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Cape Town Cycle Tour gets underway
10 October 2021, 8:01 AM

The organizers of the 43rd edition of the Cape Town Cycle Tour says it is all systems go for the event on Sunday.

The biggest timed bicycle race in the world was scheduled to take place earlier this year but was postponed due to COVID-19.

18 000 cyclists will take part in the race, which is approximately half the amount normally allowed. Due to the lockdown regulations, no spectators will be allowed.

Cycle Tour Director David Bellairs says as part of this year’s stricter health protocols, there will be staggered rolling starts over a couple of hours to ensure better physical distancing between cyclists.

“We’ve removed a lot of the social aspects of the Cycle Tour. You’ll get the opportunity on the day to ride around the beautiful Cape Peninsula, starting in the city center and finishing at the Cape Town Stadium. At that point, we’ll then ask riders to please leave and head home, back to their guest houses or hotels. This is just a wonderful day to celebrate the return to mass participation sport.”

In 2020, the Cape Town Cycle Tour lived up to expectations:

Zambia suffers major power outage
9 October 2021, 1:54 PM

Copper-rich Zambia suffered a major power outage affecting most parts of the country on Friday after a problem at an important hydropower station, and the state utility said it was working to restore supply.

“There has been a loss of generation at Kariba North Bank hydropower station and this has affected supply to a large geographical area of the country,” said spokesman John Kunda of state-owned power company Zesco.

Residents in the capital Lusaka as well as Kitwe and Ndola in the copper belt said they were without power.

Kunda said Zesco was “rebooting the system” but that it could take three to four hours before the supply was fully restored.

Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) said in a statement that its mines, tailings leach plant and Nchanga smelter were affected by the blackout.

“Emergency generators have been switched on to stabilise operations at the smelter and the Tailings Leach Plant. … Flood gates have been activated and closed at Konkola underground mine, while we have shut boreholes underground to limit the flow of water into the mine and avert flooding,” KCM said.

The eThekwini Municipality records alarming rate of new HIV infections among girls, young women
9 October 2021, 1:51 PM

The eThekwini Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal says there has been an alarming rate of new HIV infections among girls and young women between 13 and 19-years old.

The municipality has launched a programme to help reduce the rate of HIV infections and sexually transmitted diseases.

Adding to the problem was the large number of people who stopped their HIV treatments when health services were disrupted by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Executive Officer of the Soul City Institute Phinah Kodisang says, “What we are seeing is what is always been there. Young people have always been vulnerable to HIV. I think from 2012 we’ve seen the number increasing between the ages 15 to 24 and we know that they were three times more likely, as young women, to be infected with HIV than their male counterparts. So, we are not seeing a new trend, I think the worrying thing is that right now is that everything is just coming together, HIV, GBV, all these ills are just culminating into a big big spiraling numbers.”

HIV prevention products are not reaching the people: Expert

Advocacy for the Prevention of HIV and AIDS (APHA) Co-founder Ntando Yola says there are options in terms of HIV prevention products, however, they are not reaching the people who need them.

According to UNAIDS, SA has the biggest and most high-profile HIV pandemic in the world, with an estimated 7.7 million people living with HIV in 2018.

The country accounts for a third of all new HIV infections in Southern Africa. In 2018, there were 240 000 new HIV infections and 71 000 South Africans died from AIDS-related illnesses.

South Africa also has the world’s largest antiretroviral treatment programme.

Speaking to SABC News, Yola says there is a range of challenges that the country faces and these challenges are in the midst of a number of opportunities.

“Let’s talk about HIV prevention, it is agreed upon that in order for us or for any country in the world to be able to have effective HIV prevention interventions it has to be looked at through a range of approaches. We have got to have bio-medical interventions; we have got to have behavioural interventions as well as structural interventions. These interventions have to speak to each other. What are these interventions? Bio-medical in terms of HIV prevention, we have a lot of products that are available in order for us to be able to prevent infections and there are a lot of breakthroughs that have taken place in terms of providing us with HIV prevention that should really be scaled up.”

In an interview three months ago, President and CEO of the non-governmental organisation mothers2mothers,  Frank Bradley de Palomo, discusses the new UNAIDS report:

 

 

Weed
Dagga Party hopes to alleviate poverty by unlocking cannabis as a resource
9 October 2021, 1:21 PM

The Dagga Party’s Mayoral candidate for Cape Town, Eben Jansen, says they hope to alleviate poverty by unlocking cannabis as a resource for everyone.

The broadcast journalist and cannabis farmer says he has decided to run for Mayor because they are aiming for the economic inclusion of cannabis.

“We stand for the equal rights of all citizens to cultivate cannabis for industry and nutrition on a mega scale. We also want municipalities to via Section 235 of the Constitution create cannabis homelands where people decide their own laws on the plant and their own decriminalization structures of the plant. Cannabis tourism and a commercialized retail sector have to be at the heart of the beneficiation of the plant.”

The Constitutional Court has decriminalised the private use of cannabis in 2018.

Dagga party leader expressed his joy at the ConCourt judgment:

Volcanic lava in Spain’s La Palma engulfs more houses
9 October 2021, 12:47 PM

Buildings near the volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma were engulfed by rivers of lava early on Saturday, with the drama of the red-hot eruption intensified by the spectacle of flashes of lightning.

The magma destroyed at least four buildings in the village of Callejon de la Gata, Reuters witnesses said.

There were a series of 37 seismic movements on Saturday, with the largest measuring 4.1, the Spanish National Geological Institute said.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano began erupting on September 19 and has destroyed more than 800 buildings and forced the evacuation of about 6 000 people from their homes on the island.

La Palma, with a population of about 83 000, is one of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic.

Lightning flashes were seen near the eruption early on Saturday. A study published in 2016 by the journal Geophysical Research Letters found lightning can be produced during volcanic eruptions because the collision of ash particles creates an electrical charge.

The lava from the volcano has engulfed over 150 hectares (370 acres) of farmland, most of it used for the cultivation of bananas that are one of the main crops on the island.

La Palma’s airport has been closed since Thursday because of ash, Spanish air traffic operator Aena said but the other airports in the archipelago remained open.

Weather

 

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