5 questions for Brexit Britain

first_imgLet’s begin with British understatement: Brexit has been a source of some disagreement in recent months. But while it can sometimes seem like there are as many opinions about leaving the European Union as there are people in the United Kingdom, there’s one thing everybody agrees on: Brexit means change — and the country will have to make the best of it.It may feel like a political lifetime since Prime Minister Theresa May described “this moment of change” as an opportunity “to build a stronger economy and a fairer society by embracing genuine economic and social reform” in her Lancaster House speech in January. But the fundamental nature of Brexit remains the same: an opportunity to review the priorities of the British economy and — maybe — to rewrite them.The basics of the Brexit plan the prime minister set out that day also remain in place: leave the European single market and customs union and strike a free trade deal with the EU. In the coming weeks, we’ll explore the various economic avenues the U.K. might wish to pursue after Brexit. In this brainstorm white paper, we lay out the key questions facing policymakers and industry leaders as they adjust to Britain’s long-term, post-EU future.The problem: Brexit is a political certainty (more or less) but it’s fraught with economic risk. The government has to strike a withdrawal agreement and a trade deal with the EU that minimizes the economic damage of leaving the single market and customs union, while maximizing opportunities to restructure the economy and deepen trade partnerships.The question: What are the post-Brexit economic freedoms the U.K. should aim to exploit?The problem: After Brexit, the U.K. will be a free agent on the global trading stage. But free trade agreements are of limited use to an economy so heavily weighted toward services.The question: When striking trade agreements, how should the country balance its efforts between breaking new ground in global services trade and carving out new markets for its goods?The problem: The City of London and the U.K.’s world-leading financial services industry benefits hugely from having the EU as its “domestic” market. But leaving the single market throws the future of this relationship into doubt, potentially cutting London off from European clients.The question: What can the government and financial and related services firms do to minimize the damage and maximize the rewards of Brexit for this sector?The problem: Britain doesn’t make much anymore. The U.K.’s manufacturing base has long been in decline as a percentage of GDP, from 18 percent in 1990 to 10 percent today. Overseas competitors outgun the U.K. on price and on scale. Leaving the EU could exacerbate the problem by putting barriers between the U.K. and 450 million potential consumers of its goods.The question: Can the U.K. turn Brexit into a manufacturing opportunity? Can it and should it seek a mini-reindustrialization?The problem: The British government is proud of the country’s vibrant tech sector and has identified it as an industry with potential to grow whatever happens after Brexit. But changes to immigration law and the investment environment pose risks.The question: What policies should the U.K. put in place to protect and encourage this industry? The Global Policy Lab is a first-of-its-kind, collaborative editorial project, drawing on the smartest minds — POLITICO’s audience — to drive an informed conversation seeking solutions to challenging policy problems. Sign up for our weekly newsletter.Download a pdf version of this white paper.last_img read more

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Ancient Roman Concrete Reveals Secret to Cutting Carbon Emissions

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreThe chemical secrets of a concrete Roman breakwater that has spent the last 2,000 years submerged in the Mediterranean Sea have been uncovered by an international team of researchers led by a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.Analysis of the samples pinpointed why the best Roman concrete was superior to most modern concrete in durability, why its manufacture was less environmentally damaging – and how these improvements could be adopted in the modern world.“It’s not that modern concrete isn’t good – it’s so good we use 19 billion tons of it a year,” says Paulo Monteiro of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “The problem is that manufacturing Portland cement accounts for seven percent of the carbon dioxide that industry puts into the air.” Portland cement is the source of the “glue” that holds most modern concrete together. But making it releases carbon from burning fuel, needed to heat a mix of limestone and clays to 1,450 degrees Celsius (2,642 degrees Fahrenheit) – and from the heated limestone (calcium carbonate) itself. Monteiro’s team found that the Romans, by contrast, used much less lime and made it from limestone baked at 900˚ C (1,652˚ F) or lower, requiring far less fuel than Portland cement.Cutting greenhouse gas emissions is one powerful incentive for finding a better way to provide the concrete the world needs; another is the need for stronger, longer-lasting buildings, bridges, and other structures.“In the middle 20th century, concrete structures were designed to last 50 years, and a lot of them are on borrowed time,” Monteiro says. “Now we design buildings to last 100 to 120 years.” Yet Roman harbor installations have survived 2,000 years of chemical attack and wave action underwater.How the Romans did itThe Romans made concrete by mixing lime and volcanic rock. For underwater structures, lime and volcanic ash were mixed to form mortar, and this mortar and volcanic tuff were packed into wooden forms. The seawater instantly triggered a hot chemical reaction. The lime was hydrated – incorporating water molecules into its structure – and reacted with the ash to cement the whole mixture together.Descriptions of volcanic ash have survived from ancient times. First Vitruvius, an engineer for the Emperor Augustus, and later Pliny the Elder recorded that the best maritime concrete was made with ash from volcanic regions of the Gulf of Naples (Pliny died in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that buried Pompeii), especially from sites near today’s seaside town of Pozzuoli. Ash with similar mineral characteristics, called pozzolan, is found in many parts of the world.Using experimental facilities from UC Berkeley, Saudi Arabia and Germany, they found that Roman concrete from Pozzuoli differs from the modern kind in several essential ways. One is the kind of glue that binds the concrete’s components together, with the Roman mineral mix producing an exceptionally stable binder. The results revealed a mineral mix with potential applications for high-performance concretes, including the encapsulation of hazardous wastes.“For us, pozzolan is important for its practical applications,” says Monteiro. “It could replace 40 percent of the world’s demand for Portland cement. And there are sources of pozzolan all over the world. Saudi Arabia has mountains of it.”Stronger, longer-lasting modern concrete, made with less fuel and less release of carbon into the atmosphere, may be the legacy of a deeper understanding of how the Romans made their incomparable concrete.(Learn more: Lawrence Berkeley National Lab)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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QPR to make another attempt to sign Tottenham youngster – report

first_imgQPR are planning another attempt to sign Tottenham striker Harry Kane, according to The Sun.Rangers’ former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp tried to take the 20-year-old to Loftus Road on loan in the summer but the deal did not go through.And it is claimed he will renew his interest in Kane when the transfer window reopens.AdChoices广告Related West London Sport story: Spurs’ Kane lined up to replace JohnsonThe same newspaper link QPR with a possible move for Bradford City striker Nahki Wells.Wigan and Blackburn Rovers are also said to be keen on the Bantams star. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

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Obodai signs for Dynamo in MLS

first_imgGhana international Anthony Obodai has been signed by Major League Soccer side, Houston Dynamo.The 27-year-old midfielder who was playing for RKC Waalwijk in the Netherlands, becomes the club’s first designated player with his signing contingent on the arrival of his international transfer certificate.Obodai spent two weeks with the Dynamo in June, starting in two exhibition matches.Source: Ghanafa.orglast_img

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EDIBLE ARRANGEMENT: Le Courtois isn’t playing with food — she’s making…

first_img Viviane Le Courtois is showing Raw, Cooked, Fermented on Monday June 13, 2016 at Denver Botanic Gardens.Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel A cast iron artichoke on Monday June 13, 2016 at Denver Botanic Gardens.Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel AURORA | Julia Child once said that, “In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport.”Now, more than a decade after the death of the woman credited with aggrandizing commercial cooking in America, local mixed-media artist Viviane Le Courtois is working to solidify that sentiment stateside and take it to a distinctly unique level.Late last month, Le Courtois opened a new exhibit at Denver Botanic Gardens entitled “Raw, Cooked, Fermented,” which features more than a dozen pieces of various media that use food to create art.Hanging on the naked concrete walls of the DBG’s Gates Garden Court Gallery, several maple-framed pieces coyly hide ties to the organic world. Upon examination, a series of seemingly diffident sketches depicting different home goods like pickles, kimchi and sauerkraut is revealed to be stained with the respective juice of each concoction — a sketch of giant red mustard leaves pops with a magnetizing scarlet hue. Across the room, a series of embryonic prints made with kombucha hang beside a pair of cast iron artichokes. Viviane Le Courtois’s art exhibit Raw, Cooked, Fermented is on display on Monday June 13, 2016 at Denver Botanic Gardens.Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel Viviane Le Courtois is showing Raw, Cooked, Fermented on Monday June 13, 2016 at Denver Botanic Gardens.Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel Garlics and Onions, made out of ceramics by Viviane Le Courtois at Denver Botanic Gardens.Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinelcenter_img A piece named Raw, Cooked, Fermented by Viviane Le Courtois is at Denver Botanic Gardens.Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel Elliptocyte 1is a print made from kombucha etchings on Monday June 13, 2016 at Denver Botanic Gardens.Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel Le Courtois perfected her still-secret kombucha printing process in 2004 by staining zinc plates with the bacteria’s highly acidic juices. A program manager at Downtown Aurora Visual Arts by day, the Denver-based artist beams as she describes some of the smallest pieces in the new exhibit, which are comprised of several ceramic onions and garlic cloves. They’re foods her family has grown in her native Brittany, France for generations.“When I was a kid we ate tons of artichokes and cauliflower,” she says. “Foraging, cooking, art, it’s just always been a part of my life.”Le Courtois said that her fascination with the relationship between art and food started early in her childhood, when her mother scolded her for picking flowers out of the garden to make paint. “Because that was all I had,” she says. “I had no art supplies, so I had to find my own.”But it wasn’t until she was 19 years old and a student at art school in Niece, France that Le Courtois’ professional blending of food and art began to flourish. One of her first works at school involved making sculptures out of chewed up licorice roots.A Denver resident for more than 20 years, Le Courtois is always working on a project that brings the kitchen into the studio — or vice versa. She’s typically working on some sort of new “kitchen experiment,” like growing a kombucha culture for her next round of zinc prints, or nursing one of her various jarred goods in her new house in the East Montclair neighborhood.It’s that lifestyle that made Le Courtois’ work ideal for the gardens ongoing exploration and exhibition of the intersection between art and food, according to Kim Manajek, associate director of exhibitions, art and interpretation at DBG.“It is a beautifully cohesive exhibition that is a perfect fit for Denver Botanic Gardens’ Gates Garden Court Gallery,” Manjek said in a statement.Despite the divine match, Le Courtois said that she was challenged by DBG’s stipulation that she couldn’t use any truly live material in the exhibit.“The show had to last for two months, and they didn’t want anything in the display case that could attract bugs,” she said. “I think it was a challenge for me to not work with any live material in a place that has a bunch of live things.”Le Courtois will be leading a workshop at DBG at the end of July on how to grow your own art supplies. Her completed works will be on display daily at the Gates Garden Court Gallery through the end of July. Viviane Le Courtois is showing Raw, Cooked, Fermented on Monday June 13, 2016 at Denver Botanic Gardens.Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinellast_img read more

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Tony Becca | Congrats Imran, good luck Collis

first_imgThere is a saying that there are different strokes for different folks, and although the circumstances are somewhat different, there is a difference in the strokes for Imran Khan and Collis King. While both men are cricketers, with one once married to a well-to-do Englishwoman and the other married to a simple Englishwoman, one was a famous cricketer and captain of his country, the other a not-so-famous cricketer who enjoyed one or two moments in the limelight; and one is now Prime Minister and the other is hunting a visa that would allow him to stay in England with his English wife. On top of that, one was schooled in England, where he attended Oxford University, and the other was not. Imran Khan, the first Test cricketer to become a prime minister and a former all-rounder who played for Pakistan on 88 occasions covering 22 years, scored 3,807 runs and six centuries; took 362 wickets; captained Pakistan and led them to a World Cup title in 1991-92; and was one of Pakistan’s most popular and most loved cricketers. He had the image of a play boy, and was a philanthropist, who is remembered for building a hospital in memory of his mother. As a captain, Imran, like Don Bradman of Australia and Clive Lloyd of the West Indies, was like a father figure and was well respected by his players, among whom were numbered Wasim Akram and WaqarYounis, two of the great fast bowlers; also Abul Qadir, a right-arm wrist spinner extraordinaire; and Javed Miandad, a batsman from the top drawer. Imran, the leader of the Tehreek-e-Insaaf party (Movement for Justice), was also a member of the National Assembly from 2002 to 2007 and from 2013 to 2018. He is regarded as a nationalist and a liberal and vows to apologise to Bangladesh for the events of 1971, to get rid of corruption, and to clean up the judiciary and the police force, among many other things. Will he be able to accomplish all the things on his wish list, especially as he is a critic of the United States and China and their policies? INFLUENCE THE REALITY While Imran Khan now sits as the prime minister of Pakistan, Collis King, of Barbados, Glamorgan, Natal, Worcestershire, and the West Indies, is sitting at home in Barbados awaiting a visa that will allow him to live in England with his English wife. Collis has travelled in and out of England for the past 44 years, playing cricket and coaching cricketing and never once, in his own words, overstaying his welcome. Some months ago, while in England on one of his regular visits, Collis decided that it was time to spend his time with his wife on a regular basis, and he applied for the relevant visa in order to do so. What he thought would have been a mere formality, however, turned out to be a nightmare. Collis was told that he had to go back to Barbados and apply from there, that he could not do it from inside England, and that he had 10 days to leave England. On top of all that, when he got to Heathrow airport on his way home to Barbados, his passport was confiscated and was later returned to him when he landed in Barbados. The hero of the World Cup final at Lord’s in 1979 when he blasted a majestic innings of 86 to lead the West Indies to victory over England and one of the most popular cricketers in the northern leagues and current coach of Dunnington CC in Yorkshire, Collis, a West Indian, has contributed a lot to the development of English cricket for 44 years. Remembering the Japanese camp commander in the film, Bridge on the River Quay, when he told the English prisoner of war, Alec Guinness, who talked glowingly about the rules and prisoners’ rights, “Rules! This is war, not a game of cricket”, that is the question most people are asking. There is one thing Imran can influence in Pakistan, however, and that is the future of cricket, maybe not when it comes to whether Pakistan play international cricket at home, but how cricket is played in Pakistan. Imran loves cricket. As the prime minister of Pakistan, he is the automatic patron of the Pakistan Cricket Board, his government has two members on the board, and he has the power to remove the chairman of the board. Imran has repeatedly criticised domestic cricket in Pakistan, including the structure of the game, where banks and airlines take precedence over regions and where quantity is more important that quality. It is no secret that the present PCB chairman, Najam Sethi, and Imran do not see to eye on matters of cricket. Changes in government have always seen changes in the PCB, and this time, there will be changes. Collis King’s problems West Indians, especially cricket-playing West Indians, and especially Barbadians, have always considered England a home away from home. To Collis King, a West Indies cricketer, a West Indian cricket hero, however, the reality is not really so. “They treated me like a criminal. I was born a British citizen. I have been going to Britain long enough, and I feel a part of the English set-up. I really have been hit hard,” lamented a badly hurt Collis King in Bridgetown, recently. To make matters worse, such is the system of application for a visa that King has no one to speak to re his problem. Would Collis King, a cricket hero, have been treated in such a manner had he been an Australian, a South African, or a New Zealander, especially after playing and coaching in England for so long and having married an English girl? I do not know, but all things being equal, I hardly believe so. Good luck, Collis, but the truth is that the days of “mother England” ended, for Barbados and you, on November 30, 1966, and on top of it, your dazzling fireworks at Lord’s in 1979 was for the West Indies and not for England.last_img read more

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