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US bombers to train in Australia

US bombers to train in Australia

Saturday, November 19, 2005

In a joint agreement by Australia and the United States, the U.S. Air Force will begin regular strategic bomber aircraft training in the Northern Territory early next year. At the recent high-level AUSMIN talks between the U.S. and Australia it was announced that the strategic bomber training program would involve B-52 and B-1 bombers and the B-2 stealth aircraft.

Under the new arrangements aircraft would fly direct from the United States for bombing operations at the Delamere Air Weapons Range situated about 130km south-west of [[w:Katherine, Northern Territory|Katherine}} in the Northern Territory. Delamere is a 211,000ha bombing range used regularly by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) for dropping live weapons. The Darwin RAAF base would also be available for the bombers to land and refuel if necessary. The planes will fly to the Northern Territory from the U.S. Pacific Island base of Guam.

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Plantar Fasciitis… Heel Pain That Won’t Go Away… What Can I Do?

By Nathan Wei

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common, painful foot problems. It is a syndrome where degeneration of the band of tissue that runs from the heel along the arch of the foot develops. Often, a heel spur accompanies the problem. Contrary to belief, the spur is the result of, and not the cause of the fasciitis.

Approximately, 70% of patients with plantar fasciitis have a heel spur that is visible on x-ray.

The plantar fascia is strong and thick and is responsible for maintaining the arch of the foot. Since it bears the brunt of weight on the foot with walking and running, it is the recipient of a tremendous amount of stress.

Plantar fasciitis occurs in two million Americans a year and 10% of the population over a lifetime. It is commonly associated with prolonged periods of weight-bearing. Obesity is a big risk factor.

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis are typically worse early in the morning after a nights sleep. When a patient arises, the pain in the bottom of the heel is excruciating like an ice pick has been jammed into the heel. The pain subsides gradually with walking.

During the day, if a patient sits for any length of time, then gets up and walks again, the pain returns.

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With a bit more walking, the pain soon decreases, only to return again with prolonged weight-bearing.

Treatment of plantar fasciitis involves the following:

Avoiding the inciting activity; As an example, a patient should take a few day off jogging or prolonged standing or walking. Resting usually helps to eliminate the pain, and will allow the discomfort to cool down.

Icing will help to reduce some of the symptoms and control the heel pain. Icing is especially helpful after an acute flare of symptoms.

Exercises and stretches are designed to relax the tissues that surround the heel bone. Some simple exercises, performed in the morning and evening, can help patients feel better quickly.

Anti-inflammatory medications help to relieve pain and decrease inflammation. Both over-the-counter and prescription options may be helpful.

Shoe inserts can lead to successful treatment of plantar fasciitis. The shoe inserts often permit patients to continue their routine activities without pain. They work by supporting the arch.

Night splints are worn to keep the heel stretched during sleep. By doing so, the arch of the foot does not contract at night, and is less painful in the morning.

If the pain does not resolve, the old approach was to administer a shot of cortisone to relieve inflammation.

However, there are potentially serious problems with cortisone injections. The two problems that can occur are fat pad atrophy and plantar fascial rupture. Both of these problems occur in a very small percentage of patients, but they can cause a worsening of heel pain symptoms.

A new treatment for chronic plantar fasciitis, called extracorporeal shock wave therapy, or ESWT, uses energy pulses to induce microtrauma to the tissue of the plantar fascia. This microtrauma is thought to induce tissue repair. Some people do well with this.

The treatment approach of choice though is percutaneous needle tenotomy with autologous tissue grafting. In this procedure, a physician will introduce a small needle under ultrasound guidance and used it to poke small holes in the plantar fascial attachment at the heel.

Following this, platelet-rich plasma, a concentrate of plasma from the patients own blood is injected into the tenotomized area. The platelet-rich plasma contains abundant growth and healing factors. The planatar fascial tissue is regenerated.

In patients who do not respond to these measures, surgery is suggested.

About the Author: Nathan Wei, MD FACP FACR is a board-certified rheumatologist and nationally known arthritis expert. For more info:

Arthritis Treatment


Arthritis Treatment Center


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Wikinews interviews Craig Farquharson, Liberal Democrat candidate for 2020 Groom by-election

Wikinews interviews Craig Farquharson, Liberal Democrat candidate for 2020 Groom by-election

Friday, November 27, 2020

Tomorrow, voters in the Australian electoral district of Groom are scheduled to go to the polls in a by-election following the resignation of Liberal National MP John McVeigh for family reasons. Groom is located in the state of Queensland, and is centred around the city of Toowoomba. At the last federal election, the Liberal National Party, Queensland’s dominant conservative party, won this seat by over 70% of the two-party-preferred vote, and since the seat’s creation in 1984, it has been held by conservative political parties.

Some political analysts considered this a foregone conclusion, with analyst Kevin Bonham having declared it on his blog as “Australia’s most boring by-election”, however Bonham noted the size of the swing may have been indicative of the dominant centre left Labor Party’s general performance in Queensland. There was a 4.2% swing against the Labor Party in the state of Queensland at the previous federal election.

Wikinews spoke to one of the four candidates running in the by-election, Craig Farquharson, who is running for the Liberal Democrats. Liberal Democrats describes itself as standing for “individual liberty, free markets and small government”. The party has two elected officials, who sit in the Victorian Legislative Council. Farquharson is a former military contractor and owns the King Vapealot vape store in Toowoomba.

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Ron Van Peursem Expands Mea Solutions In Asia And Develops Blog For Expats

Submitted by: Ron VanPeursem

Mea Solutions is a company dedicated to helping their clients expand their online visibility and increase traffic to their websites, products and services. Bill Webster, the CEO of Mea Solutions, says, “We’re here to serve our client companies. Whether it’s Search Engine Optimization, web design, content creation and management, or any other service that they’re looking for, we tailor our services to meet the needs of our clients. We work hard in the background, in order to move them into the forefront.”

Ron VanPeursem, the Director of New Business Development in Asia, has helped Mea Solutions broaden their pool of resources by opening the Content Development Center in North India. Mr. VanPeursem’s team of excellent Content Writers is doing a fantastic job in serving the marketing needs of Mea Solutions’ client companies. VanPeursem says, “We have completed a successful period of Content Development Training, and are now positioned well for our expansion into Mobile Marketing, and the unique Content Writing tasks associated with that important area of business. Adding this area of service to our already strong array of marketing services keeps us in a good place for offering excellent solutions to our clients.” Learn more by visiting

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Ron VanPeursem has also launched a useful and practical blogsite for expats called “Culture Happens”. This is a website designed for expats who are living and working away from home. Culture Happens deals with cross cultural communication, expat adjustment, diversity training, family challenges in expat contexts, doing business abroad, developing cross-cultural friendships locally, and other topics that readers send in to the site. The blog has only been public since April of 2011, but it is already generating some good traffic and receiving positive feedback. Ron VanPeursem was recently interviewed by the website “Pocket Cultures” about the challenge of becoming “Cultural Insiders”, providing practical insights and advice to readers about the important quality of a “Learner’s Attitude” as the key ingredient in making a successful transition into a new cultural context.

Here’s a short section from VanPeursem’s Culture Happens About page, “If you’re not interested in becoming a real part of your new community – your new world – then you’ll want to stay away from this blog. It will only irritate you. But for the rest of you – the ones who would like to become cultural insiders – we’re offering you a resource here. You need some help, some encouragement, some instruction… and you KNOW it! Visit to read articles posted there.

VanPeursem’s international business involvement with Mea Solutions, and especially his current role as Director of New Business Development in Asia, have equipped him in a unique way to offer the Culture Happens website to the global, expat community. His 20 years of experience working and living in multicultural contexts, and his current position in Asia continue to provide fresh stories for readers.

For more about Ron VanPeursem, you can visit Culture Happens ( or go to his Twitter page at And for more information about Mea Solutions, just visit

About the Author: Ron VanPeursem is Director of New Business Development for Mea Solutions in Asia, and author of “Culture Happens” a blog for expats living and working away from home, and interested in building better connections in their new world (



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Wikinews Shorts: April 23, 2008

Wikinews Shorts: April 23, 2008

A compilation of brief news reports for Wednesday, April 23, 2008.

An attack on a U.S. Marine checkpoint in the western Iraqi town of Ramadi saw two marines killed and an additional three wounded. The attack was carried out by a suicide bomber who detonated explosives in his vehicle at the checkpoint.


  • “2 U.S. Marines die in Iraqi checkpoint bombing” — MSNBC, April 22, 2008
  • “Suicide car bomber kills 2 US Marines in near Ramadi” — Jerusalem Post, April 22, 2008

Following a weekend where Chicago saw 36 people shot, two stabbed, and a total of nine deaths, suspected gang crime continues to take a toll.

Today one person was shot dead in a suspected gang-related incident, and a teen wounded in a separate shooting.


  • “Man killed, teen wounded in gang-related attacks on West Side” — Chicago Tribune, April 23, 2008
  • “Police: 36 Shot, 2 Stabbed, 9 Dead Over Weekend” — CBS, April 23, 2008

There has been an underground explosion in Fort Lee, New Jersey. The explosion, which occurred at 15:30 yesterday (local time), resulted in an evacuation of several properties.


  • “Underground Explosion Rattles Fort Lee, N.J.” — wcbstv, April 22, 2008
  • “Suspected Underground Fire Forces Evacuations in Fort Lee” — 1010 Wins, April 21, 2008

A gang in San Antonio chased a car on a busy street. The incident, which occurred on Monday, involved a gang which were carrying machine guns. San Antonio is a city located in the American state of Texas.


  • Lomi Kriel. “Gang members firing machine guns chase car on busy S.A. street” — Houston Chronicle, April 22, 2008
  • AP. “One injured in shooting on busy San Antonio street” — Star Telegram, April 22, 2008

Sperm has allegedly been stolen from a sperm bank in Aurangabad, India. Two people have been arrested as a result. A local official said that “We are caught in a very difficult situation, as we do not know how many samples have been smuggled out of the laboratory.”


  • AP. “Police arrest 2 in India for allegedly stealing sperm” — Yahoo! News, April 22, 2008
  • “Man arrested for stealing frozen sperm” —, April 23, 2008

A US commander in Iraq today called for an end to violence in Iraq. He also asked Muqtada al-Sadr to use his influence to help end the violence in the country.


  • AP. “No. 2 US commander hopes al-Sadr will stop attacks” — Yahoo! News, April 23, 2008
  • AFP. “US general urges Sadr to do more to stem bloodshed” — Google News, April 23, 2008

Bottle’s containing cat body parts have been found. Authorities are investigating the incident, which occurred in the US state of Arkansas. All the body parts were from kittens.


  • “Deputies Discover Bottles Filled With Cat Body Parts” — Today’s THV, April 23, 2008
  • “Jacob Ln Cabot, AR 72023” — Google Maps, Retrieved April 23, 2008

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Category:June 21, 2009

Category:June 21, 2009
? June 20, 2009
June 22, 2009 ?
June 21

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Norwegian government considers prosecuting Scientology

Norwegian government considers prosecuting Scientology

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services is considering prosecuting and banning some Scientology practices, in particular the use of the Scientology personality test to sell courses. State Secretary Rigmor Aasrud said that the activities in question might be prosecuted as fraud or as violations of existing healthcare regulations. A Norwegian Member of Parliament (MP) whose daughter killed herself after taking such a test, supports the idea of prosecuting illegal practices rather than trying to ban the movement as a whole.

Also stupid or clearly false expressions must be allowed as free expressions in a democracy, as long as individuals are not harmed by the expressions. The questionable thing about the Scientology cult is, however, that their operation is harmful for individuals.

The statement was made after three journalists from the online edition of the newspaper Verdens Gang (VG) took the test. The journalists wore hidden recording devices, and did not disclose that they were journalists; VG put the recordings on its website. Scientology staff members told all three that they should buy a course to handle psychological issues. Two of the journalists filled out the 200 questions with honest answers, while the third gave answers consistent with being depressed. The “depressed” journalist was told that he should avoid traditional medicine, while one of the “normal” journalists was told that the course was her only hope for improvement unless she wanted to start taking “chemicals”.

Matthias Fosse, spokesperson for the Church of Scientology in Norway, said that the staff members in question were acting individually. He said that the Church of Scientology does not give medical advice, but that it encourages people to focus on the side effects of medications, and is critical of the “over-medication” of psychiatric patients.

Olav Gunnar Ballo, a Norwegian MP and medical doctor whose daughter Kaja suddenly killed herself after a negative experience with the Scientology test in France in March 2008, released a book about Kaja Ballo‘s life in April 2009. The book debuted on 2nd place in the Norwegian best seller list. Ballo listened to the recorded test result sessions from VG and said that he found the practice “horrible and harmful”. He told the newspaper Dagbladet that Norway could have something to learn from the current French prosecution of Scientology corporations and individuals, by prosecuting specific harmful practices rather than banning Scientology as a whole.

Matthias Fosse said that France is a far more secular society than Norway, and that France were going too far in their prosecution. He said that France has a list of 165 organizations considered to be “sects”, which not just included Scientology but also covered Baptists such as former U.S. president Bill Clinton. The list which Fosse referred to is a list from the 1995 Parliamentary Commission on Cults in France. Fosse said that the OSCE, the U.S. State Department and the UN had criticised French “violations of human rights”.

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Making Jewellery And Accessories With Silver Clay

By Adam Hunter

Silver metal clay allows for an array of jewellery designs that are not possible with traditional silver-smithing techniques. Silver metal clay is made of pure silver molecules mixed with water and organic binders to form a clay. Once fired the binders burn away to leave almost pure silver, which can make stunning pieces for you to share.

You can make almost anything with precious metal clay, with silver items looking particularly high quality. You can make anything from delicate bracelets to chunky rings. Silver clay allows you to make pieces for both men and women and looks great with any stone, gem or bead. There are varying degrees of difficulty, so you can create something yourself or follow an instruction guide depending on how easy or hard you want your piece to be.

You can shape and use metal clay best on a slick, smooth surface in the same way ceramic clay is used. It can be pressed into moulds, textured using special plates or tools, made into three-dimensional work, or flat pieces. Silver metal clay can even be purchased in a paper form, which allows items, such as origami, to be made into solid pieces of silver.

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You don’t even need specialist tools when it comes to working with silver clay. Most use things from around the house to create shapes and imprint patterns onto the clay and some say using two stacks of playing cards a few inches apart on a flat sheet of plastic and rolling a piece of clay over can help you create a smooth and flat strip. There are, of course, more professional tools that you can buy for those who are truly skilled and have a lot of experience working with silver clay.

Be sure to let your clay air dry properly before firing. This will usually take overnight to be completely dry. Then you can fire your item. You can use a specialist oven or toaster oven or you could even use a hairdryer but this may take longer. Silver metal clay will come with instructions on basic handling and proper firing temperatures. And firing techniques may also vary depending on the inclusion of other materials, such as gemstones.

Once your work is done firing it will appear to be white. Polishing it with a wire brush will bring out the silver colour and a high polish can also be achieved. Beautiful colours can also be produced on the silver by using liver of sulphur at various temperatures for differing lengths of time.

Try experimenting with your own finishes to find out what works best and what you like most. A high shine on the silver makes it look elegant and expensive but a more matte finish looks better when created jewellery for men and they tend to prefer jewellery that is less flashy.

So now you can assemble your jewellery. Whether you create items just for yourself or as gifts for friends and family, you can be sure they will love the fact that you have taken time and effort to design and make something especially for them. Lots of keen jewellery makers also sell a lot of their products, by having their own market stalls and websites. So you never know, something you make today could lead to a profitable business further down the line.

About the Author: Adam Hunter – E-commerce Marketing Manager of Cookson Precious Metals offer a choice of supplies from over 10,000 products including gold and silver wire, jewellery findings, tools,

precious metal clay


art clay silver

– gold, silver, platinum and palladium plus technical information for jewellers, jobbers, designer, craftsmen, artisans and students.


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categories Office Furniture | July 16, 2021 | comments Comments (0)

British Gas to increase electricity, gas prices

British Gas to increase electricity, gas prices

Sunday, July 10, 2011

British-based utility company Centrica, which holds ownership of British Gas, has announced its intentions to increase the prices of domestic electricity and gas later this year. On August 18, 2011, the company plans to raise the costs of gas and electrical supplies by eighteen and sixteen per cent, respectively. According to The Guardian, nine million customers will be affected by these changes.

British price comparison website uSwitch has reported that the “[a]verage household bill for a dual fuel British Gas customer will now go up from £1,096 to £1,288”. Mike O’Connor, the chief executive officer of consumer organisation Consumer Focus, has claimed that the announcement “will send a shock wave across the country” and will place an increasing amount of difficulties “on stretched household budgets. Consumers […] rightly question whether prices are fair.”

Phil Bentley, a managing director for British Gas, has claimed that value increases like this are “an issue facing all energy suppliers”. A director for British Gas, named Ian Peters, has claimed that “a fair return” will be made after the changes occur.

In 2010, British Gas experienced its largest ever profit, making £742 million (US$1,192 million, €835 million). Meanwhile, Centrica achieved £2.4 billion (US$3.8 billion, €2.7 billion) in profits. Richard Lloyd from product sampling charity Which? criticised the decision to raise prices, calling the declaration “unwelcome but unsurprising” for British Gas consumers.

Previously in December 2010, British Gas increased the price of its gas by 6.9%, which equates to £43 (US$69, €48). At the same time, the company’s electricity prices were raised by 6.7%, or £28 (US$45, €32). On Friday, Chris Huhne, the secretary of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, said that British electricity businesses must modify themselves so as to avoid “the cycle of fossil fuel addiction. Alternatives like renewables and nuclear power must be allowed to become the dominant component of our energy mix,” said Huhne.

This news comes to light as Scottish Power, a rival energy company to British Gas, announced last month their intentions to up the prices of their electricity and gas supplies by ten and nineteen per cent respectively.

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categories Uncategorized | July 15, 2021 | comments Comments (0)

Four British energy suppliers face investigation into claims of misselling

Four British energy suppliers face investigation into claims of misselling

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), the regulator of the electricity and gas markets in Great Britain, has launched an investigation into four of the largest British energy suppliers over suspicions that they not be complying with face-to-face and telephone sales regulations. The four organisations facing scrutiny could be fined up to 10% of their annual turnover if it is found that they are breaking sales regulations. Scottish Power, npower, Scottish and Southern Energy and EDF Energy are all to face questioning by the organisation.

Ofgem has urged customers of the four companies to alert the energy regulator, “if they are concerned about the sales approach any domestic suppliers have taken when selling energy contracts, either face-to-face or by telephone,” according to a statement. “As part of the investigation process Ofgem will examine any evidence of non-compliance and consider whether there are grounds for exercising enforcement powers.”

New regulations on sales tactics by energy suppliers were recently introduced, and, Ofgem has said, energy suppliers must be “proactive in preventing misselling to customers both face to face and over the phone. Also, if suppliers are selling contracts face to face they must provide customers with an estimate before any sales are concluded. In most circumstances customers should also receive a comparison of the supplier’s offer with their current deal.” Only one in five consumers consider energy suppliers to be trustworthy, and 61% of people feel intimidated by doorstep sales people from energy companies. According to the organisation Consumer Focus, “complaints have declined since new rules came into effect this year, but suppliers still seem to be flouting the rules. Some customers are still being given misleading quotes and information, which leave them worse off when they switch provider.”

The newspaper The Guardian has reported that “householders are reporting that sales agents working for the energy suppliers are giving them misleading information and quotes which leave them worse off when they switch supplier.” Consumer Focus has said that if energy companies continue to break the rules, they could be banned from doorstep-selling completely. The report goes on to say that “new figures from helpline Consumer Direct show that while the number of complaints has fallen since last year, about 200 cases of mis-selling are being reported each month.” However, Scottish Power said it insists on “the highest standards possible for all of our sales agents”, and npower told the Financial Times that it was “confident that the processes we have in place mean that we comply with our regulatory obligations”. EDF added that it was “fully compliant with all obligations regarding sales of energy contracts”.

According to the regulator, the obligations are serious and must be followed by energy supplies, or they will face “tougher sanctions than those available under more general consumer protection law.” Ofgem has published a guide advising consumers what they should do should an energy salesperson contact them in person of by telephone. Improper sales tactics are still common in the industry—in 2008 an Ofgem investigation found that 48% of gas customers and 42% of electricity customers were worse off after switching supplier on the doorstep. Npower was fined £1.8 million in 2008 by the organisation, and Ofgem insists that they are “committed to taking action” over improper sales activities by energy companies. “Suppliers have existing obligations to detect and prevent misselling and new licence conditions were brought in following our probe to further increase protection for customers,” said Andrew Wright, a Senior Partner of the regulator. “We expect all suppliers to comply with these tougher obligations but if our investigations find otherwise we will take strong action.”

What are your experiences with doorstep salespeople? If they persuaded you to change energy providers, were you worse off as a result?
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Head of energy at Consumer Focus, Audrey Gallacher, called the investigation “a welcome step … to address years of customers getting a bad deal on energy prices on their doorstep. While many doorstep sales people will do a good job, the pay and rewards system continues to encourage mis-selling, despite years of regulation and voluntary initiatives. If better advice for customers and enforcement of the tougher rules doesn’t end the flagrant abuse of this form of selling the big question will be whether it should be completely banned.” Christine McGourty, director of Energy UK, which represents the leading gas and electricity companies, said that “the companies involved will collaborate with the Ofgem investigation and are awaiting further details from the regulator. Any sales agent in breach of the code will be struck off the approved energy sales register.” Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith, has said he considers the situation “shocking”, saying that the investigation “will do nothing to improve consumer trust in energy suppliers. We’re pleased that Ofgem has promised tough measures against any firms guilty of mis-selling. We hope it uses this opportunity to tighten rules around telesales so they are in line with those for face to face sales.”

SNP Westminster Energy spokesperson Mike Weir MP, however, said that the investigation “does nothing to tackle the real problem of fuel prices which leave many Scots facing great difficulty in heating their homes … Rather than tinkering around the edges Ofgem should be looking at how to reduce prices for vulnerable households.” Gareth Kloet, Head of Utilities at, one of the UK’s biggest and most popular price comparison services, also welcomed the inquiry. “It is unacceptable for energy companies to mislead customers like this,” he said, adding that has previously “urged energy providers to either stop the practice of doorstep selling or make it very clear to households that better deals are available online. There is no reason why door-to-door salesmen can’t show people online deals and even help households switch to them.”

“Our research reveals customers could end up paying £167 more than they need to as door-to-door salesmen are unable to offer the discounts that are applied online. The changes that have been made to date are a welcome addition to safeguard customers; however this review has been much needed for a long time. Hopefully it will mark the end of customers being overcharged and missold,” Kloet continued. “Our message to energy consumers remains the same: they should shop around online to make sure they’re getting the best deal possible and turn these salesmen away.”

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