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Renewable biogas from COW MANURE is injected into the UK Grid

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renewable biogas from cow manure is injected into the uk grid

Cow manure has been turned into renewable biogas and sold back to the National Grid for the first time – and it could present a new source of revenue for farmers.

The biomethane was connected to the Gas National Transmission System at the end of July by anaerobic digestion company BioCow from a farm in Cambridgeshire.

The Murrow Anaerobic Digestion Plant produces the renewable gas – a form of methane – made from cattle manure and straw mixed together.

There will be enough biomethane fed into the grid from the Cambridgeshire farm to meet the annual gas consumption of 10 average households every hour.  

The Murrow Anaerobic Digestion Plant produces the renewable gas - a form of methane - made from cattle manure and straw mixed together

The Murrow Anaerobic Digestion Plant produces the renewable gas – a form of methane – made from cattle manure and straw mixed together

The process involves sealing waste in tanks without oxygen, where the material is broken down by naturally occurring micro-organisms into biogas. 

Ian Radley, Head of Gas Systems Operations at National Grid said biomethane will play a critical role in helping Britain achieve net zero carbon status.

‘We’ve collaborated closely with Biocow on this innovative project to ensure we met their needs and connected their site to the National Transmission System,’ he said.

Radley added that the move will help the country in its transition to a low carbon economy and paving the way for similar projects in the future.’

The process could help struggling farmers by giving them a new source of revenue by selling manure generated by cattle to the energy production firms.

It would also allow them to offset methane – a greenhouse gas – produced by cattle through the new green initiative. 

There will be enough biomethane fed into the grid from the Cambridgeshire farm to meet the annual gas consumption of 10 average households every hour

There will be enough biomethane fed into the grid from the Cambridgeshire farm to meet the annual gas consumption of 10 average households every hour

Chris Waters, Managing Director of Biocow said it was just the first step in the firms efforts to pioneer new and innovative ways to inject green gas to the grid.

‘We look forward to continued collaboration with National Grid in the future as we continue to develop our site at Murrow.’

Britain has a goal of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 which will require a huge increase in renewable energy and investment to increase the stability of its energy networks.

ANAEROBIC DIGESTION: TURNING AGRICULTURAL WASTE INTO FUEL

The process of anaerobic digestion used bacteria to break down organic matter to create biogas that can be used in power generation.

It is a system that involves sealing agricultural waste in tanks with bacteria without oxygen – it generally produces methane.

It does so by breaking down the waste – made up of produce like cow manure and straw – by naturally occurring micro-organisms into biogas. 

Any non-methane components from the biogas produced using this process are removed which allows the gas to be used as an energy source. 

Anaerobic digestion is widely used as a source of renewable energy. 

This biogas can be used directly as fuel, in combined heat and power gas engines or upgraded to natural gas-quality biomethane. 

The nutrient-rich digestate also produced can be used as fertiliser.

From July 2020 BioGas produced using this technique was being fed into the UK National Grid for the first time. 

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Hospitals in France and Spain are just three weeks from ‘saturation’

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hospitals in france and spain are just three weeks from saturation

Coronavirus patients are filling up wards in French and Spanish hotspots where intensive care units could be ‘saturated’ within three weeks – but hospital cases nationwide are nowhere near the disastrous levels of March and April.  

French hospital cases have risen by 28 per cent in a month, with 5,800 people currently being treated, while Spanish hospitals have admitted 10,800 people in four weeks – more than in the previous three months combined. 

Older people remain the most vulnerable, with over-60s accounting for a majority of recent admissions in Spain and more than three-quarters of current hospital patients in France

In crisis areas such as Madrid, Marseille and Bordeaux, some intensive care wards are at full capacity and emergency facilities are starting to spring up again as medics prepare for the second wave of cases. 

Parts of Madrid went into lockdown today while France’s scientific council has warned of ‘tough decisions’ within days as the two governments wrestle with the new outbreak. 

Britain’s own rebound in cases has sparked fears that the UK is heading in a similar direction, with ministers being warned that Britain may be around six weeks behind Spain.   

But across France and Spain as a whole, hospital capacity is far higher than in the spring – with Madrid’s virus patients filling up 22 per cent of hospital beds, compared to 100 per cent in early April, while France has thousands of free intensive care beds and only a fifth as many hospital patients as it did in April.   

HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS: France and Spain have both seen rises in hospital cases, with older people especially affected, but the numbers are nowhere near the levels of March and April

HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS: France and Spain have both seen rises in hospital cases, with older people especially affected, but the numbers are nowhere near the levels of March and April 

ICU ADMISSIONS: While intensive care wards are reaching crisis levels in hotspots such as Madrid and Marseille, both countries as a whole have far more capacity than in the spring

ICU ADMISSIONS: While intensive care wards are reaching crisis levels in hotspots such as Madrid and Marseille, both countries as a whole have far more capacity than in the spring 

In Spain, at least 10,800 people have been admitted to hospital since August 20, compared to 7,000 in the previous three months combined. 

However, at the height of the crisis in the spring there were up to 23,000 people being admitted every week, with hundreds dying every day.

In early April, Covid patients were filling up 100 per cent of Madrid’s hospital beds, with temporary facilities set up in corridors, libraries and gyms outside the main wards. 

Now, only 22 per cent of the capital’s hospital beds are occupied by coronavirus patients – although the number has nearly doubled from 10 per cent a month ago. 

In Spain as a whole, the situation is somewhat better with 8.7 per cent of beds now taken by Covid patients, compared to 4.4 per cent in mid-August. 

The story is similar in intensive care units, with 875 people admitted across Spain in the last month compared to 477 between May and August. 

But the numbers are still significantly lower than the 1,520 people who were in intensive care on the worst day of the crisis on April 5.  

Hospitals in Madrid are treating nearly 400 people in intensive care units, filling more than 40 per cent of Madrid’s ICU beds. 

‘In a way, it’s like the situation in March but in slow motion,’ said Dr Carlos Velayos, an ICU doctor at a hospital in a Madrid suburb. 

Velayos said that prediction models were telling hospital administrators in Madrid that some ICU wards could reach peak capacity before the end of September.  

‘In March, it was like a nuclear bomb that brought the health system as a whole to a collapse in a matter of weeks,’ Velayos said. 

‘We might not be there yet, but that’s not a reason not to be worried. We have allowed the outbreaks to reach a level of being uncontrollable.’

Madrid’s R rate is thought to be about 1.08, compared to 0.97 for Spain as a whole, and the region is piling up thousands of cases per day by itself.  

SPAIN CASES: A rebound in infections and an increased testing programme have led to a huge rise in confirmed cases in Spain, reaching higher levels than in the spring

SPAIN CASES: A rebound in infections and an increased testing programme have led to a huge rise in confirmed cases in Spain, reaching higher levels than in the spring 

Spain's death toll has edged up in recent weeks with more than 100 new fatalities on some days, but the levels are still well below those in March and April

Spain’s death toll has edged up in recent weeks with more than 100 new fatalities on some days, but the levels are still well below those in March and April 

MADRID: Protesters wearing masks walk the streets during a demonstration on Sunday against lockdown measures coming into effect in some neighbourhoods this week

MADRID: Protesters wearing masks walk the streets during a demonstration on Sunday against lockdown measures coming into effect in some neighbourhoods this week 

A partial lockdown is beginning in some of Madrid’s poorer districts this week, affecting around 850,000 people. 

Access to parks and public areas will be restricted, gatherings will be limited to six people and commercial establishments will have to close by 10pm. 

The new measures sparked an outbreak of protests on Sunday, with people holding signs saying ‘no to a class-based lockdown’. 

‘We think that they are laughing at us a little bit,’ said nurse Bethania Perez, as hundreds protested against the measure. 

Velayos’s hospital is expanding its ICU capacity from 12 to 24 beds by the end of September, because all of them are currently filling up with coronavirus patients. 

Operating rooms have been turned into ICUs and surgeries have been postponed, while hospitals compete to hire medics exhausted by the first wave of the crisis. 

Regional authorities say that the health system still has room to manage the incoming flow of patients and that medical workers are better prepared. 

The Madrid government is spending €50million to build a massive new ‘epidemics hospital’ with more than 1,000 beds by the end of October. 

Meanwhile, health officials in Zaragoza have started putting up field hospitals in a grim echo of the worst days of the pandemic. 

Spain has also seen its death rate rise somewhat, although again the figures are still far lower than in the spring. 

The death toll rose by 748 last week, compared to 329 in the previous week and 407 in the seven days before that. 

The country saw its worst week of deaths in late March and early April when 6,077 people died in the space of seven days.  

Older people are continuing to prove the most vulnerable in Spain: patients aged 80 or above account for more than a quarter of the recent hospital admissions. 

More than 6,000 over-60s have been admitted to hospital with coronavirus since August 20, compared to only 1,500 people aged under 40.   

A majority of people admitted to ICU in the last month are in their 50s or 60s, with another 23 per cent in their 70s. 

The proportion of ICU patients under 40 has fallen from 17 per cent between May and August to eight per cent in the last month.  

SPAIN AGE GROUPS: More than a quarter of recent hospital admissions in Spain are people over 80, with over-60s accounting for more than half the total

SPAIN AGE GROUPS: More than a quarter of recent hospital admissions in Spain are people over 80, with over-60s accounting for more than half the total 

In France, around 5,800 people are currently in hospital with Covid-19 – a rise of more than a quarter from the 4,500 patients in late August. 

But while the numbers have risen conspicuously, they are still nowhere near the peak in mid-April when up to 32,000 people were in hospital with the virus. 

The same is true of ICU units, which are currently treating 800 people – up from fewer than 400 last month but well below the peak of more than 7,000 in the spring.

Some days are seeing more than 100 new patients admitted to ICU, compared to only a trickle over the summer.  

As a result, hotspots such as Marseille and Bordeaux have seen their hospitals fill up alarmingly in recent weeks. 

Marseille’s hospitals have been put back on a crisis footing with intensive care beds filling up in the city and surrounding Bouches-du-Rhone region. 

In Paris too, doctors are returning to the dilemma of whether to postpone other surgery and treatment in favour of helping coronavirus patients.  

Francois Braun, head of a French emergency services union, warned that hospitals could be ‘saturated’ within three weeks, according to BFM TV.   

At the Laveran Military Training Hospital in Marseille, every bed was occupied last week and one medic said the same was happening elsewhere. 

Since virus patients have outgrown Covid-specific ICU wards, medics have been putting people in units meant for non-virus patients instead. 

‘The beginning of summer was relatively calm but in the past few weeks there is a new rise,’ said the Laveran hospital’s chief doctor.  

‘In March, April and May we were able to absorb the epidemic wave by abandoning other hospital care activities, and today what is at stake is being able to continue treating every other patient while being able to face the epidemic.’ 

Among the new virus patients, he said, ‘some are older but not all. There are also adults of 50 to 60 years old with risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity, all factors that we saw already during the first wave.’ 

FRANCE CASES: The country has seen record numbers of infections in recent days, but this has not been reflected in the hospitalisation count

FRANCE CASES: The country has seen record numbers of infections in recent days, but this has not been reflected in the hospitalisation count 

FRANCE HOSPITAL CASES: Although higher than in the summer, the number of people currently in hospital is still far lower than it was in April

FRANCE HOSPITAL CASES: Although higher than in the summer, the number of people currently in hospital is still far lower than it was in April 

FRANCE AGE GROUPS: Older people remain the most vulnerable to the disease, with over-80s accounting for nearly a quarter of hospitalised virus patients in France - a phenomenon which has not changed significantly since the coming of the second wave

FRANCE AGE GROUPS: Older people remain the most vulnerable to the disease, with over-80s accounting for nearly a quarter of hospitalised virus patients in France – a phenomenon which has not changed significantly since the coming of the second wave 

More than half – 58 per cent – of the patients currently in French hospitals are aged 70 or older, compared to only seven per cent under 40. 

The largest single group is people aged 80 to 89, of whom 1,300 are currently receiving hospital treatment after contracting Covid-19.  

In addition, 86 per cent of those who have died in French hospitals in the last month are people aged 70 or over, with only seven victims aged under 40. 

As in Spain, France’s overall death toll has crept up from the very low levels of the summer – with an average of 46 hospital deaths per day in the last week.

But the figures are still far below the levels in early April, when hundreds of people were dying every day.  

French authorities say they are better prepared than in the spring, with mass testing now being carried out. 

France’s ICU capacity has risen from around 5,000 to 10,000 since the start of the pandemic, French media says. 

Still, the country’s scientific council warned last week that the government may have to take multiple unpopular decisions within days to counter the outbreak. 

Council head Jean-Francois Delfraissy told reporters that current infection rates were ‘worrying’. 

The fact that new cases had not yet swamped the health system might have created ‘a false sense of security’, Delfraissy said. 

There was the danger of a ‘very rapid, exponential rise’ in some places, he said, singling out the French Riviera and Provence region. 

The government may have to take ‘a certain number of tough decisions’ he said, probably within 10 days. 

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Hit-and-run driver is jailed after running over man, 61 – only to learn it was her own father-in-law

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hit and run driver is jailed after running over man 61 only to learn it was her own father in law

A hit-and-run driver crashed into and seriously injured an elderly man on a zebra crossing – only to learn later it was her father-in-law she had left lying in agony.

Fatheha Begum Abedin was distracted because she was using her phone when she ploughed into her 61-year-old relative in the Highfields area of Leicester in February 2018.

But instead of stopping to help him, she kept on driving. The shocking incident was captured on CCTV and led to a high-profile police appeal to find the driver responsible.

Abedin began to concoct the first of a series of lies she hoped would cover up what she had done.

Hit-and-run driver Fatheha Begum Abedin crashed into and seriously injured an elderly man on a zebra crossing - only to learn later it was her father-in-law left lying in agony on the road

Hit-and-run driver Fatheha Begum Abedin crashed into and seriously injured an elderly man on a zebra crossing – only to learn later it was her father-in-law left lying in agony on the road

The 29-year-old’s far-fetched stories evolved as police gathered more evidence against her, Leicester Crown Court heard.

Initially she insisted she was not aware of the crash, which happened in St Peter’s Road on the evening of Monday, February 5.

Next she said she might have been involved but had suffered a partial loss of consciousness caused by an asthma attack, meaning she had no memory of the incident.

The incident, which was caught on CCTV, threw her father-in-law on to the bonnet of her Vauxhall Corsa and into her windscreen.

The force of the impact bent the wipers and shattered the windscreen.

She later claimed the damage had been caused by thieves breaking into the car to steal her phone, prosecutor Joey Kwong said.

She also tried to hide her use of the phone at the time of the crash by saying it often delayed sending messages – a contention which was refuted by an expert.

Mr Kwong added that Leicestershire Police later established she had deleted 32 incriminating text messages from her phone and had her windscreen repaired before police had a chance to examine it.

This is the shocking moment Fatheha Begum Abedin hits her father-in-law on zebra crossing

This is the shocking moment Fatheha Begum Abedin hits her father-in-law on zebra crossing

Abedin fled the scene and later made attempts to cover up her crime as police investigated

Abedin fled the scene and later made attempts to cover up her crime as police investigated

The pharmacy assistant eventually ran out of lies and pleaded guilty to two offences – causing serious injury by dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice.

She appeared in court on Wednesday – supported by family members including her father-in-law – to be sentenced.

Her family was initially unaware of what she had done but eventually learned of her involvement as the police investigation continued.

She was arrested and interviewed 11 days after the crash and was eventually exposed as a liar.

Her relatives withdrew their support for the matter being prosecuted in the courts, the court heard.

Before he sentenced her, Judge Robert Brown gave a chronology of the incident.

He said Adedin left the family home in Evington Street around 6.15pm on Monday, February 5 2018 to collect a takeaway.

At same time, her father-in-law left the shared home to visit a relative, who lived nearby.

As she made her way home she was using her mobile and went across the zebra crossing in St Peter’s Road, Highfields – just at the moment her father-in-law was crossing.

She crashed into into him, causing a number of serious injuries, including a fractured pelvis.

Sentencing her, Judge Brown said: ‘I’m satisfied you were using your mobile phone.

‘You collided with and caused a serious injury to your father-in-law. He went up over your bonnet and struck your windscreen before landing in the road.

‘I’m quite satisfied you knew full well there had been an accident. You could not have reached any other conclusion.

Abedin had her damaged windscreen fixed after she hit father-in-law to cover up hit and run

Abedin had her damaged windscreen fixed after she hit father-in-law to cover up hit and run

‘You did not stop. You did not offer to help. Others passing by stopped to help. You carried on.’

The judge said a man whose car matched the one involved in the collision was arrested and spent an evening in police custody before he was ruled out of the police investigation.

The judge continued: ‘It’s apparent to me that not only did you know you had been involved in a road traffic collision, but went to considerable lengths to cover up your involvement.

‘An innocent man was arrested and detained overnight by the police on the basis that he was thought to be the driver.

‘Your father-in-law was taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary and spent a total of 11 days there.

‘He sits in court today and has written a statement in which he expresses – and has always felt, I am sure – his love and affection for you.

‘He stresses your importance to him, his wife and his family in your role as carer.

‘He has clearly in his own way forgiven you for what happened that night.

‘If you are sent into immediate custody I must have regard to the fact that could cause yet more pain to the victim of your crime.

‘I have no desire to cause any further pain to him, but I have a public duty today.

Fatheha Begum Abedin, 28, was jailed for a total of 18 months for causing serious injury by dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice at Leicester Crown Court (pictured)

Fatheha Begum Abedin, 28, was jailed for a total of 18 months for causing serious injury by dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice at Leicester Crown Court (pictured)

‘You did just about everything in your power to avoid responsibility for your behaviour until you were forced to make the admissions you have.

‘You have pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

‘This was a deliberate and sustained attempt to avoid responsibility for what you had done.

Abedin was jailed for six months for the dangerous driving offence and 12 months for perverting the course of justice.

The sentences will be served consecutively, making a total of 18 months.

She was also banned from driving for two years and nine months.

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Pensioner, 68, collapsed and died of heart attack after ‘bust-up with driver over parking’

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pensioner 68 collapsed and died of heart attack after bust up with driver over parking
'Much-loved husband and father' Kenneth Hawker, 68, collapsed after he was involved in what police describe as a 'serious altercation' with a car driver

‘Much-loved husband and father’ Kenneth Hawker, 68, collapsed after he was involved in what police describe as a ‘serious altercation’ with a car driver

A pensioner who was out for a lockdown walk died of a heart condition after a bust-up with a driver over a car parked on a pavement, an inquest has heard.

‘Much-loved husband and father’ Kenneth Hawker, 68, collapsed after he was involved in what police describe as a ‘serious altercation’ with a car driver.

The man, in his 50s, was arrested at the scene and released under investigation after the incident in Middle Market Road, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.

He was told two weeks later that he faced no further action after a post-mortem found that Mr Hawker had died from a previously undiagnosed heart condition.

The inquest heard how Mr Hawker and his wife of 40 years, Denise, came across the car on the pavement at the height of lockdown on April 22.

Mrs Hawker said in a statement: ‘Time was irrelevant because of the Covid-lockdown.

‘But sometime around lunch-time we decided to go out for our daily exercise and some shopping.

‘There was a car parked on the pavement with the passenger door open.

‘We walked through the gap and were just past when a woman said, “It would’ve taken two seconds to walk around”.

A man, in his 50s, was arrested at the scene (pictured) and released under investigation after the incident in Middle Market Road, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. He was told two weeks later that he faced no further action

A man, in his 50s, was arrested at the scene (pictured) and released under investigation after the incident in Middle Market Road, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. He was told two weeks later that he faced no further action

‘Ken pointed out pavements are for walking on and a man got out of the car and into Ken’s face.’

The hearing at Norfolk Coroner’s Court in Norwich heard how the two men pushed and kicked out at each other in the street.

Mr Hawker fell to the ground at one point as local residents called out from windows for the pair to stop.

The pensioner and his wife then left the scene, before he collapsed again nearby.

An air ambulance was called as paramedics battled in vain to save Mr Hawker.

The post-mortem by a Home Office pathologist found that Mr Hawker had an advanced natural disease in his heart, which made him more vulnerable to cardiac dysrhythmia - an irregular heartbeat

The post-mortem by a Home Office pathologist found that Mr Hawker had an advanced natural disease in his heart, which made him more vulnerable to cardiac dysrhythmia – an irregular heartbeat

The post-mortem by a Home Office pathologist found that he had an advanced natural disease in his heart, which made him more vulnerable to cardiac dysrhythmia – an irregular heartbeat.

Mr Hawker of Cobbs Place, Great Yarmouth, had no alcohol in his body and had sustained no major injuries in the incident.

Norfolk’s assistant coroner Johanna Thompson recorded a narrative conclusion, saying: ‘Mr Hawker died on April 22 at Middle Market Road, in Great Yarmouth, following an altercation.

‘He had a previously undiagnosed but naturally occurring medical condition.’

Mr Hawker’s family described him after his death as ‘a much-loved husband, father, son and brother.’

They added in a statement: ‘He had many friends, and was a popular member of the local community. His sudden and untimely death has come as a huge shock to us all.’

Detectives confirmed that Mr Hawker’s death was not being treated as suspicious due to the results of the post-mortem.

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