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Falkland Islands: Penguin News Weekly update

Friday, August 17th 2007 - 21:00 UTC
Full article
The cyclists and their supporters at the finish line near the Public Jetty The cyclists and their supporters at the finish line near the Public Jetty

Headlines:
Soldiers take a rough ride; Ferry workshops highlight 'unknowns'; Education Director's praise for A Level students; Foot and Mouth: caution continues; Quake rocks Peru.

Soldiers take a rough rideFOUR intrepid mountain bike riders have made the journey from Stanley to Mare Harbour and back in just seven hours to raise funds for SAMA82 and Combat Stress. QMSI Arthur Cosgrove, Sgt Richard Simpson, Cpl Tom Hughes and SAC Chris Chapman undertook the challenge on Monday after bad weather on Sunday prevented them from hitting the road. A distance of some 82 miles on a mixture of sealed and unsurfaced road was covered with more than £1,000 being raised for the charities. On arriving back at the Jetty Centre the slightly saddle sore riders said they had enjoyed the ride although parts of it had been, "quite challenging" particularly the more hilly parts of the road. Ferry workshops highlight 'unknowns'THERE is still much to be ironed out about how the new coastal shipping service and the consolidation of its cargo will operate, it was revealed at a series of workshops hosted by the Development Corporation (FIDC) over the past fortnight. The meetings were aimed at helping people to understand how the ferry may operate and to see how they can make the most out of the new service. Based at Newhaven, the new vessel, Concordia Bay, will be committed to providing a cross-sound ferry service every weekend and a delivery service to the islands throughout the week. A workshop held in Stanley on Tuesday evening was the third in the series, with earlier meetings in Fox Bay and Hill Cove. Manager of FIDC, Mark Brunet, opened the workshop saying it was a chance to, "...share things we know and things we don't know," the latter causing some visible frustration among those present. A number were keen to know as soon as possible what freight rates the government would be setting for the ferry service; without this information, they said, people who might be interested in providing consolidation and delivery services could not work on their pricing structures. Karen Lee summed up the feeling: "You need to know what costs will be involved if you are working out if a viable business can be run. It is a critical factor." Councillor Mike Summers felt this was not necessarily the case and that prospective service providers could be, "...working on costings now" without waiting for the government's rates to be announced. However, he added that the pricing scale is due to be presented to Executive Council in September. Mr Brunet said the outer islands should be no worse off under the new service, however Rob McGill of Carcass Island disagreed. He described the link to West Falkland as "great" but felt the service to the islands would be much worse than that currently provided by the Tamar.Mr Brunet later acknowledged that the Islands present, "...a particular challenge," but added, "...the possibility is there that, as we get to understand better how the ship works, we might be able to improve things. But it would foolish to make promises at this stage." Continued on page 2.Education Director's praise for A Level students THE anxious waiting is over for the eight Falkland Island students who sat their A level examinations this summer. All of the students sat at least three examinations with most taking four subjects and they have achieved very creditable and pleasing results, the Director of Education, Barbara Booth, says. Five of the eight students gained three or more examination passes at Grade C or above. "The commitment to study to secure these grades must not be underestimated," Mrs. Booth commented. One student achieved two A grades and a B grade as well as passing all the AS examinations at Grade A. Another secured B grades for all the examinations with an A grade for the AS level examination. Both are an excellent set of results. Mrs. Booth congratulated the students on their achievements and wished them well, "... as they move on to the next phase, be that a gap year or to follow an undergraduate course." Foot and Mouth: caution continuesTHE Falklands will still be able to import goods from the UK, despite the Foot and Mouth outbreak in the south of England. Limited restrictions have been placed on the import of goods from the United Kingdom but the EU has introduced legislation which provides that certain products derived from animals can be exported from Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) despite the outbreak. The Falkland Islands is not part of the European Union (EU), however in most cases we mirror EU import regulations aimed at controlling animal disease and a declaration has been made so the Falklands can act as if it were another EU country. This legislation will be reviewed and updated on August 23 by the Commission of the EU. The Director of Agriculture intends to permit the import from the UK to the Falklands of certain products derived from animals, as if the Falkland Islands were a member of the EU (other than the United Kingdom). Senior Veterinary Officer, Vic Epstein, said the legislation simplifies matters, "...so that the importers and exporters can get good advice from DEFRA and the correct documentation can accompany the imports to the Falklands." He reminded importers that correct documentation will be required or goods will be held in bond. As for passengers arriving by aircraft into the Islands, Dr Epstein said foot bathing will continue for passengers from the UK for a while, "...but maybe only those who have been living/visiting south of London will have the shoes in their baggage examined." Quake rocks PeruA POWERFUL 8 magnitude earthquake has hit the coast of Peru, killing at least 450 people and injuring hundreds more, Most of the deaths were in the coastal province of Ica, about 165 miles south of Lima. Jennie Forrest of International Tours and Travel Ltd said her company currently has nine clients in Peru, however news reports have not mentioned the major tourist areas. Telephone lines are reported to have been damaged in the quake and, unsurprisingly, Mrs. Forrest said she had not yet received any information from her Peruvian operator about which areas have been affected and what effect this will have on travellers.

Categories: Politics, Mercosur.

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