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Peter Andren, Australian MP dies aged 61
April 22, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Australian federal member of Calare, Peter Andren died on Saturday after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. He was aged 61.

Mr Andren who had held the seat since being elected in 1996 had previously announced his intention to run for the senate after his electorate was changed for the 2007 federal election. After Mr Andren was diagnosed with cancer in July, he announced that he would be retiring from politics at the election.

Mr Andren’s 1996 campaign platform was based upon retaining services in regional Australia, particularly banking, health and telecommunications. Over the next 11 years, Mr Andren’s primary vote grew and at the 2001 and 2004 elections was elected without preferences, achieving a majority primary vote.

In 2001, Mr Andren disagreed with his electorate on refugees. The electorate supported the government’s tough stance but Mr Andren could not support the government’s border protection measures. Following this, a vicious letter-box campaign rose up saying “you might like Peter Andren … but you won’t like what he’s got to say about keeping our borders safe”.

Fellow NSW independent member, Tony Windsor said Mr Andren’s stance on asylum seekers was just one sign of his compassion and strong belief in human rights.

Mr Windsor described Mr Andren as the “conscience” of parliament. “Peter Andren was a true representative of the people of the Calare electorate, a man of the highest integrity and the conscience of the Parliament,” he said.

“He was subjected to vitriol from time to time within the Parliament over issues, but if he believed in something he stuck to it. He didn’t compromise and I think that’s a lasting legacy that Peter will leave.”

Prime Minister John Howard said despite having a difference of opinion with Mr Andren on many issues, he had a lot of respect for him.

“I respected his skills as a local member,” he said.

“Mr Andren and I frequently disagreed on major issues and he made no bones about that and I made no bones about it either but that didn’t stop me respecting him and acknowledging the tremendous work he did for his electorate.”

Labor leader Kevin Rudd described Mr Andren as a true independent.

“Peter Andren will be a great loss to the Australian parliament,” he said.

“He was a man of principle, a man of commitment, a man who was an absolute independent.”

Leader of the Greens, Bob Brown said Mr Andren was an example of how a politician should be.

“He was an exemplar of representative politics for his electorate and the people of Calare kept returning him with a bigger and bigger majority,” he said.

“[If] anybody ever asks me how a politician should be, I am going to say, ‘Look at the record of Peter Andren'”

“He was a great Australian representative and he is a great loss to this country.”

During his political career, Mr Andren fought the sale of Telstra, introduced a bill to allow MPs to opt-out of their generous superannuation schemes, opposed the Iraq war and campaigned on environmental issues.

Mr Andren was born at Gulargambone, near Dubbo in Western NSW in 1946. Before he entered politics Mr Andren worked as a teacher before moving into journalism. Mr Andren worked as a news producer in Sydney for the Seven and Nine networks, before moving back to regional NSW where he worked as the news editor for both Radio 2GZ and Prime Television.

Mr Andren is survived by his partner and two sons.

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Japanese H-IIA rocket launches satellite into orbit
April 18, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has successfully launched another of their H-IIA space rockets. Its payload, the MTSAT-2 satellite designed to control air traffic and track weather patterns, has successfully separated from the rocket. It is due to be inserted into a geostationary orbit on the 21st of February.

The satellite is owned by the Civil Aviation Bureau and the Japan Meteorological Agency, part of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

The rocket was launched from the Tanegashima space centre in the southern region of Kagoshima, at 15:55 (06:55 GMT). It is the ninth in a series of H-IIA rockets, which form the main part of the Japanese space program. A previous H-IIA rocket was launched less than a month ago.

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Argentine footballer Mascherano announces international retirement
April 18, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Argentine footballer Javier Mascherano announced retirement from international football after losing 3–4 against France in the Last 16 knockout phase of the FIFA World Cup yesterday.

Mascherano made his international debut on June 17, 2003, at the age of nineteen. Since then, he has won 147 international caps with Argentina, a national record. Mascherano has featured in four different FIFA World Cup tournaments, since the 2006 World Cup.

After the match, 34-year-old Mascherano said, “It’s time to say goodbye and for the younger players to step in.” He also said, “Personally, from now on, I will be just another fan, it’s over” ((es))Spanish language: ?En lo personal, a partir de ahora, seré un hincha más. Se terminó.

In the last four years, Mascherano has won the silver medal at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, 2015 Copa América ((en))America Cup and 2016’s Copa América Centenario.

Saturn moon Enceladus may have salty ocean

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Saturn moon Enceladus may have salty ocean
April 18, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

NASA’s Cassini–Huygens spacecraft has discovered evidence for a large-scale saltwater reservoir beneath the icy crust of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. The data came from the spacecraft’s direct analysis of salt-rich ice grains close to the jets ejected from the moon. The study has been published in this week’s edition of the journal Nature.

Data from Cassini’s cosmic dust analyzer show the grains expelled from fissures, known as tiger stripes, are relatively small and usually low in salt far away from the moon. Closer to the moon’s surface, Cassini found that relatively large grains rich with sodium and potassium dominate the plumes. The salt-rich particles have an “ocean-like” composition and indicate that most, if not all, of the expelled ice and water vapor comes from the evaporation of liquid salt-water. When water freezes, the salt is squeezed out, leaving pure water ice behind.

Cassini’s ultraviolet imaging spectrograph also recently obtained complementary results that support the presence of a subsurface ocean. A team of Cassini researchers led by Candice Hansen of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, measured gas shooting out of distinct jets originating in the moon’s south polar region at five to eight times the speed of sound, several times faster than previously measured. These observations of distinct jets, from a 2010 flyby, are consistent with results showing a difference in composition of ice grains close to the moon’s surface and those that made it out to the E ring, the outermost ring that gets its material primarily from Enceladean jets. If the plumes emanated from ice, they should have very little salt in them.

“There currently is no plausible way to produce a steady outflow of salt-rich grains from solid ice across all the tiger stripes other than salt water under Enceladus’s icy surface,” said Frank Postberg, a Cassini team scientist at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.

The data suggests a layer of water between the moon’s rocky core and its icy mantle, possibly as deep as about 50 miles (80 kilometers) beneath the surface. As this water washes against the rocks, it dissolves salt compounds and rises through fractures in the overlying ice to form reserves nearer the surface. If the outermost layer cracks open, the decrease in pressure from these reserves to space causes a plume to shoot out. Roughly 400 pounds (200 kilograms) of water vapor is lost every second in the plumes, with smaller amounts being lost as ice grains. The team calculates the water reserves must have large evaporating surfaces, or they would freeze easily and stop the plumes.

“We imagine that between the ice and the ice core there is an ocean of depth and this is somehow connected to the surface reservoir,” added Postberg.

The Cassini mission discovered Enceladus’ water-vapor and ice jets in 2005. In 2009, scientists working with the cosmic dust analyzer examined some sodium salts found in ice grains of Saturn’s E ring but the link to subsurface salt water was not definitive. The new paper analyzes three Enceladus flybys in 2008 and 2009 with the same instrument, focusing on the composition of freshly ejected plume grains. In 2008, Cassini discovered a high “density of volatile gases, water vapor, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, as well as organic materials, some 20 times denser than expected” in geysers erupting from the moon. The icy particles hit the detector target at speeds between 15,000 and 39,000 MPH (23,000 and 63,000 KPH), vaporizing instantly. Electrical fields inside the cosmic dust analyzer separated the various constituents of the impact cloud.

“Enceladus has got warmth, water and organic chemicals, some of the essential building blocks needed for life,” said Dennis Matson in 2008, Cassini project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

“This finding is a crucial new piece of evidence showing that environmental conditions favorable to the emergence of life can be sustained on icy bodies orbiting gas giant planets,” said Nicolas Altobelli, the European Space Agency’s project scientist for Cassini.

“If there is water in such an unexpected place, it leaves possibility for the rest of the universe,” said Postberg.

Competition Commission of India fines Google ?1.36 billion for ‘search bias’

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Competition Commission of India fines Google ?1.36 billion for ‘search bias’
April 17, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Sunday, February 11, 2018

On Thursday, the Competition Commission of India (CCI), a government anti-trust watchdog, fined US-based internet technology company Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet, Inc. ?135.86 crore (about ?1.36 billion, US$21 million) for manipulating their search results in favour of its products and syndicates, which affected business of rival companies. In the 190-page long decision, CCI said, “Google was leveraging its dominance in the market for online general web search, to strengthen its position in the market for online syndicate search services”.

In the ruling passed 4–2, the watchdog said, Google’s “search bias” caused “harm to its competitors as well as to users”. In 2012, Consumer Unity and Tests Society (CUTS), which is a non-profit organisation, and Bharat Matrimony filed a complaint against the search engine for manipulating the search results.

Google is to pay the fine within 60 days. CCI had fined them five percent of the average profit Google made over three fiscal years due to its Indian user base. Per the law, CCI could have fined Google up to ten percent of the profit.

Last year, Google was fined by the European Commission (EC) for favouring certain shopping services for the amount of €2.42 billion (about US$3 billion). That accounted for five percent of “average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet”, EC’s official statement read. Google was also fined by Russian Federation Antimonopoly Service for US$6.8 million in 2016 for favouring its own digital services.

“Whilst finding Google to have abused its dominant position, the CCI has nonetheless exercised restraint in recognizing the dynamic nature of online markets and not found Google guilty of every allegation”, Naval Shah, who was representing Bharat Matrimony from Shardul Amarchand law firm, told Reuters News agency.

A Google spokesperson said, “We have always focused on innovating to support the evolving needs of our users. The Competition Commission of India has confirmed that, on the majority of issues it examined, our conduct complies with Indian competition laws”.

Australian Internet filters “belated”: Opposition

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Australian Internet filters “belated”: Opposition
April 17, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Speaking in the Australian House of Representatives on Thursday, opposition leader Kim Beazley (Brand, Labor) asked Australian Prime Minister John Howard (Bennelong, Liberal) why the government had not adopted Labor’s policy on Internet filtering.

Mr Beazley said that the government’s Protecting Families Online initiatives were a belated response to Labor’s policy of “clean-feed” filtering – where pornographic and other inappropriate material is filtered at the Internet Service Provider level. He asked why the government would not “swallow its pride” and introduce the policy proposed by Labor.

In response, the Prime Minister said that the package announced by his government on Wednesday achieves the goals of protecting children without “imposing the unreasonable restrictions and cost burdens of the Labor Party’s policy”.

In April, the Internet Industry Association – the apex body representing Internet related businesses in Australia dismissed the idea of ISP-level filtering, calling it “inappropriate and heavy handed”. The association said despite network level filtering working in schools and large corporations, it would more than likely impact network performance on large service provider networks.

The IIA said that providing users with filtering software and supervision of children’s online activities by parents are the most appropriate means by which to protect children using the Internet.

American Academy of Pediatrics supports dairy for lactose intolerant children

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American Academy of Pediatrics supports dairy for lactose intolerant children
April 17, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), in the September 2006 issue of its journal Pediatrics, supports the use of dairy by lactose intolerant children.

Dr. Melvin B. Heyman, author of the article, says that just because a child is lactose intolerant, does not mean that they should avoid dairy altogether. Many lactose intolerant people can consume small amounts of dairy.

Heyman says that dairy consumption is important, especially for children, because of its high calcium content. The calcium is, in turn, important for stengthening growing bones. “If dairy products are eliminated,” the article says, “other dietary sources of calcium or calcium supplements need to be provided.”

Lactose intolerance is a condition, present in the majority of human population above the age of infancy, due to which the body cannot tolerate lactose, a sugar present in milk and other dairy products. Lactose intolerance causes a range of unpleasant abdominal symptoms, including stomach cramps, bloating, flatulence and diarrhea.

As lactose intolerance is inherent, its prevalence varies by ethnic group. For example, while only 12% of American Caucasians have it, its prevalence is 75% among African Americans, 93% among Chinese, 60%-80% among Ashkenazi Jews,and 100% among American Indians. Many people do not realize that they have this condition simply because they have eaten dairy all their lives and view the symptoms of lactose intolerance as “normal”.

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has long stated that the risks of consuming dairy far outweigh the benefits. According to PRCM’s fact sheet, called “Parents’ Guide to Building Better Bones”, there are many healthy ways of getting enough calcium and promoting bone health. Many foods contain calcium, not just dairy. Also, it is important to consider the amount of calcium absorbed, not just the amount of calcium present in a food. For example, more than three times as much calcium is absorbed from one serving of Total Plus cereal as from one serving of 2% milk.

PCRM promotes a strictly vegetarian diet. Despite its name, it claims only 5 percent of its members as physicians. PCRM has also been accused of having links with animal rights “extremists”, in particular Jerry Vlasak, a former PCRM spokesman who called for the murder of scientists who use animals in research.

The report in News-Medical.Net says that Ann Marie Krautheim, with the National Dairy Council, a dairy lobbying group, says

she hopes the report will educate parents on how to continue to include dairy in the diets of children sensitive to lactose and also help improve their nutrient intake. Krautheim says calcium-fortified beverages and other foods which seek to provide an alternative source of calcium, do not provide an equivalent nutrient package to dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt.

This last statement, however, that dairy products are superior to calcium-fortified foods, is not supported by the article in Pediatrics.

Fourth U.S. state governor orders net neutrality in government contracts

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Fourth U.S. state governor orders net neutrality in government contracts
April 16, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

On Thursday, Phil Scott of Vermont became the fourth governor in the United States to sign an executive order requiring all companies providing Internet access to state agencies to abide by net neutrality for all customers in his state. He said he did this because Vermonters rely on Internet access without blocking, throttling and paid prioritization, threatened by the December 14 decision of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the matter of “Restoring Internet freedom”. The first state governor to challenge the FCC in this way was Steve Bulllock of Montana, who did so on January 22. Andrew Cuomo of New York followed two days later. Philip Murphy of New Jersey signed a similar executive order on February 5. These four executive orders differ in details, but all require that state agencies purchase Internet access services only from companies with an enforceable commitment to net neutrality for all customers in their state.

This is part of a flurry of state-level net neutrality actions. The New York State Assembly introduced bill A01958 on January 17, 2017, three days before the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States, anticipating action by him to overturn the 2015 “Title II Order” that made net neutrality enforceable in the US. Two other bills were introduced into the Washington House of Representatives in the ten days before the official decision of Trump’s FCC on this issue. In addition to these, 63 other state-level responses by net neutrality supporters were documented by Fight for the Future (FFTF) by February 16, 2018, including at least 27 bills introduced into the legislatures of 17 states with others reportedly under consideration.

These bills are in addition to the lawsuit filed on January 16 by the Attorney General of New York on behalf of 21 states and the District of Columbia claiming this FCC decision was “arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion within the meaning of the Administrative Procedure Act” (APA) of 1946 and other grounds. These states were New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington state. New Jersey reportedly later committed to join the suit.

These four executive orders are the only actions on FFTF’s list of actions by net neutrality supporters that seem immediately enforceable. All others require approval by democratic bodies. The four executive orders might be challenged in courts as conflicting with “Preemption authority” claimed by the US Federal Communications Commission’s “Declaratory ruling, report and order” adopted December 14 and released January 4. The FCC order was described by dissenting Commissioner Clyburn as “Destroying Internet Freedom” rather than “Restoring Internet Freedom” as the order is titled. She wrote that this order “will put profits and shareholder returns above what is best for” consumers.

Wikimedia Commons celebrates first anniversary

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Wikimedia Commons celebrates first anniversary
April 16, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)
This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

One year ago today, September 7, 2004, the Wikimedia Commons project was presented to the public. Wikimedia Commons, or simply Commons, is a repository for multimedia files that include images, videos, computer animations, and music as well as spoken texts. They currently count more than 232,000 such files.

All of Commons content is published under a free licence, so the use of its files is permitted outside the project itself. Its main mission is to provide the international Wikipedias with images. Like Wikipedia, the Commons is based on a simple wiki principle that permits every user to contribute and change content. The project is organized into so-called gallery pages, and/or by adding files into categories organized in multiple topics that help facilitate the speedy location of desired files. Often it exists already a direct link from the Wikipedia page to the corresponding page in the Commons.

The Wikimedia Commons proposal was originated by the German Erik Möller, (Eloquence), in March 2004. Eloquence was until recently the Chief Research Officer of the Wikimedia Foundation. Up until the launch of Commons, it was time consuming to use material from one Wikipedia language project in a sister project of a different language. Each file had to be uploaded into each language edition of Wikipedia, and be described and licensed again. The goal was to reduce this redundant effort into one upload, which it can be said that this was successful.

The language in use on the project’s Main Page is English because it is an international project, but many information pages exist in multiple languages. Judging by the experience of other Wikimedia Foundation projects, it is only a question of time before further localization occurs at Commons. This will make it easier for users with fewer skills in foreign languages to also contribute files.

The content in the Commons is growing at a rapid pace. Within the last month alone, the number of images and other files has grown by more than 43,000. This represents a 22,7 % increase in relation to the prior month. While the Wikipedia projects usually compare themselves with the more widely known encyclopedias like Britannica and Brockhaus, a competitor Commons would likely be considered the huge commercial photo archives like Getty Images and Corbis, who possess more than 70 million images each. In relation to them, the Commons is very small at the moment. However, most of the important buildings and landmarks world wide are already featured in its database.

Like other Wikimedia Foundation projects, the Commons face certain challenges and problems. Sometimes people upload offensive images. The community has had to establish clear criteria about which content is acceptable, and which is not. There should not be unfair censorship. Obvious transgressions can be pointed out by anybody, and they are usually deleted rapidly by the administrators.

A sensitive topic is copyrights, and the rights of the owner of the pictured images. International rules have not yet been made compatible. In certain ways, the Wikimedia Foundation opens new territory in the area of intellectual property. Before Commons, it was almost exclusively a domain of professionals to publish images who were well aware of the legal issues. Now it is possible for huge numbers of photo amateurs to publish. Like with offensive content, obvious violations of copyright are deleted the moment they are brought to notice of the administrators. However, it is quite possible there will be an upcoming international debate if the free publication of certain content, e.g. images of national heritage objects, is in the overwhelming public interest. In cases such as this, private interests which might prevent publication are of lesser importance.

The contribution of Wikimedia Commons to a wide array of issues in research, reporting, education, tourism or others, at a global scale, is difficult to fathom at the moment. Most likely though the impact will be gigantic.

2008 MLS: Toronto FC at D.C. United

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2008 MLS: Toronto FC at D.C. United
April 14, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

April 15, 20087:36 (ET)
Toronto FC 1–4 DC United RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C. Referee: Mark Geiger
Cunningham 13′Harmse  22′Edu 50’Cunningham 64′Lombardo 64′Robert 83′Dichio 83′Rosenlund 83′Hemming 83’Edu 88′ (1) 2′ (1) Emilio 5′ (1) Quaranta 22′ Burch 32′ Peralta 46′ Burch 46′ Moreno 52′ (1) Gallardo 56′ Gallardo 56′ Dyachenko 77′ Emilio 77′ Niell 78′ (1) Moreno

New signing Laurent Robert and the return of Greg Sutton were not enough for Toronto F.C. as they fell 4-1 to D.C. United in Washington. Early goals from Luciano Emilio and Santino Quaranta left Toronto in an uphill battle for the rest of the match. The hill only became bigger in the 22nd minute when Kevin Harmse put in a hard challenge on Gonzalo Peralta and was subsequently sent off.

Marcelo Gallardo then made it 3-0 for the home side in the 52nd minute. Quaranta crossed the ball and Gallardo was wide open to smash the ball into an open net. Jaime Moreno capped off the scoring for D.C. in the 78th before Edu opened Toronto’s MLS account with his first goal of the season.

The loss leaves Toronto at 0-2-0 on the season, while DC pick up their first win after losing their opener. DC now travel to play Real Salt Lake, while Toronto will visit David Beckham and the L.A. Galaxy.