The Student Coalition for Immigration Advocacy, or SCIA, hosted a prayer vigil Tuesday afternoon as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that will decide the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA allows people illegally brought to the United States as children to remain in the country for two years at a time on a renewable basis. The Supreme Court will determine whether or not President Donald Trump’s move to end the program in 2017 is constitutional.SCIA president María Sierra Cáceres described the vigil as an opportunity for the campus community to show solidarity and for DACA and undocumented students to reflect and see they are supported. After the 2016 election, Sierra Cáceres said, SCIA shifted its focus from education about the issue to promoting dialogue and creating a community of trust on campus.“We needed to switch gears and say, ‘How can we provide events that bridge … such a polarizing issue, how can we get people to come to our events and talk about this?’ and then just creating safe spaces [for dialogue] as well,” Sierra Cáceres said.The vigil began with a prayer led by SCIA members that emphasized the Christian values inherent in welcoming migrants, from generosity to protecting the vulnerable and recognizing their humanity. The vigil continued with a reading from Malachi that again emphasized the duty of hospitality toward foreigners and the vulnerable. Fr. Steve Newton, a campus minister at Saint Mary’s, spoke of his experience at the Catholic Day of Prayer for children detained at the southern border this summer in Washington, D.C., where he was arrested alongside 69 others for protesting in a congressional office building.“The most exciting thing that happened to me this summer, and the most meaningful, was I got arrested,” Newton said. “It was great.”Soon after being elected to the leadership team of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests, Newton drove to Washington, D.C. to participate in the demonstration. The day began with a prayer service of about 300 people outside the Russell Senate Office Building, 70 of whom then moved into the rotunda of the building. “Five at a time lay down in the rotunda in the form of a cross,” Newton said. “The idea was that as they were arrested, then five others would take their place, but we never got that far because they arrested us very quickly. The ratio of Capitol police to individual was one-to-one.”Newton and his fellow demonstrators were handcuffed and driven to a holding area, where they received minor misdemeanors on their record. As each person finished the process and left the building, Newton said, the remainder cheered.“It was a great sense of community,” Newton said. “It was a wonderful group of people who were committed to trying to change what’s going on at the border. It was a symbolic act more than anything else; it didn’t really threaten us in any way.”Newton reiterated that welcoming and protecting are Christian duties and denounced the negative rhetoric around immigration as destructive. He praised the recent election of Archbishop José H. Gómez to the presidency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and his prioritization of immigration issues.“They are not, you are not criminals, you are not rapists or troublemakers,” Newton said. “For the Church to take immigration on as the primary issue of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is so consistent with everything that Jesus had to preach about making all one, that we are all one body and one blood, that there are no differences whether we’re male or female, Greek or Roman, Catholic or areligious, whatever we might be, we are one in one body and one blood and we are obligated to welcome the stranger. … Whatever we do affects the body of Christ. And if we don’t welcome the stranger we are destroying the body of Christ.”Newton pointed to the press coverage of the Catholic Day of Prayer as evidence of the power of raising awareness and called on students not to allow an issue that affects the lives of hundreds of thousands of people to slip into the background. Newton reminded attendees of the importance of diversity to the American identity.“The notion of keeping America for Americans as defined by the alt right will destroy this country,” Newton said. “It will destroy us as a people. It will destroy us as people of faith if we don’t respond as strongly as we can with whatever means we have.” Newton ended his sermon urging attendees to take action by calling senators, having honest conversations and praying in solidarity. Students held lit candles through the rest of the prayers and a psalm that shared Newton’s emphasis on the power of truth and love to create change.“There’s so much that people don’t know and they react out of fear and ignorance,” Newton said. “Fear and ignorance cannot remain our trademark. Courage, hope, and of course, above all things, love.”Tags: DACA, Student Coalition for Immigration Advocacy
continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The House voted 321-103 to pass the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act (H.R. 1595) Wednesday, a historic vote that comes months after strong CUNA, League and credit union advocacy on behalf of the bill. The bill would provide legal protections to financial institutions serving state-legalized cannabis-based businesses.“Today’s vote would not have happened without fierce, bold 360-degree advocacy from CUNA, Leagues and credit unions that made it clear that this bill is a solution to a problem that affects consumers, businesses and financial institutions around the country,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “While garnering bipartisan support for a cannabis-related bill seemed a big hill to climb, our message was heard loud and clear through Congressional testimony, letters and face-to-face meetings that helped impress upon policymakers the need for this bill. We hope the Senate will move forward in similar fashion and will engage with them going forward to get this bill across the finish line.”Twice this year, CUNA/League advocate Rachel Pross, chief risk officer at Maps CU, Salem, Ore., testified before Congress, before the House Financial Services Committee in February and before the Senate Banking Committee in July.
West Indies fast bowler Jerome Taylor said though he only played in one of six matches in the just-concluded ICC World Twenty20 World Cup in India, he is more than elated that the team was able to recapture the crown.”It’s a team effort, and a win is a win,” he said, shortly after the arrival of the Jamaican members of the team on Tuesday in Kingston.”We knew when we left here (the Caribbean) that all 15 of us could not play at the same time.”The nature of the wickets called for adjustments to be made, and the selectors chose horses for courses,” he added.Taylor, who claimed none for 30 off three overs in the team’s tournament-opening six-wicket win over England, also explained that the decisions taken were supported by team members.”It (to leave him out) was a team decision, as both players, management and everyone, we took unto ourselves to say that if that’s the best case, then go with whatever decisions are made.”The 31-year-old, who said his focus would now turn to the upcoming Caribbean Tri-Nation series, involving Australia and South Africa, as well as the planned Test tour by India, also gave insight as to what the feeling was like in the players’ dressing room in the last over of the final.Needing a challenging 19 runs off the over with the previously unheralded all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite, who made 34 not out off just 10 balls, smashed four sixes off the first four deliveries to seal the win at 161 for six.England had earlier made 155 for nine.”For me, it was never over until the fat lady sings,” Taylor said.”We had some guys, who were feeling down and out by the moment. But we had guys, like myself, who was still pretty optimistic, this knowing the power hitters that we had at the wicket in Carlos Brathwaite and Marlon Samuels, who were set at the time and striking the ball pretty well.”He said he was happy to have played a part in making the Caribbean proud.”The way the guys turned up and put the team and the people of the Caribbean in front was brilliant,” he said.- J. L.
The old horse-evolution charts from the 1880s have been revised substantially since 1920 when paleontologists began to realize the story was not so simple. (Thomas Huxley had used the series of O. C. Marsh as a focal point of his 1876 lecture tour in the United States.) These charts portrayed small horses with three toes evolving into large horses with one toe. Jonathan Wells wrote in his 2001 book Icons of Evolution that Darwinists have been more forthcoming about the horse series, in trying to set the record straight, more than with any other alleged proof of evolution. This is evident in many museums, like the Natural History Museum in Washington, which instead of showing a straight tree of descent, exhibits more of a branching bush pattern, and points out that the old picture was inaccurate (see 03/02/2001 story). Nevertheless, in Science this week,1 Bruce McFadden (U of Florida), a world export on horse paleontology, entitled his review article, “Fossil Horses—Evidence for Evolution.” It’s not that evolutionists ever denied horses descended from a common ancestor; they just revised the path evolution took. The idea of orthogenesis (straight-line evolution), popular in the late 19th century, has given way to the paradigm that evolution by natural selection takes an undirected, random path. In addition, the fossil evidence for horses has shown that some of the assumed ancestors and descendents were, instead, contemporaries. McFadden wrote the definitive book on horse evolution 13 years ago: Fossil Horses: Systematics, Paleobiology, and Evolution of the Family Equidae (Cambridge Univ. Press, New York, 1992). Has the picture changed at all since Wells listed it among 10 “icons of evolution” that persist as myths more than proofs? (See summary of argument on ARN.org.) Surprisingly, McFadden labeled his revised phylogenetic tree, “Adaptive radiation of a beloved icon” (emphasis added in all quotes), and used the phrase again in his conclusion:Fossil horses have held the limelight as evidence for evolution for several reasons. First, the familiar modern Equus is a beloved icon that provides a model for understanding its extinct relatives. Second, horses are represented by a relatively continuous and widespread 55-My [million-year] evolutionary sequence. And third, important fossils continue to be discovered and new techniques developed that advance our knowledge of the Family Equidae. The fossil horse sequence is likely to remain a popular example of a phylogenetic pattern resulting from the evolutionary process.The evolution of which McFadden speaks is not simple variation – after all, there is a great deal of size and shape variation among modern horses, from Shetlands to Clydesdales – but macroevolution, or “higher level (species, genera, and above) evolutionary patterns that occur on time scales ranging from thousands to millions of years.” Here, he is convinced, horses remain the definitive case: “The speciation, diversification, adaptations, rates of change, trends, and extinction evidenced by fossil horses exemplify macroevolution.” To the chart: what picture does McFadden exhibit compared to the old icon? Like Wells, he debunks orthogenesis:The sequence from the Eocene “dawn horse” eohippus to modern-day Equus has been depicted in innumerable textbooks and natural history museum exhibits. In Marsh’s time, horse phylogeny was thought to be linear (orthogenetic), implying a teleological destiny for descendant species to progressively improve, culminating in modern-day Equus. Since the early 20th century, however, paleontologists have understood that the pattern of horse evolution is a more complex tree with numerous “side branches,” some leading to extinct species and others leading to species closely related to Equus. This branched family tree (see the figure) is no longer explained in terms of predestined improvements, but rather in terms of random genomic variations, natural selection, and long-term phenotypic changes.”The figure shows most of the fossils being contemporaries of one another in the upper third of the timeline, with grazers and feeders and browsers “exhibiting a large diversification in body size” scattered among the branches. Only Hyracotherium and Mesohippus occupy the basal position in the tree. Yet Wells pointed out that orthogenesis is still implicit in the new charts, regardless of the side branches, if there is a trunk leading from eohippus to Equus. And he emphasized that both paradigms, straight-line and branching evolution, remain philosophical positions rather than observations. To the bones: what new fossils and revised interpretations of old fossils justify McFadden’s assertion that the horse series exemplifies macroevolution? The complexity of the horse evolution picture becomes apparent when he points out that only one genus, Equus survives, while three dozen genera and several hundred species have gone extinct.2 Furthermore, most of the alleged macroevolution occurred in North America, where horses went extinct but survived in the Old World. What evidence has come to light since the “branching bush” paradigm replaced the old icon? While diversity is evident, macroevolution seems a matter of viewpoint:Although the overall branched pattern of horse phylogeny (see the figure) has remained similar for almost a century, new discoveries and reinterpretation of existing museum fossil horse collections have added to the known diversity of extinct forms. Recent work reveals that Eocene “hyracothere” horses, previously known as “eohippus” or Hyracotherium, include an early diversification of a half- dozen genera that existed between 55 and 52 Ma [milli-annum, million years] in North America and Europe. New genera have recently been proposed for the complex middle Miocene radiation, although the validity of these genera is still debated.The truth is in the teeth, he concludes: “Horse teeth frequently preserve as fossils and are readily identifiable taxonomically. They serve as objective evidence of the macroevolution of the Equidae.” Yet his discussion reveals that, although the teeth of these animals display considerable variety, “The tempo of this morphological evolution has sometimes been slow and at other times rapid.” The final third of the chart shows groups branching out with teeth designed for grazing and others designed for browsing or feeding on both grasses and leaves. What he terms “explosive adaptive diversification in tooth morphology” appears to have doubtful justification, since most of the species on the chart overlapped in time. McFadden mentions nothing else in support of horse evolution, but spends a paragraph debunking an old evolutionary myth: Cope’s Rule. Cope and other early evolutionists seemed to assume bigger is better: ancestors were small, descendents got larger over time; “this notion is now known to be incorrect,” he says. In his chart, horses got larger at first, but since 20 ma ago, “In contrast, from 20 Ma until the present, fossil horses were more diverse in their body sizes. Some clades became larger (like those that gave rise to Equus), others remained relatively static in body size, and others became smaller over time.” Nevertheless, as stated earlier, he concludes on the positive note that “The fossil horse sequence is likely to remain a popular example of a phylogenetic pattern resulting from the evolutionary process.” But is a popular example the same thing as an expert’s example?1Bruce McFadden, “Fossil Horses–Evidence for Evolution,” Science, Vol 307, Issue 5716, 1728-1730 , 18 March 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1105458].2It must be recalled that identifying species from fossils is highly subjective, since interfertility cannot be established; today’s quarter horses and Belgians might be assigned to different species based on skeletal remains, yet are interfertile.What’s wrong with this picture? The horse evolution icon, like Rasputin, has been shot, stabbed and drowned, but is taking his time to get dead. Here is one of the classic proofs of evolution, explicated by Mr. Horse Evolution himself, and are you convinced? Saying this is proof of evolution doesn’t make it so. Better look this gift horse in the mouth. Consider some salient points. (1) Extinction is not evolution. If a creature abruptly appears in the fossil record, survives for a time, then goes extinct, no evolution has occurred, in the macro sense. (2) If animals appeared and existed as contemporaries, they cannot be arranged into ancestral relationships. (3) If they existed on different continents, it becomes a stretch to assume they shared genetic information. (4) Assigning skeletons to different species is a highly subjective process – and therefore subject to one’s presuppositions. (5) The dating of these fossils assumes evolution and long ages – a case of circular reasoning. (5) Variations in teeth adapted for different feeding habits reveal nothing about the origins of teeth. Teeth are very complex structures (see 03/13/2003 and 06/04/2002 entries). (6) Terms like “explosive adaptive diversification” assume evolution; they explain nothing about how random mutations could have produced simultaneous morphological changes that all had adaptive value. (7) Interestingly, McFadden omits any mention of horse toes. The old picture showed three-toed horses evolving into one-hooved horses of today. But even that begs the question of whether one toe is better (or more evolved) than three; it almost seems backward. Duane Gish in Evolution: The Fossils Still Stay No points out that in the evolutionary story of ungulates, the picture is reversed: ungulates supposedly evolved three toes from one. (8) The basal clade Hyracotherium has doubtful relationship to horses at all. Its position in the horse tree is merely for evolutionary wish fulfillment, to put something in the blank. If omitted, most of the rest of the Equidae become contemporaries. Furthermore, there is a big gap between Hyracotherium and anything preceding it, so where did it evolve from? (9) McFadden’s analysis only considers size, teeth, and location. How did the remarkable capabilities of the horse, like catapulting legs (01/02/2003) and damping muscles (12/20/2001)arise by chance? (10) If you think this story is pathetic, the whole mammal phylogenetic tree is a mess (see 05/28/2002, 12/03/2003 and 03/18/2003 entries). In the Peanuts cartoon, Linus once asked Lucy to read him a bedtime story. Exasperated by his persistent pleas, she blurted out, “A man was born, he lived and he died.” Linus contemplated, “Makes you wish you could have known the fellow.” Dry bones in the ground don’t say much. Evolutionists, unsatisfied with the starkness of the raw data, enjoy the entertainment of weaving fanciful tales in between the bones. In short, McFadden seems committed to rescuing his beloved icon from the withering attacks of both creationists and other evolutionists, so that he can announce triumphantly in Science that the rockets’ red glare and bombs bursting in air only serve to give proof through the nighttime of data that the icon is still there. But enough of storytelling. Get a horse. Go for a ride and clear your head of evolutionary confusion. Horses are wonderful animals, full of grace, humor, expression, strength and majesty. Learn some incredible things about horses in the new film Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution III. Thank God for the horse, one of man’s most capable and faithful companions on earth.(Visited 239 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
28 May 2013Protecting South Africa’s children is a shared national responsibility, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini said at the launch of National Child Protection Week in Durban on Monday.“Our elders have taught us that it takes a village to raise a child. That is why we say ‘umntwana wakho, ngumntwana wam’ – your child is my child and my child is your child.”This year’s Child Protection Week will focus on sensitising communities and families about children’s rights, including the rights of the children with disabilities.“As we launch this campaign, we recall that many children in our country are growing up without the care of a protective and permanent family,” Dlamini said. “We therefore pledge to work with all South Africans to provide care and support to orphans and vulnerable children.”Ending violence against childrenDlamini called on all South Africans to spread the message that it was time to end violence against children, by reporting cases of child abuse, neglect and exploitation to social workers and police officers, and by wearing a green ribbon to show support for the campaign.“Today we pledge to work to identify more child victims of abuse, neglect and exploitation, and to help and protect them. We will undertake efforts to enhance investigations and prosecute offenders.”The public were urged to brandish whistles and umbrellas in support of Child Protection Week – the whistles to symbolise the sounding of an alarm, the umbrellas to symbolise protection.Addressing the role of the internet in spreading child abuse, Dlamini said: “We commit ourselves to make children aware of online risks, so that they can enjoy their online lives without fear. And we pledge to reduce the availability of online child sexual abuse material.”Dlamini said the government would take proactive action to end the abuse, neglect and exploitation of children. “We pledge our political will and our common and national commitment to protect our children and to reducing the high levels of violence against women and children.”ConferenceFollowing the launch of Child Protection Week, the Orphans, Vulnerable Children and Youth Conference was launched at the International Convention Centre by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize.A review on the national action plan for orphans and other children made vulnerable by HIV/Aids since 2006 will be delivered at the conference, and delegates will discuss how South Africa is doing on child protection issues.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
A cliff, a cave, and a cachePicture this: Clear blue water, a dark cave, and a treasure. It’s a geocacher’s dream. Well, dream no more, because the geocache really exists and it’s called Cova Tancada (GC1ZW11).The difficulty 3, terrain 4 traditional geocache is located on the largest island of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca. Mallorca is not only home to beautiful beaches and rich history, but a very popular cache. Nearly 260 geocachers have logged a smiley and awarded it 129 Favorite Points since it was published by chrismaxx in October of 2009.Anyone who loves to go for a long, scenic hike when geocaching will appreciate the beauty and reward when logging this cache off the coast of Spain.Inside the caveAccording to the bilingual cache page (German and English), the cave “Sa Cova Tancada del Cap de Menorca” was once used by smugglers who built the entrance to the cave to hide their goods. Those smuggled goods were then transported to the neighboring island, Menorca.The island of Menorca is just 33 kilometers (21 miles) from Mallorca. If the weather permits, geocachers can often catch a glimpse of the nearby island on their way to discover the treasure.To embark on this adventure cachers generally set aside 1.5 hours to get to the cache from the parking location. But, once they reach the cache, time loses all meaning. Even though the cave can be intimidating at times, geocachers have reported that “the view from the end location will have you feeling peaceful and serene.”One geocacher who logged this find writes, “You will sweat, you will be full of joy, and most of all, you will feel so calm when you get to this special place. We were surrounded by a great view and a wonderful group of people. The hike up and down the cliff side was somewhat strenuous, but so worth it. I’m so glad there’s a cache here. Thank you for showing us this great place.”Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Latitude 47 blog or view the Bookmark List on Geocaching.com.If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, send an email with your name, comments, the name of the geocache, and the GC code to [email protected] path to the caveShare with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedPunta de N’ Amer – Cova de ses Crestes GC17QRE GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – August 29, 2011August 29, 2011In “Community”Where Bats Dare — Geocache of the WeekMarch 15, 2017In “Community”Summer vacation inspiration — Es Pontas (GC20APF) — Geocache of the WeekJuly 24, 2013In “Community”
It’s been only four years since the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) was passed. But in many ways this one piece of legislation has already had a profound impact on the entire business community. The goal of SOX is to achieve greater transparency and accountability in financial reporting, and in doing so, provide a way to more closely scrutinize public coporations from the outside. Stiff fines, penalties and the threat of litigation have been strong motivators to get companies to comply. But many or maybe even most companies still have a long way to go.Part of the reluctance or difficulty with SOX is just coming to grips with what it all means. SOX does not clearly spell out in black and white the steps for achieving compliance. It was intended to provide overall guidance, but it is very broad and lengthy, consisting of 11 parts and 66 sections. The language in SOX was written in very general terms to spell out requirements that apply to all public companies, and the interpretation and the methods by which SOX compliance are achieved is still evolving.Application of SOX to a business requires a sound understanding of the company’s business processes and the flow of information in the business. Perhaps the most onerous SOX requirement is contained in section 404 that requires companies to maintain documentation of all their internal controls and to be able to provide access to that information so that an external auditor can regularly review and attest to the company compliance with the law.Section 302 requires that corporate executives provide and certify the correctness of the contents of company financial reports and also certify that the procedure for the preparation of the reports was done in a manner that is consistent with the law.Sections 302 and 404, in particular, and to a lesser extent, sections 103, 104, 105, 408, 409, 801, 802, 906 and 1102 of SOX focus on the management and control of business processes and the information that flows through them.Forward-thinking corporate executives have seen that Sarbanes-Oxley, while restrictive, is in many ways just good business. It is a very structured approach for reducing operational risk, improving business performance, and achieving competitive advantage.While there is no ‘silver-bullet’ for achieving SOX compliance, technology exists today to simplify the task. Enterprise Content Management (ECM) components like Document Management, Records Management and Business Process Management can assist in meeting many of the SOX requirements.Applying general ECM tools to SOX compliance may make sense to many companies rather than a closely tailored SOX-out-of-the-box solution. Many companies need to deal with other types of compliance other than SOX. There is a lot of overlap in requirements, but clearly the system should be flexible to handle requirements and scenarios that fall outside of those from SOX. Banks, finance and insurance companies are bound by Basel II, health care companies are bound by HIPAA, and public companies also need to comply SEC regulations such as 17a-4. Not to mention FDA CPR 21 Section 11, FASB, IASB, MISMO, and the Patriot Act.ECM assists in the capture and classification of documents and records and manages them through their complete lifecycle and controls their final disposition, and its use is applicable across a the entire range of regulatory compliance applications.ECM benefits for compliance applications:– eliminate/reduce the risk of being unable to locate critical documents– save labor required to manage, locate and retrieve documents required for audits– fast ROI from the improved speed in document retrieval– ability to provide quick and accurate responses to regulatory bodies and court requestsWhen approaching compliance, products from ECM tool and application vendors like Formtek should form the base of the solution. ECM technology can assist in dramatically reducing the overall cost of achieving compliance.
A radiant barrier is a shiny panel or flexible membrane used in construction. Although radiant barriers have no R-value, they can be used as part of a building assembly — for example, an assembly made up of a radiant barrier and an air space — to slow heat transfer.The sale and distribution of radiant barriers has always attracted a disproportionate share of scam artists, many of whom promise impossible energy savings. The explanations made by these hucksters usually include multiple references to space vehicles and NASA. Having been swayed by this type of misinformation, a few builders have adopted an almost religious belief in the magical powers of radiant barriers.So, what’s the real scoop on these products?A radiant barrier is a thin sheet of reflective material, often aluminum, applied to a substrate such as kraft paper, plastic film, cardboard, or plywood. By definition, a radiant barrier has a low emissivity (0.1 or less). Radiant barriers reduce radiant heat transfer across the space which they face. The lower a material’s emissivity, the more effective it is at reducing radiant heat transfer.Although radiant barriers can be made from a variety of materials, there is no such thing as radiant barrier paint. No one has yet invented a paint that achieves an emissivity of 0.1 or below. (For more information on low-e paints, see ‘Insulating’ Paint Merchants Dupe Gullible Homeowners.)Radiant barriers that aren’t facing an air space don’t work. If it’s sandwiched between a layer of sand and a concrete slab, it’s a conductor, not an insulator.Although a radiant barrier has no R-value, it can help boost the R-value of an adjacent air space. According to ASHRAE Fundamentals, a vertical 3/4-inch air space has an R-value of about R-1 — assuming that the heat-emitting surface… Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in This article is only available to GBA Prime Members
Not all Chinese modules have problemsA particular area of concern are the materials that keep moisture out of the modules and seal the photovoltaic cells between layers of glass, the Times said. When substandard or outdated materials are used, the modules fall apart.Problems don’t affect all Chinese-made modules. The U.S. subsidiary of Yingli, now the world’s largest solar panel manufacturer, for example, says only 15 defective panels were returned out of the 2.8 million shipped here since 2009. The company has just landed a contract to supply a California power plant with solar modules.Quality control also is a problem for non-Chinese manufacturers. First Solar, a major U.S. maker, has set aside $271 million to replace faulty panels manufactured in 2008 and 2009, the Times reported. Despite bumpy road, analysts see a booming marketGrowing pains in Chinese panel manufacturing will actually help the solar industry expand over time, with the global market becoming a $155 billion business by 2018, according to Quartz, a digital news outlet.Citing a report by Lux Research, Quartz said a decline in panel prices will help the solar industry expand into new markets. Annual solar installations will reach 62,000 megawatts in 2018, Lux says, and in the U.S., developers will rush to get projects installed before the tax credit drops from 30% to 10% at the end of 2016.“The U.S. should install 10,800 MW of solar in 2018,” Quartz said, “making it the world’s second largest solar market. But the real action will be in Asia, where Lux projects 30,300 MW will be installed by China, India and Japan.” Manufacturing shortcuts, most of them at Chinese factories, are leading to higher failure rates for photovoltaic panels and prompting growing concerns among testing labs, insurers and solar developers, The New York Times reports.In an article published May 28, the newspaper said that inspections over the last 18 months have discovered that “even the most reputable companies are substituting cheaper, untested materials” in their PV modules.Chinese companies borrowed a lot of money to ramp up manufacturing and are now under intense pressure to cut manufacturing costs and pay off the loans. One way of reducing costs is to take shortcuts and use cheaper materials, the Times said.One testing service reported the defect rate of panels inspected in Shanghai jumped from 7.8% to 13% between 2011 and 2012. Another said defect rates ranged from 5.5% to 22% in audits of 50 Chinese factories in the last 18 months.No one keeps an exact tally of how many panels fail, so the extent of the problem isn’t known.
Australia coach Tim Nielsen says his players should relax, enjoy themselves and put on a good show in their must-win Ashes cricket Test against England starting in Perth on Thursday.In an upbeat message in his blog on the Cricket Australia website, Nielsen said the Australian players shouldn’t run away from criticism of their current form but respond in a positive manner.Nielsen showed no signs of apprehension ahead of the Perth Test, which Australia must win to keep the Ashes series alive. England leads the five-match series 1-0 and will retain the Ashes if it wins in Perth, taking a 2-0 series lead with two matches remaining.”Our challenge as a team now, to survive and thrive, and the third Test cannot come quick enough for me,” Nielsen said.”When we ‘must’ win the next game we play, the result can so easily become all-consuming,” he said. “Each and every one of us must relax and live in the moment, enjoying every contest between bat and ball…all day, every day.Australia’s players have been heavily criticized for the form slump which has seen them lose five Tests since their last win, culminating in their innings and 71 run loss to England in the second Test at Adelaide.”We are 1-0 down in the series and it seems like the world will cave in,” Nielsen said.But the Australia coach admitted much of the media criticism of the team was understandable and said his players would respond positively.”As difficult as it is to cop, there is good reason for the written articles and criticism of our team,” Nielsen said. “Getting beaten by an innings in Adelaide opens all of us to questions, and the questions need to be answered by our group as soon as the Perth Test commences.advertisement”… Let’s enjoy this opportunity and put on a show we, and the Australian public, will enjoy.”Nielsen said England was in outstanding form, but the Ashes series could still be saved.”England are playing good cricket at the moment, and they are rightly confident and in a good place as a team and individuals,” he said.”However, the series is far from over, and I am looking forward to our group putting themselves on the line from the very first ball at Perth.”We can turn the momentum around, and I am very confident that the boys will respond in a positive manner.”