Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Ruđer Bošković Science Institute Combats Climate Change by Developing New Material

May 5, 2021 - With ecology being the key to survival, the Ruđer Bošković Science Institute combats climate change by developing a new material known as CuZn-MOF-74.

The pandemic is nasty, the nuclear holocaust is a scary thought, but greenhouse gases remain an omnipresent potential for the death of us as they trigger climate change on whose negative effects scientists have been warning us about for decades. 

Like the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency informs on its websitethese gases trap the heat in the atmosphere, which in terms raises the temperature we experience. 

The website lists the main types of these airier troublemakers:

CO2 (Carbon dioxide - enters the atmosphere through burning fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil), solid waste, trees, and other biological materials, and also as a result of certain chemical reactions. It is removed by plants that use it for photosynthesis – a process that provides food for the pants and oxygen for other beings).

CH4 (Methane-emitted during the production and transport of coal, natural gas, and oil. Methane emissions also result from livestock and other agricultural practices, land use, and the decay of organic waste in municipal solid waste landfills).

N2O (Nitrous oxide - emitted during agricultural, land use, industrial activities, combustion of fossil fuels and solid waste, as well as during treatment of wastewater).

Last but not least:

Fluorinated gases ( such as Hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, and nitrogen trifluoride are synthetic, powerful greenhouse gases that are emitted from a variety of industrial processes. Fluorinated gases are sometimes used as substitutes for stratospheric ozone-depleting substances. These gases are typically emitted in smaller quantities, but because they are potent greenhouse gases, they are sometimes referred to as High Global Warming Potential gases) 

Each of these gases can stay in the atmosphere for a very long time, and transferring these gases into something else is a challenge to beat. Fortunately, at least for carbon dioxide, we might be getting closer to the solution than we think.



Ruđer Bošković Science Institute (IRB) in Croatia reported on its website that they are at the brink of a new material that can selectively transform carbon dioxide into methanol alcohol. The green chemists in Zagreb were closely cooperating with colleagues from the Slovenian Chemical Institute (KI), and McGill University in Canada. The results of their mutual research, in a more further scientific detail, are published in a scientific article on the prestigious ACS Publications

But in the summarization, doctoral candidates Tomislav Stolar and Valentina Martinez, alongside dr. Bahar Karadeniz, under the lead of dr. Krunoslav Užarević (IRB), and dr Tomislav Friščić (McGill University) developed a bi-metal proposal coordination material known as CuZn-MOF-74. The layman speaking complex name is owned to the fact it's made from copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) using a mechanic-chemical method of making bi-metal metalorganic networks known as MOF-74. As TCN previously reported, that method is an environmentally sustainable synthetic strategy that is further elaborated in a scientific article in 2019.

The catalytical properties of this material were tested KI in Ljubljana with the help of the scientists from the Institute: dr. Blaž Likozar, dr. Gregor Mali, dr. Ana Bjalić, and Anže Prašnikar.

The results have shown that this material has a modest catalyst (meaning it speeds up) activity to synthesize methanol, and post-reaction presented the scientists with a non-porous material which showed multiple enhancement of both catalyzation and selection for methanol synthetization.

„This research is a good example of multidisciplinary and international collaboration between strong research centers in the region. To me, as a young scientist, it's important that I can work on the current issues, such as transforming carbon dioxide into methanol, thanks to the guidance of dr. Užarević. There is a big potential for switching to sustainable chemical processes through the program of European Green plan, and research in that field should be the priority“, said the lead author Tomislav Stolar, a doctoral candidate in the IRB's laboratory for green synthesis.   

The IRB official website added that the search for an effective catalyzation to transform carbon dioxide into methanol is the focus of scientists worldwide. Methanol could also be then used as a fuel and replace the current fossil products.

Today you already have the term „Methanol Economy“ that predicts methanol will impose as the vital compound to store energy, as a fuel, and a source of carbon to synthesize valuable compounds. Efficient synthesis of methanol from carbon dioxide presents an example of sustainable chemical reaction of added value, and with great economic potential“, concludes the press release on IRB.

Apart from IRB scientists combating climate change, Croatia takes care of the environment, particularly national parks on whom you can learn more on our TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Croatians in Canada Help People Affected by Earthquake in Petrinja

December 30, 2020 – After yesterday's devastating earthquake in Petrinja and Sisak, help comes from another part of the world. Croatians in Canada initiated a fundraiser action GoFundMe and raised over 70,000 dollars so far!

Yesterday's earthquake encouraged people from all over Croatia to collect food and hygiene supplies for people affected by the earthquake, but also to launch much-needed donation actions. Donations started arriving yesterday from neighboring countries (Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Slovenia) and other parts of the world, namely, Canada.

The news of the devastating earthquake centered in Petrinja has galvanized the Croatian community in Canada into action. Mirjana Jerkovic, a very active member of the Croatian community in Canada, organized a GoFundMe fundraiser to collect donations for people affected by Croatia's earthquake.

In less than 24 hours, a GoFundMe fundraiser has raised over 70,000 dollars. This fundraiser is trending in Canada and is currently the 7th largest fundraiser taking place in Canada. Close to 700 people have donated to this worthy cause, from Mississauga, other parts of the Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton, and across Canada.

Mirjana is a long time member of the executive board of the Vatroslav Lisinski Tambura Orchestra of Mississauga, Ontario, and is well known in Croatian folklore circles in Canada. Her husband is a native of Vinkovci.

"Our Canadian-Croatian community is strong and has always helped our Croatian homeland. Let's show our support and donate to those most affected by the horrific earthquake on December 29, 2020. All funds will be donated to families, and we will post delivery! Please share! Bože, čuvaj Hrvatsku," reads her statement at GoFundMe.

Father Marko Štefanec of Holy Cross Croatian parish in Hamilton, Ontario, has produced a video encouraging Croats in Canada to give to those in need due to this earthquake.

"Due to Canadian bureaucracy, it is very difficult for Croatian parishes across Canada to send money outside Canada. Therefore, the best way to help is through these two platforms – fundraisers GoFundMe and Caritas Croatia," says Štefanec in the video below.

You can pay donations via GoFundMe website or through the Caritas Croatia website.

For more, follow today's live updates. To find out how you too can donate money, food, material and humanitarian aid, click here.

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Nadean Stone: 40 Year Journey To Find Her Croatian Birth Parents

July 16, 2020 - We bring you an uplifting story about a recently published book titled "No Stone Unturned: A Remarkable Journey to Identity" by Nadean Stone, a member of the National Federation of Croatian Americans, about her decades-long search for her birth parents.

I first talked with the author in March, when she emailed me to share her amazing story that led to the discovery of her Croatian ancestry. Her story begins in Canada, where between 1945 and 1973, almost 350,000 unmarried Canadian mothers were persuaded, coerced, or forced into giving their babies up for adoption. (Andrews, Valerie: White Unwed Mother: The Adoption Mandate in Postwar Canada, Demeter Press, Toronto 2018.) Many babies were illegally given away, like a puppy at the pound, for a nominal donation to the church. Nadean shared with me that, “On Christmas Eve, 1952 I became one of those babies. From the moment my grandmother disclosed the story of my adoption, my birthday wish every year was to find my mother.” Nadean started her search in 1973 when she was 20.

Nadean and Great Uncle Mon      Oncle.jpg
Nadean with her Great-Uncle 

In 2008, the Province of Ontario changed its law, enabling legally adopted persons to access their birth registration records. That document usually contained the birth mother’s name at the time of the child’s birth, her home address, age, religion, nationality, and professional occupation. Armed with that information, the adoptee could then search Ontario databases, telephone directories and in time locate their birth parent. Birth father names were seldom placed on this document as it was not a requirement. After many communication exchanges with the provincial government, the hospital where Nadean was born and the Children’s Aid Society, she discovered that adoption had never taken place. Nadean was simply given away by Mother Superior at the hospital. This resulted in denial of her access to any birth records.

In 2013, Nadean increased her search efforts with an intense focus on DNA. She had concluded that “DNA became my only source of hope. In December 2013, I tested with 23andMe but didn’t know how to proceed with a search. However, the DNA indicated that I was of Eastern European descent, with one Croatian parent. A DNA genetic genealogist, Olivia, found my post on a Canadian adoption website in February 2017 and offered to assist. Olivia had me test on Ancestry to ensure we covered all possibilities and Olivia downloaded my DNA info to GEDmatch, a website designed to assist adoptees.”

Olivia and Nadean divided their responsibilities. Nadean sent messages through both Ancestry and 23andMe portals to all her new cousins asking them to share their DNA, family surnames, residences in Europe, the US, and Canada, family trees. They explained the mission to find her birth mother. Nadean messaged more than 150 cousins at numerous times during the journey. As the months progressed, many of the “cousins” became invested in her search. They exchanged personal email addresses and telephone numbers, creating a “Village of Cousins” desperate to help “the baby find its mother.”

Ancestry DNA found Nadean’s birth father’s family in June 2017 when his daughter tested. I asked Nadean how it felt to hear the news and she exclaimed that "I never thought I would find my birth father. I thought the chances of finding my mother were slim and even if she was alive, she might not be well or have the mental capacity or desire to share his identity. I must say that finding him first through DNA, was truly a miracle." It turned out that Nadean’s father, Vinko Tatarević died in 2000. Vinko was a Croatian fighter pilot during World War II, a Croatian Ace who was featured in a book called Croatian Aces of World War II. Vinko is considered to be a hero in his home town of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Nadean as a 2 year old on the farm .jpg
2-year-old Nadean on the farm

In finding Vinko, Nadean and Olivia zeroed in on the remote town he immigrated to in Canada in the early 1950s. Nadean and her husband Bill traveled there in August 2017, set up in the town’s library and texted addresses of names and addresses of possible family members from 1951, 1952, and 1953 telephone directories to Olivia who compared them to her spreadsheets. On their last day in town, they abandoned the library and utilized detective skills. They sought out elderly Croatians who might have known her birth parents in 1952. Nadean shared her story and explained that finding her mother was her only remaining wish in life. Nadean shared that “We found the house where Vinko lived during the 1950s and took photos and we found Peterson Electric where he had worked." The ownership had changed and they no longer had his employment records. They visited the Croatian Hall, the Croatian Catholic Parish, and the Multicultural Association sharing all around the purpose of their visit. Bill found a listing that day as well for the Croatian Recreational Center. Nadean called and left a message with their departure imminent.

There was a big break when Leonard, an elderly Croatian man called with the news later that evening. Leonard said he knew Vinko very well. They had both worked initially at the bush camps upon arrival in Canada. Although Vinko was older than Leonard, Vinko had been very good to him and had taken care of him. He told Nadean that Vinko was very handsome and all the women in North Bay were in love with him. Leonard did add that he did not know any of Vinko’s girlfriends. 

Although not successful on that trip, Nadean continued in her dogged efforts to find her mother, resulting in an astonishing journey with a miraculous ending. Nadean started a memoir in 2017 as her life was already replete with unbelievably daunting life challenges, including a harrowing escape from a Caribbean island. As one reviewer noted, “This book is a MUST READ. Never judge a book by its cover. Don’t let the beauty and softness of Nadean fool you. She is tough as stone. No Stone Unturned is a real-life story that contains all the elements for a great movie: Real-life drama, pain, suspense, romance, royalty, politics, and more. You will cry, laugh, and get angry. Thank you Nadean for being transparent and opening up your soul to share such personal details.”

Her goal in writing the memoir is to use it as a platform for change. Nadean hopes to bring attention to the issue and to petition the Province of Ontario to amend the law enabling non-adoptees equal rights to their records. She has consulted with a leading civil rights attorney in Toronto who is interested in this precedent-setting case. In July 2018, Nadean filed a petition with the UN Commission on the Rights of the Child illuminating numerous Articles of the UN Convention that the Province of Ontario has violated in its treatment of illegally adopted children.

It was over several conversations with the author that the objective of her lifelong journey and her book became clear and Nadean said it best last week with her quote that, "My goal is to inspire readers to find faith, hope and the courage to persevere, despite the odds and to never give up." Her memoir, No Stone Unturned – A Remarkable Journey to Identity is available on Amazon. She also created a Birth Search Directory on her website to assist adoptees in their search,

Nadean's book is a riveting story that I highly recommend to all readers who want to be inspired at this time of a pandemic. It is a triumphant memoir of courage and perseverance, a story of love on many levels, and proves the miraculous and joyous ending we can achieve when we never give up!


If you want to learn more about Croatian diaspora, follow our dedicated section.

Monday, 8 June 2020

Canada Only Country Where Croats Won't Be Able To Vote For Parl. Election

ZAGREB, June 8, 2020 - According to available information, Canada seems to be the only country where it won't be possible to organise voting for the Croatian parliamentary election set for July 5, the State Electoral Commission (DIP) confirmed to Hina on Monday.

The Croatian Embassy in Canada on Sunday informed that because of the coronavirus pandemic it will not be possible to hold the parliamentary election in that country on July 4 and 5.

Whether any other of the 50 or so countries that have confirmed that the election can be held, will cancel the organisation of voting of eligible Croatian voters on their territory cannot be said with any reliability before June 20.

"By 20 June DIP will have collected all the necessary permits via the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs in order to hold the election and based on that, it will adopt a resolution to define polling stations in diplomatic-consular offices in those countries that have approved the election and then the necessary election material will be forwarded," DIP said when asked about the final list of countries where the election will be held.

680 Croatian voters in Canada exercised their right to vote in the 2016 election

At the last parliamentary election in 2016, 680 people with Croatian citizenship in Canada exercised their right to vote.

The electoral roll has 8,199 Croatian citizens residing in Canada registered with the right to vote, and of the 682 went to the polls for the previous parliamentary elections for Croatia's legislature.

Asked what if some other countries take the same steps as Canada and whether that will impact the validity of the election, DIP said that it is a body the conducts the election and it does not decide on the date of the election nor can it influence countries to approve the election being held in their country.

The validity of elections is supervised by the Constitutional Court, DIP recalled.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Flights to Croatia: Air Transat Looking to Strengthen Operations from Canada

October 10, 2019 - Air Transat is looking to strengthen operations in Croatia. Are trips to Dubrovnik and Split in its plans?

Ex Yu Aviation reports that the theme of Air Transat’s annual meeting last week was Croatia - and we are not surprised. In 2018, 172,712 Canadian tourists visited Croatia, which was an increase of 26.5% compared to 2017. 

While Canada’s third-largest airline has operated a seasonal summer service to Zagreb since 2016, it has put Croatia’s popularity in focus and previously expressed interested in expanding to Dubrovnik and Split. They’ve even made contact with both airports. 

“Croatia remains a key destination for Transat in view of the interest shown by Canadian travelers in the summer and its potential for tourism development. We are continuously looking at all opportunities, including Croatia. Like all airlines, there are a number of considerations involved when we are selecting a destination, including customer demand, airport infrastructure and competition from other carriers," Air Transat said.

So, is a connection to Dubrovnik and Split on the horizon? Air Transat said they are always analyzing and re-evaluating the market and their roads, based on a variety of factors, to optimize their operations. 

Recall, Air Transat announced a new service between Toronto and Split back in September 2018, though they canceled it in January 2019 and instead increased frequencies to Zagreb. 

Air Transat's Marketing Director, Debbie Cabana, confirmed the news then. 

"For commercial reasons, we have decided to cancel our summer 2019 program for Split, Croatia. Nevertheless, Croatia remains a key destination for Transat and, given the interest shown by Canadians in the summer of 2018 and its potential for tourism development, we will be adding a third weekly departure from Toronto to Zagreb. Flights will be on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays during peak season. Passengers from Montreal and Vancouver will also benefit from a connecting flight to Toronto to take advantage of this added flight to Croatia. This third flight will make Zagreb accessible from Calgary as well, via return connecting flights to Toronto". 

The carrier was to fly between Toronto and Split once a week from June 20 to September 12.

However, Air Transat isn’t the only airline helping Canadian tourists to Croatia - we have Canada Rouge to thank for that, too. 

"Further growth in travel is expected from Canada to Croatia at around 20% per year. Estimates are based on the recovery of the Canadian economy, the strong contribution of nonstop flights linking Toronto with Zagreb, and general growth in interest for travel to Croatia,” Ina Rodin from the Croatian National Tourist Board concluded. 

Air Transat announced they’ll release the 2020 summer flight schedule soon. 

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Croatian Exports to Canada Doubled in First Nine Months of 2018

As Lucija Spiljak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 16th of January, 2019, the Republic of Croatia was the third EU member country to ratify the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union in 2017, opening up new opportunities for both Canadian and Croatian entrepreneurs and innovators, as well as promoting and increasing trade and economic development. Owing to that, Croatian exports to Canada doubled in 2018.

In addition to the abolition of customs duties for more than 98 percent of goods, according to data from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) and state statistics, in the first nine months of last year, Croatian exports to Canada doubled to almost 80 million dollars.

This encouraging information was stated at Zagreb's Sheraton Hotel when marking the first anniversary of the implementation of the CETA agreement, in which Canada's Geoff Regan participated. The gathering at the Sheraton was organised by the Canadian Embassy and the Canadian-Croatian Business Network (CCBN).

As the President of the Croatian Chamber of Economy Luka Burilović pointed out, tariffs were abolished on some of the most important Croatian exports - food and pharmaceuticals.

"The possibilities are numerous and Croatian companies need to be proactive in taking advantage of all the advantages now offered by the Canadian market," Burilović stated.

The CETA agreement brings some enormous savings to entrepreneurs, and they are estimated at about 600 million euro. In addition to the abolition of tariff items, this agreement is an instrument for growth and a tool to promote European values, thus contributing to the betterment of everyone.

In addition to the Canadians wanting to invest in Croatia, an increase of over 25 percent of visits made by Canadians to the Republic of Croatia was recorded last year.

On the occasion of the gathering and the welcome news about Croatian exports to Canada, Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković also mentioned NATO, whose role was significant in the development of Croatian-Canadian relations because that way, as he stated, Croatia and Canada recognised and respected each other.

"The CETA agreement shows how states can help each other and contribute to their economies," Jandroković pointed out.

Geoff Regan of Canada's House of Representatives, said that Canada wants to increase its trade and investment with EU countries, including Croatia, which, he said, is an important trading and investment partner. He also mentioned that according to unofficial estimates in Canada there are 300,000 people there with Croatian roots, so the Croatian diaspora contributes to the strengthening of economic relations between Canada and Croatia.

"The comprehensive economic and trade agreement between Canada and the European Union is an important tool to help increase trade and investment with EU countries. By ensuring that businesses and people can maximally use the opportunities for increased trade that CETA will help to achieve, Canada and EU countries will establish lasting foundations based on a growing relationship which will contribute to our common progress,'' Regan concluded.

The 27th anniversary of Croatia's international recognition and Croatia's diplomatic recognition from Canada were also marked at the gathering in Zagreb.

Make sure to follow out dedicated business and politics pages for more information on Croatian exports, and much more.


Click here for the original article by Lucija Spiljak for Poslovni Dnevnik

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Dubrovnik Visited by Canadian Frigate HMCS Ville de Québec

An unusual visitor in the waters of Croatia's southernmost city of Dubrovnik as a large Canadian warship arrives to ring in the New Year. 

As Morski writes on the 30th of December, 2018, the Canadian frigate, named HMCS Ville de Québec, has arrived in Croatia's popular destination of the Pearl of the Adriatic. On this occasion, Captain Scott Robinson and his associates were received by Dubrovnik-Neretva County's prefect (HDZ), Nikola Dobroslavić, and Dubrovnik's mayor (HDZ), Mato Franković.

The captain of the Canadian vessel, Scott Robinson, stated that the ship intends to remain in Dubrovnik until January the 2nd, 2019, and that this New Year will be celebrated on the land with the rest of us, considering that he and his crew awaited Christmas at sea.

The Canadian captain also mentioned that he is sailing mostly along the eastern Mediterranean and that they have otherwise passed through Egypt, Syria, Israel, Turkey, Greece, Spain and Portugal so far, but admits that the dramatic and rugged Croatian coast is the most impressive waters the ship and its crew have entered yet.

The Canadian vessel is able to dock and ''reside'' in the Republic of Croatia, more specifically the City of Dubrovnik, owing to the bilateral military cooperation between the Croatian Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy. The ship's delegation was also accompanied by a Croatian officer for the international military cooperation of the Croatian Navy, Davor Gardun.

Otherwise, HMCS Ville de Québec is a Halifax class frigate and has been serving the both the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian forces since back in 1993. 

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated news and lifestyle pages for everything you need to know about what's going on up and down the country, from news reports to in depth articles on business, cultural events, politics, the diaspora and much more. 

If it's just Dubrovnik you're interested in, make sure to follow Total Dubrovnik.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Search for Oil Begins in Wider Osijek Area

The quest for oil begins in Eastern Croatia.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Croatian Innovators Win 12 Medals in Canada

The exhibition was held in Toronto, Canada.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Šibenik Breakwaters Used for Cruisers in Quebec

A touch of Dalmatia in Quebec.

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