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Mayweather to quit for good after McGregor bout

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Los Angeles, United States — Floyd Mayweather has vowed to quit boxing once and for all after he emerges from retirement for next month’s cross-combat showdown with Conor McGregor.The 40-year-old former welterweight king, who retired with a perfect 49-0 record in 2015, said Tuesday there was no chance of him fighting again after he climbs into the ring with mixed martial arts star McGregor.ADVERTISEMENT LIVE: Sinulog 2020 Grand Parade Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer Malacañang open to creating Taal Commission Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather: Let him enjoy retirement PLAY LIST 00:44Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather: Let him enjoy retirement02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)03:30PH’s Rogen Ladon boxing flyweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite The two men are to face each other at Las Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena on August 26 in what could become the richest bout in boxing history.Mayweather, who has already made an estimated $700 million during his two-decade career, is set for another eye-watering payday against brash UFC star McGregor.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’But irrespective of the result next month, Mayweather said he has already decided it will be his last fight.“I’m not the same fighter I was 21 years ago. I’m not the same fighter I was 10 years ago. I’m not even the same fighter I was two years ago,” Mayweather told reporters at the Staples Center. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Missile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal inches closer to entering PH Navy’s fleet However he brushed off questions about his finances when asked.“We ain’t trippin’ on that,” he responded.For boxing purists, Mayweather risks blemishing an otherwise perfect record with a tawdry final episode that has been disparaged as a cynical circus-like stunt.Mayweather however waved away suggestions that if he was to win, and retire with a 50-0 record, there would be an asterisk against his last fight.“The last time I checked he’s still a professional fighter,” Mayweather said of his lightly-regarded opponent. “He’s a stand-up fighter. He never took a loss fighting straight up. I can’t overlook that, because one shot can end your whole career. He’s a tough competitor but it is what it is.”Mayweather forged his 49-0 record on the back of phenomenal speed and defensive reflexes, often being criticized for his unwillingness to go to toe-to-toe with opponents.Another boxing masterclass could well be in store for McGregor, but Mayweather is unfazed by the possibility that the Irish brawler may deploy mixed martial arts tactics if he struggles to lay a glove on the American.“That’s the referee’s job,” Mayweather said. “My job is to go out there and be a boxer, be a fighter. I’m pretty sure the referee’s going to be fair and fun.“I’ll leave all that up to the referee. My job is to go out there and fight against the guy that’s across from me.“The fans demanded the fight. McGregor wanted this fight, I wanted this fight. August 26, it’s going to be blood sweat and tears from the opening bell.”center_img MOST READ LATEST STORIES View comments End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer IT happens: Facebook sorry for Xi Jinping’s name mistranslation Mayweather said he had discussed his plans to quit for good at a meeting with advisor Al Haymon earlier Tuesday.“I spoke to Al and told him. Today we had a meeting,” Mayweather said. “I can’t push my body, it’s gruelling. Training camp is gruelling. I can’t do it any more. Training camp is rough. It has to be my last one.“After taking a couple of years off I was okay. But then we ended up somehow making this fight happen. “Now I really know that this is it. Deep in my heart I know this is it.”‘Tough competitor’The build-up to Tuesday’s event saw Mayweather face headlines that he has filed for an extension to pay his 2015 tax bill.ADVERTISEMENT Expletives, excitement as Mayweather, McGregor face-off Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’last_img read more

Four new marine protected areas

first_img24 June 2004The government has proclaimed four new marine protected areas, bringing roughly 15% of South Africa’s 3 000km coastline under protection, in the process creating a framework for managing the country’s fisheries and consolidating some of the world’s top research, eco-tourism, sport diving and fishing sites.South Africa previously had 19 marine protected areas covering approximately 11% of the coastline, which stretches from the country’s border with Namibia in the west to Mozambique in the east. The Tsitsikamma National Park was the first to be proclaimed, in 1964.Marine protected areas combine conservation with the development of tourism, and in this respect are the marine equivalent of national parks.South Africa’s new marine protected areas are modelled on the success of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park – with strict zoning of both marine and coastal protected areas creating “controlled zones” allowing for limited fishing, “restricted zones” allowing for controlled tourism development while protecting fish populations, as well as “sanctuary zones” in which complete protection is applied.The move brings South Africa considerably closer to meeting the resolution taken at the 2002 World Parks Congress, held in Durban, that the world’s protected coastal areas be extended to at least 20% by 2012.The new protected areas are:The Aliwal Shoal, a sub-tidal reef situated 5km off the Kwazulu-Natal south coast near Umkomaas (more on the Aliwal Shoal MPA).The marine environment adjacent to Pondoland in the Eastern Cape, stretching from Port St Johns to the Mtamvuna River (more on the Pondoland MPA).The Bird Island group in Algoa Bay (more on the Bird Island MPA).Table Mountain National Park (formerly the Cape Peninsula National Park) in the Western Cape, which includes all of the coastal waters from Mouille Point in the west to Muizenberg in the east (more on the Table Mountain National Park MPA).The government is still negotiating for a fifth new marine protected area – a large area of continental shelf off the Namaqualand west coast in the Northern Cape (more on the proposed Namaqualand MPA).South Africa’s coastal and marine resources provide opportunities for a range of economic, social and developmental activities, including fisheries, agriculture, tourism and mineral resource exploitation.“Our oceans and marine resources are global treasures, and we will act, in partnership with our coastal communities, to ensure that they thrive, expand and teem with life”, said Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk.Van Schalkwyk said that public comment had been taken into account in creating the new protected areas, accommodating people’s concerns as far as possible without compromising the conservation objectives of the areas.In the case of the Table Mountain National Park marine protected area, for example, a concession was made for snoek fishermen off Llundudno, while the boundaries of the Cape of Good Hope Sanctuary area were changed to accommodate small-scale rock lobster fishermen “in a way that will still protect rock lobsters and other elements of the ecosystem”.Marine protected areas allow for the conservation of natural environments, while assisting in the management of fisheries by protecting and rebuilding economically important stocks.In addition, many of the protected areas will be used to develop and regulate coastal eco-tourism opportunities, with activities such as sport diving regulated but not prohibited in the new protected areas.This will ensure that vulnerable eco-systems, such as the Aliwal Shoal, are protected for the enjoyment of current and future generations, and that users can expect world-class experiences.Enforcing the new areasOne of the most important aspects of the new marine protected areas, Van Schalkwyk said, would be compliance and enforcement.“Naturally we prefer communities and industries to assist in conservation – in their own long-term interests – but we will also act swiftly against those who do not respect the new restrictions.”As part of this enforcement, the government will, in October, take delivery of the first of four new environmental patrol vessels, purchased at a cost of R500-million.“We will also expand our force of Fishing Control Officers, and we aim to engage another 200 Honorary Officers in the next 12 to 18 months”, Van Schalkwyk said.“Another leg of our enforcement strategy will be to expand the work of our specialised Environmental Courts – with a new court planned for Gauteng in the near future.“In helping us to change attitudes towards the ocean, marine protected areas represent one of our last, best hopes for ensuring the preservation of our marine and coastal riches.”Aliwal Shoal Marine Protected AreaThe Aliwal Shoal, a sub-tidal reef situated 5km off the Kwazulu-Natal south coast near Umkomaas, supports a spectacular coral community, including 15 species of hard corals and four species of soft corals. The diverse fish fauna is a popular attraction for scuba divers, fishermen and spear-fishermen. Many endangered species of endemic reef fish are found on the shoal, as well as ragged-tooth and tiger sharks.The Aliwal Shoal has been the site of great conflict between user groups in the past. Agreements have now been reached with respect to partitioning of use between fishing, scuba and spear-fishing.The protected area will serve many functions, including conservation of the unique reef fauna, control of user-conflict and development of a world-renowned diving site.“Aliwal Shoal has long been in need of protection”, Van Schalkwyk said. “The diving industry in particular will benefit, and KwaZulu-Natal will add another well-managed natural resource to its already impressive list of tourist destinations.”Pondoland Marine Protected AreaThe coastline between Port St Johns and the Mtamvuna River and the adjacent offshore area has a unique mix of tropical and temperate eco-systems. There is a high rate of species turnover within similar habitats, and a high proportion of species are endemic to the region. The area also includes a range of marine and coastal habitats, with two substantial estuaries being fully protected for the first time in South Africa.From a fisheries perspective, many over-exploited linefish species spawn here. The inter-tidal shellfishery also needs to be brought under control, as many areas have been stripped of the larger molluscs. A zoned protected area, in which exploitation is permitted in some areas, will provide the necessary protection while allowing fishing to continue elsewhere.The Pondoland Marine Protected Area will be one of South Africa’s largest, and arguably its most spectacular. Including 90km of coastline and extending approximately 15km out to sea, it covers 1 300 square kilometres.The extremely narrow continental shelf off Pondoland marks the start of the annual sardine run, which National Geographic has rated as the most exciting diving opportunity in the world. The development of tourism in this impoverished region is a priority, and the protected area is the first step in realising the potential of this scenic coastline.Bird Island Marine Protected AreaThe protection of the Bird Island group (Bird, Seal and Stag Islands) in Algoa Bay is the first step in the seaward extension of the Greater Addo Elephant National Park.Bird Island is home to several species of red-data listed seabirds – including the Cape gannett, roseatte tern and African penguin – while the reefs around the islands are important for abalone and linefish.Bird Island has been the target of abalone poachers, and the immediate protection of the islands is regarded as a priority.Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected AreaThe Table Mountain (formerly Cape Peninsula) National Park Marine Protected Area includes all of the coastal waters around the Cape Peninsula, from Mouille Point in the west to Muizenberg in the east. It is situated in the transition zone between two bio-geographic provinces – the cool temperate Namaqua province to the west and the warm temperate south coast province to the east.This is one of the most diverse and productive stretches of coastline in South Africa. The Cape Peninsula is also rich in marine species endemic to southern Africa, some of which are even endemic to this change-over region. It is also the area that has the longest history of commercial fishing in South Africa.“The expansion of Table Mountain National Park to include the sea around the Cape Peninsula is an ambitious development aimed at protecting the rich marine life along these shores, and ensuring the continuation of the important fishing industries and associated lifestyles it in the midst of a dense metropolitan area”, Van Schalkwyk said.The proximity of a large metropolitan area provides great challenges and opportunities for marine conservation. The exploitation of natural resources along the Cape Peninsula coastline is an important source of recreation, employment and food.The shores of the Cape Peninsula are one of the great tourist attractions of Cape Town. To swim among penguins at Boulders Beach is a world-class attraction, while Coral Gardens offers some of the most spectacular temperate-water scuba diving in the world.Unfortunately, the intensity of harvesting on the peninsula has exceeded the capacity of many of the fish species to replace themselves, and many are severely over-exploited. The marine and coastal eco-systems surrounding the Cape Peninsula need to be protected from further degradation, and given the chance to recover, and the exploitation of over-fished species must be reduced.The protected area will be an extension of the Table Mountainn National Park, and will include six areas that are closed to fishing – for the protection of abalone, rock lobster, linefish, penguins and scuba diving sites – whereas the majority of the protected area will still be open to fishing.Proposed Namaqualand Marine Protected AreaThe marine habitats of the west coast of South Africa are poorly represented in protected areas. The existing West Coast National Park protects primarily the Langebaan Lagoon, which is atypical of the west coast.A biologically rich and representative area of the little-known west coast has been selected, giving a proposed protected area extending from the inter-tidal area between the Groen and Spoeg rivers out to sea to include Child’s Bank and the 1000m isobath.If designated, the Namaqualand Marine Protected Area will be South Africa’s largest marine protected area at 9 700 square kilometres.Although most of this area is too deep to dive – and too cold – the habitat supports economically important species such as shallow and deep water hake, kingklip, monkfish, rock lobster and tuna.The proposed area also includes habitat that may be threatened by trawling and mining activities, and would therefore provide valuable reference sites for research.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Tax Overhaul Keeps Breaks for Wind and Solar

first_imgOne reason that existing solar and wind incentives will continue, according to The New York Times, is the rising influence of the renewables industry, even among Republicans. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Dean Heller of Nevada, for example, both objected to the rollback of incentives in the House bill. Grassley may not be convinced that global warming is a problem, but Iowa gets more than one-third of its electricity from wind turbines. Heller’s home state is where Tesla is building a giant factory to make batteries for its electric vehicles.Wind and solar together accounted for about 6.5% of all U.S. electricity in 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.“As wind and solar projects have soared in the U.S., in both red and blue states, so has the industry’s influence in Washington, D.C., on both sides of the aisle,” Dan W. Reicher, director of the Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford, told The Times. Expired tax credits lower salesUntil the end of 2016, consumers could take advantage of federal tax credits for energy-related improvements made to their primary homes, including heating and cooling equipment, water heaters, windows, and insulation. Those benefits have expired.Ground-source heat pumps (also called geothermal systems) had been eligible for the 30% credit, and the industry experienced a sharp decline in sales after it expired. Manufacturers were encouraged by an early version of the tax bill in the House of Representatives, which restored the credit and made it retroactive to the beginning of 2017. But in the end, the provision was not included.“It was a kick in the pants,” said Ryan Dougherty, the chief operating officer of Geo Exchange, the trade group representing the ground-source heat pump industry in the U.S.Along with other “orphan technologies” like fuel cells and small wind, the industry has been left behind, despite what Dougherty said was support from a “broad coalition” of Democrats and Republicans in Congress.The 30% tax credit was especially useful for heat pump manufacturers because it made the relatively expensive systems competitive with other HVAC options, Dougherty said by phone. When the credits were no longer available, sales fell by as much as 50%. Allowing tax credits to expire amounted to the government telling consumers the “technology is not worth your money,” he said. “It’s leaving the little guys behind. Our industry is the little guys.”Mike Bergey, president and CEO of Bergey Wind Power, a manufacturer of small wind turbines, expressed similar views. The loss of tax incentives was “pretty devastating,” he said in a call, and “completely killed” the company’s residential market. Loss of sales persuaded many of Bergey’s mom-and-pop distributors to begin selling PV modules instead of wind turbines, and rebuilding the retail network won’t be easy.Bergey found the disparity between continued tax credits for PV modules that are largely made overseas and the lack of any credit for residential wind turbine buyers in the U.S. disturbing. “It’s just not a good narrative,” he said.A sliver of good news for the small wind industry, however, is a continuing tax credit for small commercial customers, such as ranches and farms. That credit is 24% this year and will drop by 6 points per year until it’s gone. That appears to be untouched in the new tax bill. Some concerns remainOne sour note for environmentalists is the provision that will open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil drilling. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and other Republicans have been pressing for the change for years and argue it can be done without harming the 19.6 million-acre refuge, what has been described as one of the most pristine regions in the U.S. Democrats have fought the move.Another sticking point for renewable energy advocates was the Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT), a provision designed to prevent big corporations from moving their profits overseas to avoid federal taxes.The American Council on Renewable Energy had warned in November that BEAT would have “a devastating if unintended impact” on the solar and wind industries by undermining the use of renewable energy tax credits to pay for new projects.The final version of the bill, Greentech Media said, lets corporations continue using the Investment Tax Credit and the Production Tax Credit to lower taxable income, although at a lower rates.BEAT is not something, however, that residential renewable energy customers are going to spend much time worrying about. (For a detailed explainer on how BEAT works, read this.) The tax overhaul passed this week by Congress leaves tax breaks for solar and utility-scale wind projects in place, but does not restore tax credits for ground-source heat pumps and small wind turbines as those two “orphan technologies” had hoped. The Associated Press reports that the $1.5 trillion package does nothing to change tax credits for the wind and solar industries. Under terms of a bill passed in 2015, the incentives for utility-scale wind run through 2020 and solar benefits until 2022.The bill also includes a tax credit of up to $7,500 for plug-in vehicles, despite earlier attempts in the House to kill it. (If you’re interested in wading through the 560 pages of the bill, you can find it here.)Of key importance to homeowners is survival of the 30% federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for photovoltaic (PV) systems and solar hot water systems. The ITC will drop to 26% in 2020 and 22% in 2021. After that, the residential credit drops to zero while the commercial and utility credit goes to 10% permanently, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.While the solar industry benefits, the bill does nothing to restore tax credits that would have helped manufacturers of small wind turbines and ground-source heat pumps — a bitter pill for both of those industries. Still a ‘glimmer of hope’Dougherty sees a “glimmer of hope” in a House bill sponsored by Tom Reed, a New York Republican, that would restore tax credits for geothermal and small wind systems. But, Dougherty said, Congress is unlikely to consider stand-alone bills — that is, bills with a single purpose rather than proposals that become part of omnibus legislation — and the chance of passage at the moment looks “slim to none.”“It’s not that heavy a lift,” he said of the bill’s $2.3 billion price tag over five years. “It won’t break the bank.”But the situation appears fluid. Dougherty and Bergey were hoping to get language to restore the credits into an “extender bill” for the federal budget that could be considered in January. Bergey said he understands there’s interest in that approach, and its chance of approval could be as high as 60%.“These are tough times,” he said. “We’ve seen tough times before. We’ll come out of this OK.” RELATED ARTICLES Tax Bill Would Deal a Blow to RenewablesDeciphering the Tax Creditslast_img read more

Controls on Plastic Waste Are Getting More Stringent

first_imgLess than two years after China banned most imports of scrap material from abroad, many of its neighbors are following suit. On May 28, Malaysia’s environment minister announced that the country was sending 3,000 metric tons of contaminated plastic wastes back to their countries of origin, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Along with the Philippines, which is sending 2,400 tons of illegally exported trash back to Canada, Malaysia’s stance highlights how controversial the global trade in plastic scrap has become. Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam are all halting flows of plastics that once went to China but were diverted elsewhere after China started refusing it. They are finding support from many nations that are concerned about waste dumping and marine plastic pollution. At a meeting in Geneva in May, 186 countries agreed to dramatically restrict international trade in scrap plastics to prevent plastics dumping. As I show in my forthcoming book, “Waste,” scrap material of all kinds is both a resource and a threat. The new plastics restriction allows less-wealthy countries to exercise their sovereign right not to accept materials they are ill-equipped to handle. This narrows options for wealthy countries that used to send much of their plastic and paper scrap abroad, and is a small but symbolic step toward curbing plastic waste.RELATED ARTICLESAre We Recycling Too Much of Our Trash?Beyond RecyclingChinese Decree Alters Recycling PictureE-Waste: Taming a Global Problem A trade with few rules The Basel Convention, which governs the international waste trade, was adopted in 1989 in response to egregious cases of hazardous waste dumping on communities in Africa, the Caribbean and Asia. Many of its goals remain unfulfilled, including a ban on shipments of hazardous waste from wealthy to less-wealthy nations for final disposal, and a liability protocol that would assign financial responsibility in the event of an incident. And the agreement has largely failed to encompass newer wastes, particularly discarded electronics. The new provision, proposed by Norway with broad international support, takes a more aggressive approach. It moves plastic scrap from one category—wastes that can be traded unless directly contaminated—to another group of materials that are not deemed hazardous per se, but are subject to the same trade controls as those classified as hazardous. Now these plastics can be shipped overseas for disposal or recycling only with the express consent of the importing country. The United States signed the treaty in 1989, but never ratified it and is not bound by the treaty’s terms. However, Basel Convention member countries cannot accept any restricted waste imports from the United States unless they have reached a bilateral or regional agreement that meets Basel’s environmental provisions. The U.S. already has such an agreement with fellow OECD member countries. Operation National Sword, China’s policy restricting imports of post-consumer scrap, was a major driver for updating the treaty. Before the ban, China imported nearly half of the world’s scrap plastic and paper. Now scrap exporters in wealthy nations are struggling to find alternate markets overseas and boost domestic recycling. Crisis and opportunity for U.S. recyclers Trends in the United States illustrate these wrenching shifts. Plastic scrap exports to China plummeted from around 250,000 tons in the spring of 2017 to near zero in the spring of 2019. Overall, U.S. exports of plastic waste to all countries fell from 750,000 tons to 375,000 tons over the same period. Most U.S. waste and recycling policies are made at the local level, and the past year has been a transformative period. Without ready markets abroad for scrap, recyclers are raising prices, which in turn is leading some municipalities to reduce or eliminate curbside recycling programs. Many plastic products in groups 3-7, the least recyclable types, are being sent to landfills. More positively, recycling authorities have launched public education campaigns, and investment in recycling infrastructure is on the rise. There is palpable energy at trade meetings around improving options for plastics recycling. Chinese companies are investing in U.S. pulp and paper recycling plants, and may extend into plastics. Green-leaning states and cities across the nation have passed strict controls on single-use consumer plastics. However, businesses are pushing back, and have persuaded some U.S. states to adopt preemptive measures barring plastic bag bans. The greatest immediate pressure is on international scrap dealers, who are most immediately affected by the Norway Amendment and vocally opposed it. They are also under stress from the U.S.-China tariff wars, which could make it difficult for them to send even clean, commercially valuable scrap to China. Waste or scrap? Under the Norway Amendment, nations can still export plastic scrap if it is clean, uncontaminated, and of high quality. The measure effectively distinguishes between waste—which has no value and is potentially harmful—and scrap, or discarded materials that still have value. This bifurcation matters for the U.S. and other countries that formerly outsourced their recycling to China and are having trouble creating domestic demand for recovered plastics, because it makes a legitimate trade in plastic and other marginal scrap possible. However, there is still no guarantee that this scrap can be reprocessed without harm to workers or the environment once it has reached the importing country. Nor will the Norway Amendment do much to reduce marine plastic pollution directly. Only a tiny fraction of ocean plastics originate from shipped plastic scrap from rich countries. Most come from items that are used and discarded on land and never enter a recycling system. Curbing plastic pollution will require broader action, with a focus on coordinating scattered global initiatives and building up relevant international law. Implementing extended producer responsibility for plastics, which could require manufacturers to take plastic products back at their end of life and dispose of them in approved ways, would be a useful step. However, it should not supplant ongoing efforts to reduce production and use of plastics, which contribute to climate change as well as waste. Solutions may come from the top down in European nations or the bottom up in the United States. But as one Asian country after another shuts the door on scrap exports, it is becoming increasingly clear that business as usual will not solve the plastic pollution challenge. Kate O’Neill is an associate professor of global environmental politics at the  University of California, Berkeley. This article is republished from The Conversation under a creative commons license. Read the original article.last_img read more