South Africa’s high-speed rail link opens

first_img1 August 2011 The long awaited, multi-billion rand high-speed rail link between Johannesburg and Pretoria opens this week, with expectations that it will take about 20 percent of traffic off the congested highways between South Africa’s legislative and commercial capitals. Gauteng’s provincial minister for roads and transport, Ismail Vadi, told a press conference in Johannesburg on Thursday that the high-speed train – known as the Gautrain – will be running from Rosebank in Johannesburg to Pretoria from next week. The short section of the route between Rosebank and Park Station in downtown Johannesburg will, however, only open “at a later date”. The train will run from Rosebank Station through to Hatfield in Pretoria from Tuesday, 2 August, stopping at eight of the 10 stations along the way. The Gautrain’s feeder buses will also run along this section of the route. “The independent certifiers for the project, Arup, have confirmed that they will be in a position to issue the operating commencement date certificate for this phase of operations on Monday, 1 August,” Vadi said. The problem along the Rosebank/Park Station section of track is that water is seeping into the tunnel, causing the delay, but Vadi maintained that the section was “completely safe” and that its continued closure was a “precautionary measure”. “Although safety had not been compromised, the Gauteng Province and Bombela [the operating company] are concerned about the impact of water ingress, above the agreed upon levels, on the long-term viability and integrity of the infrastructure,” Vadi said. He apologised for the delay in opening the next phase of the Gautrain. The proposed date of opening is the end of the year. The Bombela Concession Company will be responsible, at its cost, for re-grouting the tunnel, to ensure that water stops seeping into it. The tunnel runs under The Wilds and Roedean School in Parktown, and the water that feeds the ponds and waterfalls in The Wilds rises from a nearby spring, and is therefore a constant flow of water. At present some 6-million litres of water is being pumped out of the tunnel into the Sandspruit River, which runs around Gillooly’s Farm, through Modderfontein, and into the Braamfontein Spruit, where it becomes the Jukskei River.Tunnel Bombela was required to submit a tunnel works plan for additional engineering works that will be implemented to reduce the seepage of water into the tunnel. “The delayed opening of the tunnel section between Rosebank Station and Park Station will enable Bombela to address the water ingress problem in the shortest possible time with the least impact on the rest of the system,” Vadi said. The province will not contribute to the cost of this additional work. The Gautrain has cost R25.2-billion. Remedial work consists of drilling small diameter holes through the tunnel floor and injecting grout in the surrounding rock. It is hoped that this will reduce the permeability of the rock mass, and thus reduce the amount of water that is fed into the tunnel drains. “This is an iterative process and it is difficult to predict how long it will take to achieve the desired results; however, it is envisaged that the section between Rosebank and Park stations could be opened by the end of 2011.” In the meantime, buses will be provided for passengers wishing to travel from Rosebank to Johannesburg’s central business district. Jerome Govender, the chief executive of Bombela, was not able to confirm what the penalties for the delay would be, but said it would be “very, very small … We are absolutely excited to operate the Gautrain – go and get your gold card,” he said. All eight stations opened on Friday, and Govender encouraged commuters to go and get their gold travel cards, to avoid the queues on Tuesday. The Gautrain will run seven days a week between 5.30am and 8.30pm, at 12-minute intervals during peak periods on week days, and at 20-minute intervals during off-peak hours. The trains will run at 30-minute intervals over the weekends. There will be no bus service on weekends and public holidays. Predictions are that 108 000 passengers will use the Gautrain daily. It is hoped that it will take 20 percent of road traffic off the network of roads between Johannesburg and Pretoria. The Gautrain between OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton Station opened in June 2010, just in time for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, and has proved very popular – predictions of 75 000 commuters a week between Sandton and the airport have been met. Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

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Perdue confirmation hearing held

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing yesterday on the nomination of Sonny Perdue as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.“Today, Governor Perdue promised to be a ‘strong and tenacious advocate’ for America’s farmers and ranchers and ‘USDA’s chief salesman around the world.’ We could not agree more on the need for strong leadership at USDA, especially when it comes to trade. Governor Perdue pledged to work closely with the rest of the Administration to negotiate strong trade deals that benefit America’s farmers and ranchers. We also appreciate his commitment to a strong Renewable Fuel Standard,” said the National Corn Growers Association in a statement. “USDA has been without a Secretary for more than two months, at a time when there is much work to do. NCGA stands ready to work with Governor Perdue and the rest of the Trump Administration to support strong trade policy, continue investing in renewable fuels, protecting risk management programs, and preparing for the next farm bill. We urge the Senate to confirm him as soon as possible.”last_img read more

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Skype Video Coming to Android, Is 2010 the Year of Mobile Video Chat?

first_imgThe fast-growing population of Android users will soon be able to chat face-to-face thanks to a Skype mobile application that will hit the marketplace with video functionality “later this year.” As reported on the gadget blog Skatter Tech, Skype representatives have been quoted confirming the release of a carrier-independent app that will allow users to use voice and video to chat on their Android devices. This is a giant step forward for Android users who were disappointed to learn earlier this year that Skype’s initial offerings on the platform were restricted to Verizon’s 3G network.“We’re betting big on video, and we intend to set the bar on mobile video calling, and it’s something we’re going to do this year,” said Skype PR representative Brianna Reynaud. “We will be bringing a direct to consumer app to the Android marketplace later this year. This application will be available for all consumers globally to download regardless of carriers.” Though it remains to be seen if any other restrictions or limitations will be placed on the app, this news is certainly exciting to Android users. The announcement also comes amidst speculation that Apple’s forthcoming refreshed iPhone will feature a forward-facing camera for video calls. Whether Skype is also working with Apple to launch an iPhone application this year is unknown, and some have suggested that Apple may reserve the functionality for a native iChat application. Either way, a new dawn of mobile video chatting seems to be upon us. The question is, however, will people actually take to this new form of communication? In 1993, AT&T ran a series of commercials suggesting the breakthrough technologies the company hoped to bring to its customers in the future. The ads include technologies prevalent today, including e-readers, in-car GPS, tablet PCs and even automated toll booth systems like EZ Pass. One innovation featured in the ads that has yet to take off significantly is the idea of video replacing standard phone communication.Skype chat on the desktop and enterprise video conferencing solutions have become popular in recent years, but they haven’t gone gangbusters and replaced the way we communicate all together. In fact, in the same interview with Skatter Tech, Reynaud said that only one-third of Skype calls are video calls, so the majority of users are simply using the voice functionality. Tags:#mobile#web chris cameron What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … This is not to say that video-calls on a mobile device shouldn’t have a place in our current technological ecosystem. Video chatting on a phone could be great for special situations, like when a group of friends are getting together and they call up an absent friend and pass the phone around the room. It’s going to take some time for the novelty of mobile video chat to ware off before it finds itself being used more and more as a common means of communication.We as humans, for better or for worse, have evolved into incredible multi-taskers. We listen to music, watch videos, read stories, check email, update our social status – sometimes all at the same time. Video chatting, from my experience, does not fit in well with a multi-tasker’s mindset. Think of all the things we do while talking on the phone – driving our cars, eating, doing laundry, etc. Now think of trying to do anything else while video chatting; it’s nearly impossible because it requires the majority of your attention.Will mobile video chatting take off? That still remains to be seen; however, regardless of these assertions, it is good to see Skype expanding its mobile platform to more carriers and devices. I only hope as an iPhone user that video chat from Skype finds its way onto my device sometime soon as well. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

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Laxman set to draw the curtains on a ‘Very Very Special’ career

first_img134 tests and 86 ODIs later, here is what the stylish batsman had to say at a press conference in Hyderabad where he announced his decision: My first priority now is to spend time with family with beautiful wife and lovely kids.This moment when I am announcing my retirement, I look back and cherish my fabulous journey. There were ups nd downs but there are no disapponitments.I consider legendary players like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid as my role models. Lucky to have played with them.Sincerely apologise to my fans all across the world and Hyderabad that I am not giving them opportunity to see me one last time, but I feel that it’s time to give youngsters a chance to play and New Zealand will be an ideal series for them.I am taking this decision in the interest of the game.Future of Hyderabad Cricket, specially batting order, seems very positive.16 years since my intenational debut and I feel it’s time for me to call it a day.I have always kept the nation’s ambitions ahead of my personal aspirations and would like to keep doing so.I would like to contribute to the team’s success so I think it is the right time to give opportunities to the youngsters waiting in the  wings.Fortunate to have played in an era where Indian cricket played some of the best cricket not only at home but also across the world.I would lke to thank all my teamates, and all others involved with me oer the course of my career.I would like to thank all those who gave me the freedom and independance to pursue my brand of cricket.Announcing his retirement with immediate effects, Laxman indicated that he will not play the New Zealand series.Getting emotional, Laxman reminiscised and said , “I always wanted to become a doctor, but my inner voice somehow picked up on cricket as my path in life.It was a very tough decision and till late last night I was not too sure.advertisementlast_img read more

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Danny Ainge Rajon Rondo is Major Part of the

The Boston Herald talked to Danny Ainge on Monday and once again he was asked if the Celtics were at all interested in trading Rajon Rondo. Clearly, Ainge is getting a little annoyed by the question that has been asked repeatedly since Rondo tore his ACL.“I haven’t talked to any teams about Rajon Rondo,” Ainge, the Celtics’ president of basketball operations, said.He has, however, fielded a number of calls wanting to know if the rumors are true.“It’s frustrating,” Ainge said.He reiterated that Rondo, still rehabbing from ACL surgery, is a major part of the Celtics’ plans going forward.Rondo has been involved in trade rumors for nearly three years now, which leads many to believe Ainge is shopping. Upon Rondo’s return, Boston will not be a better team. Rondo is perfect for trading right now. He has concerned the Celtics by being both an All-Star and a player of questionable growth for years.He’s a phenomenal point guard who doesn’t get along well with others, clashes with his coaches, struggles shooting, and can make the most amazing plays at both ends.If other teams are calling for Rondo, Ainge is listening. It may be he’s not being completely upfront on this one. read more

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Baseball Weekday games provide opportunity for struggling Buckeyes

Ohio State junior infielder Conner Pohl (39) dives to third base during the game against Hawaii on March 23. Ohio State won 7-5. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorThe Ohio State baseball team has an opportunity to flip the script and end recent woes when it plays Ohio schools this week.Ohio State (16-16, 2-4 Big Ten) will hit the road to play Ohio (8-21, 3-6 MAC) Tuesday. The Buckeyes then return home for a Wednesday bout against Dayton (17-13-1, 7-2 Atlantic 10). Ohio State enters its next game on a five-game skid, its second-longest losing streak this season. Along this stretch, the Buckeyes have been outscored 42-18 and dropped four games at home. Ohio has struggled throughout the year, but the Bobcats have improved their numbers in conference play. The team’s .230 batting average is not impressive. Ohio’s offensive leader is senior first baseman Rudy Rott, who hits .336, and is the only Bobcat to hit above .300. With 26 RBI, Rott has 16 more than any other player on the team. Ohio has a pair of relief pitchers who offer stability to the pitching staff. Sophomore pitcher Brett Manis holds the only four saves for the Bobcats this season. His ERA of 2.37 is second-lowest on the team. The best ERA of 2.16 belongs to sophomore pitcher Edward Klutt, who has made a team-high 15 appearances. Wednesday, Ohio State will try to end its troubles at home when it welcomes a red-hot Dayton team that has won nine of its past 11 games, including three shutout victories.Pitcher Justin Longbrake has made 12 appearances in relief for the Flyers. The junior holds a 3.14 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.4. Opponents are only hitting .135 against Longbrake. Offensively, the Flyers are extremely aggressive on the base paths, having stolen 70 bags on 86 attempts. Dayton has four players with at least 10 steals on the season. Sophomore third baseman Riley Tirotta succeeds on 90.9 percent of his steals, while also leading the team with 21 RBI. Ohio State will take on Ohio at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The home game against Dayton will follow at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday. read more

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Mustafi wants Arsenal on the top four

first_imgThe Gunners footballer believes his team still has time to get to stay on the top four of the 2018-2019 English Premier League season.Arsenal is currently in the fourth position of the English Premier League table with 53 points.The Gunners have won 16 out of 27 matches, drawing five times and losing only six.They are seven points behind third place, 12 points behind second place and 13 points behind leaders Liverpool.And for Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi is very important to stay in this position.“I think statistics are something for people who like them and talk about them,” Mustafi said to the team’s official website.“If you’re not going to make it into the top four, it doesn’t count for anything.”Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“For us, statistics are something that we leave on the side. We try to focus on what’s on at the moment. We’re not where we want to be, so we have to work and get there.”“I think we’ve done well and have done that in a few games better than others, but I think we’re still in a transition to become a team who are confident of playing the same way both home and away,” he explained.“I think we try our best to get to where we want to be: a team that is confident of playing, keeping possession, who likes to play forward, likes to score goals. It’s something that we try our best to improve.”“It would be great for the team [to finish in the top four] because we have a lot of young players who are very keen to play in the Champions League again. Obviously, a club like Arsenal belongs in the Champions League as well. For everyone it’s going to be a big achievement,” Mustafi concluded.Perseverance. Our way. The @Arsenal way. Good morning and keep going! pic.twitter.com/O9uUk9rsXA— Unai Emery (@UnaiEmery_) February 25, 2019last_img read more

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Soldotna Chamber Holding Luncheon On Soldotna Field House Project

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Soldotna Field House Project Co-Chair Tim Dillon will be presenting a project overview at a Soldotna Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Wednesday. The question will go before the voters in a special election on March 5, for a 0.5% increase in the city’s year-round sales tax rate implemented for the 10-year life of the bond. This would increase the city’s sale tax rate from 3% to 3.5%. The luncheon is free and open to the public to attend. There is a $15 charge for those wanting to partake in the catered lunch. The Soldotna City Council approved an ordinance back in December that will ask the voters if the city should borrow $10 million in a bond to build a proposed field house and increase the city’s sales tax by a half percent to cover the debt service on the 10-year bond. The luncheon will start at noon, on February 13, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. Davis: “We’ve got a very important vote coming up. You can come learn about the history of the project. I really hope that even if people aren’t able to vote, since this is just within the City of Soldotna, but it’s going to impact everyone in the outlying communities.”  Shannon Davis, Executive Director of the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce: “Come and learn about the project, and if it seems like something you’d like to support you can have conversations with your friends that live in the city you can encourage a ‘yes’ vote.: last_img read more

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