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News briefs:February 01, 2008

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News briefs:February 01, 2008

Contents

  • 1 Wikinews News Brief [Date]
    • 1.1 Introduction
  • 2 Events of worldwide notability, military action, disasters etc.
    • 2.1 Violence takes place in Chad capital N’djamena as military and rebels clash
    • 2.2 High level al-Qaeda leader reported dead
    • 2.3 International manhunt for alleged kidney harvester
  • 3 Non-disastrous local events with notable impact and dead celebrities
    • 3.1 Envelopes containing white powder sent to Church of Scientology locations in southern California, USA
    • 3.2 Vermont town to vote on charging US President, Vice President of war crimes
  • 4 Business, commerce and academia
    • 4.1 Microsoft bids $44 billion for Yahoo!
  • 5 Arts and culture
  • 6 Frivolities and trivia
    • 6.1 Brechin thrown out of Scottish Cup after dispute
    • 6.2 Footer

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At least nineteen dead after suicide bomb blast in Pakistan

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At least nineteen dead after suicide bomb blast in Pakistan

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A suicide bomber has killed at least 19 people around a courthouse in the city of Peshawar, Pakistan.

Witnesses said that the powerful explosion occurred during rush hour. Several security personnel and lawyers are among the victims, and doctors reported that some of those injured are in a critical condition.

“One policemen [sic] has been martyred and four injured in the attack,” said a senior police official, Mohammad Karim Khan.

Senior police officer Sahibzada Anis, speaking to reporters, said that the suicide bomber was on foot and detonated the device when security guards stopped him for a search at the main entrance. The blast damaged several cars parked nearby. “The attacker was on foot and blew himself when guards tried to search him at the gates of the court,” he said.

Thursday’s suicide attack in Peshawar took place hours after missiles fired by a suspected American drone killed at least four suspected militants and wounded five others in the North Waziristan region, on the Afghan border. The area is a known stronghold of Afghan and al-Qaeda militants.

Taliban insurgents have intensified attacks in the country — particularly in and around Peshawar — after the Pakistani army launched an offensive against militant bases in South Waziristan. Officials said that since early last month more than 300 people have died in bombings and militant raids on government, civilian, and Western targets in the country.

[edit]

Toyota recalls up to 1.8 million automobiles

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Toyota recalls up to 1.8 million automobiles

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The automobile manufacturer Toyota has said that it will recall up to 1.8 million cars across Europe, after a problem with the accelerator pedal was discovered.

According to the firm, eight models were affected by the problem — AYGO, iQ, Yaris, Auris, Corolla, Verso, Avensis, and RAV4 — after it was discovered that the accelerator may become stuck in a depressed position, resulting in uncontrollable speeding.

On Thursday, Toyota said it would recall 1.1 million cars in the US; a day previous, it had suspended eight models from sales. Last week, 2.3 million cars in the US were recalled due to the pedal issues.

The chief executive of Toyota Motor Europe commented on the recall. “We understand that the current situation is creating concerns and we deeply regret it,” said Tadashi Arashima. The firm, however, noted that it wasn’t aware of any accidents resulted by the malfunctioning accelerator pedals, and not many pedal problem incidents were reported in Europe. “The potential accelerator pedal issue only occurs in very rare circumstances,” Arashima added.

The National Automobile Dealers Association, meanwhile, commented that Toyota showrooms could lose as much as US$2.47 billion worth of revenue due to the incident.

“Toyota veterans will likely hear the news with disbelief and keep faith in the brand, but new customers could definitely be scared off,” remarked Robert Rademacher, who is the president of the trade group ZDK, as quoted by Business Week. “This recall has a dimension which we’ve never seen before.”

There are concerns that the problem may result in reduced consumer trust in Toyota. Hans-Peter Wodniok, an analyst for Fairesearch GmbH & Co. in Germany, noted: “If this is a one-time event, huge as it is, Toyota may be forgiven. But if something happens again in the next months and years, they will have gambled away customer trust in Europe as well.”

Analysts for Morgan Stanley, however, said they believed Toyota would not suffer much from the incident. “The company’s actions to correct the situation are timely enough to avoid major brand damage,” they remarked in a note to investors.

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Unique Features Of Lafuma Rsx Zero Gravity Chair

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Submitted by: Everett Woods

There is perhaps nothing more satisfying than sitting on a lounge chair that is comfortable and relaxing. When people look for lounge chairs, they look for the most comfortable type that they can find as these chairs are meant to be used for relaxing and lounging around. If you are like us you want a comfortable chair to enjoy at the end of a long day.

There are many furniture brands out there but there is perhaps no other brand that can compare to the French patio furniture corporation Lafuma. For years, they have been producing the most comfortable chair models of the highest quality in the furniture industry. One such model is the Lafuma RSX zero gravity chair.

The Lafuma RSX zero gravity chair is perhaps one of the most comfortable lounge chairs available in the market. This is because Lafuma is a furniture company that is dedicated in creating only the best furniture. This is the reason why it does not come as a surprise that they have remained one of the top selling furniture brands in the whole world. The chair is made from tear-proof polyester thread mesh fabric, which is also weather resistant. It has smooth operating reclining systems and extra wide arm rests making it the perfect lounge chair.

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Lafuma is dedicated to making the highest quality of chairs made only from the best materials. The mesh fabric they use for their chairs adds to the durability and longevity of this chair. If you purchase the Lafuma RSX zero gravity chair, you will be given a two-year warranty to make sure that there are no manufacturing defects.

The chair s zero gravity mechanism is the most unique feature of Lafuma chairs. This concept was taken from NASA and was utilized by Lafuma to create chairs that offer comfort that mimics the effects of a zero gravity environment. This means that the person can sit on the chair without experiencing vertebral strain. The chair can improve blood circulation as it helps the person using it to keep an upright sitting position. It also helps to eliminate muscle tension and spinal pressure. All of this results im better oxygen circulation and lung performance.

The Lafuma RSX zero gravity chair is ergonomically designed with padded cushions and made with mesh cloth that is fastened to a steel frame. While the fabric is not cushioned, it is pretty lightweight, making it comfortable to sit on.

The Lafuma RSX zero gravity chair comes at an affordable price, which may be a bit surprising considering how comfortable and durable the chair is. It is a good investment to get this chair. You can buy several chairs to accommodate your whole family or better yet, you can use it to relax and get a good tan if you have a pool. This lounge chair comes in several colours and designs to choose from so if you want to follow a general theme when it comes to your furniture, you can choose a colour that fits your theme.

About the Author: Find the best

zero gravity recliner

at

gravitychairshop.com

and read the latest zero gravity recliner reviews.

Source:

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Man charged with attempted murder in £40 million London jewel heist

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Man charged with attempted murder in £40 million London jewel heist

Sunday, September 6, 2009

24-year-old Aman Kassaye, of no fixed abode, is to face a charge of attempted murder for his alleged role in an armed robbery that netted £40 million ($65 million) worth of jewelry from a London store.

Kassaye is the seventh man to be charged, and is also facing prosecution for conspiracy to rob the Graff store in New Bond Street, false imprisonment, and using a handgun to resist arrest. He will appear at Wimbledon magistrates court on Monday.

The other six men have already been remanded in custody until October 23, when they will appear at Kingston Crown Court. All are facing charges of conspiracy to rob, and two of them are also charged with a firearms offense.

43 diamond rings, watches, and bracelets were taken from the store. The theft occurred when two armed and suited men walked in and took an employee hostage. It has been reported they used prosthetic masks made from liquid latex but police have not confirmed this. Amateur footage also shows a shot was fired. No-one was injured.

The robbery is one of the biggest the United Kingdom has seen. After the crime a string of getaway vehicles was used, with police believing several more offenders assisted with this stage of the plan. Although The Telegraph claims no stolen property has yet been recovered, this is also unconfirmed by police.

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Study suggests 48% of US soda fountain machines have coliform bacteria

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Study suggests 48% of US soda fountain machines have coliform bacteria

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A recent study conducted by Hollins University indicates that 48% of sodas from soda fountains in the United States are contaminated with coliform bacteria.

The researchers drew the conclusions from a test of 90 beverages from 30 fountains in fast food restaurants. The bacteria found was a form of fecal contamination, it was discovered, although it was not immediately clear whether it came from the soda fountains themselves, or people with dirty hands.

Other bacteria were also found in the soda samples, including E.coli, present in eleven percent of the tested beverages. Many of the soda drinks apparently fell below the US Environmental Protection Agency’s minimum standards for drinking water; regulations state that samples cannot test positive for E.coli bacteria. In total, 20% of soda fountains had more than the maximum recommended levels of bacteria.

“The large number of beverages and soda fountain machines containing E. coli is still of considerable concern […] and suggests that more pathogenic strains of bacteria could persist and thrive in soda fountain machines if introduced,” the authors of the study wrote.

Renee Godard, the study’s lead author, and a professor of biology and environmental studies at Hollins University, commented on the findings. “Certainly we come in contact with bacteria all the time. It’s simply that some bacteria may potentially cause some disease or gastrointestinal distress. One thing we hesitate with is that people get afraid of bacteria. Many of them are benign or helpful, but certainly, I don’t want E.coli in my beverage,” she said.

Godard and her team took samples of 90 different beverages from three groups – sugar soda, diet soda, water – from 30 fast-food restaurants in Roanoke, Virginia.

“You can get collections of bacteria in the water line and that then runs through the whole machine and gets in to the beverage. Any time any water or liquid sits somewhere, it’s just a breeding ground for bacteria,” commented Primary Care Physician Alanna Levine.

Experts suggest that plastic nozzles used on soda fountains might be part of the reason why the study found so much bacteria is present; it takes only a single dirty hand to spread bacteria over a tube, and it could be easily transferred to the rest of the fountain from there.

“It could be from dispensing with a hand that wasn’t clean or using wet rags to wipe down the machine. We haven’t done the work to really identify those potential sources and how these bacteria get established,” Godard said.

A professor at the University of California Davis, however, said he believed that a single localised study wasn’t enough to come to a conclusion about soda machines throughout the country. “How sanitation regulations are promulgated and enforced in a community are different. Some communities are more on to it than others. How much of a threat it represents? It’s probably limited. Once again, it’s a matter of what regulations are in place, who pays attention and whether it’s being followed,” he said, as quoted by CNN.

The National Restaurant Association responded to the university’s findings in an e-mail statement. “While the results of this study are disconcerting, we feel that it isn’t representative of our industry and that our guests can safely enjoy beverages from dispensers and single-serve containers alike,” the organisation said.

The American Beverage Association also countered the findings. “Fountain beverages are safe. Consumers can rest assured that our industry’s fountain beverages pose no public health risk. […] Importantly, our industry meets, and often exceeds, all government health standards in bringing its products to market.”

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Wikinews interviews Sue Gardner on Wikipedia blackout

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Wikinews interviews Sue Gardner on Wikipedia blackout

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Today, the English version of Wikipedia is taking part in a 24-hour ‘blackout’ to protest two proposed U.S. anti-piracy laws, the Stop Online Piracy Act and the PROTECT IP Act. The protest mirrors similar actions from other websites including Reddit and Boing Boing. The White House stated on Saturday that they “will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global internet”.

In the midst of the Wikipedia blackout, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation Sue Gardner answered some questions posed by Wikinews’ Tom Morris about the effectiveness of, and background to, the blackout.

((Tom Morris)) Do you think the blackout is going to actually be effective?

((Sue Gardner)) Yes. In my opinion, the blackout has two main goals—to raise awareness about the dangers of SOPA and PIPA, and to encourage readers to contact their elected representatives and give their views. The first has already been accomplished: there are already more than 4,000 stories in Google News about the blackout, and it was a trending topic on Twitter almost immediately. So we know we’ve been effective in raising awareness. What remains to be seen how many people will contact their elected officials.

((TM)) What do you say to people who have decided to leave the editing community as a result of the blackout?

((Gardner)) I hope nobody stops editing Wikipedia because of the blackout. I watched the community decision-making process unfold on the English Wikipedia, and I thought it was a good one. People first started talking about SOPA more than a month ago. Jimmy started the straw poll in mid-December. Over 1,800 English Wikipedians from many different countries participated in the discussion over the last three days. As the admins who closed it noted, this is by far the largest-ever number of participants in a community discussion on English Wikipedia, and the overwhelming majority of them supported action. So I would hope that anybody who opposes the blackout would also agree that the decision-making process was a good one, and would therefore be okay to accept it, however reluctantly.

((TM)) How much technical planning went into the blackout before the community consensus was decided on Monday night?

((Gardner)) Last Thursday Geoff Brigham [Ed: Wikimedia’s legal counsel] asked engineering to do an internal assessment of the technical implementation requirements, because the community discussions at that point were suggesting there would likely be some kind of action. Engineering did an initial assessment based on e.g. the Italian blackout, implications for search engines, etc., and then a lot of work happened over the weekend. The bulk of initial development and testing happened on a sprint on Martin Luther King Day, a public holiday in the United States, and the final launch development and testing sprint happened on Tuesday.

((TM)) Does the fact that this is affecting only English Wikipedia and not the sister projects and other language projects concern the Foundation?

((Gardner)) No. My understanding is that the English Wikipedia is the only project and language-version enacting a blackout, but that several other projects and language versions are putting up supportive banners, with the Italian Wkipedians doing a clickthrough informational interstitial. The German Wikipedia decided to put up banners even before consensus was reached on the English Wikipedia, and the Arabic Wikipedia, Italian Wikipedia and Commons later made the same decision. (There may be others, that I don’t know about.) I think that’s fine: each project and each language has different circumstances that argue for different types of action, or for no action. There is no one right answer that fits everybody.

((TM)) Some have said that the lack of participation by opponents of SOPA in the commercial sector (sites of the size of Twitter, Facebook, Google etc.) is going to hamper the effectiveness of the blackout – is this a concern?

((Gardner)) No. I don’t think anybody ever expected the big commercial sites to black out: most aren’t in a position to participate in something like this even if they wanted to. For example, they might have shareholders to answer to, participation might cost them significant revenue, or it could break contractual agreements (such as a commitment to maintain a certain level of uptime, or some other service delivery). Most sites are constrained by various commercial considerations: that makes Wikipedia’s participation particularly powerful and important.

((TM)) Given both the Italian shutdown and the SOPA blackout, is the Foundation going to come up with a policy or set of conditions which limit when these kind of things happen? There are plenty in the community who support the SOPA actions but are concerned that this will set a bad precedent.

((Gardner)) Yeah, I empathize with those people and to a certain extent I share that concern. The Wikimedia movement does not have a lot of experience with advocacy, and probably mistakes will get made. At this time the Wikimedia Foundation doesn’t have any plans to develop policy governing protests or advocacy work. But, I think it probably does make sense for the Foundation to create venues for these discussions so people can share thinking and expertise. So for example, we may create a mailing list dedicated to advocacy/lobbying. And there is some good thinking starting to happen [on the project-wide protests page on Meta].

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Benefits Of Shavasana

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By Sharon Hopkins

For many it is considered to be one of the easiest asanas, but that is not the case. Even though it may look very simple and non-beneficial but it is the other way round. After doing all your yoga poses this is one of the most essential and important pose to complete your yoga practice with. It is the asana which gives the opportunity to relax. Shavasana means Corpse pose due to the look of the asana. As you lie down it makes you aware about your body and how each part of your body plays a very important role in your life.

As you go along meditating it relaxes each nerve of your body and improves your respiration which creates the areas for energy and vitality. It benefits mentally as well as physically, which helps in focusing your positive energy for a greater good. Mind and body should not waiver while doing this asana. Full concentration is required and it may prove to be very handy in times when you need the most. A motionless mind and body helps you reach the level of optimum relaxation. Listening to soothing voice or some chants may just help you reach that meditated level.

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The respiratory and circulatory system is cleared and opens to a more refreshing life. The overworked muscles tend to relax when you are in this asana. Every system in the body relaxes which gives them the breathing space to conserve energy and be more useful later on. It is very beneficial for people who are heart patient as well as suffering from blood pressure. It helps in improving your stress level and may also relieve you from slight depression. Minor problems like headache, fatigue and insomnia may also be reduced. People with back injury or any other back problems should take extra care.

About the Author: Sharon Hopkins webmaster for yoga sites like http://www.yogawiz.com informs you about different types of yoga and the benefits to reap all your life.

Shavasana Benefits

your mind, soul and body as each nerve relaxes at this time of asana.

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News briefs:June 30, 2006

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News briefs:June 30, 2006

The time is 20:00 (UTC) on June 30th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.

Contents

  • 1 Headlines
    • 1.1 Interior Ministry, Fatah offices in Gaza hit by Israeli airstrikes
    • 1.2 Palestinian PM: Israel aims to topple gov’t
    • 1.3 Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs Freitas do Amaral resigns
    • 1.4 French Parliament adopts controversial copyright bill
    • 1.5 Police crackdown on illegal tow operations in Sydney
    • 1.6 Amsterdam to open a “Chocolate Factory”
    • 1.7 Australian shot in Thailand
    • 1.8 Germany master penalties to beat Argentina to semi-final spot
    • 1.9 Ullrich and Sevilla suspended from Tour de France
  • 2 Closing statements

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Home of Stonehenge builders found

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Home of Stonehenge builders found

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Scientists have uncovered the largest Neolithic settlement in the United Kingdom at the Durrington Walls and believe that the village was inhabited by the people who built the Stonehenge monument.

Scientists say that the village was built around 2,600 B.C., roughly when Stonehenge was believed to have been constructed, and housed over 100 people.

Inside the areas which would have been the interior of houses at the time, scientists also found outlines of what they think were beds and cupboards or dressers. Pieces of pottery and “filthy” rubbish around the site. Animal bones, arrowheads, stone tools and other relics were also discovered.

“We’ve never seen such quantities of pottery and animal bone and flint. In what were houses, we have excavated the outlines on the floors of box beds and wooden dressers or cupboards,” said Sheffield University archaeologist Mike Parker Pearson.

So far, the dig has revealed at least 8 houses roughly 14-16 feet square, but scientists say that they think there may have been at least 25 altogether.

The site was likely to have been occupied only seasonally rather than year-round and evidence suggests that a lot of “partying” went on at the location.

“The animal bones are being thrown away half-eaten. It’s what we call a feasting assemblage. This is where they went to party – you could say it was the first free festival. The rubbish isn’t your average domestic debris. There’s a lack of craft-working equipment for cleaning animal hides and no evidence for crop-processing,” added Pearson.

The Durrington Walls are approximately 2 miles from the Stonehenge site.

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