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UK Serious Fraud Office to investigate MG Rover collapse

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UK Serious Fraud Office to investigate MG Rover collapse

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office is to launch an investigation into the collapse of car manufacturer MG Rover. The move follows the conclusion of a four-year enquiry started immediately after the firm became insolvent.

The group of four who owned MG Rover — John Towers, Nick Stephenson, Peter Beale and John Edwards — have been accused of asset stripping. The quartet, known as the Phoenix Four, paid a symbolic £10 (approximately €15) for Rover in 2000. At that time the company received an interest-free loan from former owner BMW for £427 million (approximately €700 million) and came with a large amount of unsold stock.

Between then and Rover’s April 2005 bankruptcy, by which time there were unpaid debts of £1 billion (approximately €1.5 billion), the Phoenix Four had removed an estimated £40 million worth of assets including pensions and salaries. An enquiry was launched by ministers that was expected to take a year, but the final report was not delivered to business secretary Lord Mandelson until three weeks ago.

The government used taxpayer’s money to fund a £6 million loan to MG Rover and attempted to negotiate a deal with a Chinese company, but these efforts failed. MG Rover’s collapse caused the loss of an estimated 15,000 jobs, including with various suppliers. A former MG Rover factory does still build a small number of MG sports cars in Longbridge by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, who bought most of the designs.

The Phoenix Four released a statement criticising the criminal investigation. “There has never been any suggestion of improper conduct by the directors and this was confirmed in a report by the administrators PWC six months after they took over the running of the company. Four years on, any suggestion [of] another further investigation is frankly ridiculous and smacks of kicking this issue into the long grass. If the government has been so concerned to get to the heart of the matter why has it flatly refused more than 30 requests under the Freedom of Information Act which would have revealed correspondence and documents the directors believe would have shed some light on the government’s role in the affair?”

Kenya government fires health worker strikers over failure to ‘report back to work’

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Kenya government fires health worker strikers over failure to ‘report back to work’

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Kenyan government has dismissed 25,000 striking health workers, mostly nurses, citing failure to heed government orders to recommence work and concern for the welfare of hospital patients. Speaking on behalf of the government, Alfred Mutua stated the workers were dismissed “illegally striking” and “[defying] the directive … to report back to work”, which he called “unethical”. The government asks that “[a]ll qualified health professionals, who are unemployed and/or retired have been advised to report to their nearest health facility for interviews and deployment”, Mutua stated.

The workers, who had been on strike for four days, were wishing to have improvements made to their wages, working conditions, and allowances. The strikes have caused a significant number of Kenyan hospitals to cease operations. According to Kenya Health Professionals Society spokesperson Alex Orina, the average monthly wage plus allowances for health workers in Kenya is KSh25,000 (£193, US$302 or €230) approximately. With an increasing number of reports of patients neglected in hospitals emerging, two trade unions met with the Kenyan government yesterday and negotitated a return to work, although a significant proportion of demonstrators defied the agreement, The Guardian reported.

Orina told Reuters the dismissals were “cat-and-mouse games, you cannot sack an entire workforce. It is a ploy to get us to rush back to work, but our strike continues until our demands are met”. Frederick Omiah, a member of the same society, believed the government’s actions would “make an already delicate and volatile situation worse”, expressing concern that demonstrations may continue in the capital Nairobi, amongst other locations. Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union chairperson Dr. Victor Ng’ani described government actions as “reckless”.

Mutua said the health workers were “no longer employees of the government” and had been eliminated from the payroll. While Ng’ani told the BBC of difficulties with finding other workers as skilled and experienced, Mutua reportedly stated that this would not be an issue. “We have over 100,000 to 200,000 health professionals looking for work today,” Mutua commented. “There will be a lag of a day or two … but it is better than letting people die on the floor, at the gate, or suffer in pain”.

French workers use threats in compensation demand

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French workers use threats in compensation demand

Friday, July 17, 2009Following similar threats by workers at New Fabris and Nortel, workers at JLG in Tonneins, France, threatened to blow up several platform cranes. The JLG factory announced in April 2009 that it will fire 53 of its 163 workers by the end of 2009, while the remaining 110 jobs will not be secure over the next 2 years.

JLG Tonneins was acquired in 2006 with its parent JLG Industries, a maker of aerial work platforms, by the U.S.-based Oshkosh Corporation. Despite being hugely profitable in the past, production has been much reduced since 2008 with the contraction of the construction industry and lower demand for its products. Despite excellent past results the new American management demanded sweeping cuts at the company.

In the view of locals, “the company’s actions are a disgrace given the expensive perks, such as official cars, for its corporate fat cats, compared to the sacrifice, silence, and dignity demanded by the company of those it has made redundant.”

The management offered severance pay of 3,000 (US $4,200), however the workers demanded a severance package commensurate with “the wealth that their labor has generated.” Worker’s delegates requested a “supra-legal” payment of € 30,000, on Thursday 16 of July the management responded with a counter offer of € 16,000. On Thursday night the worker’s actions secured the € 30,000 settlement initially demanded.

categories Uncategorized | June 7, 2019 | comments Comments (0)

Second case of BSE confirmed in U.S.

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Second case of BSE confirmed in U.S.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Seven months after suspicions were first raised, United States Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns confirmed that a second American cow has tested positive for BSE (also known as ‘mad cow disease’), as determined by a lab in Weybridge, England. The department believes that this cow was born in the United States.

The delay in confirmation followed two conflicting test results from last November. The “Western blot” test, which is a more sophisticated test, could have helped reach a final determination, but the U.S. refused to perform it in November. The department’s inspector general, Phyllis Fong, ordered the Western blot test in June without advising Johanns and by the time Johanns found out about it, the testing was under way.

Johanns was annoyed that the round of testing which confirmed “Mad Cow” had been ordered without him being consulted first.”I was asked by the Senate and the president to operate the department,” Johanns said. “I believe, in this area, very clearly, the secretary should be consulted, whoever the secretary is, before testing is undertaken. From my standpoint, I believe I was put there to operate the department and was very disappointed.”

A senior research associate with Consumers Union, Michael Hansen, said USDA officials “almost sound like some Keystone Kops.”

Johanns reassured Americans that they should not be afraid of eating beef, saying: “This animal was blocked from entering the food supply because of the firewalls we have in place. Americans have every reason to continue to be confident in the safety of our beef.”

On June 17, the Associated Press reported: “American cattle are eating chicken litter, cattle blood and restaurant leftovers that could help transmit mad cow disease — a gap in the U.S. defense that the Bush administration promised to close nearly 18 months ago.”

John Stauber, co-author of “Mad Cow USA: Could the Nightmare Happen Here?” said: “Once the cameras were turned off and the media coverage dissipated, then it’s been business as usual, no real reform, just keep feeding slaughterhouse waste. The entire U.S. policy is designed to protect the livestock industry’s access to slaughterhouse waste as cheap feed.”

Critics of the U.S. testing regimen said the fumbles this time increase their concerns about America’s screening process.

“How can we be sure they were really negative?” Craig Culp, a spokesman for the Center for Food Safety asked; “After all, (here is a cow that was) negative in November that is positive in June.”

The companies which render slaughter waste say new restrictions are not warranted. “We process about 50 billion pounds of product annually — in visual terms, that is a convoy of semi trucks, four lanes wide, running from New York to L.A. every year,” said Jim Hodges, president of the American Meat Institute Foundation.

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Historic manuscript “The Housebook” reported sold in Germany

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Historic manuscript “The Housebook” reported sold in Germany

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The German noble family of Waldburg-Wolfegg has sold the manuscript known as the The Housebook to an unknown buyer. There is speculation in the German press that it was purchased by Baron August von Finck who currently resides in Switzerland, and that the price paid was €20 million.

It is unclear whether the purchase is in fact legally valid because the manuscript was sold without the permission of the government of Tübingen required by the law of fideikommiss dissolution (similar to the common law institution Fee tail). German law forbids the export of such a precious manuscript, which is registered in the list of national cultural property.

The Housebook of Wolfegg is an illustrated manuscript that was created after 1480 by an unidentified artist known as the “Master of the Housebook” (or Master of the Amsterdam Cabinet) and possibly other artists. It was exhibited at the National Gallery of Art in the United States in 1998.

categories Uncategorized | June 1, 2019 | comments Comments (0)

Nepal Parliament passes resolution to curb King’s power

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Nepal Parliament passes resolution to curb King’s power

Thursday, May 18, 2006Prime Minister of Nepal, Giriraj Koirala proposed in Parliament a resolution which is aimed at drastically curtailing the monarch’s powers. According to the resolution, the King will be stripped of his status as the Supreme Commander of the Royal Nepal Army (which is to be renamed as the Nepal Army Cabinet). Portions of the Nepalese national anthem that praise the King have been cut.

The proposal also aims at cutting down on the King’s allowance and his right to be exempted from paying taxes. The government which is currently referred to as the “King’s administration” will henceforth be known as the “Nepalese Government”. The resolution also changes Nepal’s status from that of a Hindu nation to a secular one. The King’s Advisory Council will no longer exist and his security will be taken care of by Parliament. The King will also now no longer have the privilege of being above the law of the land since the resolution provides for him to be tried in court if the situation so warrants.

Analysts have expressed concerns saying that under the current Constitution, this proposal cannot become law till the King signs it. Politicians say however that this proposal is above the Constitution and reflects the will of the people. King Gyanendra restored democracy to the Himalayan Kingdom after weeks of massive anti-monarchy protests earlier this year.

categories Uncategorized | May 31, 2019 | comments Comments (0)

The Korg Midi Bundle Nano Key, Nano Pad, Nano Ko NT Rol

Get More Information Here:

The Korg MIDI Bundle – NanoKEY, NanoPAD, NanoKONTROL

by

Ryan Guerrero

An industry giant unveils compact MIDI devices for music makers on-the-go!

The new nanoSeries devices of Korg are particularly designed to meet the needs of artists who are always on the move – making music anywhere, anytime, without compromising the control department. Its range of MIID controllers features three compact products – the nanoKEY, the nanoPAD, and the nanoKONTROL.

Expected to be tough, the nanoKEY is no ordinary keyboard – it is a 25-note, velocity-sensitive model. Aside from being very handy in recording chords and melodies, the nanoKEY can also be used to send MIDI data, further expanding its power. It has an Octave Shift function that provides immediate access to the entire MIDI note range. There are pitch and modulation buttons provided as well, allowing your performances the kind of expression natural to any controller, regardless of its size.

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The Korg nanoKEY is also very small. In fact, you can put it right in front of your laptop, your recording station, on a recording console, or wherever you need a versatile control over your virtual instrument or DJ software. But despite its size, the nanoKEY comes with several benefits when it comes to functionality, but its intuitive layout makes operation a breeze for any user.

The nanoPAD has 12 highly responsive trigger pads (including an X/Y pad) that are perfect both for laptop DJs and drum programming because of its roll and flam functions that provides unique interface ideal for realistic drum programming. It is USB powered, and is also capable of sending both notes and MIDI control data.

The nanoPAD also has a Chord Trigger function that lets you enter chords onto a single pad, which helps you to make the most of the work surface as you create. The pad also makes a great interface for soloing or muting tracks because it can transmit control change messages. You can turn objects on and off, or trigger clips during your live performances.

Finally, Korg wraps the MIDI bundle with the nanoKONTROL. It offers 9 faders, 9 knobs, 18 switches plus a full transport section for expansive control. That means that is the perfect DAW and plug-in control, although it also has a note input mode that will help you lay down your next big groove.

For each of the four programmable scenes that the nanoKONTROL offers, you have the freedom to set the controllers any way you need them. That means that you can send a total of 168 different MIDI Control Change messages and MIDI notes using the switches. Each of the 6 transport buttons can send either MIDI Control Change messages or MMC messages to control functions like start, stop, loop, or record on your DAW software.

Thanks to the Korg MIDI Bundle, taking full control over the quality of music that you create is now possible.

Get the nanoKEY, the nanoPAD, and the nanoKONTROL today!

Buy the nanoKEY, the nanoPAD, and the nanoKONTROL, today and other midi controllers from Gigasonic.com, your trusted music store and get special limited time offers on financing and no interest layaways. For question please call Toll Free at 1-888-246-4442, while international visitors can call 1-408-573-1400.www.gigasonic.com

Article Source:

ArticleRich.com

categories Music | May 30, 2019 | comments Comments (0)

HIV-positive man receives 35 years for spitting on Dallas police officer

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HIV-positive man receives 35 years for spitting on Dallas police officer

Sunday, May 18, 2008

An HIV-positive man was sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday, one day after being convicted of harassment of a public servant for spitting into the eye and open mouth of a Dallas, Texas police officer in May 2006. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that no one has ever contracted HIV from saliva, and a gay-rights and AIDS advocacy group called the sentence excessive.

A Dallas County jury concluded that Willie Campbell’s act of spitting on policeman Dan Waller in 2006 constituted the use of his saliva as a deadly weapon. The incident occurred while Campbell, 42, was resisting arrest while being taken into custody for public intoxication.

“He turns and spits. He hits me in the eye and mouth. Then he told me he has AIDS. I immediately began looking for something to flush my eyes with,” said Waller to The Dallas Morning News.

Officer Waller responded after a bystander reported seeing an unconscious male lying outside a building. Dallas County prosecutors stated that Campbell attempted to fight paramedics and kicked the police officer who arrested him for public intoxication.

It’s been 25 years since the virus was identified, but there are still lots of fears.

Prosecutors said that Campbell yelled that he was innocent during the trial, and claimed a police officer was lying. Campbell’s lawyer Russell Heinrichs said that because he had a history of convictions including similarly attacking two other police officers, biting inmates, and other offenses, he was indicted under a habitual offender statute. The statute increased his minimum sentence to 25 years in prison. Because the jury ruled that Campbell’s saliva was used as a deadly weapon, he will not be eligible for parole until completing at least half his sentence.

If you look at the facts of this case, it was clear that the defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury.

The organization Lambda Legal (Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund), which advocates for individuals living with HIV, says that saliva should not be considered a deadly weapon. Bebe Anderson, the HIV projects director at Lambda Legal, spoke with The Dallas Morning News about the sentence. “It’s been 25 years since the virus was identified, but there are still lots of fears,” said Anderson.

The Dallas County prosecutor who handled the trial, Jenni Morse, said that the deadly weapon finding was justified. “No matter how minuscule, there is some risk. That means there is the possibility of causing serious bodily injury or death,” said Morse. Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins stated: “If you look at the facts of this case, it was clear that the defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury.”

Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.

A page at the CDC’s website, HIV and Its Transmission, states: “HIV has been found in saliva and tears in very low quantities from some AIDS patients.” The subsection “Saliva, Tears, and Sweat” concludes that: “Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.” On Friday the Dallas County Health Department released a statement explaining that HIV is most commonly spread through sexual contact, sharing needles, or transfusion from an infected blood product.

categories Uncategorized | May 27, 2019 | comments Comments (0)

Egypt protests: Army say they will not use force on demonstrators as Mubarak announces cabinet

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Egypt protests: Army say they will not use force on demonstrators as Mubarak announces cabinet

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The president of Egypt has suffered a “devastating blow” after the country’s army announced they would not use force against their own people, who continue to protest against the government tonight. The news came hours after six journalists who reported on the protests were released from custody.

Hosni Mubarak yesterday announced a new cabinet, which does not include several figures who protesters largely do not approve of. Analysts have, however, suggested little had changed within the government; many positions, they say, are filled with military figures.

To the great people of Egypt, your armed forces, acknowledging the legitimate rights of the people … have not and will not use force against the Egyptian people.

In a statement broadcast on state media in Egypt, the army said: “To the great people of Egypt, your armed forces, acknowledging the legitimate rights of the people … have not and will not use force against the Egyptian people.” A BBC correspondent in Cairo said the announcement meant it “now seems increasingly likely that the 30-year rule of Mr Mubarak is drawing to a close.”

“The presence of the army in the streets is for your sake and to ensure your safety and wellbeing. The armed forces will not resort to use of force against our great people,” the statement added. “Your armed forces, who are aware of the legitimacy of your demands and are keen to assume their responsibility in protecting the nation and the citizens, affirms that freedom of expression through peaceful means is guaranteed to everybody.”

Earlier today, six journalists from the independent news network Al-Jazeera were released from custody after being detained by police. The U.S. State Department criticized the arrests; equipment was reportedly confiscated from the journalists.

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Egyptian officials yesterday ordered the satellite channel to stop broadcasting in the country. Al-Jazeera said they were “appalled” by the government’s decision to close its Egyptian offices, which they described as the “latest attack by the Egyptian regime to strike at its freedom to report independently on the unprecedented events in Egypt.”

In a statement, the news agency added: “Al-Jazeera sees this as an act designed to stifle and repress the freedom of reporting by the network and its journalists. In this time of deep turmoil and unrest in Egyptian society it is imperative that voices from all sides be heard; the closing of our bureau by the Egyptian government is aimed at censoring and silencing the voices of the Egyptian people.”

On Friday, Wikinews reported the government had shut off practically all Internet traffic both out of and into the nation, as well as disrupting cellphone usage. A spokesperson for the social networking website Facebook said “limiting Internet access for millions of people is a matter of concern for the global community.”

A reported 50,000 campaigners, who are demanding the long-time leader step down and complaining of poverty, corruption, and oppression, filled Tahrir Square in Cairo today, chanting “We will stay until the coward leaves.” It is thought 100 people have so far died in the demonstrations. Today there have been protests in Suez, Mansoura, Damanhour, and Alexandria.

Speaking to news media in the area, many protesters said the new cabinet did little to quell their anger. “We want a complete change of government, with a civilian authority,” one said. Another added: “This is not a new government. This is the same regime—this is the same bluff. [Mubarak] has been bluffing us for 30 years.”

In Tahrir Square today, protesters played music as strings of barbed wire and army tanks stood nearby. Demonstrators scaled light poles, hanging Egyptian flags and calling for an end to Mubarak’s rule. “One poster featured Mubarak’s face plastered with a Hitler mustache, a sign of the deep resentment toward the 82-year-old leader they blame for widespread poverty, inflation and official indifference and brutality during his 30 years in power,” one journalist in the square reported this evening.

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Category:June 22, 2007

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