UN envoy and Lebanese official discuss efforts to free kidnapped Estonians

Mr. Williams, the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, expressed his concern over the 23 March incident during which the seven men were kidnapped at gunpoint after entering Lebanon through Syria on their bicycles. “No purpose is served by their continued detention,” he told reporters in New York last week after briefing the Security Council on the latest developments in Lebanon.In his meeting with Mr. Mikati, the Special Coordinator welcomed the diligent efforts of Lebanon’s security forces and army to secure the release of the cyclists. 6 April 2011United Nations envoy Michael Williams today discussed the recent abduction of seven Estonian cyclists in the Bekaa Valley with Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati and the efforts under way to secure their release.

Srilankan flight delayed following late arrival of crew member

The airline was expected to depart at 0400 UTC today once Frankfurt airport reopened after the scheduled night time closure. A Srilankan Airlines flight which was heading to Colombo from Frankfurt, Germany took several hours to leave Frankfurt as a flight crew member got late to arrive at the airport to board the plane.Srilankan Airlines said that flight UL554 from Frankfurt to Colombo was unable to leave Frankfurt as scheduled last afternoon as the flight crew member was not on the plane at the time. Srilankan Airlines said all passengers affected by the delay have been provided with meals and accommodation. They will also be compensated as per EU regulations. (Colombo Gazette)

July CV registrations climb to record high

Light CV registrations up 15.1 per cent in July and 5.4 per cent YTD The bus and coach sector continues to rise over weak 2001 levels. Truck registrations dipped again and show few signs of early recovery. The UK’s GDP growth rebounded in the second quarter, following two consecutive quarters of negligible growth. Consumer spending remains robust, although, according to retail sales data, its pace has slowed a little. While recent figures show the manufacturing sector remains depressed, it is hoped that recession may now be bottoming out. At the same time the construction sector has performed well. The generally positive economic environment seems to be supporting CV demand, although the pace of growth in the market is above expectations. Operators seem keen to take advantage of good deals, buoyed by low cost finance, and intense competition. Light CV registrations jump 15.1 per cent LCV registrations, at 20,718 units, rose by 15.1 per cent or 2,712 units in July. This was the fifth month CV registrations grew in 2002. LCVs now account for 81.6 per cent of all CV registrations, compared with 79.2 per cent a year ago. Heavy vans, from 2.6 – 3.5 tonnes showed the biggest registration increase in July. Volumes rose 29.9 per cent to take 56 per cent of the LCV market, up from 50 per cent last year. In the LCV sector, pick-up registrations grew a healthy 10.6 per cent, whilst the light van registrations, up to 1.8 tonnes, were up 2.2 per cent. Demand for 4×4 utilities slipped 4.5 per cent during the month. Despite July’s figures, 4×4 utility registrations saw one of the best improvements over the first seven months of the year, up 13.4 per cent to 5,491 units. The main volume of growth in the LCV sector over the first seven months of 2002 came from the medium and heavy van sector, 1.8 – 3.5tonnes, where volumes climbed 8.6 per cent or 7,960 units to 100,499 units. Light van registrations dropped 1.7 per cent over the January – July period. New truck registrations dip 2.7 per cent UK truck registrations dipped for the sixth straight month in July, down 2.7 per cent to 4,371 units. However, this was the smallest downturn of the year, thus far. Rigid registrations fell 1.8 per cent during the month, although the decline was entirely concentrated in the 7.4-7.5 tonne two-axle rigid sector, down 20.3 per cent. Registrations of heavier and multi axle rigids grew. Three-axle artic tractor registrations were up in July while two-axle artic tractor registrations fell by almost a quarter. Truck registrations fell 5.5 per cent through the first seven months of the year, down 1,690 units to 29,143. The sector has cooled from the very high levels sustained in recent years. SMMT expects the market to slip back to its long-term average of some 51,500 units in 2002, compared with 55,524 in 2001. Bus & coach registrations rise on 2001 levels, but still down on 2000 rates YTD CV registrations were up 3.6 per cent Bus and coach registrations rose 30 per cent in July to 303 units, this growth rate flattered by the very weak 2001 volumes. The gains over the 2001 level came from the fare stage PSV sector. Coach volumes were lower during July. Bus and coach registrations over the first seven months of 2002 climbed 11 per cent to 2,543 units, with almost identical growth rates across both PSVs and coach markets. The SMMT expects volumes will hit almost 4,000 units this year, some 250 units more than in 2001.DownloadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) ‘We’re pleased to see better growth in the July CV registrations, following the downturn in June. CV registrations this year market should match last year’s impressive total,’ said SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan. Bus & coach registrations rose by 30 per cent on the July 2001 total CV registrations bounced back in July after the decline in June. July registrations rose 11.7 per cent to 25,392 units, their highest ever July total. July registrations have grown rapidly since the introduction of the twice-yearly registration change. The month now typically accounts for seven per cent of annual volume, rather than three per cent under the annual August plate change system. CV registrations over the first seven months of 2002 were up 3.6 per cent, or 6,386 units, to 184,369 units. The growth is mainly from the LCV sector, but bus and coach volumes are also running well ahead of 2001 levels. The 12 month moving annual total climbed to 319,778 units, some 6.4 per cent ahead of last year’s level and SMMT expects the 2002 full-year total will be just over 310,000. Van registrations continued strongly, supporting the overall growth, especially in the heavier van sector from 2.6-3.5 tonne GVW. Here new models and intense competition coincided with sustained growth in consumer spending. Pick-ups also did well in July, though 4×4 registrations slipped for a second successive month. Truck registrations fell for the sixth successive month, down 2.7 per cent July CV registrations climb to record high CV registrations up 11.7 per cent to their highest ever level in July read more