DR Congo UN Great Lakes Envoy calls for immediate end to fighting

“Deeply concerned” by renewed armed clashes in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as attacks on civilians and United Nations peacekeepers based there, the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes called today for an immediate end to the fighting and strongly urged all regional authorities to observe maximum restraint.“The attacks on the town of Goma as well as on MONUSCO [UN Stabilization Mission] forces, and their tragic consequences on the civilian populations already traumatized by two decades of conflict, are unacceptable. They must stop immediately,” said Mary Robinson, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region of Africa, in a statement. “We must do everything to avoid an escalation of tension in the region, promote dialogue, and respect the letter and the spirit of the Addis Ababa Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region,” Mrs. Robinson said, referring to the accord signed earlier this year by the Government of DRC along with 10 other countries and four regional and international institutions, which now serves as a blueprint for peace and development in the region.“The renewed violence underscores, once again, the urgent need to rapidly find a political solution to the crisis,” she said, noting that such a path would be in line with the Communiqué of the Summit of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, held in Nairobi on 31 July 2013, the informal Ministerial meeting held in New York on 25 July 2013, as well as the Communiqué of the recent SADC [Southern African Development Community] Summit held in Lilongwe, Malawi, on 18 and 19 August 2013. “I strongly urge all authorities in the region to observe maximum restraint, to ensure that civilian populations are protected, and to minimize the risk of escalation of the situation,” said Mrs. Robinson, adding that she is in close contact with all parties and continues to monitor the situation very closely. “My Special Adviser is currently involved in consultations with relevant authorities in order to appeal for calm and restraint,” she said.Over the past year, the M23, along with other armed groups, have clashed repeatedly with the national forces (FARDC) in the eastern DRC. The rebels briefly occupied Goma in November 2012. The fighting resumed in recent weeks, this time dragging in a group of Ugandan-based rebels, and displaced more than 100,000 people, exacerbating the region’s ongoing humanitarian crisis, which includes 2.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs) and 6.4 million in need of food and emergency aid. read more

Swimmers could be surrounded by 50 gallons of urine study finds

first_img 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. Although Olympic swimmers have admitted doing it and 19 per cent of adults have admitted to urinating in a pool at least once, it is not a condoned practice.The average urine excretion per swimmer in pools is approximately 70ml.Despite urine itself being sterile, compounds can react with disinfectants such as chlorine causing them to become volatile – after which exposure can lead to eye and respiratory irritation and has been linked to occupational asthma. Dr Xing-Fang Li, from the University of Alberta, Canada, say this evidence has highlighted the need for improved understanding of pool chemistry to raise awareness and educate the public on the importance of swimming hygiene practices.The researchers tested more than 250 water samples from 31 actively used pools and hot tubs in two Canadian cities and more than 90 samples of clean tap water used to initially fill the basins.The concentration of ACE in the pools and hot tubs ranged from 30 to 7,110 nanograms per liter of water – up to 570 times more than the levels found in the tap water samples. Many olympic swimmers admit to peeing in the pool “The high concentration of ACE with 100 per cent occurrence in pools and hot tubs demonstrates the human impact on recreational water quality.”The association of occupational asthma in swimmers with volatile disinfection byproducts (DBP) highlights the need to control the water quality of swimming pools.”Several studies have reported that increased dissolved organic in swimming pools results in enhancement of DBP formation.”To reduce exposure to N-DBPs and their negative health impacts in swimming pools, we should monitor and control water quality.”The findings were published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters.center_img Swimmers in an Olympic-sized pool could be surrounded by up to 50 gallons of urine, a new study has revealed.Scientists used an artificial sweetener found in urine to measure how much pee is in swimming pool water.They discovered the sweetener acesulfame potassium (ACE), is consistently present in urine, making it easy to monitor pool levels.In tests they found a 91,500 gallon pool contained 5.8 gallons of urine and a 183,000 gallon pool, a third the size of an Olympic pool, was awash with around 17 gallons. Many olympic swimmers admit to peeing in the poolCredit:AP Photo/Lee Jin-man Dr Xing-Fang Li said: “This is the first reported occurrence study of ACE in swimming pools and hot tubs.last_img read more

Police tried to ban former parking association boss from sitting opposite women

first_img“The witness challenged him at platform eight and followed him onto the train where he was seen with his hand in his right pocket fidgeting with something. It is thought he was trying to get his phone out to delete the image. Patrick Troy  He must also pay £85 costs and a £115 victim surcharge. Credit:Tony Palmer  Police attempted to ban the former boss of the British Parking Association from sitting opposite women he didn’t know on public transport, a court heard after he was caught filming up a commuter’s skirt. Patrick Troy, 56, was caught desperately fiddling with his phone in a bid to delete the recording after a witness confronted him about it at Vauxhall station on June 8 last year. He pleaded guilty to committing an act outraging public decency at Westminster Magistrates Court and was sentenced to 18 weeks imprisonment, suspended for two years, on Monday. The court heard Troy, who resigned from his position at the association in February for “personal reasons”, was also made subject to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO), which prohibits him from taking pictures on public transport.  British Transport Police had applied for the order to include a ban on sitting opposite unknown females, but this condition was dropped. Malachy Pakenham, prosecuting, told the court that Troy – who described being caught as a “watershed” moment – had been caught filming the woman as she walked towards platform eight of the busy London station “The defendant was seen holding his phone at an angle below her skirt and the witness saw the red recording light on and a clear image of the skirt and back of the woman’s legs,” he said.  “The police were called and when the train stopped at Clapham Junction he was arrested. A number of other images were found on the phone. He was interviewed on two occasions and was quite frank and apologetic for his actions, saying he regretted his actions, which disgusted him.”He said every time he did it, film up skirts, he hated it and saw his arrest as a watershed moment. He said it was not a hobby, but when the opportunity presented itself he was tempted as he travelled to and from work. and there were other images.”Troy tried to explain himself to police: “Sometimes I wonder, I suppose it’s for sexual gratification, I don’t know, that must be the conclusion.”Troy’s lawyer Michael Sprack, referring to the probation report, told the court he had no previous convictions. “He made frank admissions in interview and was concerned that the police had as much information as they could,” he added. Magistrate John Newgas said the offence had gone on for a period of 10 months, with a range of victims affected. The sentence was reduced from 24 weeks to 18 weeks due to the guilty plea. Troy must also comply with a thirty-five day designated activity requirement and up to 100 days on a programme chosen by the probation service.”This offence is so serious custody is the only option, due to harm and risk,” added Mr Newgas. “A suspended sentence is serious. If you commit an offence within twenty-four months the sentence could be reactivated. You are on a warning and quite lucky to not be in prison.” He said every time he did it, film up skirts, he hated it and saw his arrest as a watershed momentMalachy Pakenham, prosecuting 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.last_img read more