First commercial flight lands on remote St Helena

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As seen from inside the cabin, the first ever commercial flight lands at St Helena AirportImage copyright
AFP

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As seen from inside the cabin, the first ever commercial flight lands at St Helena Airport

The first scheduled commercial airline service to the remote British island of St Helena in the south Atlantic has touched down safely.

The virgin flight, an SA Airlink service from South Africa, ends the island’s long-standing reliance on a ship which sailed every three weeks.

It is hoped that the service, funded by the UK, will boost tourism and help make St Helena more self-sufficient.

But British media have dubbed it “the most useless airport in the world”.

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The opening of the airport was delayed by problems with wind

Built with £285m ($380m) of funding from the UK Department for International Development (Dfid), the airport should have opened in 2016, but dangerous wind conditions delayed the launch.

After further trials this summer, the weekly service between Johannesburg and St Helena was passed as safe.

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AFP

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One observer said the aircraft made a “perfect landing”

St Helena had for decades been one of the world’s most inaccessible locations, served only by a rare ship service from South Africa.

It is chiefly known as the island to which French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled after his defeat in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, and where died.

The Embraer E190-100IGW aircraft took off from Johannesburg on Saturday morning, carrying 78 passengers. It reached St Helena in the afternoon after stopping in the Namibian capital, Windhoek.

“I for one am getting really excited about the new chapter in St Helena’s history,” said St Helena governor Lisa Phillips.

  • Population 4,255

  • Area 122 sq km (47 sq miles)

  • Major language English

  • Major religion Christianity

  • Currency St Helena Pound (equal to British pound)

  • Economy Agriculture, fishing concessions and tourism

BBC

Previously travel to and from the tiny island, with its population of just 4,255, was only possible on the RMS St Helena, which took around six days to complete the journey from South Africa.

The ship’s final voyage is scheduled for February.

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Media captionA one-off commercial flight makes a wobbly landing in 2016

St Helena relies on British aid of £52m a year and officials hope increased tourism will make it more self-sufficient.

“This is an important moment in St Helena’s route to self-sufficiency,” a Dfid spokeswoman said.

“It will boost its tourism industry, creating the opportunity to increase its revenues, and will bring other benefits such as quicker access to healthcare for those living on the island.”

According to a report in The Guardian newspaper, the island’s diverse geology and wildlife, such as the whales that gather off its coast, may appeal to visitors.

But “more flights will have to be added if the airport is to be deemed a success – and not an expensive white elephant”, the report said.

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Thursday Night Drop, Week 2: King Krule, St. Vincent, Mabel & more

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Here’s why Thursday is low-key the best day of the week: before the weekend hits, there’s almost always an outpour of album releases on Friday. Most of these new faves drop right at midnight, which means staying up all night for that first glorious listen. If you’re also hunting for fresh new sounds, scroll down and get familiar with all of the artists on our list in the roundup, below.

King Krule- The OOZ

What could be better than the fusion of jazz and punk? Archy Marshall and his crew have gone and done it again with another spectacular album that gets you grooving in all the right places. It’s an outpour of all the complex, tender, and downright nasty things contained within every human being. We’ll see you in the mosh pit!

dvsn- Morning After

Is that smoke or steam coming out of your speakers? Either way, light a candle, pour a glass of something bubbly, and bump and grind to this record immediately. These sweet and sexy jams are the perfect way to electric slide into the weekend.

Mabel- Ivy & Rose EP

Make way for the next wave of R&B! Mabel McVey has been taking her sweet time releasing new music so we’re lucky that she’s decided to drop this surprise mixtape. Timing wise, it’s arrived during the season when we truly need it most. (We wish you the best of luck with all your cuffing!)

St. Vincent- MASSEDUCTION

It’s time we observe present day America outside of the cisgender heteropatriarchal lens. Nobody asked for Annie Clark’s commentary, but we desperately needed it. This album is full of bangers, ballads, and pick-me-ups that will open your mind to new dimensions.

Brent Faiyaz- Sonder Son

The sultry voice behind Sonder is stepping out on his own, and his debut full-length album doesn’t disappoint. If you haven’t already been obsessing over the R&B group, you’ve probably heard Faiyaz before on GoldLink’s hit single “Crew.”

P!nk- Beautiful Trauma

Your favorite soul sister is back with her seventh studio album and it’s crammed with what she describes as “emotional dance floor anthems.” Crying in the club is officially cool again!

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Puerto Rico, St. Croix devastated by powerful Hurricane Maria

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Reuters) – Deadly Hurricane Maria caused flooding in the Dominican Republic as it brushed past the country on Thursday after destroying buildings and knocking out power across the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and St. Croix.

The second major hurricane to rage through the Caribbean this month, Maria has killed at least 17 people and devastated several small islands, including St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Dominica.

Maria, now a Category 3 with sustained winds of up to 120 miles per hour (195 km per hour), was expected to pass near the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas on Thursday night and Friday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Officials in Puerto Rico were still assessing the damage after Maria slammed the island on Wednesday with winds of up to 155 mph (250 kph). Ranked a Category 4 storm near the top of the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale when it made landfall, it was the strongest hurricane to hit the island in nearly 90 years.

U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters the storm “totally obliterated” the island, and that he planned to visit.

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello said there was one death reported so far, a man struck by a piece of lumber hurled by high winds.

“It’s nothing short of a major disaster,” he said in a CNN interview, adding it might take months for electricity to be completely restored to the island, which has a population of 3.4 million. He imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew that runs through Saturday.

Utility crews from the U.S. mainland were headed to Puerto Rico to help try to restore the battered power grid and the U.S. military sent both ground forces and aircraft to assist with search and rescue.

The storm hit as Puerto Rico is facing the largest municipal debt crisis in U.S. history. The team of judges overseeing its bankruptcy has advised involved parties to put legal proceedings on hold indefinitely as the island recovers from the damage, according to a source familiar with the legal proceedings.

In the historic heart of the island’s capital San Juan, which has a fort and buildings from the Spanish colonial era, the storm left a litter of debris.

Some roads were blocked off entirely by downed foliage as teams of firefighters and rescue officials began wielding chain saws to cut their way through the debris.

San Juan airport reopened for military and relief flights on Thursday, with plans for a limited resumption of commercial flights on Friday.

With electricity and communications knocked out across the island, workdays evaporated and people busied themselves with securing food and checking on their battered homes.

South of the capital in the municipality of Cataño, a group of some 10 residents whose homes were flooded sat around a pickup truck on the edge of the waters and mixed drinks of grapefruit juice, cranberry, ice and vodka that they called “matatiempo” or “killing time.”

Residents working on their roof in badly damaged neighborhood are seen from a Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey surveying the aftermath from Hurricane Maria in St. Croix, , U.S. Virgin Islands, September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

FULL TOLL NOT YET CLEAR

The Puerto Rican government did not yet have an estimate of how many homes and businesses were destroyed by the storm.

Getting a full picture of the toll on Puerto Rico and other islands was complicated by extensive damage to phone services and roads.

“There’s a lot left to be done to understand the extent of the damage,” Kenneth Merten, U.S. principal deputy assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere affairs, told reporters.

Maria passed close by the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Croix, which has a population of about 55,000 people, early on Wednesday as a rare and ferocious Category 5 storm, knocking out electricity and most mobile phone service.

“The island was affected across the board, but the western end got hammered hard,” Governor Kenneth Mapp told WBUR radio. “The amount of debris and roof damage is significant.”

He said he did not know of any deaths caused by the storm.

Maria hit about two weeks after Hurricane Irma pounded two other U.S. Virgin Islands: St. Thomas and St. John.

In the Dominican Republic, winds knocked out power to almost all northern areas, said Emergency Operations Center coordinator Ernesto Pérez.

By Thursday afternoon, Maria was about 95 miles (155 km) southeast of Grand Turk island, the NHC said, and it could strengthen somewhat over the coming day or so, the center said.

It currently looked unlikely to hit the continental United States.

Maria struck Dominica as a Category 5 storm on Monday night, damaging about 95 percent of the roofs on the island, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said. At least 14 people died, CNN quoted Charles Jong, a spokesman for Dominica prime minister’s office, as saying.

Two people were killed in the French territory of Guadeloupe.

Irma, ranked as one of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record, killed at least 84 people in the Caribbean and the United States. It followed Harvey, which killed more than 80 people when it hit Texas in late August, causing historic flooding in Houston. More than two months remain in the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

Reporting by Dave Graham and Robin Respaut in San Juan; additional reporting by Jorge Pineda in Santo Domingo, Nick Brown in Houston, Devika Krishna Kumar in New York and Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; writing by Scott Malone and Lisa Shumaker; editing by Frances Kerry and Jonathan Oatis

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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St. Paul And The Broken Bones Live Review: Southern Magic And Soul

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Last night, southern magic descended upon California’s Hollywood Bowl. Jammed between the middling opening set from Lake Street Dive, a Boston-based folk-rock band with southern rock leanings, and the spectacular headliner, Trombone Shorty, the real Alabama-bred deal St. Paul And The Broken Bones stormed the stage around 9 PM. The soul collective have been steadily picking up steam across the country, and last year’s Sea Of Noise thrust them into the national spotlight in an entirely new way. Still touring on the back of that enormously soulful record, and led by their insanely talented frontman Paul Janeway — who unexpectedly has the voice of an angel — the band completely stole the show, and the hearts, of the Hollywood Bowl.

Now, it’s clear that soul — along with jazz — is a traditionally and historically Black genre, and there’s always been a bit of a problem with the winkingly titled moniker “blue eyed soul” that accompanies white artists who embrace this style. However, there is also nothing clearer in this world than the fact that Janeway’s voice was designed to sing soul; the listener can sink into his octave-spanning, golden powerhouse of a voice like it’s a long-awaited, velvety couch. He’s an undeniable talent, and even the primarily Trombone-Shorty-diehard-crowd gathered at the Bowl last night had to acknowledge his vocal persuasion.

Janeway kicked off the night in the most dramatic fashion, entering with a blue cape over his flamboyant red suit, allowing the echoes of the acapella beginning of the title track off his band’s last album to swell and fill the stadium, before busting out into his own solos. The cape came off, and Janeway’s dancing began, his physical movements are almost as joyous and cheerful as his voice, if not quite as elegant. That’s all sort of the point, though. He’s clearly aware of his own awkward, surprising fit into this world, and instead of trying to smooth it away, he embraces himself, flaws and idiosyncrasies intact, fully committing to a performance that is 100% him. This tactic f*cking works, and more musicians should lean into themselves the way he does.

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[WATCH] St. Vincent’s ‘New York’ Video Is A Neon Drama About A Breakup

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St. Vincent is back in full force, with a thundering pop song that’s very simply called “New York.” It’s about lost love and encapsulates all the brilliance and brokenheartedness of living in New York City. Particularly the line, “You’re the only motherf*cker in the city who can handle me” sums up how it can feel to lose your sole partner in a place where millions of people all live on top of each other. In the bright, neon-tinted clip, St. Vincent carries herself through various New York scenes, from model-ready looks to the pause of a nail salon.

While nothing has been confirmed, Annie Clark has been rumored to be dating Cara Delevingne, and that might possibly explain all the high fashion looks in the video, which swap in and out with almost startling frequency. Then again, that might have absolutely nothing to do with any of it. Or maybe it’s the influence of her new collaborator Jack Antonoff. Whatever inspired Clark though, the pain of losing someone in that enormous, brilliant city comes through loud and clear. If you’ve been there, you get, which is probably why Lorde tweeted that one significant line as soon as it came out. She knows.

Watch it above and catch her on tour this fall while she ramps up for a new album, which has yet to be announced, upcoming dates below.

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Celtic 1-1 St Johnstone – BBC Sport

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Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor equalises with a firm strike from just inside the area

Callum McGregor’s late strike rescued a point for Celtic as they came from behind to extend their unbeaten run in domestic football to 53 games.

St Johnstone took the lead just before half-time through Steven MacLean, who took advantage of a Craig Gordon error.

The visitors defended stoutly and troubled Celtic on the counter, and MacLean sent a free header wide.

Substitute McGregor saved the champions, though, drilling low and hard into the corner of the net.

The equaliser was a reward for Celtic’s relentless pressure in the second half, with Scott Sinclair and Mikael Lustig both hitting the woodwork.

St Johnstone might also have been reduced to 10 men, with MacLean seeming to catch Kieran Tierney in the face with his arm, but the St Johnstone striker was only booked by referee Willie Collum.

The visitors held on to claim their point, though, with defender Steven Anderson and goalkeeper Alan Mannus leading their resistance.

St Johnstone midfielder Murray Davidson was carried off and taken to hospital after a clash of heads

A day of drama had the most unfortunate beginning when Murray Davidson suffered a horrendous head injury in an aerial challenge and collapsed to the floor. The St Johnstone midfielder was knocked out. These were worrying moments as medics from both sides tended to Davidson, taking five minutes to get him on a stretcher and away to hospital, Celtic Park applauding as one as he left.

Thankfully, before the game concluded, Davidson was said to be recovering.

Liam Craig came on to field and his team pressed hard, denying the champions easy space. Even when Tom Rogic – man-marked by Paul Paton – broke free, the visitors scrambled effectively. Leigh Griffiths had a shot into the side-netting, James Forrest had a weak shot easily dealt with.

Saints were comfortable in the beginning. Michael O’Halloran had earlier created Celtic some bother down the left when scampering free and squaring for David Wotherspoon, who shot unconvincingly at Gordon.

St Johnstone striker Steven MacLean scored his second goal of the season with his strike at Celtic Park

The Celtic goalkeeper soon entered the narrative of the game in a very major way. MacLean’s goal was a self-inflicted wound by Gordon, who was jaw-droppingly lackadaisical in clearing his line. In gifting St Johnstone the ball, he gave them a present of a goal, MacLean turning it in.

There was confusion, and silence, inside the stadium. Was MacLean offside when he scored? No, said Willie Collum and his assistant. Was Gordon out of his mind in doing what he did? Unquestionably, yes. MacLean hesitated and then celebrated. The hush from the Celtic fans continued awhile.

Celtic, flat by their own standards until they motored later on, mustered something before the break when Sinclair came slaloming in from the left before putting in a tame effort on Mannus’ goal. Brendan Rodgers made changes at the break, removing the ineffective Olivier Ntcham and Forrest and parachuting in Jonny Hayes and Stuart Armstrong.

Armstrong had a shot tipped over by Mannus as Celtic pushed to preserve their unbeaten domestic run. They had a mountain of possession, but nowhere near their usual level of accuracy. They pushed forward but lacked their surgical ability to cut open a defence.

Referee Willie Collum was the centre of attention when he booked Steven MacLean for a challenge on Kieran Tierney

On the hour, their chances of salvaging something from the game should have been made all the harder. Saints had a glorious chance to make it two. Brian Easton’s cross from the left was met by MacLean, just five yards out from goal. Either side of Gordon and it was in. Instead, he directed his header straight at the Celtic goalkeeper and fluffed the most inviting of chances.

Celtic were a jittery mess whenever they were put on the back foot. How Rodgers must be counting the minutes before his full array of centre-halves are available again. Jozo Simunovic was fit enough to sit on the bench at least.

The game quickly became a contest of Celtic attackers versus St Johnstone defenders. Sinclair was a fine leader for the home team, getting on the ball and dragging them forward. Celtic had a penalty shout turned down, then they had Kieran Tierney dumped on his backside by MacLean. The striker was lucky he wasn’t sent off.

With 10 minutes left, St Johnstone buckled and broke, McGregor, a second-half substitute, tried to play a one-two with Sinclair in the Saints penalty box. The ball instead broke off Anderson and into McGregor’s path. The midfielder whacked in the equaliser.

Saints were hanging on to the cliff edge by now. Sinclair hit woodwork. So, too, did Lustig. Mannus then denied Hayes from close-range. Saints survived, just. A hard-earned point for Tommy Wright’s team, one that keeps their momentum going nicely. For Celtic, a battling response on a difficult day at the end of a fine week.

Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon’s error gifted St Johnstone the opening goal

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