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College graduate to run across the US to raise awareness on ocean plastics pollution

first_imgCourtesy Sam Bencheghib(NEW YORK) — A recent college graduate is marking his first foray into his post-education life by embarking on a cross-country trek to raise awareness of the plight of the world’s oceans.Sam Bencheghib, 22, told ABC News he witnessed first-hand the pollution plaguing oceans when he and his brother would surf off the coast of Bali after he and his family moved there from Paris.“We would kind of go to the beach every day and realize there’s trash everywhere,” he said. “We were paddling in trash. That’s where my passion for the oceans and my want to fight against plastic pollution really began.”Bencheghib and his 24-year-old brother, Gary, started organizing local beach cleanups about 10 years ago, he said. Their efforts later evolved to video storytelling to reach a larger audience, and the pair co-founded Make a Change World, a media organization that aims to promote uplifting and inspirational content about sustainability.Part of the brothers’ strategy to raise awareness on plastic pollution and the effects it can have on the environment, especially the ocean, is to see through “crazy ideas to get people’s attention,” he said.One of their most effective schemes came in August 2017, when they built two kayaks out of plastic bottles and floated down the Citraum River in West Java, Indonesia, widely considered one of the most polluted rivers in the world.The video the Bencheghibs posted to Facebook garnered so much attention that Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo made a public commitment to clean up the river within seven years.Bencheghib, who in May graduated from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., is gearing up for his next adventure in the name of the environment. He plans to run across the U.S. — from ocean to ocean — in an effort to emphasize the importance of sustainability and reducing plastic use.The journey will begin in Battery Park in New York City on July 26 and end six months later in Santa Monica, Calif. Bencheghib will be running six days a week, 20 miles a day, all the while being followed by a camera man and RV driver to document the expedition.In total, the run will encompass about 3,100 miles, and he’ll do it while wearing the Adidas x Parley running shoes, which are made with up-cycled plastic waste collected from remote beaches and coastal communities.“We really think that no idea is crazy enough to talk about plastic pollution,” he said. Ironically, he considers himself more of a tennis player and “not much of a runner,” he said.Along the way, Bencheghib will be doing everything he can to get people’s attention, he said. On his rest days, he will be stopping by college campuses to talk to as many people as he can about the issue as well as showing up to every City Hall possible in an effort to convince mayors to sign a no-plastic pledge.The eldest Bencheghib sibling, Kelly, told ABC News she’s “super in awe” at the “incredible challenge” her youngest brother is taking, adding that it combines his two passions: athleticism and the environment.“I’m actually super worried about his health, but I know that he’s doing everything to be able to complete that challenge, and he’s so passionate about the environment,” she said.Kelly Bencheghib, 26, also works with Make a Change World from her post in Paris, while Gary is based in Bali and Sam in New York City. She said her parents are “super proud” of their children.“They couldn’t be happier to have their three children working together,” she said. “We’re a very close family.”Sam Bencheghib said he hopes his quest will help illustrate to the world just how devastating the effects of the current usage rates of plastic are and inspire people to change their habits.“In the time of such environmental concern, we need to talk about the solutions and innovations available to us instead of just using plastic,” he said.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Eleven million households ‘stuck’ outside or on property ladder, claims lobbying group

first_imgOver 11 million households in the UK cannot progress either into home ownership or up the property ladder for a variety of reasons, according to lobbying group Home Owners Alliance.Its latest research among 2,000 adults suggests that 7.5 million renters are stuck at the start of the property ladder while three million potential second-steppers can’t move and a million retirees can’t downsize.The organisation claims this proves the housing market is “broken at every level”. This is down to higher Stamp Duty, high house prices and a lack of properties available to buy.The detail of the research reveals that 74% of those who rent want to own a home but can’t because either properties are too expensive, they are struggling to save a deposit or can’t get an affordable mortgage.Second steppersAlso, second steppers are struggling to move up the property ladder because bigger homes are too expensive and the Stamp Duty bill too high, while retirees can’t find suitable properties to buy that offer the ideal size and amenities they want.Home Owners Alliance’s figures highlight the huge opportunity for the government and the property industry if only homes could be made more affordable, one that successive governments have been trying to solve, to date largely unsuccessfully.“These figures show the true scale – and indeed, the breadth – of the problems facing the housing market,” says Paul Higgins, CEO of the Home Owners Alliance (pictured).“And sellers at every single level are being met with problems and it’s clear that tinkering with just one area will not solve this crisis.“ Home Owners Alliance housing market Paula Higgins renters June 11, 2018Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Housing Market » Eleven million households ‘stuck’ outside or on property ladder, claims lobbying group previous nextHousing MarketEleven million households ‘stuck’ outside or on property ladder, claims lobbying groupStamp Duty, a lack of stock or suitable properties, high house prices and affordable mortgages blamed by Home Owners Alliance for ‘broken’ housing market.Nigel Lewis11th June 20180603 Viewslast_img read more

Ex-Oxford chemist jailed for child sex offences

first_imgJason Tunn commented, “the probation officer that assessed him, the judge and the psychologist agreed that the risk of re-offending is high and the fact that he’s been given an indeterminate sentence reflects that.”Some have found the sentence to be insufficient. A second-year medic from Christ Church said, “three and a half years minimum is a disgustingly short sentence for someone who basically was planning to rape a thirteen year old girl. Even if he doesn’t get out that soon, that the minimum was set so low really trivialises rape and that is going to put women and children at risk.”Rosanna McBeath, OUSU VP for welfare, commented, “I’m shocked and disgusted to hear about this case. It is upsetting to hear that someone who was once part of the Oxford community committed such heinous actions. If anyone at the University was affected by this, I would urge them to seek support.”A first year CAAH student commented, “that’s really disturbing. It’s scary that there are people around like that. You think of Oxford as a safe place and put your trust in the people who work here… this news comes and it makes you feel sick.”A third-year Magdalen student added, “it’s horrifying to think that this pervert ever had a connection with a teaching institution; even more horrifying that the institution is the same one I go to. The man was clearly messed up.”The University refused to comment on whether Lintern could have posed a threat to students and staff during his career at Oxford.A National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children spokesperson noted, “we must not forget the fact that behind many abusive images are real children. Receiving or downloading abusive images of children perpetuates its production and reinforces the cycle of sexual exploitation.” A former Oxford University scientist has been jailed after pleading guilty to charges of sexual assault on a toddler and the possession of 20,000 images of child pornography.Andrew Lintern, 55, pleaded guilty to 31 charges at Southwark Crown Court on Monday. These included an indecent assault on a 17-month infant, taking sexualised photographs of his victims and distributing the images.Lintern, who used to work as a chemistry researcher at Oxford, was caught by the London Metropolitan Police’s Paedophile Unit while posing as a 9-year-old girl on an online messenger service.Lintern contacted someone he believed to be a 13-year old girl, who was, in fact, an undercover police officer. Police arrested Lintern after he arranged to meet the “13-year-old.”The former chemist is suspected to have indulged in paedophilic activities for the last 10 years. He has been found to collect stories describing the rape and murder of children. He also wore nappies while at home.Detective sergeant Jason Tunn from the Met’s Paedophile Unit said, “certainly by 2002 he was abusing children hands-on… He is a dangerous sexual predator on children.”Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC said that the evidence raised “concerns about [Lintern’s] state of mind.” He considered him to be “a significant threat to the public.”He told Lintern, “taken all in all, the charges you have pleaded guilty to amount to such a great catalogue of offences involving child abuse that it is difficult to grasp the scale of your offending.“And it is just as difficult to grasp what has prompted a man like yourself to become steeped in activities involving the serious exploitation of children and the literally immeasurable harm that was done to them.”Lintern was given an Indeterminate Public Protection sentence, with the minimum jail time of three-and-a-half years. He will only be freed if the release is approved by the parole board or the Secretary of State, and will otherwise face an indeterminate sentence.last_img read more