Archive for February, 2019

Cuba announces shift of farm management to local level

Thursday, February 14th, 2019

Thursday, May 1, 2008

In an effort to boost its troubled agricultural sector, Cuba announced a major shift in the management of the country’s farms, which are to be placed under the control of over 150 local delegations rather than the national government. The move was announced in Granma, the official newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party.

On Thursday, Granma reported that the management of the farms has moved from the national government’s Agriculture Ministry to the municipal level. The decision-making will now be handled by 169 new local delegations. The reform also involves the elimination of 104 departments which have been deemed unnecessary.

“The municipal agriculture delegations — an organizational process that has just concluded — will assume the responsibility for the functioning, development and control … of agricultural production,” Granma said. The move is intended to “stimulate agricultural production, perfect its sale and increase the availability of food and, in this way, substitute imports.”

It is fundamental to concentrate efforts on increasing production and productivity, above all of food.

President Raúl Castro, who succeeded his brother Fidel in February, has made agriculture one of the top priorities for Cuba. At a meeting with Communist Party leaders earlier this week, Raúl called food production “a matter of maximum national security.” In past weeks, Raúl has said he wants to promote the decentralizing of food production, which he believes will decrease the country’s dependency on foreign imports.

Officials estimate that government mismanagement has resulted in 51 percent of Cuba’s arable land becoming underused or uncultivated. Also, Cuba imported $1.7 billion worth of food in 2007, a number that is expected to reach over $2 billion this year.

The announcement came as hundreds of thousands took to the streets in Havana for the annual May Day parade. Raúl Castro attended the parade, but did not speak, instead choosing to smile and wave from a podium as marchers streamed past. The event lasted only 2 hours, a large departure from previous years. Before Raúl’s presidency, Fidel Castro’s speeches themselves sometimes lasted close to 2 hours, and the parades often featured singing or skits.

Although Raúl did not speak at the parade, Salvador Valdés Mesa, head of the Cuban Workers Confederation, used his speech as an opportunity to promote economic efficiency and productivity. “It is fundamental to concentrate efforts on increasing production and productivity, above all of food,” he said.

News briefs:April 17, 2010

Thursday, February 14th, 2019
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Bollywood stars Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan engaged

Thursday, February 14th, 2019

Monday, January 15, 2007

This article features in a News Brief from Audio Wikinews:

Legendary Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan has confirmed that his son Abhishek and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai were engaged last evening at a private ceremony at the Bachchans’ residence in Mumbai.

It is believed that the younger Bachchan proposed to his bride-to-be in New York, soon after the Toronto premiere of his new movie Guru. The media had been following the romance between the two closely for some time past, but this is the first time they have come out in the open about their relationship. Rumours that the couple were planning to spread the know began to spread in November last year, when they visited the Sankat Mochan Temple together, with some even saying that they had already been married even earlier at the Meenakshi temple in Madurai

According to one daily, the wedding will take place either on February 19 or March 7 at the Hyatt Mumbai. “The children have decided. We are very happy and thought we should go ahead with the ‘roka’ ceremony. It was held in the evening.”, Amitabh Bachchan said of the ceremony, which was attended by the family’s close friends, including Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, Aishwarya’s parents, and industrialist Anil Ambani and the latter’s wife Tina Ambani. The couple have now flown to Ujjain to take a holy dip in the Ganga.

Get The Best Quality Emergency Furnace Repair Service In Omaha, Ne

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

byAlma Abell

Keeping warm during the colder months of the year is always important. If your furnace isn’t reliable, you and your family could suffer during these cold times. Not only will the colder times of the year be uncomfortable to deal with without a reliable furnace in your home, you can also run the risk of you and your family becoming ill. Having a reliable furnace to keep your home warm is about more than just comfort in most cases. You run a high risk of your family becoming ill due to exposure to the lower temperatures during winter. This makes having a reliable furnace even more important if you have family members in your home that are elderly, diabetic, have bad health, or are young.

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Fortunately, many residents of the Omaha area won’t have to deal with faulty furnaces due to the constant upkeep and maintenance they have performed on their comfort appliances. When a furnace is well taken care of, cleaned on a regular basis, and serviced regularly, it will usually experience only a few problems in its lifespan. Unfortunately many homeowners still have to deal with getting repairs made when their furnace goes out unexpectedly. Even brand new furnaces can experience problems due to faulty installation work or parts. When a furnace does go out unexpectedly, homeowners often rely on a Reputable Emergency Furnace Repair Service in Omaha, NE to get their unit back up and running properly.

Having an Emergency Furnace Repair Service in Omaha NE work on your furnace when it first goes out is a good first step for getting it fixed properly. Waiting around to get your furnace looked at by a professional can cause more problems than you may realize. Unfortunately for many homeowners, there’s no sure fire way of preventing problems from occurring with any type of appliance you own. Even with regular servicing, cleaning, and maintenance, an appliance can still experience problems. With furnaces, this can be anything from a faulty ignition system or heating coil, to a bad ventilation fan. Getting these components fixed as soon as you notice a problem is important, and even more so when your unit stops working entirely.

Japanese national team beats ACT softball team

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hawker, Australian Capital Territory — Tonight, the Japanese national team beat the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) softball team 1–0 in the first of a two game series before Japan plays a three game test series against the Australian national team.

The game was a low scoring pitching duel. Japan brought five pitchers to Canberra for their Australian tour. Since the last Olympics, Japan has been in a rebuilding period. The side is young and many of their best players have not had much international experience. One of their best pitchers is only nineteen years old.

The ACT side included Australian national team members Aimee Murch and Clare Warwick; Olympic bronze medalist Brenda De Blaes; Victorian state team representative, national team member and Olympic bronze medalist Justine Smethurst; and Clare Currie, who narrowly missed the cut for the national team.

De Blaes started the top of the first with a hit. She ended the inning stranded on base. Murch was pitching for the ACT to start the bottom of the first. Number 15 for Japan opened the inning with a single, and was advanced to third on another single. She was tagged out after trying to score a run after her teammate hit a pop up caught by the ACT’s centre fielder. Number 6 hit a double during this inning, scoring Japan’s only run.

The top of the second saw ACT players 1, 5 and 3 tagged out after hits to the infield. The bottom of the second saw number 13 out on a foul ball caught on the fly by the ACT’s third baseman, and number 11 and 24 out on balls hit into and caught by the ACT’s centre fielder.

The top of third inning saw numbers 24 and 21 ground out. De Blaes ended the inning by striking out. The bottom of the third saw Japan’s first batter ground out, number 8 getting a single on an infield hit, another playing getting an out, and the inning ending with number 11 hitting an infield ground out.

The rest of the game followed much the same pattern. Two players, an ACT player and a Japanese, were struck by balls and required trainers to look at them. Smethurst came in and pitched a few innings in relief. Between the fifth and sixth innings, there was a small delay in the game when a dog named Streaker, owned by Australia men’s national softball team player Adam Folkard, ran onto the the infield.

The game ended 1–0. An announcement was made at the end of the game that the match scheduled for tomorrow would start fifteen minutes earlier than the advertised start time of 18:00.

Exclusive interview with prominent blogger, David Farrar

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Freelance journalist writing for Wikinews, Gabriel Pollard, with help from Brian Anderton, has interviewed New Zealand-based blogger, David Farrar on blogging, web 2.0, and the Internet in general.

David Farrar is most known for his “fairly popular” blog, Kiwiblog, where he posts on various topics, including politics and technology. He is the vice-president of the Internet Society of New Zealand, and has been involved in helping to split Telecom New Zealand up and in anti-spam legislation.

David Farrar first started using the “best invention ever,” Internet, in February 1996 after having owned a BBC Micro microcomputer since 1982. On the Internet he debated various issues using Usenet newsgroups. Kiwiblog now serves for this purpose. He then got his own personal Internet account with ihug in August of that year.

Farrar also has political ties, which can be seen in some of his blog posts. For eight years, Farrar worked for various Prime Ministers (PM) and Opposition leaders for the National Party, working with the likes of former PM Jim Bolger and former PM Jenny Shipley in the Media Services Unit of Ministerial Services.

Until Farrar landed himself a job in parliament, he had been using mainly Apple computers, “[I] finally converted to Microsoft in 1997 after being the only person in Parliament to have a Mac!”

Farrar was involved with introducing public e-mail for ministers, and the first Prime Minister website.

In 2004, after leaving politics, Farrar set up his polling and research company.

Kiwiblog, sparked by now defunct blog NZ Pundit by Gordon King, currently receives over 300,000 visitors a month. He suspects that Russell Brown, and the Spareroom blogs get well over 100,000 visitors. “There’s then probably a dozen or so other bloggers who get into the tens of thousands.”

“Gordon [King] would post wonderful polemics challenging the conventional thinking and reporting, and after a few months of reading him I realized that I also had views and could try sharing them with the world. So in July 2003 I made my first post, and enjoyed it ever since.”

Farrar admits to not having a deliberate strategy for promoting himself and his blog, he just found that doing more posts in a day and posting what he was interested in got the visitors that were interested in the same things. “Oh and most important of all is to have a sense of humour and enjoy doing it.”

If Farrar wasn’t blogging, he says he would be “Earning money! I spend far too long blogging when I should be working on more business. However it is doing well enough that I can divide my time up between my business, InternetNZ and blogging and not starve.”

Farrar has a few tips for those politicians who have started a blog, or are looking at starting one up, “Very few are successful because [they] treat it as a one way communication tool where they just post press releases or travel diaries. Rodney Hide is the best example of doing it the right way. John Key is video blogging and responding to comments through future videos, which is a different way to interact.” But still warns that most readers of blog prefer “honest opinion” instead of reading what the politicians want them to read.

Farrar is a huge supporter of Wikipedia and says that he uses it multiples times a day. He says that he was “very proud” when the Wikipedia community regarded him as notable enough to have his own entry.

“I wish I had more time to edit Wikipedia. There’s lots more NZ content to get onto there.”

Sites like YouTube, which Farrar uses daily, show that they can leave big brand names like Google Video for dead if they show strong innovation, Farrar says.

Farrar says the success to websites such as Wikipedia and YouTube is because of multiple user generated content, “…rather than tightly controlled content from one source.” The focus on the community at large is also a major factor of their success.

When asked where he sees the Internet in decades from now, his simple response was, “I wish I knew.” But he does predict every house in New Zealand will be connected to the Internet via fibre optics.

One scenario Farrar drew was, “…being able to see a map of your local area on your phone, and not just get told where the nearest toilets or bookstore is, but also if any of your friends are nearby.”

David Farrar would just like to say thanks for the opportunity of being interviewed on Wikinews.

Suicide bomber attacks Medina Mosque before Eid al-Fitr

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Yesterday, a suicide attack was committed moments before sunset in the holy city in Medina, Saudi Arabia killing four officials and injuring five in Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, the Prophet’s Mosque, the Saudi interior ministry said. Earlier yesterday, two Saudi cities Jeddah and Quatif suffered attacks. Pilgrims were praying before breaking their Ramadan fast.

36-year-old eyewitness Qari Ziyaad Patel told Associated Press he heard a blast just as the call to sunset prayers was ending and people were breaking their fast. At first it was widely mistaken for cannon fire traditionally signaling the end of daily fasting during Ramadan, but then they felt the vibrations through the ground.

Al Arabiya’s correspondent reported that after the explosion pilgrims offered prayers in the Prophet’s Mosque and no worshippers were injured in the suicide attacks. The Interior Ministry has identified the suicide bomber. According to them, Abdullah Waqar Khan was responsible for the attack. Waqar, they said, was born in Pakistan and had lived in Jeddah for the past twelve years.

The chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi condemned the attack and said, “Islam is innocent of these criminal acts that harvested safe lives and shed pure blood.” ((ar))Arabic language: ???????? ???? ?? ??? ??????? ????????? ???? ???? ??????? ?????? ????? ?????? ??????. Abu Dhabi prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan tweeted, “It’s time we work together to save our religion from these deadly criminal gangs. ((ar))Arabic language: ???? ????? ?? ???? ????? ???? ????? ?????? ? ??? ??? ??????? ?? ??? ??????? ??????? ???????

This week, three Islamic countries – Turkey, Bangladesh, and Iraq — faced terror attacks in Istanbul, Dhaka, and Baghdad.

Viktor Schreckengost dies at 101

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Viktor Schreckengost, the father of industrial design and creator of the Jazz Bowl, an iconic piece of Jazz Age art designed for Eleanor Roosevelt during his association with Cowan Pottery died yesterday. He was 101.

Schreckengost was born on June 26, 1906 in Sebring, Ohio, United States.

Schreckengost’s peers included the far more famous designers Raymond Loewy and Norman Bel Geddes.

In 2000, the Cleveland Museum of Art curated the first ever retrospective of Schreckengost’s work. Stunning in scope, the exhibition included sculpture, pottery, dinnerware, drawings, and paintings.

Ubuntu releases third version of popular Linux distribution

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Ubuntu Foundation released its third version of the popular GNU/Linux operating system distribution yesterday. Codenamed “Breezy Badger”, the release improves on its predecessor, Hoary Hedgehog, with updated versions of packages such as OpenOffice.org, new computer management tools, special installation modes for computer manufacturers, and a “thin client” mode for large networks of homogenous computers. The new version also improves support for laptop computers, portable media players, Bluetooth devices, PowerPC processors, and other hardware.

Because the software in the GNU/Linux operating system comes with permission for everyone to modify and redistribute it, there are many versions (called “distributions”) of the operating system available. Ubuntu builds on the popular Debian GNU/Linux distribution. Like Debian, it is made almost entirely of free software.

Users quickly swarmed the Ubuntu Foundation’s servers trying to download the new version. The servers are currently responding slowly; moderators at the Ubuntu Forums suggested that users download with BitTorrent if at all possible, which is much less prone to such slowdowns.

Although its first release was only a year ago, Ubuntu Linux has quickly become one of the most popular Linux distributions. It is intended to be user-friendly without being insecure by design, a charge sometimes leveled against other beginner-friendly distributions like Linspire. The distribution is offered for free, and CDs are available for order via the Internet without charge (including shipping).

Three babies dead within one week at Madrid Hospital

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

Sunday, March 4, 2007

A Spanish hospital reported today that three premature babies have died within one week from the same infection. The babies, who were being cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit of Madrid‘s 12 de Octubre Hospital, all died after being infected with Klebsiella pneumoniae bacterium. Authorities also suspect that a fourth baby has become infected with the bacterium. The Spanish patients’ association ADEPA has asked the public prosecutor of the Madrid Region, Manuel Moix, to open an investigation into the matter.

This morning, hospital authorities stated that the first death occurred on 26 February. A baby born eight weeks prematurely and weighing just under one kilo died due to septic shock arising from the infection, which was unconnected with the symptoms of his premature birth, according to hospital reports.

Shortly afterwards, two babies in the same unit died on 2 March. They appear to have died from the same infection; however the hospital stated that they are still waiting for confirmation of the cause of death. A fourth baby has been found to have the bacteria on his skin, but as yet there is no confirmation of whether he has been infected. The hospital states that although the baby is in a serious condition, this is to be expected when a baby is born so premature, and that his condition is also due to other factors, unrelated to the bacterium, which have arisen since his birth.

The hospital authorities have asserted that all of the babies in its care are under close supervision, and are being periodically monitored by the Preventive Medicine Centre, in order that the most up-to-date information may be had on the state of any and all patients in the hospital.

To prevent further infections, the hospital has taken several measures. The first is of course rigorous medical hygiene. High-risk patients are referred to other hospitals. The hospital has been divided into two separate zones, one for those already infected and the other for those who have not yet been affected. As a consequence, 25 children who were staying in the hospital while the 3 premature babies died, remain separate from the others, to make sure newly admitted children are not exposed. The nursing staff has also been restricted to one or other of these two areas. Visits from specialists of other hospital services, and from families, has been restricted. Furthermore, an epidemiological study is being undertaken to determine the origin of the situation.

The newspaper El País reports that the bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae is to be found in hospitals as a matter of course and is often contracted by those who have been in hospital for prolonged periods (termed a nosocomial infection). The mortality rate from the bacterium is extremely high in those cases where it’s contracted by people with serious illnesses, as is often to be expected in the case of a premature birth, which can result in newborn babies weighing less than 500 grammes.

According to the Spanish daily, this type of bacterium is prevalent in hospitals throughout the world, but the incidence of infection in Madrid hospitals is lower than the Spanish average. The head of the Neonatal Unit at 12 de Octubre Hospital, Carmen Payás, explained that the bacterium is very adaptable “and keeps on learning”. The father of the dead baby, an Ecuadorian named Angel Marcelo, was quoted as saying that the progress of the baby had at first been “tremendous”, and that he had even been taken off the respirator, but that a few days later he began to cough up blood, dying soon afterwards.

The chair of ADEPA, Carmen Flores, has appealed to the Madrid public prosecutor to open an investigation into the situation and to find those responsible. ADEPA have suggested that the investigation centre on the number of casualties among infants in the hospital, and on the question of whether conditions in the neonatal unit were a direct contributor to the incidence of the infection.

José Quero, head of the Neonatology Department of the La Paz hospital in Madrid said that, “sadly enough”, this situation was “not something exceptional,” but rather something neonatologists have to watch out for.