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MH370: New search underway

MH370: New search underway

first_imgSearchers for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are having a final roll of the dice by moving north into a 25,000 sq. km search area defined by a meeting of high-powered experts as the potential crash site.The last remaining ship in the search, the Dutch-owned Fugro Equator, moved into the new search area on January 6th and is conducting sonar sweeps in a last-ditch attempt to locate the missing Boeing 777, which disappeared in March, 2014 with 239 passengers and crew on board.The move, less than two weeks before the search is scheduled to end, is an attempt to cover at least some of the area now believed to likely contain the debris field.The search is being led by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau which confirmed the change to AirlineRatings.com.  “Fugro Equator is completing its final swing and gathering some sonar data in areas we haven’t previously completed,” an ATSB spokesman said. “Equator’s search operations are expected to be completed by the end of January.” Dr Richard Cole, from the University College of London, has been tracking the ship and revealed the decision to head north into the new search area.“Equator has re-entered the search to the north, away from the area originally identified in late 2014 by the Australian Defence Science and Technology Group,’’ he told The Daily Beast. “Using a sonar system, it is now checking sea floor not previously scanned. The search has only limited time left, but they are investing this remaining time in scanning the area they now believe is the most likely location of MH370.”The Equator left Fremantle on Monday December 12 and a typical mission lasts 40 days which would mean that the ship has approximately two more weeks to search this new area.An $A200m sweep of the 120,000 sq km area defined in 2014 as a probable location for the debris proved fruitless but a meeting in November of global aviation and crash experts defined the additional area using new information from ocean drift research made possible by the discovery of debris on in the Western Indian Ocean from the missing plane.The new area is deeper and more rugged than the previous search area, with some sections 6000m deep, and experts say a thorough search would require two ships.All eyes are now on the Malaysian Government, which has responsibility for the investigation, to see whether it will fund the $A40-$A50 million it would take to complete the search of the new area. The Australian government has shown little enthusiasm for putting extra money into the search but would likely allow the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to continue heading the effort if Malaysia funds it.The three governments involved in the search — Malaysia, China and Australia — decided last July to end it once the sweep of the original 120,000 sq, km, search zone was complete if no new credible evidence of a specific location for the debris was forthcoming.The transport ministers of Malaysia and Australia indicated last year the 25,000 sq. km search area was not specific enough, despite a recommendation by the experts that it should be searched to exhaust the remaining possibilities of finding the plane. The finding that the search should continue is backed by the families of MH370 victims and members of the search team.Malaysia Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said last week the decision whether or not to extend the search would be taken before the end of January but indicated it was likely to end.“We are in the final lap. The search will be completed in the next two weeks, then after that we will let people know. We will have a tripartite meeting,” Malaysia’s The Star newspaper quoted Liow as saying.Platitudes are not enough for families needing answers on MH370: Read our comment on contiuing the search.Meanwhile, reports have emerged that a French background check of the plane’s passengers and crew found nothing suspicious. France is investigating the crash because four French nationals were on board and officials told family members of the victims that the backgound checks had “turned up negative”, AFP reported.last_img read more

Discover small-town South Africa

Discover small-town South Africa

first_imgSouth Africa is known for its gold and diamonds, but if you want to discover its real gems, head for the small towns and villages that lie just off the beaten the track – the country’s heartland.Small towns in South Africa are the country’s hidden gems. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa reporterOften a haven for artists and creative people who need peace and quiet to flourish, small towns give travellers the opportunity to meet colourful local characters who still have the time to talk and settings that can take your breath away.Western CapeEastern CapeMpumalangaFree StateNorth WestWESTERN CAPEKnysnaLying on the Garden Route in the Western Cape, the coastal town of Knysna offers incredible vistas of the lagoon and the ocean and a famous forest that shelters elusive elephants.At the Knysna Heads the ocean crashes through a narrow rocky outcrop to feed the waters of the lagoon – a nursery for all manner of sea life, such as the tiny Knysna seahorse. Voted South Africa’s best small town in a recent competition, Knysna is rich in art galleries and offers great coffee shops and restaurants. Then there’s the feast of oysters, both cultivated in the lagoon and harvested in the wild.Knysna’s people are by far its most colourful attraction, ranging from the obviously arty to Rastafarians – a whole settlement – as well as fishermen and the wealthy, who have found their paradise along South Africa’s garden route.Visit the Knysna Tourism websiteFranschhoekIn the heart of the Cape Winelands, Franschoek is a little bit of France in Africa. Settled by French Huguenots who fled religious persecution in the 1700s, it is known for its restaurants, five-star guest-houses and excellent wineries. This area is second to Cape Town as the culinary heart of South Africa. Home-made cheeses, preserves, chocolates, baked goods and breads are on show in all the local shops, and the town has a wealth of art galleries.Visit the Franschhoek Tourism websiteSimonstownSimonstown near Cape Town is founded on naval tradition. From the early days this town functioned as the principal South Atlantic Base for the Royal Navy before it became the home of the South-African navy. Visitors can explore the fascinating Naval Museum, walk the streets to soak up the atmosphere and relax in one of the many ocean-side restaurants and bars following a naval theme. Whales and great white sharks patrol these waters and sightings are common.Visit the Simonstown websiteDarlingThe little town of Darling, lying between the West Coast and the Swartland in the Western Cape, is one of South Africa’s foremost artist colonies. Easily accessible from Cape Town, it first attracted attention from the carpets of wild flowers that blossom in the springtime.Quaint restaurants and coffee shops, a theatre, a number of B&Bs and a myriad of shops have since sprung up in this scenic setting. The town also has a famous ambassador, Mrs Evita Bezuidenhout – otherwise known as South African actor and satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys.Visit the Darling Tourism websiteVisit the Evita se Perron websitePaternosterVisiting the West Coast town of Paternoster, north of Cape Town, is like walking into a living painting, with colourful fishing boats, fishermen’s houses, holiday homes and huge boulders overlooking the bay. Everyone meets at the local hotel to swap stories, and a beach braai of lobster and fresh local fish is tradition, with the sunset over the ocean providing the perfect setting.Visit the Paternoster websiteOudtshoornThe home of the local ostrich industry and the annual Klein-Karoo National Arts Festival, Oudtshoorn lies in an arid but spectacular setting in the shadow of the Western Cape’s Swartberg Mountains.The mansions built by ostrich feather farmers of yesteryear are a must-see, as are the spectacular Cango caves, often a venue for choral performances. Enjoy ostrich dishes in local restaurants, and shop for ostrich leather products.Visit the Oudtshoorn Info websiteMatjiesfonteinToday a testament to Victorian splendour, this railway stop became a small town thanks to one man – James Logan. An official with the Cape Government Railways, he suffered from a chest complaint. A transfer to the Karoo proved so beneficial that he decided to stay, farm and acquire land there, amongst which was the area around the Matjiesfontein station.He realised locomotives travelling inland were thirsty for water – and so were their passengers. He pumped water from his farm bore holes to the station and while the locomotives tanked up, he served the passengers food and drink in his restaurant. The restaurant gave way to the majestic Lord Milner hotel he built in the elegant Victorian style. It is as fashionable today as it was way back then.Visit the Matjiesfontein websiteEASTERN CAPENieu BethesdaA Hollywood movie has even been made in this tiny Karoo hamlet to celebrate its most famous inhabitant – Helen Martins. An artist and recluse, she created fantasy creatures out of glass and cement and scandalised the town with her eccentric ways.Her home, known as the Owl House, is a museum where huge camel sculptures, wise men and owls stand testament to her vision and passion. It has become a place of pilgrimage for artists and travellers alike.The Ibis Gallery on the main road of Nieu Bethesda boasts contemporary South African art, while the local watering hole is home to some of the area’s more colourful inhabitants.Visit the Nieu Bethesda websiteVisit the Owl House website Owl House: recluse’s masterpiecePort St JohnsPort St Johns is a swashbuckling village of legend on the Pondo side of the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape. It is also one of the highlights on any international backpacker’s world itinerary because of its natural setting, frontier atmosphere and appeal to more adventurous younger travellers.From one of the most interesting airstrips in Africa, one can see the famed Gates of St Johns (Mounts Thesiger and Sullivan) on either side of the river. Three good beaches, excellent fishing and a general atmosphere of live and let live have made the coastal village a hotspot for young tourists looking for adventure on the wild side of Africa.Visit the Port St Johns websiteHippos and hippies at Port St JohnsMPUMALANGADullstroomThe trout-fishing capital of South Africa and only two hours from Johannesburg, Dullstroom offers city dwellers the perfect weekend getaway. Founded by Dutch settler Wolterus Dull 120 years ago, the town has beautiful scenery, great bird life, delightful decor and antique shops and lots of local colour.Don’t miss the pancake parlour in the middle of town or some of the more lively pubs and bars. There are one or two superb restaurants in the area and accommodation ranges from rustic to fabulous and five-star. And Dullstroom’s sweet shop is the finest in the country .Visit the Dullstroom Online websiteVisit the Dullstroom Reservations websiteVisit the Dullstroom Info websitePilgrims RestThe entire town of Pilgrims Rest has been declared a national monument. Established the 1880s after gold was found along the banks of the Pilgrims Creek River, the town is a living museum, giving visitors a glimpse of life in the early gold-rush days of South Africa.The graveyard is a must-see for its historic gravesites, such as the robber’s grave, and the buildings take one back to another era. The Royal Hotel, in particular, keeps the stately glory of yesteryear living alive even today. Not too far from Pilgrims lie some of the most spectacular scenery in the country.Visit the Pilgrims Rest websiteKaapschehoopKaapschehoop a haven for the last wild horses of South Africa that roam the town freely. Harem, a young artist, is the town’s most famous son after Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines’ fame discovered his work. A walk through a labyrinth of rocks the escarpment overlooking Swaziland. Many artists live here permanently, and there are a number of beautiful guest- houses in town, plus other accommodation to suit all pockets.Visit the Kaapschehoop websiteFREE STATEClarensClarens offers the visitor a relaxed but vibrant atmosphere. (Image: Priya Pitamber)Home to potters, actors, artists and a number of community-based art projects, this little town offers the visitor a relaxed but vibrant atmosphere. The road between Clarens and Fouriesburg is one of the most scenic in the country. Just beyond the town lies the Golden Gate National Park, which has incredible mountain outcrops, clear streams and wildlife. Clarens also boasts farm-stay accommodation, giving visitors an authentic farm experience – Free State style.“The Free State Landscape gladdens my heart, no matter what my mood,” Nelson Mandela said once. “When I am here I feel that nothing can shut me in and that my thoughts can roam as far as the horizons.”Visit the Clarens Tourism websiteVisit the Clarens Reservations websiteNORTH WESTGroot MaricoGroot Marico in North West of South Africa is known for its mampoer – a distilled and potent alcohol made from peaches – and its most famous citizen, author Herman Charles Bosman, who set many of his works in the district. The town hosts the annual Herman Charles Bosman literary weekend every October, with visitors from all over the country visiting the Marico to celebrate some of South Africa’s best loved tales.Visit the Marico Tourism websiteSource: South African TourismWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Another Reese joins the OCJ/OAN team

Another Reese joins the OCJ/OAN team

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Jeff ReeseJeff Reese joined the Ohio’s Country Journal/Ohio Ag Net staff in July as the newest marketing specialist. He had been the grain originator and transportation manager at Legacy Farmers Co-op in Findlay. He graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in agricultural communications in 2006.He grew up in Hancock County working on his family’s Christmas tree farm. He currently resides in Findlay and will be serving clients in that, and other, regions of the state.last_img

Celebrate Amazing Geocachers

Celebrate Amazing Geocachers

first_img SharePrint RelatedSeptember Geocacher of the Month Nominees – Add Your CommentOctober 2, 2013In “Community”Announcing the April Featured Geocacher of the MonthMay 25, 2012In “Community”November Featured Geocacher of the Month Nominees – Add Your CommentsNovember 8, 2011In “Community” Each month, geocachers nominate the person they think is the ultimate community-minded geocacher for the ultimate geocaching community award: Geocacher of the Month. Nominees range from incredible event hosts, those who introduced new geocachers to the game, and geocache makers whose out-of-this-world inventions inspire others to think outside the plastic container.We’ll peruse the nominations and choose three geocachers as finalists. From there, the community takes the reins and votes in the form of comments on the blog post. Each of the finalists receives a gift pack from Geocaching HQ, plus a virtual high-five from the entire geocaching community.Vote for this month’s Geocacher of the Month hereDo you know someone who deserves the honor of being Geocacher of the Month? Nominate them!(Hier kannst Du den Artikel auf deutsch lesen)Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more