Archive for November 28th, 2011

Port MOU pushed to March

| 28/11/2011 | 65 Comments

cruise ship 22.JPG(CNS): The Cayman premier has revealed that the memorandum of understanding he signed with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) will be extended to the end of March next year. As a result of the UK’s requirement for a comprehensive business case review, government will not be signing a framework agreement to build the port any time this year. Following discussions with the overseas territories minister in London, McKeeva Bush said the work being done on the evaluation by KPMG is detailed and complex and this means the MOU signed earlier this year will have to be extended.

The goal of the MOU when it was signed in June had been to reach a situation where government would be in a position to move to a framework agreement with the Chinese firm with a view to beginning work on the port before the end of this year. Bush also revealed that the extended MOU would now include the Port Authority, despite the original document having been what Bush described as a “ministerial” MOU between himself and CHEC.

The new document will give government a further four months to formulate the business case and justify that the project presents value for money, as required under the new agreement signed last week with the British government.

The premier made it clear that the MOU and the evaluation relate to the proposal to construct the port in the capital, George Town, and not at the alternate site in Red Bay, as proposed by a group of local sea captains.

In a release from the office of the premier Monday, Bush stated that KPMG had been contracted by the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands (PACI) in August of this year to make the case for the project.

“The work being done by PACI through KPMG is detailed and complex; because it should be completed prior to the signing of a Framework Agreement, the current MOU will be extended beyond its expiry date of 30 November 2011,” the premier's office stated. "Accordingly, the Cayman Islands Government, PACI and China Harbour Engineering Company have agreed to extend their MOU to 31 March 2012.”

The extension confirms speculation that work on this project would now be unlikely to start before the middle of next year, if at all, almost one year after the previous developer had stated it was ready to start. GLF Construction had stated at the time the premier decidedto pull out of talks with the Italian company and their local partners that it would have been able to begin work by the end of May 2011.

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Thieves steal booze but forget to fill up getaway car

| 28/11/2011 | 0 Comments

article-1322037452362-0EE6F22100000578-85984_636x407.jpg(Metro): Rose Devlin and Denise Egan tried to steal £400 worth of supermarket booze – but forgot to put petrol in their getaway car. Devlin, 59, and Egan, 52, were caught on CCTV wheeling the alcohol out of a supermarket. But they came unstuck when their blue Citroen ran out of fuel and they were forced to push it to the store’s petrol station. They then paid to fill up before driving off – unaware the whole fiasco had been caught on camera. Devlin and mother-of-four Egan, both from north Manchester, admitted theft at Manchester magistrates’ court. The pair struck at the store in Oldham on June 6.

One of the women distracted a security guard while the other pushed the trolley into the car park, the court was told.

The haul was so big Devlin  struggled to shut the boot. She then jumped behind the wheel only to realise there was no petrol in the tank. Egan then helped push the vehicle.

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Technology measures up for on-line shopping

| 28/11/2011 | 0 Comments

body measure.jpg(Reuters): Asaf Moses is in the midst of displaying a new way to measure body dimensions. A virtual instructor prompts him to turn 90 degrees to the left and adopt various poses such as "The Penguin," aimed at capturing over 20 different measurements using a device that many people have embedded in their laptops — a simple webcam. "It's capturing everything that's needed to tailor a shirt to your measurements", said Moses. And it's all online. Shoppers generally flock to malls during the holidays beginning on Black Friday, although in recent years many have headed to the Internet. A recent survey by analytics firm comScore predicted online shopping would increase 15 percent this current holiday season.

Yet buying apparel from a website can cause problems finding the right size, look and fit for your body type and personal tastes. As a result, several technology companies have created new ways for people to size themselves up at home.

Moses, the co-founder of one such technology company from Germany, UPcload, said his system takes just three minutes and generates measurements as accurate as a tailor.

Once measured, shoppers will be able to access their measurements at supporting retailers' websites so they can see, for example, if a size small-sized t-shirt will fit around their chest or be long enough to drape down their torso.

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Corals ‘killing themselves’ as oceans warm

| 28/11/2011 | 0 Comments

coral_bleaching_250373.jpg(Science Daily): Australian scientists have thrown new light on the mechanism behind the mass death of corals worldwide as Earth's climate warms. Coral bleaching, one of the most devastating events affecting coral reefs around the planet, is triggered by rising water temperatures. It occurs when the corals and their symbiotic algae become heat-stressed, and the algae which feed the corals either die or are expelled by the coral. A team of scientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University has shown that a complex cascade of molecular signals leading up to the self-inflicted death of corals and their symbiotic algae is triggered as sea water begins to warm.

There have been seven major bleaching events globally in the past 30 years, the most recent being in 2010 across the Indian Ocean and Coral Triangle. Australia's Great Barrier Reef has suffered eight events since 1980, the worst being in 2002 when 55% of the total reef area was affected. The frequency of these events appears to be increasing.
Working with Acropora corals from the reef at Heron Island, the researchers found the cascade begins at ocean temperatures as much as 3 degrees lower than those normally associated with coral bleaching.

And the process culminates in 'apoptosis' or programmed cell-death — a situation in which living organisms (including corals and humans) deliberately destroy their weakened or infected body cells, effectively a form of 'cell suicide' or amputation designed to protect the organism as a whole.

"Our results suggest that the control of apoptosis is highly complex in the coral-algae symbiosis and that apoptotic cell death cascades potentially play key roles in tipping the cellular life or death balance during environmental stress prior to the onset of coral bleaching," explains lead author Dr Tracy Ainsworth.

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Captains appeal to governor

| 28/11/2011 | 22 Comments

red bay port.jpg(CNS Business): With the recent announcement by the premier that the UK requires a comprehensive review of the business case for the cruise port  in George Town, sea captains campaigning for the port to go to Red Bay have appealed to the governor to ensure their proposal forms part of that review. The business case for the cruise berthing facilities is being examined by KPMG and the captains say that the firm should include an examination of the alternative Red Bay location. Listing what the local seafarers believe are the problems with the George Town location, Capt Arlen McCoy has written to Duncan Taylor saying that since the early 1970s Red Bay was touted as the best location. Read More on CNS Business

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