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Uber appoints banking executive Powers-Freeling as first UK chairman



Uber appointed Laurel Powers-Freeling, who has held a series of banking roles, as its first UK chairman just as it battles to retain its operating license in London, its most important European market.

Powers-Freeling, who has previously been chief executive of retailer Marks & Spencer’s (MKS.L) banking arm M&S Money and a senior adviser at the Bank of England, will take on the newly created role from Nov. 1.

“Uber is transforming how people get around and as a business it is also undergoing an important period of change,” she said in a statement.

“I look forward to working with the UK business to help them manage and implement that change,” she said.

Uber is battling to keep its 40,000 London drivers on the road after the British capital stripped it of its license, deeming it unfit to run a taxi service. It cited its approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers.

The Silicon Valley firm can continue to take passengers until an appeals process is exhausted, which could take years. The first hearing in the case is due on Dec. 11.

But next week, the southern English city of Brighton will decide on the firm’s application to renew its license in the area which is due to expire on Nov. 4, in what would be a further blow to the company if it were rejected.

Uber’s British management has been criticized by London Mayor Sadiq Khan for employing an “an army of PR experts and an army of lawyers” and not engaging well enough with the authorities.

Uber, valued at around $70 billion with backers including Goldman Sachs (GS.N) and BlackRock (BLK.N), hopes the newly created UK independent non-executive role will help provide knowledge and experience to its British team.

“With this new position Laurel will help us with the next phase of changes we want to make to our UK business,” said Uber’s UK interim general manager, Tom Elvidge.

“We’re determined to learn from the mistakes of the past and make things right,” he said.

Elvidge has led the day-to-day running of Uber’s British operations since predecessor Jo Bertram said she was quitting the role earlier this month, according to emails seen by Reuters.

Uber is still recruiting for a permanent replacement.


Burkina Faso Enhance Army with New Cobra Armoured Vehicles



The Burkinabe Army paraded four Otokar Cobra armoured personnel carriers (APCs) during Burkina Faso’s 11 December Independence Day parade in Manga, making it the latest known user of the Turkish-made vehicle.

A Burkinabe military source told newsmen that an undisclosed number of Cobras have been delivered since September, with several currently deployed in the East Region, where counter-terrorist operations are ongoing.

Cobra 2

Cobra 3

The source added that the first Cobras are operated by Commando Infantry Regiments (RIC) of the Burkinabe Army, but additional vehicles are expected to be delivered to the Combined Regiments (RIA). Burkina fields two such units, which combine armoured cavalry squadrons and motorised infantry companies.



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Important Steps to follow in case of vehicle accidents



It’s important to know and understand how to prevent motor vehicle accidents. However, if the worst happens, would you know what to do? This equally important aspect of understanding road safety is often overlooked.

Thankfully, not all car accidents are fatal. And whatever the degree of damage, while it may not lessen the shock of a collision, it can ease the frustration of both parties if they know what steps to follow to make insurance claims easier.

Know the law

Section 61 of the National Road Traffic Act of 1996 states that in the event of an accident, where: a person or an animal was killed or injured, or any property like a vehicle was damaged, certain steps must be taken in line with the law.

The driver must:

    • Stop the vehicle and ascertain if there are any injuries;
    • Offer the assistance to injured persons;
    • Ascertain the nature and extent of damage sustained;
    • Request the name, address, vehicle registration and driver’s licence details, as well as the identity number of the other party; and
    • Report the accident to the relevant police station within 24 hours.


Credible evidence

According to the act, there are important other rules that must also be observed. The law further specifies that the driver may not take any intoxicating liquor or drug that has a narcotic effect, unless he or she has reported the accident to a police officer

Moreover, no person may remove any vehicle involved in an accident – in which another person was killed or injured – from the position in which it came to rest, until a traffic officer has given permission for it to be removed.

Only if the accident causes total obstruction of a public road can the vehicle be moved, and only after its position has been clearly marked on the surface of the roadway.


Possible pitfalls

You should also take pictures of the accident scene.

Further penalties during the claim process could come due to driving under the influence of alcohol, without a valid driver’s license for the vehicle being operated, driving an unlicensed or unroadworthy vehicle and not paying your insurance premium, says Tshifularo.

Tshifularo also cautions that you should not let a tow-truck driver coerce you into towing your car without making sure that it is a tow truck authorised by your insurance company.

“Otherwise you could be liable for the costs and have to spend a lot of time and energy trying to track your vehicle down.”

“After an accident, it’s very important to stay calm and rational.

“Arguing over whose fault the accident was or panicking is not going to help the situation. Instead, take charge and follow the procedure in as calm a manner as possible,” Tshifularo says.


-Soweto Live

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