Mumbai Girl Is World’s 1st To Cross Atlantic Ocean In Light Sports Aircraft (LSA)

first_imgMumbai: Captain Aarohi Pandit, a 23-year-old pilot from Mumbai became the world’s first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo in a Light Sports Aircraft (LSA), thrilling her family, friends and aviation circles here on Tuesday.She achieved the feat around midnight Monday-Tuesday (May 13-14) when she landed her tiny aircraft at Iqaluit Airport in Canada, after a gruelling 3,000 km long flight, under adverse and extreme weather conditions following take-off from Wick, Scotland (United Kingdom), with brief stopovers in Greenland and Iceland.“This is part of her ongoing year-long global circumnavigation flight which was launched wither friend Keithair Misquitta on July 30. Aarohi continued solo from UK to Canada, and they will return to India by July 30, 2019,” said an excited Lynn de Souza, head of Social Access, a not-for-profit communications firm which organised and sponsored the expedition.“En route, she set another world record as the first woman pilot to fly solo above the treacherous Greenland ice-cap in a LSA, and is due for at least half a dozen other records by the time she reaches India,a Lynn told IANS.A commercial pilot and LSA licence holder, Pandit and her best friend Keithair Misquitta left India on the Women Empower (WE) Expedition in the tiny aircraft christened ‘Mahi’.‘Mahi’ is a tiny, single-engine Sinus 912 weighing a little of 400 kg or nearly equivalent to a Bullet motorcycle, manufactured by Pipistrel of Slovenia, and is also the first LSA registered by Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) India.Pandit and Misquitta flew over Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, then to Pakistan, where they landed — making it the first civilian LSA flight to land in the neighbouring country since 1947 — and went onto to Iran, Turkey, Serbia, Slovenia, Germany, France and UK.After landing in Iqaluit, Pandit proudly exhibited the Indian Tricolour presented to her by the Indian Ambassador to Canada Vikas Swarup, said Lynn.“I am so honoured and grateful I could do this for my country and for women everywhere… Flying over the Atlantic Ocean is a humbling experience. Its just you and your little plane, the light blue sky above and dark blue see or shining white ice below,” said a tired but cheerful Pandit in her landing remarks to her cheering friends in Mumbai, who stayed awake till early on Tuesday to witness her making history.Though she admitted certain sectors in the long flight were bumpy, the “beauty of the ocean and islands was breathtaking and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat”.Pandit is an ardent fan of the legendary American aviator, Amelia Earheart — who became the world’s first woman to make a solo transatlantic flight in a bigger aircraft, 87 years ago, on May 20, 1932.A resident of Borivali, northwest Mumbai suburb, Pandit underwent an arduous seven-month preparatory training schedule in India, Greenland, Siberia, Italy over oceans, high altitude, snow, extreme weather conditions, different terrains testing her physical and mental capabilities to undertake her circumnavigation feat. After a brief sojourn in Canada, the WE Expedition will continue with Pandit flying westwards to Russia, cross many a longitudes and hurdles, create or break more records, before she finally returns home by July 30, after clocking in around 37,000 km. IANS Also Read: SPORTS NEWSlast_img read more

Jon Bricks Ready to Storm Monrovia

first_imgHip-Co rapper, Jon Bricks will celebrate his 10th year in the music industry with a three-day “Diva Dream Alive” concert for his new album together with his friend, Chinese superstar Zheng Zheng. Bricks promised a thrilling performance for his fans.LIB Life has reliably learned that during the three day concert there will be lots of surprise gifts for fans, including Diva T-shirts, car bumper stickers and customized flash drives with diva songs on them, as well as personal gifts from Bricks’ charity foundation.In an email interview, Jon Bricks informed LIB Life that he is grateful for and excited about the concerts because “history is in the making.” “I cannot talk much, but the performances will remain in the minds of Liberians forever; they will serve as history within our progressive industry, most especially for a Liberian artist to bring a foreign artist that he featured on his album to share the stage together in his homeland. I think this is a great boost for Liberian entertainment. “The third day of the concert will coincide with the official launch of my Zama Plus International Foundation. We will also surprise our fans with our chief launcher on that day; it’s someone that everyone wishes to see,” said Jon Bricks.Speaking on his excitement, he said: “I’m excited because I’m celebrating a decade (10 years) of struggles and successes in this our struggling industry. I will forever remain grateful to everyone that has continually shown endless support for my career, directly or indirectly, not forgetting the hardworking entertainment writers and disc Jockeys.”Day 1 of the three day concert will go down at Club Gossip on February 12; admission is US$20. Day 2 is at Royal Plus International in Paynesville on February 13; admission is US$5. Day 3 will go down at Bernard beach on February 14, Valentine’s Day; admission is L$300.According to Jon Bricks, the first and second day of the show will kick off from a red carpet at 9 p.m. “until the break of dawn” and the third day will kick off at 12noon, ending at 6 p.m.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgIT was a very sad occasion in Donegal Town today as people came out in their hundreds to say goodbye to businessman and former TD Jim White.Taoiseach Enda Kenny joined family, friends and those who knew and loved Jim as his coffin left The Abbey Hotel on The Diamond where the wake was held.Once again staff and members of the community lined the streets as the cortege, led by a piper, made its way down towards the pier. Then it was off to his home town on Ballyshannon where crowds gathered again to pay their respects at the funeral and at the graveside afterwards.Taoiseach Enda Kenny paid tribute to Mr White as a “man of enormous positivity and generosity”.He said Mr White had worked hard to draw more tourists to the north-west region.“He was a man of enormous popularity in Donegal and the north-west in general and even managed to head the poll against Neil Blaney in a general election,” he said.  SAD FAREWELL AS DONEGAL SAYS GOODBYE AND THANK YOU TO JIM WHITE was last modified: September 5th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Will China and India Lead on Global Climate Action and Environmental Protection?

first_imgA version of this article originally appeared in the Manchester Policy Blog following the Rising Powers and Interdependent Futures conference on June 21-23.June 1, 2017, marked a decisive shift in global leadership on climate change following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, which all but two countries signed in 2015. This decision has wider ramifications for global politics and for national commitments to keep global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).China seeks to assume the political mantle for global climate leadership, backed by financial resources and massive investments in renewable sources of energy, especially solar power. It perceives huge growth potential in global solar and wind markets. India has ambitious national commitments on solar energy and curbing fossil fuel use, but it has fewer ambitions on the global political stage.Projected declines in coal use in China and India are likely to reduce growth in global carbon emissions by roughly 2-3 billion metric tons (2.2-3.3 billion U.S. tons) by 2030 compared to forecasts made a year back. Coal-fired power stations are increasingly uneconomical compared to solar power. In May, India abandoned planned investments in coal-fired power stations with a combined capacity of 14 gigawatts, equivalent to the whole of the United Kingdom. Both countries are likely to achieve national climate emissions reductions ahead of target, potentially serving as a significant contributor to reduced net global emissions.Market forces favoring solar and wind power threaten to leave the United States behind, with the continued decline of coal, whereas China wants to benefit from new energy markets and plans to invest $360 billion by 2020. This would take the proportion of renewables in domestic energy to 50 percent by then. India expects 40 percent of its energy needs to be met by renewables by 2030. Meanwhile, the global renewable energy market is expected to reach $13 trillion over this period spurred by national commitments under the Paris Agreement.In pursuing these ambitious climate and energy policies, India and China have an opportunity to lend visible support to the German G20 Action Plan on Climate and Energy Growth, which was discussed at the G20 Summit in Hamburg. In a summit declaration, 19 of the 20 members, excluding the United States, agreed that the Paris climate accord was irreversible and reaffirmed their commitment.Solar roof installation at Hongqiao Passenger Rail Terminal in Shanghai. Photo by The Climate Group/Flickr Lagging Responses on Environmental PoliciesBut progress on climate action is not yet matched by comparable leadership on domestic environmental policies; deep problems of air, soil and water pollution with excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers are causing chronic health impacts in both China and India. Public pressure is building, and both governments are looking to the experience of the United States and other countries in successfully addressing such problems.Over the past five decades, the United States has excelled in tackling environmental problems through sustained bipartisan policy responses. But this is now under threat. The U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement marks the culmination of a series of domestic policy reversals under the Trump administration on climate and environment. These include overturning the Clean Power Plan (designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electrical power production), protection of air and water, and massive budget and staffing reductions for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is therefore ironic that U.S. global leadership on environmental protection is now looked at for inspiration to inform domestic environmental policy in China.Lessons from the United StatesOne important lesson from the U.S. experience is the power of public pressure and the media to galvanize government action. Publication of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” in 1962 drew public attention to dangers of the health and environmental risks of unregulated pesticide use. This spurred massive media coverage, which in turn spurred the creation of the EPA under President Nixon in 1970.A similar tipping point is possible in China. Documentary filmmaker Chai Jing released “Under the Dome” in 2015, which was openly critical of failures to tackle air and water pollution. It received several hundred million views before it was taken down four days later. Public discontent is growing, and the Chinese government recognizes the urgent need to respond.Transparency and Openness to the ForeThere are important lessons for China from the U.S. experience, with air and water pollution rising to top of domestic policy agenda, fueled by public protest and negative media coverage. Government is recalcitrant on the release of public information on air, water and soil pollution. Prompted by monitoring by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China now permits the public release of air pollution data in a growing number of cities and outside thousands of factories.China and India are both signed up to Principle 10 of the UNEP Bali Guidelines, adopted in 1992 as a part of the Rio Declaration, which states that: “Environmental issues are best handled with participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each individual shall have appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is held by public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and activities in their communities, and the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall be provided.”World Resource Institute’s 2015 Environmental Democracy Index shows that China performs reasonably well on the right to information and public participation in decision making but not as strongly on the rights to redress and remedy, as compared to India, which has the legal infrastructure in place for this purpose. China now acknowledges the need to empower citizens to demand information and hold officials accountable for lack of action, through the law courts and other measures. Since the introduction of the new Environmental Protection Law in 2015, China’s courts have accepted 189 public interest environmental cases, mostly brought by environmental non-governmental organizations. The Ministry of Environmental Protection, which is responsible for implementation of the new law, has intensified local inspections of heavily-polluting industries and is now actively collecting public complaints on environmental issues.As noted by the Economist, “Openness would enable the Chinese to understand the risks they face, and to hold officials to account for failing to stop polluters from poisoning them.” Global leadership on climate action and environmental governance means living up to the spirit and practice of citizen engagement and regulatory enforcement and not just capitalizing on the potential economic returns.last_img read more