Archive for August, 2020

Peniche – 21 infractions detected in inspection of illegal camping

Monday, August 31st, 2020

The Territorial Command of Leiria, through the Territorial Detachment of Caldas da Rainha, on August 29, carried out an operation with the objective of inspecting the practice of camping and caravanning in an irregular situation, on the coast of the municipality of Peniche.

Of the inspection actions, 21 violations were detected, of which 16 resulted from caravanning outside the authorized places, within the scope of the Municipal Regulation of Peniche, punishable by a fine of 150 to 200 euros, and five for improper parking on beaches, dunes and cliffs, punishable by a fine of up to 2500 euros.

Camping and wild caravanning is an identified problem and constitutes a factor in the destruction of habitats, some of which are protected, in addition to representing an illegal occupation which results in a degradation of the places used by uncontrolled deposition of waste that is spread over the unduly occupied places.

NEW E-GATES AT FARO AIRPORT SPEED UP IMMIGRATION PROCESSING TIMES

Monday, August 31st, 2020

The eight new generation e-gates installed yesterday by the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) in the arrivals area of ​​Faro Airport controlled, in 24 hours, about a thousand passengers, who took «less than 20 seconds» to check their documentation.

At the end of a week in which the SEF was under fire due to an image that circulated on social networks, which accounted for long lines in accessing the passport control of the Algarve airport infrastructure. The new e-gates that have already been installed, “authenticate the travel document through a facial recognition system that compares, the passenger’s face with the photograph registered on the document chip”.

“The new e-gates have a faster and more functional operating system, which makes it possible to process passports with biometric data more quickly. The current system (RAPID) performs this process in just “one step” and all procedures are performed at a single stop of the passenger. After the identification process has been validated, which includes a search in international databases, the passenger is allowed to continue traveling”, explained SEF.

In this way, and despite the control of passengers coming from outside the Schengen area “continues to operate in the so-called winter zone, which is a small area due to the growing number of passengers after the opening of the air corridor with the United Kingdom”, there were no reports of similar situations to that experienced on Wednesday.

“In the last 48 hours, SEF controlled, at Faro Airport, more than 22 thousand passengers and 103 flights, without any record of complaints regarding waiting times in the document control”, assures this police force.

In the meantime, there was a reinforcement of SEF staff, operated this week, “which has already secured 12 more inspectors assigned to Faro Airport”. From 1 September, the SEF will be reinforced with 5 more inspectors..

 

20% of arsonists detained this year were repeat offenders. What is failing in control?

Sunday, August 30th, 2020

Of the 54 arsonists held by the PJ until the end of last week, 11 of them were repeat offenders. In 2018 the government announced a program to rehabilitate convicts, but it was no more than a pilot project

Unemployed, 45 years old, he set fire to 13 different sites in the municipality of Tondela, for more than two weeks, until he was detained by GNR and PJ on 19 June. It burned an entire forested area next to houses and, according to the PJ, “the fires would have had more serious proportions had there not been a rapid intervention by firefighters and aerial means”.

Earlier in the year, this man “had already been investigated and charged with the crime of forest fire”

At the beginning of the year, this man “had already been investigated and accused of the crime of forest fire”, emphasizes the Directorate of the Centre of this police.

In the same municipality, in May, another 51-year-old unemployed man, suspected of having set a fire in the region, had also been arrested. The latter, according to investigators from the Judiciary, “in the past he has already been convicted of the crime of forest fire”.

On August 6, another man, this 30-year-old man, was caught by popular people who alerted the GNR. He was arrested and, according to the criminal investigation department of PJ de Averie, “he is already a repeat offender for the same type of crime and has even been convicted and served a preventive prison sentence”.

The next day, a 59-year-old pastor, suspected of having started three fires, was arrested in Gouveia. He tells PJ that, “using the direct flame, making use of the lighter he was carrying and which was seized, putting fire on pasture and undergrowth, in three different points”. He also had a record for the same type of crime.

On August 17, a statement from the Northern Directorate of the PJ reported the arrest of a “presumed author” of three forest fires “in the Santo Tirso area. “According to this police, the 53-year-old man” has a history of two previous fire crimes “.

These five cases of recidivism are part of a total of 11 that the DN identified in the official communications of the PJ regarding the 54 arsonists detained from May to 27 August.

These five cases of recidivism are part of a total of 11 that the DN identified in the official communications of the PJ regarding the 54 arsonists detained from May to the 27th of August.

There are 20% of the group of detainees, a percentage that confirms that recidivism in this crime is increasing: the average between 1997 and 2018 was 17%, according to a study by the Office of Psychology and Selection (GPS) of the PJ.

But, last year , according to the data that was forwarded to the DN by Jorge Leitão , a public prosecutor , responsible for the Permanent Office of Monitoring and Support ( GPAA ) of the PJ, which coordinates all the prevention and investigation of fire crimes. , the number of recurrent arsonists reached 35% of the total.

 

MEDAL FOR HERO DOG KUNO WHO SAVED SOLDIERS LIVES IN AFGAHANISTAN

Saturday, August 29th, 2020

A military dog who charged through enemy gunfire to save the lives of British soldiers fighting al-Qaeda in Afghanistan is to be awarded the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.

During a raid, the Belgian Malinois named Kuno tackled a gunman and was hit by bullets in both back legs.

After losing one of his paws as a result, he became the first UK military dog to get custom-made prosthetics.

The four-year-old will receive the Dickin Medal from vet charity the PDSA.

Now retired and rehomed, Kuno – who was trained to detect explosives, weapons and incapacitate enemies – will be awarded the medal for valour at a virtual ceremony in November.

Kuno and his handler had been deployed to support elite Special Boat Service (SBS) forces during a night raid targeting al-Qaeda extremists in Afghanistan last year when they came under attack.

The forces, pinned down by grenade and machine-gun fire from an insurgent, were unable to advance.

Kuno was sent in to break the deadlock. Without hesitation, he charged through a hail of bullets while wearing night vision goggles to tackle the gunman, wrestling him to the ground and halting his attack.

Kuno ultimately changed the course of the mission and helped the forces successfully complete it.

But during the assault he was shot in both his hind legs and was treated by his handler and medics in a back of a helicopter as they made their way to safety.

He suffered severe injuries – including a bullet narrowly missing a main artery – and needed several life-saving operations before he could be flown back to the UK for further treatment.

Vets had to amputate part of one of his rear paws to prevent a life-threatening infection taking hold.

After returning to the UK on an RAF plane, he underwent extensive reconstructive surgery.

Just like injured soldiers, Kuno began a lengthy rehabilitation programme to restore function to his nerves and muscles, and is said to have particularly enjoyed his sessions on the hydrotherapy treadmill.

Within months, he was fitted with a custom-made prosthesis to replace his missing paw and an orthotic brace to help his injured limb.

Kuno, who was on his second deployment when he was injured, is the first UK military dog to be fitted with such devices, which allow him to run and jump unencumbered – giving him many more happy years in retirement.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Without Kuno, the course of this operation could have been very different, and it’s clear he saved the lives of British personnel that day.

“This particular raid was one of the most significant achievements against al Qaeda in several years.

Kuno will become the 72nd recipient of the medal, with previous recipients including 34 dogs, 32 World War II messenger pigeons, four horses and one cat.

The entire country will enter a contingency state starting on September 15. 

Thursday, August 27th, 2020

Portugal thus regresses from alertness, the least serious, to contingency, intermediate. The most serious is that of calamity, which came to be applied in 19 parishes in the Metropolitan Area of ​​Lisbon.

The decision, announced this Thursday, aims to allow the Government more leeway to act, preparing for the arrival of autumn and a predictable increase in cases, when the return of students to school and the return of thousands of workers to jobs is expected, after months of confinement followed by vacation.

The majority of mainland Portugal entered on July 1 in a situation of alert due to the pandemic of covid-19, with the exception of the Metropolitan Area, which passed to the contingency state, which on September 15 will be extended to the whole country.

The measure was announced, this Thursday, in a press conference by the Minister of the Presidency and Administrative Modernization, Mariana Vieira da Silva, after the meeting of the Council of Ministers.

The minister said that the new measures of the contingency state regime are not yet defined and that they will be discussed in the next 15 days together with experts and political parties.

The contingency state, currently in force in the Lisbon and Tagus Valley Region, imposes a maximum limit of 10 people in gatherings, prohibits the consumption of alcoholic beverages on the streets and the sale of these in service areas and gas stations, for example, and limitations on the opening hours of restaurants, it is not yet known whether they will regress or maintain the current closing time (midnight, which can go until one in the morning behind closed doors, with customers inside).

According to Mariana Vieira da Silva, the approach of cold weather brings new challenges. Although there is, in the official’s opinion, no evidence of deterioration of the pandemic in Portugal, when entering into contingency mode the Executive wants to have legislative weapons to prepare for the arrival of autumn.

The minister announced that meetings will be held, at local and national level, to detail the return to classes, refining what was generally determined, in order to prepare the reaction to the emergence of cases of covid-19 in schools.

The official also announced that the parents of students who have to stay at home due to the covid-19 will have a justified absence for 14 days, corresponding to the incubation of the virus. He added that the sickness benefit will be paid in full within the first 28 days, in case of infection with the new coronavirus.

Art for fire prevention

Thursday, August 27th, 2020

Next Saturday, August 29, the Cantares e Saberes initiative will take place in the municipality of Gavião. This training action aims to “value the power of the arts in the invitation to reflect on aspects such as climate change and environmental protection” and will be promoted by the cultural and artistic association Panóplia, with the support of the Municipality of Gavião, União Parishes of Atalaia and Gavião and also of the Regional Directorate for Culture of Alentejo.

Cantares e Saberes is part of the pilot project “Don’t Play with Fire!”, The result of a partnership between AGIF – Agency for the Integrated Management of Rural Fires – and the Ministry of Culture, jointly with the respective Regional Culture Directorates , who implement the project in the regions defined by AGIF.

The initiative starts at three o’clock in the afternoon at Casa do Povo in Gavião, with a street art workshop , promoted by the artist Effe. The street artist will introduce the group of participants to the basic techniques of urban arts, focusing on the theme of forest consequences of fires to, together, finish painting a wall, already started by the artist.

As of 9 pm, the Cantares e Saberes training action continues at Miradouro do Cruzeiro, with the opening session that will include the participation of the vice-president of Câmara do Gavião, António Severino; the president of the Union of Juntas da Atalaia and Gavião, Germano Porfírio; the commander of the Gavião Volunteer Firefighters, Fernando Delgado; the regional director of Culture of Alentejo, Ana Paula Amendoeira; AGIF representative, Sara Otero; and also the CEO of the artistic-cultural sector consultant Partnia, Carla Branco.

“In this session, a short introduction to the pilot project and the framing of the theme of Cantares e Saberes will be made: raising awareness for the prevention of fires and the importance of art and culture in the transmission of awareness messages”, informs the association Panóplia.

This will be followed by the exhibition of the video “Time to (Re) live”, produced by Francisco Leocádio, which gathers testimonies from some of the local residents of the municipality of Gavião who have already fought or were affected by the fires. This action ends with a concert by Pedro Vicente Trio, “where the artists will present a song produced specifically for the event and will set the tone for the awareness message”.

ANALYSIS WEATHER CONDITION INTO CAUSE OF FIRE IN SERRA DA LOUSA ON 11TH JULY RESULTING IN DEATH OF A FIREFIGHTER

Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

The fire that occurred in the Serra da Lousã on July 11, 2020 resulted in the death of one firefighter and the injury of three other firefighters. It was considered that the fire would have started due to an electrical discharge associated with a thunderstorm and that the accident with the firefighters would have been related to a change in the direction of the wind, having also been reported the existence of a lot of smoke close to the ground. These possibilities were analyzed by IPMA through the assessment of weather conditions on the day of the fire.

The fire occurred on a day for which hot and thunderstorm meteorological warnings were issued, with strong atmospheric instability and the consequent generation of a strong convective system. The meteorological risk of fire was very high in the municipality of Lousã, the 4th highest level of a total of 5 levels.

A record of an atmospheric electrical discharge was identified at 18:20 local time (17:20 UTC), 100 m from the fire site, and the margin of error associated with this electrical discharge (in the order of 200 m) allows inferring that this discharge may have triggered the Lousã fire. This observational evidence is further supported by numerical modelling data.

It was also possible to identify that the convective system where the aforementioned electrical discharge originated produced, even during its movement towards the north and in the dissipation phase, a generalized subsidence in the fire region, consistent with the decrease in the height of the boundary layer, which may have relevant to the difficulty in dispersing fumes and gases close to the ground.

It is also not possible to exclude that during the period of time between the start of the fire and the moment when the accident with the firefighters occurred, significant variations in the wind direction may have occurred, consistent with the existence of downward currents associated with the convective cells that constituted the convective system, which influences both the evolution of the fire and the fumes it produces.

 

Read full report in Portuguese here 

Large commercial area Intermarché, in Leiria, was closed after two positive cases of covid-19 were detected,

Tuesday, August 18th, 2020

News: 18th August 2020 The large commercial area Intermarché, in Leiria, was closed today after two positive cases of covid-19 were detected, Gonçalo Lopes, Mayor of Leria, told Lusa.

As the mayor explained, one of the Intermarché employees, located in Gândara, in the Union of Parishes of Marrazes and Barosa, in Leiria, tested positive for the infection with the new coronavirus “a week ago”.

“Now, someone else has tested positive, so the establishment has been closed and tests are being carried out on all employees and the site is being disinfected”, revealed Gonçalo Lopes.

The mayor stressed that “none of the other employees had any symptoms” of the disease.

“We will wait for the results of the other employees to define the respective strategies for controlling this situation”, he concluded.

According to today’s bulletin from the District Civil Protection Commission of Leiria, the district capital has recorded 181 cases and 156 recovered.

The number of deaths is not disclosed, because “for reasons of confidentiality and data protection, DGS does not provide disaggregated information when the number of infected people in the municipality is less than three”.

The covid-19 pandemic has already claimed at least 774,832 deaths and infected more than 21.9 million people in 196 countries and territories, according to a report by the French agency AFP.

Study reveals inaccuracies in databases about new coronavirus

Monday, August 17th, 2020

An analysis of the databases of the WHO, the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed “a lot of inconsistencies” in the data related to covid- 19.

The news advanced by Público on Sunday reported “errors and discrepancies” between the platforms of the World Health Organization, the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which aggregate the data infections by the new coronavirus from several countries, with, for example, entering negative numbers in the records, or dates that do not match.

To Lusa, the researcher Jorge Bravo, who together with Afshin Ashofteh carried out the article published in the magazine of the International Association of Official Statistics, Statistical Journal, explained that “there were a lot of inaccuracies, a lot of inconsistencies between the three big databases”.

“Some countries, for example, reported negative deaths, which is an impossibility”, he added, adding that in the sample he studied, “which was already significant, there were, in some cases, significant inaccuracies”.

The study ran “from the beginning of the pandemic, until mid-April”, but the experts intend to “follow up on the initial study”, replicating what was done “with more months of observation and with more countries”.

“But what we found was that the errors did not diminish with the widening of the pandemic, on the contrary. With more countries reporting to WHO and these agencies, errors have increased. There could be less preparation in the initial phase and over time they were preparing and adjusting to needs, but what we found was that the more countries reported, the more problems we encountered ”, said the professor at Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

Jorge Bravo stressed that, “basically, the epidemiological models that are being used to take various measures, such as confinement, after deflation, such as the reopening of shops, schools, various measures that continue to be taken by governments and health mechanisms (…) Are estimated based on incorrect data ”.

“These procedures of loading databases, compiling information locally and then aggregating everything and reporting internationally, are processes that involve the human factor”, pointed out the expert as one of the reasons for the occurrence of these errors.

Another problem is that “not all countries were reporting data digitally, with a file that could be aggregated and have a continuous series”.

“There were countries that reported, like the DGS [Directorate-General for Health], only the reports, in pdf (…). There are more countries that do this procedure and, when transposing it to an aggregated database, it is very susceptible to errors, introduction, typing, etc. ”, he said.

The solution goes through a validation system, which “can be done using specialized people or including the new mechanisms, using artificial intelligence or computational algorithms, which cross data”.

“Often, the human factor is important to investigate, such as calling the country to alert. It is a normal process, carried out by bodies responsible for compiling statistical information. It is not clear that such gross errors in information have arisen here, and continue to do so ”, concluded the researcher.

Even so, Jorge Bravo believes that the institutions are “learning from what is happening” and “are more than ever aware of the importance of official information being transparent, timely and credible”.

“TOO GOOD TO GO APP” PREVENTS 100,000 MEALS FROM BEING WASTED SINCE OCTOBER

Thursday, August 13th, 2020

The 221,000 users in Portugal of an application that allows consumers to take an active role in combating food waste have prevented 100,000 meals from being wasted since October.

The “Too Good To Go” app connects consumers to establishments that want to reduce and monetize their daily surplus, channelling it towards a valid consumption alternative, allowing a second chance for food to be consumed in perfect conditions.

According to a press release from this social impact company whose mission is to combat food waste, users can purchase quality meals at affordable prices, contributing to a system of non-waste and circular economy.

Altogether 100,000 meals were saved from the waste, which is equivalent to 250 tons of CO2 that were not released into the atmosphere, if these meals were wasted, the equivalent of 655 flights from Lisbon-London.

The application is available in the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto, in the Algarve and more recently in the cities of Braga and Coimbra.

The “Too Good To Go” app appeared in Portugal in late October 2019 and has a community of 221,000 users and 735 partners, from catering to large groups in the food industry.

In the application, users can buy what they call ‘magic boxes’ – with surprise content because it is impossible to predict waste in detail – choosing the establishment they like best, reserving in the application and collecting at a scheduled time.

Before asking for his ‘Magic Box’, the user can filter his choices in the application and find out which establishment interests him most, based on the usual of each space, the options being diverse and varying between Chinese, Japanese food, Italian, Portuguese, vegetarian, vegan, among many other food products.

Payment is made through the application, and the receipt is generated at the time of collection, at the place and time established and indicated on the application, by the establishment itself.

In line with national success, are the global numbers of Too Good To Go which in a universe of 15 countries, already has a community of 23 million users and more than 50 thousand establishments, which have already saved around 43 million meals.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), one third of all human food production is wasted.