News briefs:June 21, 2006

March 20th, 2019 by bgVAWJW9

The time is 19:00 (UTC) on June 21st, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.

Contents

  • 1 Headlines
    • 1.1 Northern Hemisphere celebrates summer solstice for 2006
    • 1.2 Australia’s Old Parliament House becomes heritage listed
    • 1.3 NZ law exempts working farm dogs from embedded ID tag rule
    • 1.4 England fans watch match in cinema
    • 1.5 Mexico lose 1-2 to Portugal but still qualify in Group D
    • 1.6 Angola draw 1-1 with Iran in Group D
  • 2 Closing statements

Signals indicate Texas economy continues to improve

March 20th, 2019 by bgVAWJW9

Sunday, April 29, 2012

As many states across the US continue to struggle financially, many individuals, including some economists report multiple positive indicators for Texas.

The chief economist with Comerica Bank told media sources this week that most of the improvements are attributed to strong creations of jobs in both the energy and manufacturing and services sectors. More specifically, that report called the state’s recent job growth, “robust”.The state’s unemployment rate in March was more than 1% lower than the nationwide rate, according to recent data.

When asked her opinion about the state’s present economic trajectory, Chantal Woodhull, a middle school teacher in Tyler, Texas told Wikinews, “It’s getting better.” Other sources indicate slight improvements in the real estate sector.

According to a recent report, retail job growth in Houston outstretched all other states, increasing its number of workers by over 4%. Across the US, retail jobs are improving at a slow pace in many large metropolitan areas.

New Zealand boarding school closed due to gastro-enteritis outbreak

March 20th, 2019 by bgVAWJW9

Friday, March 17, 2006

Nelson Boys College was closed today because of an outbreak of gastro-enteritis in its boarding houses.

About 40% of the school’s boarding students have been hit with what is thought to be the highly contagious and violent stomach bug, Norovirus.

The principal, Salvi Garguilo, says the boys are being well cared for at the school, helped by Nelson Hospital.

They will stay isolated until they are no longer contagious.

Nelson College will reopen on Monday.

Alabama School Bus Crash kills 4

March 19th, 2019 by bgVAWJW9

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tragedy struck Huntsville, Alabama Monday morning when a school bus transporting Lee High School students to a local trade school careened over a retaining wall on an elevated part of Interstate 565 at the U.S. highway 231 exit and plummeted 30 feet.

Killed in the initial crash were Nicole Ford, 19, Christine Collier, 16. Tanesha Hill, 17, died later at Huntsville Hospital. A fourth victim, Crystal Renee McCrary, 17, died Tuesday. Anthony Scott, the bus driver, and 14 students remain hospitalized, according to Huntsville Hospital spokeswoman Pam Sparks.

Huntsville Police spokesman Wendell Johnson said a 1990 Toyota Celica apparently hit the Laidlaw Education Services-contracted school bus. The bus driver apparently attempted evasive action, and a reaction sent the right tire climbing up the protective barrier. The buses momentum caused it to teeter on the wall briefly, flipped upside down, careening headlong onto the ground below. It was unclear if the driver jumped or was ejected, though National Transportation Safety Board spokeswoman Debbie Hersman said the bus driver was found on the overpass, and that, “We are trying to determine why the bus driver was on the overpass.”

Investigating agencies at federal, state and local levels include the NTSB, Alabama State Department of Transportation, Alabama Department of Public Safety, and Huntsville Police Department.

Thad Sokolowski, a 17-year-old Lee High School eyewitness said, “The orange car was going to pass the bus. He thought something was wrong with the car, like his tire got blown out because it started fishtailing.” He added that the orange Toyota hit the bus, “but not hard. It was a bump,” adding that the bus “skidded down the rail and it was gone.”

His description of the wreck was given to his mother, Bonnie Sokolowski, and published in the Huntsville Times, because he did not want to speak with reporters.

Police Chief Rex Reynolds said evidence will be presented to a Grand Jury, as is required by state law for fatalities involving minors, and added that charges have not yet been filed against the 17-year old Toyota driver. Chief Reynolds said the bus driver had a clean driving record.

Mass chaos ensued and Crestwood Medical Center and Huntsville Hospital, the two local hospitals, both activated their Mass Casualty action plans. Emergency response personnel from throughout the area were called upon to assist in rescue efforts. Huntsville Hospital emergency room physician Dr. Sherrie Squyres said all off-duty hospital medical and nursing personnel were requested to return to work, and that three trauma surgeons and one neurosurgeon were committed exclusively to accident response.

Among the problems facing hospital and rescue personnel was the absence of personal identification among the victims. Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Ann Roy Moore said that the Lee High School principal had initiated a student ID card program, “but not every student carried the ID.”

Brad Holley, Field Director for Alabama Department of Education, noting the tragedy said “We have not had a student killed while riding a school bus since 1969.” Huntsville’s last school bus related fatality was November 19, 1968 when a bus transporting students from Lee High Chapman Junior High Schools careened off Bankhead Parkway on Monte Sano Mountain above Tollgate Road. Faulty brakes caused that wreck.

Migrant workers in Dominos Pizza ‘slavery’

March 19th, 2019 by bgVAWJW9

Friday, August 10, 2007

Eight Hungarian migrant workers sacked from a Domino’s Pizza franchise in Derby, England are said to have taken home virtually no pay for months because of illegal deductions.

The claim is refuted by the company who said in a statement “We have begun a thorough investigation during which we have scrutinised the franchisee’s employment practices. This took place with his full co-operation. The franchisee concerned is confident that he possesses the evidence required to refute these allegations. To the extent that we have been informed of all allegations and have reviewed all available evidence, we also believe this to be the case.”

The sacked workers are being supported in their claim by the workers union Unite. The union say the “there appeared to be a deliberate strategy of keeping the workers in debt to the company through a series of crippling deductions. The deductions included payments to cover the contract purchase of a car from their employer, insurance for the vehicle provided through their employer, and exorbitant rent for substandard accommodation, again provided through their employer. In addition, some workers had to pay fees of up to £180 for an “introduction” to the company. One worker earned just £5 in four months because of the constant and hefty deductions out of his wage packet. When the workers protested they were sacked.”

Brazilian Vote Buying parliamentary commission present first joint preliminary report

March 17th, 2019 by bgVAWJW9
Wikipedia has more about this subject:

Monday, September 5, 2005

Brazil —The Post Office and Vote Buying parliamentary commissions of investigation unanimously approved on Thursday (1) their first joint preliminary report of activities. The text was prepared by their redactors, Osmar Serraglio (PMDB) and Ibrahim Abi-Ackel (PP), from Post Office and Vote Buying commissions respectively.

The deputies cited in the report are: Carlos Rodrigues (PLRJ), José Janene (PP-PR), Pedro Correia (PP-PE), Pedro Henry (PP-MS), Sandro Mabel (PL-GO), João Magno (PTMG), João Paulo Cunha (PT-SP), José Borba (PMDB-PR), Josias Gomes da Silva (PT-BA), Paulo Rocha (PT-BA), Professor Luizinho (PT-SP), Romeu Queiroz (PTB-MG), Vadão Gomes (PP-SP), Vanderval Santos (PL-SP), José Mentor (PT-SP), Roberto Brant (PFL-MG), José Dirceu (PT-SP) and Roberto Jefferson (PTB-RJ).

The report indicts 18 Brazilian deputies and the former deputy Valdemar Costa Neto [who resigned on August 1]. They are accused of illegal campaign finance activities, of placing cronies in strategic positions in government enterprises and getting kickbacks from them, and of receiving cash payments in exchange for voting in line with the government in the Brazilian Congress.

The redactors called the allegation made by some parliamentarians that the resources were used to settle debts with electoral campaigns a “lame excuse”. According to them it is “perfectly plausible” that the loans taken by the businessman Marcos Valerio at the Banco Rural and the BMG for the ruling Workers’ Party (PT) were false and created to make the illegal funds seem legal.

In regards to the denunciations done by deputy Roberto Jefferson (PTB) the report says:

  • Everything which he said that could be investigated showed to be true, including confessions against himself .
  • Everything that must be compared to other testimonies showed a great degree of truth. As a matter of fact, all of who, hurriedly, questioned him, saw their defenses collapse, before the successive discoveries.

According to the report, the businessman Marcos Valério is a not reliable person because of his contraditory testmonies.

The report says that several documents were identified and reviewed proving that large sums of money were withdrawn from agencies of the Rural Bank, in Brasilia and Belo Horizonte, as well as from bank accounts of the enterprises SMPB and DNA Propaganda. According to the documents the beneficiaries were federal deputies who received the money in person or through relatives, advisers, or persons nominated by Marcos Valério.

The report affirms that it is possible that some payments were made on a monthly basis, and others more or less frequently. Nevertheless, according to the report the periodicity of the payments is the less important fact.

Florida Property Insurance Changes Will Affect Most Homeowners

March 17th, 2019 by bgVAWJW9

By Calum MacKenzie

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina and other destructive storms, getting affordable property insurance hasn’t been easy. Many private insurers shed high risk clients after storms in 2004-2005, and raised assessments for others. For those who could no longer afford private insurance (or who were declared uninsurable by private insurers), state insurer Citizens Property Insurance Corp is the last resort.

Over the last year, the state has been attempting to keep property insurance rates low for those who are insured with CPIC. According to critics of the latest property insurance changes, however, Florida residents who are insured by private companies will end up paying more so that the rates can stay low for those insured by the state-owned company. The last week of March saw the Florida Senate approve some changes to property insurance that might end up increasing property insurance rates by around 3%.

The bill was backed by Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and approved by the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. The intended effect is to reduce Florida’s Hurricane Catastrophe Fund by $3 billion. This means the state can reduce its investment in CPIC and therefore reduce its risk.

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At the same time, however, the state has also voted to freeze CPIC insurance rates through to the end of 2009. CPIC insures more than 1.3 Florida residents, and the rate freeze that occurred last year was done to avoid an increase that could have seen rates up by as much as 29%.

The problem is, according to critics, that CPIC’s premiums aren’t high enough, and that the company won’t have enough cash reserves to be able to pay out claims if a major storm hits.

This is why the $3 billion reduction in the Hurricane Catastrophe Fund is significant. The Catastrophe Fund is a sort of safety net that can kick into action when Florida is hit by a major hurricane, and is intended to reimburse private insurers a portion of the money they pay out in claims. However, with the fund now reduced by $3 billion, the deficit is likely to be made up by rate increases for homeowners.

Last year, the state actually increased the Catastrophe Fund by $12 billion, but this year has been reduced by $3 billion. The fund was increased last year to reduce costs for insurers, and indirectly for homeowners. However, by increasing the Catastrophe Fund, the state of Florida was also increasing its own level of risk.

The state now wants to start decreasing its investment in the fund to reduce its risk. The net effect, however, will likely be the opposite of that which it originally intended. With private insurers taking on more risk relative to last year, the end result is more than likely going to be increased property insurance rates. The estimate is around 3% overall, with a slightly higher increase possible for Southern Florida residents.

Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink admits that an increase in rates is possible, but also says that if insurers try to increase rates to an unreasonable level, the state will step in.

About the Author: Calum MacKenzie is Owner of Real Living Southern Homes a leading residential real estate brokerage located within Seven Oaks in Wesley Chapel, Florida and also serving the Tampa Florida real estate and Land O’ Lakes real estate markets.

Source: isnare.com

Permanent Link: isnare.com/?aid=246021&ca=Real+Estate

Glasgow cannabis enthusiasts celebrate ‘green’ on city green

March 17th, 2019 by bgVAWJW9

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Coinciding with Easter Sunday, Glasgow Cannabis Social Club’s annual 420 event was held on Glasgow Green, under sunny blue skies, and overlooking the river Clyde. Despite the city’s council attempting to revoke permission for the gathering at the last minute, police were happy for it to go-ahead with approximately a dozen officers attending in high-visibility vests.

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The Daily Record reported five arrests were made for minor offences, likely smoking and possession of small quantities of cannabis. Taking a less-sensational — and more accurate — line of reporting, the Monday edition of Glasgow’s Evening News stated five were referred to the Procurator Fiscal who is responsible for deciding if charges should be brought.

Official figures provided by the police were that 150 attended. With people coming and going, Wikinews reporters estimated upwards of 200 attended, compared to nearly 700 who had signed up for the event on Facebook. Hemp goods were advertised and on sale at the event, and some attendees were seen drinking cannabis-themed energy drinks.

“I was searched and charged under the Misuse of Drugs Act (which is a lot of bollocks)” one attendee noted online, adding “not fair to happen on a brilliant day like it was, other than that I had a great day!” A second said they were openly smoking and ignored by police, who “were only really focusing on people who looked particularly young”.

Cannabis seeds were openly and legally sold at the event and a hydroponics supplier brought a motortrike towing an advertising trailer. Actually growing cannabis is, however, illegal in the UK.

With the event openly advocating the legalisation of cannabis, speakers put their arguments for this to a receptive crowd. Retired police officer James Duffy, of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, spoke of the failed United States alcohol prohibition policy; stressing such policies needlessly bring people into contact with criminal elements. Highlighting other countries where legalisation has been implemented, he pointed out such led to lower crime, and lower drug use overall.

One speaker, who produced a bottle of cannabis oil he had received through the post, asserted this cured his prostate cancer. Others highlighted the current use of Sativex by the National Health Service, with a cost in-excess of £150 for a single bottle of GW Pharmaceuticals patented spray — as-compared to the oil shown to the crowd, with a manufacturing cost of approximately £10.

Similar ‘420’ pro-cannabis events were held globally.

Wikinews interviews former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party

March 17th, 2019 by bgVAWJW9

Monday, November 5, 2012

With the U.S. presidential election looming, former New Mexico governor and current Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson spoke with Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn on an assortment of economic, foreign, and social issues. In the interview, Johnson makes his final plea to voters before they cast their ballots on Election Day, November 6.

Though a member of the Libertarian Party in the early 1990s, Johnson was elected and re-elected governor of New Mexico in 1994 and 1998 as a Republican. During his governorship, he vetoed over 750 bills, more than all other then-governors combined, and left the state with a $1 billion budget surplus. He briefly ran for president as a Republican in 2011 before rejoining the Libertarian Party to seek its 2012 presidential nomination.

After winning the nomination this past May, Johnson has campaigned throughout the nation espousing the Fair Tax, spending cuts across the board, a repeal of Obamacare, an audit of the Federal Reserve, a non-interventionist foreign policy, an end to the Drug War, and legalization of same-sex marriage. He and his running mate, Judge Jim Gray of California, have attained ballot access in all U.S. states except Michigan, where he is a write-in candidate, and Oklahoma. Nationally, he has received four percent registered-voter support in the past two CNN/Opinion Research Polls that included him with President Barack Obama, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Green Party nominee Jill Stein. It is the campaign’s goal to reach five percent on Election Day, which will enable the party to receive ballot access and federal funding on par with the two major parties.

With Wikinews, Johnson discusses the federal budget, education, entitlements, the Syrian uprising, Mexican Drug War, same-sex marriage, the Libertarian Party, and his political future.

Contents

  • 1 Economic matters
  • 2 Foreign affairs
  • 3 Social issues
  • 4 Libertarian Party and political future
  • 5 Related news
  • 6 Sources

NASA celebrates 30th anniversary of first shuttle launch; announces new homes for retired shuttles

March 14th, 2019 by bgVAWJW9

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

NASA celebrated the launch of the first space shuttle Tuesday at an event at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Cape Canaveral, Florida. On April 12, 1981, Space Shuttle Columbia lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center on STS-1, the first space shuttle mission.

NASA held a ceremony commemorating the date outside the hangar, known as Orbiter Processing Facility-1, for Space Shuttle Atlantis, which is being prepped for its final mission which will be STS-135, which will be the last Space Shuttle mission.

At the ceremony, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced the locations that would be given the three remaining Space Shuttle orbiters following the end of the Space Shuttle program. The prototype orbiter, Space Shuttle Enterprise would be relocated from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Washington Dulles International Airport to the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City.

Space Shuttle Discovery will take the place of Enterprise at the Udvar-Hazy Center. Discovery has already been retired following the completion of STS-133 last month, its 39th mission. Discovery is undergoing decommissioning and currently being prepped for display by removing toxic materials from the orbiter.

Space Shuttle Endeavour, which will launch on STS-134 at the end of the month on April 29, will be sent to the California Science Center in Los Angeles, California following its retirement. Finally, Atlantis will go on display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex following the orbiter’s last flight which launches June 28.

Columbia was lost tragically back on February 1, 2003 when it disintegrated during re-entry killing all seven astronauts aboard. Space Shuttle Challenger was lost when it exploded 73 seconds after liftoff back on January 28, 1986 killing all six aboard.

“We want to thank all of the locations that expressed an interest in one of these national treasures,” said Bolden to the gathered crowd which contained many KSC employees. “This was a very difficult decision, but one that was made with the American public in mind. In the end, these choices provide the greatest number of people with the best opportunity to share in the history and accomplishments of NASA’s remarkable Space Shuttle Program. These facilities we’ve chosen have a noteworthy legacy of preserving space artifacts and providing outstanding access to U.S. and international visitors.”

Over twenty locations looked to obtain one of the orbiters because of potential tourism booms from them.

This was a very difficult decision, but one that was made with the American public in mind. In the end, these choices provide the greatest number of people with the best opportunity to share in the history and accomplishments of NASA’s remarkable Space Shuttle Program.

Not all were pleased with the final choice of locations. U.S. Senator John Cornyn, Republican from Texas, issued a statement regarding the rejection of Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas as a location. “Like many Texans, I am disappointed with NASA’s decision to slight the Johnson Space Center as a permanent home for one of the Space Shuttle Orbiters. Houston has played a critical role throughout the life of the space shuttle, but it is clear political favors trumped common sense and fairness in the selection of the final locations for the orbiter fleet.”

Cornyn’s statement added, “There is no question Houston should have been selected as a final home for one of the orbiters—even Administrator Bolden stated as much. Today’s announcement is an affront to the thousands of dedicated men and women at Johnson Space Center, the greater Houston community and the State of Texas, and I’m deeply disappointed with the Administration’s misguided decision.” However, the JSC will recieve pilot and commander seats from the flight deck.

The Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington was also proposed as another location for a shuttle, going so far as to build a new building to house an orbiter. In a statement, Governor of Washington Chris Gregoire said, “The Museum of Flight put a tremendous amount of effort into landing a retired shuttle in the Pacific Northwest. As the home of modern day air travel and the 747, which has gracefully transported shuttles for the last 30 years, Seattle would have been a perfect fit. While the Museum of Flight was in the top running, I’m disappointed that NASA did not choose them.

“However, the full fuselage trainer, that every astronaut including [former Museum of Flight CEO] Bonnie Dunbar has been trained on, will soon call the Museum of Flight home. The largest of the trainers, this addition will allow visitors to actually climb aboard the trainer and experience the hands-on training that astronauts get. Visitors will not be allowed in the other shuttles and this trainer is a true win for our dynamic museum. It will help inspire young people to the adventure of space and to the excitement of a career in science, technology, engineering and math.”

Today’s announcement is an affront to the thousands of dedicated men and women at Johnson Space Center, the greater Houston community and the State of Texas, and I’m deeply disappointed with the Administration’s misguided decision.

Other items include various shuttle simulators which will be given to the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Illinois, the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum of McMinnville, Oregon, and Texas A&M’s Aerospace Engineering Department. The nose cap assembly and crew compartment trainer for the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio and orbital maneuvering system engines for the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, the National Air and Space Museum, and the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum.

NASA is also offering shuttle heat shield tiles to schools and universities that want to share technology and a piece of space history with their students.

The 30th anniversary of the first shuttle mission coincided with the 50th anniversary of the first manned space flight when Yuri Gagarin lifted off aboard Vostok 1 into space.