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Australian Greens senator Bob Brown marks 10 years in Parliament
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Thursday, March 2, 2006

As the Australian Prime Minister John Howard celebrated his ten-year reign this week, Greens Leader Bob Brown marked the 10th anniversary of his election into the Federal parliament.

Senator Brown has outlasted 10 other party leaders: Meg Lees, Cheryl Kernot, Natasha Stott-Despoja, Brian Greig, Andrew Bartlett, all former Democrat leaders. Pauline Hanson, Len Harris of the One Nation party, plus the Australian Labor Party’s Kim Beazley, Simon Crean and Mark Latham have all been and gone during that time.

Only Prime Minister John Howard and Senator Bob Brown are left standing as leaders in the Australian Federal Parliament. Bob Brown was elected to the Senate in 1996, and re-elected in 2001. He has introduced bills for constitutional reform, forest protection, to block radioactive waste dumping, to ban mandatory sentencing, and greenhouse abatement.

Senator Brown says his party has hardly been in the balance of power at any stage, yet the Australian Greens have risen in popularity. “We’ve become the third major political party in the country and we’re on our way to becoming a real power broker in this country and ultimately, the aim has to be becoming part of the Government of the country,” he told ABC Radio.

While there’s perpetual media speculation over John Howard’s possible retirement, Senator Brown says he’s full of beans and ready for the next 10 years. “And there’s no speculation about me standing at next year’s election. I can’t wait,” Senator Brown said. “Our election aim will be to rescue the Senate from the Howard government, and doubling our team is not beyond reality.”

The Tasmanian Greens senator predicts his party could govern the country one day. “We’re on our way to becoming a real powerbroker in this country and ultimately the aim has to be becoming part of the government of the country,” he said.

The Greens started with Brown’s entry into the Senate after the 1996 election, doubled to two senators in 2001, and has four had senators represented since 2004.

The four Greens senators and their staff say they will celebrate with a chocolate cake – and 10 green candles. The government held a gala fundraising dinner in the Great Hall of Parliament on Wednesday night to celebrate Mr Howard’s milestone.

Senator Brown said the success of Prime Minister John Howard is in his ability to play on fears. “(Howard)… is able to “dig a little bit below surface to play on fears that people have. He has presided over a country where the rich have got richer much faster than the poor have seen their conditions improve,” he said. “And it is a country that says if you are down on your luck, bad luck. The good Samaritan aspect which is very strong in this country, doesn’t reside with this government.”

Of the Federal Labor Party the Greens leader said they should move back to humanitarian politics He said Labor was trying to swing to the right but had lost its way. “I think the Opposition has lost its way and I think it is going to get worse,” Senator Brown said. “The indications are that the Opposition thinks if it moves to the right it will do better,” said Senator Brown.

Bob Brown is among 20 environmentalists, organisations and concerned citizens who were issued a 216 page writ by the Tasmanian-based timber company Gunns Limited in December 2004. The woodchipping giant is sueing for a combined AU$6.3 million for actions it claims has damaged their business and reputation. The defendants say the case is ‘industrial’ style litigation, alleging conspiracy, interference with trade and business and defamation. Nine different campaigns are cited.

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News briefs:May 16, 2010
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 Correction — August 24, 2015 These briefs incorrectly describe BP as ‘British Petroleum’. In fact, such a company has not existed for many years as BP dropped this name when becoming a multinational company. The initials no longer stand for anything. 
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Fire reported at One HSBC Center in downtown Buffalo, New York
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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Buffalo, New York — According to scanner frequencies of the Buffalo, New York fire department, smoke was reported on at least five floors at the northeast side at One HSBC Center in downtown Buffalo. The call came in around 10:50 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Friday January 18, not long after the ending of the NHL hockey game: the Sabres versus the Atlanta Thrashers which was held at HSBC Arena, a few blocks away from the tower.

According to firefighters communications the people that were on the 22nd floor made it out of the building safely. Firefighters saw “white smoke of varying intensities, believed to have been electrical” on floors 9 through 13. The source of the smoke was not identified, but the first alarm was on the 13th floor, followed by the 10th then the 9th.

Because of the cold temperatures and wind chills in the 10’s, workers at the tower were allowed back into the first floor, which has been cleared by firefighters earlier in the call.

At 11:41 p.m., firefighters gave the all clear to begin packing up with no conclusion as to where the smoke originated. They used ventilation fans to clear the floors of smoke and then shut them off to see if anymore smoke would reappear, which it did not. Remaining employees and personnel have since been allowed back to work. No damage is reported.

The tower, built in 1970, is the tallest in Buffalo and is home several agencies including the Consulate General of Canada. HSBC currently occupies 75% of the tower which has 40 floors. It stands at 529 feet (161.2 meters) tall.

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Furry fans flock to Further Confusion 2007
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Tuesday, February 6, 2007

San Jose, California – Cell phones, cigarette lighters and glowsticks are raised in tribute as Circle of Life begins playing. Soon cheers drown out the song as the multicoloured performers appear on stage. A somewhat unusual introduction; but this is no ordinary show, and these are no ordinary attendees. This is Further Confusion, the second largest furry convention in the world.

The volunteer organizers have something to cheer about, too; Furry fans have gathered from far and wide at the DoubleTree Hotel to indulge their love of anthropomorphics, and Further Confusion’s 9th year is its largest, with a paid attendance of 2061. Their gains mirror those of Midwest FurFest, a similar convention held in Schaumburg, Illinois which grew 35% last November.

Both events feature art shows and auctions, live puppetry performance, masquerades, variety shows, games and parades, as well as panels that range from science and technology to society, sex and spirituality. Filling out the schedule, the hotel walls are lined with announcements of public and private room parties for separate groups. At night, the disco floor fills with dancing cats, dogs, and dragons.

For some, dressing up plays a large part of the convention – almost 300 brought a full costume. There are few professional mascots here, though, and only one or two of the costumes would be recognized by even the most avid cartoon-watcher. Instead, each act is planned and performed by other attendees, wearing “fursuits” of their own design. Many play off the year’s secret-agent theme — “Fur Your Eyes Only”.

Other fans seem content to restrict themselves to small accessories — perhaps some combination of paws, ears, or tail. Each fur bears a 3″x2″ badge detailing their personal character, or “fursona“. Often these characters are better-known than the people who play them.

It may seem lighthearted, even frivolous, but these conventions are becoming big business. Furry fans spent over $180,000 for lodging during the five days (Jan 18-22) of Further Confusion, and another $50,000 at the art auction. Attendees also purchase all manner of merchandise from attending dealers and artists, from on-the-spot art commissions and comic books of all ratings to prints, sculptures, and plush toys – even their very own fluffy tail.

Of course, any business has risk, and conventions can drain wallets when the sums just don’t add up. The first furry con, ConFurence in Southern California, ran successfully for over a decade, but cost its new organizer an estimated $60,000 in its last four years due to falling attendance before folding in 2003.

Anthropomorphic Arts and Education board member Peter Torkelson says that won’t happen to Further Confusion. Indeed, the convention ran a healthy surplus of almost $30,000 on $125,000 revenue last year, allowing it to pay off the last of its old debts and save for the future. As Torkelson explains: “The idea is if for some reason, say an earthquake happens, and it cripples the revenue stream, the convention will be able to survive into the next year. It does help our staff to know that we have [a reserve].”

The reserve also gives AAE the financial flexibility to fund charities throughout the year, a big part of its 501(c)(3) mandate. Over the nine years of the convention, attendees have raised over $60,000 for a variety of animal sanctuaries, wildlife refuges, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Further Confusion’s hopes for the future are high. Chairwoman Laura Cherry noted that, unlike previous years, the board has “gone all out” for next year’s tenth anniversary, booking as many rooms as the hotel could offer. The host for 2009 has yet to be decided, but for many fans the question was not whether the current hotel will reach a limit, but when – and where – the convention will find a new home.

Online Phone Books Are The Wave Of The Future}

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Click Here For More Specific Information On:

Submitted by: David Corey

Why waste the paper that the phone company uses to make the tradition phone directory that we each get every year? With the advances in the internet, using an online phone book gives you the same information within seconds. Most will find it more convenient to type in the name online rather than searching through a huge stack of pages. With both pros and cons to online phone books, you must decide what will work best for you.

The best feature of the online phone book is the ease and control you have by entering the exact name and information that you want to search for. Here is a very useful communication site

communicationroad.com

. By avoiding the searching through pages of information, this will save you a great deal of time. You dont have to strain your eyes through the fine print because the online phone book will take you straight to the entry with a click of the button.

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Since the traditional phone book is organized by categories and the entry has to pay to be put into each category, you may find that the particular business you are looking for is not in the category that you expected. If you are looking under car repair for your favorite mechanics number, you may be surprised that it is not there. The mechanic who has to pay per line of description has listed his business under car inspection!

By listing the business under the different category, the mechanic did not have to include extra descriptions of his services in the paper phone book. Instead, the clients who had to have an inspection will learn about is repair services when the call or come in. The online phone book is detailed (you can use his exact business name) and targeted so that it does not cost the mechanic extra. We all benefit from this because we can find him, and he doesnt have to charge us more to afford to advertise.

Some online phone books give specific details about the business and include reviews from customers. The reviews help customers find the best services and products. These types of helpful details are never in a traditional phone book. This is especially helpful if you are looking for a business in an area that you are traveling to. Your local phone book will not provide numbers or details for cities outside of your local area.

Of course, there are drawbacks to the online phone books, too. The most obvious would be that you have to have access to the internet. Even if you create a desktop file of commonly used numbers, being at the computer may not be convenient. A hard copy of typically used numbers would be better.

Even though this seems inconvenient, it is not any more problematic than needed a traditional phone book and not having one handy since most of us do not carry one with us at all times. With the online phone book, finding phone numbers within your local area or in a planned destination is so easy that you may find you wont even be using your traditional paper phone book.

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World Summit on the Information Society ends in Tunisia

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World Summit on the Information Society ends in Tunisia
Published in July 21st, 2017
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Saturday, November 19, 2005

The World Summit on the Information Society, organized by the International Telecommunication Union, concluded on Friday evening, November 18th, in Tunis, the capital of the north African nation of Tunisia. The event’s organizers intended for the event to “put into motion” the plan for Internet financing and governance developed at the 2003 WSIS summit in Geneva, Switzerland.

The summit was marred by criticism of Tunisia for allowing attacks on journalists and human rights defenders to occur in the days leading up to the event. A French journalist for “Libération” was stabbed and beaten by unidentified men after he reported on local human rights protesters. A Belgian television crew was harassed and forced to hand over footage of Tunisian dissidents, while local human rights defenders were roughed up and prevented from organising a meeting with international civil society groups. A representative from the French media watchdog Reporters Without Borders, Robert Menard, was prevented from disembarking from his Air France flight to Tunis to attend the summit.

During the event, representatives from the Global Voices project were menaced by the Tunisian police as they held their session on “Expression Under Repression.” Speaking at the session were Rebecca MacKinnon, Ethan Zuckerman, Nart Villeneuve, Taurai Maduna, Isaac Mao, and Hossein Derakshan, among others. The interaction with the Tunisian police is related by Amanda Michel of the Berkman Center with the description from an attendee as, “[B]efore the break, a phalanx of secret police (ie scary guys in dark suits) showed up. [T]hey filled the hall outside the room, forcing cancellation of the break for fear that we’d not be allowed to re-start.”

Nicholas Negroponte demonstrated the first working prototype of his $100 laptop.

Volkswagen emissions scandal may affect thousands more cars

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Volkswagen emissions scandal may affect thousands more cars
Published in July 18th, 2017
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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Volkswagen emissions scandal continued yesterday with the company announcing 800,000 mainly diesel vehicles may also be affected by carbon dioxide emissions problems.

The company stated “the safety of the vehicles is in no way compromised”. They estimated potentially this could cost them €2bn on top of the €6.7bn set aside to pay for the cost of correcting 11 million cars affected when the scandal broke, in addition to fines by regulators.

the safety of the vehicles is in no way compromised

This follows Monday’s revelation that the emissions scandal has affected up to 10,000 vehicles sold in the USA by brands in the Volkswagen group, although the company refutes the allegation. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the regulatory body which has been investigating Volkswagen, claims the company fitted a number of recent Audi, Porsche, and Volkswagen models with technology that initiates secret components during emission tests to ensure the results are favourable.

The scandal began with damaging revelations that the car manufacturer has been using illegal software to enable diesel cars to cheat on mandatory emissions tests. This lead to a public apology on September 20 by then-chief executive Martin Winterkorn and the promise of an outside inquiry. He then resigned on September 23, and was replaced by Matthias Müller. The new allegation about Porsche is of particular concern for Müller, because he had previously been in charge of Porsche.

The company is expected to foot the bill for the recall of close to 500,000 VW and Audi cars affected at the time. There is also the possibility of Volkswagen having to pay federal fines of up to US$18 billion dollars because the US Clean Air Act sets a maximum fine of US$37,500 for each vehicle that contravenes the requirements of the Act.

An investigation into alleged breaches of environmental law was originally initiated on the advice of the International Council on Clean Transportation, a European non-governmental organisation. The EPA requested tests be carried out by West Virginia University, where the secret software was discovered.

The software, known as a “defeat device”, enabled cars to identify when they were being tested and to switch on the emission control system. The devices may have been adding urea to the car exhaust because that would reduce the amount of nitrogen dioxide. The car would release a fraction of the nitrogen oxide compared to when they were being driven normally. Emissions of nitrogen oxide contribute to smog and are thought to have caused a rise in respiratory illnesses like asthma.

Canada’s Don Valley West (Ward 26) city council candidates speak

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Canada’s Don Valley West (Ward 26) city council candidates speak
Published in July 18th, 2017
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This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Don Valley West (Ward 26). Four candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Muhammad Alam, Bahar Aminvaziri, Orhan Aybars, Michele Carroll-Smith, Mohamed Dhanani, Abdul Ingar, Geoff Kettel, Debbie Lechter, Natalie Maniates, John Masterson, John Parker, David Thomas, Csaba Vegh, and Fred Williams.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Contents

  • 1 Geoff Kettel
  • 2 Natalie Maniates
  • 3 John Parker
  • 4 Csaba Vegh
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