Bottas can turn it up to 11 in Spain

first_imgValtteri Bottas can add his name to one of Formula One’s longest sequences by following up his breakthrough win in Russia with another triumph when the European season starts in Spain this weekend.The Finn, fresh from his first grand prix victory with champions Mercedes in Russia, is the man most likely to become the 11th different winner in a row at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya.No other track on the calendar has had such a variety of winners over the past decade, an ironic fact given that it is the most familiar to drivers from winter testing and was once famed for its predictability.Last year it was Dutch 18-year-old Max Verstappen who became the sport’s youngest winner when he triumphed for Red Bull, on his team debut, after both Mercedes drivers collided at the start.In 2012, it was now-departed Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado — a one-hit wonder — who handed Williams a surprise victory that remains their most recent.Ferrari’s championship leader Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton, 13 points behind the German, will start as favourites and success for either could be an omen given that both went on to take the title last time they won in Spain.But Bottas, who joined Mercedes from Williams in January as replacement for retired 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg, is the best bet to continue the streak of different winners in Spain even if he has yet to finish higher than fourth there.“Getting that first win definitely gives me a lot of confidence that I can do it, even though I always knew I had the ability,” he said after Sochi.“And now it’s done, I just want to do it again and again.”RICCIARDO REVIVALThe only other driver from the leading trio of teams yet to triumph in Barcelona is Verstappen’s Australian team mate Daniel Ricciardo, but the Red Bull has lagged Mercedes and Ferrari on pace so far this year.That will surely change, with the flow of upgrades set to speed up now that teams are closer to their factories, and Red Bull have some big chassis modifications in the pipeline with engine improvements still to come.“I hope the upgrade will give us a chance to really fight with Mercedes and Ferrari or at least get us closer,” said Ricciardo.The driver of car number 11, Force India’s Mexican Sergio Perez, has racked up 14 successive points finishes and he too will have aerodynamic updates on his car.Of the current crop, only Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso have won twice at the Barcelona circuit with their first victories in 2005 and 2006 respectively.Alonso will consider it a bonus to get as far as the starting grid on home soil, having failed to make it even that far in Sochi before his car broke down, in his last race before heading to the United States and the Indianapolis 500.“I’m not sure what we can expect from this weekend,” said the Spaniard. “We’re expecting some various new parts…but we can’t really focus too much on performance until we have solved our reliability issues.”The lap times will be closely scrutinised, with Barcelona a benchmark for the 2017 regulations that aimed to make the cars five seconds quicker, thanks to wider tyres and revised aerodynamics.There will also be more of a buzz in the paddock, with teams rolling out their ‘motorhomes’ — palatial multi-storeyed hospitality units — for the first time this season.last_img read more

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Shakedown

first_imgFollowing a meeting hosted between the Private Sector Commission (PSC) and its affiliates last week, the body announced in a statement that the combination of poor policies, ill-judged statements and paucity of significant new investments has caused it to lose confidence in the Government. In the statement, concerned members of the business community also pointed to the fact that continued growth and improvement in Guyana cannot continue if investors’ confidence continues to be eroded.Among the concerns raised were the crippling new taxes for the mining sector and the institution of Value Added Tax on necessities, the parking meters, among other issues. The members of the business community therefore expressed a lack of confidence in the manner the Government is managing the economy. This, they added, is reflected in the flight of capital from Guyana and the lack of significant new investments in the last two years.The PSC also pointed to the fact that real estate values are dwindling, property for sale inventory is on the rise and wealth is eroding rapidly. The body called for the Government to create an enabling environment and to increase its engagements with the business community. However, the attempt by the PSC to be heard seems to have failed and their concerns have fallen on deaf ears, as the body was quickly dismissed by this Administration, who publicly stated that the PSC does not represent the interest of all business persons within the country. Does this therefore mean that their concerns are irrelevant? The Government has lashed out at the PSC for what it was a “mischievous, politically motivated statement” and even called their statement a thinly veiled attempt to embarrass and discredit the coalition Government.However, despite the Government’s claims that there are working on improving the investment and business environment in Guyana, and that these efforts have resulted in positive signs of development and progress, members of the business community feel otherwise. Many business owners expressed their dissatisfaction during the parking meter protests held in the City during the past weeks. In a strongly worded statement releases earlier this month, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce (GCCI) and Industry expressed their concern over the potentially escalating impasse between the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) and citizens over the project’s implementation. This body also urged the Government of Guyana to intervene promptly and help to facilitate a solution that would be fair and acceptable to both the M&CC and the citizens of Georgetown; in their statement, the GCCI also acknowledged that the city’s economy is struggling and that further disruptions (parking meter fiasco) would further exacerbate the problem. Should the GCCI then be deemed “mischievous” for their statements?Meanwhile, in the most recent onslaught on the business community, the M&CC declared that city businesses have been operating beyond hours prescribed by the law and the practice must be immediately stopped. As such, the Mayor announced at a public meeting on Friday that businesses are forbidden from opening on public holidays, on Sundays and beyond 16:30h (4:30pm) daily; warning that efforts will be made to ensure law and order is restored. The announcement startled many business operators in Georgetown, some of whom contended that any such move will only further cripple the economy.One business owner argued that the policy is anti-business and does not cater for working-class persons who usually do their shopping after working hours. Although immediately after, the Chief Labour Officer said the Mayor is erroneous in her claims, and that she was in fact referring to the old Act, which indeed stipulated an early closure time for businesses. He pointed to the Shops Consolidation (Amendment) Act 2009 which extends the operating hours for regular shops from 07:30h to 22:00h; restaurants and cook shops for 24 hours per day; and parlour, barber and hairdresser establishments from 06:00h to midnight every day. Whether this latest blunder was an error or not, the already pressured business community is in fear that the Administration and the City Council are anti-business and are in fact in the process of a shakedown.last_img read more

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Former Deputy Chief Elections Officer Vishnu Persaud responds to allegations

first_imgDear Editor,Kindly permit me space in your reputable publication to respond to the article titled “Poor past…Alexander says Vishnu Persaud’s past performance sank him –Myers emerged the more qualified for top GECOM post”, which was authored by Ms. Ariana Gordon and published in the Guyana Chronicle on June 14, 2018.Before doing so specifically, it is pertinent that I note that relative to my rejection for reappointment to the position of Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO), I had taken the position that I would not comment publicly on this matter, notwithstanding the negative blogs about me by persons with pseudonyms, who do not know me or of my professional record.However, some inferences and statements contained within the above referred article dictate that I respond in an albeit futile attempt to undo some of the defamation and stigma that have now accordingly been cast upon me.For the sake of clarity, context and relevance, the specific issues are documented herein in a manner in which responses are attached to individual identified comments attributed to Mr. Alexander.The article opens by informing that “FORMER Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO) of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Vishnu Persaud, was rejected for rehiring on the grounds of his past performance, his alleged history of faking his qualifications to the commission, and the fact that Roxanne Myers has “better qualifications” than him, a top commissioner at the electoral body has said”.The article went further to attribute the following comment to Mr. Vincent Alexander, Commissioner of the Guyana Elections Commission: “He [Justice Patterson] objected to Vishnu based on past performance, based on the other candidate having better qualifications, and based on the history of misrepresentation of qualifications to the commission,” longstanding commissioner Vincent Alexander told the Guyana Chronicle”.The author acknowledged that the “newspaper has been unable to independently verify this,” and the inability to verify defamatory comments should have mitigated against publishing them. Apart from independent verification, I further posit that there was no evidence presented to suggest the aspersions cast against me were anything more than the slanderous utterances of Mr. Alexander. Further, it is disturbing and disingenuous that the author notes the lack of verification of Alexander’s claims, but the word defamation nonetheless commands the headline of the article.In addressing this comment, I will break down my response into three categories as follows:“He [Justice Patterson] objected to Vishnu based on past performance”.It is important to note that while the caption of the article opens with the term “poor past”, the body of the article addresses “past performance” without specifically indicating that my “past performance” was “poor”.However, whereas this comment suggests that my past performance was unacceptable or at the least questionable, there is absolutely nothing in the article to so substantiate.I joined the GECOM in November of 2001 in the capacity of Public Relations Officer (PRO), and worked continuously up to August 2017 – serving in the last three years as DCEO.Throughout my tenure I was never cautioned, reprimanded, rebuked – orally or in writing – by senior management of the GECOM Secretariat or the Commission for failure to honour my responsibilities.On the contrary, from about 2004 up to the end of my stint, I was multi-tasking by carrying the responsibilities of additional substantive offices.In 2004, the person who was employed as Personal Assistant (PA) to the Chairman – a position on the GECOM organogram – was promoted to Logistics Manager. The then Chairman from then onwards had me function as his de facto PA, which I did up to August 2014, when I was appointed DCEO.Simultaneously, I was tasked with the responsibilities of scribe to the Commission, since this responsibility was also being carried by the Chairman’s PA. I carried out this responsibility for about eight years, with a short break when a Legal Officer was employed for a short period.During my stint as PRO, in the run up to the 2011 General and Regional Elections, the Commission as well as political stakeholders complained severely that the Civic and Voter Education (C&VE) programmes of the Commission were severely lacking. Notwithstanding the C&VE function being vested in a substantive manager in a designated position senior to PRO, the Chairman informed the Commission that he was tasking me with significant responsibility for the print and electronic media aspect of C&VE. There was no objection at the level of either Commission or Secretariat.This can be substantiated from the minutes of the relevant statutory meeting of the Commission. I continued to carry this responsibility up to early 2014, when the C&VE Manager demitted office. From then up to August 2017, I carried the C&VE responsibilities in totality because no one was appointed to the vacant position of C&VE Manager. To date, the position remains vacant.Following the 2015 General and Regional Elections, and in preparation for the 2016 Local Government Elections (LGEs), the Human Resources Manager (HRM) resigned. This happened somewhere in the mid-2015. The Secretariat was deeply involved in the training of approximately 12,000 temporary staff for the upcoming LGEs.Upon the resignation of the HRM, the Chief Election Officer assigned me responsibility for management of the Human Resource Division. I carried this responsibility along with that of C&VE simultaneously with my substantive duties of DCEO up to the appointment of a substantive HRM at the beginning of 2017. There was no additional pay, and none was ever sought.While I was DCEO, I acted in the capacity of CEO once, and “held the fort” several times for the CEO when he had to leave the office for a week at a time. I was never cited nor censured for any wrongdoing whatsoever.Naturally, I have seen all of the performance appraisals prepared for me by former Chairman Dr. Steve Surujbally, under whose direct supervision I worked up to August 2014. There is nothing in any of those appraisals that would suggest I was lacking in any area of the regime of responsibilities with which I was tasked.In view of the foregoing, I am at a loss to determine how my past performance could have led to my detriment. I challenge anyone, and specifically the Guyana Chronicle and Mr. Alexander, to dispute the provable facts I have outlined above.Another candidate has better qualifications–This position was put forward without any comparison of the qualifications of the two concerned candidates, specifically in relation to the criteria delineated in the advertisement for the vacant position of DCEO.Under qualifications, the advertised criteria asked for the following: A post graduate degree – it is confirmed that both of the concerned candidates have Master’s Degrees. I have a Master’s in Business Administration from the Anglia Ruskin University, United Kingdom.Qualification in Elections Management –I have a Level 5 Certificate in Management & Leadership, with specific expertise in electoral processes, which was issued by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) – UK through the International Centre for Parliamentary Studies (ICPS) – UK.This is a successor qualification to the Professional Certificate in Electoral Processes which is conducted by the ICPS, and in which I participated in London, UK. The Level 5 Certificate is equivalent to a Higher National Diploma (HND) in the UK.Additionally, I attended two Commonwealth Secretariat-conducted one week training in Elections Management in New Delhi, India and Kinston, Jamaica respectively.Experience in the management of national electionsI was the substantive DCEO for three years, with responsibility for Operations, during which the 2015 General and Regional Elections and 2016 LGEs were conducted.It is important to remind here that I also carried the full responsibilities of C&VE, and Human Resources to a lesser extent during my tenure as DCEO.Also, I beg to submit that all of the responsibilities as described above speak to my knowledge/experience in electoral processes.Excellent oral and written communication skillsI have a Diploma in Public Relations from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, and over 12 years’ experience as Public Relations Officer.In view of the foregoing, I humbly request that facts be put forward to prove that the “other candidate has better qualifications”. I gather that reading towards a PhD as documented in the article may be used as proof of a qualification not yet had?History of Misrepresentation of Qualifications to the CommissionWhereas there is nothing to support this allegation, I need to make it pellucid that at no time have I ever misrepresented my qualifications to the GECOM. During Mr. Alexander’s ongoing tenure at the Commission, I submitted applications with relevant CVs twice for the position of DCEO: in 2014 and 2017 respectively. On both occasions, I presented to the Commission certificates in support of my qualifications documented in the respective CVs. Had I misrepresented myself in any manner, I submit that would have been sufficiently egregious a transgression to warrant my immediate dismissal with prejudice. Let it be known that this was not done, and I have no reprimand on my personnel file.We all know the outcome of my application for appointment to the position in 2018.In 2014, my appointment as DCEO flowed from a transparent recruitment process which involved (i) advertising the vacant position, (ii) receiving applications and shortlisting candidates, and (iii) the conduct of interviews by a panel comprising the GECOM Chairman, four Commissioners (two from both sides) and the Chief Election Officer.Please see https://www.stabroeknews.com/2014/news/guyana/08/14/new-deputy-chief-election-officer-appointed/While I expect that the entire foregoing may not serve to adequately counter a headline and front page misrepresentation accredited to Mr. Alexander, which has already led to my defamation and personal degradation, I wish nonetheless to be on record that the statements are baseless, reckless, defamatory, and malicious in their design.Allow me to close this missive with the firm declaration that, as the DCEO or any role held, I always conducted myself professionally, without fear or favour, and without bias in any area or level of my responsibilities. This was and will always remain the definition of my core as a human being and a professional, which I will steadfastly defend.Related MatterI have noted an article in the Guyana Chronicle of today (June 15, 2018) titled “Vishnu obtained Masters from a Training Centre”. The article opens with the position that the Master’s I hold is “actually a combination of elections-related training courses which he obtained from the International Centre for Parliamentary Studies (ICPS) and not an accredited University…”This is an outrageous, malicious, and outright lie which is obviously aimed at discrediting my suitability for the position in question.I do not have, and I never claimed to have, a Masters in Elections Management from the ICPS or any other institution. I read for, and was awarded, a Master’s of Business Administration by the Anglia Ruskin University, United Kingdom.I will respond in a separate letter for the third and hopefully final time to the accusation of alleged corrupt practices that was made against me.Sincerely,Vishnu PersaudFormer Deputy ChiefElection OfficerGECOMlast_img read more

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Disaster averted…GPL transformer catches afire

first_imgThe services of the GuyOil Gas Station on Regent Street were brought to a stand-still as a Guyana Power and Light (GPL) transformer burst into flames on Thursday.The GPL transformer burst into flames in front of GuyOil Gas Station on Regent StreetAccording to reports, the fire started around noon in the vicinity of Regent and Wellington Street.Ranks of the Guyana Fire Service were quickly on the scene and successfully contained and put out the fire.last_img

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Feds redo disaster plan after Katrina failure

first_imgWASHINGTON – Before the next big hurricane’s winds howl ashore, Homeland Security officials want an emergency communications network operating, emergency medical facilities treating patients and teams dispatched to search for victims at the likely ground zero. In the wake of congressional hearings that exposed the breathtaking failures of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, the Bush administration is retooling its disaster plan to react more quickly to the next catastrophe. Michael Brown, now the ex-chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, became the public face of Katrina’s failure. But the administration is reviewing how other leaders also failed in August to execute a playbook approved just eight months earlier to handle such a disaster. For example, Brown’s boss – Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff – did not invoke special powers in the National Response Plan that would have rushed federal aid to New Orleans when state and local officials said they were swamped. Setting up portable hospitals with federal emergency medical teams to augment local facilities. Helping local and state police catch looters and snipers by providing federal law enforcement officers, if requested. White House spokesman Trent Duffy said the revamped National Response Plan is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks after meetings with hundreds of federal, state and government officials and individuals outside the government. The union representative for FEMA headquarters workers worries about how well the agency will respond next time. FEMA reacted quickly to big disasters when it operated independently, he said, but fell short in its first big test as a member of the massive Homeland Security Department. “You broke your toy and now it doesn’t work,” said Leo Bosner, himself a veteran FEMA disaster specialist. Those on the front lines hope to have a unified philosophy that values flexibility and quick thinking to adapt solutions to a rapidly unfolding human disaster. “When you have a disaster, nothing goes by any kind of plan,” said Dr. Arthur Wallace, leader of the Oklahoma 1 FEMA medical team that was dispatched from its staging area too late to beat Katrina to New Orleans. The administration officials and responders interviewed by the AP offered a few of their own horror stories that they do not want repeated. They also help illustrate changes in the evolving plan. Medical teams: 36 hours late Dr. Wallace’s 34-member medical team from Oklahoma left its Houston staging area Aug. 28 after receiving a request from Louisiana officials to head for the Superdome. Katrina made landfall in Louisiana just after 6 a.m. on Aug. 29, but the team did not arrive until that night. It did not receive its first patients until dawn on Aug. 30. That was 36 hours after FEMA began reporting grave medical problems in the Superdome, such as 400 people with special needs, 45 to 50 patients in need of hospitalization, and a dwindling supply of oxygen. Wallace’s team made it only as far as Baton Rouge the night before the storm came ashore because wind gusts had already made it impossible to reach the Superdome. The sick evacuees had to wait. “The winds were buffeting the trucks pretty bad” when the team halted in the state capital, Wallace recalled. In the future, the administration wants medical teams in position before the storm strikes. Emergency communications command and control U.S. military communications with Louisiana and Mississippi officials were so poor that commanders were forced to use couriers to transmit messages, said Paul McHale, the assistant defense secretary for homeland defense. FEMA’s “Red October” mobile command center rode out the storm at Barksdale Air Force Base near Shreveport, La., six hours from New Orleans. The oversize trailer can establish communications in a stricken area and serve as the nerve center for directing emergency relief. But it did not arrive in the city until several days after Katrina had struck. Bagnal said the administration wants to replace the “clunky” FEMA vehicles with smaller ones that could be kept nearby and either driven or flown to where they are needed. The lack of equipment was not the only problem. White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said it took 10 to 12 days before a fully staffed, multiagency field office for coordinating the response was operating at Katrina’s ground zero. Even then, she said, the staff was thrown together with responders who hadn’t worked with each other. “Going forward, we definitely need a more capable, rapidly deployed and experienced staff that works together on a routine basis – in noncrisis situations as well as catastrophic incidents,” Perino said. Quicker deployment of military forces For several days, thousands of people at the New Orleans convention center had no food, water or medical help. National Guard forces were preoccupied with rooftop rescues and lacked the manpower to feed or assist hungry refugees. “Every single resource we had from Tuesday (Aug. 30) through Thursday (Sept. 1) was committed to picking people off of rooftops and saving people,” recalled Louisiana National Guard Lt. Col. Jacques Thibodeaux, a deputy U.S. marshal in civilian life. It wasn’t until Friday, Sept. 2, that Thibodeaux was told to lead a rescue mission to the convention center. He cobbled together a force of 1,000 from diverse units representing five states. “We took 30 minutes to secure the area. In three hours, we began feeding people. In 30 hours, we had evacuated 19,000,” Thibodeaux said. The first active-duty soldiers did not reach New Orleans until the evening of Sept. 3. The U.S. Northern Command, in Colorado Springs, Colo., had been tracking Katrina before the storm made landfall and could have tapped active-duty assets. But the lone request the command received from federal officials during Katrina’s first day was for six helicopters, spokesman Michael Kucharek said. The White House is pressing Congress to establish the exact circumstances and legal authority that would determine when the active military should take over a disaster. Help for state and local police The 18-member, Dallas-based Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms special response team had the very skills needed to cope with looters and snipers, but its members did not arrive in New Orleans until Sept. 2. “By the time we got here, it wasn’t as bad as the first nights after the storm,” team leader Charles Smith said. The team was trained in serving arrest warrants and executing search warrants, hostage situations, rescues, and riot and crowd control. And Smith brought an additional asset – he was raised and once stationed in New Orleans. The team showed its capabilities two nights after arriving when gunshots were reported in a neighborhood. Smith dispatched agents with night-vision goggles and, as a helicopter appeared overhead, the team observed a shooter in a four-unit housing project. Smith personally talked two men out of the building and arrested one without firing a shot. In the future, the administration wants such teams ready to move as soon as local law enforcement needs assistance. Communicate with the public Before Katrina struck, FEMA had dispatched a sizable public affairs contingent to Louisiana. Their mission, according to the National Response Plan, was “to coordinate a message,” said Jeff Karonis, a Homeland Security public affairs specialist. “Several were experienced communicators in hurricanes of the past. They know what the issues are,” he said. But the messages to the public often were confusing, leaving vital questions unanswered. When would buses rescue people from the Superdome? When would rescuers arrive at the convention center? Was crime rampant? Russ Knocke, the chief spokesman for the Homeland Security Department, said the specialists were hampered by “a significant amount of inaccurate reporting” that “added confusion and added fuel to the fire.” Louisiana officials said the federal experts didn’t coordinate with them. “I don’t think there was ever a meeting about message. It wasn’t a partnership,” said Denise Bottcher, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s spokeswoman. In the future, Knocke said, Homeland Security is “deeply committed to working and communicating with state and local officials.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The department rejected the authority, concluding that it should be invoked only for sudden catastrophic events that offer no time for preparation and not for slow-approaching hurricanes. That will not happen next time, according to officials who described to The Associated Press some of the changes in the administration’s evolving disaster response plan. “There has to be a way to apply federal resources when state and local resources are overwhelmed,” said Joel Bagnal, a special assistant to the president for homeland security who is involved in the administration’s lessons-learned review. Chief among the changes to the original 426-page plan are several ideas for rushing federal resources to a stricken area. They include: Dropping small military or civilian vehicles, packed with communications gear, into a disaster zone by helicopter or driving them from nearby staging areas. last_img read more

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Tottenham transfer latest: Espanyol will fight to keep Spurs goalkeeper target

first_imgEspanyol are determined to keep hold of Tottenham target Pau Lopez.Spurs have been scouting the goalkeeper for some time and they have already had a bid of £1.7million rejected.Lopez, who is capped by Spain at under-21 level, has been tipped for a bright future and he is on the radar of several clubs.However, according to Marca, Espanyol are desperate to keep hold of Lopez and they will fight to keep him this summer.The club are in no need to sell and they are confident that the 21-year-old would rather continue his immediate development with them.Tottenham, though, are expected to test Espanyol’s resolve by returning with a new bid of around £4m in the coming days. 1 Spanish goalkeeper Pau Lopez is wanted by Tottenham last_img

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Bournemouth congratulate Harry Arter and partner Rachel on birth of baby girl

first_img1 Harry Arter in action for Bournemouth Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter has become a father after his partner Rachel gave birth to a baby girl.The 27-year-old’s club congratulated him and his family on the birth of Raine, who was born 14 months after his daughter Renee was delivered stillborn.Bournemouth chairman Jeff Mostyn said on Twitter: “Thrilled with the incredible news @HarryArter2 and Rachel have a baby daughter Raine. With Fondest Love from us all.”Bournemouth’s official account added: “From one family to another, congratulations @HarryArter2!”Arter earlier this week paid tribute to Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, who spoke to him on the pitch to wish him luck with the birth in the wake of City’s win over Bournemouth on Monday.last_img

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World’s largest jet takes to the skies

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.Monday saw a further management shuffle at Airbus, which named a new head of the A380 program. Mario Heinen, previously in charge of the single-aisle A320 plane family, replaces Charles Champion – who also steps down from his role as chief operating officer, but stays on as an adviser to Christian Streiff, who succeeded Humbert as CEO in July. Streiff has imposed a temporary hiring freeze at Airbus and is scheduled to report to shareholders by the end of this month on the full extent of the A380 delays, following a detailed audit. With the A380, Airbus has bet heavily on future demand for very large planes to fly growing numbers of travelers among the world’s increasingly congested major airports. In mid-sized, long-range jets – where Boeing Co. sees much more demand – Airbus is about four years behind its U.S.-based rival’s next-generation plane, the 787 Dreamliner, tailored to cover more destinations with more frequent, nonstop services. The A380 can seat 555 people in three classes, but launch customer Singapore Airlines is expected to operate the plane with a configuration similar to the 474-seat layout chosen for the test flights with passengers. During Monday’s sortie over western Europe, about 25 cabin equipment technicians and the remaining volunteers – chosen from 15,000 Airbus staff who entered an internal lottery – put the super jumbo’s cabin fittings and features through their paces, testing out the seating, air conditioning, kitchens and in-flight entertainment. PARIS – The Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger jet, took to the sky with a full load of passengers for the first time Monday, and the European aircraft maker announced further management changes in the wake of costly delays to the $13 billion jet program. The 308-ton jet touched down Monday evening after flying a seven-hour round-trip from Toulouse, southern France, with 474 Airbus employees on board, on the first of four test flights scheduled this week to try out the plane’s cabin environment and systems. Airbus says it is on schedule to deliver the first finished A380 to Singapore Airlines Ltd. by the end of the year, despite production bottlenecks that are expected to hold up subsequent deliveries by about six months. The latest hitches led to the ouster of Airbus CEO Gustav Humbert as well as Noel Forgeard, joint CEO of Airbus parent European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., weeks after they were announced in June. Flight tests with volunteer passengers are not a required step toward the plane’s certification but nonetheless help to ensure that “airlines will benefit from a fully mature aircraft on delivery,” Airbus said in a statement. The super jumbo is entering the final stages of its test program, with 1,900 hours of flying time already logged by its team of test pilots. Airbus so far has 159 orders for the plane, which is priced at $316 million. The A380 faces another hurdle in November, when a working group within the International Civil Aviation Organization is due to report back on the A380’s “wake vortices” – air turbulence created by airliners that can be dangerous to other planes flying close behind. As a precaution because of its size, ICAO has temporarily set a much larger minimum exclusion zone behind an airborne A380 than around Boeing 747 jumbos. If adopted permanently, the rules could hold up airport traffic behind the super jumbo and reduce the plane’s efficiency. Airbus argues that the A380 is no worse for wake turbulence than the largest version of Boeing’s 747. BAE Systems PLC declined to comment Monday on reports that is to decide this week whether to recommend that its shareholders approve the planned sale of the company’s 20 percent stake in Airbus. The British defense group exercised a put-option to sell the stake back to EADS, which owns the remaining 80 percent of Airbus, but an independent assessment commissioned from investment bank Rothschild after negotiations broke down valued the stake $3.52 billion, well below BAE’s expectations. In Paris, EADS shares ended 0.9 percent lower at 23.08 euros ($29.58).160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Bakayoko asked where he will play next season, reveals ‘dream’ move

first_img Sky Sports presenter apologises for remarks made during Neville’s racism discussion predicted RANKED And after a difficult start to life in Italy, Bakayoko is playing a key role in Milan’s top-four push.Milan’s sporting director Leonardo Araujo hinted the club will make the 24-year-old’s move permanent if they qualify for the Champions League this season.“I heard what Leonardo said,” Bakayoko told Corriere dello Sport.“But I’m not in a position to be talking about it. It’s a matter for Milan and Chelsea.“Staying at Milan is my dream, that’s the only thought in my mind, but I have a contract with Chelsea. I just want to finish the season in fourth place, then we’ll think about it.”Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso publicly criticised Bakayoko’s performances in August.But the midfielder appears to have turned his career around. gameday cracker Tiemoue Bakayoko does not want to return to Chelsea SORRY revealed latest Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update How Everton could look in January under Ancelotti with new signings “After the words of Gattuso I didn’t feel good and wasn’t happy,” Bakayoko said.“I felt like I was under scrutiny in my position on the pitch. But I never spoke about it with the coach, I thought about working.“I understand myself and know what my qualities are. I was convinced that by training hard, satisfaction would come. I never thought I’d made a mistake by coming to Milan.”Bakayoko has three-and-a-half years left on his Chelsea deal. 1 Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT center_img The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 REVEALED Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Tiemoue Bakayoko wants to turn his loan at AC Milan into a permanent deal.The Frenchman, who joined Chelsea for £40million from Monaco in 2017, moved to the San Siro last summer. Did Mahrez just accidentally reveal Fernandinho is leaving Man City this summer? huge blow BEST OF Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury whoops Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions last_img read more

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