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New 52km bike trail for Otago

Running Kiwi Kids News

Work has started in Otago on a new 52km cycleway.The new trail will be called the Lake Dunstan Trail.It runs from Clyde to Cromwell through the Cromwell Gorge, past the Clyde Dam.
'Work has started in Otago on a new 52km cycleway.The new trail will be called the Lake Dunstan Trail.It runs from Clyde to Cromwell through the Cromwell Gorge, past the Clyde Dam.The first part of the trail is expected to be finished by this summer, with the rest due to be open by next year.The track will be an extension of the Great Rides of the Central Otago Rail Trail and newer Roxburgh Gorge Trail.The trail would be part of the $26 million New Zealand Cycle Trail Project. . The post New 52km bike trail for Otago appeared first on Kiwi Kids News .'

Sun Shines on Ultra-Trail Australia

Running Adventure Magazine

7000 trail runners and their supporters descended on Katoomba’s Scenic World and the surrounding World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park today for the 12th edition of what is now the third largest trail running festival in the world,
'7000 trail runners and their supporters descended on Katoomba’s Scenic World and the surrounding World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park today for the 12 th  edition of what is now the third largest trail running festival in the world, Ultra-Trail Australia. Conditions were perfect, with 50km and 100km runners treated to stunning blue skies and sunshine for the entire day, making it one of the best race days the event has seen in years. Polish runner Marcin Swierc claimed victory in the premier 100km in an impressive 9:31:15. In the women’s race, it was homegrown Amy Lamprecht from Launceston who tore off the front of the race and achieved a one-hour personal best and winning time of 11:03:28, claiming an incredible 11 th  place overall. The men’s 100km race was dramatic, with Newcastle athlete Vlad Shatrov leading aggressively for more than 50km until foot pain forced him to retire injured. Then a Cinderella story unfolded as Sydney’s Jono O’Loughlin closed in on the lead. O’Loughlin is one of only four founding runners, having participated in every 100km edition race since its inception 12 years ago. He chased hard to close the gap and came home second for an emotional finish in a time of 09:42:28, where he told his wife “I ran my heart out all day”. Sydney’s Morgan Lindqvist rounded out the men’s podium in a time of 09:43:45. It was a truly international podium in the women’s 100km race with New Caledonia’s Angelique Plaire finishing second in 12:05:18 ahead of Spain’s Emma Roca 12:14:23. Sensationally, Roca edged out New Zealand’s Fiona Hayvice by less than a minute, even after running the equivalent of more than seven City-to-Surf’s. In the 50km, runners covered more than 8,000 mountainside stairs before claiming their hard-earned finisher’s medal. Sydney locals Rhett Gibson and Gemma Jenkins were first male and female home in times of 4:25:18 and 5:13:46 respectively. With over 1000 runners still out on course (as at Saturday evening) as the third day of Ultra-Trail Australia turns to night, spectators and commentators in the finish chute are reaching for their puffer jackets and beanies. Inside, sweat-drenched finishers gather under heaters and blankets on portable couches in front of a cinema-sized screen to watch friends and family finish well into the night. The real stars are yet to cross the line, with many runners expected to spend the cold Katoomba night marching ever closer to their dream, however exhausting, of a 100km trail ultramarathon finish. For full results:  https://uta.livetrail.net/ Male 100km 1             Marcin Swierc                   09:31:15 2             Jono O’Loughlin                09:42:28 3             Morgan Lindqvist              09:43:45 4             Justin Whitley                    09:56:18 5             Mike Carroll                       10:19:00 Female 100km 1             Amy Lamprecht                11:03:28 2             Angélique Plaire               12:05:18 3             Emma Roca                       12:14:23 4             Fiona Hayvice                    12:15:18 5             Emilie Tan                          12:17:55 Male 50km 1             Rhett Gibson                      4:25:18 2             Tom Brimelow                   4:32:25 3             Mick Donges                      4:34:03 4             Gerald Macpherson         4:34:31 5             Andrius Ramonas             4:39:01 Female 50km 1             Gemma Jenkins                 5:13:46 2             Lucy Bartholomew           5:15:48 3             Jessica Haro Ramos         5:37:47 4             Caitlin Perkins                    5:39:51 5             Sasha Taplin                       5:46:38'

How to end Afghanistan war as longest conflict moves towards fragile peace

Running LiveNews.co.nz

Source: University of Waikato Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato The longest-running war appears to be coming to an end. The Taliban has been running an armed rebellion in Afghanistan since being dislodged from power in a US-led invasion
'Source: University of Waikato Alexander Gillespie , University of Waikato The longest-running war appears to be coming to an end. The Taliban has been running an armed rebellion in Afghanistan since being dislodged from power in a US-led invasion following September 11 2001. Recent high-level negotiations between the two sides in the 18-year war did not produce a breakthrough, but “ significant progress ”, leading to “ improved ” conditions for peace. The fact that the primary belligerents, the Taliban and the United States, are talking directly is essential. Any peaceful pathway going forwards without their direct involvement is impossible. But to end the killing, all sides are going to have to give up something, to achieve their greater goals. Read more: What will come after a US withdrawal from Afghanistan? Longest-running conflict Although the losses in the Afghanistan war are not as bad as either the American war in Vietnam (just over 58,000 military casualties and between 1 and 3 million civilians or enemy) or the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan (maybe 1 million civilians , 90,000 Mujahideen, 18,000 Afghan troops and 14,500 Soviet soldiers), the record in Afghanistan is still difficult reading. The American death toll is a little over 2,200 , while the wider losses (civilians and enemy) are well over 100,000. Reliable estimates suggest more than 45,000 Afghani military have been killed since 2014 alone. The annual civilian death toll continues to climb, with 3,804 deaths recorded in 2018. At the same time, the amount of territory that rebel groups control (14.5%) or is contested (29.2%) or under government control (56.3%) is an unexpected result, given nearly two decades of combat. The significance of talking to the Taliban directly cannot be overstated. When the Mujahideen were not directly involved in the Geneva Accords that ended the Soviet conflict in Afghanistan, the results were a disaster. No sooner had the Soviets left the country, the Mujahideen denounced the agreement (even though Pakistan had been negotiating on their behalf), saying they were not part of it . Their forces then took three years to overrun most of the country. Negotiated peace The fact that it will be a negotiated end to the conflict, as opposed to an imposed and unconditional one, is significant. Negotiated and conditional agreements are often cast as “peace with honour”, whereby the side that wants to exit the most prioritises what it is willing to give away while still appearing to be in control. For example, with the end of the American involvement in the Vietnam war, the core of the Paris Peace Accords of early 1973, the primary goal of the North Vietnamese was the withdrawal of all US and allied forces from the region. The primary goal for Nixon was the return of 1,056 prisoners of war . When the Geneva Accords ended the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, the primary exchange was about an exit of Russian soldiers, in return for mutual commitments from the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan  not to interfere in each other’s country. In both instances, a swag of secondary considerations formed part of the package. In the case of Vietnam, there were supplementary provisions for a ceasefire that was to be monitored by independent countries and a National Council of Reconciliation and Concord to implement democracy and organise free elections in the south. In the case of the Geneva Accords, the return of Afghani refugees was an important consideration, as were mutual commitments “to prevent any assistance to … or tolerance of terrorist groups, saboteurs or subversive agents against the other High Contracting Party”. Main considerations In the current deliberations, the most important thing the Taliban want is the exit of all foreign troops from Afghanistan. This is possible, with both the Paris and Geneva accords providing precedents. The most important thing the  Americans want is not only an exit of their troops, but a commitment that the Taliban will not, again, host any groups involved in terrorist activities against the US. This demand is consistent with the original American war aims and the Geneva precedent is useful. The harder part will be working out the assurances that such promises are kept. Where negotiations will get much more difficult is with the plethora of secondary considerations. In the context of Afghanistan, this will cover issues such as direct dialogue with the Afghani government and a comprehensive ceasefire. This is easier said than done as it will require the Taliban to accept the legitimacy of the Afghani political system (and whichever government is in power) and the democracy that placed them in power. The flip side of this, both nationally and internationally, is that the Taliban will have to lose their “terrorist” classification, which the UN Security Council has applied consistently since the end of the 20th century . This designation has placed strong military, financial and diplomatic restrictions on the Taliban, which made them outlaws in the eyes of the international community. This will have to be reversed, as the declared terrorists of yesterday become the legitimate powerbrokers of tomorrow. Read more: A peace agreement in Afghanistan won’t last if there are no women at the table The agenda should cover commitments to the most basic human rights ( women’s rights in particular), what to do about almost 2.5 million refugees from Afghanistan , and how to deal with the fact that Afghanistan is now the world’s leading (and rapidly expanding) producer of illegal opium . The opposing sides need to work out how to ensure a comprehensive ceasefire, as well as its links to ongoing economic, diplomatic and military support for any future governing regime in Kabul, especially if the ceasefire is breached. When the Americans exited Vietnam, they promised their allies in South Vietnam that American support in all other avenues would continue. But once the Americans returned home and their country became engrossed in other matters such as Watergate, the promises were forgotten. Saigon fell, a few years later, to the very enemy they had negotiated a peace treaty with. Alexander Gillespie , Professor of Law, University of Waikato This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article . MIL OSI'