Darfur conflict drives out 2.7m

Sudanese rebel soldier.THE Darfur conflict has killed up to 300,000 people, according to the United Nations, and has driven more than 2.7 million from their homes, some of them into neighbouring Chad, fuelling instability there.
Nanjing Night Net

It ignited in 2003 as a political conflict between rebels in the western region and the Sudanese Government but was fuelled by long-standing competition between mostly Arab nomads and African farmers for scarce water and land after years of worsening drought.

Herders who were once allowed to graze their camels on farmers’ land because their droppings helped fertilise the soil found themselves increasingly blocked by farming communities.

Some became eager recruits for the Janjaweed, the Arab militias backed by Khartoum who have spearheaded the brutal counter-insurgency.

International attempts to broker a peace agreement have produced little in the face of a splintering of rebel groups and an aerial bombing campaign by Khartoum, which has hindered the deployment of a new multinational peacekeeping force of UN and African Union soldiers.

Some experts have argued that Darfur is an example of a new wave of conflicts driven by competition for land and water in a world in which these are becoming scarcer.

High food prices, also a result in part of climate change, have also triggered unrest in nearly 40 countries.

Guardian News & Media

Read more

Proud mum now has two ‘champs’

Gai Carney is the proudest sporting mum in Dubbo this week and she has every reason to be, living at home with two Australian “champions”.
Nanjing Night Net

For more than 25 years Gai has cherished the success her husband Tom ‘Bomber’ Carney achieved in the boxing ring.

All those wonderful moments for Gai and Tom came flooding back this week when their 17-year-old son Luke was selected to be part of the Australia Aboriginal Schoolboys squad on a week-long tour of South Africa.

Gai has watched as her men have achieved plenty, and she is mighty proud, especially of her latest champion.

“Luke deserved this success and I would say he is the first Dubbo Aboriginal boy to make an Australian rugby side,” she said.

“He just loves rugby and wouldn’t play anything else, but he would not have got there without the support of his teachers at St Johns College, Andy Haycock and Shane Alderdice.

“Both have been encouraging him, especially after he made the central west and country under-17s last year.

“The Lloyd McDermott Aboriginal Rugby Program was chasing Luke but he was only 16 at the time and the teachers advised him to concentrate on his studies and football at this level.

“He turns 18 on Sunday and in July is off to South Africa with an Australian Aboriginal team – Tom and I are both very pleased for him.”

The 23-player squad will assemble in Sydney for a four-day tournament at Trinity Grammar School and then play their first match in Cape Town, South Africa on Tuesday July 24.

The big day will be on Saturday July 28 when Luke’s Australians play a South African schoolboys team before the Wallabies versus Springboks Tri-Nations clash.

While Gai and Tom Carney won’t get the chance to see Luke play in South Africa, they have become regular Dubbo Kangaroos supporters and enjoyed seeing their son succeed at club and junior representative level last year.

He has been first grade halfback this season although the Kangaroos have won only one match.

Luke’s sporting career is very different to the life his father knew as a youngster.

Bomber started boxing when he was 14 and a student at Dubbo High School. He is now in his 50s and still helps out with a few boxers.

Bomber learned his trade under his father Tom and John McLean who was in charge of the Police Youth Club at the time. He went on to win NSW amateur titles from 1971-73 and had his first overseas trip to Tahiti in 1972 when he won gold at the Oceanic Games.

The crowning jewel for Bomber came in 1974 when he was selected to represent Australia in the Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Although he only had mixed success against top-class opposition on that occasion, he was, and still is, acknowledged as one of Dubbo’s best ever sportsmen.

Time will tell whether Luke Carney can emulate the feats of his father.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Read more

Dilemmas

DILEMMAS likes to imagine readers spending their evenings discussing permaculture food forest systems over an organic two-bean dhal, or curled up with a dog-eared copy of Earth Garden magazine, learning how to make a solar chimney from a bin liner and toilet rolls.
Nanjing Night Net

However, with one in four households buying a new television each year, and Australia having the world’s highest per capita sales of LCD and plasma televisions, Dilemmas accepts that it’s possible – just possible – that eco-warriors occasionally spend an evening zombied out in front of the gogglebox. So we thought we’d better look at how to do so in the most environmentally responsible manner possible.

Televisions use a lot of energy in making us fat, stupid and depressed. They come fourth, behind water heating, refrigeration and lighting, in terms of energy use in the home, says the Department of the Environment. The number of televisions per household, the average screen size and the hours people spend watching television are all rising.

Should you wish to offload a set, Planet Ark can point you in the direction of a council or company that recycles televisions. Phone 1300733712 or see www.recyclingnearyou杭州夜网.au.

Should you wish to replace it with a new one, the good news is that choosing a television is about to become easier, with the Federal Government announcing this month that a voluntary energy star-rating system for televisions would be introduced in the next six months, followed by mandatory labelling and minimum efficiency standards next year.

In the meantime, the consumer website www杭州夜网parison杭州夜网.au has come up with its own energy efficiency ratings based on manufacturers’ published specifications. Consumers can use the website to compare models.

To narrow down your search, bear in mind that the bigger the television, the more energy it uses, so choose a small set if you can. Besides, big screens look awful if you’re too close. Ideally, the distance from the screen to the couch should be between two and five times the width of the screen, says www杭州夜网parison杭州夜网.au.

Plasma is a bad choice not only because it comes in just two sizes – huge and gargantuan – but because it is the worst performer in terms of energy consumption per square centimetre.

The Hummers of the television world, plasmas contribute an average 400 kilograms of carbon dioxide a year to the atmosphere, reports Britain’s Energy Saving Trust – that’s four times what the good old cathode ray television produced.

LCD and rear projection sets are much less wasteful – about on a par with cathode ray sets in terms of energy consumption. However, as rear projection sets tend to be the size of the Kings Cross Coca-Cola sign, that does negate their energy efficiency benefits.

Cathode ray televisions are still available, cheap and produce great pictures; but they’re bulky and few have in-built digital tuners.

If you decide LCD is the way to go, shop around. Some manufacturers are responding to eco-warrior angst by offering sets that save power by dimming the backlight in response to content or the light in the room.

Manufacturers are also improving standby modes. By 2012 all televisions sold in Australia must use no more than one watt on standby. In 1993 some sets used more than 20 watts, says www杭州夜网parison杭州夜网.au.

Of course, if they’re switched off at the mains, they use no power. "Turn it off if you aren’t watching it," advises the Department of the Environment.

Dilemmas goes further, and says: turn off your TV even if you are watching it. You’re much better off reading Earth Garden . Do you have a green dilemma? Email [email protected]杭州夜网.au

Read more

Share your memories

Compiling a written history of the Dubbo Show is an enormous undertaking and it can’t be effectively completed without assistance from the public.
Nanjing Night Net

That’s the view of show secretary Sue Hood who has spent the past three years wading through old newspapers, documents and photographs.

A great deal of information has already been amassed but Mrs Hood believes much more is hidden away in the minds and homes of western area residents.

She’s appealing for people to share their memories and memorabilia so that a much more detailed picture of the Dubbo Show can be preserved for future generations.

“History is a fascinating thing and I’ve certainly found myself enthralled as I search through the 128 years of the show,” Mrs Hood said.

“It’s been a massive job because much of the show society’s archival material has been lost to floods and other circumstances.

“We need help from the public to ensure important information isn’t inadvertently left out of the written history we are in the process of compiling.

“A lot of people would have personal scrap books relating to the show or a drawer or box full of old programs, photographs, prize certificates and the like. We’d love to have access to that kind of material and with today’s technology documents and photographs can be scanned quite quickly and returned straight back to the owner.

“We’re also interested in the oral history of the show – personal recollections about what life was like during the various decades, how the show and the community changed.

“We’re hopeful people attending this weekend’s show will come forward with material for the book. People are most welcome to drop information into the show office or to leave their name, phone number or address and we’ll make contact in coming weeks.”

Mrs Hood has spent many hours at Macquarie Regional Library studying old newspapers on microfilm. It’s a painstaking process and so far she’s only up to 1895.

“I’ve got a long way to go but it’s well worth the time and the effort,” she said.

“The Dubbo Show has been an integral part of life, not only in this town but in communities throughout a large part of the State.

“From the very beginning the show was attended by people from far and wide. Older folk tell of spending two days travelling to the show by horse and cart and staying in a local hotel for the best part of a week to take part in all the activities associated with the show. They then faced another two-day trip home.”

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Read more