Tuesday, March 20th, 2018 | Author:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

At least two people were wounded after two freight trains collided with each other near Kotri in southern Pakistan today.

A freight train was on the track near the Kotri railway station when a Hyderabad-bound freight train coming from Karachi, loaded with oil drums, hit it and a fire broke out. Twenty eight goods wagons of the freight train carrying 1,372,000 litres of oil were derailed, and oil was spilled.

Rail traffic in both directions has been suspended on the track following this incident. Firebrigade and ambulance immediately reached the spot while Pakistan Railway‘s emergency relief train has left Karachi towards the spot.

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Tuesday, March 20th, 2018 | Author:

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Also try the 2008 World News Quiz of the year.

What would you tell your grandchildren about 2008 if they asked you about it in, let’s say, 20 years’ time? If the answer to a quiz question was 2008, what would the question be? The year that markets collapsed, or perhaps the year that Obama became US president? Or the year Heath Ledger died?

Let’s take a look at some of the important stories of 2008. Links to the original Wikinews articles are in all the titles.

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Tuesday, March 20th, 2018 | Author:

Sunday, March 18, 2018

On March 16-18 Furnal Equinox took place in Toronto Canada. It celebrated “the arts and culture of the furry fandom and animal enthusiasts”, its website said.

The convention’s communications and public relations coordinator for the event, Ronnie, describes furries as “people who enjoy arts and culture centred around animals and animal-themed topics, essentially. Furnal Equinox in particular, we like to celebrate in a very visual and very… artistic nature, where we have lots of arts and crafts, and performances that go on, and people celebrate with lots of socialisation involved.”

Of the attendees, Ronnie told Wikinews “they come from all walks of life. They are people of all ages, sizes, backgrounds, and they come together under one mutual interest, their love for animal culture.”

“Programming at Furnal Equinox involves a lot of informational panels, so you can find out about topics from art and how to draw, or how to visually incorporate different elements into your artworks. You can also find panels that teach you how to write better, be a better fiction author for example,” guided the event representative.

At one panel Wikinews attended, members of its all-volunteer organising committee spoke of the year-long process of planning the event, and their reasons for committing such a significant amount of their time. Said one panelist, “if you’re happy, we’re happy.”

The largest hub of activity at the convention was a dealer’s room, nicknamed the “Dealer’s Den”, to give it an anthropomorphic twist. Vendors were selling original visual art, wearables like faux fur tails or ears, or things like jewellery or soap with motifs that would interest attendees.

The back area of the room was dedicated to a charity auction, with proceeds benefiting Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary. According to the convention website, the charity is “dedicated to rescuing abused, neglected, and abandoned farmed animals. Their goal is to provide a safe, life-long home for all of their residents, and to educate the public about the true nature of farmed animals through tours, volunteer programs, and community outreach.”

Split into groups, some attendees played “Fursuit Games” in front of an audience, like trying to toss a ball into a garbage can. The activity made harder, of course, by the limited dexterity and vision the most of the costumes entail.


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Monday, March 19th, 2018 | Author:

Friday, March 20, 2009

Following the Pilkhana massacre which occurred February 25 and 26 leaving 74 dead and the inferno at the Bashundhara City shopping mall complex March 13 leaving seven dead, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said security measures are being tightened countrywide across Bangladesh.

Fire drills will be enacted at all key-point installations (KPI). Fire fighting systems will be examined by the fire brigade and the public works department (PWD) to ensure functionality. Security measures will be enhanced supplementing areas under private security such as at the Bashundhara City Complex.

The Fire Service and Civil Defence Department requires modernization and needs new equipment to fight fires past the sixth floor of buildings. The Fire Brigade says it needs turntable ladders, snorkels, foam-tenders, lighting units, emergency tenders, fireproof uniforms, and rescue ropes for fire fighting and rescue operations. Transportation to fires is also an issue due to narrow roads, low electrical wires and congestion.

The Bangladesh National Building Code requires fire fighting equipment installed in buildings over seven floors. This code is to be monitored by authorities to ensure compliance with the new guidelines and to make sure buildings are being maintained.

The Bashundhara City Complex opened Monday for shoppers two days after Friday’s blaze. A probe is underway to determine the cause of the fire and to assess structural damage.

Loss of life was minimized as the blaze broke out on a Friday, the beginning of the weekend in Bangladesh, so offices in the upper floors were empty. The lower eight floors are used for shopping and the upper floors are all Bashundhara Group offices.

The mall is valued at Tk 7.0 billion (US$100 million). It is not known if the complex is covered by fire insurance.

It is estimated that it will take over two years to rebuild the area damaged by flames which were burned down to a skeleton. Bashundhara City’s technical advisor, Latifur Rahman, estimated damages at Tk 2.0 billion (US$29m).

Only one television cameraman has been allowed in to film the burnt area. None of the 2,500 shops, cinemas or cafes were burnt by the inferno. The seventh and eighth floors still experience smoke damage, and there was water damage to merchandise.

A three member committee is currently investigating the cause of the fire which will consist of Iqbal Khan Chowdhury, joint secretary of the ministry, representatives of the police, IGP Noor Muhammad, and fire brigade, Director General Abu Nayeem Md Shahidullah. The committee is required to report within the week with their findings. The forensics department is also sifting through the burnt remains.

The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industries has also formed a committee which has begun interviewing witnesses and recording their testimony alongside the government committee.

It has been discovered that 150 closed circuit cameras were not being used when the fire started. Another mystery is why the mall fire fighting system has been found unused.

Why the fire burnt so fiercely is a matter to think….These matters seem to be mysterious

“In the shopping mall there is an ultra-technology elevator which runs even without electricity but we have found that locked,” Iqbal Khan Chowdhury, joint secretary (Police) of the home ministry, said. “Why the fire burnt so fiercely is a matter to think. We have to see if there was any incendiary substance there. These matters seem to be mysterious.”

Mall management has been asked to submit substances and items which would have been in the upper floors when the fire started. The fire erupted on the 17th floor and spread quickly to the two floors above and engulfed the three floors below. The aerial ladders belonging to the Fire Service and Civil Defence reached as high as the 13th floor of the 21-storey building.

Videos have been sent to the United States (US) for examination to assist in determining the cause of the fire and to help in the damage assessment. Experts from the US are expected to arrive soon.

Firefighters were brought to the rooftop of the 20-storey tower by helicopter. The only fatality in this operation was Baki Billa, a firefighter of Bashundhara City firefighting department, who fell when climbing down a rope from a helicopter to the roof of the building. Three other firefighters made the transition safely. At this same time, the chief security officer was safely rescued by the Bangladesh Air Force helicopter, a Bell 212. Six security officers of the complex also lost their lives.

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Monday, March 19th, 2018 | Author:

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byAlma Abell

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If you are in need of customized shipping services, visit Boxpacslc.com. They will provide you with the expert shipping services you require so your cargo is safely handled and shipped. Through the right shipping service, you can rest assured your cargo will be protected and will arrive safely.

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Monday, March 19th, 2018 | Author:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued proposed calorie labeling rules requiring most retail food vendors to display the calorie counts in items on their menus and menu boards. The proposed rules, issued Friday and expected to be finalized in 2012, would apply to most restaurants, snack bars, vending machines, coffee shops, drive-through restaurants, and convenience and grocery stores.

The US Congress required the rules in the health-care reform law passed in 2010. The rules proposed by the FDA must undergo a public comment period before they are finalized and take effect, said Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Director for Foods at the FDA.

The proposed regulations pertain to businesses devoting more than 50 percent of their floor space to the sale of food or that consider themselves restaurants, specifically food-selling chains with at least 20 stores nationally. Included are candy stores, bakeries, and ice-cream parlors.

The FDA’s proposed guidelines specify that chains post the calorie counts of foods and drinks on menus and menu boards or next to the food item, such as at a salad bar. The menu is to prominently exhibit the calorie content of each item in a way customers can see easily, giving them the same information packaged foods prepared at home currently provide. The information must be displayed in “clear and conspicuous” print and colors.

Giving consumers clear nutritional information makes it easier for them to choose healthier options that can help fight obesity and make us all healthier.

Many cities and states have passed laws requiring calorie labeling on menus, beginning with New York City in 2008. California implemented a similar law in January, although many counties are waiting for the release of the federal guidelines before they begin enforcement. Some fast-food chains there, such as McDonald’s and Starbucks, are displaying calorie counts on menus in some of their stores.

The rules are intended to curb the national obesity epidemic since, according to FDA estimates, one third of the calories people consume yearly come from food eaten out. In a statement issued yesterday, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services said, “Giving consumers clear nutritional information makes it easier for them to choose healthier options that can help fight obesity and make us all healthier.”

Excluded from the rules are businesses whose primary product is not food sales but that sell it, such as bowling alleys, airports and airplanes, amusement parks, hotels and movie theaters. Alcohol is also excluded.

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Sunday, March 18th, 2018 | Author:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Veteran White House journalist Helen Thomas, 89, announced her retirement yesterday with immediate effect, ending her fifty-seven year career, amid criticism over controversial remarks.

Thomas has been a correspondent for over fifty years and has covered every president from John F. Kennedy to Obama. Thomas, the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, who blazed a trail for female reporters in politics in the United States, has ended her career after apologizing for saying that Israel should “get the hell out of Palestine.”

In retiring, Thomas stated: “I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.”

Her departure as Hearst Newspaper columnist was announced after she was captured on video saying: “Remember, these people are occupied and it’s their land. It’s not Germany, it’s not Poland,” and that Israelis should “get the hell out of Palestine” and “they should go home” to Poland, Germany, the US and “everywhere else.”

Rabbi David Nesenoff, an independent filmmaker, said he spoke to Thomas outside the White House on Jewish Heritage Day on May 27. Video of her controversial comments were widely disseminated on the Internet by his website, rabbilive.com, that relaunched last week.

Thomas was absent from Monday’s White House briefing. She was dropped by her public speaking agency and a high school commencement address was canceled. The White House Correspondents Association called her remarks “indefensible”. The Hearst statement came shortly after White House press secretary Robert Gibbs called her remarks “offensive and reprehensible.”

Thomas has been a correspondent for fifty-seven years, she had worked for decades as a White House correspondent for United Press International and became a columnist for the Hearst newspaper chain in recent years. She was the first female officer of the National Press Club, the first female member and president of the White House Correspondents Association, and, in 1975, the first female member of the Gridiron Club.

Thomas did little to hide her views, with her questions to Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and their press secretaries often about the wars in the Middle East. Two weeks ago, she asked Obama, “Mr. President, when are you going to get out of Afghanistan? Why are you continuing to kill and die there? What is the real excuse? And don’t give us this Bushism, ‘If we don’t go there, they’ll all come here.'”

Helen Thomas has written five books. During Kennedy’s administration, Helen ended all presidential press conferences with a signature “Thank you, Mr. President” and always issued a caveat about her work: “In my career you’re only as good as your last story.”

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Sunday, March 18th, 2018 | Author:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

London — The Open Rights Group, a pressure group pursuing reform of intellectual property law in the United Kingdom, held its first “ORGCon” yesterday at City University London. Approximately 100 delegates took part in six hours of panel discussions and workshops on a wide range of topics in intellectual property, discussing such subjects as “How To Talk To Your MP” and “ACTA: A Shady Business”, in what ORG billed as a “crash course in digital rights” designed to inspire campaigning on intellectual property issues.

Cory Doctorow, a fiction author and digital rights activist, led the keynote panel discussion “Thriving in the Real Digital Economy”, which opened the conference. Doctorow called for a “reframing” of the digital rights slogan “information wants to be free”. “The most important thing” about digital rights, he noted, “has nothing to do with art. We are refitting the information network with lots of control.” Digital rights management (DRM) technologies, Doctorow warns, build in limitations on how consumers exchange information and “abuse the market”. John Buckman of Magnatune followed up Doctorow’s comments, noting that DRM is “unsustainable” but that the public needed to “pressure companies into” open-source solutions.

A keynote speech by James Boyle compared the current age to the age just before application of the theories of Adam Smith and other early capitalist economists began breaking down the entrenched monopolies of mercantilism. Boyle called on the audience to come up with a “jaw droppingly simple” idea for a reformed copyright system; he gave his speech in front of a projection of the twitterfall as audience members commented on his words.

Boyle, like most of the conference, took a pro-reform but anti-piracy position, saying “It is a tragedy that an entire generation has lost the notion that breaking the law is wrong”. While several members of the Pirate Party UK, wearing matching t-shirts, attended the conference and held a fringe meeting during the last session, none spoke in the keynote sessions either as panelists or in the discussions.

Among the many workshops which comprised the last three hours of the day, Open Rights Group held a session on student groups and committed itself to establishing Open Rights Group Youth societies at universities across the United Kingdom. Young activists, such as Wikipedian Jdforrester, also dominated the “Your Shout” session in which any and all delegates could give three-minute speeches on any intellectual property subject which interested them.

The organisation hopes to host a second ORGCon in 2011.

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Sunday, March 18th, 2018 | Author:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

United States automobile company General Motors announced it has lost US$6 billion in the first quarter of 2009, amidst heavy declines in revenues. Not including special items, the firm said it had lost a net $5.9 billion dollars, or $9.66 per share.

In the first quarter of last year, GM had reported a loss of $381 million, or $0.67 per share. Most financial analysts had forecast the automaker’s losses to be over $6.7 billion, or $11.05 per share. GM had also reported that it had spent $10.2 billion in an effort to prevent bankruptcy. The manufacturer has received over $15 billion in bailout money from the federal government.

The company has a deadline set at June 1 to draw up a restructuring plan. If it doesn’t do so by then, it will be obliged to file for bankruptcy protection.

“We’re focusing very much on the cost side of the business but once you start losing revenues you get into a vicious circle from which you can’t recover,” said Ray Young, the chief financial officer for GM.

“We continue to see a 60-80 percent chance of a GM bankruptcy. While the GM equity today is largely uninvestable, we increasingly believe GM may emerge substantially stronger from a bankruptcy – provided the Chapter 11 process is not overly drawn out – particularly given the scope of targeted dealer cuts,” analyst Himanshu Patel said.

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Sunday, March 18th, 2018 | Author:
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