Archive for January, 2019

Canada, U.S. to tighten security between ‘cross-border’ library

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the United States Border Patrol and local officials from both sides are looking into tightening security at a Quebec library. The library has been deliberately on the border of Canada and the U.S. since it was built in 1904 by American sawmill owner Carlos Haskell and Canadian wife Martha Stewart Haskell for availability to both countries.

At Haskell Free Library and Opera House, in Rock Island, Quebec, a black line diagonally runs across the center of the library to mark the international border. Ironically the line puts the seats in the U.S. and the opera stage in Canada.

Both towns share the same water supply, sewer systems and emergency crews thus they cross the border without going against the law. In total, there are three streets that cross the border and there are cameras on both sides to monitor illegal activity, but that doesn’t tighten border security enough officials say.

“There’s been an increase in illegal activity, both north and south, in the last little while,” said operations officer for the Border Patrol’s Swanton sector, Mark Henry.”There have been some significant cases. This all fits in to the larger picture of the Border Patrol strategy to gain operational control of our borders.”

“I don’t think they’re aiming at people who go pick up groceries and come back. It’s people that want to use this in a bad way,” says Cpl. Luc Bessette, a spokesman for the RCMP.

To enter the U.S. at Haskell Free Library and Opera House, in Rock Island, Quebec, all one needs is directions to go to Stanstead, Quebec, directions to the local library and walk through the doors; they have illegally entered Derby Line, Vermont, U.S. If one walks across from Stanstead St. to Derby Line they will be at the checkout in the U.S., go to the library from Derby Line to Stanstead St. and they have officially entered back into Canada. The international border also is on Canusa St., a residential street in Stanstead, Quebec and Beebe Plain, Vermont.

If someone wants to see their neighbour across the street, they would be re-entering the U.S. Anyone who comes from Stanstead St. to Derby Line, to visit their neighbour, must report to Customs or they could be sent to jail for illegally entering. However, residents do not need to notify Customs if they cross the border inside buildings.

Currently, the front door is in Vermont and if Quebecers couldn’t enter the front they would have to go through the back way. If Americans wanted to park in the parking lot they couldn’t because it is legally in Canada.

A meeting will take place this 19 June at 7 p.m. local time asking whether residents want to prevent people from crossing the border regularly or, in some cases, illegal crossings. During a meeting last Thursday in Stanstead, Quebec, local officials from both countries (towns) said border walls and fences will not be put up due to local residents’ concerns. They say there are other alternatives.

There is also a movement to separate Vermont from the U.S. or to make it the 11th province of Canada, with three territories. The website “Vermont Canada” says the state should join Canada due to its remaining liberal policies as opposed to the U.S.

Canadian media company Bell Globemedia to acquire rival CHUM

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Canadian media company CHUM Limited has announced that it has agreed to be acquired by larger rival Bell Globemedia Inc. for $1.7 billion CAD cash, bringing the CTV and Citytv broadcast-television networks and such specialty channels as MuchMusic, TSN and Bravo! under the same corporate umbrella.

Shareholders will receive $52.50 per common share of CHUM and $47.25 per Class B (non-voting) share. The estate of the late Allan Waters, who died late last year, has agreed to tender all its shares to the bid, netting the Waters family nearly $450 million.

In a joint statement, CHUM’s chairman, Jim Waters, said, “In Bell Globemedia’s offer, we not only found value for shareholders, but confidence that we would be placing CHUM in the hands of an owner with the financial resources and track record to continue to grow and build on our collective legacy.”

Globemedia CEO Ivan Fecan added, “We are able to make this premium offer because Bell Globemedia is clearly the most logical buyer of CHUM. There is a unique strategic fit to our operations that can make the united company a stronger national champion in broadcasting. We intend to maintain and build the valuable CHUM brands and develop more opportunities for Canadian programming.” He added that CTV and Citytv will remain separate networks and “will maintain separate and independent news divisions in order to ensure a continued diversity and competition in news coverage.”

In a separate release, CHUM announced it would be cutting 281 jobs at its stations across the country, particularly at its Citytv stations in western Canada. Effectively immediately, evening newscasts at CKVU-TV Vancouver, CKEM-TV Edmonton, CKAL-TV Calgary and CHMI-TV in the Winnipeg market are being eliminated, with plans for a new newsmagazine tentatively titled In Your City at the three Prairie stations, and more resources being put into each station’s local version of Breakfast Television. Less drastic changes are planned for its A-Channel stations in smaller markets. The company said these changes will result “in a significant reduction in staffing and operating costs.”

The companies said that they expect to sell CHUM’s A-Channel stations, as well as Alberta educational broadcaster Access, to third parties, despite CTV’s historical ties to several of them. Many of the A-Channel stations were originally acquired by CHUM from Baton Broadcasting, the predecessor of Bell Globemedia, in 1997, as part of a trade that sent CHUM’s ATV and ASN assets in Atlantic Canada to Baton and allowed Baton to acquire the CTV network itself.

Despite CHUM’s ownership of MuchMusic and CTV’s recent launch of MTV Canada, the companies claim their specialty channels are “complementary” and did not indicate any sale plans.

Bell Globemedia is currently majority-owned by BCE Inc. but is awaiting regulatory approval for a restructuring involving the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, Torstar Corp., and the Thomson family. In the interim, the takeover offer will be made by a new company owned by the proposed new shareholder structure.

An In Depth Comparison Of Your Fico And Vantage Credit Score

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

By Tony Francis

FICO (Fair Isaac Company) and Vantage credit scoring method primarily differs with the way it is used and calculated by the 3 major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Although both are a major factor in the issuance of credit reports, both scores are used by credit companies in determining whether to grant or not to grant a loan to an aspiring applicant.

Vantage score, according to studies is preferred by majority of those in need of loans because they can have a better chance in getting high scores as compared to the FICO scoring method. The Vantage credit scoring method is actually created by the 3 major credit reporting companies. It uses analytical techniques that give possible loan applicants high, predictive and consistent credit scores using a 24 month basis of collective experience from the consumer to be scored.

Another thing that has made the Vantage credit score popular is the fact that it returns score ranging from 501 as its lowest and 990 to be its highest. On the other hand, FICO’s method of calculating only has 850 to be its highest available score card as compared to Vantage scoring method. FICO also makes use of 5 variables (payment history, length of credit, new credits, amounts owed and types of credit used) while on the other hand, Vantage is based on payment history, depth of credit, recent credit, available credit, balance and utilization.

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While we can say that indeed, FICO scoring method is old school, you should always be reminded that it is as important as any other data found in one’s credit report. There is still more than a few credit companies that prefer A FICO over Vantage because it has been their reference for years. Like they say, old habits are hard to forget.

Vantage scoring method was actually created by the 3 credit reporting companies with the aim to simplify the credit process and give consumers an advantage in scoring. Equifax, Experian and TrnasUnion is said to have joined their forces together to create a model and modern credit scoring method that will provide consumers with greater scores that remains consistent throughout the span of 12 months.

There are also things common to both scoring methods. Both are accessible to the 3 major credit reporting companies. Both can also be found in one’s annual credit report that is being studied not just by credit companies but by future employers as well. A credit score is seen to be the basis of how a person handles his finances, his reliability (if he can’t handle his money matters, how can he be trusted with a company?) and his capability to organize things.

We can clearly see here that a credit score is more than just a 3-digit set of number. It is a determiner in one’s personality and a basis of future transactions whether with employers or with credit companies. Early on, it is but advisable to keep a clean record and even if at present, you are not in need of any kind of loan. There will always be a time you will need one and all you can rely on is a good credit score.

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Protesters rally for a second time against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019
Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Buffalo, New York —For the second weekend in a row, demonstrators protested the Elmwood Village Hotel proposal on the proposed site.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a proposed hotel by Savarino Construction Services Corporation and is designed by architect Karl Frizlen of the Frizlen Group. It is to be placed on the corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo and will require the demolition of at least five properties (1109-1121 Elmwood).

The proposal also required that all five properties, including 605 Forest, be rezoned to a “C-2” zone, or a “special development plan.” The rezoning was passed by Buffalo’s Common Council on March 21, 2006.

Russell Smith, owner of the Six Nation’s Gift Shop at 1121 Elmwood, also participated in the protest.

“I am a Native American and we opened a Native American gift shop and we are just brand new [and just] opened. Having started out a business for the first time, and it the only Native American shop in the city, and I do not see the use of any hotel, especially at this district. The Elmwood Strip is pretty well established. Some of these people have been here a long while you know and they’re [Savarino Construction] disrupting their livelihood,” said Smith to Wikinews.

When Smith was asked if he was going to be in any of the shops in the new hotel he replied, “we don’t have the option of getting into the hotel or any of the shops that are going to be there. We haven’t [had] any idea that they [Savarino] were even planning to tear these buildings down to put a hotel here until we had moved in. I think thats a little unfair.”

Former City of Buffalo Mayor Anthony Masiello was asked to sign the petition to stop the hotel when he walked by, but he declined saying, “I respect what you are doing, but I am for the hotel.”

Despite the cold weather, at least 45 people showed up to walk the picket line.

For the moment, no further protests have been scheduled, pending the final decision on the hotel proposal by the city’s Planning Board which meets Tuesday, March 28, 2006. The meeting begins at 8:00am and will be held in room 902 on the 9th floor of City Hall in downtown Buffalo.

On Saturday morning several individuals attended a meeting with a lawyer to see what could be done, if anything, about the proposal and about Hans Mobius, former Buffalo mayoral candidate and owner of the properties to be demolished at 1109-1121 Elmwood.

One of the attendees, Nancy Pollina, co-owner of Don Apparel with Patty Morris, stated that “there is a case” but that she is likely unable to afford the large attorney’s fees. Pollina reports that she is looking into a “legal fund.”

Some of the affected are considering going to the New York State Supreme Court pro se to seek an injunction.

Some tenants of Mobius’s buildings have accused him of being a “slumlord” and claim that he “intentionally neglected” his properties with the intention of selling. Mobius, who has owned the properties for about 20 years, tried in 1995 to sell them to a developer who wanted to build a Walgreens Drugstore on the same site as the proposed hotel.

Mobius is expected to appear in housing Court on April 11, 2006. He has not returned any phone calls from Wikinews.

Foreign governments move to aid earthquake region

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

Monday, March 28, 2005

After facing criticism for being slow to act and initially giving too little after the December 26 Indonesian earthquake and tsunami, the United States government was quick to act when a massive earthquake hit Indonesia again March 28. U.S. State Department Adam Ereli said under orders of President George W. Bush, American embassy officials have been in contact with both Indonesia officials and the International Red Cross to coordinate international relief efforts and other foreign aid.

The two former U.S. presidents, Bill Clinton and the current president’s father, George H.W. Bush, already are heading up U.S. aid efforts in the region as the result of the last major temblor. “We still have people over there assisting from the first one, and they will be our first line of defense, once we know what kind of damage there is,” Pat McCrummen, spokesman for the American Red Cross told the Associated Press.

Although relief officials have been in contact with various governments, no specific pledge amount has been announced (as of 20:51, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)).

Brazilian Vote Buying parliamentary commission present first joint preliminary report

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019
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.

Typhoon Melor on path towards Japan

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Typhoon Melor, a tropical cyclone in the Pacific, has weakened somewhat over the past few days, but is still a powerful and dangerous storm as it tracks towards Japan. Forecasters say the cyclone will strike the islands of Okinawa before making landfall near Tokyo on Thursday.

The storm is among a series of damaging typhoons that have formed in the Western Pacific over the past few weeks, including Ketsana, which caused devastating flooding in the Philippines.

“Minami Daito is expected to be hit by violent winds and rough seas with a sea swell of more than nine metres [30 feet] from late Tuesday to Wednesday noon,” a forecaster said. After that, the storm could strike Honshu on a path similar to that of a typhoon in 1959 which killed thousands of people.

Although Melor is unlikely to cause such destruction, residents are still preparing for strong winds and heavy rain as the typhoon closes in.

New Zealand medical student funding to be reviewed

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

Monday, February 20, 2006

The New Zealand government has announced that it will be reviewing funding for medical and dentistry students at Otago and Auckland Universities to certify the institutions’ standards and help staff retention.

The dean of Auckland University’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Professor Iain Martin says the review “can’t come soon enough”.

The Medical Students Association welcomes the review. It says that it has been worried about student debt for years “High debt encourages too many graduates overseas, or into high paying areas of practice at the expense of areas like general practice”

Wikinews investigates the reconstruction of Pichilemu, Chile after February earthquake

Monday, January 14th, 2019

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Left: A recently constructed kiosk with the new design. Image: Diego Grez.Right: The original design of the kiosk, as shown in the plans by the Municipality. Image: Ilustre Municipalidad de Pichilemu.

Eight months after a catastrophic earthquake, Wikinews has investigated the devastation caused in February and the reconstruction of Pichilemu, Chile. The February 27 earthquake and a subsequent tsunami completely destroyed Pichilemu’s most coastal street and its oldest villages. Wikinews has also had access to the original design plans of the new kiosks in Pichilemu, and conducted an interview with merchant Alejandro Mella, known locally as the King of the Cochayuyo (“El Rey del Cochayuyo”), who lost his kiosk after the earthquake.

Pichilemu is a coastal city in the O’Higgins Region of Chile, known as one of the “best surfing spots” in South America. Its current Mayor is Roberto CĂłrdova Carreño, who was elected internally by the Councillors of the city in September 2009, after several political controversies that ended with three Mayors being displaced.

The territory of Pichilemu has a surface of 7,491 square kilometers, and comprises at least 24 villages, such as Ciruelos, RodeĂ­llo and Espinillo (the latter two also severely damaged by the March 11 earthquake). Pichilemu is the most popular beach in O’Higgins Region, and many tourists visit it every summer.

The earthquake took place in what is considered the “last weekend in the summer;” on Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 03:34 local time (06:34 UTC), while almost all Chileans were sleeping. Hours earlier, on Friday, thousands of people had arrived at Pichilemu. “The house moved from side to side. I really thought it was going to fall. It was 3 or 4 minutes long,” Diego Grez, a Chilean student who was in Pichilemu at the time of the quake, told Wikinews in an interview.

A concert was being held at the One Discotheque when the earthquake occurred. It is said that the audience panicked and fled outside the discothèque, and then to the La Cruz Hill. Most tourists fled outside the city right after the earthquake occurred, but many others opted to stay in the La Cruz Hill or the village of Pueblo de Viudas, which are the higher points in the city.

“Pichilemu is the symbolic beach resort in the Sixth Region [of O’Higgins], so it was not strange to even think that [during] the last weekend before the entrance to school, many people would be going to take advantage of it to take a vacation; and that’s what happened,” reported El RancagĂĽino, the most important newspaper in O’Higgins Region, on February 28.

The only radio broadcasting in the area was Entre Olas, directed by Jorge Nasser, which also helped Pichileminians know what happened in other affected places by the earthquake, as they re-broadcasted the audio of TelevisiĂłn Nacional de Chile (National Television of Chile). On the day of the earthquake, the station reported that a local police truck had crashed near La Cruz Hill. There was no tsunami warning, and Mayor CĂłrdova was away on holiday when the earthquake struck.

“Those who live in Pichilemu, and those who were visiting it, were surprised by the giant waves that annihilated its beach and reached the city’s square, destroying everything on their way,” reported El Morrocotudo on February 28. “The most tough thing occurred when the firefighters’ alarms sounded twice, and the people in the hill began to yell ‘tsunami!’,” journalist Tania Arce told the newspaper.

The earthquake destroyed one of Pichilemu’s oldest and iconic buildings, the post office, which was demolished in July. The urban centre of Pichilemu was not severely damaged by the earthquake, but its subsequent tsunami caused most of the destruction. The AgustĂ­n Ross architecture in the city (three of his buildings are National Monuments of Chile) was damaged. AgustĂ­n Ross Balcony was completely destroyed.

According to SHOA, the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Chilean Navy, the tsunami triggered by the earthquake first reached Pichilemu, at 03:48 (06:48 UTC). A second wave came at 04:15 (07:15 UTC).

Policeman JosĂ© ArĂ©valo was the only person to warn residents that a tsunami was approaching. ArĂ©valo was patrolling the Las Terrazas beach, when the earthquake occurred. He told El Rancahuaso there were around 25 people in the beach. “Right after the quake, he noticed the sea had shrank around 500 meters inside. He took his megaphone, and shouted people should leave the place instantly.” “The sea is coming out! The sea is coming out!,” he shouted. “The warning was also preceived by nightclubs and pubs surrounding the costanera. Then, the tragedy occurred. The sea destroyed everything on its way,” El Rancahuaso reported. “It all was really quick. Everyone is safe, luckily [..] It’s something unforgettable to me, I’m proud I saved all of those lives,” ArĂ©valo added.

The tsunami destroyed restaurants, hotels, kiosks, the Fishermen Store (Caleta de Pescadores), surf schools, the AgustĂ­n Ross Balcony (located right in front of the Las Terrazas beach) and houses near the costanera (the nearest street to the beach), and flooded the building of the Government of Cardenal Caro Province, the boarding school of Pichilemu, the city square (Arturo Prat Square), and the Supermarket El 9.

A local worker, Ricardo Vivanco, also known as “El Gordo” (“The Fat one”), almost was killed by a tsunami, ignoring warnings by the Police and the Fire Bureau. Vivanco was drunk, and went down to the Las Terrazas beach with his friends. The wave washed him away, and was hit on the AgustĂ­n Ross Balcony’s wall. His friends recorded a video and uploaded it to YouTube.

It was reported by Radio Entre Olas on February 27, that the tsunami had provoked massive damage in Punta de Lobos, Pichilemu’s most popular beach. The owner of Entre Mar, an hotel and restaurant in that beach, said the tsunami had destroyed all of his buildings there.

The village of Espinillo was badly damaged, and approximately 600 people were made homeless by the earthquake, Teletrece reported on March 16. “We are keeping the government informed, we’re also organized with some churches [sic, religious organizations] that are working voluntarily in Espinillo, Los Boldos, Alto RamĂ­rez […] We thank a lot their work, that is not to give them mediaguas [temporary tenements], but something definitive, but I also think they need resources to do it,” Mayor CĂłrdova said.

On March 11, Chile was hit by a second earthquake, that reached a magnitude of 6.9, and that occurred 40 kilometers southwest of Pichilemu. It occurred at 11:39 local time (14:39 UTC), while the new President Sebastián Piñera was sworn in.

A tsunami warning was issued by SHOA, between Coquimbo and Los Lagos regions. People in Pichilemu fled again to La Cruz Hill. Military authorities assured people in the hill they were going to be safe there, and that it was unlikely a tsunami was going to hit again Chile’s coast. The tsunami warning was lifted at 15:50 local time (18:50 UTC).

People stayed in La Cruz Hill for a longer time than after the previous earthquake, and several activities were made there, such as a concert by Chilean-Brazilian singer Joe Vasconcellos. People were also given food, wood (mostly remains from the destroyed kiosks), and electricity.

“We are here because we fear about our safety. We don’t want it [a possible tsunami] to catch us. We have to settle down here and to accommodate,” Edith LarraĂ­n told to Wikinews. Mayor CĂłrdova estimated that at least 2,000 people were staying at La Cruz Hill. Militaries and provincial authorities asked them to leave the hill on March 15, but most refused the deal. People eventually left the hill, due to complaints by the Mayor.

On March 20, in collaboration with the Governor of Cardenal Caro Julio Ibarra, Colonel RaĂşl Melo, and the Mayor of Litueche Bernardo Cornejo, Mayor of Pichilemu Roberto CĂłrdova announced a “tourism revival campaign” of Pichilemu, promoting the surf practice, whose goal was “to make the city go back to the normality.”

On April 4, the first monument was erected in memory of the earthquake and tsunami victims. The monument was created by local artisans, with rocks from several places of the Cardenal Caro Province. “We wanted to create this monument so we don’t forget it [the earthquake] […] This is the beginning of the reconstruction,” said Julio Ibarra. The monument was placed in front of the beach, near the building of the Cardenal Caro Government. Mayor Roberto CĂłrdova said that “it definitely will help us reconstruct [ourselves] espiritually, [and that] is essential.”

On October 20, with the help of the Government, SERCOTEC (Technical Cooperation Service, Servicio de CooperaciĂłn TĂ©cnica) and FOSIS (Solidarity and Social Investment, Fondo de Solidaridad e InversiĂłn Social), the Fishermen Store (Caleta de Pescadores) began to be reconstructed. Caleta de Pescadores is administered by the Independent Labour Union of Fishermen of Pichilemu (Sindicato de Trabajo Independientes de Pescadores Artesanales), which has twenty-three members.

“The Government of President Sebastián Piñera has been worried about the fishing area, carrying out several actions in help of them, after all that they’ve suffered after the earthquake and tsunami that hit them […] This area is working normally again,” Governor Ibarra said.

On October 6, the Municipality of Pichilemu published the design of kiosks that were going to be constructed, as replacement of those destroyed by the earthquake. As of October 23, four kiosks have been constructed in Pichilemu, specifically on Las Terrazas beach, and two more are being constructed. According to Mauricio Grez, a construction engineer, the construction of one kiosk would cost up to US$ 2,500 (CLP 1,000,000).

Alejandro Mella, locally known as “el Rey del Cochayuyo” (“the King of the Cochayuyo”), is a merchant of Pichilemu, who promotes the cochayuyo (durvillaea antarctica), and lost his kiosk after the February earthquake and tsunami. “I was given my [former] kiosk by the Mayor Orlando Cornejo, back in 1993. It was right in front of us [in front of Las Terrazas beach, near “the grotto of the Virgin”], and was made smithereens by the tsunami,” he told Wikinews.

“I have always worked on selling cochayuyo here, and the terrain where my kiosk was located before has been disputed by private people, and the municipality approved that. I talked with the Mayor and he said ‘I don’t know what’s going on the beach’; that left me perplexed. […] I like the new design of the kiosks, they are larger, and we can do more things with it, but they are way too expensive,” he added. Mr. Mella also gave Wikinews a sample of his work as “the King of the Cochayuyo”, an essay called “El cochayuyo es una mina repleta de nutrientes y sales minerales” (“Cochayuyo is a mine full of nutrients and mineral salts”, pictured below), which he sells for 200 Chilean pesos (0.41 US$), and that contains “tips and information about the plant, and some recipes.”

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A kiosk in Pichilemu, in 2007. The design is considerably different to the recently published one. Image: Diego Grez.

Isometrical view of the new Pichilemu kiosks. Image: Ilustre Municipalidad de Pichilemu.

Construction of kiosks in Las Terrazas Beach, on October 22. Image: Diego Grez.

Front page of Alejandro Mella’s essay “El cochayuyo es una mina repleta de nutrientes y sales minerales” (“Cochayuyo is a mine full of nutrients and mineral salts”), which he published under the nickname of “the king of the Cochayuyo of Pichilemu”. Image: Alejandro Mella/Diego Grez.

Hundreds of thousands rally in Australia against IR legislation

Monday, January 14th, 2019

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

People rallied in 300 locations across Australia today to protest the Federal Government’s proposed changes to industrial relations laws, WorkChoices. According to police, around 150,000 people congregated in Melbourne, from where speeches were broadcast throughout the country. In Sydney, thirty thousand gathered in Belmore Park and Martin Place to watch the broadcast before marching to Chifley Square.

Sharan Burrow, President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), said that under the changes many working conditions would be under threat, including “penalty rates, public holidays, overtime pay, control over rostered hours, shift penalties, even 4 weeks annual leave.” The government has claimed, despite various expert assesment to the contrary, and opposition from major Australian religious and charity organisations and some concern from its own backbench, that the IR changes will improve the economy and ultimately benefit workers, and dismissed the protests as having “little effect”.