Tuesday, September 21We Break the News

TRAFFIC

Higher tolls, dedicated traffic lanes go into effect for Tokyo Olympics

Higher tolls, dedicated traffic lanes go into effect for Tokyo Olympics

JAPAN, OLYMPICS, Sports, TRAFFIC
A bus moves along an exclusive lane for Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic-related vehicles in Koto Ward, Tokyo, on Monday.  Photo: KYODO The Metropolitan Expressway in Tokyo on Monday adjusted tolls for private vehicles for the Olympic period. Dedicated lanes for Olympic vehicles also went into effect for the Games which start on Friday. Under the system, which will be in effect until Aug 8, tolls for private vehicles using the Metropolitan Expressway will be 1,000 yen higher than usual from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. in a bid to alleviate traffic congestion during the Olympics. The same will apply for the Paralympics from Aug 24 to Sept 5. Buses, taxis, trucks and pre-registered assistive vehicles for disabled people will be exempt from the extra toll. Tolls will be halved from midn...
KZN protests: ‘ANC factions shouldn’t undermine rule of law,’ says DA

KZN protests: ‘ANC factions shouldn’t undermine rule of law,’ says DA

AFRICA, LAW, POLITICS, PROTESTS, South Africa, TRAFFIC
The DA has called on the ANC in KZN to put the province ahead of its factions as chaos erupts over Jacob Zuma's incarceration. Traffic was backlogged on the N2 between Ballito and Mandeni due to protests by Jacob Zuma supporters on Friday. Photograph: WhatsApp The Democratic Alliance (DA) has condemned the wave of illegal ANC protest action currently taking place across the province of KZN as a result of former president Jacob Zuma’s incarceration. The party said it cannot be that internal ANC factions undermine the rule of law, infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens of KZN. It is believed that former president Jacob Zuma’s supporters are responsible for the sporadic protests in the province. From Friday morning, several major roads were closed in KZN namel...
Plane with 28 people on board goes missing in Russia’s Far East region

Plane with 28 people on board goes missing in Russia’s Far East region

CRISIS, HUMAN INTEREST STORIES, INTERNATIONAL, RUSSIA, TRAFFIC, TRAGEDY, Transport, TRAVEL
Russian Air Force Antonov AN-26. Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Contact has been lost with a passenger plane carrying 28 people in Russia's Far East, the country's emergencies ministry said on Tuesday. The AN-26 airplane was flying from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to Palana in the Kamchatka Peninsula when it did not make a scheduled communication, the ministry said. The Interfax and RIA Novosti agencies quoted the emergencies ministry as saying that the search and rescue teams were on their way to the area. There were 22 passengers and six crew members on board. An investigation has been launched, and a search mission is underway. Two helicopters and an airplane have been deployed to inspect the missing plane's route, local officials said. The plane was on approa...
After a 17 year war over jet subsidies, US and EU eye a truce

After a 17 year war over jet subsidies, US and EU eye a truce

HUMAN INTEREST STORIES, INTERNATIONAL, TRAFFIC, TRANSFER, Transport, TRAVEL, UK, USA, WORLD
A deal to end or pause world’s largest corporate trade war will help dozens of industries caught in tit-for-tat tariffs. The dispute between the US and EU dates back to 2004 over subsidies to Boeing and Airbus [File: Edgar Su/Reuters] The United States and Europe are speeding efforts to reach a pact to end a 17-year-old dispute over aircraft subsidies but may settle for a prolonged truce in recent tariff wars, people familiar with the matter said. A deal to either end or pause the world’s largest corporate trade dispute would grant relief to dozens of other industries affected by tit-for-tat tariffs that were suspended in March. They face a renewed trade war within weeks if there is no progress. US Trade Representative Katherine Tai discussed the dispute in her first face-to-f...
Rwandair halts direct flights to Uganda over spike in Covid-19 cases

Rwandair halts direct flights to Uganda over spike in Covid-19 cases

AFRICA, COVID-19, EAST AFRICA, Rwanda, TRADE, TRAFFIC, Transport, TRAVEL, UGANDA
Rwanda’s national flag carrier has indefinitely suspended flights to and from Uganda, as the latter grapples with a spike in coronavirus infections. “Due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in Uganda, RwandAir announces the suspension of its flights to Entebbe [International Airport] effective June 10, 2021, until further notice,” RwandAir said in a statement late on Thursday. The airline advised affected customers to request a refund or rebook and fly at a later date once flights resume. A record 1,438 new infections were registered in Uganda on Thursday, bringing the cumulative tally to 56,949. The country’s COVID-19 death toll crossed 400 this week, with health authorities blaming the deteriorating situation on citizens’ refusal to comply with safety rules. On Monday, the g...
Private consortium takes over SAA with 51% stake, gov’t has 49%

Private consortium takes over SAA with 51% stake, gov’t has 49%

AFRICA, CRISIS, South Africa, TRADE, TRAFFIC, Transport, TRAVEL
South African Airways will now be 51% owned by a private consortium, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan announced Friday. At a virtual press conference, Gordhan said "The government has agreed that the financial partner will hold 51% of the shares and the government 49%." The Takatso consortium consists of the pan-African investor group Harith Global Partners and the aviation group Global Aviation, Gordhan added. Africa's second-largest airline was placed on a safeguard plan in December 2019 to avoid bankruptcy. In April, the independent administrators in charge of its restructuring declared SAA solvent again. The 635 million euros restructuring plan was followed by a large-scale layoff plan. South Africa’s national airline was heavily indebted and unable to ...

Flying taxi start-up Vertical Aerospace plots $2bn Osmond SPAC merger

DIGITAL, SMART PHONES, TECHNOLOGY, TRAFFIC, Transport, TRAVEL
Stephen Fitzpatrick's Vertical Aerospace is close to agreeing a merger with a SPAC set up by Hugh Osmond, Sky News learns. A British 'flying taxi' company set up by the founder of OVO Energy is in advanced talks about a $2bn 'blank cheque' merger that will see another major British technology company heading for the US public markets. Sky News can exclusively reveal that Vertical Aerospace, which was established by Stephen Fitzpatrick five years ago, is close to sealing a deal with Broadstone Acquisition Corp that will see it become a publicly traded company in New York. City sources said the merger with Broadstone - which was established by the businessman Hugh Osmond last year - could be announced as soon as Thursday. They added that the deal was likely to value Vertical...
Airlines Schedule Extra Portugal Flights To Repatriate Brits

Airlines Schedule Extra Portugal Flights To Repatriate Brits

DIPLOMACY, INTERNATIONAL, TOURISM, TRAFFIC, Transport, TRAVEL, WORLD
United Kingdom airlines are scrambling to lay on extra flights to Portugal so that Brits can make it back home before Portugal is placed on the UK’s Amber list. The Iberian nation was removed from the UK’s Green list of safe countries to visit on Thursday after transport secretary Grant Shapps said the presence of the Delta variant (Indian) and an increasing positivity rate was behind the move. The changes to the UK’s traffic light-like system of rating counties based on their infection rates will come into effect at 04:00 on June 8th. Any person arriving in the UK from Portugal after then must self-isolate at home for ten days and is required to take two expensive post-arrival  COVID-19 PCR tests. The travel industry has called the sudden move by the UK government as being in...
The EU Bans Belarus Airlines And Reroutes Flights Around Its Airspace

The EU Bans Belarus Airlines And Reroutes Flights Around Its Airspace

INTERNATIONAL, TRAFFIC, Transport, TRAVEL, WORLD
International relations are still tense following the shocking arrest of journalist Roman Protasevich by the Belarusian government last month in which it forced the plane he was aboard to land in Minsk. European and U.S. governments have been engaged in an apparent tit for tat with Belarus and Lukashenko's government following the incident. European Union ambassadors on Friday approved a plan to ban Belarus airlines from flying over EU territory or landing in EU airports. European Union airlines will be prohibited from flying over Belarus as well, according to Reuters. That affects about 400 civilian flights that usually fly over Belarus every day, according to European air traffic control agency Eurocontrol. That includes 300 overflights, about 100 operated by EU or British ...

Government moves forward on controversial new driving law for South Africa

AFRICA, HUMAN INTEREST STORIES, POLICE, South Africa, South African Parliament, TRAFFIC, Transport
The Department of Transport says that it will stand firm on its decision to introduce a zero-tolerance drunk driving regulation in South Africa’s planned National Road Traffic Amendment Bill. The bill introduces a total prohibition for the use and consumption of alcohol by all motor vehicle operators on South African public roads. It does this by deleting reference to any alcohol content in the blood or breath specimen of motor vehicle drivers on the road in South Africa. The National Road Traffic Act (NRA) currently enables those who have consumed alcohol to get behind the wheel provided they are under the blood alcohol limit. These laws differentiate between normal drivers and drivers who hold professional driving permits. Nearly all of the public submissions on the b...