first_img Help by sharing this information RSF_en IndiaAsia – Pacific June 18, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 India Organisation to go further After first accusing him of financial irregularities, spying and involvement in pornography, police then said he had downloaded a document from the Internet about the fighting in Kashmir and had admitted it was to be handed to Pakistan. This material was available to any member of the public, but the judge in charge of the case said she had not had time to look at the website in question to check. Gilani said he had been beaten by other detainees at Tihar prison, near New Delhi, and refused access to the library. His several requests for release on bail were rejected.An army intelligence official told a judge on 23 December that no secret information had been found on Gilani’s computer, obliging the government to drop prosecution of him and ask for his release. When he came out of prison on 13 January 2003, he called on journalists and politicians to see that the state secrets law was repealed. Links:The independent news site TehelkaThe Department of TelecommunicationsThe independent magazine FrontlineThe computer magazine Dataquest IndiaAsia – Pacific June 10, 2021 Find out more India: RSF denounces “systemic repression” of Manipur’s media April 27, 2021 Find out more News Parliament approved the Information Technology Act in May 2000 to crack down on cybercrime, which it defines as unauthorised access to electronic data. Hacking is punishable by up three years in prison and heavy fines. Cybercafés and the homes of Internet users can be searched at any time without a warrant if cybercrime is suspected and those who set up “anti-Indian” websites can be jailed for five years.The press revealed in March 2001 that police and government agencies were regularly harassing ISPs to provide personal information about their customers. The head of one of the biggest ISPs, Rediff.com, said he was being approached about once a month but refused to cooperate. The boss of Satyam Infoway, another major ISP, said he was under constant pressure of this kind.Registration of cybercafé customersThe strict legal regulation of the Internet allows prosecution of anyone violating what the government considers moral and political rules. In April 2001, police investigated pupils at one of New Delhi’s biggest schools, accusing them of creating a “pornographic” website featuring their teachers and classmates. The probe began after the father of one pupil saw the name of his daughter on the site.The authorities regularly condemn pornographic sites as the plague of the Internet, but they are hugely popular with customers of the cybercafés that are opening everywhere in major cities. Cybercafé owners make a goodwill gesture to the government by displaying warning notices to discourage their young customers.Police in Mumbai announced in May 2001 that anyone wanting to use a cybercafé there would need to show an ID, driving licence or student card or for foreigners a passport or plane ticket. Customers deemed bona fide would be given a special card they could use on each visit. Cybercafé owners opposed the measure, but the authorities argued that they received some 50 complaints a day about credit card fraud, hacking, supposed terrorist activities or pornography on the Internet.In June 2002, the Indian Intelligence Bureau reportedly asked the American FBI to help it develop software to tap into mobile phones and e-mail messages of members of criminal and terrorist groups. The news site rediff.com said talks were going on to establish this link between the two intelligence agencies.Confidentiality of journalists’ sources under threatIn November 2001, an anti-terrorist law (the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance – POTO) was passed in the wake of the 11 September attacks, allowing the government to monitor all kinds of electronic communications, including personal e-mail, without legal restriction. Evidence gathered this way can be used in court against a suspect. In an attempt to justify its anti-terrorist and anti-cybercrime policy, the government said it would share this information with the US intelligence services.As important users of the Internet, journalists were especially targeted in the first draft of the new law, which proposed jail terms of five years for failure to give the authorities information about terrorists or terrorist organisations. After protests by the opposition and human rights and freedom of expression activists, this clause, obliging journalists to reveal their sources, was dropped and law adopted for a period of three years instead of five.Tehelka.com brings down the defence ministerThis attempt to control the Internet did not however prevent people from using it as a new vehicle of press freedom. In March 2001, a news site called Tehelka.com (which means “great excitement” in Hindi) lived up to its name. Investigative journalists, equipped with video cameras and pretending to be arms merchants, revealed that politicians, civil servants and top army officers had accepted bribes and the services of prostitutes in exchange for helping businessmen get government and especially military contracts. This corruption enquiry rocked the political class and the government itself and defence minister George Fernandes and the president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, Bangaru Laxman, were forced to resign.The scandal highlighted the possibilities of the Internet as a new medium, but also drew a repressive reaction. The editor of Tehelka.com complained of efforts by the prime minister’s office to discredit the site, accusing it being in the pay of Pakistani intelligence and organised crime. The journalists who broke the scandal were physically threatened and had to be given heavy police protection.About 20 intelligence agents from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) searched the New Delhi offices of Tehelka.com on 26 June 2002, as well as the home of one of its journalists, Kumar Badal. He was accused of hiring two poachers to film and kill two of a protected species of leopards in the jungle in Saharanpur, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. But the CBI could not produce any incriminating evidence from among the material they had seized in their searches. However, the agents reportedly confiscated papers about the founding of the website, including e-mails from Shankar Sharma, owner of the company First Global and the first to bankroll the operation, who is now in prison.The searches were ordered a few hours before the website’s chief editor, Tarun Tejpal, was due to give evidence to the Venkataswami Commission set up by the government to look into the corruption revealed by the site. The hearing of Tejpal, set for the same day as that of the former president of the Samata party, Jaya Jaitly – the alleged contact between the defence minister and the arms dealers – was postponed.The website’s lawyer, Kavin Gulati, said the enquiry had reached a crucial moment of cross-examining witnesses, which suggested that the date of the search was deliberately chosen. A CBI spokesman said it was “sheer coincidence.”Badal was arrested on 3 July and went on hunger strike for several days in protest against his imprisonment. He was being held under the Wildlife Protection Act and was humiliated in various ways. “I’ve been subjected to all this just because I work for Tehelka, which is determined to expose high-level corruption,” he said. He was freed on 13 January 2003 on bail of 50,000 rupees (nearly 1,000 euros) by a simple decision of the supreme court. But federal police vainly tried to block his release, saying investigations were not yet complete. Badal was put under house arrest in New Delhi and has to report to the CBI on the first Monday of each month. He was also banned from going to the Saharanpur district, where the complaint against him was filed.The harassment of Tehelka partly explained why the site announced in early 2003 it could not longer keep up a daily edition. Tejpal said that despite the reputation the site had gained and the praise it had received, Tehelka had been relentlessly victimised because of its revelations about the military. For two years, the staff had been harassed and arrested, and had shrunk from 120 to three, and the site’s debts had mounted. He said he hoped the site would eventually return to help build free media in India.Journalist jailed for downloading material from the InternetPolice in New Delhi charged journalist Iftikhar Gilani, New Delhi bureau chief of the Kashmir Times and correspondent for the Pakistani daily The Nation, with spying for Pakistan on 7 September 2002 by passing on details to Pakistani officials of the position of Indian troops and paramilitary forces in Kashmir. The charges were based on clauses of the Official Secrets Act and also articles of the Penal Code relating to criminal conspiracy and pornography. He had been arrested on 9 June. RSF demands release of detained Indian journalist Siddique Kappan, hospitalised with Covid-19 News News News Follow the news on India March 3, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts In rural India, journalists face choice between covering pandemic and survival The Internet’s promising future in India is hampered by poor quality phone lines and pressures from the government. Two laws, one of them passed after the 11 September attacks, allow monitoring of the Internet and criminalises much activity by users. last_img read more

A Lookback on Combined Loan-to-Value Ratios

first_img CLTV loans mortgage 2020-06-15 Seth Welborn Previous: Fannie Mae Hires Financial Advisor Next: Understanding the Causes of Mortgage Credit Tightening Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Share Save An analysis of the CLTV ratio, by price bucket, shows that homebuyers in 2019 borrowed more for homes in the same price range than they did in 2015, according to a new study from CoreLogic. The report reveals that “median home price in 2019 for mortgaged home sales was roughly $260,000, with an estimated average CLTV of 89%. Conversely, in 2015, homebuyers averaged a CLTV of 88% for homes when spending the same amount.”The report also shows that, adjusting for home-price appreciation, CLTVs at the low end have not experienced much change. CoreLogic explains that, from 2015–2019, the median sale price increased by 17%. The report states, “While in 2015, purchase mortgages at the median sale price had roughly the same average CLTV as those sold around the median price in 2019. By accounting first for home-price appreciation, we can provide a fair comparison of the average CLTV by price bucket.”Adjusting 2015 median sale price amounts in light of 2019 home appreciation, the average CLTV for homes sold was roughly the same in both years, CoreLogic reports. For home sales with a sale price amount equal to or exceeding 125% of the national median (considered “high-tier” by CoreLogic), “the CLTV in 2019 averaged about 1 percentage point less than in 2015.”Between 2015–2019, nationwide home values grew an average of 22%—”possibly contributing to the improvement in CLTV for high-end home purchases,” according to CoreLogic. As such, homebuyers selling an existing home in 2019 “would likely have benefited from increases in home equity, resulting in additional funds to put towards a down payment on the new home.””In recent years we’ve seen a steady pattern of higher CLTV ratios within low-end purchases markets and a steady CLTV decrease as the home becomes more expensive,” said CoreLogic. “The pattern could be in part due to lower-priced entry-level homes being sold to buyers without established home equity to help with a down payment. Alternatively, it could be a result of higher-end homes being purchased by existing homeowners looking to trade up. After adjusting for changes in home price growth, there has been very little change in the average CLTV by price bucket except for a slight decline with higher-end sales. That said, any change in the overall average CLTV may provide initial insight into the buyer mix and risk tolerance of lenders.”  Print This Post Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / A Lookback on Combined Loan-to-Value Ratios The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, Newscenter_img Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago A Lookback on Combined Loan-to-Value Ratios About Author: Seth Welborn The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer. The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Related Articles Sign up for DS News Daily June 15, 2020 1,227 Views Tagged with: CLTV loans mortgage Subscribelast_img read more

Iberdrola to replace its last two coal plants in Spain with subsidy-free solar, wind

first_imgIberdrola to replace its last two coal plants in Spain with subsidy-free solar, wind FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Recharge:Utility Iberdrola is submitting a plan to build 550MW of subsidy-free wind and solar to replace the group’s last Spanish coal-fired power plants.Speaking at the opening of the COP25 UN climate summit in Madrid, Iberdrola group chairman Ignacio Galan said the renewables projects would replace two coal generators that are scheduled to be decommissioned next year.The proposal, to be presented on Monday to Spain’s Ministry for the Ecological Transition, would see 420MW of new wind and PV deployed in Velilla in the province of Palencia, and four wind farms with a joint capacity of 130MW in Lada, in Asturias, both in the country’s north.The new renewables capacity – due online in 2022 – will be underpinned by power purchase agreements (PPAs), reflecting the strong appetite for such deals in the Spanish renewables market and the competitiveness of wind and solar, Iberdrola told Recharge.With a combined capacity of 874MW, Velilla and Lada are Iberdrola’s last remaining coal-fired power plants. An application for their phase-out was filed in 2017 and the Spanish government is expected to give a final ruling on the matter next year.“Over the course of 15 years, Iberdrola will have completed the process of phasing out a total of over 8.5GW of coal-fired and fuel oil power generation capacity in several countries,” said Galan.More: Iberdrola launches huge renewables plan for coal wind-down in Spainlast_img read more

Cricket News BCCI announces squads for U-19 Challenger Trophy to be held in Lucknow

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: The Board Of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI) on Saturday announced the squads for the upcoming India U-19 Challenger Trophy after the junior selection committee met in Kolkata to pick the four teams — India Blue, India Red, India Green and India Yellow — for the tournament.The tournament is scheduled to be held in Lucknow from November 10 to 16.According to reports, tis year, the BCCI has invited the Sri Lankan U-19 team to participate in the tournament — the first time a foreign team will participate in the Challenger Cup. The main focus will be to increase the competition and give exposure to the players ahead of the U-19 World Cup.Squads:India Blue: Pradosh Ranjan Paul (C), Qamran Iqbal, Swastik Samel, Irfan Ali, Yara Sandeep, Akash Raj, Dhruv C Jurel (WK), A S Sandhu, Arun Mozhi, Prashant Kumar Bhati, Trilok Nag, Ravi Bishnoi, Mandhar Mahale, HangegekarIndia Red: Vedant Murkar (C & WK), Y Jaiswal, Arjun Azad, Shashwat Rawat, Nayan Chavan, Abhishek Selva Kumar, SV Joshi, Venkatesh M, Harsh Dubey, AM Singh, Shushant Mishra, Piyush Kumar Singh, Kishan Kumar, Harsh RajIndia Green: Nitish Kumar Reddy (C), Vaibhav Sharma, Aryan Sethi, Nehal Wadhera, S.A. Ahuja (WK), Rishab Chauhan, Vathsal, Atharva Ankolekar, R.A. Choudhary, Manish Babberwal, Anirudh Choudhary, Atharva Poojari, Rohit Dattatray, ManishiIndia Yellow: Shubhang Hegde (C), Thakur Tilak Verma, D.R. Gajraj, Priyansh Arya, Varun Goud, Shubham Shatrujit, Sonu Yadav, Rahul Chadrol (WK), Amit Shukla, Jaymeet Patel, Tekan, Prabhat Maurya, Prayas Ray Burman, Durga Kumar. last_img read more

Onazi Versus Hlatshwayo: A Tale of Interim Captains

first_imgRival captains Ogenyi Onazi of Nigeria and Thulani Hlatshwayo of South Africa have set a fiery tone for their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier this weekend.The Group E showdown in Uyo offers the South Africans another chance to beat their fierce rivals for the first time in an official match after six losses and three draws since 1992. “We do not want to forget that South Africa partly contributed to us not going to the 2015 Cup of Nations,” said Onazi, standing in as skipper for unavailable John Mikel Obi.“This time, we must restore our pride and make sure we get the three points off them on Saturday.“Nigerians do not forgive losers easily and it is our responsibility to make the country proud whenever we are in action,” added the Turkey-based midfielder.Hlatshwayo, a centre-back from South African champions Wits, was named captain this week by new England-born coach Stuart Baxter.“It will be a baptism of fire as captain, but we have come close to beating them in our last two meetings and I think they are there for the taking this time.“Although Nigeria are a proud and arrogant team, I believe we have now overcome that psychological barrier of not having beaten them in an official match.“This will be a grudge match. We denied them a place at the 2015 Cup of Nations and they will be out for revenge, which might work to our advantage.”Apart from being a bogey team for South Africa, an in-form squad, home advantage, longer preparations and several warm-up matches make Nigeria favourites.But German coach Gernot Rohr cautioned against over-optimism ahead of the first-round fixture in a group completed by unpredictable Libya and outsiders the Seychelles.“Our team is young and the future looks bright, but there is still considerable work to do,” said the handler who has transformed the “Super Eagles”.Inheriting a team that failed to qualify for the 2017 Cup of Nations, Rohr plotted World Cup victories over Zambia and Algeria to bring a 2018 finals place in Russia within sight.Baxter begins a second stint in charge of “Bafana Bafana” (The Boys) in a confident mood despite the loss through injury of midfield enforcer Hlompho Kekana.“We are capable of hurting Nigeria. We want to be a big nuisance to them — to be their worst nightmare.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Vinesh, Seema keep India’s hopes alive at World Wrestling Championship

first_img Vinesh Phogat (53kg) and Seema Bisla (50kg) remain in the hunt for a bronze medal as they reached the repechage round in their respective categories at the UWW World Senior Wrestling Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan today. Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh had earlier begun her quest for a maiden medal from the world event with a thunderous 13-0 win over Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sofia Mattsson of Sweden. Even though it sparked hopes of gold, her next bout against the reigning world champion Mayu Mukaida of Japan proved tough. The strong Japanese kept the Indian on the backfoot and prevented her from showing her usual aggression, resulting in a 0-7 loss for the Commonwealth Games gold medallist. This was the second consecutive defeat that Vinesh suffered at the hands of Mukaida following the Asian Championships.READ: World Wrestling Championships: Yogeshwar picks his favouritesVinesh and Seema keep India’s hopes aliveHowever, with Mukaida managing to reach the final, Vinesh was presented with yet another shot at a medal as she will now take on former World Championships bronze medallist Yuliya Khalvadzhy of Ukraine. A win over her, as well as a win over last year’s runner-up Sarah Hildebrandt, will put Vinesh in the bronze medal bout versus Greece’s two-time World Championships medallist Maria Prevolaraki and also fetch her a highly-coveted Tokyo Olympics qualification. In 50kg, Seema Bisla’s second seeding did not exempt her from facing the three-time Olympic medallist Mariya Stadnik of Azerbaijan in the opening bout. The Yasar Dogu champion came up short 2-9 against Stadnik but with the latter progressing into the summit clash, Seema got another golden chance to sniff at a medal and a 2020 Olympic berth. For Seema to take the bronze, she needs to first overcome Nigeria’s Miesinnei Mercy Genesis, then gets the better of Yasar Dogu silver medallist Ekaterina Poleshchuk before she can enter the bronze medal contest with China’s Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sun Yanan. In non-Olympic categories, Komal Bhagwan Gole (72kg) could hardly put up any resistance against Turkey’s Beste Altug and went down 1-4 in the qualification while in 55kg, Lalita succumbed to a 3-10 defeat to Mongolia’s Bolortuya Bat Ochir. Meanwhile, India’s hopes of a medal in Greco-Roman wrestling were dashed when Naveen (130kg) lost to Estonia’s Heiki Nabi by Technical Superiority in Repechage.READ | Vinesh Phogat eyes World Wrestling Championship titlePooja Dhanda will look to secure another medalA year after securing the World Championships bronze, Pooja Dhanda will hope to shine again in 59kg when the seventh seed takes on the sixth-seeded Belarusian Hanchar Yanu in the Round of 16. A win will pit her against the top seed Yuzuka Inagaki in a tough match. In 57kg, 30th seed Sarita Mor opens against European Championship bronze winner Anastasia Nichita while former Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Navjot Kaur (65kg) will meet European Championship gold medallist and third seed Elise Manolova. In 76kg, Kiran also has a difficult opponent in third seed Aline Rotter of Germany.READ | Vinesh Phogat loses Pre-quarters,can still qualify for Tokyo OlympicsREAD | MC Mary Kom and PV Sindhu in line for top national civilian honours Written By 11 months ago World Wrestling Championships: Yogeshwar picks his favourites 11 months ago Vinesh Phogat loses Pre-quarters,can still qualify for Tokyo Olympics 1 year ago Vinesh Phogat wins 3rd successive gold in 53kg in Poland Open SUBSCRIBE TO US COMMENT Last Updated: 17th September, 2019 21:11 IST Vinesh, Seema Keep India’s Hopes Alive At World Wrestling Championship Vinesh Phogat (53kg) and Seema Bisla (50kg) remain in the hunt for a bronze medal as they reached the repechage round in their respective categories. First Published: 17th September, 2019 20:49 ISTcenter_img FOLLOW US WATCH US LIVE Suman Ray LIVE TV 11 months ago Rohit Sharma: The Indian Opener And His Bollywood Connection WE RECOMMEND 11 months ago Vinesh Phogat eyes World Wrestling Championship titlelast_img read more

Young BiH handball players on Wednesday will gather in Ilidža

first_imgFemale cadet handball team of Bosnia and Herzegovina (players up to 17 years) will gather on 16 January in Ilidža where they’ll undergo a second phase of preparations for the qualifications for the European Championships, which will be held in the second half of August of this year in Poland. The qualifying tournament will be played from 22 to 24 March in Nitra in Slovakia. Besides young handball players of BiH and host Slovakia in Group 7 cadets from Norway and Greece will also play.The two best teams from the group will fight to qualify for the European Championship.25 young handball players have been called on for five-day preparations in Ilidža:Marta Gudelj, Matija Vučić, Ivana Drežnjak, Marija Gudelj Nikolina Čutura (Kosača, Mostar), Dragana Đurić (Borac, Banja Luka), Dragana Boro, Ivana Sikimić (Leotar, Trebinje), Samira Bukvić (Bosna, Visoko), Munevera Maslić (Živinice), Mira Jošanović (Knežopoljka, Bosanska Dubica), Sumeja Mujkić (Krivaja, Zavidovići), Andrea Lučić (Jedinstvo, Tuzla), Emina Dizdar (Bihać), Amina Oputar (Goražde), Ema Radmilović (Goražde), Martina Šumelj, Matea Šumelj, Jelena Boto, Matea Nosić (Ljubuški), Ivana Kresić, Lucija Pršlja, Maja Leko (Katarina, Mostar), Edina Demić (Lokomotiva, Mostar) i Josipa Bračić (Grude).last_img read more

Taking South Africa’s pink route

first_imgBeautiful landscapes, abundant wildlife, world-class cities, a rich diversity of people, culture and heritage – and the first Bill of Rights in the world to explicitly protect lesbians and gays from discrimination – is making South Africa the destination of choice for gay holiday makers.South Africa is welcoming to gay travellers. (Image: Niko Knigge)Brand South Africa reporterFrom Cape Town in the Western Cape through the beautiful Garden Route, up to Johannesburg and on to the Kruger National Park, there is a daisy chain of gay friendly establishments to choose from.Cape TownThe Mother City and the gay capital of South Africa, Cape Town is enchanting – arguably one of the most beautifully situated cities in the world. Cradled by Table Mountain and looking out over the Atlantic Ocean, it is the oldest city in South Africa, with immense charm and historical interest.Cape Town’s attractions include the vibrant Waterfront development, eclectic restaurants and unbelievable nightlife. Take a walk or cable-car ride up Table Mountain, enjoy a boat cruise or visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. The beaches and nature reserves of the Cape peninsula are also close at hand.Guest House One Belverdere is found on the city centre slopes of Table Mountain in the stylish and quiet suburb of Oranjezicht. Ideal for holidays and business, it is within walking distance of the buzzing and trendy shops and restaurants of Kloof and Long Street. Gay men only.Huijs Haerlem is close to the Waterfront, Cape Town city centre and the beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay. Although attractions like Kirstenbosch, art galleries and museums are all nearby, guest may be tempted to stay and relax by the solar heated pool, soaking up the sunshine in peace and tranquillity. Gay owned and/or managed.Kensington Place, nestled on the foothills of Table Mountain, offers the ideal base from which to explore the Mother City while also being able to enjoy fine cuisine, contemporary design and breathtaking views of the city, harbour and mountain. Gay-friendly.Parker Cottage is centrally situated at the foot of Table Mountain in a stylishly renovated Victorian house with all modern conveniences. Gay owned and/or managed.Cape Town TourismKalk Bay, rustic quiet and welcoming. (Image: SA Tourism)The West CoastNorth of Cape Town is the West Coast, a remote and beautiful place of quaint fishing villages, empty beaches, immense bird colonies and carpets of Namaqualand spring flowers. The West Coast’s unique hospitality is typified by its rustic open air seafood restaurants.Blue Dolphin Bed & Breakfast lies in Paternoster, a historic fishing village, and offers bed and breakfast rooms or self-catering cottages on the dunes with uninterrupted views of the sea. Gay owned and/or managed.West Coast TourismThe road to the West Coast runs through a desert. (Image: SA Tourism)The OverbergNext on the route is the Overberg region of the Western Cape, with a rich history and dotted with unspoilt villages and towns. Villiersdorp is a good base from which to explore the area of Franschhoek, South Africa’s gourmet capital, with Caledon and its Victorian spa baths only 30 kilometres away. Other attractions include hiking trails, 4×4 routes and a nine-hole golf course lying alongside the Theewaterskloof dam.Dagbreek Museum Restaurant and Bed & Breakfast offers a glimpse of the past in its restaurant, situated in Villiersdorp’s only national monument, with country home cooking and comfortable accommodation. Gay owned and/or managed.Overberg TourismRoute 62Travelling east, the historic Route 62 meanders through a region of exquisite beauty dominated by rugged mountains. In the valleys are fruit orchards, vineyards, elegant Cape Dutch wine estates and charming rural towns. Attractions include hiking trails through the mountains, hot springs and wine-tasting.Fraai Uitzicht 1798, Dutch for “beautiful view”, is a retreat in the heart of the Robertson Valley on Route 62. Lying on the slopes of the Langeberg mountains, it is a historic wine and guest farm with an award-winning restaurant and offers a real vineyard experience. Gay owned and/or managed.The Montagu Country Hotel, built in 1875, is a beautiful Art Deco establisment and the oldest accommodation establishment in the Western Cape village of Montagu. It is a typical country hotel with an air of stylish simplicity. Gay owned and/or managed.Route 62 TourismThe Whale RouteAlternatively, follow the southern coastal road to the Hermanus region. Here a series of picturesque seaside villages boast some of the finest land-based whale-watching in the world from August to December, as well as spectacular mountain scenery and sandy beaches for swimming, bodysurfing and sunset strolls.Enjoy a nature walk among the spring flowers and mountain fynbos, or visit the villages of Arniston and Cape Agulhas – the southernmost point on the African continent. Nearby Gans Bay offers exciting great white shark diving and viewing excursions.Skuinshuis is a peaceful retreat in picturesque Vermont, on the Whale Riviera of Hermanus, with spectacular sea and mountain views of the famous Walker Bay. Gay owned and/or managed.Hermanus TourismCape Agulhas TourismThe Klein KarooThe Klein Karoo – little Karoo – is a wide vista of semidesert, with the name “Karoo” coming from the San word for “thirst”. There are many interesting things to see and do in the region. From port wine tasting to a visit to the world-renowned Cango Caves, or an ostrich farm, the area offers tranquility and peacefulness under a fire of stars at night.Die Gat Guesthouse is a farmstead and historical monument in the Middelplaas valley near De Rust. It has been home to the Schoeman family since the early 1800s. The old homestead’s character has been retained, such as the paint of German origin on the interior walls of the voorkamer (lounge), the original architecture and its picturesque gay friendly environment.Klein Karoo Wine RouteThe Garden RouteThe Garden Route snakes along the southern Cape coast, getting its name from the lush indigenous forests and temperate climate. This region offers a spectacular headlands giving way to superb Indian Ocean beaches. Behind the sand dunes lie wetland lakes, forests and soaring mountains. The route is perfect for both those wanting to relax – as well as for more active types, with a number of operators offering cycling, abseiling, bungee jumping, canoeing and kloofing (canyoning).Knysna, a spectacular lagoon, a lush indigenous forest and spectacular scenery. (Image: SA Tourism)Central to the Garden Route is the beautiful coastal town of Knysna, with a spectacular lagoon, a lush indigenous forest and spectacular scenery. Every May the town hosts the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras, a gay festival with four days of non-stop entertainment for anyone who enjoys a party. In July there’s the Knysna Oyster Festival, offering oyster braais, oyster tasting, oyster eating competitions and other molluscular activities, as well as live entertainment and lots of sporting events.Palms Wilderness lies near the Wilderness Nature Reserve in the heart of the Garden Route. Enjoy luxury en-suite double rooms with stylish ethnic furnishings in close proximity to ostrich farms, the Cango Caves, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and Tsitsikamma National Park. Gay owned and/or managed.Garden Route TourismKnysna TourismPlettenberg Bay TourismThe Eastern CapeThe Eastern Cape stretches from Cape St Francis to the Wild Coast. Its attractive white beaches are backed by undulating rolling pastures, bushveld and forested dunes. This gentle beauty belies both the region’s bloody history and the drama of its interior, with the grand vistas and majesty of the Great Karoo and superb malaria-free game reserves. The Addo Elephant National Park is home to many wildlife species such as elephant, black rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard and many species of antelope.Elephants gather at a watering hole in Addo Elephant Park. (Image: SA Tourism)Elephant House is an exclusive thatched lodge in the sun-drenched Sundays River Valley on the edge of the Addo Elephant Park. Courtyards and deep verandas furnished with antiques, Persian carpets and the owner’s private collection of African art provide a wonderful ambience and cosseted luxury. Gay-friendly.Eastern Cape TourismGautengMoving north, the province of Gauteng is home to Johannesburg, known as the City of Gold and the pulsating heart of South Africa’s industrial and commercial life.The city has a thriving gay and lesbian community, with an annual pride march and a  gay nightlife district called the Heartlands – a development bankrolled by the city to the tune of R32-million.Johannesburg is a cosmopolitan foodie heaven. (Image: SA Tourism)Close to the city there’s the beautiful Magaliesburg mountain range, ideal for hiking, picnicking and visiting game farms, quaint roadside shops, cheese farms, restaurants and more. Hartbeespoort Dam offers watersports and lazy days messing around in boats, while the nearby Cradle of Humankind World Heritage fossil sites have been developed to allow tourists to explore our fascinating origins.City of JohannesburgMagalies MeanderGauteng TourismCradle of HumankindCradle of Humankind World Heritage site allows visitors to explore our fascinating origins. (Image: SA Tourism)Kruger National ParkIn the northeast of the country lies the massive Kruger National Park, an area of land larger than Israel and teeming with all the African wildlife you could wish for. The park has its own rest camps, with chalets, camping grounds and more upmarket accommodation. If it’s real luxury you’re after, there are a number of private game farms on the border of the park where you can enjoy some pampering after a day in the wilds of Africa.Djuma Game Reserve is situated in the prestigious Sabi Sand Reserve next to the Kuger National Park and offers the best in game viewing, accommodation and service excellence. Guests have the choice of three unique camps, and can enjoy superb game drive safaris in open vehicles and fascinating game walks with well qualified rangers and trackers. Gay friendly.South African National ParksKruger Park Private ReservesKruger 2 CanyonsSabi Sands Game ReserveRainbow in Kruger Park. (Image: Barbara Eckstein)Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

South Africa secures World Bank loan

first_img9 April 2010 The World Bank has granted South African state power company Eskom a US$3.75-billion loan to help it complete the 4 800 MW Medupi coal-fired power station, as well as to finance “some of the biggest solar and wind power plants in the developing world”. Announcing its approval for the loan on Thursday, the World Bank said the loan – its first major lending engagement with South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994 – was made in order to help South Africa achieve a reliable electricity supply.Coal, wind, solar In a statement, the Washington-based institution’s board of directors said the loan would be used to co-finance the following blend of energy technologies:“US$3.05-billion for completing the 4 800 MW Medupi coal-fired power station, using for the first time on the African continent the same proven, efficient supercritical technology used in OECD countries;“US$260-million for piloting a utility-scale 100 MW wind power project in Sere and a 100 MW concentrated solar power project with storage in Upington; and“US$485-million for low-carbon energy efficiency components, including a railway to transport coal with fewer greenhouse gas emissions.”‘Unique circumstances’ The loan was granted despite opposition from a number of countries, including the US and the UK, because most of it is be used for environmentally unfriendly coal-fired technology. The Bank said the loan was warranted by unique circumstances, including an energy shortage brought about in part by the rapid growth of South Africa’s economy, compounded by the global financial crisis that had “exposed the country’s vulnerability to an energy shock and severe economic consequences.” Obiageli Ezekwesili, the World Bank’s vice-president for the Africa region, said that, without an increased energy supply, South Africans would face “hardship for the poor and limited economic growth … Access to energy is essential for fighting poverty and catalyzing growth, both in South Africa and the wider sub-region. “Our support to Eskom combines much-needed investments to boost generation capacity for growing small and large businesses, creating jobs, and helping lay the foundations for a clean energy future through investments in solar and wind power.”Removing barriers to energy efficiency South Africa’s government said in a statement on Thursday that work to address “market or policy barriers delaying energy efficiency and renewable programmes, as well as future actions needed to achieve mitigation objectives, was already under way with the Bank. Besides pushing for greater energy efficiency in the country, as well as increased use of alternative energy sources, Eskom would be upgrading the environmental technology at its other power plants. The government would also explore the acceleration of the de-commissioning of older power plants in the medium term, taking into account the country’s energy requirements. SAinfo reporter Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Mountain Monsters: Trapper is not dead

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest John “Trapper” Tice. Photo provided by Destination America.I am pleased to confirm that despite rumors to the contrary in January of 2016, Trapper from the television series “Mountain Monsters” is alive and well.A publicist for Discovery Communications, Inc. and “Mountain Monsters” confirmed he is in good health after a cliff hanger during one of the episodes left fans worried he had passed away.“I’m happy to confirm that Trapper is alive and well,” a publicist for the network said. “At the end of the 2016 season premiere, there was a cliffhanger revealing that Trapper had a medical emergency. In reality Trapper’s health scare occurred last spring, and fans will see in this weekend’s episode that he is now in recovery and on the mend!”Comments and messages of condolences were left on my blog from several years ago, Mountain Monsters: The inside scoop. I’m not sure why so many folks were sure Trapper had passed away, but I’m happy to report he is doing well.“Please let your readers know that his health will be addressed in the episode airing this Saturday, Jan. 30 at 10/9c,” the same publicist requested.As with everything on the Internet, it is important check your facts closely before starting rumors, that’s why I went directly to a publicist for the network on which the series airs.I’m thankful she was willing to share his health status and confirm he is “alive and well.”For more on “Mountain Monsters,” check out the following links:Men of “Mountain Monsters” investigate Ohio folklore“Mountain Monsters” — They’re more familiar than you thinkTo find out more about A.I.M.S., visit http://www.aimsa.org/.To see the full schedule for “Mountain Monsters,” visit http://www.destinationamerica.com/tv-shows/mountain-monsters.last_img read more