PH women’s squash duo cop bronze

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ The Filipino tandem of Jemyca Aribado and Yvone Alyssa Dalida took home the bronze medal in women’s squash doubles in the 29th Southeast Asian Games on Wednesday.Aribado and Dalida bowed to their Malaysian counterparts Chan Yiwen and Nazihah Haris in the semifinals.ADVERTISEMENT Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles What’s in store for your animal sign this year Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball05:21Drama in karate: Tsukii ‘very sad’ over coach’s bullying, cold shoulder03:24PH’s James Palicte boxing light welterweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay Still, it was an inspiring run for the two, who managed to make the podium, despite Dalida’s injury.Dalida played through a strained right hand she sustained in the quarterfinals against Thailand on Tuesday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Malaysia finished 1-2 in the event, which was held in the SEA Games for the first time, while Singapore secured the other bronze. View commentscenter_img Perkins, Cignal missing Jose but determined to end series early Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ LATEST STORIES Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacueeslast_img read more

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As Commissioner Flowers Describes Training of West Pointers as a Milestone

first_imgIn support of the fight against the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia, Each One Save One International has trained 80 West Pointers in an effort to help contain the spread of the terrible epidemic in the area.Speaking last Friday at the training exercise in the Township of West Point, the Commissioner of West Point, Miatta Haja Flowers,  said this is a clear indication that the people of West Point are ready to help contain the spread of the virus in the township and Liberia at large.“This is a milestone for the people of West Point to gather here today for this training exercise in support of government’s efforts to curtail the spread of the disease. We will continue to work with all of our partners and the government to ensure that Ebola iscontained.”According to her, with the efforts of the community and individuals providing the preventive messages and the training of community dwellers in the wake of nationalhealth crisis, the virus would be contained as well as eradicated in a short time from Liberia.In his remarks, the national coordinator of the organization, J. Marcus Weah, said Each One Save One is intended to help the  community and Liberia at large to combat the deadly Ebola virus and provide some urgently needed humanitarian  assistance to the community.According to the national coordinator, ‘We have decided to go from district to district to help our people in educating them on the usages of the anti-Ebola materials and also provide them with an assortment of items as a way of containing the disease.Mr. Weah also presented five barrels of anti-Ebola hand-wash, five cartons of Clorox and five cartons of tide-soap to Commissioner Flowers to be placed at public gatherings or other places for the use of residents.  The training of the West Pointers brought together three facilitators who spoke on the preventive measures of the deadly Ebola virus as well as the proper use of detergents in avoiding other diseases.One of the facilitators, Harrietta K. Bah, urged the participants to focus on washing hands as described by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and teaching other people in the community.Also speaking, the sponsor  of the Each One Save One International in combating Ebola, Sheikh A. Kouyateh, warned the general public not to use Ebola to make money. “If you use Ebola to make money, it is not good for Liberia,” he stated.He urged the leadership and community dwellers of West Point to help support the fight against the Ebola virus, stating, “We can win this fight together.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Reggae Artist Black Diamond’s Charitable Efforts

first_imgDuring the month of December, many homeless people received handouts, which included sandwiches and cans of soft drink. Not a day went by that a mouth was not fed, which has been a gesture of kinds that has positively affected the homeless.Reggae star Black Diamond, who’s been making hits after hits since the start of 2003 and is also a two-time award winner chipped in along with Sarah Monika, an Australian professional, in feeding the less fortunate.“I decided to help out with the feeding initiative because I believe in giving and being there for those that are in need; the ones who society has forgotten,” Black Diamond said. “We have to become involved in opening opportunities for the next generation and not just focus on ourselves. I do these things because I was in their shoes and would not want to sit around and watch our people go hungry around the holiday season,” he noted.Hundreds of people have stood aside and watched the helpless received assistance, wondering why anyone would want to care.“Sometimes we get so caught up in our own lives we forget to help those who really need help. I passed through the same homelessness when I first came back to Liberia and remember how I got out of it,” said Lady Emotionz, who has been responsible for the feeding and has been in touch with Black Diamond and Sarah ever since, trying to find means by which the homeless could be fed. Black Diamond and Sarah has since responded with enough funds to do the job.“It seems strange to a lot of people that I would go around feeding people who society says is too dangerous to go around. I have not been hurt in the process, but rather thanked and appreciated by these people,” she added. “I’ve even gone an extra mile to continue with my own funds in feeding at least two people a day,” she disclosed.For his part Black Diamond says this is not the only initiative he has undertaken. Presently, he has an organization called ‘Black Diamond Youth for Peace Project’. A project intended to help spread the message of peace & unity, to also assist with community building and to give scholarships to students.“Currently, we have 3 students we are sponsoring under the umbrella of the Black Diamond Youth for Peace Project from K-2 until they graduate from High School. You can visit: www.youthforpeaceproject.org for more info. My personal website is www.blackdiamondmuzik.com which will be updated in the coming weeks. And this is my music page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Diamond ,” he added.Meanwhile, the responsibility of an artist or entertainer should not solely focus on just entertaining its viewers but also giving back. And Black Diamond has been commended by many on the streets of Monrovia for his effort and what he has chosen to do for Liberians.“God will bless you people for helping me today,” whispered a man who says he hasn’t eaten in two days.As for me, My name is Black Diamond, a Liberian artist born and rasied in Voinjama City, Lofa County and currently residing in Winston Salem, North Carolina, USA. I have released three full albums: One Love in 2003, My Africa in 2009 and V-City Black Out (Back to the dusty roads) in 2014. I’ve won two awards: Reggae Artist of the year in 2008 and Song of the year in 2009 and an LEA nominee in 2010. Few of my successful/popular tracks have been “Foxy Lady” which did great especially in the US, “Congratulations” a song that was dedicated to Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and all the other candidates who participated in the 2005 presidential elections and which was a call for peace and unity, “I Like 8 Like That”, “Give Em Fire Fire”, “Tango-Tango” and “Ebola” which currently has 127,689 views on Youtube and counting.Coming from a country which was engaged in civil war for almost 14 years, my ambitions has been to assist the less the fortunate and help spread the message of peace and Unity through my music and other community projects. After almost 15 years in the U S, I decided to take a visit to my mother’s land (Liberia) in March of 2011. While in Liberia, I organized a soccer tournament (Black Diamond Youth for Peace Tournament), along with a musical concerts to raise fundshttp://cdncache1-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png in assisting students with tuitions, educational materials such as books, pencils etc. The purpose of the concert and soccer tournament was also to bring the youth together and inform them about the importance of education and to highlight the consequences war can have on a country or any nation.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Maxido founder to be inducted in WKU Hall of Fame

first_imgHand-in-Hand Mutual Fire and Life Insurance Company is in the corner of Martial Arts specialist Max Massiah as he prepares to journey to the United States where he will be inducted into the World Karate Union (WKU) Hall of Fame.Director of Hand-in-Hand Insurance and Manager of Fire, Howard Cox (third right), makes the presentation to Max Massiah in the presence of the company’s Business Development Officer Savita Singh (second right), Massiah’s students and company representativeWKU will add to a list of three Hall of Fame recognitions for the veteran.On Friday, at its Lot 1-4 Avenue of the Republic location, the insurance company presented an undisclosed sum of cash to Massiah, who was invited to be at the induction ceremony on June 23-24 at Chateau Resort and Conference Centre in Pennsylvania.Addressing the gathering was the company’s Business Development Officer, Savita Singh, who explained this is just one of many ways the entity fulfils its corporate/social responsibility.Singh added that Hand-in-Hand has been a long-time supporter of Massiah and his work, and this is another assurance of their continued alliance.In his appreciation for the support, Massiah, thanked Hand-in-Hand and made an appeal to other entities to do similar. He further explained that the Hall-of-Fame is for his work at the ‘Maxido’ adult self defence system, for which he is the founder and chief instructor.According to Massiah, the system is specifically developed for adults, business owners, professionals and especially elderly and females, along with law enforcement and security.The programme is strictly self-defence, which means student are not thought to fight but just use defence mechanisms which are four seconds and under applications of submissions, breakage and dislocation.One of the students, former Magistrate Leslie Sobers, who is now head of the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority, noted, “It is not a passive defence, it allows for immediate counter-attack. In some cases, defence seems to suggest you defend and you move away. Maxido doesn’t give anybody second opportunity to attack them; it is defence and you put an end to the assailant’s intentions.”last_img read more

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Mourinho warns of tough season if Utd don’t strengthen

first_imgThe only arrivals at Old Trafford this summer have been Brazilian midfielder Fred, teenage full-back Diogo Dalot and back-up goalkeeper Lee Grant.In sharp contrast, Champions League finalists Liverpool have spent more than £170 million on new signings including Brazil’s World Cup goalkeeper Alisson and midfielders Fabinho and Naby Keita.“My CEO knows what I want and I still have a few days to wait and see what happens,” the Portuguese manager told MUTV ahead of his side’s pre-season friendly defeat by Bayern Munich on Sunday.“The other clubs who compete with us are really strong and already have fantastic teams. Or they are investing massively like Liverpool, who are buying everything and everybody.“If we don’t make our team better it will be a difficult season for us.”United were beaten 1-0 by Bayern at the Allianz Arena, five days before their Premier League campaign begins at home to Leicester.Mourinho, without some key players due to their involvement at the World Cup, including Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard, brought on academy prospects James Garner, Axel Tuanzebe, Tahith Chong and Demetri Mitchell during the second half.At full-time, he compared his youthful team to the raft of talent at Bayern’s disposal, including experienced players such as Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben.“Finally, it’s over. Finally, such a difficult pre-season is over,” Mourinho told mufc.com.“The players were, once more, brilliant. They could not have done better than what they did. (It was a) fantastic experience for the boys.”Mourinho, who has been linked with moves for Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld and Leicester centre-back Harry Maguire before the transfer window shuts, selected Alexis Sanchez as captain in Bavaria.Reports in Germany on Sunday said United have also expressed an interest in Bayern defender Jerome Boateng.Javi Martinez scored the only goal of the game in Munich, heading home from a second-half corner.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Jose Mourinho has warned Manchester United face a tough season if they do not strengthen their squad © AFP / Christof STACHELONDON, United Kingdom, Aug 6 – Jose Mourinho has warned Manchester United face a “difficult season” if they do not strengthen their squad before the Premier League transfer window shuts on Thursday.United’s build-up to the new campaign has been dominated by Mourinho’s clear frustration over transfers, which has brought his relationship with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward into the spotlight.last_img read more

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LETTERKENNY ATHLETIC CLUB EASTER 3K RESULTS

first_imgL.A.C. Easter Sunday 3k 2013Place Race No. Time FirstName Surname Club1 1558 9.16 Declan Reid – City Of Derry 2 1589 9.20 Owen Mc Ginley – Cranford A C3 1584 9.21 Gerard Gallagher – Finn Valley A C4 1544 9.22 Patrick Hamilton – City Of Derry5 1550 9.23 Emmet McGinty – City Of Derry 6 1541 9.25 Chris Mc Guiness – Foyle Valley7 1580 9.27 Sean McGettigan – Finn Valley A C8 1559 9.27 Gary Slevin – City Of Derry9 1542 9.30 Peter Gibbons – Letterkenny A C10 1556 9.33 Paul Mc Cafferty – City Of Derry 11 1549 9.45 Nick Cassidy – City Of Derry12 1503 9.51 Ivan Toner – Letterkenny A C13 1591 9.54 Conor Morrison – Letterkenny A C14 1551 9.55 Ciaran Carlin – Finn Valley A C 15 1557 10.00 Kevin Ferry – Letterkenny A C16 1563 10.11 Oisin Gallen – Finn Valley A C17 1576 10.21 Paddy McDaid – Individual18 1502 10.25 Barry Meehan – Letterkenny A C19 1501 10.25 Ciaran Crawford – Letterkenny A C20 1585 10.26 Aidan McKena – Letterkenny A C21 1565 10.27 Padraig Friel – Letterkenny A C22 1568 10.28 Pauric Breslin – Individual23 1583 10.32 Tom Thompson – Finn Valley A C24 1505 10.38 Zac Mc Gowan – City Of Derry25 1564 10.39 Raymond Birch – Letterkenny A C26 1570 10.41 Pádhraig Patton – Finn Valley A C27 1545 10.41 Liam Murray – Individual28 1504 10.46 Paul Toner – Letterkenny A C29 1597 11.04 Shane Gallagher – Individual30 1567 11.07 Paul McMonagle – Letterkenny A C31 1506 11.18 Michael Penrose – Finn Valley A C32 1509 11.21 Paddy Ward – Letterkenny A C33 1590 11.26 Ciaran O Donnell – Letterkenny A C34 1560 11.29 Darren Price – Individual35 1569 11.47 Seamus Nallen – Individual36 1588 11.53 Paul Catterson – Individual37 1561 11.54 Drew Doherty – Finn Valley A C38 1582 12.02 Cathall Harvey – Individual39 1566 12.11 Kieran Coyle – Letterkenny A C40 1543 12.17 Hanah Mc Gowan – City Of Derry41 1573 12.21 Barry Gallagher – Individual42 1596 12.23 Gillian Marley – Milford A C43 1574 12.38 Ciara Finnegan – Letterkenny A C44 1555 12.42 Anthony Murray – Individual45 1554 12.58 Seamus Crossan – Individual46 1595 13.00 Noel McBride – Individual47 1572 13.02 Sean O Donnell – Individual48 1571 13.14 Eunan McBride – Letterkenny A C49 1598 13.43 Niamh McDaid – Letterkenny A C50 1581 14.23 Rhona Wherity – Individual51 1552 14.25 Annaali Kelly – Individual52 1562 14.28 Ollie Harvey – Individual53 1546 14.30 John Curran – Individual54 1587 14.30 Colm McDaid – Individual55 1594 14.46 Darragh Morrison – Letterkenny A C56 1592 14.46 Seamus Morison – Letterkenny A C57 1508 14.49 Anna Mc Fadden – Individual58 1586 15.49 James Green – Individual59 1548 16.17 Julie McGoohan – Individual60 1547 16.17 Jane Mcgoohan – Individual61 1507 16.19 Denis Mc Fadden – Individual62 1593 17.40 Marjorie Morrison – Letterkenny A C63 1553 18.20 Aoibhinn Boyd – Individual64 1575 18.20 Donna McBride – IndividualTotal Runners: 64LETTERKENNY ATHLETIC CLUB EASTER 3K RESULTS was last modified: March 31st, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Easter 3kLetterkenny AClast_img read more

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Delight as funding sanctioned for pier community in west Donegal

first_imgThe community in Curransport have received a huge boost as it was announced that €60,000 of government funding has been granted to upgrade and repair the pier structure in the area. The Local Authority funding programme forms part of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marines’ 2019 Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme.A timeline for the repairs has not yet been scheduled but Cllr Micheal Mac Giolla Easpuig said the funding announcement was ‘exciting’ for the Port Uí Chuirreain area.  He said: “I have been pushing for some time for Donegal County Council and the government to fund repairs to the pier in Port Uí Chuirreain. “There was a large hole in that pier for quite some time and I was really fighting to get it fixed,” he added.  “The water is quite deep around that area and it was badly needed.“But the money will go towards putting a brand new cover over the pier, so they are going to cover the slip, tidy the whole place up, and it should improve the overall area.”Last month, government funding of €172,500 was announced for six pier and harbour communities. “Ideally, we now need bigger money to add to that pier because as I already said, it is very deep water beyond that pier but it is encouraging to see that money being announced,” Cllr Mac Giolla Easpuig added. “It is a great start for that community and there needs in that area.”Delight as funding sanctioned for pier community in west Donegal was last modified: May 1st, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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South Africa tackles power crisis

first_imgBy Khanyi MagubaneSouth Africa’s rapidly growing economy and burgeoning urban population has seen an astronomical growth in the demand for electricity, beyond the country’s ability to meet the need.The White Paper on energy policy released in 1998 indicated that South Africa’s ability to supply sufficient power would decrease in 2007. Recommendations made included an investment in infrastructure that would enable electricity utility Eskom to extend and increase its supply. Government at the time had intentions of privatising the industry and encouraged independent power suppliers to come to the fore.In the White Paper government stipulated that, “To ensure the success of the electricity supply industry as a whole, various developments will have to be considered by government over time, namely: Giving customers the right to choose their electricity supplier; Introducing competition into the industry, especially the generation sector; Permitting open, non-discriminatory access to the transmission system; and Encouraging private sector participation in the industry.”Last month, government admitted that by 2003 they realised that the plan had not had the envisioned results and that independent producers had not as keen to come forward as initially thought. Government then announced that a number of plans, to beef up infrastructure and build new power plants to supply electricity, would get underway.However, as expected, the country started experiencing severe electricity shortages in early 2007. The problem escalated a year later – leading to the current crisis. This has resulted in Eskom having to take drastic measures in a bid to ensure that further power shortages are not experienced. Load shedding was devised as a short-term solution to deal with the problem.Load shedding is a process whereby electricity supply is cut for a period of time to alleviate the pressure of increased demand. It is used as a last resort, when there is not enough electricity available to meet the demand from all of Eskom’s customers. It is a controlled way of rotating the available electricity among all customers. Load-shedding schedules are drawn up to ensure that a few areas do not bear the brunt of the shortages.During a recent meeting between government and local government officials, it was decided that essential services such as hospitals would have uninterrupted power. Other major projects, such as the building of the Gautrain rapid rail, as well as other projects to be identified by municipalities, will also have uninterrupted power. The rationale behind load shedding is that by spreading the impact, affected areas are not interrupted for more than two hours at a time, and in most cases customers can be informed of interruptions in advance, according to Eskom.The rapidly escalating negative effects of the electricity crisis led Eskom to urgently rope in government to find solutions to the problem. President Thabo Mbeki held a high-level meeting with Eskom management as well as relevant government departments to try and get to the bottom of the problem.Cabinet also discussed the crisis during a top-level meeting in January this year. Government spokesperson Themba Maseko told reporters after the meeting that, “Government gives the assurance that everything is being done at the highest level of government, Eskom and key stakeholders to find an inclusive solution to the energy problem in the short, medium and long term.”Mines were ordered to shut down temporarily, to relieve the pressure of the high output needed by the industrial sector. All underground activity at South Africa’s major mines halted for a week, after which 90 percent of power was restored. Eskom also set up national load shedding schedules, with a supply interruption of two hours at a time. Both the residential and business sectors have been affectedFollowing a number of consultative meetings between the parastatal and government, Public Enterprise Minister Alec Erwin, Eskom chief executive Jacob Maroga and Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica announced an urgent electricity plan to address the deepening electricity crisis, which had hit private consumers and various sectors in the economy.The SolutionGovernment plans to cut the country’s general electricity use by 10 percent. In order to achieve this target, the Eskom, together with government, announced in late January that a three-point plan would be used to counter the electricity crisis. Maroga explained that during this period, which started on 1 February and runs until 1 March, a reduction of 4 000 MW was needed.The first phase will be achieved mainly through electricity cuts (load shedding) and should not take longer than a month. Two factors have been cited as possible contributors to prolonging the process: heavy rains in South Africa and the coal shortage at power stations. Starting on 1 March and running for a period of four months, Eskom, along with the country’s municipalities, will implement the power rationing phase of the plan. This is aimed at cutting usage by 3 000 MW. Municipalities will switch off larger areas for longer periods, but will alert residents beforehand.The third phase of the plan will include a quota-based incentive scheme, for residents and businesses, as well as penalties for those exceeding their electricity rations.South Africans have also been urged to save power in their homes by taking simple steps such as switching off geysers at certain times of the day when they are not in use, taking a shower instead of a bath as it uses less hot water, and also keeping the electricity off in rooms of the house that are not in use.The mining sector has also reached an agreement with Eskom to decrease its power usage in return for an uninterrupted supply. Meanwhile consumers will see their electricity bills going up by 14.2 percent.Long-term plans include the building of power plants using world-class technology. In November last year, Eskom awarded the biggest contracts to foreign companies in the country’s history for the building of the Medupi power plant.Set to be built in Lephalele, in the Limpopo province, the 4 800 Megawatt baseload plant, made up of six 800 MW units, will be commissioned in phases with the first unit likely to go commercial in late 2011, or early 2012. Hitachi Power Europe and Hitachi Power Africa were awarded a R20-billion boiler contract.The R13-billion contracts for the six turbine power islands have been awarded to Alstom. Hitachi Power Africa, headed in South Africa by Robin Duff, said the process of tendering with Eskom was a pleasure. “What we wanted to do was to maximise local content as well as well as develop further capacity where manufacturing already exists,” he said.Hitachi has also been awarded a contract to build a similar power station in Witbank, in Mpumalanga province, utilising the local coal as power to run the plant.Eskom has also announced that it plans to invest R150-billion over the next five years in upgrading the country’s power supply infrastructure. Money will also be spent on reopening three mothballed power stations, and 26 percent of the budget will be spent on the transmission and distribution system.To facilitate its programmes, Eskom has approached the government for help in financing its R1.3-trillion power station building programmes.The government has not confirmed that it has given the request an automatic thumbs up, as government policy calls for public enterprises such as Eskom to be self funding. But given the current crises, government has been in discussion with the power utility over the matter.Recently, Statistics SA released figures indicating that South Africa’s electricity consumption during 2007 rose by 4.4% compared to 3.6 % in 2006. Last year’s electricity production by Eskom increased by 3.8%. The volume of electricity imported from outside the country increased from 2006’s 9 782 Gigawatt-hours to 11 318 Gigawatt-hours in 2007. This was a total increase of 15.7%.Useful linksEskom Department of minerals and energyDepartment of public enterpriselast_img read more

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Scotland rebels on aviation passenger tax

first_imgA blow has been struck against the world’s biggest travel tax, with Scotland resolving to half the controversial Air Passenger Duty, which slugs visitors to the UK up to £73 per head ($US91.25) – and double that in premium economy, business class or first class.The governing Scottish National Party has announced it will cut the APD in Scotland by 50 per cent from April 1, 2017, and aim to abolish it completely “when resources allow”. The move is also supported by the opposition Scottish Conservative Party and has been welcomed by the airline industry, which has long claimed that the APD is a tourism and jobs killer.However, one of the consequences of the Scottish move is that it will encourage a “chicken run” across the border when airlines landing in Scotland have to charge travellers only half the tax they pay England. “This is a major step towards the complete abolition of this stealth tax that hinders economic growth, tourism and jobs,” said Willie Walsh, chief executive of IAG, the holding company that owns British Airways. “However, the piecemeal reduction of APD will only serve to undermine airports in the north of England as passengers will rush across the border to get cheaper flights. “This will create a domino effect across the whole country which is not sustainable. The Treasury must acknowledge that partially scrapping APD will not work and that the solution is simple.”Walsh said that UK GDP would gain 1.7 per cent and create 61,000 new jobs over the longer term if the APD was abolished – a finding also supported by Edinburgh Airport.An Edinburgh Airport report estimated that the 50 per cent cut in APD would create nearly 4000 jobs and add £1 billion ($US1.25 billion) to the Scottish economy by 2020. When it was introduced in 2007, the APD was characterised by the then British Labour government as an environmental tax designed to reduce aircraft emissions.However,  it has since grown into the world’s biggest travel tax. The lowest amount paid, by an economy-class passenger on a flight of less than 2000 miles (3220 kilometres), is £13 ($US16.25) and can rise to as much as £146 ($US182.50) for a passenger in a premium-class cabin travelling more than 2000 miles.Even in economy class,  the impost for long-haul travellers is $US365 for a family of four. “This is an important moment in the ongoing debate around APD, as it is clear that there is now cross-party support for reductions in the tax to take place in Scotland from April 2018,” said Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, the trade association representing UK airlines.Edinburgh Airport’s chief executive, Gordon Dewar, said cutting the travel tax by 50 per cent was vital for Scotland’s international ambitions by increasing direct flights and would make holidays abroad more affordable for Scottish families. “The case against freeing up Scotland from this regressive tax is flimsy,” he said. “It is one-dimensional and completely ignores the economic benefits of more spending and more jobs.”Meanwhile, airlines have hit back at claims by a company specialising in compensation payouts that they are using “dirty tactics” to avoid reimbursing customers for delays and cancellations. EUclaim – one of a raft of companies established in recent years to chase claims under EU261, the European Union rule that awards  passengers compensation of up €600 ($US630) for delays — said it had employed university graduates to go through the claims process on airline websites and that, in some cases, it had taken them up to 15 minutes to even find the correct form. It said British Airways, Jet2, Virgin Atlantic and Ryanair, as well as holiday charter airlines Thomson and Monarch, had tried to shirk their responsibilities. EUclaim manager Tjitze Noorderhaven accused BA of trying to confuse passengers with “legal gibberish” and criticised Thomson’s claim response time of up to 56 days. However, many of the company’s claims were disputed by independent British travel journalists and were criticised by the airlines.”Along with other airlines, we would strongly question the validity of this report,” a spokesman for Virgin Atlantic said. “We do everything we can to respond as quickly, clearly stating how and where our customers can apply.” Ryanair, which was accused in the report of changing its terms and conditions to illegally limit passengers’ rights, said the claims were untrue. “Ryanair’s terms and conditions are perfectly legal,” a spokesman said. “We wish to ensure that all Ryanair customers will receive 100% of their EU261 compensation without deduction of claims chaser fees, which can amount to 50 per cent of the compensation payable to the passenger.”Since Ryanair customers can claim this compensation directly from us with no fees, these ‘claims chasers’ provide no useful service whatsoever. Claims chasers don’t like our terms and conditions, because they are designed solely to protect our customers and ensure they receive 100 per cent of the compensation they are due.”last_img read more

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