Basingstoke offices and industrial: Rising to the occasion

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Jobs gone, investments wasted: Africa’s deserted safaris leave mounting toll

first_img“It hasn’t moved since the day we bought it,” said Hlongwane, who has been forced to stop paying the salaries of his five employees. “We could’ve been using that money to survive right now.”From Kenya’s Masai Mara to the Okavango Delta in Botswana, rural communities that depend on safaris for income are seeing their livelihoods and dreams shattered. Hundreds of thousands of people rely on the sector, not to mention their dependents.A slump in tourist dollars has hit conservation projects hard. And even as countries around the world loosen lockdowns, game parks, lodges and travel agencies face a grim future.The safari industry generates some $12.4 billion in annual revenues for South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania Uganda and Zambia – Africa’s top wildlife tourist destinations – according to an estimate by SafariBookings. When Khimbini Hlongwane spent most of his small safari tour company’s savings on the deposit for a new minibus in February, it seemed like a safe bet.His revenues had doubled in the previous year. And bookings by American, British, and Brazilian tourists hoping to catch a glimpse of elephants, giraffes and lions at South Africa’s famous Kruger National Park were up.Now, with borders closed and airlines grounded due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa’s multi-billion-dollar safari industry is unraveling and he can no longer afford the payments on the new 21-seater, which sits collecting dust in the parking lot. But a survey of over 300 tour operators conducted by the online safari travel platform this month showed that almost 93% reported a drop in bookings of at least 75% due to the pandemic. Cancellations have also spiked, the majority of them said.’How long can we carry on?’Leon Plutsick’s Distinctly Africa lodge on the Manyeleti private game reserve bordering the Kruger National Park had been full in March.Today, his employees are sitting at home and baboons have ransacked his unstaffed kitchen.”We’re getting to a point where we have to ask ourselves how long do we carry on?” he said. “A lot of us are living on reserves just to survive.”Plutsick is not alone.A survey of close to 500 businesses in the Kruger Lowveld district – South Africa’s safari heartland – conducted by the local tourism agency last month, found 90% believed they would not survive even if international borders opened immediately.Over two-thirds of them have laid off employees.The lack of tourist dollars is forcing wildlife projects across Africa to make cuts, and beyond the human cost, conservationists worry that growing desperation in rural communities hit by COVID-19 could fuel a wave of poaching.Three popular game parks in South Africa recently dehorned dozens of rhinos as a preventative measure, hoping that it would make them less attractive targets for poachers.In Mabarhule, a community on the edge of Kruger National Park, roughly half of residents were already jobless before the pandemic.Freelance workers like Sipho Nkosi – a tour guide and father of four who typically makes around 550 rand ($33) per tour – have found themselves without a safety net.”We’d saved some money. But its running out, so we’ll start starving,” said Nkosi, standing outside a half-completed community hall that was being built using tourist donations.’A bigger hole?’The Madilika Craft Centre sits so close to the boundary of the Kruger National Park that lions can sometimes be heard roaring in the distance.A layer of dust now coats the pink walls of the women’s cooperative, which shut when the private game lodges where it sold its traditional Xitsonga beaded jewelry closed down in March.Now, with her income gone, co-founder Jane Mashele is hoping the sweet potatoes and spinach in her garden will be enough to feed her four orphaned grandchildren.”We started the center because we were tired of sitting at home with no jobs,” she said. “This is terrible.”In South Africa, which has recorded the most COVID-19 cases of any African nation, Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane warned parliament last month that up to 600,000 jobs were at risk if the sector remained shut until September.Governments’ relief initiatives – like South Africa’s offer of 50,000 rand ($3,000) one-time grants to small tourism businesses – will do little to staunch the losses, some operators said.In the face of looming financial calamity, the Tourism Business Council of South Africa – the industry’s lobby group – is pushing for international tourism to resume as early as September.With the pandemic’s peak on most of the continent still predicted to be months away, that appears unlikely.South Africa’s government has instead said regional and international tourism are only expected to resume next year.Kenya, Namibia and Rwanda also remain closed to international visitors, while in Zambia tourists are permitted but face a two-week quarantine upon arrival. Tanzania has dropped quarantine requirements and is welcoming foreign guests.One East African tour operator said even if restrictions were eased, international travellers could be discouraged by the possibility of quarantines when they return home.In the meantime, South Africa, for one, hopes domestic visitors can drive the first phase of a recovery. South African national parks are now opening for self-driving safaris.But overnight visits and travel across provincial borders remain banned under current restrictions. Even when permitted, some operators worry that local visitors will not be enough to save their businesses.”To open for two or four or six people, is it actually worth it?” asked lodge owner Plutsick. “I’ll just be digging myself a bigger hole.”center_img Topics :last_img read more

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BLOG: What Self-Driving Cars Could Do For Pennsylvania

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter By: Leslie S. Richards, Secretary of Transportation Infrastructure,  The Blog,  Transportation For years we’ve heard about and imagined transportation technology that would improve safety, help the environment and increase travel efficiency. This technology is arriving faster than many of us could have imagined, and this week I joined state and private-sector representatives to announce our steps to put Pennsylvania at the forefront of their safe, innovative development.Autonomous and connected vehicle technologies, which encompass everything from self-driving cars to infrastructure and vehicles talking to each other, hold huge potential. And their testing and development is already occurring in Pennsylvania, which is why we marked the state’s latest steps at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where they already developed their own autonomous vehicle.First, we held the first meeting of a newly established Autonomous Vehicles Testing Policy Task Force that will collaboratively develop guidance that PennDOT will use when drafting autonomous vehicle policy. PennDOT is chairing the task force, which is comprised of state, federal and private-industry officials such as the Federal Highway Administration, AAA, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Uber Technologies. Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf June 01, 2016 BLOG: What Self-Driving Cars Could Do For Pennsylvania Additionally, state lawmakers joined me to explain legislation they’re sponsoring in the state Senate and House to establish Pennsylvania as a national leader in autonomous vehicle testing.The legislation would:Provide for controlled automated vehicle testing, not operation;Allow flexibility to adapt to changing technology;Require companies interested in testing to submit an application and provide proof of $5 million in general liability insurance; andAllow support for in-vehicle and remote-operator testing, considered the “Full Self-Driving Automation” level, the fourth and highest level of automation as defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.These developments mean exciting progress for Pennsylvania. Various studies and research have pointed to autonomous and connected vehicles as having environmental and travel benefits in addition to reducing human error in driving. Vehicle functions such as maintaining more consistent speeds, communicating with infrastructure or other vehicles, and allowing highway officials to eventually to invest less in engineering solutions related to human behavior (such as rumble strips) are examples of potential benefits of expanding these technologies.At the state level, these steps could quickly bring additional economic opportunities as automotive and technology companies, encouraged by the legislation, could establish themselves in the state.While our daily mission of maintaining a safe transportation system continues, we are also looking to bring the future here, using the state’s rich history of innovation to establish us as a national leader in these technologies.last_img read more

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The insane backyard pool every kid wants

first_img The magnesium pools provide plenty of space for a family and some friends to relax.“We’ve had a lot of interest from families, as you might expect,” Mr Wagstaffe said.“The kids all want to stay by the pool while the parents look at the house.”More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa8 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day agoThe pool is attracting its share of attention online too — the property has been viewed more than 4700 times making it one of the most-viewed residential properties in Queensland this week on realestate.com.au. Water is also a standout feature for another residence in the state’s Top 10 most-viewed — property pervs have been eyeing off a lavish Sovereign Islands mansion listed for $45 million. There’s endless summer fun on offer at 7 Sharscay Close, Burleigh Heads.“It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before,” said marketing agent Tyler Wagstaffe of JW. Estate Agents — Burleigh Heads.“It really is something special.” Not one, but two pools and a spa.The elaborate creation is the work of the current owner who set about building the backyard water feature shortly after buying 7 Sharscay Close in 2015.The pools have recently been nominated for the Queensland Swimming and Spa Association Awards in the category of best pool between $50,000-$100,000.But the pools are soon to be the source of endless summer fun for a new family with the 701sq m property now on the market for offers over $789,000. Kids are drawn to the rock slide at 7 Sharscay Close, Burleigh Heads.It’s the pool every family would love to have in their backyard.While the parents are chilling in the magnesium rock spa, the kids can cut loose in the main pool and the secondary kids pool with its own built-in slide.center_img You can swim year-round at 132 Port Jackson Blvd, Clear Island Waters. The pool is also a feature at 26-32 Knightsbridge Parade East, Sovereign Islands.Also on the Gold Coast, a 10m indoor pool is the showpiece on the ground floor of a Clear Island Waters mansion which is set to be auctioned. last_img read more

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Stephen Keshi sacked as Nigeria football coach

first_imgStephen Keshi has been sacked as coach of Nigeria and replaced by Shaibu AmoduStephen Keshi has been sacked as the coach of Nigeria’s national team the Super Eagles.The Nigeria Football Federation’s disciplinary Committee took the decision on Saturday, following investigations into why he applied for the Côte d’Ivoire job, when he was secured in his job as the Super Eagles head coach.The 53-year-old was fired on Saturday night for breach of contract. he had two years left on his deal with the Nigeria Football Federation. Keshi was into his second spell as the Super Eagles coach, after holding the reigns from 2011.He won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations with the Super Eagles, but has been on a battle lane with the federation since then.last_img

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Lacson defends anti-terror bill from critics

first_img“Suspects’ families will be givenvisitation rights, while visits of legal counsels will be unlimited,” Lacsonsaid. Lacson also explained that the removalof a P500,000 fine for each day a person is wrongfully detained was to notdiscourage the law enforcers from filing serious charges like terrorism. “Even the Armed Forces of thePhilippines are hesitant to file charges using the Human Security Act kasi takot sila pagka na-dismiss ang kaso pamultahin sila ng P500,000 perday of detention,” Lacson said. “Even in the Marawi siege, hindi sila nag-file ng cases in violation of the Human Security Act… Kaya naging virtual dead letter law ang RA 9732. Hindi mai-apply,” added the senator./PN Authorities who will conduct warrantlessarrests need to notify the Court of Appeals, and inform the Commission on HumanRights and a judge who is “nearest the place of arrest” before conductingthe apprehension, he said. The Senate’s approved version of theAnti-Terrorism Act increased the period of detention by nearly 10 fold to 14days from 36 hours to “be at par with other countries,” according toLacson. MANILA – Contrary to the fears of some,Sen. Panfilo Lacson said the newly passed anti-terror bill that allows thewarrantless arrest and two-week detention of suspected terrorists has enoughsafeguards against abuse. “Naiwanantayo ng ibang countries, European, western countries at saka ating neighboring countries dito,” Lacson said. “Ang iniiwasan natin is to make thePhilippines a safe haven for terrorist kasinapakagaan ng ating batas, napakahina.” Lacson said in a media briefing thatthere is legal procedure to be followed, unlike what is being raised byopposition senators Francis Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros, whom he saidearlier that the measure may be used to silence administration critics. “Lahatnaman may legal procedures nasusundin… Naroon lahat ngsafeguards,” Lacson said. Under the measure that was passed by theSenate, suspected terrorists may only be arrested when the crime “has justbeen committed, about to be committed or [is] being committed,” thesenator said.last_img read more

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Cricket News ICC World Cup 2019: Last chance to grab your tickets; Know how to book seats

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: The public ballot for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales which was opened on August 1 for the fans for ticket requests is set to close on Wednesday (29 August). The ticket applications are available for all 48 fixtures of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. The public ballot which went live on 1 August will shut on August 29 with fans being able to apply for tickets for all matches between the campaign opener on May 30 and the final, which will be played at the iconic Lord’s, on 14 July.ALSO READ: Eng vs Ind 4th Test Preview: Virat Kohli looks to conquer SouthamptonAny tickets that will go unsold from the public ballot will go for the general sale on a first-come, first-served basis later in 2018.Hosts England play the opener at the Oval on May 30 against South Africa, while the defending champions Australia lock horns with Afghanistan in Bristol on June 1. Whereas, India will face arch-rivals Pakistan at Old Trafford on June 16.The World Cup final will take place at Lord’s on 14 July.ALSO READ: Asian Games 2018, Day 11 LIVEHere is the how you can register for the Public Ballot for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup:Register on the Official CWC19 Ticket Website.Log in and click the ‘My Application’ tab to plan your CWC19 trip.‘Create My Application’ tab will give you the details of all 48 matches.Select the matches and number of tickets you want.Confirm your ticketing order.last_img read more

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Little Richard song to introduce ‘Monday Night Football’

first_imgLittle Richard song to introduce ‘Monday Night Football’ September 11, 2020 Associated Press ESPN said in a press release on Friday that Little Richard’s song will be combined with NFL and team highlights. The 1956 song was a No. 1 R&B hit for the flamboyant Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, who died in May at the age of 87 in Tennessee. “We’re truly excited to have teamed up with ESPN for this project, and are honored to have had the opportunity to work with the music of the King of Rock N’ Roll, Little Richard,” said Butcher Brown in a statement provided by ESPN.“Monday Night Football” will kick off with a doubleheader featuring the Pittsburgh Steelers playing New York Giants and the Tennessee Titans at the Denver Broncos. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditESPN is hoping that one of the architects of rock n’ roll can bring some new energy to their “Monday Night Football” show with fewer fans in the stands this year.The new season starting Monday will feature a new version of Little Richard’s hit “Rip It Up” featuring new instrumentals and backup vocals from the Virginia-based band Butcher Brown. The song replaces Hank Williams Jr.’s “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight,” which was repurposed with new lyrics like, “All my rowdy friends are here for Monday night.” last_img read more

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Late goal from Love gives Corinthians Sao Paulo state title

first_imgSAO PAULO (Reuters) – A late goal from Wagner Love gave Corinthians a 2-1 win over Sao Paulo on Sunday, securing their third consecutive state championship in front of a record crowd at the Corinthians arena. Paulista Championship – Final – Corinthians v Sao Paulo – Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo, Brazil – April 21, 2019 Corinthians’ Cassio and team mates celebrate with the trophy REUTERS/Amanda PerobelliDanilo Avelar put the home side ahead after 31 minutes with a close-range header after Sornoza’s corner had been headed back across goal.Antony equalised in first half stoppage time with a low drive from the edge of the box but former Brazil striker Love sent the 46,903 fans into raptures with a winner two minutes from time. The win guaranteed the home side a 2-1 aggregate victory after the city rivals drew the first leg 0-0 last Sunday at Sao Paulo’s Morumbi stadium.It was the first time Corinthians have won the title three times in a row since 1939 and extended Sao Paulo’s winless streak in the tournament to at least 15 years, one of the longest droughts in the club’s history.Corinthians’ goalkeeper Cassio won his ninth major title for the club, breaking a record held jointly by several other players, a club historian said. In Rio de Janeiro, Flamengo won their 35th Carioca state title with a second 2-0 win over Vasco da Gama in consecutive weekends.Willian Arao put Flamengo ahead with a header after 15 minutes and substitute Vitinho doubled their lead shortly before fulltime. The result, which came after Flamengo won the first leg 2-0 last Sunday, led to the dismissal of Vasco coach Alberto Valentim.Valentim took over at Vasco in August 2018 after spells at Palmeiras, Botafogo and Egyptian club Pyramids.He is replaced by under-20 coach Marcos Valadares. Among the other state champions crowned on Sunday were Fortaleza, Recife club Sport, Bahia, Avai and Athletico Paranaense.last_img read more

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AnnaMarie Gatti develops change-up, grows through travel team experience

first_imgAnnaMarie Gatti’s father wouldn’t let her play softball when she was a kid.Growing up in small Scottdale, Pennsylvania, there wasn’t a local softball team for her to play on. She had to plead with her father to let her play.“To this day he’ll apologize to me and he’s like, ‘You proved me wrong,’” Gatti said, “because he just didn’t know because it wasn’t heard of.”Gatti was one of the highest-ranked prospects ever to come to Syracuse (17-25, 1-13 Atlantic Coast) — which travels to Hofstra (25-11-1, 11-3 Colonial Athletic) for a Tuesday 3 p.m. matchup — but has pitched to the tune of an 8.67 ERA.After convincing her family to let her play at 10 years old, she joined a slow-pitch team, and then moved up to fast-pitch to become a pitcher. She began practicing daily in the backyard with her dad and played for more than a dozen travel teams en route to SU.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We worked every single day in the backyard for hours,” Gatti said. “Just pitching, nothing else.”It carried over from the summer to the school year, and softball practice in the backyard came before anything else. Gatti found her way onto many different Pittsburgh-area travel teams before joining the New Jersey Inferno, where future SU teammate Corinne Ozanne was already a star.“For some reason, something clicked, she looked up to me and wanted to follow in my footsteps,” said Ozanne, a shortstop at SU.But while Ozanne spent an hour and a half traveling to practice, Gatti spent six — one way.Ross first saw Gatti pitch when she was a member of the Inferno and immediately took notice.“She had command of her change-up then and she had (a) good mix of speeds,” Ross said. “And we knew with the build and the power that she already had naturally, that change-up was going to make her a really good pitcher.”Gatti’s drop ball and change-up were perfected by Mike Bosch, her personal pitching coach before becoming SU’s current pitching coach. Ross said her change-up is one of the best she’s ever seen at Syracuse.She can top out around 65 miles per hour while her change-up, thrown with the same arm speed and four-fingered grip, drops into the mid-50s.“It’s my bread and butter,” Gatti said.To throw a drop ball, she leads with her knuckles toward the catcher and flicks the ball toward the plate, stopping her arm motion around her waist. For the change-up, the arm continues and Gatti flips her hand, causing the ball to spin violently and slow down.The mix of speeds and pitches Gatti boasted early in high school got her noticed by one of the top-ranked travel teams in the country, The Beverly Bandits in Chicago, before her senior year of high school.So Gatti traded the six-hour car rides with her parents for lonely plane rides, and one future SU teammate in Ozanne for another in Maddi Doane.“She basically had her own room at my house,” said Doane, an Illinois native.But joining one of the best teams in the country, full of players who knew each other for years, wasn’t easy for Gatti. It showed in her pitching.“I would throw a lot of passed balls in the fall,” Gatti said. “I just literally could not throw a strike in the fall because I was that nervous.”With each poor performance, Gatti worried her team wouldn’t want her. When she returned to Chicago for the summer and moved in with Doane, Gatti grew close to her new roommate and fellow teammates.Now in Syracuse, Doane is one of SU’s best hitters while Gatti has struggled to recover from an ankle injury.Usually brimming with confidence, Gatti admitted this season hasn’t gone as she planned. But she’s going back to Chicago this summer with Doane, hoping to regain her form.Said Ross: “Potentially, she could be one of the better ones that comes through here, one of the best.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 20, 2015 at 8:59 pmlast_img read more

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