Hydrogenics instals largest electrolyser of its kind

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Maersk Satisfied with Results

first_imgDanish shipping giant Maersk Line delivered a profit of USD 685m, improving by USD 131m compared to Q3 2013, according to the third quarter results of the Maersk Group.Maersk said that the improvement was driven by lower unit costs through the continuous focus on operational cost savings mainly from vessel network efficiencies supported by an increase in the average freight rate.Return on invested capital (ROIC) improved from 10.9% in Q3 2013 to 13.5% in Q3 2014. The underlying result excluding one-offs came at USD 660m (USD 539m).Revenue of USD 7.1bn was 4.3% higher than Q3 2013, positively impacted by a volume increase of 3.7% to 2,401k FFE as well as by the average freight rate increasing 0.9% to 2,679 USD/FFE.Recognised freight revenue was USD 6.5bn (USD 6.1bn) and other revenue USD 599m (USD 662m). According to the report, unit cost decreased by 0.9% to 2,597 USD/FFE mainly driven by vessel network efficiencies and decreased bunker consumption.Maersk Line’s nominal fleet capacity increased by 6.3% and the average vessel size increased by 5.6% compared to Q3 2013. Idle capacity at the end of Q3 2014 was 1k TEU (one vessel) versus 24k TEU (seven vessels) at the end of Q3 2013. Maersk Line’s idle capacity corresponds to less than 1% of total idle capacity in the marketEight Triple-E vessels totalling 144k TEU are on order for delivery during 2014-2015. One Triple-E container vessel suited for the Asia-Europe trade will be delivered during Q4 2014.The global market showed moderate growth of above 3% in Q3 2014 compared to Q3 2013, slightly lower than demand growth during the first half of 2014.Maersk added that the global demand is currently being led by advanced economies while imports to emerging countries are slowing down. At the end of Q3 2014, the global container vessel fleet were at 18m TEU, an increase of 5.4% compared to a year ago.While 367k TEU (53 vessels) were delivered during Q3 2014, only 44k TEU (30 vessels) were sent for demolition and idling was as low as 1.2% at the end of the quarter.New ordering amounted to around 300k TEU (36 vessels), keeping the order book close to 20% of the fleet.The underlying profit for the Maersk Group was USD 1.3bn when excluding discontinued operations, impairments and divestments, Maersk said in its interim report.“We are very satisfied with the result for the 3rd quarter of 2014 where we achieved an underlying profit of USD 1.3bn, driven by operational improvements in Maersk Line, Maersk Oil and APM Terminals. Looking at the first nine months, the Group’s underlying result has improved by USD 729m, equalling 25 percent, compared to same period last year. We are well positioned to take advantage of opportunities materialising in a volatile macroeconomic environment, and despite some caution in relation to the market outlook for the coming quarters, we maintain our outlook for the Group result to be around USD 4.5bn for the year,” says Group CEO Nils S. Andersen.Press Releaselast_img read more

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Zambia crackdown on sex dolls provokes fierce rights debate

first_imgThierry Reverdi, owner of the Dreamdoll company, adjusts the sunglasses of a silicone dream doll at their workshop in Duppigheim near Strasbourg, December 2, 2014. REUTERS/Vincent KesslerNo one sells them openly, no one admits to owning one, and no one has been arrested — but Zambia is waging a fierce campaign against sex dolls.The government launched the crackdown on the sex toys last month, threatening offenders with heavy jail terms over the dolls which, it says, are “very unnatural”.The action has propelled the issue of sex dolls to the top of the news agenda and made them a hot topic of conversation and debate on social media, dividing opinion in the largely conservative southern African country.“Being a Christian nation, obviously we are anchored in Christian principles and one of the values is morality and ethics,” Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs Godfridah Sumaili told AFP.Selling or using a sex doll is against Zambian law, she said, vowing to ensure they are not bought on the internet and imported.“The use of sex dolls is definitely in contradiction to our natural heritage and our principles,” Sumaili added.“The law actually forbids anybody to trade (in) and to use such objects — and so this is why we are saying for Zambians that this is a very unnatural thing.”‘A lifeless object’The minister said the ban was necessary after media reports emerged of sex dolls being imported into Zambia, apparently from Asia. Police are investigating, she added.In recent months, Zambia’s independent and semi-official press have devoted many column inches to reports of sex shops popping up around the capital Lusaka selling sex dolls, as well as chronicling the backlash.“God created man and woman for sexual satisfaction — but for a man or woman to use a lifeless object is immoral,” Sumaili said.“Let’s not import foreign beliefs and experiences. Let us just believe in what we are.”‘Help combat AIDS’The manufacture of sex dolls has become increasingly sophisticated, with China developing custom-made “smart” dolls that can talk, play music and turn on dishwashers.Sex dolls’ inventors say they can cure loneliness and help elderly men who lack female companionship.In Zambia, the dolls made of silicone were reportedly in a variety of shapes and shades, but an AFP reporter failed to find any shops selling them.The Patriots for Economic Progress (PEP) — a fringe liberal party in Zambia — claims the government’s attitude to sex dolls reflects its increasingly authoritarian tendencies under President Edgar Lungu.“The argument that the Bible does not allow the use of any objects is wrong,” said PEP party chief Sean Tembo.“The same Bible encourages free will and it will be wrong to send someone to prison for choosing to use sex dolls. Some men have low self-esteem and cannot propose love.”Tembo said sex dolls could even tackle the spread of HIV/AIDS — in a country with a 12.4 percent adult infection rate.“Men can use sex dolls and this will help reduce the cases of AIDS,” he said, contesting the minister’s claim they were illegal.“There is no law that bans the importation or use of sex dolls and there is no law that criminalises masturbation. The use of sex dolls will be in private, in one’s bedroom and not in a public place.”Privacy violation?Zambia is a largely conservative nation, where homosexuality is illegal and anyone in an intimate same-sex relationship faces up to 14 years in jail.Officials say that sex dolls fall under a constitutional law against making, owning, importing, selling or displaying “obscene matters or things” — punishable with a maximum prison term of five years.No shops openly sell them in Zambia, though they are available from international internet suppliers.The state-owned Zambia Daily Mail reported Sumaili’s campaign under the headline “No toying with sex dolls”, and later ran a feature on how the policy was a constant talking point on public minibuses.“I would order a sex doll without hesitation,” the newspaper quoted one unidentified male passenger as saying.“I am assured of a disease-free relationship because a sex doll will not cheat on me. They are not materialistic and will forever remain faithful.“Government is now violating our privacy as citizens,” he said.Lusaka resident, Jane Kaluba, 25, told AFP that sex dolls were a test of how best to balance morality with individual rights.“I don’t support the use of sex dolls but I still feel that one should be free to choose what one wants,” she said.last_img read more

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Champions League final

first_imgSuper Bale sinks Liverpool as Madrid make it three in a rowBy Simon EvansKIEV, Ukraine (Reuters) – A sensational overhead goal from Real Madrid substitute Gareth Bale and two calamitous errors by Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius gave the Spanish side a third straight Champions League crown with a 3-1 win in an incident-packed final yesterday.Welshman Bale came on just past the hour with the score at 1-1 and after three minutes produced an astonishing bicycle-kick finish and then netted with a speculative long-range effort that somehow went through the hands of the unfortunate Karius.The German keeper had earlier handed Real a 51st minute lead when he threw the ball straight at striker Karim Benzema and the ball rolled into the unguarded net off the Frenchman’s leg.Liverpool, who crucially lost their leading scorer Mohamed Salah to a suspected dislocated shoulder in the 31st minute, had equalised in the 55th minute when Sadio Mane followed in to knock the ball home after getting on the end of a Dejan Lovren header.In truth though, despite their efforts Liverpool never looked as much of a threat once Egyptian international Salah went down under a challenge from Real captain Sergio Ramos.It was a night which confirmed Real’s ability to superbly manage the biggest of games and highlighted Liverpool’s continued problems with the goalkeeping position.Bale, who has not been first-choice at Real this season after injury and whose future has been the subject of much speculation, was named man-of-the-match while 24-year-old Karius ended the night in tears looking utterly distraught.Real become the first side since Bayern Munich in 1976 to win Europe’s elite club trophy three years in a row and Zinedine Zidane the first coach to win three back-to-back titles.DESERVED TRIUMPH The Spanish club’s fourth Champions League triumph in five years – 13th European Cup success in total – was fully deserved despite Liverpool, the competition’s top scorers this season, making an aggressive start to the game.The English side attacked with intent and Trent Alexander-Arnold tested Navas with a low drive but Real looked in charge following the departure, in tears, of Salah.Real had their own injury blow with right-back Dani Carvajal having to go off, replaced by Nacho in the 37th and ended the half with Benzema’s effort being disallowed for offside after Cristiano Ronaldo’s header was saved by Karius.France striker Benzema was to get compensation though when he was alert to Karius’s ill-advised attempt to throw the ball out quickly, although Real’s lead lasted for just four minutes.Liverpool’s Senegal forward Mane was sharp to react when Lovren rose to head the ball goalwards and their travelling fans sensed the Anfield side’s spirit could turn the game around.But then came Bale, leaping to produce a jaw-dropping left-foot overhead volley from Marcelo’s cross, before trying his luck with a speculative long-range shot that defied Karius’s ham-fisted attempt to keep it out and put the result beyond doubt.Cristiano Ronaldo, who now has five Champions League winners medals, could have added a fourth goal for Real near the end but the Portugal forward was distracted as he burst goalwards when a fan ran onto the pitch before being stopped by security.This time it was Bale who had grabbed all the headlines as Real and Zidane continued their continental dominance.last_img read more

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