In Brief

first_imgVIA Rail Canada has awarded a three-year contract to Cara Operations Ltd for provision of on-board meals for trains in the Windsor – Québec corridor. From November 1, Cara will provide 400000 meals a year from food preparation centres in Toronto and Montréal.Iarnród éireann and Northern Ireland Railways will formally launch the revamped Enterprise express service between Belfast and Dublin on October 21. A joint pool of four 7-car push-pull trains built by De Dietrich and four dedicated General Motors 201 class diesel locos took over the services on September 1. Journey times for the 183 km will be cut from 2 h to 1 h 20 min when EU-funded track upgrading for 145 km/h is completed next year. Amtrak hopes to improve the financial performance of its Los Angeles – FloridaSunset Limited with the restoration of rail service on the 32 km section from Sanford, Florida, to Orlando in August. The busy tourist destination had only been served by a road coach connection since the eastern terminus was cut back from Miami to the former Auto-Train maintenance base at Sanford last year.Seeking to reinforce its corporate image, Rotterdam Metro is to replace external vehicle advertising with more spaces at stations. With a panel on an LRV costing typically 4000 guilders a year and an all-over advertisement 42000 guilders, the company earned 1·4m guilders last year from external vehicle spaces.Hungarian State Railways is seeking to undertake a system-wide station modernisation programme following the completion of work at Vlast_img read more

Political rivals unite on gay adoptions

first_imgNZ Herald 28 May 2012Two MPs from opposing parties, National’s Nikki Kaye and the Greens’ Kevin Hague, have joined forces to develop a bill that would legalise adoption by gay couples. The National Party’s northern regional conference in Auckland at the weekend passed a remit in closed session supporting adoption by couples in a civil union. The party’s national conference in July is expected to debate a gay adoption remit, although such a matter would be a conscience vote in Parliament. It is possible that the Government could pick up the work Ms Kaye and Mr Hague are doing on adoption and surrogacy laws as a Government measure, while making some of the controversial issues a conscience vote. Prime Minister John Key told the Herald yesterday the passage of the remit reflected the changing face of the National Party.….The two MPs are drafting legislation to amend the Care of Children Bill 2004 based on a previous Law Commission report that looked at guardianship and adoption. The measure should be ready in a few months, Ms Kaye said, and would be a private member’s bill in her name or Mr Hague’s. It was a complex piece of work and there would be about 40 policy decisions. Some would be controversial, including the age of adoption, adoption by same-sex couples, adoption by single people, Maori adoption practices and issues relating to surrogacy. Labour list MP Jacinda Ardern has a bill in the private members’ bill ballot that would require the Law Commission to rewrite the law to allow gay couples to adopt.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10808932Gay adoptions not a priority – PMNZ Herald 28 May 2012Prime Minister John Key said it wasn’t a top priority for the Government to promote a Bill legalising adoption by gay couples. Mr Key said he would vote for any Bill to progress to the Select Committee stage but would not confirm if he would vote for the bill to move further. “My own personal opinion is the issue of gay adoption is not hugely significant issue and it’s not because it doesn’t matter to those couples who might want to adopt children, but the truth is less than 200 non-family adoptions take place in New Zealand at the moment.” He said in the current economic climate it was not a priority for the Government.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10809120last_img read more