Related This Saturday 20 August, the global XTERRA off-road tri series turns its attention to Zittau, Germany – site of the 2011 XTERRA European Championship.“The weather is spectacular. It must be in the low 80s, sunny and warm. It was raining a bit when we came over from the Czech Republic on Monday but since then it has been glorious,” said XTERRA Managing Director Dave Nicholas.Zittau is in the southeast close to the border tri-point of Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. The course starts in the village of Olbersdorf at a huge park with a beautiful lake that serves thousands during the summer months.“The swim is a full 1500m and pros are worried because the water temp is 19.5 and at 20 they cannot wear wetsuits,” said Nicholas. “As the race is sanctioned by the German Federation speedsuits are not allowed. It is supposed to cool down, and if that happens we should be full wetsuit for everyone on Saturday, but only time will tell.”The bike course in the Zittau Mountains is a long 35K and is challenging. “The first 5-6K are fast and flat and could produce some drafting if packs are smart enough to figure that out. But the first climbs and downhills will shred any pack that gets there together. Some of the climbs are ‘hike a bike’ even for the best pros and there are very technical downhills that will have a lot of people walking,” added Nicholas.“The run is about 9K and has some rolling hills and technical sections but not difficult. Lots of fun as you start out of transition, run around the park campgrounds and then do a counter clockwise loop around the lake.”Saturday’s race will serve as the XTERRA European Championship, but also the German Triathlon Union Meistershaft (national championship) and the XTERRA Germany Championship.www.xterraplanet.com
IN A MARKED reversal of its policy adopted in June 2005, the board of Houston’s Metropolitan Transit Authority voted on October 18 to adopt light rail for all five corridors in the city’s $1·3bn Metro Solutions expansion programme.It had previously been decided that an all-rail plan would be too costly, so only the University Line was to be built as light rail. The North, Southeast, East End and Uptown routes totalling about 32 km, were to be constructed as bus rapid transit, on dedicated rights-of-way but with rails buried in the roadway for subsequent conversion when ridership would justify it. That decision met with strong protests from community groups and elected officials. Metro President & CEO Frank Wilson told the board meeting that the Federal Transit Administration had changed its evaluation criteria for federal grants expected to cover half the capital cost. FTA will now consider ‘rail bias’ – based on evidence that potential riders are more attracted by light rail than bus options – and examine all five lines as part of a co-ordinated system, as it did with light rail expansion in Salt Lake City.The board approved a compromise route for the 16·1 km University Line, which will run east-west from the Hillcroft Transit Center to the University of Houston campus, crossing the existing Main Street line at Richmond. MTA hopes to complete all five Metro Solutions corridors by 2012.
U.N. doubles aid appeal for northeastern Nigeria to $1 billion MOSCOW, RUSSIA – AUGUST 30, 2019: A gavel at an auction of 34 old light box signs recently removed from Moscow Underground (Moscow Metro) stations; the auction took place at Vystavochnaya Station. Vladimir Gerdo/TASS (Photo by Vladimir GerdoTASS via Getty Images) A gavel. Nigeria has been granted more time to appeal against a penalty in relation to a botched gas project. (Photo by Vladimir GerdoTASS via Getty Images)Nigeria won a temporary reprieve after a court in London granted it more time to appeal against a multi-billion dollar penalty in a case lodged by a UK-based company, Process Industrial and Developments (P&ID).The court ruled that Nigeria can now lodge its appeal but it did not set any definite time frame.P&ID sued Nigeria in 2012 after a deal to develop a gas-processing plant, which it was awarded, collapsed.P&ID, which was set up solely for the project, argued it spent $40 million on design and feasibility but never built the plant as the government did not honour its obligation to supply the gas it was meant to process.Three years ago, P&ID was awarded $6.6 billion, plus interest, based on what it could have earned over the course of 20 years.The daily interest of $1.2 million was backdated from 2013 meaning the award now stands at nearly $10 billion.Last September, Nigeria was given permission by a British judge to seek to have that ruling dismissed. It, however, missed the original appeal deadline.The West African nation’s Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami, told the BBC that the country will continue its pursuit of the case until the ruling against it is dismissed.Related Nigeria’s Court of Appeal jails foreign nationals for oil theft Nigeria announces $5.8 billion deal for record-breaking power project
The much-anticipated rematch between British unbeaten heavyweight Tyson Fury and WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will take place in Las Vegas on 22 February, both fighters have confirmed.The first bout between both unbeaten fighters ended in a draw in December 2018 with Fury surviving two knockdowns.American Wilder, 34, whose WBC belt will be on the line when they meet at the MGM Grand, tweeted “there will be no more unanswered questions” and “I will finish what I started”.Briton Fury, 31, told fans on Instagram to “watch me knock out Deontay Wilder”.The rematch had been agreed since June but Wilder said it would take place after his fight with Cuba’s Luis Ortiz, who he went on to defeat at the MGM Grand in November.Meanwhile, Fury defeated Germany’s Tom Schwarz in June, but suffered a cut eye in beating Sweden’s Otto Wallin in September, which led to concerns a rematch with Wilder could be delayed.Related