40 alleged drunken Santas accused of running amok

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40 alleged drunken Santas accused of running amok

Monday, December 19, 2005File:Santarchy new zealand.jpg

The conduct by a group of ‘Santas’ making an unclear statement last Saturday is not appreciated in the business district of Auckland, New Zealand. The event, organized in the discussion forum of an online skateboard magazine, caused big media publicity.

Alex Dyer, spokesman for the group, stated that Santarchy in Auckland is part of a worldwide phenomenon. It is disputed if Santarchy is a protest against the commercialization of Christmas or not.

Auckland Central Police spokesperson Noreen Hegarty said to the press that the rampage began in the early part of the afternoon when men wearing ill-fitting Santa costumes threw beer bottles and urinated on cars from an overpass, then rushed through a central city park, overturning garbage bins, throwing bottles at passing cars and spraying graffiti on office buildings.

“They came in, said ‘Merry Christmas’ and then helped themselves,” said a convenience store staff member Changa Manakynda, according to local newspapers.

One writer using the pseudonym ‘Le_SigNagE’ on the Santarchy! (or also known as the Santacon) website commented, “… after all, this is what Christmas is really about… mindless vandalism and petty theft.”

Another writer who posted under the pseudonym Santy Claus said of the media coverage,”There was some major misreporting and Chinese whispers. Breaking bottles and urinating under a bridge, became throwing rocks at buses and urinating on cars from an overpass. The ‘organisers’ as they were, saw little in the way of crime other than one santa attempting to board a foreign vessel by scaling 20 metres along a rope 60 feet in the air. The difficulty and motor skills involved in this task alone should be a defense in itself of being ‘drunk’ and ‘disorderly’.”

Due to Santa’s reputation for integrity and his strict media policy, his sparse communication is mostly one-way: receiving lists from children with wishes for Christmas. It is difficult to get his comment about New Zealands skateboard interested ‘Santas’.

In 1994, the Cacophony Society staged the world’s very first SantaCon in San Francisco. Influenced by the surrealist movement Discordianism, and other subversive art currents.

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Wikinews interviews winner of 55 Paralympic medals, Trischa Zorn

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Wikinews interviews winner of 55 Paralympic medals, Trischa Zorn

Monday, September 3, 2012

London, England— Last Friday, Wikinews interviewed Trischa Zorn, 55-time medal-winner. The U.S. Paralympic swimmer’s haul includes 41 golds.

Zorn discussed a variety of issues, including frustration with the classification system that has disadvantaged some United States swimmers because of what she sees as its subjective nature. She also talked about the increased visibility of the Games, how things have changed from when she started in 1980 to the current 2012 Summer Paralympics. Zorn discussed how sponsorship has evolved from her early time participating, and issues with the Paralympics inside the United States at the present.

This year Zorn was inducted into the International Paralympic Hall of Fame at a ceremony in London. Having last competed in the 2004 Summer Paralympics, if she was swimming today, she would be classified as an S12 swimmer. She currently works for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, helping returning soldiers adjust to life as civilians.

((Laura Hale)) We do Wikinews, which is related to Wikipedia … And, your article on Wikipedia sucks.

Trischa Zorn: Right
((WN)) The sources don’t agree on how many [Paralympic] medals you won. So how many medals have you won?

TZ: 55 medals. 41 gold, nine silver and five bronze.
((WN)) More gold medals than the next nearest total medal winner.

TZ: Correct
((Hawkeye7)) In fact, the next two, three, maybe four, put together.

TZ: Correct
((WN)) You started [Paralympic] swimming in 1980.

TZ: My first games was in 1980, and my last games was in 2004 in Athens.
((WN)) 2004?

TZ: Yes. Eight years ago.
((WN)) And you medalled there?

TZ: I got a bronze. I was only swimming in two events.
((WN)) And you remember all 55?

TZ: I know what events I swam. Relays and stuff. The discrepancy is because early on they weren’t really keeping track of the events. Like my first games in 1980, I won seven medals, and they only recorded five. In 1984, because the games were in New York, and because of the boycott, from when we boycotted in 1980, not a lot of European countries came over. So there wasn’t a lot of statistic keeping.
((WN)) We have found the IPC database had a lot of problems on the Australian side. We have been correcting that.

TZ: I have a whole list of all the events.What ones I won. A British writer was writing a book and wanted to include me, so I collated all my results and sent it to her.
((WN)) When you started in 1980, did they have the three categories for blind swimming?

TZ: They had the three categories, but they weren’t like S categories now. There was B1 for blind, B2 and B3. I was in the middle, a B2. The equivalent to S12 now.
((WN)) Has classification on the blind sports side changed much since you started?

TZ: They would like it to be in the regular classification S1 to S10. They would like everybody to be all one and use a points system. But I’m not a big fan of the points system, and I’m not a big fan of the classification procedure.
((WN)) Blind sports is the only medically based classification left. The rest are all functionality based.

TZ: Correct
((WN)) They are moving towards an evidence based system, but I’m not sure what that is.

TZ: Unfortunately, the classifications are very subjective. And a lot of the classifications, they don’t go by actual evidence of medical documentation, it’s what you can do in the water. So, for example, we have one of our athletes, Mallory Weggemann, that was an S7. She had multiple world records as an S7 and two days before she was supposed to comes here the IPC says: “We want to reclassify you. We want to do your classification all over” So she came here and they put her through a dry land regimen of classification. Then they said “let’s get you in the water. We’ll classify you there.” Then they said: “Oh no! You’re an S8!” Even though she had medical documentation to say that she was a T10 paraplegic with no function in her legs.
((WN)) Did classification ever effect you?

TZ: Not with me, but there has been problems with the S13. It’s supposed to be best corrected. There have been people that I swam against in the past that two years later were disqualified. Their vision, now they found out, was too good. It’s very subjective. There needs to be a test where they can see what you can see. Because, as an athlete, you go in and somebody says: “Can you see this?” or “Can you read that?”
((WN)) You’re involved with the veterans? On the sports side?

TZ: I work for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
((WN)) How long have you worked for them?

TZ: I have worked for them for a year now. I actually see some of the veterans like Brad that have come back lately, and how they have come through Walter Reed. I work more on the business side of it. But its still nice to see that they are being welcomed back, being provided opportunities for sports. Things that they thought that they would never be able to do.
((WN)) One of the criticisms of the US Paralympic Committee, and I don’t want to get you in trouble, is that the reason that the US is having problems right now with funding support is that they have been focused on veterans, and ignoring other people with disabilities. Would you care to comment on that?

TZ: Well I think that anything in the US that deals with veterans, the US is very passionate about, and sports, unfortunately, amateur sports, have become a business. And any kind of funding through the Department of Defense, going for veterans and whatever programs they are involved in is very important. But, as I’ve always said, funds always end up drying up. They’re not always going to be there, so you can’t depend strictly on that. Therefore, you need to have a well-rounded funding base, not just for veterans, for all athletes.
((Hawkeye7)) Where does funding normally come from in the United States?
((Laura Hale)) Hawkeye7’s an Australian, so his model is that the government pays for sport.

TZ: It’s funny, I look and I see what the Paralympic athletes get now, and what we even got in ’08 compared to when I first came. We had to pay to go to the Paralympics. We had to pay for our uniforms. It was only from Sydney that we didn’t have to pay anything, and we were provided uniforms. So each games has built on certain things. So, for example, 1988 was the first time that we had the same venues as the Olympics. ’92 was the first time that we were able to actually hear our national anthem, because before you didn’t, you just heard a games recording. So then in ’96 obviously because it was in the US, I think they thought that that was going to bring more awareness, and it did to an extent; but, once it was gone it kind of dwindled away. And then, in 2000 in Sydney, things had become … we were the first – there were four of us – we were able to train at an Olympic training centre. Not with the team, but we were able to use the facilities at the Olympic training centre full-time. But now they have a full time resident program. They are not training alongside Olympic athletes, but at least they are funded by the Olympic Committee. They get to train there, they get to live there. So things have changed. And then people argue about prize money, and sponsorship. It’s different.
((WN)) Do you think they should be sponsored? In Australia, Evan O’Hanlon, he’s an athlete, he has cerebral palsy, her covers his shoes with tape, because he feels that he is advertising for whoever makes his shoes, and he feels that he should get sponsorship. Do you think that we have reached the point with disability sports on the world stage where the elite athletes should be sponsored?

TZ: Well I think that there are certain talented athletes in the US that are now getting the global sponsors such as Jessica Long being a Visa athlete and having opportunities with Coke. And Rudy Garcia-Tolson with BP. And those big companies are jumpingon board and seeing the opportunities not just from a marketing standpoint, but you are allowing the young athletes to see that and touch it, and before it wasn’t. I mean you are basically competing because you love the sport. Now it’s just like Olympic athletes. They know what the possibilities of an outcome is going to be. Now, granted, Paralympic athletes don’t get $50,000 for a gold medal, or $10,000 for a bronze. We’d be lucky if we get $5,000 or $10,000.
((WN)) Do you think that all 55 of your Paralympic medals are equivalent to Olympic medals?

TZ: They are equivalent in respect that I did the same training as any Olympic athlete. I trained alongside able bodied athletes in the club setting where I trained, and a college setting.
((WN)) Which clubs and which colleges was that?

TZ: Actually, when I was younger I swam for San Diego Matadors down in California, and in college at the University of Nebraska, and then when I moved to Indiana I was training there with a coach it was with the Riviera Swim Club.
((WN)) You’ve been all over.

TZ: I’ve been going east as I’ve left my home state of California.
((WN)) Because of sport?

TZ: Because of coaching. My club coach left the club and went to the college level. So when I went to college he continued coaching.
((WN)) Did you get a scholarship?

TZ: I was on a full athletic scholarship. I was the first physically disabled athlete to get a full Division One scholarship.
((WN)) That is so cool.

TZ: I guess they say, they are not as equal, but medals are medals, and whatever your heart is and whatever you think of it, that is what it means.
((WN)) In Australia, my impression is that they do view them as exactly the same, whereas in America, some people do not even know that the Paralympics are on.

TZ: Yes. And unfortunately it’s a stereotypical society. In the US we don’t typically stereotype Paralympic athletes as the Australians or the Europeans do, and especially if you don’t look disabled. If you put me next to Jessica Long, she’s an incredible athlete but her story is going to be more desirable, because her disability is more noticeable. Don’t do that for me. But it’s to the extent where you are losing the focus of the athletics.
((Laura Hale)) Is there anything else we should know in terms of the history of the Paralympics?
((Hawkeye7)) Particularly about yourself.
((Laura Hale)) Are you a shy and retiring individual?

TZ: I am. And I think that’s part of it. I’m not very good with bragging.
((WN)) At selling yourself?

TZ: At selling myself. And I feel that my medals and my performance in the water speaks for itself.
((WN)) You were out there tonight presenting a medal.

TZ: And it was an honour to be on that side of it for these games. In 2008, I was honoured to be part of the Presidential delegation. I am involved with the US Olympic Committee as an athlete adviser on the rules and regulations and the rights of athletes. That’s basically where I want to be right now. I want to be an advocate for athletes.
((Hawkeye7)) We were at water polo match in Canberra, watching the Australian Olympic water polo team. And Ellie Cole walked in and they announced: “Ladies and gentlemen, this is Ellie Cole!” These Olympians applauded Ellie Cole.
((Laura Hale)) They do that at the Canberra Capitals games. They introduced Ellie Cole and her dad. It’s a completely different perspective. People outside the United States ask: “Why don’t you acknowledge them? What is wrong with the US?”
((Hawkeye7)) Every ad break [in Australia] there’s a Paralympian
((Laura Hale)) Grace Bowman! You haven’t done any commercials have you?

TZ: No to the extent that some athletes do, but for Visa and Coke. For Atlanta we did some commercials for Coke, it’s headquarters is in Atlanta. I’ve done Hartford Insurance, but not globally.
((Laura Hale)) Thank you.
((Hawkeye7)) Thank you.

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Woman returns home with Christmas turkey, a month after setting out

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Woman returns home with Christmas turkey, a month after setting out

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Scottish woman who set out before Christmas to purchase a turkey finally made it home on Monday, after being cut off by snow for a month. Kay Ure left the Lighthouse Keeper’s cottage on Cape Wrath, at the very northwest tip of Great Britain, in December. She was heading to Inverness on a shopping trip.

However on her return journey heavy snow and ice prevented her husband, John, from travelling the last 11 miles to pick her up. She was forced to wait a month in a friend’s caravan, before the weather improved and the couple could finally be reunited.

They were separated not just for Christmas and New Year, but also for Mr Ure’s 58th birthday. With no fresh supplies, he was reduced to celebrating with a tin of baked beans. He also ran out of coal, and had to feed the couple’s six springer spaniels on emergency army rations.

“It’s the first time we’ve been separated”, said Mr Ure in December. “We’ve been snowed in here for three weeks before, so we are well used to it and it’s quite nice to get a bit of peace and quiet.”

Posted on February 18th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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Belgium stops telegram services

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Belgium stops telegram services

Saturday, December 30, 2017

After 171 years of existence, telegram services were permanently stopped in Belgium as of yesterday. The service was launched in 1846, and about 9000 telegrams were sent across the country from January 2017 to November 2017.

On December 12, Belgian telecommunication company Proximus, who provided telegram services in the country, announced they “will definitively end [our] telegram service” on December 29. Jack Hamande, board member of the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications, said, “It is mainly 10 customers using the telegram in Belgium today […] in finance, judicial services and insurance”.

The first telegram line was laid from Belgium’s capital Brussels to Antwerp. Usage of telegram has decreased enormously over the decades. According to Proximus’s statistics, about 1.5 million telegrams were sent during the early 1980s, with many telegrams coming from Italy, but the number dropped to fifty thousand in the early 2010s. Sending a twenty-word message via telegram in Belgium would cost around €16 (about US$19). Hamande said, “Most of the current users of telegram will shift to registered mail […] we see no reason to force the company to maintain this service.”

Telegram is still functional in Italy. It was invented in Great Britain in the 1830s, but was stopped there in 1982. The United States stopped telegram services in 2006, and the last telegram in India was sent on July 14, 2013 which began in 1850. In the mid-1980s, about 600 thousand telegrams were sent across India each day.

“If you ask young people […] they don’t know what a telegram is”, Hamande said.

Posted on February 14th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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2006 “Stolenwealth” Games to confront Commonwealth Games in Melbourne

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2006 “Stolenwealth” Games to confront Commonwealth Games in Melbourne

Friday, March 3, 2006

The possibility of large-scale protests in the face of the 3,000 journalists covering the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, has event organisers and the Government worried.

The group “Black GST” – which represents Indigenous Genocide, Sovereignty and Treaty – are planning demonstrations at prominent Games events unless the Government agrees to a range of demands including an end to Aboriginal genocide, Aboriginal Sovereignty and the signing of a treaty.

The Black GST say they hope the focus of the world’s media will draw attention to the plight of indigenous Australians during the Games. Organisers say supporters are converging from across Australia and from overseas. Organisers say up to 20,000 people may take part in talks, rallies, colourful protests and many cultural festivities designed to pressure the Federal Government on Indigeneous rights issues. They want the Government to provide a temporary campsite for the supporters, saying “organised chaos was better than disorganised chaos.”

The 2006 Stolenwealth Games convergence, described by organisers as the “cultural festival of the 2006 Commonwealth Games,” was virtually opened on March 2nd with the launch of the official “Stolenwealth Games” website. Scoop Independent News and Perth Indymedia reported that the launch was held at Federation Square in Melbourne. The site contents were projected via wireless laptop by the Stolenwealth Games General Manager, and a tour of the website was given on the big screen. He said “overwhelming amusement was the response from the audience.” The group say permanent access points to the website are being set up at public internet facilities across Victoria during the coming weeks.

“Interest in the Stolenwealth Games is building all over the world and this fresh, exciting and contemporary site will draw in people from Stolenwealth Nations around the globe to find out about the latest news and events,” said a Stolenwealth Games spokesperson. “We have been getting many requests from around the world wanting to know about the Stolenwealth Games. We have provided many ways that individuals and organisations can support the campaign by spreading the word.”

The Victorian Traditional Owner Land Justice Group (VTOLJG) which represents the first nation groups of Victoria, has announced its support to boycott the 2006 Commonwealth Games until the Government “recognises Traditional Owner rights.” The group asserts that culture has been misappropriated in preparation for the Games.

Organisers of the campaign say they welcome the formal support from the Traditional Owners. “While some seek to divide and discredit Indigenous Australia, this support is further evidence that the Aboriginal people are united in opposition to the ongoing criminal genocide that is being perpetrated against the Aboriginal people” said Black GST supporter and Aboriginal Elder, Robbie Thorpe.

“We now have endorsement from the VTOLJG and the Aboriginal Tent Embassy for the aims and objectives of the Campaign and we are looking forward to hosting all indigenous and non-indigenous supporters from across Australia in March,” he said. The Black GST group have said “the convergence will be held as a peaceful, family-focussed demonstration against genocide, and for the restoration of sovereignty and the negotiations towards a Treaty.”

But the campaign has received flak in mainstream media, such as Melbourne’s Herald Sun, who wrote: “the proposal to allow BlackGST to set up an Aboriginal tent embassy at a site well away from the Commonwealth Games will be interpreted by some as the State Government caving in to a radical protest group. A major concern for the Government… is to protect the event from disruption… no chances should be taken…”

The Black GST has been planning the convergence for months, calling for Aboriginal people and their supporters to converge on Melbourne. The Melbourne-based Indigenous rights group have called on thousands of people concerned about the plight of indigenous Australians to converge on Melbourne during the Games, which they have dubbed “the Stolenwealth Games”. But the choice of Kings Domain has made conflict almost inevitable, as the area is one of the areas gazetted by the State Government as a “Games management zone”.

Under the Commonwealth Games Arrangements Act, any area gazetted as a management zone is subject to a range of specific laws – including bans on protesting, creating a disturbance and other activities. The protest bans will be in effect at different times and places, and offenders can be arrested. A spokeswoman for the Black GST, which advocates peaceful protest, said the site had been chosen because it was close to where the Queen will stay on March 15. “We figured that she is only in Melbourne for 27 hours or something like that so we thought we would make it easy for her to come next door and see us,” she said. “We are a very open, welcoming group, so she will be welcome to come and join us.”

Kings Domain is the burial site for 38 indigenous forefathers of Victoria. Black GST elder, Targan, said trade union groups have offered to install infrastructure at the site. The group initially worked with the State Government to find a suitable camp site, but the relationship broke down when the Government failed to meet a deadline imposed by the protesters. “While we are disappointed the ministers were not able to meet deadline on our request, we thank them for their constructive approach towards negotiations and the open-door policy exercised,” said Targan.

A spokesman for Games Minister Justin Madden said the Government was still investigating other sites. Victoria Police Games security commander Brendan Bannan said he was not convinced the Black GST represented the views of most indigenous people. “We are dealing with the Aboriginal community and they don’t seem to support it at all … the wider Aboriginal community don’t support disruption to the Games at all,” he said.

The Government was told that Black GST supporters would camp in Fitzroy Gardens and other city parks should it fail to nominate a site. A spokesman for Aboriginal Affairs Minister Gavan Jennings said the Government was taking the issue seriously, but had not been able to finalise a campsite before the deadline.

Under special Games laws, people protesting or causing a disturbance in “Games management zones” can be arrested and fined. While prominent public spaces such as Federation Square, Birrarung Marr, Albert Park and the Alexandra Gardens fall under the legislation, such tough anti-protest laws cannot be enforced in the nearby Fitzroy Gardens.

Games chairman Ron Walker has urged the group to choose another date for its protest march through the city, which is currently planned to coincide with the opening ceremony on March 15. The group believes that an opportunity to gain attention for indigenous issues was lost at the Sydney Olympics and has vowed to make a highly visible presence at the Games.

The Black GST said the Australian Aboriginal Tent Embassy’s sacred flame, burning over many years at the Canberra site will be carried to Melbourne before the Games, and its arrival would mark the opening of the protest camp from where a march will proceed to the MCG before the Opening Ceremony.

Black GST claims supporters from all over Australia, including three busloads from the West Australian Land Council, will gather in Melbourne during the Games for peaceful protests.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Gavin Jennings had offered Victoria Park to the protesters. Victoria Park, former home of Collingwood Football Club, where one of the strongest statements of Aboriginal pride, when St Kilda star Nicky Winmar in 1993 raised his jumper and pointed to his bare chest after racial taunts from the Collingwood crowd.

Black GST, which has labelled the Games the Stolenwealth Games, said the State Government had failed to find a suitable venue. Black GST may encourage protesters to camp in prominent parks such as Fitzroy Gardens and Treasury Gardens. Graffiti supporting the action has also appeared in central Melbourne.

Melbourne City councillor Fraser Brindley has offered his home to the Black GST organisers. “I offered my home up to people who are organising visitors to come to the Games,” he said. Cr Brindley will be overseas when the Commonwealth Games are held and has offered the free accommodation at his flat at Parkville. He said he agreed with the protesters’ view that treaties needed to be signed with indigenous Australians. “I’m offering it up to the indigenous people who are coming to remind Her Majesty that her Empire took this land from them,” said Cr Brindlley. Nationals leader Peter Ryan said: “This extremist group has no part in the Australian community.” Melbourne councillor Peter Clarke said the actions were embarrassing and that he would try to discourage him. “It’s not in the spirit of the Games,” he said.

Aboriginal elder, Targan, said the possibility of securing Victoria Park was delightfully ironic. “There’s a lot of irony going on,” Targan, 53, a PhD student at Melbourne University, said. “GST stands for Genocide, Sovereignty and Treaty. We want the genocide of our people to stop; we want some sovereignty over traditional land, certainly how it is used, and we want a treaty with the government,” Targan said.

Posted on February 13th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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Florida highway pileup, fire kills five children, two truck drivers

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Florida highway pileup, fire kills five children, two truck drivers

Saturday, January 5, 2019

A road accident followed by a fire on a Florida highway near Gainesville on Thursday killed five children in a church bus and two truck drivers. One semi truck and a car broke through the center guardrail before colliding with other vehicles; around 50 gallons of diesel fuel, officials said, spilled and ignited.

The children were all from Marksville, Louisiana. The Avoyelles House of Mercy, a Pentecostal church, had been travelling 700 miles from Louisiana to Walt Disney World and was within an hour of its destination. One truck driver was from West Palm Beach, Florida, the other from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The deceased were aged nine, ten, thirteen, two aged fourteen, 49, and 59. At least eight more people were hospitalized.

The accident sequence began, Florida Highway Patrol described, in the northbound lanes of Interstate 75 close to Alachua when the initial collision between the car and truck occurred. After crossing the center divider, the out-of-control vehicles collided with the church bus and a second semi truck in the southbound lanes. The bus overturned, with occupants ejected; a southbound fifth vehicle was unable to prevent itself running through the debris. Reports indicate this vehicle may have struck victims lying on the roadway.

According to eyewitness Vinnie DeVita, “within probably 15 to 20 seconds of it all, it exploded. I mean, just a ball of flames.” DeVita narrowly avoided being caught up in the accident. The Alachua Sheriff’s Office tweeted the response “required all hands on deck.” Authorities stated the road was damaged by the fire’s ferocity. Emergency workers have indicated a homicide probe is ongoing.

Guardrails can only take so much

Another eyewitness, Nicole Towarek, described extensive tire marks and “insane” heat. Florida Department of Transportation official Troy Roberts said yesterday morning the road itself, which is straight in the vicinity, will be examined as part of investigations. He said “Guardrails can only take so much.” The guardrail would be examined, Roberts said, to determine if it had performed as designed. The state had lanes closed last night as it worked to repair the damaged surface.

Also investigating is the Florida Highway Patrol, which is attempting to ascertain who, if anyone, is to blame. Meanwhile the National Transportation Safety Board, commonly involved in major highway accident probes, was absent. It is presently unable to operate due to a shutdown of much of the Federal government in a budget dispute; however, its website notes that its operations center is still accepting accident notifications without specifying if this resource is operating 24/7 as it usually does.

Posted on February 12th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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U.S. Congress passes CAFTA with 2 vote House margin

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U.S. Congress passes CAFTA with 2 vote House margin

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The U.S. House of Representatives approved the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) early morning Thursday, with a narrow vote of 217 in favor, 215 against. Voting was held open for an hour, 45 minutes past the House’s 15-minute voting rule as the President along with other supporters lobbied into the night.

The vote was so close, if one House member changed a “Yea” vote to a “Nay” vote, CAFTA would have failed in a 216-216 tie.

In tallying the votes, 25 Republicans, mostly from Midwest Corn Belt and Rust Belt states and the Southeast United States’s textile industrial belt, broke party line to vote against the measure. Two Republicans were present, but refused to vote.

The Democrats presented a more united front. All but 15 Democrats present voted against the treaty. Independent House members, who usually vote with the Democrats also voted against the measure.

Supporters of the measure include President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez. Opponents included most House Democrats.

The trade agreement already passed the Senate in June. President Bush has said he will sign it into law.

DR-CAFTA encompasses the following components:

  • Services: all public services are to be open to private investment.
  • Investment: governments promise to grant ironclad guarantees to foreign investment.
  • Government procurement: All government purchases must be open to transnational bids.
  • Market access: governments pledge to reduce and eventually to eliminate tariffs and other measures that protect domestic products.
  • Agriculture: duty-free import and elimination of subsidies on agricultural products.
  • Intellectual property rights: privatization of and monopoly over technological know-how.
  • Antidumping rules, subsidies and countervailing rights: governments commit to phase out protectionist barriers in all sectors.
  • Competition policy: the dismantling of national monopolies.
  • Dispute resolution: the right of transnationals to sue countries in private international courts.
  • Environmental protection: the enforcement of environmental laws and improvement of the environment.
  • Labor standards: the enforcement of the International Labour Organization‘s core labor standards.
  • Transparency: the reduction of government corruption.
  • Test-Data Exclusivity for pharmaceutical corporations

Posted on February 12th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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An account of the Esperanza Fire from an animal rescuer

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An account of the Esperanza Fire from an animal rescuer
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

As families fled their homes in the early morning hours on Thursday October 26, there was no warning. The Esperanza Fire southeast of Los Angeles and West of Palm Springs, California, had ballooned under the influence of Santa Ana winds to more than 19,000 acres as of the morning of October 27. No time to get the animals, no time for crates or even a leash. Sadly, owners left behind not only their horses, lamas, donkeys, chickens, rabbits, but also their dogs and cats.

Many of the families who did manage to evacuate their pets found themselves in the parking lot at the Fellowship in the Pass Church Red Cross Shelter where a MuttShack Animal Rescue team caught up with them.

Pam Anderson, Director of the emergency Red Cross shelter said that many people with animals had come and left.

The air was thick with smoke, and ash was raining down on the parking lot where dog owners, not able to take their dogs into the shelter were camping out in pup tents andin their cars.

Those who could afford it checked themselves into pet friendly hotels in nearby towns.

Some were prepared. Jane Garner, a small dog breeder was able to get all her animals out, and had set up her puppy runs alongside her RV in the parking lot. Others were not doing too well, having left home without as much as a leash.

The same scenario played out at the Red Cross shelter at Hemet High School. Animals were being boarded in vans, trailers and cars and small travel crates.

When MuttShack Animal Rescue arrived, a small fracas had sent several dogs off in different directions, running out of the school parking lot down busy streets necessitating an instant rescue response.

The Incident Command for the Esperanza Animals, Ramona Humane Society in San Jacinto welcomed MuttShack‘s offer to help at the shelters.

Ramona Humane Society had recently published a notice in their Newsletter about the newly passed “PETS Act”and warned owners not wait until a major disaster such as an earthquake or fireto prepare. “Be proactive to ensure that your pet will be taken care of.”

MuttShack and PetSmart Charities set up ad hoc facilities for the animals at both shelters.

The Red Cross shelter, run by Madison Burtchaell of the Orange County Red Cross was very accommodating about allowing a small emergency pet shelter adjacent to the School.

Barbara A. Fought of PetSmart Charities, an organization that works with animal welfare organizations and provide assistance in disasters, provided crates and emergency supplies.

MuttShack and Red Cross volunteers, Martin St. John, Tom Hamilton, and Steve Meissner helped assemble the crates to secure a safe environment for evacuated pets.

It was a great relief for evacuees who had camped out in the parking lot to finally leave their vehicles and relax at the shelter, setting up their cots to grab some sorely needed rest.

Firefighters and residents reported loss of wildlife and animals. The Esperanza fire burned 34 homes, consumed 40,000 acres and cost five Firefighters their lives before it was contained four days later on October 30. Firefighting operations cost nearly $10 million.

MuttShack Animal Rescue is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization active in disasters and dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and care of lost or discarded dogs, cats and other animals.

Posted on February 12th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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US stock markets fall amid credit fears

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US stock markets fall amid credit fears

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 280 points, Friday, to 13181.91, just two weeks after soaring to a historic record of 14,000. Two other major indexes, the Nasdaq and the Standard and Poor 500, fell more than 2% in a widespread market sell-off.

Shares of Bear Stearns, the largest United States underwriter of mortgage bonds, fell 6.3% today, resulting from Standard and Poor’s altering its outlook toward the company to “negative” from “stable”. The investment banking firm recently saw two of its major hedge funds sink after exposure to the sub-prime mortgage decline. Standard and Poor’s report said the firm may have problems, including its hedge funds, that could hurt the firm “for an extended period.”

The company held a press conference at noon, but was unable to salvage its stock, leading to heavy losses in the rest of the financial sector. Chief Financial Officer Sam Molinaro remarked that the credit market was in the worst condition he had seen in 22 years.

American Express shares fell 5.6%, while homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises fell 9.4% in the sell-off which impacted all the indexes. American Home Mortgage Investment Corporation shares fell 52.07% in the session after announcing plans to close most operations and lay off over 6000 employees. The company has also lost its lending license in four states including New York.

“It is with great sadness that American Home has had to take this action,” Chief Executive Michael Strauss said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the market conditions in both the secondary mortgage market as well as the national real estate market have deteriorated to the point that we have no realistic alternative.”

Analysts say that the weakness in the stock markets and economy in general could prompt the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates, consequently allowing inflation to rise, but that it would also support stocks and ease borrowing. The Fed has not changed interest rates since June 2006.

Posted on February 10th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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Plumbing Care Tips From An Experienced Plumber In Murrieta

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For most of us, maintaining the condition of our homes is not an easy task, and especially not for those who aren’t very handy with the tools. Trying to troubleshoot and correct even minor problems can seem like an overwhelming proposition, so homeowners tend to either panic over every little issue and call a professional immediately, or ignore everything and hope the creaks and leaks go away and resolve on their own. No matter where you fall on this spectrum, you’re not alone, and that’s why one plumber Murrieta has created a checklist for rookie handymen (and women!) to help simplify the process of maintaining the integrity of the home as well as to identify when to call in the experts.

As one of the most vital components of a house, keeping your plumbing system in top condition is absolutely essential for maximum performance and minimal frustration. The fastest way to create chaos within your home’s structure and drain your bank account is to allow issues to build up within the pipes and ignore the problem until it causes a total system breakdown. Instead, make a point of monitoring the drains in your home for ease of flow and voiding. If you notice a sink that tends to drain more slowly or is backing up, pour some baking soda and white vinegar down the drain and allow it to sit for ten to fifteen minutes before pouring a pot of boiling water after it. This will help cut through the grease and fat that can build up on the sides of the pipes and create blockages, allowing water and other liquid waste to move through freely. Once a month, do a thorough check of the pipes in your home and watch for any obvious leaks or damp spots that may need to be addressed. Issues that require more than a dose of vinegar and baking soda or the use of a plunger should be handled by a professional local plumber Murrieta.

Your home is typically the biggest investment of your lifetime, so make the effort to take care of it. Monitor the status of your home’s pipes on a monthly basis and don’t be afraid to call in your local plumber Murrieta when the job is just too big.

To learn more about how to find the professional plumber in Murrieta, visit KentPlumbingCo.net.