Udall Calls For Immediate Bipartisan Action To Fix Paycheck Protection Program, Provide Additional Funding For Small Businesses, Healthcare Providers, State, Local, Tribal Governments On Front Lines Of COVID-19 Crisis

first_imgU.S. Sen. Tom UdallFrom the Office of U.S. Sen. Tom Udall:SANTA FE – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) issued the following statement calling for immediate bipartisan action to address gaps in the recently passed CARES Act that would provide additional funding and fixes for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), shoring up our hospitals and other health care providers as they fight COVID-19 while losing regular revenue, and provide relief to state, local and Tribal governments as they continue to experience severe financial losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic:“For nearly two weeks, Republican leaders have played politics – inexplicably refusing to engage in serious, good-faith bipartisan discussions, while standing in the way of fixing the shortfalls of the Paycheck Protection Program and blocking emergency relief to hospitals and other health care providers, and state, local, and Tribal governments that are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. The Paycheck Protection Program is a key economic lifeline, but we have heard from small businesses and local banking institutions in New Mexico, especially those in disadvantaged communities, that the Trump administration’s management of the PPP and other small business programs have major flaws and need urgent improvement. Our small businesses need real fixes to the program – not just more funds that will go out the door before all small businesses have a chance to even apply for a loan.“I am confident there is wide bipartisan support for action to fix the issues plaguing the PPP program and to infuse more resources into it, as well as providing badly needed and urgent relief to health care providers and state and local governments who are facing dire financial straits that threaten public and essential public services. Instead of political posturing, we need to heed the bipartisan calls of governors, mayors, hospitals, and other health care providers, in addition to small businesses, and take quick action on all three fronts at this time of crisis. “While I am deeply disappointed it has taken this long, I am hopeful that the Senate will once again swiftly come together on a bipartisan basis to agree on an interim package to provide additional emergency relief to those who need it, while we work on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and jumpstart our economy.”last_img read more

MERA President Receives Leadership Award

first_imgEach year, MSED honors sales and marketing professionals with its Platinum Awards. These awards recognize industry leaders who have distinguished themselves in their field and helped their companies achieve critical business goals. It is given to teams or individuals that have been instrumental in successfully marketing and selling a new product or service, or an existing product or service to a new market. Chalifoux received one of two MSED Platinum Awards presented during the 2013 gala for his leadership of MERA, which was launched in 2011 to promote the environmental, economic and product performance benefits of remanufactured products. Today, the organization has a roster of 90 member companies, including remanufacturers, suppliers and professional services firms from the automotive and heavy-duty, off-road (HDOR) sectors of the motor vehicle parts remanufacturing industry. The MSED 2013 Annual Black Tie Gala was held Oct. 16 at The Roostertail in Detroit. Other award winners that evening included Molly MacDonald, founder and president, The Pink Fund; Peter Karmanos Jr., co-founder, Compuware; Alan Batey, senior vice president, global Chevrolet brand chief, U.S. sales & marketing, General Motors; and Andra Rush, CEO, Rush Group. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement “This award is a celebration for the remanufacturing industry and the members of MERA,” said John Chalifoux, president and COO, MERA, during his acceptance speech. “The achievements recognized by this award were made possible by the strong support of our members, the MERA board of directors and the leadership of MEMA.”center_img Before leading MERA, Chalifoux served as vice president of marketing and business development for the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA), which is also an affiliate association on MEMA. Prior to OESA, Chalifoux worked in the automobile retail business and served as a strategy consultant and a marketing & sales executive in the automotive supplier community.  He began his career with Goldman Sachs in New York. DETROIT – John Chalifoux, president and COO of the Motor & Equipment Remanufacturers Association (MERA) — an affiliate association of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) — was recognized for outstanding achievement in sales and marketing during the 20th Annual Gala of the Marketing & Sales Executives of Detroit (MSED) on Oct. 16. last_img read more

Beep Appoints Racquel Asa As Chief Marketing Officer

first_img“I am eager to join Beep AV Solutions, a company at the forefront of the autonomous vehicle effort in the state,” said Asa. “It’s refreshing to be aligned with a company that has a commitment and dedication to safety, sustainability, and efficiency at a time when Florida and the rest of the country are so vigorously searching for transportation solutions. I look forward to sharing Beep’s story with the rest of the country and Florida as new state laws help carve a path for the development and advancement of autonomous vehicles.” Prior to joining Beep, Asa worked as a transportation journalist and anchor for nearly 15 years. Most recently, she was the lead transportation reporter for WFTV in Orlando, covering major advancements in infrastructure and autonomous vehicle technology. It was during her time at WFTV that she covered the launch and growth of Beep and its first deployment in Lake Nona. Beep, a Florida-based autonomous mobility solutions company, recently announced it has appointed Racquel Asa as chief marketing officer. In this role, Asa will focus her efforts on strategic brand awareness and decision-making for Beep initiatives. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement Asa holds a Master of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse University, and a Bachelor of Arts in degree in Philosophy, Politics and Law. In 2019, Asa was awarded the Citizen Transportation Advocate of the Year award by the Women in Transportation Central Florida Chapter. The recognition salutes a citizen who is an outspoken supporter of transportation advancement and enhancement in the community.  Asa has been recognized not only in the Orlando-area, but on the national level for her efforts and advocacy for safe mobility alternatives.  Asa was also recently entered into Congressional record during Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage month, as the nation celebrated and highlighted the accomplishments by Asian Americans who have strengthened our nation.Advertisement “Racquel’s advocacy for safer streets and new innovative solutions to improve mobility align with Beep’s mission to deliver a transformative autonomous mobility solution that is safe, sustainable and efficient,” said Joe Moye, CEO of Beep. “We are looking forward to continued growth and expansion with several anticipated upcoming launches of our solution. We are confident Racquel will help guide many of our awareness efforts surrounding these future deployments.”last_img read more

AP source: Man killed 4 men separately, burned them at farm

first_img Author: Associated Press DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP)A drug dealer has confessed to killing four young men separately after selling them marijuana and then burning their bodies at his family’s farm, a person with firsthand knowledge of his confession said Thursday.The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss details of the case. The person said a co-conspirator was involved in the shooting deaths of three of the men, who had been reported missing.The details were provided after one of Cosmo DiNardo’s lawyers said Thursday that DiNardo had confessed to murdering the missing men, who included a Maryland college student, and had told investigators where their bodies were.DiNardo, 20, agreed to plead guilty to four first-degree murder counts, attorney Paul Lang said outside court, where DiNardo had met with investigators.“I’m sorry,” a shackled DiNardo said as he left the courthouse.The person with firsthand knowledge of DiNardo’s confession said the men were killed after DiNardo felt cheated or threatened during three drug transactions. DiNardo sold quarter-pound quantities of marijuana for several thousand dollars and sold handguns to area residents, the person said.“Every death was related to a purported drug transaction, and at the end of each one there’s a killing,” the person said.Authorities had charged DiNardo earlier this year with having a gun despite an involuntary mental health commitment. In seeking $5 million bail on a stolen car charge this week, prosecutors said he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He also suffered a head injury in an ATV accident about a year ago.DiNardo’s parents declined to comment after leaving a government building where he spent several hours with Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub and other investigators.In exchange for DiNardo’s cooperation, Lang said, prosecutors were taking the death penalty off the table. There was no immediate comment from prosecutors, but they retweeted news reports of DiNardo’s confession.The mystery of the four men’s disappearances transfixed the Philadelphia area over the past week, taking a grisly turn when human remains were discovered in a 12½-foot-deep grave on a farm. But what sort of evil befell them, and why, had remained shrouded in secrecy.The prosecutor, who has held twice-daily briefings, made it clear Thursday he knew a lot more than he was saying, citing the need to protect the investigation. That only added to the speculation and rumors before DiNardo’s confession.The four men, all residents of Bucks County, disappeared last week. At least three knew each other. The remains of only one, 19-year-old Dean Finocchiaro, have been identified, though authorities said other remains were found in the hole as well.Weintraub said the victims’ families were holding up “remarkably well.”“I can’t imagine what they’re going through,” he said. “(It’s) terrible.”DiNardo, whose parents own the farm, remained in custody on $5 million cash bail, accused so far only of a gun possession charge and trying to sell one of the victims’ cars.Police were back at the farm Thursday, digging away in the dust and the 90-degree-plus heat and using plywood to shore up the deep, tent-covered trench that they excavated at the spot where Weintraub said dogs smelled “these poor boys 12½ feet below the ground.”For days, TV news helicopters trained their cameras on the excavation, creating an unsettling racket but allowing the public to follow the forensic work from their office computers. Viewers could watch investigators haul up buckets of dirt and sift it through handheld screens in what looked like an archaeological dig.When the prosecutor held a dramatic midnight Wednesday news conference to announce the discovery of remains, Claire Vandenberg, of neighboring New Hope, gathered around a TV with a group of friends to hear developments on what she said is “all we talk about.”“It seemed almost like a horror film or something, just unraveling before our eyes,” she said.Eric Beitz, who said he had hung out with DiNardo in recent weeks, told philly.com that DiNardo routinely sold guns and on multiple occasions had talked “about weird things like killing people and having people killed.”DiNardo’s father initially bailed him out, but he was jailed again later in the week on the stolen-car charges, and bail was set much higher, after a prosecutor said he was a danger to the community because he had been diagnosed as schizophrenic.The other missing men are Mark Sturgis, 22, and Thomas Meo, 21, who worked together in construction, and Jimi Taro Patrick, 19, a student at Loyola University in Baltimore. Patrick and DiNardo had attended the same Catholic high school for boys.It was the discovery of Meo’s car on a DiNardo family property a half-mile from the farm that led to DiNardo’s re-arrest. SHARE AP source: Man killed 4 men separately, burned them at farm center_img Published: July 13, 2017 6:05 PM EDT Updated: July 13, 2017 9:00 PM EDT Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know.last_img read more

Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner dies at 91

first_img Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. Hugh Hefner was a strong supporter of the civil rights movement. We shall never forget him. May he Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/oL3lKLZRQ5— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) September 28, 2017 LOS ANGELES (AP) Playboy founder Hugh M. Hefner, the pipe-smoking hedonist who revved up the sexual revolution in the 1950s and built a multimedia empire of clubs, mansions, movies and television, symbolized by bow-tied women in bunny costumes, has died at age 91.Hefner died of natural causes at his home surrounded by family on Wednesday night, Playboy said in a statement.As much as anyone, Hefner helped slip sex out of the confines of plain brown wrappers and into mainstream conversation.In 1953, a time when states could legally ban contraceptives, when the word “pregnant” was not allowed on “I Love Lucy,” Hefner published the first issue of Playboy, featuring naked photos of Marilyn Monroe (taken years earlier) and an editorial promise of “humor, sophistication and spice.”Playboy soon became forbidden fruit for teenagers and a bible for men with time and money, primed for the magazine’s prescribed evenings of dimmed lights, hard drinks, soft jazz, deep thoughts and deeper desires. Within a year, circulation neared 200,000. Within five years, it had topped 1 million.By the 1970s, the magazine had more than 7 million readers and had inspired such raunchier imitations as Penthouse and Hustler. Competition and the internet reduced circulation to less than 3 million by the 21st century, but Hefner and Playboy remained brand names worldwide.Asked by The New York Times in 1992 of what he was proudest, Hefner responded: “That I changed attitudes toward sex. That nice people can live together now. That I decontaminated the notion of premarital sex. That gives me great satisfaction.”Celebrities took to Twitter to express their condolences:Hugh Hefner was a GIANT in publishing, journalism, free speech & civil rights. He was a true original, and he was my friend. Rest well Hef. pic.twitter.com/bJ1wxoK4gR— Larry King (@kingsthings) September 28, 2017 RIP #Hef Thank you for being a revolutionary and changing so many people’s lives, especially mine. I hope I made you proud. 😓#PMOY 94 ❤️ pic.twitter.com/sF9ARYgEpw— Jenny McCarthy (@JennyMcCarthy) September 28, 2017 One of the nicest men I’ve ever known. Godspeed, Hugh Hefner. pic.twitter.com/457cchqskO— Nancy Sinatra (@NancySinatra) September 28, 2017He was a widely admired but far from universally beloved figure. Many feminist and religious leaders regarded him as nothing but a glorified pornographer who degraded and objectified women with impunity.Women were warned from the first issue: “If you’re somebody’s sister, wife, or mother-in-law,” the magazine declared, “and picked us up by mistake, please pass us along to the man in your life and get back to Ladies Home Companion.”Hefner ran Playboy from his elaborate mansions, first in Chicago and then in Los Angeles, and became the flamboyant symbol of the lifestyle he espoused. For decades he was the pipe-smoking, silk-pajama-wearing center of a constant party with celebrities and Playboy models. By his own account, Hefner had sex with more than a thousand women.Hefner was host of a television show, “Playboy After Dark,” and in 1960 opened a string of clubs around the world where waitresses wore revealing costumes with bunny ears and fluffy white bunny tails. In the 21st century, he was back on television in a cable reality show – “The Girls Next Door” – with three live-in girlfriends in the Los Angeles Playboy mansion. Network television briefly embraced Hefner’s empire in 2011 with the NBC drama “The Playboy Club,” which failed to lure viewers and was canceled after three episodes.Censorship was inevitable, starting in the 1950s, when Hefner successfully sued to prevent the U.S. Postal Service from denying him second-class mailing status. Playboy has been banned in China, India, Saudi Arabia and Ireland.Playboy proved a scourge, and a temptation. Drew Barrymore, Farrah Fawcett and Linda Evans are among those who have posed for the magazine. Several bunnies became celebrities, too, including singer Deborah Harry and model Lauren Hutton, both of whom had fond memories of their time with Playboy.Other bunnies had traumatic experiences, with several alleging they had been raped by Hefner’s close friend Bill Cosby. Hefner issued a statement in late 2014 he “would never tolerate this behavior.” But two years later, former bunny Chloe Goins sued Cosby and Hefner for sexual battery, gender violence and other charges over an alleged 2008 rape.One bunny turned out to be a journalist: Feminist Gloria Steinem got hired in the early 1960s and turned her brief employment into an article for Show magazine that described the clubs as pleasure havens for men only. The bunnies, Steinem wrote, tended to be poorly educated, overworked and underpaid. Steinem regarded the magazine and clubs not as erotic, but “pornographic.”“I think Hefner himself wants to go down in history as a person of sophistication and glamour. But the last person I would want to go down in history as is Hugh Hefner,” Steinem later said.“Women are the major beneficiaries of getting rid of the hypocritical old notions about sex,” Hefner responded. “Now some people are acting as if the sexual revolution was a male plot to get laid. One of the unintended by-products of the women’s movement is the association of the erotic impulse with wanting to hurt somebody.”Hefner added that he was a strong advocate of First Amendment, civil rights and reproductive rights and that the magazine contained far more than centerfolds. Playboy serialized Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” and later published fiction by Doris Lessing and Vladimir Nabokov. Playboy also specialized in long and candid interviews, from Fidel Castro and Frank Sinatra to Marlon Brando and then-presidential candidate Jimmy Carter, who confided that he had “committed adultery” in his heart.The line that people read Playboy for the prose, not the pictures, was only partly a joke.Playboy’s clubs also influenced the culture, giving early breaks to such entertainers as George Carlin, Rich Little, Mark Russell, Dick Gregory and Redd Foxx. The last of the clubs closed in 1988, when Hefner deemed them “passe” and “too tame for the times.”By then Hefner had built a $200 million company by expanding Playboy to include international editions of the magazine, casinos, a cable network and a film production company. In 2006, he got back into the club business with his Playboy Club at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas. A new enterprise in London followed, along with fresh response from women’s groups, who protested the opening with cries of “Eff off Hef!’”Hefner liked to say he was untroubled by criticism, but in 1985 he suffered a mild stroke that he blamed on the book “The Killing of the Unicorn: Dorothy Stratten 1960-1980,” by filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich. Stratten was a Playmate killed by her husband, Paul Snider, who then killed himself. Bogdanovich, Stratten’s boyfriend at the time, wrote that Hefner helped bring about her murder and was unable to deal with “what he and his magazine do to women.”After the stroke, Hefner handed control of his empire to his feminist daughter, Christie, although he owned 70 percent of Playboy stock and continued to choose every month’s Playmate and cover shot. Christie Hefner continued as CEO until 2009.He also stopped using recreational drugs and tried less to always be the life of the party. He tearfully noted in a 1992 New York Times interview: “I’ve spent so much of my life looking for love in all the wrong places.”His bunny obsession began with the figures that decorated a childhood blanket. Years later, a real-life subspecies of rabbit on the endangered species list, in the Florida Keys, would be named for him: Sylvilagus palustris hefneri.Not surprisingly, Hefner’s marriage life was also a bit of a show. He was a playboy before Playboy, even during his first marriage, when he enjoyed stag films, strip poker and group sex. In 1949, he married Mildred Williams, with whom he had two children. They divorced in 1958. In July 1989, Hefner married Kimberley Conrad, the 1989 Playmate of the Year, who was then 27. The couple also had two children.On the eve of his marriage, Hefner was asked if he would have a bachelor party. “I’ve had a bachelor party for 30 years,” he said. “Why do I need one now?”They separated in 1998 but she continued living next door to the Playboy mansion with their two sons. The couple divorced in 2010 and he proposed in 2011 to 24-year-old Crystal Harris, a former Playmate. Harris called off the wedding days before the ceremony, but changed her mind and they married at the end of 2012.“Maybe I should be single,” he said a few months later. “But I do know that I need an ongoing romantic relationship. In other words, I am essentially a very romantic person, and all I really was looking for, quite frankly, with the notion of marriage was continuity and something to let the girl know that I really cared.”He acknowledged, at age 85, that “I never really found my soulmate.”Hefner was born in Chicago on April 9, 1926, to devout Methodist parents who he said never showed “love in a physical or emotional way.”“At a very early age, I began questioning a lot of that religious foolishness about man’s spirit and body being in conflict, with God primarily with the spirit of man and the Devil dwelling in the flesh,” Hefner said in a Playboy interview in 1974.“Part of the reason that I am who I am is my Puritan roots run deep,” he told the AP in 2011. “My folks are Puritan. My folks are prohibitionists. There was no drinking in my home. No discussion of sex. And I think I saw the hurtful and hypocritical side of that from very early on.”When Hefner was 9, he began publishing a neighborhood newspaper, which he sold for a penny a copy. He spent much of his time writing and drawing cartoons, and in middle school began reading Esquire, a magazine of sex and substance Hefner wanted Playboy to emulate.He and Playboy co-founder Eldon Sellers launched their magazine from Hefner’s kitchen in Chicago, although the first issue was undated because Hefner doubted there would be a second. The magazine was supposed to be called Stag Party, until an outdoor magazine named Stag threatened legal action.Hefner recalled that he first reinvented himself in high school in Chicago at 16, when he was rejected by a girl he had a crush on. He began referring to himself as Hef instead of Hugh, learned the jitterbug and began drawing a comic book, “a kind of autobiography that put myself center stage in a life I created for myself,” he said in a 2006 interview with the AP.Those comics evolved into a detailed scrapbook that Hefner would keep throughout his life. It spanned more than 2,500 volumes in 2011 – a Guinness World Record for a personal scrapbook collection.“It was probably just a way of creating a world of my own to share with my friends,” Hefner said, seated amid the archives of his life during a 2011 interview. “And in retrospect, in thinking about it, it’s not a whole lot different than creating the magazine.”He did it again in 1960, when he began hosting the TV show, bought a fancy car, started smoking a pipe and bought the first Playboy mansion.“Well, if we hadn’t had the Wright brothers, there would still be airplanes,” Hefner said in 1974. “If there hadn’t been an Edison, there would still be electric lights. And if there hadn’t been a Hefner, we’d still have sex. But maybe we wouldn’t be enjoying it as much. So the world would be a little poorer. Come to think of it, so would some of my relatives.”Hefner is survived by his wife Crystal as well as his daughter, Christie; and his sons, David, Marston and Cooper.Playboy released no information on any memorial plans, but Hefner owns a burial plot at a Los Angeles cemetery next to Marilyn Monroe. Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner dies at 91 center_img Published: September 28, 2017 4:12 AM EDT Updated: September 28, 2017 10:47 PM EDT Author: AP Rest in peace #HughHefner – he will forever be remembered as the Hollywood legend who lived life to the fullest.— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) September 28, 2017 SHARElast_img read more

Gig economy needs new employment laws – Law Society

first_imgPeople working in the ‘gig economy’ should be assumed to have employed status – and enjoy rights such as holidays and minimum pay – unless their employer can demonstrate otherwise, the Law Society has suggested. In a wide-ranging submission to a committee of MPs, the Society says that employment status is not sufficiently defined in law and proposes a ‘re-appraisal as to whether the current legal definitions are fit for purpose’.Chancery Lane was responding to a call for evidence by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee on how employment rights apply within a changing work environment caused by the rise of businesses such as Uber. ‘Often such businesses do not view themselves as employers, and have no wish to owe employment duties to those with whom they contract to provide a service,’ the Society says. ‘The Law Society does not take a view as to whether this new model of work is a positive or negative development,’ the response adds. ‘Our interest is in exploring how employment law can best work in the modern economy.’ One problem with existing law is the separate categories of ’employees’ and ‘workers’, enjoying different levels of rights, the Society says. ‘The very existence of a separate category of “worker” creates uncertainty. As a result many people have no clear idea of their true legal status. This can encourage a business to try to impose a particular status, which is more closely related to what they wish the relationship to be rather than what the relationship is in reality.’An example of this was the attempt by Uber – criticised by an employment tribunal last year – to present itself as the driver’s client ‘while imposing restrictions and work practices that reflected a different relationship’.Another is the lack of a legal default position for employment status. ‘A claimant who cannot gain agreement from their employer that they are an employee or worker is remediless, unless they pursue the matter through the legal system.’ In the US, by contrast, the default status is employment.The Society says the government ‘might wish to consider whether it would be beneficial to bring in a default position, such as exists in other jurisdictions. In such a system, if there were a disagreement as to the status of a worker it would be the responsibility of the employer to bring the matter to the court, rather than the worker’s.’ The response also repeats the Law Society’s concern about the introduction of employment tribunal fees in 2013. It notes that the costs of bringing a claim ‘are prohibitive to those on low pay’ and calls for the government to publish its review of the impact of the fees.last_img read more

Alstom to build 350 km/h AGV demonstrator

first_imgCONTRACTS for the first components of a seven-car ultra high speed demonstration train with distributed power have just been placed by Alstom Transport. Representing the next stage in the company’s development of the Automotrice à Grande Vitesse, the AGV-7 demonstrator will be completed in 2007 and funded entirely by Alstom.Alstom gained experience with distributed traction using the Elisa prototype AGV vehicles in 2001 (RG 11.01 p751), since when the company has continued to refine the concept. François Lacôte, Senior Vice-President, Technical, of Alstom Transport, affirmed at the Eurailspeed event in Milano last month that ‘nearly all research has been completed for us to offer a single-deck high speed train with the same capital and operating cost per seat as a double-deck TGV’. A 200m version of the AGV, he said, would seat 460 passengers, 90 more than a conventional TGV of the same length with separate power cars.Lacôte confirmed that the seven-car demonstrator would use permanent magnet traction motors (RG 4.03 p208), a technology which he said is now ‘mature’. Apart from the advantage of low mass, the technique avoids the need for the tripod transmission used on TGV trainsets. The AGV-7 will have four of its eight bogies powered, and the same proportion of powered axles would be retained for any production build – Alstom envisages that AGV formations of up to 14 cars would be possible. Three cars will normally form an electrical unit, with the transformer, converter and auxiliary equipment spread over the three cars. Static axleload will be 17 tonnes, as on a TGV. Lacôte said the AGV’s articulated cars would be slightly shorter than on TGVs, allowing the use of 3m wide bodies. The demonstration train is aimed partly at China where plans continue to evolve for the Beijing – Shanghai high speed line, but France is also in the company’s sights – Lacôte comments that SNCF is ‘serious’ about its proposals to run at 350km/h. CAPTION: Assembly of the first of 12 seven-car Pendolino trainsets for Trenitalia is well advanced at Alstom’s Savigliano works. The fourth-generation Pendolinos are designed to run at 250km/h after delivery commences next year. A further 14 sets for Cisalpino will follow the Trenitalia units off the production linelast_img read more

Stockholm Citybanen survives

first_imgFUNDING for the projected €1·8bn Citybanan project in Stockholm appears secure again following an agreement between the Swedish government, the city authority and the neighbouring regions.City council elections in the autumn of last year saw control shift to a right wing grouping that vowed to cancel the city centre tunnel in the face of rising costs (RG 11.06 p697). However, the government has decided to press ahead and build the line, which should open in 2013. The Citybanan project will divert suburban services from the congested ‘wasp’s waist’ outside Central station to an underground alignment linking Tomteboda in the north of the city to Stockholms Södra. Five local authorities in areas around Stockholm have offered to contribute towards the cost of the scheme provided the government allows them to call tenders for a ‘greater regional’ operating concession. Currently only services within a single region can be put out to contract.last_img read more

S.A Treasury says Zuma to pay $500,000 for home upgrade

first_imgSouth African President Jacob Zuma should pay back $500,000 of public funds used to upgrade his private residence with facilities including a chicken coop and swimming pool, the National Treasury said Monday.In March, the country’s highest court found that the president had violated the constitution by defying an ombudswoman’s order to repay some of the money in one of several scandals that have dominated his presidency.The court asked the national treasury to determine the value of the non-security upgrades at Zuma’s Nkandla homestead in rural KwaZulu-Natal province.The work included a swimming pool, which was claimed to be a fire-fighting facility, a chicken run, a cattle enclosure, an amphitheatre and a visitors’ centre.The National Treasury said in a statement that Zuma should pay back 7,814,155 rand ($509,000).last_img read more

China trip helps Zimbabwean students heal from Cyclone Idai trauma

first_imgChina offers scholarships to Ethiopian students Students affected by Cyclone Idai to celebrate festive season in China Ten students drawn from Cyclone Idai affected regions of Zimbabwe took group photos after coming back from China in Harare, Zimbabwe, Dec. 29, 2019./ PHOTO: Xinhua/ Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe.A group of students from Zimbabwe’s regions affected by Cyclone Idai visited China in the festive period as a means of providing therapy for the trauma they underwent in the wake of the tropical storm.The ten students were drawn from different schools within the Southern African country, with the six-day trip co-organized by the Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe and Zhejiang provincial government.“I wish a prosperous new year to the people of China and Zimbabwe,” said Wimbainashe Zviuya, one of the students.Besides experiencing Chinese cuisines for the first time and visiting many scenic spots, the Zimbabwean students also used the opportunity to learn about Chinese culture and ancient history.Zviuya noted that the trip was important in restoring hope for herself and her fellow students.“Children were affected psychologically, some of their friends and relatives were taken by the floods. Some of them had nowhere to stay because their houses were washed away by the floods,” Zviuya said.“The trip helped them get fresh air since they had not been able to travel away from the district. It also showed them that life can go on and they can still experience good things after the destruction of their schools and their homes,” she added.Cyclone Idai caused catastrophic damage in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. The Zimbabwean government reported some 299 deaths and 300 people missing in Cyclone Idai.It is estimated that 250,000 people were affected by the floods in nine districts in the southeastern regions of Zimbabwe, with Chimanimani and Chipinge being the most affected.Among them, about 48 percent are under 18 years, with many in need of psychosocial support.Hou Yuehan, an attache at the Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe, said the Chinese government wanted to show kindness and solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe.“We invited these children, because they are the future of the country,” she said.Relatedcenter_img Tanzanian Family Wins Trip To China last_img read more