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Nigeria News | Laila’s Blog
US will no longer issue Visas to foreigners for birth purpose
The United States Government under Donald Trump administration on on Thursday says it will no longer issue visas to foreigners who want to give birth in the country.
The new United State Visa rules restricts “birth tourism,” in which women travel to the U.S. to give birth so their children can have a coveted U.S. passport. Henceforth, applicants will be denied tourist visas if they are determined by consular officers to be coming to the U.S. primarily to give birth, according to the rules in the Federal Register.
Foreigners who want to gets visas to give birth in the United States will now have to prove that they are traveling to the U.S. because they have a medical need and not just because they want to give birth there and must prove they have the money to pay for it — including transportation and living expenses.
According to a statement released by the office of the press secretary, the rule will be effective from Friday, January 24.
The statement reads;
Beginning January 24, 2020, the State Department will no longer issue temporary visitor (B-1/B-2) visas to aliens seeking to enter the United States for “birth tourism” – the practice of traveling to the United States to secure automatic and permanent American citizenship for their children by giving birth on American soil. This rule change is necessary to enhance public safety, national security, and the integrity of our immigration system. The birth tourism industry threatens to overburden valuable hospital resources and is rife with criminal activity, as reflected in Federal prosecutions. Closing this glaring immigration loophole will combat these endemic abuses and ultimately protect the United States from the national security risks created by this practice. It will also defend American taxpayers from having their hard-earned dollars siphoned away to finance the direct and downstream costs associated with birth tourism. The integrity of American citizenship must be protected.
This is coming amidst speculation that the US government is planning to place Nigeria and some other countries on ‘travel ban list‘.
Follow us on Facebook – @Lailasnews; Twitter – @LailaIjeoma for updates
US will no longer issue Visas to foreigners for birth purpose
China’s National Health Commission said Friday afternoon (NZ time) the confirmed cases of the new coronavirus had risen to 830 with 25 deaths.
The first death was also confirmed outside the central province of Hubei, where the capital, Wuhan, has been the epicentre of the outbreak.
The health commission in Hebei, a northern province bordering Beijing, said an 80-year-old man died after returning from a two-month stay in Wuhan to see relatives.
The vast majority of cases have been in and around Wuhan or people with connections the city. Other cases have been confirmed in the United States, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand. Singapore and Vietnam reported their first cases Thursday, and cases have also been confirmed in the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau.
Many countries are screening travellers from China for symptoms of the virus, which can cause fever, coughing, breathing difficulties and pneumonia.
The World Health Organisation has decided against declaring the outbreak a global emergency, a step that can bring more money and resources to fight a threat but that can also cause trade and travel restrictions and other economic damage, making the decision a politically fraught one.
The decision “should not be taken as a sign that WHO does not think the situation is serious or that we’re not taking it seriously. Nothing could be further from the truth,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “WHO is following this outbreak every minute of every day.”
The coronaviruses are a family of viruses that originate in animals before making the jump to humans.
Chinese authorities moved to lock down at least three cities with a combined population of more than 18 million in an unprecedented effort to contain the deadly new virus that has sickened hundreds of people and spread to other parts of the world during the busy Lunar New Year travel period.
Chinese officials have not said how long the shutdowns of the cities will last. While sweeping measures are typical of China’s Communist Party-led government, large-scale quarantines are rare around the world, even in deadly epidemics, because of concerns about infringing on people’s liberties. And the effectiveness of such measures is unclear.
“To my knowledge, trying to contain a city of 11 million people is new to science,” said Gauden Galea, the WHO”s representative in China. “It has not been tried before as a public health measure. We cannot at this stage say it will or it will not work.”
People wear face masks as they wait at Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan
Jonathan Ball, a professor of virology at molecular virology at the University of Nottingham in Britain, said the lockdowns appear to be justified scientifically.
“Until there’s a better understanding of what the situation is, I think it’s not an unreasonable thing to do,” he said. “Anything that limits people’s travels during an outbreak would obviously work.”
But Ball cautioned that any such quarantine should be strictly time-limited. He added: “You have to make sure you communicate effectively about why this is being done. Otherwise you will lose the goodwill of the people.”
A resident wears a mask to buy vegetables in the market in Wuhan.
During the devastating West Africa Ebola outbreak in 2014, Sierra Leone imposed a national three-day quarantine as health workers went door to door, searching for hidden cases. Burial teams collecting corpses and people taking the sick to Ebola centres were the only ones allowed to move freely. Frustrated residents complained of food shortages.
In China, the illnesses from the newly identified coronavirus first appeared last month in Wuhan, an industrial and transportation hub. Local authorities demanded all residents wear masks in public places and urged civil servants wear them at work.
After the city was closed off Thursday, images showed long lines and empty shelves at supermarkets, as people stocked up. Trucks carrying supplies into the city are not being restricted, although many Chinese recall shortages in the years before the country’s recent economic boom.
Analysts predicted cases will continue to multiply, although the jump in numbers is also attributable in part to increased monitoring.
KEVIN FRAYER/GETTY IMAGES
A Chinese passenger that just arrived on the last bullet train from Wuhan to Beijing is checked for a fever by a health worker at a Beijing railway station.
“Even if (cases) are in the thousands, this would not surprise us,” the WHO’s Galea said, adding, however, that the number of infected is not an indicator of the outbreak’s severity so long as the death rate remains low.
The coronavirus family includes the common cold as well as viruses that cause more serious illnesses, such as the SARS outbreak that spread from China to more than a dozen countries in 2002-03 and killed about 800 people, and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome, or MERS, which is thought to have originated from camels.
China is keen to avoid repeating mistakes with its handling of SARS. For months, even after the illness had spread around the world, China parked patients in hotels and drove them around in ambulances to conceal the true number of cases and avoid WHO experts. This time, China has been credited with sharing information rapidly, and President Xi Jinping has emphasised that as a priority.
Health authorities are taking extraordinary measures to prevent the spread of the virus, placing those believed infected in plastic tubes and wheeled boxes, with air passed through filters.
The first cases in the Wuhan outbreak were connected to people who worked at or visited a seafood market, now closed for an investigation. Experts suspect that the virus was first transmitted from wild animals but that it may also be mutating. Mutations can make it deadlier or more contagious.
Lagos State Government has disclosed that the state records over 1,500 accidents involving tricycles, with over 70 people dead.
Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, who disclosed this in a statement on Sunday also said the state now record over 200 motocycles (Okada) accidents monthly.
He said government has put machinery in motion halt the abuse of traffic laws by motorcycle and tricycle riders, saying the menace could no longer be condoned.
A statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, affirmed that the ongoing enforcement of traffic laws will be stepped up across the State to check motorcyclists and motorists violating the laws.
The Commissioner explained that the violation of traffic laws by commercial motorcyclists was unacceptable, thereby necessitating the enforcement of the State Traffic Law 2018 to pave the way for the implementation of the present administration’s transportation project.
He recalled that the alarming negative statistics resulting from motorcycle accidents and the compelling need to enhance safety led to the introduction of the Lagos State Road Traffic Law 2012, which was reviewed in 2018.
Omotoso emphasised that the law makes the use of safety helmets by riders and passengers of motorcycles compulsory, obedience of traffic lights and signage mandatory and the conveyance of more than a passenger, expectant women, adults with babies, as well as children of school age forbidden.
“Their operations were restricted on 475 roads, including highways and bridges” Omotoso stated.
The Commissioner said: “We cannot fold our arms and watch them disrupt the peace of the State. Over 1500 accidents involving tricycles were reported across the State from 2015 till 2019 while over 70 died and 250 were injured”.
He added that 30 robbery cases involving motorcycles were reported in 2019, out of which 20 were foiled by the Police, who arrested 25 suspects and recovered 48 arms and ammunition.
While reeling out statistics from the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Omotoso stated that no fewer than 619 people were killed or seriously injured in motorcycle accidents within 2015 and 2016, noting that a police report released during the same period indicated that of the 30 armed robbery cases recorded between July and September, commercial motorcycle riders perpetrated 22.
“Over 200 cases of motorcycle accidents have been recorded monthly at health facilities across the State in the last three years”, Omotoso declared.
Bemoaning the era of indecency exhibited by motorcycle and tricycle riders, the Commissioner stated that their consistent and brazen disregard for the law, in addition to drug abuse by many should be a matter of concern for Lagosians.
“Okada is being used to escape after robberies. Besides, the influx into the State of many riders without traceable addresses and valid means of identification, in spite of the provision for a rider’s permit, remains a huge security and safety threat to residents,” the Commissioner said.
He asserted that “Aside from the sheer size of the industry, the level of indiscipline, security concerns and, particularly, the level of fatalities being recorded daily, demand appropriate and very serious sanctions. The government, in line with its T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda, is addressing the challenge decisively.”
The Commissioner affirmed that the resolve to strengthen security has reinvigorated the government’s commitment to instilling sanity in the operation of ‘Okada’ and ‘Keke’ business.
KCC program offers free manufacturing training available for Battle Creek residents
Battle Creek Enquirer
Published 6:00 AM EST Dec 6, 2019
Kellogg Community College wants to help Battle Creek residents launch a career in skilled trades by offering a free manufacturing training program for those who meet income requirements.
The Kellogg Advanced Manufacturing Assembly training program focuses on providing students the technical skills required to get a job in manufacturing and the professional skills needed to succeed.
“We have companies that are coming up and are like, ‘Hey, we need people,'” Workforce Solutions Career Coach Cherise Buchanan said. “They want people who are going to be committed and are going to stay there, and I think having these students come through our program and saying, ‘Hey, I can make it through this six-week program, and I can be there on time, and I can be there every day.’ You’re going to have a better opportunity.”
Students at Kellogg Community Regional Manufacturing Technology Center campus experience what it’s like to work on a factory floor.
The program will start in January at KCC’s Regional Manufacturing Technology Center campus. Courses cover foundational skills in technical training in manufacturing, Occupational Safety and Health Administration industry training, writing and computer classes and basic math for manufacturing.
Students also get experience working on a production line.
“It’s changing the whole concept of what it means to go to college.” Kellogg Community College Chief Communications Officer Eric Greene said. “So many people… think going to college means I’ve got to be there for two to four years or longer. There’s going to be homework. It’s going to be all lecture based. But this is college. These are college credits they’re earning toward an actual degree, but it doesn’t feel like a traditional college experience.”
‘What do you need to be successful?’
Students will earn 8.74 college credits, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration 10-Hour General Industry Certification and the WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate.
Throughout their training, students learn industry standards for efficiency, quality control and safety so that, upon completion of the program, they’re ready for work in an entry-level position.
“They’re actually learning these and putting them into practice,” Program Manager Lisa Larson said. “They’re debriefing at the end of each session. They’re doing several different production runs and then they’re talking about what defect they found and how they can do better.”
As part of Kellogg Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Assembly Program, student learn what it’s like to work on an assembly line by building an industrial strength cart from these parts
The program also teaches students the soft skills needed to get a job.
Through a partnership with Michigan Works and Goodwill Industries, students in the manufacturing program receive resume building and mock interview training, as well as financial literacy instruction. They also get assistance with job placement.
Students also receive support services to help them overcome other barriers such as transportation or having enough to eat.
“Anything our students need, we all kind of work together to make sure they get what they need,” Buchanan said. “I like to say, ‘Look at the total person…What do you need to be successful?'”
DENSO, Trillium among employers
Companies including DENSO Manufacturing, Trillium Manufacturing and Advanced Special Tools Incorporated have hired people from the program, and more companies are taking interest.
“Sometimes when we go on company tours, we have past KAMA students from four or five years ago giving the tours,” Larson said.
In some cases, Larson said, students who go through the manufacturing program will return to Kellogg Community College for more specialized training.
Greene said the program typically has high placement rates and job advancement rates.
“They come through our program, and they get a job, and then a short time after that, they get a raise or a promotion,” he said.
Even if students can’t find a job right a way, they can enroll in a paid work experience in manufacturing through Goodwill.
“Everybody can leave doing something if they chose,” Buchanan said.
The program is part of Kellogg Community College’s Innovative Accelerated Credentialed Training, known as iACT. The programs, which include manufacturing and nurse assistant training, are designed to quickly prepare people with workforce skills.
“There’s just a lot of progress toward our local workforce becoming more reliable, more vital, just to the overall production that goes on in this community,” Greene said.
Paid for by W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Both iACT programs are made possible through three-year a $2.8 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Next year will be the final year of the grant.
Larson said Workforce Solutions would like to expand the program.
“We’re hoping to just keep continuing this because it is a very popular program. The employers recognize it. They value it, and we want to keep it going,” she said.
To be eligible for the program, those interested must be 18 years of age and a Battle Creek resident. They must also meet income eligibility guidelines determined by household size. For example, an individual must make less than $24,280 to apply.
Twenty slots are available in each session, and the deadline to apply for the January advanced manufacturing training program is Dec.16. Classes begin January 27.
Contact Elena Durnbaugh at (269) 243-5938 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ElenaDurnbaugh.
Michael Ifemosu, a student of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), expelled over his critical Facebook post made about the institution, says he was only trying to bring the school’s attention to the students’ plight.
Ifemosu, who is the convener for the Youth In Good Governance Initiative (YIGGI) and an Ogun state secretary for African Action Congress (AAC), recently made the headlines after he received a letter of expulsion for criticizing the university authorities in an open letter addressed to the VC.
Speaking with TheCable Lifestyle on Monday, the student activist described the school’s move as a “collective slap on the face of Nigerian students” and an “infringement” of his rights.
He stated that he only wrote the piece to bring the authority’s attention to the “lingering issues affecting” the students — not to fight the powers that be, “as the school interpreted it.”
According to him, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and the Student Union Government (SUG) in FUNAAB, have moved to dialogue with Felix Salako, the vice-chancellor of the institution, but there are fears that it might not yield the desired outcome.
“The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in line with the Student Union Government (SUG) of my school told me they would meet with the vice-chancellor today to solve the situation. But I’m not sure the result would be positive. It is the aftermath of the meeting that would determine the next line of action,” Ifemosu said.
“The picture they’re painting now is that I’m trying to fight the university authorities. I was only trying to bring their attention to what is happening. On the basis of all that I’ve done so far, I’m not convinced I should be expelled because I held an opinion on something that personally affected me and the rest of the students. I’m not happy.”
While the struggle to reinstate me is ongoing, I want to take up the internship training by Leventis Foundation (Nigeria) One-Year Training Programme 2019 / 2020 in Modern and Sustainable Agriculture (Fully Funded). #ReinstateIfemosu
— Ifemosu Michael Adewale®️ (@ifemosumichael) November 3, 2019
Bola Adekola, the FUNAAB registrar, had, on Friday, confirmed Ifemosu’s expulsion after the 200 level student of the Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management had been summoned to “defend himself” in front of the institution’s disciplinary committee.
“You would recall that in July 2019, you posted an open letter on the Internet to the vice-chancellor of the school in which you raised allegations and misrepresentation of fact about the university,” the letter read.
“At the Student Disciplinary Committee meeting held on August 29, 2019, you were invited for the purpose of giving you fair hearing on the allegation of an act perpetrated through the Internet, that is inimical to the integrity and corporate image of the university.
“Senate, at its 217th Statutory Meeting held on Thursday, October 17, 2019, considered the report of the Student Disciplinary Committee on the allegation and thus decided that you have been found culpable of insubordination to university officials, defamation of character and act perpetrated through the Internet.
“That is inimical to the integrity and corporate image of the university based on the extant rules and regulations on penalties for various offenses by students of the university. Consequent upon the decision of Senate, you’re hereby expelled from the university as provided for the offenses committed by you.”
It is Saddening and Weakening!
This is my Reward for calling the attention of the Vice Chancellor on lingering challenges rocking Funaab ecosystem! This is
We play Politics with everything in this country 💔😭😭 https://t.co/6SY7fANBY1
— Ifemosu Michael Adewale®️ (@ifemosumichael) November 2, 2019
Read the Facebook post that prompted the expulsion below:
“It’s no more news that Funaabites queue, fight, and struggle to attend classes or leave the school premises. However, the vice-chancellor and the university management team are seen with one or two official car(s). This makes transportation easier for them while students languish in an unending tragedy,” he wrote.
“The Funaab Bureau of Transport (FUNAABOT) has performed below expectations despite millions of naira allotted and allocated to the department for the purchase and renovation of MANCOTS but all went down the drain. Those monies remain carpeted till this moment.
“Again! I read in the News that the Vice-Chancellor of Funaab wrote to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) that they are free to arrest students found wanting and guilty of cybercrimes.
“I would have said it was a good move not until I became a victim and also received report of the arrest and detention of innocent students who were unjustly harassed, extorted and brutalized. This is what you get when people who, if managing poultry, would make sure eggs are stolen, are given a University to manage.
“It is rather unfortunate that we have accepted the sad reality that relegates our ‘scholars’ to chasers of political appointments — people who are ready to lick butts to be made INEC returning officers, political aides, VCs, directors, deans, and even Head of Departments.”
(CNN)Here’s a look at the rebuilding of Ground Zero in lower Manhattan and the memorial to the victims of the September 11 attacks.
April 28, 2003 – The World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition launches.
June 2003 – The Memorial Competition submission period closes. 5,201 submissions are received from 63 nations.
November 19, 2003 – Eight prospective plans chosen from the submissions are displayed for the public in the World Financial Center in New York.
January 6, 2004 – The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation announces its choice of “Reflecting Absence” by Israeli-born architect Michael Arad.
September 10, 2005 – Supporters of the Take Back the Memorial campaign protest the inclusion of an International Freedom Center in plans for the memorial.
September 28, 2005 – In a written statement, Governor George Pataki announces that plans for the International Freedom Center adjacent to the planned memorial at the World Trade Center site have been abandoned.
July 12, 2011 – More than 42,000 passes to the memorial are reserved in the first 24 hours they are made available.
September 11, 2011 – The 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and the dedication of the memorial.
September 12, 2011 – The memorial opens to the public.
2012 – A dispute between the Port of Authority of New York and New Jersey delays construction of the 9/11 museum planned for the memorial site. The museum was originally supposed to open on the 11th anniversary of 9/11.
September 10, 2012 – The budgetary dispute delaying the opening of the museum is resolved when all parties enter into a “memorandum of understanding,” an agreement that allows them to restart construction.
May 15, 2014 – The National September 11 Memorial & Museum opens its doors for the 9/11 community — survivors, families and rescuers. Within it are 12,500 objects, 1,995 oral histories and 580 hours of film and video.
The LMDC also administers the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition, a separate process from that of rebuilding the World Trade Center area.
A 15-member board of directors governs the LMDC. The governor of New York and the mayor of New York City each appoint half of the members. The LMDC is also assisted by nine advisory councils.
According to an audit conducted by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the rebuilding cost grew from approximately $11 billion in 2008 to $14.8 billion in 2012.
August 12, 2002– FEMA and the Federal Transit Administration announce $4.55 billion in federal aid for transportation improvements in Lower Manhattan.
September 26, 2002– Six design teams are hired, out of 407 submissions, to create land use plans for the 16-acre site.
December 18, 2002– An exhibit of nine possible designs opens at the World Financial Center.
February 27, 2003– Daniel Libeskind’s “Memory Foundations” is selected as the new design for the site.
September 17, 2003– The LMDC releases a revised Master Plan for the site.
November 23 2003 – PATH train service is restored, linking Lower Manhattan and New Jersey. Trains operate out of a temporary station in the area.
December 19, 2003– Plans for the Freedom Tower to be built at Ground Zero are revealed.
January 22, 2004 – Architect Santiago Calatrava unveils his plans for the area transportation hub.
July 4, 2004– Construction at Freedom Tower begins. A 20-ton slab of granite, inscribed “the enduring spirit of freedom,” is laid as the cornerstone of one of the new skyscrapers that will stand on the site.
May 4, 2005– Governor Pataki calls for a redesign of the new tower for safety reasons.
June 29, 2005 – New York officials release the latest design for the signature building at the site after revising it to make the tower more secure.
September 6, 2005– Architect Santiago Calatrava and public officials dedicate the first steel rail for the future transportation station.
December 15, 2005– Architect Lord Norman Foster agrees to design the next major building planned for the site. Foster will design a 65-story tower for the northeast corner of the 16-acre site.
April 26, 2006– The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and developer Larry Silverstein reach an agreement about the financing of Freedom Tower, resolving problems that had delayed construction.
April 27, 2006– The formal groundbreaking of Freedom Tower takes place.
March 26, 2009 – The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announces dropping the name “Freedom Tower,” and that the first commercial lease in the building has been signed. Upon completion, the building will be named One World Trade Center.
May 10, 2013 – Construction workers bolt the last pieces of a 408-foot spire into place atop One World Trade Center, bringing the building to a height of 1,776 feet. This height references the year the United States declared its independence. It also makes the building the tallest in the Western Hemisphere and the third tallest in the world.
When the leader of Derby City Council floated the idea of building a monorail last week, his suggestion was not as warmly received as he might have hoped.
From jokey references to the classic Simpsons episode in which Springfield’s new monorail system spun dangerously out of control to descriptions of the proposal as “pie in the sky”, few city residents seemed convinced it would ever happen.
Despite potentially solving the twin problems of congestion and pollution, no UK city has yet installed a monorail system. So why are they seemingly not taken seriously?
Mixed reviews. On social media the idea was branded “la la land”, a “daft idea” and a “fantasy project”.
Even those in favour expressed doubt the council could oversee such an ambitious project while others just had fun posting Simpsons gifs.
Laura Pinney, a Derby resident currently on holiday in the US, said she enjoyed riding Seattle’s monorail but thought a tram system would be more suitable for Derby.
Are monorails a good idea?
Derby isn’t the first UK city to consider the merits of a monorail system but so far no schemes have reached fruition.
Sim Harris, editor of RailNews, said he was not surprised.
“They’ve never been a tremendous success in the past, by and large,” he said.
“Monorails are incredibly intrusive. They get in the way visually much more than railways, tramways and indeed buses. They really dominate the city landscape.
“And I’m not sure of the benefit of using an unusual technology. It’ll be harder to maintain, more expensive and won’t link to anything else.
“I’d urge them [Derby City Council] to look very closely indeed at the detail, the cost and the consequences.
“Monorails seem like a good idea until you actually use them.”
In his 2019 book, A Short History of Trains, transport writer and broadcaster Christian Wolmar wrote: “[Monorails] have never overcome the basic problems of being expensive to build, and being inflexible due to the structural requirements of their rails.”
While the UK continues to resist the allure of urban monorails, cities in other countries have embraced the concept with varying degrees of success.
China, Japan and India have several monorail networks, with more planned, and they have also been built in Australia, Germany, the US and Malaysia.
Sim Harris said geography and geology played a part.
He said: “Many monorail systems run on elevated tracks through crowded areas that would otherwise require the construction of expensive underground lines or have the disadvantages of surface lines.
“China, Japan and India have some of the most crowded cities in the world, and have little space at ground level for conventional trains or trams.
“India, at least, probably cannot afford costly underground lines, and much depends on the geology.
“London is favoured with a stratum of blue clay, particularly north of the Thames, which made construction of a deep tube network easy, comparatively speaking.
“Other cities are not so fortunate, and so building metros under them costs more.
“Also, I suspect that countries like India and China are less bothered about the intrusive aspects of a monorail than we would be in western Europe.”
But there are some monorails in the UK?
Yes. Alton Towers in Staffordshire has had one since the 1980s and Birmingham Airport uses one to shuttle passengers to and from Birmingham International railway station.
However, Chester Zoo’s Zoofari monorail – built in 1991 – is being decommissioned as it no longer adequately spans the expanded attraction.
People in the West Midlands still talk fondly about the monorail built to service the Merry Hill shopping centre near Dudley in 1991.
The £22m system was connected by four stations but closed in 1996 after the centre was sold and the new owners did not want it.
The system was subsequently sold to a shopping centre in Queensland, Australia.
What happened in Sydney?
Perhaps the most high profile monorail failure in recent times was also in Australia – in Sydney.
Opened in July 1988 to link Darling Harbour with the city’s central business and shopping districts, the monorail struggled to capture the public’s imagination and was closed in June 2013.
Announcing plans to pull the whole thing down, New South Wales premier Barry O’Farrell said: “The monorail is not integrated with Sydney’s wider public transport network and has never been truly embraced by the community.
“While it has been a controversial part of Sydney’s history for more than 20 years, the monorail is reaching the end of its economic life and the NSW Government cannot justify costly upgrades like the purchase of new vehicles required to keep it running.”
That would be The Monorail Society. With more than 14,000 members in 104 countries, the group has been espousing the benefits of monorails since 1989.
Aside from the transport’s long-touted green credentials, the society says the raised tracks free up the ground beneath for new development, rather than having to build on green spaces.
The monorail episode of The Simpson – famous for its catchy musical number – still irritates members of the society.
It said: “In a world where economies lose billions each year due to traffic congestion, which loses millions of acres of wilderness to sprawling development and road construction, we need more green, electric, automated, elevated transportation systems such as monorail, and they need to be represented fairly on television and in the media.
“Have honest, competent engineers build a monorail system for any city and it will be a huge success. The first city to do monorail correctly will be the envy of the world.”