Africa Online: Who’s leading the way?

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How much will you pay for rail fares next January ?

St Pancras Station in Uk

St Pancras Station in Uk

Rail fares in UK will rise by 3.5% from January next year, following the release of July’s inflation figures.

Under the formula, average fares in England are due to go up by July’s RPI measure of inflation, plus 1%.

Labour accused the government of ‘ripping off’ passengers, but the government defended the rise.

Britain’s railways are renowned for being the most expensive in Europe, possibly the world. According to estimates, the rise in inflation rates could see workers in Britain’s biggest commuter towns being forced to pay £5,000 a year in order to get to work.

Regulated fares have increased by more than the rate of inflation in most years since 2004.

The government was meant to keep costs down on tickets where people don’t have much of an alternative but to go by train. Like commuter season tickets for example.

But for more than a decade ministers have actually used the regulation system to increase prices by more than inflation. The reason? They want passengers to pay a bigger share of the bill to run our trains, so that taxpayers pay less.

Passenger Focus, which represents rail users, wants the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, to consider blocking the full rise.

“We hope the government will step in again as it did last year, to ensure that train fares in England do not rise above the rate of inflation,” said David Sidebottom, the director of Passenger Focus.

Michael Roberts, director general of the industry body, the Rail Delivery Group, said that although rail fares had increased above inflation for a decade, the number of passengers had seen “phenomenal growth”.

“Compared with fifteen years ago, we’re now carrying twice as many passengers as we did then,” he said. But he added that rail services were partly a “victim of that success” because there was now overcrowding on some major services.

Steve Jobs

SteveJ obs

Steve Jobs co-founded Apple Computers

Steven Paul Jobs was born on February 24, 1955, in San Francisco, California, to Joanne Schieble (later Joanne Simpson) and Abdulfattah “John” Jandali, two University of Wisconsin graduate students who gave their unnamed son up for adoption. His father, Abdulfattah Jandali, was a Syrian political science professor, and his mother, Joanne Schieble, worked as a speech therapist. Shortly after Steve was placed for adoption, his biological parents married and had another child, Mona Simpson. It was not until Jobs was 27 that he was able to uncover information on his biological parents.

As an infant, Steven was adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs and named Steven Paul Jobs. Clara worked as an accountant, and Paul was a Coast Guard veteran and machinist. The family lived in Mountain View, California, within the area that would later become known as  Silicon Valley. As a boy, Jobs and his father would work on electronics in the family garage. Paul would show his son how to take apart and reconstruct electronics, a hobby that instilled confidence, tenacity and mechanical prowess in young Jobs.

 

Homeless

The housing shortage is affecting people around the country but the problem is particularly acute in London, where families are left struggling for years in cramped temporary rooms.

More than 4,000 homeless families in London (41 per cent) have been waiting two years or more to get a permanent home, according to data released by councils to Shelter under Freedom of Information laws. Of the London boroughs that responded to the FOI requests, more than half had families who had been waiting more than a year to get out of a hostel or bed and breakfast.