Friday, May 26, 2006

Australian Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop visited the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation in Lucas Heights, New South Wales today. The purpose of her visit was to inspect progress on Australia’s newest nuclear research reactor – OPAL. Whilst at the facility, she received a report on the economics and safety of a nuclear power industry in Australia.

OPAL, which stands for Open Pool Australian Light water reactor is expected to become fully operational by early 2007 and is in its final stage of development.

The reactor, which will replace Australia’s sole nuclear reactor – HIFAR will be used to research microbiology, biotechnology and gene therapy in addition to the production of agents used in nuclear medicine.

The report presented to Ms Bishop at ANSTO was written by Professor John Gittus and discussed the economics and safety of nuclear energy in Australia.

The major conclusion of the study was that new generation nuclear power plants would be as competitive as newer types of coal power plants in Australia. The report also found that nuclear energy is “the safest, most secure way of generating electricity with greater price stability in comparison to gas or coal power generation” according to Ms Bishop.

Prof Gittus’ report found that when the cost of environmental damage and carbon dioxide emissions from coal or gas fired power stations were considered, nuclear power becomes more attractive.

Speaking on the report, Ms Bishop said she wishes for an evidence-based debate about nuclear energy in Australia. “I welcome this report as a useful contribution to what I hope will be an evidence-based debate about nuclear power in Australia. The debate must focus on the facts and not be biased by emotion.” she said.


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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Police from Frederick in Maryland, US have charged a homeless man with three offenses after a light aircraft was stolen from Frederick Municipal Airport early yesterday morning. The single-engine aircraft crashed as its thief tried to take off.

51-year-old Calvin Cox was arrested near the scene in the nearby woods after officers arrived. He was discovered by dog handlers. The Piper Super Cub came off the runway and ran onto grass, sustaining damage to its fuselage and propeller as well as possibly its engine. The crash occured at 2:15 a.m.

Cox has been charged with felony theft, burglary, and trespassing. The plane was removed from an airport hangar and belonged to the Mid-Atlantic Soaring Association, who uses it to tow gliders. Michael H. Higgins, the association’s president, said it would be difficult for someone unfamiliar with the aircraft to start it, as several buttons and switches are required. He described the incident as “a very unusual situation.”

Police described Cox as familiar with aircraft. They say that while they have yet to determine any motive, they believe Cox’s “intention was to leave the Frederick area.” Nobody was injured in the crash.

Importance of Service Management Software in Consumer Durable Industry by SeemaAt the time where economists have termed the recent recession as the worst in over 60 years, downsizing costs, maximizing efficiencies and making customers happy have become more important than ever. Business managers who have understood this dictum have survived the tough times; others have succumbed to the circumstances. Manufacturers in particular, have to take special care that the income that comes from selling their products can very well become an unavoidable expense, if the after-sales service and support is not looked into. Organizations are looking for measures to achieve this.The most sought-after solution for this is Service Management Software. This system allows the manufacturer and the service partners (that independently handle the service support for multiple manufacturers) to automate the service and support process and help in:Maximizing EfficiencyReducing Overhead CostsStreamlining the Repair chainEnhancing Customer SatisfactionService Management Software is an intelligent automation tool that helps in reducing the Turn-Around-Time (TAT) of service rendered for a product and measuring product performance and gap analysis. Many manufacturers from consumer electronics and cellular industry have already encashed on Service Management Software from different vendors, and agreed to have experienced controlled TAT, product analysis and minimized chances of pilferage in service claims.Key features of Service Management SoftwareWarranty Management- The In-warranty or Out-of-warranty service/repair makes a lot of difference in defining the income or expense of the business. If the product is down for repair while it is In-warranty, it would be an expense to the manufacturer; while an Out-of-warranty call is an income. Managing the warranty status, which is a key module of this software is pertinent.Spare part Inventory- Service Management Softwares help in synchronizing asset management with every service center so that the customers never have to go away due to stock shortage. The system is configured with the warehouses and other governing bodies who keep an eagles eye view to ensure that every service center at different repair levels has the minimum stock level maintaned.Claim Management- In the absence of Service Management Software, it is difficult for a service center head to supervise the claim management process. Differentiating the valid and genuine claims from invalid claims becomes easy with the Service Management Software, as every step is recorded and the escalation traced.Reverse and Forward Logistics- Tracking the complete movement of spare-parts from warehouse to the service centers against indent/PO and defective product/spare-parts back from service centers to the warehouse simultaneously is crucial while maintaining a stock balance. Service Management Software helps in maintaining & managing the balance.Service Management Software is an end-to-end service CRM that gives you the flexibility and scalability to manage the post-sales service operations. If you are in the manufacturing industry, or run authorized service centers catering to different brands, you can now reduce the losses of downtime and improve productivity of your business with an end-to-end Service Management Software.Seema is an online marketing enthusiast & futurist. Zed Service” is a leading service management softwarecompany in India. For more information about service management software & repair management software solutions visit Zed Service” website now ! Article Source:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A bus crashed into a ditch in northern France, killing one man and leaving at least four people seriously injured, the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed.

The crash occurred on the A26 autoroute, between Calais and Troyes, near Reims, at approximately 0300 CET (0200 UTC) this morning. The vehicle was carrying 29 school children and twenty or 21 adults, with the man killed being 59 years old. The 22 minorly injured and the four or five seriously injured are currently receiving hospital treatment.

The pupils, who attend Alvechurch Church of England Middle School in Worcestershire, England, were returning to the UK from a trip to Aosta Valley, a well-known skiing area in Italy. Those not injured have been transported to a local sports complex where the French Red Cross is providing psychological assistance.

Police tests have established that the driver was not drunk and has been tested negative for drugs. It is possible that he might have fallen asleep while driving. Details of how exactly the crash occurred are unclear presently. According to BBC News reporter Hugh Schofield, the vehicle “veered into the ditch at the side of the road and it was a very serious accident.” Video from the scene showed the coach, which was owned by an English company, had rolled onto its side.

To find out more about those involved in this crash, contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office: 0207 008 1500

Windows Vista faces possible trademark challenges

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Microsoft, the world’s largest software company, announced the name of its forthcoming version of the Windows operating system from its headquarters in Redmond, Washington Friday. But in choosing the name “Vista,” Microsoft may find itself in a legal fight.

Microsoft has made a name for itself in legal circles as a company that fiercely defends its trademarks and other intellectual property. With the choice of “Vista,” the tables may turn as it may face allegations of swiping another company’s trademark.

It appears the Vista name has already been taken by another high-tech company, coincidentally also based in Redmond. A few miles from the sprawling Microsoft campus is Vista Incorporated, which has operated a small business internet interchange since it was founded by Wall Data founder, John Wall in 2000. He was surprised by his larger neighbor’s move.

“We are going to consider our options and talk to Microsoft,” Wall said in an interview with the Seattle Times. Wall reportedly has not yet filed suit against Microsoft to stop it from using the “Vista” name. An investor in SCO, he does have other legal options aside from law suits. Instead, he may offer to sell the rights to the “Vista” name.

However, John Wall’s company is not the only business with claims on the name “Vista.” Many other tech companies use “Vista” as product names. Additionally, a wide-range of non-computer businesses have the name reserved, including branded products for sewing machines, elevators and the dairy industry.

‘Recession gardens’ replace victory gardens

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

With the United States in a recession, more and more people are looking for ways to spend less money and get a better bargain at the same time. In a time where prices are higher, ‘recession gardens’ are becoming increasingly popular, echoing the victory gardens which were planted during World War I and World War II which helped to reduce the stress and pressure of food shortages.

“There is more interest in vegetable gardens similar to the victory gardens. Because of the economy, they are being called recession gardens,” said a master gardener who volunteers at Ohio State University‘s Extension Service office, Fred Hanacek.

The new fad recently caught on in Iowa where families have began to plant the recession gardens to save money in the produce sections of supermarkets, especially organic fruits and vegetables. Public News Service quotes the National Gardening Association (NGA) as saying that they expect a nearly 20% increase in personal home garden across the U.S.. Some of the increase is also due to people wanting to know what goes onto their vegetables and in their foods.

“I do believe you’ll find there’s an extra expense in actually producing your own food, but the food quality you get is far better than what you can purchase in a store,” said Beverly Bernhard a veteran gardener from Iowa.

The new trend has also gotten the attention of U.S. president Barack Obama who recently stated that he plans to plant a vegetable garden at the White House. It will be the first vegetable garden to be planted at the White House in over 20 years. The last time a garden of this kind was planted at the White House was in World War II when Eleanor Roosevelt planted her Victory Garden. In 1800, former U.S. president John Adams is reported to have planted the first White House garden. Andrew Jackson went a bit further, building a greenhouse.

Michelle Obama, the First Lady of the United States, broke ground on the new garden with the fifth grade class at Bancroft Elementary located in Washington, D.C. on March 20. The garden, which will be 1,100 square feet and an ‘L’ shape, will be located on the White House’s South Lawn and the Obamas plan to grow over 55 varieties of vegetables.

“Let’s hear it for vegetables. Let’s hear it for fruits,” yelled Mrs. Obama as they broke ground on the garden. “I’ve been able to have my kids eat so many different things that they would have never touched if we had bought them at a store,” she added. Mrs. Obama also said that it will be the entire family’s responsibility to maintain the garden, including the U.S. president.

Many vegetables grow easily, without having to do a lot of work to maintain them. Some examples are lettuce and zucchini. The NGA says at least 9 million Americans will grow vegetable gardens for the first time ever in 2009. An estimated 43 million Americans will plant their own personal vegetable gardens this year.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Despite expressing personal sympathy for the Middleton family, Bermuda’s chief justice Richard Ground dismissed, on Friday, an application to re-examine the 1996 killing of Rebecca Middleton.

Seventen-year old Rebecca Middleton, of Belleville, Ontario, Canada had been in Bermuda on vacation when she was raped and murdered. At the time, police had identified two suspects in the crime, 21 year-old Kirk Mundy and 19 year-old Justis Smith. Before DNA test results had been tabled, the attorney general made a plea deal with Mundy in exchange for his testimony against Smith. It turned out that prosecutors didn’t have enough hard evidence to connect Smith to the crime and the murder charges against him were dropped. Mundy served 5 years for being an accessory to the crime.

The murder case had garnered significant worldwide attention, even drawing in Cherie Booth QC, lawyer and wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Booth had advocated on behalf of the Middleton family during the recent two-day hearing in front of justice Ground.

In his ruling, Chief Justice Ground explained that new charges would amount to double jeopardy and would violate current law, as there were no errors in a previous review. “I have to declare the law as it is,” said Ground in his written ruling. “The [double jeopardy] rule is well established and straightforward…it would require legislation, or possibly the intervention of a higher court to change it.”

Since the ruling went against the Middletons, the lawyers representing Mundy and Smith called for their legal fees to be paid by Dave Middleton, Rebecca’s father. However, Justice Ground rejected the request. “The applicant has suffered a terrible loss, for which he can never be compensated. He has also suffered a wrong, in the way that this matter was mishandled at the outset,” said Ground. “In my view [Middleton] is entitled to explore every reasonable avenue in an attempt to put that right, and I am not going to order him to pay the costs of doing so.”

Dave Middleton, revealed that with his own legal bill approaching CA$100,000, an appeal of the latest ruling may be out of reach financially. “The cost just keeps going up. So far we are covering our bills, but will we be able to continue to do that? I don’t know,” he told CBC News from his home in Belleville. The Middletons have received financial support in the past by fundraising through the Rebecca Middleton Foundation.

For the next stage in the process, Middleton revealed that the case would reach the Court of Appeal in Bermuda, possibly in November. Should that appeal prove unsuccessful, the case could be brought before the UK Privy Council or the European Court of Justice.

Dave Middleton also suggested that the Middletons would like to retain the services of Cherie Booth for the upcoming appeals. “She’s a big part of how we progress, and I’m very hopeful of that,” said Middleton.

On the campaign trail in the USA, May 2016

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Monday, June 13, 2016

The following is the first edition of a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2016 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after an overview of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: a former Republican congressman briefly joins the Libertarian Party and runs for vice president; the Democratic Party names its National Convention Platform Drafting Committee amid controversy; and Wikinews interviews a candidate who had a surprisingly strong performance in the West Virginia Democratic presidential primary.


  • 1 Summary
  • 2 Ex GOP congressman joins LP, seeks VP, then leaves
  • 3 DNC aims for unity with Platform Drafting Committee picks; controversy ensues
  • 4 Interview with overachieving West Virginia Democratic protest candidate
  • 5 Related articles
  • 6 Sources

US unemployment rate reaches 9.8%

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Friday, October 2, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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