Police rank slapped with DUI charge

first_imgMandela Avenue fatal accidentPolice Constable Ryan Persaud, implicated in the fatal accident of Akemo Anthony Bristol which occurred on September 1 at Mandela Avenue in Georgetown, appeared on Thursday before Georgetown Magistrate Marissa Mittelholzer on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol, and was placed on $25,000 bail.Represented by Attorney-at-Law Eusi Anderson, the 23-year-old Police rank denied the charge, which alleges that on the day in question, he drove Guyana Police Force minibus PVV 4652 while his blood alcohol level was over the legally allowed limit.Persaud’s defence attorney made application for bail to be granted in a reasonableDead: Akemo Bristolamount, and Magistrate Mittelholzer, in placing Persaud on $25,000 bail, ordered that he lodge all his travel documents with the court, and return for trial on October 11, 2018.Even though Persaud is not yet facing a causing death charge, he is likely, in the coming days, to be arraigned in court in this regard, since the matter is still being investigated.RecapOn Saturday, September 1st, at about 23:40h, twenty-three-year-old Akemo Anthony Bristol of Lot 338 East Ruimveldt, Georgetown was allegedly struck down and killed by Police minibus PVV 4652, being driven at the time by Police Constable Ryan Persaud.Persaud has been accused of speeding, and more so, of being under the influence of alcohol at time of the accident.He reportedly attempted to escape the scene following the incident.This publication previously reported that the Police Constable and Bristol were both travelling along Mandela Avenue when the collision occurred.The impact reportedly flung Bristol into a nearby gutter while his mangled motorcycle ended up under the minibus.Extracted from the gutter with visible injuries about his body, Bristol was rushed to the GPHC, where he subsequently died while receiving medical attention.He leaves to mourn his four-year-old son, parents and siblings.last_img read more

Pure water in a jiffy

first_imgThe filter is the same size as, and looksexactly like, a normal tea bag. Each bag can filter about one litre of polluted water, or about 10 litres of normal tap water. (Images: Jacques Botha) MEDIA CONTACTS • Prof Eugene CloeteDean, SU Faculty of Science+27 21 808 3071• Engela DuvenageMedia liaison officer, Faculty of Science+27 21 808 2684 RELATED ARTICLES • Courts to protect SA’s water• Investing in a clean future • SA hosts world science meet • Technology on a tiny scale • SA, Germany to improve waterWilma den HartighScientists from Stellenbosch University in the Western Cape have developed and patented an inexpensive and effective filtering device that could provide safe drinking water to millions of people. This innovation can considerably reduce the prevalence of water-borne illnesses such as cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases.Prof Eugene Cloete, Dean of the Faculty of Science and chairperson of the Stellenbosch University Water Institute, says the filtering sachet combines years of research on water purification, nanotechnology and food microbiology into a practical filtration solution.The sachet will provide easy access to clean drinking water for communities living near polluted water sources and therefore vulnerable to water-borne disease.Cloete was inspired to develop the water filtering device when he saw technology developed by Dr Eugene Smit of the Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science. The technique, known as electro-spinning, applies high-voltage electrical fields to polymer solutions to weave ultra-thin fibres on a nanoscale. This causes the formation of fibres a thousand times thinner than a hair.“Right away, my mind started churning through the possibilities of how it could be used to clean polluted water,” Cloete says.Stellenbosch University polymer scientists and researchers from the Department of Microbiology jointly developed the disposable filtering device. The sachet, which is identical to a tea bag in shape and size, is made of the same biodegradable material as an off-the-shelf rooibos tea bag.How it worksWhat makes this product distinctive is that the inside of the tea bag material is coated with a thin film of biocides encapsulated within tiny nanofibres (defined as fibres with diameters up to 100 nanometres).A biocide is a chemical substance that kills all disease-causing microbes. Biocides are often used in medicine, agriculture, forestry and industry to prevent the fouling of water and oil pipelines.The water is poured onto the sachet, which is filled with active carbon granules that remove all harmful chemical pollutants. The nanofibres create a pore size small enough to filter bacteria out of the water.“The combination of nanofibres and activated carbon is a new combination that hasn’t been tried before,” says Cloete.Water safety and testingOnce used, the bag is discarded and a new one is inserted into the neck of the bottle. Each bag can clean one litre of water from a river containing contaminated water or water of an unknown quality, making it 100% safe to drink.There are also plans to commercialise the filter bag into a product that can be used by travellers or hikers, or even people who want to improve their water quality at home. Cloete says people living in cities can also filter their water using the sachet, but as the water would generally be cleaner, one bag could filter approximately 10 litres of water.Dr Michéle de Kwaadsteniet, a postdoctoral fellow who is working on the project with Cloete and Prof Leon Dicks of the Department of Microbiology, says that they tested the filter with water taken from a river in the Stellenbosch area. The samples were highly polluted, but after filtering with the sachet, the water was completely clean.The bag filter is also currently undergoing testing at the South African Bureau of Standards.A solution to the continent’s water woes Water quality is a universal problem and Cloete says that the world will increasingly come to rely on technologies such as these. In many countries on the continent and abroad, water infrastructure is lacking, faulty or aging.“For many, piped water is a luxury and it is simply impossible to build purification infrastructure at every polluted stream,” he says.South Africa is facing major challenges in meeting the rising demand for safe drinking water. The lack of adequate, safe and affordable water impacts on vulnerable groups such as the poor, the elderly, HIV/Aids patients and children.“More than 90% of all cholera cases are reported in Africa, and 300-million people on our continent do not have access to safe drinking water,” says Cloete. “Clearly, something has to be done about this.”The tea bag-like filter also is 100% biodegradable and has no ecological footprint. It is a “point-of-use” technology that, because it is used on the spot, can meet the needs of people who live in remote areas, or people whose regular water supply is not treated to potable standards.In a statement, Prof Russel Botman, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the university, said it is important that science should serve the needs of society. “By aligning the expertise of our scientists with the national and international development agenda, we want to become more relevant to society.”The invention is one of the first major projects of the newly established Stellenbosch University Water Institute, a transdisciplinary initiative established to step up the search for solutions to the country and continent’s water problems.The institute and the water filter invention form part of the Stellenbosch University HOPE project, a set of development goals aimed at improving the lives of South Africans and people in the rest of the continent.Commercialising the productOnce all testing is complete, the team hopes that the filters can be made available to various communities. Cloete says one of the reasons they chose the tea bag design is that the same technology used to pack tea bags can also be used in production of the filtering sachets.  This is an economical and practical way to more easily get the product out into the market.He says that they never expected so much interest in the product and since it has started receiving more exposure, they have been inundated with enquiries. Companies, aid organisations and philanthropists have also shown interest in the filter, and some are looking to purchase the sachets to distribute as part of their corporate social responsibility programmes.The commercial pricing of the filter hasn’t been finalised, but it will be relatively inexpensive in comparison with similar purification technologies on the market. Distribution is expected to start in January 2011.“This product can change the lives of ordinary people because it is so simple and efficient. It has captured the imagination of people and it is going to have an amazing impact,” says Cloete.last_img read more

Tiger presence in 3 more Odisha forests

first_imgThe Odisha government has confirmed the presence of tigers in three more forests in the State.Movement of the Royal Bengal tigers has been captured by closed-circuit television cameras installed at the Hemgiri forest in Sundargarh and Debrigarh sanctuaries in Sambalpur districts, while indirect evidence such as people hearing tiger roars and cattle killing by big cats have been collected from the Muniguda forest in Rayagada district.These evidence have prompted Forest and Environment Minister Bijoyshree Routray to put the State’s tiger population at around 60.Increasing populationThe Similipal Tiger Reserve in Mayurbhanj and the Satokosia Tiger Reserve in Angul district are two known habitats of the big cat in the State. According to a tiger census conducted by the State government in 2016, there were around 40 tigers in Similipal. The Wildlife Institute of India had estimated the tiger population of Similipal at 28 in 2014.“We believe that the Sunabeda sanctuary in Nuapada district has four big cats. Neither movement of tigers has been captured on camera, nor has any formal tiger census been conducted there. Sunabeda has been a stronghold of the outlawed CPI(Maoist) because of which the tiger census at the sanctuary has been postponed in the past,” said Mr. Routray.More tiger reserves The Minister said sightings of tigers is a sign that a robust ecosystems exists in the State. The government is planning to propose identification and development of Debrigarh and Sunabeda as two new tiger reserves in the State.At present, the State government is focusing on increasing the tiger population in Satkosia reserve. As part of its strategy, six tigers (three pairs) were to be brought from Madhya Pradesh. Two felines have already been released in Satkosia, but resistance from local population in buffer villages has delayed the transportation and release of the other tigers.last_img read more

Plus pick: Himachal Pradesh

first_imgStayWildflower Hall, ShimlaSet in the midst of 23 acres of lush woods of pine and cedar, this luxury resort has rooms that offer commanding views of the Himalayas and the food and service are truly world-class. But your most abiding memory of Wildflower Hall could be the rejuvenating massages offered at its immaculate spa. Tel: (0177) 264 858; www.oberoihotels.com Moksha Himalaya Spa Resort, Centara Boutique CollectionTucked away in the Shivalik valley, this resort makes for a perfect getaway and reaching it is even more exciting–the final leg of the journey needs to done by taking a cable car. The stunning views of the valley are visible from almost every corner of this resort, whether you are in the suite, at the heated infinity pool or the terrace restaurant. Do visit the spa to unwind completely. Tel: (01792) 232 301Homestays near ShimlaWith Shimla getting saturated, the concept of homestays has caught on. Mashobara offers quite a variety and among its inventory, Violet Hill and Forest Hill Villas come in for special mention. There’s also Marigold Holiday Cottages in Sidhora, a picturesque village 15 km from Shimla. Himachal Tourism also offers a choice of 160 homes across most districts.EatThe Oberoi Cecil Restaurant, ShimlaA stay in Shimla is not complete without at least one meal at the Oberoi Cecil. Both the food and the ambience are equally appealing at this wood-panelled restaurant. The selection of dishes spans both European and Asian cuisines. Popular with visitors, its theme evenings celebrating the heritage of the Cecil are quite a draw. Tel: (0177) 280 4848Casa Bella Vista Cafe, ManaliCraving for international cuisine? The sprightly Casa Bella Vista, near the Log Huts, overlooking the Manalsu rivulet, will come to your rescue. This is the perfect place to sit under the deodars for a scrumptious Spanish meal. Surprisingly it only serves vegetarian food. But don’t skip the freshly baked, thin-crust wood-oven pizzas. Tel: (01902) 221 985Chonor House, Dharamshala If you are a Richard Gere fan and also a foodie you cannot escape a visit to Chonor House. The actor makes it a point to stay at Chonor House whenever he’s in town. The courtyard restaurant is perfect for lunch and you are sure to enjoy the Tibetan and Thai food on offer. Finish your meal with a hot cappuccino and a mouth-watering pastry from the selection of sweet treats. Tel: (01892) 221 006/468ShopShawlsThe colourful bands of woven patterns found on shawls stand out distinctly wherever you travel in these hills. The designs are strongly reflective of the intermingling of traditions, especially Tibetan and Chinese, those influences coming by way of trading ties. And now there is a shift in colour codes with subdued pastels and rich earthy tones appearing on the shelves. The Bodh Shawls in Manali is a recommended place to pick up stylish new patternsKangra PaintingsThis form of art dates back to the 18th century when Mughal rulers came to India. You can pick up these Kangra and Basholi miniature paintings from the Bhuri Singh Museum in Chamba and the Kangra Art Museum in Lower Dharamshala. Both have an excellent collection of Kangra Valley arts and crafts. The Kangra Art Museum also includes a gallery of the famous miniature paintings and has a collection of sculpture, pottery and other anthropological items.Fruit WineImagine sitting at a restaurant, gazing at a green valley and sipping a glass of chilled apple wine. Doesn’t it sound absolutely divine? Himachal produces a large variety of flavoursome fruit wines. They are created from apples, pears, peaches, cherries, kiwi, strawberries and many more fruits. They bring you the best from the orchards. They are available at most of the hillstations in HimachalSeeAdventure SportsThose who have the guts for extreme adventure can always expect Himachal to unravel something new. You can try rafting on the Spiti and Pin rivers. In Manali there is the option of heli skiing. A chopper transports you to the top of a peak and you ski down the slopes. Other adventure sports include mountain cycling, paragliding, ice skating and angling. Can you ask for more? Heritage Trail, ShimlaTake a walk around Shimla to see the heritage buildings. Start from the Gaiety Theatre at the Mall. The 122-year-old building is one of Shimla’s oldest heritage structures. Another building is the Christ Church, one of the second oldest churches in north India. After this, head to Viceregal Lodge on Observatory Hill. It is surrounded by oak and rhododendron thickets. Kullu DussheraKullu begins its celebration on Vijayadashimi, the 10th day. Some 360 deities from villages in Kullu valley, in carved gold, silver and copper masks, are brought down to Kullu town in decorated palanquins to pay homage to the main deity Raghunath. The processions are accompanied by drummers and dancers.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

Deep impact of Lakshadweep

first_imgThe island of Kadmat has become a popular haunt for scuba diversEver been in one of those moods–when you want to get away from the madness of the city and wrap yourself in solitude, and yet you don’t want it to be so devoid of activity that it would bore you to tears? One would think that it’s precisely for such temperamental moods that Kadmat exists.Kadmat is one of the lesser known islands of the Lakshadweep uclster. It is slowly getting trendy, which is one more reason to head there pronto before it is overrun by the hordes. But the basic reasons for its appeal are much more compulsive. An elongated island, some  8-km long and half-a-kilometre at its widest, Kadmat is one of those rare places packed with such natural beauty that it could get a tad overwhelming at first. Apart from two large lagoons, one on each side of the island, Kadmat has plenty of palm-fringed sandy beaches and sand banks which look towards the azure blue waters of the Arabian Sea. So from leisurely dips in the tranquil sea to lolling around the beach and sun bathing, there’s enough methods of R&R here. But that’s not where the appeal ends. Kadmat is slowly gaining ground as a haven for serious water sports, and not just the tame boat-ride variety.Diving deep The island of Kadmat has become a popular haunt for scuba diversIn recent years, the Kadmat Dive School has become a very popular entity with scuba divers. The fascinating thing is the school welcomes almost anyone–from beginners to those seeking instructor certification. And so, scuba diving is probably the best way to see the wall like coral reefs which line the coast on the outer sea. On good days, visibility can  be as much as 50 metres and can reveal a passing parade of tiny coloured fishes lion fish, lobsters, tuna, eels, turtles, rays and even sharks.A glimpse of life under the water surfaceThe underwater show is an entirely different world. So do a take an underwater camera along, just so it won’t seem like your fertile imagination just made up the whole thing. And before long, even though it could feel like just minutes since you have been underwater, it’s time to surface. However, there are many other ways to enjoy the sea. Kayaks, pedal boats and ordinary boats for rides are for those who want to play it safe. For the more adventurous, there’s sailing and water skiing to be tried.Minicoy callingAn aerial view of KadmatIf the underwater holds enormous fascination and the dives at Kadmat leave you longing for more, then Minicoy, another island in the cluster has some more interesting activity. Like Kadmat, it has an immense variety of marine life, but is made more interesting with the presence of three large shipwrecks just off its coast. The wrecks are virtual underwater museums and make for interesting viewing. Besides which, the fish found in and amidst the wrecks are found to be larger in size. Of special note are the rays, barracuda, red and black snappers and sharks.Home away from homeA state-run beach resortBack on shore, the Kadmat Beach Resort, a state-run enterprise, might not boast of elaborate meal options, but the seafood is certainly fresh and cooked to a delicious consistency. And as the sun goes down, and a cool breeze blows, even a simple meal becomes good enough to merit the title of a royal repast.By the end of the trip, the temperamental mood swings are a thing of the past and you will be ready to take on even the most challenging assignment with equanimity. advertisement Fact fileA glimpse of life under the water surfaceKadmat Island Lakshadweep archipelago, 407 km from KochiKadmat Dive School Kadmat Island; tel: Mumbai contact-(022) 6662 7381/82; www.lacadives.comMinicoy Lakshadweep archipelago, 390 km from KochiKadmat Beach Resort Kadmat Island; tel: (04897) 274 203; www.lakshadweeptourism.comlast_img read more