Coronavirus live updates: Mass shutdowns, HHS hit with cyber attack

first_imgjarun011/iStock(NEW YORK) — Major cities are shutting down restaurants to try to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has killed at least 68 people in the United States.There are at least 3,774 confirmed cases in the country. COVID-19 has reached 49 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.Globally, there are more than 174,000 coronavirus cases and more than 6,700 deaths, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.Here’s how the news is unfolding Monday. All times Eastern:10:45 a.m.: New York City to limit all restaurants, states work togetherNew York City will close all nightclubs, movie theaters and concert venues as of Tuesday morning.All restaurants, bars and cafes will be limited to food take-out and delivery.“Our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told “Good Morning America” Monday that the U.S. has “been behind this disease from day one. We saw the disease developing in China back in November. We weren’t ready for it, and we’ve been playing catchup ever since.”“The wave is going to break on the hospital system,” he warned. “We don’t have the capacity to build more hospitals quickly. The only way would be if the army corps of engineers came in, worked with the states to retrofit existing buildings.”Cuomo said the “federal government has to get more engaged.”“There’s been no country that has handled this that has not nationalized it. This patchwork quilt of policies doesn’t work,” he said. “It makes no sense for me to do something in New York and New Jersey to do something else.”Cuomo then banded together with the governors of New Jersey and Connecticut Monday as they said their states would abide by the same rules for closures.Following the CDC guidelines the three states will prohibit gatherings of 50 people or more. Supermarkets, medical offices and other essential services are able to remain open beyond 8 p.m. but must adhere to social distancing policies“This is a virus that knows no borders,” Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said.The governors said they believed this is the first region in the country to announce joint closure policies. The governors, all Democrats, said they were forced to act because of a lack of coordination from the federal government.10:01 a.m.: Egypt halting all flightsEgypt is halting all domestic and international flights beginning Thursday, a government spokesman told ABC News.The announcement was made now to give tourists time to leave the country, cabinet spokesman Hany Younes said. “They are free to stay for as long as they want, but there will be no flights until March 31,” Younes said.9:45 a.m. Trading temporarily halted as markets plummet despite Fed interventionTrading on Wall Street was temporarily halted after markets plunged early Monday as the novel coronavirus outbreak continues to upend business and travel across the world. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted more than 2,250 points or 9.7% just after trading began. The S&P 500 fell more than 8%, triggering a “circuit-breaker” halt of 15 minutes.The major sell-off comes even after the Federal Reserve made a surprise announcement on Sunday that it’s slashing interest rates to near zero and spending $700 billion to buy Treasury and mortgage bonds to help buoy the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.The intervention did not appear to be enough to quell investors’ worries about the economic impacts of the outbreak on businesses. Local governments including in New York and Los Angeles announced over the weekend they were shuttering businesses such as bars and entertainment venues. 9:37 a.m. New York City to limit all restaurants to take-out and deliveryNew York City will close all nightclubs, movie theaters and concert venues as of Tuesday morning. Also, all restaurants, bars and cafes will be limited to food take-out and delivery. “Our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told ABC News’ Good Morning America Monday that the U.S. has “been behind this disease from day one. We saw the disease developing in China back in November. We weren’t ready for it, and we’ve been playing catchup ever since.” “The wave is going to break on the hospital system,” he warned. “We don’t have the capacity to build more hospitals quickly. The only way would be if the army corps of engineers came in, worked with the states to retrofit existing buildings.” Cuomo said the “federal government has to get more engaged.” “There’s been no country that has handled this that has not nationalized it. This patchwork quilt of policies doesn’t work,” he said. “It makes no sense for me to do something in New York and New Jersey to do something else.” 9:31 a.m. Peace Corps evacuating all volunteersThe Peace Corps is suspending all activities around the world, evacuating its volunteers from dozens of countries, the organization announced Sunday night.9:22 a.m. Health and Human Services experiences cyber attackThe Department of Health and Human Services experienced a cyber attack Sunday night related to it’s coronavirus response, administration sources told ABC News. The attempt was to slow down operations, according to sources. The nature and origin of the attack is still under investigation.8:18 a.m. NBA star on the ‘scariest part about this virus’Utah Jazz player Donovan Mitchell, one of several NBA players who tested positive for COVID-19, has no symptoms, he told Good Morning America Monday.“If you were to tell me I could play in a seven-game series tomorrow, I would be ready to lace up,” he said. “I’m blessed that’s the case.” Mitchell spoke to GMA anchor Robin Roberts via video Monday as he self isolates.“I don’t have any symptoms — I could walk down the street. If it wasn’t public knowledge that I was sick, you wouldn’t know it,” Mitchell said. “I think that’s the scariest part about this virus — you may seem fine, be fine, and you never know who you may be talking to, who they’re going home to.”7:28 a.m. Stock futures pointing down at least 5%As it stands, stock futures are pointing down 5%. They’re “limit down” which means that they have hit their limit and can’t go any lower until markets open.“Limit down” is similar to circuit breakers when the market is open to keep stocks from heading into free fall. Stocks are expected to fall even further as there are exchange-traded funds (ETFs) which mimic the S&P 500 which are down around 9% right now.The first circuit breaker kicks in if S&P 500 falls 7%.7:16 a.m. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tells ABC News that federal assistance and a unified approach is needed to take on coronavirus“Look, we have been behind this disease from day one. We saw the disease developing in China back in November. We weren’t ready for it, and we’ve been playing catchup ever since,” Cuomo told George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America.Cuomo continued: “You have to get ahead of this, right? It’s not fighting the last war, it’s fighting the next war. The next war is going to be overwhelming our hospital systems. You look at any of these projections and you see that coming. When you see that chart of the curve, I see it as a wave and the wave is going to break on the hospital system. We don’t have the capacity to build more hospitals quickly. The only way would be if the army corps of engineers came in, worked with the states to retrofit existing buildings.”Cuomo also railed against what he called the “patchwork quilt” approach has so far allowed to go on.“This federal government has to get more engaged,” Cuomo said. “There’s been no country that has handled this that has not nationalized it. This patchwork quilt of policies doesn’t work. It makes no sense for me to do something in New York and New Jersey to do something else.”Said Cuomo: “If I say you can’t go to a bar in New York, you know you’ll go to New Jersey, you’ll go to Connecticut, you’ll go to wherever you can be served. That’s the last thing we want. Set the national standards and let’s live with them. Otherwise, again, you come up with this ad hoc system that’s not going to work.”7:10 a.m. China relaxes travel restrictions in HubeiChina is relaxing travel restrictions in the hardest-hit virus province of Hubei and sending thousands of workers back to jobs at factories desperate to get production going again.The move comes as Chinese officials say the outbreak that spread from Wuhan starting in December has mostly run its course domestically, while they remain vigilant against imported cases.5:30 a.m. Jack Ma says first shipment of masks and coronavirus test kits to the US is taking off from ShanghaiJack Ma tweeted that a huge shipment of masks and coronavirus testing kits is now en route to the United States from Shanghai.The first shipment of masks and coronavirus test kits to the US is taking off from Shanghai. All the best to our friends in America. pic.twitter.com/LTn26gvlOl— Jack Ma (@JackMa) March 16, 2020The shipment is said to contain 500,000 coronavirus testing kits and one million masks. Ma has urged international cooperation to fight the health crisis.5:13 a.m. Russia closes borders with BelarusRussia has announced it is closing its border with Belarus, one of its major entry points to Europe, in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Goods will still be allowed to cross the border, but the passage of people will no longer be permitted.Substantial restrictions of flights to Europe from Russia also begin today. All flights to European Union countries, Norway and Switzerland are to be halted, except for those leaving from a single terminal at one of Moscow’s airports and flying to the countries’ capitals. Currently only two of Russia’s borders have no restrictions linked to the virus — Finland and Azerbaijan.It comes as Russia steps up its measures in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus.4:36 a.m. Roche Diagnostics has received emergency approval for a new coronavirus test it developedThe company received emergency approval late Thursday night from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to send half a million tests to labs across the country from its North America headquarters in Indianapolis.“For us, it’s been all about how do we make sure the patients who need to test, get the test at the time they need it,” Randy Pritchard, senior vice president of marketing for Roche, said.In six weeks, the company was able to develop the test when it normally takes about 18 months to identify a virus and submit something to the FDA, Pritchard said.With the new test, you can have results as fast as three days as opposed to days with some current tests.3:53 a.m. Australian TV journalist who met with Rita Wilson has virusAn Australian television journalist said Monday he has the new coronavirus and assumes he contracted it while meeting with actress-singer Rita Wilson in Sydney.Nine Network entertainment editor Richard Wilkins, 65, said he was tested because he met Wilson at the Sydney Opera House on March 7 and again at Nine’s Sydney studio on March 9. The result came back positive on Sunday.“I’m surprisingly very well,” Wilkins told Nine by Facetime from his Sydney home, where he has self-isolated since Wilson’s diagnosis.“You could’ve knocked me over with a feather last night when I got that call. It took me a couple of minutes to reel from the news that they gave me. But I feel fine. I feel 100%,” Wilkins added. “We’re assuming this is from Rita. It may not be. They’ve all said it could be anyone, anywhere, any time, such is the prevalence of this thing.”Wilson and her husband Tom Hanks have been isolated in an Australian hospital since they were both diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 12.3:20 a.m. Santa Monica closes pier due to public safety concernsSanta Monica has issued an executive order to temporarily close the Santa Monica Pier to the public as part of its local emergency proclamation beginning at 6 a.m. on Monday, according to a statement from Santa Monica officials.“We welcome thousands of guests to our Pier each and every day, so we take this step out of the deepest desire to keep people at home and healthy,” said City Manager Rick Cole. “We love our Pier and the joy it brings to everyone that visits, but in this moment, we must take aggressive actions to slow the spread of COVID-19.”The City team is closely monitoring CDC, State, and County Health Department guidance to determine when and/or how the Pier can be reopened to the public.“We are in full support of this temporary closure to the public amid this health crisis. Though this will heavily impact the Pier businesses, in this historic moment it is the right thing to do,” said Negin Singh, executive director of the Santa Monica Pier Corporation. “We know that once we overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, our Pier will play an important role in serving the public with our great food, attractions, performers and free, world-class events. We all look forward to welcoming you back.”12:21 a.m. Washington to shut down bars, eliminate in-person diningWashington state is following the national trend shuttering entertainment venues and recreational facilities, and limiting restaurants to delivery and take-out.Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement Sunday night local time announcing that he will sign the statewide proclamation on Monday.The ban will not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies, although other retail outlets will have reduced occupancy, the statement said.“These are very difficult decisions, but hours count here and very strong measures are necessary to slow the spread of the disease,” Inslee said.Washington’s King Country, which includes the county seat of Seattle, has been one of the centers of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.12:11 a.m. Los Angeles closing bars, clubs and gymsLos Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the city will be closing bars, nightclubs, entertainment venues and gyms until at least March 31.Restaurants will remain open only for takeout and delivery.The order extends to libraries, recreation centers and zoos.Grocery stores, pharmacies and food banks will remain open, the mayor said. In addition, the announcement included a moratorium on evictions for renters.The executive order, which came an hour after New York City made a similar announcement, puts the United States’ two largest cities under unprecedented restrictions during a national health crisis.The Los Angeles closures go into effect Sunday at midnight local time.“This will be a tough time, but it is not forever. Angelenos have always risen to meet difficult moments, and we will get through this together,” Garcetti said in a statement.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Double awards for City and Ashton Gate

first_imgAshton Gate Stadium won Best Operations Team while Mark Ashton was named Championship CEO of the year at the Honourable Artillery Company in London.It was a double honour for City and Ashton Gate Stadium, which successfully delivered a Summer Series of four concerts in the summer 2019 to further enhance its reputation as the premier sports, entertainment and business venue in the South West.Ashton Gate was shortlisted for best Operations Team alongside Accrington Stanley Football Club; Arsenal’s Travel, Events, Supporter Liaison Team; English Football League and Everton Football ClubMark Kelly, Managing Director of Ashton Gate Stadium, which was also nominated for Best Non-Match Day Use of Venue, said: “These awards are for all who work at Ashton Gate Stadium. We have such a dedicated and passionate team who consistently go above and beyond to make the stadium a 365-day destination, synonymous with quality and excellence.“Congratulations to Mark Ashton for his award and all at the football club for their support in helping us make the stadium and multiple sports team model a beacon of best practice in the industry.”As well as collecting the Championship CEO award, Ashton was shortlisted for the overall CEO award alongside Peter Moore (Liverpool FC), Gary Sweet (Luton Town), Carolyn Radford (Mansfield Town) and Alan Burrows (Motherwell). It was won on the night by Peter Moore.Mark Ashton said: “To be named Championship CEO of the year is a great honour and one that should be shared by everyone at this great football club who work tirelessly every day – everyone deserves credit. It’s also testament to Steve and Maggie Lansdown for their continued investment and backing to run this club in a fit, proper and successful way.“We are fortunate to call Ashton Gate Stadium our home and congratulations to Mark Kelly and his staff for their award. Their superb Operations Team ensures that our matchdays run smooth and I am fortunate to see every day what a great job they do on the wide range of events hosted at the stadium.”last_img read more

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“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” and “Logan Lucky” among this week’s new releases

first_img Related Lionsgate/Jack EnglishOpening nationwide on Friday:* The Hitman’s Bodyguard — Ryan Reynolds plays a bodyguard tasked with protecting his mortal enemy, a notorius hitman — played by Samuel L. Jackson — so he could testify at the International Court of Justice. Rated R.* Logan Lucky — Channing Tatum and Adam Driver star in this comedy about siblings who attempt to pull off an elaborate heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina. Also starring Riley Keough, Katie Holmes and Daniel Craig. PG-13. Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMaticolast_img read more

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Sumner Newscow Friday Night scoreboard…

first_imgSumner Newscow Friday night scoreboard: Rose Hill 35 Wellington 0Conway Springs 64 Wichita Independent 8Argonia-Attica 48 Udall 28Belle Plaine 45 Neodesha 6Caldwell 58 Oxford 30South Haven 52 Burrton 6Cheney 46 Wichita Collegiate 21Andale 78 Wichita Trinity 0Winfield 25 Augusta 7Clearwater 41 Haven 7.last_img

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To some people, Mike Tomlin will never be good enough (Dec. 12)

first_imgLike us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hlFollow @NewPghCourier on Twitter  https://twitter.com/NewPghCourier STEELERS HEAD COACH MIKE TOMLIN (Photo by Courier photographer Brian Cook)Prior to the Steelers/Raiders game last Sunday, the scenario for the Steelers’ entrance into the postseason was a bit “cloudy” to say the least, but by kickoff in the “black hole” two nemesis of the Steelers, the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens, had been defeated, leaving Pittsburgh as masters of their own fate.The Patriots were slightly ahead of the Steelers as both teams were posturing for a bye week in the upcoming postseason and the Ravens were trailing the Steelers in the AFC North standings by one-half game. However, in light of all the help that the Steelers received they ended up losing to the Oakland Raiders, 24-21. The Steelers’ hit-or-miss field goal kicker, Chris Boswell, slipped and fell as he attempted to kick a game-tying field goal that would have sent the game into overtime—but it should not even have come down to that.First and foremost, here we go again, the noose of failure is again being placed around Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin’s neck. Ben Roethlisberger had exited the game in the first half after “allegedly” receiving a rib injury. Coach Tomlin preferring to err on the side of caution held Roethlisberger from re-entering the game in the beginning of the third quarter. Tomlin confirmed after the game with reporters that Big Ben had actually been medically cleared to play when he first returned to the sidelines with eight minutes remaining in the third. However, an article posted by Simon Chester on behindthesteelcurtain.com went on to question the sanity of Tomlin’s decision, saying: “With an admission that makes you question the sanity of the decision, Mike Tomlin revealed to reporters after the game that his future Hall of Fame quarterback could actually have come back into the game much sooner. Acknowledging that he had been medically cleared to play when he had first returned to the sidelines earlier in the third quarter, the explanation for still opting to hold him out was strange to say the least.”TIP-TOE—The Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster catches a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders, Dec. 9. But the Raiders won the game, 24-21. (AP PHOTO)Well, well, well, if Tomlin had reinserted Roethlisberger prematurely, all of the “talking heads” would have used that incident to remove his head from the chopping block and instead would have placed his neck in the guillotine had “Big Ben” re-aggravated the “injury.” What did the X-rays and MRIs reveal about the extent of the Roethlisberger’s injury? During the past few games, Roethlisberger has trotted off and on the field after being so-called “injured” but miraculously recovered after being on the sidelines for a few plays. There is venom in the chicken soup…there are a few “coach whisperers” with breath stinking of garlic and hatred that are again calling for the termination of the employment of Mike Tomlin, but they are serious now. Why? Well it is time to put on your listening ears. Mike McCarthy, the recently terminated headmaster of the Green Bay Packers, was sent packing and now tops the head coaching wish list of a few of the Black and Gold faithful and a few media types as well.Listen up, all of you Mike Tomlin haters and Mike McCarthy lovers. Fellow “yinzer” Mike McCarthy won Super Bowl XLV on Feb. 6, 2011 in Dallas beating the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-25. The victory was aided by the two picks thrown by Roethlisberger (one was a pick six). McCarthy would have sported a 0-1 Super Bowl record if the Packers were not aided by Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Tomlin would be 2-0. Oh, but McCarthy remains an “unemployed genius” and Mike Tomlin is just the byproduct of affirmative action.If the Steelers fail to make it to and win another Lombardi Trophy, ending the 2018 season a knight on a white horse may be to blame…or will it be a mule that our knight in shining armor mistook for a stallion?last_img read more

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With Manchester United in doldrums, Jose Mourinho coveted by Real Madrid

first_imgAdvertisement b5kNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vsbt5kj5Wingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Es6v8( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 9thq6iWould you ever consider trying this?😱9bcbCan your students do this? 🌚77bRoller skating! Powered by Firework Advertisement With the recent outbreak of “Mourinho Out” from supporters of the Red Devils, things are not at all hunky-dory for United’s gaffer Jose Mourinho.Along with fans, a slew of ex-Manchester United players have been vocal about Mourinho’s lacklustre performance and has asked for him to leave.Advertisement With Man Utd slipping into 10th position in the Premier League, the future of Mourinho at Old Trafford looks bleak. However, Jose has stated that he wants to see out his current deal at Old Trafford, which will expire in 2020.The Portuguese served as Real manager from 2010 to 2013, and now former president Ramon Calderon feels it is only a matter of time before Mourinho returns to the Spanish capital.Advertisement “If this president [Florentino Perez] is with the team for a few years, and I think he will be, Mourinho will be here,” Calderon said in an interview with ESPN.“No doubt. It’s the only coach the president has respected. For better or worse. I think he will be here – if he leaves Manchester, of course. But sooner or later, I think he will be here.”United will return to action on Sunday when they host Everton, in a match which will see Romelu Lukaku go up against his former club. Advertisementlast_img read more

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Breen tops Corrib Oil Galway International Rally – Motorsport Ireland Weekend Roundup

first_imgCraig Breen, Waterford and co-driver Paul Nagle, Killarney on their way to scoring a 14 second win in the Corrib Oil Galway International Rally yesterday, Image by Philip Fitzpatrick Craig Breen, Waterford and co-driver Paul Nagle, Killarney on their way to scoring a 14 second win in the Corrib Oil Galway International Rally yesterday, Image by Philip Fitzpatrickprint WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email Stage two saw Alastair Fisher and Gordon Noble set the best time in their Fiesta, briefly giving them the lead, but Breen took over the top place at the end of the first loop of the three stages, just three-tenths of a second ahead of Jennings. The Fermanagh and Waterford rivals swapped positions twice more in quick succession before Jennings slid off the road and out of the rally, and Breen was never headed for the rest of the day. Fisher finished as the runner up, with defending Irish Tarmac title holder Josh Moffett third, another 34 seconds down. His elder brother Sam, another former Tarmac champion, was an early casualty when he too went off the road in the very slippery conditions.  center_img Despite not being included on the Citroen World Rally Championship team this year, Waterford rally ace Craig Breen got his season off to a great start by scoring a 14-second win in the Corrib Oil Galway International Rally yesterday, heading a clean sweep of the top four positions by Ford Fiesta drivers. Breen, with his Killarney co-driver Paul Nagle, dropped some time on the opening stage when he overshot a junction, leaving double Galway winners Garry Jennings and Rory Kennedy as the early leaders in their Impreza. last_img read more

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Lurgybrack Autism Centre boosted by ‘Race Across America’ equipment

first_imgLurgybrack Autism Centre were delighted to welcome Arthur McMahon, Gerard Callaghan, Gavin Harris, Boyd Robinson and Grace Ann McGarvey from The Donegal Oil Foundation to the school.Last summer, the team of four local men, supported by a large crew from all over Donegal, cycled 3,000 miles across America, from Oceanside in California to Annapolis in Maryland, in the World’s Toughest Bicycle Race. In doing so, they raised money for schools in Donegal which cater for children on the Autism Spectrum.Lurgybrack Autism Centre gratefully received €1,000 worth of funding for active equipment for the children.Lurgybrack Autism Centre were delighted to take delivery of three wonderful bikes and a foot twister, all supplied locally by LK Bikes – fantastic resources which will encourage the children to become more active, provide them with a fun way to exercise as well as supporting their physical and emotional development. “The school wish the express their sincere thanks to Arthur McMahon, Managing Director of Donegal Oil Company, to the Donegal Oil Cycling Team and everyone involved in The Foundation for their support,” the school said.Lurgybrack Autism Centre boosted by ‘Race Across America’ equipment was last modified: February 2nd, 2019 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Arthur McMahonBoyd RobinsonDonegal Oil FoundationGavin HarrisGerard CallaghanGrace Ann McGarveyLurgybrack Autism Centrelast_img read more

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Pop-Up Disney! To End This September at Downtown Disney in Disneyland

first_imgShare This!If you haven’t visiting the Pop-Up Disney! A Mickey Celebration experience, you’ll only have through Labor Day, September 2, to be able to do it. The Downtown Disney District exhibit is a social media lover’s dream. Guests have been able to can step inside nine different imaginatively themed rooms where multi-dimensional art and vibrant, visual displays salute Disney’s most recognizable icon.Want to know what some of the rooms have in store for Guests? In the Mickey at Disneyland room, Guests can share how much Mickey means to the Disneyland Resort, even getting a photo inside an 8-foot-tall Mickey balloon. In the Mickey Around the World room, you can see how Mickey is loved in different countries. The Forever Mickey Room allows Guests to reflect on what Mickey means to them thanks to a mirrored hallway. Finally, in the most social media move ever, you’ll also want to get your photo taken with the large polka dot bow sofa couch.The cost is $30 Monday to Thursday before 4 p.m. and $38 on evenings (after 4:00 p.m.) and weekends. The full experience takes approximately 1.5 hoursBook your reservation to visit the Pop-Up Disney experience here before your time runs out!last_img read more

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Trade Port to boost KZN exports

first_img7 July 2008Fixed investment in and exports from KwaZulu-Natal province are set to increase with the completion of the R6.5-billion Dube Trade Port – the largest single government infrastructure investment in the province – to the north of Durban.“The catalytic impact of this project will not be confined to the growth node in the costal area north of Durban, but will reverberate across the entire province and position KwaZulu-Natal as a destination of choice for domestic and international tourists,” KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sibusiso Ndebele told delegates at the International Investment Council in San Lameer in May.The council, attended by President Thabo Mbeki, Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Cabinet members, drew on the insights of distinguished international business leaders on how to meet the challenges of economic growth in South Africa.By the time of its completion ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the Dube Trade Port itself will have contributed an estimated R12.4-billion to the economy and created thousands of new jobs.According to statistics, the Durban port is the busiest port city on the African continent and ideally located to access the international shipping routes between East and West. It is also the largest of South Africa’s seven ports.It handles in excess of 31.4-million tons of cargo a year, with a value in excess of R100-billion per annum – approximately 65% of the value of all cargo going through South African ports.According to a report released by Quantec data, KwaZulu-Natal’s top export destinations in 2005 were the United States, Japan, India, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany.More than R3-billion has been set aside for investment in Durban port’s infrastructure since 2002 for various improvements that include the construction of cargo terminals, Ndebele said.The province’s second port – Richard’s Bay – is also South Africa’s premier bulk cargo handling port and is one of the fastest growing industrial areas in the province, and the centre of operations for South Africa’s aluminium industry.Trade gatewayNdebele further told delegates that the foreign private companies had invested over R27-billion in the province between 2000 and 2005, enabling provincial economic growth to rise from 1% in 1999 to 5.3% in 2005.Since then, he said, the province had seen further groundbreaking fixed direct investments, while nearly a third of South Africa’s manufactured exports were produced in the province.These include the R2.4-billion expansion of Toyota’s plant outside Durban, a new R2.5-billion plant by United Pulp in Richards Bay, a R2-billion expansion at Sappi Saiccor at Umkomaas, and a R650-million investment by Tata in a steel plant in Richard’s Bay.In addition, an almost R20-billion investment is on the cards in the KwaZulu-Natal north coast for a “city within a city” project, modelled on the Dubai Palm complex in the Arab emirate.“These private investments are particularly encouraging for us and they are aligned to our national industrial policy,” said Ndebele. “KwaZulu-Natal has also recently undergone rapid industrialisation, thanks to its abundant water supply and labour resources.”Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

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