Friday, February 15, 2013

Train Accident in South Africa

At least 29 people including 27 passengers were injured Thursday in a collision between two trains in South Africa's Eastern Cape Province, the second of the kind in the country in one week.

The accident occurred at 1:45 p.m. local time at the East London railway station, where a train moved onto the wrong track to collide with another occupying that platform, according to Metrorail.

This was a "light collision" in its "own yard," Metrorail's regional manager Richard Walker said.

The collision left 29 people injured, two of them staff members, he said.

The victims suffered slight injuries and were sent to local hospitals for treatment, Walker said, adding that an investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the accident.

2014-2020 budget of European Union

European Parliament President Martin Schulz on Thursday warned against an EU with a deficit as the Union's top leaders are locked in sensitive negotiations over the 27-member bloc's 2014-2020 budget scheme.

The seven-year budget could be set at roughly 960 billion euros (1.3 billion U.S. dollars), while actual payments would fall short by around 50 billion euros to accommodate the Britain's scream for spending cuts, Schulz said in a press conference here on Thursday night.

The difference between commitments and payments would lead to a deficit for the EU, the European Parliament President complained, adding that the EU's current budget already had a 16-billion-euro deficit.

"If we carry on this methodology and set the commitments far higher than the payments, we are going to end up as an EU with a deficit," he said.

Schulz also called on EU leaders to take the budget summit as the start of the process instead of an ending point, stressing that the European Parliament would carefully follow the case.

This week's summit is the second time for EU leaders to focus on budget bargaining, since the first budget summit last November achieved little largely due to sharp conflicts of national interests.

Germany and the Britain are clearly in favor of spending cuts, in sharp contrast to outcries mainly from France and Italy. The final deal also has to obtain the consent of the European Parliament according to the EU law.

Priority projects in the barangays

Implementation of priority projects in the barangays here will now be stricter after guidelines were set from a series of direct consultation with the people.
According to Loyda Bagayao of the Tabuk Municipal Planning and Development Office, selection of projects was based on the overall economic impact and its pass-on benefits from the specific local government unit to its environment and the sustainability of project in relation to the resources of the beneficiary barangay.

One high impact project from each of the 43 barangays was determined by the people themselves during the consultation for funding assistance under the equal sharing program of Tabuk LGU allotted yearly as municipal counterpart.

"However, projects that need huge funding are endorsed to higher LGUs, agencies, and foreign financial institutions," Bagayao said.
She said most of the identified projects are infrastructure explaining that barangays desire to put in place first physical improvements and establish permanent access like farm to market roads.