‘It’s the start of a new era!’ Everton fans react to Juan Mata rumours

first_img1 It’s hardly unexpected but it appears Juan Mata will be leaving Manchester United this summer.It seems new boy Zlatan Ibrahimovic will nab his No.8 shirt, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan seems set to land his role on the right wing, after Borussia Dortmund announced the Armenian’s move on Saturday.And, according to reports, Everton are currently leading the race to snap up the majestic Spaniard, who netted in the Red Devils’ 2-1 FA Cup final win over Crystal Palace in May.Toffees fans could be in for a fun summer after investment from new owner Farhad Moshiri with Mata reports following rumours linking them with Belgium international Axel Witsel.But not all Everton supporters back Mata as a possible signing.Check out what fans had to say on Twitter below… Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata last_img read more

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Fortuna boys use big second half to pull away for win over Del Norte

first_imgFortuna >> Fortuna head coach Alex Rump is well aware of his team’s on-again, off-again struggles to open games.Luckily for the Huskies, they put together quite a second half to make things anything but stressful down the stretch.Getting contributions from everywhere Rump could look, the Fortuna boys basketball used an impressive second-half showing to pull away for a 68-44 win over Del Norte at Damon Gymnasium on Friday night.When it was all said and done, the Huskies outscored the Warriors …last_img

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R2.2bn upgrade for South Africa’s rail system

first_imgRay Maota Prasa’s investment in rail infrastructure aims to make rail the backbone of transport systems in the country, as it is able to carry high volumes of commuters. (Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library) Prasa CEO Lucky Montana said that the new signalling upgrades and the introduction of new technology will ensure operational efficiency, unlock capacity and improve reliability. (Image: Prasa) MEDIA CONTACTS • Nana Zenani  Prasa: Group Head of Communication  +27 71 860 8500 RELATED ARTICLES • Motor industry, government talk more jobs • Gautrain’s Pretoria route rolls out • Public rail to get R97-billion revamp • Impressive growth at South Africa’s Ngqura PortThe Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) plans to install a modern signalling system to enable the country’s trains to run more smoothly.Prasa announced its plans at the Railway Safety Imbizo in Mamelodi East, Pretoria, on 12 October 2011, coinciding with Transport Month in South Africa.The agency has set aside R1.9-billion (US$242-million) to overhaul trains’ signalling systems.The investment forms part of Prasa’s aim to make rail the backbone of transport systems in the country, as it is able to carry high volumes of commuters.Prasa CEO Lucky Montana said: “The new signalling upgrades and the introduction of new technology will ensure operational efficiency, unlocking capacity and improving reliability.”Deputy Minister of Transport Jeremy Cronin said that rail was a far safer mode of transport as there were few accidents and fatalities than road-based transport.Phase one of the signal upgrade has already begun at the Midway-Lenz corridor in the south of Johannesburg.Improvements will also be done in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape in November.Doubling rail tracks and improving stationsPrasa has also set aside R373-million ($47-million) to double rail tracks at Pretoria’s Eerste Fabrieke and Greenview, build a new station at Greenville and upgrade the Mamelodi Gardens and Pienaarspoort stations.The doubling of 4.5km of tracks is currently under way between the Eerste Fabrieke and Greenview stations.“In both Greenview and Midway-Lenz we deal with higher than normal passenger numbers and have prioritised these and other high-volume corridors in line with passenger demand to deliver quality passenger rail services,” said Montana.According to Prasa, the Mamelodi to Pretoria CBD corridor accommodates 91 000 commuters daily.With Metrorail running only a single train in and out of the section between Eerste Fabrieke and Pienaarspoort via Mamelodi Gardens, the doubling of the rail tracks will enhance the ability to transport the 31 000 commuters during peak hour.Metrorail is Prasa’s commuter rail operator.Prasa’s predictions are that peak-hour traffic at these stations will almost double in the coming years, warranting an improvement to the facilities.“With the finalisation of the rail-doubling project and the introduction of bi-directional signalling, our rail operator will be able to almost double the number of daily trains on the corridor, necessitating increasing the combined capacity of these three key stations from handling approximately 39 000 people per day to 58 000 people per day in future,” said Montana.After the upgrade the Mamelodi Gardens station will have two island platforms instead of one, and one platform will be extended by 50m.A new station with two island platforms and four platforms will be constructed at Greenview, while a contractor is still being procured for the construction at Pienaarspoort station.Montana added: “Our aim as Prasa is to improve the running time in the corridor from a 30-minute waiting period to five to seven minutes – effectively moving approximately 60 000 people to their areas of employment on time.”Job creationThe rail improvement project will create 398 jobs.The current phase of the project has already generated 268 jobs, from which 181 are specifically for the unskilled, semi-skilled and nearby communities.The next phase will produce 130 jobs, while permanent jobs will also be available after the end of construction as stations will need personnel.Relocation of residentsResidents living in houses close to the railway tracks have been relocated, with Prasa making sure the individuals are satisfied with the new arrangements.According to Prasa, the owners were approached with offers to purchase and were allowed to negotiate the terms of sale. The owners were also able choose their new houses and preferred locations, with Prasa overseeing the relocation process.Prasa will also help with the registration process.Montana said: “We want to ensure that the upgrading of the stations does not interfere with the stability of the communities located close to our rail tracks. We want to treat them with the upmost dignity and respect during their relocation.”last_img read more

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US visit ‘important for SA economy’

first_img27 June 2013United States President Barack Obama’s visit to South Africa will not only help strengthen ties between the two countries but will also serve as an important showcase for the economy, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.Briefing journalists in Pretoria on Wednesday, Davies said South Africa would use the opportunity to showcase to external trade partners that the country, and the rest of Africa, had growth prospects that could rope in investments, especially in infrastructure, trade and development.“The reality is that Africa is turning around … We are looking at partnerships that will strengthen our economy,” Davies said, adding that for this to happen, South Africa had to focus on integrating African countries into the global economy through infrastructure development on the continent.Obama arrives in South Africa for an official working visit on Friday evening. The visit forms part of a three-country African tour, consisting of South Africa, Senegal and Tanzania.President Jacob Zuma will hold talks with Obama in Pretoria on Saturday.US, African relationsThe White House said Obama would use his visits to reinforce the importance that the US places on growing ties with countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and would “underscore the President’s commitment to broadening and deepening cooperation between the United States and the people of sub-Saharan Africa to advance regional and global peace and prosperity”.Davies said the US was a major player from whom South Africa could benefit. The two countries enjoy good trade relations, which Davies acknowledged could be improved upon.“Our trade has been characterised by a proportion of value-added products coming from South Africa, which makes it of strategic significance to us.”The United States continues to feature high on the list of South Africa’s trade and investment partners. It is a major export market for South African products and an important source of foreign direct investment.There are currently about 600 US companies trading in SA, which provide more than 120 000 local jobs while contributing about 30 percent of their profits to local corporate social projects.South Africa’s total trade with the US was in excess of R130-billion in 2011, with SA enjoying a trade surplus of approximately R18-billion, a 14.4% increase over 2010. South Africa is also the US’s biggest market in Africa, accounting for $7.3-billion of American exports.African Growth and Opportunity ActDavies said South Africa would also use the visit to highlight the importance of the extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).Agoa, which allows southern African countries to ship certain products to the United States tariff-free, expires in 2015, but African countries are pushing for its extension.“Our message is that we would like to see a rollover, an extension of the Agoa for a reasonable period of time, along more or less the architecture of Agoa at the moment,” Davies said.Some in the US congress are questioning whether South Africa should be allowed to continue to be included in Agoa because they think the country is developed. Davies said it would be detrimental for the American market if SA were excluded.“South Africa has been a beneficiary of Agoa, but we also think that Agoa is a very significant instrument to benefit the US, not least because it is a widely appreciated measure by the US, which builds the US a high degree of goodwill in its relations with other countries on the African continent.”Around 43% of SA exports, totalling to about $4.6-billion, have entered the US under the Agoa programme and this, according to Davies, has helped support the development of the economy, notably in manufacturing.Sasol aims to go big in LouisianaAlso speaking at Wednesday’s briefing was Sasol group executive Maurice Radebe, who agreed that Agoa had played a major role in stimulating exports to the US, consolidating the high-tech industry in South Africa and creating local supply chains.Sasol announced in December that was beginning the front-end engineering and design phase for a gas-to-liquids plant it is planning to build in Lake Charles, southwest Louisiana in the United States.The project would allow for the beneficiation of US gas reserves by leveraging Sasol’s gas-to-liquids (GTL) experience and technology.The facility would be the first of its kind in the US, producing four-million tons annually or 96 000 barrels per day of high-quality transportation fuel, including GTL diesel and other chemical products.Radebe emphasised the positive impact that the project – the largest single manufacturing investment in the history of Louisiana – would have on both countries.“The benefits of these projects also extend back at home. It is a game-changing partnership and it is a compelling example of how bilateral trade can yield substantial foreign direct investment – which represents a win-win for both the USA and SA economies.”CEO of the Ford Motor Company and president of the Board of the American Chamber of Commerce, Jeff Nemeth, told Wednesday’s briefing that Obama’s visit would highlight the fact that the US has been a major investor in South Africa over the years.“The visit shows that the USA sees SA as a major trading partner … The fact that he is travelling here during his tour shows the strategic importance of South Africa,” Nemeth said.Nemeth also highlighted the importance of Agoa and the benefits it has on South African companies gaining access to American markets.Given the current economic climate, Nemeth said the African continent was the best place to invest in, as evidenced by the high returns it had given foreign direct investors over the last three years. Taking that into consideration, and the fact that the US was looking for a place to invest money in, Obama’s visit was highly significant, Nemeth said.Obama’s itineraryObama will meet Zuma on Saturday and later hold a “town hall” event with young African leaders at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto Campus. He will also hold talks with Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, chairperson of the African Union Commission.US First Lady Michelle Obama, meanwhile, will have tea with Zuma’s wife, Thobeka Zuma. The Obamas will then attend an official dinner hosted by Zuma.On Sunday, they will fly to Cape Town to visit the prison museum on Robben Island. Obama will then join retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu for a stop at a community centre focused on healthcare. He will go on to give a speech at the University of Cape Town.Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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RFS proposal offers long awaited good news for biodiesel

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Corn and soybean growers waited, and waited, and waited for the Environmental Protection Agency to release Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rules that determine the volume of Ohio biofuels blended into the nation’s fuel supply. By law, EPA is supposed to finalize biomass-based diesel volumes 14 months in advance of the applicable year, making the agency significantly overdue in setting the volumes for 2014, 2015 and 2016 with the release of the proposal in May.After the long wait ethanol supporters were not pleased with the RFS numbers, but for biodiesel backers it was a different story, which will likely be reflected in the 60-day public comment period that ends on July 27.“This is an RFS that is not perfect, but it is an RFS that works well for biodiesel,” said Adam Ward with the Ohio Soybean Association. “The demand will not only come from the biodiesel category, but also the advanced biofuel category — biodiesel is the only domestic fuel that qualifies as an advanced biofuel. The OSA is working with American Soybean Association (ASA) and the National Biodiesel Board to craft comments on the RFS during the comment period.”Ward said that biodiesel production broadly benefits agriculture by supporting the soybean oil market.“It is important for Ohio soybean growers to understand that in the past the oil market has been driving the meal market. With the demand for soybean oil increasing with the RFS that is now back in place, we should see lowering soybean meal costs because of oil demand being up,” Ward said. “That benefits everyone. Animal agriculture should see some reduced feed costs with the new RFS in place and more demand for soybean oil.”EPA proposes setting the biomass-based diesel and the total Advanced Biofuels volumes at the following levels:2014 — 1.63 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel, 2.68 billion gallons of advanced biofuels2015 — 1.7 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel, 2.9 billion gallons of advanced biofuels2016 — 1.8 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel, 3.4 billion gallons of Advanced biofuels2017 — 1.9 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel“The proposal is a step in the right direction, and we appreciate the administration’s efforts to strengthen and grow the RFS,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of government affairs for the National Biodiesel Board. “However, there is plenty of room for improvement before it is finalized in November. We intend to make sure policy makers in Washington understand biodiesel’s full potential to help grow the economy and strengthen our energy security while sharply reducing pollution.”The volumes proposed by EPA are an increase over the previous proposal, which would have set the biomass-based diesel requirements at 1.28 billion gallons for 2014 and 2015. The increases proposed by EPA will provide some benefit and certainty to the domestic biodiesel industry. However, ASA believes the EPA and the Obama Administration could do more to capitalize on additional benefits that could be achieved with more robust biomass-based diesel volumes.EPA intends to finalize the rule by Nov. 30, 2015.last_img read more

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Agricultural Trade Promotion Program funding

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest On Jan. 31, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced details of a key component of the Trump administration’s trade mitigation package designed to address the effects of retaliatory measures impacting exports of U.S. agricultural products. The Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) provides additional funding to help U.S. exporters develop new markets and help mitigate the adverse effects of other countries’ tariff and non-tariff barriers.The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) is one of 57 organizations that will receive ATP funding through the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).“USMEF appreciates the Trump administration’s recognition of the extremely competitive environment U.S. agricultural products face in the global marketplace, and how changes in trading partners’ tariff rates can put these products at a significant disadvantage,” said Dan Halstrom, USMEF President and CEO. “As authorized by FAS, this funding will help USMEF and other organizations defend existing market share and develop new destinations for U.S. agricultural products, which is especially important at a time when trade disputes and preferential trade agreements have further intensified competition in many key markets.”last_img read more

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Try Google APIs From the Browser with Google APIs Explorer

first_imgToday Google announced the Google APIs Explorer, a Web-based interface for experimenting with the company’s various APIs. So far only seven APIs are supported, Google the company promises to add more soon.The Explorer lets you select a supported service and view a list of supported methods. You can then select a method, fill in the parameters, execute the command and get the results. It seems like a great way to try out an API without writing code. Google’s announcement has a few sample requests to get started with. klint finley The following APIs are currently supported:Buzz APIsCustomSearch APIDiacritize APIModerator APISearch API for ShoppingTranslate APIURL Shortener APIGoogle also launched an interface for working with the Google Apps API without writing code. How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Why You Love Online Quizzes 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Tags:#APIs#hack Related Posts Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more

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A Commercial Building in California Gets a Net-Zero Retrofit

first_imgReduced demand for power is keyUnion officials say that a variety of energy conservation steps were taken to reduce the amount of electricity needed to run the building by about 75% when compared to a conventional commercial building of the same size.Byron Benton, training director for Local 595 of the IBEW-NECA, says advanced controls for lighting and ventilation were instrumental in lowering energy needs. Ambient-light sensors in offices and classrooms turn on LED light fixtures as needed while shades on skylights and windows can be used to darken rooms. Automated windows placed near skylights let hot air out of the building while ground-level windows let cooler air in.Benton says that the heating and cooling system uses a refrigerant rather than forced air or water. “In liquid form, refrigerant takes heat out of the surrounding area,” he tells The Electrical Worker. “Then you can take that gas in the system and redistribute to a part of the building that might need heating. So we aren’t just independently heating a cold area; when possible, we are redistributing heat that is already in the building to where we want it.” California electrical workers have renovated a 46,000-sq.-ft. commercial building in San Leandro into a net-zero energy training center. According to The Electrical Worker online, it is one of the first net-zero projects in the country that transformed an existing commercial building.The Zero Net Energy Center, a project of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), will focus on energy conservation technologies as part of California’s effort to achieve its 2030 net-zero goal for commercial buildings.The training center, which officially opened on May 30, will use a combination of helical wind turbines and photovoltaic panels to reach energy self-sufficiency. At full capacity, the system is capable of producing 139 kW of electricity, which the union says is 10% more than the building would need with “every classroom full, every computer fired up and every office in use.”last_img read more

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