Africa’s first home-grown aircraft

Africa’s first home-grown aircraft

26 September 2014 Last updated at 14:15 BST

Many aircraft on display at this year’s Africa Aerospace & Defence exhibition in South Africa – and those flying in African skies – where manufactured elsewhere.

But South Africa’s Paramount Group is determined to change that, bucking the trend by designing and producing aircraft on African soil.

The BBC’s Matthew Davies has been finding out more about the Advanced High-Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft (Ahrlac) for Africa business report.

Condoms hottest item at Asian Games

Athletes are snapping up thousands of free condoms being given out at the Asian Games, organizers sayAthletes are snapping up thousands of free condoms being given out at the Asian Games, organizers say



Athletes are snapping up thousands of free condoms being given out at the Asian Games, organizers said Thursday.

“We’ve been handing out condoms over the past three days but their daily ration of 5,000 runs out quickly every day,” Choi Hyeung-Dae, a games organising committee official told AFP.

“But this does not mean that athletes have already been engaged in bed-hopping. I think most of them just want to keep them as souvenirs”, he said.

The condoms are in yellow, opaque wrappers with the games emblem emblazoned on them and some athletes may believe they are badges or other mementos, he added.

The Incheon Asian Games, with about 10,000 athletes from 45 countries taking part, start on Friday. Choi said organisers expect to hand out about 100,000 condoms up until October 3, the day before the event closes.

Condoms are regularly handed out to athletes at major sporting events. About 8,500 condoms were given when Seoul hosted the 1988 Olympics.

The number rose to 50,000 at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and 150,000 at the 2012 London Olympics


French smokers face e-cig ban in public, plain cigarette packs


France Thursday said it would introduce plain cigarette packaging and ban electronic cigarettes in certain public places, in a bid to reduce high smoking rates among the under-16s.

Following a successful similar campaign in Australia, Health Minister Marisol Touraine said cigarette packets would be “the same shape, same size, same colour, same typeset” to make smoking less attractive to young smokers.

“In France, 13 million adults smoke on a daily basis. And the situation is getting worse. The number of smokers is growing, especially among young people,” said Touraine.

“We can’t accept that tobacco kills 73,000 people every year in our country — the equivalent of a plane crash every day with 200 people on board,” she added.

France has one of the highest rates of under-16s smoking in Europe and, in addition to the plain packaging measures, Touraine also announced that smoking would be banned in playgrounds and in cars with passengers under 12.

European Union laws already force tobacco firms to cover 65 percent of the packaging with health warnings.

But France wants to go further and follow Australia’s example, to the fury of the tobacco companies.

Celine Audibert, spokeswoman for French firm Seita, which is a subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco, slammed the move as “completely incomprehensible”.

“It’s based on the Australian experience which, more than a failure, was a complete fiasco,” added Audibert.

In 2012, Australia forced all cigarettes to be sold in identical, olive-brown packets bearing the same typeface and largely covered with graphic health warnings.

Experts say it has helped curb consumption, although tobacco companies dispute this.

It also raised taxes, pushing prices up and consumption down. Tobacco clearances, an indicator of tobacco volumes in the Australian market, fell 3.4 percent in 2013 relative to 2012.

Unlike Australia, however, French brands will remain on the packets “but limited to a very discreet and defined size, always on the same place on the packet,” according to the plan.

‘Don’t vape here’

Touraine also announced the banning of the very popular electronic cigarette in certain public places.

E-cigarettes have exploded in France, with statistics published by the French Observatory for Drugs and Addiction (OFDT) estimating that 18 percent of French people between the age of 15 and 75 had tried them.

Touraine acknowledged that “it’s better to vape than to smoke” but stressed: “For a young person who has never smoked, an electronic cigarette can become a way in to smoking.”

E-cigarettes will be banned in locations where young people gather — schools, for example — as well as on public transport and in enclosed workspaces.

In addition, advertising of the popular e-cigarettes will be restricted, then banned completely from May 2016 except at the point of sale and in trade publications.

Smoking is the main cause of death in France, with 73,000 people dying each year of tobacco-related illnesses.

Approximately 13 million people smoke in France every day, out of a total population of around 66 million.

“We can no longer accept this scourge which kills 20 times more people than road accidents, while it is avoidable,” Touraine said.

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