Category Archives: Inspirational

World’s Largest Solar Plant Will Provide Power For 1.1M People

Compliments of Computer World

The world’s largest solar power plant, now live in Morocco, will eventually provide 1.1 million people with power and cut carbon emissions by 760,000 tons a year.

The $9 billion Noor Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant could eventually start exporting energy to the European market.

The Noor Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), paid for with funds approved by The World Bank, is located in the Souss-Massa-Drâa area in Morocco, about 6 miles from Ouarzazate town. It began operation on Thursday. While the World Bank and other development partners provided financial support, the Noor solar plant is a wholly Moroccan project.

“With this bold step toward a clean energy future, Morocco is pioneering a greener development and developing a cutting edge solar technology,” Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country Director for the Maghreb, said in a statement. “The returns on this investment will be significant for the country and its people, by enhancing energy security, creating a cleaner environment, and encouraging new industries and job creation.”

Noor concentrated solar power

The World Bank

On the left, phase 1 of the Noor Concentrated Solar Power plant is generating energy. On the right, phase 2 will be completed in 2017 and phase 3 in 2018.

Overall, the new Noor CSP plant will increase Morocco’s energy independence, create 1,600 jobs during construction and 200 jobs during the power plant’s operation, and increase the installed capacity of solar power stations from 22MW in 2013 to 522MW in 2018, according to The World Bank.

The plant will be able to store solar energy in the form of heated molten salt, which allows for the production of electricity even at night.

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Heroine Overdose Antidote To Be Administered Over The Counter

By Paris Finnie 

A report shows that citizens in Ohio are more likely to die from a Heroin overdose than a vehicular accident. ” If we lose them to an overdose, we have lost a chance of a productive life in the future.” Says Peggy Anderson COO of the Aids Resource Center in Ohio . As many as seven to ten times instances a day EMS workers are called to save the lives of these opiate victims, but even those who make it are the select few lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.

 

The frightening statistics of life lost to overdoses has pushed the state of Ohio to allow the drug Naloxone (Narcan) to be sold over the counter in participating pharmacies one of them being  CVS. Naloxone works by reversing the depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system caused by opioids. In some instances multiple administrations of Narcan may be needed to save an individual but a second chance at life is becoming readily available to the citizens of Ohio.

Source: Wlox 

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Saudi Arabia Presents Plan to Move Beyond Oil

Compliments of Reuters 

Saudi Arabia outlined ambitious plans on Monday to move into industries ranging from information technology to health care and tourism, as it sought to convince international investors it can cope with an era of cheap oil.

A meeting and presentation at a luxury Riyadh hotel was held against a backdrop of low oil prices pressuring the kingdom’s currency and saddling it with an annual state budget deficit of almost $100 billion – the biggest economic challenge for Riyadh in well over a decade.

Top Saudi officials said they would reduce the kingdom’s dependence on oil and public sector employment. Growth and job creation would shift to the private sector, with state spending helping to jump-start industries in the initial stage.

“It’s going to switch from simple quantitative growth based on commodity exports to qualitative growth that is evenly distributed” across the economy, said Khalid al-Falih, chairman of national oil giant Saudi Aramco.

Over 2,400 people, including local and foreign officials, business, consultants and academics, registered for the event, staged by the government’s investment promotion agency.

Commerce and industry minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah said Saudi Arabia had been a victim of the “Dutch disease” – a condition in which the oil sector had crowded out other parts of the economy – but was now working to correct that.

Under the reforms, parts of the national health care system would be converted into independent commercial companies, officials said.

Participants in the conference, including the chief executives of U.S. aerospace firm Lockheed Martin and Pepsico, discussed subjects ranging from how to foster entrepreneurs to ways of developing dynamic cities and increasing the role of Saudi women in the business world.

OBSTACLES

The heavy presence of foreign business representatives suggested many saw opportunities in the Saudi strategy. Although Riyadh is burning through its foreign assets to cover the budget gap, it still had $628 billion in November, enough to finance years of new projects.

Some participants expressed doubt about the scale of the planned change in a country where about two-thirds of local workers are in the public sector, preferring it to more rigorous private employment.

There is little tradition of entrepreneurship in the world’s biggest oil exporter, and financial and legal systems have not been set up to encourage it.

“The transition away from being a rentier state is not a comfortable one,” said David Chaudron, managing partner of the California-based Organized Change Consultancy, which works with Saudi companies.

“They’re trying. But the fundamental question is: will their trying bear enough fruit before the downside of the current system hits? Or is it a day late and a dollar short? Will the forces of change ultimately be enough to overcome the inertia of the current system? I don’t know.”

The U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Joseph Westphal, pointed to risks in administering the plans.

“Saudi Arabia has to have a government system that is adaptable,” he said, adding that top officials would need to delegate decisions and authorities would have to be willing to take risks in the recognition that there would be some failures.

Nevertheless, many participants at the conference recognized that strong political momentum had now built up behind the reform plans, many of which had previously been discussed for years without result.

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State Repression in Egypt Worst in Decades, Says Activist

Compliments of The Guardian 

The scale of state repression in Egypt is greater today than it has been for generations, one of the country’s most prominent journalists and human rights advocates has told the Guardian.

Hossam Bahgat, an investigative reporter who was recently detained by Egypt’s military intelligence agency, spoke out ahead of the fifth anniversary of the start of Egypt’s revolution on Monday – the run-up to which has seen an unprecedented crackdown by security forces against opposition and dissent.

“This is without doubt the worst we’ve ever seen,” said Bahgat, citing restrictions on media outlets, a spike in the number of political prisoners, forced disappearances, and alleged extrajudicial killings of Islamists by the state.

“The level of repression now is significantly higher than it was under the Mubarak regime, and people from older generations say it is worse than even the worst periods of the 1950s and 1960s [under the rule of Gamal Abdel Nasser].”

In an effort to ward off any protests half a decade on from the uprising thattoppled the former president Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian authorities haveraided thousands of homes in Cairo and installed new surveillance infrastructure around Tahrir Square.

Preachers have reportedly been instructed by the state to give sermons declaring it a sin to demonstrate against the government, while cafes, cultural institutions and book publishers have all been investigated by security agencies.

Under the country’s protest law, implemented by executive decree soon after the military overthrow of the former Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohamed Morsi, in 2013, participation in any unsanctioned marches or rallies is unlawful.

The Egyptian government says it is fighting terrorism and claims the country is making progress on political rights. Over the past week five Egyptian policemen were killed by gunmen in northern Sinai, while six people died in a bomb attack in Giza.

“We have paid a lot for the security and stability that we currently live in, so I ask all Egyptians for the sake of the martyrs and the blood to take care of their country,” Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, the president, said in a speech to the nation on Saturday.

Bahgat argued: “The only reason that there is such a level of panic regarding public opinion is that two years ago the regime could afford to take us for granted; Sisi was worshipped and they had carte blanche to do whatever it took to impose stability.

“With all the state powers now unified under Sisi’s leadership … people are now starting to ask questions of him.”

Bahgat is the founder of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, one of Egypt’s most acclaimed human rights organisations. Since 2014 he has worked as a journalist with Mada Masr, an independent media outlet known for covering news stories that other parts of the Egyptian press shy away from.

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