Wolfowitz picked for top spot at World Bank

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Wolfowitz picked for top spot at World Bank

Friday, March 18, 2005

The White House announced the selection of Paul Wolfowitz to head the World Bank, replacing John Wolfensohn who retires as acting president after 10 years. The switch is expected to occur sometime in June.

The choice of Wolfowitz is raising controversy in Europe and developing nations. Known as hawkish and outspoken, Wolfowitz was a pro-Iraqi war neo-conservative in his role as deputy Secretary of Defense, and a chief architect in the build up to war with Iraq. Some question whether Wolfowitz, who was criticized for brushing aside European and NATO calls for caution before the Iraq war, would use the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as tool to extend U.S. foreign policy interests.

Historically, it has been the White House’s prerogative to name the candidate because the U.S. holds a majority on the 24 member board, but board members from nations other than the U.S. are seeking their own interviews to qualify the candidate before a change is made. “The executive directors have agreed to conduct informal meetings over the coming days with the US nominee as part of the consultative process.” the IMF said in a statement. “Thereafter, the executive directors will meet in a formal session to select the president at which time an official announcement of the outcome will be made,” it said. The vote is set for March 31, the same day Wolfensohn retires.

Rob Nichols, the US Treasury spokesperson, said Wolfowitz has begun scheduling meetings with board members and that, “Our nominee… looks forward to meeting with and listening to members of the World Bank board.” Reuters reported. In the meantime, Wolfowitz has worked to assure those with concerns of him, saying he would come with an open mind and no political program.

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Talks with TGWU and Gate Gourmet to resume later today

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Talks with TGWU and Gate Gourmet to resume later today

January 10, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Transport and General Worker’s Union and Gate Gourmet, the company that laid off 500 workers after workers staged unofficial strike action, will attend further talks held at a conciliation service by the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) on Saturday.

The director of Gate Gourmet, Richard Wells, denied that he was being “heavy-handed” over the dismissals. He insisted that the people affected were spoken to, and given written warnings before they were sacked.

As a result of British Airways (BA) staff at Heathrow joining Gate Gourmet’s staff in the strike action, BA are running 50% of their short-haul flights, and 40% of their long haul flights today from 0600 BST/UTC+1. They are expecting to add more flights to the schedule as the day progresses, so passengers are advised to check the British Airways website.

Analysts said that the disruption may lose BA next to £40m because of the refunds that the company are paying out, loss of flight revenue, and the costs of accommodating passengers in nearby hotels.

Only passengers with confirmed reservations have been allowed to board flights at Heathrow. Barriers have been placed around Terminal 4 to stop people without reservations from joining flights. There are limited catering services on-board the flights.

British Airways advises passengers to telephone +44 (0)800 727 800 or check their website before travelling to the airport. They also said that they would refund customers that had to stay in a hotel on Friday night up to £100.

It is noted by passengers, though, that the advice line can be engaged for long periods, so users of the telephone line need to be patient.

Qantas, Finnair, GB Airways, Sri Lankan Airlines, and British Mediterranean are also affected, as they were serviced by BA’s ground staff. Their telephone numbers are listed below.

  • Qantas: +44 (0)870 000 0123
  • Sri Lankan Airlines: +44 (0)208 538 2000
  • Finnair: +44 (0)8705 997711
  • GB Airways: +44 (0)870 850 9850
  • British Mediterranean Airlines: +44 (0)870 850 9850

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iPad 2 goes on sale in United States

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iPad 2 goes on sale in United States

January 8, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The new version of Apple Inc.’s tablet computing device, the iPad 2, has gone on sale in the United States at Apple Stores and a number of other retailers (including Wal-Mart, Target, Sam’s Club, Best Buy, Verizon, and AT&T), a shift from last year’s launch which was only available through Apple’s stores. The product will go on sale internationally on March 25.

The device was announced on March 2 at an event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California. CEO Steve Jobs emerged from sick leave to make the announcement.

The iPad 2 has an all-new design and has several improvements over the original iPad. The device runs on a dual-core Apple A5 CPU. According to Jobs, the CPU’s new dual-core capability enhances multitasking and doubles the processing speed. Apple additionally introduced a magnetic ‘Smart Cover’ accessory that snaps to the front screen of the device along with several new apps ported from the Mac OS X operating system and the iPhone. These include iMovie, GarageBand, and Photo Booth. The new iPad introduces front and rear cameras which enable FaceTime and video. The new tablet is fifteen percent lighter and 33 percent thinner than the previous version—thinner than an iPhone 4—and has beveled edges. It is available in black and white and continues to be capable of ten hours of battery life on a single charge.

The announcement came after months of rumors about the successor to the original iPad. Competitors have designed tablets to compete with the iPad, such as Motorola’s Xoom powered by the Android operating system. Apple, who normally follows a yearly product cycle, has pressed its iPad successor into the marketplace almost a full month earlier than usual.

Tablet computers have existed for years but, until recently, have not been popular amongst consumers. Tablet sales totaled 90,000 in 2009. Apple sold nearly fifteen million iPads worldwide in 2010, generating US$2 billion in revenue within three months. In 2010, Apple held a 75% share of the tablet computer market. According to one analyst, even with competition, iPads will still make up at least 20 million of the more than 24 million tablet computers sold in the United States in 2011. An analyst predicted ‘conservatively’ that 35 million iPad 2s will be sold in 2011. One analyst credits Apple’s enormous App Store for the iPad’s continued domination. Apple also holds an advantage in price over other tablets, many of which are still first generation devices. An analyst at J.P. Morgan predicts an overabundance of tablets caused by faltering demand. This could have drastic effects on competitors.

The iPad connects to the Internet over Wi-Fi and 3G models of the new device can connect to the wireless networks of AT&T or Verizon Wireless. The iPad 2 will start at US$499—the same starting price of the original iPad. The equivalent model of the original iPad has been reduced to US$399.

Timeline of Apple touchscreen devices

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Wikinews interviews Australian Paralympic skiers Jessica Gallagher and Eric Bickerton

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Wikinews interviews Australian Paralympic skiers Jessica Gallagher and Eric Bickerton

January 8, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sunday, Wikinews sat down with Australian blind Paralympic skier Jessica Gallagher and her guide Eric Bickerton who are participating in a national team training camp in Vail, Colorado.

((Wikinews)) This is Jessica Gallagher. She’s competing at the IPC NorAm cup this coming week.

Jessica Gallagher: I’m not competing at Copper Mountain.

((WN)) You’re not competing?

Jessica Gallagher: No.

((WN)) You’re just here?

Jessica Gallagher: We’re in training. I’ve got a race at Winner Park, but we aren’t racing at Copper.

((WN)) So. Your guide is Eric Bickerton, and he did win a medal in women’s downhill blind skiing.

Jessica Gallagher: Yes!

((WN)) Despite the fact that he is neither a woman nor blind.

Jessica Gallagher: No, he loves telling people that he was the first Australian female Paralympic woman to win a medal. One of the ironies.

((WN)) The IPC’s website doesn’t list guides on their medal things. Are they doing that because they don’t want — you realise this is not all about you per se — Is it because they are trying to keep off the able bodied people to make the Paralympics seem more pure for people with disabilities?

Jessica Gallagher: Look, I don’t know but I completely disagree if they don’t have the guides up there. Because it’s pretty plain and simple: I wouldn’t be skiing if it wasn’t with him. Being legally blind you do have limitations and that’s just reality. We’re certainly able to overcome most of them. And when it comes to skiing on a mountain the reason I’m able to overcome having 8 per cent vision is that I have a guide. So I think it’s pretty poor if they don’t have the information up there because he does as much work as I do. He’s an athlete as much as I am. If he crashes we’re both out. He’s drug tested. He’s as important as I am on a race course. So I would strongly hope that they would put it up there. Here’s Eric!
Eric Bickerton: Pleased to met you.

((WN)) We’ve been having a great debate about whether or not you’ve won a medal in women’s blind downhill skiing.

Eric Bickerton: Yes, I won it. I’ve got it.

((WN)) I found a picture of you on the ABC web site. Both of you were there, holding your medals up. The IPC’s web site doesn’t credit you.

Jessica Gallagher: I’m surprised by that.
Eric Bickerton: That’s unusual, yeah.

((WN)) One of the things that was mentioned earlier, most delightful about you guys is you were racing and “we were halfway down the course and we lost communication!” How does a blind skier deal with…

Jessica Gallagher: Funny now. Was bloody scary.

((WN)) What race was that?

Jessica Gallagher: It was the Giant Slalom in Vancouver at the Paralympics. Actually, we were talking about this before. It’s one of the unique aspects of wearing headsets and being able to communicate. All the time while we were on the mountain earlier today, Eric had a stack and all he could hear as he was tumbling down was me laughing.
Eric Bickerton: Yes… I wasn’t feeling the love.
Jessica Gallagher: But um… what was the question please?

((WN)) I couldn’t imagine anything scarier than charging down the mountain at high speed and losing that communications link.

Jessica Gallagher: The difficulty was in the Giant Slalom, it was raining, and being used to ski racing, I had never experienced skiing in the rain, and as soon as I came out of the start hut I lost all my sight, which is something that I had never experienced before. Only having 8 per cent you treasure it and to lose all of it was a huge shock. And then when I couldn’t hear Eric talking I realised that our headsets had malfunctioned because they’d actually got rain into them. Which normally wouldn’t happen in the mountains because it would be snow. So it was the scariest moment of my life. Going down it was about getting to the bottom in one piece, not racing to win a medal, which was pretty difficult I guess or frustrating, given that it was the Paralympics.

((WN)) I asked the standing guys upstairs: who is the craziest amongst all you skiers: the ones who can’t see, the ones on the mono skis, or the one-legged or no-armed guys. Who is the craziest one on the slopes?

Jessica Gallagher: I think the completely blind. If I was completely blind I wouldn’t ski. Some of the sit skiers are pretty crazy as well.

((WN)) You have full control over your skis though. You have both legs and both arms.

Jessica Gallagher: True, but you’ve got absolutely no idea where you’re going. And you have to have complete reliance on a person. Trust that they are able to give you the right directions. That you are actually going in the right direction. It’s difficult with the sight that I have but I couldn’t imagine doing it with no sight at all.

((WN)) The two of you train together all the time?

Eric Bickerton: Pretty well, yes.
Jessica Gallagher: Yes, everything on snow basically is together. One of the difficult things I guess is we have to have that 100 per cent communication and trust between one another and a lot of the female skiers on the circuit, their guide is their husband. That’s kind of a trust relationship. Eric does say that at times it feels like we’re married, but…
Eric Bickerton: I keep checking for my wallet.
Jessica Gallagher: …it’s always about constantly trying to continue to build that relationship so that eventually I just… You put your life in his hands and whatever he says, you do, kind of thing.

((WN)) Of the two sport, winter sports and summer sports person, how do you find that balance between one sport and the other sport?

Jessica Gallagher: It’s not easy. Yeah, it’s not easy at all. Yesterday was my first day on snow since March 16, 2010. And that was mainly because of the build up obviously for London and the times when I was going to ski I was injured. So, to not have skied for that long is obviously a huge disadvantage when all the girls have been racing the circuit since… and it’s vice versa with track and field. So I’ve got an amazing team at the Victorian Institute of Sport. I call them my little A Team of strength and mission coach, physio, osteopath, soft tissue therapist, sport psychologist, dietician. Basically everyone has expertise in the area and we come together and having meetings and plan four years ahead and say at the moment Sochi’s the goal, but Rio’s still in the back of the head, and knowing my body so well now that I’ve done both sports for five years means that I can know where they’ve made mistakes, and I know where things have gone really well, so we can plan ahead for that and prepare so that the things that did go wrong won’t happen again. To make sure that I get to each competition in peak tone.

((WN)) What things went wrong?

Jessica Gallagher: Mainly injuries. So, that’s the most difficult thing with doing two sports. Track and field is an explosive power; long jump and javelin are over four to six seconds of maximum effort. Ski racing, you are on a course, for a minute to a minute and a half, so it’s a speed endurance event. And the two couldn’t be further apart in terms of the capabilities and the capacities that you need as an athlete. So one of the big things I guess, after the Vancouver campaign, being in ski boots for so long, I had lost a lot of muscle from my calves so they weren’t actually firing properly, and when you’re trying to run and jump and you don’t have half of your leg working properly it makes it pretty difficult to jump a good distance. Those kind of things. So I’m skiing now but when I’m in a gym doing recovery and rehab or prehab stuff, I’ve got calf raising, I’ve got hamstring exercises because I know they’re the weaker areas that if I’m not working on at the moment they’re two muscle groups that don’t get worked during ski. That I need to do the extra stuff on the side so that when I transition back to track and field I don’t have any soft tissue injuries like strains because of the fact that I know they’re weaker so…

((WN)) Do you prefer one over the other? Do you say “I’d really rather be out on the slopes than jogging and jumping the same…

Jessica Gallagher: I get asked that a lot. I think I love them for different reasons and I hate them for different reasons so I think at the end of the day I would prefer ski racing mainly because of the lifestyle. I think ski racing is a lot harder than track and field to medal in but I love the fact that I get to come to amazing resorts and get to travel the world. But I think, at the end of the day I get the best of both worlds. By the time my body has had enough of cold weather and of traveling I get to go home and be in the summer and be on a track in such a stable environment, which is something that visually impaired people love because it’s familiar and you know what to expect. Whereas in this environment it’s not, every racecourse we use is completely different.

((WN)) I heard you were an average snowboarder. How disappointed were you when you when they said no to your classifications?

Jessica Gallagher: Very disappointed! For Sochi you mean?

((WN)) Yes

Jessica Gallagher: Yeah. I mean we weren’t really expecting it. Mainly because they’ve brought in snowboard cross, and I couldn’t imagine four blind athletes and four guides going down the same course together at the same time. That would be a disaster waiting to happen. But I guess having been a snowboarder for… as soon as we found snowboarding had been put in, I rang Steve, the head coach, and said can we do snowboarding? When I rang Steve I said, don’t worry, I’ve already found out that Eric can snowboard. It would have been amazing to have been able to compete in both. Maybe next games.

((WN)) So you also snowboard?

Eric Bickerton: Yes.

((WN)) So she does a lot of sports and you also do a crazy number of sports?

Eric Bickerton: Uh, yeah?

((WN)) Summer sports as well as winter sports?

Eric Bickerton: Me?

((WN)) Yes.

Eric Bickerton: Through my sporting career. I’ve played rugby union, rugby league, soccer, early days, I played for the Australian Colts, overseas, rugby union. I spend most of my life sailing competitively and socially. Snow skiing. Yeah. Kite boarding and trying to surf again.

((WN)) That’s a lot of sports! Does Jessica need guides for all of them?

Eric Bickerton: I’ve played sport all my life. I started with cricket. I’ve played competition squash. I raced for Australia in surfing sailing. Played rugby union.

((WN)) Most of us have played sport all our lives, but there’s a difference between playing sport and playing sport at a high level, and the higher level you go, the more specialized you tend to become. And here [we’re] looking at two exceptions to that.

Eric Bickerton: I suppose that I can round that out by saying to you that I don’t think that I would ever reach the pinnacle. I’m not prepared to spend ten years dedicated to that one thing. And to get that last ten per cent or five percent of performance at that level. That’s what you’ve got to do. So I’ll play everything to a reasonable level, but to get to that really, really highest peak level you have to give up everything else.

((WN)) When you go to the pub, do your mates make fun of you for having a medal in women’s blind skiing?

Eric Bickerton: No, not really.
Jessica Gallagher: Usually they say “I love it!” and “This is pretty cool!”
Eric Bickerton: We started at the Olympics. We went out into the crowd to meet Jess’ mum, and we had our medals. There were two of us and we were waiting for her mum to come back and in that two hour period there was at least a hundred and fifty people from all over the world who wore our medals and took photographs. My medal’s been all over Australia.

((WN)) Going to a completely different issue, blind sports have three classifications, that are medical, unlike everybody else, who’ve got functional ability [classifications]. You’ve got the only medical ones. Do you think the blind classifications are fair in terms of how they operate? Or should there be changes? And how that works in terms of the IPC?

Jessica Gallagher: Yeah. I think the system they’ve got in place is good, in terms of having the three classes. You’ve got completely blind which are B1s, less than 5 percent, which are B2, and less than 10 percent is a B3. I think those systems work really well. I guess one of the difficult things with vision impairment is that there are so many diseases and conditions that everyone’s sight is completely different, and they have that problem with the other classes as well. But in terms of the class system itself I think having the three works really well. What do you think?
Eric Bickerton: I think the classification system itself’s fine. It’s the one or two grey areas, people: are they there or are they there?

((WN)) That affected you in Beijing.

Jessica Gallagher: Yeah. That was obviously really disappointing, but, ironic as well in that one of my eyes is point zero one of a percent too sighted, so one’s eligible, the other’s just outside their criteria, which left me unable to compete. Because my condition is degenerative. They knew that my sight would get worse. I guess I was in a fortunate position where once my sight deteriorated I was going to become eligible. There are some of the classes, if you don’t have a degenerate condition, that’s not possible. No one ever wants to lose their best sight, but that was one positive.

((WN)) On some national competitions they have a B4 class. Do you think those should be eligible? In terms of the international competition?

Jessica Gallagher: Which sports have B4s?

((WN)) There’s a level down, it’s not used internationally, I think it’s only used for domestic competitions. I know the UK uses it.

Jessica Gallagher: I think I… A particular one. For social reasons, that’s a great thing, but I think if it’s, yeah. I don’t know if I would… I think socially to get more Paralympic athletes involved in the sport if they’ve got a degenerative condition on that border then they should be allowed to compete but obviously… I don’t think they should be able to receive any medals at a national competition or anything like that. So I was, after Beijing, I was able to fore-run races. I was able to transition over to skiing even though at that stage I wasn’t eligible. So that was great for us. The IPC knew that my eyesight was going to get worse. So I was able to fore-run races. Which was a really good experience for us, when we did get to that level. So I think, with the lack of numbers in Paralympic sport, more that you should encourage athletes and give them those opportunities, it’s a great thing. But I guess it’s about the athletes realizing that you’re in it for the participation, and to grow as an athlete rather than to win medals. I don’t think the system should be changed. I think three classes is enough. Where the B3 line is compared with a B4 is legally blind. And I think that covers everything. I think that’s the stage where you have low enough vision to be considered a Paralympic sport as opposed to I guess an able bodied athlete. And that’s with all forms of like, with government pensions, with bus passes, all that sort of stuff, that the cut off line is legally blind, so I think that’s a good place to keep it.

((WN)) Veering away from this, I remember watching the Melbourne Cup stuff on television, and there you were, I think you were wearing some hat or something.

Jessica Gallagher: Yeah, my friend’s a milliner. They were real flowers, real orchids.

((WN)) Are you basically a professional athlete who has enough money or sponsorship to do that sort of stuff? I was saying, there’s Jessica Gallagher! She was in London! That’s so cool!

Jessica Gallagher: There are two organizations that I’m an ambassador for, and one of them is Vision Australia, who were a charity for the Melbourne Cup Carnival. So as part of my ambassador role I was at the races helping them raise money. And that involves media stuff, so that was the reason I was there. I didn’t get paid.

((WN)) But if you’re not getting paid to be a sponsor for all that is awesome in Australia, what do you do outside of skiing, and the long jump, and the javelin?

Jessica Gallagher: I’m an osteopath. So I finished my masters’ degree in 2009. I was completing a bachelor’s and a masters. I was working for the Victorian Institute of Sport guiding program but with the commitment to London having so much travel I actually just put everything on hold in terms of my osteo career. There’s not really enough time. And then the ambassador role, I had a few commitments with that, and I did motivational speaking.

((WN)) That’s very cool. Eric, I’ve read that you work as a guide in back country skiing, and all sorts of crazy stuff like that. What do you do when you’re not leading Jessica Gallagher down a ski slope?

Eric Bickerton: I’m the Chief Executive of Disabled Winter Sports Australia. So we look after all the disability winter sports, except for the Paralympics.
Jessica Gallagher: Social, recreational…

((WN)) You like that? You find it fulfilling?

Eric Bickerton: The skiing aspect’s good. I dunno about the corporate stuff. I could give that a miss. But I think it is quite fulfilling. Yeah, they’re a very good group of people there who enjoy themselves, both in disabilities and able bodied. We really need guides and support staff.

((WN)) Has it changed over the last few years?

Eric Bickerton: For us?

((WN)) Being a guide in general? How things have changed or improved, have you been given more recognition?

Eric Bickerton: No. I don’t see myself as an athlete. Legally we are the athlete. If I fail, she fails. We ski the exact same course. But there’s some idiosyncrasies associated with it. Because I’m a male guiding, I have to ski on male skis, which are different to female skis, which means my turn shape I have to control differently so it’s the same as her turn shape. It’s a little bit silly. Whereas if I was a female guiding, I’d be on exactly the same skis, and we’d be able to ski exactly the same all the way through. In that context I think the fact that Jess won the medal opened the eyes to the APC about visual impairment as a definite medal contending aspect. The biggest impediment to the whole process is how the Hell do you get a guide who’s (a) capable, (b) available and (c) able to fund himself. So we’re fortunate that the APC pushed for the recognition of myself as an athlete, and because we have the medal from the previous Olympics, we’re now tier one, so we get the government funding all way through. Without that two years before the last games, that cost me fifteen, sixteen months of my time, and $40,000 of cash to be the guide. So while I enjoyed it, and well I did, it is very very hard to say that a guide could make a career out of being a guide. There needs to be a little bit more consideration of that, a bit like the IPC saying no you’re not a medal winner. It’s quite a silly situation where it’s written into the rules that you are both the athlete and yet at the same time you’re not a medal winner. I think there’s evolution. It’s growing. It’s changing. It’s very, very difficult.

((WN)) Are you guys happy with the media coverage on the winter side? Do you think there’s a bias — obviously there is a bias towards the Summer Paralympics. Do the winter people get a fair shake?

Eric Bickerton: I think it’s fair. It’s reasonable. And there’s certainly a lot more than what it used to be. Winter sports in general, just from an Australian perspective is something that’s not well covered. But I’d say the coverage from the last Paralympics, the Para Winter Olympics was great, as far as an evolution of the coverage goes.

((WN)) Nothing like winning a medal, though, to lift the profile of a sport.

Jessica Gallagher: And I think that certainly helped after Vancouver. Not just Paralympics but able bodied with Lydia [Lassila] and Torah [Bright] winning, and then to have Eric and I win a medal, to finally have an Aussie female who has a winter Paralympic medal. I guess there can be misconceptions, I mean the winter team is so small in comparison to the summer team, they are always going to have a lot more coverage just purely based on numbers. There were 160 [Australian] athletes that were at London and not going to be many of us in Sochi. Sorry. Not even ten, actually.
Eric Bickerton: There’s five athletes.
Jessica Gallagher: There’s five at the moment, yeah. So a lot of the time I think with Paralympic sport, at the moment, APC are doing great things to get a lot of coverage for the team and that, but I think also individually, it’s growing. I’ve certainly noticed a lot more over the past two years but Eric and I are in a very unique situation. For me as well being both a summer and a winter Paralympian, there’s more interest I guess. I think with London it opened Australia and the word’s eyes to Paralympic sport, so the coverage from that hopefully will continue through Sochi and I’ll get a lot more people covered, but I know prior to Beijing and Vancouver, compared to my build up to London, in terms of media, it was worlds apart in terms of the amount of things I did and the profile pieces that were created. So that was great to see that people are actually starting to understand and see what it’s like.

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British Chancellor George Osborne downgrades growth forecast in annual budget

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British Chancellor George Osborne downgrades growth forecast in annual budget

January 8, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivered the budget today, an annually-held audit of the country’s finances deciding how taxpayers’ money should be spent. He set out plans to boost the housing market in his fourth budget, as well as stating the economy will grow by 0.6% — half his prediction four months ago.

George Osborne revealed plans to improve the housing market, including a “Help to Buy” shared equity scheme which would offer buyers who can place a 5% deposit on a new house, a 20% loan to buy it. He said: “This is a budget for those who aspire to own their own home”. He also offered a new Mortgage Guarantee, created in conjunction with mortgage lenders — the scheme would allow them to offer loans to homeowners without the need for a large deposit and offer guarantees to support up to £130bn of lending for three years beginning in 2014.

As a measure to attract investment to the British economy, he announced to reduce corporation tax from 21% to 20% taking effect from April 2015. The rate of corporation tax has fallen from 28% in 2010 to the current level of 21%. The United Kingdom is to have lower rates of corporation tax than the USA at 40%, France at 33%, and Germany at 29%.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) stated the government debt reduction programme to reduce the budget deficit will miss its targets. The government has forecast the total public sector debt will begin to fall by the financial year 2015/2016, while OBR says national debt will reach a high of 85.6% of GDP, £1.58 trillion, in 2016/17. Osborne defended the government efforts to reduce the deficit and said: “Our judgement has since been supported by the IMF, the OECD and the Governor of the Bank of England.”

In response to the Budget speech, the Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband said: “At the worst possible time for the country. It’s a downgraded budget from a downgraded Chancellor […] Debt is higher in every year of this Parliament than he forecast at the last Budget. He is going to borrow £200 billion more than he planned.”

The Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Ed Balls said to The Independent, “They are borrowing £245bn more in this Parliament, we said all along …said this two years ago, if they had moved more quickly with a sensible, targeted package of measures to kick-start the economy, which would have meant at that time more borrowing for a VAT [Value Added Tax] cut to bring forward housing investment, then we would have got the economy growing and the deficit coming down.”

The Business Secretary Vince Cable told the BBC in an interview, the “age of austerity” would probably end within the current decade, but made no more definite forecast.

The head of the British Federation of Small Businesses, John Walker, said: “The Budget opens the door for small businesses to grow and create jobs. The Chancellor has pulled out all the stops with a wide ranging package of measures to support small business. […] [W]e are pleased to see the scrapping of the 3p fuel duty due in September”.

Len McCluskey, the General Secretary of Unite the Union, criticized the budget for not helping working families. He said: “This is a Budget for the few by the few that attacks the many. Millionaires are days away from getting a £40,000 tax cut from the Tories, but George Osborne is using the budget to attack hard-working public sector workers. The worst chancellor in British history has gone further by giving big business another tax cut while staff caring for the sick get pay cuts. […] [H]e should have raised the national minimum wage by £1 and drop the senseless plan to give millionaires a tax break in a few days’ time”.

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Things To Observe If You Are Going Bald

January 8, 2018 · Filed under Home Builder

By Benedict Smythe

Many may have recognized that baldness is becoming a typical situation among men and women in various age groups. Baldness or alopecia described as the condition characterized by extreme hair loss affects more or less thirty-five percent of the worlds population. Unknown by many, alopecia does not refer to excessive hair loss on the scalp alone. Instead, it refers to the intense hair loss in any or all the parts of the body where hair growth is expected.

Just like any medical condition, it is best to treat hair loss situations during the recognition of the earliest signs and symptoms. Early detection offers more options for hair loss treatments such as non-surgical hair re-growth choices that are affordable and not painful. It also grants higher chances of bringing back your natural hair.

To aid you in determining if you are one of the victims of alopecia, here are some of the preliminary signs and symptoms of the said condition:

Receding hairline

Men with male-pattern baldness a.k.a. androgenetic alopecia will observe a receding hairline at their temples in as early as their teenage years. Thinning hair and balding sections at the top of the head follows.

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Thinning hair

In the case of women with female-pattern baldness, they experience thinning hair on the front and side portions of their head. However, unlike men with androgenetic alopecia, women do not experience receding hairlines.

Patchy hair loss

Hair loss in patchy patterns signifies scarring alopecia caused by inflamed hair follicles. The portions of the scalp in these patches are often itchy and painful as well. In some cases, patchy hair loss may also be caused by traction alopecia. Traction alopecia occurs between the sections of the hair that are pulled tightly when being styled.

Round and smooth patches of hair loss

If the hair loss patches are round and smooth, then you probably have alopecia areata. These hair loss patches do not only occur on the scalp. They can be observed on your beard, eyelashes, and eyebrows. Prior to hair loss, people with alopecia areata may experience itchiness on the infected areas.

A handful of falling hair

When a handful of your hair falls when you brush or wash it, then you should be wary of having Telogen effluvium. This is a sudden hair loss condition which may cause the hair to fall out when pulled even in a gentle manner. However, telogen effluvium rarely causes bald patches.

When you consult a dermatologist and he fails to provide immediate diagnosis after seeing the physiological symptoms of baldness, some hair loss tests may be performed. This includes the pull test (where a handful of your hair stands are pulled gently so as to assess your hairs susceptibility to hair fall induced by force), skin scraping (scalp and hair samples are taken and examined), punch biopsy (the extraction of a small section from your scalp or skin so as to examine its layers), and/or various screening tests for other diseases which may promote alopecia (diabetes, lupus, autoimmune diseases, etc.). Prior to the tests however, your dermatologist will examine your vital signs and your physical and medical history.

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No prosecution for UK minor who called Scientology a ‘cult’

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No prosecution for UK minor who called Scientology a ‘cult’

January 8, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of the government of the United Kingdom told the City of London Police on Friday that there will be no prosecution for a 15-year-old boy who called Scientology a “cult” at a May 10 peaceful protest. The City of London Police had previously confiscated the boy’s protest placard and gave him a court summons at the demonstration, which took place near St Paul’s Cathedral at the Church of Scientology‘s London headquarters on Queen Victoria Street. The boy’s poster read: “Scientology is not a religion, it is a dangerous cult”. The human rights organization Liberty has come out strongly against the City of London Police for their actions at the protest, and said they are pursuing an inquiry into the police force for what they say is a troubling freedom of speech issue.

Individuals from the group Anonymous have held monthly international protests against the Church of Scientology since February, as part of the anti-Scientology movement Project Chanology. The Project Chanology movement began when the Church of Scientology attempted to get a leaked Scientology promotional video featuring Tom Cruise removed from websites YouTube and Gawker.com.

Members of Anonymous were motivated by the actions of the Church of Scientology, and bombarded Scientology websites and were successful in taking some of them down. Anonymous later changed tactics towards legal measures, and held international protests against Scientology on February 10, March 15, April 12, and most recently May 10.

I am going to fight this and not take it down because I believe in freedom of speech.

City of London Police approached the 15-year-old boy at the May 10 protest and cited section five of the Public Order Act 1986, which deals with “harassment, alarm or distress“. In response, the boy cited a 1984 judgment given by Mr. Justice Latey in the Family Division of the High Court of Justice of Her Majesty’s Courts of Justice of England and Wales, in which Latey called Scientology a “cult” and said it was “corrupt, sinister and dangerous”. In the actual 1984 judgment made by Judge Latey, he stated: “Scientology is both immoral and socially obnoxious. […] In my judgement it is corrupt, sinister and dangerous. […] It is dangerous because it is out to capture people, especially children and impressionable young people, and indoctrinate and brainwash them so that they become the unquestioning captives and tools of the cult, withdrawn from ordinary thought, living and relationships with others.” The boy told fellow protesters he was not going to take the sign down, saying: “If I don’t take the word ‘cult’ down, here [holding up his sign], I will be either, I think, most likely arrested or [given] a summons. I am going to fight this and not take it down because I believe in freedom of speech, besides which I’m only fifteen.”

… it is not abusive or insulting and there is no offensiveness, as opposed to criticism, neither in the idea expressed nor in the mode of expression. No action will be taken against the individual.

When the boy refused to take his sign down, City of London Police removed it, cited him with a court summons and informed him that the matter would be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service. The boy was the only protester who did not comply with the police requests to remove signs which referred to Scientology as a “cult”. According to The Guardian, a CPS spokesman stated Friday that: “In consultation with the City of London police, we were asked whether the sign, which read ‘Scientology is not a religion it is a dangerous cult’, was abusive or insulting. Our advice is that it is not abusive or insulting and there is no offensiveness, as opposed to criticism, neither in the idea expressed nor in the mode of expression. No action will be taken against the individual.”

“The CPS review of the case includes advice on what action or behaviour at a demonstration might be considered to be threatening, abusive or insulting. The force’s policing of future demonstrations will reflect this advice,” said a spokeswoman for the City of London Police in a statement in The Guardian.

The 15-year-old boy’s mother called the CPS decision a “victory for free speech”, saying: “We’re all incredibly proud of him. We advised him to take the placard down when we realised what was happening but he said ‘No, it’s my opinion and I have a right to express it’.”

The incident has generated significant interest on the Internet, from civil rights groups and anti-cult groups, and in the press. Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, and Ian Haworth of the United Kingdom-based Cult Information Centre were highly critical of the actions of the City of London Police. George Pitcher of The Daily Telegraph called the actions of the City of London Police “a mockery of the law”. Other publications also criticized the actions of the police, compared the boy to past civil rights protesters, and analyzed how the characterization of “cult” applied to Scientology. The Guardian reported that human rights activists “were outraged” when reports of the actions of the City of London Police at the protest surfaced this week. Marina Hyde wrote in a comment piece in The Guardian that the City of London Police should spend a little less time “reaching for the collar of free-speaking children”. An article in The Guardian about the boy’s court summons hit the front page of the website Slashdot on Wednesday, and an article about the statement by CPS hit the site’s front page on Friday. The anti-Scientology website Enturbulation.org devoted its front page to the incident on Saturday.

The police may have ended their inquiries into this tawdry incident but rest assured that Liberty’s inquiry will continue.

BBC News reported that attorneys for Liberty represented the 15-year-old boy to the CPS. In media statements Friday, Liberty said it would continue its inquiry into the actions of the City of London Police. “The police may have ended their inquiries into this tawdry incident but rest assured that Liberty’s inquiry will continue. Democracy is all about clashing ideas and the police should protect peaceful protest, not stifle it,” said James Welch, legal director at Liberty. “Reason has prevailed in the case of the anti-Scientology protester”, wrote Welch in a comment piece in The Observer. According to The Press Association, Liberty’s inquiry may result in actions taken against the City of London Police.

The City of London Police has faced controversy in the past for its close association with the Church of Scientology. When the City of London Scientology building opened in 2006, City of London Chief Superintendent Kevin Hurley praised Scientology in an appearance as guest speaker at the building’s opening ceremony. Ken Stewart, another of the City of London’s chief superintendents, has also appeared in a video praising Scientology. According to The Guardian over 20 officers for the City of London Police have accepted gifts from the Church of Scientology including tickets to film premieres, lunches and concerts at police premises.

Unlike the City of London Police, the Metropolitan Police Service (the territorial police force responsible for Greater London excluding the City of London) has not raised an issue with protesters using placards with similar wording at protests against Scientology, according to The Guardian and Londonist.

Each of the Project Chanology international protests against Scientology has had a theme: the February protest called attention to the birthday of Lisa McPherson, who died under controversial circumstances while under the care of Scientology, the March protest was arranged to take place two days after Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard‘s birthday, the April protest highlighted the Church of Scientology’s disconnection policy, and the May protest highlighted the Scientology practice of “Fair Game” and took place one day after the anniversary of the publication of Hubbard’s book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. Another international protest is planned for June 14, and will highlight the Church of Scientology’s elite “Sea Organization” or “Sea Org”.

 This story has updates See UK group Liberty, Edinburgh city council on Scientology ‘cult’ signs 

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Family Coalition Party candidate Bob Innes, Hamilton East—Stoney Creek

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Family Coalition Party candidate Bob Innes, Hamilton East—Stoney Creek

January 7, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Monday, October 1, 2007

Robert (Bob) Innes is running for the Family Coalition Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Hamilton East—Stoney Creek riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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Wikinews Shorts: February 3, 2010

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Wikinews Shorts: February 3, 2010

January 7, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A compilation of brief news reports for Wednesday, February 3, 2010.

Contents

  • 1 Christmas day bomber cooperating
  • 2 Fire in Hyderabad hospital; 1 dead
  • 3 China begins urgent sweep for tainted milk
  • 4 Karachi violence escalates, section 144 imposed

The Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound jetliner on Christmas day with hidden explosives is cooperating with investigators and providing fresh intelligence after the U.S. enlisted the help of his family, an administration official said. His family persuaded him to cooperate.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has been providing information to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents questioning him, the official told reporters on the condition of anonymity.

The official declined to provide details on what kind of information Abdulmutallab was providing.

Related news

  • “Failed bomb aboard Delta flight” — Wikinews, December 26, 2009

Sources


Somajiguda
Somajiguda on the map of India

One person died and 41 were injured, including three nurses who are critically injured, in a major fire at Park Healthcare Hospital in Somajiguda, a suburb of the Indian city Hyderabad, on Tuesday morning.

The fire engulfed a major portion of the five-storey hospital’s first floor, along with some medical equipment and furniture on the other floors.

City police commissioner A K Khan said that a criminal case had been registered against the hospital management. “It is also being determined whether safety standards were followed by the hospital,” he said.

Sources


Chinese authorities say they are preparing to launch a crackdown on melamine-laced milk after the scandal over tainted products, which made hundreds of thousands of children ill two years ago and damaged China’s brand reputation overseas, resurfaced.

China has dispatched inspectors to sixteen provinces to urge local governments to thoroughly investigate cases concerning food safety.

The decision comes after milk products tainted with the industrial chemical melamine were removed from sale in Shanghai and the provinces of Shaanxi, Shandong, Liaoning and Hebei, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said.

Related news

  • “Contaminated baby’s milk induces wave of child illness in China” — Wikinews, September 22, 2008

Sources


At least twenty-six people have been killed in Karachi, Pakistan after four days of ethnic killings, according to police officials. The officials said that nine people were killed on Monday in the city’s Orangi western neighbourhood, which has a majority ethnic Pashtun community.

The Sindh government has awarded special powers to the Pakistan Rangers under Section 5 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 and imposed Section 144 in the limits of 26 police stations for a month.

At least forty people were killed as ethnic clashes erupted across the city in early January.Home minister of Sindh province, Dr Zulfiqar Mirza has called upon the Army to restore peace and order.

Sources

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South Carolina governor Nikki Haley endorses Mitt Romney for U.S. president

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South Carolina governor Nikki Haley endorses Mitt Romney for U.S. president

January 4, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Saturday, December 17, 2011

South Carolina governor Nikki Haley endorsed Republican Party (GOP) presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney yesterday at an event in Greenville, South Carolina. According to The Washington Post, the widely-sought support of the Tea Party-backed Haley reflects a softening of conservative concerns about Romney, who is considered a moderate in the race. He currently trails former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in South Carolina, which will hold its primary election on January 21.

Haley, who is of Indian descent, is the first female governor of South Carolina. She is considered a possible 2012 Vice presidential nominee and potential 2016 presidential candidate. She said that while there is not a “perfect candidate” for the 2012 race, Romney is “a leader that knows what he wants to do the first day he gets into office.” Haley’s belief that Romney will repeal Obamacare ultimately led to her support.

Romney has remained consistently high in polls since entering the race earlier this year, but has not been able to solidify conservative support, due in part to the view that the health care reform he instituted in Massachusetts was similar to Obamacare. Recently, Newt Gingrich has risen in the polls as the latest anti-Romney candidate, but has come under attack for providing consulting service to Freddie Mac. Gingrich holds a double-digit lead in South Carolina.

According Steve Schmidt, an adviser to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, Romney has “weathered a turbulent period and seem[s] to have regained equilibrium in the context of the Gingrich surge.” However, Gingrich supporters do not give much credence to the Haley endorsement: state co-director Leslie Gaines commented, “We have the whole Tea Party support which got her elected.” As a state legislator, Haley also endorsed Romney in 2008.

Haley and Romney are currently on a two day campaign tour of South Carolina on Romney’s plane, which his wife Ann refers to as “Hair Force One”.

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