Aer Lingus

Irish airline Aer Lingus has signed a 10 year deal with Emerald Airlines to operate its regional flights, meaning it could introduce a route between the Isle of Man and Dublin. The franchise agreement will offer connections between Ireland, the Isle of Man, Jersey and regional airports in the UK using ATR turboprop aircraft. The contract is due to start in January 2023 but could begin earlier after the unexpected collapse of Stobart Air which had been operating the airline’s regional services.

Soap Box Race

Organisers have said they ‘are sad to announce that the brakes have been put on this year’s Douglas Soap Box Race powered by Microgaming, which was to be held September 4. In lieu of the event, we will be donating funds to the organizers’ chosen cause, The Fire Fighters Charity. We hope to be back up and running in 2022, giving you time to enhance your existing wheels and get your gears ready!’ For more information on the event, you can visit their Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/douglassoapbox/.

Ramsey Bay

A petition to ‘Save Ramsey South Shore and the Ramsey Bay Marine Nature Reserve’ has garnered over 2,250 signatures after being launched by the Save the Bay group. They say that a plan to dredge the bay to build a housing estate and marina will cause irreparable harm to ‘a jewel in the northern biosphere … enjoyed by families for outdoor leisure, recreation and mental and physical wellbeing for generations.’ The petitions, which you can find here, says: ‘The first area on the Isle of Man to be designated a Marine Nature Reserve, the Bay is home to many diverse species of fish, plus horse mussel reefs, maerl beds and eelgrass meadows. Protection of eelgrass remains vitally important to reaching the Isle’s carbon neutral targets, being 35 times more effective at carbon capture than tropical forests and is flourishing in the Ramsey MNR.’

Ever Given Arrives

The Ever Given container ship that caused massive global disruption when it blocked the Suez Canal in March has finally arrived in Felixstowe. The 1,300ft long vessel, which was holding 18,000 total containers and will unload 2,000 there, was supposed to arrive at the dock in April but discussions between the Japanese owner and canal authorities over compensation held up its arrival even further. Goods on the ship had an estimated value of $775m but many will have to be destroyed as they hold fruit and vegetables which are now long past their use-by date, most of the containers were taken off the ship in Rotterdam before it arrived in the UK.

Laurel Hubbard

Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard, who made history as the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the Olympics, has announced her retirement after failing to register a successful lift in the women’s +87kg event. Hubbard represented New Zealand in the sport and said: ‘I’m extraordinarily grateful to the IOC for having the courage morally to consider sport as being an activity which should be open to all people.’ Transgender athletes have been able to compete in the games since an International Olympic Committee ruling in 2004, with 2015 rules stating that athletes who have transitioned from male to female must have declared their identity for at least four years and kept their testosterone levels below 10 nanomoles per litre for at least 12 months.

Erasmus Replacement

The UK gov have launched their replacement to the Europe-wide Erasmus scheme, which allowed UK students to study abroad on the continent before Brexit. The Department of Education said that the new ‘Turing Scheme’ will allow over 40,000 young people to work and study abroad later this year after 120 universities, schools and colleges applied to the £110m plan. Turing has a more global scope than Erasmus with the DFE saying placements will happen in 150 countries, however, Paul James Cardwell, a professor who compared the two schemes, said: ‘All opportunities to study abroad are welcome, but we need to be clear about how many students will actually go abroad, which will probably be much lower than the numbers that have been bid for. We also don’t know whether these placements have been arranged and confirmed and, crucially, how much funding will be allocated to each participant.’

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