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Are Flying Cars Finally Here?

At Wisks offices, Schrinner told me that air taxis could one day connect remote Indigenous communities to urban hospitals, or sightseers to the Bay Islands. Its only eighty kilometres from Brisbane t… [+12500 chars]

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Costa Rica’s Energy Crisis: A Wake-Up Call for Change

Costa Rica is going through an energy crisis, and the entire country will suffer power outages of approximately three hours starting next week. Businessowners, experts in the area, and politicians agree on the need to take actions to avoid power rationing or blackouts in the future. Therefore, they consider that solar and wind energy production should increase its presence in the country. “A single renewable source, by itself, cannot meet the electricity demand. We need a matrix made up of various resources, of different sizes and sources, that provide competitiveness and reliability to users,” said Mario Alvarado, executive director of the Costa Rican Association of Energy Producers. Due to its geographical location, Costa Rica has the third-best solar electric energy potential per square meter in terms of the entire American continent. However, that wealth is wasted every day due to ICE’s reluctance to allow the development of solar energy, according to Jorge Esteban Padilla, a member of the board of directors of the Chamber of Distributed Generation. ICE’s refusal is inexplicable, given that solar energy would help alleviate the country’s current crisis. However, since January, the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) has succumbed to pressure from ICE and other electricity distributors to establish a fee that discourages private solar panel generation. “It’s like if AyA charged users for collecting rainwater with a bucket. It doesn’t make sense. If ICE were to promote private generation with solar panels, at this time, there would be less pressure on electricity demand,” Padilla stated. Since January, the cost of electricity for solar panel users has increased by up to 400% compared to previous rates due to this fee. Distributed generation with solar panels cannot be seen as an enemy of ICE, but rather as an ally, a complement that could help the country cope with the growing demand for electricity. The possible rationing is taking place in a context in which the government of Rodrigo Chaves is promoting the law of harmonization of the electricity market. This is a long-standing demand of the productive sector. “The situation we are experiencing today is a wake-up call for actions to be taken to avoid, reduce, and eliminate the vulnerability shown by the electricity system. To this end, we must allow as much renewable generation as possible, promote distributed generation, and strengthen the legal framework to encourage new investments,” he added.

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Hamas says hostage killed, Israel expands Rafah plans despite Biden’s warning

“He died because he didn’t receive intensive medical care at medical facilities because of the enemy’s destruction of hospitals in Gaza,” Hamas armed wing spokesman Abu Ubaida said. Israel has now evacuated the eastern third of Rafah, and top military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said dozens of militants had been killed there as “targeted operations continued”. The United Nations has warned that the planned full-scale Rafah invasion would further cripple humanitarian operations and cause a surge in civilian deaths. Rafah borders Egypt near the main aid entry points, which already are affected. Israeli troops have captured the Gaza side of the Rafah crossing, forcing it to shut down. Egypt has refused to co-ordinate with Israel on the delivery of aid though the crossing because of “the unacceptable Israeli escalation,” the state-owned Al Qahera News television channel reported, citing an unnamed official. US President Joe Biden has said he won’t provide offensive weapons to Israel for Rafah. On Friday, his administration said there was “reasonable” evidence that Israel had breached international law protecting civilians – Washington’s strongest statement yet on the matter.

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Calgary police turn to public to help locate man wanted on warrants

The Calgary Police Service is appealing to the public to help locate a man wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for removing his electronic monitoring bracelet and leaving his approved residence. Police said Michael James Robertson was last seen in the 4500 block of Builders Road S.E., just before 9 p.m., on May 10. His ankle monitor was located in the community of Applewood around 10 p.m. The 37-year-old is described as six-feet-one-inch tall and approximately 260 pounds. Police said he has black hair, brown eyes and multiple tattoos including under both eyes and on his neck. The Calgary Police Service (CPS) said Robertson was declared a long-term offender and as a result is serving a seven-year Long Term Offender order under the supervision of Correctional Service of Canada, with assistance from the Calgary Police Service High Risk Offender Program. Police said the charges related to the order are primarily from offences in Saskatchewan and include robbery, assault and arson with disregard for human life. Police said they were issuing the notification in the interest of public safety. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact police by calling 403-266-1234.

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Sky’s final roster spot will come down to a decision between guards

Sky general manager Jeff Pagliocca’s first few months on the job have been a whirlwind. All that stands between him and the start of his first WNBA season — after a slew of franchise-shifting moves between February and May — is cutting the Sky’s roster to 12 players. After waiving forward Taya Reimer, Pagliocca will have to part ways with one more player before the deadline Monday. That decision likely will come down to guard Kysre Gondrezick or rookie Brynna Maxwell, whom the Sky selected with the 13th overall pick in the draft last month. Gondrezick and guard Chennedy Carter are the two players signed to training-camp contracts, which means the Sky could waive them with no hit to their salary cap. Having not been signed to her rookie-scale contract yet, Maxwell also can be waived without consequence. Through camp and the Sky’s two preseason games, Carter has appeared to solidify her place in coach Teresa Weatherspoon’s system. She played 24 minutes in their loss to the Lynx and finished with 12 points, two rebounds and two steals. Against the Liberty, she had 11 points, two rebounds and two steals. Carter’s ability to push the pace in transition, attack the rim and make impact plays defensively make her an invaluable asset on this roster. ‘‘When I was [overseas], I took the time and steps to lock in and become a better player mentally,’’ Carter said. ‘‘You’re gonna see on the court.’’ The Sky drafted Maxwell because they needed a shooter who could help them space the floor. Maxwell shot 46% from three-point range and averaged 13.8 points in her last two college seasons. A knee injury suffered during camp has prevented Maxwell, who will be out for up to four weeks, from showing the Sky what she can do. She played six minutes against the Lynx, finishing with two points, one rebound and one assist, and sat out against the Liberty. Weatherspoon described Maxwell as one of the most competitive players she has seen. But the Sky need bodies, which raises questions about the likelihood of her being one of their final 12 players. The Sky aren’t in a position to keep both Gondrezick and Maxwell via hardship contract, either. A team is only eligible to sign a player to a hardship contract if its roster drops below 10 available players. If the Sky sign Gondrezick, they will have 11 available players after making their final roster cuts, given rookie Kamilla Cardoso’s injury. If they were to sign Maxwell, they would be at 10 available players, which still would prevent them from petitioning the league for a hardship contract. If the Sky waive Maxwell, it’s unlikely she would get picked up by another team because of her injury. So there is the potential for her to rejoin the Sky in the future. Gondrezick would provide the Sky with some much needed floor spacing. Originally drafted by the Fever with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 draft, Gondrezick played only 19 games for them before being waived. Former Sky coach/GM James Wade signed Gondrezick to a training-camp contract in 2022 but waived her before the cutdown date. Gondrezick finished with nine points against the Liberty, going 3-for-4 from three-point range, in 12 minutes. ‘‘If [Gondrezick] is sitting with her feet set, every one of our players is looking for her,’’ Weatherspoon said. ‘‘If she has her feet set, it’s almost a bucket every time.’’ Given Maxwell’s injury, it seems likely the Sky will sign Gondrezick to fill the final spot.

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Energy bill relief firming as a likely feature in federal government’s budget

Further energy bill relief is firming as a likely feature in Treasurer Jim Chalmers’s third budget, as the government seeks to reassure Australians it will do more to tackle rising living costs. In a series of Sunday morning interviews ahead of Tuesday’s budget, the treasurer repeatedly pledged short-term cost of living relief, while also investing in the future. While Mr Chalmers hasn’t publicly confirmed another round of energy bill relief, he was at pains to point out the benefit last year’s bill relief had in curbing living costs and easing inflation. “The cost of living relief in this budget won’t be identical to what we’ve seen in the past but it will be substantial. It will be in addition to that tax cut for every taxpayer,” he told Sky News. “If you think about that electricity bill relief, in the year to March, electricity bills would have gone up almost 15 per cent if we didn’t act. Instead, they went up 2 per cent. “I think that has shown our bona fides when it comes to easing these cost of living pressures where we can, so we’re part of the solution to this inflation challenge [rather] than part of the problem.” In last year’s budget, 5 million households were eligible for up to $500 in power bill relief, while small businesses were eligible for up to $650. When asked to define the main theme of the budget, the treasurer said the budget would be “good for mums and middle Australia, good for families, pensioners, students and young people.” Coalition sets demands for budget The Coalition has set its demands for the government, with Shadow Finance Minster Jane Hume adamant Labor would have “failed in its duty” unless it tames inflation. The budget looks certain to post a surplus this financial year, which would be the second consecutive surplus under Mr Chalmers. The Coalition accused Labor of posting a windfall surplus — thanks to higher than expected tax revenue and high commodity prices — rather than delivering a surplus on the back of structural budget change. “What we have at the moment is a focus on windfall,” Shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor told the ABC. He said Labor should instead focus on ensuring the economy grew at a faster rate than spending. “We’ve seen spending growing in real terms much faster than the economy the last two years,” Mr Taylor said. “We have seen a government that loves to spend.” Billions pledged for health, housing Labor has previously announced a series of funding commitments in Tuesday’s budget, wiping away HECS debt, setting limits on how that debt is indexed and offering fee-free TAFE to help address critical construction worker shortages. On Sunday, the government confirmed among the $8.5 billion in health and Medicare spending, the budget would include $227 million for another 29 urgent care clinics. The government has also confirmed billions of dollars for new homes will be in the budget — $1 billion will be spent on crisis and transitional accommodation for women and children fleeing family violence and for youth through the National Housing Infrastructure Facility. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese agreed at a meeting of national cabinet on Friday to also provide $9.3 billion to states and territories over five years to provide support for homelessness, crisis support, and to build and repair social housing.

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