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Efforts to end Myanmar’s ethnic conflicts shaken by coup

first_imgJAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — The coup that removed an elected government and reimposed military control in Myanmar has raised even more uncertainty about a fragile peace process aimed at ending decades of conflict between the military, armed ethnic groups and militias. Over 20 ethnic groups have been fighting the military over control of predominantly ethnic-minority borderland areas. They want more regional autonomy, while the military and militias aligned with it have fought for centralized power. Negotiations spearheaded by Aung San Suu Kyi have brought some progress, though fighting still has continued. Now, the military coup and the detainment of Suu Kyi and other elected officials have sparked criticism and concern the peace process could break down.last_img read more

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10 Quick Summer Energy Saving Tips From Thurston Energy

first_imgFacebook11Tweet0Pin0 Many Thurston County residents worship the sun.  We live for the days of a bright yellow sunshine in the five-day forecast.  To see a string of days without rain clouds is certainly a treat.When the temperature rises, there are some new behaviors that you can incorporate into your daily habits.  These easy-to-implement tasks can reduce your energy bills.Install a programmable thermostat that brings your house to a comfortable temperature when you are typically at home and stops heating or cooling your living space when you tend to be out.If your home has a central air conditioning, set the temperature to cool at 78 degrees.  Home owners typically save about six to seven percent off cooling costs for each degree above 78 degrees.Pull window shades.  Our neighbors in Southern California know to close blinds on sunny days, but people living in the Pacific Northwest sometimes forget that to keep the hot sun out, you need to pull the shades.  Open the shades in the winter to bring in warm rays.Turn off lights, appliances and electronics when not in use.  During a Washington summer, we benefit from long hours of daylight.  Take advantage of this natural light and leave the lights off.  This step will keep your house cooler and your energy bill down.If the hot weather is too much, look for an Energy Star air conditioner.  This designation means that the cooling unit is the most energy efficient model on the market.  Situate a window air conditioner out of direct sunlight.  They work best when kept cool.Replace an old central air conditioner with a new Energy Star qualified model.  Often this can reduce your cooling costs by up to 20%.  Schedule an inspection to make sure that your heating and cooling system is working at peak efficiency.Install a ceiling fan.  This is a less expensive way to cool down.  During hot weather, a ceiling fan will create a cool breeze and circulate air around your home.Get rid of hot air by using an exhaust fan to blow hot air out of your kitchen.  Similarly, take cooler showers and baths to avoid adding hot, humid aid to your home.Cook outside.  Instead of using your oven or stove, use your barbecue, microwave or countertop appliances.  A microwave uses 75% less energy than a regular electric oven.Install Energy Star compact fluorescent (CF) light bulbs in your most used fixtures and lamps.  CF bulbs radiate less heat and will save you an average of $30 – $40 over the lifespan of each bulb.For more examples of how to reduce your heating bills and improve your home’s energy efficiency, click here.last_img read more

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