Archive for January, 2019

17
Jan

Molten steel kills 32 workers in Liaoning,China

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Molten steel spilled out and killed 32 workers at the Qinghe Special Steel Corporation mill in the city of Tieling in Liaoning province, China.

The ladle containing 1,500-degree-Celsius liquid steel poured into an open room, where employees take breaks in-between shift changes, at 7:45 a.m. local time. At least 6 others were injured, one of them critically.

“It is the most serious accident to hit China’s steel industry since 1949,” said China’s deputy head of the State Administration of Work Safety, Sun Huashan.

At least 4 workers have been arrested after the accident. The manager of mill, an operator, technician and a supervisor of a workshop were all arrested and are being questioned as an investigation in launched into what caused the accident to occur.

17
Jan

Wikinews Shorts: December 7, 2008

A compilation of brief news reports for Sunday, December 7, 2008.

Contents

  • 1 ‘Progress’ seen in US auto bailout deal
  • 2 Ghana to hold elections
  • 3 Archbishop of York says Mugabe must be overthrown
  • 4 Scandal-ridden Congressman loses delayed election

Officials say that progress is being made in a deal to bail out three United States carmakers. The U.S. government will be holding weekend talks on the plan after two days of Congressional hearings.

Dana Perino, the White House press secretary, stated that discussions with both parties had been “constructive”.

Executives from the three companies – General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler – have pleaded before two Congressional committees, asking for $34 billion in order to stop collapse.

“I’m convinced that by Sunday we will have an agreement that people can understand on this bill,” said Barney Frank, a representative from the state of Massachusetts.

Sources


 This story has updates See Ghanian presidential elections go to run-off 

The people of Ghana, a country often shown of as an example of a good democracy in Africa, will vote for a new president and parliament.

The current president, John Kufuor, will resign after serving the maximum of two terms in office. The elections are expected to be close.

The three main contenders for the presidency are: the Nana Akufo Addo from New Patriotic Party, who was the foreign minister under the current president, John Atta Mills running for the National Democratic Congress, and the Convention People’s Party’s candidate, one Paa Kwesi Nduom.

Sources


The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said that Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe must be forced out of office and face trial for his crimes against humanity.

“The time has come for Robert Mugabe to answer for his crimes against humanity, against his countrymen and women and for justice to be done. The winds of change that once brought hope to Zimbabwe and its neighbours have become a hurricane of destruction, with the outbreak of cholera, destitution, starvation and systemic abuse of power by the state,” said Sentamu.

Sentamu that the power-sharing deal that was signed by Mugabe and the Zimbabwean opposition in September was “now dead”.

Dr Sentamu’s statement comes after a severe cholera outbreak spread in Zimbabwe, and saw 12,545 cases reported and 565 people dead.

Sources


Republicans experienced another victory late Saturday, as the Associated Press called the race in Louisiana’s 2nd district at 22:35 CST in favor of Anh “Joseph” Cao, heralding the first Vietnamese-American member of Congress and sending the incumbent scandal-ridden Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson home after nine terms.

Sources


17
Jan

US home sales fall at fastest pace on record

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sales of previously owned homes in the US fell at the fastest rate ever recorded last December, according to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

According to the association, existing home sales fell 16.7% last month, to an annual rate of 5.45 million, the largest crash since 1968. The figure was less than the 5.90 million units, or an eleven percent drop, predicted by most analysts.

Sales of homes went up for the entire of 2009 to 5.156 million units, or 4.9% for the year, and prices dropped from 2008 by 12.4%.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun described the figures as being “probably the largest annual drop since the Great Depression”. He said that “the market is going through a period of swings driven by the tax credit. We’re likely to have another surge in the spring. Job creation is the key to a continued recovery in the second half of the year.”

Pierre Ellis, a senior economist for Decision Economics in New York, commented on the figures, saying: “The drop in home sales is the payback for the acceleration of sales that occurred with the original first-time home buyers tax credit. […] There is an issue as to whether the decline represents a fundamental weakening.”

“The housing market continues to face significant headwinds, including high unemployment, record delinquencies and foreclosures, the specter of rising mortgage rates as the Fed’s [mortgage-backed securities] purchase programs comes to a close in late March, and tight credit,” Omair Sharif, an economist for RBS Securities, noted.

“Still, the resale market showed resilience in the second half of 2009, and the expansion and extension of the tax credit to April 30 could boost purchases during the spring selling season,” he said.

“We’ll see a pickup in existing home sales in the next couple of months as people take advantage of the tax-credit extension”, economist Adam York of Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina claimed. He fore-casted a pace of 5.4 million. He said that there were unlikely to be buyers of homes, despite the fact that the U.S. was “past the bottom.”

All four regions of the country saw a decline in sales. In the Northeast, sales fell 19.5 percent, in the Midwest, they plunged 25.8 percent. The South, the country’s largest region, saw a 16.3% decline, while in the West, sales waned by 4.8%.

US stocks fell slightly after the announcement, but went back up later in the day.

15
Jan

2008 TaiSPO: Interview with Ideal Bike Corporation and Gary Silva

Friday, March 28, 2008

2008 Taipei International Cycle Show (Taipei Cycle) & Taipei International Sporting Goods Show (TaiSPO) not only did a best reunion with conjunctions of the launch of Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition and the concurrent cycling race of 2008 Tour de Taiwan but also provide opportunities and benefits for sporting goods, bicycle, and athlete sports industries to establish the basis of the sourcing center in Asia and notabilities on the international cycling race.

Although the Taipei cycle was split from the TaiSPO since 1988, but the trends of sporting good industry in Taiwan changed rapidly and multiply because of modern people’s lifestyles and habits. After the “TaiSPO Innovation Award” was established since 2005, the fitness and leisure industries became popular stars as several international buyers respected on lifestyle and health.

For example, some participants participated Taipei Cycle and TaiSPO with different product lines to do several marketing on bicycle and fitness equipments, this also echoed the “Three New Movements” proposed by Giant Co., Ltd. to make a simple bicycle with multiple applications and functions. As of those facts above, Wikinews Journalist Rico Shen interviewed Ideal Bike Corporation and Gary Silva, designer of “3G Steeper” to find out the possibilities on the optimizations between two elements, fitness and bicycle.

14
Jan

Former Australia cricketer Bill Watson dies, aged 87

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Bill Watson, the former cricketer of Australia and New South Wales teams batsman, passed away on Monday aged 87.

On 31 December 2018, just a day before the new year, Australia lost the oldest members of their cricket with the death of Bill Watson. The right-handed batsman made his Test debut for Australia in the 1954-55 in Ashes Series against England at the Sydney Cricket Ground.in a previous time Watson was included in the Australian team for the tour of Caribbeans and played 3 Tests without much any success.He also featured heavily in Sydney’s first grade cricket, playing 22 seasons from 1949 to 1972.

He played 258 first grade matches and made 10,757 runs at an average of 43.20 with the help of 16 centuries and 70 half-centuries.

[edit]

14
Jan

Haitian earthquake: in pictures

Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti was hit by a heavy earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 on Tuesday, killing an unknown number of people, and destroying up to ten percent of buildings in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

No official death toll has been released as of yet, although the United Nations says that up to fifty thousand people may potentially have been killed. An estimated 300,000 more were left without homes.

In a special photo report, Wikinews looks at the extensive damage caused by the disaster.


To find more information about a certain image or to enlarge it, click it. For an in-depth textual report on the same subject, please see Haiti relief efforts: in depth.

14
Jan

Glasgow cannabis enthusiasts celebrate ‘green’ on city green

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Coinciding with Easter Sunday, Glasgow Cannabis Social Club’s annual 420 event was held on Glasgow Green, under sunny blue skies, and overlooking the river Clyde. Despite the city’s council attempting to revoke permission for the gathering at the last minute, police were happy for it to go-ahead with approximately a dozen officers attending in high-visibility vests.

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The Daily Record reported five arrests were made for minor offences, likely smoking and possession of small quantities of cannabis. Taking a less-sensational — and more accurate — line of reporting, the Monday edition of Glasgow’s Evening News stated five were referred to the Procurator Fiscal who is responsible for deciding if charges should be brought.

Official figures provided by the police were that 150 attended. With people coming and going, Wikinews reporters estimated upwards of 200 attended, compared to nearly 700 who had signed up for the event on Facebook. Hemp goods were advertised and on sale at the event, and some attendees were seen drinking cannabis-themed energy drinks.

“I was searched and charged under the Misuse of Drugs Act (which is a lot of bollocks)” one attendee noted online, adding “not fair to happen on a brilliant day like it was, other than that I had a great day!” A second said they were openly smoking and ignored by police, who “were only really focusing on people who looked particularly young”.

Cannabis seeds were openly and legally sold at the event and a hydroponics supplier brought a motortrike towing an advertising trailer. Actually growing cannabis is, however, illegal in the UK.

With the event openly advocating the legalisation of cannabis, speakers put their arguments for this to a receptive crowd. Retired police officer James Duffy, of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, spoke of the failed United States alcohol prohibition policy; stressing such policies needlessly bring people into contact with criminal elements. Highlighting other countries where legalisation has been implemented, he pointed out such led to lower crime, and lower drug use overall.

One speaker, who produced a bottle of cannabis oil he had received through the post, asserted this cured his prostate cancer. Others highlighted the current use of Sativex by the National Health Service, with a cost in-excess of £150 for a single bottle of GW Pharmaceuticals patented spray — as-compared to the oil shown to the crowd, with a manufacturing cost of approximately £10.

Similar ‘420’ pro-cannabis events were held globally.

14
Jan

Republican leaders in US want more tax relief in economic stimulus

Monday, January 26, 2009

As the newly inaugurated Barack Obama administration continues to push for a US$825 billion stimulus package to aid the struggling United States economy, some Republican legislators say they will not vote for such a plan without the inclusion of more tax cuts and less “unnecessary” spending.

Arizona Senator John McCain, Obama’s general election opponent and a leading voice within the Republican Party, says he would not vote for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan as it currently stands. Appearing on Fox News Sunday yesterday, McCain echoed his campaign platform in saying, “We need to make tax cuts permanent, and we need to make a commitment that there’ll be no new taxes.”

McCain and other Republicans say they are unhappy with the bill introduced in the House of Representatives, which combines roughly $550 billion in domestic spending with $275 billion in tax cuts. McCain believes not enough Republican proposals have been integrated into the plan, which he fears will result in the plan becoming “just another spending project” rather than a job creator.

“Republicans have not been brought in, to the degree that we should be in, to these negotiations and discussions. So far, as far as I can tell, no Republican proposal has been incorporated,” McCain said. “We’re losing sight of what the stimulus is all about, and that is job creation.”

The Arizona senator is known for his bipartisan efforts in Washington, D.C., but he defined his role in the new Senate as the “loyal opposition”, which does not mean “that I or my party will be a rubber stamp” for Obama, he said.

In his first weekly address since being sworn in, President Obama explained the stimulus plan in further detail, calling it a plan to “immediately jumpstart job creation as well as long-term economic growth.” He outlined several of the bill’s priorities, including the creation or salvation of up to four million jobs, as well as sweeping investments in health care, education, energy and infrastructure.

Among these investments are a new electricity grid with more than 3,000 miles of transmission lines, the weatherization of 2.5 million homes, health insurance protection for more than 8 million Americans, a renovation of over 10,000 schools, a project to repair thousands of miles of roadways, and an expansion of broadband Internet access.

Obama also laid out the rationale behind the stimulus, saying that “unprecedented action” is necessary in order to prevent further economic distress. “Our economy could fall $1 trillion short of its full capacity, which translates into more than $12,000 in lost income for a family of four,” Obama said. “In short, if we do not act boldly and swiftly, a bad situation could become dramatically worse.”

The president addressed the skepticism surrounding the stimulus package, pledging to “root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending”, while holding the government accountable for its actions. “We won’t just throw money at our problems,” Obama said. “We’ll invest in what works.”

Still, Republicans such as House Minority Leader John Boehner are skeptical of the plan’s effectiveness in rebuilding the economy. “I think a lot of Republicans will vote no because it’s a lot of wasteful Washington spending”, he commented on Meet the Press, repeating McCain’s call for less federal spending and more tax cuts.

Examples of “wasteful” spending cited by Republicans include millions of coupons to aid in the digital television transition, $200 million for new sod on the National Mall, and $360 million to fight sexually transmitted diseases, which includes funding for contraceptives. House Republicans have claimed it will take 10 years before the economy feels the effect of a stimulus, and that the combined spending of the stimulus and the financial bailouts of last year will leave future generations with over $2 trillion of debt.

In response to the stimulus plan being pushed through Congress, Boehner and Republican Whip Eric Cantor presented Obama with an alternative stimulus plan on Friday, one that relies exclusively on income and business tax cuts. “Our plan offers fast-acting tax relief, not slow-moving and wasteful government spending,” Boehner said. The counterproposal includes an income tax reduction that would save families an estimated $3,200 a year.

Despite this opposition, the stimulus bill is expected to pass through Congress by mid-February, as the Republican minority does not have enough votes to stop its approval. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed a general support of the plan at a White House meeting with Obama and other congressional leaders. “I do think we’ll be able to meet the president’s deadline of getting the package to him by mid-February,” McConnell said. The bill is expected to go before Congress for a vote on Monday, February 2.

Obama’s top economic adviser Lawrence Summers defended the stimulus plan while on Meet the Press. He said the bill was intended to balance the long-term initiatives mentioned above with the tax cuts desired by Republicans. He also said Obama was committed to spending three quarters of the stimulus money within 18 months.

13
Jan

Fatal police helicopter crash in Slovakia due to technical failure: preliminary Interior Ministry finding

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Last week’s police helicopter accident in eastern Slovakia was caused by technical failure and not human error, said the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic on Friday. The statement is based on preliminary flight recorder data analysis. Ministry spokesperson Petar Lazarov confirmed the flight recorder and remains of the helicopter will be sent to the United States for further analysis. Helicopter crash occurred during a training exercise on May 10 shortly before 2:30 PM CEST at Prešov Air Base near Prešov, resulting in deaths of two crewmembers and serious injuries of both pilots.

According to initial reports by the Slovak Police Force, the helicopter spiraled down from a height of about 100 metres and 200 metres away from the point of take-off. Slovak tabloid newspaper Plus Jeden De? wrote that, according to a source from the forensic team that analysed flight recorders data, both rotors failed at the same time.

The accident caused fatal injuries to two Fire and Rescue Corps firefighters, First Lieutenant ((sk))Slovak language: ?nadporu?ík Peter To?or, born 1974, and Lieutenant Colonel ((sk))Slovak language: ?podplukovník Radoslav Lacko, born 1968. According to reports, one died on the site, and one in the Louis Pasteur University Hospital in Košice. “The patient suffered serious head and chest injuries. Our doctors resuscitated him for about 50 minutes. Ultimately, he died of his injuries,” said hospital spokesperson Ivana Stašková. Both firefighters were buried on May 16. The helicopter pilots were hospitalized with serious injuries in the Ján Adam Reiman Teaching Hospital with Polyclinic in Prešov. While one of them was stabilized and conscious already on May 10, suffering from right femoral fracture, right rib and facial bone fracture, the second one is still in serious condition at the Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Medicine, said hospital spokesperson Renáta Cenková.

The Bell 429 GlobalRanger helicopter, registration OM-BYM, was made in 2014 and commissioned by the Aviation Department of the Ministry of Interior on August 17, 2015. The Aviation Department later commissioned another Bell 429 helicopter, registration OM-BYD. According to Bell Helicopter, the primary purpose of both these helicopters was to be “border protection, search and rescue, natural disaster relief missions and road traffic law enforcement”.

Bell Helicopter reacted on the incident, expressing condolences and willingness to assist with the investigation. Members of the National Council started their late-afternoon session on May 10 with a minute of silence for the victims of the crash. Other government officials expressed their condolences as well, including the President Andrej Kiska, the Prime Minister Robert Fico, and the Mayor of Prešov Andrea Tur?anová.

This accident was not the first Bell 429 helicopter crash in Slovakia. On September 7 of last year, an Air-Transport Europe rescue helicopter crashed near Banská Bystrica, killing all three crewmen and a patient aboard. Investigation is still in progress and no preliminary results are known.

12
Jan

Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs may work for Facebook

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Robert Gibbs, the former press secretary for the U.S. White House, has been said to be in talks with Facebook about possible future employment as a manager for the communications aspect of the company.

According to an anonymous source close to the company, Gibbs is being pressed to quickly accept the job, in which Mr. Gibbs may receive millions of dollars in both salary and initial stock options for a planned public offering of Facebook Inc. in 2012.

Both Facebook and Gibbs have declined to comment.

Mr. Gibbs, who has worked for the Obama administration for two years, left in February 2011, and was reportedly “relaxing” and had denied rumors that he was planning to campaign for chairman of the Democratic National Committee if Tim Kaine were to leave the committee to run for a position in the senate.

In recent months, Facebook has stepped up lobbying the US capital to communicate its public image to policy makers, and may use Gibbs for their public relations stratagem in the future.