May 17th, 2018

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green Party candidate Russell Korus, Vaughan

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green Party candidate Russell Korus, Vaughan

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Russell Korus is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Vaughan riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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May 16th, 2018

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.

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May 16th, 2018

The Advantages And Disadvantage Of Patio Homes}

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Submitted by: Rob Harding

Patio homes by definition is rather a generic term in the real estate market. It could be a condo, a garden apartment, or even a townhouse to some. In Denver, Colorado, a patio home has a common wall with another home, and the patio is in the front looking out on a common area. A patio home in Denver is considered a town home, with two or more stories, where a common wall is also shared.

A home is not always a house. The term home itself is confusing when one is seeking a house. A home can be almost anything.

The best part about owning a patio home is that there is no maintenance that will be your responsibility. A gardener is hired to do the gardening and lawn maintenance, and others are hired to keep the place clean and in working condition. Often there is a fee for this, called a homeowners fee. Again, the word home does not refer to a house. This association of homeowners may also have the right to vote on the neighbors that are trying to purchase the other units. If you do not like something about them, you may be able to keep them out.

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And some patio homes are in gated communities, where there is twenty four hour security. This protects everyone from burglars, it protects their children from pedophiles, and it protects everyone from the undesirable nosey dog walker or peeping tom. It is a deterrent to all types of crime in your immediate area.

With a common wall, your neighbors could not be closer unless they lived in your unit with you. To some, this is a very desirable setup, especially if family will be moving in next door, and you need to care for them.

The common wall could also be a disadvantage. For quiet and privacy, this could be quite a nightmare of a home. You will hear neighbors talking loudly, as if you live in an apartment building. The same will go for the music heard in the other unit, and the television set, as well.

The privacy you are giving up in order to live in an almost maintenance free space may be worth it for you if you job takes you traveling away from your home for various lengths of time. Or if your position is demanding in a way that you would not have time for any garden maintenance at all, this scenario also works well. In this case, you need not worry about mowing or watering the lawn and flowers, as it will be done for you.

When you are ready to sell your patio home, the pros and cons of living there will all be brought up in discussion. You will need to praise your neighbors for being so cooperative and quiet. You will have to credit the gardener and other maintenance people for keeping everything looking clean and maintained. And you will need to convince the real estate agent you are dealing with that your unit is unique and better than other ones that may be for sale for less. This may be the trickiest part of owning patio homes.

About the Author: New Luxury Pato Homes at a great price. Quality is always the best when looking for a new home. You’ll find quality at The Fairways at Buffalo Run.

FairwaysBuildersCO.com

Source:

isnare.com

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May 16th, 2018

Israel evicts two Palestinian families from their homes

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Israel evicts two Palestinian families from their homes

Monday, August 3, 2009

Two Palestinian families who have been living in East Jerusalem since 1956, were evicted from their homes on Sunday after an Israeli court rejected their appeal filed against the eviction. The eviction comes after increasing international pressure on Israel to stop settlement activity and end home evictions.

Israeli security forces entered the homes at 6:00 a.m. (local time) and forcibly removed the family and international activists who were also living in the homes. At least 19 children were among those removed. Al Jazeera reports that a family was beaten with batons as they tried to get back into their house. JTA reports that Jewish families moved into the homes shortly after the Palestinian families were evicted.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has laid biblical claim to the areas of East Jerusalem and has stated that Jews have the right to live anywhere in the city. Although Jerusalem is internationally recognized as occupied territory, Israel continues to evict Palestinians and instead build Jewish only apartments in the area, an action which is considered to be illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention. Israel has plans for 350 new apartment buildings in East Jerusalem. U.N special coordinator for Middle East Peace, Robert Serry, condemned the evictions as “totally unacceptable”.

The international community, including the United States, has called on Israel to stop settlement activity and allow for the creation of a Palestinian state.

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May 15th, 2018

Russian and US satellites collide

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Russian and US satellites collide

Friday, February 13, 2009

The American civilian communications satellite Iridium 33 and the defunct Russian military communications satellite Kosmos-2251 collided over Siberia on Tuesday, according to NASA. The satellites, each weighing in excess of 1,000 pounds, and traveling at approximately 17,500 miles per hour, collided 491 miles above the earth.

The Iridium satellite was launched in 1997, and the Russian satellite was a Strela-2M model. The American satellite is expected to be replaced within the coming month as Iridium will maneuver one of its in-orbit satellites to replace the lost unit.

Although the first such satellite crash in space, such an event has been long predicted. Nicholas Johnson, chief scientist of NASA’s Orbital Debris Office at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center stated, “We knew this was going to happen eventually and this is it — this was the big one.”

While the International Space Station and the Hubble Space Telescope are at minimal risk, the event does raise concerns that the debris cloud could collide with other satellites in the region, triggering an exponentially growing series of collisions and debris known as an ablation cascade.

The United States Strategic Command of the U.S. Department of Defense office is tracking the debris. The result of plotting analysis will be posted to a public website.

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May 15th, 2018

U.S. Supreme Court eases government ability to seize property

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U.S. Supreme Court eases government ability to seize property

June 24, 2005

In a major decision, the Supreme Court of the United States has expanded the right of government to seize private property for public good by allowing the city of New London, Connecticut to invoke eminent domain and seize homeowners’ property for economic development reasons.

In a closely-divided decision, 5-4, the court determined that the city’s economic development plan constituted a “public use”, and therefore qualified under the U.S. Constitution’s fifth amendment’s Eminent Domain clause.

Justice John Paul Stevens wrote the majority decision, and was joined by Justices David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Anthony Kennedy. “Promoting economic development is a traditional and long accepted function of government,” Stevens wrote, and justified the decision further by saying municipal authorities are better positioned to make decisions regarding a community’s best interests than judges.

Writing the dissenting opinion, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor rejected the economic justification as a public use, pointing out that wealthy individuals are more capable of defending themselves and so are less at risk. But the greatest issue was the liklihood of abuse of eminent domain:

“The specter of condemnation hangs over all property. Nothing is to prevent the state from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall or any farm with a factory.” A separate dissent was also included written by Justice Clarence Thomas.

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May 15th, 2018

US Senate panel approves healthcare reform bill

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US Senate panel approves healthcare reform bill

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The United States Senate Committee on Finance approved a proposal to reform health care on Tuesday, clearing it to move forward. The bill passed by a 14-9 vote, gaining support from the committee’s thirteen Democrats, and one Republican.

Senator Olympia Snowe was the only senator from the Republican party to back the bill. However, she said this might change as the bill moves through Congress.

There are many, many miles to go in this legislative journey

“There are many, many miles to go in this legislative journey. My vote today is my vote today. It doesn’t forecast what my vote will be tomorrow,” Snowe said.

President Barack Obama, who supports the bill as part of his effort to overhaul the country’s health care system, welcomed the committee’s vote. “We are closer than ever before to passing healthcare reform but we are not there yet. Now is not the time to pat ourselves on the back – now is the time to dig in further and get this done. In this final phase we should engage with each other with civility and seriousness that has brought us this far and that this subject deserves.”

The bill, which contains a ten-year plan with an estimated cost of US$829 billion, is aimed at lowering healthcare costs and increasing the affordability of insurance. Proponents will now seek to merge it with another bill from the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus emphasized, “Americans want us to craft a package that will get the 60 votes needed to pass.” He argued that the Finance bill was the best candidate to attract needed the centrist support.

Critics, however, have said that the proposed plan is too costly, and will cause the government to interfere too much into the private healthcare sector.

“We can now see clearly that the bill continues its march leftward,” said the senior Republican on the committee, Senator Charles Grassley. “This bill is already moving on a slippery slope to more government control of healthcare.”

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May 14th, 2018

Asbestos controversy aboard Scientology ship Freewinds

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Asbestos controversy aboard Scientology ship Freewinds

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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May 14th, 2018

England: Multi-storey carpark in Liverpool gutted by fire, 1,300 vehicles destroyed

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England: Multi-storey carpark in Liverpool gutted by fire, 1,300 vehicles destroyed

Thursday, January 4, 2018

A fire on Sunday night in the seven-storey carpark for the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England destroyed almost all the vehicles parked inside and led to cancellation of the final evening of the Liverpool International Horse Show and evacuation of nearby blocks of flats. The blaze reportedly started with a parked Range Rover Discovery.

Investigators with the fire brigade stated that they believe the fire began with an accidental engine fire in the Range Rover at about 4.30 pm. The first call was made at 4.42 and firefighters arrived eight minutes after that. Ultimately twelve engines and 85 firefighters were involved in combatting the blaze. Aerial appliances were used and also three high-volume pumps. Fed by the fuel in vehicles parked inside, the temperature of the fire in the carpark is believed to have reached as high as 1,000°C. It was too hot to be extinguished with water from hydrants, so a high-volume pump was used to draw water from the River Mersey, and two more were brought from other fire brigades in the region.

The carpark has seven storeys and a capacity of 1,600 vehicles, and approximately 1,300 were parked in it when the fire broke out. According to Dan Stephens, chief fire officer for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, almost all of them were destroyed, with the exception of a few parked on the top level and at corners. “With these very high temperatures, you were never going to put the fire out without the whole building taking hold. The speed at which the fire spreads means you simply aren’t going to put it out,” said Stephens.

The carpark itself was severely damaged; according to Joe Anderson, the mayor of Liverpool. It is not in danger of collapsing but will have to be demolished, which will be difficult with the many burned-out cars still inside it, Anderson told the BBC.

According to Stephens, there were no serious injuries: one woman injured her hand, and two people were treated for smoke inhalation. A spokesman for the Echo Arena also stated that all animals were safe. All horses were successfully evacuated from the carpark and then removed from the stables after smoke spread to them. Six dogs were also rescued unharmed, two on a lower level in the early stages of the fire and four that had been left in a car on the top level, freed by firefighters on Monday after the fire was put out.

The final evening of the four-day Liverpool International Horse Show had been scheduled to begin at 7.30, and had to be cancelled. Many attendees were stranded in the city on New Year’s Eve night. Merseyside police directed people to the Pullman Hotel, where Red Cross assistance was available, and the Liverpool City Council set up an assistance centre at the Lifestyles Gym. A spokesman for the Association of British Insurers has said that insurance companies will “move very quickly” to reimburse owners whose vehicles were destroyed.

Nearby blocks of flats were evacuated because of the smoke. Eyewitnesses reported hearing what they at first thought were firecrackers, then “multiple explosions”, “bangs and popping”, “the bangs of car windows exploding”. People reported leaving everything in their cars, including their cellphones, and running for their lives.

Mayor Anderson tweeted that cuts to fire services over the last two years made it significantly harder to fight the fire and might have caused it not to be controllable. He also suggested that fire safety in multi-storey carparks had not been sufficiently considered and that installing sprinklers in them might help stop future fires before they become unmanageable, in a letter to Nick Hurd, a member of Parliament.

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May 11th, 2018

Google News seeks patent for search system that returns ‘quality’ links

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Google News seeks patent for search system that returns ‘quality’ links

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Google News submitted patent applications both in the United States and world-wide in September 2003 for a system of ranking search returns. The patent protection filings seek to control Google’s approach that filters headlines through a complicated algorithm, including the quality of the news organization. How much of this system is currently in use by the search engine giant is unknown.

Primitive search engines are expected to organically evaluate links based on how closely the keywords typed in the search field match an object link, and how many other links are attached to the object. Then a measure of relevance is calculated before returning a reply.

It seems some measure of the work being done at Google is a reaction to search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns which can, if done effectively, skew results to certain domains. A challenge for Google is to develop its technology to nullify efforts on the dark side of SEO and link-spamming.

What also seems to be coming out from this, according to research from the Internet Search Engine Database, is that Google does indeed have a ‘sandbox’ where domains are evaluated first by a human factor before being released into its algorithms.

In its first ever Securities and Exchange Commission filing since the company went public last year, Google indicated that it intends to spend US$500 million on technology development, more than double the $177 million it spent two years ago.

The language used in the lengthy patent application itself is difficult to understand. An excellent article titled “Google United – Google Patent Examined” found below, describes some of the nuts and bolts of Google’s techniques.

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