15th January 2019 – Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is celebrating a sensational start to 2019, with three million-Pound sales days in one week, marking the best start to January in Fred. Olsen’s history! Justin Stanton, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “We are delighted that there is such high demand for our unique style of cruising. Customers are clearly recognising the value of our attractive ‘Cruise Sale’ offers, with almost everything included in the price. “With strong bookings for both 2019 and 2020, we are anticipating a very successful year for our smaller, friendlier ocean and river cruise ships.” Fred. Olsen launched its popular ‘Cruise Sale’ on 5th December 2018, and has so far booked over 5,000 guests onto the 150+ cruise holidays promoted in the campaign. Fred. Olsen’s ‘Cruise Sale’ is offering guests a range of tempting booking incentives:– ‘FREE Drinks & Tips’ on both ocean and river cruises– Plus ‘FREE Cashback’ of up to £200 per cabin on over 20 ocean cruises– ‘Three cruises for the price of two’, where guests get the lowest-priced sailing FREE– Dedicated solo offers, with no single supplement on selected rooms and cruises in 2019/20 The five top-sellers in Fred. Olsen’s ‘Cruise Sale’ so far are:– Balmoral’s 11-night L1903 ‘Spain, Portugal & Madeira’ cruise, ex Southampton on 22nd March 2019– Black Watch’s eight-night ‘Isles of Scotland’ cruise, ex Liverpool on 20th June 2019– Balmoral’s seven-night L1916 ‘The Best of the Fjords in Seven Nights’ cruise, ex Edinburgh (Rosyth) on 25th July 2019– Balmoral’s 15-night L1933 ‘Canaries Christmas & Funchal Fireworks’ cruise, ex Southampton on 22nd December 2019– Balmoral’s 11-night ‘Wintertime Norway’ cruise, ex Newcastle on 18th March 2020 Fred. Olsen is renowned for its innovative itineraries, and is proud to have been crowned ‘Best for Itineraries’ by Cruise Critic experts in the prestigious ‘UK Editors’ Picks Awards’ – for a record four years in a row. For further information on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, visit the website at http://www.fredolsencruises.com/agent or call the Trade Support Team
In much of Africa, the prevalence of chronic hunger is an accurate barometer for the level of social instability, WFP Executive Director James Morris told the Security Council in a public meeting on food crises in Africa. “It does not matter whether that instability is caused by civil conflict, drought AIDS, poor governance, or any combination of those factors – hunger almost always comes with it,” he said. Setting the stage for the Council’s debate, Mr. Morris opened his briefing by quoting a recent plea made by Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo: “A hungry person is an angry person. It is in all our interests to take away the cause of that anger.”Chronic hunger in the African countryside spurs continual rural to urban migration. The existence of at least some basic services acts as a lure, and, with the very likely possibility that waves of AIDS orphans will head to major cities as antiretroviral drugs become more widely available, unemployment, social disintegration and urban crime are sure to rise.With projections for urban population growth in sub-Saharan Africa among the highest in the world, at a certain point capacities of municipal governments will be stretched to the limit and social demands will not be met, which may aggravate internal political and social tensions, especially among competing ethnic groups perhaps not accustomed to sharing the same political space.Mr. Morris urged international donors to devote more attention helping governments bolster safety nets in booming cities like Nairobi, Lagos and Lusaka, and called on African governments to invest in agriculture and other sectors to encourage Africans to remain in the countryside.Mr. Morris, who is also Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Envoy for Humanitarian Needs in Southern Africa, singled out that region as particularly vulnerable and deserving of international attention. The HIV/AIDS pandemic was now beginning to take its toll not only in lives lost but also by undermining the capacity of devastated communities to produce food and educate their children, he said. “In 2003, alone, Lesotho lost a third of its health workers and 15 per cent of its teachers,” he said, adding that AIDS has claimed the lives of nearly 8 million African farmers – more farmers than there are in North America and the European Union combined.Mr. Morris went on to highlight some positive signs for Africa, such as its home-grown New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), greater cooperation within the continent on famine relief, Bob Geldof’s revival of “LiveAid”, and the G8’s recent debt relief initiative.But much remained to be done. “In 2000 at the Millennium Summit, every nation here made [the pledge] to halve hunger and poverty. It is time we began to show progress and with that, build peace and security in a troubled continent,” he said.
The Metropolitan Police could struggle to mobilise officers during a terrorist incident because so many live outside the capital – with some based as far afield as Cornwall and the South of France, a new report has warned.Less than half of the Met’s 18,000 borough officers now live in London, with soaring house prices giving rise to a phenomenon known as commuter cops”.According to a report by the Policy Exchange think tank, the trend could make it harder to deploy officers in a major emergency such as a terrorist attack or riot. Many officers insist they cannot afford to live in the capital We have tried and tested plans to allow us to respond at pace and effectively to a range of critical incidents and do not believe that these are in anyway jeopardised by the places officers currently live.Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey There is concern Scotland Yard will not be able to mobilise enough officers if there is a riot or terror attackCredit:Getty Images Having a police force that lives outside London affects the ability of the Met to mobilise sufficient numbers of officers to deal with terrorist incidents or civil disturbancesGlyn Gaskarth of the Policy Exchange But Met Police Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey insisted contingency plans meant the force was well placed to deal with major emergencies.He said: “We have tried and tested plans to allow us to respond at pace and effectively to a range of critical incidents and do not believe that these are in anyway jeopardised by the places officers currently live.” House prices emerged as the main reason officers said they chose to live outside the capital, with most saying they would happily live in London if they could afford it.The report suggested that the Met should work with housing associations to convert underused police properties into housing and make it available to officers at discounted prices.Another suggestion was that Scotland Yard should provide low-interest loans and top-ups to help officers get in the capital’s extremely competitive housing ladder. Researchers also found that living outside the community they policed meant officers were not as connected as those who were based in the capital.The report stated that even when off-duty, police officers stabilised communities and deterred criminals, adding: “Londoners would benefit from having more police officers as neighbours.”The commuting cops phenomenon was also said to be against the interests of policemen and women given the anti-social hours and the unpredictability of their work.Officers interviewed spoke of having to sleep on the floor after they missed their last trains, according to the research by Policy Exchange’s Capital City Foundation unit. Researchers found that while a large number of officers preferred to live in the leafier Home Counties, such as Surrey and Hertfordshire, some were based hundreds of miles away with some in Cornwall and others in the South of France.Shift patterns which allow officers to work a set number of days and then have longer periods off, mean they are able to base themselves long distances from London. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Such has been the Met’s concern over the problem of commuter cops that in 2014 it introduced a policy stating that all new recruits should have lived in London for at least three of the past six years.But the policy does not prevent them moving out once they have joined the force.Mr Mackey acknowledged that housing costs were a problem for many officers, but said having faced swingeing budget cuts in recent years the force was not in a position to support staff financially.He added: “We also recognise that for those connections to be maintained, officers need to have access to affordable housing, but equally we do not believe we are best-placed, as a police service, to be a housing provider – this should be left to specialists in the field of affordable and key-worker housing whilst we concentrate on keeping our capital safe.” The report found that in September last year, just 8,896 of the Met’s 18,179 officers lived in the capital full time.One officer interviewed for the report said: “Eleven years ago we sold and moved to Cornwall, which is where I live at the moment. I do not commute daily”.The officer explained that she kept a small London flat where she stayed while on shift.Another explained that some officers even “live in the South of France because they work 14 days on in a row, so they work 14 days in a row and then they go home for the remaining two weeks of the month”.The report’s author, Glyn Gaskarth, said: “Having a police force that lives outside London affects the ability of the Met to mobilise sufficient numbers of officers to deal with terrorist incidents or civil disturbances.”