Koreas hold joint training session for Olympics


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

On Sunday, female ice hockey players from North and South Korea joined one another for a training session before the upcoming Winter Olympics. Players from the two Koreas are to compete together as a united team for the events hosted in Pyeongchang, South Korea, which are scheduled to start on February 9; Seoul’s Unification Ministry said. The cross-border gesture is part of diplomatic efforts to ease tensions on the divided Korean Peninsula and the team was approved by the International Olympic Committee.

The International Olympic Committee selected Pyeongchang in 2011 to host the event, marking South Korea’s first opportunity since the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. The earlier event was marred by violence as North Korea had bombed a South Korean flight several months prior, killing over 100 and boycotted the event. Inter-Korean relations have changed considerably in the ensuing thirty years, including the two sending unified teams for table tennis and youth football in other non-Olympic competitions.

The announcement that the two countries would compete together was a stated goal of South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Last year, he announced the proposal and the two nations went into discussion this month. After two weeks, they made the announcement to field a consolidated 35-strong team of ice hockey players and have joint skiing exercises with both team coaches involved.

According to Yonhap News Agency estimates, about 80% of South Koreans support dialogue, but the move to have a joint team has been controversial. Over 10,000 South Korean citizens sent a petition to South Korean President Moon opposing the union and a group of North Korean defectors held a protest at the South Korean National Assembly on January 24, tearing apart photos of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. Public support for eventual reunification of the Korean peninsula has waned in recent years, with the younger generation more skeptical of the possibility.

United States: Two killed, more than a hundred injured in Amtrak train collision in South Carolina


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Early on Sunday morning, Amtrak’s passenger train number 91, the Silver Star, bound for Miami from New York, slammed into a stationary CSX freight train in Cayce, about ten miles (16 km) south of Columbia, capital of the US state of South Carolina. Two Amtrak employees were killed and at least 116 were injured, some seriously.

The two killed were 54-year-old engineer Michael Kempf of Savannah, Georgia, and 36-year-old conductor Michael Cella of Orange Park, Florida. Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, told a press conference the passenger train had been diverted into a siding by a switch left “literally locked, with a padlock” in that position.

The collision happened at about 2:35 am local time (0735 UTC) at a switching yard in the small city of Cayce. The Amtrak train, with reportedly 139 passengers and eight employees aboard, collided head on with the freight train, which was parked with no one on board. The Amtrak locomotive and the leading locomotive on the freight train were destroyed; the Amtrak locomotive and some of its passenger cars derailed, and one of those cars was folded in half. Several freight cars were crumpled, Reuters reported. In a press conference, the state governor, Henry McMaster, said the Amtrak locomotive was “barely recognizable” and described it as “a horrible thing to see, to understand the force involved”.

Harrison Cahill, a spokesman for Lexington County, gave a count of 116 injured, up from an initial report of 70; according to Derrec Becker, public information officer for the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, injuries ranged “from cuts and bruises to severe broken bones”. On Monday a Palmetto Health spokesperson said two patients were in serious and two in critical condition at their facilities. A spill of approximately 5,000 gallons of fuel from the freight train posed no safety hazard, according to officials.

Passenger Derek Pettaway told the CNN network that like most others, he had been sleeping when the collision happened. He said Amtrak staff cleared the passengers from the train rapidly, and there was no panic; “I think people were more in shock than anything else”, he said.

“Key to this investigation is learning why the switch was lined that way”, Sumwalt said. Amtrak’s CEO, Richard Anderson, speaking to reporters on Sunday, held CSX responsible; he stated the track in that area is operated by CSX and the signals, which CSX operates, were not working at the time of the collision and a CSX dispatcher was therefore directing the Amtrak train’s movements. Sumwalt noted an automatic monitoring and braking system called positive train control, which was not in use on the stretch of line, could have forestalled the collision.

Several fatal incidents involving Amtrak trains have occurred in the past three months. On December 18, the inaugural train on a new route in Washington state derailed at high speed while crossing above a highway, killing three; on January 31, the driver of a garbage truck was killed in Virginia when he collided with an Amtrak train chartered to take Republican lawmakers to a retreat.

US unemployment rate reaches 9.8%


Friday, October 2, 2009

Companies in the United States are shedding more jobs, pushing the country’s unemployment rate to a 26-year high of 9.8%.

The US Labor Department said on Friday that employers cut 263,000 jobs in September, with companies in the service industries — including banks, restaurants and retailers — hit especially hard. This is the 21st consecutive month of job losses in the country.

The United States has now lost 7.2 million jobs since the recession officially began in December 2007. The new data has sparked fears that unemployment could threaten an economic recovery. Top US officials have warned that any recovery would be slow and uneven, and some have predicted the unemployment rate will top 10% before the situation improves.

“Continued household deleveraging and rising unemployment may weigh more on consumption than forecast, and accelerating corporate and commercial property defaults could slow the improvement in financial conditions,” read a report by the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook, predicting that unemployment will average 10.1% by next year and not go back down to five percent until 2014.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com, said that “it’s a very fragile and tentative recovery. Policy makers need to do more.”

“The number came in weaker than expected. We saw a lot of artificial involvement by the government to prop up the markets, and now that that is starting to end, the private sector isn’t yet showing signs of life,” said Kevin Caron, a market strategist for Stifel, Nicolaus & Co.

Also on Thursday, the US Commerce Department said factory orders fell for the first time in five months, dropping eight-tenths of a percent in August. Orders for durable goods — items intended to last several years (including everything from appliances to airliners) — fell 2.6%, the largest drop since January of this year.

The US government has been spending billions of dollars — part of a $787 billion stimulus package — to help spark economic growth. There have been some signs the economy is improving.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday that spending on home construction jumped in August for its biggest increase in 16 years. A real estate trade group, the National Association of Realtors, said pending sales of previously owned homes rose more than 12 percent in August, compared to August 2008.

A separate Commerce Department report said that consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity, rose at its fastest pace in nearly eight years, jumping 1.3 percent in August.

Other reports have provided cause for concern. A banking industry trade group said Thursday the number of US consumers making late payments, or failing to make payments, on loans and credit cards is on the rise. A survey by a business group, the Institute for Supply Management, Thursday showed US manufacturing grew in September, but at a slower pace than in August when manufacturing increased for the first time in a year and a half.

Stock markets reacted negatively to the reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 41 points in early trading, reaching a level of 9467. This follows a drop of 203 points on Thursday, its largest loss in a single day since July. The London FTSE index fell 55 points, or 1.1%, to reach 4993 points by 15.00 local time.

Compaq Presario V3000 Notebook Battery Safety Advises To Laptop Clients


By Sekhar Somu

Whenever customers are buying Notebook power pack the sellers can say to them how many hours the Li-ion rechargeable battery can come, there are some causes that are lead to the defectiveness of the Notebook Battery pack. Most notebook users don’t have idea of technology incorporated on having utmost life out of their Compaq Presario V3000 Notebook Battery pack. Like all other Notebook power packs, we have to give great care while they are not use. Do not place the laptop battery near chemicals or in a wet area as this will less your Notebook power pack ability.

There is another simple system of boosting your Li-ion rechargeable battery life by defragmenting the disc & clean out excess program files. By using this straight forward technique will allow yours laptop to Boot up much faster, this will consumes fewer power. Adjust your notebook power settings with that it may use lowest quantity of Power needed to get your notebook working. Too much brighter LCD display consume much more battery power. Try to reduce brightness when using the Notebook on battery.

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Shut all insignificant applications when yours notebook depending over Compaq Presario V3000 Li-ion rechargeable battery as primary power resource. Do not permit virus scan when our laptop based on Battery pack, because this scan significantly enhance processor & hard disk usage while it is relaying on Notebook power pack. Make an effort to avoid to connecting with the internet application until it is absolutely needed, when ever you are relying on yours Compaq Presario V3000 notebook battery as the main power source. Run virus scan when we are associate to main energy source. Don’t perform antivirus scan if we are running on Li-ion battery. This can preserve battery power.

When ever it is feasible try to minimize usage of usb attachments such as optical DVD or CD drivers or players, lead to consume the more power to run. Unplug these optical devices and USB tools have the maximal precedence to consume the battery power. Detach over all external tools suchlike an external mouse, fire wire, PC cards, Wi-Fi tool box, External speakers, pen drives Bluetooth and even a attached iPod.

Hibernate & Suspend approaches are used for saving power of the Li-ion Battery although, commonly notebooks utilise much Li-ion Battery Power when ever in STAND BY form. We don’t know the causes but the “instant-on” obtain 30-60 second’s additional period of time to go out from hibernation mode. This smallest amount of period represents a key impact on complete Note book Battery life. In the hibernate mode in & out are more convenient and efficacious than the standard start & shutdown operation. While in hibernate mode the system shutdown procedure provides the possibility to pause contemporary process directly with power-off and while in start up process it will go on with in a short period entirely, Hence the method saves power. Although suspend technique decrease the energy use of our notebook by cutting the power to hardware components those you are not using. Thus by using Hibernate method we can save the laptop battery power. We may put a shortcut for hibernate as an alternative of the lengthy process (one time completing the manual steps in control panel afterward use the created shortcut icon by Pushing “Win switch” followed by U pursue by H). If we have a bit of urgent work at outside for longer time, in that situations use the hibernate mode in its place using stand by method.

Any Notebook consumer desire to make a Compaq Presario V3000 Li-ion rechargeable battery end as long as possible. However each Notebook Battery pack has the Specific life period. There fore if we can go through the above beneficent Li-ion notebook battery tips that will help to increase laptop battery life.

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Compaq Presario V3000 Battery

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GAO reveals $1.6 billion spent on public relations by the Bush administration in 2003-2005


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A new 154-page Government Accountability Office (GAO) report says seven federal departments together spent US$1.6 billion on 343 contracts with public relations firms, advertising agencies, and media organizations, as well as individuals involved in such activities.

Congressional Democrats requested the report after several incidents surfaced in which journalists or commentators were paid to promote the Bush administrations programs, but did not disclose the financing, so called payola. In one case, Armstrong Williams was paid $186,000 for promotions of President Bush’s No Child Left Behind law. The administrations position was that an agencies’ mission includes spreading information about federal programs.

At that time, the GAO had independent objections to the ready-to-air news stories the administration’s provided to TV stations in order to promote it policies. The administration claimed the burden of disclosure falls to the TV stations.

Congress has now inserted a provision into an annual spending bill requiring federal agencies to include “a clear notification” within the text or audio of a prepackaged news story that it was prepared or paid for by the government.

Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) said “Careful oversight of this spending is essential given the track record of the Bush administration, which has used taxpayer dollars to fund covert propaganda within the United States.”

The seven agencies covered by the report are Commerce, Defense, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs.

Author Amy Scobee recounts abuse as Scientology executive


Monday, October 11, 2010

Wikinews interviewed author Amy Scobee about her book Scientology – Abuse at the Top, and asked her about her experiences working as an executive within the organization. Scobee joined the organization at age 14, and worked at Scientology’s international management headquarters for several years before leaving in 2005. She served as a Scientology executive in multiple high-ranking positions, working out of the international headquarters of Scientology known as “Gold Base”, located in Gilman Hot Springs near Hemet, California.

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Earth Day 2009 celebrated around the globe


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today is the 39th observance of Earth Day in the northern hemisphere. Earth day is celebrated in Autumn on November 30 in the southern hemisphere. Senator Gaylord Nelson initiated the first Earth Day in April 1970 in the United States, and it is now celebrated by over 1 billion people in over 170 countries worldwide. Earth Day is the biggest environmental event which addresses issues and educates people on environmental awareness on a global scale.

This year, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will beam high-definition images to the NASA website and television. By doing so, NASA hopes to increase appreciation of global climate issues. There will also be a Washington exhibit relating to environmental issues viewed from space as well.

At the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center activities will focus on their slogan for Earth Day 2009, “Just One Drop … PRICELESS” and will demonstrate how the Environmental Control Life Support System operates as used on the International Space Staton (ISS).

Amongst the many festivals, WorldFest is a solar powered music celebration held in Los Angeles, California. Buenos Aires will also feature its second Earth Day event featuring a music festival as well.

“We are in a new era of energy innovation,” said Daniel Yergin at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) forum. Lithium-ion batteries are providing electric storage solutions for electric cars such as the Chevrolet Volt and the Dodge Circuit EV. Algae fuel is a new form of biofuel, but is still under development.

“Energy Smackdown” was a competitive household activity which compared energy usage between 60 separate households across three cities in or near Boston. The various competitors came up with a variety of innovative methods to cut their carbon footprint, installing solar electric panels, geothermal heat pumps, wind turbines, and using a caulking gun to seal the home from drafts.

“In the average home, 75 percent of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off.” is a United States Department of Energy (DOE) estimate.

Miami is installing a smart grid which will use individual household smart meters to allow energy consumers know via a web site, their exact home energy usage. “To me these are prudent and smart investments that will easily pay for themselves. It will show the nation how to address environmental, energy, and economic challenges all at the same time.” said Miami mayor Manny Diaz.

Cal Dooley, CEO of the American Chemistry Council ACC, says the plastic bag industry is prepared to spend US$50 million to revamp their manufacturing facilities and will collect 470 million pounds of recycled plastic every year to make plastic bags of 40% recycled content. The ACC is providing a donation to the Keep America Beautiful environmental organisation, both of whom endorse this new project. The Earth Day Network (EDN) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) would like to see an end to the use of plastic bags, however. “We don’t want people to use disposable bags. We want people to use reusable bags,” says Darby Hoover of the NRDC.

Calgary researchers will begin field surveys to help save the “Northern Leopard Frog (Rana Pipiens). “Northern Leopard Frogs are threatened in Alberta, but endangered in British Columbia,” said Dr. Des Smith, Primary Investigator and Research Scientist with the Calgary Zoo’s Centre for Conservation Research. “It is essential to develop new monitoring techniques for Northern Leopard” said Breana McKnight, Field Team Leader and Endangered Species Researcher.

The traditional Earth day ceremony of planting trees is garnering further attention in Japan as Koichi Nakatani, the nation’s Tree Planting Father travels from Hokkaido to Okinawa.

Students can take part in an Earth Day photo contest sponsored by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies which will feature images and scientific student research for the environmental change depicted in each photo submitted.

“Earth Day should be about teaching about the environment every day,” said Sean Mille director of education for EDN, “We emphasize taking action for your classroom, school, district or community.” 25,000 schools across America made use of the environmental curriculum developed by the National Civic Education Project, the Green Schools Campaign and the Educator’s Network. Lesson plans are broad and varied and may focus on water pollution, recycling, composting, using chemistry to convert cafeteria left-overs into biodiesel or ethanol fuel or converting go-carts to operate on biodiesel or ethanol fuels in shop class.

Three die in Cornwall, UK caravan park of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning


Monday, February 25, 2013

Carbon monoxide poisoning is thought to have been the cause of the deaths of three people and one Jack Russell dog in a caravan park in Cornwall in South West England. Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) were alerted to the incident in Tremarle Home Park in the town of Camborne at 12:56 UTC on Saturday.

We have seen a big increase in the number of carbon monoxide incidents in Cornwall over recent years

Inspector David Eldridge said Devon and Cornwall Police were alerted to the caravan park incident after “a helper had been unable to get a reply from an elderly couple who lived in the caravan”. He said that upon their arrival, “We were able to see that there was a figure sat in a chair but they were unresponsive to knocks at the door.” CFRS workers called to the area “forced entry into the property and found that the three occupants were all dead”, Inspector Eldridge said. A hazardous material advisor was also present at the scene in North Roskear. The Health and Safety Executive is now investigating the incident but the deaths are not considered as being of a suspicious nature.

The three fatalities have been identified as Audrey Cook, aged 86, her husband Alfred, aged 90, and Maureen, their 46-year-old daughter. David Biggs, a member of Camborne Town Council, said the incident came as “a shock” to him; Tremarle Home Park is “a well established facility and is very well run”, according to him. Biggs described the loss of three lives as an “appalling tragedy”.

The incident came five days after Cornwall Council announced its Family Placement Service would launch a joint venture with Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service to place carbon monoxide detectors in the houses of foster carers. The programme, entitled ‘Be Gas Safe’, has seen 200 carbon monoxide detectors and 2000 leaflets to raise awareness about carbon monoxide being given to CFRS. Mark Blatchford, Group Manager of CFRS, said: “We have seen a big increase in the number of carbon monoxide incidents in Cornwall over recent years”. He described carbon monoxide detectors as being “as important as a smoke alarm as it provides a valuable early warning”.

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous, colourless, tasteless and odourless gas which is created when such carbon-based fuels as oil, gas, coal and wood are not completely incinerated. The human body’s capacity to hold oxygen in the blood can be reduced by inhalation of the gas, which in turn may cause death. The Gas Safe Register has said dizziness, headaches, queasiness, lack of ability to breathe, fainting and losing consciousness are all symptoms of a person experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning.

NZ law exempts working farm dogs from embedded ID tag rule


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

New Zealand farmers have won a key victory in Parliament, with MPs voting to exempt Working farm dogs from microchipping legislation, passing 61:60.

The Federated Farmers debated the law for a long time, saying that the cost of microchipping all their dogs will be a huge cost and an inconvenience. Under previous legislation, all newly registered dogs were to have identification microchips embedded by July 1. The microchips in dogs are for owner identification, in case of attacks on humans. This law was introduced when Carolina Anderson, 7-year-old, was attacked in 2003.

Parliament has been debating several proposed amendments to the Local Government Law Reform bill, which aimed to change the microchipping requirement.

Blogger David Farrar says “It is very messy for the Government to lose the vote after piling so much pressure on.” In the end only Labour, Progressive plus New Zealand First voted for it.

The Green party split votes (rare for a party). Four Greens MPs voted for the farm dog exemption and two against.

The four Green MPs were – Sue Bradford, Keith Locke, Sue Kedgley and Nandor Tanczos. The Greens had previously proposed that only dangerous dogs should be microchipped.

In favour of exempting farm dogs:

Total: 61

Against:

Total: 60