letter based on the address written on the envelope.  I don't expect the mail carrier to open my letter and read it.  Similarly when I send an email, I expect it to be delivered to the intended recipient with a Gmail account based on the email address; why would I expect its content will be intercepted by Google and read?"

Consumer Watchdog's Privacy Project Director John Simpson will be hosting a Reddit AMA this afternoon to further discuss Google and its privacy issues. Follow Consumer Watchdog (@ConsumerWD) on Twitter for more details.

Visit our website at www.consumerwatchdog.org.

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Sunday, 4 August 2013

Ace News Digest - Mysterious Dancing Lights In Afghanistan - Plus 4 More Stories

Most Emailed Stories from NPR
Date: 4 August 2013 12:18
Subject: Mysterious Dancing Lights In Afghanistan Plus 4 More Stories
To: Ian Draper Newsdesk
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Krulwich Wonders...

Mysterious Dancing Lights In Afghanistan

On certain nights, as helicopters settle on the sandy ground in Afghanistan, the air mysteriously bursts into loops of light that trace the path of the helicopter blades; no one's sure what causes this; no one knows what to call these dazzling light displays — but a war photographer has given them a name — and thereby hangs a tale.
The Two-Way

Book News: Outrage After Fox News Interview With 'Zealot' Author

Also: Stephen King on the subtle art of opening lines; the best books coming out this week.
The Salt

Two-Day Diets: How Mini Fasts Can Help Maximize Weight Loss

The idea of intermittent mini-fasting seems to be gaining traction. The appeal: Dieters have to restrict calories for only two days a week. Research suggests this approach is more effective than trying to cut back on calories 24/7.
Shots - Health News

Hating On Fat People Just Makes Them Fatter

Some people rationalize that it's all right to shame or blame someone who's overweight because it will motivate the victim to lose pounds. News for the slim and smug: It doesn't work, and it's not OK.
Shots - Health News

Cyclo-What? A Nasty Stomach Bug Spreads In The Midwest

A rare parasite has sickened at least 315 people across 14 states, health officials said. The culprit is cyclospora, a food-borne bug that causes wicked diarrhea. People typically catch the parasite from contaminated produce, but the source of this outbreak is still unknown.

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