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News briefs:May 27, 2010
June 23, 2018 · Uncategorized · (No comments)
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PAD plan protest for Monday; Thai political crisis ongoing
June 23, 2018 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Thailand’s People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) announced a planned rally this coming Monday at the national stadium and march to police headquarters in protest at action taken against demonstrators last Tuesday. Tuesday’s protest, where attempts were made to block MPs access to and from parliament, turned ugly when police employed tear gas and other measures to disperse the PAD crowd. Two protesters died, over four hundred were injured, and reports indicate that as many as ten may be missing. The ongoing protests and demonstrations are aimed at toppling the governing People’s Power Party (PPP) who are accused of being a proxy for deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s outlawed Thai Rak Thai party.

Friday saw the remaining seven PAD protest leaders surrender to police and be issued on bail. Leaders Chamlong Srimuang and Chaiwat Sinuwong were also bailed, having been arrested and detained earlier. This follows the charges of treason being thrown out by the country’s appeals court; lesser charges, including inciting unrest, still stand.

The activist political group, founded by media firebrand Sondhi Limthongkul has occupied Government house for some time now, their demands are for a revision of the Thai political landscape which would see professionals and those in the more prosperous parts of the country a bigger say in the government. Outstanding charges of corruption against Thaksin Shinawatra who the military removed from power in September 2007 are the result of Sondhi and the PAD’s long-standing battle against what they view as vote-buying populist policies. Questionable land deals and allegations of neoptism saw an increasing number of people becoming involved in protests prior to the 2007 coup.

The ongoing crisis has impacted the country both domestically and internationally. The deputy prime minister, Chavalit Yongchaiyudh resigned on Friday for his part in ordering the police into action against protesters blockading parliament. In an interview with the Bangkok Post, the former general implied the solution – once again – lies with the army, and suggested a second coup may be the only solution to the crisis. Army chief, Anupong Paochinda, faced scorn from the PAD following his dismissal of the call for a second coup; this despite his issuing harsh criticism of the current administration.

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On the international front, Thailand’s troubles saw the Prime Minister, Somchai Wongsawat, cancel a number of foreign visits. The beleaguered PM had planned to visit five ASEAN partner countries in a tour that would have started next week. Additional trips to Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar (formerly Burma) were cancelled. According to a member of the PPP this is due to the current unrest.

Adding to the woes of the ruling PPP, the Attorney General’s office has asked for a ruling from the country’s Constitutional Court outlawing the People’s Power Party. Office spokesman, Thanapit Mulpruek, outlined the content of the petition specifying that the key 37 leaders of the PPP should have their voting rights revoked for five years in light of the allegations of election fraud, or knowingly allowing such to continue. The party’s former deputy leader was disqualified during the December 2007 general election, being accused of graft. The party’s members of parliament are scheduled to meet Monday to discuss this issue and the ongoing political crisis.

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Gay Talese on the state of journalism, Iraq and his life
June 22, 2018 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Gay Talese wants to go to Iraq. “It so happens there is someone that’s working on such a thing right now for me,” the 75-year-old legendary journalist and author told David Shankbone. “Even if I was on Al-Jazeera with a gun to my head, I wouldn’t be pleading with those bastards! I’d say, ‘Go ahead. Make my day.'”

Few reporters will ever reach the stature of Talese. His 1966 profile of Frank Sinatra, Frank Sinatra Has a Cold, was not only cited by The Economist as the greatest profile of Sinatra ever written, but is considered the greatest of any celebrity profile ever written. In the 70th anniversary issue of Esquire in October 2003, the editors declared the piece the “Best Story Esquire Ever Published.”

Talese helped create and define a new style of literary reporting called New Journalism. Talese himself told National Public Radio he rejects this label (“The term new journalism became very fashionable on college campuses in the 1970s and some of its practitioners tended to be a little loose with the facts. And that’s where I wanted to part company.”)

He is not bothered by the Bancrofts selling The Wall Street Journal—”It’s not like we should lament the passing of some noble dynasty!”—to Rupert Murdoch, but he is bothered by how the press supported and sold the Iraq War to the American people. “The press in Washington got us into this war as much as the people that are controlling it,” said Talese. “They took information that was second-hand information, and they went along with it.” He wants to see the Washington press corp disbanded and sent around the country to get back in touch with the people it covers; that the press should not be so focused on–and in bed with–the federal government.

Augusten Burroughs once said that writers are experience junkies, and Talese fits the bill. Talese–who has been married to Nan Talese (she edited James Frey‘s Million Little Piece) for fifty years–can be found at baseball games in Cuba or the gay bars of Beijing, wanting to see humanity in all its experience.

Below is Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s interview with Gay Talese.

Contents

  • 1 On Gay Talese
  • 2 On a higher power and how he’d like to die
  • 3 On the media and Iraq
  • 4 On the Iraq War
  • 5 State of Journalism
  • 6 On travel to Cuba
  • 7 On Chinese gay bars
  • 8 On the literary canon
  • 9 Sources

As shipping exemption expires, hurricane-torn Puerto Rico may face changes in relief from mainland United States

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As shipping exemption expires, hurricane-torn Puerto Rico may face changes in relief from mainland United States
June 22, 2018 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

According to the United States Department of Homeland Security on Monday, Puerto Rico’s exemption from the Jones Act, which temporarily lifted the rule requiring that only U.S.-owned ships might carry goods between U.S. ports, was allowed to expire on Sunday rather than being renewed. The island commonwealth had been given a temporary exemption from this law to allow foreign ships to aid the delivery of relief supplies after Hurricane Maria, which struck Puerto Rico last month. Puerto Ricans and lawmakers had asked for an extension of the waiver in light of the island’s current difficulties.

“We believe that extending the waiver is unnecessary to support the humanitarian relief efforts on the island[…] There is an ample supply of Jones Act-qualified vessels to ensure that cargo is able to reach Puerto Rico,” reads a statement from Homeland Security Press Secretary David Lapan.

The Jones Act of 1920 requires that all ships carrying cargo directly from one U.S. port to another must be built, operated and owned by U.S. personnel. Puerto Rico, a U.S. commonwealth, falls under its jurisdiction. President Donald Trump issued a temporary waiver of this requirement for Puerto Rico on September 28 to help the relief effort. However, there were also concerns about supplies sitting idle in ports for lack of organized distribution and truck drivers to take them where they were needed. Some foreign ships may take until October 18 to complete deliveries.

Republicans Marco Rubio and John McCain were among those in the U.S. Congress who had urged President Trump to issue the waiver, though McCain supported making the exemption permanent: “Now that the temporary Jones Act waiver for Puerto Rico has expired, it is more important than ever for Congress to pass my bill to permanently exempt Puerto Rico from this archaic and burdensome law,” he told the Huffington Post. “Until we provide Puerto Rico with long-term relief, the Jones Act will continue to hinder much-needed efforts to help the people of Puerto Rico recover and rebuild from Hurricane Maria.”

In September, Puerto Rico was nicked by the same Hurricane Irma that left Florida in disarray but then pummeled head-on by Hurricane Maria. The crisis displaced thousands of people and led to extraordinary rainfall and flash flood scares after a large crack appeared in the Guajataca Dam. According to Governor Ricardo Rosselló, 85% of residents remain without electricity, and many also still lack access to running water.

Puerto Rico was colonized by Spain and came under U.S. control in the Spanish-American War in 1898, along with Guam and the Philippines. Every person born in Puerto Rico is a United States citizen by birth. Puerto Rican residents do not participate in national elections, hold no seats in the electoral college, and have a non-voting representative in the U.S. congress. Mostly, they are exempt from federal income tax but not other federal taxes.

Every few years, the Puerto Ricans hold a referendum to determine whether they wish to remain a commonwealth, seek U.S. statehood, or seek independence in some form. In June, 97% of voters selected the second option, though turnout was low, and Congress is not legally required to obey their wishes.

Madagascar leader names army officer as prime minister

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Madagascar leader names army officer as prime minister
June 22, 2018 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Madagascar’s leader, Andry Rajoelina, has named a high-ranking army officer as the country’s new prime minister, and announced he is abandoning a power-sharing deal with the opposition.

Mr. Rajoelina’s office announced Sunday that Colonel Camille Albert Vital would serve as the new prime minister, replacing Eugene Mangalaza, who was supposed to be prime minister under the deal. Previously he had been expected to make Cecile Manorohanta the new prime minister. He also abolished the posts of co-president.

In a nationally broadcast address, Colonel Vital said that organising elections and increasing security were his priorities. He called on the people of Madagascar, including political rivals, to work with his government.

Mr. Rajoelina took power in a coup last March. On Wednesday, he appeared on national television to announce that parliamentary elections would take place March 20 next year. He made no mention of presidential elections.

International mediators have brokered several power-sharing agreements in recent months, but all have been unsuccessful. The African Union and other regional bodies have refused to recognize Mr. Rajoelina’s presidency.

Congressman Cunningham admits taking bribes

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Congressman Cunningham admits taking bribes
June 22, 2018 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Monday, November 28, 2005

U.S. Representative Randy “Duke” Cunningham (RCA) pled guilty today to conspiring to take bribes in exchange for using his influence as a member of the House Appropriations Committee to help a defense contractor get business. In total he pled guilty to one count of income tax evasion and four counts of conspiracy, namely mail fraud, wire fraud, bribery of public official and accepting bribes. U.S. District judge Larry A. Burns scheduled Cunnigham to be sentenced on February 27. He is facing up to 10 years in prison and nearly $500,000 in fines, as well as forfeiture of unspecified amounts of cash and property.

In the court hearing, Cunningham admitted to accepting “bribes in exchange for performance of official duties” between “the year 2000 and June of 2005”, taking “both cash payments and payments in kind” and following up by “trying to influence the Defense Department”.

The federal investigation against Cunningham was triggered by his sale of his California residence to defense contractor Mitchell Wade in late 2003. However, Wade never moved in and sold the house at a $700,000 loss three quarters of a year later. At the same time Wade’s company MZM won tens of millions of dollars in defense contracts. Subsequent investigations discovered more questionable business transactions, including interactions with the defense contractor ADCS. In his plea agreement he testified that, among other charges, he “demanded, sought and received at least $2.4 million in illicit payments and benefits from his co-conspirators in various forms, including cash, checks, meals, travel, lodging, furnishings, antiques, rugs, yacht club fees, boat repairs and improvements, moving expenses, cars and boats.”

Cunningham announced his resignation after the hearing. In a written statement released by his law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP he declared “The truth is — I broke the law, concealed my conduct, and disgraced my high office. I know that I will forfeit my freedom, my reputation, my worldly possessions, and most importantly, the trust of my friends and family.”

America’s Cup: Team New Zealand wins third race

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America’s Cup: Team New Zealand wins third race
June 22, 2018 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007File:America’s Cup.jpg

Team New Zealand have won the third yacht race in the bid for America’s Cup, beating the defending champion, Swiss syndicate Alinghi. Sport commentators and yachties are describing the win as one of the greatest races in the history of the Cup.

Team New Zealand finished the race 25 seconds ahead of Alinghi, despite the leader changing three times throughout the race. This new win for Team New Zealand puts the overall score at 2 wins for Team New Zealand and one win for Alinghi. The winner of the America’s Cup will be the first to reach five wins.

By the first mark of the race, Team New Zealand had a lead of one minute and 23 seconds. However, at this turn, their spinnaker got caught in the genoa gear and Richard Meacham, mid bowman, almost went over board. Due to this mistake, Alinghi were able to catch up and lead the second mark by 15 seconds. Grant Dalton, head of Team New Zealand, said, “The trouble we had at the leeward mark let [Alinghi] back into the race and [Team New Zealand] paid the price.”

But Team New Zealand managed to win, 25 seconds in front. Team New Zealand navigator Kevin Hall said, “My heart rate would be doing about 180 right now but it’s nice to be towing in and looking at them back there instead of in front of us like they were in the second beat.”

The head of Alinghi, Ernesto Bertarelli, believes that the race committee should not have started the race, which it did so at 4:59 p.m.. The race cannot be announced after 5.00 p.m.. “We waited for two hours…”

Team New Zealand strategist Ray Davies said, “There was certainly a bit of dice rolling.”

President of the Nelson Marlborough Yachting Association Doug Mckee described the race as the most exciting one since Australia winning the America’s Cup when the Australians won the Auld Mug from the New York Yacht Club who had held it for 132 years. “We are definitely good enough to win the cup.”

Hall said, “It probably hasn’t happened very often that you see three passes in an America’s Cup race. It’s a testament to the strength of both teams.”

The wind speed was around 8–9 knots.

Alinghi beat Team New Zealand in 2003, also winning the America’s Cup in Auckland, New Zealand.

Money Making Product Creation Discover Secrets To Expand Your Product Creation}

June 21, 2018 · Public Relations · (No comments)

Money-Making Product Creation – Discover Secrets to Expand Your Product Creation

by

Derek Soto

Contrary to what others will say to you, creating products that will sell online is more difficult than one would think. Until you make products available online, there is no guarantee that online users will support your offerings.

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However, you can increase your chances of making this endeavor lucrative by following these 4 effective steps:1. Be very sensitive to the needs and demands of your potential clients. It’s important that you spend some quality time with your target market so you can easily figure out the things that they need and they will need in their lives.You may send them with surveys or questionnaires through your autoresponders once in a while or maintain an ongoing dialogue with them through forums and relevant blogs.Don’t forget to jot down their complaints, their problems, the things that they are looking for, and anything that can easily be converted to great product ideas. In doing this, people will feel assured that you listen to them and that you care about their needs.2. Is it feasible? Once you obtained a great product idea, ensure that you have the needed resources and personnel to make it happen. You also need to determine whether you have the ability or the needed talent and information to generate these products.If you are not 100% sure that you can deliver the best to your customers, consider hiring people who can help you out. You can outsource the task to freelancers that you can easily find on various freelancing sites.3. Understand your competition. It is not enough that there is a huge demand for your products. It is also important that you are not up against several people who are selling the same products as this can affect your sales and revenue.When choosing a niche, make sure that you go with those that are not highly competitive but extremely profitable.4. Within your chosen niche, work with other experts. As they say, two (or more) heads are better than one. If you work with other people who know the in’s and out’s of your chosen niche, you’ll have greater chances of creating more compelling and useful products.These people can surely offer you with valuable tips and suggestions that will not only make this task a lot easier for you but more lucrative as well.Take action: Before you go out and create a product, make sure that your market wants it first. How you can do this is survery your list. You can use services like “ask database” and others that will make this easier.A question that you want to ask them is something like, “What is your biggest question about sewing?”Pr” What is your greatest question within “your niche” Whatever niche you happen to be in.You can ask them other questions like what is their biggest problem with something or what features do they wish a product had. The more they tell you, the more you can pinpoint exactly what product they want and then create it for them.Another thing you want to do is to use the words that they used in their answers in the sales copy or video you are using to market your product. You will be using the hot buttons that they have told you to use.You will reach them if you speak in their language. Finally, you’ll be more successful because you’ll be working smarter instead of harder.==> Here are the resources I’ve used to become successful online.

Derek J. Soto is a former telemarketer who teaches others how to escape their jobs forever.

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Money-Making Product Creation – Discover Secrets to Expand Your Product Creation}

Woman returns home with Christmas turkey, a month after setting out

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Woman returns home with Christmas turkey, a month after setting out
June 21, 2018 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Scottish woman who set out before Christmas to purchase a turkey finally made it home on Monday, after being cut off by snow for a month. Kay Ure left the Lighthouse Keeper’s cottage on Cape Wrath, at the very northwest tip of Great Britain, in December. She was heading to Inverness on a shopping trip.

However on her return journey heavy snow and ice prevented her husband, John, from travelling the last 11 miles to pick her up. She was forced to wait a month in a friend’s caravan, before the weather improved and the couple could finally be reunited.

They were separated not just for Christmas and New Year, but also for Mr Ure’s 58th birthday. With no fresh supplies, he was reduced to celebrating with a tin of baked beans. He also ran out of coal, and had to feed the couple’s six springer spaniels on emergency army rations.

“It’s the first time we’ve been separated”, said Mr Ure in December. “We’ve been snowed in here for three weeks before, so we are well used to it and it’s quite nice to get a bit of peace and quiet.”

Launch of space shuttle Discovery delayed indefinitely

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Launch of space shuttle Discovery delayed indefinitely
June 21, 2018 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

NASA announced during a press conference on Friday night that the agency has decided to delay the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery, which was scheduled for takeoff on February 27. NASA cited the need for additional time to evaluate the shuttle’s hydrogen fuel flow control valves. A new launch date has yet to be scheduled, though NASA is considering mid-March as an option. Another review of Discovery’s flight readiness is scheduled for February 25.

Discovery had originally been scheduled for liftoff on February 12, but NASA wanted to perform additional tests on the valves which control the amount of hydrogen fuel pumped into the external tank when the shuttle is taking off. When Space Shuttle Endeavour went into space in November 2008, one of the valves broke. NASA fears that if one breaks off on this mission, then it could damage the outside of the shuttle.

“We need to complete more work to have a better understanding before flying,” said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. who chaired Friday’s Flight Readiness Review. “We were not driven by schedule pressure and did the right thing. When we fly, we want to do so with full confidence.”

The current scheduled mission, STS-119, is set to fly the Integrated Truss Structure segment (“S” for starboard, the right side of the station, and “6” for its place at the very end of the starboard truss) and install the final set of power-generating solar arrays to the International Space Station. The arrays consist of two 115-foot-long arrays, for a total wing span of 240 feet, including the equipment that connects the two halves and allows them to twist as they track the sun. Altogether, the four sets of arrays can generate 84 to 120 kilowatts of electricity – enough to provide power for more than 40 average homes.

Commander Lee Archambault will lead Discovery’s crew of seven, along with Pilot Tony Antonelli, and Mission Specialists Joseph Acaba, John Phillips, Steve Swanson, Richard Arnold, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata.