Scooters, e-bikes gain traction as virus lockdowns ease

first_imgLime, which has agreed to take over the Uber Jump scooters and bikes, said it has seen “exponential” growth in cities such as Paris, Washington, Tel Aviv, Oklahoma City and Zurich, among others,Spin recently unveiled plans to launch its shared e-scooters in Cologne and other German cities, and will expand in US cities including Atlanta.Spin said it had seen weekly usage increases of some 30 percent since April with people using scooters for longer periods.The scooters “are being used now more than ever as a utility rather than for leisurely activities,” said Euwyn Poon, president and cofounder of Spin.Global scooter operator Bird also said business is looking up, with North American ridership more than double pre-pandemic levels.”Around the world, an increasing number of people are trying micromobility for the first time,” Bird said in a blog post. Electric bikes and scooters, dismissed before the pandemic as a curiosity or nuisance, are getting fresh traction in cities seeking new transportation options as they emerge from lockdowns.Some “micromobility” operators which cut back or shut down during the coronavirus lockdowns are now expanding to meet growing demands.Shared mobility operators Lime, Bird and Ford-owned Spin report robust growth in cities worldwide, despite a near-shutdown of tourism, as people turn to scooters and e-bikes for commuting or errands. Finding an economic model Harriet Tregoning, director of the Numo Alliance, a nonprofit group focused on urban mobility, said the economic model for shared micromobility firms remains murky.Venture-funded firms which cater to tourists and college campuses may only marginally help with post-COVID transportation needs, she said.These services have more value if integrated into transportation systems, Tregoning said.This could be done in coordination with transit agencies to help reach underserved areas, with the possibility of public or employer subsidies for “bundled” subscriptions.Tregoning said micromobility can become a more important element if cities invest and coordinate with transportation agencies.”Cities need to invest in bikesharing and create a strategic relationship to transit,” she said.Technology analyst Richard Windsor said e-bikes “are a good replacement for public transportation because the motor assistance makes the commute much easier for those that are less fit or do not want to arrive at the office drenched in sweat.”But Windsor writes on his Radio Free Mobile blog that the trend “points towards a user preference towards ownership and away from sharing.” Topics :center_img Shifting gears In the months before the pandemic, some local officials were decrying dockless bikes and scooters as nuisances creating sidewalk “clutter.”But the pandemic has changed the outlook, with fear of crowds cutting transit ridership by 70 to 90 percent.”The pandemic has certainly changed the way communities view micromobility,” said Susan Shaheen, co-director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California at Berkeley.”Anecdotal evidence suggests that a lot of communities are considering micromobility as an important strategy to maintain social/physical distancing as the economy reopens.”Traditional bicycling is also experiencing a revival in many urban areas, spurred by new protected lanes which may be used by the small electric vehicles as well.The pandemic disruption “has created fertile ground” for micromobility, said Annie Chang, head of new mobility for the engineering association SAE International and author of a report on COVID’s impact on transportation.”I think people have begun to see the value of tiny vehicles and that value will increase as the technology improves.”Without new options, she noted, many cities could see a rise in auto traffic and congestion. “People are desperate for open air transportation where they can maintain social distancing,” said David Spielfogel, chief policy officer at Lime, which has relaunched in most of its 100-plus cities.Spielfogel said city officials have warmed to the idea of micromobility despite a cool attitude just months earlier.”There has been a sea change in the attitude of cities from seeing micromobility as  novelty primarily used by tourists to seeing bikes and scooters as a core piece of the transportation system that will thrive in the post-pandemic period,” he said.”Cities are afraid that people will return to cars, so they see this as a good option.”last_img read more

Anticorruption fight at risk as Supreme Court acquits another high-profile graft defendant

first_img“The court’s action [of granting acquittals to graft suspects] has rendered antigraft efforts by law enforcement agencies futile,” said Kurnia Ramadhana of Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW).Supreme Court spokesperson Andi Samsan Nganro declined to comment, saying only that the court’s decision to reject the KPK’s appeal against Sofyan’s acquittal was based on evidence presented in the trial. “Everything was based on the facts,” Andi said.Kurnia claimed on Thursday that the decision to clear Sofyan of the charges only served to exacerbate the lack of commitment to the fight against corruption, confirming an ICW report finding.The April report on court ruling trends recorded that Indonesia’s lower and higher courts handed down not-guilty verdicts on 41 graft suspects in 2019, almost double the 2018 figure.The antigraft watchdog also found that the courts had “let off” 13 defendants, meaning that they were guilty of wrongdoing but the act that they were accused of could not be considered criminal.“Expect fewer successful corruption cases in the future if the court keeps granting acquittals, because graft offenders will find it easy to dodge charges laid against them,” he told The Jakarta Post.Indonesia had been gradually improving its standing in the fight against corruption, but the tables have turned since efforts to defang the antigraft body began last year.Indonesia scored 40 out of 100 in Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perception Index, its highest since 2012, but a score below 50 is still an indicator of serious corruption.Zaenur Rohman, a researcher at Gadjah Mada University’s Center for Anticorruption Studies (Pukat UGM), said that while the public must respect every decision the courts make, the growing number of acquittals had begun to form a trend, leading him to question the integrity of court judges.For Transparency International Indonesia researcher Wawan Suyatmiko, the increase in acquittals has already crushed public faith in the court system as a partner of the KPK in the war against corruption.Wawan said there was a need for more court justices like Artidjo Alkostar to restore the public’s faith in the courts.Artidjo, now a member of the KPK’s oversight body, was a former Supreme Court justice known for his no-nonsense demeanor and clean track record.He made graft convicts think twice before lodging an appeal, as he would often give them harsher sentences than their initial verdicts.Previously, activists have suggested that the court arrange a set of guidelines for judges to follow when handling corruption cases, so as to restore trust in the court system.KPK spokesman Ali Fikri said the antigraft body would respect all rulings issued by a court, even though they appeared to undermine its anticorruption efforts.“We always promptly review every court ruling, hoping that there will be leeway for us to legally challenge them. That’s how law enforcement works in the country,” Ali said.Topics : While the KPK claimed that the supporting evidence gathered was sufficient to prove Sofyan’s involvement, the court insisted that the Jakarta Corruption Court’s prior decision was the correct one.Activists have lambasted the court ruling, saying it poses a new threat to anticorruption efforts, given that it was not the first time that a major graft suspect had been cleared of wrongdoing by the courts.Last year, the Supreme Court acquitted former Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA) chairman Syafruddin Arsyad Temenggung, the man at the center of the Bank Indonesia Liquidity Support (BLBI) scandal, of corruption charges.At the time, the court granted an appeal filed by Syafruddin to overturn a lower court’s decision to sentence him to 15 years in prison with a fine of Rp 1 billion (US$70,736) for his role in the multimillion-dollar graft case. The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has once again hit a wall in its fight against corruption after the Supreme Court upheld the acquittal of the former head of state-run electricity company PLN, Sofyan Basir, the latest graft suspect to evade conviction.His acquittal was formalized in a court ruling dated June 16, in which the Supreme Court rejected the KPK’s appeal against a not-guilty verdict handed down by the Jakarta Corruption Court last year.Previously, KPK investigators detained the former PLN president director for allegedly receiving bribes in relation to a coal-fired power plant (PLTU) project in Riau province.last_img read more

Renovate or detonate potential stirs interest in post-war home

first_img26 Ford St, ClayfieldA POST-WAR home set on a 799sq m corner block has been causing a bit of a stir because of its strong “renovate or detonate” potential.The four bedroom, one bathroom, two car garage home at 26 Ford St, Clayfield, is among inner city properties that have the allure of being built after 1945, meaning that they could be demolished subject to Brisbane City Council approval.26 Ford St, ClayfieldNot that the current property is anything to sniff at. Surrounded by established gardens, with an expansive entry patio, it has strong renovation potential for the person who wants to modernise the property.It has a large living room that’s currently carpeted with an enclosed veranda to one side.A red-painted rumpus room with a built-in cupboard and ceiling fan is also located off the living space.Towards the rear of the home was the kitchen with long timber bench tops, ample cabinetry and quality appliances.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home5 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor5 hours ago26 Ford St, ClayfieldAlongside the cooking space is a dining room with a built-in cupboard and antique lighting that then connects to three more bedrooms.Each of the bedrooms is carpeted and enjoys ample natural light and distinct colour schemes, with a quaint bathroom with a combined shower and bath tub servicing them.Classic features, such as polished timber floors, decorative cornices, casement windows and brightly-coloured walls and carpet, give the house old-world elegance, with airconditioning throughout ensuring modern comfort.From the dining room, stairs descend to a large back yard bordered by trees for plenty of privacy, with the property also including a single carport and under-house storage space.26 Ford St, ClayfieldAgent Dwight Ferguson of Ray White Ascot said the light-filled and breezy house was ready to reward its next owners regardless of which development path they chose.“This neat and tidy abode delivers you the opportunity to move straight in while you carefully plan the exciting future of this sought-after address,” Ferguson said.“The double block offers exceptional space for expanding on the current property and creating a modern family haven.”26 Ford St, Clayfield“Alternatively, buyers have the option to start from a completely blank canvas where they are only limited by their imagination.”Inspections are by appointment with Ferguson, with the home to be auctioned on site at noon on May 13.last_img read more

Cannabis-based medicines: Two drugs approved for NHS

first_imgNew guidance, released on Monday by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), says there is no evidence to show that cannabis is beneficial for people suffering long-term pain.Charities had hoped that the drug would become widely available after it was decriminalised for medical use by Sajid Javid last November following high-profile campaigns involving children such as Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell, who both have hard-to-treat epilepsy. BBC News 11 November 2019Family First Comment: The way medicine should be administered“Doctors will be able to prescribe Epidyolex, for children with two types of severe epilepsy – Lennox Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome – which can cause multiple seizures a day. Clinical trials have shown the oral solution, which contains cannabidiol (CBD), could reduce the number of seizures by up to 40% in some children. The drug does not contain the main psychoactive component of cannabis, THC.”Not smoked, not grown in your backyard – as the Greens would cannabis-based medicines, used to treat epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, have been approved for use by the NHS in England.It follows new guidelines from the drugs advisory body NICE, which looked at products for several conditions.Charities have welcomed the move, although some campaigners who have been fighting for access to the drugs have said it does not go far enough.Both medicines were developed in the UK, where they are also grown.Doctors will be able to prescribe Epidyolex, for children with two types of severe epilepsy – Lennox Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome – which can cause multiple seizures a day.Clinical trials have shown the oral solution, which contains cannabidiol (CBD), could reduce the number of seizures by up to 40% in some children.Epidyolex was approved for use in Europe in September, but in draft guidance NICE initially said it was not value for money.It costs between £5,000 and £10,000 per patient each year – but the manufacturer, GW Pharmaceuticals, has agreed a lower discounted price with the NHS.It is estimated there are 3,000 people with Dravet and 5,000 with Lennox Gastaut syndrome in England.READ MORE: cannabis ruled out for chronic pain by NHS drug watchdog in decision branded ‘devastating’The Telegraph 11 November 2019Cannabis should not be prescribed for chronic pain, the NHS funding watchdog has ruled, in a decision branded ‘devastating’ by campaigners.last_img read more

Fundraiser to benefit ALS Association on Saturday

first_imgBUCKSPORT — Perform Your ALS Off Variety Show will be held on June 6 at the Bucksport Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m., featuring a number of local performers.Perform Your ALS Off is a fundraising event for the Bangor Walk to Defeat ALS with the proceeds to benefit the ALS Association Northern New England Chapter.The June 6 show is dedicated in honor of Cory Bennett and in memory of George Miller, Philip Jenkins, Paul Klenowski Sr. and Joe Bigl.Tickets are currently on sale at BookStacks in Bucksport for $10 (or more). Perform Your ALS Off is sponsored by the Bucksport Area Cultural Arts Society.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textAmyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord.When these cells die, voluntary muscle control and movement dies with them.  Patients in the later stages of the disease are totally paralyzed, yet in most cases, their minds remain sharp and alert.The ALS Association’s mission is leading the fight to treat and cure ALS through global research and nationwide advocacy while also empowering people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support.The 2015 Bangor Walk to Defeat ALS is scheduled for Saturday, August 29.To find out more about ALS and the resources available in New England, to register for the Walk, or to make a donation, visit read more

The Latest: 2 people test positive in F1

first_imgThe Paraguayan soccer association says Guarani, 12 de Octubre and San Lorenzo cannot play and train until another medical examination is held.The soccer association did not say how many players or club staff members have become infected.The league had been scheduled to resume later in the day after a four-month suspension caused by the pandemic. San Lorenzo was to play General Diaz.Guarani was scheduled to play Guaireña on Saturday and 12 de Octubre was to play Sol de America.Club executives are expected to meet later in the day to discuss whether other matches will go forward. Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Formula One says two people tested positive for the coronavirus in the latest batch of tests carried out before the Hungarian Grand Prix. July 17, 2020 ___The world triathlon championships will be staged this year but it’s unclear where and when.The worlds were originally scheduled to take place in August at the Edmonton world series grand final but they were canceled in April because of the coronavirus pandemic. The governing body of the sport now says a 2020 worlds can go ahead after recommendations from athletes and coaches and talks with national federations.World Triathlon also canceled three World Cups in Brazil and China.World Triathlon says it was forced to scrap two World Cups and three Asian Cups in China scheduled for September and October after the country’s government last week canceled all international sports for the rest of the year. Paraguay has done comparatively well in combating the virus. Only 27 people in the country of almost 7 million residents have died with the virus of about 3,300 infected.___Sporting events in England could be opened up to spectators starting in October.No fans have been allowed at stadiums since sports resumed in the country in June after a three-month shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says “from October we intend to bring back audiences in stadia … in a COVID-secure way subject to the successful outcome of pilots.”center_img ___More AP sports: and The Latest: 2 people test positive in F1 ___The Atlantic 10 Conference is postponing its fall sports season, which includes soccer, cross country, field hockey and women’s volleyball. The conference announced it will try to play those sports in the spring semester, and has agreed to a “look-in” window during September to evaluate whether it is possible to conduct shortened, conference-only seasons in fall sports.___The restart of the Paraguayan soccer league has been called off after three teams came down with cases of the coronavirus. F1 said 4,997 tests for COVID-19 were carried out from July 10-16 ahead of Sunday’s race outside of Budapest. No further information was given about the two people who tested positive. They have been removed from the Hungaroring vicinity and isolated.F1 reported no positive cases from more than 8,000 tests carried out over the previous two races held in Austria at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. Personnel attending the races are tested every five days with results made public every seven days.There are two scheduled races at the British GP on Aug. 2 and Aug. 9.last_img read more

Golden Jaguars to face Bermuda tomorrow

first_imgTHE Golden Jaguars, Guyana’s senior men’s national team, will face Bermuda tomorrow in a lead-up to the country’s debut at the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup.Coach Michael Johnson and his troop arrived on the British Overseas Territory this week as part of their camp and preparation for Guyana’s opening game against the USA on June 18 in Minneapolis.A release from the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) stated that the 23-man squad arrived in Bermuda and had their first training session together on Monday.Under the watchful eyes of coach Johnson and his technical staff, the session was held during the mid-afternoon period at the Bermuda’s National Sports Center.Johnson said that there is a lot of excitement in the camp and in the first day of training one always has to be careful since players might tend to overdo it so it is their job to calm them down, noting that it is natural.“Players want to impress and also stamp their authority on the training session on the opening day but obviously that would calm down as they get to know each other and learn more of the technical and tactical of what we expect them to do in and out of possession,” the former Jamaican International defender stated.Johnson alluded to the fact that the Gold Cup is a big tournament for Guyana and one of historical proportions, reminding that this will be the country’s debut at the highest level in the Confederation.Tomorrow’s friendly against Bermuda, Johnson posited, is well-timed and would certainly have technical folks from Panama, USA and Trinidad and Tobago observing the match for clues on Guyana, be it style of play or personnel, which means that he and team would have to be smart in their approach to this match as well as the Haiti game in Costa Rica, next week.“So with that in mind, for me it’s not about the result as such, it’s about principles that we want to see, players trying their best, working hard, enjoying possession of the football rather than the technical and tactical side of things which would come in time for the US game.”Following tomorrow’s encounter against Bermuda, Guyana will travel to Costa Rica where they will face Haiti on June 11.last_img read more

Beat‌ ‌writers‌ ‌split‌ ‌on Syracuse’s road test against North‌ ‌Carolina‌ ‌State‌

first_imgComing off its first winning streak of the season, Syracuse (3-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) travels to Raleigh on Thursday to take on North Carolina State (3-2, 0-1) at 8 p.m. Aside from having identical records, both teams are also coming off their first idle weeks of the season, which SU head coach Dino Babers said came at a “good time” for each team. While Syracuse is riding a two-game win streak and NC State most recently lost to Florida State, both teams have yet to win a game against a Power 5 opponent and currently sit in the middle of the pack in the ACC. They’re also in different spots at the quarterback position, as SU’s Tommy DeVito is healthy after getting banged up against Holy Cross while the Wolfpack just named Hutchinson Community College transfer Bailey Hockman their starter against the Orange. Here’s what our beat writers predict will happen when Syracuse visits Carter-Finley Stadium in primetime on Thursday.Eric Black (4-1)Crying WolfSyracuse 30, North Carolina State 20Thursday begins the heart of ACC play for the Orange, who finds itself at a crossroads as it nears the midway point of the season. Are they the team that was outscored 104-26 combined against Maryland and Clemson? Or are they the squad that flashed its offensive firepower in its last two games, wins over Western Michigan and Holy Cross? This is the time for SU to silence the critics it accumulated during its pair of losses, and I think it will. Not only is NC State starting an inexperienced quarterback against a Syracuse defense that’s been playing well, but SU’s counterpart, Tommy DeVito, is healthy and prepared after an idle week. I was surprised to see the Orange are underdogs for Thursday’s game, but I don’t think that’ll be a trend moving forward. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAndrew Graham (4-1)‘He’s the starting quarterback. Next question.’Syracuse 34, North Carolina State 31Tommy DeVito is set to start after appearing to tweak his throwing arm late against Holy Cross more than a week ago. Between his abilities compared to North Carolina State’s Bailey Hockman and Syracuse’s defense’s propensity for sacks and turnovers, I have to give SU the slight edge. When pressed about why he kept DeVito in to the point he got hurt in a blowout, Babers took umbrage at the suggestion DeVito shouldn’t have been playing. Well, he’ll be playing Thursday opposite a redshirt sophomore making his first start for NC State and I’ll take that bet. This game is more or less a toss-up on paper, but give me DeVito and Dino Babers’ 2-0 record on Thursdays to stay perfect. Josh Schafer (4-1)Thrown to the wolvesNorth Carolina State 27, Syracuse 24Through five games Syracuse has struggled to protect the quarterback. On Monday, Dino Babers, declined to provide any additional information on offensive lineman Sam Heckel, adding that the status of all the injured players from before the bye week would likely “stay the same.” With Heckel likely out again, Syracuse will face a North Carolina State defense which ranks 11th in the nation with 18 sacks. If the Wolfpack gets after Tommy DeVito it will be a long game for Syracuse in a night game on the road.  Comments Published on October 9, 2019 at 9:47 pm Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Terry Sent off as Chelsea Progresses in FA Cup

first_imgChelsea captain John Terry was sent off on his first start since October as the Premier League leaders overcame League One Peterborough in the FA Cup.The Blues made nine changes for the third-round tie and almost trailed when Asmir Begovic saved Lee Angol’s close-range header.But Antonio Conte’s side had 20 shots by half time, with Pedro’s curled finish and a drilled Michy Batshuayi effort giving them a cushion, before Willian drove in from 18 yards after the break.Terry saw red for bringing Angol down as the last man and Tom Nicholls prodded in from six yards for a buoyed Posh, only for Pedro to restore a three-goal advantage from the edge of the box.Terry’s error will draw scrutiny but Chelsea were impressive in responding to defeat at Tottenham, their first in 11 matches in all competitions.They exuded energy from the off and had 20 shots by half-time as squad players such as Nathaniel Chalobah and Ruben Loftus-Cheek impressing in midfield.Antonio Conte’s side will learn their fourth round opponents in Monday’s live draw on BBC Two and online from 19:00 GMT.Conte felt Terry was hard done by, claiming the decision was “not right”.But the central defender – who was making his 50th FA Cup start but only his eighth appearance in all competitions this season – clearly impeded the impressive Angol and he has now collected three of Chelsea’s last six red cards.The ex-England captain, 36, instantly put his hands on his head and protested with referee Kevin Friend to no avail.Before his early bath Terry had completed 100% of his 30 passes, though he only won 20% of his duels, less than defensive partners Gary Cahill (50%) and the fit-again Kurt Zouma (60%).“John played a really good game,” added Conte. “For me, in this season he has shown me great ability.”Zouma’s return after 11 months out with a knee injury was a positive for Conte, who recalled defender Nathan Ake from loan at Bournemouth on Sunday.Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said: “I am pleased, when you change nine players it is never easy to play a good game and to be a team. Today we showed we were a team. I’m pleased for those who have played less as they have showed me good form.On the return of Kurt Zouma, Conte added: “I am very happy. It is a first game after a really bad injury and he is fully recovered. He played good. We know he can improve a lot.”Peterborough manager Grant McCann said: “I thought we were excellent. I thought we had two or three really good chances. I couldn’t believe Begovic saved from Angol.“The biggest difference is how clinical they are. It is something we need to work on. I thought the boys were outstanding and in the second half we matched them.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Basketball: Otis Calls on D’Tigress to Focus on FIBA World Cup

first_imgThe former Golden State Warriors assistant coach expressed excitement over the opportunity to work with the team which he described as “a bunch of talented professionals.”“I am excited, I have coached a lot of players but that doesn’t matter. I can’t be more excited than I am now. I get chills while talking about this. I drove 6 hours here.”Otis said to achieve World Cup success, it takes the effort of everybody involved as the world needs to know the full potential of the D’Tigress.“They know you are here, they know you can play and that you are good, but they don’t know how smart you really are and they don’t know your potentials.”He reminded the players that representing Nigeria at the World Cup is a life time experience which may not present itself again.He charged them to stay focused and write their names in gold as they represent the country and provide the needed inspiration for the kids thinking of taking up basketball as a profession.“You girls are trying to make a living for your family, trying to represent your country. There is another little kid somewhere in the world watching you wanting to know what they will be when they grow up. You are going to give them that information. You are going to give the world that information, they are going to know the truth about you.”“I am really excited to see what you girls can do and I will be more excited to see the look on the world’s face when it gets done”, Otis concluded.In what seemed to be a sign of good things to come, the team recorded its first warm up win games against Yellow Jackets PRO by 96 points to 92 earlier yesterday.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Newly appointed Head Coach of Nigeria’s senior women’s basketball team, D’Tigress, Otis Hughley, has charged the team not to give in to distractions as they prepare for their first FIBA World Cup since 2006.While addressing the team currently camped in Atlanta, USA, Otis said that with the little time left to prepare the team for the biggest stage, it is imperative that the players come together as one indivisible unit to make Nigerians happy.“Don’t give in to those distractions because you are not going to be your best you if you do. If you are not your best you, it is a disservice to the gift God has given you. If you are not thinking about doing what it is you have been put on earth to do by representing who you are, your family and future, then you have been distracted.”last_img read more