Stagecoach NE appoints new Assistant Operations Manager

first_imgMelanie Keylock has been welcomed on board at Stagecoach North East’s Stockton depot as Assistant Operations Manager.Melanie joins Stagecoach NE as part of the its Graduate Training ProgrammeMelanie joins the team as part of the company’s Graduate Training Programme, where she has just started her second year in training.She says: “I really liked the look of the Stagecoach graduate scheme and have enjoyed my first year.Melanie will oversee the daily running of the depot as she progresses with her training and development, while receiving support from a dedicated mentor.She spent the first year of her training based in Stagecoach West in Gloucester, where she worked within different departments at various depots, and obtained her PCV licence.After studying law with a view to becoming a lawyer and spending some time in the industry, Melanie decided that it wasn’t really the career for her.She adds: “Of all the areas covered by the two-year course, I find the commercial side the most interesting. Seeing a new bus route develop from inception, design and construction to a fully serviced route, is really satisfying.”last_img read more

Nominations for everywoman Awards are open

first_imgNominations for the 10th FTA everywoman in Transport & Logistics Awards are open for entries.Six award categories include The Passenger Award – awarded to two people who go above and beyond to improve the customer experience, and The Industry Champion Award, which recognises a woman or man who is championing the progress of women working in transport.Says David Wells, CEO of the FTA: “These awards uncover female role models whose stories can inspire the drivers and transport managers of the future.“Please think about the inspirational women going above and beyond, and put them forward for an award.”To nominate go to read more

Trial of automatic recording app for bus journeys underway

first_imgA trial of a mobile phone solution detecting when and where passengers board and leave buses is taking place in Nottingham.Glenn Director, Director at Touche, with Anthony Carver-Smith, NCT’s Marketing ManagerNottingham City Transport (NCT), which introduced mobile ticketing over two years ago, and technology business Touche-NFC Ltd have linked up on the feasibility test for a method of recording point-to-point journeys automatically.The trial focuses on NCT’s Green 11 bus route between the city centre, Trent Boulevard and Lady Bay. Special beacons have been installed on buses and at stops to detect where a bus passenger is on their journey through use of an Android-based app.NCT says recording this information will help with future network planning, while customers could see their fares automatically calculated and deducted from their bank accounts.last_img read more

South Bend woman dies in Michigan crash

first_img (“Michigan State Police cars — door seal on 1975 Plymouth Gran Fury” by Joe Ross, CC BY-SA 2.0) A South Bend woman was killed in a crash Sunday afternoon in Berrien County.It happened around noon on US-31 in Oronoko Township.Michigan State Police say the driver, whose name has not been released, went off the road and over-corrected in an attempt to get back on the road. She rolled her car and hit a tree.Officials say she was thrown from the vehicle, and they don’t believe drugs or alcohol were involved in the crash. Twitter Facebook Twitter Google+ Facebook Pinterest IndianaLocalMichiganNewsSouth Bend Market South Bend woman dies in Michigan crash Pinterest WhatsApp Google+ WhatsApp By Tommie Lee – November 5, 2019 0 408 Previous articleBrian Boitano will come to South Bend for Howard Park openingNext articleVegetable recall affecting dozens of products due to listeria concerns Tommie Leelast_img read more

Warsaw Police warning about counterfeit $100 bills

first_img Google+ By Nick Deranek – December 3, 2019 0 386 WhatsApp Google+ Twitter Twitter Pinterest Warsaw Police warning about counterfeit $100 bills IndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market (Photo supplied/Warsaw Police Department) The Warsaw Police Department is warning area residents about fake $100 bills that were used on Monday, Dec. 2.The fake bills were used at several businesses. Police say while the bills look pretty close to a real one, there are two big giveaways, the magnetic strip is on the wrong side of the bill, and the watermark face is that of Alexander Hamilton and not Ben Franklin.They say also look for the serial number, D-F-4-5-2-4-8-9-9-1-A, which has been on all the fake bills so far. Anyone with information, or if you have received one of the bills, is asked to contact the Warsaw Police Department.When held in light, the bills show the improperly placed magnetic strip and the wrong face watermark. (Photo: Warsaw Police Department) Pinterest Facebook Facebook Previous articlePolice Looking for Missing Woman in Benton TownshipNext articleSen. Kamala Harris ending her run for the presidency Nick Deranek WhatsApplast_img read more

Airlines urged to drop insurance fund in favour of US alternative

first_imgDivisions are opening up between EU governments over the issue, with Sweden, Germany and the UK eager to wean carriers off government support and encourage them to negotiate a reduction of the $3.50-per-passenger premium currently offered by insurers.“We have to acknowledge there’s an increase in insurance costs but we do think there’s a genuine market out there,” said one EU diplomat. “We still expect the market to be able to provide insurance services to the airline industry at competitive prices.”Governments seeking to limit their own financial commitments will be wary of a transatlantic initiative that could take some of the decision-making out of their hands, even while reducing those commitments.De Palacio’s spokesman Gilles Gantelet said the Commission was not yet aware of the US carriers’ offer.But sources close to the Commissioner, who is seeking a negotiating mandate from member states to create an EU-US aviation area, suggest a joint insurance scheme could suit her agenda.“She’s very much in favour of closer relations and real competition between American and European carriers on both sides of the Atlantic,” said one official. “The details of this offer will have to be looked at seriously.” But the offer made to the Association of European Airlines (AEA), with apparent backing from Washington, could raise political sensitivities over US influence on the transatlantic aviation market.“We haven’t reached any decision yet,” said Rene Fennes, the AEA’s general manager, who added that talks were still at an informal stage.The offer came last week from Carol Hallett, head of the Air Transport Association of America (ATA), after months of talks with KLM boss Leo van Wijk, who chairs the AEA.Under both plans, airlines would make per-passenger contributions to a fund covering liabilities arising from any future terrorist attacks, with gradually declining levels of government support.But European airlines are concerned the US scheme could be incompatible with longer-term efforts to set up an international fund under the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which stalled last week in the face of US and British-led opposition.The EU must decide soon on whether to renew government insurance guarantees to its airlines, which have only been cleared by the Commission until 31 March. Carriers on both sides of the Atlantic have begun work on separate self-administered schemes after major increases in premiums by insurance companies.But EU airlines are now being urged to drop the European scheme advocated by Transport Commissioner Loyola de Palacio and sign up to the US-led Equitime fund instead.Joining the larger American scheme would lower the cost to airlines of providing their own insurance cover – as well as reducing top-up guarantees needed from governments while the plan gets going.center_img Future insurance arrangements for EU carriers will be discussed by member states experts today (14 March) at the ad-hoc insurance committee, in preparation for a decision by transport ministers on 26 March on whether to extend the state guarantees.last_img read more

No reason to stop at 27

first_imgImagine a German soldier in the First World War shouting to his French enemy across the trenches: “In a few generations, the idea of a Franco-German war will seem absurd.” From his trench, the French soldier replies: “Yeah right, and Turks will be Europeans.” The first statement seemed very unlikely at the time. Just as unimaginable as it would have been for anyone in the 1970s to suggest that the Soviet Union would soon collapse, and that three of its republics would become members of the European Union in the first decade of the 21st century. For many Europeans, however, the French remark on Turkey is still valid. Even though it is a candidate country engaged in accession negotiations with the EU, several high-profile politicians sneer at Turkey’s membership aspirations.The resistance is not only directed towards Turkey. Ukraine is another case in point; it has yet to take the first step in the accession process. In fact, there seems to be a sense of enlargement fatigue in many EU circles. For some reason, many people seem to think that 27, or any other figure for that matter, is the optimal number of member states for the European Union.  This defensive attitude misses several points and aspects of what the EU is all about, and ignores the successes of previous expansions.  Since its foundation, the EU has widened repeatedly, taking in new members in 1973, 1981, 1986, 1994, 2004 and 2007. In fact, EU expansion is a natural growth process, where ever more countries join not only an economic union with a free flow of goods, services, capital and people enhances trade and wealth through competition and specialisation, but also an area of democracy and a Western political identity. In the early 1970s, Spain, Greece and Portugal were poor military dictatorships. In the 21st century, nobody questions their status as prosperous and democratic market economies. The most obvious success, of course, was the accession of ten former communist countries (together with Cyprus and Malta) between 2004 and 2007, marking an end to the oppression of the people of half a continent. Without doubt, the EU played a fundamental role in the political, social and economic transformation of the ten central and eastern European member states. Despite political instability, having EU membership within reach restrained the young democracies from falling back into authoritarianism and autarky. When Slovakia fell behind its neighbours in the accession negotiations, voters wisely decided to oust the eastward-leaning populist Vladimír Mečiar from power. Slovakia then joined the frontrunners in the first expansion wave of 2004. Throughout the 1990s and the 2000s, the countries of central and eastern Europe continued with economic reforms, integrated with the world through trade and investment, cut unemployment and raised living standards dramatically. Even though the current financial crisis has hit many of them hard, economic growth has been strikingly high in most countries.  Even though the direct economic gains of further enlargements will be limited for the current EU, there are growth benefits to be gained, not least from a dynamic perspective. The strongest case for further enlargements, however, is not economic, but political. It is an opportunity to secure the Western, democratic and market-oriented development path of ever more countries. Two quotes. “Europe will not be made at once, or according to a single plan”, Robert Schuman, one of the founding fathers of the EU, said in 1950. Nor has it been; the EU has expanded naturally, reflecting and shaping history. On the day of Poland’s accession to the EU, Lech Wałęsa, Poland’s first post-communist president, said: “I fought for our country to recover everything it lost under communism and the Soviets…and now my struggle is over. My ship has come to port.”The burden of proof must lie with those who think that the natural growth of the EU should stop at 27, that Europe is made now and that other ships should not come to port in Europe. Fredrik Segerfeldt is the author of a European Enterprise Institute report entitled “In defence of EU enlargement”.last_img read more

Welcome to Erdoğanistan

first_imgTurkish-TV (which of the 5,432 channels does not matter; call it CNN-Turk if you want) is now declaring a 94.4 percent result, with the AKP at 49 percent, the CHP at 25.9 percent, the MHP at 12.2 percent and the HDP at 10.5 percent.The HDP leadership — call them “the Kurds” — are now on national TV, declaring their concern that their 10.5 percent will get reduced to under 10 percent, at which point they will get erased from Parliament and their percentage distributed to the other parties (mainly the AKP) according to the “post-rule” that stands as law in the constitution of the Republic of Turkey since 1982.Crunch all the numbers, but this is nuts.Dr. Hijran, my semi-estranged wife of 30 years, is screaming at the television again, and throwing shoes. That might be one of the reasons we are semi-estranged and usually live apart, with me in Montana and she in Istanbul. But I always stay in her tiny apartment in the New-Life gated community complex in Sarigazi whenever I pass through town. It is not convenient, but seems more appropriate than a hotel on the Bosporus. Life is complex, and then you die.But back to the elections at hand.* * * It is hard to get to, or perhaps better expressed, given the absence of road-signs, too easy to miss.More to the point, aside from the wild mixture of folks who live there — middle-class Turks, lots of Kurds and a healthy salting of generic “lefties” — walls are glued with posters of absolutely forgettable commie or quasi-communist parties whose sponsors died years ago — there is no good reason for anyone to visit Sarigazi in Asian Istanbul because, aside from yet another a la Turca concrete jungle of self-same apartment blocks and identical shopping joints, there is nothing of interest to see.Aside from my semi-estranged wife, that is — and that is how and why I have got to know Sarigazi, at least a little bit.* * *Her name is Hijran, she is a medical doctor at a private hospital and she is now throwing a shoe at the television as I write this because she was an official observer at the parliamentary elections at the Istanbul Sancaktepe Emek Mahalesi Peyami Safa Ilk ve Orta Okul voting center, meaning one of two local grade schools here in Sarigazi.“These bastards!” she snarls, as the horse-race style of voting totals rolls in on CNN-Turk from across this country of some 70 million people. “After so much blood has been shed, how can a responsible government look itself in the mirror?” But what about Dr Hijran, and Sarigazi — that place on no-one’s map?“It was an honor to be accepted as an official observer,” she hisses between her teeth. “Previously, I watched the Erdoğan people come in waves, like a herd of sheep. That did not happen this time, at least in Sarigazi…”* * *The official results of the Payami Sefa Grade School/Sarigazi, Istanbul Election Room 2044 (which I observed) included 377 registered voters, of whom 347 voted. No ballots were rejected. Of these ballots, 245 individuals voted for the “main-opposition” quasi-socialist (and certainly secular) Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP). Opposed to that, 48 individuals voted for Erdoğan’s (“Islamist”) Justice and Development Party (AKP), while the so-called ultra-nationalist “National Action Party” (MHP) culled 25 votes in room 2044. Oddly, for a Kurdish-place like Sarigazi, the so-called “Pro-Kurdish” Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP), claiming the loyalty of not just Kurds but all minorities and even the gay and lesbian community, only received 18 votes.Meanwhile, rooms 2043, 2045, 2046, 2047 and 2048 on the third floor more or less mirrored the results of Hijran’s room 2044 — Sarigazi’s CHP trumped the AKP government party four or five to one in all rooms.What does it all mean, both for Turkey, the Middle East and the World? That is a rhetorical question, because she is referring to the “Kurdish Issue” in Turkey, which is as hot an issue in the discourse of the Turkish body-politic as an issue can get. That “issue” has been with the republic since its inception in 1923, when the rump-multinational Ottoman Empire declared itself to be “Turkey,” and a secular, “modern” nationalist state.The event was called the Treaty of Lausanne, and it resulted in the forced population exchange of hundreds of thousands of Turkish-speaking Christians and Greek-speaking Muslims who suddenly discovered that they were “Greeks” or “Turks,” respectively.Maybe this was a good thing; maybe it was not.The main and immediate point is this:My semi-estranged wife, Dr. Hijran, was born in a tiny town on the most western tip of Turkey, called Babakale near Assos, but raised in a place called Ayvalik, near Pergamon.The classical references to Aristotle (Assos) and the Attalid dynasty (Pergamon) have faded and are now being replaced by CNN-place-names where the Syrian boat-people launch their rubber crafts to get to the Greek island of Lesbos, all too many drowning on the way. SARIGAZI, Turkey — This place is difficult to find on the map.A “fringe” neighborhood of a mere 350,000 souls in Asian Istanbul, it is a mixture of middle-class folks who live in the rash of new gated communities that have sprung up around this greater city of some 17 million, and the extraordinarily ordinary settlements known as “gecekondus,” a word in Turkish that used to literally mean “built-at-night,” but which today just means “slum.”While “slum” may sound harsh, places like Sarigazi on the fringes of Sultan City are not the Istanbul venues where international tourists venture, know about or want to know about. * * *Dr. Hijran is shouting on the telephone to a friend in utter disgust as we watch the last results of the election roll in.Right now, the “opposition” leader of the social-democrat CHP is giving his “we f****d up”/ I concede speech. This is painful — particularly for Dr. Hijran, a Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) voter.Actually, I do not give a s**t about this. Were I a citizen of Turkey, I would have voted for the HDP — the Kurds/Outcasts/Others Party.Last blink, the KDP got over the 10 percent limit and remain the hope of the future; if tomorrow morning they rest at an official 9.56 percent, there will be war.There already is.center_img We are up to circa 11 p.m. and we are up to 95.5 percent of the total vote and it appears that Erdoğan’s AK party (or former party, which everyone knows is not true) has achieved a stunning, crushing victory that will allow it to rule and change the constitution to Erdoğan’s liking, virtually making him a new Sultan.The percentages will remain more or less the same—AKP at 49 percent; CHP at 25.8 percent; MHP at 12.1 percent; HDP at 10.5 percent…Dr. Hijran throws a last shoe at the flat-screen TV, not even waiting for the final election results. She already knows they will deliver her beloved country into the hands of an unbalanced, authoritarian Islamist guy named Erdoğan who got in bed with the Americans to take down ISIL, but ended up attacking his peace-partners, the Kurds, instead.She trundles off to sleep while I stay up.By the dawn’s early light, those numbers more or less hold, the stock-market is soaring, and Dr. Hijran, the semi-estranged one, is rhetorically wondering what life would be like should she leave a Turkey she no longer recognizes.“I was, or am, a village girl,” she growls as she goes to her Sarigazi hospital while remembering Babakale and Ayvalik. “How can we be so stupid now?” Anyway, Dr. Hijran was the first female to leave the village and become a doctor; her older brother was the first from Babakale to become a lawyer. Their inspiration was their father, Huseyin — an up-from-the-bootstraps village sort of guy with a grade-school education who sold the family olive grove to invest in talc mining (stupidly), and lost everything aside from his belief that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of secular modern Turkey, was a hero — and not an anti-Islamic bastard, the way he is being portrayed by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling AK-party crowd today.I would like to think that my father-in-law Huseyin Bey and I were pals on a certain, profound level.“If you can tolerate her…” he often said, referring to his daughter.That said, she was cut from his cloth.And while Huseyin Bey never declared himself an atheist — Dr. Hijran actively does — he clearly would not have been a supporter of Erdoğan or the process at play in his beloved “Atatürkist” Turkey on any terms at all.Huseyin Bey, a failed dreamer from tiny Babakale and then Ayvalik, was a believer in the Atatürk vision of Turkey. He must be turning over in his grave today. I just mean: more…But back to Sarigazi. Please note that the word is not part of the formula; the place was stripped of its status as a “county” and reduced to a mere “municipality” some years ago by the Greater Istanbul Municipality under the control of the current government, meaning President Tayyip Erdoğan, because Sarigazi was too leftie, Kurdish and middle-class — people like my semi-estranged wife Hijran.To evoke a term from that jejune thing called Political Science, Sarigazi got gerrymandered out of existence.Or almost.There are still a few road signs, and some taxi drivers know how to negotiate the one-hour (sometimes two) drive through the concrete valleys, tunnels and insane rush-hour traffic to get here from “Istanbul,” meaning areas many readers of this epistle can relate to: Sultan Ahmet, the Blue Mosque, the Covered Bazaar and, of course, the Bosporus.The losing leader (CHP) is now on television, and nearly crying about the Ankara Massacre of October 10, and other disappointments. The question, of course, is what Erdoğan will do with his new mandate. Hike taxes on alcohol, and thus almost banning it from the country? Fill the spare bedrooms in his 100-room palace in Ankara with dignitaries from across the Muslim world? The most likely thing, sadly, is to immediately expand the renewed war with the Kurds, which will include not only bombing the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, but also the PKK’s partners and pals in Syria, such as the defenders of Kobani — “The Kurdish Stalingrad” — who just happen to be the prime partners and pals of the U.S. in that anti-ISIS quagmire, and who just opened a representative office in Moscow.Wow. The good news, I guess, is that the HDP have gotten the 10 percent needed to get the “Kurdish” party into the Turkish parliament, even if it is now a parliament where only one voice counts: Recip Tayyip Erdoğan, and he is not even a member.Does anyone out there know what I am talking about?Thomas Goltz, the author of “Azerbaijan Diary” (M.E. Sharpe, 1998/99) and “Chechnya Diary” (St. Martin’s Press/Tom Dunne, 2003), is an American commentator on Turkic politics and history.last_img read more

Trump on torture laws: I want to expand them

first_imgOn Friday his campaign issued a reversal, saying that while he supported harsh interrogation processes, he would remain within the law.Asked about the issue on Saturday night, Trump said: “Just so you understand we’re playing by a different set of rules than ISIS and others, especially in the Middle East.” He added that the Islamic State has “nothing” in terms of laws.In a pre-released clip from CBS’ “Face the Nation” that will air on Sunday, Trump again bemoaned the uneven playing field. “I would like to strengthen the laws so that we can better compete. You know it’s very tough to beat enemies that don’t have any restrictions alright? We have these massive restrictions. Now, I will always abide by the law but I would like to have the law expanded,” Trump said.When asked if he’d support waterboarding being allowed, Trump said “I would certainly like it to be.” Also On POLITICO Donald Trump needs 7 of 10 white guys By David S. Bernstein Donald Trump said he’ll follow laws on torture, but that as president, he’ll push for them to be stronger.“I will obey the laws, but I will try and get the laws extended. I will try and get the laws broadened,” Trump said during a press conference in West Palm Beach, Florida Saturday. “It’s very hard to be successful in beating someone when your rules are very soft and their rules are unlimited.”Trump was pressed at this week’s debate about his aggressive positions on torture, specifically waterboarding, which conflict with international law. When asked during the debate about making the military obey orders of illegal interrogation methods, Trump responded: “If I say do it, they’re going to do it.”last_img read more

Italy the new Greece on migration frontline: Frontex

first_img“For the first six months of 2016, there were 360,000 illegal entries in the EU, which is higher than what we saw last year, but the influx has been diminishing since April,” Leggeri said.In April, Frontex said arrivals on the Greek islands were down 90 percent compared to the previous month.A Frontex spokesman said the closure of the Greece-Macedonia border earlier this year also contributed to the declining numbers of refugees arriving in Greece, though he did not specify how many refugees arrived in Greece and Italy individually prior to the migration deal and border closure.Frontex said more than 1.5 million people tried to reach Europe last year, with the majority of them wanting to get to western European countries via the so-called Balkan route. Italy has overtaken Greece to become the country on Europe’s migration frontline, with about 750 people arriving per day, the head of the EU border control agency Frontex said on Tuesday.Around 50 migrants per day arrive in Greece, which used to be the main point of entry for migrants.Fabrice Leggeri said the flow of refugees had slowed since the EU-Turkey migration deal came into force, Reuters reports.last_img read more