Its not just a Daycation in Durban – Its an expedition across

first_imgSummer in Durbs is undoubtedly a treat. Its world class beaches are a Shangri-La for sun worshippers, and after a hard day relaxing on the Golden Mile, you can reward yourself with a chilled sun-downer at your favourite restaurant. But there is so much more on offer. Having made beautiful KZN their home, and being mad about all things Durban, the road safety experts at Dunlop ask, “why not take an awe-inspiring tour of several exceptional world cultures by simply visiting some of KZN’s most iconic landmarks on your #Daycation?”Eastern vibrancy – The Indian QuarterDon’t Miss Durban’s Indian Quarter!Better known by Durbanites as “Grey Street”, this area of Durban Central houses one of the oldest markets on the continent, and is an awakening of the senses like no other. The Juma Masjid Mosque is the largest mosque in the Southern Hemisphere, and with its majestic minarets, is surely the most beautiful. In close quarters with it are the Madressa Arcade Bazaar and the Victoria Street Market. These bustling commercial centres bring the wares of India, Pakistan, China and even Somalia to our shores, showcasing the colourful and fragrant vigour of each country to the full.Nkwaleni Valley – The proud heritage of the isiZuluThe Passionate War DanceTake a #Daycation to a destination that unabashedly celebrates life, as it would have been, in a traditional and untouched kraal in precolonial times. Nkwaleni Valley is situated in the heart of Zululand, and interestingly enough, found its genesis in the much-lauded TV biopic, Shaka Zulu. Learn more about how hut building was a sophisticated exercise in sustainable design, how beer was brewed and the role it plays in rituals, and the incredibly rich spiritual beliefs Zulu tribes held (including, crucially, the person of the Sangoma). Before setting out on the drive, though, ensure that your tyres are family-safe with this Red Hot Rubber Deal.Empire and conquest – insights into colonial timesDetail from “Defense de Rorke’s Drift” by Alphonse de NeuvilleThe colonial project is, and will always be, a controversial topic. However, it is a part of our history, and the many museums and sites marking its past provide a fascinating picture of the life and struggles of the settler populations. The Durban City Hall is a stunning example of neo-classical architecture, and hosts both the Natural Science Museum and an Art Gallery. The museum is a treat for kids (and curious adults!), and houses a life-size T-Rex, the mummified Peten-Amen, a Dodo skeleton, wildlife displays and the 3rd largest collection of bird specimens in the world. The Art Gallery contains emotive work by Black artists dating back to the turbulent 1970s. In close proximity is the Old Courthouse Museum, which provides another look into colonial life. And not to be missed, if you’re in the area, is the KwaMuhle Museum, which provides a sobering look into more recent South African history.But remember, safety isn’t just a wordYour Durbs #Daycation should be an awesome experience, and there’s no doubt you’ll want to bring back only the very best of memories from your travels. To ensure that you’re #SaferThanSafe this holiday season, visit your nearest Dunlop Zone or Request a Quote Online – you may be pleasantly surprised!last_img read more

Historic talks await Obama Castro in Panama

first_imgRelated posts:US President Obama and Cuba’s Castro to ‘interact’ at Americas summit, says US official Cuba, Venezuela likely to overshadow Central American issues at Panama summit Bolivia’s Evo Morales: Obama should lift the embargo and return Guantánamo Naval base to Cuba PHOTOS: Cuba, US reopen embassies to end 54-year estrangement PANAMA CITY – Hours after shaking hands, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raúl Castro headed toward historic talks in Panama on Saturday, sealing efforts to bury decades of animosity.Taking their bid to restore diplomatic ties to a new level, Obama and Castro will have a discussion on the sidelines of the second and final day of the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, according to U.S. officials.The two leaders already said hello late Friday, greeting each other and shaking hands — a gesture rich in symbolism — as U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and other leaders looked on, before the 35-nation summit’s inauguration.They shook hands only once before, at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in 2013.The face-to-face talks will be the climax of their surprise announcement on Dec. 17 that, after 18 months of secret negotiations, they would seek to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba that broke off in 1961.“The pleasantries between President Barack Obama and Raúl Castro offer hope of a seventh Summit of the Americas free of the chains of the Cold War,” said Arturo López-Levy, professor at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs.The last time U.S. and Cuban leaders met was in 1956, three years before Fidel Castro came to power.“We’re in new territory here,” said senior Obama adviser Ben Rhodes, referring to the flurry of diplomacy that included, on Thursday, the first meeting between U.S. and Cuban foreign ministers since 1958.“This is not just about two leaders sitting down together,” he said, citing Obama’s decision to ease trade and travel restrictions with communist Cuba.“It’s about fundamentally changing how the United States engages Cuba — its government, its people, its civil society.”Terror list hurdle The format of the meeting has yet to be confirmed, but Rhodes said the two leaders would likely talk about the negotiations to restore diplomatic ties as well as lingering disagreements.“As we move toward the process of normalization, we’ll have our differences, government to government, with Cuba on many issues,” Obama told a regional civil society forum on Friday. “There’s nothing wrong with that.”Cuba has demanded to be removed from a U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism before embassies can reopen, noting that this has blocked the country’s access to bank credit.The White House indicated that Obama was not yet ready to decide whether to remove Havana from the blacklist, but that it could not rule out an announcement in Panama.“The potential removal from the list will represent the current U.S.-Cuba relationship becoming more pragmatic,” said Diego Moya-Ocampos, Americas analyst at U.S. consultancy IHS Country Risk.“This is a limited but significant step,” he said. “But overall engagement will still be limited by the U.S. embargo.”Obama has urged the U.S. Congress to lift the embargo on Cuba, which was imposed in 1962, barring most trade with the island as well as tourism. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, right, talks to Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff while Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz, left, and Uruguay’s President Tabare Vázquez look on after the opening ceremony of the VII Americas Summit in Panama City, on April 10, 2015. Inti Ocón/AFPVenezuela tensionUnderscoring his increasing engagement with Latin America, Obama will also likely meet Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who canceled a U.S. trip in 2013 over revelations of U.S. spying against her.But even as Obama seeks to turn the page on Cold War-era tensions, a new headache has come to the fore in the form of Venezuela.The U.S. leader was criticized by Latin American nations after he issued an executive order that slapped sanctions on Venezuelan officials over an opposition crackdown and called the country a threat to U.S. national security.The White House has sought to ease tensions ahead of the summit, saying it did not really believe that Venezuela posed a threat. But the sanctions remain.Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, Havana’s main ally in the region, has vowed to present to Obama a petition with 13.4 million signatures urging him to lift the order.Disagreement over Venezuela will likely cause the summit to end without a final declaration.“It would be good if Obama, who represents such an important country in the Americas and the world, would make proposals allowing us to unite and achieve an Americas in peace,” Bolivian President Evo Morales told Venezuelan media network Telesur.Follow all our coverage of the Summit of the Americas here Facebook Commentslast_img read more

San Francisco CA – Signature Flight Support Corpo

first_imgSan Francisco, CA – Signature Flight Support Corporation’s San Francisco (SFO) facility has been awarded LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design™) GOLD CI certification, according to a press release received by Elite Traveler.LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system developed by the United States Green Building Council. The council provides third-party verification that a building has been designed and built to save energy, reduce CO2 emissions, use water efficiently and improve indoor air quality thereby reducing the building’s impact on the environment. Its certification point system offers four types of certification, GOLD being the second highest level attainable.Eric Hietala, Regional Vice President for Signature Flight Support Corporation’s Western Region commented: “Signature Flight Support, as a global leader in business aviation flight support services, is delighted to have Signature San Francisco LEED Gold CI certified. This certification validates Signature Flight Support’s commitment to reducing the environmental impact of our facilities. It also provides a clear framework for identifying practical “greener” solutions for future locations.”SchenkelShultz Architecture designed the facility improvements and Kraus-Manning Inc. acted as the project manager to ensure compliance with LEED specifications. Facility improvements included an extensive renovation of the existing 9,800 sq. ft. executive terminal and the two existing 25,000 sq. ft. aircraft storage hangars. The renovation included new heating, ventilation and air conditioning as well as upgraded replacements of the mechanical and lighting systems for improved energy efficiency and performance. These efforts resulted in a 47% reduction in lighting power consumption relative to industry standards. Interior finishes, doors, and millwork were also replaced and low VOC binders and adhesives were used to improve the indoor air quality.The project also included new additions to the terminal which added 2,800 sq. ft. of new facility space. The improvements provided upgraded amenities for travelers including an expanded lobby, seating areas, restrooms, and security screening facilities. Employee facilities were also renovated including a new flight dispatch and operations area and a galley kitchen.Signature Flight Support Corporation’s San Francisco fixed-base operation is continuing to reduce its environmental impact through its daily operations. Alternative fuel ground handling equipment is being utilized and recycling bins are located throughout the facility encouraging both employees and travelers to recycle. Bike racks, showers and changing facilities have also been installed to encourage employees to commute by bicycle. Signature Flight Support Corporation, being a BBA Aviation plc company, is continuously working to reduce its impact on the environment as part of its corporate social responsibility mandate.last_img read more