Public Transportation Isn’t Always The Best Or The Cheapest Option – Your Mileage May Vary

Sharon and I are big fans of public transportation. For most large cities in the world, it’s one of the cheapest and quickest ways to get from an airport to the city center. Heck, when we were in Frankfurt, we got from our hotel to the subway to the airport in less than twenty minutes. When visiting London, we’ve learned that there are several options other than the “express train” to get from the airport to the city.

The last time we stayed in San Francisco, we were at the Palace Hotel and it was right across the street from a BART station. It was easy to get there from SFO and back to OAK for our departing flight. For this visit, I picked a hotel that was reasonably close to the Powell BART station, figuring that would be the cheapest and best way for us to get into the city. Turns out I was wrong.

When we arrived at the BART station at San Francisco Airport, we had to buy tickets to the city. The fare to the Powell St. Station was $9.65 if we had a Clipper card and $10.15 if we chose to get a paper ticket. The fee for a new Clipper card is $3. Since we were planning on using the BART to get around for most of our trip, we each purchased cards, so our OOP cost was $12.65.

Our flight home was leaving SFO at 9:40 on Sunday morning. One little problem. The BART trains don’t start running until 8AM on Sundays.

Oops!

We ended up having to take a Lyft to the airport. Since I had already registered my Sapphire Reserve with Lyft, we got a 15% discount on our ride with Lyft Pink. I also received 10x Ultimate Rewards, 2x Delta SkyMiles for a ride to the airport and 3x Hilton Honors points for our trip.

I paid $23.63 for our trip to the airport and it only took us 20 minutes to get there.  Our trip to our hotel had taken well over an hour. With Lyft, we were picked up at our hotel and dropped off at our terminal instead of having to walk to the BART station from the hotel and take the AirTrain from the BART station once arriving at SFO.

I paid $25 for our trip into town if you include the price of our Clipper cards. That’s more than I paid for a Lyft.

These calculations will change depending on how many people are in your group. For a solo traveler, the BART will still be a cheaper option, but if you’re a family, a Lyft or Uber will probably be a less expensive and more convenient alternative.

Final Thoughts

When planning trips to and from the airport in a major city, I usually default to look for public transportation. As it turns out, this might not always be the most convenient or cheapest option. Next time, I’ll check to see the price for Uber and Lyft before buying our train tickets.

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Domestic Flight Resumption in Nigeria

As domestic flights resume operation in Nigeria amid Coronavirus pandemic, analysts share their views on what should be put in place to avoid excalation of covid-19 cases.

#Flights #COVID #Airports

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Facebook deactivates accounts of Tunisian political bloggers and activists | Global development | The Guardian

The Facebook accounts of several high-profile bloggers and activists in Tunisia were among those deactivated without warning over the weekend.

Up to 60 accounts are understood to have been deactivated, including that of journalist and political commentator Haythem El Mekki.

At least 14 accounts have since been restored, but no explanation has been given for the action by the social media giant.

“They received no warning, no advance notice and still have no explanation,” said Emna Mizouni, an activist and journalist who campaigns for an open internet. “In the end we were able to get 14 restored by going to [the anti-corruption watchdog] IWatch … but know nothing about the rest.”

Facebook use is high in Tunisia, with many people crediting the platform for providing a rallying point for activists and bloggers during the country’s 2011 revolution that overthrew Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

“In Tunisia, the internet equals Facebook,” said Mizouni. “It was a really important tool during the revolution. We used it to organise events and share videos of what was happening across the country.”

After cementing itself at the centre of much of Tunisia’s public conversation, politicians and ministries use Facebook to communicate directly with the people. According to online advocacy group AccessNow, around 60% of Tunisian are Facebook users, one of the highest uptakes of the platform within the region.

El Mekki first became aware that his account had been deactivated last Friday. “It just said that my account had been deactivated and that was my final notice,” he said. “There wasn’t really any negotiation.”

Given his high profile and occasionally incendiary comments, El Mekki is not a stranger to controversy. However, having his account arbitrarily deactivated came as a surprise.

“I still don’t know what happened,” he said. “It would be flattering to believe that we had been targeted, but I think it’s just as likely that an algorithm got out of control.”

Whatever the causes, over the past nine years the country’s relationship with Facebook has changed. “I think one of the main dangers is that it’s not transparent to Tunisians,” said Mizouni. “For instance, during last year’s elections, we were unable to find out who was paying for what political adverts and why, despite several requests from NGOs to do so.”

Facebook did eventually respond to the NGOs’ requests some months later, although its letter failed to address the specific concerns raised. 

The Guardian contacted Facebook about the deactivated accounts and the company said it was investigating. 

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Has Nigeria Lost Hope In Madagascar’s COVID-Organics Following Recent Case In Madagascar?

bottle fire hydrant

Nigeria receives Madagascar’s COVID-Organics – Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday (May 16) received the country’s share of a purported coronavirus herbal cure, COVID-Organics.

The made-in-Madagascar cure was delivered to Buhari by Guinea-Bissau president, Umaru Sissoco Embalo, who was in Abuja on official visit.

Buhari subsequently ordered that the consignment be sent to the necessary regulatory bodies for tests before a decision on administering it will be made.

“We have our institutions, systems and processes in the country. Any such formulations should be sent to them for verification. I will not put it to use without the endorsement of our institutions,” he stressed.

Speaking on this, the Director General of NAFDAC, Mojisola Adeyeye said the NAFDAC will do due diligence to examine the product. Mojisola said it will take the NAFDAC about 2 weeks to check the toxicity, the microbial content.

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This content was originally published here.

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Has Nigeria Lost Hope In Madagascar’s COVID-Organics Following Recent Case In Madagascar?

bottle fire hydrant

Nigeria receives Madagascar’s COVID-Organics – Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday (May 16) received the country’s share of a purported coronavirus herbal cure, COVID-Organics.

The made-in-Madagascar cure was delivered to Buhari by Guinea-Bissau president, Umaru Sissoco Embalo, who was in Abuja on official visit.

Buhari subsequently ordered that the consignment be sent to the necessary regulatory bodies for tests before a decision on administering it will be made.

“We have our institutions, systems and processes in the country. Any such formulations should be sent to them for verification. I will not put it to use without the endorsement of our institutions,” he stressed.

Speaking on this, the Director General of NAFDAC, Mojisola Adeyeye said the NAFDAC will do due diligence to examine the product. Mojisola said it will take the NAFDAC about 2 weeks to check the toxicity, the microbial content.

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This content was originally published here.

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Skyway Capital on TVC Breakfast TVC News Nigeria HQ

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Skyway Capital on TVC Breakfast TVC News Nigeria HQ
SKYWAY TECHNOLOGIES COMPANY specializes in revolutionary high-speed elevated rail transportation.
SkyWay Capital is offering pre-IPO share allotments at 4 cents/share (N14/share).
_
If you buy now, your equity at IPO is guaranteed 1 Dollar/share (N364/share) – that is 260% return on investment (ROI).
Afterwards you become entitled to a quarterly dividends as a co-owner/shareholder.
_
SkyWay Capital will soon be listed on London Stock Exchange.
There are 15 stages before the IPO and listing on LSE (London Stock Exchange). We are currently at stage 14.1.
Their websites: SkyWay.Capital, rsw-systems.com, sw-tech.by.
Search for more info on YouTube: SkyWay Capital.
_
I am a certified SkyWay Capital consultant.
To invest, contact: Dr. Etemi Joshua Garba (+234 803 694 3881).

This content was originally published here.

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(Update) More health workers test positive for Covid-19 in Nigeria

person

Convener of Integration Summit Group Nigeria and Medical Health practitioner, Dr. Chris Ekiyor joins us on TVC News to share his thoughts on health workers getting infected with Covid-19

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#health workers #Covid-19 # Integration Summit Group Nigeria #Chris Ekiyor

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Joey Janela Books The Walmart Dudes For Spring Break 4

Photo/@GCWrestling_
For years, the pro wrestling world has always found a way to set trends and go viral. From either the #RKOOuttaNowhere videos to some of the funniest Halloween costumes, the wrestling world usually maintains its place in pop culture. For two men who started #WWEForever with their videos, it’s about to change their world.

— IG: @L0rd.adrean (@l0rdadrean) February 24, 2020

Announced by Joey Janela via social media, the two guys simply known as The Walmart Dudes are officially booked to appear at Joey Janela’s Spring Break 4: Spring Break Forever. As with all of the Spring Break events, it will be presented by Game Changer Wrestling on Friday, April 3, 2020, during Wrestlemania Weekend.

#WWEFOREVER GUYS OKAY IM ON BREAK 😂😂 BY BAWG I GOTTA TRUST THIS‼️ ENJOY THIS CONTENT ILL BE BACK SATURDAY 🏴‍☠️ #explore #viral #comedy #funny #meme #fight #wrestling pic.twitter.com/I8f0WTEgEw

— IG: @L0rd.adrean (@l0rdadrean) February 27, 2020

L0rd Adrean & Tahir2x, the duo who have gone viral for their over the top moves (including a sick Canadian Destroyer off Walmart shelves) and amazing sell of some impressive moves are now taking part of wrestling’s biggest weekend. Along with several other people involved, their videos collectively have amassed over a million views. This includes one with NWA Women’s Champion Thunder Rosa also taking part, between Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, now get to head inside a pro wrestling ring.
How did they get booked to be apart of Janela’s event at The Cuban Club in Ybor City? Simple…. “I responded to a tweet from Joey,” says L0rd, who has amassed a cult following throughout the wrestling industry. They have already capitalized on their stardom by starting their . 
Genuinely one of the highlights of Wrestlemania weekend in years past, Joey Janela and Game Changer Wrestling has put out some of the best content. And have trended on social media on several different occasions for the Spring Break event. For L0rd and Tahir, and even the AEW star, this is basically a dream come true and match made in heaven.

“I sat here trying to find a caption for this tweet for like 30 minutes, I came up with nothing…. Enjoy, we have absolutely lost our fucking minds….” as Janela tweeted out the flyer announcement.

What capacity will the Walmart Dudes be apart of the event? Will they have an official match? Does Joey Janela know what he’s doing? If you would like to attend and have all your questions answered, tickets are available now and if you are attending #JJSB4EVER, please make sure to tweet me @MakeTheCaul and I’ll do my best to retweet and share!

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When Universal Credit and benefits will change in 2020 and how you’ll be affected – Kent Live

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The General Election result meant a lot of things but it also ensured the continuation of Universal Credit.

Campaigners had been hoping for an end to the controversial scheme, with  Labour promising to scrap Universal Credit  altogether.

However, there will still be a number of changes to the benefits system this year – some of which will be good news for claimants, reports BirminghamLive .

Here’s the timetable of what will be happening – see how it will affect you.

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1. April 2020 – End of benefit freeze

The end to the benefit freeze would mean Universal Credit and other working age benefits rising by 1.7 per cent from April 2020.

The freeze was brought in by the Tories and came into effect from April 2016. It has meant that most benefits and tax credits have not gone up in line with inflation for four years.

Other benefits that have been frozen but are now set to rise are Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), income support, housing benefit, child tax credits, working tax credits and child benefit.

Adam Corlett

The increase means someone on £1,000 a month in benefits will get an extra £17, equivalent to £204 over a year. Those receiving £500 a month get an extra £8.50.

But according to think-tank the Resolution Foundation, families will still be hundreds of pounds a year worse off due to the past five years of bills rising while benefits have remained at the same level.

The Resolution Foundation’s Adam Corlett said: “While the benefit freeze is over, its impact is here to stay with a lower income couple with kids £580 a year worse off as a result.”

2. April 2020 – Pension changes

The Government also said the state pension – which has not been frozen – will increase by 3.9 per cent.

This is expected to be announced in the Budget.

It means retired Brits are in line for £5.05 a week extra on the ‘old’ basic state pension and £6.60 a week on the ‘new’ state pension.

bank accounts

The bad news is that the  adult dependency payment is being stopped  in April, which could mean thousands of pensions cut by £70 a week.

In addition, the qualifying age for men and women will rise to 66 in October 2020.

It means anyone born after October 5, 1954, will have a state pension age of at least 66.

And there will be further rises too. The Conservatives have set out plans to increase the state pension age to 67 by 2028 and 68 by 2039.

3. April 2020 – Disability benefit changes

The Scottish Government is taking on responsibility for disability benefits from April 1 and will implement changes after that.

In summer 2020, Social Security Scotland will open to claims for the brand new Disability Assistance for Children and Young People, which is Scotland’s replacement for Child Disability Living Allowance.

By the end of 2020, Social Security Scotland will also open to claims for the new Disability Assistance for Older People. This is the Scottish replacement for Attendance Allowance and is for people over the state pension age who need someone to help look after them because of a disability or long-term illness.

Also by the end of 2020, children who receive the highest care component of Disability Assistance will be entitled to Winter Heating Assistance.

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Further changes will come in 2021, including PIP being replaced by Disability Assistance for Working Age People and Carer’s Allowance being replaced by Carer’s Assistance.

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville says the system will have a redesigned application process and significantly fewer face to face assessments.

There will be rolling awards with no set end points and those with fluctuating health conditions will not face additional reviews due to changes in their needs.

She said: ““Since the Social Security Act was passed by the Scottish Parliament in June [2018], progress has been swift.

““Our next priority is delivering payments for disabled people, as this is where we can make the most meaningful difference for the largest number of people.

“We have a duty to quickly reform the parts of the current system which cause stress, anxiety and pain. And I have been moved by the personal stories I have heard, many of which criticise the penalising assessment process.”

Around half a million cases – the equivalent of around 10 per cent of people in Scotland – will transfer from DWP to Social Security Scotland in 2020.

Ms Somerville added: “This is not simply a case of turning off one switch and turning on another. For the first time in its history, our agency will be making regular payments, direct to people’s bank accounts and our systems need to work seamlessly with those of the DWP.

“It is therefore essential we have a system that is fully operational for those making new claims and ensure we protect everyone and their payments as their cases are transferred – that is what those who rely on social security support have told us they want. We must work to a timetable that reflects the importance of moving quickly but not putting people’s payments at risk.”

During the transfer no-one will have to reapply for benefits, no claims will be reassessed and payments will be protected.

She added: “The timetable I have set out is ambitious but realistic and at all points protects people and their payments. I have seen the mess the DWP has made when transferring people to PIP and introducing Universal Credit, and we will not make the same mistakes.    

“There is much hard work to be done but the prize is great – a social security system with dignity, fairness and respect at its heart and which works for the people of Scotland.”

4. June 2020 – TV licence changes

Free TV Licences, funded by the Government, for all those aged 75 and over will come to an end in June. So you can get a free licence up to May 31, 2020.

From June 1, a new scheme means you can only carry on getting a free licence if you – or your partner – are receiving Pension Credit.

If not, you’ll have to fork out the cost of a TV licence – which is £154.50 per year for a colour TV, and £52 for black and white. You can choose to pay monthly (£12.87 a month), quarterly (£39.87 every three months) or yearly.

Brits

So it’s worth checking if you can get Pension Credit to avoid the licence fee.

Pension Credit is a top-up benefit payment available if you or your partner have reached state pension age, or if one of you is getting housing benefit for people over pension age. You get more if you’re responsible for a child or young person who lives with you and is under the age of 20.

There are two elements to Pension Credit. Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income if it’s below £167.25 (for single people) or £255.25 (for couples), while Savings Credit is an extra payment for people who saved some money towards their retirement and is up to £13.73 for single people and up to £15.35 for couples.

The Pension Service helpline is available on 0800 731 0469. Call Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm. Calls to 0800 numbers are free.

5.  July 2020 – Universal Credit transition protection extended

From July 22, claimants are to get an additional two weeks of income-related Jobseekers Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or Income Support if they receive one of these benefits when moving across to Universal Credit.

Universal Credit is intended to replace six existing benefits in total.

People are transferred on to UC if their circumstances change – such as moving home or having a child. This is called natural migration.

Everyone else on the six old benefits will have to move across in a managed migration scheme by the DWP that is set to be completed by December 2023 and is currently being tried out in Harrogate from July 2019 to July 2020.

Normally, existing benefits are terminated when a Universal Credit claim begins but the Government has amended the rules to allows a “two-week run-on” of the three benefits named above.

6. September 2020 – Universal Credit change for self employed

The DWP works out Universal Credit for self-employed people using what’s called a Minimum Income Floor (MIF).

This is roughly equivalent to the national minimum wage for each hour the claimant is expected to work.

It can mean Universal Credit is calculated on a higher level of earnings than you were actually paid.

However, this Minimum Income Floor is not applied to those who started a business within the past 12 months .

And from September 2020, this 12-month exclusion period will also not apply to “those who are naturally migrated in self-employment and all those existing UC claimants who become new gainfully self-employed.”

‘Naturally migrated’ means switched across to Universal Credit because of a change in circumstances.

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KentLive: We have Kent covered

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Here’s the link to our main Facebook page where we share our latest stories, including anything from breaking news to features, court coverage and much, much more.

For What’s On content such as the latest openings, events, and shopping news see here.

And we have a specialist Facebook group covering traffic and travel across the south east, where we provide the latest updates from any incidents on the roads or trains.

You can also follow KentLive on Twitter here, as well as on our Instagram page where we share great pictures of Kent.

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‘My bears are my lifeline’: the adults who sleep with soft toys | Global | The Guardian

person

If you share your bed with a furry friend well into adulthood, don’t be ashamed – sleeping with soft toys is more normal than you might think. “It’s very common,” says Prof Bruce Hood of the University of Bristol, who has researched our attachment to childhood toys. He tells me that about one in three of the people he has questioned still sleep with teddies, and that it is probably more common for women, as it is more socially acceptable for them to do so.

Why are we hanging on to our cuddly toys? “My hunch is that it’s to do with sleeping practices,” Hood says. In western cultures, we tend to separate children from their parents after the first year – after which they sleep on their own, and self-soothe using blankets and soft toys. “These become part of the sleep ritual.”

It is not unusual for your attachment to soft toys as a sleep aid to persist into adulthood. A survey carried out last year found that 44% of adults have held on to their childhood teddies and dolls, and as many as 34% of adults still sleep with a soft toy every night. Meanwhile, researchers at VU University Amsterdam found that cuddling a soft toy can have a beneficial effect for people with low self-esteem, helping to alleviate their anxieties around death.

“It’s about having a sentimental attachment to things,” Hood says. “It’s completely normal for adults to continue to have these childish attachments.”

He doesn’t see any harm in sleeping with a teddy, provided you’re not obsessive about it. “They provide emotional comfort.” Plus, it is more hygienic than sleeping with a pet. Just don’t forget to bung your teddy in the wash from time to time.

We spoke to three Guardian readers about their furry friends.

Jeff Annells, 68
Receptionist from Banbury




Pinterest

It all started when my uncle won me a big old bear called Brumas, when I was about five. He was named after the famous polar bear who was born into captivity at London zoo. I used to cart Brumas everywhere with me – until one day his head fell off. That sounds very traumatic, but it wasn’t that bad.

When I grew up, I started collecting teddy bears. I have about 60 Steiff and Charlie Bears. I pass out thinking about how much money I’ve spent on them – probably £20,000 over my lifetime.

My favourite bear is a 6ft-tall Charlie bear that I call Big Fella. He’s one of only 100 made worldwide. He cost me about £3,000. Everyone who comes to my house gets a photo with Big Fella. He stands in my corridor. When I was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer in 2014, Big Fella came into his own. Having cancer is like living in a parallel universe. Everyone is going about their business and you have this thing hanging over you. You never get a break from cancer.

I’m often in a lot of pain. No matter how bad the pain is, I always say good morning to Big Fella when I wake up. My bears are my lifeline. I can say anything to them. I wake up and say: “Christ, I’m in agony this morning.” No one else needs to know that. I say it to Big Fella, and then I get myself ready and go to work and sit on reception smiling at everyone. They’re none the wiser.

I worry a lot about who will inherit Big Fella if I pop my clogs. I keep threatening people with it, saying: “I’ve left you Big Fella in my will.” A look of horror appears on their faces. Seriously, though, I would love for Big Fella to go a children’s hospice. I like the idea of the children being able to confide in him, like I have.

Emily Dove, 26
Personal assistant from Leeds




Pinterest

I got Ted as a present for my 18th birthday from my auntie. He’s a brown teddy bear, about 12 inches tall. I have other soft toys that sit on top of my wardrobe. But Ted is the one who hangs out in my bed and comes with me when I go on holiday.

Ted and I have been to Glastonbury together six times. He normally stays in my sleeping bag. It’s nice to be able to get back to the tent late at night and have a cuddle, especially when it’s quite cold. Last year, going into Glastonbury, Ted got properly searched – I think security thought he was a drug mule! They gave him a good squeeze. Luckily, he didn’t get picked apart or anything like that.

A big part of my love for Ted is that I find it very comforting to cuddle him when I’m going to sleep. He’s been a big part of my bedtime routine for the past nine years. I just like having something to cuddle. I need to have something soft to hold by my body. Recently, I went to London for a few days, and I forgot Ted, so I had to cuddle a pillow instead. It wasn’t the same.

I haven’t had any bad feedback from partners. If they did say anything, I’d say that it’s Ted’s bed as well! I think everyone should have a soft toy of their own. It’s a constant, comforting presence in your life. And if you have a relationship and it ends, at least you still have a teddy to cuddle.

Chris Kirton, 33
Call-centre worker from Sunderland




Pinterest

My girlfriend, Becky, got me into soft toys. She’s a huge soft toy fan – I’m always buying her birthday or Christmas presents from Build-a-Bear Workshop. I spend a fortune in there! When she moves in with me next year I think my spare bedroom will become a bear sanctuary.

There is so much pressure on us all to be adults, and it’s not always the nicest world to live in. It’s nice to forget about your worries for a little while and be a child again.

I bought Squishy for myself from Morrisons last year. He is your classic teddy bear. I bought him as a bit of a joke, initially.

When I’m at home on my own, I’ll talk out loud to Squishy. Just general stuff, like: “What am I going to do today, then?” It’s just a bit of fun. If I’m watching TV or texting people, I’ll have Squishy under one arm.

I enjoy the absurdity of talking to my teddy bear. My job is often very stressful – I’m always having to apologise when I’ve done nothing wrong, and deal with angry, rude customers. After a tough day at work, I can get home and be daft for a few minutes. It takes my mind off things.

Becky and I had been thinking about getting a pet, but I didn’t want to leave an animal unattended at home. Having soft toys gives you some of the comfort of an animal, without the responsibilities associated with it.

Additional reporting by Rachel Obordo

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