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Haiti relief efforts: in depth

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 22-10-2018

Friday, January 15, 2010

Countries and relief organisations around the world are sending aid to Haiti, which was hit by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on Tuesday, affecting up to three million people, most of them in the capital, Port-au-Prince. Relief efforts, however, have been hampered by damaged or destroyed infrastructure, lack of shelter, and communications difficulties.

As of today, at least 300,000 people were estimated to be homeless in the capital, according to the United Nations; the organisation reports that one in ten buildings completely collapsed due to the tremors and resulting aftershocks. The UN said it believes 45,000 to 50,000 people were killed by the quake, while Haitian President Rene Preval said that seven thousand bodies were buried in a mass grave.

Port-au-Prince’s main airport remained open as of today, and relief airplanes were arriving faster than they could be unloaded, prompting fears that planes could run out of fuel while waiting their turn to land. As a result, all non-military flights out of the airport were restricted. Air traffic controllers from the US were present to help handle the flow.

The main port, meanwhile, was severely damaged, and unable to handle any cargo.

To see more images related to the disaster, you may wish to look at the companion article Haitian earthquake: in pictures.

Even with the amount of aid coming in, it is proving difficult to deliver it where it is needed; many roads have been blocked by rubble. Alejandro Lopez-Chicheri, a senior spokesman for the World Food Programme (WFP), commented: “The roads, many of them are still to be opened, and on the ones that are open there are still people concentrated on the sides of the roads.” He described Haiti as being “completely on the ground”.

“This is a logistical challenge. Before the earthquake struck we were already assisting one million people here, we are considering it will be at least double that after this earthquake,” he told the Al Jazeera news agency.

The WFP has estimated that two million people will need food aid; however, only four thousand have so far been fed.

“The physical destruction is so great that physically getting from point A to B with the supplies is not an easy task,” said a WFP spokeswoman in Geneva at a news conference.

Transporting supplies was made even harder due to lack of communications. Telephone lines were down. “There have been a lot of criticism from local authorities about the relief efforts, but in all fairness, if we could catch a break and get some communication up and running, things would go a lot faster,” commented Louis Belanger, spokesman with the humanitarian aid group Oxfam International.

Looting has also been an issue. Delfin Antonio Rodriguez, the rescue commander from adjacent Dominican Republic, said to the Agency France-Presse news agency earlier today that “[o]ur biggest problem is insecurity. Yesterday they tried to hijack some of our trucks. Today we were barely able to work in some places because of that.”

Elisabeth Byrs, a UN humanitarian spokeswoman in Geneva described the desperation of those in the capital. “People who have not been eating or drinking for almost 50 hours and are already in a very poor situation. If they see a truck with something, or if they see a supermarket which has collapsed, they just rush to get something to eat.”

The WFP initially reported that its warehouses in the capital were looted, but this was later retracted. WFP spokeswoman Caroline Hurford told the BBC that “[a]pparently there were unconfirmed reports of looting taking place but once our teams got down to the dockside they were able to see that there was some mistake.”

The earthquake also destroyed Port-au-Prince’s main prison. According to International Red Cross spokesman Marcal Izard, 4,000 inmates escaped the jail and are now on the city streets. “They obviously took advantage of this disaster,” he said.

Haitian police were “not visible at all,” according to a UN spokesman, probably because they had to deal with lost family members and homes, further exacerbating the situation. Around 3,000 international UN peacekeeping troops were present to try to maintain law and order in lieu of the local police force.

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According to a reporter for Al Jazeera, frustration among Port-au-Prince’s residents was increasing because they were not receiving enough help, and there was an exodus out of the city to try and find areas with more supplies. “A lot of people have simply grown tired of waiting for those emergency workers to get to them,” said Sebastian Walker. “Thousands of people are streaming out of the city towards the provinces to try to find supplies of food and water, supplies that are running out in the city.”

A spokesman for the Brazilian-commanded UN peacekeeping force, David Wimhurst, also commented that “unfortunately, they’re slowly getting more angry and impatient. I fear, we are all aware that the situation is getting more tense as the poorest people who need so much, are waiting for deliveries. I think tempers might be frayed.”

Photographer Shaul Schwarz for the TIME magazine reported seeing at least two roadblocks downtown, made of rocks and corpses. “They are starting to block the roads with bodies. It’s getting ugly out there. People are fed up with getting no help,” he said.

“We hear on the radio that rescue teams are coming from the outside, but nothing is coming,” said one resident, Jean-Baptiste Lafontin Wilfried, as quoted by the BBC.

“We need food. The people are suffering. My neighbors and friends are suffering,” said another resident, Sylvain Angerlotte, aged 22, as quoted by the Associated Press. “We don’t have money. We don’t have nothing to eat. We need pure water.”

Due to lack of buildings or shelter, many relief members were facing the same difficulties as were residents. “Even the aid workers themselves are sleeping in cars or in tents on the streets,” said Jamieson Davies, the international programmes director of the Caritas relief organisation, to Al Jazeera. She described the situation as being “extremely difficult”.

2006 “Stolenwealth” Games to confront Commonwealth Games in Melbourne

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 22-10-2018

Friday, March 3, 2006

The possibility of large-scale protests in the face of the 3,000 journalists covering the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, has event organisers and the Government worried.

The group “Black GST” – which represents Indigenous Genocide, Sovereignty and Treaty – are planning demonstrations at prominent Games events unless the Government agrees to a range of demands including an end to Aboriginal genocide, Aboriginal Sovereignty and the signing of a treaty.

The Black GST say they hope the focus of the world’s media will draw attention to the plight of indigenous Australians during the Games. Organisers say supporters are converging from across Australia and from overseas. Organisers say up to 20,000 people may take part in talks, rallies, colourful protests and many cultural festivities designed to pressure the Federal Government on Indigeneous rights issues. They want the Government to provide a temporary campsite for the supporters, saying “organised chaos was better than disorganised chaos.”

The 2006 Stolenwealth Games convergence, described by organisers as the “cultural festival of the 2006 Commonwealth Games,” was virtually opened on March 2nd with the launch of the official “Stolenwealth Games” website. Scoop Independent News and Perth Indymedia reported that the launch was held at Federation Square in Melbourne. The site contents were projected via wireless laptop by the Stolenwealth Games General Manager, and a tour of the website was given on the big screen. He said “overwhelming amusement was the response from the audience.” The group say permanent access points to the website are being set up at public internet facilities across Victoria during the coming weeks.

“Interest in the Stolenwealth Games is building all over the world and this fresh, exciting and contemporary site will draw in people from Stolenwealth Nations around the globe to find out about the latest news and events,” said a Stolenwealth Games spokesperson. “We have been getting many requests from around the world wanting to know about the Stolenwealth Games. We have provided many ways that individuals and organisations can support the campaign by spreading the word.”

The Victorian Traditional Owner Land Justice Group (VTOLJG) which represents the first nation groups of Victoria, has announced its support to boycott the 2006 Commonwealth Games until the Government “recognises Traditional Owner rights.” The group asserts that culture has been misappropriated in preparation for the Games.

Organisers of the campaign say they welcome the formal support from the Traditional Owners. “While some seek to divide and discredit Indigenous Australia, this support is further evidence that the Aboriginal people are united in opposition to the ongoing criminal genocide that is being perpetrated against the Aboriginal people” said Black GST supporter and Aboriginal Elder, Robbie Thorpe.

“We now have endorsement from the VTOLJG and the Aboriginal Tent Embassy for the aims and objectives of the Campaign and we are looking forward to hosting all indigenous and non-indigenous supporters from across Australia in March,” he said. The Black GST group have said “the convergence will be held as a peaceful, family-focussed demonstration against genocide, and for the restoration of sovereignty and the negotiations towards a Treaty.”

But the campaign has received flak in mainstream media, such as Melbourne’s Herald Sun, who wrote: “the proposal to allow BlackGST to set up an Aboriginal tent embassy at a site well away from the Commonwealth Games will be interpreted by some as the State Government caving in to a radical protest group. A major concern for the Government… is to protect the event from disruption… no chances should be taken…”

The Black GST has been planning the convergence for months, calling for Aboriginal people and their supporters to converge on Melbourne. The Melbourne-based Indigenous rights group have called on thousands of people concerned about the plight of indigenous Australians to converge on Melbourne during the Games, which they have dubbed “the Stolenwealth Games”. But the choice of Kings Domain has made conflict almost inevitable, as the area is one of the areas gazetted by the State Government as a “Games management zone”.

Under the Commonwealth Games Arrangements Act, any area gazetted as a management zone is subject to a range of specific laws – including bans on protesting, creating a disturbance and other activities. The protest bans will be in effect at different times and places, and offenders can be arrested. A spokeswoman for the Black GST, which advocates peaceful protest, said the site had been chosen because it was close to where the Queen will stay on March 15. “We figured that she is only in Melbourne for 27 hours or something like that so we thought we would make it easy for her to come next door and see us,” she said. “We are a very open, welcoming group, so she will be welcome to come and join us.”

Kings Domain is the burial site for 38 indigenous forefathers of Victoria. Black GST elder, Targan, said trade union groups have offered to install infrastructure at the site. The group initially worked with the State Government to find a suitable camp site, but the relationship broke down when the Government failed to meet a deadline imposed by the protesters. “While we are disappointed the ministers were not able to meet deadline on our request, we thank them for their constructive approach towards negotiations and the open-door policy exercised,” said Targan.

A spokesman for Games Minister Justin Madden said the Government was still investigating other sites. Victoria Police Games security commander Brendan Bannan said he was not convinced the Black GST represented the views of most indigenous people. “We are dealing with the Aboriginal community and they don’t seem to support it at all … the wider Aboriginal community don’t support disruption to the Games at all,” he said.

The Government was told that Black GST supporters would camp in Fitzroy Gardens and other city parks should it fail to nominate a site. A spokesman for Aboriginal Affairs Minister Gavan Jennings said the Government was taking the issue seriously, but had not been able to finalise a campsite before the deadline.

Under special Games laws, people protesting or causing a disturbance in “Games management zones” can be arrested and fined. While prominent public spaces such as Federation Square, Birrarung Marr, Albert Park and the Alexandra Gardens fall under the legislation, such tough anti-protest laws cannot be enforced in the nearby Fitzroy Gardens.

Games chairman Ron Walker has urged the group to choose another date for its protest march through the city, which is currently planned to coincide with the opening ceremony on March 15. The group believes that an opportunity to gain attention for indigenous issues was lost at the Sydney Olympics and has vowed to make a highly visible presence at the Games.

The Black GST said the Australian Aboriginal Tent Embassy’s sacred flame, burning over many years at the Canberra site will be carried to Melbourne before the Games, and its arrival would mark the opening of the protest camp from where a march will proceed to the MCG before the Opening Ceremony.

Black GST claims supporters from all over Australia, including three busloads from the West Australian Land Council, will gather in Melbourne during the Games for peaceful protests.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Gavin Jennings had offered Victoria Park to the protesters. Victoria Park, former home of Collingwood Football Club, where one of the strongest statements of Aboriginal pride, when St Kilda star Nicky Winmar in 1993 raised his jumper and pointed to his bare chest after racial taunts from the Collingwood crowd.

Black GST, which has labelled the Games the Stolenwealth Games, said the State Government had failed to find a suitable venue. Black GST may encourage protesters to camp in prominent parks such as Fitzroy Gardens and Treasury Gardens. Graffiti supporting the action has also appeared in central Melbourne.

Melbourne City councillor Fraser Brindley has offered his home to the Black GST organisers. “I offered my home up to people who are organising visitors to come to the Games,” he said. Cr Brindley will be overseas when the Commonwealth Games are held and has offered the free accommodation at his flat at Parkville. He said he agreed with the protesters’ view that treaties needed to be signed with indigenous Australians. “I’m offering it up to the indigenous people who are coming to remind Her Majesty that her Empire took this land from them,” said Cr Brindlley. Nationals leader Peter Ryan said: “This extremist group has no part in the Australian community.” Melbourne councillor Peter Clarke said the actions were embarrassing and that he would try to discourage him. “It’s not in the spirit of the Games,” he said.

Aboriginal elder, Targan, said the possibility of securing Victoria Park was delightfully ironic. “There’s a lot of irony going on,” Targan, 53, a PhD student at Melbourne University, said. “GST stands for Genocide, Sovereignty and Treaty. We want the genocide of our people to stop; we want some sovereignty over traditional land, certainly how it is used, and we want a treaty with the government,” Targan said.

News briefs:April 23, 2010

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 21-10-2018

 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. 
Wikinews Audio Briefs Credits
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Recorded By
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Written By
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[edit]

Sizzler salad bars shut after rat poison found in food

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 21-10-2018

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

The Sizzler Restaurant franchise in Australia has closed the salad bars in all of its 29 restaurants across the country, after rat poison was discovered in food at two of the chain’s outlets in Brisbane. Self-serve salad bars at the restaurants have been closed in response to a sabotage scare. Sizzler Australia Managing Director Bo Ryan said customer safety was always the restaurant chain’s first priority.

A media release on the Sizzler website states: “As a precautionary measure and because customer health and safety is our number one priority, we have temporarily closed salad bars in all Sizzler Restaurants. We sincerely apologise for this major inconvenience.”

Police said green pellets were found in pasta sauce at a Sizzler restaurant in Brisbane’s inner-west on January 20. A regular customer at the Toowong restaurant told Sizzler staff she had found something odd in her bolognese pasta sauce. Similar pellets were found in a vegetable soup at Sizzler’s Myer Centre outlet in the city about 5pm on Saturday.

Bo Ryan said the decision to close all of its Australian salad bars was made after laboratory tests confirmed that the substance in the pasta sauce was indeed rat poison. He said trainees who tasted the poisoned soup had been been taken to hospital by ambulance as a precaution, but had suffered no ill effects.

Queensland Police Inspector Bob Hytch said no one had been reported ill as a result of eating the poisoned food and there had been no extortion threats. Sarah Kenny, a university student, said she and two friends had eaten spaghetti bolognese that “tasted really weird”.

“The inconvenience to customers and the economic impact on the company and its 1600 employees will be severe, but as a family restaurant our first priority is the welfare of our diners,” said Bo Ryan. “Steak and seafood and a limited range of salads would continue to be available.” He hopes that customers will understand the action was taken in their best interests, and that “they can be patient while temporary product security procedures are developed and implemented in all restaurants.”

The 29 Australian Sizzler Restaurants, along with 107 Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets are operated by the Collins Foods Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Worldwide Restaurant Concepts Inc. Mr Ryan said Sizzler was assessing measures which could be taken to prevent a recurrence of the sabotage. “As soon as new measures are introduced, over and above existing strict protocols, we will reassess the situation,” he said.

Brisbane, Australia Magistrates Court charges two cotton farmers with $20m fraud

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 20-10-2018

Thursday, August 30, 2018

On Tuesday, two officers of cotton farming conglomerate Norman Farming in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court for alleged fraud of the government. Queensland Police alleged over the past seven years the farmers submitted fraudulent claims to receive funding from Queensland’s Department of Natural Resources, resulting in an approximately AUD20 million dishonest personal financial gain. The Court laid charges and released the defendants on bail.

According to the results of the investigation by Police, the two men allegedly falsified documents, including invoices, misrepresenting work from contractors as earthwork supposedly in aid of improving water irrigation efficiency. The two allegedly presented farming-related work on their property on six projects as aimed at improving the efficiency of water irrigation at their property near Goondiwindi.

Police arrested the chief executive officer (CEO) of the conglomerate, 43-year-old John Norman, and the conglomerate’s chief financial officer, 53-year-old Stephen Evans. They appeared in Court represented by their lawyers. In the Court they were charged, Norman with six and Evans with four counts of aggravated fraud, Norman with six and Evans with four counts of fraudulently producing or using a false record. Police opposed bail, however the Magistrate released the two on bail conditionally, requiring they surrender their passports.

According to reports by Australian Broadcasting Corporation and The Guardian, neighbours of Norman Farming had complained to the authorities about Norman Farming’s work resulting in excessive removal of floodwater from the McIntyre river, leading to reduced availability of water for the farmers downstream.

Queensland’s Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy provided the funding as a part of its Healthy Head Waters scheme. Detective Inspector Mick Dowie said the Department did not have the authority of police to compel provision of documents, leading to difficulty with verifying the invoices which the two submitted in their application.

Dowie said the investigation took over a year to complete, including analysis of accounting reports.

Study: Socialized Canadian surgery half the U.S. cost with same results

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 19-10-2018

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Americans pay twice as much for heart-bypass surgery as the socialized Canadian system, with no difference in outcome, according to today’s issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine in a study funded by American drug company, Pfizer Inc.. The research found that heart bypass surgery costs an average of $10,373 in Canada, compared with $20,673 in the United States. Even though the costs were double in the United States, the rate of complications and death following bypass surgery was similar.

High administrative costs and overtreatment are usually blamed for the higher cost in the profit-driven U.S. system. Americans spent $5,635 per capita on health care in 2003, while only $3,003 was spent by Canadians. Health spending accounts for almost 15 per cent of gross domestic product in the U.S. and just under 10 per cent in Canada; while at the same time, all Canadian residents are full covered. In addition, the average Canadian lives 2 years longer than the average American.

This is one of the first studies directly comparing the costs of surgery in Canada and the United States and it reinforces the view of Dr. Mark Eisenberg, head of cardiovascular epidemiology at Jewish General Hospital in Montreal; “The conventional wisdom is that health care is much more expensive in the U.S. and the conventional wisdom is right.” by finding that Canada’s socialized system is far more cost efficient than the U.S. model.

The cost of medications used to treat bypass patients were as much as 68 percent greater in the U.S. than in Canada and the cost of a surgical bed was 36 percent greater in the U.S.. In Canada, nursing accounted for 44 percent of the treatment costs, compared with 21 percent in the U.S. and patients stayed longer in hospital following surgery in Canada.

Romanian student wins NASA Space Settlement Design Contest

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 18-10-2018

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Horia Teodorescu, a student in 10th grade at Costache Negruzzi College in Ia?i, northeastern Romania, won the annual worldwide NASA Space Settlement Design Contest. The contest is sponsored by the Fundamental Space Biology Program of the United States‘ space agency, NASA. The task of the contest is for students to develop designs for a permanent orbital space colony. For his design, Teodorescu was awarded a visit to a NASA base in the USA.

Concerning the contest, Teodorescu said, “I designed a space colony which is called ‘Temis’, a personification of the Greek goddess of wisdom. The project is made up of four parts.” He said that the development of the space colony in his design has two phases – “Firstly, there is the construction period, in which the Moon is used as a base for extracting and processing materials. This would last about one year. After that, there would be a period of 4-5 years, in which the population of the colony would reach 10,000.” In 15 years, Teodorescu projects in his design that the population would reach 100,000, and reach the stage where the colony would be able to sustain itself and to start developing its own economic, social and educational systems.

During the design’s conception, Teodorescu was aided by his teachers, Adrian Koriloff, Margareta Constantinescu, Nicolae Hirtan and Lucia Miron, as well as his father Horia Neculai Teodorescu, who is a professor at the Ia?i University. Teodorescu also participated in the same contest in 2004, where he received second place. The first prize was also obtained by Romanians, more precisely a group of students from Constan?a.

The Costache Negruzzi College, founded in 1895, is, with over 1500 students, the largest secondary education facility in Ia?i, a city of 320,000 people.

UK bans export of fraudulent bomb detector; arrests director of manufacturer

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-10-2018

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The government of the United Kingdom has banned the export of the ADE 651, which is advertised by the manufacturer, ATSC Ltd., as a hand-held “remote portable substance detector.” However, critics say it is just a “glorified dowsing rod.”

In a statement, the Department for Business said, “Tests have shown that the technology used in the ADE651 and similar devices is not suitable for bomb detection. As non-military technology it does not need an export license, and we would not normally need to monitor its sale and use abroad.”

The statement went on to say, “However, it is clearly of concern that it is being used as bomb detection equipment. As soon as it was brought to the attention of the Export Control Organisation and Lord Mandelson we acted urgently to put in place export restrictions which will come into force next week. We will be making an order, under the Export Control Act 2002, banning the export of this type of device to Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Adding, “The reason the ban is limited to these two countries is that our legal power to control these goods is based on the risk that they could cause harm to UK and other friendly forces.” The statement closed by saying, “The British Embassy Baghdad has raised our concerns about the ADE651 with the Iraqi authorities.”

Meanwhile, the Avon and Somerset Police have arrested the managing director of the manufacturer, ATSC, 53-year old Jim McCormick on suspicion of fraud. McCormick is a former police officer from Merseyside. He has been released on bail.

These two events come after an investigation by the BBC’s Newsnight program where they tested and revealed the device as a fraud.

The device, manufactured by ATSC Ltd. which operates from a former dairy in Sparkford, Somerset, contains an antenna attached to plastic hand grip which is attached to black box. It requires no battery or other power source, and is supposedly powered solely by the user’s static electricity, the manufacturer claims. It can supposedly detect minute traces of explosives, drugs, human bodies, money, and even elephants provided it has the right card.

The black box of the device is intended to read “programmed substance detection cards” that are supplied with the device. The device supposedly works on the principle of “electrostatic magnetic ion attraction”.

Newsnight brought the device to Sidney Alford, a renowned explosives expert who advises all branches of the UK military. Alford opened up the card reader of the device which was empty. Alford said, “Speaking as a professional, I would say that’s an empty plastic case.” Alford believes that the selling of the device is “absolutely immoral”. He added, “It could result in people being killed in the dozens, if not hundreds.”

They then brought the “programmed substance detection cards” to the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory. The cards were examined by Dr. Markus Kuhn. When the layers of the card were peeled away, it was found that cards contained nothing but RFID security tags.

“There is nothing to program in these cards. There is no memory. There is no microcontroller. There is no way any form of information can be stored,” said Kuhn. Adding, “These are the cheapest bit of electronics that you can get that look vaguely electronic and are sufficiently flat to fit inside a card.”

The device along with several others has been previously tested by Sandia National Laboratories in the United States. The test concluded that “none have ever performed better than random chance.” The United States Department of Justice has warned law enforcement agencies against buying the device.

The device first came to light in November of 2009, by The New York Times after an increasing amount of car bomb attacks were occurring in Iraq, including the devastating bombing on October 25, 2009, that killed 155. The bombers drove through checkpoints that were equipped with the ADE 651. However, the American magician and skeptic James Randi has been skeptical of the devices since at least October 2008. He offered a $1,000,000 prize if someone could prove the device worked.

Despite what was brought to light by the Times, the Iraqi Interior Ministry stood by the device. Major General Jehad al-Jabiri, who is the head of the Ministry of the Interior’s General Directorate for Combating Explosives, said, “Whether it’s magic or scientific, what I care about is it detects bombs.”

In response to the tests by Sandia Labs and the warning from the Justice Department, “I don’t care about Sandia or the Department of Justice or any of them. I know more about this issue than the Americans do. In fact, I know more about bombs than anyone in the world,” the general said.

Even after the Newsnight program earlier this week, the Interior Minstry still stands by them, “We conducted several tests on them, and found them successful. In addition, we have a series of achievements officially documented by the Baghdad operations centre, from all the provinces, which establish that these devices detected thousands of bombs, booby-trapped houses and car bombs, and we’ve noticed a reduction of bombing activities to less than 10 per cent of what it was,” said General al-Jabiri.

Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani even chimed in saying, “The thing is, the instrument is being operated by a user. Not all those who use the instrument are fully trained, the user needs to be alert and adept at using it.” The interior ministry has spent over $85 million on the devices, which cost from $40,000 to $60,000, much higher then price given by ATSC, $16,000, despite being warned by the ministry’s inspector general, Aqeel al-Turaihi.

“There was corruption associated with this contract and we referred to this and submitted our report to the Minister of the Interior,” al-Turaihi told Reuters. He added, “We said that the company which you made a contract with is not well-regarded internationally in the field of explosives detectors, and the price is very high and not commensurate with the abilities of this device.”

Meanwhile Iraqi Members of Parliament have called the Iraq Security Forces to stop using the devices. Hussain al-Falluji, a Sunni MP, said, “I proposed to parliament the withdrawal of these machines from service, the formation of an investigative committee and that Iraq recover its money.” Others in parliament are backing his suggestion.

Iraqi citizens are also criticizing the devices. Aqeel Yousif Yaqoub, a 39 year-old man who was caught in the October 25th bombing, said, “If they were effective, how did the suicide car bomb reach this area?” Another man, a perfume salesman named Malik Farhan, noted in June 2009 that the device was attracted to his perfumes.

Farhan said, “They stop us every time. There’s nothing we can do.” Jasim Hussen, an Iraqi Police officer, said, “The vast majority of the people we stop, it’s because of their perfume.” Another officer, Hasan Ouda, added, “Most people now understand it’s what gets them searched, so they don’t use as much.” McCormick said in email, “cheaply manufactured perfumes and some cosmetics” contain trace amounts of the explosive, RDX.

Other police officers have been doubtful of the device. “I didn’t believe in this device in the first place. I was forced to use it by my superiors and I am still forced to do so,” said one police officer who spoke anonymously to the New York Times because he was not authorized to speak. Another officer blamed corruption: “Our government is to be blamed for all the thousands of innocent spirits who were lost since these devices have been used in Iraq.”

McCormick still stands by the device, saying, “I have tested it in practice and it works effectively and 100% reliably.” McCormick also talked to the The Times of London saying, “We have been dealing with doubters for ten years. One of the problems we have is that the machine does look a little primitive. We are working on a new model that has flashing lights.” However, an associate of ATSC, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of possible retaliation, said, “Everyone at ATSC knew there was nothing inside the ADE 651.”

McCain ad questions Obama’s benefit to families

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-10-2018

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The latest advertisement for United States Republican presidential candidate John McCain is questioning Democrat Barack Obama’s benefit to families.

Last week the BBC reported that the McCain campaign had released an advertisement comparing Obama to American celebrities Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, calling him “the biggest celebrity in the world.”

McCain’s newest advertisement, released early this week, continues along those same lines.

“Is the biggest celebrity in the world ready to help your family?” the narrator asks, according to The Boston Globe and a video of the ad displayed on its website. “The real Obama promises higher taxes, more government spending. So, fewer jobs.” With images of wind turbines in the background, the narrator says, “Renewable energy to transform our economy, create jobs and energy independence, that’s John McCain.”

The Boston Globe reports that McCain’s latest ad does not acknowledge that Obama’s economic policy, especially the proposed rollback of current president George W. Bush’s capital gains tax cuts, would largely affect the wealthiest of America, not the middle class.

Obama, the BBC reports, is quoted as calling McCain “cynical,” “desperate” and “in the pocket of Big Oil.”

The latest Obama video, shown on the USA Today website, touts McCain as “just more of the same” politics employed by George W. Bush. The ad cites a May 22, 2003 Fox News Channel interview where McCain says “the President and I agree on most issues. There was a recent study that showed I voted with the President over 90 percent of the time.” The ad then criticizes McCain’s policies on tax cuts, money for oil companies, and “tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.”

USA Today does note that “[w]hile the ad shows McCain touting the fact that he had voted “with” President Bush more than 90% of the time, the Arizona senator did criticize the administration’s conduct of the war in Iraq — calling early on for more troops to be sent there. He also voted against the president’s original tax cut plan — though McCain now says he supports extending those tax cuts. And, he proposes cuts in all kinds of corporate taxes, not just those on oil companies.”

McCain is set to appear at an Ohio furniture plant Wednesday to reinforce the messages in his latest advertisement.

“America has the second highest business tax rate in the entire world,” he plans to say, according to prepared remarks issued by his campaign, and released by The Boston Globe. “Is it any wonder that jobs are moving overseas when we are taxing them out of the country? Unfortunately Senator Obama’s plans would raise taxes on businesses even more. He has promised tax increases on income, tax increases on investment, tax increases on small businesses. This is exactly the wrong strategy. Raising taxes in a bad economy is about the worst thing you could do because it will kill even more jobs when what we need are policies that create jobs.”

Obama spokesman Bill Burton responded:

“Is the biggest proponent of George Bush’s tired, failed policies ready to bring about change? Another day brings another dishonest attack from John McCain. While Senator McCain knows that Senator Obama has proposed cutting taxes for 95% of American families, what he’s not telling us is that he wants to give $4 billion in tax breaks to the oil companies, continue giving tax breaks to corporations that ship our job overseas, and provide no direct tax relief for more than 100 million middle-class families. It’s time to retire these old policies and bring new energy to America.”

Adobe to Purchase Macromedia for $3.4 Billion

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 16-10-2018

Monday, April 18, 2005

Adobe Systems, Inc. announced today that they will acquire Macromedia, Inc. for an estimated $3.4 billion in stock. Bruce Chizen, the chief executive officer of Adobe said that “Customers are calling for integrated software solutions that enable them to create, manage and deliver a wide range of compelling content and applications — from documents and images to audio and video. By combining our powerful development, authoring and collaboration software — along with the complementary functionality of PDF and Flash — Adobe has the opportunity to bring this vision to life with an industry-defining technology platform.”

The acquisition is expected to close in the fall, subject to approval by the stockholders of both companies and regulatory approvals. Under the terms of the agreement holders of Macromedia stock will receive 0.69 shares of Adobe stock for every share of Macromedia stock. Macromedia stockholders are expected to own approximately 18 percent of the combined company.

The two companies have in the past been rivals and some of their products compete in similar niches. For example, both Adobe Photoshop and Macromedia Fireworks are graphics editing programs, and both Adobe GoLive and Macromedia Dreamweaver are webpage design applications.

In the combined company, the current CEO of Adobe, Chizen will continue as CEO. Stephen Elop, president and CEO of Macromedia, will become president of worldwide field operations. The combined company will keep the name “Adobe”, and will focus on integration and growth.

Additional details are available from Adobe Investor Relations.