Strictly Come Dancing 2014 final: Who won? Caroline Flack lifts the trophy following a closely fought final
December 20, 2014
Originally posted on Metro:
Caroline Flack has been named winner of Strictly Come Dancing 2014 following a closely fought final on Saturday night.
The TV presenter – who had been the bookies’ favourite to take the title – soared to victory after a show which saw her become the first contestant ever to score three perfect 40s for her final routines.
It was also the first victory for her professional partner Pasha Kovalev, who has narrowly missed out on the glitter ball trophy twice as partner to Chelsee Healy and Kimberley Walsh.
The pair fought off competition from Saturdays singer Frankie Bridge and Blue’s Simon Webbe, who also made it to the top three after Mark Wright was eliminated earlier on in the show.
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December 18, 2014
Developing countries are losing nearly a trillion dollars to crime and corruption, with the disappearance of dirty money hitting some of the world’s poorest regions hardest, a new report has found.
A record $991bn in unrecorded funds left 151 developing and emerging economies in 2012, up nearly five percent from a year earlier, a US-based watchdog that exposes financial corruption said on Monday.
Global Financial Integrity (GFI) found that, between 2003 and 2012, the estimated amount of illicit funds shifted from developing countries totalled $6.6tn and rose at an inflation-adjusted 9.4 percent a year – roughly double global GDP growth…
December 18, 2014
“There is a revolution going on in the continent of Africa and the world is not noticing it. You can go to Egypt, Ethiopia Kenya, Namibia, and Mozambique. I think we will see renewable energy being the answer to Africa’s energy problems in the next fifteen years,” Steiner said in an interview with IPS.
Sharing the example of the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, Steiner told IPS that the decision was taken that “if UNEP is going to be centred with its offices in the African continent on the Equator, there can be reason why we are not using renewable energy. So we installed photovoltaic panels on our roof which we share with UN Habitat, 1200 people, and we produce 750,000 kilowatt hours of electricity every year, that is enough for the entire building to operate.”
He noted that although it will take UNEP between eight and 10 years to pay off the installation, UNEP will have over 13 years of electricity without paying monthly or annual power bills. “It is the best business proposition that a U.N. body has ever made in terms of paying for electricity for a building,” he said.
According to Steiner, the “revolution” is already happening in East Africa, especially in Kenya and Ethiopia which are both targeting renewable energy, especially geothermal energy.
“Kenya plans to triple its electricity generation up to about 6000 megawatts in the next five years. More than 90 percent of the planned power is to come from geothermal, solar and wind power,” he said…
December 8, 2014
An American television presenter has been “eaten alive” by an anaconda in the Amazon rainforest in a much anticipated documentary by the Discovery Channel.
Paul Rosolie, who describes himself as “Indiana Jones with a green twist”, said the stunt was intended to raise awareness about plummeting species populations in the rainforest.
The 27-year old wore a specially designed carbon fibre suit to protect him from the force of the constriction as well as the snake’s harmful digestive juices.
The suit was fitted with cameras and a voice transmitter, while a cable was attached to his feet in order to pull him out, The Times reports. He was then smeared in pig’s blood in order to make him more appealing to the predator.
Rosolie then allowed a 20-ft long, 250lb snake to constrict him for over an hour, with emergency teams on standby. As the snake began to try and swallow him, he asked his team to rescue him as he could feel his arms “ripping out of their sockets”…
December 3, 2014
Up to €1bn of credit union funding could be redirected to the Government’s Social Housing Strategy, which aims to meet the needs of some 75,000 households. Credit unions want to make investments that are more sustainable and socially aware, writes Martin Sisk….
…It is estimated that 29,000 construction jobs will be created as a result of this initiative which is a welcome development for every sector of our economy. The strategy envisages meeting the housing needs of some 75,000 households through local authority provision via the private rental sector — using the Housing Assistance Payment and the Rental Accommodation Scheme as well as reforming social housing delivery and management in Ireland.
The Irish League of Credit Unions welcomes this initiative and we feel that we have a very positive role to play in its delivery. Credit unions currently have large amounts of excess funds held in deposits and investments. We estimate that somewhere between €500m to €1bn of those funds could be redirected to the Government Social Housing Strategy, which would equate to 2,500 to 5,000 housing units.
…In this way, credit unions will continue to survive and thrive and fulfil the economic and social objectives of the movement and their communities. It is in keeping with the credit union ethos and philosophy that they would do so and it would continue their unending contribution to Irish society as a whole, as they have done over the last 50 years….
November 30, 2014
Most African countries will not reach the Millennium Development Goals set for 2015 because of the gap between economic and human development. That is one of the conclusions in this year’s annual U.N. report on the Least Developed Countries, presented Thursday.
Junior Davis, U.N. economic affairs officer for Africa, said African countries have not been able to translate their economic growth into structural transformation.
“We think that is the case because these countries have not focused efficiently on building what we call their productive capacities,” Davis said. “These are the basic human and economic development capacities that are needed to promote sustainable economic development. And the MDG, as they were constructed, largely ignored the need to develop the productive capacities.”…