US orders more SA armoured vehicles

first_img22 July 2008General Dynamics Land Systems Canada has secured another huge order from the US defence department for 773 RG-31 mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles, developed by South Africa’s BAE Systems Land Systems OMC.According to a statement by General Dynamics Land Systems Canada, the order from the US Marine Corps Command is potentially worth US$552-million (about R4.2-billion), with deliveries to be completed by April 2009.In order to meet the urgent production schedule that has been called for, production of the RG-31 Mk5E Category I vehicles will be split between General Dynamics in Alabama, Demmer Corporation in Michigan and BAE Systems Land Systems OMC, based in Benoni on Gauteng’s East Rand.According to an Engineering News article this week, US website www.defenseindustrydaily.com points out that the driving force behind these orders is the RG31’s operational success in Afghanistan, with some 800 MRAPs of all types already operating in that country.“Reportedly, US commanders in that theatre particularly want more RG31s because this type is smaller and lighter that other MRAP vehicles, yet is well suited to the poor Afghan roads and difficult terrain,” Engineering News quotes the website as saying.Testament to effectivenessThis contract is in addition to the 624 RG-31 vehicles already supplied under the MRAP vehicle program.Separately, an additional 566 RG-31s have been previously ordered by the US Army Tank Command, based on operational need statements by the US Army for route clearance vehicles.“We are grateful for the opportunity to once again play a role in protecting the lives of US soldiers,” said General Dynamics Land Systems Canada senior vice president Sridhar Sridharan in the company statement.“A repeat order such as this, in combination with the positive feedback we have received from soldiers in theater, is the best testament to the effectiveness of the RG-31 Mk5 vehicles.”According to Land Systems OMC, the RG-31 is the mine-protected vehicle of choice for peacekeepers, with an all-steel, welded armour, monocoque hull that ensures its crew of 10 is protected from anti-personnel fire and anti-tank mine detonations.SAinfo reporter Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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South Africa sets off on Transport Month

first_img30 September 2015Under the theme “Together we move South Africa forward”, the Department of Transport will launch its annual October Transport Month (OTM) campaign on 1 October.OTM focuses on infrastructure projects that have major socio-economic spin-offs, for all modes of transport such as road, aviation, maritime, rail and public transport.Focus areasThis year, emphasis will be placed on four pillars:Jobs created through infrastructure and other service delivery programmes;Major infrastructure developments and improvements and links to local economic developments;Special programmes aimed at youth and women; and,Rallying all sectors of society to improve road safety with an opportunity to market programmes to be implemented by the Road Safety Advisory Council.Ongoing transport projectsKey projects will include the official opening of road infrastructure projects, such as the R71 Moria Project (interchange safety improvement), Umgeni Interchange and Denneysville Sasolburg Road in Free State.Minister Jeff Radebe, the minister in the Presidency responsible for planning, monitoring and evaluation, said OTM was also an opportunity to increase road safety awareness. In addition, traffic officers will rotate work shifts for a 24-hour day to help decrease the number of road accidents.“(The) government has also developed a qualification for traffic officers from National Qualifications Framework (NQF) 4 to NQF 6 in order to further professionalise the traffic fraternity,” he said.EcomobilityGauteng’s business hub, Sandton, will take part in the Ecomobility World Festival during OTM. The aim is for a car-free CBD for the duration of the festival.“We want to close off certain streets in Sandton, our second largest CBD, to car traffic and instead use these lanes for public transport, walking, cycling and other forms of ecomobility during the entire Transport Month,” said Johannesburg Executive Mayor Parks Tau.“We want to show residents and visitors that an ecomobile future is possible and that public transport, walking and cycling can be accessible, safe, attractive and cool!”The city is providing alternative modes of transport to Sandton.@Sandton_News@CityofJoburgZA I think #joburgecomobility is a fantastic initiative; it’s definately the direction we need to move in.— David Klompas (@dave_klompas)September 29, 2015Looking forward to #JoburgEcoMobility month, ready to cycle to work off the Gautrain bus. Sandton should be interesting.— mzo ntuli (@mzolisto_n) September 28, 2015For more information, visit the Ecomobility World Festival website.Cape Town suburb goes car-freeIn Cape Town, Open Streets Bellville takes place on 4 October, when Kruskal Avenue and part of the very busy Voortrekker Road become a car-free corridor for residents to explore, use and play on their streets.“October is Transport Month,” explains Marcela Guerrero Casas, Open Streets Cape Town co-founder and director, “and everyone is encouraged to use public transport. In addition to trains and minibus taxis, there are already 140 cyclists confirmed to be riding from the centre of Cape Town to the Bellville CBD along Voortrekker Road.Watch Open Streets Cape Town take over the city’s Bree Street:In addition to promoting alternative modes of transport, the programme – which is supported by the city of Cape Town – aims to help connect different communities, support local businesses and expose people to healthy and creative ways of using streets as public space for recreation.Activities on the day will include local performers and artists, a reading corner, street soccer, skateboarding and children’s games. The Cape Cobras cricket team will also be launching their season with an appearance on the day, to play street cricket with children as part of their community development activities.Open Streets Cape Town is a citizen-driven initiative, working to change how streets are used, perceived and experienced. It was founded in 2012. Open Streets is a 40-year-old global movement inspired by Bogota’s Ciclovia.Watch what happens when Open Streets Cape Town gets going:Source: SAnews.gov and SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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Thoughts from CTTC: When to terminate cover crops?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Experts of all sorts were found at the Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference this past week at the McIntosh Center on the campus of Ohio Northern University in Ada.Not only is it a great event each year to learn about the latest in farming and conservation, but also a good place to ask questions about practices already in action.One of those common questions we’ve found recently is the search for the best time to terminate cover crops come planting season. With some saying they prefer to plant into a burned down field, while others taking a more green approach and planting into still growing cover.Speakers Dave Brandt, Bill Lehmkuhl, and Bret Margraf each take on the question in this video with Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood.last_img read more

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New Urbanist Andres Duany Lashes Out at LEED

first_img RELATED ARTICLES GBA Encyclopedia: LEED for HomesWhy Is the U.S. Green Building Council So Out of Touch?It’s 2012 — Do You Know Where Your LEED for Homes Is?How to Cheat* at LEED for HomesGreen Building Programs Got Some ’Splainin’ to Do LEED-H Clarifications Raise More Questions Than They AnswerEqual-Opportunity Feather Ruffling As quoted in an online article, Andres Duany, one of the founders and leaders of the New Urbanist movement, both predicts a decline in LEED certifications and argues against excessive regulation of development. Now, those who follow my posts know I am not the biggest fan of LEED. While it’s well intentioned, I think LEED, like most green building programs, is flawed and long overdue for some major revisions. Duany, however, doesn’t seem to really understand the details of LEED for Homes. Since he is essentially an urban planner, I don’t expect that he should.One of his complaints is that the program doesn’t give points for low-cost options such as passive solar heating. He claims that it encourages developers to buy expensive windows to make sure that “not an atom of air escapes.” Now, I totally agree with the idea of finding the low-hanging fruit, but to claim that LEED focuses only on expensive energy-efficiency requirements is to misunderstand the program. Among green building programs, LEED has some of the lightest requirements for energy efficiency. In fact, certification doesn’t require a home to be any higher performance than ENERGY STAR—which, while a reasonable target, is only 15% better than the building code, at least for the time being. Complaints not supported by factsSome of Duany’s arguments against LEED actually seem to describe exactly how the program works. He suggests that high-density development in urban locations should have lower requirements for energy efficiency, which is exactly what LEED for Homes does. A project can pick up lots of points in Locations and Linkages while achieving relatively few in Energy and Atmosphere and still become certified, in some cases at the highest levels. He also suggests that single-family homes be subject to higher efficiency standards to compensate for the inefficiency of this type of land use. Again, this is exactly how LEED is structured.Not completely wrongWhere I do agree with Duany’s argument is the high cost of meeting LEED certification. LEED is often too complicated and administratively heavy for the results obtained. Among green building programs, LEED is probably the most difficult to administer, requiring both intense interpretation and large quantities of documentation. Most other programs, both local and national, tend to be less complicated to manage and, in some cases, result in higher-performing buildings with less effort. LEED for Homes is currently undergoing a revision, currently scheduled for release in late 2012. All of us involved in the program hope that it becomes both simpler and more effective, something I believe is very possible with the right changes.In complaining about the complexity of LEED certification, Duany suggests that “it will crash on its own.” While there are many out here—most notably, Henry Gifford—who also feel that way, I think this is an unlikely scenario. We should work together to make all green certification programs more effective and less complicated, while lowering the costs of compliance. I believe this is very possible—although it remains to be seen if we actually do it.last_img read more

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4 held for locking up woman for 15 years

first_imgPANAJI: The Panaji women’s police station on Wednesday arrested four family members for unlawfully confining a 45-year-old woman, who was rescued after nearly 15 years on Tuesday from a locked room of her maternal house in Candolim village, North Goa. Sub-inspector Reema Naik of the women’s police station told The Hindu on Wednesday that a case was registered against the accused under Sections 344 and 346 read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code. The victim’s two brothers, Mohandas and Ravindra Verlekar, and their wives, Anita and Amita, respectively, were arrested and released on personal bonds.The victim, Sunita Verlekar, has been shifted to a shelter run by the Institute Of Public Assistance (Provedoria), Ms. Naik said.During interrogation on Wednesday, the family produced a certificate issued by the State-owned Institute of Psychology and Human Behaviour (IPHB) in 2008, saying that Sunita suffered from undifferentiated schizophrenia-related moderate disabilities.Medical check-up todayThe Director of State, Provedoria, has arranged for a thorough check-up of the victim at the IPHB on Thursday, and the police have been requested to record her statement only after that.The police said that with the document produced by the family, a senior doctor at the IPHB will now trace her medical records and treat her accordingly.The woman was rescued with the help of activists from Bailancho Saad, a woman’s collective who were alerted about Sunita’s confinement by village activists.According to the police, the victim was locked in one room of a house, which belonged to her brothers. “One of the brothers, who lived in the same house with his family, would give her food through a slit in the door. But we found her without clothes in the room, which had no electricity. There was urine all around the place,” a woman police constable who was involved in the rescue operation had said on Tuesday.last_img read more

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Sevilla’s Joaquín Correa levels it and spoils return for Klopp’s Liverpool

first_imgChampions League Reuse this content Share via Email Liverpool reacted with purpose. Can, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino all went close before one of those well-worked team moves that Klopp loves so much delivered a deserved and seemingly inevitable equaliser. Jordan Henderson combined twice with Alberto Moreno, who excelled against his boyhood club, and the left-back delivered a perfect cross from the by-line for Firmino to side-foot home from close range.Controversy surrounded Liverpool’s second when Mohamed Salah appeared to clip Steven N’Zonzi and regain possession of the ball in one movement 25 yards from goal. Danny Makkelie put his whistle to his lips but elected to play on, much to the visitors’ fury as Salah let fly from distance and his shot looped off the boot of Simon Kjaer and over the stranded goalkeeper Sergio Rico. Sevilla should have been further behind moments before the interval when the captain Nicolas Pareja handled inside his area and hauled Mané to the ground to concede a clear penalty. Firmino sent Rico the wrong way but his spot-kick sailed to safety off a post. The penalty miss was not as costly as Liverpool’s defending, however.Sevilla’s frustration mounted as Liverpool continued to dominate the ball in the second half. Berizzo was dismissed when, having been warned for a similar transgression in the first half, he threw the ball away from Gomez as the Liverpool defender attempted to take a throw-in. His explanation was bizarre in the extreme. “There were two actions,” he said. “In the first half we were winning and Liverpool were attacking so I tried to throw the ball away and waste time to gain an advantage for my team. That was wrong and so in the second half, when we were losing, I threw the ball away to make up for being unsporting in the first half.” Berizzo invited Klopp into the away dressing room afterwards to give a fuller explanation.Thereafter the visitors improved and when a gaping hole appeared in the Liverpool defence in front of Muriel, the substitute sent Correa clear and he lifted a cool finish over Loris Karius. A familiar tale. Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Share on Twitter Sevilla Share on Messenger Read more Liverpool Share on Facebook Topics Share on Pinterest Pablo Fernandez, the Sevilla fitness coach, was hauled down the Anfield tunnel on the final whistle while falsely accusing Jürgen Klopp of getting his opposite number, Eduardo Berizzo, sent to the stands. The majority left Anfield in more civil fashion while accusing the Liverpool defence of undermining the club’s return to the Champions League. The majority spoke the truth.Liverpool dominated for long periods on their return to Europe’s grandest stage, recovered impressively from conceding an early goal to a wily Sevilla side and embraced Philippe Coutinho back into the fold on his first appearance since his thwarted attempt to join Barcelona. But, and it is a recurring theme, individual and collective defensive lapses showed the Champions League what the Premier League has long suspected – that Klopp has constructed an exhilarating attacking force on weak foundations.Sevilla capitalised through Wissam Ben Yedder and the outstanding Joaquín Correa. They would have delivered a more punishing night for Liverpool had the substitute Luis Muriel not wasted a gilt-edged chance to steal victory in stoppage time. Joe Gomez was also sent off for a second bookable offence on Correa as Liverpool’s reunion with their 2016 Europa League final conquerors proved every bit as problematic as Klopp had predicted.“The defence is always something that is being talked about: “We didn’t sign this or that,’” said the Liverpool manager, who was unable to prise Virgil van Dijk from Southampton this summer. “If these problems could be solved by one player then you can imagine we would have put all our money into it and say let’s do this. But it is not about this. It is about concentration in a game when you are dominant for long moments. We need to learn to be dominant and not give easy goals away. It is not a general defending problem but we have to improve 100%.”In fairness Liverpool’s approach showed no lingering after-shock from Saturday’s 5-0 humbling at Manchester City. It was to their credit how they wrestled back control having gifted Sevilla a lead from their first attack although Dejan Lovren’s part in the opener was indefensible. Correa, Sevilla’s left-sided forward, posed a classy threat throughout but should have been stopped at source when Emre Can lost out in a midfield challenge. Correa released the overlapping Sergio Escudero on the left and when his low cross came into the Liverpool six-yard box Lovren missed his clearance completely, granting Ben Yedder the freedom to convert unmarked at the back post. match reports John Stones double helps Manchester City to easy victory at Feyenoordlast_img read more

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Transport Operators Continue to Push for Fare Increase

first_imgPublic passenger transport operators continued to press their case for an increase in fares, at a public consultation held on Monday, June 10, at the Holy Cross Church on Half-Way-Tree Road, Kingston.The session was the third in a series organised by the Transport Authority of Jamaica (TAJ), to provide the opportunity for transport operators to share with the public, their request for a fare raise, and allow for feedback from commuters and the general public.Managing Director of the TAJ, Donald Foster, noted that the transport operators have invested millions of dollars, and, to the extent that they provide a quality service, “like any other business, they deserve a return on their investment.”“Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Dr. Omar Davies, indeed, recognises that they deserve a return on their investment and that they deserve the consideration of a fare increase,” he said, noting that the last raise was granted in January 2010.President of the Route Taxi Association of Jamaica, Sophia Campbell, informed that her organisation is requesting a 40 per cent increase from the Government.She said at the existing rates, the operators cannot afford to maintain their vehicles, replace parts and carry out major repairs.Miss Campbell stated that operators have had to be crediting gas from service stations, as well as servicing their vehicles themselves. She further cited the high cost of insurance, with as much as $300,000 for certain vehicles.“We believe that any business should be in a position to retool itself such as replacing the old vehicles that we have. However, we cannot find the money to retool those vehicles and…we cannot walk into a bank and negotiate a loan to purchase a vehicle that is going to operate as a taxi because no bank will look at us; we are not qualified for such,” Miss Campbell said.Donovan Latibeaudiere, a member of the public, said he is not in agreement with a fare increase at this time, in light of the public sector wage freeze.“I want to ask where that extra money going to come from to pay that increase they are asking for,” while also citing the need for order in the system.In response, Miss Campbell, said stakeholders are benefiting under the public passenger vehicle driver and conductor training programme, being undertaken by the TAJ and HEART Trust/NTA.The initiative is part of strategies to address indiscipline in the transport sector and ensure safe and reliable public transportation. She said operators are also being equipped to better manage their business.The final consultation is scheduled to be held in Portmore, St. Catherine. The other regional public consultations were held in Montego Bay, St. James; and Ocho Rios, St. Ann.Contact: Latonya Lintonlast_img read more

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Rosneft Readies Shuttle Tanker Ice Breaker Orders at Zvezda

first_imgzoom Russian oil major Rosneft plans to order reinforced ice-class shuttle tankers from the Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex currently under development.Namely, Rosneft, Rosnefteflot and Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex signed today an agreement of intent that envisages placing orders with Zvezda Shipbuilding for shuttle tankers of Arc6-Arc7 ice class and 70,000 deadweight tons.According to the agreement, the parties will jointly develop the technical documentation – the tanker specifications and determine the list of manufacturers of basic equipment.The Russian-flagged shuttle tankers vessels will transport oil from Rosneft’s Arctic fields, the company said.The number of the tankers will be specified after the development of technical documentation and definition of core technical characteristics of the fleet.Furthermore, Rosneft teamed up with Rosmorport Federal State Unitary Enterprise to cooperate in placing orders for the construction of ice breakers with the draft of about 3 meters and 6.4 MW power and ice-class auxiliary vessels.Following to the agreement, Rosmorport will place an order for construction of one shallow-draft ice breaker at the Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex with an option for three more.The ice breakers will be used to escort vessels in Russian Federation ports and port approaches, including for the need of marine terminals operated by Rosneft.The ice breaker construction would enable the shipyard to expand its product range and gain additional experience in building ice-breakers and ice-class vessels.Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex is being created on the basis of the Zvezda Far Eastern Shipyard by a consortium comprising Rosneftegaz, Rosneft and Gazprombank.The initial workload of the shipyard is secured by Rosneft, which signed an exclusive agreement with the shipyard on placing orders for new vessels and related marine equipment.last_img read more

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