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PICS: US military airlifting food and other humanitarian aid supplies from Durban to Mozambique

The US military join in the disaster relief efforts getting food and other humanitarian aid supplies to thousands of those affected and displaced.
Spokesperson for the US mission in South Africa, Rob Mearkle, said the US Consul General, Sherry Zalika Sykes, visited King Shaka International Airport on Sunday to view yet another shipment of food and other supplies from the UN World Food Programme (WFP).Mearkle said the US Air Force was providing airlift support in South Africa for the USAID-led humanitarian response to cyclone Idai. He said the first batch of supplies were jetted out of Durban on Saturday.
The South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) and the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) expedited the necessary authorisations for the airlifts, while “invaluable assistance” had been provided by Swissport, Dube Port Cargo, Skytanking, BidAir and Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), Mearkle said.He said the commodities that were being airlifted from Durban were from WFP’s internal stock.
“Separately from these shipments, the United States has provided nearly $3.4m in additional funding for the WFP to deliver approximately 2 500 metric tons of rice, peas, and vegetable oil to affected people in Sofala, Zambezia, and Manica provinces.
This lifesaving emergency food assistance will support approximately 160 000 people for one month,” Mearkle said.”To date, the US government has provided nearly $7.3m (R105m) in humanitarian assistance to help people in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi who have been affected by Cyclone Idai, as well as flooding that occurred earlier this month. This includes more than $6.5 million from USAID.”Supplies loaded into US military aircrafts in Durban this morning.

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Drug lord ‘El Chapo’ is set to launch a fashion brand from prison

Fashion might have a controversial new addition to its roster after convicted drug lord “El Chapo” announced plans to launch an eponymous brand.

The brand is inspired by El Chapo’s, real name Joaquin Guzman, twin seven year-old daughters with assistance from his wife Emma Coronel Aispuro, according to the New York Daily News, via AP.Clothing bearing the drug lord’s signature could soon be available in the US and Mexico. El Chapo, who was found guilty of drug trafficking, money laundering and firearms possession last month, signed the papers granting use of his signature from his cell in a Manhattan federal prison.

His wife will head up the limited liability company, or LLC. The 61 year-old is still awaiting sentencing and could spend the rest of his life behind bars.The clothing brand, which will start with a line of caps, already has an official website. “This project is an idea Joaquin and I have had for a long time.
Before he was in the USA we talked a lot about this topic,” Emma Coronel Aispuro, 29, told New York Daily News, per Sky News.

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8 travel disasters that left passengers stranded

Wow Air announced Thursday that it has ceased operations and cancelled all flights. Stranded passengers described “pandemonium” at airport gates,Planes were stuck on the tarmac for seven hours.Inside the dark airport, people used their phone flashlights. The Federal Aviation Administration declared a ground stop, bringing all Atlanta-bound flights to a halt.

About 30,000 people were affected by the outage. 6/An engine fire on a Carnival cruise ship left passengers and crew stranded off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula for nearly a week in 2013.Passengers spell out the word “HELP” aboard the disabled Carnival cruise ship Triumph.The ship’s fire extinguishing system put out the fire and prevented a deadly disaster, but 3,143 passengers and 1,086 crew members were left adrift for almost a week.CNN reported that the ship lost power and that toilets, elevators, and air conditioning stopped working, resulting in “sewage running down the walls and floors.” Tugboats towed the cruise ship to Mobile, Alabama, for rescue.

 

7/One month later, another Carnival cruise lost power.Passengers of the Carnival Dream cruise ship wait at the international airport to check in for flights back to the US in March 2013.In March 2013, toilets and elevators stopped working halfway through a seven-day cruise on the Carnival Dream, leaving 4,300 passengers and 1,300 crew members stuck on the ship in the Caribbean, CNN reported. “There’s human waste all over the floor in some of the bathrooms and they’re overflowing and in the staterooms,” passenger Gregg Stark told CNN of the incident.Carnival cruise lines had to fly passengers back to Florida. They received a three-day refund and a half-price cruise in the future.

8/Zoom Airlines left around 4,500 British passengers stranded when it ceased operations in 2008.A Zoom Airlines plane.Martin J.Galloway/Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons The Guardian reported that in total, 40,000 customers in the UK and Canada were affected.Zoom cited rising oil prices as the source of the company’s financial difficulties. Stranded passengers said they were told flight delays were due to “mechanical failures” until they were eventually instructed to get off the plane and found police waiting at the gate.

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Waste-busting Israeli firm turns companies’ discards into new food and drink

Upcycling, or the upgrading of useless or unwanted items into higher-value products, is becoming an important trend in the food industry, said Leizer.
“Each year, about 2.9 trillion pounds of food is wasted,” she said by phone. Thats a lot of missed opportunity, she pointed out.Most companies, she said, only think about either how to dispose of the waste more cheaply or how to produce less waste in the first place.Tal Leizer, CEO of Practical Innovation (Courtesy)“We’re saying take this waste, and instead of paying someone to take it off your shoulders, let’s build a completely new category from this waste.”Leizer’s company has recently developed a new upcycling system for companies that seek to turn a profit while helping address the global food waste problem.Practical Innovation’s new service assesses a companys supply chain, evaluates the extent of annual waste and what is being done with it, and then offers a way to develop new food and beverage products out of cast-off items, redirecting food waste into a profitable product.
In one example of this transformation, Practical Innovation partnered with the Israeli startup Wine Water Ltd. to create the alcohol-free, sugar-free,Vine wine water last year.“This is a product that is completely manufactured from waste,” said Leizer.Using leftover grape skins and seeds that are a byproduct of the winemaking process, they were able to extract the flavor of wine without its “bad things” sugar and alcohol.“It’s very light, it’s very fruity and it’s a completely new category in the beverage industry, she said.The product won first prize for Best New Water Concept at the Evian Water Conference last fall and  is now selling in the US.Leizer estimated that Practical Innovations has already saved Wine Water close to 2 million euros in waste disposal costs, and much more notably the new beverage has brought the company close to 50 million euros in profit.
“So it’s good for the environment, since the waste is not going to the garbage, and it’s great for the company as it’s creating new growth from waste.”Leizer said she is currently working on similar upcycling initiatives in Singapore and in the US, the latter of which is set to launch in September, though she wouldn’t disclose details.This green approach to product development, she believes, is going to keep growing over the next few years.“Waste is very profitable,” she said.“And companies now understand that profit made from product that is a non-raw material just the waste can really only help their bottom line.”

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A hotel room with exactly the right ‘chi’ – 5 crazy travel expense claims done in SA

The beauty of business trips is that you can expense most things to that super handy company credit card – even if sometimes you have to come up,In the US, there have been some pretty wacky items expensed on business trips – llamas, a human skull and a helicopter ride – but don’t think it’s just the Americans that are crazy.

SEE: This is what it takes to be a woman in the competitive MICE industry South African business travellers have their own little array of interesting items and requests, and entertainment and production specialists at Flight Centre Business Travel.The entertainment industry is not a 9-to-5 industry. It’s late hours, last-minute needs, group arrangements and VIP service within a restricted budget, explains Estment. Expense reports are notoriously boring, both for the traveller and the travel manager. However, once in a while an expense will be claimed like the ones below – that will have the travel manager sit up and take note, especially when working in the entertainment sector.

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Growing urban middle class in Africa spurs food production that could curb hunger

Rome — The rise of an urban middle class across much of Africa is stoking demand for food that could curb hunger and cut poverty in rural outposts,The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) said rural communities were in “a state of crisis”, with high poverty rates and poor services driving hunger and malnutrition.

One in five people, or more than 256-million, are hungry in Africa, according to the latest figures from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. But there are opportunities too, the IFPRI said in its annual report.In Africa, a growing middle class with higher purchasing power is fuelling a spike in demand for food — with an interesting twist, says IFPRI Africa director Ousmane Badiane.“They are not just asking for imported food, wine and cheese but to have traditional staples on the tables.

But they don’t want to eat them the traditional way,” he said.This has given birth to a large number of small agribusinesses that process, package and distribute such foods, creating jobs and opportunities for small farmers, he said.In Senegal, new processing technologies led to a growth in ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat millet products and reversed years of low and declining consumption of this healthy, gluten-free grain, said the report.Similarly, domestic brands of processed local dairy and grain products now have a significant presence in Ghana, Mali and Tanzania, it added.

This sector is likely to grow further, with projections that most traditional staples such as millet and cassava would be consumed in processed form within 20 years, Badiane said.The African Continental Free Trade Agreement, expected to come into force this year, would also help, he said, by allowing farmers and businesses to tap into a market of 1.2-billion people across 55 countries.Turning opportunity into reality needs technology and financing that would allow locals to innovate and compete, he said.

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