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Powering Science and Technology for Africa’s Economic Transformation

first_imgAfrica has achieved exceptional economic growth over the past decade, averaging 4.5 percent a year and underpinned by prudent macroeconomic management.  Now we must achieve economic growth that is accompanied by significantly less poverty and greater prosperity for all the people of the continent.With new discoveries of oil, gas, and minerals seemingly every month, we need to be able to extract, market, and invest the new-found earnings from these resources in higher quality education, health, and other vital development priorities.As Africans move to cities in ever-growing strength, we must also address unprecedented rates of urbanization and new needs for housing, infrastructure, and agricultural productivity to feed urban residents as well as increase food security in rural areas.  On the environment front, Africa, which has contributed the least to climate change, is bearing its disproportionate impact in terms of droughts, floods, rising sea levels which in turn bring economic losses and hardship.  At the same time, these challenges also bring opportunities for joint research that would benefit scientists across the world as well in Africa. There is scope for similar research collaboration between African and foreign scientists in medicine and biodiversity, irrigation, engineering, mining and other fields.But here is the challenge. We will only achieve these exciting research coalitions in Africa if we correct a longstanding imbalance in our education systems.  Today, our stock of graduates is still highly skewed towards the humanities and social sciences, while the share of our students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) averages less than 25 percent. Further, women are under-represented in science and technology-related courses and professions on the continent.Thanks to Africa’s recent progress in school enrolment, more and more students are completing primary and secondary school. This new generation of young Africans must be equipped with the modern skills and knowledge they need to find African solutions to Africa’s challenges. Earlier this year, at a High-Level Forum on Higher Education for Science, Technology and Innovation hosted by the Government of Rwanda and the World Bank in Kigali, participating countries and partners called for a bold target—to double the share of African university graduates in science and technology fields within a decade, by 2025. This is key to transform Africa into a knowledge-driven continent within a generation.So how can we do it? There are proven steps that can be taken to realign higher education with the needs of the 21st century economy and to brighten the career prospects of young Africans today. Partnership is the operative word, between academic institutions both in Africa and abroad, between universities and the private sector, and with new investment partners in Asia and Latin America. Systemic reforms are also necessary, particularly to improve the quality of education across all levels of the education system, and to make higher education more relevant to the needs of would-be employers.African universities have much to gain from joining forces with universities abroad, such as through the University of Michigan’s STEM-Africa initiative which has nurtured young scientists and advanced research networks with institutions in Africa, and also their work in training mathematicians and doctors on the continent.In fact, the African Diaspora can play a very critical role in advancing science and technology in their countries of origin by helping generate new interest in supporting the STEM fields in Africa.  We must mobilize a wide alliance of supporters including policymakers, international financial institutions such as the World Bank Group, and academics, both in Africa and abroad.  At the same time, universities in Africa now need to achieve the next level of home-grown excellence.A number of US and European universities have campuses and programs overseas, notably in Asia and the Middle East—and the next frontier is Africa. One US university has opened a campus in Rwanda, and the first cohort of students from this centre will graduate later this year. By building campuses in Africa, such programs bring quality education that is adapted to local cultural norms and requirements. Universities that move quickly will be at a significant advantage as this is a growing market that will only become larger as Africa continues its robust economic growth.  Students must also be able to apply what they learn once they graduate and look to cross the threshold of the jobs market. This requires innovative partnerships and coalitions, as well as targeted reforms.  Following the example of countries like Kenya and Senegal, ministries responsible for higher education should aim to boost private representation on their university boards and engage with the private sector to strengthen links with employers, including on curriculum design. Private sector partners in Africa can also offer apprenticeships, internships, and certification programs, to help bridge the gap between what is being taught in universities and the realities of the job market, and to invest in the next generation of technicians and corporate recruits.The World Bank is working with eight African governments and the Association of African Universities on the Africa Centres of Excellence initiative, which will strengthen 19 centres of excellence in West and Central Africa. This initiative aims to build and sustain excellence in higher education in Africa, particularly in science and technology, by fostering regional specialization, concentrating limited top-level faculty and generating knowledge “spillovers.” This sort of cooperative action is vital to maximize the impact of limited resources and achieve greater regional integration.Africa’s new partners—countries such as Brazil, China, India and Korea—can play an important role in building human capital in Africa. These countries have rich experience in developing higher education programs that serve the needs of modernizing economies, and have much to offer by way of lessons learned and active partnerships. The World Bank is working towards building a Partnership for Skills in the Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (“PASET”) that brings together new partners and African policymakers, to catalyse this process especially in high-potential sectors.  Partnership among all of these networks will commit us all to a coordinated, faster approach to advancing science and technology in Africa and helping Africans young people achieve their aspirations. It will also help companies to find young Africans with advanced skills and knowledge locally, allowing them to compete and thrive in international markets.  As more than 11 million young Africans try to join enter the job market every year over the next decade, we need to make strategic investments in their education and other development prospects in order to drive and sustain Africa’s economic transformation.Makhtar Diop, the World Bank’s Vice President for Africa, is in Rwanda attending the AfDB Annual  Meetings.   Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Chinese Mobile Phone Company Tecno Explains Why It Only Does Business in Africa

first_imgChina-based mobile phone manufacturer, Tecno Telecom Limited, exclusively does business in Africa. Last year, the company released the first ‘made in Ethiopia’ smartphone. Tecno vice president, Arif Chowdhury was in Nairobi recently and told How we made it in Africa’s Dinfin Mulupi about the firm’s expansion strategy and its plans to move all of its manufacturing to Africa.How and why did Tecno enter the African market?The company started in 2006 in Hong Kong with our first research and development centre in Shanghai, China. For two years, our business focused on the South Asia market. After studying the markets in South East Asia, Africa and Latin America, we found out that Africa would be the most lucrative market for us. We began operations here in 2008 before eventually stopping our business in Asia to exclusively focus on Africa.Today, Tecno does business in Africa only. We want to be the mobile king of Africa. The continent receives a lot of imports but the products are not always modelled to fit demand here. We ensure our products meet the local demand because they are solely produced for the African market. We are present in 12 countries in East, West and Central Africa where we currently control an average of 20% market share in each of the countries. This year we are going to explore the Southern and Northern Africa markets starting with South Africa and Egypt. We are also going to strengthen relations with technology giants both in manufacturing and service provision to ensure quality in products and customer experience. We have no option but to have the best products. You can’t be a failure in Africa and go somewhere else. We have to make it here.The African mobile market is dominated by global giants. How do you intend to become king?Even Tecno is a giant. We fight with them with more localisation and customisation of devices. We are very focused on each of the countries we do business in and their demands. With the right product and communication you can compete with them. The competition is good because it forces all players to bring better devices, better features and better prices. This is the 21st century, anybody and everybody has a chance to make it. Creativity and innovation are, however, important. It is also important to know that just because a firm is successful in Europe does not mean they are guaranteed success in every other market. The question is: what value are they adding to this particular market?Explain some of the trends you are seeing in Africa’s mobile marketThe smartphone is the mobile device to watch this year. The prices are coming down and the sales volumes will increase. This is driving mobile internet access, which then opens up a lot of doors for innovation in that space. Studies indicate that most people now access the internet through their mobile phones as opposed to PCs. We are launching more internet series mobile phones to serve the growing demand. Our research from years back shows that the buyers of Tecno phones are mostly the youth and we have decided to [focus] on this market of people aged 17 to 35. The young people want to be unique. They want unique features that allow them to play and chat.Tecno released the first ‘made in Ethiopia’ smartphone last year. Are there any plans to roll out plants in other African countries?We are proud to say that some of the Tecno phones are already ‘made in Africa’. We started a plant in Addis Ababa two year ago and it is doing well so far. We chose Ethiopia because it is unique, looking at it from a strategic point of view. We found Ethiopia’s duty structure to be more attractive. We eventually plan to move our entire production to Africa since this is the only market we serve. We will start with establishing manufacturing plants in Kenya and Nigeria. This will depend highly on a lot of factors like the customs structure and government support we receive.Some African countries are now past 100% mobile penetration. Are you expecting the mobile devices market to start shrinking?For the next five to 10 years, we expect Africa to remain the fastest growing market in the world. For the countries that are past 100% penetration, there is still a market for phone replacement. Most countries are, however, still behind in terms of penetration and we therefore expect new subscribers there. We are confident that the market is still huge, and it will be so for the next couple of years.What challenges do you face?This is the fastest moving industry. A day in the mobile industry is like a week or month in other industries. We have to constantly launch new products and improve quality and service. The competition here is fierce. The counterfeit phones are also a challenge.Describe the experience you have had while doing business in Africa.People who have not visited Africa have the wrong perception of the continent. The challenges are not as bad as the media makes it appear. If you are sincere with the people, they will support you. No other part in the world has as much resources as Africa.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Repatriation of Foreign Export Proceeds Will Be Mandated

first_imgMr. Elie Saleeby and Former Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Eugene Shannon-House’s Joint Committee begins hearing for subsequent enactment, but exporters express fear over liquidation in local banksThe House’s Joint Committee on Judiciary and Banking and Currency have begun public hearings on a draft law intended to promote economic measures aimed at protecting the value of the country’s currency by ensuring profits from export transactions are returned to Liberia.The draft law is called an “Act to Establish Export Proceeds Repatriation of Liberia 2018.”The Act seeks to ensure exporters repatriate proceeds from sales of natural resources (iron ore, rubber, timber, gold, diamond, etc) into the country within 90 days.When the law is passed, it will be the first law ever to mandate exporters to put proceeds from all goods and services, including natural resources exported to be repatriated into the local bank accounts of the exporting entity in Liberia.In yesterday’s public hearings, some exporters, including Elie Saleeby, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Premier Milling Company expressed fears over the liquidation of their proceeds if deposited into local banks and the repercussion of failing to invest their proceeds to offshore accounts as an assurance of repayment of their debts to foreign creditors.Those who were in the hearings were also former Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Eugene Shannon; Don Darden and Raymond Gwenigale of Firestone Liberia and Richard B. Fallah of Bea Mountain.An excuse from the President of the Liberia Banker’s Association (LBA), John Davies, who is presently out of the country on official duties, caused the rescheduling of the public hearings to a later date.The excuse letter was under the signature of Doreen McIntosh, Executive Secretary/Head of LBA’s Secretariat.The House’s Joint Public Hearing was chaired by Representative Ellen Attoh of the Judiciary Committee and co-chaired by Representative Dixon Seboe of the Banking and Currency Committee and also one of the sponsors of the bill.Other lawmakers in attendance were Representatives Richard Koon, Francis Dopoh, Jimmy Smith and Joseph Kolleh.Members of the Joint Committee on Judiciary and Banking and Currency in closed consultation.The Act will mandate investment companies to repatriate funds, realized from export sales of Liberia’s natural resources,  into any local bank in Liberia in order increase money supply and circulation of US dollars.The Act also seeks to encourage institutions such as Arcellor Mittal, Firestone, Sime Darby, Bea Mountain, and others to have more funds in their local accounts rather than in their offshore accounts.It is stated that no exporting entity shall remit “all” funds from sales into their foreign bank accounts of their parent companies without first being locally repatriated into their local bank account in Liberia.The bill says if an exporter fails to repatriate export proceeds within the time specified they shall be fined not less than 10% of the proceeds for every offense committed.Also, the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) will set the technical mechanics on the repatriation of proceeds to the international accounts of the parent companies of the exporting entities.Meanwhile, as in other countries, like Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria issues annual circulars to remind exporters of their obligation with respect to repatriation of export proceeds.For instance,  export proceeds for oil and gas exports are expected to be repatriated within 90 days while that of non-oil and gas exports are to be repatriated within 180 days.In a 2017 circular issued by the CBN to authorized dealers, concerning the repatriation of export proceeds into the domiciliary account of  their respective export customers.  The publication reiterates that failure to repatriate these export proceeds within the stipulated period constitutes a breach of the Foreign Exchange Regulations and as such, any exporter that defaults in the repatriation of such export proceeds will be barred from accessing all banking services, including access to the foreign exchange market.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Honors in store for local heroes

first_imgHarris has collected old prom dresses to benefit the Casa Pacifica home for abused and neglected children and has also worked with Lutheran Social Services to provide meals and sleeping bags for the homeless. She also volunteers with Operation Interdependence to organize goody bags for American troops. An award-winning equestrian, she also volunteers with the Ride On horseback riding program for people with disabilities. Other winners include: Claire Hope, who has worked for 15 years to support the Ventura County Veterans Stand Down for homeless veterans, will receive the Clara’s Angel Award. It’s named for Barton, who supported troops during the Civil War when she was known as the “Angel of the Battlefield” and organized the American Red Cross. Celine Zacarias is Diversity Ambassador of the Year for her work to help people in need through organizations like El Concilio del Condado de Ventura and the Ventura County Community Development Foundation. Jewel Pedi, a co-founder of FOOD Share to provide food for people in need, will receive the Humanitarian of the Year award. The Philanthropist of the Year award goes to Gloria Friedrich Reed, who has offered years of volunteer service to the community and created the Joseph I. Friedrich Foundation, which has made major financial gifts to St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, Santa Clara High School in Oxnard, Casa Pacifica, California State University, Channel Islands, and the Safe Harbor home for abused children and adults. For more information about the banquet, call the American Red Cross of Ventura County at (805) 987-1514, Ext. 315. eric.leach@dailynews.com (805) 583-7602160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SIMI VALLEY – Because of her, a 15-month-old baby cheated death, a pregnant woman delivered life and a 9-year-old stopped an adult from choking. And for her heroics, Deanna King will be honored Saturday as the American Red Cross of Ventura County’s female Lifesaver of the Year. King, 43, is a dispatcher for the Ventura County Fire Department. She and six other women will be recognized at the fourth annual Clara Barton Awards. “She has been with us less than a year, and this is an incredible honor for somebody who is so new,” said Steve McClellan, the department’s fire communications manager who nominated King for the honor. “It’s not an easy job. She was still in what we consider a trainee status at the time of all three of these incidents. She has demonstrated the ability to provide calm, compassionate reassurance to the callers.” King said she was taken aback by the honor and gave credit to the response from those on the other end of the 911 calls. “In every one of these cases the people were calm and receptive to instructions,” she said. “Those are the people who are real heroes in my opinion. You can imagine if you had a loved one in front of you and you think they are dying.” As a newcomer to the job, she already appreciates what she does. “It’s been a great year, and definitely the most fulfilling job I’ve ever had,” she said. “Every day you feel like you’ve accomplished something important.” Meanwhile, Samantha Harris, a senior at La Reina High School in Thousand Oaks, is being honored at the banquet as Young Woman of the Year. last_img read more

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Couple arm objectors with advice

first_img“We want it to be the young man’s decision,” Harry Eggleton said. “But even if he’s 12, if he can state his objection to war in a letter, we’ll archive it.” As part of the executive branch of the federal government, the Selective Service System maintains a list of eligible men between the ages of 18 and 25, according to its Web site. That list includes the disabled, parolees, refugees and applicants for asylum. Failure to register can result in a fine of up to $250,000, imprisonment for up to five years, or both. Some states even require Selective Service System registration to get a driver’s license. Not registering can also disqualify those seeking federal aid of any kind, such as student aid or job training, said Gail Anderson, spokesman for the U.S. Army. “I’m sure it’s common knowledge that we’d rather not have COs \, but our policy is to handle each claim on a case-by-case basis,” Anderson said. Without the draft, seeking out those who don’t register is not on the government’s priority list, he said. “We found that they haven’t enforced this much since the end of the draft in 1973,” Anderson said. “There’s just too many irons in the fire right now.” First Friends member Carrin Bouchard became involved with the Eggletons’ efforts recently, because her son is approaching his 18th birthday. “I found out that so many people don’t know that men still have to register for selective service,” Bouchard. “I want him to make the decision on his own, but I want him to understand the seriousness of a draft.” Bouchard said her Quaker father registered as a conscientious objector during World War II and was assigned to the Civil Service Patrol, where he worked as a “smoke jumper” putting out fires in the national forests. Although he was not against service to his country, his conscientious objector status made him the target of bitter discrimination by the community near Seattle where he was sent, Bouchard recalled. Being a conscientious objector was “very unusual back then,” she said. “It was the toughest thing to decide whether to follow your faith or follow your country.” pam.wight@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! turning 18. “We wanted to let young men know about their legal obligation before they register, because a decision made now could have implications later if there’s a draft,” said Harry Eggleton, 53. Without a solid “paper trail” showing a moral objection to war, “if there is a draft, you may have as little as 10 days to build a case” for conscientious objector status, he added. Parents and boys under 18 should keep record of any activities or actions proving a moral position against war or violence as a means of problem-solving, Eggleton said. First Friends will even archive those records, he added. Even non-members of the church and non-religious persons can submit a letter to the church declaring their intent to register as a conscientious objector and why. The letter goes into the church’s monthly minutes and is archived, providing a legal document if ever needed. WHITTIER – There is no military draft, but should that day ever arrive, local Quaker couple Harry and Anne Eggleton want young people and their parents to be prepared. Although the longtime pacifists believe the decision to go into combat should be an individual one, those who share the couple’s view that war is morally wrong should lay the groundwork early for declaring conscientious objector status, the Eggletons believe. “It’s important they build a paper trail” supporting a conscientious objector claim, Harry Eggleton said. The couple, who are longtime members of First Friends Church, a Quaker church in Uptown Whittier, recently held a seminar there to educate parents and young men about conscientious objector status. They also discussed the federal law requiring all males to register for the selective service within 30 days of last_img read more

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VICTIMS OF PAEDOPHILE PRIESTS RAISE AWARENESS OF RAPHOE REPORT WITH DUBLIN PROTEST

first_imgVICTIMS of paedophile priests held a protest in Dublin yesterday – two weeks before a report on the Raphoe Diocese is published.ACCAI (Abused Catholic Children Association of Ireland) held the protest at the Pro Cathedral in Dublin aimed at the upcoming Raphoe dioceses report into child abuse.The report from the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, into abuse in Raphoe, is to be published following an audit of the diocese by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic church. The final draft has to be approved by Bishop Philip Boyce before it is released. It will now only deal with what is found in Diocese records.The group, that protests weekly at the Pro Cathedral, organised the weekend’s protest with Raphoe as their subject due to the fact that a lot of Donegal GAA supporters will be in the city for the All Ireland Semi Final game with Dublin and it will enable them to get involved.One of the organisers, John Deegan from County Donegal said: “The protest went very well and we did what we set out to do – to raise awareness of our situation.“There were a lot of Donegal people in town for the big game and hopefully we managed to address a number of issues with them,” he said. EndsVICTIMS OF PAEDOPHILE PRIESTS RAISE AWARENESS OF RAPHOE REPORT WITH DUBLIN PROTEST was last modified: August 29th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:PRTEST. PAEDOPHILESlast_img read more

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Ships meet with pomp, spectacle

first_imgLONG BEACH – Surrounded by an army of news helicopters, Coast Guard cruisers, sailboats and yachts, the giant Queen Mary 2 floated into Long Beach Harbor on Thursday in a scene reminiscent of its predecessor’s arrival here nearly 40 years ago. The 2,620-passenger oceanliner exchanged whistle salutes with the Queen Mary in a rendezvous marking the first time the two ships have greeted each other. Thousands lined the city’s shoreline, gathered on oceanfront rooftops and crammed the decks of the 72-year-old Queen Mary for a glimpse of the immense newer ship, which itself was packed with passengers. “It’s just a beautiful ship, a beautiful sight to see,” said Long Beach resident Bill Murff, taking pictures with wife Millie from the Queen Mary’s top deck as the QM2 entered the harbor at noon. As for the aging Queen Mary, the financially troubled ship couldn’t have received more publicity had it sunk. News helicopters and ground crews from as far as Japan, Europe and South America captured the oceanic greeting, and the Queen Mary counted more than 2,500 people on board the ship by 12:30, nearly eight times its daily weekday average, officials said. The ship’s operators filed for bankruptcy protection in March after the city, which owns the ship, claimed more than $3 million in back rent was due. The QM2 has faced its share of troubles in recent times as well. In January, more than 2,000 passengers were offered full refunds after one of the oceanliner’s propeller pods was damaged, forcing it to miss three ports of call en route from Florida to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Moment in the sun Despite the troubles, most spectators Thursday focused on the two ships’ glory. Ann Korecko, who arrived in America from Europe 57 years ago aboard the Queen Mary, was flooded with memories of her transatlantic voyage while visiting the ship Thursday. “I think of my mother and my brother, whom I came across with, and we didn’t know the language, but the trip was quite an experience,” said Korecko, visiting Southern California from Cleveland, where she now lives with her husband. “I came from a small village, so going onto the Queen Mary as a child in 1949 was like entering a whole other world.” Immediately following the rendezvous, the QM2 departed for Mexico. The ship returns to Los Angeles’ Berth 87 Saturday to pick up passengers for an 11-day trip to Hawaii. Following the Hawaiian trip, the QM2 is not scheduled to return to California until 2007. The immense ship dwarfed the flotilla of about 400 boats that greeted it as it entered Queen’s Gate, the opening in the breakwater protecting Long Beach Harbor. A fireboat also saluted the visitor with spectacular spouts that reached over 100 feet. There were seven spout shooters on the Long Beach Fire Department vessel, named Liberty, spraying the area with 10,000 gallons of water per minute, said Long Beach Fire Capt. Keith Seward. Shoreline crowded The spectacle also drew thousands to the city’s shoreline for a glimpse of the two floating behemoths. Patty Rubeo and her brother, Mike Nailling, came up to the downtown Marina from Leisure World in Seal Beach and Huntington Beach, respectively, to watch the meeting of the Marys. Rubeo is now retired and Nailling works as a Realtor, but both have rather vivid memories of a shared trip on the Queen Mary. In 1966, when the two were teenagers, a chance encounter with a benefactor allowed them to make the transatlantic crossing when it appeared they would be stranded in Europe. As Nailling tells the story, he and his sister worked and sold his motorcycle and her car in the summer of 1966 to fund a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe, which included round-trip airfare and rail passes. On the last day of their trip and out of money, the two teenagers went into a travel agency in Athens to pick up their return tickets, only to learn that a massive airline strike had virtually shut down air travel to the United States. The great airline strike of 1966, which would stretch for seven weeks, had just begun. As Nailling tells it, he and his sister were in a near panic when at that moment that a man he knew only as Ted walked in. As it turned out, Nailling had worked the year before parking cars in Pasadena and always parked Ted’s Mercedes. Hearing the youngsters’ plight, the man invited them to be his guests on a Greek island. Two weeks later, he arranged passage for the youngsters to Cherbourg, France and passage to New York City. Looking back on the trip, Nailling said, “That’s why I went into the Navy, and why it was so disappointing. I kept asking ‘Where’s my lobster?”‘ Although the Queen Mary’s sailing days would end a little over a year after Nailling and Rubeo made their passage, the two remember the trip vividly. “That was literally the experience of our young lives,” Nailling said. Not all the Queen Mary’s voyages were remembered as fondly, however. As a young girl, Barbara Harrison made the transatlantic trip from Cherbourg, France, to New York in March 1963. “It was a cold, bitter winter and I was a student returning home,” said Harrison, aboard the Queen Mary with daughter Sarah and other family members Thursday. “I remember there was barely anybody aboard and I spent the trip with my mother and aunt mostly playing Scrabble. The ship was creaking along the way. It wasn’t the most exciting experience.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant “We saw the original Queen Mary when she was making her way to Long Beach (in 1967) and it was one of the most picture-perfect scenes I’ve ever seen,” he said. “This brings us back to that moment. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event.” The Queen Mary, in use as a floating hotel and museum since its permanent berthing here in December 1967, was once the gold standard of luxury oceanliners. During its heyday in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, the 1,013-foot-long ship ferried the rich and famous including Winston Churchill, Bob Hope, Greta Garbo and Clark Gable on transatlantic cruises. While the two ships share many similarities, including elegant art deco furnishings, white-glove service and a similar red, white and black exterior paint scheme, the newer ship is not only much larger, but contains more modern amenities like gyms, dance clubs and a casino. The QM2 arrived in the Port of Los Angeles early Wednesday in its first West Coast visit since its launch in early 2004. The ship departed Wednesday evening with a full load of passengers for a three-night, four-day cruise to Ensenada, Mexico. Thursday’s rendezvous was part of that cruise.last_img read more

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Bilic targets high-quality signings amid links to Manchester City duo

first_img Manchester City duo Pablo Zabaleta and Kelechi Iheanacho Slaven Bilic has said West Ham must make high-quality signings after they were linked with Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho and Pablo Zabaleta.An indifferent performance this season at one stage saw Bilic’s side flirt with the Premier League relegation zone.Speculation over new recruits has begun ahead of their final game of the season against Burnley on Sunday, and Bilic says he wants players who will improve his team rather than merely add numbers to his squad.West Ham have recently been linked in media reports with City striker Iheanacho and full-back Zabaleta. The latter will be available on a free transfer after announcing he would end his nine-year spell at the Etihad Stadium.When the names of both players were brought up in his pre-match press conference, Bilic was adamant West Ham must only acquire new additions who will have an immediate impact.“We don’t need squad players,” the West Ham manager said.“Take our last game against Liverpool. We were without eight players but still had a decent team so that shows that squad-wise, with the quantity of the players, we are okay. We would like to improve the quality in certain positions but I don’t want to talk about names now.“But hopefully we are going to be successful in finishing those transfers. Most of the players are linked with West Ham, the big majority of those are rumours, there’s no truth in them.”West Ham great Sir Trevor Brooking backed the possible signing of Zabaleta this week, claiming the Argentinian’s leadership qualities would benefit the club.However, Bilic was adamant his current squad have enough leaders in the dressing room who have helped with overcoming difficult periods this season.“We have leaders on our team,” Bilic said. “We have good vocal leaders on our team and we also have a good core of British players who are leaders plus some foreigners who are skippers in their teams.“They are also the reason why we made it in very difficult times. Every time that was difficult for us and we needed to show that character before a game, we did it.“Starting with Mark Noble of course who is a great captain, (James) Collins, (Winston) Reid, (Andy) Carroll when he was there. Players like (Jose) Fonte who was captain of Southampton long enough in the Premier League, so we are good in that.”Bilic said the club have activated an extension clause in goalkeeper Adrian’s contract, which was due to expire this summer.The 30-year-old was demoted to second choice behind Darren Randolph following a dip in form, but the Hammers will keep the Spaniard on their books for an extra two years. 1last_img read more

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Chelsea ‘agree £35m deal to sign Juventus ace’

first_imgChelsea have agreed a £35million deal for Juventus defender Daniele Rugani, according to reports.The Blues have been chasing the Italy international all summer and they have been in talks to sign him for the last couple of weeks. RANKED Rugani is a target for incoming Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri LATEST IN DEMAND LIVING THE DREAM TOP WORK Chelsea initially failed with an offer worth around £30m but, according to Premium Sport, a fee has finally been agreed with Juve. Latest transfer news The Italian is set to takeover at Stamford Bridge this summer after being replaced by Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli.Antonio Conte is currently still in charge at Chelsea, but the club are seemingly preparing for life under Sarri by wrapping up a deal for Rugani. Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland Liverpool’s signings under Michael Edwards – will Minamino be the next big hit? Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer moving on 2 targets Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Sarri is expected to take charge of Chelsea in the coming days targets 2 Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star three-way race Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father Rugani is set to move to Stamford Bridge for £35m and sign a long-term contract worth over £70,000-a-week.Chelsea’s decision to push through a deal for the 23-year-old centre-back reportedly came from incoming boss Maurizio Sarri. Chelsea confident of beating Man United and Liverpool to Sancho signing REVEALED Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti last_img read more

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