Baby dies after being found abandoned behind shop in Gwent, Wales

Saturday, March 20, 2010

According to an announcement from Gwent Police, a baby boy has died after being found abandoned behind a convenience store in Gwent, Wales. The boy, who has not yet been identified, was found behind a Spar convenience store in the town of Cwmcarn at 1815 GMT on Tuesday. The baby was found to be wrapped in a towel which was in a plastic shopping bag. Bystanders who were walking past the scene mistakenly believed that the bag had been unintentionally left there by a person who had visited the gym that is located next to the store.

A 14-year-old boy, who is the son of the man who owns the convenience store, then examinied the bag and discovered the baby. He made a phone call to the emergency services, however, when the baby was taken to Royal Gwent Hospital, it was pronounced dead on arrival. The baby was younger than one day old at the time of his death. A post-mortem examination proved to be indeterminate. Gwent Police have now launched an investigation to try and determine the identity of the baby’s mother.

Gursewak Singh, the father of the person who discovered the baby and the owner of the shop, explained: “We asked friends and colleagues what the bag was doing there, but it didn’t belong to anyone. A boy who works with us said it was just a towel in there and he didn’t open it. In the evening I went out to it and opened it, only saw a towel on top and didn’t look thoroughly. I just thought it was clothes underneath and didn’t want to root through them. I picked it up and hanged it on the gatepost so someone walking by might see it and recognise it as theirs. At about six o’clock there was a power cut and my 14-year-old son went out and picked up the bag and opened it and saw a little head in there. He called his uncle and said: ‘It’s not clothes, come and look’. They came over and saw the baby in there.” Singh commented that this incident “was shocking. We were all devastated. I wish we had checked earlier. If we had gone through the bag we could have made a difference. I’m worried what sort of condition the person who left the bag is in. We are so concerned about her. Other people saw the bag, but nobody thought about it. There could be a baby still alive. I wish we had checked straight away.”

Gwent Police member Superintendent John Burley stated about this case: “We are extremely concerned about the health and wellbeing of the mother of the baby and are appealing for her to come forward to receive any medical treatment she may require. This is a tragic incident which will sadden the local community and our priority at the moment is finding the mother of the baby. I would appeal to anyone who may have been in the vicinity of the Spar store on Thursday morning or afternoon who may be able to offer any information to assist our inquiry.”

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What Does It Mean To Be Human?

We can find answers to the question What does it mean to be human? in a multitude of places, from specific to global, objective to subjective. For example:

  • the chemistry of the human body
  • the biology of the human body
  • our physiology
  • our psychology
  • our ethnicity / culture
  • the study of sociology
  • the study of anthropology
  • our enjoyment of the arts
  • our appreciation of literature
  • our personal experiences.

Daniel Gilbert, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, jokingly opens his book Stumbling on Happiness[1] with the idea that all psychologists at some point in their careers will publish the sentence, The human being is the only animal that , and then finish that sentence in whatever way best suits their argument. In some respects to answer the question What makes us human? invites me to finish Daniel Gilberts sentence. This is not a simple task as the reason we are who we are is because of countless evolutionary choices and opportunities.

Lets focus for now on just one critical element of the human body our minds. In our mind lies our ability to master the tools of evolution itself. We live in an age and a part of the world that allow us to stand on the shoulders and call on the ideas of millions of others around the world and across human history. There are some key things that allow us to do this and perhaps this is where our humanity lies:

  • the cultural element (or memes)
  • consciousness
  • communication
  • collaboration

The Cultural Element, or Memes

In his book The Selfish Gene,[2] Richard Dawkins reminds us of the biology of genes. When two parents produce an offspring, that offspring carries half of the fathers genes and half of the mothers genes. When the two halves combine there is a small mutation, and an individual is produced. Dawkins suggests that a similar thing happens when we communicate ideas, behaviours or personal styles. The recipient of an idea filters that idea through his or her experiences and then the idea mutates a little to form a slight variation. This variation is then tested and/or passed on to others. By doing this we are using the process of evolution itself to determine the survival of ideas, behaviours and styles.


Our ability to be aware that we are separate to our environment provides us with the belief (rightly or wrongly) that we have free will. Our mind enables us to understand the difference between the past, the present and the future. Being aware of the passing of time encourages us to plan and act. Robert Levine conducted research that strongly suggests that the closer to the equator you live, the less aware you are of the passing of time.[3] Jared Diamond, in his work Guns, Germs and Steel,[4] suggests that the vast majority of industry and development happens in the temperate zones, at least in part because the changing of the seasons reminds us of the passing of time. Our own mortality is also a powerful motivator.


Speech has allowed us to communicate ideas from one person to another with a nuance that dramatically improves on mimicry alone. Humans are able to convey abstract concepts and discuss things that are not present. Pre-history, communication occurred through story, song, rhyme and metaphor. Today, if a group of people is gathered around a barbecue, at a dinner party or in a pub, they will still communicate primarily through the telling of stories. The advent of writing and the internet have dramatically sped up the process of communication. And Smartphones many people can now access nearly all of human knowledge through their phones, the true implications of which are yet to be determined.


We communicate with others because we are primarily a cooperative species. Yes, perhaps the West is going through an individualistic stage at the moment, but the work of Clare W. Graves and the theory of Spiral Dynamics[5] would suggest that this is necessary for us to evolve to a more sacrificial way of life. Robert Wright, the author of The Moral Animal,[6] suggests that there is no racism in Business Class on international flights because people travelling overseas in Business Class know that their success and survival are dependent on the success and survival of the people they trade with. So while it can be convenient and easy to take aim at corporations, it could be that those corporations are at the leading edge of evolution.

In the end, therefore, we are human because of countless decisions and opportunities along the evolutionary pathway. Perhaps of more importance are the tools we have picked up along the way that will help us continue to evolve. These are the tools of consciousness, the awareness of the passing of time and our own mortality, our advanced ability to communicate and our capacity to collaborate with other humans outside of our tribe.

[1] Gilbert, Daniel (2005), Stumbling on Happiness, Vintage Books, New York

[2] Dawkins, Richard (2006), The Selfish Gene, Oxford University Press, USA

[3] Levine, Robert (1997), The Geography of Time: The Temporal Misadventures of a Social Psychologist, Basic Books, New York

[4] Diamond, Jared (1999), Guns, Germs and Steel, W.W. Norton & Company, USA

[5] Graves, Clare, W. (1974), The Futurist, World Future Society, Maryland, pp. 7287

Beck, Don Edward and Cowan, Christopher (1996), Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership and Change, Blackwell Publishing, Carlton, Victoria

[6] Wright, Robert (1994), The Moral Animal, Vintage Books, New York

Benin, Nigeria join African Union continental free trade bloc

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Leaders of African Union (AU) member states met in Niamey, Niger’s capital, for an AU summit where on Sunday Presidents Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and Patrice Talon of Benin signed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

Nigeria previously announced it planned to join the AfCFTA in the week leading up to the summit. AU trade and industry commissioner Albert Muchanga announced Benin was to join. The commissioner said, “We haven’t yet agreed on rules of origin and tariff con[c]essions, but the framework we have is enough to start trading on July 1, 2020”.

Niger’s president Mahamadou Issoufou said, “Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy and most populous country. Without Nigeria the free trade zone would’ve been handicapped.”

The agreement seeks to remove tariffs on 90 percent of commodities and better intregrate African economies.

At the opening of the AU summit, AU chairperson President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt said, “The success of the AfCFTA will be the real test to achieve the economic growth that will turn our people’s dream of welfare and quality of life into a reality”.

With Sunday’s signings, all but one of the member states of the 55-member AU have signed on to the agreement, with Eritrea the only state unsigned. African leaders have negotiated the deal over the last four years. While 54 nations have signed onto the AfCFTA, only 27 have ratified the agreement.

While many transactions in Africa occur using U.S. dollars or euros, the AU announced an electronic pan-African payment system.African Export–Import Bank president Okey Oramah said the use of third-party currencies “costs Africa between $5 and $7 billion,” further saying, “Beyond that, it also reduces trade because Africa has a scarcity of foreign exchange.”

There are reportedly 1.3 billion people in the free trade area, with the combined economies of the countries worth US$3.4 trillion. One of the stated goals of AfCFTA is to encourage more intra-Africa trade. Currently about 16–17 percent of African trade occurs between African countries. This is in contrast to the European Union members, where intra-European trade accounts for over 60 percent of trade.

The International Monetary Fund said in May the AfCFTA might be for African countries comparable to the European and North American trade blocs as an “economic game changer”.

Seven members states had bid to host the AfCFTA secretariat, the operational organ of the free trade agreement, with Ghana winning the bid.

Retrieved from “,_Nigeria_join_African_Union_continental_free_trade_bloc&oldid=4629333”

Kiribati acquires international funding for solar power

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Last Tuesday, AusAID Australia and the World Bank’s Global Environment Fund (GEF) reached an agreement to give the government of Kiribati US$5 million (AU$4,779,000, NZ$5,985,000, €3,885,000) to install solar panels around the country capital, located on the Tarawa atoll. According to Business Desk of the Brunei Times, AusAID promised AU$3.2 million in funding, while GEF promised US$1 million. The country was the first in the Pacific to make a deal with the World Bank.

The funding was part of a US$530 million (NZ$635 million) package announced at yesterday’s Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland involving New Zealand and the European Union, Australia, the Asian Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the World Bank Group, and the United Arab Emirates. Also at the summit yesterday, New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully had announced a national commitment of USD$54,262,000 (AU$51,861,000 NZ$65 million, €42,178,000) to Pacific region energy solutions, of which US$8,348,000 (AU$8 million, NZ$10 million, €6,483,000) would be specifically earmarked for renewable energy and improved energy efficiency in the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu.

Kiribati is heavily dependent on diesel fuel for most of the energy available on the national power grid, which supplies power to half Kiribati’s population of 110,000. In addition, a third of the country’s population lacks access to electricity. Once installation of the solar panels is complete, they are estimated to reduce diesel consumption by 230,000 liters (60,760 gallons) a year and give access to the electricity to some parts of the population that currently have no electricity. The European Union already has committed €100 million to sustainable energy in the region, with €10 million of that coming as a result of an announcement made last week.

In a press release about the news, Kiribati President Anote Tong was quoted as saying, “Kiribati faces big challenges it is remote, it is at risk from the effects of climate change, and it is vulnerable to economic shocks. […] Shifting Kiribati’s focus to reliable solar energy will provide a more secure, more sustainable power source for the country’s people.” Radio New Zealand International quoted Tong as saying, “It’s the first time we are doing this. We’re excited at the prospect of even substituting fossil fuel to a small extent at this stage. What the system being envisaged will only produce around 500 kilowatts, but this is the beginning of what I hope will be a pattern, the trend in the future.”

The European Union’s Fiji-based head of operations for the Pacific region, Renato Mele, supported alternative energy solutions like solar power for the region, but said that solar power had limitations because climate and environmental conditions sometimes meant batteries required to power the panels had a life of only 12 months, compared to other climates where batteries normally last five years. This created the potential to drive up standard operating costs. Mele has also noted these additional costs though are still lower than the cost of diesel power.

One News Pacific Correspondent Barbara Dreaver noted, “Governments will be able to put the money they (currently) spend on diesel into things like education and health.”

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PV Taiwan 2007 starts with photovoltaic solutions and applications

Thursday, October 11, 2007

After the success of Taiwan Photovoltaic Forum 2006, the organizer Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) held PV Taiwan 2007 Forum and Exhibition at Taipei International Convention Center on October 11 and 12. This forum and exhibitions attracted 74 companies participating with 110 exhibition booths at TICC 1F and 2F, and is mainly focused on photovoltaic materials/modules/products, electrical system transformation products, system appliances.

According to TAITRA, with the environment topic on global warming, increasing of oil prices, environment awareness, and greenhouse effect, solar energy is a very important energy source from now. The production value is currently increasing world-wide, with the help of semiconductor industry, the photovoltaic industry will play a suitable role at energy and environment industry in Taiwan.

In the exhibition, lots of exhibitors showed their solutions and products on solar energy modules and photovoltaic products with lots of unique functions such as waterproof, long-time usage, and industry integration. One of the exhibitors – Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) also held a seminar and “Jinyi Award” for nominated participants and college students on photovoltaic industry.

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Guide To Building A Planter

Guide to Building a Planter


Tauqeer Hassan

Plenty of ways are available for decorating an empty looking patio. However, all of them are not very useful and practical. If one decides to build a vegetable or herb garden then one must learn to build a planter. It is environment friendly and a wooden tiered planter can be built. It is space efficient and not very expensive besides adding serenity to the deck. Here is a simple step by step procedure for building a planter.


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If little space is available, there is no need to worry as the below mentioned instructions will explain the ways to make a tiered planter. For two tiered square planter, the things needed are soil, composite plastic timber or any other type of treated timber such as Vermont cedar which is ideal for shovel, planting, galvanized screws, wheelbarrow as well as plastic sheet for preventing water drainage. According to the imaginary picture of the two tiered planter which is to be built, it looks like a square planter with another elevated planter on the top left corner.

Now, two pieces of 1×5 treated timbers have to be aligned together for forming an L shape. They have to be secured by fixing galvanized screws on the corner. The process has to be continued by attaching the third and fourth piece of timber for forming a square frame. Now there will be a square frame. After this, the second tier has to be constructed. Same steps have to be repeated for building a smaller square frame by using treated timber of two measurements, two pieces of 2×3 and two pieces of 1×3. Two pieces of 1×3 have to be secured by screwing them together with galvanized screws. Wood glue has to be applied on one end and then placing them over the top left corner of the big frame. Two pieces of 2×3 timbers have to be screws together for forming an L shape and then they have to be attached to the left corner of the big frame.

A piece of 5 x 5 treated lumber has to be attached to the bottom of the frame as the base. They have to be nailed at the ends where the lumbers overlap. Now stain and water proof solution has to be applied to the frame and they can be painted as desired. The frame should be given at least 24 hours to dry before the soil is poured in. A piece of plastic sheet has to be laid to the base for preventing water drainage.

Finally, soil can be poured into the tiers and flowers or herbs can be planted. It is good to water them twice every day. A trellis can be added for supporting the plants if needed.

You might also be interested in learning

how to build a planter


how to build a putting green


Article Source:

Wikinews Shorts: March 2, 2007

A compilation of brief news reports for Friday, March 2, 2007.

United States fast-food chain Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits has filed a $20 million dollar lawsuit against competitor Church’s Chicken.

Popeyes Chicken says fast-food chain Church’s Chicken was trying to steal customers.

AFC owned both companies for 12 years, till it sold Church’s in 2004. AFC claims that Church bought all 10 Popeyes restaurants owned by franchisee CVI. Popeyes Chicken says the sale of the 10 restaurants violated its franchise agreement with CVI.

The sudden buy-out in December 2006 led the restaurants to close in early January 2007.

“What Church’s chose to do, I do believe, was not honest competition,” said Ken Keymer, CEO of AFC Enterprises Inc., the parent company of Popeyes.

Church’s spokesperson chose not to comment on the issue.


  • Kyle Arnold. “Popeyes file suit over Churchs’ buyout” — The Monitor, March 1, 2007
  • Associated Press. “Popeyes Chicken sues Church’s Chicken” — BusinessWeek, February 28, 2007

The national body for scientific research in Australia, the CSIRO has announced that 93 species of shrubs and small trees of the w:genus Dryandra have been been merged into the genus Banksia in the series Dryandra. This increased the number of Banksia species from 80 to 173.

The plants are endemic to the southwestern corner of Western Australia and the former genus was named in honour of the Swedish botanist Jonas C. Dryander.


  • A.Mast and K.Thiele. “The transfer of Dryandra R.Br. to Banksia L.f. (Proteaceae)” — CSIRO, February 26, 2007
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BBC spends £3.4m on sell-off

Friday, June 27, 2008

Newspaper The Guardian reports today that the sale of the BBC subsidiary BBC Resources Ltd., has cost £3.4m in consultancy fees — over £1m more than the £2.3m trading profit the commercial division is estimated to have made for the last financial year. Details of the failed privatisation were released by the BBC following a freedom of information request, and prior to publication of its annual report on July 8.

Fourteen months after advisers were appointed to try to sell BBC Resources Ltd., only one of the three main business units has been sold — its Outside Broadcast division to Satellite Information Services Limited (SIS), for an estimated £20m. On March 7, 2008 it was also announced that the studios operation would remain in BBC ownership and in early June, the fate of the third business was put on hold with the BBC stating that “like Studios, Post Production will remain within BBC Resources, which will continue to operate as a wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of the BBC.”

BBC Resources Ltd. made an operating profit of £6.1m for 2005-06, down from £7.4m the year before, with the BBC accounting for 83.3% of its turnover, down from 87.4% for 2004-05. Last year’s published figure for 2006-07 was £5.2 million — with BBC business at 80% of turnover.

BECTU Assistant General Secretary Luke Crawley is quoted as saying: “It’s fairly outrageous that around half the profit of the company [announced last year] has been spent trying to sell it. It’s an inordinate amount of money. The BBC was promised big returns if it sold BBC Resources but it’s only managed to sell outside broadcasts and we do not know how much it made out of that. We think the £3.4m is a poor investment.”

Retrieved from “£3.4m_on_sell-off&oldid=1979407”

Hardwood Flooring Maintenance

Hardwood is getting trendy because it is very durable and also very economical to be used as compared to other types of floorings. The tile floorings are very costly and also they need a lot of maintenance to keep them clean and shinning. This is not the case for the hardwood flooring. It has been designed to be used in every type of environment. It has issues like other floorings that cannot be exposed to any hard environments or they get damaged. Hardwood flooring has become very useful as it is very affordable and even if you need some repairs after some time you can easily get them without the need to replace the complete flooring. Hardwood flooring has many designs and also these designs are continued for a very long time so if you want to replace a certain part of your flooring then you can get the same design and your flooring will remain the same. Hardwood flooring has the lowest maintenance as it needs no regular polishing to keep it shiny as it has its own natural shine that keeps it new for long time and if you need to polish it then it takes very less time and the polishing material for hardwood polishing is also very easily available and inexpensive. If your area of hardwood flooring is large and you have hired a cleaning service then they will also not charge you more because they have to do very less work in cleaning or polishing the hardwood floor. The durability of the hardwood flooring depends upon the quality or wood that you have used. Once you have used the best hardwood flooring for your place thanyou will never have to change to prrepair it for any reason. The regular maintenance is enough to keep the hardwood flooring to lookas new. Hardwood flooring is very good for home environments because they also help to keep the temperature of your place balanced. Hardwood flooring looks very elegant and also it can be used in many different types of environments as it suits too many environments. It is like a single thing that can be the part of many different things it can fit everywhere. It can also be polished in different shades of wood colordepending upon the need. People like hardwood flooring because of itelegant and sober outlook. Hardwood flooring is also very good floor to walk as there is very less chance of slipping on it as compared to other floors that are very slippery and if you do not walk with concentration you might slip on it. This is why it is used in many places. Hardwood flooring also comeas a water proof and fire proof. This has been made possible by using the chemical substances for treating the ordinary flooring wood into hardwood flooring. Hardwood flooring has many other qualities while other types of flooring lack these qualities and they are also not liked much by people.

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Tsvangirai campaign rallies banned in Zimbabwe

Friday, June 6, 2008

Police in Zimbabwe have stopped opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC) en route to a campaign rally. His convoy was then escorted to a police station in Esigodini.

“Tsvangirai and other MDC leaders were detained again in Umzingwane. They are being taken to Esigodini police station,” said MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa.

Wayne Bvudzijena, a spokesman for the police, said that he was not aware of this incident, but added that roadblocks are used by the police to conduct weapons searches. “Tsvangirai and his convoy are not immune to search,” he said. “They can be searched at any roadblock they pass.”

Afterwards, the government banned political rallies in support of Tsvangirai, effectively ending his campaigning. Officials said the decision was made to protect the safety of Tsvangirai and MDC party leaders.

George Sibotshiwe, a spokesperson for Tsvangirai, called the ban “a clear indication that the regime will do everything necessary to remain in power,” and said its justification was “nonsense.”

Earlier today, Tsvangirai was prevented from attending a rally at a mine near Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, Bulawayo, when police blocked the road.

“One of our leading vehicles was stopped, then the rest of us were stopped as well. We tried to get an explanation from the police and they said we should have told them in advance that Mr Tsvangirai was going to visit,” said Lovemore Moyo, MDC chairman, to AFP. “They then turned us back and we had to use a smaller road to get back to the main road. We are now proceeding.”

“We were unable to speak at the mine as we heard at the gate, there were ZANU-PF activists blocking the entrance. We only managed to speak to our local councillors,” Moyo said.

Also today, the government announced a ban on all foreign aid groups operating in the country. Some groups, including CARE International had already been banned earlier this week.

“I hereby instruct all PVOs/NGOs to suspend all field operations until further notice,” said social welfare minister Nicholas Goche in a statement.

James Elder, a spokesperson for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), called it “completely unacceptable and hugely concerning. Hundreds of thousands of children are in need of immediate assistance. With the onset of the winter in Zimbabwe, the timing is critical for children who are among the most vulnerable and most in need of support.”

US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer called on President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa to pressure Mugabe “not to starve the population and to allow international organizations to function.”

“It’s unbelievable that the government will actually kick out the organizations which are providing services to the people,” Frazer said.

Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights told Voice of America that halting food aid is unconscionable in the opinion of Louise Arbour.

“To deprive people of food because of an election is a complete perversion of democracy. How can you possibly deprive people with food and then ask for a democratic vote?” Colville said.

Speaking at the United Nations Headquarters, the Zimbabwean ambassador Boniface Chidyauskiku said that the government was not using food as a tool in the election.

“There is no use of food as a political weapon. It is the other way around. It is the relief agencies, followed by the U.S. government, that have been using food as a political weapon,” Chidyauskiku said to the Associated Press. “They have gone out into the countryside and they have been telling Zimbabweans that if you don’t vote for the opposition, if you don’t change your vote, there’s no food for you.”

Yesterday, United States and United Kingdom diplomats were stopped in their vehicles in an incident the US called “outrageous” and said that they were threatened with being burned alive in their cars.

“Basically, the police told them they were not going anywhere unless they got out of the car,” said deputy information minister Bright Matonga. “The police told them they should respect the laws of the country unless they have something to hide.”

Two days ago, Tsvangirai was detained for several hours before being released without charges.

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