First Christian Church

KKE: Interview with the Greek Communist Party

">
KKE: Interview with the Greek Communist Party

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wikinews reporter Iain Macdonald has performed an interview with Dr Isabella Margara, a London-based member of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE). In the interview Margara sets out the communist response to current events in Greece as well as discussing the viability of a communist economy for the nation. She also hit back at Petros Tzomakas, a member of another Greek far-left party which criticised KKE in a previous interview.

The interview comes amid tensions in cash-strapped Greece, where the government is introducing controversial austerity measures to try to ease the nation’s debt-problem. An international rescue package has been prepared by European Union member states and the International Monetary Fund – should Greece require a bailout; protests have been held against government attempts to manage the economic situation.

Donald Trump inaugurated as 45th U.S. president

">
Donald Trump inaugurated as 45th U.S. president

Monday, January 23, 2017

At 12:00 p.m. local time (1700 UTC) on Friday, Donald Trump took the oath of office and was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.

Both the Obamas, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and other previous presidents were present.

Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump were welcomed in the morning by outgoing president Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. At 12:00 local time (17:00 GMT), Chief Justice John G. Roberts swore in Donald Trump as the new President of the United States. Donald Trump took his oath on the Lincoln Bible, and on his own bible that his mother had given him. Vice President Mike Pence was sworn in on the Reagan Bible.

After assuming the presidency, Donald Trump made his first speech as President of the United States, including the words “January 20, 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”

Barack Obama left a letter to his successor on the nineteenth-century presidential desk in the White House Oval Office.

Sweden’s Crown Princess marries long-time boyfriend

">
Sweden’s Crown Princess marries long-time boyfriend

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sweden’s first royal wedding since 1976 took place Saturday when Crown Princess Victoria, 32, married her long-time boyfriend and former personal trainer, Daniel Westling, 36. The ceremony took place at Stockholm Cathedral.

Over 1,200 guests, including many rulers, politicians, royals and other dignitaries from across the world, attended the wedding, which cost an estimated 20 million Swedish kronor. Victoria wore a wedding dress with five-metre long train designed by Pär Engsheden. She wore the same crown that her mother, Queen Silvia, wore on her wedding day 34 years previously, also on June 19. Victoria’s father, King Carl XVI Gustaf, walked Victoria down the aisle, which was deemed untraditional by many. In Sweden, the bride and groom usually walk down the aisle together, emphasising the country’s views on equality. Victoria met with Daniel half-way to the altar, where they exchanged brief kisses, and, to the sounds of the wedding march, made their way to the the silver altar. She was followed by ten bridesmaids. The couple both had tears in their eyes as they said their vows, and apart from fumbling when they exchanged rings, the ceremony went smoothly.

Following the ceremony, the couple headed a fast-paced procession through central Stockholm on a horse-drawn carriage, flanked by police and security. Up to 500,000 people are thought to have lined the streets. They then boarded the Vasaorden, the same royal barge Victoria’s parents used in their wedding, and traveled through Stockholm’s waters, accompanied by flyover of 18 fighter jets near the end of the procession. A wedding banquet followed in the in the Hall of State of the Royal Palace.

Controversy has surrounded the engagement and wedding between the Crown Princess and Westling, a “commoner”. Victoria met Westling as she was recovering from bulemia in 2002. He owned a chain of gymnasiums and was brought in to help bring Victoria back to full health. Westling was raised in a middle-class family in Ockelbo, in central Sweden. His father managed a social services centre, and his mother worked in a post office. When the relationship was made public, Westling was mocked as an outsider and the king was reportedly horrified at the thought of his daughter marrying a “commoner”, even though he did so when he married Silvia. Last year, Westling underwent transplant surgery for a congenital kidney disorder. The Swedish public have been assured that he will be able to have children and that his illness will not be passed on to his offspring.

Westling underwent years of training to prepare for his new role in the royal family, including lessons in etiquette, elocution, and multi-lingual small talk; and a makeover that saw his hair being cropped short, and his plain-looking glasses and clothes being replaced by designer-wear.

Upon marrying the Crown Princess, Westling took his wife’s ducal title and is granted the style “His Royal Highness”. He is now known as HRH Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland. He also has his own coat-of-arms and monogram. When Victoria assumes the throne and becomes Queen, Daniel will not become King, but assume a supportive role, similar to that of Prince Phillip, the husband of the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II.

categories Uncategorized | | comments Comments (0)

Shimon Peres discusses the future of Israel

">
Shimon Peres discusses the future of Israel

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

This year Israel turns sixty and it has embarked upon a campaign to celebrate its birthday. Along with technology writers for Slate, PC Magazine, USA Today, BusinessWeek, Aviation Weekly, Wikinews was invited by the America-Israel Friendship League and the Israeli Foreign Ministry to review Israel’s technology sector. It’s part of an effort to ‘re-brand the country’ to show America that there is more to Israel than the Palestinian conflict. On this trip we saw the people who gave us the Pentium processor and Instant Messaging. The schedule was hectic: 12-14 hours a day were spent doing everything from trips to the Weizmann Institute to dinner with Yossi Vardi.

On Thursday, the fifth day of the junket, David Saranga of the foreign ministry was able to arrange an exclusive interview for David Shankbone with the President of Israel, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Shimon Peres. For over an hour they spoke about Iranian politics, whether Israel is in danger of being side-lined in Middle Eastern importance because of Arab oil wealth, and his thoughts against those who say Israeli culture is in a state of decay.

The only crime I committed was to be a little bit ahead of time. And if this is the reason for being controversial, maybe the reason is better than the result.

Shimon Peres spent his early days on kibbutz, a bygone socialist era of Israel. In 1953, at the age of 29, Peres became the youngest ever Director General of the Ministry of Defense. Forty years later it was Peres who secretly gave the green light for dialogue with Yassir Arafat, of the verboten Palestine Liberation Organization. It was still official Israeli policy to not speak with the PLO. Peres shares a Nobel Peace Prize with Yitzak Rabin and Arafat for orchestrating what eventually became the Oslo Accords. The “roadmap” that came out of Oslo remains the official Israeli (and American) policy for peace in the Palestinian conflict. Although the majority of Israeli people supported the plans, land for peace was met with a small but fiery resistance in Israel. For negotiating with Arafat, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shouted at Peres, “You are worse than Chamberlain!” a reference to Hitler’s British appeaser. It was during this time of heated exchanges in the 1990s that Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by Yigal Amir, a Jew who thought it against Halakhic law to give up land given by God (Hashem).

Peres is the elder statesman of Israeli politics, but he remembers that he has not always been as popular as he is today. “Popularity is like perfume: nice to smell, dangerous to drink,” said Peres. “You don’t drink it.” The search for popularity, he goes on to say, will kill a person who has an idea against the status quo.

Below is David Shankbone’s interview with Shimon Peres, the President of Israel.

Contents

  • 1 Israeli technology
  • 2 The future of the peace process in Israel
  • 3 The waning importance of history
  • 4 Is Israel a united society?
  • 5 Iran: will Israel strike first?
  • 6 The 2006 Lebanon War
  • 7 On American politics
  • 8 Peres on his Presidency and learning from the future, not the past
  • 9 Related news
  • 10 Sources

categories Uncategorized | April 22, 2018 | comments Comments (0)

The Truth About Business Credit Cards}

The Truth About Business Credit Cards

by

Pamela Williams

Do you own a business? Or still in the planning stage to start-up your own? Then a business credit card may just be the thing for you. A business credit card is the modified version of your personal credit card and a lot more.

The Benefits Of Business Credit Cards

First of all, it separates your personal money from your business funds. It gives you the option to distribute business credit cards to your employees to keep track and control spending on all your business purchases. It also provides you with an annual report, detailing all purchases that are made on your account. This is a great help when reviewing your accounting and tax payments. More importantly, a business credit card can be used to temporarily fund a business and get it started without waiting for a bulk of cash to come in hand.

The Types Of Business Credit Cards

The business credit cards give rewards to their customers which surely benefits small business owners and entrepreneurs. Rewards come in the form of cash rebates, discounts on purchases and free travels in and out of the country. Because businesses use their credit cards for big purchases, they gain more points easily which entitle them to great rewards and bonuses.

Most business credit cards offer big discounts for the whole promotional period to attract more customers. Most credit cards allow a very low charge on the APR which can last from 3 months to a year, to even more than one year period. The rate varies starting at a 0 APR, then you can actually get a very big purchase without having to pay for it in cash instantly.

Making the most of the Introductory Rate

Some best business credit cards will also give you a very low interest rate on purchases during this period. This is a good time to make all those expensive purchases your business needs.

Another great deal with many business credit cards is the 0% balance transfer rates for a certain time period. Combine that with a low APR, and it is an ideal way of paying off debts more quickly, by transferring your credit from another account to this credit card. Thus, you get rid of excess charges on interest and you can focus on paying off just your original debt. Always keep in mind the date that your introductory rate ends, and budget accordingly.

You would want to watch out for any hidden traps though. Some credit card companies would ask for higher fees on other charges such as higher annual fees, higher balance transfer fees, high penalty fees, etc. Also, check if the APR will still be a reasonable amount once the introductory period is done.

In case you are getting the card solely for its low initial offer, then you should even be more careful. Remember, in order to keep that rate low for the whole introductory period, you need to prove that you are being a good payer or else this privilege could be taken away and you could find yourself stuck with a much higher rate.

There are others who use the strategy of switching cards in order to pay of their debts more quickly minus the interest fees. The only thing you would need to be cautious about is being able to pay your bills promptly. However switching accounts too often may reflect poorly on your credit report, if you are opening brand new lines of credit each time. Once your rate ends, call the credit card company and see if they have another low interest rate available. In my experience they will either give it to you right away, or if not, just mention you will simply transfer the balance to another card. Many times they will find you a new rate for you. So, if you have already found a card with a low rate even after the introductory period, it is a good choice to stick with it. It saves you from more hassle so you can concentrate on paying your bills and maintaining a good credit record.

Certainly business credit cards are a convenient way to handle your business resources. A vital point to bear in mind always is that managing your finances requires self-discipline and a proper view of money. Using your business credit card to its full potential is up to you. Take advantage of all your privileges but never abuse them.

Business Credit Card Site provides complete reviews of the best business credit cards, tips and advice and direct online application for your chosen card. Visit: www.BusinessCreditCardSite.com

Article Source:

eArticlesOnline.com}

categories Accountants | | comments Comments (0)

Zeus botnet trojan horse is back

">
Zeus botnet trojan horse is back

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Trusteer, a web security company, reports that a trojan horse virus called Zeus can steal online banking details from infected computers. The virus has infected one out of every 3,000 computers of the 5,500,000 million which the company monitors in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The trojan can infect users of Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer on Microsoft Windows, and steals login information by recording keystrokes when the machine connects to certain websites, usually banks or other financial institutions. The stolen data is transmitted to a remote server and sold to cyber-criminals. “We expect this new version of Zeus to significantly increase fraud losses, since nearly 30% of Internet users bank online with Firefox and the infection is growing faster than we have ever seen before,” said Amit Klein, chief technology officer at Trusteer, to BBC.

The trojan has also affected Wikinews users, including Brian McNeil, who is the founder of Wikinewsie, a restricted-access wiki used to collaborate on sensitive news reports. McNeil reported on his userspace: “On Saturday [April] 17, a Windows-based PC in the house issued a cry for help, the Avira package running on the system had just detected a piece of malware; full scans indicated several known pieces of malware and numerous hidden files. Additional scans revealed that all but one of the USB memory sticks and portable hard drives in the house were infected with something. The Zeus botnet, as it turned out.” E-mail accounts for accredited reporters have also been affected.

categories Uncategorized | | comments Comments (0)

Latham quits as Australian Labor leader

">
Latham quits as Australian Labor leader

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

AUSTRALIA –Following hospitalisation for pancreatitis and ongoing speculation about his leadership, Mark Latham has resigned from his roles as leader of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and also the Federal Member for Werriwa. He cited as reasons the media harassment, and a desire to put his family and health first.

Mr Latham became leader of the ALP just over a year ago, on 2 December, 2003, leading the party during the October 2004 federal election. He was hospitalised in the run-up to that election, also for treatment of pancreatitis. Following the defeat of his party, his leadership increasingly came under question.

He fell ill a second time almost simultaneously with last year’s Indian Ocean tsunami disaster. His failure to issue a statement on the tsunami drew criticism from the media and calls for his resignation from within his own party, even after it was revealed that he had been incapacitated at the time.

Mr Latham’s resignation sidesteps the possibility of a leadership challenge by other members of the party and leaves no clear successor.

categories Uncategorized | | comments Comments (0)

Iraq demands immediate withdrawal of Turkish troops

">
Iraq demands immediate withdrawal of Turkish troops

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Iraqi government has demanded the immediate withdrawal of Turkish troops, saying the five-day incursion is threatening their otherwise friendly relations.

Iraq’s council of ministers says the Turkish military is violating Iraqi sovereignty by conducting the incursion into Kurdish areas of northern Iraq.

Ali al-Dabbagh, the spokesman for the Iraqi government, says the government rejects the unilateral Turkish incursion because it is a threat to their good neighborly relations.

The Turkish military crossed into Iraq to chase out Kurdish rebels from the Kurdistan Workers Party. The rebels want autonomy for Kurds in Turkey and have used bases inside Iraq to launch attacks on Turkish forces.

Al-Dabbagh acknowledged the threat posed to Turkey by the rebels and said the government stands ready for dialogue.

About 20 percent of Turkish citizens are Kurds and in the southeast, bordering Iraq, they make up the majority. But Kurds in Turkey say their culture and language are oppressed.

Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, president of the Iraqi Parliament, says they have asked Turkey to resolve the situation peacefully. He says the Turks should hold a referendum in south Turkey to give the Kurds the rights they want.

Iraq’s Shiite parliament ministers issued a statement rejecting the Turkish military operation and supporting calls for their immediate withdrawal.

Elsewhere, a suicide bomber detonated in a bus near the northern city of Mosul, killing at least nine and wounding several others.

Meanwhile, millions of Shiites in Iraq gathered in the southern Iraqi city of Karbala for Arbaeen, a major Shiite commemoration.

Iraqi TV showed huge crowds of Shiites walking in procession, beating drums, and whipping and hitting themselves in ritual prostration.

More than 60 Shiite pilgrims were killed while making their way to Karbala this week, most of them from a Sunday suicide bombing.

categories Uncategorized | | comments Comments (0)

Advantages Of Doing B.Tech From A Reputed College}

Get More Information Here:

Advantages of Doing B.Tech from a Reputed College

by

Sandeep GhoshAccording to the experts, there are a lot more opportunities, which a student of a reputed college can get, compared to the other colleges who are offering B.Tech degree courses. Generally, the reputed colleges have been found to be organizing effective campus interviews, which is ultimately leading towards providing a good placement opportunities for the students.Thus, a student should definitely go for one of the most reputed Colleges in West Bengal for B.Tech. There are more than one advantages of selecting a well reputed college, from where a student can pursue his or her B.Tech degree.Faculty:Faculty plays an important role in enhancing the qualities and potentialities of a student. Thus, in a reputed college, the students can grab the opportunity of learning new things, with the help of the experienced faculty, who have an ample knowledge of their respective departments. The research works of the students can also be conducted smoothly, under the guidance of an experienced faculty.Infrastructure:Infrastructure is also an important thing to consider, at the time of selecting a B.Tech college. Infrastructure, in a reputed college is always wonderful. In order to provide a quality education to the students of B.Tech, a college needs to have a technically advanced laboratory, cutting edge technology used in demonstrating various technical things, etc. In spite of all this, a reputed college also have a grand infrastructural quality in their hostel or in their library.Placement:This is one of the most important aspects, which should be kept in mind, at the time of selecting a B.Tech college. After, spending four years in a B.Tech college, everybody would definitely want to see himself or herself in a position, where it would be easier for them to establish themselves in the future. But, this would be possible only after getting a placement in a reputed company. The placement is assured only in a reputed college, where a student will be allowed to select a job, which is related to his field of study.Extracurricular:Extracurricular activities are also essential for a student, in order to detect his or her hidden talent, in a particular genre. In a reputed college one would be provided with a lot of different extracurricular activities and of which you can select any one, which would suit your personality. In the less reputed colleges, you do have such facilities, but the options for you are less and the college management wouldn’t really push you to do well in sports. They would rather like to focus only on the academics. But, securing an admission in one of the reputed Colleges in West Bengal for B.Tech, would help a student in developing the overall qualities, which one may possess.A well reputed college, does have an important role in shaping the career of an individual. The infrastructural quality of that particular college will definitely help him in honing his capacities. Sometimes,taking an admission to the college which is not recognized by UGC and approved by AICTE is messing up with your career. Having campus placement gives you a sense of confidence and security as you have a job in hand before you leave college, this satisfaction can only come if you seek to get an admission in a reputed college for B.Tech.

The author of this article is a freelance writer. He has a previous experience of writing this type of article. For any further information, related to the B.Tech degree, you can visit the website of Institute of Science and Technology,

YouTube Preview Image

istonline.org.in

, or you can also give us a call at, 03225 267 288.

Article Source:

eArticlesOnline.com}

categories School Academy | | comments Comments (0)

Class action launched by Australian bushfire survivors against SP AusNet

">
Class action launched by Australian bushfire survivors against SP AusNet

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The largest class action in Victorian history was commenced at the Supreme Court of Victoria on Friday the 13th by Slidders Lawyers against electricity distribution company SP AusNet and the Brumby Government in relation to the Kilmore East fire that became part of the Kinglake complex.

Because of the lawsuit, SP AusNet SPN.AX’s shares on Monday have dropped more than 13.36 per cent or 14.5 cents, to an intra-day low of 94 cents, was at 98.5 cents at 10:38 a.m. local time, before recovering slightly to be 7.5 cents lower at A$1.01 by 1144 AEDT (0003 GMT) or 6.9 percent in Sydney trading. Shares in SP AusNet closed 3.7 percent lower at A$1.045 on Monday.

Power supplier SP AusNet said it has asked the Victoria Court regarding the status of the class action proceedings saying the firm had insurance policies in place consistent with industry standards. “SP AusNet will continue to update the market as further information becomes available,” the company said.

The claim has focused on alleged negligence by SP AusNet in its management of electricity infrastructure. It maintains most of the power lines in eastern Victoria. Its fallen power line is believed to have sparked the blaze that tore through Kinglake, Steels Creek, Strathewen, Humevale, and St Andrews. The plaintiffs include thousands of angry Kinglake farmers, small business owners, tourist operators and residents who lost homes.

Leo Keane, the lead plaintiff in the class action has alleged “SP AusNet owed a duty of care to landowners to operate and manage power lines in a way that limited the risk of damage from bushfires.”

On Thursday Phoenix Taskforce had taken away a section of power line as well as a power pole from near Kilmore East, part of a two-kilometre section of line in Kilmore East that fell during strong winds and record heat about 11am last Saturday. It was believed to have started the fire there, since within minutes a nearby pine forest was ablaze, and within six hours the bushfire had almost obliterated nearly every building in the towns in its path.

“It is believed that the claim will be made on the basis of negligent management of power lines and infrastructure,” Slidders Lawyers partner Daniel Oldham said. The law firm has announced it was helping landowners and leaseholders get compensation for the 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2009 bushfires. “If you have been burnt by the recent bushfires, please register your interest using the form below as soon as possible,” the law firm’s website stated.

The Insurance Council of Australia has placed the cost of the bushfires at about $500 million. “That means keeping electricity lines clear of trees and in a condition that won’t cause fires. They must also have systems in place to identify and prevent risks occurring,” Melbourne barrister Tim Tobin, QC, said. According to the 2006 census, Kinglake had a population of almost 1,500 people.

But SP AusNet’s legal liability has been limited at $100 million under an agreement inked by the former Kennett government with private utility operators, when the former State Electricity Commission was privatized in 1995. Accordingly, the Brumby Government could be legally obliged to pay damages of the differences amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars.

SP AusNet Ltd said some of its electricity assets have been damaged by the Victoria bushfire. “As a preliminary estimate, it is thought that damage has been sustained to approximately one per cent of SP AusNet’s electricity distribution network, mainly distribution poles, associated conductors and pole top transformers,” SP AusNet said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). It explained that up to 6,000 homes and businesses on its network were without power due to bushfires, including the Kinglake complex fire, Beechworth fire, and fires across Gippsland including Churchill and Bunyip.

SP AusNet said the firm will cooperate fully and will assist in any fire probe. “We stand ready to assist the relevant authorities with their inquiries if it is necessary for us to do so now and in the coming months,” SP Ausnet spokeswoman Louisa Graham said in a statement.

“Our priority is to restore power to fire-affected areas as quickly as possible. We believe the claim is premature and inappropriate … SP AusNet will vigorously defend the claim. If the claim is pursued, SP AusNet advises that it has liability insurance which provides cover for bushfire liability. The company’s bushfire mitigation and vegetation management programmes comply with state regulations and were audited annually by state agencies,” Grahams explained.

Victorian Auditor-General Rob Hulls said “there was an ‘unseemly rush’ by some lawyers to sue before the cause of the fires had been fully investigated.”

“The government body had audited the network’s bushfire risk to make sure required distances between power lines and vegetation were maintained. Power companies had been given a clean bill of health, and electricity firms were judged to be ‘well prepared for the 2008-09 bushfire season.’ There were no regulations applying to the distances between poles supporting electricity lines and spans of one kilometre were not unusual,” a spokesman for Energy Safe Victoria explained.

Christine Nixon, the 19th and current Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police said investigations into the cause of the bushfires were ongoing. “I know people are angry, and so are all of us in this community. But we need to kind of have a sense that the proper processes are in place and we need to go through the investigation and through the court case,” Nixon said. “At this stage we are not able to confirm how it started. I understand there is some legal action that people are taking, but at this stage we’re still investigating its cause. But the whole circumstances of that fire are part of our Taskforce Phoenix, and as we move through that we’ll be able to tell the community more once we’re able to confirm or deny what we think is the cause of these fires,” Nixon added.

On Thursday, two people were arrested in connection with the fires, having been observed by members of the public acting suspiciously in areas between Yea and Seymour; although they were both released without charges laid.

Brendan Sokaluk, age 39, from Churchill in the Gippsland region, was arrested by police at 4pm on Thursday, in relation to the Churchill fires, and was questioned at the Morwell police station. He was charged on Friday with one count each of arson, intentionally lighting a bushfire and possession of child pornography. The arson case relates to 11 of the 21 deaths in the dire Gippsland fire, which devastated 39,000 hectares in the Latrobe Valley, Calignee, Hazelwood Koornalla and Jeeralang. Two teams of Churchill firefighters were almost lost in the inferno that remains out of control.

Mr Sokaluk joined the CFA Churchill brigade in the late 1980s as a volunteer fire fighter, left in the 1990s and attempted to rejoin twice, but was rejected. He failed to appear in Melbourne Magistrate’s Court Monday for a scheduled hearing, since the court reset the committal hearing on May 25. He is represented by lawyer Julian McMahon.

Magistrate John Klestadt has lifted the suppression order which kept the suspect’s identity a secret but identifying photographs were barred from being released. Mr Sokaluk was remanded in protective custody from Morwell to a cell in Melbourne for his own safety amid fears angry prisoners will target him and real risk of vigilante attacks. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years imprisonment if convicted on the arson charge.

“This is an extraordinary case. The level of emotion and anger and disgust that the alleged offenses have aroused in the community is unprecedented.” Mr Sokaluk’s defense lawyer Helen Spowart argued. The prosecution has moved the Court for more time to prepare its case, saying there would be up to 200 witnesses to interview.

Slater & Gordon has indicated that they were awaiting the report of the to-be-established Royal Commission, expected in late 2010, before initiating any claims.

Armed with a $40 million budget, the Royal Commission’s Chair Justice Bernard Teague will be assisted by former Commonwealth ombudsman Ron McLeod, who led the inquiry into the 2003 Canberra bushfires, and State Services Authority Commissioner Susan Pascoe. The Commission has said its interim report is due on August 17 while the final report will be submitted by July 31, 2010.

Judge Bernard Teague has announced Tuesday he will meet with fire victims and fire authorities within the next two weeks. “We want to do that as soon as possible – probably not next week but starting to have these discussions the week after,” he said.

Julia Eileen Gillard, the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and deputy leader of the federal Australian Labor Party (ALP) said the federal and Victorian governments would respond quickly to the royal commission’s report. “Everybody who has lived through this experience in Victoria and around the nation has asked the question: ‘Why? What can we do better?’. No one wanted to see the report “as a book on a shelf gathering dust,” she said.

Victoria bushfire experts, led by Forest Fire Victoria – a group of scientists and forestry experts – have condemned the government’s “Living with Fire” policy and the state’s failure to initiate serious fuel-reduction programs. The Victoria government had failed to seriously act on bushfire safety recommendations submitted last June by the Victorian Parliamentary Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

As death toll rises, evidence mounts of lack of planning prior to Australia’s worst bushfire. “Living with Fire” policy means Kinglake fire trucks were dispatched to an earlier fire in Kilmore, leaving Kinglake undefended. “Kinglake was left with no fire brigade and no police. The trucks had been sent to Kilmore. I’ve been in the fire brigade for 10 years. There was always a law—the trucks had to be on the hill. Because of the government we got gutted at Kinglake. They should have been getting generators ahead of the fire—so people would have had a chance of fighting it. As soon as the power went, I couldn’t keep fighting the fire at my place,” Rick and Lauren Watts, and their friend Neil Rao, spoke to the WSWS.

Rick has also criticized the lack of early warning communications systems, since emergency siren warnings in the town had been stopped some years earlier. Humevale resident Sina Imbriano who has six children was angry about the failure of state and federal governments to set up a recommended telephone warning system amid its “stay and defend or go” policy. Bald Spur Road residents Greg Jackson and his wife Fotini said the government’s “stay and defend or go” policy was “fruitless” since the critical issue was early warnings, but “they [the government] just won’t spend the money.”

Also on Friday, five law firms from Victoria’s Western Districts, including Warrnambool-based Maddens Lawyers and Brown & Proudfoot, held a meeting to discuss a potential class action in relation to the Horsham fire, which was also thought to have been started by fallen power pole that burnt vast swathes of land in Mudgegonga and Dederang, Victoria. The lawsuit will also focus on the fire that blackened about 1750 hectares at Coleraine.

Maddens senior attorney Brendan Pendergast said: “We don’t know who the defendant is at this stage. We are unsure who the electrical supplier is for that area but we should know in a few days. There were people who had their homes burnt to the ground and they will need to reconstruct, replace their contents,” he said. Maddens has initiated a register of affected landowners for the recent bushfires, saying the firm has included victims of the Pomborneit fire that burnt almost 1300 hectares in the proposed class action amid the CFA’s statement the blaze could have been deliberately lit.

Frances Esther “Fran” Bailey, Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives (1990-93 and 1996-present), representing the electorate of McEwen in Victoria said the Country Fire Authority (CFA) had told her one of the power lines had broken before the fire.

“The local CFA [Country Fire Authority] told me on that Saturday, with those very high winds, one of the lines had broken and was whipping against the ground and sparked,” she said. “Whether or not that is the cause of that terrible fire that actually took out Kinglake and maybe Marysville, the investigations will prove that, but we’ve got to do better,” she added.

Victorian Premier John Brumby said the power line claim would be examined as part of the Royal Commission into the bushfire. “No stone will be left unturned. So, I think it’s important the Royal Commission does its work. And, the Royal Commission will, of course, look at all of the factors with the fires,” Mr Brumby said. At least 550 houses were incinerated and 100 people have been killed, leaving more than 1,000 homeless in the Kinglake bushfire and surrounding areas.

SP AusNet – Singapore Power International Pte Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Power Limited (51% interest in SP AusNet). SP AusNet’s electricity transmission and distribution networks, along with the gas distribution assets, enable it to deliver a full range of energy-related products and services to industrial and domestic customers in Victoria, Australia.

Singapore Power ( ?????????) is a company which provides electricity and gas transmission, distribution services, and market support services to more than a million customers in Singapore. As the only electricity company in Singapore, and also one of its largest corporation, SP was incorporated as a commercial entity in October 1995 to take over the electricity and gas businesses of the state provider, the Public Utilities Board. Since 1995, Temasek Holdings controls the entire company with a 100% stake. SP is involved in a major investment in Australia‘s Alinta in partnership with Babcock & Brown, after putting up a bid of A$13.9 billion (S$17 billion), beating out a rival bid by Macquarie Bank.

The devastating 2009 Victorian Black Saturday bushfires, a series of more than 400 bushfires across Victoria on February 7 2009, is Australia’s worst-ever bushfire disaster, claiming at least 200 deaths, including many young children, and is expected to pass 300. 100 victims have been admitted to hospitals across Victoria with burns, at least 20 in a critical condition, and 9 on life support or in intensive care. The fires have destroyed at least 1,834 homes and damaged many thousands more. Many towns north-east of Melbourne have been badly damaged or almost completely destroyed, including Kinglake, Marysville, Narbethong, Strathewen and Flowerdale. Over 500 people suffered fire-related injuries and more than 7,000 are homeless. It has scorched more than 1,500 square miles (3,900 square kilometers) of farms, forests and towns.

The Supreme Court of Victoria is the superior court for the State of Victoria, Australia. Founded in 1852, it is a superior court of common law and equity, with unlimited jurisdiction within the state. Those courts lying below it include the County Court of Victoria, the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (which is technically not a court, but serves a judicial function). Above it lies the High Court of Australia. This places it around the middle of the Australian court hierarchy.

categories Uncategorized | | comments Comments (0)