Americans practice attack response procedures

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17
Jul
 Correction — August 24, 2015 This article incorrectly describes 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. 

Thursday, February 2, 2006

In recent days, there has been a notable increase in nuclear attack drill activities in LA, Houston and the state of South Carolina.

Sources in the Houston Police Department have disclosed that they are running these nuclear disaster drills across the city of Houston, Texas.

“In the last week I have multi-checked with sources of mine in the Houston Police Department and confirmed that HPD has been running nuclear disaster drills,” said Capt. Eric May, as he warned of a possible nuclear attack that might occur in the Texas City or Houston metro area. Capt. Eric May also mentioned that a likely target could be the British Petroleum plant in Texas City, Texas.

Local citizens have also noticed ongoing SWAT exercises involving numerous government agencies in the area, including Homeland Security, the HPD and the Pasadena Police Department.

“After leaving the Texas City police station, I noticed one thing really strange, as I counted at least 11 different types of official police and government vehicles parked in the police lot. I have never seen this before and it has me a little worried. What are they planning?” said local resident John Watkins.

Besides this increased activity in the Houston area, there have been reports that the Bank of America has been in contact with Homeland Security officials discussing the topic of how to deal with customers in the case of a pending “national disaster.” Employees of the bank have been ordered to remain silent, as ones from all levels have been told of the proper procedures to take. Employees in both Houston and LA have disclosed they were recently told not to distribute certain things from safety deposit boxes in the event of a national emergency, including gold, silver and firearms. They were, however, allowed to hand out important papers to asking customers.

It seems as if British Petroleum may also be conducting nuclear disaster exercises in the Houston area, as an email from an alleged BP employee has surfaced on the internet. Although his identity has not been proven as of yet, he states that he holds the position of a “building monitor” and has never had any responsibilities before. However, on Friday, January 27th, he was called into a meeting and told that he had best get his men ready for some disaster drills to be starting in the next week.

The US government is also running a nuclear disaster drill in the Charleston, SC area from January 31st to February 2nd. The organizers said that nuclear drills should not frighten citizens, but should instead encourage them to learn how to protect themselves in the event of an attack. It should be noted that the government has run other nuclear disaster tests before, including one last summer called “Sudden Respond ’05.” Therefore, this increase of disaster drills may just indicate that the government is taking the threat of a nuclear attack seriously and not necessarily that there is one impending.

Parents arrested after putting baby on Craigslist

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17
Jul

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A couple from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada has been arrested on charges of public mischief after listing their seven day old baby girl on the popular Internet classified ads website Craigslist.

The listing claimed that the baby was unexpected, “healthy and very cute”. It asked CAN 10 000 for the baby. It also listed a phone number belonging to a stolen cellphone, which was used to find the couple.

It was first noticed by a 62-year old grandmother browsing the website for furniture, who said “I was shaking, and I thought, ‘Come on, how did this even get through?'” The couple claimed that the listing, which has since been removed, was a hoax.

The father, Jeremy Pete, had a history of car thefts and evasion of police, while the mother, 23-year-old Bethany Granholm, had convictions of property theft, fraud and impersonation. The parents have now been released, but charges are still being considered. The baby has been placed in provincial care.

A suspected copycat incident occurred just four days later, also offering a seven-day-old baby girl for CAN 10 000 on Craigslist. This incident turned out to be a hoax, and no child was in danger.

Last week saw a similar incident in Germany, where a couple listed a seven month old baby on eBay. In this case the police have launched a child trafficking investigation, despite the parents’ assertion that the listing was a joke.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Pakistani security forces, aided by artillery and tanks killed 38 Taliban insurgents today in two separate attacks near the Afghanistan border in the Orakzai district of the North-West Frontier Province of the country, according to government officials.

Security men say that Orakzai, located to the southwest of Peshawar, became a Taliban stronghold since the army led offensives against other Taliban areas in different parts of northwest Pakistan.

An army checkpoint in Sayd Khalil Baba village was attacked by militants early on Sunday. However, security troops killed 26 insurgents with artillery fire, according to Samiullah Khan, a senior administrative official in the area. Sajid Khan, another government official of Orakzai told the Reuters news agency that scores of militants attacked the checkpost in the village on Sunday morning. “They used rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and machine guns, but our soldiers’ response was quick and tough,” he added. Ten militants were wounded in this attack according to the latter, who is based in Kalaya, the district’s principal town.

Within hours, a military convoy was ambushed by Taliban attackers in an adjoining village. At least a dozen insurgents were killed in this attack, according to local authorities. Officials said only Pakistani soldier was injured in the attack. There was no confirmation of the figures provided by administrative officials available news agencies, as journalists are prohibited from entering the area.

Security officials claimed around 250 militants have been killed in several clashes in the Orakzai district. Pakistani Taliban leader {{w|Hakimullah Mehsud]] was believed to have control over this region. The latter is thought to have been killed in an U.S. drone strike in January this year.

Egypt cancels 15 year gas supply contract to Israel

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16
Jul

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the termination of a natural gas contract between Egypt and Israel is a business matter and not a political issue between the two counties. Netanyahu’s statement on Monday backs away from other officials’ earlier responses to the action.

Egyptian Natural Gas Company announced Sunday, April 22 that it will stop supplying Israel with natural gas over a disagreement about payments. The company’s leader claims the other side is in “breach of contract” as Gasco has not been paid for what has already been delivered.

In 2005, Israel and Egypt, under former president Hosni Mubarak, signed a 15-year trade deal whereby Egypt would supply natual gas at a discounted rate to the Israelis. Tensions between the two countries have made Israel cautious about relying on Egypt for its energy. Since the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the pipelines for transporting natural gas from Egypt to Israel have been damaged up to 14 times.

When this decision was broadcast on Sunday night in Egypt, commentators for Egyptian news services discussed whether this decision was a blatant contractual infringement, a necessary commercial move, or an attack on the original peace treaty between Egypt and Israel made at Camp David in 1978.

In Israel, Yuval Steinitz, the finance minister, said, “This is a dangerous precedent that diminishes the peace treaty [between the two countries].”

Avigdor Lieberman, foreign affairs minister, had called on Egypt to reverse the decision and prevent the contractual dispute from escalating into a political issue. Since Netanyahu’s more recent comment, Lieberman has also backed away from characterizing the issue as a political dispute.

Egypt’s natural gas exports once made up 40 percent of Israel’s natural gas reserves, but Israel has looked for other options as the political atmosphere in Egypt changed. Israel is developing its own offshore fields, and it has begun to import other types of “dirty fuels,” like gas and diesel. As a result, Israeli consumers have seen a nine percent increase in electricity costs and Israel is preparing for the possibility of blackouts.

Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Buffalo, New York —In an unanimous vote, the City of Buffalo‘s Planning Board voted to table the Elmwood Village hotel Proposal, postponing voting on legislation for up to 30 days.

The Board said its decision was due to the lack of public involvement, saying that there have not been enough meetings.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a proposed project by Savarino Construction Services Corporation and was designed by Karl Frizlen of The Frizlen Group. The hotel would be placed on Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo, New York. In order for the hotel to be built, at least five buildings, that include both businesses and residents, must be demolished.

The Forever Elmwood Corp. is a Buffalo-based non-profit organization founded in 1994. Justin Azzarella, the Executive Director for the organization voiced support for the proposal, stating: “I am here today to lend Forever Elmwood’s support the hotel project. Particularly, Forever Elmwood is encouraged by the fact that this building follows the more stringent Elmwood Village Design Guidelines. We have been speaking with Savarino Construction, and they have promised us [Forever Elmwood] that they will engage the community further, including the surrounding Block Clubs and businesses. For that reason, while Forever Elmwood is in support of this project and the type of project that it is, we are asking also that the project be tabled so that the community can be further engaged. Specifically the surrounding Block clubs which include the Granger, Claremont, Asland and The Lincoln Parkway Block Clubs.”

“Because of the excellent work that Karl does and the game plan that they have, I think its an ideal use of this particular location. I think that this particular type of development needs to be encouraged and promoted as opposed to roadblocked,” said a man who owns five properties near the proposal site.

However, Evelyn Bencinich, a resident of Granger Place and whose house would be located directly behind the hotel said, “My property value will be depreciated or non-existent because no one is going to want to live behind a multi-story hotel. We are facing up to a year of noisy and dangerous demolition and construction. Children, pets and even drunk rebellers could wander on site and get hurt. Traffic tie-ups caused by large machinery and garbage bins is inevitable. Where will pedestrians walk? We could experience increased unsanitary flooding in our yards and basements due to the digging and cementing for the underground parking garage. Rats will be displaced into the immediate neighborhoods and be in great abundance. Once we get past the year of nightmare construction, what if you build it and they don’t come? We could ultimately have a seven million dollar rooming house on our corner.”

Patty Morris, co-owner of Don Apparel with Nancy Pollina at 1119 Elmwood also asked that the project be tabled saying, “this has only been public knowledge for less than two weeks and the public never saw the redesign. How can you vote on anything that no one has seen yet? The Board cut off Morris saying, “so specifically you don’t have any problem with it [the design] you just…” Morris then said, “Oh I am totally against this project, but thats besides the point isn’t it.”

The planning board is also concerned that the current design may still be too big.

At one point Board member Susan Curran Hoyt said, “we know you’ve cut down your number of rooms on this project, but we still see it doesn’t seem to fit the description of a ‘botique’ hotel,” and asked Eva Hassett, Vice President of Savarino Construction, “we wonder if you could reduce the rooms further.”

“One thing I didn’t talk about was the price levels of these rooms and that will be important to know. The room rate will be somewhere between US$120 and $160 a night, which is about the same price of the Hampton Inn down town and the smaller you make the hotel, the more expensive the rooms will get. We believe that we’ve made a good compromise in terms of the size of the hotel and perhaps botique means different things to different people,” said Hassett.

The board was also concerned that there is not enough parking asking, “are there alternative plans for valet parking off-site, in the event that you have a full hotel or a large event going on?”

“We are exploring several possibilities with respect to additional parking for valet and parking near-by,” replied Hassett. “We are also exploring the possibility of using the rear of 1105 Elmwood for additional parking, which would give us an additional ten or eleven spaces.”

The new design has a total of 55 parking spaces for 72 rooms, with 39 of them underground and the rest on ground level.

Hassett also said that a “parking study” will be done on the area.

Concerns that the second floor of the hotel will be too close to the property of 605 Forest were also brought up. The board asked how far the hotel would be from the property and Karl Frizlen replied saying it would “be approximately five feet from the property line,” but he also admitted that, “I do not know exactly how close the house next door” will be from the hotel, but did say “I think the house is about four or five feet away from the property line and we [the hotel] sit right on the property line.”

The board is concerned the setback from the property is not enough saying the space between the building and the hotel is “pretty narrow.”

The City’s Common Council also agreed to table the proposal also citing the need for more public engagement and the need for more organizations to respond including the Buffalo Preservation Board and the Office of Historic Preservation.

During that meeting, Hassett also said the proposal to try and get a variance to obtain the properties of 605 and 607 Forest were “now off the agenda.”

The Common Council is expected to meet and hold a public hearing about the project and the rezoning of the properties to be demolished (1119-1121 Elmwood) on Tuesday March 7, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall. At the moment the properties are not zoned for a hotel.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Thomas Sam, 42, and his wife Manju Sam, 36, from Sydney, Australia, are undergoing trial for manslaughter by gross negligence for the death of their nine-month-old child, Gloria. She died from infection caused by severe eczema after they shunned effective conventional medical treatments for homeopathy, a form of alternative medicine that has been described as pseudoscience. Articles in peer-reviewed academic journals including Social Science & Medicine have characterized homeopathy as a form of quackery.

Gloria developed severe eczema at the age of four months and the parents were advised to send the child to a skin specialist. Thomas Sam, a practising homeopath, instead decided to treat his daughter himself. His daughter’s condition deteriorated, to the point that the baby spent all her energy battling the infections caused by the constant breaking of the skin, leading to severe malnutrition and, eventually, her death. By the end, Gloria’s eczema was so severe that her skin broke every time her parents changed her clothes or nappy, and in the words of the Crown prosecutor, Mark Tedeschi, QC, “Gloria spent a lot of the last five months of her life crying, irritable, scratching and the only thing that gave her solace was to suck on her mother’s breast.” Gloria also became unable to move her legs.

Mr. Tedeschi also told the court that, over the last five months of her life, “Gloria’s eczema played a devastating role in her overall health and it is asserted by the Crown that both her parents knew this and discussed it with each other.” However, despite their child’s severe illness, and her lack of improvement, the Sams continued to shun conventional medical treatment, instead seeking help from other homeopaths and naturopaths. Gloria temporarily improved during the rare times they used conventional treatments, but they soon dropped them in favour of homeopathy, and she consistently worsened.

Allegedly, Thomas’ sister pleaded with him to send Gloria to a conventional medical doctor, but he replied “I am not able to do that”. The parents are also accused of putting their social life ahead of their child, taking her on a trip to India and leaving her to servants while embarking on a busy social schedule, and giving her homeopathic drops instead of using the prescription creams they had been given.

Gloria was finally taken to the emergency department shortly before her death. By this time, “her skin was weeping, her body malnourished and her corneas melting”, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Speaking in the parents’ defense, Tom Molomby, SC, said that, as the parents came from India, where homeopathy is in common use, they should be declared not guilty due to cultural differences.

Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine which treats patients with massively diluted forms of substances that, if given to a healthy person undiluted, would cause symptoms similar to the disease. Typical treatments take the dilutions, with ritualised shaking between each step of the dilution, past the level where any molecules of the original substance are likely to remain; for homeopathic treatments to work, basic well-understood concepts in chemistry and physics would have to be wrong. There is no evidence that homeopathy is more effective than placebo for any condition.

byAlma Abell

What is ideal for one company may not be the wise choice for another in many types of software applications. This is the case for inventory management software that is designed with one industry or one type of business in mind.

There are some top inventory software programs that are more universal in their application. These may also be a great choice and may offer the ability to customize or tailor some specific features to meet unique requirements for your business.

Know Your Needs

One of the biggest challenges in finding the right inventory management software for a business is the risk of getting caught up in the features of the program and not considering if it will address your basic needs.

It is a good idea to make a list of the features and functions you consider as the basis for your particular inventory management needs. This will allow you to have a clear reference to being able to compare similar products that offer everything you need before considering the add-on features.

Understand Tracking Methods

In the current supply chain, know how items are tracked and if this is the same type of tracking that will be continued after the software is installed. Most of the top systems today will work with a range of different tracking options including barcodes, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags, serialization or even through lots rather than individual items.

Different inventory management software programs are a better match for different tracking systems. If you are planning to change tracking methods throughout the supply chain, make sure your software will be compatible.

It is also important to know where problems or inefficiencies exist in your current inventory software program. Discussing these issues with manufacturers for replacement software will make sure the new option addresses those problems and boost efficiency.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A 21-year-old Swedish man killed himself and broadcast it over the internet via his webcam feed Monday, after posting to a message board that he had swallowed some painkillers and was going to hang himself.

At 11:51 a.m. Central European Summer Time (0951 UTC), Marcus Jannes, a student from Järna, Stockholm, posted to the Mental Health Problems forum of Sweden’s Flashback message boards using the newly-registered username “LurifaxFlux”, stating that he was going to hang himself, adding that he had already swallowed 100mg of dexofen and 1500mg of paracetamol. He said that he had set up a webcam to record the event, and would post details later of a FTP server for people to watch.

People responded to his post almost immediately. Some offered messages of hope, such as, “How bad can it be? When everything is at its worst, it can only get better”, and “Think of poor people, mutilated people, people who are lame or blind. Living with a disability is hard. They can not change their lives! But you still have the ability to alter yours!” Others tried to keep him online by talking to him empathetically: “Is there anything that can make you change your mind?”, “Tell me about yourself.”

However, other users posted messages saying they didn’t believe him, wishing him luck with his attempt, and calling him an attention whore and a troll. They also goaded him by saying, “you won’t dare, you are too cowardly”, and offering advice on the best way to hang himself: “I recommend … you do it from a height that you can jump off so you are guaranteed to break your neck.”

In a later post, Jannes said that he had been feeling suicidal for about six months, but was too scared to actually attempt anything until he tried to strangle himself with his own hands. In response to questions, he stated that he was using a network cable to strangle himself because he didn’t have any rope, but he was worried that the cable would not be strong enough to take his weight. He also told them that he had Asperger syndrome and High-functioning autism, and was emotionally vulnerable and lacked normal social skills. He admitted to feeling lonely, and alluded to experiencing problems at school, but admitted that he had a good upbringing and had a rather good life. At around the same time, he also updated his Facebook status to say life was “just too difficult”, and that he was going to kill himself.

I wonder where I end up… Was life perhaps a test of how long you stand out? I love my family more than anything, but honestly you can’t live for someone else’s sake… It’s not like my life is bad at all, it’s actually really good. But sometimes it’s just too difficult. I can’t be bothered to write more now.

A short while later, at 1:06 p.m., Jannus posted the FTP server URL and login details, and stated that he needed to hurry up because, “I’m beginning to feel that I might change my mind.” At this point, people who logged on to the server found a series of still images taken every two seconds, showing a young man dressed in sweatpants and t-shirt, in his apartment, hanging network cable from a doorway.

At 1:13 p.m., the images show that Jannus stepped out of the shot, and at this point he posted another message to Flashback. “Alright, let’s do it,” he said. The next series of images show him walking back to the cable and hooking it around his neck. He slumps to the floor, and his body begins shaking while his head and arms turn dark purple until he stops moving. His skin color then lessens to a pink-red shade as his limp body hangs motionless for a number of minutes.

On the message board, people start to realize the seriousness of the events: “Given the last pictures, it looks like [this was serious]”, “holy crap, he has done it already”, “okay it’s getting nasty”, “this is quite sick. Not okay at all,” and “I’ve seen a lot online but this is the worst I’ve seen in my entire life” were some of the comments posted. At 1:32 p.m., a user asks, “Did someone call the police?”.

The Södertälje police state that they were first alerted to the incident at 1:44 p.m. At 2:06 p.m., the image feeds show two police officers charging into the apartment and releasing the cable from around Jannus’ neck. They begin administering CPR. Two minutes later, two paramedics arrive, and they take over CPR while one of the officers looks around the room at cables; the back of a flat-screen television set; and presumably the computer, as the images finally stop being uploaded.

Södertälje Polisen spokesperson Lotta Thyni confirmed that Jannus had died. “The police performed CPR until paramedics arrived on the scene, but his life could not be saved.”

The police have so far declined to comment on how the suicide will be investigated, but Sven-Erik Alhem, a chief prosecutor in Sweden told Aftonbladet, that psychologically inducing a person to commit suicide, or contributing to the act, can be classified as incitement to murder, and is a criminal offense.

The “Hängning” thread at Flashback continued to receive new posts until the thread was locked by a site moderator at 5:27 p.m. It had received a total of 630 posts over 53 pages. “It is unfortunate if someone knew that the man planned to kill himself and did not do anything to stop him,” said Thyni, but added that police can not control how people use social forums on the web. “They lack empathy”.

The Flashback message boards are a controversial topic in Sweden. They are seen as being similar to the English language website 4chan, and especially its “Random” /b/ board. The Flashback members are able to post with a great amount of freedom of speech. The site has been investigated by the Swedish police on numerous occasions and is under constant surveillance by the Swedish Security Service due to its members’ abundant discussions about drug use, child pornography, race science, bestiality and other controversial subjects. Other controversies include sexual harassment of celebrities and politicians, open racism, forced disconnection from its internet service provider, the hosting of nazi sites, and the sabotage of telephone votes in TV shows.

“I do not remember such a situation in Sweden before,” says Anders Ahlqvist from the Swedish national police force. A similar incident occurred in Sweden in 2008, when Oscar Ores Balingen, 34, from Stockholm attempted to kill himself online. In that case, the police were able to reach Balingen before he died, and managed to save his life. “People said that I would not dare, but it made me only more triggered,” Balingen told Aftonbladet. “I do not think they are taking the threats seriously. There is a terrible lack of empathy on these forums.”

In November 2008, a 19-year-old male from Pembroke Pines, Florida used his webcam to broadcast his suicide on the live video site Justin.tv. Abraham K. Biggs, 19, committed suicide by taking an overdose of opiates and benzodiazepine, which had been prescribed for his bipolar disorder. He also made online threats of suicide and advertised his intentions to broadcast it live over the internet.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Zimbabwe has decided to abandon its currency, the Zimbabwean dollar, in favour of other currencies.

Acting Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa announced today that Zimbabweans will be allowed to make transactions in other currencies along with the local currency. “In line with the prevailing practices by the general public, [the] government is therefore allowing the use of multiple foreign currencies for business transactions alongside the Zimbabwean dollar,” he said, adding that the Zimbabwean dollar will not be removed from circulation and would be used alongside other currencies.

This decision comes during the current period of hyperinflation, which has massively devalued the Zimbabwean dollar. Banknotes up to $100 trillion have been printed, despite the removal of ten zeroes from the currency last summer to try to make transactions easier. The official inflation rate, last updated in July 2008, was 231,000,000% a year, although independent estimates place the number as high as 6.5×10108, or 6.5 quindecillion novemdecillion, percent.

Up to now, only vendors with licenses were legally able to accept foreign currencies, although the practice was widespread — private businesses altogether refuse to accept the unstable Zimbabwean dollar.

Large sections of the workforce, including teachers and doctors, have gone on strike because hyperinflation rapidly renders their wages worthless. Representative groups said salaries, now measured in trillions of dollars, are insufficient to pay for even the bus fare to work.

Zimbabwe also faces other crises, including a cholera epidemic that has claimed the lives of over 3,000 people, according to statistics from the World Health Organisation.

[edit]

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A bus crash in Victoria, Australia has injured at least 20 people, two of whom are listed as critical. One victim is reported to be still trapped in the wreckage.

The accident occurred between a bus and a semi-trailer on the Princes Highway in the Traralgon area around 10:50am AEST. The La Trobe Valley Busliner bus was traveling east when it collided with the back of a heavy haulage truck.

Those critically injured are being airlifted to a hospital in Melbourne. Others are being transported by Ambulance to La Trobe Valley Hospital in Traralgon.

SES crews are on scene, along with St. John Ambulance and fire crews.

The eastbound lanes of the highway have been blocked by police and traffic is being diverted.