Talks held to address concerns on Norochcholai

The discussions came into light as the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka directed the PUCSL to take necessary steps to regularize the environment damage caused by the Norochcholei coal power plant. The direction was given with regard to the ongoing Fundamental Rights Application pending at the Supreme Court on the environmental impact of the power plant, which PUCSL informed that it has already commenced the process to reduce the damage caused by the fly ash as well as the remaining coal in that area. The first meeting was held on Wednesday, 5thApril 2017 and the representatives of various communities and institutions discussed in depth on all the issues that the villagers voiced and in the second meeting held on Monday, 24th April 2017, the villagers submitted all their issues and concerns in writing to the Committee.The Lakvijaya Power Station, also known as the Norochcholai Power Station is the largest coal power station in Sri Lanka. The plant which has the capacity of 900 MW generates about 39 percent of Sri Lanka’s total energy requirement. The need of establishing community based committees in order to work hand in hand with the Ceylon Electricity Board to resolve these types of issues that arise from time to time was also discussed in parallel to the development of a regulatory mechanism to address issues in the short, medium and longer term basis.The next meeting of the committee is scheduled for on 22nd May 2017 and the outcome of these discussions will be reported by PUCSL to the Supreme Court. (Colombo Gazette) The Supreme Court said, all the matters concerning the environmental damage caused,will be looked into by the PUCSL, which is the authority in law entitled to do so. Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the electricity sector regulator, held discussions with the communities that raised concerns on the environment impact of the Norochcholai coal power plant in the North Western Province.Accordingly, a committee of expertise appointed by the PUCSL in March 2016 to study the environmental impact that caused by the thermal power plants in Sri Lanka, the fisheries and farmer community, the representatives of the Ceylon Electricity Board, Central Environmental Authority, North Western Provincial Environmental Authority, Department of Coast Conservation and Environmental Foundation (Guarantee) Limited discussed in depth on the issues that the communities raised in this regard. read more

Côte dIvoire UN finds no evidence of combat in reported town attacks

There was also no evidence of large-scale killings or illegal detentions of the civilian population, the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), set up last year to help maintain a ceasefire between government and rebel forces, said in a news release today on the reported attacks that occurred barely three months before elections are to be held to end the conflict.During his visit to Anyama and Agboville, north of Abidjan, the country’s major city, Force Commander Maj. Gen. Abdoulaye Fall, accompanied by the Chief of Staff of Côte d’Ivoire’s armed forces, Gen. Philippe Mangou, met with local military and civilian authorities, including religious leaders and youth groups. UNOCI has noted a progressive return to calm, the statement said.Fighting first erupted in Côte d’Ivoire in 2002 when rebels seeking to oust President Laurent Gbagbo seized the north, splitting the world’s largest cocoa producer in two. UNOCI has been concerned that this latest reported attack could jeopardize important progress made in the peace process, particularly an agreement establishing a new timeline for disarmament and the elections, now scheduled for October.Immediately after reports of the attacks came, UNOCI deployed troops to the area, but numerous blockades by the local population prevented them from entering Agboville for 48 hours. read more

MoD scientists turn to battlefield science in war against deadly hospital sepsis

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Ministry of Defence scientists have cracked the blueprint for a “breakthrough” blood test which promises to save thousands of lives a year in the fight against hospital sepsis.Researchers trying to combat infection in troops following battlefield injury say they have identified the molecular “signature” that predicts the life-threatening condition hours or even days before symptoms start to show.One of the leading causes of avoidable death in the UK, sepsis kills more than 37,000 people a year and occurs when an infection enters the body and the immune system overreacts, attacking major organs.Despite scandals such as the death of three-year-old Sam Morrish in 2010, cases are still routinely missed because doctors and nurses attribute symptoms to other causes and current tests take many hours to come back.But scientists at the Defence Science and Technology laboratory (DSTL) have told The Telegraph their 10-year study should enable vulnerable patients to be screened for sepsis using a simple one-hour test. DSTL said the signature currently predicted sepsis at up to 97 per cent accuracy.Its intellectual property arm Ploughshare Innovations is now seeking to licence the discovery to a commercial firm who can turn it into a test.Stuart Andrew, Minister for Defence Procurement, said: “This crucial research in sepsis treatment is an outstanding example of the pioneering research carried out by DSTL scientists and highlights how lessons learned on the battlefield can have a huge impact on improving the day-to-day lives of UK citizens.” Soldiers are at particular risk of post-surgical infections because of the nature of their wounds and the dirty environments in which they are sustained.During the Afghanistan campaign troops were ordered to stop going on patrol in t shirts and wear their full uniform instead so the clothes could prevent as much dirt as possible entering the body in the event of an explosion.Dr Roman Lukaszewski, who led the research, said: “Infection has consistently been a big problem for the military.”He added: “This is unique – no one has ever undertaken this kind of analysis in the way we have done it.“If you can give a clinician a heads-up that a patient is likely to develop sepsis in one, two, three days, then it may enable that clinician to change the treatment and persuade them to monitor that patient more closely.” In the first such analysis of its kind, the team tracked 4,385 patients who were in hospital for elective surgery in the UK and Germany.Of these, 155 developed sepsis, however all gave daily blood samples from the beginning of their hospital stay, enabling researchers to identify which blood biomarker pattern indicating sepsis is going to develop. Dr Ron Daniels BEM, Chief Executive of the UK Sepsis Trust and global sepsis expert, said: “It’s enlightening to see a nonprofit organisation working toward developing such a test.“Any solution which can help identify sepsis earlier has the potential to save thousands of lives.”He said it would be most effective in high risk groups such as those recovering from risky surgery and undergoing heavy chemotherapy, adding: “We have to be mindful that the majority of patients developing sepsis do so in the community without such extreme risk factors.“We need to continue to work to heighten public awareness and provide health professionals with the skills and resources they need to diagnose and manage sepsis urgently.” Unless treated promptly with fluids and antibiotics, sepsis can lead to multiple organ failure.For every hour of delay, a patient’s chances of dying increases by eight per cent.Early signs can include high or low body temperature, chills and shivering and a raised heartbeat, however watchdogs have continually voiced concern about the readiness of NHS doctors and nurses to react to the symptoms. British Army Anaesthetist Lt. Col. Peter Mahoney (L) ventilates British Army soldier Alexander Harrison from the Grenadier Guards Regiment attached to the Royal Anglion Regiment, as he is moved back to the Intensive care Unit after a CT scan on May 5, 2007 Credit:Getty Images British Army Anaesthetist Lt. Col. Peter Mahoney (L) ventilates British Army soldier Alexander Harrison from the Grenadier Guards Regiment attached to the Royal Anglion Regiment, as he is moved back to the Intensive care Unit after a CT scan on May 5, 2007  read more