Laurent Fabius to visit Morocco ‘soon’

San Francisco – After nearly a year since the beginning of an unprecedented crisis between Paris and Rabat, the head of French diplomacy Laurent Fabius said on Thursday that he would “soon” go to Morocco to try to restore judicial and security cooperation with the Moroccan government in light of the latest terrorist threat France is facing.“I intend to go in person soon to this country, which, I repeat, is the friend of France” Fabius said before to the French senate.The question that analysts are asking is: Does it take a terrorist attack on France, in order for Fabius and Holland to realize Morocco’s value? Speaking to Jeune Afrique magazine, Morocco’s chief diplomat condemned the “lack of desire” from the French side to overcome the diplomatic crisis between Rabat and Paris.It now appears that Fabius has every intention to overcome the bilateral crisis in the relation between Rabat and Paris, due last week’s terrorist attacks and the pressure from French officials who appreciate Morocco’s role in fighting terrorism. In an interview on RTL on Tuesday, Nicolas Sarkozy called for the restoration of relations between Morocco and France. read more

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Brock University chemist and chemical company create new green metal coating

A Brock University chemist and a Burlington chemical company have patented a green coating system that protects metals against corrosion.Organic chemistry instructor Paul Zelisko and Vanchem Performance Chemicals created technology they named Greencoat, which uses silicon rather than heavy metals to bind coatings to both metal surfaces and paint.“It’s a water-based system that, for all intents and purposes, has reactive sand in it,” says Zelisko. “If the material happens to get flushed out or it leaks, you’re effectively releasing sand and water into the environment.”Sheets made out of steel or other metals need to be ‘pre-treated’ with a substance that will guard them against damage caused by rust and salt. This substance must be able to stick not only to the metal but also to any paint that’s applied to the sheets on top of the coating.The challenge is that the metal is an inorganic substance, meaning it is not made from a plant or animal, but the paint that is applied to the metal is an organic substance.Traditional coating systems use heavy metals – such as zinc phosphate, iron phosphate or chrome – to enable the inorganic and organic substances to be able to stick to one another. Phosphates released into the environment causes various algal blooms in lakes and rivers, damaging aquatic plant and animal life.Also used in the process are solvents – substances used to dissolve other substances – that have in the past polluted the environment.Unlike conventional methods, Zelisko and Vanchem’s system involves a two-step process. First, a base layer is applied to the metal. Water mixed with silica, which is basically sand, is sprayed onto the metal, creating a chemical bond with the metal. This cleans the metal but also deposits silica onto the surface.This coating not only protects the metal but acts as a primer for the second layer, which is designed to bond well to paint.The second layer contains polysilicates, the basis of which is silicon, “the second-most abundant element in the Earth’s crust,” says a company report. Silicates can be modified to stick to both metals and paints.When the industry wants to determine whether or not a coating product is effective, the treated metal sheets are put into salt-spray chambers, where a fine mist of salt water is continually sprayed onto the metal until it starts to show signs of corrosion.The industry standard is around one thousand hours, says Zelisko. “Our coatings ranged anywhere from 1,800 to 3,000 hours, in some cases almost three times as good as what the industry requires.”When coming in contact with metal, salty water acts as a type of catalyst, enabling oxygen to mix with metal, resulting in corrosion.The Brock-Vanchem innovation is a sign of the times, says Ian McLeod, vice president of Vanchem Performance Chemicals.“The industry has switched over to greener technologies; they want to get rid of the heavy metals,” he says. “Large corporations and companies want to be environmental stewards. They want to be able to say, ‘look at what we’re doing, we’ve replaced the old zinc phosphate technology with a new silane-based technology that doesn’t have any environmental impacts.’”McLeod says that the initial price of a ‘green’ coating may be more expensive than a zinc phosphate one. But, factoring in environmental disposal, maintenance and other costs associated with non-green coatings, companies could save money in the long run.Working with a university to create this technology is very beneficial, says McLeod: “I don’t think we would be where we are today without Paul Zelisko’s expertise in his team.”The Ontario Centres of Excellence supported the research partnership through its OCE Collaborative Research Program.“This innovation is on track to demonstrate some real economic benefits for Ontario and is a great example of what can happen when academia and industry work together,” said Gillian Sheldon, OCE’s business development manager. “Ontario Centres of Excellence has a long history of supporting the automotive sector, and we are pleased to collaborate on this innovative cleantech solution.”The team received the patent for Greencoat silane-based pretreatment on Aug. 2 in the United States, with Canadian and European patents pending. read more

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Thousands of East Canje residents without potable water

Residents at the Adelphi Pump Station trying to get waterThousands of residents are without potable water as three pump stations, which serve the East Canje, Berbice Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) communities are not functioning.The shutdown occurred on Friday last and five days later, residents are still seeking answers from both the Guyana Water Inc (GWI) and Guyana Power and Light (GPL).The pump stations at Sheet Anchor, Canefield and Adelphi went down at the same time but when contacted, the water company remained silent on the issue. The only access to potable water was Guyana Sugar Corporation’s (GuySuCo’s) pump at Adelphi.Chairman of the Number 38/Ordinance/Fort Lands Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) Roy Jaffarally told this publication that persons have tried to get information from him on the situation, but he has no answers about the total shutdown of water supply in two NDC areas affecting residents as far as Palmyra.He added that this is so because the water company is not forthcoming with information on what has happened.“Nothing is forthcoming from Dr Van-West Charles or his officers. The operators at GWI has been taking the phone off after being bombarded with phone calls and correctly so. People are concerned and they are also been bombarding the Chairman and I have no answers for them because honestly I don’t,” Jaffarally stated.According to Jaffarally, while thousands of residents are inconvenienced, the two utility companies – GWI and GPL – are both blaming each other for the shutdown.“He is not sending his officers on the ground to ensure that residents are comforted in some way so they will know when water will be coming and GWI is playing the blame game with GPL. GWI says it is a power problem while GPL is saying that GWI needs to install a piece of equipment to regularise the voltage coming so that the pumps can be operated properly. No one is giving me pertinent information for me to be able to inform the residents,” the NDC Chairman said.The NDC Chairman has expressed concern about sanitation, noting that there could soon be an outbreak of disease because of the lack of water in ten villages.“Prior to the total shutdown of those three pumps on Friday last, water was intermittent for months. It only runs for a little period in the day and then the pump will shut down. So it was an ongoing problem like a sore and then all of a sudden ‘boom’ it exploded and there was one total shutdown of all the pumps,” he said.However, residents are suspicious, saying that the probability of three pumps situated in three different villages shutting down raises eyebrows. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedMinister Ramjattan allegedly lies to east Canje about school bus moneyMarch 18, 2018In “latest news”East Berbice residents block roadway, protest GWI convoy over lack of potable waterNovember 17, 2017In “latest news”Thousands without potable water on WCDOctober 7, 2018In “latest news” read more

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