In Karachi, a human shield for Hindus celebrating Holi

By DAWN.COM

KARACHI: The National Student’s Federation (NSF) organised the formation of a human shield at the Holi celebrations at Swami Narayan Temple today to show solidarity with and protect Hindus in attendance.

The demonstration is an attempt to promote interfaith coexistence and cooperation among different religious and ethnic groups in Pakistan. The NSF leveraged social media to spread information about the event, extending e-vitations to others who share their outlook on religious tolerance and wish to participate in the demonstration.

Also read: Mithi: Where a Hindu fasts and a Muslim does not slaughter cows

A member of the NSF describes it as a “progressive leftist organisation” dating back to the NSF of the Ayub Khan era. The organisation experienced a revival in 2006 – 2008.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1167564/in-karachi-a-human-shield-for-hindus-celebrating-holi

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More » The Times of India
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Human-shield-to-protect-Hindus-celebrating-Holi-in-Pakistan/articleshow/46475072.cms

Isis fighters throw another ‘gay’ man off a tower – and stone him to death when he survives fall

Isis fighters threw a man accused of homosexuality from a building and stoned him to death when he survived the fall, a Syrian monitoring group has claimed.

The man was reportedly thrown from a tower in the Syrian city of al- Tabaqa, west of the group’s defacto stronghold of Raqqa, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). The Observatory collects information from activists living in  Isis-controlled territories.

The killing reportedly took place in front of a huge crowd of people gathered below the building on Tuesday.

Read more » The Independent
See more » http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-fighters-throw-another-gay-man-off-a-tower–and-stone-him-to-death-when-he-survives-fall-10084618.html

No exit: Human rights activists denied foreign travel at Karachi airport

By Faraz Khan

KARACHI: Abdul Qadeer Baloch, also known as Mama Qadeer, the vice-chairperson of the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP), was stopped from travelling outside the country at the Karachi Airport on Wednesday night.

Qadeer, accompanied by his organisation’s general secretary, Farzana Majeed and a relative of one of the Baloch missing persons, Faiqa Baloch, was travelling to New York for a conference on the alleged human rights violations in Balochistan and Sindh, to be held on March 7.

“They [FIA] officials told us that Farzana and I could not leave the country as our names have been placed on the exit control list [ECL],” Qadeer told The Express Tribune. “They even stopped Faiqa as her visa was issued in my name.” He added that the FIA officials also off-loaded their luggage from the plane. “They forced us to stay at the airport for at least three-and-a-half hours until the plane flew off, during which time they mentally tortured us,” he alleged.

“The US government has given us a five-year visa, but we cannot fly to the USA now,” he lamented. “I just want to ask the government what we have done wrong that made them stop us from travelling abroad,” he questioned, adding that there was no case registered against him and he had never heard about his name being put on the ECL.

“What is the government doing with us since the last six years? We are human rights activists, not anti-state activists, but the government has always tried to label us in the latter category,” he decried. “They [government] should be ashamed of such activities.”

On contact, the FIA officials confirmed that the name of Qadeer and Farzana Majeed had been placed on the ECL. “We do not know why their names were put on the ECL as it does not concern us,” the FIA’s Immigrations deputy director, Asim Qaimkhani, told The Express Tribune. “We only follow the system. We put their names on the computer and found them on the ECL. It is our job to stop those people whose names are on the ECL and we only did our job.” He said that only the interior ministry would be able to tell why their names were put on the ECL.

HRCP condemns

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has slammed the denial of foreign travel to the rights activists, reportedly on account of their ‘anti-state activities’.

In a statement issued on Thursday by chairperson Zohra Yusuf, the commission said:

“Apart from the obvious denial of the freedom of movement, the decision to prevent them from traveling abroad is bound to add to the sense of deprivation felt by the Baloch. It also demonstrates the many difficulties that human rights defenders face in their work in the country.”

This manner of arbitrarily adding citizens’ names to the ECL has been severely criticised by the Supreme Court in the last few years and the government has committed on more than one occasion to introduce parameters to introduce safeguards to prevent abuse. The safeguards are meant to inform the individuals in time about inclusion of their names to the list in order to enable them to challenge the inclusion, read the statement.

Continue reading No exit: Human rights activists denied foreign travel at Karachi airport

Australian-first floating solar farm due to begin construction in SA

PHOTO: Solar panels will be floated at the wastewater facility at Jamestown similar to a current project in France. (Supplied: Infratech Industries)
PHOTO: Solar panels will be floated at the wastewater facility at Jamestown similar to a current project in France. (Supplied: Infratech Industries)

By Matthew Doran

An Australian-first floating solar power plant is expected to be operational in South Australia by early April, with construction about to begin.

The plant will float on a wastewater treatment facility in Jamestown in the state’s mid north.

Felicia Whiting of Infratech Industries said the plant was designed so that much of the construction could be carried out offsite and slotted together at the facility.

“We should see some plant on the site within about two weeks,” Ms Whiting said.

She also explained that as the solar panels were floating they would be kept cool by the water mass, making them about 57 per cent more efficient than land-based solar panels.

“It prevents water evaporation up to 90 per cent of the surface area covered, and for dry states and dry climates that’s a big water saving measure,” Ms Whiting said.

“It prevents the outbreak of blue-green algae by keeping the surface water cool, which is for treated wastewater an issue in water quality.

“By preventing photosynthesis, the energy from the sun goes into the panel rather than into the water.”

Read more » ABC
See  more » http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-05/australian-first-floating-solar-farm-for-sa/6281374

China: PV installed capacity grows to almost 30 GW in 2014

China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) has released 2014 solar figures. The report shows installed capacity approached 30 GW, while manufacturers are reporting greatly increased utilization rates.

The NEA report concludes that as of the end of 2014, the total installed PV capacity of connected to state grid was 28.05 GW. Breakdown between installation type reveals ground-mounted capacity was 23.38 GW while Distributed Generation (DG) came in at 4.67 GW.

Total electricity generated by PV showed rapid growth in 2014, reaching 25 billion kW/h, an increase of more than 200% over last year.

For 2014, NEA reports 10.6 GW of new capacity was connected to the state grid, along the lines of previous predictions of 10.52 GW. This accounts for around one quarter of all new PV capacity installed globally and one-third of the total PV module output from China.

Geographically, the east part of China overtook the west for the first time in terms of new PV capacity installed, accounting for 54% of arrays.

Upstream data

From the perspective of the upstream industry, in 2014 the total poly silicon production of China was about 130,000 tons, a 50% increase on 2013. Despite this rapid growth, China still imported about 90,000 tons of poly silicon for domestic manufacturing. The photovoltaic modules production was over 33 GW, an increase of 17% over the previous year of which 68% were exported.

The capacity utilization of PV manufactures increased sharply. The average capacity utilization of top 10 PV modules manufactures stood above 87% by the end of 2014.

The NEA has announced the goal of 15 GW for new solar capacity for 2015.

News courtesy: PV Magazine

Read more: http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/china–pv-installed-capacity-grows-to-almost-30-gw-in-2014_100018231/#ixzz3TVu14y5b