More carmakers caught in headlights of VW engine-rigging scandal

More carmakers caught in headlights of VW engine-rigging scandal
Volkswagen has admitted it installed illegal software into 11 million 2.0 liter and 3.0 liter diesel engines worldwide (AFP Photo/Josh Edelson)

Volkswagen emissions scandal

Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts

Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 commercial jet.

QZ8501 (AirAsia)

Leaders see horror of French Alps crash as probe gathers pace

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Despite shortage of space and staff, no stop to distribution centre growth

DutchNews, March 26, 2018

Photo: Depositphotos.com

New distribution centres covering a record of nearly two million m2 – the equivalent of 400 football fields – were built in the Netherlands in 2017 and still more are planned along the country’s motorways, according to research by broadcaster NOS

Many large international companies are queuing up to distribute their products through the Netherlands despite the shortage of land and people to staff them, NOS said.There are currently 53,000 unfilled distribution centre jobs available. 

NOS contacted commercial brokers association NVM Business as well as a number of leading commercial property firms for its report. ‘We are seeing for the first time that  developers are building distribution centres on spec before they have any tenant or buyer in mind,’ said Liesbeth Kramer of NVM Business. ‘Demand is enormous.’ 

Total space covered by distribution centres in the Netherlands has increased by 40% to more than 30 million m2 in the past 10 years. The most are located in Noord-Brabant province, followed by Limburg. 

‘All major high streets from London to Paris  and Germany’s Ruhr region are stocked by warehouses in the southern part of the Netherlands,’ said Joost Uwents, CEO of Belgo-Dutch developer WDP, which is the largest in the Netherlands. 

Uwents, who is a Belgian national, is full of praise for the Dutch government which has supported the logistics sector in a big way. He cites major improvements to the road infrastructure around Rotterdam and Eindhoven as will as upgrades in the rail and inland waterway structures. 

Tax 

The Dutch tax regime – unlike that in in other countries  – also benefits distribution activities as VAT is added only on final delivery of goods, said Richard Elich of property developer David Hart Group. 

And even though the southern part of the country is generally preferred for distribution centres, the parent of Spanish fashion group Zara opted for Lelystad for its new distribution centre.  ‘Quite simply, they settled there because the could get both space and staff,’ Uwents said.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Ride-hailing apps run Indonesian tuk-tuks off road

Yahoo - AFP, Mackenzie Smith, March 25, 2018

Ride-hailing apps like the Grab motorcyle-taxi seen here are denting the fortunes
of traditional three-wheeled bajaj taxis in Indonesia (AFP Photo/BAY ISMOYO)

Auto-rickshaw driver Zainuddin used to make decent money navigating Jakarta's congested roads and narrow alleyways.

But now US-based Uber, Google-backed Go-Jek and Singapore's Grab are locked in a race for ride-hailing app supremacy in Southeast Asia's biggest economy, denting the fortunes of traditional three-wheeled bajaj taxis that once ruled Indonesia's roads.

"Our income has fallen between 70 and 80 percent since ride-hailing apps came on the scene," said Zainuddin, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

There were some 14,000 bajaj on Indonesia's roads by 2015, according to the latest official figures.

By contrast, Go-Jek alone claims 900,000 drivers and some 15 million weekly active users. It launched in 2010.

Google and Singapore's sovereign wealth fund Temasek have announced investments in Go-Jek, which has been valued at as much as $5 billion although it's little known outside Asia.

Southeast Asia's ride-hailing market more than doubled in two years to some $5 billion in 2017 and it's expected to reach $20 billion by 2025, with Indonesia set to account for some 40 percent of it, according to research done by Google and Temasek.

Go-Jek, which also reportedly won funding from Chinese internet giant Tencent, has said it is mulling an initial public offering as it looks to grow in Indonesia and beyond.

That could inflate its army of motorcycle taxis, private cars and other services -- from massage and house cleaning to grocery shopping and package deliveries -- all available at users' fingertips.

Dragging behind its regional rivals, Uber is reportedly selling parts of its Southeast Asian operations to rival Grab in exchange for a stake in the Singaporean company.

No more haggling

The ride-hailing trio offer fixed-price rides that take haggling out of the equation, a welcome change for former bajaj customer Tetty Iskandar.

"I haven't taken a bajaj in years," said the 35-year-old housewife, who used to ride the three-wheelers to go grocery shopping.

"You had to bargain with the drivers to get cheap fares. And you would already have done bargaining a lot in the market. Sometimes I felt so tired and just wanted to get home."

The vast archipelago of some 260 million people has a relatively low per-capita car ownership rate.

For some, sitting in a tuk-tuk as it teeters and rumbles over Jakarta's roads offers
a connection to an older way of life (AFP Photo/BAY ISMOYO)

And vehicle owners often choose to leave their ride at home, opting instead for a fixed-price motorcycle that can zip through Jakarta's epic traffic congestion -- at a bargain-basement prices.

That is threatening bajaj -- not to mention regular cabs and ubiquitous motorbike taxis known as ojek -- which arrived in Indonesia during the 1970s.

The motorised rickshaw quickly made inroads under its namesake company, which hailed from India.

The name bajaj is now inked into Jakarta's lexicon after supplanting traditional bicycle taxis.

A distinctive blue model of the vehicle is still a common sight and while pollution-spewing older models are outlawed, some still ply the narrow alleyways of Indonesia's sprawling capital.

Government efforts to reduce traffic snarls by reintroducing bicycle taxis could further chip away at the market share of bajaj, which cannot operate on highways and certain busy streets.

'Nostalgic feeling'

Still, bajaj backers point out that the little tuk-tuks are safer than motorcycles which have higher injury and fatality rates.

"They are still a very useful means of transport when you have to go through small alleys and roads in Jakarta," said Danang Parikesit, president of the think tank Indonesia Transportation Society.

For some, sitting in a tuk-tuk as it teeters and rumbles over Jakarta's roads offers a connection to an older way of life.

"Riding bajaj has a unique sensation, a nostalgic feeling," said faithful customer Budiyanto.

In central Jakarta, bajaj line a curb, their drivers smoking or sleeping as swarms of motorbike drivers sporting Go-Jek or Grab windbreakers zip by on their way to collect customers.

Even if they wanted to switch to ride-hailing apps, it's too late for some older drivers.

"I cannot shift to an app-based motorcycle taxi because of my age," said driver Sutardi.

"Companies require that their drivers not be over 60."

Despite the threat of technology, some insist bajaj have a future, especially among customers who don't want to get soaked on the back of a motorbike or while waiting for a hired car during the months-long rainy season.

"Customers don't like to get wet," tuk-tuk driver Zainuddin said.

"It's not good for people when the rain comes, but bajaj drivers will be happy."


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Schiphol test runs food service at departure gate

DutchNews, March 14, 2018

The La Place cafe at Schiphol airport. Photo: La Place

Schiphol is the first airport in Europe to give a trial run to a food delivery service to passengers at the departure gate, the Amsterdam airport said in a statement on Wednesday. 

The meal delivery service which includes pizzas, hamburgers, salads and sushi is now available at Schiphol’s D and E departure piers. Passengers can make their selection from Kebaya or the Street Food Market using the Deliveroo app or website. Delivery – by scooter – takes 15 minutes and costs €2.50. 

If the trial is successful, it will continue beyond March, the statement said.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Google guru Page tests flying taxis in New Zealand

Yahoo – AFP, 13 March 2018

In this handout picture received on March 13, 2018 from New Zealand based
aviation company Zephyr Airworks shows a "Cora" electric powered air taxi in flight

Self-piloted flying taxis are being tested in New Zealand as part of a project backed by Google co-founder Larry Page that supporters say will revolutionise personal transport.

New Zealand regulators on Tuesday approved plans for Zephyr Airworks, a subsidiary of Page's company Kitty Hawk, to develop and test the futuristic air taxis.

Known as Cora, the electric aircraft has a dozen lift fans on its wings, making it capable of vertical take-off and landing like a helicopter.

But developers say it is much quieter, meaning it could transport passengers in urban areas using rooftops and car parks as landing pads.

"We are offering a pollution free, emission free vehicle that flies dependably, we think this is the logical next step in the evolution of transportation," Zephyr chief executive Fred Reid said.

The Cora prototype being tested in New Zealand's South Island uses three on-board computers to calculate its flight path and is capable of carrying two passengers.

It has a range of 100 kilometres (62 miles) and can fly at 150 kmh at an altitude of up to 900 metres (3,000 feet).

Zephyr said using the air taxi would be a simple experience for passengers, similar to taking a ride-share in a car.

"You wouldn't have to know anything about flying a plane. Cora could fly for you," it said in a promotional video.

"And it would be all-electric, helping to build a sustainable world."

It said Cora took eight years to design but then developers needed a suitable environment to safely test the new technology.

They settled on New Zealand because of its uncongested airspace and rigorous regulatory environment, with Reid saying local officials had embraced the idea.

"We had no idea what to expect," he said.

"They could have laughed us out of the room. We were pitching something that sounded like science fiction."

Cora has been given an experimental airworthiness certificate from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority.

Trialling the flying taxi service will reportedly take six years, with operations based around the city of Christchurch.

"This aircraft represents the evolution of the transport eco system to one that responds to a global challenge around traffic and congestion, and is kinder to the planet," Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel said.


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Amsterdam freight train link to China will cover 11,000 km and take 16 days

DutchNews, March 7, 2018


Amsterdam will have a freight train connection with China starting on Thursday. The rail link to Yiwu China from the port’s Amerikahaven is 11,000 km long and will take 16 days to traverse, Trouw said on Wednesday. 

The route passes through Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Kazachstan and then on to China. Rotterdam has had a dedicated China rail link for two years. 

Chinese president Xi Jinping is investing €400bn in strengthening rail ties to Western Europe to reduce reliance on ocean shipping.  The link – called the One Belt, One Road – follows Marco Polo’s old Silk Road which moved people and goods between the two regions for centuries. 

The train is being operated by Nunner Logistics of Helmond which expects it to be carrying baby and children’s clothing, alcoholic drinks, car parts and luxury textiles to China and largely clothing on the return trip. The container train making the journey will be at least 630 metres long.