Category: xhybc


Speech: Foreign Secretary Hunt: “Britain’s role in a post-Brexit world”


first_imgIntroductionI’d like to thank the International Institute for Strategic Studies for giving me the huge honour of delivering this Fullerton Lecture and I’m delighted to be here in Singapore and to renew Britain’s ties with one of our closest and oldest friends.Our 2 countries are joined at the hip not just by common interests and our shared dedication to the rule of law, but by a shared history that has bound our two peoples together for 200 years – almost to the day.Just over a century ago, the great naval strategist, Admiral John Fisher, identified Singapore as one of “5 keys” of the world.The sights and sounds of this remarkable city vindicate his judgement today as then.From the cranes in the world’s second busiest container port to the towers of a thriving financial centre, Singapore exemplifies the dynamism and vitality of Asia.And as the natural junction between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, Singapore has turned itself into the greatest artery for trade in the world, transited by cargo ships 84,000 times in 2017 alone.Alongside this prodigious development, nearly half of Singapore remains green and lush, including the Botanic Gardens, your first World Heritage Site, and home to a rain forest forming part of Her Majesty the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.For a relatively new British Foreign Secretary there are few better sources of wisdom than the late, great Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who served as prime minister of Singapore for three decades and influenced a generation of leaders, including Henry Kissinger and Margaret Thatcher.So let me start by turning to his lecture on the ‘Fundamentals of Singapore’s Foreign Policy’, delivered in 2009.“Friendship in international relations is not a function of goodwill or personal affection,” he said. “We must make ourselves relevant so that other countries have an interest in our continued survival and prosperity.”Words we in Britain should heed in this momentous year in our history.Thanks to that history, the UK probably has better connections across the globe than nearly any other country. But we cannot depend on sentiment or affection to be relevant to others. Nor should we assume that because of past achievements others will have an interest in our future success.Not unless we are able to link our success to the success of others – or, as Lee Kuan Yew would have said, make ourselves relevant – and today I want to discuss exactly how we do that.Britain’s role in a post-Brexit world: Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt speech in SingaporeSingapore’s exampleLike Britain on 29 March this year, Singapore too faced an extraordinary challenge back on 9 August 1965 when it separated from its larger neighbour.In Lee Kuan Yew’s famous words: “Some countries are born independent. Some achieve independence. Singapore had independence thrust upon it.”Yet his memoirs record how not everyone shared his anguish, least of all the investors who swiftly decided that “independence was good for the economy”. By the second day, the value of almost all of Singapore’s industrial stocks was climbing.And over the next 5 decades, Singapore’s real per capita GDP would multiply fifteen-fold to reach $58,000 a head.Today, Singapore has risen to become the eighth richest country in the world per capita, surpassing Germany, France, Sweden and – though I whisper it softly – the United Kingdom.As we leave the European Union, Britain can draw encouragement from how Singapore’s separation from the Peninsula did not make it more insular but more open. In Lee Kuan Yew’s phrase, 1965 marked the moment when Singapore “plugged into the international economic grid”.The transformation of a territory measuring only 26 miles from east to west – wholly devoid of natural resources – was based on unleashing the boundless talent and ambition of Singapore’s people, including by creating schools with the best results in the world.What was right for Singapore won’t always be right for Britain. We are committed to our social model and as a former Health Secretary I am particularly proud of our National Health Service with universal provision, free at the point of use, and in which my counterpart, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, worked with great dedication for two years.But there is much we can learn from Singapore, not least the excellence of its education system, the long term investment in infrastructure and a strategic approach to how a nation sustains competitive advantage in the world.The international order under threatBritain and its allies were instrumental in setting up the international order that has broadly existed since 1945.This assembly of rules and institutions – including multilateral bodies like the United Nations, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation – has combined with an American-led security umbrella to create the conditions for peace, stability and trade, allowing more human beings to lift themselves out of poverty than ever before in history.Singapore symbolises what is possible with a peaceful and stable international order.Yet as we look around at the start of 2019, all is not well.What is wonkishly called the rules-based international system is under greater strain than for many decades – and the evidence is all around us.In Europe, Russia has annexed 10,000 square miles of Ukraine, seizing the territory of another member of the United Nations by force of arms, in breach of the first principle of international law.Then, last March, the Kremlin deployed a Novichok nerve agent in Salisbury, the first time a chemical weapon has ever been used on British soil.In 2017, VX nerve agent was employed in this region to assassinate a North Korean citizen in Kuala Lumpur International Airport.In the Middle East, the Assad regime has used chemical weapons against its own people in Syria, defying a global ban on these instruments of death that dates back to the Geneva Protocol of 1925. At the same time, Iran has continued its highly destabilising interference in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.In Asia, we saw the expulsion of over 700,000 Rohingya refugees from their homes in Burma, alongside horrific mass killings and rape by the Tatmadaw, the Burmese army, in a brutal act of ethnic cleansing.And across the world, we can see that far from advancing – as it did when the Berlin Wall fell – democracy is now in retreat. Freedom House reports that 71 countries suffered net declines in political rights and civil liberties in 2017 and by 2030, for the first time in our lifetimes, the world’s biggest economy won’t be a democracy – or even want to become one.Britain post-BrexitSo where does post-Brexit Britain fit into this picture?We need to begin with a realistic assessment of our global position. That means not overestimating our strength but not underestimating it either.We are not a superpower and we don’t have an empire.But we do have the fifth biggest economy in the world, the second biggest military budget in NATO, the third biggest overseas aid budget, one of the two largest financial centres, the global language, highly effective intelligence services and a world class diplomatic network, including permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council.We also have immense reserves of soft power, with three of the world’s top ten universities, 450,000 students from overseas in higher education, 39 million visits by tourists in 2017, and a global audience for our media, especially the BBC, measured in the hundreds of millions.Most importantly, in a world where it is rarely possible for one country to achieve its ambitions alone, we have some of the best connections of any country – whether through the Commonwealth, our alliance with the United States or our friendship with our neighbours in Europe.Those connections mean that, in this part of the world, Britain is amongst only a handful of European countries with an Embassy or a High Commission in every member of the Association of South-East Asian nations.Later this year, we will open a new mission to ASEAN headquarters in Jakarta, as we seek to strengthen our relationship with ASEAN after we leave the EU.The global centre of economic gravity has been shifting eastwards towards Asia for decades – and this trend shows no sign of abating. In 1980, Asia comprised less than 20 percent of the world economy; today the figure has climbed to over a third.In his new book ‘The Future is Asian’, Parag Khanna writes that of the $30 trillion in extra middle class consumption expected by 2030, only $1 trillion will come from the West. Power always follows money, so the rise of Asia will have a profound impact on the global balance.Now Britain is already the biggest European investor in South East Asia, with ASEAN trade of nearly £37 billion, and over 4,000 British companies employing more than 50,000 people in Singapore alone.And those connections are why Britain’s post-Brexit role should be to act as an invisible chain linking together the democracies of the world, those countries which share our values and support our belief in free trade, the rule of law and open societies.That doesn’t mean being dogmatic or forcing our values on others. And of course we recognise that every country is different.But it does mean speaking out for those fundamental principles to our friends, as well as those who set themselves up in opposition to them.It means being active where we have special responsibilities, such as securing peace in Yemen.And it means working with others where we can be most effective, such as with the French in Libya, NATO in Afghanistan and the United States and Australia in Asia.That is why I was proud to announce in October the biggest expansion of Britain’s diplomatic network for a generation, with another 335 overseas positions and 14 new Posts around the world and a doubling of the number of British diplomats who speak a foreign language in the country where they serve.Those nations who share values are going to need to stand together to defend them.And as happened after the Salisbury nerve agent attack, when 28 democracies came together and expelled 153 Russian spies that was the biggest coordinated expulsion in the history of diplomacy. And sent out a very powerful message.But we also need to stand together as we reform the multilateral institutions whose noble purposes are all too often compromised by over-heavy bureaucracies and ineffective decision-making.They were set up in the 20th century but they need to be fit for the 21st century – not least to make sure they operate fairly for the United States which is not just the largest and most powerful democracy but also, in nearly every case, their largest donor.ConclusionSo to conclude, on 27 January 1819, Sir Stamford Raffles and William Farquhar landed here – and the bicentenary of that event falls in just over three weeks.Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong explained its significance in these words: “Had Raffles not landed, Singapore might not have become a unique spot in South East Asia, quite different from the islands in the archipelago around us, or the states in the Malayan Peninsula. But because of Raffles, Singapore became a British colony, a free port and a modern city.”The British legacy of the rule of law, clean administration, independent courts and the English language have all been part of Singapore’s success.The people of Singapore have built magnificently on that legacy and our relationship has developed to a point where our countries work side-by-side in almost every field.Last year Prime Minister Lee attended the Commonwealth summit in London; trade between us rose by 7% to nearly £14 billion; and three Royal Navy ships visited Singapore.As we renew our friendship with Singapore for the next 2 centuries, I’m delighted that on Friday, Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and I will launch our new Partnership for the Future, focused on the digital economy, education, innovation, security and defence.But as we cooperate in all these areas, let us also remember a higher purpose, namely our joint responsibility to modernise and safeguard an international order that has led to unparalleled peace and prosperity for both our nations.The United Kingdom will always be ready to work alongside likeminded countries – and few in Asia are more likeminded than Singapore.So, as Lee Kuan Yew said, let us “seek a maximum number of friends” and “seize opportunities that come with changing circumstances”.The scale of the challenge demands no less. Thank you very much.ENDSlast_img read more


SweetWater 420 Fest Adds The String Cheese Incident, Greensky Bluegrass, & More


first_imgSweetWater 420 Fest will return to Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia on April 20-22, 2018. In addition to previously announced headliners Umphrey’s McGee (x2), Tedeschi Trucks Band, and Sturgill Simpson, The String Cheese Incident (x2) will round out the top bill. Additionally, the SweetWater 420 Fest adds Greensky Bluegrass, SOJA, Ghostland Observatory, The Motet, The Record Company, The Infamous Stringdusters, TAUK, Hirie, Marco Benevento, Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, and more to the previously announced group of Vulfpeck, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Stick Figure, Papadosio, Anders Osborne, Spafford, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, and Southern Avenue.Also tapped for the 2018 edition are Durand Jones & The Indications, Los Colognes, The Mantras (Beastie Boys Tribute Set), The Vegabonds, Maddy O’Neal, Cofresi, Funk You, The Fritz, Walden, The Trongone Band, Luthi, Emma’s Lounge, Quaildogs, Hedonistas, Migrant Worker, Derlee, Hourglass, The Orange Constant, Bird Dog, Jubilee, Universal Sigh, Dr. Strangelove, Bennett Wales & The Relief, with Brandon “Taz” Niederauer as an Artist-At-Large. The weekend will be complete with more than 50 bands, 30 unique SweetWater Brewing Company brews, and “420 vibes.”Tickets are now on-sale here. See below for the complete 2018 SweetWater 420 lineup!last_img read more


Watch Tedeschi Trucks Band “Keep On Growing” At 2016 LOCKN’ Festival [Pro-Shot]


first_imgTedeschi Trucks Band is heading back to LOCKN’ Festival this summer, alongside Dead & Company, Widespread Panic, Umphrey’s McGee, and many more. Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi will lead their twelve-piece ensemble through two sets over two days, marking their fourth LOCKN’ to date.In 2016, the husband-and-wife duo brought their powerhouse show to the farm directly after Phil & Friends, which featured drummer Jon Fishman and key-master Page McConnell of Phish, drummer Joe Russo, guitarist Anders Osborne, and virtually all of The Infamous Stringdusters. In true LOCKN’ fashion, fans were treated to special guest appearances from Derek and Susan when they joined the cast of characters for an unforgettable “Mr. Charlie” and “Sugaree”, leading straight into the highly anticipated return of the festival veterans.Tedeschi Trucks Band’s 2016 LOCKN’ set featured an exciting mix of originals and covers, including an exceptional version of Derek and the Dominos’ “Keep On Growing”. Now, you can watch the pro-shot video of the performance, courtesy of LOCKN’ Festival and Jonathan Healey, below.Setlist: Tedeschi Trucks Band | LOCKN’ Festival | Arrington, VA | 8/29/16Don’t Know What It Means, The Letter (The Box Tops), Laugh About It, Within You Without You (The Beatles), Just As Strange, I Want More, Color of the Blues (George Jones), Leaving Trunk (Sleepy John Estes), Keep On Growing (Derek and the Dominos), Sticks and Stones (Titus Turner), I Pity The Fool (Bobby “Blue” Bland), Bitches Brew (Miles Davis), Let Me Get Bylast_img read more


Side Show Broadway Reboot to Close


first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 4, 2015 Erin Davie and Emily Padgett play conjoined twins Violet and Daisy Hilton in the tuner, a moving true story of two women joined at the hip whose extraordinary bondage brings them fame during the Depression era, but denies them love. Side Show features songs including “I Will Never Leave You” and “Who Will Love Me As I Am?” Side Show View Comments Hollywood director Bill Condon (who wrote the screenplay for Chicago and directed Dreamgirls) makes his Broadway debut with Side Show, which was heavily revised by composer Henry Krieger, librettist/lyricist Bill Russell and Condon, who wrote additional material for the show’s book. Condon has expressed interest in adapting the musical for the big screen. Broadway.com has learned that the new reworking of the short-lived 1997 tuner Side Show is taking down its tent at Broadway’s St. James Theatre, where it started performances on October 28 and officially opened on November 17. The musical revival will close on January 4, 2015.  Step right up, musical fans. It’s your last chance to come look at the freaks on the Great White Way. In addition to Davie and Padgett, Side Show stars Ryan Silverman as Terry Connor, Matthew Hydzik as Buddy Foster, David St. Louis as Jake and Robert Joy as Sir. Featured in the ensemble are Brandon Bieber, Matthew Patrick Davis, Charity Angel Dawson, Lauren Elder, Javier Ignacio, Jordanna James, Kevin Moon Loh, Barrett Martin, Don Richard, Blair Ross, Hannah Shankman, Josh Walker, Con O’Shea-Creal, Derek Hanson and DeLaney Westfall. Discussions are underway for the show to make its London debut. No further information, including a timeline and theater for the production’s UK bow, has been announced. Related Shows The production previously ran at La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, California and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.last_img read more


Watch Michael Arden Sing ‘Out There’ From Hunchback


first_imgAfter our exclusive first listen of Ciara Renée’s “God Help the Outcasts,” we now bring you another track from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Check out the video below as Michael Arden sings “Out There” from the only stage collaboration of Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. Arden and Renée starred as Quasimodo and Esmerelda, respectively, in the La Jolla and Paper Mill Playhouse productions of the musical, alongside Patrick Page and Andrew Samonsky. The album will drop on Ghostlight Records on January 22. View Commentslast_img


School teachers have enough responsibility


first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionAs our children bleed out, bones shattered on classroom floors, as families live with jagged holes left by lives cut short or barely lived, I refuse to be the shoulders onto which you pass the buck.I will do my job and more. I will knit mittens for tiny fingers that have none. I will buy snacks for bellies that would otherwise go without. I will wipe tears, bandage knees, discipline, encourage and cheer. I will teach. I will lie awake in the small hours of the morning, running through nightmare scenarios. And heaven forbid, should the unthinkable happen, I will stand in front of and protect those tiny bodies with my last breath. What I won’t do is absolve you of your responsibility. I voluntarily served in a job, a lifetime ago, that required I be ready and willing to pick up a weapon in defense of you and others. This isn’t that job. I will not pick up a weapon to do this job while you stuff blood-stained dollar bills in your back pockets.Thank you, but my co-workers and I have more than enough to do. This is the job you volunteered for, and you have a constitutional and moral obligation to do it. You will not lay the burden of this responsibility at my classroom door. Tracy CiminoSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Motorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashSchenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departmentsSchenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesSchenectady’s Lucas Rodriguez forging his own path in dance, theater, musiclast_img read more


Beirut blast toll climbs to at least 135


first_imgLebanese rescue teams pulled out bodies and hunted for missing people on Wednesday from the wreckage caused by a massive warehouse explosion that sent a devastating blast wave across Beirut, killing at least 135.Prime Minister Hassan Diab declared three days of mourning from Thursday as early investigations blamed negligence for the explosion at Beirut port, which has left tens of people missing and injured more than 5,000 others.Up to a quarter of a million people were left without homes fit to live in, officials said, after shockwaves smashed building facades, sucked furniture out into streets and shattered windows miles inland. The death toll was expected to rise from the blast, which officials blamed on a huge stockpile of highly explosive material stored for years in unsafe conditions at the port.The explosion was the most powerful ever in Beirut, a city still scarred by civil war that ended three decades ago and reeling from an economic meltdown and a surge in coronavirus infections. The blast rattled buildings on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, about 100 miles (160 km) away.”No words can describe the horror that has hit Beirut last night, turning it into a disaster-stricken city,” President Michel Aoun said in an address to the nation during an emergency cabinet session.Aoun said 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilizers and bombs, was stored for six years at the port after it was seized. Topics :center_img The government was “determined to investigate and expose what happened as soon as possible, to hold the responsible and the negligent accountable,” he said.An official source familiar with preliminary investigations blamed the incident on “inaction and negligence”, saying “nothing was done” by committees and judges involved in the matter to order the removal of hazardous material.The cabinet ordered port officials involved in storing or guarding the material to be put under house arrest, ministerial sources told Reuters.Officials have not confirmed the origin of an initial blaze that sparked the explosion, although a security source and local media said it was started by welding work.’Collapse of Lebanon’For many, the blast was a dreadful reminder of the 1975-1990 civil war that tore the nation apart and destroyed swathes of Beirut, much of which had since been rebuilt.Ordinary Lebanese, who have lost jobs and watched savings evaporate in the country’s financial crisis, blamed politicians who have overseen decades of state corruption and bad governance.”This explosion seals the collapse of Lebanon. I really blame the ruling class,” said Hassan Zaiter, 32, a manager at the heavily damaged Le Gray Hotel in downtown Beirut.Relatives gathered at a cordon to Beirut port seeking information on those still missing as the search continued. Many of those killed were port and custom employees, people working in the area or those driving nearby during the Tuesday evening rush hour. Some victims were hurled out to sea by the powerful blast.The Red Cross was coordinating with the Health Ministry to set up morgues as hospitals were overwhelmed. Health officials reported that hospitals were running out of beds and equipment to attend to the injured.Beirut’s Clemenceau Medical Center was “like a slaughterhouse, blood covering the corridors and the lifts,” said Sara, one of its nurses.Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud told Al Hadath TV that collective losses from the blast might reach as high as $15 billion, including indirect losses related to business. “This is the killer blow for Beirut, we are a disaster zone,” said Bilal, a man in his 60s, in the downtown area.The World Bank Group said on Wednesday it would work with Lebanon’s partners to mobilize public and private financing for reconstruction and recovery. It was unclear what effect the disaster would have on the country’s difficult negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, however.Offers of international support poured in.Gulf Arab states, who in the past were major financial supporters of Lebanon but recently stepped back because of what they say is Iranian meddling, sent planes with medical equipment and other supplies.Turkey said it would send 20 doctors to help treat the injured, as well as medical and relief assistance. Iraq pledged fuel aid, while Iran offered food and a field hospital.Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tweeted: “We sympathize with the dear Lebanese citizens and stand by them in the painful tragedy of the Beirut port explosion … Patience in the face of this incident will be a golden leaf of honor for Lebanon.”The United States, Britain and other Western nations, which have been demanding political and economic change in Lebanon, also offered aid. Germany, the Netherlands and Cyprus offered specialized search and rescue teams.Two French planes were expected to arrive on Thursday with specialist rescue personnel and equipment, and President Emmanuel Macron was due to visit on Thursday.Food security”This is a catastrophe for Beirut and Lebanon,” Mayor Jamal Itani told Reuters while inspecting damage.The port district was left a tangled wreck, disabling the nation’s main route for imports needed to feed a nation of more than 6 million people.The country’s main grain silo at the port was destroyed in the blast and Beirut Governor Abboud said a crisis might develop without international intervention.Lebanon was already struggling to house and feed refugees fleeing conflict in neighboring Syria and has no trade or other ties with its only other neighbor Israel.”On a scale, this explosion is scaled down from a nuclear bomb rather than up from a conventional bomb,” said Roland Alford, managing director of British explosive ordnance disposal firm Alford Technologies. “This is huge.”The blast also prompted the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on Wednesday to postpone its verdict in the trial over the 2005 bombing that killed ex-Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri to Aug. 18. The tribunal’s decision had been expected this Friday.The U.N.-backed court put on trial four suspects from the Iranian-backed Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah. Hariri and 21 others were killed by a big truck bomb in another area of the Beirut waterfront, about 2 km (about one mile) from the port.White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the US government had not totally ruled out the possibility that Tuesday’s explosion was an attack, and said it is still gathering intelligence on the blast.last_img read more


Governor Wolf Urges Pennsylvanians to Take Precautions During Extreme Cold Weather


first_imgGovernor Wolf Urges Pennsylvanians to Take Precautions During Extreme Cold Weather Press Release,  Public Safety,  Transportation,  Weather Safety Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and state officials today warned residents to stay safe while outdoors this week as temperatures are forecast to be below zero with wind chills making it feel like it is minus 35 degrees in many locations throughout Pennsylvania beginning overnight tonight through Thursday.“As always, safety for Pennsylvanians and travelers to our state is my priority,” Gov. Wolf said. “And dangerously cold weather means staying inside as much as possible, paying attention to weather forecasts, and checking on friends and neighbors, especially the elderly.”The current forecast predicts the winter storm to spread several inches of snow across the commonwealth starting today and lasting through Tuesday afternoon. After the storm, from Wednesday into Thursday, gusty winds and extremely cold temperatures will make for conditions that can cause hypothermia and frostbite in just a few minutes of being outdoors.Hypothermia and frostbite are two dangerous, potentially fatal, conditions that can occur during extreme cold weather. Signs of hypothermia, an unusual drop in body temperature, include shivering, confusion, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color, most often in the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes, and can permanently damage your body or lead to amputation.“It is going to be dangerously cold this week, and you can get frostbite or hypothermia from being outside for just 10 minutes,” Dr. Rachel Levine, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, said. “Put staying safe and warm at the very top of your to-do list for the next couple of days. If you must be outdoors, know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia, and cover all exposed skin.”The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says wet clothing can accelerate a hazardous drop in body temperature. To protect against this and the extreme cold, know how to layer clothing properly.The CDC says effective layering involves:Inner Layer: This layer goes against your skin and should hold body heat and not absorb moisture. Choose materials made of wool, silk or polypropylene instead of cotton.Insulation Layer: This layer retains your body heat to keep you warm. Fabrics which work best include natural fibers like wool or goose down. Synthetic fleece can also be effective. This is often known as a “soft shell.”Outer Layer: Think of this as your “hard shell.” It protects you from wind, rain, and snow. It should preferably be water and wind resistant to reduce the loss of body heat.The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) is maintaining contact with county emergency management personnel to ensure that they have the resources needed to keep citizens safe. PEMA staff, along with personnel from other state agencies, are ready to provide any necessary state agency assistance when needed.In anticipation of forecasted snow and extreme cold, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation issued road restrictions to increase safety, reduce accidents and allow PennDOT crews to maintain roads uninhibited. A map of current road restrictions can be found here.To help make decisions regarding winter travel, motorists are encouraged to “Know Before You Go” by checking conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 860 traffic cameras. Users can also see plow truck statuses and travel alerts along a specific route using the “Check My Route” tool.511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.A vehicle emergency kit should be prepared or restocked containing items such as non-perishable food, water, first-aid supplies, warm clothes, a blanket, cell phone charger, and a small snow shovel. Motorists should tailor their kits to any specific needs that they or their families have such as baby supplies, extra medication, and pet supplies.Motorists should be aware that all vehicles should be fully clear of ice and snow before winter travel. If snow or ice is dislodged or falls from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or serious bodily injury, the operator of that vehicle could receive a $200 to $1,000 fine.When winter weather occurs, PennDOT urges drivers to be extra cautious around operating snow-removal equipment. When encountering a plow truck, drivers should:Stay at least six car lengths behind an operating plow truck and remember that the main plow is wider than the truck.Be alert since plow trucks generally travel much more slowly than other traffic.When a plow truck is traveling toward you, move as far away from the center of the road as is safely possible, and remember that snow can obscure the actual snow plow width.Never try to pass or get between several trucks plowing side by side in a “plow train.” The weight of the snow thrown from the plow can quickly cause smaller vehicles to lose control, creating a hazard for nearby vehicles.Never travel next to a plow truck since there are blind spots where the operator can’t see, and they can occasionally be moved sideways when hitting drifts or heavy snowpack.Keep your lights on to help the operator better see your vehicle. Also remember that under Pennsylvania state law, vehicle lights must be on every time a vehicle’s wipers are on due to inclement weather.In addition to driving safely around plows, motorists are urged to drive according to conditions. If motorists encounter snow or ice-covered roads, they should slow down, increase their following distance and avoid distractions. Last winter in Pennsylvania, preliminary data shows that there were 440 crashes resulting in 221 injuries on snowy, slushy or ice-covered roadways where aggressive-driving behaviors such as speeding or making careless lane changes were factors.PennDOT has created a Winter Safety media center, including social-media-sized graphics highlighting winter driving preparations and operations at www.penndot.gov in the “Media Center” under the “About Us” footer.For more information on safe winter travel, an emergency kit checklist and information on PennDOT’s winter operations including a video, visit PennDOT.gov/winter. Additional winter driving and other highway safety information is available at PennDOT.gov/safety.To report an accident or other emergencies on the PA Turnpike, dial *11 on your mobile phone. If there is an accident, move the car out of travel lane and onto shoulder, if possible, and stay in the vehicle. For more information about PA Turnpike conditions follow the conversation by using www.paturnpike.com/travel/twitter. You may also see advisories by clicking on the travel ticker on www.PATurnpike.com.Residents with low incomes are encouraged to see if they qualify for participation in the state’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The program, overseen by the Department of Human Services, helps some families pay their heating bills. For more information and to apply visit the Department of Human Services at www.dhs.pa.gov.Information about hypothermia and frostbite, as well as additional information on how to stay safe during and after a snowstorm, can be found on the Department of Health’s website at www.health.pa.gov or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. January 29, 2019center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more


Mali: Joint forces struggling to disarm armed groups


first_imgRelated Mali rebel groups to sign peace deals France wants Mali armed groups sanctioned for peace deal delays Its been almost two months since a peace deal was signed to stop violence in the country. The deal signed in Algeria was to see the disarmament of government allied armed groups. But that is proving an uphill task for the joint forces. CCTV’s Leslie Mirungu reports. South Sudan forces and armed militia clashlast_img


Government rejects calls for inquiry into West Ham’s Olympic Stadium move


first_img Press Association Trusts from Arsenal, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Charlton, Fulham and QPR – as well as two clubs who failed in bids to take over the stadium in Leyton Orient and Tottenham – all called on the Government to open a case but their request was thrown out on Thursday. “West Ham United has a concession at the stadium and their contributions reflect that status. The contract, awarded after an open public competition, has been widely scrutinised and tested in court,” a statement released by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport read. “The stadium remains in public ownership (E20 Stadium LLP – a joint venture between the London Legacy Development Corporation and Newham Council) and the profits from its multiple uses will flow to the taxpayer. “The agreement with West Ham United, including their contribution to transformation costs and rent, followed an open competitive process, which was delivered under EU rules, conducted visibly and exposed to significant scrutiny. “The outcome has been tested in the courts and upheld. As the winning bid this constituted the best available return for the taxpayer and secures the commercial viability of a national asset for the next 100 years.” While West Ham will host all of their home matches at the stadium, which will sport West Ham livery and colours, British Athletics also have a deal to take control of the arena for one month every summer – with the likes of the Anniversary Games and the 2017 World Athletics Championships set to be hosted there. The Hammers will take on a 99-year deal as anchor tenants starting from next season but the decision to hand West Ham the keys to the stadium has been questioned ever since it was first announced two and a half years ago. A BBC documentary aired last month pointed out how much West Ham would be saving due to their agreement with the London Legacy Development Corporation and, since then, eight supporters’ groups started a petition for an inquiry into the details of the decision. center_img The Government has rejected a request from a host of supporters’ clubs for an inquiry into West Ham’s move to the Olympic Stadium.last_img read more