Sunday, May 25, 2008

Dima Bilan has won the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest, the 53rd, for Russia with his song Believe. The song was developed by US R&B artist Timbaland. The song won the competition with 272 points; 42 points ahead of Ukraine’s Ani Lorak in second place with 230 points for the song Shady Lady. Third was Kalomira for Greece with Secret Combination The voting for the competition came from 43 countries across Europe, but with 25 countries competing, the others having failed to get through the semi finals. Russia has never won the contest before, Bilan having come second in 2006, losing out to Finnish hard rock band Lordi with Hard Rock Halellujah.

Furtherdown the scale Germany’s No Angels with Disapear, Poland’s Isis Gee with For Life and the United Kingdom’s Andy Abraham with Even If came joint last with 14 points. Fourth last was Teräsbetoni, a Finnish heavy metal band performing in their native language with Missä Mihet Ratsastaa (Where Men Ride). Sweden’s Charlotte Perrelli had been predicted to repeat her 1999 victory, this time with Hero, but also received a low score.

There was an estimated 100 million television viewers from across Europe.

UK commentator Terry Wogan has garnered significant media attention for criticising the contest live towards the end of the broadcast for being overly political. “It’s a disappointment, considering that Andy Abraham gave, I think, the performance of his life with a song that certainly deserved more marks than it got when you look at the points that Spain got, that Bosnia-Herzegovina got – some really ridiculous songs,” he said. “You have to say that this is no longer a music contest… I have to decide whether we (himself and his producer, who already announced he wanted to leave) want to do this again. Western European participants have to decide whether they want to take part from here on in, because their prospects are poor.” He called the contest “political”.

Spain was represented by Rodolfo Chikilicuatre with Baila el Chiki Chiki (Dance the Chiki Chiki) and Bosnia and Herzegovina by Elvir Lakovi? Laka with Pokušaj (try).

Bilan, who received the maximum 12 points from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus and Armenia, all of which are former Soviet countries, was sent a telegram from Putin to congratulate him after his victory. Mevedev also contacted him later by phone to congratulate him. “Russia is the favorite now, it’s just tearing everybody up — in basketball, football, hockey, and Eurovision!” commented champion figure skater Evgeni Plushenko, who had joined Bilan onstage to skate as part of the winning performance. He is now also a politician.

Next year’s contest will be held in Russia.



Thursday, October 20, 2005

Several of Australian State premiers and more civil libertarians have added to the growing chorus of concern over the proposed Australian Anti-Terrorism Bill, which was proposed by the Australian Prime Minister, and the State and Territory governments following the London transport bombings of July 7, which killed 56 people



Wednesday, May 26, 2010

800 miles of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System were closed down following a spill of thousands of barrels of crude oil south of Fairbanks, Alaska. A power failure following a routine fire-command system test caused relief valves to open and crude oil overflowed near the Fort Greely pump station 9. The valves opening allowed a pressure release for the system and oil flowed on a pad to a tank that can hold 55,000 barrels (2.3 million gallons). As of Wednesday afternoon, the tank vents were still leaking probably from thermal expansion inside the tank. Another secondary containment area below the tanks capable of holding 104,500 barrels was not yet filled to capacity.

The spill coordinator for the Department of Environmental Conservation, Tom DeRuter, said that the oil spill contamination should be confined to the graveled oil containment liner. “Safety is their No. 1 objective right now. As soon as it is safe to move in, then they’ll get the power on and try to empty that tank out. As long as everything is in that liner, it gives us time,” DeRuter explained.

40 people had been evacuated from the Fort Greely site, and the Prudhoe Bay station has been reduced by 84%. “We’re going to take as long as we need to make sure the site is safe before we start back up,” said Alyeska Pipeline Service Company spokesperson Michele Egan. There is capacity in reserve tanks for 48 hours during this slow down of production.

About 650,000 barrels per day run through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline between Prudhoe Bay to the Port of Valdez oil tankers. The majority of shares in Alyeska are held by BP Exploration, Alaska (BPXA) which is also currently addressing the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP addressed a 267,000 gallon crude oil spill in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska in 2006 resulting in a lawsuit against BP Exploration.



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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott has pledged private school relief if the Liberal/National coalition wins the upcoming federal election. The pledge came in response to the Australian Labor Party leader, and current Prime Minister, Julia Gillard proposing a uniform and school equipment tax break expansion.

Abbott’s proposal includes an offer of tax rebates for sending a child to a private school. For students in primary school, prep to grade 6, the rebate will rise to $500 Australian a year per student and families will be then able to claim 50% rebate up to $1000.

“We are expanding the rebate so it can be claimed for school fees and also for other educational costs such as tuition and special educational costs for children with, for instance, dyslexia,” Abbott said at a press conference in Brisbane.

Before the election was called, Gillard had aimed to pledge $220 million over four years to expand the current tax breaks to cover refunds each worth $390 for primary school uniforms and $779 for high school uniforms, as well as refunds for other school equipment like texts books and computers.

“We all know that uniforms can be an expensive part of sending kids to school, but this change, along with the existing refund for textbooks and computers, will help families with that cost,” stated Gillard.

An opposition spokesperson claimed that the “obvious flaw in Labor’s policy is that it only applies to stationery, computer expenses and uniforms […] You know as a parent that you need help for a whole range of expenses. Extra teachers for children with dyslexia or the costs of doing music and all the other expenses like excursions and so forth.”

The expansion is expected to cost $760 million in total and one that Abbott claims needs to happen as “cost of living pressures tend to be greatest when your kids are at school”.



Friday, May 16, 2008

Controversy has arisen over the reported presence of blue asbestos on the MV Freewinds, a cruise ship owned by the Church of Scientology. According to the Saint Martin newspaper The Daily Herald and the shipping news journal Lloyd’s List, the Freewinds was sealed in April and local public health officials on the Caribbean island of Curaçao where the ship is docked began an investigation into the presence of asbestos dust on the ship. Former Scientologist Lawrence Woodcraft supervised work on the ship in 1987, and attested to the presence of blue asbestos on the Freewinds in an affidavit posted to the Internet in 2001. Woodcraft, a licensed architect by profession, gave a statement to Wikinews and commented on the recent events.

According to The Daily Herald, the Freewinds was in the process of being renovated by the Curaçao Drydock Company. The article states that samples taken from paneling in the ship were sent to the Netherlands, where an analysis revealed that they “contained significant levels of blue asbestos”. An employee of the Curaçao Drydock Company told Radar Online in an April 30 article that the Freewinds has been docked and sealed, and confirmed that an article about asbestos ran in the local paper.

Lloyd’s List reported that work on the interior of the Freewinds was suspended on April 27 after health inspectors found traces of blue asbestos on the ship. According to Lloyd’s List, Frank Esser, Curaçao Drydock Company’s interim director, joined Curaçao’s head of the department of labor affairs Christiene van der Biezen along with the head of the local health department Tico Ras and two inspectors in an April 25 inspection of the ship. “We are sending someone so that they can tell us what happened, where it came from, since when it has been there,” said Panama Maritime Authority’s director of merchant marine Alfonso Castillero in a statement to Lloyd’s List.

The Church of Scientology purchased the ship, then known as the Bohème, in 1987, through an organization called Flag Ship Trust. After being renovated and refitted, it was put into service in June 1988. The ship is used by the Church of Scientology for advanced Scientology training in “Operating Thetan” levels, as well as for spiritual retreats for its members. Curaçao has been the ship’s homeport since it was purchased by the Church of Scientology.

According to his 2001 statement, Lawrence Woodcraft had been an architect in London, England since 1975, and joined Scientology’s elite “Sea Organization” (Sea Org) in 1986. He wrote that he was asked by the Sea Org to work on the Freewinds in 1987, and during his work on the ship “noticed a powdery blue fibrous substance approximately 1 ½” thick between the paint and the steel wall,” which he believed to be asbestos. He also discovered what he thought was blue asbestos in other parts of the ship, and reported his findings to Church of Scientology executives. Woodcraft discussed his experiences in a 2001 interview published online by the Lisa McPherson Trust, a now-defunct organization which was critical of the Church of Scientology.

The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards.

Church of Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw responded to Radar Online about the asbestos reports, in an email published in an article in Radar on May 1. “The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards,” said Pouw. She stated that two inspections performed in April “confirmed that the air quality is safe,” and asserted that the inspections revealed the Freewinds satisfies standards set by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Clean Air Act.

Pouw told Radar that “The Freewinds will be completing its refit on schedule.” The Church of Scientology-affiliated organization Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) had been planning a cruise aboard the Freewinds scheduled for May 8, but according to Radar an individual who called the booking number for the cruise received a message that the cruise had been delayed due to ongoing work on the ship. Citing an article in the Netherlands Antilles newspaper Amigoe, Radar reported on May 6 that a team from the United States and supervised by an independent bureau from the Netherlands traveled to Curaçao in order to remove asbestos from the Freewinds.

…if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff.

“I stand by everything I wrote in my 2001 affidavit,” said Lawrence Woodcraft in an exclusive statement given to Wikinews. Woodcraft went on to state: “I would also comment that if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff. Also panelling as well, basically strip the ship back to a steel hull. Also blue asbestos is sprayed onto the outer walls and then covered in paint. It’s in every nook and cranny.”

Many Scientologist celebrities have spent time aboard the Freewinds, including Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Chick Corea, Lisa Marie Presley, Catherine Bell, Kate Ceberano, and Juliette Lewis. Now magazine reported that Tom Cruise has been urged to seek medical attention regarding potential asbestos exposure, however a representative for Cruise stated he has “absolutely no knowledge” of the recent asbestos controversy. Cruise, Holmes, Travolta and Preston have celebrated birthdays and other events on the Freewinds.

There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.

In a May 15 statement to the United Kingdom daily newspaper Metro, a representative for the Church of Scientology said that “There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.” The Asbestos and Mesothelioma Center notes that agencies have recommended anyone who has spent time on the Freewinds consult with their physician to determine if possible asbestos exposure may have affected their health.

Raw blue asbestos is the most hazardous form of asbestos, and has been banned in the United Kingdom since 1970. Blue asbestos fibers are very narrow and thus easily inhaled, and are a major cause of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer which can develop in the lining of the lungs and chest cavity, the lining of the abdominal cavity, or the pericardium sac surrounding the heart. The cancer is incurable, and can manifest over 40 years after the initial exposure to asbestos.

“This is the most dangerous type of asbestos because the fibres are smaller than the white asbestos and can penetrate the lung more easily,” said toxicologist Dr. Chris Coggins in a statement published in OK! Magazine. Dr. Coggins went on to note that “Once diagnosed with mesothelioma, the victim has six months to a year to live. It gradually reduces lung function until the victim is no longer able to breathe and dies.”



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 Correction — March 15, 2011 The destination of the bus was in Manhattan, not Uncasville as stated in the article. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

At least fourteen people have died after a chartered bus crashed in The Bronx, New York. According to authorities, the tour bus accident also injured eighteen other people, amongst which five were critically injured.

The vehicle was travelling from Mohegan Sun in Connecticut to the village of Uncasville, also located in Connecticut. When the crash occurred on Interstate 95 at approximately 0535 EST (1035 UTC) on Sunday, there were at least thirty-one passengers present.

40-year-old Ophadell Williams, the driver of the bus, reported to the police that the vehicle came into contact with a semi-trailer truck, which was veering across the interstate. He said that he attempted to move out of the way of this vehicle, causing the bus itself to swerve, overturn and scrape the side of a railing for one hundred yards before impacting with a highway sign’s upholding bar.

Captain James Ellson, of the fire service, described the scene as “a pile of humans, either still in their seats or on the floor, wrapped in the metal”. Jose Hernandez, one of the survivors of the bus crash, said that “[w]e tried to help people, but there was twisted metal in the way”.

The semi-trailer truck driver failed to stop after the accident. Police are currently attempting to detect this driver. Raymond Kelly, the current New York City Police Commissioner, stated that the truck was moving on a lane to the bus’ nearside, although whether the vehicles came into contact with each other or not is yet to be confirmed. Both vehicles were travelling at “a significant rate of speed”, according to Kelly.



Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The New Zealand government officials have announced that it will give NZ$160,000 in aid to help farmers who were affected by the huge amounts of snow in Canterbury, New Zealand two weeks ago.

The aid package will provide four regional offices for co-ordination, food supplies and ongoing support.

The Federated Farmers for mid Canterbury say that the aid will be a start to what looks like a tough winter. President of the mid Canterbury Federated Farmers Rupert Curd says, “It is too early to say exactly how much help the relief package will provide.”

The snow has not yet reached a crisis point.

The Insurance Council has estimated the cost of the snow storm has reached $35 million so far. Chief Executive of the Insurance Council says, “There has been damage to homes, commercial premises both on farms and in town and vehicles. Businesspeople who have been without power are also claiming for loss of income.”

The Minister of Agriculture Jim Anderton has said that they are not ruling out giving further aid.



Htc EVO 4G was undoubtedly probably the most anticipated phone of the summer and nevertheless it is positioned in the desired list. Htc EVO 4G was the particular Americas first 4G telephone that has been introduced on June 4 after big expectations. This cell phone actually acquired a excellent moment in product sales proper following its start and still now the scenario carries on. Sprint was good fortune enough to release the first 4G available on the market which usually rates between the most effective Google android telephones even today.

EVO 4G wasn’t introduced around the the many says of the US but Run is increasing the 4G system gradually. Why don’t we peep into the characteristics of the telephone and learn more, Style:EVO 4G appears much more or similar to the HTC HD2 along with a easy pretty style. The phone weighs in at close to 6 ounces with 4.8 in . in size. The touchscreen current uses up most part of the cell phone which usually is close to 4.3 in . in dimensions. You can find four contact course-plotting manage control keys just below the touchscreen display. All those buttons are menus, back, home and lookup. There is a quantity handle option existing on the right side pane of the cell phone. There exists a 3.5 mm headset jack port current on the top of the phone along with the power off option. The Hardware port and HDMI ports are present under the phone. Functions:This many needed phone of the marketplace runs Google android 2.1 however it is anticipated that the device will probably obtain Froyo fairly soon.htc wildfire s,sprint (htc or evo or galaxy or asci),htc desire romRun released an item of be aware concerning the mobile phones to acquire the Froyo revise recently which presented EVO 4G. When you finish off studying the EVO 4G’s highlighted you will surprise exactly what otherwise this cell phone wants as it’s been filled with that very much. The HTC sense is the best a part of this telephone as it makes the Android encounter great and efficient. EVO 4G features the newest Sense released in 2010. EVO functions the 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8650 model and a 512MB Ram. EVO 4G is the 1st smartphone to characteristic the YouTube’s high high quality participant and the High-definition multimedia interface port existing will help you to view the videos in HD structure in your home theater system.You will find two high quality digital cameras existing in the phone, one is an 8 mega pixels camera present at the back of the telephone and another is a 1.3 mega pixels camera phone present helps in video getting in touch with. HTC EVO 4G comes the Qik video chat application which helps in making video calls.htc (sprint or alltel or verizon or tmobile or att or at&t)

Overall performance:The web link speed is really good in the areas where Sprint has launched the 4G. The areas which have not got 4G also knowledgeable some good level of web connection speed. The photo quality is really excellent and there were no problems described on it. The image quality was really good even on the pictures taken during night time. The call quality is really affordable and there were really less problems about the call decrease. The phone had few problems about the quality of the call but it was reported only on the areas where sprint tried 4G. These complaints were not found in large numbers. HTC EVO 4G is really worth a try!!

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I am a big fan of smart phones is engaged in mobile measurement, user experience work.I feel I used to write to share with you, for people who want to buy a mobile phone reference.You can focus on my site: sonyhtcsamsung.infoAuthor: Frederic Ernest Rodriquez



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