Italian Taxi drivers renewed the strike in the middle of July 2006 after talks over government plans to deregulate the sector ,causing chaos in many cities. The drivers staged various forms of protests, besieging main squares, deliberately snarling traffic, blocking access to several airports and organizing go-slow drives, local media reported. In Rome, the drivers descended on central Piazza Venezia, the city center of Rome, soon after midnight after taxi unions abandoned the negotiating table. They remained there throughout the night and forced local authorities to close the square off to traffic. Some 60 other taxis took part in a go-slow drive from the city's main airport to the city and back again, causing further problems.The protests were replicated in Naples, Turin, Genoa and Milan, where drivers blocked access to the city airport. Italian Economic Development Minister who drew up the bill contested by the drivers, said that "they (the taxi drivers) do not own the city." The matter of controversy is a government decree that intends to liberalize taxi licensing and break the virtual monopoly status of local taxi federations. This decree orders municipal administrations to increase the number of taxi licenses issued and give out temporary permits during predictably busy periods. One of the most controversial aspects is a measure which would have allowed private firms to enter the sector by acquiring licenses and then hiring their own drivers. Taxi licenses in Rome are regarded as private property by their holders, who trade them on when they retire or pass them on to their children. The practice has created a grey market in which the cost of a permit can reach as high as 200,000 euros (about 240,000 U.S. dollars). Italy's 40,000-strong fleet of taxis is the smallest in Europe. According to official statistics, there are 2.1 taxis per thousand inhabitants in Rome compared to 8.3 in London and 9.9 in Barcellona. The number of taxis operating in Rome is 5,820, compared to more than 61,000 in London, almost 43,000 in New York and 17,000 in Paris, the report said. Complaints from residents and tourists over the difficulty in finding taxis during peak hours and at night have shot up in recent years, with taxi drivers accused of deliberately restricting the number of cars available in order to safeguard their earnings and the values of their licenses.
Known as "London by the Sea", Brighton is one of the UK's largest and most famous seaside resorts. Brighton's heyday came in the 18th Century when the town's favour with the party-loving Prince of Wales (later George VI) gave it an immediate cachet. The London elite flocked to Brighton in the royal wake and traces of this old gentility remains in the fashionable town houses, squares and crescents in the Victorian mode. The most marked royal touch is seen in the the fantastic Brighton Royal Pavilion with its eastern domes and spires. The English aristocracy later neglected Brighton in favour of resorts in continental Europe. However, the opening of the railway in 1841 brought in a regular flood of day trippers and weekend trysters that continues to this day. The addition of piers and amusements parks served to attract a more general visitor in search of fairground rides, candy floss and jaw breaking rock. Today's Brighton is moving with the times. It's just 52 miles from London and offers a wide range of hotels, restaurants and entertainment facilities. This make it a popular conference industry destination. Plus, it's recently become a popular location for high-tech media companies to set up shop. The seafront features a pebble beach, and the strip between its two piers is lined with bars, eateries, night clubs and amusement arcades. Brighton beach also has a designated official nudist area.Brighton is now home to one of Europe's largest marinas and an outdoor sports centre. And it's well-stocked with shopping outlets such as clothing stores, jewellers, and antique shops. Brighton also has a number of museums including the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, the Booth Museum of Natural History, the Brighton Fishing Museum and the Brighton Toy and Model Museum.transport:getting there and getting aroundFast trains whisk passengers from London to Brighton in under an hour. There are 41 departures a day from Victoria or London Bridge Station. Alternatively, buses from Victoria Coach Station reach Brighton in about two hours. Driving is easy along the M23 and connecting with the A23.Getting around Brighton is easy with its extensive bus service and abundance of taxis. There is also a limited night-bus service. Brighton seafront features the Volks Electric Railway, the worlds oldest electric railway. A recent innovation is the introduction of motorised trishaws from Asia known as tuc-tucs.climate:Brighton is located on the south coast of England and so is subject to that island nation's capricious weather. Summer in July and August is usually warm and sunny but as with everywhere in the UK, rain is always a possibility.Accommodation:from cheap stays to luxury resortsCheck on the internet for the range, location and cost of hotels in BrightonCheck on the internet for the range, location and cost of Brighton hotelsCheck on the internet for the range, location and cost of Brighton accommodation Events:May sees the Brighton Festival. It's an arts festival that features processions and fireworks along with theatre, music and visual arts events throughout the city.
Many visitors to England decide to visit the familiar locations on the tourist trail - the likes of London, Oxford, Windsor and Bath.The reasons for visiting those locations are obvious - all of those locations boast wonderful history, architecture and some fine places to stay.Sticking to the more obvious tourist spots does, however, have a downside. Visitors undoubtedly miss out on some of the beautiful parts of the country that are often just as rich in history, architecture and culture. I wonder, for instance, how many tourists ever think to visit the city of Winchester. Indeed, if you're not from the UK, have you even heard of Winchester? Let me expand a little on exactly what you could be missing...Winchester was once the capital of England and the site of William the Conqueror's Castle. It also has links with the tales of King Arthur: a version of his famous Round Table still stands in the Great Hall. Jane Austen is just one of many famous people to have lived in the city.So where is Winchester? Well, not so far from the "beaten track" as you might imagine! The city is south of London and can be reached from our modern day capital via a train journey of approximately one hour (trains depart at regular intervals from London Waterloo station).On arriving in Winchester, you'll find that you can walk into the very heart of this compact city in just 10 minutes. The centre of the city is dominated by the fine cathedral - surely one of the most splendid in the country. The city's streets are laid out much as they were in Roman times - walking around Winchester is to stroll through England's history. Why not pay Winchester a visit and find out about one of England's hidden gems.
Colombia, the Republic of Columbia is a country in the north west of South America. The country of Colombia is bound to the north and north-west by the Caribbean Sea, to the east by Venezuela and Brazil, to the south by Ecuador and Peru, and to the west by Panama and the Pacific Ocean. The official language in Colombia is Spanish. The capital city of Colombia is Bogotai, with an estimated population of 44,000,000.Colombia with a total area of 1,138,910 sq km is the fourth biggest country in South America. This rank of fourth comes after Brazil, Argentina and Peru. This area can be devided up into land, 1,038,700 sq km, and water, 100,210 sq km. Although it is in the Tropical area The Colombian climate, is made different by the influence of the Andes mountain range. Colombia is tropical in the coastlands and lowlands and can get very cool in the mountains.The eastern half of Colombia, which is more than half its total physical size, is plain and composed by rainforest. Colombia is crossed by rivers which belong to both the Amazon and Orinoco basins. The northern part of Colombia is called "Los Llanos", it is a savanna region. Colombian Pacific Plains at times of the year are among the most rainy parts in the world!Feel free to reprint this article as long as you keep the following caption and author biography in tact with all hyperlinks.
The Daintree is the largest tropical rainforest in Australia, and covers an area of approximately 1,200 square kilometres in North Queensland. It stretches from the Daintree River north to Cooktown and west to the Great Dividing Range, and is one of the most complex tropical rainforest ecosystems on earth. Its structural complexity and the diversity of its flora is unrivalled on the Australian continent.The Daintree region offers many unique natural features to be explored. The striking landscape is rich and diverse, and includes spectacular scenery, mountain ranges, fast flowing streams and waterfalls, deep gorges and dense rainforest. The Daintree's outstanding coastal scenery includes an unusual combination of tropical rainforest, white sandy beaches and offshore reefs. Mt Pieter Botte rises to the west of Cape Tribulation with massive granite outcrops, and the summit provides breathtaking views of vast undisturbed forest. To the south, the horizon is dominated by the huge granite boulders of Thornton Peak, one of highest mountains in Queensland.The vegetation of the Daintree area is among the most diverse in Australia. 13 different types of rainforest have been identified, from the tall forests of the coastal plains with massive curling liana growth and exotic buttress roots, through to the middle altitude forests with characteristic small-leafed species, and the montane forests with areas of heath-like vegetation that crown the mountain tops. The mangrove forests which line the mouth of the Daintree's creeks and rivers have the highest species diversity for this habitat type in Australia. The wet tropical rainforests of North-East Queensland contain the richest variety of fauna found in Australia. While representing only 0.1% of the Australia landmass, the region is home to 65% of Australia's bat and butterfly species, 30% of the frog, marsupial and reptile species, and 20% of the bird species.Millions of years ago when Australia was much warmer and wetter, rainforests thrived in places as far inland as Ayers Rock. As Australia became more arid, rainforests were gradually replaced by dry woodlands, grasslands and deserts in many parts of the continent. In the Daintree region, however, the climate and topography remained ideal for rainforests and so the area became a last refuge for Australia's original rainforests. Within this refuge many species continued to survive without the need to adapt to new conditions. The descendants of these species still survive today in the Daintree and retain many of their ancestors' original characteristics, some dating back more than 100 million years.One species, commonly known as the Idiot Fruit (Idiospermum australiense), is among the rarest and most primitive flowering plants on earth. It was discovered in 1970 and was arguably Australia's most significant botanical find as it clearly demonstrated just how ancient the Daintree Rainforests actually are. Of a total of 19 primitive flowering plant families remaining on the planet, 12 of these families are found in the Daintree region, representing the highest concentration of such plants worldwide. These ancient plants could provides answers to questions about the origins of flowering plants in general.The Daintree Forest area is undoubtedly of enormous intrinsic value and it is therefore important that visitors cooperate in its preservation. The disturbance of plant and animal life should be kept to a minimum. Avoid short cuts through the forest as the resulting trails can cause erosion and die-back. Use elevated boardwalks where ever provided. Of course, don't pick flowers, take cuttings or collect rainforest seeds ... please leave these magical forests just as you found them. Don't forget the golden rule: Leave nothing but footsteps, take nothing but photographs!