Kikwete speech on oil and gas exploration: English.
The worst storm for more than five years is expected to arrive in the UK on Sunday night.
While the exact path of the storm is unclear, forecasters are already predicting winds of up to 80mph and very heavy rain.
The extreme conditions could lead to severe flooding, disruption to travel networks, and fallen trees and power lines.
Here is a round-up of all the latest on what is being called the ‘St Jude storm’, after the patron saint of lost causes, whose feast date is on Monday.
– Two warnings have been issued by the Met Office.
An amber warning, meaning “be prepared”, has been issued for the southern half of England and the southern half of Wales.
A yellow warning, meaning “be aware”, applies to rest of Wales and England up to the border with Scotland.
– The Environment Agency has warned of surface water flooding across most of England. Up to 25mm of rain could fall in just six hours.
– The first strong winds are likely to hit south-west England on Sunday night, with gusts of 75-80mph. The storm is predicted to then move north-eastwards, with winds of 60-70mph in the Midlands and East Anglia. Northern England and North Wales could see winds of 50-60mph.
– The Met Office is urging people to keep up with forecasts every few hours, as it is still unclear over when and where the storm might strike.
Steve Willington, chief forecaster, said: “We are talking about a storm which doesn’t yet exist, so there remains some uncertainty about its possible timing, track and strength. However, several forecast models currently suggest we will see a significant storm with exceptionally strong winds impacting parts of England and Wales.
“This is a developing situation and we’d advise people to stay up to date with our forecasts and warnings over the weekend, and be prepared to change their plans if necessary. We’ll continue to work closely with authorities and emergency services to ensure they are aware of the expected conditions.”
– The police are urging people to avoid calling 999 during the storm unless there is a real emergency.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said they expected “increases in demand brought about by high winds in the next few days.” He reminded people to dial 101 for all routine enquiries. “Calling 999 when it is not an emergency can reduce our effectiveness at dealing with genuine emergencies,” he added.
– Ferry services have already been cancelled for Sunday and Monday between Plymouth and Roscoff, and between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly.
Brittany Ferries, which runs the Plymouth-Roscoff route, said on its website: “We are in the process of contacting all passengers booked on these sailings. We apologise for the inconvenience the cancellation of these services will cause.”
– The AA is warning of disruption on many roads on Monday morning.
Darron Burness, head of the AA’s flood rescue team, said: “If the predicted storm strikes, the timing couldn’t really be worse, potentially causing significant travel disruption on Monday morning, which is one of the busiest times on the roads.
“Strong wind and torrential rain is an unpredictable and hazardous combination, which can be quite overwhelming when you’re driving.
“There’s likely to be tree and other debris on the roads as well potential flooding, so it’s very important to keep your speed down and drive with great care, particularly on country roads early on Monday morning when it’s still dark.”
– Home insurers are already bracing themselves for the prospect of a high number of storm damage claims.
Claire Foster of Direct Line said: “We take the current severe weather and flood warnings extremely seriously and have put our emergency action plans into place.
“We have people on the ground and on the phones ready to help customers make a claim. Our priority is reassuring householders with Direct Line home insurance policies and getting them back in their home as quickly as possible.”
Ahead of its debut at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2014, Mercedes-Benz has revealed details of the all-new C-Class interior. And if the photos and specification are anything to go by, the gap between the S-Class and the C-Class is about to get narrower.
As is becoming increasingly common in the automotive world, strong influence has been drawn from smartphones and tablets, with Mercedes-Benz also leaning heavily on airline and aircraft references. The German firm even goes as far as claiming the new interior is like taking a step up from economy to business class.
The new C-Class is dominated inside by a completely new centre console, which itself features a brand-new free-standing central display and three “bullseye” air vents.
This 7-inch tablet-style display can be controlled via a smartphone-inspired touchpad device. It can also be upgraded to an 8.4-inch unit.
In addition, the new C-Class will feature a “jet fighter” style head-up display, which appears to float over the bonnet, about two metres away from the driver. Information relayed will include speed, speed limits and satellite navigation directions.
Other improvements of note include a heavily revised climate control system. This features GPS technology to automatically detect when the car enters a tunnel, so it can then close the recirculation flap, keeping harmful fumes from entering the cabin. Once the C-Class leaves the tunnel, the flap will reopen.
But it doesn’t stop there. The new C-Class will also feature “Air-Balance”, a system which recently premiered in the new S-Class. Four different fragrances are available, including Freeside, Nightime, Downtown and Sports.
On top of which, the climate control system features ionisation, which generates oxygen ions to eliminate bacteria, viruses and spores. Nice.
The final improvement of note is the front passenger seat, which will feature sensors to automatically detect when a child seat has been fitted. When this is the case, the passenger airbag is automatically switched off.
The all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class will make its world debut at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2014, before going on sale in the summer next year. Prices are yet to be announced.
The exclusive world of business jets associated with film stars and royalty is showing signs of being on the up as a vital tool for companies and executives.
The Las Vegas business jet show opens today in Las Vegas for three days until Thursday to showcase a sector which is a barometer of both the climate for glitz and the health of international business.
Frustrated by the fixed schedules of regular aviation companies, international businesses are turning to luxury jets as a means of raising, not cutting, their profit margins.
“More than ever private aviation allows company directors to be more competitive and closer to their clients,” said Check Suma, a vice-president for NetJets, the world leader in the sector.
Although the economic crisis still hangs over manufacturers of private jets, after four dark years there are hopes the skies may be clearing.
“Coming out of the crisis is a lengthy, slow process. It is happening but in a rational way,” said Eric Trappier, chief executive of the French group Dassault Aviation speaking before the show.
The business aviation sector was hit badly by the economic crisis in 2008. The market fell by 29.2 percent between 2008 and 2012, according to a study by US analysts Teal Group and it has barely managed to return to the prosperous 2005-2008 period.
Last year the 672 plane orders for private jets in the world was a drop of 49 percent compared to the 2008 peak of 1,315 planes, the aviation organisation Gama said.
In the first quarter of 2013, global deliveries were down by 4.1 percent compared to the same period in 2012, while manufacturers avoided forecasting a date for an upturn.
“Companies are more careful. Their order books have filled up and investment time is coming,” said Trappier, who did not want to estimate when this might happen in the business jet industry.
Aviation equipment-maker Honeywell believes the private jet sector will grow by 3 to 4% in 2013.
For Suma, there are reasons to be quietly hopeful. “We are observing a continuous improvement of the economy, slowly but surely, and as a result business aviation is getting better too. But… growth will depend on a sustainable economic recovery.”
The main obstacle to this, according to aeronautics expert at Oddo Securities Yan Derocles, is the still sluggish macro-economic environment.
“In the next two years economists are not anticipating a strong recovery,” said Derocles, adding that the absorption of the used market is key. “It is a sine qua non condition of the recovery of new plane orders.”
NetJets, financially backed by US millionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, is convinced the market has long-term growth potential.
President of Executive Aviation Market at the Brazilian aerospace conglomerate Embraer, Ernest Edwards, said globalisation has opened up the market, with private aviation less limited now to its traditional pool of clients from the US, Britain, France, Switzerland and Germany.
“Asia, the Middle East and Russia are examples of regions where the demand for private aviation is growing,” Edwards said. In China, India and Russia the number of millionaires increases each year.
In China, according to the Teal Group study, 3,000 people own more than $500 million and there are 130 billionaires.
Teal Group forecast an 11 percent growth this year, followed by four years at around 12 percent. Richard Aboulafia, vice-president of the group, estimated any return to the peak number of orders from 2008 would not happen before 2015.
Tesla is often seen as the Apple of car makers so Elon Musk’s decision to update the current flagship Model S with a Google Chrome web browser and Android emulating OS could surprise some.
The company’s CEO made the announcement at a special Tesla event in Munich, Germany this week, but pointed out that the changes will not happen overnight.
So, from late next year Tesla customers will be able to access the internet in-car via Google’s Chrome, and the informatics platform will be fully Android-compatible — it currently runs a version of Linux that can support modified Android and iOS apps — meaning that it will be easy for developers to write Tesla-specific apps or to port existing Android apps to run on the car’s software systems.
As well as being the pure electric vehicle with the longest range on a single battery charge currently in production, the Tesla Model S also has the largest touchscreen interface of any road car.
The 17-inch system not only offers an online connection and access to the vehicle’s navigation system, but also replaces many of the analogue switches and dials — for features such as air conditioning — that litter most vehicle cabins.
However creating something that takes full advantage of a display more than twice the size of the average tablet could take some doing on the part of Android app developers — Apple CEO Tim Cook has described most tablet apps on Google Play as simply stretched smartphone apps.
Apple has sprung a minor surprise by announcing the launch of its latest tablet iPad Air, as well as revealing a new version of the iPad mini.
The tech giant had been expected to announce a new fifth generation iPad, but Apple marketing chief Philip Schiller said the new product deserved a new name.
‘Thinner, lighter, more powerful than ever before,’ he told an invited audience in California, claiming the new iPad was ‘incredibly, excitingly new in so many ways’.
The iPad Air is 72 times faster than the original iPad, released in 2010, with a 9.7in retina display screen, a 43 per cent smaller bezel, and at 20 per cent thinner overall weighs just 1lb.
Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook said the new iPad would begin shipping from November 1.
The new iPad mini meanwhile will feature retina display for the first time, starting at $399 (£246) for 16GB Wi-Fi only, with the existing iPad mini dropping to $299 (£184).
Metro’s technology editor James Day said: ‘Tim Cook called it Apple’s largest iPad launch ever and it’s hard to disagree.
‘Thinner, lighter, faster is a heavily repeated Apple mantra but the iPad Air is impressive in all the right areas and its design brings it in line with the iPad mini.’
‘This is significant because it’s now a straight decision between which size Apple tablet you want as you’re no longer compromising on screen quality or processing power.’
The new iPad, potentially the iPad 5, should go on sale at the beginning of November based on Apple’s previous release schedules.
With Apple expected to unveil new versions of the iPad and iPad mini at a media event this week, here is a list of what to expect from the presentation.
There have been many rumours and reported leaks regarding the tech giant’s latest tablets that will either be confirmed or shot down at the event today.
Until then, here are a few of the things we know already, or are thought to be true, about the new gadgets.
New iPad (iPad 5?)
Apple’s premier tablet will still have a 9.7-inch Retina Display but will be slimmer than the last edition, according to ‘leaked’ photos of the device.
The new iPad is also rumoured to contain an upgraded A7 64-bit processor.
There may also be new versions of the tablet with increased memory, with current models only available with data up to the capacity of 128GB.
The design is thought to be similar to the iPhone 5S, with the gadget set to borrow the smartphone’s TouchID fingerprint scanner.
iPad mini 2
The mini version of the Apple tablet will have an improved Retina Display and a brand new sleek design that is also inspired by the iPhone 5S, according to reports.
It may also borrow other features from the popular smartphone, such as the fingerprint scanner.
Purported leaked photos of the tablet revealed it would also come in a gold colour similar to the 5S and it has been rumoured the device will be available in ‘Space Grey’.
The violin played by the bandmaster of the Titanic to calm passengers as it sank sold at auction for £900,000 ($1.45 million) on Saturday, a world record fee for memorabilia from the doomed liner.
The instrument belonging to Wallace Hartley was found strapped to his body after he drowned with his seven bandmates and some 1,500 others on board the supposedly unsinkable ship in 1912.
It was sold to a British collector after a feverish 10-minute battle between telephone bidders at Titanic specialist auctioneers Henry Aldridge and Son in Devizes, southwest England.
The instrument carries an inscription from the 33-year-old’s fiancee Maria Robinson to mark their engagement and was sold with its leather luggage case, initialled W.H.H, in which it was found.
For decades the violin was believed lost but it was found in the attic of a house in northwest England in 2006, prompting a debate about its authenticity, which experts only recently resolved.
Hartley’s band played the hymn “Nearer, My God, to Thee” to try to calm passengers while they climbed into lifeboats as the Titanic sank beneath the icy waves in the North Atlantic on April 15, 1912, after hitting an iceberg. Hartley and his seven fellow band members all died after choosing to play on.
A mobile application that introduces native English speakers to the Arabic alphabet has been launched by Qatar Foundation International (QFI) and Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) in a new effort to make Arabic more accessible to those unfamiliar with the language.
The mobile application, Madar Al Huruf, uses an interactive and innovatively-designed Arabic language wheel created by Munira Al Badi, a Qatari graphic designer and graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University — Qatar.
Meaning “wheel of letters” in Arabic, Madar Al Huruf is both a physical handheld and virtual wheel. It is user-friendly, designed to be rotatable on two sides and allows non-Arabic speakers to learn how to match English letters and sounds, such as their name, to their Arabic phonetic counterparts.
With QFI support, Munira worked closely with US-based teachers of Arabic in Washington, DC to finalise the wheel’s design. Two Arabic teachers in Tucson, Arizona also assisted in developing the user guide and curriculum.
Originally launched in the US as a physical device, the wheel is being brought to the digital world through the combined efforts of QCRI, QFI and the original designer, in an effort to extend its reach globally to individuals and communities unfamiliar with Arabic.
With QCRI’s expertise in technology around Arabic language research and development, and leveraging the technical advancements that have been made thus far, QFI is now launching the Mobile Application version of Madar Al Huruf.
“Learning the basics of Arabic by writing your name, the name of your hometown or a friend’s name demystifies the language and increases appreciation for the culture in the process,” Maggie Mitchell Salem, Executive Director at Qatar Foundation International, said.
“That is the goal of Madar Al Huruf… We work with talented individuals and partners to break down linguistic and cultural barriers by having those with no prior exposure to Arabic engaging with the alphabet in a fun, interactive and meaningful way.”
QCRI’s Arabic Language Technologies team has been working on a number of projects related to e-education, enabling people to access and learn in a language not native to their own.
“We identified a gap in the online education domain for language learning and have been developing supportive technology for language learning including an assistive language learning tutor and an Arabic e-book reader,” Stephan Vogel, Principal Scientist in the Arabic Language Technologies team at QCRI, said.
“Madar Al Huruf serves as a great first step into a whole host of inventive language learning tools that QCRI has developed for non-native speakers of Arabic.”
Baljit Singh, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, implemented the iPad and iPhone versions of Madar Al Huruf. Singh was an intern with QCRI during the summer of 2012 and worked on Arabia – a computer assisted language learning application. “I am pleased to see that the skills and techniques which Baljit Singh learned while working on Arabia were applicable to Madar Al Huruf,” Francicso Guzman, Scientist at QCRI and Singh’s mentor, said. “Madar Al Huruf employs a similar intelligent feedback mechanism and multimedia interaction, which benefits those in the process of learning a new language.”
QCRI is one of three national research institutes established by Qatar Foundation, and is part of the Foundation’s Research and Development enterprise.