Global economy could lose up to 51 million jobs this year, says UN agency

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Global economy could lose up to 51 million jobs this year, says UN agency

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The International Labor Organization (ILO), a branch of the United Nations concerned with labor and workers’ rights issues, issued a report Wednesday explaining how the global economic crisis could create a global employment crisis by the end of the year.

“By the end of 2008 working poverty, vulnerable employment and unemployment were beginning to rise as the effects of the slowdown spread,” the report states. “If the recession deepens in 2009, as many forecasters expect, the global jobs crisis will worsen sharply.” Even for those who keep their jobs, the report predicts that “earnings and other conditions of employment will deteriorate.”

In a worst-case scenario, the ILO says 51 million jobs could be lost in 2009, meaning that 7.1% of the world’s working population would be out of a job. In a more realistic scenario, the report foresees a loss of 30 million jobs, with a global unemployment rate of 6.5%. The unemployment rate has increased in recent years, from 5.7% in 2007 to an estimated 6% in 2008.

Even the report’s most optimistic scenario for this year, a loss of 18 million jobs at an unemployment rate of 6.1%, is not much different than the ILO’s October 2008 prediction of 20 million jobs lost this year due to the financial crisis.

The report warns that developing countries in South Asia and Subsaharan Africa will be harshly affected by the economic crisis. Although working poverty – defined as having daily wages of US$2 or less – is on an overall decline, these regions are still characterized by poor working conditions, low salaries, and an insecure job market. This will only worsen in 2009, according to the ILO.

“Taking into account that a wage and salary job in poor regions may still not ensure all the components of a decent job, it becomes understandable that only a minority of working people have a job that is well paid, respects their fundamental rights and ensures some security in case of job loss, personal or family illnesses, or other difficulties.” The report says that by the end of 2008, nearly 53% of workers around the world could be in “vulnerable employment”.

In terms of actual unemployment, however, developed countries are the ones most likely to be affected by the downturn, as they are more tied to the global financial system. The unemployment rate in the European Union and other developed economies increased by 0.7 percentage points in 2008, the largest increase of all regions. “Globalization combined with rapid technological advances is another challenge for labour markets in the region,” the ILO says. “It is important for workers and employers to be ready and able to adjust quickly to change and to stiffer competition.”

A wage and salary job in poor regions may still not ensure all the components of a decent job…

Still, the unemployment rate of 6.4% in these developed countries is far less than in North Africa and the Middle East, which had unemployment rates of 10.3% and 9.4% respectively. East Asia had the lowest unemployment rate of the regions at 3.8%.

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The report urged global economies to take cooperative measures, including working with the United Nations, in order to stem the economic crisis. It also asks governments to address the “negative social consequences of globalization” by placing on emphasis an social justice-based programs targeted toward women, youth, and other “vulnerable groups”.

In particular, the ILO says governments should establish public infrastructure projects such as road construction, expand health insurance and unemployment benefits, and focus on the creation of green jobs when devising their stimulus plans. “When governments design fiscal stimulus packages, it is important that they consider employment-related goals, including explicit employment growth targets,” the report concluded.

“In the world, there remains a huge untapped labour potential, and economic growth and development could be much higher if everyone was given the chance of a decent job.”

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Warhol’s photo legacy spread by university exhibits

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Warhol’s photo legacy spread by university exhibits

February 17, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Evansville, Indiana, United States — This past week marked the opening night of an Andy Warhol exhibit at the University of Southern Indiana. USI’s art gallery, like 189 other educational galleries and museums around the country, is a recipient of a major Warhol donor program, and this program is cultivating new interest in Warhol’s photographic legacy. Wikinews reporters attended the opening and spoke to donors, exhibit organizers and patrons.

The USI art gallery celebrated the Thursday opening with its display of Warhol’s Polaroids, gelatin silver prints and several colored screen prints. USI’s exhibit, which is located in Evansville, Indiana, is to run from January 23 through March 9.

The McCutchan Art Center/Pace Galleries at USI bases its exhibit around roughly 100 Polaroids selected from its collection. The Polaroids were all donated by the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program, according to Kristen Wilkins, assistant professor of photography and curator of the exhibit. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts made two donations to USI Art Collections, in 2007 and a second recently.

Kathryn Waters, director of the gallery, expressed interest in further donations from the foundation in the future.

Since 2007 the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program has seeded university art galleries throughout the United States with over 28,000 Andy Warhol photographs and other artifacts. The program takes a decentralized approach to Warhol’s photography collection and encourages university art galleries to regularly disseminate and educate audiences about Warhol’s artistic vision, especially in the area of photography.

Contents

  • 1 University exhibits
  • 2 Superstars
  • 3 Warhol’s photographic legacy
  • 4 USI exhibit
  • 5 Sources

Wikinews provides additional video, audio and photographs so our readers may learn more.

Wilkins observed that the 2007 starting date of the donation program, which is part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, coincided with the 20th anniversary of Andy Warhol’s death in 1987. USI was not alone in receiving a donation.

K.C. Maurer, chief financial officer and treasurer at the Andy Warhol Foundation, said 500 institutions received the initial invitation and currently 190 universities have accepted one or more donations. Institutional recipients, said Mauer, are required to exhibit their donated Warhol photographs every ten years as one stipulation.

While USI is holding its exhibit, there are also Warhol Polaroid exhibits at the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York and an Edward Steichen and Andy Warhol exhibit at the Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. All have received Polaroids from the foundation.

University exhibits can reach out and attract large audiences. For example, the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro saw attendance levels reach 11,000 visitors when it exhibited its Warhol collection in 2010, according to curator Elaine Gustafon. That exhibit was part of a collaboration combining the collections from Duke University, located in Durham, North Carolina, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which also were recipients of donated items from the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program.

Each collection donated by the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program holds Polaroids of well-known celebrities. The successful UNC Greensboro exhibit included Polaroids of author Truman Capote and singer-songwriter Carly Simon.

“I think America’s obsession with celebrity culture is as strong today as it was when Warhol was living”, said Gustafon. “People are still intrigued by how stars live, dress and socialize, since it is so different from most people’s every day lives.”

Wilkins explained Warhol’s obsession with celebrities began when he first collected head shots as a kid and continued as a passion throughout his life. “He’s hanging out with the celebrities, and has kind of become the same sort of celebrity he was interested in documenting earlier in his career”, Wilkins said.

The exhibit at USI includes Polaroids of actor Dennis Hopper; musician Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran; publishers Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone Magazine and Carlo De Benedetti of Italy’s la Repubblica; disco club owner Steve Rubell of Studio 54; photographers Nat Finkelstein, Christopher Makos and Felice Quinto; and athletes Vitas Gerulaitis (tennis) and Jack Nicklaus (golf).

Wikinews observed the USI exhibit identifies and features Polaroids of fashion designer Halston, a former resident of Evansville.

University collections across the United States also include Polaroids of “unknowns” who have not yet had their fifteen minutes of fame. Cynthia Thompson, curator and director of exhibits at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, said, “These images serve as documentation of people in his every day life and art — one which many of us enjoy a glimpse into.”

Warhol was close to important touchstones of the 1960s, including art, music, consumer culture, fashion, and celebrity worship, which were all buzzwords and images Wikinews observed at USI’s opening exhibit.

He was also an influential figure in the pop art movement. “Pop art was about what popular American culture really thought was important”, Kathryn Waters said. “That’s why he did the Campbell Soup cans or the Marilyn pictures, these iconic products of American culture whether they be in film, video or actually products we consumed. So even back in the sixties, he was very aware of this part of our culture. Which as we all know in 2014, has only increased probably a thousand fold.”

“I think everybody knows Andy Warhol’s name, even non-art people, that’s a name they might know because he was such a personality”, Water said.

Hilary Braysmith, USI associate professor of art history, said, “I think his photography is equally influential as his graphic works, his more famous pictures of Marilyn. In terms of the evolution of photography and experimentation, like painting on them or the celebrity fascination, I think he was really ground-breaking in that regard.”

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The Polaroid format is not what made Warhol famous, however, he is in the company of other well-known photographers who used the camera, such as Ansel Adams, Chuck Close, Walker Evans, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Helmut Newton.

Wilkins said, “[Warhol] liked the way photo booths and the Polaroid’s front flash looked”. She explained how Warhol’s adoption of the Polaroid camera revealed his process. According to Wilkins, Warhol was able to reproduce the Polaroid photograph and create an enlargement of it, which he then could use to commit the image to the silk screen medium by applying paint or manipulating them further. One of the silk screens exhibited at USI this time was the Annie Oakley screen print called “Cowboys and Indians” from 1987.

Wilkins also said Warhol was both an artist and a businessperson. “As a way to commercialize his work, he would make a blue Marilyn and a pink Marilyn and a yellow Marilyn, and then you could pick your favorite color and buy that. It was a very practical salesman approach to his work. He was very prolific but very business minded about that.”

“He wanted to be rich and famous and he made lots of choices to go that way”, Wilkins said.

It’s Warhol. He is a legend.

Kiara Perkins, a second year USI art major, admitted she was willing to skip class Thursday night to attend the opening exhibit but then circumstances allowed for her to attend the exhibit. Why did she so badly want to attend? “It’s Warhol. He is a legend.”

For Kevin Allton, a USI instructor in English, Warhol was also a legend. He said, “Andy Warhol was the center of the Zeitgeist for the 20th century and everything since. He is a post-modern diety.”

Allton said he had only seen the Silver Clouds installation before in film. The Silver Clouds installation were silver balloons blown up with helium, and those balloons filled one of the smaller rooms in the gallery. “I thought that in real life it was really kind of magical,” Allton said. “I smacked them around.”

Elements of the Zeitgeist were also playfully recreated on USI’s opening night. In her opening remarks for attendees, Waters pointed out those features to attendees, noting the touches of the Warhol Factory, or the studio where he worked, that were present around them. She pointed to the refreshment table with Campbell’s Soup served with “electric” Kool Aid and tables adorned with colorful gumball “pills”. The music in the background was from such bands as The Velvet Underground.

The big hit of the evening, Wikinews observed from the long line, was the Polaroid-room where attendees could wear a Warhol-like wig or don crazy glasses and have their own Polaroid taken. The Polaroids were ready in an instant and immediately displayed at the entry of the exhibit. Exhibit goers then became part of the very exhibit they had wanted to attend. In fact, many people Wikinews observed took out their mobiles as they left for the evening and used their own phone cameras to make one further record of the moment — a photo of a photo. Perhaps they had learned an important lesson from the Warhol exhibit that cultural events like these were ripe for use and reuse. We might even call these exit instant snap shots, the self selfie.

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Children enjoy interacting with the “Silver Clouds” at the Andy Warhol exhibit.Image: Snbehnke.

Kathryn Waters opens the Andy Warhol exhibit at USI.Image: Snbehnke.

At the Andy Warhol exhibit, hosts document all the names of attendees who have a sitting at the Polaroid booth.Image: Snbehnke.

Curator Kristin Wilkins shares with attendees the story behind his famous Polaroids.Image: Snbehnke.

A table decoration at the exhibit where the “pills” were represented by bubble gum.Image: Snbehnke.

Two women pose to get their picture taken with a Polaroid camera. Their instant pics will be hung on the wall.Image: Snbehnke.

Even adults enjoyed the “Silver Clouds” installation at the Andy Warhol exhibit at USI.Image: Snbehnke.

Many people from the area enjoyed Andy Warhol’s famous works at the exhibit at USI.Image: Snbehnke.

Katie Waters talks with a couple in the Silver Clouds area.Image: Snbehnke.

Many people showed up to the new Andy Warhol exhibit, which opened at USI.Image: Snbehnke.

At the exhibit there was food and beverages inspired to look like the 1960s.Image: Snbehnke.

A woman has the giggles while getting her Polaroid taken.Image: Snbehnke.

A man poses to get his picture taken by a Polaroid camera, with a white wig and a pair of sunglasses.Image: Snbehnke.

Finished product of the Polaroid camera film of many people wanting to dress up and celebrate Andy Warhol.Image: Snbehnke.

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How To Purchase A Home In The State Of Missouri

February 17, 2018 · Filed under Surveyors

Submitted by: Shane Smith

The process of the purchase of a home in the State of Missouri begins with the purchaser approaching a Realtor. The Realtor is the agent of sellers and under the laws of the State of Missouri have specific and fiduciary duties towards the seller. The Realtor has a database of several homes put up for sale and can cater to the pricing level that purchasers need within the amount of loan the purchaser can raise. A realtor who is a member of the NAR ( The National Association Of Realtors) has access to the MLS or the multi listing service offered by the Association. This gives the purchaser the advantage of choosing the best housing option within budget and within preference.

Once a home is located the purchaser is required to give an offer in the form of a sale and purchase agreement. The sale and purchase agreement will include the price offered, the inspections required , the deadlines for the completion of each stage of the purchase transaction and the amount of money the purchaser can raise by loan. The seller is required under the laws of the State of Missouri to disclose potential home defects to the buyer. Once the seller and the purchaser sign the agreement it becomes a binding contract .

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The purchaser then employs certified inspectors to carry out inspections for structural defects, pest control, lead paint usage, radiation and other hazards. The inspection certificate will be shown by the purchaser to the lender to convince the lender of the strength of the building.

The purchaser hires an attorney, a real estate title company or a title trust company to conduct a title search to clear or cure any encumbrances on the property. The American Land Title Association has a list of title search professionals operating in the State of Missouri. Title searches in courts and public records will reveal any implied easement of necessity which is allowable under the laws of the State of Missouri or liens arising out of unpaid mortgages, unpaid structural workers and unpaid taxes. The purchaser should also buy a title insurance which will safeguard the property from future or invisible title claims.

Once the title of the property is cleared or cured by the seller by releasing the liens, the purchaser can shop for a loan that is customizable to needs of the purchaser. If the purchaser engages a credit rating company that helps the purchaser obtain documentation to pre qualify and pre approve the purchasers credit rating it will be easier for the purchaser to shop for the loan on the basis of the documentation.

On raising the loan the purchaser can make a down payment. When the lender is satisfied that all structural and title impediments are cleared the purchase can be closed. The purchaser should show proof of paying a year s premium on a home owners insurance at the closure and bring any documents that the lender may require. The passage of title from seller to buyer is recorded at the closure and the purchaser completes the purchase of a home in the State of Missouri.

About the Author:

Missouri Title Settlement

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=209734&ca=Real+Estate

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News briefs:August 02, 2010

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News briefs:August 02, 2010

February 17, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

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Australia: Victorian government to trial driverless vehicles on public roads

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Australia: Victorian government to trial driverless vehicles on public roads

February 17, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Yesterday, the state government of Victoria, Australia announced their decision to trial self-driving vehicles on two of the state’s major connecting motorways, the CityLink and Tullamarine Freeway. The trial is to use autonomous vehicles from automobile companies including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and Tesla. The two-year trial is to have three phases.

The cars are to drive alongside commuters, but in public testing a driver is always to be present, as Victorian law requires drivers always keep a hand on the steering wheel. However, in occasional closures of the Burnley Tunnel, with no other drivers to endanger, the cars are to be tested with nobody in the vehicle.

Lane assist, cruise control, and recognition of traffic signs are in the trial’s first phase, expected to complete before the end of the year. This includes monitoring how the driver-less cars respond to road conditions, including lane markings and electronic speed signs.

“Victoria is at the forefront of automated vehicle technology — we’re investing in this trial to explore ways that this technology can be used to reduce crashes and keep people safe on our roads”, said Luke Donnellan, the Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety. He noted, “Ninety per cent of the fault of accidents is human error […] so we know that if we can take out human error we will have less accidents”.

Tim Hansen, Victoria Police’s Acting Assistant Commissioner, said that police had founded a project team to investigate how self-driving vehicles would change policing on roads. “Can we intercept vehicles more safely to avoid pursuits and ramming?”, he asked.

The trial is a partnership between the state government, Victoria’s road management authority VicRoads, owner of the CityLink toll road Transurban, and insurance company RACV.

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NYSE to merge with Archipelago; NASDAQ to buy Instinet

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NYSE to merge with Archipelago; NASDAQ to buy Instinet

February 17, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Sunday, April 24, 2005

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) announced last Wednesday that it has agreed definitively to merge with Chicago-based Archipelago Exchange (ArcaEx) and form a new publicly traded, for-profit company known as NYSE Group. This announcement was followed two days later by NASDAQ®, which independently announced a definitive agreement to purchase Instinet Group.

Archipelago and Instinet are innovative e-trading (electronic trading) companies, and formerly were the two largest American rivals to NYSE and NASDAQ, in recent years taking increasingly large portions of their market share. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other regulatory agencies still have to review and approve the transactions, particularly with respect to US securities law and antitrust law, in order to ensure that the marketplace remains lawful and competitive.

Other pending issues for NASDAQ include obtaining the approval of Instinet shareholders, as well as customary closing conditions. NYSE must obtain the approval of its members and Archipelago shareholders.

These changes, a reaction to increased e-trading competition and a changed regulatory environment, will result in NASDAQ and NYSE trading each other’s shares and attempting to grab market share, which many hope will drive down transaction costs and ultimately benefit consumers. However, at least one commentator, Dan Ackman writing in Forbes, has noted that the trading commission at the NYSE currently averages less than a nickel (US$0.05) per share, and was less enthusiastic about potential efficiency gains from electronic trading at the exchange.

The transactions are also intended to make the two leading American stock exchanges more globally competitive with such exchanges as the London Stock Exchange, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the Toronto Stock Exchange, and the Australian Stock Exchange located in Sydney.

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Motorcycle Fairings}

February 16, 2018 · Filed under Used Parts

Motorcycle Fairings

by

Mark LeeMotorcycle fairings can be important to a motorbike depending on the riders needs. A motorcycle fairing is an outer shell that attaches to a motorbike. The purpose of the fairing is to reduce air drag. Therefore, bikers who race are indeed in need of the best motorcycle fairing possible. Another purpose of a fairing is to protect the rider from hazards which may be in the air, such as rocks flying up towards the bike. The types of motorcycle fairings vary from bike to bike.The outer shell is made of a high quality ABS plastic which is important to protect the rider. The shell attaches to the sides of the motorcycle, but shells can also be found for the front and back as well. The back and front sections are more for decoration than anything else.Motorcycle fairings are attached to the sides of the motorbike and therefore must fit precisely. For this reason, motorcycle fairings are not one size fits all, but instead each motorbike manufacturer has its own appropriate fairing. For example, Honda and Yamaha motorcycle fairings are not interchangeable. Each model additionally has its own motorcycle fairing since each model varies. It is important to choose the right motorcycle fairing because they are attached with screws into predrilled holes on the motorbike. The wrong fairing will not attach properly.Motorcycle fairings

, although being necessary for racing, can suit a riders design taste as fairings come in all different colors and designs. Fairings come in solid colors or designs of two and three colors. Popular colors are blue, green, white, and red. Designs, such as flames, are also available for purchase. Logos depicting the bike manufacturer can also be purchased to further accessorize the fairing.

Some companies allow riders to design their own motorcycle fairing. A rider interested in designing ones own fairing simply contacts the company to send in a tentative design. Most companies can customize any fairing to meet the customers satisfaction.Motorcycle fairings can be found for purchase online through many different companies. When choosing the right company, one wants to look for a company who is a direct manufacturer. This company will create and sell the motorcycle fairing instead of having the job third partied out. This ensures customers are getting quality effective motorcycle fairings. Motorcycle fairings

are essential to the safety of the rider, but customizing ones motorbike is enjoyable by bikers as well since their bike is a prized possession.

Custom Cycle Pros INC is a leading online supplier of aftermarket

motorcycle fairing

kits from Honda, Yamaha,

Kawasaki

, Suzuki and Ducati. Our direct OEM replacement fit quality product along with our unmatched customer service has earned Custom Cycle Pros INC a reputation that exceeds all our competitors.

Article Source:

eArticlesOnline.com}

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Australia/2006

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Australia/2006

February 16, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Contents

  • 1 January
  • 2 February
  • 3 March
  • 4 April
  • 5 May
  • 6 June
  • 7 July
  • 8 August
  • 9 September
  • 10 October
  • 11 November
  • 12 December

[edit]

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Injunction fails to stop decision on waterfront stadium in New Zealand

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Injunction fails to stop decision on waterfront stadium in New Zealand

February 16, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Today an injunction that was filed in the High Court yesterday to stop the Auckland City Council and Auckland Regional Council from telling the Government which stadium they prefer has failed. The decision is over a new stadium located on the waterfront of Auckland, New Zealand or an upgrade of the already existing, Eden Park, Auckland. The stadium is for the final of the Rugby World Cup 2011, which New Zealand is hosting.

The injunction was filed by a group of five Aucklanders who believe that the decision is being rushed. The injunction was filed in the name of a private citizen to represent a group of five Aucklanders. Rodney Hide, leader of the ACT party and Member of Parliament (MP) and MP for the Green party, Keith Locke, are helping the fight for the injunction as they believe the Aucklanders have a strong case.

Justice John Priestley said that the group did not need this injunction because they could fight the stadium decision in the future by different means. A second injunction has already been filed for two days, starting December 11.

Mayor of Auckland, Dick Hubbard, said: “The council’s advisors have informed that processes have been proper and appropriate.”

Rodney Harrison, Queens Counsel (QC), said: “The group that lodged the injunction were Auckland ratepayers, residents and concerned citizens but none of whom could be called high profile. I have no idea what those decisions might be. Exactly how the defendants (local government) react to central Government requests or pressure is a matter for them.”

ARC chairman, Mike Lee attacked his own counsel Brian Latimore for failing to follow instructions at today’s High Court injunction hearing. The instruction were “not to oppose any injunction, merely to assist the court by explaining what was going on and leave the argument to the judge and the other parties.”

Mr Lee said: “We were there as peacekeepers not combatants and it seems this guy has gone in and opened fire.”

Patrick McGuire, one of the five Aucklanders who had sought the injunction, said that Mr Hide had introduced all of them to each other after they each wrote a letter to him with their concerns. Mr McGuire said it requires “public input”.

Mr Hide said that he “had acted as a middle-man, arranging for the members of the group to meet with lawyers.” Mr Locke and Mr Hide are working together because they are concerned the legal processes of the decision over which stadium will be chosen and how the decision will be made. Mr Hide said he did not like the waterfront stadium, “I’m not a lawyer but the legal advice we have had is that the injunction has a high chance of succeeding.”

The two councils, Auckland City and Auckland Regional, have been consulting the affected groups to see which decision they should go with. The Auckland City Council is currently in a meeting discussing the stadium decision and the Regional Council will do it tomorrow.

If the waterfront stadium was chosen then the stadium will be located on Ports of Auckland land and they want a guarantee that their running of the ports will not be affected. Denis Carlisle, president of the local Maritime union, said: “The Ports of Auckland are asking for guarantees that they will not suffer any financial loss from the stadium project, and likewise the Maritime Union will be seeking compensation for our members for any loss of work. The issue was about safeguarding Port of Auckland’s role as a major working port.”

“[The Ports of Auckland] is one of the key gateways between New Zealand and the global economy.”

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Explosion in San Francisco injures one, cause unknown

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Explosion in San Francisco injures one, cause unknown

February 16, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Friday, August 19, 2005

An explosion from an underground utility chamber in downtown San Francisco severely injured a woman and shattered a window at a Ralph Lauren clothing store shortly after 10:00 a.m. Pacific time Friday. According to a caller to KCBS radio, a woman was engulfed in flames after the explosion triggered a fire in the store. The fire was quickly put out.

A bomb squad is currently investigating the explosion, and the cause has yet to be determined. One official said the explosion may have been caused by an electrical transformer. A witness described a fireball coming out of the side of the building

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. company spokesman Paul Moreno has stated that “there was no indication of a gas leak.” Moreno also described the aftermath of the blast. “The explosion did displace manhole covers — two round steel ones — and it also displaced a concrete cover as well,” Moreno said.

Some accounts have described a rift in the sidewalk caused by the explosion below.

Construction worker Tom Demartini, who was sitting in his truck outside the Ralph Lauren store, stated he saw the sidewalk rise up six or seven inches. “It sounded like a big poof, then there was a lot of smoke,” Demartini said. “One woman looked like she was badly burned.”

The burned woman was taken to the emergency room at St. Francis Hospital. Hospital spokeswoman Linda Gillespie had no immediate comment on her condition. Her name was not released.

Workers in a nearby office building described how the blast shook their buildings and that they thought it was an earthquake. According to one woman, the elevator in her building stopped.

Scores of police have evacuated buildings several blocks around the explosion. Kearny street between Sutter and Market has been closed to both vehicles and pedestrians.

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