The number of empty shops across the UK hit an all-time high in April – however footfall recovered to its strongest rate in a year, thanks to the high street.According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC)/ Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor, the shop vacancy rate in the UK hit 11.9%, up from 10.9% in at the beginning of the year. This is the highest level since records began in July 2011.Despite the high empty shops rate, the BRC recorded the strongest overall footfall rate since December 2011, as April’s footfall jumped 1% year-on-year against a 5.7% fall in March.High streets recorded the greatest rise in footfall of 3.4%, which is the strongest rate since December 2011. Out-of-town locations saw a 0.3% increase, but shopping centre footfall fell 3%.Helen Dickinson, BRC director general, said: “It’s a major concern that the vacancy rate has reached a record high, driven by increases in almost every part of the UK, with some regions like the south west seeing a significant leap in empty shop numbers. “With high streets topping the agenda for many now, there’s a real opportunity here to seize the moment and stem the tide of further closures. Comparatively small steps to tackle deep-rooted issues, such as parking, accessibility and rising business costs, could make a huge difference to the health of town centres.”The highest vacancy rate was recorded in Northern Ireland, at 18.1% Diane Wehrle, Springboard retail insights director said the disparity in the numbers across the locations is a result of high-profile administrations impacting shopping centres. “The resilience of high streets is also likely to be a function of their diversity, as they have an offer that spans more than just retail. It is footfall outside usual retail hours that’s demonstrating the strongest performance.”
In the midst of a debate about Obamacare’s impact on the U.S. economy, Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) faculty say that it’s important to focus not only on the potential economic drag of the health reform law but also on its much-needed emphasis on lower costs and greater efficiency in the health care system.Obamacare’s economic impact became a hot topic after a Congressional Budget Office analysis released February 4, 2014 found that more than two million Americans who would otherwise rely on a job for health insurance will either quit working or reduce their hours because of new health benefits available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).David Cutler, professor in the Department of Global Health and Population, said in a February 8 New York Times article that while it’s true that a slowdown in the health care sector can hurt the economy in a recession, it still wouldn’t have made sense to keep the old, “clearly bloated” health care system and “make that sector stay bloated.”Katherine Baicker, professor of health economics, told the Times that it’s a mistake to focus on the pain caused to workers in the health care industry rather than the benefits to everyone else. “If you could get [health care] with fewer resources, that would be better for everyone,” she said. Read Full Story
Indianapolis, In. — Indiana drivers who were overcharged by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles could soon have an easier path to claim the last $3.3 million of a much larger class-action settlement.Officials a technical issue has prevented residents from receiving payments from the state attorney general’s unclaimed property division. The Indianapolis Star recently reported that Marion County judge Heather Welch directed the BMV to refund the money itself through credits or refund checks.The BMV has been sued twice for charging motorists too much for licenses, vehicle registrations and other services between 2002 and 2014. In settlements totaling $92 million, the BMV agreed to refund drivers between $1 and $50 each.
By Lonnie Wheatley Kaup held off Holloway over the final circuits to post the win with Marlin Hogie moving up to third and then Mike Burian and A.J. Finch rounding out the top five. DODGE CITY, Kan. (July 18) – Jeff Kaup has done his fair share of winning at Dodge City Raceway Park in recent years. Feature results – 1. Jeff Kaup; 2. Shaylon Holloway; 3. Marlin Hogie; 4. Mike Burian; 5. A.J. Finch; 6. Troy Burkhart; 7. Chris Oliver; 8. Chris House; 9. Ondre Rexford; 10. Brandon Fisher; 11. Gregg Schell; 12. Raymond Ketner; 13. Joey Richmond; 14. Jason Rogers; 15. Jesse Smith. And with the big money on the line Saturday evening, Kaup emerged from a wild battle to ultimately take the win in the 25-lapper. However, on Saturday night, the Woodward, Okla., racer did it for the first time in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car Ranks by taking the $1,000 winner’s share in a hard-fought Stock Car Shootout presented by Winner’s Circle Feedyards and Factory Direct Fireworks atop the 3/8-mile DCRP clay oval. Oliver led much of the way while nursing a flattened left front tire until finally surrendering the point to Holloway on the 15th circuit. The trio continued to battle with Kaup making his way forward and finding his way to the lead for keeps on the 22nd lap. With several contenders running afoul of misfortune throughout the first half of the race, it ultimately boiled down to a three-way battle between Chris Oliver, Shaylon Holloway and Kaup. While Kaup collected the big Stock Car loot, Koby Walters bested the DCRP Sprint Cars, Clay Sellard topped the IMCA Modifieds, Brett Berry was best in the IMCA SportMods and Trevor Schmidt collected IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock hardware as all five drivers posted their first DCRP wins of the 2020 campaign. Kaup has accumulated 20 feature wins while earning six IMCA SportMod championships over the past seven years at Dodge City. This year, Kaup is pulling double-duty in both the SportMods and Stock Cars.
Coach Pitso Mosimane said that while the focus would be on his multi-national squad of stars, he wanted to praise his analysts and physical trainer too.“We stayed up to two, three, four o’clock in the morning analysing clubs and individuals we were due to meet.“Critics said we would not last the pace, playing two matches virtually every week. Did you see any weary Sundowns footballers when the final whistle blew? I certainly did not.”Outgoing champions Kaizer Chiefs drew 0-0 with Bloemfontein Celtic in a drab Soweto clash that delivered few scoring opportunities.Jomo Cosmos improved their chances of dodging the drop by scoring four minutes into stoppage time through a Tebogo Makobela header to snatch a 2-2 draw at Ajax Cape Town.Cosmos have 25 points, four more than Pretoria and five above Maritzburg United. The club coming last are automatically relegated and the second-last team go into play-offs.****The trophy will be handed over to the Brazilians at the Lucas Moripe stadium on Saturday, 21 May, following their clash against Platinum Stars.University of Pretoria (0) 0Mamelodi Sundowns (2) 3 (Laffor 3′ 20′ 59′)University of Pretoria: AmaTuks: Coetsee; Sibande, Mthethwa, Mwedihanga, Jaure – K.Zwane (Mnyamane 68′), Ketjijere, Nyathi (Nyondo 54′), Ntombayithethi – Kebede (Nkoana 56′), BacelaMamelodi Sundowns: Onyango, Langerman, Arendse, Nthethe, Mphahlele – Mabunda, Kekana (Modise 80′) – Mashaba (S.Zwane 66′), Dolly Billiat – Laffor (Ngele 83′)© 1994-2016 Agence France-PresseShare on: WhatsApp Johannesburg, South Africa | AFP |Liberian Anthony Laffor scored a hat-trick to give Mamelodi Sundowns a 3-0 win at Pretoria University Wednesday and a record-extending seventh South African Premiership title.The tall, slim 31-year-old midfielder scored after three, 20 and 59 minutes at Tuks Stadium to give the Pretoria club an unassailable eight-point lead over Wits with two rounds remaining.Sundowns pocketed a 10 million rand ($670,000, 590,000 euros) first prize in the richest African national football championship.They and runners-up Wits will represent South Africa in the CAF Champions League, a competition that has brought only heartache for Sundowns since finishing as 2001 runners-up.Uganda Cranes goalkeeper Denis Onyango has been key between the posts for the champions.Given a rare start during a season in which he has been hampered by injuries, Laffor took full advantage to move second-bottom Pretoria closer to relegation.The Liberian converted a Mzikayise Mashaba cross to give Sundowns the perfect start and tapped in a cross from Zimbabwean Khama Billiat at the far post for his second.Any doubts about the outcome were dispelled just before the hour as Billiat dispossessed an opponent and fed Laffor, who fired across goalkeeper Tristyn Coetsee into the far corner.From then to the final whistle Sundowns stroked the ball nonchalantly among themselves, content to retain possession and deprive the hosts of scoring chances.A dismal evening for Pretoria was summed up in stoppage time when substitute Thabiso Nkoana blazed over with the goal in his sights.“I wish to thank my team-mates,” said Laffor after receiving the official man of the match award.“It is a great feeling to be champions after a long season in which Sundowns fought on many domestic fronts and in Africa.“We stayed focused and believed in ourselves — that was a key factor in our championship success,” said the Monrovia-born footballer.