Updated: 5/16/2006; 10:55:23 AM.

Ken Novak's Weblog
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daily link  Friday, July 18, 2003


Bridge gives new lustre to the city of gold: The rivival of Johannesburg:  "Most guidebooks have yet to register the fact, but South Africa's sprawling metropolis is in the process of transforming its core into a commercial and artistic hub..

In fact the entire continent is pressing into Johannesburg in the form of refugees and economic migrants from Zimbabwe, Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria and Mozambique, hustling a living whatever way they can and turning it into one of the world's most populous cities. With parliament in Cape Town, the embassies in Pretoria and businesses following the stock exchange's exodus to Sandton, a new financial citadel to the north of the city, many thought Johannesburg's modern infrastructure swamped forever by a tide of poverty.

Several things are changing that perception. Some 200 cameras in the city centre have cut crime by 80%, according to Business Against Crime, which operates the cameras from the sixth floor of the Carlton Centre. Uniquely, the cameras can track suspects and a police unit is on standby to respond within 60 seconds of an incident. By the end of the year there would be 360 cameras and eventually 3,500 across the city, said John Penberthy, the managing director. "The pied piper of Hamelin has walked through the place and taken the rats out of town."

Some of the crime has been displaced to other areas, he acknowledged, but some of those who previously engaged in spontaneous crime were now finding jobs as businesses returned, boosting occupancy in some buildings from 15% to 95%. ..

The Johannesburg region accounts for 20% of GDP of entire continent, arguably making it capital of Africa. "

  9:35:06 PM  permalink  

Syria plans renewable energy investment of almost $1.5 billion: " With its demand for energy nearly tripling in the past three decades, Syria has approved a plan calling for investment of $1.48 billion through 2011 to produce power from environmentally friendly renewable energy sources.  .. About half the planned investment will go for wind power, projected to supply 800 megawatts of electricity. "  2:16:46 PM  permalink  

U.S. kids living longer, getting fatter:  NIH and Census report issued, on 73m US children.  Key findings:

  • Children ages 6 to 18 who are overweight increased from 6 percent two decades ago to 15 percent in 1999-2000 (22% for black children)
  • Fewer teenage girls are having babies. In 2001, there were 25 births for every 1,000 girls ages 15 to 17, down from 27 in 2000. The birth rate for African-American females in this age group decreased by nearly half -- from 86 per 1,000 girls to 45 -- from 1991 to 2001.
  • Fewer children are living in families with married couples, dropping from 72 percent in 1990 to 68 percent in 2000
  • The number of children ages 3 to 5 attending preschool programs has risen to 61 percent in 2000, from 42 percent in 1990.
  • The child povery rate, remained steady at 16 percent overall.  For black children with females as the heads of household, it went down two points to 47 percent in 2001.
  9:09:51 AM  permalink  

 

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Last update: 5/16/2006; 10:55:23 AM.